Natural solutions to combat stress – Podcast #122

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk all about stress, its effects on our health and variety of natural ways on how we can beat it. They discuss into detail the parts of the brain and hormones affected when we deal with stress and how these hormones are related to health issues like gut inflammation, ADHD, decreased libido, weight gain, depression and memory problems.Natural solutions to combat stress

Find out some of the sources of stress that we engage in consciously and unconsciously. Learn about the process and cycle of stress, develop awareness and apply some valuable tactics on how to combat stress in our life, which in turn improve our health.

In this episode, topics include:

1:46     Forest Bathing and its benefits

4:48     Cortisol levels and its effects on our body

9:19     Different sources of stress and  ways to deal with it

21:13    How the amygdala and hippocampi reacts to stress

26:09    Different approaches on how to beat stress

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there, it’s Dr. Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Evan Brand. Really excited here, we got the video going today. So hopefully, we’ll have the face-to-face connection here for everyone at home. Evan Brand, how are you doing today, man?

Evan Brand: Pretty well. It’s sunny and cold but I’ll take it over cloudy and cold so I can’t complain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely man, I love it. I know we talked about talking about stress. Speaking of stress, how you are you dealing with stress up there? I know you have winter and you got cold weather up there in Louisville. How is that going?

Evan Brand: I mean it’s not too bad to be honest. I love living here in Kentucky so much that I turned a blind eye. I think I put my rose colored glasses on despite the winter and it was like mid-20°F so cold. But I- actually, I put together a weight bench in the garage yesterday so I’m gonna be beginning some outdoor primal exercise. I joked with my wife I was like “Babe, there’s nowhere to put the weight bench. Let me put it down in our daughter’s room” and she was like, “ No” and she said, “our primal ancestors wouldn’t have needed to work out indoors” and I was like “Fine, I’ll put it outside”. So I’m gonna be getting some, some- I guess we’ll call it cold, cold exposure training and lifting weights at the same time.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it, I love it. That’s excellent. I can picture your wife using that excuse to send you to the store to run errands. Well normally, normally in the hunter gatherer society, the husband will be out for weeks trying to get food for his family. You should go to the store for at least the next hour or two for us.

Evan Brand: Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s smart. Very cool. Well yeah, here in Austin, it’s a great, great weather. It’s 56° on the colder side. I guess a little warmer up in the weekends but we talked about stress here pre-show. One of the big things I’ve been doing and I know you’ve done podcast of this in the past. I think you’re in bulletproof radio talking about this, is forest bathing.

Evan Brand: Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I found this awesome little nature trail behind my house there in Austin and I have taken my dog, Butter, and my wife and I now we go for a great walk down there and it is awesome. Really enjoying myself. We go for a couple of hours. I got my Fitbit on, I’m racking a couple of 10,000 steps days over there and then it’s great.

Evan Brand: I know, you feel so much better. For me, anytime that I’m stressed it’s usually due to a deficiency of nature. Obviously there are other causes at play which we can talk about some of those causes and effects-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -but you were designed as a human to be outdoors and if you separate yourself from the outdoor environment, you’re gonna have build up of stress. It’s just that simple.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And I know the research on forest bathing is pretty, it’s pretty- its quite compelling. Uhm the effects of lowering cortisol, lowering that stress hormone and the cortisol is this hormone that’s really interesting and today’s podcast is gonna be just on stress in general and natural things we can do. We’re gonna try to take a different nuance approach for it. But just getting outside and walking around not just on your street but if you can go on to a wooded trail, it’s actually great. The effects on lowering cortisol, if you just google forest bathing, a lot of really good effects with that. Can you go more into the detail? I know you’ve got more podcast on this topic.

Evan Brand: Yes, so basically a lot of the research is coming out of Japan who came up with the term “shinrin-yoku” and it makes perfect sense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: Of course we’re gonna have a reduction in stress compared to the control group in the research where they take salivary cortisol samples of people walking on the side walk walking on urban area. They actually see increase in stress hormone cortisol but adrenaline too and you see decreases in adrenaline not only DC reduction in cortisol but you also see increase in heart rate variability and the higher your HRV score is, the healthier your nervous system is. Meaning you’re more in parasympathetic, less in sympathetic. And for us in the modern world we’re constantly reacting to things that our ancient wiring system wants to put us in sympathetic like a bad email or a bad text message –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: – that can put us in fight or flight. We think our survival is at risk but it’s not.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand:  And forest bathing also there’s some cool research if you type in rumination in the forest, you can read that some of the bloodflow to the prefrontal cortex which is the newest part of the brain. The blood flow actually decreases and the more reptilian part of the brain in the back increases the blood flow back there meaning, you’re less likely to start overthinking and beating yourself up and being self-conscious and you know, people are hard on themselves. And I’ve been guilty being hard on myself too and a lot of times it’s just that front part of your brain is overactive and due to the modern world and technology, social media, I mean there’s a lot of bad influence that contribute.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what’s that part of the brain that causes the rumination effect?

Evan Brand: Pre frontal cortex-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. The prefrontal cortex, the neocortex, the high functioning part of the brain.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excelllent. And also we know cortisol. Higher cortisol and lower cortisol are both detrimental, right? Higher cortisol is that tire but wire, you keep on going, you’re energized, but maybe you’re more anxious, maybe you have the heart palpitations, maybe you have excessive sweating and body odor. And these are the high cortisol. And again typically people that are higher cortisol, they least have the energy and the propulsion. It’s like the engine’s redlining but it still flying down the street versus, “hey, now the car’s going, it’s pot, pot and pot along”. But now your kinda in that low cortisol statement. Again, high cortisol, what it will do is rip up the gut lining, right. Coz it will rip up the IGA and it’ll tear up the gut lining. High cortisol also tear up muscle. So you start getting skinny fat. So maybe you look skinny but your muscles don’t really have much tone to it or contour. Or you start gaining weight because now you’re ripping up so much protein, you’re actually increasing blood sugar from the protein from the gluconeogenesis happening. So, now your blood sugars going up from the stress response as well. So you have- you can get insulin resistant, you can get sarcopenia, meaning the kind of the flabby muscle. And then you can also tear up the gut lining and tear up other tissues in the body, too. Hair, skin, nail, etc.

Evan Brand: I’m glad you brought up the IGA because I’ve been looking a lot. And I’m sure you have been too on the G.I. map at the bottom. Seeing how the link between people with adrenal issues their gonna have low IGA levels, but their also gonna have more infections, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%.

Evan Brand:  So not only are you tearing apart your tight junctions contributing to leaky gut, which can contribute to autoimmune disease. All stemmed from you being on social media too much, for example, you can also contribute to yeast overgrowth, bacterial overgrowth, SIBO infections because now your bulletproof vest, which is your IGA, your first line of defense, that’s now reduced. And I had a guy last week-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: He’s in his mid-20s. His IGA level was, was one of the lowest I’ve seen. Like 2, maybe 200 and the scale is, you know, 500 to 2000 at least on the GI map that you and I use.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: And yet, I’ll see a 75-year-old woman you would suspect would have lower IGA just to distress and aging. And her IGA could be perfect. It could be 700-800. So just because you’re young and overall you, you hit the gym, and you wear cool yoga pants, and all of that- that doesn’t mean you’re any healthier.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I totally get it, man. And here’s the thing, too, right- Is you can be making all these great changes to your diet to your lifestyle, and how you perceive stress- Let me just take a side out here, I’m gonna digress for a second. But Dr. Robert Sapolsky, the PhD stress researcher out of Standford, wrote a book I think in the mid-to-late 90s called, “Why zebras don’t get ulcers?” and his basic philosophy was that, a zebra, right- when chased by a lion, they have to run and they basically either live or they die. That’s pretty much it. And you’ll see a liberal, uh zebra that survives a tiger attack, or lion attack. I think it’s lion attack with a whole tank of flesh missing from its back and it’s out there- eating and drinking the water like nothing even happened. So this zebra that is basically close to death, is totally turning the stress response on and off like it’s a light switch. The problem with us is that our stress which keeps on flickering on and off all daylong is we cannot turn it off because that stress becomes a micro-stress. And it’s constantly being turned on we’re driving a conversation with our wife or partner, dealing with kids, poor sleep, you know, politics, this that, friendship drama, finance issues, that’s constantly flickering on and off. It’s like you have a- a light show going on in your house. That’s what kind of stress is happening. Even though you get this zebra, who basically almost died, totally relaxing and in drinking water and eating grass over there by the stream.

Evan Brand: Well, that’s the problem. We got too smart. Because if you look at- you and I- I know people heard the stories of car crash accidents where the adults may die in the crash but the children expect depending on what age they are the real young infant, you know, 2,3,4,5 years old. The kids will survive because they didn’t go into fight or flight. They had no anticipation. They didn’t tense up. They didn’t flex all the muscles and argh, before it- before the crash happens. And so they’re fine and the adults who anticipated it, they set off the fight or flight flexed all the neck muscles, got tight, tense. Boom, they broke their neck. They’re dead. So, I guess what we’re trying to convey in this podcast today is so many people are looking to the food and fitness gurus and they’re frustrated because they’re doing Paleo and it’s, “Oh, I’m doing AIP so well. I do paleo so well, but I’m still not getting results” and it’s like, “well, we could look at your circadian rhythm, I mean, are you using your iPad at night?” “Oh, I’m wearing blue blocking glasses” “Okay but your skin receptors still can pick up light, there’s light receptors on your skin”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: So you’re just bathing in an extremely bright bathroom plucking your eyebrows at 11 PM before you go to bed. This is the other factor.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I knew your eyebrows are looking good today.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Ha ha

Evan Brand: Thanks.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I hundred percent agree with you, by the way. I think that’s a really important point, is that we’re just chronically under all the stress. My biggest thing is this, when dealing with patients is, try not to look at like- It’s so easy get stressed out over the diet and all the things that you have to do now. My goal is always a look at things from a perspective of, what can we exchange, what can we substitute or switch versus what do I have to remove and cut out, right. Because when you going to this cutout mode, “ I had to do this now”,  “Oh my gosh, I’m missing this”. The key is going to an exchange mode coz the exchange mode is kinda like a barter in your brain. It’s like, you want this result, that result is better mood, better energy, better libido, less brain fog. So for that, you’re gonna barter. What you gonna give up, what are you gonna exchange with, you know, uhm- let’s just call it your functional medicine doctor- us, right. What are you gonna exchange to Dr. J and Evan. What are you gonna do based on what they’re telling you to do, based on their experience and results to get to that goal that you want. So it’s kind of we’re having this barter. We’re  having an exchange of what, what habits can be put in your place, substitute in, for what your- what you were doing that’s not getting you the results you want. So, we can look at it as an exchange in a barter and negotiation versus like you have and give up all the stuff. I find patients have a much better mindset and they’re not getting stressed out by their mindset, making all these healthy changes.

Evan Brand: Agreed. The other thing too that’s really helpful if you’re stressing out about all the- minutiae. Coz that’s where the success really comes into me, is dialing in the minutiae. So getting the shower filter, getting the water filter, making sure that the butter is good. All of these minutiae things that tend to overwhelm people- you want to put those things on autopilot. So once that’s programmed on autopilot, for you it’s not a struggle to do AIP anymore. Maybe at first you’re like “Oh, I’m gonna miss this”, “I’m gonna miss that”.  But now it’s on autopilot, so it takes almost zero effort to maintain. And that’s the goal, is to get as much stuff and autopilot as you can that we don’t have to think about diet. You don’t have to think about exercise. And now all you’re focused on, is how my managing stress. So stressful situation comes at me, I know, okay- I’m to be more susceptible to go eat some sugar.  Because I’m stressed, I need a quick glucose to think better. That’s what your body’s gonna tell you to do coz that’s what you’re primed to do. Get a quick burst of glucose so you can think. And then the stress is gone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: But if you can catch yourself  and you’re on autopilot, then you could just- maybe you do EFT, may be due a round of EFT. I’m about to make a really bad decision.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I’m gonna tap this out.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: All tapping points. Exactly. I think that’s great. I have my push up bar here. So between patients, I’ll be doing some push ups. Also, one of the best things I got- I haven’t told anyone, my patients probably hear it in the background- I’ve a walking treadmill now. So it’s lies underneath my desk and I stand about three quarters and half a day and I’m walking about 10 to 12 miles over 20 to 30,000 steps a day. Last week I walked 75 miles while seeing patients.

Evan Brand: Sheesh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Isn’t that amazing?

Evan Brand: Are you wearing shoes? Or are you going barefoot?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m actually wearing sandals.

Evan Brand: Cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I wear sandals. I used to wear shoes, but they were just too loud.

Evan Brand: Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Because they’re too loud when they hit and I went barefoot and after about 5000 steps I started getting blisters.

Evan Brand: I’m sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I feel like this is kind of a good compromise but any of my patients that hear the uh-you know, little me walking in the background,I apologize but I’m giving you 100% of my attention. I can walk and chew gum at the same time. Uhm, but yeah, I’m really pumped because I’m getting 20,000 30,000 steps a day. And that’s actually helping to lower my cortisol.

Evan Brand: That is excellent.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s keeping the stressed down. And just to kind of reiterate one thing, is you talked about the habits. Like once you have your water filter dialed in, once you have like the sea salt by your water when you fill up, once you have like the stuff in your fridge to make meals, it’s all easy. Coz when I go to the- use the water, the filter’s already there. When I go to grab the cupboard on the fridge, the food’s already there. So I always say preparation is the biggest first step. Once you actually go through the inertia preparing and everything is there, it’s so easy to capitalize it, so easy to focus. It’s like, I’m a big Tom Brady fan, I know, haters are out there, but the Patriots are in Super Bowl this week. I’m really excited about that. And you know, you got to talk about the game time, right. When the game happens, so much of that game is one in the preparation leading up to that game, right. So, so much of the preparation in our health is one leading up to us making decisions every day. We can get ourselves prepared, if we can batch cook, if we can have the water and the minerals in the right place, we can have supplements in a really easy setup place, if we can have a good routine were our gym time is scheduled or we have a little set up at home to work out, like you do outside, that’s gonna let us be successful. But it’s gonna lower that stresses coz it’s gonna put these tasks in the random access memory the RAM versus havin’ a- havin’ a startin’up from the hard drive, so to speak.

Evan Brand: Right. Yeah, instead of having to retrieve and start fresh. I agree. I mean to retrieve and start fresh. I agree. You know I think what we’re saying in so many words is the lifestyle component to me is the most important aspect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Evan Brand: There’s so many sick people that have a great diet and they exercise 2,3,4,5 times a week. Maybe they’re doing hot yoga and Pilates and bar and all of these great things. And they eat at the hippest restaurants and they were the coolest leather boots. But at the end of the day, if you’re a stress case because you’re beating yourself up mentally, because there’s unmanaged emotional stress, or there’s a bad relationship that you’re not gonna cut out, I don’t care how organic your diet is. You’re not gonna be able to out supplement, you’re not gonna be  able to outkill it, you’re not gonna e able to out smoothie it. You’re toast unless you address the lifestyle. So you and I always talk about numbers, it’s tough to say because based on the context, our numbers might shift. But for this conversation, I could say 80% of the issue is lifestyle and 20% is combined diet and fitness. And lifestyle could include your circadian rhythm. So that can include getting bright light exposure-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: – a bright environment. This could include grounding yourself, this could include swimming, this can include walking with your dog and your wife like you’re doing, this can include you drumming, listening to music, dancing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: I told you, I went to my grandparents house and played cards- huge stress relief. I mean that it’s so fun.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely.

Evan Brand: I mean it’s so basic but yet, the exchange that you’re making in a small lifestyle investment can be far more than a simple diet tweak or beating yourself up because you had an extra piece of chocolate. I think honestly, the biggest battle that people face is themselves.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup, I agree. It’s self-

Evan Brand: It’s self-inflicted wounds whether it’s physical because they’re under moving or over moving, or emotional. They’re beating themselves up for no good reason. They’re guilty about something because everywhere you go, there’s an article about how bad this is for you or how bad this is for you. There is no deficiency of information that anybody listening to this show has. Its not the deficiency of information. It’s preventing people from getting what they want. To me, it’s dialing in what, what does it take for you to be happy, what roadblocks are in your way there preventing you-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand:- from making the action steps you need to make.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I agree.

Evan Brand: If you got a constant battle going on with a spouse but yet, you’re trying to kick the sugar habit at the same time, I can’t tell you that you’re going to succeed by just trying to go cold turkey on sugar. You’re gonna have to take care the emotional stuff, too. It’s not one or the other, right. It’s not like you can- a perfect diet’s can gonna fix all these other aspects. I guess that’s what I’m saying. But I’m just been very long-winded about it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No. You’re right on point. I always tell people about the patients that we kinda get into care. There’s four phases which most people go through during any difficult skill after trying to undertake or learn. And I, I call being healthy a skill. And also one thing to add on, too. It takes no more effort to get what you want than what it does to get what you don’t want. Meaning you develop habits in your life that are running in the background subconsciously, that are constantly making you sick and unhealthy. Now, we can create new programs and new habits that are running that are getting you to be healthy. So no more effort to get what you want than it does to get what you don’t want- same thing. So the four phases that people go through, typically in their health at this. They’re unconsciously incompetent. They don’t know what they don’t know. They think their grains are healthy. They think saturated fats- bad. They’re drinking their soda. They’re using aspartame and Splenda. They are clueless and in fact, they are thinking that what they’re doing is actually helpful to them even though it’s not. That’s the first step. Now, the second step is they’re consciously incompetent. Now they’re starting to know that they don’t know. Because now they’re starting to get sick, they’re starting to not feel well they’ve gone to the conventional doctor, they’ve said “Hey, you know we can’t help you” or they give him a whole bunch of diagnoses that involve some drugs that don’t fix the underlying issue. The drugs cause more problems, more symptoms. Maybe they keep on going back. Now they’re given antidepressant and a psychiatric referral and they’re like something’s wrong. They’re consciously- they’re like, “ I know something’s wrong, but I don’t know what it is”. Now that’s the point phase 2 with a reach out to someone like us, right. Now phase 3 is kinda where we intervene. This is the hard part going from phase 2 to phase 3 is the hardest. That’s where they are consciously competent. Dr. Jay and Evan have educated the patient. they know the kind of water. They know the minerals. They know the food. But it’s hard and it’s tough. And when they mess up, they beat themselves up. And they don’t quite know what the best exchanges are. They don’t- they haven’t made it a habit yet. They are not batch cooking. They’re not doing things. They are not prepping the house in a way that makes it easy for them to succeed. So they’re consciously competent but it’s taking all of the RAM in their database.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Me and you, Evan. We operate in unconscious competence. We don’t even have to think to do the habits that we wanna do. We just, “hey, I got my walking treadmill. I walk 10-12 miles a day. I got a gym. I got kettle bells on the corner. I pop out push-ups. You do this. You go out in your gym. You go for walk with your wife. You walk your dog. You’ve all these habits. You are getting vitamin D. You’re hydrating and you’re not even thinking about it. And there’s zero bandwidth being taken up. And that’s where we’re trying to transition our patients to. And I think any patient that’s listening, they have to understand the really big binds in that first one to two months while we get you from consciously competent to unconsciously competent, it’s autopilot.

Evan Brand: Yup. That was well said. That was excellent. I had a thought, too. And then I lost it. It was about how the lifestyle component is brought up. People say manage stress but they don’t know how to manage stress. So let me out one piece assigned to this.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: Because rational brains are like-okay, you guys are getting into airy fairy land. What is this actually doing to me?

Evan Brand: So you have this –

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: – part of the brain called the amygdala.

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

Evan Brand: And the amygdala is your- I call it your Rolodex, if you will. It kind of cycles through all of these thoughts, all of these things that come into the brain. And it determines whether it should trigger a fight or flight reaction, or is everything okay and we’re gonna press the green button instead. And with chronic stress- so if you are beating yourself up, You’re in this transition phase, you’re trying to remove bad habits, integrate new habits and your cell phone goes off. “Ding” that notification sound. Here you are trying to have a relaxing lunch, “Ding”, the cell phone goes off . Now you gotta go look at it. “Oh my God, it’s a text message from so-and-so”.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: This is the last thing you wanted to read. The amygdala, that part of the brain, is gonna go, “poof”, red button fight or flight. And the more that that red button gets hit, that becomes a hair- hair trigger. Just like a really sensitive firearm, that trigger is so sensitive you better be careful unless you’re ready to use it, don’t even get close. Because, “ding”, that notification goes off again, “poof”, red button gets hit. Fight or flight system goes, stomach acid becomes a luxury.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: So there goes good digestion out the window. Blood flow’s now shunted away from the central part of the body and blood flow is basically going to design- be, be working to get you to run.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s it.

Evan Brand: And our goal is, you don’t want to press that red button. Leave that red button alone. Put a glass case over it. So it’s a lot more difficult to hit that red button. And this takes practice. You and I talk about this. There’s things that can still stress us out and still get to us but the goal is, with the combination of bringing in this functional medicine approach. So this is where the adapted genic herbs come in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: So like Rhodiola. You can look at a research study Rhodiola,  200 mg was used in about 1200 patients. And after just three days, it was- I believe it was above 90% of all of these patients experienced “a massive reduction in life stress”. So in this case, the adapted gene could be putting this glass case over this red button in the amygdala so no longer is as fight or flight system immediately, “ump” We’re not gonna hit the red button anymore. We’re building up the resilience so you can be a warrior. So next time that text message comes in, you can- maybe you shouldn’t have your phone by your table on the first place, but that’s fine. Let’s say you have it there, now you look at that bad text message and you can process it first. So instead of immediately, “ump”,  automatically hitting the red button. You can look at it, “okay not a big deal, I’ll take care of this . I’m gonna finish my meal first because I know Justin told me that if I skip meals, my blood sugars gonna crash coz I have adrenal stress right now. And if I skip a meal, have anxiety. And I’m trying to get off the Xanax that the doctor prescribed.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand:  Because I don’t want to be on it anymore and I want to get rid of this anxiety. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna put this phone aside. I’m not gonna hit the red button. I’m gonna put the phone aside, finished chewing my meal, take in my enzymes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There you go.

Evan Brand: I’m gonna press the green button. Everything’s okay. There is not a situation I need to fight or flee from right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: And let’s get back to life. And the more that you can hit the green button with the amygdala, and the less you can hit the red button, overall the better you’re gonna be. Because you are not designed to be in fight or flight 99% of the time like we are in the modern world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. I love it. So let’s just kinda recap. We talked about stress, how it affects our gut lining, how it affects and burns through neurotransmitters that’s why the more stress you are, you burn through dopamine you burn through serotonin and you start getting depressed. You start getting OCD, you start getting ADHD. So all these different things happen. It starts burning up the brain tissue and affects the area called the amygdala in the brain, which is right around the hypo, hypothalamic area. And that affects memory, the hippocampi, too.

Evan Brand: We didn’t even-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: We didn’t even talk on the hippocampi. So you can- you can look at-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -with MRIs, the hippocampi you have one on each side. It gets marinated in cortisol and it begins to make these memory centers all look like Swiss cheese. So people as they get older, it’s happening younger and younger. But people joke about being forgetful that’s not funny. That’s a sign that something is going on. So, yeah. There’s tissue destruction, there’s the leaky gut aspect. Keep rollin’-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a 100%. So you’re rippin’ up the hippocampus. With that affects memory and learning. So if you’ve any job like, let’s say me and you, Evan, we’re havin’ a problem solvin’, think all day long, you’re an attorney, you’re a doctor, you’re a nurse, you’re a teacher __, you-you’re a mom having to deal with your, kids you’re homeschooling you’re dealing with activities, you’re multitasking, people are calling. You need that higher brain function to perform at the higher end. Man, I’ve so many patients are reaching out to me, they’re like, I’m just- I’m a shadow of my former self.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. They have that inner kind of feeling like that is not quite where they used to be. They’ve aged 20 years in the last year too, right. So we’re trying to develop all these tactics to help. So number one: the diet’s in place. Paleo template, autoimmune template, whatever works for you in that realm. Number two: gets some habits that you can do with your family that will help decrease stress. I like the forest bathing whether its just walking outside or doing a little nature hike. Love it. Number three:

Do push-ups or some air squats, or get a desk treadmill that you can walk at while you’re at work or in between whatever you’re doing. Just get a little bit of movement in. One of the biggest things that CEOs do is they exercise to not work with their body, but to help their brain coz they feel exercise helps with their brain and their ability to function and deal with work stress. So the exercise piece is not necessarily an aesthetic thing or physical thing, it’s actually more of a mental, emotional thing. Number four:  Make sure you have the lifestyle habits of clean water, a good sleep, good sleep habits, and hygienes. And your food- your fridge’s stock of really good food. And once you have all that piece left, then we can talk about supplements. Then we can have magnesium for stress. We can add Valerian or L Theanine. We can add our Adaptogens, our Rhodiola, our Ginseng, our Ashwaganda, our Lutarol, our Maca for female hormones, our chaste tree. We can add extra B vitamins, we can add even adrenal glandular and support. We wanted to find out that more based on adrenal test. And then next piece is we dig more into the functional medicine with the gut and the detox and other specific more nuanced nutritional deficiencies. Anything you want to add to that, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Well, I love how you’ve laid out 1,2,3,4,5 like that because the gut infections, although massively important, that’s so much later down the road. You put so many other foundations and placed first. A lot of people that come straight from what is called conventional and want to go straight to detox. Or, “hey, I took this detox tea” or “this detox Paleo  shake” or “I went straight into some gut protocol”. If all that other stuff is not addressed- Yes, it’s very important to remove Candida. This candida problem, definitely is impairing brain fog.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Evan Brand: If you look back at- If you look back at my organic acid test from a few years ago, I had Candida problems and it perfectly explain why I was mixing up my words.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: I was putting words in different order. When I had to address that to get the brain better; however, if I just slept better, I noticed 20,30, 40, 50% improvement in brain function there. So yes, it may be Candida, yes it may be the infection, yes it may be the mitochondrial function problems that we’re gonna have to fix, but also could be that you’re staying up until 2 AM and then you’re getting up at 6 or 7. And you say, “well I can just function better on 5 hours of sleep”. Well you probably just running on adrenaline which will give you that temporary heightened sense of cognitive function, but that’s because your body thinks that you’re running from a bear because why else would you be light sleeping tossing and turning all night. There must be a bear around. We’re gonna have to run from that in the morning. So you’re gonna get that burst, but in the long run, your brain function is going to be sacrificed and your memories can be sacrificed, your sex drive is a luxury. So why ovulate, women can lose their period.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: Why have a sex drive for men if you’re running from a bear? That’s – Let’s do that tomorrow. We gotta-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: We gotta live.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yeah, 100%. And one of the things I’m gonna put it out there, so everyone can hold me accountable as well. But the biggest thing I find, too- for myself and a lot of people I talked to, is mobile devices, iPads, phones, Facebook stuff late at night.

Evan Brand: It’s not good.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I think I like to go on Netflix or Amazon prime or Hulu and I like to wind down. Find a nice show that kinda entertain me, I can laugh, I can enjoy. But I’m finding, and my wife’s it too, is pullin’ out the iPad or the phone, checking this checking that, checking my email, checking a text, checking Facebook, all this thread. And it’s like, my brain just constantly go, go, go, go, go. The thing I’m trying to do now is, I’m putting my phone in airplane mode. I’m having a little moon on my iPhone so, no notifications come up and I’m putting my phone in my room, already plugged in and ready to go so I can go to sleep.

Evan Brand: You know many family members are mad at me because my phone is on airplane mode like 24-7. You’re like one of the only people that I text because I’m so  anti-phone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I feel fortunate.

Evan Brand: Yeah, haha.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’m taking you out of your Zen date now everytime I text you.

Evan Brand: No, you’re not. You’re fine, man. You’re fine. It’s always good to chat with you. But seriously, though. And apparently something happened to my voicemail, where now my voicemail doesn’t work. So you just get this voicemail has not been set up. I’m not even gonna fix it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man.

Evan Brand:  I’m not even gonna fix it because that’s just one more thing, right. We’re always pulled away and I want to cut all the strings on things that are pulling me away. And checking voicemail is just one more thing. You how it goes, you get  2,3,4,6 voicemails piling up. I can’t do it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I totally agree. And the big thing I’m challenging you and everyone else, else anyone else out there, have you cut off for your phone, right. Whether it’s 8 or 9 or 9:30. Have that cut off, it in airplane mode. Hit the moon or whatever that equivalent is on the android. What’s the equivalent on the android for zero notifications?

Evan Brand: I think it’s do not disturb mode, something like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Perfect. Do not disturb. Do not disturb mode, moon mode, sleep mode and then put your phone away. Put in your bedroom wherever that charging place it belongs for the rest of the night. And be present with your wife, or your partner, your child  or whatever that night on time is that you guys do special whatever that routine is. Be fully present with that. That’s the thing that I’m trying to do. Also, I’m gonna be on I think- I think a staycation next week. And I think I’m gonna uninstall Facebook for the week.

Evan Brand: Ooh, I’m proud of you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: So one other thing that for me has been massive is completely getting rid of Wi-Fi in the house. I completely disabled it. And so now, I’m hardwired. And so for me to use my phone, you may think it’s funny, but I have an ethernet cord that plugs into a u, an ethernet to USBC, adapter.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh my God.

Evan Brand: And so-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Really?

Evan Brand: Yes. So listen- So this is how much work it takes me to get on my phone to use social media. I have to get- I have to disconnect the adapter for my computer, unplug the adapter, plug up the new adapter, ethernet to USBC, then run with the cable wherever I’m going to use the phone. Plug up to the phone in then use the internet access. So for me, putting that many barriers in place, my phone is completely hands-off. If  I’m not on calls, my phone does not exist to me. And that has been so massive for my productivity because you get in the social media loophole. You gotta check this, you gotta reply on this, you gotta upload new data to this, you gotta post an article here, you gotta put the podcast there. It’s too much. So now, actually a guy from the minimalist, I’m not sure that I chatted with him, was an email something, something with the conversation of the minimalist guy- it was Josh, he said that he completely got rid of Internet in his home. Now for us, we can’t do that. That’s not practical. But for him as a writer, he completely got rid of internet access from his home; therefore he was only able to write on like Word document applications and then when he would go to a coffee shop or something. Then he would have the ability to get online and do email and Facebook and blah, blah blah. So for as a writer, I think that totally valid. It wouldn’t work for us, but like I said, I’ve still for many- many, many reasons disabled the Wi-Fi completely. And it’s enabled me to- I have to be grounded in a set location before I’m gonna use the Internet as opposed to me just mindlessly walking around the house checking this, checking that on my phone.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree. I think we’re hitting it two different ways. You know, I just try to put it in airplane mode and- and sleep mode. And then also the big thing is, you should’ve took this first, but either way, Christmas tree timer plugged into my router and modem. And the Christmas tree timer- that Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi is gone at 11 PM.

Evan Brand: I had that-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I had a power strip and a timer. I would- if we were not home, then I would I would use the timer. I would just let- because the fish tank was on the timer, too. But when we were home, I would just “poof” I would turn off the power strip. But for me, there’s a lot of cool, a lot of cool data coming out from Deborah Davis and some of these other-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Evan Brand: EMF Wi-Fi experts that are showing like the different spectrums and babies. And in all of that- in showing that nature basically drops off around the 2000 MHz range. And that’s exactly where 2.4, 2.4 GHz

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Gigahertz.

Evan Brand: – and router. That’s where they pick up. So basically, they have this natural, nonexistent field in the spectrums.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: And that’s where Wi-Fi plugs in. So for me, I don’t want to touch that spectrum, especially with the baby around. I feel much better. To me, it’s- we don’t have to prove it’s dangerous. For me, we can’t prove that it’s safe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: So for me, it’s not a huge deal to just do the hardwired Internet thing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: And I chatted with Bing Greenfield, too. And apparently, he did that. He- in previous conversations he told me he was just turning Wi-Fi off at night. And last time I spoke with him,  he said, “nope, I’m doing completely hardwired. So I’m not the only one going- going so old-school. I don’t have dial-up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it’s good. I think it’s good but if you’re not ready to go that full length which I’m not because the TVs that I use, I have no cable- No cable TV. So my TV’s all Internet-based. And it’s- I don’t have router. I don’t have access to plug-in up there. So we keep it going just for the TVs at least. But if not, you can always put your router on a Christmas tree timer and just- There’s even one that will be like you can change the hours. So Saturday will go longer or Sunday longer, in case you’re up longer in the weekends. And you can adjust it. But I try to make it so that router is off for about eight hours a night. So that way, I can at least sleep without any Wi-Fi nearby.

Evan Brand: Agreed. Yeah, I think that’s- at the end of the day, the sleep time is most important. Some people goes as far as turning the breaker off in the room. I’ve not done that yet. Maybe when I get a new place-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s inconvenient.

Evan Brand: Yeah. You can put a kill switch on the wall but we’ll save that conversation for another day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh that’s cool, I like that. Awesome. Part two coming up soon. Awesome, Evan. Hey man, great chat. I think we’re on video. This could be a really good one if we get this whole podcast issue fix, we get the video going, man.

Evan Brand: Go check out Justin’s YouTube channel. Type in justinhealth. You’ll see the videos. You’ve got what- twenty- 20,000+ subscribers there that are checking out your content.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Over 25,000. Really fun, plus you get to see our ugly mugs here, too.

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Don’t say that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Of course. All tongue-in-cheek, man. Alright, brother. Good chatting with you. You have an awesome day. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: Take care.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bye.

Evan Brand: Bye.

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