How Sugar Feeds Illness

 How Sugar Feeds Illness

How Sugar Feeds Illness

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

America takes first place… as the top consumer of dietary sugar in the world. Our sugar consumption is a major player behind the skyrocketing rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The average American now consumes an average of 130 grams of sugar per dayfor reference, the daily recommendation for women is a maximum of 20 grams a day! This is more than just sad: it’s dangerous. Today we are going to outline some of the effects of sugar on our immediate and long-term health.

What is Sugar?

What is Sugar

This might seem obvious, but food producers are getting craftier with their labeling as they realize more and more people are making the choice to eat healthier. Sugar goes by many names, with new ones popping up all the time. Some sugars are natural, most are processed, and more and more are being created in labs. Here are just a few names to look out for on product labels:

  • Agave
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey (raw, pasteurized)
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “-ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Syrup

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor and discuss underlying health issues preventing you from living your best life!

What About Fruit?

Yes, fruit technically contains sugar, in the form of fructose. However, there is a big difference between enjoying a piece of fruit as an after-dinner treat, versus having orange juice with breakfast and fruit juices as your beverage of choice throughout the day. Studies have shown that eating fruit whole can lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, drinking fruit actually increases your risk! The fiber you get from eating fruit whole slows the absorption of the sugar and keeps the glycemic index low. Plus, it takes a lot more squeezed fruit to fill a glass than you could possibly eat in a serving, meaning you’re consuming way more sugar than you realize!

The Effects of Sugar

The Effects Of Sugar

Consuming large quantities of sugar has been linked to an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as cognitive decline and even some cancers!

There are also many health issues caused by sugar that aren’t as talked about:

Sugar depletes the body of critical electrolytes, antioxidants, and minerals, which leads to cell death, muscle spasms, insulin resistance, and other health defects. Its effects on the immune system leave you prone to getting sick more often and more severely.

Sugar feeds bacteria and parasites, like yeast and Candida. It also depletes the body of good gut bacteria, promoting Leaky Gut and other gut infections. Chronic pain, vision problems, and even wrinkles can be worsened by sugar!

Sugar causes chronic inflammation in the body, and inflammation is said to be the root cause of almost all disease.

How Sugar Feeds Cancer

Sugar consumption has been proved to feed cancer cells and speed up the growth of tumors. Too much sugar consumption causes insulin resistance, as well as a specific protein to be released from your pancreas. This protein causes your cells to replicate and become immortal, which is how pre-cancerous cells can begin to take over.

Cancer cells prefer glucose over oxygen, but our mitochondria can’t use the glucose as energy. White blood cells are our immune system’s soldiers, and need vitamin C to function properly. A cancer patient needs lots of healthy white blood cells to fight the disease, however, sugar blocks the absorption of vitamin C in our bloodstream, weakening our immune system.

In summary, sugar causes cancer cells to reproduce and thrive, and blocks the mechanisms that would slow down or kill cancer cells and tumors.


Sugar addiction runs deep, and can be hard to kick. Stay tuned for Dr. J’s thoughts on artificial sweeteners, approaches to beating sugar addiction, and healthy alternatives for sugar.

Click here to talk to a functional medicine doctor about staying healthy this holiday season!

Aarn Farmer – How to Lose 200 Pounds and Keep It Off – Podcast #148

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Aarn Farmer talk about how to super charge your body to be a fat burning machine. Aarn reviews the bad habits that caused him to gain over 200 pounds of fat as well as the struggle he went through to start creating healthy sustainable habits that allowed his body to start burning his excess fat reserves. 

Creating simple new habits allowed a massive hormonal shift to occur which favored the activation of fat burning hormones and enzymes like hormone sensitive lipase and glucagon while helping to lower his high levels of insulin. 
Listen to this inspiring story and learn how these amazing changes occurred. 

Aarn Farmer

In this episode, we will cover: 

02:12   Bad Habits Leading to Obesity

08:57   Sugar and Weight Loss

13:30   Obesity is Malnourishment

20:12   Small Amounts of Insulin Stops Weight Loss

31:17   Estrogen is a Fat Storage Hormone








Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, everyone. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. We got a live podcast today with Aaron Farmer from Aarn has lost over 200 pounds in the last few years and we’re excited to kind of pick his brain a little bit and get some of the brain candy that’s really helped him lose all his weight. So, I’m excited to have that conversation. We’re gonna dig in to the nitty-gritty, and really excited to welcome Aarn to the podcast. Aarn, [inaudible]…

Aarn Farmer: Thank you so much for having me. Thanks. Thank you, Justin. I’m excited about getting to share my story and so, I appreciate you inviting me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, thank you. I was on your podcast a few weeks back, and great podcast; lots of great info and knowledge bombs that were dropped. And, we’re gonna…

Aarn Farmer: Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …drop some today, so very excited.

Aarn Farmer: Yep, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, first off, I like to kind of just figure out what the habits are that got you to where you were in the first place? So, you were what? Up to 400 and something pounds? Is that correct?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. I was– I was 400 pounds, and the big issue that I had was my blood pressure. So, my blood pressure was 200/160. I was 400 pounds, and when– when I saw that blood pressure, uhm– and that wasn’t even– that was just kind of my normal blood pressure. It actually spiked even higher than that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: On one occasion, it was 237/180, and the [stutter] the paramedics wouldn’t treat me. They wouldn’t do anything with me. They were – they were pretty sure that I wasn’t long for this world. So, when I saw that and I realized that blood pressure had killed both of my maternal grandparents. And then since then, uhm – since all these has happened, my father passed away from a stroke…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.

Aarn Farmer: …due to, you know, high blood pressure, so I’ve got a really strong family history of blood pressure and obesity and all these things going on. So, I really had to kind of come to grips with the fact that if I didn’t make change that – you know, that I just, I just wasn’t gonna be long for this world. So, I really had to figure out what to do and how to do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So, you were very motivated to make these changes. Now let me…

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …kind of back up. So, walk me through the habits that you had in your life that caused you to put on all this weight. What was your diet like back then and your habits? Can you give me just a– I know on this show we tend to like, “Hey, what’d you eat today?” It’s kind of like a healthy thing…

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …to model people. Now, we’re kind of going in back– back in time and saying, “What were you eating to get that big? What was your daily routine like?”

Aarn Farmer: The biggest thing – the biggest thing that really, relly got me was I love just my soft drinks. [clears throat] And uhm – I had made the switch at some point over to diet soft drinks, but as we now know that diet soft drinks don’t really do a whole lot for you in terms of keeping you from gaining weight, as opposed to regular soft drinks. Yeah, they have less sugar in it but for whatever reason, every time somebody does some science on it, you see the same weight gain, or lack of weight loss when you switch to diet. So, I had switched over diet but, man, I was drinking– you know. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a Double Big Gulp but it’s like 60 – it’s pretty much a gallon or two liter of coke. And I had to at least one of those a day, if not two. And, you know, then have– you know, snacks, and I was a typical sugar-burner. I was eating food every three or four hours and not– could not really go very long without a snack, and eating, you know, crappy foods. My wife and I, we’re raising four kids, so we were just trying to eat the cheapest food we could possibly eat, which was on, as always, carbohydrates, you know, a lot of potatoes, a lot of rice, a lot of bread. Uhm– and uhm– the uh – but I didn’t– I thought I was eating pretty healthy. I just didn’t know what healthy food was. So, uhm– that was pretty much it. It was just the cheapest food possible and soft drinks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. I’m actually going live here on Facebook as we’re chatting, so we got Facebook here, live as well. We’re here with Aarn [crosstalk] Farmer and he has lost 200 pounds. Again, we just talked about Aarn’s habits that caused him to gain that weight in the first place. The couple of big habits were thee soft drinks, the sodas, the excessive carbohydrate, and then also the excessively cheap food. Again, we have cheap food, right? The government subsidizes 20 billion dollars per year for corn, for soy, for grains, so it tends to be a lot of grain-heavy trans-fat kind of junkie nutrient-poor foods. So that’s kind of what your daily routine was, soda, soft drinks. You were a sugar-burner constantly having to eat sugar…

Aarn Farmer: Constantly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …to you just pumping Insulin all day long.

Aarn Farmer: Hmmn. And that’s– you have to do that if you want to get to 400 pounds. I didn’t know that at the time, but you’ve got to keep your Insulin levels just as high as they can possibly go to get to [crosstalk] 400 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you know your levels were at? You know what your Insulin or blood sugar A1C [inaudible]…

Aarn Farmer: You know, here’s the– here’s the crazy thing is that we got tested every, you know, every year so that we would in and get tested, and my A1C’s– I don’t what they were but every time I get them tested, they were never at a diabetic level because my wife had Type II diabetes. So, hers were getting tested same time and she was creeping up to a diabetic range but my A1Cs were staying – I mean, they were going up but they weren’t to the point where a doctor ever told me, “Hey, you’ve got Type II diabetes.” I did have a doctor tell me that I had metabolic syndrome, which is a little bit different but my A1Cs were not terrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, A1Cs weren’t bad. Do you have any fasting Insulin numbers? Any idea what those were like?

Aarn Farmer: No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. Did you ever do a fasting glucose at all?

Aarn Farmer: Nope. No, I wouldn’t fast to– I wouldn’t have done that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it, totally. So, then you gained these 400 pounds over what, a decade? Two decades? What did that look like?

Aarn Farmer: Let’s say, probably two decades, because I really know I was having a problem when I was about 40, but I’ve been – I’m one of those people that have been overweight my entire life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, you know, I was overweight in elementary school, in junior high, in high school, in college, and I wasn’t 400 pounds but I was always, you know, one of the bigger kids in the class. So, there’s never been a time that I’ve been, you know, thin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And you went from your heaviest to what? What was your heaviest? 400 and what?

Aarn Farmer: Well, [clears throat] I thought it was about 400 pounds but the truth of the matter is – is that my scale only went up to 400 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: So, often it was just e– I was just a big old dude. In fact, uhm – let me show you something here. I keep this around as motivation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And on your website too, at, you have a pretty good before and after up there too. I saw.

Aarn Farmer: Oh, yeah. Yeah. That– I’m sorry, but that’s it. Yeah. So, I put I’ve got a picture of me of what I look like, and I was probably right around 400 pounds at that time. And, just– like I said, just a big old guy. I mean, I was just a– you know, I put a lot of weight, and we put on that much weight, you kind of– oh, I don’t know. You kind of fool yourself into thinking that it’s not that bad, and uh–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …so, you kind of, just kind of justify it, but I’m showing your– your– Oop! [clears throat]. What happened there? Tsk, urrgh! Sometimes, technology just escapes me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, [crosstalk] no problem.

Aarn Farmer: It’s big, this guy, isn’t it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: That’s me, and that’s my wife. That’s me about 400 pounds. That’s my wife about a hundred pounds heavier than she is now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You guys lost it together. You guys lost over three hundred pounds together.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Amazing. That’s good. So, you’re over 400 pounds, and now you’re at 198 today. What was – like, what was that “Aha! Moment” for you? Was it a book that you saw? Was it a gym or podcast?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Was it a doctor Atkins type of thing? What was that info? What was that flash that uhm– [inaudible]

Aarn Farmer: In the space, two or three weeks, there are three to four things that happened. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Enough to make me think, “Oh! Well, maybe I should look at this.” So, the first thing that I ever read was a Yohoo – Yahoo, sorry. Yahoo health article, written by woman named Eve Schaub. He wrote a book, “A Year of No Sugar,” and she was telling me about how she went without sugar and all the things that happened because she didn’t have sugar. And the thing, she wasn’t overweight. She just did it to see what would happen. But, in it she– in the article, she mentioned that she– you might lose weight if you go without sugar. And, her book was on sell for, like, three dollars, so I happened to have three to four dollars on an Amazon gift card. I bought her book, and started to read it. And in the book, she mentioned Dr. Lustig’s videos, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ah. The Bitter Truth, yes.

Aarn Farmer: And I was like– and, boy! That video, he just – Dr. Lustig pretty much just read my mail and he went through everything that I have dealt with. You know, all the stuff that I was messing with in my health, and just said that sugar, sugar, sugar, you know, at the root of all this. So, I decide, “Okay. I’m done with sugar. I’m not gonna eat sugar anymore.” And uh– and uh – So, that’s actually when I started my sugar-free journey. That’s where that name came from, because I just wasn’t gonna eat sugar because I listed that as out. And, the only reason that website existed in the beginning was just so I could start [inaudible] information. You know, I was learning, and I wanted to – I wanted to have one place I could put my thought. Because it really – I mean it was a public blog but I wouldn’t tell anybody about it at the beginning. I just– it was– it was for me. And then, within probably two weeks of me watching that video, I – one of the podcast I listened to was uh– is uh– uhm– smart– Uh, gosh! Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. Pat Flynn, yeah.

Aarn Farmer: And so, he had a guy on named Vennie Torturidge.  Vennie Torturidge was talking about how he was having a lot of success having people [inaudible] grains. So, I – I said, “What? You know what? I’m already not eating sugars. Not that big a deal then to cut that grains too, if it will help, it will help. And so, not eating sugars and grains was really the big [inaudible] that started me down the path. [crosstalk] And I probably lost the first hundred pounds or so. Just not eating sugars and grains.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love that. People…

Aarn Farmer: That’s how it all started.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. People forget like grains convert to sugar. I know a lot of people and like the weight loss community are just conventional health community. They think of like sugar as like, “Oh. It’s refined sugar. It’s got a sate on the back. It’s got a sate sugar. People forget that higher carbohydrate foods like higher fructose fruits or higher starches, especially grains can convert to sugar. Also, the inflammatory effects of grains, right?

Aarn Farmer: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Grains can also drive a lot of inflammation with the gluten sensitivity which can jack up your Cortisol, too, right?

Aarn Farmer: I didn’t know anything about the inflammation part of it, but I realize very quickly how inflamed I was, but I didn’t put the two together. So, almost three to four months of just not eating grains, I was – I got in the car, and I went to pull on the seatbelt. And my wedding ring flew off of my finger, and lost it. I mean, I still [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Aarn Farmer: …for hours.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …that much weight around your extremities.

Aarn Farmer: But it wasn’t – it wasn’t the weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh.

Aarn Farmer: It was the inflammation…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Inflammation of course.

Aarn Farmer: …because I hadn’t lost a lot of weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hmm. Yep.

Aarn Farmer: It wasn’t the swelling in my hands that [crosstalk] gone down to point right. The ring got shot off my finger. So, I didn’t realize the reason for that until later. Until I started learning about the inflammatory agents in that grain is. And I realized that I was so inflamed that [inaudible] swell [inaudible]. And now, you know, I look at my hands like [inaudible], like the veins in my hand and my forearm and stuff, I can never see veins or anything. My hands were just too puffy. I can’t see anything like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. People forget, like think about, you know, you are back to the day maybe you got a blackeye or something. What happens, right, when that inflammatory compounds…

Aarn Farmer: Supposed of.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …you got a less swelling, a histamine comes in that kind vasodilates, so the immune system kind of come in to fight it. Now, imagine like, little microscopic blackeyes throughout your whole body. Histamine’s higher, inflammation’s higher. You got all these Nuclear Factor KappaBbeta into Leukine cytokines. All of these things are driving inflammation. And then inflammation, right, tends to cause Cortisol to come about because Cortisol’s the natural firehose for the fire of inflammation. And Cortisol jacks up your blood sugar even more. So, you get this vicious cycle of having extra sugar in your diet to begin with, and then you were driving it higher with all of the stress hormones from all of the inflammation, right?

Aarn Farmer: Yep, and it was – it was like, you know – it’s a vicious cycle that you don’t realize that you’re in because, you know, just like the frog that’s in the pot of boiling water that heated that degree and the pot just– you know, the fog just stays in there until it boils to death. That’s what happens when you put on late, you know, pound and time, pound and time until– you know. The average American puts on one to three pounds of weight a year. You just don’t notice it when it’s that– when it’s that uhm– what would you call it? When it’s that gradual. Until one day you wake up and you’re, you know a hundred pounds overweight or two hundred pounds overweight, and you’ve realized that – that you’ve really done damage to your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. And people forget too that when you – people think well, you know, we have this issue with excess calories and excess nourishment when you’re overweight, or when you’re obese. People don’t understand that you’re actually malnourished. You have so much sugar and so much carbohydrate coming in, your body is in a storage mode, and it can’t– it’s not actually able to tap in to that fuel because Insulin, it’s kind of like, you know– When you’re the conductor on the train tracks, you push it and the train goes one way or the other. When Insulin’s high like that. It’s taking all of that sugar and it’s putting into the fat cell and storing it. And all of that fat that’s in storage– all of those millions of calories of fat can’t be used. Because once the storage track is on, a burning track can’t be on. So, then you got all of this fuel, all of this energy that can’t be used at all. It’s like being– another analogy would be it’s like being a captive at sea, and all those waters around you can’t drink it because there’s too much salt in it, and it will throw off your electrolytes.

Aarn Farmer: I didn’t realize how crazy it was to be as overweight as I was and always hungry. I didn’t put that together, that I had all this extra weight. All this extra energy– and by all rights, I should have never been hungry, but yet I couldn’t put enough food in my mouth. And then as soon as I lowered my Insulin, I don’t get hungry very much at all anymore. [clears throat]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. It’s amazing, so part of what you done was you modulated your hormones like it wasn’t a calorie thing with you. You modulated your hormones. You dropped Insulin, Insulin that affected Leptins, so then you actually felt satiated, right? So, you could actually take a breath and get a Kale. I feel good. Ghrelin got under checked. So, ghrelin is the stomach growling hormone. So then, your growling’s under checked. Your inflammation’s better, and then your body actually started burning fat for fuels. Is that correct?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. So, I want to talk about this whole– the calorie idea because if there’s any one thing that I get on Twitter, I get flagged about it and when I talk to, you know, [inaudible] in our field, it really turns into an argument. And, uhm– the idea is that, “Oh. You lost weight. You lost 200 pounds because you cut back calories.” And uh – what most people have to understand is that’s just not true. What I did was, I lowered Insulin, and in the process of lowering Insulin, I eventually got around to cutting out calories because I wasn’t as hungry as much. But cutting out calories was not the cause of my weight loss. It was the effect. It was the thing that came stuck [inaudible].

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo! Bingo!

Aarn Farmer: [clears throat] And so, I want to make sure that I’m very, very clear about the cause and effect of my weight loss. I didn’t pursue cutting calories. I pursued lowering my Insulin levels and repairing my Insulin resistance. And then, as soon as I did that, the calories took care of themselves. I never counted a single calorie. I couldn’t care less how many calories I eat during the day. All I want to do is make sure that do not eat foods that cause an Insulin spike or any kind of glucose load on my system. And if I’ll do that, the calories will take care of themselves.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hundred percent. People forget this component, and some of the studies – one of the studies by Christopher Gardner back in 2006 was called the A to Z Study, where they looked at the Atkins versus the Standard American Diet versus the Ornish. One of things that was interesting was – It was ad libitum, so, the “at will”. You can eat as much as you want. And they did find that the people on the Atkins or the lower carbohydrate group did drop their calories. The difference is willpower was not a part of it. We basically upregulated these feedback loop. By dropping the Insulin resistance, we improve Leptin. Leptin’s a signal for satiation, and that part of the transfer’s lateral nucleus in the hypothalamus that tells your body you’re satiated. That then drops down ghrelin. Ghrelin is the stomach growling hormone. So, when your stomach’s not growling and you’re not having cravings, it’s amazing. You start eating the right stuff. And then you have CCK, which gets increased with protein and fat. You have Peptide YY. You’ve add a Panoctine. All of these foods, all of these neurochemicals are stimulated by you choosing the right foods, the healthy proteins and fats, and decreasing the inflammation. So, now you got this feedback loop that gives you the power– gives you the willpower back.

Aarn Farmer: yeah, and this is– a lot of times, if somebody’s doing a study where they’re comparing, you know, a low carb versus a low-fat diet uhm– like, uhm– what’s his name? Gary Taubes. He had a scientific…

 Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Aarn Farmer: …you know, thing that he did. [crosstalk] Yeah. So, they did– [crosstalk] They did a study there where they were comparing low-carb and low-fat. And– but they held calories constants. So, both groups had to eat the same number of calories.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Aarn Farmer: And then at the end there like well, you know, there’s no discernable difference. And I was like, “You know, you took out the one thing that makes a high-fat low-carb diet work, which is when you eat– you know, when you eat LCHF, you don’t have to eat it. you don’t have to eat as many carbohydrates. And so, you removed the one thing, you know that [stutter] appetite regulation that makes a low carb diet work. And once you let them go ad libitum, then you start seeing marked differences, not just in– We see simple marked differences in weight, but you see marked differences in calorie consumption. But not if you– not if you chase calorie consumption first. That’s got to be a variable that can rise and fall at will. That’s when you start seeing the difference.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo! And then also, you’re body’s spitting out those ketones, right? So…

Aarn Farmer: Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …now, you’re a fat burner. So, it’s like you’re on that train track. The conductor’s kind of have a fork in the road. It can neither be a sugar-burner, which that needs. When you’re burning sugar, that means you’re not burning fat. And if you got like millions of calories of fat, and you only can basically have access to a couple hundred grams of carbohydrate at one time, so then basically, you’re relying on a very macro – small – I mean, micro percentage of your fuel and sugar, right? Because, you only can have about a teaspoon of sugar in your blood at one time. So, when you have a hundred [crosstalk] mg for [incomprehensible] health, that’s one teaspoon. Your liver can store about 65-75 grams of carbohydrate. Your muscle store about 300. The rest goes as fat. So, once you tap in to that sugar, all that fat. All of that, in your case, 200 and something pounds of fat couldn’t even be touched. So, you’re basically flipping the switch on the track. So then, you’re going down that fat-burning track versus the sugar-burning track.

Aarn Farmer: Yep. Yeah, and that’s, yeah. And that’s– that’s so– that’s so keen. It’s so crucial is that– you know, it’s the Insulin. And it just takes a– takes a– an incredibly small amount of sugar to stop weight loss. And, especially if you are morbidly obese, because you have Insulin resistance. So, at the beginning, when I was 400 pounds, 350, 300, I could eat [inaudible] food shop. And I was – I was done losing weight for the week. You know, it just made me dump so much Insulin into my system. It took me a long time. It took me a lot of discipline in my diet. But also, a lot of weight train. A lot of weight-bearing exercises to really conquer my Insulin resistance.  So, you know, when I talk to somebody’s morbidly obese, you know, I have to– I have to tell them their body does not react to carbs the way someone else’s, you know, diet. Or someone else’s body does, you know you’d see people that are doing, like a sweet potato cycling, you know, diet. That’s great if you have 20 pounds to lose. But you got 200 pounds to lose and you eat the sweet potato. You’re not gonna lose weight that way. You know, it’s just– it’s just not going to happen for you. You’ve got to conquer your Insulin resistance first, and then if you want to cycle in a sweet potato once in a while that can’t hurt anything. But you’ve to get that Insulin resistance dealt with…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …in the beginning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I think it’s hard because you got a lot of people online, like this higher carb people out there. I mean, let’s just say maybe Chris Kresser or other people like Paul Jaminet. They’re just like– the more leaner they kind of act the more state. They do well with, you know, let’s say a moderate. Kresser’s probably a moderate carb guy, but there are guys like Dean Ornish, or uhm– Nad Yadkin, a guy up in Northern California there. It’ll come to me. But these guys are starch guys. They’ve a lot more Predikins. One of those is well – one more guy. [crosstalk] One more…

Aarn Farmer: Hey, I just watched him on that. What the Health podcast…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes! He was on What the Health. Exactly. I know that he’s clinic’s up at Northern California there. It’ll come to me one second. But these guys are big on starch, like starch is like an essential nutrient for these guys. But when you were Insulin resistant, that means your cells are numb to Insulin, so the amount of Insulin that has to be produced to basically get that sugar into the cell is so much more. Now, I’ll go back to that A to Z study. One thing that Christopher Gardner found in that study, I think, that was profound. He found that the groups that had less than seven units of Insulin lost weight. Whether they were low-carb or low-fat. Now that was profound to me, because the more Insulin sensitive you were, it didn’t necessarily matter what diet you did, right? As long as the calories dropped. Now, the crazy thing was, the group that had the higher levels of Insulin, they only lost the weight when they cut the carbohydrate. So, that’s the profound thing is that when you get a lot of people that are giving advice about diet. And they’re more ectomorphic or more Insulin-sensitive. They may not have the empathy to understand what the Insulin-resistant folks are going through, so I totally get it and I’m kind of on that fence. I do much better with the LCHF or low-carb high-fat kind of moderate protein steak as well. I get that.

Aarn Farmer: And when you– ‘cause I– the [stutter] the big kind of thing to say in the health world is that diet is a– is personally like– You know, everything can be, you know, personalized in what works for this person might not work for that person. And I get what they’re saying in there, but what– the part of the equation that they usually leave out is that the – the one variable [inaudible] Without fail, the one variable that you need to look at first and foremost is Insulin resistance. And once you– once you can determine the level of Insulin resistance, you can– you can figure out what diet will be working– you know, good for them. If someone is Insulin-sensitive, they can go like, you say, they didn’t do almost anything to lose weight. When someone is really, really Insulin-resistant, you’ve got to cut carbs because there’s no other way. That’s what uh– Doctor [inaudible]. He did the– Oh. He just passed away. I can’t think of his name. But he did the uhm– The Insulin Resistance Studies, where he did like a five-hour glucose monitor test, and he put them in four-five different categories, depending on uhm– depending on how Insulin resistant they were.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, there is a– I forget his name. It’ll come to me, just– but there is a mechanism to determine how Insulin-resistant someone is. And if you can do that test and determine that you– that is the [inaudible] that you can look at to determine which diet is good for you. Or, you can skip all that and just go– just go, you know, low-carb high-fat, and that’ll work for almost– almost everyone. i haven’t really found anyone that it doesn’t work for.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. My wife is pregnant right now. We’re having our first child then next month but we would do functional glucose tolerance testing with her and we’d see how she respond after our meal. But you know, she would be – the goal would be to both be below 120 within two hours. And ideally – ideally, a hundred within two hours but below 120 within two hours in the blood sugar meter. And we should add a little bit of starch in there. It would definitely linger up. Or if she add a little bit of starch but she went for a 30-minute walk after dinner, the blood sugar dropped better then as well. So, we noticed that if she added a little bit of starch, she needed a little bit of walk. And if she wasn’t walking, she’d be really careful with the carbohydrates. So, we could see that with the blood sugar monitoring, which is great.

Aarn Farmer: And, you know, just blood sugar’s a fuel. You know, if it’s in your blood, you’ve got to use it to store it. So, if you give that – that fuel something to do, go for a walk, lift something heavy. You know, do some kind of physical activity. You’re gonna burn off that blood sugar and then get to the point where you are burning fat again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Hundred percent. And the starch guy I was thinking, that was Dr. McDougall. McDougall was…

Aarn Farmer: McDougall, that’s exactly right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, McDougall. Now, the big thing too is – alright, great. So, you lose all this fat. Now, you also got to put muscle on, right? Because, when you’re Insulin-resistant, it’s also hard to put muscle on because your body is in such a stressed-out state, it’s putting on all this fat. It’s gonna also have a hard time putting on muscles. So, a lot of people wo gained fat can also be kind of Sarcopenic, unless they’re doing a lot of lifting and such too. So, getting the lifting going’s important because lifting increases Insulin sensitivity. It increases the amount of GLUT4 receptors, on– in your the body. And GLUT4 helps grab sugar or glucose and pull it in the muscle to be burned. [crosstalk] So, imagine your kid puts a, you know, makes a huge mess on the table. Imagine you have a small little sponge this big or this huge big sponge that you wash your car with, right? The huge [crosstalk] big sponge got to sop up that mess like that. Think of that’s what muscle is for your blood sugar. So, I’m just curious. What’s your take on that and what did you do afterwards to help increase muscle mass. And– and would you notice because of it?

Aarn Farmer: Well, definitely, the muscle mass went up. In fact, the– I was pretty happy, so I do [inaudible] the exercise. I used to do like really heavy lifting, like do strong lifts and everything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: And I just – I got to the point where I was hurting myself a little bit. I thought, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” And, uhm– so, I do – I’ll ride my bike, at least half an hour a day. I walk my dog, and she’s a [inaudible] though. I walk her, you know, for about a half an hour a day. It’s about a mile walk. And then, the weightlifting exercise I do is kettlebell because I can just go grab my kettlebell and stand in my living room and pop that out in 20 or 30 minutes. And it works out my legs. It works out my back. It works out my butt. It works out my arms, my shoulders. And it’s just one motion that does a bunch of different things, [crosstalk] which actually…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love kettlebell. It’s so great.

Aarn Farmer: …because I don’t…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One thing, It’s awesome.

Aarn Farmer: I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it, but it does. So, what I’ve noticed was that it was the weight-bearing exercise, more than anything else. It was the weight-bearing exercise that allowed me to really break my Insulin resistance. Not that it’s perfect but, boy, it’s a heck of a lot better now than it was at 400 pounds. In fact, I remember the day I was probably about 230? 230 or 240 pounds or so. We went out to eat and I had some chips and sauce at a little Mexican restaurant. Cheese, a little bit. And so, I expected to not be able to lose weight for, you know, five or six days, usually what it was. And, two days after I had those chips, I was back down to losing weight. And I really, really celebrated that day because that’s when I realize that my Insulin resistance had to reduce, you know, a lot. And the muscle training I was doing was getting me to the point where I was able to eat– not that I really want to eat carbs, but if I did eat carbs, they had some place to go and something to do in my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I’m a big fan. If you’re gonna cheat a little bit, try doing a little bit of resistance training or burst training before. It’s like, ring me off that sponge, and now you can have – you can soak it up a little better. So, I like that. Now, when you were kind of on that journey, did you see any other issues with your thyroid, with any other metabolic issues that you noticed that you had to address as well?

Aarn Farmer: No. My wife had some thyroid issues, and uhm – so we’ve had to – we’ve had to keep that looked at and really kind of monitor closely. Elrest– I don’t know if you’re familiar with her, but she wrote a book, The [inaudible] Solution, I believe is the name of it. And I actually got her on my podcast and kind of grilled her [laughs]. That’s what stuff do to her. She was very, very helpful about some things that we need to do for Diane. And I tell you one thing that might be– your listeners might not– might not know. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Is one of the– one of the things that you can do for thyroid health is, believe it or not, it’s to throw away Morton salt, and switch on to a really high-quality seabed salt, something that has Iodine in it and something that has Potassium chloride and not– where it’s not just Sodium. You’ve actually got these other trace minerals…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Other minerals in there.

Aarn Farmer: It was when we switched from Morton’s over to this real salt, and Himalayan uh – Pink Himalayan salt that we started seeing a little bit of movement in her thyroid. And then we did a couple test to up her – or change her thyroid medicine. I forget what the changes were but that was the only thing that I saw that had to change. But in my own health, no man. I was textbook, man. My triglycerides dropped like a rock. My HTL went up. My LDL went down. My blood pressure went down, you know, 50 points. You know, it was pretty much every good thing that you can think of, you know, to happen to me happened to me. I was predictable. Now, I’m a guy, so you know, it was– guys are a little bit, I think– I have more experience with this, but I think guys are– usually have an easier time losing weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Because we don’t have, you know, we don’t have this many hormonal things going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Estrogen kind of teams up with Insulin, right? It’s kind of a fat storage hormone as well, where guys have ten times more testosterone. So, that kind of drives more of the muscle growth, which then drives the fats out. Women had this extra kind of variable with estrogen that definitely compacts and makes the Insulin worse for sure.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, and so, there’s a lot more going on with women than men, so– you know, I’m very sensitive to that too, because, you know, I’d say, hormonally, women are, you know, swiss watches and mini bricks. There’s just not as many moving parts in men that you have to deal with, you know, as compared to women.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes sense. I see that all the time. I’ve primarily treat women, so I get that. Now, walk me through like the biggest, like the three biggest changes. So, you made this, you know, this change. You saw Dr. Ludwig’s – or Dr. Lustig’s video…

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …Sugar: The Bitter, yeah. Dr. Lutwig is another doctor over at Harvard there, so their kind of two of the same. But you mentioned that you saw this video, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” Great video to watch. We’ll put it in the show notes. What were the changes outside of cutting some of the carbohydrate and glucose and grains out? What other three changes that you made that really made a difference. You mentioned the sea salt also helped too. What else?

Aarn Farmer: So, I started paying attention to what I was eating because I – what I mean is – is that because I wasn’t eating as much, I need to make sure that what I was eating was the highest quality food that I could afford. So, you know, like when I would eat bacon, I would try to get a Nitrate-free and [crosstalk] sugar-free bacon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah, Pasteur-fed bacon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …when I was eating a beef, I was doing my bet to get either grass-fed, or if could afford it, grass-fed and grass-finished. If I, you know– if I could – if I could do that. Uhm– my– I’m really lucky that my next door neighbor, like literally, my next door neighbor sells uh– sells uh– pasteuri– [crosstalk] bad eggs as one tries to say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: So, he sells those for five bucks a dozen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it.

Aarn Farmer: So, I can get high-quality eggs pretty much everytime that I want.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great deal.

Aarn Farmer: Uhm– so, told you about salt. So, I really paid attention to the uhm– to my uh – I really paid attention to the quality of food I was putting into not just my body but my wife’s body too. I want to make sure that we were getting the most bang for our buck. I started taking Magnesium. I realized that I was Magnesium-deficient. Uhm – and I started taking a very high-quality Magnesium, which…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Makes sense.

Aarn Farmer: I – you know, I was really surprised at uhm – at the effect the Magnesium had on me, because it was – It was when I started taking Magnesium that I started to see the biggest drops in my blood pressure, because, you know, Magnesium just relaxes you, relaxes your muscles, relaxes your blood vessels. It just – it just relaxes you. And uh – so when I started taking that Magnesium, that was a big factor in my blood pressure dropping. In fact, I think that was a big factor. And why it was so high for so long is…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …because I was eating such crappy food that I was – I was probably, totally deficient in Magnesium. And uh – so that I was glad that – I was glad that I found it. I just got to stumble, you know, on that. And uhm – and then the other thing was just keeping my fats up, you know, I– [stutter] I have focused on fats as the most important part of my diet. I’ve made sure that fat was, you know, I looked at the fat first before I started looking at the other parts of – of you know, of any particular meal that I was eating, and made sure that I was getting enough fat and made sure that at least 60 percent of my diet was fat. So, no carbs, 60 percent of it are [inaudible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Then a lot of good healthy [incomprehensible], right?

Aarn Farmer: …carbs. And all of my carbs are complex. But yeah. Monounsaturated fat with olive oil, butter, lots of animal fat, and then, you know, green leafy vegetables and uh–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: [inaudible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right on. And, any opinion on this coconut kind of stuff, let’s just say, hysteria that’s coming out of the American Heart Association? What do you think about that?

Aarn Farmer: Johnny Sears had a uh – I think that’s his name he had a great video. I don’t know if you saw it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: But it is so good, where he had said, “You know, the American [crosstalk] Dietary Association is American, and guess what America doesn’t grow. America doesn’t really grow coconuts. So, there’s no financial incentive to incentivize people to eat coconuts. If you’re an American dietetics so she is because coconuts are an important food. But, guess what America grows a ton of? [crosstalk] It grows a ton of soy bean, weed, corn and there’s a ton of incentive to incentivize people to eat canola oil and, you know, to eat these polyunsaturated fats and corn oil, and cottonseed oil. And that’s, you know, that’s something that we, as Americans, we grow on abundant – in abundance. And, I think it’s really disingenuous, and that really used to be a ricketing with the screw, because the – they’re giving out – I mean, you could – you could forgive them in the beginning because, you know, some of this – there’s a lot of bad information out there. But, you know, were 50 years down the road. I mean, we’ve – Tina – new titles books has been out for a decade now, almost.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: There’s really no excuse to not have the science. And if that’s your field, if that’s what you’re all about – is fat and dangers of fat, you need to have kept up with the science. You need to kept up with studies and realize that, you know, the science has moved on. It has left your really terrible advice behind. So, I’m…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …pro coconut oil.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I am too. I mean, saturated fats tend to be very stable. I’m more concerned about a lot of the refined either, you know, unste – refined polyunsaturated fats, especially the refined omega-6 ones that come from the vegetable oils that tend to be extracted in ways that have lots of heat and come in a very unnatural way that, basically, destroys the fat. And number two, if you look at coconut oil, right? If you look at saturated fat, when you take, it– it may increase your cholesterol a tiny bit if it does. But it will also increase your HTL and decrease your triglycerides. So, you see the improvement in your ratio many times. Your HTL to triglyceride ratio tends to get better less than to or closer to one-to-one. And a lot of the older studies that look at the coconut oil and saturated fat. They don’t really factor out the trans-fats, [crosstalk] so they kind of lump in trans-fat with saturated fat. And once you control for those variables, you take out those confounding variables, you see a massive improvement. And actually, there goes 2010 or 2011, I met Dr. Robert Lustig at [crosstalk] American Heart Association event. It was a fundraiser. I went to it. But again, there’s a lot of funding in and around in the American Heart Association that, you know, may create some conflicts of interest with a lot of processed food companies in United States. So, we got to be careful. We got to look at the confounding variables. I understand people that are in the documentary What the Health, and they talk so poorly about animal products. They don’t really differentiate between CAFO feedlot types of, let’s say, animals and the good grass-fed beef or the Pasteur-fed chickens. They kind of lump it in into all and one big bucket. And we know we kind of have to differentiate that, right?

Aarn Farmer: have you – have you ever had The Vegetarian Myth?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is that by Lierre Keith?

Aarn Farmer: Lierre Keith, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes…

Aarn Farmer: Fascinatedly, but I’m actually reading it right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …a lot of interviews where she’s broken down a lot of the key concepts and points. But yeah, I’m familiar with Lierre’s work.

Aarn Farmer: So, in the books she – it’s [stutters] even more militant, I guess, is probably…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …the best word of her opinions. And you know, she makes a very, very compelling point that Veganism is killing the planet. That once you start, you know, basically destroying huge slots of the American heartland to plant corn, and you know, these big monocrops. That you are condemning that area to die, and that’s, you know, she makes the point…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: …that, you know, the Middle East used to be a garden. You know, there were seeders in Lebanon. There were, you know, it was the garden of – it was the cradle of civilization, and look at it now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: It’s because they– they over-farmed, they over– they, you know. They overconsumed the resources of land and now it’s just a, you know, it’s just a desert. You know, there’s nothing anywhere. And that’s what we’re endangered doing to our self. And so, you know that– what the – that What the Health documentary. The guy that uh – I forget which one. Which, well, Vegan person said it but the – it said that, you know, sugar has no bearing on diabetes, that diabetes is caused by dietary fat. I’m like, “What?” You know, where are you getting this? There’s no, there’s no scientific basis for this…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the mechanism–

Aarn Farmer: …at all

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What’s the mechanism? We know the diagnosis of diabetes has to do with your blood sugar being – blood sugar being over a 126 milligrams/deciliter above, and one-tenth for pre-diabetes. So, walk me through the mechanism. Walk me through your thinking at how fat, which has zero sugar in it, the zero – very gluconeogenesis that happens. How does that increase your blood sugar? It doesn’t.

Aarn Farmer: It doesn’t. And so, these doctors are getting on – and you know that –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Insane.

Aarn Farmer: …they all [incomprehensible] about science. Science progressing one funeral at a time. You know, a lot of these Vegan doctors, unfortunately, are gonna have to, you know, that are gonna have to go away before the next generation of nutritionist are able to stand out and say, “Oh my gosh. We’ve had it wrong for 50 years. We’ve got to – we’ve got to make some serious changes to the what we’re telling the American public.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And to get adequate proteins at least you have to get to do a lot of food combining, which tends to, you know, to get an adequate amount of protein and being a vegetarian, and not doing protein powders, you typically have to get at least 250 to 300 grams of carbohydrate a day. And if your Insulin resistant, that’s probably gonna be too much. Now, if you’re really [crosstalk] sensitive…

Aarn Farmer: Way too much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …side and doing a lot of exercise, you may be able to get away with it. again, the benefit that you get from animal proteins is you get really good healthy saturated fats, especially if it’s grass-fed or fish, and such. But then you also get some really good protein with all those sugar and carbohydrate.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you agree?

Aarn Farmer: Absolutely. And that’s, you know, your body is made of fats and proteins. There’s no, you know– there’s no essential carbohydrate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know.

Aarn Farmer: You know there’s no need for grains. And you’re not made of grains. You’re made of– you’re an animal. You’re made of animal stuff…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …just to go eat animal stuff. And uh– you know, I was – that was the thing that have really was how quickly my – uh – it may took a three and a half years to lose 200 pounds but how quickly all of the othere markers of metabolic disease…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: …just disappeared as soon as I took those sugars and grains out. It just– everything…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Aarn Farmer: Everything evaporated. And I was a much healthier person two weeks after I started this diet. You know, even though you couldn’t see the change in my body, I was a far healthier person. You know, really, really, really early on, just by – just buy eating what I was supposed to eat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. That makes a lot of sense to me. I think we hit all the key points here.

Aarn Farmer: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is there anything else you wanted to add here, Aarn?

Aarn Farmer: No, I just – I wanted to invite people to come over to the blog. If they want to come to kind of read what I’m doing., I have a podcast. You can find it there on the front page. Uhm– I do also have a program where I mail at a Ketogenic meal plan every week. If you like to sign up for that, it’s at because there’s a 28-day training program that goes on with it. And that get you into a whole like an exclusive Facebook group, with a bunch of peers, about a thousand people in there that are using the Ketogenic diet to lose weight and to restore their health. And were doing some really amazing things in that room. So, you guys can come check that out: my if you’d like to join us there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it. That’s great. And one thing I want to add is– there’s one kind of controversial areas where you have if you go low-carbohydrate and high-fat, there’s some people I find that if they go too low-carb and then maybe more on the Insulin-sensitive side that the potential Cortisol response that they get from being lower carb for too long for them, may cause excess sugar from the Cortisol Response. That’s kind of one variable it’s not with everyone, but I do find the people that may have a negative consequence or negative experience going low-carbohydrate, they may actually find their blood sugar gets better when they gently up some of the carbohydrates. So, kind of mind-default template is: always start lower carb higher fat moderate protein. Hit the wall. Some people never hit the wall, and they just feel great and do great, and some actually, increasing the carbohydrates 10 to 15 grams per week, they may find a sweet spot, where some of the hair loss or cold hands or cold feet or the energy symptoms pick up. So, default is…

Aarn Farmer: Do you ever [incomprehensible]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go ahead, yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Do – I was gonna ask if somebody that does that, do you ever find that– that after say – say six months of kind of – of bringing their carbs back up, they fake and then lower the carbs again, and see that once they’ve kind of – they kind of easing into it a little bit. Do you – do you ever find that that – that response goes away over time?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. What tends to happen is: there tends to be like a cyclical thing that happens where they cycle the carbohydrates up a little bit. They tend to be able to go back down and not quite have those symptoms again. So, they may be kind of a cyclical fashion to it. And you know, evolution. Early it makes sense because, you know, there may be some famine. We don’t eat as much. Maybe the carbohydrate’s restricted. Maybe it’s just meat. Maybe it’s the winter time. And then, “Hey. Spring comes.” We got all this berries and things to harvest.

Aarn Farmer: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We eat a little bit, and then we go back to this kind of lower carbohydrate mode based on the season. So, it makes sense from that perspective.

Aarn Farmer: Even then, you were talking about complex carbohydrates. You’re not saying I need a piece of bread, or white bread, or something they used to say and eat more, like squash, zucchini, you know, carrots, onions, you know…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Aarn Farmer: Some of the more complex carbohydrates, yeah. [crosstalk] I would– I would agree.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, my recommendations are always anti-inflammatory nutrient-dense, right? Because the nutrient density is important. And the low toxin. So, of course, the carbohydrate should be, you know, maybe some lower fructose fruit, berries, lemon, lime, grape fruit, maybe an orange or apple. And then some of the safer starches: squash, sweet potato, plantains. But then do it incrementally. And even in Atkins in Atkins’ uhm– diet approach. He has, you know, induction, which is the very low carbohydrate ketosis phase. And then he has the OWL, the Ongoing Weight Loss phase, where you hit the wall, you up ten grams of carbs per week. And even Atkins has that kind of calibration thing built into.

Aarn Farmer: Yep, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, any other comments here? Aarn, you dropped some good knowledge bombs I appreciate you walking us through your experience. Anything else?

Aarn Farmer: Yeah. I think the only other thing I would add, for those of you that’s – if you’re listen to this and you are morbidly obese, I just want to encourage you that you’re not – it’s not hopeless for you. That if I can do it, anyone can do it. And there’s no one more addicted to sugar than me. Uhm – and it just took – it just took a couple things I had to d– make sure that I understood why I was doing it. I was keeping that why in front of me. And you know what, in two or three or four years, you’re gonna be three or four years older anyway. There’s nothing you can do about the march of time. But wouldn’t it be nice if in four years, you were a hundred pounds lighter than you are now? Or two hundred pounds lighter? And you can do it, if you just start making the right choices now. And make commitments. Stick with it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aarn, I really appreciate you coming on the show. People like you talking to people that have actually gone through that 200-pound journey, it takes a while but you did it. You got the information. You cut through all this exercise more, eat less crap. You got the real information. You did it. You’re living proof. So, I appreciate you know, the results, right here in front of us. That’s great inspiration. So, if you are at that place, where you’re overweight, you know, a hundred pounds or even fifty pounds, we at least went over some things, some action items that we can do. And Aarn, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I appreciate it.

Aarn Farmer: Hey, it’s a pleasure. I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for having me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Thank you. Have a great day.

Aarn Farmer: Thank you. You do the same.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks.



“A Year of No Sugar” by Eve O. Schaub

“Sugar: The Bitter Truth” by Dr. Robert Lustig (videos)

“The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith

Intermittent Fasting to Improve Fat Loss – Podcast #144

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss about intermittent fasting and the different ways on how it aids in detoxification, fat burning, and improvement of one’s immune function. Listen to them as they share their expertise on how to achieve a successful fast that fits your lifestyle and health status.

Gain an understanding on other types of diet which include conventional, water and juice fasting and learn how these types of diet affect one’s body.

In this episode, we will cover:Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss

02:19   Intermittent Fasting, Water Fasting and Juice Fasting

05:09   Benefits of Water Fasting

14:46   Yo-yo Dieting and Slingshot Effects of mTOR

31:53   Snacking In-Between Meals

36:28   The Brain at a Fasted State







Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are back! Evan, it’s Dr. J. How are we doing today, man?

Evan Brand: Pretty good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Happy July 3rd.

Evan Brand: Happy– Happy July 4th weekend.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. It was well. Excited. I’m working all day seeing patients but tomorrow I will take the day off, and I did good weekend. How is your weekend, so far?

Evan Brand: Good. It’s been great, man.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. Very cool. Well, just so you know, I thought I’d– you know we always, typically, start our day talking about food and kind of about what we had for breakfast. I really haven’t eaten breakfast yet. I’m doing a little fasting thing, but I can give you a little hands-on. My wife made this noodge. It’s great. So, I got a little lid on it. So, we got pasture-fed pork, and then some nice fresh scrambled eggs, pasture-fed eggs, so this is waiting for me cool about the noontime hour. So, I’m getting a little 16-hour intermittent fasting going on here so– I am rocking it, and that kind of dove’s tail into our podcast today on Intermittent Fasting. But, before we dig in, how are you doing, man?

Evan Brand: I feel good. Uhh – I was gonna ask ou about eggs. Are you – you – you’re doing eggs, no problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah, I do eggs, no problem. I mean, I do a pasture-fed, and I, typically, do uhm– my yolk sac. My wife does scrambled. So, if she’s doing them, I’ll just say, “Just take off what– you know, make enough for you and then I’ll just take a little bit extra,” so she isn’t after two different pans. But I like mine. I eat a poached or uhm– just a yolk attack.

Evan Brand: Nice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Awesome. I got a little sparkling mineral water here to keep my throat in line.

Evan Brand: Yam? I got some Matcha here. Might throw it out. Woke up a little scratchy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: The weather’s been weird here so this Matcha’s helping me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Matcha, love it. Cool. Well, we talked about– pre-show, talking about Intermittent Fasting. This is a big topic. I’m a huge fan of it. I do it in ways that make sense, that’s practical. There’s fasting just for the sake of fasting, you know, not eating for let’s say, a couple days, maybe even a week or so; where, you’re keeping your calories, let’s say, one to two hundred calories per day, and you’re getting more, just the minerals in there, maybe some broth and such. Uhm– to help with some of the benefits that may happen with fasting. My opinion – I’m not a huge fan of that kind of fasting. I know Jimmy Moore likes it. My opinion: it takes energy to run your systems, so I’m not a fan of shorting the amount of calories that your body needs per day. Your body, your Krebs cycle and your mitochondria need nutrients to run, and I want to make sure those nutrients are there. So, one of the key components for Intermittent Fasting successfully is, whether it’s a 16/8 or an 18/6, right, 16 or 18 being the time you’re fasting, the 6 or 8 being the time, the window, you are actually eating under– I’m a big fan of getting enough calories in that time frame that you’re actually eating to sustain your body. So if I need 2,500 calories per day, I want to make sure that I’m getting enough calories. That’s really important, because that’s the benefit that you get if you get that 16 to 18 hour window like this, where all the fasting happens, and that’s where you really get the Insulin-sensitivity up, which is great. And you also get the cellular autophagy happening, where you’re recycling a lot of proteins, which do have anti-aging effect on your telomeres– telomeres. And then you have that 68-hour window, whether it’s that 2 to 8 PM, or let’s say, 1 to 9, or 12 to 8, that’s where all your calories are consumed. So, when doing you’re a fast, let’s say, like uhm– the Master Cleanse kind of fast, where you’re maybe just getting a tiny bit of Maple syrup in there, maybe a little bit of minerals to prevent an electrolyte issues. That has some benefits for people that have severe gut issues that they just decrease a lot of their inflammation by not getting any exposure to food, but it’s not good long term, in my opinion uh – for your metabolism ‘cause you are decreasing nutrients. Maybe some benefits to people that are severely Insulin-resistant because they may just get no food, so that can help with Insulin-sensitivity. But then what are you gonna do afterwards after you break that fast. So, again, there’s fasting or there’s ultra-low calorie; not good in the long term, are some benefits though. And then we had Intermittent Fasting, which can play into people that are already relatively healthy. It can be a good modality to add in maybe once or twice a week, or every now and then. Once your hormones and your blood sugar are already in good shape.

Evan Brand: Let’s talk for a brief minute about Water Fasting, Juice Fasting. These are two other things that people do. I had a guy message me the other day. I think it was on Twitter. He said, “Hey. I’m about to break my 7-day Water Fast, any tips?” And I was like, “Whoah! First, I would never recommend a one-week Water Fast to start.” Most people are so nutritionally depleted. They’re so deficient in Vitamins and Minerals and Trace nutrients that a Water Fast is just too intense on the modern person especially due to all the stress we’ve got. Uhm– and then Juice Fasting, you’ve got people who are going to places. Even in Austin, I know that it’s super trendy there, where you’ve got people buying these Six or Seven-Day Juice Fast. However, a lot of the times, it’s not even organic, so you’re getting, probably, a nice…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s nice.

Evan Brand: …nice dose of some glyphosate. Some companies are doing organic green juices…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: But even them, you know, I remember working with people who would go from a conventional diet, eating fast food and then they would go on a Seven-Day Juice Fast or Juice Cleanse and they think that’s a good strategy. And I really don’t. What’s your take on water and/or juice?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great question. So, the benefits that I see people that get from a water fast is number one: if your diet’s just total crap, if you’re just incredibly Insulin-resistant, diabetes, lots of issues, lots of gut issues, there may be some benefit there because you just give your digestive system a whole break, huge break, you’re just giving just enough water to stay hydrated. Ideally, you’re gonna make sure within the water there’s enough minerals so that you’re not getting uh– you know, any Hyponatremia. I mean, there’s no way you’re gonna be getting enough Potassium or minerals so you have to make sure there’s some kind of electrolyte solution that you’re drinking. Uhm – but the benefits are gonna be no stress on the gut. You may be sipping some bone broth if you’re doing something that’s modified. Or you may have an electrolyte-trace mineral solution that you’re drinking, but the benefit is if you’re severely Insulin-resistant, you can reverse that right away, which is nice. And then you give a massive break on the digestive tract so, if your digestion’s really terrible, it can really help give it a break. But, outside of that, those are the major benefits. I’ll let you kind of talk in them. We’ll hit them again.

Evan Brand: Well, so what about– what about the ration though, like if you were gonna promote that, what would be the duration? Surely, not a week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, a few days, a weekend, maybe a good start. People that are severely Insulin-resistant, like the Master Cleanse, where you’re maybe just adding a tiny bit of sugar in there so you’re preventing uh– a drop in, you know, severe drops in blood sugar, maybe beneficial. I’m not a big fan of those kinds of cleanse– cleanses. I’ve heard of doctors that have done it. They have good results, but the problem is, it’s unsustainable. So again, the goal would be to come back into kind of a Paleo template or really good Macronutrient template with actual real food. Now, you may break it. Sorry, I got some– some bubbles here from my Lecroy. I want to…

Evan Brand: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright. So, if you break that though, you want to start breaking it with some kind of uhm– liquid food. It could be a broth, or it could be a gentle soup, or it could be some kind of uh– smoothie, that’s just really easy to digest, so just you’re easing things back into the digestive system. That’s number one. The biggest issue, you have to ease back into food anyway. So, I’m a bigger fan of just making that change with food anyway. The only time I would say, “maybe we should do a modified type of uhm– diet, or moditied– modified type of solid food diet that people have severe digestive issues.” Then I would just work on doing uh– green juices, bone broth, maybe uh– amino– freeform amino acid. So, I kind of break everything into its individual constituents. Right? So, the fatty acids are– are easy to process as possible maybe from MCT Oil or– or Coconut Oil. The proteins are gonna be from freeform amino acid so there all easy to break down. Maybe we add in some extra minerals from a really good green juice that’s organic, of course without the fruit, and then we make sure, you know, enough electrolytes and minerals are in there. So, that’s how I would do it, in my perfect world if someone has severe gut issues, I would try to do it that way. And some people may want to move into a Water Fast to start with if they have severe issues where that’s not working. So, that may be a good first start moving into what I’m saying, but I predicted most people are gonna be able to do what I’m saying, and probably do better because they’re gonna get enough calories, because when you’re not getting enough calories, you’re sending stress signals to your body to turn down the thyroid hormone. So, you’re gonna have more reverse T3, and lower thyroid hormone when you start going lower calorie. So, that’s the reason why I don’t like that, because you’re actually creating a yo-yo diet effect. So then when you start adding food back in, your metabolism will be a little bit weaker. The goal– the reason why, or the goal behind doing that would be that the inflammation reduction on your gut and the improvement with Insulin-resistance outweighs the– the kind of yo-yo slowing out the metabolism effect. I think you can get both. I’m just kind of playing devil’s advocate, pros and cons for each. So, severe Insulin-resistance, severe gut issues, maybe a benefit for a few day to a week-long fast, under medical supervision with electrolytes and, maybe, some support there for blood sugar. Again, my version, if we’re gonna do some kind of modified fasting, is Intermittent Fasting, making sure, ideally, bone broth, minerals, cream juice, freeform amino acids, easy to digest fatty acids are in there. And that will be a really good way to do it. And then maybe have one solid meal at night. So, most of the day is liquid and easy to process; one solid meal at night, and that’s something that Ori Hofmekler, the author of The Warrior Diet talks about, too.

Evan Brand: Yep. Let’s break down the juice a little bit. That’s – that’s kind of a generic term now, like a juice fast, or like a green juice. I’m more than likely gonna promote more like a smoothie than a juice, ‘cause if we’re talking about juicers, typically, those are gonna be stripping away the fiber. What’s your take on that, where we’re pulling away fiber versus us blending something like a handful of veggies and maybe a little bit of look like scenic fruit with that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It totally depends on what’s the– what the patient– what the patient’s problem is, so if they’re having issues with digestion, that fiber may be an issue for them. So by stripping away that fiber, that may help with the bloating and just give them all those nutrients without any of the fiber, which may create a lots– a lot more improvement with some of those digestive symptoms. So, it just depends. I like the ‘stripping the fiber away’ for people that are really having a lot of digestive issues. And frankly, these are the people that you’re gonna be doing that with anyway. Yeah. That makes sense?

Evan Brand: Yep, for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’ll be the major benefit. It’s just giving the digestive system more of a break.

Evan Brand: And you’d still be low sugar with that. You’re not talking about a green juice where it’s gonna be loaded with apple juice and all sorts of that where it’s [crosstalk] 30 grams of sugar per 8 ounces. There’s a lot of crazy, green juices” out there, that are garbage. So, just to clarify, we’re talking mainly veggies here. Low, low, low sugar, in terms of our veggies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: We’re not talking about your– your store-bought green juice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So, like some of the ones that I would do would be a kale, spinach, cucumber, celeries that you get a lot of minerals from the celery. You get some cucumber, some spinach, some kale, and then, if you want, you can add a little of beet in there, which has a lot of natural uh– Nitric oxide, NO2, which is a good nasal dilator. And then, depending on how you’re doing metabolically, you may want to add in one carrot or one green apple to sweeten up.

Evan Brand: Yep, yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Again, if you’re Insulin-resistant, I would say, no fruit at all. But if you’re okay, one carrot and one green apple.

Evan Brand: Store-bought juices, there’s a couple good ones. I’ve seen Suja. They’ve got a couple of low sugar versions. They’ve also got insanely high sugar versions, 30 to 40 grams like per a 12-ounce, and I’ve also seen some Suja’s. They’re cold-pressed organic that you can get, I believe, like three, maybe four grams for an entire bottle of sugar so you really just got to take a closer look at the label. What about you? Do you know any other store-brought– uh– store-bought brands?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Just kind of look at Whole Foods, I bought a couple yesterday when I was there. Uhm– I just looked for organic. That’s really important because if you are doing juicing, you are gonna get a massive concentration of nutrients, which is great, but you also get a massive concentration of pesticides too.

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, that’s why you got to be very careful like you eluded to earlier. It’s got to be organic because of the pesticides. We can get a ton there. So, just look for the– the non-starchy kind of green ones. That’s gonna be the best. Kale, spinach, uh– broccoli…

Evan Brand: Carrots.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …cucumber, celery, and then I like a little bit of beet. It makes it look kind of blood red, but it gives that extra bit of Nitric oxide, which is great. Pho. Vasodilation, too.

Evan Brand: Cool, yeah. I think there’s one that Starbucks carries. I believe it’s called Evolve, but for one, I think it’s high sugar, and I believe it’s not organic. So, definitely, uh– do– do your good research. Don’t just assume if it says cold-pressed juice, it’s healthy cause you can destroy– Even though we’re trying to reverse Insulin-resistance, you can destroy yourself even more if you go on a six-day uh – binge of 40 grams of sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, if you look at a couple carrot juice that has more sugar than a coke. Now, I’m not trying to say that– that the coke’s better, but either way, there’s a whole bunch of sugar there. A lot of nutrition but also a lot of sugar. I know the Gerson people like that but in my opinion, it’s a little bit too much sugar from most people, especially if they are exercising it much. So, I’d rather sweeten with one carrot, sweeten with the carrot, sweeten with a green apple, like a little bit of flavor, and then kind of do your staples regarding the greens. And then, if you want to add a little bit of flavor, you can juice a lime in there, or you can also add in a piece of ginger. Like can give it a little bit of spice.

Evan Brand: How about a little bit of apple cider vinegar?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course. That’s always great. Apple cider vinegar’s great because it’s got uhm – the Acetic acid so it lowers the pH a little bit, which is great. It’s got uhm– Acetic acid will help mobilize minerals better, and it will also flush out Guanidine, which is a by-product of protein metabolism.

Evan Brand: When I tried to with Mercola, he was talking about all the cool research on uh– apple cider vinegar supporting mitochondria, as well. And he didn’t know why he felt so good sipping on that, you know, during his uh– his fast or kind of his Ketotic states. He felt great with it. He’s like, “Wow. Figured out it supports mitochondria.” So that’s cool too when we’re working with…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Evan Brand: …people that, typically, they’re overweight, they’ve juicy issues with fatigue and likely mitochondria. So, kind of double– double bonus there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. That’s the really good benefit. So, looking at it was a couple modified ways we can do it. uhm – you can do the apple cider vinegar, you can do the green drink. You can do those healthy modalities; really get the nutrition in there. And then we’ll go in some of the fasting components, but there’s this compound known as mTOR, mammalian target of rapamycin. It’s cool though. Cool little name, little tongue twister there, but that has some effects on cellular growth. So, by doing Intermittent Fasting, we can decrease mTOR. And it’s like a slingshot, right. SO, if we decrease– So, if here’s mTOR at baseline, and if we decrease mTOR by doing some Intermittent Fasting, we decrease it, but then as soon as we break that fast, mTOR pops back up. So, part of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting is we decrease mTOR for a short period of time, creating a slingshot-like effect. Part of mTOR decreasing is not having the Methionine. Right? A Methionine’s an amino acid. It’s a good amino acid but it can be a little bit inflammatory for some people when done excessively and too much. M– Uh– Methionine’s really high in muscle meats so, by decreasing the muscle meats and doing some fasting for let’s say, that’s 16/8 or 18/6 timeframe, where you’re fasting for 16 to 18 hours, you’re decreasing the Methionine, ideally, and then you can utilize breaking that fast, let’s say, two o’clock that next day, you’re adding some of those healthy meats back in. But then, “Boom!” Then you increase mTOR, which can then help with protein synthesis and healing. So, that’s some of the benefits that you get. Coffee’s also helpful with that. Tea, or that Matcha tea that you’re consuming, has some effects on mTOR, some positive effects. And then, also, Cancer, of course. Insulin-resistance will drive mTOR too high because mTOR is good for cellular growth. Right? But not so good if you’re growing Cancer cells. Right? So, part of the benefits of going Ketogenic, and uhm – going low calorie have that effects on lowering mTOR, but while at the same time, maybe beneficial for Cancer too. Right? That’s why decreasing the Insulin-levels can have a beneficial effect for Cancer and such.

Evan Brand: Yeah. You and I were doing some research before this, and we came across uh – Howard Hughes Medical Institute. They’re designing drugs now that are blocking mTOR, and they define it as molecule that helps drive the growth of many tumors. So, when we’re talking about Intermittent fasting, Ketogenic diets, your kind of cycling your protein, you’re not just doing super, super high protein, which can be it. A problem, sometimes, in the Paleo space is people just overconsuming protein. They’re really cranking up their mTOR. Like you said, you’re– you’re enhancing the growth of cells, but if those are tumor or Cancer cells, that’s not good. So, uhm– once again, just ‘cause it’s fresh on my mind when I tried with Mercola, he said he’s only doing like two ounces of grass-fed beef. Like, that’s it. He’s not doing a full steak. He’s like babystepping. He’s also interested in longevity in the whole aspect, and he’s a little bit older than myself. And so, I still want to maintain and build more muscle, where now, he’s kind of transitioning. He wants to keep his muscle but he’ more interested in longevity as well. That’s what you can achieve by Intermittent Fasting, Ketosis. All of these things are tied in. We’re really talking about the same thing, just different pieces of this puzzle and how it’s all connected.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Is he doing a total of two ounces of protein a day, total for the whole day, every day?

Evan Brand: I’m pretty sure that was it. [inaudible]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of that. I’m not a huge fan. There’s lots of studies looking at protein intake and lots of benefits on Insulin-resistance, uhm – lots of benefits on just your diet. Because protein is so satiating to the body that you get that uhm – better Leptin Signaling and Ghrelin Signaling, so your appetite’s more in check. You’re able to put on more muscle. Lots of studies in protein intake and longevity, again, typically, 1.2 grams per kilograms. So, what does that really mean? It’s about half a gram per pound of body weight. So, I weigh 210 pounds. [inaudible]

Evan Brand: I’m not– I’m a hundred percent sure I may have to go listen back and see what he said. I’m pretty sure that’s just for animal meats. Now, I know he’s doing a huge smoothie in the morning.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: He’s doing avocados. He’s doing cacao. He’s probably doing maybe some plant-based proteins. But in terms of animal protein, I believe yeah, it’s maybe like a two-ounce portion and less. I think that’s what he said when he’s cooking. So, maybe he’s getting meal delivery, or he’s got a chef cooking for him, I’m not quite sure…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: …what happened, so don’t a hundred percent quote me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I heard it man. They’ve asked if we’re talking about how he doesn’t really need dinner. Now, I think dinner’s good to eat. I think that’s really good to eat, especially if you’re Intermittent Fasting. It woulde be the breakfast and early lunchtime you’d wanna miss. And the reason why is because you’re sleeping, you know, from 10PM or 11PM to 6 or 7 or maybe 8AM. You’re already fasting, so it’s easier to do piggyback on top of a fasting window. So that’s why if you’re gonna do the fast, you much rather miss breakfast than early lunch, because then you’re piggybacking on that 10-hour of sleeping, and then you just add an extra six to eight hours on top of that. And then you have a sixteen to eighteen-hour fast window. So, I like hat aspect better, and then coming out of the fast around one or two o’clock, and making sure you’re consume enough calories than, typically, two meals, maybe three. And, what I do is, if I’m going out to like, you know, a nice steak restaurant, like Saturday or Sunday, I know, I, typically, like to go out to eat a little bit earlier, like around 4:00 or 5:00. That morning, I may have like uh– a butter coffee, and just sip on that all day, ‘cause the benefit is you’re having that modified protein fast. Right? Decreasing the Methionine, decreasing the muscle meat, is what allows that mTOR to go down more than it spring back. So, I’ll have that going out to dinner thing, Saturday to Sunday. And, I’ll kind of just sip on some fat, you know, low calorie though. You know, just a couple hundred calories during that day, and then, “Boom!” Then I’ll go have a really good refeed, right? People in the health– or Paleo communities, when they go to binge, right, we call it a refeed. It just sounds a little bit more scientific. So we do a little refeed, but keep the gluten then the refined crap out so just good healthy meats and good healthy vegetables, maybe some oysters, like a lot of that stuff, maybe one glass of a dry champagne. Something like that. That’s kind of like my refeed, so to speak.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I– I think you’re doing a good job of explaining. I just want to restate it back to you though, make sure we’re hearing it right. When you’re going Intermittent Fasting, you can still be doing plenty of fat. Your MCTs, your coconuts. You could still be doing your avocados, etc., not necessarily, not technically, breaking that fast, not causing any spike of Insulin that we’re trying to avoid. Soo even though it’s a– it’s a fast, you could still be consuming calories throughout this fasting period. Therefore, reducing the stress on the body. It’s not a hundred percent. You’re not touching anything food-wise or calorie-wise. Is that correct?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Correct. I mean, there’s a couple different ways to do it. You can do it that way, that I mentioned. You can upgrade it one level, and then you can add in one scoop of Collagen, right. Because Collagen’s primarily gonna be elevated in glycine hydroxyproline and proline. It’s very low in Methionine, relatively speaking. So, a lot of that benefit of mTOR, that decreasing of the mTOR, primarily happens by restricting Methionine, which is found in muscle meats. So, if you want, if my patients are like, “Oh, I’m on the fence. I want to try doing a little bit of Intermittent Fasting,” but let’s say, they have hormone and blood sugar issues. I want to get them more stable with that first. That’s number one. I want to make sure they don’t have any blood sugar issues, or adrenal or thyroid issues first, make sure those are stabilized. But then if they want, you know, butter coffee, uhm– Collagen peptides, uh– little bit of MCT Oil, and, you know, one scoop of Collagen peptides, and then do that in your coffee. That’s gonna really decrease mTOR and then cause it to absolutely spring back.

Evan Brand: Yep, well said. Uh– so let’s talk about who– who’s the good fit, who’s the good candidate for Intermittent Fasting. You hit on like the Insulin-resistance piece, they’ve got a lot of gut issues. Uhm– Athletes? Moms?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, anyone that’s– I would just say that is– has stable blood sugar. Their blood sugar’s stable, meaning these aren’t people that are just like if they skip a meal, they’re irritable, they’re moody, they’re just feeling really off. So, making sure that piece is dialed-in. And the reason why they feel off is primarily because they just don’t have their hormones dialed in. Their– whether it’s their adrenals, or their blood sugar, it is not quite dialed-in yet. So, making sure the blood sugar and the thyroid components are good. Uh – once that’s good, ‘then you can, you know– I like the 16/8. It’s pretty simple.

Evan Brand: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Go to bed, 10– 11 o’clock, maybe 12 o’clock, you’re up at 7:00 or 8:00. You don’t eat ‘til 1:00 or 2:00.

Evan Brand: So, you and I came across some a couple– a couple articles, pieces of literature talking about fertility and Intermittent Fasting. So for Moms, people trying to conceive, I mean, I think it’s still plausible that you could do it, but it is going to be stressful. I mean, if they’re getting enough calories, they’re getting enough fat, would you still recommend someone trying to conceive go for, or would you say, “Hey, don’t– don’t restrict protein. Let’s make sure you’re getting maybe a breakfast, lunch, dinner, more of like a two– three square meal a day?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, you still shouldn’t be restricting anything, right. So, if I would look at your daily kind of meal plan, and we’re like go on chronometer and throw it in there…

Evan Brand: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …and if you were to just see kind of where their nutrients are at at the end of the day, you should still look the same as someone eating three meals a day, right. That’s the– the key mistake most people make. It should still look the same. There should still be enough protein in there. There should still be enough fat in there. There should still be enough carbs. Then, in general, of course, the calorie should still be the same. That’s the key. The people make a mistake with, on the Intermittent Fasting, is the calorie still have to be adequate.

Evan Brand: So, it really just a timing thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: So, may end up if you put two people side by side on their macros, the macros may end up the same. It’s just the timing that’s really changing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Evan Brand: But a lot of couple mess it up, you’re saying, and they’re actually accidentally cutting calories. They’re cutting protein. They’re cutting their macros, accidentally, by Intermittent Fasting just ‘cause that one meal or that– that– that compressed-eating window. They’re not actually getting everything back in that they should have, is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you have to make sure, in my opinion, you have, at least two times you eat, and that you get enough calories in there. Now, again, if you have digestive issues, right, and you need, let’s say, 2, 500 calories, and you’re cutting your feeding window from 2:00 to 8:00, that means you need two meals in there to get those calories. That means you need 1,250 calories per meal. That may be a little hard on someone’s digestive system if they are in good shape. So, I would also add the caveat, making sure your digestion is adequate. And then, in general, I would not recommend any Intermittent Fasting if you’re pregnant. It just doesn’t makes sense. I would uhm – I want to make sure there’s zero stress signal at all, and I would hope that all the Insulin-resistance stuff we’ve already addressed by just dialing-in the carbs and get in the diet right. Uhm– so when you’re pregnant, you’re actually something that sustainable. I don’t want to modulate anything. I want to make sure that food’s coming in at a predictable pace throughout the day for the mother and the baby.

Evan Brand: Yep. Love it. I think we hit everything. Are there any pieces that you wanted to hit that you didn’t?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So let’s kind of summarize here. If we’re gonna use amino acids while we’re trying to Intermittent fast, we can do the butter coffee, we can do the MCT. MCT’s great because of its effect on increasing Ketosis, and increasing mitochondria functions, so, that’s great.

Evan Brand: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Collagen peptides are relatively low in Methionine, high in Glycine and Glutamine and Hydroxyproline and Proline, which is really, really good. And low in the Methionine which is great. It’s the muscle meats to have it at that negative effect on mTOR, making sure you get adequate calories in during that feeding window. And you can– number one, you can plan it, like I kind of have a Saturday or Sunday. Right now, I’m gonna go out to eat. I’m kind of have a really cool meal, nice meal; kind of celebrate for the end of the week. And then I’ll just kind of fast all day long. That’s a really good place to be. My wife, right now, being pregnant, she– she’s hungry every two to three hours, and she’s eating really good. So, for her, it’s gonna be a different ball game. That’s why if you’re pregnant, I think, you know, eating every three to four hours, just making sure you’re eating enough calories and protein. And she messes– measures her blood sugar, too. We do functional glucose-tolerance testing to avoid any gestational diabetes, and she’s on the sensitive side. If she does a little too much fruit, or a little too much starchy carbohydrate, her blood sugar will creep up and it won’t come back down as fast. So, making sure the blood sugar stuff’s dialed-in is very important, because if you’re pregnant, you may have that starch aspect maybe an issue. So, 16/– 16/8 or uh– 18/6 is a great window there. Making sure they’re adequate calories, making sure you’re not pregnant, making sure you don’t have any severe blood sugar thyroid or adrenal issues, number two. Number three, making sure your digestion’s good, because if you’re compacting the amount of calories for three meals into two, and you have weaker digestive system going on, that may make it harder to break down those foods. So, making sure the gut in the digestion’s good. And then we talked about the fasting versus the Intermittent Fasting pros and cons. My opinion: complete fast is more severe and is not something, in my opinion, that sustainable long term. It’s kind of uh– a specific short term kind of approach. Those have the yo-yo dieting effect where it does weaken the metabolism a bit, so, anything that lowers calories, right, you’re– gain weight back, when you have the food back. And that’s the yo-yo dieting effect. You weaken your metabolism, you add the calories back in, now, your body’s a little bit weaker, metabolically, so you put on a little more fat. So, that’s the big side effect with that.

Evan Brand: Let’s hit these questions. Are you ready for these?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s do it.

Evan Brand: Alright. So, Samuel said, “If you’re drink bulletproof coffee in the morning, you don’t eat ‘til the afternoon. Is that considered in– is that still considered Intermittent Fasting?” We hit that. That will be a yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s Intermittent Fasting, exactly.

Evan Brand: Okay. Ogie said, “Just started watching. People with adrenal issues, what’s your opinion on IF?” Uh – I’ll speak from firsthand experience. Justin, I’ve got clinical experience on this too, but my personal experience is, for me, Intermittent Fasting was actually destroying me. Maybe it’s because I’m younger, my metabolism is faster than someone who’s in their 50’s or 60’s  with adrenal issues, and I’m commonly working with. But for me, I had to eat more. And for me, just trying to condense that into Intermittent Fasting, it didn’t work. So, I was doing breakfast, lunch, dinner and then I was able to recover, of course with additional support: healing my gut, adaptogens, etc. But, for me, the adrenal Intermittent fasting piece just didn’t go well together. Justin, what’s your take?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Same thing. Make sure the hormones are dialed-in first. Remember, from an evolutionary perspective, how did this all work? Well, we have food. We had food. We killed the buffalo. We ate it until it was gone. And then, there were periods without food. Right? That’s where we kind of where we were fasting, so it wasn’t like our ancestors were saying, “Okay. Like, we have all this food. Let’s just not eat it for a couple of days, or let’s just only eat it at the end of the day, right? That’s kind of not  the thinking. The thinking is, food wasn’t available. We fasted for a short period of time. We got food and we feasted. Fasted. Feasted. So, I like to use that kind of sequencing in how we apply Intermittent Fasting. So, don’t do it every single day. I see a lot of people wear their daily routine is to fast every day.

Evan Brand: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And I just say, “No, use it punctu– you know, use it in a punctuated fashion. One or two times a week. And then starting out, do your Intermittent Fasting on days that are less stressful. Why? Well, because there’s gonna be less Cortisol in your system. That’s number one. Number two, the more stressed you are, the more you’re gonna need more nutrients to run the system. Dopamines, Serotonin, Precursors, B Vitamins, minerals to buffer the stress. Your Krebs cycle and your energy systems require nutrients, so, why would you want to fast and avoid putting nutrients into the system? So, do it on days that are less stressful to start with.

Evan Brand: That’s a pretty good starting point. I believe that’s the same thing we said about Ketosis, too, on previous podcasts. Might need more– more carbohydrates, a little bit more starch on a more stressful day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a really good place to start it. Again, I’m not black or white on these issues.

Evan Brand: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m– these are the people that are gonna benefit. You’re relatively healthy, good blood sugar, right, you– already do okay if you skip a meal, you’re not gonna be in, you know, in dire straits. And then, these are the people that want to avoid it. Right? Pregnant women, the hormonal issues, the severe blood sugar issues. Here’s how we start inching our way into it. 16/8 will probably be a good starting place, then you can eat from, like, 12:00 to 8 o’clock. That’s a really good starting place, making sure there’s an adequate amount of calories in there as well. And also, making sure, like you know, minerals and bone broth, and you can also do the green juice, as well, uhm – to get enough nutrients in there. We need about 4,700 milligrams of Potassium a day, so, you need, like, two really big salads to get it all. So, maybe a green juice will be helpful to get all those nutrients there.

Evan Brand: Yep. Avocados, too, are good source.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One gram of Potassium right there. One avocado. [crosstalk] people don’t know, avocado has twice the amount of Potassium than a banana does, but…

Evan Brand: I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, people think, “What’s Potassium?” “Oh, banana!” Nope, avocado. Twice the amount.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and– and without the sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, really. Any carb– maybe one or two grams of carbohydrate, very little.

Evan Brand: Yep, yep. You made me think of something. I lost my train of thought there. Oh, yeah! It’s that people want things in black and white. We’re just giving the generalities. There’s never gonna be in black and white. This is always case by case, so don’t take something in – in carved into a rose – Rosetta stone. Justin said this, or Evan said this, it will never exist that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a spectrum.

Evan Brand: Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s a spectrum. Figure out where you’re at on that spectrum and start there. Okay?

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, the person said he’s snacking between meal ‘s never good. In my opinion, snacking before meals or in-between meals is not good. Why? ’Cause every time you snack, food produces little drops of Insulin. The more Insulin surges you create– Insulin, when Insulin ‘s high, fat burning’s low. Insulin high; fat burning low. Just how it is. So, the more we can modify Insulin by keeping the carbohydrates dialed-in to what you’re needs are. Okay? If you’re lifting weights, and you’re already in good shape and you’re active, you may be able to do a hundred or 200 grams of carbohydrates a day without issue. If you’re sedentary or you’re Insulin-resistant, that may be 20 or 30 grams of carbs. So, you dialed in your carbs for what you need. You try to go at least four to five hours, so at hour two or three, you’re starting to kick in the fat burning, right? So, if you’re eating every two or three, then you’re never really getting in the fat burning. That’s not a good thing. And then I– the only time I allow snacks for patients is we called them “mini-meals.” So, they should be appropriate amounts of protein fat and carbs. Just you know, ratio, just a smaller amount.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, some people let’s say, they eat lunch around 12:00 or 1:00, and then the time, their family kind of gets together and has dinner, it’s like, maybe, seven o’clock. That’s seven hours. So, maybe for them, they have like a nice little shake, or a nice little epic bar or something around three or four, maybe around four o’clock, just to get them to that seven o’clock time. So they eat at 12:00, mini-meal at 4:00, and then they’d eat a real meal at seven o’clock. So, a nice meal that kind of tied due over in between to get to the real meal.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. The second part of the question was uh– “Better to eat fruits with meals instead.” Typically, I mean, the ideology, we would say, “Yeah,” if you’re doing some fat. Typically, that would act as kind of a slow digest for the– for the fruit, where the fruit’s by itself may spike your blood sugar a bit more. I’ve not personally tested it. I don’t eat too much fruit beyond berries, anyway. Some, not really concerned about whether I’m eating a handful by themselves or with meals. What’s your take though?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, this person’s probably coming from the context of meal-combining, where they say, fruits should be consumed by itself, because of the enzymes needed for it, and how fast he digestion process is. So that if you’re eating with fats and proteins, that’s gonna hold up the digestion, and leave it  in the stomach longer and maybe create more gas or bloating issues. So, I always tell patients if you can handle fruit together, take– take it together. That tends to be the best way to do it. Take it with the food. If not, you can kind of eat your food, take enough enzymes and acids, and maybe do it like, uh – 20 or 30 minutes after your food. It’s kind of like a dessert kind of thing. But I would really make sure enough enzymes or acids are there. And if you really notice that you get bloated or gassy with fruit, while you’re eating it with food, but by itself you’d do better, then there’s probably some Fructose Malabsorption happening, and we got to work on the gut.

Evan Brand: Yep, yep. Well said. Also, thought about bacterial overgrowth when you were saying that, where that may present problems too if you’re doing fruit. Uhm – last question and I say, we wrap it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: Could a long term Water Fast [34.50] weeks, cut down on your stomach’s ability to produce sufficient acid for digestion. What do you think? I’ve got– I’ve got no additions on this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, wate– yeah, you would definitely decrease your stomach acid, for sure. I mean, you need Zinc. You need Potassium. Uh – You need a lot of those nutrients to actually make stomach acids. So, yeah. It’s very possible. It could decrease your ability  – your body’s ability to make it. That’s why, when you’d add it back in, you’d want to keep it as– as liquid and easy to process ,as you add it back in and gradually rationing back up to solid food. I know Dr.– I think it’s True North, up in Northern California, Dr. Goldhamer’s Clinic. They do a lot with Water Fasting, so people are looking to get more info in that. They do it in In-patient. Clinic  would actually monitor people and they put them on IV’s and watch them, and make sure they’re on the right tract doing it. So, if you’re gonna do a Water Fast though, like a long-term, more than just two days, and you have issues. You’d want to do it under medical supervision.

Evan Brand: Cool. Well said.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Not a huge fan, but I’ve kind of gone over the reasons why it may be beneficial and helpful.

Evan Brand: Right. Good job.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, anything else you want to touch upon, Evan? What do you think?

Evan Brand: I don’t think so. I think we did great. I mean, the starting point with people, the 16/8 is gonna be the easiest. You can just uh – look up your uh – your YouTube channel. There’s more videos you’ve done on Intermittent Fasting. I think I may have done one, but you’ve inspired me. So, I’m gonna have to do more Intermittent Fasting videos. Maybe even just share my day, what does it even look like…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: …how do you structure a day. Because while listening to it, I think, sometimes, people fall asleep halfway while they’re listening to us ‘cause they just like the sound of our voices. And so…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: [laughs]

Evan Brand: …maybe we’ll show a video, like, “what does this actually look like”, “how do you break your day down to do this”. It’s actually quite simple. It allows you and I to have our brains functioning while we’re working with our clients, to keep our brains elevated. I mean, I feel so much better, you know, when I am in a fasted state, so kind of pushing that lunch back a bit more. I really get a lot of good productive work done in those first few hours of the day. Compared to if I do a real heavy big, big breakfast and break it. Uhm– my brain, it does slow down a  bit for digestion, which is normal. You– your body’s gonna send the blood to the tummy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: That makes sense if you’ve got a real uhm– a job that requires a lot of– a lot of brain power that you may want to just– you may want to visit this. If you’re a coder, computer programmer, you know, people that really got to have your brain a hundred percent dialed-in, you’re gonna be in a much better place, if you do this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I noticed the headaches, too, if I go too long if I skipped lunch. Hadn’t eaten ‘til, like, six o’clock and was, like, probably 24-hour fast but, I got really bad headaches…

Evan Brand: Ooh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …and I find that sometimes that can just happen from the minerals. So that’s where uhm– really getting a good electrolyte support in your water so you get the extra minerals that way, or you sip on a little bit of green juice, with the caveat of the ones that we mentioned of. The surely laid ones with the fruit. That can at least give you a little bit extra Potassium and minerals and Sodium and Chloride – all those extra minerals you need. So, that could be a side effect, and that’s part of the reason why people on Ketogenic diets get a lot of headaches is they just don’t get enough Potassium. So, making sure the minerals are there, and that’s a kind of a little tip of how you could do it.

Evan Brand: Yeah. I was gonna ask you what– what would you’ve done differently– to prevent the headache if you just got so busy again, you have to skip lunch. You deprived us half some electrolytes on board. Do you think you can avoid that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I would just probably add some more electrolytes on board, and uhm– maybe add a couple sips of some green juice in there. Probably would have fixed it. Uh– and then also just add– making sure my fasting is on days that are less stressful. That tends to help too.

Evan Brand: Yep. Well, and maybe adaptogens too. You could always have a– maybe have some extra Ashwagandha in the tank or something like that may have helped you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely, and someone asks about a green juice recipe. I’m honestly nothing specific. I throw a cucumber too in there. I threw kind of a bunch of Kale– kind of a half bunch of Kale in there. Uh – couple things, a celery in there. I just kind of like take, you know, an even amount, and I kind of just like create like a little lineup, and I just throw it in. Next, throw it in. Next throw it in. Make sure I get a cup worth. And then at the very end, I’ll sweeten it with uh – you know, one carrot or half to uh – half to one green apple, and then maybe a little bit of lime, or a little bit of ginger for a little bit of flavor. That’s it.

Evan Brand: Yep. Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Now, I got a video coming up here on I was looking at my board. Think it’s all up right now. Yeah. [inaudible]

Evan Brand: What’s on that board?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …fasting and hypothyroid. That’s gonna be done. I’m gonna record this later on today. So, I’m excited to put that video out. And I kind of talked about some of those gems that are in there in today’s podcast, but I’ll condense it down and fill up my little dry erase board behind me where we can really emphasize some points.

Evan Brand: What did– what’s the title? Hypothyroidism and Intermittent Fasting?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Intermittent Fasting and Hypothyroidism.

Evan Brand: I’ll– I’ll be kind [crosstalk]…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s kind of big [pauses] to a YouTube near you.

Evan Brand: Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright, my man. Hey, happy 4th of July. You enjoy it, and we’ll talk real soon.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You too.



“The Warrior Diet” by Ori Hofmekler

Apple Cider Vinegar, Dr. Mercola



How To Do Intermittent Fasting Correctly

intermittent fasting

 By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s blog post will be about Intermittent Fasting and how to do it the right way.

We’re going to talk about what your goals are and how to achieve them, why you’re doing it in the first place and how to actually do it. Along the way, we will also be discussing the common pitfalls of intermittent fasting such as ‘how do you know if you’re someone that may have physiological or hormonal imbalances that may prevent you from getting the full benefit and maybe even getting worse?’

So let’s dig in off the bat!

What Exactly Is Intermittent Fasting?

what exactly is intermittent fasting

Intermittent Fasting is nothing more than timing up your food at certain times throughout the day and basically having a window in which you eat. That window can be anywhere between four to eight hours, and you close that window or widen it. You typically put that window in the last third of the day which is when you tend to be more insulin sensitive naturally.

Let’s talk about that window for example, instead of eating between 7AM and 8PM, that’s a thirteen hour window, we’re taking that and closing it down maybe to eight, or five, or four hours.

What Are The Goals of Intermittent Fasting?

goals of intermittent fasting

The first goal is we’re trying to increase lipolysis which will increase fat burning. The benefits that you get from intermittent fasting comes from that last meal — let’s say it’s at 8PM — all the way to the next day, now it’s twelve hours we’ve gotten so far. Then we’ll have, let’s say, until 2PM in the afternoon. We’ve added another four plus six, so we have eighteen hours of no food. So a lot of that benefit happens in that eighteen-hour time where we start increasing lipolysis.

The next goal is to increase cellular autophagy where our body starts recycling proteins. This also comes with the benefit of lengthening the telomeres.

And the third goal is to (HGH) and we’re making our body more sensitive to insulin.

Again, insulin and fat burning are inversely correlated. When our insulin is high, we can’t burn fat but when our insulin is low, we burn a whole bunch of fat. So the goal is to make ourselves more sensitive to insulin. So it’s like, the more sensitive your hearing is, people don’t have to yell or raise their voices for them to get your attention i.e. the pancreas doesn’t have to raise your insulin levels so the body can understand where to pull the sugar in and how to store the nutrients. When growth hormone goes up, that will help you put on muscle mass and we can combine this with good exercise allowing us to put on more muscle, which is great.

So the goals are all of these really good benefits above.

How To Do Intermittent Fasting

As mentioned in the example above, we get a 16-hour fast gig. So 8PM to 8AM — that’s twelve hours — and let’s say you fast until 12noon to 2PM, so you could have an easy 16 to 18-hour fast. With this you could have an 8-hour window for eating. If you want, you could extend the fasting from 16 to 19 or even up to hours. And depending on your choice, your window of eating could be anywhere between four to eight hours.

So in general, how we do it is take that window and we shorten it, so we’re trying to avoid breakfast. We could have a later lunch around 2 or 3PM. The key is we have to make sure that the window that we eat in is within the 8, 5, or 4 hour time frame. Personally, I like to eat later because I want to maximize the fasting time and if I eat a bit earlier that fasting time will be cut off so I would rather have that fast go really well.

The Common Mistakes In Intermittent Fasting

common mistakes

Mistake 1: Not eating enough fat

Fat helps sustain your blood sugar and it’s going to prevent the ups and downs of what’s called reactive hypoglycemia. It’s like your pancreas pulls one way while your cortisol pulls the other way which is not the best thing for your hormones. So again, blood sugar comes up, insulin comes up. Then blood sugar goes down, and adrenals come and pushes it back up. Definitely not the best combo. That’s why healthy fats are good. So one of the things that you get with the fast is you’re not eating. And when you’re not eating, you’re not pumping out insulin.

So insulin comes out most with carbohydrate, it comes out a little bit with protein, but very little with fats. So when you see people saying “fats are bad for diabetes,” they are typically talking about fettuccine alfredo — a whole bunch of fat with a whole bunch of carbs, right. But if we’re focusing on fat by itself, healthy good sources of fat like coconut oil or avocado, then you’re okay as long as you’re not  adding a whole bunch of sugar and carbs with it.

Mistake 2: Not eating enough calories

You actually don’t want to drop your calories so if you need 2,000 calories for the day, you got to make sure you get 2,000 calories in that eating window. So let’s say in an 8-hour eat window, you could have three meals in there. Maybe at 2 o’clock, a 5 o’clock, and an 8 o’clock meal. With the smaller windows, you could eat at one end and eat at the other end. Again, the benefit comes from the 16 to 18-hour fast.

Mistake 3: Having hormonal issues

If you have thyroid issues, blood sugar issues, adrenal issues, and female or male hormone issues then cutting out those meals may not be the best thing because you already have a stressed out physiology. So not having those nutrients come in at the morning time or the early afternoon may actually be a stressor on the body. Not getting enough calories is definitely a stressor, this is the biggest pitfall. People just don’t eat enough so if they’re having two meals, they have to realize, “well I’m only having two meals, I have to eat 50% more on each meal because if not, I won’t have enough calories.” So you got to remember that. So if you have hormonal issues like blood sugar, thyroid, Hashimoto’s, active gut, or any digestive issues, then it’s not a good idea to do fasting.

My advice is get healthy first, then this is a great modalities of trying on and fine-tuning things later. Also you could do a protein sparing fast in the morning where you eat a whole bunch of fat where you eat foods like butter coffee, MCT, and such as long as you just avoid protein. Then you kind of have this modified protein-sparing fast where you’re getting all the fat in so the insulin stimulation is very small. That’s a modified way you can tweak it so if you’re not ready to skip breakfast and lunch, you can do a protein-sparing fast in the first  half of the day and then bring in the other full meals later on at night.

So again, get your hormones dialled in. If you have an active gut issue, autoimmune issue, adrenal issue or male or female hormone issue, you want to get that fixed first. So if you need help with that, click here to schedule a consultation with myself.

So this is Dr. J signing off. I hope you enjoyed this post!

Dr. Ben House – Enhancing testosterone and improving your health- Podcast #130

Dr. Justin Marchegiani welcomes his special guest Dr. Ben House, a functional medicine doctor based in Costa Rica who also works with a lot of athletes. Join them as they engage in a very stimulating discussion about boosting up performance athletically as they focus on the role of testosterone in the male body.

Gain valuable insight about the recent researches related to Dr. Ben’s area of expertise. Know about the different tests, markers and treatment approach that he uses to address his patients. Get to apply some valuable information related to effective movement patterns that might be related to your health and body goals.

In this episode, we cover:

2:35   Nutrition Recommendation

9:40   Overtraining and Cortisol: Testosterone Ratio

13:33   Functional Medicine Tests for Athletes

18:37   Steroid and Insulin Use

33:30   Movement Patterns

42:40   Blood Markers and Patterns in Athletes







Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey, there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Today we have Dr. House in the house. Dr. Ben, how are we doing today, man?

Dr. Ben House: I’m doing great. How are you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. We got you on Skype, too. So anyone listening to the MP3, feel free and click below and check out the YouTube channel as well. And Dr. House is over at

Dr. Ben House: Yeah, that—that’s me. That’s where I’m at.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you’re seeing patients virtually, as well, which is great. So if you feel like you jive at Dr. Ben, feel free head over there and reach out to him. Dr. Ben is also a PhD grad over at UT. Hook ‘em horns, baby. I’m in Austin now, too. So I’ve given up my Boston College UMass. I’m a modern now. And UT Longhorns, baby. So, congrats on that. Excited to chat.

Dr. Ben House: Yes. I miss Austin. It’s an amazing city for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is. And I know you used to work with a lot of athletes. Were you working with the UTF-8 as well? And the football players and such?

Dr. Ben House: Uh – I worked on a time, right, in basketball.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Basketball.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm – Yeah, yeah. So now he’s in the Philadelphia 76ers. So I consult with couple of proteins but uhmm—it’s—yeah, I primarily work with males and athletes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So tell me a little more about that. Like what are some of the low hanging fruits mean? Maybe we don’t have a lot of professional athletes listening here today. But what are some of the low hanging fruits are, you know, average people are listening can take and apply to themselves to make them better athletically?

Dr. Ben House: I think a lot of times we put professional athletes on the pedestal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But most of the time, professional athletes are—uhm—they’re successful in spite of what they do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Because of what they do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So it’s probably not best to look at what they’re doing. Uh—uh there’s obviously exemptions to every rule. There are really some teams that are really pushing the envelope as far as nutrition. But you gotta think in the pro circumstance, there’s not a ton of motivation and drive to get guys healthy if it doesn’t get them performing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm—so kinda sell there is—is Dr. Bob is really good about this—it’s you’re selling longevity.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Coz can you—after someone’s thirty, can you give him 10 years in the league, right? And that’s—that’s pretty important. And so, if we take this to the weekend warriors,  someone who’s—who just loves to train like me. I’m not a professional athlete.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I played college football, but after that, the dream was dead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm—And so it’s—it’s we really gotta—I think the low hanging fruit is the fundamentals—the things that we always talk about. Coz most athletes—they—they don’t—they overtrain because they’re under recovered.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Totally. Now on the diet side, that’s probably a foundation. I think you’ll agree with this. On the diet side, are you kinda following the paleo template? What is the food quality? What does the macros look like with an athlete like that?

Dr. Ben House: So when I lecture on or talk about nutrition, I always talk about three things. So we have quality is the first thing for me. Quality is super important. Uh—we have quality in there, we have timing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: Those are kind of—For me those are in the order of importance. Uhm—but we have to be really careful. Like Michael Phelps.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Who probably eats 68,000 calories a day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You obviously can’t eat brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes and get it done. Uhm—so when you have—when you have some who’s just training 20 hours a week, your quality has to drop. And you have to make sure your adjustment’s on point as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: Coz otherwise you gotta just stop, put the car in the garage, and really kinda figure it out. And so it’s—we’re at a really cool point where I think we have some technology coming out where we can just individualize.

Dr. Ben House: So all these—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: –hypothetical, best way shit can just go away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So we got the basically, high-quality proteins, high-quality fats. They’re probably—maybe these guys are gonna be higher on the macronutrients with the carbs and such, correct?

Dr. Ben House: That all depends – So carb work—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And in sport maybe.

Dr. Ben House: The carb world is really—there’s—I think of carbs as n__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: And so if—if you want somebody to go fast, you need carbs and glycogen assistance. And so you can’t—you can’t feed high-intensity exercise on fat. It’s—it’s—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: We know that if your fat adapted, you’re actually—you’re actually metabolically inflexible so that you can’t burn carbohydrates at those—at those faster intensities. Uhmm—so for me, it’s all about what is athlete doing. What if they’re, you know, 40 year old, strength athlete and they’re 20 pounds overweight, uhmm—I’m gonna stay at the 5 rep range. Probably knock down carbs pretty well. If—are they a 20 year old athlete who’d never had any problem with weight, and I got their blood sugar, all looks fine, I’m gonna—how many carbs do you take, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Okay. Alright, got it. So we have kinda the macronutrients, we’re obviously cutting out—organics gonna be obviously dialled in, right? Food quality’s gonna be dialled in. We’re eating enough calories—that’s big. We’re mak—making sure the in the HCl and the enzymes are up to snuff so we can actually break down and digest those foods. We’re making sure we’re drinking, we’re sleeping maybe 8-10 hours. That could be big thing as well. Uh—more exercise, more muscle breakdown requires more recovery. I think with Steve Nash and Tom Brady, too. I mean they get like 10 hours sleep a night. I think that’s the biggest thing. Huge.

Dr. Ben House: Number one. Like if you wanna increase performance, like this is out of  Stanford, like sleep more. Spend more time in bed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You get to bed between 10 PM and 2 AM and you’re asleep during the cycle. You’re getting access to maybe $3,000 to $5000 of growth hormone a month just by getting in bed during those timeframes. Would you agree?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And I mean, testosterone is also secreted. GNRH works in that—inside that time block, too. So it’s—the circadian rhythm hormone. So you start jacking up your circadian rhythm. And a lot of the—one of the probably because athletes we see, they’re just hooked up on cell phones all the time like this is perpetual, you know, Twitter, Facebook, social media feed. Man, that’s—that’s a whole lot of bull S.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. So you get the nutrients, you get the digestion, you get the right amount of exercising. That’s a really key thing coz a lot of times it’s train, not drain. And you see a lot of overtraining with your athletes?

Dr. Ben House: Well, I think we have to be mis—I come from a strength coach background. So in the college setting, the strength coaches it—it’s unfortunate. And you even saw it at the  University of Oregon.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: When they got rid of radicals who was like, “who’s the man?” Uhm – and I bump into this other guy and he started smoking people and he put three guys in the hospital. Uhm—so the saying with this coach is pri—it’s sometimes they’re thought of as the punishers. So they have to dole out like someone doesn’t show at the practice. And so, if you’re in a team sport atmosphere, like—you don’t have that much control over the overall, though. There’s some people that are using like Zephyr or some really cool GPS program to over—to like measure overall look.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—but some of that is outside of your control.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: The cool thing—in the general population and if you have—while like private is because you can have total control over the athlete.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And—one of my favourite examples is Rutherford who like—he was like the 200 best in the world. Uhmm—and now, when he—he was training like typical like four days a week. And they brought him to like one-two hard training sessions every 10 days, and he won the gold medal. Alright. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Ben House: So it’s kinda—it’s like everybody is individual and so if you can individualize that protocol and—and volume’s a hammer, right? And so that’s not the thing sometimes that we wanna use all the time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right. That totally makes sense. So when you’re exercising these guys, are the movement patterns gonna be standard for each person like the functional ones like squats, deadlifts, lunges, step up, like core pushing and pulling movements. How do you adjust those and tweak those with the sports with the athletes?

Dr. Ben House: I—So that’s gonna be all dependent on the sport, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And the position that they play. Uhm—so if you got a baseball player, like it’s all rotary power, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: It’s probably getting them—getting them at the right side of the right handed. Getting them kinda even and obviously not getting injured. from up your eyes standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so—it, it’s so rare but I think for that, it’s also gonna depend. Like is strength, is arm strength really doesn’t apply unless like you’re a full-back or a line man. Uh—sometimes the best guys in the weight room are the worst kind in the field. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: It’s uh—we have crossfit now. I think that’s kinda—that—it’s really cool. And now the weight room is the sport.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And so weekend—it’s open right now—we can do crossfit as much as we want. But I think it just produced some people that can take insane amounts of volume. Uhm—and not everybody can. And they get—It’s very Spartan type society.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally. Now when you’re working out with someone, is there a certain heart rate that you want people to get back down to? Maybe with your adrenal dysfunctional patient, is there a certain heart rate you want to get back down to before they go into the next set?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—I’m kinda __heart rate isn’t our best.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: It’s an okay marker.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: I—there’s a new technology that we’re using called mock C—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Which is essentially muscle oxygenation. So we wanna see that muscle is just resaturated with oxygen (O2).

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And it’s get—it’s probably not a horrible for just the average person right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But it will get more affordable, uhm—it will get more usable. Right now, it’s not that user-friendly. Uhm—I think you probably want to get back to a good resting heart rate. Also the—the research is pretty clear cut if you’re chasing hypertrophy. Uhmm—that 2-3 minute window for rest is probably where you wanna be.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 2-3 minutes. Got it. And are you looking at free cortisol to uhmm—I’m sorry, free testosterone to cortisol ratio to assess overtraining in any of your athletes?

Dr. Ben House: So I look at total testosterone. I don’t put a lot—this is my personal opinion—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I’ve done a lot of research on salivary panels and I don’t like cortisol panels coz they’re just like—their—they’ve done 30 days of salivary test and they’re super variables especially in athletes. Uhh—so I don’t—If I could get a week of them, I would use them. But if I could only get one day, I don’t wanna just—I don’t wanna live and die by that one day. Uhmm—so, and I—you can ask questions. Like you know, probably the best indicator of overtraining is like hey, how you’re performing. Like how do you feel, how’s your mood like. So a lot of times, we can get a lot of information just by asking questions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. And what’s your total cortisol cut-off? Your total testosterone cut-off be like? Is it 100 above?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I mean the research is—I don’t really get, I don’t like the whole bench press number of testosterone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: I think it’s only looking at production. We don’t know the sensitivity and the receptor. We—we can get such binding globulin and the albumin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: We can get free testosterone but I mean the ment—the mental strain of that for guys like, “Hey you’re inadequate, you have a testosterone of 5.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I don’t like to do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do you see correlations, though? Do you see like, “Hey, these are the althletes that are responding the best, that are recovering the best or getting the best results” Here is where his numbers at. Do you see any correlation there?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think—we can’t really make that correlation—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: inside of physiological ranges. Uh—we don’t have a lot of data on that as far as research. Anything I would say would be anecdotal there. Uhmm—do I think, do I have a hunch that it’s better to be at 800 than 380?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. Totally.

Dr. Ben House: Do I know that 800 is better than 600 or 500? I don’t know. I haven’t seen that. I’ve seen—I’ve seen some beast that are in the 500 range like 10% body fat, like 210—like they’re front squatting 400 pounds. Like, so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Testosterone can be really variable. I think it peaks more in the AM right? And they can drop down in the afternoon. It can be the variables. So you may just catch it at the wrong window.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And in some circadian rhythms are screwed up like you have no idea where you’re measuring. So, like it’s—it’s to me—it’s the lab value is not the person so I always wanna like, “Who is this person?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. You gotta look at the clinical outcome along with the—the objective values. Totally makes sense. Are you doing any adrenal testing with your regular functional medicine patients?

Dr. Ben House: I don’t do a lot of adrenal testing. Uh—you interviewed Wakowski here, kinda one of my favourite sayings, like 99% of new-age primates are cortisol resisting or have cortisol dysregulation so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: To me it’s like why do I want to measure chaos? I’m a big fan of not measuring chaos. Uhmm—and that—that’s just my viewpoint. So I would be apt to use like—I would use it later.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: So if you’re sleeping, if you’re doing all the things that you need to do, then I’ll run that—if we’re still not getting what we need to do. But the other way you can kinda frame it, too, is well, if I put this—I try to make it as least financially kind of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You’re trying to make it that the buying financially is low as possible so you can help more people, right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah. But for the testing standpoint, so—if—if someone—if I don’t—if they don’t care about money, I’m gonna get this test coz then if I show them, right? Then they’re gonna have it buying.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And lever is gonna be higher. Okay, your free testos—you’re free cortisol’s jacked. You have no DHEA. You start to do the shit that you need to do, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Dr. Ben House: Uh but if I can get that from other means, If I can them dialled in the fundamentals, then—and doing all the things that they need to do—coz nobody in the general population’s doing that. I mean slow—today is low.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So looking like at the palette of test, functional medicine test that you’re using with your patient, with your athletes, what are those top tests?

Dr. Ben House: Uh, so I – my top 2 are definitely a comprehensive blood panel

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Ben House: And then CSA. Like uhmm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Stool analysis.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And if someone doesn’t—if that doesn’t pop, maybe I’ll go grab a SIBO breath test or something like that if they have—if they’re carbon tolerant—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But we gotta immediately fix the digestive component. And obviously you don’t fix that without fixing the cortisol component. But uhmm—that’s my—that’s what I do. And then I’ll run precision analytics sometimes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Okay. So you will do one of the—the drug urine testing for the adrenal rhythm sometimes.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Good. I do those tests as well and their good.

Dr. Ben House: I want to see uh—so a lot of functional med—I think we can get in trouble coz I’m a PhD so I’m very research oriented.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So if a test doesn’t have a ton of research behind it, I—I’m not very apt to use it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: And that can be good and bad. Uhm—but I think like 5 years down the road, like is that lab gonna run like duplicates for 30 days? Are they gonna—are they gonna just do everything in their power to validate that measurement? Or are they just gonna this is it. This works? Then that’s—that’s what I wanna see.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally makes sense. And Biohouse got a new one out, called the CARS, the adaptive response. And they’re doing cortisol I think three times in the morning.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And it’s interesting because you do cortisol right away, you do it an hour later, you do it two hours later, and you see a major change in that first two hours. So I think people are really getting more stringent on when you do cortisol especially in the AM which is helpful.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Our lab at UT actually did a bunch of stuff on the cortisol awakening response. Which is—which is—that’s kind of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You knew that’s oughta things go as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I totally agree. Now looking at growth hormone, how does growth hormone interplay? Kinda potentiates the effects on testosterone? How does growth hormone interplay? I know it’s connected to IGF-I goes to the liver. How does that affect testosterone and basically when you put on more muscle?

Dr. Ben House: So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know it’s a lot—

Dr. Ben House: Testos—testosterone’s gonna feed in IGF, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: A lot of times and we can get the liver obviously want to work—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: growth hormones gonna be secreted at night and then the liver’s clogged is not gonna make IGF. To me, we can— from an IGF perspective—I’m not super well versed in IGF because I work with a lot of young athletes. And I don’t think we’re gonna have a lot of  IGF problem, like IGF-1.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I’ve never—I used to measure IGF-1 all the time and like no one was out—like no one was—everybody was kinda in range. So I stopped running it. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And that’s just my take. Now, could they benefit from growth hormone? Probably, right? Uhm—but we also have to be careful with that because IGF-1 is a growth factor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. It causes cancer.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. And well the research on that’s kinda another thing HGH is not related to increase cancer risk but I think—I think the evidence there—is there—just a little bit caution especially if you have a lot of cancer in your fate. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. So basically, the big things to increase testosterone: sleep, protein consumpt—ad—adequate protein, I imagine, right? The right amount of stimulus and then how about the timing of nutrition? Where does the timing come in to really potentiate testosterone and growth hormone?

Dr. Ben House: Well, I don’t know if we have a lot of research on that. Like acute—acute feeding of either fat or carbohydrate will actually lower testosterone uhm—especially in the fasted state. So to me, the bang for the buck there is probably from and under recovered mechanism. So if you just crash your glycogen stores, you probably wanna refuel. Uh—in—we know the biggest thing is gonna be total energy intake. You drop your total energy intake by 15%, you’re gonna lose D3, you’re gonna lose testosterone, so getting—if—if someone’s not—if someone’s training hard, they need the—in my mind, they have a body comp issue. And they’re training hard, they need to eat as many calories as they can to maintain their weight.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when you see these guys in the NFL, for instance, let’s say a linebacker that needs to be big, strong, but relatively lean and fast, is it really just the quality of nutrients and getting enough of it? I mean these guys literally eating two-three thousand calories   more than what they would need just at that height and weight to keep that mass on?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. In season, like you’re gonna see—you’re gonna see insane amount of calories going and going on their mouth. Like—they—they have to. They are that active. They’re—like you have a 230-250 pound man, they need a ton of food –three to five thousand calories easy. And so uhm—that’s—you gotta be careful coz that’s hard to get. And if—and that’s why we can get into trouble like intermittent fasting with that athletes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And Paul Quinn is like very, very against intermittent fasting in athletes. And — I—I’m—I’m in the same camp. Uhm—if you—body composition is completely different, health is completely different, but I think—especially in season if you have an athlete that—you gotta get—you gotta make sure that you get him first.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. What’s your take on steroids in general? Using steroid and/or using insulin as well. What’s your take on that?

Dr. Ben House: I—yeah. Yeah. This is awesome. Uhmm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s do it.

Dr. Ben House: From a TRT perspective, I think we’ve—and—a lot, just like a lot—like marijuana and I say marijuana’s bad or good. Nothing is bad or good, right? It is all context.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—I think we’ve had a veil dropped over our eyes as far as testosterone the same way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—and everybody thinks their testosterone is very negative because of baseball, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But—the overall, the evidence for testosterone replacement therapy is overwhelmingly positive.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: Overwhelming. So—uh—now, we don’t want the same thing. We don’t wanna just slap that on every guy. We wanna make sure—we wanna use all these lifestyle strategies first, but traumatic brain injury—I – you know that’s gonna affect testicul—the—testicularitis. And so—And also, blaunt trauma to testicles. My best friend played __cross. He got hit by a 110 mile cross bow in the nuts. He had three concussions, right? So is that guy—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Aww, man!!

Dr. Ben House: Is that guy gonna be able to produce his own testosterone, right? And that’s not that abnormal like you talk—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: You talk—you talk to a lot of professional athletes like how many testosterone do you have?  I don’t know—right? Especially—especially in contact sports. Ask any of the guy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s crazy. And elbo—also the xenoestrogen exposure is gonna disrupt LH- luteinizing hormone feedback loops, too, right? So we have the—we’re bombarded with the xenoestrogens and if you’re a female, obviously just in birth control pills will scrap the females as well. But you have it in the water, you have it in the pesticides and yeah—the plastics as well.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. This is something like—male health—this is why I feel so strongly about male health is coz we have no idea what’s gonna happen, right? Babies—they—their PON1’s are not very active. And PON1 is that enzyme that kids rid of persistent organic pollutants, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yup.

Dr. Ben House: And so we got—30—the top 37 pesticides that are used in our foods are anti-androgen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So we have no idea what’s gonna happen, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And then so the—and they only run test on one of them. They don’t run it at all of them. Uh—it’s—it’s very scary. Uhm—and this is—from my protecting you have to do everything in your power to eliminate all of those potential pollutants, right? Skin care products, everything. So we gotta get kinda weird. Uhm—and you don’t know if that’s gonna have an effect but you have to—you have to make sure. You cannot—especially babies. Like we cannot put that on—Look at the male population it’s going up today like it’s pretty scary.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, especially if you—you can’t breastfeed your child and you’re feeding them soy protein isolate. My god, the phytoestrogen content that you’re getting on that can rise up to potentially a birth-control pill in amount. Especially that’s all they’re relying on for the first six months to a year.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. It—it’s wild, man. Like it—it’s—it’s gonna be—it’s gonna be really, really interesting as you see what happens in 30 years. Like when this generation gets so like their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s, it’s gonna be—it’s gonna be wild.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. I have some people here in Austin, they’re uhm—doing some run care in melatonin and I’m researching helpful companies that’s more essential oils and more natural compounds and reusing like dying to meet—dying to make just earth to treat the fire ants or using boric acid for natural things. And peppermint oil for the Hornet’s and vinegar for different things. So we’re trying to limit our load naturally. But I see people everywhere else they’re putting a lot of chemicals out there. Are you familiar with the research on lung care products and like childhood lymphomas and leukemias and such?

Dr. Ben House: No. I haven’t—Well I haven’t looked at a lot of that research coz that’s not in my wheelhouse.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Ben House: But if you look at people just eating organic vs. non-organic p—produce like if you eat organic produce, you’ll get higher sperm count—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Your sperm is clear. It’s hard—that’s the dopest study at Harvard Med.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Yeah. I totally get that one, for sure. I’ll plug the documentary, too. The disappearing male.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent PBS documentary that talks about basically these estrogenic compounds in the environment that are hurting men and our future babies. So, keep that mind, too. That’s really good.

Dr. Ben House: You can kinda educate me on this, but I think all of those are gonna be mitochondrial toxin-based, right? If you jack up the mitochondria, you’re gonna have trouble with cancer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. You’re gonna have issues with cancer. There’s a great book it’s called, “Tripping Over the Truth”. That’s a really good book on cancer and the connection with the mitochondria. That’s a really, really, good one. And also, just the fact that it affecting the HPT access coz you screw up LH, uhm—you screw up the pineal gland, that affects melatonin that affects puberty. All these things that antagonizes itself. And then the more fats cells you have, the more estrogen you produces, then it’s a downward cycle, the more insulin-resistant you become. And it’s just this downward cascade—this metabolic accident, so to speak.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. It’s just loops everywhere. And you gotta figure out how you’re gonna break those loops and—and that’s the thing, some guy, they have like 25 loops right in. And you just wanna give them to—that’s not gonna fix the problem. You have—That’s not—you’re not helping anyone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And what about things like anabolic steroids? The more synthetic ones? DBOL and such?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I don’t use those. Uh—I have clients who do. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. What’s your take on that?

Dr. Ben House: I don’t—I don’t manage any of that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: What I do is I just wanna make sure that—that’s their choice, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So I—as a—as a—as—just a male in general and as a clinician, I don’t ever wanna change someone’s goals. I just wanna help them do what they do better. And so, if you wanna be a pro body builder—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You’re gonna have to play in that realm. Now I’m not the guy to run your anabolic regimen. But I can at least see like what’s going on? Are you—are you able to get rid of it? What’s your liver doing? How’s the hematocrit? Can manage all the things that could go wrong in that situation? 24:33 Uhm—the research on that is—is—is—is I think one thing that I would like to highlight—so they’ve done studies where they give a guy 600 mg a test.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And the average builder like 1100, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And so they give these guys 600 mg a test in 12 weeks. They give 20 pounds a muscle without an exercise regimen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Whoa!

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So you’ll think about—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s insane!

Dr. Ben House: You’ll think about like instagram phenoms, like you got a lot of people out there—a lot of males that I think are chasing things that aren’t physiologically possible. Uhm—and that—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You mean—

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You mean like the people you’re seeing align, they’re doing those things that you mention. The 600 mg of tests and they’re just getting massive amounts of muscle that you may not be all to cheat naturally. Is that what you’re saying?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. The ethotomy is uhm—so that’s a—that’s a calculation that you can do. And anything above 25 is—it’s kind of—then you start asking questions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Like my ethotomy is like 24, right? And I’m, you know, 1—190-185-190 and anywhere from 8-11% body fat. Maybe a little bit more if I’m off my game. Uh—and so there’s kind of a line in the sand that we can cross naturally. And obviously there’s gonna be people that are above that just from a statistical perspective.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But if someone just looks on godly jacked, I mean maybe—well—who am I to say what they’re doing and I don’t wanna be the guy that’s the ultimate whistle blower.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But I think we just gotta—we just gotta—when you look at everyone else’s highlight here, you’re gonna start questioning your own self-worth and I don’t know that you wanna do that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Totally. And what do you think about uhm—tendon growth when you’re on hormones like that? Let’s say, I know more of the artificial, but in general, do you get the compensatory growth in the tendons to support the increase in muscle mass?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So that’s one of the problems, right? It’s uh—you think about how the body responds like to__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: The first thing that we’re gonna have is neural, right?

You can get that in minutes. And the second response is muscular. And so that’s gonna take, you know, 8 minutes, maybe last if you’re—you’ve never__

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But that—that collagen response that you know, that’s building up the fascia, building up all the tissue and the bones. That takes a longest time. So when you take shortcuts, if I put a 25 lb muscle on you, and I haven’t—I haven’t build up the structure, I’m gonna—that’s when you like—biceps tear don’t happen. Like you see a bicep tear on a deadlift, like, “Uhmm” I’m thinking, what’s going on?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. So do you uhm—

Dr. Ben House: Does that make sense?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. That totally make sense. So you—something you’re careful of and you increasing collagen supplementation to help provide extra tendons building blocks, too?

Dr. Ben House: Well, everybody had—everybody is pretty much using that I have is collagen protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. So you’re doing that.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Especially in the beginning, I take everybody off away for 30 days just coz it’s a common allergen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And if they can handle that, I want it back in. Uhm—but yeah—yeah I would say that’s kind of a non-issue for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you sub out—will you sub out like the way for like a high-quality, hypoallergenic pea protein in the meantime?

Dr. Ben House: No. I’ll use—I’ll use uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Beef?

Dr. Ben House: I think if you take enough pure paleo, I think you’re gonna be fine on losing content.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Ben House: That’s like a 3-gram threshold. So yeah, less than whey but if you take 30-40 grams of it, you’re gonna be fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice. Awesome.

Dr. Ben House: Well, I know you post a lot on Facebook. You got a home gym, you’re dad in Costa Rica now, you move from Austin down there. So you got a pretty awesome lifestyle going. Give me a quick walkthrough in the day of a life of Dr. Ben. What time do you get up? What do your meals look like? What does your work out looks like? What is post and pre work out nutrition look like? What does sleep look like?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. That—that’s fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ahaha.

Dr. Ben House: So my days, I wake up—one of the cool things of why I’d wanted to move here is getting closer to the equator.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—So I go to bed like 8:30. Can’t keep my eyes open.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Dr. Ben House: And then I’m up naturally like you talk about cortisol awakening response, like I can’t sleep past 5:30. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Dr. Ben House: So I wake up—I wake up and I immediately sit, right? So I sat for—I meditate for 15 minutes. Done that for years. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great.

Dr. Ben House: Never—never will stop. That’s kinda—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Any kind of meditation? Just kinda like a blank slate in the head and you’re breathing or—

Dr. Ben House: I use mantra practice. Sometimes my dad is a—is Zen teacher.

blank slate and had new breeding or is much about is sometimes my dad as it is in Zen teacher is an ordained Zen priest.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, awesome.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So in—I started—I took my whatever you wanna—I’m kinda involved when I was about 19. Uhm—probably the best gift that I was ever given uhm—was that to be able to go to that—come to that mindful practice early.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Dr. Ben House: So I’ll do—I’ll do some calming. Sometimes I do some Tibetan practice which is like—it’s one of my favourites where you wish someone well that—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And the next breath, you wish someone well that you’re kinda apathetic about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: someone that you don’t know very well. And the last, you wish someone well that you hate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: That you don’t really like.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And it kinda—it really helps you and by the end, you’re kinda like, “Man, I don’t have that many people that I—that I don’t like and why I don’t like them.” It becomes mostly probably, you know, you start looking to word about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: That’s one of my favourites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it. That’s great. So morning routine, you’re getting up 5:30, you do your meditation 15 minutes, what’s next?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so if it’s a training day, I’m probably gonna have some type of easily digestible carbohydrates and Natchan in the morning coz it’s hot here. Uhm—also, I train in I’d—I like to smash myself with prob—I’m NEAT head, there’s no way around it like I’m gonna be that guy probably even if—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: ills me. Uhm—And so I’m—I’m working that glycolytic high intensity pathway uhm—3x a week. In my youth, I do it unbelievably too much, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But—so I’ll do that and I’d work for about 3 hours in the morning depending on what I got. I usually don’t take clients until the afternoon. Uhm—And then I’ll train or if it’s a non-training day, I’m just working. Uhm—and then right now, we’re building a retreat center so I have a lot of things that I—I’m the gen—I’m essentially the general contractor there so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome.

Dr. Ben House: And so half my day is in Spanish, the other half is in English. Uh—sometimes I have to run up there and do stuff but—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Dr. Ben House: I spend—I spend 4 hours at least a day on Pub Med in researching and writing. That’s my—that’s my thing. I love it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you have awesome Facebook posts, too. I appreciate it. You really condense a lot of the research down.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think that’s how we move people, right? We just consistently hit them. And you do it with a podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Like this is a—even if it’s—even if it’s repetitive affirmation like if it produces an action, that’s what I’m all about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Got it. So Pub Med 4 hours a day, that’s awesome. And then patients and then what’s next after that?

Dr. Ben House: I try to stop working.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—I think a lot of us are super passionate about our craft. I’m better about that when like something isn’t coming like I have uhm—big—big presentation’s coming up in a month. So now, I’m kinda—I’m always prepping for that. Those are kind always in my mind. So I use a lot of hard mat to kinda like turn my self-doubt.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup. Yup.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—And I try to shut it down. Shut it down in the evening, definitely by 5 or 6. And I’ll just do fun stuff with my life, right? Maybe we’ll read. Maybe I’ll read something like super unscienc-y. Maybe we’ll just watch a movie. We kinda watch— I tend to push for comedies. He tends to push for dramas but uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And I always make sure—one thing I’m really, really like big on is you have a treadmill test. It’s just baseline of movement. Like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Dr. Ben House: We put all these—we put all these pressure on exercise and it’s just a small bucket as far as like movement. It’s like NEAT is where it’s at, Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. And so if someone is not gaining 10,000 steps in a day, like all of the core can take can be just regulated. They’re not gonna be able to sleep. So so many good things happen if people just move.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, I agree. I mean I just got seen patients yesterday. I’ve got 25,000 steps yesterday. I mean I walk about 10 miles a day. I’m on my leg uh—my fitness power here. And I’m like—you know, there’s a leader board section and I’m always like—I always like try to be number one. So there’s yesterday right there, 21, 500. So, super. I love it.

Dr. Ben House: You’re living it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. And then the key thing is to I kind have my kettle bells down over here and then some push-up bars so I try to rep some of the that stuff in between patients even if I can do 2-3 minutes in like 5 or 6x a day. It just keeps the metabolism up.

Dr. Ben House: Sounds good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I’m—I’m—I train so hard that you could I mean—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I get it. I get it.

Dr. Ben House: I’m not doing pull ups—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re done. You’re done after that. You’re done, man. Absolutely. So right now, we have a lot of listeners that may not be at that professional level, right? You know, frankly, they wanna be healthy, they wanna be energised, they wanna have good relationships. And then probably I can say that they probably wanna good look naked, right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah. That’s the point also.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So what are the top 5 movement patterns those people should be doing? And maybe you wanna differentiate man and woman so in case something is different there.

Dr. Ben House: Uh— So I would say first of all, like just how people are gonna come see us for a lot of like metabolic stuff and all the—everything that we do for functional med. See somebody who’s good at movement—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Like—like you’ve been at a desk your whole life and you can’t take an exhalation. Like you probably shouldn’t be deadlifting.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Like if you’re stuck in this state of extension. I don’t know that that’s—are you really gonna even activate your hamstrings? I have no idea, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Especially __Uh—so I think we wanna be able to use—we have to be able to use the big guns. We gotta—you know—hamstrings, quads, back—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: Chest, right? And so you’re gonna—you wanna squat, you wanna deadlift, you wanna benchpress, you wanna military press, but it’s always risk vs. reward. So the risk of anytime you strapping somebody, 2 hands in a bar is higher than if you put on single limb, one arm weighted, right? Or one leg weighted.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Ben House: And so for me it’s all about how do we individualized this to the person? And if you don’t individualize this, what we’ve seen is—so one of my—one of my good friends in—we used to—we have a business together in Austin, his name is Erin Davis. He’s probably—he’s like the most unknown exercise scientist. And he’s like purposely so. He’s like a hermit. And he’s a—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nice.

Dr. Ben House: He’s an insane, right? And so he straps up all these gadgets to this dude. And he’s like—and – he just messes bench pessing. He’s like, “What the hell? You’re chest doesn’t even turn on.” Right? And so he can’t even—out of a barbell  bench pressing, he can’t even get the guy’s chest to turn on because of his positioning. Gives him a dumbbell, boom, he can get—he can get pec activation. So I think it’s—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow.

Dr. Ben House: So I think it’s really important that you see somebody who’s good at movement evaluation so you can look at your position, right? Coz muscles are slaves to position.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: So the position—who the he—what are you gonna do? Uhm—and I think there’s DNS, PRI. There’s a lot of uh—FRC. There’s a lot of things that are looking at that now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—and there’s a lot of people that are really good at it. And so see them, pay them for their time. Uh—in Austin, there’s a guy Steve Cuddy who’s amazing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhmm—Erin Davis and Pad__ is obviously really good and Dave R__ has done the same as Marcus—who’s awesome as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. So what are the top 5 movements?

Dr. Ben House: You tell me. What’s gonna activate the biggest muscle groups?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So for me, off the bat, it’s gonna be deadlift coz that’s the only one that connects upper body and lower body but actually doing with correct form really activating the lats, locking them down. Number two would be squat. I wanna get your take on front squat or back squat, though. I would do uh—pote—I’m a big fan of unilateral single leg like deadlift movements. I like those with cables. Big Paul Chek fan with that. I would say step ups and/or lunges and then after that, I mean, If I’m doing a movement, I would wanna do something that has explosion. So I would wanna do either uhmm— snatches or uhmm- cleans or sprints.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I would—I would pick like maybe one of those. Haha—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, let’s hear it.

Dr. Ben House: That’s good. That’s great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I want—I want your take. Let me hear it.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah. Uh—So you gotta—upper body pulling is like super—you gotta have—you gotta have one of those in there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: So whether—that’s probably a lot. Maybe a pull up if you can do it right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. So you’re talk—Alright. Got it.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—if someone’s goal is just health, probably most people’s goal is hypertrophy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So in my mind, they need to get really, really really good at the fundamentals.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: Variety may not be your bestfriend.

Dr. Ben House: You may need some of it just to keep you—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: –in the game. But you gotta be—I would probably use a trap bar. Uhm—safer for the general population. You can load it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani : Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—it’s gonna be more quad dom. Uh—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: I’m—So the—From the—from the deadlift perspective.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: I think it’s great but if you’ve been a gymnast or if your hamstring length is really, really long, if someone can palm the floor, I’m gonna be very—I’m not gonna use—I’m not gonna throw a deadlift at somebody right there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay.

Dr. Ben House: I’m probably gonna use—I’m gonna use maybe couple of Bulgarian split squats, Which is probably my favourite exercise for the general population. Where you like get to activating the hamstring uhmm—from a front squat, back squat perspective, the muscle activation is fairly similar. Uhm—I would probably lean in the general population more towards the front squat because you’re gonna have more anterior core, you’re gonna have to stabilize, right? And also, like if you can’t do it, you—you drop it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Whereas the back you can like—you can—you can—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. You’re gonna overpower it, for sure.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. You might hurt yourself. Uh—so those are my view points. Again—and I use uhm—I think speed and doing things that people love is really important so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You know how to Olympic lift, and you like to snatch, you like to clean obviously. I love those things. But if you don’t like doing Olympic lift, there’s a lot of—like sprinting is a great way. But in the jumping—there’s a lot of different little things that you can do to come and get that fast twitch movement coming. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are you doing any single leg stuff?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. You can do single-leg hops, you can do, you know, whatever. You can—I do it ton. So I don’t—I do myself in all my single leg and kinda that prep toy stuff. That’s one of my cool down. So that never leaves, right? I’m doing a lot of like prehab, rehab stuff. But my meat and potatoes is my meat and potatoes. Uhm—it’s like you can’t lose sight of that. But if someone has never train in their life, their entire workout might be prehab, rehab.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. That makes sense.

Dr. Ben House: Does that make sense?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally. Now you’re reading a lot of studies. You’re spending 4 hours a day on Pub Med.  What are the key things that you look at in the studies so that you don’t get tripped up by you know—coz sometimes the conclusion might not match what the actual study has done. Just—I know we don’t have an example here, but what are the key things people should be highlighting or looking at when they’re reviewing the study?

Dr. Ben House: That’s a—that’s a problem to question. So like UT was kinda burning to us in the PhD department really, really early.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—the first thing he looks at is the chart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So you go straight to the figures. Uh—you look at the figures and then—and then you kinda look at the stats section. You figure out— And this is from a research perspective.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Then you look at the stats section, then you look at the subjects and then you start digging the—everything that’s going on the method section. Before you look, at the conclusion and maybe—sometimes I’ll just—I’ll buzz your abstract to see what I wanna read. I’ll definitely do that. Uh—but the problem is most people, even myself, being out of the grad school for, you know, a year and half-two years. We don’t—I don’t like looking at a ton of stat research. So like Microbiome data. It’s probably the best example here. Like our lab run a ton of microbiome data.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: We got stool samples on many people, we sent that out – yeah we send it out to another lab. Uhm—and that guy get all the analysis—all the genetic analysis on the poop.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And then that guy couldn’t even analyze the data. So had to send it to a statistician to analyze the data so that we can have—we can think about it. So think about all that. Like that is—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Lots of steps.

Dr. Ben House: Now you ask the general population. You’re asking the general population to look at some kind of general linearized cluster analysis. But I don’t even know what day it is, right? And so—that uh—that—like—you know—and so they have—they tend to digestible and take away. So there’s a lot of reliance on science. If you see a study, and this is kinda something that we could talk about. You see a study that’s running like 20 paired T-test, I’m immediately like, “What the hell are you doing?” Like you can’t run—it’s—you have this 95% like a .05 alpha.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So in order for something to be statistically significant it only has to happen 5% of the time, essentially.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: And so if you run 20 tests, one of those is gonna poll just from a statistical standpoint. So that’s—you gotta be careful with that. So in that situation, I’m looking for a manova instead of an inova.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so if you see kinda like this fishing explanation which you’ll see a lot, you just see the smorgasbord of data. Uhm—be careful with that. And so—coz it can—that’s one of my favourite things to pick apart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else? So let’s summarize that. So you like the manova—you look at the—the uh T-score, right? The .05 you’re looking at that as well.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You’re looking at—

Dr. Ben House: You go ahead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You looking at the graph—you go ahead.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. You just—so we wanna make sure that something is—something can be  statistically significant but mean to us.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: So if it is— if it’s like say, you have a .1 rise in testosterone, but it’s at the .001 level, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Okay. You have a statistically significant finding but it’s clinically meaningless. So we gotta make sure that—that their findings actually mean something.


Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Awesome. That’s helpful. Anything else you wanna add on that?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think that Alan Aragon, the best way to learn about research is to read other people’s critiques of research. Uhm—and Alan Aragon has his research review. And it’s a steal. It’s 10 bucks and you get 8 years of monthly research review. So if you wanna get good at reviewing research, the best place is you just read it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally makes sense. Now you mention back earlier that you are looking at a lot of blood patterns. What are the big patterns that you’re seeing pop up? Are you looking at thyroid? Are you looking at protein digestion by some of these markers? What are you seeing in blood?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. So the first thing—the first thing that I’m gonna look at is haemoglobin and glucose control.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—that’s not the best measure for athlete because they’re gonna dispose of red blood cells faster than general population.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: So if you see a high HbA1C in athlete, you might actually be a little bit more worried. Like maybe like 5.6, you’re like, “Uh—what’s going on with you?” uhmm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: And that all goes to context, too. Like are they gonna gain? Are they trying to gain weight? Then I’m not—they’re not probably not gonna get diabetic if they have a ton of muscle mass.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—And that’s all context dependent. And I actually like—I’m—I don’t put a lot of weight in my fasting glucose and fasting insulin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—you’re probably gonna see this, right? I don’t work with a lot of chronic patients. So that—that—C peptide and those measurement fasting can be really good for those kind of patients.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But when you—when you got a guy who’s 6’1, 8% body fat, that’s probably not gonna tell you much.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—and so I—what I really like to do is I like to use glucometer protocols.’’

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: Uh—and so I have people grab—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Come on right here.

Dr. Ben House: Just grab it 13x a day and see what happens.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And send me—send me a graph and send me when you eat and let’s have a—let’s have a discussion. Coz if you eat 3 rice cakes and you go to, you know, 200. That does not happen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You’re storing glucose in urine like we don’t want that to happen. So that’s the way we can kind of, you know, tweak carb load. The next thing uhm—obviously, you need thyroid support.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You need thyroid hormone. It runs in every cell of the human body. So I’m gonna drop—from there, I’m probably gonna drop down to thyroid and see what’s going on there. Uhm—I mean I’ve picked up so many like—Hashimoto’s in like 14-year-old kid like one of the best pictures in Texas.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Ben House: And he couldn’t recover, right? He constantly has this stupid injuries. And we grab  his lab work, his TPL is like 300.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Whoa!

Dr. Ben House: And we’re like—Yeah, and we’re like, “okay”  And he feels better, right? All these—we can’t—I can’t—his dad is like, “Oh, he needs to eat like Brady.” All that stuff—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No.

Dr. Ben House: I’m like, “No, he doesn’t.” Like—and now the kid is taking ownership of it which is amazing. He’s like—he’s like, “No, I’m not gonna eat that.” And so now, he on—he pretty much eats only autoimmune paleo. He have some rice, he does okay with rice. Uhm—and he couldn’t—he was overweighing, still crushing it like meanest curve ball uhm—this side of Mississippi. And so—but now—he’s—he’s—he looks amazing, right?

And if you play at these schools, these Texas schools, you gotta look the part. Like even if you’re—even if you’re amazing, you have to—you have to look like an animal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely.

Dr. Ben House: That’s kind of unfortunate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean have Hashimoto’s myself and I play baseball and sports and football growing up. And I had lots of injuries coz I was trying to eat 11 servings of grains in the food pyramid, so there’s a lot of misinformation out there. And again, a lot of people are seriously inflamed. And the more inflamed they are, the more catabolic. The more catabolic, the more they can’t recover and uh—put on muscle and heal, essentially.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. To me it’s like—it’s all about breaking cycles, right? My dad has celiac disease.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow.

Dr. Ben House: We found out—we found out when he was like 40, like 10 inches of his colon moves—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man.

Dr. Ben House: His gallbladder is tightening up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yikes.

Dr. Ben House: Like that’s why I got into this. I was gonna go to medical school.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And my dad got super screwed up by the conventional medical system. He was having pain killer on demand. Uh—and then I was in Colorado and I—Breaking the Viscous Cycle, I’ve read the book—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: And I was like, “Hey dad, let’s just change your diet. Three A’s set him free, he was struggling like 10 years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. Isn’t that crazy? Dude, I know. I see it everyday. I mean—it’s—we have he most rewarding job in the world.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah, for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because you get someone banging his head against that conventional medical wall for 10 years plus, at some point, they started throwing it back on you. Saying it’s in your head, and they start making the Psychophol, right? And writing scripts for Zoloft and such. And then you’re just like, “ My god, this can’t be real.” You know—it’s gotta be real. So looking where you’re at, uhm—you mentioned uhm— blood markers. Anything else? You’ve talked about thyroid. Any specific cut off that you wanna talk about with TSH, T3 or antibody levels?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—Yes. So what I’m—I’m use uh—I use a software And so I’m always looking at total T3, total T4, free T3, free T4 and—so I’m always looking at what’s going on with that. Are they producing a ton of T4 but then they’re not converting any of it to T3?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: All the thyroid hormones are bound up. Like are they on—which is to me—like I see it constantly like if I take on a female client. I’m like, “Oh, your thyroid hormone is bind up, are you on birth control?” “Yeah.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: There it is, right? It upregulates thyroid body globulin.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Uptake. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: One of the ways that we know—we know that testosterone increases lean mass and metabolism is that it dominates your thyroid binding globulin. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. Makes sense. You see that in PCOS, right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Exactly. So we got the thyroid. What are you looking at for protein digestion? Are you looking at globulin, creatinine, serum protein, albumin? What are you looking at?

Dr. Ben House: Uh—so yeah I think total protein and globulins are soft markers for—I always think of them as like check engine lights. They’re not like end-all be-all.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: But if I see them low, “Oh my god, let’s keep some work add on that situation.” Uhm—and then kidney markers—In athletes, like this is like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bone creatinine.

Dr. Ben House: Oh my god, this is like—I love talking about this because that—does can actually—kidney markers are essentially useless, right, in athlete. Because blood urine nitrogen is the breakdown of protein products.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Ben House: So if you’re in a Ketone, high protein diet, you’ve already—you’ve knocked that up. Now creatinine is indirect measure of muscle mass. So if I have a jacked gorilla who’s in a ton of protein, he’s automatically gonna have a GFR that’s probably pretty screwed up. But his kidney function maybe fine. Uh—so the best marker there is statin C. And so if someone is super worried about their kidney function, I’ll run that coz that’s not affected by protein intake or muscle mass.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Statin C for the kidney?

Dr. Ben House: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m not seeing patients that are at the same level as you know, being an athlete but I do try to keep them 48 hours away from strenuous workout so you don’t get those false positives.

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I do that as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—but the re—it’s all individual. So they’ve done studies, it can be 10 days that you’ll see like liver enzyme’s high, bilirubin high. So you can—you can see those things. It all depends, some people get back in 48 hours and obviously we can’t tell people not to train for 10 days. Uhm—that’s not gonna work.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right.

Dr. Ben House: We won’t do that. But I think 48 hours and making sure that their hydration is really, really solid.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And do you think muscle soreness would also be a pretty—pretty good subjective indicator? Making sure that they’re not incredibly sore or like in pain or you know, hurting from the workout?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think it’s probably good from an inflammatory standpoint.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: You’re gonna—with CRP, you’re gonna see an acute rise with exercise and that is a positive in that overtime. Uhm—I—I hate muscle soreness like it’s— maybe—I don’t know if we have research to say that. It’s such a subjective indicator.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Totally.

Dr. Ben House: And it’s so variable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Is there anything else you wanna let the listeners know? Anything else on your health pocket that you’re kind of researching or on top of mind?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. I think we can kinda get lost in kind of the little things, right And so—just make—I see a lot of people that are, you know, worried about something regarding their health.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Ben House: And that—that’s probably not good. If you are incessantly worrying about your health, that—that’s a problem.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Dr. Ben House: I saw, you know, a lot of type A people that come to functional med and so one of our jobs is like, “Hey, like, you’re not gonna die.” Like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: This is okay. Like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s alright.

Dr. Ben House: You have a homocysteine of 9, you’re not gonna get killed tomorrow. There’s things that we can do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: Let’s do all the things. So I’d say focus on the effort—not necessarily— always focus on effort. Uhm—and that’s my biggest thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. And who is your ideal patient? Coz I know you made the switch from the athletic world to the functional medicine world now. You had your experience with your dad with the celiac thing. So you have some autoimmune experience. Who is your ideal patient? Someone who wanna come to see you?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. My ideal patient is a male, any—any age range, uh—but probably a male that just wants to look good, feel good, look good naked, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: That’s my prototypical client. Uhm—and then, anyone is free to email me, obviously. And like I have—I get crazy emails like, “Hey, I have a—I have a tumor in my hypothalamus. Can you help me out? And no, I can’t but uhm—let me—let me refer you out to someone who might be able to reboot your entire endocrine system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So ,right?

Dr. Ben House: Yeah. That’s the website.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Love it, man. Very cool. Anything else?

Dr. Ben House: Thank you for all that you do. And just uh—just putting out there information that we all have—we all have our mediums. And you do a really good job in just finding awesome people and interviewing them. And—and letting them tell story. So thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. I appreciate it, Dr. Ben. I appreciate it. And the last question for you, if you’re on a dessert island, you can only choose one supplement, one herb, one nutrient, what is it?

Dr. Ben House: Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Haha—

Dr. Ben House: I’m gonna pick magnesium.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Magnesium. Okay. Alright.

Dr. Ben House: I’m probably get—If I will get a multi, I’m gonna—I mean—If I’m training on this island, uhm—maybe a protein supplement if I can’t find enough meat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Ben House: But uh—yeah definitely—I mean most athletes are deficient in magnesium. It’s—if you give an athlete magnesium, and they’re deficient and like, they’re gonna feel a lot better. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome, my man. Well, thank you for that great feedback. Doctor House in the house. You can see him at

Dr. Ben House, I appreciate you being on the show.

Dr. Ben House: Thank you, sir. Have a great day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You too. Take care.


Documentary on The Disappearing Male

Tripping Over the Truth by Travis Christofferson

Breaking the Viscious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall


Common Causes of Weight Loss Resistance

Weight Loss Resistance

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Weight loss is one of the common issues faced by many of us. Sometimes we think we have tried everything, but weight loss just never really happens. Watch this video and learn about reasons why we can’t seem to lose weight effectively. Gain valuable insight about the factors affecting weight loss resistance and determine if any of these factors apply to us.

Today’s talk will be on weight loss. Essentially, weight loss resistance. I see many patients here at the clinic have issues with weight loss. Some of the common things that I find that really are kinda the main cause of weight loss is because you didn’t try, you’re kind of on that calorie roller coaster. And every few years, you notice your rate keeps up and going up. And it kind of feel like it just may never stop.

Factors causing weight loss resistance:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Gut issues
  3. Toxins
  4. Over exercising

Factors Causing Weight Loss Resistance


Inflammation is a really common factor to chronic weight gain. What is inflammation? Inflammation, there’s a couple of different kinds.

Acute inflammation will be something like cut or sports injury. So cut for instance, you’re body’s going to form clotting factors that is going to produce a scab, and eventually that scab will let go. That’s great.

What we find in today’s society is we have chronic, systemic inflammation. The body is systemically inflamed due to diet and lifestyle factors. Man is causing essentially stimulating a hormone called cortisol. Other hormones, still we have cholecystokinin, but just to keep it simple for this generalization.

Cortisol, essentially, is driving belly fat bad, driving fat that is actually breaking down protein and muscle. And it’s interesting to know that a lot of receptors for cortisol are actually right around our bellies and hips.

So our real first goal is addressing weight gain, knocking down that cortisol. That’s one.  Where does cortisol come from? We’ll just kinda go over couple of a few factors you may find in my patients coming here.  

What causes inflammation?

Causes of Inflammation

Foods being the first thing that we see that can attribute to inflammation. When you have to do it every single meal,
and when you’re either putting food in your body that’s creating the anti-inflammatory state or you’re putting food in your body that’s creating the pro-inflammatory state, that’s one. So eating the right fatty acids is very helpful. People on this called low fat kick today, they’re not getting the right nutrients and I suppose that’s one factor.


So if you’re eating lots of peanuts and different foods, like grains for instance, then you’re increasing your mycotoxin exposure, it is going to have a huge effect when you gain fat.

Want to know more about the causes of inflammation? CLICK HERE


So as we eat these foods that will cause this inflammation around the gut. And essentially, we can see inflammation on the skin. But in the inside, we can’t really tell what’s going on.  So we’re eating foods that, in the inside, will cause the inflammation. It will cause inflammation, then couple of things happen.

We have our different microvilli in the inside of our intestines that are our little vacuum cleaners. It suck up nutrients. So one may suck up vitamin C, some calcium, some iron, etc. So if we get clogged our vacuum cleaners from inflammation, we can’t really take in a lot of the nutrients that we need. It’s important that these nutrients are using their radar energy systems. So it makes sense that we can’t get the nutrients that we need. Our energy system maybe a little bit low.


Toxins are another huge factor that we see. Your body is very intelligent. It knows toxins are dangerous to the organs, dangerous to the brain. Well it does its best job to sequester them. Sequester meaning it stores it in the fat and keeps it away from going to systemic circulation. So if our body is constantly expose to toxins, isn’t it a hard time letting go of fat? Because you notice that fat needs to be there to help buffer that bad toxin exposure. So if we do our best to decrease toxin exposure, mycotoxins, food allergens, etc., we  put our body into a huge step of healing and feeling better. And where we see that fat that maybe there’s a safety net, so to speak.


Now the common thing you see, super common is over exercising. Patients are doing exercises that are actually increasing cortisol. You can check the medical databases, that long distance cardio, especially marathon running, anything that I consider over 45 minutes to an hour, long-term is going to increase cortisol secretions.

Then again, we talk about cortisol, the receptors are on your tummy, they’re on the hips. So at the same time, you’re adding on hip fat and belly fat and you’re also burning up muscle.

So, we like to get people’s  exercise dialed in precisely.  And a lot of times, it’s not about getting working harder, it’s about working smarter. So short bursts, shorter range and high amplitude burst is going to be a much better solution.

Summary and Recommendation

Summary and RecommendationsNow, so overall, we looked at some exercise components. We looked at some food components, and toxins, toxic exposure components to how weight loss tends to accumulate. And over time, what we find is patients with a sluggish metabolism, overtime, tend to accumulate weight.  So really the key is to address the metabolism, fix it. It’s important that we do not want to lose some weight to get healthy. You get healthy and then you lose weight. So it’s kind of a different way of thinking.

So I hope this video helps everyone here. And any questions, feel free and let me know. We can always set up a consultation.

Are you having trouble losing weight? CLICK HERE to ask an expert about it. 


Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work – Yoyo Dieting

Reasons Why Diets Don't Work

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Watch this video and learn more about Yoyo dieting, its immediate and long-term effects on our body.

Yoyo dieting is essentially is going on a low-calorie, some kind of extreme diet usually it involves cutting out certain macronutrients. Whether you’d be cutting way down on proteins or fats and essentially restricting calories.


Why Yoyo Dieting Doesn’t Work

Why Yoyo Dieting Doesn't Work

The first thing that happens is that any time you restrict calories from the body, the first thing your body says is, “Whoa, what’s going on?” – it’s thinking genetics are hardwired for famine. Something is happening in the environment we got to be really careful, we got to conserve our energy. So the first thing when we send that scarcity signal to our genetics, the first thing our body thinks is famine. And it’s going to turn down our thyroid hormone. So our thyroid again, this is essentially the thermostat of our body. So we turn it down a little bit, it’s going to basically run a little less energy, run a little colder, maybe a little less brainpower. It’s trying to conserve energy. And then we start to hard wire the metabolism, instead of it to burn fat and fuel efficiently and easy, we start to tell our body, “Know what, store that energy in the fat cell for a rainy day. We’re okay for a little fatigue. You rather have that reservoir or fuel so that if we need it, we got it.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about  Yoyo dieting

So again, the first thing we really always want to do when we’re trying to trying to lose weight is never do Yoyo dieting. 

How to stop Yoyo Dieting

How to Stop Yoyo Dieting

So the call is we do not want to alter our thyroid hormone for the negative. We actually want to make a lasting change. So its taking into an anti-inflammatory diet, avoiding the most inflammatory foods, essentially grains, dairy and legumes. And eating every 3 to 5 hours. It really is a good way to stabilize blood sugar and send signals to your metabolism, “Hey, burn fat for fuel, have lots of energy, use it all up, feel good, perform well.” It gives us the signals to be vital and not to go into a scarcity mode.

 Need help to stop Yoyo Dieting? CLICK HERE

I hope this talk benefited you. For any questions, feel free and visit and/or email the office.


Putting together the optimal functional medicine program – Podcast #116

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand discuss about effective functional medicine programs and how they create and follow protocols. This interview goes in-depth about the world of functional medicine practice.

functional medicine programsFind out why you shouldn’t wait for something to happen before doing anything about it health-wise. Discover the differences between Body System One and Two and how optimal health can be attained. Learn about the various tests you can take and the right tools that are available to further achieve better and more effective results with functional medicine.

In this episode, topics include:

01:26   Get help as early as possible

07:00   Body System One

10:19   Diet and lifestyle

17:16   Body System Two

38:22   Tests







Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, Evan, it’s Dr. J in the flesh. How we doin’ this Monday?

Evan Brand:  Hey, man! I’m doing great. How are you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m doing great. Can’t complain. It’s a little rainy Monday here in Austin. The grass is getting plenty of water which is great. I got the fireplace on behind me, so it’s got that wintery Christmas feel a little bit.

Evan Brand:  Nice. Excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can’t complain. How about you?

Evan Brand:  Doing well, man. Hey, we were trying to record this thing, and then we had choppy audio so I wanna repeat what my little rant was because I thought that was important. I’m always curious about what is the catalyst for someone to work with yourself or myself, and I had a lady this morning who had been listening to us for six months and she knew that she had problems. She had a lot of gut issues going on but she continued to just listen to try to fix herself, and then she got the diagnosis of alopecia and now she’s lost over half the hair on her head, and now she’s figured out that that’s the time to come and get help. And I just want that to be a fire under people’s butts listening that you shouldn’t wait until things are so bad that you’re at rock bottom before you get help and unfortunately, that’s the conventional system that we’ve all been brainwashed to do which is we wait until we’re really bad, we absolutely need a doctor or practitioner and then we go get help. And my advice, get help now. If you have symptoms and things are off, and this is something you’ve—you’ve trained me on so much. It’s like, “Evan, look, these issues are not gonna resolve themselves. You have to resolve issues now. They’re not just gonna magically disappear.” Did you wanna speak on that a little bit about people just waiting too long or people just not having enough reason so they think to get help?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, well, there was an interesting scenario just the recently. There was a plumber in my house a few months back and he was doing some work, and there was just like a leak on the faucet, and for some reason the leak went away the next day. So there were two plumbers there and he goes down and looks, and he couldn’t find the leak. And he goes, “Well, maybe it just went away,” and then his partner, the plumber next to him spoke up and said, “You know what? Leaks never go away on their own. If there’s a leak, it’s gonna get worse.” So he went down there and he looked, and he said, “Okay, well, we just need more flow and if you had more flow coming, it would start to leak.” And he looked a little deeper back and he found the leak and just the environment wasn’t quite right enough for the leak to be expressing itself but the whole idea was that these problems don’t ever tend to go away by themselves. So that was kind of the moral of the story and connecting it to your patient, let’s say if you have these symptoms, they’re gonna get worse and the question is, how long do you wanna wait until those symptoms, right? Pain, pay attention inside now—that’s what symptoms are—whether it’s aesthetic, whether it’s inflammatory, whether it’s mood or energy. How bad do they have to get before you start getting a—a fire under your butt so to speak.

Evan Brand:  Right. Well, and my grandparents, their old house, you know, they had issues with their plumbing and they had to wait until their entire basement was flooded and thousands and thousands of dollars’ worth of carpet and furniture was ruined due to the flood before they came in and got the issue. So maybe they saved, you know, a couple hundred bucks in the beginning, but then it cost them likely $10,000 or more in the long run because they waited until things just hit an absolute worst-case scenario. So you know, I know there’s a lot of people out there listening that are trying to fix themselves and you and I certainly applaud that. I mean that’s what this is all about, right? Taking your health into your own hands and us teaching you how to fish, but at a certain level, you really just have to reach out and—and don’t be afraid to get better and—and don’t be afraid. You know, we’re real people. We don’t bite and we’re here for you. That’s what this is for. The show is to inspire you and to help you, but there’s nothing that’s gonna replace a one-on-one, you know, with one of us because there’s so many courses and online things, and things that you can look into, but it’s not specialized and I’m against specialization if you only look at one person. But you know, something we’re gonna talk about today is functional medicine is a specialty but we’re breaking that down. We’re—we’re looking at someone. We’re casting a net wide enough to look at every body system, so that we’re gonna figure out what in the world going on with somebody.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. And so the template for how we treat patients is pretty unique for—for us as functional medicine clinicians, right? There a lot of nutritionists out there that will primarily just focus on the diet piece. There are a lot of medical doctors out there that I find that will a lot of time skip the diet, maybe focus on more of the hormones and ignore the gut. You have other people that will only work on infections, whether it’s Lyme or a gut doctor. They’re only focused on the infections. So the question is, how do we become the general or the ultimate general practitioner, where we can pull the key issues from the infections, from the hormones, from the diet, from the lifestyle, from the digestive system, and combine them together and mesh it? So we put it all together in a way that is holistic, that represents the underlying cause from each person, because that underlying cause percentage-wise may be different for each, meaning one person that may be 60% diet, 30% infections, and 10% hormones, and others it may be 30% diet, 50% hormones, 20% gut. So you gotta look at it from the perspective of what piece may be the bigger player, and it may not be the same for each person. So we may not know, but if we hit them all in the order that we consider to be the order of priority, that’s gonna give us the highest chance of hitting all of those key issues and not missing them.

Evan Brand:  Right, and during the free calls, you and I block out just a few hours each month for free calls, which we’re always booked up for those and it’s a true honor to be able to offer that to people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely.

Evan Brand:  A lot of people ask us, “Hey, Justin or hey, Evan, you know, can you just tell me right now what tests we’re gonna need to run.” And we can’t because that involves a case review, that involves looking at your history, looking at the fork in the road when did things get bad, how long have things gotten bad, what else was going on at that time in your life in terms of stress and travel and relationships and moving. You know, so there really is no one-size-fits-all program. Now there are similar tests that we run on nearly everyone, but at the end of the day, it’s so case-by-case and I know people wanna just get put into a box because it makes them feel comfortable. I mean, think of like Weight Watchers, right? You know, it’s a point system and you can buy their little hundred-calorie snack packs of pretzels. But that’s a horrible box to be in and you don’t wanna be confined there. So it—it’s a box of functional medicine but it’s a box without boundaries, too, because we never know what toolbox or toolkit we’re gonna need to reach into to pull something out specifically based on—on your symptoms.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. So we wanted kinda get things dialed in, and we have like the pallet of our tests that we may choose from for body system one. That’s like the hormonal system and we break that up into ATF and ATM, adrenals, thyroid and female hormones for our female patients and then our ATM, adrenals, thyroid and male hormones. And depending on how deep we go is depending upon what kind of symptoms present themselves and how long the patient’s been sick. Typically, the longer someone’s been sick, it may be better to get more data so we can fine tune the plan better, more specific to what’s going on. If someone’s been maybe not feeling good for just a little bit of time, maybe only a few years or a few months, we may run less off the bat because we don’t need as much data. Typically, the low hanging fruit tend to work on people that aren’t as chronic. So that’s kind of a good rule of thumb. So our body system one test are gonna typically include high-quality adrenal tests. Well, and that depends. I know we’re going back and forth and testing, you know, the new Biohealth saliva test that’ll be out soon. We’ve been using the Dutch for a bit of time. We have been using the old Biohealth 201. I have lots of patients that come in with other subpar salivary hormone testing that—that come in. We also look at the DHEA sulfate, which is an adrenal marker of sex hormone precursors from the adrenals, DHEA sulfate. And then we’ll also add on female and male hormones to those tests, whether it’s female hormones, progesterone, estrogen, estrogen metabolites, the different kinds of estrogens, estradiol, estrone, estriol, whether we are looking at the DHEA metabolites like androstenedione or etiocholanolone. Those also get factored in, maybe even melatonin as well. So we’ll look at all these different metabolites on the hormone side and then depending on if they’re showing with thyroid symptoms, we may even run a thyroid blood test or we’re looking at all of the thyroid markers, TSH, T4 Free and Total, T3 Free and Total, reverse T3, T3 uptake, and thyroid antibodies. So those are kind of all of the hormonal tests that we may run. And we even have some different. We may even time it up on day 20 of a female cycle if they’re—if they’re menstruating to get a window into where their hormones are tapping out. We may even look at a full month long panel, testing hormones every other day for a full month, so we can get a window of ovulation and the ebb and flow of the hormones throughout the month, just to make sure it’s optimal for fertility.

Evan Brand:  Yup, well said. So body system one. I mean, this is the foundation, you know. You talk about these people that just focus on the gut and we’ve dealt with that. I mean a lot of times and I know you hear this just as much as me if not more, “Oh, I’ve already been to 10 specialists or 20 specialists or 20 doctors. They all think I’m crazy or they said it was just the gut. They gave me antibiotics.” If you don’t get the hormones aligned and checked out, you’re kinda wasting your time really because if you have cortisol issues, you’re likely gonna have leaky gut issues which is gonna leave you susceptible to infections. So it’s like if we come in and just hit the gut, which we’ll talk about in a minute, body system two, it’s not really worth it, right? Because if you get the infection gone, but the leaky gut’s still there due to the cortisol issues, I mean, that’s kind of a bigger top of the food chain issue, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and just backing up one bit, everything sits on a foundation. So the introductory foundation for everything is diet and lifestyle.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we’ve talked about this before, but just to make sure we don’t miss it, the foundation is gonna be what you eat, when you eat, the quality of food that you eat, how you sleep, how you move, how you deal with stress, and hydration. So that’s gonna be a really important piece of the puzzle. Making sure we’re eating nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, low toxin foods. Making sure the diet is dialed in for you. Now what does that mean for you? Well, if you’re just a little bit sick, maybe you’re kinda in the middle, it’s not too bad, a Paleo template may be good to start with. Alright, no grains, no legumes, no dairy. If we’ve been sick for longer, maybe we have a history of autoimmunity in the family, or there may be known autoimmunity in yourself or known autoimmune symptoms, well, the next step may be an Autoimmune Paleo template where we go to the next step which is cutting out nuts, nightshades, and eggs. And then from there if there’s excessive gut issues, we may look at specific carbohydrate diet where we cut out salicylates and phenols and peel our vegetables and—and make sure everything’s well cooked and mash our foods. We may even look at a GAPS approach where we focus more on bone broth and soups and—and the same type SCD stuff, more in a liquid, palatable—a liquid, more palatable type of form. And we may even go to a low FODMAP diet where we cut out the fermentable carbohydrates–fermentable oligo-di-po—let’s see, fermentable oligo-di-mono and polysaccharides. So it’s your—your fermentable carbohydrates, your fermentable sugars. So we may add that piece onto it just to make sure that we’re taking as much stress off the body. We’re stabilizing blood sugar. We’re not adding toxins from the pesticides and chemicals and GMO and Roundup and—and the glyphosate and we’re stabilizing blood sugar. We’re not skipping meals and we’re making sure that we’re sleeping good at night and we’re hydrating appropriately in between meals or 10 minutes before, so we’re not diluting digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid.

Evan Brand:  Well said and there’s a ton of overlap in all of those, too. I mean–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A ton.

Evan Brand:  You’re going to be omitting gluten. You’re gonna be omitting–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Many of the dairy components, the inflammatory component, then you’re going to stay away from pesticides and chemicals. I had a guy the other day. He asked me. He said, “Well, I’m not sensitive to gluten. So do I still have to avoid it?” I said, “Absolutely.” There’s no deficiency of gluten ever and just because you don’t think you’re sensitive to it, some of your skin rashes and all that is probably caused from some type of food intolerance. You know, you don’t have to be doubled over in pain from eating a bagel to—to necess—you know, to necessarily have to stay away from it, right? You don’t have to be falling over, needing a morphine shot due to the pain from gluten if you—if you have anything, any symptom, headaches. I mean I had a lady who had migraines for 20 years and it was amazing how simple it was just to get the diet and the gut cleaned up and the migraines went way. So I think people expect massive, massive symptom sometimes to be caused from gluten and otherwise, they don’t wanna get rid of it but you should just get rid of it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, my thing with grains and gluten is if you’re gonna cheat and you’re gonna do grains, number one, the safest grain for most people tend to be white rice. So that’s tends to be an okay alternative if you’re gonna do a grain, if you’re gonna cheat. White rice tends to be okay. Even better, try doing the safer starch. You know, yucca, plantains, sweet potatoes, let’s see—I said plantains, yucca, sweet potatoes,  squash—those type of safer starches tend to be a better alternative for most. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I was gonna say taro, too. Some people talk about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Taro, arrowroot, yeah, and then also if you’re gonna—like let’s say you’re like, “I’m gonna do bread.” Well, sourdough bread has actually shown to have less gluten because of the fermentation process that gliadin protein tend to be more dissolved in the fermentation process. So if you’re gonna go get all glutened out, take a look at the good, better, best side of it, right? Good or best would be abstaining and doing zero grains. Good may be doing like white rice or better—sorry, better maybe doing like white rice or something that’s fully gluten-free. And then third would be, alright, fine. You’re gonna do a gluten bread, well, it’s gonna at least be fermented, i.e. sourdough bread. It’s fermented, so the gluten and the compounds in there that may be more allergenic are decreased. But the other things–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That Evan and I still wanna touch upon are the lectins, are the phytates and the oxalates, the mineral disruptors, the protein disruptors, and the high amount of pesticide and Roundup that are on some of these products. So you can at least reduce it by going organic and by going the sourdough method so it’s at least fermented and soaked, so the grains are gonna be more palatable and not have the mineral and enzyme disruptors. But again, better, right? Good, better, best. Best is gonna be at least keeping the grains out. Good or better part is gonna be in between, going like a rice protein and then like, you know, good would be doing the fermented sourdough bread option like I just mentioned.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, and put it this way, it helps me sometimes to understand kind of the ancestral or the planetary perspective on this. These plants and these grains, they don’t want to get eaten–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah.

Evan Brand:  And digested, right? I mean, they want to pass seed on through an animal and then it come out fully digest—or un—you know, undigested, fully undigested, so that that seed can go back into the ground and grow more grass or grain. I mean, that’s the goal with birds and humans, too, if it goes through and it’s not getting digested, the goal is for that seed to be intact enough to grow more plants, and they don’t wanna get eaten.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  So that—that’s enough reason there that—that makes sense and really help me. But like, “Oh, man. Wow. Okay.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s pretty simple, right? You know, from evolution standpoints our role, I mean, it sounds crude is just to be able to pass on our—our seed to our offspring, right? That’s pretty much it. You know, be able to survive enough so you can procreate and pass on your DNA to your offspring. That’s pretty much it. Now there’s two ways of doing it. There’s having claws and weapons and tools and teeth, so you can prevent getting attacked on or preyed on, right? That’s like the wolf or the fox, or maybe us with our weapons as humans. And then there’s the, “Okay, I’m gonna get eaten, right?” Berries, grains, but there’s gonna be seeds and things that are gonna keep the seed and the DNA intact, so eventually maybe it will go back and be able to grow again and pass on its offspring so it can live again, right? So there’s two methods. It’s either you’re gonna fight now or you’re gonna basically submit but live the fight another day by passing itself back into the soil again so it can grow.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup. Should we move on to body system two?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and then last piece that is the foundation with the diet, I’d say is also the emotions. So if there’s a lot of emotional stress, like there’s an active serious relationship issue. You know, not just like hey, you know, you had a fight here or there but you have active relationship problems. Maybe there’s an active divorce issue. Maybe you’re real problem with the child or a family member or maybe a death of a loved one or serious work stress, or stress at your church or where you go to—to have a spiritual connection, or you excessively exercise a ton, right? Those kind of things need to be looked at because they can provide a lot of stress underlying. So we wanna make sure there’s not an active emotional issue because it affects the timeline in which we expect healing to occur. If you’re actively going through a divorce or you’re having serious work issues, we may say hey, our goal is gonna be just to dig out feet in and prevent us from sliding downhill, and we may not be able to gain a whole bunch of ground going uphill.

Evan Brand:  Well said, yeah, and I’ll also mention the electromagnetic fields which I’ve done–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yes.

Evan Brand:  Countless podcasts on. I had a lady the other day. She heard a podcast about EMF that—that was on the show and she bought a meter online and anything above 1 milligauss, a measure of magnetic field is bad, right? And this lady had 50 milligauss in her bedroom. And so she lives in San Francisco. She didn’t believe it. She called the power company as I told her to do and they came out and they measured, and sure enough, it was about 25 or 30 milligauss. So her meter was pretty inaccurate, but it was accurate enough to detect a problem that warranted further investigation. And even the power company was like, “Well, this is insanely high.” I mean, you’ll see some people that say anything above 3 milligauss of magnetic fields which comes from power lines is—is bad, but either way, 20, 50, that’s insane and so she’s moving immediately and she said she hadn’t slept well for months and kinda like my story that you and I chatted about when I had to move. I was measuring 7 milligauss in my office and I feel like I didn’t sleep. So I mean, that’s another cause of adrenal hormone issues that you and I are discussing and talking about with people because it’s—it’s an invisible smoke, right? If you had glasses that you could wear and see this stuff, everybody would freak out. But it’s invisible. And like my friend Eric Windheim says, “It’s like fighting a ghost.” So you have to measure this stuff and—and mitigate it, and there’s more. We won’t go into more detail today, but just check out EMF in the search bar on the website, and you’ll be able to find, you know, more episodes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. So we addressed the foundational pieces, diet, lifestyle, emotional stress, meal timing, nutrient density–

Evan Brand:  Environmental.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Toxins from the chemical. Toxins are essentially—the electromagnetic toxins, right? That’s kinda in that toxin realm.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We hit that. We talked about the hormones, ATM, ATF. And then next step is gut function/gut infections. Now typically when we start out with the diet piece, depending on what’s happening symptomatically, if we see a lot of reflux, a lot of bloating, let’s say we have a history of vertical ridging in the nails or we see a lot of undigested food particulate or the stool looks grayer or the stool floats or we have poor hair quality or very dry skin, these are all symptoms that we’re not digesting our food optimally. So to support the diet piece, we may bring some of the digestive support up forward, and bring it into intro phase. What I mean is we may bring in some of the hydrochloric acid, some of the enzymes, some of the bitters, some of the digestive support to help stimulate digestion because we see that as supporting the intro phase. We’re working on digesting foods and making sure that piece is dialed in. So that may have to be brought up forward because it’s—it supports the foundation. That’s number one. Number two is we have to knock out the infections. So as we look at body system two, we really break it down into 5 steps. So number one is remove the bad foods. Number two is replace the enzymes and acids like I mentioned. So that’s the digestive support to make the intro diet piece work better. Number three is repair and repair means repairing the adrenals because we have to make sure that piece is there. because we don’t wanna work on really healing the gut, until we have the hormonal environment dialed in to help reduce inflammation and help heal the gut lining and help improve IgA levels, which is the localized immune system in the digestive tract. We also wanna make sure healing nutrients are present for people that have extra gut inflammation or extra gut irritation. Things like L-glutamine and the healing nutrients, the licorice root, deglycerized licorice root, maybe slippery elm, maybe cat’s claw, maybe some gentle amino acids like L-glutamine, and Jerusalem artichoke, etc. These are healing nutrients that help that gut lining. Number four is the removing of the infections and we’re able to remove the infections most adequately because of the 3 phases before it. Because of the removing the foods, the replacing the enzymes and acids, the repair in the gut lining and the adrenals, now we can come in and we can start working on removing the infections, and the infections are gonna be specific to the stool test we recommend to pick up the infection. So the H. pylori comes back or fungus comes back or various multiple parasites come back, those all need to be specifically addressed with unique protocols for each. And then number five is going to be the re-inoculation with robotics, really receding all of the good seeds after the weeding’s been done. And then number six is gonna be the retesting to make sure one, infections are cleared and two, there are no new infections as last podcast talked about, making sure there are no resistant infections that were burrowed in deeper that are showing their ugly head, and the only exception will be adding probiotics in the repair phase. Because sometimes probiotics can have an anti-inflammatory effect, and depending on how bad the gut is, we may add some probiotics in the ref—the repair phase as well as the reinoculation phase to help support gut healing and inflammation.

Evan Brand:  Well said. I wanna speak just for a minute and see if you wanna add anything to it about the topic of antibiotic use and infections. There’s a lot of hate on the Internet about herbal remedies for infections, you know, whether it’s an M.D. or a naturopath or someone. You know, getting in an argument about saying, “Oh, herbs don’t work. You have to use triple therapy or this antibiotic or this antifungal prescription.” And there’s very, very, very, very few cases where it takes us more than one or two rounds to get rid of an infection using just herbs, no prescription. So could you add something to that conversation, too? I would 95% of patients can address their gut function and their got infections with herbs alone. 5% of the time we may have resistant bugs that we’ve treated, re-test, still there. Treated, retest, still there. Treated, retest, still there. And it’s 2-3 times and we’re not able to knock it out. But I’ve had people go and on the third time, we knock it out. So the antibiotics may be an option for some people. The conventional antibiotics that are typically run like the metronidazole, the Flagyl, which are the most commonly prescribed ones for these infections tend to miss the infection about two-thirds of the time. And then a lot of times the antibiotics prescribed for your typical triple therapy for H. pylori like clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and/or omeprazole like Prilosec, acid-blocking medications, tend to do the same kind of thing. They’ll miss the infections a third half the time.

Evan Brand:  Well, what about this, too? What about creating more resistant strains due to the antibiotics that have been so overused? Which then makes our job a little bit tougher because people have gone through rounds and rounds of this crap and it’s done nothing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly. That’s the problem is you run the risk of having these antibiotics not work in the time where maybe you really need them, like you get in a car accident or you step on a—a rusty nail or some, some kind of infection that’s more acute and more severe based on the exposure of the microbes. So I’m always about conservative to invasive, right? What’s the most conservative type of care off the bat? It’s always gonna be diet. It’s always gonna be lifestyle. It’s always gonna be using antimicrobial herbal medicines that have been around for literally thousands of years to have a strong safety profile, to have the ability to use them long-term without resistance–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also aren’t gonna wipe out a—as many other microbes, any other beneficial microbes the may be present that are helpful for your gut. We won’t wipe those out and create more problems. I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve seen that have been on antibiotics and had devastating side effects, and now we’re treating them from the damage caused by the antibiotics in the beginning. I’ve seen it so many times. Don’t see it with herbs though.

Evan Brand:  I know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I see all the time with antibiotics so I’m always very conservative and we go up in—in gradations on what step one is. Herbs. Step two. Herbs. Step three. Maybe herbs. And then if we’re still having issues, then we go and we lean towards the antibiotics, typically on step three most of the time.

Evan Brand:  Yup, yup. Well said. And just the fact that this has been used, the herbs that we’re talking about. They’re been used for thousands of years before antibiotics were invented. To me that says something about the success rate and the safety. So when people read concerns about herbs. A lot of times the concerns are unwarranted unless you’re talking about mixing herbs with pharmaceuticals, like you know, 5HTP and SSRIs and stuff like that. Yeah, you can get into trouble. But generally, there’s really nothing to be concerned about compared to the tens and if not hundreds of thousands of people dying due to medical error. That’s now the third leading cause of death. Did you know that? Medical error.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  So—so this—this is real. This isn’t something were just saying on our—on our high horse. You know, this is for real. Look at CDC death or medical top causes of death. You’ll see medical error and this is from the proper, you know, or this is the prescribed rather is what I meant to say, the prescribed dose of a medication is still causing third leading cause of death, is medical error.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I know. I know Barbara Starfield has her prized article in the Journal of the American Medical Association 2000, all on how much medications and surgical procedures done correctly, right? Hey, the surgery was a success but the patient died. Hey, the prescription was—was perfect according to what the patient’s symptomatology was, but the patient had an ulcer and died, right? Just like that happens with ibuprofen 19,000 times a year according to the New England Journal of Medicine. So we know there’s a risk with conventional treatments. So we wanna be as conservative as possible, so we don’t have to go to those type of higher risk procedures.

Evan Brand:  Agreed, agreed. Well said. So yeah, the infections are huge. I mean, Justin and I, we have more podcasts on that talking about our own history with infections. So not only are we in the trenches helping others remove them, but we’re doing it on ourselves, too. So this is—this is a huge piece and has been instrumental for me to get my—my weight back when I’ve lost, you know, 20 pounds of muscle from infections. So this is a real big deal in something that has to be addressed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct, and I think the key thing, too, is we’re not anti-medication.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We’re all about using the correct tool at the right time, but also weighing the pros and cons. Like if we’re, you know, we got our tool bag on or our toolbelt on, right? And we have all these different tools in our tool bag, alright? And we look at this screw and it’s the flathead groove in it, so we know I gotta pull my Phillips head out, right? I’m not gonna look at that screw and be like, “Screw this, my dog must not gonna allow me to use this flathead, throw it away and then try to pull it—the Phillips in there and try to work it.” So let’s say it’s a—a flathead groove, I’m not gonna look at flathead screwdriver and throw it away, and say, “I’m gonna try using a Phillips, right?” I’m gonna go and say, “Well, this is the right tool for it. So I’m gonna put it in and I’m gonna use the correct tool based on what’s presenting itself.” That’s like if you get in a car accident, we’re not gonna look at the patient and say, “Great! Let’s just throw you on some turmeric right now and call it a day.”

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No. We’re gonna say, “Go to the ER. Get the correct test to make sure there are no fractures, no bleeds, no hemorrhaging.” You may even want to be on some higher dose pain meds. You may want to avoid the opiate ones, right? Because of the addiction, but maybe some higher those pain meds acutely just because you’re in severe trauma and pain. And then we’ll get you stabilized and then we’ll get you on a really good routine after. So we look at the right routine. If we see that flathead groove, we’re reaching for the flathead screwdriver. We’re not reaching for the Phillips.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, absolutely. And if you break your arm, yeah, you don’t go take a dose of turmeric and fish oil. I mean, you need to get that checked out and make sure there’s no internal bleeding, etc., etc. So there’s no trophy for—for trying to be a hero and dismissing the acute, incredible trauma medicine that—that is offered. You know, it’s just the things we’re dealing with, their 1, 5, 10, 20, 30-year chronic issues and that’s where functional medicine tends to have far superior success rates. You know, 90+ percent success rates that you and I both have.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly, and some of the things that are talked about regarding antibiotics, and I’ll put some of the research in the show notes, but antibiotics can create oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. That’s a big issue, so the mitochondria is gonna be the powerhouse of the cell which is gonna help generate ATP which is like the fuel currency for energy, and also creates oxidative stress which is just a way of breaking down your body, right? Oxidation, you leave a rusty nail in the rain, it gets all rust or you leave a nail out in the rain, it gets rusty because of that oxidation process. We have internal rusting. Doesn’t quite show itself like that, a brownish rust, but it happens—it happens internally and that creates a depletion of a lot of your antioxidant reserves. So your body has to use up more vitamin C, use up more vitamin E, use up more nutrients that would typically be used for other healthy functions. So oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are a side effect of some of these antibiotics use. So we really want to make sure if we’re using them—excuse my frog on my throat—we wanna make sure they are used appropriately for the right situation.

Evan Brand:  Well said. Yeah, and I’ll briefly mention, typically for body system two, we’re gonna be looking at comprehensive stool testing. We’ve discussed that. So whether PCR-based testing or otherwise, and then also the organic acids testing. So you hear us talking, maybe it sounds fancy, mitochondrial issues, amino acid metabolite problems, etc. but we can see and I see it all the time. Vitamin C levels, very, very, very low across the board most time on organic acids which is a urine test that you do at home and then you send that back to the lab and then we go over the results and then stool testing, you’re gonna be able to find infections. You’re gonna go through the protocol and then you’re gonna retest and the infections are gonna be gone. So that’s—that’s it for body system two. Let’s go on to body system three, Justin. So detox, methylation, making sure that people are able to actually do things at the end of the line. Once everything has happened, once a good digestion has happened, you’ve absorbed your minerals, your colon’s helping to produce vitamins for energy, your probiotics are doing the things they should be doing, now it’s time to get the stuff out of the body. We’re hoping the liver is gonna be able to do what it can do. We’re hoping you’re pooping, right? I mean, people buy all these fancy detox powders and teas, but it’s like if you’re not pooping but once a week, that’s a huge issue. That’s a great way to detox, poop and pee. How simple and revolutionary is that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%. Poop, pee, breathing, and sweating. It’s like un—unreal. So looking at a lot of the detox things, certain nutrients are required to detox. So you can see why number three, why detox is put number three. Let’s just break that down so everyone can get the—understand the concept. Again in this show, we’re really committed to being able to teach concepts because if you get the concept, there’s zero memorization involved in it. Once you get the concept, it’s like riding a bike. You get back on—Boom! You never have to go to that learning curve of falling. So what’s the concept? So number one, if we’re poor foods and eating toxic foods, and foods that are nutritionally poor, what happens to detox? Automatically impaired.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? So why are we gonna work on detox off the bat? Because if we just get that first phase done, we’re starting to work on detox even though we’re not working on it directly, because it’s body system three, we already worked on it in the intro phase. Number one. Number two, we actually start breaking down the foods. That means we start breaking down the proteins into their smaller amino acid constituents and we know how important the sulfur based amino acids for operating phase 2 detoxification. Phase 2 is like the n-acetylation, hydroxylation, the glutathione production, the methylation, and we need methionine and we need cysteine and glutamine and glycine and taurine, and all these really important sulfur aminos, and if we can’t break down our protein constituents into those smaller products, you know? Ripping off the pearl necklace and pulling off the individual pearls, that’s what it’s akin to. If we can’t do that, we’re not gonna be able to run phase 2 and then frankly we need lots of antioxidants and B vitamins to run phase 1. So if we have SIBO or dysbiosis, well, our probiotic production internally from our gut bacteria is automatically forwarded or downregulated because we know good bacteria in our gut produces a lot of those nutrients for us, right? Good bacteria eats poop and poops nutrition, B vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients. Bad bacteria eats nutrition and poops poop. Bad bacteria makes you more toxic. So what is the more toxicity from the bad bacteria due to body system three? It decreases its function. So you can see how we lead up to diet and lifestyle. We lead up to digesting food. We lead up to healthy gut bacteria, knocking out infection, addressing the flora, because all of that sets the stage for body system three, so we can come in there and really support the nutrients that are missing, the pathways that aren’t working properly, and we can potentially even knockout specific heavy metals if we see heavy metals are in there with other types of chelators and compounds that pull the metals out. And some of the test we do—well, I’ll take a breath there, Evan. Any comments?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I mean, well said. I wanted to mention this comes at the end because we want to make sure that everything else has been addressed upstream. I mean we’re not going to go straight to detox if we know that you have infections and we know that you’re still getting, let’s say artificial sweeteners in your diet which can be placing a burden on the liver, right? So we want to see the liver and your detoxification abilities, methylation, this includes anybody with like MTHFR genetic defects. This includes you, too. All that other stuff’s gotta be taken care of first because we want to see what the actual baseline is. Not the baseline when you are doing so much sugar and alcohol and bad fats and artificial sweeteners and all of that that’s got the burden on the liver. So once we get all that stuff out of the way, then we take a look at body system three. It’s the, “Oh, okay, so this is the true baseline,” and then yeah we can look for heavy metals, from dental fillings, amalgams, you know, bad food, bad water, too much tuna fish, other environmental exposures, and then we can start helping to get the detox system working better because if you’re not pooping well and you have an overburdened liver, you’re just gonna be recirculating all these toxins. So then you’re gonna get the joint pain and the allergies and the asthma, and the skin problems, the headaches, the brain fog, alcohol intolerance, I mean, we could go on and on but you gotta get all that other stuff taken care first, so if you go straight to detox or somebody tries to sell you on some detox protocol first when you don’t even know if you have leaky gut or not, I would be cautious and maybe you have more to say about that, but I don’t like the idea of pushing stuff out of people’s body if they don’t even have enough trash men to come gather all of the trash at the end of the road.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, 100%. So we have everything lead up to it and I think you emphasized the whole leaky gut part right because the leaky gut as you mentioned is really the consequence of all of the inflammation, the inability to break down food, the compromised immune system, and then the infections. All of that will lead to leaky gut. So leaky gut isn’t necessarily a result. It’s more of an effect of all of the inflammation and the damage.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? The gluten, the bad foods, all of the inflammation. So that’s kind of the end product that you get there is leaky gut. So looking at everything that you mentioned. How do we quantify it? Because you put some really good points out there. How do we actually know what’s going on from the detoxification side? Well, we’ll look at an organic acid test. Typically as a good starting point because we’ll get a window into various detoxification pathways, whether it’s pyroglutamate or other types of organic acids, sulfate—these are organic acids that will give us a window into how those sulfur aminos are doing. If the demand for them is higher or if they’re depleted. And we’ll also get a window into B vitamin status. We’ll get a window into methylation and we’ll also get a window into oxidative stress by looking at the 8-hydroxy 2-deoxyguanosine for instance. Again, these are all like jeopardy words but these are organic acids that give us a window into all these systems, whether it’s simply xanthorrhoea for B6, whether it’s the amino acids for the brain with vanilmandelate or homovanilate or 5-hydroxyindoleacetate or whether it’s markers for gut bacteria like hippurate or benzoate. So these—these markers give us a big window into what’s happening and the organics can really help tell us what’s happening there from some of those detox nutrients, and we may even look at like a SpectraCell or a NutrEval as well. Again, I lean more towards the organics because that’s my baby.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The NutrEval combines the organics with another blood test for nutrients, too. So that’s a—another side option which at least does contain the organics and that gives us a good window into what’s happening but we always go back to intro, body system one, hormones, ATF, ATM; body system two, the ability to digest, removing food allergens, healing the leaky gut, repairing the gut lining, removing infections, adding in probiotics, and retesting because we gotta make sure new infections aren’t there and the old ones are gone. Number—body system three is gonna be detox nutrients and that’s typically where we follow suit, and we reserve the right to kinda move some things in. Like if I know someone has a ton of oxidative stress, I may throw some extra vitamin C that we may discover on an organics test, I may throw it in with the adrenal protocol. So we do things and we mix-and-match outside of that box a bit, so if any patients are listening, they may think, “Well, Dr. J gave me some detox support in body system one,” and that’s gonna be dependent upon how that person’s presenting, how sensitive they are, and how bad their detox is. We may add some small things in with body system one, because maybe the adrenal support is too much for their liver, and we need to give their liver just a little bit of support so they don’t have a lot of those hormone side effects.

Evan Brand:  Totally, well said. I’m gonna mention two things and then we can wrap it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool.

Evan Brand:  One for me on the organics, which I just love is the quinolinic 5-HIAA ratio–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Looking at inflammation because you could go on and on and sound fancy, but when someone sees inflammation and you’re like, “Look, here it is.” It’s like, “Oh, crap.” Because inflammation, you know, even a conventional physician is gonna talk about inflammation as a cause of disease, right? And so when we can actually prove that to a client or a patient, it’s incredible and it’s very profound to be able to do that and then whether it’s 3, 4, 6 months later when the retest comes, and you can see that that number’s gone down, it’s very, very rewarding for both of us, and lastly, the toxin piece, too, something that Justin and I have been talking about a lot and—and I’m running on—I’m running this test on nearly everyone I possibly can–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand:  Including myself is the GPL-TOX so I can look at the toxic load because I bought a sauna based on my toxic load of insecticides, and this is not a challenge or a push test so even the sickest people, we don’t have to worry about doing any type of chelation which may push some stuff out. You just urinate in—in the morning in a cup and you send it off. And the cool thing is you can run it side-by-side with the organics, so it’s literally the same urine sample. All you have to do is spend a little bit extra investment to get both test run organics and GPL-TOX at the same time, and I had insecticide levels in my body that are known carcinogens that were higher than they should be. And so for me, this is a huge, huge, huge new realm of opening up this. Look, we know there’s detox problems. Let’s fix it, but what are we actually fixing. You know, that had always been the question, right? Ooh, there’s detox problems. Man, you got headaches. You got chemical sensitivity. You can’t handle perfumes, gas fumes. Look, here’s why. And oh, man, is there anything more fun in the world than this? I mean, I—I don’t think so.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I agree. I mean, it’s like we’re CSI detectives without all the—the murder and blood, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  We’re trying to put together the—the puzzle piece that’s really getting people’s quality of life back. So just summarizing those tests. We run the organics test. We run maybe the OAT, which is the—the Great Plains Lab organics. We run the GPL-TOX. We may run the NutrEval, the SpectraCell and then we have the heavy metal challenge test where we challenge, with a chelation compound, like DMPS or DMSA or EDTA to get a window into the toxic burden of metals because metals don’t want to stay in systemic circulation. They don’t wanna stay in the blood. They only go on the blood acutely in that first 24 to 48 hours, then they go into the tissue.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Whether it’s the brain or the individual tissues or even bones when it comes to lead. So we gotta get a window into it so we have to do a challenge, a provocation agent that can go in into the tissues and really kinda pull things out. It’s like, “Hey, you go outside. You look for bees. There may not bees swarming around, but if there’s a beehive there, well provocation agent’s throw rock into the beehive, right?” You know those bees are in that beehive when those—when that rock hits it and those bees come out, that’s the provocation agents. So we use that same kind of methodology with the heavy metal test. The rock is like the chelation compound that we use to see what’s coming out in the urine and a lot of times we see aluminum, we see arsenic, we see cadmium, and we see a whole bunch of mercury and lead, and it’s different for each person.

Evan Brand:  Yup, absolutely, and then you got blood metals, too. Quicksilver’s Blood Metals is cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Evan Brand: There’s the Mercury Tri Test, too, for hair, blood, urine. There’s so many different things out there. A lot of them are good. A couple of them are bad, but you know, we’ll help you to make the distinction what is right for you and this is case-by-case. Some people they may not need to investigate metals. Other people they’ll come to us and they’ll say, “Evan or Justin, man, I got metal problems.” And they just have a gut feeling and in those cases, I say, “Okay, cool. Let’s get you checked out.“ It’s not gonna hurt. It can only help you to investigate. So if you have a gut feeling and that gut feeling can be disrupted obviously if you have got problems, right? Because the inflammation in the gut, you might be getting mixed signals, but if you have a gut feeling, ask us, and let us help you to investigative. If it’s something we didn’t bring up yet or maybe it’s early in the game and we wanted to do it later, just bring it up because you never know. You could be onto something that we just haven’t got to yet and that may save us, you know, a month or two of—of time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. And again, we’ll the show notes for everything, the full transcription, again in my new Thyroid Book that will be coming out very soon, just putting the finishing touches on it, we’re gonna have a chapter in the book all on this type of discussion, putting it all together because I feel like this is probably one of the key pieces that most functional medicine practitioners and doctors really, it—it’s very esoteric. It’s kind of in the ether. Like how does it all look?

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Like what does the whole plan look like? And it just kinda like, you feel like almost like they’re making it up as they go and I think is really important if you’re gonna hou—you know, you’re gonna hike Mt. Everest so to speak, I wanna see that map. I want to know how we’re gonna go up there. I wanna know how we’re navigate that crevice and—and get across that—that ledge or that cliff. I wanna kinda feel like it makes sense when we get directions. So I think that’s a really important piece that we’re adding, is that clarity and that, you know, what’s our fu—future pacing vision? How are we getting to the top?

Evan Brand:  Yup, amen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Anything you wanna add there, Evan?

Evan Brand:  I don’t think so. I think this was great and fun as always, real honor. If people want to schedule, go to justinhealth, J-U-S-T-I-N, to schedule with Justin. If you want to schedule with myself, go to and like I said, we both block out a few hours, so you know, if there’s a spot available, you wanna grab it for the 15-minute free call. See if we’re a good fit, you know, discuss your options together. Justin and I are happy to do that and we look forward to helping you all out. You know, listening to this is one thing. Getting in the trenches with us is another, and I mean without functional medicine, I would likely still be dealing with depression and irritable bowel syndrome and skin issues and fatigue and insomnia and adrenal problems. I mean, every aspect, everything that could’ve gone wrong was wrong in my body systems and just one by one, plucking these things off the list, and there’s never a finish line, right? I mean it’s always a continual journey. So you’re just always pushing to the next step ahead and this is your time. You know, you don’t have to suffer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it. I appreciate the hope and the inspiration, Evan.

Evan Brand:  Yes, sir.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Great chat. Great chat. Look forward to chatting with you very soon.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Have an awesome day!

Evan Brand:  You, too. Bye.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bye.

Rachel Adams – Lifestyle strategies to get your health back on track – Podcast #113

Dr. Justin Marchegiani’s guest for this podcast episode is Rachel Adams. Listen as she shares her life journey that will inspire people who are experiencing the same similar issues as she did to really fight and become who they are meant to be. 

Rachel AdamsDiscover how changing your diet, adjusting sleeping habits, paying close attention to nutrition, and taking time to exercise, even in subtle ways can surely impact your overall health and wellness. Learn practical tips and tricks that you can apply in your life right now to get you moving in the right direction health-wise.

In this episode, topics include:

01:05   Rachel’s story

09:03   The 90-day journey

14:35   Diet changes

28:25   Sleep habits

36:26   Supplements for pain and inflammation







Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani. Welcome back to Beyond Wellness Radio. Today we have a really great interview with Rachel Adams. Rachel has a real interesting story. She is an executive, owns four different businesses, is really big in the real estate industry, and she had a health crisis about three years ago. And she’s taken a lot of the health principles that we talk about on the show, sleep, diet, nutrition, exercise, and she’s really turned her health around. I think it’s great for people that are in or were in Rachel’s situation to really have the hope to see someone that’s been where they are now and get out of it. So I’m happy to introduce Rachel to the show. Rachel, how you doin’?

Rachel Adams:  I’m awesome. Thank you so much for having me, happy whatever day today is to you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Happy Monday, right?

Rachel Adams:  Happy Monday!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool. Well, why don’t you share with the listeners your story? I think you have a compelling story—people that are trying to make it, whether it’s they’re executives or entrepreneurs, or just a busy, you know, housewife that’s trying to make it by and has—is struggling with health symptoms. Why don’t you just talk about yourself and your story?

Rachel Adams:  Definitely. Well, you know, I—I really wanted—I’ve always kind of been a person who has struggled a little bit with like weight and body issues and, yeah, I’m 5 feet tall. So I’ve only going to—I’m never gonna grow vertically. I’ll only grow horizontally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And so for me, weight’s been something I really struggled with, but what happened is that I—I hit top without an agent for the country, for the Wall Street Journal for real estate in three years. And so from the outside looking in, my world looked perfect. Like if you wanna talk about like the Facebook life, right? Because everything you see on Facebook is real.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, exactly.

Rachel Adams:  And so, you know, I had the perfect car, the perfect life, the perfect job, but what people didn’t know if that is that, you know, a lot of times in—in the struggle it takes to—to have such massive success in three years, you give up some stuff. And some of the things that I wasn’t necessarily admitting to people was that in the three years, I had gotten a divorce that I never dealt with.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I had gained 32 pounds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And I was putting everybody else’s needs in front of my own, like family, friends, clients, you name it. And my corporate company, Keller Williams Realty–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Rachel Adams:  They’ve heard there is this young girl, she’s doing big things, like let’s bring her down to Texas, to headquarters, and interview her on how she’s leading this amazing lifestyle and she’s so successful. Because at the time, I’m literally travelling all around the US, like coaching people on how to build a business and work on their mindset. So I go to Texas to shoot this commercial and I’m sitting down with Nina Rowan Heller, and she is an international health and wellness coach. She has coached Matthew McConaughey.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  Founders of Microsoft, like leaders at Keller Williams, and I go there and I, you know, get hair and make-up done, and I’m wearing like the most serious squarest things you could buy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Rachel Adams:  Kinda like suck it all in, and I go to interview with her and—and I’m used to people asking me questions about real estate, so I’ve got like my normal canned answers. But we’re going through the questions and Nina stops and kinda gives me a funny look and she’s like, “And how does that make you feel?” And I’m like, “Feel?” I mean, you know, bumps and bruises but you do it, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And then we keep talking and she stops again, and she’s like, “And how did that make you feel?” I’m like, “Ah, you know, I mean it was tough, but that’s what happens.” And so we keep talking and she kinda like gets this funny smirk on her face and she’s—she looks at the camera crew and she is like, “Hey guys, can I get you to step outside for a second?” And they step outside and I’m like, “What is going on?” You know? And she takes my hand then she says something to me that I’ll never forget. She said, “Rachel, have you ever heard that your video isn’t matching your audio?” Like what you said or doing–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  It’s clear you’re not doing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I’m like, “Well, I’ve heard it but not in relation to me.” And she’s like, “Sweetie, what’s really going on?” And I’ll tell you, Justin. It was like in this workout bench, in Texas, in this fancy outfit, I just like burst into tears.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I just said, “You know what, Nina? I got a divorce and I’ve never dealt with it, and I thought that if I shoved it down far enough, it’d go away.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  But unfortunately, it’s showing up in different ways. You know, it’s showing up in unhealthy, like you know, unhealthy food habits. It’s showing up in like, I’m like, “Nina, I literally have a headache, but I also didn’t sleep well last night. So I’m taking an Advil with a cup of coffee.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man.

Rachel Adams:  You know, my–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Your poor gut.

Rachel Adams:  I know. I know. I know. And I’m just like, you know what, I was—I was just—I was happy on the outside because I choose to be happy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  But when I went home at night like I wasn’t happy, and we end up having—instead of doing this interview, we have this amazing 2-hour conversation about what my life could look like if I was truly leading it with authenticity–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And intention. And instead of feeling like my divorce was something that I needed to be ashamed of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  Know that it’s just part of my journey, and she actually sent me home. I never got to shoot the commercial. I cried for like two days, but I had this moment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I had this moment two days later, sitting on my—floor of my living room, and I remember looking up to—to the sky or the roof, to God, whatever you want to call it, and I just said, “I know I’m meant for more.” Like, I can’t have gone through all that I’ve gone through, and have this amazing platform of people that I get to connect with to not be meant for more. So I took a step back and I realize that I had some people in my life, and potentially some things in my life that were actually serving me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And so I went on this 90-day journey of self-discovery, and pretty much everything changed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Wow!

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you kind of hit rock bottom with this interview, right?

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: The lady, it seemed like was asking a lot of questions that were just drawing a lot of introspection, kind of looking at your health, looking at your life. Does that sound right?

Rachel Adams:  A hundred percent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what was the first change you made? Okay, so now you’re at rock bottom. What’s the first–

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Change you made with your health or your mindset that kind of got this journey going for you?

Rachel Adams:  So I—I look at my life and I said, “Okay, I know that I am not leading my life at the level that I want to, so if I could pick two things to remove from a life, like two distractions if you will–“

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  What are those distractions? Like what—what they—what could they be? And if I remove them what could my life look like? And at the time—a little embarrassing to say—I was actually on three online dating sites–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And that’s a distracting thing to have. You know, the little pings always coming at you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And then drinking. So I checked out dating–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And all alcohol for 90 days, just to kind of see what would change for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Wow. Okay.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what was the result of that?

Rachel Adams:  And you know, the thing—well, the thing about it like with taking out alcohol for me was a really big deal because it wasn’t like I was drinking every night of the week but I would have you know, happy hours with girlfriends or a cocktail with clients, and you can have the greatest intentions about food for the day, but once you have a couple cocktails in you, you’re like, “Yeah, let’s—with the French fries, sure we can have cheesecake.” You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, of course.

Rachel Adams:  So when I checked out alcohol, like I found that I was coming home earlier–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And instead of having a glass of wine at night, I had a cup of tea. And I was having all this time to sit at my house and I was like, “What do I want with my life?” So I started journaling and then I started reading about meditation, and then when you’re not like hungover every morning or any morning rather, you go, “Okay, well, maybe I’ve—I’m gonna go to bed a little earlier.” So if I wake up earlier, what if I start to exercise? So I started doing a morning routine–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  With just like getting out of bed and I made these little rules for myself, and one of my rules was—I feel like so many times people—the very first thing in their body it’s—they put in their body in the morning is coffee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  When I was—I was one of those people.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  So before I went to bed every night, I put a glass of water by my bed, and my rule was that before my 2 feet hit the floor, I would drink that glass of water because your body naturally dehydrates as you sleep. And so I drink water and then when I got out of bed, I just set this simple exercise routine up where I would drop to the ground then I would do like 22 push-ups, and the simple ab routine, and some squats. And just like something to get my blood moving, and then I would take my journal and I would write three things I was grateful for every morning, and in the beginning it’s like kinda surface-y stuff–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Like I’m grateful for, you know, the air. And then you start to get really deep, and you’re like, “I’m grateful for my struggles.” I’m—I mean I ended up being grateful for my divorce like who knew? You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. Right.

Rachel Adams:  But–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then what was the best thing for you emotionally? Because as a functional medicine doctor, we—

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, we deal with a lot of the metabolic things, right? Diet–

Rachel Adams:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Lifestyle.

Rachel Adams:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, we do fancy lab tests and create protocols. But a lot of what creates dysfunction or dis-ease, right? In someone’s body is a lot of the emotional things that are on process.

Rachel Adams:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And you mentioned the—the divorce and those kind of things. How did you process that? What were the steps that you went through afterwards to help eradicate that?

Rachel Adams:  Well, you know, I didn’t even necessarily know that they were like—they—they didn’t turn into steps for me. I was just—what starts to happen is when you decide you’re gonna commit to, you know, eating clean or—or you’re gonna do an exercise routine, like when you start to feel good—like what happens is you’ll make one good decision, like “Okay, I’m gonna take out drinking for 90 days.” And after you do one good decision then you make another good decision, and you’re like, “Well, maybe I should start to look at what I’m feeling my body with,” because you know, I—I didn’t fit like I—when I was going through the divorce, I was like, “I’m really sad. I should eat comfort food.” I was like, “I’m happy. It’s a great day! I’m goota eat a celebratory meal.” And what I realized for the—like the healing part with divorce is I found some really good books. I found a book called From Me To We—I’m sorry—From We To Me. And I thought that was a really good book. I actually—I started going to a group called Divorce Care and it was through my church. And it was a Divorce Recovery Group and I mean, I was raised Jewish and I was like, “I can’t walk into a Christian church.” I bet they’ll have this worse. But the cool thing was that it was—they were just really nice and accepting, and you know, I realized like I’m not the first person to get divorced, and it was so crazy because I did this 90-day journey, and I’m you know, focusing on like my purpose, like what I really want to do in this world and planning my day better, like respecting my boundaries, and I’m—I’m just, I’m making all of these good decisions, and I remember this like moment where it was like towards the end of the 90 days and I was actually driving up to go visit my parents and they live up in the country, and it’s like a 2½-hour drive and I stopped at a fruit stand. Like I pulled over to stop at a fruit stand to bring fresh fruit home. I remember picking up a peach and—and smelling this peach, and I, for some reason, I just felt so light like I felt so happy. And it was like what the heck is going on, like why do I feel so good? And I realized in that moment that I had forgiven myself for the divorce. And it was like the most powerful thing because I wasn’t—I wa—I didn’t know how much guilt I had around it, but I did. You know? And it wasn’t—it wasn’t that I didn’t try. I tried everything I could have, it was just I saw it as—as failure instead of it just being part of my journey.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So if someone’s dealing with emotional stress in your relationship, if you can kinda boil down the biggest, maybe 1 to 3 things, that someone can do to help either, you know, save it and/or recover from it, you know. What would those things the?

Rachel Adams:  You know, one thing I would encourage people to do is to find out really what a good—what a healthy relationship means to them?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So not—not in relation to anyone else, but take—take a piece of paper, or you do—take a computer and—and write out all the words that matter to you in a relationship.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  Like communication, intimacy, a sense of community, like whatever matters to you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And next to each word, write a paragraph about what that word means you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And I think that it will help you really—it—it’s creating clarity around what you want for yourself but it’s also setting a standard for what you will and you won’t allow in your life. And you know, if you’re in a relationship right now and it—it’s not the one that necessarily fulfils you, then look at this list you’re making and see if this person, if it’s conversations you can have with this person, and say, “Listen, I really have been taking some time to—to really reflect and—and this is what matters.” And see if this person aligns with you because I will tell you that the right people are going to come into your life and the right people are also going to leave your life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  In something else I would say is, you know, if you’re—if you’re not in a relationship yet, and you wanna get in a relationship, a lot of times people will start a new hobby or they’re like, “I’m gonna lose weight, so I’ll meet the right person.” And they do all these things because they think that that’s gonna be the reason a guy—or you know, someone’s gonna be attracted to them. But the reality is is that when you’re actually, you know, living in your powerful space, when you’re being who you are supposed to be, the person is going to appear. Like I was in—I basically took a three-year break. I mean I dated a lot but from being divorced ‘til being in my next serious relationship, it was three years and the funny thing is it was three months to the day after I met Ryan–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And he is—he literally is my list. He is everything I’ve ever wanted in a per—like he’s just my best friend and then it’s a bonus that were silly in love and like 38 days ago, not that I’m counting, we got engaged.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, wow! Congratulations!

Rachel Adams:  And—yeah, thank you. But it’s like it is so cool to get to go through such an amazing transformative process and then meet the person that you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, like it really could be this good?” Like how fun can life be now?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s great.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So that’s awesome. So you got your relationship dialed in. You related some soul-searching, figuring out what you wanted so you can kinda–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Create that that magnetic energy to attract it in.

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. So then what are the next things because we have lots of people listening to this podcast that are—they’re either healthy and they’re—they’re really rocking it in all areas in their life and they are trying to get in the edge, or you have people that are kind of at a baseline of not so happy with their health and they’re trying to make those changes kind of moving forward. So we talked about the morning routine. I’m a big fan of you know, good clean filtered water.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Throw some extra sea salts in there. Get some minerals going in your body.

Rachel Adams:  Love it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Do a little bit of movement. I think that’s great. What’s that next change for you on the diet side? What was that big one feel?

Rachel Adams:  Oh, my gosh. So I am that person who have—I really honestly, I went diet to diet to diet and diet in a bad way because there is such a negative rep on the word diet but in reality diet is just what you eat.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  It’s not what you’re on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I mean, I’m not kidding you. I was high carb, low carb, no carb, yo carb, like I—I did any diet that I could think of because I wanted the quick fix. I wanted to find what works for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And what happened was when I took out drinking, I also set some other rules out for myself, and I decided that I was gonna take out white flour–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Rachel Adams: White sugar and anything processed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  No, just simple stuff. Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Simple stuff, right, just kind of foundational stuff, right?

Rachel Adams:  Nothing too crazy, right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And so what happens when you take out these, I call them distractions and noise—sugar to me is a noise and—and alcohol is a noise. It’s something—it almost numbs your body so you can’t—your taste buds aren’t even alive. They’re like kind of numb. They don’t know what’s going on and so what happened is I took this out and all of a sudden, food started tasting different to me. And so when I would need something, instead of—instead of just eating because I ate, because it was just what I did. I started to eat something and go, “Okay, how does my body feel when I eat this?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  How does my body feel? Do I get energy? Do I feel a little tired? Do I have a—you know, a slump a couple hours later? And what I realized is that my body feels good when I eat a lot of vegetables, when I eat lean proteins, and the other thing that I—that I told myself is like no more restricting because I would go on a diet, the bad kind of diet, and I would say, “Okay,  I can’t eat this. I can eat this. I can eat this.” So I don’t eat and I restrict myself for a long time, and then I get towards the end and I’m like, “I did so great, now I’m gonna eat seven donuts.” Like it is such a weird cycle.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And so what happened is I go, “Okay, how does my body feel?” And you know, I—I really—I honestly, I took a piece of paper and I drew a circle, and the circle to me it could represent a plate for some, for me it represented my daily intake of what I was eating, and down the middle of the plate in a straight line, so slitting the plate or the circle in half, I put a line. And on the left side for me that—half of what I eat in a full day is vegetables, literally vegetables.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And then I took the other half and I—I cut that in half. So I now have, and so with those two halves on the right side, one of them I put protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And for me that’s beans, that’s, you know, chicken, fish, tofu, whatever. That’s my lean protein. And then the all—the other one, I—I literally put it in the tiny little slivers, and I had dark chocolate. I had red wine. I—I put cheese on there like all—but it was—it was all the other things that I love in life that I realized like I don’t need huge portions of these. And I implemented another rule that was really big for me. And it’s kind of an opposite of what I think a lot of people think when they eat, but I do breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess, and then dinner like a pauper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams: So I’m eating bigger meals earlier in the day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  Still all good fuel. And it—and then when I go to bed at night, it gives my body time to kind of rest and recuperate, and it’s not working on this huge meal. Could I even eat a really big meal at night? Then it would affect my sleep, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you feel better having a bigger meal at breakfast and kind of your—your number two at—at lunch from a mealtime perspective.

Rachel Adams:  I do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How long would you go between meals?

Rachel Adams:  I do and I eat two snacks, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay.

Rachel Adams:  Like two or three hours. I do little snacks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I’ll do like a Trader Joe, like I’m big because I—I own four companies so I’m always jamming, like I’m on the road a lot or–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  I’m at meetings and I have to prep in order to be successful because if I don’t—I prep meals on Sunday and Wednesday.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh, huh!

Rachel Adams:  And, yeah, so like I always have raw vegetables with me, like I have almonds, like different things. I do—a Trader Joe makes a turkey jerky with low sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And so I do—I have to have fuel with me in order to keep me going and so I just—I just made little rules that every two or three hours I would eat, and I wouldn’t eat if I wasn’t hungry but your body will speak to you. If you take out the distractions, your body is speaking to you. And it’s so just up to you to choose to listen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So looking at kind of the meal timing thing, it sounds like you really were doing a good job stabilizing your blood sugar, eating really good, you know, proteins, healthy fats, and you were trying to consume more of your carbohydrates from kind of like non-starchy veggies. Does that sound about right?

Rachel Adams: Yes, definitely. And—but the cool thing is I will tell you, I was like terrified. My whole life was like bread or potatoes. Like I can’t eat them, bad news, can’t do it. But reality is, you can. Just choose a really good whole-grain that doesn’t have a bunch of processed junk in it. And if you’re gonna have a potato, eat a sweet potato, you know? And—and telling myself that I can have stuff and taking out the you can’t have that, it was the most freeing feeling and go figure. I’m not kidding you. I—from the start of my journey to the end, I lost—I started at 162 and when I ended the journey, I was like at 130. And I have a before and after picture on social media, but like my morning routine and my little abs, and these little things that was doing these little small implemental changes, they added up. And I ended the journey feeling so strong and so healthy, and it was—and everybody is like, “What are you doing? Oh, my God. What’s your new diet?” And I’m like, “Oh, my God! We need to talk.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s funny. That’s great. That’s a nice little tip there. So give me a quick rundown. I’ll put you on the spot here. What’s–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A day in the life like? Well, let’s go. Today what did you have for breakfast?

Rachel Adams:  So this morning I woke up, before again, before my 2 feet hit the floor I have a glass of water, and then dropped to the ground, did my quick little exercise, I—my journal is by my bed. So I write three things that I’m grateful for. I just came off this two-day conference where I spoke a bunch about actually health and my journey, so I was just grateful for the connections I made there. So this morning for breakfast, I had a cup of egg whites.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams: I had half a banana with about a teaspoon of peanut butter and then I had, well, let’s see. I had quite—so I sautéed vegetables.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So this was sautéed from last night.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  So I’ll do half the plate sautéed vegetables and all different kinds. Like I—I don’t really—I’m—I really like vegetables so I don’t limit a ton except for maybe onions in the morning to spare everybody health. And then I’ll do a little bit—I added a little bit of smoked salmon and then I do have a cup of coffee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so you got some good omega 3’s, some good proteins, some good fats.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome. What’s typical lunch look like?

Rachel Adams:  Lunch for me is usually either a salad with some kind of a lean protein or like sautéed veggies or some kind of a lean protein. Sometimes I throw in a little quinoa on there. Sometimes I’ll have a little sweet potato and sometimes I don’t.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you’re really sure to keep the inflammation down.

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely, yes. And I—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And, uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I believe in that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Like, see I do a ton of stuff with like—I know you talk about it on your show—but like spices. Like natural–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Curries.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And you know, like I get a lot of my flavor now from spices instead of from like sodium and different salts and stuff like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Like I think it’s different to put salt in your water versus salt all your food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I think also sea salt is totally different than your typical table salt–

Rachel Adams:  The only time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s just Sodium Chloride.

Rachel Adams:  I keep one in my purse.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s great. Yeah, if you can–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: When I was in California at the Whole Foods, they had the—the real salt packs.

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Those were awesome because you get like 60-70 minerals versus just the refined sodium chloride.

Rachel Adams: That’s literally what’s in my purse right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  I take them from Whole Foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, it’s a really good electrolyte support. Awesome! So what other little tips and tricks that you did on—on the diet and lifestyle side that you would say are like in that top 5 that listeners that are making that transition now, what can they do outside of what you already mentioned?

Rachel Adams:  You know, I—so I kind of implement the 85-15, or–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  All I know everybody have their different process–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 80-20, 90-10, yeah, I get it.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, so for me it’s 85-15. So 85 for the—the 85% of the time I eat clean, and then 15% of the time I’ll eat whatever I want. But it—but what—what you find is like so say you love desert. You have a super sweet tooth. You know, like I—I love getting desert at dinner.

Dr. teen Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So perfect. Get desert but share it with a friend and have a couple bites because the first bite tastes amazing. You’re like, “Oh, my gosh! This is so good.” And the second bites tastes pretty freaking good. But then the third or the fourth bite, it doesn’t even—it stops tasting as good, and then you’re kinda eating to eat empty calories.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, totally.

Rachel Adams:  So I—I would encourage you to just really try—like listen to your body, really listen. And then my fiancé, he eats—like he is 6’3” and I’m 5 feet tall. And he can literally eat whatever he wants, but the coolest thing about talking to him about food and his relationship with food–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  Because he has no emotional relationship with food at all, is he eats really slowly and he chews all his food. He like—I swear he chews like 50 bites, every time, it’s 50 times. But the cool thing is like, so I wanted to pace myself with him because I was like, “Gosh, I wonder, that’s so crazy. He eats so slow.” But I love it because it—it gives you—like you can respect your food. You can respect your meal time, and so many people rush through their food, scarf it as fast as they can to keep moving throughout the day. And what you realize and for me because I was such a driver in my business world, I ate like a driver. I slept like a driver. I mean, and what I mean by that is I was like, “Go, go, go. Sleep—like it’s little sleep. Wake up. Get moving. Go! Quick breakfast.” And there is such a beautiful power in slowing down. So my rule when I eat is they just, it’s simple but I set my fork down in between bites, instead of having my fork always in my hand, I set my fork down in between bites. And that slows me down and really, really was helpful. And then I’d say the last piece to nutrition that’s really helpful for me is if you’re starting at clean eating and you don’t really know what it is, think about when you go to the grocery store, just hanging out on the outside perimeter, like where the vegetables are and the fresh, you know, fresh fruits and the—the lean proteins, because when you get into the center aisle, that’s where all your processed saturated fat, crackers, like that’s where all this stuff is that’s gonna be doing harm to your body and you know, like I said when you start making one good decision, your body is gonna crave it. Like you’re gonna be like, “Are you serious?” Like sometimes I wake up in the morning and I’m craving vegetables. Craving it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Rachel Adams: And it’s a beautiful thing like I just went on this all-inclusive vacation, and I was joking around yesterday, but 85-15 rule was pretty much reversed. Like at 85% of the time I ate whatever I wanted and 15% of the time I was like, “I should probably have a salad.” But the cool thing is when you treat your body really, really well, when you come home you don’t have to go on this crazy diet to restrict to get you back to where you were, you just go back on how you like to eat, what feels good for your body, and all of a sudden you’re like, “Oh, that was just some extra like saltwater, water weight.” And then you’re near back to where you were and it’s—it’s really empowering.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, absolutely. I think that makes a ton of sense. I mean, these are just real practical things that everyone could be doing. I think the timing of food is really important also–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That adage of like, you know, one chew per tooth, right? You have about 32 teeth on average, right? So that’s about 30 chews or so. That gets your food up to that liquid kind of consistency. There’s that old Buddhist proverb saying, “Drink your food and eat your water,” or chewing your food up to a consistency so it’s almost liquid so when you swallow it, it’s a lot of surface area for your enzymes and your hydrochloric acid to work and break it down. And then also when you drink your water, letting it imprint on your saliva so your body can—can process it better. So I think those are some really good things, and also just giving your appetite that appestat, that center of your brain that controls your appetite, time to let the nutrients kinda get into the body so it can sense it and allow you to feel full faster, where if you just scarf that food down its really east to overeat when your appestatic mechanisms that control satiety aren’t working optimally.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, absolutely. Do you—what is your feeling on drinking like a glass of water before you eat? I’ve heard a lot of people talk about that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think with hydration with water, hydrating about 10 minutes before is ideal. I mean if you’re gonna drink like an ounce or two, just to help food kind of process down or maybe you’re sipping a little bit of wine or something with your meal, fine. But hydration ideally about 10 minutes or so before meal because their stomach’s really acidic. It needs to be acidic. It’s about a pH of about 2. So hydrochloric acid and can activate a lot of the protein-digesting enzymes and water’s got a pH of 7. So if you’re raising up that pH, that’s gonna lessen your hydrochloric acid levels and lessen your enzymes and create more bloating and burping and belching. So I find 10 minutes or so before meal and/or about an hour or two after a meal is ideal for hydration.

Rachel Adams:  Awesome! Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I find a lot of people, too—this is a big thing—is the mechanism for like craving food and craving water can be easily mistaken in some individuals. So–

Rachel Adams:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Like before you eat, having like a big glass or two of water, you’d be surprised what happens to your appetite when that meal comes. It’s like you eat less even though you’re not trying to because you’re just giving your brain a chance to catch up with what it really needs.

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So okay we got the alcohol stuff down. We got meal timing. You’re—you’re really doing I think a lot of mindfulness with the chewing and giving your body time to—to process that food. I think that makes a ton of sense. What else? What else is on that big 5 list that you use to help improve your health?

Rachel Adams:  Well, you know, one, a big thing for me was sleep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, huge.

Rachel Adams:  I—I fought sleep almost my whole life because I always was—even when I was in college, I was like 20 units and 2 jobs. Like I’m just—it’s just how I operate. And I, from 2007 to 2013, I literally took Ambien, the sleep—over-the-counter sleeping pill–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.

Rachel Adams:  Four nights a week. Yeah, 4 nights, and it only was not 7, because I don’t wanna feel like I was addicted.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And when I decided to really take a look at how I—how I slept, I realized that I was doing a disservice to myself and like I said, when I—I found myself home earlier, I was like I wonder if I, you know, I fought sleep always, so I’m—I hadn’t taken a sleeping pill in quite a long time and I’m drinking tea and I almost started to create this like—so you know we talked about a powerful morning routine–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, yeah.

Rachel Adams:  So I decided to create a powerful nighttime routine and it’s been such a huge shift for me, so what happened for me is like when I walk into my bedroom, I look at it and I say, “Okay, I—like so think about going into a spa, that when you go into a spa like you just feel good.” You feel relaxed, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  You feel like you want to unwind. So I—I looked at my bedroom and I said, “Why—why doesn’t my bedroom represent that?” Like if your bedroom is your—so I literally consider my bedroom now my sacred space.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And I changed the paint colors to—to be more like calming colors because I—I had liked red. And that’s not so the most calming color.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Rachel Adams:  So I do a lot of like cream—now is like creams and ivories, and I have a little bit of gold tones, some blue–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And I don’t have full lights on. So I change my light bulbs in my room, too, so they are dimmer. I had a system that every night before bed I had this folder, and I would watch—it is on my comp—on my phone and I would look at e-news and Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest, and I’m like, “What? He’s dating her?” And you know, my mind is racing. So I implemented a rule and it’s a no tech hour. So before bed, any email, anything I wanna look at in the Internet, any text messaging, anything I wanna do before bed is done one hour before bed. So I unwind from technology a full hour before bed. I do not plug my phone in by my bed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  A lot of people have their phone plugged in by the nightstand. It’s too easy for me to grab it. So I actually plug my phone in by—in my bathroom. And that does one of two things. One it makes it easy so I can’t go grab it to go chat on it, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  And the other thing it does is when my alarm goes off to wake me up, I actually have to get my butt out of bed to go turn it off, because I was like a four-time snoozer. I was like, I just keep it in you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Rachel Adams:  And I—I aim for eight hours. I really do. I’m intentional about my—my sleep but the last thing to sleep for me was that sometimes life shows up and sometimes I don’t get eight hours. And I realized there was a mindset shift in here and I can, you know, it—I could either say, “Okay, I’ve got five hours. I’m going to be so freaking tired tomorrow. Tomorrow is gonna suck. I’m gonna need a cup of coffee at 4 PM and I’m gonna drag all day.” Or I can say, “Okay, I’ve got five hours. I’m going to shut down now and when I wake up, I’m gonna feel refreshed and amazing. I’m gonna have the most beautiful restful night’s sleep.” And then I wake up and I do my morning routine, and like mental shift for me was sleep. It was super, super huge. I think the last piece for sleep that really has been helpful is my mind races. Like I, a lot of times, couldn’t fall asleep because I’m thinking about a client I didn’t write back or a blog I need to write or whatever. So I keep a–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Rachel Adams:  Journal by my bed, the same gratitude journal and I call it a mind dump. So something’s happening in my head and I’m not getting sleep, I literally look to my journal and just get it out of my head and once it’s out of my head and on paper, I usually can get back into the place of getting—getting into sleep mode.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I totally agree. I think one of the biggest things—my biggest issue is just getting off technology earlier. The biggest thing I do is—I’m trying to do and working on it is one, throwing your phone or iPad into airplane mode, and then also clicking the night time button.

Rachel Adams:  Oh, good for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know? Throw it in airplane mode.

Rachel Adams:  That is dangerous.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know it’s hard. Throw it into airplane mode and then also hit the little moon button, half moon button that kills all your notifications, so then you don’t you don’t have like calendar things popping up or you know, your to-do list going off saying, “You gotta do this, you gotta do this.” And then it’s just dead, then your phone’s off. There’s no EMF. I throw my phone all the way across the room, kinda like you mentioned, at least 6 feet–

Rachel Adams:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But I keep it you know, 25 feet away.

Rachel Adams: You check it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I just have an end table that’s literally at the polar opposite corner of my bedroom, and then number one when the alarm goes off, it forces me to actually get up.

Rachel Adams:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then number two, it keeps that EMF away. And then also with the Apples, they have the application, their Night Shift, and I make sure Night Shift is on so it kills all of the blue light, so which—that’s the light that really disrupts melatonin. So kill, putting the Night Shift application on or if you’re Android, there are other applications out there that will kill the blue light which shuts down melatonin.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, I have that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  You know how you said the moon? It—do you have to hit that? Do you hit that again in the morning to take it off?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, you gotta take it off–

Rachel Adams:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Or like–

Rachel Adams:  Got it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Your calendar notifications or people call you, it just will go. You won’t even hear it. So it’s great at night because it just, you know, sometimes at night I’d have like calendar stuff popping up. I’m like, “What the heck?” So I just—I use that now and then it’s like, it’s perfect. There’s no more issues, but it takes discipline. It really does.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, absolutely. It does.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, awesome here. We’ve had a really great talk and I wanted just highlight a little bit more where people can get more Intel and more info on you over at, like a 90 days to kinda get your health and your life back on track. So I think that’s gonna be some great Intel for people that wanna get more information about how they can get their life back. Also any way else people can get a hold of you or find out more about you, Rachel?

Rachel Adams:  Absolutely, yeah. I’m really active on Facebook so if you do the /racheladamsrealtor, you can find out about me and then my main website that kinda houses everything I do is and you can talk to me about speaking. You can see my book and program, real estate coaching, and all fun stuff I’m up to.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: RachelAdamsInspire. Awesome! And the last question that I ask everyone–

Rachel Adams:  Please.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Let’s say you are stuck on a desert island and you only can bring one thing, one supplement with you, what do you bring?

Rachel Adams:  Oh, that’s so good. One supplement. Hmm. So it’s health related? One thing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, health-related, but you know, if you want to go outside of health related, I’ll—I’ll let you do that, too, as long as we can—as long as you really have a good answer why.

Rachel Adams:  I just—I think I’d bring like a flint to make a fire so that I can cook food and boil water and you know what I mean?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, from a practical standpoint. That—that makes a lot of sense.

Rachel Adams:  Yeah, that would be my go-to, and this horrible—I’m not a fan of it, but my fiancé really likes watching Naked and Afraid–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  So I keep seeing people like going on the shows and doing all these horrible things, but that—that would be my take away.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. And is there one supplement that you’re—you’re doing now or you’ve done in the past that you really like or you’ve gotten some success with?

Rachel Adams:  Well, I’d love it—I’d love to actually hear your feedback on this. So I am training for my first full marathon right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  And I—I did a half marathon and we were told by some runners to—look, I’m not a big believer—I think that the—the supplement industry from like a GNC standpoint–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Rachel Adams:  Is poison.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, yeah, 95%.

Rachel Adams:  So I steer super clear from those.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  I really—I only do natural supplements in my body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm.

Rachel Adams:  But I will tell you turmeric, they told us use turmeric after running to like help restore muscles are something.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Inflammation, yeah.

Rachel Adams:  It freaking made such a difference, I think, but I’m wondering if I—it’s in my head because we honestly like we had a fairly okay healing process for tearing down our muscles as much as we did and I’d love to hear your feedback on that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, turmeric I think, yeah, that’s great.

Rachel Adams:  That’s—that’s one of my favorite.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think turmeric’s great for inflammation and you know, marathon running can be very inflammatory in the body. Sell for some people if you’re not already healthy it can be—it can be a stressor but for my marathoners, the biggest thing I like is branched-chain amino acids because the body will allow those amino acids to pinch-hit instead of breaking down your muscle and getting more catabolic, i.e. breaking down faster. And then also mitochondrial nutrients like extra CoQ10, carnitine, creatine, ribose, you know those type of nutrients that pinch-hit because the parts of your—little cells of your body, these powerhouse cells, the mitochondria, really use them to generate energy and that’s a big part of you know, that kind of energy systems you’re using when you’re running as well. To those would be my two—branched-chain aminos and mitochondrial nutrients.

Rachel Adams:  Awesome!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, great. Any other parting words you want to leave with the listeners here, Rachel?

Rachel Adams:  No, I think just, you know, the—the one thing I would talk—that I think about a lot is people make such big goals for their lives, and they have these beautiful ambitions, but they forget that they only have one body. They only have one vessel that’s gonna get them there. So I would really encourage you to just remember that if you’re not taking care of you and you’re not making yourself a priority, you’re never going to achieve these big goals that you wanna achieve because you’re not gonna feel good. And in reality it is all about how you feel. So just remember that, you know, you can’t be the best wife, you can’t be mom, you can be husband, dad, all of that if you’re not taking care of number one.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Yeah, I think even in the—the Bible, right? It says you gotta love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Rachel Adams:  A hundred percent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s pre—that’s pre-assuming that you already love yourself, so I think that’s really important. Spiritual text from all religions echoes that as well so I think that’s a really, really great point to—to leave on.

Rachel Adams:  Awesome!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, thanks so much, Rachel. Appreciate your time.

Rachel Adams:  Thank you. I appreciate you have me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thank you. Bye!

Rachel Adams:  Bye!

Using ketosis to lose weight and improve your health – Podcast #109

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand dive into an in-depth discussion about nutritional ketosis and what benefits you can reap from it. This is a podcast episode where you’ll get valuable information about a Ketogenic-Paleo diet, what to eat (and when!) to get the best results.

ketosisLearn why insulin needs to be kept low and the ketones high. Find out how you can keep your diet in check and avoid wasting money when you’re taking exogenous ketones. Discover why carbohydrates are better consumed during night time.

In this episode, topics include:

03:38   What is Ketosis? Who is it for?

08:35   Kinds of ketones

09:50   Ketone supplements

17:36   Using ketones beneficially

28:45   Ketoacidosis vs ketosis








Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s Dr. J! It’s a Monday. How’re we doin’?

Evan Brand:  Hey, I’m doin’ great. What’s up with you?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, it’s good that you survived the weekend.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it was extremely exciting weekend with the baby—getting a lot of trouble with the baby.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. What’d you guys do?

Evan Brand:  Just hanging out at the park, hanging out outside.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice. That’s awesome.

Evan Brand:  You get—you get stopped by a lot of people when you have a baby.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I know. I just a got a dog a month or two ago and I just—I’ve never realized how many people are dog lovers, but man, we get so much attention when we have our dog. It’s crazy.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, if you were single. That would be the easiest way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I told my wife that. I said, if I ever—like if something ever happened where I can go back in time—if I were to do it all over again. I would’ve got a dog like right off the bat, like just a really cute, small dog but it’s all good. I’m happy where I’m at.

Evan Brand:  Yup, cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But I wanted to say, we were talking pre-show there that I got a crown today and I go see a holistic dentist in Austin. Her name is Dr Joan Sefcik. I’m gonna actually have her on the podcast real soon. We’re gonna talk about root canals, cavities, crowns, all those things, but I had an issue with my tooth where I needed a crown. About 16 years ago I split my tooth in half when I was really young, just eating a whole bunch of sugar, eating a whole bunch of gluten. Hadn’t really got the message back then about health. Split my tooth but I was actually able to keep it together with some cement, and obviously changed my diet and never had anything like that happened with my tooth again, but I had those—the long-term consequence of that tooth being unstable so we put a crown on it and we actually did some testing, too, to figure out what the best material was and we actually—I think we ended on a cubic zirconia. So right now I have an acrylic crown that’s a temporary one and we got a cubic zirconia one coming in. We had it muscle tested and we called the lab. We—we chose the top 3 materials that test the best based on blood chemistry and then we muscle tested the top 3 and I tested great for all of them which was great, and then the doc said, “Well, you know, this is the one I have the best success with, and because you tested great with all three, we’re gonna go with this one.”

Evan Brand:  So I’m sure people wanna know with holistic dentistry, that’s all cash no insurance for that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A little bit. I mean, we have some dental but I—you know, I paid that I think out of pocket. I think it ended up costing me like a thousand bucks for the crown–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And if I didn’t have insurance, it would have cost me $1500. Something like that.

Evan Brand:  Oh, okay. So insurance kinda works for holistic dentistry.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  A little bit. I mean, the thing is what’s holistic is the material we’re using, right? We’re not using the standard-based crap. I think it’s nickel a lot of times–

Evan Brand:  Yeah, it’s horrible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which can screw up with, you know, the conduction of nerves in the body. So that’s the big thing and also she used a lot of ozones as she go in there. She’d use ozone and get in there, like a lot of essential oils. So it was really targeted to kill a lot of the bacteria and crap that could be in there even though she—I actually asked her, she said it was great, which is good. It’s testament to you know, good, clean—clean eating. So we’re gonna have her on the show real soon to talk more about healthy teeth and oral hygiene, so that that’ll be fun.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I’m doin’ pretty good. Not bad. I get to go get my cubic zirconia tooth. My wife was texting me, it’s like, “Is that gonna look like one of those fake diamonds?”

Evan Brand:  Is it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In your mouth? No, I don’t think so. I asked. It’s gonna look, you know, it’s gonna look cosmetically in sync with my other teeth. So it’ll be alright.

Evan Brand:  Awesome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah. So we talked about doing something on ketosis. I’ve had Jimmy Moore on the podcast. I’ve spoken on Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Cruise. We did a podcast a few months ago on Keto OS which is a synthetic ketone supplements and look forward to digging in a little bit more on ketosis.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, there’s a lot of benefits. Ketosis in my opinion is not for everyone at every point in their life. It has a lot of incredible benefits for weight loss but if you have adrenal issues in my experience, some people feel worse. Maybe there is that adjustment period but I find that if people are just they’re afraid of carbs, they can tank out even more. What’s—what’s your experience with adrenal issues and—and ketosis?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I think ketosis is phenomenal for most people that are out there, especially if you’re dealing with metabolic syndrome, meaning there’s a level of insulin resistance and you’re body is having a difficult time tapping into fat for fuel, ketosis is phenomenal because what you’re doing is imagine fat is like this big branch and we’re trying to throw that branch into the wood chipper and then out of that wood chipper comes these things called ketones, and these ketones can be used by different tissue in the body and the thing is, glucose actually burns dirty. Right? It’s like a diesel fuel. You kinda sm—it’s smells. It’s stinky. If you ever drive by in a diesel car, at least the older ones. But ketones they burn really clean and when I say burn really clean, you don’t get a lot of reactive oxygen species or free radicals afterwards. So it burns really clean like that and also you don’t get the effects of glycation, which is basically all the proteins or tissue in your body gets sugar-coated and that creates basically a m—a magnet for free radicals. So we like ketones because of the stability they give people, right? With sugar, we get this up and down reactive hypoglycemic effect with a lot of people that are doing refined sugar or just higher glycemic foods, meaning they get into your bloodstream really fast. We don’t quite get that with ketones. So the big issue is most people who have metabolic syndrome, big waist, high blood pressure, lots of inflammation, lots of insulin and blood sugar, they can’t get the sugar into their cells and utilize it for fuel optimally. So they can’t—their cells are—are very resistant so they start—one, they get reliant on sugar to burn but two, their cells don’t wanna take it in a lot and actually burn it so they get very tired and a lot of that that gets put in gets stored as fat. So it’s a double edged sword. They’re tired. They don’t wanna exercise. They get cravings. They create more sugar and then when your insulin levels are high, it basically blocks fat from being burned so you’re primarily burning sugar but you can’t get a lot of it to the cells so you’re tired.

Evan Brand:  Right. I’ve heard recently which I’ve read. I can’t remember what I was reading. There’s this kind of—there’s kind of a myth that’s perpetuated where people who are only a fat burner or only a sugar burner and that’s not the case. It seems that most people have the ability to do both and if you wanted to survive in primal times then you would have, you better have that ability to be able to burn glucose or ketones to survive. But I think the goal of that is you just wanna be primarily a fat burner, not primarily a sugar burner which is what would you say, 90% of the population is probably primarily glucose—glucose driven?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I would say at least 75%, and we talk in generalities, right? We’re talking like, “Hey, you know, you’re primarily burning sugar for fuel or primarily burning fat for fuel.” That’s—that’s the thing that we’re kinda get across there and most people, you know, when we talk about calorie partitioning, their partitioning, right? You know, imagine you got a police officer and his siphoning people through, “Go that way. Go that way.” You got all these calories that are going through and the police officer is saying, “Hey, go this way into the fat cell. Get stored as fat and a small amount will actually get burned. So we’re not shunting those calories. “Hey, go to the mitochondria. Get burned. Create energy.” While you’re creating energy, you’re building muscle because you’re doing something that’s creating resistance in the body which builds muscle, whether it’s the piezoelectric effect and you’re building calcium into the bone or whether you’re putting muscle into the muscle belly. So we wanna essentially use that you know, traffic policer officer or that you know, flight tower attendant that’s telling the planes which direction to go. We want tell those calories, “Hey, go to the mitochondria. Get burned versus get stored in the fat cell.” And one the biggest ways we can do that especially with people that have this insulin resistance metabolic syndrome is getting into ketones by cutting carbs.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Typically down to 20-30g is a great starting point for most people. Go ahead.

Evan Brand:  Now, the people actually need to count? I mean, I’m probably in ketosis now at this point because I haven’t had much today. I had some—I had a bison burger and also I had some bison—or no, what did I have for breakfast? Had some kinda meat and—and I can feel that. I know because you can feel your breath start to stink a little bit more. That’s how you know. That’s like the first sign of ketosis or one of the first signs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, yeah, you get the acetone but I mean, if you’re only at like .5 mmol, I mean that’s not a ton. So maybe your breath gets a little bit fruity, that’s the acetone. So there’s 3 kinds of ketone. There’s acetone. There’s beta-hydroxybutyrate and there’s acetate. So like if you look at the breath meters. The breath meters are really measuring the acetone in the breath and then the blood is measuring the beta-hydroxybutyrate–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In the blood.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? And then some will actually measure the ketones in the urine, not that efficient because if you’re burning ketones, well, that means if you’re burning them they may not end up in the urine, right? So if you get someone who’s in ketosis, they’re spitting out a whole bunch of ketones but they’re burning them up efficiently they may not pee a lot out. Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So early on you get a lot of people that are in ketosis but they’re body’s not efficient at burning those ketones so those ketones go in the urine to start.

Evan Brand:  Well, let’s–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  But then later on as they get more efficient, you won’t see them in the urine. That’s why I got my ketone meter right here. I use the Abbott Precision Xtra or Precision Xtra and it’s—I got blood sugar on there as well as ketone strips, too.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I’ve done the breath. It was by Ketonix.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  I’ve done their breath one. That one was pretty good. I find that I had like a low level of ketones all of the time. Let’s clear something up though. When people hear about ketones, they’ve likely been in the grocery store or Walgreen’s or somewhere and they’ve seen the raspberry ketones as a weight loss supplement. They became very popular over the last probably 5 years. First off, raspberry ketones, they’re not even derived from raspberries when you see those. Most of the time when I’ve looked at the ingredients, a lot of times there’s synthetic chemicals in there. There’s artificial colors, sometimes artificial sweeteners in these raspberry ketones. So I do not recommend them. I don’t actually know enough about what’s actually in there to know what’s actually going to happen but generally just looking at some of the ingredient list on ketones, it—it’s garbage.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, raspberry ketones aren’t necessarily ketones. I mean, if you look at what’s in there, there are these phenolic compounds that aren’t your typical beta-hydroxybutyrate whether it’s calcium or sodium beta-hydroxybutyrate salts. Like if you look at a lot of the ketone products, there’s Keto OS. There’s another one, a Keto Sport I think, and they’re using the beta-hydroxybutyrate salts, calcium or sodium. Those are like the gold standard. Now you can use precursors, right? Kinda like how we use maybe pregnenolone for adrenal support precursors. You can use precursors like medium chain triglycerides which are gonna be primarily C8 and C10. Like the, you know, the brain—the brain ketones are more C8, right? Octanoic acid or I think that’s maybe caprylic, there’s two names. I like the octanoic because it’s more descriptive. The oct–, octo–, octagon, that’s 8—8 carbons. So typically we’ll do ketones that are C8 and C10 because you get the brain effects of ketones but you also get the metabolic effects. So like typically in the morning after I have either a good clean collagen shake or some eggs and I do my butter coffee with high quality MCT oil. I’ll get my ketones up within an hour or 2 to—to .5, .6 mmol and I feel great.

Evan Brand:  Do you measure that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I measure it, yeah. Now the thing is with the Ketonix, it’s more qualitative. So like that number like let’s say you’re—you’re a different color or light on that variant. That light that you hit one day, you may hit it the next day but your number may have been different if you were measuring it in mmol of ketones. So it’s a good indicator to—to say if you’re in ketosis. It’s not a good quantitative indicator of what exactly were you.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, the other brand that I’ve seen before. I’m looking—trying to find the ingredients right now is Kegenix. So I’m trying to see what’s in here. It’s $200 for a 4-week supply.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, they’re kind of expensive. My biggest thing off the bat is number one, get your diet dialed in. So you talked about carbs. So the first thing is as a macro percentage of nutrients is you wanna get your fat up. Most people screw up in ketosis because they go too high in protein. They’re eating like you know, 30-40% protein. It’s hard to do that much in protein unless you do two things wrong. Number one, you eat lots of lean meat and number two, you do excessive protein powders. So those are the 2 things. Now you can get away, going higher on protein if you’re doing a lot of resistance training, alright? But if you’re not doing a whole bunch of resistance training, you want your macros up around 60-70% fat as a pretty good starting point. So what I recommend is just throw your foods into a MyFitnessPal and if you’re using a Paleo template, so that means you’re gonna be getting most of your meats from animal products. Your carbohydrates, you’re gonna choose obviously more from a non-starchy vegetable sources. A really easy thing is you’ll typically be good around 20-30g and you can just throw in your carbohydrates, a cup of broccoli, a cup of spinach, a cup of kale, maybe you’re doing some asparagus, maybe you do another salad for dinner or lunch. Throw all the vegetables that you do in there, you’re probably find that you sit around 30g of carbohydrate once you factor out the—the fiber, 20-30 is pretty good unless you’re doing a ton of juicing or ton of veggies. You’ll probably be around 20-30 net carbs. That’s a pretty good place to be. So that’s a good starting point and then from there, depending on whether you wanna stay in ketosis—I like to—to keep myself around 40-70 carbs a day and I keep—I get my ketones up to .5 and I feel phenomenal–

Evan Brand:  So you’re—you’re–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  At around .5.

Evan Brand:  So you’re basically in some level of ketosis most days.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely. Absolutely. And then like if you listen to guys like Jimmy Moore, Jimmy is around 1, maybe—maybe 1-2. And again, you don’t have to worry about ketoacidosis until you get to about 20. Ketacidosis is potentially what could happen to diabetics type 1 primarily and/or alcoholics that have cirrhosis, with that—they have messed up livers. Essentially ketoacidosis is when your insulin levels are high and your blood sugar’s high. Okay, that typically hard to do because when the insulin goes high, blood sugar goes low.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Alright, so insulin’s high. Blood sugar’s high in the bloodstream but what’s happening is we can’t get the—we can’t get the—the calories or the blood sugar into the cell so the cell’s starving and what happens is the body is trying to generate energy so it spits out a whole bunch of ketones.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Does that make sense?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so I was looking at the ingredients here. Basically what this is, it is the beta-hydroxybutyric acid, that’s literally what’s your supplement— supplementing with. That along with some medium train—medium chain triglycerides and then leucine, lysine and isoleucine. That’s it. And then erythritol, some Stevia, some color, things like that. So you’re literally just taking—you’re taking ketones. That’s what it is, right? The—the beta-hydroxybutyric is one type of ketone?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Is that right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct. I wanna go back and correct myself. I misspoke. So regarding the ketoacidosis, it’s the insulin is low. Insulin’s low.

Evan Brand:  So you can’t deal with the blood sugar.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Blood sugar is high so you can’t get it–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Remember insulin’s the lock or the key that goes into the lock. The—the keyhole is receptor site, whether it’s a GLUT4 key which is that’s allowing sugar into the muscle or whether it’s on the liver and an—various different GLUTs. So imagine the GLUT’s the lock and insulin’s the key. So you can’t use the key to get into the cell. So what happens is all the sugar accumulates in the bloodstream because insulin’s low. So everything I said before is correct except it’s because of low insulin. Think, right? Type 1 diabetics have an issue with low levels of insulin because their—their islets cells in their pancreas, the beta cells have been destroyed by autoimmune attack. So they can’t get that sugar in there, so the body’s freaking out. It’s saying, “Where the heck am I gonna get energy?” So it starts ramping out a whole bunch of ketones. Ketones have an acidic ash to it or an acidic foundation to it so it shifts the pH because of instead of being a nutritional ketosis at .5 mmol or 1 or maybe 2, they are 20-10 x higher and that shifts the pH down. When the pH goes down, they can go into a diabetic coma.

Evan Brand:  Wow. Yeah, I—you said that quickly otherwise, I probably would have caught that. That makes a lot more sense. So insulin’s low, sugar’s high. That’s when you don’t wanna do it and like the supplement says that you cannot use it with type 1 diabetics for that reason.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I—exactly. And I was listening to a lecture just yesterday talking on the topic and he did the same thing I just did and I—I got his bad habit from it. He said the exact thing I said the first time.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I got the bad habit by osmosis, but we corrected it here. So think low insulin, high sugar, the cells are starving.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The body freaks out and it tries to go and generate a whole bunch of ketones but shifts the pH. Now how do we use ketones beneficially? So we can use exogenous precursors like we mentioned, okay? Obviously the diet’s gonna be foundational. Now for some people, there’s a couple of ways of doing it. You can live in ketosis. That can be great for some people. If you have cancer, lot of great studies especially over at Boston College, Dr Veech, NIH guy. He went to school—he studied under Dr Hans Krebs, I mean the guy invented the Kreb cycle, alright? He discovered it, which is how the body generates you know, energy via NA—NADH and FADH redox—redox reactions which then generate ATP in the—in the Kreb cycle as well as the electron transport chain, but this is how our body generates energy and this guy studied with this doctor that created or discovered this stuff. So moral of the story is this is another way the body can generate energy and ketones are really important part of the Kreb cycle and they are really important part of starving out cancer cells. So cancer’s primarily—primary fuel if you look at Otto—Otto Warburg or Otto Van Warburg, a German scientist in the 30s and 40s who got 2 Nobel prizes discovering this physiology around cancer cell metabolism and he found that cancer cells primarily survive on glucose and if you can starve the cancer cells of that metabolic fuel—remember it burns dirty—if we can use ketones, we can essentially starve that type of cell.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so—I mean, basically you and I both touch in to ketosis. Now I do do some sweet potatoes and things in the evening so I likely pull myself out of that so this is something that this is gonna depend on the person but you can touch in to ketosis—you do some carbs, don’t you? Do you do sweet potatoes with dinners?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I cycle in and out. I cycle in and out. Typically at dinners, I’ll do after a dinner as a treat. I’ll do a handful of berries and maybe some cream.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Or I’ll do some high quality, 90% dark chocolate that’s you know, organic and you know, obviously gluten-free. So it depends. Like this week I did buy some sweet potatoes so at one night, I’ll have that. I mean, you get different diets out there like a cyclical ketogenic diet.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There’s also Jason Seib’s stick on the AltShift Diet, which is I think a 3 days—I think it’s a 5-day low carb, 3-day high carb kinda stick as well. So there’s different things out there where you can cycle in and out and those I think tend to be really good for most people. If you’re more metabolically damaged, ketones, ketosis at that 20-30 induction phase can be pretty good. It depends. Some people I see if they’re in ketosis long-term will start to develop some of those hypothyroid symptoms, losing hair, hair loss, outer third eyebrow, cold hands, cold feet, mood stuff.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And then would just add in just a little bit carbs, small amount, and they’re doing better, so–

Evan Brand:  That’s what I had to do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so some people–

Evan Brand:  I crashed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Do better so I’m not dogmatic at all. There are people out there that do great on that diet and because they’re not clinically oriented, meaning they’re not working with patients that we are, they—they just think well, because they did good on it, the other person out there that’s having a bad response or not as good response must not be doing it wrong.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I’m sorry, must not be doing it right.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because they’re doing it wrong essentially. So we always just make sure the fat macros are up, the protein macros aren’t too high, and then just make sure the carbs are there and that’s a pretty good sign off the bat and then we can always measure it. Get to a .5 to 1. 1 is pretty good. Cut off. So we can customize it and then we can figure out. Okay, you’re at ketosis. You’ve been there for 2-3 weeks. You’re stabilized now. Okay, you’re already at a healthy weight. You’re feeling good. Your markers look good. Let’s just taper up some of those carbohydrates a little bit, just a little bit. And this is where it’s cool that you can play around with these exogenous ketones, the beta-hydroxybutyrate salts like the calcium and the sodium. This is great to try. Be careful though. Don’t make the mistake of adding these synthetic ketones and eating a whole bunch of sugar. The body is programmed when insulin goes up, typically ketones never should be there, right? Because think about it, right? Insulin has to be low for ketones to be high. Because if high insulin’s present, the body will block fatty acid synthesis. What are fatty acids? That’s the tree branch going into the tree chopper. Out comes the ketones, right? So we wanna keep insulin low so if we eat a whole bunch of sugar, take some exogenous ketones, insulin’s high, guess where those ketones are going, you know?

Evan Brand:  Well, hopefully it’s gonna help go into the mitochondria.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, if insulin’s high and sugar’s high, you’ll actually pee it out. So if you use exogenous ketones, you wanna keep the insulin low still.

Evan Brand:  So if you—so if you’re eating high sugar or you’re eating high carb and then you take ketones, you’re saying waste of money.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Waste of money. And again a lot of the marketings out there because frankly, a lot of these ketone companies, they don’t care if you do it right or wrong.

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because they’re getting—they’re getting paid either way.

Evan Brand:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Not saying that’s bad. There’s education that comes into play. So if you’re using exogenous ketones which I think can be great from a performance, neurological standpoint especially if you have issues with Alzheimer’s, things like that. That can be phenomenal because then if you have the right diet in place and then you add some ketones, it’s like bada-bing! You’re there. You know, we call it therapeutic ketone therapy. You know?

Evan Brand:  So basically, don’t waste your money. If you’re gonna do this thing then get the diet straightened out always but then get the—get the cyclical Ketogenic Diet or experiment with that first before you buy ketones.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Experiment.

Evan Brand:  That—that’s expensive. That’s $200 and that’s a—a way to waste it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you may not have to be you know, full out ketosis. You know, I sit around .5 to 1 and that feels pretty good. I think just spit out some ketones.

Evan Brand:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Get to a pretty good place. See if you can test it. Get down to .5 or 1. See how you feel. Stabilize and then taper in some carbs. You know, start off with a little bit of lower sugar, lower fructose fruit, and handful of berries. It’s a pretty good place and then you can always try adding in a little bit of safe starch, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, plantains. Do it at night. Because your body doesn’t need the extra sugar during the day because cortisol’s already there, mobilizing and conducting sugar out of the—out of the glycogen, out of the muscle tissue, or out of the liver. So the glucose is already going where it needs to go because of the high cortisol. Do your carbs at night where that cortisol isn’t as present.

Evan Brand:  This is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, you having a good time here?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, this is fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.

Evan Brand:  Well, just because you know, there—there’s so many different ways to go about this and there’s never—I—I think when people download these episodes, they think there’s gonna be like a single and that’ll be all answer, and that’s never going to exist especially for this ketosis discussion here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Plus we’re clinicians, so if it were that easy, you know, every patient would be a home run, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So we have to put on our clinician cap, you know, so to speak. And we look at the diet, we customize it. So if you’re an endomorph, right? Larger, bigger, you know, wider hips, bigger belly, you know, those type of things, you put on fat easier–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it’s harder for you to burn, then you know, you’re gonna really benefit by starting out with a Ketogenic Diet and then customizing and then stack your carbs. When it’s time to stacking your carbs, stack your carbs on at night.

Evan Brand:  Here’s another thing I wanted to mention though, too, that we haven’t brought up yet. And you and I talked about Kalish’s talk I think a few weeks ago together, where if someone has a bigger waist and they have this excess body fat. Even if they go into a ketogenic approach, they may not lose weight because of those toxins that are stored in the fat cells could still disrupt the metabolism, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so the fat cells are a toxic reservoir for toxins essentially. A lot of our toxins go into the fat cell. They’re–

Evan Brand: So what do we do then if—if you’re going, you’re trying to go super low carb and yet you still just maintain your heavy weight, you cannot burn fat?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, that’s where seeing a good functional medicine practitioner helps so we’d look at organic acids. We would look at how you’re detoxifying via pyroglutamate and sulfate and a lot of these organic acids that look at phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. Phase 1 is taking fat-soluble toxins, right? It’s already there. They’re lipid-soluble. I mean, they’re in the fat cell. We’re liberating them and turning them into water-soluble toxins primarily via B vitamins, antioxidants, and then we facilitate the transfer of these water-soluble toxins out the urine, out the stool, out the breath or skin, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we do that with sulfur amino acids, right? We’re supporting methylation and—N-acetylation, hydroxylation ,right? Glucuronidation, glutathione, all of these pathways that are shooting it out. So phase 1 is more B vitamin and antioxidant induced. Phase 2 is more sulfur amino acid induced. And then also some people because amino acids make carnitine, carnitine’s a really important compounds that shuttles fat into the mitochondria. It’s literally called the carnitine shuttle. You can Google it. It’s shuttling fat in the mitochondria to be burned so some people will see low carnitine. We’ll see some mitochondrial defects and then we’ll see some detox issues. So that can be something that we–

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Incorporate into someone’s metabolic functional medicine program to help enhance it. So we get the diet dialed in non-dogmatically. Again, if you’re overweight, default to a Ketogenic Diet. That’s pretty safe. A Ketogenic Diet on a Paleo template. Right? Atkins create the—or Atkins made that ketogenic term famous except he used a lot of crappy foods, you know, didn’t differentiate with soy protein, added aspartame and artificial sweeteners. Didn’t care about grass-fed or chemicals or pesticides or Roundup so he kinda stumbled on it by accident–

Evan Brand:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because he was just looking at it from a sugar and carbohydrate standpoint. He didn’t look at it from the qualitative standpoint of phytonutrients and pesticides and chemicals and—and inflammatory foods and excitotoxins like MSG and aspartame. So we know more. So we kinda add like a—a Ketogenic-Paleo template on to it and then we have tools like the Precision Xtra by Abbott and get it on—I think get it on eBay and buy the strips on eBay. There’s a company out of Australia. You can get a much cheaper—they’re expensive. They’re like $1 or $2 a strip but if you buy them here, they’re like $2 to $3. So you can get them like 50% off. I bought like 100 strips and I just test my ketones a couple times a week to see where I’m at and I pretty much know where I’m at based on what I eat because I’ve tested so many meals. I see a pattern.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So if I’m eating like good, clean eggs or a good clean collagen shake with some good fats, MCT and butter in the morning, I’m sitting around .5.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I feel pretty damn good with that.

Evan Brand:  Yup, so I know we’re running out of the time but some of the benefits you can expect—I notice mental clarity goes up if I’m pushing towards ketogenic. Weight loss can happen which I don’t need to lose any weight but I am less hungry. I’m able to go little bit longer between meals. I don’t feel like I’m crashing like I was when I was doing more starch. There’s a few benefits for me. Did you wanna say anything on that part?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think you touched upon it really well. I think a lot of people will hear this especially if they’re medically oriented. People get confused between ketoacidosis and ketosis. So I already kind of touched upon the people that ketoacidosis happens to and typically you’re looking at over 20 mmol/L is gonna be what happens in ketoacidosis and ketosis, you’re gonna you know, .5, 1, that’s totally fine. Now there’s nutritional ketosis which is what we’re focusing on, right? We’re doing it by nutritionally eating an adequate amount of calories because you can go on ketosis by starving and fasting.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right? Because you still drive down your insulin levels because there’s no calories. If there’s no calories, remember insulin’s the door that opens up the cell for the calories to go in. Whether it opens up the mitochondria or the muscle or the fat cell, that’s dependent upon how much insulin is coming in. But you can lower insulin by just going low calorie. So you can be in ketosis via starvation, too. The difference is we’re doing it nutritionally, meaning we’re actually eating foods. They’re real whole foods and we’re getting enough calories so you’re body’s not gonna be eating away lean tissue.

Evan Brand:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Most people confuse it and they think, “Oh, you’re gonna be ripping up your body. You’re destroying your muscle.” It’s like—well, my body’s not stupid. It rather burn the nutrients that are in it versus taking away lean tissue, right?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, so—so don’t starve. This is not starvation–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They’re confusing the physiology.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, totally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  They’re confusing it and that happens all the time.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And it drives me nuts so people need to really understand ketoacidosis and nutritional ketosis, and they need to understand ketosis vs fasting vs ketosis vs adequate calories and also ketosis at the acidotic level because of cirrhosis or type 1 diabetes.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, I think that’s pretty good there. If you would have sum it up, what’s the take home, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Well, take home. Try it out. Make sure you’re eating enough food. It’s easy to undereat if you’re basically cutting out, not almost, not an entire food group but essentially, so make sure you are getting enough good fats, enough good proteins, your coconut oils, your avocados, your avocado oils, your good meats, your good veggies. You know, your leafy greens are excellent. Stay away from the chemicals. If you start to crash, if you notice your outer one-third eyebrows going away, if you notice hair loss, if you feel like you’re a little bit more sluggish, you feel like hands and feet are getting cold like you alluded to, get some tests run. You can get some blood panels run for thyroid. You could get your adrenals tested to see if you’re just tanked out. Maybe you can’t go super ketogenic. Maybe that puts an extra stress on the body and you’re—you’re just not ready for that right now. So make sure your adrenals are healthy. Make sure your gut’s healthy and I think you’re gonna be—you’re gonna be on your way to—to weight loss if that’s a goal which is why many people go to—to ketogenic approaches.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So who should do this? Cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients, anyone with metabolic syndrome, right? Waist size 35 or bigger for a woman, 40 for a man. Blood pressure, you know, in the 140s or up. Any bit of inflammation, chronic pain, any of those symptoms. A good therapeutic trial of a Ketogenic Diet, Paleo style, Paleo template is a great starting point and again if you enjoyed this show and you’re applying the information and loving it, sharing is caring. Also give us a 5-star review. We appreciate it and click below this screen and you can help us out.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, it’s been real, brother.

Evan Brand:  You, too. Take good care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You, too. Bye!

Evan Brand:  See ya! Bye!

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