Collagen Diet: Collagen-Rich Foods for Healthy Joints, and Skin

We know collagen is going to help with the joints because we know half of your bones are protein. We need good building blocks for our cartilaginous tissue and ligamentous tissue. Frankly, most people get most of their protein from muscle meats. That’s a problem because they’re not getting the knuckles, the bones, and the cartilage, as we would from old-fashioned soups. So, if you’re doing a lot of soups and bone broth soups, that’s great. If not, we really want to add extra collagen.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor for more information on a good collagen diet and supplements.

I do 20 g of collagen in my coffee every morning. I think it’s amazing. I do my true collagen with some MCT oil and grass-fed butter. I love it. I think it’s excellent for skin, hair, nails, and just for overall prevention of bone loss and cartilage loss. We know the wear and tear that most people experience in their joints throughout the year, especially if they do a lot of long-distance cardio. You really need more building blocks to help prevent and mitigate the wear and tear, so you don’t have knee and joint replacements later in life. Collagen can really help decrease some of that wear and tear.

How do you take collagen?

I like adding collagen in my coffee in the morning because it has a nice little kind of creamer-like effect. It gives that little bit of frothiness which is wonderful. I also do it before bed. Sometimes I’ll do a little bit of collagen (glycine), magnesium, and vitamin C because vitamin C is a really important building block for making collagen. I find magnesium has some very good calming effects as well where there are plugs in the GABA or it’s just a natural beta-blocker as well. It can calm the heart and bring the heart rate down a little bit. I think magnesium does work on some of those GABA pathways as well and, of course, magnesium helps with blood sugar. You’ll get deeper sleep and better REM sleep when you have good magnesium. So, I love combining collagen and magnesium at night.

Where can you get collagen from?

You can get collagen from food via bone broth. Chicken skin is super rich in glycine, roughly 3.3 g for 3-1/2 oz. If you make chicken soup, throw the whole chicken in there. Get a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods and or get the fattier cuts of the chicken at least with the bone and the skin, so that way you get the best of both worlds if you’re going to do it from a whole food source. Regarding seafood, wild salmon is going to be the best source of glycine.

If you want to learn more about the collagen diet and other good sources of collagen, click this link to schedule a chat with me!

Natural Herbs and Foods to Help Fight Stress

When you’re stressed, what are the important things? Blood sugar stability is really important because most people get on a roller coaster when they get stressed, meaning they’re overly gravitating towards alcohol and towards refined sugar. Their blood sugar goes up and then it crashes down, and then it creates more nervous system stimulation via adrenaline, epinephrine, and cortisol being stimulated to bring the blood sugar back up.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor for guidance on which foods to eat for stress relief.

So, I find just keeping it really simple and really easy with your meals. You may be more nauseous when you’re overly stressed because stress hormone does cause you to feel nauseous. So, this is where you may want to do a soup or a simple smoothie, something really easy where there’s not a lot of digestion but you’re still getting some proteins and fat in there, whether it’s some collagen and some coconut milk or just sipping on some bone broth. Something like that’s going to have some good fat and good protein, and it won’t be hard to digest. So, if you feel nauseous, just still know you should probably be eating but just try to make it something very easy on your tummy.

Then think what are some of the nutrients your nervous system is going to need when you’re more stressed. So, the low hanging fruit, B vitamins. B complex is going to be very essential. Magnesium is going to be excellent. GABA and L-theanine are good things that are going to help you relax and wind down. Valerian root or passionflower, which are all connected to GABA and that inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you just relax a little bit. It kind of puts the clutching gear and disengages the gearbox, so you can downshift so to speak.

I always go to nutrients first and then I go to my favorite adaptogenic herbs second. So, Ashwagandha is one of my favorites. Rhodiola is excellent and there’s holy basil, which are my favorite very relaxing and tonifying herbs.

If you want to learn more about herbs for stress relief, click this link to schedule a chat with me!

The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Estrogen Levels are High – Men & Women!

Let’s talk about the top 5 reasons why your estrogen levels are high. We’re going to break them down today.


First, let’s look at the 3 major kinds of estrogens: E1 or estrone, E2 or estradiol, and E3 or estriol. In a woman’s regular cycle, it’s usually estradiol we’re talking about. When you start shifting to more menopausal and the ovary stops working, you start getting more estriol. The adrenals help in kick in a lot of DHEA and you make more estriol. Estradiol is more of the growth factor type of estrogen and estriol is a weaker estrogen.

Click here if you need to consult with a functional medicine doctor to learn more about estrogen and your hormones.


  1. PLASTICS. You’ll get it when the plastic is warm like in a microwave or out of a plastic water bottle especially if it’s in the car and the sun is hitting it or it’s outside. That’s why you want a good stainless steel or glass water bottle if you’re going to go outside or leaving it in the sun. The microwave heat and the radiation is going to cause a big release of plastic chemicals there, the xenoestrogens. One of the big ones are the phthalates but also BPA. There are other types of BPAs that are new which are supposedly safe but there are still estrogen-like compounds there as well. These plastics can affect women and men as well. Men are actually going to be more affected by them because men aren’t used to having estrogen in their environment and getting a whole bunch is going to be a problem.
  2. PESTICIDES. These tend to have an estrogenic quality to them and if you’re eating foods that are not organic, you’re definitely going to be getting organochlorines and various pesticides in your environment.
  3. PHYTOESTROGENS. These are found in soy. For example, I had a vegan-vegetarian patient. We ran a Dutch sex hormone panel on her and her estradiol was through the roof and really high. Phytoestrogens can be a big one, so soy may be a problem. With vegan-vegetarian, there’s a lot of phony protein consumption like fake meat kind of stuff such as the Beyond burger where there are a lot of soy and estrogen-like compounds in there. There are also hormones in meat. You have to make sure you get antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and ideally organic and pasture-fed or if you’re on the Whole Foods scale, step 4 or step 5 is ideal. Step 2 is at least pretty good. Organic means no pesticides, no hormones, and also the food they’re eating has no pesticides or hormones, too.
  4. HIGH LEVELS OF INSULIN. Too much carbs drive high levels of insulin because insulin responds to a high level of blood sugar. The blood sugars in your bloodstream go up and your pancreas comes in. The beta cells make a bunch of insulin to bring it down and bring it into the cellar and converted to fat. So, high levels of insulin upregulate an enzyme in men called aromatase that converts testosterone, the male hormones, to estrogen which becomes a problem. Now, in women, a similar thing happens but it’s the exact opposite or the big switch. Their estrogen is converted to testosterone. So, women can actually get more androgen-like issues which results in weight gain, acne, hair growth, and sometimes you can see some libido enhancements on that. So, that’s the difference between men and women.
  5. POOR GUT HEALTH. In the gut, we make healthy good bacteria in our gut that help us absorb a lot of nutrients. A good healthy gut function helps us break down protein for good HDL levels and good enzyme levels. We need these to break down protein into amino acids which are really important for helping us to detoxify. So, detoxification helps us to excrete estrogens that we’re getting exposed to in our environments such as the pesticides, plastic, or something that you don’t even know you’re getting exposed to. Good healthy detoxification will help your body eliminate that, so that’s a good backup plan.Also, if we have a lot of dysbiosis, SIBO and bacterial overgrowth, we can make a lot of what’s called beta-glucuronidase. This is an enzyme that’s made by bad bacteria and it makes it harder to detoxify estrogen. The beta-glucuronidase takes conjugated estrogens and binds it to a protein that helps us excrete it out the body. It takes that protein and it pulls it apart. It takes the handcuffs off that protein, so that allows that estrogen that’s been deconjugated to go back into the body in the general circulation. So, if we have gut issues, that could be a major concern.


We need things like cysteine, glycine, glutamine, sulfur amino acids, and things that help us methylate like B12, B6, and folate. So, these nutrients we have to get them in our diet via a good diet. We need to be able to break down and absorb those nutrients, so we need good digestion to get those things in there.

So, in general, we’ve got to make sure we have a good gut bacteria balance. Even fungal overgrowth can cause problems and H. pylori that can lower stomach acid and make it harder to break down nutrition on one side and then it can create this bacterial overgrowth enzyme that makes it hard to detoxify estrogen. These are really important components. If you have any issues with estrogen, you’ve got to look there.

Now, we may want to do things to help detoxify like make lifestyle changes, food changes, pesticide changes, make the changes in regards to plastics, and make in in regards to your diet, your glycemic load, and your gut. That’s a good first step to get to the bottom. There are also different things we may do to help upregulate detoxification to help get that estrogen. It may be activated charcoal or various soluble fibers. It could be things like bentonite clay. We could use things like DIM or Calcium D-Glucarate or glutathione, sulfur amino acids, and vitamin C. They’re all helpful in different situations. We would recommend them based on what’s happening but at least make the diet and lifestyle changes out of the gates.

If you want to find out the root cause of what’s happening, click this link where you can schedule a chat with me!

Role of Functional Medicine in Mental Health | Podcast #326

As an adult, maybe you’re struggling with some of these symptoms yourself, things like anxiety, perhaps depression or mood issues, those types of things. Or many of you have kids with these types of mental health symptoms and problems. Functional Medicine is a form of integrative medicine that focuses on addressing the root causes of a person’s symptoms rather than merely treating the symptoms themselves and, in this case, manage stress. Here are Dr. J and Evan Brand sharing their insights about different approaches for stress reduction. 

Dr. J suggested to pay attention to nutrients first and some natural herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, etc. Watch the whole video to know interesting details about functional medicine in mental health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:22      Foundation of Functional Medicine Needs

8:27      Emotional Stress

14:50    How to deal with Stress

19:08    Alcohol as Stress Reliever

30:43    Importance of Exercise

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan. Evan, how are we doing today man? 

Evan Brand: Doing well, the sky is blue, the weather is amazing. I looked at your forecast for this week too, it’s going to be like 75 and sunny all day, every day. So that’s going to be amazing. We’re inside though, maybe we need to do like outside recordings, maybe need to go like, sit out back in a hammock and record with me. So we don’t miss this weather because then it’s going to be cold. And we’re going to be complaining. But no, but long story short, we were talking pre show about just how everything this year has been kind of crazy. And a lot of people are expressing issues with their mental health, their physical health, their emotional health, it’s affecting our clients, it’s affecting potential clients, people that are reaching out to us that have had businesses closed down or potential job losses and a lot of economic issues that have caused a lot of, you know, mental emotional problems for people. So the idea today was, well, let’s try to cover kind of a, a broad stroke, if you will, of how we could use functional medicine to improve mental health. So let’s dive in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. So off the bat, like we kind of go back to like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? That’s kind of like the first thing. So I always tell patients off the bat, there’s kind of a foundation of functional medicine needs, that’s going to be clean water, sleep, and then clean food. And now we can kind of get in the middle of it in the weeds with the food and kind of getting your macros dialed in and getting all that kind of dialed in. But clean water, clean food and good sleep. And so I always tell patients, the more stressed you are, the more you need to be rested, fed and watered. And the more those things are kind of stable, and that’s like your foundation, the better adaptable you will be at the dealing with stress, adapting to stress. So the health, health and stress adaptation are intimately connected. So the more stressed you are, if you start going towards alcohol, and processed food, and staying up too late and watching too much news, it’s going to get that fear cycle going, you’re not going to have enough rest to recharge your parasympathetic nervous system, you’ll be too much sympathetic dominant, you’ll be leaning on your adrenals leaning more on cortisol leaning more on adrenaline, and it’s going to be harder for you to digest. You’ll be just kind of on the edge every time with your emotions, the smallest thing will set you off, and you won’t have a good solid foundation.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I I think people should really just get rid of the social media apps on their phone. I mean, that was something that I did. I just noticed that if I have the social media apps off my phone, and I have to go to a web browser to check them. It’s much much more inconvenient to do it. So I must I’m much less likely to do it. And also, for me, you have the option of being up speaking to that you hear his little notification sound. Oh, social media-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: – has turned it off right now. Airplane mode, maybe. 

Evan Brand: It’ll, it will, it’s it’s it, you know, there’s been like trials done on how long it takes you to get focused again. And so what I’ve tried to do is to limit my distractions, I think the world now has become a world full of distractions, mainly because people are trying to solve all the world’s problems on their own meaning, you know, I care about the trees getting cut down in the Amazon. So I’m going to go read about this, and then I care about this, I’m going to go read about that. And then you’re so scatterbrained that you kind of lost your own productivity. So I’m not saying that you need to just, you know, put your head in a hole and turn the world’s problems off in your head like they don’t exist. No, I think it’s just a fine line. And I think most people have lost the line of productivity, because they’re so focused on the issues. And a lot of the day to day decisions you make aren’t going to change the world that much like there’s nothing I could do necessarily right this very second, besides maybe donating some money to some organization to stop cutting trees in the Amazon like it sucks. I don’t like to see, you know, you got all this illegal deforestation going on. But there’s only so much you can do. So you got to find a way to to find a healthy way to absorb the media. And most media is negative. So social media, media news. And a lot of it’s not serving you. That’s the only point I have to make.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I do think number one, social media is a big one, you kind of have to like, use it, don’t let it use you. Right. So turn off the notifications. Don’t let it kind of be there something that you always go to write, I think deleting it from your phone, or at least maybe on the weekends or periodically, deleting it can be helpful because you’re not going to access it as much on the web browser. I think also people forget that most people use social media as their highlight reel. So they only post great things about their life. People feel bad about it. So I’m very aware about that. And I don’t overly post the highlight reel of my life on there because those things are between me and my family and I don’t need to share it with the whole world every now and then. I’ll get people A glimpse, but it doesn’t need to be there all the time. A lot of people overdo that. And people forget that they’re seeing someone else’s highlight reel and they make it makes their life feel a little bit less than or more inferior. And you got to remember that right? You can’t forget it. That gives you kind of a good perspective and a grounding and and it really just comes back to appreciation. Right, the more you’re grounded in appreciation for what you have that that really shifts that that stress and that sympathetic kind of response of just inadequacy and, and, and, and feeling like your life’s not enough.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And there’s people with it, we know that are incredibly successful in business and wealth and all of that. And these people will go publicly bring up their anxiety and depression. So when you look at someone’s life, and you see all they have it so good, I’m so jealous of this or that car, this house or whatever, a lot of people listening may just shut it down immediately. And they say, Oh, no, I don’t care. I’m not comparing myself. But it’s kind of a subconscious thing. You’re not even really aware that it’s happening. Just look up type in, like Instagram depression, there’s some studies done that it was the most depressing social media. So I don’t want to make it the whole anti social media podcast, but you, you hit on gratitude. And I think that’s really the key. So what I tried to do was like a walking gratitude. It’s very, very helpful. So I’ll just, I’ll take the kids outside, and they’ll just walk, whether it’s in the backyard, whether it’s down the driveway, whether it’s in the you know, by the garage, I’ll just find a place to just walk, walk, walk. And I’m just focusing on the motions of the body just shaking up and down, dude. And I’m just thinking, Man, I’m grateful. I’m so grateful. Look at this beautiful day, look at the sun, look at the blue clouds, or the white clouds with the blue sky. Look at the the contrast, look at the green on the trees. Oh, we’ve got a little bit of yellow coming in on these maples over here. This is gorgeous, Oh, look at that red tree over there. And it’ll really take you out of the fear, it’ll take you out of the worry those repetitive, repetitive thoughts, you know, there’s, and this is not talking to one or two people here on my intake form, which thousands of people have submitted, you and I use a couple different form creation tools. I’ve looked at how many submissions we have. And it’s literally like 95% of people out of these thousands have reported? Yes, they beat themselves up with negative self talk. That’s a question on the intake form. Do you beat yourself up with negative self talk? 95%? Say yes. Now is that because you and I have a population who has symptoms and they want to get better? Or is that indicative of the general population to I would say the general population would be the same?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I always kind of I heard someone say this a couple of years ago, they said, Imagine, you know all the inner thoughts about yourself, kind of write that down. Okay. And imagine if someone else said those things to you? Would you be friends with that person? Probably not. Right? So it’s, it’s amazing how hard people are regarding the inner dialogue. And I always just kind of inner dialogue comes through your brain, ask yourself, would you be friends with that person? If someone else said that to you? Probably not. So I always just try to say to people, you know, make sure you would be friends with the person that would be saying, the inner thoughts that you’re actually thinking.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a good call, that’s a really good call, well, you can be your best friend or you can be your worst enemy. And I think it’s easy to become your worst enemy. Because I don’t know you, you’re the one who has to look in the mirror. Right? So you’re always going to be the one to blame yourself. But.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. And if that happens, what do you do? Right? I mean, I think if you have that inner dialogue that kind of shifts overtly negative to yourself, what do you do in NLP world, you go and you visualize the stop sign, right? You don’t beat yourself up over it, you visualize the stop sign, and then you then you shift into appreciation. Or some folks will have the elastic band on the wrist and they’ll pull it tight, right to create that negative neuro Association, whether it’s a physical, elastic snap, or whether it’s a stop sign coming in, that’s that’s visually cueing you to stop, however you want to do it, and then just kind of refocus your energy in a non shameful way to, to the things that you have that are great, right? Because that stuff needs to be you need to it’s like weeds grow automatically negative thoughts grow automatically. It takes no effort to be a cynic. In today’s world takes no effort. It really takes a lot of effort to be an appreciator and to focus on the things that you have. So just kind of use some of those cues to stop the negative thought and then shift over into the positive thought. Now I always find too, if you’re some people, it just kind of feels good to be negative a little bit where you’re kind of venting over something. And if you feel that way, just do it while tapping on some meridian points, some of the EFT meridian points because I find at least if you’re going to be negative, this at least decreases that sympathetic tone. And then what happens is as that that nervous system kind of calms down a little bit, it’s easier to shift back into that positive perspective. So you can do some of the EFT points chin under the nose. under the eye doubletap, I find it’s more efficient for me.

Evan Brand: And as you’re doing this, and as you’re doing this, you’re you’re kind of talking about the negative thoughts, it could be, oh, I just thought about irritable, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just just talk about whatever it is, I always like to go into it, assigning it a number. So out of 10, 10 being the worst intensity, where, yeah, you had a five or six or seven. And I try to go into it, taking whatever that number is, I want to cut it in half. So if I’m at a seven, I’m going to cut it down to three, or four, if I’m at a six, I want to cut it down to a three, if I’m at a 10 and want to cut it down below five, I just try to go into it, and have that conversation with myself about whatever that thing is that pissed me off, whatever it is that hey, that difficult patient that that really stressful bill, whatever it is, right. And I just kind of go into it, kind of do a little audit of where you’re at, and then try to get that down until it’s at least half below where it’s at, that kind of puts you back in the driver’s seat. And then it gives you the ability to shift to being positive, because you can’t be positive, it’s harder to be positive when you have that emotional staying at a higher level on that on that object subjective scale I gave you. So if you can cut it in half, that gives you the ability now to downshift from negative into positive to enable just want to make that shift. while they’re at a high level of negative it’s too difficult. That’s Oh, man, doing the EFT can be helpful because one, it gives you permission to be negative, but two, you’re giving your your nervous system, a little bit of a bump to be able to neutralize it.

Evan Brand: That is the the best point you’ve made about the emotional stress piece because this is like taking somebody who’s in the middle of a full blown panic attack and saying, Just chill out. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Just chill out, like just relax, like, be be positive, no, can’t do that. Can’t do that. So this is where like the EMDR. And then you can kind of scatter your eyes around while you do it too. Right. So you can go look at like a clock face and go to 1936. Or you can tap while you’re pretending like you’re looking at different clock numbers with your eyes. And because when you move your eyes that uses different cranial nerves, which uses different parts of the brain, and that kind of the whole goal is you’re kind of scattering that signal. Number one, you’re interrupting the pattern. Number two, it’s kind of like if you’re talking about something you ever had it where someone interrupted you and you’re like, What the hell are they talking about? Right? ever have that? That’s kind of what you’re doing a little bit to your brain and in some of the negative thinking you’re trying to scatter that pattern and make it a little bit harder for your brain to go back to and then you’re like, what, what was I mad about? Oh, yeah, that. And then it makes it easier than shift into positive.

Evan Brand: I just tried to go outside to like, for some reason. Well, duh, I mean, humans were meant to be outside. We’re not meant to be in boxes all day. But you know, if you have a thought that is intrusive, you can just go out, and I’ll take a pair of binoculars, and I’ll just go outside and I’ll just watch the birds. Or I’ll go fill up the bird feeder, put it like a sewage feeder. So it’s like a big chunky like fatty CD type feed. I like to go put that out, watch the woodpeckers come in. And if I’m looking at them, and I’m not thinking about anything, yeah, that’s a that’s a great point. So let’s tie the functional medicine piece into what you said because I think what you said is a really good place to pivot which is you can’t take someone because someone listening who’s just so stressed out right now they’re going to they’re going to listen to you talk about tapping or if they’re watching the video on YouTube. So you tap into right What is this guy doing? He’s friggin tapping his forehead. I’m so pissed. I don’t care what what is this gonna do? That person’s a 10. He can’t he can’t even comprehend getting down to a five right now. So So on the maybe you would call it the herbalist functional medicine side, maybe we come in and give that guy or gal a shot of passionflower. Or maybe we give them a couple hundred milligrams of some pharma gabbeh or maybe a little bit of mother wort or maybe some ashwagandha maybe some Holy basil. Maybe we come in with some B vitamins because you and I know based on looking at thousands and thousands of people on organic acids testing that if you’re really really stressed, you’re going to burn out your bees as in Bravo, your B vitamins are going to be toast we know that. Based on looking at these labs, your neurotransmitters are going to be affected. So you may have low dopamine, you may have low serotonin, which is causing more anxiety, but then the low dopamine is causing a lack of energy and lack of drive. So let’s dive into some of these more functional pieces now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so we talked about the mindset stuff. We talked about tools to kind of decrease that sympathetic output and it’s just tapping on meridian points, right acupressure acupuncture points, kind of how energy and nervous energy Nervous System energy flows to the body. It’s just helping that energy flow better whether you call it ci or whether you call it action potential or, or nervous system, nerve flow, whatever you want to say, right? blood flow. It’s all connected, right? It’s all connected, right? So off the bat, we were talking about functional stuff. So when you’re stressed What are important things? Well, blood sugar stability is really important because most people get on a rollercoaster of blood sugar. When they get stressed meaning they’re going they’re overly gravitating towards alcohol, or overly gravitating towards refined sugar, their blood sugar goes up and then crashes down. And then it creates more nervous system stimulation via adrenaline and epinephrine being stimulated. And cortisol being stimulated to bring your blood sugar back up. So I find just keep it really simple, really easy with your meals, you may be more nauseous when you’re overly stressed because stress hormone does cause you to feel nauseous. So this is where you may want to do a soup or a simple smoothie, something really easy where there’s not a lot of digestion, but you’re still getting some proteins and fat in there. Whether it’s some collagen and some coconut milk or just sipping on some bone broth, right, something like that is going to have some good fat protein and it won’t be hard to digest. So if you feel nauseous just still no you should probably be eating but just try to make it something very easy on your tummy. And then think what are some of the nutrients your nervous systems in need when you’re more stressed, so low hanging fruit, B vitamins B complex is going to be very essential. Magnesium is going to be excellent gabbeh l-theanine these are good things that are going to help you relax and wind down having kind of mentioned valerian root or passionflower which are all connected to gabbeh and that kind of inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you just relax a little bit kind of kind of puts the clutch in gear disengages the the gearbox so you can kind of downshift so to speak.

Evan Brand: Did you ever do Kava when you were down in Austin?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so I mean, I’ve done I’ve done Kava still. 

Evan Brand: Did you go to the bars though? There’s like a cot. There’s like a cup. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, no, I’ve never I’ve never done it at a bar, but I’ve done it. Um, someone brought it over my house. They got it from Fiji. Before I did, it was relaxing. I like Kava that does a lot of gabbeh too, right?

Evan Brand: Yeah, does I felt weird my throat. I felt like well, am I having a reaction to this? Like it numbs your throat so much. It was a bizarre feeling. Yeah, I’m not recommending it. I’m not recommending it as a as a tool. But it could be it could be a good tool. I just thought I’d bring it up. Because when you mentioned like, Valerian I thought, Man, I remember that one time I drink Kava. I was. It was a weird, almost like an out of body relaxation. And I didn’t feel very grounded. It was kind of like whoa, I’m floating in the room. Kind of kind of interesting. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, like I always go to nutrients first. And then I go to my favorite adaptogenic herbs second, so ashwagandha is one of my favorites. Right? ashwagandha rhodiola. Excellent. Excellent x, Holy basil those are kind of like my favorite kind of very relaxed, defying, relaxing tonifying kind of herbs, if you will.

Evan Brand: I like it too relaxefying, Do you get any sort of change in your outlook with holy basil? Because for me, that’s the one that’s most significant. Like I feel like I could take on the world when I get like a, I don’t know five 600 milligram a holy basil. It’s kind of like I am ready for the challenge. It’s a weird because it’s I’m calm. But I’m also energized at the same time. Do you get anything like that? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It hasn’t been on my stack for a while. So right now my big stacks on my desk is going to be ashwagandha I do have some some gabbeh chewables and gabbeh sublingual. I mean, I think if you just took people’s works and took, you know, in their, in their place of work, whatever. And you took away all the candy and you just put like magnesium, and you put gabbeh like Lawson jers. Right. Think about how much of a stress reduction had been people’s works. Right. So much better. Maybe some B vitamins.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, if you and I had brick and mortar places what I would do instead of a little you know how old school like front desk, you’ve got a little glass of like lifesavers and peppermints. And a bunch of garbage. I’d have like pre packaged chewable pharma gabbeh sitting there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. chewable pharma gabbeh, sublingual magnesium, maybe some l-theanine shots, right? keep it really simple. I remember in doctor at school before. For finals, we would like make drinks of like ginseng and holy basil. And we like create these like shot glasses all lined up with herbs where we take it. It was fine. I mean, those are some fun times. But um, yeah, so we just got to think a little bit differently and how you deal with stress, just a different mindset change.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I want to go back to what you said how people get into the alcohol and to the sugar and all of that and the carbohydrates and the blood sugar rollercoaster. I think people don’t understand why that happens. So I just want to give people a brief education of why that’s happening from a, you know, neurotransmitter perspective, that way you feel a little more confident that you can change this and you’re not just a victim to the food. So when we look at urine and you measure these neurotransmitter metabolites, we can see that after a period of stress, especially if somebody has been working with us for several years, we can see that Oh, they went through a divorce. Look what happened to their endorphins, for example, the endorphins got burned out. And with the help of Julia Ross, she has an amazing amino acid therapy chart in her books. You can see that the symptoms of low endorphins start to pop up. So these are the people that cry at the drop of the hat. These are the people that hard on the sleeve real emotionally sensitive. If they crave dark chocolate, they’re going for food to comfort themselves or reward themselves. Those are low endorphin signs, we’ll match up those symptoms to the neurotransmitter report on the oat. And then we’ll come in with a therapeutic nutrient like dl phenylalanine, to rebuild the endorphins. And then within four to six weeks, you can have it the 60% difference in symptoms were these people that were running to the cookie because they were stressed or running to the alcohol at night to relax, they no longer need that now, they may still do it. But they literally don’t have the physiological need to do that. Some people say, I just can’t relax until I have that glass of wine. Once you rebuild the brain chemistry, they literally don’t need it anymore.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, if you’re having a stressful day, I mean alcohol Don’t get me wrong is that is a wonderful downer. I mean, it really does help relax people. Now obviously, if you’re going to engage in alcohol, keep it to like a drier champagne, a drier white wine, keep it to a clean alcohol and try to do it after you’ve eaten. So you’re not creating a blood sugar swing, because alcohol can actually lower your blood sugar. And then that creates more cravings and more cravings for junky food, right? So if you’re going to have a glass of alcohol, right, don’t want don’t get drunk. But if you’re going to have a glass, make sure it’s a healthy version, then just try to have some good protein before you have it like so if you go out, for instance, have some oysters, maybe a little bit of seafood, maybe a shrimp cocktail and have a glass of champagne or two or a cabo or Prosecco or something clean, clean, clean alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with that, you know, especially if it’s only if it’s not an everyday kind of thing. I think it’s totally fine. And you know, make sure you’re utilizing some of the nutrients we talked about. So you’re supporting the neurotransmitters as well.

Evan Brand: Yeah, check out our podcast, we did a whole one on the whole biohacking alcohol thing. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s how-

Evan Brand: So, Sunshine, sunshine is huge. I mean, granted, when you’re in certain parts of the country, you really lose the sun, you really lose it because you get clouds. And, you know, if you’re really high northern latitude, it’s really tough to get sun, I’ve got a lot of clients in Canada, and they just get major, major seasonal depression. And so for those people, like a light therapy box can be helpful. I already know for me personally, it’s affected me like when it gets dark at five 6pm. I mean, I just mentally, I just don’t like it. And so the light therapy box can be very good. A lot of times, you’re going to see those at around 10,000. Lux, that’s a pretty bright, pretty bright light. Of course, nothing is going to beat the sunshine. But if it’s like you’re in Alaska, you literally or, you know, hours of sun per day, whereas before it was 12 hours, and now you’re three hours of sunlight. That’s really tough mentally, so sun can be helpful. I wish tanning beds weren’t so controversial. because years ago, I had a friend who worked at a gym who had a level, I think they called it a level three or level four tanning bed, which was not something that closed on you. It wasn’t like magnetic field balanced. Like I measured it, there was no EMF coming from it. But it was almost like the stage lights, almost like a like a theatrical performance, like a red light up at the top. And you could get a tan, I mean, literally in a couple of sessions. But I did it for mental health. And we know that sunlight in general can really help act as almost like morphine, it can really help modulate these opiate receptors in the brain. I remember coming out of a six or seven minute session, and I was just high on life. I felt so good after that. And I thought, wow, I wish this didn’t have to be so controversial. Because if someone could get access to something like this, if we knew that it wasn’t going to increase risk of skin cancers and such, man, what could it do for all the depressed people out there that have Seasonal Affective issues in the winter?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it just comes down to when you’re dealing with sun, it’s just don’t burn, you know, just just don’t get a burn and you’ll be fine. And that’s different for every single person. And so of course, you know, natural sunlight is going to be ideal. I think it’s gonna be excellent. So that’s a good first step for sure. We talked about some of the B vitamins and things and it gets really essential. I think also, you know, just from a financial standpoint, I think it’s really, really good. People talk about it, just having that six month emergency fund, right, try to have, you know, six months of being able to take care of your family, whether it’s food, living mortgage, just try to really make sure at least three to six months if people had that during COVID. I think there’d be way way, way less financial stress for people. I know, it’s a tough thing to do. But I think it’s something to strive for in regards to financial health is just really look for that six months, three to six month emergency fund. I think you’re smart.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And try to get rid of things that you don’t truly need. I mean, I had several people who say oh, you know this or that about budget, but they’ve got the hundred and $40 a month cable bill and they’ve got the the you know, the subscription to this or that that adds up to hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month. So I think with the reducing subscriptions where you can the emergency fund is smarter than from the food security perspective. Two, I remember months ago, you and I were talking about this it was there was talk about some of these meat processing plants and stuff shutting down and I had literally some of my clients freaking out thinking that they were going to run out of meat and not be able to feed their family. I mean, they were probably just watching too much news about the subject. But that’s why I always recommend everyone have a good chest freezer, you can get him for $100 and go on local harvest or eat wild, or just Google local farms around you, we have a farm that I pay him a little bit extra, but they’ll deliver to the house. And we’ll have literally an entire chest freezer full of amazing grass fed meat at anywhere from six to $10 a pound depending on the cut. And we don’t have to worry about going to Whole Foods where we’re going to get shamed if we don’t want to wear a mask, and then we’re buying their overpriced stuff sitting in the fridge. I’ve got my local farm, you know, bringing pastured meats at a fraction of the cost to my door, throw in the chest freezer, I sleep great at night knowing that if something were to happen to the food supply, my children and my wife and I will be well fed. And then of course well what if the electrical grid? Well, I don’t know. That’s that’s, that’s pretty slim chance. I know, people in California worried about that earlier this year, because of the fires, people were thinking, well, what if I have the chest freezer full of meat? And then the electrical grid goes off? Because California turns off my power generator? You know, hopefully, it’s not a long term thing. But you just got a problem solution problem solution, you can’t just get paralyzed by the problems.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I always talk about it, you got to close the loop, right? You know, you have a problem. When you don’t close the loop. And you think about the solution, and you keep these loops, I call them keeping these loops open. That’s where stress happens when you close the loop. That’s where you feel a lot better, because it’s our problem solution. Problem solution, you’re constantly opening and closing loops all day long. That’s kind of how you want to think about it. So you have maximal you know, stress reduction. So we talked about physiology, right? That’s the foundation because remember, that’s like the this is the vehicle This is a suit, the biochemical suit we have to walk through every day and not everyone’s suit is the same and how we can deal with stress. So if you’re looking coming into this, you know, 20 minutes late, you’re like, Well, what do I focus on, focus on the physiological biochemical suit, because that gives you the ability to adapt. And then from there, you can try to grab one or two things that work best for you. mindsets, really important, dealing with some of these stress can be helpful. Talking about some of the supplements can be helpful. Making sure you’re in a good kind of financial situation can be helpful as well. You know, those are all good kind of strategies out of the gates. Anything else you want to talk about functional medicine wise. So we talked about some of the organic acid testing and looking at neurotransmitters that can be helpful, because I find people that are, you know, let’s say long term stressed out people, we’re going to see a lot of neurotransmitter patterns that are pretty depleted regarding amino acids and dopamine and adrenaline and serotonin. And that may be a longer thing you have to work on replacing with amino acids. So that may not be just a supplement you want to dunk on, they may take a while to work on depleting that, especially, you know, the faster it happens when you work on all the sleep stuff and the diet stuff that gets better, but that the bucket that may need some effort to work on depleting.

Evan Brand: Yeah, the only other functional medicine piece we’re going to be looking into for these like super stress, people’s looking into the gut, we’re going to be looking at gut inflammation. We’re going to be looking at parasites, bacterial overgrowth, all the stuff we normally talk about Candida, because there could be some more functional reasons why someone is going into the cookies, for example, or the alcohol, maybe on a neurotransmitter test, they look okay, but in regards to their gut, maybe they have all these bacterial pathogens are parasitic pathogens that are kind of like begging for some sort of quick burning glucose, right? So we may come in. And I noticed personally just using some Mimosa, I was doing some experiments with not not the orange juice cocktail thing, but actual most of the seed most a tree seed in capsule form. That’s very beneficial for calming down my gut. And I noticed mentally I was calm, just by calming down my gut. So don’t forget about the gut brain access, there is a connection there. And so if you’re having digestive problems now, whether that’s due to stress, or whether it’s due to infections, if you’re having diarrhea or constipation, or stomach cramping or food intolerances, you got to try to address those because it does signal and alert Danger, danger to the brain, meaning if you’re going and eating this allergenic food, irritating the gut that can then irritate your brain and cause issues. So I’ve had some people that have gotten anxious after certain foods, and we know that histamine is a neurotransmitter as well. So if you’re having histamine reactions, even just something like a low histamine diet may be useful to help calm the brain down because of some of the reactions there with histamine. So people think it’s just histamine allergies. No, but it can also affect your brain chemistry. And so you got to focus on that maybe herbal anti histamines or something we would use or some enzymes to help to reduce some of the effectiveness of the histamine on the brain. So I think that’s probably my last piece.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and those are all valid points. For sure. You know, you talked about histamine, you talked about inflammation, and inflamed brains not going to focus and not going to do as well. So again, inflammation, whether it’s food allergens or deeper gut issues is a big one. Also medical palsy women, you know, lower hormone issues can affect the brain. So try to make sure your hormones are at least at a good stable place because that’s going to help with brain inflammation that’s gonna help with cognitive stuff as well. So everyone’s coming at this from a different place from from a different foundational weakness. So just try to figure out where you’re at and take at least one or two steps, you know, Ford on that. Also exercise can be helpful. So just try to find a couple of movements, simple movements that you can do 510 minutes, that’s going to help really decrease a bunch of stress. So whether it’s a push movement, a pull movement, a set or squat, a bender, a pole, whatever that movement pattern is just try to engage in some of these simple movements, it’s going to really help your mood, it’s going to take a lot of that mental energy and allow you to kind of put it out into that physical movement pattern.

Evan Brand: Oh, 100% Yeah, exercise is key. I should have mentioned it earlier. I mean, I feel amazing after I just do some dumbbells or roll machine or hike in the woods, hike in the field, you know, whatever I could do to move. I mean, that’s in its free, right, it’s free, so and you don’t need any permission to do that. So obviously, if you’re going into a gym and you’re doing the whole mass thing in a gym, maybe that’s not as fun so get outside go somewhere where you know, you have your own space and you don’t have people you know, breathing down your neck, so to speak. But I think with the gut piece, the neurotransmitter piece, the aminos here’s kind of the the summary of today and what’s been going on in the world. A lot of people are just like, hey, things are crazy, I give up. But this is actually the time where you really want to dial things in even more. This is a time where you want to focus even more to keep your body keep your mind keep your your sleep patterns healthy. This is not a time where screw it I’m going to go off the rails and just drink a case of beer. It This isn’t the time to do that a lot of people they’re so stressed they have no other coping mechanism. But I would argue everything you and I’ve been talking and doing and preaching and clinically doing for people. This is kind of like the showdown This is like okay, what did all that work we put in actually do did we were we the last man standing, meaning everyone else got burned out and ended up on you know, anti anxiety medication. And we stayed calm and cool through the whole thing. I think this is the time where you can see all the hard work paying off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I think you’re totally kind of dialed in. Also, one thing I’ve been doing a little bit is a little more meditation and just keep it really simple with breathing. Just focus on breath, you can do kind of a biofeedback device like the Muse that I’ve talked about, we’ll put a link down below for that. That’s one thing I’m experimenting more with. It just kind of gives you that little bit of a thumbs up from a biofeedback standpoint that you’re you’re you’re putting your brain in a pretty good place when you’re meditating. I think it gives people confidence. They’re doing it right. The problem I find with meditation, people are like, Am I doing this right? And there’s just insecurity and what the heck they’re doing. And then that prevents them from being compliant with it. So I think having a extra kind of pat on the back yet you’re doing the right You’re doing good with a some kind of a device that helps whether it’s whether it’s HRV, or the Muse or M wave type of technology, these kind of things I think are helpful to give you the confidence that you’re doing something right.

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah, the floatation tank is awesome. So doing doing a float would be good. deep tissue massage would be great. calming essential oils would be great Epsom salt baths would be great is anything you can do to downshift. We talked about the shifting phenomenon quite a bit, but-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s a lot, there’s a lot of options for sure.

Evan Brand: Okay, cool. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. So if people need help, we’re here for you. We always have been and we intend to be kind of on the front lines, helping people with all this stuff. So if you need to reach out to Dr. J. is the website. If you need to reach out to me, is the website and we’re here for you. So don’t give up. Don’t give in. You got to keep pushing forward every day, you still got to put your pants on, you still got to do the thing, whether it’s take care of your kids take care of your wife, your husband take care of career, you still got to move forward. So I know it’s easy to get kind of stuck and like you mentioned I like the idea of the open loops closing the loops. I didn’t get stuck in these open loops, but you got to close the doors. Try to simplify try to you know, minimize decision making focus on the big things and you’re going to be just fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. Excellent and Well, great podcast today to reach out to Evan, to reach out to me we’re available worldwide. If you want to dive in, look deeper at your physiology, biochemistry, neurotransmitters, gut whatever the root issue is. We’re here to help you guys have a phenomenal day. Click down below for all the important links, guys. Take care. Bye.

Evan Brand: Take care now. Bye bye.


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Does Eating Healthy When Stressed Make You Feel Better? | Podcast #315

Eating a healthy diet can reduce the negative effects of stress on your body and a healthy diet builds a solid, more enduring foundation for your body by reducing oxidation and inflammation and by helping to reduce weight gain.  So in this video, we have Dr. J and Evan talking about how we can handle stress while trying to stay fit and healthy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:30     Why is it hard to eat healthy?

7:01     Eating unhealthy junk

17:19    Avoid stressing out on eating healthy

25:51    We all have different journey

29:11    Get the momentum

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here today’s podcast is going to be all about is your health making you stressed and anxious? Again, it takes a lot of effort and a lot of energy to be healthy. And we want to make sure that those goals are not making you sick and stress at the same time, Evan, how are we doing today man? 

Evan Brand: Doing awesome. Let’s dive in. First of all, when you say that, why, why does it take so much effort to be healthy? Is it just the modern world, the circumstances, the toxins? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So my first step out of the gates, it’s all about habits, right? It takes no more effort to get what you want than what it does to get what you don’t want. It’s all about pattern of behavior. And so I always tell patients, the first month is typically the hardest because you’re creating new patterns of behavior. So there’s like, there’s four levels of competence, right? There’s the conscious or unconsciously unconfident, meaning you don’t know what you don’t know. You’re just totally clueless right? And then you’re unconsciously or then you’re, you’re, you’re basically unconsciously competent, where you kind of know that you don’t know something, right, you kind of know that you don’t know something. And then you’re consciously competent, where you know it. But you really have to be focused on the habits, choosing the right things, doing the right things. So usually, it’s the unconscious incompetence, these are people we’re not able to help, because they don’t even know there’s a problem. Once they go from unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent, they know that they don’t quite have the skills, that’s where we’re able to help them in stage two. And stage two to stage three is the hardest because this is where we go from, you’re consciously competent, you have to focus, you have to think about every little thing you’re doing right. What’s my analogy, anyone that’s driven a standard transmission car, it’s tough, like you’re driving a car, now you’re putting your left foot on the train on the on the clutch, you’re shifting gears, maybe you’re looking down and make sure you don’t go from first to third, right. But at the same time, you still got to fear and keep your eyes on the road. So it becomes this, you may be able to do what you’re grinding the gears, but it’s a lot of stress and you’re consciously competent, that’s kind of where most people are at with their health changes. And then there’s unconscious competence. That’s where we’re at, where we’re literally on cruise control, because we’ve done things thousands of times in regards to the clean filtered water that we’re drinking, eating good healthy proteins and fats, taking supplements, avoiding toxins, using health devices that help improve air quality and water quality and EMF and all the things that we’re doing. It’s unconscious, there’s literally no effort for us to continue to do or very little effort, right? Kind of like driving once you have a stick. It’s like no big deal. You’re like shifting gears, your eyes are on the road, you’re down shifting No problem, right? Is that a good analogy? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that makes sense. And a lot of people, they get overwhelmed, and then they just give up or they get pressured by their family members or their friends like you and I were talking about before we hit record, oh, just have some gluten. It’s not going to hurt you. You know, I’ve had family members joke like when we’re giving them the salt shaker at the dinner table. They’ll say, Oh, can you pass me some gluten? And they’ll try to like joke, like they’re pouring gluten on their meal. It’s like, Oh, come on. So you know, you get people like that that will try to influence you. And it may be a joke, but sometimes, I want to say weak people. But when I say weak, I mean people that are symptomatic people that are ill. They’ve been trapped in those habits for so long, they may actually fall off the wagon, from Aunt Betty saying, hey, try one of my famous cookies that are loaded with sugar and gluten, they may go for it Betty’s cookie when they know they shouldn’t. But I think number one, I think you have to suffer enough to be able to be more compliant. I don’t know if you agree with that or not. But like for me, I’ve suffered enough to where I don’t feel that I want to make those choices anymore. Like, I know that that case would be so friggin delicious. But I don’t want to pay the price with my skin. I don’t want to pay the price with my gut. So for me, I’ve suffered enough to be able to make the choices easier. But if you’re trying to just convince people just to convince them, I don’t think it’s as powerful.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So yeah, I have a couple of thoughts on those are all valid points Evan. So off the bat, it all depends where you’re starting, right? The healthier you are, the more adaptable you are, right? So the healthier you are, the more adaptation you are, more adaptable you are, the more you can deal with a stress like gluten like sugar, like being off on your diet, like being off on your sleep. So the healthier you are, you may have a little bit more resilience. And then the question comes down to how do you feel after you eat some crappy food? Right? How do you feel? How long does it take you to get back on track the next day? Is it just you’re okay? And that next day? Maybe you’re a little bit of a slow startup but then you’re good? Or does it take a couple of days or a whole week to kind of get back on track, right? So the healthier you are, the more adaptation your body has, the more you could cheat a little bit. Now there’s different levels of cheating is eating a lots of processed sugar and lots of gluten and lots of food allergens that you know you can handle. Now if you don’t have an autoimmune condition, and you aren’t as sensitive in regards to how you feel afterwards, you may be able They get away with that every now and then not that big of a deal. If you have a diagnosed autoimmune condition like myself, I have hashimotos that I’ve totally manage under control, I always try to choose the healthy alternative, you know, I’m always going to go grain free or gluten free, I’m always going to go gluten free over gluten full, if you will, right. So like for we had Thanksgiving last week, we got some squash pies from trophy, true food kitchen that were 100% grain free and like lower sugar, they were great, right? Good, better best. So I always try to make the best quality decision I possibly can. Because I know I have I have immune issues. And I want to prevent my immune system from attacking my body. Now if someone doesn’t have any diagnosed conditions, and they feel great, they may be able to do more of an 80 20 kind of 90 10. I do an 80 20 90 10. But I still keep it to ideally grain free processed foods or at least gluten free processed foods. And if someone isn’t at a stable place in their health or coming to see us during the middle of their functional medicine kind of onramp well, then we got to be a little bit more puritanical. Off, kind of off the the back. So it all depends where you’re at, in the plan that you’re on. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And even though I’m feeling better, and I could probably get away with more stuff, I just don’t go there. Because I know that I don’t want to say it’s a slippery slope. But I know that if I’m like, Okay, I got away with it once the next week, I may go for it again. And then boom. And then now I’ve got the skin issue again, or now I’ve got the gut issue again. So for me, it’s very easy to stay on track. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I don’t feel deprived. I think one part of this conversation you you’re titling this, this talk is, you know, being healthy making you anxious or stressed. And I think where people get caught up in it is because they feel like they’re deprived. They look at these other people eating the pizza, and they’re like, well, I want pizza, I’m deprived. This is bullcrap. And then they get stressed that they have to eat their their grass fed steak and sweet potato. But for me, once you feel so good, it’s not a diet of deprivation. Would you agree? This is not a diet where you feel like you’re missing out? I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, anytime you’re dealing with, you know, eating a bunch of crappy food, you have to look at why. Okay? So in general, a lot of times neurotransmitters play a big role. So a lot of people use a big big whack of sugar to artificially boost serotonin and dopamine. And that we call that emotional eating, they’re using a lot of the sugar to get that under control. So with myself, um, if I cheat on anything, it’s going to be like the Unreal, coconut dark chocolate, it’s going to be my keto cups, like, Is it really a cheat? Probably not. There’s barely any sugar in it. But it still gives me that mouthfeel. And not that sense of cheating. Like, like, I’m really eating a whole bunch of bad foods, but it feels good. It feels like a cheat, it feels like a treat, so to speak. So we always try to choose the highest quality one, we try to choose the lowest quality or the highest quality nutrition like good fats, right, avoiding the trans fats good, lower sugar amounts, I try to do more of the organic coconut palm versus, you know, the high fructose corn syrup, maybe with some mercury in there. So we try to choose the better quality types. And how do you feel afterwards, a lot of people, they don’t really look at how they’re going to feel afterwards. So if you’re really bloating, you’re gassy and your skin breaks out and it lasts a week. Like if I have a skin breakout that lasts a week, I am like heck no not worth it. So I’m always gonna, you’re always playing damage control, you’re always making calculated assessments. So when you make a decision to engage in desserts and treats for the holidays, we’re going to be choosing the healthiest quality, the lowest sugar, but still have a great time like Well, my kids, we went trick or treating, what happened afterwards? Well, trick or treating bad with all the candy went away, we actually gave it to the fire station. And then we I got some of the Justin’s high quality dark chocolate peanut butter cups and some of the Unreal, dark chocolate with a little bit of coconut in there. And that was their substitute. And so they got one or one or two every now and then. And it was low sugar, good fats, the fats are important because it stabilizes blood sugar, prevents cravings and swings and actually makes them a little bit satiated afterwards. And we’ll give it to them after a dinner. So we’re not creating this blood sugar rollercoaster of eating sugar by itself. And so we’d always just make these really good calculated substitute because I want to give my kids and myself a chance to enjoy life or have a childhood or do things that are really, you know, they’re like special, but with that with kind of mitigating the the side effects, if you will. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s a great point. And I think it’s easier if the whole family can get on board, like you mentioned, you’re doing this with your kids. So if you got the husband or the wife that’s not on board, that’s going to be really tough. I don’t know if I have many other solutions besides wait until that person is symptomatic enough to get to get on board because they’re really not going to do it just out of choice unless they’re just a very, very supportive spouse and Wow, good job, you’ve got a keeper. But in most cases, like I said, it’s the husband or the wife making fun of the other one, like I’m going to drink the beer, eat the pizza and do the wine or whatever. And you’re going to just go eat your your AIP diet. So try to get family members on board. That’s the best advice I can do because Then it gets exhausting man, you’ve got the husband and the wife cooking double meals, right? They’re making the unhealthy meal, and then they’re making the healthy meal. And then you got double the cleanup. So just from a sustainability standpoint, it’s just really best if you can get everyone the kids on board too, because you don’t want Mom, I had one lady, this is gonna sound crazy, maybe not to you, but maybe to others. We had a lady with hashimotos, where we had determined that the reason that she was having flares is because she was touching the bread making her children sandwiches every day, and that she was basically holding it and there was some kind of like a gluten skin reaction, transdermal kind of thing. Yeah, yeah. And so we got her Ah, well, they hit well just quit making sandwiches, or at least go like a grain free bread, if you can find it. And luckily, the antibodies went down just by changing that, because she was already AIP with her diet. And we’re like, Well, why are the antibodies continuing to rise? The thyroid, we worked on the gut. And typically that would help but it didn’t help and then boom, we figured out it was lady making sandwiches. So in her case, it actually benefited her to help her kids as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, most of my patients is the women are tend to be on point, they tend to be 100% on point and to be a little bit more in tune with their health. Also, I think they tend to be a little bit more, let’s just say not supported by conventional medicine, right? Women have hormonal issues, what are they given me, if they’re cycling ages, birth control pills, right, the people are getting a little bit more cutting edge with hormones as they get into menopausal age, but they were doing horse hormones for the longest time and they weren’t fixing any of these underlying issues. And they were just throwing medications that are antidepressants at it. And they kind of most women intuitively knew that something was wrong. Now my other kinds of patients are like my, my, my my guys that are great. They’re like the biohackers. They’re like the guys that are like optimizing cell performance. They’re trying to really get their their level their RPM or performance to a higher level. Those are my two like great patient, my women patients that are really know something’s up and want to dive in deeper, and that my guys that are more on the biohacking side and kind of optimizing performance, they kind of know something is up. Now, when I make recommendations for patients, you got to really get focused on the performance aspect. Like you got to feel that people have this satisfaction, feeling of like their mouth and their taste and all that stuff. That’s a hard feeling to overcome, right? It’s always pain versus pleasure. So you really have to link up a lot of pleasure from the performance that you get from eating great food, whether that is clean skin, whether it’s all day energy, whether it’s good sleep, whether it’s good libido and mood, you really have to internalize the performance enhancements that you get. Now, the more adaptable you get, you can still keep those benefits while you cheat a little bit. Now we just choose the healthiest cheat possible, I already gave you a couple of options. What I do, you can do it going out to eat, you can do it going to steak houses, all kinds of good things you can do when you go to a nice restaurant with steak and vegetables, or if he goes to sushi will avoid the soy sauce. And we’ll do MCT oil and coconut aminos. Right. There’s a lot of substitutes we’re always doing. And it’s hard out of the gates because it’s stressful. But once you kind of make a habit out of it, you kind of have all of those go to substitutes there at your fingertips. Do you have any things that you do, Evan that, you know, maybe a treat for you, but it’s you know, a really good go to? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well in terms of drinks, you know, I think that’s a big one, right? Just getting people off of sugary drinks. So Suja I think’s done a great job with all of their green juices. They have one I want to say it’s called like skin beauty or something. I don’t have the label in front of me. But for me in terms of beverages, I mean, I’m typically doing herbal teas, chamomile, ginger, peppermint tea, and then good clean filtered water. That’s about it. I know you’re super into the total Chico’s and some of the other mineral waters, carbonated waters. Those are great. But for me, I think it’s called beauty scan or scan beauty something anyway. Suja makes it it’s a whole foods. It’s like maybe four grams of sugar, but it’s like lychee juice and blueberry juice. Man, if I just get something like that. It’s a treat for me. And it may have a little bit of stevia or monk fruit in there. Something like that is great for my wife. You know, she had previously used like, you know, we’re talking 10 years ago, she had previously use some of the coffee creamers. I know people really do a lot of sugar in those. They’ll say oh, I only you know this coffee creamer is only two grams of sugar but it’s a gap but you’re putting like frickin five tablespoons. You’re just pouring it in. So for her. She really loves the rebel like the mushroom. Coffee blend.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I like that one.

Evan Brand: Yeah, like the coffee with the mushrooms and I think it has coconut milk and stevia. So it’s basically a no sugar. So for us. Those are kind of our treats that make her feel like she’s still getting a good creamy sweet coffee without sugar. And then for me, you know, I used to love as a kid and a teenager man. I love soda. I mean Sunkist and Mountain Dew. I mean, I was into all the garbage for me now if I have that lychee juice, man, it tastes like candy. But it’s Yeah, my palates change. That’s the thing. The palate has evolved for us. So like you mentioned the treats your level of treat like you I think you and I’ve talked about blueberries you’ve done I think you said you’ve done frozen blueberries with like whipped cream and that’s a treat for you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s like a dessert and a cream is great is awesome. Do it, it’s a coconut yogurt, it’s all about, okay, you know, try to do the right thing 80% of the time, right. And then a lot of the treats that we do is, it may still be part of the right thing, right? If we’re doing some almond butter, if you can tolerate knots and Granny Smith, apple and cinnamon, or if you can do some, some blueberries and some coconut cream, those still may be healthy things, right. So the cool thing is if we can choose healthy treats, that that feel like a treat tastes like a treat, but still healthy. That’s a win win, because then you can do that more frequently. And that’s kind of a it mixes up the monotony of your routine. And then of course, if we’re going to go and cheat a little bit, you know, when I go to a restaurant, what’s my go to? Well, I’ll get like a really nice, homemade, though a couple of restaurants, I go to their steak houses, they’ll make a nice ice cream that’s kind of a sorbet. Or it’s kind of coconut base, that those are really wonderful and tasty. Or I went to Truffaut kitchen and got a squash pie, which was wonderful. Or like a coconut, like is a restaurant down in Austin called Picnic. They have some wonderful autoimmune dessert recipes that are excellent. So you can try to always mitigate a little bit. And then if you something that’s really special, I don’t know your grandmother makes up especially around the holidays, and it’s worth the treat. Well, that’s fine. You’ve earned it, as long as you can deal with the side effects afterwards. And ideally, we don’t have an autoimmune condition with active antibodies that could be attacking your body. And it’s probably okay. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, very, very good. And then of course, we’ve mentioned the enzymes before too. So you’re gonna go get your grandma’s secret recipe, you know, there’s probably wheat and other crap in there, you may just want to do your enzyme, right? So like you and I both manufacture professional enzymes. So if you’re working with us, you’re probably already taking those but that’d be a good, that’d be a good strategy. Oh, you know, another treat for us I just started making these recently, is to take the CFA, the soft tortillas, and make like a [inaudible] out of it. So you do like a little bit of coconut oil, or you could just do butter if you want. And then just kind of put it in a pan for 1015 seconds, heat up the tortilla, and then just a little bit of coconut sugar and cinnamon on it. Oh my god. It tastes like when I was a kid, I’d go to the county fair and go eat the what was it the funnel cake or the elephant ear? Like that wheat Yep, thing with a bunch of powdered sugar on it. Oh my god, I love that I know. But this little, you know, the grain free tortilla with the coconut sugar and sentiment, man things delicious. That’s a treat. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and so you can mitigate. So number one, don’t feel stressed about being healthy. Just kind of know that first month, the two months is the hardest. If you’re coming in to, you know, this new healthy lifestyle and habits with a lot of symptoms. Don’t worry about cheating, worried put your focus on developing habits, right? Many people, they go into this place in their head of like, Oh my god, like, I’m not going to ever be able to eat this again. It’s like a divorce. It’s like a breakup, it’s like they’re literally grieving the loss of this food I’ll never eat again, don’t go into it like that go into it with the mindset of Hey, I’m going to focus on eating nutrient dense anti inflammatory, low toxin foods, so I can decrease inflammation in my body, accelerate healing and feel awesome. And then once you’re at a good level where you’ve kind of plateaued, and you work through some of the programs that we’re on with hormones and gut and your digestion is better, then we can start adding foods back in. And we’re always going to choose the healthiest treat options and the healthiest foods first. And then if your optimal health stays at that great level, then we can you know, if you want to go off the beaten path, here or there, you know, 80 20, 90 10, 95 5, and you’re able to maintain your benefits and it doesn’t take you too long to get back on track. That’s fine as the book out there called the Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. And Tim Ferriss talks about a cheat day eating, we’re at whatever you want for a whole day. That is I’m sorry for most people, it’s a terrible idea. Because they go have a cheat day on Sunday, and they’re so inflamed. It takes till Thursday, the next week to get back into homeostasis. That’s a problem. – go ahead and go ahead. 

Evan Brand: Let me interject because I think that you may even be underplaying how bad of an idea that is because you and I’ve seen just by looking at thousands of people on test results, we’ve seen you know, gluten antibodies and other antibodies go up for potentially months after certain exposures like that. So you’re mentioning possibly a week to reset it could even be months. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If you have an active autoimmune thyroid issue or active autoimmune issue it could be now you can get your thyroid looked at, you could always do an Array Phi by Cyrax, to look at other silent antibodies that could be there. But if your health is great, and you feel great, and you know you can kind of get back on track the next day, all right, fine, but try to always choose a grain free option for most of your stuff, at least gluten free for most of it. But yeah, so my whole thing is how do you know something’s worth it? You should be able to get back on track that next day, if you’re not back on track the next day, that’s a problem. Now, Evan, you already alluded to what what if those antibodies popped up and we don’t know about it, so if you have an active thyroid autoimmune issue, you really Really want to be testing those antibodies or that ANA, or those autoimmune markers? If you have lupus or sjogren, or something kind of under the surface? I would say really choose the healthiest cheat possible. It’s just not worth it when tissues being destroyed. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. Well said and, you know, for me, we’d like to leverage the lab testing and show like, look how good you’ve done. Look, we’ve got your dopamine back to normal. You mentioned neurotransmitters early on, look, we’ve got serotonin normalized. Now, doesn’t that feel good look at your calprotectin in your gut, we’ve got your inflammation down 1000 points, look at your Secretory IGA that’s starting to come back up because you’re removing the foods irritating the gut. Look at some of these infections, we’ve cleared out because you’re not using the sugar to feed the Candida and to feed the other pathogens. So when we use the functional medicine testing, plus just kind of our pep talks and motivation we give to people it’s a really good one two punch that keeps people on a sustainable path forever. And it really is a lifestyle. You know, we talked about, oh, this is a lifestyle. It’s easy to embrace once you feel good. So I agree with you, you got to focus on Hey, do you want to feel amazing? And then some people will ask the same thing with supplements, right? They’ll ask the same question about diet as they do supplements. How long do I have to do this? on their diet? And I’m like, well, and this might always punch back with as well. Do you want to survive? Or do you want to thrive? Well, obviously I want to thrive. Okay, well then do it forever. Okay, that was easy. So for me, that’s the that’s the default answer. Like when someone’s like, well, how long do I need to dial in my diet? I mean, as long as you want to feel amazing is the answer. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, tell patients out of the gates, you may have to be more puritanical. Because you’re trying to make up for lost time. It’s kind of like, if you’re in debt, from decades of poor spending habits, well, we’re gonna have to kind of get you on a really lean budget, and you’re gonna have to be investing and saving a large percent of what you make. Now as you get on top of that, and you’re debt free. And, and you’re feeling great. And now you’re making investments. And now you’re on your way to financial freedom, you can be a little bit more loosey goosey with your spending, right, it’s kind of the same thing with your health, just change the the the money equation to health. And it’s the exact same thing. And so we always try to look at getting momentum getting you on top of your health, reaching the level of conscious competence to unconscious competence, where it’s automatic, because the stress that people feel in that first month or two is just the fact they haven’t made a habit yet. And so if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you have to make you have to let your brain and your physiology shift into unconscious competence. If you’re quitting before you get there, you’re you’re doing yourself a disservice. Because the amount of energy if you’re thinking, well, it takes me too much energy to do these things. It’s because you’re not in unconscious competence yet, and you will be there just give it a little more time people project their energy is going to be on this conscious competence wavelength the whole life, meaning the amount of energy they have to focus in and project has that will be at that level, but it won’t, it’ll get easier once you make that shift to unconscious competence. Totally, totally. It’s so easy, it’s so much, it’s easy, it’s easier for me to stay on the rails than it is to go off the rails like I would have to be, it would take me effort to go off the rails, I’d have to like seek out bad things like what could I do to try to test myself or destroy myself so it’s a good place to be 100% so out of the gates, we kind of talked about it you know where you’re at, if you’re not a mean person, and you have active issues or active things going on that are significant. Do the right thing, do the right thing be on point get momentum, get your symptoms on hundred percent under control, look deeper under the hood regarding hormones regarding everything else that’s happening in your body. Work with a good functional medicine practitioner and get your blood sugar, get dysglycemia under control, get inflammation, nutrient density, get toxins under control. That means going organic, clean, filtered water, all that good stuff, hormone free, antibiotic free, get your hormone stabilized and worked on whether it’s blood sugar, thyroid, female or male hormones, and then get your gut looked at because the healthiest food. We’ve kind of alluded to it. If you can’t digest it or break it down or absorb it properly, because of stress in the gut, you’re going to have a problem. So of course the next thing is we’re assuming that because you’re eating good foods, you’re breaking it down. The next step is going to be working on the gut. And so we don’t want foods that are full of inflammatory food allergens affecting your gut if it’s not stable yet. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, my diet was great, but I had gut infection so my skin was crap. So for me, I put in all the work on the diet and I got frustrated because I thought well, I’ve got rid of gluten I’ve got rid of dairy What is wrong with me? And then luckily the functional medicine testing came in and kind of uncovered some stuff so if you’re more dialed in, you’re still struggling then you know look deeper. And so if you want to reach out to Justin you can do so clinically at his website, That’s Dr. J at Me Evan Brand at we work with people over the phone, Skype, Zoom FaceTime, however we need to connect we send the labs to your door. You send those back to the lab, we jump on a follow up call to discuss the results and make a protocol. It’s very, very awesome. And with everything that’s been going on, it’s funny that telemedicine has gotten, you know, 10 x more popular. So it’s really cool that we were actually ahead of this curve. We’ve been doing this this way the whole time. So feel free to reach out and we look forward to helping you. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So you guys know where to reach out. And just remember to start with one thing, like, if you’re coming into this journey, I find a lot of people who aren’t doing the right thing, if you’re around them, and you start, you know, being on point and making health changes, sometimes there’s this subconscious pull to pull you down, because you making the changes to improve your health sometimes magnifies their inability or lack thereof to make changes in their life. And sometimes they may sabotage you and pull you down. It’s a threat. Yeah. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, you’re saying that you’re saying that by you trying to better yourself, you may piss off other people, and then they’re going to try to come bring you down with them and their misery just eat the cookie. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and everyone’s on a different journey. So if you’re the autoimmune person, and you need to really be on point, because you’re starting this journey, and maybe they’re a little bit more stable, and healthy, you know, it may not even be something where they’re unhealthy and may just be there at a different place than you and they want to indulge this Saturday night, and you aren’t quite there. And that’s okay, you know, you just got to meet and support people where they’re at. And that’s, that’s a good thing to be at. So it’s good to have empathy. And it’s good to understand that we’re all in different places. And some people may not have even gotten out of the gate yet. They may be at that unconscious incompetence. They don’t know there’s even a problem yet. And so we just try to always meet people where they’re at, provide empathy, and understanding from where they’re at. 

Evan Brand: Very true. Very true. One last story. So I had a woman. Actually, though, the husband and wife were both working with me and the woman just love baking. I hear the story a lot. The woman loves baking. And so like every Friday, she would make brownies or cookies or cake or something, right? She’s always baking some sweet thing. And then she only wants to eat a piece of it. And then she leaves it left for her husband. And if he tries to throw it away, then she’s like, no, you’re wasting it. You’re wasting our money. You’re wasting it right. So then he feels up, which I don’t know, maybe this is his excuse, maybe not. I’m just sharing the story. I’m just the messenger boy. So he comes in and he goes, Well, she’ll get mad at me if I don’t eat the whole cake. I’m like, Oh, that’s what it is. So you have to eat the whole cake. So she doesn’t get mad at you. Okay, interesting. So now we’re trying to switch her over to, you know, almond flowers and coconut flowers and whatever. So we’re just working better option. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. 

Evan Brand: So we’re just working with them on where they’re at. But it’s funny. He blames her right? Oh, she’ll get mad if I don’t eat the whole cake. It’s like that’s a good excuse right there. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we I mean, you got to take accountability. It’s not a valid excuse in the long run, right? You get two people in there and you got to get one to agree. All right, we got to stop this. That’s not good behavior. But yeah, I totally get it. And so outside of that there’s some really good autoimmune dessert recipes and treat recipes and my go to or some of the Unreal or Justin’s dark chocolate brands are pretty good. Or some of the endangered species dark chocolate or just some just some of the berries and coconut yogurt or maybe a hail mary tart, or I’ll just choose something that’s like a baked Apple, like my paleo apple crisp is a really good one. I just I have a couple of go twos. I tend to repeat that work pretty darn well. I know you did the waffles in the morning, which is kind of a nice treat. I’ll do that the keto birch benders waffles. Is there any other go twos that you do? They’re kind of a treat for you but still relatively healthy.

Yeah, yeah. You mentioned SWAPO Yeah, they’re swap foods is the brand of like a waffle but they’re Yuka those are delicious. And then you mentioned earlier the keto cups that’s evolved I think company and then I also like the keto bars there are keto bars that perfect keto makes. Yep. Anthony. He’s a Chiro who makes those are good. Those are like stevia, monk fruit, I believe. And those are like organic almonds or organic cashews. Those are good. I’ve done some of Dave’s bars, the bulletproof bars, with the MCT and organic cashews, those are pretty good depending on if you could do nuts or not. So those are some good treats that are easy and quick. And then also, bison. I like to do some of the epic bison meats like the bison bites, or Tonka makes really good bison meat. So I’ll do those or venison jerky or something like that. 

Yeah, and one last thing is for patients or people listening, try to get momentum out of the gate. So really start your first two meals of the day solid, good protein, good fats get momentum. That makes a big difference. If you’re coming out of the gates with crappy food. In the morning, a Starbucks mocha frappuccino with a whole bunch of sugar, a crappy lunch, it’s hard to get on top of your day, from a physiological hormone, anti inflammatory support, it’s really hard. So get momentum out of the gate. It’s kind of like starting a race and you just kind of get out of the starting block at a walking speed that you got to sprint out of that walking out of that starting block. Right. Same thing with your health. So start your day with good habits, right whether it’s a cold shower, or whether it’s clean, filtered water or some minerals, some good protein, some good fat or if you’re healthy enough, maybe intermittent fasting again, people that aren’t healthy I think they need they need nutrition in the morning they don’t need nothing in the morning the healthier you are the more fasting I think provides a beneficial effect just like exercising really hard can be beneficial if you’re already fit right kind of like that. So that’s kind of where I’m at. I think you put some really good points out there for Evan reach out virtually worldwide for support for Dr. J myself. We are here for y’all. And you guys have a phenomenal day. Take care y’all.


Audio Podcast:

Tom Brady’s Performance Secrets | Podcast #306

Since we witnessed a great win and performance of Tom Brady in the NFL, we have Dr. J and Evan talking about the basics of food template and physical training to be an excellent athlete and fit in general. The Tom Brady Template, or TB12 Method, is a whole-foods-based diet that protects against diseases, may aid weight loss, and boost your sports performance and recovery. Still, it is very restrictive, not based on sound science, and likely difficult to maintain long term. 

It is important to note that everyone is unique, and well-known athletes are no exempted. It is still best to know what works for you. The bottom line is, if you want to perform excellently in your field (sports, fitness, etc.), it always encouraged to eat minimal processed, whole foods, etc. It is highly recommended to avoid inflammatory foods or acidic and hydration. It’s also good to have a fitness program that aims to achieve adequate energy levels, recovery, performance, and overall health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:47       Vegan, NFL Diet, Tom Brady’s Diet

7:23       Grains, Gluten, Paleo

10:44     How We Can Do The Same Diet

15:03     Psychology Side Visualization’s Importance

16:29     EMF Mitigation Strategy, Bedroom Temp Control

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. J here in the house with Evan brand. We’re coming off at amazing Super Bowl win just last night. I’m a big Tom Brady fan big Patriots fan growing up in the Boston area. So we have to kind of connect what’s happening with current events to health, right? We know Tom Brady oldest quarterback ever most successful, he’s the goat right greatest of all time. And there’s definitely some nutritional and health secrets and tips. I think we can parse from his experience, maybe we can apply to ourselves for optimal performance and function. What do you think Evan?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think that he’s doing everything that we’re preaching all the time. So it’s great to be able to see that the proof is in the pudding. You’re not seeing any amazing performing vegan quarterbacks, maybe there’s some out there, but none that I know on mainstream television like this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, the problem with you know, you can look at Cam Newton was vegan a couple years back and he had a lot of big bone and foot injuries is part of the reason why is unless you’re doing tons of protein powders, it’s really hard to get a lot of the dense amino acids you need for rebuilding your muscles, your tendons, your ligaments, you’re also not getting a lot of that the collagen amino acids to turn over your cartilage and tendons and stuff. And then also really important fatty acids, you need fats to have cell healthy cell membranes, these fats are like a really important kind of building block for kind of buffering yourself helping yourself be more flexible, because fats are that outer cell membrane. And when you look at vegan vegetarian fats, a lot of them are going to be polyunsaturated fats, higher omega six, these fats tend to be a little bit more fragile, a little bit more heat sensitive, and a little bit more, let’s say oxidizable in the body, because there’s more omega bonds, right? So omega six fat means there’s four, six double bonds throughout that long chain fatty acid and double bonds, they’re not as resistant, they’re not as pliable, okay, they’re, they’re more fragile, and they can oxidize with heat and stress. And so the benefit of having animal fats is you have a lot more stability, because the fats are more saturated, you have a lot of fat soluble vitamins A D, and K in there. And then you don’t have the oxidizable nature. Anytime you oxidize a whole bunch of fats, you’re going to, you’re going to require a lot of antioxidants to help stabilize those cell membranes, because oxidation means those cells have lost electrons, and you need antioxidants that are willing to give up an electron to stabilize it. So good saturated fatty acids, again, fish oil, wonderful, right, but it’s an omega three, so it’s a little bit more heat sensitive. But if you’re doing some good omega threes with some saturated fats, and you’re keeping some good balance, omega threes are going to be wonderfully anti inflammatory. And they’re a plant based omega three, they just they don’t quite get converted to the active omega threes in DHA, EPA 80% go don’t get converted or kind of lost in that conversion be that delta five desaturase enzyme. So that’s the first thing on the fats. 

Evan Brand: Let’s go through the list here. So they they’re calling it his NFL diet, which is kind of funny because like I said, this is the diet that you and I are pretty much prescribing for almost everyone. He’s saying here that of course, he’s got a private chef, of course, at that level of wealth, you’re gonna have private chef 80% of what he’s eating his vegetables. He’s getting the freshest vegetables. If they’re not organic, he doesn’t use it. And he will do some rice. He will do some quinoa and millet. He’s doing grass fed organic steak. He’s doing duck, he says every now and then he’ll do chicken. He’s doing wild salmon. He uses raw olive oil, but he doesn’t cook with it. He only cooks with coconut. And he uses Himalayan salt and never uses iodized salt and then no nightshades which you and I’ve done podcast on autoimmune protocol. And you’re going to pull out the Nightshade. So he’s saying here Nope, no tomatoes, peppers, mushroom, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then he said, but he said he’s very cautious about them. No coffee, no caffeine, no fungus, no dairy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So a couple of things to highlight there. So number one, just want to highlight a few things is Tom’s using saturated fats to cope with why we’ve already talked about that there are a lot more heat stable, they’re not going to oxidize, they’re not going to break down. Also Coconut oil is very good for your cell membranes. And if you’re kind of switching into a fat burner status, right, you kick off a lot of ketones, a lot of fatty acid metabolites called ketones from coconut which is very high and a medium chain triglycerides, right, this is c6, c8, c10, c12, right capric caprylic, caproic and lauric acid, these are your medium chain triglycerides. So very important for fat burning. Also, Tom does about 20% meat. So that’s good quality, organic, high quality grass fed meat, right? So he’s probably consuming with his body six for 230 pounds. So he’s probably consuming about at least three to 4000 calories a day if he’s really active and working out. So you can imagine he’s probably consuming about I’m in a gas between 160 to 250 grams of protein a day probably around that depending if he’s lifting or how story is. And also he’s cutting down a lot of the nightshades now nightshades may be okay, a lot My patient may be listening and saying, Well, you know that J started me off on an autoimmune diet, I could add back in some Nightshade, some tomato, some potatoes. And that may be great for you. But when your joints are under a lot of stress, and a lot of inflammation from big linebackers tackling you every Sunday, your joints may be a little bit predisposed to inflammation and those nightshades and that alpha solonian content, maybe just enough to flare it up. So depending on how active you are nightshades may be something you want to keep down. inflammation in your joints is the problem.

Evan Brand: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, I think with the fruit thing, it’s interesting, too, he’s saying he’s not really doing fruits, occasionally. There’s something in a smoothie, maybe some berries or banana smoothie, but beyond that, he’s not really doing fruit. So, I mean, yeah, you would assume he probably is, you know, I wouldn’t say keto, because he does say he is doing some grains and rice and stuff. But I mean, in general, this is what you and I are doing everyday personally, every day clinically, he’s saying he does do nuts, or he’ll do a organic salad. And that could be roasted chicken with guacamole and mixed nuts. So what else here?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I also know Tom does a lot of protein and he’s his big protein his way. So he does whey protein. Whey Protein is an excellent protein because it’s very high in sulfur amino acids very high in cysteine. Very high in MSM or MSM mfine. So it’s high and a lot of the sulfur based amino acids, glutamine, glycine, cysteine taurine, so whey protein is really good to me, it’s 99% dairy free. So even though I think Tom doesn’t do dairy, they may do a little bit of butter in there. But it’s a good amino acid. Now, if you’re sensitive, you could always do pea protein or just collagen amino acids. If, if dairy, were the potential that even a tiny bit of dairy is a problem. Again, whey protein is 99% lactose and casein free. So most people that have dairy problems are with the lactose and the casein. So that’s one component. Tom also doesn’t do a lot of coffee. Now, I think coffee may be okay for Pete many people. I think Tom’s issue with coffee is the diuretic aspect. And the minerals. I know Tom talks about minerals a lot. Now, you could still do coffee, just keep it to once a day, you know, you know, do your one or two servings in the morning, take it with fat and amino acids. And just make sure you’re hydrating before and after. And you are supplementing extra electrolytes, your muscles and your cells need good levels of sodium and potassium. So that sodium potassium pump and that good cellular communication can happen. That’s very, very important.

Evan Brand: Yeah. So I mean, really, we should title this podcast, the Super Bowl diet or something or this how to win a Super Bowl diet. Now, in regards to the training, I don’t have any details on that. But I mean, I will say that in general, he’s he’s an athlete, obviously. So he’s probably going to benefit more. Some of the people may say, Well, what about the grains, you guys always talk like grains are a bad thing. I think in his case, he’s gonna need some more starch. I just feel like in general, if you were trying to perform at that level, and he were just like strict keto, like just meats and veggies, I don’t think he would perform as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So Tom does a lot more starches in the wintertime. And so his big starches are still going to be safe starches, grain free starches. So sweet potatoes are from what I understand are going to be a big source of a lot of the starch that he consumes in the winter and Tom when I have seen his grain free.

Evan Brand: I don’t know maybe he changed it. This one article said that he was doing rice, millet beans and quinoa.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I’ve seen other articles. And again, that that may be that may be something that he does, but I’m pretty sure in during the season he is 100% grain free. I know he’s gluten free. And a couple articles talking about him getting more sweet potatoes and other safe starches. But again, it depends, right? A lot of those foods are pseudo grains, like the qinhuai is the beans if you have good digestion maybe right? So it depends kind of where you’re at on that. I’ve seen a lot of grain free but definitely gluten free, right? The problem with gluten free is you can consume rice and oat and still be gluten free. But they they’re still not grain free. So grain free I think is gonna be a big component. And then I think the other thing is I have seen in Tom’s locker room I have seen him with creating in his locker. So I do know creatine is a powerful thing as a fuel your muscle uses. So creatine and whey protein, and I think bcaas are something that he uses on a day in day out basis just for easy accessible fuel for his muscles out of the gates. hydrations a big component. Electrolytes are a big component, mostly a paleo paleo autoimmune kind of template, I think is a big one out of the gates there. And I know Tom’s trainer Alex career is a big kind of proponent of acid alkaline diet kind of stuff. I’m not a huge fan of that. But in general, if you’re consuming good quality meat and lots of vegetables, you’re pretty much gonna not be overly acidic anyway because of the alkalinity from the vegetables. And in regards to the pH that people forget right, meat may be acidic, but grains are actually 10 times more acidic than meat. So if someone is concerned about pH and their food, remember grains are going to be 10 times more acidic than me it’s a logarithmic scale. Meats like around a 5 ish. I think grains are in the four range. So each number is a 10 X, you know, interval from the previous number.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And people listening are like, Well, I’m not performing in any Super Bowls. So what do I do? I mean, honestly, you can benefit from the same thing. Like I said, we’re implementing this clinically, I do rice, I feel fine with it. I don’t have any issue. It’s not a staple. For me, it’s a treat. But you know, I think it depends on what’s going on with your gut with your blood sugar, with your sensitivity. I mean, it is possible you have some gluten cross reactivity. So you know, if you’re looking for advice I see in general, do what we’d mentioned. But you know, what the, with the grain piece, I don’t know, you really got to consult with us and look at your labs, because I think that’s how we could base it off.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% I mean, the big thing is, Hey, you know, you want to be active, you want to be able to play with your kids, you want to be able to do your hobbies, to your sports, be active well into your old age, and it’s all about yours, it’s about quality of yours, right? So it’s about being able to do your thing, right. And I say, the more you can participate in life and not notice the pain in your body, that’s the better the more you can be present with your kids and your family and your hobbies. The more you’re worried about your back and your elbow in your knee as you’re doing the activity, I think the less present you’re going to be and so I think one of the key things is just keep your body in a great place. So you can do all those things. Now, from a training standpoint, I know Tom Just so you know, I think what you said is perfect regarding like rice and such as long as you don’t have a serious activatable immune issue. You know, you could probably cheat on some of that stuff. As long as you don’t have a significant you know, symptoms afterwards. I think it’s probably okay as long as it isn’t that 80-20 80% of the time not 20% maybe Okay, I my birthday last weekend, we had some we had some crab fried rice and of course it was gluten free, but it just a little bit of it and I felt good afterwards. So you know, you always can mitigate that. From a training standpoint, though Tom really trains for playability. He doesn’t overly inflame his muscles with too much lifting because he wants to keep his muscles strong and active, and be able to contract turn on and off fast. But he also doesn’t want to overly inflame the muscle and cause it to become reflexively stiff. Think of it as like beef jerky, he wants a strong muscle, but not a muscle that’s going to be overly inflamed that won’t absorb for so it’s kind of like a soft, raw fillet steak versus beef jerky, right? Beef jerky is hard and stiff. And if you put a lot of force into it, it can kind of tear, right? Think of that soft tenderloin. It’s like a sponge, it can absorb force. So Tom’s kind of training modality is training for pliability training for force absorption. So not overly inflaming the muscles, so doing a lot of band work. And doing works that really not overly hypertrophy and cause the muscle to get more inflamed and bigger and stronger, but strong, but also smart, strong and not overly inflamed and hard and stiff. So the playability is important because he asked to absorb force. And he asked to put repetitive inflammation on it from throwing and doing certain movements. So he wants that force to be distributed throughout his muscles well and not rip that beef jerky every week, if you will.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and that’s probably a better approach for most people to have. I mean, you know, like you mentioned, maybe the people on the defensive side, the line, they’re gonna have a totally different strength training profile than him he wants to be lean, he wants to be flexible, nimble. So that’s what I want to be, I don’t want to be just just huge and strong like a rock, I want to be just nimble, I want to be flexible, but still have strength.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, some of the band works nice. I mean, you can get bands that provide a lot of force, like the x three bar band is one that I have, because you can provide hundreds of pounds of force and create a three to 400 pound deadlift to that band. It squats as well, push movements pull movement, so you can still create a lot of force. The thing I like about bands is just use some technical terms as most people, they hurt themselves in the eccentric motion of a lift. In other words, you’re going into a squat, right and you drop down at the bottom, maybe you go a little bit too fast, or you’re doing a deadlift at the bottom, you kind of bounce that bar up, or you’re doing some kind of a bench press and you’re really trying to push that thing back up and you come down too hard and, and stretch that muscle. The nice thing about a band, it’s more forgiving as you go into a eccentric motion as you elongate as you elongate the muscle, right? So in other words, you’re going deeper into a squat, or you’re letting the bar go deeper into your chest. The the elasticity in the band becomes less because the band’s becoming, it’s moving closer to its origin and insertion. So there’s less force, so where your muscles the most compromise. It’s putting the least amount of force on that muscle, so there’s less chance for you to injure it. And that’s helpful. So if you’re an athlete, that can be helpful. If you’re an everyday person, it just gives you that little bit more forgiveness so you don’t get hurt.

Evan Brand: Yeah, makes sense. Well, I think that’s all I really need to say about it. I mean, I think we could ramble on about how awesome it is that this is probably the one of the most successful athletes of all time and he’s doing what we’re telling people to do every day. I think it makes Look up. But beyond that, I don’t have anything else to add.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One other thing I would say sentiment wise amino acids, creatine bcaas. On the mind, psychology side visualization is very important. Anytime you go into an event like the Super Bowl, if you can go into into that place 1000s of times ahead of time. In your head, it gives your nervous system the ability to feel like it’s not a foreign environment, the more you can put your body in your mind into a place 1000s of times or hundreds of times ahead of time, once you go in there that fight or flight response is less likely to happen when there’s less fight or flight, you can use your frontal cortex better, right? frontal cortex allows you to think read the play, do all the things you got to do go through your reads as a quarterback, the more your fight or flight is happening, the more you’re going to react out of fear. And that may not give you the best opportunity. So I’d say that’s the big, I would say sleep is a big component, you kind of already highlighted that, you know, probably 10 hours a night. There’s other modalities that Tom’s using, he’s using certain clothing types that are infrared in regards to it to generate infrared heat, which helps decrease inflammation help a blood flow. I’ve heard things in regards to late potential laser stuff, infrared lights, hyperbaric oxygen, these are all other potential modalities that may be used may or may not be accessible to the average person. But when you’re making 10s of millions of dollars off your body, they help with reducing inflammation. And then other things may involve stem cell stuff, things like that outside of the season. Who knows. I mean, Tom looks amazing.

Evan Brand: Oh, one last thing. Yeah, one last thing. I did see that he’s like strictly no tech in the in the bedroom. So he luckily he’s not bringing the cell phone into the bedroom. So maybe he does have some kind of emf mitigation strategy in place to that would be smart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s probably some EMF mitigation there, I think as well. And then also, I know Yeah, and that’s a big one. And he also is a big thing in regards to temperature control at bedtime. He really mitigates You know, he tries to dial in the optimal temp at bedtime for deeper sleep. I know that’s around 65 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit. On the bedtime side. Is there anything else I would say outside of that playability component, good training. Just think about all the right I think that’s really the big one. Oh, he has a big smoothie in the morning with some banana and some fruit and some whey protein. So I like I like smoothies in the morning. Because if your digestion isn’t great, or you have to get up and workout in a few hours, you don’t want a big solid food in your body, you want something easily accessible. So I think that’s great for anyone that’s being more active in the morning. I think we hit a lot of the major things. So if someone’s listening here, how do you become more like Tom Brady out of the gates, I think you kind of progress to a paleo template, see if nightshades are an issue for you or not right, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, look at adding in some bands to a little bit more of your workout to stimulate muscle growth. I think adding good sleep and hydration added minerals, you can always play around with amino acids to help enhance body. anabolic metabolism, healing and recovery. minerals, of course, I think is great. And mindsets always great, too. Anything else you want to add, Evan?

Evan Brand: Now there’s probably some other secret supplements we don’t know about. But yeah, I’d be interesting to know with adaptogens and all that. Or if he’s doing, you know, neurotransmitter support, maybe he if he’s doing bcaas, who knows maybe he’s doing some brain support too, right? Like some fossil title sarine or some acetyl l carnitine. A lot of that stuff in there too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s definitely some more stuff in there. I 100% agree. So hey, this gives everyone a good start kind of a little bit of an insight. I know Tom Brady is one of those guys either love him or hate him. But I mean, the fact that his longevity is there and his victories are hot, the highest ever, right? He’s the goat greatest of all time. So we got to at least be able to kind of put our emotions aside and learn from it and see if it’s a couple of things we can use to make our lives and our health better.

Evan Brand: Awesome, awesome. If people need help clinically to implement some of this stuff. Like I said, We do this every day with our clients. Tom Brady’s not our client, but you know, we would certainly be open to helping him run some labs on him. I’m sure where is he? Or is he? Maybe he might be happy to look at his mitochondria, see what’s going on there. Make sure he’s running on all cylinders. But if you need help, you can reach out to Dr. J at or me Evan at And we look forward to talk with you all next week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have a good one y’all. Take care. 

Evan Brand: Take care. Bye bye.


Audio Podcast:

The Top 5 Causes of Chronic Headaches

Today we are going to be talking about the top underlying reasons why you may be having a chronic headache. I had a patient come in today who had headaches for 25 years, monthly and chronically, and we were able to get to the root cause and there are many different root causes for every person. Let me lay out the common ones that I find to be a major vector of my patients.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you are experiencing chronic headaches!

So we have headaches and head pain or migraines where you kind of have that aura and sound sensitivity. There are a couple of different major reasons why headaches may happen.

1. Food Allergens

Most common food allergy is gluten and dairy. There are some studies on gluten affecting blood flow up to the brain. We have these garden hoses on the side of our neck called our carotid arteries. When we have inflammation especially caused by gluten that can decrease blood flow and blood profusion to the frontal cortex, and when you have less blood, you’re going to have decreased performance of the brain. You can see that manifesting in a headache. People don’t know but headaches are actually an issue with vasodilation in the brain.  Caffeine can help as caffeine actually causes constriction and brain’s typical headache signal is caused by vasodilation.

2. Food Additives.

These could be things like MSG, aspartame, Splenda or various artificial colors and dyes.

3. Blood Sugar Fluctuation.

We want to have healthy proteins and healthy fats with every meal. If we skip meals or we eat foods that are too high in carbohydrates and refined “crapohydrates” and sugar, and not enough fats and proteins, our blood sugar can go up and then drop. This is called reactive hypoglycemia. We react by putting a whole bunch of sugar in our bloodstream because all of these carbohydrate sources break down into sugar — processed sugar, grains, flours and acellular carbohydrates. These type of flours and refined processed carbs get converted to glucose in our bloodstream. When glucose goes up, our pancreas goes, “Holy smokes! We got a lot of glucose there. We got to pull it into the cell.” It spits out a whole bunch of insulin and pulls that glucose right down, and we have his blood sugar going up with a lot of insulin driving that blood sugar back down. When that blood sugar goes back down, this is where we have cravings.  This is where we have addictions, mood issues, energy issues, jitteriness, and cognitive issues. Our body makes adrenaline and cortisol to bring that blood sugar back up. Most people literally live on this high insulin where they are making fat, storing fat and engaging in lipogenesis which makes us tired. Then blood sugar crashes which makes people jittery, anxious, and moody. Most people live on this reactive hypoglycemia rollercoaster and that can drive headaches.

4. Gut Infections.

Patients with a lot of gut inflammation, gut permeability, and infections whether it’s H. pylori, SIBO (small intestinal, bacterial overgrowth) or fungal overgrowth have gut stressors can create inflammation in the gut. When we have inflammation in the gut, we have gut permeability. So our tight junctions in our intestines start to open up and undigested bacteria, lipopolysaccharides, food particles can slip through and create an immune response. You can see histamine along with that immune response and histamine can create headache issues.

5. Hormonal Issue.

A woman’s cycle is about 28 days and in the middle is ovulation. Some women have it during ovulation and most have it right at the end just before they menstruate. This is called premenstrual syndrome that is right before menstruation. A lot of women may also have it during menstruation, too. What happens is progesterone can drop out early and that drop in progesterone can actually cause headache manifestations and also the aberrations in estrogen can also cause headaches as well. We may also see it with excessive bleeding too. So if you’re bleeding a lot or too much, what may happen is you may lose iron and that low iron may cause oxygenation issues.  That low level of oxygen may also cause some headache issues as well.  Because if you can’t carry oxygen, that is going to be a stressed-out situation for your mitochondria and your metabolism. For menopausal women who have chronically low hormones and they’re not in an optimal place, that can create issues. Progesterone and estrogen can be very anti-inflammatory. So if there is inflammation in the brain, progesterone is a powerful anti-inflammatory and that can really help a lot of inflammation in the brain.

If you have any questions about headaches, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor to find a way to fix your issue.

Oils That Cause Gut Inflammation

There are various top-causes for gut inflammation but a big one is an oil. The oil you use to cook or bake into foods could be a major culprit to your very uncomfortable gut inflammation. Let’s look at the good and stable oils vs. the unhealthy oils. 

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you have questions about what oils to use for cooking!

If you look at the standard American diet, just even a hundred years ago, your grandparents or your great grandparents, they did not have access to these type of oils. They were cooking with traditional fats. They did a lot of lard and maybe some beef tallow.

If I asked my grandfather, “What did your grandmother cook you and what did she cook it with?” She was not using soybean oil. She was not using corn oils. She was not using rapeseed oil, which is canola.  She was not using peanut oil. If they did something fried, it was going to be fried in possibly bacon fat, which came from the pig in the backyard of the farm or it was going to be cooked in some type of like a beef tallow, where the cows were on the back part of the farm.

When it comes down to fats, most plant fats are not going to be the best unless they are cold extracted or unless they are minimally processed to extract the fats. Partly because of the processes of extracting, it tends to damage the fats because the heat and the extraction process also makes the fats rancid and taste bad. There’s a lot of like deodorizing and filtration and different processes to make it more palatable that you would never be able to have at a natural state.

So the best plant fats are:

  1. Coconut oil because it’s a saturated fat and it’s more temperature-stable.
  2. Cold-press olive oil and good-quality avocado oil, which is primarily a monosaturated fat.
  3. Palm oil, which is more in a kind of saturated state.

There are some nut-based and some seed-based oils, but then you start ramping up the Omega-6 and those may not be the best.  There are some supplemental oils that are more GLA-based that I’ll give supplementally, like black currant seed oil but we’ll give it supplementally and that’s coming from great sources that are going to be in capsules that won’t be oxidized and such.

Bad fats are going to create a lot of oxidative stress and they are going to deplete a lot of your antioxidant reserves because if those fats are oxidized, your body is going to need a lot of vitamin C and vitamin E to help with the oxidative stress that those fats may cause your body.

Now what it you find a good fish with gluten-free breading so it’s not covered in wheat with some type of non-gluten containing flour, but then you’ve got canola oil. Do you think you’re still going to be net positive in terms of nutrition because you’ve still got the good fish, but yet you’ve got the inflammatory oils or would you say, just get you some grilled fish and then if you want to bread it, you bread it yourself?

There’s a product that we like of sweet potato fries that my wife will do for my son because it’s really easy, but they have a little bit of canola oil in there. So you have this kind of convenience factor where ideally if you could you always would want to put your own fat on there if you could and my easy saturated fat or my easy fat for cooking that’s plant-based would be avocado. I like avocado because it tastes a little bit more neutral. I do not like olive oil as much. Olive oil is better for dressings, but I’ll do avocado for cooking. If you have control over it, you always choose the better fat over the junky fat if you can.

So the interesting thing is like coconut oil and avocado they’ve become kind of trendy and I would say avocado is not going to be a traditional fat meaning, meaning like traditional people were probably not doing it because you’ve got to have some heavy-duty equipment to extract the oil, but coconut oil would be super traditional.  I mean, this would be something that has historical use.

Your big fats that are going to be plant-based would probably be primarily coconut. But your biggest ones that I think are going to be used more long-term from generation to generation will be your tallows, your bacon fat, your duck fat, and those kinds of things because saturated fats don’t go bad. They stay good for a long time because the carbon is saturated with 4 hydrogen bonds between them, which makes the fat really, really, really temperature-stable.

Take note of oils are that bad for your gut because they cause inflammation and oxidative stress.

If you have any questions about what the best oils to use for cooking, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor to learn more.


4 Herbs That Give You The Upper Hand Against Viral Infections

Let’s talk about four herbs with antiviral properties. 

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor before taking herbal supplements!

Olive Leaf

As part of a Candida protocol, we’ll have a couple of herb combinations that will have olive leaf combined with monolaurin. Stack those two right on top of each other. Monolaurin is a lauric acid coconut extract.  It has been shown to be very, very potent as an antiviral.  With olive leaf, the main compound in it – oleuropein – and that actually prevents the virus from attaching to the cells. We kind of talk about mechanisms a lot and people ask why does that matter.  It is because some herbs may prevent the replication of viruses.  Things like olive actually prevent the virus from attaching to healthy cells. So if you have multiple herbs, you’ve got multiple mechanisms.  You’re just making yourself even more resilient.


They help with either immune modulation, natural killer cell, antibody modulation which is the infantry that comes in afterwards, or it is going to help with viral replication. Typically, it’s going to modulate the inflammation from the immune response.

Usually it is hitting things in about three to four different ways, and most are going to fall into that category. That is kind of the mechanism how they are working.

Cat’s Claws

We use Cat’s Claw or Samento a lot with biofilms.  They work really well.  These are protective shields, bacteria and critters use. We also use it with a lot of Lyme and various co-infections, but Cat’s Claws is great at the immune system, helping with viruses, and really enhancing the body’s ability to deal with infections. Again, everything we are talking about is not necessarily to treat anything.  A lot of the time it is just to support our own immune response to what’s happening, because our body is really the ultimate fighter in all of this.  Everything we are doing is just trying to give our body’s immune system an edge to address the issue to begin with.  The body has dealt and humankind has dealt with viruses since forever.


When we are doing a lot of these herbs, a lot of times we want to make sure the whole root is present. A lot of times with Echinacea, you will see a lot of flower present. I want the whole root.  I find that it has a lot more of the immune-modulating alkaloids that really have the immune benefit. It is excellent in how it reduces virus levels.  It inhibits the growth of bacteria. It inhibits the growth of viruses. It is also going to modulate with the inflammation caused by that immune response and caused by the cytokines and interleukins.

What can you do to try to gain the upper hand?

These things are just going to improve your resilience. It’s important to have the right mindset. A lot of people are selling like cures or solutions and that is not going to be the case, but it is really going to be our body to begin with.  Even antibiotics, when an infection gets cleared, it is still not the antibiotic.  It is the antibiotic lowering the level of the infection and then the immune system can kind of come in and play.  It is like if we are using a lifting analogy, it really gives a very helpful spot when you’re kind of low in that bench press, it really gives you that little spot to kind of get it up through that sticky point.

If you have any questions about herbs with antiviral properties, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor and learn more.

How Parasite Can Weaken Your Immune System | Podcast #285

Here’s another episode of Beyond Wellness Podcast! Parasites tend to live in our bodies. These organisms can enter our body anytime depending on what we touch, what environment we are in and especially on what we eat. If this happens, it doesn’t only affect our digestion but also our immune system. Check out this podcast with Evan Brand to know more about how parasites can weaken our immune health. Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

03:11     Parasites in our Body

09:30     Water and Food Components, Pre-digestion

18:32     Parasites effects in Digestion

22:54     Gut Stabilization

27:25     Protocol vs. Personalized Care

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here, we are going to have a fabulous podcast in store for you. Evan and I are going to be chatting about parasites and your immune system. Everyone’s talking about having a stronger immune system today, or at least with all the COVID-19 issues, people are concerned about having a stronger immune system. And we’re going to talk about how gut function can impact your immune system, especially parasites. Hey, Evan, how are you doing today, man? 

Evan Brand: I’m doing wonderful. You know, I think this whole thing’s been a big wake up call for people that have been ignoring their health. I think it’s really brought health to the forefront of the conversation and maybe people that have been ignoring their health or abusing their health or just simply being educated or naive about health issues. I think now people are kind of waking up to crap. There’s actually a correlation between my health on a day to day basis and what happens in society. So if society has some sickness going around, I can be more susceptible. I could be weaker, I could be more violent. Trouble and people don’t like that people don’t want to feel vulnerable. And so one of the biggest things I think increases vulnerability is predisposing factors we’ve talked about this weeks ago with the blood pressure issues and the heart disease issues and some of the other the comorbidities that were popping up with the viral issue now, not to get too off subject, but I did notice yesterday, the CDC finally updated their statistics, because we talked about how every death was being marked as COVID until proven otherwise. And now that they’ve updated that the number of deaths in the US has been cut in half, it’s been about a 50% drop. Now we’re showing even less than seasonal flu deaths. We’re showing like 35,000. So just wanted to point that out that that was updated for on the CDC website over the weekend.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I talked to Dr. Rawls last week, and we had a really good conversation and one of the key questions I asked him was like, Hey, Doc, there’s two diagnosis. For COVID-19 there’s UO 7.1 UO 7.2. And I’m pretty sure that UO 7.2 is a subjective diagnosis for COVID. And I just told him, I said, Do you recall a subjective diagnosis and an objective diagnostic code for the flu or other types of respiratory infections? And he couldn’t recall that, you know, he’s a medical doctor for 35 years. So the concern for me is you have one diagnostic code that’s objective, right? You do a PCR test or some kind of testing to evaluate it right. And then the other one is totally subjective. AKA you have any upper respiratory infections you pass away, or or you pass away have diabetes or Alzheimer’s or cancer, but you also have COVID. Right? SARS 2Cov. virus, well, it just doesn’t feel right that that would be added to the death list. So I think we have some of these confounding variables. And we just got to keep that out there and we got to look at it and compare it to precedents. How does precedents look in regards to previous flu seasons? Even all cause mortality? How does it look? So I think it’s always good to have context. Context builds comfort? 

Evan Brand: Definitely, definitely. But back on to today’s subject, how is it tied in? Well, parasites are something that I’m sure humans have dealt with for a very, very long time. And there’s some people that argue that we could coexist with these pathogens. But our argument based on looking at thousands of people via lab testing is that and just clinically looking at symptoms and their skin and their moods and their sleep. Our argument is that you really can’t coexist with these pathogenic organisms that create inflammation, they disrupt the gut barrier, they’ve reduced stomach acid, they cause malabsorption. They allow bacteria to thrive and Candida to thrive. Maybe when the food supply was not tainted in the soil had minerals and there weren’t chemicals in the food and the water in the air. Maybe you could get away with it. But in the modern world, we just have too much toxin in our bucket to be able to come exist with thee. So you got to find them and then fix them.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I tell patients, there’s two ways parasites cause problems, right? Number one is you get exposed to a large bolus of a parasite, whether it’s giardhiam, and some drinking water or e histo, or some worms in some undercooked meats right in such a large amount and overwhelms your system, or you get exposed by smaller amounts, and due to stress, your gut barrier, your IGA levels are weakened, your immune system is weakened, your hydrochloric acid levels are lower, your enzyme levels are lower, and you’re going to have a hard time keeping the area clean, you’re going to have a hard time digesting your food you’re going to have a hard time providing a compounds in the environment that can make it hard for bad stuff to grow. So like when we ferment different fatty acids and we acidify the small intestine like with butyric acid, for instance, or a lot of these acids that get produced through fermentation. Through good healthy probiotics, right? Remember lactobacillus acidophilus, acidophilus, literally translates to acid loving, these acids make it hard for bad critters to grow. Right. And so when we have an environment that is not healthy, we automatically make it easier for critters to grow for parasites to grow. And a lot of the detrimental effects of the parasite that may come in is going to be threefold. Number one, it’s going to stress out your immune system, right, which then sucks energy away from you because takes a lot of energy to fight stuff. Number two, it’s gonna affect your motility and your digestion, right? Your body’s natural response when you get exposed to a pathogen is what usually to excrete it out. So diarrhea, and so that creates very, very poor absorption because you’re flushing things out faster. You don’t have the time to break down protein breakdown back, reabsorb your electrolytes. And then number three, is you’re going to create good gut permeability, right, aka leaky gut and that’s going to create more food allergy issues and even more immune stress because you have immune cells in your small intestine in your stomach, aka the golf and the malt, right gastric associated lymphoid tissue in the stomach, mucosal associated lymphoid tissue in the small intestine, but then when you have gut permeability issues, and you increase that zonulin protein that unzips, those tight junctions, and now undigested food particles and even bacteria like endotoxin or parasite toxins can get into the bloodstream and create more immune stress. And now you start seeing cognitive issues like brain fog, mood and anxiety and fatigue, which most people don’t get it because they’re like, wait a minute, I got a parasite. I should have diarrhea, bloating or constipation. I have digestive issues, but you can have cognitive and mental emotional energy issues alongside of that, and that’s that overall connection.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said great points and not to mention gluten increases on Yulin, too, so you’re talking about just a pathogen. Increasing Zonulin and creating leaky gut. Well, even if you didn’t have infections, you could be eating gluten or some other food allergen that’s increasing. Zonulin, separating those tight junctions and then boom, now all of a sudden, you’ve actually opened the doors. So let’s say you started out with no pathogens, you just had a diet that wasn’t right. Now all of a sudden gut barriers open. If you do get exposed to pathogens, it’s going to be easier for them to set up shop. I just want to cover a couple quick myths or maybe misconceptions about parasites I think people need to hear number one is that parasites are rare. This is a myth. We’ve seen thousands and thousands of clients around the world. The US is where we’ve seen the most clients. And I tell you, one in three, depending on the week could be two and three people show positive for some sort of pathogen, including parasites and so if many people have told us the story, hey, Dr. J. Hey, Evan. I’ve been to the gastro doc. They told me it’s not possible to have parasites because I didn’t go to any third world countries. We laugh at because we’ve seen all sorts of pathogens, I had many different parasites and I have not been out of the United States. And so that that’s Myth number one. Myth number two, I would say would be that you have to have some sort of strong, anti parasitic drugs to to fix them. We’ve had many clients who’ve done right now with antibiotics. And we’ve had them do rounds of anti parasitic medications. And in some cases, they still, they still actually show up positive for these bugs, indicating there is some sort of antibacterial resistance, there’s antifungal resistance, there’s anti parasitic resistance. And so if you’ve beat the drum on drugs, drugs, drugs, you need to just kill harder, you might need to switch your game plan up those those are just a couple misconceptions that come to head there may be more

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very, very, very good points. And I think the key point is Yeah, if you are very healthy, it’s possible that you have enough hydrochloric acid and IGA in immune response to be able to knock it out. But it’s it’s possible that even with a A large amount of the parasite exposure, you’re going to fall prey. And let’s not forget, the number three cause of death and many third world countries is dysentery usually caused by an amoeba or a parasite. So it’s the number three cause of death. Now, obviously, if you’re in a third world country you have, you don’t have good plumbing situation. So you’re going to be just around a lot of people debris that you normally wouldn’t be. So of course, plumbing, indoor plumbing is one of the best things there and obviously clean water. And again, personally, the water can still potentially have parasites in it. If you’re just drinking conventional well water or city water, it’s still possible. So I recommend having a really good whole house filter, or at least a high quality reverse osmosis filter. I’m going to put some links for some of the products that I personally use and have used for years. Down below in the show notes. So we’ll put down kind of the reverse osmosis filter that I personally have as well as the whole house. That’ll give you some extra buffer on being exposed to these parasites via the water supply. 

Evan Brand: Okay, let me let me say this real quick Yeah, where you go off water, which is the fact that even if you are drinking tap water, let’s just say you’re lucky and maybe they use strong enough drugs or chemicals to kill off whatever parasite in the tap water, you’re still going to be getting exposed to small doses of antibiotics, you’re going to be getting exposed to chlorine and chloramines, which are basically like antibiotics as well. We know chlorine does a really, really bad number to the beneficial bacteria in the gut. So let’s just say hey, you didn’t get parasites, but you’re still going to get chlorine. And if you’re taking a shower and unfiltered water, you’re getting chlorine through the skin that could potentially, you know, damage the the skin microbiome, but then the gut as well. So it to me it’s a you have to you got to have filtered water everywhere.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, and you hit the chlorine component. And there are other kind of metabolites of chlorine called chloramines, which it really disrupts the good bacteria in the in the gut and then what is the good gut good gut bacteria produce A lot of different compounds, one, they produce nutrients. And two, they’re going to produce these beneficial acids that make it hard for bad bacteria to grow. So number two, so if we kind of go back if I rehash that again, so you’re going to be weaker because you don’t have the extra B vitamins, and vitamin K and good nutrients produced by your gut. And on the other side, you’re going to have less of these environmentally altering compounds, these different acids that make it hard for the bad guys to grow. So now you have a lot more of a breeding ground because you’re missing the internal endogenous nutrients. And then you’re making it more hospitable for the bad guys to grow. So kind of my tagline over the years has always been good back to your bad bacteria, eats nutrients and poops toxins, good bacteria, eats poop, or pizza eats a good bacteria, eats toxins and then poops nutrients, right. good bacteria makes it hard for the bad guys to grow and then it produces all of these good news. treats as a beneficial byproduct.

Evan Brand: Yeah, let me say one more thing about water and then and then we’ll move on, which is people may say, Well I’ve been filtering my water or I only drink from my fridge filter will a fridge filter doesn’t do much so don’t have false sense of hope there. You really want to have more advanced filtration. But let’s say hey, I’ve got the water on point I’ve got this or that system. Okay, great. But lakes, rivers, creeks, I mean, basically all surface water contains Giardia and other waterborne parasites like crypto. So let’s say you go down to the neighborhood waterhole. You know, like for me it was Barton Springs down when I lived in Austin, I’d go swimming there. I loved it. I it was great water. It smelled fresh, it looked fresh, it felt fresh, but it was still surface freshwater that was runoff and so from runoff and so that very well could have been where I picked up my parasites. Let’s say you go to a waterpark with your kids and it’s probably all heavily chlorinated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everything is pure there and you could get it up your nose and then All of a sudden you swallow it and then boom, it starts the reproductive cycle. So all of the recreational activities associated with water. That’s a really easy place that people don’t think about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then what I typically do is because I’m big fan of waterskiing out in Lake Austin, when I would go, I would hit my GI Claire 4 right afterwards. And I would do some higher dose probiotics as well, just to kind of, you know, if there was a tiny amount of something in there, we could at least flush it out and knock it out right away. But I’ve definitely had some bouts where like, after I was waterskiing, I’m like, okay, something’s off with my digestive system. My foods been really good. So I’ve kind of always been in that pre emptive mode, when I get exposed to water that could potentially be a problem.

Evan Brand: That’s a good strategy. It’s not like you’re saying you’re taking a dose of antibiotics after you do waterskiing. You know, you’re taking some sort of herbal or maybe some sort of binder to mop up any toxins or debris that you got to Christ to so these are safe, low hanging fruit that you’re implementing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% so in the water component, it’s really important obviously the food component, especially like pork and fish, and things like that make sure it’s well cooked. Those are just kind of common sense things. Of course, the higher quality, the animals are right and you know better animal husbandry kind of practices, the better, you know, chance that you’re not going to have infections and things like that in there. I mean, there are guys like, I What’s his name? Vondre planets. He was the big raw guy where he eat raw meat, like just straight up raw fish raw beef. I’m not sure I’d ever go that far. Okay, just because I wouldn’t go all in on that. I think cooking is a good thing. It does. One kind of sanitize some of these things, but to it pre digest some of these foods and makes it more accessible for idi our digestive system. And man, if you’re going to ever do raw meat, you better make sure you have a lot of hydrochloric acid production happening or you’re at least taking some HCl and enzymes as an insurance policy.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s hard work. And I think there was a book on that cooking made us human something about that how you know the evolutionary biologist go into cooking and help Cooking activates certain nutrients that you can’t get from raw and therefore that helped increase the size of the human brain and things like that. So, I don’t know not to get off so no, but But no- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s definitely real. Okay. Yeah, that’s real. And then I tell my patients is when they have a lot of gut issues, think of cooking is pre digestion, right cooking is pre digestion. Now, does that mean we want to create a lot of heterocyclic amines or a lot of poly aromatic hydrocarbons through burning? No, we don’t want to burn. But if we can cook that’s excellent any, any additional charring that may happen you just consume a whole bunch of good plant nutrients with it and the antioxidants in those plant nutrients will neutralize any of the oxidative stress from the cooking of those foods.

Evan Brand: Yeah, you’re absolutely correct with the cooking being a pre digestion because when I did have parasites, I was unable to do anything raw, even raw fruit. For example, if I would just do blueberries, for example, I would poop out blueberries that were undigested I was like, Well, what the heck is going on? And so if I hadn’t even quote pre digested in terms of a smoothie, I was fine. But salads and leafy greens, you know, they tore up my gut for a long time until I was able to address my parasite infections reduce that toxic load, increase acids and enzymes go through the five or six hour approach that we talked about bringing in probiotics, knock out the Candida overgrowth that happened as well bring in some beneficial yeast like saccharomyces a lot of those things were were critical for me to expand my diet. I guess the one point I want to make is that the diet is something so many people focus on, but it’s not the root cause in many cases, you could go to 20 different nutritionist, they’ll put you on 20 different diets, but if you don’t address the parasites, I don’t care how strict or how good you are about avoiding, quote, food allergens, you won’t get better if you don’t address the underlying issue.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And you know, I kind of go back and forth on that because I’ve seen some people where the food’s really just stressed out their guts so much, where their immune system was so compromised. They got an infection from it, like I find a lot of people where we can knock out their infection but they don’t fix their doctor. I tend to find that they get reinfected. So I’m not saying that the food is 100%. But in some people would say larger percentage than others. Does that make sense? 

Evan Brand: True. Yeah, don’t get me wrong. It’s still important. But I’m just speaking to the people that are like, hey, if I just stick on this food elimination diet forever, all my problems will get better. But that’s not magically going to make a grd infection go away, for example.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. I’ve noticed clinically that patients that continue to eat gluten for instance, and we try to knock out like an H. pylori infection, I tend to find more reinfection on follow up tests, or people that really make the diet change, it’s easier to knock out the infection. And I think a combination of that is number one, just less inflammation. And that less inflammation means your immune system can deal with the infection as well. And so when you’re killing it out, the immune system can kind of okay, hey, we knocked out enough of that infection. Let me kind of help out and take over here as well. But if we have some of those stressful foods and the immune system is kind of still in corner, so to speak a little bit weak, and then we’re relying fully on the herbs. So if we can kind of lean on, you know, the herbal strategies, as well as the diet and lifestyle strategies, it provides good synergy.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I would agree it makes perfect sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. So a couple things I want to highlight because we talked about parasites is helping to improve our immune response when we knock them out, or if we’re infection free, right, kind of my attitude is everyone has the right to be infection free and everyone has the right to have more than one infection going on. That’s very possible. The second concern is these parasites can affect digestion. And what nutrients are we talking about? Well, we’re talking about things like zinc and magnesium and selenium. These are very important minerals that need to get ionized. We need hydrochloric acid to ionize them so they can be soluble in our bloodstream and so we can absorb them and utilize them and transport them. We also know antibodies, right or immune cells. IGG, IGA IGA IGM, antibodies are made from protein. So we actually need protein to make our antibody. So if we have deficits or let’s just say bottlenecks in our ability to digest and break down and utilize and assimilate and absorb protein that’s going to be a problem. And then what about our fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, we know is really important for the lung epithelium. I was worried about COVID-19 and lung health. Vitamin A is very important. What about vitamin D? Well, we get it from the sun, right? We also may take it supplementally and get some from our food. So we need good absorption there to take in our vitamin D. What about vitamin C that’s a little bit easier. It’s water soluble, but if we have poor absorption, it’s possible we can have some bottlenecks, especially if our micro v lie in our small intestine are inflamed. Our micro villi are a little vacuum cleaners that suck up nutrients. So if we have inflamed or a trophic v ly from infections or food allergens, that’s going to be a problem. And then what about like our sulfur based amino acids like cysteine, glutamine, glycine, these are the amino acids that make glutathione glutathione is one of our main Master antioxidants it helps with our detoxification pathways. Good at ions are really important redox nutrient and redox means it gives off electrons so when we have a lot of lung inflammation especially with COVID we need to make sure that we are giving off we have enough fluidify on to deal with and give off electrons to stabilize the free radicals oxidative stress, it’s happening from the infection. Does that all make sense? 

Evan Brand: It does. It sounds like a mess when you say it all like that. But it is a mess, meaning you could really get disrupted from a hormonal perspective also, you kind of tied into the zinc and some of that but zinc is really important for mental health to you know, zinc is something that helps to balance out that zinc copper ratio. A lot of people have mental issues, whether it’s schizophrenia, or OCD or ADHD or all sorts of stuff that can be tied into an imbalance zinc copper ratio. So you may think that your mood issue is completely just on its own and a psychiatrist would help but no, it could be totally related to the parasite infection. Then one other thing I wanted to say too is regarding the toxic load you mentioned not having enough of your sulfur based amino acids, these are the precursors to make Bluetooth ion, well then that happens. Now you start picking up more toxins. So if you get exposed to glyphosate or you get exposed to toxic mold and mycotoxins, now all of a sudden, you don’t have any sort of mechanism to get rid of those things. So now you’re even at a more disadvantage. And this is how people can, people that don’t address these issues can become more sick over time. It’s because now the original thing the parasite disrupted the mechanism to get rid of the toxin over here. So now you’ve got a toxin problem over here, and you’ve got a parasite problem over there. And we see how this thing can spin out of control. The good news is it’s all completely reversible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and it’s it’s scary how it can spin out of control. I see it happen quite frequently. I know you kind of just echoed some of the toxicity aspect, but we know a lot of metals and various toxins, whether it’s pesticides or mold toxins that They get removed from our system via the hepatic biliary system, right big words, you break it down a pedo, meaning liver, biliary, meaning kind of the bile ducts and gallbladder. And it dumps it out into the small intestine. So if we have poor digestion or the guts already inflamed, or we have gut permeability issues, it’s possible we could reabsorb some of these toxins and have them go back into our system. So that’s where having binders to kind of like bind it up so we can escort out better and then just having better better gut function to begin with. Because the better gut function we have one our immune system is less stressed to we’re going to have better inflammatory, natural anti inflammatory capacity, because if our adrenals are stressed because of our guts, then we’re going to have weakened cortisol levels, we’re not going to be able to deal with inflammation. And of course, the more inflamed our gut is, the more permeability there is and the more chance that we’re going to reabsorb these toxins and create more stress. That’s why I always tell patients, you know, the first way to Work on toxicity issues is get your gut stabilized because that sets the foundation. So when we push detoxification pathways more and we dump more toxins into the gut, we have, you know, the right things in place to escort out of the body without reabsorbing it.

Evan Brand: Yep, well said and not to mention to these pathogens, they mess up the glue Khurana dacian pathway, and that’s a good pathway that you can conjugate toxins and get them out of the body as well. So you mentioned it’s the hepatic biliary system, you’ve got the glucose sanitation pathway that’s messed up, you’ve got the reduced acids and enzymes, it’s messed up. So yeah-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Methylation probably too.

Evan Brand: I’m sure because you don’t have the nutrients to fuel it, right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And or you’re not absorbing it as well right because b 12 absorption starts in the stomach, right and you make intrinsic factor to bind to the stomach. So if you have an inflamed gut, you know, you may not have enough of that intrinsic factor and then you absorb it later on and the helium of the end of the small intestine So if any inflammation there, it could really affect the absorption of that. And that’s a key nutrient along with full later on methylation.

Evan Brand: Yeah, one other mechanism to just to help people wrap their heads around it is the amino acids. So now if all of a sudden you’re not digesting your dietary proteins, it may be tough to put on muscle mass, you’re putting in all this work in the gym, you’re not getting anywhere, maybe you’re actually gaining body fat, or you just can’t build muscle or you’ve actually lost muscle mass, I lost significant amount of weight without trying despite his eating bison steak all the time, I continue to lose weight. And then the mental health piece, which I already hit on with the zinc and all of that. So if you don’t have the amino acids, now you can’t make neurotransmitters. So then you become more anxious, more depressed, more fatigue, your motivation goes down. You can’t focus you hit on the brain fog earlier, just in the infection. But what about the infection induced malabsorption causing even more brain fog? So it’s no surprise that these issues can affect every aspect of your life and you move to your sleep to your sex drive to your hormones. That’s why it’s really important to figure out what are you Against. And so that’s where we come in with doing a good clinical history because we may uncover something like Justin always talks about a trip to Mexico and then boom, something happened, or was it you went swimming at the neighborhood pool or was it you took a round of antibiotics. So the history is important. But then of course we use and leverage the testing that is so far advanced above what the conventional gastro doctor using at this point, which is kind of sad. I hate that it’s us. Why does it have to be us? We kind of have to be on the bleeding edge here because it’s going to take a while for the conventional gastroenterology to catch up and I did all those conventional tests. So this is not the Poopoo it is just to say look, I did it. I did the barium scan you drink a terrible drink. You lay on this table, they flip you up the X ray you they found nothing and they prescribed an acid blocking drug and sent me home. They had no clue I had h pylori, which was reducing my acid What if I would have done that? I would have reduced my stomach acid even more I would have became even more sick. Luckily, I didn’t go that route.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you would have more nutrient deficiencies more compromised immune system. And again, you know your gut maybe a little bit less inflamed the short the short term but every you’re not going to fixing the root cause and, and your nutrients that you need are going to be malabsorption. That makes a lot of sense. And I just kind of want to highlight people that are listening, you know, we’re talking about immune stress and we were trying to switch the narrative to boosting and supporting our immune system is evident Dr. J saying right now Hey, if you want to have a stronger immune system, especially against COVID should you go do a parasite cleanse right now? No, I’m we’re not saying that. But because if you are doing it indiscriminately, if you’re not working with the practitioner, you may cause more stress right now because you don’t have the foundations lined up ahead of time. So if you have immune stress, if you have gut stress, you need to be working with a practitioner, but at least work on some of the foundational supporting dietary strategies and nutrients to kind of get going. We already talked about some of these things, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, some kind of a paleo template as a starting point. Then work with a practitioner if you think there’s other gut stressors going on, because you may actually make your immune system weaker if you don’t have the right sequence in which you go after these infections, and that may be counterproductive if you’re listening to this podcast saying, I want to make myself stronger in my immune function, and I’m going to go after and do a whole bunch of parasite cleanse, you may actually have the opposite effect. And we don’t want you walking away with negative results.

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a bit of a stressor, right? I mean, it takes work. That’s why we talk about sometimes we’ve got to support somebody and sort of build up their foundation. Before we start picking the interior paint color of the house, you’ve got to get the foundation you got to get the walls you got to get the windows in because if you go straight to kill, kill, kill, you may feel worse, you may have die off and all that. Now you mentioned practitioner and of course we love helping people. So we want people to work with us so that we know the type of care they’re going to receive. We know they’re going to get the right testing. We know they’re going to get the right protocol to fix the issue. But let’s briefly talk about the DIY method because you and I I have so much stuff on our head, you and I both have courses that we’re working on. Yep. And we have so many people that say, Well, I followed such and such cleanse online. And it’s just like a one page PDF. It’s like 20 different supplements that XYZ person says to buy, and then they do it. And then the person comes to us saying, Yeah, I did XYZ cleanse, and here I am, and they’re no better. Maybe they’re worse. Maybe let’s just talk for you and I sake but for the general public to the Compare and contrast of trying to lump everything into a one page PDF document, take all these herbs, everybody on the planet can do this protocol versus more one on one personalized care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so 100% I mean, you’re gonna have people recommend a whole bunch of herbals, recommend a whole bunch of probiotics, maybe some digestive support, and you are not looked at as an individual. When we look at a patient, we’re going to make sure you’re ready for that next step. There’s gonna be a sequencing and how things are added in. We’re going to have to Some objective markers to also quantify how good or how bad your stress handling systems are, whether it’s we’re looking at certain nutrient levels, or we’re looking at hormone levels, or we’re looking at gut permeability or inflammation in the gut. So there’s a whole bunch of things that we’re looking at that are quite objective that help us gauge if you’re ready, and if you’re not ready, what we need to do to get you there. So it’s good to have these objective markers, when you just have a PDF sheet with a couple of herbs on there, and some probiotics, and you just say, Take these here, and then No offense, if things go sideways. What do you do?

Evan Brand: Yeah, and so it gets it gets tricky. It does. And so this is kind of a, you know, a little secret. It’s not really a secret because we’ve talked about it before. Justin’s working on a course I’m working on a course and we’re having this battle between how do you take the hands on hand holding clinical piece that can really steer people from going in the wrong direction? How do you put that into something like that? So that’s what we’re, we’re kind of in the middle of working on now. And You mentioned some of these, maybe some of the lab testing that we can look at. And that’s that’s kind of where we’re different is it’s not just, here’s a protocol, it’s going to be, hey, there’s actually this test on the side. If you want to do that along with the course, you can look at that, based on that interpretation you can get on that lab. Now, you know, if you’re ready, boom, then you can go into something that’s a little bit more broad spectrum and have more success.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. And we’re doing a little bit more cutting edge testing regarding some of the PCR test which is a little bit more sensitive. Some of the baselines tool engine testing that’s run at some of the conventional labs can missed off. A lot of times it’s not even run but most of the time it’s not gonna miss stuff. Number two, we may even run some urinary tests to look at systemic yeast issues or bacterial issues or maybe even breath tests. I see many even just conventional gastro is they’re not even doing the breath stuff which a lot more of the cutting edge gastroenterologist like Dr. Pimentel at Cedar Sinai, they’re running breath tests but a lot of the conventional Doc’s aren’t they may run a scope. They may see there’s some inflammation and then not know what to do next. Maybe recommend some acid blockers or some steroids or some, some kind of a biologic salomina, Allah, whatever to kind of get the inflammation down. But then what’s the cause? Right? Where’s the root cause coming from? Is it a food issue? Is your gut permeability? Is there an infection are there multiple infections, so we really want to line things up in a way. And some of the conventional testing can be okay for end stage or more extreme stuff. But it’s tend to not be great when you’re in that in between phase. And even people that are sick, I’ve seen come back as pretty normal. And that can be very, very frustrating as well. 

Evan Brand: Well, I had a female client last week, that same thing happened before she came to me. She went to her conventional Doc, they referred her to a gastro, she brought up all the bloating and burping and burning and all of that. And of course, they don’t say anything besides here’s an acid blocker and let’s go get a scope done. Guess what the camera or the capsule or some piece of technology for the endoscope actually got stuck inside of her and left inside of her. And now she’s having all these complications from it. Well, she’s got to go back get, you know, put under anesthesia again, get cut open so they can cut out whatever piece of the equipment broke off inside of her. And we’ve already run the stool testing and figured out what’s going on. She had an H pylori infection and a couple of bacterial overgrowth, Sky High inflammation was through the roof. We’ve got her on some calming herbs and some general anti microbials. To start, she’s already 50% better. And yet, you know, she did this scope, which revealed nothing so wildly unfortunate how it can happen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Well, I think today was a really good chat. And I you know, I appreciate the fact that, you know, we’re talking theoretically, but practically, right? This is theory in practice, right? So we’re actually applying all these things. It’s not just something that we kind of spit balled on on the dry erase board. It’s something that’s been used hundreds, if not thousands of times. So you know, just to kind of juxtapose us versus other Talking Heads online. Most of the things out there may be decent information, but maybe more theoretical, not practical. So the things that we’re doing, and we’re talking about are actually being used, right it’s all been set in Emotion we have a lot of hundreds of, if not thousands of clinical data points. So just kind of want to put that out there to kind of be a good value add for the patient’s listening, and also provide a little bit more confidence, people that are listening as well in regards to what we’re talking about.

Evan Brand: Yeah, that sounds good. Well, that sounds all good. But what does that actually mean? Well, that means that as soon as we press into recording today, we’re jumping right on the call with clients to implement the same stuff that we’re talking about. So that’s what it means. And we love what we do. So if you do need help, I’ve suffered tremendously. And I think through the suffering, it’s really, it’s really taught us both about number one, how to push through and number two, how to gain all the puzzle pieces you need, because there’s different stages of your journey where you may need this puzzle piece, pull that over here now implement that, and it’s a little tricky sometimes. So if you need help, please reach out. You can schedule a call with Dr. J at My website is, and we’ll be back again soon. So take good care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. You guys have a phenomenal week. Take care. Bye.


Audio Podcast:

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