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 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


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST HEALING FOODS FOR YOUR 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 037: Are Your Health Issues Caused by Food Sensitivities?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Food Sensitivities:

  • I’ll explain the difference between food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities
  • I’ll talk about the many many health issues associated with food sensitivities
  • Finally, I’ll share 5 ways you can identify foods your body is most sensitive to


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Most people have heard about food allergies, like a peanut allergy and food intolerances, like lactose intolerance. But not many people know about food sensitivities.

Let me explain the difference between the three of these.

Now a food allergy is a dramatic and immediate reaction by your body’s immune system to a particular food that you’ve eaten. Allergic reactions include immediate swelling and itchiness and also anaphylactic shock which can be fatal. The top eight allergenic foods are:

  1. Peanuts
  2. Tree nuts
  3. Wheat
  4. Shellfish
  5. Soy
  6. Milk
  7. Eggs and
  8. Fish

 

Food intolerance on the other hand is a more subtle, minor delayed reaction. We’re talking a few minutes to a few hours here before you experience symptoms. Food intolerances do not involve your immune system and are actually caused by your body not having the right enzymes or not having enough enzyme activity to breakdown the compounds that are in real food or in the chemicals added to fake pretend food-like products. Common food substances that people are intolerant to and do not have the enzymes to fully breakdown include:

  • Gluten in grains
  • Lactose in dairy
  • Biogenic amines like histamine, tyramine, and arginine
  • Preservatives and
  • Additives

 
Alright food sensitivities. Now food sensitivities are similar to intolerances in that they provoke a small delayed reaction in your body. When I say delayed I mean delayed. Reaction times to a food your body is sensitive to can vary from hours to weeks.  Food sensitivities are similar to allergies in that your immune system is the cause for the reaction, but a different branch of your immune system, which is why instead of an immediate allergic reaction you get a delayed smaller reaction. So a food sensitivity is your body’s immune system having a reaction to the food you eat or the compounds added to or found on the food you eat and these immune reactions are small and can take a while to show up as a visible and noticeable symptom.

Common foods and substances found in food that people are most sensitive to include what I mentioned earlier for allergies and intolerances, but also the following:

  • Sugar and sugar alcohols
  • Industrial seed oils more commonly known as vegetable oils
  • Corn
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Grains whether they contain gluten or not
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cacao
  • Nightshade vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Agricultural chemical sprays
  • Genetically modified organisms and
  • Mould toxins like aflatoxin and ochratoxin most commonly found in peanuts and instant coffee

 
As you can see when you add up all three food categories together that makes quite the list of food and food compounds that can cause food sensitivities. Keep in mind that these foods and compounds are the most common sensitivities found in people who are experiencing health issues, but you can actually be sensitive to any food. No food is off-limits when it comes to causing negative reactions in your body. Whether it’s seaweed, beef, pork, broccoli, or even beautifully roasted sweet potatoes, food sensitivities can occur with any food.

Let me list (yes another list) the many health issues and symptoms that a food sensitivity can cause:

  • Brain fog
  • Inability to focus
  • Food cravings
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Need to clear your throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Water retention
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Skin issues like rash, itchiness, and acne
  • Many autoimmune diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions

 
The list just goes on to be honest.

Isn’t it fascinating how all of these health issues and symptoms could be caused just by you eating a single food that your body doesn’t agree with?

Well I think it’s fascinating anyway, because for me I found that the chronic health issues that I had growing up including depression, skin issues, digestive upset, headaches, poor memory, mood swings, a majority of these were caused solely by sensitivities my body had to the foods that I was eating. While the rest of my health problems were a mix of food sensitivities and unhealthy lifestyle factors like the use of toxic personal care products and being in toxic relationships and I figured this out by what I’m about to share with you now.

Here are 5 ways you can identify the foods that your body’s immune system is reacting to.

First method of investigation is by lab testing. In the functional medical health space there are many lab tests you can run, based on blood samples that you give, that will give you a list of foods that your body’s immune system is having a severe, moderate, low or no reaction to. Examples of labs you can use for food sensitivity testing include:

  • Cyrex Laboratories Array 3, Array 4, and Array 10
  • Oxford Biomedical Technologies MRT or Mediator Release blood test
  • Great Plains Laboratory IgG Food Test + Candida and the
  • Antigen Leukocyte Antibody Test or ALCAT food test


There are pros and cons to lab testing food sensitivities. The con is they are not 100% accurate
, meaning you could be eliminating a food from your diet for no reason at all and you could still be eating a food that your body is having a reaction to based on these tests. The pro is these labs provide a stepping stone in the right direction to eliminating foods that your body is reacting to and it can give certain stubborn individuals who are resistant to change the black and white evidence that they need to take some action even if that evidence isn’t 100% correct. So while these lab tests will not give you all the answers you were hoping for they can give you the motivation you need to change.

Second method to find your food sensitivities is to use your heart rate. When your body has a reaction to something you eat your heart rate will increase. Fifteen minutes before you eat a particular food measure your heart rate for 60 seconds and use this as your baseline. Fifteen minutes after eating measure your heart rate again. If you see a rise of 5 beats or more your body is reacting to that food and that food should be eliminated.

The third method is pretty simple, but you are not going to like what it means. It involves keeping a food log for 7-14 days where you write down everything you eat and also write down any food cravings you have and give into. After a week or two go back over your logs. Look for the most common foods you eat at every meal or every day. For example if you had an entry that read cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner then that day was full of wheat, grain and glutenous foods. If a week reads bacon and eggs for breakfast for 7 days then that week was full of egg, pork, and preservative foods. Also note down your cravings and which cravings you could not resist.

Why is all this important?

Well because:

“the foods you eat the most and the foods you crave and give into the most are almost always the foods your body is sensitive to the most.”

So if you just cannot do without your bread, your cheese or ice cream, your morning cup of coffee, or chocolate then your body’s immune system is most likely reacting to the wheat or gluten in bread, to the casein or lactose in dairy, to the caffeine or mould toxins in coffee, and to the arginine or phenethylamine in cacao. I told you you wouldn’t like this method. It may be simple to follow, but can be extremely difficult to execute on because it means removing your most favourite foods.

Muscle testing is another thing you can try to find out which foods your body doesn’t agree with. I talked about this already in podcast 28 – One Diet To Rule Them All. Muscle testing is also known as applied kinesiology and is a form of energy testing where you’re testing the alignment or harmony between your body’s energy signature and that of the food you’re testing. If you find that your muscles become weaker when holding a particular food then your body is sensitive to that food and that food must be eliminated.

The fifth, final, and by far the gold standard for working out your food sensitivities is an elimination diet. Also known as an elimination provocation or elimination challenge diet. This method may be the best most accurate way to find your food sensitivities, but it’s also the most hardest to stick to. It’s the most difficult to implement and follow through on purely because it takes time, patience, and a very acute awareness of your body language.

With an elimination diet you start in the elimination phase where you remove the most highly allergenic, intolerant and sensitive foods from your diet for a period ranging from one month to 12 months depending on how sick you really are. After the elimination phase comes the provocation or challenge phase where one by one you introduce a new food into your diet over a period of 3-4 days and log any reactions your body has after eating that food. If you do notice a reaction you leave that food out of your diet for another 3 months before reintroducing it again. If no reaction you can keep that food in your diet and move onto the next new food to test.

Yes this means it’ll take some time and a lot of patience using an elimination diet to find your food sensitivities, but think of the lessons you will learn about how your body works and think of how much better you will feel and even look.

As an African proverb says:

“Wisdom does not come overnight.”

Your health issues may have taken years before fully developing so it’s going to take at least months before those health issues will minimise and hopefully disappear entirely.

When undergoing an elimination diet it helps to work with a health practitioner for support and guidance and if you need me you know where to find me. But I do have a couple of elimination diets that have their own support networks that I highly recommend.

One is the Whole30 program which uses a paleo template as a guide to help you kick health issues as well as bad food habits by eating real food for 30 days and then introducing suspect foods afterwards. Another is The 21 Day Sugar Detox with the goal of breaking free of sugar and carb cravings. Both of these programs have proven track records and have helped thousands of people get over chronic health conditions with some receiving the added side-effect of reducing their waistline.

I also recommend reading The Elimination Diet by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segersten for more detailed information on how to heal using an elimination diet.

So are your health issues caused by food sensitivities? You won’t know the answer to this until you begin to eliminate foods from your diet for a certain amount of time and then seeing how you feel. By using 1 or all 5 of these food sensitivity testing methods you will find the answer you’re looking for and I suggest you get ready to feel awesome!

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WGP 035: The Dark Side to Plant Nutrition – Anti-nutrients

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Food Anti-Nutrients:

  • I’ll explain what anti-nutrients are
  • I’ll talk about how anti-nutrients affect your body and how they affect the absorption of other nutrients
  • I’ll list foods that are thought to be extremely nutritious, but really are extremely anti-nutritious
  • Finally, I’ll share how to best prepare foods to lower their anti-nutrient content


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Everyone knows what a nutrient is – a substance that nourishes the mind, body, and soul. But have you heard of anti-nutrients? Anti-nutrients are plant compounds that prevent you, the plant predator, from stealing or absorbing nutrients from the plant.

Believe it or not plants and other living creatures were not put on this planet for the sole purpose of feeding the human race. Plants are sentient life forms, like you and me. They have their own life purpose with the dream of the continuation of their own species and since they don’t have legs to run away or claws to fight off predators they use chemicals to protect themselves. By using biological phytochemical warfare in the form of these anti-nutrients plants increase the chances of their own survival and the survival of their offspring. While at the same time causing a lot of health issues for their predators. So anti-nutrients are a plants innate defence mechanism. These anti-nutrients can negatively affect your health.

Examples of anti-nutrients used by plants include:

  • Lectins
  • Saponins
  • Gluten
  • Phytic acid or phytates and
  • Enzyme inhibitors


Lectins have been shown to bind to insulin receptors on the walls of your cells.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for putting nutrients into your cells and if you’ve had a carb rich meal high in lectins then all that sugar that’s now flowing in your bloodstream cannot be absorbed into your cells because lectin is blocking insulin from attaching to the cell. When sugar is blocked from getting into your cells it’s left to roam in your bloodstream and when it lingers there for far too long this causes damage and inflammation to your cells. Think of your arteries, think of your brain neurons, think of any part of your body where sugar attaches itself to the cells, it becomes glycated, glued to the cell and it causes malfunction and damage. We’ve all heard of diabetes and this is what happens when sugar is left to linger in your bloodstream.

Gluten, saponins and lectins can also cause irritation to your gut, to your intestines. Remember your gut is where most of your nutrient absorption takes place, but if your gut is stressed, inflamed, or compromised then you don’t absorb as much nutrition as you should. Your gut wall is like a net, like a mosquito net where it keeps the pesky bugs out, while letting the proper nutrients in. The problem is lectins, saponins and gluten they’re like mosquitos with little katana blades that cut through the net creating tiny little holes that allow them and other molecules such as undigested food particles and disease causing microorganisms, pathogens, to get into your body.

When you get undigested and unprocessed food particles, pathogens, and other foreign materials in your bloodstream your body mounts an immune response and this leads to inflammation and stress. Now if this stress is chronic and goes on for a long time, if your body has to fight off these pathogens and foreign material that shouldn’t be there day after day because your gut has become leaky this is how you get really sick and get diagnosed with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s, psoriasis, diabetes, and coeliac disease, just to name a few.

When it comes to phytic acid this will bind to minerals meaning that if a food is high in say zinc like pumpkin seeds, but that food is also high in phytic acid then when you eat pumpkin seeds for example you only absorb a small amount of zinc or a small amount of that mineral. This is due to most of the mineral being bound to the phytic acid creating a phytate molecule. So it doesn’t matter the nutrient content of a food if it has high phytic acid content, because that high phytic acid will reduce the amount of minerals you actually get to absorb.

Enzyme inhibitors are substances that stop digestive enzymes from doing their job of breaking down the food you eat. In the case of a trypsin inhibitor it is a protease inhibitor meaning it prevents the breakdown of protein. So if you were to eat a nice chicken salad with green leafy vegetables and pumpkin seeds you may be thinking you’re getting a lot of protein from the chicken and vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. But the trypsin inhibitors and phytates that come from the plant foods will actually bind up a lot of those minerals and they will prevent you from fully digesting and breaking down that protein. Plus the saponins, lectins, and gluten, if it had croutons in the salad, will be tearing up your gut making even less nutrition available for absorption while allowing bad stuff to get directly into your bloodstream. You are getting less nutrition than you think because of these anti-nutrients.

But can you blame plants for these anti-nutrients? If I was a plant I’d make sure predators suffered the consequences too.

I’ll list the main types of foods that are full of nutrients so are thought to be very nutritious and good for you, but actually are also jammed packed and full of anti-nutrients and so turn out to be not that healthy at all. This includes:

  • Grains (both gluten-free like rice and corn and gluten containing grains)
  • Legumes (beans including soy and peanuts)
  • Nuts and
  • Seeds

 
What do all of these have in common, these 4 food groups? Technically these are all seeds of plants. They are the next generation and they will not go down without a fight hence the high anti-nutrient content of these foods. Yes you can still find anti-nutrients in whole vegetables and fruits, but seeds have the highest amounts.

It is true that seeds are full of nutrients and they need to be because within this one seed is an entire plant, but these nutrients are not highly available or absorbable, another way to say it is bioavailable due to the high anti-nutrient content. Remember theses seeds need a way to protect themselves. So even though for 100 g of pumpkin seeds you will see 7.5 mg of zinc in the nutrition profile, you may only get 50% or even less of that zinc because it’s bound to the phytic acid in the pumpkin seed. Same with whole grains and legumes which are full of vitamins and minerals. But they’re also full of gluten, saponins, and lectins and a lot of sugar and starch and excessive intake of all of these will cause gut irritation leading to low vitamin and mineral uptake.

So these nutritious seeds turn out to be more unhealthy than healthy and not just because you absorb less, but also because they cause gut inflammation and stress throughout your entire body.

So how do you make the nutrients in these seeds more bioavailable and also reduce the anti-nutrients and the stress and the inflammation they cause? By using ancestral traditional food preparation methods, that’s how. Yes you have to go back in time in order to improve your future.

Our human ancestors through trial and error figured out that by soaking and sprouting and fermenting grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds they could reduce the anti-nutrient content while at the same time increase the bioavailability of other nutrients. Not only that, but soaking and sprouting and fermenting seeds reduces gut stress by making them a lot more digestible and easier on your stomach.

General soaking and fermenting guidelines are to use filtered water with some natural salt or whey depending on what you’re soaking and letting grains and legumes soak or ferment for 12 to 24 hours and nuts and seeds to soak from 4-144 hours. After soaking you can then dehydrate, lightly roast dry, or cook the seeds. Seeds left to soak for a long time will eventually begin to sprout releasing all that stored up nutrition to feed the growing embryo. Each seed (grains, legumes, nuts) has a different preparation method, so I’m not going to explain every single method in this podcast, but I will put a bunch of links to more information on how to soak and sprout seeds and ferment seeds in the blog post for this episode.

A very awesome book about real food nutrition and traditional cooking methods is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Here’s a passage from that book:

“Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and, in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important predigestion process in our own kitchen.”

So you can buy sprouted and fermented breads in the store by looking for sprouted or sourdough breads. Nuts and seeds that have been soaked or sprouted are also called activated nuts and seeds, because this process activates the germination process for growth so look for soaked, sprouted, or activated nuts and seeds on labels. Of course the best grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are raw seeds that you’ve activated at home yourself.

Yes anti-nutrients have their bad side, but they do have a few benefits as well. So the goal isn’t to eat an anti-nutrient ever. The goal is to eat more nutrients compared to anti-nutrients and you do this by properly preparing seeds before you eat them.

Here’s to seed activation.

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WGP 016: Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity – to Be or Not to Be Gluten-Free

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity or NCGS and living Free of Gluten:

  • I’ll explain what gluten is and how it can negatively impact your health
  • I’ll talk about the differences between coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity
  • I’ll also talk about the single biggest mistake people make when shifting to a gluten-free diet
  • Finally I’ll share some simple and effective tips on how to make gluten-free a part of your lifestyle


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

So what exactly is gluten?

Gluten is a complex protein found in some grains. This includes all wheat varieties such as:

  • Spelt
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Durum and
  • Khorasan aka Kamut

 
And also includes the grains barley and rye.

Oats don’t have the same gluten proteins, but the way that most of the oats are processed and stored today means that they do contain high amounts of gluten simply by being exposed to the same facilities and transport vehicles that are used for gluten-containing grains. So there’s a lot of cross-contamination that occurs with oats.

Gluten is made up of two different proteins gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin gives gluten its gluey stickiness and glutenin gives gluten its flexibility and stretchiness. This is why gluten-containing grains are perfect for baking and for manufacturing pretend fake food-like products. This viscosity and elasticity provides you the consumer with a delectable and delightful eating experience.

The problem with gluten today though is that it isn’t the same gluten our agricultural ancestors ate. The wheat you’re eating today is nowhere near the same wheat that is associated with biblical times commonly referred to as the staff of life.

In the past 60 years man has taken it upon himself to modify wheat into a more versatile and robust crop. Why would we do this? World hunger. There was a time in the mid 20th century where the main focus of society was on starving populations.

How times have changed eh. Today the main focus is on the war on terror or as I call it the submission to fear, but anyhoo… back to gluten.

In order to feed the world scientists and farmers hybridised different wheat varieties resulting in a wheat crop that was more resistant to temperature changes and drought and that would also grow more grains in less time. Specific wheat varieties were also chosen for their increased gluten content making for a better cooking ingredient.

And thus today we have modern wheat which is the third highest produced crop in the world behind corn and rice.

This wheat not only has higher amounts of proteins including gluten, but also has higher amounts of starch and sugar compared to ancient grains. Sure modern wheat has awesome baking characteristics and tastes nice and sweet, but unfortunately more gluten and more sugar make for more fat, more inflammation, more obesity, more diabetes, more heart disease, more cancer… and you get the idea.

So how does gluten contribute to making you fat, sick, and nearly dead? In more ways than one unfortunately.

First gluten damages your gut. You have this protective barrier lining your gut like a giant fortress wall and along the wall every now and then there are little gateways that open and close allowing certain nutrients in. Gluten actually causes these gateways to open allowing anything and everything to slip through into your body. This is known as intestinal hyperpermeability or leaky gut syndrome. When your gut becomes leaky you can get a whole cascade of health problems manifest as a result because now your immune system needs to go on high alert and has to battle all these foreign materials that should not be in your bloodstream. This heightened immune response creates stress and inflammation and chronic stress and chronic inflammation together are the main causes for all chronic degenerative diseases today.

Not only that, but any undigested food particles that leak through into your bloodstream will be targeted by your immune system and then out of nowhere you become sensitive to certain foods, foods that you’ve eaten your whole entire life and eat on a regular basis you will no longer be able to handle. So if a big piece of beef or broccoli or egg gets through a leaky gut the immune system will tag it for elimination and new immune cells are created specifically to get rid of that food molecule.

So let’s say a piece of undigested chicken got through your leaky gut wall. Your immune system sees it in the body and creates an antibody for it. An antibody is like an assassin that shoots to kill only specific targets, and you have many different antibodies each created for different kinds of threats. For example if you’ve ever had measles or chickenpox or had a vaccination for a specific disease your immune system would have created specific antibodies for them. So if you were to ever get measles or chickenpox those antibodies can quickly get to work and kill off the disease.

Coming back to the undigested chicken particles now that your immune system has seen it and created specific antibodies for it, anytime you eat chicken the immune cells, the chicken antibodies, the chicken assassin that has just been hanging around waiting for an excuse to fire off its weapon starts firing away causing inflammation. Your genetic weak link will determine where most of that inflammation and damage will occur so it could be in your skin, your brain, your heart, your muscles, your bones, your joints or even your gut it all depends.

So gluten activates the genes for intestinal hyperpermeability aka leaky gut and a leaky gut causes immune activation, inflammation, and food sensitivities all of which open the door for the development of autoimmune diseases.

Humans cannot fully digest gluten and because of this gluten alone can excite your immune system creating inflammation. Protein molecules like gluten are made up of polypeptides or long chains of amino acids. So as an analogy think of a protein molecule as a pearl necklace and an amino acid as an individual pearl. Through the process of digestion in your mouth, your stomach, and small intestines these pearl necklaces are broken down into single pearls allowing them to be absorbed and assimilated through your protective gut wall.

However, the human digestive system cannot digest and break down gluten into individual pearls. Gluten has a very unique and strange sequence of pearls, of amino acids that your gut enzymes do not recognise. So while your body will break up the long gluten necklace into smaller peptides or into smaller groups of pearls it will never be able to turn gluten into easily digestible single pearls. So just as I said before when you have a leaky gut and these larger chunks of gluten get into your bloodstream they will create havoc and mayhem and inflammation as your immune system becomes activated and goes about its business of wiping them out.

What makes matters worse is that the order of the pearls in the gluten necklaces, the sequence of amino acids that make up these undigested gluten molecules they look very similar to the amino acid sequence of organs and tissues in your body. This is known as molecular mimicry where foreign protein molecules are similar in structure to human tissue. So now your immune system which has created antibodies to these invading gluten proteins gets confused and instead of just taking out the gluten your antibodies, your assassins they begin attacking your gut leading to coeliac or Crohn’s or inflammatory bowel disease preventing you from fully digesting and absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat. Your immune cells will attack your thyroid causing hypothyroidism slowing down your metabolism making you feel slow and tired. Your skin is your largest organ and this can get attacked as well causing a whole range of skin disorders and even your brain tissue gets damaged by your own immune system leading to ataxia, multiple sclerosis, autism, depression, headaches, and giving you a foggy mind. Talk about a case of mistaken identity.

When your immune system reacts to your own body this is called an autoimmune disease.

Gluten can also disrupt the microbiota in your gut causing a reduction in probiotics the good population of microorganisms and an increase in pathogens the bad population. This imbalance is known as dysbiosis. This is due to the toxic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used in the production of gluten-containing grains. These foreign compounds kill off the probiotics and allow the pathogens to thrive. The more bad guys you have in your gut the more immune system activation you will have and the more inflammation your body will experience and the more stress you will have in your life.

One final and fascinating part (well I think its fascinating) to how gluten negatively impacts your health is how it affects your brain.

When your body attempts to break down gluten new pearl necklaces are created, new proteins and one of these new protein molecules is called gluteomorphin. Gluteomorphins activate opioid receptors in your body meaning your brain thinks it’s getting a dose of opium. Usually your body’s own endorphin chemicals stimulate your opioid receptors making you feel good and also reduce your perception to pain. But gluten as well as dairy (in the case of dairy these opioid and morphine-like proteins are called casomorphins) so gluten and dairy stimulate your opioid receptors giving you a bit of a high making you feel super awesome. Any wonder now why people fight tooth and nail when trying to give up bread and milk? It is rare, but some people actually do suffer severe withdrawal symptoms when coming off gluten due to the opioid drug-like effect that these gluteomorphins have on the nervous system.

Okay so if gluten contributes to gut damage, inflammation, and affects your neurology why is it that not everyone is keeling over in abdominal pain or experiencing depression right after eating gluten?

Three reasons: first one is genetics and epigenetics. Maybe you don’t have the genes that make you more easily affected by gluten. Awesome, good for you. That would put you in the estimated 50% of people who have been clinically shown to not be affected by gluten even though it does cause a few gaps in your gut wall.

Now even if you do have the gluten causing inflammatory genes remember epigenetics which is about how your environment and lifestyle determine which genes get switched on and expressed and which genes remain in the off position. So you have the genes, but your environment is helping to keep those genes switched off.

Second reason that people aren’t experiencing obvious gluten reactions is symptomatology. Diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s can take many years to manifest and express as a symptom. You could be experiencing hidden chronic stress and hidden chronic inflammation due to the consumption of gluten right now without even knowing it. Of all the people diagnosed with full-blown coeliac disease only around 15% of them express gastrointestinal symptoms, gut symptoms. The rest of people with coeliac express extraintestinal symptoms meaning they have issues in their skin, brain, joints, muscles, bones, anywhere but the gut. So just because you don’t feel the fire due to gluten doesn’t mean it’s not affecting you.

Last reason deals with time and immune tolerance. Some people suffer from an illness right out of the womb at childbirth; whereas it can take 60 years before somebody else will experience that same disease. This is due to your immune system’s ability to respond when needed and when your immune system becomes unresponsive this is known as a loss of immune tolerance. For example it has been shown that some people can go their entire life eating gluten without problem, but once they reached their 70s they developed coeliac disease because their immune system lost the ability to respond to gluten. So while you may not have coeliac disease or sensitivity to gluten now if you have the genes and you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle it is only a matter of time before that small amount of gluten in that delicious caramel slice acts like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back leaving you with an upset gut, crappy skin, and bad moods.

Okay so what exactly is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where your immune system reacts to gluten attacking your own body causing inflammation and damage to your gut and other tissues in your body. As previously mentioned this can include gut symptoms in about 15% of coeliac patients such as:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Cramping and
  • Vomiting

 
Most other people with coeliac disease, however, express extraintestinal symptoms such as:

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis and other skin issues
  • Iron-deficient anaemia
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological and psychiatric disorders
  • Infertility issues

 
It’s estimated that about 3% of the population have coeliac disease. If you have a family member diagnosed with coeliac disease than your chance of having coeliac disease jumps to 20%.

Now why do the rest of us have to worry about gluten? Well the fact that no human can fully digest gluten and realising that nothing in life is neither black nor white, but different shades of grey should make you think that even though you may not be on the extreme end of coeliac perhaps you’re somewhere in the middle of that spectrum or if you’re lucky may be you’re on the other extreme end where you tolerate gluten pretty well.

This is where the condition known as Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity or NCGS comes in. NCGS like coeliac disease is where your immune system reacts to gluten causing inflammation and damage to your gut and other tissues in your body. But NCGS is not an autoimmune condition so your immune system isn’t attacking your body, but can become overactive leading to the development of an autoimmune disease later in life. People with NCGS experience the same symptoms as people with coeliac disease plus the following:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Obesity
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ataxia
  • Depression
  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Asperger’s
  • Autism
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Diabetes and
  • Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism

 
It’s estimated that about 10% of the population has NCGS, but due to the fact that testing for NCGS is still a new field of study with technology just catching up this number isn’t reliable. It has been shown in clinical practice where doctors work with patients that about 30-60% of sick people who change to a gluten-free lifestyle no longer show any signs and symptoms of disease. So it could be said that 1 in 2 people are sensitive to gluten.

Now there are many lab tests that you can pay for and take to find out if you have coeliac disease and if you’re experiencing any of the previously mentioned symptoms this would be a good idea. There are also other lab tests you can take to find out if you have NCGS, but as I said this form of testing is new and cannot be relied on 100%.

The best test for NCGS to find out if you’re sensitive to gluten is one you can do at home. It’s a gluten elimination and challenge test that involves the removal of gluten from your diet for 91 days, that’s 3 months followed by a gluten challenge. If you experience any symptoms after the challenge you’re most likely sensitive to gluten.

Okay so let’s say you do a lab test or the gluten elimination and challenge test and find out you’re gluten sensitive whether it be full-blown coeliac disease or NCGS well now what do you do?

Well whatever you do, DON’T DO THIS! The single biggest mistake that most people make when first switching to a gluten-free diet is to swap out all gluten-containing foods with processed and packaged gluten-free foods thinking they’re living healthier than before.

Processed and packaged foods whether they are gluten-free or not are still fake pretend food-like products lacking nutrition as well as having no energy and screwed up information. Swapping out gluten-containing pasta, cookies, rice crackers, for gluten-free versions does not eliminate the rancid oxidised and damaged industrial seed oils aka vegetables oils and does not eliminate processed and refined sugars and also does not eliminate the chemical additives and preservatives like colourings, thickeners, and MSG. Gluten-free junk food is still junk food. You eat junk, you feel like junk, and you produce junk in your life.

Now the other issue with processed and packaged foods labelled gluten-free is that labelling standards state that any manufactured food with a gluten content of up to 20 parts per million can be legally labelled as gluten-free. Why this number? Because gluten containing foods that are 20 ppm or less have been shown to not cause further gut damage when talking about coeliac disease, but what about damage to your skin, your bones, your heart, and your brain? If you end up eating a lot of these gluten-free foods even in the parts per million you’re still getting a few milligrams of gluten and Dr Aristo Vojdani a world renowned Immunologist says that only 1/1000th of a gram which is 1 milligram is enough to activate your immune system and produce anti-gliadin antibodies or gluten assassins.

So the bottom line is it only takes a little bit of gluten about the size of a kernel of wheat for it to activate your genes for leaky gut, for it to excite your immune system, and for it to produce antibodies that will start killing off both gluten proteins as well as your own body tissue and this goes on for a minimum of 3 months and up to around 6 months.

Dr Rodney Ford a paediatrician, gastroenterologist, and allergist with over 30 years experience uses the term Gluten-Zero which I like. Zero means just that. No gluten whatsoever. Just as you cannot be a little bit pregnant you cannot have just a little bit of gluten. You’re either on the spectrum of gluten sensitivity or not.

Right about now you’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘That sounds like too much work, that’s too hard, how exactly do I go gluten-free?’ and the first and best tip I can give you is to find a why. Find a big enough reason that’s going to surpass any challenges and obstacles that will most definitely come your way. What is your dream when it comes to living a gluten-free lifestyle? By having a dream you will make your health and being gluten-free the priority.

As part of the dream building process you can reframe how you see this new way of being.

Now it probably looks like a lot of work and a big hassle and stress that you just don’t have the time to deal with right now. Perhaps you can change your perspective to one of appreciation. How?

Appreciate the fact that you are like a canary in the coal mine and that you have heightened senses about what makes you feel bad. You are the lucky one. You have an obvious symptom teaching you to change so you won’t get a debilitating disease in the future.

Around 50% of the rest of population will continue to eat gluten without any obvious symptoms or are not mindful and aware enough of their own body language to know it’s talking to them daily and so these asymptomatic folk will eventually present with an illness and a disease later on in their life. The people that don’t know that they are sensitive to gluten will have an increased risk of death and will get colon cancer and Alzheimer’s and skin issues as well as gluten ataxia, congestive heart failure etc. Count yourself lucky that you do know that you’re sensitive to gluten and now that you know better you can do better!

Also please do not label yourself as the disease or condition. You are not a coeliac. You are not sensitive to gluten. Your body has a disease called coeliac disease. Your body has a condition called NCGS. You are not your body just as you are not your big toe, your hair, or your love handles. You have all these things, but are not these things.

As part of the dream building process communicate to all the people in your life who may be affected by and may also affect you in your gluten-free lifestyle. This can include family, friends, workmates, teammates, waiters and managers in restaurants anyone who will have a direct influence on your ability to live gluten-free. Communicate to them let them know what your dream is and what it is you need and how they can support you.

Go back and listen to the podcast I did on dream building to find out how you can better set yourself up for success when switching to a gluten-free way of living.

Next tip is to do the research and become an expert in gluten. Learn what foods contain gluten. Learn how gluten directly affects you and do not trust food labels. Research suspect food products by calling up the manufacturer. Get the word from the horses mouth.

Now is the time to clear out your house of all gluten-containing products. Could be food, personal care products, home care products anything that has gluten in it. You will replace all of these with gluten-free and non-toxic alternatives.

With regards to food you can replace tasteless and nutritionless pasta with delicious nutritious zucchini or courgette or butternut squash or spaghetti squash pasta. Actually any vegetable you can spiralise and peel will do the pasta trick.

For salad dressings make your own with extra-virgin olive oil mixed with some acid like fresh lemon or lime juice or apple cider vinegar.

Instead of wheat-based soy sauces use gluten-free tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos as alternatives.

Want to do some gluten-free baking? Swap out the grain flours for coconut flour, almond flour, linseed or flaxseed meal, and for something a bit more sugary and sweet use a mixture of white rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch.

People always complain about not knowing what to have for breakfast when going gluten-free. Try a bowl of chia seeds soaked in a liquid with some nuts to act as a cereal replacement. Why not have the classic free range bacon and eggs or leftovers from dinner? In reality there is no such thing as a breakfast, lunch or dinner food. Real food is nutritious, energising and informative no matter when you eat it. As always though listen to your body and learn what portion sizes and times of the day your body prefers meals.

Want a snack? How about a piece of fruit with some raw nuts or some vegetables dipped in nut butters. You can always have a tin of salmon or sardines, a couple hardboiled eggs or some real beef jerky and biltong.

Still wanting some bread eh? Try some plantains and eggs mixed and fried in butter or ghee or how about frying up some sliced round flat pieces of a root vegetable like potatoes, these can replace burger buns.

There’s always real food pancakes as well made with banana, eggs, coconut flour and some cinnamon.

Trust me you’ll find that there’s even more flavour, taste, and deliciousness and definitely nutrition when you live gluten-free.

Finally, you’ll want to start living not just gluten-free, but living holistically as well. Gluten is just one part of a bigger picture when determining how happy and healthy you feel.

  • Manage yourself when it comes to stress
  • Get quality restorative sleep
  • Breathe deep belly breaths
  • Eat real food and drink real water
  • Move often
  • Give gratitude
  • Connect with nature and with other people and
  • Lower your environmental toxin exposure.

 
Now above all else KEEP CALM.

It’s not the end of the world. The sky is not falling just because you can no longer have your toast, croissant, bagel or cereal for breakfast. Take a deep breath and remember to take this journey one step at a time. Patience and cool headedness are your allies on your path to health and happiness.

And if you’re really struggling hire a Holistic Lifestyle Coach. Professional sports teams, top CEOs these guys have sport coaches, business coaches. You want the best health for yourself? Hire a health coach.

Aim to live gluten-zero and you’ll at least get to living gluten-free where you’ll be exposed to gluten every now and then. It’s impossible to be 100% perfect in any way of being, but by shooting for the stars you’ll at least hit the moon.

Remember all we can ever do is take each day as it comes.

As Lao Tzu reminds us in the classic Chinese text called the Tao Te Ching:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Alright here are a few resources you can use to learn more about gluten and living gluten-free. I will put links for these in the show notes for this episode.

Check out the books Wheat Belly by Dr William Davis and Grain Brain by Dr David Perlmutter to find out more about the perils of gluten, wheat, grains, and sugar. Also download and watch the awesome online seminar series The Gluten Summit created by gluten expert Dr Tom O’Bryan to learn more about gluten, wheat, and how to live a gluten-free lifestyle.

A few awesome grain-free and gluten-free cookbooks I recommend are:

 
I own all of these books. I use them all the time. These will help anyone from the experienced chef to the kitchen newbie.

Links and Resources

 
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WGP 013: Inflammation – Can You Feel the Heat?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring Inflammation:

  • I’ll explain how inflammation can be both beneficial and harmful to your health and wellbeing
  • I’ll talk about some of the different causes of chronic low-level inflammation
  • Finally, I’ll review the best ways to reduce inflammation in your body


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Inflammation is your immune system in action and what a beautiful natural act of Mother Nature it is. Your body has the innate intelligence to heal itself and works best when you feed it real food, water, sleep, movement, breath, and healthy relationships.

You have seen inflammation in action when you’ve had a cut or a bruise or had an infection. That part of your body gets red, it swells up, heats up, and sometimes there’s pain. If you can support your body’s innate healing process with natural healing therapies and then get out of its way and not interfere too much then overtime the injured area gets better and heals.

Inflammation is key to healing. Without it your immune system would never be called into action and you would never heal. However, there is a dark side to inflammation.

Acute inflammation is obvious to spot and simple to manage. With acute inflammation the inflammatory reaction is massive like a Hollywood movie explosion. Chronic ongoing inflammation on the other hand is hidden and difficult to deal with. With chronic inflammation the inflammatory response is more like a small match lighting up. No big ‘hey look at me!’ as with acute inflammation, but still a calling card for your immune system to wake up and to get into action. So your immune system reacts the exact same way whether you have acute or chronic inflammation.

Now there’s nothing wrong with your immune system doing it’s job, but there is an issue with the amount of work your immune system has to do. Acute inflammation comes and goes — job done. Chronic inflammation comes over like an unwanted family member who overstays their welcome and your immune system does everything it can to heal and so reduce and remove the inflammation, but that stubborn chronic guy just won’t leave. The more your immune system is active the more energy and nutrition it will use leaving you tired and without the proper building blocks to support other areas of your body.

Now as a result of your immune system being overworked and frustrated another more serious problem arises. The quality of the work that your immune system does starts to go down. Meaning your immune system that includes white blood cells, T cells, and B cells starts to confuse your own body tissue with foreign and infectious objects. So now your immune system begins to attack you causing damage to whatever part of the body is being mistakenly attacked. This is what an autoimmune disease is. The body reacting to and attacking itself. Examples of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Vasculitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Coeliac disease

By the way if you are dealing with an autoimmune condition I highly recommend the book The Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls. Dr Wahls has MS multiple sclerosis, but by following an ancestral evolutionary diet and lifestyle was able to get herself out of a wheelchair and onto a bicycle. A truly inspiring story and individual.

Anyhoo… Not only does chronic inflammation send inflammatory signals throughout your body causing the breakdown of bone, nervous tissue, and organs, but it also sends out fat-storing signals and interferes with normal hormone communication.

It is this chronic low-level inflammation that is barely detectable by you and your health practitioner that is at the root of almost every single disease not just autoimmunity.

Another thing with chronic inflammation is because it acts on such a low level throughout your entire body and remember that inflammation causes redness, swelling, hotness, and pain so if you are dealing with skin issues, are holding onto extra weight that just won’t leave, have areas of your body that are hotter than they should be or you’re dealing with pain realise that all of these are huge symptoms of being inflamed.

Okay so what causes chronic inflammation?

Well a pro-inflammatory diet made up of fake pretend food-like products would be number one on the list. Remember 80% of your immune system lives in your gut because it has to deal to all the foreign stuff that comes through your gastrointestinal tract. So if you’re eating highly inflammatory foods your immune system will go into overdrive. Hello inflammation and hello disease.

The biggest fake food culprit of them all is industrial seed oils aka vegetable oils. These oils are full of trans fats as well as oxidised rancid damaged fats. When your fat-burning enzymes attach to a trans fat to metabolise it they can’t. It’s not a real fat. But now they’re stuck to this trans fat molecule stopping them from burning other fats. This can lead to an increase in your waistline.

Your cell membranes are made up of fat. If these trans fats get integrated into your cell walls then their integrity and stability begins to weaken leading to a damaged dysfunctional cell. Also, the cell receptors on the surface of the cell will be morphed into unnatural shapes preventing them from receiving nutrition and eliminating waste in and out of the cell. Trans fats are deadly to the cell and deadly to your body.

These seed oils are mostly made up of fragile omega-6 fats that get easily damaged when exposed to heat, light, and will go rancid after very short periods of time. When eaten these fats create damaging free radicals in your body and without enough antioxidants these free radicals will cause a whole host of diseases.

Second biggest baddie when it comes to chronic inflammation and food is processed and refined sugar and grains like flour and products made with them. When you eat any processed grain like bread, doughnuts, cooked corn even these metabolise in the body and turn in an instant into sugar. So there’s literally no difference between eating a piece of wholemeal bread or a cookie and eating a few teaspoons of sugar. Same goes with fizzy drinks and fruit juices. These are all sugar when they hit your mouth, your gut, and your liver.

A diet high in sugar leads to too much sugar being left in the blood causing the sugar molecules to stick to cells in the bloodstream. This process is called glycation and the new molecule that forms is called an Advanced Glycation Endproduct or AGE. AGEs block immune cells from getting into damaged tissues in need of repair stopping the reduction of inflammation.

Excess sugar consumption also raises insulin levels. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone and when this is high fat-burning is switched off. Insulin also triggers the release of interleukin-6 or IL-6 which is an inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecule, but tends to create more inflammation in your body.

Wheat, pasteurised milk, table salt, instant coffee and any other processed and packaged industrialised fake food-like product are pro-inflammatory to your body. So if you love fast food, cheap food, and don’t know the difference between a spinach leaf and a cabbage leaf you my friend are probably full of inflammation.

Another cause of chronic inflammation is having the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio of fats in your diet out of balance. These two fats are essential to health and essential here literally means your body cannot make these fats therefore you must eat them. Now omega-6 is a pro-inflammatory fat, whereas omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. Our ancestors had the perfect 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in their diet. Today western societies have been estimated to be eating a ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s of 20:1 or more!

Going back to the seed oils and grains these are mostly omega-6 fats. Any wonder now why we live in an inflammation nation!

Stress of all types physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual cause the release of stress hormones in the body that can have an anti-inflammatory effect by suppressing your immune system. However, chronic stress with stress hormones left to linger in the body for long periods of time makes for a weakened immune system and creates more inflammation. Stress can cause damage to the mucosal barriers in your body making them more permeable and porous than they should be. So stress can cause your skin as well as your gut to become leaky leading to skin and gut inflammation and disease.

Sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a diabetic. Insulin resistance means your cells no longer pay attention to insulin leaving a lot of insulin and sugar in your bloodstream. So with insulin resistance comes more inflammation due to high levels of insulin and sugar.

Being overweight and obese is also inflammatory. Fat isn’t just a grouping of cells sitting around waiting for you to burn it as energy. Fat is actually an endocrine organ meaning it produces hormones. Adiponectin is a fat hormone used to control the metabolism of fats and sugars. It also makes you more insulin sensitive.

Another hormone that fat produces is called leptin. Leptin has been called the master hormone because not only does it tell you when you’re full it also looks controls other glands and hormones in your body. Problem with leptin is if you have too much leptin you will have a lot of inflammation to go with it. This is because leptin is also an inflammatory signalling molecule. So the more fat you are holding onto the more leptin you will have and the more inflammation you will get.

One last thing about food. Even if you’re eating organic and naturally raised real food you still may be causing yourself more harm than good if you’re eating foods you are allergic or have a sensitivity to. A food allergy is an immediate reaction to a food that you’ve eaten. A food sensitivity or intolerance could take hours, days or even up to a week before you get a reaction from that particular food. Food allergies and sensitivities are serious business when it comes to causing stress and inflammation in your body. These foods can cause inflammation in the gut making it leaky. If these foods were to get into your bloodstream further inflammation would go on in your body.

Being exposed to toxins industrial or natural makes for more inflammation in your body in more ways than one. The toxins alone cause inflammation and an immune response. Along with this though any toxins that are not metabolised properly by your liver get stored in your fat cells. The more toxins your body cannot eliminate the fatter you get (it’s not just about the calories people, in fact it hardly ever is). Anyhoo, remember with more fat there’s more leptin and more inflammation.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) cause a buildup of positive electrons in your body that act as free radicals damaging you from the inside out creating more inflammation.

All this fake food, stress, and toxin exposure also creates an imbalance of the microorganisms in your gut. A healthy gut will have a ratio of 85% probiotics (the good guys) to 15% pathogens (the bad guys). People with unhealthy diets and lifestyles have been shown to have a ratio of 15% good to 85% bad microorganisms. This imbalance is called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis causes many issues in your gut including malnutrition, leaky gut syndrome, and inflammation. Pathogens create endotoxins in your gut that will create inflammation and if these endotoxins get through a leaky gut into your bloodstream then inflammation will occur in other areas of your body.

Alrighty then let’s get into how you can reduce the heat in your life and be more cool like a cucumber, i.e. reduce your inflammation.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

As an old English proverb says:

“Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.”

By eating foods that are less pro and more anti-inflammatory you will dramatically reduce the immune response in your system. Stick to real foods organically and naturally raised that give more life force than they take. My free e-book describing the top superfoods in the world is a good guide for this. You can get it for free simply by signing up to the Whole Guidance newsletter at wholeguidance.com.

If you have some excess weight you’d like to let go of maybe a lower carbohydrate diet would be a path you can try walking down just for a month or two. By reducing your sugar intake not only will you reduce the inflammation and your risk of disease by reducing your insulin production, you may just find your body composition begin to normalise back into a healthy range reducing your leptin production.

Eat for a better omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. A healthy ratio of these essential fats would be 4:1 omega-6s to omega-3s with 1:1 being the ideal. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean get more omega-3 and drop the omega-6 because you don’t want to go to the opposite extreme as well. Take a good hard look at your diet and try and calculate how much more omega-6 fat foods are you eating compared to omega-3 fat foods. Are you eating a lot of seed oils or foods made and cooked with them?Are you eating too many baked food products made with flours? Cut back on these high omega-6 pro-inflammatory foods. Instead focus on omega-3 sources of food the best being cold water oily fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Even chia seeds and flax seeds can provide a little omega-3 nutrition and by little I do mean very little, but I tells ya’ I love me some chia cacao vanilla cinnamon pudding way better compared to a gooey glop of porridge.

Eat for gut health. So don’t just eat for you, but also eat for your gut microbiome. Your probiotics need to eat just as much as you do and they love soluble fibre and resistant starch. So basically eat plenty of fibrous vegetables. Grains have too high of a fibre to nutrition ratio so even if you did go with some whole grains you’d want to limit them. If you’re wondering about fruit sure eat plenty of fruit as long as you don’t have any weight and metabolic issues such as diabetes or heart disease.

Taking a probiotic with many different strains of bacteria and with high potency meaning it has a high number of them per serving is also a great way to support your gut health.

Obviously the best way to support your gut health is by eating fermented foods. Sauerkraut and kefir are my favourite. You can learn more about fermented foods in my free e-book.

Drink quality natural spring and artesian water or water that has been filtered. The best solution for pollution is dilution and seeing as inflammation is your body on fire some nice cooling water will be exactly what the holistic doctor ordered.

Get quality restorative sleep. Your body runs on a circadian cycle that follows the cycles of the sun and the moon. As a general guideline you want to be in bed by 10p and up around 6a. Listen to episode 5 on sleep for more info.

Manage your ability to handle stress. There are many different ways to improve your stress resiliency including meditation and mindfulness practises. I explained how I personally reduce my perception of stress back in episode 3 so you might want to listen to that.

Finally, reduce your toxic and EMF exposure. You will never ever be able to live a toxic and EMF free life, but you can dramatically reduce how much exposure you get to these pro-inflammatory materials everyday. Check out the previous Whole Guidance podcast episode I did on how to detox your life for more information.

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WGP 008: A Real Food Manifesto

In this podcast I’ll be exploring once again my favourite topic Real Food:

  • I’ll share which fake processed pretend food-like products you should never eat… ever
  • I’ll be offering a master list of real foods that you should be eating plenty of on a regular basis
  • Finally, I’ll explain how to best use this real food manifesto for your individual goals


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

Remember the definition I gave in the previous podcast describing what real food is.

“Real food is any organic and natural plant or animal that fuels and nourishes the human body with energy and nutrition.”

Well the first group of foods I’m about to share now are the exact opposite because they are not food, but are marketed to you as being food. You should never and I mean ever intentionally buy, store at home or work, eat or even think about including these fake processed pretend food-like products in your diet and your life. No human, no mammal, no animal, no plant on this planet should be consuming these products.

That’s not to say that you won’t ever be exposed to these pseudo-foods these fake foods, but you can at least minimise the damage they cause to your body and health by reframing how you look at these foods and changing your perspective from seeing foods to seeing crappy industrial commercial products instead that do nothing more than expand and fatten your waistline as well as the bottom-line of big corporations.

First pseudo-food are industrial seed oils also marketed as healthy vegetable oils.

  • Canola — aka rapeseed
  • Corn
  • Soya
  • Cottonseed
  • Safflower
  • Low-oleic sunflower
  • Peanut and groundnut
  • Rice bran
  • Grape seed

 
These oils all come from seeds, grains, and legumes, not from vegetables. The way these oils have been manufactured, produced, processed, stored and packaged damages the delicate fatty acids in the oils making them go rancid. Rancid oil is off, it’s stale and dead and when you eat rancid oil you get turned off to life as well.

Ever wonder how they turn a liquid oil like canola into a solid? By using biochemical processes such as hydrogenation and transesterification companies can do amazing things. Too bad the end products are one molecule away from being plastic! So next time you see hydrogenated or transesterified on a label you run. Run literally like your life depends on it.

So do not eat industrial seed oils or any product made with them such as:

  • Margarine and other buttery spreads
  • Sauces
  • Salad dressings
  • Mayo
  • Chips
  • Baked goods
  • Gluten-free foods

 
Virtually all processed food-like products have been made with these damaged rancid industrial seed oils. Also a lot of restaurants and food outlets fry and cook foods with these industrial seed oils because it’s cheaper and they believe they’re doing the right thing in terms of giving customers a healthier end product.

Now if you have a heart healthy program in your country you will see a lot of these fake foods with a heart healthy mark on them. Again don’t believe the hype and the marketing. In New Zealand where I live we have the the Heart Foundation Tick programme where over 1100 products (products!) in 62 food categories have purchased the right to proudly display the healthy red tick. Yes it’s a paid for service. Unfortunately most of the products use industrial seed oil as the main ingredient.

Be alert, be wary, but don’t be afraid because now that you know better you can do better.

Next pseudo-food is regular table salt. Table salt has been processed and stripped of its minerals and trace minerals meaning there’s no micronutrients in table salt as there is in naturally occurring salt leaving behind a very bright white powder. Also there are anti-caking agents and other chemical additives added to table salt to prevent it from sticking and clumping together.

Table salt, not natural sea salt, is associated with blood pressure issues. Your body requires natural salt for many bodily functions such as keeping your water, sodium, and potassium levels in balance.

Salt should not be a pure white colour. It should be grey, pink, red, any colour besides white. It should be of the ocean and earth it came from. It will be full of Earth minerals and trace minerals as well as Earth energy and information.

You’ll find table salt in extremely high amounts in processed and packaged fake food-like products, salted butter (unless it says sea salt on the label), in takeout and fast foods, and even restaurants use the cheaper salt.

I love my New Zealand sea salt and Celtic salt is another great sea salt. Rock salt like Himalayan salt is awesome too.

Instant coffee is pseudo-food number three. Instant coffee is to organic whole bean coffee as a McDonald’s Fillet ‘o Fish burger is to a baked fillet of wild-caught salmon served over mesclun salad drizzled with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

Instant coffee is junk food. Usually the worst of the worst coffee beans, the bad, the ugly, the deformed are ground to make instant coffee. Also the way it’s processed and stored leads to a build-up of mould and microorganisms that create toxic products, which they happily leave behind in the powder. Personally I find instant coffee just tastes like crap.

Another thing to keep in mind for those with coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is that instant coffee has high cross-reactivity with gluten meaning your body may process instant coffee the same way it processes gluten.

So instant coffee — don’t even go there.

Fourth pseudo-food I believe that no life should be consuming is pasteurised milk. What is pasteurisation? Pasteurisation is the processes of heating a liquid to kill all the microorganisms in it. Well that’s actually marketing. That was a legitimate reason back in the day when cows were literally living in their own filth. But the reason pasteurisation of any food is still used today by the food industry is so that fake foods have a longer shelf-life meaning more sales, more money, and a new BMW or Audi for food company executives.

Now raw milk from any mammal is full of nutrition and energy and information that supports the growth of life. It’s full of naturally occurring macronutrients and micronutrients. It’s full of good microorgansims, the probiotics that keep the bad microorganisms, the pathogens from infecting and spoiling the milk. It’s also full of native enzymes that help digest and breakdown the milk.

Pasteurised milk that has been heated to kill the bad bugs has also killed the good bugs. So now you have a milk that’s lost its defence system and if pasteurised milk gets infiltrated by even a tiny amount of pathogens it spoils. It spoils quickly and it spoils hard because there’s no probiotics to protect the milk and fight off the bad guys.

Also the enzymes that would usually help you digest the milk have been destroyed and the macros and micros have all been modified and denatured to the point where a lot of people get sick drinking this stuff.

There’s no point to pasteurised milk it’s been killed, it’s a dead product.

Seriously raw milk is the only way to go.

Final pseudo-food to keep away from your life forever (forever ever?) forever is wheat. The wheat of today has been commercially purposefully hybridised and bred to be smaller and contain a lot more gluten compared to its distant ancestor that is associated as being the staff of life in biblical times.

Wheat producers have made wheat a lot smaller so that their industrial agricultural machinery can more easily harvest and process the grain. Plus they’ve dramatically increased the gluten content of wheat to make it a lot easier to bake with as gluten literally is the glue that makes baked products nice and doughy.

Problem is no mammal on this planet can fully breakdown and digest gluten. I will repeat no mammal on this planet can fully breakdown and digest gluten.

Gluten is a protein made up of a long chain of amino acids. So if you can imagine a pearl necklace as a protein molecule and each pearl being an amino acid gluten is a very long pearl necklace a very long protein molecule compared to proteins found in animal and other plant foods. Gluten will get partially broken down say to a smaller necklace, but our body only accepts individual pearls and extremely tiny necklaces and these larger protein molecules are what cause people with coeliac disease to digestively explode and for other people with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity to experience other non-digestive issues. For me my mind gets all screwy when I eat gluten.

Not only that, but many people are also allergic and sensitive to other components found in wheat.

So the wheat of today has broad health implications for humans due to the way it’s been modified and manufactured and farmed and is definitely not the same grain that was eaten by our pioneering agricultural ancestors.

As an alternative to wheat the best and highest quality grain you can eat is known as einkorn. It contains none of the many allergenic stuff you’ll find in wheat and yes while einkorn still has gluten in it, it is in a different form and in different proportions compared to the gluten in wheat meaning people who may not tolerate wheat or gluten may find einkorn doesn’t upset their body and mind so much. I haven’t tried einkorn as I’m gluten-free, but it’s on the horizon for me to try out to see if it works for me or not.

You can also eat barley, rye, oats, and spelt if you enjoy grain-based products.

Your mission if you choose to accept it is to make sure you don’t intentionally eat any of these five pseudo-foods. Chronic consistent everyday exposure to these fake foods will overwork your body to the point where one day it’ll finally give up. All because you haven’t been eating enough real food that would have the nutritional and energetic and informational resources to eliminate the fake foods from your body. If you eat plenty of real food on a regular basis then the nutrition and energy and information that you receive will make sure that any time you are accidentally exposed to fake pretend food-like products your body will have the resources to repair the damage caused by eating that crap.

I’m about to layout the real food manifesto, but first let me explain what a manifesto is.

A manifesto is a declaration of what you believe to be true.

A manifesto is also a platform and a base that one can use to build upon and improve any given situation.

This real food manifesto is what I use to heal myself and what I also use to help others reach their health goals. It’s not the be all and end all of healthy food recommendations as I’ll talk about later in the show, but it’s a great starting point for anyone who is just starting out on their health journey or is confused on where to go next.

Remember as I stated in the previous podcast on real food quality absolutely matters. You want real food that has lived by the laws of Mother Nature in its natural environment eating a species appropriate diet without added industrial toxic chemicals and with no genetic modifications.

Let me now list all the real foods you should be eating in order to get the nutrition and energy and information you need for your body, your mind, and for an awesome life.

Fats

  • Egg yolks
  • Ghee
  • Clarified butter
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Tallow — beef and lamb fat
  • Duck fat
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Cacao butter
  • Macadamia oil
  • Extra-virgin avocado oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Raw nuts and seeds

 
Proteins

  • Organ meats — liver, heart, kidney, brain, pancreas etc
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Wild game
  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Fowl
  • Pork

 
Carbohydrates

  • Sea vegetables
  • Land vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dates and dried fruits
  • Raw honey — local
  • Maple syrup — 100%
  • Natural sweeteners — stevia herb, lo han guo, erythritol, xylitol
  • Refined sugars — molasses, rice and pure glucose syrups

 
Grains (carbs)

  • Organic white rice
  • Non-GMO organic corn
  • Pseudo-grains — actually seeds like quinoa, buckwheat, millet
  • Whole grains — einkorn being the preferred choice

 
Legumes

  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Organic peanuts
  • Fermented organic soy — natto, miso, gluten-free soy sauce, tempeh
  • Other beans

 
Fermented foods (include but not limited to)

  • Fermented cod-liver oil
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Amasai
  • Kefir
  • Soy sauce — gluten free
  • Tempeh
  • Miso

 
Dairy

  • Amasai
  • Kefir
  • Yoghurt — fermented for at least 18 hours
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Buffalo
  • Camel
  • Cow
  • Ghee, clarified butter, and butter oil — 99.99% fat
  • Butter — unsalted, 80% fat
  • Cream —  35-50%
  • Cheese — 4-40%
  • Yoghurt — 4-10%
  • Milk — 4% fat

 
Salt

  • New Zealand kelp salt — sea salt with added kelp
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Himalayan crystal salt

 
Herbs and spices (include but not limited to)

  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Nutmeg
  • Raw unsweetened cacao powder — my personal favourite spice

 
Water

  • Spring and artesian well water
  • Filtered water — chlorine and fluoride filters or reverse osmosis, but you must add back minerals to RO water
  • Bottled water — glass and stainless steel
  • Coconut water — full of electrolytes

 
Phew! I will put this manifesto into a PDF document that you can download in the show notes for this episode. You can find that at wholeguidance.com/blog.

Everyone is different, we are all different. The way we think, the way we feel, the way we live our lives and also the way our bodies digest, absorb and assimilate, metabolise and detoxify, and finally eliminate the food that we eat. We all do it differently.

So while this real food manifesto is a great starting point for you on your health journey you have to listen to your body, read the signs and symptoms and go where it flows.

For example I said pasteurised milk is fake food and raw milk is real food, but if you find when you drink fresh raw milk you get skin outbreaks or gas or mucus building up in your body, don’t drink it. Maybe you’ll do better with higher fat dairy products such as cream or butter and if you can’t even do butter you may find you do just fine with high quality ghee or clarified butter which are virtually 100% fat with extremely low-to-no dairy proteins present.

Other examples are maybe you don’t tolerate cooked eggs and figure out you can eat raw egg yolks without any problems (that’s me!). Maybe you can’t do beef right now, stick to lamb or fish. Maybe seafood isn’t for you.

Another thing is macro ratios and serving size. You may find you do better on a higher carb diet due to the high-intensity exercises you perform on a daily basis. Perhaps high fat low carb works for you because you’re doing more low-intensity and more endurance based activities and you find eating this way gives you better clarity of thought and you’re able to focus on tasks longer without being distracted.

“There’s so much individuality when it comes to diet.”

One way to find out which foods and in what proportions work and don’t work for you is to listen to your body and take note of your body language.

Are you able to isolate any health symptoms you’re currently experiencing like acne, constipation, back pain, and migraines and blame it on a particular food or food group? For example I know that when I eat gluten while I don’t get any obvious digestive symptoms I do get pretty moody and my ability to think straight and focus goes down the toilet. Stinkin’ thinkin’ begins to brew and if I were to continue to eat gluten on a regular basis and become a chronic consumer of the stuff dark thoughts start to creep back into my life. I basically become a lifeless zombie with a foggy brain.

The elimination diet is the best tool around to help you figure out which foods promote your well-being and which foods turn you into the walking dead. Best book on this topic is The Elimination Diet by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segersten.

Okay so for macro ratios if you find yourself tired, feeling full yet hungry, and with sugar cravings after a meal you probably ate too much fats and protein. If you get a headache, don’t feel full and get hungry quickly, feel tired but wired you know like the jitters, with up and down mood swings you may have eaten too many carbs.

Keep a track of how you look and feel after every meal for 7 days and you may see a pattern emerging. The longer you keep track of this stuff and the more data and information you gather the better off you will be long-term as you can now make more well-informed food choices.

With this manifesto you could still blindly eat all the real foods on this list and not listen to your body and while you may experience some issues with your health you will not get anywhere near as sick as you would have if you were to eat foods according to some other recommendations, e.g. the Cookie Diet or the United States Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid.

Okay so this real food manifesto I hope will provide you with a clearer picture on what real food really is and what fake pretend food-like products you should never touch again.

Remember to listen to your body and eat what works for you in the proportions that fit your current lifestyle requirements and don’t eat what doesn’t work.

Hippocrates said:

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”

Have you had your medicine today?

I would like to build upon that quote and say:

“Let real food be your guide and let your guide be real food.”

If you’re feeling lost in life try a morsel of real food. It will light up the path, your life purpose, that has been hidden from your view.

Real food has definitely enlightened my life.

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WGP 007: Food Nutrition – What is Real Food?

In this podcast I’ll be exploring my favourite topic Real Food:

  • I’ll explain what real food really is and its different nutritional components
  • I’ll talk about how eating real food and fake food affect your health
  • Finally, I’ll share how to recognise real food and simple ways to make it a part of your holistic healthy and happy lifestyle


CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS TO GET YOU LEAN

What is real food? If I were to sum it up in one word — QUALITY. Quality food makes for quality humans, which makes for a quality planet, which makes for quality soil, which makes for quality plants, which makes for quality animals, which makes for more real quality food and here we have the circle of life.

If I were to use a few more words real food is any organic and natural plant or animal that fuels and nourishes the human body with energy and nutrition.

Now if I were to use some poetic words to define real food it’ll go a little something like this:

Real Food
Lived on the Earth
In the Sky
Under the Sun

Real Food
Is fished from pristine Oceans
Harvested from organic Soils
Plucked from vibrant Trees

Real Food
Has abundant Nutrition
Limitless amounts of Energy
Universal intelligence and Information

Real Food
Is loved by Mother Nature
Lives giving Love
Dies receiving Love

Real Food
Eats
Real Food

So hopefully by now you’re getting the idea that real food isn’t invented, created, and made-up in a lab by Father Industry.

Real food is birthed, grown, and raised by Mother Nature. Real food comes from the land, the sea, the sky, and is lovingly cared for, cherished, and blessed before it’s harvested from the bosom of Mother Nature. Real food is of the Earth not of the petridish or chemistry set or factory line or a corporation’s bottom-line.

Real food is the highest quality of nutrition, energy, and information infused with the life force of Mother Nature herself.

Let’s talk about real food nutrition and here I’m talking about macronutrients (macros) and micronutrients (micros).

Macros include fats broken down in the body and used as fatty acids. Proteins broken down in the body and used as amino acids. Carbohydrates broken down in the body and used as saccharides (sugar). Fibre a form of carbohydrate is not broken down and used by our body and mainly comes in two forms. One form is broken down and used as food by your gut microbiota (that’s all the microorganisms that live in your gastrointestinal tract) and this fibre is called a prebiotic. The other form of fibre isn’t digested by your body or your gut microbiome and is eliminated. Last macro and possibly most important is water. Water is a massive component of real food and the quality of the water in real food depends on how the food was grown and raised.

Micros is where we get into the teeny tiny small world of nutrition. However, micros have a far bigger impact on your health than macros ever will. What real food really gives you in terms of happiness and health are these micros in huge amounts.

Micronutrients include vitamins. There are fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, K, and E (sidenote vitamin D is actually a hormone), and water soluble vitamins the B complexes and the most well known vitamin of them all vitamin C.

Another group of micronutrients found in real food are minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sulphur, and trace minerals like zinc, iron, copper, manganese, selenium, and cobalt.

Phytonutrients are another group of micros. Phyto comes from the Greek word for plants so these nutrients are found in plants, but they can be passed on to animals that you eat as well. The list of phytonutrients goes on for days and includes polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, indoles, lignans, anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins, catechins, thiocyanates, isothiocyanates, etc etc.

You can think of macros as providing the basic building blocks of the body giving the body its physical structure. But what’s holding these building blocks together? What’s the glue, what’s the cement, what’s the duct tape that keeps the fats, proteins, carbs, fibre, and water all working together are the micros.

All cellular functions and metabolic processes in your body require assistant molecules called cofactors and micros are these cofactors. If you’re eating macro-rich yet micro-poor foods your body turns into a house of cards where any second now, any minute, any day, month or year it’s going to break down and fall apart. Without the micros the macros you consume are like a classroom full of unsupervised misbehaving teenagers up to no good. No good at all.

Macros and micros are present in all real foods, but in different ratios. Vegetables and fruit from the same garden or tree for example can have very different levels to each other due to environmental factors such as the angle of the sun, temperature differences, and water availability.

The last nutrient I’ll talk about when it comes to real food is difficult to measure in a lab, but exists nonetheless — Energy and Information. This energy is the vital life force that comes from Mother Nature and the planet and the information is linked with the universal intelligence that lives inside all matter. Yeah yeah sounds woo-woo hairy-fairy, but do you think that’s you that’s breathing you now?

Anyhoo…

Real food contains quality energy and information and the quality depends on how the food was grown and raised. Was it in sick soil? Was it sprayed with chemicals? Was it given growth hormone or antibiotics? Was it genetically modified? How fresh is it and how long has it been sitting out?

“Sick food makes for sick humans, makes for a sick planet, makes for sick soil, makes for sick plants, makes for sick animals, makes for more sick food and here we have the wheel of death!”

If you had an apple freshly picked from an apple tree in your backyard and another apple that was imported and flown in from halfway around the world or local and sprayed with chemicals and you took a huge bite out of each apple, now I’m not talking about flavour, taste, texture, macros or micros I’m talking about energy and information, you will feel, you will sense, and you will receive more abundant energy and information from your backyard apple compared to the journeyman drugged apple.

The food you’re eating may look real on the outside, but in fact could be empty of energy and information and be close to dying on the inside and you wouldn’t even know it because it’s been waxed or coloured and injected with preservatives. Fake food is stripped of Mother Nature’s life force and is full of mucked up scrambled information because of the way Father Industry has treated that food.

Energy and information transcends appearance.

I know people who others would say look a bit rundown and a little bit dodgy, but when you actually take the time to sit down and have a chat with them their attitude, their vitality, the vibration that they give off you totally receive it and then you get infused and inspired by that same attitude and energy and information they’ve shared with you. Then there’s the other type of people I call fit-sick people and I used to be one of them. Fit on the outside, but sick on the inside. These guys can look like Greek gods and goddesses, but being around them just drains the living life force out of you and that’s the same with food.

There are some foods that are so sick on the inside they draw energy and information out of you when you eat them.

Then there’s food that’s so chock-full of energy and information you get inspired by them. For me I love blueberries especially the teeny tiny small ones, they’re so tart and sometimes surprisingly sweet. They have a lower flesh to skin ratio compared to larger berries meaning less sugar and a whole lot more phytonutrients and antioxidants from the skin. For some reason I can eat a whole bowl of big berries and feel ‘oh, that was nice’, but when I eat a whole bowl of little teeny tiny berries I feel a whole lot more vibrant, vital, energised, inspired, and happy!

So when you go on nutrition websites or use nutrition apps and look for the fats, proteins, carbs, fibre, water, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrient contents of a food there’s one last thing you need to keep in mind. Don’t forget that there’s energy and information, life force energy of the planet and universal intelligence that you’re downloading into you when you eat food and uploading into your brain as you absorb and assimilate that food. You really are what you eat. Your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, and your results are hugely, significantly, massively impacted by what you eat.

Eat low energy low information low intelligent food and you will feel the exact same way.

Now the health impacts of eating real healthy food compared to eating fake sick food.

I’m going to focus on three areas of your health.

The most important health aspect of them all is your immune system and your gut microbiota or more specifically the probiotics in your gut. Pro meaning for and bio meaning life so probiotics are the good bugs in your gut. Okay so what’s the link between your immune system, probiotics, your gut, and your health.

There’s a few ways foreign objects can get into your bloodstream. Your skin, your lungs, your mouth hole and your south hole. Guess where more than 80% of your immune system and most of the microorganisms are located in the body? In your gut. Believe it or not, but from mouth to south, the enteron, the alimentary canal, your digestive tube is actually technically outside of your body. Now you ingest foreign objects via the mouth 3-6 times a day and that stuff goes down your oesophagus your throat into your stomach and then your small intestines to your large intestines where any leftovers and other bodily waste products are eliminated. This is why almost all of your immune system and microorganisms in your body live in your gut as they deal with a lot of foreign stuff coming down the pipe.

The immune system works side-by-side with your gut probiotics. They’re besties, tight, friends for life. Always liking and sharing each other’s Facebook posts and Snapchatting non-stop. Your immune system and probiotics are essentially linked together fighting the good fight on your behalf. Together they decide who and what can stay. They decide what can be absorbed and assimilated through your gut wall and allowed to enter inside your body and they decide who and what must go.

When your immune system and probiotics aren’t working together as they should your immune system begins to weaken meaning you get sick a lot easier than usual. Also one of the main roles of probiotics is to keep the peace within your gut microbiome meaning no pathogenic microorganisms take over the joint. Patho means disease and genic means to create so pathogens are the bad bugs. So if your probiotic population gets upset and begins to shrink you increase your chances of getting a parasite, fungal, or bacterial infection in your gut.

When you’re eating real food guess what happens to the probiotic population in your gut? They thrive. Probiotics love fibre, they love prebiotics. It’s their real food.

Your immune system and the processes that depend on it loves macros and micros. However, if you’re eating cookies, if you’re eating pastries, if you’re eating kids cereals, if you’re drinking pasteurised skim milk or juices, not only do these foods have denatured damaged macros and micros in very small amounts, but the sugars from the highly processed and refined modified carbs feed the bad bugs, the pathogens. At the same time you’re starving the probiotics of fibre of prebiotics of their food because processed fake foods have no fibre.

Eating fake foods grows the population of pathogens and shrinks the population of probiotics and then your immune system no longer has the support of the good guys to do its job properly and becomes weak. Then the pathogens continue to grow getting stronger and they start fighting your immune system, oh the horror! This is what happens when you don’t give the body what it needs.

Another area of your health I’ll talk about is epigenetics.

Most people know about genetics, genes, and DNA and how they influence your eye colour and hair type etc and how they come from your parents.

So what is epigenetics? Well epi means above so epigenetics is above the genes and it’s all about how external environmental lifestyle factors control genetic expression. That is how the way you live your life can turn certain genes on and off. Epigenetics is telling you that your environment, your thoughts, your feelings, who you interact with, how you respond to events in your life, what you eat and drink, how you move, the type of sleep you’re getting, how much time you spend with Mother Nature, and your toxin exposure all of these affect your genes!

Let’s say for example you have a gene for breast cancer. Well just because you have the gene for breast cancer doesn’t mean you’ll get breast cancer. What it means is depending on your epigenetics how you live your life will determine whether this gene turns on or off.

Epigenetics gives you control of your genes. Now you won’t be able to change your eye colour or hair type (well the jury’s still out on that one actually), but you can turn genes on and off based on how you live.

In terms of food eating real food, again with natural forms of macros and micros along with plenty of energy and information this tells your body one thing — this person is in an environment of abundance therefore I’m going to turn on all my happy genes. All genes that make me feel good, that fulfill me, that provide me with vitality because in this moment life is good.

But when you’re eating fake food without the cofactors, without the nutrition, lacking the energy and information that your genes require change of plans people. Now your body thinks you’re living in a place of scarcity. It’s saying to itself, ‘this person is starving, they’re eating too much crap, they’re overfed, but undernourished so we need to make sure that we can keep their body running because they’re killing us right now.’ So your body starts putting all these backup survival plans into action and starts turning off health affirming genes and turning on disease affirming genes at different intensities in order to keep it alive. Yes, disease is your body’s attempt to survive.

As an analogy I’ll use what the USA use for determining alertness and readiness levels in their military. First up:

  • Defcon 5 — Shut down digestion, growth, and sex hormones; switch on stress hormones.
  • Defcon 4 — Shut down energy production; switch on pain genes.
  • Defcon 3 — Shut down health genes; switch on disease genes.
  • Defcon 2 — Shut down immune system; switch on auto-cell destruction.
  • Defcon 1 — Shut down tumour destruction; switch on cancer production.

 
I’m talking about end of the world stuff happening in your body and while the end result is the same for everyone, death, the path to get there is very individual based off your own genetics. For some people their body will turn on the fat gene the obesity gene. For other people they’ll turn on the diabetes gene or both the fat and the diabetes gene (ever heard of diabesity). But as there’s a 1 in 2 chance for women and a 1 in 3 chance for men getting cancer today guess what most genes are getting switched on when you’re not eating and living a holistic, healthy, and happy life? Yeah, cancer genes.

Your body and your genes have worked for so long with so little that they’ve enough. They’ve broken the emergency glass to grab the key of last resort and then they’ve inserted that key into your control centre and turned it in order to enable and uncover the button of last resort and finally your body and your genes who are sick and tired of being starved and mistreated look you in the eye, give you the finger, and say ‘freak you south-hole!’ as they hit that self-destruct button.

You cannot run a fully booked 100 seat restaurant with one chef, one server, and no manager. You cannot run a hospital on generator power with half the usual staff.

You cannot run your body on the wrong nutrition for it won’t be too long before it breaks down and falls to pieces.

All that to say, that’s what happens to your genes when you eat fake food.

Last thing I’ll about when it comes to how food impacts your health is aging.

Aging I’d like to reframe as dying. You are living and dying at the same time. Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take is bringing oxygen into the body and every time that oxygen is used by the cells it produces waste products and this waste causes rust and damage to your body. Every time your immune system has to switch on and get into action and clear out the bugs there’s a little damage left behind. Luckily your body has mechanisms and processes in place to clean up that rust and repair damage such as the use of antioxidants that cleanup the rust and heat shock proteins that repair the damage.

But no matter how many antioxidants you take you will continue to age and eventually die. That’s the natural process of life.

Now real food provides plenty of antioxidants, provides plenty of protein, provides plenty of energy and information for your cells and genes to do their job as well as clean up after themselves. There will still be a little mess lying around, but not as much as compared to eating fake food where your cells don’t have the necessary materials and aren’t given the correct energy and information and where your repair genes stay switched off and don’t get turned on leaving a lot of rust and mess and damage to build up in your body, which makes you age quicker and die faster. Age quicker die faster sounds like a Hollywood movie. ‘Age quicker die faster coming to a theatre near you.’

Anyway…

So if you want to live not just longer, not just in a wheelchair, not with dementia, not being able to look after yourself, if you want to live a long quality life full of vim and vigour and vitality give your cells and your genes what they need in order to clean up after themselves and repair the damage. Cell and DNA dam-age will age you. You see what I did there? That’s right damaging is aging.

Alright so how do you recognise real food?!

One simple test. If it has an ingredients list it’s probably not real food because real food is an ingredient. A real food is a single whole food ingredient. There is no list of ingredients.

Second real food tip. Would your great grandparents recognise it and have called it food or would they have asked you ‘what is this concoction?’

“If it wasn’t around 150 years ago and if it’ll sit on the shelf for another 150 years there’s a good chance you shouldn’t be eating it!”

Another real food tip. If the food you’re looking at is a bit processed and does have an ingredients list how do you know whether you’re getting enough nutrition and energy and information. Well can you pronounce the list of ingredients, do you understand that list, do you know the meaning and what those ingredients are? I mean there’s things like sodium sorbate, potassium bromate, monosodium glutamate, and polyvinylpyrrolidone, blah blah blah. If there are all these chemical compounds in the ingredients list, definitely not a real food. Now can you say chick-en or broc-co-li. Pretty simple right. Real food is simple too. If there’s less science and more life in the ingredients list then you’ve got yourself a better choice of food.

Now there are a lot of pretend fake food-like products out there that have been pumped full of artificial colourings, preservatives, additives, thickeners, emulsifiers, bulking agents, flavourings, texturants, and synthetic vitamins. Fake foods have also had their genes modified also known as GMO foods. These fake foods have been modified and treated to the point where your body, your digestive system, your immune cells, your gut probiotics, and your genes they don’t recognise it as a food and this causes a whole bunch of fuss and confusion. It’s like showing up to a fancy party without an invite or forgetting to RSVP. It causes a lot of trouble and you might get in or you might get kicked the freak out, but either way it creates an issue for all involved. So in terms of food labellings look for non-GMO foods with no added chemicals.

Along these lines look for foods that are certified organic or biodynamic. Certified organic means that food is non-GMO and not sprayed or treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, paracides, bactericides, rodenticides, antibiotics, and hormones. Biodynamic means the same as organic, but with a stronger emphasis on the sustainability and regenerability of the environment.

Spray-free is another label you may see and I see this alot in farmers markets and it means the same as organic, but it’s not certified as organic. You have to pay and follow strict guidelines for three years to have the right to say your food is organic and many farmers just can’t be bothered with the cost and the time, so while they may not have the fancy certification their spray-free food is just as good.

So you want to make sure that your food was grown by the laws of nature and ate real food having had a diet that was appropriate for its species. Was that plant grown in soil with plenty of nutrition and energy and information? Was that animal raised in its natural habitat eating the food it was designed to eat? This goes back to either the circle of life or the wheel of death depending on the health of the soil, plant, and animal.

Pigs can eat just about anything. Chickens, they’re omnivorous as well and will eat bugs, they eat insects, and they also eat grass and plants. Sheep, goats, cows — grasses, shrubs, and other plants is what they eat. Animals should not be eating anything, but what they’re evolved to eat.

In CAFOs or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, which are massive factory farms, you find cows eating grains — GMO grains. Now why do you think they give grains to cows? Because it fattens them up quicker! Even then greedy meat producers aren’t satisfied and inject cattle with growth hormones or better yet GMO growth hormones. Now because the cows are getting bigger faster than they would naturally a lot of them get sick and are injected with antibiotics.

Don’t forget about the chickens and pigs in CAFOs. These poor animals have it even worse than the cows. At least the cows get some time outdoors on pasture with fresh air and sunlight. Chickens and pigs are not only eating fake foods and being injected with hormones and antibiotics, but they are stuck literally stuck they cannot move in their cages or even in massive barns because there’s just too much of them.

So the worst meat you could ever buy the sickest meat on the planet is from one of these CAFOs, factory farms.

Now I’m not going to talk about what happens when humans eat grains as I’ll leave you to meditate on that idea yourself.

You’ll see labels like natural and cage-free and free-range and grass-fed or grass-finished, but in all honesty it’s all marketing. Buy direct from the farmer who can answer any questions you may have about their food or pickup the phone and call the company selling the food. Ask them what do they mean by natural and free-range and are the cows on the farm 100% grass-fed throughout their lifetime or how long was it before they went back to eating grains to be fattened up for the kill.

If your food is not organic or biodynamic and was not raised as Mother Nature intended it’s not real food and it’s not going to fully nourish you.

Remember fake food is from Father Industry. It’s an unnatural man-made and lab manipulated food-like product just like a television, a watch, a shoe, or a mobile smart-device. It’s a product it’s not food. We as humans cannot fully digest these fake foods, which will have thousands of ingredients in them. It’s basically dead food. It’s been processed beyond life itself to the point where most of the nutrition is no longer present and the energy and information has been altered. You’ll know a fake food as it’ll usually come in a packet, but that’s not to say all packaged food is fake, but definitely processed and packaged foods are the lowest of the low.

So here’s a quick five step guide to real food:

  1. It’s all natural — provided by Mother Nature herself
  2. Food the human animal has evolved to eat
  3. Single whole food ingredient
  4. Still has its life giving properties of energy and information with minimal processing and packaging
  5. No chemicals added


The best and most effective way to get real food into your life is by growing and raising it yourself.
I’m not just talking a herb garden or vegetable garden or fruit trees. I’m talking about backyard chickens and also buying into a cow-share program where you get together with a bunch of people and buy a whole cow to be split up between you all when the time comes.

Next level down would be to eat local direct from the source. At farmers markets you can always ask the grower or farmer what they used to raise that food. Eating local isn’t just good for your health, it’s not just good for the farmer, it’s not just good for the local economy and community, but it’s awesome for the environment as a whole. There’s a very small carbon footprint when you buy locally. So vote with your dollars and save the planet as they say and it all starts by looking after and saving yourself.

Now if you can’t source anything local go certified organic or biodynamic even though it comes from out of town or overseas at least you’re certain it’s toxin free.

Eat seasonally. This is really important. Most people today only eat about 12 different foods on average — 12 foods! When you eat with the seasons you get a lot more variety in your diet

“Variety is the spice of life.”

Eating the same foods over and over causes your body to become resistant to that food and eventually sickness and disease show up. Even if you’re in a place that doesn’t have dramatic seasonal changes like the tropics you can still eat seasonally by rotating your food manually.

So eat local and eat seasonal for the best real food experience.

If you cannot find or afford high quality real food then relax. Don’t worry, be happy. Your food doesn’t have to be blessed by a one-armed Tibetan monk high up in the Himalayan mountains to be the best tasting and nutritious food in the universe giving you better health and happiness.

I understand not everyone has the ability to access local hormone-free, antibiotic-free, pasture-raised, free-range, grass-fed, organic animal foods or local pesticide-free, GMO-free, organically or biodynamically grown plant foods.

I’m not saying if you eat fake food you will die.

What I’m saying is the majority of food you eat throughout your lifetime will determine the quality of life you experience for the majority of your time.

A couple books I recommend reading to find out more about the different effects real food compared to fake food have on the health of the human animal is Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price and Deep Nutrition by Catherine and Luke Shanahan.

A couple cookbooks on how to eat real food. One of my favourite ancestral cookbooks is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. My favourite recipe in this entire book is the vanilla ice cream. That’s on page 550. Best ice cream ever! Another awesome real food cookbook is Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo and my favourite recipe here is the lemon rosemary broiled salmon. Delicious.

Remember real food is about feeding your immune system and probiotics. It’s about telling the good genes to switch on and the bad genes to switch off. It’s about repairing the damage that’s happening inside your body every second so you can live happier for longer.

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Symptoms and disease are the last expression of an underlying problem happening in your body.

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