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Babies undergo severe pain and stress both during and after circumcision. Local anesthetic (if given) are only partially effective. Risks include accidental amputation, excessive bleeding, infection, Peyronie's disease (curvature), excessive skin removal, loss of sensation, and permanent lifetime disfigurement. These are called "botch jobs." In the U.S., over 100 infants per year die from complications of circumcision, as per a 2010 journal study. Doctors and hospitals are being challenged with malpractice claims now more than ever.
Every child has an inalienable right to an intact body. The foreskin is a special and unique part of the body that serves several essential functions. We believe the foreskin possesses Four Powers: Pleasure, Protection, Lubrication, and Connection (between people and with oneself.) Both males and females are born with foreskin (equivalent to the clitoral hood). Even cut men were born with a foreskin. Therefore everyone has a stake in this issue.
No professional medical association in the world recommends routine infant circumcision, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Royal Dutch Medical Association, The Royal Australasian Medical Association, and The Canadian Paediatric Society have all said circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.
In this episode, Anthony Losquadro shares with us the history of circumcision and which countries have the highest rate of circumcised men. He also shares with us the effects of circumcision on men. Lastly, he shares how parents should clean a baby boy’s intact genital.
[0:00] Intro: Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast. I know a lot of moms and dads listen to this show, a lot of grandparents too and some future parents listen to this show as well so this really applies to everyone. Even if you don’t have male genitals I think you will still really get a lot out of this episode. It was mind-blowing to me the things that I learned from Anthony about foreskin and about circumcision. Something that we should all know especially if you’re going to be a mom of a future boy. It’s really worth knowing this information. Please, share today’s episode with your friends and your family members especially those who are pregnant or expecting or who are planning to have children. This episode is going to be that ripple. We throw that stone in the pond and watch the ripple and watch how far that ripple goes and how many lives it can help. So, I’m so excited that you’re listening to this episode and you’re sharing it so that we can get this information out there.
Now, if you’ve been a listener for a while, you know that recently I launched something I’ve been working on for a while. I launched the Learn True Health Home Kitchen, which is a membership where we teach you. We make all kinds of videos, teach you how to cook whole foods, really healthy healing foods. The focus is on using food as medicine, using food to heal the body. Well, one of our members, Emily, just shared the other day in the Learn True Health Facebook group and by the way if you’re not in the Facebook group already you are welcome to join us. It’s a very supportive community. Just go to Facebook and search Learn True Health.
Emily shared her testimonial and it was so good I wanted to share it with you. She says, “I have to share. I joined the Learn True Health Home Kitchen five days ago and have successfully gone from meat three times a day to only after 5:00 PM. My kids are eating actual vegetables less cheese sticks. My daughter’s poo has, for the first time in years, been a normal consistency. I don’t plan on going fully without animal products, but this resource and community that Ashley and Naomi have put together has helped me get a grip on my fridge and put me back in control of what goes in and out of it.” She says that her husband is now back to fasting like he used to before and that since she cut out processed cereal for the last five days that she noticed that her headaches have gone away. She says that her fridge is full of whole foods, lots of plants and that for the first time in this mother’s life she says, “I am not the only one eating those vegetables in the fridge.
So, she’s really excited that all her kids are eating the vegetables. She says she loves the bowls module and the resources that we share. She thanks us and she says that she’s also cut way back on her coffee intake. She noticed that she has so much more energy, that she’s not drinking coffee throughout the day and she’s actually getting to sleep better at night. So, she’s very excited and she wanted to share her experience.
We’ve had others already share since we launched it about two weeks ago that their experience in the memberships has been really positive. The whole resource, Learn True Health Home Kitchen, is for everyone. You don’t have to give up meat to be part of it. We’re teaching you how to cook more vegetables, how to cook more plants, how to get more healing foods into your diet. The point of it is that wherever you are on the spectrum whether you want to eat meat at every meal or whether you want to eat no meat at all or anywhere in between, you’re going to use the videos to learn how to use food as medicine.
Naomi and I choose to eat a whole food plant-based diet. We choose not to eat meat anymore and we’re noticing that’s really healing for our bodies. I respect that everyone’s at a different part in their journey, but if you listen to your body, you can dial in your diet for you. Maybe that means eating more fruit, more vegetables, more whole foods, less processed foods, less sugar, less oil, less highly processed foods and more real food. That’s what we’re teaching you. We also teach how to cook food very quickly that’s very healthy, how to save you a ton of money eating really healthy and how to be able to cook food that is super delicious, saves you money, saves you time for the whole family including picky husbands and children.
So, if you love to learn any kind of resources to heal your body in your kitchen and help your family eat healthy, then come join the Learn True Health Home Kitchen. You can get a free tour. There’s a video that gives you a tour. Just go to LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen. That’s LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen and use the coupon code LTH for the big listener discount. Thank you so much for being a listener. I really hope to see you in the Learn True Health Home Kitchen because we are adding new recipes every week. It’s just growing and growing and it’s so much fun to see people expanding their palate and healing their body with food.
Thank you so much for sharing today’s episode. Thank you so much for being a listener. Enjoy today’s episode and enjoy the rest of your day.
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 408.
[0:06:08] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest and for this topic. I’m really passionate about this topic and we’ve never covered it on the show after over 400 episodes with all kinds of topics. When Anthony reached out to me, my husband actually saw the email first and he got really excited because the two of us are very passionate about this. It isn’t talked about enough in the society. So, I love that Anthony that you are an advocate, that you are giving a voice to the children who don’t have a voice. So, thank you so much for coming on the show today and talking about something that I didn’t even think about until I was actually pregnant. I didn’t even think about it.
We were in San Diego, right around the Convention Center, there was a bunch of men protesting. We were driving by and life has it that we have the right kind of timing in life. So, the red light came and we were right there at the red light, the very first car. There’s a bunch of men standing there holding signs with babies on it. I couldn’t really understand what they were protesting. They were wearing white boxer shorts and white shirts with a big red dot on their crotch. The sign says something like, “I was never given a choice.”
We sat there and we were scratching our heads going, “What are they talking about?” Then finally it hit us. They were protesting circumcision. They were spreading awareness about the choice. The ability to choose whether to be circumcised or not. Well, we kept driving when the light turned green but this sparked a conversation between my husband and I. It began our dive into looking at circumcision and the pros and cons because up until then I thought circumcision was of incredibly positive thing. I mean, don’t all men get circumcised because isn’t the foreskin dirty and nasty and we shouldn’t have it. Haven’t men done this for thousands of years? Isn’t it in the Bible?
Well, lo and behold. We started looking deeper and deeper. We saw that babies die in the United States from circumcision. That it actually causes a lot of damage. My husband ended up discovering that some issues that he’s had his entire life that he didn’t realize that they were actually caused by his circumcision. He said it was okay for me to share this because he said if even one man learned something from his experience or even when parent learned something from his experience, then he would be really happy.
So, when we saw your email that you wanted to come on the show and share your information, oh man I was so excited. So, welcome to the show.
[0:09:13] Anthony Losquadro: Ashley, thanks for having me on the show. You really started off at a great introduction. The group that you saw was a group known as the Blood-stained Men. They travel around the country raising awareness on this issue that like what you said, a lot of people never have given any thought.
[0:09:31] Ashley James: Right. Well, at the time we were pregnant, we knew we were probably but we didn’t know that we were pregnant with our son. So, by the time we were ready to give birth we were 100% sure that circumcision was off the table. We had seen the information and we came to a very educated decision that the healthiest thing for our son was to allow him to be intact. What was really interesting is in talking to our doctors about this because we had several of them, I’m kind of an overachiever in that sense. We had midwives and naturopaths and OBGYNs that we all were working with. All of them started to share these really interesting statistics that blew my mind. That it’s actually becoming more and more common for parents not to circumcise.
My husband’s concern would be that if our son was the only one not circumcised in the locker room he’d be embarrassed or something because his would look different. Well, first of all men, don’t go around staring at each other in the locker room, but he was worried that maybe our son would wonder why he looked different. Then all the doctors were sharing with us that in certain areas of the United States, it’s almost half of men. It’s something like 40 something percent of men are not circumcised. So, it’s becoming more and more common, which is good because parents are waking up to this information.
I’m really curious though, Anthony, what happened in your life that made you want to become an advocate around this? Now, your website is intaction.org. Of course, links to everything that you do is going to be the show so today’s podcast at LearnTrueHealth.com. Tell us your story. What happened that made you want to become the founder and director of Intaction and that you wanted to give children a voice and help raise awareness around the importance of an intact body?
[0:11:34] Anthony Losquadro: Well, Ashley, there’s a number of things that have impacted my life that kind of put me on the path that I’m on. When I first started, this issues I became aware of it when I was a very young boy. I was maybe seven or eight years old and I went to Florence, Italy. I saw all of these sculptures and statues by Michelangelo for instance. First of all, I saw these statues they’re all naked. So, I thought that was pretty crazy. The male statues, the male figures all had intact penises. I started to wonder what happened to them or why were they different from me? Why were they different from us? Something didn’t seem to add up to me. That’s when the first earliest days I started to recognize it something was being done.
Growing up I always noticed on my body there was a scar on my penis that everybody had circumcised has a scar. It’s from the device they used to crush the foreskin. I could never recall anything happening to me but why was my body this way and why wasn’t anybody talking about it? So, later on in life as I began to research this issue and information became more available over the internet, I started to have a better understanding. The thing they say once you start learning about circumcision, the more you learn the more shocked you become.
[0:13:14] Ashley James: It’s so true. I’m shocked that female babies are circumcised because that is brutal. I guess in our society we accept male circumcision as normal but female circumcision is barbaric. Well, they’re actually both incredibly barbaric.
[0:13:34] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. That’s right. All of the issues that surround male genital cutting are the same when it comes to female genital cutting or female genital mutilation, whatever you want to call it or female circumcision. The word circumcision, first of all, it’s just a euphemism to really cover up what they’re actually doing. What we’re doing when we say we’re going to circumcise is we’re cutting genitals. We are cutting normal healthy body parts whether it’s off of a boy or whether it’s off of a girl. I don’t like to get into a debate who’s got it worse. Do little girls have it worse than little boys or vice versa? Deaths occur in both sides, complications occur in both sides, pain and trauma occur in both sides.
So, I don’t like to say that one has a greater standing on the issue than the other. It’s human genital cutting. We need to stop cutting babies altogether and young children altogether.
[0:14:41] Ashley James: So, you started to look into it. You started to question it. What happened in your life though that made you become the founder and director of Intaction? What clicked for you? Is there a story there?
[0:14:56] Anthony Losquadro: I felt that I had a lot of experience in the business world and I can apply some of this to create change in America and to help educate Americans about why we need to re-examine this issue, but really the seminal moment for myself and for many others in the intactivist movement and we like to call ourselves intactivists, which is just a conjugation of intact activists so promoting intact bodies. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a statement that seemed to reverse where their previous stance was and they seemed to encourage circumcision despite much lobbying on side of intactivists for them not to do this. It was almost preordained.
When they decided to change the policy. They claimed they were going to study all the literature. They were going to do a comprehensive investigation on this, but I know they pre-baked the cake. They knew what the decision was going to be before they even started it. I know this because I have thousands and thousands of their emails, which I was able to obtain. I can see the deliberations between the committee members. They were going to go to a positive pro-circumcision policy statement way before 2012. They started this in 2009. They issued their statement in 2012.
This incensed many intactivists like myself. The American Academy of Pediatrics, first and foremost people have to understand, they are not an organization that promotes the interest of children first. They are a doctors’ trade association. They are there. It’s all about the money, unfortunately, like many things in this country and many things in the world. I hate to say and it’s a bit of a cliché but it is all about the money. Because if you look in their policy statement in 2012, one of the things they were very outspoken on is that insurance payments must continue for infant circumcisions. So, this is a big moneymaker for hospitals and for the doctors that do them.
So, this incensed many people. It incensed me. I felt like if innocent babies. Our children, have this goliath against them, who’s going to speak for them? Who’s going to help educate the parents to be able to stand up to all this pressure? I could tell you. When my own son was born they kept pestering us, “Are you going to cut them?” “No.” You’re going to circumcise him? Let’s circumcise. They pressure, the doctors pressure parents to do it. So, I felt the need that I need an organization to get like-minded people together to work together, help educate people so they could stand up to this pressure. The next generation of children, the next generation of Americans can have healthy intact bodies the way nature designed us to be.
[0:18:10] Ashley James: You let me know that in the US, over a 100 babies die every year due to complications of circumcision and it was part of a 2010 journal study. That’s unacceptable. That’s just the United States alone, right? Can you imagine worldwide, how many children die from an elective procedure that does not need to happen? Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons so people understand because I’m sure that those that are listening, this is like the first time they’ve ever heard that circumcision is not a great option. What are the pros of having a circumcision? Right and what are the cons? Lay it out for us.
[0:18:59] Anthony Losquadro: Pros, it’s oftentimes a religious or cultural custom that parents feel obligated to get or parents may have anxiety that they feel if they don’t get this done their children may have health issues later on in life. So, this anxiety may compel them to do this or throw reason and logic out the window. So, medically pros there are none. I’ll read you a statement, a policy statement from many many doctors representing over 20 international medical institutions mostly in Europe but all over the world. What they said is, “Circumcision fails to meet the commonly accepted criteria or the justification of preventive medical procedures in children. It has no compelling health benefit, it causes pain and it could have serious long-term consequences and it also conflicts the Hippocratic Oath of “First, do no harm.”
So, these are medical institution representing thousands and thousands of doctors that have said this. So, I want people to understand if they think there are health benefits and they may have read things in the news media or the press or maybe they read something online about it’s going to prevent this or it’s going to prevent that. If they were to get past that, first of all, you can’t believe everything you read in the news because reporters often get it wrong and they tend to uphold the status quo. But if they were to dig down into the studies like we have and looked at this stuff, they would realize that there’s nothing there. People in Europe have stayed intact. They’re intact now, they were intact 100 years ago and they were intact 1000 years ago. They’ve had no health issues related to having intact genitals. So, why is this provoking anxiety in Americans? Because Americans have been sold this bill of goods from American doctors, the American medical system, that goes back over 100 years in America.
[0:21:22] Ashley James: Can you walk us through the history of circumcision?
[0:21:26] Anthony Losquadro: It’s a bizarre history and I’d love to. Circumcision was uncommon in America up until around the 1890s. What happened back then is it was the Victorian age. It was an era of where they tried to have greater attention to morals and morality. America became obsessed with stopping masturbation. They thought masturbation was the root of so many mental and physical ills. That they had to take all resources and all actions necessary to try to restrain this behavior. First, doctors thought that they could circumcise men to get them to stop, but then they quickly realized that was a hard sell. Right? Because an adult knows how good that feels and they’re not cutting parts off their body especially on their genitals.
So then doctors then reasoned well Plan B let’s do it to babies and then we will just have to convince the parents that it’s going to be better for them. We had doctors of the time. Now, you’re going to recognize this name, John Harvey Kellogg. He was the inventor of Kellogg’s cornflakes. He thought masturbation was a serious issue. He was a celebrity doctor of his day. He wrote books. He ran a medical institution. He was one of those figures from back then that convinced parents that circumcision needed to be done.
Then we had another guy who’s by the name of Dr. Lewis Sayre. He was a doctor in New York City. He claimed that circumcision prevented all kinds of things. He claimed it cured epilepsy, mental illness and hernias. He said genital irritations and masturbation are deemed to be the causes of these issues. Lewis Sayre went on to become the president of the American Medical Association. So, this is what we had going against us. This is how it started in America. As time went on and as more and more babies became born in hospitals, actually around 1940 was the break-even point where more babies were born in hospitals as opposed to being born at home.
Doctors took over the birth process. Oftentimes, babies were circumcised without parents even having to be able to consent to it.
[0:24:08] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.
[0:24:09] Anthony Losquadro: Right. I mean back then the father couldn’t even be in the delivery room. So, they took over the birth process. Also, medical insurance became more commonplace. So, doctors could get paid to do it. Going into the late 40s and into the 1950s circumcision rates really started climbing. They probably peaked right around 1970. That’s kind of the history of circumcision in America. There’s some other things. There’s elements of racism and xenophobia. There’s always panic over illness and disease, which some in the medical industry are always happy to exploit. That’s what drove the rates up so high in America. It happened here for the most part. Europe never experienced this maybe with the exception of England.
[0:25:06] Ashley James: I’m confused. How did racism and xenophobia drive circumcision?
[0:25:11] Anthony Losquadro: Well, there was a doctor back in 1894. His name is Dr. Peter Raymond Eno. He said that circumcision of Negroes was a remedy in preventing their predisposition to raping people. When it comes to xenophobia you had the great immigration waves of the 1920s. People from Southern Europe and Eastern Europe, upper-class white Americans were looking to differentiate themselves from the dirty unclean masses coming in. Circumcision became part of that. If you were able to circumcise your child that meant you could afford a hospital birth.
[0:25:55] Ashley James: Oh, they spun it. The media spun it so that it was a status symbol.
[0:26:02] Anthony Losquadro: It became a status symbol. Just like formula-feeding, that became the modern thing to do. If you had the money you could afford formula. You formula-fed your baby as opposed to breastfeeding. That’s for the peasants out in the countryside. We don’t do that.
[0:26:18] Ashley James: Meanwhile, they were damaging their children. They’re damaging their children’s health and they’re damaging their children’s bodies not knowing that it was the so-called peasants that probably their children were healthier as a result of being breastfed and intact. So, what about circumcision around the world? Is America kind of an oddity? Is this the country that has the most circumcision? What about around the world?
[0:26:48] Anthony Losquadro: In the current day with some isolated pockets if you take out people of the Muslim faith and the Judaic faith, you take them out, 99% of the men in the world are intact. So, there are some pockets here and there like for instance in the Philippines, they practice circumcision even though they’re Catholic. South Korea practiced circumcision. They still do, although it’s starting to back off. That was American influence from the Korean War when American medics were providing free health care, they kind of spread it there. Places that were doing it like for instance Australia and the UK had high circumcision rates also up until about World War II. Then as their national health services took over, they decided they’re not paying for this anymore. They cut it out of their insurance and rates plummeted, whim. Again, circumcision rates in England are very very low, Australia very very low.
[0:27:50] Ashley James: I’m from Canada and growing up I knew people who were and who were not. I had discussions actually with my friends’ moms about it because I thought it was kind of interesting. They said that they had the choice. That in the hospital it was not pressured. The pressure wasn’t put upon them but that they could choose. They could elect to have it or not to have it because Canada being a one-payer medical system. So, the government doesn’t want to pay for something it doesn’t have to, luckily. It’s still a common practice there because the United States influences these other countries. Interesting though, in the latest statistics, does the United States have the highest rates of circumcision compared to all other countries?
[0:28:51] Anthony Losquadro: I would say amongst developed countries, you have different countries in Africa that circumcise depending on their tribe and the culture. Again, the Muslim world almost universally circumcise as boys. So, you mention Canada. Also in 2015, the Canadian pediatric society came out. They do not recommend circumcision policy statement.
[0:29:19] Ashley James: Interesting.
[0:29:20] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. They’re distancing themselves even further from their past.
[0:29:23] Ashley James: Well, it’s interesting that the Canadian pediatric society is saying don’t do it and the American pediatric society, or whatever the American version, is saying to do it. It’s always look at the money. Look at the money. That’s very sad that the pediatricians in the United States are going after the money and not after the health of the child.
[0:29:50] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement, it’s vague and it’s conflicting. There are parts of it that seems to say that it recommends it. Then other parts they say, “Well, it’s not a recommendation but we’ll leave it up to the parents.” So, they kind of vaguely word it. So, it’s kind of like reading tea leaves. You can interpret into what you want. They do say that if parents want it, insurance should pay for it.
[0:30:23] Ashley James: Let’s talk about foreskin. What purpose does foreskin have? What does it do for the body? Again, we’ve grown up thinking foreskin is something you could throw into the trash the second you’re born. Like God created us as these amazing beings and His image, but definitely the second you’re born you should cut off this little extra piece that he accidentally left on you if you’re a boy. It’s just kind of crazy to think that God made a mistake when he created us so you should cut off this little part. So, what purpose does foreskin serve?
[0:31:02] Anthony Losquadro: It serves a lot of purpose. It’s a wonderful anatomical adaptation that males are born with. Incidentally, women also have foreskin in the form of the clitoral hood, but the male foreskin has what we call the four powers. That is pleasure, protection, lubrication and connection. The foreskin offers 20,000 specialized nerve endings known as Meissner’s corpuscles that are fine touch neural sensors. The foreskin protects the end of the penis. It keeps it covered and it keeps the skin moist and supple underneath. It provides its own lubrication. It’s better overall. Guys that are intact say they have a terrific overall experience because of what they’re sensing through their foreskin and with their partner. Nature doesn’t make mistakes. It put this on our body for a reason. The skin slides back and forth. That’s where most of the sensitivity is.
The head of the penis is relatively insensitive. It may come to a shock for some people. I’ll even give – for the guys out there that are listening to this, they can try this. The head of the penis can’t feel hot and cold. A lot of people may not realize. It doesn’t have heat and cold receptors. You could prove this to yourself if you were to go into a guy, not you personally, but if you were to go into a shower with an ice cube. You put warm or hot water on just the head of your penis without getting anything else, not the shaft area, just the head. You put an ice cube on and you go back and forth. You can’t feel any difference. You can feel the pressure, but a guy can’t feel hot and cold.
Most of the sensation, all the different types of nerve receptors are in the foreskin. There’s a structure in the foreskin. People always ask me, “Well, you’re cut so how do you know?” I know because I can study anatomy and I can study histological studies by researchers like Taylor. They studied the foreskin and they found the structure, Taylor found the structure, in the foreskin called the ridged band. That’s like this wrinkled section of skin that goes around the foreskin. That’s where all those Meissner’s corpuscles reside in.
The studies Taylor did, he found that that rich band and the frenulum band underneath, the frenulum band is that piece of skin. It’s almost like a rubber band. It helps the foreskin go back forward when it’s not in use. Those are the most sensitive parts of the penis. Those are all cut off during circumcision. So the most sensitive part of a guy that’s been circumcised, cut is around the circumcision scar of the penis. That’s what he’s got left. That’s where the nerve endings stop. It’s called neurotmesis. Its death of the nerve endings there. That’s where they can feel.
[0:34:14] Ashley James: So, the argument is that doesn’t having a foreskin mean you have a really dirty penis that is more prone to infection? Doesn’t not having a foreskin make it easier to keep a penis clean?
[0:34:32] Anthony Losquadro: I always like to say a joke when somebody tells me that. I think guys that say that, they have an over-exaggerated sense of how well-endowed they are. They think that their penis is so big it might take an hour to clean it. I mean, seriously, if you take a shower once in a while or a bath or maybe some guys just use baby wipes, I don’t know. It’s not that hard to keep it clean. Once you clean it it stays clean for quite a while. I have other parts on my body, which we don’t have to get into, they get a lot more dirtier a lot quicker. All right.
Anyhow, we expect guys to brush their teeth. So, if they can brush their teeth they can’t wash their foreskin, which takes like two swipes in the shower. It’s not a big deal.
[0:35:28] Ashley James: I know. It’s a funny argument for, “Well, we should remove the skin because clearly you won’t be able to keep it clean.” It’s just so weird.
[0:35:35] Anthony Losquadro: I mean, yeah. Maybe if your life goal was to be homeless or something where you had no access to taking a bath, maybe then you should be circumcised. By then your teeth are probably falling out and who knows what other problems you have. So, I think the hygiene is just a red herring. It’s laundry list persuasion. Laundry list persuasion is when somebody’s trying to convince you of something and they throw so many different things at you that individually they have no merit behind them but they hope that the sum of all of zeroes adds up to something.
[0:36:22] Ashley James: Sounds like a pediatrician trying to make a profit, make a boat payment or something. So you said there’s four powers of the foreskin. One being pleasure. We just talked about that. That by removing foreskin. You’re removing 20,000 nerve endings and most of the sensation of a penis we’re basically removing the ability to fully feel. That’s really really sad. I imagine that’s something very similar to happens to female children when there’s female circumcision. That many of their, if not most of the nerve endings, are removed. Again, both situations I feel are barbaric. So, we’re removing the ability to fully feel and have pleasure, which we know in today’s age it’s 2020. We know that having fully feeling pleasure with our partner is not sinful. It’s beautiful. It helps to create a wonderful intimate loving relationship. It’s part of that. It’s part of a healthy relationship with our partner.
So, that’s pleasure has been severely stunted. Now, protection is the next one. How is protection removed when we remove the foreskin?
[0:37:43] Anthony Losquadro: Well, the foreskin keeps, it’s like the eyelid protects the eye. The foreskin is a cover over the end of the penis that keeps it protected, it keeps the skin underneath moist and supple. There is also some antibacterial properties that the foreskin contains. There are cells called Langerhans cells. They emit a substance that is antibacterial. Again, that’s nature kind of programming this all into the mix there.
[0:38:16] Ashley James: Wow. So, we’re removing part of the immune system that protects the penis?
[0:38:23] Anthony Losquadro: Unfortunately, yeah. Langerhans cells in the foreskin that have an immune function. They’re like sentries. They’re early alert sentries. If an invader, a pathogen comes in and presents itself to that area that it alerts the immune system to respond.
[0:38:40] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. Are there any studies or any data where we’re seeing that men who are intact with their foreskin have less occurrences of UTIs or penile cancer or any kind of infections versus those who have had their foreskin removed?
[0:39:02] Anthony Losquadro: I think when we look at European studies, we don’t see any difference intact men and men that have been cut. When you’ve been circumcised that mucosa tissue becomes keratinized and dried out. So that thick layer, that thick leathery skin that forms it’s more like skin on the rest of your body instead of being sensitive mucosa tissue. That forms a more denser barrier to infections perhaps. The foreskin in it of itself, we don’t see much difference. I don’t think that men that are intact have lower rates of STDs, but I don’t think they have higher rates either.
[0:39:45] Ashley James: Okay. So, that’s not even a point for anyone to bring up because I know that some doctors say that those who are circumcised have slightly less chance of getting HIV. Has that come up for in your research?
[0:40:03] Anthony Losquadro: It comes up all the time because the press has hyped it and the researchers that did the studies have hyped it. Yeah. Those studies, there’s only three of them that were done. There was one done in Rakai, Uganda; Kisumu, Kenya and Orange Farm, South Africa. There’s only three studies. These things have gone on and on since they were done around 2009-2010. They’re highly highly disputed by a number of academics and a number of doctors. You have to understand, these researchers who did this, they got millions and millions and millions of dollars for themselves and the institutions they work for in terms of grants from the Gates Foundation and from US government. Back then, this is before the advent really of antiretroviral drugs that is really bringing HIV under control. Before that they didn’t have that. They gave them all this money to do something. They concocted these studies. If you read their press releases they’ll say they’re gold-standard studies.
When you look into their data and you look into their methodology it’s so flawed that the only reason why they got away with this is most people don’t understand it and I’ll give you an example. In one mistake, take one study so let’s say the study participants were 3000 men. So, you have 1500 that we’re going to be intact and you had 1500 that were going to be circumcised. Well, first of all you have to convince 1500 men to get circumcised, right? Because you have to tell them upfront they’re going to have a benefit. What are you going to them if the study showed no benefit? “Sorry, we took your foreskin off for no reason.” So, you take these circumcised men. Now, the intact man they said okay go back home and live your life and do whatever. Then the circumcised men they couldn’t have sex for the first month, two months, three months maybe even because they’re healing.
Then the study is supposed to go say a year and a half. I don’t have the original time frame of the study but they stopped the study short. They stopped the study like after six months. So, the guy had surgery they were only exposed for a very short period of time. What makes these studies so fraudulent is that all three studies they stopped. They cut them. They stopped the study in half the amount of time it was supposed to be. They claimed it was due to ethical reasons that they had to offer circumcision to the intact group before they caught HIV.
[0:42:48] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. That is so – I can’t believe it.
[0:42:55] Anthony Losquadro: They pre-baked the outcome of the study. Then what they did is they press release, big press releases. “Circumcision we reduced it by 60%. Wow, isn’t that amazing? The millions of dollars you gave us wasn’t that so well spent.” They don’t even tell you the 60% number is actually an absolute reduction from 2% to 1.2%, but they couldn’t say that because that’s not a great press release. So they say, “We reduced it by 50% – 60%. It’s amazing. It’s like a vaccine. We should be doing this. Give us more money. We need to set up clinics to do it now.” Unfortunately, these poor Africans are being pressured into doing this and it still goes on to this day. The US government continues to fund these programs. They actually pay people in the community to go out and be like recruiters to get men to come to the clinics to get circumcised. They’ll set up soccer teams. You can’t participate on the soccer team unless you get circumcised.
Now, they just realize that the botched rate is like becoming off the chart. Many young African babies are being botched for life from this program. So, now they may even be moving away from doing it to the babies. All this stuff’s going on in Africa. There are some groups, intactivists in Africa, that are starting to get organized and fight back against this. If American parents are thinking that’s a reason to circumcise their son they really need to learn more about this.
[0:44:39] Ashley James: Well, just wear a condom. If you’re worried about HIV wear a condom. Only have intimacy with your partner after you’ve both been tested. I mean, just take precautions. Take a few steps but don’t cut off your son’s half of his genital because you think it might prevent him from catching HIV one day. That’s planning for bad parenting right there.
[0:45:08] Anthony Losquadro: It’s sad. If somebody is in a high-risk group then they should take antiretroviral drugs like PrEP. That will give them much much more protection than circumcision ever possibly could.
[0:45:22] Ashley James: Wow. Okay. So, you look into the studies and you see that it’s totally botched studies and just made-up exacerbated numbers so they can make money. It’s all about the money. It’s really really sad.
[0:45:39] Anthony Losquadro: If you’re a professor in an academic institution, your career is based on how many grants you can bring into that institution. Professors and these academics need to constantly be publishing and they constantly need to be trying to get grants. They found a nice juicy target with circumcising Africans.
[0:46:03] Ashley James: This is just sick and sad. All right. So, by removing foreskin we remove pleasure, 20,000 nerve endings, most of the sensation of the penis. We are removing the protection. There is a whole immune system that we are removing. Talk about lubrication. I never knew. So, it’s actually a like a mucosa like you said it’s almost like an eyelid where it’s like a kind of mucosa tissue?
[0:46:34] Anthony Losquadro: It’s a mucosa tissue. It’s naturally moist. The technical name is exudate. There’s a liquid that kind of leaks out from the skin and it provides zone emollients and moisture to both the head of the penis and to the foreskin itself to keep the skin moist and supple.
[0:46:57] Ashley James: And clean. Isn’t that also kind of like a self-cleaning mechanism like females have?
[0:47:05] Anthony Losquadro: Well, it sheds dead skin cells and the individual has to clean it. Just like all parts of your skin, you’re constantly shedding skin cells. If you don’t wash it for a long time, many many days maybe as long as a week, you would produce a substance, again I use you figuratively I don’t mean you personally. I’m from New York and that’s just the way I talk. Everybody’s a you.
[0:47:37] Ashley James: Yeah. A you.
[0:47:40] Anthony Losquadro: It would produce a substance called smegma, which is the thing everybody jokes about. That’s the emollients and the substances after they go rancid if you’ve never washed it for a very long period of time. That could get a little gross, but hey, you don’t brush your teeth you’re going to get gingivitis and your teeth will fall out too. So, it’s just a normal function of the body, which is a very easy thing to clean.
[0:48:07] Ashley James: All right. So, it keeps it moist and lubricated. So, removing that makes the skin, like you said, it becomes scar tissue, becomes hard and dense almost like leather. That’s just wrong. Okay, connection. You talk about connection. Why does removing the foreskin remove connection?
[0:48:29] Anthony Losquadro: Well, this is kind of an intangible part of having this anatomical function, a feature. It’s being connected with your partner, intact body to intact body. All that sensation. You’re both connected that way. It’s the way nature intended us to be. Circumcision interferes with that. Somebody said, “You can’t change form without changing function.” This is the way the penis was designed to function and go together with the vagina. This is the way everything works together. That’s the connection that two people can have.
[0:49:15] Ashley James: I wonder, I mean this would be kind of an interesting study to look at the numbers, but I wonder if men who are circumcised have higher rates of rape or violence or just there’s something missing. There’s something missing from their body and from their experience and maybe they’re unable to get over that frustration of not having what their bodies meant to have. I just wonder if there’s a, I don’t want to say correlation, but just statistically if men who are intact or more at peace with their body than men who aren’t?
[0:49:57] Anthony Losquadro: Well, I’m not a psychologist so just speaking on a speculative basis. I think when you look at sexual abusers or predators, I think one of the things that’s in their background is they were in turn abused in their past and they were repeating that. When you take a baby or you take a young child and you cut off part of their body, you tell them that you don’t respect their body, their integrity, their autonomy. We’re in this “me too” era now. One of the questions that comes up is how do we expect young men or men in general to respect a woman’s body, to respect a woman’s space and a woman’s dignity when they themselves weren’t respected or their own bodies were altered. Their genitals no less. In a sense really, although it’s not an intentional abuse, it’s a form of abuse. It’s happened to them.
[0:51:05] Ashley James: If you were to take that exact same statement though and talk about a female genital mutilation, if you were to say that, we would say 100%, every listener would say, “Yeah. Female genital mutilation is abuse.” It is barbaric and it’s abusive. I don’t care if it’s part of someone’s culture. Things got to change. So, we need to look that yeah, if that same procedure is happening to a boy, to a girl it’s just the same. You’re doing it to a newborn baby. It’s eight-pound baby. We’re cutting, we’re mutilating their genitals. What are we thinking? What are we doing? We need to start questioning the status quo because if we just go through the baby mill of going to a hospital and just doing what everything our doctor wants us to do, they’re doing a lot of for-profit stuff to our newborn babies that are not helping them. Removing part of their genitals is one of them.
So, we need to, as parents, ask questions and stand up for ourselves and demand more from our society, demand a better look at what we’re doing to newborn babies. I just think this is just crazy.
[0:52:40] Anthony Losquadro: It is. It’s insane.
[0:52:42] Ashley James: You talk about botched jobs. This is where it gets kind of sad, really sad. But I was just reading on Facebook. I was just reading actually a friend of a friend was posting about how she’s a great mom and she regrets so heavily. She regrets the day that she circumcised her son. They botched it. He will never have use of his penis. That blew my mind. He’s like five years old. They botched it to the point where he’ll never be able to have sex. I couldn’t believe that that that actually happens right now, in this day and age, here in the United States. So, can you tell us a bit about statistics and the risks that go into having a circumcision?
[0:53:42] Anthony Losquadro: There unfortunately happens more often than people realize. Often times it gets swept under the carpet. The parents that are party, they’ve been also victims of this because what happened to their son. They want to kind of put it onto the carpet. The hospitals, they’ll just pay off some malpractice settlement deal in court just to make it go away, but it happens quite frequently. I can tell you, there was a study done in Utah using the all claims database, which is an insurance database. If you do study off the all claims database that’s considered one of the best sources of data. Researchers there found an 11.5% serious complication rate from circumcision. If you’re a pediatric urologist, the biggest job you have is repairing circumcision complications.
[0:54:42] Ashley James: 11.5% of boys, of baby boys, newborn baby boys have some form of complication. What do these complications look like? I mean, disfigurement. Are they actually slicing off, accidentally slicing off half the penis? What is the complication?
[0:55:04] Anthony Losquadro: Complications run the gamut. It could be excessive hemorrhaging or bleeding during the procedure. It could be removal of too much skin. It could be misapplication of the circumcision clamp that causes gouges or actually amputates some or all of the penis because obviously a baby is so small. If the doctor is off even a millimeter or so with this clamping device which crushes the foreskin. He can crush not only the foreskin but part of the penis.
[0:55:37] Ashley James: So, 20,000 nerve endings are being crushed in a newborn baby?
[0:55:41] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Yeah. They’re removing the whole foreskin. So, these complications can also be infection. There could be complications that develop later on in life called meatal stenosis. Stenosis is a medical term meaning narrowing of a particular part. What happens is the urethra, which is the part that you urinate through, because of the scar tissue can tend to increase with time. You can have difficulty having urination baby or the male or the older male, mature male can have. They have to go in and kind of roto-rooter that out somehow.
So, not only did the baby have to go through all this pain and trauma to begin with, now he’s got to have to go through corrections and revisions and sutures. He’s not going to have a penis that looked like the one that nature gave them. He’s going to have one that doctors had to do reconstructive surgery on. You’re talking as much as like over 100,000 botchers a year. Botchers complications a varying degree. There’s a case going on in New York right now that I was initially consulted on. One doctor did severe damage to babies’, two different babies, penises using a type of circumcision clamp called a Mogen clamp, which is still widely in use. This has the highest malpractice rate of all the circumcision devices yet hospitals continue to use it. This doctor botched two babies in a row, severe that part of the head of their penis is missing.
There was a baby down in Georgia where they amputated the whole entire penis with that device and they didn’t tell the mother. Get this. The doctor wrapped the baby up and said, “Okay. Take him home.” The mother took the baby home. This was a baby of color so I guess they felt that they could take advantage of this situation, maybe she wouldn’t realize it. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. The mother took the baby to the emergency room and part of the penis was missing. The doctors put it in their refrigerator.
[0:58:09] Ashley James: What?
[0:58:12] Anthony Losquadro: So, this is one of the most egregious cases of current history. This was Stacey Willis. You can google it. This was highly reported. She ended up with a huge insurance judgment, huge court judgment. But money is never going to replace what this child has to go through, what kind of life is he going to have with his genitals missing.
[0:58:40] Ashley James: Yeah. I keep coming back to compare it to a woman. We wouldn’t do this to a woman. Why are we doing this to men? Both men and women should have equal rights when it comes to choosing. They should be able to choose. I’m so happy you’re doing the work you’re doing because these babies, these newborn babies, do not have a voice. The parents are being pressured because the doctors and the hospitals want to make money. That is sick and wrong. I know more and more parents are waking up and learning about this. So, I’m happy you’re doing the work you’re doing to allow people to know.
My husband gave me permission right before this interview. I think it’s a sensitive topic. I told him I’ll tell the story without mentioning him. He said, “No, it’s okay.” Because he said it would kind of be weird if I told the story with saying a friend of mine. He goes, “It’s fine. You could tell them my story.” So, he has had issues his whole life. He’s 51 now. He has had issues his whole life and not known that it was because his foreskin was removed. Then about five or six years ago, I discovered medium.com. I think it was kind of newish or new to me. So, we were looking at medium.com as a place for me to write some health articles. My husband was looking over my shoulder and we’re both looking at the computer screen. He says, “Check this website out. It’s really cool. Medium.com. It’s a place where you can go and publish articles.”
So, I went to it and of course the first thing I click on is the health section. I’m like, “Let’s look to see what the top health article is.” We click on it and the top article was not only about circumcision but about regrowing your foreskin. I thought it was a joke because that just sounds like, “What do you mean regrowing? Why would you even? Why would you want foreskin? Wasn’t it a good thing to have it removed?” So, we click on it and start reading. It was a very detailed article about how men, when you have your foreskin removed, you’ve lost the 20,000 nerve endings. You’ve lost pretty much all the sensation, but you’ve also lost this protection. Always having the organ, the head of the penis, touching things like touching your underwear, just touching stuff all the time is making it less and less sensitive. It’s sort of desensitizing it.
Part of the function of the foreskin is to protect it so it doesn’t become desensitized. Even though you said most of the nerve endings are in the foreskin, but still there’s something that happens when the head is constantly touching things. So, it says that by regrowing your foreskin you can regain some of that. It kind of happened right around the same time that we saw those men who were protesting in San Diego. That helped us look into it further and look into the negatives of having your foreskin removed. He kind of got angry. He said, “I was never asked.” He started to process the emotions about it. It was really interesting to watch him talk about it and process it. He was so upset that he never had a choice and he’s had this lifelong problem with having it removed. It’s affected the quality of his life. Not our relationship because he’s done a lot of emotional work, but in his past, his past marriage, it caused a lot of stress. He ended up internalizing it and he ended up feeling shame and guilt. He ended up feeling less than and insufficient as a person.
So, having your foreskin removed can severely affect, because I’ve seen it happen in him, can severely affect your identity and who you are as a person. I thought that was really interesting. So, he did a lot of therapeutic work around it. He’s really wonderful. His process has been wonderful. He ended up going through with this device that you can actually regrow or try to grow some more foreskin basically. So he’s got partially the way there and it significantly changed having regrown some. He’ll never have those nerve endings like you said but he actually did, he did grow some with this device that you wear that kind of stretches the skin and protects the penis. He noticed a really big difference in the sensation and in his problem. His problem started to become a less of a problem. The function, the functionality of it. So, I thought that was really interesting. Have you looked at the movement to regrow foreskin?
[1:04:20] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. I mean, that’s admirable that your husband was first of all able to acknowledge that there was an issue and then respond to it in a positive manner. There are many men that are doing foreskin restorations. It’s the term that it’s called. There are a number of devices available online that can assist guys who want to do this. Foreskin restoration is the means of or the process of placing gentle tension on the skin of the penis to make the skin grow back again. One of the amazing things about skin is if you put tension on it like as if a lady is pregnant, she’s going to get more skin around her belly to accommodate that growing baby inside.
So, the same thing happens. Doctors or surgeons will call that skin expansion. When they have to do reconstructive surgery they will also do that. So, it’s a proven process as crazy as it sounds. It is a proven process. Men can regrow their foreskin. It does take time, it does take patience and it does take perseverance, but it can be done. Guys have done it. There’s also stages of restoration. For some guys just doing a little bit so they can get a little more slack sliding skin when they have an erection instead of for a man that had a circumcision and too much skin was removed so when he has in erections it’s like an overt taut, overblown balloon. It’s very uncomfortable. By regrowing some of the skin you can regain some of that, remove some of the tension on the skin during erection and it can have more comfortable sex.
So, for some guys that’s enough. Then some guys want to continue all the way because they want the head of the penis covered all the time. They want more sliding skin. I think psychologically, they want to kind of take back what was taken from them. So, even though they don’t have all the nerve endings at least – some guys that do this successfully, doctors can’t even tell that they were circumcised before. That’s how authentic-looking it is. They grow the skin too back. It hugs the head of the penis just like an intact guy and it would fool anybody. But that’s a longer process to do that. So, there’s a range, a whole host of devices and extent that somebody wants to purchase. People or guys may pursue foreskin restoration, but it is done. I think, from what I read online, more and more guys are getting into it. It’s fortunate that these things were developed because there are millions and millions of cut men out there that are having issues. This is something that can help them.
[1:07:18] Ashley James: Right. Well, I mean it doesn’t give them back the tens of thousands of nerves. It doesn’t give them back the mucosa protection. It doesn’t give them back everything, but it does give them back something. My husband has grown about 25% of it back. He had a huge, I mean it just really made a big difference for him. He just wore this device on and off for the last few years. I was really happy to see that it made such a difference for him but not only for him in performing in the bedroom. It wasn’t even about that, although that increased for him. It was actually I noticed something in him all the time. That something about having it feeling intact, feeling more intact like you said it was about reclaiming what was taken.
So, it really, it affected him outside of the bedroom. It gave him a sense of completion. I mean you’d have to talk to him but it was just absolutely there is a shift that happened for him when he started to do foreskin restoration. This shouldn’t have to be. Foreskin restoration shouldn’t even have to exist because we shouldn’t be taking it away from men in the first place or women. Circumcision is harmful and barbaric. It is killing babies both female and male causing things like excessive bleeding, lifetime disfigurement. I mean that is just sick and wrong. The fact that over 100,000 babies in the United States have these complications. That’s incredible. It’s being swept under the rug because it’s all about the profits.
So, we have to look where the money is look, look where the money’s going and look at the actual information and make up our minds. Anthony, tell us about your organization. Tell us what is it you guys do besides getting on podcasts and sharing this information, what does the organization do?
[1:09:33] Anthony Losquadro: What we do is educational advocacy. We need to get all of this information that we found and that we’ve become excited about learning and try to impart that information and that knowledge and that excitement into other people. So, what interaction, one of the biggest things we do is we do public events where we have a mobile unit and we have exhibits. We have an exhibit on the bizarre history of American circumcision that we discussed and we touched on and how it got started in America with Kellogg and Sayre and all these people. We have these public exhibits out like that. We have in a 3D diorama that’s interactive that people can see what doctors actually do to babies in a hospital when they circumcise them and they put the baby in this contraption that the babies spread-eagle in. It’s really like baby waterboarding. They have the baby’s arms and legs tied down spread-eagle. Then we show them the clamps that are used. All the various equipment identical as if it was happening in a hospital procedure room. So, we have exhibits like that.
We have all kinds of literature that we give out. Some literature for parents of intact children that they can give to their son. It’s age-appropriate. We do it actually as like a comic strip. It helps give young men that are intact confidence about their own natural body. That they have all these natural advantages and features that guys that are cut don’t have and that their parents were really – they should be thankful to their parents for keeping them intact. So, we have this type of literature that we give out.
The biggest thing we do is we talk to people face-to-face. We just don’t sit behind computers and social media. We like to get out into the public and talk to people face-to-face, listen to their questions. I consider it like a big ongoing focus group. We hear about all these different stories. We hear from people from all walks of life, all different types of religions and faiths and cultures and what they do in their home country or what happened to them in America. We hear all these different stories. We have a great interactions with the public. Most of the time it’s very rewarding in what people come and tell us. People could thank us for being out there or glad somebody’s doing this. They support us. They give us donations. They help fund.
We run a vehicle so we have to pay gas and insurance and all those kind of things. We have to print our materials. We’re all volunteers. I’m a volunteer. I’m an unpaid volunteer. Even though I’m the founder and director this isn’t a business for me. This is a passion. Passion that I want to help the next generation of people. All of the directors on our board, same situation. They want to protect the next generation of children so what happened to them doesn’t happen to someone else. So we get all this. We know that we’re saving thousands of kids and they’ll never know who we are and we’ll never know who they are. It’s happening. Circumcision rates are dropping and we’re just out there spreading the word.
[1:13:09] Ashley James: The next time you see the, what did you call those men that protest that travel around the world or travel around the United States protesting?
[1:13:16] Anthony Losquadro: They are the blood-stained men. They’re a great group.
[1:13:19] Ashley James: The next time you see the blood-stained men, tell them that back in 2014, it was either early 2015 or late 2014, in San Diego. I could still see him in my mind holding that sign. So, just thank them for me. It sparked this conversation. That’s actually another reason why my husband wanted to do foreskin restoration. When we decided to not circumcise our son, which was a very easy choice to make to not circumcise once we spent only a short time looking at this information. It just made so much sense to let a baby keep all the body parts it was born with. One of the reasons why he wanted to do foreskin restoration was so that by the time our son was old enough to ask questions, he wouldn’t say, “Why do I look different from you? Why do we look so different? So, I thought that was interesting.”
My husband asked his mom, our son’s grandmother, “Why did you get me circumcised?” She said, “It was so that you would look the same as your father.” I thought that was really interesting. I mean back then, like you said, they took the babies away. There was not really a choice back then, but now we do. Now we can advocate and we do have a choice now. So, for those who choose to not circumcise their children and if the husbands are worried that they look so much different because they’re cut and they’re circumcised and their son isn’t, the foreskin restoration might be an avenue for them so that they end up both looking the same. If that was a cause for concern. So, it’s going in on the other direction.
I’d like you to thank those men for me for sparking this whole path for our family. I can’t imagine the amount of guilt that I’d feel as a mother if I had circumcised. I can’t imagine the guilt that parents feel who circumcised and then discovered all this information afterward. It’s so hard as a parent. I mean I’m constantly struggling with the guilt of you try to do something like oh they act up and you put them in a timeout or you yell or something and then you’re like, “Did I do that right? Am I a good parent?” We’re constantly questioning whether we’re doing things right or not. I just want to say to all the parents that did circumcise, you are doing the best you can with all the resources you have. You did the best. You could with all the resources you had at the time. This isn’t about guilt and this isn’t about shaming you are guilting you. Hopefully though, you can take this information and move forward with it. Your future children or your grandchildren or your nieces and nephews and cousins and hopefully you can help spread this information and help protect future babies.
Anthony, how did you deal with the guilt after you learned about it? Did you not circumcise? Did you know all this information before you had your children?
[1:16:38] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Absolutely. My son is intact. I had the fortunate opportunity of having this information ahead of time and knowing about people that great intactivists like a lady by the name of Marilyn Milos from California, who is an early early pioneering advocate on this issue. So, what we find is that just people, parents whether it’s myself, anybody, they just need a little bit of information, just a shred just to get them thinking about it. Once you do that, they realize, “Why would I cut off part of my son’s body? It’s the most insane thing.” That’s all they need. Just like you saw the blood-stained man in San Diego. You just needed that a little bit of a push to say, “Hey, what’s going on here?” Then you realize, “Hey, there’s no reason to be doing this.” That’s all we need to do. If any of your listeners, anybody out there, if you’re having a baby, you know someone’s having a baby or a friend, family member just say, “Hey, you should look into the circumcision issue.” That way when they’re in that delivery room or wherever they’re having their baby, they’ll have the information, they’ll have the knowledge and they’ll be able to resist the pressure if it’s from doctors or they’ll just know more. If you know more you can do better.
[1:17:56] Ashley James: If you know more you can do better. Now, when our son was a newborn I realized quickly that I had no idea how to keep his penis clean being a woman, first of all, but my husband didn’t know how to keep it clean because he didn’t have a foreskin. So, the two of us were like worried like how do you keep this thing clean? Instead of me telling the listeners, is there any advice you’d like to give or let people know how can you help a baby, who is intact, who has not been circumcised, how do you keep a baby boy clean? Because we have to obviously change diapers like 12 times a day. So, how do you keep it clean? How do you make sure – you don’t pull the skin back. You don’t like wash it. How do you keep it clean?
[1:18:51] Anthony Losquadro: This is a really important thing. I’m glad you brought it up because we almost missed it. You don’t do anything. That’s the most important thing to remember. You just wipe the outside with a baby wipe or whatever you’re using. Do not by any means pull back the foreskin. Do not allow any caregivers or doctors or nurses to pull it back because on a young infant or a young child, if that is pulled back it will tear the skin underneath. There is a sealed membrane under there. Nature sealed it up so nothing can get in there. If somebody pulls it back it’s going to tear, it’s going to bleed and it’s going to be causation of scar tissue potentially and then later on in life that guy may get a condition known as phimosis, which is a foreskin that doesn’t retract because the scar tissue is not stretchy, it’s not flexible.
So, the thing to do with the baby is nothing. You don’t pull it back. You just leave it alone. You clean the outside. That’s all that it needs.
[1:20:04] Ashley James: I remember finding an article. I remember lying in bed, exhausted. Having given birth and just thinking, “How am I going to clean this? What do I do? How do I change a diaper?” I found this great article explaining exactly step-by-step what to do, what not to do. It said, treat it like it’s a finger. Clean it like it’s a finger. Obviously, you’re not going to pull the cuticle back and pull your skin off your finger to clean it. You don’t want to harm the cuticle of the finger. You just wash it or just clean it. That’s it. Then leave it alone.
So, I remember having to tell, like at one point we had a babysitter. I had to tell her because she didn’t know that either. So, yeah. Not only do you need to know this but you have to actually tell everyone that’s going to change your son’s diaper to not pull it back because I think the instinct is well we’re supposed to clean this part but you actually would be incredibly damaging the organ as if you were peeling the skin off of a finger. It would be very very damaging. So, it’s actually easier to take care of then than a circumcised baby. It’s easier to take care of. You just wipe it and that’s it, just leave it alone. There’s no chance of a botched or anything like from circumcision. So, it’s actually less maintenance. There’s no concern.
I remember when our son was maybe six months old he said it hurt. Oh no, he was a little bit older because he was able to talk. Let’s see. Maybe he was a year old. He expressed that it hurt to pee and I looked at his penis and it was red. So, we got him in a warm salt bath because I talked with a midwife about it who also had a son who was not cut. She said, “Yeah. That can happen sometimes. There can be a little bit of a irritation or maybe a little bit of a beginning of an infection.” So, I got him in a warm saltwater bath once and that’s all he needed and then it went away. I’ve heard that it could happen. Have you heard of this? When a young boy, if it gets irritated or infected, have you heard about doing a salt bath?
[1:22:37] Anthony Losquadro: You could treat it that way. It could be two things. It could be bacterial or it could be yeast or it could just be irritation. So, if it’s a yeast type infection just some antifungal cream would clear it up. If it is a true UTI, then an antibiotic would be given by a pediatrician. It could be that. It’s uncommon, but it can happen. It can happen with cut boys too. It’s just one of the things who stay on wet diapers and they’re constantly going. So, we try to stay on top of it and keep them clean, but sometimes the yeast, the bacteria wins.
[1:23:20] Ashley James: Right. Right. So, just like you said it could happen with a cut boy just like with a not cut boy. I guess there’s fear there for parents who have never been around an uncircumcised penis. That they’re doing it wrong or that there’s a more of a chance that it could become infected. So, you’re saying just keep it clean. You don’t need to pull the foreskin back and you’re good. Those are the two things to know.
[1:23:44] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. You absolutely don’t want to pull it back. That’s called forced retraction. The only one who should be pulling it back would be the boy when he matures and becomes a certain age where he’s going to naturally notice that, “Hey look, it goes back.” That may happen at five years old. It may happen at eight years old. It may happen during puberty. Everybody’s different, but it will naturally start to retract on its own.
[1:24:07] Ashley James: It’s his right and it’s his body to choose when he does that. That’s between him and himself. No one else.
[1:24:17] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Yeah. One day he’ll just notice, “Hey. It goes back.” Then he’ll just normally wash it when he bathes. He can pull it back himself and wash it and then everything will be fine. But before that it’s like a sealed up unit. There’s a membrane in there that’s all sealed. Keeps all the dirt and everything out of there.
[1:24:35] Ashley James: That’s cool. So, we don’t have to worry about it as parents because by the time it comes back, he’s old enough to do it himself. We got to tell him like, “Hey, once it comes back you got to clean it.”
[1:24:47] Anthony Losquadro: Right.
[1:24:48] Ashley James: Yeah. Okay. Is there anything else that we haven’t touched on that you really love to make sure you cover?
[1:24:55] Anthony Losquadro: No. I think we had a good discussion here.
[1:25:06] Ashley James: We got it all? Okay. Awesome.
[1:25:17] Anthony Losquadro: I’m going to say your last name again. I’m going to write this down this time. I’ll edit this part out. Is it Losquadro?
[1:25:18] Ashley James: Losquadro. Okay. Anthony Losquadro, it has been such a pleasure having you on the show today. I feel like we covered a really important topic. The fact that you’re spreading this information, educating parents is wonderful. I really encourage listeners to donate if they can, to spread your information, to go to your website intaction.org. That’s intaction.org. Check out everything that Anthony’s doing. Can they follow you? Are you big on social media? How do people stay connected or learn more?
[1:25:59] Anthony Losquadro: We’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter and we have a pretty good YouTube channel and that’s growing. We’re getting more and more into YouTube videos. So, become a subscriber to our YouTube channel. Come to our website. Join up as a member, get on our mailing list. We don’t spam you. We won’t spam you. We don’t send a lot of emails out, but you keep up to date what’s going on with us, what’s going on with the issues. We have good resources available there.
[1:26:30] Ashley James: Awesome. Thank you so much, Anthony, for coming on the show today and spreading this information. Hopefully we’ve touched some lives and there’ll be babies born with their skin intact and they’ll keep it intact and they will never know that maybe this conversation is what helped spark that. But it’ll be wonderful to know that there’s a ripple going out right now. A ripple that is going to affect thousands and thousands of future boys to be able to live a full life with all their body parts.
[1:27:02] Anthony Losquadro: Ashley, it’s a great feeling. As we like to say, “It’s foreskin for the win.”
[1:27:07] Ashley James: “Foreskin for the win.”
[1:27:10] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? How we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people?
You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition, but from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to learntruehealth.com/coach and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.
We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.
So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.
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407 Transcending the Human Drama, Heal Your Relationship with Yourself, Letting Go of The Unconscious Negative Belief That You Are Broken or Less Than, Learn To Quiet The Mind Chatter, Truly Love Yourself, Connect to Source, and Be in the Flow with Kerri Hummingbird
"Your thumbprint is a reminder that you have a unique life journey, and only you can explore it. If you don't discover yourself, no one ever will." Kerri Hummingbird
IT'S HERE! Learntruehealth.com/homekitchen
Use coupon code LTH for the listener discount!
FROM NOW TILL JANUARY 30TH (Or while supplies last)
Kristen Bowen is giving Learn True Health Listeners a SPECIAL! Use this link to order your jug of magnesium and get a FREE Magnesium Muscle Cream (worth $36)
PLUS 10% off with coupon code LTH
Free gift from Kerri: Love Mastery Game http://www.kerrihummingbird.com/play
In this episode, Kerri Hummingbird shares with us how she healed her relationship with herself, how switching from judgment to curiosity opened up new possibilities in her life. She also shares with us that staying away from the negative environment and surrounding yourself with positive people that believes your story helps in healing yourself.
[0:00] Intro: Hello true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast. You’re going to love today’s interview. It’s so beautiful. We get into some beautiful healing of the heart and the mind and the spirit. It’s very motivational, uplifting and deep. I just think it’s so so beautiful. I’m really excited to bring you this interview today.
I really have some exciting news for those who love the magnesium soak. If you have never heard of this and you’re like, “What magnesium soak? What are you talking about?” Go back and listen to my interviews with Kristen Bowen. You can search them easily by going to LearnTrueHealth.com and searching magnesium or searching magnesium soak or searching Kristen Bowen. I have a little search bar at the top of my website and you can find all my podcasts easily that way. Since this is episode 407, there’s 406 other episodes that you can search through and find.
My interviews with Kristen Bowen are totally mind-blowing. Just to give you a little snapshot, she was I think it was 87 pounds or 97 pounds in a wheelchair having 30 seizures a day, unable to really talk her advocate for herself. That was her lowest point. I’m not going to spoil it if you haven’t heard her story. It’s really rad. You have to listen to it. It’s pretty crazy. I love how she shares it. So go back and listen to our first interview.
One of her biggest tools was soaking in undiluted magnesium from the Zechstein Sea. Now, we absorb 20 grams of magnesium through our skin when it is delivered this way. You can put it in a foot basin or put it in your bathtub and people notice such great results. In fact, there’s over 2,000 listeners who have purchased the jugs and have used them over the last year. I’ve shared, there’s hundreds of testimonials in the Learn True Health Facebook group about the magnesium soak. It’s really amazing.
Magnesium is the most important mineral in our body, 1800 processes, enzymatic processes, require magnesium. It’s the first mineral we become deficient in. So, things begin to break weird symptoms headaches, fatigue, hormone disruption, inability to fully metabolize toxins. The list goes on and on. Sleep disruption and muscle aches and pains and also restless legs, twitching of your eyelid, twitching of your muscles. These are all symptoms of magnesium deficiency, but there are over 200 symptoms of magnesium deficiency. So, I’m not going to list all of them but you can definitely listen to my interviews with Kristen Bowen to learn more.
Now, she offers the Learn True Health listeners 10% off of her magnesium soak, which is really generous of her to always give us a bit of a discount. Once in a while, she throws a big special, which is what she’s doing right now. From today until January 30th, Kristen Bowen is giving us a jar of her muscle cream, her magnesium muscle cream, which is highly concentrated magnesium in the cream. It is all-natural ingredients, it’s very safe, it’s a non-toxic and it is my favorite cream. I’ve used all kinds of natural pain creams. This one’s my favorite. You rub it on your neck if you ever have tension and the tension melts away. If you ever get a headache it is so soothing. It really really really works. She’s giving it. It’s a $36 jar and she’s giving it for free as a gift when you buy a jug of the magnesium soak.
You go to LearnTrueHealth.com/freecream, that’s LearnTrueHealth.com/freecream from now until January 30th. Then once you hit “Add to Cart,” make sure that you use coupon code LTH, that’s really important because that makes sure that you get this special and the discount of 10% off. So go to that special link. That’s only going to work from now until January 30th. If you’re a listener who’s listening to this after January 30th, stay tuned because Kristen does specials a few times a year for us. You can get on my email list by going to LearnTrueHealth.com. When there’s a big pop up put your email in. I promise not to spam you I send out a few emails a month usually telling listeners about really awesome specials like the ones that Kristen provides for us.
You could also join the Learn True Health Facebook group because anytime Kristen gives us a special, I announce it in the Facebook group as well. So that’s a great place to go to stay on top of these great deals. There’s other health companies that let me know about specials. So I always let you guys know because I love these products.
So, if you’ve been a listener for a while you’ve heard of the products that I use and that have helped me get to the next level in my health. I want to make sure that you guys save as much money as possible. So, anytime I love these products I usually reach out to the company and see if I can get a discount. Usually, they do the coupon code as LTH as in Learn True Health.
Speaking of the coupon code LTH, if you’ve been a listener for a while you’ve heard but if you’re new listener welcome to the show. It’s great to have you here. You should totally join our community by going to LearnTrueHealth.com/group or search Learn True Health on Facebook. It’d be great to have you join our community. I believe we’re up to 3600 members now. It’s a very active and supportive Facebook group that loves to talk about holistic medicine. We’d love to have you there if you’re not already there.
The coupon code LTH can be used to save a huge huge percentage when you join the new Learn True Health membership. This is something I’ve been working on for the last four months. Something that I’ve been thinking about for years actually and kind of planning it. Then I finally stepped into action and we’ve spent the last four months filming these wonderful videos. Every week, I release new lessons. Going to keep growing and growing. The Learn True Health Home Kitchen membership, I designed it with the intention to show you how to cook healthier food and how to increase the amount of nutrition you get from your food. So, if you want to save time and save money and save your health and eat food that’s healing and delicious and nutrient-packed then join the Learn True Health Home Kitchen.
You don’t have to give up your meat, if you want to stay paleo, if you want to stay whatever you’re doing, my goal is to teach you how to eat more whole foods and more plants. Now, if you want to go 100% whole food plant-based and eat this very nutrient-dense cleansing diet, I give you the tools for how to do that. If you just want to add more wonderful fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains and legumes into your life, you’re going to learn how to do that as well. We are dairy-free, gluten-free and we do teach how to avoid allergens.
We also teach how to make healthy food for kids because I have a small child and Naomi, who’s my friend who we’ve been filming all these wonderful videos with, she has three boys. We also have husbands and so we have many palates that we have to figure out how to provide delicious but healthy foods for. We do that and they’re whole foods so there’s no processed food, there’s no chemicals. You know what? It’s pretty amazing that even the pickiest of children are loving these recipes. So, we teach you how to feed the masses, feed your children, feed your families and feed yourself healthy whole foods and also learn how to cook more efficiently so you’re saving time, you’re saving money.
I can’t believe how much money I’ve saved actually since I started cooking all my meals at home and then packing and taking meals out with me instead of buying food when I’m out. I’m saving a ton of money but I’m also saving a lot of time because I figured out how to cook in a way that saves time because I’m busy like you. Wouldn’t we like to all eat three really healthy meals a day that are delicious that didn’t take us a lot of time to cook? Then notice that the health results come that you have more energy, that you have more mental clarity that you jump out of bed, that you notice aches and pains have gone. Naomi’s mom shares a great story in one of our videos. Her arthritis is gone after eating this way for, I believe she started – it was like she ate this way for six or seven weeks and then was like, “Wow. My arthritis is totally gone. All my pains are gone. My aches and pains are gone.” That’s the kind of wonderful thing that happens when people add more plants to their life. It’s detoxifying, its nutrifiying, it’s anti-inflammatory. So there’s wonderful things you can learn.
Please go to LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen. Use coupon code LTH to get the big listener discount. You could just go to LearnTrueHealth.com and right there at the top of the menu it says “Home Kitchen” and click there. Awesome. If you have any questions at all please feel free to reach out to me. You can reach out to me in Facebook in the Facebook group Learn True Health Facebook group or you can email me email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing these episodes with your friends. I know you’re going to share today’s interview because it really touched my heart and I know it’ll touch yours as well. Enjoy today’s interview.
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 407.
[0:09:47] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest. We have Kerri Hummingbird on the show. Her website’s KeriHummingbird.com. That’s easy to remember. Kerri with an I. Of course, links to everything that Kerri does is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at LearnTrueHealth.com. Kerri, I know my listeners are going to love today’s interview. This is going to be one of those really positive, uplifting, inspiring interviews. We’ve had some pretty heavy ones lately so this is going to be a really nice break to help us, to motivate us and release the guilt and the shame and all the negative emotions. Just let it go. You have so many beautiful things to teach us today. I’m just so excited to get started. Welcome to the show.
[0:10:33] Kerri Hummingbird: Thank you so much, Ashley, for having me on. I’m really looking forward to providing as much as I can in service to your listeners.
[0:10:40] Ashley James: Absolutely. Before we get started, because we talked a little bit before we hit record, you’re going to teach us so many beautiful things about opening to being present to the flow where your brilliance is, where connection is made and letting go of that mind chatter the negative self-talk. Also discussing the idea of your identity around your diagnosis. We really do take on this idea that we are broken. Letting that go and reinventing what our identity is to see that we are whole, complete and perfect. There’s so many studies showing that your mindset is directly related to your ability to heal or your ability to hold on to illness. So, I love that you’re going to help us to shift our mindset into a healing and really just beautiful peaceful joyful place.
Before we get started though, learning about that, I’m really curious what happened in your life that led you to become an expert in this area teaching us how to transcend the human drama?
[0:11:56] Kerri Hummingbird: Absolutely. Well, I actually find it ironic because I guide people now in their journeys through their psychology, through their consciousness. I do it in an alternative way. I do it in a spiritual way, but that’s not how I started the journey. I actually began the journey through exploring my own psychology, sitting on the couch in weekly psychotherapy sessions. I did that for decades trying to fix myself from this idea that I was broken, that there was something wrong with me that was making me unacceptable to the people that were closest to me, that was making me need to work on myself to be better around them. While some of that was true, there was definitely some self-mastery to learn around how to handle emotional energy, for example.
There was also just a lot of misunderstanding that I experienced in the psychology field around different personal types, different types of people and how they process life experience and maybe even the tools and practices that would support people in better processing their life experience so that they don’t have the sort of behavior that would then get characterized or diagnosed in the various ways that are out there. So, at the beginning of the 20 years, was when I was 15, I had been acting out as I don’t know most teenagers do. In this case, my mom got really scared because I did well what many teenagers today are doing is that I was doing some self-harm. The self-harm that I was doing was dating a lot of boys and I’m really not respecting or honoring myself. That was leading me to feel pretty bad about myself. I’m sure you’ve got some listeners who understand that process. Budding sexuality and this culture and trying to figure out who you are.
My experience was also triggered by my early childhood. So, I think you probably talk about in this show a lot as well. Early childhood experience and how that affects your mental paradigm and your mental conditioning and the kinds of things that come up and surface in your life. I believe now they come up for healing. So, I had an early experience at 15 of that where I felt so low about myself when my dad walked in and caught me at home with a boy that I was being sexual with. I had such an incredible shame about that not only just in the moment but it triggered a lot of other things from my history. I ended up feeling so bad about myself and my dad not wanting to talk to me and wanting me to kind of stay in my room while he processed what happened. That I ended up taking a whole bottle of Tylenol-Codeine.
I ended up going to the hospital, had my stomach pumped. The result of that was my first entry into the psychology field where I had a really excellent psychiatrist actually, which back in the day psychiatrists spoke to you and tried to help you understand yourself. It wasn’t about medicine and medication. He was the first person who started to help me to understand my psychology and the emotional energy that I was processing and what I was doing with it that wasn’t in service of myself.
So there was a long journey of that. As helpful as it was to see this man, it also planted a seed that there was something wrong with me because he gave me a diagnosis. He said, “We’re going to call you manic-depressive. I would call you bipolar but I don’t want to put that on your record.” Now, I’m almost like, “Uh oh.” Like you’re really broken inside. It gave me that idea. It triggered a lot of fear in my mom. So that began a set of stories about me. That there was something really really wrong with me. My mom could instantly see that there were things from my early childhood that were very traumatic that could be responsible for making me broken.
So, it started this whole path. While I am very gifted by everything I’ve learned on that journey thoroughly deeply exploring thought tunnels and self-shame and guilt and all of those things, at the end of the day, what I clearly see now is that labeling people with a diagnosis gives them some temporary sense that they understand what’s happening to them but it also can trap them like a spider traps a fly in a web. It can be very damaging to a person’s psychology to have those kinds of things happen. So, the long story short is after decades of psychotherapy, it wasn’t getting better. Because what am I doing? I’m going into the office and I’m telling my story. I’m just telling the latest version of how I’m broken because the universe keeps sending me more of that, right?
[0:17:30] Ashley James: Because that’s your filter. That’s your belief system about yourself.
[0:17:34] Kerri Hummingbird: That’s my belief system and it’s being reinforced at home with my mom who has a lot of fear and guilt over the early childhood trauma. So, it’s just a story that gets perpetuated. Then I self-perpetuate. Then I chose a partner who shared a lot of the same, I don’t know, personality traits as my mother. So, I just brought more of the same to me for 20 years in that relationship and with these weekly psychotherapy sessions basically saying I’m responsible for all the problems in the family. It’s all me. It’s me. I’m causing all the problems. That is not sustainable for a person. No person can carry the weight of that their entire life and feel good about themselves. Those two you don’t go together.
So, the culmination of that story is that at the very end of all of that paradigm, the diagnosis was I was borderline personality disorder. I can tell you when I looked it up on Wikipedia back in circa 2009 or something, it wasn’t a very friendly description. It’s sort of like you’re like Glenn Close in that movie. Boiling a rabbit in her boyfriend’s home. It was not very kind and it wasn’t true either, but I couldn’t see it then. I didn’t have the self-awareness or the belief in myself because the story was so strong that I was broken and I was the problem in my family that I didn’t see it.
So, it really took me deciding, ironically enough, to be bad to say, “Well, then I guess I’m just bad if after all this time I’m still broken and you can’t fix me and this is the only method you have to fix me. Then I guess I’m just going to be bad.” I left my marriage and I walked out. That first night in my new house I felt instantly better. It was like relief. I’m not going to try that anymore. I’m just done with that.
So, really really quickly what happened, this is the turning point that I really hope the listeners hear. What happened was I stopped believing the authorities about me. I started opening to something bigger that was inside of me. I switched from judgment to curiosity. When I got into curiosity, like I wonder my life might be like without all this judgment? I ended up getting some spiritual teachers that help me guide along that path. I started finding out about all kinds of alternative healing, which I also know you explore in this show which is so exciting. Alternative healing, spiritual healing, energy healing. These were things that I had no concept of before and yet that was exactly the pathway that I got to feeling love within myself, which has been about an eight-year journey now. From the end of my marriage and the rock bottom and I guess I’ll just you know go off in a corner and die to hear where I’m on your show and I’m serving as an inspiration to people.
[0:20:44] Ashley James: I love it. So, when did you first move into your house? Your new house after leaving your husband and walking away – the stories that it’s like you’re walking out of this Jell-O that you’re living in where everything was reinforcing this old belief about you and you walk out of it. Now you’re in your new life switching from judgment to curiosity. When was that? How many years ago was that?
[0:21:15] Kerri Hummingbird: That was 2011 in the summer.
[0:21:20] Ashley James: Since then you have been on this journey of curiosity. I love that you said from judgment to curiosity because it’s in the question. It’s staying in the questions that allow us to stay open and gather more information and go deeper. It’s when we stop asking the questions that we really shut ourselves off from possibility. So, you were like, “What would happen if…” Can you give me some examples of some of the first thoughts that you had that allowed you to dive into curiosity? Some of the first questions.
[0:21:54] Kerri Hummingbird: Well, I think I’ll just go to a metaphor of dieting because I’m sure that a lot of listeners can relate to the idea of dieting. So, in my experience of dieting, if you restrict yourself and you continue to restrict yourself in a punitive way, what ends up happening is sooner or later you bust open the cookie bag and you eat them. You just can’t do it anymore. You just can’t force yourself anymore to punish yourself into compliance with some goal that you have.
So, in the same way, just expand that metaphor into all aspects of your life and that’s what I was experiencing. I had so restricted myself through punishment in this belief that I was broken and I was the problem. I was walking on so many eggshells inside of myself that I was apologizing for my existence at every turn. That led to a place where I just felt so bad about myself that any little bit of attention I got from anybody I would just go for it.
So, at the end of my marriage I was cheating on my husband because men were looking at me and they were attracted and it felt good and it was the only thing that felt good and so I went for it because I’m starving. I’m starving for love. I’m just absolutely starving for love and I need to fill my cup. So, when I decided to be bad, I filled my cup for a while. I had a lot of men on text and getting really full on the attention and like, “Okay. Yeah. This feels really good.” But it wasn’t very long. It was about six months until I got connected with yoga and I went to my first yoga class. My yoga teacher was really cool, of course because I needed it to be cool. He had hair down to his hips. He played Led Zeppelin for vinyasa. I was like, “Now, this is my style. I can do this.” Pretty soon, I got curious about him. I thought, “Huh. He’s his website says he’s a spiritual counselor. Well, I wonder if that’s different than psychology because I’m not going back to a psychotherapist.” So, not to blame psychotherapists because I know the field has changed a lot but the ones that I had been seeing were keeping me and my story, they weren’t breaking me out of it and I knew I needed something but I knew I didn’t need that.
So, he met with me and we had a session together. I said, “Can you help me?” And he said, “Yeah. I think I can.” So, the first session we had together I went in like I had gone into every other psychotherapy session in my life. I went in and I started complaining about the person that wasn’t giving me what I needed and then I felt bad about myself and it was all their fault. I went into that story and he stopped me. He interrupted the pattern and he said, “That’s you.” I, “What?” I felt so insulted at first, but I knew it was true. It was like he was speaking truth and it hurt but it went right to my heart and it made me wake up. I said, “Oh my God. How do I stop doing that?” That’s where the journey really began. The question, “How do I stop doing that? Because I don’t want to do that anymore. What is that? Why am I doing that? Where does that come from?” All these questions started in my consciousness. Pretty soon I got led to the next teacher and the next teacher.
Then I had a shamanic spiritual healing. That woke me up big time because I thought I was one thing. I thought I was this solid thing called Kerri like there was just one thing. When I was in the middle of this healing session, I realized, “Oh my gosh. There’s multiple aspects of me. There’s energy that can be taken out. I can feel it being removed. I can feel it go over there in the burning sage and it disappears and I’m here. This is more true. So what is all that stuff in me that’s cluttering up me? That’s not me. What is that stuff?” It’s like I instantly had this awareness that I was filled up with a bunch of gunk that was not my true self, that it was a bunch of stuff. I didn’t know what it was but it was gunk and it was cluttering me. I had that instant knowing of that. I felt different after 45 minutes. He took this energy out of my heart that had been there since my whole life, that always felt like the only way I can describe it really is a menstrual cramp but like around my heart. It would ache anytime I thought somebody hated me or didn’t like me or they looked at me funny or I felt inadequate or I was like reviewing my past performance of something at work, my heart would ache. He took it out. It’s gone. I never had that feeling since. He just removed it. I mean I thought, “Wow. 45 minutes and that can happen? I’m doing that. I don’t care what that is. I’m learning how to do that.” That’s what started me really on my path to becoming what I am today.
[0:26:53] Ashley James: Oh. So cool. I’ve had that experience before. My first time doing an NLP session with someone back in 2004-2005. I did a NLP breakthrough sessions about eight hours long. We did timeline therapy. She also did some huna work, which is the Hawaiian spiritual practice. So, she does the energy work but it was NLP timeline therapy hypnosis. We did this whole session and I walked out of there. I felt weight lifted off my shoulders that I had carried most of my life. I walked around with this weight, this heaviness pushing down on me physically. Physically I could feel it. After the session I physically felt it removed. It was just taken off my shoulders. That was also when I completed my grieving. I was in depression and grief from losing my mother two years before.
So, I went all kinds of therapists because I was seeking how to grieve healthfully. What I really saw in the therapy field, at the time every therapist I went to it was either you are broken or you’re normal. You’re either abnormal or you’re normal. There was no focus on let’s strive for excellence because I wanted to grieve in the healthiest way possible. I wanted to achieve like excellence around grieving. There was no like, “All right. Let’s make you like the most excellent human griever. Let’s do it in the most healthy way.” No it was like you’re either broken up and abnormal or you’re normal and you don’t have to come here anymore. I thought that was really interesting.
So, when I learn more about NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, that they designed it. That Richard Bandler and John Grinder back in the 60s and 70s originally designed it out of this exact same observation that they saw that in the therapy field in the United States, which culturally the people in the United States are always striving to be the best. That’s part of the American Dream. Strive for absolute excellence. Achieve the maximum. Be the best basketball player you can be. Be the best trader on Wall Street you could be. Whatever it is, be the best cyclist you can be or the runner. In those fields, that’s considered normal to want to be the best that you can and go and find a coach to help you be the best you can. But when it came to mental health, that wasn’t the perception back in the 60s and 70s. It was either you’re normal or you’re abnormal. There was zero focus on excellence, on achieving excellence around emotional and mental health. It wasn’t a thing.
So, they created neuro-linguistic programming to bring about a toolset that had people just throw out that old system of you’re either broken or you’re normal. We don’t need to put ourselves in that box. We don’t need to live in that story. Instead, we’re all human beings and let’s create the most excellent experience we can, excellent emotional and mental health we can. It’s a bunch of tools basically that you can learn to help you be in your excellence.
So, I dove into that. Actually then out of that experience, my first night walking out feeling like that weight was lifted off me that was taken out of me and off me I said, “I have to learn how to do this.” So, I went and took all the trainings and became a master practitioner and trainer of NLP and timeline therapy and hypnosis. I thought that was just, I mean that was like a whole world opened up. I couldn’t believe that just like you, this whole world opens up and you’re like I’ve been in therapy for 20 years and now it’s like, “Why didn’t someone tell me about this. That there’s a spiritual healing and mental healing on a whole new level.”
So you broke free from this old system. I love that you had the really solid experience of both systems because I am sure that therapy is very effective for people. You have to sort of find the right tool for you, find the right tool for the job. Some people really thrive in seeking out Freudian therapy. 200 hours on the couch and that’s what they needed. Other people need behavioral psychology or cognitive therapy. Then you get to that point where you want to break free from the stories and you want to transform how you relate to yourself, how you relate to the world and switch over from judgment to curiosity. I love that. I love that you had that very clear transition. It’s really beautiful. So now you have broken free. How do you go back though? There’s the people in your life who still relate to you as the old Kerri? How do you transform how people relate to you?
[0:32:04] Kerri Hummingbird: Well, so that’s a very good question. The answer is that everyone is sovereign. Every person is sovereign. As such, every person’s really responsible for their own perceptions and the stories they choose to tell. Sometimes those stories they choose to tell they like to hold on to for a lot of reasons. So, let’s just explore that topic for a second.
So, in my case the story that my closest people liked to tell was that I was responsible for all the problems in the family.
[0:32:44] Ashley James: That’s convenient.
[0:32:45] Kerri Hummingbird: So, that’s pretty convenient. So, nobody wants to change that story but me. Okay. So, that’s been one of the major hurdles in my life is that I’ve gotten the opportunity to heal myself all the way down to the core identity. If you think about it, your parents, your mother gives you your core identity because that’s the one whose body you were birthed in. That’s the one who is nurturing you and caring for you. That’s the person whose opinion you really care about the most as a little child. You really want your mommy to love you. All of us do. When that isn’t possible in the way that you need it, then the opportunity is to learn how to give that to yourself.
The body of work that I’m working on right now is called Love is Fierce: Healing the Mother Wound. So the work I’ve been doing in private with clients is healing that last vestige of doubt inside. That you’re worthy of love. That comes from a lot of ideas in our heads, a lot of information that comes in the form of not necessarily words but just feelings and sensations and perceptions and even psychic knowings about how our mother feels about us and about herself. That really impacts our psychology especially as a woman. I know that boys are also affected by that because I am a mother and I had a mother wound and I passed it on to my sons. As soon as I’ve become aware of this, I’ve been doing everything I can to help them to assert their own identity and have a really strong knowing that their mom’s okay.
There’s just so many psychological uncertainties that get kicked up when you as a child perceive a number of things. Like if you perceive that your mom’s irritated by you. If you perceive that you’re not really wanted. If you perceive that you’re a nuisance. If you perceive that your mom’s not okay, that she’s got emotional problems or she doesn’t seem to be able to show up for you. There’s a lot of ways that this presents itself, but all of that stuff it gets in a way of you knowing that you’re okay inside of you. You actually don’t feel okay because of it. Sometimes, like you said like how do you deal with your family who wants to keep telling the same story about you? There are family systems that get constructed around this entire dynamic to hold it in place.
So, when you start rocking the boat and trying to change it what happens is push back. Because if you change, everybody else in the ocean has to change. If you change the story, they either have to clutch their story tighter or they have to meet you partway and start seeing something new. A lot of people, if you change that means something in the dynamic has changed and now they own some piece of it.
[0:36:04] Ashley James: It’s like enforcing healthy boundaries.
[0:36:08] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. Healthy boundaries. Like you don’t tell me who I am. Here was the crux of my issue. My whole life and I’m only now breaking free because it’s a really deep wound. It’s like there is a splinter that gets placed inside your consciousness. Really young if you’re having this kind of situation like I experienced. Then a whole bunch of layers and stories and stuff authenticates it. Then it gets bigger and bigger and the crust around it grows. Pretty soon you know you can’t even decide, “Should I choose option A or B? I’m not sure about myself. I don’t know which one to pick.” Yeah. We don’t even know what we want or how to direct our way through life. We’re so out of touch with ourselves that we just don’t know what to do.
So, this is about identity. It’s about identity and about reclaiming identity and deciding that nobody can tell you who you are, not even your mother. Nobody can tell you who you are. That you are safe in becoming curious and exploring who you really are and letting yourself do that. Along the path of doing that, I faced all kinds of things like mysterious feelings of being choked, like body sensations. I mean just old memories in my body. All kinds of fears that came up about speaking. When I started speaking on podcasts all these fears came up. I would start having really unconscious self-sabotaging behavior because I knew I was telling on mom and that was really dangerous.
There was just a lot of things that came up for me that were true for me as a little child but are totally not true for me as an adult. So, this is really the process of becoming a mature person and owning the psychology inside of you and taking ownership of becoming your own mother, taking ownership of becoming your own father and really guiding your own life and giving yourself permission to be who you are and who you choose to be no matter what anybody else says about you. Even if they’re your closest people and they’re your family. It’s that deep.
[0:38:27] Ashley James: You said that no one else can determine or can say who you are. I would take it one step further and say even your belief systems don’t have the right to tell you who you are because –
[0:38:41] Kerri Hummingbird: The conditioning.
[0:38:42] Ashley James: The old belief systems. Yeah. The old conditioning comes from the decisions that we made as children. Something happened like we got spanked and we decided that we’re not loved or we got yelled at because we did something as a child and we decided we’re not good enough, we’re not worthy, we’re not smart, we’re not beautiful, we’re fat we’re ugly, we’re unwanted. All these unconscious limiting decisions that we built as our identity and that become our filters in life that don’t let us see. That’s how the unconscious mind works. It’s how the brain works in forming our reality.
Our unconscious limiting decisions are the filters that will negate positive information. It’s called the reticular activating system. It’s a filter in the unconscious near the brainstem. It won’t let us see things that go against our belief system. So, if I believe I’m not loved and Kerri says, “Ashley, I love you.” My brain won’t accept it. I will make a decision. Either I’ll ignore it, I won’t hear it. We delete, distort and generalize. I’ll delete it entirely. We won’t even hear the person say it. Or in my brain I’ll go, “Oh. She’s just saying that because she wants something,” or “She’s just saying that because she because she thinks she’s being nice,” or whatever. My brain will negate it because we won’t allow for positive information to come into our conscious and form our reality when we have these filters.
We often then believe that that is reality when it’s not. It is a distorted, it’s like looking through a kaleidoscope but the kaleidoscope is made up of all the negative emotions and living decisions from our childhood that we’ve been filtering our life through. So, when you said no one has a right to tell you who your identity is. What I got heavily is and neither does your belief system.
[0:41:02] Kerri Hummingbird: Neither. Yeah. You have to become aware of it, which is why it’s so important to have presence. Because in presence things quiet down and we get out of the story. A lot of people are addicted to the story and I completely understand that. Remember, I spent 20 years telling my story on a couch so I get it. That doesn’t serve us. Well, let’s just say it doesn’t serve us if we want to transform and evolve. If we want to stay where we are it serves us quite well because that’s what it does. It keeps us where we are. If we want things to change, then we need to stop believing our story and start becoming curious about it. Also curious like, “Is that my story or is that something else?” I’ll give an example.
I had a first stepfather who was very violent and didn’t like children apparently. That’s the story I have about it. There was this feeling of not liking kids that got into me. Like not liking and being playful and boisterous got you in trouble. So, I experienced some of this and throughout my childhood. Well, so then recently I have my own sons, but since I woke up, I would say since I woke up since 2011, in the last four years I’ve been with my new husband who has two younger children. So, I got a chance to revisit some of this. What I noticed was that as the young children were being very boisterous, I would hear this voice in my head that said, “Damn kids.” I had enough presence of mind to go, “Wow. Where is that coming from?” Whereas before it might have just been part of the background noise and I wouldn’t even have heard it. I’m sure it was there when I was raising my children because it didn’t just pop up out of nowhere.
Wow. Where did that come from? I was so unaware of it before but it was operating me. It was driving me. It was part of the conditioning that I had in my brain. So, now that I have presence, I heard that voice. I heard it distinctly. I asked myself, “Wow. Where is that coming from?” I sat with myself for a while until the answer bubbled up. It kind of bubbles up from inside when you sit with presence. It was that first stepfather who didn’t like kids and it has made a big impression on me. That somehow being a kid was wrong and it was bad and it was annoying and all of these things. So, I think that when we have presence, when we’re willing to stop telling the story and start listening to ourselves inside we can learn a lot about what’s driving the story we’re so emphatic to tell.
[0:44:02] Ashley James: Can you teach us how if we’ve never had the ability to have presence? How do you start to formulate presence so that we can slow down the self-talk in order to process it, in order to get curious and dive deeper?
[0:44:19] Kerri Hummingbird: Absolutely. Well, there’s a number of pathways that I experienced. Yoga was certainly one of them. Working with the breath. Putting breath into anything slows things down. You’re focusing on breathing, you’re focusing on the in-breath. The in-breath, the out-breath, the way it feels as it goes through your body. For me though I need a little bit more than that because I had a very chattery mind, really super chattery. I was not really able to sit and meditate. People kept saying, “Oh. Well, just sit and meditate and you’ll quiet down.” I thought, “Oh. I sit and meditate and it gets louder.” There’s a lot of noise in there. It’s uncomfortable. I can’t sit still. I don’t like being with all that.
So for me, what I ended up doing was learning about shamanic drumming. The interesting thing about drum journey music is that the ancient people always knew that certain beats of the drum actually stimulate your brain to go into a different state of mind, a trance if you will activates a different frequency in your brain. Instead of it being beta, which is super busy busy busy, it activates theta state and alpha state, which are more relaxed. The theta state is more of a dreaming state. You can even access gamma state, which is pretty cool. That’s where you have transcendent visions. But the drumbeat and working with the drum actually really helped me to ground myself in my body and to quiet my mind. I was able to start having visions even and information.
So, you build on what you have. So, any little tiny little wiggle space of quiet that you have, whatever worked to get that you just keep doing more of that and building out that space and sort of building that muscle of quiet within you where you can listen and receive. The more you work on that muscle the greater the muscle gets. All of my training in energy healing I got certified from the Four Winds Light Body School of Medicine. A lot of that training has to do with listening to the client, listening to their energy field and what messages are coming up? What are you feeling in your body empathically from their body and their experience? There’s a lot of listening.
After all of these training and all these working with clients and channeling information for them, I started channeling in groups. It opened up in front of a lot of people. Now I wrote a book last year that the whole book was channeled. I literally sat down, didn’t think at all. The words just came out and I just channeled it. That’s a flow. I found that that’s where that’s brilliant. My friends are like, “Oh. That book is brilliant.” and I am like, “Thank you.” It’s like I feel like I didn’t do it because I just channeled it but actually in a way I did it because I was able to get quiet. I was able to open myself up to let the flow come through. That flow that’s tapped into all that is.
So, I hope that answers your question but I feel like it’s a muscle. You’ve got to exercise it every day. The more you exercise it the better you get at it and then miraculous things can happen like I experienced.
[0:47:54] Ashley James: If you didn’t consciously write the book then who wrote the book?
[0:47:59] Kerri Hummingbird: I feel like it was my higher self, my guide. For that book I feel like – everyone has their own belief systems around this but I really believe that we are souls having a human experience. The human part, the ego part, can be really delicious in the fact that it gets to have all these experiences that feel really real and gets to feel pain and an excitement and suffering and also gets to have a lot of chattering mind and thoughts and gets to feel and create. There is another aspect of us though that is really timeless, eternal, wise, connected to all that is. I would call that the soul. When we can do a dance with the soul so that us the personality, the personality self and the soul self can be together in one consciousness, in one moment in the now, together in the now, then amazing things can happen. That as a personality self, there’s no way I could have done that.
The book I wrote, I just don’t see that happening in the timeframe that it happened. With the ease and grace that happened without the dance of my soul. The dance of my soul is what manifested that into being. It’s my willingness to listen.
It’s just amazing every time I let it out. I just did a weekend. I got the opportunity to do a weekend presentation at the Evolutionary Business Council. I decided to do that in the presentation, just let go. Don’t script it, just let go. So, I let go. I had written the speech. I’d written everything and I tossed it out. I just said, “Okay.” My soul I call white eagle. So I said, “Okay white eagle. Take it. Take it and run with it. Let’s do this.” It was amazing. It was like, “Whoa.” Everybody was engaged. Everybody took action. They all were like, “Yes. This is exactly right. Because when I step into that space, which I’ve been practicing in my healing sessions and with clients and groups, when I step into that space of the flow and of my soul like brilliance comes out. It’s pretty awesome to experience because that part of you is wise and eternal like they know everything. So, I don’t know. That’s just my experience out of it. It’s amazing. It’s profound.
[0:50:26] Ashley James: I know what you’re talking about but I don’t think everyone does. In the training that I’ve done with becoming an NLP trainer and even before that with Landmark Education, you get to a place where you create so much peace inside yourself. In NLP we call it generate. You just generate so you could stand there and just start talking. It’s coming from this very pure place inside you where you don’t have to think about it before you say it. You don’t have to plan. You don’t even necessarily know what you’re going to say until you start saying it. It’s so brilliant. The brilliance that comes out comes from this very beautiful authentic place inside you like it’s not ego. You definitely feel connected to God, you feel connected to spirit, your soul. You feel grounded. You feel very grounded but at the same time you just start to feel like you’re phasing. Your energy is vibrating on a little bit of a different wavelength like you’re not here, present. You feel a little bit like you’re high.
[0:51:45] Kerri Hummingbird: Yes.
[0:51:46] Ashley James: You know what I mean? You’re a little high. You’re going in a brain is in a different wavelength and it’s really beautiful. I love it. This is something that I don’t think about. I just do but I developed it over years and years and years working with Landmark and then in NLP and being an NLP trainer and then doing this podcast.
When I first started the podcast it was so funny. I was nervous I was writing. I was studying and writing down 20 questions and worrying, “Do I have enough questions to write down?” The first maybe 10 episodes I was scripted. I have my questions that I’d asked them, but I soon realized very quickly that I could not do these interviews with questions written down beforehand because the second they started talking like my brain would go, “What about this, what about that? Let’s explore this.” The interviews weren’t this wonderful flow. Their flow wasn’t there. It was totally cut off because I wanted to script it and ask these questions that were pre-created.
So, I had to let go. It was like walking a tightrope and saying, “Okay. You could take the safety net away now.” I went in blind to the interviews. I went in totally blind. Just knowing a little bit about the person and their background with no questions pre-created and it was brilliant. I was so nervous. The thought came to me. It was like, “What if I can’t think of anything to ask? The answer I got was you just start talking, just start having a conversation and be in the moment with them. Be present and generate and it’ll come to you. So I started to just talk to these people as I interviewed them with no questions written down. The flow was so different. The energy was so different. It was about being present with them and the questions would just come from my higher self, would come from somewhere.
So, I get it. When you’re at present in the moment and you’re listening and you’re tapped in, you generate. It’s beautiful creativity. Your identity kind of melts away. You’re not in that story anymore, are you?
[0:54:11] Kerri Hummingbird: No, you’re not. That’s really the secret if you want to change your life is you change this story you tell about yourself, you change your identity. I experienced this over the last eight years. I mean, eight years ago, think about it, I was a woman with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I have been sleeping around on my husband with a lot of strangers at art shows when I was on the weekend doing my art shows. Anybody would look at me and say, “Yup. She’s crazy.” Pretty much. People might say that about me today but for a totally different reason and I’m okay with it.
So today, I’m on podcast with people like you who are really conscious, enlightened leaders trying to help people to see another way. I’ve got an international bestseller for you know 25 weeks now running. It’s kind of amazing. It’s blowing my mind. All of this stuff is amazing to me. It happened because I was willing to let go of my identity. I mean, I was thankful to let go of it to be quite honest. I think I got to the bottom of the pit and I said, “You know what, I don’t want to be whatever I’ve been being so far. Whatever that story is that’s creating that I don’t want that.” When my yogi said, “Hey. You’re creating this.” I looked at him and some deep part of me knew that I was. I said, “Yeah. You’re right and I’m going to stop doing that.”
I got fed up with my story. I think that you’ve got to get fed up with your story to the point where you’re willing to change everything in your life just to have a better story. That’s the place to be and then you can create magic. You can really reinvent yourself. I’ve really good friends who have had terminal cancer diagnosis. They’ve healed themselves through a lot of inner work, a lot of inner work, a lot of treatment options, various combinations of options but the end being that they did it because they decided they were fed up with the story that they had cancer and they weren’t going to go out that way. They made sure that they healed themselves. One of my friends, stage five cancer. That’s it, right? That’s the last stop. For the month that she was supposed to die, she only had like maybe four weeks to live or something, she imagined that she was traveling, which was her favorite thing to do. She made it real. She traveled. She could only go, she couldn’t actually go anywhere, but she pretended she was in France. She made it real for herself. She convinced her brain that she was traveling and enjoying herself in France and that tumor subsided. She actually lived. She’s alive today and she’s out speaking about it.
So, I know that people have had these experiences this isn’t like bunk, this is real. Our brains are so powerful. We have to open to that deep wise one within us in order to change our lives’ circumstances. To do that, we have to release the identity. We have to release the story about ourselves while we’re in the middle of the story, which is super challenging, to release the identity and the story of ourselves while we’re still experiencing the effects of the story we’ve been telling. That’s the challenging part, Ashley, isn’t it?
[0:57:26] Ashley James: I want to interview your friend. Can you hook me up with her information? I’m actually crying right now. In my 20s, I was at a point in my early 20s where was suffering emotionally. I’d lost my mom. I was suffering. I was in an abusive relationship in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship, but I didn’t know it because you don’t know it when you’re in the relationship.
[0:57:56] Kerri Hummingbird: You don’t know it.
[0:57:57] Ashley James: Well, because they’re really good at making you think that you’re the problem when they’re clearly emotionally and mentally abusive. At my mom’s funeral, he pulled me aside and yelled at me for not paying enough attention to him. I apologized. I mean at my mother’s funeral, he made me feel guilty. I say the word made me feel because now I get that no one can make me feel anything. My language back then was he made me feel this way. I get now. I put myself in that position to be in that relationship and I got out of it. Then I went, “Oh my gosh. I can’t believe.” I started to look back at the whole five-six years with him and I realized that it was very emotionally manipulative, emotionally abusive and a very unhealthy relationship. But at the time, it was like you can’t see the air you’re breathing.
So, my early 20s, I was in a very bad place emotionally, mentally and physically. I had a lot of diseases. According to the doctors, I was told I’d be on these medications my whole life. I was told I’d never have kids. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome. I had type 2 diabetes. I had chronic adrenal fatigue. I had chronic infections for which I took monthly antibiotics for. I felt like a prisoner in my own body. I couldn’t wake up in the morning. I couldn’t actually understand human language in the morning. My brain could not process human language. I was so broken. I felt so broken.
Every morning I woke up with a hangover, although I did not drink alcohol because of my physical state was so sick. So, I’d wake up every morning with all the symptoms of a hangover. Feeling like I partied the entire night although I didn’t. I only started to feel normal in the evenings and that’s because my cortisol levels were so extremely low that they just started to creep up in the evenings. Then it was hard to get to bed at night because that’s when I actually started to have my brain back and start to have energy.
I was eating the standard American or standard Canadian diet. In a bad place emotionally, but I was trying to get out of it. I was living in the identity that I was diabetic. I was living in the identity that I am, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, I am infertile or whatever the identity the doctors diagnosed me with. The diagnosis becomes an identity. At first, and you said this earlier, at first the diagnosis is a relief. There’s this feeling of relief that washes over you after months or years of suffering. You’re finally given this label because then it’s like, “Look. People are acknowledging my internal suffering. I’m not crazy. They see it. This label proves that my suffering is real and others can finally get that it’s real.” But then it becomes the cage that we live in.
[1:01:16] Kerri Hummingbird: Yes. It becomes a cage. It’s exactly right. I realized in my case, and I don’t know how you feel about yours, that I realized I was the spider spinning the web around myself. I was a spider, the web and the fly.
[1:01:35] Ashley James: You’re everything.
[1:01:37] Kerri Hummingbird: Like it’s a closed system. I’m doing it to myself. So, it took a long time to unweave and unwire that. But the first decision was no matter what it takes I don’t care. Whatever it takes I’m going to be what I really want to be. So I said, “What do I really want to be?” So, I picked the first thing that inspired me. So, this is another little tip. Pick the first thing that inspires you because that’s probably true. Inspiration is true. I believe inspiration is true. For me, it was a vision I had. It was my first mystical vision.
I was doing a drum journey, meditation with my drum in my little apartment I was renting. I was manifesting my home that I currently live in now. I wanted to buy this home. My real estate agent had said, “Well, they’re already under contract and they’ve been back and forth a couple times. Usually, almost always in that case, you’re not going to get the house. I said, “I know that’s my house.” So, I did this drum journey and I started visualizing, “Okay. I’m in my house. I’m in my house. I’m in my house.” I saw myself in there and I saw my grandparents who have deceased. I saw them come and visit in the house. We were talking about how beautiful it was. I was making the whole thing up in my brain, imagining it until the very end. When I’m standing in the house in my dream, in my vision looking in the kitchen, looking out the back window and all of a sudden a rainbow light hummingbird whoosh in the back window and hovers there and space expands. All I could do is just go, “Wow.” I’m not making that happen. That’s amazing. What is that? I love that. Oh my god. It’s a rainbow hummingbird. Wow.
As soon as I stopped the drum journey because I was just profound, the phone rang. It was my real-estate agent and she said, “Oh. The deal fell through so they went your offer. You can have the house.” So, that really inspired me, Ashley. I got to say, that was a mystical vision experience. I thought, “Okay. What does hummingbird mean?” So I looked it up in the animal guide, animal spirits what does that mean? I had learned about animal spirits. I didn’t know about it before, eight years ago. But I looked up this guide and I said, “Okay. Hummingbird.” Everything it said, anything is possible. Yes. I’ve always known that. I’ve always known inside of me that anything is possible. There’s this part of me that was so fiercely knowing that. That’s what got me through all this hellacious sitting in psychotherapy for 20 years. I knew that anything is possible. I knew that it didn’t have to be this way.
So, I kept looking for the answer to solve the problem because I knew that that wasn’t the way my life had to be. So, I thought, “Yes. That’s me, hummingbird [unintelligible] of spirit. Yes, I opened to that. Yes, I want that.” So, really shortly after that I started calling myself Kerri Hummingbird. I even changed it on social media, which at first was really awkward because my friends were saying, “What are you doing? What is that? But then people started saying, “You know what Kerri, that really is you. That is you. That’s more true. That’s actually more true than the last name you had. That’s true for you.
So, it became my truth. So, what I did was I created this vision board about Kerri Hummingbird. I put it on my wall and I just kept looking at that. Any time I had a challenge I would ask myself, “Well, what would Kerri Hummingbird do about that? How would Kerri Hummingbird respond to that?” It’s like I was tapping into this more true aspect of myself, this future self even. You could even think of it that way. Tapping into the future person I am today and saying, “Kerri Hummingbird, what would you do right now because I’m not quite you yet but I want to be you.”
[1:05:37] Ashley James: Oh, I love that.
[1:05:38] Kerri Hummingbird: What do I want to be? I want to be me. I was trying to be me the whole time but I had to find me underneath all that crap that got placed on me by all the conditioning and all the stories that I told and all the stories that everybody else told. All the story story story story story story story, which is why I say presence. Presence and inspiration, that’s the place to be.
[1:06:01] Ashley James: Oh, I love. I love that. I have this technique I learned from – who knows where I learned this from. One of my passions since I was a teenager has been personal growth and development so I picked this up somewhere. This idea that when you set a goal, so for me because I’m hitting the gym pretty hard this year with my husband, and I really dialed in my diet in the last two years. I’m really really happy with the nutrition, the quality of nutrition my body is getting. I decided I want to sculpt my body in a different way. In a really healthy way but I’ve finally figured out what I want to look like and what I want to feel like in my body.
So, we’re going to the gym with this very specific intention. I found some really great videos on YouTube. We’re following these exercises I’ve never seen before. It’s really cool. Actually, today at the gym, someone came up to us and said, he’s 76 years old he goes, “I’ve been were working out my whole life. I’ve never seen that exercise. It looks really neat. How did you figure that out?” So, we’re doing some fun things in the gym but. What I learned is you imagine your goal. So, let’s say Ashley a year from now. I’m imagining my goal and the person I create myself to be a year from now after spending 365 days in the gym, for example. I stand there in my mind in the future Ashley and then what I do is I look back to now. So, having achieved my goal I stand there in my body, my newly sculpted body, having achieved the goal looking back to now and I see all the steps I had to take to get here.
So, it’s similar to what you’re saying. It’s like talk to your future self. Talk to the person you are. What would future Ashley say? The Ashley that’s hit the gym and sculpted her body, what would she say? She’d be like, “Get out of bed. It’s 7:30. Let’s go. What are you doing?” When I am in doubt, what do I do? What do I do here? I start asking myself, what would rock-hard-ab Ashley say?
[1:08:28] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. I love it. I mean, this is really cool because basically everybody can see that in any moment you have choice A or choice B and maybe even choice C, right? So, you could predict that there’s one Ashley in the future that didn’t do any of that stuff, but there’s another Ashley that totally did do all that stuff. So, you want to tap into the Ashley that did all the stuff in order to become the person you want to be, right? Then exactly, ask her. What were the choice points? What were the choice?
Part of manifestation is doing exactly what you did, imagining yourself in the future point as if it’s now, having accomplished exactly everything you want to accomplish, feeling what you’re going to feel, knowing it happened. How does it feel? Receiving all of that, how does it feel, that accomplishment feeling? What are the things going on in your brain? Who are you being in order to be that person? All of that is really real. It manifested it. It plants a seed, but we actually also you’ve got to take the actions. So, it’s not just about dreaming it, it’s about becoming it through action.
So, I love that you said you look back and say, “Okay. What were all the actions I took in order to get to that person I’m standing at now.”
[1:09:38] Ashley James: Right. Right. Because I think the New Age gets a bad rap because it’s like you can’t just imagine yourself into wealth or health, but that is the first step. You have to shift your belief system and that’s what I had to do. When I was suffering, there was this point there was this moment that occurred around 2004 for me. I was sitting at home suffering like I had every day emotionally, mentally, physically trapped on a prison of illness. There was a moment where I had this realization. It was actually watching What The Bleep Do We Know, which I think everyone needs to watch twice. So, I had the DVD. I watched What The Bleep Do We Know and tip hot tears were just constantly coming out of my eyes the entire time. I think it was around 11:00 PM I finished watching it and I immediately hit play again. I had to watch it twice. It was hitting me so hard. I was ready to receive that information.
So, I watched What The Bleep twice in a row. What I got because I felt so stuck, I felt so stuck in the broken identity of the diagnosis, of all the diagnosis that I had been given. I had taken that on as my identity. I had taken on this world of suffering as my only truth. By the time I was done watching What The Bleep Do We Know twice, I got that I can choose a different reality, different from the reality I was living in. So, that moment of shifting my mindset, the very next morning, everything began to fall into place.
I was applying for a loan, a loan that was going to help me to pay for the trainings to start this as a business, to become an NLP trainer. It was a no the day before. I shifted my mindset. That next morning I get a phone call it was a yes. It was like one piece after another. Everything. The housing because I had to move to the states over the summer to do all these trainings, that came into place. The transportation came to me. Everything just started clicking. Everything started clicking because my belief system was that it was 100% possible. But I went from this desperation in my mind that none of it’s possible to it 100% is possible.
So, that mindset thing. You have to have the mindset first. You have to envision yourself succeeding first and then take the actionable steps. I love that you talk about you got to be present and open to the flow. Takes breaths, slow things down so that you can begin to identify the negative self-talk that you might be believing is true but it’s not. Then you have to get that you’re not broken, that you are not your diagnosis and that you can break free from that. Because I got that my mindset, I all of a sudden shifted and went, “Wow. I am not these things. This is not my box anymore.” That I was able to then take the actionable steps to heal my body and now I no longer have any of those issues. But I wouldn’t have even taken the actual steps had I not started with my mindset.
[1:13:08] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. I agree with you. The mindset is key. It continues to be key because it is a self-mastery with your mindset. There is a way of overemphasizing the mindset because it’s not the only thing. You can have an excellent mindset and then it still doesn’t shift. Then you’re like, “Well, what’s wrong with my mindset? How come it’s not shifting?” It’s because there’s stuff in your subconscious that needs listening to. So, there is a listening piece is really important. So, I just wanted to raise that up, the listening piece. Because sometimes the stuff that’s getting in your way is stuff that you inherited from your ancestry that you might not have even known those people. It’s in your ancestry. It’s a repeating pattern. We all know that we have repeating patterns in our own lives, but they also go across ancestry, across generations. So, some of this stuff is beyond you. So, that’s why it’s important to get really good at listening inside and discerning and opening up to the possibilities of all the things it could be that’s keeping you where you are so that you can shift it, really shift it, like absolutely to stop the pattern. Like you said, what you did that day that was enough for you. There wasn’t anything else in the way. So, your clear decision, your very clear decision stopped the pattern for you in that day and bam it was one moment and then you started recovering and going on your way. That can happen with everything.
So, we just have to realize that this is the puzzle. So, it’s like you slipped into a thumbprint suit that had all these little hidden gems and things like a video game and you have to find it all. Well, some of it’s going to be easy to find. Some of its going to be really hard to find depending on your level of mastery. So, don’t give up the game. Keep playing the game and realize that the object of the game is to get up the pyramid. So, Maslow’s hierarchy of need. Hanging out on the bottom row on, on survival, that’s not the goal of the game. The goal of the game is to climb the mountain. The goal of the game is to get all the way at the top of the pyramid of self-actualization. That’s the goal of the game.
It’s possible for everybody on the planet. What you need is support. It’s really helpful to have the help of people like Ashley that’s why it’s great you guys are listening to the show. Every week you’re getting filled up with beautiful insights that help you on your journey up the mountain, up the pyramid. Keep doing that. Keep taking the steps. You got to keep taking the steps and solving the puzzle. If you get a little discouraged, it’s fine to have a time-out when you get frustrated and have temper tantrum. That’s all good. We’re human. We’re going to get frustrated, but then practice the self-mastery, practice your mental mastery, practice your emotional mastery, practice your spiritual mastery. Practice all these things and pull yourself up the mountain and give yourself support. We are the sum of the five people we hang out with the most, right? So, hang out with different people. Hang out with people that have gotten up further up the mountain than you. Their collective energy is going to lift you up. That’s going to bring you up.
So, circling back to that conversation around what do you do with your family? Well, what do you do with your family if they want to keep you stuck in the old pattern? If the only way your family will love you is if you go along with being the one who’s broken and wrong, well, I think you need a new family for now. You need to find your home in community of people that can see the beauty that you are because when you feel like you’ve got this diagnosis and your life is stuck and everything’s going wrong and nobody in your current environment is supporting you, they’re all kind of keeping you stuck in that story of you, you’ve got to put yourself outside of your condition. You’ve got to change fish tanks. Get out of that stinky water fish tank and hop on over to the next one where the water is clean and start hanging out with different people that can show you different aspects of yourself. Then when you’re really strong in your new identity and I would like to say when you’re really strong in your soul eventually, it takes a little while to get there, but when you’re really self-actualized, you can be around anybody and it won’t matter. You can really flex that muscle of being you, being authentically you around everybody and just letting everybody have their own opinion. It doesn’t matter what they think. It won’t matter to you anymore. You can love them anyway. You can love them no matter what they say or think or do about you. You can get to that place.
Along the journey you need to give yourself spaces for incubation, incubation space where you can really percolate in the new energy and get strong in the new energy so that you can find your voice and find your truth inside of you without all those old stories. If you get retriggered into old stories, if you keep putting yourself in the old environment, it’s really hard to break free of it. It’s hard to get in the new energy when you keep putting yourself in the old energy. So, for a little while it’s helpful to incubate someplace positive to get filled up with good energy. Then it’s good to go back and flex the muscle because when you’re stronger and you know who you are more then you can make it even stronger by putting yourself in the challenge again so you get strong again there. Then you know where you got to do your work.
So, I call it plugging up the holes. Once you get your cup full enough you can start to see where are the leaks in my ship If you could start plugging them up.
[1:18:38] Ashley James: So, take yourself out of the bad environment, put yourself in a really positive environment, surround yourself with a new community that’s very positive that sees you as the person you really are inside without all the story. Then once you’ve really strengthened this resolve within you that you have shed, you’ve healed and shed a lot of the old that you’ve become the person you know you are deep inside, you’re more authentically you, then go back to the old environment in order to see what gets triggered, in order to see what you can heal. Because you go back when you’re strong enough to be able to be unshakable and then start as you then look, “Oh. Wow. They triggered me here. I got to work on this.” Not a point of blaming them like they did it to me but a point of, “Oh. Wow. That was a button for me. I need to work on that.” While you’re doing that, you can also transmute. Begin to work on and see if you can start to create new healthy relationships with those people in your life. Maybe they’ll be ready. Maybe they’ll be ready to see, to relate to you as the authentic person you are instead of your old story. It does take enforcing boundaries.
[1:19:57] Kerri Hummingbird: It does. It takes boundaries. Also, there’s a guilty little secret that we end up having to admit to ourselves, which is that we’re also holding them in a story about who they are to you.
[1:20:06] Ashley James: Yes. Yes.
[1:20:08] Kerri Hummingbird: We have to let go of that too.
[1:20:11] Ashley James: Yes. I’m so glad you brought that up. When I heard that Carl Jung and this is an abbreviation of one of his quotes but that we marry our unconscious mind and project onto them all of our unconscious unresolved material. When I got that, I had to repeat it over and over and over. It hit me so deeply that all the while I’ve been pointing my finger at everyone else going, “You don’t get me. You don’t get me. You don’t see the authentic me.” I’m like, “Holy crow. I don’t see the authentic them.” We’ll never actually know who our husband is or who our mom is or her sister is. We never will actually know because we are projecting onto them all of our stuff and our beliefs about them.
[1:20:57] Kerri Hummingbird: Our memories. Our stories.
[1:21:00] Ashley James: Yeah. We have to forgive. Right. All of our memories and the stories. Right. So, we can be forgiving in that aspect. We can go, “Okay. Maybe I can be a bit more gentle with the people in my life that have been triggering me.” I’ve been upset with people in my life because they’re not seeing who I really am but at the same time I haven’t been seeing who they really are. So, it is a two-way street.
[1:21:29] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. I like the thumbprint suit analogy that I got from my higher intelligence because it really does explain a lot. I mean, if you’re inside a thumbprint suit that has its own perspectives and perceptual windows through which you experience life and ancestral patterns and all this information about your soul. It’s unique, right? The thumbprint, there’s no two thumbprints alike. So, we might have a little overlap in our Venn diagrams but we’re really never going to understand each other ever. We will understand overlapping pieces and feel really good about that.
Then we have like, “Yay. Somebody understands me,” for like 10 minutes. Then they say something that is totally not aligned with us. Then we go all upset like, “Oh no. You’re one of them.” I mean, we’re all unique. That’s the thing is we’re built that way. We’re all pieces of the rainbow. If you think about the rainbow, look how many dots like infinite numbers of dots are available on the rainbow on the spectrum. Like infinite number of dots. So, maybe dots on the opposite sides of the spectrum, they don’t get along very well because they don’t share a whole lot in common, but they’re all part of the same rainbow. So, I love that too. So, think about your thumbprint. Think about, “Well, they’re not inside my thumbprint suit. They totally don’t understand so how can they tell me a story about me that’s more accurate than my story about me because I’m the one that’s in here all the time listening to everything. So, I think I know what’s true for me. I’m the only one in here as far as I know.”
[1:22:59] Ashley James: Are there any steps that you can give us around really seeing? When you’re in it it’s hard to see it but then all of a sudden you get it. All of a sudden you go, “Wow. I see it.” So, are there any steps or advice or homework you can give us so that we can start to see the limiting story that we’ve come up with ourselves? That this is this box that we’ve created like the idea that we’re broken. Be able to see it and go, “Oh. Wow. This isn’t actually my entire reality, it’s made-up. I made it up in my head. It’s not it’s not real. I’m not actually broken. I do have a chance to be someone who is healthy, someone who is whole.”
[1:23:54] Kerri Hummingbird: Yeah. So, what I like to do is I do think journaling is really helpful because you get to see it in print. Thoughts in your mind, they drift by really fast. The sneaky ones slide under the surface before you can hook them back. The ones that are really damaging are the ones that hide in the dark waters. So, whenever you grab a hold of one immediately write it down. Then that way you can explore it with your conscious mind because that’s really the goal. We want to explore with our conscious mind.
If you’ve ever driven someplace that you often go and then you end up there. Then you’re wondering, “How did I get here? Oh my goodness. I don’t remember even driving here.” That’s because your unconscious mind took over for you. Well, your unconscious mind takes over for you in a lot of things. Your unconscious mind takes over for you in a story you tell about yourself. When you meet somebody new the story you tell or on these broadcasts it’s a great experience because I get asked the same questions a lot of times. “What’s your history? What’s your story in a nutshell?”
So, what I like to do now is I like to play around and tell it different every time. So, I have this little task for myself or a little game or a challenge I give myself to tell the story different. So, you could try that. You could say, “Well, I notice I’m telling that same story,” and right in the middle of the sentence you could say, “Um, excuse me. I’d like to start over. I could tell a different story.” Right then and there you tell a different story. You tell it differently. So, it’s a process. It takes a lot of self-mastery and self-awareness and it takes time. But you can whittle down these pieces and become aware of what’s in the background. Like Ashley and I, I really recommend doing some alternative practices like working with energy if you’ve never tried that. Branch outside and see if you can shift it in a different way that you never expected.
So, try like a lot of different things. Say yes. There’s actually a challenge where you say yes to everything. Somebody invites you something you say yes. I think that’s a great one because it gets you outside of your box of what will work and what won’t work? It’s like you’ll just say yes to everything and you’ll find out. Think about it like an experiment. I think what’s really challenging with things like diets is that we say, “Well, Forever. Forever I am going to have no more dessert.” Well, that doesn’t work very well. So, it’s easier to say I’m going to run an experiment. For one week I’m not going to have dessert. I’m going to see what it feels like. How does my body feel? How does my mind feel? I’m going to do an honest assessment of myself before and after. I’m going to see what the results are. If I get a beneficial result, I will contemplate if I want to run the experiment longer.
So, it’s just a way of liberating yourself from too rigid of a structure with your goals and plans on what you want to achieve in your life. Be a little more playful with it. Give yourself some space and graze.
[1:26:57] Ashley James: Beautiful. Brilliant. Now, you’re the founder of Skills Not Pills movement. What is that?
[1:27:06] Kerri Hummingbird: Well, it’s a movement that I started because I had experienced psychotherapy, psychotropic pills in order to make me not feel, which then we’re supposed to fix me, but actually all the emotions that I was feeling in my life were stuffed under there it’s just that I was unaware of them. So, it just sort of suppressed the emotional experience underneath my awareness. When I finally came out of that fog, I had a lot of backed-up, pent-up emotional energy to process and I still had a diagnosis, all right. So, I thought, “Well, this doesn’t really work.” For me anyway. Everyone has to decide for themselves. Of course, you’re encouraged to consult with the doctor. But my idea was, why can’t we share with people alternatives to traditional Western medicine? Why can’t we share with people that energy healing is a thing? That you could shift the energy of something and it might actually just go away. I mean, why can’t we share with people NLP? Why can’t we share all these alternative modalities with people so that their first solution isn’t getting a pill? Maybe their last solution is to get a pill. Maybe there’s a whole other range of options before you get the pill. Maybe that’s not number one. Maybe it’s number 100 thing you try.
So, I’m just suggesting we flip it and we stop going to the pill first because it’s easy and convenient. Because in the long run it really isn’t. Just like littering seems easy and convenient, but in the long run we have to clean up the mess on our planet. So, I think that the whole goal with Skills Not Pills is to inspire people that there’s a whole lot of other ways of going about your life challenges than just taking a pill.
[1:28:45] Ashley James: Right. There’s times when we want them to temporarily take it like if there’s a difference between being suicidal or going off the you know. If a pill can help someone just get stable, we want that. It’s not that we’re saying never, no pills. There’s times when medication can be life-saving. We always want people to be healthy. The problem is 90 something percent of the time medication is just overprescribed. It’s given for everything. I remember my friend had a panic attack. Went to the hospital because she doesn’t know what was wrong with her. They sent her home with an anti-anxiety medication. They didn’t do any tests. She didn’t even know it was a panic attack. She’s like, “My heart’s pounding. I feel like I’m going to faint. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” She was very healthy, very healthy girl. We were maybe 19 at the time. She goes to hospital thinking she’s having a heart attack and they just send her home with anti-anxiety meds. Is that really helpful? Is that really helpful to just, “Here, take some meds. You’ll be fine. Just numb those feelings you’ll be fine.”
So, you’re saying that a lot of the time, and I’ve actually done a lot of interviews. Listeners can go to LearnTrueHealth.com and search ADHD. There’s some interviews I’ve done where the guests have shared that ADHD meds just made it much worse. They gave a lot of symptoms. The side-effects and they didn’t get to heal it. They didn’t get to work on it. They actually chose to get off of them and then work on it and figure out how to heal.
So, I love that you bring this up. I love that you’re an advocate for helping people to gain more skills, more life skills emotionally, mentally and spiritually so they can really actualize the beings that they are inside and let go of the stories and the limitations that have been imposed upon them or self-imposed I should say.
Kerri Hummingbird, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. Your website is kerrihummingbird.com and you have a free gift, Love Mastery Game that you’re giving us. Listeners can go to kerrihummingbird.com/play for that. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?
[1:31:09] Kerri Hummingbird: Yes. I really encourage everybody to take a look at your thumbprint every day and remind yourself that you are living in a unique puzzle that was built just for you. If you don’t get curious about it and start discovering all about it inside of you, it’ll never go discovered. It’ll be just the lost puzzle that never got solved. So, it’s really up to each one of us to solve that puzzle that we are, that life plan, that thumbprint suit and figure out everything about it. Look at Ashley’s life, so amazing. You went through all that journey and my life. I mean, on the other side of what you think is horrible is actually an incredible journey of discovery. So, I just welcome everybody to take that journey for themselves.
[1:31:54] Ashley James: Beautiful. Thank you so much, Kerri.
[1:31:56] Kerri Hummingbird: Thank you.
[1:31:57] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? How we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business, support people in their success? Do you love helping people?
You might be the perfect candidate to become a health coach. I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I just spent the last year in their health coaching certification program. And it really blew me away. It was so amazing. I learned over a hundred dietary theories. I learned all about nutrition, but from a standpoint of how we can help people to shift their life and shift their lifestyle to gain true holistic health. I definitely recommend you check them out. You can Google Institute for Integrative Nutrition or IIN and give them a call. Or you can go to learntruehealth.com/coach and you can receive a free module of their training to check it out and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in. Be sure to mention my name Ashley James and the Learn True Health podcast because I made a deal with them that they will give you the best price possible. I highly recommend checking it out. It really changed my life to be in their program. And I’m such a big advocate that I wanted to spread this information.
We need more health coaches. In fact, health coaching is the largest growing career right now in the health field. So many health coaches are getting in and helping people because you can work in chiropractic offices, doctors’ offices, you can work in hospitals. You can work online through Skype and help people around the world. You can become an author. You can go into the school system and help your local schools shift their programs to help children be healthier. You can go into senior centers and help them to shift their diet and lifestyle to best support them in their success and their health goals. There are so many different available options for you when you become a certified health coach.
So check out IIN. Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Mention my name, get the best deal. Give them a call and they’ll give you lots of free information and help you to see if this is the right move for you. Classes are starting soon. The next round of classes are starting at the end of the month. So you’re going to want to call them now and check it out. And if you know anyone in your life who would be an amazing coach, please tell them about it. Being a health coach is so rewarding and you get to help so many people.
Are you looking to get the best supplements at the lowest price? For high-quality supplements and to talk to someone about what supplements are best for you, go to takeyoursupplements.com and one of our fantastic true health coaches will help you pick out the right supplements for you that are the highest quality and the best price. That’s takeyoursupplements.com. Takeyoursupplements.com. That’s takeyoursupplements.com. Be sure to ask about free shipping and our awesome referral program.
The mainstream media is owned by the pharmaceutical industry. So when you search for this information, you will never find the truth. You will only find what the pharmaceutical companies pay the media to portray.
Andy shared that we can find his podcast on this platform where info cannot be censored:
Andy's Documentary: vaxxedthemovie.com
IT'S HERE! Learntruehealth.com/homekitchen
Use coupon code LTH for the listener discount!
IT'S HERE! Learntruehealth.com/homekitchen
Use coupon code LTH for the listener discount!
In this episode, Naomi Murphy shared with us the benefits of eating a whole food plant-based diet. She shares different stories that support how whole food plant-based diet has helped various people in reversing illnesses. She also shares the benefits of eating a whole food plant-based diet.
[0:00] Intro: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 405.
[0:00:13] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest. We have on the show a dear friend of mine, Naomi Murphy, who has been a listener of the show. She’s been my stalker. What I love about Naomi is she’s been a health warrior. She has reversed some health issues and I’ve really been honored to be her friend and be part of her health journey. Watching her recover from Epstein Barr virus and from several other issues. It’s just watching you transform has been amazing. In this last year, her and I have really joined forces together in the way we cook, the way we eat and the way we use food as medicine.
When we’re all alone and were making health changes, it’s really, I felt very isolated in my past when I’m switching to a new diet or when I’m getting on a new detox protocol and there’s no one else to do it with me. That’s why I love the Learn True Health Facebook group is that at least there’s some sense of community. People can come in feel supported, feel some sense of community.
So when Naomi decided to go whole food, plant-based, no salt, sugar, oil for her heart to heal her heart, my husband and I were already eating this way. So it was so great to have a friend join me. We started texting each other almost daily pictures and recipes. We’d bring each other food. So to have that camaraderie was so amazing. So I’ve watched you transform your health and it’s been wonderful. I keep saying I got to have you on the show because you’re really inspiring and you’ve done so many things. You’re so disciplined and so focused on making sure that health is first. I know that you are just chock-full of wonderful information to help the listeners today.
So I’m really really excited that you’re finally here on the show.
[0:02:27] Naomi Murphy: Thank you, Ashley. I have to say it’s a little surreal to be on this side of the podcast because I’ve been a listener for so long. When I met you you told me about your podcast. I think it took a year before I even checked it out. Then my life started to change and expand because of everything I learned. I was like, “Oh my God. This podcast is amazing.” I started recommending to everyone and talking to your more because I already knew you and yes, stalked you and asked every question I could think of. Lucky for me we have become friends.
I agree about eating a diet that’s kind of outside the mainstream way of eating. It is so great that others that do that. That’s really how I’ve eaten different ways before like been surrounded by acupuncture students or MD students working at colleges. Getting into fun cleanses and things like that. Now I’m a suburban mom. I’m not in that holistic community as much as I used to be. So it was great to have you to talk to. I think it was imperative almost that I had someone to talk to because I was even going against my family culture a little bit. Even if my husband wants to be healthier, not everyone’s ready at the same time to start eating. It was eating whole food, plant-based, no salt, oil or sugar.
[0:04:12] Ashley James: Which sounds really boring and hard and expensive and not delicious. When I first heard that, my thought was I can’t do that which is really funny. When I first heard about these very specific parameters like whole food, plant-based meaning there’s no animal products. No dairy, no cheese, no eggs, no meat, no fish. Lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans. That and whole greens and no oil, and no salt and sugar. I just thought, “That food sounds so bland and so complicated.”
But then I started hearing the health benefits and the studies. I kept hearing these doctors who are reversing major diseases. It kept just etching ion my brain this every meal, this every single meal that I eat with oil and salt and sugar and animal fat or whatever. It kept, because at the time I was doing keto because I was sold this idea that keto is the absolute number one healthiest way to eat but my health was getting worse on keto not better even though I was working with a naturopath.
We go weekly to the naturopath and show them everything we ate. They’re like, “Keep at it. Add more fats, add more eggs, add more cheese,” whatever I was. We were getting, just we were deteriorating. Our health was getting worse and worse and worse. I want to eat in a way that heals me. I’ve been frustrated that I’ve done over 30 diets, several of them led by doctors. I’ve looked into science because you can find a study to say that the Oreo diet is healthy for you because there’s a lot of paid study out there. So there’s a lot of misinformation.
I was looking and searching for a food, a way to heal my body with food and the keto was not doing it for me. When I kept hearing over and over and over again because all the guests that I’d interviewed, I wasn’t going out looking for whole food, plant-based doctors. They found me a lot of times. I kept interviewing them and interviewing them. I just kept hearing like cancer reversed, type 2 diabetes reversed, type 1 diabetes significantly improved to the point where they cut insulin in half easily.
I heard one guy, he cut his insulin by 70%. He’s a type 1 diabetic. Because his body became so efficient, weight loss happens as a by-product of this just achieving a healthy weight. Immune health like crazy. You’re living 30 years longer and really healthy in your senior years. So I kept hearing it over and over and over again. That’s when I started to go, “Okay.” Then chef AJ, she tries to make it be delicious so I started to look at it. When I interviewed her, I started to look into maybe I could do this. Let’s try it. Let’s just do 30 days.
So I decided to do a 3-day challenge. Actually, at the time, a friend was visiting from Canada. Kat Hernandez, visiting from Canada. This was two years ago. Yeah. We did the 30-day challenge. By the end of the three days I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “This food is delicious. This food is easier to make.” It’s easier to make because there’s no meat I have to think about, which I didn’t realize was kind of you know, like food poisoning. You got to really make sure that things are cleaner whereas when you’re just cooking vegetables and greens, that’s not part of the equation. After one month of just trying the challenge, I was on board because I could not believe how good I felt. I always thought I’d eat meat but after three days of eating no meat just as an experiment and eating a whole food plant-based diet with no processed foods, my body was buzzing with energy. I wake up in the morning, jump out of bed and just be ready to go. Whereas before, I just had that low-level fog follow me. It took me a few hours to shake it off. Whereas now, it’s just on I’m on. In the morning I’m on.
[0:08:36] Naomi Murphy: I think many of us are functioning under a misunderstanding, which is promoted by our government because the government subsidizes the foods that are actually not good for us. The meat industry and the dairy industry are subsidized and so they want to promote those foods. There’s science that supports eating plants or health that is available to everyone.
I was just listening to T. Colin Campbell in the book Whole. He was saying when he wrote The China Study, which shows that eating a whole food plant-based diet is the best for health. It’s the optimal diet for health and it’s backed up The China Study. He said that he was really naïve. He thought that he would bring that information to people and it would change everything. It would change legislation around food and nutrition. It would change medicine, it would change everything but instead, he met a lot of resistance in his own community, in the academic community, which is why he started writing books for people to read and to have access to the information.
So, I think The China Study was written in 1976 and when he wrote Whole he was 79 years old, when he read it anyway, hearing him on audible. So there’s a lot of resistance to changing our way of eating away from animal products. It’s in our language. We have to get to the meat of the matter. I always thought that the most satisfying part of my meal that really stuck to my ribs, that made me feel satisfied and full was the protein from an animal product and the fat. I thought the protein and the fat were the satisfying parts and that I needed to add some fiber and some color for healthy. My mind was blown when I cut out all animal products and I did it cold turkey.
[0:11:11] Ashley James: Yeah. We’re going to get into that story though.
[0:11:13] Naomi Murphy: Okay. I was blown away and I continue to be actually, that eating a high fiber diet in the form of fruits and vegetables, is way more satisfying than eating meat and fats ever was and I have the added benefit of never ever feeling like I’m having a food coma or I’m getting kind of ill from eating. I like to eat so I don’t eat tiny portions. I eat a big amount of good food that I make. I just feel like the pressure of being full, I don’t feel disgusting or tired or fatigued or anything. I don’t feel any and there’s definitely no hangover the next day.
[0:12:07] Ashley James: The food comas and the food hangovers.
[0:12:09] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. We can spend holidays with great delight, interesting, flavorful food that makes you lose weight instead of gain weight if you need to lose weight, which I do and without trying. Just by cooking the whole food plant-based food.
[0:12:38] Ashley James: Right. Yeah. You did Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s all eating the whole food plant-based diet, your whole family including your parents, which we’ll get into your story. But you guys had a successful whole holiday season and no one felt deprived and everyone got to eat amazing, delicious foods. We filmed some of it and put it in the membership, the Learn True Health Home Kitchen membership. Yeah. It’s delicious. You’re right. I’m sitting here and I’m feeling my body and we just about half an hour ago ate your amazing, made from scratch whole food plant-based side paneer, which is delicious Indian food. I feel so satisfied right now like I do not need to eat for the next five hours. I feel so satisfied and there was no meat in it.
[0:13:30] Naomi Murphy: There’s no oil in it. There’s not even an oil added to sort of make you feel satisfied and full. So it is amazing. It is amazing to me. I think it will be amazing for a long time.
[0:13:42] Ashley James: The Ashley three years ago would not believe the Ashley now. That’s how much my world has changed in the last few years. I did what your husband is doing which is I slowly adapted to the whole food plant-based whereas you went –
[0:14:03] Naomi Murphy: You went whole hog but not cold turkey?
[0:14:04] Ashley James: Right. I am now whole hog but I didn’t go cold turkey. All the meat talk. Whereas you went totally cold turkey just like my husband, right? He just woke up January 1st –
[0:14:17] Naomi Murphy: Well, I have some strong motivation. I have some strong motivation. When you guys were eating whole food plant-based, no oil, I just thought, “Well, that’s a bit fussy. That’s a bit extreme but I could accommodate that. I could cook something for you.” But I didn’t imagine that I would want to do that. It just didn’t occur to me that that would be a good solution for me because of all the ether health information I’ve been following. The way that I’d been using whole foods.
I remember about a decade ago, there was a number of books kind of about using the whole food. People talked about, “Eat the chicken skin. Eat the whole thing because there’s benefits to all parts.” But what they don’t mention is you can get many more nutrients in plant foods than you can in a chicken skin. It’s just that if you have to be eating chicken, which turns out to have a lot of problems if you read Proteinaholic and if you read How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. You can learn that there’s some significant problems associated with eating poultry that I never imagined possible actually because poultry has been considered healthier version of meat.
[0:15:45] Ashley James: Well, what’s funny in the Proteinaholic he cites a study where they showed that eating poultry is associated with weight gain. On all the diets where I gained weight and not lost weight, I was just beating my head against the wall desperately trying to lose weight, I was eating chicken.
[0:16:05] Naomi Murphy: Think of all the people eating chicken breasts.
[0:16:08] Ashley James: Thinking that they’re doing something really really healthy but of all the animals you could eat, chicken, which we associate with low fat and weight loss, is actually the one that causes the most amount of weight gain, unhealthy weight gain.
[0:16:21] Naomi Murphy: It’s also associated with prostate cancer, developing prostate cancer and I don’t remember what else. It’s very strongly associated with some serious illness. Now that my husband and I are in our mid-late 40s you know it’s just becoming a time where we’re really paying attention to health changes and really wanting to live healthfully. When you’re a teenager in your 20s you can abuse your body and you don’t necessarily feel the impact.
[0:17:00] Ashley James: Right. Now we feel everything.
[0:17:02] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. So it’s interesting. I wish I would’ve had all these information when I was younger.
[0:17:09] Ashley James: I do too. I know I’m ready to hear it, which is funny because we were talking about that before we heat record, that I owned the Colin T. Campbell’s book, The China Study, in the early 2000s. I was reading it. I didn’t finish it obviously. I remember being on an airplane reading it flying somewhere. I think I was flying to Florida for Christmas and then I left it there, lost it or something. Imagine how different my life would’ve been if I had actually taken that book seriously in my early 20s. I mean, my life would’ve been very different. But I’m really really happy with where I am now.
I think regret and guilt and shame are very toxic emotions. I’ve heard some people compare it to every time you feel guilt or shame it’s kind of like smoking a cigarette. If we think about, it is toxic for the body. First to stay in that level of vibration of holding on to regret, shame and guilt; and I could totally go there. I could totally feel the amount of regret of my past, right? We are the people we are right now because of our past. So let’s just transform it into a positive. I appreciate the person I am now and I’m still growing, I’m still on a journey as are you, as are we all. I can appreciate my past.
If I had taken it seriously, oh my gosh, my life would be so different now. So, it’s pretty amazing that I had the cognitive dissonance to just shut it down and not listen.
[0:18:43] Naomi Murphy: Yes. I recall actively dismissing that book. Sean and I, we were talking about it when we were dating. So let’s say 17 years ago, he had a friend who ate whole food plant-based, no sugar. I don’t know about the oil and salt. It was based on reading T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study that scientifically shows that way of eating is the healthiest. I remember saying, “Well, I’m going to pretend that you never said that.” Because it just was not workable in my mind at that time.
[0:19:28] Ashley James: We have to be ready to hear it because you were facing some health challenges. I know that listeners want to take their health to the next level. Some of them are in an acute situation facing health challenges while others are just really interesting in achieving those health goals.
Let’s talk about your story and paint that picture. What have you gone through in your life? Because I know you have really healed some stuff. So, what have you gone through in your life? Tell us your story.
[0:19:57] Naomi Murphy: When I think about my relationship with food, a key memory was when I was in high school and I just wanted to be thinner. I remember depriving my body of food and then standing next to a refrigerator and eating ice cream and that’s it.
[0:20:18] Ashley James: It’s like anorexia and then binging. You weren’t throwing up?
[0:20:26] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I didn’t eat that much but my food choices were obviously bizarre and not healthful. I didn’t have a concept of a health-promoting. Though my mom was a good home cook. She was often on Weight Watchers. We ate chicken and white meat but still with plenty of oils and plenty of animal products. We did some healthy things back then.
So it was that experience of being anorexic I think that made me think like I don’t really want to diet for weight loss. Any diet that I have should be about health primarily. Of course, weight loss can happen when you have a healthy diet. But I just realize that I needed to have a boundary around that.
[0:21:30] Ashley James: You mean you wanted to make sure that your diet was never about restricting portions because you saw that you could become extreme and start eating really unhealthful?
[0:21:44] Naomi Murphy: I had to be careful with it. Later, maybe about 10 years ago, my husband and I did do Weight Watchers for a short period. Or we’ve done My Fitness Pal when you track what you eat. I think that really helps with portion control. So that really didn’t trigger extreme behavior. That was good for showing me that I was eating more than I needed to eat.
[0:22:12] Ashley James: That’s good because, well like in Weight Watchers, you don’t want to only eat five points a day, right? If you have the anorexic mindset you might try to say, “I want to get under five points.” Whereas you’re supposed to be eating 23 points a day. So Weight Watchers is like, “We want to get you to this goal. We want you to eat 20 points a day.” Maybe not 23 or whatever. SO they try to keep you within parameters. Also My Fitness Pal, you may be staying 1800 calories but you wouldn’t want to be like, “I only want to eat 300 calories a day.”
[0:22:51] Naomi Murphy: But neither of those things. Those were like a short-term experience to be informative of how I could eat better. That level of calculation and also their food recommendations didn’t help me feel better. So it was not sustainable. It didn’t engage me. It didn’t feel healthy but it was helpful for portion control at that time. So in my 20s, I worked at Bastyr University.
[0:23:22] Ashley James: Which is the naturopathic clinic here.
[0:23:24] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It’s a college. I worked at the clinic for the college. So I was surrounded by health nuts. That was awesome and fun like the people who worked in the admin roles and also the students that we knew. So, there was always a way to learn about the different elimination diet or a cleanse. I had some depression and I just happened to mention it to one of the docs. She said, “You should come in and do an elimination diet because you have dark circles under your eyes, which indicates you have a food sensitivity or food allergy.”
So I did that. Instead of having my blood tested, I did an elimination diet and slowly tested the foods. I think it was a few weeks that I did not eat any allergens and then you slowly test them. If you have a reaction you don’t eat for like three or four days any of the other foods and then you add another so you can see what response is. So that became a really long drawn out process that lasted about six months. I did find some things that I really responded to so it made me really afraid of food. So that affected my eating for a long time.
I did eat such a clean diet that I did. I lost like 25 pounds. I did feel a lot better. It didn’t help me achieve a healthier diet in the long run. I mean, I did eliminate some things but I was not counseled, which I think is really interesting now about how to address gut health, which was sort like, “Why can’t I eat gluten? Why do I respond to these things?” The answer was that it may be just a problem with my gut. But then no one pushed me to continue seeing somebody to address gut health, which I know so much more about that now. So it seems obvious that they would’ve helped me heal my gut back then. But it didn’t happen for whatever reason. I didn’t pursue the appointment and the supervising doc didn’t recommend it. So I don’t know. It’s a question I have about that.
[0:25:46] Ashley James: Yeah. This is where we have to advocate for ourselves as patients. I have had that experience with a doctor kind of just say something in passing. What they really should’ve done was made the entire appointment be about that, you know. The, “Oh. You should just heal your gut.” Then like, “Goodbye.” Well, okay. How? What? Yeah. We need to advocate for ourselves. Knowing what you know now, those doctors that you were surround with every day because you work in the clinic, those doctors should’ve been screaming, “Everyone needs to heal their gut. The gut is the first thing. If we don’t have a healthy gut we don’t have a healthy anything. Everyone, everyone quick. Come over here. Eat this fermented food.”
[0:26:30] Naomi Murphy: And it is a teaching clinic so perhaps they wanted to keep more people coming in that didn’t work there or something. Maybe just have to do with being an employee and using their clinic. I wish I would’ve started addressing my gut health back then because it would’ve change everything.
[0:26:52] Ashley James: Well, you’re addressing it now.
[0:26:55] Naomi Murphy: Yes. So I have three children. I had my last child when I was 40. I became very fatigued and tired and had some brain fog. All of these things I attributed to being a mom of three children that were five and under. I don’t think that anyone would dispute that that’s a possibility. So it didn’t occur to me until my youngest child went to kindergarten and I was like, “Great. I’m ready to kick butt now.” Then I noticed that I actually felt worse. I didn’t have energy to do all the things that I’ve been waiting to do while I was a stay at home mom. That was a big wakeup call for me.
I ended up being diagnosed with Epstein Barr virus. Starting on protocol with an MD, I had a little improvement but not a lot. I was overweight. So I thought, “Well, maybe if I just lose weight I will have more energy and doing this Epstein Barr protocol will be more effective if I could just lighten the load of my body.” With the permission of my doctor I started doing keto. I did keto. I followed Facebook groups and there are people that I knew at the time that were keto. I ate probably the most unhealthy version of keto whether it involves eating bacon and cheese.
[0:28:41] Ashley James: Bacon wrapped cheese and cheese covered bacon.
[0:28:45] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I didn’t last long with that. I did feel a little bit more energy from eating keto at first. Then the lack of fiber in my diet was impactful. I just felt funny like making a tofu stir fry for my family and then I ate a piece of cheese and a piece of bacon and a small serving of cauliflower or something. It just didn’t feel right. So that didn’t work for me long term.
I got a better protocol that involved eating the foods recommended by Anthony Williams, the medical medium.
[0:29:32] Ashley James: Okay. Who’s the medical medium?
[0:29:35] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. My doctor also recommended his foods for treating EBV.
[0:29:41] Ashley James: So you stopped keto.
[0:29:43] Naomi Murphy: Stopped keto. So at that point I started EBV with food and it was whole food but it involved spoonful of coconut oil sometimes, plenty of meat. Anthony Williams doesn’t promote meat but I did. I did eat healthy meat.
[0:30:09] Ashley James: Well the meat your family gets, just to paint the picture, there’s a farm up in Camano Island and this beefalo which I never knew what they were until I met you. But it’s a hybrid of a buffalo and a cow.
[0:30:23] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. They are entirely grass-fed, no pesticide.
[0:30:26] Ashley James: They live a wonderful life out on the pasture.
[0:30:29] Naomi Murphy: Very small farm.
[0:30:31] Ashley James: Then your family buys like have of one and puts it in the freezer.
[0:30:35] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. We fry it and no fat comes out. It’s really lean.
[0:30:39] Ashley James: Your family was looking for high-quality protein. It wasn’t really a standard American diet, although you were eating the same amount of protein, same amount of meat as everyone else. Just high quality. Here you were, you were very tired every morning. You really were fatigued. You could hardly function, could hardly leave the house.
[0:31:05] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I started having some neurological symptoms like dizziness and fatigue is considered a neurological symptoms as well. I had numbness and tingling as well in my legs sometimes in my hands. At one point like my whole right side of my body got tingly and numb.
[0:31:30] Ashley James: There were several times you thought you got a stroke because you were –
[0:31:33] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I used to constantly ask that kind of question to myself like, “Do I need to go to the ER or what do I need to do?” So that was a stressful time.
[0:31:48] Ashley James: You also had some cardiac symptom too, right?
[0:31:51] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I had some heart palpitations and some arrhythmia, I guess.
[0:31:59] Ashley James: Weren’t you having shortness of breath also?
[0:32:01] Naomi Murphy: That was later. That was later. But that’s not what I started out with. So I treated my Epstein Barr using foods that are anti-viral and herbs that are anti-viral. I did some detoxes. I did the parasite cleanse, which I’m on again from Dr. Jay Davidson.
[0:32:26] Ashley James: That’s a great episode to listen to.
[0:32:27] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I love that one.
[0:32:29] Ashley James: You got a sauna. I remember that.
[0:32:30] Naomi Murphy: I got a sauna.
[0:32:32] Ashley James: You do regular coffee enemas. You would drink the smoothie green giant like 60 oz. green smoothies.
[0:32:43] Naomi Murphy: That’s when I started with whole food plant-based.
[0:32:46] Ashley James: Oh really? But before that you were doing the juicing of-
[0:32:49] Naomi Murphy: I did juicing. Juicing.
[0:32:51] Ashley James: Anthony Williams recommends juicing lots of celery so you were doing lots of celery juice.
[0:32:55] Naomi Murphy: Right. For over two years, every morning I had a pint of celery juice. My husband was very supportive in helping make that happen. I bought celery by the case.
[0:33:06] Ashley James: Organic?
[0:33:07] Naomi Murphy: Yes. Organic celery by the case. I did heal my gut. That was amazing. I’ve since learned that you can heal your gut using all kinds of vegetables. It doesn’t have to be celery juice but that was the protocol that I was using at that time. The consistency of my application of that I think help. Yeah. Things really changed.
[0:33:39] Ashley James: So you were on this healing EBV protocol for how many years were you working on EBV?
[0:33:47] Naomi Murphy: Well, over two years but it was two years that I think I was on the whole food mostly plant-based but with plenty of oil.
[0:33:58] Ashley James: And beefalo, right?
[0:34:01] Naomi Murphy: And also eating meat. That was for a couple of years. So I did have some health improvement. But there was also some slippage eventually because I’m a mom and I cook for others. I wanted to talk about when I did have my chronic illness but didn’t really realize it was a chronic illness. I relied heavily on dairy products to feed my family. Cottage cheese, melted cheese, kefir. I made kefir that felt good using good milk with probiotic. That was something I felt really good about. I felt that protein was the most important thing to feed my kids and I no longer think that. I’m no longer worried about that. I think that if there’s any health benefit to that way of eating was at least we were eating whole foods. We were eating whole foods all along.
[0:35:04] Ashley James: As opposed to eating a bunch of cereal in front of them.
[0:35:06] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. We were trying. We try. We weren’t perfect. Whole food was our –
[0:35:15] Ashley James: Unprocessed. As much unprocessed food.
[0:35:16] Naomi Murphy: As much unprocessed food. But of course, listening to those people who were saying, “Eat the chicken skin. Use everything. Get the benefit.” Maybe even back then drink the red wine because of the benefit of the –
[0:35:35] Ashley James: Resveratrol in red wine which is like just eat the grapes dude. Just eat the grapes. You don’t need to get alcohol into your system. I mean, I get it.
[0:35:46] Naomi Murphy: When my health kind of tanked, there was no alcohol involved in my diet anymore.
[0:35:52] Ashley James: Right. You’ve been very strict.
[0:35:53] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. So when you and Duffy were eating whole food plant-based, no salt, oil or sugar, I remember thinking it was a little bit extreme and not something I would choose but fine for you. That’s great that you were doing it. I was supportive of you.
[0:36:12] Ashley James: Didn’t we have you over for dinner? Didn’t we have you guys for dinner and we cooked that way or did you cook for us?
[0:36:21] Naomi Murphy: I think I tried to cook for you when you came over and I made something that fit like a coconut milk soup. Like a soup with coconut. Like a Thai thing.
[0:36:32] Ashley James: Your Thai coconut soup is oh my gosh, it’s amazing. We’re going to have to film that by the way and put it in the Learn True Health Home Kitchen because it is memorable. I’m actually like I could actually taste it in my mouth right now. It’s really good, your Thai soup and it’s full of vegetables. It’s so delicious.
[0:36:46] Naomi Murphy: Well, you’re lucky because I have some on the refrigerator right now.
[0:36:50] Ashley James: I’m going to have to take some home with me.
[0:36:53] Naomi Murphy: So, my motivation for going whole food plant-based was I saw a practitioner and was told that I had heart disease. Because of the location of the heart disease that it might be affecting my breathing.
[0:37:08] Ashley James: Was this back in June?
[0:37:09] Naomi Murphy: This was July 15th, 2019.
[0:37:10] Ashley James: July 15th, 2019.
[0:37:14] Naomi Murphy: I was completely flummoxed because I have been focusing about EBV, not worried about calories, not worried about my weight, focusing on just eating high-quality food that was anti-viral. Really wanting to focus on that and then I heard heart disease, which never occurred to me as a possible problem though it should because it’s the number one –
[0:37:43] Ashley James: It’s the number one killer.
[0:37:44] Naomi Murphy: It’s the number one killer of our country.
[0:37:46] Ashley James: Statistically, if you’ve been eating the standard American diet, you are statistically more likely to die of heart disease than anything else. So this conversation is the most important conversation for everyone to have because this is the diet proven to reverse heart disease. Now, at the time you saw the practitioner six months ago, can you believe it’s been six months? You were noticing, because you go on weekly walks around your neighborhood with a walking partner with a neighbor, and you notice that you were having shortness of breath along with all your other heart symptoms.
[0:38:18] Naomi Murphy: Yep. With all my other heart symptoms and the poor circulation, which is causing the numbness and tingling. It all was attributed to me, in my mind, as part of EBV and EBV attacking different parts of my body. But this practitioner said, “You don’t have EBV. You have heart disease.” So I was like the break squealed and I changed my direction entirely. He said whole food plant-based. I went home.
[0:38:48] Ashley James: Well, first you came over to our house.
[0:38:50] Naomi Murphy: I went over to your house to talk to you about it.
[0:38:52] Ashley James: I made fresh rolls.
[0:38:53] Naomi Murphy: You fed me fresh rolls. I’m like, “This is delicious. Okay. This is a good start.” So that was strongly motivating for me to hear the word heart disease because it never occurred to me as something that I should be looking at because of my focus on the anti-viral lifestyle.
So I immersed myself in information about eating whole food plant-based. Dr. Esselstyn, because he wrote the book prevent and reverse heart disease, was kind of my gateway educator which I found his interview that you did. I don’t remember in what order but I checked out the iThrive documentary. I bought the iThrive documentary because Sean’s mom has diabetes.
[0:39:45] Ashley James: Sean being your husband.
[0:39:46] Naomi Murphy: Sean is my husband. Yes.
[0:39:51] Ashley James: Just a little plug, LearnTrueHealth.com/iThrive. For people that don’t want to check out that docu-series. It’s really good. It really helped you, right?
[0:39:59] Naomi Murphy: Yes. Yes. It was great information. I learned so much about diabetes too which is important for everyone to learn about because it’s so prevalent in our society right now.
[0:40:12] Ashley James: Well, Type 2 diabetes is a byproduct of eating a high processed fat and high meat diet, which is it blew my mind. It took me a really long time to get that even though they kept saying it because in my mind, I have been indoctrinated that sugar is the cause of diabetes and it’s not. I really like how Dr. Garth Davis lays this out in his book Proteinaholic. He really does a good job laying out the studies that prove that people who are on a whole food plant-based diet, even if they eat a tremendous amount of carbohydrates they have amazing insulin sensitivity so they do not have insulin resistance. The more someone eats animal products, which is high fat, even if you eat a chicken breast there’s still a lot of fat in it. The more fat we eat, the more insulin resistance we create. That blew my mind because I had too type 2 diabetes and I reversed it with food.
Now that I am eating this way, my insulin sensitivity is the best it’s ever been. My glucose is the best it’s even been, which is really exciting because I’m eating like 300 grams of carbs a da. Whereas when I was eating really low carb, I wouldn’t allow myself to more than 50 grams a carbs a day which is very restrictive. But that just goes to show because people who are type 2 diabetic who eat, let’s say they eat a potato and their blood sugar shoots up because they’re eating a potato with animal products with oil or butter or whatever. They’re like, “See, I can’t eat those carbs because my blood sugar goes up. Sugar’s the problem. Sugar’s the problem.” No. The insulin resistance is the problem.
We need to heal the insulin resistance just as we need to heal the gut first. When it comes to blood sugar regulation, carbs are not the devil. We need to heal the insulin resistance and then you can eat carbs and you’re body uses and utilizes it in a healthy way. That blew my mind. That whole docu-series, iThrive docu-series really lays that out in a beautiful way. So you watched the docu-series.
[0:42:32] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. And I think one of the main things that I learn from that is that diabetes is it’s not just an epidemic, it’s a pandemic. The level of illness from diabetes that we have in our country from diabetes is so high and so serious that that’s what we’re dealing with. It’s reversible with changing the diet. It’s sort of like going back to the days of the black plague and people not realizing the cause of it so not being able to stop it. That’s how we’re acting like there is no solution and there is.
So if you think at the level of dysfunction that’s going on that we can solve it but it’s sort of like an outlier information. I no longer feel that way because I’ve immersed myself in the doctors and other people that write about this and speak about it. Go back a year ago, I thought that taking medication, managing blood sugar prolongs life. I thought that my husband’s mom was doing well. She’s managing her blood sugar eating lots of dairy and meat and vegetables too and taking the medication. I think that’s she’s doing really well. But people who are managing their blood sugars with medication and a high protein diet are not prolonging their life. This is a statistical reality. So that blew my mind. That there is a way to reverse it and it’s not what all the diabetics are talking about or being taught or being told by their doctors.
[0:44:34] Ashley James: No. It actually really angers me. So I’ve helped people for the last eight years now coming up on nine years. I’ve helped people reverse diabetes and there’s countless. Like countless people who have gone to their doctor 20 years being kept on Metformin or insulin and Metformin or other drugs. Then they go to their doctor after working with me for under three months. They go to their doctor and they no longer have type 2 diabetes. No longer have it. The doctor doesn’t even ask a question. They go, “I want to go off this med. Here’s my blood work. My blood work shows I can get it off this medication.” The doctor takes them off the medication.
The doctors been prescribing the medication for 20 years and they go, “Don’t you want to know what I did?” Like 99% of the time the doctors do not want to know. They don’t want to know. They don’t want to know what diet and lifestyle changes cause their patient to no longer need medication for the rest of their life. That is the definition of health. Symptom-free on no medications. That is the goal post. That is the goal for all of us to be on zero medications because we are so healthy we don’t need it.
[0:45:50] Naomi Murphy: Well. Yeah. I think it’s something that you keep showing us through your interviews is that our medical system is not centered around health.
[0:45:59] Ashley James: It’s not centered around achieving health. It’s maintaining disease.
[0:46:03] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Right. It’s managing disease, which is different. It’s different than achieving health.
[0:46:10] Ashley James: So we have to be outliers. I love to use that word. But we do. We have to be the salmon. We have to swim upstream to not be a statistic. So eating, like you said, this is kind of extreme. I get it. The Ashley from three years ago would not think that this was an easy way to eat. But now, the Ashley today is like, “This is the only way I want to eat for the rest of my life. It’s delicious and I feel amazing.”
[0:46:34] Naomi Murphy: Right. But even if people choose to eat meat, they can get tremendous health benefits just from increasing their vegetable consumption.
[0:46:43] Ashley James: Yeah. Tell them about Sean.
[0:46:44] Naomi Murphy: Especially like variety of vegetable consumption. So you don’t just add one vegetable. So yeah, I want to talk about my husband Sean. He said about ten years ago, so he would’ve been in his mid-30s. He’s a first-grade teacher. He used to teach the kids how to embroider self-portraits. So using a needle, threading a needle for 24 kids because they weren’t able to do that. They’re not able to do that in first grade. So he had to help everyone. Then all of a sudden he needed glasses, he needed readers to do that. He had heard or read somewhere about improving your eyesight by eating a lot of vegetables.
So he had just increased his vegetable content, reverse that problem. We were still –
[0:47:34] Ashley James: He was still eating meat.
[0:47:36] Naomi Murphy: We were still in the whole foods of all kinds. So he just
[0:47:38] Ashley James: Eating dairy and eggs. He was still eating all that.
[0:47:40] Naomi Murphy: He just amped up his vegetables.
[0:47:41] Ashley James: Just add with more vegetables.
[0:47:43] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. So he reversed that.
[0:47:47] Ashley James: I love it. Yeah. Think about it. It’s all the antioxidants you’re getting, the vitamins and the minerals and all the nutrients our bodies need.
[0:47:54] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I think Dr. Fuhrman is a big, you interviewed him, right?
[0:47:59] Ashley James: Yes. Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
[0:48:00] Naomi Murphy: Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He’s a whole food plant-based doctor. I think he recommends or says that eating up to 7% meat is healthy. I just think that for some people it’s easier to calculate 7% of your diet being meat but I think that kind of opens the door to if you don’t want to be extreme, you could just say, “Sure. I can eat meat sometimes.” It just have to be under 7% and then I can get all the health benefits of eating this way without restricting myself. I can eat whatever it is at a certain holiday, your birthday or anniversary or something if you need to.
[0:48:42] Ashley James: Yeah. I think it’s something like a one or two meals a week would contain fish or meat. Joel Fuhrman, his whole food plant-based diet, he calls it the nutritarian diet and I’ve adapted so much from him because he talks about for example onions and mushrooms. You want to eat a half a cup of mushrooms a day. He shows the studies. He correlate, he brings all the information beautifully together.
He shows if you eat half a cup of mushrooms a day, even just the plain white ones, doesn’t have to be the fancy ones. Make sure it’s organic. Cooked and with half a cup of onions every day, I can’t remember the exact percentage but it was a significant reduction of breast cancer, significant reduction of all cancers. It’s a huge huge support system to the immune system. It actually has a chemical, mushrooms a very healthy chemical that stops new vasculature growing to a tumor. So if you currently have a little bit of cancer, everyone has cancer cells in their body that the immune system is cleaning out. But if you are actually, if you’re body’s developing a tumor right now because you won’t know for another few years. Because tumor takes years to really get to the point where we notice them.
Most tumors grow slowly. So the body’s creating new vasculature to the tumors. Just something as simple as eating half a cup of mushrooms, which almost nothing. You can hide it. If you don’t like the taste of mushrooms, you can probably hide that in a soup. You could probably hide it somewhere. But just using it as medicine, it’s just one example that it reduces the ability of the body, it almost shuts it off, the body’s ability to create new vasculature to a tumor. So you’re just cutting it off before the tumor ever gets to grow.
I mean I’d rather half a cup of mushrooms for the rest of my life than be put on chemo. It’s like that makes total sense to me.
[0:50:33] Naomi Murphy: You think?
[0:50:34] Ashley James: Yeah. I’d rather pay for it now than pay for it later. So when he, many actually of the experts that we follow, do kinds of great things where they say, “You eat broccoli because of this. You want to eat cabbage because of that. You’re healing this part of the body with beets.” Beets are wonderful for the liver and amazing actually for the cardiovascular system. They increase the nitric oxide and heal the endothelial lining of the heart and of all the arteries.
So it’s like every single food we go through it. We do this in the Learn True Health Kitchen membership. You can go through. When you’re eating a food and you’re like, “I’m healing my liver right now and I am healing my eyes by eating this. I’m healing my brain right no by eating that.” You’re eating with a purpose and it’s delicious food. You know you’re healing your body. I love that a lot of these experts that we’ve been following do that.
Joel Fuhrman says, I think I’ve heard 10% you’ve heard 7% but he basically says you’re significantly reducing. It’s not meat added every meal it’s maybe once a week. So some people can have that flexibility. I had to really ease into this because I was a huge believer that meat was the most important food in the entire world because I really bought the Atkins. Oh yeah, I bought it. Hook, line and sinker because people that I really really looked up to, mentors of mine, said it’s the most important part of the world. I had several mentors say that it was most. I mean I really bought, I feel like I drank the Kool-Aid big time on that.
So I had to like eat one meatless meal and I kind of freaked out about before. Even just preparing a meatless meal I’m like, “I don’t know how this is going to go.” Then I was like, “Okay. That was doable.” So I really like had to ease into this whereas my husband just woke up and said, two years ago he woke up and said, “Never again will I eat meat.” Which helped reduce my meat intake because I stopped buying it for the household. So we only ate it when we went to other places outside the house. But yeah. It constantly surprised me how good I felt not eating meat. It’s okay to ease into it. It’s okay to go meatless Mondays or I’m only going to eat meat at dinner. You can ease into it.
[0:52:53] Naomi Murphy: All the whole food plant-based recipes or the way that I just eat it, it didn’t taste delicious right away but it really only took a matter of days for me. I mean, maybe a week, maybe ten days
[0:53:05] Ashley James: Well you’re an amazing cook too so I have to give you props. My husband is waving at you and giving you a thumbs up.
[0:53:11] Naomi Murphy: Isn’t that why we decided to make the website though?
[0:53:15] Ashley James: Yes. We decided to do the membership because we’re both really good cooks.
[0:53:19] Naomi Murphy: I love your cooking.
[0:53:20] Ashley James: I love your cooking. We should just hire each other to cook for each other.
[0:53:26] Naomi Murphy: I know. I know. I wish we lived closer like next door.
[0:53:30] Ashley James: Well, you never know what the future brings. Maybe we’ll be neighbors one day.
[0:53:35] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. That’d be great.
[0:53:36] Ashley James: That’d be great. We live like 40 minutes away from each other, but it’s worth the drive to come eat your food. So, that’s why we did the membership. So that we could share with you guys our recipes, which I’m still thinking about the lunch I just had because it’s so delicious.
[0:53:50] Naomi Murphy: I don’t think, like I was saying, I don’t think I could have done so well eating whole food, transitioning into whole food plant-based without Ashley as a friend. The experience that she had and the pointers. So, that’s what we want to be for everyone who joins the membership. We just want to be – if you don’t have someone in your community or in your family that’s up for it yet like you may find them, but you know in the meantime like we could all be that for each other. We could be your friend that eats whole food plant-based.
[0:54:21] Ashley James: Naomi and I are your friend. I’m here to support you in eating more whole foods in your life, eating more plants in your life.
[0:54:29] Naomi Murphy: So, I have a couple of favorite stories –
[0:54:32] Ashley James: I want to hear them.
[0:54:33] Naomi Murphy: – about healing with whole food plant-based. Okay. So these aren’t my stories, but one is someone who has been on your show and I don’t think he’d mind if I told his story, Eric Thornton.
[0:54:41] Ashley James: Yes.
[0:54:42] Naomi Murphy: Yes. Okay. So, he told me about his experience of going whole food plant-based. So, seven years ago, maybe a little bit longer now, but seven years ago he had a really serious heart attack. It’s a kind of heart attack that kills many people and it didn’t kill him. So, that’s great. So, after his heart attack he became a vegetarian and he ate an egg white omelet every morning with a teaspoon of coconut oil. He ate lots of vegetables the rest of the day and he had like a piece of cheese like an ounce of cheese every couple of weeks that would be added into his diet. Vegetarian, ate egg in the morning probably cooked in oil, other things cooked in oil but used coconut oil, obviously was –
[0:55:35] Ashley James: But no fish, no meat, no fried food.
[0:55:37] Naomi Murphy: Nope. Nope. Three years after his heart attack his cardiologist said that he needed emergency surgery.
[0:55:46] Ashley James: Because his clogs got so bad in his heart.
[0:55:48] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. So he had heard of eating whole food plant-based to reverse heart disease. I don’t remember his pathway for learning about that but I know he did end up working with doctors at True North. He spoke to Dr. Esselstyn. I guess Dr. Esselstyn will talk to anyone who wants to talk to him eventually.
[0:56:07] Ashley James: Yeah. Dr. Esselstyn called him. It was actually really neat. Eric was, and I haven’t heard the whole story but Eric told me this that when he was walking into his cardiologist’s appointment to talk about the surgery, the emergency surgery, Dr. Esselstyn called him back and Dr. Esselstyn talked to him and laid it out and said, “Stop eating that one egg a day or whatever. Stop doing the oil. And stop doing the cheese.” Those three things, if he had just had stopped doing those three years before, he would have already had reversed his heart disease.
[0:56:45] Naomi Murphy: Right. Dr. Esselstyn will say things like if people who are like basically at death’s door, have tried everything he will just say, “Give me 16 days.” So this way of eating can actually arrest and start to reverse problems very quickly. So if you’re considering experimenting with whole food plant-based eating, you don’t have to change your life. You could just do a cleanse like a whole food plant-based cleanse and see what happens. Because people have reversed very serious conditions.
So I’ll get back to Eric’s story. So he had angina so bad –
[0:57:27] Ashley James: Which is chest pain.
[0:57:27] Naomi Murphy: Chest pain. He had bad chest pains and he needed help walking. He needed to be pulled up out of his chair to walk. He was breathless when walking. He was weak.
[0:57:44] Ashley James: He was in his 40s.
[0:57:45] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I wasn’t sure of his age.
[0:57:47] Ashley James: I’m pretty sure he was in his 40s and also he was kind of fit because before he’d gotten to the work he does now, he was a contractor. He’s always worked with his hands. So it wasn’t like he was out of shape.
[0:58:00] Naomi Murphy: So he cut out the oil and the egg and the piece of cheese every two weeks. Just cut out those things, cut out all oils. Within three days his angina was gone and within three months he was off seven of his medications including high blood pressure medication doctor’s orders because his blood pressure was getting too low and he didn’t need surgery.
[0:58:29] Ashley James: Yes. So he decided not to do the emergency surgery and instead try the diet and the diet worked.
[0:58:36] Naomi Murphy: Now, he’s a healthy guy, walks his dogs, looks fit.
[0:58:44] Ashley James: Doesn’t have any heart issues, any heart clogs. Yeah. I mean just think about it, when you hear that the medical system, “The cost of heart disease is whatever billions of dollars.” Replace the word cost with profit. Diabetic, and I’ve heard that the diabetic costs $12,000 a year, right? I think it’s more now but to manage diabetes cost $12,000 a year. That isn’t a cost that’s a profit. There’s a lot of companies that want to protect their profits and that would not want people empowered and healing their diseases. There are scores of people out there that want you to be sick because it profits them. Not so sick you die because they want to keep making a profit. Just sick enough to be on medication and need surgeries and need stints and need their procedures. They don’t want you healthy.
So, that’s another motivator for me because I want to completely blow all the statistics out of the water. I don’t want to be any of those statistics. I don’t want to you know die of any of those. I want to blow everything. Everything out of the water. I want to live to be a hundred and totally healthy and running marathons at 100. That’s a goalpost for me. So we have to navigate our lives knowing that all the marketing, all the information out there in the mainstream is designed to keep us in that box called sick and on medications. It’s our job to be the outliers and the mavericks.
[1:00:29] Naomi Murphy: Even the most well-intentioned doctor, if surgery and medications are what they have in their toolbox they don’t they’re not informed in how to keep you healthy. So it’s not that the individuals involved in the system are all but they’re just using what they’ve been taught. If our medical schools are supported by big business making money then they’re going to make sure that what doctors learn are to use their product.
[1:01:01] Ashley James: Yeah. The thing is, if a surgery can save someone’s life do it, if a medication can save someone’s life do it. Absolutely. Preventive medicine is about catching it before you need that. I’m not saying that the surgery shouldn’t exist. I’m saying that when you go to most doctors that’s the only option they’ll give you. This is my problem when you look at naturopathic medicine versus MD like going to a medical doctor. They will both look at the same blood work and drive completely different things. An MD will wait until you’re sick enough to give you a medication. An ND will say, “Okay. You’re starting to go in the wrong direction. Let’s change some things now so you won’t need to go on medication.” So prevention is what 100% of listeners can do right now. We can all prevent things by shifting little things in our diet and our lifestyle if we want to get really gung-ho about it, dive into the whole food plant-based diet because it can significantly reduce your chances of dying of a heart attack.
[1:02:06] Naomi Murphy: Right. Yeah. It’s just interesting to see what kind of results a healthy person can get. If you think you’re doing well, just give it a try. Just do it as an experiment and see if you notice any differences. But people have gotten very dramatic results and extended life. They get to live by changing their diet.
So, another one of my favorite stories, again it’s not my story but it’s Dr. Greger’s story, I think what led him to a lifelong job to educate people about nutrition. His website nutritionfacts.org is an incredible resource. He does that all without any payment or any advertising because he never wants people to think that there’s profit associated with him sharing information about health.
[1:03:13] Ashley James: What was the website again?
[1:03:14] Naomi Murphy: Nutritionfacts.org.
[1:03:16] Ashley James: Nutritionfacts.org.
[1:03:17] Naomi Murphy: It’s a great resource. It’s a great resource.
[1:03:19] Ashley James: I actually really like it. I like those videos he makes.
[1:03:21] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Some are videos and some are articles. I have actually started using it because I was listening to his book How Not To Die and he would say something like some statistical information about eating chicken and prostate cancer. I think like, “Whoa. I want to share that.” So, rather than taking a picture of the book and sharing the picture, I go to his website. Everything that I’ve looked for from the book there’s either an article or a video about it that I could share with whoever it is that I’m thinking of.
He has a great story. So when he was a young child, he was five or six, his grandmother was in her 60s and she had heart disease. She had had all the interventions that they were able to do. She had had bypass surgeries and I don’t know what else. She had debilitating chest pain and was in a wheelchair and couldn’t walk. She was sent home from the hospital basically to die given a couple more months to live. The family was devastated. That’s just like everything had been done possible to help her.
[1:04:40] Ashley James: Being in your 60s is so young.
[1:04:42] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Yeah. So the family was devastated. She checked herself into a Pritikin Center and I don’t know the details of Pritikin diet but is a whole food plant-based diet I don’t know specifically what else is entailed. Within a short period, she was not just walking but she started walking 10 miles a day. Then she lived 30 more years and saw her grandchild graduate from medical school.
[1:05:16] Ashley James: So, that’s why he was excited to become a doctor because he saw her heal herself.
[1:05:22] Naomi Murphy: Yes. He wanted to become a doctor to help heal people the way his grandmother was healed. So he was accepted to 17 different medical schools and he decided to choose which school to attend based on which had the most nutrition training. So he chose Tufts University which offered 21 hours of nutrition in their medical program.
[1:05:53] Ashley James: That’s a lot. That’s a lot of hours. Most MDS get maybe one or one to five hours worth of nutrition training.
[1:06:04] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. So, every day while I’m cooking or eating or living my life, I ponder the fact that we have a tool to reverse or prevent disease and doctors are not being taught that tool. All of the doctors that I’ve mentioned and Ashley has interviewed, they are all outliers. They’ve all gone rogue against their profession.
[1:06:34] Ashley James: How dare they use food to kill people instead of medication. How dare they. I bet the AMA is just frothing at the bit. How dare they heal people.
[1:06:42] Naomi Murphy: I’m sure they are. They have resisted. Yeah. They’ve done.
[1:06:45] Ashley James: Yeah. We’re the resistance aren’t we? We’re going to rise up. Got my carrot in one hand and my kale in the other. So, six months ago, I can’t believe it’s only been six months. Six months ago you become totally whole food plant-based overnight. Jump on board and three days later your shortness of breath, your heart issues go away, right?
[1:07:09] Naomi Murphy: Well, I don’t know if my shortness of breath improved that quickly, but it definitely improved. So that was summer. So I was walking a lot for exercise.
[1:07:18] Ashley James: Well, within the first week you texted me and said that you’re walking partner was like, “Wow. You’re going really fast.”
[1:07:27] Naomi Murphy: Was it only a week?
[1:07:28] Ashley James: It was like a week after. Let’s go back in our text messages because I’m pretty sure you’re like, “Seven days on. I’m eating this for seven days.” Then you kind of didn’t believe you’re walking partner. You’re like maybe they’re just tired, but you’re like, “I’m not walking different. They’re just tired.” So then you started walking with your kids and your kids were trying to keep up to you whereas you normally are the one behind them. That’s when you’re like, “Oh. I am walking faster.”
[1:07:54] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I was downtown with my, he was nine at that time. He is used to walking in front of me and waiting for me and kind of commenting that I’m kind of slow. We were walking together and he looked over at me and said, “I’m trying to keep up with you.”
[1:08:13] Ashley James: He’s athletic.
[1:08:14] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Oh gosh, I’m going to cry. That was very moving for me because I do like to walk quickly. I’ve always liked to walk and hike and things like that. So, to have restrictions in my movement was something that I become accustomed to but it also was very uncomfortable.
[1:08:39] Ashley James: You don’t want to feel like a prisoner in your own body. You’re so young. No matter what age you are, you’re so young. Whoever is listening, whatever age you are you are young because there are a 100-year-old women running marathons. So you can run. We can live at it. We can have youth in our body no matter what age. Here you are, a young mother and you were feeling so restricted in your body. You were exhausted, you couldn’t walk fast, you were fatigued.
[1:09:08] Naomi Murphy: So first of all, I don’t think you should call me a young mother. I think that’s misleading. I’m already 48. I’m almost 50 years old
[1:09:14] Ashley James: But in the last few years, you started out as a mother in your 30s. I’m about to be 40. So 40 now is my mind has to be young. Okay. You could be like, “I’m a young 70-year-old.” Whoever’s listening, just say the word young in front of your age and then make it so. I am a young 99-year-old. Make it so. We need to tell ourselves. In order to be a maverick, in order to pull ourselves out of that matrix where we’re driving through fast-food joints eating fried food, on medications. We have to pull ourselves out of the belief system that age = illness and disease and debilitation because it doesn’t. It doesn’t. So you are youthful. You still have youth in you, lady. You’re a wonderful mother and you were trapped. You were trapped in a prison.
[1:10:14] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I have active children especially my younger two. I want to be involved in their life. So, I do have to be able to keep up with them and be playful and be energetic and be able to get out there and do things because otherwise like I don’t get to partake.
[1:10:32] Ashley James: Right. So the whole summer you kept saying, “How am I going to get my parents on this? How am I going to get my parents to do this?” They’re in their 70s. Your dad recently had a heart surgery from something he was born with but that it manifests later. It happens because of wear and tear on the heart. So we can decrease wear and tear.
[1:10:51] Naomi Murphy: Exacerbated. Exacerbated by wear and tear.
[1:10:54] Ashley James: Right. We can decrease wear and tear with diet, which Dr. Esselstyn points out and teaches. There’s certain foods that really helped to heal the heart and there’s foods that hurt the heart.
[1:11:03] Naomi Murphy: Right. My parents actually lost a substantial amount of weight. My mom plateaued but my dad is down to his like age 25 weight, I don’t know.
[1:11:15] Ashley James: You skipped ahead. So, you all summer long wanted to get them on it. They were kind of like, “Low carb and keto’s the way to go.”
[1:11:25] Naomi Murphy: Right. Which made me worry as I had more education around the longevity of people eating keto. Keto is good for some short-term things, which is why I wanted to mention that they did lose weight using keto. But I was worried about them and using keto in an ongoing way. So, my parents are very traditional eaters. My mom’s a great cook but very traditional in the sense that my dad has always liked meat in the dinner. Meats in the meal.
[1:11:56] Ashley James: There’s a bit of old-school rigidity. You were worried that they would not take well to this diet.
[1:12:03] Naomi Murphy: Worried? I didn’t have any idea that they would ever take to it. But I started talking to my mom at a time a very vulnerable time when my dad was having open-heart surgery. I was reading one of my books. I think it was Dr. Fuhrman. I don’t remember which one, but I was just telling her tidbits. I might have been reading Dr. Esselstyn’s book even but anyway. She heard what I had to say and she believed what I said. Instantly, sort of negative messages came up to her like what will we eat on Christmas? What will we eat for Thanksgiving? What will we eat? If you’ve transitioned to eating a different way you just simply think like, “Well, you eat delicious food that you enjoy.” We don’t have to eat the foods that we’ve always eaten if they’re made of eggs and flour and butter. We don’t have to.
[1:13:07] Ashley James: She was worried about calcium. Because we’ve been taught that you get your calcium from dairy, which is a complete marketing lie actually. The cultures that eat the most dairy products are actually the ones with the most osteoporosis and the ones that are most plant-based have the stronger bones because we’re getting our calcium from plants. She was worried about certain things.
[1:13:35] Naomi Murphy: She has some concerns that I might be irresponsible in raising my kids and not giving them adequate nutrition. Well, I can experiment however I want. I’m an adult.
[1:13:44] Ashley James: Don’t experiment on kids.
[1:13:46] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. That I shouldn’t. So she really worried about them. Then they watched Forks Over Knives and The Game Changers and I talked to –
[1:13:58] Ashley James: Which are on Netflix. I don’t know Forks Over Knives is on anymore, but Forks Over Knives is really good as an introduction. A good one. Game Changers is very entertaining.
[1:14:08] Naomi Murphy: It’s very inspiring. Yeah. It’s inspiring and entertaining. Yeah. So they watched both of those and then apparently they were sold and started eating whole food plant-based and they’re just going getting better and better. Even my dad doesn’t want to go back. He’s been great. He’s a master at smoking turkey. We always wanted papas smoked turkey for our birthday. We could choose whatever we wanted. Most of the members of my family choose smoked turkey and my dad made that for Thanksgiving as well. This year at Thanksgiving we had a whole food plant-based feast, which was bowls. We filled the table with different things like different toppings to put on grains or potatoes. It was phenomenal and delicious and colorful and wonderful. My dad just mentioned, he said, “I sort of miss making the turkey.” He likes it. He likes contributing in that way. They didn’t go whole food plant-based until fall. Already by Thanksgiving he wasn’t wishing he was eating the smoked turkey, which he is renowned for in our family. He just kind of missed being the one that made the smoked turkey.
[1:15:28] Ashley James: Well, tell him he can smoke vegetables if he wants to because I have smoked some vegetables in a trigger and it was really good. So, that’s a fun thing. He could smoke some tofu if he wanted to. Smoked mushrooms are really delicious.
So, your mom though and her testimonials in our membership, the Learn True Health Home Kitchen, she had her arthritis go away.
[1:15:54] Naomi Murphy: Yes. Yes. So she has blood clots. She had blood clots after a surgery and then ended up having a blood clot and had to go to the hospital. So she’s on blood thinners and she would like to be off blood thinners. So, she is motivated to eat whole food plant-based and specifically eat some foods that are better for your circulatory system like beets and I don’t remember what else right now. But she’s trying to eat those every day. But a side effect of her trying to get to her goal of getting off her medication is that her arthritis went away.
[1:16:39] Ashley James: Being in the whole food plant-based diet her pain is gone, her arthritis is gone, they both lost weight. Your dad who has been doing –
[1:16:45] Naomi Murphy: They feel better.
[1:16:47] Ashley James: He goes to a, he does some kind of rehab gym because of the heart surgery he had.
[1:16:53] Naomi Murphy: He was the best in the gym.
[1:16:54] Ashley James: He was beating everyone else. In The Game Changers the movie they talk about how your endurance immediately goes. So athletes notice right away when they go whole food plant-based, no salt, sugar, oil that their endurance goes up immediately.
[1:17:09] Naomi Murphy: Also, so for the type of surgery that he had, the valve replacement surgery, it’s my understanding that everyone who gets that surgery is on statins for the rest of their life and is on high blood pressure medicine for the rest of their life. The last visit when he was at the doctor, the doctors are experimentally letting him off of statins. So, that’s wonderful.
I think after listening to Dr. Greger there’s hibiscus and flax and I don’t remember what else. But hibiscus is as good as one of the regular high blood pressure meds, functions identically. So I think there are ways that you can by not only improving your blood pressure by eating a whole food plant-based but there are foods that you can eat or drink to control your high blood pressure so you don’t need to be on the high blood pressure medication.
So, I’m proud of my parents for advocating for that and for making it happen. I’m very relieved. It’s like a dream come true when you hear about something that is so preventative of harder health conditions and your parents voluntarily do it. My mom’s even become a contributor helping us with the recipes, trying recipes, creating recipes.
[1:18:40] Ashley James: She’s really a good cook also.
[1:18:42] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. She’s fantastic.
[1:18:43] Ashley James: Yeah. Your kids, you’re allowing them the flexibility. You’re not restricting them. If they want to go eat meat when they’re out they still do what they want to do, but at home that they actually have embraced this a lot more than you thought they would. Even your oldest. You want to talk about that?
[1:19:03] Naomi Murphy: My oldest son is a foodie. He’s 13. He just turned 13. I think he’s getting to an age where he’s able to intellectualize and understand the things that I’m saying that Ashley says and things he may he overhear on podcast that I have playing in the kitchen. So, when I changed my diet he was up for changing his diet too at home and was good about getting some exercise. Walking home from school before it started raining or being cold. He lost 11 pounds. Anecdotally, I would say that his emotions were much easier for him to manage. That was a positive thing for the whole family when you have a tween now a teen who manages their emotions better wherever you are. Then there’s an improvement, a big noticeable improvement. That was great for all of us.
[1:20:03] Ashley James: Duffy, my husband, also shared with me that he felt more even keel, that he felt more comfortable in his own skin after eating this way, after transitioning. So, there is an emotional component.
[1:20:16] Naomi Murphy: I want to one-up that because I’m going to be competitive with Duffy right now and say that I actually feel happy. That’s something I’ve struggled with depression. Obviously when you have fatigue and a chronic illness that involves fatigue and different health problems and anxiety. Heart changes that the cardiologist attributed to anxiety, which I think is just a physical manifestation of a problem in my case.
[1:20:51] Ashley James: Emotional manifestation of a physical problem.
[1:20:53] Naomi Murphy: Yeah.
[1:20:54] Ashley James: You were feeling in a state. You’re feeling a state that your body was in but it was a reflection of the state of health that you were in.
[1:21:02] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It’s triggered by a physical situation. So, but not the other way around. I guess I just don’t think the heart problem is caused by anxiety. I think that there’s a health problem that causes the anxiety.
[1:21:17] Ashley James: We’ve talked about this and you identify your anxiety as a reflection of your current health.
[1:21:23] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I’ve experienced both kinds of anxiety, but I would like a doctor to dig deeper if their solution is or if their diagnosis is, “Well, you have a heart arrhythmia which we associate with anxiety.” That’s to me attributing it to like a mental condition that I have rather than a health problem triggering anxiety.
[1:21:48] Ashley James: Anxiety. Yeah. Exactly. Like you feel a heart palpitation.
[1:21:52] Naomi Murphy: Why do you have the anxiety? Yeah. Why do you have the anxiety? Because there’s disharmony of some kind in your body.
[1:22:00] Ashley James: You weren’t sick enough for them to do something about it.
[1:22:03] Naomi Murphy: Right. I’m thinking back. I haven’t been back to a cardiologist and I’m going to try to see a local ND cardiologist who you recommended. I don’t think he’s been on your show yet.
[1:22:15] Ashley James: He has not been on my show yet but I’ll give a shout-out to Dr. Pournadeali, who is basically a cardiologist naturopath. He’s a naturopath but he has got the status in the naturopathic community as a cardiologist.
[1:22:28] Naomi Murphy: He was the cardiology instructor at Bastyr.
[1:22:29] Ashley James: Right. He’s pretty great. I mean, he’s not specifically like whole food plant-based. He agrees that this diet is great, but he’s also really really great. He helps patients get off of meds. He likes to work with natural remedies and he’s fine with working with meds if the person needs to get on that.
[1:22:49] Naomi Murphy: But he’s also interested in healing. So I want to see him because when I saw a cardiologist I think the cardiologist just checked on my complaint, which was arrhythmia and said, “That’s the type of arrhythmia we normally see associated with anxiety.” I didn’t need medicated. Conversation over. It wasn’t from that cardiologist that I learned about my developing heart disease. I would have to go back and say, “Could you look at the test and tell me if you see anything of concern? Is there a developing heart disease?” I would assume that there would be. That didn’t all –
[1:23:24] Ashley James: It wasn’t enough.
[1:23:26] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. That didn’t manifest in one year. That it was building up from –
[1:23:32] Ashley James: Well, you talked to cardiologists and they’ll say, because I’ve had people say this, “You look good for your age.”
[1:23:39] Naomi Murphy: Right. You fit the profile.
[1:23:41] Ashley James: Your heart looks good for your age. You only have 40% blockage. I mean, they’re not going to put in a stint until it or get you on some meds but that you have to get sick enough for them to do something. That’s the really frustrating part or they’ll put you on whatever their heart-healthy diet is, which does not reverse or prevent heart disease. This is the infuriating thing. That’s why I love the interview with Dr. Esselstyn because has the world’s longest study on reversing heart disease with diet.
[1:24:16] Naomi Murphy: Any interview with Dr. Esselstyn is great because he has a single message and it’s consistent. He thoroughly knows it. He’s been touting the same diet. I think he made a little some changes involving gluten or something recently.
[1:24:35] Ashley James: Really?
[1:24:36] Naomi Murphy: No. Maybe not. He’s made some changes along the way at some point but I don’t remember what they were.
[1:24:43] Ashley James: He recently, like in the last few years, he added more balsamic vinegar because of the nitric oxide.
[1:24:52] Naomi Murphy: That wasn’t part of the original?
[1:24:54] Ashley James: He said on our interview that he’s had this new thing, which is he gets a cardiology patient to do –
[1:25:00] Naomi Murphy: That is six cups of greens.
[1:25:01] Ashley James: Yeah. Every two hours you’re eating a steamed greens with like you’re dripping it into your body. So get a bowl of steamed green vegetables, rotate between he gives you like 15 different vegetables to choose from. Steam them, put some balsamic vinegar on it and chew it and swallow.
[1:25:21] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. So no smoothies. Yeah. No smoothies. That’s how I like them.
[1:25:25] Ashley James: I don’t think he would have a problem if it’s just like – I really like the quote in Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis. He says the nearly perfect diet you follow is better than the perfect diet you don’t follow. So, you know what, if you have to do one of your servings of vegetables has to be a smoothie in order for you to get it in you then do it. I know some experts are like, “Never do smoothies because you should chew your food.”
[1:25:55] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I could never eat a blender full of kale if I had to chew it all. I literally fill my Vitamix with kale with a little bit of fruit on top and I like that now. Like I didn’t start out liking that. It was a slow –
[1:26:08] Ashley James: You’re hardcore, dude.
[1:26:10] Naomi Murphy: Yeah.
[1:26:12] Ashley James: Well, you’ve healed yourself. You don’t have EBV, you’ve lost weight as a by-product. You’re even trying to.
[1:26:20] Naomi Murphy: Yes. I lost 40 pounds. I lost 25 pounds just like a lot of the docs say. Just the anti-inflammatory, eliminating dairy and sugar for a month. A lot of people who are overweight can lose about around 25 pounds in a month. That happened for me. I’ve lost 40 pounds. I can assure you that I am not trying because I am making carrot cakes. My husband wants to go whole food plant-based but he needs to really ease in. I’m trying to please my family. I’m trying to impress kids. So, I am making cream cheese out of cashews, which I wouldn’t eat if I were serious about weight loss. I’m eating carrot cake. Sometimes I eat pudding made of tofu.
[1:27:07] Ashley James: This carrot cake is a whole food plant-based carrot cake and you’ve got a pudding you just mentioned. The pudding’s made of tofu. So all these foods are still very healthy but they’re not conducive to rapid weight loss.
[1:27:19] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Also, I eat plenty of food. I never deprive myself. If I like what I’ve made for dinner I will have a couple of servings. I continue to lose and I just got below a weight that I haven’t been for a long time, 210. I’m below 210 for the first time. I have an eight-year-old child. So, I can’t remember. It was probably after my pregnancy with him I actually gained weight. That was when EBV became a problem. I actually gained weight after my third child, which was the first time that it happened. I went up from around 200 to like almost 250 eventually.
[1:28:09] Ashley James: So, the weight you are now is before your last child. So, that was eight-nine years ago.
[1:28:20] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. And I continue to lose ounces. I’m not focused on the weight loss but I continue to lose. I’m really looking forward to being below 200.
[1:28:31] Ashley James: You’re going to get there. You’re just eating super healthy food every day. You’re not feeling deprived. There’s some recipes that we put in the membership that taste amazing. Your cream cheese, which blows my mind. Your kids fight over it. I’s so delicious. The carrot cake is super super healthy carrot cake. So delicious.
[1:28:49] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It doesn’t have any maple syrup. It’s sweetened with all fruit, blended fruit.
[1:28:54] Ashley James: Yeah. But all the fibers in there.
[1:28:56] Naomi Murphy: Yes. All the fibers in there.
[1:28:57] Ashley James: I’ve actually lost just over 80 pounds. I noticed that my weight loss is consistent because my problems always been my liver. My liver gets really angry and inflamed in my past whenever I tried to lose weight since my 20s. So I’ve had this problem where I go to lose weight because my liver can’t metabolize it. It would become a distended. It would stick out of my body beyond my ribs and be very swollen. My blood work would show that my liver enzymes were through the roof. I would get an ultrasound and show that it was a very angry liver. So my problem’s always been detox around weight loss. So, I’d lose a little bit and then get really sick and then gain more. Then try a different diet.
A lot of diets are focused on weight loss but not nutrifying the body and not healing the body. Whereas this one is all about nutrifying and healing the body and weight loss could be a byproduct. So, I’m finding that weight loss is the easiest with this because you’re full, you’re satisfied, you’re nutrifying every cell in your body. My liver is the healthiest it’s been in a very very long time. I’m just like everything’s getting better and better and better. Coming to your house today, we haven’t seen you in about a week, and I just noticed like your skin is glowing. Like you are, you look so vibrant. The energy coming off you.
[1:30:24] Naomi Murphy: That is an important side effect of this diet to discuss especially. As people, as we get older, you don’t even notice your skin kind of getting rougher. My skin is so soft now and continues to get even softer. I have been using a sauna so that’s probably helping. But just changing my diet, just eliminating sugar, oils and animal products has changed my skin so much. Yeah. It’s amazing.
[1:30:52] Ashley James: That’s awesome. I love it. So, your husband is slowly transitioning. Anything he noticed when he started to just eat more this way? He’s still eating meat occasionally. Still, he’s not 100% but he is transitioning more and more into this way. Just seeing how it feels, anything that he’s noticed that he’s liked that’s improved in his health?
[1:31:13] Naomi Murphy: Well, he’s had great bowel movements.
[1:31:16] Ashley James: Which is perfect. All of us by the way. That’s a side effect. Everyone has perfect bowel movement.
[1:31:21] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. We talk about that all the time. We won’t go into detail here.
[1:31:25] Ashley James: Well, I have a whole episode on how to have the perfect poop. It does include a lot of whole fiber. But yes, bowel movements we should be having at least three a day, well-formed. They’re so good for detoxifying the body. If you’re not pooping three times a day and well-formed poops that you don’t have to strain at all, then you are constipated and that is damaging to your body.
It has actually the potential to create cancer in the body. It also helps to regulate hormones. It’s pretty amazing that by having good bowel movements we are helping our hormones balance, we’re helping prevent cancer, we’re helping to detoxify, get rid of the toxins, we’re ensuring that our gut flora is in balance. So many good things. Has he noticed anything with energy or mood?
[1:32:15] Naomi Murphy: Nothing that he’s commented on yet because like I said, he’s easing into it. So, if he eats whole food plant-based for three days in a row that’s like a record. He’s always loved vegetables and actually that used to be kind of a concern that he brought to me like, “Can we have more vegetables in our diet?” I was telling you earlier, I don’t think I’ve said yet in this interview, that it was just so easy for me to fall back on dairy products and just trying to make foods that appeal to the kids that were –
[1:32:55] Ashley James: Here, have some mac and cheese. Here, have some hotdogs.
[1:32:58] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Moderately healthy, homemade home cooking but I just didn’t have energy to –
[1:33:05] Ashley James: Yeah. You were sick.
[1:33:06] Naomi Murphy: So, I’ve obviously done a 180 on that. Now, it’s all vegetables so he’s happy. He’s always asked for that and wanted that. So that’s a part of his diet. He just is not ready to be 100%.
[1:33:24] Ashley James: That’s fine. Wherever someone is. I just want everyone to get more vegetables. Also try it as an experiment. That 30-day challenge that I took on two years ago, it was over the summer so it might have been two and a half years ago, really was an eye-opener.
[1:33:44] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Thirty days is impressive, but like I said, Dr. Esselstyn will ask for 16 days of people on their deathbed. So you don’t need – and Eric’s angina went away after three days. So, you don’t need 30 days to kind of have a little snapshot of how you might feel different eating whole food plant-based foods you can have a week.
[1:34:10] Ashley James: Yeah. Soon after I did the 30-day challenge, Duffy and I went downtown Seattle. There was a vegetarian festival like Veggie Fest I think they call it. We were sampling all the food, all the vegetarian food. So, I’d eaten. Then they had a booth that was taking people’s blood pressure and blood sugar. That’s like a health booth. I thought, “Why not. Let’s see.” My blood pressure was the lowest I’d ever seen. I mean, in super healthy ranges but then I burst into tears and I just completely had this meltdown when they took my blood sugar because it was the lowest I had ever seen it. Low in the good ranges. I never had problem. I was always hyperglycemic. I was never hypo. So, to see my blood sugar, my glucose levels that low after he’s basically eating nothing but carbs for the entire morning.
We were sampling tons of stuff, eating tons of stuff. We had eaten two hours before. I think we had breakfast or something. So, it was I did not expect it to be good, but I thought “Why not. They’re doing free glucose tests.” It was nurses that were administering it just to raise awareness. My blood sugar was so good I burst into tears seeing that number because I’d never seen it. So I wasn’t diabetic anymore but I still had not seen the healthiest ranges possible. It wasn’t achievable until I completely cut out all animal products and embraced whole food plant-based. We’ve been oil-free for a long time because one of the naturopaths we follow says oil is really not great. Although we had added back for keto added back coconut oil thinking that was great.
[1:36:12] Naomi Murphy: Dr. Wallach, he says that it’s bad because of the free radicals.
[1:36:17] Ashley James: Yes. Dr. Wallach says don’t do oil because of the free radicals.
[1:36:22] Naomi Murphy: But I think it was Dr. Garth Davis in Proteinaholic talked about how the oil coats gut biome and makes it so you can’t absorb nutrients as well.
[1:36:32] Ashley James: It starves the gut biome. There’s a few things. They’re speculating that it does, but one thing is when we eat oil it causes an anaerobic environment for the gut bacteria meaning it just coats it and it suffocates the good gut bacteria. So the anaerobic bacteria, which are the bad bacteria, thrive. So we’re creating a playground for all the bad bacteria to thrive and we’re killing, like mass-murdering, billions of cultures of good bacteria in our gut every time we eat oil. So they’re seeing –
[1:37:03] Naomi Murphy: I think this is an important piece because many people think that healthy oils are part of a healthy diet. I think knowing that just maybe not eliminating anything else besides the oils can really help your gut biome. So, I think that’s why I feel happier. I didn’t notice there’s much of improvement after having celery juice every day for two years.
[1:37:27] Ashley James: You mean you’ve gotten more of a difference out of cutting out oil than did out of drinking celery juice for two years?
[1:37:31] Naomi Murphy: Definitely. I mean all I noticed after having the celery juice for two years was that I could tolerate foods that I was sensitive to before. I had a sensitivity to salicylates found in foods.
[1:37:46] Ashley James: A ton of foods. You were so restrictive.
[1:37:49] Naomi Murphy: Especially in healthy foods and spices and things that are very healing. So, I didn’t eat those things or I ate a low-value of those things for over a decade.
[1:38:03] Ashley James: I remember when you came over like three years ago I couldn’t put any seasoning it all into the food I made because it would cause a huge allergic reaction for you.
[1:38:12] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It’s terrible. So, all of a sudden I could tolerate gluten, though I chose not to eat it, but I didn’t have a reaction anymore. So I thought that was cool. That felt like a superpower after being gluten-free since 1997. Just to be able to eat it and not feel like I’d taken a sleeping pill. To be able to use herbs and spices for health without any reaction, that opened up so many doors. That’s why cooking and eating is so much more exciting than it was. Though I think I did well as a whole food cook without the spices and herbs.
[1:38:51] Ashley James: You figured out how to do well with a limited amount of things to make it taste good. After you cut out oil how quickly did you notice a difference?
[1:39:00] Naomi Murphy: Well, I just felt better. I mean if before I felt this way of eating was extreme, any concern about that has gone out the window because I feel so much better. It doesn’t matter. It’s not inconvenient because eating this way is delicious, easy and totally worth it. So, I think that’s important about this diet. Some diets are so picky and you have to count your carbs, you have to write things down, you have to know about the nutrition content of everything. I just try to eat the most colorful foods in their whole form. It’s very simple. Is it a whole food? Is it come from plants? Then I can eat it. Then when I want to cheat I eat flour. I bake something with flour that’s a whole grain. So it’s not as good as eating the whole thing but that’s when I get naughty. Eat the refined version of a whole food but still I don’t have to I don’t need sophisticated tools to figure out how much of everything I should be eating. I try to eat some non-starchy vegetables like I used Chef AJ’s red line. I think everyone can check out her –
[1:40:30] Ashley James: Eat to the left of the red line.
[1:40:31] Naomi Murphy: Eat to the left of the red line.
[1:40:42] Ashley James: Dr. Greger calls them green light, yellow light, red light foods. They pretty much match up with her. Yeah. Absolutely. The last thing I want to talk about is addiction. That’s something that has been sort of a passionate topic of yours. You, for me, it’s such a pleasure being your friend. You’re so intellectual. It comes naturally to you I feel is psychology. That really, like in a former life, you were a psychologist. You have helped me so many times to perceive events in a different way that helped me heal. You have a way of making things cathartic because you can gain a really healthy perspective on human behavior. One thing that you’ve always been interested in is looking at the human behavior in psychology around addiction and noticing the addictive tendencies in yourself and in others and how these interpersonal relationships play out when our addictions come out. I think that everyone on the planet has some addictive behaviors. I think it’s part of our neurology. It’s being hijacked and being triggered by being awoken by the food industry. A good book is –
[1:41:55] Naomi Murphy: Pleasure Trap.
[1:41:56] Ashley James: The Pleasure Trap by Dr. Lisle and Dr. Goldhamer. We talked about that in episode 230 with Dr. Goldhamer.
[1:42:02] Naomi Murphy: Wow. What a memory.
[1:42:04] Ashley James: The reason why I remember is because it’s my husband’s joke. What’s a good time to go to the dentist? 230, get it? 230. So I always remember episode 230. I should memorize the other episodes that – the number like with Esselstyn.
But with Dr. Goldhamer he talks about this. The book is wonderful. If you listen to the audio version of the book it’s done by chef AJ. She’s the narrator. So if you like her voice you should definitely listen to it instead of read it. So, the idea that the addictive parts of our neurology are being awoken and exacerbated by food because of the food industry. Also in society –
[1:42:49] Naomi Murphy: Dairy products and cheese have a streamlined relationship with your –
[1:42:56] Ashley James: The dopamine response.
[1:42:57] Naomi Murphy: The dopamine receptors. So it’s such a relief to remove those things. It’s such a relief. It is such a relief. So, I have noticed, and chef AJ described it perfectly, that eating whole food plant-based diet turns down the volume on compulsive behavior. So, whatever is your thing like that agitates you –
[1:43:27] Ashley James: Gambling, alcohol…
[1:43:28] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Right. Eating this way turns down the volume. I have described my experience as just merely feeling happier. I just feel lighter. I’m more amused by problems that used to really drag me down. It’s noticeable. My mom in the testimonial, one of the reasons she was willing to give whole food plant-based to try she told you, she hadn’t told me that, was that she noticed how much more even-keeled I was. So she’s known me my whole life. I can be an intense person. I’ve had strong emotional reactions to things. I had addictive relationships to different things and people. So, what a relief to have a way to turn down that volume. You don’t have to have a sophisticated understanding of nutrition to do well with that. You can eat plants. Eat plants.
It’s okay to eat. It’s okay to eat brown rice. It’s okay to eat grains. It’s okay to eat those things. But just eat the plant foods and try to get some quantity of the non-starchy in there.
[1:44:47] Ashley James: Yes. Non-starchy vegetables.
[1:44:49] Naomi Murphy: There’s so much variety. There’s so many different ways to do that effectively.
[1:44:57] Ashley James: Yeah. I love in our membership because we’re making all these videos and there’s over three hours’ worth of content right now we just launched the membership yesterday. So far all the members who have joined love it and it’s exciting and I want you to join it. I want everyone who’s listening to join because it’s fun what we’re doing. Every week we’re adding new lessons. Every week we’re adding new videos and new content, new recipes. The point is, we’re creating these recipes that are delicious. Not everyone loves everything, right?
So, you have three kids with three different palates. If you get and there’s some recipes in there that all three kids love. We say this, is like a home run. We haven’t found someone who doesn’t love this. So there’s certain foods that are like so –
[1:45:47] Naomi Murphy: I have one kid that has an aversion to vegetables. He has a vegetable barometer. If he sees green or if he sees anything he is turned off. So, yeah. There are healthy things that he has just embraced entirely and loved and wanted more of and that’s awesome.
[1:46:07] Ashley James: Yeah. That’s exciting. Your husband I think at one point in a video I called him picky and he didn’t like that. So I’m not going to say he’s picky because I figured out what he is. He has really high standards for food. So instead of calling him picky he has high high standards. He’s really brutally honest. If he doesn’t like something, he’ll say he doesn’t like it.
[1:46:31] Naomi Murphy: Also. Yes.
[1:46:34] Ashley James: This is a compliment by the way. So, it’s good because here we are having to cook for people who have high standards and have a very particular tastes. We’re coming up with recipes that are whole food plant-based, super healing for the body and are pleasurable and can be adaptable also for different palates.
[1:46:55] Naomi Murphy: Well, he’s also into health. So there are plenty of people that have promoted a healthful diet that involves organ meats, that involves some things. I think you’re going to have Terry Walls on your show. He really was impressed by his study of Terry Walls work. So, I think he’s a little bit like my mom worried about the calcium. Well, what if you eliminate your opportunity for healing by taking out some of the healthy foods?
[1:47:40] Ashley James: He’s saying, “Well our kidneys and eating kidneys and eating liver are healthy for you. What if I don’t eat them?”
[1:47:45] Naomi Murphy: He’s like us and many people. He loves food. So, sometimes we might hold on to some of the less than healthy parts because there are some good things. Like people who want to drink wine for health or hear that olive oil is the part of the Mediterranean diet that is most health-promoting when it’s not. Just sort of things that you might have gotten attached to and just want to keep that.
[1:48:16] Ashley James: Well, wherever you are is fine. I think it’s good though to be open-minded enough, not have the cognitive dissonance to shut down, but to be open-minded enough to look at new information that comes our way because like Dr. Garth Davis, he was fully on board with Hugh. He’s a weight loss surgeon, gastrointestinal surgeon who for a living helped people lose weight by cutting out half their stomach and telling them to eat protein. Eat more protein and he basically put them on something very close to an Atkins diet.
So he was very invested. He had a TV show that ran for two years. He wrote a book. His reputation was on the line. He had to completely have a bruised ego in a sense that he had to put his ego aside and he has now come out saying everything he’s promoted for like twenty years as a doctor was wrong because he has looked at the science. He did a whole 180. Now his latest book Proteinaholic is that 180 where he figured out. He had to heal his body because he had in his 30s had cholesterol deposits in his eyes. He was losing his vision. That’s what had him wake up and go, “I need to figure out a diet that’s going to heal me.” Then he dug through the research. I listened to the audio, which is great, but I also bought the book. In the book in the back, something like 50 pages of scientific references. So it’s heavily referenced to a lot of studies.
We all have a certain amount of cognitive dissonance. We all have a certain amount of we hear something we want to hold on to that like, “Oh, but dairies good for me. I was told it was good since I was a kid.” If we can just challenge our own belief system and be open-minded enough.
[1:50:15] Naomi Murphy: I would say you’ve read a book about the dairy industry like Sean has and knows that raw milk has so much more to offer than pasteurized milk. So, therefore wouldn’t it be nice if raw milk was a superfood? Because yum like it’s creamy. I mean, I’m not interested anymore but that used to be like easy to like that data, right? Because we wanted to eat that food.
[1:50:49] Ashley James: Right. So, you can hold on to studies that say this is good and that’s good or I heard this is good or even I was raised or I was raised to believe this is good. The problem is, if we hold on to our old belief systems and not be willing to be flexible, we might be going down the wrong path. The best thing to do is to ask yourself, are you getting the results you want with your current diet? With the current way of eating are you nutrifiying your body in a way that’s fully healing yourself? If you’re not then be willing to be open-minded enough to just try it.
[1:51:24] Naomi Murphy: I’m completely open to accepting but at some point in my future I may need some kind of animal product to heal something.
[1:51:36] Ashley James: If that comes up.
[1:51:38] Naomi Murphy: What I am feeling now is that every day is a stair-step up you. So, it’s easy to continue on this journey. I think this way of eating, it doesn’t feel like a diet. I think I have said several times that I don’t restrict myself that I end up making some treats. I know I’m always trying to feed you guys treats.
[1:52:02] Ashley James: Your version of treats are very very healthy.
[1:52:05] Naomi Murphy: Okay. But still. That I eat plenty of food. That it’s just a sustainable way of eating. I am completely fine with eating this way for the rest of my life. It is less expensive if you buy whole foods and prepare them at home.
[1:52:28] Ashley James: It doesn’t take that long. So, I keep saying, the membership the Learn True Health Home Kitchen membership, which can be found –
[1:52:34] Naomi Murphy: There are ways. I mean, a lot of the cooking is time-consuming. Let’s be honest about that, but that there are plenty of ways that we do things efficiently like lentils.
[1:52:46] Ashley James: So fast.
[1:52:47] Naomi Murphy: Sprouted lentils. Rinsed them three times a day and then you top it with some kind of sauce and you have some fresh spouted protein.
[1:52:55] Ashley James: You’ll never ever need to buy protein powder again. It’s a whole food form of protein that also has contained youth building enzymes. My thing is that this way of eating, we are saving a ton of money. We’re actually noticing that we have more money in the bank at the end of the month. Going, “Wow. We really are saving money eating this way.” There are ways to do it incredibly fast, ways to cook. We show some nice hacks in the kitchen to speed up the ability to get dinner on the table. So there are ways to make it fast. There are some recipes that are more time consuming, but there’s a lot of ways to do it that are quick.
[1:53:41] Naomi Murphy: Well, I think just because of having to chop many things.
[1:53:45] Ashley James: Which you can do in a food processor. There’s ways to speed things up. Plenty of times I’ve gotten out of an interview and been like, “Okay. Got to make dinner on the table. Like 15-20 minutes later we’re all eating. So it’s like, “Okay. This isn’t that bad.” So we’re saving time, we’re saving a ton of money, we’re saving our health and it tastes delicious. So there’s four points. Four points. LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen. There’s a coupon code for listeners. This saves you a nice chunk of money. It is very affordable by the way for everyone to join, but go join. LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen. The coupon code is LTH. You can get a free tour.
[1:54:27] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. We want it to be affordable for people who are raising their families and need some help.
[1:54:36] Ashley James: Yes and want to just dive in and learn this and whether you want to do it 100% or whether you want to put your toe in the water and be like Sean and just eat more vegetables. Either way is very healing for the body. I think it also depends on the severity. If you’re someone who wants to reverse a major issue then jumping in and doing this at 100%, you’re going to get faster results. When you go to LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen, you can watch the tour. Some people just buy, jump in and start learning, start lesson one. But if you’d like a tour there’s a video that gives you a tour so you get to understand what it comes with. Every week there’s new modules added. So it’s going to be this ever-evolving, ongoing thing which is really cool.
If you love our aprons I talked about it in the membership. There’s a way that you’ll earn an apron. You get to earn an apron or win an apron, Learn True Health apron. They’re really cool. So, I’d love to see all you guys wearing the Learn True Health aprons in the kitchen while you’re making food that’s medicine and healing your body.
My last question for you, Naomi, is if I could put you in a room with the Naomi from one year ago, what would it look like to have a conversation with her? What advice would you want to give her?
[1:55:57] Naomi Murphy: Well, I think I would just tell her to be on the path that I am right now. To try whole food plant-based eating and also to educate herself about it. I have to say that the education part is what’s given me a lot of inspiration and a lot of fire. It was it was very quickly after I started eating this way that I had a strong desire to spend my life promoting this way of eating.
[1:56:37] Ashley James: I remember. I remember you message me.
[1:56:38] Naomi Murphy: I was wondering how I could find that kind of role.
[1:56:45] Ashley James: You’re like, “Am I going to become a health coach? Do I need to go back to school and be a nutritionist?” I remember having that conversation with you.
[1:56:51] Naomi Murphy: How can I help spread the word about this way of eating because just talking to my husband about it constantly that wasn’t very appreciated.
[1:57:07] Ashley James: She’d message me and be like, “I can’t talk about health stuff anymore in the house. My husband is not allowing it. I am talking too much about health now.”
[1:57:16] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It’s a little bit stressful to hear about it all the time. He is enjoying. He did say this weekend I think I just said that he’s whole hog but not cold turkey. He’s all for it and he really enjoys it. It’s just hard to go all the way. That’s fine. I was highly motivated to do the 180 that I did and it’s easy for me, but I’m all or nothing kind of person. So, it would be harder for me to integrate animal products into my healthy lifestyle because I wouldn’t know how many and when.
[1:57:57] Ashley James: I think it would’ve been easier for me if I had just said, “Okay. From now on it’s just this way.” I think that would have been easier. I made the transition harder on myself by saying I’m going to do this slowly. I was really working on my mindset and I was working on a lot of old belief systems about food. That’s where education comes into play because the more we dive into the books and the interviews and the summits by these different doctors who are on a regular basis healing people with major health issues like cancer gone, diabetes gone, healing many many many people. Many many diseases across the board. Autoimmune gone. Unbelievable stories of just people. So many people healing so many different things from this one way of eating. So for me if I had just said, “Okay. Jump on board 100%.” Instead I dragged it out. My transition I dragged it out a little bit. I just ate less and less and less and less meat. That’s where I was.
[1:58:59] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. So to answer your question, I think the advice I would have given myself is to not be afraid, to just be experimental, give it a try and not be intimidated. I wish I would have had curiosity about this 17 years ago when I heard about it. Because I just chose to not. I chose to not. So, I wish I would have had the courage and the curiosity to dive in. Like when I heard the term heart disease then it was a no-brainer, but before then I was like –
[1:59:38] Ashley James: You were ready to hear it then.
[1:59:39] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I just wanted to say one more thing and that is I had plantar fasciitis before. That’s just gone away completely.
[1:59:47] Ashley James: It’s gone? You hurt to walk and now it doesn’t?
[1:59:51] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It was terrible.
[1:59:53] Ashley James: That’s really cool because Dr. Wallach says it’s a calcium deficiency that causes plantar fasciitis. You’re getting way more minerals now, way more calcium now through eating a ton of vegetables. So it’s interesting plus antioxidants, the decrease inflammation in the body. But it’s interesting that your body’s reversing something that many experts would say is not reversible without therapy, like physical therapy and procedures done to the foot.
[2:00:25] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It was one of those things that I just thought of recently actually. Because if you’re starting to feel better if you don’t write in everything down you sometimes don’t remember what’s gotten better. Then I remembered, “Hey, yeah. I used to have plantar fasciitis remember?” It was such a problem but it just gradually went away. I haven’t even thought about it in months.
[2:00:43] Ashley James: I love it. Naomi, this is so exciting. Thank you for coming on the show and sharing your story. I can’t wait to see what our lives are like a year from now or even six months from now. It’s been six months you’ve been fully on board and you’re healing your body with the whole food plant-based diet.
[2:01:03] Naomi Murphy: Well, I just have to thank you because I have so much gratitude because I am a home cook and you are sharing your platform with me for helping get out the word of cooking whole food plant-based. I wouldn’t be able to have access to people that want that information without you. So thanks for inviting me.
[2:01:31] Ashley James: I can’t wait for all the listeners to learn from you. All the listeners need to learn from you because you’ve got so amazing. The recipes are great but also you do these cool things. You make your own teas, you make your own spice blends, you make your own seasonings, you drink a ton of healing herbs throughout the day. I want to do a video on that. You have lots of little health habits that you do that you’ve integrated into your day effortlessly that you don’t even think about. You just kind of take for granted all these wonderful things you do but other people need to learn about it.
[2:01:32] Naomi Murphy: A lot of those do make a difference. If I don’t drink the anti-inflammatory tea that I drink every day it does make a difference. So, even eating so many vegetable foods still the teas is really helpful.
[2:02:16] Ashley James: Yeah. So we’ll a whole video on hat.
[2:02:18] Naomi Murphy: I learned some tricks along the road to better health. Not tricks, I mean –
[2:02:27] Ashley James: Tools, solutions.
[2:02:28] Naomi Murphy: Some good tools.
[2:02:29] Ashley James: Right. Well, if you think about it, a few hundred years ago we would have all learned from our grandmother’s, right? These things would have been passed down. A few hundred years ago our grandmothers would go into the woods with us and pick herbs out of the woods and made different remedies with them. Few hundred years ago, our ancestors used food more as medicine, right? We lost this. We just lost this over the last hundred years. We’ve lost this connection with the earth and the ability to incorporate plants to heal on a regular basis.
One of my guests, I think he might have been Dr. JJ Davidson, talked about how if you talk to old school farmers they would say that it’s been passed down from farming generation to generation. It was passed down that everyone in the family that are farmers along with their animals twice a year will deworm, will go through and do certain herbs with the animals to remove parasites from their bodies and that we knew this. As a society we knew this a few hundred years ago but we’ve lost it now because we’ve all bought into the allopathic medical system. So we’ve lost this connection with the earth.
So you’re doing things on a regular basis. You’re kind of like, I’m not calling you a grandma because you’re young, but you’re like the grandma we need. This very young, youthful woman who could help us be like a surrogate grandmother. Teach us these techniques like the herbs that you use to heal in your regular every day.
[2:04:09] Naomi Murphy: Well, I’ve been a groupie. I’ve been a groupie around holistic medical providers. I worked with students and then I worked for doctors and acupuncturist. So, I like to learn.
[2:04:26] Ashley James: Now you get to teach us. Teach us everything you’ve learned. That’s wonderful. Awesome.
Thank you so much for coming on the show. Is there anything else you wanted to say to the listeners to wrap up today’s interview?
[2:04:40] Naomi Murphy: I hope you check out the membership. Bowls, I think bowls is something we showed in the listener community Facebook group. If you’re interested in one whole food plant-based recipe, check out bowls.
[2:04:59] Ashley James: Bowls is lesson seven I think it is. I think it’s lesson seven module one. We did a little mini-lesson for free in the Facebook group. So check out the video section of the Facebook group for the bowls video. When you become a member, go to one module one and look up bowls.
[2:05:22] Naomi Murphy: We’ll be constantly adding to the bowl items the things that you can use in bowls. I’m excited. There are some recipes in there that are staples in providing those mushrooms. Like having some meaty mushroom.
[2:05:38] Ashley James: The meaty mushrooms.
[2:05:39] Naomi Murphy: Having meaty mushrooms stuff. When we were talking about mushrooms before I’m getting a half cup. It’s effortless really if you make a big batch of the meaty mushroom stuffing do you call it?
[2:05:47] Ashley James: Yeah. We couldn’t figure out what the name of it.
[2:05:50] Naomi Murphy: I just call it mushroom stuffed.
[2:05:51] Ashley James: Mushroom stuffed? The meaty mushroom stuffed.
[2:05:53] Naomi Murphy: So, if I have that in refrigerator I can mix that into lots of different dishes or if I’m using the beefalo that my kids are still eating because we have a freezer full of that I may put in there meatballs along with some other grated carrots or something like that.
That helps us get those key nutrients that you can only get in mushrooms. You should have that and just have a scoop here and there on top of what you’re eating or in your salad. So, anyway.
[2:06:24] Ashley James: There’s a way to make –
[2:06:25] Naomi Murphy: Bowls and mushroom stuff. Top of my head right now is –
[2:06:28] Ashley James: Meaty mushrooms, meaty mushroom stuffing. It’s in the I heart vegetable section the module of the membership. It is so freaking delicious. I remember when we were making the recipe, we’re filming making the recipe. You hadn’t had any yet because I was teaching you how to make it. You’re kind of like –
[2:06:47] Naomi Murphy: This is not, it wasn’t scripted.
[2:06:48] Ashley James: No, nothing is scripted. You’re kind of like, “Okay. Yeah. I get it. It’s nice.”
[2:06:52] Naomi Murphy: It’s not a reality show.
[2:06:53] Ashley James: Then I made it. So I made it on camera showing you how to make it, showing everyone how to make it. Then you taste it. You’re like, “Wow.” Then Duffy turns the camera off and you go, “I didn’t believe you. When you said it was this good I thought you were exaggerating.”
[2:07:13] Naomi Murphy: You have lots of natural enthusiasm. So I heard that it was good. I believe that, but then it was kind of –
[2:07:22] Ashley James: “Dang girl. That’s good.”
[2:07:26] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. I call it the Campbell soup of whole food plant-based cooking. That’s just maybe my personal history growing up with a suburban working-class family.
[2:07:45] Ashley James: Yeah. Get the cream of mushroom soup.
[2:07:47] Naomi Murphy: It was the cream of mushroom soup with different things. I felt like a chef with that when I was a kid. So meaty mushroom, it’s like that. It has multiple applications and it has more flavor and more health-promoting properties than the Campbell’s version. Yeah. It’s super fantastic.
[2:08:06] Ashley James: Love it. Awesome. Well, I’m excited for listeners to check it out. I’m really glad that we created this platform. We spent the last four months working on it.
[2:08:16] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. It’s fun. It’s been so fun.
[2:08:18] Ashley James: It’s just going to uphill from here or it’s just going to get better and better and better. I’m just really looking forward to – I’m imagining myself a year from now. The health that I’m building now and the hope that you’re building now. I think we could all take a minute just to think about the body we want and the body we want to live in a year from now. Like we renovate our house, we prepare our car, right? We do things to upgrade where we live. We need to think about our bodies like our house we live in. We need to like you know we need to like put on a new roof or build a new foundation.
[2:08:59] Naomi Murphy: If you’re younger than my age, 48, you don’t have to wait until like things start to break down. It’s okay to experiment and be curious and brave about your health before someone says a devastating diagnosis.
[2:09:18] Ashley James: I love that even your parents in their 70s got such quick results. So, any age. Any age is going to get great results. We can use food as our medicine and that’s the message.
[2:09:26] Naomi Murphy: My mom’s not 70 yet.
[2:09:27] Ashley James: Don’t let her listen this episode. I just assumed I guess. Okay. I’m sorry. A woman in her 60s. Well, it still works for people in their 70s though.
[2:09:39] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. Of course. Yes they’ve been great. They’ve been having great benefit and really loving it and that is just the most amazing thing ever to me.
[2:09:51] Ashley James: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you and everyone’s going to see us in Facebook lives in the Facebook group.
[2:09:59] Naomi Murphy: Wait, one more testimonial. I finally got my mother-in-law with diet with type 2 diabetes to watch the iThrive documentary and then she started fasting and is going plant-based. She’s replaced all the foods in her house with – she was eating basically keto and she’s eliminated all the dairy products and animal products from her home. She has plant-based foods lined up to make big batches. She’s already off the metformin.
[2:10:29] Ashley James: She’s been fasting on and off for the last two weeks now?
[2:10:33] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. She fasted for a week then ate a small lunch that was plant-based with no grains. Then she fasted for another week and then a standard American diet for some reason. She had guests so she –
[2:10:50] Ashley James: Decided to eat whatever they brought.
[2:10:52] Naomi Murphy: They brought over some stuff. Yeah. They brought over some –
[2:10:55] Ashley James: Did not feel good about it?
[2:10:56] Naomi Murphy: Then she ate plant-based for a few days and now she’s back to fasting.
[2:11:01] Ashley James: So after two weeks of fasting and almost solely plant-based, she is now off of metformin?
[2:11:08] Naomi Murphy: Yeah. She lost 37 pounds.
[2:11:09] Ashley James: I love it. I’m really excited for her. I’m excited for when she stops fasting and dives 100% into the diet. Although, fasting is a wonderful way to reset the neurology so that you become more neural adapted to the food.
[2:11:25] Naomi Murphy: Yep. That’s her desire because when I told her about this she really scoffed because she doesn’t enjoy vegetables. She’s getting a lot of health benefits from the fasting, but her real motivation is to enjoy plants more.
[2:11:44] Ashley James: So, if you don’t like the taste of vegetables do some water only fasting to reset your neurology. That’s discussed in episode 230 as well, which is with Dr. Goldhamer. So, yeah. I love it. Well, we’ll have to keep everyone updated with your mother-in-law and also your parents and how they’re all doing and LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen. Use coupon code LTH. Thank you so much. I’m really excited to see where this goes.
[2:12:17] Naomi Murphy: Thank you, Ashley. This was fun. It was fun. I can’t believe I’m going to be in a podcast.
Use coupon LTH for listener discount!
404 Nine Things You Can Do Now To Have Fantastic Hormone Health In The Second Half of Your Life, Perimenopause Redefined and Preparing For A Healthy Menopause with Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner Jill Chmielewski
"As a registered nurse, certified functional medicine practitioner, and mom of four, I bring together a unique blend of clinical, holistic, and personal experience to guide midlife mamas to greater wellbeing, one tiny edit at a time.
Even the subtlest of symptoms are your body's way of telling you that something needs attention. I'm on a mission to help you get to know your body, balance your hormones, and to address the root cause of your symptoms so that you can master the wild ride from peri to menopause with greater ease."
Get your free module from IIN learntruehealth.com/coach
Jill's Website - https://www.jillchmielewski.com
In this episode, we will talk about hormones and hormonal changes in the body (perimenopause and menopause). Know how stress and sleep affects the hormone levels in our body.
[00:00:00] Ashley James: Hello, true health seeker. And welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast.
Oh, my gosh. This was such a good interview. I’m really excited for you to hear it today. Jill is phenomenal. I’m not going to give too much away. But basically, every woman needs to listen to this. And men who are very interested in women’s health. But you know what? All the advice she gives, which is incredible for women’s health, it also applies to men. So just so you know, this is a wonderful podcast for everyone even though the topic is specifically on perimenopause and menopause. These lessons are applicable to creating health at any part in our lives. But even more important, the older we get.
I want to let you know about IIN. Jill and I discussed it briefly. This is one of the trainings that she took. She’s a nurse and she has her master’s. And then she did IIN to become a health coach., the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. This is the same online school that I went to, to become a health coach. And then she went on to do other programs because she wanted to dive deeper specifically into hormone health and functional medicine and functional nutrition. If you are interested in deeply exploring food as medicine, and emotional, mental, and physical health, and balancing your life, then take IIN’s course. You know half the people that take it -and I think it’s over 10,000 people a year take their course. Half the people that take it do it for their own personal growth. And I would have done it for my own personal growth as well. But I also did it to deepen my career and my ability to do these interviews. And also, work with clients and help them. But I see that. I see that I would have just done it for my own personal growth. So if you want to really dive into something to get your health to the next level, emotionally and mentally, and also physically, consider doing IIN. It’s a wonderful year of your life. It’s about 20 minutes a day, basically. So it’s totally doable even for busy people, about 20 minutes a day. You can listen to the lectures. You don’t have to watch them. You can listen to them while you’re driving, while you’re exercising, while you’re doing laundry, or cooking. And you can absorb all that wonderful information and apply it to your life. It’s an entire year to transform your life.
So I highly recommend checking out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. My listeners get $1,500 dollars off. That’s a huge chunk of the tuition. And you can go to learntruehealth.com/coach. That’s learntruehealth.com/coach to get a free module and see if it’s right for you. You can also Google IIN and give them a call. All the people you talked to on the phone are graduates. That’s been my experience. Many of their staff are graduates. I’ve interviewed their CEO. And I’ve interviewed several of their staff members. All have wonderful stories. So if you’re interested in becoming a health coach, you should absolutely do IIN.
But if you’re not interested in becoming a health coach and you just really are focusing on your health and your family’s health, IIN is also great for that. It’s a wonderful way to really deepen your knowledge and apply it to your life. So check it out. Go to learntruehealth.com/coach and get your free module. See if it’s right for you. See if it’s something that would enrich your life. It enriched mine. That’s why I love sharing it with my listeners. There’s been over a hundred listeners who have gone through IIN and have shared with me the amazing changes in their life. Some of them went on to become health coaches. Or some of them were already in the health field and they added this like a tool to their tool belt. And others used it to help themselves and their family. So it’s wonderful. And it’s not only food. Although they do teach a hundred dietary theories and show you how to use food as medicine. But it’s also learning, emotional, mental, spiritual health, and figuring out how to get that balance in your life so that you can increase the joy in your life. Decrease the stress. And feel happy about every aspect of your life. Feel satisfied and fulfilled and passionate about every aspect of your life. So if you feel like that’s missing in your life right now, then consider checking it out. It’s a wonderful personal growth and health program.
IIN, Google it or go to learntruehealth.com/coach and check it out.
Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast. Please share it with everyone, all your girlfriends, especially those in their 30s and beyond, 30s and 40s and beyond. Because we want to do everything that Jill teaches us today right now. Even if you’re in your 20s, this is going to help you. Start doing all the steps. She teaches nine points today. And if you do these nine points, you absolutely will see a positive shift in your hormone health and in the golden years of your life. We want to have high, high quality of life for the second half of our life. But we have to prepare for it now. And build a strong foundation of health now. That’s what you’re going to learn today in today’s interview. So enjoy and have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 404.
I am so excited for today’s guest. We have with us Jill Chmielewski. Her website is jillchmielewski.com. Don’t worry, the correct spelling of that will be in the show notes of today’s podcasts at learntruehealth.com.
Jill I’m so excited for today’s interview. You have some amazing credentials. Your focus is on helping women to prepare for menopause and to have the healthiest perimenopause possible. And really looking at that later life. I’m about to be 40. So this is, like, definitely on my mind. But looking at starting in our late 30s preparing for how to have a really healthy hormone balance for the rest of our life. And that you teach us how to do that. I know you’re launching a new digital course providing support for a whole community of women to help them with all the steps they need to achieve the healthiest hormone balance possible for the second half of their life. And I think that’s brilliant. This is a topic that really, really, really needs to get out there.
Especially, because so many doctors, when you go to them, will tell you, “Oh, your symptoms are normal.” Dry vagina or weird PMS symptoms, or weight gain even though you’re exercising like crazy, headaches, just the list goes on and on and on. And doctors will just say, “Oh, this is normal.” Or, “Here, take the pill.” And just they’ll kind of sweep it under the rug or try to give you a drug instead of really – because they’re not truly educated on how to support us in achieving optimal health. They’re good at handling infections, they’re good at handling emergency medicine. But they’re really, really not good at helping us to achieve optimal health.
And you are a specialized in helping women to balance hormones and have absolutely optimal hormone levels their entire lives. So, Jill, welcome to the show. And I’m so excited. You’re here today to teach us how to be super duper healthy women.
[00:07:46] Jill Chmielewski: Oh, my gosh. Thank you for that awesome introduction. I’m so excited to be here as well. And I think you said everything. I mean, you nailed it. It’s not that doctors don’t care. It’s just that they don’t know. I think that in their medical training. they’re focusing, especially our OBGYNs, are focusing on the reproductive years and helping women have babies or helping them with postpartum. But when it comes to that sort of second half, for most of us it’s probably about a third of our lives, that will spend in perimenopause or menopause. They just don’t have the education or the expertise to, maybe, help walk women through that period of life or prepare them for that period of life. So I think everything you said is right on point.
[00:08:25] Ashley James: But even though it’s like the last third of our life – and you know what? If we ate super healthy, we have the genetic potential to live to be 120. So it could be like more than half. But think about it, I love that your message and your approach is to prepare. Like preparing our 30s for things like the foundations of health, eating healthy, making sure we are fully nutrified, making sure we’re checking in on our emotional and mental health, getting enough sleep. Just these everyday little tiny things will prepare us for better health in the second half of our life. And in our 30s is when we tend to really throw our body under the bus and not listen to the symptoms of our body. And just self medicate with caffeine and alcohol and over the counter medication. Because we want to go, go, go, go, go. And we’re robbing ourselves of the quality of life in the second half of our life by neglecting ourselves now.
And so I love that your message is there’s lots we can do now. Even if we’re in our 20s and 30s and 40s, there’s lots we can do now to ensure that we have amazing hormone health later on.
[00:09:37] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. I mean, that’s so true. And that’s something that I don’t think even as a nurse – and I’ve been a nurse for almost 27 years. And I’ve you know worked primarily in women’s health. And this notion that we can do something to actually help support our hormones really never came up in any of my training until I went into the functional medicine realm. And you and I were talking before the show, I mean food has a huge impact. Our lifestyle choices have a huge impact. But I think with physicians, oftentimes, we’re looking to our physician for education about what’s next. And we kind of see the reproductive years as one segment of life. And then menopause as the next phase. And that doesn’t come until we’re, you know, 50 or 60.
Well, for most of us, the hormonal changes start to happen in our mid to late 30s. We may be even still getting pregnant in our mid to late 30s. But the hormone changes are starting then that start to kick off perimenopause. And so yeah, there’s a whole lot that we can do that we need to start paying attention to much, much earlier than when actual menopause, the point at which we no longer get periods happen. So we’ll talk about, I think, a lot of it today during the show.
[00:10:47] Ashley James: Yay. Now, you were a nurse for many years. And then I really want to get into your story. Just before we get into the education part, I want to understand a bit more about your background. And what happened to have you want to become an expert in balancing hormones? So there you were a nurse for so many years. And I know you also have your masters as well. Walk us through your professional life. What happened that had you want to go into health coaching and functional nutrition coaching?
[00:11:22] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. Thanks. So I think early on, I mean, I can remember even way back in my 20s when I was working in medicine. I was working as a neonatal ICU nurse. And then I sort of transitioned into women’s health and infertility, reproductive endocrinology and infertility. And I can remember thinking at the time, that there was just such a huge disconnect. I mean, I felt the disconnect that there was, on one hand, we were just treating women who had infertility with medication. And behind the scenes, we didn’t talk about nutrition. We didn’t talk about lifestyle. We didn’t talk about any of the other things that kind of come into play with hormones. I think that was the first moment where I started to have some of those aha moments about that this was an area that I knew that prevention, and education, and looking at things beyond traditional medicine might be helpful.
And I went on to have four kids really close together. I stayed home for a few years. And then I went back to work and went back into nursing for a while for several years. And what really kicked me off into going into this realm sort of alternative medicine or integrative medicine is my oldest daughter, who’s now going to be 20 this year. Struggled her whole life with asthma, and allergies, and digestive issues. And when I was pursuing conventional medicine physicians to get some help for her, it wasn’t that they didn’t want to help her. I think they didn’t know how to help her. They ran a test for celiac disease and said, “Well, you know, she doesn’t have celiac.” So kind of like sent us on our way. “She has digestive issues. We’ll just kind of send you on your way.” And so I think the mama bear in me started doing some research. And it sort of opened Pandora’s box where I knew I needed to know more and learn more to help her.
And once I did and was able to help her, I started wanting to get deeper and deeper into integrative medicine. And so I started actually took my training to a formal venue. And so I went back to school. And I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And when I was there, I would say about halfway through my training there, I had a lecture by Dr. Robin Berzin. And I don’t know if you know her, but she’s a functional medicine practitioner. She’s the founder of Parsley Health, which is an amazing medical practice. And she was the one that really connected the dots for me in terms of what functional medicine was. Which is I know you’ve had guests on your podcast before that have talked about functional medicine. But for listeners that don’t know, it’s really just looking at the root cause of symptoms as opposed to just treating symptom by symptom. It’s sort of looking at like, what is really causing symptoms in the body. And so she turned me on to functional medicine. And I started down that path and sort of couldn’t get enough. And I think just by default, because I was working with clients and I tended to attract women as clients, I started to see over and over and over again that when I was doing their intakes and we would sit and talk through symptoms and health histories, hormones were really at the core of the bulk of their problems and symptoms. And most of these women happen to be in that 35, 40, 45, 50 kind of that perimenopausal-menopausal range. And I started to really, I guess, just get really excited about the fact that, well, just addressing hormone issues would make these symptoms go away.
And so I sort of started to, I want to say, kind of put myself in that hormone specialist bucket. But it’s something that I just love. And I think that physicians don’t always see the connection when women are being seen. They’re often looking at symptoms in a different way. Rather than looking at how a deficiency in one hormone can affect all different systems in the body. And so for me, it just sort of, I think, when I talk about hormones or think about hormones, for me, it sort of brings everything together. And you can see how hormones work so deeply in the body. And so I’ve really – this is where I feel I where I work with clients and I think that this is where I’ll probably hang my hat is really in the hormone world.
[00:15:26] Ashley James: So went to IIN. I went to IIN.
[00:15:30] Jill Chmielewski: I know you went to IIN. That’s awesome.
[00:15:32] Ashley James: Yeah. So that was that was your first. Now, you’ve done other – you have other training that you’ve taken since IIN. I think IIN is a wonderful school like as a launching pad for people who want to become health coaches. I feel like it’s the first thing people should do. And then go specialize in something. So I love that that’s what you did. So halfway through the first six weeks in IIN, like halfway through it, that’s when you saw this lecture. Was it was it a lecture in IIN or was it something you stumbled upon?
[00:16:08] Jill Chmielewski: It was. It was in IIN. I don’t know if you remembered, you probably had the same lecture, I think. It’s Dr. Robin Berzin. I think there were multiple practitioners at IIN who presented who talked about functional medicine. But for some reason, something about her and maybe because she had been more of a mainstream physician first. I don’t know, everything she talked about really resonate. All of a sudden I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” It was like all the stars aligned. And I feel like the last 20 years, 20 plus years of conventional medicine all made sense or just the body. Just it all came together.
[00:16:40] Ashley James: Yes. I feel like when I did IIN, that’s what happened to me too. So much stuff. So many of these separate pieces in my mind just came together and started making sense in a whole new way. It was really cool. I jumped into IIN because of an interview I did. It was within the first few months of launching the podcast. I was interviewing at a health coach. And it’s so funny because I never really heard of health coaches. And I’m like. “Who is this guy? He wants to be on the show. He calls himself a health coach.” And I thought that was so hokey. I thought this was something made up. Like, you just call yourself a health coach. And he was great. It was a really, really good interview. And then I said,” Well, how did you become one?” During the interview, I said, “How do you become one?” And he started talking about IIN.
And by the end of it after we got off Skype, I called up IIN. I went to the website. I was really impressed by all the teachers that they listed. And then I called them and after talking to my husband, he’s like, “Go for it. Go for it.” I signed him that same day. I was like, “Dang.” I signed up that same day. And I immediately jumped into sort of watching the foundation, like the pre-course that they give you. And I was bawling my eyes out. I felt so inspired. In every single video, I felt like I had found my people. I felt like “Oh my gosh. I belong. This is so great.” So it pulled together a lot of pieces for me.
And what’s really neat is during it, because every week you want to try a different diet because you’re learning about all these different diets. Food as medicine. But during it, my husband was listening kind of in the background. And he chose to go 100 percent whole food plant based vegan. He was a carnivore. He would only eat meat pretty much. And somewhere during my journey through IIN, he said to me, “I’m no longer eating meat.”
[00:18:30] Jill Chmielewski: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh.
[00:18:31] Ashley James: So our lives have really changed. That was two years ago. And so our lives have really changed since IIN. Ad I’ve interviewed a lot of people -a lot of the lectures. So I’m going to have to get Robin on the show now that you say that,
[00:18:43] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. She’s wonderful. Oh, my gosh. She’s wonderful.
[00:18:46] Ashley James: So there you were. You watched Robin. And all the pieces came together for you. And then you went on to take some more courses in functional medicine – or functional nutrition specifically. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
[00:19:06] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. You know, it’s funny. And you probably – this probably resonates with you having gone through IIN. Once you know sort of this other side of the world and the side of learning the body and all these things, you just want to know more. I mean, it’s almost like you can’t stop. And I think a lot of health coaches would say, “It’s almost hard to put the brakes on learning.” Even though it’s so fun to be a lifelong learner, sometimes you just want to stop and digest and sit with it for a little while. But I think at the point I was at, I was so excited about what I had learned with IIN that I went on. Do you know Andrea Nakayama? I can never say her name quite right.
[00:19:39] Ashley James: Gosh. That sounds really familiar.
[00:19:41] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. So she has a functional nutrition program. And I did her program almost right after IIN. And I really enjoyed it. I think it was very nutrition focused. Definitely, very, obviously, a lot of biology, physiology, all that stuff. But I had heard about the School of Applied Functional Medicine somewhere in the midst of all this. And so I took just sort of like IIN, a little sample class at the School of Applied Functional Medicine. And that’s where I felt like, “Okay. This is it.” Because I think having been a nurse for as long as I have been, I have a pretty – I’ve been in the medical world for a long time. So I wanted a deeper understanding. Where I think there are people that take these courses who do not have a medical background. But it would be difficult. It’s a really big learning curve if you don’t have a medical background.
[00:20:27] Ashley James: Right. Whereas IIN, you don’t need a medical background at all. But when you get into functional nutrition, definitely you want a medical background or it would help.
[00:20:38] Jill Chmielewski: It helps. That’s right. It helps. I think if you’re a really dedicated learner, you can do it. But you’re listening to lectures over and over and over. And even I have to say, I still go back to lectures that I learned when I was at the School of Applied Functional Medicine just to get one more nugget or piece of information to kind of help me maybe solidify some of my learnings So yeah, I’ve sort of halted it now. I’m certified in functional medicine from the School of Applied Functional Medicine. And now I’m just taking it and really – I do some hormone – I definitely have done some specialty hormone courses there. And I’ve done sort of one off hormone trainings. And will continue to do that. But as they say, I think when you are trying to teach other people or educate other people, you just have to be a few steps ahead of them to hold the lantern. I meant that sort of I know a lot. I don’t know everything. But I know enough to definitely help women prepare for this time of life and to start to understand what they need to do. It’s sort of like what to expect what you’re expecting. But we don’t think about it that way.
It’s like, we’ll do everything to prepare for a baby that’s coming. Or even a puppy, if we’re going to get a new puppy. But when it comes to this period of life, I don’t think we think about what we need to do to prepare for this next phase in life. So that’s sort of where I step in is really trying to help women understand the changes that are coming so that they can prepare for them. And then helping them to understand what can they do from a food and lifestyle perspective, from a hormone perspective, maybe a hormone replacement perspective. Although I’m not an expert in it but I definitely know quite a bit about hormone replacement. And also, how to find a practitioner that can help guide you through this next chapter of life.
[00:22:22] Ashley James: Do you do any lab tests?
[00:22:26] Jill Chmielewski: I kind of walk a fine line with that because it’s a scope of practice issue, where clients will bring me labs and we’ll talk about them. I can educate them on generally what labs mean. You know, “Hey, if your white blood count is this, sometimes it can be this.” Or, “If your fasting glucose is elevated, it’s probably time to start making some changes in your diet.” So I can do some – I know the information. It’s sort of like I need to practice within my scope of practice as a health coach and also as a nurse. So nurses, part of our job is to really educate patients on what’s happening in their body. And so I’m very well versed in working with labs. But again, I try to sort of keep the deep lab work to the physicians because I think that’s just – from a liability perspective, it’s just a better place to be.
[00:23:18] Ashley James: Got it. I’m in the middle of taking this course from Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. I have a feeling this might be the next one you’re going to take.
[00:23:25] Jill Chmielewski: Uh-huh. I know that program. I mean, I haven’t taken it but I know what you’re talking about.
[00:23:28] Ashley James: Yeah. Yeah. I just paused. I was doing it for a few months and then I paused it to launch the Learn True Health Home Kitchen that I was telling you about. Because we’ve been filming all these great cooking videos and we’re going to be launching it really soon. And then I’ll go back to complete the FDN. I like that it’s student led. But yeah, they teach you how to read labs. Functional labs, like not the regular ones but the hormones and stuff like that. But there’s so much you can do without labs. Because you’re looking at the lifestyle of the person and you’re helping them to fill in those gaps and help them find what’s missing.
So let’s get into that. Because you got nine steps, the nine different points that we want to make sure we get to that really, really will help set us up for better health. So no matter who’s listening – the men that are still here, I love you. I have to say that. The men that are still listening are really awesome because they’re probably listening because they’re just curious. But they’re also probably listening because they want to help the women in their life, which I think is just really admirable and I love you for it. And all the women that are listening, no matter what age you are, you’re going to take some great information away. So maybe even if you’re postmenopausal or you’re 17, it doesn’t matter because the stuff that Jill teaches really is applicable to all women. But specifically, it’s really going to help women prepare for perimenopause and menopause. So take it away. What things should we make sure that we do or know to best prepare ourselves to have healthy hormones?
[00:25:16] Jill Chmielewski: Well, I think the first thing is just kind of pausing for a second and for women to understand that they are going to have to be advocates for themselves. I mean, healthcare has changed so much since I started as a nurse. And it had already sort of started its transition even back then. But long gone are the days where you sit with your doctor for 45 minutes and have conversations about your health and your mental health and your wellbeing and other things. Unless, you’re working with a functional medicine physician and they do design their visits that way. But I think these days the visits are very limited with physicians. It’s really not their fault. It’s like a ten minute slot. And I have a lot of Physician friends who are, you know, they’re burnt out. And they know that they are not able to provide their patients with the care that they need because they’re so limited by insurance and other things that dictate care.
But I think women need to know, you have to be an advocate for yourself. And that means you have to start educating yourself. And you don’t have to get – it can be confusing. And I think that’s the hard part of this time in life that we’re so fortunate to have so many resources health-wise and wellness-wise. But there’s a lot of wellness noise. And so you get a little bit like, “Okay. Which diet? You know, which -” there’s so much going on. You really don’t know which way to go. So I think find, I guess, somebody who resonates with you. It could be me, it could be somebody else, who really is geared toward women. And start to learn about what’s going to happen in this next phase of life. And to your point, you can start doing this in your 20s, in your teens, just to kind of get prepared for the next step.
But I think women when they feel – women are very intuitive, as you know. And so if you go to your doctor and you feel like something isn’t quite right and they tell you, “You know what? Hey, it’s part of aging.” And I hear that all the time from my clients who say, “I went to my doctor. I told them I was tired. I told them that my hair was falling out.” Or, “I’m gaining weight.” Or whatever it might be. And they’re just told, “You know what? Hey, it’s part of aging.” And I think if you understand what potentially could be happening in your body at this period of life, you’ll be a much better advocate for yourself. You’ll feel more confident standing up for yourself. And you’ll feel more confidence saying to your doctor, “You know what? I know there’s something else going on. Can you help me with this?” So I would say number one is just having women be strong advocates for themselves.
[00:27:38] Ashley James: I love that you bring up to advocate for ourselves and to build our team. I think we were raised to put doctors on a pedestal and to genuflect to them, to to bow down, and to give over our power. And especially as women, we have to look at where do we lose our power? Where do we give over our bodies to medical professionals? And where do we feel helpless? Because I think in our society, we’ve been trained to feel helpless. And that’s something that we’re breaking now. We’re breaking through that. It’s still left. Like, it’s still – there’s just a little bit of residual. So we need to look at like, are there ever any times with medical professionals where we feel helpless or we feel like we’re children again? I think it’s why we feel so warm and fuzzy about hospitals, like they’ll just take care of me. Because there’s like a child inside us that just wants our parents to take care of us. And I think that’s what we do is we project onto doctors this parental role. Like, “Just take my temperature and just give me the medicine, Mommy, Daddy. And just tell me what to do and I’ll be fine.”
And this giving up of our power is something that’s reinforced in society because of media, because of the way the AMA wants it. They want – the way the marketing is they want – and this is very setup. This has been set up for over a hundred years, if you look at the history of the AMA and modern medicine in all of their marketing, they want us to put doctors and hospitals on a pedestal. Do not question them. Even if you watch mainstream media and you watch TV shows, they’ll make fun of patients who question, patients who step outside the box. And they’re just little jabs because they want to continue this narrative that people who advocate for themselves are bad, disagreeable patients. That’s actually what they’ll put on your chart. You’re a disagreeable patient.
You want to be a disagreeable patient and here’s why. If you look at the statistics of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, they are ridiculous. They’re on the rise. One in three people has diabetes or pre-diabetes. One in three people will have a diagnosis of cancer in their lifetime. I mean, it’s astronomical the amount of disease. The number one killer is heart disease. If you want to be a statistic, keep doing what everyone’s doing. If you don’t want to be a statistic, you have to swim upstream, you have to be a salmon. And that means you have to advocate for yourself. And that doesn’t mean we have to be rude. Because I think that we’re really afraid as women to be – there’s a B word. We’re afraid of that. And again, that’s society. That’s the narrative to keep women in their place. And you do not have to be rude to be assertive. You can be kind, and gentle, and loving, and stand up for yourself, and be firm because you’re worth it.
And you’re allowed to fire your doctor and go find another one. You are allowed to. And you’re allowed to find a team and build the team of experts that are in alignment with your values. And that practice informed consent. And what that means i,s the doctor does not pressure you into a therapy or a medicine. If you ever feel guilted or shamed or pressured into anything by a doctor, then you need to leave that doctor and go find one that actually practices informed consent. Which means, they inform you of the positives and the negatives of the treatment, or of the procedure, or drug, or whatever avenue you’re choosing to take. They give you the entire story and they let you make the decision for you. And building a team of holistic health professionals and your MD, the whole team together and your OBGYN, building the team that empowers you and that they get that they’re not on a pedestal, then you are empowered the entire time. And then that way, you’ll also be informed the entire time. Because you can go to them and ask them questions and get them to inform you. And you can bring information to them that you hear on podcasts, or books, or read,studies and things like that. And you bring that information to them. And then if you’ve chosen your team well, they’ll be receptive to that information. Because they’re science minded, they’ll look at it and help you to decipher whether that’s a good approach for you or not based on the science.
So it does take an effort to build our team. But once you have, it’s just so wonderful. It feels so great to have these health care professionals who are empowering you towards better health than just giving up your power I’ve seen so many people put on the wrong medications and they suffered for it because they gave up their power and they didn’t advocate for themselves. So I love that this is your first point.
[00:33:10] Jill Chmielewski: I mean, you said it so well. And I think it’s a partnership. So I think, thinking about it that way that it really isn’t meant to be, like you said, somebody is on a pedestal and somebody is sort of down here. We’re equal trying to – I mean the goal at the end of the day is always that this person can be healthier and can be their best self. And if you have a Physician who is open and willing, they’re going to be working with you in partnership as opposed to trying to strong arm you or tell you what to do. So I couldn’t have said it better myself. I think that was great.
[00:33:44] Ashley James: Awesome. Well, I love it’s your first step. So now step number two.
[00:33:48] Jill Chmielewski: Okay. So step number two is probably the one that is, I think women are the most resistant to, and that is lifestyle. And I mean, I kind of will buck it. Lifestyle, food, all of that stuff, kind of into one. I think that women have this very unrealistic expectation that we can skip on sleep, we can eat crappy food, we’re going to keep, exposing ourselves to toxins, we’re going to over schedule ourselves, we’re going to be 24/7 on our devices, we’re going to eat inner minivans on the go, we’re going to be stressed all the time. And at the same time, we’re going to be thin, we’re going to have great se, we’re going to beautiful hair, we’re going to have great relationships, we’re going to have this really smooth transition into perimenopause and menopause, and everything’s going to be great.
You can’t have both. And I think you were talking earlier about kind of that giving somebody a pill to fix something. That we’re looking a lot of times women are saying, “What pill can I take for something?” And I think this is where lifestyle comes into play deeply. Because hormones, even if you give someone, let’s say, hormone replacement or something that may help to boost hormones. At the end of the day, biochemically in the body, the body is always trying to find a balance in hormones. So it’s going to shift hormones in the direction that it thinks it should go, regardless of what you give somebody. So sugar causes women oftentimes to make more testosterone. So different things that we do from a food and lifestyle perspective are going to shift our hormones in different ways. So we can’t just take a pill. We can’t just take supplements. We can’t just say, “I’m going to ignore the natural rhythm of my body.” Especially at this point in life and I think this is really that key point in life where everything comes to a head. If you’ve been ignoring these signs and symptoms along the way – and women often say to me, “Well, I just didn’t really pay attention.” And the thing is if you were to stop and listen, our body is constantly communicating with us. And it’s constantly sort of tapping us on the shoulder, giving us little whispers. Maybe not saying it outright but it is telling us in different forms. Like when we gained weight and we’ve changed nothing else, that’s telling us that something is happening in the body. When we’re fatigued, that’s telling us that something needs attention. If our hair is falling out, if we have really irregular periods, if we have really cloudy periods, heavy periods, terrible PMS, whatever it may be, that’s a sign that something is happening. And that’s how our body communicates with us. And it’s trying to say, “Hey, listen, I need help.” And if we keep ignoring it, which is what women often do.
And I think you said that in sort of your opening remarks that, we’re running around and we just kind of ignore ourselves. We ignore it. We put everybody else first. The kids come first. The kid’s schedules. We’ll sign the kids up for a million different things. But we won’t take time for ourselves. We won’t pay attention to our symptoms. We won’t actually make – we don’t have time for those lifestyle changes. And, unfortunately, we’re going to have to make time for those lifestyle changes if we want to feel good in perimenopause and menopause. It’s truly a must. I mean, there’s no way to actually make it through perimenopause and menopause well-unscathed to the other side and feel good and actually remain with our health intact without making some lifestyle changes. So that’s a big one. And I’m sure that’s probably a hard one for, maybe, your listeners to hear. But it’s something I think we’re – perimenopause is a five to 15 year transition. And I think that’s nature’s way of giving us a very generous window of time to kind of get our act together, slow it down, start to really think about what we need to prepare for this next phase in life.
[00:37:28] Ashley James: Yeah. What we need versus what we want. I want to stay up late but what I need is to go to bed.
[00:37:36] Jill Chmielewski: Exactly. And we all do it, right? We all do it at certain times. We just have to not do it daily.
[00:37:40] Ashley James: Totally. Totally. Like, you know what? The binging Netflix or Hulu, keep it to once a month or something. The staying up until 2:00 in the morning, maybe keep it to like – you know, limit that. I think it’s really easy to put the kids to bed and then be like, “Oh, now It’s me time.” And I’m totally guilty a bit. But I see so many of my mom friends up at midnight because this is the time when it’s like, “The house is quiet, we can do things.” Or just stay awake not doing anything but just have fun. And I know that on the days that I go to bed even with my son, if we go to bed early, even go to bed like at 9:00 or at 7:00, we go to bed really early, we are so much more productive and then so much happier the next day.
And I think that when we tend to stay up late and binge TV or whatever, that that shows that there’s – and I’m talking totally from personal experience – that shows that we feel like there’s a deficiency in joy in our life. You know what I mean? Because I think – what I would I do is I go, “Oh, this is my me time.” Or, “I’m going to have some fun now.” Or I’ll stay up like I did last night I stayed up working on this membership site that we’re launching really soon. And it’s temporary because we’re going to get it launched and then I don’t have to stay up really late working on it. And I’ll be able to work on it on normal business hours. So there’s times when we do it. But just this idea in my head I had to figure out, “Why am I staying up late every night?” I had to ask myself this. Like, “Why is it that I’m not going to bed at 9:00 or 10:00?” We really want to be asleep by 10:00.
They show that if you can be asleep by 10:00, you get the most amount of healing done, like the lungs. I think it’s between 10:00 and 1:00 or midnight where the lungs heal. And then other parts of the body are healing. And the brain really needs to go through two full sleep cycles. And if we go to bed at like midnight, we’re not getting those two sleep cycles. And I don’t I don’t set an alarm clock anymore because my son is our alarm clock. So I don’t get to sleep in. So a lot of families don’t get to sleep in. So really, if you go to bed early – and I did this with one of my clients who would stay up late working on her business after she put the kids to bed and then be exhausted the next day. And then it was really hard for her to make healthy choices or have enough energy to cook healthy food. And it compounded and it all started with making one change. And I said, “What if you went to bed with your kids.” Because, obviously as adults, we’ll wake up before the kids. And then you did all this work. Although the busy work like the emails and stuff you were going to do late at night. You do them at 5:00 in the morning with your tea or your coffee in the morning when you’re waking up. And she did that one change. And it was the domino effect that put everything in place in her life. She had more energy. She had more mental clarity. She actually began to lose weight. And of course, inflammation. She lost all that brain fog. She found that she was more productive in the morning. Like all the work that would take her two hours to do at night, actually took over a half-an-hour In the morning. Because she was fresh.
And so there’s so much to say about when you say that changing your lifestyle, like just these little changes. Like, what if you went to bed like two hours earlier and did everything you wanted to do. Just rearrange it and really put your sleep as priority. What if you just did this one change this month and just made sleep your priority? And then you could see what’s the ripple effect for the rest of your life. Because if you have the energy, then you might eat a little bit better, then you might exercise a little bit more, then you might be a little happier. And it can just compound from there. So I think that just saying something as simple as making sleep a priority, step one. So great.
And then like you said, not eat crap food. But you know what? When we’re tired, it’s really hard – it’s harder – I should say, it’s harder to make better health food choices when we’re walking zombies. So I really do think it starts with the sleep. And then after you’ve got sleep under control, then it’s the eating healthier. And then you said, limit exposure to toxins. And then don’t over schedule yourself. So ask yourself, what do you what do you need instead of what do you want. And then and then don’t stay connected 24/7. Put the phone down. And go for a walk in the forest with your kids. Do that on a regular basis. Like, get disconnected. So I love that you talked about that. Because that chronic stress – stress isn’t an emotion. But that chronic stress we’re putting on our body, we don’t feel it as an emotion. But we’ll feel it when our body is at its breaking point. So we have to address the stressors. Knowing that we actually don’t feel it. We don’t feel it necessarily. But you know what we do? We do feel it when it’s gone. Like when you’re on vacation, you’re like, “Oh, my gosh. This is so amazing.” You just feel so good. That’s because the stressors aren’t there. So we can feel it when it’s not there. But when we’re habituated, were adapted to constant chronic stress, that’s our new norm. So then we’re like – I’ve had so many people say to me, “I’m not stressed. I don’t feel stressed.” But they make these changes and then they’re like, “Wow. I can’t believe how much stress I was under. I didn’t know that.”
So I love that you pointed that out that this makes a big difference. Can you talk a little bit about why – biochemically, why does sleep and toxins and food and stress, why does that affect hormones and hormone health specifically?
[00:43:40] Jill Chmielewski: Well, I mean I love that you brought up sleep is that kind of first step. Because typically, when I work with clients, that’s always the first step. And I should say to that it can take – there’s no commitment. I think sometimes when you say to somebody lifestyle is something – we need to kind of work at lifestyle. They get like, “Oh, my gosh. She’s going to ask me to make a million changes at once.” And I think,like you said, slow, simple changes are really the best way to start. Because they sort of get themselves. You start one and then you do the other. I think sleep is one of the number one factors. Because sleep is when we do our critical metabolic waste cleanup of the day. We build hormones at nighttime while we’re sleeping. I mean, we’re making hormones, we’re detoxifying, we’re getting rid of things. And detoxification is a huge part of hormones and hormone balance. We need to have really efficient detoxification to have really good hormone balance. And we need sleep – really adequate deep sleep. Really that sort of, I mean – ideally, we are – you know, this doesn’t happen. But ideally, we’re really sort of mimicking this – have a really good circadian rhythm where we are rising with the sun and sort of going to bed with sunset. Now, we don’t do that anymore. But the closer we can get to that, that’s going to definitely help with hormonal rhythm.
So the women that you were just alluding to – and I have a lot of friends too, where I’ll all get emails from them. I’ll look and it’s like 1:30 in the morning, “What is she doing up?” And it’s the same – I always get emails from her at 1:30. Every night to be cutting into sleep like that, you’re really just sort of wrecking the hormonal rhythm of the day. Cortisol – there’s a lot of different hormones that are involved. And they follow that sort of circadian rhythms. So when you’re cutting into sleep, that’s a big reason why sleep in and of itself, I mean, studies – there’s probably now hundreds, if not thousands, of studies that show a direct correlation between lack of sleep and hormone imbalances. There’s so many different reasons. But I would say, just the fact that we’re detoxifying and that we’ve got just so much going on with our circadian rhythm during the day and at night has a huge impact on our hormonal balance.
[00:45:59] Ashley James: You said that we make hormones at night. Do we make more hormones when we’re sleeping? I mean, if someone were to pull an all nighter, do they make less hormones?
[00:46:08] Jill Chmielewski: They make less hormones. We make hormones at all different times, obviously, throughout the day. I mean, it’s a 24/7 type of situation. But a lot of the building happens at night when we sleep. Because our bodies are at rest. And so our body can focus on more important things. During the day, we’re running around like fools. And so nighttime is when our body can actually sort of – it’s like this workshop that’s kind of happening behind the scenes where we’re able to actually work on building hormones. A lot of our appetite hormones. Like you alluded to earlier, the appetite hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are critical that we get sleep at night. Otherwise, you do end up the next day with this sort of – we’ve all experienced that we’re up all night and you walk to the fridge every hour or the pantry looking for something to eat because those hormones are not in balance. So it’s sort of the signaling is off. So we need to sleep because the signaling is off as well. So we probably would need hours to get into all of the biochemical reactions behind it all. But I would just say sleep in and of itself is huge for building hormones, and for balancing hormones, and for ensuring that communication with hormones among hormones with each other, with different tissues of the body is happening and happening well.
[00:47:27] Ashley James: I think we could do an entire episode just on this number two – this section two. Because you mentioned toxins, toxic exposure and there’s like an entire episode right there. And I’ve had other guests talk about it. But the toxins like Bisphenol A, for example, or endocrine disruptors. And now there’s obesogens and there’s microplastics in water. Like, don’t drink bottled water that’s in plastic because there’s microplastics that are obesogens. And there’s estrogen mimicking plastics and toxins. There’s over 80,000 toxins in our food and water and air. And many of them are endocrine disruptors. And it’s scary because it could be your mattress could be off gassing obesogens. Your carpet could. Your furniture, if it has the flame retardants. And all cosmetics that are in plastic bottles, artificial fragrances and household cleaners, if they’re in plastic bottles, off gas and get into our air. The air quality in our home is ten times worse than the air quality out on the streets. And we’re breathing in these chemicals that are toxic to the body. And we don’t feel it on a regular basis. But it’s slowly disrupting our hormones and increasing our chances of cancer and hurting the thyroid. There’s so many things.
So really, like you said, lifestyle is huge. And as part of that sleep, eat healthier, don’t eat crap food, and reduce your toxic exposure. Don’t over schedule yourself. But each one of these points could be like a whole episode. But it’s so critical. So I love that you addressed this. And that this is something that takes seriously. And again, it’s that shifting our mindset as women who – I’m totally guilty of this – shifting our mindset from putting ourselves last and dragging ourselves through the mud because we have kids, because we have a husband, because we have a career, putting everyone else first because we can. And this is also what we’re taught to do in society. We don’t celebrate taking time off to nurture ourselves. In society, it’s celebrated to burn the candles at both ends. And that’s because if you look at it, women are trying to – and this is over the last, you know, 30,40 years. Women are trying to make sure that we can have a career, that we can have everything we want, and we also want to have a family. And that means the we’re still kind of like holding on to this like 1950’s idea of what being a mom is. And this like 1980’s idea of like what being a career woman is. And try to do both at the same time and it just doesn’t work. So we have to lean – what we need is we need like the 1800’s idea of what it is to be a woman where we know that we’re not an island. We’re not doing this alone. We have to do this in a village. And we need to lean on each other.
And maybe that means that all of all of your girlfriends get together and you guys take turns carpooling and you take turns cooking dinners. Maybe you get five girlfriends together and each one of you cooks for the whole group. Or you get together once a week. My friend does this. She gets together with a girlfriend and they do meal prep. They do one day of cooking together and they cook all the meals. And they prep all the meals for both their families. So there’s ways that we can do it. But we have to do it together as a community. And find the girlfriends in your life that want to get healthy together and see how you can lean on – you know, lean on family and friends but don’t do this alone. Because that’s going to help you to reduce the stress is to not do this alone.
[00:51:32] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. I mean, it’s such a great point. And I think the supporting – women with other women – and I find this and you, too, as a mom probably have seen this. I think really when a woman says, “No. I can’t do this.” Like let’s just say, of course at school, they’re always looking for volunteers or whatever it may be or signing kids up for things. When women say no, we need to respect that they just have enough on their plate. And I hear this from women all the time that there’s just this guilt that they should be doing this, and they should be doing that, and they shouldn’t be doing this, and all these things. And I think at some point it’s not selfish to think about yourself. It’s actually selfless. Because if you’re not here in good health, your whole family’s going to suffer. So you need to worry about yourself. So I think giving each other permission – because I hear it all the time where women ask another woman, “Be on this board with me. Or can you be on this committee or coach or this?” And somebody says no, and they’re like, “Can you believe she said no?” And it’s like, you know what? We, as women, need to support each other and respect that. That might just be one too many things for her right now. And that’s okay. And so taking that pressure off of each other will help a lot of us to feel less guilt about saying yes to things that we know are really outside of our bandwidth.
[00:52:49] Ashley James: Guilt and shame are as unhealthy as smoking. We have to get that to look at what we need versus what we want. I love that you said that. Because what we want is clean the entire house and do 25 things on our to do list. That’s what we want. But by the end of the day, if we’ve only done four, then we feel kind of defeated and we feel guilty or shame. And that is like we just sat down and started smoking cigarettes. It’s shame and guilt are really unhealthy. And they actually will hurt our hormones.
Can you explain why being in stress mode, and guilt, and shame – these are emotions. They’re not tangible. They’re not like this is a desk This is real. So we often don’t think that emotions can affect something physical like hormones .But can you explain why there’s a real link between staying in an emotionally stressed state and having poor hormone health?
[00:53:47] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. So I think when you think about stress or when I talk with women about stress, I think they automatically think it’s just the stress of everyday living. Stress from your body’s perspective, I think there’s just one stress response and that is the fight or flight mode, which most of us have heard of. And all that is, there’s a huge surge of adrenaline when something stressful happens. You’re walking across the street with your three year old, a car comes out of nowhere, luckily, we have the stress mode in our body so that we can very quickly get our child out of the way and everybody is safe. And so that’s kind of that short term stress mode. When we’re in long term stress, which is the case for most of us. I mean, our bodies are designed to be in short term stress. Quick bouts of stress and then we go back to a more relaxed state. And I don’t mean relaxed, like you’re kicking your feet up. But you’re not in constant, constant stress mode. When we’re constantly stressed, which we are, we have to think about stress in a different way. It’s the same fight or flight response.
So we get this huge surge of adrenaline. We get tons and tons of cortisol, which is our long term stress hormone. And cortisol affects all of the other hormones of our body. It affects progesterone, which is one of the hormones we make when we ovulate. It affects estrogen. It affects our thyroid hormone. It really has this huge effect. Our blood sugar hormone. So it really – stress in and of itself kind of throws us into a tailspin and we don’t even know it. And I think we often think of just those kind of overt stresses, like walking in front of a car coming out of nowhere. Or, “Hey, I got a really stressful email from my boss.” But emotional stress of maybe something that you can’t let go of from, maybe a friendship, something happened and there’s this thing kind of lingering or family member. Or it could be the stress of something physical. Maybe you have a food sensitivity or, you and I, were talking about dairy before the show, maybe dairy in your body creates an immune response and inflammatory response in the body. That’s actually stressful in the body and will also produce the stress response. So there’s a multitude of things that are constantly producing the stress response in our body. And every time we release these stress hormones, it’s like a domino effect. I mean, I think of it is like, you know, if you think of a symphony playing beautifully together, all of these different instruments. If one plays out of tune, it kind of ruins the whole piece. That’s how hormones work. If cortisol is up, up, up all the time, the rest of the hormones are going to be all over the place. And they’re going to be out of whack and out of balance. That’s why when we’re working with women, when I work with women, to help balance hormones, we can’t ignore stress or sleep. But stress is such a big factor because it literally has a domino effect on every other hormone in our body. So we have to address that.
[00:56:34] Ashley James: I love it. And it starts by doing little things. I think we could like get stressed out about stress.
[00:56:40] Jill Chmielewski: Yes. Very good. That is true. That is true. Don’t do that. Don’t do that.
[00:56:44] Ashley James: Yeah. No. It takes little changes. Like I said, try to go to bed an hour earlier or two hours early and just see what happens. Or just make those little changes. But I think starting – you’re right. Starting with sleep is the best because then we’ll have a little bit more energy and mental clarity to start making better food choices. And then we can start looking at the cleaning products in our house. And then we could just go down the list. So I know that you’re giving us this sort of checklist of things to do. Okay. What’s the point number three?
[00:57:14] Jill Chmielewski: So point three is, I think just the notion that there is no quick fix for health and hormone balance issues. And that you’re probably going to have to do some investigative work if you have had long standing hormone issues. And what I mean by that is, one of the best ways to know if you’ve had hormone issues coming into perimenopause is have you had irregular periods, funky periods, heavy periods, cloudy periods, skipped periods. I mean, periods, they’re now considered the fifth vital sign. So they are literally a reflection of what’s happening on the inside of our body.
So during the reproductive years, in general, if you’re having a period pretty regularly, we’re going to assume you’re ovulating. Some people aren’t ovulating. That’s a different conversation. But in general, if you’re getting a period, let’s say, with a lot of regularity it’s pretty manageable. If you’re not getting a lot of PMS, there’s nothing really crazy and symptomatic about it. Your hormones are probably pretty balanced. Because when you come into perimenopause, your hormones are going to start changing and periods may change. And that’s actually a normal part of perimenopause. But if you are coming into it and you’ve had period issues for years and years and years and years, it’s something that requires some attention. I would say to your listeners, if you’re in your 20s, early 30s, mid-30s, and you’re having period issues and you’ve had them for a long time, you probably want to start doing some investigative work now. Because those issues are only going to get worse. In perimenopause, you can expect hormone imbalances. And again, there is no quick fix in that moment. There are things that we can do to help support hormones. It’s going to be a little tumultuous and it’s going to be a little bit rocky just like puberty was. Because we think about perimenopause as sort of like reverse puberty. It’s like in puberty, your hormones are going on the up and up. In perimenopause, they’re on this kind of slow decline. And sometimes it’s a quick decline. But in most cases, it’s a little bit of a slower decline.
But I think this is that period in life where you’re going to want it sort of investigate anything that has been going on. Understand that there are no quick fixes. And that once you’ll want to probably – I think this is where building your team even before you hit perimenopause is really important. Because you want to address things that are happening now so they don’t get worse in perimenopause. And then as perimenopausal issues arise, and they will, I think there’s – I can’t imagine there’s a woman out there that has not had some type of a symptom during perimenopause. Some women go through rather unscathed. But most women are definitely dealing with hormonal issues at certain times. Sometimes worse than others. I mean, sometimes it’s going to be worse than other times during that perimenopausal journey. But I think addressing those things when you can, and then building your team, and understanding that there isn’t a quick fix. I think that’s a really good mentality to walk into perimenopause with.
[01:00:01] Ashley James: I love it. Awesome. All right. Point four.
[01:00:04] Jill Chmielewski: Point four, so kind of along the same lines. Understand that change is inevitable. Like, this is coming and you do have to prepare. So like I talked about earlier, like the puppy or the baby that’s coming, you get car seats and you have showers. And you do all these things for this baby that’s going to come because it’s so important you read every baby book. And then once the baby comes, you’re reading sleep books. Or maybe it’s some discipline books when they’re little, how to handle temper tantrums, and things like that. We tend to really, when it comes to other people in our life, will read, read, read, read. Or if somebody is second or life, will help investigate and see. Google, anything we can about whatever diagnosis they just got. But when it comes to perimenopause, we don’t prepare. It’s back to that whole notion that everyone else comes first and we come last. And I think part of it is the inherent nature of the fact that, we really didn’t even have – I don’t know when the word perimenopause sort of came to be. But I think, traditionally, when I was growing up and going through nursing school even, there was the reproductive years and then there was menopause. And there wasn’t perimenopause. So part of the issue is that, I don’t think women understand that there’s this period of time. It’s not like you’re a reproductive aged woman and all of a sudden one day you’re menopausal and hormones dropped off. But I wonder if that is how. I mean, I don’t know. Maybe that is the perception of some women.
So I think knowing that you have this period of time is coming and you need to start preparing for it. And I think when you’re prepared, like anything else, you’re just going to do better. Because one of the symptoms that comes up a lot, I’ve had clients that will just be in panic mode about irregular periods. “All of a sudden, I had really regular periods and then they’re irregular now.” And they tell their doctor and the doctor sends them for a vaginal ultrasound and then a biopsy. And then they put them on the birth control pill and all these things. And actually, irregular periods during perimenopause is normal. It’s a sign of hormones changing. So I think if we can take some of the panic out of the things that are coming and understand that some of these things are normal. Yes, you want to investigate if something seems like it’s really out of whack. But irregular periods, for instance, that is something we would expect in perimenopause. And if you know that, you can prepare. So when that starts to happen, you’re not freaking out and feeling like you need to have these really crazy tests done and all these other things. So I would say preparation is probably your next one.
[01:02:34] Ashley James: I like that you bring that up that it’s a window. Because you mentioned, when we prepare for a baby, we’re having a baby shower. And I would just imagine having this like menopause shower or perimenopause, shower. Like, what if we celebrated it? Like, “I got the news from the doctor already. I’m going to have a party with my girlfriends because I’m in perimenopause.” But it’s a slow transition. Your body slowly transitioning over.
When I was younger back in the 90s, Oprah, I guess she was going through menopause.
[1:03:06] Jill Chmielewski: I remember that. Yeah.
[01:03:07] Ashley James: And that was unheard of, to talk about menopause on TV. It was something that was shameful that you whisper it behind closed doors. It was not celebrated. And she brought it out into the open. I mean, she exposed a lot of stuff, hoarding, rape, incest, abuse. She exposed so much that’s in our culture as women and we felt ashamed to talk about it. And I love that. I love that she brought minute pause out into the open. I really feel that she single handedly brought it out into the open like Goddess out of the dark ages. And made it so we could freaking discuss it and not be some this point of shame. And that it is something that we can actually celebrate.
And when we look at ancient cultures, because I’ve studied ancient cultures and ancient religion, before Christianity – and I’m not bashing any religion at all. It’s just looking at the history. But before like the Crusades, before Christianity, women in many cultures were the – I don’t want to say rulers – but the older women were the healers. The grandmothers were looked to, were the elders, were the leaders, they were looked to as women who were in their power. And when a woman went into menopause or was beyond the childbearing years, in certain cultures, they were actually revered and looked at that they stepped into their power. That something happened to women when they went through menopause and post menopause where they had access to universal energy and access to healing energies. And they had stronger intuition. Stronger ability to practice healing and to guide the tribe or guide the people. So there are cultures that saw that women stepped into their power. And that was the meme that menopause meant you stepped into your power.
And I’d love for us to now make that part of our idea. You’re not losing something by going into menopause. You’re gaining something. Because I think some women are afraid of going into menopause. It means we’re getting older. We’re frail. We’re going to lose our bones. We’re going to have osteoporosis. We’re just looking at the mainstream media version of it or that narrative that we just get old and weak and frail. Instead, how about we’re these super strong women that step into our power and step into our intuition. And like the light bulb goes on in our body and we become even stronger and healthier because we’re figuring out stuff. We’re taking the wisdom of our years and we’re applying it.
So I’d like for us to shift that, yes, it takes about 15 years, like you said, ten to 15 years to shift into it. And in that time we get to prepare. And that we can actually look forward to it. Because there’s so much that good that happens that so many ancient cultures saw that there’s good that happens within us as women when we step into menopause.
[01:06:21] Jill Chmielewski: I so agree. I couldn’t agree with you more. And I think a lot of it has to do with, obviously, our society that reveres youth is beautiful. And aging is sort of like, “You’re kind of washed up and over the hill.” And tossing women to the side. When I think, like you said, a lot of these cultures have really always put aging women at the forefront and really valued all that their life experience can now be bestowed on the next generation and share it. And it would be really nice if we could see that shift here.
[01:06:50] Ashley James: Now, you have mentioned earlier that watching your periods as a vital sign is important. Like the quality of the period, whether it’s heavy or light. What about PMS? What about even like a week before the period, if cravings get stronger? Or if their boobs are more tender than normal? Or if they’re way more irritable than normal? Or just like, are really, really exhausted in the morning? These symptoms leading up to their period, what about that? Is that a sign that something is off balance or off kilter or is that normal?
[01:07:27] Jill Chmielewski: You know, typically, I mean, in the ideal – optimally, we would have uneventful periods. I mean, aside from the fact that when you get your period itself, your uterine lining sheds because your hormones, progesterone and estrogen, have really fallen. And so when we don’t have our hormones, we feel it in terms of we feel more tired, we don’t feel as energetic. We want to maybe kind of sit on the couch day one and day two or maybe even day three of our period. That part of sort of the hormonal decline with your period is normal. I would say the period leading up to that, so that transition of time where women say, “Oh, my gosh. I am just like out of my mind the week before my period.” Typically, there is a hormonal imbalance. And more times than not, it usually means that there’s not enough progesterone to balance estrogen.
So I don’t know if your listeners have heard of estrogen dominance. That word is tossed around a lot these days when we’re talking about hormones. But estrogen and progesterone really need to be balanced in order for women to feel good. And for a really uneventful period, estrogen and progesterone, need to be balanced. And oftentimes, I think alluding back to a lot of the toxins, a lot of the hormone disrupting chemicals, a lot of those chemicals contain like estrogen mimicking chemicals. So there’s a lot more estrogen in the environment than there once was. And so women tend to have higher estrogen in relation to the amount of progesterone they have. And that’s typically – typically, again, why women would have sort of eventful periods, PMS, the bloating, the moods. All that stuff is typically more related to progesterone, maybe, being on the lower side or, maybe, not being enough to balance out estrogen.
[1:09:13] Ashley James: So if women have these symptoms and then they confirm that with bloodwork that their progesterone is low, what do you recommend they do to support the body in increasing its progesterone to normal levels?
[01:09:26] Jill Chmielewski: I mean, it depends. I mean, I think with hormones, usually if somebody has really not great PMS or they really noticed that, in general, we’re doing a hormone panel. A combination of serum testing, which is lab testing, and doing a urine test at home. Typically, we do like, what we call, a 24-hour urine, where we’re actually looking at hormones and their metabolites. It gives us a lot more information. So it’s hard to say specifically without knowing what someone’s results are. In general, I would say if somebody says, “Hey, if you were just kind of saying hey [inaudible] [01:10:00].” What would you say to somebody or group of women who have really, really significant PMS? I would say, number one, you definitely want to look at the toxins in your environment. I think a big source of estrogen coming in is going to be, obviously, in dairy. Because all dairy is coming from the milk of a lactating mammal. A lot of our [inaudible] [01:10:18] because a lot of them are injected with antibiotics and hormones. Definitely, pots and pans, plastics, the microplastics as we know, our beauty products, et cetera. I mean, they’re everywhere. They’re kind of everywhere.
So doing your best to kind of start decreasing estrogen coming in that way. Because our bodies are smart. Our bodies really probably know. They know how much hormone is needed and how much should be released. So if we have imbalanced hormones, oftentimes with estrogen. it’s coming from an outside source or it has more to do with detoxification, really sluggish detoxification. Because we’re not, maybe, breaking down estrogen properly. And so we’re holding on to some of it and recycling it. For women who are constipated and they’re going to the bathroom every three days, your livers breaking down estrogen. It has to get out of your body. And the only way can do that is for you to go to the bathroom. Well, that’s going to be a problem. You’re definitely going to be holding on and recirculating estrogen in the body.
So I always tell women, look at some of those kind of food factors. First, look at kind of your gut health, see what’s happening there. There are supplements that can be taken. But they’re very, very targeted to what’s happening once we see the hormone panel. From a progesterone side, you’re going to want to do things that are going to optimize isolation. And that would be things like there’s definitely herbs that will do that. But I think from a lifestyle perspective, stress is going to be huge for ovulating. I mean, our bodies are not going to want to bring a baby into this world if it’s stressed out. And even if you don’t want a baby, your body’s purpose of ovulation is to create a baby. I mean, that’s we’re primarily designed so that’s why we ovulate. So from your body’s perspective, it’s always thinking how to procreate and how am I going to bring a baby into this world. Well, if you’re stressed, it’s not going to do that very well. Hormones are going to be off. So anything you can do to decrease stress is going to improve progesterone. That includes things like exercise. Because I think we think of exercise is good. But I find with this kind of type A mentality we have and the go, go, go. And then we go to orange theory – and I’m not picking on orange theory. But we tend to be in this rush state all the time. And then we go in our workouts or like maniac workouts that actually stresses us more. We may feel relief when we leave. But from our bodies perspective, it’s just more stress. Too much exercise can definitely impede progesterone as well. So I always tell women, you definitely want to look at what you’re doing to support optimal progesterone, optimal ovulation, and things like that. And then there’s also, obviously, some herbs and nutrients. Getting the right vitamins and the right diet on board to make sure that you’re optimizing hormones will really go a long way to help with your period health.
[01:13:08] Ashley James: All right. Next point, number five.
[01:13:10] Jill Chmielewski: Okay. So this is probably my biggest beef, I think, with practitioners. Sorry, practitioners. But balanced hormones are just as critical in midlife and late life as they were in reproductive years. So I think, this is where conventional medicine and functional medicine sort of part ways. And in fact, I just received my North American Menopause Society Clinicians Guide. The Menopause Practice Clinicians Guide this year. And still, I mean, it’s 2020 – and I guess, it was the 2019 release. They’re still talking about the advice to clinicians, you know, conventional clinicians, is hormone therapy is just for symptom relief during perimenopause and not to be considered. Essentially, we really don’t need it later in life. And I think, you know – and we won’t don’t have to get into the hormone replacement discussion today But I guess the point is, hormones are needed in every cell of the body. I mean, it’s sort of absurd to think that we only need hormones for making babies. And so that’s been this sort of the conventional way of thinking. Well, you don’t really need your hormones anymore. I mean, you probably had friends as well or you know people who’ve had a hysterectomy and they’re told, “Hey, you know what? It’s fine. Just take it out. You don’t need in any way.” Well, that’s absurd. That’s absolutely absurd. You’re like castrating someone when you take their ovaries out. So it’s that same notion that these hormones, we have hormones work like – hormones work with receptors. And so it’s sort of like a lock and key type of system. So within our body, hormones swim in our bloodstream to different receptors. And they kind of wiggle into receptor. And then that causes an action to happen in the body. Whether that is, maybe, it’s swimming into a uterine lining receptor and it’s building the uterine lining, maybe it’s estrogen that’s gone there to build the uterine lining, or maybe it’s swimming up to the breast and it’s growing breast cells, or to the brain and it’s helping the brain to think more clearly.
I mean, we have hormone receptors all over our body from head to toe, from our brain to our heart, to our skin, to our vagina, to our urinary tract, our blood vessels, our bones, everywhere. So the notion that once we hit this phase of life, we no longer need hormones so we’re just kind of ignore people that are having hormone imbalances is really insane when you think about the systemic effects that hormones have on the body. And we know from looking at hormones that having balanced hormones, they systemically protect our brain, our heart, our bones, our bladder, our skin, our gut, and I mean so much more in our body. So keeping that in mind, it’s not just about making babies. You knew that didn’t you?
[01:15:50] Ashley James: Well, I love that you’re saying this because we want to live as long as possible, as healthfully as possible. We want the golden years to be super healthy. Just as healthy as when we were 30. When I lived in Las Vegas with my husband back in 2009-ish, I had this functional doctor. She’s awesome. She was in her 70s and she did not look like she was in her 70s. She’s the doctor who diagnosed me with chronic adrenal fatigue. I had been feeling so guilty and so shame – like I felt so much shame for how exhausted I was. And I thought I was just lazy. Because if you looked at me, you’d think I was lazy. But really, my adrenal fatigue was so bad. And I did the saliva test with her, where you spit in a tube all day long – different tubes and then they send it off to the lab. And she had been in the Olympics twice in the summer – Winter Olympics. She had been in the Winter Olympics twice. And she said, “The only time I’ve ever seen cortisol levels this low was right after I finished the Olympics.” And she said, “You are walking dead.” And she showed me the chart – the graph where, normally, it’s supposed to start really high in the day and go down. I would start the day lower than when people are sleeping. My cortisol at the beginning of day was lower than people who are sleeping. And it would just sort of creep up and then just barely creep up to what you would have as normal levels at the most tired part of your day was my maximum amount of energy, basically. And she showed me that and she goes, “You know,no wonder you actually have some energy and some mental clarity about like 6:00 p.m. And then it’s hard for you to sleep at night because your body is just struggling all day long to make some cortisol. And you finally have some at night.”
But I was really messed up and she was the first one to show me and affirm that, “Yeah. You’re not lazy. Your hormones are way out of balance.” And what I loved about learning from her is that she became this example of health to me. She was like mid-70s. She would run – she did Iron Man’s in the desert. She would do triathlons in the 115 degree heat. She looked absolutely amazing. And she did not prescribe to the idea that when we’re older, we need to be frail. She’s in her 80s now and she just moved to Illinois to start a ranch. And she’s not ever going to stop. She’s super healthy. We’re friends on Facebook, still connected. And she believes that food is medicine. And take supplements when needed to fill in the gaps of nutrition, like minerals. And use your body in a way that builds health.
And so having an example, I think it’s really good to find someone – find an older woman who’s in their 70s or 80s that is an example of prime health. And then just model that and look at her and help you shift your belief system that you can be active and healthy. And not catching the flu, not at risk of dying of influenza because you’re a senior, not a risk of having your hip break. But really, that’s not – and shift our belief system. Look in your mind and go, “What do I look like in my mind’s eye? What is my belief system about being 85 years old?” And if you see yourself in like a home in a wheelchair, that thing need to change. If that’s your belief system, if that’s sort of this carrot you’ve dangled out in front of you, you want to be imagining yourself running marathons at age 99. Because there are women out there. Go on YouTube and look up 100 year old woman running marathons. There are women that do that. And I love these videos of these women in their 90s that run these marathons. And they say, “Oh yeah. When I was 75, I started running.” It’s just like they weren’t doing it their whole lives.
But shifting our mindset to have the idea that when we are 80, 90, and 100, that we are healthy and active and still using food as medicine and still getting out there. And that is the norm. That’s the idea we want in our mind to move towards. Because I think if we have a belief system that when we’re older, we become frail. Then we just kind of give in when your medical professional says, “Okay. Well, you’re in menopause so, you know, we don’t really have to look at this anymore. It doesn’t matter what kind of estrogen you have. You’re in menopause.” It’s ridiculous. Because estrogen and progesterone actually play a role in longevity. And if we have healthy hormones in our 50, 60, 70s, 80s, 90s, 100s, we’ll live longer and not die of a degenerative disease. And women who have poor hormone levels will die of a degenerative diseases. You just look at the statistics and see. So there’s a direct link between healthy hormones and longevity and also degenerative disease.
I know a woman in her 70s who got her period back and actually got pregnant. What happened was, so this doctor – one of the doctors that trained me as a Naturopath. And he’s an old school Naturopath. I think he’s in his 80s now. But he’s an old school Naturopath. And he got this woman on supplements and changed her diet. And he said to her – she was 70. H said to her, “Now watch out.” What happened was she told him, “Hey, I had a period. That was weird.” And she said, “Watch out, you’re fertile now.” And she laughed at him. She’s like, “I’m 70. There’s no way”. And he said, “You got to start using protection with your husband.” Because he’d seen it before. Because some women, when they get so healthy, that you can actually reignite your hormones again. And it’s totally possible. And so she didn’t listen to him. She got pregnant and she had a completely healthy child.
[01:22:25] Jill Chmielewski: Wow.
[01:22:26] Ashley James: It is absolutely possible to, I guess, reverse to come out of menopause. So the thing is, I agree with you, it takes like 15 years or whatever. And we kind of go into and then we’re in menopause. But at the same time, I have this idea in the back of my head that we could – we’re seeing women get into menopause in their 40s now because they’re triggering it too early. So I’m not saying menopause is bad. But I think that menopause is bad when it’s too early.
[01:23:03] Jill Chmielewski: Yes.
[01:23:04] Ashley James: And it’s kind of like the body goes, “Oh, well. I’m kind of exhausted. I don’t have the nutrients. I’m stressed out. And now, I have to go into this phase because I’m depleted.” And so we kind of want to stave off menopause as long as possible and keep our hormones as healthy as possible so we could be in pre-menopause for longer. And maybe go into menopause in our 60s instead of our 40s. But more and more practitioners are seeing women in their 40s go into menopause, not because it’s not healthy menopause. It’s premature unhealthy menopause because they’re depleted.
And so I kind of want to have you talk a little bit about how can we support our health now to delay menopause until when it’s actually healthy to have it? Does that make sense?
[01:23:56] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of it. I mean, it sort of sounds a little bit redundant but I think it comes down to, it’s really the food and lifestyle choices that we make. I mean, even food as we know, so much of our soil is depleted. And even if we’re eating the right foods, they may not have all the nutrients that they should have because of whatever, the farming, whatever it may be, whatever is happening. So oftentimes, we do need some targeted supplementation to help bridge that gap, like you alluded to earlier. So I think, balanced hormones are all about nutrients. Nutrients are the building block of hormones. So in theory, if we can get those building blocks of hormones in place, we will at least be able to build hormones for as long as possible.
And you talked about I know with adrenal – going into adrenal fatigue. I think that’s been a really big one even if it’s not a full blown adrenal fatigue diagnosis. A lot of women are having trouble with their adrenal glands because of all the stress that we’re under. And again, not just the stress of everyday life but the exposure to toxins which is seen as stressful from the body’s perspective. Or I think there’s a lot coming out now about electromagnetic fields in our cellphones, in our computers. And we have to kind of stand back and say, “Here’s how our body was designed.” It was really designed to, again, be in this sort of – we’re still kind of primarily designed, where we have not evolved as quickly as society is about, especially in the last – oh, my gosh – think about the last even 25 years or even the last ten years. I think it was 2007 when the iPhone came out . So that’s what not – my math is not very good right now, 12 years. Just knowing that our lives have changed so dramatically since the iPhone came out where we have 24/7 accessibility, and computers, and internet, and all these things. So I think a big part of it is going to come down to food and lifestyle is probably the best thing to help support hormones and perpetuate our own internal hormone production for as long as possible before our body kind of says, “Okay. You know what? Now, it’s sort of done.”
Genetics play a role, for sure. I mean, a lot of women will sort of follow suit with what happened to their mom. If their mom was 52 when she went through menopause, they may be 52. So we do see that genetics play a role there. But I think we’re seeing girls in their early 20s that have hormones of a 50 year old. I mean, it’s because of the way that we’re living. I think we’re seeing such drastic issues with hormones, probably early menopause, like you alluded to as well.
[1:26:36] Ashley James: Number six.
[01:26:38] Jill Chmielewski: So number six – we won’t go into great detail here because it’s kind of a very long topic. But I just want to myth bust the notion that estrogen is bad. I think we are – I don’t know if your listeners are familiar with the Women’s Health Initiative. But it’s a study that was done many, many years ago, that sort of put a really negative spin on estrogen. And it did not – the study did not – it was a long term study with thousands and thousands of women who were studied, really, probably for the first time. It’s one of the first studies that was done looking at hormone replacement therapy. And essentially, there was a really negative result as a result of this study. And in fact, the study was stopped early. And the women in this study had more heart disease, breast cancer, strokes, blood clots, et cetera. They were placed on estrogen but it was a synthetic form of estrogen. Not the estrogen that we make in our body, which we call bioidentical estrogen, which is available through compounding pharmacies. It was not that. It was an estrogen that’s made from the urine of pregnant horses. And it was combined –
[01:27:44] Ashley James: Sorry to interrupt. But I just want to say one thing about that, about Premarin and any kind of hormone that comes from horses. If you knew the conditions – mostly it’s made in Canada. I’ve been told about the conditions because I was a practitioner who went and saw where it was made. But they keep these horses in a factory. They’re never allowed outside. They’re not allowed to move. They’re hooked up. And they’re constantly pregnant. And then they take their babies away from them and they’re not allowed to see their babies. And if their male horses, they just slaughter them right away. And they’re tortured for their urine. So they keep the horses pregnant for their urine so they can make hormones out of them for us. And it is disgusting and deplorable to know that these hormone drugs are coming from the suffering of these beautiful horses. So it’s really, really, really bad. And if everyone saw this, no one would buy this stuff. And there are other ways. So you’re saying there are other ways. I want to point that out because a lot of women go and get Premarin or Gambino, get hormone replacement stuff that comes from horse urine. And just know that if you actually knew the conditions that lead to making it, you would not want to take this. You wouldn’t even want it in your body.
[01:29:13] Jill Chmielewski: No. One hundred percent. It’s not even – I mean, the other thing is, aside from the terrible conditions of the horses, absolutely. And I’ve read a lot about that as well. It’s made from – again, it’s the horse’ss estrogen, not human estrogen. So it doesn’t – we’re always looking for – anytime we replace hormones in the body, we want to use something that is what we call bioidentical. And that just means that the chemical and molecular structure looks just like our own hormones and acts just like our own hormones, if they came in the body. So when you bring a bioidentical estrogen on board, it knows exactly what to do. It swims to that estrogen receptor. It knows exactly what to do. I kind of consider these – I don’t even call them hormones. They’re synthetic chemicals. It’s probably the best word for them. But this study, unfortunately, sort of it had some really, really poor results but it had nothing to do with bioidentical hormones whatsoever. And unfortunately, the publicity and the fallout of that was sort of like, estrogen is bad, estrogen is bad, estrogen is bad. And so practitioners, even still Physicians – not all. I’m not bucketing all physicians. But there are still Physicians where this has been perpetuated, and they still think estrogen replacement is bad. And they’re thinking about the Women’s Health Initiative that used this fake estrogen.
So kind of putting that aside, our bodies – we make estrogen and we make progesterone. So our bodies would never make something that was harmful, right? That’s part – so you just have to kind of think about it logically. So I just want to bust that myth just because I think women oftentimes will say, “Okay. I’m suffering deeply with symptoms in perimenopause.” And I can definitely relate to this because I’m 48. I’ll be 49 this year. I’ve been in perimenopause for a while. I’m kind of on the tail end. I saw a huge kind of decline last year. And my hormones are very normal for this period in time. And I chose to use bioidentical hormone replacement because I saw the numbers. I know my symptoms. I’m working with a functional medicine practitioner. Point being that, when these hormones decline, you’re going to feel it in your body. It’s not just about periods. It’s about your brain health, your bone health, everything else, bladder health, vaginal health, you name it, your blood vessels. So it’s okay to consider hormone replacement. I think there’s a lot of sort of this black cloud hanging over estrogen because of this study. And if estrogen replacement, bioidentical hormone replacement, estrogen replacement, which should never be used without progesterone. They’re always used together even if you don’t have a uterus. If they’re used properly and you are monitored properly, you can really reap the benefits. But I think a lot of women just don’t even want to go there with the conversation. They’ll just suffer through the symptoms even if they’ve made a lot of the food and lifestyle changes and nothing else has changed. And perhaps it’s time to consider hormone replacement, the word estrogen just makes them think cancer. And there’s a lot more that goes into cancer or other types of negative outcomes from estrogen or the wrong kind of estrogen than estrogen itself.
So I just want women to understand that we’re not – when we’re talking about hormone replacement, we’re talking about estrogen is not bad. Progesterone is not bad. You have huge amounts when you’re pregnant. Huge amounts during the reproductive years. So if they were bad, we would all have cancer when we were pregnant. You know what I mean? So keep that in mind.
[01:32:44] Ashley James: Well, one thing is the estrogen is a catch all. It’s a catch all for many different hormones. So we think estrogen is one thing. It’s actually not. It’s a bunch of different – like, there’s estradiol. There’s a bunch of different estrogens. I’m sure you know way more about that than I do. But I thought it was fascinating that there’s many estrogens. And that when the body wants to get – when the body is sort of like, “Okay. We’re going to clear out this estrogen.” It’s been used or whatever. The levels need to be cleared out. The liver takes the estrogen and then converts it into an inert form and puts it into the bile to be released into the poop. So we’re going to poop it out. Really interesting though. And I thought this was fascinating.
I learned this from one of the guests that I interviewed that when we have constipation – and most people in westernized nations who are eating the standard American diet have constipation and don’t know it. And when you have constipation, actually the gut reabsorbs and reactivate some of that estrogen and can lead to estrogen dominance. And it’s a type of estrogen that is unhealthy now. It’s become – it’s an imbalance of the estrogens, basically. It’s now not healthy version of the estrogens within us from doing that. And so we can get estrogen dominance in an unhealthy way. You know, tummy fat can lead to increased estrogen dominance, those other things, blood sugar dysregulation. But constipation, if we don’t poop two to three times a day, we’re not actually getting the hormones out of us. That they’re getting reabsorbed in an unhealthy way. And the toxins as well. So getting enough fiber to go to the bathroom two to three times a day – I’ve got a whole episode on how to have the perfect poop. It’s a big topic.
But just something as simple as making sure that we’re having healthy bowel movements will help us support balance hormones. So I thought that was really fascinating. But I love that you’re saying that estrogen is not unhealthy. Yes, you can have estrogen dominance. And that’s a different – that doesn’t mean estrogen is unhealthy. That means that there’s – it’s like the smoke, not the fire. Estrogen dominance isn’t the fire. It’s not the problem. It’s a symptom of a lot of stuff that’s out of balance.
[01:35:17] Jill Chmielewski: Yes. Exactly. Yeah. You said it perfectly. So I think just know – for women not to be scared of estrogen is probably just a huge factor right now. Because it’s important to, I think, consider and be open to all options when you’re going through perimenopause and menopause. And just get educated about it. And there’s a lot of good information out there that will help you to do that.
[01:35:40] Ashley James: I’ve had several listener – so we have a Facebook Group. There’s 3,500 listeners right now in the Facebook Group. And we have a lot more listeners that download the show. So I’m like, “What are you guys doing? Join the Facebook Group. Come on. Like, you guys are just listening. So the people who haven’t joined the group yet, join the group. It’s a lot of fun.” So there’s 3,500 very active and wonderful people in the Facebook Group. And several women have asked over the last year about hysterectomies. Several women have had either partial or full hysterectomy and they’re wondering if they should get on hormones. And I thought that I didn’t – I said I can’t offer advice about this but you should definitely find a functional medicine practitioner. And if you’re going to get on bioidentical – but people with full hysterectomies – women with full hysterectomies no matter what age, do you believe they should get on bioidentical hormones?
[01:36:29] Jill Chmielewski: I do. I do. Yeah.
[01:36:30] Ashley James: Can you talk a little bit about that?
[01:36:32] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. We really we produce the bulk of our hormones before menopause in our ovaries. Once we hit menopause, that sort of shifts. So we go from ovarian production of hormones to adrenal production of hormones, which is why – and it probably gets a little bit too deep. But that’s why, especially when we’re hitting this time in life, when we’re stressed to the max and our adrenals are already tasked with producing stress hormones. Okay. Now they got to take over whatever sex hormone production they can. It gets a little dicey. Something is going to suffer. So that’s why it can be really, really dicey to have a lot of stress at this point in life. But my point being is our ovaries are really responsible for the bulk of our hormone production. So when they’re taken out – now, there are studies that show even if you just had your uterus taken out, and let’s say, you’re able to keep your ovaries, still you got to think about it. I mean, there’s still been a pretty big shift with your sex organs that, typically, hormone production goes down a little bit. By how much? I don’t know. And I can’t recall. I don’t have the studies offhand. I’ll have to maybe dig for those a little bit. But that’s something that, typically, if you’re going to have a full hysterectomy with your ovaries removed, absolutely. Even progesterone.
And a lot of practitioners will say, “Well, you don’t need progesterone anymore because you don’t have a uterus.” Well, again, if we go back to – if we understand that hormones have systemic effects in the body, just because you don’t have a uterus doesn’t mean you don’t want progesterone for your brain, and your blood vessels, and your bones, and for other places in the body. So I typically – I mean, I’m a fan of really doing hormone replacement for both estrogen and progesterone even if you don’t have a uterus. And, again, doing really good follow up. So it can take a while. I think, for your listeners to know, that when you start hormone replacement, it’s not a one and done kind of scenario. You build up – the ideal scenario is you go really slow hormones. You always want to go low and slow and build up over time. So you’ll probably need a few follow up visits. A few extra lab tests with your doctor and whatnot until you get to kind of the right level. So people kind of have to be patient and understand that it’s a little bit of a process to get hormones right. But yes, absolutely, especially in the case of a hysterectomy.
[01:38:48] Ashley James: Back when I lived in Vegas, so this is like ten -12 years ago, someone gave me a CD. It actually might have been that doctor I talked about. Gave me a CD of a lecture back when we had CDs, right? Gave me a CD of a lecture of a doctor who has since passed. And I think he was in his 80s. But he was kind of like the grandfather of hormone replacement therapy, Dr. John R. Lee.
[01:39:17] Jill Chmielewski: Oh, my gosh. Yes.
[01:39:18 ]Ashley James: So I highly recommend, like, YouTubing Dr. Lee and progesterone and see if you can find his lecture. It was like an hour long. And it was it was really interesting. I’d love to a hold a [inaudible] [01:39:32] or a time machine or something to interview this guy. Because he was really interesting. But what I loved about his story is he was a conventional doctor for, like – I think it was over 40 years. And he was the kind of old school doctor that would sit down with his patients and spend a lot of time with them. And he had this joke, because he graduated top of his class from Harvard. And he worked his butt off because his family was very poor. And he got scholarships and he worked his butt off. And he said, “What do you call the guy in medical school who came in last?” And you say, “What?” And he says, “A doctor.” He said, there’s so many doctors out there that are – even you think about it, the doctor that just barely passed who isn’t really smart versus the doctor who worked his butt off and is super smart, they’re both doctors, right? So you don’t know if you got the dud or the stud. Like, you just don’t know. And the reason why he was kind of bashing his own colleagues was that he was seeing that back then they were poopooing progesterone and putting women on estrogen only. And he actually did the opposite.
Because one of his patients came to him who was in amazing health and had reversed many of her symptoms and she was using progesterone cream. And he went, “Wait a second, what’s going on?” And so he started using progesterone cream and he poured through the research and the science. And he saw that it helped so much to do progesterone cream. And then he started talking in conferences. And all of the doctors were like, “You’re crazy. What you’re doing?” And it’s frustrating because when one of the doctors or scientists figure something out, their profession will pull them back like crab in the bucket. The profession marches slowly. This is a quote from a Naturopath I’ve learned from. He says, “The medical profession progresses slowly one death at a time.” It does not learn very easily from its mistakes. And it really progresses slowly.
So that’s why we have – going back to, I think, it was point one or point – yeah, point one. We have to advocate for ourselves because this profession is way behind and does not learn well from all of the information. A good example is the book Proteinaholic. I absolutely love it. I highly recommend downloading and listening to it on Audible. Proteinaholic is probably the best book I’ve ever listened to. And he cites over 50 pages – because I also bought the book. He has over 50 pages in the back in small print of references. Because he pulls together all the science about using food as medicine and why we’re actually eating too much protein. We’re actually toxic levels of protein and how it contributes to the diseases of today. So I thought it was really interesting that these doctors who are seeing the science, like Dr. Lee and Dr. Garth Davis, the one that wrote the Proteinaholic. They’re seeing the science. They’re pulling it together. And then their colleagues are poopooing it. Because they’re stuck to what they learned in school 20 years ago and what the textbook said. And they’re not actually spending time looking over the latest studies. Or even analyzing the studies to the point where it’s like, “Well, who funded the study? And what kind of study was it? What was the quality of the study?” So we really have to be careful about the cognitive dissonance that our health professionals may have, because we’re all human. And we all make mistakes.
But I love that I learned that from Dr. Lee. I love that he showed me that many doctors are stuck in some way. You know, we all have blinders, right? We’re all here. We all have blinders. But that when we give up our health over – we give our health and our body over to a medical professional, we assume that they know the latest information and the best information. And Dr. Lee taught me they don’t. That most don’t. And so that’s why we have to advocate. And then he also said that, progesterone cream is like God’s gift to women. And he thought it was the world’s best thing. So I just thought that was really interesting. But we don’t want to be allopathic, which is reductionistic. So he’s reductionistic. And he was like, “Okay. This one thing is the best thing in the world.” We can’t be reductionistic and think that one thing is going to solve our problems. But we want that tool in our tool belt. So I like that you brought that up that, estrogen is not dangerous. Progesterone is great too. But we want to do the hormone testing, the appropriate hormone testing, like you said. But we shouldn’t just do it willy nilly. Don’t just go to the store, buy a bunch of hormone creams, and start slathering yourself. Because too much is just as dangerous as too little.
[01:44:40] Jill Chmielewski: Yeah. And you know, hormones, I think people don’t realize that you can give somebody hormones but our body is smart. It’s going to always do what it can to regulate the hormones. So if you give somebody too many hormones, it’s going to shut down some of these receptors. It will find – there’s different proteins that can increase that kind of locks some of the hormone up. So more isn’t always better. That’s why I think it’s always – my approach is always the Goldilocks principle of hormones, which is not too much, not too little, just right. And it’s different for everyone. So it’s different for you than it is for your neighbor that it is for your best friend. Which is why you really want to work with someone who really, really understands hormones and understands the testing and the follow up and what’s really needed to kind of – and is willing to work with you to make sure that you get to a place where you feel really, really good.
[01:45:27] Ashley James: I’m really excited for point seven because so many, so many listeners in the Learn True Health Facebook Group have asked this question. So take it away, point seven.
[01:45:38] Jill Chmielewski: Okay. So the point seven, I almost have to like take a deep breath before I say this.
[01:45:43] Ashley James: Everyone just take a deep breath.
[01:45:45] Jill Chmielewski: It’s kind of my contention points with my Physician. So the pill is not – and whenever I’m saying “the pill,” I’m talking about the birth control pill. It is not a good solution to worsening PMS or erratic periods during perimenopause. We’re going back to the pill in and of itself. Patients are always told, “Here’s the pill. It has estrogen, it has progesterone.” The pill has neither. The pill has synthetic chemicals in it that are nothing like the estrogen and progesterone in your body. And in fact, most sort of functional medicine folks would kind of characterize the pill as putting you into chemical menopause. It’s essentially shutting down your hormone production. And bringing in synthetic chemicals that do not have the same actions that your own hormones do in your body
So when I’m explaining hormones to people, I kind of explain – and I think I read this – I thought it was a good explanation from Dr. Lindsey Berkson, who I love. She’s a hormone scholar. She’s just awesome. And she always explains this hormone and receptor as, think about your hormone receptors as being very promiscuous. And they will kind of let anybody wiggle in on them including toxins, like estrogen mimicking chemicals. They look a little like estrogen so they can wiggle in. Those receptors are like, “Okay. You look okay.” And that’s how the pill is. They’re the same thing. It’s these chemicals that look a little bit like our hormones but they’re not our hormones. And so they wiggle in and they take an effect on ourselves, and our tissues, and our organs of our body. But not necessarily an effect that we want.
I think that conventional medicine physicians like the pill because, basically, it manages “a period.” It will regulate the period. They like the certainty and the predictability of this every 30 day cycle. But what we’re missing here and what women are missing is that, it’s not a real period. It’s a fake period. It’s not the real thing. It’s not the result of your hormones. It’s really a withdrawal bleed from hormones. That’s all it is. It has nothing to do with the uterine lining and the natural hormonal actions that are happening in your body. So I think the idea here is we want to perpetuate our own hormones or our own in internal hormone production as long as possible so that we can get systemic benefits for as long as possible before deciding what we want to do in terms of do we want hormone replacement? Do we not? Do we want to do food and lifestyle choices? What do we want to do? And the pill essentially puts you into chemical menopause. So you don’t get the benefits. You won’t get the systemic benefits of progesterone and estrogen like you would if they were your own.
And I think women to, back to kind of one of the earlier points, it’s like, we want this quick fix. We don’t want to deal with erratic periods. We don’t want to deal with a heavy period. It’s too cumbersome for us with our very busy life. When, again, the period is your fifth vital signs. So it’s telling you something’s up. And while it’s natural and normal in perimenopause to start having longer periods, or shorter periods, or skip periods, or heavier periods, or lighter periods because there’s hormonal fluctuations happening. It is smart to do a little bit of investigative work. And if you’re having really significant symptoms, you need to see somebody. A functional medicine practitioner who really gets it. There are ways to help, I want to say, control your period. But really help you get a better period, a less eventful period, even in perimenopause without going on the pill. So I think the pill is not the route to go.
And you know, people go on the pill – I don’t want to bash all pill users – you want to weigh the risks versus the benefits. For some people, it’s more about birth control than anything else. But if it’s about period – and there’s other much better, I think, birth control options out there if you’re trying not to muck with hormones. But we won’t get into that today. But I think if we’re talking about period management and just – it’s just this irritating period that I have and recursing our periods, the pill is not the way to go. And I think, but doctors kind of tell us it is so that’s what we do. And that’s definitely –
[01:49:45] Ashley James: And they don’t practice informed consent. They do not practice. So they just put you on the pill. Informed consent, they would actually tell you all of the side effects and all of the long term, very detrimental effects the pill has. I am not bashing anyone on the pill. But I am bashing the pill. I think it is a toxic and harmful thing to put women on. And most of the time, doctors will put 15 year olds on it because they have acne or they have out of control – they have got really bad PMS or whatever. And that is not – I don’t think the pill should be used in any event. And I understand the need for birth control. Like you said, there are many really good options for birth control.
And I’ve had other guests talk about this and there’s great books out there on all the different forms of birth control. The pill is probably the most toxic out of all of them. There is an IUD that has hormones that’s probably up there. But the pill has been proven to be incredibly toxic. It has heavy metals in it. So it’ll increase the heavy metals in your body. It changes the biochemistry of your brain. You become a different person. It actually changes your personality. And there have been people who got a divorce after they got off the pill. Because it actually changes your brain, people have gotten married – fallen in love and got married on the pill. Going off the pill, back to who they were before being on the pill. And realized that they married – they didn’t marry that person. Because the pill artificially makes you attracted to different things. Really. it hijacks your personality. It can send women into a different set of emotions and emotional responses. So people see complete personality changes. But when you’re the taker of the pill, you don’t notice it. The other people around you go, “She is not herself.” Because it hijacks the brain. It’s artificial. Its chemical. It’s like castration in a chemical castration in a sense. It’s very harmful to the body and very toxic. And taking it long term can increase cancer, blood clotting, you could die of a stroke. I mean, there’s a lot.
So if you could practice a different form of birth control that is non-toxic than the pill – oh, my gosh – please go for that. And please, I would just say for everyone listening who’s on the pill, look into true informed consent is seeing all of the side effects. Because most doctors are not practicing informed consent. And they are not even aware of all the negative effects. And then look at an alternative that can complement what you want to achieve. And whether it’s getting rid of acne, controlling your PMS, or actually not getting pregnant, there’s so many other options out there that are healthy. So I just hear over and over again how devastating pill is for people. And so many clients and also guests on the show have told me their horror stories that started with being on the pill. And that that actually led them to being unhealthy. And for me, I got on the pill as a teenager. And I can say that it’s one of the factors that triggered many of my health issues. So I’ve seen it in myself. I’ve seen it in others. So I’m kind of warning – I want to warn people because I don’t feel like we’re being warned enough. And this is again, that point where we have to advocate and stand up for women. This is where I feel like I’m a feminist in a sense where I feel like – I never identified as a feminist at all but this is where I feel like women need a voice. And they need to be advocated for. And this is one of those points the birth control pill is toxic and damaging. And it’s being sold to us as this, like, wonderful thing.
And the morning after pill – that’s another one – is very, very harmful and detrimental to the body. And of course, there’s times when a woman needs to make their choice. And I don’t think that choice should be taken away from them. But I think that informed consent needs to be practiced where we need to know all of the very long term and harmful side effects that can occur. So we want to know everything up front. And so I think that when you’re messing with your hormones, you’re messing with your brain, you’re messing with your future, your chances of other diseases, you’re messing with your personality, your quality of life. It’s not as simple as just take a pill and not have a period or not ovulate. It’s not that simple. So thank you for advocating for us.
[01:54:43] Jill Chmielewski: Well, thanks for your chiming in. Because I think everything you said is really right on to. It is. It’s all about informed consent. And we need to know what we’re getting ourselves into so that we can make a really good decision.
[01:54:54] Ashley James: Yeah. Yeah. Let’s make really good decisions. Let’s inform ourselves. Okay. Point number eight.
[01:55:01] Jill Chmielewski: Okay. So just sort of as an FYI, perimenopausal symptoms hide in plain sight. I think that is something where, I think, a lot of women get missed. It’s little things. It’s going to come as soft whispers initially. It’ll be in the form of, “In my mid-30s, all of a sudden I’m not sleeping quite as well.” But it’s not something that necessarily you would make an appointment to go see your doctor for. But I want your listeners to kind of start taking note that hormones start to decline. Progesterone, in particular, starts its decline in our mid-30s. So that’s the hormone that’s going to go first, followed by estrogen. And estrogen will typically go on kind of a wild ride, soaring sky high one minute and then they rock bottom the next for a while before it starts to make it steady decline down. So you’re kind of dealing with a bunch of different sort of hormonal changes that are going to happen over a period of time. The period of time will be different for everyone. So the symptoms will start at different points for different people. And they will kind of pop up. And I think they have pop up ever so slowly where, like I said, it starts with a sleepless night or two. Then maybe it’s, “You know what? I can’t lose weight.” Or, “I’m gaining weight and I’m not doing anything differently.” Then maybe it’s fatigue. Maybe it’s a libido issue. Maybe your hair is thinning out a little bit. Maybe you feel a little bit more weepy or you have a little more anxiety or a little more depression. I mean, all of these things really point to changes in hormones.
But I think what we end up doing is, maybe we get to a point where we say, “You know, I’m really tired now. I’ll go see my doctor.” And we don’t even really mention the other stuff because we don’t think it’s related. Or maybe we feel like we have some anxiety so we go and we see somebody in the mental health group. And yes, there are treatments in that route. But I think if you look at hormones, they have a lot to do with our mental health state. So I think, just for your listeners to know that, these symptoms will start to creep up slowly and they matter. And so when you’re talking with your doctor, make sure you’re mentioning sort of the collective. Even if they don’t seem like they’re related, a lot of times, they are related. They may be in different body organs and different systems. And you might think, “Well, this one I should go to the orthopedic for. And this one, I should go to the endocrinologist for. And this one to the OB.” But really, functional medicine will look at you as a whole person. All of your systems are connected. And so these symptoms probably have a lot to do with hormonal decline or hormonal changes overall.
[01:57:27] Ashley James: All right. We’re in the homestretch.
[01:57:29] Jill Chmielewski: I know. We’re almost there. We’re at the final point.
[01:57:32] Ashley James: We’re almost there We’re almost there. Yes. I like it. And I like that you brought that up that it’s, again, reaffirming that we need to advocate for ourselves. And don’t just sweep these symptoms under the rug. Listen to your body. Listen to the changes in your body and don’t be afraid of them. But advocate for yourself. So I like that you – if you’re coming at it from different angles, to help us shift our mindset into a healthier mindset. I like it. Okay. Last point. Number nine.
[01:58:00] Jill Chmielewski: Okay. Number nine. Last point is, perimenopause begins in the mid to late 30s. I think that’s super critical to understand. And we talked about it earlier. But understand that even when it comes to hormone replacement, a lot of women will say, “No way.” But Dr. John Lee was probably one of the first ones to say, “You know what? Even women in their mid to late 30s would benefit from a little bit of progesterone.” A lot of doctors will say, “We’re not even going to address hormone replacement until you hit actual menopause.” Which means you haven’t had a period in a year. Well, by that time, you’ve been going through – you’ve been on this perimenopausal journey for a long time. Hormones have been declining, symptoms may be really heating up. So understand that even though you may be just getting pregnant at 35 or 37 or 38 or 40, you can be pregnant and still be going through perimenopause. You can be just going through perimenopause. For most women, it is those hormonal shifts will begin with, like, a couple of cycles where you don’t ovulate. That’s where it kicks things off. So you can still have a period very regularly and be in perimenopause.
So that’s why I really just want women to be aware that this period of life will kind of start. You almost think I just finished having babies or I’m just about to have a baby. But it does happen. It seems like it’s too soon. But the studies show that this is when hormones start to shift. So just know that so that you can start to kind of keep track of symptoms. See if you need something sooner. Maybe you need that functional practitioner sooner. I would recommend most women to start meeting with someone earlier rather than later so they can kind of help walk them through and guide them through this perimenopausal journey.
[01:59:43] Ashley James: I love it. Yes. Wherever you are, start now. Start building your health up with all these points that we brought up today. Start building your team of holistic and integrative practitioners today. Start advocating for yourself today. Start everything and little steps no matter where you are, you’re going to build up better hormone health. And hormones, like you said, I love that you pointed out, hormone receptors are on every part of your body. So estrogen levels affect your brain, affect your breasts, affect your calves. I mean affect every part of your body. Awesome.
So I want to ask you is – we’ve gone through so much and this is really jam packed. But is there a question that I haven’t asked that you would love to answer?
[02:00:40] Jill Chmielewski: I mean, I think that we hit – I really do think that we’ve hit most of it. I don’t know. I can’t think of anything.
[02:00:46] Ashley James: Yeah, well, I got you to empty out. So I totally emptied out your brain. And I tapped you for all this great information. It’s been wonderful. I had you talk for almost two hours straight. This is fantastic. I know. So let’s make sure that listeners know how they can follow you. How they can keep learning from you.
[02:01:06] Jill Chmielewski: Sure. Yeah. So I know you mentioned the website. So I would say I’m very active on Instagram and my handle is just jill.chmielewski, so my last name. I do a lot of education. I really use Instagram as sort of those quick snippets of information. I do have a website. It’s just www.jillchmielewski.com. I used to do – I just really stopped seeing one-to-one clients as of just this past year. I’m shifting to – I’m going to be launching a course called Perimenopause Redefined later this year. I do on my website. I also have – I very frequently write blog articles. Very educational in nature. A lot of the stuff that we talked about today but I really try to address women’s biggest symptoms and biggest issues. I recently created a private Facebook Group that if people get on the mailing list, they’ll get that information. And that’s for just some more deep dive hormonal stuff. I kind of call it like, All Things Puzzle. We’re going to talk about everything that has to do with anything that’s puzzle related.
And then I have a shop tab on my site that has – I’ve got some downloadable freebies. I’ve got a couple of paid really pretty low entry types of paid things that people can get. But I also have links to products. I’m always looking for resources and things for women because I think when we talk about, especially, toxins, women don’t know where to go. So I have links to cleaner beauty, to better cleaning supplies, to laundry detergent, to different things. I’m always adding more resources in lab testing so that women know sort of where to go to get some products that are a little bit more trusted and are clean and aren’t going to be mucking with their hormones. So they can find all of that on the website. That’s probably the best place to go for sort of everything. And there’s a tab where they’ll see they can sign up to get on my email list. And I just do about one email a week. I try not to overload anyone’s inbox because I know how busy women are. But I do try to provide some really targeted important information about once a week to the people in my community.
[02:03:08] Ashley James: Great. And I’m going to have all those links in the show notes to today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. But I will spell it for those who have a pen right now. Get your pen. Get your pen. J-I-L-L-C-H-M-I-E-L-E-W-S-K-I.com.
[02:03:26] Jill Chmielewski: Awesome. Thank you. This has been so much fun. Thank you so much for having me.
[02:03:32] Ashley James: This was great. And you should totally come back. Come back and teach us more.
[02:03:34] Jill Chmielewski: I’d love to. I’d love to.
[02:03:36] Ashley James: Wonderful. Awesome. Well, I’m excited to move gracefully into my puzzle years. So thank you. I appreciate that.
[02:03:43] Jill Chmielewski: [Inaudible] [02:03:42] if you have any questions.
[02:03:45] Ashley James: I’m sure. I’m sure I will.
[02:03:47] Jill Chmielewski: We covered everything, right?
[02:03:49] Ashley James: Yeah. Okay. Well, you’ll come back on the show and we’ll go, like, part two. We’ll dive even deeper. That would be great. Awesome.
[02:03:56] Jill Chmielewski: That sounds great. Okay. Good. Thanks so much.
[02:04:01] Ashley James: Thanks.
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Safe Hormones Smart Women by Dr. Lindsey Berkson
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True informed consent means your doctor tells you about everything that could go wrong before giving you a drug or vaccine. Parents are not being made aware of all of the potential dangers.
Polly Tommey is giving a voice to thousands of parents who were not given true informed consent and now have children who are permanently injured, disabled, or dead.
Polly Tommey's sites:
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In this episode, Polly Tommey shares with us her family’s story about vaccination and autism. She shares the benefits of not vaccinating and also the effects of vaccinating from hearing different stories of families who have either vaccinated or not vaccinated their child. Lastly, she also talks about the movies Vaxxed and Vaxxed 2.
[0:00] Intro: Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 403.
[0:00:14] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest. We have with us Polly Tommey, who’s a mother and an activist and a producer of documentaries that have blown my mind. I am kind of pinching myself talking to you today because watching you in the Vaxxed documentary, I was crying most of the time — a lot of tears of inspiration. A lot of tears of shock and sorrow, but at the end of that emotional rollercoaster, I walked away thinking that the entire world needs to see the movies that you’ve produced and that everyone needs to have this information.
What I love about your message is you’re not fear-mongering, you’re shaming. You are empowering. So thank you so much, Polly, for the work that you do, and thank you for being here today to share your story with us.
[0:01:05] Polly Tommey: Thank you so much for having me.
[0:01:08] Ashley James: Absolutely. I’d love for you to start by sharing your story, your personal journey with autism and becoming an activist.
[0:01:16] Polly Tommey: Yes. Well, to start with, my husband and I were extremely pro-vaccine when we had our first child, Bella. We vaccinated her. Of course, you must remember this is 25 years ago. So we did not have the schedule that you have today. This was in England. We have an even less schedule, vaccine schedule than you do here. So, it was really almost one at a time because that was the schedule. So we were very pro-vaccine. We had our second child very close behind our first. So we didn’t think twice, of course about vaccinating. Now, in the morning that I took my son Billy at 13 months into the doctor’s surgery to have his MMR, just that vaccine. I went and had a coffee just so that I could be the first one to tick the box on the book to be the perfect mother, which is what I wanted to be. I wanted to do everything perfectly. So vaccinating was part of that for me.
My friend warned me. She said, “Did you know there’s been this odd thing on television about the MMR? There could be a problem with it.” I said to my friend, “There’s just no way this is true because the doctor would, of course, tell me if there was a problem. So I’m going to go with the doctor’s advice. He’s got a medical degree, and I’m going to go ahead and vaccinate my son.”
So we vaccinated Billy at 9:00 that morning. By 5:00 that evening – and after the vaccine, he was fine but just very very very sleepy. So I just let him sleep and gave him Tylenol and all those things that you’re told to give him. At 5:00, my husband when in to get him from his crib, and he was having a seizure. It was really bad. His eyes were rolling back. He was convulsing. His back was arched. So we rushed him into the emergency room in the hospital.
We told them, “What’s happening to our son?” They said, “What have you done today?” We said, “We gave him the MMR.” They said, “That’s it.” They told us. The medical professionals told us that it was the vaccine. So, they said he would be fine, give him some antibiotics. I mean, it all sounds crazy really back to you know, talking to you about it because I can’t believe how naïve I was.
Yes, we gave him some antibiotics and lots of Tylenol, and he never got better. He never woke up. He got more and more sick and ended up with an autism diagnosis at 18 months. So, that made me so angry, so furious and we started looking into why on earth would the doctors say these vaccines are safe and effective? Why didn’t they tell us that our son could have a seizure? It’s on the insert.
So we started our journey really telling other parents and going on the British television, media in England talking about the MMR vaccine, which was okay for a short amount of time and then suddenly the descend ship started. That’s when we knew we had a much much bigger problem.
[0:04:10] Ashley James: How were you censored?
[0:04:12] Polly Tommey: Well, they would come and interview us about our son’s story and autism because we were big autism advocates at that time and the MMR section would be cut out of the whole. So everything would be in the interview we got them on television but not the MMR bit. A South African film rages about the vaccine but when it aired, all of it were taken out. That’s when we thought, “Yes. Oh, gosh. There’s something much deeper.” Because the minute they start censoring you for something, there’s much bigger problem behind it.
[0:04:42] Ashley James: Why become an advocate around autism?
[0:04:46] Polly Tommey: Well it started because when we were told that Billy had autism, we didn’t know what that was. Billy is 24 now and he was diagnosed at 18 months 20 odd years ago. There was no internet like we have today. It was just big old computer things. We weren’t really good on that. So went to a library to look up the word autism and it says worse form of mental illness and your child will be institutionalized.
We couldn’t find anybody who has autism. Now of course everybody knows some that’s got autism or you see it down the street. Anyway, after doing an interview we got inundated with parents wanting answers to autism. How do you look after your child? How do you stop the tantrums? How do you stop from smashing their heads against the wall? How do you deal with the medical issues? Because I tell you this, autism that I live in, the world I live in and most of the parents that I meet, it’s no gift. It is no all these people that wear t-shirts saying, “Autism is a gift, embrace it,” “I love autism.”
I don’t love autism. I hate autism. My son is my gift and autism was some ghastly thing that happened to him following a vaccine, following a seizure. His brain swelled. His head swelled so much. He got encephalitis and he never recovered from that. So basically, he has brain damage. Autism is a word. Regressive autism is the word that medical professionals give our children after they are injured by vaccinates. That I know for sure. The confusing thing for all the people who believe, some parents both people I’ve met their child was born with autism. That’s fine but that’s not the same condition that my son has.
[0:06:25] Ashley James: That’s a really good point that you bring up. I’m about to be 40 and when I was a child it was 1 in 10,000 had autism. I had some cousins that were born with it and they were non-verbal. So I inquired to learn more about it just to understand what was going on whereas now it’s something like 1 in 40 or 1 in 30 children but it’s not the same. They’re saying it’s a spectrum. It’s kind of a blanket statement for some form of brain damage.
I interviewed a doctor, Dr. Klinghardt, who helps to “reverse autism” and help heal their brains. He says, all their symptoms are the same as autism once we detox the heavy metals and we do all these natural wonderful medicine and their symptoms gets better and better and better. Let’s say their symptoms completely go away. They’re no longer diagnosed with autism. Was that ever really autism or are we getting most of the people nowadays misdiagnosed?
What do you think? Do you think it’s now a misdiagnosis and that they’re using this terminology just because the symptoms are the same?
[0:07:37] Polly Tommey: I think that they didn’t know what to do. I mean my son was only ever diagnosed back then as autism-like symptoms because they really had never seen anything like it. The autism that’s described many many years ago started from birth. So when you get those parents – I’m a great believer in the parent knows best. The parent knows it child best so if the parent says, “This is not from vaccine,” or the parents say, “My son was born with it,” or “My daughter is born with it.” Then they know. We need to respect that.
The regressive autism was never around before. This is a new autism that has come from vaccines. I’ve interviewed over 8,000 parents not all about autism but from vaccine injury. I can tell you that every single one of those parents that has an autistic child all the same things as me. That their children were perfectly fine before that vaccine or that group of vaccines went in and brain-damaged them. Because that’s what it is. It’ brain damages.
[0:08:38] Ashley James: I watched one of my friends bring their one-year-old that was walking. He was walking at like nine months and he was so brilliant. Brought him in for his jabs, his one-year vaccines. He got a fever and he started to become limp and lethargic. Then he stopped walking for six months. By the time he was something like two and a half they diagnosed him with autism. She went to naturopaths and changed the diet, got him on supplements, did all kinds of things and he started to – it was like the fog started to lift. He was able to communicate again and connect again. He still has struggles. She sopped vaccinating after that. She saw that he was clearly vaccine injured.
I’ve interviewed a pediatrician in Portland, Paul Thomas, who talks about in his 30 years of practice, he has zero cases of SIDS and all these vaccine injuries because he attracts parents that don’t want to vaccinate. Half of his practice doesn’t vaccinate but the other half that does choose to follow his altered schedule. The second he sees that a child has any vaccine injury he sops immediately. He says, “This child is no longer a candidate for vaccines because they’re showing signs of vaccine injury by one vaccine.” He wrote a book I think it’s called Safe Vaccines, the idea that he proposes that everyone should follow an altered schedule if they’re going to choose to vaccinate.
Now I love the latest movie you’ve come out with, Vaxxed 2. Like I said, I cried. I couldn’t believe I was crying so much but tears of inspiration. It was really a beautiful movie. All the people that you interview traveling across the United States. I know you’ve traveled to many countries interviewing parents, showing what happens and what can happen and what has been happening. That these parents have been silenced. What’s so beautiful is you’ve given them a voice.
Can you take us back and share with us what happened to how did you create the first movie, the fist Vaxxed movie?
[0:11:01] Polly Tommey: Yes. So the first film Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe was directed by Andrew Wakefield, produced by Del Bigtree and I’m also a producer on that. My passion has always been the parents because I am one and because I lived it. So, even in the first film I interviewed Sheila Ealey who’s the African American mom. We have a very powerful interview in there. I was always the person who really was the parents’ go-to. Now, following Vaxxed when Vaxxed was going out of Tribeca Film Festival if you remember that. That gave us a platform that we could never have dreamed of that money just can’t buy. Because what they did by censoring us, yeah, I mean they censored us so much that it actually started trending.
So suddenly we were on tour going to Q&As around the country. What happened really quickly is that there were huge lines of people wanting to talk to Andy, Del and myself tell us there story of what happened to them. So Andy and Del had to talk about the science. That was their thing and I ended up listening to the parents’ stories. Then I thought, “Well, this is pointless.” They’re all talking to me and that’s not going to get anywhere. So I found Periscope, a live platform to go and very very quickly it grew and grew and grew. Then we started going live on Facebook too and these stories has got shared. Now we have a huge community around the world that the minute I press the live button, they’re right there wherever I am listening to these stories.
The bus became the iconic thing. It wasn’t us the people who made the film, it wasn’t the people in the film. It was the bus. People would come up to the bus they would start crying. They’d want to tell the story whether they were a medical professional, whether they were a parent, a teacher, anybody. Everybody had a story. To this day, we’ve just come back from California. The bus is parked in California now ready to go on the 4th of January. We’re going back out on tour. We’ll be going out all of next year because the demand for people to tell their stories is huge.
[0:13:07] Ashley James: How do people follow you on Periscope?
[0:13:10] Polly Tommey: So, if you go to Periscope you go to @TeamVaxxed. It will say PeepsTV, P-E-E-P-S TV, PeepsTV. You’ll see us there. You’ll see all the stories. Now there are a few fake ones. I ask you to be careful that you don’t get through on the wrong one but we are PeepsTV. Once you sign up, when I go out live, you will go out live with me when we hear every single story. It gives the person telling the story great comfort because I show them all the hearts and the love that they get around the world. It’s been a really very successful thing.
What we’ve uncovered on the bus has been more fascinating than anything else.
[0:13:52] Ashley James: When I saw – so watching Vaxxed 2 you show that. You show footage of you going live on Periscope and filming these parents sharing their stories. Time and time again you can see that they were so isolated. That they felt so alone. That they felt guilty, ashamed. They haven’t been listened to. They haven’t had a voice. They haven’t been heard. Then they got to go to the bus, the big Vaxxed bus that has what is it? Over 8,000 signatures.
[0:14:32] Polly Tommey: Nearly 9,000.
[0:14:34] Ashley James: Sorry.
[0:14:35] Polly Tommey: Well, we’re approaching 9,000.
[0:14:37] Ashley James: Each signature represents either a parent or a victim, someone who has been vaccine injured. Is that correct?
[0:14:45] Polly Tommey: Yeah, or has died. Yes. Vaccine injured or has died. There are many many people that contacted me saying, “Please put my name or my child’s name on the bus,” which we do not do. We listen to every single story between myself and the other hosts around the country that are trained up to do this. We all validate by listening to the stories. So they can’t accuse us of just randomly writing anything on there. We really do listen to all of them. We know there’s way more out there. Following Vaxxed 2, it’s just like gone crazy. Everybody wants to tell the story. It seems to me, I will tell you this, it seems to me that if you had a vaccine of any kind you now have an injury of some kind. Because I have never ever heard of eczema, allergy, asthma any of those in the unvaccinated, which is one of the biggest things that we have uncovered around the bus is the undeniable health of the unvaccinated. Including in that is the vitamin K. The vitamin K seems to be a bigger problem than any of us ever thought. I mean all my children had the vitamin K. I remember thanking their midwife thinking that she was just giving my new beautiful baby some vitamins but if you actually do your research on the vitamin K, and we’ve got people testing it right now, there is synthetic full of aluminum. It’s got a black-box warning on it. It’s a really dangerous thing to be giving our baby. I’m just a parent reporting to you from the people of the world who have severe injuries and death following just the vitamin K shot.
[0:16:16] Ashley James: So you said just the aluminum and for those in the United States it’s aluminum although I love the British saying of aluminum. Aluminum sounds so much more beautiful. So you’re saying that there are heavy metals in the vitamin K shot that they give to newborns that are between six and eight pounds. These tiny newborns that they’re injecting it right into their bloodstream aluminum?
[0:16:41] Polly Tommey: Aluminum and everybody can do this research themselves. You don’t need to be a scientist or a doctor to do this. You got to get hold of the insert. The real insert not the fake insert that they give you at the doctor’s surgery and at those pharmacies. Those really are not the real insert. You can actually get it on the CDC website. They have to put it up there. They’re very very big, very long. You will need to google a lot of those words. You will be horrified once you understand what is going into the body of yourself or your baby what it is it’s actually going. It makes sense. I can’t believe that none of us did that research.
I can’t actually believe that the pediatricians, the people on the front line that we trust so much do not know either about the ingredients in the vaccines. They don’t know. They had no training as what you saw in Vaxxed 2. Every single one including professor Dr. Moss and various other high high ranking doctors, they also say the same thing. Absolutely no training in vaccines other than they’re safe and effective. Here’s the schedule and they’re the saviors of mankind. That’s it.
[0:17:45] Ashley James: It’s so frustrating because like you said you felt like you’re such a good mother being the first in line, being early for the vaccines for your children wanting to make sure that you’re doing everything to help them and then trusting 100% that our healthcare providers all they need to know for our health. But they have also had information withheld from them. Who’s responsible? We got to hold some people accountable. There’s so many vaccine-injured children. Like you said, there’s even deaths. I really appreciated that you covered Gardasil. You covered the HPV vaccine in Vaxxed 2 that hundreds, hundreds of teenagers have died. That is unacceptable. Then many of them have been left paralyzed and you’ve interviewed several of them, many of them. Can you share some of those stories?
[0:18:48] Polly Tommey: Yeah. I mean absolutely tragic. When we set out on the road in 2016 on this bus, I didn’t even know what Gardasil HPV vaccine. I even never heard of it. Maybe briefly but I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t even know how to spell it. We went on road and by day two we had our first Gardasil story. After we went live with that we were inundated with people at the bus. I remember at one stop, I open the door 15 teenagers standing in front of me. I said, “Are you all here to support someone?” They said, “No. All of us have Gardasil injuries.”
So one of the things that you do not see in Vaxxed 2, I mean there’s a lot of that we saw on the road that weren’t in the film. That’s mainly because you can’t put everything in an hour and a half. But a lot of young young girls 15, 16 years old following the HPV vaccine gone through menopause, their ovaries have shut down, they will never have children as they could’ve done before. Lot of girls claiming that they got the HPV, a cervical cancer following they had pap smears before the vaccine absolutely clean. Following that nine months later, they’re showing up with cervical cancer and of course the paralysis.
The absolute brain on fire, the burning to their bodies. Many of these girls have committed suicide. One boy following this vaccine through the utter pain and being told that they’re psychologically ill. I just never seen anything like it. I really describe going out on that black bus around America is going into a war zone. It’s just a blood bath of vaccine injury. How people are living, it will just break your heart. These are people that work in good jobs. They get married. They want to be great parents. They want to start a life. They’re excited about life and they follow the system. They do as they’re old and then their life is ripped from them just because of one needle.
It doesn’t just affect those two parents. It affects the other siblings. It affects the grandparents deeply. You just see poverty from what was a family that was coping going into absolute poverty because the parents have to be carers. Then of course you get the parents and the family members who then hit the alcohol or hit the psychotropic drugs or whatever it is because they can’t cope with the pain. You’ve just lost a whole load of people that could’ve contributed to this amazing country all because of a vaccine one moment in time.
[0:21:16] Ashley James: My frustration lies in how polarizing this topic has become and I feel as though they’ve weaponized this topic so that we would just fight amongst ourselves and not rise up to demand change. If you look on Facebook, I have lost friends. I try to be neutral, no one is ever neutral but I try to just stand in the middle and say, “Listen. Can we at least have a discussion? Can we at least bring the information, look at both sides?” What I see is that there are people who, I’ve lost really good friends because of this because I’ll share something that just brings into question vaccine injury for example on Facebook. I’ve had friends and family members get very angry and feel like they need to defend the pharmaceutical industry. They need to defend vaccines. I am somehow a really bad person that wants children to die of polio. They’ll say these kinds of things, “Do you really want people to be an iron lungs? It’s so ignorant of you to question vaccines.”
Anytime I’m seeing this, anytime someone wants to just question it or go, “Hey. It’s not right that there are vaccine injuries. Why aren’t we addressing this? Why aren’t we talking about this more? That it becomes a very polarized topic and then they get attacked. One of my friends, Green Smoothie Girl Robyn Openshaw, who has a really large holistic following is now being attacked online by I guess it’s called pro-vaxers. That she is being harassed. I’m like, “Why can’t we just ask questions safely? Why can’t we have these open discussions?” I imagine you have been attacked since this is such a polarized topic now.
[0:23:24] Polly Tommey: You know, it’s really interesting. The people who attack me are the people online. I’m out on the bus right there in open view and then there’s no one around. Where are you? Where are all these people that threaten me and they’re all hiding behind computers.
Now, of course we get the odd family members and we get the odd really good friend. It’s so sad when they throw the iron lung thing at you. First of all, let’s address the iron lung thing. If you see Vaxxed 2, you’ll see Colton’s story in there. This is 2019 and we don’t have big iron lungs like we don’t have big old computers anymore. Things have advanced. They’re called ventilators, respirators.
If you look around you, what is polio? Polio is this so-called crippling disease where you’re in an iron lung or you’ll get somebody say, “My father had polio and his ankles were really skewed or his legs a bit not made or he had to wear braces for two years.” Look around at the children today. There’s never been so much disability, children in wheelchairs, children crippled over with legs that don’t work.
All these things parents claiming from vaccine injury. I’ve actually interviewed two people with polio, both of them said they got it following the polio vaccine. Now, of course if you do your research on that you will see that that’s probably where the majority of this has come in the first place. You really have to look down. It’s not even conspiracy theory anymore. It’s right there in front of your face.
I think this is why they’re panicking the other side. Also you’ve got to remember that those doctors, take the doctor that shout and scream at us and say everyone’s going to die because we’re not vaccinating.” They’re also living with immense guilt just like family members who have vaccinated are. If you’re telling me, Polly Tommey, if you’re telling me that vaccines are as dangerous then that means I, the doctor, have potentially harmed a great deal of people. That means I, the mother, as potentially harmed my children. I don’t want to hear that from you Polly Tommey so therefore I say, “Go away and I’m going to block you and I never want to speak to you again because you want polio to come back.”
That’s basically how the argument goes because no one can get their head around the fact that this is probably the biggest lie that I ever told. The doctors are being lied to. The parents are being lied to. So that’s why we have to do our research. We have to be brave and we have to tell the truth. The truth is that these vaccines are killing and hurting people. We know that not just from the parents’ stories. We know that when we look at the unvaccinated families or the families with the same parents who stopped vaccinating after the injury.
So you’ve got the same parents, same genetics. First child may be fully vaccinated and autistic or brain-damaged in some way, paralyzed. They partially vaccinate the second child who has asthma, allergies, eczema maybe a bit of ADD and then they stop. They report their following children, absolutely none of those whatsoever. But remember, minus the vitamin K. The ones that are vaccinated with the vitamin K at birth, they still have injury. You’ve got to have a clean child for no injury.
[0:26:27] Ashley James: You interviewed, was it thousands of unvaccinated families or unvaccinated children? It was a lot. That’s why I’d like to go with Vaxxed 2 is that you showed the first half of the movie is interviewing so many families with vaccine injury. Then you started meeting all the families that had no vaccine injury or like you painted the picture of like five or seven and some of them were vaccinated and then the rest weren‘t. The difference is outstanding. That the children never are sick, never have asthma, never have food allergies and have never needed to see a doctor other than a wellness visit but have never needed to go in for antibiotics or ear infections over and over and over again.
[0:27:15] Polly Tommey: Unbelievable. We have one unvaccinated child. On my travel I had antibiotic for an infected toe and that is it. It’s quite unbelievable and it’s things like I’m really shocked at the allergy things. Allergy is a huge problem in this country. We are not seeing any allergies in the unvaccinated families, again minus the vitamin K shot at birth which isn’t a vaccine so it’s not part of a vaccine. The ones without that, zero allergies, zero. Unbelievable what we have uncovered.
The reason why we knew the vitamin K was a problem is because I was reading the facts on Vaxxed studies, the ones that are actually out there that they refuse to publish or they published and then retract. Something wasn’t right. They were still reporting that the unvaccinated had allergies and that was not what we were seeing on the road. We looked into it more and we found the vitamin K being a huge problem.
As I said, we’re nearly days of looking into that with some scientists but we are thoroughly looking into that because again, those poor parents having their beautiful newborn overthinking the vitamin K is the most important thing that they can give their child from their first day of life. We’re seeing the opposite from the roads of America.
[0:28:27] Ashley James: So you have two movies Vaxxed and Vaxxed 2. For the listeners who haven’t seen either one of your movies, can you tell us a bit about the first one, Vaxxed? What would we take away from that? Maybe share some lessons from your first movie.
[0:28:43] Polly Tommey: It’s about William Thompson, the scientist at the CDC. It was really concentrated on the MMR and him being reported without his knowledge by Dr. William Hooker in California. Oh no, he went out of California, excuse me it’s very important so it’s all legal. It’s really the breaking news of William Thompson confessing to how there was a big cover-up at the CDC.
So that was the first film and of course some parents’ stories woven into that. Then a lot of parents coming in for a collage montage saying, “Hear us well. Please hear us well. My child was fine before I had this vaccine. My child has autism following vaccine.”
So that’s really the essence of the first film. I think the reason why the first film was so successful wasn’t the story itself, which is good but what happens since that is these parents coming forward. If it wasn’t Tribeca and the big drama they made over that it probably would’ve another little DVD that was made and people saw in a community but that’s what happened from that. Again, from that censorship the parents saying, “I’m here,” around the world.
I have traveled England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. I’ve traveled around those countries recording those families’ stories and I tell you they’re exactly the same as they are here in America just with different accents but the same outcome everywhere. It’s undeniable.
[0:30:08] Ashley James: In Vaxxed 2 you show clips near the beginning of the film interviews with Robert de Niro. I was laughing so hard because you’re saying at the beginning of Vaxxed 2, you and Andy Wakefield were saying, “That was it. They were pulling us a few weeks before we were supposed to have our big debut at the Tribeca Film Festival.” That Robert de Niro got so much pressure to pull it. I’m like, “Where’s the pressure coming from? Is big pharma really that scared of this information coming out? This little film at this little film festival that they had to put so much pressure on him. Then every time he was interviewed for the Tribeca Film Festival on local news or on the morning news or whatever news show he was on he would bring it up and he’d say, “I hope people see it. I wanted people to just get the information, decide for yourself. Just listen, see it, decide for yourself.”
The people who were interviewing him were saying, “Yeah. Yeah. You should watch it.” So I was just laughing because obviously it wasn’t him. He wanted people to see it. Have you ever talked to him or met him or heard what he thought about your films?
[0:31:35] Polly Tommey: Well, I’ve only seen the correspondence. He’s a friend of Andy Wakefield’s, I’ve only seen the correspondence between them. Andy was a director of that first film. Obviously Robert de Niro thought it was a good film otherwise he wouldn’t have allowed it to be in his film festival, Tribeca Film Festival. He says, Robert de Niro, that he just everyone to see it. Of course, he knows there’s a problem with these vaccines just like many many other celebrities and people know that there’s a problem with these vaccines.
Many that do speak out don’t work again or I mean, Rob Schneider. Take him the actor. He started speaking out about these vaccines and he lost loads of contracts and lost most of his work. So people are afraid but I say to you people, you cannot money before these people before mankind. You’ve got to stand up otherwise we’ve got no future if you don’t stand up and tell the truth. Because if you look around right now, there’s very few people that are really really really healthy. Most people are sick with something and there’s got to be a reason behind that.
What we’re saying is we’re not saying any of this. I interviewed a woman the other day on the Vaxxed bus with four generations of unvaccinated people in their family. She’s a chiropractor. Of course the chiropractor is one of the healthiest groups of people in the world. He told me of 200 of those members, only people have died of cancer both of them were very heavy smokers. They had no eczema and no allergies in the family. Everybody lived until they’re old aged and nobody of the 200 have been on antibiotics.
Don’t you think that needs to be looked into?
[0:33:15] Ashley James: It just boggles the mind because we’ve really been raised from birth to believe that vaccines are the reasons why we don’t have outbreaks of illnesses. That if it wasn’t for vaccines everyone would have had polio or measles or chickenpox which now we’re afraid of apparently because there’s a vaccine for it whereas when I was a kid we had chickenpox parties and it was no big deal. So it’s really frustrating because there’s so much disinformation. There’s so much emotions around it because people who are anti-vax and people who are pro-vax actually want the same thing. We all want healthy children and we all want our children to live a long life. We all don’t want our children to die of something horrible. We all actually want the same thing.
So we should stop fighting each other and we should start just looking at the information and looking at the positives and the negatives and weighing them and looking at what’s the best outcome. Because maybe the doctor that I talked about, the one I interviewed in Portland who wrote that book Safe Vaccines, maybe altered schedule is the best thing and his altered schedule. Maybe that after we do research maybe that is the best thing or maybe it isn’t. Maybe like your chiropractor showing that three generations without vaccine over 200 people, that that’s the best way to go.
Until we stop polarizing the subject and until we start asking to all work together to respect each other and to just let’s look at the science and let’s look at the results and let’s look at the safety for our children instead of bashing each other, instead of fighting each other, instead of calling each other names. Let’s come together, pro and anti-vaxers, let’s come together and go what can we do for the benefit of our children and the future generations?
It’s undeniable that these parents have seen vaccine injury. After watching your two documentaries, it’s undeniable that there is a problem. So I’m always confused when people are saying there isn’t a problem because that is taking away the voice from the parents who have seen that there’s a problem.
I love that you have given a voice to these parents who feel so isolated. Who day in and day out are taking a child who’s non-verbal, who’s beating their head against the wall, who has seizures, who is in a modern iron lung as you show in Vaxxed 2. You’ve given a voice to these parents who struggle every day and have been told time and time again that they’re wrong and that it wasn’t a vaccine injury when they saw hours after a vaccine that their child begin to have seizures, begin to turn blue. I mean just really scary things.
I feel for these parents. I also can get in the shoes of people who are very angry, the pro-vaxers who are very angry at the anti-vaxers because they feel threatened. I imagine they feel threatened. So, I wish we could all come together and instead of fighting each other we could actually all ask the same question, what can we do to create health for our children? Let’s look at the science.
Do you have any advice for us? What can we do as individuals to help?
[0:37:05] Polly Tommey: Well, I think first of all, I don’t see the parents all the people out there fighting. I don’t see that. I take most of them are pharmaceutical paid trolls. There’s adverts everywhere for them. I could go and be one for them tomorrow if I would pass the test of who I am. But most people can. You can just sign up. You would get paid really to fight online for the sake of herd immunity or whatever online. I mean, I just ignore these people, block them.
Look, the bottom line is we’re not here to fight. These parents aren’t here to fight. They’re here to warn. They’re here to say, “Look. This happened to us. We vaccinated our kids. We are pro-vaccine. You can’t call us anti-vaccine. We vaccinated ourselves and our children. We’re simply here to warn as a person standing in front of another person saying look, be careful because there’s nothing more heartbreaking if you go down the road I just went down.” Do your research. The best research you can do is go on the ground yourself and speak to those families that did vaccinate and didn’t vaccinate. Make that mind up yourself. That’s the best science you’re going to get.
Most of the science studies out there are funded by pharmaceuticals. Did you know that the medical schools that the medical doctors are funded by the pharmaceutical companies? You just have to work it out yourself. Okay, we know Google is taken by big pharma, we can see that. If you google any of our websites now you have to go through the World Health Organization all that kind of thing but you can still do it by talking. There’s no better expert on what’s happened to their child or to themselves than other human beings.
So go figure it out. Look at the ones that or pro-vaccine and said, “My children are fine,” and you look at them and they’re not. They’ve got eczema. They’ve got allergies. They’re carrying around inhalers. They’re on medication. That’s not okay. Go and talk to the families that didn’t. Are those children on medication? What is their family like? Which way do you want to go? Get on the ground and do your own research. You don’t even need to look at the scientific studies anymore. Scientific studies are the people that have lived it.
[0:39:10] Ashley James: Beautiful. Now, starting in January, you’re going back out on the road. For those listening who want to follow you or participate and meet-up with you, how can they do that? How can they follow the Vaxxed bus and potentially come and meet you?
[0:39:25] Polly Tommey: Okay. We’re starting off in California in Modesto. California lost a lot of its rights and can’t go to school unless you’re completely vaccinated. So we are going down to California to talk to the parents that have been injured and the unvaccinated who have been thrown out of school and to discover that. So we’re starting off in Modesto in the fourth of January.
If you go to Vaxxed 2 the number 2 so Vaxxed2.com, the bus tour will be put up on there. AMC theatres were showing our film Vaxxed 2 and have just pulled it under pressure, of course like everything else. So we will be putting the film online. So watch out for that. It will be going out on the Brighteon site Mike Adams health ranger. He will be screening Vaxxed 2. We don’t have a date for that right now but that will be early in the New Year. Of course DVDs for those that still have DVD players. You’ll be able to get those on February, I think.
So the world will be able to see this. They can’t stop it. They’re trying very very hard to stop it. They can’t. If you are on Facebook, we do go out live on We Are Vaxxed it’s called. That is our only official site. We go out live on there. We go out live on Periscope, PeepsTV. Periscope is where we go out live on more than anything else because it’s the most uncensored. We’re still shadow banned but you’re still be able to find us if you’re clever.
[0:40:49] Ashley James: Have you interviewed any parents who have fought this system or sued the pharmaceutical companies and won?
[0:40:57] Polly Tommey: Yes. Actually in Vaxxed 2 you remember that very tragic story of Christina Tarsell who had the Gardasil vaccine. She didn’t feel very well after the vaccine. She went back to school. She just did in her room on her own and they found her dead on her bed. We actually have that image that the police took of that girl when she was found by the police dead in bed. You will see that on Vaxxed 2. So be careful taking your children. I advise all parents to see that film first before they decide whether they want their children to see it because there is this girl that’s dead in the bed. The reason why we use that photograph and we allowed that to go out is because she won in court.
They said, “Yes. She is injured by the Gardasil. We’re very sorry. One in a billion chance.” Usual sort of stuff. She’s awarded $250,000 for her daughter. But if you look at that photograph of her, you can see that is a very toxic death. It looks like a noble death, foam coming out of her mouth. It’s really really – anyone who see that section, the Gardasil section of Vaxxed 2 movie will not want. As Bobby Kennedy says in the film, “You got to be insane to give that vaccine to yourself or anyone you love.” When you read the clinical lecture or spoken to the parents, it’s just a very dangerous vaccine. History will very soon I think be able to say, “Yes. I’m sorry. We made a mistake. That’s a bad vaccine.”
[0:42:23] Ashley James: Absolutely. When we look at the invention of x-ray machine, they used to have x-ray machine in shoe stores so we can get x-rays to see if our shoes fit correctly. Our feet fit in our shoes and then they soon found that was causing a lot of damage and they stopped doing that. They took lead out of the gasoline when they realized that was hurting us. They used to spray children with DDT, which actually caused polio-like symptoms. I had a chiropractor on the sow share this, Dr. Wolfson.
She shares that she believes that most of the polio was all of a sudden was eradicated back in the 40s, 50s, 60s was actually they are removing DDT. They stopped spraying that on the children. First they sprayed the children then they had this uprise in polio symptoms. They didn’t realize that it was actually DDT poisoning because it caused the same paralysis, the same issues. Then when they stopped, when they finally realized that they were causing a huge damage that they stopped it.
I’ve heard from a naturopathic physician who has been a midwife for 30 years that there’s a part of Washington state where I live where the miscarriages, late late pregnancy miscarriages and then also children having injuries at birth or being born with injuries rises like one hundredfold during the spraying season. That if a mother in a particular part of Washington State is near the farms. Doesn’t even have to live on a farm but near the farms. Whatever they are spraying now is causing huge injuries. It’s silent. They’re all able to cover it up but 50 years from now we’ll hear about it and it’ll be history. It’ll be history by then. The victims aren’t being heard now.
So I love that you are giving a voice to people and you’re also spreading this information. We should question everything. We should question absolutely everything. We should question at what’s – look at Flint, Michigan and now they’re testing water across the United States and finding that many municipalities have a really really poor quality water. That there’s a heavy metals in the water. We have to understand that we need to advocate for our own selves.
We have to test our own water. We need to understand that our food isn’t necessary, we can’t just trust our food is safe just because some company made it and packaged it. We have to do our own research, advocate for ourselves and we should absolutely advocate for ourselves. Whatever we put in our mouth whether it’s a supplement, a drug, food, water we have to be the quality control. We cannot go blindly through those world and trust that these companies have our best interest at heart.
There’s over 80,000 chemicals now, man-made chemicals that have been introduced into our food supply that many of them are banned in other countries and banned in the UK and in European Union and yet they’re still safe, apparently they’re safe here and also in our cosmetics. So we have to just advocate for ourselves, question everything and also support those who have a voice so that they can be heard.
So, Polly, you have such a beautiful mission because you just want to give parents a voice and let them be heard. I thank you so much for the work that you’re doing. Is there anything else you’d like to say? Anything you want to make sure listeners know? Any websites or any resources that are really important for parents especially parents that have vaccine-injured children?
[0:46:27] Polly Tommey: Yeah. Actually there are. I would like to say something actually. The saddest thing really, most of the stories when the parents talk to me about the injury is that they and their gut knew something wasn’t right before the vaccine was going into their baby or themselves but they were bullied. You mustn’t, you can get off and walk out of that doctor’s surgery and say, “You know what? I’m going to go think about it. I’m going to do my research but I will be back to discuss this with you.”
So don’t let them bully you. Don’t let them tell you your baby will die if it doesn’t have the vaccine. Don’t let them say these things. You go and do that research yourself because that’s where all the trouble started from the bullying of the medical professionals to have you vaccinate your child or yourself. So please, you are in control yourself. You’re in control of your baby and your child. You’re the expert on yourself and the baby and the child.
So take control. We’ve got to all stand up and be much stronger than we’ve been and not allow these people to bully us. That’s what I would say.
[0:47:27] Ashley James: I love it. Thank you so much Polly. I really encourage listeners to watch your movie. Watch Vaxxed and watch Vaxxed 2 when it does come out soon. Follow you on Periscope. You just download the app Periscope and go to the PeepsTV@TeamVaxxed. Also, all the links to everything Polly does is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at LearnTrueHealth.com. Regardless of whether you consider yourself pro-vaccine, anti-vaccine, or what I like to say is pro-kid, I think that your movies are empowering, Polly. I think that all my listeners want to become empowered. We want to absorb information and make the best decision for ourselves so I think that it’s in our best interest to educate ourselves.
The fact that big pharma doesn’t want us watching your stuff that’s kind of scary. The level of censorship is showing us that we have to watch it. Whatever the big corporations don’t want us to see is what we need to see. We need to be allowed to see everything. We have a right. We have a right to all these information and they want to take our rights away. We have a right to our health and making the best choices for ourselves. I believe in informed consent. The doctors I’ve had on the show believe in informed consent. Informed consent meaning knowing all the facts and then making a choice. Choose to vaccinate, choose to do altered schedule, choose not to vaccinate. It’s a choice that you should be allowed to make after you have received all the facts. That’s what informed consent is.
So I also encourage my other listeners to check out my other interviews that share more information about this. I’m going to be having Andy Wakefield and others on the show in the New Year to give more of the science. This interview, Polly, was so great because I know that parents out there needed to hear your story, needed to hear this information from another parent. So thank you so much for coming on the show today.
[0:49:40] Polly Tommey: Thank you so much.
402 Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Cardiologist & Bioenergetic Psychotherapist, Epigenetic Gene Expression, Curing High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Disease Using Grounding, Coenzyme Q10, Mediterranean Diet, and High Vibrational Living
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