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SuperFeast Podcast

SuperFeast Podcast

Author: Mason J. Taylor

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Welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast! Join tonic herbalist and health educator Mason Taylor as we explore the magical world of Tonic Herbalism. We will explore the relevance of these ancient herbs and medicinal mushrooms in our modern culture of health to invigorate the body, restore organ health, create badass immunity and bring harmony to the hormones. Want to enhance performance, longevity, energy and radiance? Then dive in with us and learn why tonic herbal adaptogens have been used for millennia for this exact intention. So get ready to activate your SuperHuman health as we deliver this deep tonic herbal philosophy right your eardrums.
122 Episodes
It's that time of year again, where we descend from the peak of summer months, from the highs of long days and energised bodies, into a coming back to earth and ourselves. This fulcrum between seasons, coming out of summer but not quite in the preparations of Autumn/metal time, corresponds with the earth element. It's a time to anchor yourself in a place of equilibrium and nurture where you are out of balance through solitude, grounding practices, and nourishing foods. From this place of harmony and groundedness allows the bridging of heaven and earth, where dreams and aspirations come into reality. On the podcast today, we have our favourite duo exploring the earth element and how we can support ourselves, our families, and all of humanity in this axis point between seasons. In their natural ebb and flow, Tahnee and Mason discuss the earth element in all its dimensions, foods and practices for grounding energy, and nourishment of the digestive system with a specific focus on the pivotal role of the spleen in this time.   "There's something to me, with coming back to the earth element, that you can nurture, support, and nourish your family through this kind of devotion to feeding and nourishing them in the best possible way. I think there's something so beautiful about that". -Tahnee Taylor     Tahnee and Mason discuss: Late summer, entering into the earth element. Exploring the harmony and groundedness that the earth element brings. Grounding practices for the mind/intellect and body Getting grounded to take specific action and manifest dreams. The spleen/earth relationship The role of the spleen. Signs of spleen and digestive imbalance. Spleen consciousness; The reasoning mind and our ability to make clear judgments. Foods to eat in the late summer/earth season to nourish the spleen and pancreas. Nourishing the digestive system to support clear vision and thinking. Supporting digestion through warming foods. Qi blend to support the spleen and earth element. Mother Earth, the ultimate source of nourishment; how this translates to our relationship with our bodies is this season.   Tahnee and Mason Taylor Tahnee and Mason Taylor are the CEO and founder of SuperFeast (respectively). Their mission with SuperFeast is to improve the health, healing, and happiness of people and the planet, through sharing carefully curated offerings and practices that honour ancient wisdom and elevate the human spirit. Together Tahnee and Mason run their company and host the SuperFeast podcast, weaving their combined experience in herbs, yoga, wellness, Taoist healing arts, and personal development with lucid and compelling interviews from all around the world. They are the proud parents of Aiya and Goji, the dog, and are grateful to call the Byron Shire home.   MasonTaylor Mason Taylor is the founder of SuperFeast. Mason was first exposed to the ideas of potentiating the human experience through his mum Janesse (who was a big inspiration for founding SuperFeast and is still an inspiration to Mason and his team due to her ongoing resilience in the face of disability). After traveling South America for a year, Mason found himself struggling with his health - he was worn out, carried fungal infections, and was only 22. He realised that he had the power to take control of his health. Mason redirected his attention from his business degree and night work in a bar to begin what was to become more than a decade of health research, courses, education, and mentorship from some of the leaders in personal development, wellness, and tonic herbalism. Inspired by the own changes to his health and wellbeing through his journey (which also included Yoga teacher training and raw foodism!), he started SuperFeast in 2010. Initially offering a selection of superfoods, herbs, and supplements to support detox, immune function, and general wellbeing. Mason offered education programs around Australia, and it was on one of these trips that he met Tahnee, who is now his wife and CEO of SuperFeast. Mason also offered detox and health transformation retreats in the Byron hinterland (some of which Tahnee also worked on, teaching Yoga and workshops on Taoist healing practices, as well as offering Chi Nei Tsang treatments to participants). After falling in love with the Byron Shire, Mason moved SuperFeast from Sydney's Northern Beaches to Byron Bay in 2015. He lived on a majestic permaculture farm in the Byron hinterland, and after not too long, Tahnee joined him (and their daughter, Aiya was conceived). The rest is history - from a friend's rented garage to a warehouse in the Byron Industrial Estate to SuperFeast's current home in Mullumbimby's beautiful Food Hub, SuperFeast (and Mason) has thrived in the conscious community of the Northern Rivers. Mason continues to evolve his role at SuperFeast, in education, sourcing, training, and creating the formulas based on Taoist principles of tonic herbalism.   Tahnee Taylor Tahnee Taylor is the CEO of SuperFeast and has been exploring health and human consciousness since her late teens. From Yoga, which she first practiced at school in 2000, to reiki, herbs, meditation, Taoist and Tantric practices, and human physiology, her journey has taken her all over. This journey continues to expand her understanding and insight into the majesty (that is) the human body and the human experience. Tahnee graduated with a Journalism major and did a stint in non-fiction publishing (working with health and wellness authors and other inspiring creatives), advertising, many jobs in cafes, and eventually found herself as a Yoga teacher. Her first studio, Yoga for All, opened in 2013, and Tahnee continues to study Yoga with her teachers Paul + Suzee Grilley and Rod Stryker. She learned Chi Nei Tsang and Taoist healing practices from Master Mantak Chia. Tahnee continues to study herbalism and Taoist practices, the human body, women's wisdom, ancient healing systems, and is currently enrolled in an acupuncture degree and year-long program with The Shamanic School of Womancraft. Tahnee is the mother of one, a 4-year old named Aiya.   Resources: SuperFeast Qi Blend  YingYang Wuxing For Inner Harmony with Rhonda Chang EP#89     Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Mason: (00:00) Hey everybody.   Tahnee: (00:01) Hi, everybody.   Mason: (00:02) Happy late summer.   Tahnee: (00:04) Yeah, that's what we're here to talk about.   Mason: (00:08) So talking about the earth element today, I also like the way Rhonda Chang has been on the podcast. She says, not earth element, soil element. I like that as well. I go both ways though.   Tahnee: (00:23) Swinging around.   Mason: (00:25) It's a bit more tangible for me, because when I'm ... Every time I do one of these podcasts, it's a really good anchor for me, actually, practise. Everyone at each season, go going into a podcast about that season, and it helps you drop in and really ... And I'm walking around and I'm, "Oh, I'm feeling the wood element. And I'm feeling the quality of wood internally." And that's very obvious because that's wood, it's sprouts, it's growth. And fire's very obvious. Earth though, I'm, "Am I feeling the whole earth? Am I feeling Gaia consciousness?" Whereas if I go soil, this is spleen soil season. It's easy for me to get in and meditate on and feel about ... Feel that quality, that energetics of soil internally. And that's why I bring it up.   Tahnee: (01:10) Interesting. Yeah. Because see, for me it's more like a weightedness and I really relate to that centrality and the gravity of earth, as in it's holding us to it, and it's kind of drawing us back down. And so you think about the energy of fire, which is so high and I can feel there's kind of a neutral grounding at this time of year, which I've noticed in my energy that I've gone from being really busy and really social in summer and feeling quite active, to sort of ... I can feel the change. I can feel this kind of almost consolidation that kind of feels like it happens around this time of year. And earth is present in all of those transitions between seasons, so we feel that energy at least four times a year. But especially this one where it's kind of that drop from the peak of summer, but we haven't quite hit the depth of winter, or even the sort of descent of the sort of metal time of autumn time.   Tahnee: (02:25) So yeah, I can feel this sort of equilibrium, I guess, in this time. And I think it really shows you where you're out of balance. I've just been noticing that in me there's this invitation at this time of year to examine where I'm out of balance and out of harmony. And I think earth, of all the elements, invites harmony the most. The others can feel like they slide easily in one direction or another for me, but this one sort of always feels really grounded and then lands. So I hope that made sense.   Mason: (02:58) Yeah, I mean it touches on a bunch of things I was feeling might come up later, but we might as well dive into it. See, I think that's an important one for me, because I know there's a little bit of back and forth about ... This isn't actually ... This isn't a season, this is just another fulcrum between seasons. Which is true, it's important for me to kind of really ... That's been good practise for me to remember there's those few weeks, or however long it's present for me between every season where I come into the transition period. And I come into that ... Well, everything consolidates. I can fall on hard, solid ground and move between a water energy and a wood energy, which are really different.   Mason: (03:40) But here, in the late summer, always feels relevant because it's always ... It's a time when, A, we've had the summer. So we've never needed grounding more in the year than after summer. And I feel like the way the consciousness of each organ system kind of plays out, the G. Here we're going into the E, the YI, I'm not sure what the pronunciations, "Yee," or, "E," of this spleen consciousness. Being the intellect, the reasoning mind, being able to make judgments and have acceptance. And it's the intellect, the capacity to think and have good quality thoughts, or maybe have bad quality thoughts. After summer, we've just been flying on such a high, it's probably the time when we've been the most active. And potentially we've kind of moved away from say, in winter, you're going to see a real coming forth of our meditation and mindfulness, and really going in practise being the real ... Even though we might do it all year, it's really the focus during winter.   Mason: (04:49) Summer, maybe it's not the whole ... It's not coming to the forefront. And so we need to really ground down after that fire time and really check in with the quality of our thoughts, the quality of our intellect, and really ... And I was reading about someone's ... An interpretation, which really ... Because I love the dreaming aspect of the whole Daoist system. And because it's a big bridge between ... It's a major bridge between heaven and earth, that spleen energy, although there's many organs that play a role in that. This is where we get to really consciously wield the sword of how we are bridging between heaven and earth, or mainly our dreaming. What do we aspire for in our life? What do we feel our destiny is? And that's something that people might relate to in kind of visioning and visioning in that spring season, and having the vision kind of just being acted upon and come to life in the summer.   Mason: (05:48) But that spleen system, that spleen consciousness comes forth at this time of year, in those fulcrums between the season to really sit down, ground our thoughts and our mind, and have a look at basically how we're doing in bringing our dreams into manifest and grounding it from the heavens into this world. And I really like that, because it's probably ... I relate to it because it's probably something I skipped past, and that's where one of the biggest pieces are in this season. It's a really beautiful time to go in and have a look at that inner critic, and that ... Whether it's been ... Are we still remaining constructive? Are we still remaining acknowledging of everything that we actually have done? Are we sticking to the plan? Are we executing the plan effectively?   Mason: (06:34) All these things that our intellect can be like. Because the mind and the intellect, I feel sometimes it gets forgotten in the ... I don't know, in the health world that I've run in. Whereas that's something ... It's just so important for us to make sure that ... Not just have mindfulness and go into space, and not just quiet the mind, which obviously is another one that's really beneficial. But to really hone the mind and sharpen the mind so we can come better at bringing our dreams into reality. And we need to ground, and I think that will be really coming to the forefront for me this season.   Tahnee: (07:11) Yeah. I mean, the word that keeps popping into my head is substance. And I think when you think about what the spleen represents in the body, it's the substance, it's the muscles, and the kind of meat or the flesh of your body. And I think when you are kind of, I guess what I'm sort of ... The tangent I'm going on, having heard you just speak then was, yeah, there's this kind of substance that comes from acknowledging this transition and this element that kind of provides this real foundation and kind of bedrock on which the more lofty ideals can kind of manifest, and the spiritual ... I come back to Master Chia's work, we can't go off into the astro realms unless we have a really strong connection to the earth, and we remember her as mother and as the ultimate source of nourishment, and that we've chosen this reality to have this substantial experience so that our soul can ... Or our spirit can feel what it's like to be in this tangible form.   Tahnee: (08:15) And I think that invitation of earth and that kind of association with the mother, and nurturing, and the sweet flavour and all of these things that it has, it's really a lot to do with substance and with building us and who we become. And yeah, I think that idea of the intellect and the mind, I think clear thinking and clear seeing comes through a healthy digestive function, right? And we've got western medicine kind of correlating this idea of enteric brain, which is a very old concept that's kind of been revived recently, and-   Mason: (08:53) Can you go into that?   Tahnee: (08:54) Yeah, yeah. So basically we all kind of know that we have the spinal cord, and the brain, and all of this kind of stuff. And I think it was in the '40s, or it might've been even earlier, a man proposed that there was a gut brain, which was kind of poo-pooed a little bit at the time, there's no neural cells in the gut, it's all happening in the brain and in the nerves, and all that kind of stuff. And anyway, I think recently in the last couple of years, if not decades, there's probably someone who knows more about this than I do.   Tahnee: (09:26) But just from my research, there's basically been now evidence that yeah, the gut is heavily involved in producing neurotransmitters and in actually ... Stress response and all of these kinds of things. And that actually, yes, it's acting as a brain and it's signalling to the body to do certain things and certain functions at certain times. And so I, obviously coming from the Daoist perspective, think each of the organs is a brain, and believe based on my experience and what I've studied that that's what's happening, is they're all controlling our function through their lens, and our job is to harmonise that function and to harmonise their relationship with one another. And you can think of the brain as a mission control or something, but everything is kind of making things happen.   Tahnee: (10:16) But yeah, to take it back to the spleen, if you think about ... It's sort of this organ that in western medicine has again only recently been kind of recognised as being necessary as a part of the immune system, as a part of our defences. And one of our acupuncturist's favourite words is, "Bonds and boundaries," when it comes to the spleen. But if you think about the mother/child relationship, the boundary or the bond, the bond is very strong and the boundary is very small. A mother will do almost anything for her child. And you tend to see that in people who are ... I'm using air quotes here, "Spleeny." People who have a sort of tendency to bring balance in the earth element is ... They have a tendency to have really poor boundaries, to overstate their bonds, and also to have this kind of mind that runs wild on them. And that creates a lot of anxious thoughts and ... Mas and I are both put your hands up. Creates a lot of anxious thoughts and a lot of repetitive thoughts, and can really-   Mason: (11:14) Well the repetitive thoughts, you always use the word just ruminating-   Tahnee: (11:17) Yeah, digesting, right? And that's the thing that the spleen opens to the tongue, to the mouth. So we receive not only nourishment through our mouth, but also emotional nourishment. And if you have a tendency to over-crave sweet foods, or to need to lean on sweet foods emotionally, there's a very good chance that that's a sign of a spleen imbalance in your body. Similarly, anyone who's holding too much weight will probably also have some dysfunction going on with the spleen, because by its very nature, the spleen's not transforming the food into Qi, it's transforming it into mass, right? Into substance.   Tahnee: (11:53) And so this is not to say there's anything wrong with being a bit chubby or whatever, that's totally fine, but it really comes down to, if you're looking at this system as one of personal evolution, and personal understanding, and personal sovereignty, well then you're using all of this stuff as feedback for your own growth and understanding. And I think when you look at what the spleen represents, it's so beautiful and it can also be so detrimental. Because we all need more nourishment, and more love, and more care, and we need to direct that to the earth and we need to be able to receive that from the earth. And it's that giving and receiving, I think that can be a problem in our culture as well.   Mason: (12:34) Yeah. I mean that nourishment, everyone can put their hands just over there, the bottom of their left rib cage now and just send some good Juju into your spleen, which is the in organ. When we talk about the soil earth element, includes the pancreas, and the stomach being the yang organ there. Someone who was saying it's like the Goldilocks organ. It's not too hot, not too cold, not too soft, not too hard. It's fine, we were just playing Goldilocks at the beach yesterday with Aiya. It's very appropriate. It's subconscious. Subconsciously manifesting the organs into our playtime. But that's something when it comes to ... It's kind of like this ... When you get into your 30s, everyone's all of a sudden ... Me partying when I was 25, Friday night out just flogging yourself, and then you get to 30s and your idea of a perfect Friday night is pyjamas a little-   Tahnee: (13:36) Bed.   Mason: (13:36) Yeah, bed basically. I think there's just a time when your intellect does kind of get honed into one that we'd call adult or mature, or where you become ... Hopefully some responsible thoughts and intellect can start coming forth and you start making more responsible nourishing choices about which form within your lifestyle flow you're going to see consistency, maybe some discipline. But basically that's when you say nourishment-   Tahnee: (14:08) It's stabilising.   Mason: (14:09) Stabilising, exactly. And the other way it's put, that spleen, that the earth is the adhesive between all the other organs. It's what gives them ... It's the earth it's-   Tahnee: (14:20) The hub in the wheel. If you visualise that central axis on which everything spins, if you don't have good digestion, if you don't have good thoughts, if you don't have good boundaries and good bonds, relationships and things that nourish and support you, well then really those are sort of the foundations of a healthy life. You know... One quick tangent I wanted to jump on was Mas was just talking about the stages of life. And in, again, the sort of Chinese worldview, or the Eastern Asian worldview, the early ... I can't remember, I think it's the first fourteen years or it might be seven years and eight years ... Yeah, it's seven years for women and eight years for men, I think. So the first seven years are wood, so you're very yang, you're growing really fast-   Mason: (15:03) [inaudible 00:15:03]   Tahnee: (15:03) So you're very young, you're growing really fast.   Mason: (15:03) Like a sprout.   Tahnee: (15:03) No, it must be 14. Because anyway, you might have to Google this. For the first chunk of life you're wood. Yeah, you're this little sprout, you're growing, if you've ever been around a child, we have a four-year-old, never stop moving. Heal really quickly, run really hot, don't need to wear clothes all summer. You've got a picture in your head of that.   Tahnee: (15:23) Then we go into the fire stage, which is our twenties when we're really burning bright, we're really social and really trying to get ourselves out there in the world. Again, we can all probably relate to that, where there's this real drive and real fire and real burning purpose and passion.   Tahnee: (15:40) Thirties is when we hit that earth time. Yeah. And so we've landed and we've learned a few things along the way. We've learned what doesn't work. We've been burned. We've also worked out maybe where we fit in the world a little bit and we've worked out what we need and what we don't need and so we're starting to... The spleen's job is to... or the stomach and the spleen, their job's to separate that what we want to digest and eliminate the rest.   Mason: (16:06) Sorting.   Tahnee: (16:08) Yes. And that's... I can't remember the words right now, but it's sort and something. Anyway. But yeah, they're going through and determining what's necessary. And so that's really what this stage of life is that we're in, is this more grounded stage of life. And then you move through into the metal years where hopefully you've accumulated some wisdom, but you also give less shit. You're starting to cut some stuff out of your life, you might start to think about retiring, you might start to not deal with people that you would have put up with in your thirties or whatever. And then you're into a more spiritual age later on, where you're in those wisdom years, where hopefully you're contributing back your wisdom to the people around you, your society, your culture.   Tahnee: (16:50) So, that's in loose allegory for the human experience and the soul growth over those years. So, I think those of you listening in your thirties, yeah, you may feel like there's a stabilising and a slowing down and a consolidating, but I would invite you to see that as a very natural process, and something that doesn't need to be fought. Despite what I hear from friends who are like, "Oh my God, when I was in my twenties." It's like, no, now we get to reap the harvest of all of that work that we did understanding ourselves, all the things we tried, all the experiments.   Mason: (17:22) And that's, I think, important. We talk about the anxiety that's out there and we're not going to go into diagnosing anxiety or anything like that, but quite often it's related to the heart. But Tahns said it one day, she's like, "A lot of anxiety comes from that spleen earth energy as well, because you're just constantly chewing, chewing, ruminating, ruminating, ruminating." And when you just said, "Oh my God, when I was in my twenties, I was doing everything right", whatever, whether it's health, profession, there's a little bit of comparison. And another thing that comes into this spleen... Emerging from this spleen energy, is accepting. A real grounded accepting. Cool, this is where I'm at in my life, or getting to a physical practise. Cool. This is where my body is at today without going into all that comparison, because when you go into that comparison, you're going to start looking at your intellect, and your inner critic giving you a flogging.   Mason: (18:19) And so it's really important, I think it's really important for us to really accept this stage of life that we're at and with what's naturally and energetically coming with it during this time of life, or even if you're not in this time of life, during at the fulcrums of the season. And just remember the soil is at the centre of that elemental medicine wheel. And so we base a good chunk of your lifestyle around ensuring that this spleen, earth, soil element is going to be healthy because it is the glue that brings everything together.   Mason: (18:54) All the other elements, the reason there's able to be Yin yang adjustment through the body is because all the elements can pass through the soil and basically interchange and connect with these other elements. It's a transporter and a transformer. And so the spleen is able to... So those let's say the kidneys are able to get water received by them to the liver so it can become more pliable through the spleen. So same as like the fire is able to send heat down to the kidneys through the spleen, water is able to go between lung and kidney through the soil of the body as well.   Mason: (19:37) So when Tahn says it's a nourishing energy, it's a grounding energy. It's why all over blogs and Instagram and people's conversations around health when they've been going to these extreme diets, for instance, or you've been searching for what's wrong with you. At some point, if you will go with the process, you get a little bit accepting of the chop wood, carry water, we're in the Year of the Ox. And there's a little bit of Oxen energy to that soil. It's like, "Okay, cool. I accept where I'm at in life. And I accept I'm maybe not going to be able to find, keep on finding answers, it might be unsustainable if I keep on going extreme. I'm going to have to go a little Goldilocks here and get a little bit more consistent with my diet, maybe with when I'm eating with what I'm eating with, what my schedule looks like." So on and so forth.   Mason: (20:27) So that's always... I feel like we've given a good amount of context to what I find myself, which is, in my twenties, I wouldn't be such a spleen-y person, because I was... I remember really rolling my eyes when I was a raw foodist. I was doing all kinds of extremes. I was fasting a lot, so on and so forth. Because that really worked for me back then.   Mason: (20:51) But I remember just rolling my eyes whenever I heard anyone talking Chinese medicine principles around having breakfast, a nice nourishing breakfast, three square meals, and especially a really good breakfast at the start of the day. Ensure you do physical exercise and the same meditation, the same sequences, get really familiar with the way that you move your body, and you cultivate your energy, talking about like, hey, let's not drown the spleen in cold raw foods. And that is something I feel like there needs to be a real bridging, which funnily enough, that's what the spleen is making this connection between those worlds that are nut salads and smoothies.   Mason: (21:37) I get it, especially during these seasons, it's just so easy versus everything always needs to be cooked. Bringing a connection between those two segments of our own psyche, our own health practises, the health scene, the practitioners, like there's bacterial experts, gut bacteria experts that are just like, cool, whatever. You don't worry about... Just get different pigments and different fibres in. Don't worry about the temperature and so on and so forth. And then likewise, you've got the Chinese medicine, which is just as long as it's all really well cooked and energetically and check with the seasons. But there's going to have to be a little bit of crossing paths and conversation between those two worlds to get a little bit more wisdom there.   Mason: (22:23) But I think it's a good one for everyone to be really meditating on and remembering we're out of balance when it comes to the seasons. Most people have some small spleen deficiency, not most people, but a lot of people. And if you're trying to get back in flow with the seasons, you're going to need to be standing on solid ground. And the place to do that is to have a spleen friendly diet and a spleen friendly lifestyle. So yes, we will probably start talking about a few dietary principles during this season, a little bit of sense and why certain sweet... because it is a sweet flavour.   Tahnee: (23:10) Sadly doesn't mean sugar, though. I think there's a few things in there, just to backtrack a little bit. I think if you think of this concept of alchemy, which is really at the heart of these Daoist and the Vedic's other aspect of the tradition that I study, is the Vedic side of things. And at the heart of that is really fire as the element that really transformed humanity. And I think what I've really come to understand and to have a lot of reverence for is the... We just tried to light a fire yesterday with wet wood and it was a shit fight. Our neighbours probably hate us now. There was smoke everywhere. It was a really unpleasant situation for us and for them.   Mason: (24:00) We brought this [inaudible 00:24:01] all over Argentina.   Tahnee: (24:03) We did. I think that's a really nice allegory really for the digestive system because it's not like every meal is not going to digest well, we can light a fire 99% of the time. But I think over time, if you just keep adding damp wood and trying to light that fire, you're going to run out of chi, and you're going to create a lot of soot in the body, right? You're going to end up with a lot of inflammation and all of this stuff because the body is just not coping. And it doesn't necessarily... We've had rain solid for a week to get to the point where the fire won't light, right? So it's I think the conditions have to be against you or you've created an imbalance. And again, this can take time. A lot of people we speak to are like, "Oh, it was fine", and Mason was fine, when you were raw for a while.   Mason: (24:57) Yeah. Four years was good. And then I instinctively went, I'm going to move before something shitty happens.   Tahnee: (25:03) Yeah. And I think I can refer back to my very complicated relationship with food and see how much damage I've done to my spleen and my digestive function, through everything from disordered eating to controlling too much cold and damp and wet foods, to forgetting to eat because I get so in my head. There's lots of different ways in which I've created any sensitivity really that I have in my digestion.   Tahnee: (25:34) So I think there's this really interesting dance there that each person has to dance for themselves around how sensitive they are. I do believe you can rebuild digestive fire, absolutely have seen it, and I know that it's possible, and I've felt it in my own body where I can digest things I couldn't digest 10 years ago, but I do think there's this really interesting personal dialogue we have to learn to have with our body where we drop all of the bullshit from everyone who's throwing ideas at us, and we just come back into, well, what really works for me?   Tahnee: (26:05) And again, if you think as the stomach as a receiver and a warm environment in which food lands, it takes no knowledge of science to know that you're going to have to use energy to warm up cold food. That's just obvious. So if you're tired and weak, and you're using energy to digest, that's not going to be ideal. And so it starts to look at... It depends. If you feel really vital and you have a lot of energy, a lot of space, it's probably fine to eat a lot of cold wet food. If you don't, then maybe it's time to make a change. And it goes all the way through.   Tahnee: (26:41) And again, if you look at the spleen, if you look at it's role as really providing the nourishment for the blood, again, it comes down to, well, what is blood made of? And so again, we're looking at are we providing the foundations for healthy blood? Are we providing enough fluid? Are we providing enough nutrition? And how is that being alchemised by the body? Which is really the important part, because you can eat the best food and you can eat organic, and you can eat this and that. And if your body's just not doing anything with it, it's a waste of time. So really the invitation of this spleen and earth energy is to transform and alchemise everything that we consume, which does include emotions and even the words that we speak.   Tahnee: (27:20) And I think that's a piece that's often missed when we talk about health is it's what... I've got some stuff going on in my family right now. My digestion has been awful basically since it happened, because, and you think about, again, the archetype of family and what all of that means, there's this lack of stability and foundation for me that I'm now having to rebuild on my own. And so I'm seeing that mirrored in my body and I think there's this real need to remember that we don't just digest food, but we digest energy, and we digest emotion.   Mason: (27:54) Thoughts. Beliefs.   Tahnee: (27:54) Yeah, exactly. And so part of what you digest when you eat a certain way is the ideology of that system of eating. And so I think that's something we all have to just really slow down and take stock of and see where we want to align ourselves, but-   Mason: (28:11) Well, because it becomes your flesh.   Tahnee: (28:13) Yeah. It literally becomes what you're made of and it's that you are what you eat cliche, but it's true, right? If you're unable to digest your emotions, they're going to go somewhere in your body and you're going to hold them. And the muscles are really the overflow for what our organs can't digest. So if you've ever had a recurring muscle pain that comes about when you have an emotional experience, you can start to think, okay, well, let's say it's something to do with stress and the liver, and you might get a sore neck and shoulder. It's yeah, my liver is overburdened. It's created this excessive heat or this reaction, which is now being manifested in my muscle. My muscle's taking that energy away from that organ, and yes, doing the organ a favour, but now, I have a sore shoulder, or a sore neck.   Tahnee: (29:04) And so you can start to look back at, okay, well, what do I do now to nourish my liver chi? How do I support myself? How do I avoid recreating this situation? So you start to use yourself as a little science experiment. As a curious little exploration of what I can do. And I think that's one of the big invitations of this earth energy is to start to nourish yourself as you would want to be nourished. To look at yourself as deserving of that level of care and effortless, thankless care that a mother gives to a child, that the earth gives to us.   Tahnee: (29:43) And then in exchange, we're then able maybe to give that to others and it starts to build out this altruism. And the best expression of earth is this altruistic caring non-martyred, loving expression of unity and sharing...   Tahnee: (30:00) ... kind of unity and sharing and sympathy and understanding amongst everyone. And obviously we don't have that in the world, but that's a really great expression of it. And the other side of it, is this kind of narcissistic, controlling, needy, anxious, overthinking, kind of analysing that stuff. So, we're kind of trying to lean a little bit more on the former and a little less on the latter.   Mason: (30:29) Good. Rant.   Tahnee: (30:29) I've been talking for like 20 minutes.   Mason: (30:32) No, so good. I just went to lots of places just in terms of accepting that nourishment coming our way, because I was just thinking about... I'm going to talk a little bit about fasting and intermittent fasting, but I'm not going to go too deep and I'm definitely not poo-pooing you guys. I'm just talking about like, I think it's really clinically used or used with a very specific intention. I think it's great, but I came to my own conclusion that I don't think it's a healthy thing to have like a permanent inclusion in a lifestyle for me anyway.   Mason: (31:03) And definitely from what I can see, and we were talking about quality of flesh and quality of muscle. And I remember feeling really strong and being in a community of people that seemed really strong and had good looking muscles, but I could never shake that using something like that intermittent fasting, again, not poo-pooing, not saying this is fact, just going on a thought, just going up on a bandwagon, the quality wasn't there. I didn't like the quality of the flesh and the quality of muscle that I was seeing in my peers and I was seeing in myself.   Mason: (31:34) And I don't know why that was. I think because, one, I had a fanatical ideology and that's something I don't... I've learned what it feels like to create flesh from more fanatical ideology. And two, I really got caught in the logic and I think this is where the spleen can get the most damage in raw food diets, ancestral kind of intermittent fasting kind of style diets. All these things that kind of disconnect us from being grounded and allowing our pure logic and intellect to just... And accept the nourishment that's coming for us.   Mason: (32:10) In that spleen season, we can go into like, you know what, intellectually, it makes sense that as hunter and gatherers, we wouldn't be going out and we wouldn't have that abundance. And therefore for me, what I'm realising there is, is I felt guilty about the level of abundance that I have access to here, in this day and age and that this civilization for all the awful things and amazing things that it's done, I have a genuine mistrust of it. I don't accept any of the nourishment because there's other people that maybe aren't getting nourishment based on other political... This is me, my spleen mind running off and going.   Mason: (32:51) I don't actually deserve it. And therefore I try and logic my way or reason my way, intellect my way to a place, where I am replicating some kind of other diet under the guise of getting health outcomes or logic verse just getting grounded and not having to fly off and go for some crazy ideology, but just continuously grounding and starting with that point of nourishment, which is like why I was thinking of intermittent fasting. And then for me, it was huge coming to having a three-square meal thing. I felt like a failure going to that. That's like eating way too much, even though then the principal becomes only eat till you're like 80% full.   Mason: (33:33) But I was like, why am I doing this? Why do I have to eat? Because you're hungry and I've been there. I've done lots of fasting. I love that point when you kind of stop getting hungry. But when I became really grounded and I grounded my intellect in my mind, and I started accepting and looking and thinking about nourishment, accepting nourishment coming my forth, I don't think it's an absurd statement. to think the natural tendency that everyone is going to accept from their mother is to eat when you're hungry.   Mason: (34:04) So I think as well, if people don't agree with what I eat at this time because it's breakfast and lunch and dinner, and they're synthetic things. Breakfast time is something that was created by Kellogg's and blah, blah, blah. I get all that. You go through all that programming bullshit. And then you do get to a point in the morning though, when you're just hungry. And that's what the spleen is. It's very grounded. Well, should I eat or should I not? Should I fast, should I not? Are you hungry? Yes. Okay. Is there something like diseased in you that clinically you've seen that intermittent fasting is going to help you get through that and get back into a metabolic balance or perhaps get your pancreas working in alignment? You've got whatever it is.   Mason: (34:43) I could do it and heal, but then you always come back to the centre of the wheel of the earth and accept that nourishment. And yeah, I just really, I guess I just went off and did a little bit of healing then when you were talking about that. The stomach, sitting in there, I think they say it likes to sit at about like a 38 degrees.   Tahnee: (35:09) Yeah. It's slightly warmer than body temperature. I can't remember the exact temperature, but I think that's... I mean, it's interesting, you're talking about even receiving nourishment because that's kind of the archetype of the stomach, is it receives, right? It literally controls the receiving. It's like a compost bin. So if you've ever composted and you know that if you put too much wet stuff in there, it gets stinky. If you don't add enough dry stuff... So this is-   Mason: (35:32) Great analogy.   Tahnee: (35:33) Yeah. And I think people forget like it's soil, right? So to make healthy soil, you need carbon, you need all sorts of various things. I think the older I get, the more I think we should eat most things in a lot of variety all of the time, as in way more diversity than is probably promoted in a lot of the mainstream diet fads. But I really noticed for myself, if I don't eat a lot of high fibre food and well-cooked vegetables and stuff, if I eat too many starchy things, like spelt pancakes or whatever, I don't feel like my digestion flourishes as well. So I can feel that there's this kind of desire for the body to sort of compost these really natural foods, right? And you think about what we would have had access to. They are things like your fruits, your vegetables, your nuts, your meats, your grains and legumes and things that are prepared.   Tahnee: (36:32) And again, I watch YouTube videos of indigenous cultures preparing food. They spent all freaking day doing it. Like they're not ever eating a Twinkie or anything that's in a packet, like to prepare a legume or a grain that's soaking and that's sprouting and they're mashing and they're grinding. It's a process. And I think we've really lost touch with how much labour it takes to get food to a place where it's digestible. We just kind of plonk some stuff in a pan and eat it. And it's like, yeah, there's actually a lot of effort and time and energy. And that's one of the things that the industrial revolution did for us was it took us away from having to prepare our foods possibly to the detriment of our bodies. And I think we would all agree that hasn't been the best for human health.   Mason: (37:20) To an extent. I mean, there's definitely-   Tahnee: (37:20) Well, yes. Sorry. That's not true. Yeah. There's more longevity and stuff. But I guess in terms of those markets of like wellness, like that's-   Mason: (37:25) Well, yeah. Yeah. I mean, and I was just thinking about exactly that, like it's another part where I draw back. I was just thinking about apples and thinking how... You were talking about indigenous preparation. I was thinking, oh yeah, they couldn't just go grab an apple. And I was like, but there's this amazing thing of like seeds going all across the world and us developing crops and biodynamic gardens bringing us these amazing produce, so we can use all this produce. Most of what we're getting locally and seasonally, pretty much none of it is going to be, for most people listening to this, like indigenous foods coming from this land or indigenous meat's. Nonetheless, that's like that can... But then you start bringing in preparation. We've had such a speed up of convenience, which to the extent has kept people fed, which is essentially a good thing, people to be able to be fed. Then you get excess, you get excess of crap, excess of corn, excess of wheat, and you get GMOs, all that kind of stuff coming in.   Tahnee: (38:22) Yeah. Cheap stuff. Yeah.   Mason: (38:22) But if you come back and you accept the nourishment and the abundance, but then, as you said, the spleen is going to like you putting a lot of time and preparation into... And if you can weave that back into your kitchen, if you can have...   Tahnee: (38:36) Well, I think it comes back to nature. I remember, I lived with a Japanese family. I lived with two. One was very modern and one was very traditional. And in the traditional one, the grandma got up every morning at 03:00 or 04:00 in the morning and she would start cooking breakfast and we would have a proper meal with like a soup and rice and sausage and an egg thing and sushi.   Mason: (39:00) Yum.   Tahnee: (39:00) Yeah. A proper meal for breakfast. And then we'd have the same thing for lunch if we were there and we'd have something else for dinner. And that's literally her gig was they grew the green stuff right next to the house. They bought some other stuff from the market. And I remember thinking, at the time being 16, eff that, I'm a feminist and I'm never going to do that. But there's just something to me, coming back to the earth element, that you can nurture and support and nourish your family through this kind of devotion to feeding them and to making sure that they're fed in the best possible way. I think there's something really beautiful about that. And it's taken me a good 20 years to see the beauty in that.   Tahnee: (39:41) But I think there's something in that, around the connection to nature as well. And if we're talking foods for the spleen, they are really a lot to do with those sort of naturally sweet kind of harvest foods, your grains, your nuts... Not so much your nuts, sorry, your grains, your legumes. You have root vegetables, that kind of thing.   Mason: (40:02) Yellowy foods. Yeah.   Tahnee: (40:03) Yeah. Like your pumpkin or squash.   Mason: (40:05) Squash, sweet potato.   Tahnee: (40:06) Yeah. And I think that if you think about how you feel-   Mason: (40:09) White rice is really a good neutral spleen tone applying food alone.   Tahnee: (40:13) Yeah. If you think about how you feel after you eat a big warm bowl of pumpkin soup or soup potato curry or something, you feel really like hugged in this... I interviewed Andrew Sterman recently, if you haven't heard that one go back and listen to it, but he talks about you want to feel like your belly's purring after you've eaten a meal. And I think just that sense that the foundation of your wellbeing is going to come through having that kind of happy feeling of food cooked with love, chosen carefully for what you need to balance your body and to really nourish and support [crosstalk 00:40:49].   Mason: (40:48) Massive diversity of what you're eating and different types of fibres. I think that interview was amazing. I think that combination of his and I interviewed Jason Jason Hawrelak on that. Increasing, he's just studying the microbiome in getting a diversity of bacteria there. And that's a beautiful kind of like... If you can listen to those and not try and put those two philosophies, because one's like naturopathic and the other one's Chinese medicine, don't try and lay them over each other, but just like the soil earth element, just feel that space between them and feel them communicating.   Mason: (41:21) And then from the other side of those two things that you could be interested in for better health outcomes, you can find what could come the other side is more nourishing and tailored. You've got the evidence on your side and tradition on your side of a capacity to make a family culture and have a food culture, which is going to get you through the other end with your spleen chief flowing, therefore, hopefully your other elemental organs flowing with greater ease, yin-yang transformation happening with greater ease. It doesn't mean everything's perfect in the body, but you're in flow. You're in communion. You're grounded enough to be able to take very specific action as well to manifest your dreams.   Mason: (42:08) And that's something I think, I feel it's probably like there's another little bit of a tangent, but it's something that you do see a lot as people go, like lots of dreams when you're in your teens or 20s, and then you kind of grow up. It's like in Hook, I always talk about Hook. Peter Pan, lost boy, and then goes, "I want to get married. I love someone." And so he goes over and he just forgets all his... Forgets Never Never, basically forgets how to dream and Crow and fight and fly, and how to have happy thoughts.   Mason: (42:48) But then the spleen season, if you're alive enough in spring and you have enough trust and confidence in yourself to start dreaming up and thinking, what would I like? What's going to really light me up and make me feel like I've really been able to do what I'm here to do, which is bridge heaven and earth, and bring some magic to me in this world? And that doesn't need to look extravagant or anything, just allow yourself to be in that dreaming.   Mason: (43:14) When it gets to these earth seasons, it's a really good time to... You're mature and start making your decisions and really quiet your mind. And really ensure that you're being critical and judgmental in a way that's really going to take you further towards living your best life, for a better word, and an expressed life verse being judgmental to others and yourself and critical of yourself, because that does eventually turn your flesh into kind of that energy. And you can feel it.   Mason: (43:54) I remember, after I got out of my raw kind of food worlds, I became quite critical of, and people probably hear the hangover of it, I talk about it all the time, critical of myself kind of falling into those ideologies for just how much I externally started to identify, became a bit resentful towards the health scene. I became resentful to the kinds of information that people would put out there with conviction, not knowing the whole of the system, just doing things willy-nilly, which I saw could put people in danger, which is probably because that's what I felt like I was doing, to be honest.   Tahnee: (44:37) Well, it's interesting about the spleen and the intellect aspect of it. If you are in ideology, that's a sign of spleen imbalance, right? If you think about what a lot of these diets do is they disturb the healthy flow of spleen qi in the body. And that affects the ability, the capacity to think. So people get myopic, they get stuck on, this is the only way. They can't digest that there might be two or three or four or five or six or a thousand different ways to eat.   Tahnee: (45:03) .... That there might be two or three or four or five or six or 1000 different ways to eat or to behave. And so it sort of becomes this my way or the highway kind of a thing. And again, it comes down to bonds and boundaries, right? Like a strong boundary against everybody else, and only my tribe is right. And that tribalism is really not what we need. Like our whole world is incredibly tribal right now. And it's not really in service to the growth of humanity, it's not in service to like our collective growth as people of a country or a state. Whatever your thoughts are on what's going on globally, there's a lot of stuff that isn't really that helpful. So I think when we think about this sense of like what the gifts of the spleen are, it's empathy, it's understanding that you may not agree with someone, but you can empathise with their perspective.   Tahnee: (45:48) Well, if your spleen is out of balance, you're not going to have that. You're going to think that they're wrong. You're going to be black and white. You're going to be divisive. Similarly, it's about altruism and about supporting the whole of humanity. Well again, if you're out of balance, you're not going to be feeling like that. It's about stability. If you're not stable, is it really working? And I think that's the, I mean, that's one of the things I believe very strongly with yoga is, if your practise isn't making you more stable, you're doing the wrong practise for you. And I think-   Mason: (46:17) That kind of links into like looking at what's your relationship like? What's your house like? How is your work life? Before you go out and try and save the world, making sure your own house is ... at least you're in the middle of ... at least you've got to practise consistently and you're getting your house in order.   Tahnee: (46:34) Yeah, and I think-   Mason: (46:35) I don't [crosstalk 00:46:35] like lofty ... I don't [inaudible 00:46:38] get it perfect. And then you can go out-   Tahnee: (46:39) No, well that's liver.   Mason: (46:41) Yeah.   Tahnee: (46:41) Perfectionist liver friend. But yeah, I really do think ... like I think that something we talk about a lot is I look to people who are our peers, or even really well known in the scene and they aren't stable. They aren't people that are steady and consistent. And I find there's something about that that I'm a little bit wary of, because I think, "Well, I'm more interested in learning from someone who's been around for a while and who's really spent time diving into their understanding and their experience." And that leads you to teachers that are older and that have been around a while. And they very rarely teach black and white. They very rarely say there's one way. I mean, "It depends," is pretty much the mantra of my life because it's like there is no right way.   Tahnee: (47:33) And all of this stuff is really just someone wrote this down because someone downloaded it probably from wherever you want to believe. I believe from some kind of source, consciousness. And they've been able to put it down in a language that we don't speak anymore, that's been translated through time. There's lots of arguments about what things mean. And then we're here having this conversation on a podcast, this is our understanding and interpretation of someone else's insight. And we all have the capacity to have these insights and these understandings. And I think it just becomes, again, about how we assimilate and digest these ideas. And so just to keep bringing it back to that spleen element, you're creating the soil of your life through composting everything you come across and turning it into your foundation, your stability. And that's, I think, the piece that is really important, is it's not about, "Oh, it's spleen time and I have to eat pumpkin," it's about what do you notice and observe when you lean in to what's abundant in your ...   Tahnee: (48:37) Like in my neighbourhood right now, there are lots of sweet potatoes around. They're at all the farmer's markets and they're everywhere. It's like, well, that would make sense to me to eat them because they're there, they're growing. And hey, oh, by the way, they also worked for spleen. Isn't that interesting? And I think this is this really kind of interesting thing that you start to notice these things, like you were saying, you start to kind of, year on year, develop and cultivate this deeper level of understanding and relationship with these things just through living, not through trying to put on some, "I'm a Daoist and I believe it's spleen time, and I'm going to do this."   Tahnee: (49:10) And I think that's the same with the herbs. Like if you're working with ... Some people might need spleen herbs a lot, all the time. They might just have a tendency to really go out of balance in that area, and they really need that support. I can sort of be like that sometimes. Other people might feel like they want to work with them around the change in season. Other people might just want to work with them when they feel called to. You can work with your practitioner and find out what's going to be appropriate for you at this stage of life. So I think there's so much diversity in how we approach these things, but-   Mason: (49:44) That's probably worth mentioning. Like when we're talking about spleen deficiencies, we're talking in a very general sense, allowing the soil, the earth Chi to flow smoothly through the spleen stomach meridian, which can mean many things for everybody listening to this, but it's just feeling generally in harmony. And especially at this point, your intellect, the good quality thoughts, beliefs, and then your digestion. And so it's like you look at are you getting bloating? Are you holding weight? Is there IBS? Is there a bit of leaky gut going on? Is there a runny stool? Is there, to a lesser extent, constipation, but still there? And remember, where there's spleen, there's dampness in the spleen, you imagine the soil's just sopping wet, soggy, but then there's damp heat and damp cold. And then when we look at the stomach, we're going to see generally it's going to be heat, stomach heat. And so you're going to look at things like indigestion and reflux and those kinds of things.   Mason: (50:52) But we're not trying to diagnose all these things. Make sure you're with ... If there's something in those areas and really digestively something really going wrong, or especially if psychologically, something you can not, you haven't been able to get on top of it, don't try and do the lifestyle changes. Don't try and shoulder the burden. Remember to accept nourishment, and there's going to be people out there, practitioners, they're going to be able to help you kind of hone in on that as well. But in general, yeah. I mean, when you look at the Qi herbs, they're all about supporting the spleen function and quite often the lung function, because that's what delivers us our vitality and our daily Qi, so all the organs can run and thoughts can move and all that kind of good thing.   Mason: (51:34) So yeah, at this time of year, for sure, especially when here it's so muggy and damp, I like having the herbs in the Qi blend. I felt really comfortable when it came out with the Qi blend, because there's so many ... Poria, is the mushroom in there leading the charge, able to transform that water. If there's too much water. And likewise, guys, all the mushrooms are basically known in Chinese medicine as the regulators, water regulators, like the Warren G of the water in your ...   Mason: (52:08) And then the roots, like Astragalus. So like your Homie Nate   Tahnee: (52:16) Stop.   Mason: (52:19) So it's a really good time to get those moving in, especially the mushrooms, moving that water. Because remember, if that water's ... what's going to be able to travel through soggy, sopping water? You can't ... I can't remember what the word is. Friable.   Tahnee: (52:38) Yeah.   Mason: (52:39) Yeah. Like to be able-   Tahnee: (52:40) Soil.   Mason: (52:40) Yeah, soil. So you think you-   Tahnee: (52:41) Can move through it.   Mason: (52:42) Yeah, you think water can move through it, or especially that's what you want to be able to do ... moving in there.   Tahnee: (52:47) [crosstalk 00:52:47] can push through easily.   Mason: (52:49) Yeah. Cheese can move through there. Worms are going to be able to be present there in the soil. Maybe not. Let's stay in the analogy with that one. But yeah, very general. But mushrooms are always ... I mean, the good thing about Qi herbs is they're all so general and you can't really go wrong. But as Tahn's said, some people will notice really big differences. You make all these lifestyle kind of changes that we've spoke about. Remember that it's a time to get grounded and have a look at your inner critic and your beliefs and all these things. Remember, it's a transitional time. So you do have the opportunity at the fulcrums of the season, as you do all the time, you can tune into that earth energy. But really, if you sit down, stop distracting yourself. That's why people go on social media breaks and like little holidays, because when you stop having all that information coming in, you don't have to digest as much and chew on as much. And therefore you can chew on what's present in your body and make little adjustments, transitions.   Mason: (53:45) Remember, to transport you over to another ... You can transport yourself back over into connecting with those dreams you had when we’re 20, and just with this maturity you've got, and start making really intellectually aligned, good quality decisions. And you have a look, "What's my beliefs that I have? Cool. All right, I'm going to have to ... I might actually start working on that belief." And then you go at it like an ox, like a chop wood, carry water. You just plough ahead and plough ahead at it. So really important for you to do that. But yeah, if you get into the Qi herbs, the mushrooms, you might see that you'll physically may notice a little bit more vitality. Your digestion might get a little bit more honed. It's very correlated with immunity. So it's actually the time of year anyway you want to start ... You always want to be taking the mushrooms as far as I'm concerned. There's a black and white statement for you to [crosstalk 00:54:38] say, that's the exception.   Tahnee: (54:39) Yeah. There's an exception to every rule.   Mason: (54:40) Generally, but Qi, I mean at this point Qi kind of starts really making an appearance, and then I go ... And then I start going real hard as I get into March. And then all of autumn it's like the focus, because they had the spleen herbs and the lung herbs, and then they start really fortifying your surface protective Qi, your [inaudible 00:55:03] Chi, going into winter. And it's important, especially with everything that's going on in the world. There's always immunological stuff going on in the world. Everyone would be in such a better position if we took herbs appropriately, lived a little bit more appropriately for the seasons. But people want the easy way out. And so this is the way that is going to bear fruits, and allows ... Ultimately we want the consciousness, from a Daoist perspective, the consciousness of each of our organs to be flourishing and freely expressed. As we are in alignment with the yin and the yang, we're able to go down in the night, up in the morning, go down in winter, come up in summer. Right now we're going to be ... You prepare. You get grounded.   Mason: (55:46) Prepare, we're going to be leaving these warmer months. Really get grounded and sit into that and allow yourself to feel all that, everything there is to feel, still enjoy it. And then you'll be ready to mourn the loss of the warmer months when we get into the lung season. But yeah, just make sure you don't miss these opportunities. Or even just like start touching them a little bit, and start getting into flow a little bit.   Tahnee: (56:11) Yeah. I think that's a nice segue into ... we'll be back for metal soon. And we hope you all are thriving out there. And-   Mason: (56:22) Well this is a nice one because this is relevant for Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, since it's the Earth season. It may not be to the full extent of late summer.   Tahnee: (56:31) Yeah. You guys are sliding the other way, but yeah.   Mason: (56:34) Yeah. You're sliding the other way, and it's good to get practise in embracing this energy and feeling that these intentions come forth in the kitchen, or in your practise, in your meditation, when we go between the seasons, and especially when we go between summer and autumn. Any other little thing? No, I think I was just going to talk about saliva being the substance.   Tahnee: (56:57) I have so many other things. But I think, I mean, we have a daycare run to get to.   Mason: (57:03) Yeah, I do.   Tahnee: (57:04) Real life.   Mason: (57:06) Just embrace your saliva during these times, guys. That's the substance of the spleen. I was thinking about [Tani's 00:57:15] teacher, [inaudible 00:57:16] practise in the morning. Chew, chew, chew, chew for a few minutes, and collect all that saliva and then swallow it down and send a little hello to the spleen, with its own essence.   Tahnee: (57:27) Well, and I was thinking if any of you with students out there, it's a really disruptive time to the spleen. So any study, any constant reading, any intellectual work over the top, so too much of it. So it doesn't have to be any, but just like anything that's in excess, then you will feel out of balance. So just remember that's a good time of life to work with the chi herbs and to get supported with the kind of spleen aspect of your life. So try and stay grounded and steady in other ways. And if you are really out of whack because of what's going on around the world, again, probably a time to really work on your stability and your groundedness and your connection to the Earth, and remembering that you've got that ability to just sit and feel and connect. And don't let your mind get away with you. Practise whatever you need to practise to stay sane at this point. But yeah, just these are all pretty spleen disturbing times that we're in. So yeah, lots of love to all of you out there.   Mason: (58:33) Guys, remember, Goldilocks it. Not too hot, not too cold, not too much exercise, not too little, not too much work, not too little work. Just a nice chop wood, carry water time.   Tahnee: (58:44) Just right.   Mason: (58:45) Just right. Bye guys.   Tahnee: (58:46) Ciao.
Today on the podcast, Mason's joined by CrossFit legend, 2019's 5th fittest man in the world, and newly Australian Men's bobsled competitor, James Newbury for an inspiring conversation around the world of high performance; where mindset is everything and consistency is the key. Whether doing intense training for the World CrossFit Games or leveling up to compete and train with the Australian Men's bobsled team, James Newbury is very familiar with the realms of mental and physical peak performance. He understands the score of what works, what doesn't, and above all, the discipline and stamina it requires. The boys talk Float therapy, CrossFit, bobsledding, mental and physical preparation, and James drops a bunch of knowledge on the breathing, visualisation, and recovery techniques he uses to push himself to his peak. An insightful junction between high-performance sport and business with Mason and James bringing their insights to the table. Make sure you tune in!    Mason and James discuss: Hot and cold water therapy protocols post-workout. Quarantine routine; What James did to maximise his time in quarantine. Bobsledding with the Australian men's team at the European Cup. High performance rest and recovery. How James gears up for training, post time off from CrossFit. Maximising the body for optimal performance and longevity. Mental and physical preparation. Why consistency and discipline are key ingredients to any form of high performance. The health benefits of Float Therapy. The power of visualisation. How James combines visualisation and his Floating time. Maximising the gains of training and rest. Maintaining balance and minimising stress for high performance periods.  Breathwork techniques James uses to get him through his most intense training and competing. Pre and post-workout diet/Supplements; Cordyceps, MSM, and others.   Who is James Newbury? With a background in semi-professional Rugby League, James Newbury has dabbled in many sports. Finding his passion in CrossFit in 2011, James has consistently worked to earn himself a name both nationally and internationally within the CrossFit arena. Named Australia’s fittest 4 X times, and coming away from the 2019 World CrossFit games with a placing of 5th, he earned himself the title of 5th fittest man on Earth. Newbury is somewhat of a master at pushing himself both physically and mentally. 2020 saw a break away from the CrossFit scene due to COVID 19 implications, opening up the time and opportunity for James to develop tiny-timer (, a remote-controlled, pocket-sized timer that is magnetic mounted and battery-operated. In 2020 James successfully trialed with the Australian Men's bobsled team, going on to represent Australia as part of the Aussie Men’s team in The 2020 European Cup.     Resources: James Instagram James Facebook James Website tiny timer instagram The Power of Recovery with CrossFit Champion James Newbury (EP#65) Cordyceps High-Performance Tonic   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Mason: (00:02) Bro, welcome back to the podcast.   James Newbury: (00:04) Hey, thanks for having me.   Mason: (00:05) Absolute pleasure. Everyone loved the chat, as did I last time. And as you just mentioned, you can probably know that one of the people that loved it the most was our warehouse manager, Wazza, who wrote to you to say it.   James Newbury: (00:19) Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've been chatting with him a little bit about his floating experience and his ice experience. He's just got himself a float tank and an ice bath, so I've got the same at my house as well, and it's stuff that I like to use for my recovery on a regular basis, and we did have our float tank here at the gym. This is actually the old float room which I'm sitting in currently.   Mason: (00:42) Cool.   James Newbury: (00:44) But now we have it at home in our spare room, so I can get it all done there. If I want to have a float, then go straight to bed. But yeah, we've been talking shop about cold therapy and the benefits of floating, and just escaping the outer world and trying to do some rest and recovery stuff, which I absolutely love. And visualising training sessions and visualising workouts and visualising competitions, I think a float tank has so many benefits. We've been chatting about that type of stuff and we've also been talking about how cold we've gone with the ice bath, and then I was also mentioning that I've just come back from Europe, I've being spend a bit of time in Europe, and I mentioned that I jumped in a canal over in Europe and it was minus something.   James Newbury: (01:33) Minus a few degrees in the canal [inaudible 00:01:35] is pretty cold, so we jumped in there and spent a bit of time in there, did some breath work. And I was just saying how invigorated I felt after getting in the canal, and it would have been... I don't know, would have been a degree, in fact it was pretty icy. So yeah. Some of the stuff that I really enjoy doing and then we also compared it to what I've currently got now at the ocean here, which is like a bath that's, I don't know, probably 18 degrees which is mega hot compared to where I was which was minus 10 for half the time.   Mason: (02:07) How long have you been doing your cold plunging?   James Newbury: (02:10) I've been doing hot and cold and ice baths and things for, I would have to say, we were still doing it when I was playing football back in the day, but regular. Regular cold, like cold showers and things, probably the last like four or five years, and I've been floating since 2012. Yeah. I spent a bit of time, but now it's much more regular, now that I have just something in my house where I can be like, "Okay, cool," finish a session, jump in, have a cold shower, rinse off, jump in the ice bath, do three minutes, jump out. This week so far I've done maybe eight or nine cold plunges, so it's a more regular thing now.   Mason: (02:55) Do you find for you and your metabolism and your body, because you're working out so much as well I assume, when you're doing your plunging, do you ever reach your glass ceiling or for you is it like more the better?   James Newbury: (03:13) Look, I think everyone is a little bit different, I love the feeling that I get after it. Look, I know that there's been some studies showing that immediately plunging after a heavy weight session or a heavy lifting session, it can potentially slow down or inhibit muscle growth and things like that, but it's only very minor, it's so slim, and for me I'm not looking to build tonnes of muscle. I'm not looking to do anything like that, I'm just looking to be really strong, be really fit and still be flexible, and I want to bounce back from my training. So I guess if you're really looking for the muscular growth and things like that, you probably want to delay your ice bath after your weight sessions by two or three hours and you should have the effects then. But for me if I do a heavy cardio session I'll typically go and jump straight in the sauna, usually do around 40 to 45 minutes in the sauna post-workout, and then I'll always finish off with cold.   James Newbury: (04:15) So I never finish with heat, I always finish with cold. And I like my body to regulate from that cold experience. It's so invigorating and it also helps put you to sleep too, so decreasing that body temperature which we do before we go to bed, it's also really help to put into a nice really deep sleep.   Mason: (04:31) Yeah. Nice. I've been really trying to reconcile with it because I was always, probably from when I was 21, especially if I found a wild water source, if you were talking about... Like nothing beats the European canal or just like a winter, get into the snowy mountains, or up in the Blue Mountains is when I'd always jump in and then when... I had a few mates started getting ice plunge, like little chest freezers. Have you got a chest freezer or you got the proper...?   James Newbury: (05:00) Yeah. I got a proper bath, but I have seen the chest freezer ones and yes, they do a great job as well. Jumping in them regularly, it's so epic, it's so invigorating, you get out and you feel just so fresh. If you just want a bit of a pick-me-up, instead of having an afternoon coffee or something like that to keep you up at night, just go and jump in the water, jump in some cold water, have a cold shower, and you'll feel like you've just woken up from a great night's sleep.   Mason: (05:30) Yeah. For me as well, because it's been... I just like forward-thinking, to a lot of the people of the community listening to us, especially I've got a lot of women listening, and a lot of people have tuned into the conversations around Chinese medicine we have, where regulating warmth and keeping the cauldron of your spleen and stomach really nice and hot, as well as that Kidney Yang, keeping that alive. I think it's just a qualifying thing, as you said, everyone's different.   Mason: (06:02) I'm the kind of person that did really well on a raw food diet, not that I do it anymore, but that speaks volumes. A lot of women or a lot of guys who just don't run as hot as a metabolism, they wouldn't have been able to go as long with a raw food diet or be able to thrive when doing a little bit of cold plunging and likewise for me when the amount of exercise that I'm doing goes down, or especially if I become a little bit too tired, my gauge... When I get out of a cold plunge pool, or even when I get out of an ocean swim, if I can't shake that shivery feeling, I'm not strong enough, I don't actually have the capacity to... It's no longer... As you said, you take your body down, let your body work itself. It's [crosstalk 00:06:53] about finding adaptation in swimming, it's like you've gone too far, I've gone way beyond what my body's capable of.   Mason: (07:02) Just to put that out there for anyone listening, thinking... Because we're talking about always putting socks on, warm glass of... We're very Chinesey in the [crosstalk 00:07:11].   James Newbury: (07:12) That's actually a really good point too, because I have heard that, if you want to keep the feet warm, and I know this in particular, my feet used to stay quite cold, especially through the night. If Kayla puts her foot on my foot, she's like, "Hey, your feet are freezing," and I think to myself and I've listened to lots of podcasts and things about, especially the Chinese medicine side of things, like you got to keep your feet warm and all this type of stuff. But I've also found that you can overdo the cold too, I typically say, and this goes with heat as well, if people ask what's my protocol for hot and cold, and it's like you get to a point with heat where it becomes frustrating or you become a little bit irritable in it and it's like, "Oh, I really feel like I need to get out," that's time to get out.   James Newbury: (08:02) You don't need to push a path, more is not better, as soon as you get to the point where you're a little bit agitated or irritated about being in there because the heat's affecting you, that time to get out, you've probably gotten all of the hormone responses you want, you've increased your heat shock [inaudible 00:08:21], you're probably done. And sames goes for the cold, if you start shivering in the ice bath, your time's done. For someone it could be 30 seconds, for someone it could be two minutes, someone could be three minutes, but pushing it out and going longer and longer and longer all the time, it's not really necessary. The body can pretty well, you'll probably get most of the benefits done in cold immersion in the first 30 to 60 seconds.   Mason: (08:50) It's so cool. I'm such an extremist, I think probably like yourself and like Waz, and I think we've probably got constitutions that run hot. For me, it's been nice to find that I can do both, I love cold plunging, but then I'm just barefoot, always out exposed to the cold and I take my extreme and I make it my bread and butter lifestyle, whereas I could do that for some periods and I like exposing myself to the elements, but then when you just go to my everyday chop wood, carry water consistent, I'm not always ice plunging and so at those times, like this morning I've just started having a nice warm glass of water, where it spocks when it's a little bit chilly. And I don't have that internal extreme voice as I used to going, "You are such a snowflake."   James Newbury: (09:45) Yeah. I know exactly what you mean. I know exactly what you mean. That time and place, and I think for when you go through... I think our bodies will go through bouts of it's winter and bouts of it's summer. For me, I've had my winter period, where I haven't done so much, I haven't exerted myself so much, and now I'm ranking up to a new CrossFit season, so I'm exerting myself a lot. This is my first week back at training, and man, I'm so sore, my body is probably really inflamed, I have DOMS pretty much in every muscle group I can possibly think of, so trying to combat that, recover well, get really good sleep, and trying to let my body do its thing, and let my body repair the way it wants to, but just help it along its way. I want to try and maximise the benefits of that because I have a lot of catch-up to do, I'm behind the eight-ball at the moment.   James Newbury: (10:43) The people that I'll be competing against have been training for quite some time, they probably never let the foot off the pedal, whereas I have let my foot off the pedal a bit and folks don't,-   Mason: (10:54) It's not a sport.   James Newbury: (10:55) ... which made me really happy. I've done some bobsledding things, so I've [crosstalk 00:10:59] been focusing on that. Yeah, yeah. I've done some bobsled over in Europe, so I need to do a bit [crosstalk 00:11:04] of catch-up.   Mason: (11:05) ... hear about this. Where were you doing that, with who?   James Newbury: (11:10) So I got back three weeks ago, and I spent two weeks in quarantine here in Adelaide in a hotel, but prior I was in Europe, I was there for eight weeks and I was doing bobsled as part of the Australian men's team. We were doing two-man bob and four-man bob, and we were competing in the European Cup, so we were basically gaining experience.   Mason: (11:38) Who are you? (laughter)   James Newbury: (11:40) Yeah. It's super fun, it was just something different, it's something new. Everybody's heard of bobsled but I never thought it was a thing that Australians did, and it popped up on YouTube and someone mentioned it as well, and I kept hearing this word bobsled and I was like, "Okay. I have to investigate this." And then when I looked into it, I was like, "Oh, that looks pretty cool," this bob goes down the mountain really fast and you get to push it off the start line, like what's required, what type of athlete do they need for bobsled.   Mason: (12:10) Well, I'll tell you who to connect and still if you're going to be their right type of athlete.   James Newbury: (12:14) Yeah, yeah. Well, we actually did meet the Jamaican team and they were really good guys. Yeah. They were super cool dudes. So when I looked into it I was just like, "This looks really cool," it's a bit of adrenalin which I love, it's a bit of risk. And then when I looked at what was required, you need to have a fast athlete, a powerful athlete, they're looking for a mix of a sprinter and a weightlifter, and that's kind of what we do with CrossFit. For me, I love sprinting as well, probably more so than a lot of the other... I guess CrossFit is like I love to sprint, typically all year round with my track club, so I was like, "Cool, we can combine weightlifting and sprinting, that's a pretty good mix for bobsled. Why don't I go do the trials?"   James Newbury: (12:59) So reached out, went to do trials, that was in I think October, and the next thing that I knew by end of November I was over in Europe with the team and we were just racing bob and getting experience for an upcoming season, so next season we start probably October, November of this year, and we basically spent the last two months in Europe just gaining experience, getting points on the board, getting used to each other, and learning. That's what I've been doing for the last few months.   Mason: (13:31) So you qualified for the Australian Bobsled Team?   James Newbury: (13:35) Yeah. Yeah, pretty much. I guess you could say that.   Mason: (13:40) This is just so fascinating to me, sorry to push.   James Newbury: (13:44) So basically, what's required is you go do testing, and when you do testing they put you through a 30 minute sprint, they put you through a broad jump, they get you to throw an object horizontally as far as you can. Then you do heavy back squats, like you do a 300 back squat, you do a heavy power clean, and if you can show them that you can do all these to a high standard, then you're in the mix. And then it basically comes down to being able to get across and go wherever you need to be with the pilot. So Evan O'Hanlon, who's an Australian Paralympic sprinter, he reached out to me and said, "Hey, I saw you did testing, it looks like your testing went well, do you want to come over and do some breaking for me?"   James Newbury: (14:35) So basically a pilot will drive, then you need someone at the back to push with him and then pull the break up at the end, so you've got two people in the bobsled for the two-man, same thing for the four-man, but you've got three break men and then you got your pilot and I said, "Yeah, mate, for sure. I went to testing, because I want to be a part of it. I think this looks really cool, I'd love to give it a go. I'm always open to new experiences," and he said, "Okay, cool. Can you come over at the end of November?" I'm like, "Yep," so I booked a flight and went.   Mason: (15:05) That's so cool. I'm mindful of times, I'm just thinking what was the name of your bobsled, I'm thinking of Cool Runnings 2?   James Newbury: (15:16) So we basically, our bobsled, we don't particularly have a name name, but I think we will have to come up with one for the next season.   Mason: (15:25) Yeah, for sure. I can see like in 10 years time some crazy Australian coach that thinks that CrossFitters are going to be the best bobsledders.   James Newbury: (15:34) Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't know. We've got a kangaroo on the side, so we'll probably run with Like I don't know, something to do with a kangaroo, something really Australian, I guess.   Mason: (15:47) Sweet. I reckon Disney will go for Cool Runnings 2, the Australian edition.   James Newbury: (15:51) Yeah, exactly.   Mason: (15:55) Okay, so you were over there, so that where you're two months out of that intense CrossFit style training, and so when you got back into... You had to do two weeks quarantine. I wanted to ask you about the time in quarantine, as you were saying you found it a bit cruisier from what I've heard most did [crosstalk 00:16:16] so about how you used that time to get back into your training and what protocols you were running and just any general tips you have for anyone going through that?   James Newbury: (16:28) Sure. So basically, at the end of the CrossFit season of last year, which was cut short due to COVID, I just put my focus into weightlifting and sprinting. And then I wasn't really doing much conditioning stuff, so no CrossFit stuff, and then I just focused on weightlifting, I wanted to get stronger, now I wanted to get faster, and then when bob popped onto the scene, I was like, "Well, this is exactly what I need for bobsled, so why don't I just do that?" So all in all, I've been out of doing CrossFit training for like, I would say, probably at least seven months, including the time away in Europe and then obviously I had two weeks quarantine.   James Newbury: (17:14) So it was actually quite a good transition for me to go into quarantine because I could have the basic set of equipment in my hotel room, I had some dumbbells, I had a roller [inaudible 00:17:24], I had a roll ball and basically I just used that time to break myself in, blow out the cobwebs a little bit. And the time during quarantine for me, went really quick, I got stuff done that had been building up that I hadn't done on the computer, lots of computer stuff and business stuff. I just put in place a bit of a pattern that I had to follow each day, which is I wanted to work out three times in the day, but short. Short stuff like only 20 minutes in the morning, around 20 minutes to 30 minutes in the middle of the day, and around 20 minutes in the afternoon.   James Newbury: (18:00) So I wasn't doing an hour session or a 90 minute session, I was literally just getting up. I set myself a goal to do seven minutes of continuous burpees every morning just to start my session, and then I may do some type of movement after for maybe another 15, 20 minutes. So it was basically just trying to get my body used to high repetition again, so a session might just be 150 squats with the med ball and then that would be my session done. So I tried to do this morning, midday and afternoon and there were some things that were non-negotiables for me. And then basically every morning I would wake up, first thing I would do is I would wake up, I would open my Wim Hof app, I'd do my Wim Hof breathing and then from there I would get coffee, I would sit, I would look out at Adelaide City, I had a pretty good view, which was good, and just watch the city come to life, for 45 minutes.   James Newbury: (18:59) So really cruisy morning, then I'll do my workout, get a bit of stuff done on the computer, I'd work out again, have lunch, and then repeat that for the afternoon and do my afternoon session. I'd probably talk to Kayla during that period as well, but just having some staple things to do so I'm not lying in bed watching Netflix all day long, is what I wanted to avoid, I wanted to be able to come out of quarantine feeling like I could get back into doing the metabolic conditioning stuff that's required for CrossFit at a medium level, because I know what it feels like to take time off, come back and get straight back into heavy-duty volume, and it is rough. I've had a rough week already, but it would have been way worse if I didn't do that at all.   James Newbury: (19:45) And this is probably the longest period of time that I've taken off doing really specific CrossFit conditioning stuff, it's been six or seven months and I can feel it. I can feel it for sure, but what I knew I needed to do was to build in, blow out the cobwebs, and I would have to be consistent and then when things don't go my way when I do a workout and I repeat a workout from two years ago, and my two years ago time beats my time now, I have to take it on the chin, look at it as just something that I have to deal with and I have to be consistent. You just have to keep picking yourself up, you have to be consistent, and you have to keep showing up every day and to improve.   James Newbury: (20:26) So yeah. My time during quarantine went like that, and I actually quite enjoyed it. It wasn't as bad as what I expected, I thought it was going to be really bad, but I guess you could also look at it as, some people go into quarantine knowing they're going to hate the whole thing, whereas I went into quarantine going, "Well, I've got no choice, so I'm going to try make the most of this and I'm going to do a bit of training, I'm going to catch up on some things." I just started a new little E-commerce business, so I wanted to really get on top of that. I just used [inaudible 00:20:54] and made the most of my time, and before you knew it, it was 5:00 PM at night. I had a blast.   Mason: (21:01) Actually first, before I go into the E-commerce business.... I'm going to just write that down so I don't forget to talk about it. So you always say, and the last time we chatted and every time we've been talking, you've already a really holistic way to approaching your training and then last time we were talking, it was so... For someone who is in an arena where output and optimal peak performance is what's touted as the ultimate, we talked so much about recovery and just going and doing the inner work... Is that what you called it?   James Newbury: (21:41) Yeah. Working in.=   Mason: (21:42) Yeah. Which is awesome and I want to have just another question just around that inner work, but especially just around your general disposition towards life, disposition towards going into something like quarantine, and is it always been easy for you to have that outlook of like, "I don't have a choice," you're going to make the most of it, or have you felt like you've cultivated that along the way with your strength and with your speed? Is that another thing that you're wary of cultivating?   James Newbury: (22:14) Yeah. Look, I definitely changed over the years. I think prior when I was 20, 21, coming to, when I was learning about this, I was open to anything back then as well. I liked getting new experiences, I liked learning new things, nothing was off limits in terms of the experience, and I think keeping an open mind always allowed me to be able to take what I enjoyed and leave what I didn't. I think for me, I understand what I'm doing to myself is very taxing on the body, it's very taxing on your sympathetic nervous system, it's very taxing on your joints and your physical body too, and also mentally it's a grind, like every time you get stuck into a deep part of the workout, it's a grind. You've got to push yourself through it, but you can do it, you have the ability to do it.   James Newbury: (23:13) We're pretty resilient if we allow ourselves to be and if we provide ourselves the right building blocks to be resilient, we can do it. And also I love to push myself, so I love to see what I can get out of my body given the right ingredients. So for me, it's like being about also looking at the longevity side of things too, so I don't want to just be able to work out, and this has always been something that for me I've never wanted to only have a career of training that lasted 10 years and then I'll be buckled from 30 years onwards because I'd put myself so hard that my knee's weren't working properly, my shoulder's weren't working properly. I love doing tonnes of recreational stuff, I love surfing, I love trekking, I love going out and seeing the world, I don't want to be inhibited by anything that I do during my CrossFit career.   James Newbury: (24:08) So for any professional sport that I end up me wanting to try and take on, recovery has always been a big part of looking after what is going to be part of looking after my mind so it's been a big part of it. So over the years I've gathered the things that I've really been drawn to, I think like icing and things like floating, and things like continuing to surf. For a long time there, I was just so fixated on competing in CrossFit, I didn't surf properly, I maybe surfed once a year for four or five years, and then since COVID started I surfed more in 2020 than I had surfed in the last 10 years combined. It was just such a breath of fresh air.   James Newbury: (24:52) So for me, it's always been about how do I maximise my performance but also maximise my longevity, because I still want to be surfing when I'm 70 years old, I don't want to be restricted to my household because I can't walk properly. I want to make sure my body's functioning well, I'm providing my body with the right nutrients and good food, and I want to be nurturing that side of things just as much as nurturing my performance side of things too. I think they go hand-in-hand, it's just that kind of turbo charge it to try and maximise performance.   Mason: (25:25) Yeah. They obviously go hand-in-hand, but you... Maybe it was before we got onto the chat, we were just talking about discipline and consistency. There's just a certain element of discipline that comes with maintaining say like even if it's just a meditation like surfing when you're in the middle of competing and creating companies and all that kind of stuff. It's a real discipline thing, I guess you've brought up the floating, and now I'm lucky enough Waz who we mentioned earlier, his girlfriend has opened a... Waz landed in a good spot, he didn't even have to buy a float tank, his girlfriend lives across the road from him and bought one, Total Balance Studio in South Golden Beach, for anyone in the shire or anyone that's holidaying here, can go to get a float and cold plunge pool, and have a PT session, have a sauna and mineral bath and all that kind of stuff over with Kat there.   Mason: (26:19) If anyone was watching my... I did a complete one day Body Shred, How to get Shredded in One Day, a little spoof video on my Instagram and then I was doing my PT session and doing my cold plunging. That's where you can go get one in the area, guys. You brought it up a couple of times, I guess I haven't utilised floating as much, I've had a few floats, but I'm curious as to how it fits into your lifestyle, because it's such a staple. I know talking to Waz, it's such a stable for him as well. How are you utilising that time, how that fits into the train....? Like that going hand-in-hand, where you focused and something already, just talking to you about challenging yourself in that deep grind, I'm going back, I've never been someone that... I don't think anyone does, few people do, really enjoy that deep grind and even getting through it, sometimes I'm like... I don't even know whether I enjoy getting through it.   James Newbury: (27:16) Honestly, you're not the only one because Kayla, my girlfriend, she says it all the time too, same thing goes, like we're in Hawaii and we were doing some cliff jumping and she's like, "I'm not doing that," I was like, "Yeah, you don't have to do it. Don't worry." And so we all jumped in and we're all sitting out 150 metres off the shore at the end of the cliff, then one of the other girl's got out there and she jumped off, and then I saw Kayla up there and I'm just like, "What are you doing?" And she's like, 'I'm going to do it," I'm just like, "What?" It's like she's never been one to do anything a bit of adrenalin, but when this other girl did it, she's like, "Oh, I want to do it too."   James Newbury: (27:51) Anyway, she's sitting on the edge of this cliff 15 minutes, 20 minutes, we're all waiting in the water, waiting for her, and I'm just like, "Come on, you can do it, you can do it," and then she ended up doing it and I was like, "Once you dit, you'll love it. You'll thank yourself for doing it." And then she hit the water, she came back up and I was like, "Do you love yourself for it?" Like, "No, I hated every minute." That's like the workouts too. It's the same thing. Sometimes you get to the end of it and you just like, "I did not enjoy any of that," but then again a lot of the times you end up thanking yourself for it, so there are times that you're just like, "I just have to get through that," but that's the part of consistency and that's what I've found to be the most beneficial for good results at competition, is being consistent.   James Newbury: (28:37) The balance that I find is like when I'm competing and when I'm training, I have to wake up with a mindset, it's like my soul purpose today is, I have to train because it's my consistency, it's my key to performance, but then and it pushes me so far to that fight or flight that I need something so far to that rest and digest and that's floating for me. It's like that line, it gets in the middle, so that will balance me out and if I'm up here too much, and like we spoke about last time, you up this end too much and my bucket starts filling up with stress and it starts to overflow and my performance starts to decrease, I can tell. I'm training [inaudible 00:29:17], I'm pushing myself and pushing myself and pushing myself, but my performance is still going down, and I'm not getting out as much it what I think, it's just my stress bucket is overflowing, it's inhibiting me from getting the most out of myself, whereas bringing myself back to be able to recover and let my muscles do what they need to do so they can output better, letting my nervous system recover at the same time.   James Newbury: (29:40) If I can bring those two areas back to central, maximise the gains here in that fight or flight, maximise the gains here in that rest and digest, being in the float tank and doing breathwork and meditation, and good sleep, and having nurturing mushrooms and things like that. That's what I find helps me to get back here and get back up there. So basically putting stress into that stress bucket brings on the response, and then utilising those parasympathetic elements to help take out that stress to then maximise the gains from that [inaudible 00:30:20] response, is what I'm looking for. So I don't just want to maximise this end, I want to maximise this end as well so they both work together and they both work cohesively.   Mason: (30:29) It's such a good reminder as well, especially one like... I think something I'm personally remembering, is your talking about going into times it's like when you know you doing something extreme, or you're working towards a goal that's really extreme, and I'm just thinking about myself, because sometimes I'm just resistant to things like float tanks and I'm just resistant a lot of the time, to my... I'll do it, but the consistency of my practise or sometimes like how much is of a attention releasing yin cultivating element is needed and I'm like why can't I just get back to that place of balance like I used to and then when you look at it, I get it from you saying all of a sudden you've gone to world, like you're going up and into the world stage, I just think of, even for myself, for all the mums I talk to, the dads I talk to you, it's like we're in a really unique stage, whereas it might not be a natural level of output sometimes when you go into your competition.   Mason: (31:32) For me, I think about just being in SuperFeast, and the amount of times I'm in meetings and high-level chats and then run around with a four-year-old and that, I'm just like, "Yeah." It's full on, it's like we all got our little ways of being athletes within ourselves and pretty still technologies and techniques really. I think of you really get me over the line with the float tank and I'm curious what you're doing in there. Are you just taking the time to meditate, visualise?   James Newbury: (32:02) Honestly, I think the best thing you can do once you get in there, is do whatever feels right for you. If you feel like just laying down, closing your eyes and falling asleep, do that. If you feel like you're drawn towards doing breath control, you can do that. If you feel like you want to do some cadence breath or box breathing, do that. If you feel like you want to keep your eyes open and look around, do that. If you feel like you want to visualise something that you want for your business, you can do that too. It really depends and for me, it always changes. So typically when I'm training, I just want to go in there and I want to detach from my emails, detach from my social media, detach from conversation, detach from everything and just let my body just be by itself for an hour. When I'm leading into competition and during those times, I want to soak up the magnesium too, I want to just get a heavy hit of magnesium.   James Newbury: (33:02) And then when I'm leading into competition, if I know what the workouts are or I'm going to a place where I have worked out before, and I know what it looks like, I know what it smells like, I know what the temperature is, I know what the sound is like, I can then put that into a visualisation practise and I can picture myself doing workouts. And then what that does for me is, if I know what the workouts are and I've already tested the workouts in my gym or at home, then I can picture these workouts and I can run them through front to back, back to front, and basically I know what I'm going to feel like, I know my heart rate's going to be up here, I know that my legs are going to burning here, I know that I'm going to be out of breath here, I know that I'm going to go from that barbell, pick up my rope to start my double unders, and to relax and to breathe.   James Newbury: (33:52) If I can go through it front to back, by the time I get there, instead of getting there and I only have maybe practised the workout once or twice at home, if I know what the workout is, I've already practised that work out 100 times inside the float tanks, so my mind's not so shocked when something doesn't go quite right, because I'm already visualised that thing going wrong, I've already visualised that thing going right. So I don't have to think so much, all these different little... And even a thought process, a conversation, all these things add up to extra energy used, so if I can decrease that and decrease any anxiety that I have towards an event or decrease any doubt that I have in my mind about the way it's going to feel, like the last thing that I want to happen is, I don't want to get to an event, get halfway through, start my box jumps, and just go like, "Man, my legs feel way heavier than what I've expected."   James Newbury: (34:50) I want to be able to get those box jumps and like, "Yeah, I know what this feels like, I've run through it before. I've done it before. I'm fine. You're good." You want those things to be positive, you don't want to get to an exercise and be like, "Oh, this is a negative feeling," it's like "I've really thought about it, it's fine, this is how you should feel. You're all good. You're fine, keep going." And that's what I can do in the float tank and that's what helps me. I'm pretty sure they've done some studies in the float tank with visualisation and they said it can be, after seeing a new movement, it can be 50% as effective just visualising the movement, obviously without the stress physically on the body by doing the movement. So you can teach yourself a lot of things just by really in depth visualisation practise. That's why I like [inaudible 00:35:34] competition.   Mason: (35:36) Man, so good. I'm laughing at the difference of our lives at the moment, I'm thinking, "Cool, I'm in the float tank," and you're talking of what I really like about is like something I forget again, like you're on the forefront of like an athletic mindset and sometimes I forget, those same techniques, if they used in the upper echelons of performance, they should just be used in everyday life because they're the proven ones that are just going to bloody work.   James Newbury: (36:07) Yeah.   Mason: (36:08) Tahnee's having conversations with a lot of managers, talking about going in, preparing conversations with employees or if it goes this way, if they get a yes, if you get a no, if you get pushed back and getting all this... So I'm like a little bit different, I'm thinking about my application about thinking goals around management structures and getting a four-year-old to bed and what happens if it goes one way, what happens if it goes another way, what if you get pushed back and all I'm seeing is that just across the board it's cultivating an ability to have preparation, presence, not just being behind the eight-ball, but just being proactive going into your activities.   James Newbury: (36:49) Totally, totally. And you can even do... For instance if that's how you want to spend your float tank session, or even a portion of your float tank session. Let's just say you get into the tank and you still feel elated from the outside world, spend the first 30 minutes of your float tank doing a visualisation practise and running through what you want to get out of a business meeting and from there, after that, then say, "Okay, cool," when your mind starts to trail off, which it will, you'll think about something completely different and you'll be like, "Wait a second, I was thinking about my business meeting and now I'm thinking about something else?" That's when you can say, "Okay, cool. Now I'm just going to do some breathing, I'm going to relax, I'm going to fall asleep and I'm going to catch up on a little bit of sleep, or I'm just going to sit here and just let whatever happens happen for the next 30 minutes. I'm just going to enjoy peace time."   James Newbury: (37:36) So then you get that really relaxed theta brain waves going on, rather than that heightened active mind thinking about that visualisation process. So you get the best of both worlds.   Mason: (37:47) Yeah. It's so good. I've only done it twice and the last time I did it over in Perth, I wrote down everything that was swimming around in my brain beforehand... I was just like, "Okay, I'm going to have this business meeting, I'm going a chat about this, I've got this idea for a comedy skit," I just got it all down out of my head so that I knew... I do the same before sleep sometimes.   James Newbury: (38:13) Yeah. Totally, totally. And the tank is a great place as well, because you know that you're not going to be interrupted, whereas anywhere else I am, unless you really you know you're going to be home alone, or you know your phone's off, it's on do not disturb, the float tank is a place where you can not be contacted. It's like no ones coming in, no one you touch... You can't hear anything, and then on top of that as well you're in a place where you are at the most... There is no interruption and also no interruptions, but there's no stimulus, there's no light, there's no sound, there's no touch sensation, everything is dulled to it's complete bare minimum, as much as you possibly can. That's a really good opportunities for really good ideas to pop up.   James Newbury: (38:58) Every time Kayla gets in the float tank she comes out and she's like, "Oh, I just thought of all these really cool stuff that I really want to implement." She writes it all down and then it could spur on a great idea that formulates or manifests into something really cool for you. It's a practise you don't have to do all the time, you can do it once a fortnight or once a month. I like to get in there for the recovery benefits of the magnesium and the destress on the joints a few times a week, but then if I'm getting in there for something else... You could even just do it once a fortnight or once a month and just go in there for a bit of a reset period. And I think that's quite all right too.   Mason: (39:38) I'm convinced. I'm going to get back into it a bit.   James Newbury: (39:42) Yeah. That's great.   Mason: (39:43) You mentioned meditation, have you got a meditation practise as well?   James Newbury: (39:48) Typically, for my meditation, all I really do is I like to just focus on my breath, otherwise my mind goes crazy. So if I can just bring it all back down to focusing on my breath, that's pretty much how my meditation goes down and I usually follow it as a particular frame set of long breath in, long breath hold, long breath out, long breath hold, and I'll repeat that, repeat that, repeat that, unless I'm going through a guided meditation, which sometimes I'll do. I'll just jump on to either YouTube or Spotify and play it through a little speaker and I'll do a guided meditation, and I'll just try and follow that if I don't feel like following my breath control, if I feel like listening to someone's voice in a guided meditation, then I'll do it like that.   James Newbury: (40:37) But any type of peace time is good, I think. For what I have to do everyday in terms of training, any type of passive relaxation or passive guided meditation or passive stretching with some breath control work is going to be nurturing that parasympathetic. So anything like that is great. I haven't stepped into the realm of being a great meditator, but I also don't understand what a great meditator is. At the moment from what I feel, if I can just focus on nurturing my breath while I'm doing nothing, letting my body just relax and do what it feels, then I'm probably in a good state there, instead of forcing myself to lift weights and run and do all this other stuff.   Mason: (41:27) I don't think anyone's a real great meditator. I think that's a-   James Newbury: (41:33) My mind goes crazy all the time. It's like you get into a Meta-State, it's the same old thing like, "Stop thinking, you're meditating. Stop thinking." Those thoughts are going to pop into your head anyway, so one thing that I can do to try and reduce that, is to just float for my breath and count my breath, count my breath, count my breath, and just relax and just simplify everything. This is going to have to happen at some point, especially when I'm out surfing, because I know my friends at some point are going to want me to go surf some really big waves at some point and I'm going to see something on the horizon that's coming for me, and it's going to want to eat me, and I'm going to have to relax, because if that thing hits me on the head, I'm going to have to be able to be super relaxed and if you start to panic in a stressful situation, you're probably going to come out second-best.   James Newbury: (42:17) So learning how to control and relax is, I think a really good part of it starting in an area as relaxed as your own bedroom or your float tank or your shrine, if you've got a shrine set up at your house, that's a very good way to start the process, so then when you do jump into a stressful situation or I'm at the CrossFit games and things aren't going well, I can reset a little bit easier. It's just making little gains everyday.   Mason: (42:48) Just quickly on that, I really appreciate finding that stillness and ability to connect to your breath. Again it just falls hand-in-hand with everything you're talking about, with how to actually get that out for the performance which is consistency, and finding that little sweet spot of that moment within that yin, very important. Just quickly, even for my own benefit, I like hearing how people get it through that point in your... If you're doing seven minutes of burpees when just get back, and you're five minutes in when you hit that place where it is actually becoming a grind, what have you got going on, is it a collection of inner talk?   James Newbury: (43:29) Yeah. 100%, mate. You're on the point, right on the ball there. It's [inaudible 00:43:36] get three and a half minutes in, or four minutes into something and it starts to hurt really bad, and it's like, "Man, I don't remember hurting this much before," but probably it did. I just think to myself... I just simplify it, it's like, "What's my next move? What's my next move? Get down, get up, get down, get up," and I just think about that in my head. It's just like, "You gotta get down, you got to get back up," and that's it and then I'll count. So everything comes down to counting for me, typically if I want to get through something and it's super difficult, I just count.   James Newbury: (44:08) So I'll just count on a rhythm on a metronome and I just count my breath, if I need to take a quick break, then I'll count, "One, two," and then get back into it. And if you get to five minutes in my burpees set and it's starting to get really bad, it's just like, " Just get down. Cool, get up," and then it simplifies the next movement so don't think too far ahead. If I was in the Iron Man for instance when I did that, if I was already thinking about my run while I was in the swim and my run was still seven hours away, then I would not be putting myself in the best position to keep a positive mindset. All I had to do when I was doing my swim, and it was a 60 minutes swim, it's 3.8k's in the open water, all I had to do was focus on just one little thing and that was stay on a person's feet in front of me. So all I would do is I would breathe, swim, breathe, breathe, look at the feet, breathe, swim, look at the feet.   James Newbury: (45:11) You talk to yourself a lot and you... I guess everyone has their own little tricks and tips that they go through in their mind to get them through whatever they're doing, but try and make it very basic. I like to make it basic like all I wanted to do was breathe out, breathe in, check the feet, breathe out, breathe in, check the feet. And then I just did that for an hour. And then once that was done when I was on the bike, I just did the same thing, it's just like. "Breathe through your nose, breathe out, breathe through your nose, breath out," I just did that for five hours. You get used to it and the better you practise doing these things, it's like everyone has those negative thoughts and sometimes it's just like they'll come and they'll go, but I've never done a workout that hasn't ended.   James Newbury: (45:56) It's not like you're going to be stuck in this limbo forever of doing a consistent workout for the rest of your life. It eventually finishes and you'll feel good at the end and sometimes you won't feel good, but sometimes you do. And it's just simplifying it, keeping the things basic and probably what you think about when you work out is probably what I think about too. It's just we got to keep trekking here, we gotta keep going like, "We're going to get it done. It's all going to be fine," and you know you get stuck into a 10k run and you're struggling about three k's in, you're just like, "No, let's keep going, let's get another 100 metres, let's get another 200 metres, let's get another 300 metres. Oh that tree looks good, look at that tree," and then you just keep your mind occupied.   James Newbury: (46:39) But typically for me, it always comes back to my breath. I'm not going to be able to move forward if my breath is not working, so I always come back to breath and just remember to breathe, breathe, move, breathe, move, breathe, move, and that pretty much goes to any exercising thing that I do, whether it be seven minutes of burpees or whether it be like an Iron Man or an event at the CrossFit games, it's always just breathe, move and you always come back down to the level of training that you've done. So just breathe and move, breathe and move, breathe and move, if we don't breathe, we're dead. So I think that's one of the key things that we have to focus on and learn how to breathe well, and at the end of the day if you breathe, you got to keep moving and you'll be fine.   Mason: (47:29) I find that inspiring, because as you said, it's probably not that different, and I don't think it is [crosstalk 00:47:38] practise. Yeah, it's faith in yourself in the process and it's also knowing that this simple approach is the approach, there's not some technique that athletes or anyone else has. It's just about sharpening that sword and yeah that's awesome.   James Newbury: (47:56) Yeah. Well that's exactly right.   Mason: (48:01) Post-workout. What are you doing, what's your unique little like pre-workout flow, anything to help you, besides the ice baths so good for inflammation and that, but have you got any supplements or techniques to just amp up your performance and make sure that you're recovering well from... Whether it's supplement and dietarily.   James Newbury: (48:28) Yep. Typically, what I like to do, I've always been a big fan of Cordyceps. I've always found that to be a big part of what I like to use, especially when I really want to get really fit, I love my Cordyceps, So in the morning, typically what I'll do, depending if I'm doing a big long cardio session I'd like to do it fasting, and if I do it fasting, I would usually not have anything until after, but if I'm doing a weightlifting session where I don't want a head spin or a dizzy head, I'll usually like first thing in the morning, I'll have some oats with some berries. And then I'll typically, a lot of the mornings, I'll have a coffee with Kayla, sometimes it might be a decaf coffee, but we try and get organic coffee and then I'll have some Amp-V.   James Newbury: (49:19) Amp-V which is like a peppermint oil from ATP, I feel I like that as well, but then in terms of like a flow that I go through, I always like to start my workouts with a bit of movement and then I'll usually go through a bit of a stretch, open up my hips, and at the moment I'm super sore. So stretching and opening up is what works really well for me, but in terms of a bit of a perk, a pick-me-up, it might be a bit of Amp-V with a shot of coffee or something like that. But I'm also wary that I don't want to be reliant on the caffeine too. That's something that in the past I haven't really attended to, but now I'm starting to realise that it's something I don't want to be relying on all the time. That's typically what I like to go towards.   James Newbury: (50:12) I don't like to look at anything like a crazy pre-workout with... I don't have anything with chemicals involved, I like everything to be supernatural like a coffee and some peppermint oil. It's like it's pretty much the extent that I go, and that makes me feel [inaudible 00:50:28], but then sometimes it's also good for me to workout without having coffee and just get in the flow just have some water and get some things like that, just to not feel like I'm relying on it all the time, because there'll come a point in time where I'll have to compete and I won't have the option.   Mason: (50:45) Are you doing much after? Do you focus on anything like an anti-inflammatory or joint support or anything like that?   James Newbury: (50:54) Yes, yes. So post-workout, presently I've been using some msm.   Mason: (51:04) That's right.   James Newbury: (51:04) So I got some msm now which is great. So typically what I'll do, I like to put in place a bit of a protocol after my workout, which is I go straight to the sauna. So I listen to a few podcasts about heat therapy post-workout and I think it's a big benefit for me, I love doing it. So as soon as I finish my workout, I'll go and have a sauna, I'll do some stretching in the sauna, I'll do breath work so I can get that oxygen back into my system because I probably just depleted it really bad, and then I'll finish with either a cold shower or a cold plunge or [inaudible 00:51:39] I'll go to the ocean. And then from there, something to try and revitalise myself. Usually after a workout I'll have typically like five to 600 mils of coconut water. I'll have a little bit of Hemp protein powder, I'll have a little bit of Creatine. I'm plant-based now so I don't have any animal products, so I like to have a little bit of Creatine in my post-workout smoothie, and then I'll put some mushrooms in that too.   James Newbury: (52:08) So looking at things like key & gene and then like my Cordyceps as well. So I just pack it all into a smoothie, maybe put a bit of baby spinach in there and if I'm knowing that I have to workout again [inaudible 00:52:23] later that day I'll probably also chuck in maybe a little bit of organic maple syrup too, just to get some carbohydrates back in the body, and sometimes I'll add in two or three bananas, just depending what I've got on hand. But yeah, I'm a big smoothie fan, so I'll do smoothies all day long. That's typically what I like to have after a workout.   Mason: (52:44) It's the best way to pack it in, with those sugars, and especially you doing all the formulas and blends as well, a bit of creatine... Nothing beats a smoothie when you're doing it in that way, when you... Everyone listening as I just talk about smoothies here, and in winter and if you haven't got the constitution you have a bit of ginger, he's putting the Qi blend in as well, bit of ginger we like to... Just put in a bit of ginger, a bit of cinnamon, I've always got to mention, because I've mentioned it so many times and there's so many people who fall into the smoothie culture and then they start getting loose bowel movements or bloating. There's this real secret, especially in the Instagram world, like this secret symptomology around smoothie taking, which I don't realise because I was probably similar to you, I always thrived on them and had such great bowel movements and digest.   James Newbury: (53:42) Yeah. 100%. Yeah. I've been a big smoothie fan for years, I've just always done it, I just feel like I just love the taste of the smoothie. It's predigested for you, because you blended it up really, really well, and then you can just chuck in all these really cool ingredients, you can just chuck it all in there, you can pile it all up, you put it in. And you just feel like you're getting so nourished from it, because you're putting in some really good carbohydrates, you're putting in some really good fats, some really good protein, and then you're putting in your medicinal mushrooms, then you're putting in all the things you hear, your phytonutrients as well, you're just getting this little hit of nutrition that's just going to help revitalise the body and help you to repair from what you've just done to it, especially after a workout.   James Newbury: (54:28) And this goes for day-to-day stuff too. Even if you're not working out as much, your body still needs this stuff to be able to continue to repair and function. A lot of our energy is just used in thought process and people that are working stressful jobs, it's all relative. You need to be able to replenish that, or there'll be consequences to pay if you don't treat your body well, and if you can get it all into a smoothie a couple of times a day, then you're getting a big hit of nutrition. But then typically, a meal afterwards would be something fermented, like a sauerkraut or pickled ginger, or something like that with some rice and some tofu, and make some pomegranate or something like that, and some berries. That's what I would go to for a lunchtime or something like that. That's my go-to, easy meal prep.   Mason: (55:18) Sweet, man. Bringing this home, what's this new E-commerce, is this you're working on?   James Newbury: (55:25) So during COVID, I noticed that a lot of people were working out at home and I was like. "Man these guys, they're using their phones a lot to time their workouts." So we created a little miniature timer that you can basically, it's magnetic so you can stick it to the fridge or you can stick it to a freezer or if you've got a home rig and you want to stick it to something metal you can stick it. It comes with a little tripod. But basically it's a home gym timer, but it's miniature, so it's only very small, but it gives you that feeling of working out at your local gym. You can set it for intervals, you can set it for Tabata, you can set it for up and down, you can set it for stopwatch, it's basically just allowing people to have this feeling of training in their gym with their miniature gym timer, without having to use their phones.   James Newbury: (56:18) And the good thing about it, it's rechargeable, so you can take it anywhere you go. So if you want to travel with it, you can travel with it, you can still time your workouts, if you're in quarantine you can do it in quarantine, if you're in lockdown you can keep [inaudible 00:56:33] in your living room and you can work out with it. But yeah. In essence, it's just a miniature, portable gym timer that's run on a battery. It's very simple and I don't know why I didn't think of that years ago.   Mason: (56:45) I actually didn't make the connection, I must have saw it on your-   James Newbury: (56:50) Yeah   Mason: (56:52) ... Instagram. Anyway, I sent it to Waz, and he's like "Oh yeah, I know," and I'm like, "Get one for Kat's place."   James Newbury: (56:57) Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll have to send him one.   Mason: (57:00) Oh, man. He would love that. And I think we'll grab one, what we might do is I might order two, I might order one. Because we've got a little gym at SuperFeast and I like going and using them.   James Newbury: (57:14) Great.   Mason: (57:15) Something like that will be really... I've got my little interval things, especially for swinging kettlebells and things like that. It's just really magic. We might give one away as well, because I've doing [inaudible 00:57:29] for every podcast.   James Newbury: (57:30) Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. Totally. We'll organise it. For sure. Definitely.   Mason: (57:34) Well, sweet. That's tied itself up into a nice neat little package.   James Newbury: (57:41) Totally.   Mason: (57:43) Awesome. Man, I appreciate it so much, especially, selfishly this has been really good for me because I am... Yeah, I've got two weeks left off, I've had two months off, January, February, from the business. One of the things I've really been trying to do is get back into my business and get back into my workouts. You were talking about like having those eight weeks off, like long days. I feel like it's been four years with a kid and I would really like to go have a real proper workout, and so it's been really nice, I've got such a strong yin practise as well which is probably where I go to as a safe space, to actually start going in and really exerting myself in a yang space and it's been good to chat.   James Newbury: (58:34) Yeah. I'm glad. Well, the best thing I think I could recommend, is don't set the standard to do an hour or two hours, just set 10 minutes and do 10 minutes persistently for a month every day and make it super simple, like do burpees for one minute, take a minute off, and do that for five rounds. And start with that, and then the next day do something different, but don't make them long. And then once the consistency gets into rhythm, it snowballs and then it's easier to then do 15 minutes and 20 minutes and 30 minutes, if you eventually want to. I wouldn't set the standard to be working out for an hour every day if I wasn't competing like I do, I wouldn't be doing a full two hour session every day. I would be doing you know what feels good and I'd probably be spending more time surfing to be honest. And count your surfing sessions as workouts too.   Mason: (59:31) Sweet. We had a little shorey happening, so I might put my flippers on actually.   James Newbury: (59:39) 100%, 100%. [inaudible 00:59:42].   Mason: (59:45) Thanks, bro. Everyone we're going to put all links to [5NStudio 00:59:52], your Instagram, anywhere you particularly want to send people to have a look, things you're up to at the moment?   James Newbury: (01:00:01) Yep. Perfect. I love it.   Mason: (01:00:03) Sweet, sweet, sweet. All right. Man, go well. You got time to surf or you working out, what are you doing now?   James Newbury: (01:00:10) I'm working out again. I just finished my morning session and I've got an afternoon session to do and then once I finish that, I have some family commitments. I've got to put the boyfriend hat back on and then I'm going out to Kayla's aunties place for her 60th. Another couple of hours of working out and then just a little bit of rest till tomorrow.   Mason: (01:00:35) Well, love to the fam. Love to Kayla.   James Newbury: (01:00:38) Thank you.   Mason: (01:00:38) Thanks so much, bro.   James Newbury: (01:00:40) Pleasure.
We're so excited to be bringing you today's episode of the SuperFeast podcast; Mason sits down for a chat with the super knowledgable Dr. Jason Hawrelak and delves into the microbiome, gut dysbiosis, disease and, pre-and probiotics. Microbiome health is quite a ubiquitous topic these days and with good reason. Your microbiome is essentially a portal to longevity, and if you want to invest in your future, then it's wise to invest in the health of your gut ecosystem. Dr. Jason Hawrelak is a naturopath (over 21 years of clinical experience) and educator with a passion for gastrointestinal health, the GIT microbiota, pre-and probiotics, and a wealth of knowledge in his field. This episode is full of essential goodness on the gut/vaginal/breast milk microbiome and the importance of the gut ecosystem to all other disease states prevalent in the western world. Dr. Hawrelak touches on the exciting advancements, tools and, technologies that allow us to shift the imbalances in our microbiome, as long as we are willing to make the necessary changes. Make sure you tune in for this one!   Mason and Dr. Jason discuss: What your microbiome says about your health.  Bacterial DNA testing. Stool analysis. Chronic Western diseases and the dysbiotic gut. Probiotics and prebiotics for better health and immunity. Which foods have the best sources of prebiotics? What Dr. Hawrelak recommends for a healthier gut ecosystem. Leaky gut and emulsifiers. Why a diverse diet is essential for a healthy microbiome. Microbiome modification. Depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's, and gut dysbiosis. Optimising the gut ecosystem pre-conception and during pregnancy. The Vaginal microbiome and causes of dysbiosis. The breast milk microbiome. The link between the gut and breast milk microbiota. Who is Dr. Jason Hawrelak? Dr. Jason Hawrelak is a researcher, educator, and naturopath with over 21 years’ clinical experience. He did his PhD examining the capacity of probiotics, prebiotics, and herbal medicines to modify the gastrointestinal tract microbiota and teaches widely, both in Australia and internationally, on these topics. He has published extensively (including 20 textbook chapters) in this field. Dr. Hawrelak is on the Medical Nutrition Council of the American Society for Nutrition and is a Fellow of both the American College of Nutrition and the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia. He is currently the Senior Lecturer in Complementary and Alternative Medicines at the University of Tasmania’s School of Medicine (Hobart, Tasmania), where he coordinates the Evidence-based Complementary Medicine programmes. He also teaches natural approaches to Gastroenterology within the University of Western States Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program (Portland, Oregon). Additionally, Dr. Hawrelak is Chief Research Officer at, a searchable database that enables easy, evidence-based prescribing of probiotic products and online resources for clinicians and health-conscious members of the public to learn more about the human microbiome and how they can positively influence these ecosystems.   Resources: Probiotic Advisor Courses Probiotic Advisor Facebook    Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Mason: (00:00) Hey, Jason.   Jason Hawrelak: (00:01) Hey, Mason. How are you going?   Mason: (00:03) Very, very good. It's been great meeting you. I feel like we've talked about your work and you so much on this podcast. It's just so great to tune in. We're really grateful. Everyone loves Dan Sipple, one of your students here on the podcast, and we're really grateful for him opening us up to your work. It's been nice for me to see, because I knew him when I was just at the markets coming up myself before he was a naturopath, so we've had chats for me not in the practitioner realm, kind of going in and out of health circles, him kind of more from a practitioner angle. We've had conversations about all the different types of diets and everything. It's been nice to see him land in one element of his practise here in what we're going to talk today and microbiome and this kind of analysis. It's kind of been, as we were talking about a little bit beforehand, it's nice to not just be hoping that your diet is as good as you think it is.   Jason Hawrelak: (01:09) Yeah. Well, I think we're lucky now that we can more easily assess at least the impact of the diet on the microbiome. That is accessible now, and listen, it wasn't very well accessible 10, 15, 20 years ago. I've been a clinician for 21 years, and the stool tests we had access to 20 years ago gave us a very tiny snapshot of the ecosystem. We know the average person might have 160 species present, and the old stool analysis would tell you four of those and engaged your health on what those four populations were like, which never felt quite right. I think we skip forward in time, we're like, "No, that was not close to it." I know it's the best we had at the time and we're always working with the best tools we have, and again, you skip forward 20 years from now we'll have amazing tools and quick turnaround time for stool tests, et cetera, but I think now we just have that capacity to really see the individual nuanced effect of dietary factors, lifestyle factors, on the microbiome.   Mason: (02:13) Was it like all those years ago, even when you had the four populations you were able to test, did you have the instinct that, all right, well, the gut for you is the foundation? Were you just like, "This is the best we've got and this is what I'm going to have to work with," because this is the foundation of your practise and your treatment?   Jason Hawrelak: (02:30) Yeah. I'm lucky that I did my naturopathy training, I think it started in 1996, and sort of my final fourth year was 1999, and then I moved on to doing my honours degree looking at the gut microbiota or dysbiosis of the ecosystem in irritable bowel syndrome and how we could alter that with prebiotics, probiotics, and herbs. So I went from being a student to when I recently graduated new practitioner seeing patients, but at the same time I was reading research studies that were talking about how to analyse the gut ecosystem, and I could see then that the tools that we had access to were very limited even to the gold standard then.   Jason Hawrelak: (03:06) The gold standard then could find 50, 60 different species in the gut, but it was immensely expensive and not practical in the real world. You had to get stool samples from people and freeze them at minus 40 degrees under a nitrogen atmosphere within moments of them being voided, and then culture that in the lab which is a painstaking, costly experience. So yeah, they can do that in research settings, but it just wasn't possible in clinical reality, so we were stuck with the lactobacilli, E. coli, tetracocci, and bifidobacteria. I think those are the four things they could tell us about, which we know that most of those are tiny players in the healthy gut, but it was what we had access to.   Jason Hawrelak: (03:48) There were some other function markers on those tests, the old comprehensive digestive stool analysis that could help us fill in some of those gaps around short-chain fatty acid production, some of the fat suggestive markers. That would help get us get a feel for someone's gut functionality and gut health, but the ecosystem component was just so tiny, and really, researchers knew it was a tiny amount. Even with what we could do with that recurring gold standard of culturing was what we knew was a tiny amount of what was actually there. There was hints of that.   Jason Hawrelak: (04:20) You look back at that research and you could have people on a mostly meat diet and a vegan diet and you'd look at their ecosystem via culturing and it was no different. It just didn't make sense. It's like, "How the hell could that diet and this diet create the same ecosystem, or changing the diet make no difference to the ecosystem?" That's really the state we were at in the '80s and '90s, is that the technology we were using was just so insensitive we couldn't see these things.   Jason Hawrelak: (04:49) But there was one study that was using a raw food vegan diet to treat rheumatoid arthritis, I think in the early 2000s, that shared a dramatic improvement in rheumatoid arthritis, huge, but the culturing showed no difference in the ecosystem. But they used a different technique which never really caught on and really wasn't great, but it was looking at fatty acid profiles and the cell membrane of cells from memory, and they showed it was dramatically different. And they said, "Something is changing in the gut. We can see it, but this technology [inaudible 00:05:23] is too insensitive. We can't work out what's going on. We really need to develop new techniques. We need to start moving into DNA," and that's where we shifted in the early 2000s is that shift using bacterial DNA as a way of looking at what's there.   Jason Hawrelak: (05:37) That's why everyone is talking about microbiomes now and we weren't so much 20 years ago is because technology has advanced that we can see. We can see the impact of diet. We can see the impact of medications. We can see the impact of environmental chemicals, et cetera, on the ecosystem that we just couldn't see before.   Mason: (05:53) Where do you think we're at in terms of the... We just opened a can of worms with this DNA testing model in terms of just how deep we're going to be able to go with diagnosis and treatment protocols. Are we just scratching the surface, or do you think it's pretty flushed out at this point?   Jason Hawrelak: (06:11) That would depend who you ask and their knowledge of the field. And as someone that's spent 21 years researching this area now I'm pretty comfortable navigating through it, but if you find someone that's just come across the microbiome in the last two years and never heard of it before and then they started reading stuff, they're like, "Whoa." They're looking at it at a different viewpoint, and they might feel that it's insufficient knowledge to make dietary changes or recommendations based on the level of science that there currently is. And I think that yes, science is evolving, yes, we're learning more all the time, but we still know a fair bit. Listen, there's still species in the gut we have no idea what they do. Some of them haven't been named yet. So yes, we know a certain amount and there's a lot more we don't know than what we do know, but as someone that's been in the field to watch it change over that 20 years and being able to work with patients and putting into practise recommendations that change that and see the benefits, I'm pretty confident in that area.   Jason Hawrelak: (07:09) I just look forward to, essentially, probably two things with testing. Perhaps seeing a bit more functionality looking at the genetics, the microbes that are there, but two, just quicker turnaround. At the moment you might be looking at four to six weeks if you're lucky to see what's going... When you sample it, send it off to a lab and get a result back. What I would love is when you can do this on a semi daily basis where you can look at it and even a couple days later you can go, "Okay, what's it like?" You can give a course of antibiotics and then get a result of how disturbed that ecosystem is two days later, not six weeks later, because what are you going to do six weeks later? It's too late to individualise treatment for that patient based on what it was like. You'll still get it to work, but you know what I mean. You can't see the acute damage caused by an event whether that's dietary or medication induced.   Mason: (08:01) That's something I was really thinking about. I haven't really been comfortable doing any tests with naturopaths whether they're mates or not, other than doing heavy metal analysis, looking at long term longevity marks especially, until this came along and it was a really easy, sensible test for me to go forward with. It was based on markers that weren't swinging or weren't volatile. It was something I knew I could invest in long term, and if there was something chronic there, because in my mind it's a long term kind of plan test, and I was looking at all the chronic issues and yeah, it really makes sense in those kinds of treatments settings.   Mason: (08:46) But then I'm looking at just how powerful this could be with acute bacterial and fungal, parasite, viral infections, so on and so forth, that kind of gets me a little bit excited. If I was a practitioner, or we have a huge community and we're able to expose them to awesome practitioners like yourself, it makes me very excited thinking about that kind of progression where again, not taking swings in the dark. You're actually seeing immediately what's happening with the impact of a herbal protocol or an antibiotic protocol. That's really exciting. I've never seen such a potential of like... I'm optimistic, but it would be interesting to hear your two cents on where we are with this information being integrated into the modern medical system. That feels like that's a sensible bridge. That doesn't feel like pie in the sky, like that would be too much to ask. So two questions, the acute, and then that integration. Do you see this being adopted at any point?   Jason Hawrelak: (09:56) Listen, it's happening slowly. And again, back to 20 years when I first started digging into it, there were naturopaths, nutritionists, integrative GPs talking about gut health, dysbiosis, leaky gut, as core contributors to chronic disease, but it was not discussed in the wider medical community. The mainstream media wasn't talking about these issues, but fast forward 15, 20 years, people talking about gut microbiome, people talking about dysbiosis, people talking about leaky gut, so I think that those concepts have reached out to the broader community definitely heaps more in that time period, and I think there's a lot more clinicians aware of it at least to some degree and peripheral degree.   Jason Hawrelak: (10:35) I still don't think that they're core aspects of typical medical training, for example. I think there's probably some discussion now in some medical courses around microbiome, what it is, why it's a little bit important, but just nutrition might take up eight hours of lectures in their five years of clinical study. They do more than that, but you've gone there for five years. The microbiome might take two hours of that, and this is really such a pivotal thing.   Jason Hawrelak: (11:03) What I find fascinating is the microbiome sceptics who say, "I was really sceptical and then I started reading, and now I'm a convert," because they've actually looked into it and spent the time, and I think that sort of proves that there's so much evidence that's built up over time that is enough to get some of these more sceptical people excited if they take the time to look at it. So there's still people that haven't and who are naturally sceptical of anything that feels faddy to them, which for some people this does. For some of us that have been here for 20 years it doesn't feel remotely like a fad. This has been fascinating to watch the growth of that.   Jason Hawrelak: (11:39) There used to be a handful of research teams around the world looking at microbiota health. Now there are thousands, and the number of papers published every year is just huge, not even just on probiotics or prebiotics but just the importance of gut ecosystem health to all these other disease states and how dysbiosis causes or contributes to all these different disease states. I think that's absolutely fascinating, making these broader connections which allow us as clinicians far more tools to treat the cause, other than going, "Okay, I can give you St. John's wort or saffron to treat your depression." Certainly better than giving an SSRI pharmaceutical, for sure. Side effect profile much better. Long-term use not an issue. However, it's still not necessarily getting to the cause, and if that cause is increased permeability and a dysbiotic gut ecosystem, which it often is, it's good to know that we can test for those things and go, "Okay, what's your imbalance like?"   Jason Hawrelak: (12:35) I think that's the other aspect too, is that everyone's ecosystem is so unique, that there are certain patterns we can see associated with disease states, but that doesn't always mean that this individual patient with that disease label is going to fit that pattern that's been found in that research, and that's what I love testing for, going, "Okay, do you? Maybe you do. Great. Maybe you don't, and then all right, we know exactly where it's at. How can we individualise tweaks, make some changes to your diet with prebiotics, probiotics, supplements, to actually get that ecosystem into a healthier state?" Which, to me, probably brings the point of how do you define a healthier state, and to me there's a few things.   Jason Hawrelak: (13:13) One is diversity. You want it to be diverse just like you want the rainforest and coral reef to be diverse. You don't want a forest to be 80% one tree species and then 100 species make up 20%, because it's going to look like a plantation not like a forest. You want it to be a wide number of species present, so species rich and a nice spread, and then you want high levels of beneficial bacteria, low levels of pathobionts and pathogens. Pathobionts are species that are fine in normal amounts, could even be quite helpful, but when they get too high they cause harm, so we want to keep them down to low levels, and that's how we define that and how do we achieve that balance. And I think once you look at their ecosystem, we can generally work out, if you know what you're doing, how to actually change that.   Mason: (14:01) That's what I like as well. I think it's been four months since I had my analysis done and it was super interesting. We did it as a family, and there's a couple of things I'm going to try and fit... As I normally do when I'm in conversations that excite me, I'm going to try to fit too much in at one time, but whatever.   Jason Hawrelak: (14:19) I hear you.   Mason: (14:23) The biggest thing we've talked a lot about, you brought up fads. Most people think this is maybe going to be a fad and then they realise it's not a fad once they start doing a bit of research.   Jason Hawrelak: (14:33) Yeah. That's right.   Mason: (14:36) And in the health world it's been one of those things that's been bandied around for so long like, "You've got to work on your microbiome. How do you do that?" And in the beginning it's like we're just going off kind of body ecology, not to say that these were bad movements, but it's like, "Oh, just cut some sugars, more vegetables, a bit of diversity," and everyone is like, "Oh okay, cool." And then it's like, "All right, but this is going on now. I'm a bit anxious." Skin issues, it's like, "All right, we're going to have to look at the gut," and it became one of those things where everyone is like, "Oh my god. I'm sick of being told it's the gut," and I felt like that was warranted to an extent when you're busy and you don't have anything measurable to know when you are healthy within your gut. Not just go on the raw food vegan diet as you were saying and get some really good lessening of symptoms but then not knowing what's going on long-term and then all of a sudden cracks start showing potentially if it's an extreme diet.   Mason: (15:34) And then being able to finally, for someone who's busy... I think I always think of a mom I knew. She's my prototype when I started my business. I was telling her to go and harvest her own turkey tail in Lane Cove National Park and she's like, "Hey, mate, I've got four kids," and two of her kids were autistic and she works full time, and she's just like, "I don't have bloody time. Give me my mushroom powder." I was like, "All right, I can see the relevance of this business." All of a sudden the, "Well, how is your gut? How does your gut look?" And you're like, "I think it's healthy." Now, bang. You can go and actually, as you said, get an individual approach of what's going on within the diversity and actually start getting a definition of what is healthy. Okay, cool. We can start to kind of actually look at that rather than going, "Trust me."   Mason: (16:22) We talk about a lot of extreme diets here. I'm an extremist, that's why I kind of have a sore spot for talking about them. I throw myself at them and then talk smack at extreme diets, but me and Dan quite often talk how interesting it would be if everyone would present their microbiome profile after they've been on a diet for-   Jason Hawrelak: (16:45) Yeah. That would be fascinating. I agree. For me, sometimes the people who are doing really extreme ones like carnivore diets, I think you can't really assess the impact of that without looking at microbiome, and I think it's skipping a giant component of the potential negative consequences if you're not looking at that, the short and long-term. That's a good example.   Mason: (17:12) Or at least integrate it as a piece of the puzzle. When I was extreme, if someone asked me to test my microbiome I'd be scared because I would have felt like I was about to get called out and possibly I'm going to get shown something that I don't want to see. I get it. I'm empathetic towards folks who are like, "Cool, let's just look at ATP markers," or whatever it is. Metabolic markers or muscle mass or some hormonal... Cherry pick. At least this being slid in there, but it's just nice that's available now instead of four to six weeks. But even then, that's fine if you've got a long-term intention, right?   Jason Hawrelak: (17:55) Yeah, and then the price I think has come down too. Again, if you skip back to early 2000s the best tests we could do was $800 per test and that looked at 12 species of bacteria instead of four. It was like a big step up and used a bit of DNA marker for that, so it's like, "Yes, okay. Evolve with technology, but $800 per patient is like... How often do you do that? How often is that justified? Is it justified at all?" As much as I'd like to see what's going on even in that limited realm, it's like, "That's a lot of money," whereas now, there's a few different types of DNA-based techniques and some of the 16S technique ones are around the 100 US dollar mark per test, and sometimes you get them on special where they can be 50 bucks or something like that, so it means you can really do frequent testing.   Jason Hawrelak: (18:52) To me, that was a game changer when the 16S test came online. It was like, "Oh, gosh. Now we can look at testing these things for $100 a pop and it means we can do repeated tests." Now it's like, "Let's give you stuff for two months and we test, another two months, we test, and you can see dramatic changes from that and see whether your protocols are working or not." And I think obviously this objective is are they feeling better and their disease is getting better. That's the most important thing, for sure. You've got that regardless, but you see that objective change.   Mason: (19:26) [crosstalk 00:19:26] You forget that the symptoms have alleviated to be able to see it.   Jason Hawrelak: (19:30) That's a very good point. It's true, because people, sometimes they're getting better on the slow trajectory and then you look back going... This is where it's nice if you have measures or ways. You could ask them their energy out of 10, and when they first came to see you it's two out of 10. Now it's like seven and they've already forgotten that it used to be two out of 10 because it's taken four months to get there and they just kind of get used to that new normal. But I do think having an objective diet is fantastic and to really gauge treatment effectiveness, because people are unique and their ecosystems are unique, and whilst I'm using research like clinical trial evidence to guide my decision making around what prebiotics to use and what dose et cetera, as well as my clinical experience, it's like someone may... Most people respond as you expect them to and some people respond a bit differently to that, and that's where having that feedback makes a big difference.   Jason Hawrelak: (20:21) I would say I've been working more with autistic kids the last couple of years, and their ecosystems are particularly changeable and flexible and exaggerated responses, so it's been a fascinating learning working with this population. If we weren't doing pre-imposed testing you'd have bloody no idea what's going on, but where you can have a species go from 0.06% of an ecosystem and then four weeks later be 80%. It's just changes that are unheard of in a neurotypical population, but in this population it happens, and it's important that you know that as a clinician and important that you know how to adjust dosages and [inaudible 00:21:03] and things, again, which comes from testing and having the access to these tests at a more affordable price than before.   Jason Hawrelak: (21:10) Some of the other molecular tests or DNA-based test we use are a bit more expensive like shotgun metagenomic sequencing which is more around the $300, $400 mark, so that's another notch up, and again, I've got to consider whether the additional data I get is worth the added cost or whether getting three tests for the same price of the inferior 16S tests would be a better option for this patient.   Mason: (21:40) Lots of questions about that part of the population responding, but I feel like I'm going to open up... That's going to be a big conversation in terms of what's going on there if I go there.   Jason Hawrelak: (21:49) Yeah, it could be.   Mason: (21:55) Straight away, you've brought up depression, and everyone is now at this point of... I'm sure 20 years ago when you talked about a gut-brain connection it's not like today where everyone is just bandying that out there, talking about that access, which is amazing, the gut-brain microbiota. So naturally, I can see your work is with acute and chronic gastrointestinal conditions, but then it just seems like you wouldn't have ever been able to not work in mental health at the same time.   Jason Hawrelak: (22:29) No, and because of that full on link, I see patients with chronic fatigue and patients with depression, anxiety, kids on the spectrum, some of which would have gut symptoms or obvious gut dysfunction and others do not, and we're just looking at how does their gut health or their microbiome composition affect their disease symptoms and how can we then modify it afterwards? So I think that microbiome composition, it's huge for all of those different things that we've just mentioned and more, and really, I don't see it that far in the future where doing a microbiome assessment will be standard because you look at that growing list of diseases associated with dysbiosis, it is growing.   Jason Hawrelak: (23:16) On a monthly basis a new study find a new link between a new disease and dysbiosis, so I don't think it's too far away when this will be part of your annual general checkup. I'd like to see it more common than that, but there'll be awareness around this with all these new disease states and awareness of, "Okay, well, maybe if this practitioner doesn't know how to modify it they can refer to somebody who does," and to people who specialise in microbiome modification to work alongside people who might be prescribing the pharmaceutical that that person might need or the people who are prescribing herbs and nutrients as a way of dealing with that condition.   Mason: (23:52) That's a comforting thought, thinking about that being a part of the regular checkup.   Jason Hawrelak: (23:57) I'd like to think so. I think Western medicine can be slow, cautious, and there's some benefits to caution, but I think sometimes it means things move very slowly. And even, I think of the impact of, to talk about a different ecosystem, but vaginal dysbiosis. This is an area that I'm passionate about because it's just an area that I think doesn't get the attention it deserves, and there's women who are suffering health consequences from having a dysbiotic vaginal ecosystem that no one talks about and no health professionals know about at all. People talk about the gut now, but there's the vaginal ecosystem too and there's a range of increased health risks for women who have a dysbiotic ecosystem, from cervical cancer to a range of STIs, sexually transmitted infections, as well as just symptoms in that area.   Jason Hawrelak: (24:54) I look forward to when that's just part of people's checkup. We look at that and go, "Okay, how is that ecosystem health going? How do we improve that?" We know that vaginal dysbiosis is linked to infertility and poor birth outcomes as well, so to me it's a no brainer that this should be part of a discussion and should be part of a consideration of someone's state of health, but it's just not there in conventional medicine. I don't know how many studies need to be published before it does get there, but I'm hopeful on the other hand that in five or ten years time, which is a long ways away for a lot of people, that some of these cautions will be around this and that care will be far more broad in its scope and some of these areas of dysbiotic ecosystems will be addressed, because I mean the gut was kind of the tip of the iceberg. There's stuff about skin ecosystems that we know so little about, and how do we even modify that? We know so little about it. We know how to kill things, put antibiotics on there, put an antifungal on there, but how do we make the ecosystem on my cheek healthier?   Mason: (25:56) Yeah. Far out.   Jason Hawrelak: (25:57) Nobody even researches that yet. That will change and we're just starting to do that with the gut over the last 20 years, how do we make that ecosystem healthier, but I think there's other broader systems that we are way behind on too.   Mason: (26:10) Yeah. And as we keep saying, it's not just stabbing in the dark. It's nice to have a part of your health protocol or your strategy or your lifestyle or whatever it is, something that you can show, "Actually, how can I increase the diversity in my oral cavity and my skin?" And just talking about UTIs and thrush, I mean that's... What do you get? You get antibiotics or you go and take some cranberry. That's kind of all there is in the awareness around that at the moment, but I think where that's going to start. It's always in preconception. That's where the doors get opened for a lot of the population that do things.   Mason: (26:53) So I think there, just looking at the vaginal cavity and going, "This is going to have a direct link to your gut microbiota," and then, "Okay, cool, so let's..." So now it's nice for me when I have friends who are trying to conceive and we talk. There's a lot of conversation like the Daoistterminology around that, but we always say you've got to make sure you have a nice, healthy gut because that's going to be handed over.   Jason Hawrelak: (27:18) That's right.   Mason: (27:19) All that's in our testing. It was interesting watching at the time our three year old. We were just going, "Yeah, you can see there's the direct... This is what you've given Aiya," which thankfully is pretty good. Just could use some more biodiversity.   Jason Hawrelak: (27:35) That's the cool thing about testing. You can see those things which I think is fantastic too.   Mason: (27:41) Well, I think I see that's where it's really going to. Again, like gastrointestinal microbiota during pregnancy and that handing over the encyclopaedic knowledge, just between that information that's getting handed over to a child and then through breastfeeding, I think this is going to... I'm really excited to be able to give my friends something that's data driven where they can start seeing exactly what they are now handing over to their child versus would have not been.   Jason Hawrelak: (28:14) And by testing that during early pregnancy and working out, "Okay, what's the ecosystem like now?" Ideally before that if you're working with the preconception we can test and look then and then make changes, but how do we optimise the ecosystem during pregnancy so we can pass on the healthiest ecosystem possible? And I think that will be a core part of... I think it is in some people's circles already a core part of that prenatal care, but I think it will become even more so, because you've got that opportunity to... You've only got that one chance of passing on in some ways, one chance of passing on the healthiest ecosystem possible so you do your best. If you know that, you do your best to make it as healthy as possible, but to do that you need to know how healthy that is in the first place, how you can modify that, and then you can follow up and go, "Okay, how is it tracking over time?" And then to ensure the best introduction to the next generation, best seeding and reinoculation to the next generation.   Jason Hawrelak: (29:11) And then we'd expect also that a healthier gut ecosystem will essentially result in a healthier breast milk ecosystem that will be passed on too, because there's certainly a link between the gut microbiota and the breast milk microbiota. The breast milk microbiota is far more complex than just the gut, but there's a sampling going on is what we feel, that bugs are being sampled from the gut, brought up to the breast tissue and fed to the next generation, alongside some amazing, unique prebiotic sugars to feed those microbes.   Mason: (29:48) So cool.   Jason Hawrelak: (29:48) Yeah. It's very cool.   Mason: (29:52) Your mind starts going to fantasy land around this becoming subsidised and us looking at it as a population, because we're walking on eggshells and we've seen that the last year immunologically what's happening. All these symptoms being brought up, all these susceptibilities, seemingly healthy people all of a sudden going down to... That's with the flu or with any virus, but you mentioned data. I didn't want to throw this one out there, but I was just looking, there was a paper that was just starting to look at the diversity of the microbiome. Okay, this is obvious, but it's interesting seeing the papers come around specifically with the... I don't know which strain of COVID they're actually testing it on. Have you seen that data? Have you seen that starting to come out?   Jason Hawrelak: (30:43) I've seen a little bit. I haven't focused too much because I suppose being in Australia, being in this little cocoon, that you're kind of outside the COVID sphere, so you don't actually have patients who are at high risk of getting it and asking questions around it, but I think from my understanding, and I am doing some research with a UK-based practitioner where we're actually treating long COVID patients by changing the microbiota and we're doing pre and follow up testing along the way and we're hoping to get it published to show the improvement in long COVID symptoms associated with microbiota optimization. I'm aware of some of the research around it, but not all the studies are coming out. I wouldn't be surprised if lack of diversity and high levels of pathogens and pathobionts and low levels of beneficial are core risk factors for more severe COVID, given that those are the same risk factors that we would see for most Western diseases that we're dealing with too for that matter.   Mason: (31:44) I guess as you were saying the data is kind of catching up whereas someone would be looking at the data they'd be like, "Okay, maybe this could work," whereas after two decades of clinical practise you know that you're going to see an improvement. It's going to see immunological, a whole physical robustness and basic adaptability and ability to get back to homeo spaces and reduce inflammation, not stay chronically inflamed, is going to be improved. Hormonal functions are going to be improved if you have at least this foundation focused upon as a primary.   Mason: (32:20) This is the first time I've gone, "Yes, here's a test that shows just how much we're walking on eggshells," especially in the Western world and especially on a standard Western diet. It's kind of really going, "All right, guys." I assume the data is going to catch up and be like, "Look at these disease states. Look at the microbiome. Look at the outcomes," and you can start to see various population overgrowths or deficiencies and start going, "Well, how about-"   Jason Hawrelak: (32:51) And similar patterns throughout between a broad range of Western chronic diseases from Alzheimer's and depression [inaudible 00:32:59] I think the similarities between the gut dysbiosis that is showing up in research, which again, is often low diversity, low levels of beneficial species like bifidobacteria or akkermansia or butyrate producing species and high levels of pathobionts like proteobacteria. It's the by parts of some of those bacteria like proteobacteria specifically that are seen as drivers of brain inflammation, changes in neurochemistry, changes in neurotransmitters that occur with things like Alzheimer's as well as depression, anxiety, and I think it's just fantastic that we have the tools available to actually shift that and it's not that... Well, assuming you're willing to change your diet, it's not that challenging to actually make those sort of imbalances and shifts pretty substantial in people's gut ecosystems if they're willing.   Mason: (33:49) We've discussed some of the basic recommendations on the podcast before, but I'm interested in hearing... Obviously, so if we're looking at some serious symptoms you'd want to be getting some testing and formulating I'd assume an individual diet plan, supplement herb plan. Are you most comfortable recommending that? Are there general recommendations at this point you're happy putting out there to take the population in a particular direction?   Jason Hawrelak: (34:22) I think there's different recommendations too. I think the point with individual ecosystems is perhaps just tweaking those to suit this person, giving a little bit more of this, a little bit less of that, because that's what some of the individual nuances are. I think there are some general principles of helping it. How do you get a healthier gut ecosystem, well, that's getting more than seven hours sleep a night. We know that's important, and I didn't always see that. I try. I didn't always.   Jason Hawrelak: (34:50) Point two is moderate amount of exercise. So some of these things aren't mind-blowing, and we've associated with better health for a long time for other reasons too, but moderate amounts of exercise are good. Too much is not so good. Too little not good. Thirdly, probably stuff around diet would be having a greater diversity of plant food stuffs, eating whole unprocessed plant foods, so you're getting lots of fibre, a rainbow of colours. I usually suggest people aim for eating 40 plus different whole plant foods per week. It's not like this is a magic number, but it's an achievable number where people can actually eat 40 plus different food stuffs and that's enough to result in diversity improvements, because essentially in that situation you are not introducing new species into that ecosystem, but you are feeding up species that are there in teeny tiny amounts and allowing them to bloom into larger amounts, to sufficient numbers that they can actually contribute to your ecosystem health and your health. When they're at 0.001% of an ecosystem they're not doing much in terms of contributing much, but when you get them up ten or a hundredfold higher than that, all of a sudden they can.   Jason Hawrelak: (35:58) That's one of the key things associated with health is a more diverse ecosystem, so I think the best way of doing that is feeding the widest number of beneficial microbes possible. I think the key thing there is diversity of diet, as I've said before. That you're having lots of fibres is important but also different shapes and sizes of that fibre, so you're eating 50 grammes of broccoli fibre a day. It's better than no fibre per day, but it's not the same as 50 grammes of fibre from a range of legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. You're going to feed a far more diverse ecosystem with a diverseness of food stuffs.   Jason Hawrelak: (36:37) Other things are avoiding processed foods, one because they're often fiberless and don't contain anything really healthy for you anyway, but two, sometimes they contain things like emulsifiers, like polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose which doesn't really sound like stuff you want to eat, and it's not, but they're things we know now that strip away your protective gut line and it's like, "Do we really want to do this? No, we don't." It needs awareness around that. When people are buying that big tub of home brand ice-cream at the shop, they're not looking at the ingredient so much. There's $2 for that tub. There's a reason why it's two dollars for that tub. It's because it's sugar, water, and heaps of emulsifiers to make that sugar and water and fats all combine together, and oil. Those emulsifiers we know strip away that protective gut lining, make your gut more leaky, and then allow bacterial byproducts to get into your system, and we don't want that.   Jason Hawrelak: (37:34) And choosing organic as much as we can, because we know that certain food chemicals are unhealthy for our human cells but also cause disruptions to the good bacterial populations in our gut as well. And as mentioned before too, a rainbow of colour, because it's the polyphenols in foods like blueberries, eggplant skin, strawberries, raspberries, those colours are generally polyphenols. Not always, like red capsicum isn't polyphenols. It's carotenoids that make that one red, but the multicoloured foods. Most of the polyphenols, in fact probably 90% of the polyphenols are absorbed by gas and they feed the colonic ecosystem, the good guys in the colonic ecosystem, and their populations grow. But as a consequence of eating those polyphenols, they release a smaller compound which we then absorb and we get the health benefit of, and I think it's this great win-win situation that we eat it.   Jason Hawrelak: (38:28) If not for the gut bacteria we would just be pooing it straight out and not getting any health benefit from it, but what we're doing is feeding species who then create an absorbable compound that helps us, plus their population grows, so it's a win-win situation. So we want to have as much colour in our diet as possible, so I always recommend things like red rice and black rice and black beans and adzuki beans to get the different colours. Lots of berries for example, and I think that's one of the other core things we can do.   Jason Hawrelak: (38:57) Things that contain resistant starch, which is a type of starch which is indigestible to us but feeds our microbes, those things are found in legumes, whole grains, root vegetables, but often these things, you get higher amounts when they are less processed i.e. not ground into flour, and secondly when they're cooked a certain way or when they're already processed, so they're cooked and cooled. So if we bake our potatoes and eat them the next day or boil our red and black rice, but then eat it the next day. Some of that starch when it cools gets converted to another type of resistant starch which then feeds our microbes.   Jason Hawrelak: (39:40) Then there are certain foods which contain higher amounts of what we call prebiotics, and prebiotics are the selective fertilisers of supplements, that we take them and we selectively feed the species that are healthy for us to have more of, and I think the key things of that prebiotics is that generally those compounds are indigestible so we can't break them down, and two, it's selective, and I can't reiterate the importance of that as how you define it, because that term prebiotic is thrown around all the time. "Oh, any fibres are prebiotic." It's like, "No."   Jason Hawrelak: (40:13) Fibres are great, and they can feed a whole bunch of different things and that's not a bad thing, but prebiotics are very selective in that I can look at an ecosystem and go, "Okay, your akkermansia population is low. Your bifidobacteria population is low. I'm going to give you some foods or suggest you eat more foods that contain a type of prebiotic called inulin or fructooligosaccharides and that will increase those populations very specifically, and you can see the before and after." You eat those things as a supplement or in those foods, their populations go up very clear.   Jason Hawrelak: (40:43) The research says that. My 20 years of experience says that too. It's not feeding a wide range of microbes. It's really feeding some very specific members of that ecosystem, and we're generally doing that alongside broader dietary principles like diversity and polyphenols that feed a wide diversity of microbes as well, and that way we get that increase in specific beneficial species as well as increased diversity overall.   Mason: (41:07) Have you got any foods currently that are just like, maybe you've read a paper about it recently or a particularly unique pigment or something that you're kind of nerding out on or really enjoying?   Jason Hawrelak: (41:20) Probably, because I'm a bit of a permaculture gardener guy too.   Mason: (41:24) That helps the microbiome.   Jason Hawrelak: (41:25) Ceylon hill gooseberries.   Mason: (41:26) Are you into gooseberries? Yeah. Yum.   Jason Hawrelak: (41:29) The ceylon hill ones, they're these little purple ones that are really high in anthocyanins which are the same compounds in blueberries. They don't grow well down here, sadly, but they grow well up in North New South Wales. They've got beautiful flowers too. They kind of look a little bit like a pink tibouchina. The leaf is a bit tibouchina-like. They're probably some sort of cousin of the melastoma species that also are native to Southeast Queensland or northern New South Wales, but they're more bountiful fruits. Those fruits have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. In fact, the fruit was said to be made by Krishna himself to give to... I can't remember which five brothers it was, but I think when you've got so much historical lore around the fruit, tells you that it's important if it's made by Krishna. It's important food. But it's also very high in polyphenols as well, so that's excited me recently.   Mason: (42:21) I've got a mate who's a permaculturist. I'm going to have to go talk to her. I'm sure she's got some. I'm sure if anyone's going to be like, "Yeah. Yip. Got a couple of trees over there or bushes over there." She'll have the hook up. I guess jaboticaba I think for me at the moment and Brazilian cherries. I guess that's kind of where I'm leaning towards. So are there any herbs or supplements that you are kind of taking or seeing that you're getting most of your clients to take? IS there any kind of just fleshing out what maybe you think they're not going to be able to get in abundance just in an organic diet by getting from the food markets, or are you generally happy with that?   Jason Hawrelak: (43:04) I use lots of prebiotic supplements in practise, and initially, as ways of targeting those species that are deficient in the gut and bringing them up quickly. Yes, eating some more of those foods will help bring that more slowly, but we're often wanting to change things quickly. So I personally don't necessarily take prebiotic supplements so often, although sometimes I do because I like that they taste good. My treat is having a teaspoon of fructooligosaccharides, but I rely mostly on diet. But I'm not unwell and when I'm treating people that have things going on that they need a boost quickly, these things work quickly that a month, two months, you can have a thousandfold increase in bacterial populations from adjusting prebiotic supplements. So for me, they're a core part of my practise and that would be probably three main prebiotics. There's inulin or fructooligosaccharides, oligofructose enriched inulin or inulin-type fructans are all names for compounds in that area. Then there's galactooligosacchardies.   Mason: (44:06) Mm-hmm (affirmative). I like that.   Jason Hawrelak: (44:07) Yeah, which we find naturally in legumes and beets as well, but primarily just amounts on legumes and tiny amounts elsewhere, and then thirdly is lactulose. Now, lactulose isn't found naturally in foods. It is found in tiny amounts of ultra heat-treated milk because lactose when it's boiled converts over to lactulose. Lactose is milk sugar, so I don't suggest people drink UHT milk, but you can find it in there. You essentially bought it in the liquid form from the chemist of all places in the laxative section, because lactulose in large doses, because it's indigestible and it reaches the colon intact and large amounts too much for your bacteria to eat, it draws water to it and you get softer bowel movements that go with it. But in small doses like we use as a prebiotic it just feeds the beneficial bacteria and their populations can expand as I said, hundred, thousandfold in many cases. And things like lactulose is fantastic for lowering levels of things like proteobacteria, species that have really pro-inflammatory endotoxin or lipopolysaccharide into the gut as they live and die. Lactulose is a very effective tool at bringing that population down very quickly.   Mason: (45:25) I thought you were about to say it's in yakult.   Jason Hawrelak: (45:32) Maybe there's a tiny amount because they probably had heat treated milk in there, but I wouldn't recommend it for source of lactulose.   Mason: (45:38) I'm like, "Oh, that's what that crap is." No. You know what I started doing after having my session and just talking about this, the importance of all these pigments, and then just making that natural connection to a diet that was based more on foraging wild foods and just seeing that if you can... For me, I'm starting to really merge these two worlds because after my raw foods days I kind of sat, I guess for lack of a better word, more of that Weston Price ancestral world, but missing the capacity to get biodiversity because I'm not out there foraging, and so I wasn't letting any of those insoluble fibres... I wasn't doing really grains. No lentils, no real beans or anything like that. It was just bad in my mind, and so now I've started really resolving that and merging those two worlds and feeling really fantastic for it.   Mason: (46:38) After that session I was like, "Wow, I've really let go of those wild fruit pigments," and started getting back onto making this big mix of my Kakadu plum, my Davidson plum, really [inaudible 00:46:54] finger lime, native peppers and mixing that up, just getting freeze dried Australian native fruits and just sour, tart, and just...   Jason Hawrelak: (47:03) I love that.   Mason: (47:04) Because we were talking about these other supplements with all the red pigments, it's got beet, and I got one and it was just sweetened with stevia and xylitol. I just couldn't handle it. But then made up that mix, I think, from just Australian Superfood Co is where I bought it from. That made a world of difference for me as well. I'm looking forward to getting that test done.   Jason Hawrelak: (47:25) Yeah. And I think traditionally we would have always eaten things that didn't taste sweet. We'd harvest whatever fruits were growing around that were edible, and certainly some of the Australian ones are not known for their great taste.   Mason: (47:39) Really?   Jason Hawrelak: (47:40) From a traditional Western perspective of just being sweet, you get things like Davidson's plums which is pretty tart, but those colour pigments are absolutely outstanding. Dragon fruit, that one is sweet. The fluorescent pinky red, that's so rich in polyphenols. And we know that those pigments in dragon fruit can feed akkermansia quite well, which is a species that we generally want more of and many Westerns have a deficient population of.   Mason: (48:09) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yip. More biodiversity. That's going to help. That's true superannuation is go hunt here in the garden. It helps you grow.   Jason Hawrelak: (48:18) Listen, the more you looK at chronic Western diseases that people are dying of in their old age, and slowly dying of too, I should add, the best thing we need to protect against those things is ensure you're looking after your microbes and your gut population now, and that will slow down and prevent that whole process, because Alzheimer's is very much a dysbiotic gut ecosystem and a lot of those chronic Western diseases are really being linked in to dysbiotic ecosystems. We know that Western diet has risk factors for those things and there's probably a number of mechanisms by which it does so, but certainly microbiome modification in a negative way in terms of those diets inducing dysbiosis, which then results in increased inflammatory tone and then that causes a whole range of negative sequelae is key.   Mason: (49:10) Before I let you go, and I think I'm definitely going to have to come back on the podcast and maybe get into some... I can just dive down lots of rabbit holes. I'd really love to talk more about women's health and pregnancy and going into some specific protocols and so much other stuff. Curious in terms of the pigment, have you heard of the blue pigment and have any data on what that's feeding? The phycocyanin that's in the... Have you ever heard of it? That's in the blue green algaes and like...   Jason Hawrelak: (49:41) No. I haven't looked. So some other people may have and there may be research that's looked at that at least in animal or vitro models, maybe even beyond that, but no, I'm not familiar with that research if it has been done.   Mason: (49:52) Just wanted to throw that out there. That's a pigment I haven't been getting lately, is the true blue.   Jason Hawrelak: (50:00) No. Well, true blue is hard. You do find true blue in the... I was going to say clitoris pea. Clitoria ternatea, the butterfly pea. That gives you that beautiful blue. Probably it's a different compound than what you find in that blue green algae, but it is one of the few natural food stuffs that contains such an amazing blue compound.   Mason: (50:26) It's such a vibrant blue as well. Learning that no, actually blueberries aren't blue.   Jason Hawrelak: (50:33) Not compared to that, no. They're like a purpley grey actually compared to that. I remember when I was in Thailand and had the butterfly pea tea for the first time. This is 15 years ago or 16 years ago. I was just amazed because the water was blue and then they gave me some lime juice to put on it and it turned purple. I'm like, "What the hell is this stuff?" It was incredible. It was just very hard to find back then. I remember searching high and low to find a supplier and there was nobody selling it back 15 years, whereas thankfully that's become more available. That grows beautifully up in your area too. You could just have a fence covered with blue butterfly pea.   Mason: (51:11) I hadn't thought of that. Get that growing along the fence. That's a really good idea. Thank you for that. I'll take that gift. I'll let you get on with your day. Thanks so much. Really, really appreciate you coming on. Looking forward to jumping on again. I assume there's going to be a lot of people who want to... You've got so many other podcasts and talks and you've got so many resources on your website. Best place for people to go down the rabbit hole with your work or check out your clinic?   Jason Hawrelak: (51:48) Yeah, so Probiotic Advisor is my broader website and there I've got a database. It's mostly designed for clinicians to teach them about evidence-based use of probiotics and trying to match the best probiotic on the marketplace to whatever you're trying to treat, but then I've got a range of courses as well. Most of my stuff is geared for training practitioners, but there's stuff there for health conscious people who are pretty health literate to gain from as well, courses around treatment of a range of gut conditions and functional testing in terms of what gut tests are the best, what leaky gut tests are the best, things like that. There's a world of information around that, and there's links to a range of my podcasts I think on that site too, so you can click and learn more on a range of different topics.   Jason Hawrelak: (52:35) It's been an amazing journey to be in this field for 21 years and to see the growth of microbiome science in that time and I'm just glad that I chose that topic to do research because it's not often that you spend 20 years doing something and you're just as passionate now as what you were 20 years ago. I'm lucky that that's the case within this area.   Mason: (52:58) Yeah. That's huge. I think because you're not having to pad how effective or how fast it's moving. It's actually been effective more and more and more. That's rewarding in itself. The reward is built into that path that you happened to choose. That's nice. I'm very happy that worked out for you.   Jason Hawrelak: (53:23) Yeah, me too.   Mason: (53:23) I'm just really stoked for... We've kind of always known this, but for the more literal needing data and science part of the population, it's really exciting to see that this is something which like the ecosystem that we can see on the earth is something worth preserving and reseeding and building and nourishing, so it's just really exciting for everyone.   Jason Hawrelak: (53:48) It is, and for me that's a key passion, is that idea of custodianship and that we are gifted our microbes from our previous generation and we've got to give them on to the next generation, and what we do to that ecosystem in the intervening time determines what we pass on and how important that is that just like where we should be caring for custodians of the outer ecosystem and trying to keep it as healthy as possible to pass onto our kids, it's important that we do the same thing for our inner ecosystem as well.   Mason: (54:19) Beautiful. Mate, thank you so much for coming on today. Have an awesome one down there in sunny Hobart.   Jason Hawrelak: (54:27) Not sunny today. It's cloudy and 14, but it will return sunny again another day and two, so I'll enjoy it then.   Mason: (54:35) Awesome. Thanks so much, mate.   Jason Hawrelak: (54:37) Yeah. You're welcome, Mason.
Today on the SuperFeast podcast, Tahnee is joined by Chinese dietary coach/practitioner, herbalist, Qigong teacher, author, and man of wisdom Andrew Sterman for a multifaceted conversation around the energetics of food and their power to heal. With his depth of knowledge and spirited ease, Andrew takes us on a journey back to the basics of where good food meets good health. In a world of endless niche diets that leave us cynical and confused, Andrew assures us the power to heal ourselves lies in the accessible space of our kitchen where cooking is kept alive and through inherently knowing our health. Andrew brings the modern context of food to life while keeping the wisdom of how and why we do things intact. A brilliant conversation with something for everyone.    ''The most important player here is the home cook because the home cook is the director of family health''.  - Andrew Sterman   Tahnee and Andrew discuss: The fusion of age-old food wisdom with a contemporary context. Understanding the basic energetics of food and how to apply them. Cooling and Heating effects of different foods on the digestive system. Tongue diagnosis; What your tongue says about your health. SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). Slow-cooked food and the benefits for the stomach. Preparing food for better digestion. The home cook is the key player in good health. Foods and spices to warm the stomach for better digestion. Eating according to where you live and the climate.  Carbohydrates; why we don't need to be terrified of them. Keto and Paleo diets for short term therapy but not long term health. Sugar and how it affects digestion. Food Stagnation.   Who is Andrew Sterman? Andrew Sterman is the author of Welcoming Food, Diet as Medicine for the Home Cook and Other Healers. The two volumes of Welcoming Food offer a unique entry into understanding the energetics of food, explain how foods work in common sense language, and provide easy-to-follow recipes for everyday eating. Andrew teaches courses in food energetics internationally and online and sees private clients for dietary therapy and medical qigong. He has studied broadly in holistic cooking, meditation, qigong, and tai chi. Andrew has also been a student of Daoist Master- Jeffrey Yuen for 20 years in herbal medicine, qigong, and of course, dietary therapy from the classical Chinese medicine tradition. Visit Andrew at .   Resources: Andrews Website Welcoming Food, Book 1 : Energetics of Food and Healing Welcoming Food, Book 2 : Recipes and Kitchen Practice Andrew's Instagram Facebook-Understanding Food: An Energetics Approach Food and Healing Course Riding The Wave: A free weekly group meditation Food Chat with Andrew Sterman (twice a month via zoom) Qigong Classes with Andrew Sterman Corona Virus Help-Live Offerings   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher :)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:01) Hi everybody. And welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast. I'm doing the intro this week. I had a chat with Andrew Sterman, who is this awesome Chinese dietary coach and practitioner based out of the United States. He works with Jeffrey Yuen, who is a Taoist master, who I have been following for about, I would say around seven or eight years now. He was first recommended to me by one of my acupuncturists in Newcastle. And I just love Jeffrey, his philosophy, he's really rooted in the Taoist tradition and obviously Mason and I are big fans of that. And when I first read Andrew's work, it was just an online PDF about Chinese dietary theory. I just thought, "Oh, finally, someone who really explains this stuff in a modern way that makes it really digestible." Good pun.   Tahnee: (00:57) And also he just seems like a really interesting person. He works as a clinician so he has a lot of experience dealing with all of the various types of things that people present with when they're trying to dial in their nutrition. So we do go on a wide adventure in this podcast. Andrew is just such a great, interesting orator. He just holds this really beautiful space when he speaks. So I really just let him talk. And he covers everything from some of the basics of the energetics of food, tongue diagnosis, SIBO, which is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, which is something we hear about a lot in our work at SuperFeast. Just a lot of stuff I think that will really help those of you who are a bit newer to the energetic idea of food, start to get your head around things.   Tahnee: (01:49) And that's the big distinction, I guess, between a Western biomedical nutrition approach and the Taoist approach. Also comes through Ayurveda and other Eastern traditions where they're really looking at the impact the food has on the energetics of the body, not just the chemical constituents of food. So a carrot is in a carrot. If you cook a carrot, if you eat it raw or grated, if you steam it, if you fry it, there's all sorts of different ways in which we would affect the energetics of that finished product that we eat. So I have been diving into this stuff for probably really seriously, for about five or six years. And especially since having [Aya 00:02:35], I have become more interested in, I guess deconditioning myself away from the Western nutrition model and looking at this more Eastern energetic approach.   Tahnee: (02:48) I have just finished reading Andrew's books and I highly recommend them. We're going to be giving away a copy of each. They're basically a partner pair. So the first one's more theory and the second one's more practical recipes. And I love that he, being a foodie, he brings in food from all different types of cultures. So it's not just Asian... Mason actually doesn't love Asian food, I do. But so in our family, I'm often cooking with more Western flavours, more European flavours, because they are really the ones that we enjoy to eat.   Tahnee: (03:20) And I really like how Andrew bridges those worlds. He offers some beautiful Asian dishes, but also a lot of really yummy, more Western or European style flavours. He brings in a lot of beautiful traditional wisdom. He overlays it with stories of his travels. He's own experience raising kids. He's got teenagers. So I just, I really enjoy reading his books. I think he makes what can be a quite dense, complicated theory, really accessible.   Tahnee: (03:47) And even if you're really new to Chinese medicine and Taoism, I think you'll find his books really accessible and fun. So check out our social media. We'll have the giveaway live when this podcast goes live. And if you aren't a lucky winner, then jump on and order his books. I, again, highly recommend them. I'm going to hand over to Andrew now. He is, like I said, just a great guy to listen to. He's a classical musical performer as well as a really amazing practitioner. So he's got this artistic flair that I think comes through in his writing and his talking. And I hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed chatting to him, have a beautiful one, enjoy Andrew. My partner and I, we're both through the Taoist lineage. He works with herbs. I work mostly with yoga and I practise Chi Nei Tsang, which is an abdominal massage. I've mostly studied with people like Mantak Chia and then also herbal traditions and stuff. But I guess- [crosstalk 00:04:51].   Andrew: (04:51) Fantastic.   Tahnee: (04:52) ... the yoga side of things. So our work is really about trying to educate people away from these quite myopic and like you're saying, narrower views of what health means and really trying to expand people into this sense that it's an individual journey and what's right for you at one stage of life might not be forever and there's ways in which we can potentiate our health through lifestyle and these practises and little tweaks that mean that we can live in a really full and wonderful way that isn't just...And we've both come out of... We're both in our mid 30s now, but we've both come through those early twenties.   Tahnee: (05:35) I was a vegan and vegetarian and very into yoga and very one lined about a lot of things, make sure that younger people were coming through with a bit more of a broader sense of not just this social media fads and all these things that happened so...   Andrew: (05:51) Exactly.   Tahnee: (05:52) Yeah, we also have a little girl who's four. So we've both developed a lot of interest in, I guess... I mean, I've been studying Acupuncture. I did put it on hold during COVID because they weren't doing any contact. So I just thought I'd wait, because I didn't want to do it all online. And Jeffrey Yuen came across my desk about probably 2014 and my acupuncturist at the time was mentoring me and he was a five elements acupuncturist, but he was really into Jeffrey Yuen's work and really was passionate about trying to get to New York and study with him and all these things.   Tahnee: (06:29) And anyway, long story short, I did some of his online courses and then stumbled across your work and just found your writing so engaging. And I thought, "Well, he writes so beautifully, I'm sure he speaks beautifully." So I thought I'd reach out. And as I said, I've really struggled to find people to discuss nutrition and food energetic side of things. Because as you were saying, it can be quite narrow. And there's also the sense of it has to be very Chinese.   Andrew: (07:00) Exactly. Right, that's a really big point. A lot of what I do, part of my passion or my niche or whatever we want to say, is to bring their food energetics into... It doesn't need to be modernised. The wisdom is intact, but the foods are different. We have access to modern foods and modern tastes and things that we grew up with. We can expand that of course. I think all of us who were on this journey have expanded from our childhood foods, but it doesn't... We definitely don't need to move to Asian or Chinese foods in order to do food energetics work.   Andrew: (07:45) The important thing is to use the basic principles and to apply them to the food in your local market. Whether it's a commercial supermarket or farmer's markets or your garden, or wherever you get food, you should be able to look at anything that you're buying or cooking and understand the food energetics.   Tahnee: (08:06) That's such a... Yeah, that's such an integrative part of it. I think, because I guess what I... One of the things we see so often is that people are coming in with this, like they're eating... I mean, I guess we get a lot of people with pathological stuff starting to go on because they've been maybe in a really cold raw vegan diet for a long time.   Andrew: (08:30) Yes.   Tahnee: (08:31) And then they're all understanding you're [inaudible 00:08:35] your system effectively and it's slowing everything down.   Andrew: (08:37) Yeah that's a huge-   Tahnee: (08:40) Yeah. If you could speak to that, that'd be, yeah.   Andrew: (08:45) You're absolutely right. Many people who care a lot and they care deeply and are interested in changing their dietary habits for better health become overly enamoured with raw foods, with foods that are seen as energetically cold in the Chinese medicine system. So the idea there is not that someone says the foods are cold it's to understand that vegetables high in water, high in minerals, that with a complex array of tastes, including some bitterness. Say, for example, those who really, they have a taste of wheatgrass juice or something along that line, it's very, very bitter. And bitter has a descending cooling quality, clears heat, it clears excess fire from the stomach and can have a lot of benefits because of that.   Andrew: (09:41) However, it tends to cool the stomach as it does so. So it can clear excess heat and then eventually bring cold into the stomach or digestion or the lower belly. And since cold tends to settle. Now we're immediately getting into more detailed Chinese medical theory, but cold tends to settle downward. Heat tends to rise. There are times when you could have inflammation on your feet, for example, where heat is somehow descending. But typically heat rises to the head and cold settles into the lower abdomen. And this is something that I see every week in my clinic or zoom clinic, now online clinic. The people trying so hard to do what's best and ending up hurting themselves, or at least not being optimal. And one of the signs here is, I mean, how do you know? You have to have a way to know your own health status. We can't just wait for blood tests or for what a book might say, a certain food might do.   Andrew: (10:51) We need to actually know about our own health, which is where in the practise of Chinese medicine, we use pulses and we use tongue diagnosis, as well as the stories people tell, "I'm having these symptoms. This didn't used to happen and it happens now." Things like that. Very important to listen to people with a lot of depth and insight, to really listen to what they say and the tone they say it, the body that they're saying it with, to listen to their Qi as they're speaking. There's so much we can do with our ears, which is all called listening in Chinese medicine. I mean, and it does include listening to their actual words, but so much more. But we need a real way to look inside. And so in our tradition, that's pulse reading and tongue diagnosis.   Andrew: (11:42) Now during the COVID isolation period, we're not taking pulses, but I'm looking at tongues all day long. So the way I conduct a session and we'll get back to the cold foods in a second. So the way I conduct a session is that I'm asking for people to send tongue photos a day or two in advance. And like a phone selfie, tongue photo is fine if it's focused well enough. And we use that as a basis of diagnosis, not only for me to look at, but I'll put it up on the screen to share, and we'll go over points so that they can see that this is thin there. This is swollen there. This colour is a little bit redder than we might think. Don't you agree? Says, "Yes, it is so red." This seems pale here, look at the coat or these bumps or the scalloping here. And then we decode all these things and pair them with food habits and ways to get through.   Andrew: (12:39) So with that in mind, as we're looking at the idea of cold in the diet is a very common or disagreement, if you like. I wouldn't say it's a misconception because maybe they're all right. I love the difference of opinion. But in a laboratory, a raw piece of asparagus has more nutrients than a cooked piece. And that holds most of the time, not entirely, but most of the time cooking does release some nutrients, but it also tends to degrade more. We understand this, however, the benefit for the stomach as we cook food outweighs the percentages of lost vegetables, of lost nutrients in the vegetables or other foods.   Andrew: (13:34) So we're very interested in this idea of cold. So when we eat food, none of it digests until the stomach warms it up to body temperature. The stomach works best. And you could even say works only when it's warm and moist. So if there's a lack of moisture, a lack of hydration, if the food is too dry, maybe we drink water sufficiently, but the food itself is too dry. It's a lot of sandwiches, a lot of breads, a lot of-   Tahnee: (14:05) Baked goods and things.   Andrew: (14:07) ... baked goods in the morning, in particular. Particularly dangerous actually or grilled and sauteed things that may not be very moist. This is difficult for the stomach. The stomach will need to draw hydration from its resources from the rest of the body. And that's not what we want. So Chinese medicine is always recommending warm and often enough, wet cooked foods as the easiest to digest. So that's the first place I often go, not always, but it's one of the first places I go recommending to people.   Tahnee: (14:47) Oh, sorry. Just to be really clear, like a wet, cooked food is like a porridge, a congee, a soup, I mean, a stew, like how far into wet are we going?   Andrew: (14:58) I definitely include stews in the wet category. And because they're... Not only are they moist, but they're cooked for a long time. And the idea of adding heat underneath the cooking pot. I mean, like that's just mechanical. We're just cooking food-   Tahnee: (15:16) The Qi's [inaudible 00:15:16] as well, right?   Andrew: (15:18) We're imbuing the food with heat, with warmth, which would be part of yang Qi and the moving Qi, the energised Qi that we call yang, as in yin and yang. And adding yang Qi can happen quickly as in a quick hot saute or wok frying, or if it's French or European style, just a quick pan saute. And so the heat's very high and we're moving things around, literally moving the pan, the food in the pan with a spoon or with your cook's wrist, flicking the pan, around adding yang Qi in this way. Or with a stew, it's cooking at a lower heat for a very long time. It could be an hour, it could be a day. And we all know the stews taste better the second or third day as well.   Andrew: (16:11) .   Tahnee: (16:46) [crosstalk 00:16:46]   Andrew: (16:47) Yeah, it doesn't have the same [inaudible 00:16:48] but that's the concept is to open the stomach, to receive food. And as I was thinking that over, the idea is to open the stomach to welcome food. And that really... What that really is... What that would mean, and in more clinical terms is appetite, so that you have an appetite to bring in more food or I'm comfortable, I don't have urgent hunger, but I'm really looking forward to... Well for you it's breakfast, but here, the dinners, the next meal and making a little bit of a plan from what we've shopped and organising that. And then this idea of looking forward to it and appetite is not just appetite for food. Appetite, and this is in very real terms, seen in Chinese medicine, but all across the world, is appetite for life.   Andrew: (17:44) When the appetite is good, life is good. I'm just saying, if you had some challenges, things are a little tricky right now, but I can't wait to eat. And this wouldn't be emotional binge eating, but I'm just saying, it'll be beautiful to get going with cooking and those first beautiful bites of food. This is appetite for life itself. So it's not a coincidence that those words overlap.   Andrew: (18:10) So opening the stomach or what I'm calling, welcoming food, or to put them together, open the stomach to welcome food, is the first step in digestion. And then the stomach begins to sort and separate the foods, begins to secrete stomach acids, if proteins are present. If it's a vegan diet and in particular, if it doesn't include something like soy protein or... I don't advocate soy protein except as soybeans or tofu miso, these traditional products, I don't... For me personally, [crosstalk 00:18:48] I don't... I worry a little bit. I do worry a little bit about those foods.   Andrew: (18:55) Will our bodies, in their wisdom, be prepared to recognise them in order to digest them properly? We need to recognise these foods. And so if they're highly processed, I'm very concerned about extracted proteins including soy proteins. You say, "Oh, this is beautiful. This is like tofu." But it's not, it's a new process relying on methods that render food, somewhat confusing to the body. And we could get into more detail the idea of protein isolates.   Tahnee: (19:32) Yeah. I was going to quickly touch on because smoothies and wet foods, I would argue personally that they're not a wholesome, wet food in general, as a sometimes food in summer and maybe if you have good digestion, but a lot of people then load them up with isolates and proteins. Can you speak this quickly while we're here, a little bit to that as well?   Andrew: (19:52) Yeah. I mean, I love a good smoothie once in a while, but it's not very often. And it would be in hot weather, exactly like you saying. Now, if your weather is always hot, you can still overdo it quite easily. Remember the basic motto is this, it's not a motto. It's just the truth. The stomach works when it's warm. When the stomach is cool, digestion slows down, when digestion slows down problems accrue. So we get food stagnation, we get slow transport, it's peristalsis slows down, eventually elimination slows down and there could be chronic constipation. And then we need to turn to Chinese medicine to understand what happens next is that the body will throw heat, yang Qi in the form of wei Qi, which is this moving, a subset of yang Qi, moving Qi, which is always present in the belly and in the gut, will increase this warming Qi in the belly.   Andrew: (20:53) In other words, send heat, raise heat into digestion to move what's become sluggish. Now that might have its effect. And in which case, you might have diarrhoea for a day or something like that. And you think, "Oh, that's interesting. I don't know why that happened." It happened because of the cold food which tends to fall quickly through digestion, the spleen pancreas Qi's not strong enough to uphold. I mean, it can be for a long time, but eventually if cold settles in, the uplifting Qi that we put under the category of spleen and pancreas, won't be strong enough to uphold.   Andrew: (21:31) And then you have something... I have a new patient or client, perhaps better to say. Just last week, a longtime vegan appearing in excellent health, but then she says, "Whenever I eat a salad..." And then she apologised, "I'm sorry to talk about this kind of thing, but I have to run to the bathroom. I have urgent watery diarrhoea." Said, "Okay, we can fix this very, very easily." I mean, of course, we look at her tongue and have to make sure what the reasons are. Have you travelled? No one's travelled. So we don't have parasites. It's not that kind of thing.   Andrew: (22:07) We're looking at the first things first, if it doesn't help them, we can reach deeper or refer into hospital care. That's always on the table, but that's the legal metrics we work in. But in fact, she's already better. The second day she was better. So instead of the raw salads, which has given you the symptom reliably or the smoothies, which are also raw. Have cooked vegetables, add some warming spices, things like cinnamon, fresh ginger. So that would be raw ginger root, but it's so warming it doesn't affect you as a raw thing. Turmeric would be beautiful, nutmeg even clove, which is considered very warm. Maybe cumin, which is considered the seed spices I'm looking at now, which are warming, cumin, cardamom, coriander seed, and then the leafy spices, which are warm, would be rosemary, which just grows in these tall stocks. It's very uplifting.   Andrew: (23:06) And we're using these things to warm the stomach. It's even possible to use a bit of black pepper in a pointed way, therapeutically here. And she said she felt better after the second meal cooking this way. And then she said, "But what about these smoothies? There's so much nutrition in them and it's really, really good." I said, "It's really, really good unless you have a cold, that's beginning to gather in your stomach and in your gut, in which case they're not really, really good. They test well in the lab, but they're no longer good for you. Maybe on occasion, once you get you back on track. But instead have a soup a vegetable soup, the broth, this is the hot version of a smoothie, is a soup." It sounds like you certainly don't want to cook a smoothie. There might be banana or mango in there, something like that. That would be quite disgusting if it was cooked, at least not cooked skillfully well, but that's what we need. So you would go to a vegetable soup with maybe some warming spices. It could even have a little bit of cinnamon, especially at first, that would really help warm the system. It's desperate for that. And just this particular person felt better by the second meal. The urgent diarrhoea absolutely vanished. And then she's still vulnerable probably for another while, depending on how she follows the plan. So you have to remember for vegans and vegetarians, that meat is very warming. And I say this as a ex- vegetarian, and that might be the bad news of [inaudible 00:24:50] but I do understand this very well. And I eat vegetarian meals every day, but just not every meal.   Andrew: (24:56) So, I mean, I advocate that everyone should be good at vegetarian cooking. It's inconceivable not to be good, to find it difficult to cook a well balanced, nourishing and delicious meal that doesn't include animal products. But animal products, if we eat them, are warming in particular, of course, the land animals, fish, and seafood less so. And each one's a little bit different. They've all been classified in the medical system. But land animals are very warming, beef, lamb, which I suppose, and pork a little bit less so, but still somewhat warming. Here in America I have clients out in the Western part of America. They eat a lot of venison. They're eating elk and bison. These are all warming. But generally speaking, it's beef and lamb and pork that we're talking about. And chicken. Chicken is very warming, chicken and turkey, very warming.   Andrew: (26:06) People often think that the chicken is like a nothing. It's just like, "Oh, I don't know what to eat. I'm not that hungry. I'll just have chicken." But chicken is very, very uplifting, warming, almost instigating food. As we say in Chinese medicine, the way it's taught is that the chickens aren't very good flying birds. They don't really fly very well, but they aspire to fly. And where I live, there's some wild turkeys and they're beautiful when they come through. There's, I guess we call them a gaggle. I'm not sure. I've forgotten what the group name-   Tahnee: (26:44) [crosstalk 00:26:44].   Andrew: (26:44) Yeah, I think there's a special name for the group, but in any case, they come through. It's a group of six and they're large. They're large birds and surprisingly tall in the wild and they fly and they roost in low branches. They, I mean, they can't fly distances, but they fly to get away from danger and they fly to get up to branches, to roosting. They're quite big things but chickens are... Domestic chickens of course, they're highly domesticated, but with certain Chinese medicine dietetics, is that they aspire to flight. They're trying to rise up and then of course they're warming. And if we're looking for a scientific, from a modern or Western scientific way to justify that, to make some sense out of it or to feel more confident in it really is what it is so that our brains don't short circuit. The interesting thing about poultry is that birds don't get fevers.   Andrew: (27:53) They are very hot. Their healthy temperature is very hot. We use Fahrenheit over here, but it's about eight degrees, six to eight degrees warmer Fahrenheit. So that might be just, to easily say about three. So significantly warmer than humans. And so they are significantly hotter in a healthy resting state than people are. So to eat them as food, the body's thinking, "Well, these proteins were made at a certain temperature. These fats were put into the flesh at a certain temperature. And the easiest way to digest this food would be to raise closer to that temperature, where the chemical breakdown patterns that that digestion is conducting will happen much more easily." And that's exactly what happens.   Andrew: (28:45) So this is why, if people are very cold, now I know where you live you might feel that it's not cold very often. But if you're thinking about where I live in the temperate zone, where the summers are very hot and the winters are very cold. And this goes from all across the United States in the upper half, as well as most of Europe and the upper half of Asia, where people have to eat wheat to be warm, rye, warming, barley, somewhat warming and potatoes and animal food, things like this, a lot of butter and all. People were cold and the farmers were cold and they're working out there. And so if someone were to get sick, you will think maybe they're catching a cold, they're catching a flu or they were catching COVID. What is it that is making them vulnerable? And it's the cold, the fatigue and the dehydration. And this-   Tahnee: (29:50) But chicken soup works so well, right?   Andrew: (29:53) That's why chicken soup works. But it doesn't work if you're living indoors, well heated and you already have a fever. So this is where...   Andrew: (30:03) ... and you already have a fever. So this is where food energetics really makes a difference in life. And so it's a sensible difference. Chicken soup is helpful if you're too tired to make a fever, if you're too tired, too depleted would be the word we would use in Chinese medicine. If you're depleted enough so that you're not mounting a good, strong, robust, natural defence. If you are, you're fine. But if you're not, then chicken soup, it's hot. It's full of fluids, there's some degree of fat in it, I hope, at least if people are cooking well, it won't be too lean. The glistening fat on the top, let's say that. And the chicken itself is very warming. So this will help the body kick up a fever, but, and that's most useful for the first stage of infection, by the way, you're beginning to catch the cold, you're beginning to catch an infectious respiratory illness.   Andrew: (30:58) But if it has settled into the chest, and the next stage of the belly, and now you have a stomach bug and there's fever. So you use chicken soup, when there's chills, and then stop using it when there's a fever, that's the rule of thumb. But that's-   Tahnee: (31:24) That's true of all of those, I remember when I first started working with an acupuncturist and he was like, "Don't take garlic and ginger when you've got this chesty cough, because it's already hot." He's like, "That's only when it's at the very start you take those things, hot bath, hot soup, the heating spices, and then you should flush it out. And if it keeps going, then you need to stop those things." And this is grandma wisdom, really.   Andrew: (31:50) It is, and it's grandma wisdom, which is being passed on less and less, our modern culture doesn't respect the elders, and in a very righteous fashion, and we're losing a lot of good information. So you're right there. And it also goes back to the beginning of Chinese medicine, in the incredible, genius text called, The Shanghan Lun, which is translated usually as, "On cold damage," or, to say it another way, "The damage cold does," it's a treatise on cold damage, is one way to translate it. And that book was published in about the year 220. So, a very old book where the author talks about the initial stage, when we're trying to push out a pathogen, they didn't say the word germ, but they did say pathogen, and trying to push it out, and we would use chicken soup. We would use garlic. His first recipe relies heavily on cinnamon.   Tahnee: (32:56) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. When that's the formula you take at that stage as well, they're full of-   Andrew: (33:01) That's the formulas you take at that stage. So that's the way we can eat, as well, at that stage. So you could actually put some cinnamon into your soup, or of course, cinnamon tea. We would put some other things in with it, to make that work. In fact, someone phoned from London a few months ago, and he was in quite a panic and I don't blame him, well, panic is never the best way to make decisions, but what I'm saying is that it was understandable. And this is someone I did know because we don't really treat people that we haven't seen, we can meet online and we take a look at your tongue photo and begin to work, but, and he called and he said, "I'm coming down with COVID. I can feel it. I've lost my smell and taste. And I, I feel really, really awful. And it's only been a day, at least with symptoms, and I'm freaking out, what do I do?"   Andrew: (34:07) So I said to him, "Ah, well, don't freak out. And nearly everyone gets through this very well, and let's look around your kitchen. What do you have?" So we started walking around his kitchen. I'm in New York, he's in London. And I said, "Do you have cinnamon?" And he says, "Yeah, I have some cinnamon. I have sticks." Okay, good. And I said, "So, do you have an orange?" He said, "No, I don't have any oranges or tangerines or anything like that." "And how about lemon?" He goes, "Yeah, I have lemon." "Okay, good. And is it organically grown?" He said, "Probably not." So, "It's okay. Wash it off with some soap and then wash off the soap really well, we'll do our best."   Andrew: (34:53) And then, there was something else we put in as well. And we made a tea, a kitchen remedy for him. Oh, I think it was just fresh ginger, probably, every kitchen should have fresh ginger at all times. If we keep it too long, it can dry up. I do know people that freeze ginger, you can freeze it, just put it in a plastic food storage bag, Ziploc, or whatever type you use, try to get the air out. And ginger freezes fairly well for emergency use, but still, fresh is best. And every time you go to the store, you ask yourself the question, "Do we have fresh ginger? Do we have fresh spring onions?" And just always have those at the ready and, okay, so by spring onions, we mean scallions here. So they're not the bulb onions-   Tahnee: (35:48) The green, long, skinny guys.   Andrew: (35:50) The green, long, skinny guys. They're in the onion allium family, that includes garlic, by the way, and chives. So do you have chives or the skinny, in Australia, it's spring onion, isn't that right?   Tahnee: (36:03) We call them spring onion. Some people called them shallots as well, which is confusing, because then there's eschalots. But yeah, I basically would call them a spring onion in my-   Andrew: (36:12) Okay. Yeah, good. So here, it gets into foodie talk a little bit, but a spring onion is an onion that you can't store. And I think most Americans might not follow this, or even be concerned about this discussion, but the scallion would be the skinny onions that they store in the refrigerator, but they don't store in a root cellar, but the bulk onions, you can put away for months through the winter, so you would always have them, but there are other, fresh, bulb onions that don't store well, and they're sold with their green stems in the springtime, and those I call spring onions. But in any case, what we mean here are the very mild, skinny ones that don't have a distinct bulb so-   Tahnee: (37:01) White on the bottom, green on the top. Long.   Andrew: (37:03) Right. Right. And this has been used in Chinese herbal medicine, as well as dietary medicine, since before anyone was writing anything down. That was very important, because they grow wild. And so you should always have these at the ready.   Andrew: (37:16) So we made a home, kitchen remedy for him, that he just drank five to 10 times a day. He was just making it and making it. And he got through so quickly, and you could say, "Well, he would have anyhow, it's not laboratory tested, that strategy." But what are you going to do? You use what you have with the knowledge of food energetics, you look around the kitchen and you implement a strategy. And the strategy there was, it was a new infection, let's push it back out the way it came, through the exterior.   Tahnee: (37:51) Mm-hmm (affirmative). And would you use the citrus peel in that case? Just out of curiosity? Or use?   Andrew: (37:55) The citrus, I was using the citrus peel to relax his breathing, because we know in this case, you're putting together everything. COVID is a new illness. It wasn't written about in the Chinese medical classics, but so you extrapolate and you say, "Well, this is something where a lot of people get into breathing problems." A lot of people get into circulatory problems. So the citrus peel was in there to relax the diaphragm and open breathing. We say, "Open the chest," is the term, to open breathing so that he wouldn't get caught in respiratory problems. And that his lungs would continue to function well to clear whatever phlegm might be arising. So we could have put in the whites of spring onion, in which case, it becomes a little bit more like a soup, where you're beginning to put in these savoury notes. So you use what you have, but I didn't want to make it confusing. Three elements. That was all.   Andrew: (38:57) And so that's the same idea that you were talking about before. And all we're doing is implementing the first strategy from this book, written in 220. And then if it progresses further, we would implement the second or third strategy, whichever one was presenting. And it goes through six stages. In fact, that's its nickname, The Six Stages.   Tahnee: (39:16) Six Stages, yeah. And I think this is something with, like you said, we've lost the elders, we've lost the cranky grandmas who bundle you up in a scarf and a beanie-   Andrew: (39:29) Not entirely.   Tahnee: (39:31) I think in Australia. I know people, and I guess it's an interesting thing because I think when you're young as well, and you do have a lot of young chi naturally, you can be out in the cold with less on and you don't feel it as much. And I'm only 35, but I've noticed a change in the last 10 years, with my sensitivity to elemental forces. That's probably also, my awareness has built up a lot over time.   Andrew: (39:57) Right. And that's a big question that people ask in the food context. Often they say, "Well, Andrew, if I eat the way that you're describing, then if I ever have to eat some junk food or fast food, it's going to kill me. I won't have my chops for it. So I'll get weak doing this." But-   Tahnee: (40:19) Well, that's not true. It makes you stronger.   Andrew: (40:23) It makes you much, much more resilient, but like you said, more sensitive. So it's not that we're getting weaker, it's that we're more sensitive. So we have two teenagers, and I watch them sometimes when they eat with their friends after school, now they're in a remote school, and take a look at how they're feeling. And they're eating this stuff like vacuum cleaners, partly as rebellion, because they were raised on the kind of diet that was there. Their tremendous misfortune was to be raised by an acupuncturist mother and dietary and herbalist dad. And we cook every day, constantly.   Andrew: (41:08) And so they'll eat junk food on the outside, but it's not true that the teenagers just plough through this, and feel completely fine. They plough through it, feel very satisfied that they're being rebellious and having fun with their friends. And then they feel like they are a brick. They do have food stagnation, and all of a sudden what had been a really great digestion and elimination gets more complicated, and then their skin might break out a little bit. And then they come to me and they say, "Dad, do you have any herbs? Do you have some herbs?"   Tahnee: (41:50) I'm curious as to whether you, because I have a four-year-old, and one of the things that I found incredibly challenging the other day, and it was a proud moment as a mother was, I was driving her with a friend. So she's four, and her friend was seven, and they were in the back talking to each other. And my daughter said, "Oh, I'm not allowed to eat ice cream when I have a white coating on my tongue. So before I ask my mom, I check my tongue and just see if I'm allowed ice cream today."   Andrew: (42:15) Right, exactly.   Tahnee: (42:16) I just giggled to myself that she, at four, was already-   Andrew: (42:20) Fully indoctrinated.   Tahnee: (42:22) I was [inaudible 00:42:24] but it's been something that I don't even have to say, "No," anymore. I'm like, "What's your tongue like?" And she goes and checks and she comes back and she goes, "Oh, it's pink." And I'm like, "Okay, cool. We have a little bit of ice cream," or. "No, it's got a white coating." "Well, no, we're not having any today." She's just like, so are there any little tips you've taught your kids or any, if someone's wanting to look at their own tongue? One of my first yoga teachers, he's like, "You look at your tongue twice a day, every time you brush your teeth," he's like, "It's such an important way to measure what's going on in your body." And it's been something that I've been doing for, I think, 20 years now. But people look at me like I'm whack when I say it, so I wonder if there any tips you can give that are easy for people to get a gauge on how they might want to be adjusting their day, or their diet, based on what they're seeing.   Andrew: (43:12) Right. I think it's great to look at your tongue in the mirror often like that. It shouldn't be obsessive, but it doesn't sound, so I can hear in your voice that you're not being obsessive about it, it's just part of your health habit. There are people we have to be careful with our clients, that some of them do feel [crosstalk 00:43:33], and so your good eating isn't is not a jail sentence. It's actually just incredibly beautiful to eat according to your personal health status.   Andrew: (43:44) So, looking at your tongue is very important. And so the first thing, and we do this a lot, and in our, by our, I mean and my wife and I, in our food teaching, we often put up a picture of various people's tongues, and decode them, and talk about the dietary adjustments. And my wife, Anne, is proofreading right now, a major new book on tongue diagnosis with a lot of amazing photographs. It's really, really exciting. So we've been having a lot of fun working, it's her authorship, but we like to work together.   Andrew: (44:26) So what can we do at home? The first thing you can do when you look at your tongue from a dietary perspective. So we're not using acupuncture needles at home. We're not playing games with medicinal herbs without training, but everyone's eating. So we really are doing medicine every day, whether we like it or not. The way we're eating is holding our pathology, to use that word, in place. It's holding our health status in place, or it's changing it. It's not neutral. So, when you look at your tongue, and the first thing to look at would be the overall shape and size, does your tongue feel very small? Like it's barely sticking out of your mouth, or does it like really, really reach out? So, overly expressive might be a description, which would be a lot of yang chi, and a relative deficiency of yin, or vice versa, if the tongue barely peeks out of the mouth. There could be cold, there could be a lot of emotional constraint. If the tongue barely sticks out of the mouth, there's often a lot of emotional, internal pressure. That's always a part of it. We can't separate it out. It is incorrect to separate the emotional arena from a health status, as is usually done in the world of specialties, where we go to a digestive specialist and you go to your therapist, and it's all supposed to be neat and separate, but it's not.   Andrew: (45:59) So, okay. Then you look at, is the tongue narrow in the back? The tongue should be almost a little bit, not pointed at the tip, but it should narrow to a tip, to a rounded tip, and it should be full in the back. But for many of us, the back is very narrow, indicating that we've worn out the wax in our candle a little bit too much for our age. And so that's what we call yin deficiency. It could accompany hormone deficiency, for example. In fact, that's a big point when people come from fertility work, and they're eating salads and juices, and you can see that there's a narrowing of their tongue in the back, and they're having trouble getting pregnant. And we need to warm the belly, scatter the cold, warm the belly, and nourish yin. And there's many, many successful families based on that strategy with that presentation.   Andrew: (47:10) Or, you look at your tongue and we would look at the basic colour. Now this would be the colour of the coat, like what you're talking about your daughter, if there's a white coat, that means that's not the body of the tongue, that's the coat of the tongue. So that would be some kind of coating, might be an easier way to say it to those for whom this is new. So there's a coating on the tongue. And that really tells us how we're doing with fats, with lipids. Are we digesting fats well, or are we over consuming fats for our capacity to digest them? Which means it could be sugars as well. So in that case, yes, you don't want more dairy coming in, which is high in fat, and ice cream, of course, is high in sugar, high in dairy, and cold.   Tahnee: (47:59) Is that called the triple yin death?   Andrew: (48:03) Well, we don't have to be too judgmental, but [crosstalk 00:48:09] ice cream is delicious. There's no question. Ice cream is really beautiful. It should be high quality, and it should be only on rare occasions. So, and then really enjoy the times when you have it. And then take a look, you say, "Well, you know what? I still feel it in my throat, even six hours later," it's just a little thickness, a little bit of, as the body pushes some phlegm to the surface, a little bit of mucus to the surface of the throat, in an active self protection from the cold. That's what's happening, and difficulty digesting the dairy. So it's always the body's response. It's not that the dairy is phlegm and just gets painted, on the phlegm is the body's response to something it finds somewhat challenging. It's similar with too much spicy peppers or spicy chilies. I know we don't use the pepper word, spicy capsicum. I'm not sure what the right term is. And my wife is Australian, by the way.   Tahnee: (49:11) Oh, is she? Oh, yeah, like the chilli pepper. Yeah. Okay. [crosstalk 00:49:13]   Andrew: (49:14) The pepper word. Very, very long history of why that word, "Pepper," is misused applied to the spicy capsicum, or even the bell, what we call bell peppers in America. They're [crosstalk 00:49:27]-   Tahnee: (49:27) Yeah, the capsicum, we call that. Yeah.   Andrew: (49:29) Right. Capsicum, right. Which is their botanical name, but we're stuck with the word, "Pepper," because of Columbus. He was looking for pepper and he'd never seen a pepper tree growing.   Tahnee: (49:40) Oh, it's a spice thing.   Andrew: (49:42) It's a spice coming from incredibly far away and through, and they'd never seen a pepper tree. And they were looking for spices, and in a complex, very, very complex historical moment, 1492, in Spain, and basically the expulsion of the spice merchants. So they were without spices. So this was part of it. That part of the story is not told, surprisingly, in American education, but in any case, Columbus found these things that he found somewhat spicy and he called them peppers. And we've been stuck with that ever since, there's the confusion. So we can call them capsicum, but Americans don't know what that means. For the most part-   Tahnee: (50:24) That's a nice capsicum.   Andrew: (50:26) Exactly, exactly. So then you can look at the colour of the coat. If the coat on the tongue is white, then something's building up. I call this housekeeping. We're not keeping up with internal housekeeping. And this is not just on the tongue, it's through the internal body. That's why it's so significant. And then the clinician, with more training would look, at where is the white? Is it all over? Which, usually it's not all over. It usually starts in an area, and then it would spread to all over. So then, if we can see through the coding, you would look at the colour of the body of the tongue. And this is very, very easy to do. This is important. If the body of the tongue seems very, very red, then we're looking at heat in the blood, probably from too much meat, too much protein. It could be too much spicy food, too much alcohol, too much coffee, too much chocolate, too much garlic and onion. These are the usual suspects-   Tahnee: (51:36) Very hot, energy foods.   Andrew: (51:38) Really hot energy foods. These are the foods that are implicated in reflux, or GERD, acid reflux. It's the same list of usual suspects. That would be the thing we cut out first. That may not solve it, but that's what we have to do in order to solve it, in order to get to the actual therapeutic. So that would be if your tongue body looks too red, and you think, "Well, what's too red?" Well, if it looks really, noticeably red, you look at it and you say, "Wow, that's red." And you look at other people's tongues. And we have this saying, never stick your tongue out at someone with this training, because they'll know exactly what your status is, and-   Tahnee: (52:19) The report card.   Andrew: (52:23) We won't say anything, but just as a general rule, don't stick your tongue out. And then, if the tongue is too pale, this could indicate borderline anaemia, what we call in Chinese medicine, blood deficiency, where your body's not transforming your diet into rich enough blood. And so basically that paleness goes through all your muscles, somewhat pale. So the tongue is the muscle we can see. And so it's a look into the surface, and not into your blood, but towards the blood, we're seeing signs. So the pale tongue could be that the stomach has gotten too cold. I put that example, the opposite of the person who's eating too much meat. Now we're talking about that vegan, as mentioned before, where her digestion wasn't upholding, wasn't warm enough to do the transformation that was necessary for her diet.   Andrew: (53:21) So by adding all cooked food and warming spices, her body didn't need to present as much heat of its own. We were bringing that heat in, and it was so much more successful, until her body will take over. Which it will. And, but with someone where the tongue is pale, it could be cold, as in that case, it could be a blood deficiency, in which case we would want to eat, if red meat would be helpful, it's the easiest way to build blood. But if not, and along with that, we always want vegetables. We eat dark leafy greens, beetroot is actually really important for building blood. It includes what we call in Chinese medicine, the law of signature, but Western science has verified it. There're beautiful chemicals in beetroot for building blood, and in fact, two of them were actually named after beets. So, betanin is one of them, and other colourful root vegetables, but the dark leafy greens are very, very important. Berries are very important for blood. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and goji berries. Very, very helpful for blood. We can use beans, like adzuki beans, red lentils, even perhaps black beans, for building blood, and anything that helps build fluid will help build blood. So that could be steamed rice, steamed millet, [inaudible 00:54:54], again, like you mentioned. So the system works very, very well and you match it to your tongue presentation.   Andrew: (55:04) I'm trying to think what else would be. If there's scalloping-   Tahnee: (55:06) What about, scalloped? Yeah. Because I think we always talked about in with yoga, [crosstalk 00:55:13]-   Andrew: (55:15) The scallop tongue is very common. So here you're seeing the imprints of the teeth, usually on the sides, occasionally on the front as well, that are imprinted on the tongue because the tongue has swollen. So I've even had people say, "Oh Andrew, my tongue is just too big for my mouth. It's always been like that." And so I love that, because it's so charming, it's so earnest, but it's not right. And the tongue has swollen. It's been like that for years, for someone who says that, they're so used to it, that they simply say it's how they are. But actually it's all that time that they haven't been digesting well.   Andrew: (55:57) And that's a sign, basically, that they haven't been digesting carbs very well. So I know that some branches of holistic medicine like to interpret that sign differently, but when the tongue swells like that, it may look swollen. It may just, you see the imprints. It definitely is swollen, it's as if we're eating carbohydrates, not transforming them into our personal nourishment fully. And so they're sticking around and there's food stagnation, and the inner body begins to swell, which is reflected with a swelling of the tongue in that area. Usually it's the middle of the tongue and the molars that we're seeing.   Andrew: (56:42) So the thing to do there. Well, here's the short take on carbs. There's so many people who are anti carb and they're terrified of carbs, or they vilify carbs. And I've been looking into this for years and years, and I just don't find that validity, unless someone has developed so much difficulty with metabolising sugars and carbohydrates that even healthy carbs are implicated. So, that happens further down. And we can come back from that, but there are such cases, sometimes with SIBO, with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and intense, intense bloating. We do see people like this relatively often, because they come to us for dietary help. They've been all over the place, and it takes some discipline, but it's absolutely-   Tahnee: (57:40) Are you putting them on a... Oh, sorry to interrupt you. Are you putting them on a paleo style diet then, in that case, a low carb? I'm curious because I had SIBO when I was overseas. In Thailand, I got really sick, really sick with some bug. I never went to a doctor, but I just spent five days really sick. Anyway, I came back to Australia and I put myself on, after doing some research on it, I put myself on a keto, almost, style diet for a while with a healing protocol, and it actually sorted it out. I can eat everything again now, but I'm curious if that's what you would do clinically or there's a nuance there.   Andrew: (58:20) Yeah. That's a part of it. We definitely do that. So you'd put someone on a keto diet, looking for ketosis. I really don't like that diet, because of the strain it puts on the liver and the kidneys. The same with paleo diet. I don't consider it a healthy long-term diet, and it's definitely not sustainable by a large population of the world. The world can not support this. So the question is, if it's necessary for a healing period for a few months, okay. That's an important point. But in terms of using it full time, saying, "This is the diet I'm," I wonder, well, I hate to say this, but it has an elitist problem, that we can eat like this because of, I don't at all, but if someone does, because they have the affluence to do so.   Andrew: (59:20) But they're absorbing resources at a frightening rate, and someone might say, "Well, that's simply not my concern, survival of the fittest, financially." But I don't agree with that. That's not something I subscribe to. I think we do need to eat within the matrix of the world, and in a healthy fashion. And that we need to spend our money, to vote with our wallets for good farming practises, and sustainable practises. Nothing else makes any sense at all.   Tahnee: (59:50) I absolutely agree. Yeah.   Andrew: (59:52) So nonetheless, if someone presents with SIBO and it's extreme, first, I check to see how extreme it is. The protocol I use goes something like this.   Andrew: (01:00:03) ... extremely just... The protocol I use goes something like this. It depends on the person and their presentation, their tongues, their pulses, if I'm able to take them and what I'm hearing from them about their specific symptoms but basically speaking the protocol goes like this.   Andrew: (01:00:17) First, let's cut out sugar because anything else is just not sincere. So we do all these things. We're cutting out grains, we're cutting out any processed food, we're cutting out all kinds of things and then the person's still having dessert or they're still sneaking this, or they're still saying, "Well, honey in my tea." I mean, just for an example, when I was writing Welcoming Food, which took quite a few years to make it shorter, to try not to make it long actually is what took a long time because the original drought was quite a bit longer. Anyone can write a great thing, but to write something meaningful that's short is quite... Is another matter.   Tahnee: (01:01:09) I agree, it's an art form and you've really done an amazing job. Actually, it's a-   Andrew: (01:01:12) Oh, thank you so much, thank you.   Tahnee: (01:01:14) [crosstalk 01:01:14] the first night I started reading it, I was like, "I've read so much on just Taoism Chinese medicine." And you've put it in words that first of all makes sense to anybody, which makes it so accessible, but it's also really succinct. Every sentence carries meaning, but it's... Yeah, there's not a lot of waffle and I really appreciate it.   Andrew: (01:01:33) Oh, good.   Tahnee: (01:01:33) It's a great-   Andrew: (01:01:33) Okay. I'm so glad to hear. Thank you. So during the writing process, I would sometimes pick up the laptop and my notebooks and go to a cafe, and actually in... I'm in Connecticut now, in the woods, but in Manhattan, we live in an apartment where the bottom floor of the apartment has a cafe run by a couple of Australians. So what what we call in New York-   Tahnee: (01:02:01) Hey, [crosstalk 01:02:02].   Andrew: (01:02:02) ... an Australian cafe has become a term. So it's great. So sometimes I go down there or down the street or something like that and I was in a cafe setting up and I was just doing some more edits and all that, and one of my clients came in and I'm sitting there with a green tea or something, whatever it was, and one of my clients came in and he waved to me and I waved to him and he came over and we caught up and we chatted for a bit, and this is someone who can't digest carbs. He's on a zero carb diet and he put three packs of sugar into his coffee without even knowing he was doing it.   Andrew: (01:02:42) So this is the state of affairs and so when we're working with someone... And I didn't call him on it, because it was a cafe, right?   Tahnee: (01:02:50) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Andrew: (01:02:50) So that's the stage he's at and so... Which reminds me then of just a story that you might enjoy that I was... We have a store in... A food market in America called whole Foods that sells a lot of organic things and relatively-   Tahnee: (01:03:11) A lot of things.   Andrew: (01:03:13) Well, food and food products and they're really relatively reliable for basically very good quality and it's not flawless, but it's very reliable, I'm glad they're there. So I was in there one day and I ran into Jeffrey Yuen there, master teacher in so many ways and I've been a student at Jeffrey's for 20 years and so... And he knows that at that time was just about to release the food books and so we had a chat and he had his basket and I had my basket, and we had a very, very nice chat and neither of us looked in each other's food baskets. This was a very, very important point of discipline, that just to really focus on... It's like, "I'm not checking out, well, what kind of food does this great Taoist master buy? I still have no idea. And that was my way of giving him space, and he didn't look in mine either. So where's the ice cream? So I'm sure neither of us were buying ice cream but so-   Tahnee: (01:04:27) That's really beautiful, though. I really... Just as a philosophical discipline to give that person their space in their private time I think.   Andrew: (01:04:37) Right. Because that's not how... What a teacher... And he has been my master teacher in so many ways for so long. What a teacher wants is not students that are following in their every move, they want students that light up on their own and go their own way. That's what the whole thing is about and that's what all the food practise is about. It's so that everyone can live their own life more effectively, more freely, with more enjoyment, and freedom means freedom from illness, freedom from pain, freedom from lethargy. That's very, very important. That's the point of it. It's not to be righteous with food.   Tahnee: (01:05:14) [inaudible 01:05:14].   Andrew: (01:05:14) Okay, so anyhow, back to this idea of SIBO, cut out sugar and so many people think they have, and they haven't, and it's important not to criticise them, but to work with them with their own readiness to actually do so.   Andrew: (01:05:33) So to find the hidden sugars, maybe it's like, "Well, I've cut out sugar. We never buy sugar, we don't buy honey or maple syrup or anything like that anymore." But then there's still some packaged things. I like to snack that comes in a wrapper that I unwrap, and you actually look at it, it's full of carbs and there's a lot of sneaking going on.   Andrew: (01:05:50) So, okay. So we're working with that. The first thing is cutting out sugar. The second thing is cutting out the glutinous grains causing inflammation and dysbiosis, poor digestion for so many people. So I personally digest wheat quite well and I limit it to, or I try to, mostly organic wheat because of the way non-organic wheat has been over hybridised and the way it's farmed. So I reach for organic wheat. I consider it very important and I know that's saying something, because wheat is the staple of Western diet, and that would include Australia, of course. And there's so much wheat being eaten in baked goods and so forth that it's hard to keep track of how it's grown, but it is very important for best health to... Not everything, you could say, "Well, it's too expensive to eat organic." But there are some foods where it's most important, and those would be wheat, corn, soy are the three secret ones that are in everything, so to speak and are grown...   Tahnee: (01:07:02) Yeah, the growing was awful. And the hybridization and GMOs, and yeah.   Andrew: (01:07:07) Right. Exactly. Exactly right, and the GMOs need to be... They're designed to be grown with massive-   Tahnee: (01:07:16) [crosstalk 01:07:16].   Andrew: (01:07:17) ... glyphosate and things like this. So this is an enormous problem. So it's a really active, big problem for people's health. It's not just an aside thing, this is huge. So we cut out the glutinous grains, which would be wheat, rye and barley, and it's mostly wheat, overwhelmingly wheat. So you cut that out and then we take a look, are they still good with the non-glutenous grains? Rice, millet, oats, quinoa, teff, amaranth, fonio, which is an interesting grain that's coming to market now, beautiful, and things like that.   Andrew: (01:07:54) So maybe they're not okay with rice, with white rice because it's so... It converts to sugar so quickly that this still feeds the SIBO bacteria. It's not just bacteria, of course. It says SIBO with a B, but it's really microbes, a whole slew of microbes. Yeasts, funguses, all kinds of things that are growing out of control in someone's belly who has SIBO. So with bloating right after eating and this fizzy feeling. Like one of my clients says, "It feels like there's a beer factory in my belly."   Tahnee: (01:08:29) Oh my gosh, Andrew. I used to do burps that smelled like eggs if I ate anything with a carbohydrate in it.   Andrew: (01:08:35) Right, exactly.   Tahnee: (01:08:37) [crosstalk 01:08:37] the time.   Andrew: (01:08:37) So it might be-   Tahnee: (01:08:37) The fermentation [inaudible 01:08:37] was wild, yeah.   Andrew: (01:08:41) Right, the internal fermentation, it's wild. So it's not clean because you could say, "Well, what's wrong with fermentation?" So if someone really likes beer or they like vodka or whatever, that's fermented. Or they like kombucha or miso, these are fermented, but these are fermented under very controlled circumstances where you're picking your microbes, you're picking your yeast and then with something like beer, to some degree, it's filtered afterwards. And with something like vodka, the dirty alcohols are separated, the methanols and things.   Andrew: (01:09:15) So with internal fermentation, we get all that. It's like a really dirty mash, and the microbes that are doing the fermentation are not the ones you would want so they would make awful beer as well. So, okay, good. So sometimes you have to cut out all the carbs, and that would include things like millet and brown rice, and maybe some of those people can continue with quinoa, which is not a grain or buckwheat. These are called pseudo grains and they digest more like seeds. If so, that's useful and you can have them as porridges, you can have them steamed or in grain salads, things like that.   Andrew: (01:09:53) And then we add root vegetables if possible, and you have to think then, "What are we getting full on? Where are we getting our nourishment without grains and how we handling the organs of digestion that thrive when we eat grain?" So a healthy body eating grains in a healthy fashion has food for the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and small intestine that they absolutely thrive on. So without grains that provide bulk, they provide healthy carbs, it's difficult to run metabolism and it's difficult to run peristalsis. So you're eating a lot of food and meat... High meat diets that have no fibre, eggs and meat have no fibre. So they have their uses, they're wonderful foods in their way, but we have to think about this.   Tahnee: (01:10:50) [crosstalk 01:10:50], right.   Andrew: (01:10:50) Yeah. So you want something to stabilise and starve out the sugar eating microbes, and then during that time gradually bring in more fibre to repopulate. So this would be prebiotics and probiotics, the fermented foods, to rebuild the microbiome and gradually come back. Maybe the first grain we would introduce would be millet, which is a whole grain and very, very neutral and beneficial for digestion. We would leave corn for last, things that are very easily converted to sugar and maybe keep... Check out gluten because maybe... And then what you don't want to do is go right back to the diet in its full form that got you into the trouble you were in before, which is a question that people often ask, they say, "Okay, Andrew, how long will I have to eat like this?"   Andrew: (01:11:42) And the answer is individual, of course, but the real answer is that you'll eat better. You eat food that tastes better and digests better. And recipes can be much simpler. My daughter, as I mentioned, she's a teenager and she's cooking really... Both my kids cook beautifully and they like garlic, they like garlic a lot and my daughter said, "It's an every recipe I read, dad." And, of course, they wouldn't look into my book to make any of those recipes and I get that. I mean, I understand the-   Tahnee: (01:12:26) Tragedy.   Andrew: (01:12:26) These relationships. But every recipe, and I hear this from clients as well. I am recommending soups to nourish [inaudible 01:12:35] and they say, "Every recipe starts with bulb onion and garlic. So I can't find any recipes to make." I said, "Simply leave it out." And-   Tahnee: (01:12:43) Or use scallions instead, right?   Andrew: (01:12:45) Right, and possibly-   Tahnee: (01:12:48) [crosstalk 01:12:48].   Andrew: (01:12:48) ... leeks. Most people do pretty well with leeks and then you think, "Oh, well, that doesn't make any sense. They're all in the allium family." But when you slice a scallion, a spring onion, or a leek, we don't usually tear. They don't make us cry, they're not that irritating. They do help movement, they help movement of blood, movement of fluids, which is something that's essential. It's very important. So they do help movement, but they don't irritate and bulb onions and garlic are very, very irritating. So imagine if you got some actually in your eye, a leek wouldn't be that big a deal. You'll just wipe it away but they're not that irritating, but a piece of cut garlic would be terrible or a chilli pepper. These things are so irritating to the system.   Andrew: (01:13:39) So the very delicate flesh lining of the small intestine is very, very irritated by these things and what happens is that the body then... Again, going back to what we was talking about before, the body starts secreting protective fluids and so my term for that is that the intestines start weeping. They start exuding these fluids, and sometimes people see mucus or phlegm in the stool, or they just feel a lot of stagnation and this is because there's irritation going on. As soon as the body tries to recover, here comes to the next meal.   Andrew: (01:14:16) Now you say, "Oh, that doesn't make any sense. People cook like this and they do fine." Some people do fine, but if there's problems and it could... If there's heat in the system and you exacerbate heat, you're asking for trouble eventually, and that trouble can take many serious forms, especially if there's dehydration. The heat consuming tissues is the way it's said in Chinese medicine, the heat that's moving through the body gets lodged here and there, depending on a variety of complicated factors. Is the heat lodged in the gut? Is the heat lodged maybe perhaps right in the stomach? Does it get to the liver causing high blood pressure? Scarring of the liver? Is the heat coming to the lungs? Is it getting to the heart itself? Which would usually then... The body will protect the heart, which is like the king in a chess game. I think of the heart is more feminine by the way, but more like the empress, but body treats the heart like the king on the chess board, protected at all costs. So then the body will do these brilliant, unbelievably-   Tahnee: (01:15:36) Defensive moves.   Andrew: (01:15:37) Defensive moves to drain that fire from the heart down through... Basically, through digestion down through the bladder and the person says, "All of a sudden I have a bladder infection." They take antibiotics, which decimate the microbes in the gut and the bladder infection's better until they stop taking the antibiotics. So sometimes, sure, a person has a bladder infection and they take the antibiotics and they're cured, but very often it recurs and recurs and recurs, and what's happening is that it's not actually an infection in the bladder. It's heat somewhere else in the body that the body, as you say, does defensive moves, strategically... Moving through fluids because the only way the body can really move anything to clear a detox or heal is through fluids. That's how things are mobilised, and through fluids eventually then to the bladder and that heat gathers and it irritates the bladder, possibly in the presence of a bacteria sometimes, but sometimes not. Although that's not my purview, granted-   Tahnee: (01:16:47) Well, I was about to ask, because I was taught, again, by an acupuncturist I worked with it that antibiotics are by their nature cold so it would make sense that that would sort of... If there's a lot of hate and it's irritated the bladder, which I can imagine, a cold treatment would "Fix it." I'm doing air quotes, but you can't see me.   Andrew: (01:17:07) Right. I felt them. I felt them.   Tahnee: (01:17:11) But that's a temporary solution, right? As soon as the lifestyle continues you're back in trouble town.   Andrew: (01:17:17) Well, it too often is a temporary solution and what we need to do there in a case like that, and we're roaming freely around a lot of interesting subjects.   Tahnee: (01:17:30) We are, yeah.   Andrew: (01:17:31) But that's the fun of it, is what we need to do there is to really clear the heat and figure out what's causing the heat. Why are we... And there's many reasons for heat. Sometimes heat can be a healing response. The body's doing something perfectly by raising that heat, but if it lasts too long, it's just chronic inflammation. So we need to look at all those factors and really have a genuine plan, not just what I call a this for that treatment that, "Oh, if there's a bladder infection, you have to use this." Cranberry juice is very popular, you know, right?   Tahnee: (01:18:04) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Andrew: (01:18:05) And it can be helpful, but because of its it's tart, almost bitter quality is why it's helpful but what we're looking for would be a diuretic that clears heat. So what we usually use is, depending on the severity, sometimes we'll use herbs and the person... We need to help someone right now this instant, but string bean soup, so you have a mushroom seaweed soup with string beans, this is one of my favourite anti-inflammatories. So you start with kombu or kelp kombu, giving it the Japanese name, seaweed [crosstalk 01:18:51]-   Tahnee: (01:18:51) [crosstalk 01:18:51] seaweed.   Andrew: (01:18:51) ... used for broth and some dried black mushrooms, that makes a very quick delicious broth, vegan, by the way. And then you could put in some carrots, which are descending, some string beans, which have a mild or snow peas, they have a mild but distinct diarrhetic quality. And then maybe some mung bean noodles for something to chew on, just to make the soup good. And maybe some fresh mung beans, which clear heat and have a slightly diarrhetic quality.   Andrew: (01:19:23) So mung beans, the sprouts, any sprouts will clear heat and so we'll make a soup like that. Maybe you could put in some sliced spring onions to help things move and clear heat. Then we'll be looking at... The person says, "Well, I have to put garlic in because this is a soup and I have to put in some sliced onions." And you realise that their dietary habits are holding their pathology in place. [inaudible 01:19:56] what this means is that when they go to their Western MD, they will definitely come away with a prescription and they'll need to... The prescription will have to be quite strong and will have to use a lot of it.   Andrew: (01:20:07) Whereas if their diet was strategically correct for their status, if they're eating for their current condition, then the doctor might say, "Well, I'm seeing some of this, but I don't think you actually need antibiotics now. Or if you do, not so much, not so strong or certainly not as often." This is what happens is that we're not anti antibiotics, but if they're used to freely, the microbiome is decimated. That gives rise to SIBO. So this is usually how... In your case, you probably caught some little parasite or something, but if something went on like that but-   Tahnee: (01:20:47) Well, we talk to a lot of people with more lifestyle dysfunction coming out of, again, usually... I mean, I guess one thing that popped into my head, and I am conscious of time, so I don't want to keep you too much longer, but when you were talking about the vegan diet and that cold and the body's natural response is, again, like nature or is trying to bring harmony, it's going to raise the heat. I'm thinking about allergies and inflammation. I'm thinking about the ecosystem of the gut's is going to be affected by this increase... All these changing temperatures. You know?   Andrew: (01:21:18) Right.   Tahnee: (01:21:18) It's making a lot of sense to me that someone would then present with, and again, I'm air quoting, "like a SIBO." Or some kind of dysfunction, which is really an accumulation of maybe a decade of food choices that's suddenly presenting in-   Andrew: (01:21:33) Or more. Right? Or more.   Tahnee: (01:21:33) Yeah. And it makes a lot if sense-   Andrew: (01:21:33) So, you know-   Tahnee: (01:21:35) ... testing for all that allergens, but it's just really that the body's in an inflammatory state and it's stressed really. Is [crosstalk 01:21:43].   Andrew: (01:21:42) Right, and the-   Tahnee: (01:21:42) It [crosstalk 01:21:45].   Andrew: (01:21:45) What sets the stage for this is multiple rounds of antibiotics, and I'm not saying not to use them if they're necessary.   Tahnee: (01:21:53) Of course, yeah.   Andrew: (01:21:55) Be clear, but multiple rounds of antibiotics, sometimes over years and years, and a diet including sugar, because the proper, the good players in the microbiome can be weakened or killed by the antibiotics and then the sugar comes in and feeds these other players that are real quick acting that either the wrong microbes or they're in the wrong place of the gut. Then if there's emotional stress, someone has a very difficult job, very high stressed job, there's a death in the family, there's a divorce, there's... Life brings stress into everyone's journey-   Tahnee: (01:22:35) Life.   Andrew: (01:22:37) No one escapes high stress, but if you're having a time of high stress and the microbiome is off and you're having all this sugar, because maybe you're stressed from eating sugar and... Or it's just even what you might call a natural or normal amount of sugar in today's culture, which is excessive to say the least, this is the opportunity for SIBO to arise. The weakness comes from the antibiotics, the weakness of digestion from antibiotics and the stress and then the sugar feeds the wrong microbes and you're off and running.   Andrew: (01:23:13) My usual experience is that it takes three to nine months to clear, but people can feel better right away, they won't be clear, they can feel better. And the first two weeks, possibly three, usually two, feels like withdrawal from an addiction. There's sugar cravings that are... Some people are saying now, which is really interesting research, that the sugar cravings are actually caused by the microbes that enter somehow through neuropeptide production into the neurology of our beings and they send messages to the brain craving sugar. And of course, glucose is the brain's principal food or nearly only food. And it's very, very satisfying for the brain. You have brain fog and headaches, and just the tiniest bit of sugar clears all that up. So it's extremely tricky to break. I mean, I have a patient, he's an absolutely lovely guy and he told me in his first session that he has a drug history with severe needle drug addiction and he's been clear for well over 10 years. Then he had an alcohol addiction, he's been clear for about six years and sugar is hitting him again in the same way. He says it's.... And I think, for me, because thank goodness I haven't had those problems. I tend to think of something like heroin as an addiction to break that is different than sugar. You know?   Tahnee: (01:24:50) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Andrew: (01:24:51) I mean, I give a lot of respect to... Tremendous respect and humility to the people who have broken that addiction, but what he was telling me, and we're laughing about it, because he's a really smart guy and he's very self-aware, and he has this experience of getting clean from these things, and he said, "This is really hard, sugar. This is really hard."   Andrew: (01:25:16) One of the reasons it's so difficult is that we can live without alcohol. You break the addiction and you stick with it, and I'm not saying it's easy, but a lot of people do it and then you have zero. But you can't have zero sugar. We need blood sugar. The game here is we don't need white sugar, but we need... We don't need honey, but we need blood sugar every day and it needs to be well-regulated. So the game here with a lot of these digestive or metabolic digestive problems that are so common in modern society, the real secret is that we have to begin... We have to turn the corner or get over the hump or whatever we want to say to derive blood sugar from real food that digests slowly and steadily.   Andrew: (01:26:11) So a real meal that would include perhaps brown rice or millet, or even white rice, maybe oats or barley, rye, wheat, if it's... Particularly speaking of the antique wheats, spelt or bulgur or emmer, kamut, [inaudible 01:26:32] wheat. What we call the antique wheats that are readily available in beautifully grown versions. Those are usually okay, not if you have celiac disease, but for everyone else, they're usually okay. Especially after we sort out the whole wheat and gluten thing, but then... And so we're using meals that are a healthy grain, plenty of greens, maybe root vegetables, maybe mushrooms and animal food if you like, if not, definitely vegetarians must be having beans or at least lentils, adzuki beans, tofu properly made. Traditionally-made tofu is healthy food for nearly everyone, because protein is essential. So then you're having a meal that digests slowly. Sometimes we need meals that are easy to digest, and I write about that in the book and that's a very, very important part of the healing protocols, but meals that digest slowly.   Tahnee: (01:27:37) Is that the bland... [inaudible 01:27:38] of diet would that be? Is that the Chinese translation sort of?   Andrew: (01:27:42) It doesn't need to be bland. Bland in Chinese medicine is a specific taste. It's considered the sixth taste, and it's diarrhetic and tofu is an example. Basically tofu is slightly sour, but basically bland. Zucchini is bland or courgette. I think you say zucchini in Australia, right?   Tahnee: (01:28:01) We do, yeah.   Andrew: (01:28:03) Yeah, okay. In England is where they say courgette and-   Tahnee: (01:28:04) Courgette. Yeah, aubergines and things.   Andrew: (01:28:07) [inaudible 01:28:07] and so zucchini and certain other melons would be a bland, and that doesn't mean that they're not delicious. So you cook them... Don't overcook them so they still have something to the tooth, and there can be some salt in a basic sauce or it could be a soy sauce based thing, or it could be cooked with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and some herbs. So it's not at all blended, actually, it's not boring, but technically speaking, we call that bland and that helps... That would be good for the UTI we were talking about before.   Andrew: (01:28:41) So that's an important... Very, very important... So mushrooms, zucchini, and beansprouts with a little olive oil and some sea salt. And they have that once a day, twice a day as a side dish to get further and further from the symptoms of UTI. To put more space between a person and their symptoms. But getting back to metabolism, what we need to do is to make this conversion from someone who eats food because it's delicious, and entertaining, and great, and I love to cook, et cetera, or I love my restaurants, et cetera, and it to convert from having sugars where the body says, "The first sugar in the blood comes from sugar." Refined sugar. So in the sauce from the restaurant, from the dessert or from the appetiser even for that matter, which would be not a good idea.   Andrew: (01:29:34) So the body is seeking blood sugar when we eat, and then as soon as it gets, it says, "Okay, I have blood sugar, we're regulated. I don't need to digest this meal anymore." And the meal sits and we get into the fermentation scenario again. So the thing to do is to deprive the digestion of simple sugars. Provide complex sugars, carbohydrates, healthy-   Andrew: (01:30:03) ... provide complex sugars, carbohydrates, healthy carbohydrates, and within a mixed varied diet, with all kinds of other things and then the digestion says, "Okay, I've got to get to work on this meal and I know how to do it. There's a sequence to digestion, we'll follow that." And the body is brilliant at doing this unless there's simple sugars, but if there's not, the body will go through this sequence and blood sugar will be provided or sugar will be provided to the blood, in the perfect fashion that it'll be relaxing, digestion's happy, the liver's happy, the brain is happy, the intestines are happy and the enteric brain, which is always sort of taking the temperature, so to speak of the intestines... The brain in the gut, the enteric brain, which is really important for moods, for stability, for avoiding depression, anxiety, and for intuition, that's the downside. The good side would be when we get really good at the enteric brain, it opens up intuition. This idea of your gut knowledge, making decisions based on this. Yeah, exactly. Especially when the upper brain and the belly brain work together and this is more of a...   Tahnee: (01:31:25) The dowser.   Andrew: (01:31:28) Or more of a meditative cultivation of diet because diet really has no limits. But when we're digesting food and extracting blood sugar, providing it to the blood in a steady and slow and regulated fashion, we're really digesting properly. And so many things in the body and in health and in moods and in mental clarity come together, it changes life. So, now you can do an experiment where you eat a meal like that, let's say let's make one up and call it really nicely cooked brown rice with mushrooms, maybe some pumpkin next to it, a piece of white fish and some kale, right? So a simple...   Tahnee: (01:32:16) Cooked kale? Not raw kale-   Andrew: (01:32:18) Always cooked kale, always cooked, for ease of digestion otherwise it's too taxing for digestion. It doesn't have to be over cooked, but cooked and then on top of that, you put some herbs for flavour, some seed spices, maybe some really nice... Actually we love the Murray River Sea Salt or [crosstalk 01:32:38]-   Tahnee: (01:32:38) oh , yeah.   Andrew: (01:32:39) ... [inaudible 01:32:39] the Murray River Salt, I'm never without that in our kitchen, that beautiful Australian pink salt and so some of that sprinkled on top and it's beautiful eating. Maybe if that's too complicated, then buy some organic pasta and some broccoli and small piece of meat. Okay, good, everyone cooks something like that. And then, so you eat it and you digest it, you're digesting and it feels good in the belly, say, "Wow, that was great. I could have some more, but I won't. So that was really, really great." So that's important, "I could have some more," in other words, the belly feels good.   Andrew: (01:33:18) And then have one bite of a dessert. And dessert, of course is delicious, no one doubts that, but you have whatever it is that you like and all of a sudden, the stomach feels like you ate a rock. It feels very heavy, you feel very, very full, "I couldn't have any more," but since it's dessert, you force in the rest of the slice of cake or whatever it is that is your favourite. That little bit of sugar, what's happening here is that the body works by signals and the signal has come in that here's easily absorbed sugar, absorbable, and the body will just go for it, it absorbs that sugar regulates blood sugar, the brain is relaxed to satisfied. And the digestion basically stops until we...   Tahnee: (01:34:10) Grinds to a halt.   Andrew: (01:34:11) It get grinds to a halt and all of a sudden, how do we know that? Because we feel suddenly very full and that's a signal, that's the language the body speaks in.   Tahnee: (01:34:21) I love that description you had in your book of the stomach purring. I really, I mean, [crosstalk 01:34:25]-   Andrew: (01:34:27) [crosstalk 01:34:27].   Tahnee: (01:34:27) ... but I thought that was a really nice way to think about, after your eat, do you feel like there's this happy warmth in your tummy? Or is it like, that bloated or leaden or heavy feeling?   Andrew: (01:34:37) Right. Or just like, "What did I just do to myself?" Next time I will remember, but   Tahnee: (01:34:43) [crosstalk 01:34:43].   Andrew: (01:34:43) And that can be with very, very healthy foods. So-called healthy, now I'm doing the air quote thing. It can, it doesn't matter. It can be with very, very healthy food. So this it's a nice test to do, so what do we do then with desserts? As my students...   Tahnee: (01:35:02) Want to know.   Andrew: (01:35:04) They give me this look of like, "Okay, okay, I get it. It makes sense. And I know that experience of eating a bite of something sweet and all of a sudden, digestion's not purring like it was. That vibrating, humming feeling that feels so good. It really is, it's just visceral happiness". And again, life throws its challenges, but we can handle them better when our gut is happy.   Andrew: (01:35:34) So when you feel stable, you feel like we're on solid ground. That our life is not in distress, like when the belly hurts or if there's anxiety coming from the gut, we're hypersensitive to the problems of life. So this is really, really important. And so then they say, "What do we do?" You know, I mean, are you saying no sweets forever? And I'm really not saying that. What you want to do is to separate this. So it might be, I don't know, three or four o'clock and that's the time to have a fruit, maybe, something like that. Or even if you say, "Oh, I made a pie and I want the pie." So wait a couple hours after dinner and then have the pie. And of course, with a pie recipe, for those of you who love to cook, whenever I know pie does it, or does it not have sugar in it? A lot of recipes include white sugar and I'll just take them out. So what I do when I look at a recipe, when I write recipes, by the way, and I've written hundreds of recipes, and which is really funny because I'm not a recipe cook, I'm an intuitive cook. And when I go to cook dinner, I never use recipes, but writing recipes, I just, I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't say that. I mean, I occasionally do.   Tahnee: (01:36:54) No, I'm the same I get it? Yeah.   Andrew: (01:36:56) So, but really it comes down to, if we get nerdy in Chinese medicine, it comes down to what type, what elemental type is your psychology. You know, if you're a metal type, you really want to know...   Tahnee: (01:37:08) Want a recipe.   Andrew: (01:37:09) These are the people that write to me.   Tahnee: (01:37:11) And they're going to follow it.   Andrew: (01:37:12) Yeah, exactly. And I think it's important that we embody all the psychological types that we know how to do it all.   Andrew: (01:37:20) But in any case, when I write a recipe, I'll look up in my library or online, the home libraries, I'll look up maybe five recipes for that dish or for something like that. And take a look, what do I like from this? What do I like from that? What do I find missing? And I'll add it and I'll cook it a couple of times and hone in. But in terms of sugar, routinely, this is how it goes. It calls for, let's say, I don't know, a cup of white sugar just to be simple. And so I'll cut it in half. That's the first thing. There's no way I'm cooking it even one time with a cup, it'll hurt my teeth to eat that stuff. It's just like yuck. And so, because when you eat less sugar that tastes recalibrate and you taste it for what it is, and it's more intense, it's more delicious and more pleasurable.   Andrew: (01:38:13) I call this recalibration. And I hear this from people, after they've gone through the two week sugar fast and they eat something that they used to eat, they say, "Well, I don't even like it anymore. It's so cloying." Exactly. You've recalibrated successfully. Now they're on the other side of the mountain and we can work on real health.   Andrew: (01:38:31) So it cut the recipe in half for sugar, then switch it to honey or something like that. You know, I live in the Northeast of America so I like maple syrup. And, but I also like barley malt and rice syrup quite a bit. So now we're cut back to half a cup of honey and I'll make that half barley malt, which is not sucrose, right? It doesn't include fructose, it's maltose, which is really, really easy for the human body to digest. Fructose is difficult, stresses and eventually is toxic for the liver. So you have what they call non-alcohol liver cirrhosis, liver scarring. So that's coming from sugar. It's just not happened by itself. So this comes from a lifetime of intense sugar eating and [crosstalk 01:39:29]   Tahnee: (01:39:29) High-fructose, in all of these processed foods in the States where someone doesn't drink, but that redone Twinkies, I can't think of anything else, but I'm trying to remember [inaudible 01:39:42] Reese's Pieces.   Andrew: (01:39:43) Exactly, exactly. I actually don't currently know anyone who eats Twinkies, but I presume someone.   Tahnee: (01:39:50) That's a really, really old reference now.   Andrew: (01:39:50) No, no, well, if it's in business then someone's buying them.   Tahnee: (01:39:55) Actually, I mean, it's something with the Australian, I'm sure it's the same. I remember. I mean, we go to the States usually every year and I always see in all the health food stores, again with air quotes, but these date bars and things that are like a good 30, 40 grammes of sugar, fructose, basically. So it's a huge amount of sugar for the body to handle.   Andrew: (01:40:18) All at one time.   Tahnee: (01:40:19) Yeah.   Andrew: (01:40:20) Right. All at one time. Yeah, exactly right. So that's how it's done. One of the goals for metabolic health, the first goal, the most important first goal for metabolic health is to get the body back in business, digesting, extracting sugars, blood sugar from complex carbohydrates and well balanced meals that digest slowly steadily and contribute to all the organs that are involved in digestion actually help those organs. So instead of straining them and taxing them, it's actually helping them, as it's providing blood sugar. And when that conversion happens, you're really on track to being back to health. And if it doesn't happen, I don't think, frankly speaking, I don't think there's enough medicine in the world to keep us healthy. And that would include COVID, which I know is doing really, really well in Australia. I follow that closely, but we can't be serious about COVID if we're not counselling people when they're well, to prepare their body to handle any infection that might come along, because this is certainly not the last pandemic that we'll see in our lifetimes.   Andrew: (01:41:45) So it's just a natural part of life, especially in a very, very populated world. So what we want to do then is to simply raise our basic health in simple, strong, time- tested ways, while eating delicious food, that's fun to cook good, for the planet to grow and really, really good to digest. And then we're in good shape, we're in good shape.   Tahnee: (01:42:12) And so we're so lucky that you exist Andrew and your beautiful wife. I think that's a great place to end. I mean, I feel like I could honestly talk to you for about two weeks, because you are so interesting. And I think what I'm really hearing for those of us who've, especially, I guess my generation who've come up in this culture of health, which I think the wellness industry has so much to answer for in terms of, I can't remember the word I'm looking for, but like that, you know, these really toxic eating habits really, my partner always talks about driving through California and seeing these monocultures of organic kale growing out in the desert. And he was like "This is such a trip to me that we're thinking this is healthy when the indigenous people here would have had a really sustainable way of living off of this land.   Andrew: (01:43:09) I think there's something in between as well. I mean, the sustainable farming is an incredibly interesting topic. It's outside of my specific purview, but it's something that interests me deeply and you're both absolutely right. And we take it even further to what about the American lawns? And I think we have that in Australia as well, the idea of a monoculture lawn, it's not native there anyhow, and requires enormous chemicals to maintain. [crosstalk 01:43:47]   Tahnee: (01:43:50) Oh yeah. Like what eating animals from different... you guys used to have more bison and there's a lot of complexity, I think [crosstalk 01:43:59]   Andrew: (01:43:59) It is complex. Not to step on your sentence, but it is complex. And with the bison, there's such incredible animals and nearly extinct, but they, frankly speaking, one of the paradoxes of modern society is that the way to stabilise bison is for some of them to be attenuator this, to be part of the economy.   Tahnee: (01:44:26) And the ecology.   Andrew: (01:44:29) And there's been tremendous... I mean, it's really exciting success story about bison in the American Midlands and West where they're not endangered and there's bison, not a lot, but there's bison in almost every store. And by the way, what do we use it for in food dietetics, for healthy eating is really to build blood. It is warming, they're intense animals. They'll forage right through deep snow. I mean, they're really incredible. But for building blood, which is so important for women's health, it's important. If there's any bleeding ulcers or something like that going on, if the digestion is cold, we may not be transforming foods in order to extract the iron from that, we might be eating iron. We're not getting it. So bison is really, really, I prescribe it often. And you know, obviously not for vegetarians, but this is a...   Tahnee: (01:45:30) Where possible.   Andrew: (01:45:32) The complexity is that while it's cruel to eat them and to bring them into the economy in that way, it is also saving them and that's bizarre, and it's going to take a deeper philosopher than me to really bring clarity to it. But people aren't going anywhere, we're not. So we have to find a healthy way through. We have to find a way that is ethical, healthy, and there's no question. And the simplest, the biggest thing, the next thing we could do would be to handle the glyphosate question, because this is causing leaky gut within people, it's causing inflammation, diseases it's causing, we probably [crosstalk 01:46:27] And yeah, because of the leaky gut, which causes inflammation, which then either worsens or possibly even causes the epidemic of autoimmune diseases that are going on, glyphosate is terrible for the farmers.   Andrew: (01:46:46) It's terrible for the land. This is catastrophic for the farm lands and it's really, really horrible for human health. So that would be maybe the first best place to work. So we can do our bit as individual consumers by buying organically when possible, and which fits in with our healing plan and it all works together. So in the meantime, we use these tools and I'm just so grateful that we live in a time when the riches of world culture are available in a way as never before. So we are the beneficiaries of monastic, Doaist medicine, of Tibetan medicine.   Tahnee: (01:47:29) That's quite extraordinary, isn't it? I something think, thousands of years ago and we're still like relearning these lessons and they're still so relevant in our modern times.   Andrew: (01:47:41) Exactly. And pairing that with modern science findings, which easily become too complex, but can provide effective clues that we really need to pay attention to...   Tahnee: (01:47:55) And support [crosstalk 01:47:57] Yeah. [crosstalk 01:47:59]   Andrew: (01:47:59) Right. So there's an art form to using modern science and not being overwhelmed by it. Because ultimately we have to do our work in the kitchen. And in my opinion, it's not restaurant chefs or television chefs, celebrity chefs that that are... I mean they're inspiring people to cook more, but what's going to save all this, the best hope we have for community health.   Andrew: (01:48:27) You may have heard America has a healthcare scenario which is very complicated and it's, despite wonderful doctors, the system itself is deeply broken and what's going to really, the most important player here is the home cook and the home cook takes the place, as I do like to say, because I really, really believe it, the home cook is the director of family health. And yes, we use doctors, but it's the home cook who's in charge. And when, when pharmaceuticals are needed, the dose can be less and they can repeated less often as we were saying before, and maybe not at all. And that's not to hide from doctors. That just means that I think doctors would be very, very happy if we need them less. And we come for basic screening and for wellness visits.   Tahnee: (01:49:23) Yeah. We've always said just to lessen the burden on the health system. I mean, you look at the ageing populations. I mean, Australia has a really high ageing population and it's going to, within 10, 15 years, it's going to be a big issue if people aren't taking more responsibility for their own wellbeing.   Andrew: (01:49:40) And that's the key word, more responsibility.   Tahnee: (01:49:43) Yeah. So you and your partner, you have all these great free lectures and seminars. I was going to link to those in our show notes. Are there any other ways people can study or work with you? I've seen, I mean, obviously you're doing zoom consultations now, so I assume you can work with anyone around the world. Is that right?   Andrew: (01:50:00) Yeah. I have some people in Australia, we just sync up the time zones. But there's also some teachings, some video teachings. I have a, that we can find on our websites. [crosstalk 01:50:13]   Tahnee: (01:50:16) So [crosstalk 01:50:17] a couple of our one, introduction to food energetics, which I'll definitely link to.   Andrew: (01:50:19) And there's another, which you may not have seen yet. That's food and healing, which is a 6, a two hour [crosstalk 01:50:28] course. And the one I'm in right now is Diagnose to Diet, how to handle ailments in the kitchen.   Tahnee: (01:50:38) Yeah. I've got Food and Healing. Yeah. Great. And then I've even got some COVID ones. So all right [inaudible 01:50:43] I'll linked to those.   Andrew: (01:50:46) And there's also the Qigong work that I do, which is equally passionate about. And so there's, using Qigong as medicine, there's a web course. It was a live course. And that's now available on video or streaming. And that's interesting too. It may be interesting for some dietary focused people because it goes through the medicine again, from a different perspective, including digestive medicine. And it's really interesting to put that together. [inaudible 01:51:15]   Tahnee: (01:51:14) Yeah, and Qigong is just such a powerful practise of again, self-healing and self-responsibility.   Andrew: (01:51:22) Exactly. And once a week I do a meditation group on, it would be 8:00 AM on Sunday for you, 4:00 PM, Saturday on the East coast of America here. And it's free. And it's a very small group. No one's allowed to be in it unless they want to be. That's how we keep people out. It's become a real treasure. We go over some, from different traditions, the Daoist tradition, Buddhist tradition, Tibetan Buddhist tradition, some other traditions from Western spirituality, because I feel Westerners should not feel divorced from our own traditions. Even though we understand them only because of a lifetime of studying Buddhism and Daoism, but then bringing to life, the Western traditions, the Islamic, Christian, Jewish traditions, native American. So we're bringing in those things and it's incredibly fun. It's a treat for the mind. And then also meditating together has a raised power to it. So that's available. It's free. It's on zoom. It's free to everyone.   Tahnee: (01:52:32) I found the link to that. The riding the wave weekly [inaudible 01:52:37] meditation. Yep. Okay, awesome. So we'll share all of those. And are you on social media if people want to connect with you that way or [crosstalk 01:52:43] website?   Andrew: (01:52:45) No, I have a Facebook page that's called Understanding Food, an Energetics Approach. I think that's what it is. Understanding Food, an Energetics Approach.   Tahnee: (01:52:56) I'll find it.   Andrew: (01:52:58) Or you can write to me and I'll connect you to it. I wish it was more active. I wish that was, I invite people to engage in discussion there. You say, "What's the energetics of olives or of rutabaga, or the difference between bison and venison?" Whatever it might be. But these are discussions that are interesting to a lot of us. And so my hope is that something like that, maybe the Facebook is not the right platform, but I'm hoping that it might be because it's so easy that we can really have a group discussion in that way. And we also do a food chat.   Andrew: (01:53:37) I forgot to mention, I don't know if the time would work, but that's also available on video twice a month, run a food chat the next one's the day after tomorrow. And I think there's a link. You should find a link to that. There's a nominal fee. I'm not even sure what it is. And we get together in a live zoom, usually in our kitchen and Anne joins when possibly she can, which is most of the time.   Andrew: (01:54:02) And we talk about food energetics. We look at tongues, we diagnose tongues from photographs. So, which sounds really weird, but it's actually really fun, really fascinating. And we talk about food and sometimes I'll say, "Look, this is what I cooked for breakfast." Or "This is how you do this. And look how simple it is." We're cooking a really healing meal. It would be healing. It's not healing for everyone to be healing for this kind of scenario using this specific set of strategies. And it tastes really great. And look, we're making it right here. Sometimes we do that. I mean, I'm not a television host, but we do that sometimes. It's really a lot of fun.   Tahnee: (01:54:35) I'm sure you do a great job. Oh, that sounds really exciting. Yeah. It's 11:00 AM.   Andrew: (01:54:41) Right, 11:00 AM. Except for this week it won't be. But I think for, because I'm teaching live to Poland, eight hours a day from 7:00 AM is when... The downbeats at 7:00 AM but that's okay because my commute only from one room to another.   Tahnee: (01:55:02) [crosstalk 01:55:02].   Andrew: (01:55:02) Exactly, I was supposed to travel there when I was applying to go to Krakow and it's been booked for well over a year, year and a half or more. But we're doing it online. And so for this week, food chat's later in the day, but people bring cases, some of people that was like half acupuncturist, herbalists and half interested food people, and we've made a nice community. People bring in their cases and what do you think about this? Or I'm treating this person and what would the food thing be for here? And it's a really nice... [crosstalk 01:55:36]   Tahnee: (01:55:36) And that's great that you have the whole archive there. I think that's such a great resource for people to go back and actually study and learn and their renew the interesting. [crosstalk 01:55:46]   Andrew: (01:55:47) Yeah. If anyone has the patients, anyhow, it's been an absolute pleasure. To speak with you.   Tahnee: (01:55:52) Yeah. It's been so great. Thank you so much, Andrew. I think we're going to do a giveaway with your book. So I'll post that on our social media and out to our mailing list.   Andrew: (01:56:01) Awesome.   Tahnee: (01:56:02) And if anyone wants to get in touch with you, I'll encourage them to do that. And I just want to wish you all the best and yeah, hopefully we can meet again sometime. This is such a pleasure talking with you.   Andrew: (01:56:12) When you come to the States and when things calm down, give us a call. We'll cook dinner together. That'd be really nice. Great. Thank you for having me. It's been a real pleasure.   Tahnee: (01:56:23) [crosstalk 01:56:23] and enjoy your dinner, it's dinner time for you.   Andrew: (01:56:24) Thank you. Almost. All right. Talk to you soon.   Tahnee: (01:56:24) Take care, bye.   Andrew: (01:56:29) All right. Bye-bye.
Tahnee's back on the Women's Series today, with returning guest Dr. Amanda Waaldyk talking female reproductive health, with a spotlight on endometriosis (endo). Recent figures on the  Endometriosis Australia page show approximately 1 in 9 women worldwide suffer from this at times debilitating disease, that's around 200 million. These are pretty alarming statistics, considering it takes (on average) 7-10 years for endo diagnosis. Amanda has so much knowledge in this space; she is the founder/director of Angea Women's Health Clinic (Melbourne), doctor of Chinese Medicine, acupuncturist, yoga teacher, and energy healer. Being diagnosed and living with endo herself, Dr. Amanda's personal experience has deepened her holistic approach to treating this disease and is helping so many women on their journey of healing. This episode is a must for all women; the ladies get into pertinent aspects of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, the contraceptive pill, and how they're affected by endometriosis.    Tahnee and Dr. Amanda discuss: What is endometriosis, why is it so painful? Endometriosis and the vital role of the liver.  Chinese herbs for treating gynecological issues.  Treating endometriosis holistically. Adenomyosis vs endometriosis, what's the difference? Dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), as common symptoms of endometriosis.  Why painful menstruation is not normal. The genetic link with endometriosis; looking at paternal and maternal family history.  Why is endometriosis often misdiagnosed as IBS?  The DUTCH test (advanced hormone testing) and why it's essential when diagnosing endometriosis.  The benefits of abdominal, Mayan, and womb massage for the female reproductive system.  Understanding endometriosis as an inflammatory condition and foods to avoid.  Yoni steaming.   Who is Dr. Amanda Waaldyk? Amanda is the founder and director of Angea Women’s Health Clinic, an integrative Chinese medicine practice that focuses on fertility, female endocrinology, and supporting women through every phase of life. With extensive experience in reproductive/hormonal conditions, menopausal concerns, endometriosis, and PCOS, Angea clinic is truly a haven for women. Amanda’s practice is soul meets science, guiding her patients to ultimate health by providing a whole-body approach. Amanda is a Doctor of Chinese medicine, yoga and meditation teacher, acupuncturist, hormone expert, and energy healer. Amanda empowers and educates her clients to reconnect with their inherent body wisdom, navigate their way back to balance (naturally), and live the happiest and most thriving version of their lives.    Resources: Angea Clinic Angea Instagram Angea Facebook  Women's Yoga Training Holistic Fertility with Dr. Amanda Waaldyk (EP#35) I Am Gaia (the SuperFeast Nourishing Women's Blend) read about it here   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:00) Okay. Hi everyone, and welcome to the SuperFeast podcast. Today I am here with Dr. Amanda Waaldyk from Angea, which is this incredible space down in Melbourne, and I can't wait to go there as soon as I'm allowed. She's the founder and director of Angea Women's Health Clinic and she has an integrative Chinese medicine practise that also weaves in traditions like yoga and abdominal massage, which I hope we get to touch on a little bit today. And she works a lot with fertility and female reproductive health.   Tahnee: (00:34) So, we're here to talk about endometriosis today, which I'm really excited about, but I wanted to welcome Amanda back, because we have had her on the podcast before and she was very, very popular amongst our community. So thank you for coming back again, Amanda.   Dr. Amanda: (00:48) Oh, thank you for having me. I've been so excited to chat about this today.   Tahnee: (00:52) Yeah. Such a great topic, and I mean, such a relevant one right now. Something we're hearing a lot through our communication channels at SuperFeast. It's one that women are really enduring. So I wonder, could you tell us a little bit about how you got to be working in women's fertility, and your journey toward becoming this expert on endometriosis?   Dr. Amanda: (01:14) Well interestingly, I am an adenomyosis and endo as well myself. So it's something that I've been really interested in back in my university days. I did an assignment on liver function and looking at endometriosis and the role of the liver and endo together. So that sparked a little bit of an interest. And then also, to just with the magnificence of Chinese herbs, how well herbs can actually treat gynaecological issues for women. And I did study four years of Chinese medicine, specifically herbs, and then did two years after with an acupuncture degree.   Dr. Amanda: (01:55) So, I was always into sports, I think, and when I finished university I went over to China and lived in China and studied in China for a year. Did a lot of gynaecological training over there. And was going to come back and set up a sports clinic, but of course, the universe had other things in store. And women just kept appearing at my door. So from there it's just organically grown, and I think because I've had so much trauma in my life, how much that actually I can support on a holistic perspective, not only physically, but also through the use of acupuncture, but also emotionally as well.   Tahnee: (02:38) Yeah, because we were first connected by Farley who's one of our staff, and that was her experience, being treated by you was not just about receiving Chinese medicine treatment, it was on this multi-dimensional level that you were really supporting her. And she still raves about that experience, and I think she's still looking for someone like you up here.   Tahnee: (02:59) But yeah, I think it's like you were saying before we jumped on, a huge amount of women coming through your clinic are suffering from endometriosis. So do you know anything around the statistics of how many people are suffering from the condition in general? Or is that hard to gauge?   Dr. Amanda: (03:17) Yeah, it's an epidemic. Statistically worldwide there's 176 million women been diagnosed with endometriosis. So if we think about those numbers, there's probably a higher amount as well, considering the ones that go undiagnosed. Because unfortunately it takes around seven to 10 years for women to be diagnosed. A lot of women often go misdiagnosed as irritable bowel or just heavy periods.   Dr. Amanda: (03:43) It's just part of the female normal existence, and that's part of, I think, where this podcast is so important, because it's creating an education piece for women to really understand their bodies more, but also their menstrual cycles. I think in Australia it's about 600,000 women have been diagnosed with endometriosis, and one in 10 women have endo.   Tahnee: (04:08) Wow.   Dr. Amanda: (04:10) And also too, the statistics now are that 42% of women that have been diagnosed with adenomyosis are also diagnosed with endometriosis. So it's huge, and for some women it can be a very debilitating condition that they're living with, not only daily but monthly. And having those constant reminders of being in excruciating pain and then being told that, sorry, there's nothing that we can do for your pain, I think is extremely frustrating. Because women are so intuitive, and we know when there's something wrong in our bodies, don't we?   Dr. Amanda: (04:45) So when we notice that something's wrong, we seek out answers. And then we'll go and see our GP or our healthcare provider. And if those symptoms are dismissed, then the dialogue starts to create of, "What's actually wrong with me? What's wrong with myself and my body?"   Dr. Amanda: (05:06) A lot of common symptoms that we see with women with endometriosis is dyspareunia. Dyspareunia is painful intercourse. Dysmenorrhea which is painful periods. And we have a rating at work, we often have a scale of one to ten. So if any women are experiencing pain up around the eight, nine, ten mark, that requires an investigative process. Because if you're having to take days off school or having to take time off work when you're having your period, we just want to assure you that that's actually not normal, and painful periods are not normal.   Dr. Amanda: (05:42) Then also, too, menorrhagia which is heavy bleeding. And also too pelvic pain is part of that presentation. Abdominal bloating. Nausea, vomiting, clotting. So you can see it's quite an extensive list, and if I've missed something all, I think I've managed to catch it all.   Tahnee: (06:04) Well, it's something that when you say that, that sounds like what a lot of people endure just with periods. And one of your big topics is always around painful periods aren't normal. I appreciate your social media so much for flying that flag all the time. It's your right to have a healthy menstrual cycle.   Tahnee: (06:22) So if you're saying it takes seven to ten years to be diagnosed, are you saying that women are suffering for seven to ten years waiting to find someone who can diagnose them? Is that basically the problem? It's common?   Dr. Amanda: (06:34) Yeah, yeah.   Tahnee: (06:34) Yeah. Okay.   Dr. Amanda: (06:37) I guess what happens is, I mean, it is an invisible condition in the sense that if you were to go and see your GP, you were complaining of painful periods, and they sent you off for a pelvic ultrasound, and that pelvic ultrasound showed that there was no endometriomas or no endometriotic tissue then that would come back and they'd say, "Well, you're fine. There's nothing there."   Dr. Amanda: (07:02) Also, too, it's genetically linked, so it's really important, and I think this is what's great about the Chinese medicine, is that when we go back to the history of what was your mother's menstrual cycle like? What was your grandmother's menstrual cycle like? Because it can come from both the genetic link of paternal and maternal sides.   Dr. Amanda: (07:20) For young women that are going through puberty, it's that if their mothers had a hysterectomy or if they had endo, because a lot of it went misdiagnosed back in our parents' generation, because they were all having children younger, and that's why it's called the career women's disease because now we're forging on our careers and having children later, is that painful periods will often start for those pubescent girls when they have their first menstrual cycle.   Dr. Amanda: (07:47) So, for all our young listeners out there, if you're having painful periods and heavy periods and you're needing to take time off school, and your mother's had a history of heavy periods, then please find someone that you can actually work with. A GP or a healthcare provider, that can offer you some support. Because sometimes women have to have laparoscopic surgery in their teenage years because their periods are so debilitating.   Tahnee: (08:15) Yep. Just if people don't know exactly what we're talking about, one of the main things that occurs with endometriosis is that the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, actually exists outside of its normal habitat, right? Is that the diagnosis?   Dr. Amanda: (08:34) Yeah. You're exactly right, but it's so interesting, because there's a lot of women out there now, I guess, that are celebrities, that are actually creating a greater awareness for endometriosis. But the actual definition is, it's not actually the endometrium that lines our uterus that we shed each month. It's a different type of tissue. It's called epithelial glands, and the endometrial stroma, that basically it migrates to areas within our uterus, to essentially the pelvic organs, the pelvic reproductive organs.   Dr. Amanda: (09:16) So the tissue will migrate, it'll implant around the ovaries, it could implant into the fallopian tubes. It can also go into the muscle layer of the bowels. It can be found in our pouch of Douglas, our uterine ligaments, and then also, too, in extreme cases, lungs and liver, and it can also migrate to our bladder. So you can just get that constant irritation when you're having your period of feeling like your bladder's full all the time and that you need to go.   Dr. Amanda: (09:48) The issue is, is that the tissue still responds to the same hormonal fluctuations that our menstrual cycle relates to, so your oestrogen and progesterone. So the tissue still responds in that way, so every time you're about to get your bleed, is that tissue will start to respond because it's got prostaglandins. Prostaglandins line endometrium, and so if we've got endometriosis, we know that it's an inflammatory condition, and the research also shows that prostaglandins are actually elevated for endometriosis.   Dr. Amanda: (10:26) I've done so much study into the endometrium. I love it, because it's its own endocrine gland, and it forms in spirals. I always like to say you imagine a DNA helix. Endometrium forms in spirals. It has prostaglandins. The prostaglandins' role is to essentially create a gentle uterine cramp, so as the oestrogen and the progesterone drop, it signals the endometrium to start to shed, to start to bleed. So it creates this gentle, mild cramping so the lining can start to shed.   Dr. Amanda: (10:57) Can you imagine, if we've got endometriosis, we've got high amounts of inflammation, is that that tissue has a wringing. Imagine a towel wringing out, right? And that's going to cause extreme amounts of pain, because I'll go on a divergent here. In Chinese medicine we know that the liver meridian comes up through the medial aspect, it circulates around our reproductive organs, finishes at our breast tissue. You know the liver, the liver's role is to ensure the smooth flow of chi and blood.   Dr. Amanda: (11:25) So the heart being the empress at the time of the period says to the liver, "Okay, General," which it should be a woman, "It's time to release the blood. So let that blood flow." And so when the liver is impacted, which we know that it is, because endometriosis is an oestrogen-dominant condition, and the liver's role within Western medicine is to be able to metabolise our estrogens through the right pathways. So that chi and blood then becomes impeded, and starts to form pockets of blood stagnation, because the blood can't empty properly.   Dr. Amanda: (12:17) Because the first thing that we're taught in Chinese medicine in our gynaecological classes is that the period has to empty completely so you can start afresh with a new cycle, new, fresh blood flows, and endometriosis is called [foreign language 00:12:33] in Chinese medicine which essentially means big stagnation.   Tahnee: (12:36) So there's pain as well, when you have stagnation.   Dr. Amanda: (12:43) Yeah. All that pathology.   Tahnee: (12:46) Yep. Because one of the things blood stagnation causes is pain, because it's a bruise or something, right? You touch it and it hurts. Is it throughout the cycle that there's that stagnation feeling as well?   Dr. Amanda: (13:00) Yeah, absolutely.   Tahnee: (13:01) Yeah.   Dr. Amanda: (13:02) Yeah. Because the liver attacks the spleen, so you've got an inflammatory response condition happening the whole time. And some women experience, throughout their entire cycle, that pain and stagnation. Because also, too, if their bowels involved, most of the time it gets diagnosed as irritable bowel, is that when they're trying to have a bowel movement is that they're getting a lot of constipation. So that whole peristalsis action becomes impeded as well, so you get blocked bowels. You're alternating from constipation sometimes to diarrhoea.   Dr. Amanda: (13:42) So when you've got that pressure... Because if we think anatomically, girls, if you imagine that you've got your bladder and then you have your vagina next to your bladder, and then at the back you've got your rectum. And then in between the rectum and your vagina you have the pouch of Douglas. And the pouch of Douglas is where a lot of endo tends to hide, goes into this... It's like a deep, dark crevice, right? And so that then pushes onto the bowel. So that's where you get even more stagnation. So you just think, because [foreign language 00:14:20] as we know, what's the role of the [foreign language 00:14:23] 00:14:24] it's that water element.   Tahnee: (14:25) Exactly.   Dr. Amanda: (14:26) To keep everything in flow. So nothing's in flow. The liver's not in flow. Everything's becoming stagnant, tight, and so blocked, and then you just start to get all this pathology.   Tahnee: (14:40) So I'm thinking immediately we've got spleen and liver involved and then kidney, because you're sounding like there's this genetic link as well. Is that where you're looking mostly when you're treating women? It's a combination of those organs that you tend to see dysfunctional? Or is there more going on? Because I've also heard it's positive as an autoimmune kind of thing, but is that more the inflammatory response, that the tissue's in the wrong place and the body's attacking it? Would that be more what that would be pointing to?   Dr. Amanda: (15:13) No. You're absolutely right. There is an immune condition as well, from the research they've found that there is an immune response which is also linked to that inflammatory response. So you have multiple organs involved. But it's also too, so much of that is the liver.   Dr. Amanda: (15:34) That's why I always recommend my endo patients to have the Dutch test, and the reason being, because if they have to go and have a surgery, because once they've had excision surgery, and we'll come back to that, is that you want to make sure that the endometriosis is being completely removed with the scissors and cut out. Because that way, it reduces the chances of that endometriotic tissue growing back. And so, by doing the Dutch test, we can see which pathway is our liver metabolising the estradiol properly. Because then we know we've got the 2-OH pathway, and that's the way that we can metabolise that oestrogen out properly, and then with endometriosis sometimes we can have high amounts of estrone, which is the 16-OH pathway, and then estriol, which does the 4-OH.   Dr. Amanda: (16:23) They're the ones that are more prone to breast cancers, to ovarian cancers, so this is where it's really important to find out that whole history of your family. So when I did my Dutch test, I found out mum's got breast cancer, ovarian cancer, so I was very high on that estrone. So my liver wasn't metabolising my oestrogen properly. So by finding that out, then you can support it, supplement foods, to make sure that you're able to metabolise it. And of course your gut health as well, to metabolise your excess estrogens and make sure you're getting the conversion into estradiol that can then be metabolised out through your liver correctly.   Dr. Amanda: (17:06) I think there's actually, if anyone's out there, just putting it out there if anyone's up for doing a study on that, I actually think it would be great research.   Tahnee: (17:19) For sure. Well, because I think that's the thing, like we were talking before we turned on the recording, but about how people are prescribed the Pill. I'm thinking if you've already got a liver that's not functioning well and then you're putting a synthetic oestrogen or a progesterone or something in there, that's going to make the liver suffer more. It seems like you're just building up for more problems later on down the track, right? Is that what you see?   Dr. Amanda: (17:47) Babe, yes, you're so right there. Because I would actually love the medical community to go, "Okay, we've got a young girl who's Stage Four endometriosis, and if she's had surgery I need to make sure this grows back quite quickly." There sometimes these women are candidates for the contraceptive pill in terms of just management, because sometimes these are the options that are available, particularly for those really difficult cases.   Dr. Amanda: (18:22) But then, to see if they did go on the contraceptive pill, to perhaps go back and do a surgery in two years to actually see if the endometriosis had grown back. Or had the pill actually stopped the growth of endometriosis? Because we know that women that go on the Pill that come off the Pill then have to have laparoscopic surgery. The endo's still there. And then like you said, because if your whole liver pathway's this synthetic oestrogen, I see it as synthetic oestrogen liver can't metabolise, you're therefore then increasing that estradiol which is then going to amplify the endo anyway.   Tahnee: (19:07) Which sounds like maybe a band-aid solution for short-term results. So, I mean, I've heard of people having improvements with pregnancy. Is that something you see clinically as well, or is that more of an anecdotal thing?   Dr. Amanda: (19:22) What was that? Say that again. It cut out a bit.   Tahnee: (19:24) I've heard of people having improvements with pregnancy. Is that something you see clinically?   Dr. Amanda: (19:34) Doctors will be like... I had a patient the other did, she said, "The doctor said to me after my surgery that I should get pregnant, because pregnancy essentially cures endometriosis."   Tahnee: (19:43) Yeah, but then you have a child.   Dr. Amanda: (19:45) I thought that was...   Tahnee: (19:49) Oh, my dear.   Dr. Amanda: (19:52) No. So in terms of, absolutely, it's like a Band-Aid, isn't it? It solves a problem for a short period of time. But I think that's where we absolutely have control of being able to support our health by doing all the right things to minimise that endometriosis from growing back, which is diet, nutrition, all your lifestyle factors, and then your supplements, acupuncture, exercise, pelvic floor, physiotherapist. So having a real holistic approach to it.   Tahnee: (20:33) Because you offer abdominal massage in the clinic, and is that something? Because I often think with these inflammatory things, is it beneficial to manipulate that tissue, or do you have any experience with that in terms of women doing self-massage and those kinds of things? Because I mean, I'm always an advocate for it just in terms of connecting to your body. It's such a great way, I think, to get in touch with learning where all the bits are and all that kind of thing. But yeah, I'm just wondering as a clinical treatment, I imagine it would help relieve some of the stagnation and pain.   Dr. Amanda: (21:06) Yeah. Absolutely. Like you said, it's the best way to be able to reconnect into your body and develop a loving relationship. Because for a lot of women that have endo, you hate your body. You hate it, because you're experiencing so much pain. Because tissues have issues, as we know. Tissues have imprints of everything. They hold our whole life story. It's a web. So by doing abdominal massage, absolutely. Because then, you're starting to create healthy blood flow through your reproductive organs and through your abdomen. So then you start to break out some of that tissue as well.   Dr. Amanda: (21:51) We know that for women that have had laparoscopic surgery, or haven't, is scar tissue. So what does scar tissue look like? When tissue meshes, it meshes in together like there's a synergy, where it just folds in together. But with scar tissue, it's all just hacky. Hacky tissue, that's formed together in these weird, web-like structures. So by doing gentle abdominal massage, we're starting to create a beautiful flow. And we know that when tissue's in flow that it brings in chi, it brings in energy, allows the blood to flow.   Dr. Amanda: (22:26) So absolutely, abdominal massage, Mayan massage, womb massage. Because you're going deeply into the layers of that connected tissue and the reproductive organs are part of the fascial planes, as we know, embryonically that form when we're embryos. And there's a body of research that says that endometriosis is formed actually when we're in utero.   Tahnee: (22:51) Wow. Okay. Is that pointing to then something genetic? Or is it pointing to something going on in an epigenetic sense? Do you have any sense of what that might be?   Dr. Amanda: (23:04) I would say genetic, absolutely. And then also too epigenetic, isn't it? Because when we're an egg in our grandmother's womb, forming in our mothers, so you think about that.   Tahnee: (23:16) Wow.   Dr. Amanda: (23:19) And trauma. Trauma. So much trauma. I mean, I got only diagnosed with endo at 41. I'd never had painful periods. I've had multiple traumas. I was raped a couple of times, and I think that that definitely... It's our sacred chakra. It's our pleasure centre. So if someone has entered without permission, that causes a stagnation and a trauma, and that then develops into a pathology. So I think there's so much stuff around trauma, and I see a lot of women in clinic with a link between sexual abuse experiences. First-time sexual experience trauma, whether that's physical abuse, emotional abuse, even women working in male-dominated industries where they've not been able to be their expressive selves.   Tahnee: (24:22) Well, that ties into what you're saying about that idea of being a career woman, too, and almost in a more masculine setting. It could be some suppression of that feminine, creative expression. Because you really think about that lower area as that Shakti, it's that feminine, creative space, and so if it's not fully expressed then yeah, you're going to see stagnation of that energy. And over time, that's one of the things Chinese medicine teaches us, is over time that energetic stagnation causes a physical transformation or changes a tissue in some way. That's how we end up with the disease process.   Tahnee: (24:57) I mean, it's sounding like if someone's got endo, it's a bit more complicated, I guess, than just focus on one thing. So you're normally getting people to do Dutch tests and I guess, working with herbs, and acupuncture, and emotionally. Are there other areas people should look at if they've been diagnosed and they're not sure how to go forward? Is healing possible? Is it something you see where women can really transform this?   Dr. Amanda: (25:23) Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's also, to put a point in there, is it's really important to know as a provider ourselves, is that we're limited to what we can do. I always say, if women come in and they have no relief from Chinese medicine, acupuncture, womb healing, Moksa, and being on the correct diet, Dutch test, is that that's when we know that they actually need to have surgery.   Dr. Amanda: (25:51) Then it's being able to work with a surgeon, and I would say, ladies, do your research here. Really important to find an endometriosis specialist surgeon. Not just a gynaecologist, gynaecology, fertility specialist, an endo surgeon, because they've dedicated their life to mastering how to be able to excise the tissue. Because that will therefore then, it extends your anatomy, your fertility as well, and then you're not having to go back for repeated surgeries. And I think I'm a good test case.   Tahnee: (26:33) Of course you are.   Dr. Amanda: (26:33) Look, I'm hoping. I've got adenomyosis, which is even... You know, they're just as bad as each other. Adenomyosis is endo's mean stepsister. Mean sister, mean cousin.   Tahnee: (26:49) She's a bitch, that's what she is.   Dr. Amanda: (26:50) She is a bitch.   Tahnee: (26:54) Would you want to touch a little bit on that? Because if you're saying 40% of people have both of these conditions, what's going on there? What's the causality, do you think? Or what's the relationship between them?   Dr. Amanda: (27:08) They say it's retrograde menstruation where the blood goes outside the reproductive organs. So the tissue essentially migrates into your myometrium. So I always use the analogy in clinic is that our uterus is a beautiful garden. Underneath we have our irrigation, which is all the uterine arteries and veins. We need to have a beautiful, healthy vascular blood flow through there as well to help create a nice soil, a fertile soil, an endometrium. And then we have the myometrium, which is the muscle layer. That's the terrain that supports our garden.   Dr. Amanda: (27:42) So when we've got endometriosis, it's a weed. The endometriosis grows in and around, so essentially it's disease tissue. If we've got fibroids, fibroids move into the myometrium. They're like a boulder. So endometriotic tissue migrates into the myometrium, which is the muscle layer of our uterus. So then you've got tissue migrating into this muscle layer, and you imagine that's a smooth muscle.   Dr. Amanda: (28:09) So when we have our babies, that muscle grows and grows and grows, and we have an expansion of our uterus. It also releases oxytocin at the time of birth. So the myometrium, you've got this endometriotic tissue migrating, and it starts to change the shape of the uterus because you've got this heavy cramping into smooth muscle each month when you're bleeding. So over time, this starts to change the shape of your uterus. So when you go for a pelvic ultrasound, it can be seen on a pelvic ultrasound, and it's normally described as a bulky uterus.   Dr. Amanda: (28:42) With that, you get lots of diaphragmatic pain up in your upper rib cage. Heavy bloating, feeling like you're distended, feeling like you're six months pregnant. Really heavy periods or just periods that just don't bleed properly, like really lots of stagnation, clots. And then issues with your bowels as well. So that one's hysterectomy. You need to have a hysterectomy. So there's no way I'm having a hysterectomy. I'm not on the Mirena. I'm just dealing by doing Chinese herbs and all the things that I know to best support the health of my liver, and my uterus, and my menstrual cycle.   Tahnee: (29:25) Well, coming back to the Chinese medicine question, because if you think about the spleen too, it's keeping the blood in the right place, right? That's one of the functions of the spleen. And if you're thinking of soil as well, that soil function is what the spleen provides for the blood. That nutritive function. So I mean, there's got to be a spleen component too. So, diet you were saying before is super effective. What do you see as... Are there dietary themes? Or is it really individualised? Or is there anything you can speak to there?   Dr. Amanda: (29:57) Absolutely. I think looking at the earth, what is the earth element? The earth is our centre. It's ability to be able to digest, transform and separate the turbid from the pure. So in order to make sure that the body and the spleen function and the stomach's able to separate the pure from the turbid, then you're actually able to absorb all your nutrients through your gut. And interestingly enough, there's been a link between estrobolome and estrobolome is... Okay, I'm just going to read.   Dr. Amanda: (30:32) Basically, of course, gut health being the spleen is really important, so we know how much a healthy microbiome influences our digestive function. So with endometriosis, there's been research that shows we are lacking in lactobacillus. We're lactobacillus deficient. And also, our vagina has its own ecosystem as well. And women who have endo have lactobacillus deficiency. Particularly women over 40 as well. So really important that we have a healthy microbiome.   Dr. Amanda: (31:04) So new research has emerged indicating that the gut microbiome, of course, plays an integral role in the regulation of our oestrogen levels. So metabolism is really important when it comes to endo so we can metabolise (as you were saying), those estrogens out.   Dr. Amanda: (31:20) So essentially, when there's too much inflammation in our gut it causes a gut dyssymbiosis, and that starts to wreak havoc, creating more of an inflammatory response in through our gut. So when we have that, the body can't metabolise the oestrogen out properly. So we just have more oestrogen circulating through our bloodstream. So, what it does is the estrobolome comes in. Estrobolome is a term used to describe the collection of enteric gut bacterial microbes. Their job is to essentially metabolise the oestrogen. And these microbes, the estrobolome, produce beta-glucuronidase, sorry about the pronunciation there. This enzyme alters oestrogen into its active form which binds to oestrogen receptors and influences oestrogen-dependent physiological processes.   Dr. Amanda: (32:12) Essentially, basically, the more your gut is out of balance, the more beta-glucanase is produced and the less oestrogen is excreted out of your body. So the research has shown that women that have high amounts of beta-glutinase bacteria leads to higher amounts of oestrogen circulating, in a roundabout way. Sorry about that.   Tahnee: (32:32) No, yeah. So basically, gut dysbiosis is leading to higher circulating estrogens in the body, and that's effectively on account of, for whatever reason, from a TCM perspective, the spleen function isn't there. From a Western perspective, it's going to be maybe intolerances and things like that, or an inappropriate diet.   Dr. Amanda: (32:54) Your sugars, blood sugar. And interestingly enough, what's the flavour of the spleen? The spleen loves sweet.   Tahnee: (33:01) Yeah. Not too much.   Dr. Amanda: (33:05) Yeah. Don't kill it with sweet. So you've got that whole gut thing going on. And some research that I found out was, the body's essentially designed to procreate, right? So when we don't conceive, is the endometrial changes into glucose secretions. So that's why we also, too, as we're losing our blood, the chi and blood come out, we're losing energy. You know when we get into that second half of our cycle and we're like, "Just give me the sugars, give me the carbs." That's because there's actually a physiological function that's taking place with the change in the spiral arteries of the endometrium.   Dr. Amanda: (33:44) Then, that's the spleen, isn't it? The spleen function comes in. We just want those things that are nurturing, like the earth, to support us. Give us all those sweet foods. But it's a perpetuating washing machine, isn't it?   Tahnee: (33:58) Yep. And I mean, I guess our culture's definition of sweet versus a traditional Chinese definition of sweet, which was more your grains and your root vegetables and starchy kind of things, whereas we're talking-   Dr. Amanda: (34:11) Barleys.   Tahnee: (34:12) Yeah. We're talking Mars bars, and that's not really going to be particularly helpful.   Dr. Amanda: (34:19) Sure. And then you think about the liver. What's the emotion of the liver? The liver's anger, frustration, stress. So women that have endo and adeno, how stressed are we? How angry do we become because we're frustrated that no one's listening to us? Our symptoms are being dismissed? That then causes tightness through the actual liver meridian. And what's the pathology? The fascia becomes tight. The fascia becomes restricted.   Dr. Amanda: (34:48) And then you've got the kidneys. If you're losing a lot of amount of blood as well, you become anaemic. So that then therefore affects the spleen, which is production of iron. The kidney function, as women, us being in that male dominant Yang type, living our life out in the Yang, the adrenals then become deficient, don't they? Which then affects the kidneys. And we know how much the kidneys support the reproductive function in Chinese medicine. So it's just this whole cycle. So it's really looking at so much of that holistic approach to supporting endo, through all the organ bodies, through your supplements, to make sure you're getting all your nutrients. Through your nutrition as well, because our nutrition doesn't deliver everything that we need, that our body needs.   Dr. Amanda: (35:41) And then of course, wanting to teach our tissue to love our tissue again. And having a pelvic floor specialist physio to be able to teach you how to switch off your pelvic floor. Because of course, Yang women, hypertonic pelvic floor.   Tahnee: (35:57) Yeah. That is a good visual for people.   Dr. Amanda: (36:03) Sounds [crosstalk 00:36:04]   Tahnee: (36:05) Well, people have been taught, again having done some Taoist study, we're taught to relax as much as we're taught to strengthen. But you go and talk to a Western-trained physio and it's Kegels and all these squeezy-squeezy-squeezies. And it's like, well, no, we need that to be like a diaphragm. It needs to be able to be soft, and it needs to be able to be supple, and it needs to be able to spread, and also to contract when required. So yeah, I think it's that tonus, that ability to be flexibility that we lose.   Tahnee: (36:32) But again, you're looking at the liver, that makes so much sense if there's that rigidity in the tissue, there's going to be that rigidity and that stress in the mind as well. Right?   Dr. Amanda: (36:41) You're so right. It is. It's teaching women how to come back into the essence of being women, isn't it? It's slowing down and really honouring that Yin aspect, which is nurturing and nourishing, because we're very good at having the opposite of that, of constantly doing or overachieving in our careers. Which is a great thing as well, but where's that other half? Where's the duality of bringing the Yin and Yang back in and finding that balance?   Dr. Amanda: (37:10) So self-care, babe, like you were saying. Self-care is so important. Your little rituals, when you're bleeding you might want to bleed into a menstrual cup and then look at your blood when you bleed and honour her. Honour your bleed. And then maybe find a tree and put your blood into that tree, so you're nourishing back into Mother Earth as well with your bleed, rather than looking at your bleed like it's the worst thing possible, as starting to cultivate a really healthy relationship with parts of our body that we don't like. Because when we can start to disassociate from the pain, like in yoga. A witness. We can start to change the neuroplasticity of our brain to our pain. That's so important, too.   Tahnee: (38:01) I can even imagine that fear of the cycle coming would impact the kidney as well, and then you get these perpetual cycles of fear of the pain, the pain itself, and then this... Yeah, must be an ordeal, I can imagine.   Dr. Amanda: (38:16) Yes.   Tahnee: (38:18) Yes, yes. She's like, "Yes, it is an ordeal." So yeah, I mean, if someone's wanting to avoid... Is it the worst-case scenario, hysterectomy is where it goes? Is that the last resort for these kinds of things?   Dr. Amanda: (38:38) Yeah. It is, yes. For some women, one of our patients, she's had a hysterectomy and she said it was the most liberating thing that she ever did. She also had ovarian cancer as well. So for her she said, actually, having not to go through that every month, the pain, to have that liberation, and then to be able to feel like she can function as a woman every month. So she didn't have her ovaries removed, just her uterus removed. So she's still got her reproductive-   Tahnee: (39:15) Cycle.   Dr. Amanda: (39:15) Yeah.   Tahnee: (39:15) Yeah, because that's something I'm curious about, even, because I know that the uterus itself is an endocrine organ and I think you just mentioned that before, with the endometrium having that function as well. And even, I was talking to another integrative doctor the other day and we were talking about how the menstrual blood is actually different to the blood in our veins. Do you know much about that?   Dr. Amanda: (39:44) Yeah. I do.   Tahnee: (39:46) It's cool. I was like, "This is cool. These are cool."   Dr. Amanda: (39:53) Yes. It's so amazing. You're so right. It's just phenomenal how our bodies operate. That whole evolution, isn't it? I still think about when babies formed in utero, how incredibly, highly intelligent that is. There's no science-   Tahnee: (40:10) It's wild. Yeah. It's just like, "Make a human, go." And you're just eating your, I was eating my tamari almonds like, "I'm making a baby right now."   Dr. Amanda: (40:22) I know.   Tahnee: (40:26) It's wacky.   Dr. Amanda: (40:30) It's wild. "I'm growing a heart today. I'm growing the skeletal system." There's 386 different proteins. The endometrial lining is made up of vaginal secretions, the endometrial stroma, the epithelial cells, and then 356 different proteins that help to form that endometrial lining. So it's totally different to the blood that circulates through our veins. So essentially, when we are bleeding each month, and this is what I love, is that it's that whole thing of releasing. They say it's, when we're having a period, that we're releasing the debris. So medical, isn't it? Just releasing the debris.   Dr. Amanda: (41:19) Well, we're releasing cytokines, so if we don't conceive it releases inflammation. We're releasing cytokines, the vaginal fluid. And so that's the process women, of honouring that letting go, we're releasing the old, essentially. The old blood, to make way for the new. So that is that process of releasing, letting go, and then bringing in the new. So when we go into our menstrual cycle, we're going into winter. We're going into that time to slow down, to honour ourselves as women, honour the letting go, looking at those psychological things of potentially what we wanted to let go of through that last cycle so then that way we can bring in the evolution of the new.   Tahnee: (42:05) We were talking about trauma before, and about this stagnation that occurs. Is there a sense of holding on? Is that one of the themes that you see with people? I mean, I guess that's something you need to work through with a therapist, but is there a sense of resisting life in some way? Or I don't want to be rude or anything, but I'm just feeling into that, and it's like, yeah, I could feel like if there was a trauma or something you couldn't handle and you couldn't share, then you would store that in the body and that would manifest.   Dr. Amanda: (42:43) Yes. So every month that's coming up, and it's a reminder as well. So even just deep, cleansing breaths. Using all your tonal sounds when you are bleeding, to soften through all that connective tissue. And then it's also an opportunity to practise the physicality of letting go. I always like to use... And go deep to then where you're softening through your diaphragm, that whole jellyfish analogy, soft through your diaphragm, and allow the blood to release and let it go. So when you're sitting on the toilet, if you're at home and you've got a really heavy cramp, instead of bending over and holding your stomach, you could take a nice deep breath in. And then as you feel the blood pass, and you go... It's no different to giving birth.   Tahnee: (43:38) Like birth. Yeah. It makes a roar.   Dr. Amanda: (43:46) Get your lion out. Women that have, we've got a lot of tight jaws, that connection of tight jaws. So you can soften through. And then when you do that, you can actually feel the blood passing, and the whole pelvis starts to soften, and the whole connected tissue starts to release. And you're like, "Ah." And you can feel the physical body releasing that stress in that moment. So breath, major part of treatments.   Tahnee: (44:15) Yeah. Yeah. And I mean I am curious about things like steams and things. Do you have any experience with those? Because I personally haven't had endo but I've used them for things like, a little bit later than just having given birth, but in my postpartum stage I used them. And yeah, I'm just curious as to whether you've got any evidence of whether they're useful for helping... Because I imagine warmth would really help, something I can imagine.   Dr. Amanda: (44:45) Yeah. Well, no, you know, because in that post-partum period, our uterus is vacious and in Chinese medicine, everything's prone to exogenous, external factors. So when we're losing our blood, the period, the whole menstrual bleed is emptying our uterus, and it's the same after we've given birth. So by doing steams, you've got medicinal herbs that are helping to promote healthy blood flow, warming the uterus, protecting the uterus as well from any external factors from coming in. Because if cold comes in, that's why you should never swim on your period, particularly in Melbourne, because it's so bloody freezing, the uterus contracts.   Dr. Amanda: (45:25) You don't want anything to be causing a contraction, because more contraction leads to more blood stagnation, which leads to more pain, more inflammation. So yeah. And I think as women, we want to explore all the different options that we can. And yoni steaming is one of those. I actually haven't personally tried it myself. Can you share to me, how does it feel? Yeah.   Tahnee: (45:48) I love it. I mean, I don't do it much at the moment really, but I used to do it a lot for self-care before my daughter. I just think it's this really... I usually do it when I'm not bleeding, so just the week before. For me, I guess I'm quite a livery type of person anyway, so it's that pause. It's an intentional pause. You're sitting there for a period of time with all the yummy herbs. I will often use rose and quite beautiful herbs, because I don't have any medicinal problems. Medical problems, I mean. But yeah, and for me that warmth in my lower abdomen is just a really nourishing feeling. It's something that I just find very comforting.   Tahnee: (46:33) And my experience has been, post-partum, that it helps to clear blood. I had some dark, stringy blood at the first bleed, after I finished breastfeeding, so about 18 months. So did steams for the next two or three months after that, and it just seemed to clear it out. The blood became fresh and bright again. It just seemed to clear out any of that lingering stuff that maybe hadn't moved through well after birth, or was remaining from after birth.   Tahnee: (46:59) And I mean, I've had my teacher, she said she passed a mass, a big... She said it was almost a placenta, a big alien clump. I've heard some wild stories. But I think yeah, just as a general thing to try, it's definitely worth it. You've got to be careful not to burn yourself. But it's beautiful. It's a really beautiful therapeutic practise. I love saunas, I love heat anyway.   Dr. Amanda: (47:28) Me too.   Tahnee: (47:29) Yes. It's so nourishing.   Dr. Amanda: (47:31) It is so nourishing.   Tahnee: (47:33) Yeah, yeah. So I just imagine that would be beneficial. And I mean, from an internal perspective, obviously great to see a clinician and work on that level, and I know you've got some things pending which is exciting. So yeah, in general, if people were looking for supplements or herbs or things, are there things that you see working, or again should they just seek individual care? Is there any general things we can talk about? I'm imagining DIM, an estro-block kind of a product? Do you know that product?   Dr. Amanda: (48:03) Yes. I think that's where it's good to do the Dutch test, because sometimes DIM can actually have the opposing effect and it can cause more oestrogen dominance. So I guess, if you are experiencing all that breast tenderness, yeah, all your cruciferous vegetables as we know, because they help to block the oestrogen receptors and to be able to metabolise oestrogen through your stools. And psyllium husks also are a great one to use. Curcumin, there's been some great research there to help reduce inflammation. And also evening primrose oil, evening primrose helps with the elevation of prostaglandins. It also helps with reducing inflammation. So all our essential fatty acids. Basically, no sugar. Definitely no gluten and wheat, are huge proponents for increasing more inflammation, particularly noting if you've got any celiac in your family, because then you'll definitely have a gluten sensitivity.   Dr. Amanda: (49:01) Dairy as well. If you think about what's happening when cows are constantly being milked, in terms of they have to be milked regularly otherwise they get mastitis, they've just given birth. They've got oestrogen circulating, producing hormones, that's going into the milk. So it's just no dairy. Also, too, because dairy creates an inflammatory response through your gut. So if you notice that you're sensitive to dairy, cut dairy out. Farm to plate. Your blend, I love your women's blend. The Gaia.   Tahnee: (49:36) Yeah. Yes.   Dr. Amanda: (49:38) She is beautiful because she's got the [foreign language 00:49:39] and the [foreign language 00:49:41] helps to warm. It also nourishes blood. So after you've had your bleed take your Mother Gaia, because that helps, then you've got your goji berries, so the goji berries are really good because we know that they go to the liver meridian. They also help to support the spleen function as well, and they're red in colour. And they're delicious.   Tahnee: (50:03) Something that's tasty [crosstalk 00:50:06] thank you so much for your time, Amanda. I will create a list of show notes for everybody to access your site, your book, all of your resources, your training, opportunities to work with you, and yeah, I really appreciate everything you've shared. It's been really enlightening and nourishing conversation. So thank you.   Dr. Amanda: (50:24) Thanks, beautiful. Thank you so much.
Today on the SuperFeast podcast, we have one of our favourite returning guests: Lifestyle medicine man, acupuncturist, author, Qi practitioner of 40 years, and all-around cosmic wisdom keeper, Jost Sauer is chatting to Mason about Lifestyle Health, from the global pandemic to Qi. It is so refreshing to have Jost on, reminding us that health starts with us, and if we take care of our health, we can have a very different response to things like pandemics. Mason and Jost dive deep into the importance of sleep, both for our physical body and healthy Hun. In his brilliant way, Jost weaves the physical and ethereal, describing Hun as the movement of the soul, our dreaming, creativity, visions, inspiration, and antidote to fear. Tune in for this one. Jost brings so much knowledge, vitality, and Daoist wisdom.   "The healthier you are, the more wisdom from the body will come to you, the more you will be guided by the body". - Jost Sauer   Mason and Jost explore: Pandemic or syndemic? What has caused the fragility of health in society as a whole? Sleep; Why it’s essential for Qi energy. The importance of having a ‘switch off time’ from technology before sleep. Technology; finding a flow that benefits both the physical and spiritual self. Strengthening Lung Qi. Strong Immunity; Living correctly for strong Lung Qi and Metal energy. Rituals for waking that prepare you for the day.  Tuning into your Qi cycle. Waking up; why breathing techniques are better than coffee. Understanding Hun and Po energy, within the Daoist philosophy. Hun energy and the Liver. What happens to our Hun when we sleep? Meditation and plant communication. Herbs; the elements of nature that build the body/mind/spirit. Who is Jost Sauer? Jost (aka the lifestyle medicine man) was born in Germany in 1958 and is an acupuncturist, author, Qi practitioner of 40 years, and healthy lifestyle expert. His background includes competitive skiing, body-building, and ironman training. Post-drug addiction and suicidal depression led him to martial arts, TCM, the power and cycle of Qi, and the understanding that a natural rhythmic lifestyle holds the secrets to anti-aging, health, and success. Jost has been using lifestyle therapeutically for his clients for over 20 years. Jost is an expert in Chinese Medicine, which he lectured in for over a decade at the Australian College of Natural Medicine, has been running successful health clinics since 1991, initially specialising in addiction recovery, and has treated tens of thousands of clients. His passion is sharing his ongoing discoveries about making lifestyle your best medicine through his books, blogs, articles, workshops, and retreats (all of which we linked in the resources below).    Resources:    Jost Website Jost Facebook Jost Instagram Jost Youtube The 15 Minute Bodyweight Workout Higher and Higher Book  Qi Cycles And The Dao with Jost Sauer (EP#48)   Lifestyle Medicine with Accupuncturist Jost Sauer (EP#63)   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Mason: (00:00) Jost welcome man. We got going chatting, before I actually hit the record. Sorry, I do that sometimes.   Jost Sauer: (00:06) No worries.   Mason: (00:10) Welcome back.   Jost Sauer: (00:11) Yeah, yeah. Welcome back. That's a good one.   Mason: (00:14) A lot's happened. Last year, we were looking forward to having you in-house here in the podcast room, but we're living in a bit of stranger times, compared to this time last year. I think we chatted once more, even before we knew just how huge everything was going to be with the way that the world was reacting to everything that it's reacting to, in 2020. How are you going? You're stuck up there across the border in Queensland, because you've got some big projects and revamps of your awesome book going ahead, and big workshops going on. Exciting times for you.   Jost Sauer: (00:58) Yeah, yeah. I mean, I keep going. Business as usual, obviously, because obviously I take care of my health. If you take care of your health, then you've got a totally different response to things like COVID. The most important thing that we need to understand is that we can't isolate COVID as an entity, because we've got to look at the whole socioeconomic, and the whole health aspect of people. As a lot of experts say, COVID is a confluence of events. Many, many, many events are instrumental for that what now brings up all the symptoms. You know, we can pretty much say 20 years ago it wouldn't have been this problem. 20 years ago, people lived totally different. Now we have this, this is now by far the most unhealthiest, unfittest, weakest, most fragile society we've ever seen.   Mason: (02:03) 100%. So where, for you looking at it, you can see that there is a fragile society. And you can see the general consensus is when you call that out, people get offended by the fact of calling a spade a spade as I'd say. It's just like, look. We're not having a go at people that haven't really looked after their health. But the reality is that I've seen a big split. There are the people that are just willing to accept that we just do continue to not look after our health and our fitness, or if they do it's on a very surface, government-incentivized level of fitness and healthy food, and those that are actually willing to go deep and understand their physiology, their qi cycle and their own personal chi, and take full responsibility. Not to say that there's risks there, but there's a big split.   Mason: (02:56) I've liked watching you. You've gone full throttle as you always have in everything you do, going, "Just take full responsibility for your health." Do you see after this pandemic stuff, do you see it just being as a division? Or have you seen more positive outcomes, that more people have woken up to realising that they can't just sit back and wait for some ambiguous medicine to come and save them?   Jost Sauer: (03:25) Yeah, the way I look at it, because I'm a big follower of the I Ching, I'm a follower of the Chinese medicine, the Taoist view. And we don't have the word "crisis" in that philosophy. We only have transition. So society is in a transition to the next stage, the seam as 20 years ago there was a transition into that stage that it is right now, and it's left to this proliferation of symptoms that seem to be uncontrollable. But it's because of all these many, many events coming together that has weakened society, and has made society fragile, that a virus can uproot them.   Jost Sauer: (04:03) Chinese doctors in China, a lot of the Chinese doctors believe COVID can not ... they actually see that without a preconceived condition, you actually can't be affected by this virus. The Lancet released a great article a month ago, one month ago. It said, "There is no pandemic. It's not a pandemic. COVID-19 is not a pandemic." They named it a syndemic, a syndemic. S-Y-N-demic, meaning there's a lot of little or many, many little factors coming together. They basically stated in the article that looking at COVID as a medical problem, biological medical problem, will not address the issue. They stated that we need to look at what has caused the fragility in the society. They call it the NCDs, the non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, et cetera.   Jost Sauer: (05:11) The non-communicable diseases, the NCDs, are the predispositions required for the COVID to create havoc. So when you really see what has caused the problem, is in fact nothing else than a sign of nature to tell us we've got to take stock of who we are. This is now a new way forward, a transition into identifying who we are, and move forward into a life that would reclaim our true rights and what we are.   Jost Sauer: (05:50) For example, 20 years ago people were still sleeping all night. Sleep disorders were the minority. I've been in therapy for over ... I've been working with people for 40 years now, so it's a long time, yes? I've observed people for 40 years, a little over 40 years. So I have been listening to stories for over 40 years. And sleep problems have never been presented as in the last few years. It has become a pandemic of sleep disorders.   Mason: (06:28) Yeah. A real pandemic. Like, that's a solid pandemic. Yeah.   Jost Sauer: (06:35) Yeah. Yeah, that's a real pandemic. It's the fact that people don't sleep proper anymore. And sleep is a mystery. Science will not make sense out of sleep. They may tell, "Okay, we need seven hours' sleep," but what that really means, they don't know. In Chinese medicine, in the Taoist philosophy, we are a spirit that incarnates into the physical world, and the physical world is enormously hostile territory. Incarnating into the physical form is like landing on Mars. It's not our home.   Jost Sauer: (07:07) Lao Tzu stated 2,500 years ago, "Humans don't feel at home on earth." No one feels at home here, because it's not our home. For some reason, we decided to incarnate into a physical form, to limit our perceptions, to have incredible resistance back to us, in order to expand something that is enormously fragile. And in order to expand it, we are exposed to all kinds of enemies. Those enemies are designed in order to strengthen us, but also to expand and build that what we call the physical. So it's a battlefield, being here. The Bhagavad Gita also states it's a battlefield, being here. So we need to see ourselves as star travellers that enter the physical, and we are warriors, and we're going to fight.   Jost Sauer: (07:59) We've got to be prepared. We need to have the shield up every day. We need to have the sword in our hand, upright, ready for the battle. Then we know, if we go into hostile territory, say we land on Mars, we know exactly we need to return to the mothership in order to get oxygen, in order to refuel ourself. That is what sleep is. So every time we sleep, we're returning home. We're going back to where we come from. Then we get to replenish. We get new ammunition. We get new weapons. Our software gets updated. We get new instructions. We get a new understanding. We've got new maps for the hostile territory. We get new teachings. So when we wake up, we're entering the uniform again, and we are ready back in the body, and now we can, okay. Let's do the next mission.   Jost Sauer: (08:57) But since those smartphones have come on the market, the first iPhone and all this stuff, people now sleep with iPhones. It's only 3% now of the population who don't sleep with their phone. We've never had that before. If you have your electric device right beside your bed, you are in alert mode. The electric EMF of the EMI of the phone keeps you into the alert mode. It means it takes you to the physical. Alert means I'm physical.   Jost Sauer: (09:35) In order to transcend to sleep, that means I'm going back to my mothership where I can get rejuvenated. I need to leave. I need to get away from Mars and go into orbit, in order to be home again. That's exactly what we do when we sleep. We go into orbit. We're leaving the planet. We go outside so we can, "Ah. I'm back safe." I mean, who likes to wake up and say, "Shit, I feel awesome"?   Mason: (10:10) Yeah, and that's the pandemic of that not happening.   Jost Sauer: (10:12) Yes. That's a pandemic. The pandemic is the smartphone. The pandemic is [crosstalk 00:10:19].   Mason: (10:21) I don't even find this to be even slightly controversial in saying, if that's a staple for health and staple for ... I mean I guess I'm talking about from a Taoist philosophy having the capacity for one's hun to travel, which is something I wouldn't mind talking to you, and get some distinction for everyone to understand how we nourish ourselves at night with our huns travelling. But if we have a pandemic of people not sleeping well, correlated to certain things like phones, and lights on at night, and just the lack of interest in having people have healthy sleep, therefore they don't heal, therefore they wake up feeling shit, therefore they're more susceptible to having symptoms and being more susceptible to viral infections [crosstalk 00:11:11]-   Jost Sauer: (11:10) Yeah, of course. Of course. You're running out of oxygen. You may breathe, but you're running out of oxygen. What I mean with that, you're running out of chi. Like, sleep is necessary, unless you're a truly trained master who can bypass sleep by meditation techniques. Everyone, until then, depends on deep, nourishing sleep. Because what we tank, what we receive during sleep is chi, cosmic chi. There is no word for that in the Western sciences. Western science can't make sense out of sleep.   Jost Sauer: (11:50) If you understand how to replenish the cosmic chi, you can work more with sleep in your personal need. But if you don't know how to do that, you need a certain amount of sleep, which is usually around seven hours. So-   Mason: (12:05) Yeah. Oh, I'm sorry.   Jost Sauer: (12:08) Yeah, so-   Mason: (12:10) You can keep on going, please. Yeah.   Jost Sauer: (12:10) That is where it gets critical, because in order to get the deep sleep we need to actually have a switch-off time. We need to actually have two hours away from, before we go to bed we already need to switch off. We can't just suddenly go to bed: "Okay, I need to sleep. I'm going. It's 9:59 p.m. Okay, I need to be asleep in three minutes." It doesn't work that way. We need to be completely switched off. We need to be actually letting go of the physical, and we need to be ourselves. We need to completely just be a blob, and just stay there, and just be who we are, without doing any social expectations, without anything.   Jost Sauer: (12:55) In the old days, in the ancient days, that was well understood. They had the travelling storyteller. Every nighttime, when people sat around the fire, there was a storyteller that told the story that never ended, that never finished. But it put you away from the physical. It took you away into the astral world, into the imagination. And that's exactly what we need to go. The story makes you flow away. And that function in Chinese medicine is referred to as san jiao. In my book, I call it the Ferryman, because it is like crossing the shores, going from one shore to the next. You're going into the sleep land.   Jost Sauer: (13:39) So we need actions two hours before we're going to bed that allows us to switch off, so that we can drift away. So this considered action that will now take the brainwaves to a very low state, to a beta state and then theta state, before we actually go to sleep. So we need to be actually in ... This is the good thing about understanding your heart rate. You need to get your heart rate down below 60, ideally, two hours before. Yeah. People who have Fitbits and things like that, I always tell them, "Look, just do breathing techniques to get your heart rate down below 60. You know you will be able to sleep proper." So I utilise technology.   Jost Sauer: (14:23) I'm not against technology. I'm a big man of ... I love technology. But I'm using technology to explore the hostile territory, and I know exactly I need the technology also to go back home to my mother ship in orbit, so I can actually be at home in my cosmic state. I don't need technology for that, because technology can't do that. Technology's only designed to navigate the hostile territory on Mars, but not for my cosmic self. My spiritual self will not benefit from tech. But my physical benefits from tech. That means we need to understand when to use tech, and when not to use technology. The best time to use it, have half of your day with technology, half of the day no technology, and you're fine. Yeah?   Mason: (15:17) That's a lot to ask. Which is, I'm with you. But sometimes I look back at my 2020, it was just so tech heavy because I was just so into business. I reflect now, and I'm in the middle of two months off now, where I'm able to ... I just get off my tech. And I'm feeling that contrast, and just the effect, Jost, of that maybe excessive tech without ... I like going into deep dives of using technology, as long as I have a plan on how I'm going to be stepping back into having enough time to basically swing the pendulum, come back to a natural state where I'm not around technology at all. Which is just something I didn't do last year, and now I'm kind of like, got to have a couple of months off to do it, which I think is healthy.   Mason: (16:08) I was just going to ask, let's talk about the Ferryman. Because that's beautiful. The Ferryman, you know, if you think about sitting around the fire and telling stories, or playing music, there's almost a bridging to another dimension.   Jost Sauer: (16:27) Yes, that's correct.   Mason: (16:28) In this day and age, I see there's almost ... I call things often ... Not to pooh-pooh watching TV or anything like that, but sometimes I see things, I call them "toxic mimics", and things we do in this day and age to try and mimic what was done when we were in the real natural order, and natural flow. One of those is watching TV before we go to bed, to try and mimic this storyteller, of sitting around the fire.   Jost Sauer: (16:57) Yes. Yes, yes, yes.   Mason: (17:00) When you're talking about that period of say, that cycle of 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., what activities, what specifically are you doing? What are your clients doing, in order to enjoy and really be in that vibe?   Jost Sauer: (17:14) Okay. TV is not the problem. For example I tell everyone, TV shows, if you watch one episode that is not connected to a follow-up, that you watch two episodes and three episodes, that actually will work in terms of the storytelling. If it's a good story, if it's a good TV show ... And a lot of creativity goes into creating awesome TV shows these days, especially because the story never ends. It's in line with the storyteller of the ancient days. The best thing is to have where the TV screen is not connected to a TV stage. You don't want advertising blaring, and things like that. That disrupts it. That is a disruptive emotion. So as, if you have one episode, it usually goes 55 minutes, you actually will get your brainwaves very low by the end of the episode. The idea is to be aware of the cliffhanger, and not to go for the next episode.   Jost Sauer: (18:25) So it needs a bit of discipline. But if you live correctly throughout the day, that discipline actually doesn't take long. I mean, we need to realise that we are in a stage of transition. COVID means transition. Society is in transition. We need to understand that this is now the creativity required in order to develop a new way of living. Because the way forward, as the Lancet even said, we can't address COVID with vaccines. It will not work, because the cause of the problem with COVID is the lifestyle around that causes the complications. The invasion of COVID can only cause problems if there is a predisposed condition, according to all the research. And that is, Western medicine and Chinese medicine both agreeing that it's the lifestyle. That means we are forced now.   Jost Sauer: (19:25) It's almost like we are going to look at that virus, it's Mother Nature waking us to, okay, we've got to take stock of who we are. We can't continue living the way we live. So whenever we talk about suggestions about changing our life, we are forced to look at this from a perspective, and say, "What are the other options?" We have run out of options, yes? There's really no way other than going ... The way forward is going inward, to identify, okay, I need to live a different life because I need to cut off from technology, say around 7:00, 8:00, 7:00 p.m. I've got to turn my phone off. I've got no choice. I can't have emails I'm answering from 7:00 p.m. onwards until the morning. I can't. I can't wake up to my phone. If I wake up to my phone, I'm not getting the cosmic qi that's required to provide all this immunity development.   Jost Sauer: (20:29) If I wake up and go straight for my phone, I'll weaken my lung chi. It's a lot of research done on that now. Waking up and going straight to your phone, go for email, go for social media, it takes you away from trying to build the shield. When we wake up, we have to put the uniform on. When we wake up, it's like we're landing on Mars. We've got to first of all put the uniform on. We can't just walk outside into the hostile conditions without the proper uniform on. We're going to get plastered, big time. First of all, we've got to put that shield up.   Jost Sauer: (21:11) That already has been articulated 3,000 years ago by the Chinese, where they understood when we wake up, the energy is in the lung, and the lung is our night, it's [inaudible 00:21:22]. It's our shield. If we know how to breathe, we're sealed off. First of all, we've got to get into bringing up the breathing. If I wake up and go straight for my phone, I'm allowing my armour to be open. So there's gaps in my armour.   Jost Sauer: (21:43) Of course, if I go for Facebook or Instagram in the mornings, I basically tell my enemies where my gaps are in the armour. And bang, the arrows go straight in. Now I get emotionally entangled, and as soon as I get emotionally entangled, I can't get my immunity. Then obviously, now I'm getting outside. And we're surrounded by hostile bacteria and viruses all the time. It's just, every now and then they identify one. Next year, they're going to identify something totally different we don't even know yet. We don't know much about the physical. It's not our home, so of course we constantly discover something new.   Jost Sauer: (22:26) But if you've got the shield up, then it can't get in. It's a fact. It can't get in, because we are on a mission here to expand something, and whoever created us understood that this is the job that we need to do. And they equipped us with all what we need. They gave us what we need. And all that we need, in order to have strong immunity, and energy, and vitality, and clarity, is within our body. They gave us everything, and it's stored in the organs. Each organ has got all the information about our mission on this planet, on this hostile planet.   Jost Sauer: (23:12) If we wake up, we need to first of all engage with this information that's stored in our organs, and bring it forward, and then make contact with ground control, and get the message. Yeah? Receive it, and say, "Yes, I've got it," and then put your spacesuit on, and make the armour, put the armour on. Put the sword ... make the sword ready. Make the guns ready. Make the weapons ready. And then, so, okay, I can now get outside. That means I can now open up the phone.   Mason: (23:47) Yeah, yeah, yeah. The lung, that middle shield and [inaudible 00:23:53], because even though you've got it as the night, as the archetype, lung is the night archetype in your [crosstalk 00:23:59], I just still hadn't really related to that feeling when you wake up. I guess I get drawn to feeling that way, and armoring up. And I get why some people feel quite precious about, "Oh no, that's too strong of a language." But it feels good for me.   Mason: (24:17) I kind of feel like this year I've approached the morning quite softly and sweetly, and it doesn't mean that's going to go away, that yin element and that yin approach and quality that I have. But there has been lacking a bit of yang energy there for me, in the beginning of the day. So you've just helped me ignite that a little bit, there. And what an important day and age to remember that.   Jost Sauer: (24:41) Yeah. The most important thing, the good thing about is that the universe is constantly providing us with incredible solutions and help. Like, there are incredible people on this planet. We've got Wim Hof. Wim Hof is providing the world with incredible techniques. I tell everyone, as soon as you get up the first thing what you need to do is get engaged with breathing techniques. The Navy Seals, before they do anything, they do breathing techniques. They do box breathing. You breathe in, one, two, three, four, hold the breath one, two, three, four, and then breathe out one, two, three, four, and then hold on the out breaths for one, two, three, four. You keep circulating like a box, slow, and then you count eventually up to eight, and nine, and 10, so you get a really deep, slow breath.   Jost Sauer: (25:36) What it means is, it fills the whole body with chi. The Navy Seals understand that when you go into combat, you need to have clarity. You need to have emotional control. You can't just go into combat and being emotionally fragile. You can't be a commander, a soldier, when you lose the plot. You know? First of all, you've just got to have emotional control. Emotional control is the result of how you breathe, because in Chinese medicine, that's the metal element. Lung is a metal element, and metal controls emotions. So metal is the sword that chops wood, and wood is when emotions get out of control, like a tree that is out of control needs to get chopped in the branches, in order to grow proper. Otherwise, you've got the weeds going all around the house, and you suffocate.   Jost Sauer: (26:36) In order to do that, we need the blade. That's the metal. That is directly connected to the breath. So as soon as we wake up, the first thing what we need to do is actually breathe correctly, because what that will do is, it will actually now saturate the body with chi. It makes the metal, the blade ready, in order to control the emotions. Like the old saying is, when someone is get angry, take a deep breath. That's what it's referring to. Of course, when we wake up no one feels good. Very few people feel good.   Jost Sauer: (27:14) Why is that? Because when we are asleep, melatonin is still very high. That's why we sleep. When we wake up, melatonin can be still on a high level for at least one hour to two hours. So it can make people feel seasick. It can make people not with it. It's very common to wake up and feel, "Oh, I'm not with this." What research has shown, if you drink coffee when you wake up, you feel worse later in the day because this melatonin level that is high, coffee will aggravate it, and will cause a chemical imbalance that later in the day will cause havoc.   Jost Sauer: (27:54) That's exactly in line with the qi cycle, because in the qi cycle we don't drink coffee until after breakfast. We don't use coffee to wake up. We use breathing techniques to wake up. We never use stimulants to wake up, because if you use stimulants, you're not going inward. That's the thing. So we need to tap into the qi that's in the body. We need to first of all get the tools that are within us, that is given to us on our mission to succeed in this hostile territory. And that's the qi in each of the organs. If we have any kinds of stimulants when we wake up, like coffee or tea, anything like that, we don't tap into the qi as effective. Yes?   Jost Sauer: (28:42) I've been researching that for 40 years. Just water is the best way to have direct access to the qi stored in the organs. As soon as you have anything else in there, you start diluting. You're hindering the access to the qi in the organs. And the breathing techniques, either box breathing ... I mean, I'm a big fan of Wim Hof. I mean for me, Wim Hof breathing really gets you activated and energised. Like, it makes coffee look like kindergarten, okay?   Mason: (29:18) Yeah, it's great.   Jost Sauer: (29:19) Yeah. You will totally charge up, if you do four rounds of 40 breaths and hold it, and with every breath you hold it for three minutes, so that means you have got like 15 minutes or 17 minutes already like that in the first. You have charged up the qi for the rest of the day. Just like that is enough.   Jost Sauer: (29:43) The way I work with people is, when you wake up, ignore how you feel. It's most likely melatonin on peak level. It's an unresolved issue from the previous day. Because the metal element is directly connected, associated with the large intestine, and the large intestine is detox. So before we start the day, we need to let go of the previous, of all the shit from the day before. It's like you clear the armour first. So before you put the qi in, you're going to clear out all the armour. You clear out everything. You clear the valves. You clear everything out. That's the toxic chi. That's the emotion from the previous day.   Jost Sauer: (30:27) Most likely when you wake up and you feel bad, it's because melatonin levels up, because toxicity wants to be released. Once again, if you drink coffee you interfere with the process. You don't allow the organ to do it. If you drink coffee, that means the coffee is doing it but not the organs. You want the organ to do it, not the coffee. Yeah?   Jost Sauer: (30:52) Coffee is great. I love coffee. I have it after breakfast. Never abuse coffee when you need it to wake up. Your organs got all the qi to make you feel good. It's a fact. Everyone I work with after a while realises, "My god, everything I need to feel good is within me." So that's tucked away, hidden in the organs. If you drink coffee, if you pick up social media straight on waking up, it's like the universe gives us this beautiful supply of cosmic chi, this beautiful energising substance, and we say, "Nah, nah, nah. I want some secondary bullshit. Can I have some?" Yeah?   Mason: (31:35) We're scared about getting the finer things. We're scared of the abundance, Jost.   Jost Sauer: (31:38) Yeah. It's incredible what's within us. It's absolutely incredible. So the breathing techniques will unleash that. Then the next thing is to mobilise the body. We have got yoga moves these days. We've got all kinds of like ... I've got a beautiful 15-minute bodyweight workout routine on my website. I recommend it [crosstalk 00:32:06] have that, and it uses lunges and all the core training combined. I worked out a sequence that have been researched over what works best, in just 15 minutes, with my experience derived from 40 years of intense exposure to practise of kung fu, and et cetera.   Jost Sauer: (32:24) Then after the breathing techniques, you mobilise the body. You want to free the core chi, the qi in the gall bladder meridians. So we need to then mobilise all the qi in each of the meridian. That means we get it, and then that's sometimes all we need. Yeah?   Mason: (32:44) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Jost Sauer: (32:45) Then so it's half an hour every morning. But man, the results, the rewards of that ...   Mason: (32:55) It's interesting to think, I've talked to a lot ... that has been one of the biggest talking points from our two other podcasts, that people, whether it's the crew here at SuperFeast, or people that have listened to it, when we talk about the mornings. And so, there's a qi cycle, there's a particular ... For those of you that are new and you haven't got Jost's book, or you're not familiar with the Chinese organ wheel, where there's particular times, rough times where I guess there's a concentration of qi in particular organs, and they're generally like two-hour blocks, and Jost really dives into that, and is really doing a really wonderful job in helping us integrate that into the western world.   Mason: (33:38) Basically, what people have talked about most is how, a lot of the time you're going ... the energy of the lung at that time is doing its job already. So there's going to be periods where people are going, "I don't have to go and put a lot of energy into breath work." Then what they've done and realise is, there's going to be a certain amount that my lungs can do without attention. Then when they give as much attention as they can, because there are times where they get a little bit of breath work, even when they don't feel like it, or during that time they're like, "No, I'm going to give it a little bit of attention" ... Even though things weren't bad, yet, when they weren't in that cycle, they're like, "Oh." It is much better.   Jost Sauer: (34:25) Yes.   Mason: (34:26) [crosstalk 00:34:26] does. And so I think that was the biggest thing for people. They were like, "It seems like unless I do this huge breath work at this time, I'm going to be getting no benefit, or there's going to be no help." I always say, "No, that's not what Jost is saying. He's saying if we want to stay vibrant, long-term, we can just get ahead of it. You might as well ... The other thing, this is where it is, the other thing.   Mason: (34:52) People go, "I just don't feel like it in the morning, and that's what my body's telling me. I'm going to listen to my body." I understand that can be there. To a certain extent that can be acceptable, in some instances. But the amount of people that have gone by your advice, and gone, "I've not listened to my body, and I've tried to feel my chi," and then being compassionate as they went along ... They're not just going into adrenal depletion when they're ... They're not flogging their body, if they're physically exhausted, but nonetheless, they've listened to their qi and they've experimented with not doing what the body wants, but doing what it needs.   Jost Sauer: (35:39) Yes.   Mason: (35:41) A lot of people have had really, really profound, profound outcomes doing that. I feel like in the Byron Bay kind of consciousness thing, it's quite a ... even though I don't find it that in-your-face, it's quite an alarmist thing for some people to hear. No, ignore. Realise what the qi cycle is, where the energy is in the organs, and what that organ wants to do at that time of day. It's been really profound for a lot of people.   Jost Sauer: (36:10) Yes. Yeah. I mean, inertia is part of the physical. There are certain forces around us that are present, regardless of what we do, and regardless of what state we are in terms of our consciousness. Inertia is a force, a law of the physical. Inertia doesn't exist in the spiritual. So being here, we are subject to inertia. We need to push against it. We can't go by how we feel in the morning, simply because we don't know what that means, how we feel in the mornings, yet, because we don't have access to the wisdom of the body. The only thing that we have is like feelings on the periphery. But there is no connection to the wisdom of the body yet. The wisdom of the body is hidden in layers of jung, inertia, and kind of a lot of stuff.   Jost Sauer: (37:13) Of course, it's not about going for a hard core run. We don't force. That's Chinese medicine over and over. We don't force, but we don't be lazy either. And we ignore the voice of not wanting to do it. The aim is to start to get going. Then as you get going, the qi starts to move. As the qi starts to move, it will have access to the wisdom of the body. The body then will start saying. But unless you get the movement and the qi flowing, you will not know what your body wants. So it's a critical situation that we actually need to do before we see what the body wants.   Jost Sauer: (37:56) If I wake up, and give into what I think the body wants, it's most likely not what my body's telling me. It's inertia speaking, it's melatonin spiking, it's a toxic energy from the previous day that now sits in my meridians. Toxic energy from the previous day can sit in the gallbladder meridian, liver meridian, and can make you really lazy. That means you can really feel ... and it can give you then an impression that you need to sit for a while, and that you need to contemplate for a while, and that you need to think for a while. Chinese medicine always says, "Don't think. Feel. Feel, don't think."   Jost Sauer: (38:40) If I think I don't get the message of my body, I need to feel. But if I wake up, what I feel is most likely the meridians are clogged and blocked with this toxic chi, because we have been exposed to a hostile territory the previous day, and there is some debris in our body that needs to be cleared out first. That comes forward as a feeling, and we can translate that as a wisdom of the body. So thinking will not regulate that. We need to transcend thinking.   Jost Sauer: (39:15) The quickest way to transcend that thinking and by getting a root feel, is by Wim Hof breathing technique. Yeah? Or by square breathing, or box breathing. According to my observation having worked with so many thousand of people in my time, the Wim Hof breathing works more aggressively in terms of feel-good, whereas the box breathing is more on the yin aspect, but also brings in the feel-good. The box breathing doesn't give the feel-good that Wim Hof does. Wim Hof is just very aggressive, in terms of making you feel good.   Jost Sauer: (39:51) I mean, all the big gurus and masters say, yeah, yeah. Do it, it's good. He's definitely a high being. He's definitely an enormously high, evolved soul, who's also a bit of a character. If you don't know him, before you judge him check him out. That's what I tell everyone. A lot of people judge him without having actually researched him. Once you start researching him, you can't actually fault him. He's crazy. He's an insane character who he just doesn't buy into opinions and things like this. He's like a Taoist, perfect emptiness, and makes the mickey out of shit.   Mason: (40:30) Have you met him?   Jost Sauer: (40:33) No, no. I've never met him. But I've been following him obviously for a while, since he started. I think it was six, seven years ago when first people heard about him. What the Feast is doing, and constantly demonstrates that it's qi what gets you ... And the Wim Hof breathing technique shows you very quickly that it's qi that moves your body. Without the techniques, you can't imagine holding your breath for three minutes. It only takes a week or two weeks, and you can hold your breath for three minutes. What you're holding, once you ... your body then feeds on chi.   Jost Sauer: (41:17) I've been a practitioner of qi for 40 years. The Wim Hof breathing technique takes you into a profound qi experience that otherwise would take 10, 20 years with kung fu or Tai chi. So it's a shortcut. Within one week, you are there what otherwise would take 15 years. You have to make it correct. If you don't do it correct, it gets ... Because it's so incredibly precise, just doing it a little bit not right, you're not getting the impact. It has to be really, really like ... if you check out the Wim Hof breathing on YouTube, but just follow his method, then you know what to do. But everyone can learn it immediately.   Jost Sauer: (41:59) That's the beauty. All that stuff that we need is within ourselves, and it's so easy to learn. It's so easy to learn. You just have to do it.   Mason: (42:12) It's definitely very accessible. He's taken [crosstalk 00:42:16] principles from very ancient traditions, and somehow not bastardised, not isolated it. Hey, before we go, I want to ask two things. First, I'd just like to quickly, because there was such a big concentration on sleep there, and especially from the Taoist perspective and philosophy what's actually happening in sleep. And I'd like, there seems to be a lot of, of course it's a big cyclical motion, like [inaudible 00:42:49] from day to night. And there's a lot of important things going on at night, as you've said. I want to hear it, if you don't mind, from the perspective of one's hun.   Jost Sauer: (42:58) Yes.   Mason: (42:59) Just because it's been something I liked getting the perspective of. You've got such a deep, and classical, and a shamanic foundation which I love, perspective and way of explaining Taoism. For one to relate to their liver and the their hun, could you just take us through that, and what happens to the hun when we do effectively sleep?   Jost Sauer: (43:21) Yeah. Okay. Chinese medicine states, or the Tao states, that in physical form we are two beings in one. We've got the infinite spirit, and that's hun. Then we've got the temporary spirit, which is po, P-O. Hun is regulated by the liver, and hun is movement. The reason why it's regulated by the liver is because the liver is responsible for expanding, for moving towards the next. It's the organ affiliated with direction. The liver will always need to move.   Jost Sauer: (44:12) If the liver does not move, then you experience that as frustration or anger. For example, if you drive a car and someone cuts you off, that translates immediately as anger. And because you have been in the flow, and flow feels good, the reason why kids love lunar park is because it's liver. It resembles the liver. It resembles hun. It resembles movement. If they would stand on a spot and just don't do anything, they wouldn't see the fun in that, and they wouldn't go. But because they go in circles all the time, and it's always moving towards the next, that's why that's the liver.   Jost Sauer: (44:52) But the liver is also activated when people do drugs. That rush that we get from cocaine or smoking pot is actually the hun. The liver moving expanded. You wouldn't do drugs. If you wouldn't experience movement, you wouldn't do drugs if you would feel resistance in that moment. If someone says, no, you can't do that. On drugs. Yeah. One line of cocaine, I can do things. I can do this. I can do that. And then you smell good cone and then, bang. I am going to do this. I am going to do that. That is lever hun. Like, let me do drugs and hun gets mobilized. It freezes itself. So we feel good at that moment, which is why drugs are the biggest business in the world.   Jost Sauer: (45:36) Sexual arousal also makes liver qi move, so it's also affiliated with the hun. That's why we love sex, because when you feel tired, exhausted and feel restricted, but as soon as you get sexually aroused and get horny, you want to do something, by god, your energy comes forward. That is all part of the hun.   Jost Sauer: (46:00) The reason why we have hun and are regulated by the liver is so that we understand being here in the physical is a mission to do something. We have come here in order to build something, in order to expand something. As I said, we have landed on Mars, and it's our job now to develop a colony. It's not, we have landed on Mars, and just sit there and stare at the stars and do nothing. We didn't come from Mars for that. We landed on this planet in order to build something, in order to do something next, in order for a civilization to start. Then we move to the next star. We're expanding the physical. That's hun.   Jost Sauer: (46:45) The hun is an astral projection of ourselves. So when people have astral sleeps or astral travel, that's the hun. It's moving forward. When people have psychosis, or psychotic episodes, the hun gets freed without having any connection to what is actually the limitation of the physical. So it does make sense to those who are in the physical world and subject to limitations, to engage with something that is not restricted by limitations. It doesn't seem to make sense. And that means the hun sees different things to that person who sees the restrictions. That means the psychotic episode is nothing else than your hun coming forward. It's like you're fully asleep and fully awake at the same time.   Jost Sauer: (47:39) Obviously, every time we feel good and doing expanding, that's all the hun aspect. But then, we also got hostile territory, and that's regulated by the lungs, and the metal. It constricts it, because the metal constricts the hun. This is where the po is the other spirit, the corporate soul, is affiliated with the metal element. It's a metal.   Jost Sauer: (48:08) The metal in the five element theory controls the wood element. Wood is hun. Metal is the corporate soul, po. So the hun can't exist in the physical without the impact of po, the restrictive soul. That means the hun is always in clash with the information how po wants us to live. Po wants security, because po, the corporate soul, is temporary. It only lives for a certain time. It's moving towards death. The body, the moment we are born or incarnate in the physical, we are moving towards death. And death is regulated by po. And po controls hun.   Jost Sauer: (49:00) When we have the hippy dream, the dream of the wakening up, the dawn of the Aquarian age, planetary alignment of brotherhood, that's all hun. So then what we see now with these COVID regulations, that's all po.   Mason: (49:25) Yeah, right.   Jost Sauer: (49:25) So we've got the hippy dream, and then we've got COVID regulations, and they completely contradict each other, because po is scared of death. It's totally scared of death. So po thinks it's going to die. Hun wants freedom and express, and wants to create great things because it doesn't die. Hun never dies. But po dies. That means we are subject to the fear of death, and the need to express our dreams and freedom at the same time.   Jost Sauer: (49:58) So the hun is always in conflict and in battle with po. Po dies, hun doesn't. That means if we don't understand how to control the metal element through the correct lifestyle, the fear aspect of po will start ruling us, and fear will now govern our life. And it's exactly what we are experiencing now. We have now become the most fearful society of all times. The society we see right now, it would be a shame to the Vikings of the old days, you know?   Jost Sauer: (50:35) There's no adventure anymore. It's just like, "I can't get out of the door, because I'll get killed." My god, the Vikings went on the boat not even knowing where they're going to go. That's the spirit. The spirit is, let's go with it. Just see what happens. We landed on Mars, let's see what happens. But po stops us, yeah? So if the metal element is not in a good place, what happens is it'll make fear worse.   Jost Sauer: (51:08) If we don't sleep much, we don't get cosmic chi. If we don't get cosmic chi, hun can't get supported. Hun needs ... hun, that's our dream, our expansion, our wanting to go out and explore. Hun needs cosmic chi. The liver is directly dependent on chi. And that qi needs to come from the universe. It can't come from any other source. So because we don't sleep, the society doesn't sleep much anymore, it doesn't get much cosmic chi. So now, hun gets weak, po gets stronger. That means desire for adventure goes low, and fear goes up.   Jost Sauer: (52:15) What we can see with the pandemic is an imbalance between following up on our dreams, and fear. Too much fear, not enough dreaming. Yeah? That's the problem. That's what we see now.   Mason: (52:29) [crosstalk 00:52:29] opportunity creates qi.   Jost Sauer: (52:30) Yeah. People are almost like, paralysed by fear. The majority of the population is paralysed by fear. And so obviously the media works on that, and they want you to be in fear because you're buying more. Since COVID, the media has made so much money. I mean, the people who will make money from COVID don't want COVID to go. Yeah?   Mason: (53:00) Wow.   Jost Sauer: (53:01) Yeah. And so what we see now is, we don't sleep. Hun depletes. Hun means your dreams. You want to follow up, you have the adventure to follow up on your dream. Because you don't sleep, you don't get the cosmic chi. Hun hasn't got any food. Therefore, because everything's regulated by yin and yang, as one goes down, the other one goes up. It's how it is. When hun goes down, fear goes up.   Mason: (53:34) So you're saying we're entering into a new age. That was one that you mentioned, creativity, coming into this new time period, this period that we [crosstalk 00:53:41].   Jost Sauer: (53:42) Yeah. We're supposed to. Yeah. It's about the dawn of the Aquarian age. That means it's actually the age of hun, in that respect. Yeah? But instead what we see is, it's the age of po.   Mason: (53:55) Well, it's like at some point, hun and po are designed to be dancing together, aren't they, within the system.   Jost Sauer: (54:03) Yeah.   Mason: (54:05) I was going to ask you what the greatest opportunity is, going forward. [crosstalk 00:54:06].   Jost Sauer: (54:06) The greatest opportunity? Okay. This is a fact. Every time we see society going through a transition, what we observe is people's emotions are very active, very high, very up. So if people's emotions are up, there's usually a lot of ... People are looking for solutions. People are looking. And most people can see that things don't add up anymore. Things don't quite make sense. It doesn't quite make sense. So as we now, in this transitional stage moving in towards something new, with it is a new economy also.   Jost Sauer: (55:00) Every time a society goes through a transition, there's a new economy. There's a new business. There's new business opportunities. And the business opportunities are right now for about how to nourish your liver, how to bring cosmic qi into your life, how to control fear, how to control emotions. Because we can't go by what is presented to us anymore by the media. No one even knows what's going, anymore. And because everyone is more ruled by fear, even if you would ... I have been in meetings, at Zoom meetings with health professionals, and data has been presented about the real rate about how many people have been tested, with all the PCR test and things like that, and what's actually real, and how many people really are dying. But if your fear is up, you see a totally different figure than if your fear is low.   Jost Sauer: (56:00) I've seen, I've been in meetings where two different groups of people looked at the same data, and see a totally different figure. And so we can pretty much say that we can't go by what we read, anymore. We don't know what we read in the media, if that's true. People are holding onto things, because if the journalist is imbalanced between hun and po, and has got more po than hun, the story will be about po, because po is scared of death. If the journalist is more hun than po, then it will be a great, inspiring article, and you'll want to follow.   Jost Sauer: (56:50) If you read the article about someone who is primarily all po energy, then you want to stay home and stay safe, and don't get out. Obviously po, the corporate soul, doesn't want us to leave the house. It's scared of death. But it's that its mechanism. It's a mechanism in the metal element, that it's telling us we are moving towards death. So if you have an imbalance in your metal element, your lung and large intestine, and it is interesting that COVID is a respiratory disease ... if there's an imbalance in the metal element then you have more fear. Then you're more scared of death, than if you wouldn't have that imbalance.   Jost Sauer: (57:36) So now, information about a virus that is deadly now becomes a reality, as opposed to someone who has got far too much hun, and doesn't see it. For them, it's just whatever. I just keep going. Yeah?   Mason: (57:49) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Jost Sauer: (57:50) Obviously the first thing what we need to do, in order to get the wisdom of the body, because the only person who knows what's going on is the wisdom in the body, in the organ. The organ knows what is going on. That means, first of all, I need to learn how to live correctly, so that my metal element, my lung and large intestine, are functioning well. Because if my lung functions well, I have strong immunity. But also, I have wisdom and insight, because the metal element, the good side is that you will have insight. You will understand what is actually real, and what is not real. If your metal element, your lung is deficient and your liver is deficient, then you can't make sense of data. Whatever the newspaper they're telling you, you can't look through.   Jost Sauer: (58:40) Whereas if you've got strong qi in your lungs, you will know immediately this article is full of bullshit. I don't listen to this. I don't share this. I don't go into it. If you've got lots of hun and liver energy, you want to share good news. You don't want to share bad news. If you've got a deficiency in the lung, you want to share bad news, because po is scared of death. It's lying. It wants others to be part of the death.   Mason: (59:05) And po [crosstalk 00:59:06] there's more discernment as well, when you have lung chi, right? Even if it's something really negative, you can be like, "At least it's not bullshit. At least that's good, objective information."   Jost Sauer: (59:21) Yeah. I got very strong lung chi, so I love watching the news. I go, "Bullshit, bullshit. BS, BS, BS." I wouldn't share that. I've found it quite a sort of comedy. It's quite entertaining to watch the news, about all this crap that these people talk about. I mean, it's a hostile territory so it's an adventure being here. But you do need to sort out, and the metal cuts through bullshit. That's what it is. If your lung qi is strong, you will cut through bullshit. But then you've got your shield up, and things can't come in.   Mason: (01:00:02) Any, to take us into land, because this has been amazing ... Not to make any claims or any correlations, but I'm just thinking, herbs. What have you found yourself being drawn to, during ... Which herbs and formulas have you been using? It's going to be a personal journey, but I'm just interested.   Jost Sauer: (01:00:24) Look, this is obviously the other topic. I love herbs. I take herbs all the time. I take herbs every day. I've been taking herbs for 35 years, every day. I take them about three or four times during the day. I got a whole range of formulas I work with. Herbs work best by experimenting to work out what works for you. I'll tell everyone, just experiment, because this is how we learn Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine didn't start with a book. [crosstalk 01:00:55]. It didn't start with a book.   Jost Sauer: (01:01:00) It didn't start, someone gave them a book and said, "Take this." No. It was usually someone who had a deep meditation, and the spirit of the plant communicated with them, and they acted on it, and they tried it, and it did something they liked. And they shared it with others, and they observed. Then, that and more afterwards, after hundreds of years, someone started writing it down. Then someone had another epiphany. They had a mediation, deep breathing techniques, and suddenly the plant in them ... The plants communicate to us. They want us. They love us. They want to be with us, but we don't listen to them.   Jost Sauer: (01:01:42) If you do a breathing technique, deep breathing technique underneath a tree, the tree will start talking to you. It's a fact. And science even has validated that aspect now, that trees got consciousness. Obviously, trees have got a different kind of consciousness to humans. As trees die, the next tree takes on the consciousness from the previous tree. So it's an incredible connection with the overall consciousness. The memory that a tree takes on is the memory from way back whatever, when the first tree was born.   Jost Sauer: (01:02:15) But they love humans. Not so much, they're not keen on humans who cut trees off. But they love humans who will just respect them, will just ... If you go to a tree and say, "Hello," and "Nice meeting you," the tree will talk to you. And if you do Tai qi every day around, beside the same tree, the tree will know you after a while. Then, the plant will start communicating with you.   Jost Sauer: (01:02:46) This is not like esoteric bullshit or New Age stuff. That is actually something that, that's what Chinese medicine has done. That's what shamans did. They communicated with the consciousness around us. Everything around us is conscious. The planet is conscious. That means everyone has got an experience about life, and they're happy to share, because everyone's connected to hun. That means everyone wants to expand. So if I go to a tree, the hun of the tree wants to talk to me, because he wants to share. The same as when I meet a client, I want to share. The same as, when you do your podcast, you want to share. That's hun. The plants also want to share.   Jost Sauer: (01:03:32) Of course, we need to get a starting point with herbs, and you do that with SuperFeast. You provide people with all these kinds of mushrooms, and people start taking it. Then you will realise after a while, okay, I can take only a quarter spoon of jing. If I take three tablespoons of jing, it's not quite a good idea.   Mason: (01:03:52) Not long-term, anyway.   Jost Sauer: (01:03:55) I know people would do that, yeah?   Mason: (01:03:58) They do. They do. Some we need to talk off the ledge, and some people are like, "I want two heaped teaspoons, but I'm scared to do it." I'm like, "Go for it. Just remember, if you start, you need to then listen to when your body tells you to stop."   Jost Sauer: (01:04:16) Yeah. Yeah. A starting point is always like the general herbal formulas. The general herbal formula that I'll talk to everyone about, they're the major fours and six majors. They're the spleen stomach builders. Spleen, stomach, lung, like a six major herb formula, or the gentlemen, six major or the four major. They'll build stomach, spleen, and lungs.   Jost Sauer: (01:04:45) Then you've got the bupleurum formulas that work on the liver, so now you're working on regulating liver. I just love bupleurum and cyperus. I love that. I have that a couple of times throughout the day, because it helps me assist with my liver. I love the bamboo formulas, because they make sure that the energy in the heart doesn't get too far into the excitement, and actually gets me a little bit more into calmer. I love the dong quai formulas. People say they're more in the oestrogen and more for women. Well, I'm a yang man and I love dong quai formulas. I take them every day. I haven't seen anything ... I'm 62 years of age. I haven't seen any impact yet on my testosterone. So there's a lot of [crosstalk 01:05:36]-   Mason: (01:05:35) You don't look like you're having any problems with your testosterone. I want to point that out as well. I'm like that as well. Every now and then, I've really loved having, like we've got ... well there's various dong quai formulas Tahnee has around, but we've got an iron women's formula, I Am Gaia. [crosstalk 01:05:57] with women's herbs. And I love having it sometimes. It's the [crosstalk 01:06:01]. Yeah. [inaudible 01:06:04].   Jost Sauer: (01:06:05) Yeah. Those formulas are really good before you go to bed, yes? I sometimes have the dong quai formulas, especially the dong quai and peony, which is ... Dong quai and peony formula is primarily useful for women and menstrual problems, and things like that. I love that after a good workout, because it actually builds the blood, to mobilise the blood flow in the muscles. It prevents muscle soreness. And I take it before I go to bed. It's just like, whoa. You've got this nice sleep.   Jost Sauer: (01:06:39) The herbs is Mother Nature telling us to support our body, because the body that is given to us is come from nature, and it needs the elements of nature. Herbs are the elements of nature that will build the body. I've been taking herbs all those years now, all those decades. And I always tell people, "Look, when I was young, I didn't notice much about the herbs, but I'm glad I did it, because it's building a foundation." Now that I'm 62, I'm in my 60s, and my wife is also in her 60s, we both can see it's working. We are proof. And my body, the foundation of repair is like a younger body because of the herbs. Obviously, the longevity that the Chinese are talking about, I see that on a regular basis when I train under Chinese. But they take herbs all the time.   Jost Sauer: (01:07:39) I love good red wine. I have red wine, and I put a little bit of herbs in there. Like whoa, beautiful. You know?   Mason: (01:07:46) Oh man, [crosstalk 01:07:47] wine?   Jost Sauer: (01:07:49) Yeah. Red wine and good herbs. Great idea.   Mason: (01:07:53) Yeah. I'm sort of big on that. Like sangrias with goji and longan, and Chinese date, and schisandra.   Jost Sauer: (01:08:00) Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I mean, it's like, if I realise I'm taking too much of some of the herbs, I notice right away it's not promoting my body to the best function. It's not something you can abuse. That's the thing. It's not something you can abuse, because if you abuse it, firstly some of the herbs, you don't notice. They'll stop working. But then when the body needs them, they will start working again. There's a lot of the [inaudible 01:08:32] like that. If you don't need it, the body doesn't take it. But if the body needs it-   Mason: (01:08:37) [crosstalk 01:08:37].   Jost Sauer: (01:08:38) Yeah, yeah. It's one of those things. Western people have got, they've got a lot of fear of herbs. They think you only should take it when you need it, and when you need help and things like that. No, no, no, no, no, no. It's about giving the body, the idea is to build a strong body every day. Every day, you build the body. You build it. And so the idea is to work with it.   Jost Sauer: (01:09:07) If you've got the basic formulas, like the qi builder, the liver qi movers, and then the calming ones, then you've got pretty much what you need in order to explore. You've got the four directions, north, south, east and west. Then you start experimenting a little bit with it. Then after a while, it guides you. But the fact is, you will feel stronger. Your body is stronger. Your mind is clearer, and you have more hun available.   Jost Sauer: (01:09:42)     Mason: (01:10:27) Yeah. Absolutely.   Jost Sauer: (01:10:28) That's why everyone needs to get started somewhere. Herbs are not something you can understand immediately. It will take a lifelong journey. But it's fascinating. It never ends. I mean, my 35 years with this medicine now, I'm only touching the surface. I can't imagine what it's like in another 30 years, by the time I'm in my 90s. I'll probably understand a little bit more. So this medicine is so incredibly big and deep, but it's fascinating because the more you ... Everyone can get engaged with this medicine. That's the beauty of it. It's medicine for the people. It's for all of us. And herbs are incredible ... Yeah, herbs are essential.   Mason: (01:11:24) Yeah. 100%.   Jost Sauer: (01:11:26) I mean, the Taoists I studied under, they told me herbs are superior to food. They're more important than food.   Mason: (01:11:32) I'm with you on that. I mean, I know that that's something ... it's a big statement to say in this current health scene. But for me personally, I'm there with you. I love food. I'm very interested. But for me, the herbs and the impact that I feel like they've had on my body, and my spirit, and my jing and my chi, I buy them more than my food.   Jost Sauer: (01:11:57) Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.   Mason: (01:11:58) Not that I don't want my food. Not that I don't want food. I love my food. I'm' same as you. I've seen you eating some cake and loving it.   Jost Sauer: (01:12:05) Yeah. No, that's the whole idea. That's the whole idea. Have a wholesome diet, like obviously of course you don't want to eat pizza and shit like that every day. But your body doesn't want it, if you live correctly. It's not like that. Obviously, a wholesome diet, good food, good nutrients, but don't get caught up in diet. And let herbs regulate the rest. That's how simple it is. That's how simple it is. And then breathing techniques, and chi.   Mason: (01:12:42) Everything. Go back to the beginning and listen to the podcast, everyone.   Jost Sauer: (01:12:49) Yeah, yeah. That's it. Yeah. Let's start again.   Mason: (01:12:50) [crosstalk 01:12:50]. Jost, thanks so much for making the time. Would have been great ... Next time, we'll have you in person, hopefully. Or maybe I'm going to be coming up to Sunny Coast so I'd love to come. Are you still on the Sunny Coast?   Jost Sauer: (01:13:01) Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. I'm still at the Sunshine Coast. The country where we have no COVID for whatever months now, and it's probably because of the climate. I reckon it's because of the climate, because everyone's outside and the virus doesn't transmit when you're outside. The virus doesn't transmit when it's humidity. That's why lockdowns don't work. Lockdowns make the virus worse. That's why I'm an anti-lockdown person. Got to live. Got to be outside. Breathe lots of chi, cosmic chi. Take lots of herbs, and follow up on your ideas as derived by hun. Follow up, have adventure in your life, and everything's fine.   Mason: (01:13:49) I love it, bro. And everyone wanting to hear more about Jost's views on everything and the pandemic, he's been sharing really well on your Facebook page [crosstalk 01:14:00]. But we'll put the link in your bio for everyone to go and check Jost out. You've got to get Jost on Instagram as well. You've got epic posts, a lot of decades of thought and energy go into your posts, and they quite often get shared between our team, going like, "Hey, have you read that one?" "Yeah, read it. Yeah, got it. Yeah."   Mason: (01:14:22) You've got a lot of amazing books. We'll put a link down to your website, where everyone can see your books. Everyone's still, I still recommend Higher and Higher to people who have gone through addiction, drug addiction, or are just enjoying drugs, as well. [inaudible 01:14:40] far out. The feedback that I get from the people reading that is transformational, because it's not making them wrong. It's not like, "There's something wrong with you, and this is how you get through." It's just really well-written. Anyway, I'll let you go now. Thank you so much for coming.   Jost Sauer: (01:15:02) All right. Yeah. Let's hope this border bullshit is sorted one day, so I can come down to Byron Bay hey.   Mason: (01:15:10) Yeah, we've still got to get that workshop going. We were about to book you in again, to come down and do a workshop, ask you if you were available, and then hopefully do it again. But we'll get there.   Jost Sauer: (01:15:20) Yeah, yeah. We need politicians who are into hun, and less into po. Vote for hun, not for po.   Mason: (01:15:30) I'm with you, man. We got to get herbs subsidised first, and into Parliament House and then maybe we'll see a little bit ...   Jost Sauer: (01:15:39) It would be a totally different world, if all the schools would have herbs, if there would be breathing techniques before they would do classes, if they would have three proper meals throughout the day. Oh my god, what a different world. And then, the world would be paradise if everyone at 7:00 p.m. turns off their mobile phone, and then storytelling and everyone in bed by 9:00, and everyone sleeps, and everyone gets up early and then warm, and then understands we as humans, we are one race together in order to explore this hostile territory, in order to build civilizations of the stars. That's our job. We come from the stars. We got to expand to the stars. That's the Chinese medicine view. That has been the view for 5,000 years, and I don't see the point why we should change that, because it's probably based on the reality.   Mason: (01:16:28) Yeah, I'm with you. All right star beings, you get out there. Sleep well, get out there and explore and create, and be nice to each other.   Jost Sauer: (01:16:35) Yeah. That's it. Yeah. automatically we'll be nice, because we're nice. In our nature, we are nice people. But if liver qi is constricted then we become grumpy. So make liver qi flow and be happy. Simple.   Mason: (01:16:47) [inaudible 01:16:47] simple [inaudible 01:16:47] people.   Jost Sauer: (01:16:47) Yeah, it's very simple. You just have to do it. All right. Yeah.   Mason: (01:17:00) All right, thanks so much man. Catch you next time.   Jost Sauer: (01:17:03) Yeah. Okay. Amazing. Talk to you then. Bye.
We're bringing you another golden episode of The Women's Series today as Tahnee chats to Nadine Artemis, founder of the divine holistic skin and oral care wellness brand, Living Libations (if you haven't checked out their products, you need to). Nadine is also the author of Renegade Beauty and Holistic Dental Care, two inspiring books that encourage people to rethink conventional notions of beauty and wellness and provide how-to knowledge for those seeking holistic alternatives to chemical-laden products. As her book title suggests, Nadine walks a path of renegade beauty. She is successfully setting a new standard regarding what we put in and on our bodies, one that puts integrity before profit. More of this, please! This conversation is a reminder to look beyond the artfully marketed beauty products full of toxic ingredients to the inherently flawless mother nature.   Tahnee and Nadine discuss:  Essential oils, the distillation process and what determines their quality. Should we be ingesting essential oils? What goes into making Living Libations range of skin, oral, body, hair care, and essential oils such high quality.  Positive change occurring in the beauty industry due to smaller companies breaking up the monopoly. Dysbiosis of the microbiome due to microscopic buildup of toxic matter. Inflammation and high blood sugar, and how they affect our skin quality. Marketing manipulation; Are we paying a lot of money for cleverly marketed toxic concoctions of nothingness? Progressive integrative dental care. Questions to ask a prospective holistic dentist. The dentinal lymph system; how this fluid transport system is at the heart of understanding our teeth. The oral microbiome. Using essential oils and their QSI (quorum sensing inhibitors) as anti-biofilm agents. Root canals and how they affect overall health. Essential vitamins and minerals for healthy teeth.   Who is Dr Nadine Artemis? Nadine Artemis is the author of the two holistic health books Renegade Beauty: Reveal and Revive Your Natural Radiance and Holistic Dental Care. She is the creator of Living Libations, a luxury line of organic wild-crafted non-GMO serums, elixirs, and essential oils for those seeking the purest of the pure botanical natural health and beauty products on the planet.  Artemis is an innovative pharmacologist, developing immune-enhancing formulas and medicinal blends for health and wellness.  Her healing creations, along with her concept of renegade beauty, encourage effortlessness, eschew regimes, and inspire people to rethink conventional notions of beauty and wellness.  Her potent dental serums are used worldwide and provide the purest oral care available. Nadine is a key speaker at health and wellness conferences and a frequent commentator on health and beauty for media outlets. She has received glowing reviews for her work in The Hollywood Reporter, GOOP, Vogue, People, Elle, Yoga Journal, Natural Health, W Magazine,  The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and National Post. Celebrity fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, Shailene Woodley, Renee Zellweger, Julianne Moore, Carrie Anne Moss, Mandy Moore, The First Lady of Canada Sophie Trudeau, and many others.   Resources: Renegade Beauty Book Holistic Dental Care Book Living Libations Website Living Libations Youtube Living Libations Facebook Living Libations Instagram Living Libations Twitter Living Libations Pinterest What to Ask a Prospective Dentist (Living Libations Article) Self Dentistry in 8 Simple Steps (Video)       Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:00) Hi, everybody, and welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast. Today, I am super excited to be talking to Nadine Artemis, who is the founder of Living Libations, which is an amazing line of serums and elixirs and body care, hair care, and my personal favourite, essential oils. She also has written two excellent books Holistic Dental Care and Renegade Beauty, and that's kind of why we're here today, because I wanted to have a chat to her about all things dental and beauty. You've been doing this for a long time, Nadine. You're so well known in this industry. I've seen you in all of the big newspapers around the world, and I know people like Alanis Morissette are fans. I wanted to start, if you don't mind, just with a little bit of an overview of how you found yourself on this path, because reading your books, it sounds like you've gone from a more mainstream approach to beauty sort of discovering this track. Love to hear a little bit about that, if you don't mind.   Nadine Artemis: (00:56) Yes, well, my stint with regular commercial beauty was really just part and parcel of being a teenager, but at that time, I really dove in. Because, we were just talking beforehand, because my best friend is Australian, and I was with her-   Tahnee: (01:17) During the move [crosstalk 00:01:21]   Nadine Artemis: (01:20) Oh, my god, insane amounts. Then, of course, we weren't really allowed to wear a lot of makeup and stuff because I was at a girls' school, so then it just became, "Let's wear more." So much nail polish, I'd have to go down to the office and have it removed.   Tahnee: (01:38) Oh, my gosh. I remember that too.   Nadine Artemis: (01:40) Then, I'd put a lot of product in my hair, and then the next day, they'd have new rules that you couldn't put gel in your hair and stuff. It's just a little funny.   Tahnee: (01:49) You were changing their system.   Nadine Artemis: (01:53) Yes. Then, I was the youngest in my family, because I had an older sister, and my mother, and so I was kind of the hand-me-downs too for all their bottles. My bathroom really was quite crazy. There [inaudible 00:02:04] explanation, but in all of that, also, in my childhood, before teen, I was really steeped in nature and really aware. I just knew I loved to hang out, and in grade nine, in the midst of all the crazy bottles of petroleum. I did do a science fair project and I wanted to do perfume, because I had this book that I got from the library. It did go into the origins of perfume, and it was a bit like, "Oh," some sort of, like, "That's where it all came from," and that they were distillates from plants. That was kind of revolutionary to know that back then.   Nadine Artemis: (02:47) It talked about the history, which was really fascinating to me as well. My great grandfather, who I didn't know, but I knew of his work, and he'd gone on archaeological digs as an illustrator in the 1800s with Howard Carter and stuff. We had these paintings of the Egyptian... And it was original, from the 1800s. When he was painting, he was really there to replicate what he saw, sort of like... Because he would do very fine watercolours, so even if something was broken, he would... On the wall, he would paint that in. Then, he had these paintings of Luxor, and that was really cool, and he was also the president of the London Egyptology Society, and a lot of neat history.   Nadine Artemis: (03:37) When I was reading that book and it talked about... Because, ancient Egypt really did... That was one of the stages of where perfume got revolutionised a little bit more into distilling practises that we still use today. It has a lot of perfume history, that culture. It talked about using these things called essential oils, and that you could probably find them at a health food store and that sort of stuff. We went off to the big city. My mom took me in, and we found... I found my first essential oils. That was really thrilling. I definitely, when I was inhaling my first orange, jasmine, Ylang. It was definitely a different experience, and it really spoke to me. Now, I understand the real difference between synthetic fragrances and essential oils, which I didn't know that sort of more intellectually then, but I really felt it.   Nadine Artemis: (04:36) Then, I recreated L'air du Temps, Nina Ricci's L'air du Temps, which was a favourite perfume of mine at the time, with the essential oils, and that was super fun. That just really resonated with me, and then I definitely had a few more years of just mixing the bottles around, or crushing my white eyeshadow into my lip balm from Crabtree & Evelyn or whatever. That was all super fun. Then, you know what was really neat, because then when I was at university, and then I was really understand... Then, I had a sort of a revolution about food and understanding what was in the supermarket and how to read labels, and really understanding the vast BS of the supermarket foods, which made me... Within a few weeks, I was like, "Wait a minute." These sort of greener beauty products, because The Body Shop was quite popular then. It seemed revolutionary, and it did have a different smell palette and texture. But, really, when I started understanding those labels, I realised again, it's just petroleum promised land just dressed up differently, and that the pineapple face scrub didn't have pineapple in it. Cucumber face toner didn't have cucumber in it. Dewberry is not really a berry.   Nadine Artemis: (05:55) All that sort of stuff, it was really from that moment I really started making my own food and my own beauty care products. Then, what was super fun and a little bit relevant to us talking right now, is that first winter of university, I went to visit my best friend in Australia, so we had this great... Yeah. It was summertime, so I went in December. Then, it was neat, because I was there for about a month, and we just went to different things and farmers' markets, and there was a little bit more natural beauty there. Of course, tea tree and things like that. I definitely just feel like it was just a nice step along the way too, to just sort of see a more natural side of beauty.   Tahnee: (06:47) I guess, is that something that you've seen over the years, because I've been thinking about this a lot just in terms of my own journey, because I remember the same thing, being a teenager, or especially in my late teens, early 20s when I had a lot of time collecting the things, having a cupboard full of bottles, but also because of my childhood probably having a little bit... I used tea tree oil on pimples instead of whatever people use. Just having a little bit of consciousness around that, I guess, Australia being so beachy and kind of nature-based, there is that little bit more awareness. But, I've noticed travelling to the States that there's still a real prevalence of... It doesn't seem organic beauty is pervaded as much there. It might be a population thing, and I know you're Canadian, but I'm just wondering if that's something you've noticed over the years. Has it blown up, or is it still something that's a little bit counterculture? Do you have any thoughts on that?   Nadine Artemis: (07:44) I feel like what I've seen is, I mean, definitely, it's always increasing, so it was really... In the 90s, I opened up North America's first full concept aromatherapy store in 1992, and it was a very original concept then, but yeah, I mean, it would grow and grow. Then, different things come along, but they're still not really natural. Like Lush, or the Body... Yeah, Body Shop was already around. There's that, and then, what I've seen really grow in the last 10 years, is just independent beauty. Indy beauty as they say. It doesn't mean it's necessarily natural. I mean, sure, so much of it is, but it's just neat, because it's just great, because it means a lot of people are fulfilling their dreams of making things and bringing down the scale a lot, which is totally fine, and I think it's great, because I think it is... In a good way, it disrupts the monoliths [crosstalk 00:08:54]   Tahnee: (08:53) Yeah, union labour and those guys.   Nadine Artemis: (08:53) Yeah.   Tahnee: (08:56) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (08:57) I just mean the big... Just like your classic commercial things like your-   Tahnee: (09:01) Estee Lauder things?   Nadine Artemis: (09:03) Yeah. I'm not saying they're bad. I'm just saying it's a monopoly, and it kind of monopolises beauty. That's what I found sort of... You could talk about back for a few decades, maybe there's only a few sort of channels governing generally what we see. Now, with the internet, that's sort of gotten disrupted, or before, there was only these monolithic music companies and you had to get signed to them. I feel like it's a bit with the cosmetic industry, so I feel like through the 80s and 90s, they just had such a strong cultural hold on what is beauty, how we're going to accomplish beauty, and what ingredients are going to do that. What I'm loving, it doesn't really matter what the outcome is, just that you have all these small companies just contributing to their own sort of village or the people they know. I think that's really great, because I think it's also had to make those larger companies rethink beauty and maybe bring up some different standards. You'll also see a lot of... Or, they buy out the smaller businesses.   Tahnee: (10:15) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (10:16) Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox, that pharma company, or-   Tahnee: (10:22) Yeah, I think it's Clorox [crosstalk 00:10:25]   Nadine Artemis: (10:25) Yeah, or Estee Lauder, Origins and Aveda. You'll see a lot of smaller companies go that way, but that's fun too, because I'm sure a lot of people develop a company with wanting to sell it in mind. I think it's good, it's just a lot more diversity happening. Obviously, I want the pure and the natural, and there's been a lot of development in that area too, although I do still find it's like there still seems to be compromises. Of course, what's also huge is a lot of greenwashing where really, it would be hard pressed for me to find a beauty product even in a health food store-   Tahnee: (11:09) That's actually clean, really.   Nadine Artemis: (11:11) Yeah. I mean clean clean. Where if I, like, "Oh, my god, if I ran out of my Libations conditioner," that I would be hard pressed to find something else, but I'm hardcore.   Tahnee: (11:24) Yeah, I'm curious about that, because it's something, I guess being... Because I'm in my mid 30s, I'm 35. I obviously have a lot of female friends and just chatting to people about this kind of stuff, because we all are quite conscious of our health, and then hair care's actually one where... I was actually talking to one of the girls at work about this the other day, and she said, "I just have to do chemicals for my hair, because I can't find a natural product [inaudible 00:11:49] that work." It's funny, because I have really fine hair, and I've used your products before, and I do find the oilier kind of products really are heavy in my hair. I've done everything from washing with clay to using all sorts of random things in my hair. Clay actually worked quite well for me on the scalp, and then your conditioner on the ends. That was one of the most successful experiments I've tried.   Nadine Artemis: (12:13) Woo-hoo.   Tahnee: (12:13) Yeah. But, it's been really interesting just having these conversations, because I'm quite willing to have a bunch of weird stuff in my shower and have clays and things-   Nadine Artemis: (12:22) Yeah, I think you have to experiment, and sometimes, also the water... [crosstalk 00:12:26] that's that combo. Yeah. We always travel with a shower filter.   Tahnee: (12:32) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Even just in LA, because their water is so salty, almost. It's really drying, so it's a completely different texture there. But, yeah, I'm curious, when you're talking about hair care products, are you... Your recipe's, again, very popular in our office as well, so the girls with beautiful thick hair just thrive on your shampoos especially, sorry, your conditioners especially. I just was curious when you're crafting those, are you... All the things people are used to, the lauryl sulphates and [inaudible 00:13:03], all that sort of stuff, they're pretty obvious things these days to omit, but what's the process? Without giving away your secret recipe, what's the process when you're crafting hair care? What are you looking for? Are you nourishing the scalp? Is it about microbiome? All of these things.   Nadine Artemis: (13:21) Well, you know what? Really, it doesn't even matter on the type of product, I always have some of the same goals, which is always working with the microbiome, always nourishing the body and the cells. Never making this something that's going to have a negative effect on the body. Always having the highest quality with every single ingredient. No ingredient is filler in what we make. Every drop has a purpose, and that's for every formula.   Nadine Artemis: (13:55) We find, with the hair care, it generally works with all kinds of hair, thin to thick to curly and everything, except there can be just the random thick haired person or the random thin haired person where something just is not lining up for their experience, but 98% of the time, the shampoos really work. Then, there can be a variety of things that you can do. A lot of people condition first, then shampoo, then condition. A lot of people, when they're transitioning, will use a bit of baking soda with the shampoo, because there can be a lot of residue from normal shampoos.   Tahnee: (14:38) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (14:39) Yeah, you want to lift that off the scalp. Because we're able to understand the microbiome now, and there's all kinds of amazing research going on, there was a really neat one done with a special type of photography, so they would have people do their normal ablutions, and then not shower it away, you know what I mean? They just did one day where they had their normal washing hygiene routines, and then they went and did this photograph. It was three or four days later, and it still showed all the areas in the skin and microbiome where it was still sitting there on the skin. [crosstalk 00:15:18]   Tahnee: (15:17) ... never washed his hair the whole time I've known him. [crosstalk 00:15:21] ... beautiful hair.   Nadine Artemis: (15:24) That's awesome.   Tahnee: (15:27) Long hair, very occasionally, it gets a bit greasy, but he just jumps in the ocean that sorts it out.   Nadine Artemis: (15:31) Yeah.   Tahnee: (15:32) It's the bane of my existence that he gets like that. Like, "Why?"   Nadine Artemis: (15:38) Hormones can really affect our hair as well. There's so much-   Tahnee: (15:44) [crosstalk 00:15:44] our daughter's head, who's four, and her hair's beautiful.   Nadine Artemis: (15:46) Awesome. Maybe if we just do once a year.   Tahnee: (15:50) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (15:51) Yeah. That's working out.   Tahnee: (15:55) I mean, I'm really observing myself in the process of changing my habits over the last probably 15 years. Just the conditioning around feeling clean and that scrubbed feeling. That's something I've learned through working with different skin specialists. I see a natural facialist lady, and she's all about barriers, and yeah, you don't wash anything off. You're not allowed to have a shower for two days after you see her and all this kind of stuff, because it's just that leaving the oils on the skin to kind of sit there. I just think it's really interesting that we are so conditioned to be stripped and scrubbed, and there's this hygiene hypothesis I think that we've all kind of bought into. Is there anything you want to say about that, or anything... Do you have any thoughts on that?   Nadine Artemis: (16:39) Yeah. There is this sort of hygiene hypothesis, which is this surfactant, squeaky clean, but really, that's really just been around since the 50s as the more chemicals came into play. The wide variety of surfactants that were invented for that squeaky clean feeling, and yeah, now, we know through the study of the microbiome that we've been over-cleaning with chemicals. Through that, we've been mutating or making extinct different species of the microbiome. One study that I found fascinating is with understanding that when we're washing with these surfactants, just washing our face, on a microscopic level, they're leaving microscopic splinters in the stratum corneum, which is the very, very top layer of the skin. Those aren't getting rinsed away. There's this daily microscopic buildup that can happen over years and months, leading to different dysbiosis of the microbiome that could lead to some kind of dry patchy thing on your skin or eczema, or melasma.   Nadine Artemis: (17:49) Really, when there is a skin imbalance, it is something with the microbiome that we want to bring in to balance. That could even be with the gut level too, because they're very interconnected. If something's not coming out of the colon, it might show up on your skin.   Tahnee: (18:05) Yeah. I mean, we work from a Taoist background and you'd never ever look at the skin and assume that this little problem... It's so often an internal issue, but then even what you're talking about there, that's almost like a leaky gut for the skin, for this constant [crosstalk 00:18:21] it's going to cause inflammation and an immune response. I mean, then, of course, you're going to get things show up, like we've been imagining a lot of these chronic inflammatory conditions that we don't know what the root cause is. I'm sure that's one of the factors. That's something we see so often is supporting the endocrine system, supporting the inner gut health and all those things. They're things you speak about in your book. I guess, you're probably ahead of the curve when you guys started, but I think now, I think a lot of these ideas are becoming more popular, like eating less of these starchy carbohydrate foods and not pushing the insulin response constantly, so the endocrine system's constantly out of whack. Focusing on fats and those kinds of things. Any other diet mainstays for you that you see as a general rule or supportive to beauty and to the microbiome?   Nadine Artemis: (19:14) Yeah, definitely, there's a lot of individuation, personalization for what food works. I do find that, as a general, the population, we're getting a little more sensitive to a lot of things. But, I definitely feel like no matter what realm you're in with your food, I feel that soy is a no go for everybody. Wheat, corn, those seem to wreak havoc on the skin a bit. Then again, you got as individuals, like raw cheesecake made out of cashews is a beautiful thing, but cashews can cause wicked acne for many.   Tahnee: (19:59) Again, from a Chinese perspective, that's causing a lot of damp in the system as well, so I can see how [crosstalk 00:20:06] an individual constitutional kind of exploration of what your body needs.   Nadine Artemis: (20:11) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (20:13) Are you typically more geared toward a Western [inaudible 00:20:16] style, kind of fermented foods, animal products?   Nadine Artemis: (20:21) Mm-hmm (affirmative). I've had a long journey with food, but since that moment when I was 18, and I was exploring food and labels and all that, it was from that moment forward I... Obviously, there was a time when I wasn't, but I always eating organic as much as I'm aware and can choose, from that moment forward and not eating processed food. Those have guided me since that moment, and but then I've gone through all kinds of things. I did years of being vegan as well, and then through the birth and child and pregnancy experience, I was... And understanding about teeth, and I wrote a book on holistic dental care. I was just like, "Yeah." [crosstalk 00:21:09]   Nadine Artemis: (21:14) Any kind of protein choices are just the most pristine, and that's always... I would never. I don't compromise. I'll just not eat. If it's not good food, I'll just wait. Because, this way, my blood sugar's balanced. I can totally-   Nadine Artemis: (21:31) Yeah. For decades, I feel like my blood sugar is in balance, because I've also known that. Known that really the first step towards dysbiosis pathway is really inflammation and high blood sugar, having the blood sugar spike. No matter how you're eating, those are some things that you want to be sure. Yeah, I'll just fast, or we're just prepared. But, because I was making those food choices at 18, and I do... Again, I am hardcore. Once I've made that decision, I'm there. It's easy for me, because it's like I feel like the truth of something, you know what I mean? So I'm like, "Okay," and that gives me that motivation, because I'm not actually disciplined. I feel like people see that, or the way that I eat, and they're like, "Oh, it must take so much discipline," and it doesn't, because-   Tahnee: (22:28) You just virtually cut that out of your reality.   Nadine Artemis: (22:32) Yeah.   Tahnee: (22:33) I can really relate to that, because I mean, I've been through all of those very similar diets, the vegetarian and other things, but yeah, it's just like I just don't even accept that that's... It's not even a conscious choice, but it's like it's no longer in my reality. It's just what I do, and then at some point, my body will say, "Hey, time to question that and [crosstalk 00:22:55]"   Nadine Artemis: (22:54) I've had to pack my own food basically since 18, so every airline trip, every road trip, every moment, and it's like I'm able to map out the health food stores, or I pack food.   Tahnee: (23:08) You're a professional [crosstalk 00:23:10]   Nadine Artemis: (23:10) I'm not. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I'm just not going to rely. Yeah. I don't eat that kind of stuff, so it doesn't exist for me. If I'm going to an airport, I assume there's no food for me. If there is, it's fun.   Tahnee: (23:25) It's a pleasant surprise, yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (23:28) Yeah, times are changing. Every time I go to the airport, I'm like, "Oh. It's getting a little easier."   Tahnee: (23:34) Yeah. Yeah. It's definitely changed in the last 10 years. It's quite amazing, but the level of consciousness shifting toward these things. I do want to get onto teeth, because I just think that's such an under-discussed realm. But, I guess, with just finishing up on... I guess beauty will continue to be discussed as we go, but one of the things I'm really interested in, and I really love and respect about your work is your reverence for essential oils, but also that you're not one of these... I'm not going to mention any company names, but people that say, "10 drops in your cup of tea every morning," and all this kind of stuff.   Tahnee: (24:16) Because, one of these things, I think, in terms of respecting the plant kingdom is these are concentrated, and they require a lot of mass of product to produce one material, and they're really potent, so we don't need a lot of them. Your products all contain these beautiful oils that you sell, and I mean, my experience in purchasing your oils, they last for such a long time. We use them mindfully, and we really enjoy having them in our apothecary. But, I mean, is there any advice you can give to people wanting to work with essential oils on things like dosage and appropriate use, and maybe two or three that you think are absolute must-haves to have in your kitchen or bathroom or wherever you store your beauty products?   Nadine Artemis: (24:59) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, when you're working with essential oils, you really always and only ever want to work with authentic distillations. When you have those beautiful distillations, it's like by the drop, each drop is just a whole world. It has over 500 different chemical components, natural chemical components, so they really are potent and beautiful. Yeah, you just want to have that purity and authenticity through the whole stage, because there's a lot of essential oils that just aren't real. It's very easy to make nature identical substances. It was easy 60 years ago to make nature identical substances, and it's only more crafty now, that's for sure.   Tahnee: (25:46) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (25:46) Yeah. You just for sure want to be working with good stuff. Yeah, you're just by the drop. We have articles on our website too that can help, or there's a lot of stuff in Renegade Beauty for ways to use them for culinary. They can be used internally, but you do definitely... It's very mindful. You can put them in capsules. You can use them with honey, like a drop to a little bit of honey, a drop to a little bit of olive oil. You're always going to want to mix it with a fat or honey before you put it into a food. Some essential oils can be used, like a drop of frankincense or peppermint in water is good, but then there's some essential oils, like cinnamon, oregano, clove, for sure, and there are others, but they need to be diluted before, because that would just burn on the way down your throat.   Nadine Artemis: (26:37) If you got a toothache, take that drop of... You could even do a strong dilution, like a 50/50, one drop of clove to one nice healthy drop of olive oil. That would be very concentrated, but it does need that bit of lube so it takes the edge off. Yeah, I mean, we sell close to 200 different types of essential oils.   Tahnee: (27:04) Yeah. That's exciting.   Nadine Artemis: (27:04) Yes. We love rare ones, or ones it's like we can still discover more of its benefits as a human population, but it's a neat... It's testing well. It's safe, and it's helping this little collective somewhere in the world. We also like to bring new ones into the fold so we can all enjoy these new plant allies. Yeah.   Tahnee: (27:34) I was going to say, just from the Egyptian perspective, and I don't know anyone who wasn't obsessed with ancient Egypt at some point. It's such an incredible culture, and such a legacy, I think, that we aren't maybe as aware of. Let's say you guys have a range of 200. Do you know if there's hundreds more oils in plants out there that we aren't working with, or is that an impossible question to answer? I'm just curious.   Nadine Artemis: (28:03) Well, it's a slightly impossible question to answer, because... But, it's like any plant that has an aromatic molecule has the potential. Of course, so many that are distilled have been distilled for thousands of years. Then, something like a tulip, they don't have aromatic molecules, so there'll never be an oil of that. Then, there's some things that are getting like... Lilac was so elusive to capture. It could only really be done through an enfleurage, which is, in old times, they would use animal fats and press the flowers. Now, you can do coconut oil. But, it's just so hard. Even though it's so intoxicating every spring and it seems so juicy and strong, it's just hard to get it out. There's a lot of floral wax, but they're able to do a thicker, like a supercritical extract. That came into being a few years ago. Now, we're able to get new smells from some old classics. Yeah, even since I've been working with oils, since I was 18, I'm seeing lots of new things and developments.   Tahnee: (29:19) Is that kind of like an emulsion? Is it like the oils extracting the wax molecule of the plant that contains the scent? Is that how... I'm trying to understand the chemistry of that.   Nadine Artemis: (29:30) Yeah. It's just because the fat molecule in oil is a volatile molecule, so it's able to hold on. It's able to grab it and kind of hug it so it can bring it into its... Yeah, transfer it.   Tahnee: (29:44) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Because, the distillation process, if people aren't conscious of that, is more of the... There's the steam process, the steam is captured and condensed, and then that oil separates from the water because of its density, and then you're distilling that into a separate container, basically. But, that's not suitable for quite a lot of the really rare oils, and that's why they're so expensive.   Nadine Artemis: (30:08) Yeah. Well, it depends on just really how much essential oil the plant yields in the steam distillation. Lavender has a high yield, and it's not high in waxes. That's why lavender oil's pretty reasonably priced, whereas rose or orange blossoms, really, they just don't yield a lot of oil, and so it's just... 60 rose heads makes one drop of oil. Whereas 60 lavender heads, I don't know the equivalent, but it would make... It makes a lot more.   Tahnee: (30:43) More.   Nadine Artemis: (30:45) That's how that varies, and that once it's steamed, it's cooled, and then it comes sort of back to life, because the coolness separates the two, and then that beautiful water that's left over is the water, like a rosewater. Rosewater, for example, isn't rose oil in water, it's from the distillation process. It actually contains micro-soluble components of the essential oil that were water soluble.   Tahnee: (31:14) It's still got that magic of the rose thing?   Nadine Artemis: (31:16) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (31:18) Because, yeah, the difference between quality in different rosewater's insane.   Nadine Artemis: (31:24) Oh, my gosh, yes. I mean, there's just literally not real ones, mostly, everywhere.   Tahnee: (31:33) You're going to pay for it, I guess, if you're getting... If it's cheap rosewater, it's probably not real rosewater.   Nadine Artemis: (31:37) Yeah, but there's really expensive cheap rosewater too.   Tahnee: (31:41) Yeah. [crosstalk 00:31:44] green washing and the marketing, like a lot of companies have big marketing budgets and not a lot of integrity.   Nadine Artemis: (31:52) That's really what you're paying for. It's just like a regular perfume, like Chanel or whatever.   Tahnee: (32:01) Most of it's marketing.   Nadine Artemis: (32:02) No, it's just chemical. It's just pennies. There's just no life there. It just shouldn't actually cost anything, but what costs is everything, the packaging, the whole infrastructure, the marketing, the ads in Vogue, but literally, the insides, it's just... It's kind of amazing. It's kind of amazing what we do pay for really a lot of toxic nothingness.   Tahnee: (32:35) It's so interesting, because we have a herb company, and not a very large marketing budget, because we don't have the margin like those companies, not even comparable. Yes.   Nadine Artemis: (32:44) Yes.   Tahnee: (32:47) But, I was interested to read, looking... I did some research on what some of those companies are spending on their marketing budget, and it can be anywhere up to 70% of revenue or more.   Nadine Artemis: (32:57) Wow.   Tahnee: (32:59) 50's kind of the average. That's things like your models and your photography and all those things, but I'm thinking, "Wow, that's crazy that people aren't aware of how much of what they're paying is really going back into selling-"   Nadine Artemis: (33:11) Air.   Tahnee: (33:12) Yeah. Also, the cultural impact of that, because like the body image stuff around those companies led to marketing... I think that's one of the things I think you're talking about with indy beauty, and your work, it's about the function of the product, and about just the ritual of actually caring for yourself in this way with these really high quality products. It's not about looking like somebody else or fitting into some kind of predetermined mould.   Nadine Artemis: (33:41) Absolutely. Yeah.   Tahnee: (33:42) Yeah, and it's such a liberating... This is an evolutionary human process to [crosstalk 00:33:48] and go, "No, I'm not going to buy into that anymore."   Nadine Artemis: (33:51) Totally.   Tahnee: (33:52) I guess that's a good segue into teeth, because I... Well, it's funny, because my grandfather is a professor of dentistry, so hopefully he won't listen to this podcast. He'll be like, "What?" But, I've managed to really avoid the dental industry somehow, despite having him as my grandfather, but it's something a couple of, again, my friends have been through all these years of jaw issues and braces and all those kinds of things, and even just things with cavities, and there's a lot of, I think, lack of education around even how our teeth work, what they kind of do, that they actually have a microbiome, the importance of saliva. I know this is a huge topic, but could you... Just in your research, could you throw at me some of those aha moments you had with teeth and what was really just groundbreaking for you when you started getting into alternative tooth care, dental care?   Nadine Artemis: (34:50) Yeah. Just so everybody... I'm not a dentist, but I have teeth like all of us, and anything that I'm drawing research from is from dentists, you know what I mean? It's not like I'm just-   Tahnee: (35:05) Not making it up.   Nadine Artemis: (35:08) Yeah, and these dentists are mavericks in their field, and we're just so thankful for them, because they were able to get the regular education, but then question things and move things forward and really revolutionise and make things a lot safer for us, so I'm really indebted to those maverick dentists. What I found revolutionary is that our teeth are alive, and it's obvious, but connected to the rest of our body, and what is really fascinating, because... And, I think a lot of dentists don't know this, is that there's a dentinal lymph system. There's a dentinal fluid transport system that is really at the heart of understanding our teeth. When we chew, we're activating glands. We're sending messages through chewing, creates substrates and those chemical messengers go to the hypothalamus, which releases a fluid, gets this whole thing going.   Nadine Artemis: (36:15) Nutrients are delivered through the blood, and there's the whole digestive system, and then the blood flows up into the teeth, then it becomes a clear liquid. It changes into a lymphatic fluid and then gets pushed up onto the... Teeth are like trees, and they're drawing nutrients up from their root system into the pulp chamber, and in there, the odontoblast excrete the fluid out and onto the surface of the teeth.   Nadine Artemis: (36:45) There's this microscopic sweat, and then that coalesces with the saliva and the oral microbiome as doing so many things, like repairing teeth, making sure the whole ecosystem is good in there, and it's delivering nutrients out. There's this energy of up, in, and out, and when the body is stressed or crazy hormonal shifts, or chemicals, or even cell phones, all these things are contributing to the stagnancy of that lymphatic system. The stagnancy is not something you want, because you want the fluid always working for you, but if it then continues, or if there's a lot of spikes in the blood sugar, because it's not really about the sugar hitting the teeth, it's about the sugar's effect on the body. What will happen to that dentenial inflow is that it will actually not just get stagnant, but reverse, and then the tooth becomes like a straw sucking in bacteria, virus, fungi from within the oral environment into the tooth. That is the genesis of how a cavity is formed. I found that to be really revolutionary in my research.   Tahnee: (38:05) So, it's almost like that protective mechanism, because your body's resources are required elsewhere [crosstalk 00:38:13]   Nadine Artemis: (38:13) I like to think of it as the invisible toothbrush.   Tahnee: (38:15) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (38:16) Because, also, when we think about the body, even though we're doing all this stuff and it's 2020 and we're brushing and flossing, or we're soaping, all this kind of stuff, but you always want to just step back and know that... I think the inherent design is going to be flawless, because I feel like that's what we see anytime we look further into nature and the system, and then this pollinator goes to there, and then that seed is dropped off by the... you know what I mean? It's all interconnected. It's all working. It's like we got to just step back and just go, "Okay, what's the natural system in the body? We weren't born with a toothbrush in our hand, so what was the body's design?" I kind of back tracked from there, and then see where, "Well, if I step back, will something kind of kick in and naturally start happening? Or, do I still got to do X, Y, and Z?"   Nadine Artemis: (39:14) Even if you just ditched all your toothpaste and started brushing with baking soda and did that for the rest of your life, you'd be far better off. Then, once we know what the body's capable of, and then when we see what we're going to do with our human hands, so to speak.   Tahnee: (39:28) Here's something I've found so interesting about this self care industry in general is if you do go back before industrialization, we had a bar of soap and they were what we even used as toothpaste back then, because we didn't have toothpaste. [crosstalk 00:39:44]   Nadine Artemis: (39:43) Yeah, there were tooth powders and stuff, yeah.   Tahnee: (39:45) Yeah, it wasn't that long ago that we were really having maybe one or two or three products in our bathroom, and they were really fats, essential oils, lye. It's another complex process, really. Now, we've gone to having these whole aisles of dental care. One of the things you say in your book which I've just related to so much was the cognitive dissidence around you can't swallow these products, but you put them in your mouth. As a kid, I remember reading the Colgate label and going, "Why can't I eat this? If it's going in my mouth, why can't I swallow it?" What kind of things are we talking about in these products that are making them [crosstalk 00:40:30]   Nadine Artemis: (40:31) Oh, yeah. Oh, so many things.   Tahnee: (40:34) Everything?   Nadine Artemis: (40:36) Yeah. I mean, it's just amok.   Tahnee: (40:41) It's like your ethyl lauryl sulphates?   Nadine Artemis: (40:42) Yeah. Sodium lauryl sulphate, just the abrasivity of a lot of the stuff.   Tahnee: (40:53) Then, the chemicals, I guess, in mouthwash and all those kinds of things.   Nadine Artemis: (40:55) Yeah. A lot of that sodium lauryl sulphate on its own is going to create bleeding gums. It's just not a good situation for the gums. Even if its natural glycerin actually coats the teeth, it doesn't rinse off. Again, this is just microscopic, and then it creates a film over the teeth that doesn't allow the saliva to get through. What great about essential oils, now that we have people studying the microbiome, and now we're able to have modern science confirm why so many of the plants that we're familiar with for dental care were used for thousands of years. Oils like clove, rose, tea tree, frankincense, myrrh, mastic, cinnamon, peppermint, all of these beautiful oils, now we know that they have QSI, which is the acronym or whatever for quorum sensing inhibition, so they're quorum sensing inhibitors, and they're able to block or disrupt the communication and gene expression of pathogens.   Nadine Artemis: (42:03) They're able to bust through biofilms. Yet, they're able to work with the beneficial bacteria. They can clean up the pathogens, but not disrupt the beneficial bacteria. I think this is what we need in these times.   Tahnee: (42:19) Yeah. I mean, that's your protocol that you sort of map out in the book, Holistic Dental Care is this sort of eight steps. I mean, did you develop this out of your own experience with dental-   Nadine Artemis: (42:30) I sure did, yeah.   Tahnee: (42:31) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (42:32) Well, nothing major, just I gotta figure this out, because I kind of... 18, 19, and getting in the 20s, and I'm understanding as I'm creating all this stuff, and understanding food and then I'm really understanding the body in new ways and things that we could do. All those common ailments, like a cold, a headache, a stomachache, the way that we were approaching it when I was growing up, I'm like, "Oh, my god, there's a whole new world." If you have a headache, oh, maybe it's digestive, you know what I mean? I was really getting to understand the body in a whole new way. But, to me, the tooth part was a little bit evasive. I couldn't find books on the subject. Then, also, thinking you're 20, you're off your... If you were lucky enough to grow up in a family with some dental care plans or whatever, then you're off that plan. You're a long entrepreneur on your own, and you might not be that fond of the dentist, because you don't like going either when you're a kid.   Nadine Artemis: (43:32) But, then you're faced with, you gotta figure this out. I just found there was such a gap. What are we going to do every day about our teeth? What's just waiting for all this shit to hit the fan when you go to the dentist? That's how I set out that journey, and then I luckily had a good hygienist at the time. I mean, I went to the holistic dentist in my 20s, but it was a while ago, and I don't think they were that holistic with what I know now. The hygienist was super cool, and she was like, "You got the beginning of a cavity. Go home and work with that stuff you have, and then come back in six months." That was revolutionary to me. I didn't know that you could stop a cavity, let alone reverse it, depending on what condition it was in. Then, when I went back six months later, it was not there.   Nadine Artemis: (44:22) That was exciting, because I didn't grow up at all thinking at that... Just seemed like it was a dead end. [crosstalk 00:44:33]   Tahnee: (44:33) Yeah, the kind of narrative around... Especially cavities and things like... I don't have any fillings, and people are so shocked when they hear that, and I'm... It's such a cultural thing that we have, from a very young age, these things stuck in our mouths that... especially historically, with the mercury amalgam fillings and things, but at least now, we're moving away from that, I think, generally. There's very little education around the integrative aspect of dental care, I think, and how about what you were talking about before with sugar, it's like everyone thinks, "Oh, you don't eat sugar for your teeth," but it's really about what that's doing to your immune response and your endocrine response, and that's the effect it's having on your teeth. It's not, per se, the sugar...   Nadine Artemis: (45:21) Exactly.   Tahnee: (45:21) Yeah. I think that the teeth are connected, and that analogy of the tree, I think, is so beautiful, because then you're visualising this root system tapping into the ecosystem of the body, and just like a tree in the forest, it's connected through... It's mycelium network, and it's root network. So are our teeth. So whatever we're seeing manifesting is a kind of report card, I guess, on the overall health of the body. In terms of your eight steps, would you mind giving us a really quick summary of them? For detail, everyone will have to get the book, because it's not-   Nadine Artemis: (45:58) I was going to say, actually... Thanks for reminding me. It's also on our website, and [crosstalk 00:46:04] any question in the world, and we also do free consults for beauty and just mild dental care questions, but even if it's a big question you have, we will really do our best to be like, "Oh, here's this," or we even know some holistic dentists that do video consults and stuff, which is so super helpful. Because, sometimes, you can just... Yeah, I would think more dentists should do it, because it's such a great service.   Tahnee: (46:30) This area we're in is more... I think in different parts of the world, it's probably more prevalent. We've got three, I think, alternative dentists here, but I'm sure there are places in the world where that's not an option.   Nadine Artemis: (46:43) We're close to a really good major city, which definitely has some... It's changing for some progressive options, but with the amount of information I know, we actually go to a dentist in Texas.   Tahnee: (46:59) Wow. Okay.   Nadine Artemis: (47:01) Because, I know too much.   Tahnee: (47:05) You can't fuck around with that.   Nadine Artemis: (47:07) No. [crosstalk 00:47:10] He's quoted in my book and stuff. Dr. Nunnally. I'm so grateful for his research and he did write this really good research on root canals with independent labs, and really indebted to him, and he's just as great as I thought he would be, so really thankful for dentists like him.   Tahnee: (47:30) Yeah. Quickly on root canals, I mean, that's one that has come up a few times in the last couple of years, and I mean, you talk about that, again, a little bit in the book, but is there anything you'd want to share if that's something that's in their reality, apart from [crosstalk 00:47:47]   Nadine Artemis: (47:48) Often, you may not have... If you've been told you have to have a root canal, you may not need one. If it is a real "root canal candidate," that means probably the tooth is too far gone, but sometimes, there's jumping the gun a bit. Just like 67% of all wisdom teeth that are removed don't need to be removed.   Tahnee: (48:13) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Nadine Artemis: (48:15) There's that realm, but you could be at a stage where, yeah, that tooth is no longer good. Then, you don't actually want to have a dead tooth in your mouth. The theory of a root canal is... I mean, I can see why it was invented or whatever, because you know how great, even if the tooth is gone, that you could still have the look and feel of your natural tooth, but it really shows that 100% of the time, no root canal can actually be sterilised. The idea is that the pulp chamber, the interior of the tooth is removed, and then the tubes are supposed to be sterilised. But, each tooth contains microscopic tubules that are 300 metres.   Tahnee: (49:04) Wow.   Nadine Artemis: (49:05) I know. Every time I say that, literally, in my head, I have to be like, "No, I'm sure it's three," but I know it's 300. Isn't that crazy? That's a molar, has that long. That can't be sterilised. These textbook perfect, so that's as in textbook perfect on an X-ray, as in not creating any issue for the person that they were removed and sent to a lab, and even upon examination when they were removed, they were still 100% perfect root canal, and all the teeth from different people had severe to necrotic bacteria. It just becomes this necrotic breeding ground for pathogens inside that root canal tooth. Then, that just squirts into the bloodstream.   Tahnee: (50:01) Yeah. Okay. Toxic environment that's not sounding very good.   Nadine Artemis: (50:07) Yeah. Yeah. Then, really, if that is the case, then the best option is to actually just extract the tooth, but you'll be want to be sure, again, that you're with a dentist that knows to remove the periodontal ligament, which is not standard protocol, but that's akin to leaving the placenta in after childbirth. Because, then the gum grows over top, and then what happens is you get jaw cavitation, like a jaw cavity. That could take decades to develop, and can't even show up on an X-ray until it's 80% of a cavitation.   Tahnee: (50:41) That's established, yeah. Okay.   Nadine Artemis: (50:43) Yeah.   Tahnee: (50:44) Sort of a long term issue as well if you don't get it right the first time.   Nadine Artemis: (50:48) Yeah, can be.   Tahnee: (50:48) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (50:50) Yeah, but luckily, those can be cleaned out and they inject oxygen or the plasma therapy. If you've ever had a root canal, I mean, sorry, a wisdom tooth or another extraction, at some point, you're going to want to have those places checked. Again, it's not a lot of... You need to find a dentist that really does do this, that they know about this, that this isn't new information for them, and then you'll be in good hands. We also have articles, an article on our site about questions to ask a prospective dentist. We got a lot of resources, because it's a big area. It's a complicated area, but we're all dealing with tooth stuff, because we didn't really get the past 50 years of... Well, no, really, the whole history of, I think, humans fixing teeth hasn't been a good story.   Nadine Artemis: (51:40) Now, there's a lot of not good modern practises, like mercury, or like all the things we just talked about, but now, luckily, we're also at a time in history where there's never been cleaner... We got clean options now. We got people that understand what's going on. I think we're also at a time where we really can solve those issues, we can prevent issues and we have good solutions now to clean up shoddy dentist work from the past, which I feel like most adults on the planet are at that stage where we have to then, for the next phase of our lives, make sure we've cleaned up the past, cleaned up those childhood dental wonky things, get the silver out. [crosstalk 00:52:25]   Nadine Artemis: (52:25) Yes. Again, we didn't know [crosstalk 00:52:30] the culture back then.   Tahnee: (52:30) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (52:30) Yeah.   Tahnee: (52:31) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (52:32) But, we're getting there. Even stem cells, literally, it's not out there in normal practise yet, or a dentist's office, but they literally can grow teeth with stem cells.   Tahnee: (52:44) That's amazing.   Nadine Artemis: (52:45) That is coming. I feel like it's been coming for a few years, but it really should be coming, because it's already been done. They kind of make a little mould, and then... a little tooth shape, and then the stem cells go in, and the tooth grows up in the little [crosstalk 00:53:02]   Tahnee: (53:02) That's amazing. They can transplant them into people?   Nadine Artemis: (53:06) No, I think that's set up in your mouth.   Tahnee: (53:08) You're kidding.   Nadine Artemis: (53:08) Yeah, and then you grow your own. [crosstalk 00:53:12] Yeah.   Tahnee: (53:14) I'm sure that'll be on the market as soon as it's ready.   Nadine Artemis: (53:19) Yeah.   Tahnee: (53:19) That's great. In terms of management, because if people do have... I mean, in my family, I have people with a history of bad dentistry, and that being sort of sorted out as they've aged, and other close friends, and so much of it then becomes around just cultivating that healthy microbiome, that healthy environment to... Because, I mean, I noticed in myself, if I'm ever really run down, I can feel my immune system kind of flaring up, I'll sometimes get a sore tooth or something, and I sort of have started to correlate that to like, "Okay, that's when I let myself get really run down," and that manifests, but when I rein it in and manage my diet and my herbs, my immune system kind of perks back up again. That goes away. That's such an interesting relationship that environment versus the traditional external idea would be like, "Oh, you've got a sore tooth. Go to the dentist and get it fixed or taken out or something."   Nadine Artemis: (54:19) Yeah, if we're listening to our bodies, we can prevent a lot early on.   Tahnee: (54:24) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (54:24) It's telling us.   Tahnee: (54:25) When I was a lot younger, I clicked onto that. If I start to get a toothache, I'm like, "Okay, pushing it. Rein it in." Your video, you just reminded me of that amazing video. I think you're sitting in a creek or something, and you're doing your tooth care routine. I'll put a link to that in the show notes, because I think that was the first time I actually came across your work in this area.   Nadine Artemis: (54:49) Oh, fun.   Tahnee: (54:50) Yeah, and I loved that... One of the things I love in your book is you talk about washing your hair in the lake, and how your products are so clean that there's no problem with doing that. I think it's the same to think that we could spit our tooth care back into a running stream and not feel like we're messing with the ecosystem.   Nadine Artemis: (55:07) Yeah, or just swallow it and not messing with our own ecosystem.   Tahnee: (55:10) Yeah. You're working a lot with salts, with the kind of natural abrasives. You said before some abrasives aren't so good for that kind of tooth, and that's something I've always been curious about, because I think it's a similar thing with the skin. We want to protect the barrier of the tooth, but not use anything like glycerin that's going to coat it, or anything too abrasive. In your opinion, the baking sodas and the-   Nadine Artemis: (55:32) Oh, yeah. It's so mild, and you can even use the baking soda or something that fine, you can also use on your face, like a clay or whatever, and that's a great amount of [inaudible 00:55:44], or even clay on your teeth, or clay with baking soda, a pinch of salt. I have recipes in my book. So easy, and just a million times better than a tube of whatever.   Tahnee: (55:56) Yeah. Actually, clay to me is one of those things that is just God's gift to humanity.   Nadine Artemis: (56:03) Yeah. Sure.   Tahnee: (56:05) [crosstalk 00:56:05] on your teeth and on your skin and your hair, it's such a-   Nadine Artemis: (56:07) Yeah. Everybody needs a kilo of clay in their home for all the things. A kilo of baking soda.   Tahnee: (56:14) Do you have a favourite clay?   Nadine Artemis: (56:15) Oh, my gosh, so many.   Tahnee: (56:16) It's hard, isn't it? Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (56:18) Yeah. They have all different... There's the mantra light... There's the white clay. There's a sacred clay that we get from Oregon.   Tahnee: (56:27) [inaudible 00:56:27] one of my favourites as well.   Nadine Artemis: (56:29) Yeah. Yeah. I love them all.   Tahnee: (56:30) Okay. All clays are good. Any other things? The tongue scraping to me is something I made my partner start doing when we got together, because I was like, "You're not touching me until you've scraped your tongue." [crosstalk 00:56:42] Sorry, you go.   Nadine Artemis: (56:45) No, you go. I was just saying, when you do it, eventually, really, there's not a lot to scrape off. You do it regularly, which is good.   Tahnee: (56:54) Yeah, but I think it's become such a... I guess going to bed with dirty teeth, to me, feels really weird and I'm waking up and not scraping my tongue. It's like I haven't put on my pants or something. It's a weird feeling when I leave the house if I haven't done that. One of the things I think that you recommend that I guess is a little bit counter to a lot of the alternatives, [inaudible 00:57:17] the electric toothbrush. You talk about using an electric toothbrush well, because that was something I found really interesting in your book, how you distinguish between a soft brush for the gums, and then more of a polish with the electric toothbrush.   Nadine Artemis: (57:29) Yeah, you can use soft for both. We recommend an ionic brush, or a manual brush, but the ionic's nice, and that's doing a good gum massage, and you're going right up to the top and then down, and you're always just brushing in one direction, which is gum towards the teeth, not back and forth, because that will really... The sulca, which is where the tooth and the gum join is such a precious area that we really need to keep the gum pockets down and around the teeth, and not... Because, that's how receding gums start. Receding gums can literally be just you're applying too much pressure and brushing up and down. We need to keep our gums. It's one of the best ways to keep your teeth is to keep those gum pockets.   Tahnee: (58:14) You're talking like a quick down from the gum to the tooth, so that's how [crosstalk 00:58:19]   Nadine Artemis: (58:19) Then you lift off-   Tahnee: (58:19) And go down again?   Nadine Artemis: (58:22) Yeah. It's pretty mild and you'll get really good at it, but it takes a moment of retraining, because we've probably been doing it the other way for most of our lives. Then, the electric, you want to... Then, you're polishing the teeth, and hopefully, it'll be a different shape than the other one, and then that's really working on the teeth. I'm so thankful that we've been working on this for a few years. We finally have a new toothbrush coming out in just a few more weeks. Yeah. It's no EMS. It's electric. It's angled. It's a really good angle. It really removes plaque, because there's a lot of really innovative stuff coming out with brushing. I feel like there's so many micro-inventions right now, and as people really thought about all these different shapes. I have one toothbrush that's got four heads on it, so I mean, I try every toothbrush, but finally, I'm really feeling a difference in how this removes plaque.   Tahnee: (59:23) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Nadine Artemis: (59:24) It even comes with a small... a few heads, one for day and night, and this one that's like a thin... that can go in between the teeth.   Tahnee: (59:36) Aha, almost like a pick or something.   Nadine Artemis: (59:37) Yeah.   Tahnee: (59:38) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (59:38) Yeah, yeah. With just one set of bristles.   Tahnee: (59:42) Oh, that's really cool. It gets right-   Nadine Artemis: (59:43) Yeah.   Tahnee: (59:44) Yeah. Those hard to reach corners.   Nadine Artemis: (59:46) Yes. It stays charged for a month, so you can go travelling without your charger.   Tahnee: (59:51) I love you. I'm buying this thing. Yeah, because I tried to take mine on our honeymoon a couple weeks ago, and it didn't even last the week, and I was like, "Come one."   Nadine Artemis: (01:00:03) Oh. Congratulations.   Tahnee: (01:00:04) Thank you. Yeah, we had a magical day. The other thing, I think, flossing is super important. Hopefully, everyone knows that by now, but anything you want to add on flossing? We use the drTungs brand. Do you guys do a floss?   Nadine Artemis: (01:00:20) We talk about flossing twice, because when you floss the second time, you'll really know why. It's just needed to be done.   Tahnee: (01:00:29) Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (01:00:30) Yeah.   Tahnee: (01:00:32) Then, rinsing with salt water and essential oils. I mean, your dew drops product is... Is it dew drops? Is that the tooth one? Got the little tooth bottle that we use of your product that we use on our... to rinse and on our brushes and stuff, which I really like. Is that a mix of a couple of... I can't even think of what's in it right now.   Nadine Artemis: (01:00:56) The Swishing Serum or the Healthy Gums?   Tahnee: (01:00:58) Healthy Gums, that's what it is, the little tooth... Yeah.   Nadine Artemis: (01:01:01) Yes, well, we make these... I love giving people tips about just using the baking soda, salt, things you have handy, just to get started right away. Of course, we do make these beautiful dental serums and toothpaste, so the dental serums are super concentrated, and those can be massaged... One drop, massage along your gums or a special area that's receding, and then you can put one drop along your floss, which is really great.   Tahnee: (01:01:27) Yeah, that's what we do.   Nadine Artemis: (01:01:28) Then, we also sell these blunt tip syringes that you can also put the dental serum in, and then you can get those right along the gum line or in between the teeth. It's really good for along the floss, as it really helps to prevent bleeding gums, and it gets those botanical... those little QSI botanical essential oils right into the crevices in between each tooth, which is super good for the gums.   Tahnee: (01:01:55) Amazing. The last thing, because there's so many things in your amazing book, so just tell everyone, if you're interested, get it. Then, chat to Nadine via her site. She's got heaps of great stuff on there. I just wanted to talk a little bit about internally for teeth. Are there any... I know iodine can be really helpful. I know, even just looking after your gut health. In Chinese medicine, it's related to kidney functions. It's supporting the body with kidney herbs and reducing stress, things like [inaudible 01:02:22] Are there any other things you think that are kind of no-brainers for internal tooth care?   Nadine Artemis: (01:02:26) I think it's really important to keep up with fat soluble vitamins, so you want your D3 and K2 combo. That sends minerals into the bones, so if we're not ample in the sunshine vitamin and K2, then the minerals kind of just coast around in our blood serum. We want to drive those into the bones. That's what that does. I think that's pretty key. Just remember to get plenty of sunshine as well.   Tahnee: (01:02:54) Yes. Easy in Australia, less so in Canada.   Nadine Artemis: (01:02:58) Yeah right now. [crosstalk 01:03:02] Even though it's a foot of snow right now, three days ago, I was in a little wind protected area and lying in the sun. It was only about six degrees out, but I felt it. I felt those rays. It was really good.   Tahnee: (01:03:17) Get what you can get.   Nadine Artemis: (01:03:17) Yeah.   Tahnee: (01:03:19) All right. Amazing. Thank you so much. I just think you're such a wealth of knowledge, and your books are really valuable. I mean, we didn't get to talk about children's dental care, but that's in there, and your work on pregnancy as well, and how to use essential oils during pregnancy and Renegade Beauty is really amazing. They were really helpful for me with my daughter and my pregnancy, so I just want to make sure I run those to... Get copies of these books. We're going to have some to give away as well, and Living Libations is Nadine's company, so I'll put links to all of this stuff in the show notes, but if there's anything else, Nadine, that you wanted to let us know about, is there anything else coming up apart from this magic toothbrush that I'll be buying?   Nadine Artemis: (01:03:59) We always have things coming out. [crosstalk 01:04:02] I restrain myself. I could-   Tahnee: (01:04:07) Yeah, go on all day.   Nadine Artemis: (01:04:08) No, yeah, I mean, yeah, I could have 50 products tomorrow, but I got to slow down.   Tahnee: (01:04:14) You sound like my partner. All right. I'll point people towards your newsletter, and if they are interested in following along, you can check out the social media accounts or Nadine's website for all of her up and coming things, and all the things she creates. Thank you so much, again, for your time. I really appreciate it, and I hope this was fun for you.   Nadine Artemis: (01:04:35) Yes.   Tahnee: (01:04:36) Great. All right. We'll have a chat to you soon again, hopefully, one day. Thanks, Nadine.   Nadine Artemis: (01:04:42) Thank you so much. It was my pleasure. Bye.   Tahnee: (01:04:44) Bye.
Today marks a special 100 episodes of the SuperFeast podcast, that's 100 episodes of inspiring conversations with brilliant humans progressing the world through health and wellness! Over the past 100 episodes, the SuperFeast podcast has had hundreds of thousands of downloads and connected with people from Nigeria to Greenland. This evolving journey wouldn't be what it is without you, the listeners, your interaction, and the energy you bring to this space. On Today's podcast our favourite dynamic duo, Tahnee and Mason sit down for a reflective conversation on the journey thus far; the most listened to episodes, the guests that filled them up, and exciting prospects for the future of SuperFeast podcasts. It's always magic when Tahnee and Mason share the mic, and with the 100th episode and a new year ahead of us, it's a perfectly aligned reason to have them back on the podcast connecting with the SuperFeast community.   Tahnee and Mason discuss: Reflections of the SuperFeast podcast, looking back six years from the Mason Taylor Show to now.   The evolution of the podcast landscape over this space in time. The most popular episodes/guests and the topics that consistently resonate with listeners (we've linked them all in the resources below). Health protocols in our ever-changing contemporary landscape; intentionally creating a healthy space to continue questioning beliefs, integrate opposing ideas, and move into a place of harmony, which is in alignment with every traditional system.  The guests that influenced and cultivated Tahnee and Mason's introspective journeys. Navigating the newly emerging health scape where holistic traditions are being meshed with more reductionist methods. The Women's Series; Tahnee's journey through the many dimensions of experience her guests have brought and the gift of sharing space with women who have so much wisdom to offer. Future directions and Visions. Sex; a popular topic that always gets ratings.  Gratitude and the value of reviews.    Tahnee and Mason Taylor Tahnee and Mason Taylor (recently married!) are the founder and CEO of SuperFeast (respectively). Their mission with SuperFeast is to improve the health, healing, and happiness of people and the planet, through sharing carefully curated offerings and practices that honour ancient wisdom and elevate the human spirit. Together Tahnee and Mason run their company and host the SuperFeast podcast, weaving their combined experience in herbs, yoga, wellness, Taoist healing arts, and personal development with lucid and compelling interviews from all around the world. They are the proud parents of Aiya and Goji, the dog, and are grateful to call the Byron Shire home. MasonTaylor Mason Taylor is the founder of SuperFeast. Mason d to the ideas of potentiating the human experience through his mum Janesse (who was a big inspiration for founding SuperFeast and is still an inspiration to Mason and his team due to her ongoing resilience in the face of disability). After traveling South America for a year, Mason found himself struggling with his health - he was worn out, carried fungal infections, and was only 22. He realised that he had the power to take control of his health. Mason redirected his attention from his business degree and night work in a bar to begin what was to become more than a decade of health research, courses, education, and mentorship from some of the leaders in personal development, wellness, and tonic herbalism. Inspired by the own changes to his health and wellbeing through his journey (which also included Yoga teacher training and raw foodism!), he started SuperFeast in 2010. Initially offering a selection of superfoods, herbs, and supplements to support detox, immune function, and general wellbeing. Mason offered education programs around Australia, and it was on one of these trips that he met Tahnee, who is now his wife and CEO of SuperFeast. Mason also offered detox and health transformation retreats in the Byron hinterland (some of which Tahnee also worked on, teaching Yoga and workshops on Taoist healing practices, as well as offering Chi Nei Tsang treatments to participants). After falling in love with the Byron Shire, Mason moved SuperFeast from Sydney's Northern Beaches to Byron Bay in 2015. He lived on a majestic permaculture farm in the Byron hinterland, and after not too long, Tahnee joined him (and their daughter, Aiya was conceived). The rest is history - from a friend's rented garage to a warehouse in the Byron Industrial Estate to SuperFeast's current home in Mullumbimby's beautiful Food Hub, SuperFeast (and Mason) has thrived in the conscious community of the Northern Rivers. Mason continues to evolve his role at SuperFeast, in education, sourcing, training, and creating the formulas based on Taoist principles of tonic herbalism. Tahnee Taylor Tahnee Taylor is the CEO of SuperFeast and has been exploring health and human consciousness since her late teens. From Yoga, which she first practiced at school in 2000, to reiki, herbs, meditation, Taoist and Tantric practices, and human physiology, her journey has taken her all over. This journey continues to expand her understanding and insight into the majesty (that is) the human body and the human experience. Tahnee graduated with a Journalism major and did a stint in non-fiction publishing (working with health and wellness authors and other inspiring creatives), advertising, many jobs in cafes, and eventually found herself as a Yoga teacher. Her first studio, Yoga for All, opened in 2013, and Tahnee continues to study Yoga with her teachers Paul + Suzee Grilley and Rod Stryker. She learned Chi Nei Tsang and Taoist healing practices from Master Mantak Chia. Tahnee continues to study herbalism and Taoist practices, the human body, women's wisdom, ancient healing systems, and is currently enrolled in an acupuncture degree and year-long program with The Shamanic School of Womancraft. Tahnee is the mother of one, a 4-year old named Aiya.   Resources: The Power of Menopause with Jane Hardwicke Collings (EP#77) Life-Changing Sex Makes Anything Possible with Kim Anami (EP#28) Yin Yoga with Anatomist and Yogi Paul Grilley (EP#59) Why Chinese Medicine is Failing Us with Rhonda Chang (EP#80) Ayurveda and Yoga-The Healing Arts with Myra Lewin From Hale Pule (EP#55) Reclaiming Pureness and Sovereign Living with Jessika Le Corre (EP#96) Tools For Healthy Living with Dr. Claudia Welch (EP#32) Authentic Sex with Juliet Allen (EP#31) Embodied Movement with The Movement Monk Benny Fergusson (EP#56) Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?   A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:01) Hi everyone. I'm here with Mason.   Mason: (00:04) Hi guys. How are you?   Tahnee: (00:05) Yay. And it's episode 100, which means we've made it through 100 interviews and chats with each other and others. And we just wanted to check in with you guys today because I was laughing to myself thinking about when Mason first tried to get me on the podcast and I was moy resistant as they say in Spanish. And I have really enjoyed it, actually, coming full circle and have had some amazing chats and have really enjoyed the opportunity to get clear on my voice and my interview style and how we connect with people and sharing it with you guys.   Mason: (00:49) Yeah, it's been great watching you step into that side of yourself because you asked great questions.   Tahnee: (00:54) So do you.   Mason: (00:55) Thank you.   Tahnee: (00:56) And it's really cool. I remember when I first met Mase about six years ago, he was doing a podcasting course, I think, or kind of interested in starting his own podcast or maybe you were in a mastermind group or something.   Mason: (01:10) I didn't go that far. I just signed up for the free seven steps-   Tahnee: (01:15) Trial.   Mason: (01:16) No, just a little guide, seven steps to set up your podcast. Went and did that with... Can't remember who it was through, but it was just one of those ones. It just popped up in a-   Tahnee: (01:25) An ad or something.   Mason: (01:26) Yeah, it was an ad and I was like, hmm, not bad.   Tahnee: (01:29) Yeah and I remember you had the Mason Taylor Show and if you're listening and you haven't checked out that stuff that was from probably five or six years ago now. And I remember having listened to podcasts, but I think it was not what they are now where they're just abundant in all spheres. It's been really cool to be involved peripherally and then more closely lately as SuperFeast podcast has evolved. And we're really excited about the next 100 episodes.   Mason: (02:02) Doing the podcast five years ago, it's interesting. It's a similar feeling to when I started SuperFeast and I was like, ah, it's probably not appropriate to sell medicinal mushrooms because the market seems saturated already. And then you fast forward five years and you're like, ah, no, that was like-   Tahnee: (02:20) [crosstalk 00:02:20]-   Mason: (02:20) Yeah. And like five years ago I was like, oh my gosh, there's a bajillion podcasts out there, but it wasn't at the point now where it felt something where it's accessible for absolutely everyone, to do it. It didn't feel natural. It didn't feel as much stepping out on a ledge.   Tahnee: (02:39) And I think, obviously, as a medium, it's just ballooned and it's been such an interesting thing to observe and we're talking the SuperFeast podcast, hundreds of thousands of downloads. People listening, I was looking at the country map before we jumped on, from all over the world from Nigeria to Greenland. I don't even know if people live in Greenland, but all over the place. It's quite wild to me to see how diverse and vast our listenership is. And even the topics that have really resonated with you guys because I guess we would not have picked them, but then looking at the statistics, we've got the semen retention and some of the episodes on sex, especially Kim Anami and Juliet Allen are really popular with you guys. And then female hormones, obviously a massive topic and one that are really of interest to the people listening to us. That's been, I think, a really interesting thing to reflect on as-   Mason: (03:38) Well, the interesting thing with the SuperFeast podcast is we didn't really have a strategy, which is something. It's like, all right, we'll take 100 episode kinda settler. And in terms of, strategically, it being like a marketing tool for the business, you would've thought that we would have sat down and gone, right, we're going to do these kinds of interviews with these kinds of people, these kinds of topics, but we didn't do that at all.   Tahnee: (04:07) People we're fans of or that we think would be interesting guests-   Mason: (04:09) Which I think that's a huge reason. For some people, I don't know, maybe for some of you, you wanted to hear about herbs and that's something that I've strayed from, but you can see we're in some of the top podcasts. It's the Reishi one, the Chaga one, ashwagandha-   Tahnee: (04:31) Cannabis-   Mason: (04:32) Yeah and then then like, cannabis is a little bit different, but yeah, nonetheless, it's something that I'd love to hear from you guys if those, even if it's just like a rapid fire, me talking about a particular herbal, Tahnee talking about a particular herb, if you want to hear a little bit more about that, I'd be super stoked to jump in there and do that. But it's been part of the beauty and I think part of the reason we've been... I think we've got so much structure in many areas of life. It's been it's in the business getting more structure in place in the business.   Mason: (05:07) It's nice having this open book, chaotic world and even though what I was saying is I think maybe there's a few of you listening, it'd be great to hear if you feel like more consistency is something that keeps you there, but I think it's been a huge reason why the podcast resonates with so many people is just this like open field of possible ideas and bringing the guys in and talking about Ayurveda and then classical Chinese medicine and then bringing naturopaths in. And we don't try and layer all these things on top of each other and make it fit a particular idea around health. It's just going out and exploring what's out there, which I feel like I've needed that in the podcast and it's helped me keep me motivated and [inaudible 00:05:54].   Tahnee: (05:54) Well, I think that's the bit you probably don't appreciate from the listener's perspective, but for us, running a company and being parents and life, it's a great way for us to stay really connected and to learn and to be inspired by people who are really on mission, I guess, for want of a better way of saying it and who have really devoted themselves to a particular topic or area of research. And I was thinking about the podcast that really moved me and I remember listening to Jane Hardwicke Collings, who I interviewed earlier this year, she did a piece on menopause with us and I was moved to tears by that interview. I just was so touched by her strength and her power and her capacity to capture what it is to be a woman in these transitory phases of life and-   Mason: (06:44) That was number 77, The Power of Menopause.   Tahnee: (06:47) Yeah. And then the other one, I was trying to think of the ones that really, really resonated. I was really excited to speak to Kim Anami and that's one that you guys have all voted is very, very popular. That was number 28. But coming back to Jane, that was one of the ones where people would stop me on the street and just say, oh my God, that podcast moved me. And everyone from young women who just birthed their first child to women in their 50s and 60s who were touched that someone had discussed those topics so openly. That was really special. And I remember being really moved by speaking with Paul, my yoga teacher, Paul Grilley, which I think he's number... We'll look that up. But yeah, that was a really special one for me because-   Mason: (07:36) That's number 59.   Tahnee: (07:37) He's been such a huge influence to me in my teaching and my life. And I know for you Mace, Rhonda's been a big influence.   Mason: (07:47) The Rhonda Chang interview's number 80. I think it's called, Why Chinese Medicine is Failing Us. It's been interesting. It's creeping up there more and more, becoming one of those cult conversations. You can see like this month it's got way more downloads than anything else [inaudible 00:08:10] actually-   Tahnee: (08:10) Still-   Mason: (08:10) Jane's there still like charging away and I assume that'll get up there. I like that because I think for a lot of you who are listening, I heard some people listen to one of mine and Dan Sipple's conversations, which if you want to just hear me and my mate, who's a naturopath, me coming from Taoist perspective, him naturopath perspective, and just seeing just how those conversations run side by side, but someone shared it on Instagram recently and was like they come for the talk on gut health, the conversations and the protocols on gut health and they stay for Mason's rants about ideology.   Mason: (08:50) And I don't know if you guys are still enjoying it or not whether I'm flogging a dead horse, but naturally, that's been something probably because I've been really going through some reconciliations within myself and some integrations with myself and also just really pausing to consider where in the health landscape there is room and tools being provided to people so that we're safe to go into a big rule set approach to health or a protocol, a healing protocol, and then where the skill set is in going beyond to well, what do you go to beyond that, beyond the labels and coming further into yourself and then realising that we're not going to land in a place of being sure and it's such a weird world, where we're in a completely new world when it comes to the accessibility that we have to health protocols and technologies and traditional technologies and traditional systems that it's all just experimental as anything right now. What is a healthy, ongoing space to keep on questioning our beliefs and questioning how we've integrated opposing ideas and then move into a place of it's in further and further harmony, which is in alignment with every traditional system. It's never ending and it doesn't ever stop evolving, but there is a way to surf it in harmony and stay healthy.   Mason: (10:13) That's been a huge one for me this year, which a lot of you would have heard and Rhonda's conversation is probably the biggest one in number 80, Why Chinese medicine is Failing Us just because it represents something I'm close to as a hobbyist with Chinese medicine and enjoying Taoists medicine, especially, and she's someone sometimes you're like, am I crazy here? Is there actually any difference? Is there an institution when it comes to health or the Chinese medicine that's different to how it was done previously? Is this just the natural evolution? Is it in fact unnatural? Is it bad or is it good? Is it great to have options? Where's the [inaudible 00:10:57]... But it was just all meshed in. It was just Chinese medicine is Chinese medicine is Chinese medicine is Chinese medicine. It represents the wider conversation around when something that was holistic gets layered on something that's reductionist. And so that's another one, that number 80 conversation was one I had seen people writing to me and stopping me on the street going far out, Ronda's is just a firecracker, but she's just nailed it.   Mason: (11:27) Am I crazy here? Is something that blurred here? We should be making the distinction that this is a new medicine and a new technology and not just pretending that we're practising the traditional style and with that, why isn't it working? And I feel that about a lot of things. I see a lot of people going down a health ideology that's got all this modern biohacking layered over it and we're like, yes, I'm doing the traditional thing and then I've watched it fail so many times and then going, okay... I'm going a little bit of a rant, guys, but this is just wrapping up my approach to the podcast. Going like, well, where does our faith actually lie? Does it lie in a system or in an ideology and a set of rules that we can identify with and that are external or is there something else that we can learn to have faith and trust in, which is self-regulating and never moving?   Mason: (12:27) And that's something that that conversation and reading Rhonda's book and talking with her really helped me go, no, I'm not crazy here, there's just a little bit more of a distinction that's needed, especially when there's so much coming. There's so many new systems coming out as Western medicine goes charging forth, thankfully, in other areas, as long as it's not getting layered over and bastardising everything that we've had there. If we're able to preserve that, then that's beautiful as well. A lot of this year in the podcast has been me wiping out a lot of that confusion and learning how to navigate this new emerging health scape.   Tahnee: (13:12) That's a way more complex than my year. My year was like emotions and amazing women, which I feel like that's such an interesting... I've felt that my personal journey was around this wider acceptance of the vast, many layered dimensions of experience that women have and also that everyone has and then also the themes around that. I think I've really learned to be less judgmental and to not always project my experience onto other people and not to try and always use myself as the reference. And I think it's been interesting talking to people who they're just so strong and grounded in themselves.   Tahnee: (14:04) I'm thinking about Jessica Le Corre right now. I spoke to her on my birthday, on my 35th birthday, and I feel she was a bit of a gift. That was episode 96. She just epitomises to me the place I would like to step into or the place I see myself stepping into as I get older. And she really, really moved me. And also I'm thinking of Myra Lewin, the Ayurvedic teacher. I think her episode was... Looking at one up, number 55. Ayurveda and yoga and she was another one I think that really moved me. Claudia Welch, I've spoken to a lot of women who are just proper powerhouses and I think that's something that I've really... Number 32's Claudia Welch as well. Something I've really kind of-   Mason: (14:58) It's one of the favourites as well.   Tahnee: (15:00) Yeah. I've always said to Mase, I'm going to be a really cool old lady when I'm 60. And I think speaking to these women that are elders and even if they're only 10 years older than me, but they've settled into themselves in a way that I think young women often haven't and it's really special to share the space with them. And just so many interesting and inspiring women and men, I think have graced our microphone this year.   Mason: (15:31) And that's an interesting reflection because I've definitely noticed that in you stepping into a part of yourself. I'm not sure what you mean by using yourself as a reference, not doing that as much. Is that-   Tahnee: (15:46) I think just sometimes because I've had a pretty interesting, vast life experience in some ways. And I think sometimes I can try and empathise through my experience instead of just allowing that person's experience to be separate from me a little bit. And I think it's just something that as you grow up, you realise you haven't seen it all. And I'm may be not clear [crosstalk 00:16:12]-   Mason: (16:12) No, no that's clear.   Tahnee: (16:12) Just coming to me at this moment, but that's what I'm feeling into that I've noticed, like assumptions I've made or going into interviews with a certain assumption or certain sense of where it's going to go and then just being completely stunned in a positive way where it's just been so much richer and deeper and more powerful and more educational for me on a really personal intimate level than I would have imagined. A chat about, say, I just did one, it hasn't come out yet, about PCOS and I've not experienced that personally. And I went in with some assumptions around what PCOS is just based on my experience in dealing with it with people who we speak to and then just having this whole more vast conversation around it, I suppose, than I would have been able to have with Amanda, this TCM doctor. I think it's great. It's humbling and it's inspiring and it just constantly reminds me to stay in that beginner's mind and that Zen mind of not knowing, which was a conversation we're having last night about acting rather.   Mason: (17:20) Oh, yes.   Tahnee: (17:20) [crosstalk 00:17:19]-   Mason: (17:20) Not losing yourself in the character.   Tahnee: (17:22) Yeah, and I think you can easily get your ego really wrapped up in knowing-   Mason: (17:26) Oh, in a narrative?   Tahnee: (17:27) Yeah.   Mason: (17:27) That's something at times I was like, all right, we've got to have a very specific SuperFeast narrative. And now the idea, for example, I remember the week after I had that conversation with Rhonda and we were really heavily exploring that area, which is something I feel like I've popped. It's like just because I'm exploring an area and really enjoying it and going in and getting good realisations doesn't mean that that's my narrative, doesn't mean that's the truth, doesn't mean that we can't explore other areas. It seems obvious, but for me, I'm such a purist sometimes. And I had that conversation with Rhonda and watching, looking at what's happened when we've used, say, Western diagnosis and Western diseases in with Chinese medicine and yet, the week after or even like you were saying, this podcast that came out before this one, is a Chinese medicine doctor exploring PCOS and that's fine and that's beautiful and I'm interested to hear about that because it's like...   Mason: (18:30) I think I've [inaudible 00:18:33] what I mean there, but I feel we are really opening up and exploring on the SuperFeast podcast more and more. And that's something I did notice this year, it was just how many elders you had. You'd come away feeling really solid, just really reflected, I think, where you've been moving. And for me this year, when I've had guys on the podcast, I've been chatting to young guys. It's been Sage Dammers and Dan Sipple and Taylor Johnson and another big one was Nick Perry. But I feel that's just where I've been at. I've been trying to explore. I didn't want to be led. I wanted to be in the dark and be talking to other guys who were potentially going through that same stage of life because I needed to work it out for myself. But I can see now I'm ready to have some conversations with those guys that have just really landed in themselves as well.   Tahnee: (19:34) Basically guys, this is our therapy and you're just along for the ride because I often think about that. I'm like, I'm not promoting SuperFeast, I don't have anything to sell, I just want to have a conversation.   Mason: (19:46) I've started to be good and in the intros sometimes promo products and things.   Tahnee: (19:50) But I'm like, it's funny because to me it feels almost separate from SuperFeast except that it informs my growth and my evolution and I know the team listens and gets value out of it and support us in the production of it. They're all engaged and [inaudible 00:20:08]. It obviously informs the SuperFeast philosophy and how we do things and often conversations are sparked from listening to the podcast on how we do things and what we can do better or how we can navigate our roles better and all these things. It's just an interesting thing to me that it feels so much less a marketing part of the business. It feels a personal exploration/soul nourishment/education piece. That's an interesting thing that I've been observing is like it's not really something I think of in a sales and marketing capacity. Even though I started thinking about it because one of our consultants placed the podcast within a marketing flow and I went, oh, I didn't even think of it that way. That's been an interesting little distinction for me this year as well.   Mason: (21:04) As the business mushrooms and I'm not out doing-   Tahnee: (21:11) Is that a pun?   Mason: (21:13) Mushrooms and it's growing in its own way and I'm not in front of people at markets anymore and you're not helping at events talking to people. And so the podcast continues to be a way to associate all those conversations because normally people come up to the markets back in the day when I was growing SuperFeast-   Tahnee: (21:35) You're having the chance.   Mason: (21:36) Or when people come to you. Well, yeah, someone was like, I have an autoimmune condition. I wouldn't be sitting there just promoting SuperFeast. I'd have this huge other exploring conversation that would always need to come back to the way that we're living in general, the way the diets looking in general.   Tahnee: (21:53) Totally. It's a part of a piece of a puzzle, not a silver bullet solution. And I think that's something we wanted to convey in this ramble was that we're really interested in the direction that you guys want to hear us go with this thing. We don't have a plan. We are just reaching out and when people can, we're interviewing them and we're recording stuff that we think is interesting or that people on our team find interesting, but we haven't heard a whole lot from you guys beyond the feedback. I've quit social media, so I'm not hearing from anyone, yay, but we'd love to hear from you guys about people you think we'd froth on interviewing, people you want to hear interviewed. I think as I look at the podcast circuit and there's so many of the same names popping up across all these different podcasts and sometimes I just think, it's like people just do the circuit and they do all the podcasts. And then I'm like, I want to offer something a bit more diverse and interesting, like voices-   Mason: (23:00) I think Matthew McConaughey just finished doing that.   Tahnee: (23:02) Doing the podcast circuit?   Mason: (23:02) Yeah.   Tahnee: (23:03) Well, why didn't we get him?   Mason: (23:03) Good question. We got to consider ourselves being more like the ballers and go for the big fish.   Tahnee: (23:08) I don't know if we're quite there yet.   Mason: (23:10) No, we're definitely not there yet.   Tahnee: (23:14) Matthew lived with my friend as an exchange student actually when he was 18. We have a contact. Anyway, but my preference is not to do the famous... Look, if they're famous and they kick ass and it's something I feel we could really contribute to your earbuds, but I think in general, you can find those interviews already. I want to do people that are maybe not getting a lot of publicity or that are doing the work quietly in their little corner and don't have that kind of capacity to generate fame for themselves or-   Mason: (23:51) And it'd be interesting to hear, just for you guys, if you like, if you're [inaudible 00:23:54] on SuperFeast podcast and you're just really enjoying it, what you'd like to hear. This year hasn't been a lot about us because I know a lot of people want to hear from me and Tahns about what's your diet like and what's your lifestyle? and I don't know if we've been exploring, just trying to land somewhere-   Tahnee: (24:19) I feel like we don't spend any time together at work. That's the biggest thing. We work together, but we both hold really different roles in the business, whereas I'm usually more in an administrative role and Mason's more in a marketing role. Our days at work don't overlap that much and I think we haven't prioritised taking this time to chat to each other in this capacity, which I think is more realistic in the new year as things have settled down a bit. COVID has been, for everyone I'm sure, disruptive to the flow and we've just landed back on our feet, I think, after that period of time. And so I feel I do podcasts at seven in the morning or late at night or around... A lot of people I speak to are in the States, so I'm often working with really bad time zones where I'm getting up really early or you're looking after Aiya It's not like we can go duck off together and record one.   Mason: (25:13) I think that'd be a nice intention for us to just set or just have the intention anyway to start lapping here and there.   Tahnee: (25:22) And I'm also not the kind of person who really likes sharing those things because I think it's odd, but I'm also happy to have people want to. For example, the pregnancy podcasts, which are just-   Mason: (25:34) That's what I was just thinking of.   Tahnee: (25:34) So popular and the prenatal preparation one and-   Mason: (25:39) And the nourishing her yin, the live event, that's like, I mean that's-   Tahnee: (25:43) See, those to me though require a lot of push for me to share myself and if I'm really honest, I feel uncomfortable. And I often think about what I've shared on this podcast and I feel really uncomfortable, but it's already done so... But I think it's for me, it's my own, I don't want to ever feel like people think they need to... Yeah, I just think it's one of those things where so much of it's a personal journey for me and not something I share publicly, but if that's something you guys really want to hear and Mase does get those requests a lot through his-   Mason: (26:20) I think every time there's a request, it's like, look, I know you guys aren't going to have an exact diet or rule. We'll see if we can lap over because every time we do tune in, it's just a little... I think it's weird because Tahnee and I don't get a lot, a lot, a lot of time to just sit down with each other and flesh these things out outside of a podcast. And it's like, let's not have a mic between us every time we get that chance to just do that-   Tahnee: (26:48) [crosstalk 00:26:48] together.   Mason: (26:48) We just have enjoy be together. But there's definitely room for us to jump on and just be like, this is what the diet has done in the last year and this is where the fluctuations and this is where we're trying to land. I've definitely started sharing a little because we get asked a lot about diet and everyone knows we're not experts on that topic, but we've had a lot of interactions with thinking about the diet and so we'll see. That's not a black and white conversation, so we'll see if we can colour it in and do some sharing around that one. Definitely, I can get the feeling if there's anyone that wants to learn about any particular topics in Taoist herbalism that I can share about.   Tahnee: (27:37) I've got a couple of things lined up just from my background, like yoga nidra. I've got a chat coming up with Rod Stryker next year. I have-   Mason: (27:46) [crosstalk 00:27:46] he's the one that Tahnee's been learning from him, but our yoga nidra that Sophia runs on a Wednesday, so everyone's been doing it.   Tahnee: (27:55) And with Nicole's teacher, whose name I don't remember, but she's amazing, too. And we have definitely got some podcasts on [inaudible 00:28:03] planned. I'm trying to get my Taois teacher Master Mantak Chia on the podcast, I'm working on it. I just think there's lots of people out there that we're connected to that would be great to feature because we know their work and we love their work. And I know Mase has Benny on regularly and Benny's a close friend of ours as well as an excellent genius of movement. What numbers are Benny if we're looking for them-   Mason: (28:32) We've had Benny twice. Benny, the embodied movement one is really most popular, me and him just riffing a lot. That's why I talk in that one because we're riffing. So number 56, if you want to hear me talking with my friend, or 87, if you want to hear Benny talking a little bit less interrupted.   Tahnee: (28:53) How could you not interrupt someone? Anyway, I'm sure there'll be more of that stuff. I think you and [Tanya 00:28:59] should re-record-   Mason: (28:59) Oh yeah, that's a good.   Tahnee: (29:00) Because Tanya's a close friend of ours, who's a permaculture lifestyle guru.   Mason: (29:06) The Mason Taylor Show, we've had a really good conversation with Tanya [inaudible 00:29:11], it's called, Dancing the Patterns of Permaculture. If you can go find number eight on the Mason Taylor Show, you can tune in with us talking about permaculture and then when we get her on the SuperFeast podcast, you can see the difference and the evolution of where that conversation goes. But yeah, that's a good call. There's a lot of people on the horizon. For some reason, I don't know, I thought you guys were all sexually liberated and maybe that's why you like the sexy conversations-   Tahnee: (29:42) Sex is very popular.   Mason: (29:43) It's by far the top one-   Tahnee: (29:46) Four or five?   Mason: (29:46) That's downloaded is Semen retention. Is that because, did that get shared around in a bunch of like guys circles? Or is it women going like, hold the phone, it is possible? Authentic Sex with Juliet Allen is way up there as is Tahnee's conversation with Kim Anami. They're seriously popular. If there's any aspects around sexuality and any experts that you'd recommend us listening to, we definitely don't like... I think it's nice. We like people on the edge, but sometimes... It's interesting to know what you guys are enjoying about that. We don't particularly feel we're being naughty or taboo talking about these kinds of things, but I think, for some of you, maybe you're enjoying the fact that it feels really edgy, us talking about this kind of thing. I'm not sure why that's so popular. Sex is great. And so it's an obvious reason, but yeah, if you guys want to send us an email or anything and just let us know, you're reflecting over the last 100 episodes why you've been drawn towards particular topics and others not so much, in particular, personalities more so. It'd be really great to hear and you'd all probably notice and appreciate Tahnee's audio is way better these days.   Tahnee: (31:14) That was our number one comment was fix Tahnee's audio and guys, I'm a quiet person anyway. So I'm learning to be more articulate in the microphone and I'm learning how to use microphones. Mason didn't teach me anything. He just gave me one. I'm working on it and that kind of feedback is really useful, too, because I'm new to this and we are often just making it up as we go along.   Mason: (31:43) Thanks gang. Hey, reviews. I know a lot of you, a lot of you listening have left reviews, but it's the classic, it's like-   Tahnee: (31:49) They always help.   Mason: (31:51) Well, they're fun to read. I really like reading them when they come through.   Tahnee: (31:56) We share them with the whole team, too, so that we have a Slack channel. If you don't know what Slack is, it's kind of like inter business communication system. Our whole team uses it and we have a channel called Awesome Feedback, and we put feedback from all different areas of the business. People who love receiving a love letter from the warehouse all the way up to podcast reviews or customer service feedback on how much someone's health has changed from using SuperFeast. And it's just a way for us to celebrate the success and the joy that SuperFeast brings in people's lives. We also have channels for complaints, so don't worry, we're not just totally sunshine and focusing on the positive, but we really enjoy sharing that with everyone and everyone really enjoys reading those and they always get lots of positive comments and emojis and love.   Mason: (32:44) It can be specific. Sorry, it can be specific as well. You can say like, oh my gosh, this episode was great and I really loved this about Tahnee or it doesn't have to be a big, wide, general review. You can get really nice and specific there.   Tahnee: (32:58) Just anything, if you want to share with us, we love it. And same if you want to email us or contact us, it's just both of our first names at That's an easy way to get in touch or through the team email, which is on our website or the contact forms. You can just reach out to us and let us know your feedback and just stay in touch. Sometimes it's like talking to space. It's nice to know there are humans out there listening. And so apart from seeing that in the numbers yeah, it's a great way for us to get feedback. I think that's about all we wanted to say.   Mason: (33:34) Thanks everyone. Thanks for coming along for the journey.   Tahnee: (33:36) We'd be interested to hear your favourite episodes, too. Those are just some of my favourites, but if you have any that really resonated, let us know.   Mason: (33:45) Always appreciate you guys sharing them. I'm still there on Instagram. When you tag favourite conversations and tag me in it, it always makes me really smile. Just thanks for making sure that the word's getting out there. Hopefully we're a nice little sanctuary of very deep diving ideas without it being a place where anyone needs to subscribe to anything in particular. I'm hoping that everyone feels very non-judged and able to just really explore interesting ideas in this and through this podcast.   Tahnee: (34:25) Aho.   Mason: (34:25) See you guys.   Tahnee: (34:28) Bye.
On the Women's Series today Tahnee has the pleasure of chatting with returning guest Dr. Lara Briden, author of the game-changing book for women's health, Period Repair Manual and soon to be released Hormone Repair Manual. A naturopathic doctor with 25 years of clinical practice to her name, Dr. Lara is somewhat of a women's health activist on a mission to help women achieve healthy natural menstrual cycles (without hormonal birth control). This conversation is brimming with goodness as the ladies delve into the distinct differences between PCOS and Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, two conditions quite prevalent among women of varied ages and commonly misdiagnosed. As always, Dr. Lara ignites a sense of empowerment in femininity and reminds us of the plainspoken truth that a woman's period is not only a sign of good health but a creator of good health!   Tahnee and Lara discuss: PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome); what is it? Why an ultrasound alone is not enough for diagnosis. Hypothalamic amenorrhea; what is it? Why is it so commonly misdiagnosed as PCOS? Recovering from hypothalamic amenorrhea; Dr. Lara's advice. What is the difference between hypothalamic amenorrhea and PCOS? What are the correct testing procedures for hypothalamic amenorrhea and PCOS? Different reasons why a woman's period may be missing. The spike in the last decade of women losing their periods due to under-eating, and how this is partly contributed to by 'clean eating' 'low carb' diets. How the female body works and what women need, in terms of food and carbohydrate intake. The concept of gynecological age. Pregnancy and its protective health benefits, due to the natural hormone surge. How exposure to hormones from the natural menstrual cycle helps women live longer. The assumption that contraceptive drugs will give the same benefits as hormones from pregnancy or menstrual cycles. The benefits of the menstrual cycles; how to utilise it. Bone health and how the health of this living tissue is directly related to the menstrual cycle.  Why insulin resistance is a distinctive feature of PCOS? Post contraceptive pill hormonal effects. Zinc for good health; Why Dr. Lara can't recommend this nutrient for women enough.   Who is Lara Briden? Dr. Lara Briden is a naturopathic doctor and the period revolutionary, leading the change to better periods. Informed by a strong science background and 25 years of clinical practice under her belt, Lara is a passionate communicator about women's health and alternatives to hormonal birth control. Her book Period Repair Manual is a proclamation full of natural treatment for better hormones and better periods and provides practical solutions using nutrition, supplements, and natural hormones. The book is now in its second edition and has become an underground sensation, helping so many women to reclaim their menstrual health. Lara has a second book coming out in February 2021, Hormone Repair Manual, a book that reframes perimenopause and menopause, looking at all its benefits through the lens of evolutionary biology.   Resources: Dr. Lara's book - The Period Repair Manual Dr. Lara's website Dr. Lara's Instagram Dr. Lara's Facebook Period Repair with Lara Briden (SuperFeast podcast EP#21) Is It PCOS or Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (Undereating)? Blog Post Do Women Need Periods? Blog Post     Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:01) Hi, everybody, and welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast. I'm here today with Lara Briden, which is exciting, because this is our second time chatting with her. She's incredible. I hope you listen to her first podcast, if you haven't, we'll put a link in the show notes to that. But she's also the author of Period Repair Manual, which is very popular in the SuperFeast community. And my copy is never in the office, someone's always got it, which is awesome. And she's an awesome practitioner, who is based out of New Zealand. And she normally travels, but obviously due to our current circumstances, she's home.   Tahnee: (00:34) So I'm really grateful to have you here, Lara, thank you so much.   Lara Briden: (00:38) Hi, Tahnee. Thanks for having me again.   Tahnee: (00:40) Yeah, so exciting. So we wanted to really hone in on some topics today. You're such an expert on all of these matters related to menstrual wellbeing, but in particular hypothalamic amenorrhea. I keep worrying that I'm going to stuff up that pronunciation. So far so good.   Tahnee: (00:59) And just because it's something that we hear a lot from our community around concerns around PCOS and just the period disappearing at certain phases in a woman's life. Sometimes related to diet, sometimes related to lifestyle, sometimes related to mysterious hormonal factors. I'm so excited to delve into this with you, because I feel like there's a lot to learn. I'm just curious as to, in your clinical work, is it something that you see a lot as well, this sort of bleed stopping for various reasons or is it less common, or more common, than maybe we would imagine, based on our feedback?   Lara Briden: (01:36) It's becoming more common. That's something I'd like to start with. So I've been in clinical practise for 25 years. That's a lot of-   Tahnee: (01:45) That is a lot of [crosstalk 00:01:46].   Lara Briden: (01:46) ... two and a half decades of seeing young women, and hearing about their periods, and I would say the last five to ten years, there's been what I see as quite a big uptick in women losing their periods to undereating, which is essentially hypothalamic amenorrhea. There's a little bit more to it than just undereating, but usually undereating is the main factor.   Lara Briden: (02:11)     Tahnee: (02:39) Is there a particular demographic that you see? Is it younger women typically? Because I'm just thinking that also correlates to the rise of social media, which...   Lara Briden: (02:48) Well, the reason it's younger women in particular, it's probably a few factors. It could be they're more exposed to social media, but part of it is just, physiologically, with younger women are more likely to lose their period.   Lara Briden: (03:02) So older women, especially if we've had quite a few years of cycling, menstrual cycling under our belt, then it's what's called a more robust menstrual cycle. It's less likely to get wobbly or go off the rails with undereating, it's just more solid. That's what the research shows. That's to do with something called gynaecological age, which I really quite like this concept. Your gynaecological age is the number of years that you've been having natural menstrual cycles.   Lara Briden: (03:33) So that doesn't count being on the pill, of course, because pill bleeds are not periods. So let's say for example, if you got your period at 13, then it takes about 12 years to fully mature the menstrual cycle. So, by 25, if you didn't go on the pill and you didn't lose your period to undereating, and everything was going well, by about the average age of 25, most women should have a pretty strong menstrual cycle, good levels of progesterone, and they're less vulnerable in that situation to losing their period. But of course, we know that's not the case. Women will spend years on the period and so they could be in their 20s, even 30s, in quite an immature state with the menstrual cycle, which is more vulnerable to undereating.   Tahnee: (04:17) That brings up a question for me around our evolutionary menstruation, because when I was in university, I studied science and biology. And one of our lecturers got up on the podium and said, "All of you young women should go on the pill and not bleed, because your ancestors had babies from the age of 14, and they didn't have periods, and they are healthier than we were, so [crosstalk 00:04:41]-"   Lara Briden: (04:40) That argument is total BS.   Tahnee: (04:44) [crosstalk 00:04:44].   Lara Briden: (04:44) So I have a blog post about that, we'll put it in the show notes, called Do Women Need Periods? So I just have to blast that.   Tahnee: (04:50) Please, blast away.   Lara Briden: (04:52) It is so sexist. Well, I don't know if your lecturer was a man or a woman, but even if it was-   Tahnee: (04:57) It was a man, yeah. Of course it was a man.   Lara Briden: (04:58) ... even women. I address this briefly in Period Repair Manual. But basically, yes, we are different than our ancestors, there's no question. They were pregnant a lot of the time, and were breastfeeding a lot of the time. So it is true that they had fewer menstrual cycles and fewer ovulations, but... it's a big but, the contraceptive drugs do not mimic that situation.   Lara Briden: (05:28) So this, for me, a lot of it comes down to our exposure to our own beneficial hormones. So, as you can imagine, as you know, during pregnancy, women are exposed to a huge amount of real oestrogen and real progesterone, beneficial hormones. That's one of the reasons pregnancy has protective effects on health.   Lara Briden: (05:48) Now, for women who don't want to have 10 pregnancies, then . In fact, there was a brand new study from the British Medical Journal a few weeks ago came out that confirmed that years of ovulatory natural menstrual cycle helps women to live longer. That's exposure to hormones.   Lara Briden: (06:12) So where your lecturer's logic completely breaks down is this assumption that the contraceptive drugs and the pill will give the same benefits as the hormones from pregnancy or menstrual cycles. And they don't, because contraceptive drugs do not have the same effects, and in many cases have opposite effects.   Lara Briden: (06:31) So, yeah, that's really one of my pet peeves, actually.   Tahnee: (06:35) Shut that one down.   Lara Briden: (06:38) That argument is so... there's no easy answer, right? We're not going to go back to having continuous pregnancies like our ancestors did, so we have to just... this is our reality as modern women. We don't have as many pregnancies, so we instead harness the benefits of our menstrual cycles.   Tahnee: (06:52) And I think that's something... when you look at the opportunity that... so many of my friends, anecdotally, have said that, after pregnancy, their cycle improves dramatically. And I guess it's sort of like a megadose of all of these natural hormones, and just the process of shedding so much of our lining. All those things.   Lara Briden: (07:15) Yeah. I would agree, pregnancy does seem to have... and, obviously delivery, the whole process, the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the menstrual cycle, that communication between the brain and the ovaries does seem to also mature with pregnancy. I don't think we know a lot about the mechanisms of why that happens, but certainly I've seen that clinically, that periods can be better after pregnancy. Not always though, there's no guarantee. And certainly, I just have to push back a bit on the idea that... because some doctors, especially for a condition called endometriosis, which we won't go into today, I don't think. We'll have to talk about that in a future episode.   Lara Briden: (07:50) But sometimes there's this push from doctors to have pregnancy as almost a fix for that, and I don't think... that's not a reason to have a pregnancy.   Tahnee: (08:01) Long-term commitment.   Lara Briden: (08:03) Have a pregnancy if you want a baby. There's other ways to fix the menstrual cycle that are not pregnancy.   Tahnee: (08:12) Yeah, for sure. I guess I'm not advocating for...   Lara Briden: (08:15) No, I know you weren't. You certainly weren't saying that, but I hear that sometimes. Women have been told that. They come away from their doctor's rooms, they're like, "Well, you can either go on the pill or you can become pregnant." It's like, "What? Wait." There's other options.   Tahnee: (08:29) That's a wild solution. I guess, just on the topic of losing the bleed, and that's something that happens postpartum, is that related to the same... I guess, from a Chinese medicine perspective, when we lose our period, it's because the liver blood is being converted into breast milk, and that doesn't really correlate easily across to a Western paradigm.   Tahnee: (08:54) But I'm curious, if we're talking about losing the bleed through diet and all these other things, is that a similar thing that happens postpartum, or is that a completely different thing?   Lara Briden: (09:05) It's really different. Well, again, it's an area we don't have a lot of research. We don't have a lot of knowledge. But different things are going on during breastfeeding. There's high prolactin, obviously there's high oxytocin. There's a different state happening. And so obviously amenorrhea is normal, can be normal during breastfeeding. That's not something we have to try to correct or fix, but it's not equivalent to the amenorrhea. Well, amenorrhea just means no periods. It's not equivalent to the amenorrhea of undereating.   Lara Briden: (09:36) The amenorrhea of undereating is actually really quite problematic for the body. So we'll go into [crosstalk 00:09:42]-   Tahnee: (09:42) Just the fact that there's a hypothalamic implies that there's a hormonal thing [crosstalk 00:09:47]-   Lara Briden: (09:47) Yeah. To say at the outset, there's lots of different ways to lose your period, of course.   Tahnee: (09:54) Great.   Lara Briden: (09:57) Having a healthy menstrual cycle, all women are kind of the same in that picture, but in terms of once you've lost your menstrual cycle, there are potentially several different explanations for that. And all those different explanations are different in terms of their negative health effects.   Lara Briden: (10:13) Hypothalamic amenorrhea, the term, like many things in women's health, I think it needs a new name, because it sounds a bit more medical or complicated than it really is. It's really just saying that the part of the brain, the hypothalamus, that controls the menstrual cycle, has made the strategic decision to shut down menstruation, temporarily. It's not a malfunction. It's the brain doing exactly what it should do in the face of usually caloric deficiency.   Lara Briden: (10:51) Because the brain knows... it's trying to protect the body and protect the situation. It doesn't want to make the mistake of embarking on a pregnancy when there isn't going to be enough food to support that pregnancy. The pregnancy might not go to term, that's bad for the baby, that's also bad for the woman to try to do that and not succeed. So it's something that evolved. Humans, even compared to other animals, compared to other mammals, we have quite a sensitive trigger, in terms of the hypothalamus shutting down menstruation, we're more likely to do that than other animals. Young women are even more likely to do that.   Lara Briden: (11:35) So that's what the term hypothalamic amenorrhea means. It's not a disorder. Basically what it means is other problems have been ruled out. And, especially in the context of undereating, we can see that that's what's happened.   Lara Briden: (11:50) It's associated with some pretty clear features on blood tests, which we can go into, which helps to differentiate it from another totally separate condition called PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, which is unfortunately a lot of women with hypothalamic amenorrhea are mistakenly given the diagnosis of PCOS, which is a big problem, because it then means they're not able to understand what treatment they need. Because obviously, in many cases, a lot of the messaging around PCOS is you have to eat less. So if you are already in a situation of eating too little and you're mistakenly told PCOS, and you then go to eat less, then it's really a problem.   Tahnee: (12:30) Yeah, okay. So in terms of Markers... that's something I've heard a lot, again anecdotally, from people that I've talked to in the community. They go down this PCOS rabbit hole for ages, and then turns out, actually, they don't have that. And they've actually probably been doing diets and fasts under the guise of health, which is I think one of the more dangerous things that's happened in the last 10 years is it's not a diet anymore it's a wellness programme or something.   Tahnee: (13:01) But yeah, what would we be looking for if we're working with a practitioner, how are we looking to self-educate so that we can better understand what might be going on?   Lara Briden: (13:12) So let's try to talk through this kind of systematically here.   Tahnee: (13:17) Complicated.   Lara Briden: (13:18) It's a big conversation. Not a complicated one, we're just going to go through this... and I would also direct listeners to my blog post called Is it PCOS or Hypothalamic Amenorrhea?   Tahnee: (13:33) [crosstalk 00:13:33] sorry, yeah.   Lara Briden: (13:33) There I break it down a little bit more.   Lara Briden: (13:35) So the first thing is when you lose your period or you don't get a period when you stop the pill, because pill bleeds were not periods. So when your real period does not start up after stopping the pill, or if you lose it, then the first step is the doctor's, so they can rule out all various things, including something called high prolactin, or thyroid problems, or in rare cases, early menopause, which is only about one in 100 women, it's unlikely, but it needs to be ruled out.   Lara Briden: (14:11) So all of those tests need to be done. And then, at the end of all that, usually the most common is going to be either PCOS or hypothalamic amenorrhea, and they have a lot of similar features in that they can both present with no periods or irregular periods, either or. They can both present with polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. This is going to be the takeaway for your listeners today. That ultrasound finding of polycystic ovaries means nothing.   Tahnee: (14:50) It's not good enough.   Lara Briden: (14:51) It means zero. I'll try to explain that. Certainly there is a reason to have... having an ultrasound can be very helpful because it can pick up other things. It can pick up ovarian cysts, which are a completely separate issue to this. It can pick up, for example, a thickening of the uterine lining, which can occur with PCOS, which is important for the doctor to know about. There's no thickening of the uterine lining with hypothalamic amenorrhea, that's one area where the two conditions are quite different.   Lara Briden: (15:24) So there can be a reason to do an ultrasound, that's not what I'm saying, but what I'm saying is the finding of polycystic ovaries means nothing. It's not specific to PCOS. It doesn't differentiate between the conditions. It can't diagnose PCOS. It's really just saying, at the time of this scan, your ovary had quite a few eggs and had not ovulated. There was no what's called a dominant follicle in that cycle. It doesn't mean that you're never going to ovulate or it's always going to look like that, because the ovaries change every month.   Lara Briden: (15:59) It's really just telling the story that ovulation did not happen, which, if you're not having periods, you know anyway. So it's not adding anything to the conversation at all.   Tahnee: (16:08) To the story, yeah.   Lara Briden: (16:10) And, in fact, another thing just to understand is that they're not cysts, they're follicles, which are eggs, which are normal for the ovary. Which, again, I'll just say, is different from an ovarian cyst, a large, abnormal ovarian cyst, which is a totally separate issue. But all the multiple small follicles, that's also more likely if you're younger, because women have more eggs when they're younger. Most people know that. So that's why even the most conservative experts now agree the ultrasound finding of polycystic ovaries means nothing in women under 20. I would argue it means nothing anytime really, in general.   Tahnee: (16:48) [crosstalk 00:16:48].   Lara Briden: (16:48) The flip side is women in their 40s can have PCOS, but often don't show polycystic ovaries, because they have fewer eggs by their 40s. So you can kind of miss it. It can go either way. So having a finding of polycystic ovaries doesn't mean PCOS, and conversely, not having polycystic ovaries doesn't mean you don't have PCOS. If that makes sense.   Lara Briden: (17:13) I might just define what PCOS is for the listeners. So PCOS, despite the name, polycystic being in the name, which is problematic-   Tahnee: (17:23) It sounds like it needs a new name.   Lara Briden: (17:24) It totally needs a new name.   Tahnee: (17:26) Okay, that's what I'm hearing.   Lara Briden: (17:28) Yeah. PCOS is the situation of high male hormones, excess androgens or male hormones, when all other causes of that have been ruled out. So there are other causes of high androgens, like something called adrenal hypoplasia. High prolactin is a hormone, can cause higher androgens. So the doctor needs to have ruled out is there any other reason for these high androgens? And, if not, basically you're left with the diagnosis of PCOS, which is not one thing, but rather just what's left over when everything else has been ruled out.   Lara Briden: (18:05) And the kind of confusing thing about this is that it's not impossible to have symptoms of androgens, mainly acne or even a bit of mild facial hair, with hypothalamic amenorrhea. So you see what I mean? There's a lot of overlap between them.   Tahnee: (18:23) Yeah. [crosstalk 00:18:25] one symptom, really.   Lara Briden: (18:26) Yeah. So the main difference between hypothalamic amenorrhea and PCOS is that hypothalamic amenorrhea is caused by undereating. And so the typical hormone pattern with that is definitely not insulin resistance, the opposite really. Quite a low fasting insulin, that's a blood test that I would order quite often. The hormone insulin, not glucose, but the hormone insulin.   Lara Briden: (18:54) And, with hypothalamic amenorrhea, the other feature is quite low levels of LH or luteinising hormone, which is a pituitary hormone, which I test pretty routinely. I find this really helpful to distinguish between hypothalamic amenorrhea and PCOS, because with PCOS, it's a pretty strong feature to usually have higher levels of LH, or higher baseline levels of LH, which means either... early in the cycle, if there's any kind of cycle, or random day if there's no cycle. Keeping in mind... I always have to mention this, but LH, it is normal for LH to spike up really quite high for a couple of days with ovulation. So you don't want to look at an ovulation LH and then think, "Oh, that confirms PCOS." You can't do that. You have to think about was that ovulation? Which means was that test taken two weeks before you got a period?   Lara Briden: (19:53) So hopefully that's not adding too much-   Tahnee: (19:55) If you're not bleeding-   Lara Briden: (19:56) Yeah.   Tahnee: (19:56) Well, I'm just curious. If you're not bleeding, can you still ovulate? Because I know, with breastfeeding, that's true. Is it unlikely with HA and PCOS?   Lara Briden: (20:05) No, really it's not really possible to ovulate but then not bleed. No, with breastfeeding... you can ovulate and then fall pregnant the first time you ovulate, and never see a bleed. So there's that.   Tahnee: (20:21) Right, I see, okay.   Lara Briden: (20:22) You can get fertile mucus and not ovulate. So you can have fertile mucus but no bleeds, but the way the body works is once ovulation has occurred, you're either pregnant or you get a period two weeks later.   Lara Briden: (20:39) So in the case if there's no periods at all and you test LH, what you have to do is just wait two weeks to make sure you don't get a period two weeks later, and then if you don't, then it's not an ovulation LH, then it's a valid baseline reading. If that makes sense.   Tahnee: (20:57) For sure.   Lara Briden: (21:03) In terms of differentiating, I would start to think about context. Is there undereating or insulin resistance? Is there a low carb diet which might have explained the lack of periods, which is then the diagnosis of hypothalamic amenorrhea. And, if you're really, really stuck, look at LH. I have in my blog post that I referenced and in a few places I've shared it, a compare and contrast between PCOS and hypothalamic amenorrhea table.   Lara Briden: (21:33) And the other thing that's really usually a pretty good giveaway is, with PCOS, the doctor will be able to induce a withdrawal bleed, with either a course of a progestin drug or even you could use real progesterone for that. Some of your listeners might have had that, where they do a challenge, like a progesterone challenge. They give it to you for like a week, and then they wait a week and see if you get a withdrawal bleed. If you do get a withdrawal bleed, that's usually a sign that it's more in the PCOS camp, because you have a thickened uterine lining. If you don't get a withdrawal bleed, that's usually hypothalamic amenorrhea or undereating.   Tahnee: (22:07) Mm-hmm (affirmative). The thickened uterine lining is the endometrium has not shed for some reason? Is that basically what a PCOS is pointing toward?   Lara Briden: (22:23) Oestrogen causes a thickening of the uterine lining. So, with PCOS, there is a low level of oestrogen happening, but no progesterone kicking in to-   Tahnee: (22:32) Make it shed.   Lara Briden: (22:33) ... normalise the lining and then make it shed. Whereas, with hypothalamic amenorrhea, there's no oestrogen, temporarily.   Tahnee: (22:41) [crosstalk 00:22:41].   Lara Briden: (22:41) Just as long as you're in the condition. Which is why hypothalamic amenorrhea is so much more dangerous for bone health.   Tahnee: (22:48) I saw that in your table that there's bone loss, which is not great.   Lara Briden: (22:53) Yeah, because there's no oestrogen. There will be oestrogen as soon as you eat enough to get ovulation to kick back in. So it's not a permanent situation, but it's not good, and you don't want that to go on for too long, because you can... you probably know, our bones are a long-term project. We're supposed to achieve what's called peak bone density by about 30 years old, and then we're on a downward slope. It sounds bad, but from then, from that point, we're just losing bone until we're 80. So you want to bank that up, build as much bone as you can. You can't afford to lose years of building bone.   Tahnee: (23:29) I think one thing that people don't appreciate is how much of a living tissue bone is and how it's being constantly broken down and recycled, and rebuilt. That's actually where we get the calcium from is that recycling process. Not even from our diet necessarily.   Tahnee: (23:45) It's just something I remember learning that about 10 years ago in yoga training, and I was like, "Wow." I just had so much more respect for my bones after that. I think we mentally just visualise them as this sort of skeleton-   Lara Briden: (24:00) Inert.   Tahnee: (24:02) Yeah. Like in a science lab or something.   Lara Briden: (24:06) I've got a new book coming out next year. You'll have to have me back to talk about perimenopause if you want to, but my perimenopause book is coming out in March. And I've got a section called Bone is Living Tissue, where I talk about exactly what you're talking about. And I talk about the hormones that bone makes, and how it actually turns out now, which from a TCM perspective makes sense, bone is involved in the nervous system, HPA access, adrenal response, stress response system. It makes hormones that are part of that.   Tahnee: (24:34) And that's the kidney energy in Chinese medicine.   Lara Briden: (24:37) Yeah, it's also very involved with the immune system. Bone cells are immune cells basically. So there's a lot going on. And it is true that, big picture, keeping your bones healthy is about keeping everything healthy. But definitely giving your bones the decades of oestrogen that they're expecting, and progesterone is beneficial for bones as well.   Tahnee: (25:01) Yeah, so just a general healthy cycle is going to be, for bones, positive. It sounds to me like hypothalamic amenorrhea is really... I hope I'm not oversimplifying it, but it's easy to treat in terms of you look at what's going on with diet and lifestyle, and then address that through increasing calorie intake. Is that as simple as that?   Lara Briden: (25:24) It is.   Tahnee: (25:24) Or is there more going on?   Lara Briden: (25:26) It is, but what's not easy about it is the lag time, because you have to... it's one of those things with health where unfortunately you have to go all-in, commit to eating more, and sometimes it's a lot more. Probably for recovery from hypothalamic amenorrhea it might require 2,500 calories a day and 200 grammes of starch a day. And commit to that for like six months before you even see a period. Which is-   Tahnee: (25:53) So it's not going to turn around overnight.   Lara Briden: (25:55) No, which you can't just try eating more for a few weeks and see if that works. Unfortunately you just really have to go for it. And it's hard. I get that it's hard. If you're not sure which direction you're supposed to be going. Because basically we're in a situation, a crossroads, of no period. Okay, do I restrict my diet or do I double my intake? Do I do one or the other?   Tahnee: (26:17) Yeah, sure.   Lara Briden: (26:17) So you have to be pretty clear what you're doing. Put it this way, I think restricting the diet is... it's about understanding if there is insulin resistance or not, not just assuming there is because someone said PCOS. How much do your listeners know of what insulin resistance is-   Tahnee: (26:39) Well, I was going to say, if you could flesh that out and maybe explain the testing for that, because I think that's something that you're saying with the glucose testing, I think sometimes people don't really understand the implications of insulin resistance. I see it bandied around a lot in the paleo, keto community, but sometimes I read it and I'm like, "I'm not sure that actually makes sense." Anyway, if you wanted to explain that relative to this PCOS stuff, I think that'd be awesome.   Lara Briden: (27:03) Yeah. To be fair, insulin resistance is pretty common, so we don't want to minimise it, because it definitely is a key feature of PCOS, if it's the correct diagnosis. But that said, not every woman who qualifies for a PCOS diagnosis has insulin resistance either. So it's very important to test for it. It's quite easy to test, but you unfortunately have to ask specifically or self order, because in Australia and New Zealand, and I'm sure your listeners know, especially in Australia, it's very easy to order the test for insulin resistance.   Lara Briden: (27:38) The one I use is either fasting insulin, so that's at one point in time test, the hormone insulin in the fasting state, which is different than glucose in the fasting state. And then the other more sensitive test is doing the glucose tolerance test, which is that test where you take a fasting sample and then they give you a sweet drink, and then you sit there and they test again at one and two hours. If you're going to do that test, please, please have the doctor or order it yourself test insulin as well as glucose, because then you're getting a better picture.   Lara Briden: (28:17) So, with insulin resistance, the condition insulin resistance, which is a pre-diabetic, pre-type 2 diabetes condition, it's metabolic dysfunction. It's real. With that condition, insulin is higher than normal, it's too high. It's too high either fasting and/or either the one or the two hour mark, which is in stark contrast to hypothalamic amenorrhea where insulin is quite low, in fact below what I would consider a cutoff for a normal fasting insulin.   Lara Briden: (28:50) So it's not like insulin is bad. Insulin is actually really important, and it's a beneficial hormone. And having enough of it is in a part of having a menstrual cycle is beneficial for the menstrual cycle. But having too much of it is a problem.   Lara Briden: (29:06) So, if you do have insulin resistance, then yeah, you're looking at changing the diet, but not just necessarily just eating less. I don't know that that's... that can be part of it, but if there is insulin resistance, the thing I look at with my patients is having a serious look at high dose fructose, which means desserts...   Tahnee: (29:30) Fruit.   Lara Briden: (29:31) Not fruit necessarily. Not whole fruit. Because there's actually relatively low dose-   Tahnee: (29:36) [crosstalk 00:29:36] fruit, because I've heard people talk about how they can really affect...   Lara Briden: (29:41) Yeah, with my patients, I tend to just not worry about whole fruit. I don't want them having fruit as a meal, like just having only fruit. But if you're having fruit at the end of a meal, I'm not worried about fruit. But what I am worried about is fruit juice or soft drinks, or dried fruit, including date balls and so-called protein balls, which a lot of them are just dates. That kind of thing, dessert type things. Agave syrup. A lot of those so-called natural sweeteners are really just high dose fructose.   Lara Briden: (30:10) So, through my lens, there's growing evidence that all those dessert type foods, in a person who is genetically susceptible and has other risk factors, can be pushed into insulin resistance due to that. And therefore, by removing those, getting off sugar, getting off desserts, can do quite a lot for reversing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is always a reversible state. It's not a permanent thing.   Tahnee: (30:39) I have kind of a curious question. Because I just recently interviewed someone who's a prenatal and pregnancy nutrition expert dietician lady, and she was saying there's naturally a kind of insulin resistant state at the end of pregnancy.   Lara Briden: (30:56) Oh, yeah.   Tahnee: (30:56) And we were also chatting about that. But that reminded me of this thing I read a while ago based on evolutionary biology, which was talking about how we would naturally alternate between periods of access to a lot of sugar and thus an insulin resistant state, and then a more ketogenic style diet, I guess over a winter time or when there's more scarcity. I was curious if you've ever seen that it's healthy to alternate between those states, or if you prefer people to just be a bit more stable in terms of their diet? It's just a curiosity more than anything. It was an interesting thing, I was like, oh.   Lara Briden: (31:32) Well, big picture, I certainly... it depends who you are too. I think if we're looking at people who are tending more to insulin resistance, especially into perimenopause and past menopause. If we're not specifically talking about young women, men, then I think there's a role for in and out of ketosis. The thing is we actually go in and out of ketosis anyway all the time, like overnight and when we're exercising.   Tahnee: (31:57) Yeah, not eating.   Lara Briden: (31:58) That's something called promoting metabolic flexibility, which is maintaining your body's ability to burn ketones. So I'm supportive in general of intermittent fasting and different lower carb techniques, and maybe even cycling them with the season. I'm not opposed to that at all.   Lara Briden: (32:18) And certainly, insulin resistance is interesting, from an evolutionary perspective, if we're going to get into that, because it's a functional state. We have, during adolescence, we're naturally a little bit insulin resistant. Females are, as part of maturing the menstrual cycle. Most 11, 12-year-old girls would kind of officially be PCOS, because they're high androgens, a bit insulin resistance, they're not ovulating yet, but then the idea is you grow out of that, and then your cycles kick in and your oestrogen and progesterone kick in, which both help to resolve the insulin resistance.   Lara Briden: (32:56) There can also be insulin resistance during the final stages of pregnancy. Just, from a total big picture... this is really [inaudible 00:33:05]a tangent now, but I love bears. I'm from Canada.   Tahnee: (33:07) I love bears too.   Lara Briden: (33:10) I grew up around bears. I'm from Canada, we have grizzly bears in our back garden sometimes. I'm scared of them but I also love them. They're one of many hibernating animals. They use insulin resistance strategically.   Tahnee: (33:24) Well that was what this was talking about, yeah. To hibernate.   Lara Briden: (33:27) In the autumn when they're gorging on berries and stuff, they become insulin resistant and then they get super fat from that, which is good for them. That's not a bad thing.   Lara Briden: (33:37) It is true that big, big picture, insulin sensitivity fluctuates for lots of reasons. But, for a human, you don't want to be chronically in the state of insulin resistance. No, that's going to have downstream problems.   Lara Briden: (33:54) But yeah, it's good to put it in that perspective.   Tahnee: (33:58) I liked in one of your blog posts, I think you talk about if you have this, and you have this, and you have this, and you have this. And I think that's good for people to remember that it sort of stacks on top.   Tahnee: (34:07) Because another factor for PCOS is inflammation, which doesn't really show up in HA, right?   Lara Briden: (34:13) Correct. I would say hypothalamic amenorrhea is not a state of chronic inflammation. Again, because one of the big differences is that PCOS is an abnormal state, whatever the underlying driver is, whether it's inflammation or insulin resistance. Whereas hypothalamic amenorrhea, it's not abnormal but it's also not good at the same time. It's the body making a normal, healthy decision, in the context of undereating. But you can't let that go on, because that will, over time, have negative effects on bones, in particular, and other things too.   Lara Briden: (34:51) So yeah, if that helps. Someone could be actually quite healthy-   Tahnee: (34:57) Yeah, in terms of it's a healthful response. You're [inaudible 00:35:00] protecting its functions through not allowing you to menstruate, which is saying, "Hey, let's save this resources for ourselves and not a baby."   Lara Briden: (35:10) Yeah. And then it can all just be switched back on. So recovering from hypothalamic amenorrhea, we've said a couple of times earlier, it's really just about eating a lot more, but there's nothing broken that has to be fixed. Not that I like to apply the word broken to anything, but PCOS is a bit different, in that that's not a normal situation. It's reversible and it's fixable, but there could be things going on.   Tahnee: (35:36) So normally, if you're looking at inflammatory things, are we talking food sensitivities then histamine problems? Are we talking about [crosstalk 00:35:47] activity?   Lara Briden: (35:50) What you referred to in my book, that flowchart I provide for the different, what I call, functional types of PCOS. You're looking for the underlying, what I call, driver of the miscommunication between the brain and the ovaries.   Lara Briden: (36:07) And underlying that, there's always going to be a genetic susceptibility or just an epigenetic, something that happened in utero, you were exposed to. There's a lot of growing evidence now that exposure to in utero, as a foetus yourself, exposure to androgens in some form can set you up for a PCOS state later in life or a vulnerability to PCOS.   Lara Briden: (36:32) So that could be just if your mom had PCOS or if you're exposed to environmental toxins that have an androgen effect or potentially even if your mom was using contraceptive drugs that are androgenic, which a lot of them are. So that's a bit of a tangent as well, but acknowledging women... it's not always something they've been doing something wrong. They have potentially had some exposure to some genetic susceptibility to having this with PCOS, this non-communication between the brain and the ovaries.   Lara Briden: (37:06) On top of that, then you've always got the driver... the more proximate, the more immediate thing that's driving the problem that you can reverse and try to fix. So insulin resistance, in many cases if you can reverse insulin resistance, you can restore the normal functioning of that communication in the inflammatory scenario, what I call the inflammation type. It's about reducing inflammation maybe coming from the gut, for example, from food sensitivities, which could include histamine. And once you lower all that inflammation, then that can, with some other supportive things, help reestablish the normal communication between the brain and the ovaries.   Tahnee: (37:50) So the four functional versions of PCOS, I guess, you're talking about there's an inflammatory version and an insulin resistant version, and an androgenic version, is that-   Lara Briden: (38:01) The four types I provide... and there's different ways to interpret this, but I talk about the insulin resistant type, which is the most common. It's about 70% of women who end up with a PCOS diagnosis have insulin resistance. So it's a pretty key feature.   Lara Briden: (38:15) If there is insulin resistance, that really does become the priority of trying to fix that. That's where you want to focus. If there's not insulin resistance and there's some evidence of inflammation, including maybe autoimmune inflammation like thyroid, autoimmune thyroid, then the focus is to reduce that inflammation, fix the gut.   Lara Briden: (38:36) The other type I talked about is post-pill, which is really more of a temporary androgen surge that happens when you try to come off the contraceptive drugs, either Yasmin or Diana. So it's either drospirenone or the progestin [syptarone 00:38:56] which is really only used in Australia and New Zealand as far as I can tell, even women in the States aren't subjected to that drug, but it's a common pill down here. It's an anti-androgen drug that, when you stop it, seems to cause this-   Tahnee: (39:12) Androgen party.   Lara Briden: (39:12) ... temporary, usually for a year or two, this surge of androgens from both, usually from the ovaries, but the ovaries and the adrenal gland.   Lara Briden: (39:18) So, with the post-pill, it's just recognising that it's probably going to be temporary, which can help, because then you can just have faith, get through the couple years of post-pill acne or whatever it is, knowing that, once your... again, I'll just say, once oestrogen and progesterone kick in with a natural menstrual cycle, they have beneficial anti-androgen effects. So they help to establish, counteract the PCOS state.   Tahnee: (39:52) That's a good one. I just want to stop on that quickly, because I'm thinking about a lot of things I've seen around post-pill acne, [inaudible 00:40:00] Vitex and things, but really you're looking at... because, for me, the thing that worked best was a product called estro-blocker, which is a DIM supplement. And I think that idea of trying to... your oestrogen and progesterone are almost offline, is that what you're saying? And it's the androgens are just really bumped up on account of having been suppressed for so long. Is that...   Lara Briden: (40:22) Yeah. I think there's an up-regulation of androgen projection because of the... well, in the case of post-pill, because of those drugs. Yes. Down-regulating androgen production, so then the body responds to that.   Lara Briden: (40:37) I prescribe DIM. It can help with skin, for sure. It's to do with its anti-androgen effect. But again, it's usually something you only need for six months or something until your own anti-androgen hormones kick in. The other supplement, if we're going to talk about supplements, the one that really should at least be considered is zinc, my favourite.   Tahnee: (40:59) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, [crosstalk 00:41:00].   Lara Briden: (40:59) And with zinc, it's obviously, as anyone who follows my work knows, I talk about zinc for almost everything. But it's really beneficial. If you're going to take it, you need to have a decent quality, like either capsule or a liquid, something you're going to absorb, because some of those tablets just don't absorb. And it needs to be at least 30 milligrammes, and you probably need to take it with food or you could feel sick. It's all these [inaudible 00:41:23].   Tahnee: (41:25) [crosstalk 00:41:25].   Lara Briden: (41:25) If you're anyone who's listening is on a plant-based diet, then 100% zinc. There's not enough zinc in a plant-based diet to do really anything that you need. So zinc is an absolute [crosstalk 00:41:37]-   Tahnee: (41:37) So why do you love zinc so much? What is it doing for you that... Why are we lacking at it? Is it just not enough in our diets these days?   Lara Briden: (41:50) Yeah, well one thing about the nutrient is we don't store it at all, so we have to have it. Whatever we have in our bodies is what we've consumed over the past couple of days.   Tahnee: (41:58) Like vitamin C as well.   Lara Briden: (41:59) Yeah. It just leaves the body. So there's that, I think. And the main dietary source of zinc is animal products. So meat, oyster, seafood is quite high. So I think anyone who's not having animal products is, just by definition, going to be deficient. There's a little bit of zinc in some plant foods, but not a lot.   Lara Briden: (42:19) And, just therapeutically, it does seem to be beneficial, even for women who should be having enough from diet. It's anti-inflammatory. The immune system loves it. It's really good for tissue integrity.   Tahnee: (42:39) Everything.   Lara Briden: (42:40) I have a blog post called... what did I call it? Seven Ways Zinc Rescues Your Hormones. The body just really loves it. The brain loves it in particular. It's quite good for anxiety. It supports a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which helps to regulate the stress response. The ovaries seem to love it. It has anti-androgen effects. I don't know, I take it myself.   Tahnee: (43:04) It's sounding pretty good.   Lara Briden: (43:04) I always feel like I'm doing an infomercial for some of these [crosstalk 00:43:07]. The great thing about zinc is it's not expensive. There's a lot of good brands. You don't have to stick with a particular brand with it, but I would just say again, try to get at least a capsule rather than tablet, usually, or liquid can be even better. And if you get a liquid, you're going to have to aim for 30 milligrammes. Some of the Australian liquids, their recommended dose... one of the popular brands... I like a lot of the Australian liquid brands, but one of them, the recommended dose on the label is only five milligrammes, it's like well that's not going to be enough.   Tahnee: (43:40) [crosstalk 00:43:40] not therapeutic. Okay. So you're saying 30 grammes, 30 milligrammes?   Lara Briden: (43:42) Yeah, 30 milligrammes, not 30 grammes. 30 milligrammes.   Tahnee: (43:44) Yeah, I was just going to say, hang on a second. I always took zinc picolinate, is that... do you recommend anything?   Lara Briden: (43:53) Yeah, I think zinc picolinate, zinc citrate, there's a few other ones out now, glycinate. So those [inaudible 00:44:01] those are just zinc bonded to another molecule that helps absorption. I think any of those are good.   Tahnee: (44:08) Yeah, great. I feel like we've covered a lot of territory here. If I'm in one of these states and I'm not sure, I'm going to my doctor, I'm getting checked out, I'm making sure that I've ruled out any potential other things that might be going on. And then, if I'm really noticing, okay... some of the women I've spoken to are models that have this amenorrhea, and that's pretty obviously going to be a diet related thing unfortunately for them, and we've spoken about that, the people I've talked to who've reached out to us about that.   Tahnee: (44:47) But, if your nutrition is up there and you're eating a high amount of calories, and you're okay, then you're looking at your insulin resistance, you're looking at your androgens. So are we testing all of these things, are we getting a big panel done? What's the approach [crosstalk 00:45:02]-   Lara Briden: (45:02) I guess it would go like this. Go to the doctor, say I'm not getting my period. That's obviously an abnormal situation. What's going on? So, in the background, the doctor hopefully will have tested thyroid prolactin... or coeliac, a strong gluten sensitivity is another way to lose a period that has nothing to do with either hypothalamic amenorrhea or PCOS. But hopefully you shouldn't have to coach the doctor through all those steps. Hopefully they do all of that.   Lara Briden: (45:33) And then the next step is if the doctor says, "Okay, you've got PCOS." The next question is "What is that diagnosis based on?" Say to the doctor. "Just so I can understand why are you saying that? Do I have high androgens?" Because, if not... by high androgens, I mean either male hormones measurable on blood tests or a pretty significant degree of facial hair or jawline acne. If that's not there, and yet you're being told PCOS, I would really question that diagnosis. If you say, "On what is that diagnosis based?" And if they say, "Well, there's ultrasound and lack of periods," then say, "Actually, I've heard that, according to the Androgen Excess Society..." Who have I would say a more reliable set of criteria for diagnosis. "According to some criteria, I understand that doesn't qualify me for the diagnosis of PCOS. Is it possible that this is undereating?"   Lara Briden: (46:36) You can just say that to the doctor. "Is it possible, from what you're seeing on the blood test here, that this could be a situation of undereating? Because I've been restricting my diet." I know sometimes women don't like to talk about that, especially if there's any degree of eating disorder, but it's best to be as honest with your doctor as you can. And unfortunately, undereating or hypothalamic amenorrhea is, from my experience, often not as much on their radar as it should be. And partly because they've only got five minutes with you, so if you say, "Well, actually, is it possible? I started a low carb diet like six months ago, could that be having an effect?" Hopefully the doctor might say yes, if that's the case.   Lara Briden: (47:20) So it's about questions like that. And also just understand if they say, "Well, your diagnosis is based on ultrasound." And if you say, "Well, I think that's not valid." And if they insist that it is, "I would get a second opinion." To be honest.   Tahnee: (47:33) Yeah, I was going to say, one thing people need to remember is you're [crosstalk 00:47:38] served by this, so if you're not getting the answers you want, [crosstalk 00:47:41].   Tahnee: (47:43) Because that was my biggest regret. I was told, "This is just normal, just bear with it." I was [inaudible 00:47:48] post-pill, so obviously like you're saying, there's an element of waiting it out, but just not understanding, not being explained the actual I thought was happening and why it was happening. And just to be told it was normal, go away. [crosstalk 00:48:00].   Lara Briden: (48:00) So, Tahnee, if you feel like sharing, was your situation undereating then?   Tahnee: (48:03) I was on the Yasmin pill for a really long time, I guess about 10 years, and I was actually doing some of the stuff originally suggested by my science professor. So taking the pill consistently to not have the withdrawal bleeds and things.   Tahnee: (48:23) And then I stopped it cold turkey and just that was it. I just didn't get a bleed for... off the top of my head, it was close to a couple of years, but then I got really bad acne. And I never really even had acne as a teenager. I maybe would get a pimple. But yeah, I got the whole jawline acne and everything that you've talked about. I went back to the doctor who prescribed me the pill over the time I'd lived in that city, and he just was like, "Oh, it's normal." And I was just like, "What?"   Tahnee: (48:55) So then I started seeing naturopaths and things, and they just put me on low inflammation diets. It was great, in hindsight, in that it really triggered me into my own deeper understanding of my body, and hormones, and things. But to feel very lost in that and not understand what was happening is not super pleasant.   Lara Briden: (49:12) So then do you have a clear sense of what finally brought your period back, or do you think it was just being off contraceptive drugs for long enough [crosstalk 00:49:19]?   Tahnee: (49:19) I actually think it was a combination of herbs for stress, and increasing my calories, and taking DIM. I think the DIM helped clear up the acne probably more than actually bring my period back. But I was a vegetarian as well, so probably... and probably eating a lower calorie diet than I needed, in hindsight. Hindsight is 20/20.   Tahnee: (49:46) So yeah, it was a combination of things. And it took a bit of time to really work it out. But yeah, definitely for me, herbs, Chinese herbs really helped. That was a massive change when I started taking them.   Lara Briden: (49:56) Yeah, definitely have a medicine cabinet, no question, can help to regulate the communication between the brain and the ovaries. That situation, that's definitely a post-pill... post-pill acne, for sure, because drospirenone, that's the drug you were trying to come off, is anti-androgen. So you get that androgen surge, which you just said yourself, you never had before. It's not like you were high androgens going into this.   Lara Briden: (50:19) Now, officially, the way PCOS is diagnosed these days, because it's just, by definition, PCOS is high androgens, because you had the jawline acne, you do temporarily fit under the diagnostic umbrella of PCOS, even though you also probably had undereating going on at the same time. So it was probably a combination of a temporary post-pill PCOS with underlying undereating.   Tahnee: (50:46) So the curiosity I have is if PCOS is androgen excess but with all the other causes ruled out, would you diagnostically look at someone who is coming off the pill and say, "All right, well that's, for now, a temporary explanation, and we'll sort of ride it out and see," or would you also continue delving in?   Lara Briden: (51:02) Well, that's exactly what I say. In a patient like in your situation, I would probably say something like, "Okay, well clearly you have symptoms of androgens, which in your case seemed likely to be from coming off the pill. So that's temporary. So we're not going to attach the label. We're not going to get too attached to the label of PCOS. We're just going to put that on the back-burner. Whether you officially qualify for that diagnosis or not, it doesn't matter. We'll just deal with what's actually going on, which is you're trying to recover from the withdrawal symptoms from that drug. And, at the same time, make sure every other box is ticked for getting a healthy period, which in your case could have been reducing stress, potentially putting [crosstalk 00:51:44] in place, eating enough."   Lara Briden: (51:46) Constantly with my patients, I have a little checklist in my brain, which sometimes I say to them, sometimes not. But I'm like, is she eating enough? Bottom line, is she eating enough? And sometimes it's really obvious that someone is eating enough. Well, okay, that's not the problem. But if I have any uncertainty, then I dig into that a little bit more.   Tahnee: (52:03) I'm curious on that, because I've had an eating disorder, and I am in a community of younger women where I can see how there's still a real lack of acceptance that women have fat, and especially in this area, there's a lot of people who are making their money through their looks, and their body, and things, and it's a tricky one to really impress... I know, for me, I've really had to accept that a womanly figure is my norm.   Tahnee: (52:36) It's interesting when you're talking about that early, pre-menstrual time being high androgen. I was very skinny and very tall as a younger woman. And the moment I hit into my stride of puberty, which was probably around 18, 19, I started to get hips and boobs. Now, with a lot of education and hindsight, I can see that's a good thing. And I had a really easy pregnancy and all of those things. I probably am lucky that my body has easily adapted back to a natural cycle and those kinds of things.   Tahnee: (53:10) But yeah, it's something I see so much, where even friends who are like, "Oh, look how skinny I used to be, and now I'm bigger." But it's like, to me, you look really healthy.   Tahnee: (53:21) Apart from obviously therapy and work like that, is there a marker for how many calories you want to see women eating? How much body fat do you see as normal? It's more than we think probably, right?   Lara Briden: (53:35) The period is the marker. The period is the report card, what I call the monthly report card. Basically, if you're in that situation of hypothalamic amenorrhea, you need to eat enough to get a period. That's your marker. It's going to be a bit different for everyone, what that amount looks like.   Lara Briden: (53:50) But one thing that might be helpful is to distinguish between... just to talk a little bit about fat deposition patterns. So hip, bum, breast weight is normal and healthy for women, especially younger women. It's very, very different from belly weight, which is actually like that apple-shaped weight gain is more... that's what happens with androgens and insulin resistance.   Lara Briden: (54:25) If that helps people to understand, well, if you're gaining weight on your hips, and thighs, and bum, from a hormonal perspective, that's really beneficial weight usually. If you're gaining around the middle, that can be a sign that something is not quite right in terms of insulin resistance.   Lara Briden: (54:41) But one thing I need to say there... because I've had so many patients who think, "Oh, I'm gaining weight around the middle," but what they're actually experiencing is digestive bloating that's making them sometimes feel distended and bloated in their stomach. That's not abdominal weight gain, that's actually just digestive problems that need to be addressed.   Tahnee: (54:57) Are you talking subcutaneous fat or you're talking more even the visceral fat, around-   Lara Briden: (55:04) It's the visceral.   Tahnee: (55:05) So if someone has like a belly roll, they're not freaking out, but if someone-   Lara Briden: (55:08) No, exactly. [inaudible 00:55:12] the bellybutton, a little... no. Of course there's going to be some subcutaneous fat around the belly, too. That's allowed. No, I'm talking about the more visceral... and actually, the group that you're speaking about, I guess the demographic mainly that we're speaking to today are unlikely to actually be in that apple-shaped obesity, insulin resistant state. [crosstalk 00:55:33].   Tahnee: (55:32) And you're really looking, there's not going to be a lot of waist definition. There's going to be quite a round middle. Is that sort of what we're looking [crosstalk 00:55:40]-   Lara Briden: (55:40) I guess the classic example of apple-shaped obesity would be probably more looking even at the different age groups... it can happen to younger women too, but looking more to women in their 40s and 50s. You can start to see that shift to be more apple-shaped. That's the kind of weight that, I guess, when people talk about weight being unhealthy, that's... I'm hoping this is helpful. I don't want to be [crosstalk 00:56:01].   Tahnee: (56:01) [crosstalk 00:56:01].   Lara Briden: (56:01) What I'm trying to actually distinguish is that the hip, and bum, and breast weight is good. So to not be afraid of that, and just to understand everyone has a different... some women are just naturally slimmer and don't have as much bum weight, just because genetically that's how they are. But some women, their default or their set point would be to have a fair amount of thigh, and bum... that's normal and healthy.   Tahnee: (56:26) Yeah. And so not to compare what your... if you're looking at your body and your menstrual cycle, and it's healthy, then that's a good weight for you, and you feel comfortable [crosstalk 00:56:37] stick with it. And if you start losing and you're losing your period, well that's a sign that your body doesn't want to sustain that weight long-term.   Lara Briden: (56:44) Exactly. Losing your period is an unmistakable sign that something is wrong.   Tahnee: (56:50) Yeah. Too far.   Lara Briden: (56:52) Yeah.   Tahnee: (56:53) Awesome. Well, is there anything else you wanted to add? I think we've covered a lot of subjects.   Lara Briden: (56:55) I think we've covered it. I hope that's given some clarity. And also, just to end with the message that your period is a good thing. It's both a sign of health, which is very important, and it's a creator of health as well, because it gives you the oestrogen and progesterone you need to stay healthy.   Tahnee: (57:16) Healthy bones, healthy you.   Lara Briden: (57:17) Yeah, healthy brain, healthy heart.   Tahnee: (57:20) Yeah, for sure. All right, well thank you so much, Lara, again. Amazing conversation, and you're so interesting. I could talk to you all day.   Tahnee: (57:30) So tell me about this new book. Is that coming out next year?   Lara Briden: (57:32) March.   Tahnee: (57:32) March, okay.   Lara Briden: (57:33) It's coming in March.   Tahnee: (57:34) Amazing.   Lara Briden: (57:36) So it's for women, 40-plus, which is a lot of women.   Tahnee: (57:40) Yeah, I'm so excited, because perimenopause and menopause are questions we get asked about all the time, and I feel like [crosstalk 00:57:46]-   Lara Briden: (57:45) Good.   Tahnee: (57:46) Yeah, it's difficult to find experts who want to talk about it.   Lara Briden: (57:50) I am super passionate about it right now, because I will be 51 in a couple of months, so I'm-   Tahnee: (57:55) Happy [crosstalk 00:57:56].   Lara Briden: (57:56) ... right in the crosshairs of all of that. That's all happening. And so I've found a way to reframe that through the lens of evolutionary biology and think about all the big picture benefits of menopause, really, from an evolutionary perspective.   Lara Briden: (58:14) As much as I love menstrual cycles, I also think, when our reproductive years are done, then moving into menopause is also normal and healthy.   Tahnee: (58:24) Yeah. And exciting that we're one of the few mammals that actually have a menopause, so there's got to be a meaning there, right?   Lara Briden: (58:30) There is. We can go into that when you have me back on next year.   Tahnee: (58:33) Okay, we'll talk to you next year.   Lara Briden: (58:36) Because then people can, after they hear the whole... they can get all fired up and excited about perimenopause and then go buy my new book.   Tahnee: (58:44) Yeah. I'm really excited for that one. Okay, great. Also I'll link to your website. It's Lara is also on social media, so we'll link to all of those. And her book, The Period Repair Manual is literally one of those books that we get written-to every week about how good it is. I think, even in our team, a couple of the girls have just found it to be super helpful in managing their own health. So yeah, thank you for creating such an awesome reference for us all, and thanks for being here today.   Lara Briden: (59:15) Yeah, thank you for having me, and for just everything. It's great to chat with you as always, and see what you guys are doing.   Tahnee: (59:23) Thank you, Lara. All right, take care.   Lara Briden: (59:25) Okay, bye.
SuperFeast is bringing you another epic episode of the Women's Series today as  Tahnee sits down for an insightful conversation with Lily Nichols, registered dietician, nutritionist, accomplished diabetes educator, author, comprehensive researcher, and mother. Her books Real Food for Gestational Diabetes and Real Food for Pregnancy hone in on evidence-based nutrition for prenatal/pregnancy health and are thoroughly researched assets to the field of maternal wellbeing. Her work stands out for the grounded approach it takes and has not only helped tens of thousands of women manage gestational diabetes but has also influenced nutrition policies internationally. For all women and men currently expecting or thinking about having children in the future, you don't want to miss this episode! Tahnee and Lily discuss: Nutritional research; the benefits to be gained when moving away from a reductionist approach to the observation of traditional cultures who are still thriving. Current Dietary guidelines for pregnant women; are they doing more harm than good? A micronutrient-forward approach to nourishing the body when pregnant. Gestational Diabetes and how to manage it through diet. The evolution of prenatal and pregnancy nutrition. Blood sugar levels during pregnancy; the subsequent effects they can have on the hormonal system, weight gain, and postpartum period.   Different variables that can influence nutritional research and intern misinform people. Epigenetics; how our health is determining the genes of the future generation and their risk of disease. Gut and microbiome health. Carb cravings in the first trimester, why we get them, and why mothers can allow themselves some grace. Postpartum thyroid issues, iodine, and other nutrients to support this gland.  All things methylation; methylfolate, folic acid, folinic acid, and looking to the other groups involved in methylation (Vitamin B12, B6, choline, glycine, betaine, riboflavin, copper, and magnesium). Glycine and the crucial role it plays in all aspects of pregnancy. Who is Lily Nichols? Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition. Drawing from the current scientific literature and the wisdom of traditional cultures, her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and sensible. Her bestselling book, Real Food For Gestational Diabetes (and online course of the same name), presents a revolutionary, nutrient-dense, lower carb approach for managing gestational diabetes. Her work has not only helped tens of thousands of women manage their gestational diabetes (most without the need for blood sugar-lowering medication) but has also influenced nutrition policies internationally. Her clinical expertise and extensive background in prenatal nutrition have made her a highly sought after consultant and speaker in the field. Her second book, Real Food For Pregnancy, is an evidence-based book that addresses the gap between conventional prenatal nutrition guidelines and what is optimal for mother and baby. With over 930 citations, this is the most comprehensive text on prenatal nutrition to date. Lily is also the creator of the popular blog, which, explores a variety of topics related to real food, mindful eating, and pregnancy nutrition.  Resources: Lily's Blog Lily's Instagram Lily's Facebook Lily's Twitter Lily's Pinterest  Women's Health Nutrition Academy (professional training & webinars) Real Food for Gestational Diabetes Real Food for Pregnancy   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:00) Hi, everybody, and welcome to the SuperFeast podcast. Today, I'm joined by Lily Nichols, and I'm really excited to have her here. She's a registered dietician and nutritionist as well as a diabetes educator. But more importantly, I think she's a researcher and a mom herself, and she kind of has created these incredible books that talk about evidence-based nutrition, especially prenatal and during pregnancy.   Tahnee: (00:25) So, I'm just so excited to share her work because I think it's something we haven't spoken about much on the podcast, and there's so much information out there. It's really hard to wade through the studies. It's really hard to understand what's going to be right for you as an individual and for your baby especially during pregnancy, so this is really exciting.   Tahnee: (00:46) Lily's blog is excellent. She's got a really amazing blog that we'll link to in the show notes, and her book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes and Real Food for Pregnancy, both, well, I've only read Real Food for Pregnancy so far, but it's excellent. It's so readable, which is really good. And also, yeah, just a really dense and interesting read on maternal wellbeing.   Tahnee: (01:09) So, she's also been able to get her work into university. She's been influencing policy. There's people doing studies based on her work, so I'm just really stoked to have her here. So, thank you, Lily.   Lily Nichols: (01:21) Thank you for having me.   Tahnee: (01:22) Yeah. We're really, really lucky. I always like to sort of understand how people got to be where they are, and I'm really curious how you ended up being a dietician. I did hear you on another podcast actually saying that you'd sort of been exposed to alternative ideas around nutrition before you studied dietetics, and one of my most traumatising moments as a pregnant mom was opening up on of my old nutrition and dietetics textbooks and reading the recommended diet which was like fortified cereal and low-fat milk and orange juice and crackers. And I was kind of like, "Ugh," and I just shut the book and put it back on the shelf.   Lily Nichols: (02:04) Yeah.   Tahnee: (02:05) But, yeah, I'm curious how you actually kind of came to want to study dietetics and how you've ended up here.   Lily Nichols: (02:10) Sure. You want the long story, so-   Tahnee: (02:13) Go on.   Lily Nichols: (02:14) Yes. I have been interested in nutrition for a long time. I grew up in a fairly health-conscious home and really started to dive into nutrition in my teen years. Unfortunately, probably a little bit misguided because our dietary guidelines are so backwards, but nonetheless, made the connection that how I feel is definitely related to the type and quality of food I eat. So, that was beneficial.   Lily Nichols: (02:47) It was during that time that I sort of mentored with a nutritionist who was not a dietitian, and that was probably all for the better actually, who recommended I read the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. She, goes into a lot of the work of Dr. Weston Price, and that was a really important book for me to read because at the time, I was vegetarian and was not feeling very well. And so, to read this book that was really suggesting that animal foods, particularly fatty animal foods, could be an important but also healthful part of the diet was like completely mind blowing to me. And it took me many years to actually fully buy into that way of eating so to speak. It was just so very different from what I thought as healthy at the time.   Lily Nichols: (03:44) But by the time I went to university, I knew I wanted to study nutrition. I did not change my major, obviously, because here I am, and I used that as an opportunity to sort of see what our textbooks were teaching and then see what the research was saying and to sort of see if there was any overlap with what I had read from these other sources. And by that time, I had changed my diet and eating fairly liberal amounts of animal foods. For most people, probably a fairly high fat diet, but that kept me feeling really quite well with very stable energy levels and good mental health and all that. So, I knew it worked for me, but I was like "Does the research support this?"   Lily Nichols: (04:28) And I can't say I can unequivocally sort of prove that every claim that was in Nourishing Traditions is backed by science, but certainly, a lot of it is. And that definitely coloured my view of nutrition early on, and there was quite a bit. I mean, it was just at the time when studies started coming out on Vitamin K2. I had a professor very involved in research on Vitamin D. So, all this work around fat-soluble vitamins was really, really interesting to me.   Lily Nichols: (05:05) And once I actually became a dietitian, did my internship, and all the boring stuff, I ended up working in the prenatal space a little bit by accident, specifically working with gestational diabetes and California State public policy on gestational diabetes but, also, clinical work. And it was really there that all of the ... It's sort of like everything came together.   Lily Nichols: (05:31) I understood from the work of Dr. Price that cultures living isolated from modern, civilised foods as they would call them or foods of modern commerce I believe he refers to them, were far healthier. And when they started incorporating more processed foods, their health declined, including the health in the next generation. So, there was poorer pregnancy outcomes, higher rates of birth defects, and increased incidents of infection and other issues. And understanding the gestational diabetes component was really pivotal to me because I'd learned that children born to mothers with poorly controlled blood sugar can face upwards of a six-fold higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes or becoming obese by the time they're 13.   Tahnee: (06:21) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (06:22) And that risk, actually, in some studies, is upwards of 19-fold higher risk, and yet we can pretty much negate that risk if we can maintain well-balanced blood sugar levels in pregnancy. And it was like, "Wow." So, this work of Dr. Price actually, there's a lot to this whole idea of epigenetics and how we can ... The quality of our genes or which genes are turned on and off can, in fact, be influenced by a mother's health. Also, father's health. We can't forget him as well. That was really big for me.   Lily Nichols: (07:00) I mean I can keep going, but ultimately a lot of my work led me to be rather critical of the current dietary guidelines because I was not seeing the gestational diabetes guidelines work very well in practise. A lot of clients' blood sugar would either not improve or get worse following the conventional recommendations, and certainly, I, myself thrived on a real food, moderately lower carb diet with adequate amounts of fat and certainly not like the margarine and other just garbage food that they recommended. And so, that led me to develop an alternative approach for managing gestational diabetes and led to my first book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.   Lily Nichols: (07:48) And then several years later, after a lot of pestering for a book on prenatal nutrition and having my first child, somehow, I managed in the midst of baby toddlerhood to get Real Food for Pregnancy out into the world. So, here I am.   Tahnee: (08:06) That was very impressive when I read that you were writing it when your child was one, so I think I was-   Lily Nichols: (08:12) I know. I look back. I don't know how I accomplished that.   Tahnee: (08:15) I think you just got through it, but, yeah.   Lily Nichols: (08:17) Yeah.   Tahnee: (08:17) It's definitely, definitely wild.   Lily Nichols: (08:19) Yeah.   Tahnee: (08:20) I mean I guess that's such an interesting ... I mean I didn't end up studying dietetics, but I was going to. So, I have some of the textbooks and things, and I ... It's such a modern food kind of promoting field, and it feels to me like there's so much focus on kind of these specific nutrients or kind of fortified iron and duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, instead of really looking at, "Well, what did humans eat forever until recent industrialisation, and how would traditional cultures.   (08:56) utilised foods? What would they prioritise? What was a traditional pregnancy diet?" I mean all of these things I studied to the end.   Lily Nichols: (09:03) Right.   Tahnee: (09:03) So, you know?   Lily Nichols: (09:03) And, yes.   Tahnee: (09:03) Alchemy.   Lily Nichols: (09:07) I think that's actually where a lot of the magic lives, actually, in the nutrition field is just as the field evolves, moving away from this let's try to isolate the nutrient in this that is responsible for this outcome, now we understand so much more about nutrient synergy and how different nutrients work together.   Tahnee: (09:29) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (09:30) And it's very hard to study that because the more you can just take this reductionist approach of isolating the one variable that's responsible for the one outcome and try to prove causality, right?   Tahnee: (09:42) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (09:42) That's like an easier model for scientific research, but I think there's a lot of value in that observation of what cultures who are thriving and have great fertility and great reproductive outcomes like, "What are they doing, and/or what did they do before they changed their diet and those outcomes started getting worse?"   Tahnee: (10:08) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (10:09) I mean that's why I think the work of Dr. Price is just so very important, but sometimes, it takes a lot of work to sort of unpack what those observations were and try to unpack from-   Tahnee: (10:25) For sure, yeah.   Lily Nichols: (10:26) ... modern nutrition research what are the factors that are so crucial? So, in my stance, I feel like I almost reverse engineer in a way a prenatal diet that is nutrient dense and going to promote optimal pregnancy outcomes by taking all of those little studies and individual variables like, "Okay. Selenium is associated with a lower risk of pre-eclampsia. Okay. Where do we find selenium in food? Oh, look. That happened to be a food that was really prized in some of these cultures."   Tahnee: (11:00) For sure.   Lily Nichols: (11:00) "What else is in that food? Oh, wait. It has that nutrient. Hey. We have these like 10 studies showing that iodine is really good to-"   Tahnee: (11:09) Exactly. Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (11:11) ... fertility and pregnancy and sort of trying to make those connections for people because there is just so much wisdom in those traditional foods. But I think, I mean as a lover of research myself and as somebody who's always been kind of sceptical of when people claim to have-   Tahnee: (11:30) That they-   Lily Nichols: (11:32) It's just people have so many random dietary claims and superfoods and whatever. To really look at it from like a grounded perspective and take a micronutrient-forward approach versus this reductionist, "Well, the guidelines say we need X, Y, Z percentage of carb, fats, and proteins, so let's build a meal plan about around that. And then, just like fortify our way out of the nutrient deficiencies that will result from such a poorly planned diet." You know what I mean? I'm like, "Let's go micronutrient-forward and just see where the macros ended up," right? And I think that's so much more important.   Tahnee: (12:12) Yeah. Well, that's what I really loved about your Real Food for Pregnancy book is that as you chat a little bit about the macronutrients and just give some context for what the current guidelines say. 40 to 60% carbs, and you're going, "Well, we don't really have proof that that's actually valuable. It actually could be detrimental." You've got this information in there about the protein requirements of pregnant women and how it's much higher than probably what we think and fats. Everyone's so afraid of fat, and again, you're looking at all of these vitamins that are required for a healthy brain and a healthy pregnancy and a healthy spinal cord and a healthy bone system to be developed. Well, they're all fat-soluble, so there's this real sort of ease in your just presentation of that information.   Tahnee: (12:59) But then, this focus on, yeah, really looking for kind of the food sources of these things before we go and take a pill or take a supplement. And I think that's always been an approach I've really respected, and it's difficult to kind of find, I think, in prenatal nutrition because it's, yeah, everything you read about like, "Oh, if you're deficient in this, just take a supplement or this and this. Take one of these."   Lily Nichols: (13:21) Yep. [crosstalk 00:13:22]   Tahnee: (13:22) And I mean I can see that being useful sometimes, but not, yeah, not always.   Lily Nichols: (13:25) Yeah. 100% and in addition to that, people are really afraid to challenge the status quo on pregnancy. I've heard many times like, "I don't touch pregnant women or prenatal nutrition with like a 10-foot pole. I'm not going to mess with it." Because if something goes wrong, if your recommendations are bad and actually causing harm like, "Whoa. That's a major problem," and I think that's one of the reasons that I do rely so heavily on research. I mean, I guess some people might consider my stance extreme, but I feel like I take a very moderate approach to this as well where I'm not jumping to really crazy extremes.   Lily Nichols: (14:12) If anything, I think some of our dietary guidelines are a bit extreme in say like the recommendations on carbs. Like upwards of 65% of your diet on carbs? If you do that and then you have the remaining part of your diet, you're what? 35%, if my math is right, coming from fat and protein, given what we know now about the protein requirements being 73% higher than the current estimated average requirement in late pregnancy and what we understand about the importance of specific nutrients, micronutrients found in foods that have a lot of fat and protein like choline, for example.   Lily Nichols: (14:58) If you eat a diet that's 65% carbs, you are pretty much guaranteed to be micronutrient deficient, and you are probably almost guaranteed to be eating a diet deficient in choline as well as like a huge number of other micronutrients. So, if anything, I would argue that some of our dietary guidelines are actually doing more harm than good if you really take to the extreme of the macronutrient proportions.   Tahnee: (15:30) Recommendations, yeah.   Lily Nichols: (15:32) That they are. Yeah, yeah.   Tahnee: (15:33) And I mean, I guess when you're working with women, I'm sure there's a lot of unravelling of our, I guess, cultural kind of assumptions, or you mentioned like eating for two in the book. And I mean, I even have spoken to women who just, yeah, they're like still afraid to really nourish themselves because they have a hang up around eating disorders and those kinds of things. And I mean are there things that you say that you kind of find help women kind of get to the core of what's really ... I mean the epigenetic stuff for me, I guess, is one of the big things where it's like you're influencing not only your child but all the way down the line multiple generations.   Lily Nichols: (16:16) Right.   Tahnee: (16:16) Is there anything you find really convincing for people to kind of focus on this macronutrient approach instead of their mom?   Lily Nichols: (16:23) Yeah. Really convincing. That's always tricky because I think somebody who's done just so much individual but also group client work, what's motivating for somebody is not motivating for somebody else. So, on one hand, I think taking things from a mindful eating perspective and really driving home the point that you can feel well, have a more positive pregnancy experience when you're better nourished, you'll just you'll feel you just feel better, right? You won't have the crazy blood sugar swings that leave you low energy. That impacts your hormonal balance, so maybe you won't be as snippety at your partner.   Lily Nichols: (17:16) Your blood sugar levels definitely can influence your weight gain. Different foods you eat might change your odds of experiencing heartburn or the severity of heartburn.   Tahnee: (17:29) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (17:30) It might lower your odds of certain pregnancy complications, and certain pregnancy complications have this other carryover effect of sure not only affecting baby but also can have profound differences in the way you're treated within the medical system and what options you're provided with for your birth. It can carry all the way over to your postpartum experience as well and how well you heal and how well just, yeah. Your just general wellness and postpartum definitely has can go all the way back to your preconception health.   Lily Nichols: (18:11) So, I think some of those factors can be convincing for people. For some people who have a history of disordered eating, I think the points about the epigenetics and sort of this imprinting on your child's future risk of disease is really crucial. I think there's also a lot of unpacking. I tend to find a lot of people with disordered eating also have just kind of messed up blood sugar balance, usually because they've been convinced to really restrict their fat intake because, "Oh, my gosh. Fat has so many calories," right?   Tahnee: (18:55) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (18:56) And once we kind of unpack and sort of reframe the role of fats and protein and their influence on your blood sugar levels and your hunger and cravings, so many of these things balance themselves out when you just have stabilised your blood sugar levels by not overly restricting your fat and protein intake.   Tahnee: (19:21) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (19:22) Which I think that a lot of women do because of fear around fat or fear around eating meat or fear around eating eggs with the yolks. So, some of these things just fix themselves over time. But, yeah, I really think it depends on the client. What is the most motivating factor to them? Because it's so personal.   Tahnee: (19:51) Yeah, for sure. And I think once ... I mean the feeling good factor, I think is such a big part of it because I mean I was a vegetarian for a long time for about 14 years, and I kind of started eating meat just before I got pregnant because I was unwell and it was sort of only thing that I actually could tolerate. And then, I sort of had this vision of my life always being a vegetarian mom, and then my pregnancy, I remember walking down the street being like, "I would kill someone for chicken drumstick right now." I just wanted to attack anybody who had a chicken drumstick.   Lily Nichols: (20:23) Yep.   Tahnee: (20:25) And it was such a strange ... And obviously, I respect my body more than I respect my ideology, and I kind of ended up eating meat through the later stages of my pregnancy. And it was interesting in your book because talk about towards those last trimesters really needing more protein, and that was something that I had a kind of anecdotal experience of. It's just this huge demand all of a sudden for protein foods.   Lily Nichols: (20:50) Yes.   Tahnee: (20:50) Yeah. But I mean I think it's something that now I eat all these foods that you talk about in the book, and I feel so much more nourished on so many more levels. And I just think that's, yeah, as much as there can be this kind of belief maybe that your diet plan or whatever is working, it's like until you've really felt how good you can feel when you have I mineral rich and kind of high micronutrient rich body, it's a really different experience I think. So, yeah.   Lily Nichols: (21:19) I think you're right, yeah. There's so much to be said for experiencing it first-hand, and, yeah.   Tahnee: (21:28) And so, I mean I'm curious when because one of the things I've always struggled with with nutrition is just how poor ... You touched on this a little bit before with this focus on one particular reductionist kind of thing in order to get a "good study" that can be published in a journal and whatever.   Tahnee: (21:48) But when we're talking about nutrition, we're talking about individuals eating foods from such a variety of different qualities and sources like I could eat meat from an organic grass-fed cow in Byron Bay or I could eat meat from a feedlot. That's two very different propositions.   Tahnee: (22:06) So, how do you kind of troll through the research and find validation? I mean one of the studies I remember that really jumped out for me that you mentioned in the book was the one on feeding rats soybean oil and saying that fat was bad. Well, it's like, well, that's to me just ridiculous because we all know that that's one of the worst types of oil you could possibly eat. So, how do you kind of, yeah, you troll through all of this and find what's a good study?   Lily Nichols: (22:29) Yeah.   Tahnee: (22:30) And, yeah.   Lily Nichols: (22:31) Well, in a way, it's hard because so much research is I feel like the researchers behind it are coming into it with certain biases, certainly if they're funded by a certain industry. That can happen as well. But I actually used to work for a research institute in Los Angeles, and there was a lot of people doing rat studies there. And so, they'd have these lunch and learn sessions where the researchers would present on what was happening in their studies, and most of them were like had nothing to do with pregnancy by the way, but I went because I just find it just it was interesting. It was a nice way to spend my lunch break, and what was what I found so frustrating is that a lot of our dietary ideologies find their way into people doing rat studies who have literally no understanding of nutrition. But they're like, "Fat is bad."   Tahnee: (23:32) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (23:32) "So, our hypothesis is that feeding rats a diet that's high in fat is going to cause this problem." So, that's the angle that they take when they're going into the study.   Tahnee: (23:44) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (23:46) Honestly, these researchers are they're like rapt biologists. I don't know what you'd call them, but they're not people who have a deep understanding of nutrition. So, there is almost no thought to the quality of the fat that they would be feeding the rats. What should rats eat?   Tahnee: (24:06) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (24:06) Like an ancestral-   Tahnee: (24:08) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (24:08) ... where they're definitely-   Tahnee: (24:10) Biologically appropriate diet for a rat.   Lily Nichols: (24:11) Exactly, exactly.   Tahnee: (24:12) Yep.   Lily Nichols: (24:12) So, it's like, "Okay. We're going to start with the standard route chow," which is probably to some degree crap already.   Tahnee: (24:19) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (24:20) "But we're going to enrich this rat chow with a lot of soybean oil," or a lot of pick your poison, whatever fat they want to do. And I've actually really dove into some of these rats feeding studies, particular the ones where they're looking at pregnant rats. And sometimes, when they make these adjustments to the rat chow, they don't adjust the micronutrients supplementation to match it. So, it's like, "Okay. You gave these rats high-fat diet." It was also a horrible source of fat, like soybean oil, you know?   Tahnee: (24:56) Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (24:57) So inflammatory, Omega 6 fats no like shown to cause all sorts of pregnancy complications, and I go into that in Chapter 4 of Real Food for Pregnancy.   Tahnee: (25:10) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (25:11) But on top of that, because their diet is now what, I don't know, 60% fat or something that's fairly high, and you're not supplementing the micronutrients that would otherwise be in the regular rat chow. You now have micronutrient deficient rats as well.   Tahnee: (25:27) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (25:27) And there's no discussion of this in the papers whatsoever. We definitely have to have animal studies to learn things about human pregnancy because there's all sorts of ethical issues, obviously, on subjecting human pregnancies to certain deficiencies that we know are going to cause adverse outcomes. That's not ethical. So, we have to rely on rat studies, but a lot of them are poorly designed. And so, I'm just very critical when I'm looking at research, so usually when I approach looking up a certain topic, I have some sort of a hypothesis in my head, or I'm just looking for what is the latest update on choline and pregnancy. So, I'll sometimes use some generic search terms and then see what's out there. And I am very, very critical of the methods that studies use.   Tahnee: (26:28) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (26:29) I'm also critical of the funding sources, and I'm also critical of the way that they explain their results in their discussion section. So, I always try to go back to the actual data, and it depends on how much of that actual data they're able to present on in the study which can be frustrating.   Tahnee: (26:50) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (26:50) Because sometimes there's holes that they don't address. But my long answer or short answer for this long explanation is I'm just very critical of everything that I read. And I find there's often quite a few holes in research studies, unfortunately, and what's interesting is if you go back to studies from like the 1940s and look at how they present their data and how they discuss their data, they are much less likely to explain away a certain finding.   Tahnee: (27:29) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (27:29) They're like, "We observed this," and just they leave it as is. Where if you're looking at say, we'll go back to the rat study studying fat, they might say, "We were surprised to find that the rats fed the soybean oil, although there this happened, they actually had this really advantageous thing happen," or really terrible thing happen that they can't possibly explain because it goes against their hypothesis. So then, they'll spend whole paragraph-   Tahnee: (28:07) What the finding mean.   Lily Nichols: (28:08) ... trying to explain away why that result was because of confounding variables and not from the thing that they tested. So-   Tahnee: (28:16) It's almost editorialising their kind of own-   Lily Nichols: (28:18) Exactly, exactly.   Tahnee: (28:21) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (28:21) So, I'm just ... I do a lot of reading of scientific studies, but I probably only out of every 10 studies, I might find like one that's really good. It's slim pickings.   Tahnee: (28:37) Yeah, and I think like you said ethically, and I mean even practically, it's very difficult to study human nutrition on a kind of large scale because people aren't reliable really, you know?   Lily Nichols: (28:52) Yes.   Tahnee: (28:53) And you can't lock someone in the room and force feed them. That would be naughty, so, yeah. It's a tricky area I think, and that's why I think I've always been drawn to the ancestral kind of ideas, especially as I've gotten older because it makes a lot of sense to me to look at, well, we got pretty far through nature providing.   Lily Nichols: (29:11) Exactly.   Tahnee: (29:12) And like, "Okay. So, maybe the last couple hundred years haven't been so good for us," but-   Lily Nichols: (29:18) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (29:18) But, yeah. One thing I found super interesting, which I mean I ... This is a little, I guess, off to the side of it, but similar just thinking about epigenetics. And one thing we hear a lot of in our work is kids with eczema, and I noticed that you made a point of in Real Food for Pregnancy of saying like, "Glycine needs really increase during pregnancy."   Tahnee: (29:41) And one of the things I know is quite effective in treating kids after they've been born is glycine supplementation, and I was curious if you've seen things like that where there's kind of a correlation between the deficiency in pregnancy and then a popular ... I know this is going to be tricky to answer, but I'm going to try. Like a population kind of change in terms of more common because we know we see more ADHD now. We see all these different types of things becoming way more common. Do you think that that's in part due to this kind of prenatal nutrition and even just women's general health as they're bringing the babies in, or is it more to do with what the kids are eating once they're born? Or do you have any thoughts on that?   Lily Nichols: (30:22) I think particularly after having my two kids and knowing how tricky feeding kids gets into later toddlerhood. You have a three-year-old, right? So-   Tahnee: (30:37) I do, yes. I do.   Lily Nichols: (30:40) All these real foodie moms, myself included, sort of smugly-   Tahnee: (30:45) Humbled.   Lily Nichols: (30:45) ... go into early motherhood with like, "My child is going to eat so well, and they're not going to go through a picky eating phase because I'm being really intentional about which foods I'm introducing when. And I'm not exposing them to this processed stuff." And then, just by default, the development, I just have to say it. It is a developmentally normal stage in brain development of exerting independence that you're probably going to go through some degree of picky eating. It'll happen. Just prepare yourself. You didn't do anything wrong, right?   Lily Nichols: (31:21) And so, knowing that, knowing that there's probably going to be times where their nutrient intake is not that great, I think so much of it comes back to at least I know. I'm like, "Well, at least in pregnancy and at least-   Tahnee: (31:37) They sure had a good time.   Lily Nichols: (31:38) ... early infancy, you had really nutrient-dense foods, and you had your breast milk and your ..." Because they just go through those funny food phases where they only want certain things, and you know they're not getting well-balanced nutrition. So, that's just a little aside to start out.   Tahnee: (31:59) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (31:59) I think it is certainly both. Obviously, if a child has a propensity towards food sensitivities or allergies, then, yes, you're definitely going to notice a reaction to certain foods. But there's a lot of things that come back to pregnancy nutrition. I can't say offhand I know something where glycine has any relation to a risk of children's risk of allergies. I have not seen that study, but glycine is an amino acid that I give a lot of big nod to in the book because it's something that becomes very important to provide in pregnancy.   Tahnee: (32:48) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (32:49) And because glycine is a major component of collagen and makes up so many of our bodily structures, so like a third of the protein in our body is collagen.   Tahnee: (33:01) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (33:01) A third of the amino acids in collagen are glycine, so you can kind of use glycine and collagen somewhat interchangeably in that if you're eating collagen, you're going to be getting a lot glycine. Of course, you could supplement separately with it, but in terms of what you get from food, you would be getting it usually in the form of gelatin or collagen.   Tahnee: (33:23) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (33:23) And those amino acids are very important for the formation of organs, for the transcription of foetal DNA, for the development of the gastrointestinal tract, so maybe it plays a role there. For the skin, hair, nails, connective tissue, bones, the entire skeletal system, your liver's ability to detoxify because you require glycine the form of glutathione, one of your major detoxification enzymes. So, you could probably circumstantially make the case that it does play a role in immune system development.   Tahnee: (34:03) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (34:04) I can't say we have direct data on that specifically at this moment. Some of the things we do have pretty decent data on in terms of risk of child allergies would be Vitamin D.   Tahnee: (34:17) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (34:18) Vitamin A very important for the immune system. Probiotics and the health of the maternal microbiome to a large degree affects the baby's microbiome, and some of those bacteria and microbes are transferred throughout pregnancy, although the greatest seeding of the microbiome happens at birth.   Tahnee: (34:43) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (34:43) So, if there are interventions in pregnancy that affect the maternal microbiome, like the use of antibiotics, or if there is antibiotics used during labour or shortly after postpartum because that also affects the breast milk, if baby is born vaginally versus born via C-section, that can impact the microbiome. Whether they're breastfed or formula fed can affect the microbiome, and that is really your immune system is like some estimates say 70% or 80% located in your gut.   Tahnee: (35:21) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (35:21) So, all of these factors that affect gut health and the microbiome I think are just huge, and I have actually been asked before like, "What do you think is the greatest gift you've passed along to your children?" And I think it's my microbiome. I'm not kidding. If it's not my prenatal nutrition, it is the microbiome. It sets the stage for their immune system for their entire life, and I'm grateful for my mom who birthed me at home and didn't jump to giving us antibiotics a whole bunch as kids and practised full-term breastfeeding, breastfed us into toddlerhood.   Tahnee: (36:11) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (36:11) And so, I know I had a strong microbiome, and I think that is literally the greatest gift that we can pass to our children, which is kind of probably a weird thing for some people to think. But once you dive into the research, it's just so fascinating.   Tahnee: (36:26) Yeah. I mean I completely agree, and I mean one thing that I'm curious about. We have a colleague who is a functional naturopath, and he has been recently kind of ... He used to recommend quite an ancestral style diet. And he's been sort of recently doing a lot of research on the microbiome and saying that maybe a higher fat diet is less beneficial for the microbiome. I'm curious if you've come across any of that, or if you know. I haven't actually gone quite deep on it yet. He just, he spoke to my partner about it the other day, but, yeah. It was something that was a bit of a surprise for me.   Lily Nichols: (37:01) Yeah. So, I think, first of all, that we're still in our infancy of understanding the microbiome.   Tahnee: (37:09) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (37:10) And so, I think there's a lot of, kind of like those rat studies, there's a lot of assumptions that are made, right?   Tahnee: (37:15) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (37:15) So, there are assumptions made that the greater diversity of bacteria that we have in the gut, then the better.   Tahnee: (37:25) Hmm.   Lily Nichols: (37:26) And I don't think that is always true. Now, you will have a greater diversity of bacteria if you're eating a diet with a greater diversity of plant foods, especially fibres, because those will feed certain microbes in the gut. But you can shift the microbiome based on what we're eating.   Lily Nichols: (37:46) I always kind of come back to the ancestral thing. Would you have taken that microbiome research? So, say we were at that point where we were studying that in the 1920s, and you were visiting an Inuit population in Northern Canada or Alaska or Greenland. And you were like, "Okay. So, those people be generally a ketogenic diet," particularly in the winter when probably-   Tahnee: (38:19) They may be more.   Lily Nichols: (38:19) ... some of the only plant foods they have are, and I've lived in Alaska, so I can attest to this, probably some of the only plant foods that you have managed to preserve over the winter. Traditionally, they gathered lingonberries and blueberries, and the wild ones are not very sweet.   Tahnee: (38:37) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (38:37) And some berries called crowberries, which are not sweet at all, and they preserved them in seal oil, okay? So, there's isn't-   Tahnee: (38:46) Blech.   Lily Nichols: (38:46) You're not going to find a lot of plant matter in the tundra. Maybe if you're eating the contents of like a moose's gut, then maybe you'd get some of the things that they were eating. But for the most part, they were eating a lot of fat and protein.   Tahnee: (39:01) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (39:01) And I would argue that their microbiome is adapted appropriately to-   Tahnee: (39:06) With their diet, mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (39:07) ... break down the foods that are in their diet. I don't think we can unequivocally show that having a more diverse microbiome is always better. However, I think with certainly with a modern diet, if you're comparing the microbiome of somebody eating the so-called standard American or Western diet, which has like a whole bunch of white flour and refined oils and just very low in micronutrients, also low in fibre, probably their animal products are from animals raised on feedlots who are treated with a bunch of antibiotics, eating glyphosate-sprayed, genetically-modified corn and soy.   Tahnee: (39:48) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (39:48) Certainly, you're not going to see a very diverse microbiota, and it's not going to be a very healthy microbiota because a lot of their bacteria have been negatively-   Tahnee: (40:00) Nuked.   Lily Nichols: (40:00) ... affected by their diet of processed foods and things that are killing the microbiome like the antibiotic residues and the glyphosate residues.   Tahnee: (40:08) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (40:10) So, I think it's the bit tricky for us to draw super strong conclusions.   Tahnee: (40:15) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (40:17) I think a lot of people ... I think you have to find your sweet spot. I think there are some people who really who thrive with differing levels of plant versus animal foods, and you find that in the research, too. When they've looked at modern hunter-gatherer diets, they find that the carbohydrate range ... I hope I don't butcher this, but I do cite this in the book.   Tahnee: (40:40) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (40:41) ... range anywhere from 3 to like 34%, I believe, of their diet coming from carbs.   Tahnee: (40:48) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (40:50) There might be some groups actually that eat a little higher, but I think the median quartile or whatever was somewhere between, gosh, in the teens up to 34%. So, like probably around a quarter, give or take, of your diet coming from carbohydrates. That would be most of your plant foods since that's where you find your carbs.   Lily Nichols: (41:11) And then, the remainder was your fat and protein, and I think people need to sort of find their own sweet spot with that. And some people do well with a lot more. Some people do well with a lot less, and I think there's also different stages of life where you can tweak that. And if there's certain health conditions you're dealing with for a period of time, sometimes, people do better with a short period of time eating keto. And then, they resolve that health issue, and they can start incorporating a more liberal amount of carbohydrates into their diet. And they feel great.   Tahnee: (41:50) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (41:50) But if they'd done that two years ago, they would have felt really awful.   Tahnee: (41:53) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (41:54) So, I think, I don't know, as a whole, I think we need to be much less dogmatic about nutrition and much more adaptive.   Tahnee: (42:03) Yeah. Well, I think that actually made me think of there's a guy called Jack Kruse. Are you familiar with him?   Lily Nichols: (42:09) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (42:10) Yeah. He's interesting, but I read his book. And probably the biggest thing I took away from that was he sort of discussed how if you think about a seasonal diet, you might get a lot more carbohydrates and be more insulin resistant during say, summertime.   Lily Nichols: (42:25) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (42:26) But then, you're going to naturally have a stage of ketosis every year when it's wintertime, and this kind of dance between the two states might actually be beneficial for humans. And I mean there's not really any evidence for this. But it made sense to me that we wouldn't be in ketosis all the time, and we wouldn't be in a state of insulin resistance all the time, and-   Lily Nichols: (42:47) I completely agree.   Tahnee: (42:49) Yeah. And I just, that for me was a really big takeaway that perhaps it's a little bit of both, you know?   Lily Nichols: (42:56) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (42:57) And I mean probably other things as well, but that was something you'd mentioned in your book about carbohydrate cravings because of the amount women who've written who are really conscious of nutrition who are like, "All I want to eat is toast," you know?   Lily Nichols: (43:09) Yep.   Tahnee: (43:11) For the kind of three months of their pregnancy or whatever.   Lily Nichols: (43:13) Yep.   Tahnee: (43:14) And then, you were sort of saying, "Well, there's naturally this this change in the pancreas." Can you tell us a little bit about that and why maybe it's not the end of the world if you eat a lot of carbs?   Lily Nichols: (43:23) Oh, yeah. Yeah. There're so many, I mean, I've thought a lot about this, of course, because I also experienced that during my two pregnancies, so, yeah. The first trimester is a time of incredible change and adaptation, and the more you dive into the weeds, the more incredible it is that we can pull off this complex feat.   Tahnee: (43:49) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (43:50) But also, the more reassurance I feel around giving people permission to not be super freaked out about their carb cravings in the first trimester, so, yeah. There's a lot happening not only with the pancreas, but also, all of the major internal organs and organ systems of baby are formed by eight weeks of pregnancy. Pretty much all the cells have differentiated to their like, "I'm going to grow into a liver, and I'm going to grow into a brain. And I'm going to be a bone," and all of that has-   Tahnee: (44:28) Be expecting that.   Lily Nichols: (44:29) Yeah. All of that has pretty much taken place by week eight, which is insane.   Tahnee: (44:33) It's so crazy. Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (44:35) During that time as well, the embryo has implanted into the endometrium, and actually, there's glands in the endometrium that serve as nourishment for the early embryo before the placenta forms. And ultimately, when the placenta forms, which is end of first trimester, beginning of second trimester, that then takes over in supplying nutrients to the foetus. And but until that time point, your baby's actually being nourished by the lining of the uterus. The lining of the uterus that builds itself up, and then in case that you are not pregnant that month is expelled via your menstrual cycle. So, a healthy menstrual cycle really sets the stage for a healthy pregnancy, and I think we can give ourselves a whole bunch of grace in that first trimester when your body might have food aversions or only wants to eat carbs because the endometrium kind of has it covered.   Tahnee: (45:42) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (45:43) In the meantime, your body is working crazy overtime to build a whole new organ, a very complex organ known as the placenta, and that takes a lot of energy. So, the amount of mitochondria being produced and actively those are like the energy producing parts of the cell, but they do a whole bunch of other stuff. It is exponentially higher compared to really any other life stage, and so there's a reason you feel like tired and worn down and just wanting carbs.   Lily Nichols: (46:17) On top of that, insulin sensitivity changes throughout your pregnancy, so in early pregnancy, people tend to be more prone to hypoglycemia. So, your insulin resistance tends to be a little bit less, but also, your insulin production increases a bit. This is going to shift a lot towards the end of pregnancy where your insulin production can be double or triple but also is matched with a pretty high level of insulin resistance. So, in early pregnancy, your body actually kind of can handle more carbs.   Tahnee: (46:53) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (46:54) But also, if it's the only thing you can eat, and you're like, "Oh, my gosh, I'm not eating all these nutrient-dense things," technically, and particularly for people who did a little bit of prep work ahead of time or have eaten a generally nutritious diet, doesn't have to be perfect, in the months and years leading up to pregnancy, you can really just rest assured that your body is taking care of it. It's really relying on your nutrient stores early on more than anything.   Lily Nichols: (47:26) And I don't want to give like a complete like, "Oh, nutrition doesn't matter at all in the first trimester." Of course, it matters, but when you're in the throes of nausea and you really kind of don't have a choice, you have to do what you got to do just to get through the day or get through the hour. And so, we can sort of try to make choices with more nutrient dense carbs. I just recently did an Instagram Live on this if people want to dive in a little more.   Lily Nichols: (47:53) But don't get super hung up on like, "The whole the sky is falling." There's so much hormonally going on. I didn't even talk about the thyroid being hijacked by HCG, which also supposedly contributes to the nausea and the hyperness.   Tahnee: (48:09) And that was something. That was like a wow for me when I read that.   Lily Nichols: (48:13) Yeah.   Tahnee: (48:13) That morning sickness could mean that the thyroid is actually really healthy.   Lily Nichols: (48:19) Yes.   Tahnee: (48:19) I'd never heard that before. Can you tell us-   Lily Nichols: (48:21) No, it's just it's so complex, and so this is one of the fun things about doing the research is you can go into it with a hypothesis, and then you come out with all these random theories that you're like, "Wow." And then looking at everything and that's happening in early embryonic development all the way back to the development of the egg and implantation. It's just incredible. Can we just take a step back and be like, "Wow"?   Tahnee: (48:50) I'll do it.   Lily Nichols: (48:50) Hold this up.   Tahnee: (48:51) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (48:51) It's cool.   Tahnee: (48:52) Well, sometimes, I look at my daughter, and then I look at me, and I'm like, "How did ..." you know? You're like, "How did that?"   Lily Nichols: (48:59) Yeah. You made that.   Tahnee: (49:00) Yeah, and but-   Lily Nichols: (49:01) I know.   Tahnee: (49:02) Yeah, woo. And I mean on the kind of thyroidy thing, because that's something a lot of women experience postpartum and thyroid issues. Do you have any ... Is there anything we can do nutritionally to support the thyroid? I mean, iodine and selenium obviously are big ones.   Lily Nichols: (49:20) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (49:21) Is there anything you have to say about that?   Lily Nichols: (49:23) Yeah. Well, the thyroid is just a very sensitive gland, and it's sensitive to all sorts of stressors not only nutritional but life stress as well. And it is under a significant amount of stress in a pregnancy where it has to pump out 50% more thyroid hormone than it usually does, and a lot of that ramping up, going back to the first trimester, happens really early on as well.   Lily Nichols: (49:50) And so, once you have your baby and you're postpartum and you have this sudden crazy drop in hormones, pretty much once you birth the placenta, and you don't have this hormone producing organ hanging out telling your body that you're pregnant, you see a very sudden crash in hormones. And the thyroid has to pretty much completely remodel back to a non-pregnant thyroid that isn't producing as much thyroid hormones.   Lily Nichols: (50:23) So, it goes through a lot of adaptations in that first year postpartum, but especially in the first three to six months. And so, if there was any underlying stressors on the thyroid prior to pregnancy or during pregnancy, sometimes, you see those amplified in postpartum. Most often it's postpartum thyroiditis usually in the form of a hypothyroid state, although some people have an overactive thyroid. So, usually, there's ... And then, it gets complicated because sometimes, it presents in a, they call it a triphasic pattern, where you can experience often a period of hyperthyroidism early on. So, like excessive thyroid hormones early on followed by either a normal thyroid or a hypothyroid state later on in that first year.   Tahnee: (51:17) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (51:17) And so, it's really tricky to toy out even as a clinician in trying to decide what you're working with clinically, so I think as a mom, you want to be really aware of your symptoms so if you need follow up testing because something has changed, to beware. You may have swung to the other side of the thyroid spectrum.   Tahnee: (51:41) Hmm.   Lily Nichols: (51:42) As far as nutrition to support the thyroid, absolutely iodine is so key. I think way under emphasised in our prenatal and postpartum breastfeeding nutrition guidelines. You need more iodine when you're breastfeeding than you do when you're pregnant and more than any other life stage, by the way.   Tahnee: (52:08) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (52:08) And I think our iodine recommendations are very, very conservative. You transfer quite a bit of iodine via your breast milk, and so that's sort of like a just ... It's like a bucket with a hole in the bottom. You take it in. It goes right out.   Tahnee: (52:23) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (52:23) And so, I think in some cases, of course, there's a lot of things that are preferentially transferred to baby, and that continues to be the case when you're breastfeeding. And I think that might be the case with iodine. Definitely a nutrient to consider, so look and see if your prenatal has any iodine. Hopefully, it does, and hopefully, it has enough. And then, continue that postpartum, but also, seaweed and seafood are going to be your major iodine sources. And next to that but in much lesser amounts, dairy products and eggs.   Tahnee: (53:00) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (53:00) So, yeah. Postpartum would be a good time to have seaweed snacks as a snack and have your fish and your mussels and oysters and all those nutrient dense foods. And then, the cool thing about those nutrient dense foods is that because things work in synergy, when you're getting your seafood, you're also getting a lot of other nutrients that are supportive of the thyroid so a number of trace minerals, especially selenium. That is a really important one to have in balance with your iodine. You have your Vitamin D. You'll have your Vitamin B12. You have your zinc and copper and a bunch of other nutrients in your seafood products. That's so important for thyroid health.   Lily Nichols: (53:42) And then, I would also emphasise Vitamin A and iron for the thyroid. And again, if you're eating those seafoods, but you're also including nutrient-dense animal foods, especially the organ meats, you're going to get pretty much all of those nutrients you need in the right proportions to support your thyroid health.   Lily Nichols: (54:08) But on the other side of the non-nutrition side of things, postpartum is often very stressful for people and especially if there's not a big community of support.   Tahnee: (54:19) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (54:20) It's just it's a lot for your body to go through and for you to emotionally go through, and in the midst of perpetually interrupted sleep. And I mean, all of it is really a recipe for stress on the thyroid. So, if you can find a way to simply get enough to eat first of all, focus on quality as second. Get enough to eat, very important for your thyroid, and have some sort of community or family support there to help you in the moment, ground level with baby, bringing you food so you can just rest as much as possible. That is X. That's just so important and probably just as important as the nutrients I just mentioned. I think that community aspect in a supported postpartum, the importance of that cannot be understated.   Tahnee: (55:18) Yeah. We talk about that a lot on this podcast because, yeah, I completely agree. It's just it's so essential. I'm in a meal train right now for a friend who just had a little one.   Tahnee: (55:29) I wanted to jump a little bit across to methylation because one thing that I remember reading about when I was pregnant was about folate and how most of the ways in which we supplement it are really not that beneficial because our bodies have to work really hard if they can even absorb it at all. And you recently did a post on your blog about MT. I always get this wrong, MTHFR. I always want to say the dirty word.   Lily Nichols: (55:54) You got it right.   Tahnee: (55:57) You got to spell it out, and how that sort of influences folate absorption in the body as well, especially for people that have that sort of predisposition to poor methylation. So, obviously, I can link to the blog post, but could you give us a quick summary of folate and kind of why it's important and then what we might need to look out for if we are concerned about our ability to methylate?   Lily Nichols: (56:23) Sure. Yeah. I'll try to give you the short version-   Tahnee: (56:26) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (56:26) ... because that blog post is quite long.   Tahnee: (56:28) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (56:29) So, folate is one of our B vitamins, and in terms of pregnancy health, it's most famous for its role in the prevention of neural tube defects and other birth defects. And it does this because it's very involved in the transcription of DNA, making sure that all of that goes properly. And when you're lacking in certain micronutrients, folate being one of them, you can have problems with that process. And one of the really devastating outcomes when that happens in early pregnancy is something like a structural birth defect. Of course, folate is important for a lot of other things, but that's where it gets its fame for its role in a healthy pregnancy.   Lily Nichols: (57:24) So, folate is an umbrella term that includes all the different types of folate that we get from food. There is over 150 different types of folate in food, the most common being methylfolate, and methylfolate also accounts for at least 95%. Some estimates say 98% of the folate that's in our bloodstream, but there is also a synthetic version of folate that was developed called folic acid. And for some reason, this one got all the fame, is then is the one used in a lot of research studies. It's interesting in that in the gut, it is actually better absorbed than food folate because food folate has this whole food matrix going along with it.   Lily Nichols: (58:19) So, the isolated synthetic folic acid is absorbed quite well, but that doesn't mean that it is utilised well because folic acid has to be converted via several steps into methylfolate for your body to be able to metabolise it. So, this poses a problem for people who have ... It can be a problem for everyone, and I make that case in the folate article, so I recommend people do give that a read. But it's especially problematic for people who have certain genetic variations in the genes that control the enzymes that metabolise folate. So, MTHFR is one of those genes, and there's a couple different mutations that people can have on their MTHFR. I call it MTFHR variations because it's just all of these gene mutations that sound all scary. They're all a variation of normal. 40 to 60% of the population have as a variation of their MTHFR gene and thus has a reduced ability to process synthetic folic acid. So, it's definitely worth talking about.   Tahnee: (59:34) No, well, that's pretty good I'd say. I think what I guess your point in the article was really that we're looking for real food sources, or if we're supplementing, we're looking for folinic acid or methylfolate instead of straight up folic acid. So, was that addition of the folinic that was the difference? Would that be an accurate kind of-   Lily Nichols: (59:55) Yes. That would be an accurate takeaway. So, I mean most supplements will use, if they're going to use "good quality" of folate, they'll use methylfolate instead of folic acid. There is also a form of folate called folinic acid, so it has a little extra IN in there. And that is like in if you look at the biochemistry pathways, and I made a choice not to include that in the article but maybe I should, folinic acid is like one step behind methylfolate. So, your body would still have to convert it into methylfolate, but it doesn't have to do near the amount of work as if you were to take folic acid.   Tahnee: (01:00:42) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:00:42) So, yeah. So, there's a lot of really not a lot. There are several good quality prenatal vitamins, for example, that'll use a combination of methylfolate and folinic acid. I think with a lot of people becoming more aware of this MTHFR issue, everyone's like all of a sudden obsessed with methylation, and so they're like, "I need my methylfolate and my methyl B12 and methyl this and methyl that." And some people don't do well with too many methyl groups, especially in supplemental form. So, I think that's why some companies have decided to kind of pull back a little bit on all the methylfolate and do a combination. But it really entirely depends on the person.   Lily Nichols: (01:01:28) And then, I'd say the other point, take home point, that I wanted to make in that article was that folate doesn't function in isolation just like so many other nutrients. There is essentially we're talking about this whole methylation cycle or this whole folate cycle, and there are a lot of nutrients that participate in it. And so, I think we need to look beyond just supplementing with methylfolate and particularly supplementing with really high doses without balancing that out with all these other groups that are involved in methylation, like your Vitamin B12 and your Vitamin B6 and your choline and your glycine, which we talked about earlier, and your betaine and your riboflavin and your copper and your magnesium. I mean there's so many things.   Lily Nichols: (01:02:20) And that's why what's so cool about it is that if you look at what are our most nutrient-dense sources of folate in our diet, and I have a list of those foods and the amount of folate in each of them, liver is top of the list. Sorry to keep talking about liver, but with liver you're also going to get pretty much all of those micronutrients that help your body process folate properly.   Tahnee: (01:02:45) I think it's one of the only other food sources of choline, too, right? Like-   Lily Nichols: (01:02:48) Yeah. Eggs and liver are by far your top two sources of choline in the diet.   Tahnee: (01:02:54) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (01:02:55) So, yep. And choline is huge. Choline is arguably just as important, possibly more important, than folate for the prevention of neural tube defects. It's just we hadn't identified just how important it was until like the 1990s. The U.S. didn't have a recommended intake for choline until 1998.   Tahnee: (01:03:18) Wow.   Lily Nichols: (01:03:18) So, it wasn't on the research radar. So, if we go back to our earlier conversation about looking at research studies, I mean there's a lot of things I wish were researched that they weren't or should have been researched like 30 years ago, but we didn't know about them yet, right? So, how many things are in our food right now, like our whole foods that we don't know about because we haven't isolated them and named them? I mean-   Tahnee: (01:03:44) Well, that's one of our pet peeves, isolating a standardisation of a herb. It's like, "Well, we've taken herbs in their whole form forever."   Lily Nichols: (01:03:53) Exactly.   Tahnee: (01:03:54) Now, we suddenly look for like one little aspect of them and we-   Lily Nichols: (01:03:58) Right.   Tahnee: (01:03:59) ... standardise that. It just doesn't make any sense.   Lily Nichols: (01:04:01) I agree.   Tahnee: (01:04:02) So, the last thing I kind of really wanted to touch on was gestational diabetes, and obviously, that's a huge topic. But I guess what I really wanted to touch on was for the pregnant women because it's just something that's come up a lot for me lately with friends and people in the community that I talk to where they're getting diagnosed with this based on usually that horrific drinking lots of sugar test. And then, they're-   Lily Nichols: (01:04:29) Yes.   Tahnee: (01:04:29) ... a lot of time kind of asymptomatic in that they feel really healthy. The baby comes out really healthy. They don't seem to really notice that it's affecting them so much, but they're then being treated as kind of a risk factor. And I'm kind of curious because when I was reading your book and you mentioned it before when we were chatting about how toward the end of pregnancy, we do become more insulin resistant. I'm just, yeah, I'm kind of curious about how it all fits together.   Lily Nichols: (01:04:55) Yeah.   Tahnee: (01:04:56) When someone is pregnant, what would you recommend as the best way to kind of get to the bottom of the edge?   Lily Nichols: (01:05:01) Okay, and sort of the idea of like, "Well, isn't it physiologically normal to ..."   Tahnee: (01:05:05) Well, I didn't want to like ... Because you know, I think it's, like you say, it's risky to sort of say these things, but I've come across that in my research that actually that's kind of what happens when you pregnant and just to chill out with it. And after baby's born, it'll-   Lily Nichols: (01:05:19) Yeah, yeah.   Tahnee: (01:05:20) ... go away on its own so ...   Lily Nichols: (01:05:22) It is really fascinating. I think in the context of human history and ancestral eating, the adaptation to be more insulin resistant in pregnancy made a lot of sense because there needed to be some degree of buffering for times of nutritional stress and famine and food scarcity. So, this would kind of ensure that you're shuttling as many nutrients to baby as possible, and I think this adaptation is a little bit maladaptive perhaps for our modern food environment, where aside-   Lily Nichols: (01:06:05) ... from people who literally have ... Some people are exposed to starvation. There's a lot of food scarcity across the world, but if we're talking like an industrialised Western country and somebody in middle-class income level, they're not going to experience food scarcity, caloric scarcity.   Tahnee: (01:06:29) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:06:30) And so, then you can end up with an issue where there's just nutrient excess, for sure. What is interesting though is that I want to clarify that the presence of insulin resistance in pregnancy, although that is adaptive and normal, blood sugar levels actually trend down in pregnancy naturally.   Tahnee: (01:06:56) Oh.   Lily Nichols: (01:06:56) So, you'll find that average blood sugar levels in pregnant women, and if you're looking at ... So, I think, if I'm thinking of the study is like average of 32 week's gestation, average 24-hour blood sugar levels were in the 80s.   Tahnee: (01:07:14) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:07:15) And you might use different units. You have to divide by 18 to take that for milligrammes per deciliter to millimoles per litre, but nonetheless, it's lower than somebody outside of pregnancy. And the gestational diabetes targets are lower than non-pregnant diabetic levels for that reason.   Tahnee: (01:07:39) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:07:39) So, yes, insulin resistance develops, but your insulin production increases to match it. And if that adaptation goes as it is meant to go, blood sugar levels will not be excessively high, will not be in the gestational diabetic range.   Tahnee: (01:07:56) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:07:58) So, for the people who are like, "Gestational diabetes is like a made-up thing," I disagree-   Tahnee: (01:08:04) No, no, no, right?   Lily Nichols: (01:08:05) ... from my clinical experience, but I think there's a whole lot of nuance in the diagnosis of gestational diabetes because I think our assumption that a single glucose tolerance test via that sweet drink you're talking about, the glucola, is going to perfectly delineate people who have blood sugar issues and people who don't have blood sugar issues. I think that's pretty absurd.   Tahnee: (01:08:35) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:08:36) So, there are definitely cases of false positives and false negatives with the glucose tolerance tests, and arguably, I think it's a little bit silly that we wait all the way until 2/3 of a pregnancy to screen for gestational diabetes, where technically in the United States, about half of the population, literally, 49 to 52% of the adult U.S. population has some form of blood sugar imbalance in the form of Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, and most of them are undiagnosed. So, we have just this just rampant issue of blood sugar issues, and we should be identifying those and screening those earlier.   Lily Nichols: (01:09:24) So, you can request a haemoglobin A1C in your first trimester, which will give you sort of a look at your average pre-pregnancy blood sugar levels, and if those are in the prediabetic range, in the state of California, the guidelines I worked on, they would treat that as gestational diabetes.   Tahnee: (01:09:43) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (01:09:43) And arguably, there's a lot of gestational diabetes international organisations who argue that that should be used universally as screening in the first trimester and help, too, at least. A1C isn't perfect either, but it gives you a little glimpse, and at least you can have the person monitor their blood sugar for a few weeks at minimum and see what's happening.   Tahnee: (01:10:08) Hmm.   Lily Nichols: (01:10:09) And I would say the same with the glucose tolerance test. Whether you take it or not, because you can also just not take it and choose to monitor your blood sugar at home and see where you average, regardless of the test results or not, it's something that can help you figure out whether, well, A, how severe your blood sugar imbalance is, if in fact, it's an issue, or help you figure out if maybe you had a false positive result on the test. Whereas a false negative, you wouldn't figure out because you wouldn't have blood sugar metre, right?   Tahnee: (01:10:49) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:10:50) Which is why I think it's just such a great learning opportunity for people to use a blood sugar metre for a period of time. And now, we even have continuous glucose monitors which are even more cool. They give you pretty much 24/7 tabs on your blood sugar without having to prick your finger all the time.   Tahnee: (01:11:13) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:11:13) So, if people want to read about my experiment with that, you can look up CGM Experiment on my website, and I go into all the details.   Tahnee: (01:11:21) I'll link.   Lily Nichols: (01:11:21) But, yeah, suffice to say I think the diagnosis of gestational diabetes is complex. I don't think there's one perfect way. I think we should have access to different options. I think people should be aware of the risk of false positive results. I don't think we should be treating a diagnosis of gestational diabetes in the way that we are in that in Western medical care, it's just seen as your pregnancy is now automatically high risk, and there's a tonne of people who are very borderline gestational diabetes, just have very mildly elevated levels, and they just need to reduce their carbs a tiny bit.   Tahnee: (01:12:10) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Lily Nichols: (01:12:10) And then, they're good to go. And they're not high risk, and they don't need to have an over-medicalized pregnancy and birth.   Tahnee: (01:12:16) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (01:12:16) So, I have a lot to say on the topic, but it does, indeed, it is indeed like a phenomenon. It does exist. There are absolutely true cases of gestational diabetes. I've worked with hundreds of hundreds of them, and there are also cases where people have a positive diagnosis, and their blood sugar is totally fine. So, it's, yeah. It's a whole can of worms.   Tahnee: (01:12:39) I guess it comes down to sovereignty as well, and really, if you are getting diagnosed with things, understanding what it is and really becoming curious and doing your own research. And I mean that's what your books is so great for, so, yeah. So, I'll definitely link to that. And if you have any interest in gestational diabetes, obviously, Lily's work is amazing, and you should go and check that out and maybe find a practitioner who understands in a bit more of a nuanced way.   Lily Nichols: (01:13:06) Yes.   Tahnee: (01:13:06) Actually, both. Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (01:13:09) I will mention one more thing really quickly-   Tahnee: (01:13:10) Yeah, sure.   Lily Nichols: (01:13:11) ... on gestational diabetes. I realised I have an article on my site called Nine? I think it's called Nine Myths-   Tahnee: (01:13:18) Oh, yeah. We can have that one come up.   Lily Nichols: (01:13:18) ... About Gestational Diabetes.   Tahnee: (01:13:19) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (01:13:20) That could be a good one for listeners who want to dive in just a little more, so, yeah.   Tahnee: (01:13:25) And you also have a video training as well. Is that, right? Am I-   Lily Nichols: (01:13:30) I do, yep. So, yeah, I know I'm like terrible at marketing myself.   Tahnee: (01:13:34) No.   Lily Nichols: (01:13:34) You're embarrassing me.   Tahnee: (01:13:35) You're really good at writing. Well, you're really good at content. I was just like, "How has she written all this stuff?"   Lily Nichols: (01:13:41) I have the content part down, so I have a whole bunch of freebies on my website/websites, and one of them is a free three-part video series on gestational diabetes. So, you can find that at It's also in the website. And I mean, that's for people who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, so I'm just walking you through the basics and talking you off the ledge because it is just a terrifying experience of being diagnosed for so many people.   Lily Nichols: (01:14:21) But there's a bunch of other different freebie options on my website as well, including the first chapter of Real Food for Pregnancy.   Tahnee: (01:14:29) Yeah.   Lily Nichols: (01:14:29) So, if people want to just get an idea for what this real food thing is, that is the place to go. That chapter includes a comparative meal plan between mine and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Dietetic Association's new name. It has their sample meal plan for pregnancy and a micronutrient breakdown so you can see which one comes out on top, and I bet you can which one that is.   Tahnee: (01:14:59) That was a very impressive little chart, that one. I was-   Lily Nichols: (01:15:05) Yes.   Tahnee: (01:15:05) That was how I found your website, and I downloaded that. And I read that, and I was like, "Wow."   Lily Nichols: (01:15:09) Oh, fascinating. Yeah.   Tahnee: (01:15:10) Yeah. So-   Lily Nichols: (01:15:11) Yeah. It's pretty interesting. Yeah. And then, you can find me on social media. I'm not super active on social media, but if you find me, I'm on Instagram @lilynicholsrdn.   Tahnee: (01:15:23) Yep. I'll link to all of your Grammes and all that, so we've got Gramme, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and all those things. You're very good. So, yeah. We'll link to all of that, and anyone who wants to get in touch with the Lily, please feel free. Do you do consultations and things, or are you more in an education space, or?   Lily Nichols: (01:15:41) I currently am more in an education space, so I'm focusing more of my time on ... I do have a gestational diabetes course that I support women in, and then I've been focusing more on my writing and also creating professional training webinars via the Women's Health Nutrition Academy. So, I'm sort of leaning in that direction right now, so I don't have availability for new clients at the moment.   Tahnee: (01:16:09) That's great. I mean I will link to all of that, and I'm sure-   Lily Nichols: (01:16:12) Thank you.   Tahnee: (01:16:12) ... there'll be people out there that are practitioners that'll love to learn from you. So, was that the Women's Health Nutrition Academy?   Lily Nichols: (01:16:17) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (01:16:19) I've got it. Okay, great. All right, awesome. Well, thanks so much, Lily. I hope you have a beautiful day.   Lily Nichols: (01:16:23) Thank you. You, too.   Tahnee: (01:16:24) Ciao.
Tahnee is back on The Women's Series today for a moving conversation with Dr. Oscar Serrallach, author of The Postnatal Depletion Cure, Integrative GP specialising in women's postnatal health, and devoted father, working passionately to bring more focus on mothers postnatal health into the world. His project The Postnatal Depletion Cure has been inspired by witnessing/treating so many women with chronic postnatal depletion and the lack of awareness this dilemma has, both at a societal and medical level. Dr. Oscar believes mothers are the fabric of our society, and through supporting healthy mothers, we create a healthier world for everyone.  This heart centred conversation is of relevance to everyone. The time to honour and support all mothers, including the great Mother Earth, is now. "We almost forget as a collective that there is no more important job than making another human being, and there is no more important job than teaching that human being how to love, that's a mother's job. As a father, I can teach my kids around the complexities of love, but the actual fundamentals, that starts in the womb and is learned early on, in that house of love".   Tahnee and Dr. Oscar discuss:  The often undervalued role of mothers; Mothers are the centre of society, and as a collective, it's everyone's responsibility to make sure they are well supported. Motherhood in the 21st Century, how far have we fallen? Motherhood has shifted from being a role of central importance to a secondary thing that women add to their already busy lives. Displaced badges of honour; the pressure put on mothers to  get back to work instead of honouring and supporting the transition of the maiden to mother. Brain changes women experience during a single pregnancy and how these fundamental changes relate to cultural beliefs around holding a mother in the postpartum period. The importance of a postnatal care plan. What Dr. Oscar recommends and why. The idea of the super mum; how this term can be detrimental to the health and well-being of mothers. The essential role of the matriarch and the 'grandmother hypothesis'. Why the menopausal years are about giving back and passing on wisdom. The increase in Postnatal Neuro Inflammatory Disorders (postpartum fatigue, postnatal depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder). What are the causes? How can we avoid them? Autoimmune conditions during and post-pregnancy. Harnessing the power of the placenta; how this amazing organ and  subsequent pregnancies can provide an opportunity for healing the mother. Nervous system practices to maintain and rebuild a mother's health.  Who is Dr. Oscar Serrallach? Dr. Oscar Serrallach graduated with a medical degree (MBChB) from the Auckland School of Medicine, New Zealand in 1996. He received his fellowship of Family Medicine and General Practice in 2008 and is currently completing a Fellowship in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. He is the owner and principal doctor at the Mullumbimby Integrative Medical Centre based in Northern NSW Australia, which he has been running since 2011. Dr Serrallach is the author of the groundbreaking book for women The Postnatal Depletion Cure, a programme and book for women that bridges that gap in women’s postanal health, and has brought hope and healing to so many women suffering with postnatal depletion. Dr Oscar Serrallach is dedicated to remaining at the cutting edge of wellness healthcare and continues to advance and bring awareness to the field of women's postantal health. Resources: Dr. Oscar Serrallach websiite The Postnatal Depletion Cure Dr. Oscar Serrallach Facebook Dr. Oscar Serrallach Instagram Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?   A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:01) Hi everybody, and welcome to the SuperFeast Podcast. Today I'm here with Dr. Serrallach and we're going to talk about his book, The Postnatal Depletion Cure and his work with women on going and sort of helping them to restore their vitality after having babies, which is a big and beautiful job. So thank you for joining me today.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (00:22) Thanks Tahnee, and thanks for the invitation. I really admire your work with SuperFeast and your role in mother care as well. As we know, mothers centre everything and, as a society and as communities, we need our mothers to be as well as possible.   Tahnee: (00:38) Yeah. I loved that right at the beginning of your book where you say ... I'm going to read it, that the well-being of mothers is the fabric from which the cloth of the future of our society is made. I read that and just thought yes, because it sets the framework for our children, how they live, how they raise their children. It's just a cascade.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (00:58) It's central and it's primary, whereas I think in this 21st century, motherhood has become decentralised and a secondary kind of thing that mothers just add on to their already busy lives. We almost forget as a collective that there is no more important job than making another human being, and there is no more important job teaching that human being how to love. That's a mother's job. As a father, I can teach my kids around the complexities of love, but the actual fundamentals, that starts in the womb and is learned really early on, just that house of love.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:44) I think it's useful to kind of reframe that because a lot of mothers feel like they want to stay home and stay in that role, and they're feeling pulled into all the trappings of the 21st century living and jobs and success. We've got a very academic way of kind of even judging one's success.   Tahnee: (02:07) Rationalising. I think a lot of rationalising happens when you become a mother.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (02:12) Well, and externalising, comparing.   Tahnee: (02:14) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (02:14) It can be very tough landscape, especially they're not really that aware of the deep transformation that's kind of occurring within not only mother's kind of psyche, but also within her biology in terms of her brain, her nervous system. Such massive changes occur and everyone's going into parenthood with quite an abstract idea of what they're in for. We talked about Pinterest parenting. It's like you ever go, well, I quite like this and we're going to do this. No, we're not going to do dummies or thumb sucking. We kind of have a checklist of these quite important but not that important issues and actual fundamentals of looking after a helpless human being we don't really have much experience in. We think we'll just kind of wing it.   Tahnee: (03:17) Well, it's funny because there's that old joke where people say, oh you should get a licence to have a child, and there is sort of this element of, culturally, you used to be raised around small children. I see my child and the other children in the street. They kind of raise each other in a way and they learn to be with a smaller person. I can imagine that that gives them this kind of sense that later on they're going to be a little more adapt at handling children when they have their children. I think we miss so much of that because we have these nuclear families and we've lost large families with lots of siblings. That's not really our norm anymore.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (03:56) Yeah, that's right. In traditional societies, there's not a way you would have reached the possibility of becoming a parent without significant experience in actually looking after young children and slightly older children. Again, the analogy of the licence. You wouldn't have needed a licence because you've already had a lot of experience. The sort of research of American. The average couple researches more time in buying a new vehicle than they do in actually becoming a parent. So there's often a lot of research in the antenatal pregnancy, but the parenting side of things, we don't ...   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (04:33) So when I'm making a joke about winging it, that's what we all do, expecting that somehow we'll know what to do or someone's going to turn up and help us.   Tahnee: (04:45) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (04:48) We can really struggle and suffer when a mother hasn't slept for months and, at 3:00 in the morning, she can't settle baby. Then she's trying to work out what's going on. It's a very deep, dark place to try to pull yourself back from, especially when you don't have a cultural context.   Tahnee: (05:09) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (05:10) Or even a default place to go, where to get support or ideas, or solutions. As a society, we're very unkind to mothers generally. If there's anything wrong with the baby, who gets blamed? The mom. I think it should almost be the opposite. If there's any issues with the child, it should almost be a collective, ah, the society didn't turn up enough to help that mother for the child.   Tahnee: (05:37) Yep.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (05:39) Because I don't meet bad mums. I just meet unsupported mums who have struggled and haven't been supported and were unaware. Most mothers are in it boots and all, so it's not a matter of not trying hard enough. It's just not having the right resources, the right knowledge, the right preparation, or even awareness around the certain times of vulnerability that can occur during motherhood. We almost have the opposite in terms of these badges of honour, the super mum getting back to work as early as possible. Working mums, when they're at work, they're pretending they're not a mother. When they're mothering, they pretend they don't have a job.   Tahnee: (06:31) Fragmentation of self.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (06:34) Quite damaging and pretty much impossible because you can't switch off your mother-ness.   Tahnee: (06:39) If only. No, you don't want to. I think when you first ... I certainly remember being a couple of weeks in and being like, oh my gosh, who am I now, because I'm not that person who gave birth to this child and I'm not a mother yet because I don't know that role intimately. It was just this funny little liminal space of I didn't really know who I was becoming and I didn't know who I was ... I sort of knew who I was leaving behind, but there's a grieving period, which happened for me in pregnancy and then again postpartum. It's interesting and there aren't a lot of elders now to even take ...   Tahnee: (07:22) We had an older friend who doesn't have children, and she's raised or helped raise many nieces and nephews. She showed up and swaddled my daughter and picked her up and walked her around a couple of days after I had her. I just was like, whoa, that's cool.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (07:36) And so necessary as well.   Tahnee: (07:38) Yeah, because she was friends and close, she just came in and did it. I thought, wow, there's so few women that I know that could help me like that and that sort of can support. I think that's a big part of it, right?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (07:52) Yeah. What you're describing very beautifully is that transition from maiden to mother. We can talk about that more, but this idea of matrescence, of becoming a mother, is a very profound idea. Many mothers describe this heart ripping experience with those first few days post birth, and that's a real time of vulnerability. One of the most important things that a mother experiences really in that time is safety and that everything is going to be okay, and that her team around her have got this, because she cannot feel the edges anymore and she's getting used to these mother upgrades in terms of nervous system and brain changes and hormones.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (08:43) It can take several years to get used to these upgrades. What I like about that story that you were sort of sharing is that you had someone, who probably wasn't even asked to help, turning up and doing what was necessary. That's real support, but in a trusting environment. When a mother is actually having to ask for support, it's already too late because, if she senses she's struggling, she's been struggling for quite a bit of time before she's raising her hand, or she may not feel justified to raise her hand to ask for help or feel that she's doing a bad job, and that she's a bad mom and she should know better, which is part of a negative feedback that we often get culturally around motherhood that you just should divinely know how to be a mother at the birth of a child, and shame on you if you didn't get that sort of download.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (09:42) Of course, mothering is a learned skill. As we alluded to before, we don't have the learning prior to becoming mothers often because they're not looking after lots of children and what have you. Then some women learning on the job. In the sense of vulnerability with the massive changes that have occurred and getting a sense that you're not a maiden anymore but you're not a mother yet, this is a classic challenge of matrescence, the becoming of a mother. Who am I? What does my purpose look like? It can be very derailing if that isn't held or there isn't a container to explain the transition.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (10:29) This is why I quite like the term adolescence, to compare to matrescence, because that's the only other thing that's comparable. Adolescence, you don't become and adult at your 18th birthday. It's obviously an important time. And you don't become a mother at the birth of your child, even though that's an obviously very important milestone to transformation. We know that adolescence has massive brain changes that occur during adolescence, but there are actually more brain changes that occur during a single pregnancy than for the entire adolescence.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (11:10) Again, it takes a few years for the adolescent to get used to their brain and they can seem kind of less human for a short period during that, but literally they start feeling more before they start thinking. That's part of ... and for mothers, it's a very similar thing. They can feel so much more than they ever have before, and their brain is infused with millions of oxytocin receptors that maidens don't have and men don't have. That is one of the critical issues in that early phase. This is why so many cultures have such deep cultural beliefs and teachings around holding mother in that early time because, if you think about it, oxytocin not only is the hormone of childbirth in all the contractions of the uterus, but it's also the hormone of skin to skin contact, intimacy, trust and safety.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (12:08) So essentially, the way I'm interpreting the research is that a mother's stress response system has gone from her previous me, am I safe, am I okay, to this oxytocin infused we. Are we safe, are we okay, does this make sense for us? That can sometimes be ... That is what the baby bubble is, but it also can sometimes extend way beyond the baby. Sometimes it can be the family unit. Sometimes it can be the community. Sometimes it can be the world. That is a very raw feeling that mothers can have. I hear so many mothers, they can't watch the news anymore, they cry at commercials. Their ability to be able to tolerate things really changes.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (12:53) They can feel like an alien at their workplace, whereas obviously their workplace hasn't changed at all. They have changed. So they're having to ... They are in a liminal space for a while, but the challenge is in the reintegration. One that their liminal space is allowed to go through its force of process, and this is what those cultural practises are essentially around. Then just to have a healthy reintegration. Otherwise, it can be quite destructive on some levels in terms of the mother's sense of self and her psyche and her emotional well-being. She knows that she's different, but no one's told her that she's going to be different.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (13:41) Trying to deal with that dissonance alone, it's fraught with problems. So a mother suffering on her own is one of the worst things ever really. I think, as a society, that would have never happened in antiquity. Then we're seeing it happen all the time now. We're even seeing sub nuclear families now.   Tahnee: (14:10) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (14:10) So intentional single parenting. Mothers who aren't having a primary partner, having children, so they have even less support than the overwhelmed nuclear family. I see a lot of mothers having to lean on their partners for emotional support, whereas traditionally a partner would have only been doing a small part of that.   Tahnee: (14:33) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (14:34) And the mother could have leaned on so many other people, including aunties and grandmothers and sisters, and really be held deeply with a lot of experience. Yeah, so it's definitely a journey that's fraught with challenges. I think as a collective, and I think this is where you and I have a lot of overlap, is that we understand that. From a traditional Chinese medicine point of view, that's actually well described over many millennia that this potential vulnerability is there. As a collective, we have to make sure that mothers never go there wherever possible and support them as much as possible.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (15:20) A big part of my recent work is not only sort of helping mothers with postnatal depletion and other neuro inflammatory disorders, but actually to do really good postnatal planning.   Tahnee: (15:31) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (15:32) To avoid the pothole in the road. If you can see it, then you can drive around it.   Tahnee: (15:37) Totally, because so much work goes into birth plans. I can't remember how many people asked me about my birth, like every second person. Postpartum, nothing.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (15:50) Yeah, and if you can imagine having half the amount of energy that went into the birth plan going to your postnatal plan, and then enabling a team of people to enact it, because I think part of the ... Like the birth plan, a mother is in a liminal space during birth and she's in a very vulnerable space post birth. She shouldn't be the one enacting the birth plan or enacting the postnatal plan. She should have agreed on what it looks like and then things are happening without her having to really sort of focus on that, because that can be very challenging for a mother to kind of try to be an advocate in that birth space when she's in such an oxytocin infused vulnerable space, or to even have ...   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (16:43) She's often in such a time dilated baby bubble that it can be really hard to pull herself out of that to kind of negotiate-   Tahnee: (16:53) A timeframe or delivery schedule, yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (16:53) ... food rosters, yeah.   Tahnee: (16:53) What day is it? Who am I?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (16:54) Yeah, whose plate does this belong to.   Tahnee: (17:00) Totally.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (17:01) And having to get stressed out by detail. So part of the birth plan is to enable the guardians. So they can be dads or other primary caregivers, and really give them the keys to the car, so to speak, so they're not having to keep on asking mom is it okay if we do this. What about just things that are happening?   Tahnee: (17:25) Which I guess is sort of an impetus to articulate how you like to be supported. I think that's something where ... Certainly I'm speaking for myself and some friends that I've spoken to this about, but it can be hard to know what you need in that time, especially if you're a first time mum. I think if it's second or third ... I've had friends with a second baby who are like, all right, you're in charge of the food roster and you're in charge of this. They kind of knew what they would need.   Tahnee: (17:51) So in your book, you speak about just the basics of getting enough sleep, good nutrition, those kinds of things. If someone is thinking about what's my postnatal care plan, what are the things that you think are essential to have on there?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (18:06) Yeah. So I talk about one month of deep rest, 100 days of deep support, and then priority on sleep for one year. So, that's kind of just some of the themes. I really try to enable the guardian, so the dads or the other primary caregivers, to be free of other duties. Their main job is to focus on the mother. Not focusing on the jobs that need to be done. We talk about visitors only start. If anyone's coming over, they've eventually got jobs to do.   Tahnee: (18:42) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (18:44) To give them permission to do as little as possible. As we know with TCM and setting the moon, in traditional Chinese culture, the mothers are allowed to do essentially nothing. They're allowed to go to the toilet, feed the baby, feed themselves and that's it. Some places are not even allowed to shower in the first month. If you're seen with a newborn baby out on the street, in traditional China, you're going to get shooed back into your home pretty quickly.   Tahnee: (19:15) Yeah, by one of those aunties.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (19:21) Yeah, yeah. Well, meaning they're quite full on aunties, yeah. Whereas we don't have that context or those sort of boundaries here. There are other things I sort of talk about with sort of postnatal planning is ... I think the food roster is just a great way. So again, food preferences, those kinds of things, email a group, WhatsApp group, whatever it looks like. Then the mother doesn't get involved.   Tahnee: (19:46) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (19:46) Food's arriving. If somebody can't deliver, you've got your backup in the freezer, whatever. Mother doesn't even know. She's not having to kind of be pulled out of the baby bubble. I think social media is a really big trap, especially for the social media inclined. You want to show off your joy to the world, and I totally get that, but have that for four weeks, social media silence. That would be an accepted norm.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (20:21) For the baby and the mother and the birth weight and everything went well. See you in four weeks.   Tahnee: (20:27) But you even talk about that, that focus on the birth weight, the stats and the kind of ... I remember reading that in your book. It's like there's this real emphasis on that, and then there's kind of just this like, great the baby is here. Forget about mom. Then it becomes baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (20:46) Yeah, and this was my personal experience. If the spotlight that had been so beautifully on mother during the pregnancy suddenly just disappears and suddenly, hang on, everyone's forgotten about her. I think is a collective ... that's literally what we've done. We're not honouring mothers and we're not honouring the great mother obviously in terms of what we're doing with global pollution and climate change. Who better to enable that change? I think mothers are able to teach children about being agents of change, and this is why we need mothers who are really just grounded, who are well in themselves, who reengage with their purpose.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (21:33) I call it the birth of the lioness's idea that, once a mother's at a vulnerable kind of stage with her mother upgrades in terms of all these extra brain neurons and receptors, and altered sort of stress responders and hormones, that she's actually got super powers that she didn't have before. She cares more than she ever has, and she'll often care about others more than she cares about herself. That's a gift and a curse, but the gift part of that is we need that sort of energy in all aspects of education, medicine, politics.   Tahnee: (22:12) Life.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (22:13) Life. I keep coming back to the fact that there are 10 countries in the world that are governed by mothers, by women. Five of them at least, possibly six, are mothers from what I can see. 193 countries governed in the world, so it's a very small percentage, but are the countries that are doing the best from a COVID-19 point of view. Of those 12 countries governed by women, seven of the top 10 in terms of COVID stats are governed by women. Statistically, that's outrageous in terms of the correlation there. I think partly it's a culture that enables females to be prime minister's and it's also that those cultures are obviously more evolved.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (23:04) Then you've got people in places of power who care a whole lot, and that sounds quite obvious, but we're in a pretty low care political system.   Tahnee: (23:18) But I think that ... I think what I've read in your book, and I'm hoping I'm getting this right, but it's like we need to wait a while. We need to wait until the kids are a bit older before we're sort of ready to express that super power. Would that be fair to say? I feel for me, my daughter is nearly four, and it's really time for me to step back from my leadership role and to give that over. Then there'll be a time when she's a bit more independent when I come back into that with that sort of gathered wisdom.   Tahnee: (23:47) But that pressure to stay on and run the company and all those things, I've really had to drop that over the last four years. It's something that I can feel that I'm capacitated, but I can also feel that my priorities are elsewhere. I think I need to honour that shift in priority. So I wonder if you could talk to that. I know your wife was quite a go getter from what I sort of-   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (24:08) Yeah.   Tahnee: (24:09) She's now the mum of three, so I imagine things have changed dramatically for her. So what's your sort of take on that shift? I watched Lucinda Ardern. She's just had a baby and she's running a country.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (24:21) Yeah.   Tahnee: (24:21) That's not very good in my mind.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (24:21) Well, from a postnatal depletion point of view, I was like ... I think she must have gotten pregnant around the time of winning the election from what I can kind of gather.   Tahnee: (24:32) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (24:34) Just doing a little bit of subtraction mathematics. She's had great support.   Tahnee: (24:42) But she also said in an interview she sleeps four or five hours a night, lives on coffee. She's pushing it.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (24:48) Yeah.   Tahnee: (24:49) I think that's where this fine line. I remember travelling for three months ... sorry, at three months with my daughter for a month, almost nonstop. It was dreadful. I felt terrible the whole time. I was barely keeping up. It's a totally different game when you have a kid.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (25:06) Yeah. Lucinda Ardern is probably quite an interesting example where she is supermom, but the idea of a supermom is actually quite dangerous and it shouldn't be something we're aiming for.   Tahnee: (25:17) No.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (25:18) For me, an analogy is it's like driving around without your seat belt on going, look at me, I didn't have an accident. It's like, well yeah, but you should still wear the seat belt. I've often thought about this question, what is the ideal time. I think it's partly dependent on each mum, but when I kind of look at cultural groups, these are first nations or cultures that are still living quite traditionally, the mothers are very involved with a zero to one year old, but then thereafter the grandmother hypothesis. The one to five year old, even the mother is still very involved, the primary care giving is actually by the aunties and the grandmothers.   Tahnee: (26:03) So that hypothesis, just for people that don't understand, is that the menopausal years are really about giving back to the community in service of raising children, and that the younger mothers were actually doing a lot of the physical work to keep the community going?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (26:19) Exactly. We're only one of two species that has menopause. Apes, for example, they just become less fertile until death.   Tahnee: (26:31) Yes. Is it whales and us?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (26:31) Orca whales, yeah. There's probably one other whale that you're thinking about, but they know exactly why orcas have menopause at 30. So they're fertile from 15 to 30 and then they can live up to 80.   Tahnee: (26:42) Wow.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (26:43) So these matriarchs pass on cultural knowledge and they learn seasonal changes. So they've studied orcas. It's a bit weird that they have a hypothesis for humans, but ... I think part of the programme, stopping of the ovaries at 15 and menopause is around, suddenly that cultural knowledge becomes more important than fertility and offspring, because you're supporting direct genetics.   Tahnee: (27:15) Lineage, yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (27:15) Anyway. So it's investing in grandchildren and the great grandchildren, as opposed to more children. Because there can be so many seasonal changes, and then changes with climate that could occur naturally anyway, it's very important to have that flexibility. That can take a long time to learn. So grandmothers have a really important role. Again, we would have had children much younger.   Tahnee: (27:49) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (27:49) The average age in Australia, one of the oldest countries in the world, 30.9 is the average age for your first child. Now that would have never happened in prehistory. That wouldn't have been the age of your first child. In this culture, we've had these deep practises to get mother back on board that first year. Baby bonding, really just focus on baby, and then she's kind of released from her role. So we need at least a year, but the effects of not allowing the hormonal system to recalibrate can cause neuro inflammation, which basically all the problems postnatally that we know about, postpartum fatigue, postnatal depression, all the mood disorders including anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, they are neuro inflammatory in nature, which are very different to men and maiden for similar symptoms. They're a unique group.   Tahnee: (28:50) Mm-hmm (affirmative). So you're saying postpartum, all of those symptoms or syndromes can be traced back to this inflammation of the brain.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (28:59) Yeah.   Tahnee: (28:59) Yeah, okay.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (29:00) It's a very tiny part of the brain. The research in the last few years has really increased in understanding of which parts of the brain and what you can potentially do about it is just really starting. So this idea of neuro inflammation is quite ... It's not new, but the idea with mothers in terms of as a community and as doctors and healers, this idea is relatively sort of new. It makes a lot of sense. The pattern fits exactly with what anyone sees clinically or if you're watching mothers kind of struggle with depression or fatigue, you realise this is not just stock standard symptoms.   Tahnee: (29:47) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (29:47) There's something very different or unique going on. So with that neuro inflammation, that can last for years and years afterwards. The peak incidence of depression after a child is four to five years after birth of a child but, because it's outside the six months definition, they can't call it postnatal depression. They have to call it depression postnatally. So it just shows you there's an accumulation of factors that can occur.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (30:20) When they do electrical scans of a mother's brain who has depression, they look very different to a maiden's brain who has the same symptoms. We shouldn't be calling these conditions postpartum depression, postnatal anxiety. They should actually be postnatal neuro inflammatory disorder.   Tahnee: (30:44) Yeah. The implication is you're not going to treat them with antidepressant in the same kind of treatment, right?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (30:51) It just happens that some of the antidepressants have an accidental effect on neuro inflammation through something called gabber.   Tahnee: (30:57) Oh yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (30:58) Not through serotonin, which is ... Serotonin often takes two weeks for these medications to start working. If one of these serotonergic agents has this accidental gabber effect, you can start getting benefits within two to three days.   Tahnee: (31:14) Okay, but then herbs like Mucuna and things that work on gabber as well are going to be beneficial, right? Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (31:20) One thing just to be aware of regarding that is the first ever approved drug for postpartum depression came out last year in America. It's not available in Australia.   Tahnee: (31:30) I saw it, yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (31:31) Yeah, it's a pretty big topic, but I think what's profound about it is it's not actually a drug as much as a repurposed placental hormone that's been tweaked and infused into the mother who has depression, anxiety, can't look after herself. It essentially switches off that neuro inflammation within 12 hours typically.   Tahnee: (31:59) Wow.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (31:59) So pretty profound that one hormone can help a psychiatric condition, or that a hormone or anything can switch off a psychiatric condition, because that's relatively new ground. Normally you'd be managing or treating, not switching off. They give it as an infusion over 60 hours and mothers usually don't relay need any treatment after that.   Tahnee: (32:24) Wow.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (32:25) It's very expensive. It's not available in Australia, and I'm sure the pharmaceutical industry is going to do what it does and try to push it out to every mother who is struggling. But the idea is the unique landscape of the mother's brain, that this intervention probably wouldn't make much difference for a man or a maiden with the same symptoms. So if we can just really feel how profound that idea is, it's actually totally different. Anyone who works with mothers senses that. I think the science is just giving us permission to treat mothers differently, and it also is giving us an imperative that mother care is super, super important.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (33:17) I think one of the aha moments for me was looking at traditional Chinese medical texts when they described what happens to a mother who isn't supported. Even though the language is very different to what the concept of that a mother can be left in this fragile, nervous, depleted state ongoing, that's been known about for thousands of years. Hence the elaborate cultural practises and bullying by well meaning aunties because it's become-   Tahnee: (33:59) They observed that and they found solutions, which is science really. It's replicable over time and we're watching generations of women benefit from that. But then we don't really want to adopt those practises necessarily in our culture because it feels like who's going to ... Even the binding and all of those things, it's so rare that that's-   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (34:22) It can almost seem antifeminist as well.   Tahnee: (34:24) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (34:26) This is some of the feedback that I've certainly got from my mothers. What's quite cute for me is all my medical software that I use with pregnant mothers, it still has the initials EDC on there, estimated date of confinement. So it's alluding back to kind of the Victorian idea that mothers needed to be confined. Of course that seems quite-   Tahnee: (34:50) Antiquated.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (34:50) Yeah. That's very antifeminist, but the idea is that the confinement was a necessary part of the care. Then the confinement kind of occurred in hospitals, and then we just forgot about the confinement. Off you go, do what you want, good luck.   Tahnee: (35:12) Yeah. I've always said feminism has a lot to answer for because I think even some of those concepts of supermom and that comparison of ... I used to say I'll just bring my daughter to work. It'll be fine. I think there was this programing, I suppose, around my own upbringing and what I'd sort of witnessed in media and my friends and peers. It seemed like they kind of had the baby and they maybe disappeared for a month and then they were back to normal, in inverted comma's invariably not.   Tahnee: (35:44) But you talk about all of these things that come up. You talk in your book about treating women four years down the track that have all sorts of debilitating, whether it's anaemia or things like chronic colds and flues.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (35:57) Fatigue.   Tahnee: (35:58) Fatigue.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (35:58) Sleep problems, emotional health.   Tahnee: (35:59) Yeah, and it's like that's still happening.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (36:00) yeah.   Tahnee: (36:02) It's almost normalised. So many of my mom friends would just sort of accept that you're tired all the time and your brain doesn't work properly, but I don't know that that's ... When I'm really careful, I actually feel really good, but I have to have very strong boundaries and really take responsibility for my health as a priority over anything else I do. I think that's the sense of we normalise this business and this kind of deep fatigue and exhaustion, but it's really not normal. It's what everyone does.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (36:33) Well, what's common. So what is normal and what is common. 50% of people get cancer in their lifetime, so that's pretty common. You cannot convince me that cancer is normal. Many conditions alike, diabetes 50% rate past the age of 50, heart disease. It's so common that they're normalised. America is interesting that it's often four or five years ahead of what the statistics show in Australia. Currently in America, and I'm expecting to see this in Australia in four to five years time, is the rate of PMS or perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. That can be depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder, is 40% within that first three to six months.   Tahnee: (37:24) Wow.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (37:25) So that's ... it was 30, 20%, and we're seeing ... It's not that the diagnosis is getting better or more-   Tahnee: (37:36) More sensitive, yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (37:38) It's just we're having more mothers that are just struggling and strung out, and really just pushed beyond their capacity, and then left in this neuro inflammatory state, and then they get the label, and then they get pharmaceutical treatment.   Tahnee: (37:56) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (37:58) So if you see the rates increasing, we have to then go, well as a collective, are we just okay with that?   Tahnee: (38:07) Yeah, take responsibility as a community.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (38:09) Yeah, also just go, okay, the stakes are getting higher. It's not that we're getting softer with each generation. It's just that there's epigenetic change over generations. I think there's more toxins, there's more-   Tahnee: (38:22) Totally.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (38:23) The modern woman doesn't have any downtime, whereas the ancient woman had a lot of stress for sure, but she had a lot of downtime as well. Times of boredom, times of just relaxation. The modern 21st Century woman and the modern mother, it's 24/7. She just keeps peddling, keeps peddling, and isn't supported to not do that. Then the expectation is that's what a mother does. Why you can blame her. You wanted the child. You've got a healthy ... The negative feedback that a mother gets if she is struggling is terrible. The judgement from well meaning others.   Tahnee: (39:05) Yeah, the undermining of their experience.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (39:07) Then a mother then judges herself, and then she starts undermining her own abilities. She may also pass it onto the next generation, this idea of the mother wound where intergenerational we can pass on the non supportive mothers. It doesn't have to be directly from your own mother. The mother wound is really about a cultural norm.   Tahnee: (39:34) Collective, yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (39:36) I wasn't supported. I wasn't allowed to shine my light. Why should you? That's part of the unspoken energy that sort of can happen in between generations. Yeah, it's devastating.   Tahnee: (39:51) It comes back to mother care, which is this essential what you do. So we're talking ... You mentioned a lot the autoimmune factor. I think, when I was pregnant, I was reading about how the baby's cells end up in the mother's heart or her brain or long after the kind of sharing a space.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (40:13) Yeah.   Tahnee: (40:13) Which still blows me away sometimes. There was a baby in my belly. But yeah, that can lead to really drastic immunological ... it can have a really positive effect, I've read. It can have these sort of ... I know people who have not been able to eat gluten before and suddenly have great digestion and don't have those inflammation responses, but then it can go the other way too, right?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (40:33) Yeah. This is the-   Tahnee: (40:35) Opportunity and curse, I guess.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (40:37) Well, it's placental inflammation really. You need some inflammation, but too much inflammation during pregnancy, the immune system can get quite stressed. Essentially, most autoimmune conditions, apart from Lupus, improve-   Tahnee: (40:56) During pregnancy.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (40:57) During pregnancy. Mothers can feel amazing during pregnancy. Not all mothers, but because of progesterone and some of those other hormones. Then, once the placenta is delivered, you're in this vulnerable state, and then the immune rebound hypothesis is that the immune system can literally not only swing back to normal, but you've got a baby that's 50% foreign in you that swings too far the other way and becomes over reactive. So you can get a lot of things that are kicked off because of the pregnancy, and Hashimoto's seems to be one of those postpartum [inaudible 00:41:39]. Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid seem to be conditions that may be very much pregnancy related, but the research is surprisingly sparse.   Tahnee: (41:54) Really?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (41:54) Yeah. You think we'd know this really well. Again, we've got the wrong definitions. If you don't go to the endocrinologist or the rheumatologist within the first six months, you are treated like a man or a maiden.   Tahnee: (42:10) Sure.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (42:10) They don't even ask you have you had kids.   Tahnee: (42:13) That change hasn't been factored into a diagnosis.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (42:17) They're just going, do you have this condition, yes or no? Checklist, blood test, xrays, next and next, rather than looking at the timeline and going, you didn't have this before the pregnancy and you have it after the pregnancy. Sometimes mothers have no idea what's going on until maybe a year or two after the birth of the child. Then it kind of dawns on them that this is not just-   Tahnee: (42:41) Yeah, fatigue.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (42:44) Fatigue or sleep deprivation.   Tahnee: (42:44) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (42:46) So I think I really like this idea of a special field of medicine for mothers that we might call matriarchs or something like that to kind of really show the unique landscape and the unique things that can happen. We've got paediatrics, we've got geriatrics.   Tahnee: (43:05) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (43:06) I think there's definitely enough research to kind of look at mothers as a separate group.   Tahnee: (43:15) Yeah I seem to remember Chinese medicine, there was ... I can't remember her name now. It might come to me, but there was a textbook translation on sort of gynaecology. They did speak to treating mothers differently and at different stages since the birth as well. Maybe you've come across it. I'll see if I can find it, but I thought it was super interesting because it was sort of the first time I'd been exposed to that idea that you're different and that you might be different 10 years, 20 years.   Tahnee: (43:46) I think from that cellular ... when they talk about the baby's cells, they can stay for a couple of decades sometimes.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (43:52) 20-30 years.   Tahnee: (43:53) Yeah, which is like having a foreign cell in your body.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (43:58) It can somehow turn the system for good, but then it can also stress the system. This is probably what we're seeing with autoimmune diseases is too many foetal cells come into the mother's circulation and stressing the immune system too much.   Tahnee: (44:11) So would that mean a more, sort of ... I can't remember the word right now, but the barrier of the placenta is more porous.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (44:20) Yeah, so leaky placenta. Researchers don't call it that, increased permeability of the placental membrane.   Tahnee: (44:27) Permeability, that's the word.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (44:29) It's basically leaky placenta and this idea of preg formation. The placenta is going to be slightly leaky and we've had to revert to a very unique old type of placenta as humans that most apes and most mammals don't use.   Tahnee: (44:43) Yeah, I think you were saying we're one of the only ones ... 20% of something are like us, or not even.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (44:48) Well, it's more the fact that it's not the classic mammal, advanced mammal placenta.   Tahnee: (44:56) Okay, it's larger, right?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (44:59) It's larger and it has more surface area.   Tahnee: (45:01) Yeah, okay. So it takes up more space.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (45:03) So rather than the kind of finger and finger type placenta, which is kind of a 50/50 transaction, it's what they call the mop in the bucket analogy to enable much wider surface area to enable more nutrients-   Tahnee: (45:17) More blood flow.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (45:18) ... and essentially fat. So fat's one of the things that-   Tahnee: (45:21) Yeah, in the last stages, a lot of fat.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (45:24) Seven grams of fat, which is a major biological back flip that the placenta has to do to enable that. So it means that the placenta is more easily damaged than the placenta of a horse or a pig or something like that, which are pretty stable. So you don't see inflammatory issues in these kinds of animals very often.   Tahnee: (45:45) That makes me think, if a mother comes into pregnancy with leaky gut or something, is there a higher chance of her developing a leaky placenta?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (45:54) You would think so, but again zero research.   Tahnee: (45:57) Yeah, this is hypothesis.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (45:59) If you've already got too much inflammation, increasing intestinal permeability or leaky gut, even sort of increased brain permeability, sort of leaky brain. Basically conditions of too much inflammation. So if you're having that going into pregnancy, it can work both ways. Sometimes people think it can actually have a massive healing effect with all these hormones.   Tahnee: (46:27) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (46:28) I've seen that happen. Often I'll try to coach mothers who have had very negative pregnancies or postnatal experiences to then use subsequent pregnancies as a healing experience.   Tahnee: (46:43) Yeah, that's a Chinese medicine concept too, that each pregnancy is an opportunity ...   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (46:47) Yeah, I love that. I call it harnessing the power of the placenta. The placenta produces hormones to a volume that we can't even imagine.   Tahnee: (46:57) Yeah, it's an amazing organ just in terms of that it's not really either the child or the mother's either. It's this kind of thing.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (47:07) Genetically it's the child.   Tahnee: (47:08) It's the child, yeah okay.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (47:09) But serving two masters.   Tahnee: (47:11) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (47:14) It's having to kind of do a trade off sometimes. If it doesn't get it right, one or the other is going to suffer. Then it would be a bad outcome for both.   Tahnee: (47:23) Yeah. So does the child initiate its formation, but the mother provides the nutrition for it, because from what I've understood there's this unusual sharing of resources in that it demands a lot of the mother and the mother will give more than she has if necessary.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (47:40) Yeah. So apart from vitamin D, which isn't even a vitamin. It's a-   Tahnee: (47:45) Hormone.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (47:45) Pro-hormone, which is kind of a 50/50 sort of share. Everything else is preference for the child, even oxygen. So if a mother were to be drowning or something like that, she would drown first before the child because of fetal ... Haemoglobin will just grab onto the oxygen at the expense of the mother. So, that's how ... Not that it's a very nice example, but it's an example of just how profound that one way street is.   Tahnee: (48:16) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (48:17) It's true with iron, with DHA, with basically all the vitamins, nutrients, minerals. Daylight robbery is one term I've heard.   Tahnee: (48:25) Yeah, we used to call it a parasite. Kindly, but-   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (48:30) Yeah. So this is why the focus shouldn't be really on the child. It should be on the mother because, from an animal kingdom point of view, they've got quite a unique set up in terms of we've got this massive brain. People don't realise that we're not like any other animal. 20-25% of our energy goes to feeding our brain, whereas the next animal, which I think is a whale or a gorilla maybe, clocks in at about nine percent.   Tahnee: (49:03) Wow.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (49:04) Nature's done a trade off that we have less muscles than other apes. We have shorter digestive tracks and a smaller liver to offset the cost. It's kind of like a budget.   Tahnee: (49:17) Totally. You have this much for the brain, but you've got to lose the liver.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (49:20) Then the child is born much earlier because upright walking is more of the pelvis. Instead, we've got this massive head that other primates don't have.   Tahnee: (49:30) Mm-hmm (affirmative). It has to get out before it gets too big to leave the birth canal.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (49:33) Yeah. They look at comparative studies are looking at apes. Humans should be born around 22 months.   Tahnee: (49:46) For our perfect health.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (49:48) Well, for just how capable that infant is.   Tahnee: (49:52) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (49:52) You look at other infants that can do stuff.   Tahnee: (49:54) Totally, not just blimps.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (49:58) From chimpanzees and gorillas. So from nine months to 22 months, they've got this totally helpless being.   Tahnee: (50:05) Little guy or girl.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (50:06) This is why, again, mother nature's had to work out some extra things in terms of more oxytocin to care more about this liability.   Tahnee: (50:17) Sure, and that's where social sort of things came from. I think I've read some anthropolitical stuff that said the reason we've developed societies and cultures and all those villages was because we have these liabilities. It wasn't as easy to move around constantly with helpless babies.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (50:35) And we've grown those parts of the brain that enable ... If you look at chimps, they can live in groups of 30. Then enobos, who are much more social, can live in groups of 50.   Tahnee: (50:50) Yeah, ours is like 150.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (50:52) 150, and that's because of gossip. No, no, gossip is not a bad thing. You have to keep connection with everyone in your tribe.   Tahnee: (51:01) Mm-hmm (affirmative), so you'll talk about people.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (51:04) So you can talk about something you may not have seen for a few days, and that's ... of course it's meant to be a really healthy thing. People checking in, how's so and so down by the river? He's collecting fish from the tribe. How's he or she doing? So gossip is actually part of what enables us to live in those groups of 120 and 150. Then another instalment that we've had is the religious part of the brain that then we can live in super clans. So you can meet someone from a super clan and, if you share a religious ideology, that suddenly goes from 150 to thousands and thousands.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (51:41) Research around that is super interesting. The only problem is, when you have a super clan meeting another super clan with different religious ideologies and we don't need to get down to that-   Tahnee: (51:52) We all know what happens.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (51:55) Especially if there's resources to be had.   Tahnee: (51:58) Yeah. So one of the things I think, if we just want to start thinking about wrapping up, but the real ... I guess this sense that the mother can be prepared, because this is something I've always seen out of ancestral kind of writings on women. It's like there's this sense of before conception of building the mother's reserves, and then there's obviously the pregnancy, so sort of nutritious and well managed pregnancy. Chinese medicine is very big on that as well. I'm sure most other countries are too.   Tahnee: (52:33) Then this sense of postpartum rebuilding the stores, rebuilding what's been kind of depleted through the pregnancy. That seems to be a really big missing factor in our thinking around pregnancy. I think the nutrition and stuff ... I had a friend who didn't eat anything except for chocolate for her whole pregnancy because she just felt crap the whole time. I'm sure she was okay. The baby is healthy, whatever, but there's this sense that it's not a huge priority a lot of the time for people.   Tahnee: (53:04) So if you're talking nutrition and how to build ... I always think about building healthy blood, building healthy hormones and all these things. What are the main things you emphasise with your clients?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (53:15) One thing I've grown to realise in sort of many years of working with mothers is that, behind the hormonal system, behind the immune system and behind a lot of these layers that we kind of see is the nervous system. A key part of maintaining good health and a key part of recovering is around nervous system practises. So these are essentially things that enable us to recalibrate back to a zero point. Knowing that your inflammation, as an example, is immune system out of control.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (53:53) Then that drives the immune system, and then that drives the hormonal system, because those are key parts of the brain that decide hormones and the immune response or not are in the brain. When people say it's all in your head, they're being unkind, but they're kind of-   Tahnee: (54:09) Kind of true.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (54:09) Yeah, unwittingly telling the truth. So, that's become much more of a theme. The nutrients, the supplements in the food I think all support, but if you're not doing the nervous system practises, then you're losing a lot of the benefit. Of course, the great nervous system practise is called sleep. We know that the average mother loses up to 700 hours of sleep in that first year, so she's already on the back foot.   Tahnee: (54:43) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (54:43) So how to do you then support her nervous system during the day? Ideally we're doing nervous system practises preconception during pregnancy. I was talking before about 3:00 in the morning, you're baby's not sleeping, you haven't slept for months. That's not the time ideally to start nervous system practises.   Tahnee: (55:06) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (55:10) So I'm really trying to coach a lot of my pre-mothers and pregnant mothers to really start looking into ... What's interesting with nervous system practise is the researchers often say that there is a sense of stillness. There's often paced respiration, so slowed down respiration, slow in breath, slow out breath. There are many things that can potentially tick a nervous system practise, meditation, gratitude practise, yoga, yoga nidra, micro naps, walking meditations, sometimes even craft or creative pursuits.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (55:50) Well, if you bring in the breath awareness, you can get into a flow [inaudible 00:55:53] that can really help recalibrate the nervous system. Just realising that can do way more than what a lot of supplements can do.   Tahnee: (56:02) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (56:03) So we shouldn't just be focusing on that without really giving importance to those nervous system practise. Then re enabling mothers to do these things, because when you're 24/7 busy, the universe is never going to come along and say, hey mom, do you want to-   Tahnee: (56:21) Take off an hour.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (56:22) Yeah, a 30 minute guided meditation. No one will disturb you. That's just not going to happen.   Tahnee: (56:25) Okay.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (56:28) So ideally the concept's already there. The practise is already there. Then that inner circle, that team, the guardians-   Tahnee: (56:37) Facilitating.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (56:38) Facilitating and honouring. It takes more than a tantrum for one of your kids to come knock that off your schedule. Whereas I see so many mothers just going, today was a weird day, I didn't do my practise. It's like, well when did you last do your practise? Two weeks ago. It's like, we really need to empower mothers to ... Something I've recently started comparing these nervous system practises to is like brushing your teeth. Dental health practise, you do it twice a day. You don't really think about it too much. It feels odd if we don't do it and we're looking for a longterm dental health. Teeth don't fall out tomorrow if you haven't brushed your teeth, but we'll kind of go out of our way. If we're out camping and we don't have a toothbrush, we'll sort it out pretty quickly usually.   Tahnee: (57:36) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (57:38) So we kind of need a mental health practise, [inaudible 00:57:41] we don't have to really think about it too much and it feels a bit strange if we don't.   Tahnee: (57:45) Yep.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (57:46) So what I really encourage mothers to do is what does that look like to you. Then what have you done in the past that might fit that. What are you thinking about that might fit that. Then you here a few suggestions. Then once you're doing those practises, guard them.   Tahnee: (58:04) Yeah, with your life.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (58:05) Well, as if your life depends on it because, ironically, it does.   Tahnee: (58:10) It does, yeah. You mentioned yoga nidra, and it's funny because I haven't had the experience of not ... I'm a yoga teacher and I had a practise since I was 15 at various degrees of commitment as I was in my 20s and stuff. But from my mid 20s to now, I've been very committed, and I can find myself, if I put on a major recording, it's the equivalent of a good nap for me or something like that. 20, 30 minutes can revitalise me.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (58:43) Yeah.   Tahnee: (58:44) If I feel myself coming down with something, I can do a yoga nidra and it seems to ... What you're saying about it actually turning off the kind of stress response and the information makes some sense. It always puts me in that heal response.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (58:57) It's a recalibration.   Tahnee: (58:59) Yeah. I don't get sick a lot of the time if I'm consistent with it. But it is something that ... I can imagine if it's not something in your repertoire, it can feel a little bit confronting to go and find. Do you have any resources or places, people that you recommend to your mums?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (59:19) Well, I first kind of acknowledge the situation. I explore what mothers have done in the past. It's kind of maybe that we have to reinvent the wheel. Yoga nidra is very easy to find. Many things on the web now, so I'm not kind of attached to any particular style. Essentially it's a guided meditation with body awareness and breath awareness.   Tahnee: (59:43) So anything along those lines is going to be of service.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (59:47) Even micro napping where you technically you don't go to sleep. You touch a sleep space.   Tahnee: (59:51) Like a liminal or half awake naps? Is that what you mean?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (59:55) Yeah, for 15 or 20 minutes.   Tahnee: (59:56) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (59:56) You literally touch the sleep space. You may need to put an alarm on. The guided meditation is kind of your alarm in some way because it-   Tahnee: (01:00:02) Sure. It tells you to come up again.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:00:05) Yeah. You can get a good four hours after that. Even place like Google and all of these large corporations.   Tahnee: (01:00:13) Yeah, we do it here. It's only twice a week. The guys have a half hour meditation session.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:00:22) Okay. Probably wht Google have sleep pods where they kind of expect people to have a micro nap, not because they care about their employee, but-   Tahnee: (01:00:27) Better productivity   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:00:28) Well, then the product of your research. Your product nosedives after six hours. It doesn't matter who you are.   Tahnee: (01:00:35) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:00:36) If you're a mother, if you're working, if you've had six hours you're toast. You need something rejuvenating and something that's relatively easy. I often talk to my mothers about cue points, and a cue point is where you are cued to do a relaxation of some sort. So a cue point might be on the toilet. It's usually a place where you're physically still. It doesn't always have to be. So at traffic lights. Literally in a cue at the super market, those kinds of things.   Tahnee: (01:01:04) Cue, cue.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:01:06) That's just an invitation to do maybe five slow in breaths and five slow out breaths. It's really amazing when you become more practised at these things. You think oh my gosh, I kind of just felt a bit frazzled before, but I'm a little bit more centred now, a little bit more resilient. That can make all the difference. If you're doing that enough times and then you're doing some bigger practises once a week and looking at your nutrition and your purpose, and being active enough but not over-exercising, and eating the right food for your body type at the right kind of stage.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:01:44) Motherhood, that nervous system intervention can make all the difference. Then it can actually improve the quality of your sleep. There's so many ... I talk about a virtuous cycle. This is a vicious cycle. A vicious cycle is I haven't slept well, I'm so tired, my cortisol is low, my blood sugar is not great, I'm just eating on the run. I'm not making the best decisions, I'm frustrated, I'm getting angry and then I'm feeling bad about myself because of the anger. That's a real vicious cycle. Then I'm being combative with my partner. We're not having that kind of connection time. Then dominoes for that can be just a constant state.   Tahnee: (01:02:28) Totally.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:02:29) A vicious cycle. Whereas a virtuous cycle is you do something that makes it a little bit easier to then maybe do some ... make a better food choice or make sure you protect that space for your nervous system practise that makes it easier for a healthy interaction with your partner, that makes it easy to then advocate for yourself. It makes it then easier to kind of see what's kind of going on, realise okay I actually need to kind of change a little bit.   Tahnee: (01:02:53) Totally, react to your kids.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:02:55) Yeah, you just go, okay this isn't working, and have the energy and insight to kind of change in a healthy kind of way. Whereas, if you're just in postpartum rage or anger, while that energy is there to motivate change, the change is often not whether you want is what you're really desiring.   Tahnee: (01:03:13) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:03:16) It fuels ... So again, it's not about perfection. It's just about slightly better.   Tahnee: (01:03:21) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:03:21) Then slightly better leads to slightly better. That's what a virtuous cycle is.   Tahnee: (01:03:25) Mm-hmm (affirmative). Instead of those little steps in a downward spiral, it's little steps in an upward spiral.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:03:31) Yeah. Sort of week to week, month to month. I often see mothers going, I'm still tired but I'm doing so much more and I feel better in myself, and I'm a bit clearer. The other thing is that I've stopped asking mothers how are you feeling because probably a better question is how much are you doing.   Tahnee: (01:03:52) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:03:53) In terms of that, especially if there's fatigue there because, if you're able to do more things in a healthy way, you're still going to have some degree of fatigue because we just spend whatever energy we have often. But it's often a clarity, stability, enjoying or enduring the process.   Tahnee: (01:04:14) Yeah, and ease for well-being.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:04:17) For a mother who is really so invested and she's just enjoying the process, it's like a prison sentence. Then she refuels the lack of joy and groundhog dayness experience.   Tahnee: (01:04:31) Yeah.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:04:31) Even confounds ... That's I think tragedy on tragedy really when enjoying her role and her sense of what she's doing is not necessarily that far away. Then she feels very unsuccessful.   Tahnee: (01:04:56) It's that compounding heaviness, and it can be a repetitive and thankless role if you can't find, I think, yourself and your purpose and your kind of space in it. So it's so wonderful that you've found this work. It seems like such an important area that needs so much more attention, so I hope you're training people [crosstalk 01:05:21].   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:05:21) Yeah, I honestly believe there isn't a more important thing than mother care. I'll wait to hear suggestions about what's more important than mother care because I haven't come across anything.   Tahnee: (01:05:34) Well, it's the future of our species and I think it's fundamental. If we can breed healthy, happy, well rounded humans that can take this world forward, it's the best thing we can do.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:05:48) Yeah, and being egalitarian, so not earning more than others in this kind of hollow chase for more. You need to have healthy attachment for that to occur. Mothers are people who really set up attachment.   Tahnee: (01:06:04) Yep, and foster that in children.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:06:06) Yeah, it kind of really important effects both positively and negatively when we don't support mothers or if we support mothers in a full way.   Tahnee: (01:06:20) Well, I hope if you're listening to this and you aren't a mother, you're taking notes because there's lots of work to do. If you're a father or someone ... We didn't get to chat a lot about menopause, but a lot of older women have so much to offer younger women I think. I have friends, Helena and Tanya, who are both in their 60s and maybe 70s, and they offer me so much wisdom and support. That's just such a gift to me to have those women there to bounce things off and to take my daughter sometimes and to offer that role, because my family are far away.   Tahnee: (01:06:51) So I hope everyone listening is noting what they can do, and I really wanted to thank you for coming.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:06:59) Thank you for a great conversation. I really hope that people listening kind of take that conversation further. I think this is a real ground roots movement.   Tahnee: (01:07:12) Totally. Well, what you've done in this community, and I know just so many people respect your work, it really feels to me like the more we spread these messages, the better. We just can't talk about it enough really.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:07:24) Yeah. I agree. We're on the same page there.   Tahnee: (01:07:29) Keep banging on. You can't stop us.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:07:32) Yeah. Just bringing kind of joy into this space as well because motherhood can be so joyous.   Tahnee: (01:07:40) It's the best thing ever. I think that sense of navigating yourself, any and everything we've touched on from the social to the kind of personal ... even from partner to partner, I've changed. Mason's changed. I'm sure you and your partner have changed. It's redefining your relationships I'm sure with every child. It's such a big, huge, constant learning and it's beautiful. It's one of the best things that's ever happened to me, but it's big. Nothing can prepare you I think for the bigness of it.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:08:15) Yeah, and this idea of the changing of what's important. I think such a-   Tahnee: (01:08:21) Reprioritizing.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:08:23) Yeah, internal fixes. We don't think about that.   Tahnee: (01:08:27) Care.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:08:29) We're very aware of external success.   Tahnee: (01:08:30) But to be rewarded on an inner level I don't feel is well celebrated. There's a satisfaction in me now, with even having chosen to do less, but I can feel sometimes that people don't understand that that can be satisfying, that it's ease. I can be a mum and I can be with her, and that's the choice we're making. It's different, but it's great.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:09:03) Yeah.   Tahnee: (01:09:03) So we're going to have a copy of Dr. Oscar's book for everybody to win on our social media. So if you're listening, jump on there and check that out. You can also find Dr. Oscar Serrallach on his website. So it's Dr.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:09:20) D-R.   Tahnee: (01:09:22) Oscar and then Serrallach. He does online consultations, which is awesome. You can also get a copy of his book from there if you don't mean one, and he has social medias, Facebook and Instagram under the name of you.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:09:40) Yes.   Tahnee: (01:09:41) So yeah, please jump on there. He has a cute picture of his ... Is that your daughter?   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:09:45) Yes. Yeah.   Tahnee: (01:09:45) She's so cute.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:09:47) She's a little bit older now, but yeah.   Tahnee: (01:09:52) Still cute. Yeah, so thank you again so much for your time. I'm sure everyone will be joining me in saying that was super interesting, and I just loved hearing that kind of more biochemistry and biological kind of take on postpartum, so thank you so much. I really appreciate it.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:10:06) Well, thank you for the opportunity to talk, Tahnee. Thank you for your work. I think you're a real gift to our community as well with what you do at SuperFeast.   Tahnee: (01:10:15) Thank you.   Dr. Oscar Serrallach: (01:10:16) Let's keep the mother care train rolling.   Tahnee: (01:10:19) Choo-choo.
Tahnee returns today on the Women's Series to bring you this truly discerning, multi-dimensional conversation with the ethereal Jessika Le Corre; foundress of the divine skincare company Feather Eagle Sky, author, herbalist, mama to three beautiful children, and overall incredible sovereign being. Raised completely immersed in nature, within the realms of both highly religious and native spirituality. Jessika is a woman who stands deeply connected to mother earth, keeping one foot in the natural world and one foot in the spirit world. "I think one of my greatest purposes is sharing that great spirit is everywhere and that the plants are alive in there. The earth is alive and how can you protect her if you don't even know how her? How can you protect that which you don't know, which you're never in"? - Jessika Le Corre   Tahnee and Jessika discuss: The spirit world in its all-encompassing divine forms; from religions of the world to Mother Nature and Great Spirit. The intention, envisioning, manifestation, and hard work that goes into everything Jessika does; from birthing/owning a successful skincare company to living her dream life and being a super mama. The story of Feather Eagle Sky, and the ceremony that is woven into the creation process of these potent plant-based products, that are helping women all over the world reclaim their beauty. Using ceremony, meditation, and connecting with Mother Nature as portals of sacred space to come back to the true expression of ourselves as women. Parenting and laying a conscious, love based foundation for children where they can live in the natural world, be taught how to care for the earth and connect with the spirit of who they truly are. The importance of self-examination when it comes to belief systems. Are our beliefs based on direct experience and personal understanding, or just something that you've been conditioned and taught to believe? Sovereign living & getting back to what truly matters, as the ultimate act of peaceful protest. The necessity for true leadership in the world right now; leaders who value the importance of caring for the earth, all living beings and promote unity instead of hate, fear, and division. Jessika's personal experience of living in a small Mexican community, where she and her family have not only created a life they love and thrive in but where they also give back, support, and care for other members of their community.  Who is Jessika Le Corre? Jessika Le Corre the creatrix of FeatherEagleSky, a well-respected pure organic skincare line that aims to reconnect us to the magic of the plant kingdom, the mother of three children, Feather, Eagle, and Sky, and an author (Moonbow, Nocturnal Outpost). Her work is deeply rooted in ancestral wisdom and ceremony. Jessika studied skincare, herbs, flower remedies, essential oils, and works with plant medicines with a seasoned Shaman. She incorporates the multidimensional aspects of life into everything she does, with an emphasis on the health of the whole (mind, body, spirit). Resources: Feather Eagle Sky website Feather Eagle Sky Facebook Feather Eagle Sky Instagram Jessika's personal Instagram Moonbow Book   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Tahnee: (00:00) Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us on the SuperFeast Podcast. Today I'm here with Jessika Le Corre. I'm very excited to be speaking to her. She's the foundress of Feather Eagle Sky, which this stunning skincare company based out of New Mexico in the US. And she's also mama to three beautiful children who have given her the name of the company, which is great. And she's just this incredible woman. I've been following her on social media for a few years, and her poetry, the way that she mothers, the way that she loves her partner, and the way that she loves herself has been a real inspiration to me as I've kind of navigated my parenting journey. And I'm so stoked to have you here today with us, Jessika, thanks for taking the time.   Jessika Le Corre: (00:44) Thank you beautiful, thank you for having me, it's an honour.   Tahnee: (00:47) Yeah, it's such a great opportunity to get some of your wisdom captured because I think you share so much of yourself online through your words and your beautiful imagery. And just the stories you tell that I'm sure there's a lot of you that you keep for yourself as well.   Tahnee: (01:04) I guess I would be really interested to hear a little bit about your journey, like your childhood and into your teens and 20s. And you seem to embody this real strength and feminine grace and wisdom. But I wonder if it's always been that way for you or whether you kind of had a bit of a journey to get where you are now, is there anything you can share for us?   Jessika Le Corre: (01:25) Oh, [crosstalk 00:01:27].   Tahnee: (01:28) Start right in the deep end.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:29) It's definitely been a journey.   Tahnee: (01:32) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:34) I was always extremely connected to the natural world, the earth because I grew up way, way, way high up in the mountains in a very, very small village, just surrounded by the sky and endless meadows and mountains and trees, and mountain lions and bears and eagles. My dad is quite the wild man, and my mom is extremely religious. And I was raised actually to be a preacher, and extremely deeply connected to kind of that religious world of sharing just the fundamentalist and propaganda of it all, and kind of purging all of that in my life. And also, then my dad was like the great spirit, extremely native in his beliefs and very one with the earth.   Jessika Le Corre: (02:40) And actually, it was the greatest childhood I could ever ask for because I was raised with so much love. And my parents are still together at 50 years, George and Georgia.   Tahnee: (02:54) Oh, cute.   Jessika Le Corre: (02:55) Yeah. Both very, very amazing and very different, but somehow have the deepest love for each other that has been one of the greatest examples for me in my life. But just that freedom that my father offered me and his deep connection with the earth, and the way that he never judged me and the way that I was able to just be so free in nature. Like I would never come home to after school, I would walk to school just across the dirt road. And then I would just be free after that, running up into the mountains and reading books under trees and writing and watching the stars at night.   Jessika Le Corre: (03:39) And so it was an amazing place to give birth to all of my visions, and to actually have my deep epiphany at like 11 that I was one with God, and I didn't need to do anything to gain that approval or that there's nothing you can do to gain that kind of love that it's beckoning us. It's the universe, great spirit is always offering through every moment, through the sunrise and the sunset, and the trees and the hummingbirds and the flowers and all the plants. A window, an opportunity for you to have a glimpse of all of that beauty, and all of that wisdom. And so I'm grateful that I had my mother because she gave me the discipline I needed because I literally was travelling to other countries and was like a missionary and I had a lot of discipline, let's just say.   Jessika Le Corre: (04:43) And I've studied the Bible extensively and read it over six times. And I've been able to merge with every religion in the world, through my travels of India and everywhere. I really knew innately as a young girl that I was already there with the divine, it was all good. And so growing up, though I did have to kind of purge all those beliefs because I believe it's necessary that anyone should examine themselves and their thoughts and observe them and see what's yours? What is your direct experience, not just something that you've been conditioned or taught to believe?   Jessika Le Corre: (05:33) I'm glad that I had the extreme willpower, and immense wildness to do that because my mom is extremely strong. She's a very powerful woman. She's a total queen. But it was wonderful to have my dad at the same time who just saw that I had already gotten it. So that's my journey as a child. Well, I've had two brothers in my life and I'm the baby. So it was wonderful to kind of just be the girl and the baby actually, because they kind of put all the energy on the other kids and I got to be free.   Tahnee: (06:16) I've heard that so much from the third children. Just kind of disappear a little bit.   Jessika Le Corre: (06:22) Except not with my Sky. My little baby Sky who's six. He's the youngest, and oh my goodness, I feel like he gets all my attention.   Tahnee: (06:30) He's such a big energy, even just through social media. He seems like it.   Jessika Le Corre: (06:34) Oh, he is [crosstalk 00:06:35].   Tahnee: (06:35) A bit of a star.   Jessika Le Corre: (06:38) He is a star. He's like a little Erwan.   Tahnee: (06:41) Yeah, like daddy.   Jessika Le Corre: (06:42) Really. They are mini each other’s, little twins.   Tahnee: (06:45) That's very cute. It's not [crosstalk 00:06:48]. Sorry.   Jessika Le Corre: (06:48) Full of love.   Tahnee: (06:49) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (06:50) No, he's so full of love, and he needs so much love. And he's like a triple Cancer.   Tahnee: (06:54) Oh, gosh!   Jessika Le Corre: (06:56) Oh, yeah.   Tahnee: (06:57) Squishy centre.   Jessika Le Corre: (06:58) Yes, exactly.   Tahnee: (07:01) It sounds like you were raised in this really, kind of almost extreme juxtaposition of your father's wildness and where you lived. And then your mother's strength and will and I guess, pushing you into this missionary work, which is quite an unusual experience, I think for a young person to be involved in.   Jessika Le Corre: (07:22) Oh, yeah. No, I feel like I'm 400 years old.   Tahnee: (07:26) Yeah, because it sounds like you grew up pretty early, in some ways.   Jessika Le Corre: (07:30) Oh, yeah.   Tahnee: (07:33) And is that something with your kids? Are you more conscious of a childhood? Or was it something you don't really ... Are you happy? Not to say that you can't really change anything anyway. But like-   Jessika Le Corre: (07:42) Right.   Tahnee: (07:43) ... is there a sense of you're preserving your children's innocence a little bit more? Or are you kind of just letting nature unfold? Is there something there with you?   Jessika Le Corre: (07:57) We're extremely open with our children and we very much believe in letting our children become who they are, and show us who they are. But we lay the foundation for a lot of principles, there's a lot of universal principles that we really make sure our children are given. But as far as religion and all those things, I don't put any of those things on my kids at all. And I don't ... Politics, any of it, none of it, I am extremely, very much deeply trying to give them in my opinion, the greatest gift which is just being and living in the natural world and being deeply connected and in ceremony with plants and with great spirit and just allowing them to show us who they are. I don't want to put my agenda on them or Erwan's agenda. We don't have one. It's just that they become and always remain strong, healthy and free and wildly wise.   Jessika Le Corre: (09:12) And they are, they're extremely wise children. They speak French, English, Spanish. They've been all over the world. They are just so Earth children. They're so grounded, so solid and so wise, that they're kind of my favourite people to hang out with. I would rather hang out with them than any other people because they really get it. They're so clean. They're so healthy.   Jessika Le Corre: (09:44) Their mind is so clean. It's not tainted by like just the amount of ... The world is obsessed with gadgets, TVs, video games and they're so distracted. And my children spend every day climbing, barefoot, running, jumping, swimming, fishing, playing in the rain with kids with buckets. And speaking Spanish while they're here in the jungle. It's extraordinary and with lots of animals too, there's so many beautiful animals here. And so I just love that they get to have that. And that's the kind of life I want them to have because there's so many people who are protesting and marching and yet, do they know what they're protesting and marching for? Whereas, my children's life and their connection with the earth is their protest? You know what I mean? Is their march.   Tahnee: (10:47) Yeah, it almost like the most ultimate act of rebellion is to disconnect from all of it, and to go back to what matters, right?   Jessika Le Corre: (10:55) Yeah, exactly. And [crosstalk 00:10:57].   Tahnee: (10:58) Oh, sorry.   Jessika Le Corre: (10:59) You go.   Tahnee: (10:59) Oh. I was going to say, "You go." Because you're normally based in New Mexico. So you're down in Mexico, Mexico. So is this something [crosstalk 00:11:08].   Jessika Le Corre: (11:08) Oh, yeah. I'm a real Mexican.   Tahnee: (11:10) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (11:11) Yeah. New Mexican, Mexican.   Tahnee: (11:11) You seem like you're really comfortable there every time I see footage of you there.   Jessika Le Corre: (11:17) Oh, God! I love it. There is nothing like the Mexico culture. They are so happy. Every day, we walk down from our little sky house temple kind of tree house thing that's perched very high up in the mountain. And it's a climb, we have to climb up and down all day long. People have no idea how much we move.   Jessika Le Corre: (11:47) I just can't tell you how happy I am to see this, to be in this little community because it's a small fishing village down the coast of Puerto Vallarta. So it's only available by boats. There's no roads, there's no cars here. And so you are really deeply in tune with nature here. There is no sounds and nothing, it's just pure. All the elements that you could imagine. And then there's this beautiful community that's catching fish for dinner, and everybody shares and everybody's so happy. And sometimes we drink Mescal. And most of the time, we're just eating tonnes of fruits and incredible [foreign language 00:12:31]. And they're so happy and we dance. I danced all night last night. It's just amazing. I just love these people. They really get it. They smile from their hearts. And there's just so much beauty and they understand hard work and simplicity. And they're so genuine.   Jessika Le Corre: (12:56) I just can't imagine my kids having to grow up, even though New Mexico is so unbelievable. I'm just grateful that my kids get to have another culture, another-   Tahnee: (13:09) Yeah, experience.   Jessika Le Corre: (13:10) ... way of being and seeing life and really being at home with it and having dear friends who they go stay the night out. It's incredible. I'm so grateful.   Tahnee: (13:23) And I think that sense of when you're a child, if you're talking about later on being able to do that inquiring into what's mine and what isn't when you've been exposed to multiple ways of thinking and multiple ways of being, it gives you ... You're less myopic, I guess, in your worldview. So you're able to filter through what you really resonate with and what delights you. And I think that's where so many as kids go to school, they've spent 12 years in an institution, and then they're left to work out what they want to do with their lives.   Jessika Le Corre: (13:52) I know, I can't even imagine. Our kids have an incredible Mystra, a teacher here, Carrie. She is from Mexico City. And she is an amazing teacher. And so they have their sessions with her every day for their school. And it's the cutest thing ever, all in Spanish. And then they'll have their math tutor and blah, blah, blah, and their music and everything and it's just, to me that is so much better than just sending my child to some school where I actually don't know these people at all. I don't even know what that ... That's great that they think they're teaching a lot of history, which they're not even really teaching history but ...   Tahnee: (14:38) Their history.   Jessika Le Corre: (14:40) Right, exactly. And school is important, I definitely believe school's important because of just the discipline that it does create in your children and in you as an adult, you do need to be educated and to learn things and it's very important. But the way that you learn is also just as important. My kids are sitting right outside looking at the trees and guacamayo are flying by and they can hear the ocean. And they're eating something healthy while they're doing their school. And then they run down the mountain to go get in the ocean after school, I just can't. I would never want to send them, I feel like I would be sending them to prison in some way.   Tahnee: (15:26) Yeah. I can relate to that feeling.   Jessika Le Corre: (15:28) To have to go sit for eight hours would just be [oh 00:15:31]. And I know because I have done it the other way. When Feather was a little girl, she went to Montessori starting at age three, Gentle Nudge, and she was there for like six hours. And yet she really loves school, she loves school because she's so social. She's such a social girl. But we were spending like 30,000 a year on school for kindergarten.   Tahnee: (16:00) Yeah. It's wild.   Jessika Le Corre: (16:01) [crosstalk 00:16:01]. And they're kind of teaching them about nature, but it's not the same, it's just not the same. And now that money that we work hard for whatever, gets to go to beautiful families that actually really need the money and who really invest so much energy into our kids because that's their livelihood. And that means so much to me to support this community. And especially in these crazy times that this world is in. I really want to.   Jessika Le Corre: (16:38) I love living here because we don't own, we don't have any furniture but like a bed and whatever. We don't spend any of our money on silly stupid stuff such as ... Which, not that it's bad or anything, but just materialism is ridiculous. And I'm giving my children an experience instead. I'm giving them real-life experience. And while we get to support these incredible people who honestly, if they weren't getting a job from us, they don't make anything literally, they don't make anything.   Tahnee: (17:20) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (17:21) Their daily allowance is like maybe $3, $5. That's nothing.   Tahnee: (17:27) It's crazy just the disparity in economics.   Jessika Le Corre: (17:33) And so when these people are actually making a really good wage, and they feel so valued, they really do put so much into your children. And it's a blessing all around because then it's something that's working out for us and for them. And we have lots of things like that in this community, we have so many different people who do stuff for us, and we just have for them and then they're so happy because tourism right now is not really a big thing because of the whole ... So anyway that we get to support these people, and they bless us with their beauty, to me is just the greatest thing that could be happening right now.   Tahnee: (18:16) Yeah, it's a really beautiful time, I think to step out of the states as well.   Jessika Le Corre: (18:21) No, it really is. I know that there's so much good that I love about America, there's so much beautiful, good that I loved about America. But it's honestly not the world that I grew up in when I was young. And I could care less to spend my whole life talking about these dweebs in office that can't even direct their own step much less then world right now or-   Tahnee: (18:52) Yeah, exactly.   Jessika Le Corre: (18:54) And they do not have the same principles that I have. They don't share any of the same principles I have. And I don't want to give my children that and I actually do not want to feed my children that kind of corruption as if it's important. Because no, I'm sorry, I don't want my kids voting for any of those people. Why would I?   Tahnee: (19:14) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (19:14) Bring me someone who is a true leader who's actually going to care about all of mankind, who cares about the earth, and the pollution, who cares about really what's going on. Instead of just all of the hate and fear and the division. It's disgusting.   Tahnee: (19:30) Well, that was the word that kept popping into my head to some was like leadership and how we don't have a model or as in culturally, I suppose, we don't really have a model for what leadership represents anymore because it's just been tarnished by-   Jessika Le Corre: (19:44) That's a joke. That's just like a TV show. It's ridiculous.   Tahnee: (19:47) It's drama.   Jessika Le Corre: (19:49) Yeah. That's not leadership. Mexico gets a very bad rap for the corruption that goes on in Mexico. And yeah, there's a lot of corruption in Mexico, and all over the world but at least [crosstalk 00:20:01]. At least people know, it's the Narcos, they know it's bad, whatever. And they're not pretending to be anything that they're not. Whereas I believe people are totally delusional about America and the political scene is a joke. What a mafia that is.   Tahnee: (20:20) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (20:20) And they're all liars. So whatever, I really think that when you live so deeply connected to the earth, and you are truly outside all day long, or sitting and meditating and doing your work, and it's so clear and evident what's going on in the world. And yet, you can't ... It's like nature doesn't allow for phone me. It doesn't allow for that kind of make believe. It's very clear like, "Ew that's yuck." This is spectacular.   Tahnee: (21:02) I wonder because your work is with plants. And you've obviously been raised in the wild, and you've chosen to really spend time in sort of wild places. But has there been a period of your life where you've, I guess, lived in the cities and tried to fit into the culture? Or have you always I guess, not to say that you live on the edges, but tried to ... Well, I think it's unusual for us people to make the decision you guys make [crosstalk 00:21:29].   Jessika Le Corre: (21:30) Well, okay, so I probably am the most natury kind of lady you'll meet, in the sense of, I moved to New York City for like three months. I was 24, and I was dating this very amazing, unbelievable at the Smithsonian painter, ridiculous. But I couldn't see the sky, and the pollution and the noise was just so upsetting for my nervous system and for me because I love to lay on the earth and watch the stars at night. And I just didn't grow up in any way like that. And so, even though I've tried to ... I've done modelling in my life. And I've dated some of the biggest celebrities that we won't name.   Jessika Le Corre: (22:30) And I've tried. There's been a few times that I've tried to live in different cities and stuff, and it just really wasn't for me, I could just really feel a difference in my health and how my clarity and everything was foggy. It was not the same as what I know, I deserve and need and what I wanted to give myself, which was all of this.   Jessika Le Corre: (23:04) And so, and even though there's so many great things that can come out of cities, and I'm not saying that they're bad but I'm a purist in a lot of ways. I think they're the cause of a lot of the pain that we experience on this earth, too many people mass together and these big disgusting cities, and you're just domesticated, you're just an animal, you go from door to door from box to box. You're never ever having a quiet moment, your phone is ringing all the time, someone's messaging you, you got to do this.   Jessika Le Corre: (23:44) And then you put up all these appointments to go do your yoga class, so you can find some stillness, or some introspection or whatever. And yet, you're thinking about whatever your latte or something. You're not even being. You're not even quiet. And then it becomes then the thing of socialising too much, and you can socialise too much. You don't always need to be with anyone, you need to be with yourself, you need to have alone times. And I value that as a mom, especially because I get so much time to myself in like where I'm just sitting watching hummingbirds and talking with the hogs and that feeds my soul. And whereas the city feels like it's just taking from me, it's like it's talking from me.   Tahnee: (24:45) So how do you balance out things like social media and a business? And obviously, Erwan's a world famous MOVNAT creator and trainer and all of these things. How do you guys balance out those demands of the world, I guess, on your-   Jessika Le Corre: (25:03) I feel really blessed because we love what we do.   Tahnee: (25:08) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (25:09) So it doesn't feel like I'm actually doing anything for Instagram or doing anything for my business because it's just my life.   Tahnee: (25:17) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Jessika Le Corre: (25:18) So I feel like it's just a part of it. And luckily, we get to share all this beauty with so many people. So I feel like it's almost like an obligation to share and represent what it means to be so connected to the plant world and all that beauty and to share all that.   Jessika Le Corre: (25:47) The truth is, is that I don't care about Instagram at all. I don't care who likes me, at all I don't. I care that maybe one person might see something that I've written, or some little diamond gem that I've shared or might get a product when they've been using chemicals forever, and might actually order one of my products and be like, "Oh my God, this is like heaven on my skin." Because it literally is. And it's not because of me, it's because of Mother Earth. Oh my goodness, the gift she gives when you've been so processed yourself basically through so many different chemicals and crappy foods, and the noise of TV and all of that. When you actually feel the vibrations of the plants on you, it's so real that you can't not see it or experience it.   Tahnee: (26:48) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Jessika Le Corre: (26:50) And so for me, and that's just like one example. But for Erwan and I, we have spurts of sharing. Sometimes I'll share here and there and it's always positive. I'm extremely a positive lady.   Tahnee: (27:08) Yeah, I love that.   Jessika Le Corre: (27:10) I love life. I love life so much. I literally wake up, and the first words out of my mouth are, "Thank you," every day because I love life. I love life, so much I can't even describe and I feel like the world needs just that extra, just someone being like it's beautiful guys, just try to see from a different perspective, try to open your eyes in a different way because it is phenomenal. Life is phenomenal.   Jessika Le Corre: (27:38) And so, it helps that I already have the zest for life. So sharing is easy. And also, I have two days a week where I work on my business, whatever that is emails and whatever podcasts may come up, or making a new product or just making my products. I have two days a week where I do that and the rest is just me, is me having my unbelievable daily experiences with great spirit. And that's just phenomenal and Erwan is unbelievable. I could not ask for a better husband, a better partner, a better lover, a better father. He really was formed and created in a very divine way. He is exceptional. He really values me as a woman as the mom. We don't have any control like stuff in our marriage of like, there's no asking if I can go have an hour to myself or whatever. You know what I mean?   Tahnee: (28:55) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (28:58) It's given every day because that's how much we value each other. He does endless training for his stuff that we rarely talk about because we are actually always training and preparing to be the best we can be. And so he goes off and he's floating in some pool up in the jungle somewhere doing his breath-hold.   Tahnee: (29:22) Yeah, he's got an amazing capacity for breath.   Jessika Le Corre: (29:25) All done, he just started that. It's unbelievable. He really is ridiculous, and I'm not trying to praise him unnecessarily. He deserves it. He is phenomenal. And him as a dad. Everything of Erwan just seeps into our children. It's not like he's trying and now here's some time kids and we're going to spend an hour together and go to a park. He's like, they're with us climbing on our backs while we're running down the mountain.   Jessika Le Corre: (29:58) And then they have the beautiful, incredible nanny. Yahaida who's here and we've always had someone to kind of be with us and have that time to go. I think children also need not just you and their dad, they need another person who they can go and do stuff with. And I'm so glad that we get to support Yahaida and her family. And she takes them for a few hours every day. And then I go and I float endlessly in the sea or right because I'm working on another book.   Tahnee: (30:36) Oh, great.   Jessika Le Corre: (30:37) Yeah, so it all sounds really dreamy. Sounds like oh my God, they're living the life. And that's unbelievably so wow, they're so lucky. But no one realises the amount of intention, envisioning and manifestation work that goes into everything that we do. Erwan and I are extremely intentional, we are always on the same page, and we work really hard. But we know how to do it with a lot of fun. So-   Tahnee: (31:10) Well, that was something I noticed from him like that he's made a post saying that he'd chosen to not travel as much with MovNat and to hand over, to train some of his people so that he could be with you guys more and it felt like there was just a lot of intention in that decision making around priorities and where his energy was best invested, which is with your children and your family while you're mothering.   Jessika Le Corre: (31:33) Absolutely. Oh, God. He could be spending every day of his life promoting MovNat and natural movement and he could be travelling all the time. And that's if he needed to do that, well then that would be what he decided to do. But that's not what we wanted and his business is so successful already and does so great. And Danny and everybody who works for him and all his master instructors are phenomenal and I'm so glad that he was able to build that up like that, which he did on purpose because we are multidimensional beings, we are not just Feather Eagle Sky, we are not just MovNat: Natural Movement, we are constantly every single day improving, becoming all the things and different facets that we are. We're not just one thing. You know what I mean?   Tahnee: (32:27) Yeah, totally.   Jessika Le Corre: (32:28) So it's so great that Erwan was able to do that and that he values honesty as a man to and money the term money and how much people place on money. It's amazing that his intention has actually blessed us even more abundantly because just our very life together is the ultimate example of what we are doing, which is natural movement, which is MovNat, which is Feather Eagle Sky, which is actually really working with the plants and holding ceremony with unbelievable tribes. And living it, not just talking about it, not just doing endless Instagram videos of how we walk, or where we walk and this blah, blah, blah, this technique or that technique, and that's great. But if that's all I was going to do every day and live for every single day is that video that I got a post of me doing this movement. I feel like I would lose my passion. It would just not be for me. If I'm trying to so much get viewers and likes it just, it's not my thing and it's not his thing.   Jessika Le Corre: (33:47) I feel like we just get so blessed because we actually know how to move through it with some grace, instead of being so self-obsessed. And man, there are some incredible teachers out there on Instagram and some incredible people who have a lot of wisdom, but, that's their whole life, that's all they do.   Tahnee: (34:10) Also, it's always one of those things that I think about and talk about with my partner is it's all going to go away one day.   Jessika Le Corre: (34:16) Hey, exactly.   Tahnee: (34:18) And if that's all you have, if that's your life, what's left at the end of the day? And you have to have cultivate other values and other things to invest your time and energy in, I think.   Jessika Le Corre: (34:29) Absolutely, and also spiritually speaking. You can feed endlessly the physical and share the physical. But that's what we're trying to share. And I think that's one of my greatest purpose is sharing that great spirit is everywhere and that the plants are alive in there. The earth is alive and how can you protect her if you don't even know how her. How can you protect that which you don't know, which you're never in?   Jessika Le Corre: (35:04) It's so great to talk about it and have that kind of like mental context of, "Oh, it's so romantic the earth and I love the earth and blah, blah, blah." That's cute.   Tahnee: (35:16) What does that mean exactly?   Jessika Le Corre: (35:17) Exactly. You have to have some real sincerity with what you are sharing. And it comes out, it really does come out because I'm always amazed to randomly calls me up or messages me or emails me or wants to do an article or whatever. And they're like, "Oh, I was captured by your genuineness, your-   Tahnee: (35:48) Authenticity.   Jessika Le Corre: (35:50) Yeah, your authenticity of it. And I really appreciate that because I try so hard at not trying to be in my most real.   Tahnee: (36:03) Yeah. Well, it is there, it's this sort of element of consciousness around constantly shedding the layers of projection or assumption or even culture or whatever, you just have to constantly be on to doing the work, I think. And that's when you talk about ceremony, you talk about meditation, you talk about stillness, floating in the ocean, like these are all ways we come back to ourselves to remember who we really are. And then it's just trying to preserve that. You say RECLAIM PURENESS is your kind of tagline for your company. But I think that's such a statement around coming back to that pure expression of ourselves.   Jessika Le Corre: (36:37) Amazing that that beautiful ... Those words came to me in one of my ceremonies with the Shipibo in Peru way out in the jungle, years and years ago, that beautiful just reclaim pureness, and it was exactly it. It was like, "Come on, guys, get back to her. Get back to really being you. Who are you? Do you even know how beautiful you are because if you really knew how much you contain, that you contain the universe inside of you in your heart, your heart is the most unbelievable, extremely intelligent, it is the temple of where everything of who you truly are resides. And when you go into your heart, and when you actually connect truly to your truest highest self, then the wisdom that unfolds and the layers of shedding that go with that. And all of the preconceived projections of who you think you are, what the world wants you to be or blah, blah, blah. It's like they dissolve. And you're just there with your beauty and your heartbeat."   Jessika Le Corre: (38:01) That's actually why I like to float in the ocean every day is because I just listen to my heart and it's so beautiful. I'm glad that you got that.   Tahnee: (38:12) Yeah, I do that too. And it's-   Jessika Le Corre: (38:14) Oh, that's beautiful.   Tahnee: (38:16) Well, I teach yoga. And sometimes I ask people to breathe with their heartbeat. And they're like, "I can't hear it." And I'm like, "Wow," because it's something I think it must have happened a decade ago, something that it's just with me, if I get still straightaway. It's like the most dominant part of my experience. And it's just regulates my breath. Yes, this little thing.   Jessika Le Corre: (38:37) Well, that's why you're so beautiful.   Tahnee: (38:40) Well, thanks.   Jessika Le Corre: (38:41) And so full of goodness.   Tahnee: (38:43) Now, I'm curious about when you talk about plants and ceremonially seeds because I know, it's such a big part of your life and how you kind of create ritual and I guess marking the passing of time and life and all these things. And I feel like I've done ... Obviously, you work with plant medicines, but you also work with herbs, you work with plants in your skincare.   Jessika Le Corre: (39:08) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (39:09) You guys also kind of work with ... You're not vegetarians, you eat wild meats, and from what I understand anyway, this is [crosstalk 00:39:16].   Jessika Le Corre: (39:16) Yeah.   Tahnee: (39:19) Kind of real because this is one of the things I find really challenging about the ... I'm doing inverted commas, but you can't see them like spiritual communities. Is how it's like this kind of ... And I know the vegans are going to hate me for saying this, but it's the vegans and these kind of movements, I guess, that are like, "Oh, it's bad for the earth if we eat meat, or it's bad for the earth if we do this, or blah, blah, blah." And it's like my experience is the complete opposite on a plant medicine journey. I had this epiphany that like I was a vegetarian at the time and was like, "No, meat is food and it's energy and it's Chi or Prana or whatever you want to call it."   Jessika Le Corre: (39:56) Absolutely, 100%.   Tahnee: (39:58) Yeah, and I had this like little relationship with this piece of meat in the fridge at the place where I was staying, and I just thought that was just such an epiphany for me. And the more that I've worked through that conditioning and unravelled it, I've felt so much more connected, and so much more spiritual, all of those things. And I find that [crosstalk 00:40:19].   Jessika Le Corre: (40:19) Absolutely because there's no more compartment anymore. Exactly, you're not fragmented, you're not also putting judgement on yourself because in all of those trends and diets, and they all are almost like a religion for people because they start putting all of these things of you're a good person, you're a bad person, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. No, that meat is life. And if it came from the wild, and if it's healthy meat, it is going to and if it was coming from the sun, and the animals and the grass and the grains and everything that caused that beautiful piece of wild meat to be on your plate that you need because your brain is made of fat, you need fat, your body needs that wildlife in you. Not only are you helping the earth, but you're helping yourself and your relationship with that. The sustainability in it, the gratitude in it, the receiving of it, and just the vital forces that are in it is so necessary for you to have a whole health. To have whole health, you need that.   Jessika Le Corre: (41:35) And it is very good for the planet. That's the saddest thing. You can domesticate a million avocados and send a million gallons of coconut water in plastic bottles all over the earth, how is that beneficial, just because it's not meat, that is so sad. They have it all mixed up and so confused. And yet, it's usually because they think that that's what they should be doing because of all the virtue signalling that happens on Instagram and all those things, and Facebook and everywhere. And instead, when you listen to the innate wisdom of yourself. And when you live with honour and gratitude for everything, whether it's the mango, the wild deer, or the banana or whatever the fish from the sea that Erwan, and all this community and I eat, you're doing something that is so beautiful, and the honouring of it is the highest. And so you do, you get everything beautiful from that, and you are healthy, and you're helping the earth in that way.   Jessika Le Corre: (42:45) But when you live in this just very fear and judgemental existence of judging others for what they do or what they don't do. And that's not to sound condescending, or self-righteous or anything, but you're at a level of where is your beauty truly? Where is your understanding of life, if it's all based in judgement ?   Tahnee: (43:15) And that's so much this time, I think-   Jessika Le Corre: (43:19) And that's why you don't feel good, exactly. That's why people don't feel good in their diets. That's why they don't look great, even though they think they're doing this diet, but the fear around food, the fear around everything. And also what the validation that people need through all of their health diets and blah, blah, blah. It's just so sad.   Jessika Le Corre: (43:39) When you go and you use it. You hang out with people who are very tribal, or from a different way of life than you who are literally up in the mountains sitting in little huts, and they're barefoot and they're squatting and they're not posting every day about their squat session of 20 minutes, come on.   Tahnee: (44:01) This is how they cook.   Jessika Le Corre: (44:03) This is just life. There's not one that is not eating some wild element of fish or elk or pork or whatever they're eating-   Tahnee: (44:17) Because yeah, for sure.   Jessika Le Corre: (44:17) Exactly. Chicken or even cow, they're getting their milk from that cow. They're loving on that cow and when it's time to eat that meat. They are sad but they give gratitude, and they do it in the most respectful way that it's just absolutely living in ceremony. Whereas, look, people spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on crap package crap that they don't know. There's no life in it. There's nothing in it. It's from a gross factory where mega abuse has happened. And it's loaded with gross hormones and it's just disgusting. Everything about it is disgusting. So of course that's bad, that's absolutely disgusting. And who would want to stand for that?   Jessika Le Corre: (45:04) And so I see how they get on to that, the whole vegan thing or the vegetarian thing, it's usually a moral compass that they're trying to figure out within themselves. But when you just live deeply connected with the earth, and you listen to the earth, and you listen to your innate wisdom, you're going to enjoy that beautiful dinner that may have some chicken or may have some fish, and it is going to give you the life that you need, and the aura and the beauty and the luminosity that you need to really thrive.   Tahnee: (45:38) And that's such a ... I think, I guess, what I see so much with people that we speak to is this they've started on these diets, they felt good for a little period of time, which we always put down to kind of like a cleansing period, and then they start to deteriorate. And then they're going, "Well, but I'm vegan and I'm this." And it's like to come back to that radiance that you want, you'd need to now rebuild your body with healthy tissue. And that comes through proteins and through quality fats.   Jessika Le Corre: (46:10) Exactly, 100%. [crosstalk 00:46:10]. And so that cleansing period is great to go and do your cleansing, which is most of the time why they start in the first place is because they're not feeling good, and so they're changing their diet for that reason. But then once you've established that, and then your body is going to tell you, "Okay, I am so ready for that steak now truly."   Tahnee: (46:29) Yeah, I had that.   Jessika Le Corre: (46:31) It's like what are you doing to me?   Tahnee: (46:31) I was like walking down the street-   Jessika Le Corre: (46:32) It's like please give it to me. I need it.   Tahnee: (46:33) ... it's like give me blood. I was like, "Whoa! That's interesting."   Jessika Le Corre: (46:38) No, it's real. And that is also your animal self, like really needing that. And your spiritual self needs it. It's just the same as all of the isms. And I always tell them, people always ask me, "Well, what religion are you? Who do you follow and blah, blah, blah," and I'm like, "Wow, I don't follow anyone. And my Great Spirit is the divine is who I follow every day. And it's in everything from my orchid plant, to the sunset, to swimming in the ocean to sungazing. I'm not into isms. I'm not into all of that organisation stuff. I am into being dancing in all circles, and in none, being able to be my own experience and to experience my own dialogue with the universe."   Tahnee: (47:29) I love that so much. I think that's such a ... Because it becomes a personal responsibility and a personal kind of act of sovereignty to put aside all of the cultural paradigms and conditions and step into what's really true for me, and what's my truest expression? And then can I allow that everyone else can have their own version of that without-   Jessika Le Corre: (47:51) Absolutely, 100%. And I think that that's why there's a lot of people who, you wouldn't believe, like they stop me, they think I'm into some Kundalini teacher, they think I'm this Buddhist lady or whatever. I would say, I'm all of those things, but not in the way that you actually think. But the Kundalini is definitely ... I am definitely not that. I am using it right now, every day.   Tahnee: (48:27) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (48:28) [crosstalk 00:48:28] things higher. But it's not because of any practise that I've done. Even though when I was younger, I studied. You cannot imagine what I studied, and I do love Buddhism immensely, but I don't need any man-made guy to be my guru when I am my own guru. God is my guru, the divine is everywhere. I don't need to follow anyone, because the message of whatever I need is always going to come from within. And that's where you want. You are your teacher, you're your greatest teacher. My children are my greatest teachers. Oh, my goodness.   Tahnee: (49:06) They came from within you, so it's the same really.   Jessika Le Corre: (49:08) Yeah, exactly. And that's the same with the political world right now not to talk about that, but people are so desperate for a leader. When will you lead yourself? When will you be your own leader? When will you listen to the unbelievable wisdom that comes out of your own hearts when it's not tainted by everybody else, and all their opinions and all of their supposed like going to fix the world if you eat this way, or you're going to blah, blah, blah if you do this. There's no one way. There's no one herb that will give you everlasting life or immortality, it's everything. It's the whole process and it's this selection and the elimination of everything.   Jessika Le Corre: (50:01) And sometimes the greatest gift you could ever give yourself is to just stop listening to everybody and everything and to just start listening to yourself.   Tahnee: (50:14) And so in terms of herbs and things, I know you work with them.   Jessika Le Corre: (50:20) Oh, God. I love plants more than you could imagine. I love herbs.   Tahnee: (50:24) Yeah, [crosstalk 00:50:24]. You're like, "I'm taking this tea and it's like all these nine brilliant herbs and I'm like yes. And it's stuff-   Jessika Le Corre: (50:32) You know it's amazing because they just come to me in my head and as a little girl, I'm so Virgo too. I really do think that all that is, it is astronomy and astrology are real because we are [crosstalk 00:50:46].   Tahnee: (50:46) Oh, for sure.   Jessika Le Corre: (50:47) So it's definitely. And for me, it's like I was a natural alchemist of plants. Even as a young little girl, I was always inviting my friends over and I would be smashing cabbage and rose petals and telling them to drink and I would be putting them in champagne glasses, and I'd be like, "And your skin is going to glow."   Jessika Le Corre: (51:13) And so no, I just listened to myself. I also look at what I eat always. I look at what's maybe causing some breakout or something. Some of the oils in Mexico are not that great oils, they're bad oils.   Tahnee: (51:34) Yeah, for sure.   Jessika Le Corre: (51:35) So I was eating too many to start tostadas last time and my neck kind of broke out. And I love tostadas and salsas.   Tahnee: (51:43) Good problem to have.   Jessika Le Corre: (51:47) Yeah. And so I just made a wonderful concoction of red clover and burdock and echinacea and Oregon grapefruit and gotu kola and my skin instantly just cleared up because everything is from within. Everything is from within but if you listen, the plants will talk to you. And if you work with them too, if you're like, "I feel I have some extremely dedicated dear best friends in my plant allies." I love dandelion. I just love dandelion and burdock and I love for my skin echinacea and for all of it, I just love dandelion and burdock. I just love them and echinacea and for my feminine self, I really love Damiana, and He Shou Wu, and American Ginseng, and those are all in Egyptian Blue Lotus. Oh, my goodness.   Jessika Le Corre: (52:43) And I've shared some of these property blends. And then I always notice bigger-   Tahnee: (52:51) Companies?   Jessika Le Corre: (52:51) ... people who follow me and they put together my little thing, it cracks me up.   Tahnee: (52:56) Yeah, that's just [crosstalk 00:52:58] we like.   Jessika Le Corre: (53:00) But I'm a natural herbalist. Even though I am an herbalist, I'm a natural one. I was always a natural one, it was just I was always connected to the plants. And then I use some very sacred plants that I don't talk about very, very much because they're more for protection and because I try to also respects that relationship that I have with the plants of not just, I don't like to overly promote plants, because to me, people have no connection with the plant. And so I always say to start, just go sit in your yard, if you're not feeling good, or if you're working on something within yourself, if you just sit in your yard, hopefully, a garden somewhere or something if you have access to it.   Jessika Le Corre: (53:44) But that plant eventually if you sit there long enough and you're with the intention of seeing which plant you need for that moment, that plant's going to pop out. And sometimes it's so obvious, it's right there in front of you, whether it's aloe or whether it's echinacea or whether it's [crosstalk 00:54:05] wild rose or nettle. Oh my god, I love nettle. I love nettle so much.   Tahnee: (54:11) I love nettles too.   Jessika Le Corre: (54:12) Oh, I'm going to love everything. And my house here is loaded. I have more plants than anyone could ever imagine in here in this jungle. It's just like my dream.   Tahnee: (54:17) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (54:19) I think that's why I live here too. Because New Mexico, despite the enormous amount of medicine that is just laced in all of that land, surrounded by 20 different pueblos that are continuing in their traditional seeds and song and dance and I feel so blessed in that way and it is home, it will always be my home, home. It's like my blood.   Jessika Le Corre: (54:43) But the jungle and it doesn't matter what jungle, the jungle is so alive. It's so alive and I need that green and I just love to just be in the dirt all day and planting and watching them grow.   Tahnee: (54:57) Things grow so fast if they're satisfied [crosstalk 00:55:00].   Jessika Le Corre: (55:00) And then I'm walking, I can pick whichever plant I want while I'm walking and bring it home and root it, and I'm so excited about my vanilla growing right now.   Tahnee: (55:06) Oh, that's beautiful, yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (55:08) So it's been a blessing to me to use plants and to give them and share them with the world. And that's really why I created Feather Eagle Sky was not to have like a business or something. But actually, I really did it just to help women feel and look and experience that kind of potency and that brilliance on them. That's going to give them extraordinary beauty without makeup and all that other crap.   Tahnee: (55:40) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (55:41) You become more luminous, you become more beautiful because these plants are alive. And they're so cellular, and they get into you and they just lace you with all their love and all their wisdom, and they open your heart and they calm you and they inspire you, and they protect you. And this is just like your basic plants. If you could just smell a rose every day. Oh, my goodness, the wisdom of that rose would be the ultimate meditation because it's brilliance is so true to itself. It's so glorious and so full of love. And what a queen. Oh my goodness.   Tahnee: (56:22) Yeah, just like shameless radiance and beauty.   Jessika Le Corre: (56:26) Yeah, exactly.   Tahnee: (56:27) No filter. I think it's so beautiful to offer because you look at what women are exposed to and it's just this kind of bombardment of chemical crap, and like celebrity culture and all of this stuff. And just to say that your beauty is enough, and then to work with nature to enhance what's naturally there.   Jessika Le Corre: (56:54) 100%. I feel so blessed that this little small business that I created forever ago while I was pregnant and giving birth to my son Sky. And then like Eagle, not even a year old, helping me make stuff and Feather, and-   Tahnee: (57:12) Cute.   Jessika Le Corre: (57:14) I feel so blessed that I have never put out ... Like, it's just me who handles everything, and my shipping team. And that's it. I make everything, nobody touches anything, I make it because I do lots of prayers and lots of songs and lots of love. And I'm so grateful that despite the fact that I've never had to sell myself or promote myself by spending loads of money or something to just make my business known. It's travelled across, I send to 22 different countries. It travels across the earth in this unbelievable way. I have women who write to me telling me that when they get their products, they actually dream of me. And it's so beautiful.   Jessika Le Corre: (58:04) And then I have huge celebrities, like very big celebrities that follow me and use my stuff. And I don't ask for that. It's just what I feel like great spirits, when a product is real, the energy that's in it is real, it's going to shine through. And it doesn't matter what you do, or what you don't do. If it's real, and you're real. And you are, and it's full of love, which I hope that everybody, whatever business you're doing, just love what you do. And it will always shine through.   Jessika Le Corre: (58:40) So I'm so grateful because this little business of mine has just supported our family in the most amazing way. And it's a blessing to just know that people write me and tell me how just one time they used Arkana, which is one of my favourite face creams for the sunscreen and just to know that it's non-toxic, and then it's out there in the ocean, or it's up in the mountains. We're rinsing off in the rivers or whatever you're doing, or that it's going down your drain but it's not going into the earth in a way that's disgusting or into your bloodstream.   Jessika Le Corre: (59:18) If you just thought of your body as the earth, the bloodstream just like the rivers of the earth. If you just thought of yourself like that, then you would think of the earth like that. The more that you take care of yourself with beautiful products that are actually genuinely clean and true ingredients, the more that the earth will benefit.   Jessika Le Corre: (59:40) I don't know why it's so hard for these women who are so conditioned and constantly the media and false beauty, is truly false beauty because there is nothing that you could do to be more beautiful than you already are. The less that you put on, the more that you come through. And the more that you start loving you, and just adorning yourself with rose oil or sandalwood or neroli. Oh my God! There are so many amazing ones.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:00:13) You will start to feel more beautiful. You will start to see your skin start sparkling and shimmering and shining because that other stuff that you're putting on your skin is dead. There's no life in it. It's like bug spray. You're putting it on you. It's tainting you and it's going into your lymph nodes, and it's going into your body and everywhere. And it's just like [inaudible 01:00:38]. It's yuck.   Tahnee: (01:00:42) It is yuck. And I love that you can use your stuff on kids and it's just like there's no fear.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:00:47) Exactly.   Tahnee: (01:00:48) [crosstalk 01:00:48] and you can go in the ocean or the river.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:00:49) It's for everyone. I know, someone, a very big celebrity. Really beautiful woman reached out to me via email a couple of like a month ago, maybe, and told me that Arkana totally took away her little girl's dermatitis. And I was just like [crosstalk 01:01:08]. She goes like, "Just in two days," and I was so happy just that is everything to me. If that is like what I'm out doing, then any labour or love that I put into it is worth everything because I feel like I'm a spokesperson for the beautiful earth. I don't feel like I'm a spokeswoman for maybe it's Maybelline or blah, blah, blah.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:01:32) Maybe you're just that great. And you're that beautiful and the earth just helps you to remember and to wash off all of that stuff that's constantly telling you that you're not enough that you're not beautiful, that you actually need this concealer this foundation, this eye shadow, this eyeliner, this mascara, this eyebrow pencil, this lip liner, this blah, blah, blah. Then you need all the stuff and all the gloss and everything that goes into your hair to keep it straight. And oh, heaven forbid that one little hair, go flying in the wind.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:02:07) Oh, man, when you let the earth touch you. And when you feel her beauty bless you, you will always be so beautiful because you will age and you will age because we all age. There's no denying it, but you will age with more grace and more beauty. And you will really embody and your aura will just be glowing. And that is the attraction that you want. That kind of luminosity that sparkles because it's so pure because it's so clean because it's Mother Earth.   Tahnee: (01:02:43) Reclaimed your pureness.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:02:44) Exactly. I never get bored with my eight years, I never get bored with my business. And there's moments like sometimes products don't come in at the right time. I seek out extremely old farms for some of the people I partner with, like my Corsican immortelle and a place I love and I go and visit all as much as possible when we can and I love every ingredient that I use.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:03:18) I've actually experienced, been in that farm, picked, found there's no like ... I'm just not buying products from Mountain Rose or wherever and putting some essential oils in it, and that's it. This is real whole plant medicine. This is like real love from the earth and it takes me hours to make. I spend whole days just blending and doing my stuff and sitting in quiet and sitting by the stream and talking to the plants and whispering, "Go give all those beautiful girls all that love," and so it comes through.   Tahnee: (01:03:58) It sure does.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:03:58) And sometimes you will get a person who has been so used to the other products that they're like, "I don't know." And it's okay because you can't please everybody, but for the most part, for eight years, I've been doing just fine. And those that know it and experience it get it. You know what I mean?   Tahnee: (01:04:25) Totally. And I think people sometimes just aren't ready for a certain experience. We work with herbs that people ingest and sometimes, for whatever reason, they just don't ... The first time I ever sought Reishi I had a spiritual awakening. I was meditating with her and we had this whole relationship, it was just divine and He Shou Wu as well was one of those herbs for me.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:04:52) Oh, that is amazing.   Tahnee: (01:04:52) Wow, Australia just banned it. We're not allowed to sell it anymore. I'm so annoyed.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:04:57) Are you kidding?   Tahnee: (01:04:58) I'm not kidding. Anyway, that's a story for [crosstalk 01:05:01].   Jessika Le Corre: (01:05:00) Well, and on that note, I will just say that get ready world, if you actually care about what's going on in this world, then you will really start defending the things that are actually healing your body and helping you because right now there is some big agenda going on that wants to keep promoting horrible vaccines and stuff, and mandating that you do this and that you don't do that.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:05:25) Small businesses are barely getting by but Walmart and Costco and the big [crosstalk 01:05:31] are doing just fine. So just think about that. And awaken yourself to the fact that there is a whole thing going on. But the more that you just keep calling in the plants and giving them love and respecting them. I really pray that a big raising will happen soon, I pray.   Tahnee: (01:05:54) Well, this is the thing, the more people support businesses like yours and ours, where they start to do their own work to cultivate this same through the heart that we're talking about then the better chance we have, I think, to get through all of this.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:06:11) Absolutely. And also just continuing to talk about it and to [crosstalk 01:06:15]. I don't care what's going on in the world, one way or another Mother Earth at the end of the day-   Tahnee: (01:06:22) She's in charge?   Jessika Le Corre: (01:06:22) Yes. She's going to conquer any of us. She could bring us down in a second. We celebrated yesterday, a year of the flood that happened here in this village that I live in. And a massive flood came last year, and it [crosstalk 01:06:41].   Tahnee: (01:06:41) For it, yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:06:42) Yes, it was very bad what happened to so many different people, but yet their resiliency. And my whole point of that is, is that Mother Earth is unbelievably powerful.   Tahnee: (01:06:57) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Jessika Le Corre: (01:06:58) She can wipe you out in a second. And so hopefully, we are creating children and mothering children that love the earth, because they are our next generation, they are the next generation. And the more that you get them away from those video games from that TV, from that artificial crap. And you get them in contact with the divine, the powerful, the beautiful, the sacred, then everything will come into a much more happy equilibrium. Much better harmony than what's going on. But that's also good. It's good for the world to wake up a little and hopefully they do.   Tahnee: (01:07:39) That seems like a really great place to leave it because that's the sort of message that is really important right now. But I really hope that if you're listening, you jump on Jessika's website, and have a look at her products, place an order. It's I'll put the links to all of Jessika's social media, her website, her partner's book. I just wanted to ask you, Jessika if there's anything you wanted anyone to kind of know, any other places they should go to find you? Anything like that or?   Jessika Le Corre: (01:08:11) I have a new book coming out as soon as I feel it's ready. But it's called Nocturnal Outpost.   Tahnee: (01:08:20) Oh, beautiful. Is it a partner to Moonbow or is it kind of like a-   Jessika Le Corre: (01:08:28) No, it's basically my life story with a lot of the dark things that I actually never share with anyone. Like how I've saved my life from scorpions, or how I went through major initiations and many different spiritual ways to be at this point in my life, and to be able to share all of that beauty with everybody. That there is always ... Nocturnal Outpost is about how there is so many different dimensions that we, as humans can tap into, and within ourselves, and that we are every day experiencing even through the bad and through some painful things and through whatever darkness and that there's always, always if you have extreme willpower, and genuine discipline and great courage. And if you're able to see through all those bells, then you get to experience such unbelievable beauty too. And it's all worth it. Everything is worth it all because you don't grow and you don't shine and you don't sparkle if you've never been in that mud.   Tahnee: (01:09:45) Yeah, for sure. I think that's such an important thing to talk about because we live in Byron Bay in Australia, and that can be a bit of like love and light stuff.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:09:55) Yes, so I know you live in a very powerful land. Oh, my goodness.   Tahnee: (01:09:58) We do, yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:10:01) Wow!   Tahnee: (01:10:01) And I mean I'm so grateful for where we live. But sometimes I'm challenged by the [crosstalk 01:10:04].   Jessika Le Corre: (01:10:04) Yup, 100%. As a girl who's grown up in a lot of ceremony and an incredible amazing native friends, and I've seen and witnessed a lot so, so grateful for all the people who keep sharing all that love from their land and everything. And you guys are doing a phenomenal job with your products. I can't believe how many great products you have. I was digging and wow!   Tahnee: (01:10:33) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:10:34) I will be ordering from you too.   Tahnee: (01:10:35) Well, let me know. I can always-   Jessika Le Corre: (01:10:37) My husband loves Reishi by the way. He actually uses it for his breath-hold, he loves Reishi.   Tahnee: (01:10:42) Yeah, it's-   Jessika Le Corre: (01:10:44) It's the great oxygenator.   Tahnee: (01:10:49) I don't think I would be who I am if I hadn't found Reishi.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:10:53) Oh, no. Well, the mushrooms in general. I love medicinal. And the other medicinal mushroom.   Tahnee: (01:10:59) And magic.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:10:59) Mm-hmm (affirmative).   Tahnee: (01:11:01) Yeah, we have a lot of really beautiful, special mushrooms in this area, too. So it's an abundant place to live. We're very blessed.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:11:11) Yes, one of my favourite ceremonies of many of the different master plants that I've done in my many, many years of life. Mushrooms are one of my greatest.   Tahnee: (01:11:22) Up there, yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:11:23) Yeah, I just love mushrooms. [crosstalk 01:11:26]. Oh, well, thank you so much beautiful-   Tahnee: (01:11:28) Thank you Jessika.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:11:30) ... and your beautiful little baby probably is so excited to see her mom.   Tahnee: (01:11:33) Yes. We actually have this amazing little village situation going on where we have [crosstalk 01:11:38].   Jessika Le Corre: (01:11:38) Oh, that's the best.   Tahnee: (01:11:40) Yeah, so I don't see my daughter from 7:00 AM till dark, basically.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:11:44) Oh, I'm so happy for you. That's so great. That's what they need. You are a wise woman.   Tahnee: (01:11:49) Yeah, we're really-   Jessika Le Corre: (01:11:50) I can tell by your voice and stuff, you're a wise lady.   Tahnee: (01:11:55) Well, in becoming, but yeah. But thank you so much.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:11:59) Always aspiring.   Tahnee: (01:12:00) Yeah, totally. It's a never ending process. But thanks for sharing your wisdom. I really-   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:04) Oh, thank you. All my love.   Tahnee: (01:12:06) It's actually my birthday, so it's been nice to chat to you today.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:10) Oh, my goodness. Happy birthday on the full moon.   Tahnee: (01:12:14) I know.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:15) And so far bringing in all the blessings-   Tahnee: (01:12:17) I was born on a full moon.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:18) ... you gorgeous Libra.   Tahnee: (01:12:21) The last time it was a full moon on my birthday was ... I knew, I got this little download that I was going to be pregnant. And I was [crosstalk 01:12:28] four months later and so I'm interested to see what this one brings.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:33) Yes. My daughter, I was celebrating her today because she is an October girl.   Tahnee: (01:12:39) Oh, is she? Okay.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:40) Yes. She's so special and oh, so wise. And just the justice in her is always there.   Tahnee: (01:12:50) Yeah, I have that too. We're Libra and kind of-   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:51) Yeah. She's like [crosstalk 01:12:51].   Tahnee: (01:12:51) Underdog.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:12:56) Exactly. So I was like, "It's full moon tonight and it's October and you've got an October birthday coming up and we're bringing in October with a full moon." Oh, that is so beautiful.   Tahnee: (01:13:07) Yeah.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:13:07) Happiest birthday to you.   Tahnee: (01:13:09) Thank you so much.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:13:09) You angel.   Tahnee: (01:13:10) And to your beautiful daughter.   Jessika Le Corre: (01:13:11) Get off the phone with me and go do something.   Tahnee: (01:13:12) Well, I'm going to the Sunshine.
Enter the mindful world of Ayurvedic Medicine as Mason and practitioner/teacher Wayne Celeban go deep into the holistic layers of Ayurvedic cleansing; A revered ancient system with a unique and gentle approach. With a focus on the importance of springtime cleansing, the undeniable health benefits of being in flow with the seasons, and the sophisticated system of Ayurvedic cleansing, Wayne takes us on a complete journey into bringing the body back to a state of balance and optimal health. ''In Ayurveda, everything can be used as medicine. Everything is potential medicine, but everything is also a potential poison. It means the right application is key". - Wayne Celeban   Mason and Wayne discuss: The importance of adaptability in business, personal life, health, and how the season's interplay with these aspects. Getting into the flow of the intent and energy of different seasons. The value of gearing rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations to seasonal changes; How this aspect alone can bring us closer to nature, connect us with the foods that grow seasonally, and build our understanding of the kinds of foods to prepare. The importance of cleansing in spring as a necessary means of supporting that natural elimination process and bolstering our health. The concept of Panchakarma; the five actions of elimination used in Ayurvedic cleansing (Nasal administration, Vamana, Virechana, Basti, and Rakta Moksha). Addressing cellular health and cleansing tissues at a deeper level to ensure that channels of elimination are working optimally when cleansing. The importance of membrane health, gut biodiversity & microbiome health. Enema therapy within Ayurvedic medicine; looking at the large bowel as a route for administering medicine, the relationship it has with the nervous system, mind & endocrine system. The Ayurvedic diet, what it provides, and the role of specific food preparations for vitality and maximum nourishment. Medicated ghee and its vital role in Ayurvedic cleansing.  Herbal Steam Therapy to support cleansing; the positive effects it has on dopamine/serotonin levels and how it regulates the nervous system. The importance of cleansing to keep the sense organs healthy and functioning, as ultimately all the things that we love in this life, we experience and perceive through our sense organs.    Who is Wayne Celeban? Wayne Celeban is a Naturopath and Ayurvedic practitioner with over 18 years experience in clinical practice.  Wayne has studied in numerous Ayurvedic clinics and hospitals in India including JSS Ayurvedic University, Mysore. In 2012 Wayne was accepted into the SDM Ayurvedic Hospital and College post-graduate internship program in Hassan, India where he continues his clinical training. To achieve successful outcomes for his clients, Wayne combines the 5000-year-old traditions of Ayurveda and Yoga philosophy with western medical science and nutritional medicine. Wayne's experience and knowledge is evident in his professional practice and dedication in developing practical and effective health care programs to support his patients in becoming the best version of themselves emotionally​, mentally and physically.   Resources: Yukti Facebook Yukti Website Wayne's personal Instagram   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast? A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Mason: (00:04) Hey, Wayne. Thanks again for coming on, man.   Wayne: (00:06) You're very welcome. Nice to see you again.   Mason: (00:09) Yeah, nice to see you again as well. At least we get to have the... at least we've got the podcast there to keep us catching up and we've always got to...   Wayne: (00:17) Yes.   Mason: (00:17) ...leave a bit of space for us to catch up before we jump on the phone.   Wayne: (00:23) Yeah, definitely.   Mason: (00:25) And hearing about how you guys have made some beautiful adjustments to your business and life during the whole lockdown period. And sounds like you've really, just from everything you were saying, it's all about adaptability and seems like it's a real, you're seeing a lot of reward coming from the internal work that's been done for years and years. When something so huge happens to the world, to your business, you had a retail shop, you got... You guys are practitioners and yet you're able to adjust and come through in a place. You've seem way more expressed and at ease, probably compared to when I met you like two years ago, when we went and sat on the beach up the South of Noosa and that's after a huge pandemic, I always just find that it's always proof's in the pudding there, so good on you and your fam man...   Wayne: (01:21) Yeah, thank you.   Mason: (01:22) ... for knocking that out of the park.   Wayne: (01:22) Yeah. Well, it's largely about adaptability, isn't it, it's adjusting to situations and trying to find the best out of whatever presents, I guess.   Mason: (01:32) Well, and I guess a lot of the practise comes to the slight adjustments and being adaptable in the seasonality. Quite often in the West, we let seasons happen to us, but can we get into the flow of the intent and energy of a different season. I find that is a micro exercise that when the huge changes happen, you've got, you've been strengthening yourself so much because you've been constantly lifting weights of adaptation through the season. But I'm really interested to hear about how your unique perspective through the lens of all your years as an Ayurvedic practitioner and student and teacher, how, what it is we do in spring. I like that Ayurveda has a big focus on cleansing. I came from the raw food world. We were all cleansing. I was all big salt water flushes back in the day. So yeah, I'd love to hear your... What does spring represent for you? What is it that you start getting up to around this time?   Wayne: (02:42) Yeah. In Ayurveda spring is considered as the King of seasons especially for cleansing. So we've just come through winter. So during early and late winter, our digestive systems become stronger, our metabolic activity becomes heightened. So we're needing to increase our energy to regulate our temperature. So as it gets colder, we need to generate more energy to stay warm and maintain that homeostatic balance. And what that reflects is that our digestive system becomes stronger because we need to be consuming more energy in order to maintain those extra layers of fat that create that nice insulation for our bodies.   Wayne: (03:35) Early and late winter are my favourite seasons, because basically this is when we get to eat more food and we can get away with eating more food as well. So if you have a look at your shopping bill, you usually spend more money during winter and you're having more heartier foods and more bulky foods and tastier foods and your appetite's just good. So you just naturally enjoying eating food. It's a wonderful, wonderful time of the year. I think we should have Christmas in the middle of winter because it's a good time to just sit around and eat-   Mason: (04:09) That's my theory as well, 100%.   Wayne: (04:12) ...yeah, it's conducive to good health.   Mason: (04:15) Well, it was in the middle of winter [crosstalk 00:04:17]. Wasn't it in the North ?   Wayne: (04:19) Yes, exactly. I think we should change it. I think it needs... I think if we started to gear our rituals and ceremonies and celebrations to seasonal changes, I think it would just work better. And I think it would bring more attention to what's actually happening outside. We'd be getting in touch with when food's growing, what food's growing, what sort of foods to prepare. We go for those traditional foods that we have during Christmas, the baked potatoes and the roasts and all of that, the fermented foods, but they're actually more suited for the middle of winter. They're the things that we should be eating at that time. So the winter seasons in Ayurveda are considered as strengthening times of the year. So if we look at the whole four or six seasons, however you look at it, we've got more of a six seasonal thing up on the sunshine coast. We have that kind of rain season that comes in as well. So yeah-   Mason: (05:25) That's the same thing we are as well, Mob had six seasons.   Wayne: (05:28) Yeah.   Mason: (05:28) Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative)   Wayne: (05:29) Yeah. So that's... And that's real, we might cover that a little bit later in the talk, the importance of managing the detrimental effects of rain season and high humidity periods, because this is generally when our immune systems and our bodies are at their weakest. So what we're doing during winter is we're getting the body as robust and as strong as possible. So when the sun starts to make its way back to the Southern hemisphere, we start basically going into stages of depletion. So during the summer, this is where the body's at the weakest. So generally you are more inclined to eating salads, light foods, fruits, you don't really feel like eating too much and you generally don't need to eat that much, but just in that transitional phase, you've got the spring season where all of that accumulation.   Wayne: (06:21) So when you're eating more food, you producing more metabolic byproducts. So basically your output increases, your waste load increases because you are just churning up more energy. And so in the spring season, all of that, as the body starts to dilate, as the temperature starts to warm, you get a lot of accumulation moving from the deeper tissues of the body back to the superficial tissues. So we're accumulating muscle fat, bone, marrow. All of these tissues are getting really well-nourished and then, and also a little bit more contracted. So as, when the body's cold, it'll actually constrict. So the circulation's probably not as efficient during the winter, as it is coming into the hotter months where your body's trying to move, push more heat towards the peripheries. So it's kind of like the river Ganges when the ice starts to melt and you get these larger river systems that start increasing the amount of water that's moving downstream.   Wayne: (07:34) But as that ice starts to melt, you get all the debris that's been building up on the banks of the river. So what we're doing during the spring is, we want to collect as much of that debris as possible and bring it out to the areas where we can expel it from the system. So this is where a lot of people notice that they're more susceptible to seasonal rhinitis and hay fever and sinusitis and chest infections, because we're getting a lot of that excess gunk moving back to these channels of elimination. So the upper respiratory tract, also the digestive system and the large bowel.   Wayne: (08:17) So if we're cleansing that we're supporting that natural elimination process, we actually bolster our health. So this is why spring is such an important, spring and autumn are the transitional pivotal times of the year where we're either prepping for the time where we're most depleted or we're prepping for the time where we really have to nourish our systems. So when I'm seeing patients during winter, unless it's absolutely necessary, unless there's a disease condition that needs to be treated and can't wait until spring. I want to get those patients as strong and robust as possible because whatever they develop and whatever they accumulate in terms of their body strength, that's what's going to tie them through during summer and then into that rainy season. So if you're cleansing during winter, chances are, come January, February, you're going to experience greater states of depletion and compromised immunity   Mason: (09:21) So straight up when you get into that spring system, where are you at with your patients and for yourself, I'm sure it's varied. But in terms of, are you at a point where you are still liking, have you got a thorough cleansing routine, intense cleanses every now and then, or you were saying before we jumped on, you were saying how you've been getting up and gone bush for the night and doing lots of meditation and breath practise. Is it just for you at this point, you know sticking to your bread and butter practises as the weather warms up and allowing that to naturally open up your detox channels, or are you then enjoying going deeper and doing some nice deep removal of debris?   Wayne: (10:06) Yeah. Look, I think for Ayurvedic practitioners that practised traditional cleansing methods, this is the season where our clinical practise comes alive because Ayurveda has this beautiful system of cleansing. It's very sophisticated, very well established. It's been practised, these traditions go back 3000 years, at least the classical texts that I use as references they're, they describe in these texts, ancient systems of Ayurvedic medicine. But these books were written two and a half thousand years ago. So the system goes way back, maybe 5,000 years, who knows, but there's a concept in Ayurveda known as Panchakarma. So "Pancha", means five and "Karma", means to action. So there's five actions of eliminations. So when we've got all of this gunk that's starting to move out of the system.   Wayne: (11:13) We want to expel it from the body as efficiently as possible. So there's five main methods that we actually move what's called excess doshas or excess dry, cold, light, rough qualities, or excess acidity or sharp qualities that might lead to inflammation, burning and overproduction, like overstimulated metabolic systems, or just sluggish, dull, sticky, slothy stuff that is just building up that can't build the tissue or can't build waste product. So the way that we expel that from the body is we use the nasal cavity. So this is a really efficient way to move those excess Doshas from areas that are above the clavicle. And we use what's called Vamana, which is Emesis. So we... If there's, the patient's got more Dosha or gunk accumulation in the upper regions of the body, we want to expel it through the mouth because it's just the most efficient way to get rid of that excess.   Wayne: (12:22) And there is Virechana, which is a purgative treatment. So basically we're flushing out the lower portions of the stomach all the way through the small intestines, that whole abdominal cavity and we're moving it down and outwards. So that's just really strong bowel motions for a period. And then when we have what's called Basti, so this is the area where we use Enema therapies. So I might go into that a little bit later too, because there's a strong trend with using coffee enemas, water enemas. Whereas with Ayurvedic Enema therapy, we use a combination of medicated oils to prep, lubricate, support, protect the bowel. And then we will then follow that up with decoction enemas, which are specifically developed for the patient, their body type, time of year, age, season, all that kind of stuff.   Wayne: (13:23) We use salt. We use honey. We use other medicated oil that is emulsified into that. So what we're doing is there's a really strong emphasis with over cleansing that we don't stress the tissues. We don't put the tissues in a state of discomfort or discord or aggravation. So every time, every cleansing method is propping, supporting and lubricating the tissues. So we get this really nice process of eliminating gunk, but we don't cause stress. So it's possible that when we are just using water for Enema therapies, that we're not taking into consideration of microbiome, we're not looking at electrolyte balancing in the large bowel. We're not looking at specifically what qualities need to be rebalanced and supported. And we're not looking at the actual organ itself and making sure that it's actually, it's well-supported so we can start doing these cleansing eliminations.   Wayne: (14:26) So generally what you do is you do an oil enema and then you'll do the decoction the following day and oil decoction. So we always start with oil. We always end with oil. So that's the fourth one. And the fifth one is known as Rakta Moksha. So Rakta Moksha translates as bloodletting. So traditionally in Ayurveda we were using leeches and incisions to remove excess gunk and morbid qualities that impair the proper functioning of the tissues through just allowing the blood to move and those toxins to move straight out. So leeches are commonly used in Ayurvedic hospitals in India. So the last time I was there, I got to learn how to apply leeches and to treat during that way using those methods, I don't use them in the clinic here. I'm not even sure whether it's legal to use leeches.   Mason: (15:23) I think it is. I've got a friend who gets calls every now and then from the emergency room asking for him to bring in leeches. He said into mainstream hospitals, but they just don't advertise it obviously.   Wayne: (15:37) Yeah, they're fantastic cleansers. Just spending time in the hospital where I do my internship training, the results, even just with pain relief, like osteoarthritis and really severe sort of inflammatory conditions in the joints. And these, if we were, we'd be using really strong anti-inflammatories that are having severe, well not severe, but they're having some sort of detrimental effects on liver function and other organ systems. Whereas using these leeches locally, they're reducing all the inflammation. Some patients I was watching, coming in wheelchairs and heading out just walking, complete pain relief. It's fantastic.   Wayne: (16:28) So yeah, that's the fifth one, the ones that I use mainly in this clinic here are the Enema therapies, the nasal administration and the Virechana. I will use the vomiting mode of elimination, but I'm very careful with the patients that I select for that. So I want to make sure that they're quite strong, robust, so yeah. Augation is probably the safest and most effective because we can move excess doshas and excess gunk from the upper regions of the body and the lower regions through that purging process.   Mason: (17:08) And everyone's a bit used to it.   Wayne: (17:12) Yeah. And it's just easier, having somebody killed over a bucket, vomiting milk and salt, licorice decoction is, can be pretty intense, but having somebody sitting on the toilet for four to six-seven hours on a Saturday morning is much more palatable.   Mason: (17:31) But he kind of gets it over and done with it. Doesn't it, if you're drinking the milk, the licorice. I mean that's what I-   Wayne: (17:42) Yeah.   Mason: (17:43) Yeah, I do appreciate just the gentle approach that Ayurveda always has. In the scenes that I was running in when we were so hardcore into our catabolic lifestyle, you know always itching about a feeling of another parasite in us and needing to get of this impurity and this impurity... It was very healthy, very healthy psychologically, always.   Wayne: (18:09) It's that Northern Rivers environment. It's that subtropical environment, you know there's some nasty bugs and up here and down where you are, [inaudible 00:18:18] but these are things that they get in it, and they're nasty. They're very stubborn things to get rid of.   Mason: (18:27) Yeah but as you said, though, when that, there's a season for it, and when that cleansing mentality kind of takes over your mindset and gets a little far in the Ayurvedic approach was, always a... It always started to buffer everyone in that, like I could see people getting attracted into that system and all of a sudden gaining some kind of responsibility and even using oils rather than friends that did like a 100 days straight of doing coffee enemas. Well, that was a 100 days straight of mushrooms and coffee. So it was a different journey that they were on...   Wayne: (19:02) Interesting journey.   Mason: (19:04) ...yeah that's an interesting journey but nonetheless, it's, I just think about coffee. I just think about what happens when I just pour coffee onto my skin, I don't particularly enjoy it. And we're just, the constant pouring of coffee onto the membrane within the colon. Ayurveda coming through with this medicinal oil intent and the decoction intent always took it to, it always took it to another level. I kind of lost my trust a little bit in Enema therapy and even colonics to an extent.   Wayne: (19:37) Yeah. So just using coffee for an example, in Ayurveda everything can be used as medicine. Everything is potential medicine, but everything is also potential poison. It means the right application is key. So if we were looking, if I was to consider using coffee in enema therapy, I'd be looking at the qualities that are presenting in the patient that need to be rebalanced and I'd be looking at, or what qualities are inherent within that coffee bean that I can actually use effectively. So if I look at qualitative effects of coffee, it is sharp. It is penetrating, it is also having stringent and bitter qualities. So I know that it's going to have a drying effect, and I know that it's going to have a stimulating effect. So if I was looking at a patient that would fit that, that would do well on a medicine like that, I would probably be looking at a bowel that is quite congested, quite sluggish.   Wayne: (20:42) I know that there's anti-microbial, anti-bacterial activities in there as well. So you know if there was some sort of dysbiosis playing out and there was congestion, if their stool was sluggish slimy, and they weren't having sort of good timely bowel eliminations or their transit time was a little bit slow, then I would implement that substance. But I would use it in conjunction with other medicines and substances that are also going to support the inherent qualities of the large bowel. So I could get a good cleansing effect from that. And that would be really effective. And then I could sort of back it up with supporting and nourishing and then introducing different medicines that are actually going to start fixing that transit time, working on the nervous system, introducing the right nutritional practises, the right lifestyle practises and things like that.   Wayne: (21:39) It's looking at what's presenting what needs to be done. Whereas what I do notice these days is you've got some people that are doing coffee enemas and their system is already dry, they're already in flames, they're already you know sort of prone to losing weight or being in a state of deficiency. And then they're introducing a substance that is actually going to compound on that deficiency and then further dry the bowel out. And then you've got more complications of constipation that might follow that up. And then if you get banked up and then you think maybe I need to go and have some more enema treatments and you further compound. You're actually moving in the other direction. You need to apply the opposite qualities to bring them about that harmony within the organ, and then introduce the substances that are actually going to start building and strengthening.   Mason: (22:30) Do you just offer your enemas specific to a patient in clinic, or do you have places where you educate, for people who are maybe not in New South Wales, and are looking to learn how to get a little bit more intention, the way that they're providing their own home enemas?   Wayne: (22:47) Yeah. We can offer that through ZOOM consultations. So what I would do if somebody was interested in doing an enema treatment, we would go through, we'd do a full case study. So we'd be looking at their body type, looking at their age, looking at their presenting symptoms, all of these sorts of things are going to play into providing information of the nature of that digestive system. So in Ayurveda we're looking at the mind, we're looking at the central nervous system, we're looking at that whole vagus nerve access and the qualities of the digestive system. So understanding somebody's mental tendencies is going to tell me a lot about what their digestive tendencies are. So if it's irregular, if it's prone to, you know if the endocrine system, the homeostatic balances is out there and there's sleep issues, or there's hormonal imbalances or reproductive menstrual issues, that's still going to give me a lot of information as to what the large intestines and the qualities of the large intestine are presenting.   Wayne: (24:03) So I will incorporate those... that information into establishing or what's the best means to bring this body back into balance. So in [crosstalk 00:24:16] one of the classical Ayurvedic texts, he says that the majority of diseases can be treated through enema therapy. The large bowel is a fantastic route for administering medicine, just with the absorption, with the relationship that the large bowel has with the nervous system, the mind, the endocrine system.   Mason: (24:35) Well I think what you're...Sorry.   Wayne: (24:37) It's just that the ... You need to implement the right qualities to bring about that balance.   Mason: (24:41) Yeah. Well, I mean just the awareness around the membrane health. I see that this style of cleansing, so much cleansing, if you'll see say if we're talking to someone who's in, whether they're in Western medicine or more likely in a naturopathic field, and they're getting into a place where they say doing a test, a microbiome tests or they're testing the biodiversity that's within the large intestine, they're the ones that are going to start sounding the alarm for people just constantly going in and doing enemas and doing coffee enemas. So then we have a dichotomy there. And so quite often that's going to create this inner conflict in people that they want to cleanse. But oh hang on, the data is actually showing that I'm lowering the diversity of my bacteria by doing this.   Mason: (25:35) So this conversations I was so keen to keep on going down this is because that butting of heads between those two kinds of principles like testing, and Microbiome health, and Biodiversity, and not doing anything to jeopardise that colony, yet the desire to get in there and support the systems in our body in a way that's integrated. And then this Ayurvedic and this enema model, it creates such a beautiful bridging I think in an appeasing of... People are wanting to take something which can be seemingly conflicting inside of themselves yet come to a place where you can have your cake and eat it too.   Mason: (26:18) Awareness of the membrane, awareness of protecting the home, the tissue walls and what you said there, which I think is something that a lot of people... I could have probably used hearing eight years ago when I was into this, Is that the impact of the tissue, I can't remember the words, but you were saying, you can sit up the impact or, how much you're going to, like how much you're going to hit or stress. The tissue of the body   Wayne: (26:46) Health is a fine line between keeping the channels clear, and maximising communication pathways. So, the body is made up of channels. It's how the body communicates with itself. So we want to make sure that we're using these cleansing procedures to support maximum communication and clear pathways of moving things from one place to another. And then we need to back it up with nourishment and stability, stabilising tissues. So cleansing without strengthening is never going to give you maximum results. You know you have to... the objective is to have a strong body, it is to have good mental stability and sturdiness, and these strong tissues are going to reflect a good immune system. And if the Immune system is strong well, then it's going to support a good quality Microbiome, because the bugs are essentially only going to inhabit an environment that is healthy.   Wayne: (27:59) It's like, less people are going to go live in a desert then, on a coastline because the environment's just, more appealing, you've got good weather, you've got good rainfall, you've got, good quality air. Whereas if those bugs aren't living in an environment that is conducive of what their needs are, they're gonna leave. So we can keep continuing to look at what the diversity is, or we can start looking at well, what is going to encourage a good, healthy, diverse range of good quality bugs that are going to have this beautiful symbiotic relationship with supporting our tissues, supporting our cognitive function. So, they're going to be more inclined to living in a strong environment. So, I think that's like the emphasis that we need to bring into cleansing is the importance of the off season.   Wayne: (28:56) The off season is key and you need to have good regular off season. Winter gets strong, clean out the excess, and then your tissues are just robust. Whereas if we're kind of like every time we feel imbalanced, we just consider, or we just have to go towards cleansing. If that's the key word that keeps coming up, because that's pretty much what happens if you Google search something that you're suffering from, you're going to find "I gotta do a cleanse". You do a cleanse once, and then three weeks later, you do another cleanse, and then two weeks later you do another cleanse, and then six weeks later, you do another cleanse. You're actually creating destabilising environments. And I just don't think that it works that well.   Wayne: (29:42) I think if you've got a regular routine... Like Everything in Ayurveda comes back to regular routine, everything that is... everything that reflects balance and harmony in nature is governed by a regular team. If the rout... If natural routines go out of balance, this is when we get floods, we get intense bushfires, we get some tsunamis. It's all about that balance, strong, seasons where everything grows and is nourished, and then you have a dry season, which is a good time to clear stuff out.   Mason: (30:15) Yeah. What are you doing dietarily at the moment?   Wayne: (30:21) At the moment, This is a good time to be staying off heavier foods because just coming back to that, talking about the rivers starting to swell, and the ice starting to melt, we wanted to clear those pathways as much as possible. At the moment, like I've got a bunch of people that are going through panchakarma at the moment, and their diets primarily, strong liquid diet, lots of vegetables, lots of steamed vegetables. So even when we're looking at food, it's not enough just to consider that a broccoli is going to be sufficient based on its nutrient content. We need to actually prepare and manipulate the quality of that broccoli, so it's easily digestible, so it still maintains like maximum nourishment, nutrient composition, but it is supporting the vitality itself.   Wayne: (31:19) The way that we were doing that in the cleansers that you just lightly steam the broccoli, so it just starts to perspire and it kind of becomes a little less brittle. So you're still getting that rich chlorophyll kind of colour that comes out. So when the broccoli's steamed correctly, it actually becomes brighter. And actually it's almost like it's starting to come alive. So, you would take that, you'd have it with a little bit of olive oil, a little salt, a little bit of pepper just to stimulate digestive function. So you get better absorption of that food. So we kind of... we have different broths. We use Kicherie in Ayurveda traditionally for cleansing which is a Mung Dahl and it's combined with Basmati rice. So when you combine those two food groups, you'd get the complete amino acid profile.   Wayne: (32:14) So you're still getting everything that your body needs. You know If we look at an Ayurveic diet during these cleanses, we're getting carbohydrates, we're getting a really good range of fats, we're getting proteins, we're getting a lot of... Plenty of fibre through the vegetables and, we're getting a lot of minerals as well. So, everything's there, it's just presented in a way where the body can still let go and it's not having to... we're just creating, especially these days, A lot of my patients will probably, I'd say 95% of them, they're still working, they still have children. We've got to sort of manage that practicality where we just don't have a setting where they can just be in a retreat type environment and just relax and have everything done for them. So I need to make sure that my patients are still strong and they're still able to go about their responsibilities. So it's finding that kind of sweet spot where we're getting the job done, but we're not putting the body into a state of depletion.   Mason: (33:19) Do you keep them vegetarian during that time as well? [crosstalk 00:33:23]   Wayne: (33:22) Yeah generally. Some patients, I might consider say chicken broth because it's still very easily digestible. Especially if there's a bit more depletion, if the patient is prone to weakness or what we would call a Vata dominance, or if there's a Vata aggravation, we might, you use that as a... Just to, prop up and to provide extra nourishment, but it still enables the body to let go and cleanse all the excess gunk. There's actually... Well, are you happy for me to talk about how just the whole procedure of Panchakarma, because what we've discussed is, the five...   Mason: (34:04) Absolutely, and we've got 11:11 right now, down here in New South Wales. So we're numerological giving you the thumbs up.   Wayne: (34:11) Well, I've got 10:11. And what does that mean?   Mason: (34:15) Well, that's why I added in the New South Wales. So maybe the Queenslander don't wanna Want to hear about it, but the New South Walsh men and women do.   Wayne: (34:21) All right, well, I'm happy to share.   Mason: (34:24) Yeah, super happy to hear about that process.   Wayne: (34:28) Right? Because this is a really unique... these concepts are really unique to Ayurveda and it's... I think it's really important for people just to at least entertain what's potentially involved in proper cleansing and the extent of cleansing because we do a lot of juice fasts. We do a lot of enema things in the West and I see from my Ayurvedic background, I see gaps, I see areas where we could actually be making much... Providing much more effective cleansing programmes. So we only have to do it once or twice a year. So the way that....   Mason: (35:07) Do you want to throw in the other ones? I'm going to throw in liver cleansing is another one, the incredible liver gallbladder cleanse that's another one that happens big time. The... what I used to do the yogic, well, I can't remember the name, but that saltwater cleanse and get up at five in the morning.   Wayne: (35:34) Yeah. What was that called? Shankha prakshalana   Mason: (35:35) Yeah something like that, I've got it there from when I did my teacher training. Five litres of basically brine warm salty water. So I'm throwing that down, I'm throwing that up, I'm doing my five movements. I'm doing my Crow, my cobra, I'm doing my spins, doing that. Then it's all coming out of my bum and then doing the Neti pot, that's another kind of like hardcore approach I think.   Wayne: (35:58) These are the Yogic Kriyas, the Yogic cleansing procedures. But what we have to consider also is if we're looking at the context in which those procedures were used. Generally these yogis, they had very simplified living situations. There's a lot of Asana practise, a lot of meditation, karma yoga, a little bit of karma yoga in there. Probably not a great deal, but you know, a lot of inward introspective activity. And the Kriya's aren't... From an Ayurvedic perspective, I would say that the Kriya's are more geared around cleansing the elementary tract. So these types of cleanses are going to like remove a lot of debris and gunk that has accumulated in the digestive system, but it's not going to be efficient enough to get into the actual tissue systems. And these are the areas that we're not so much getting into.   Wayne: (37:06) If you're doing liver cleansing and bile flushes, I think these are fantastic things to adopt, Because what we do in Ayurveda is we'll divide the body into two different parts. SO we've got, what's called Koshta and what's called Shaka. So Koshta is the abdominal cavity and all the organs that inhabit that space, and also the pleural cavity and the pelvic cavity. So when we're doing liver cleansing, we're kind of cleansing those regions more. So, that we'll get into the blood, we'll probably get a good sort of effective plasma and blood cleansing activity, but really, I think you'd have to do those liver cleansing herbs for at least four to six weeks. You want to be exposing the liver and the blood to those substances for long enough for the liver to completely renew and reproduce itself. So if you've got that, four to six weeks exposure, you're probably going to have a really healthy liver after that period of time.   Mason: (38:18) Normally just looking at like these, what we do in the West, we're looking for a wham, bam, thank you. Ma'am, we're doing something potentially beneficial in excess, maybe not, but what we are talking or going into now is that balancing out when we are actually going deeper into the tissue.   Wayne: (38:34) We've got to have an effective cleansing. We need to get into the cells, we need to get into the muscle, the fat, the marrow, the bile. These cleansing... I'm not putting these cleansing techniques down. There's definitely an important space for them. And I think everything needs to become... Needs to be practical. Taking a liver cleanse for six weeks and then maybe doing Bile flush with magnesium salts, and citric acid, grapefruit juice. That's going to be really effective, but if we're looking at maintaining and supporting the communication of deeper tissue systems, we need to start looking at kind of more sophisticated processes that really get into those areas. So what we do with the Ayurvedic cleansing is, there's preliminary treatment. And then there is the main treatment, which is the expulsion of the gunk either through the bottom end, top end through the nasal cavity or through the bloodstream.   Wayne: (39:40) Then there's the post-treatment. So we want to carefully prep the body for that kind of intense elimination process. And then we want to follow that up with supporting and re-establishing good digestive function afterwards. So the way that that looks is that initially for say three to five days, depending on the patient, and their present health, and what they're presenting with is we will introduce specific medicines, and diet, and lifestyle activities that are going to start eliminating the... I guess you could say the superficial Gunk that is accumulated in the pipes. So every time you digest food, you're potentially going to... you break down substances into absorbable nutrients and you separate the waste product that then gets moved down into the large bowel. But sometimes if you're eatings a little bit of irregular, or if your digestion is weak or you're a little bit stressed when you're eating, you might produce a by-product, which is not suitable for building tissue, but it's not suitable for creating a good quality bowel motion or good quality stool.   Wayne: (40:53) So we call this Ama in Ayurveda and it's largely interpreted as toxin, but it's not really a toxin, it's just gunk. That's just like a by-product of separating through chemical activity. So this gunk will accumulate and it's going to start lining the digestive wall. And this is where we start getting probably potentially dysbiotic sort of environments, where we get more aerobic bacteria starting to generate the digestive system. So these are the kind of like early signs of a digestive system starting to kind of turn sour and away. You'll notice that if you have a look at your tongue first thing in the morning, so you might notice that it can be like a white coating, a yellowish coating, excess saliva. Basically what you're looking at is kind of gunk under or Ama that's accumulated, but we can't build tissue with that substance and it's not making a good quality waste product and it's breeding bacteria essentially.   Wayne: (42:03) So we wanna... The word is Ama Pachana which means to digest and cook or ripen this gunk. So we want to loosen that from the, you know, the whole, whole intestinal wall from the, from the mouth all the way down to the anus and get that digestive system functioning really well. So we want to stimulate that digestive fire and all those enzymes and acids so they're really strong and working efficiently. So we, we introduce a lot of the time I'll use, what's called a [inaudible 00:42:36] which is a herbal paste. It's a... it's herbs that have been cooked for long periods of time, decocted mixed with jaggery and honey, and a little bit of ghee. And then we'll take that, and I'll administer that three times a day before food and just start getting that digestive system really strong, because if we need to get herb's in to start really addressing cellular health and cleansing tissues at a deeper level, we need to sure that the channel of elimination is working very efficient, but we also want to maximise the absorption of these drugs.   Wayne: (43:16) So they're getting to where they need to act. So, if you've got a gunky digestive system and you want to do a tissue cleanse, or you're potentially limiting to like the amount of the potential for that substance to get to where it needs to go. So we want to clear that area out to begin with.   Wayne: (43:36) So once we get that done, the second part of the preliminary treatment is called [inaudible 00:19:44], which is the internal oleation. So this is where we start introducing a medicated ghee. So there's loads of different formulations where drugs are infused into a clarified butter, and you know Ayurveda is very big on the clarified butter. Nutritionally, It's very good for you, but one of the key reasons why we're so big on ghee is because it has this really amazing capacity to imbibe the constituents of whatever substance it's mixed with.   Wayne: (44:24) So if, if I combine a group of herbs that I want to use to address the nervous system, or address the skin, or address the fat tissue, I can insert those drugs through these preparations, infuse them into that fat and a likelihood of those Herb's getting to where I want them to act is going to be much more efficient. So what I do is with the cleansing is we introduce about 30 mls of this medicated fat on the first day, and we have a very light diet. So your body is almost going into a ketogenic state. Where you start increasing the fatty acid load over a period of time. So we introduced 30 mls on the first day, and we just observe to see how well that digests and if all goes well, it's not sort of sitting there, there aren't ghee burps three or four hours later, and this will be determined by the previous treatment.   Wayne: (45:24) If I get the digestive system functioning really well, the gee's going to digest very well. So the next day I'll introduce 60 ml the next day, 90 ml, possibly up to one 120 ml. Basically we keep going until the body becomes completely saturated in this medicated fat.   Mason: (45:42) Just straight down the gob.   Wayne: (45:44) Yeah, it's the hardest part of the cleanse, especially when you're getting into the higher, you know the one 120 ml but you have it as hot as you can take it and then you can just follow it with a little bit of ginger tea and that sort of clears the palate and helps it digest.   Mason: (46:02) Yeah that's okay. I'll have to chat to you later. I've got two things, smells that nearly make me vomit on, cue. Canned tuna from a kid, and ghee and I've just recently been able to say to myself now I'm going to overcome that one because ghee is not something I wish to have that aversion to. Maybe I can chat to you about it later because I'd like to partake and I think that maybe that would be my initiation back into being able to palette ghee, especially having it warm with a bit of ginger tea afterwards that might be it but I just thought, I'd throw that out there. It's amazing how much that makes me gag when I smell it.   Wayne: (46:48) Well the medicated ghee's can taste very different to just plain Ghee. So, there's one medicine that I use a lot called [inaudible 00:46:58] , which has made with a [inaudible 00:47:01] which is a resin that's found in the Mocho tree, which is very good as an anti-inflammatory. I use it a lot in rheumatoid arthritis cases, very good for regulating cholesterol levels, but the ticktum is bitter.   Wayne: (47:17) So there's a whole range of different bitter herbs that are infused, and it changes the whole composition of the fat. So, say it's August, it's still pretty cold and I've got 10 different medicated fats in jars sitting on my shelf. One fat will be completely solid. Whereas I might have another fat that's going to be almost liquid or semi-liquid. And the reason is because the ghee has imbibed the qualities of those herbs.   Wayne: (47:48) So those herbs are influencing the actual texture and the composition of the fats. So if I look at how those fats are going to interact, like if I've got a really bitter fat, I know that it's going to be predominantly cooling, and I know that it's going to be, it's going to have.   Wayne: (48:03) sort of those qualities that are going to be soothing. So it's more compacted. Whereas, if I have a Ghee that is very sharp in its attributes, because of the way that it's been infused with these herbs, it's going to have more of a liquid composition by nature.   Wayne: (48:22) So if I was wanting to get those drugs into the deeper parts, like if there were say, growths you know lymphatic congestion. I would be looking at these types of vehicles for drugs to get that drug in to start breaking down. And those deposits, those fatty or congested deposits that might be accumulating the body.   Wayne: (48:47) So every step of the way of Ayurvedic cleansing, everything is carefully considered. Because what we're essentially doing, is we're looking at what the presenting qualities are of the tissues in the body and what needs to be done and we're looking at which drugs matched and support bringing that body back to balance most efficiently.   Mason: (49:09) Mm-hmm.   Wayne: (49:09) So when we start getting into those higher doses of Ghee, I'll notice that the skin will become oily. The lacrimal secretions of the eyes can become sticky and eventually the Ghee will be passed as stool. So what that tells me is that the body is saturated and can't take any more fat.   Wayne: (49:35) That means we've reached [inaudible 00:01:37]. According to classical texts, that means that the fat has penetrated the deepest tissue level. It supposedly goes into the marrow and it takes those constituents into the cells. And then the cells are forced to excrete excess metabolites, because the cells are saturated. So it pushes the gunk out of the membrane of the cell back into those channels of circulation, the extracellular compartments, and it starts making its way back to the digestive system or the cavity.   Wayne: (50:18) So what we're doing is we're taking drugs in, and we're actually using them as a vehicle to bring the gunk back out into the areas where we can expel them from the body. Excuse me.   Wayne: (50:32) One of the beautiful things about using these fats is, it's going to support the elimination of fat soluble toxins as well. When we're looking at lead, mercury and cadmium, we're looking at potential binding agents for these toxic elements that are not able to be excreted from the body naturally. We have a very efficient detoxifying system, but water-soluble substances are more efficiently excreted through those pathways. If we're using the fat soluble constituents, then we're able to be more effective with what we're actually bringing out of the body. Excuse me.   Mason: (51:22) That's what's really striking me as the most significant thing here. Having the wham-bam cleansers in the repertoire, if you do have a strong body and maybe not, as you were saying, like a Vata dominance at the time when you're doing a cleanse. Beautiful, it's like me going and having a sauna or doing my thing here and there. I'm probably after so many years of deep cleansing, I'm happy having my little break, but then when you... I was just dropping into the significance, especially getting deep enough into the tissue and the marrow into those cells where they can offload those fat-soluble toxins or gunk for that better way to look at it. Just if you can drop in and feel the amount of degeneration that could potentially be avoided and the amount of vibrant health that would be procured and grown in the population.   Mason: (52:23) That's why I do like Ayurveda. After really having that time in Taoism and I've had my little obsessive time and now I'm out. I'm just looking everywhere. I'm looking at that strength of Ayurveda and what it's like. It's nice to see... In some places it's always been strong, like in places in India and in the community.   Mason: (52:46) I'm seeing in my world, this resurgence. Especially in this sensible cleansing scape, it's the contribution that it's going to be able to potentially offer into the, hopefully integrated medical system in the future, but people can just start taking it on now and saving themselves a lot of hassle in the future when they have all this gunk stuck in their body.   Wayne: (53:10) Yeah. Well as you say it's preventing that degeneration. Fat's considered as the preserving agent of life in Ayurveda. So when we're cleansing, we're also introducing a preserving action. So we're actually supporting that cellular activity at the same time with the use of fatty substances. You can use them for nourishment. You can use them for palliative care and you can use them for cleansing. It's such a versatile medium that supports human health. It's fantastic. We need fats. They support nourish... And especially with cleansing, because what we're doing is, we're actually... It's quite an aggressive kind of impact on the body. And we need to make sure that we're kind of like buffering those harmful impacts. So once we actually get the body to that level of saturation, that's when all of the hard work finishes.   Wayne: (54:24) After that, usually I'll book my patients in for three to five day therapies. So this is where Ayurveda just has this beautiful neurological calming, mental calming, cleansing procedure, where you come in and you have medicated oil massage.   Wayne: (54:44) What we're doing is, we want to manipulate all of the Ghee and the herbs that we've introduced into the body. So we're going to start actually physically squeezing, pushing and supporting the lymphatic system and basically encouraging physically the gunk or the armour to come back to the abdominal cavity. So we do that through hour to hour and a half massages. Then you go into a herbalist steam bath. So you can probably see that steam bath behind me. It looks kind of like a coffin. What we do is we use a combination-   Mason: (55:20) It's a nice coffin.   Wayne: (55:20) Yeah it's pleasurable coffin.   Mason: (55:27) For those of you on audio, there isn't just some generic, modern...   Wayne: (55:33) It's a nice handcrafted, hand-carved coffin.   Wayne: (55:37) Yeah so we put the 10 root herbs generally in the decoction and you have this herbalised steam pumped into the steam chamber. This is another little thing that Ayurveda takes into consideration too. You're lying in the steam chamber and you're having your body pumped with herbalised steam. It usually sits at about 42 degrees, or around there. But your head sits out the end. So we're not exposing the eyes to excess heat, and we're still allowing the body to have that nice fresh air coming in. What I do is I get organic Rose water and douse it in tissue and you just sit it over the eyes so it keeps the eyes really cool. Your body's cooking, but your head stays cool. What we're looking for is signs that heat is starting to move above the clavicle.   Wayne: (56:25) You'll see that where the ears start to get red, you'll start to get droplets of sweat. So I leave the patient in there until they start breaking a sweat, but there's a point where they do feel hot and they're ready to get out.   Wayne: (56:44) From the studies that I've looked at, there's these heat shock proteins that are released and you get all of these really nice anti-inflammatory actions that come with that herbal steam therapy that is supporting cleansing as well. It affects the dopamine levels and serotonin levels, so it's very good for regulating the nervous system as well, really calms the mind.   Wayne: (57:06) So what we do is, we manipulate the body and then when we cook the body, so it dilates. It expands. So you get these channels where you've got these extracellular spaces that are starting to move gunk back to the channels of elimination. Through the heat, you're actually supporting a wider berth to allow these substances to move. Because you've got that saturation of the Ghee, you've got this nice lubrication within those channels of circulation, so it prevents anything from getting stuck or just ending up lodged somewhere down the pathway. So It really encourages everything to come back to the gastrointestinal tract as well.   Wayne: (57:49) So you're getting these three to five days of super relaxing therapies. Then, depending on the success of that, if it's done properly, everything runs smooth. So on the fifth day, the evening before we actually eliminate all the gunk from the system, you have quite a tasty meal. What we're doing is, we're encouraging a lot of acids and enzymes and a lot of activity to come back to the gastrointestinal tract. The tastier your food and the more varied it tastes... If you have something that is a combination of sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent, you're going to draw out all the potential enzymatic and gastric activity that is going to digest that spectrum of taste, which is pretty much all the tastes that we have.   Wayne: (58:44) So for every taste there'll be an equivalent digestive substance to break that down. So what we want to do is, we want to encourage that to come in, back into the elementary tract. Then the following morning, on the rise of the red sun, you take a particular... This is with the purgation. It's different with the Amacethes, but you'll take a substance, it might be a paste. Generally what I use in my clinic is, I use castor oil at a fairly high dose. And I mix that with either almond milk, depending on the patient's preference or milk. Castor oil on its own is disgusting. It's really gluggy, it's a horrible oil. But when you combine it with a little bit of sugar and milk is actually it's quite palatable.   Wayne: (59:36) So you have that on the rising of the red sun, according to classic texts. So as soon as that sun comes up, it's when you drink this castor oil. Then usually you'll have triphala powder about 10, 15 minutes after that.   Wayne: (59:52) Then you just relax and you just sit back and enjoy the ride. So you're on the toilet generally four to six hours.   Mason: (01:00:06) If you don't mind explaining what the movements are like? Is it gluggy? Is it running out? Is it spurting out? What do you expect there?   Wayne: (01:00:17) Basically, using Ayurvedic inflammation knowledge, we can predict what the dose is going to be. So the thing is, I don't want to... Each dose will be different for each patient, because we have ways of gauging whether the bowl has a tendency towards dryness or whether it has a tendency towards oiliness, or if it's somewhere in between. So the dose is determined based on all of these different variables, based on the patient's body type. So it can be a little bit delayed. Everybody's transit and peristaltic kind of activity is slightly different. My experience is that I might have a patient that is going to start having bowel motions within 45 minutes, somebody might not have one for two hours, and then somebody might have a strong one after an hour and nothing for a few hours after that.   Wayne: (01:01:22) So it does vary. But what I'm looking for is, I want all of the solid matter to be evacuated. Then it usually goes into a semi liquid state, then it goes to a liquid state and then usually there can be a bright orange pigment in the stool or a little bit green. What that's telling me, is that I'm getting into the areas where the bile duct is starting to cleanse. So I'm able to gauge how efficiently I've cleaned out that digestive tract. That's what we want to get to. Once we can get to that point, usually it just becomes a clear water. At that point I want to turn the tap off, because we've eliminated the gunk, it's been a successful procedure. But, if we keep going after that, and this is why dosage is really important, we start going into dehydration. We start getting into the point where we start draining the body and we start affecting the electrolyte and fluid balance.   Wayne: (01:02:26) There is a formula, or a drink that you usually take. It's called Takra. It's a buttermilk that has a combination of spices. It might have a combination of a formula called Hingwashtak Churna, which is a combination of eight different spices. It's got hing in there. It's got black cumin seed, cumin seed, coriander, it's got some salts in there and ajowan seed.   Mason: (01:02:58) Yum.   Wayne: (01:02:59) It's actually quite-   Mason: (01:03:00) That was a sincere yum. Not the yum when I was referring to the triphala. That was a sarcastic yum.   Wayne: (01:03:07) Yeah, triphala is not very good. Apparently, when your body is balanced triphala should actually taste sweet.   Wayne: (01:03:16) I've never-   Mason: (01:03:17) Oh, God, I'm a mess.   Wayne: (01:03:18) I've never experienced it either. Usually the-   Mason: (01:03:21) Back to the drawing board.   Wayne: (01:03:24) The feedback from the taste perception will determine the qualities, or the imbalanced state that your body's in. So some people do find it quite sour. Some people will find it stringent. Some people find it really bitter. So it does vary. And that's usually the present health that determines that.   Mason: (01:03:44) Schizandra berry does that for us. It gives us an insight for them depending on what they're tasting.   Wayne: (01:03:51) Yeah. Taste receptors are really important and they provide a lot of information.   Wayne: (01:03:55) So you'll have this Takra, and what that does is it acts as a little bit of a binding agent. So it helps to turn that tap off and then that's pretty much done. But the thing is, if you're doing a strong purge, or if you're eliminating all of this gunk, you're also losing a lot of bile, salts, gastric acids, enzymatic activity as well through that purge. So we need to start building that back up. This is a really critical time. From my experiences, this is one of the most important parts of cleansing, because what people do is they do these really intense elimination processes, but they don't put the time into rebuilding that digestive fire. Without a good strong digestive system, you're just going to go back into creating partially undigested substances when you're eating.   Wayne: (01:04:50) You're not going to be able to build healthy tissues and you're not going to build waste products. So it's kind of like a campfire. You've got to start with that kindling, little bit of paper, and then you listen to the fire. The fire will tell you what it needs. You know when to put the sticks on, and then you can start getting back to that point where you've got nice, good, hot coals and good hardwood sitting on them, burning for long periods of time. That usually, depending on how intense the elimination and the purge is, would determine how many days it will take to get the digestive system back on track. So good digestion is key. That is one of the most important things for health. If you're not breaking down food efficiently, you're not producing good quality, healthy tissues and your metabolic system is going to mirror that as well.   Wayne: (01:05:47) If your digestion is sluggish, your metabolism will sluggish. If it's erratic, your metabolism will be erratic. If it's too sharp, then you're going to be hungry all the time. You're going to need to eat six meals a day. We spend about four days just building that food back up. There's specific recipes that we'll do. Generally, we just introduce some rice water. We'll cook some rice and basically you're just drinking that water with a bit of cumin, a little bit of salt. All we're doing is we're trying to stimulate the digestion, but we're introducing basic sugars into the system. We just build the energy back up because the body's tired, it needs to be hydrated. The salt supports the electrolytes, and then we start introducing a little bit of food and then we build up, and then we get back to normal. Once we get to that point, this is a really good time to start introducing your tonic herbs.   Mason: (01:06:46) The convalescence stage.   Wayne: (01:06:49) Yeah.   Wayne: (01:06:50) You're going to have really good absorption... Are you there?   Mason: (01:06:55) Mmm-Hmm.   Wayne: (01:06:56) I think I just lost you.   Wayne: (01:06:57) You're going to have really good absorption. So chances are whatever tonic herbs you're having for whatever... We've all got strong and weak tissue systems. Some people have good muscles. Some people have good bones. Some people have good nervous systems. We want to prop up and support the weakest tissues with those tonic herbs. Because we've cleaned that system out and we've improved pathways of communication, we're going to get those active constituents getting to where they need to act. This is the most important thing, because this is where the immune system comes online. It's strong where the tissues... They're robust and healthy. Then we'll introduce... We call it Rasayana in Ayurveda, which means just rejuvenation or strengthening.   Wayne: (01:07:50) It's super important to cleanse, but it's super important to build. If you can always just make sure that whatever cleansing that you're doing, you've always got an element where you, prep, you support, you cleanse, you rebuild, you strengthen. That's key. If you can get that right, you're not going to feel like you need to do a cleanse, because you've gotten everything back to normal. It's like taking your car to a mechanic. You get everything cleaned out, the car just runs better. You don't feel like you need to go back to the mechanic and clean the oil out a week or two later, because you've gotten the job done properly.   Mason: (01:08:31) Especially if you're doing routine maintenance, that's possible just at home. Maintaining that with diet, with saunas, tonic herbs. Just to be in that diet that keeps you running and strong.   Wayne: (01:08:49) Sorry.   Mason: (01:08:50) Go on. It's all good. We're just both too excited. No, go for it.   Wayne: (01:08:56) The maintenance was super important. This is where the daily practises come in. Like tongue scraping every day. Having freshly grated ginger tea first thing in the morning. The Ayurvedic oil massage and also not just considering health as being healthy skin, healthy tissues, healthy digestive system. When we look at what the definition of life is in Ayurveda, it's a combination of the body, the tissue systems, the mind and the sense organs.   Wayne: (01:09:36) Ideally, if we look at what our objective is as Ayurvedic physicians, we want to have really healthy functioning digestion, really healthy functioning tissue systems. We want to have clear cognitive function and we want to have really well functioning sense organs. We want to be able to see clearly, hear clearly, smell clearly, taste and have good tactile perception. The objective is to... Ayurveda considers that the central factor of existences is the [foreign language 01:10:12], or the soul or the witness. Whatever is operating through that medium is the witness. Whatever's in me, whatever's in you that is just there that's watching. That's aware of thought, aware of essential perception and aware of its body. That is the central factor. We want that soul, or that witnessing factor to be able to come into this physiology and just relax, just relax into being.   Wayne: (01:10:42) If the body's healthy, if the sense organs are healthy, the feedback is clear, if the cognitive function is working. Well that can be a really beautiful experience. It's when all of that distortion comes into the mind and all of the stories. Then that sets off hormonal and endocrine dysfunction and digestive dysfunction. The body becomes sluggish or irregular. We want that to be really clear.   Wayne: (01:11:09) Coming back to the sense organs, this is our communication bridge. Our pathway to the external reality is determined by how clearly we can see. A lot of these practises, these maintenance practises are geared up to support that central perception. There's things that support the quality of the taste buds, things that support the nervous system, things that improve good quality preservation of the ear canals and the olfactory receptors and all those sort of things. This is a really important part of cleansing as well. And strengthening is big. Because we don't want eyesight to start to fail when we're in our sixties and seventies. We don't want to be able to not listen to music as we get older. But I think this is an important thing that we should probably start paying a bit more attention to.   Wayne: (01:12:03) ....attention to. It's like the things that I love in this life experience and the things that I'm perceiving through my sense organs. It's not because I'm trying to get really nice quality skin or this or that, or the cosmetic stuff, it's actually to enhance the relationship that I have with life. Enhance the relationship with the world.   Mason: (01:12:27) Huge.   Wayne: (01:12:27) And I think-   Mason: (01:12:28) Huge distinction.   Wayne: (01:12:29) Yeah and Ayurvedic physicians really understood that. They really understood the importance of tactile, our perceptive capacity. And you'll see it filtered through these daily lifestyles that come into our programmes, that come into our treatment plans and things that you do daily.   Mason: (01:12:51) And it would be nice to my eyes and turn off one of these spotlights in the corner of that. And taking care of my eyesight.   Mason: (01:12:58) It's one of the things I remembered most significantly. I'm just talking to a friend, Jake [Kassa 00:01:12:00], he's a bushman tracker, survivalist, and many other things down on the central coast and every now and then he goes bush and does his week or two weeks or three weeks just living off the land. And he's like always the first thing that comes back is I realise how much my hearing comes back and my eyesight comes back. And it's always when I'm going hot to trot, working, familying and everything. At times, there'll be an instance where I realise there's a little bit of a slight dulling, not a degeneration yet, but a dulling of the eyesight and my capacity to snap between different lengths of vision and smell and all these things.   Mason: (01:13:54) And it's a very interesting one because when you look at that, the Western perspective is, "Oh, well." Not that I have this feeling, but I can empathise with them. "Oh, well, that's just starting to slide." I guess that just means I'm heading in that direction. "Oh, well, lots of people lose their eyesight." And some people... I bring this up a lot in terms of, no judgement for people that just maybe don't have the greatest 20/20 vision, that's fine, but it does happen, but there is a time when it is in your control. You can't just have this full, "Oh, that was just a roll of the dice." That person just has bad vision.   Mason: (01:14:41) But there's a part of you that could have focused on that for years and years. And that's kind of like... I point that out when I've got say a picture, just as a bit of fun, I had a picture of Bill Gates and I was like look at this guy, photosensitive, balding, thin hair, bad vision, that's not someone taking health advice. I kind of bring that conversation in there.   Mason: (01:15:08) So, bringing us home a little bit, what have you got for us in terms of working on our sensory engagement? I assume getting out into the elements is one.   Wayne: (01:15:20) Absolutely. I think getting out in nature is probably one of the most therapeutic things that we can do. I just feel so much better. If I don't spend a day up in the hinterland and playing around the waterfalls and just walking in nature, I'd come home and I just feel like my body just resets. And I think it's that mentally a reset. And if I generate a good internal mental space, it enables me to pay attention and just to be aware of my surroundings. And I think if we're doing that, a lot of the mental distortion starts to fall away and you just naturally engage more into sensory awareness. You pay more attention. It's almost like you're generating more energy or communication along those pathways. And I think it's like if you want to get strong muscles, exercise. You want to have strong sense organs, go and use them. Go sit in the woods and just listen. Listen to the birds, listen to what's happening. Watch, pay attention, look at the different colours and all of that stuff it's really important.   Wayne: (01:16:38) But with the Ayurvedic daily routines that are just sort of built into the system. You've got the Ayurvedic massage where we're using specific medicated oils that you apply to the skin. So, that supports the tactile perception or the nerve endings that are giving you sensory information through there.   Wayne: (01:16:59) There is Anu Taila, which is a medicated nasal oil. It's very good for applying. It's called pratimarsha nasya, which means you apply it daily. So, you just add two drops on the end of your pinky and you rub it on the inside of your nose. And what that does is it supports the microbiome. It supports the immune system there. It acts as a decongestant. The nose is considered as the gateway to the mind or the brain in Ayurveda. So, we use a lot of herbs that actually pass through that sensory receptors and those external nerve endings.   Mason: (01:17:38) In essential oil form?   Wayne: (01:17:41) No, it's not essential oil. It's actually like, anu means minute. So, these oils, there's about 60 herbs that are infused, as well as, there's some goat's milk that's infused in there as well. And they're decocted for and processed 101 times. So, it's a really refined oil. There's not a lot of essential oil extraction in Ayurveda. It's decocted, its...   Mason: (01:18:07) That's probably why it's actually good for the microbiome because it's not an essential oil.   Wayne: (01:18:13) Yeah. Yeah. Well, Ayurveda is very gentle. If you look at the ingredients, Anu Taila, for example, there's herbs that are commonly used for improving cognitive function. They're used as what's called kapha nasarika, which means that it removes excess congestion and it clears the channels, clears the sinuses. Herbs like Bedonga which is [inaudible 00:06:43], which is a really popular antiparasitic, anti-microbial.   Wayne: (01:18:53) You learn a lot about the action of the medicine based on the action of the active constituents in there. So, these herbs are going to be supporting the health of the nasal cavity. They're going to create a protective layer. Very good for spring time because you're getting these pollens and this dust and if there's dryness, this is the stuff that your mucus membranes are going to start reacting to.   Wayne: (01:19:14) Whereas if you've just got this really nice coating of medicated oil on the inside of the nose, you're actually protecting it. You're creating a little barrier there. So, you're supporting the body's potential reactivity when it comes into contact with that sort of stuff.   Mason: (01:19:33) Do you sell that?   Wayne: (01:19:34) Yeah, yeah. We have all that. It's all available online. So, the tongue scrapers, the oil, the nasal oil. Mustard oil has been traditionally used or sesame oil in the ear, as well, as a preserving agent. Mustard oil is very good for tinnitus. Things like ginger tea in the morning, oil pulling, it just cleans up and supports the oral cavity, which is super important. Oil pulling-   Mason: (01:20:02) What kind of oil are you using? Yeah, go for it. You're actually going to have to talk about it anyway. Yeah.   Wayne: (01:20:06) Yeah, we use an oil, we call it Gandush oil. Gandush just means oil pulling in sanskrit. So, we use a combination of coconut oil and sesame oil. So, sesame oil is traditionally used for oil pulling, but we use a little bit of coconut oil because we now understand that it has good antimicrobial activity. So, there are benefits to using coconut oil, but what you don't get with coconut oil is... Sesame oil has an affinity with the nervous system. So, when we're looking at... And it's also really good antibacterial. So, when we're oil pulling, we're also paying attention to all of these trigeminal and cranial nerves that we're supporting through that activity. So, we're getting that nourishment of the nervous system that's happening while we're doing that activity as well. And so, that's really beneficial.   Wayne: (01:21:04) And just on oil pulling, because I know online, there's a lot of information that you should do it for 20 minutes. That's a lot of time, especially, if you're busy in the morning. My observation, and I don't have any studies to back this up, but my observation is that if I'm oil pulling and I'm doing it for long enough to liquefy that oil, well that's telling me is that I'm producing enough amylase from my salivary secretions to get it to that stage. And if I'm producing those enzymes, I'm probably producing a lot of beneficial activity that supports the oral cavity.   Wayne: (01:21:46) So, I think with that enzymatic activity, liquification of the oil, you get it to that point. That only takes like three to five minutes so, if you do it for another 15 minutes, you might be just exercising the muscular structure of the jaw. That might be a beneficial thing. If you want to use it for that. If you've got any sort of degenerative area issues or problems, muscular issues, that might be a good idea. But I think in terms of just supporting that environment and the bacteria, the environment, just to get it to that liquefying state and then you can spit it out and that's fine.   Mason: (01:22:25) You can probably just watch a couple of comedies to exercise those muscles as well, rather than do the 20 minutes.   Wayne: (01:22:31) Yeah, there's better ways to do that.   Mason: (01:22:34) Well, that's good to hear. I'm going to get some. I don't think I told you, but what I'll do is I'll put together a little pack and I'll order it. I'll order a big pack, and we'll do a little giveaway off the back of this podcast or something coming out so if anyone listens to this. If you haven't listened to us straightaway, you've probably missed it. So, that's okay. It just goes to show, you probably should have subscribed and next time you'll get the reminder to go and do the giveaway. But if you're listening to this straight away, you can head over to Instagram and it'll be something nice and simple for you to go in the draw to win those sensory activating packs.   Mason: (01:23:11) I'm getting inspired again around the cleansing because I scared myself off being in the raw food scene and being a hardcore yang personality like Gemini around it. I just jumped into the deep end and I didn't do damage to myself but I was definitely psychological.   Wayne: (01:23:28) Your body type is a little bit more robust. I mean because of the oil constitution, you can get away with a little bit more than others.   Mason: (01:23:39) No, not when I have a little bit of sleep deprivation with a toddler still. And I'm working inside a lot more now. I'm not practising as much as I used to. And I sensed it. I was like, this is going to be dangerous. So, if I try to go for that rip off the band-aid cleansing approach. I don't know why... I started oil pulling about 10 years ago and I don't know why I really stopped. I think I got a little bit turned off, which isn't a nice quality that I had at the time, once it started getting like really picked up with those trendy bloggers that used to work in the magazines and then transitioned to become the wellness crew in the last decade in two tens and that.   Mason: (01:24:19) I just got turned off it for some reason, which isn't something I'd probably recommend to get it throwing the baby out with the bath water. But I'm looking forward to getting back on it, especially that three to five minutes in the morning, as you were talking about.   Mason: (01:24:31) And the final question I had in regards to the nasal cleansing, that oil sounds amazing. I'm really looking forward to that because something that I did stop doing a while ago, not for any particular reason, but I've been doing neti pots for about five years. And I just had a pause for a while. Thought, I'd just get your input on that.   Wayne: (01:24:55) Yeah. Look, neti pots are great especially this time of year. Just maintaining that good, clear sinus cavity especially when there's a lot of pollens and there's a lot of gunk that's moving into these superficial channels. It's really important, but you just have to be careful that you don't dry the nasal cavity out too much. So, I think less can be more and as long as you're abiding by these principles where if you're going to use a saline solution, dry something out, liquefy excess mucus congestion, just back it up with a little bit of oil. It can be on Anu Taila and where you're just creating that lubricated protective layer after you've used it. Or you can just use something like sesame oil, which is fun or even olive oil. It's not going to be energetically as good, but it's better than leaving it. I like it.   Mason: (01:25:54) The application, is that getting up and in as you would with a neti pot or are you just coating?   Wayne: (01:26:01) You're just coating unless you're doing nasya karma, which is one of the five processes of elimination. So, you'll be doing the whole process where you do the ghee saturation, but we actually like steam. We do a full head massage, really loosen everything up and then we apply herbal steam. So, we're actually heating out the head and then we'll add generally about eight to 12 drops in each nostril. So, it's quite a strong dose, but the thing is you have to be very careful with using any kind of invasive therapy with the ears, nose and throat. So, what we'll do is we'll add larger amounts of the oil and then you'll clear that out. And then what we'll do is we'll follow that up with like a saline mouth gargle and wash and clear that out. And then you inhale turmeric smoke.   Wayne: (01:27:03) So, we mix all that up with clarified butter and turmeric and then we light that up and you inhale the smoke. So, it helps to dry it out and sort of stabilise the area and kill any sort of bacteria. So, it's quite a complicated process, but I think if you're using neti pot on a regular basis and you do have sinus issues and congestion, I don't think there's any major concerns with that. It's just probably more so that you want to get the right combination of salt water so you're actually supporting that pH balance.   Wayne: (01:27:46) And you want to probably steer away from using town water too for that as well. All of the crap that's in our water. I mean, people have been using substances up their nose for a long time, all sorts of the different bits and pieces and we know the effects that it's going to have directly on the nervous system and on the brain. So, I'm not sure if you're using fluoride and using chlorine and stuff like that, you're actually exposing that cilia to those harmful chemicals, whether that's having a detrimental impact on the nerves and the brain. I would probably use something like distilled water or spring water.   Mason: (01:28:35) Yeah. We're in kind of in the middle of a long-term, non-chronological water series. So, everyone should have been tuning in getting lots of opinions about different filters and spring waters, but don't get caught up too much in the filter wars. Just pick something that, to the best of your ability, you think is going to get most of the crap out. At least it's a little bit better than putting straight municipal water up your nose.   Mason: (01:29:04) Well, for those of you that don't know neti pot, it's got a little spout, goes up one nostril, you turn your head in a particular way. It goes up through the cavity and either's running out through the other nostril or back of the throat through the mouth. Is that a fair explanation?   Wayne: (01:29:17) Yeah, I think you've got to sort of get your head around it and it's a bit of an art form. But start with just in one nose out the other, but then after a while you can start sucking it back through your mouth and then clearing those areas, but just careful.   Mason: (01:29:42) I've been doing it. I've been switched to doing it... I do it in the ocean. I just jump in and get a cup of water and turn and just snort it straight up. [crosstalk 01:29:50]   Wayne: (01:29:49) That's what I do in the morning if I go for a swim. I always feel better too. I think just that ocean water, bringing the concept of prana and there's that life force that comes through salty water, ocean water, ocean air, just enlivens the senses and supports that sense of clarity.   Mason: (01:30:11) Oh, man. Well, look, we've gone pretty deep on the cleansing today, but gently. We've gone in gently.   Wayne: (01:30:17) We don't [crosstalk 01:30:18].   Mason: (01:30:21) Oh, it's been great as usual. I've really learned a lot. I feel like I've begun opening up, I think I said in the last podcast as well, more and more to Ayurveda. For some reason, I think it was just like I couldn't fit any more in for where I was at in life. And it's becoming more and more relevant.   Mason: (01:30:38) I'm going to put it an order in for myself and start. I feel like my sensory organs could use that little bit of love. And so, I'll get some ear drops and some stuff from my nose. And yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I'll chat to you, maybe, before I put that order in.   Wayne: (01:30:59) I'll send you down to one of our cleanse pack books that we use for... We do a spring cleanse, which is a little bit less intense and like the strong, punchy, karma therapies where it's diet, herb and lifestyle daily activity specific, but it has all of these daily practises in there and it's got a whole bunch of recipes and basically a plan that you can follow for 10 days. So, you can jump on that if you want to do that. And when you got time and we'll put you through the ringer. We'll get you up here and-   Mason: (01:31:31) Yeah, that sounds good. How long does it take to get put through the ringer?   Wayne: (01:31:34) Well, you need to generally 14 days. 14 to 15 days, but you can do most of it at home. So, the preliminary treatments with the herbs and then the internal ghee you do that at home. And then you come in for three to five days of the treatments and then you go home. Purging, doing these sort of things, if you're at home you're comfortable, you're relaxed, your nervous system is relaxed and you're just going to get a better result. So yeah, three to five days.   Mason: (01:32:02) All right, sounds good. Yeah. Five days up on the sunny coast isn't bad.   Wayne: (01:32:10) Doesn't sound that bad.   Mason: (01:32:11) Radman, anywhere you want people in particular to come and check you guys out at the moment? New websites popping along right...   Wayne: (01:32:17) Yeah, we're just waiting on a few things, but most of its up and running. So that's, Y-U-K-T-I. And yeah, we've got the special media pages, yukti_healthcare on Facebook. I've got a personal page Celeban Ayurveda on Instagram, where I just sort of do a few other bits and pieces and things. It's not just yukti specific. So, you can go and check that out.   Mason: (01:32:50) Good to have that outlet. Beautiful man. All right, everyone go and connect. Get on the newsletter list. You got a newsletter?   Wayne: (01:32:59) Yeah, we got a newsletter. Yeah, so if you just go onto our page, it'll pop up and give you the newsletter option and check that out.   Mason: (01:33:05) Right. Get onto it everyone. Thanks so much for coming on, man, we have to tune in about what we're going to cover next time.   Wayne: (01:33:10) Yeah, you're welcome man. It's a pleasure, always a pleasure.   Mason: (01:33:13) Ciao.   Wayne: (01:33:14) Have a good day.
In this third and final Episode of our Brovember series, Mason sits down with naturopath and good friend Dan Sipple for a conversation around long term diet optimisation for men's health and the journey of coming to a place of balance within a world of trending diet extremes. With a central focus on the pro's and con's of both Carnivore and plant-based diets, this is a relevant conversation for everyone.. not just the bros! Mason and Dan discuss: The upsides and pitfalls of different diets from a clinical perspective; Carnivore, Veganism, Keto, and Ancestral diets. Which diets give the best mitochondria and hormonal output and allow men to experience the greatest health within their bodies. The balancing act of forming a diet that works for the individual, in a world where we have the privilege of choosing with ultimate convenience. The health benefits/therapeutic nature of the Carnivore diet and how it will weigh up over time with the retrospect of science catching up.  The importance of eating organ meats; How it impacts and benefits the microbiome, mitochondria, metabolism, and hormonal system long term. 'Diet Dogma' in a pop culture that views 'balance' as boring. The benefits Diet as Therapy. Image issues within the male community and how this factor often plays a huge role in the way men navigate/choose their diet. People moving back towards the practices of Hunting and Gathering.   Who is Dan Sipple? Dan is a also known as The Functional Naturopath who uses cutting-edge evidence-based medicine. Experienced in modalities such as herbal nutritional medicine, with a strong focus on environmental health and longevity, Dan has a wealth of knowledge in root-dysfunction health.   Resources: Dan Website Dan Instagram Gut Health Podcast 1 Gut Health Podcast 2   Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?   A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Mason: (00:00) Good day, everybody. I'm here with Dan Sipple again. How are you, man?   Dan Sipple: (00:03) I'm doing good, buddy. How are you?   Mason: (00:05) Yeah. I'm wonderful. Thank you.   Dan Sipple: (00:06) Good to hear.   Mason: (00:07) Yeah, just had a beautiful time just to quantum up lift, as I was telling you in my little bio charger session with the Tesla coil and my super oxygenation and red light and limp training. So I'm good.   Dan Sipple: (00:20) Beautiful.   Mason: (00:20) Brovember, seems like only yesterday, last year, when we were talking about optimization of men's hormones, anyone that hasn't listened to that podcast, it's a cracker. You go back and listen to that. I think it was men's hormones, type in that. But this year, this Brovember, Dan and I are going to be jumping into men's health from the perspective of diet. Of course, it's not just going to like all things. I mean, discussed most things when it comes to men can kind of become quite general.   Mason: (00:47) I think that's why we've got such... Of course, we can go really specific with men's health, but we talk about men's health a lot in the sense of like throughout the year but it relates on a general level to the whole population. Whereas a lot of the women's topics are really refined to women's anatomy. But yeah, let's... Just to kind of make that clear. This is going to be appropriate for anybody, no matter whether you're a bro or not. But since we're going to be going into optimization conversation, especially around what's going to help us have best output, mitochondria output, hormonal output, so on and so forth. We're not going to be going into those specifics, but we want to make sure long-term, we've got a diet that's going to allow for us to experience the greatest health within our male bodies.   Mason: (01:37) One thing I really wanted to get Dan on to talk about because we've talked about gut health and microbiome so much, is what diet is really rising up. And it has some really good parts to it, but then what's the extreme diet around the men's circles that's really kicking off and it's kind of being Keto and Keto is still kind of really cranking along there and doing its good thing short-term and doing its bit of damage, which we've talked about when you got long-term extremist. But carnivore diets are really, really charging ahead, are they? Are you finding a lot of people going on carnivores with kind of all diets for therapeutic purposes in clinic?   Dan Sipple: (02:18) Yeah, I mean the conversation is coming up a lot with not only men, but a lot of female patients that I see too. And it's a really, really taken the lead on socials as well, which I'm sure you guys have noticed. So yeah, it's the big thing at the moment. And I guess it's just a good to have the conversation about the many benefits that we can kind of get from it? What angle that comes in on in terms of its therapeutic actions and put it up against certain other diets that we do have probably a little bit more robust data on and make some comparisons. Because there's a lot of claims being made as there is with a lot of diets that do sort of come and go.   Dan Sipple: (03:02) So yeah, it's always good to have a chat about and dissect them, answer any questions and just get more information out there. This one is particularly intriguing because it's the first diet, I think, where they're placing such a really a big spotlight on the importance of eating organ meats, which I really am down with and I've always recommended. So that's the first thing that kind of caught my attention. And I was like, "Oh, lets kind of look into this." And I guess I've been kind of loosely following it through the works with Paul Saladin, [inaudible 00:03:33] and Sean Baker and those sorts of characters. But I've always had a bit of... A kind of question around the long-term impact of it on the microbiome. I'll get into that today. That's the major part of it for me, where I sort of questioned its long-term sustainability. But no doubt in terms of just broadly like the metabolic benefits, the mitochondria benefits, the hormonal benefits, I can totally see how they come into play when they're contrast that against other diets that the other people might be promoting.   Dan Sipple: (04:07) And that purely, I think, comes down to the nutrient profile that you get when you consume a carnivorous type diet compared those.   Mason: (04:13) Pretty fascinating rollout. I mean probably the last couple of decades really dominated by the extremism of veganism and vegetarianism. I think they're quite... Based on where the health information was that in seventies and eighties, that was a very... It was an easy transition towards to clean like all plants, animal fats and proteins and salts are going to be contributing to high cholesterol, blah, blah, blah. That whole kind of like conversations. So everyone's just gone down that route and you can, we just saw such an adoption and it just seems so logically correct to go to cut meats out or pretty much have them being nonexistent in that extreme side of things. And you can just... If I remember it was five years ago when I was told that eating carnivore was going to be like the next big thing by someone.   Dan Sipple: (05:00) Yeah, right.   Mason: (05:02) And I was like, "I just don't..." I was like, "I didn't see that happening." I think it'll kind of leave you kicking along in the sidelight. And then as the keto just stopped it became like a religion basically. And like bulletproof it became like a religion. You couldn't question the sanctity of saturated fats for a time there because they had the whole ritual... They had the whole... I guess they had the good book there to retort everything. I was like, hang on, maybe it's going to happen. Then when Jordan Peterson dropped it. That he was kind of all in that kind of [inaudible 00:05:35]. I think Joe Rogan. [inaudible 00:05:38].   Dan Sipple: (05:34) That's right. Yeah.   Mason: (05:38) Yeah. That's when I was like, "Gosh, shit. This is going to... This is going to happen." I don't think it's as severe because I feel like what a lot of people have already done. A lot of people will have their initiation to help by going vegetarian or vegan for quite some time. So they have their taste of real extremism and of course we've got the young people who are early adopting health for the first time going into keto and meat, kind of mixed based diet that they are going on. They'll touch the edges of extremism here in these diets, but it's almost like these carnivore diets come up as like a cathartic experience of people post vegetarian and vegan and plant-based eras having something that's going to just start to balance out, a lot of the psyche, a lot of the stories that they've told themselves or what we've told themselves about what's healthy and what's not healthy.   Mason: (06:33) And I don't know, I kind of enjoy... I'm enjoying what gene that happened in that real balancing act to happen. I'm not enjoying the real contrast I see of like slinging shit at plants from the carnivore world and yeah, it's... I'm interested to go down the route of it because I definitely think it's a good thing as this has come up in popularity, but we might as well, and then everyone is just going, is it good or bad? And it's such a boring, bland question. Is it good or bad? Not that it's wrong to ask it. Because I definitely ask stupid questions all the time, but let's just go in and get a little bit of clarity so we can start. I mean, let's start at the... It's confusing out there everybody.   Mason: (07:22) I follow two gastroenterologists that are... Seem to be well-regarded, one's a vegan plant-based Bible lover. Who's a professional clinical gastroenterologist. I follow another gastroenterologist clinical. He is pretty much carnivore and so it can get confusing. And so I like... I like following both of them and then looking into the middle there. So let's kick off. I want to start looking at what some of the big claims are in or maybe lets... You want... Should we jump into say our little short term, what we're going to start, seeing, being benefited to someone that goes into a carnivore diet probably let's start with [inaudible 00:00:08:00].   Dan Sipple: (08:01) Yeah. Yes, for sure. And that's what we do typically notice is that we see a short term benefit because of the drastic reduction in possibly any implant compounds for people who for example, who have a complex autoimmune condition or trying to heal a leaky gut. They strip away all these complex plant sort of nutrient rich kind of phytochemical profiles. And it allows the immune system to calm down. That's what we see initially. So what I mean by that is the lectins, the oxalates, the goitrogens. Those types of things that an entry nutrients as well, which are in plant compounds once they get stripped away, but basically they are left with highly assimilable amino acids, a great array of vitamins and nutrients, B12, iron, retinoic acid, vitamin A, and that type of thing. And essentially what we're then doing is nourishing that gut wall completely, and we're stripping out any of these potentially irritating fibres and phytonutrients. Which is kind of where the carnivore crowd comes in and basically says that plant compounds like these made by the plant to defend themselves because the plants can't physically defend themselves and they don't want to be eaten. So they make these plant toxins. And that's something that I guess had a little bit of an issue with kind of telling an audience that plants are suddenly toxic. It starts to really brand plants in that way that they're full of toxins. And that can kind of create a bit of a mental relationship there with... Like someone naive that's listening and going, "Oh, shit plants are now toxic, okay." And that kind of makes sense too, right? They're like, all right, the plants are making these toxins. They're going to do the same thing on my body.   Mason: (09:53) Oh, I remember talking to you about when I first heard Jordan Peterson talking about it and he'd basically gone hook line sinker. So he's talking on this potent intellectual level about psychology and development-   Dan Sipple: (10:08) Which he is friggen good at, by the way.   Mason: (10:10) Incredible at. Especially back when he was pumping fresh on carnivore and then he switched over to extremist. I'm just going to repeat the narrative mode of my diet. And it was kind of, it was cool. Because it was just... He was, Oh, he's just a [inaudible 00:10:28]. He was like, I'm not an expert in this, but he's all of a sudden all my inflammatory conditions went down, my autoimmune condition went down, my daughter's autoimmune condition was... Basically all her symptoms disappeared in the space of three months of getting on a carnivore diet. And whenever there was any like broccoli, goitrogen, gliadin, anything like that, any plant matter whatsoever, all of a sudden the flare would come up. And so it'd be like so logically, plants are bad.   Dan Sipple: (10:54) Yeah. That's right. That's right. And what we're seeing there is that immune system, just for the first time, start to calm down and therefore the permeability of the gut wall that exists in all those autoimmune sufferers, people that have allergies, asthma, autoimmune, all that type of thing. Their immune system calms down. We see reduction in symptoms. So straight away, we correlate that with other kinds of the carnivore diets healing me. What's really happening, I think is just that it's an elimination diet, which isn't really new. And when you look at it, we've known about an elimination diets for this purpose for a long time, they just purely allow the inflammatory reactivity of the immune system to calm down. So we see a drastic reduction in symptoms. So that's one of the first things.... The positive things I think we notice. In addition to that, the metabolic, the metabolic parameters seem to also have a really positive shift.   Dan Sipple: (11:45) So for instance, insulin resistance, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol markers, and that type of thing often do balance out from what I've seen so far. So again, that is kind of supportive of that initial honeymoon period with this type of diet that we're getting a lot of metabolic kind of benefit there. And then again, coming back to the nutrients which you get from this sort of diet, which I'm a massive fan of and I'll put that out there, vitamin A, retinoic acid, which we know is extremely, extremely gut healing and immuno regulating. And you can't get that from the plant kingdom.   Dan Sipple: (12:18) It's something the body's got to make from beta carotene, which a lot of vegans say is vitamin A from plant foods like, "Hey, I'll get my vitamin A. I'll eat lots of sweet potato and carrots." It's like, no, no, no, your body's got to then convert that across to retinoic acid at the expense of your zinc. But when you eat something like liver or any kind of organ or animal meat, you get that in it's preformed, a bio-available form that the body can readily use and absorb. Then you've got other amino acids like creatine, L-carnitine, zinc-carnitine, growth factors, peptides, and all those types of things too, which coming in on today's kind of topic for men is extremely potent and extremely beneficial for hormonal and mitochondrial reasons.   Mason: (13:05) Well, so that's where I'm really quite grateful for the clinical application of these carnivore diets coming in and as well, I see it's really nice to see people who have been plant-based for so long, all of a sudden make this switch over to a diet like this and then have such success that had success in the beginning of something... A vegan or something or plant based but they've been extreme, and then they come over to carnivore kind of keto diet. And they're getting all these. Getting the peptides and growth factors and B12 and retinol acids and animal based vitamin D and all that, like you were saying, and all of a sudden they get flooded with these nutrients and all of a sudden... I think that's where I've seen, like a lot of like guys I know who had like love handles, they'd been highly estrogenic, low testosterone, really bloaty. The other thing about, I think about this like having.   Mason: (14:03) ... Really bloated. The other thing about it, think about having, especially if you kind of not just searing everything. If you're boiling your meats and making stews and there's broth and that kind of thing, which always seems the way that my body has done a job at best.   Dan Sipple: (14:16) Right.   Mason: (14:16) It's just so easy to absorb. If you've got really terrible digestion, from what I can see in the short term. All of a sudden this uptake of nutrient density, it's intense especially if you're taking these organ meats. So it's been nice to see weight shifting, hormone panels have been apparently shifting really quick energy levels exploding, mitochondrial production, ATP going through the roof. So, you feel like a powerhouse and athletically you feel like you're really pumping, especially.   Mason: (14:48) I've heard of wound healing with all these growth factors and peptides, all of a sudden, protein loading is that anyway, whatever it is, all these benefits. I suppose the benefits come out of that, but like anything then you fall hostage to the thing that has healed you. And most of the time, if you've been extreme Western or extreme kind of plant based oestrogen-rich non-yang diet, basically with an excessive amount of plants.   Mason: (15:18) That balancing act in the beginning, however, long it takes to bring some harmony you'll experience that sweet spot of harmony, right? And what the risk then we run is the mind's taking over and labelling this as good and our saviour. Therefore, we ignore. What I can see as inevitably coming up is going to be coming up. This is where I see the need in Carnivore Diets for the propaganda of defence around fibre.   Mason: (15:49) You've mentioned you wanted to talk about hormesis and these kinds of things, all of a sudden you watch a diet or someone who's branded themselves around a particular diet. You watch them get on the deep end, once you ... it's really interesting. You watch them go on the back foot, they'll be excited and this and that, and then they'll have their spiel ready, for when they get these particular questions and quite often not that's bad that they're doing that sometimes being on the defensive's necessary or being on the back foot's necessary.   Mason: (16:19) But generally, if you poke there, that's where you'll find a lacking of evidence or that they're just covering up something that subconsciously they don't really want to acknowledge. That's so. If you don't mind, let's just dive into that. What do we ... where is it from a clinical perspective? Where do you see it being quite gray? I didn't listen to that carnivore MD recently, I think he's been doing the rounds and he was on frozen as well.   Mason: (16:48) apparently it was quite cherry picked, but you know, some people said it was really good and so on and so forth, but in that kind of situation, let's go into some of the discussions where if you dig a little bit data, maybe the data isn't as solid as we're led to believe.   Dan Sipple: (17:01) Yeah. Look, I want to be super clear too. In that Paul Saladino, the carnivore MD, I actually ... is quite a likeable dude, super, super well researched comes across really well, super intelligent. And he's done a really, really good job of bringing this to the forefront. I believe he's got a book as well. I'm yet to read that yet, but I'll get to it. And just does a really good kind of narrative of summarising the therapeutic nature of this kind of diet. Because to be fair, there is plenty of good parts to it. But as I said earlier, the issue I kind of have with it is when it is compared to the diet of traditional Hunter gatherer societies. This picture is painted where we as Hunter gatherers is solely kind of either solely ate organ meats and meats and yeah, that's right.   Dan Sipple: (17:56) Just kind of collected plant foods altogether, or kind of put plants on the back burner just said that they're fallback foods and they're like last ditch effort foods, and that we will use them to survive, but they're not really our preference. Even if that was true, the reality is that our evolution and our ancestry has seen us eat a combination of, yeah. All the animal foods and knows the tail organs again, which I promote coupled with root tubers, berries, nuts seeds, and those types of things. That's-   Mason: (18:26) I'm going to say anyone that has an argument, I hate going to logic, but anyone using that argument that around the world, the preference has been made has never come across a bush of wild berries. Right. If I have to, if a bloody have to fine, right? There's no liver around. We show there's no liver anymore. Anyway, now we're at a little bit, all right. Bloody hell. All right, I'll leave it there.   Dan Sipple: (18:49) That's right. Yeah. Yep. So coming back to Paul Saladino, so he talks a lot about hormesis. Hormesis is basically healthy stress on a cellular level, either from toxins in, as he calls them in plant compounds or environmental hormesis. I guess to summarise his kind of argument from the Carnivore perspective is that you should be able to stimulate the body's cellular hormesis from environmental factors, such as cold thermogenesis, intermittent fasting, oxygen restriction, that type of thing, exercise, yada yada.   Dan Sipple: (19:26) Whereas there's plenty of evidence, medical evidence, medical literature, strongly supporting the hormetic effects that we get from plant compounds, such as Curcumin, EGCG from green tea , Resveratrol, and those sorts of things for delivering I guess, a weak stressor to the cell and that cell then becoming stronger as a result of it pumping up our own Glutathione production, NRF2 activation and things like that.   Dan Sipple: (19:53) So look, admittedly, I haven't sort of gone down that Rabbit Hole in its entirety to really, really suss that out. Again, common sense tells me that a combination of both those things is probably the best thing ever, and that we shouldn't try to get in this kind of one side. That's the only way argument. So that's the whole, the hormesis kind of aspect to it. Then you've got things like pH balance.   Dan Sipple: (20:17) Such a high protein diet, which it inevitably is long-term, does that kind of then create pH issues which I wonder about? The Carnivore kind of argument to that is that, if you're eating the compounds such as those found in connective tissue and organs and that type of thing they are full of plenty of alkalizing minerals, which shouldn't negate that. But I'm not really convinced on that one, if I'm honest. Then you've got just the fact that there really is only a handful of people really strongly in this camp promoting it.   Dan Sipple: (20:53) We just don't have robust long-term evidence or sites on the long-term effects of this. And again, as I alluded to earlier, the biggest concern for me is really the microbiome. You've heard me bang on this, about it in previous podcasts about butyrate production and how important that is for healthy gut lining and immune modulation and what not. Just to summarise that butyrate is this compound, is short-chain fatty acids that our healthy bacteria make when they're fed plant polyphenols and soluble fibre.   Dan Sipple: (21:21) So, we've got bacteria in things like accamensium and Faecalibacterium, which in decent amounts have been correlated at least in research with really healthy outcomes, gut protective immuno modulating, etc. But they require the soluble fibre and plant material to feed them, to nourish them so that they make more short-chain fatty acids like butyrate acetate and propionate.   Dan Sipple: (21:43) Paul hormesis, his argument is that if you're in a state of ketosis, you're making these ketone bodies. One of them called beta-hydroxybutyrate, I believe. And his argument is that, that compound can then act as a fuel to these good species of bacteria in the gut. So they'll still continue to produce butyrate. That's something that kind of my ears prick up to   Dan Sipple: (22:08) But again, I want to see that supported by more robust evidence and kind of see just more than kind of an equal stand people. So it's something we'll have to just watch over time and really allow the science to catch up with.   Mason: (22:24) From what you're looking at, what is the main attachment to the sticking to Carnivore rather than introducing a plant whatsoever. Because, it's been interesting. Because, I've allowed myself kind of consciously, just not that I would want to go towards a kind of carnivore diet at this point unless as you're saying, he's talking about the therapeutic effects and it been used as a therapy. I really rate these diet therapies so much, I think it's really good.   Mason: (22:52) ... that this one's come about, but I've allowed myself to kind of sink into that community mind, think a little bit and come into touch of with the plant phobia a little bit. I've found that quite toxic. Not projecting this onto everyone else, but for myself, when I came out the other end of it, I've found that quite toxic in itself. Just feeling that aversion and mistrust of the plant kingdom completely. It really rubbed me up the wrong way.   Mason: (23:25) And I think all it really took for me, it was really useful because it did point me towards going. I was all right. Well, then what's a useful way then for me to approach plants again and bridge myself out of that little experiment. It all came down to food preparation, selection. I don't like following ratios, but we have talked about ratios on our gut bacteria podcast, which always then comes down to where food settles in your kitchen, in the flow of your kitchen where it's settles into. Whether it's a staple aside food or sometimes food so on and so forth.   Mason: (24:03) So, that kind of plays out for the mental rationale, the ratio for the more romantic you're thinking about. The richness that's something bringing all the saltiness or the fibre. But it's something that's going to be bringing to the diet. And you kind of ... I like having wherever you're arriving to you, we've talked about, I've talked about that MD, the gastroenterologist, the vegan all fibre, basically and then the Carnivore dude. It's amazing that a field of medicine can have such extreme for that. But-   Dan Sipple: (24:33) No it is from, especially from a gastroenterologist perspective. People that are doing surgery and stuff like that to have such polarising views. I find that pretty. That's kind of blew me away when we had that conversation a couple of weeks ago.   Dan Sipple: (24:51) We both know who these characters are and they've got these kind of extreme opposite angles yet they're both kind of head of their field doing really well, really successful, really popular. There's not much middle ground and that's kind of concerning. The thing I come back to is that kind of balance in modern pop culture is kind of boring and we know that-   Mason: (25:13) Yes, it's so boring.   Dan Sipple: (25:13) For them for a brand. But you know, if that's the reality, that's the reality. If someone said to me, Dan, you can no longer take herbal medicine or everything you've learned in the last 10 to 15 years is out the window because you're wrong basically, and don't trust 5,000 years worth of TCM based on tried and tested herbal compounds. By the way, you can't eat sweet potato or berries or nuts and seeds anymore. That part of it doesn't sit well for me.   Dan Sipple: (25:46) But on the flip side, I can definitely, definitely get behind the concept of eating more organ meats and promoting to my patients and look forward to seeing the benefits of that when people start to take on that. Because I feel like that is more in line with how we ancestrally ate. You know we got to kind of time, I guess, in human history where we went, Oh, hang on food. So plentiful, now we don't have to worry about those less ideal tasting organ meats. We can just have the flesh, the muscle meat.   Mason: (26:15) That's interesting. You point to something really, I think quite important. I think I've been talking about this too much, but I've been really thinking about how a diet in the modern world forms and we need a completely different way of looking at it since it's so convenient where choosing with the ultimate convenience. There I've got bone marrow capsules at home. That Tahnee bought, I'm just, sometimes I look at it and I feel so disconnected from what the original intent is.   Mason: (26:43) Although I'm really grateful for it, it sure is a valid thing to bring about in my lifestyle. But where we're crafting and creating these lifestyles, we're choosing to do a Hunter gatherer kind of style. Some people are actually returning completely to that. But it's within compliance with society in some level. Most of the time it's choice and convenience and often new weapons and so on and so forth.   Mason: (27:10) Then likewise on the vegan style everywhere, where we're just choosing and crafting. It's this beautiful and harrowing time and therefore it's going to be confusing. And especially when someone wants to sit within one external brand or identity. We talk about this a lot. But I've been really thinking about just how many of the external worlds and groups with different group things, like for me, Carnivore has never really had that appeal, but it fits into that ancestral model.   Mason: (27:40) They maybe, but you know, just I've travelled into that world and I can feel in the ancestral think, there's all these quiet for me. I can feel these heavy rules and judgments towards the modern living and towards other kind of incomplete opposition to other things that I've valued. So, I've gone in and gone deep into that Chinese medic.   Mason: (28:03) So I've gone in and gone deep into that Chinese medical, like Taoist way of eating, which is really with the seasons taking advantage of agrarian farming culture. And then for me, like I said, I consider all these little pillars that I've journeyed into. And a lot of the time I've gotten lost in those and then developed morality. And then haven't been able to come back to myself and allow them to interrelate and amalgamate. So having another one talking to you around the bringing biodiversity to the microbiome, all of a sudden that's brought up the relevance of say these lectin containing plants, which are in complete opposition to certain might think that I've had from the ancestral perspective. I'm not having, not using lentils and beans because I just didn't have that affinity towards them.   Mason: (28:53) Likewise, I'm not really using them in a Taoist kind of perspective, but nonetheless, I've felt myself being drawn there. And despite there being this opposition, right? So there's opposition there. I've been really thinking about how my diet culture is going to rise up. I think it's relevant for all guys to really consider this. So you can journey into a world, then if you can journey back to yourself and think that you're going to have many different footings and principles that are going to lay the foundation for you to create your own diet upon, and there's going to be many opposing views. And really good example is all this carnivore world in opposition with say more of a plant-based eating for lots of fibre, lots of plant polyphenols so that we can nourish the microbiome and so on and so forth.   Mason: (29:47) But if you can stand back and allow them, all these different principles that start interrelating with each other, all these areas that have inspired you and start them, not laying them on top of each other, you've got to respect all those different worlds and the fact that they are either therapies or Taoism now being a complete system. You don't necessarily want to chop and change too much. You can feel those principles and values that you've really nourished you from there and then keep on going on your journey. You feel all of a sudden they start mixing in and creating a really beautiful culture there. I mean, we talked about in that gut podcast and all of a sudden, I felt the naughtiness of having a meal that's excessive in meat, right? Because that's going to feed a particular bacteria and families that are going to create a reducing the tightness of the junctures of the gut's wall lining. But that falls in complete opposition of my value of Argentinian cooking, right?   Dan Sipple: (30:49) Yeah, yeah.   Mason: (30:49) And so if I've stepped back and I allow those two to interplay, and I think about how it's going to work over years and decades of how they will interact with each other, all of a sudden I can feel both values been satiated and nourished. And eventually I'm kind of getting to the point where I'm hitting... I don't really have much else that I want to explore at the moment dietarily. I'm really happy to give it years to allow them to form into one another. And I think that's a good one for guys. And of course, everyone else who's listening, but for guys to remember when you find yourself in these extreme throws of diet with all these beautiful, beautiful benefits coming about, carnivore and vegan, all of that, you get the beautiful weight loss and blood sugar control and athletic output.   Mason: (31:36) But remembering that at some point, it's going to be good to move beyond that identity. The big warning I think... there's a big warning around branding yourself, whether you're branding yourself in your group of friends, in your own mind or on Instagram, it's the one thing I... I saw like Jordan Peterson's daughter then create some diet that's like a lion diet or something like that. So it was just full carnivore diet. And then last time I checked, maybe she had this all along, I'm not saying it didn't work or anything, but it was interesting to see then she was starting to have that conversation from what I could tell about bridging people towards starting to integrate plants. But that is something hard when you've created such an aversion in the [crosstalk 00:32:25].   Dan Sipple: (32:24) That's right, yeah.   Mason: (32:26) You needed to be there very solid and reverence been delivered full of harmony and you going forth and finding something that's not going to get you ejected from society. Because if you're eating all meat, it's hard to go to friend's houses. It's hard to be social and it's hard to be integrated. And that is possibly an even bigger nutrient than the food you're eating. What do you think about all that?   Dan Sipple: (32:46) So it's so true, man. Yeah. And this is a thing which I, I guess have another kind of slight issue with, I guess, is that when this really came to the forefront a year ago, like you were saying, and it was heavy on socials and Jordan Peterson was suddenly the topic of conversation and everything, and it was carnivore carnivore carnivore, the name of the diet in itself kind of ensures that yeah, you're eating meat and you're eating organ meats and it is very, animal-based. Fast forward a year later, a lot of these characters are now going, "Oh, hang on. No, we worked out that hunter gatherers ate a lot of honey, so I'm eating honey now." And yeah, these couple of fruits are suddenly on the agenda. So I mean watching that evolve over the past 12 to 18 months, I'm just kind of going, no shit, of course. Why do we have to call it a carnivore diet? Why can't it just be the ancestral diet, which already existed pre this kind of quote unquote carnivore diet kind of took the spotlight? Because an ancestral diet, take like a Weston A. Price type approach, is just that. It's the cultured dairy, minimum processed whole foods, organic. There is some plant compounds, there is beneficial fibre. There's not too much of it, but it does have a focus on organ meats as well for the skeletal health and dental health and all that type of thing too.   Dan Sipple: (34:13) So I see it kind of evolving and working its way through that type of thing. And I don't know if it will then be rebranded, I'm sure it's still going to be called the carnivore diet. But that again for me was just a bit of a kind of red flag with it where I was like, okay, so it's actually evolved within 12 months or so. And I dare say, will continue to in another 12 months.   Mason: (34:37) Yeah. It's reminiscent of when it went from fruitarian to 80 10 10, where it was just, all right, well first of all, we're [inaudible 00:34:49] Fruitarians and we're on 40 bananas a day. And then actually let's make it 80% sugar and then maybe 10% plant-based protein, 10% plant-based fats. Actually now we're making it raw till four. And so after four o'clock you can have your cooked foods, and so it goes. I think it's a beautiful skill for men to pick up as we're navigating diet, because I think there's a lot of image issues within the community of men. And that's why there is such an appeal toward... The main appeal towards ketogenesis back in the day was getting [crosstalk 00:35:33].   Dan Sipple: (35:33) Getting lean, yeah.   Mason: (35:37) I really wanted to understand the carnivore stuff. That's why when I allowed myself to get drawn in, it was that. It was just like, oh my gosh, the such sudden muscle mass growth. And oh my gosh, I've lost that weight around the wherever. It was some guys' handles, some guys it's like the man boob side of things. And you can feel, it's like an advertisement. It's no different to an infomercial at the core of its energy. I think it's great for guys to look at these things and see that there's something within a carnivore diet or any diet that's going to be coming forth, but it's got appeal. And so therefore there's a value there for them and maybe it's hormonal so on and so forth. But if you can retain that skill to go into it, say understanding that you're going into something therapeutically, really unsure, go with [inaudible 00:36:34] or something like that. Or you facilitate people going through these dietary journeys.   Mason: (36:40) But remember that you will come out the other side and at any time that your mind starts attaching and finding a rightness to what you're doing and a wrongness to what you were doing and to what other people are doing, just start to get a bit more slippery in your mind and slither out of it a little bit. Because what I think what-   Dan Sipple: (37:00) Yeah [crosstalk 00:37:01].   Mason: (37:02) Yeah. But for men, of course there's weight. Weight loss might be something to go in with, but that's going to sit there and become a little bit of an eating disorder at some point, which is what ultimately extreme diets are going to become. I feel like it's important for guys to just remember that you're going to go in and do your work, and then you're going to come out the other side of any label diet and just start to draw those principles. And if you can find it in yourself to not brand yourself in any way, just practise. Don't have any label for your diet, if you can. If it works for your profession. It's not a bad idea to have a couple of words to kind of [inaudible 00:37:48], but if you can feel that none of them can actually explain what your diet is, we're in such a discovery stage of how are we going to be eating long-term. So give yourself that freedom. I think it'll really, it'll ease up a little bit of mental stress.   Mason: (38:05) And I think for a lot of guys who are adverse, they're a bit worried about going into any kind of deep dive into health as well because they feel it is going to take away a lot of what's possible for them to do that they enjoy, just remember that's a principle in itself. That's celebratory. In fact, maybe it's eating foods that are nostalgic to you or from your childhood or connects you to your mates, that can be its own big pillar or principle that needs to long-term be integrated into all these other areas that are important to you, microbiome, ancestral eating, for me, Taoist seasonal eating, so on and so forth.   Mason: (38:43) They can mingle just, it just might be appropriate to just put it to the side for a time while you therapeutically dive in so you can get greater context around how and why you're approaching those foods that are for lack of a better word, bad for you or unhealthy, which I don't think they're words that I really value too much. But yeah. I mean, it's a wild world out there. And it's been great to see this drawing so many more men. It's been great, keto and carnivore have really engaged a lot of blokes. It's been really great to see, right?   Dan Sipple: (39:18) Totally. That's also what I do want to highlight. At the end of the day, if people, men particularly are being more conscious about their food, understanding what inflammation is, the role of it in the body, what foods cause your health, what ones boost health and whatnot on a general level and coming off that kind of sad diet, at the end of the day, that's what we want. Everyone's going to go on a process of discovery once they're down that rabbit hole at some stage and nourish their knowledge and work out what works for them. Because there's always going to be that metabolic and kind of... that flexibility. Like blood type, even blood types, I'm sure that the blood type Os are to be the ones that thrive more so on this sort of diet than your As and your Bs. So we're always going to see a bit of flexibility and diversity with who it works with and who it doesn't.   Dan Sipple: (40:14) But yeah, as I said, as long as people are becoming more switched on and connecting to their foods and their diet and where their food's coming from too, that's a huge one. So yeah. And I guess coming back to the carnivore ins and outs and rules and that type of thing, the other concern I had about it with a lot of people was that they hear all of a sudden that, oh no, you get a reduction in this inflammatory condition if you eat this way and why not? Oh, cool. And just the amount of folks that are then going to go out and just start eating more muscle meat and probably poorly raised muscle meat. That's that's for me an epic fail. And I'm sure that has the tendency to happen.   Dan Sipple: (40:52) Again, just coming back to the fact that folks in our kind of era haven't been raised really by and large eating oval and organ meats. And so even if they try them for the first time, a lot of people are going to freak out and be like, there's no way I can shelve that three times a day. I'd rather just have a ribeye. And that is going to be super, super problematic compared to your carnivore person who's super across it and is sourcing liver and heart and kidney and whatever and combining it with the muscle meats and being as diverse as possible and eating a wide variety of animals too. It comes back to the plant thing, right? You don't just want to eat the same plants, you want a diversity of plants. So I'd hope that people are trying to source the venison and the kangaroo and the beef and the chicken and the duck and making it mimic what we would have done more so ancestrally. That fits for me more. Yeah. I'm not sure where I was going with that one. Kind of a bit off track there.   Mason: (41:52) But I'll pick it up there because that was something I wanted to bring up, is it's been beautiful around this movement that there has been a balancing through the say-   Mason: (42:04) And I'm not referring to level-headed people who, for lack of a better word, are eating more of the vegan lifestyle. I'm talking about extremists whenever I bring it up.   Dan Sipple: (42:14) Right   Mason: (42:16) There was just such a stigma around meat and the vegan propaganda for going vegan for fun. Which for all intents and purposes is a great thing to explore. But then, you see with this carnivore diet, is you raising awareness around quality of meats and farming practises. That again, you just see a hopefully two balancing, harmonising elements that could and should be coming together. And of course, when you get two opposing forces, they're going to point out where the other one needs to actually look. But it's been great to see this carnivore diet coming up and of course the Keto and that kind of side of things. The level of importance being put onto regenerative farming has been really huge, heirloom breeds has been huge, of course the obvious one is going from grain-fed to grass-fed.   Dan Sipple: (43:10) Yes.   Mason: (43:12) And then as well, the push towards the medicines, eating invasive species. I've got a mate, I think I've mentioned on the podcast before, it's hard to get rabbit and that going, because there's so many [inaudible 00:43:27] getting traps out, but even the Asian Minor birds, like, why aren't we eating these birds? They get them checked and get them processed. In a professional way by of which about these animals that are invasive. They're more [inaudible 00:43:44] maybe. The medicines that we want one for us to get access to here on the East coast.   Mason: (43:51) And that's a good way to kind of go about it as well. Coming back to it was why I really respect old mate Pete [phonetic 00:43:59] where he doesn't eat any industrial foods anymore. Which is something when I drop into my ancestral or kind of pillar, that if I really embody that, if I go too far into it, my right and wrongness pointed at myself for eating any domesticated animal becomes really intense. But someone who's really gone down that route. It's like the there's quite a few people. But Pete, for everything that he does and rags on about, he's only eating animals that are native. Right. I don't know what he's actually eating, but when I think about it, I used to get the native meats delivered before the guys in the Adelaide market there. I can't remember the name, but it was magpie goose and crocodile then getting into the camel then boar and that kind of thing to help [crosstalk 00:00:44:54].   Dan Sipple: (44:55) Did you get buffalo at one stage, do I recall? Was that you?   Mason: (44:56) Yeah. Well buffalo. We can get Ocean Shores Butcher. [crosstalk 00:45:00].   Dan Sipple: (45:00) Yeah I need to try that.   Mason: (45:03) Yeah, beautiful meat. Coming from places where the Buffalo hooves are just absolutely destroying the ecology, similar to what's going on with the brumbies in, in Mount Kosciuszko. It's really hard for people, especially coming out of veganism, to wrap your head around. But there's a lot of animals that are absolutely decimating the ecology there about.   Mason: (45:25) Just remembering that, for me, it's important because I didn't grow up eating organ meats, I'm still taking capsules and that. And Tahn's and I kind of shave little bits in here and there, because absolute bliss when it comes to it. Just remembering even when you're kind of patting yourself on the back of the going grass-fed and regenerative farming, I'm not trying to guilt anyone out. And just to remember, you're still tapped completely into a pharmaceutical model. Every one of those cows is vaccinated. Its the most cutting edge practises.   Mason: (46:01) And Andrew from Byron Bay, from Grass Fed meat, great place, everyone should go and support him. They'd be supporting really good farmers. I've only been able to get chickens that aren't vaccinated, right. And they're the best chickens ever, like $45 a bird. Well otherwise, so all the cows and all the pig and the lamb and all that, and even though they're regenerating farming, they're not going to risk losing a herd by not vaccinating. So you're still tapped into a model. They're not to bring any guilt, but just get over yourself a little bit, remember that you're still sitting there as we are remembering those kinds of things, but nonetheless [crosstalk 00:04:44]   Dan Sipple: (46:43) Well if anything then hopefully it encourages people to do a bit more hunting and gathering, as lame as that might sound, but to actually get into hunting. The amount of folks that I've seen. And I know a few that have gone all the way from, let's call it a sad diet to veganism, to hardcore dogma vegan for years and years, experience all the health issues that might come with that after a certain amount of time and then come back to a Paleo Esc type diet and now picking up hunting practises. That's pretty cool. I think that's ideally what we want to do, right?   Mason: (47:17) Yep. It's a natural progression. It is definitely a natural progression. It's definitely where I've been. I just been getting a little bit more into fishing, bringing it a little bit more protein in. In that way, but it's an inevitable big venture for me to start getting into that. I've just been looking at getting those skills, kind of like rocking for the first time, but what a way to connect to the lamb it's good.   Dan Sipple: (47:45) For sure.   Mason: (47:45) Yeah. And the hunting and likewise as you said gathering, start being able to go out and people start getting herb's from you in bottles, or getting mushrooms from me. And then eventually they are out there in the shrub looking at their own mushrooms. Right. Start harvesting and if they want [inaudible 00:06:04]. I think we're having Jake Cassar next week on the podcast so you going to do some witchcraft with old Jake as well. Anything else you wanted to just drop in there around diet and just especially if we just focus on the guys men's health in general, when it comes to diet any other little tidbits or advice?   Dan Sipple: (48:28) Look, I think just to kind of leave it with the fact that we really not trying to demonise meat at all in this podcast, if anything, we're promoting ethical source, as we said, if you're going to do it go more nose to tail really, really make an emphasis on trying to bring in those organ meats. The nutrient profile on that stuff is, in my opinion, nature's superfood and trumps anything. So it really to emphasise that. And there's no question that if you are kind of struggling with libido and performance and cognition and that type of thing, this is something that you may want to experiment with and do short term, I'd encourage that.   Dan Sipple: (49:06) The long term I'm talking years down, the track is where I have my concerns, but definitely in the short term to get away from a more sad diet, way of eating to then incorporating more organs, more nose to tail type foods and ways of cooking and preparation and that type of thing, go for it. Don't hold back at the same time, be accountable, be respectful and call yourself out if there is issues that, that arise out of it. And don't get too dogmatic. This is the biggest one, right?   Mason: (49:39) Yeah. It's the biggest one, 100%. Yeah. It's so good to kind of experiment with [inaudible 00:49:43] help break like some of the rules you had in mind. I still sometimes have big hunk of protein for breakfast and I still kind of pat myself, looking sideways at myself.   Dan Sipple: (49:55) Yeah.   Mason: (49:55) "What are you doing mate?" But yeah. Ultimately I agree with you, it's something worth potentially exploring and then letting it just settle into the diet for me. Yeah. It's still kind of at the point where meat sits in there as a bit of a side dish from the Taoist perspective, Tahnee [phonetic 00:00:50:21] and I are still doing quite a bit of blood building, after all these years of being vegetarian. So it's another kind of place where it can be slowly integrated and being cooked well. The stews, boiling them up is still something where I find a lot of meat coming in and then, yeah. But otherwise it's sitting and trying to just remember that having that there as a kind of a little bit of a side dish almost in the meals. It must still settle into place for me. I don't know how your [inaudible 00:50:51] with the gut bacteria.   Dan Sipple: (50:52) Yeah, look I'm the same I have to say. I still catch myself sometimes going, I've definitely out done my protein quota for today. And you can probably feel that turn and down in the gut. As you know, I kind of keep close tabs on the microbiome and test every kind of three or four months and just see where it's at. And look, I've definitely seen times when I have gone too protein heavy, a spike in the bacteria that ferment them and it' be not so good. And that's me, who's super, super, super tuned in to everything microbiome.   Dan Sipple: (51:22) So, it is a delicate balance and that's why I keep saying it, but I come back to that kind of impact of just eating too much protein and too much fat without the context of the fibre there to buffer it. That's the longterm concern. So in a nutshell guys, those of you listening, do it, experiment with it, but get your pathology done alongside it, get your bloods. And if you keen to go that far into it, get the stool test done as well and check it all out.   Mason: (51:49) Do the microbiomes, that's what you're saying?   Dan Sipple: (51:53) Yeah, yeah.   Mason: (51:53) The microbiome tests. I hope you're not following too many rules. I've got my wedding coming up. It's a couple of Argentinian boys cooking, a lot of meat and vegetables over the fire.   Dan Sipple: (52:01) Awesome, pumped.   Mason: (52:03) Leave all your dogma at the door. Sipple. But man, I appreciate it so much. Thanks for your non-dogma approach and helping us talking clinical and helping us bridge that into what that looks like. Long-term in a diet as well from your perspective. It's really helpful. I know the guys who are really appreciating it.   Dan Sipple: (52:24) Anytime, bro, it's been fun job.   Mason: (52:27) Go and work with Dan. I mean, you're pretty busy at the moment, but like [crosstalk 00:52:32] hit up Functional Naturopath. The Functional Naturopath, .com or .au?   Dan Sipple: (52:38) Yeah, just .com and The.Functional.Naturopath on Insta.   Mason: (52:41) That's beautiful. Catch you bro.   Dan Sipple: (52:43) Okay, later brother.
In this second episode of our Brovember Series Mason sits down with Renaissance Woman, Oni Blecher, for a heart centred, honest conversation around Masculinity, Feminism, and Men’s Mental Health through the lens of her ethnographic studies in the field of Masculinities. With a background deeply embedded in Women's work, Midwifery, and Craniosacral Therapy, Blecher’s transformational journey of understanding and questioning her perspectives on Masculinity is one of empowerment for Men and Women alike. Mason and Oni delve into: Equality for all human beings regardless of Sexual Identity and Gender. Lack of accessibility to health and how this is affecting the landscape of Men's Mental Health, particularly in isolated communities. How Men's Mental Health is essentially the Family's Mental Health. Feminism and what this loaded word means to each woman individually.  Breaking down Gender Ideologies. The grave statistics of Male Mental Health and domestic violence in Australia; Are we adequately addressing the root causes of this problem? Male Stereotypes and how these stereotypes are being perpetuated by a lack of opportunity and space for discussion groups amongst men. The importance of more women advocating for Men’s Mental Health and more Men advocating for Women's issues in order to create a healthy society for all. Unifying together as a society to create a force of good, progression, and evolution for all.    Who is Oni Blecher? Oni has a diversity of roles and experience within the physiological, media/journalism, creative arts, and academic realms. Oni studied a bachelor of midwifery and has assisted many women in the antenatal, birth and postnatal periods. She is on the development team as Vice President and a Podcast host for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond Media; a media channel focused on maternity health advocacy; to Inform and Inspire people to re-think intergenerational wisdom through child birth and family education.  In the past, she has facilitated regular village postnatal support groups and other education in all-women’s spaces.  Oni works practicing visionary craniosacral work, Arvigo Techniques of Maya abdominal Therapy, myofascial release and urogenital osteopathy. She also runs The Temple of Words; a monthly poetry gathering in Byron Bay and Sydney. Recently completing her masters degree with a research focus of Australian masculinities and male mental health within a Creative Industries perspective, Oni is even more invested in the vision of uniting the healthy feminine and the healthy masculine through shifting social perspective.  Resources: Pregnancy, Birthing and Beyond Website Oni's Instagram Temple Of Words Instagram Oni Blecher Email Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?   A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus  we're on Spotify!   Check Out The Transcript Here:   Mason: (00:00) Hi everybody, and welcome Oni.   Oni Bletcher: (00:02) Hi, thanks for having me.   Mason: (00:04) Really great, I like the way this all fell together. Everyone, Oni's going to be facilitating our wedding as well. I guess there's a connection there, but I digress. The fact that you just thought of me to send out an email, talking about your post-grad study, your studying in your masters. I'll let you go on with it. And then you mentioned the fact that it's men's health and mental health and his transformational journey you've gone in your relation to that. And you were sharing it with a local business and you were able to invite a few people. You sent me the email, I thought, can't come. But that's what I've been craving for Brovember, is getting a woman's perspective. Because it's kind of coming to a point, either men kicking back against the woman's movement, feeling, some feeeling recently suppressed by it, some empowered by it, some throwing their support behind it, some losing their masculinity in it, some finding their masculinity in it. There's just this cocktail. But I'd just like to hear why you chose this topic and what exactly have you written?   Oni Bletcher: (01:19) Hmm, Mason, I'm so happy to be here because I spent two years in the post-grad little wormhole, which is semi isolating because you're only really speaking to your mentors and other people studying. And you feel like potentially the academic realm is a little bit unrelatable to life. But in my case, I was kind of doing an ethnographic study, which means that I'm entering the field of masculinities or through my interactions with my interviewees, really trying to immerse myself in the world of men or understanding what it is to be a man.   Oni Bletcher: (01:52) And what took me to that study was when I was in my, I think, early to mid twenties, I started noticing my prejudices towards men. And I was curious about that because I come from a family of three sisters. I went to an all girls school. I had my father as my main male role model. And he's a great man, but I didn't have a lot of men that were integrated into my life. And I didn't have this understanding of what it was like to be a man by the empathy or more close relationships with men.   Mason: (02:24) What were your prejudices?   Oni Bletcher: (02:25) Well, this is interesting because I also studied midwifery and have always been interested in women's work. And I still do a lot of women's work, but I noticed that when I was going to connect with a man, or in contact with men, and I didn't know whether this was focused like media focus or, it's obviously a lot of social construction, but there were three main things I figured out. It was like fear, I was afraid of men, I was angry at men, or I wanted to have sex with them, I was sexually objectifying men. And I started wondering, the feminist movement, are, were, will be so angry at being put into a gendered box. And I started checking my own feminism because I did, and to some respect, I still do, call myself a feminist in the respect of equality for all human beings, regardless of their sexual identity and gender. But I just wanted to be careful with what I meant when I said feminism and that I understood it myself because we live in a really changing and evolving social and global society. So yeah, I started thinking about that and then I was like, "Oh, well, how do I figure out what it is like to be a man?" Sure, I'm limited by the men I'm around in this country at the moment. But I started a photo essay called Men at Peace and I was taking medium format portraits of men during meditation. So I would ask them if they would be happy for me to interview them as well, and we'd sit together and we'd go into that calm spot together. And then when I felt the drop of the meditation, I would take a few photos of their face in peace and also their hands, very relaxed, because I noticed that in our media landscape, there wasn't a lot of men's faces, peaceful men's faces. And I thought, how does that affect us in seeing men generally? So I wanted to see them myself. So I made that happen.   Oni Bletcher: (04:17) And then I'd ask them three simple questions. How do you find peace? How did you come to that peace seeking practise? And what does it mean for you to be a man? And like, boom. And it was just really interesting, the broad spectrum of answers I got. One guy would be like, what does it mean to be man? I've got a dick, and I'm like, "Okay, sure. That's great." And then another man who was a psychology professor, took me through the history of man, from how we've evolved as men or as human. And that was his context of his manhood. And so my mind was just opening. And I felt in this embodied, present connection with these men that I was photographing, interviewing. I felt my own layers of judgement and social construction breakdown. And I was able to look at how my gender also influenced their behaviours.   Oni Bletcher: (05:07) And I'm a perpetual learner. And I would've kept going with this, but I did see that there was a master's programme opening up at SAE. And I know that they're so creative focused and I've always wanted to do a master's, but I didn't want to get stuck in the dusty book labyrinth of just like, I don't know, reproducing other people's ideas, I wanted to create and collaborate. And so I went into their Masters of Creative Industries with this photo essay. And then from there, it's a module and project based masters. But from there, I went deeper into the research and with the framework of male mental health and Australian masculinities, because that is where I live. And I wanted to understand how perceptions of masculinity affected our male demographic, but also looking at our statistics of suicide and domestic violence.   Mason: (06:04) There's a lot there. The fact that you had that lens and an anger or frustration towards men, or a fear of men, or a sexual attraction towards men, it's probably, because objectification is something that men do to women. And it's something I can definitely relate to. You know I grew up, my parents divorced when I was two. So I had a mother, a strong mother, who it was like me and her against the world. And she was a great mom and there was never too much to report, but psychologically, I can see there was an enmeshment there. And so I feel I've got somewhat of an enmeshment of an understanding of how that, what we'd call a third wave feminist, how they would see the world and form somewhat, not completely, but somewhat of their identity through kicking back against something that's in their environment, rather than forming, connecting with something that's a little bit more truer, more real internally.   Mason: (07:17) And I talk about that, there's many ways that men do it, there's many ways people do it. It's an ideology. We talk about ideology a lot here on the podcast and it's a very harrowing thing, I can imagine if you're a feminist and I've had many conversations with Tani where she's bumped up against her feminism. Yeah. Realising, what's my ideological feminism, and what's my connection to that without that being an ideology or something that other people are going to judge me, if I act one way or another. So there's many brave women breaking out of that cult of feminism right now. And I feel like there's, as you said, true feminism emerging, one of the key things you said there. One of the things I see, men coming to peace with women who are feminists is when there's an equality of opportunity, but we're not projecting an equality of outcome onto people and trying to stuff men or women into what kind of outcome you need to be creating in society in order to fit this ideological agenda.   Mason: (08:20) And there seems to be a lot of peace when everyone gets out of everyone else's way, lets everyone have access to what we all should have equal access to, that their not projecting where that person or that penis-having body or that vulva-having body or anything and everything in between where they need to end up, and there's a peace. But thats um a huge journey for a lot of women, I can imagine, to crack out of that. And likewise, men, crack out of that ideology. Was there a catharsis for you? Was it just, did it take all the years of you going through this process, were there years of you unshedding that? Did you have to go to therapy? How did you find yourself more in that process?   Oni Bletcher: (09:03) Yeah, it's really interesting question because don't get me wrong, I still get angry at certain inequalities and I'm still evolving my own meaning of feminism. But I don't want to blindly associate myself with a term that people might represent in a way that doesn't actually advocate for equality. So I'm quite careful about how I articulate it. And the only way to articulate it is to, like you said, spend years being introspective. And I think that's a journey for every human being to understand how they're constructed.   Oni Bletcher: (09:35) So on a personal level, I can't really think of main points of catharsis except that I have in my studies, because I've studied midwifery and I still do a lot of women's work. And so I am advocating for the journey of women, and that place of women's empowerment, and that women can be heard. But at the same time, I do believe that we are all being oppressed under the same system that you know, yes it was created by some men and there are men associated with that oppressive system, but it's all human beings under that system that are suffering and being oppressed, but in different ways. And so it's easy to cling on to one way and go, well, that's not fair, and not see the other ways that people are being oppressed. And I just wanted to see all the ways, I just wanted to understand everything.   Oni Bletcher: (10:26) And so I really did want to sit with men, but there were a couple of points along my studies where other things would happen where I would get angry, because I'm like, well, there were certain things that would happen, like I would experience that prejudice against my gender and I'd be like, "Well, what the fuck am I doing? I should just be advocating for women." And then I'd have to check where that's coming from, and understanding and using that anger to really then again, go back to the union factor. Because I feel like in our world, there is no other way but to unify together to create a force of good and of progression and evolution.   Oni Bletcher: (11:13) But I think the catharsis was more points of anger where I would feel again, my own gender as a woman being threatened or I guess, I would feel that prejudice against my own gender and question, what am I doing? But then to keep going and persevering and finding the gems again, I guess that was the catharsis, the journey.   Oni Bletcher: (11:38) And another thing that I really enjoyed about it was that it was a semi-private thing. In our world, everyone's publishing and showing what they're doing every step of the way, which I think sometimes it's really important. But I didn't want to produce half baked ideas or half baked processes of myself. So I'd tell friends what I was doing and I have all these photographs that I've never shown anyone. But to me, it was really sacred that I kept that space between me and the men that I was interviewing sacred. And obviously they were happy for me to share their interviews in my academic forum. But yeah, to have that as my own thing, felt like the catharsis in itself.   Oni Bletcher: (12:21) And I did have an amazing uni mentor. I'm not sure if I can say her name, but she was my mentor and she is such a amazing staunch feminist queer theorist. And to have her backing me in studies of masculinities was really important, because I trusted that she would kind of tweak my ideologies. She's the most genius woman ever, creative person. And because she is so fiercely feminist and a beautiful queer woman, understanding the nuances of queerness in our society, it was almost like we could talk about masculinities by framing it as like a, yeah... By putting queer into masculinities was really interesting too, because yeah, I don't know, it's hard not to get too geeky when I talk about it.   Mason: (13:12) Go geeky, I think everyone loves it, and they'll tune out if they need to be, and their subconscious will kick in again. But no, go full geeky. We don't love just sitting on the official narrative, yeah.   Oni Bletcher: (13:24) Well, talking about minorities, no one would say that white men are a minority. That's not what anyone would say   Mason: (13:34) Depends on where you are in the world.   Oni Bletcher: (13:35) Exactly. But I have a chapter in my thesis called, I guess, I don't know what it's called, masculinity is a psychological minority, because I wanted to understand how we can have these grave statistics of male mental health in this country and domestic mental and domestic violence, and then still not look at that like a crisis. So it was almost like, as a psychological minority, how are we not adequately addressing the root causes of these really damaging, damaging to men and women, boys and girls, all of society, how are we not going to that root cause now? And by not going there, how are we fucking up the world more?   Oni Bletcher: (14:14) So yeah, I found that that lens really interesting too. It's so easy to be like, oh, white men kind of thing. And I do it, my friends do it, it's a thing you can do because in general, that demographic is quite protected generally speaking, politically, financially. So it's risky for me to be like, oh. But there is a psychological dismissal happening, and I really wanted to understand that, and speaking to men was really helpful to try and understand. Because then there's a whole other aspect, it's like genetically speaking, how we've evolved hormonally. And this is why I love your work because you speak about our bodies in a really interesting way.   Oni Bletcher: (14:56) And I also, coming from a physiological base background