Movement Matters

Movement Matters – Katy Bowman
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

What if we can make ourselves, our communities, and our planet healthier all at the same time by moving our bodies more?

Movement Matters
is a collection of essays in which biomechanist Katy Bowman continues her groundbreaking investigation of the mechanics of our sedentary culture and the profound potential of human movement. Here she widens her You are how you move message and invites us to consider our personal relationship with sedentarism, privilege, and nature. Bowman explores:* how convenience often means less movement, not more time

* the missing movement nutrients in our food

* how to include more nature in education

* the impact of adding movement to permaculture and ecological models

* our need for vitamin Community and group movement

Unapologetically direct, often hilarious, and always compassionate, Movement Matters demonstrates that human movement is powerful and important, and that living a movement-filled life is perhaps the most joyful and efficient way to transform your body, community, and world.


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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The Complete Guide to Fasting

The Complete Guide to Fasting – Jason Fung MD, Jimmy Moore
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

Thousands of books have been written about the latest and greatest diets that will help people lose weight and improve health. But a key element in any successful nutritional health program is a tried-and-true method that most people haven’t thought about—yet it could be revolutionary for taking health to the next level. This ancient secret is fasting.

Fasting is not about starving oneself. When done right, it’s an incredibly effective therapeutic approach that produces amazing results regardless of diet plan. In fact, Toronto-based nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung has used a variety of fasting protocols with more than 1,000 patients, with fantastic success. In The Complete Guide to Fasting, he has teamed up with international bestselling author and veteran health podcaster Jimmy Moore to explain what fasting is really about, why it’s so important, and how to fast in a way that improves health. Together, they make fasting as a therapeutic approach both practical and easy to understand.

The Complete Guide to Fasting explains:

• why fasting is actually good for health
• who can benefit from fasting (and who won’t)
• the history of fasting
• the various ways to fast: intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting
• what to expect when starting to fast
• how to track progress while fasting
• the weight loss effects of fasting
• how to ward off potential negative effects from fasting

The book also provides tools to help readers get started and get through their fasts, including a 7-Day Kick-Start Fasting Plan and healing liquid recipes.


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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WGP 048: Obesity – It’s Your Hormones, Not the Calories

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Obesity:

  • I’ll explain why obesity is a disease and also a major hidden cause of other diseases
  • I’ll talk about the difference between being obese and being overweight
  • I’ll explain how obesity is caused by hormonal imbalances and not by eating too many calories
  • Finally, I’ll give you a few holistic lifestyle strategies to reduce obesity, regain health, and feel awesome in your own skin


It’s no secret. The world today has a lot more fat and sick people than there were 150 years ago. Seeing an obese person way back in the day meant having to visit a carnival or circus that’s how rare obesity was. Unfortunately today you just got to walk outside or turn on the tele and you’ll see excessively large people everywhere.

Since the 1980s obesity rates have doubled. Hmm, I wonder what happened in the 80s? Ah that’s right the low fat recommendation from the American health authorities. Good one guys. Today this misguided unscientific nonsensical low-fat strategy has lead to about 13% of the world’s adult population being categorised as obese and about 50 million kids worldwide under the age of 5 being defined as obese. That’s what gets me the most, seeing overweight and obese infants and children.

Now the World Health Organization has a list of the top 10 leading causes of death and smoking tobacco isn’t even on the list, but we all know that smoking causes many chronic diseases that eventually will lead to death. This is what the World Health Organisation says about smoking:

“Tobacco use is a major cause of many of the world’s top killer diseases – including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer. In total, tobacco use is responsible for the death of about 1 in 10 adults worldwide. Smoking is often the hidden cause of the disease recorded as responsible for death.”

Interesting right? In fact the World Health Organization label smoking as the number one killer, but they still don’t put it on the list. Instead you’ll see diseases relating to the heart, brain, lungs, and infections.

This is where obesity comes in. Even though it’s not listed, just like smoking as a leading cause of death, obesity is a major hidden cause of many of those on the list. The top 3 by the way are heart disease, stroke, and lung related diseases all of which are due to the obstruction in blood and oxygen flow to the heart, brain, and lungs.

The thing about obesity is that most people think it’s just a weight issue and obese people are eating too much and not exercising enough. While I agree that some of the health problems associated with obesity is due to the large amount of weight on the body causing physical dysfunction, obesity causes more harm through physiological and biochemical damage because of its ability to disrupt the function of other systems in your body.

You see your body isn’t stupid. It has specific feedback loops and safety mechanisms to prevent the excessive loss or accumulation of fat and it has to control the amount of fat on your body because your fat cells are actually another organ. So when your fat levels get out of balance the key functions that they perform will be disrupted.

One of the functions of fat is fat acts as a warehouse for toxins. When your body is unable to fully metabolise, process, and eliminate toxins it stores the toxins in fat cells. Fat also sends signals and hormones that can have a positive or negative effect on your immune system and your metabolism. Your fat cells send out immune signals controlling inflammation and stress in your body. Your fat cells also send out hormones telling you that you’re full and will increase fat metabolism, i.e. fat-burning.

But when you have too much fat this will increase the amount of pro-inflammatory signals called cytokines increasing the amount of inflammation and stress in your body putting it in a catabolic state or a state of breaking down. Too much fat will also cause your satiety hormone leptin to be produced in excessively large amounts and your brain will become leptin resistant because there’s too much to take in. Meaning you will still feel hungry even though your body may already be carrying a lot of fat. Plus leptin resistance reduces fat metabolism and the amount of fat you burn causing you to hold onto more fat.

So just as there is heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, kidney stones, thyroiditis, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune conditions and many other illnesses centred around particular organs and systems there is an illness, a disease of your fat cells and that my friend is called obesity and obesity is a disease that can cause further health issues in the future.

Now I don’t like to use the conventional classification system for defining whether someone is overweight or obese. Currently this is defined by your body mass index or BMI. BMI is supposed to calculate body fat based on your weight and height, but the calculation has a massive flaw. It doesn’t take into account lean muscle mass and bone mass and water weight. So you could have a fit athlete with 10% body fat, but a high BMI and have a very sick person with 30% body fat, but a medium BMI and the athlete would be categorised as obese and the sick person overweight, and this is not a good indicator of a healthy body.

So I define being overweight as holding on to a few extra kilos of fat and looking a bit soft and fluffy and chubby in the mirror, but still having normal healthy metabolic, hormonal, and immune function. This is very different to being obese, which is a person who is also carrying extra fat weight and has a broken metabolism and a weak immune system because their hormones are out of balance.

Okay so what causes obesity?

“Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories.”

Yes you heard right. Obesity is not caused by consuming too many calories. It is true that you can become overweight by eating a huge amount of calories even those calories come from whole real food sources, but you would never become obese. Your hormonal system regulating hunger and appetite would kick in and prevent you from eating more then you need. Once you do become obese this is when you will be unable to control the amount of calories you take in and will begin to eat well beyond your body’s requirements.

What pushes you over the edge from being overweight to becoming obese isn’t the calories. It is an underlying hidden malfunction in your body’s hormonal system. When your sex hormones, growth hormones, hormones regulating metabolism and stress, when these are no longer playing the same song and in sync with each other a lot of things go wrong in your body including broken detox pathways, lowered immunity, decrease in muscle mass, increase in fat mass, and an increase in appetite for nutrient-poor foods.

So in this respect obesity turns out to be a symptom of other health issues that are already going on in your body.

The leading cause for your hormones going out of balance and for obesity in my book is eating a nutrient deficient diet. Your body is not a finite object, but an infinite process in constant flux and change. It’s constantly breaking itself down and building itself up. If you don’t consume enough nutrient dense foods then your body is left hanging without the right building blocks to build hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, organs, blood, etc. Also after a meal your body will search for the nutrients it needs in that meal and if it doesn’t find it guess what happens? You get hungry again a lot sooner than you should and you eat more food. And while your body is craving nutrition you begin to crave less nutritious food.

So if all you eat is junk nutrient deficient fake pretend food-like products like commercial bread, biscuits, corn chips, French fries, candy, vegetable oils, soy milk, etc then you are setting your body up for hormonal havoc and mayhem and chronic hunger as it won’t have the necessary parts to make hormones and this will increase your chances of becoming obese. As you can see here it’s not how much you eat, but what you eat that matters most.

“You can be overfed, but so undernourished”

Which is the sad state for a third of westernised populations today.

Another cause for hormonal dysfunction deals with insulin sensitivity. When your cells are insulin sensitive nutrients are taken out of your bloodstream and absorbed. However, just as you can become leptin resistant due to excessive leptin production, excessive insulin production will cause your cells to become insulin resistant. This means that when there are nutrients in your blood, like glucose it will not be absorbed by your cells and this will cause damage to your tissues. So in order to prevent further damage from happening sugar in your blood will be turned into fat and stored away in your fat cells. Eating too many carbohydrates especially processed and refined sugar and fructose and not getting enough quality restorative sleep will cause high insulin production and insulin resistance.

Another cause for obesity is an underactive or hypoactive thyroid gland. Your thyroid produces thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism and temperature and if your thyroid is hypoactive your metabolism slows right down making it very difficult for your body to burn stored fat as fuel. Here’s a list of things that can disrupt thyroid function:

  • Gluten
  • Stress
  • Too much exercise
  • Chemicals in tap water
  • Chemical compounds found in plastics and
  • Certain medications

Another underlying cause for hormonal mayhem and obesity is stress.
Whether it be physical, emotional, or mental any perceived stress if left to linger long enough becoming chronic will cause chronic inflammation upsetting your normal hormonal rhythm moving you from an anabolic and growing state to a catabolic and breakdown state and unfortunately in this catabolic state the one thing that does keep growing are your fat cells.

The health of your gut and gut microbiota will also determine the health of your hormonal system and your fat levels. If your gut is leaky, meaning it’s damaged, and if you have dysbiosis, meaning you have more harmful pathogens than beneficial probiotics living in your gut this will cause a rise in inflammatory signals, stress hormones and depending on your genetics and epigenetic expression this may lead to obesity. Plus a damaged gut will mean you won’t be digesting and absorbing the full amount of nutrients from your foods leaving your body in a nutrient deficient state, which I talked about earlier.

Probably the least known root cause for obesity are obesogens. Which is ironic because these obesogens are Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs and they are actually out in the open in plain sight for all to see. Obesogens are chemical compounds found in the environment that act as endocrine disrupters, meaning they screw up your hormonal system. They hijack it and create chemical chaos throughout your entire body. This hormonal havoc causes a whole wealth of health issues from cancer to autoimmune conditions and it also increases fat cell number and fat cell size. Obesogens can be found in:

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Flame retardant materials (such as in clothing and furniture)
  • Treated wood and textiles (such as in building materials)
  • Additives used in paints
  • Non-stick cookware and even in certain
  • Pharmaceutical drugs

Let me put all these obesogens together into a pretty terrifying yet common scenario we see today. Let’s say you have a new born baby. You bring him home to your brand new house with building materials, furniture, paint, and new carpets all chemically treated, some of them containing flame retardant chemicals and all of this is off-gassing or releasing chemicals into the air, also known as that beautiful new house smell. You dress your beautiful boy in flame retardant pyjamas. You use a plastic bottle to feed him non-organic formula, which contains sprayed ingredients. And finally you put him to bed in a brand new non-organic chemically treated cot. This is just a chemical toxic soup that this poor kid is living in and he doesn’t stand a chance against growing up without becoming obese or at least experiencing other health issues.

Now along with obesogens I have to mention environmental toxins and toxic chemicals. Remember fat cells are used by your body as a storage unit for toxins. So if you’re chronically exposed to heavy metals, air pollution, and eating a lot of pesticide and herbicide sprayed foods and eating meat from sick toxic animals your liver, kidneys, your entire detoxification system will become overloaded and will be unable to process, breakdown, and eliminate the excessive amount of toxins. As a last resort, so your body doesn’t shut down and die due to toxic poisoning, all those toxins that are not eliminated will be shoved into your fat cells.

“Fat cells don’t just store energy they also store poison.”

This is also why a rapid and dramatic reduction in fat isn’t a good idea without proper supervision and guidance. A lot of obese people their health actually gets worse when burning a lot fat too quickly. Just keep in mind the saying slow and steady wins the race. If you lose fat too fast those toxins are going to be flooding your system and you do not want that.

So those are a few examples and there are more of how a person can become obese without eating a lot of calories. Obesity like every other disease is not caused by one thing, but many things related to your environment, your food, and how you perceive life.

It isn’t just a physical weight problem, but more a physiological, biochemical, and really a hormonal problem. Obesity is a symptom of an underlying hormonal issue in your body and is not caused by eating too many calories, but it will cause you to overeat.

Obesity is also a disease that gives rise to the top leading causes of death.

Alright let’s get into how to heal from and prevent obesity and how to get your hormones humming to a happy and healthy tune.

First up, watch what you eat. Watch it. Get off the inflammatory foods, the chemically sprayed foods, and the highly refined and processed junk fake pretend food-like products. No gluten, no sugars, no pasteurised dairy, no industrial seed oils, no junk. Watch out for the carbs especially as eating too many carbs will cause a lot of insulin to be produced and you want insulin and blood sugar to be in the Goldilocks zone, just right. Real food from Mother Nature communicates with your hormones on an informational level where they speak the same language. By just eating real food you’ll keep your hormones in balance and in harmony and this hormonal bliss will keep your body composition balanced and in check.

Next up, reduce your perceived stress. Practise relaxation techniques. Get a massage, meditate, breathe mindfully, and watch the amount of physical stress you’re under. If you don’t have a formal exercise routine get moving and start working out. If you do exercise regularly and religiously maybe you’re overdoing it and need to do less working out and more working in. If you’re obese then your body is already under enough physical stress as it is, so working out would just add to that stress so look at working in. Working in is where instead of expending energy with a workout you’re cultivating energy, building up your energy stores. Movement practises like:

  • Tai-chi
  • Qi-gong
  • Restorative yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Iyengar yoga

Are the perfect work in exercises.

Biggest thing you can do to prevent and heal from obesity is to clean up your environment. Remove the obesogens and toxic chemicals and clean up your habitat. Use glass and stainless steel drink bottles instead of plastic. Wear organic chemical-free clothing and buy organic chemical-free furniture and use chemical-free building materials. Cook with ceramic and stainless steel cookware. Actually there’s a lot more to this topic and you can find an entire podcast I did on this quite a while back about how to purify and clean up your environment and support your detoxification system. Look for episode 12.

Along with clean eating, clean thinking, and clean living there are other holistic lifestyle principles to consider in order to fully heal and to keep your bodymind in a happy and healthy state. Listen to episode 30 about the 7 Holistic Lifestyle Principles you can follow in order to live happy, healthy, whole, and complete.

An awesome book that covers everything from diet and exercise to cleaning up your environment and your thinking is How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by holistic health practitioner Paul Chek. This book is my bible and really is a one-stop shop for holistic living.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

“Obesity isn’t about energy in and energy out.”

It’s about so much more.

If you’re fat or overweight, sure you may be eating more than you should.

But if you’re obese then it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat and the environment you’re eating in. If you’re obese you are probably eating nutrient-poor and sugar-rich foods and you’re living in a very stressful and very toxic environment.

Remember your health is 100% your responsibility so make the choice to own your lifestyle and eat, drink, move, breathe, live, sleep better, and think and feel like you deserve a happy and healthy life. The only person who can save you is you. So don’t play the victim. Be the hero. Because you are awesome and very much worth it.

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WGP 047: Epigenetics – How Your Environment and Beliefs Control Your Genes

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Epigenetics:

  • I’ll explain the difference between genetics and epigenetics
  • I’ll talk about how your environment impacts the activation and expression of your genes
  • Finally, I’ll give a few holistic tips on how to activate and express health-boosting and life-affirming genes


The study of how genes control life is called genetics. Genetic looks at genetic differences, mutations, heredity, and of course of lot of today’s genetic research looks into genetic diseases. Genetics and the study of genes is a very important and valid science, but the belief behind genetics is outdated old-school thinking and that belief is that genes control life.

This belief came from the hypothesis that there is a gene for every protein. The more complex an organism, the more cells and proteins there are, the more genes there would be. That was the idea. This idea turns out to be incorrect.

The Human Genome Project, which started back in the late 1980s, was setup to uncover the entire sequence of genetic information found in human DNA with the side benefit of discovering the genetics of every disease and how to prevent and cure them. The human body has about 100,000 protein molecules, so science expected to find about 100,000 genes. Fast forward 15 years and guess how many genes they found at the end of the project in 2001 – only 35,000. Fast forward another 15 years to today and after further study and research that initial number has shrunk to about 20,000 genes.

There was a lot of hype in the science community about the Human Genome Project, but funnily enough when the scientist’s expectations proved to be wrong, very wrong, there was no big deal made about the unexpected results. This massively incorrect assumption about a gene coding for a protein fell off the radar. Science tends to work this way unfortunately where the good news is reported and the bad news is swept under the rug.

So now we know that there are only 20,000 genes in the human genome and these 20,000 genes code for over 100,000 proteins and alongside this fact is the news that the largest number of genes found in a single animal is 31,000 genes and that animal is the near-microscopic water flea Daphnia. Imagine that, a near-microscopic simple organism with hardly any cells and proteins compared to the 35 trillion cells and 100,000 proteins in your human body and yet this tiny little life form has 11,000 more genes than humans do.

What this shows you is that genes do not control life. No matter the complexity of an organism the number of genes present will vary a lot. It’s not the genes that say how life will be from birth to death. It’s the life that is lived that will determine which genes get expressed or activated or switched on and which genes don’t. Say goodbye to the old belief that your genes control your life and hello to the new way of thinking – that your life controls your genes.

This new way of thinking is actually 50 years old and is called the science of epigenetics, which looks at how environmental signals affect gene expression.

Epigenetics means above the genes and studies how your environment affects the biochemical and physiological processes that are happening outside of your genetic code, but have a direct effect on which sequence of your genetic code to read and which genes to express or not.

Remember the old way of thinking says that genes are in control like a foreman of a construction site. Genes dictate what gets built and so decide the health or disease of your cells.

The new way of thinking, epigenetics, says genes are actually just simple blueprints. They don’t do anything at all. It’s all the proteins and enzymes and cellular signals and every other process that’s going on in and outside of your cell that dictate which blueprints to read (gene expression), which parts of those blueprints to create proteins from (gene variation), and whether or not those blueprints need updating (gene mutation).

What this means is that epigenetics has actually shown that some genes will lay dormant and may never get expressed while other genes will be switched on and switched off and that other genes may undergo spontaneous mutation and transform into a brand new gene all based on your environment, on your surroundings.

So how does your environment impact your genetic expression? How does the environment influence your biochemistry and physiology and determine which genes to read or not, which parts of that gene to express and make proteins from, and which genes to mutate or leave unchanged?

Let me give a little background information first. Your genetic code is one long sequence of molecules like the alphabet is a sequence of letters. Your genes are subsets or small groupings of these molecules like words are groupings of the alphabet. This long sequence of your genetic code is called DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. Your DNA is covered in a protein sheath. Altogether the proteins surrounding your DNA and the genes contained in your DNA this is called a chromosome. You have 23 pairs or 46 strands of chromosomes in your body. Chromosomes are found inside the nucleus of your cells.

Remember your genes don’t do anything; literally they don’t perform any physical action or function. Everything that happens with genes happens to the gene and is entirely dependent and reliant on signals that come from outside the chromosomes. So your genes are merely blueprints and blueprints don’t build structures.

The life your parents and grandparents lived designed and created your blueprints, your DNA, your genes. You had little say in the matter, but the expression or activation of your genes is all on you.

How epigenetics work can get pretty complex and I’m just going to give a summary here, but I will put a link to a video in the blog post for this episode which will give you more detail and a visual on what I’m talking about.

Your genes get read, expressed or activated, and mutated via signalling, that is the transmission and reception of information that come from your environment and go right down into your cells and ultimately reaching your genes. These environmental signals include everything that your six senses can perceive. Examples of these signals include your thoughts and feelings like fear or love, a physical threat or loving embrace, or digested nutrients from food. These environmental signals are the primary signal the first signal you receive.

Your brain, your heart, and your gut all have nerve centres and communicate with each other and they can be thought of as the primary organs that make up your conscious and subconscious mind. They receive this primary signal from your environment and then based on your beliefs and perceptions about life they interpret and translate this primary signal into a secondary signal, and it’s this secondary signal that is sent to other organs and cells in the form of hormones and neurotransmitters.

When this secondary signal is delivered to your cells it is picked up by a protein receptor in the cell membrane. Once this secondary signal is received this sets of a chain of events where a number of proteins and enzymes in the cell membrane and within the cell itself they bind to each other performing specific functions until eventually they either create a tertiary signal within the cell or they allow a tertiary signal to enter the cell through the cell membrane. This tertiary signal is the last signal that will bind to other proteins within the cell to perform a specific function.

Alright so you get a primary signal from the environment. Your conscious and subconscious mind changes that primary signal into a secondary signal. Your cells take the secondary signal in and they transform that into a tertiary signal and then there’s a function that is performed in the cell.

Now if that tertiary signal is unable to perform its function because the specific protein its wanting to bind to is missing, the signal molecule will enter the nucleus of the cell where your chromosomes are. It will bind to a specific regulatory protein on one of your chromosomes and when it does this that regulatory protein releases itself from the chromosome uncovering a specific sequence of your DNA of your genetic code. This exposes the gene that codes for the missing protein. The gene is then transcribed and copied and finally converted into that missing protein. The regulatory protein returns and covers up the DNA, and the tertiary signal can now bind to this newly created protein to perform its original function. This transcription, copying, and conversion process is called gene expression, gene activation, or a gene being switched on.

Here’s where it gets very interesting. If the tertiary signal is unable to perform its function due to a missing protein and it cannot locate the specific gene for that protein in your DNA, guess what happens next? The tertiary signal will activate a specific genetic engineering gene, which in turn will rewrite another gene in a different part of your DNA. Meaning the signal is now causing a genetic mutation. With the newly mutated gene now in place this tertiary signal can now activate the new gene, creating the missing protein and the signal will bind itself to the new protein and finally perform its function.

There’s nothing random about these mutations at all. It’s the environmental signal creating specific mutations to perform a specific function.

That may have been a lot to take in, so please watch the video for a visual detailed representation of what I just discussed.

Let me give you a real world example of how this works.

Let’s say you’re scared of spiders and you see a spider. Or let’s say you’re prone to road rage and you get cut off in traffic. Or let’s say your body is sensitive to dairy, but you don’t know it and you’ve been drinking dairy for a long time, for years and you’ve just had another glass of milk. Seeing the spider, getting cut off in traffic and drinking the milk are examples of a primary signal from your environment.

Since you have a belief that spiders are scary, and that bad drivers are a valid reason to get mad, and your body perceives dairy as indigestible and a possible toxin you transform the primary signal to an emotion of fear, an emotion of anger, and your body’s immune system gets activated yet again – this is the secondary signal. These secondary signals, which are now a bunch of hormones and neurotransmitters like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, are sent to your cells.

When your cells receive these secondary signals they activate proteins and enzymes that allow negative tertiary signals to enter the cell activating genes that stop growth, repair, reproduction, digestion and elimination; that cause muscle breakdown and fat storage, and your immune system to go crazy. These negative tertiary signals can also cause gene mutations and enhance cancerous cell growth.

Alright time to flip this around. We’re going to change your beliefs and your perceptions. The primary signals don’t change. You still see a spider, you still get cut off in traffic, and you still drink a glass of milk. But this time you love spiders, you are a calm and relaxed driver, and your body is not sensitive to dairy and can digest it without any issues.

So again the primary signals don’t change, however, because you’re now smiling at the spider, giving gratitude for not getting into an accident, and your body is nourished from the milk you get secondary signals like oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, feel good hormones are now being received by your cells.

When your cells receive these secondary signals they activate proteins and enzymes that allow positive tertiary signals to enter the cell and activate genes that promote growth, repair, reproduction, digestion and elimination; they promote muscle-building and fat-burning, and regulate your immune system. These positive tertiary signals can also activate genes that suppress cancer growth and cause cancer cells to die.

So what is this showing you? What this is showing you is that it’s not the primary signal from your environment that affects your genes. It is the secondary signal that comes from your conscious and subconscious mind that affects the tertiary signal and your genes. Whatever situation or event happens in the real world, in reality, it is you, your beliefs and your perception of that situation, of that event, that has the final say on which genes to activate and which genes to leave switched off.

It is your thoughts, your feelings, what you eat and drink, how you move, how you breathe, the toxicity of your environment, the quality of your sleep, the quality of your relationships, all of these control your genes.

Your mood, your health, your life these are the stimulus to your genes and your genes simply respond to that stimulus. If you have a sucky mood and are depressed about life then your genes will simply reflect this fact. So if you want to feel awesome and love the life you have it all begins by changing your beliefs about your life, positively changing your perceptions about life itself, which will change your behaviour and change your genes, eventually making the inside of your bodymind reflect the outside world that you positively perceive.

Now I’m not saying the goal is to think positive and live a naturally holistic healthy lifestyle 100% of the time. That’s impossible. What I’m saying is when you are aware, when you are conscious of your surroundings and of what’s going on around you, know that you have a choice in that moment to choose either a positive or a negative experience. I suggest you make the kind choose for yourself.

Here are three kind choices you can make to positively impact your health and to express health-boosting and life-affirming genes.

First, get rid of your ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts. Do this through critical thinking and questioning yourself, your beliefs, and asking yourself are your thoughts and beliefs true? For example is it true that you’re worthless, or that you’re not smart enough, or that no one will ever love you, or that you’ll get cancer because of your genes? Really, is that true? I highly recommend doing The Work by Byron Katie. She takes you through a powerful process of inquiry that’ll show you whether or not your current way of thinking is actually worth paying attention to.

Secondly, practise some form of daily meditation. Mindfulness meditation, movement mediation like Qi-gong or even walking meditation, any task that has you focused on one thing is a form of meditation. Meditation has been shown to boost your immune function, reduce stress levels and inflammation, reduce depression, and improve your mood and your outlook on life.

Third kind choice is to choose to live a holistic healthy lifestyle and you can do this by following the 7 Holistic Health Principles as I outlined in episode 30.

  1. Eat real food
  2. Drink natural water
  3. Move often
  4. Breathe properly
  5. Purify your environment
  6. Get quality restorative sleep and
  7. Form positive relationships with nature, with yourself, and with others

These 7 principles bring your bodymind back into sync with the rhythm and flow of Mother Nature and these principles give happy and healing epigenetic signals to your genes.

Okay I’m going to give a quick recap on epigenetics because I really want you to get that your genes are not your destiny.

“Genes DO NOT control your biology! Your beliefs about your life control your biology.”

It’s your habitat and environment, your habits and behaviour, your feelings and emotions, your thoughts and beliefs that influence your genes.

It is your beliefs that change the biochemistry of your blood and your blood carries the signals sent to your cells, and ultimately these signals determine the expression of your genes.

Perceive love and you get feel good hormones in your blood, sending positive signals to your cells where they read and express healthy genes.

Perceive fear and you get stress hormones in your blood, sending negative signals to your cells where they ignore healthy genes and may read and express disease-promoting genes.

Dr Joseph Mercola creator of the number one natural health website says:

“Epigenetics shatters the idea that you are a victim of your genes, and shows that you have tremendous power to shape and direct your physical health.”

Meaning the power to live an awesome happy and healthy life lies within you. Take ownership and responsibility for your thoughts and your beliefs about life and you will no longer be the victim, but the victor in the beautiful story that is your wonderful life.

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WGP 046: What is Leaky Gut Syndrome and How to Heal It

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • I’ll explain how a leaky gut can lead to chronic disease
  • I’ll talk about what causes a leaky gut
  • Finally, I’ll give you 5 steps to healing and sealing a leaky gut


Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician and considered the father of western medicine, although I’m sure he’d be quite upset at the current health-care system and medical model we use today, which is really a disease-care model, but anyways… Hippocrates said:

“All disease begins in the gut.”

And he is absolutely 100% correct and let me explain how. And by the way when I say gut I’m talking about the small and large intestines in your body.

Your entire alimentary canal, your entire digestive system is one long tube that begins in your mouth hole and ends in your south hole so anything you put in your mouth and swallow is still technically outside of your body. If it gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream then it’s inside your body, but if what you swallow gets eliminated then it technically was never in your body. That’s not to say it won’t affect your body only that the effect will be minimal compared to if what you ate did get into your bloodstream.

Now your gut performs many functions in your body besides digestion and elimination and its primary role is to act as a barrier controlling what’s allowed in and what stays out of your body. Nutrients are allowed into your body and unwanted unknown foreign materials are kept outside of your body. So it’s similar to a mosquito net. It allows oxygen in while keeping mosquitoes out. When this barrier becomes compromised and unregulated or when this mosquito net gets punctured and has tears in it this is called leaky gut syndrome.

When you have a leaky gut unwanted unknown foreign materials get into your bloodstream and then all hell begins to break loose in other parts of your body. When undigested food particles, pathogens, toxins, and other irritants that usually get eliminated find their way into your body, into your bloodstream your immune system gets activated and this causes an inflammatory and stress response at whatever site the foreign material settles in. The longer this inflammation and stress goes on the higher your chance of getting a chronic disease.

For example, if you have had leaky gut for a while and unwanted material settles in your joints you may get rheumatoid arthritis. If they settle in your arteries your chance of having a heart attack or stroke skyrockets. If this foreign matter settles in your thyroid you may experience hyper or hypothyroid issues. If they settle under your skin you may get rashes, eczema, or acne. If they settle in your brain your ability to focus and think clearly may reduce dramatically giving you brain fog. If this foreign material stays in your gut you may experience digestive issues like bloating and foul-smelling gas that can eventually lead to Crohn’s or coeliac disease. And if these non-nutrient substances don’t settle anywhere in particular this chronic low-level inflammatory and stress response will cause your hormones and your neurotransmitters to get out of balance with either too much or not enough being produced causing body composition problems (fat gain or muscle loss), reproductive issues (infertility), energy imbalances (feeling tired or fatigued), and mood disorders (depression).

Not only does bad stuff get into your bloodstream with a leaky gut, but because your gut wall is damaged you’re no longer able to absorb the full amount of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from the food that you’re eating and this leads to nutrient deficiencies. This malabsorption of nutrients causes your body to start cannibalising itself in order to meet its own nutrient requirements. So if you’re not absorbing enough calcium your bones will begin to breakdown. If you’re not absorbing enough protein your body will get this protein from your muscles. Not absorbing enough natural fats? Say goodbye to proper brain function. And if you’re not absorbing enough vitamin A your cells will no longer form and grow properly causing dysfunction of many of your bodily systems.

So having a leaky gut is a serious problem with serious health consequences and it’s not limited to your gut. Your entire body is fair game.

“If you’re experiencing health symptoms of any kind there’s a 99.9999% chance that your gut is leaky.”

Your skin is a dozen cell layers thick and you can see the layers of your skin when you get a cut or you scrape yourself. The mucous lining of your gut, also known as your gut wall, is only one cell thick or should I say one cell thin. The cells that make up your gut wall are called enterocytes. This single layer of enterocytes makes it easy to absorb and transport nutrients into your bloodstream, but this also makes your gut very easy to damage.

Your gut wall isn’t smooth, but is made up of very tiny finger-like projections called villi that stick out increasing the surface area of your digestive system and this makes it easier to break down food and absorb more nutrients. Villi are connected to each other at their base by tight junctions and these tight junctions can open slightly to let certain nutrients in, but they remain closed when there’s foreign material around like undigested food particles, toxins, and pathogens.

There are certain substances, however, that can cause these tight junctions to open even in the presence of foreign material. There are even more substances that can cause direct physical damage to your single-celled gut wall. The term leaky gut syndrome comes from the fact that these tight junctions are opened and your gut wall is damaged. The technical term for this is intestinal hyperpermeability.

The unwarranted opening of these junctions and damage to your gut wall is caused by many many things and a variety of factors including:

  • Anti-nutrients like gluten, lectins, saponins, and phytates
  • Industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils
  • Grains
  • Instant coffee
  • Pasteurised dairy
  • Processed and refined sugar
  • Foods your body is intolerant and sensitive to
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Inorganic foods raised with inorganic fertilisers and pesticides
  • Tap water and water that is deficient in minerals
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Artificial colourings, preservatives, additives, thickeners, emulsifiers, bulking agents, flavourings, and texturants
  • Synthetic vitamins
  • Parasitic infections
  • Dysbiosis, which is not an infection, but simply having more pathogens than probiotics in your gut
  • Environmental toxins including personal and homecare products
  • Lack of exposure to the sun, to bare skin on the Earth, and to time in nature
  • Pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, acid-blockers, and pain-killers
  • Caesarean birth or being born via C-section
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of quality restorative sleep
  • Chronic stress and
  • Chronic inflammation

So how do you seal and heal your leaky gut? How do you prevent those tight junctions between your villi from opening when they shouldn’t and how do you repair the damage to the enterocytes the cells of your gut wall?

Here are five steps to healing a leaky gut.

First things first – Redefine your dream for healing.

Without a big enough why, a big enough reason to keep you moving forward you will end up stressed out about the whole healing process. If you stress about how difficult it’s going to be for example to stop eating bread or cheese or having to buy plant-based organic deodorant and homecare products then forget about moving onto the next steps. This stress about changing and healing is just as bad as continuing to eat gluten or drink alcohol. You need to create a dream that matters, a dream that will inspire you to make change happen, to make change stick, and to make healing feel less of a burden and more of a passion, more of a right like you deserve this. Checkout episode 14 for more details about how to build your dream.

Second step – Remove all possible gut irritants.

This includes everything in the list I gave you earlier. Well as much of it as you can handle without stressing out about it. Hopefully your dream keeps your stress levels or your perception of stress in check. Even if you do find yourself feeling a bit stressed about this step you can always practise meditation and movement practises like Qi-gong to help reduce the amount of perceived stress you’re experiencing.

Step three – Refeed your body with holistic nutrition.

This isn’t just about eating real food. This also includes drinking natural water, moving often, breathing correctly, getting quality restorative sleep, and engaging in loving relationships. When it comes to food to heal your gut though you can’t go past:

  • Bone broth
  • Fermented foods like raw milk kefir and sauerkraut
  • Fatty fish like salmon and sardines, and
  • Eating more natural animal and fruit fats

Fourth step – Repair your gut with smart supplementation.

You could heal your gut naturally without the use of supplements, but strategic use of supplements will help support and boost your body’s own innate healing abilities increasing your chances for success. The enterocytes that make up your gut wall, these guys love to feed on an amino acid glutamine and you can get glutamine in real foods like bone broth, but you can also find it as a supplement powder called l-glutamine. Digestive enzymes are a fantastic way to supplement your body’s digestive system and will ensure the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Aloe vera juice and deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL are two very potent plant-based gut-healers. High quality fish and krill oil with their anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids will also help your gut heal. Lastly, a probiotic supplement preferably containing soil-based microorganisms will help bring your gut microbiome back into balance.

Fifth and final step – Remember to laugh.

There’s an age-old saying:

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

A real hard laugh boosts your immune system and lowers your levels of the stress hormone cortisol for at least a day so be sure to watch something funny, go to a comedy show, or do some laughing yoga. Yeah, you heard right, laughing yoga. I’ll put a link in the blog post for this episode to a video showing what laughing yoga is all about. It’s actually quite funny, obviously. Also I’ll put a link to the Chewbacca Mom viral video. It’s a video I’ve come across recently and it made me laugh pretty hard the first time I saw it.

Here are a couple of books to help you on your gut healing journey. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! by Paul Chek covers how to heal holistically. Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride gives you the GAPs Protocol and this goes deeper into gut healing and is a great option for those with severely damaged guts.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Life is short. Don’t live life so seriously. The time it’s going to take to heal your gut will be long though. So take the time now to heal your gut so you can enjoy yourself later and have more fun before your time is up.

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WGP 034: The Truth About Cancer – Misperception

In this podcast I’ll be exploring the light side to Cancer:

  • I’ll explain how there’s always a flip side to every situation
  • I’ll talk about 3 negative sides to cancer that can be turned into positives
  • Finally, I’ll give the 3 most important steps anyone dealing with cancer needs to follow before healing can begin


This is the final part of a 3-part series I’ve been doing on cancer. In the previous episode I talked about what cancer is: a miscommunication between your healthy and abnormal cells. I also explored many factors contributing to this miscommunication and worked out it was because we as a species are living against the natural order of things and that we’re surrounded by and participate in activities that are not allowing our community of cells to communicate effectively. I also talked about how to heal from cancer following the 7 Holistic Health Principles that bring you back in alignment with Mother Nature and the Universe.

On to the final part.

All life is influenced by two universal forces yin and yang. Like a coin which has two sides, heads and a tails, life can also be viewed as either black or white. But you shouldn’t forget a coin also has a middle and when you spin that coin on this middle heads and tails no longer exist, but what does exist is the potential and the possibility for both. Meaning the universe, life it’s not as simple as black or white, but it’s both black, white, and even gray. So from one extreme all the way to the other including everything in between this is what life is all about.

So when it comes to cancer many shudder at the mere mention of the word, the sound, the intention behind it. But did you know in many traditional cultures and non-westernised societies they have no word for cancer in their native tongue because they’ve never experienced it. You could tell one of these non-westernised people all about cancer, what it is and describe to them in detail what you mean by it and they wouldn’t flinch.

The reason we jump when cancer shows up is because western civilised society has evolved with cancer and whether intentionally or not has turned cancer into a poisonous snake. So cancer to us is what a predator is like for more ancestral tribal communities. To these traditional cultures cancer is a ghost. It doesn’t exist to them. Is it possible for us civilised folk to turn cancer from physical to metaphysical and maybe even beyond?

Well as I just mentioned earlier life isn’t black or white so let me talk about how cancer isn’t a poisonous snake, but instead can actually turn out to be the antidote to the snakes bite.

In part 1 of this series I talked about the big 3 conventional medical treatments for cancer: chemo, radiation, and surgery. I for all intents and purposes badmouthed these 3 treatments and gave one side of the coin to how fatally flawed these treatments are. Over 97% of cancer patients die from these treatments so while what I said may be true it’s only a half-truth.

This is the Whole Guidance Podcast and I help guide people toward wholeness in all aspects of their life and show them new ways of being so I’d like to give the whole side to the medical cancer treatments story and flip my negative perspective from part 1 to show that these actually can be very positive treatments if used correctly.

It is true that chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery are not selective treatments. Meaning these procedures do not target cancer cells specifically. Yes even surgery. Recall from part 1 while surgery may remove the cancer daughter cells inside a tumour it actually misses the cancer mother cells or stem cells that produced the daughter cells and caused the tumour. Plus surgery can puncture a tumour causing it to leak cancer daughter cells giving them freedom to metastasis and spread throughout your body. So if chemo and radiation are like dropping a nuclear bomb in your body wasting everything inside, surgery is like dumping toxic nuclear waste in a specific area and leaving it to cause problems in the future and to leak and spread.

However, there is a way to turn these unselective, blind, and misguided treatments into very targeted ones where chemo, radiation, and even surgery will select just the cancer cells to kill and leave your healthy cells intact and also to ensure the effects of any leftover stem cells and spreading of the cancer is dramatically reduced. You can turn these nuclear attacks into well-trained snipers. How? The same way you prevent and heal from cancer – by living a holistic lifestyle in alignment with the laws of nature.

When you give your bodymind the physical, emotional, and mental nourishment it needs your healthy cells are able to protect themselves from these 3 treatments. Your immune cells are better equipped and armed when you’re living a holistic lifestyle and this gives them what they need to look after your healthy cells and to take out the abnormal cancerous cells. While at the same time these treatments target only the abnormal cancerous cells. By following a holistic lifestyle framework such as the 7 Holistic Health Principles I talk about in episode 30 you give yourself a significant chance of healing from cancer when using chemo, radiation, and surgery.

One thing to take note of regarding these treatments and to keep in mind if you ever have to make a choice is that a majority of cancer patients diagnosed with a solid tumour localised in the body like you’d find in the breast, lung, prostate, or pancreas, etc do not do well with chemo and radiotherapy, but patients with a systemic immune cancer like leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma, etc actually these patients do see some benefits in using these two treatments.

Another misperception about cancer that can be seen from a positive perspective is that cancer and this actually goes for all disease, sickness, illness, and pain, all of these are great teachers. Anytime you feel pain or discomfort this is a sign from your body and it’s teaching you a valuable lesson.

You see your body is constantly talking to you and giving you a scorecard on how well you’re doing in terms of living a healthy holistic lifestyle. When you feel tired, have some pain, have low energy, a sore belly, some skin issues, all of these are signs. They are your body whispering to you. Your body is attempting to communicate to you that something you’re doing, how you’re being, the way you’re living your life and expressing yourself is not working for you. It communicates by producing these symptoms.

If you ignore these signs and continue doing what you’ve always been doing eventually these whispers they get a little bit louder and they turn into a stern talk and lecture from your body and these little symptoms turn into bigger health issues such as chronic fatigue, chronic pain, extreme gut issues, brain fog, mood issues, change in body composition, and severe skin problems.

If you still refuse to listen to your body’s lectures then your body begins to scream really loud where your chronic health problems turn into degenerative diseases like heart disease, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, stroke, MS, ALS/MND, sarcopenia, Hashimoto’s, the list goes on, and yes even cancer.

Pain and sickness is your body’s way, Mother Nature’s way of telling you to either shape up or ship out. Cancer is the Universe screaming at you like a sports coach on the side line telling you to change the way that you’re playing the game, the game of life in this case because right now you’re losing big time.

So if you can look at cancer as a teacher, a coach, a guide that’s clearly indicating to you that something in your life needs to change, instead of being stubborn about it and not changing your lifestyle and instead of pleading ignorance and believe you got cancer by some random chance you can take control of the situation and see cancer for what it really is – an opportunity for personal growth and development and the choice to change your way of being. Change how you live your life.

The last way I’ll talk about how you can see cancer in a more illuminating light is that cancer can bring you face to face with one of man’s greatest fears – death. We are one of many creatures on this planet who are consciously aware of our own individual existence and this conscious awareness brings with it many gifts including knowing your own mortality and that we are all going to die some day. Yes I’m saying death and knowing your time is limited is a gift, as it should inspire you to do more with the limited time you have in this life.

You can heal from cancer, but just as a mild infection can take a turn for the worse and conventional and natural treatments cannot fight it, cancer can linger for far too long in your body where no treatment will support your body’s innate ability to heal. For people in this situation death is no longer a future event, a rare thought, some distant experience, but an ever-present day-to-day in your face reality.

This inevitable encounter with death, this gift of knowledge that your time is limited and that you need to be living life to the full could make you freeze in your tracks and want to run away from your destiny. This refusal of the inevitable brings about much pain and suffering as your thoughts and feelings betray what your body is telling you to accept.

However, what if you could relax and connect to yourself in ways you never could before. Your whole life you’ve been looking for peace and contentment, never enjoying the moment, but seeking the next pleasurable one. With death around the corner can you accept your fate, live your life from this point on in full awareness and enjoy every moment you have as if it were your last?

Whether you believe death is the end, this is it and there’s nothing else that happens afterward or if you believe death is just a part of life and the next stage in your journey if you can live the remainder of this life in absolute awareness you will be able to bring this awareness and hopefully newfound joy for life into the death process. Meaning you will not die in pain or suffer, and you will not die in fear. By accepting cancer and the new path it is leading you toward you will be able to die consciously, in peace, and in love.

For those of you with cancer here’s a personal affirmation that you can say to yourself that may help you change the way you see cancer:

“Thank you cancer for showing up when you did, because now you have given me the opportunity to change my life and even my death for the better.”

Alright now I’m going to go through my 3 top tips, the 3 most important steps anyone with cancer needs to take before healing can begin.

First step to healing is to take responsibility. Taking responsibility doesn’t mean blaming yourself. It simply means owning the fact that this is your life and everything that happens in your life is due to the choices and decisions you’ve made. No-one can make these choices for you. It may feel at times like you have no other choice and you are forced into certain life situations, but I can tell you right now you do have the power of choice when it comes to what you put in your mouth in terms of food quality.

The reason taking responsibility is so very important is because human beings have this weird inability to take action on things that appear to be out of our control, that have nothing to do with us.

If you have this attitude with cancer where you think you have no control over it and it’s up to others to deal with it then your body’s innate ability to heal will never take place. You don’t have to take all of the responsibility for how your life is and for your cancer diagnosis if you’re not ready to, but by at least taking some responsibility for your life and where it’s at right now you will increase your sense of control and will actually feel like you can take action and make the lifestyle changes that will begin the healing process. Responsibility equals action and this equals change and change is just what the natural doctor ordered.

Step 2 to healing is to forgive yourself and others. Forgiveness is the key that balances out your hormones and unlocks emotional blockages in your bodymind. Emotions such as anger and bitterness are extremely yang energies, very hot and chronic expression of these emotions will put your stress and repair hormones out-of-balance with stress hormones coming out on top. On the flip side if you’re not expressing these energies and suppress them deep down inside they will build up in your body creating stagnant areas where energy, hormones, nutrition, and immune cells cannot flow. Because of this resentment is a big killer not just of the emotional body, but your physical and mental bodies as well. Can you see now how the saying ‘resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die’ is so very true.

Let go of resentments, balance out your energy and hormones, and release stagnant energy that is causing you pain. By forgiving yourself and forgiving others you bring your body back to centre with balanced flowing energy.

Final step to healing is to be in an attitude of gratitude. Being in an attitude of gratitude puts you in a more positive mindset as it forces you to focus on what you do have more so than what you don’t have. So instead of moping around and thinking woe is me and my cancer you could give gratitude for the lesson cancer is here to provide you. Remember cancer is a great teacher and if you can show appreciation and thanks toward your cancer diagnosis for showing you that there’s something about your lifestyle that is out of balance with what Mother Nature expects of you then you can see how very fortunate you actually are to be given this lesson as you’re no longer living life numb and blind, but now have the opportunity to live your life more mindfully and become more consciously aware of every moment you have while you’re alive.

“Giving gratitude opens your mind, your body, and your spirit to a new way of being.”

This is my personal attitude of gratitude practise. Every night before bed I give gratitude for 3 experiences I had that day and the lesson I learnt from each of them. I give gratitude: for one person I had an experience with; for one goal I had completed no matter how big or small; and for any other random experience that happened. Whether I perceived any of these 3 experiences as positive or negative, as uplifting or upsetting, I always give thanks for the lesson I learned from that person, from that achievement, and from that experience.

Those are my 3 tips that anyone wanting to heal from cancer needs to follow before healing can begin.

Can you see the one central theme running through each of these 3 steps? It’s all about giving. By taking responsibility you give yourself the chance and the choice to change. By forgiving yourself and others you give your body balanced energies and by being in an attitude of gratitude you give yourself a positive mindset allowing you to see what could not be seen before.

I’ll leave you with this quote from ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:

“A great nation is like a great man: when he makes a mistake, he realises it. Having realised it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.”

What all this means is that there’s a misperception that cancer is this evil and bad thing that’s happening to you, but if you flip this view, cancer turns into a gift that you’ve given yourself so that you can see your life and your death in a new light.

Mind you that’s only if you choose to see it that way and as always the choice is yours.

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The Fourfold Path to Healing

The Fourfold Path to Healing – Thomas S. Cowan MD, Sally Fallon, Jaimen McMillan
(Buy from Amazon; Buy from The Book Depository)

The Fourfold Path to Healing merges the wisdom of traditional societies, the most modern findings of western medicine and the esoteric teaching of the ancients. The fourfold approach includes: Nutrition using nutrient-dense traditional foods; therapeutics through a wide range of nontoxic remedies; Movement to heal and strengthen the emotions; and meditation to develop your powers of objective thought.


Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links that may provide monetary compensation to help support the Whole Guidance Vision of Creating a Happy and Healthy Planet should you make a purchase. We very much appreciate and thank you for your support.

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WGP 033: The Truth About Cancer – Miscommunication

In this podcast I’ll be exploring the many sides to Cancer:

  • I’ll explain what cancer is and will show how a normal healthy cell functions compared to an abnormal cancer cell
  • I’ll talk about how cancer causes death
  • I’ll explain the one true cause behind cancer and the many contributing factors to this cause
  • I’ll talk about the one true cure to cancer (hmm… interesting)
  • Finally I’ll share natural holistic health tips that will help you heal from cancer as well as prevent cancer from growing out of balance


This is part 2 of a 3-part series I’m doing on cancer. In the previous episode I spoke about the conventional wisdom of cancer and how it’s all misinformation. The truth about cancer is that you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Like any other lifestyle disease you can cure cancer naturally and I’ll be talking about that in this episode.

So what is cancer? I’m going to give you 3 definitions because cancer is that big of a confused mass of information. Hopefully by giving multiple definitions you’ll be able to see cancer for what it really is from your own perspective.

First definition of cancer comes from orthodox conventional mainstream western medicine which says that cancer is an out-of-control malignant tumour that metastasises or spreads throughout your body. In a word cancer is a tumour. Yeah. Alright, it’s close. But I know there’s way more, a lot more in fact to this cancer story than just a tumour spreading.

I like this second definition of cancer better and it comes from early 20th century Nobel Prize winner, physiologist, and doctor Otto Warburg who defined cancer as any cell that produces less energy through the oxidation of macronutrients in an aerobic environment and instead produces most of its energy by fermenting sugars in an anaerobic environment. I know that’s a lot to take in. To paraphrase Dr Otto’s definition and make it simpler: a cancer cell produces extremely low levels of energy compared to other normal healthy cells. In a few words cancer is low energy production.

Not bad, a much better definition I reckon.

The third and final definition of cancer I have for you is my own. Cancer is a block in cellular communication leading to malnutrition and dysfunction in healthy cells that are still in orderly communication with each other and this blocked communication also creates abnormal function and abnormal growth of chaotic cells. Again a lot to take in so to make my cancer definition simpler: cancer is when there is miscommunication between your cells decreasing healthy cell function and increasing abnormal cell function. In a few words cancer is confusion at the cellular level.

If you think about what I just said my definition it doesn’t focus just on the abnormal cells or cancerous cells, but also includes, what used to be healthy cells, the suppressed cells. So to redefine what I just said:

“Cancer is the presence of both suppressed healthy cells and abnormal cancerous cells.”

Personally I really like this definition (no surprises), but I have to say even this doesn’t tell the whole story about what cancer really is.

Now I believe these 3 definitions together do give us a better picture of what cancer is all about.

Cancer is a tumour that grows out-of-control and spreads. Cancer is a cell that uses sugar to produce low amounts of energy in an environment with hardly any oxygen. Finally, cancer is a miscommunication between cells causing an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cells.

To see how these 3 different cancer definitions actually do come together pretty nicely when it comes to explaining exactly what cancer is, I’m going to give a little lesson (actually quite a big lesson) on cell biology and will explain how healthy cells work and how they create energy compared to abnormal cancerous cells.

Remember this is just a general overview of what happens with your cells, although I do get a bit specific at times. There are tens of steps and processes relating to cell function that I’m not including here to keep it simple and sustainable okay.

Your body is made up of a community of cells approximately 100 trillion of them, but only 10 trillion of these cells are actually yours containing your DNA with the rest of the cells belonging to microorganisms. These little guys live in, on, and throughout your body. All of your 10 trillion cells have one direction or goal or purpose or dream, which is to remain, not to attain or to get somewhere externally, but to keep expressing internally their true innate nature which is health.

These healthy cells are always talking and communicating to each other and are completely in rhythm and in harmony with one another. Every cell follows their unique purpose such as being a heart cell, a lung cell, an immune cell, skin cell, etc and this purpose aligns with the overall goal of the community of cells, which is to remain healthy and thrive.

Each of your cells are made up of a cell wall called a membrane and inside this membrane is a massive pool of fluid called the cytosol. Think of the cytosol as a massive swimming pool with the cell membrane the coverings of this pool. Hanging out in the cytosol or floating around in this swimming pool you’ll find many different cell organs called organelles and these organelles have their own function to perform to keep the cell and your entire body healthy and thriving.

One important organelle is the nucleus. In the nucleus you will find your body’s personal genetic code, your genes which are wrapped up in a double-helix structure that looks like a spiral ladder called DNA. Your DNA holds about 24,000 genes that act as blueprints for how your body functions physically, emotionally, and mentally.

One thing about DNA that I’d like to highlight are your telomeres. At the end of each strand of your DNA you have telomere molecules that act like shields and protect your DNA from damage. Once these telomeres run out then your DNA is exposed and this is when a healthy cell knows it’s time to die. The shortening of telomeres is what we call ageing. A healthy cell becomes old due to the shortening of telomeres.

Going back to your cell another very important group of organelles in your cells are called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the power plants of your cell. They are the main provider of units of cellular energy called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. So ATP is the form of energy that your cells use to function and to remain healthy and thrive. Mitochondria are the only other organelle in your cells to have their own genes and DNA. They only have 37 genes and these genes act as blueprints for how your mitochondria function and remain healthy and thrive.

Now all cells starting from birth go through different stages or seasons of growth and development and do so within the organs in which they are a part of. These different cell cycles ensure the continuation of health for your entire community of cells by keeping the creation of new cells in balance with the death of damaged or old cells. Healthy cells are always talking to each other and do what is required of them in that moment.

Healthy cells only have a limited number of times that they are allowed to divide before they die. This number of divisions is controlled by tumour suppressor genes. Cell death is controlled by what I mentioned earlier about aging, the length of your telomere molecules at the end of your DNA. Old cells have their tumour suppressor genes switched on and activated to prevent them from dividing again and without their telomeres these old cells will be asked to initiate a self-destruct sequence called apoptosis also known as programmed cell death.

When your healthy cells are asked to divide and create new cells this is when your DNA replicates itself and this is also the time when most things can go wrong in the form of genetic mutations. Genetic mutations are like someone scribbling all over your blueprints making them unreadable. DNA mutations are prevented, checked, and fixed by enzymes called polymerases. These enzymes make sure that when your DNA makes a copy of itself it does so without error or mutation and if polymerase does find an error it’ll fix it. A healthy cell which is unable to fix any damage to its DNA or has damage in other areas of the cell becomes a dysfunctional or abnormal cell. This damaged cell will be asked to self-destruct.

When a healthy cell divides out of control, grows old, or becomes damaged and does not die by skipping apoptosis then your immune system comes along, sees the out of control cell and then your immune cells release molecules called tumour necrosis factor or TNF for short. TNF will trigger another form of programmed cell death in the multiplying, old, or damaged cell called necroptosis similar to apoptosis.

Let’s now look into cellular respiration or how your cells and mitochondria produce energy, ATP.

There are actually 3 pathways that your cells can use to create ATP. One pathway happens in the cytosol or in the swimming pool of your cells and is anaerobic meaning it does not require oxygen to work. This anaerobic pathway for energy production is called glycolysis. The other two energy producing pathways happen inside your mitochondria and are aerobic meaning they need oxygen to function. These two aerobic pathways are called the Krebs Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation. Don’t worry about the technical terms, but stay with me here.

Now the anaerobic pathway of glycolysis that occurs in the cytosol works without oxygen and mainly uses the sugar molecule glucose, but it can also use different parts of proteins and fats, to create 2 units of ATP.

The aerobic pathways of the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation that occur inside your mitochondria work with oxygen and they use sugars, proteins, but mostly fats to create 30-120 units of ATP. You actually get a majority of your energy or ATPs through the oxidation and processing of fats.

So a short summary of cellular respiration: ATP, energy that is produced inside your mitochondria via the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation pathways with the help of oxygen using all macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats creates 15 to 60 times more energy than glycolysis. Remember glycolysis happens outside your mitochondria and without oxygen and uses sugar as its main ingredient to create energy.

Now what does this mini biology course on cell function and cellular respiration mean when it comes to cancer?

Let’s compare everything I just mentioned to an abnormal cancerous cell.

An abnormal cancerous cell is one that does not play well with other healthy cells, meaning it will not communicate with the healthy community of cells in your body. It will not do as it is told. It no longer performs its intended function in the organ it lives in and instead does its own thing and can even separate and move to different areas of your body. This abnormal cancerous cell becomes its own unique entity in your community of cells. It separates itself from the purpose and flow of the rest of your healthy cells and goes rogue and does its own thing. This cell finds its own flow, which disrupts the flow of other healthy cells in your body.

This ties in with the definition that cancer is a tumour that spreads and also that cancer is a miscommunication between cells.

You may be wondering how rebel scum like these abnormal cancerous cells survive if other healthy cells like blood vessels don’t communicate with them, don’t want to work with them, and don’t give them nutrients. Well these abnormal cancerous cells they have this uncanny ability to create new blood vessels. This process is called angiogenesis and provides blood flow to these rogue cells.

When it comes to the cell cycle an abnormal cancerous cell ignores this part and becomes immortal. It never ages and grows old. It shutdowns and deactivates tumour suppressor genes and its telomeres at the end of DNA never get shortened meaning it continues to multiply and it never has to go through apoptosis or programmed cell death. This immortality is due to an enzyme called telomerase. This enzyme produces more telomere molecules increasing their length. In a normal healthy cell this enzyme is switched off to make sure the cell follows its natural cell cycle of birth and death. However, in abnormal cancerous cells this telomerase enzyme is switched on ensuring telomeres stay long enough to protect DNA from being exposed meaning this cell never has to undergo apoptosis. This immortal cell is then allowed to grow and divide and duplicate itself over and over again forever as long as the tumour suppressor gene is switched off and inactive.

This goes back to the definition of cancer being a tumour as your body responds to uncontrolled cell growth by attempting to wall them off from the rest of the body by forming a tumour around them. So a tumour is your body’s way of protecting the rest of your healthy cells.

When it comes to DNA mutations abnormal cancerous cells actually thrive with mutations and do not die off as they should. First of all their polymerase enzymes which are supposed to proof-read and fix any errors in DNA replication are switched off or they function poorly. This increases the number of mutations in the cell. These mutations actually provide many benefits to an abnormal cancerous cell including not having to listen to instructions given to it by other healthy cells and not having to die. Remember a healthy cell with damaged or mutated DNA self-destructs, but an abnormal cell will not.

Going back to my definition you can see how cancer is a miscommunication between cells.

Normally an immune cell will see these out-of-control multiplying, immortal, and damaged abnormal cancerous cells and use TNF to kill them off. However, remember these cells are stubborn and they don’t play well with others.

Abnormal cancerous cells get around the immune system in four ways.

First, damaged DNA. These mutations in the DNA make it impossible for the abnormal cancerous cell to carry out normal cell function including apoptosis or necroptosis so even if they got the message to die they couldn’t. Second, these abnormal cancerous cells they’re really clever little buggers and even if they could carry out normal cell function they will actually produce a protein called survivin. This survivin protein prevents the cell from dying due to programmed cell death and also promotes cell division allowing the cell to multiply and become immortal. Third, abnormal cancerous cells protect themselves with a thick protein coating over their cell wall making them bulletproof and invisible from your immune system. Fourth, these wise guys actually have their own way of suppressing your immune system by secreting specific enzymes to put your immune system to sleep.

Finally let’s look at energy production in these rogue cells.

Let me repeat again about normal healthy cellular respiration because I really want to make sure you get this. A healthy cell creates more energy inside your mitochondria using oxygen and fats than it does from the cytosol of the cell using carbohydrates. So anytime a cell is creating less energy in the mitochondria and instead is making more energy outside the mitochondria than Houston you have a low energy producing cell called an abnormal cancerous cell.

So hopefully you can better understand Otto Warburg’s definition of cancer which is a cell that produces more of its energy through the fermentation of sugars outside the mitochondria than it does through the oxidation of fats inside the mitochondria.

From Dr Otto Warburg’s definition and the knowledge of how healthy cellular respiration is supposed to work we can see that an abnormal cancerous cell ultimately is either lacking in oxygen and is living in an anaerobic environment or that the mitochondria in the cell are damaged and not able to use oxygen to create ATP or both situations could actually be true. This forces the cell to ferment sugars for its main source of energy.

This is also why you’ll see a dramatic increase in insulin receptors on the cell wall of abnormal cancerous cells. Insulin is the hormone your body uses to drive nutrients into your cells and abnormal cancerous cells have a lot more insulin ports or docks or places where insulin can connect and deliver its payload compared to healthy cells. Because abnormal cancerous cells produce such a tiny amount of energy they become very hungry very fast. By having more insulin receptor sites they increase their chances of getting fed and actually get fed a lot more than your healthy community of cells. This starves your healthy cells and they become malnourished which leads them to either waste away and die or to become an abnormal cancerous cell themselves.

My definition of cancer ties in here as healthy cells begin to malfunction in the presence of abnormal cancerous cells.

Okay so that was a lot of cell biology 101 to take in. I hope you know a bit more about what cancer is and how it works. You could say that an abnormal cancerous cell is actually one that has reverted back to a primitive state where it only performs 3 basic functions required to survive. Which are eat, excrete, breed, and then it repeats. Take note of this primal state of cancer cells as it’s relevant to what I’ll be talking about shortly regarding the cause of cancer.

Seeing how cancer works is it any clearer to you how cancer kills and causes death? Cancer actually kills indirectly more than directly.

A tumour for instance may impinge or intrude and bump and grind up against other tissues such as arteries, veins, or nerves in your spinal column. So while these tumours aren’t doing anything but growing and getting in the way what this does is cause stress, pain, and discomfort and this stress creates an inflammatory and immune response. If this stress is left to linger for long periods of time this chronic persistent low-level type of inflammation will lead to more sickness and diseases further down the road.

However, the main way cancer kills is through cachexia. Over 90% of deaths from actual cancer, not from the conventional treatment of cancer, remember medical cancer treatments chemo, radiation, and surgery these kill over 50% of patients. But deaths from cancer itself over 90% of these are due to cachexia or wasting of the body caused by the spreading of cancer. In other words your healthy community of cells waste away and die not because the abnormal cancer cells are attacking them, but because these rogue cells are sucking up all the nutrients leaving hardly any nutrition behind for your healthy cells.

“Cancer kills through malnutrition and by starving your healthy community of cells.”

Alright let’s talk about the one true cause of cancer, but is there such a thing?

According to mainstream western medicine cancer is caused by genetic mutations.

According to Dr Otto Warburg and I’m paraphrasing here cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen and due to malfunctioning mitochondria.

According to Bill Henderson in his book Cancer: The Problem and the Solution he states three causes for cancer: emotional trauma; root canals; and the food you eat.

According to the docuseries Quest For The Cures created by Ty Bollinger cancer is caused by toxicity with the dirty dozen being:

  1. Vaccines
  2. GMOs
  3. Cosmetics
  4. Pesticides
  5. Herbicides
  6. Mercury
  7. BPAs
  8. Root Canals
  9. Dental Amalgams
  10. Aspartame
  11. Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and
  12. Fluoridation

According to Webster Kehr founder of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation and cancer is caused by microbes also known as pathogens or disease causing microorganisms.

Cancer already has many definitions and functions in so many different ways is it possible to find one cause out of this list? I believe so. Follow me now down this cancer-causing rabbit hole as we play a bit of Sherlock Holmes and deduce our way back to the real cause of cancer.

In order to find the cause we need to go back to the 3 definitions and find the answers to what causes: tumours; the lack of oxygen and damaged mitochondria; and the imbalance in healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells.

Well looking at the previous list of causes to cancer let’s start with the first one – genetic mutations. Yes it has been shown that 5% of all diagnosed cancers are due to inherited genetics. If you have certain inherited genes then there’s no getting around this. But that still doesn’t account for the other 95% of cancers.

Now you can still get damage to your DNA and genetic mutations by:

  • Smog and pollution
  • Prolonged UV radiation exposure
  • Smoking non-organic materials
  • Environmental carcinogens or toxins that create cancer
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Obesity and
  • Magnesium deficiency

The issue I have here is that DNA damage and genetic mutations caused by the environment take 40-60 years before they create an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells leading to symptoms and doesn’t explain kids with cancer, the majority of other cancers in younger individuals, and cancer patients with minimal DNA damage.

The second cause of cancer was a lack of oxygen in the cell and damaged mitochondria. Now this is a tricky one to track down, but if we look at the next two causes together we might find a pattern. The third and fourth causes all relate to environmental factors.

Now one of these causes is emotional trauma and you might be thinking that can’t affect you physically and it isn’t from your environment? Remember your body and your mind are one being your bodymind and your thoughts and feelings affect your physiology, biochemistry, and physical being and vice versa. A negative thought increases stress hormones. A positive thought reduces the amount of stress hormones in your body and lowers inflammation. Your internal environment of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are hugely impacted by your external environment.

What I’m getting at here is that external environmental toxic chemicals and foods as well as internal environmental toxic thoughts create stress. Stress leads to inflammation and an immune response. Chronic stress means that your bodymind is always on fire with inflammation and your immune system may become overactive and will get trigger-happy and attack anything in sight including your own bodily tissue. Your immune system may also fizzle out and get tired and just fire off aimlessly again attacking your own body or it won’t fire at all and your immune system will no longer do its job of fighting off infections and helping your body heal.

So your environment, external and internal, creates stress leading to inflammation and an immune response and if this goes on long enough your immune system eventually cracks under pressure. The amount of time it takes for your immune system to buckle depends on your unique biochemistry, physiology, genetics, your own situation, but I would estimate that this can take as little as a month or it can take decades.

We found it right? Cancer which is an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells is caused by a weakened immune system. Oh wait. We still haven’t explained how a weakened immune system relates to a lack of oxygen and damaged mitochondria in cells.

Well this brings us to the last listed cause of cancer – microbes.

When you have a weakened immune system microbes are no longer killed off, but take hold in your body and infect your cells. When a microbe takes over and infects a healthy cell many changes happen in that cell. Microbes love sugar and they ferment sugar to create energy, but because fermentation creates very little energy compared to oxidation the cell gets hungry really easily so it increases its insulin receptors to absorb more sugar. As a result of fermentation acids are created such as lactic acid. This build up of acids is very toxic and creates havoc in the cell. The increased acidity shoves oxygen out of the cell creating an anaerobic environment. The acids also cause damage to your DNA and the DNA of your mitochondria. Recall that fermentation doesn’t need oxygen so microbes can live happily in this very acidic environment.

So when a microbe infects a healthy cell the cell is left with very little energy, very little oxygen, has damaged mitochondria so it’s unable to create more energy by using fats and it has damaged DNA. This damaged DNA prevents the cell from performing its usual duties, and it becomes immortal, grows out of control non-stop, and stops communicating with other healthy cells.

This is how you get an abnormal cancerous cell.

Remember earlier how I described a rogue cell as one that went back to its primitive roots. You can’t get more primal than a single-celled microorganism which lives inside an abnormal cancerous cell.

When you have a weakened immune system and microbial infections you have tumours, you have cells lacking oxygen and with damaged mitochondria, and you have an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells.

So to recap from the symptoms of cancer to the actual root cause:

  • Healthy cells are infected by microbes turning them into abnormal cancerous cells
  • A weakened immune system allows this infection to occur and also damages or suppresses the function of other healthy cells
  • Chronic stress and inflammation cause chronic immune activity eventually causing it to be hyperactive and hypoactive
  • Both external and internal environmental toxins cause stress in your bodymind
  • External toxins come about through industrial, agricultural, and pharmaceutical practices
  • Internal toxins come about through difficult relationships, marketing by media, and extreme religious beliefs
  • Civilised society is the source of these external and internal toxins

Am I actually saying that civilisation is the root cause of cancer? No. Because the next question you need to ask yourself is well what brought about civilisation?

Civilisation came about when human beings let go of their animal nature and dismissed their connection to Mother Nature and to all other life on this planet.

If I were to sum up the root cause of cancer and every other chronic disease for that matter I would say that the cause of cancer is living against the natural flow of your innate way of being. In other words:

“Cancer is caused by living a lifestyle out of balance with the seasons and rhythm of Mother Nature.”

Well now that we know the cause we can finally, finally, get to the cure… right?

No. There is no cure for cancer, but there is a way to heal from cancer and to prevent it.

Alberto Villoldo is a PhD and trained psychologist, medical anthropologist, and shaman and he describes in his book One Spirit Medicine how a cure is merely the elimination of symptoms, whereas:

“…healing works at a much deeper level, treating the causes of the imbalance that lead to disease.”

So if the cause of cancer is a lifestyle out of balance with Mother Nature than the way to heal and to prevent cancer is to get back in touch with our roots as human beings and to live a lifestyle that follows the flow of Mother Nature.

The best place to start would be by following the 7 Holistic Health Principles that bring together all aspects of life into a simple strategy to living happy and healthy in modern civilised times. I talked about these 7 principles in another podcast episode 30 and here I will give you one tip from each principle that you can use to heal and to prevent cancer.

The first principle is called the Moon principle. This relates to sleep and rest. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep, but has powerful anti-cancer properties too. It suppresses tumour growth, triggers apoptosis, and acts as a powerful antioxidant fighting of free radical damage to your DNA from reactive oxygen species. To get the most out of your melatonin you must get rid of blue light exposure at night from indoor lighting, televisions, computers, and smart devices, and you should aim to sleep between the hours of 10p and 6a. Blue light and sleeping after midnight reduce the amount of melatonin that gets released.

The Ether principle is about how toxic your environmental space is. Most of the toxins you’re exposed to come in the form of clothing, personal and home care products, and the food you eat. If you look for organic natural untainted sources of these you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by reducing the amount of stress that’s placed on your body.

The Air principle relates to how you breathe and the quality of air that you’re breathing in. Deep belly breathes through your nose with your mouth closed and your tongue resting comfortably on the roof of your mouth is the quickest way to put your body into rest and digest, calm and connect mode. Meaning this type of breathing keeps you out of flight and fight stress mode reducing inflammation throughout your body.

The Water principle relates to the quality and the amount of water you drink. You are 70% water so make sure you’re drinking enough water for your unique activity needs and to drink the best spring or filtered water you can find. Be wary of plastic water bottles and keep them out of the heat, away from sunlight, and don’t reuse them, but recycle them instead as they are full of cancer causing agents.

The Fire principle is all about movement. Whether it be high intensity training or simply walking around the block, movement ensures that nutrition gets moved around your body to where it’s needed and it also helps remove toxic waste products from your body. Long periods of inactivity are associated with higher disease risk and increased chances of dying earlier. Aim to move or change your position every 30 to 60 minutes to keep your blood, oxygen, nutrients, and waste in motion and moving to where they need to go.

The Earth principle relates to food – real food. Stay away from industrial seed oils and processed and packaged foods from Father Industry. Instead focus on real food that’s in season from local organic farmers and producers.

Fake pretend food-like products are full of cancer causing ingredients, whereas real food is full of cancer fighting nutrients.”

The Sun principle is the 7th Holistic Heath principle and focuses on connecting with others, sharing your gifts, and loving yourself and others for your authentic selves. The best tip I can give here for learning how to connect, share, and love is to have a dream bigger than yourself that you want to see come true. Whether it is to pass a certain exam, change your body composition, climb a mountain, or to be a better lover to your partner, by having a dream you give yourself direction in life and once you begin to move in flow with this direction other aspects of your life eventually fall in alignment with your dream.

Okay this is the longest podcast I’ve ever recorded, but I had to add some science, I had to give cancer its day in court, and I just hope that this information has been useful to you in some way, shape or form.

In the next podcast I’ll be talking about one side of cancer I have yet to mention – the light side. Yes believe it or not there are benefits to cancer that I will be talking about in next week’s episode. See you there.

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WGP 030: Want the Good Life? These 7 Holistic Health Principles Will Guide You There

In this podcast I’ll be exploring the 7 Principles of Holistic Health:

  1. I’ll explain the importance of having a holistic perspective on health
  2. I’ll talk about each of the 7 Holistic Health Principles
  3. Finally I’ll share a few resources on how to integrate these principles into your life


Modern western culture would have you believe that your health issues are not related to your lifestyle and that there’s a single pill for every single ill. Meaning if you want to get rid of your health symptoms then you must take a specific type of pharmaceutical drug or medication that targets that specific symptom. This is a reductionist approach meaning it reduces your body and health issues to isolated parts and disconnected organs where the focus is on treating the symptom and disease wherever it shows up.

Now there are many problems with this kind of thinking. First of all it misses the wholeness of your entire body, which is an integrated interconnected system of systems. Your body is not a collection of parts strung together, your body are the parts that make up the whole. Your back, for example, includes your back muscles that cover your spine and are covered by your skin and your back muscles are also connected to nerves that are connected to internal organs. So when you experience back pain all of these your muscle, bone, skin, organs, and your central nervous system all of these together create the sensation of pain. Now how exactly one could isolate back pain to be caused by one single thing is beyond me, which brings us to another problem with a reductionist view that focuses only on treating symptoms – it misses the root cause of the problem.

Symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your health issues and a collection of symptoms create larger and larger tips called diseases. Now one symptom or disease could be caused by many different factors, hidden from your view. Let’s say you had a headache. Is your headache caused by a lack of sleep, exposure to a toxin, a stressful relationship, poor breathing patterns, being dehydrated, too much sitting, food sensitivities, eating too much sugar, not eating enough fibre, high perceived stress levels, having no clear direction in life, or just not enough sunshine? It could be any of these. Or, if western medicine and pharmaceutical companies would have you believe, is your headache due to a pain medication deficiency? I mean is your body missing out on its daily dose of a pharmaceutical drug? I don’t think so.

This is exactly why so many people who follow the western medical model don’t heal in the long-term. For example those with cancer who undergo surgery, radiation, or chemo, all of which will do a good job of removing all signs of cancerous tissue, these people will inevitably get diagnosed with cancer once again later on in life and this second cancer is usually more aggressive than the first and it can show up in a totally different area of the body.

Because treating the symptom or disease only focuses on the tip of the iceberg. You must look beneath the water to see what’s really going on and what’s at the root cause of the problem and you can do this by looking at your health through a holistic lens or framework.

The 7 Holistic Health Principles I’m about to go through is a framework that you can follow in order to not only treat sickness and disease, but to also prevent serious chronic health issues from showing up in the first place. By using these seven principles as your health guides you will realise a happy and healthy life of purpose, no doubt about it.

The 7 Holistic Health Principles are:

  1. Moon
  2. Ether
  3. Air
  4. Water
  5. Fire
  6. Earth, and
  7. Sun

So let me explain a bit more about each one.

The Moon principle refers to rest and recovery. Now all of these principles are critically important to living a happy and healthy life, but there is a reason for the order I’m giving you here and the Moon principle will give you the biggest results bang for your effort buck when it comes to improving all areas of your health and your life. Rest includes, but is not limited to, sleep, relaxation, getting a soothing massage, meditation, anything that calms your body and clears your mind and that connects you to your true self and brings you back to your fully energised and awesome way of being is part of the Moon principle.

The Ether principle refers to space and is all about your environment or a better way to put it your habitat. This includes your home, your bedroom, your workplace, your commute and how you travel to all of these areas as well as your social circle of influence. The idea behind the Ether principle is to find out how a space is affecting and influencing your bodymind, so focusing on how toxic an environment is and how toxic social influencers are like people, marketing, news and media.

The Air principle is about breath and getting enough clean, filtered natural oxygen into your cells to nourish and energise you, and you do this by making sure your space is clear of pollutants as you practise proper breathing technique.

The Water principle is similar to the Air principle in terms of making sure that you’re getting clean, filtered natural water and drinking enough of it often to meet your needs. Remember your body is about 70% water so you want to source and drink the best water available to you as much as possible.

The Fire principle refers to movement. I’m not just talking about exercise here where you plan to do specific movement patterns, but also non-exercise unplanned movement activities with walking being the best and simplest form of movement. Look at a fire and it dances and moves and shifts and never looks the same twice, so the main point of this principle is to break up long periods of being in a fixed position and changing your body position in space as often as possible and having at least one formal weight and one formal cardio exercise training routine per week.

Ahh the Earth principle, my favourite one, because it’s about nutrition, food, and digestion. You want to be eating organic foods high in nutrition and easy on your digestion. Organic here simply means food from Mother Nature’s bounty. It is natural, real, wholesome, living, energised, nutritionally dense, life-affirming, and loved. Eat whole single ingredient high quality foods as close to their natural state as possible. Then personally process, refine, preserve, store, cook, or add anything organic you would like to your food.

The final Holistic Health Principle is the most important one of all. Yes I saved the best for last. The Sun principle is about loving and living life. It’s about your mindset and how you see things. The main focus of the Sun principle is connection and how you connect with your self, to other people, and to Mother Nature as well as every other living and non-living thing in the universe. This principle is based around the meme or the idea “I-We-All” where you learn to love your self first, the ‘I’, which then allows you to open up more and to love others and have better relationships, the ‘We’, and then finally waking you up to loving everything in the universe, the ‘All’. May sound a bit intense for some, but it’s not really. I find this principle the most exciting and interesting one of them all. This principle is the perfect guide for those of you that are lost or confused, you don’t know your purpose or why you’re here.

So those are the 7 Holistic Health Principles that will guide you toward a life of happiness, health, and purpose.

Now in the Whole Guidance podcast archives you will find episodes dedicated to each of these principles.

Regarding the Moon principle listen to episode 5 on how to get quality restorative sleep.

For the Ether principle I recommend listening to episode 12 on detoxification and how to swap out toxic chemical products for natural organic ones.

Episode 4 is all about breathing and will help you with the Air principle.

Episode 6 is all about water and will help you with the Water principle.

I talk about nutritious movement which relates to the Fire principle in episode 10 so check that one out.

For the Earth principle I dedicated three podcasts to nutrition, food, and digestion respectively and those are episodes 7, 8, and 9.

Now for the Sun principle there’s actually a few Whole Guidance podcast episodes you can checkout as it’s quite a big and important principle to grasp. The big main five episodes I recommend for help with the Sun principle are episodes 2 about gratitude, 3 about perceived stress, 11 about connection, 14 an extremely vital and essential episode about dream building, and episode 15 about seeking balance in your life. Other episodes worth listening to include episodes 20, 25, and 26 all about choice, anger, happiness, and fear.

Of course if you’ve listened to all of these already then congratulate yourself you’re ahead of the game.

As a society we have lost our way and become disconnected from who we are. You have been told for far too long by the media and by other people in your life that your natural instincts are wrong and that you should be doing things a certain way. This can make these 7 Holistic Health Principles seem like a lot to take in and a lot of work to do, but I assure you they will come as second nature to you over time.

I’ll summarise each of the 7 Holistic Health Principles in a few words:

  1. Get quality sleep
  2. Remove toxins from your space
  3. Breathe correctly
  4. Keep hydrated
  5. Stay active throughout the day
  6. Eat real food
  7. Connect with, relate to, and love all things, especially your self

When your body receives all of the above it will heal naturally without the need for medication, drugs, and other pharmaceutical interventions.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Think about who are you, what type of person are you without your health?

This quote from Herophilus an ancient Greek doctor says it all for me.

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”

So let these 7 principles guide you toward health, wisdom, art, strength, wealth, and intelligence.

There is one book that incorporates all of these principles pretty nicely and that book is by Holistic Health Practitioner Paul Chek and it’s called How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy! I highly recommend it. If you were to follow this book and these 7 principles for 12 months, one year, it will set you up for happiness and health for the rest of your life.

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WGP 023: The Calorie Myth and Hormonal Harmony – The Truth to Reducing Body Fat

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Calories and Hormones:

  • I’ll explain what calories are and how counting calories won’t do much for your health
  • I’ll talk about hormones and how they affect your health a lot more than calories
  • Finally I’ll give a few tips on how to balance your hormones naturally to turn you into a fat-burning machine


Calories are all people talk about when it comes to dieting and changing body composition. Funny thing is most people have no clue what a calorie actually is.

Well a calorie is a unit of heat energy where 1 calorie equals the amount of energy needed to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree Centigrade.

The way calories are measured is to burn the dry weight of the object you want to find the calorie value of and then measure how much heat is given off. So if you wanted to find out the number of calories in a banana, for example, you would first dehydrate it and then burn it and by measuring the amount of heat it gives off you will be able to work out the amount of calories it contained.

Now this is all fine and dandy when measuring calories using a calorimeter in a stale, stable, stagnant setting like a scientific laboratory, but when you’re talking about measuring the burning of foods in the human body or the metabolic-effect of how food calories are utilised by human physiology then Houston… we have a problem.

You see if you were to ask an aboriginal tribe in a South American jungle or African bushland or Australian outback who are excellent specimens of optimal human health whether they weighed, measured, and counted the amount of calories or energy or foods they ate on a regular basis, they would just look at you sideways, show off their bright-white teeth with a wide grin, and then they’d start laughing their bottoms off. They have a lot more important things to be concerned with than calories like maintaining shelters, hunting and gathering food, and getting back to telling stories and playing around all day. Sounds like the life right?

Your ancestors as far back as 100 years ago were not concerned with counting calories and obesity wasn’t even an issue back then. Today, however, it seems like the more calories we count as a society the more obese we seem to be getting. What’s up with that?

The reason is human beings are not calorimeters. You are not a simple input and output device. Your body is one of the most complex biological machines in the universe. Your body is an interconnected system of trillions of inputs and outputs.

For someone to say that they know exactly what happens to the hundred calories they eat from food or say that they know exactly how much calories they burned during exercise is human hubris at it again, meaning we think we know better than Mother Nature. It is impossible to know the exact amount of fuel energy you get from food and how much energy you burn from movement.

Another thing is that not all calories are created equal. 2000 calories of sugar water, for example, if you were to compare this to 2000 calories of coloured vegetables, yes they are the same amount of energy, exactly the same amount of energy, but when your body begins to digest, absorb, assimilate and metabolise and make use of the macro and micronutrients you will see a totally different effect in how your body looks, in how you think and feel, and how you act in life. A human body made up of sugar water compared to one made up of vegetables would be the same as comparing a house made up of straw and one made up of brick and mortar. One is weak and full of holes (tumours) whereas the other is strong and solid (healthy).

Ask yourself are the calories that you’re currently consuming on a regular basis turning you into a person of straw or into a solid piece of human awesomeness?

There are a number of ways the foods you eat and the movements you perform affect your biology way beyond calories and energy expenditure. You need to stop focusing on calories when it comes to happiness and health because there’s more to your wellbeing than just energy in and energy out.

The foods you eat and the movements you perform will absolutely determine the physical structure and functionality of your organs, they will determine your mood, and food and movement have a huge impact on your hormones.

Speaking of hormones these are molecules that your body uses to communicate between the many different organs, glands, and tissues. Hormones affect your body’s metabolism, immune function, growth and repair, your mood, your stress levels, and your body composition.

The major hormones you need to know about are:

  • Insulin
  • Cortisol
  • Melatonin
  • Leptin
  • Ghrelin
  • Oestrogen and testosterone and
  • Thyroid hormones

Insulin is an anabolic or growth hormone
released by your pancreas and helps transport nutrients from your bloodstream into your cells. Excessive amounts of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream leads to the transformation of most of this glucose into fatty acids and high levels of nutrients in your blood causes your pancreas to release large amounts of insulin. Once insulin gets into your bloodstream it then does its job of storing all those nutrients into your cells as well as putting any leftover fatty acids into your fat cells, so insulin plays a major role in fat accumulation.

Cortisol known as the stress hormone is catabolic meaning it breaks things down and it is released by your adrenal glands in response to physical or perceived stress, low blood sugar levels, or low leptin levels. When your blood sugar levels get too low this will cause a cortisol spike. This sudden increase in cortisol then raises your blood sugar levels and when blood glucose gets too high insulin will need to be released to bring it back to a healthy low level and if your blood glucose drops too far then cortisol comes out to play again and this sugar and hormonal rollercoaster continues on and on making for a fatter and heavier you.

Melatonin is your antioxidant, anti-tumour, circadian clock time for bed hormone. Melatonin needs to be low in the morning and high in the evening for the best sleep and recovery as well as for the most growth hormone release during sleep, which helps you burn fat as you dream. This is the opposite rhythm to cortisol. Cortisol needs to be high in the morning and low in the evening. So if you don’t get enough daylight exposure during the day, you’re exposed to too much blue and bright lights after sundown, and if your cortisol rhythm is not normal, this will cause your melatonin levels to be low making it difficult for you to fall asleep and to get a full nights rest.

Leptin is a satiety hormone meaning it signals to your brain when you have enough energy in your body and is released by your fat cells. The more fat you have the more leptin your fat cells release signalling to your brain that you have plenty of energy on board and you don’t need to eat. The less fat you have the less leptin gets released signalling to your brain that you don’t have enough energy on board and that it’s time to eat. The problem for obese individuals is something called leptin resistance where you have so many fat cells releasing a lot of leptin that your brain just can’t take the excessive amounts of communication anymore and just stops listening. So even though your fat cells are signalling non-stop to your brain that your body has more than enough energy on board and that you don’t need to eat, your brain ignores these signals and still thinks you’re low on leptin and therefore low on energy and fat stores. Chronically low leptin levels as perceived by your brain will cause an increased release of the stress hormone cortisol and high cortisol levels keep your leptin levels low.

Ghrelin is a hunger hormone and works opposite to leptin. Low levels of leptin usually mean you are low on energy reserves and this causes a release of ghrelin which then increases your appetite. Once your appetite is satisfied and enough leptin hormone reaches your brain telling it you have enough energy on board then ghrelin hormone reduces which also lowers your appetite. Now if you have high levels of cortisol in your body this will cause leptin levels to be low meaning ghrelin will increase giving you an appetite. So the more stress you have the hungrier you get.

Oestrogen and testosterone are sex hormones used for growth and for reproduction. Women have slightly higher levels of oestrogen hormones compared to men and men have a lot more testosterone than women. Chronically high levels of insulin in your bloodstream (due to a high sugar diet for example) leads to an increase of testosterone in women and a decrease of testosterone in men as well as an increase of oestrogen in men. When cortisol is low testosterone and insulin are high, but when cortisol is high testosterone and insulin are low making cortisol a muscle wasting hormone. Chronically high levels of cortisol interferes with the normal production of your sex hormones, so too much stress overtime leads to low libido or sex drive, infertility, and the end of sexy times in the bedroom.

Last group of major hormones you really need to know about are your thyroid hormones. Your thyroid hormones are responsible for your body’s overall metabolism, meaning your cells ability to process energy. The two main thyroid hormones are T4 and T3. T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone and this is produced by your thyroid gland. The conversion of T4 to the active form T3 takes place primarily in your liver and in your gut. If your thyroid, liver, or gut are unhealthy and unable to do the work that they should then the production of T4 and T3 hormones will be dramatically impacted. Your body will either produce too much thyroid hormones leading to hyperthyroidism or having a very fast metabolic rate where you feel nervous or anxious a lot of the time, have irregular heartbeats, trouble sleeping, dry skin, excessive weight reduction, and excessive bowel movements. Or your body won’t produce enough thyroid hormones leading to hypothyroidism or having a very slow rate of metabolism where you feel depressed and irritable, experience hair loss and memory loss, feel tired and weak a lot of the time, find it difficult to reduce weight or have a dramatic increase in weight, have muscle cramps, feel cold a lot, have brittle nails, and constipation. High levels of perceived stress interferes with the production of T4 and high levels of the stress hormone cortisol interferes with the conversion of T4 to T3 causing abnormal metabolic function throughout your entire body.

Okay so that was a lot of information to take in about your major hormones. Now I’m not sure if you noticed, but there was one constant between them all. There was one hormone that popped up time and again and it has an impact on all the other hormones. Do you know the hormone I’m talking about? Yes, the stress hormone cortisol. That’s the hormone I’m talking about.

High cortisol leads to the increase of glucose in your bloodstream eventually causing a spike in insulin and this high insulin release causes fat storage and an increase in fat cell number and fat cell size.

High cortisol at night prevents melatonin from rising leading to trouble with sleep, less growth hormone release, less fat burning, a weakened immune system, and an increased risk of cancer.

High cortisol levels equal low leptin and high ghrelin levels meaning even if you’re obese or if you’ve eaten a big enough meal that normally would have satisfied you in the past, you will still have an appetite and feel hungry and will want to keep eating and you may never feel satiated.

High production of cortisol equals low production of your growth and sex hormones. More cortisol means less growth and more stress means less sex.

Finally high stress and rich cortisol production equals poor thyroid hormone production causing an abnormal rate of metabolism, either too high or too low. The majority of thyroid issues deal with a very slow rate of metabolism leading to difficulty reducing fat cell number and fat cell size.

So the big takeaway from all this hormone talk is that if you can control your cortisol you can control the rest of your hormones and you can determine the overall health of your body.

Not only that, but by taking control of your cortisol levels and the levels of all your other major hormones you can determine the amount of muscle and fat that your body synthesises and burns… without the need for counting calories.

Imagine that your hormones are an orchestra and that when they play in perfect harmony you get to hear wonderful music a beautiful symphony being played. However, when you have disharmony in the orchestra, when there’s a group or single instrument out of tune, out of sync, out of beat and rhythm then you’re left listening to something that would probably even make the walking dead turn and run in the other direction.

Homeostasis is a term that means a system is in balance and functioning as it should. When your many hormones are in harmony and playing sweet beautiful music together then you can consider your body to be in a homeostatic state. When your body is in homeostasis, where you’ve achieved hormonal harmony, then your body’s ability to burn fat and maintain or build health and muscle will be easy peasy lemon squeezy.

However, if your hormones are not in harmony with each other well then your ability to reduce fat and maintain or build health and muscle go right out the window. It doesn’t matter how many calories you count or restrict and no matter how hard you push yourself in the gym because if your cortisol and other hormone levels are not in healthy ranges then your body has bigger issues to deal with than worrying about energy in and energy out.

What I’m ultimately saying is that when your hormones are in balance with each other you’re a lean, mean, and very keen playful, happy, and healthy human being. But when your hormones are ‘out of whack’ (yes that’s a scientific term where I’m from) when your hormones are out of balance then oops-a-daisy you become flabby, fat, and lazy.

So what causes hormone imbalances?

High levels of stress and inflammation and stress and inflammation are caused by unhealthy relationships, disconnection from Mother Nature, exposure to toxic compounds, improper sleep, too much not enough exercise, eating inflammatory foods, not drinking enough quality water, and incorrect breathing patterns.

To get your hormones in a happy and healthy harmonious state you need to reduce your stress levels and lower the amount of inflammation in your body and you can do this by living a holistic healthy lifestyle. If you listen to episodes 2-15 of the Whole Guidance Podcast I go into detail about how to do this, but I will share a few quick and easy tips here on how to keep cortisol your stress hormone in check which will reduce the amount of stress and inflammation in your body.

First tip is to remove sugars and grains from your diet. Pasteurised dairy too if you’re really serious about keeping your cortisol levels balanced. Sugars and grains and highly treated dairy products are pro-inflammatory causing a lot of fire in your belly and in your body and also cause a lot of insulin to be secreted by your pancreas. By removing these foods from your diet for 21 days you can then try reintroducing them again to see how you feel and I bet you’ll notice a difference. With less insulin in your bloodstream your body’s metabolism will gradually shift from burning sugar and storing fat to not needing sugar and burning fat. Replace the sugars, grains, and dairy with more animal and fruit fats and oils.

Second tip is to get quality sleep. Now I said quality, not quantity and this means consistently going to bed before 11p and getting up around 6 or 7a for at least 21 days. This will reset your circadian clock and help restore your melatonin to its correct levels, low in the morning and high in the evening.

Third tip is to breathe deep diaphragmatic belly breaths through your nose. This helps keep your body in a rest, digest, calm, and connect state and so reduces your cortisol and increases your fat burning potential as well as your growth and sex hormone levels. Listen to episode 4 on how to practise proper breathing technique.

Fourth tip is to sprint more and cardio less. What I mean is that instead of doing 30 minute, 60 minute, or 2 hour long duration cardio sessions, why not try 4 minutes of high intensity interval training. H I I T or HIIT is where you go all out at 80-100% effort for 30 seconds and then rest for 90 seconds and repeat this seven more times. Timing isn’t set in concrete so you can go hard for 60 seconds and rest for 60-240 seconds if you wanted to. There’s no set rules. Find what works for you. You can do HIIT on a spin bike, sprinting up hills, or by performing exercises like burpees. Sprint training burns fewer calories during the exercise than long duration cardio does, but it produces a healthier hormonal profile after the exercise is completed meaning cortisol levels don’t stay elevated for long periods after a sprint session and your metabolism remains higher for longer periods after HIIT as well.

Fifth tip is to support your liver and gut health to ensure optimal conversion of your inactive T4 hormone into the more active T3 hormone making you a metabolism beast. Easiest way to support your liver is to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals in your environment. You can do this by swapping out commercial home and personal care products for organic plant-based ones. Easiest way to support your digestive system is to eat real food. Real food is from Mother Nature. Anything from Father Industry I consider fake pretend food-like products and these will only create inflammation in your gut.

As Michael Pollan an author who writes about real food says:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Sixth tip is to manage your self when it comes to stress. I did a whole podcast on how stress affects your health and how to identify and reframe your perspective on the stressors in your life so listen to that for more details. Also meditation and practising mindfulness and awareness is another way to move away from past regrets and future failures and to just be in the present moment. The more you can be ‘in the now man’ then the less you will be stressing about stuff in your head.

My seventh and final tip for reducing stress and inflammation and on how to best balance cortisol and all your other hormones is to get some smart sun exposure. Vitamin D is a powerful hormone that regulates over 1000 genes in your body and today about 70% of people living in western society are deficient in vitamin D and do not have enough of this health building hormone. You need to be exposing your skin to the sun on a regular basis to get the right amount of vitamin D, but of course you don’t want to get too much sun as too much of a good thing will burn you on the outside and cause fire and inflammation on the inside. I’ll talk more about smart sun exposure and vitamin D in the next podcast.

I’ll leave you with this final thought.

Throughout human history calories were never counted or measured in order to be healthy. Building muscle, reducing fat, achieving a happy mindset, all of these were and still are easily accessible to anyone living with balanced hormones without the need for calorie counting.

When you focus on the quantity of calories this will cause an imbalance in the quantity and quality of your hormones. So at the end of the day if you want quality hormones you must focus on quality calories.

To learn more about how calories really don’t matter read The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor. This book lays out the science on how hormones beat out calories time and again for achieving the best health ever.

“Health is not a math equation.”

When your body is healthy, whole, and complete you’ll never have to think about calories ever again because health has always and will always be instinctively and innately and naturally easy.

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