Eating Disorders & Your Relationship with Food – Dr. Glenn Livingston Podcast #171

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Food is essential for life. However, did you know that your relationship and mindset about the foods you eat are just as important? Today, we're glad to have Dr. Glenn Livingston from in our functional medicine podcast. Here, Dr. Justin and Dr. Glenn discuss the topic of eating disorders and improper food consumption. Learn about the different types of eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating and learn about the natural ways you can fix these issues.

Do you want to improve your eating habits for your health? If so, come and watch this video to pick up some valuable information about food eating disorders and how you can treat them.

Eating Disorders

In this episode, we cover:

04:40   Controlling One’s Inner Pig

09:32   Soulful Relationship Between Food and Trauma

17:40   Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

25:10   Fasting is Not Recommended

27:28   Two Types of Deprivation




Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani her. Welcome. We have Dr. Dr. Glenn Livingston, Clinical Psychologist, in the house. We’re gonna be talking about eating disorders and your relationship with food. And again, I see this is a profound issue in my practice. We need a healthy relationship to food so we can start making health changes, and that starts with the whole food type of approach for sure. Dr. Glenn, welcome to the show.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, thank you. I’m looking forward to this all week. I’m looking forward to it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great. And again, I’ll give a little plug. Your site is— NeverBingeAgain. And it has also your book there, which is— is the— Is the title of your book the same?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Same title, yes, Never Binge Again.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Did I get them?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Excellent.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Improving yourself to think like a permanently thin in the food plenty of your choice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it! So, we’re gonna this interview here, guys., everyone listening. Anyone that has a question kind of pertinent to this topic, we’re gonna— I’ll ask Dr. Glenn here these questions live on the air. Just trey to keep it pertinent to the topic if you can. So, Dr. Glenn, talk to me about how you got into this niche. How did you evolve into this? And, kind of— where do your passions lie?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, I’m— the short answer is thirty years of suffering with binge eating, myself. I was a—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I was a child, and family psychologist— they didn’t really work with eating disorders. And I had a lot of trouble with an eating disorder myself. You would have diagnosed me as an Exercise Bulimic, which means that uhm— I’m six feet four. I’m reasonably muscular. And as a teenager, I figured out that if I exercise two to three hours a day, I can eat whatever I wanted to. Like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …six— six to seven thousand calories, double pizzas, you know—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …boxes of muffins— whatever I wanted to. Uhm— when I got married and sorted to have more responsibilities and patients and stuff, I— I found that I couldn’t exercise like that and my metabolism is slowing down, but I couldn’t stop thinking about food and eating the way that I was. And so, I gained weight, and gained weight, and gained weight, and my triglycerides looked like the national debt. And—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah. the doctors were telling me I was gonna die by the time I was 35.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhhm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: But, being a psychologist from a family of psychologist, I looked for the traditional ways of how to love myself better, like I could love myself in. And I went to the best psychologist, I went to the best psychiatrist. I went Overeaters Anonymous. I even conducted a 40,000-person study because I was also a marketing consultant. I didn’t have kids, I didn’t…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …commute. I conducted a very large study to figure out what the relationship was between different foods that people crave and several personality variables. Uhm— But none of it really worked. It was— I had all these soulful conversations. Uhm— I find interesting things, like people who struggle with chocolate, like I did, tended to be lonelier, broken hearted, and people who…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …binged on salty crunchy stuff. They tended to be stressed at work, et cetera, etc. But none of it really— none of it really stopped the binge eating. It led to this soulful understandings of myself and self-forgiveness so it was good to do. But uhm— ultimately, I decided that it was— It’s kind of like, you know, there’s the fire and then there’s the fireplace. And a lot of people think that to overcome emotional leading, they have to figure out all these coping mechanisms for the emotions and they can’t let the fire get too big. But I found that it’s really more about constructing a good fireplace that keeps it contained. Uhm— Ran into some alternative addiction treatment literature from rational recovery. And basically, they pointed out that, you know, the way our neuroanatomy is set up— Uhm— We’ve got the lizard brain, which is kind of like a— kind of like a brain stem. And when the lizard brain looks at something in the environment, it says, “Do we eat it?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uhhm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: “Do I mate with it or do I kill it?” Eat, mate or kill. There’s no love there. There’s no— there’s no long term mastervations or goals or human identity. This is eat, mate or kill. And this is what is targeted in addiction It’s a lot of consulting for big food. And I know the billions of dollars that go into creating these hyperpalatable food-like substances. Concentrations of starch and salt, and oil, and sugar, and cytotoxins, that are really designed to give us a dopaminergic kit, like a— uhm— a hit that our evolutionary system didn’t prepare us for. Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm— Uhm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: But, later revolution developed like the neocortex in the mammalian brain, and— and it’s actually superior to the lizard brain. And it can inhibit that. But if your paradigm is, “Well, I’ve got to love this thing more [inaudible]… bucks.” And you hear this little voice in your head that says, “Chocolate comes from the Cocoa bean and the Cocoa bean grows on a plant, so, therefore, Chocolate’s a vegetable.” And you think, “Well, I must have to love myself more.” You’re gonna let go of this and thing is gonna run rampant for you. Uhm— So, long story short— This is kind of embarrassing but what I decided was, “This thing is gonna be my inner pig.” Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I’m a kind of a Vegan guy and I think real pigs are nice things in the world and need to be treated well, but this is not a nice thing, just the middle got struck. “This is my pig. I’m gonna draw a line in the sand, like I will never eat chocolate on a weekday again.” We’re talking about why it’s important to have rules like that. As suppose to just uhm— guidelines or progress, not perfection things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uhhm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: And uhm— Chocolate itself is gonna be pig slop. And when I heard this thing talking— This is a very condensed version. Uhm— and it wants the chocolate, I’d say, “Well, that’s just my pig. My pig wants chocolate. I don’t. I don’t need pig slop, and I don’t listen to farm animals telling me what to do.” And after all the years of studying and all the money I put into it, and all the psychologists and doctors, and everything I went to, that’s what wound up, giving me the extra microseconds to wake up at the moment of impulse and remember who I was, who I wanted to be around that food, and start to make the right decision. Uhm— And so, what am I passionate about, I— I wish this was just something I did for myself. I kept a journal. Uhm— I turned the journal into a book on a whim, and it really took off and became the number one book on Amazon for eating disorders. And uhm— So now I’m trying to help a million people a year to stop binge eating with this really weird method that everybody thinks is crazy. But, I tell them to try and it works.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I’m really curious to get into the actual method, because, you know, clinically, we go to school. We get our degrees. We get trainings, which I think is like a minimum level of competency to kind of get out to the—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …into the force to see patients. And then you start studying people who are doing what actually works. And you start developing a skill set that’s more application and— and results-driven versus an Academic

Aid you get your license kind of driven. Right?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, I’m curious. Ho— Like, you kind of walked out. You had this clinical uhm— Ph.D Psychology skills from Never University you went to. Where did you seek these new skills. How did you plug them in into the model that you’re— you’re doing now here?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, again, I was treating eating-disordered clients because I felt I had one myself and I wasn’t really good with it, so…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I was working with like suicidal adolescents and their families. That’s really what I was doing. I have to be very present for that and so, my eating problem was an issue because I’d be sitting with this suicidal kid. I’m thinking about when can I go get my next pizza, you know. S— So, uhm— I mean I— I went for continuing education, and I took courses on eating disorders. And I— I did some of that think stuff but uhm— really— When I tripped across, these skills was for my personal benefit because I had been in Overeaters Anonymous and it just wasn’t working for me. Uhm— And so, I was looking for alternative addiction treatment. And I was searching the internet, reading books and I came across that book. That’s— That’s where I got those skills. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it! Okay. So, someone comes into you, right? There’s like— ‘Cause I’ve worked with a lot of patients that had eating disorders, as well. So, someone comes in, right? I kind of look at their past. Is there— Is there a history of abuse, trauma, uh— like a lot of, you know, overbearing controlling people, you know, abusive relationships, right?  ANd then people are using food and they’re overcompensating with the lack of control they have in their life, and they’re controlling food in a way that may be  unhealthy. So, we kind of like look at past trauma, and we say, you know, “Is that controlling their eating now?” So, how do you separate the past issues but also how do you separate just people eating a really crappy diet, and they’re not getting B Vitamins or amino acids or certain nutrients to their brain. And their brain can’t function uh— properly, or it’s missing that dopamine from the building blocks you would normally get from food. How do you separate the past traumas with the nutritional work? And I know Julia Ross has talked a lot about this too in— in The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, I don’t think you can diagnose a psychological problem until you ruled out the physical problems. So—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I— I think that if you are starving your body of a necessary nutrients, uhm— If that really has to be addressed, first and foremost, because…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …if— If your body is not getting what it needs, then it will force you to be less discriminating with food until you— until you get that. Uhm— so, I think that that’s critically important. And I often joke with people. I said, “Look. You can’t make a rule that says I will never pee again, ‘cause your body has needs and it will eventually force you to do what you need to do.” Just like you can’t make a rule that says, “You know, I’m only gonna have 500 calories a day, and I’m not gonna have any protein, and—”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: You just— you just can’t do that. So, I really do believe that, you know, people need to take a look at their diets and get themselves away from a lot of the industrial processed foods.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.  

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Uh— I think, people are—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Refined sugar,right? Trans-fats; those kinds of things, for sure.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah, and all those bags and boxes and containers…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …that everybody is looking for love at the bottom of and it just doesn’t=— just doesn’t exist. Uhm— once that’s done though, I— I do think that— I think there is a very soulful relationship between food and trauma. Uhm— I’ll give you an example. Chocolate was— was always the beginning of my binge, right? If I didn’t have chocolate, I didn’t binge on anything else. Once I had— Once I had a chocolate bar, and then, all bets are off. Uhm— and when I did that 40,000-person study back in year 2000, I found that people who struggled with chocolate tended to be lonely or broken-hearted. And I thought, “Well, you know, I’m not in such a great marriage and uhm— I think I’m struggling with some of that. And my mom is a Psychotherapist so I’m gonna say, “Let me ask her about my upbringings or anything that would have started that pattern.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: And I had a really interesting conversation with her and she said, “ You know Glenn, when you were a toddler, uhm— I was really overwhelmed. Your dad was the captain in the army and they were gonna take him to Vietnam. And, my dad, your grandfather, was in prison, and I was terrified about when he was gonna come back and what’s gonna happen. And I was just depressed.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uhhmm— Uhhmm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: “And, so you would come running to me, crying and wanting a hug, or maybe even wanting some healthy food, but I didn’t have it to give you, ‘cause I was too depressed. I wanted to sit there and stare. And so sometimes, I’d point to the bottle of Chocolate Bosco on the floor uhm— in the refrigerator on the floor and I’d say, ‘Go get your Bosco.’ And you’d go running to the— the refrigerator and you’d open up the Bosco and you’d suck on it, and go into a sugar coma.” And I thought, “Wow! There is the connection, right?” Like maybe that— that insight should cure the problem, but it didn’t because there’s this voice in my head that said, “You know what, Glenn, you’re right. Your mama didn’t love you enough, and until— and that’s why you’re binging on chocolate. Until you can figure out how to get that love in your life, you’re just gonna keep on binging.” Well, let’s go get some now. Like it has almost became a justification. And that conversation helped me to forgive myself. I was working passionate towards why I had this problem. I forgave my Mom, we had a big hug, and you know, I think we had a better relationship after we talked about that. So, I think it’s worth doing. But, it was that voice in my head that really took over. And part of the reason for that, I think, is that these substances have a life of their own. Like, it kind of doesn’t matter what struck the match. I mean— I mean it does, and you can look for coping mechanisms, and you can make yourself more comfortable by learning how to deal with those emotions. But once you’re on some of these things, you’re actually kind of looking to get high with food. It’s not just for comfort.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Uhm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: There were no chocolate bars on the savanna, right. They—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Right? We didn’t have these bags and boxes and containers in— in the tropics. Uhm— these are— These are substances that are really targeting a higher than normal release of uhm— of neurotransmitters that give us a sense of artificial pleasure. And if you look at the animal studies and artificial pleasure, uhm— if you allow animals to self-stimulate that you wire up a— an electrode to the brain and they can self-stimulate their pleasure center, they will forget about their survival needs. They— they will abandon— abandon the nursing pups. They— they will uhm— they will not eat food if they’re starving. When you give people a pleasure button that doesn’t really exist in nature, they uhm— they get addicted and the [crosstalk] resulting addiction is self-neglect. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And there’s a rat study too, where the rats would uh— choose Oreo cookies over cocaine uh— time and time again, so that’s interesting. And then, when you talked about, like chocolate, for instance, right? ‘Cause you know, there’s almost a healthy version to any kind of food out there, right? Do you put like a 90 percent uh— organic dark chocolate no sugar added in the same category as a, you know, refined chocolate bar with added sugar, or maybe a low antioxidant rating or you kind of differentiating?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, I would certainly different nutritionally. And I’m—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I’m a psychologist not a nutritionist so I don’t have as much to say about that. I think there’s for—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: There’s for individual, so— You know, I work with a lot of people who eat chocolate everyday and it works that really well for them. Uhm— personally, I just can’t have it at all. I just get carried away and none is easier than some.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Mm— Uhhm— uhhm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: But I do think that there are gradations of healthier versus less healthy foods. And I certainly think that one strategy for becoming healthier is to substitute healthier for less healthier versions.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. So, I’m a new patient. I’m coming to you right now, right? And I know you’d have to have an in-depth, you know, examination or intake and really go through things, but what are the top three things that you’re gonna look at with me? And— and what changes are you gonna make off the bat? And, I know, it’s— you know, it’s a hypothetical here, but just people that are listening, so they can get a sense of how they can start applying some of the tools that you work with on a daily basis.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, I had to ask you what’s your single most troublesome trigger food behavior is. Is it eating in the car, is it chocolate, is it uhm— having dessert in a restaurant? What’s the single most troublesome trigger food behavior? Then I’ll ask you, what kind of person would you like to be ideally, around that food? So, some people will say, “Gee, I wish I could have dessert just twice a week in a restaurant. Never and no more than that.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Other people would say, “I want dessert totally out of my life. Some people would say, I always want my fork down between bites.” What— Whatever it is, I would concentrate on that one rule, and I’d ask them, could they— Could they make a rule that says, uhm—  “I will always put my fork down between bites.” And once you make a very clear line on the sand, you can start to listen for that inner voice that suggests that you break that rule.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: And I just want to teach them how the game is played. I’m not so worried about them losing weight right away. [coughs] Excuse me. I just want to teach them how the game is played because, see in our culture, we’re told that we’re really powerless over these impulses. You know, we can’t really hope to quit. We can only abstain one day at a time. We should strive for progress not perfection. Uhm— the advertising industries spends billions of dollars to convince us that we need this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: People think advertising doesn’t affect them, but it actually affects them more when they think it doesn’t affect them ‘cause they’re cell’s resistances are down. So the— there’s like a perfect storm uhm— to create this— this sense of powerlessness. And so, I want to find one rule and play this game, you know, in one way, to prove to people that they do have the power to control themselves. And then— And then I asked them to start listening for why they can’t uhm— always put their fork down between bites, or why they can’t only have chocolate in a week. And we start to look at what those uhm— what those voices in their head are— are telling them, and we dispute them. We also look at uhm— If you weren’t to do this— let’s say you could do it perfectly. I know that your inner pig says that you can’t, but if you could [crosstalk] do it perfectly for a year, what would happen in your life? What kind of person would you be if you don’t have chocolate during the week for all of 2018, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: And— and we really do mention a lifestyle check. Help— help with the motivation. That what—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You men— Yeah, interesting. And you mentioned your inner pig. I know a lot of people in  the NLP world, they’ll— you know, they’ll envision that “stop” sign coming in their face. So they’ll have a rubber band and they’ll— they’’ create some kind of a neurofeedback— that’s a negative stimuli. Is that why you’re kind of doing with that— with— with the pig analogy there?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Creating your own negative feedback stimuli?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah. It’s uhm— I’m trying to help people to view the impulse to binge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Like uh— It’s almost like a challenging wolf to the omeg— to the uhm— alpha wolf in the pack.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: So, rather than trying to love your inner self, what you’re trying to do is dominate a challenger for leadership. Uhm— a— and it’s just enough to wake you up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hm—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: It’s just enough to wake you up and remind you of who you want to be when you’re experiencing impulse. And to start to uhm— snarl it down or just ignore it as uh— irrelevant challenger.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: That’s what I’m trying to do. Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. so, I kind of looked at eating in a couple of ways, right? You kind of talked about maybe some abnormal cravings where cravings are just kind of controlling you. Then, there’s people that are— that are bingeing to the point where they know, they’re gonna purge afterwards right— right where they— And then they have the anorexia side where it’s just purely starvation. And then, a lot of times there’s just body image thing where they see themselves as maybe looking 50 to a hundred pounds heavier in the mirror.How do you differentiate those? Like, how do you treat one different than the other, or do you?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well— Okay. I can’t necessarily offer this as treatment ‘cause some of what I’m saying goes against the standards of care of my practice. Although the evidence seems to point to cognitive behavioral therapy, which is very consistent with us.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: That may work most effective for binge eating anyway. Uhm— with people who were bulimic, if you don’t binge then you won’t purge. So, if we focus on stopping the binging, then they tend to get— they tend to get better. I don’t have a lot of success with anorexic people. Uhm— I— I think that it’s a more complex disorder and I don’t— It’s something— I don’t quite understand about it yet. I’ve not had a lot of success with it. Uhm— The evidence for it is not terrific for anything working great. Uhm— Some people— you know, if you make a food plan that says, “I would have three regular meals and nothing in between. I’ll eat my entire meal, no matter what.” Uhm— And you— you looked at the voice that tells you that you don’t deserve to eat, or that you have to— you know, you have to starve, otherwise you’re sinning or something. If you look at those voices that are associated with anorexia, some people have some success doing that, but I don’t think any worked in any of our methods. So, I— I tend to encourage anorexics to see treatment elsewhere.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Understandable. So, any other tools that you’re coming out with or that you’re working with people on, maybe on the craving side that you want to add in there?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, we’re— we’re developing some Facebook software. That will be out for another six months or so. But uhm— there is some evidence that’s uhm— recruiting your friends to cheer you on and reward you as you go on tiny little quests— you know, like I’ve— Today, we’ll have only one cup of coffee. And people kind of watch you report about that, and you know, liked your status when you say that you did it and cheer you on when you had made a mistake and helped you get back up. There’s— There’s some evidence that that works well. And so, we’re developing some software that integrates with Facebook to help us to— to do that, and it— It looks promising. Uhm— It won’t be out for six months or a year.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And how much of it do you think the neurotransmitters are— You mentioned, like the— the dopamine earlier. How much is it? The people is just craving that hit of dopamine. And they’re just choosing di— I cou— I break them down into destructive and constructive, right? So, there are constructive vehicles for improving brain chemistry, may be things like exercise. It may be things like meditation, may be prayer, and may be uh— a nutrient-dense diet. It may be engaging in therapies that you talked about that are— that are building and sustainable. And then we kind of have the destructive ones, which are maybe the junkie chocolate or even recreational drugs. How do you differentiate, you know, those constructive or destructive vehicles, like I mentioned, to the people that you are working with?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Oh, I would probably draw the same lines that you are.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I also try to explain to them the phenomenon of downregulation and upregulation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Which means that uhm— if you’re having a chocolate bar everyday, then an apple doesn’t taste with what it’s supposed to. It doesn’t give you the same level of pleasure that you’re supposed to get from an apple because your taste buds are no longer as responsive. And the whole, you know, dopamine response system is not as responsive as it should be to what nature provided. That’s— So, you’re inner pig will say, “You’re gonna feel awful if you don’t have this chocolate bar. You need this to survive. You’re gonna have no pleasure in your life. Life is gonna be very depressing.” But the research suggests that when you stop over-stimulating the taste buds, that they— you know, double in sensitivity in a matter of weeks. That your, you know, brain starts to upregulate and respond to— and respond to natural stimuli again, in a way that was supposed to in the first place. And before you know it, you know, a banana or an apple  uhm— gives you just about the same amount of pleasure as the uhm— as the chocolate did it. It doesn’t quite get you high with food in the same way but it— it does give you an unbelievable amount of pleasure [crosstalk] that you’re not supposed— you’re not supposed to believe exist at this point if you’re hooked on chocolate.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And then, regarding supplementation, I mean, what’s your experience with that? Are you using B6 or P-5-P, or any certain B Vitamins? Are you doing any amino acid or Omega-3 therapy, along with it, to help support the brain and the nerve system?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, I’m— I’m not because I don’t really have that expertise…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …but I’d be curious what you recommend and why.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Yeah. I mean, I see a lot of Dr. Julia Ross’s work on other people. You know, B6 is really important for neurotransmitter synthesis. Uhm— Obviously, you know, getting Cortisol levels under control because the more the stress hormones are out of balance, the more you tend to burn up uh— neurotransmitters. And it kind of makes sense, ‘cause a lot of those neurotransmitters, like dopamine, can go downstream to adrenaline. So, it makes sense if we’re throwing more gasoline on the fire then than we can burn that gasoline up. So, yeah. I’d be curious to— to get your connection and how that— how that works together for you. But, very cool.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Well, I— Yeah, I’m— I’m afraid I might be inadequate to comment on that just ‘cause I don’t have the training to— to know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Nah, totally.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: But it— it makes sense to me. But…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …my— my— my experience is that, the more people supplement with a nutrient-dense diet, the less they want to binge.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally. And what about inflammation? Does— does that work in there too, as well?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Uhm— I mean, I— I personally choose the whole foods plant-based diet…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …because it uhm— removes all the inflammation for my system. And, you know, I used to have eczema and psoriasis and uhm— rosacea, fairly badly, and it all went away when I started to— to do that. I actually— There is a product called InflamX that I took for a while. And I did notice—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Metagenics.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I did notice that I was less interested in sugar and starch as I was taking that. So, I think there’s something about, you know, the body having a craving for certain nutrients when inflammation is existing…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …in the body. [coughs] How— How would you explain that? What— what am I missing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I think that’s a hundred percent true. I think the more inflammed you are, the more your bodies gonna burn through alkaline buffering minerals, like Potassium and Magnesium. It’s gonna burn through B Vitamins. Uh— For sure, that— that makes a lot of sense to me. And I think that explained your experience. And I’m just curious too. Uhm— What was your diet like before you made these switches in your self?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: [laughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can you give me like a print post?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: [laughs] Well, if it wasn’t nailed down, it was fair game. Let’s just— let’s just say that. Uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I get it. It’s seafood diet, right?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I did it. That’s it.  

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah. No, I’m gonna— I was eating uhm— Well, I mean, I wish all those food…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …those kinds of things?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I was eating a lot of fast food.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I will try to eat healthy in between, but to me that meant, you know, like a lot of salmon and salad, and not— not really horrific things. But I was eating so much in between that it was just countering everything. Yeah, you know, spend the day at Taco Bell. That kind of thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And how about now? Like, what does your diet look like today? Can you give us a quick rundown of breakfast lunch and dinner?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Oh, God! It’s very simple and most people would run away, screaming, but you know, I miss entirely fruits and vegetables. Uhm— you know, today, for breakfast, I got a—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How about your protein sources? Are you doing like legumes or lentils? Are you doing a—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Sometimes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Sometimes, I’m— I’m largely Raw.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I’m largely Raw with that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I feel better when I’m largely Raw. Uhm— But I’ll get 60 grams of protein minimum per day, no matter what I do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Good.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Uhm— Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent. And then uhm— and one more quick question for you that was really on that veins. We talked about the Raw, we talked about the amino acids— Tsk. Oh, it will come to me. We talked about the B Vitamins and supplementation. Uh! Just— It’s just at the tip of my tongue. Uh— I’ll come back to it here in just a minute. So, you’re making all of these— Oh, yeah! This is what it is. We talked about it pre-show, about fasting. Why is it— And I’m— I’m on the same belief as you on this. Why is that you are not recommending fasting for individuals that have these issues off the bat?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Mostly because I see them rebounding.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Uhm— I believe there must be an evolutionary mechanism that says if calories and nutrition are unavailable for a long period of time, then as soon as they are available, we really ought to hor— hoard them. And I— I think that’s why people feel like there’s a switch that’s flipped in their brain, sometimes. And why being full can be a trigger to really binge more? Uhm— Which doesn’t makes any common sense otherwise. So, I believe that the fasting sets up the cycle which just doesn’t work for binge eaters. I— I do believe that there are medical benefits to fasting. I— you know, I have done it myself for medical reasons but supervised by a doctor in a, you know, very, very careful with the transition back to real food and very much aware of the tendency to want to binge once you, uhm— once you come off with it. When I was a kid, I— I fasted and broke it with Taco Bell. That didn’t make me feel so good. [coughs]

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I see a lot of the fasting benefits initially is if you’re doing, you know, we got to differentiate, like, with an intermittent fast versus a fast where there’s no food for a couple of days onwards.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Intermittent fast, I think, uhm— number one, you’re still getting the same amount of calories in, which means same amount of nutrients in, but you just got to really structure those two meals up. Like, if you’re doing an 18 by 6, or 16 by 8, you know, the bigger numbers that you— the amount of time you’re fasting. And that six or eight hour window you sat to make sure you have to solid meals in there and you’re getting adequate calories. But, number two, the— the larger fast, I think can be beneficial for people if  they’re eating a whole bunch of crap, because you’re body will surprisingly do a little bit better off of nothing than a whole bunch of crap. But…

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …it’s better— It’s better to eat something that’s nutrient-dense uhm— than nothing at all, because when you’re under this kind of stress, you’re body’s burning nutrient— nu— nutrients. And then when you are not putting those nutrients in, it starts to have the catabolic— catabolically break down in other tissues in the body— tendons, ligaments, neurotransmitters, etc.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: That makes sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: That makes sense, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So, in your book, is there anything else you want to kind of connect the dots, that was like an “Aha!” for you, or patients that you worked with? These— these principles really having a major effect on people 80 percent of the time. Anything else you want to touch upon…

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: …for a wrap up?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yeah. Geneen Roth pointed out…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Uhmn—

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …that there are two types of deprivation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: And most people are considering switching their diet or letting go of certain, you know, junkie things in their diet. They get very involve with the voice in their heads that says, “Oh, you’re gonna be so deprived of all these pleasure.” But, if you ask yourself, what are you depriving yourself of in the future if you continued it, you’ll like you’re eating. Like, what you’re like gonna be in a year if you— if you continue to do this? And, you know, are you gonna be heavier? Are you gonna have problems with your cardiovascular system, or cancer, or diabetes, or what? And, what about the energy you would have if you stopped eating this? And what about being able to play with your kids and, you know, feel more confident yourself? And what about the deprivation of all of that, associated with continuing to do what you’re doing? So, it’s never a question of whether you’ll be deprived. It’s a question of what you’ll be deprived of. And if you, take a moment to fully consider uhm— what you might be deprived of, then you can make the decision. You know, do I want a live fast and die young, or a little slower and have a little more enjoyment in my— in my life?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. And on— one thing I also noted, too, is that people kind of looked at food— They kind of looked at food for your brain or food for your body as just like gasoline in the gas tank, right? You go to your car. You go to the gas station. You put the— the gasoline in the tank, and that’s it. And it burns that gasoline off. You get the E signal, you come back and do it again. The difference is, the food that we eat actually it wo— if we use the car analogy, that’s like the gasoline becoming the building blocks for the bumper, for the headlights, or for the engine, because [crosstalk] it can cause breaking up and building down, right? So, food— People, I think use the Calorie model, which is kind of a Heat model.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Uhmn—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right, energy model, and they’re not using it as like a building block type of model. Hey, these are gonna be the raw material for your future cells. And one thing that I do is shifting the mindset of energy versus building blocks for building your temple, your house, [crosstalk] your body, your brain. And that, I think shifts— help shifts uh— the value setup. It’s really important because this— this is becoming me versus, “Hey. This is just something I’m filling in my gas tank.”

Dr. Glenn Livingston: You know what?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thoughts in there?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I— Oh, I’d like to borrow that. I think that uhm—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: yeah, that’s a good paradigm shift. It would make people ‘cause it’s possible to rationalize eating a chocolate bar based on the fact that I need the energy, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. I burn it off. Not a big deal.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Right. Right. As opposed to this is gonna become a part of me and…

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: …do I want this to become a part of me or do I want an apple to become part of me?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Yep.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, good.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: I’d like to borrow that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can it get— That’s perfect. Yeah, totally.  And anything else you want to let the listeners to know before we’d let you go here?

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Uhm— Well, I think— Can I send them to the website to get a couple free copy?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. Yeah. Totally.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: At, you can get uhm— a free copy of the book in Kindle Nook or PDF format. I’ve also recorded a whole bunch of coaching sessions for free uhm— so that you can hear how this is implemented in practice ‘cause it sounds kind of weird in a short little interview, and the abstract. It sounds kind of harsh, but it’s not. And I created a set of food plan starter templates for any diet. So, whether you’re a Paleo or Vegan or wholefoods, what— whatever you are— point counters uhm— there’ll be something that kind of matches with your philosophy and get you started.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: NeverBingeAgain?

Dr. Glenn Livingston:

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We’ll put that in the show notes— Never Binge Again. So, if you’re driving, or you’re somewhere you can’t check that out, click the show notes below. We’ll have that link there. Dr. Glenn, thank you so much for this awesome information. We’ll get this out there and feel free and share that with your listeners, too. Thank you so much.

Dr. Glenn Livingston: Okay. Thank you so much.



Dr. Dr. Glenn Livingston at

“The Diet Cure” and “The Mood Cure” by Dr. Julia Ross

Geneen Roth’s two types of deprivation

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