Subscribe to the Learn True Health Podcast with Ashley James

Understanding Epigenetics 

Epigenetics and gene methylation are two essential components to our health. Symptoms can only warn us at a certain extent, but epigenetics and gene methylation enable us to understand why our body is working the way it is.  To help us understand epigenetics and gene methylation and how it affects us, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald is on the show today to explain why.

Early Training

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald shares that she did some did training after medical school, after which she took on a post-doctorate position in Nutritional Biochemistry at a chemistry lab that was pretty advanced. Together with a team, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald analyzed things like organic acids and toxins. 

“We were looking at evidence of how genes were functioning in our bodies by looking at various things that were products of gene activation,” said Dr. Kara Fitzgerald. “We eventually started analyzing the microbiome using PCR and DNA analysis. Incidentally, we were the first lab to offer it clinically. So in a way, we were early adaptors.”

Then, after some time, the whole idea of methylation became popular. Many people started inquiring about data. According to Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, it was exciting, but her background is working in the laboratory keeps her rooted in research.

What Is Methylation

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald explains that methylation is a massive multi-factorial process that happens in the body. But simply put, a methyl group is just carbon with three hydrogens.

“We can then take that methyl group and stick it on to compounds in the body and then pop it off as compounds,” said Dr. Kara Fitzgerald. “So, we’re forever putting methyl groups on to things and taking it off of things.” 

She adds, “So it’s difficult to pin down what symptoms are associated with methylation. Because it is fundamental, and it is happening all over the place. To date, over two hundred enzymes are using that methyl group in humans.”

Discovering Epigenetic Methylation

Some years ago, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald came in contact with epigenetic methylation. DNA methylation is a fundamental epigenetic piece. The hypermethylation of a gene generally turns it off while the hypomethylation of a gene generally allows it to be expressed. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald says because of that, it can have a profound influence on health or the expression of disease.

Tumor suppressor genes can be hypermethylated and turned off. Hypomethylation will allow a gene to be expressed. It is also here where you can see the hypomethylation patterns in cancer and other chronic diseases.

“The gene that’s going to promote the development of cancer could be hypomethylated and therefore turned on. As I dove into the literature, I thought that perhaps we were pushing methylation too far and influencing negatively epigenetic methylation,” said Dr. Kara Fitzgerald. 

She adds, “We want to pay attention to what’s coming down the scientific pipe. Think about it being applicable and likewise ask if we are doing something that we need to change. The world of epigenetic methylation is a huge a-ha moment for me, ultimately changing the way I think and practice medicine.”

Methylation Goals

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald reveals that people should aim for balanced methylation of the epigenome. We must also be able to allow the body to make the decision points on how our epigenome is methylated.

There are demethylating drugs that are used in cancer therapy, and they do widespread demethylation of the epigenome. But while they are helpful, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald says they are not specific.

But it looks like nutrients can be a little bit more specific around allowing balanced methylation expression in the epigenome. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald primarily uses diet to optimize methylation expression or epigenetic expression in the body.

“The research in epigenetics prompted me to pause and not just push methylation forward because we see a genetic mutation in somebody,” explains Dr. Kara Fitzgerald. “Be mindful around the fact that pushing methylation reactions forward with high dose B vitamins will probably prove that it’s not the best way.” 

She adds, “In the short term if you got somebody who has a profound B-12 or folate deficiency and has anemia because of it, that might not be the answer. There may also be anxiety or imbalance in their transmitters that could change moods.”

But Dr. Kara Fitzgerald says that the bigger question to ask is why we are methylating genes that we don’t want to methylate. Another point to ponder on is gauging whether we are shutting off tumor suppressor genes that we otherwise wish to function well.

Furthermore, if we don’t have enough methylation nutrients in our body, we must figure out if we allow the expression of genes we don’t want to express. Another factor to think about is seeing whether we cause our epigenetic methylation patterns to be off.

Epigenetic Clock

One area that Dr. Kara Fitzgerald is interested in is cancer. She says some of the detox genes can be methylated and turned off. The other piece she’s interested in is aging.

“Aging itself is a process where we stop methylating as well. As we age, we see regions of the gene hypomethylating. But you can still have regions of hypermethylation that you don’t want,” Dr. Kara Fitzgerald said. “Dr. Steve Horvath from UCLA designed an epigenetic clock. There are over 300 methylation sites on the genome that is associated with aging.”

In Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s program, people’s epigenetic clock is changed. The program involves dietary changes, meditation, tracking sleep, and exercise. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald further reveals that the program changes the protein produced by the genome through altering the epigenome that creates a better environment, which ultimately is a better way for us to respond to stress.

“There are all sorts of methylation patterns associated with stress and depression. Sometimes, we can inherit it from our parents, or we can develop these imbalanced patterns from childhood. We can also get them as adults during extremely stressful periods,” said Dr. Kara Fitzgerald.

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald says sleep quality also influences epigenetic expression. We also know that diet has a massive influence on epigenetic expressions as well. Under her program, they help people transition from a standard American diet to a diet that’s very rich in methyl nutrients through food.

Ongoing Research

There are many ongoing research studies to understand epigenetics and gene methylation better. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald shares that research today demonstrates that healthy food does have a protective effect. We have a robust methyl donor-rich diet, but we also have foods called methylation adaptogens to finesse methylation.

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald also reveals that studies are looking at inflammatory or anti-inflammatory genes. The first thing to figure out is whether or not the pro-inflammatory genes are turned on. And then at the end of the study, researchers look into possibilities whether or not we can inhibit them.

Research Results

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald also shares that a lot of the current research we have on epigenetics is limited to animal studies. But more studies are coming out in humans.

“We can’t do a one-on-one extrapolation, but there’s research that deprives animals of one night of good sleep. It’s not just the next night that they are messed up. It lasts till the next day,” said Dr. Kara Fitzgerald.

Therefore, you can imagine the lasting damage that can happen on the epigenome, altering the genetic expression if you get poor quality sleep. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald likewise reveals that there are epigenetic marks that aren’t going to be changed by diet and lifestyle. Plus, there are regions of the epigenome that are more vulnerable to these changes.

“There are many differential methylation patterns in many autoimmunity conditions. Autism incidentally is a huge one,” said Dr. Kara Fitzgerald. “Neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s has imbalanced methylation patterns as well.”

Furthermore, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald says there’s a higher incident of autism in moms with autoimmunity. Having heavy metals and toxins in the body also affects the methylation process.

Adaptogenic Foods

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald advises eating food that are methyl donors and food containing folate, vitamin B-12, beets, and minerals. Ultimately, she says we need a good, rich body of methylation donors to keep that happening.

Incidentally, a Functional Medicine doctor, Dr. Michael Stone from Oregon, coined the term methylation adaptogens. Methylation adaptogens are compounds in fruits and vegetables. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald describes them as active constituents that augment methylation behavior.

One of Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s favorite form of nutrition is green tea because of EGCG, which stands for epigallocatechin gallate.  It is a polyphenol with health benefits against diseases like obesity, insulin resistance, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Rosemary is also a powerful epigenetic modulator, and the same goes for curcumin, blueberries, and turmeric. Good fatty acids are recommended, and Dr. Kara Fitzgerald says there are also some probiotics that appear to be able to promote folate production.

Ultimately, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald encourages a food first approach before taking any medicine.  A good healthy gut is essential as well as getting enough exercise.  One big thing that can help is minimizing toxin exposures.

Additional Resources

For additional information on methylation, check out Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s website.  You’ll be able to find links to her e-book, Clinical Development Programs, Functional Nutrition Residency Program as well as contact information of her clinic.

There’s also a link to her FXMED podcast and a collection of recipes that are easy to make.  Her online store also has products to help improve methylation and an assortment of supplements.


Dr. Kara Fitzgerald received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first CNME-accredited post-Doctorate position in Nutritional Biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix (now Genova) Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, Ph.D. 

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, an extensive, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine, a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine’s updated Textbook for Functional Medicine. 

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. She is on the faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine and is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She was formerly on faculty at the University of Bridgeport in the School of Human Nutrition and the School of Naturopathic Medicine. 

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald is a clinician-researcher for The Institute for Therapeutic Discovery. She regularly lectures internationally for several organizations and is in private practice in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

Get Connected With Dr. Kara Fitzgerald:

Official Website






Sound Cloud

Books by Dr. Kara Fitzgerald

Methylation Diet And Lifestyle – Ebook

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald’s Publications

Recommended Readings:

The Wahls Protocol

Recommended Links:

Hormones Balance

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Epigenetics – Dr. Kara Fitgerald & Ashley James – #274

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Eliminating Anxiety 

Eliminating anxiety is such an essential component for achieving success and happiness. But a lot of people still have no idea that anxiety is a significant deterrent.

Anxiety has become the number 1 mental health issue in the United States. Studies show that one-third of the American adult population usually experience anxiety-related issues. And the results are not surprising because anxiety affects a lot of things. 

I guested recently on Melissa Monte’s Mind Love Podcast where I talked about eliminating anxiety techniques as well as tips on creating healthy habits and rewiring your brain. This episode will teach you how to rewire our brain, form positive habits, think happy thoughts, react better and learn faster.

Childhood Years

I was a very sickly child when I was about six years old during the 80s. That time, my mother was working hard and tended to take a lot of antibiotics or medicines instead of resting.

My mother ended up getting candida and yeast overgrowth. She felt horrible and irritable aside from dealing with brain fog. That usually happens when we take a lot of antibiotics because it kills all this good biome and bacteria.

Discovering Natural Medicine

Soon enough, my mother found a Naturopathic Doctor and took me along as well. After a battery of tests, that doctor declared that I was allergic to milk, wheat, yeast, and sugar.

There were supplements that he created and got both my mother and me on a diet. Our new diet was gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and had lots of vegetables.

The new diet would consist of anything from fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, beans, some fish, and some chicken. It sounds boring, but my health improved significantly. In fact, I had so much energy and didn’t get sick anymore.

Rebel Years

Like the typical teenager, I decided to rebel when I was 13 years old. It was not long after that I lost my health. By the time I was 19 years old, I was pre-diabetic. I also developed PCOS and was told that I’d never have kids.

By the time I was 26 years old, I was suffering from monthly chronic infections that needed antibiotics.  I also had chronic adrenal fatigue and became a full-blown diabetic.

It was a hard time for me because it was also during this period that my mother passed away. I lost myself, my emotional body and mental body. In an attempt to find a way to heal, I discovered Neuro-linguistic programming.

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

Neuro-linguistic programming is a way of communicating, psychotherapy and personal development that started in the 1970s. It has incredible tools that can make you mentally stronger.

You can become stronger by letting go of negative emotions. Let go of limiting decisions and create the person you know you are without all the garbage and baggage. Neuro-linguistic programming helps you let go of a lot of guilt and shame.

A Better Place

So, in becoming a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic programming, Timeline Therapy, Hypnosis, and Health Coaching, I healed my heart. As far as dieting is concerned, I tried a lot of diets and failed because I realize the nutrition factor was missing.

Then I found Natural Medicine again seven years ago. Becoming a Health Coach was very fulfilling because I helped clients heal naturally and work on things like eliminating anxiety. In fact, I personally never realized I had anxiety until I learned not to have it anymore.

My life is different now.  I was able to conceive naturally to a healthy baby boy who is now three years old. And doing this podcast gives me so much joy knowing I am helping to educate a lot of people.

Understanding Anxiety

Some techniques can help change things to achieve specific goals in life. Such as treating phobias, depression, learning disorders and eliminating anxiety.

Anxiety, in particular, can be different for everybody because we are so different from our belief system.  But remember, anxiety is not a negative emotion.

Sometimes, anxiety is associated with anger.  And anger is healthy when it is anger at the moment. Why? Because it helps us get motivated to do something somehow. So, it’s healthy to process it and let it go immediately. Looking at it from another perspective, an unconscious mind is communicating emotions to us.

In Touch With Emotions

Sometimes, our emotions come from unresolved memories from the past. It can also be negative beliefs about ourselves which we have to resolve. Anxiety helps us focus on what we want.

You see, the body cannot tell the difference between what is imagined and what is real. There’s a study conducted wherein there were three controlled groups of people.

The first group was taught simple 5-finger piano exercises. Those people never played the piano before. The second group was tasked to imagine playing the piano with one hand. Then the third group was made to play the piano without any prior lessons. Each exercise lasted for thirty minutes.

For the first two groups, results showed that they were three times more expressive than people who just aimlessly played the piano. Those who imagined playing the song and those who played the song to the body and the brain happened to produce the same result. The study proved that those who just imagined over and over again, have just as much improvement as those who practiced.

Now the problem with anxiety is that people who don’t understand why we have anxiety, go to a doctor.  The doctor would then and put patients on drugs which eventually alters the chemistry of the body.

But then people would usually say they still felt anxious. This is because they always focus on what they don’t want. And when this happens, you are triggering your stress response over and over. That’s why our body can’t heal. And when stress isn’t adequately addressed, it can sometimes lead to cancer.

Being Aware Of Symptoms

Physical symptoms should be regarded as a warning signal to investigate the root of whatever is going on. Because people aren’t just born with anxiety. Relief from some things doesn’t mean that any actual feeling has occurred. It’s usually just suppressing it.

I firmly believe we can reverse almost everything with Natural Medicine. Although I appreciate drugs for emergency medicine, there are some situations when drugs are not necessary. For example, for chronic illness, you should not see a medical doctor. This also goes for the time when we have emotions we want to resolve.

Anxiety Freedom Relief Technique

This particular eliminating anxiety technique focuses on what you do want. Mainly, you want to send a message to your body that we are now at a safe place. It is actually what NLP is, which is understanding how our neurology works.

First of all, think of about that future event that stresses you out and get in touch with that. Gauge it on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being the lowest. Then imagine how much anxiety do you feel right now.

Close your eyes and float above your timeline. Float for 15 minutes past the successful completion of the event to which you have anxiety from. You need to imagine the successful completion.

Then think about what level is your anxiety now. Usually, 95% of listeners at this point no longer have anxiety. Because they were obvious on what they were anxious about. They went through 15 minutes past the successful completion which told their body that the threat is gone now. That’s how you turn off that stress response.

As for the remaining 5%, those are usually the people who didn’t imagine the success. Some people imagine the completion. They did not envision the root reason why they have anxiety in the first place.

So, an effective way of eliminating anxiety is by going 15 minutes past the completion of your life.  And have a positive mindset. Motivate yourself to think that your life is going to work out.


Usually, it takes between 21 and 60 days to make or break a habit. Learn the art of habit stacking. One way is to pick something you do every day and stick to that. It’s a lot easier adding to your routine than it was to create it in the beginning. Intentionally focus on what you want.

And why does it happen?  Well, because there’s part of the brain called the reticular activating system. It’s part of our brain’s filter system that allows us to get what we want. Plus, it can’t tell the difference between a negative and a positive. In other words, it helps us get what we don’t want.


Hakalau means Peripheral Vision and Expanded Awareness in the Hawaiian language.  It is also known as The Learning State. It’s all about becoming aware of your peripheral vision.

There are exercises you can do every day to develop your peripheral vision and your awareness. It teaches you to step away and become an observer, to learn to slow things down and think before reacting.

Free Your Anxiety Webinar

To know more about techniques for eliminating anxiety, do check out my website and click on the link to join my free webinar. It’s a great resource if you want to dive deeper into learning long-term techniques in eliminating anxiety, fear, and stress for good.

Mind Love Podcast – Eliminating Anxiety episode

Mind Love Website

Learn True Health – Free Your Anxiety Webinar

Get Connected With Melissa Monte ( Mind Love Podcast)!




Mind Love Listeners Facebook Group



Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

liminating Anxiety – Melissa Monte & Ashley James – #273

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Zero Waste Living

How many of you have tried to live a life of zero waste? In this materialistic world,  having zero waste seems something hard to do.  But it is possible.  My guest Rachel Pulley will teach us the beauty of having zero waste lifestyle and how to be aware of the problems that our waste is creating.

How It All Began

Rachel Pulley’s zero waste journey began about over two years ago.  She says her zero waste lifestyle started in a place that is quite unusual for most people. One day, Rachel Pulley got overwhelmed with how much waste we create during whenever women have their period. That is indeed an odd place where people would start a zero-waste lifestyle.

“I say it’s a funny place to begin this journey because this change is usually the last one people make. And I became overwhelmed by the thought of all the waste I would produce in my lifetime alone,” said Rachel Pulley.

Starting The Research

So Rachel Pulley began researching for feasible solutions or alternatives. That’s where her journey started.  The more she dug into the zero waste lifestyle, Rachel Pulley found different podcasts that she loves to listen to. 

“I found bloggers living a Zero Waste Lifestyle, authors, and community and I began my journey through those experiences,” said Rachel Pulley. “But I am not a scientist or environmentalist but I see what’s happening and it worries me.”

Menstrual Cup

Using a menstrual cup was Rachel Pulley’s initial attempt to live a life of zero waste. A menstrual cup comes in different kinds, and Rachel Pulley declares the little silicone cup as life-changing.

For sanitary reasons, Rachel Pulley boils her menstrual cup once a month, and she even has no problems sleeping with it.  There’s a brand of a menstrual cup that comes in assorted colors, and Rachel Pulley assures that it’s not hard to use it. She also advises women to watch Youtube tutorials to learn how to use a menstrual cup.

I have read that tampons and pads are harmful if they aren’t organic.  This is because we can absorb chemicals from the cotton. That’s why Rachel Pulley also recommends using cloth pads.

In A Nutshell

Rachel Pulley says she strives to live the zero waste lifestyle. And there are so many factors in our surroundings that contribute to waste. Plastic breaks up over time and becomes smaller. Eventually, the fishes in the ocean will think it’s food, so they eat it, and we eat them. That’s how plastic is starting to show up in us.

“Our waste doesn’t just go away. It’s affecting our environment, killing animals, affecting our health and draining our resources,” said Rachel Pulley.

Baby Steps

Apart from the menstrual cup, Rachel Pulley started bringing a reusable bag everywhere especially during shopping trips and doing the grocery. This is because she says plastic bags get ripped and soiled. It then ends up in landfills or shipped to underdeveloped countries.

A big chunk of plastic also ends up in oceans.  The plastic by then looks like food, which turtles think it’s jellyfish.

“There are so many different forms of waste. It can be trash, food waste or clothing,” explains Rachel Pulley. “When you’re starting this journey, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. But we aren’t perfect.” 

She adds, “Try a zero waste audit. Look at your trash. Think of what you can get rid off and what you can’t live without. It’s a fun journey, and it should uplift you.”

Zero Waste Party

Rachel Pulley threw a unique birthday party to celebrate her 30th birthday last year. She says doing a zero waste party needs ample time for planning since you have to figure out how to get products in alternative ways.

One way is to buy ingredients in bulk and pack them in your reusable bag or steel containers especially when purchasing meat. For her party, Rachel Pulley made appetizers and had guests use cloth napkins instead of paper plates.  For drinks, there was lemonade served in glass cups. 

“People won’t understand it at first. But get creative. Expose kids to the outside world to help them be aware. Have a family clean-up to motivate kids. Do a beach clean-up time to time because kids generally want to change the world,” said Rachel Pulley.


Rachel Pulley doesn’t think plastic is necessarily the enemy, but what we created it to be, it’s everywhere. So, her advice is to just become more mindful not only of recycling.

“Recycling is a good alternative. But I don’t think it’s the best way to handle what we got,” said Rachel Pulley. “Because in the end, recycling something has to start somewhere. It can’t just keep being recycled unless it’s glass or paper.”

Zero Waste Home

One of Rachel Pulley favorite authors is Bea Johnson, the author of Zero Waste Home. To jumpstart your zero waste lifestyle, Rachel Pulley advises starting with refusing the things you don’t need. Then reuse the things that you can.

“The idea is to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce by looking where to stop buying and replace with something better. Recycling is at the bottom because essentially, you want to cut out as much as you can,” said Rachel Pulley.

Containers And Utensils

Since we know that we can absorb the toxic elements from plastic cups, it’s best to invest in glass containers to store food and stainless-steel containers like this brand called Hydroflask. It may be costly, buy investing in good containers and thermos bottles can do wonders for your health in the long run.

Another way is to bring your silverware.  Nowadays, there are even more alternatives when it comes to utensils. Some are also made from bamboo.  Rachel Pulley says an excellent resource for environmentally-friendly items aside from Amazon or eBay is a website called Tiny Yellow Bungalow and Package Free Shop in New York City.

These companies even go as far as packaging with paper or cardboard. Another great item to invest in reusable straws which are easy to clean.

Dealing With Food

Speaking of food, a zero waste lifestyle means you will also tend to steer clear of processed foods since those are packaged with plastic.  You get to eat more real food that way.

“I try to live healthily and eat clean. And I always know the difference between how I eat. But I also notice a huge difference in my health as far as living,” said Rachel Pulley. “I also don’t clean with a ton of chemicals.”

Food Waste

Food waste is a good mix of food waste and dirt. Rachel Pulley says that it’s making soil nutritious because it has the opportunity to break down properly.

“A lot of people will have a worm compost where those worms do a ton of good things. So, if you see worms in your soil, that is a great sign. They help the composting process,” said Rachel Pulley.

She adds, “Composting sounds more intimidating than it is. The only things you can’t compost are fish and meat. Because it becomes putrid and harmful to animals if they eat it.”

Do The Research

Rachel Pulley also encourages people to do their research. Research recycling in your area because there are many options.

According to Rachel Pulley, not all plastics can be recycled. A regular recycling factory can’t recycle all plastics. Furthermore, she says if you look at the bottom of any plastic, it has a recycling symbol with a number in the middle. That stands for what kind of plastic it is.

“Not only does the waste impact our health, but also the health of this beautiful planet that we have been given,” said Rachel Pulley. “And I am a strong believer that we have to take care of it. I’m a big believer on how our trash is impacting the ocean.”

Rachel Pulley reveals that scientists only found about 1 % of the amount of plastic polluting the ocean. The rest of that 99% they believe, is either down into the depths of the ocean, or it becomes so small that they can’t find it.

“We shouldn’t be scared but rather be aware of the effects of using plastics. This isn’t me saying I’m a hundred percent zero waste. I’m just well aware of what are the things happening in our world,” Rachel Pulley said.

She adds, “People don’t realize that when you throw away trash when you put Mother Nature in a plastic bag, it can’t decompose properly. It becomes a toxic sludge that leaks into our soil. That will eventually end up in our ocean. It’s all connected.”

Zero Waste Workshops

Rachel Pulley enjoys teaching zero waste workshops because she saw the need to start educating people about the growing waste problem. She believes there is still so much to learn about how to save our planet from deteriorating.

Ultimately, Rachel Pulley says it’s figuring out what works best for you and your family. Doing the little things will add up to make a huge impact, even though it may not feel like it.

“Not only do I love zero waste and sustainability. It makes you think outside of yourself. You begin to appreciate and care for things more,” shares Rachel Pulley. “They have more value to you because they aren’t just disposable. I believe this planet and the beauty on it is a gift from God and we have been taking advantage of it for too long.”

She adds, “Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle is a beautiful journey. It’s not meant to be one of frustration; it’s meant to be one of connection, appreciation, mindfulness, and invention.”


Rachel Pulley is an actor at heart and currently a theatre teacher. She got her degree in musical theater and planned to go back for her Masters. 

Rachel Pulley doesn’t have a formal education in Environmental studies that would lead her to the place she’s in now. Her pursuit of a Zero Waste Lifestyle is purely out of passion. 

Rachel Pulley works with a local market to do Zero Waste live videos, and she teaches Zero Waste classes as well. 

Get Connected With Rachel Pulley!

Zero Waste Summer Classes


Recommended Reading:

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson


Recommended links:

Tiny Yellow Bungalow

Package Free Shop

Zero Waste Home

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Zero Waste Living – Rachel Pulley & Ashley James – #272

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel

The Rain Barrel Effect

Have you ever heard about the rain barrel effect? Chances are, you haven’t. Using it to analyze why we get sick, the rain barrel effect is how various factors like lifestyle, diet, and environment contribute to the improvement or deterioration of our health. My guest, Dr. Stephen Cabral wrote a book about the rain barrel effect, and that’s what we’ll dive deeper into in this episode.

Younger Years

It was a long road before Dr. Stephen Cabral became a Naturopathic, Ayurvedic, and Functional Medicine Doctor that he is today. He says it’s not always the most accessible road to get to this point.

Dr. Stephen Cabral says that when one goes into this profession, there might be a lot of times you were suffering from something and you overcame it. You discover what thing you want to share with the world. And that’s fundamentally no different for Dr. Stephen Cabral when he was 17 years old.

One morning, Dr. Stephen Cabral got up, and all his glands were swollen. He literally couldn’t walk. His heart rate was about 150 to 160 beats per minute. But doctors had no idea what was wrong with him.

Dr. Stephen Cabral’s white blood cell counts were off, but they couldn’t determine exactly what it was. This went on for a couple of years, going to a specialist after specialist and the best doctors in Boston.

The Diagnosis

Eventually, Dr. Stephen Cabral’s mother heard about an alternative medicine doctor. This person was a medical doctor, but they had training overseas and also studied acupuncture.

Dr. Stephen Cabral slowly learned about hormones of the body, food sensitivities, and his gut. He took some of that knowledge back to conventional medicine. Dr. Stephen Cabral was eventually diagnosed to have Addison’s disease.

It’s feeling like you’re living with the flu all the time. Dr. Stephen Cabral also dealt with rheumatoid arthritis coupled with type 2 diabetes. This was likely the time when the rain barrel effect started to escalate.

“My entire immune system shut down from being a stressed out as a senior in high school, and working a couple of jobs,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “But I also took 3,000 capsules of amoxicillin the previous two and a half years because of a dermatologist who thought it would be a good idea to help my skin as well.” 

Dr. Stephen Cabral gut was devastated. And it wasn’t a quick fix. It was years of figuring out what was wrong with him.

“But I can say now that I have no rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and Addison’s disease,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “I now have more energy and vitality than I did even as a teenager. All things are possible if you’re able to dig deep enough and figure out what’s going on.”

Genetics Does Matter

Taking too many antibiotics can also do more harm than good. And Dr. Stephen Cabral also believes that genetics do matter. But they honestly don’t matter as much as people think they do.

“Because according to a study, 95 percent of all disease as we know it, is diet, environment, and lifestyle. Now a lot of that you can be doing well but then you take something like antibiotics, and it starts to open up the tight junctions in the gut,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. 

He adds, “When those gut junctions open up, you now allow normal proteins from the foods that you’re eating to spill into the bloodstream. And when those spill into the bloodstream, it increases the immune activity that increases inflammation. It can then create an autoimmune-based response.”

That’s why more than 90 percent of all autoimmune diseases in the U.S. and the world relate to some intestinal permeability. Dr. Stephen Cabral says sometimes; it’s only a matter of time or degree of intestinal permeability that is separating people from excellent health to potentially suffering from a disease.

What Can Be Done

Dr. Stephen Cabral says the only step that matters in the beginning. Because we see a lot of people with Hashimoto’s or rheumatoid arthritis or whatever it might be. You can do things to try to lessen the symptoms with rheumatoid, and you can do things for the inflammation. 

“You can suppress it with biological drugs. But you can die for something as simple as pneumonia. We do a lot of lab testing. You can get a lab shipped to you anywhere in the world, so you can test your intestinal permeability. We use something called an organic acid test,” advised Dr. Stephen Cabral.

The organic acid test will look at candida overgrowth and fungal overgrowth because as you’re taking antibiotics, they’re antibacterial but they’re not antifungal.

Another thing is, if you shut down stomach acid while you allow bacteria and parasites actually to go right through the stomach unabated, you can do a stool test and then if you want you could run a food sensitivity test.  If you have the data, it’s tough to refute because you’re looking at it.


Everyone’s worried about inflammation. But the problem is, we can’t always worry about inflammation because we have yet to figure out what’s causing the inflammation in the first place. And a lot of factors can contribute to inflammation.

“It sets the stage for the immune-based reactions; wherein inflammation can also help or hurt you by opening up those type junctions. The nice thing is, you can work on it all at once,” explains Dr. Stephen Cabral. “What we do is, we work at getting rid of the most invasion invasive pathogens.”

He adds, “We remove the H. pylori in the parasites first. Because you have to fix the stomach. So you can start digesting food again to absorb nutrients. It doesn’t all have to be supplement basis. We’re big on supplements for the first 12 weeks to maybe 16 weeks, but then we try to wean people off as their digestive system is improving.”

Once you’re able to get rid of H. pylori and the parasites, Dr. Stephen Cabral works on the SIBO, the bacterial overgrowth as well as the candida overgrowth because those can be accomplished at the same time. The gut wall is sealed and repopulates with good bacteria.

“And the reason why probiotics are not always the best idea, is because if you are to have bacterial overgrowth putting more bacteria in, it can sometimes give people a lot of brain fog, more bloating and gas,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral.

Road To Healing

Once all the bacteria or pathogens are out of the body, Dr. Stephen Cabral says the next step is to repopulate our body with healthy gut flora. One way is through Dr. Stephen Cabral’s candida and bacterial overgrowth protocol.

“We use biofilm disruptors. The way we’re able to get rid of bacteria and yeast is we have to remove the outer layer the protective layer that’s keeping it hidden. We use specific types of enzymes to dissolve the top layer,” explains Dr. Stephen Cabral. “And then you’re using natural things such as oregano. We’re doing them for 12 weeks.” 

Your whole body will heal itself. But Dr. Stephen Cabral says it still needs the raw material.

“So, we give it glutamine. We give it zinc carnosine and a little bit of the aloe vera. Other things we know that are scientifically proven to help decrease the inflammation, rebuild the gut mucosa, and then rebuild the gut lining. The predominant ones are glutamine and zinc carnosine.” 

The Right Protocol

Dr. Stephen Cabral started his protocol about a decade ago and was refined approximately five years ago. They would do iterations of different types of biofilm disruptors. Because apparently, they knew it had to be done.

“But we didn’t always know the perfect product. The nutritional supplement industry takes whatever is great right now, and it can make it better in the future. As for herbs, herbs don’t get better,” Dr. Stephen Cabral said. 

He adds, “Herbs are not going to change over the thousands of years. We still have the amazing herbs. But what can change also is the delivery method. We’re using time release capsules and different types of things that can work great with the gut and then obviously probiotics.”

Dr. Stephen Cabral believes that he’s on the right track by administering lab tests before and after. Then he goes through the protocol to make sure the body is genuinely on the road to health.

Influences From India And China

Nature gave us a very powerful medicine. And Dr. Stephen Cabral says we can use nature’s medicine which was used for thousands of years ago. There was a lot of study in India and China but also in South America. Using mainly herbs, there are different ways to get it to work. You need to make sure you follow the correct process.

Dr. Stephen Cabral says that studying in India and China influenced him significantly. He realized that there has to be an easier way. There are so many great forms of medicine, and that motivated him to travel all over the world to intern as a Naturopathic Doctor.

“As a Naturopathic Doctor, you have to specialize in something. I found that every form of medicine worked. The problem was it did not work for everyone in every circumstance,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “Every form of medicine is the best, as long as you know who to apply it with.”

By saying there is no such thing as disease, it’s not discounting what you’re currently suffering from. Ultimately, Dr. Stephen Cabral says the disease is not a real thing. The symptoms are real. We are doing ourselves a disservice by giving the disease a name which prevents us from looking at why we had the symptoms in the first place.

Recommended Diet

People diagnosed with Hashimoto’s cannot eat gluten, dairy, and beans such as coffee. Dr. Stephen Cabral says when you remove those, all of a sudden the immune system gets to calm down. And there’s no longer that immune-based response which triggers the Hashimoto’s in the first place.

“Try being gluten-free for 21 days and do a rotation diet. After 21 days, try gluten-free grains first like rice. Try white rice first or gluten-free oats. We see a noticeable change in 7 days. The reason I said 21 is to allow deep healing to sink in, decrease inflammation and deal with estrogen dominance,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral.        

Success Stories

Most of Dr. Stephen Cabral’s patients have inflammatory joint issues. But rather than helping people to lose weight, Dr. Stephen Cabral stresses the importance of getting the body to a healthy state. Because of that, it drops inflammatory levels. 

“In fact, 30% of our energy for the day goes to digestion. To get energy back, eat half a plate of vegetables, a quarter of root-based vegetables like yam and sweet potatoes. Choose the other quarter for protein,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “You may also combine food through a smoothie. It’s life changing because most people don’t drink water. Also make sure that for the first week or two, you eat cooked vegetables.”

If you have gas, bloating or digestive issues, Dr. Stephen Cabral suggests running an organic acids test. Once you’re cleared, do probiotics or fermented foods. You may not have probiotics or fermented foods if you have SIBO or bacterial overgrowth. For more recommended recipes, do check out Dr. Stephen Cabral’s website where you can download a free smoothie guide.

“You can do all the bio-hacks, but if you’re not looking for nutrition first, you’re always going to fight an uphill battle,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “We do a minimum of three consultations. Everything that is wrong with you right now is due to some deficiency or toxicity.”

He adds, “Lab tests can help. Then rebuild the body. It takes six weeks or so to remove heavy metals from the body. And it takes eight to twelve weeks to remove all the yeast overgrowth and bacterial overgrowth.”

The Rain Barrel Effect Book

The first half of The Rain Barrel Book explains how we get sick. Then Dr. Stephen Cabral explains in the second half how we can repair the body. The Rain Barrel Book is an excellent reference to learn how your body works really and it’s also available on his website.  He also has a fantastic podcast called The Cabral Concept, so I’m inviting everyone to check that out, as well as the Cabral Wellness Online Store on his official website.

But Dr. Stephen Cabral isn’t stopping there.  He said his next goal is to be able to start teaching health practitioners by the end of the year on how to repair the body. There are eight parts to Dr. Stephen Cabral de-stress protocol, and only one element is about supplements. Part of his goal is also to make lab testing accessible to everyone.

“My goal as a health practitioner is to help people finally figure out why they haven’t been able to lose the weight, get well, or find their way out of a funk in life,” said Dr. Stephen Cabral. “I use advanced state-of-the-art lab testing that anyone can do right at home to uncover the underlying root cause reasons holding people back from living their best life ever. I believe that anyone can get well, lose the weight, and feel alive again if they want it!”


After almost 20 years and over 600,000 pages of research study completed, dozens of certifications in the natural health field, over 16,000 health & fitness client sessions, and a doctoral degree in Naturopathy, Dr. Stephen Cabral’s knowledge, experience, and compassion are at the top of his field. 

Dr. Stephen Cabral also spent over 5,000 hours of formal doctoral degree work, which included 2,200 hours of internships. These internships were mainly spent overseas studying the very best of natural medicine (much of which is unknown here in the US). 

His internships included studying, working, and living in clinics all around the world. This intimate setting allowed Dr. Stephen Cabral to talk in depth with the patients at these clinics and listen to their struggles and path to wellness. He also got to see first hand the remarkable recoveries these people were making. Some of these internship locations included India, Sri Lanka, China, Europe, and various practices in the US. 

Dr. Stephen Cabral has appeared in every type of media outlet as a national health & wellness consultant, as well as a contributor to MTV, Men’s Health, Women’s Day, Maxim, SELF,, Nutrition Data, Conde Nast, and many others. He has also authored and co-authored four books and published over 1,100 articles. 

Dr. Stephen Cabral has been hired by over 300 health clubs, wellness clinics, Holistic centers, training studios, and by other health professionals to improve their training programs and services. This allows Dr. Stephen Cabral to reach more people and hopefully improve more lives by teaching the health & fitness professionals that work directly with those in need. 

Get Connected With Dr. Stephen Cabral!

Official Website

The Rain Barrel Effect

Cabral Wellness Online Store

The Cabral Concept



Recommended Reading

The Rain Barrel Effect


Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

The Rain Barrel Effect – Dr. Stephen Cabral & Ashley James – #271

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Health Coach

There are more people now consulting a Health Coach instead of a medical doctor. And for an excellent reason. You see, a Health Coach promotes natural healing for better health, in contrast to medical doctors who promote drugs for medication. Health Coach Katy has a fantastic journey on how she became a Health Coach which she shares in this episode.

Disordered Eating

Health Coach Katy recalls dealing with disordered eating as early as 13 or 14 years old. Active in theater plays, she remembers being overly concerned with the size of her body. 

Like most teenagers who go through a discovery phase, Health Coach Katy endured the fear of getting fat and the pressure of staying thin. Looking back, being thin meant good health. As she grew older, she realized that was a flawed way of thinking.

“Health to me now is feeling that I am capable and smart enough. I have enough self-love and awareness, and I can move through life freely,” said Health Coach Katy. “Eating disorders and eating control issues are all about feeling you’re not safe. You feel the need to be in control of every aspect of your life.”

Certified Yoga Instructor

Health Coach Katy has been practicing yoga for 18 years and eventually took in clients. She believes yoga significantly helped a lot as far as spiritual enlightenment is concerned.

“I am a huge believer in the laws of the universe, attraction and vibration energy. Whatever higher power is guiding you or giving you purpose, tap into those moments. For me, yoga raised my physical vibrations as well,” said Health Coach Katy.

A big part of yoga is meditation. Health Coach Katy says you have to trust yourself and get a tiny glimpse of self-awareness if you want to become a better version of you. Journaling is likewise helpful. Mostly, the key to getting out of your comfort zone has the perseverance and determination to take tiny steps forward.

Institute For Integrative Nutrition

Enrolling herself in the Institute For Integrative Nutrition (IIN) to become a health coach happened when she was doing yoga classes. Health Coach Katy recalls that within four weeks, she chanced upon three women taking about IIN and their career as a Health Coach.

She was depressed during that time in her life. But after hearing those women talk about their work as a health coach, it motivated Health Coach Katy to sign up for classes herself. Health Coach Katy honestly felt that her spiritual practice complements with IIN.

“I did the course between November 2016 to 2017. Being able to step away from that world of being pressured to be thin has been important to me. Sometimes we need to step away from environments that are not supporting us,” said Health Coach Katy. 

She adds, “It’s amazing that nutrition is one tiny rubric in all of med school. Modern healthcare is not set up for someone who can go to their doctor and sit with them for an hour plus every other week and talk about stress and sugar.”

You can check out the Institute For Integrative Nutrition’s YouTube Channel for more info on becoming a Health Coach.

Listen to my interview with the creator of IIN here:

And to explore a module of their Health Coach Training Program for FREE, visit:

Purpose Of A Health Coach

A career as a Health Coach is rapidly gaining popularity in the recent years, especially now that more people are getting very conscious about achieving better health. Aside from Health Coaches, Health Coach Katy says people in functional medicine practices, and chiropractic practices are also getting hired a lot because people are clamoring for accountability and mentorship.

“Whatever goal someone has, to begin with, it’s enough to get them at the door. It’s enough to get a dialogue started. But usually, it’s something way bigger and something much deeper,” said Health Coach Katy.

She also says there’s a lot of forgiveness and self-love in changing your habits because you have to realize that to forgive yourself and move on. And having a Health Coach or mentor to encourage you helps.

Fulfillment As A Health Coach

Becoming Health Coach after graduating from IIN proved to be the right career path for Health Coach Katy. The job is fulfilling. She eventually learned that the more you give people space to share, work something out, and talk it out, the transformation is smoother. Ultimately, Health Coach Katy says it’s really about the other person’s story and their journey.

“All you need to know about running the business is all the program. And it’s designed to guide you step by step,” said Health Coach Katy. “You can monetize that passion if you allow the program to steer it. And find your unique voice as well as your unique brand.”

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes, change is better. And when we recognize that we need change, some people hesitate to take that next step because of the fear of the unknown. But Health Coach Katy there is nothing to be afraid of, just as long as we are aware of our boundaries.

One way of identifying your boundaries is learning to talk to yourself. Health Coach Katy advises closing the door on something that’s not you. Choose a boundary. If you are around people who are obsessed with a diet or negative people, you must realize that it’s okay. You don’t have to match with people who aren’t aligned with your growth.

Health Coach Katy also says that people do the best they can with the tools they have. Understandably, there will always be a sense of nervousness if you decide to change for the first time. Sometimes change in any way can also be very frightening for the people around you. It’s not necessarily their truth but rather their reaction. 

“Every time you do a really small action step, you commit to something. You can have a goal even in health coaching. A client comes to you with a goal and most often it’s a physical reason,” explains Health Coach Katy. 

She further says, “When you commit yourself to grow or commit to something that’s challenging, you get to the heart of what was dying to come out. And for me, that was binary and disordered mindset around nourishment.”

Helping Others

Health Coach Katy considers it a playful nudge whenever she has a client with a goal that is something she is also thinking about a lot or working through. She believes that keeps her growing as a coach because she is continuously learning from clients.

“Once you can help people unpack those whys, clarity can occur. You’re overcompensating in other areas of your life because you feel like you’re not heard over big things in your life,” says Health Coach Katy. “You don’t need to be in control of everything. It will work out. Your body knows what to do, you know what to do, and your spirit knows what to do.”

Words Of Wisdom

Health Coach Katy believes that there’s something in all of us that needs to heal. There are things in our lives that instantly bring a short amount of pleasure. But what we need to ponder on is knowing what do those pleasures mean long-term to us. It most likely signifies that we should have a new habit.

She also says that we are constantly bombarded with messages from marketing campaigns and media. Our economy is also so driven by us, and that can be consuming. In the end, we consciously buy this lie, and we almost go about it robotically because you can’t help but take these messages in. Ultimately, it’s all about self-love, self-awareness and the commitment for us to see change within ourselves. 

“You have to put the work in. There is no magic pill, no magic piece of paper. You have to set your intention, make those action steps and work for it. The more you put into it, the more you get out,” said Health Coach Katy.


Health Coach Katy is a certified yoga instructor (RYT200), and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is passionate about women’s health, self-love, empowerment, and accountability. 

Health Coach Katy’s mission is to create a space for women to remember their power. She wants all women to refuse cultural norms that enforce disordered eating, negative self-talk, and fear. Health Coach Katy believes women should all embrace individuality and reclaim their unique ability to nourish themselves beautifully.

Get Connected with Health Coach Katy:


Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Health Coach – Health Coach Katy And Ashley James – #270

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel


Ketosis is the body’s fantastic way to burn fat naturally. One way to achieve this is through the ketogenic diet. If you recall, I recently had Dr. Darren Schmidt who talked about the cause of all diseases in a past episode. And he’s back to teach us how ketosis and fasting can produce significant health benefits as well.

Healing Tools

First of all, Dr. Darren Schmidt says fasting helps break down and remove pathogenic materials.  There have been cases wherein tumors melt away and it proves that food is indeed a big health tool for healing.

One tool I also like to use is using my Sunlighten Sauna.  I had an episode discussing the benefits of saunas, so I’m inviting everyone to check out that episode. Dr. Darren Schmidt, on the other hand, has this to say on how our body heals from a disease.

“There is a drug that drops lactate in the blood or lactic acid. Research shows it doesn’t heal the body. Since 1924, they found other poisons that build up and cause infected blood and organs get sick,” said Dr. Darren Schmidt. “You repair organs through detox or eating organs or plants. The solution is natural. No therapy or drug can fix lactic acidosis other than Mother Nature.”

When A Ketogenic Diet Isn’t Ideal

I’ve always said that there is no one diet tailor-made for everyone. For the ketogenic diet, in particular, Dr. Darren Schmidt says this diet is not advisable for people with candida, mold, yeast, or a collection of organisms in the body.

“This is because organisms can live off sugar and ketones. So I recommend a low carb diet, but they’re not in ketosis,” Dr. Darren Schmidt said. “I have cancer patients who do a 5-day fast. And between the fasting, they eat lots of calories to gain the weight back. It is not meant for everyone.”

How To Get Into Ketosis

There are three ways to get into ketosis.  Dr. Darren Schmidt says you can achieve it through a ketogenic diet, fasting, or modifying the fast by eating some oils and low carb plants.

This is because ketones have been shown to detox cancer cells or kill cancer cells, as well as hormonal control. It lowers insulin and cortisol, raises testosterone for men and normalizes hormones for women. Generally, it also makes people sleep better.

Dr. Darren Schmidt reveals that ketosis can also reverse type 2 diabetes and stops lactic acidosis. It prevents the body from making the waste products from carbohydrate metabolism.

“Those waste products are the things that create chronic disease including weak ligaments and many other diseases,” said Dr. Darren Schmidt. “For maintenance, Thomas Seyfried, a cancer researcher said that everybody should do a one week fast per year. No food, just water, and salt. If that is not possible, at least get into ketosis four times a year for a few days.”

How The Body Burns Fats

According to Dr. Darren Schmidt, there are times when there is no food, so the body starts to burn the fats. It also burns away pathological tissues. Fibroids, cysts, and cancer cells also go away with ketosis.

“Your body cleans itself out. Beyond 40 days, the body will be done burning fat and starts to go into burning muscle,” explains Dr. Darren Schmidt. “Ketosis saturates your body with fat, your blood is filled with fat, and there’s no sugar. So, your cells have to start burning the fat away, cleans up your organs and get rid of inflammation. Sugar causes inflammation.” 

He adds, “The more healthy fats you eat, the fewer calories you end up eating. Dense nutrients come from the liver, other organ meats, and vegetables from home-grown organic gardens. It’s a combination of plants and animals.”

Success Ratio Of Fasting

Dr. Darren Schmidt shares there were fasting clinics across the United States that the federal government shut down between 1912 and 1920. The fasting clinics were successful in treating epilepsy because ketosis is excellent for that. So, doctors eventually created the ketogenic diet. But during that time, they called it the diet that mimics fasting.

“Protein and carb burn the same way in the body. But clinically, they act the same way. They show up in the blood together as sugar,” Dr. Darren Schmidt explains. “If you increase your fat and lower your protein and carbs to a 3 to 1 ratio, you’ll go deeper into ketosis. And you can do a 4 to 1 ratio. I’ve had cancer patients do that.”

Dr. Darren Schmidt also says that if you’re overweight and relatively healthy, a 2 to 1 ratio will work out well. It will help you lose weight faster but make sure to get enough salt intake like Himalayan rock salt. Because initial weight loss is water and your body urinates out the potassium and other minerals.

“Take in more minerals and come out of ketosis after 3 or 4 weeks. At the most, do a 1 to 2 ratio. One gram of fat to two grams of protein plus carb. A 1 to 2 ratio, in my opinion, is the maximum that you want to go into sugar burning,” said Dr. Darren Schmidt.

Recommended Foods

Most meat is not ketogenic, but Dr. Darren Schmidt advises that if you add butter to it or extra oil, the meal becomes ketogenic. You can also opt for a not very ketogenic breakfast and have a very ketogenic lunch and dinner. The time frame makes a significant difference. 

“The one meat that I found is ketogenic is pork bacon. But the bigger picture is not necessary to achieve ketosis. The bigger picture is to achieve it and go into sugar-burning and fat-burning,” Dr. Darren Schmidt said. “That’s called keto-adaptation. You can get into ketosis in a day by not eating or changing your diet.”

Dr. Darren Schmidt explains that this also means your mitochondria is like 3,000 per cell. Mitochondria adapt very quickly to your diet and physical needs. Whereas sick cells are not able to adjust like that, so keto-adaptation is the ultimate goal.

Duration Of Ketosis

For severe cases like health issues with our arteries, Dr. Darren Schmidt recommends doing ketosis nine days out of 10.  days a month, you’ll be burning sugar, and burning fat on other days. He also says some people do a mild ketosis 24 hours a day every day for a long time. Everybody is different, so the duration is a case-to-case basis. 

“If somebody is relatively healthy, but they have concerns about being pre-diabetic, has fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or depression, they should do five days of ketosis. Plus, two days out of ketosis,” advises Dr. Darren Schmidt. “If somebody is healthy and wants to maintain health, do 5-day ketosis for a month. The spend the rest of the month eating low carbs with a 1 to a 1.5 ratio.”

Dr. Darren Schmidt also clarifies that if somebody is not interested in health, and just wants do the bare minimum, they can do ketosis four times a year.

Vegan Versus Ketosis

There have been many studies comparing the differences and similarities between veganism and ketosis. Dr. Darren Schmidt shares that the Public Health Collaboration, an organization based in the United Kingdom, has conducted many studies on health care.

“The score is 31 to 0. Low carbs win over low fat. But there’s no study comparing the two, that says low fat is better,” said Dr. Darren Schmidt. 

He adds, “I think veganism is just like ketosis. You do it for a short period. Because when you come out of a fast or ketosis, burning sugar becomes very therapeutic. Just like going into ketosis, burning fat becomes very therapeutic.”

Personal Favorites

Dr. Darren Schmidt personally prefers eating salad with olive oil. He’s also learning to like avocado more now. His salads primarily have radishes and cheese. Although cheese is not keto, Dr. Darren Schmidt advises everyone to read the label of food products.

Dr. Darren Schmidt also eats a lot of olives, although olives are also not keto. His other favorite foods are walnuts and chia seeds. Incidentally, chia seeds have a 6 to 1 ratio of fat versus proteins plus carbs.

He also adds that there’s a difference with types of oils to different people. This also goes for fermented foods.  Ultimately, figure out what works for your body.

I make yummy chia pudding with canned coconut cream. To add flavor, I mix in frozen blueberries and sometimes put stevia and put in in the fridge to chill.  It’s so rich in omegas, high in fiber and fat as well.

There’s also a keto chocolate pudding which we call it ice cream at home. It’s delicious and healthy!

Easing Into Ketosis

Dr. Darren Schmidt says the first step for this whole process increases the healthy fats. Then in a few days, you’ll end up eating less food. Going low carb from there is easy. 

“Toxins are in those fat cells. Out goes the toxins and liver have to take care of it. That’s when a detox would work. Ketosis is the foundation of detox,” said Dr. Darren Schmidt. “If you go into ketosis and you feel bad and tired, give the body a break. Then do it again.” 

He adds, “When you do it over and over, you get more benefit and less keto flu. And more detox is happening; the body is getting cleaned out that way. That’s the deal with keto flu. It’s toxicity coming out.”

Dry Fast

Like any other diets or fasting, some find dry fast to be useful, but it’s also not for everyone. Water can bring down ketosis. And there have been studies showing when your body needs to make water, it grabs the hydrogen from fat and attaches to oxygen and makes its water.

“But with any fasting, do it gradually. Fasting gets easier over time. Bottomline, when you do ketosis naturally, your insulin comes down along with a lot of other things. Other hormones go down, and inflammation goes down,” said Dr. Darren Schmidt.

Dr. Darren Schmidt also cautions again using statin drugs.  You have to understand why and how your body runs to eat the right way. It’s also best to hire a health professional to guide you through your diet or fasting.

Anti-viral And Anti-fungal Diet

Dr. Darren Schmidt reveals that viruses love arginine. And lysine kills them. There are also some foods that have too much arginine compared to lysine, and they feed the virus.

“Nuts are notorious for having lots of arginines compared to lysine. And they are feeding a virus. So avoid arginine food and take supplements,” said Dr. Darren Schmidt. “As for the anti-fungal diet, my favorite anti-fungal diet is restrictive for the first 30 days. It’s meat, vegetables, and oil.” 

He adds, “On the following 30 days, you can add in some food. The third phase involves foods to avoid until the whole thing is done. Restrictions include no wheat, no grains, no dairy, no fermented vegetables, no condiments, vinegar nor sugar. Meat also can’t be processed.”

Whole 30 Diet

This diet teaches you what food your body likes. Dr. Darren Schmidt says it is perfect for somebody who is new to dieting. It is very regimented, so when people go back to eating some foods, they can readily feel a difference. Overall, the basic rule is to consume excellent quality food.

“Even if you’re eating the best and healthiest food, give your body a break. Do a short fast. And get your nutrients by recycling the fats that get stuck in the body for so long,” advises Dr. Darren Schmidt.


Dr. Darren Schmidt, D.C. has been in practice since 1997, immediately focusing on hardcore holistic nutrition, herbology, and homeopathy. He graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, IL. 

Dr. Darren Schmidt has been in Ann Arbor, Michigan since 2000 establishing one of the larger nutrition practices in the country with multiple practitioners of various licenses but the same purpose and similar techniques. He taught for a nutrition training company for eight years, teaching 77-weekend seminars on muscle testing, clinical nutrition, and healing protocols. 

In January of 2016, Dr. Darren Schmidt was unknowingly chronically exposed to toxic black mold which caused life-threatening symptoms. After two days of taking nutritional products that were developed in 1934, he felt better and dove into the formulator’s articles to discover what he knew that was life-saving 82 years later. 

What was discovered was Nutritional Deficiency Lactic Acidosis, the most common mechanism of chronic disease. It was commonly known by all doctors from 1920 through 1960, then forgotten. 

Dr. Darren Schmidt also co-founded The Good Fat Company which makes the Good Fat Bar help people get into ketosis. He also co-founded Power Nutrition Practice, a training company for nutrition practitioners including clinical and business education.

Get Connected With Dr. Darren Schmidt:


Good Fat Company

Power Nutrition Practice

Facebook – lactic acidosis

Facebook – real food cures


Recommended Reading by Dr. Darren Schmidt

The Metabolism of Tumours by Dr. Otto Warburg 


Recommended Links:

Episode 245 – Sunlighten Saunas – Connie Zack

Episode 253 – Lactic Acidosis – Dr. Darren Schmidt

Keto Chocolate Pudding

These are the Ketogenic Foods

Anti-Virus Diet

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Ketosis – Dr. Darren Schmidt And Ashley James – #269

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Mind-Body Connection

People don’t realize that our mind-body connection plays a significant role in healing. I’ve always said in past episodes that true health is beyond the physical aspect. And more studies have supported the fact that focusing on mind-body connection do wonders for our health.  To explain more about the mind-body connection, I have award-winning Nutritional Therapist Niki Gratrix in today’s episode.

Shifting Careers

Niki Gratrix was previously into banking and finance. But because she had an interest in gaining knowledge about the mind-body connection, she felt the need to have a career shift.

The opportunity came around fifteen years ago when Niki Gratrix met her partner who also became her business partner. Her business partner had been suffering severely from chronic fatigue syndrome for seven years, where he was bed-ridden for two of those years.

“He recovered when I met him, and I was relaunching my career. I was starting to train at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, one of top Nutrition schools in the U.K,” shares Niki Gratrix. “My partner is a psychology practitioner. We co-founded a clinic together, focusing on people with fatigue issues.” 

She adds, “We realized most illnesses have a significant emotional component. When that is unaddressed, you don’t get any results.”

Niki Gratrix eventually won awards for her work and even got published in a British Medical Journal Open in 2012. The published paper states there is indeed a significant improvement and better results than some of the standard conventional interventions for chronic fatigue.

Moving On

The next stage of the clinic involved a randomized, controlled trial. Niki Gratrix was always extremely motivated in learning about psychology consciousness and the mind-body connection.

So even if she did Nutrition, Niki Gratrix swapped over to integrate everything. She acquired training in NLP, emotional freedom technique and energy medicine-related intervention for the emotional side as well.

Five years after co-founding the clinic, Niki Gratrix moved on and got interested in energy medicine. This is because she is always looking for a new modality. She eventually got into running the Abundant Energy Summit in 2015, which was the largest online summit on overcoming chronic fatigue.

NES Health

Niki Gratrix was also interested in bioenergetics, which is the study of energy in living organisms. She has a system that assesses and scans the energy field and energetics of the body. Primarily, the system helps optimize the body and make organs work better.

The NES Health, the organization that Niki Gratrix is connected with, primarily focuses on bioenergetics. NES meant Nutri-Energetic System and was co-founded by Harry Massey in 2000.

Incidentally, Harry Massey suffered from chronic fatigue and was bed-ridden for seven long years. Harry Massey’s co-founder Peter Fraser, was an acupuncture expert from Australia. Peter Fraser was the one who brought acupuncture into Australia after researching extensively on Chinese medicine. 

“Anytime you’re doing something that works with the energy field of the body, essentially that is bio-energetic medicine,” said Niki Gratrix. “We don’t think about energetics and mind-body connection enough when it comes to healing the physical body, yet the mind and body are truly one thing.” 

She adds, “So what’s happening for you psycho-emotionally, is going to get translated into physical expression. I reset the nervous system and the immune system. Minute by minute, you can change the way your genes are expressing epigenetically by the way you think and feel.”

Adverse Childhood Events

If anybody has doubts whether your emotional state impacts your physiology, Niki Gratrix says there’s a significant study that doesn’t get enough exposure, called the adverse childhood events study.

The adverse childhood events study was a study of over 17,000 people done by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente. The study discovered that 67% of all people had one adverse childhood event. 

“If you had a high level of an adverse childhood event, you have an increased risk of seven out of top ten causes of death. Then if you have a moderate level like six adverse childhood events, you have a 20-year reduction in lifespan,” shares Niki Gratrix. 

“You have a 400% increase of depression, Alzheimer’s and dementia if you have four adverse childhood events,” Niki Gratrix enumerates. “Plus, a chance of getting chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. If you have eight adverse childhood events, you have three times the risk of heart disease, and triple the risk of lung cancer.”


Niki Gratrix says autoimmunity is strongly co-related, like smoking and lung cancer for women. She says there’s a study that has ten categories and they look at things like parents separating or divorce. Some other factors are also taken into consideration like physical, sexual or emotional abuse, physical or emotional neglect, domestic violence, incarceration by a family member and substance abuse.

“When we talk about emotional neglect and emotional trauma, this is subtle. And yet it can be devastating. Your stress levels directly impact your biology, and your system is reset,” explains Niki Gratrix. “Once you get into adulthood, there might be another trigger. But actually, it has already started 20 to 30 years before that.”

Understanding Trauma

According to Niki Gratrix, if there is a singular event, we’re likely to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder. And there’s a lot of technique out there to cure that.

“But the most emotional trauma isn’t from a single event. It’s relational trauma and has something to do with our relations with other people,” said Niki Gratrix. “It’s really when were not seen or heard. When that isn’t there in childhood, that trumps the event. And what trumps the event is developmental trauma.” 

Furthermore, Niki Gratrix says that when you have that type of change, it leads to symptoms of things like perfectionism and lots of self-care. A lack of feeling of safety in the body can also lead to a sense of shame.

All the addictions come from this as well. Because of all that, Niki Gratrix says it’s probably also one of the underlying causes of mental disorders like depression, anxiety and bipolar.

Cultural Link

We often don’t talk about the cultural aspect of illness. But Niki Gratrix says the culture has a profound impact on our physical health. For example, third generation survivors of the Holocaust victims have the same physiological and psychological expressions of their grandparents. The trauma is inherited, and you’ll see this where there are war and famine.

“The stigma of an illness like beliefs of the conventional medicine system around chronic complex illness has a profound impact on the person. That kind of social stigma suppresses your immune system. And studies show you’re most likely to die from it,” Niki Gratrix said.

Social Support

Niki Gratrix also relates that there is a massive study done on over three hundred thousand people, showing that social support is a more significant predictor of survival than your body mass index, and factors like how much you smoked or how much exercise you did.

She says social exclusion, feeling alienated, rejected, and unlovable, can make us start to deteriorate physically. It does have a massive physical impact on our health. The interesting factor is, Niki Gratrix says other people can be the most damaging thing, yet they can also be the healer as well. Indeed, the power of other people has been profoundly underestimated.

“Part of recovery and improvement is a release of certain people that are not supportive and toxic. There’s often a journey that people need to go through to release lower energetic vibrating people. Otherwise, we’re not going to get to a full health potential,” said Niki Gratrix.

Impact Of Stress

If you look at stress physiology, it does have a strong mind-body connection. Stress affects everything in the body. Niki Gratrix says it resets the stress systems, so you have a low threshold response.

“The brain changes. It goes into a state where it is more easily triggered,” explains Niki Gratrix. “The autonomic nervous systems get upregulated at the cost of this parasympathetic side of the nervous system. And the parasympathetic side is the rest, digest, detoxify, feed and breathe side.” 

She adds, “When somebody is in stress, what’s going on in the brain will translate into the gut. Stress changes the bacteria in the gut and leads to intestinal issues. When we have stress and trauma in childhood, we often lose our boundaries because the immune system is mirroring your emotional place.”

Niki Gratrix also mentions that there is a research about the cell danger response. It shows that the mitochondria also had a defense job. They are part of the immune system, and if they sense stress and threat, they will just shut down energy production. People who wrote the paper even said that early life stress could trigger it.

Practical Solution

Niki Gratrix assures everyone that for every problem, there is a solution. Mostly, the goal is not to lose hope. If you want to have optimal energy and optimal health, make sure you are healing and not in a chronic stress state.

If you already had a nervous system reset from childhood or living a life of high stress, all of it is directly preventing optimum health. But if you want to stay in a healthy state of mind and energy, you can take steps to trigger a possible healing state.

Niki Gratrix explains that the techniques to get into that healing state varies from person to person. Just talking to somebody can be a stress release. Journaling also helps. There are also biochemical interventions you can do.

“Eating a diet for balancing blood sugar can eradicate half the anxiety problems. And eating enough protein, cutting out starch, carbs and overly sweet things can rebalance the nervous system,” advises Niki Gratrix.

She also strongly advises going to bed at 9:30 pm. According to Niki Gratrix, it changed the life of so many of her clients. Like many experts I have interviewed, Niki Gratrix is also against using gadgets and wi-fi devices before going to sleep. She recommends blue light blocker glasses to aid you in going into a destimulating state.

Apart from getting enough sleep, Niki Gratrix also encourages people to learn deep breathing exercises, yoga, and exercise.  Having positive social relations and affirmation also helps. Other helpful solutions are laughing, journaling, singing, meditation, cold showers, eating green leafy vegetables. You can also learn emotional freedom techniques, enjoy nature, do water therapy, Tai chi, and use essential oils.

“The higher the emotional state you’re in, the higher the heart rate. Set your intentions how you want to feel for the rest of the day,” said Niki Gratrix. “Have a positive visualization. Because a lot of people don’t take action needed. They don’t commit, so they don’t get better.”


Niki Gratrix is an award-winning nutritional therapist, bioenergetic and psychology practitioner, helping people to optimize energy and overcome emotional stress and trauma. In 2005 she co-founded one of the largest mind-body clinics in integrative medicine in the UK with patients in 35 countries where she worked as Director of Nutrition until 2010. The clinic specialized in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME. 

The results with patients at the clinic on the nutrition protocol she designed were later published as a preliminary study in 2012 in the British Medical Journal Open. In August 2015, she hosted the largest ever free online health summit on overcoming fatigue interviewing 29 world leading experts on optimizing energy with over 30,000 attendees. 

Niki Gratrix has spoken on over 25 online health summits and been the keynote speaker at live conferences internationally. She writes regularly for a range of health magazines in both the UK and the US.

Get Connected With Niki Gratrix:

Official Website

One to One Consultations

7 Steps to Healing Childhood Emotional Trauma and Building Resilience E-book

NES Health

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Mind-Body Connection – Niki Gratrix & Ashley James – #268

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel


Genetics plays a significant role in determining if we’re healthy or not. We commonly think that diet and lifestyle are the answers to good health, but these are only two components of true health. Sarah Kostusiak, my guest today, has survived through a lot of health issues. So, we’re going to dive in today on how genetics is linked to our health.

Early Years

Sarah Kostusiak started to deal with blood sugar issues as early as five years old. Coping with it throughout her childhood, her health went from bad to worse when she got so sick in college.

No doctor could pinpoint what was wrong with her. So, at 19 years old, Sarah Kostusiak started a food journal. She initially thought the red meat was the culprit. In an attempt to improve her health, Sarah Kostusiak went vegetarian for ten years.  However, being a vegetarian increased her blood sugar issues.

Looking back, Sarah Kostusiak felt that it was probably to gluten sensitivity. Fast forward years later, Sarah Kostusiak was also diagnosed with active reflux, GERD, and even had secondary infertility in 2010. After two kids, she ended up losing a pregnancy at 16 weeks.

Finding A Cure

Sarah Kostusiak realized that her body was tired, making it hard to heal. In an attempt to find a cure, she even went to a nutritionist who advised her to kick out gluten. Aside from that, Sarah Kostusiak also tried to eat fermented foods and adopted a paleo diet.

But things weren’t improving. She got sick to the point that she couldn’t sit up. It was disempowering. That’s why Sarah Kostusiak remained determined to keep looking for a cure and vowed to use her knowledge to help others eventually.

Discovering Genetics

Sarah Kostusiak researched genetics and controlling blood sugar levels.  This was during the time that she also dealt with a new health situation wherein she ended up having surgery to have her gallbladder taken out.

“That was causing a level of inflammation in my body. I couldn’t control through food anymore because of gluten other factors. Top it off; I also had gallstones,” shares Sarah Kostusiak.

Ongoing Health Issues

Sixteen years before her surgery, Sarah Kostusiak says she was told that she had too much acid. So, she was also on acid blockers for a few years.

“But I think food sensitivity, a lot of good biomes and digestive enzymes probably caused the inflammation in the gallbladder. Plus, I also had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) issues,” said Sarah Kostusiak. 

That’s not all. Sarah Kostusiak also revealed that during this time, she started to have massive breakouts of acne on her face. Doctors then decided to put her on antibiotics for six months. 

“Looking back, when I eat gluten, my body gets a rash or zits. I increased my wheat consumption because I was avoiding meat. But I ended up with candida issues from the antibiotics. Then I had to deal with acid reflux,” said Sarah Kostusiak.

Taking Out Gluten

Sarah Kostusiak looked at her health history and worked backward. She said taking out gluten made a difference.

“Candida is also caused when you eat yeast. Many gluten-free products aren’t healthy,” Sarah Kostusiak said. “I would still get health issues, but once I dug into my genetics and looked at my history, I even had to lay off fermented foods.”

Genetic Testing

For determining genetics, Sarah Kostusiak uses Ancestry DNA or 23andMe. But she prefers Ancestry DNA nowadays. Because apart from being able to download the data, Ancestry DNA can show you the which genes have a nutritional impact. 

“If they test my blood, it’s usually very high because I’m not processing it out. So I take methylated vitamins to support my body that way. And I also remove the histamine-rich foods,” reveals Sarah Kostusiak. 

Genes indeed play a significant role in health. I interviewed an author who wrote the book Dirty Genes. The author, Dr. Ben Lynch, talks about the different things you can do naturally to clean the genes, so your body run more efficiently.

“Genetics can give me a clue on what your base. Epigenetics, environment, lifestyle, and diet affect genes. Not all genes can be affected epigenetically. Genetics is the key to see what’s going on in the body,” said Sarah Kostusiak.

Current Diet

Sarah Kostusiak has gone grain-free and leans towards a low-carb or ketogenic diet. This way, she can control her blood sugar levels.

“I believe that blood sugar levels being high, leads to inflammation in the body. So, if I can control my insulin response, then I’m going to reduce my inflammation in my body,” said Sarah Kostusiak.

She adds, “Supporting my body nutritionally and through supplements helps make me much more stable. I started to supplement my body with methylated b vitamins and folinic acid. Getting the sugar and grains out also helped improve my mental clarity, focus, and energy.”

Keto Diet

Sarah Kostusiak is working on a detox program now and is more into whole foods. She says it is also essential for her to make an effort to stick to a keto diet even on weekends. Mostly, she says you have to make mindset switch that this is your way of life.

My husband and I had tried the keto diet for two and a half years before we shifted to paleo. I had had a low carb diet, took supplements and ate whole foods to reverse my type 2 diabetes. Grains and sugar are non-existent in my diet, and I stay away from corn aside from being gluten-free and dairy-free.

But then we had extensive bloodwork done in January this year, and it was an eye-opener. Tests showed that our kidneys were damaged, as well as our liver and heart. That’s why my husband and I decided that it was time to stop doing the keto diet.

“I eat fruits now. The keto has its healing effects and has its place in specific situations. Do the keto with a health coach or a Naturopath to monitor it. You can lose many pounds of muscle mass if done incorrectly,” said Sarah Kostusiak.

Prostate Cancer

Sarah Kostusiak has dealt with many patients who have prostate cancer. To prepare for surgery, she helps them lose weight to recover better after surgery.

“Cancer ferments sugar for fuel. By removing the sugars and carbs, which converts to sugar in the body especially refined carbs, that makes someone a fat burner,” explains Sarah Kostusiak.

She adds, “The body will then produce ketones. I can help the person by not encouraging any more growth of cancer. And make them feel better by creating ketones in their body to give them more energy and clarity.”

Sarah Kostusiak usually monitors her clients every two weeks and checks on their muscle mass, body fat, and water weight.  She discusses problems with them and looks at their macronutrients as well. Sarah Kostusiak monitors them once a month after that.

Cause Of Prostate Cancer

There are a lot of factors that cause cancer. Sarah Kostusiak says that toxin exposure like roundup is a significant factor.  She also deals with clients with infertility issues which can sometimes be linked to the standard American diet.

“Get sugars under control. A large belly is a sign of insulin resistance, and fat tends to be stored in the torso,” Sarah Kostusiak explains. “The fat cells not only hold fat. They hold hormones and toxins. Especially for men, those hormones can be released and convert testosterone to estrogen which can contribute to prostate cancer.”

Intermittent Fasting

Once Sarah Kostusiak sees there is progress in a client, she recommends them to go into keto. Because the next step is knowing how to get their protein at the right amount. She says people tend to overeat protein. So, protein levels have to be monitored.

“I have some keto-vegetarian clients. My focus is to make sure they are getting protein. Because you need enough protein to protect your muscle mass. But too much is going to kick you out of ketosis, can convert to sugars and do the opposite things,” said Sarah Kostusiak.

Sarah Kostusiak has genetic mutations which make her sensitive to proteins. If she watches her protein intake, she can lose weight. Otherwise, it would be hard to do so.

Most of the time, Sarah Kostusiak gets her clients to eat a couple of hard-boiled eggs throughout the day.  Their diet also includes some sources of nutritional yeast, protein powder, cottage cheese, paneer or Greek yogurt.

Essentially, Sarah Kostusiak suggests that her clients go higher on the carbs. She says 45 to 50 grams of carbs will keep them in the fat burning zone.

Diet Considerations

Four years ago, Sarah Kostusiak went into premature menopause. She had metabolic syndrome, and her insulin was off the charts. But nobody believed she was having blood sugar problems because her tests would always be normal. Fortunately, her blood sugar levels are now ideal ever since she watches what she eats.

“I am experimenting by adding fruit and rice to my diet. This way, I can gauge what can my body handle now that I reversed my insulin resistance,” Sarah Kostusiak said.

She adds, “You can’t choose one diet. One diet isn’t going to last you your whole life. You must listen to your body. If you don’t listen to your hunger hormones, you’ll be in the same place as you were before.”

Sarah Kostusiak also advises making sure you are getting the right food to supplement your body. Try different types of diet but do it with the help of a health coach. Sarah Kostusiak also eats cabbage at least once a week. She says the fiber rebuilds the gut bacteria.

“Cut out different foods to see what foods you are sensitive to. Then re-introduce foods slowly. Watch the carbs and try to eat three to four cups of veggies daily,” said Sarah Kostusiak. “Listen to your body by cutting out dairy, grains, sugar, alcohol, and legumes. Then on days 31 to 45, introduce slowly again and see how your body reacts.”

Being Present

Stress is another common reason why our health is in bad shape. Apart from stress, Sarah Kostusiak advises that everyone must know where your food comes from.

“Quality of food matters. Health is not just diet. Diet is just one part. Get enough sleep, take the right supplements for your body, look at the genetics and manage stress,” advises Sarah Kostusiak.

She adds, “Histamine is a genetic component towards sleep. For example, wine keeps me awake. And that’s knowing my body. Be present and eat mindfully. Mind what is going on. Go for a walk, get a hobby, or do something with friends. Let work stay at work.”

Sarah Kostusiak also suggests getting tested regularly. The organic acid test, in particular, is a urine test that can tell us compounds in the urine that are produced during daily metabolism.  It can identify health issues like leaky gut, candida, mitochondrial issues and a lot of extra information.

Shopping For Food

Sarah Kostusiak says she doesn’t have time to follow a recipe. But generally, she tends to cook keto recipes at home. She knows her kids’ genes and how they react. Grains are allowed to be eaten whether they are out, but she mainly serves gluten-free dishes at home.

Whenever she goes to the grocery, her list would usually include fresh produce, high-quality protein like chicken or turkey breast, and healthy fats like organic cheese, avocados, coconut oil, and avocado oil. And although she includes bacon in her list, she doesn’t do high fat.

Life, Love And Thyme Blog

Sarah Kostusiak’s blog is such a delight! It’s packed with a wealth of health information, diet tips, activities with kids and gardening.  It’s been up for the past five years and is planning to put more recipes and videos on the blog so definitely check it out.


Sarah Kostusiak was born in Indianapolis, IN, but got to Texas as quickly as she could. She was a teacher for 14 years before staying home for nine years to raise her three children. 

Sarah Kostusiak spent her life being blown off by mainstream medicine because her symptoms didn’t fit their definition of disease. After years of struggling with IBS, GERD and Gallbladder issues she has discovered that a gluten sensitivity plus Candida are at the core of her health issues. 

In 2016, Sarah Kostusiak became a Certified Health Coach. She knew that there was a way to figure out her health issues and help others figure out theirs. Currently, she is working toward a Masters’ Degree in Health and Nutrition Education. 

Sarah Kostusiak believes that the key to health is the fuel you put into your body. She takes a holistic approach to health by looking at genetics, food sensitivities, blood markers and helping people learn to listen to their body. 

Sarah Kostusiak currently practices in Round Rock, TX where she sees clients of all ages. Her primary focus is helping people control their insulin response by showing them how to live a low carb lifestyle and reduce inflammation in the body.

Get Connected With Sarah Kostusiak!

North Austin Wellness

Love, Life And Thyme Blog

Facebook – Keto Group

Facebook – North Austin Weight Loss & Wellness

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Genetics – Sarah Kostusiak And Ashley James Learn – #267

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel

The Importance Of Vitamin K2

Did you know that vitamin K2 is found in chlorella? In our previous episode, we talked extensively about why chlorella and spirulina are superfoods. This time around, Catharine Arnston is back with us to talk more about where we can get our daily requirement of vitamin K2 and how it benefits our health.

Origins of Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 prevents heart disease and helps develop healthy bones. But apparently, vitamin K2 isn’t found in a lot of foods. In fact, Catharine Arnston says that aside from chlorella containing vitamin K2, this wonder vitamin is only found in grass-fed protein or dairy. It is also found in natto, a Japanese food which has the highest concentration of vitamin K2.

“Up until the 50s, cattle were all raised in pastures. Grass and green things have chlorophyll and vitamin K1. Vitamin K1 is known for its blood clotting benefits,” shares Catharine Arnston. “Only animals have in their gut, a bacteria that converts K1 from the grass into K2. And when we consume dairy to absorb the animal protein from a grass-fed animal, we then absorb vitamin K2.” 

But Catharine Arnston says the farmers soon discovered, that if they added vitamin D and vitamin A to the feed of the cattle, they could move them inside in tiny enclosures, feed them corn and fatten them up.

As a result, during the 1960s onward, vitamin K2 eventually became non-existent in most people’s diets. Reported cases of osteoporosis and heart disease also started increasing.

Link Between Calcium And Vitamin K2

Catharine Arnston explains that when you eat dairy of any kind, it contains calcium. The calcium is supposed to go to your bones and helps cells continuously regenerate. And although vitamin D helps with absorptions, the missing link is vitamin K2.

“Vitamin K2 does two things. It releases a protein called osteocalcin which helps your bones absorb the calcium and releases a protein called matrix GLA protein which prevents the calcium from moving into your blood vessels, skin, and brain. It moves it out of places it shouldn’t be and puts it where it should be,” said Catharine Arnston.

Furthermore, Catharine Arnston says cholesterol does not primarily cause heart disease. Instead, it is caused by having too much calcium in blood vessels. And without vitamin K2, all those calcium supplements, as well as all the calcium, moves into your blood vessels and not your bones.

To know more about vitamin K2, Catharine Arnston highly recommends the book called Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheaume-Bleue. Kate Rheaume-Bleue is a Canadian Naturopathic doctor and clearly explains everything you need to know about vitamin K2.

More people realize that vitamin K2 is the essential thing in your diet especially those aged 30 years old and above. The book also makes us aware that accumulating all that calcium gathers in your bloodstream and may lead to heart attack.

“The best source of vitamin K2 is always from nature. I had our algae tested in February. One or two servings of chlorella is sufficient for vitamin K2 requirement,” said Catharine Arnston. “It prevents calcium flowing in the bloodstream and reverses it. So to those with high blood pressure or if you’re a candidate for heart attack, get up to four servings of chlorella.”

Best Diet

But taking chlorella and spirulina isn’t going to be as effective if you don’t practice a proper diet. With so many food choices around, it’s also so easy to make bad food choices especially when we’re busy.

I also know many of you are aware that fast food is bad for your health. Many studies have proven this. Dr. Joel Fuhrman was on my show recently and his book, The Fast Food Genocide, details the long-time consequences of an unhealthy diet.

It may be hard for changing your diet but try to do it one step at a time. One way to reduce your calories by 10% is cutting out your consumption of animal products.

Dr. Mark Hyman, another previous guest, has a different approach to improving your food choices and shift your diet to a healthy one. The “pegan” diet as he calls it, is a combination of the paleo and vegan diets. Doing a pegan diet primarily uses high-quality meat.  So those who can’t take dairy products can opt for the organic meat which is rich in vitamin K2.

Catharine Arnston also says that vitamin K2 keeps the excess calcium out of your skin, so it doesn’t contribute to wrinkles. Furthermore, only 10% of chlorophyll is absorbed in your stomach. The rest stays in through the entire intestinal tract, goes through the liver and down the colon.

Chlorophyll, on the other hand, absorbs carcinogens. Since it’s a fat-based pigment, it heals cell walls. And because chlorophyll absorbs carcinogens, it cleans out the lower intestines as well.

Looking Ahead

Catharine Arnston is happy to share that even Congress now realizes the nutritional value of algae through the Algae Agricultural Act. She says it’s about time to set the record straight that algae are not a supplement but rather a crop. 

“Algae are also sustainable. My dream is to have a huge algae farm in the U.S. Aside from this; algae also capture carbon dioxide,” shares Catharine Arnston. “I also recently learned that NASA wants to grow algae in space. So, in being eco-friendly, we are choosing crops and choosing foods that are healthier for us and healthier for the environment.”

Source Of Omega 3

There is so much more information surrounding algae. Did you know that algae are also a source of omega 3? But Catharine Arnston says the demand for omega 3 or fish oil has been so high that it has already stripped the ocean of so many species of fish already. It is disruptive to the environment, and it is only a matter of time when it disrupts everything.

“Go straight to what the fish are eating. Algae is vegan, and it protects the ocean. The other problem is, some tests have shown that 80% of fish oil comes up rancid. It’s just the process of packaging it,” Catharine Arnston explains. “You can’t stop the oxidation process, so that causes inflammation. Algae never go rancid, and it’s always clean. So you’re better off getting your omega 3 from a sustainable source.”

She adds, “Algae is also responsible for up to 85% of the oxygen on earth. So growing algae is good for air quality. Because algae kill bacteria, algae are used in every city’s water processing plant. You can use the water over and over, and there’s zero waste for algae.”

Success Stories

There are many people whose health improved with chlorella and spirulina. Just a month ago. Catharine Arnston received an email from a 35-year-old mom with three kids.  

She was diagnosed last year with stage 4 uterine cancer. The cancer has metastasized into her bones, lungs, and liver. She underwent chemo, lost 60 pounds, and was bedridden last year. The only thing keeping her alive was the love for her children.

That woman had a friend who lived in Kansas who happened to take algae regularly. She sent her friend a bag of ENERGYbits with spirulina, and RECOVERYbits.  In two weeks, that woman was able to get out of bed!

“We’re on a path where we know we’re making a difference. Our bodies can heal themselves. We have to give them what it needs and take away what it doesn’t,” said Catharine Arnston.

More On Chlorella

We can’t get enough of chlorella and spirulina because there’s still so much to learn about them. Chlorella, in particular, has a thousand more chlorophyll than any other greens. It has cleansing properties and has health benefits. Aside from that, chlorella has a high amount of protein and essential fatty acids.

Chlorella also has nucleic acids that control cellular function and heredity. The two forms of nucleic acid are DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).

“As you age, your DNA and RNA become damaged. So, they start replicating in a damaged form. That contributes to aging and disease and wrinkles. Ultimately, chlorella helps with wellness, skin health, and faster healing of wounds,” said Catharine Arnston.

Catharine Arnston says chlorella has the highest concentration of iron in the world. It is 48 times more than spinach. She says iron is what carries oxygen in your blood so if you don’t have enough oxygen; you’ll feel fatigued. It is also great for the skin and has a high concentration of protein.

Spirulina and Mother’s Milk

Catharine Arnston also reveals that spirulina can benefit the quality of mother’s milk. It supplies the proteins, healthy fat, antioxidants and vitamins needed to nourish the mother’s body. Because spirulina is rich in GLA or gamma-linolenic acid, it can also aid the development of the baby especially brain function.

“Spirulina is the one that’s energizing and provides you with all that focus. But the chlorella is your health and wellness algae. Your brain uses up 20% of your energy. And spirulina helps so much with the mental focus,” said Catharine Arnston.

She adds, “Spirulina helps open the blood vessels, allows the blood to flow faster, sends more oxygen to your muscles and brain so you can think better. It is loaded with the B vitamins. Spirulina has more B vitamins. B vitamins convert glucose into energy and help with the methylation process.”

How To Eat Algae

The taste of algae is complex. But Catharine Arnston says there are a lot of ways on how to eat algae:

– Use as a garnish. RECOVERYbits is a fantastic garnish on a salad.

– Turn it into a game for the kids. Vitamin K2 is terrific for kids to strengthen their bones.

– Tastes great with nuts.

– You can grind them up and make it into a smoothie.

– Great with coconut chips and dark chocolate.

“Ultimately, don’t see it as just food, see it as something that’s going to benefit you from a health perspective as well,” advises Catharine Arnston.

Get Connected With Catharine Arnston:

Official Website





Recommended Links:

Episode 265 – Chlorella and Spirulina – Catharine Arnston

Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox

Phycocyanin: A Potential Drug for Cancer Treatment

Downloadable Information About Chlorella And Spirulina:

why is our spirulina and chlorella the safest and best

mothers milk and spirulina-have the same nutritional profile chart and explanation 3 pages

chlorophyll content in sprirulina and chlorella compared to other vegetables- one page (2)

Vitamin K2 is found in RECOVERYbits chlorella helps prevent heart disease, Alzheimers and osteoporosis

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Vitamin K2 – Catharine Arnston & Ashley James – #266

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Why Chlorella And Spirulina Are Superfoods

Have you heard that chlorella and spirulina are superfoods? Chances are, you’ve heard of it, but many people are still unaware of its benefits. I have been consuming chlorella and spirulina from ENERGYbits for some time now. And because I’m so amazed at the health benefits of these superfoods, I decided to invite Catharine Arnston again on the show to talk more about it.

Demand for Chlorella

Catharine Arnston says, first of all; chlorella is the only thing that removes radiation from your body. Chlorella is also called a chelator which eliminates any toxins whether its mercury or lead. It is recommended for chemotherapy treatments because it removes chemotherapy and radiation. Chlorella also has the highest concentration of chlorophyll and vitamin K2.

Some people argue that iodine is just as sufficient. On the contrary, although iodine prevents the absorption of its toxins, it doesn’t remove things like radiation.

“Because algae or spirulina and chlorella are both crops grown in freshwater. With the radiation incident in Fukushima, people there are aware of the ability of it to remove radiation. So, we had to wait for two months to get our next supply.”

I know for a fact that iodine only prevents absorption within the thyroid. It’s been a common habit wherein everyone was buying iodine, but things are slowly changing. In fact, my three-year-old son likes chlorella and even calls them green crackers.

“Chlorella also tastes fantastic with macadamia nuts. Because of the great fat in macadamia, and the sea salt, blend it with the flat green flavor of the chlorella, and it tastes like potato chips,” said Catharine Arnston.

Spirulina Overview

On the other hand, Catharine Arnston shares that the United Nations endorsed spirulina for 50 years as the answer to world hunger. This is because it has the highest concentration of protein and fortified vitamins and minerals.

Catharine Arnston thinks chlorella is even more critical than spirulina due to its ability to remove toxins. But mainly, both chlorella and spirulina have significant value for our health.


Catharine Arnston’s ENERGYbits company has been in the business for seven years already. She currently offers several products under the ENERGYbits, RECOVERYbits, SKINNYbits, and VITALITYbits line.

Each product has a significant purpose. And Catharine Arnston assures that all her products are organic. She also has an excellent deal for Learn True Health listeners! Just type in the LTH code to avail of the 20% discount. There’s no expiry for the code so you can keep replenishing your supply.

View On Supplements

Catharine Arnston says that spirulina, in particular, is a food base replacement for supplements. And because there’s so much protein in spirulina, it acts as a snack and gives you energy before your workout. It can replace energy bars and energy drinks.

“Spirulina is a one-stop shop for energy, focus, hunger, health, and wellness. There’s no need for calcium, magnesium, multivitamins, and fish oil,” said Catharine Arnston.

Supplements are usually made from inorganic materials, and Catharine Arnston says it is similar to rocks or seashells. Organic materials are plants or things that are alive.

“When you have a mineral that comes from something that’s alive, it has all the other factors and co-factors. Because these minerals are enzymatic,” said Catharine Arnston. “They just work better when they come from a source that has been alive because of the synergies.”

She adds, “You will either not absorb them, or you will get to a toxicity state. And 95% of supplements are made from extracts. You’re either peeing them out, or you can reach toxic levels from fat-based vitamins.”

That’s why Catharine Arnston advises it’s always better to get your nutrients from food. Algae has a thousand times more chlorophyll than greens. In fact, chlorella has two hundred times more chlorophyll than spinach.

What Is Spirulina?

Catharine Arnston says spirulina, which is a blue-green algae, is technically a bacteria. It was the first plant life on earth almost four billion years ago. And the blue color of spirulina comes from a pigment called phycocyanin.

“Take a few tabs of spirulina and put on a white plate with some water. Let it sit of for a few hours. You’ll see colors. That’s phycocyanin,” said Catharine Arnston.

Benefits of Spirulina

Catharine Arnston says spirulina can reverse cancer. It is used for hunger, energy, and focus, that’s why Catharine Arnston named it ENERGYbits.

Spirulina also has the highest concentration of protein in the world. Catharine Arnston said that the Germans discovered this in 1917 and won a Nobel prize related to that. Furthermore, spirulina is loaded with B vitamins for energy, and also important for a process called methylation.

“It’s a cellular process that helps your cells to grow back healthy. Spirulina is also loaded with essential fatty acids and omega 3. It also has gamma-linolenic acid, also known as omega 6 but behaves like an omega three because it’s unprocessed,” reveals Catharine Arnston.

For those watching their diet, you’ll be thrilled to know that spirulina has zero carbs. Catharine Arnston says it’s vital for the keto communities. Plus, you feel fresh and alert!

“We’re working for more professional sports communities because we do all these lab tests to prove that they’re safe. They have no banned substances, and the nutrient profile is exactly what we say it is and its toxin-free,” Catharine Arnston said.

ENERGYbits Company

Catharine Arnston shares that she started the company because her youngest sister developed breast cancer up in Canada. Her oncologist advised her sister to change her diet to an alkaline diet. This way, it would help with her healing.

Fast forward ten years later, Catharine Arnston’s is now cancer-free, and ENERGYbits has helped a lot of people as well.

“We grow algae in freshwater tanks in Taiwan. Ninety-nine percent is grown in Asia, India, China, Japan, and a little in Hawaii,” narrates Catharine Arnston. “Taiwan is known to have the highest quality algae and strictest controls.”

She adds, “We use fresh water from mountain spring, and it’s triple-filtered. The algae are tested every day for purity. It is tested again at a third-party lab in the United States to make sure there are no toxins and pesticides.”

Importance Of Chlorophyll

Catharine Arnston said algae is a single-cell organism that converts sunshine like any other plant. That’s why her company doesn’t use high heat to preserve the enzymes.

“So we’re very proud that our algae are considered a raw food. It’s always better to get your nutrients from food,” said Catharine Arnston.

She adds, “There’s chlorophyll in spirulina. And there’s a study proving that when you take chlorophyll, you are exposing yourself to sunlight. When that happens, you generate energy in the same way as you would from ketones. We’re not that different from plants after all. Furthermore, chlorophyll has identical properties as red blood cells.”

Catharine Arnston also explains that chlorophyll is a fat-based pigment or antioxidant. It is also essential for your cell walls.

“Vitamin A and vitamin D are fat-based. All of those fat-based vitamins will help heal the cell wall. If cell wall isn’t healthy with proper fat, nutrients cannot get in, and toxins can’t get out,” explains Catharine Arnston.

She adds, “It’s quite different from that other pigment in spirulina which is called phycocyanin. That’s a water-based pigment. It affects your plasma and your blood. Fat-based vitamins and things like chlorophyll are for the cell wall. The water-based ones are for your blood and plasma.”

Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt

For those who have listened to my past episodes, you may recall my previous interview with Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Going to medical school in Germany gave Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt an in-depth knowledge of acupuncture and with homeopathy. Because of this, he can treat people with a more Holistic approach. He has been 100% reversing autism and treats Lyme disease as well.

I’m happy to report that Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt gets an excellent result with children. That’s because he puts them on a natural program to detoxify the body. The first thing Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt does to his patients is getting them on chlorella. Because ultimately, chlorella pulls out or chelates those heavy metals from the body, brain, and nervous system.

I also learned from Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt that when you only eat a few pieces of chlorella, it simulates heavy metals to come out of your tissue. But ultimately, there is not enough chlorella to bind to it.

So, therefore, if you’re going to eat chlorella every day, consuming 20 to 30 pieces in one sitting is adequate. That amount is enough to bind to the heavy metals and releases toxins out of your body through the liver and kidney.

What Is Chlorella?

According to Catharine Arnston, chlorella is a wellness algae. It helps you recover your health or prevents you from getting sick. Which is why she named her product RECOVERYbits.

“The cleansing component comes from the chlorophyll which is also in spirulina. But it is twice as much in the chlorella. Chlorophyll cleans those windows on those cell walls so nutrients get in and toxins get out,” said Catharine Arnston.

Catharine Arnston also explains that as far as the detox capability of chlorella is concerned, it is different from spirulina. Spirulina is not a chelator. You can get cleansing benefits from it, but it cannot pull out heavy toxins as chlorella does.

How Chlorella Is Grown

Chlorella is the fastest growing plant in the world. Catharine Arnston says it quadruples in size every 24 hrs. It blooms out circularly, so the tanks that the chlorella are raised in are round.

Even the packaging for chlorella has a science behind it. Catharine Arnston reveals that all packaging bags are UV tested. This way, sunlight can’t get in.  Why? Because the sunlight will pull the chlorophyll out of the algae and cause deterioration in nutrients.

Sun Chlorella

Catharine Arnston shares that Sun Chlorella is considered “granddaddy” of chlorella. They patented a technique to physically tumble the chlorella after it was grown in glass beads.

Through this technique, the friction of the glass beads with the chlorella would physically crack the chlorella. Hence, 99% of all chlorella that’s grown around the world uses Sun Chlorella’s technique.

“I heard that there could be some lead that leaks into the chlorella. So I had to find another technique, and we did. It’s new, modern, and more expensive,” reveals Catharine Arnston. “And that’s what we use to crack our chlorella. We pass chlorella into a sound chamber, and it’s the vibrations that crack the chlorella. There are no glass, no heat, and no lead.”

Catharine Arnston also says that the State of California also heard about the alleged lead leak. So, they did a test and did indeed, find that lead levels exceeded what was acceptable. Incidentally, this may also cause birth defects and brain disorders.

“I started this company to help people be healthy. And I just wanted to help my sister. That’s all I wanted to do, and I just kept going,” said Catharine Arnston.

Want to learn more about chlorella and spirulina? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview in the next episode!


Catharine Arnston has a thirty-year career as an international Attache for the Canadian and British Governments, publisher of an international magazine and Founder of three startups. But in 2009 when her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and advised by her oncologist to change her diet to an alkaline one because it would help her heal, Catharine Arnston put her career on hold to help her sister. 

In the process, she discovered algae, the most alkaline, nutrient-dense plant in the world that no one seemed to know about. Catharine Arnston knew algae would be a game changer for the world if she could just help Americans understand it. Because of that, ENERGYbits was born.

Get Connected With Catharine Arnston!

Official Website





Recommended Book by Catharine Arnston

Vitamin K2 And The Calcium Paradox by – Kate Rheaume – Bleue


Recommended Links:

Learn True Health – Episode 218

Learn True Health – Episode 227

Downloadable Information About Chlorella And Spirulina:

why is our spirulina and chlorella the safest and best

mothers milk and spirulina-have the same nutritional profile chart and explanation 3 pages

chlorophyll content in sprirulina and chlorella compared to other vegetables- one page (2)

Vitamin K2 is found in RECOVERYbits chlorella helps prevent heart disease, Alzheimers and osteoporosis

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

Why Chlorella And Spirulina Are Superfoods – Catharine Arnston & Ashley James – #265

Join the Learn True Health Community & Support Us on Patreon

Order High-Quality Supplements

Join Our Facebook Community Group

Visit Our YouTube Channel