Learn True Health with Ashley James

On Learn True Health, Ashley James interviews today's most successful natural healers. Learn True Health was created for YOU, the health enthusiast. If you are passionate about organic living or struggling with health issues and are looking to gain your health naturally, our holistic podcast is what you have been looking for! Ashley James interviews Naturopathic Doctors and expert holistic health care practitioners to bring you key holistic health information, results based advice and new natural steps you can take to achieve true health, starting NOW! If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are fed up with prescription drug side effects, if you want to live in optimal health but you don't know where to start, this podcast is for you! If you are looking for ACTIONABLE advice from holistic doctors to get you on your path to healing, you will enjoy the wisdom each episode brings. Each practitioner will leave you with a challenge, something that you can do now, and each day, to measurably improve your health, energy, and vitality. Learn about new healing diet strategies, how to boost your immune system, balance your hormones, increase your energy, what supplements to take and why and how to experience your health and stamina in a new way. Ashley James from Learn True Health interviews doctors like Dr. Joel Wallach, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Molly Niedermeyer on Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Supplements, Meditation, Holistic Health and Alternative Health Strategies for Gaining Optimal Health.
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Now displaying: October, 2020
Oct 25, 2020

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Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health:


Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health by Dr. Neal Barnard



  • How to lower estrogen levels
  • Impact of decreasing estrogen levels on hormone-related illnesses
  • Soy products affect hormone levels
  • Why does eating animal products disrupt hormones
  • Effects of dairy consumption


Do you have hormone-related issues like PCOS, PMS, endometriosis, or type 2 diabetes? In this episode, Dr. Neal Barnard shares how those can be healed by removing meat and animal products from our diet. He explains the effects of dairy consumption and why we should remove dairy products from our diet.


[00:00:00] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 449. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show Dr. Neal Barnard. You were in episode 256 so it’s been a while. Now we’re in the 400s of our interviews. We had you on for one of your books, the Cheese Trap, which was amazing. I highly recommend listeners go back and check out episode 256 if you haven’t already. Dr. Barnard, you are on the forefront of the whole food, plant-based movement showing people that we can heal our body with food, and now you’ve come out with a book teaching us—especially women—how we can balance our hormones, gain fertility, breeze through menopause, and even how to manage things like cancer—when it’s hormone-related cancers—all using food as medicine. I’m very happy to have you back on the show.


[00:01:08] Dr. Neal Barnard: Well, thank you. It’s great to be back.


[00:01:10] Ashley James: Absolutely. We did dive a bit into your bio in our last interview and what led you to want to become a doctor that practices whole food, plant-based food as a way of healing people. So I want to jump right in, why did you write your latest book, Your Body In Balance? What compelled you to want to help use food to balance our hormones?


[00:01:34] Dr. Neal Barnard: Up until now, most people have thought of food in rather modest terms. That if you’re eating the wrong kinds of foods, you’ll gain weight. You change your diet and lose weight. Maybe your cholesterol will go down, your blood sugar can improve—that kind of stuff. We can be much more ambitious than that when it comes to tuning up our health.

Almost every function of your body is controlled by hormones. Hormones are made in one organ. They go through the bloodstream to reach another organ, and they tell it what to do. If you could control your hormones, let’s say you can control thyroid hormone, which gives energy to your cells, you can control estrogens, which controls sexual function, reproductive function. What if you can control insulin, which deals with your blood sugar levels? There are so many more. If you can control all those, you can control your health in a far more sophisticated way than you might have imagined. Amazingly enough, the key to it is food.


[00:02:36] Ashley James: Why is that? When did you first start seeing that food had such a profound impact on hormones?


[00:02:45] Dr. Neal Barnard: Well, it actually started out sort of by accident. I was sitting at my desk. A young woman called me up, and she had terrible menstrual pain. Many women have some menstrual cramps, but for maybe 1 in 10, it’s just off the scale, I can’t go to work today type pain, and that was her situation. I realized I could give her painkillers for a couple of days, but what would that do for the next month, the month after that, or the month after that? So I said to her, “Let me give you some painkillers for now, but how about if we try and experiment and see if we can prevent this from happening next month?” I have to confess, I just made an educated guess.

I said, “For the next four weeks, how about this, no animal products in your diet at all and keep oils to a bare minimum.” She called me up four weeks later and said, “This is the most amazing thing. My period arrived, I don’t have a single cramp—nothing.” And the month after that, the month after that. She was completely fine. I then did a randomized clinical trial with Georgetown University’s department of obstetrics and gynecology where we tested this in a larger group of women, and it was very effective. Different women got different effects. For some, though, it just was like night and day.

Anyhow, I can explain to you why that works, why that kind of diet change would affect estrogen levels. But the bottom line was I discovered that by changing the fiber content, the fat content to the food, and a few other things, we could control menstrual cramping. If you can control that, then that, in turn, means you have some control over endometriosis, over fertility, over all the things that estrogens will control.


[00:04:34] Ashley James: This is fascinating. So, you talk about not only fertility but menopause and even the sex hormone-related cancers in your book. Do you also talk about how to reverse type 2 diabetes in your book?


[00:04:50] Dr. Neal Barnard: Oh, yes. In fact, that’s what we’ve been really known for more than anything else. Type 2 diabetes is of course—well, maybe I should just back up. The problems we’ve been discussing so far like menstrual cramps or endometriosis, those are problems of estrogen. Estrogen is made in the ovaries, for the most part. If you have too much of it, it thickens up the uterine lining too much. 

Researchers learned a long time ago that a high fiber diet will bring it down, a lower-fat diet will bring it down, and avoiding dairy products, in particular, will help because dairy products have estrogens that come from cows. I put all that together, I thought all right. A vegan diet doesn’t have any animal fat at all, and it’s very high in fiber so that’s what I’ve used. We kept oils low and that was the reason it cured her

But with diabetes, it’s a different thing. The hormone now is not estrogens, it’s insulin. It’s made in the pancreas, but I can control it with a remarkably similar diet. In 2003, the NIH gave our team a grant to try to find a better diet for controlling type 2 diabetes. What we have found is that a diet that’s really remarkably similar to the estrogen-controlling diet, using an insulin-controlling diet, you once again get rid of animal products, you keep oils really low, and you can do a couple of other things. 

What we started to see was something we had never seen before, which was diabetes going away. I’m talking about diabetes being just gone in people that had it for years. Not to say that that always happens, but it almost always happens that people do improve, and they reduce their blood sugars and their medication requirements. Sometimes they just get rid of the disease, which I have to tell you is the most amazing feeling for the patient, and for their own outside doctors. They have never seen a patient cure themselves of what had been an incurable disease.


[00:06:53] Ashley James: If you can cure yourself of a hormone-related disease by changing your diet, then was it the food they were eating that caused the disease in the first place?


[00:07:05] Dr. Neal Barnard: Yes. Yes, it was. Sometimes in the face of genetic vulnerabilities. In other words, a diet loaded with Velveeta and fried chicken isn’t necessarily going to cause diabetes in everybody, but it does cause it in a lot of people. Right now, about 1/3 of the American population has either diabetes or pre-diabetes. and that is not because of sugar, bread, or rice. It’s not from carbohydrates. It’s because of eating fatty foods. The fat gets into the muscle and liver cells leading to a condition called insulin resistance, and we’ve been studying this, and then we’ve figured out how to make it go away and we’re just controlling the hormones by food.


[00:07:54] Ashley James: I used to have type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome, and I reversed both with a whole food, plant-based diet and taking supplements because I was very deficient in minerals like chromium. That was, for me, a complete game-changer to see that changing my diet had such a profound impact on my life. I know a woman who had such bad endometriosis. She was a friend of mine’s roommate. I saw her once a month for a whole week. She was in bed crying, curled up in a ball, and unable to work. 

Then she became a vegetarian. She called it vegetarian but I watched her basically cut out dairy and meat out of her diet. I watched her be able to function now only in bed for two or three days instead of a whole week. She didn’t know to give up oil, she didn’t know to give up eggs, but I just saw an improvement in just that amount of switching. Why is it that eating meat, eating the flesh of an animal disrupts hormones, or making our body increase insulin resistance and also increasing estrogen? Why is it having that effect on our body?


[00:09:16] Dr. Neal Barnard: Yeah, it’s a fascinating thing. These are all the things that they don’t teach in medical school either, I have to tell you. We’ve had to discover them on our own. Maybe I shouldn’t be blaming the medical schools because much of the research just wasn’t done back then, but we do have it now, and it’s important for people to understand it. The means of controlling insulin, it’s almost the same kind of diet, but the mechanism turns out to be completely different.

Let’s take endometriosis. That’s what your friend had where she was just terrible, terrible cramps. For people who don’t know what we’re talking about, endometriosis is a really painful condition where cells that are supposed to be lining the uterus—that’s called the endometrial layer, the very inside of the uterus. Those cells, which are supposed to be kind of a little cushion when a baby is developing inside the uterus, some of those little cushiony cells have escaped. And they’ve flown out the fallopian tubes. Now they’re in the abdominal cavity, and they implant around the implant on the intestines, on the fallopian tubes themselves, on the surface of the ovary. And they expand and contract, they bleed, they cause scarring, and they hurt like crazy.

However, it’s been clear for a long time that they’re driven by estrogens. They’re driven by sex hormones. So if a woman has less estrogen in her blood, they’re going to regress. The reason that I started jumping into this was I had become aware that as part of cancer research, researchers discovered that estrogen drives the growth of cancer. I mean, this is not surprising. If you have more estrogen it makes cancer cells grow. But I found that some researchers had discovered that if you reduce fatty foods in the diet—whether it’s meat fat, cheese fat, or even donut type fat, any kind of grease—if you reduce grease in the diet, it brings estrogen levels down. 

Completely independent of that, if you boost fiber which means fruits, vegetables, and beans, that also brings estrogens down. That was the reason why the young woman with menstrual pain, I said vegan diet then there’s no animal fat at all and everything’s got a lot of fiber. It’s going to be the best of all worlds.

Dairy is a particular issue because dairy actually has estrogens in it that come from the cow. You don’t have any dairy at all in your diet. If you do those things, people with endometriosis very often feel dramatically better. 

There was a young woman whose story I described in my book, Your Body In Balance. She was in the Air Force. She had terrible endometriosis. She was slated for a hysterectomy because nothing could control her symptoms. She went on the diet that I’m describing and her endometriosis was simply gone. What was particularly amazing was that her doctor was convinced that not only would she be in pain every month because of endometriosis, but also that it had robbed her of her fertility. This disease process was so profound.

Well, not only did the diet change cure her endometriosis, but she wasn’t infertile at all. She was fine. She’s got three children now. She still got her uterus. She’s got her kids. She’s got a healthy vegan diet. She’s probably got a new doctor. Anyway, you see my point.

How many people go to the doctor and are told your menstrual cramps, your fertility issues, your endometriosis, it’s a sign of your hormones being out of balance. Here’s how you choose your breakfast to get your hormones into a better balance. Here’s how I would choose my lunch. Here are the best snacks for you. It never happens. It’s all some pharmaceutical solution that may work, or it may not work.


[00:13:15] Ashley James: But it really just masks it and it doesn’t address the root cause.


[00:13:18] Dr. Neal Barnard: Or worse, you can go to the doctor and have your uterus and ovaries removed and be told that this is God’s will. When in fact, it might have been the will of Kraft, McDonald’s, KFC, or something. But it had nothing to do with a deity bringing this on.

So anyway, you asked me why did I write Your Body In Balance? Because I thought people need to know how to control, not just diabetes, endometriosis, or PCOS, which you were dealing with. PCOS is a hormonal condition, which to a great degree, is responsive to food changes and things like thyroid conditions. 

People don’t even know where their thyroid is. All they know is I got out of bed today. I got zero energy. I stepped on the scale, and I’ve gained a pound since last week. I look in the mirror and my hair doesn’t look right. You go to the doctor and these are all non-specific symptoms, but the doctor says to you this is fitting a pattern. Let me do a blood test. And the doctor finds your hypothyroid—you’re low in thyroid. Your thyroid gland is at the base of your neck. It gives your cells energy, and when it’s just not working, you just feel rotten.

What does the doctor do? Puts you on thyroid replacement medication, which you will be on for the rest of your life. What we have discovered is that there are—in some cases—dietary causes of it that are really easy to rectify. You may need medical care, you may well. Don’t fire your doctor or cancel your doctor’s appointment, but let’s see if there’s a dietary change that can get you back on track.


[00:15:06] Ashley James: There’s also a list of plant-based doctors. I don’t remember the name of the website. I’ll probably put it in the show notes, but you can google plant-based doctors. There’s a directory of doctors who study your work, study these studies, want to do labs, and help their patients balance their hormones. Maybe using medication at first, but then also help them with their diet. That’s something to look at. 

I’ve always gone to naturopathic doctors because they love looking at labs, diet, and nutrition first before entertaining the idea of putting you on a prescription as a last-ditch effort. Whereas many other doctors, like you said, this is how the schooling was—the medical school was at the time. They didn’t have the resources to teach us that food can be medicine, and now we see it plain as day.

You’ve talked about really doing your best to reduce or eliminate oil altogether, cut out all dairy products from cows. Of course, you can do plant-based dairy. You could make it in your own home. It’s just made from nuts, soy, rice, or oats, and then looking at eating lots of fiber from plants. But what about specifically the harm that comes to our hormones by eating animal flesh—by eating fish, cows, and chickens? Why does that disrupt hormones?


[00:16:47] Dr. Neal Barnard: Okay. By the way, first, to the point you’re making earlier about finding a doctor who understands this. There are different sites, and the one that I might recommend—if you go to the website, that’s Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Just in the little search thing, put find a doctor. You’ll see lots and lots and lots and lots of names that come up. About five years ago, we launched a primary care clinic because we were doing so many research studies that other people could not participate in if they didn’t have exactly that condition. We have a primary care clinic here. It’s called Barnard Medical Center and we do telehealth visits.


[00:17:32] Ashley James: Excellent.


[00:17:33] Dr. Neal Barnard: Yeah. Many, many, many states of the United States, people can do telemedicine if they are able to, and then we’re gradually expanding beyond that. It’s just


[00:17:46] Ashley James: Excellent. I’ll make sure the links to everything you mentioned are in the show notes of today’s podcast at That’s exciting that someone could work with you, one of your staff members, or one of your colleagues and look at their specific needs and adjust their diet accordingly. So getting onto them, I’m really excited to understand specifically what it is about eating animal flesh that disrupts our hormones?


[00:18:12] Dr. Neal Barnard: Okay. If we are speaking of insulin, insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas, it goes through the bloodstream to the surface of a muscle cell. Let’s say I’m eating animal flesh, I’m eating a hamburger. The hamburger is some protein but a fair amount of fat. Even if it’s “lean meat,” there’s a surprising amount of fat in there. Even if it’s the leanest chicken—you take off the skin, it’s only chicken breast—it’s still about 23% fat. That animal fat is absorbed by the body, enters the muscle cell. And then when insulin tries to get that cell to do what it’s supposed to do, which is to pull glucose out of the blood, the fat stops it from working. The fat in animal products interferes with insulin sensitivity. It causes insulin resistance.

That’s also a problem with PCOS. In women who have polycystic ovary syndrome, they are very often insulin resistant as well. So getting the animal products out of the diet means there’s no animal fat to interfere with insulin action. 

The other thing about it is that animal products don’t have certain things in them. They don’t have any fiber. They don’t have any complex carbohydrates, and so as a result, fiber normally helps the body to eliminate excess hormones. Your liver removes estrogens from the blood, and it sends them through the bile duct into the intestinal tract and out they go, but it only works if fiber is there to escort them. Fiber is like a broom that sweeps it out.

If you ate chicken breast or salmon for lunch, they’re not from plants, they’re from animals so there’s no fiber in them at all. If that’s the case, the estrogens in your intestinal tract that the liver carefully removed don’t go through the intestinal tract anymore. They reabsorb back into the blood. The fiber is essential to making that happen. So what’s wrong with animal products? They got a lot of fat, they don’t have any fiber, and if you want a contaminated product, animal products are always the worst. They are the ones that tend to be filled with chemicals much more than plants.


[00:20:30] Ashley James: Well, that makes sense. We’ve heard that eating a sardine, there’s less mercury in a sardine than in a tuna because the tuna went around eating all the sardines. The cow is consuming tons and tons of grain, soy, or whatever it’s been fed that has pesticides. Pesticides concentrate in its muscles, and then when you eat the cow you’re getting the concentration of all the feed it was ever given with all those pesticides and chemicals. Even organic I have to question. What about the idea that there are hormones in animal meat? If you’re eating a cow and the cow has its own hormones—even though it says no hormones added—the cows were making their own hormones. Is that a factor? I mean, we’re eating the estrogen that was once a cow’s estrogen?


[00:21:24] Dr. Neal Barnard: I think it matters for dairy, I think it matters less for meat. The reason I say that is dairy products—well, on meat just very, very quickly. If you go out to a farm, many of the cows will have hormones injected into a little pellet on their ear that will release either testosterone or synthetic testosterone, or estrogen or synthetic estrogens into their blood. The reason the farmers do it is that they get better growth of the animal per unit feed, so it makes money for them. But with dairy, it’s a bigger issue because every glass of milk you ever had came from a cow who was impregnated annually. Which by the way is not a treat for anyone. If you ever happen to go buy a dairy and say I want to see how you artificially inseminate your cows, it is a creepy process. 

The other creepy thing is that after nine months of gestation, their babies are not allowed to stay with them. Their babies are taken away, and they basically go through this annual procedure where they’re artificially inseminated, their babies are taken away just so that we can take their milk, which nature had in mind something else.

Apart from the ethical issues of it, they are milked during much of their pregnancy. A pregnant cow makes extra estrogen and extra progesterone, and it gets in the milk. The milk concentrates them as it’s turned into cheese. The average American adult eats 37 pounds of cheese every year, plus milk, plus ice cream, plus yogurt, plus butter, and so you’re getting estrogens and other hormones from the milk and the milk products.

Now, people will rightly say it’s only a trace. True. However, in research studies, you can see a clear-cut association between dairy consumption and fertility issues in men, in cancer mortality in women, in breast cancer incidents in women. A brand new study from California just showed a substantially higher risk of breast cancer in milk-drinking women. 

How much estrogen do you want to feed to your seven-year-old daughter or your or your eight-year-old son? It is completely unnatural, but you and we all grew up with this idea—milk for strong bones. Nature said, wait a minute, cows don’t make calcium, cows eat calcium. It’s an element in the earth that gets into the grass, and if you’re eating vegetable matter like grass, you get calcium.

Hopefully, you’re not eating grass, but you’re eating broccoli, kale, collards, brussels sprouts, or other greens that you like. That’s where calcium comes from. The whole idea that you need dairy for calcium is an invention of the dairy industry.


[00:24:20] Ashley James: I’ve heard—possibly you said it—that there was a study where they looked at a meta-analysis of all the countries that have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. They found that those that drink the least amount of dairy or no dairy actually had the strongest bones in comparison to those countries that drank the most cow dairy had the weakest bones and the highest rates of osteoporosis. Can you speak to that?


[00:24:53] Dr. Neal Barnard: The evidence that dairy products help protect against bone fractures is extremely weak, not that it hasn’t been studied. The dairy industry has been very eager to come up with health rationales for consuming a bowl of ice cream, but the fact of the matter is it really doesn’t work very well. All kinds of problems come along with it. Anyway, to just speak to your point, there are confounding variables here. People who tend to avoid milk have a number of other health benefits. They’re eating other things. That may account for why they have stronger bones. But at a minimum, you just can’t really find robust research showing that dairy helps. I think that’s the most conservative thing to say. It’s just not going to benefit you.

But along the way, a researcher at Harvard named Dan Cramer years ago started looking at infertility. As you know, when women are maybe in their mid-20s, that’s sort of peak fertility time. When she’s 10 years older than that, she’s in her mid-30s or late 30s, her fertility is less. She started getting calls from her mother who says, I know your career is important to you, but you better not wait. Your clock is ticking. That kind of stuff. 

So Cramer looked at a variety of countries, and he looked at the decline in fertility as women go from their late 20s to their late 30s. He compared it to dairy intake. Thailand, not a big ice cream eating country. Cheese pizza is not their thing. It’s not a lot of dairy in Thailand. And the drop in fertility during that time from the late 20s to late 30s in women is maybe about 25% reduction.

Then you look at Brazil. Brazil, a little more dairy, more cheese. About a 50% loss of fertility during that time. You look at the United States where it’s all dairy all the time, and the reduction in fertility is about 80%. If you look at a variety of other countries, it’s not a perfect pattern but it’s quite compelling that high dairy intake appears to interfere with ovarian function. What we are speculating is the issue is that the problem here, in this case, isn’t just the estrogen or progesterone from the cow, but it could be—surprisingly enough—dairy sugar.

The sugar in milk is lactose. And in your digestive tract, if you can digest it, it breaks apart to release galactose. Galactose and glucose come out of the lactose sugar. The galactose can be toxic to the ovary. What supports this is that researchers have also shown that galactose is linked to ovarian cancer. What we think is happening is that there’s not free galactose in much of anything that people eat—very little of it. And your body doesn’t take it in. 

But dairying countries, dairying regions of the globe—maybe many thousands of years ago—started to spawn genetic mutations so that in some populations—particularly what you might refer to as Caucasian populations—carry this mutation so that they can break down the lactose sugar to release galactose. They think this is a wonderful advantage because I’ve got a new food source, and I don’t get the digestive problems that the rest of the world gets. Most of the world is lactose intolerant. You get diarrhea when you drink milk, but not these white people. For white people, maybe 85% are lactose tolerant. They don’t get digestive symptoms.

Well, that’s not so great because what happens is then you are digesting the sugar to release galactose into your blood, which is going to harm your fertility, increase the risk of ovarian cancer—according to the best evidence we have—and create all kinds of havoc that nature never thought in a million years humans would find nutrition in the udder of a cow. But people are creative. I mean, we stumble into all kinds of problems. So there you have it.


[00:29:20] Ashley James: You’ve taught us how to naturally decrease the estrogens to healthy levels. What changes can we make in our diet to helpfully increase progesterone for women who have low progesterone?


[00:29:34] Dr. Neal Barnard: Well, it’s largely a question of balance. If you bring down the estrogen in the right way, progesterone will take care of itself. Now there are people who will say that yams have natural progesterone in them. That’s true, but the bioavailability of it is modest in my view. There are people who will turn it into creams that they will sell you, and you’ll see them online. I am not aware of any toxicity of them. You can certainly try them. You look up natural progesterone creams, they’re typically yam-derived, perfectly fine. Whether they will work for you or not is another issue.


[00:30:10] Ashley James: It’s a matter of eating so healthy the body comes back into balance. Well, the idea that sex hormones and stress hormones are derived from fat, that the body takes—isn’t that a form of cholesterol that it then turns into these hormones?


[00:30:28] Dr. Neal Barnard: Yeah, isn’t that funny? Cholesterol is a bad actor, and it really is, but your body actually does make modest amounts of cholesterol to turn into testosterone, estrogen, and a variety of other compounds. Cholesterol is sort of this raw material. The way we run into trouble is if we start eating cholesterol from eggs or other animal products. 

One area that’s been a surprise—and you’re speaking about these hormonal changes—menopause is a time when many women really suffer from hot flashes. Here, it’s not so much the hormones causing it as the hormone roller coaster causing it. Your estrogen levels were high when you were 48, but now you’re 52 and your hormones have changed dramatically, so you get hot flashes that can persist.

Back in the 1980s, I believe it was, a researcher from McGill University named Margaret Lock went to Japan. She interviewed about 1200 women, and they just didn’t report hot flashes. The question was, well, maybe Japanese women are kind of reticent. They don’t want to talk about their intimate things. So she did really in-depth interviews. It’s kind of a backache. When I went through menopause. I was a little moody for a little while. Did you have hot flashes? No, I didn’t really have it. There was no Japanese word for it. Same with China, same with parts of rural Mexico.

What all these places had in common was that their dietary staples were plant-derived. There might have been some animal products, but not much dairy in particular. When Japan westernized—McDonald’s, KFC, and everybody came in—the rice was discarded in favor of chicken, pizza, and dairy. We started to see hormonal problems come in. Breast cancer rates doubled. Menopausal symptoms became common. Depression became much more common. The other piece is that soy products seem to have an anti-hot flash effect.

Anyway, in Your Body In Balance, when I wrote this book, I described all of this. I talked about soy, and I suggested that women who have hot flashes go on a vegan diet and consume soy. A woman called me up about six weeks ago. She said, “Dr. Barnard, I did what you said. I got terrible hot flashes. I did it in a certain way. I didn’t want to just do soy milk. You don’t know what it is in the soybean that’s good for you.” She said, “I took my pressure cooker, and I just took whole soybeans that I got at the co-op. I threw them in there, and I’ve been eating half a cup a day. My hot flashes were gone in three days.” I was like, “Holy cow. That’s amazing.”

Whether this will work for a large group of people, I don’t know. There have been quite a number of studies on it, and what intrigued me was that these studies have been done on extracts or soy foods where it’s a part of the soybean. But in her case she said, I’m going to use the whole damn thing. I’m using the whole soybean, half cup a day. If anybody’s listening to this broadcast and hot flashes are driving you crazy and you can’t sleep more than 90 minutes at night without being awakened by night sweats, you might try this approach. No animal products in your diet at all, keep oils low, take out your Instant Pot, boil up a big batch of whole soybeans, which you’ll find online. Have a half a cup of them a day—they’re like pine nuts really—on your salad. It’s really not much. You just eat them, see what happens, and let me know.


[00:34:25] Ashley James: That’s fascinating. I heard that the plant estrogen—the phytoestrogen—actually binds to oxygen receptors and thus blocking our real estrogen from taking hold. So it sort of lowers estrogen dominance in that way. There are so many misconceptions about soy. That it would cause men to have breasts, which is not the case. It actually helps to lower the estrogen to healthy levels, plus you mentioned that it has fiber which helps our body to regulate estrogen. That’s great for women, but is it healthy for men to eat half a cup of cooked soybeans a day?


[00:35:04] Dr. Neal Barnard: Sure. If you happen to go to the gym and mention that you like soy products, some of the guys will say that’ll give you man boobs. That’s what you’re talking about. This concern that soy will make a man effeminate. Go to the beach in August. If you’ll see a chunky guy taking off his shirt and you notice that he’s got a little bit of breast enhancement, go right up to him and ask how much tofu did you eat this week? Tell me about your soy yogurt consumption. He’s going to say, what are you talking about? I don’t eat any of that stuff at all.


[00:35:45] Ashley James: I drink beer and I eat cheeseburgers.


[00:35:49] Dr. Neal Barnard: And wings and so forth. What has happened in his body is that as he’s eaten animal products and the fat they contain, he’s gained weight. Fat cells are not just bags of calories. Fat cells convert testosterone into estrogen. Yes, and they do it even while you’re asleep. This happens in women, and it happens in men. As he’s gained weight, he’s got more estrogen in his blood. So some of what he’s got at the breast area is fat, some of what he’s got is breast tissue. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Gynecomastia, a little bit of breast tissue, is extremely common. Most men have a little nubbit of it here somewhere, and particularly when they’re an adolescent, but they can have it. But the idea that soy is encouraging that is not true. With regard to women, let me be clear. Soy products do affect your cancer risk, and here’s how they do. They reduce it.


[00:36:43] Ashley James: Yes.


[00:36:44] Dr. Neal Barnard: Soy products reduce cancer risk by about 30%. This is really important because you’ll hear people say that soy has phytoestrogens that cause cancer. By about 2004, we had maybe eight really good studies comparing women who consumed zero soy to consuming a really large amount of soy. I’m talking about soy milk, tofu, tempeh, or something like that. The pattern was striking. The women consuming the most so had about 30% less risk of developing breast cancer. And then researchers started looking at women who had had cancer in the past, and all be darned. It did not turn out to be the case that their cancer would progress from soy. It was the opposite. Women consuming the most so they had about a 30% reduction in the likelihood of dying of their cancer.

What we now know is that there is more than one estrogen receptor on a breast cell or on other cells too. There are alpha receptors and there are beta receptors. The soy isoflavones are attached to the beta receptor. The way you can think of it is in your car, you got the gas pedal. You step on the gas your car goes. You got the brake. You step on the brake, what happens? It stops. You’ve got more than one estrogenic receptor. If you’re trying to calm things down, a product that attaches specifically to the beta receptor is going to be your friend.


[00:38:13] Ashley James: Fascinating. What about prostate cancer?


[00:38:20] Dr. Neal Barnard: It’s quantitatively similar. Men who consume the most soy, once again, have about a 30% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, but there’s more to it here. If you’re consuming soy milk you are not consuming cow’s milk. Cow’s milk—completely separate from soy—is a driver of prostate cancer.


[00:38:47] Ashley James: Wow.


[00:38:48] Dr. Neal Barnard: At Harvard, this must go back 20 years, the Physicians’ Health Study—huge study—brought in physicians because they’re good reporters of their health and they track what they eat if you ask them to. The men consuming the most cow’s milk had about a 34% increased risk of prostate cancer. They followed it up with a much bigger trial, and they showed that if anything, it was an even higher risk, maybe 60% higher risk. What we now know is that in the same way as a calf suckling from a mother cow—when the dairy products go into the cow’s stomach, it triggers the production of something in the blood of the calf called IGF-1—insulin-like growth factor—that helps the calf to grow. So milk in the calf’s body encourages growth.

Well, you might be a 55-year-old man but milk does the same. It increases IGF-1 levels in your blood, and IGF-1 is a potent growth stimulus specifically for cancer cells. You do not want to treat your body as if you are a calf hell-bent on growing. There is a reason why nature does not ever permit adult animals to drink dairy products. Every single mammal drinks milk from their mother. Every single mammal goes through a weaning process where that growth stimulus is shut off. Human beings being so creative and restless, we always figure out ways to defy what nature had in mind for us. This lifelong suckling at Dairy Queen is creating all kinds of problems for us.


[00:40:36] Ashley James: Fascinating. I could talk to you for hours about this. I know that you’re very busy and you have to go. I’d love to have you back on the show any time to continue sharing this information. I urge listeners to get your latest book, Your Body In Balance. Of course, the link to buy your book is going to be the show notes of today’s podcast at Learn True Health. I love that you discuss how men and women can balance every hormone in their body. You have mentioned several times eating a healthy vegan diet. Of course, Oreos are vegan. That would be considered the unhealthy vegan diet.

For those who’ve never considered a plant-based diet to balance their hormones and decrease their chances of getting cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and also balance their weight accordingly, and also increase their longevity. We could go on and on about the benefits of eating a whole food, plant-based diet. Could you just wrap up the interview today by explaining what it looks like to eat a healthy vegan diet that promotes healing and decreasing disease?


[00:41:45] Dr. Neal Barnard: Sure. Let me describe how we walk people through this change. If you ever quit smoking or something like that, this transition is much easier than that, and the payoff is enormous. Here’s how we do it and I’ll tell you what the foods look like. 

The patient comes in, they got diabetes, they want to get rid of it. Or they’ve got cramps, they want to get rid of it. They have PCOS, whatever the issue is. Step one is we’re going to take seven days. During the seven days, we’re not going to change any part of the diet, but what we are going to do is take a piece of paper and I’m going to write on the paper the word breakfast, leave a little space and then I’ll write lunch, then I’ll leave a little space I’ll write dinner, and I’ll leave some space and I’ll write snack.

I’ll say please take this paper and come back seven days from now, and I want to see a list of foods that have no animal products in them that you actually would like to eat in each category. The patient says that’s it? Okay. They come back and they say, “Well, my first breakfast item is I have corn flakes with cow’s milk normally, but I went to the store and I got some almond milk. It’s pretty cool, so that’s on my list. I have oatmeal but I have to top it with cinnamon and raisins and then I’d like that. I tried this vegan sausage that’s pretty cool.” So they got their list.

“For dinner, let’s see, my partner and I went out. We went to an Italian place and they made angel hair pasta with an Arrabbiata sauce. The next week we had a bean burrito without the cheese.” Okay, great. By seven days, they got a pretty good list. So I say, “Now, step two is three weeks. During the three weeks, I want you to eat from your list. No animal products at all for the three weeks. You’re going to be vegan now but it’s easy because it’s only 21 days, and you already picked out the foods you like.” “That’s it?” “Yeah, that’s all I want you to do.”

You keep in touch with them because they’ll hit some bump in the road. But after three weeks, two things will have happened. Number one, they’re feeling better, they’re losing weight. Physically, things are changing, but they also discover that their feelings about foods are changing because they haven’t had any animal products for three weeks. That is more than enough time to completely rethink your foods. Now, you say to them, “Well, how do you like it?” “Well, I kind of like where I’m going. Can I do this for another week, doc? And I say, “Yeah, let’s just keep going and see how it goes.” Okay, great. So it’s very easy.

As the months go by, if they have diabetes, their medication requirements drop. If they’ve got menstrual pain, they discover it’s changing. All kinds of things will change within their bodies. The foods are in four categories: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, or legumes. So that turns into foods that are on international scale staples for everybody. I already mentioned pasta with marinara sauce, vegetables. In a Latin American restaurant, beans, rice, and tortillas. In a Chinese restaurant, rice, vegetables, or tofu dishes. You go to the sushi bar, you don’t have the fish sushi but you have the cucumber roll, the sweet potato roll, or the asparagus roll. You can have the seaweed salads, the regular salads, and the miso soup.

What I discovered, I grew up in North Dakota. Every day of my life was roast beef, baked potatoes, and corn. Pretty simple diet. When I went vegan, I now live in Washington DC. It’s amazing. The palette of foods available is huge. If somebody said, no, you can’t have any more you know spaghetti Arrabbiata, you can’t have any more bean burritos, you can’t have any more Thai food, Vietnamese food, Ethiopian food, go back to North Dakota and just eat your roast beef. That to me would feel depriving.

A vegan diet is extremely vast. It does require thinking things through a little bit, but after two weeks you’re a master. Instead of thinking in simple terms that foods cause me to gain weight or raise my cholesterol, you now have a much more complex view that foods allow me to control my hormones that control every other aspect of my body. I can control them for ill, I control them for good. It’s like driving your car. You can drive recklessly, or you can drive in a really careful way that gets you where you want to go.

The reason I wrote Your Body In Balance was to give this owner’s manual to people. And if you don’t mind, I want to brag just really quickly.


[00:46:23] Ashley James: Oh please do.


[00:46:24] Dr. Neal Barnard: Lindsey Nixon is a genius in the kitchen, and she did all the recipes for it. When she sent me the recipes, she said, “Neal, you’re going to really love these recipes. They’re easy, they’re quick, they’re all 100% vegan, but they are so familiar and wonderful.” She’s right, they’re great. But she sent a note with them that said, “Dr. Barnard, this way of eating that you’re describing cured my cramps too.” I thought okay, that’s validation.


[00:46:51] Ashley James: That’s so cool.


[00:46:53] Dr. Neal Barnard: I hope people will give it a try, and more importantly, I hope they’ll share this with somebody else. The work that you do in sharing this information, not just me but the other people that you talk to, you have a real talent for getting life-saving and life-changing information out to people. So I hope people won’t just benefit themselves and keep it to themselves. They got to tell other people about what you’re doing.


[00:47:15] Ashley James: Every woman has a friend with horrible cramps, hot flashes, or endometriosis. It’s like every woman. Some men too think about their sisters, their wives, their moms, or some of their best friends. Listeners, think about it, how many women can you list right now on your fingers, how many women can you count that you know—you’re close to, that you’re friends with, your family, your acquaintances with, or that you work with—that have expressed hormonal problems, concerns about breast cancer, or thyroid? How many women?

I mean, most women I know express concerns about their thyroid or are on thyroid medication or diabetes. Like you said, one in three people in the United States is diabetic or pre-diabetic. The entire population would benefit from your book. I know Christmas is a few months away, now’s a great time to buy several copies of Your Body In Balance and gift them. Give them early though. Don’t wait until Christmas. Give them early out of love and care for those for all the women and men in our life who suffer from thyroid-, prostate-, breast cancer-, estrogen-related imbalance. We can help. We can turn this ripple into a tidal wave and help so many of our loved ones.

I wish I’d had your book when I was—in high school, I was keeled over suffering from cramps so bad it was so incredibly painful. By the time I was 19 I was told I was infertile and I’d never have kids. Because of nutrition and because of food, we conceived our son naturally who’s 5 ½, and I’m currently pregnant with our second one. That is all due to holistic medicine. It is all due to using nutrition, using food, and a whole food, plant-based diet. 

I’m a raving fan. I wish I’d had your book back when I was 16. This is a book we could give to all the young women and all the people in our life we love. I’m thankful that you came to the show. I’m thankful that you’re spreading this information. I’m excited to dive into your book and those recipes sound great. Thank you so much for coming on the show, and please, come back any time. We would just love to have you here.


[00:49:37] Dr. Neal Barnard: Great. Well, thank you, Ashley. It’s been really fun talking with you today, and thanks for spreading the word.



Get Connected With Dr. Neal Barnard!

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

21-Day Vegan Kickstart Program

Facebook – Dr. Neal Barnard

Facebook – 21 Day Vegan Kickstart

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Books by Dr. Neal Barnard

Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health

The Cheese Trap

Power Foods For The Brain

Reversing Diabetes


Oct 15, 2020

Link to the Solo Sunlighten Sauna 25% off Sale:

Use coupon code: TrueHealthSolo



Plant Strong Primer Kitchen Event:


Rip Esselstyn of Engine 2: Prevent Obesity, Cancer, and Heart Disease with A Delicious Plant Strong Diet



  • What inspired Rip to go whole food, plant-based
  • How Rip started working with the firefighters
  • Impact of eating whole food, plant-based
  • How to stay on whole food plant-based while traveling


In this episode, Rip Esselstyn tells his origin story on how he became a healthy eating advocate. He shares how he started helping firefighters and other people to eat whole food, plant-based. He talks about his different ventures, including his Plant-Strong Podcast, his Engine 2—soon to be Plant-Strong—food products, and the events they’re hosting to help people get started and stay on the whole food, plant-based diet.


Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I know you’re going to love today’s episode. Before we get to it, I got to tell you about a super awesome deal that’s going on right now. As you may know, if you have listened to several episodes, you might have heard me rave about the Sunlighten Sauna company.

It took a long while to research which sauna I wanted to buy. I talked to several Naturopaths that have worked with different companies, interviewed each company, looked at the specs, looked at the wood, the materials they used to build it. Is there any toxic material? Where does it come from? Where is it manufactured? Their track record. The online feedback that I could see that customers had shared, and I finally decided to purchase a Sunlighten Sauna.

This is about three years ago, and I decided to use it because I have been working on detoxing heavy metals, and also supporting my immune system, supporting overall health. I kept learning more and more about the power of using an infrared sauna, especially if it’s a non-toxic, low EMF infrared sauna to support the body’s ability to heal itself. I have been so impressed with Sunlighten. Well, their customer service is great, but their products are fantastic. I’ve been very, very happy with the results that I’ve gotten—the detoxification results. It’s a very gentle detox when we sweat out toxins.

They have a special going on right now with their Solo System. Now, what I like about the Solo System, it’s ultra-low EMF, it’s made of non-toxic material, and you can store it in your closet. It basically becomes the size of a massage table. You can put it in your closet when you’re not using it or under the bed. That’s fantastic for people who don’t have 6×6 space in their house, their condo, or their apartment to dedicate to housing a giant wooden sauna. This isn’t a wooden sauna. This is a Solo System.

They’re having a huge sale right now from now until the 18th, so only the next few days. They’re giving 25% off, and then in addition to that, they’re giving our listeners an additional discount plus free shipping. The link is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast, so just go to the notes. If you’re using iTunes or wherever you’re listening, go to the notes and you’ll see the link. You can also join the Learn True Health Facebook group because the information is posted there. You want to use the link. The link gives you the 25% off, and then in addition to that, you use this coupon code: TRUEHEALTHSOLO, and that also gives you free shipping and an extra discount on top of it.

I’ve had several doctors on the show of holistic medicine and functional medicine swear by the system, including Dr. Mark Hyman, who lives in a condo. And he says it would be impossible to have a big sauna in his condo, and he loves traveling with the Solo System. I also had Ryan and Teddy Sternagel on the show, and they talked about how they helped their son who had two rounds of cancer.

He had cancer and then it came back. A very young baby. At about a year old, he was diagnosed with cancer. And now, thank God, he is cancer-free. I think he’s about seven years old now, and they used the Solo System. They traveled with it because he had several surgeries at different hospitals throughout the United States. I think he spent months in a hospital at one point, and they would use this system in the hospital with their young son when he was three, four, or five, helping him to get through the cancer treatments.

This is something obviously you’d want to talk to your holistic pediatrician about. But you can use this system with children—responsibly, with adults. It’s a gentle system. It allows you to detox through sweating. If that’s something that interests you, check it out, go to the link, come join the Facebook group and check out the information there, and use the coupon code: TRUEHEALTHSOLO to get the additional discount. This is a quick sale that they’re doing. It is ending on the 18th.

But if you’re interested in getting any kind of sauna, check out Sunlighten. And if you choose to buy Sunlighten, make sure you mention the Learn True Health podcast with Ashley James as they give all my listeners a great discount. I made sure of that when I interviewed the founder, Connie Zack, and you can go back and listen to that interview as well.

Thank you so much for being a listener of the Learn True Health podcast. If you ever want to reach out to me, please, join the Learn True Health Facebook group. We answer holistic health questions there all the time. There’s a lot of questions. People just want to know what you recommend for this, or I’m looking for a good recipe for that, or how you would handle this situation with cleaning products, or dealing with colds and flu. Not only do I help and answer questions, but there are so many other wonderful community members that are in the holistic space that help as well.

You’d really be joining a fantastic community that’s looking to support you in your health success. Just join the Learn True Health Facebook group and definitely check out the Sunlighten Solo System using the coupon code: TRUEHEALTHSOLO, and the link that is provided in the show notes of today’s podcast, or go to the Facebook group. Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day and enjoy today’s interview.


[00:05:39] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 448. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have with us Rip Esselstyn. I am such a fan of your work. In fact, you don’t know this but we met a few years ago. Of course, you’ve met thousands of people when you tour around the country giving lectures and talking about your books and your products, but I actually met you with my husband, me, and our son. It was at Whole Foods. Actually, I think our son was napping so my husband’s staying in the car. But I ran in and I absolutely loved it. You signed my book, which I gave to one of my friends who also became plant-based, and I love your recipes. What I love about your recipes is they’re so hearty and they’re so kind of manly. They’re really easy to make for men to show them how delicious eating plants can be.

Actually, since then, my husband went 100% vegan. He woke up one day and he said I’m never eating another animal again, and I was shocked because he only ate meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And then he woke up one day and said absolutely never again. About five days into eating just plants, he turns to me and he goes, “If I knew this tastes so good, I would have done this years ago.” So there’s a lot to say about this. For those who haven’t tried it yet—haven’t tried a plant-based day or a plant-based week, get Rip Esselstyn’s books and just go to town.

Now, you also have wonderful products that are sold at Whole Foods. I love everything you do, and I can’t wait to hear more from you and have the listeners learn from you today. Welcome to the show.


[00:07:34] Rip Esselstyn: Thank you, Ashley. Actually, I’m surprised. So you ran into the store to get your book signed, but your husband stayed in the car and napped?


[00:07:47] Ashley James: No, no, our son. I was just remembering. Our son was a baby at the time. He’s 5 ½ now. It might have been about five years ago, and it was in Redmond, Washington. I ran in. I had ordered the book on Amazon because I heard you were coming, and I think we were all planning on going in, but then the kid fell asleep in the car. You just don’t wake a baby up. You’re like, okay, he’s taking a nap. I ended up staying for the whole lecture while our son napped in the car, but it was fantastic. I mean, the stories you told and what I learned from you. Of course, I went home and binge-watched every YouTube video I could get my hands on—all the documentaries you’ve been in.

I had recently had your father on the show. I love telling everyone I’m within about 5’of—I’ll tell them, do you know that there’s a cardiologist that reverses heart disease with food? I think it’s amazing what you and your family do. Of course, I’m like this gushing fan over here. Let’s get to you and learn more from you. Rip, what happened in your life? Obviously, your dad and his work, but what happened to you personally that made you want to, not only go plant-based for yourself but help the world become healthier?


[00:09:07] Rip Esselstyn: For me, it’s been a journey. It all started with my father. I mean, it started with my father’s research at the Cleveland Clinic. You just said something that was a little bit off so I’ll correct you just to get it right. My father has never been a cardiologist, and he often is mistaken as one because he’s done such groundbreaking work in the field of halting, preventing, and reversing heart disease. But he’s a general surgeon, and his specialty was the thyroid, the parathyroid, and the breast.


[00:09:47] Ashley James: Fascinating.


[00:09:48] Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. What I find to be so—and I’ll use your word—fascinating, is the fact that you look at Dr. Dean Ornish, you look at Nathan Pritikin back in the ‘70s, you look at my father. None of these people were, per se, in cardiology. It took somebody from outside the field of cardiology to basically shine a light and say, you know what, this is really a food created disease of our own making. If we can just eliminate all of the building blocks that promote heart disease, you know what, we don’t have to go down that path.

My father got there because he wanted to actually try and show in his lifetime that the same thing could be true with breast cancer, and by association prostate cancer, and some of these major cancers. But he knew that he could do it quicker if he tried to do it through heart disease because he’d read some studies where they’d done some research with green monkeys where they were able to actually reverse their heart disease through just the power of a whole food, plant-based diet.

And then we dove into the research, looked at the epidemiological studies, and found swaths of people living on the planet that had 1/100 the incidence of heart disease, 150th the rate of breast cancer and prostate cancer. The common denominator of all these cultures was a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet. And then you look at the work that Dan Buettner has done with the Blue Zones, with Loma Linda; with Ikaria, Greece; with Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy where you have the longest living populations on the planet—the most centenarians. The common denominator there of course is a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet.

I went to the University of Texas at Austin on a swimming scholarship. I ate on the athletic training table with the football players, the basketball players, the tennis players, and the golfers. Every meal was chicken, fried steak, cheese, pepperoni pizzas, and bacon and eggs. We had a soft-serve ice cream machine where we could go to town, but none of us knew any better.


[00:12:39] Ashley James: It sounds like a 12-year-old’s birthday party, not an athletics college.


[00:12:44] Rip Esselstyn: No, you’re right. One of the premier universities in the nation, especially when it comes to the athletic program, right? God, how far we’ve come since I was going to school over 35 years ago now. While I was there at school was when my father was really putting his shoulder up to the grindstone to show what was possible when you initially took this population, this cohort of 22 people that he got from the Cleveland Clinic that was referred to him because they were so bad off that they were not candidates for another bypass, stent, angioplasty, or anything like that. He took these 22—what somebody referred to as the walking dead.

Every other week for five years, they came in and they saw him. He went over their food diary. He also weighed them, did their blood pressure, and did a lipid panel, and checked their total cholesterol—LDL, HDL, triglycerides. He went over their food log, and these guys were compliant. They were not messing it up. Again, it just goes to show the power of when you do this and you implement the program correctly, none of these people had any more events. The men that were in wheelchairs were able to get out of the wheelchairs and start walking. The angina, the chest pain basically went away. These people were dancing again. They were golfing. They were walking the malls. They were playing tennis almost like too good to be true like miracles.

So I heard the stories while I was at the University of Texas of my father and working with these walking dead and how they were basically coming back to life in more ways than one. And I was just so inspired by his ability to try and find this truth, to go against the grain, and do something as novel and important as this. Also, something about it just felt right. When I graduated, I was off the training table, and I was able to cook on my own and all that, I immediately started eating this way. That was back in January 1987. For the most part, I haven’t looked back. It’s now been 33 years that I really embrace this.

It’s just now about finessing it and accumulating more information. One thing has led to another, and the dots have continued to connect. I find myself now, 33 years later, being in a place that I never ever anticipated being in where I’m a healthy eating advocate. I have written four different books. As you mentioned—I’m going to use this word and we can talk about—I had a food line in Whole Foods for almost eight years. We put on seven-day medical immersion programs. We’ve been doing that for 10 years. Because of COVID now we’ve started doing these virtual events with thousands of people. I’ve started my own podcast following in your steps, Ashley, about a year and a half, two years ago. It’s called the Plant-Strong Podcast. It’s become pretty all-encompassing.


[00:16:49] Ashley James: I love it. Watching documentaries, seeing your story in them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen The Game Changers. My friend, my husband, and I went to see it in the theaters for that one-day special. And on the way home, I was calling people non-stop. Oh my gosh, you have to see this. You have to do this right now. And I called a friend who is caring for her friend who was a recent quadriplegic with out-of-control diabetes because they were in the hospital and she was taking care of them as an advocate. I said you’ve got to check this out. 

She immediately got the hospital to get him to go plant-based, zero oil. Overnight, his number started to get better. The water retention went away. He actually started gaining muscle. He was fighting bedsores, and he started healing his bedsores so fast they couldn’t believe it. It was a stage four bedsore. They thought he was going to die from it and his healing went through the roof. They could not believe it, and she had to inspect every meal because they kept trying to sneak in things like dairy, oil, and all that. It was just amazing watching people. Their bodies heal so much faster when you remove the foods that are inhibiting the body and you give the body all the nutrients it needs. It’s mind-blowing. Now, can you tell us a bit about your work with firefighters?


[00:18:25] Rip Esselstyn: Yeah, absolutely. Well, this whole thing started because I was a firefighter with the City of Austin. I got on board with the Austin fire department in 1997 after a 10-year career as a professional triathlete where I was swimming, biking, and running for a living fueling myself with the power of a whole food, plant-based diet. It’s funny, for the first five, six years that I was a firefighter in the Austin fire department, I got ridiculed, harassed, and belittled until the cows came home about the way I ate.

Then, we had a bet to see who had the lowest cholesterol level and we drove down to the local laboratory the next morning—me and the other guys on the Station 2 C Shift crew—and we found out that one of my brothers had cholesterol at the age of 33 of 344 milligrams per deciliter, which is phenomenally high. We also found out that he had a horrendous family history of men in his family dying from heart disease before the age of 50. So not only did this firefighting brother of mine have a genetic predisposition for a really elevated cholesterol level, but he also ate—and this is his words not mine—like a third-generation redneck.

The center of the plate was always some sort of meat, typically or favorably deep-fried. When you have a genetic predisposition and you make deep-fried meat at the center of your plate, that’s not a good combination. And then to boot, the firefighting culture is very masculine. It is the food that these firefighters make is very, very toxic. So everything’s deep-fried. Screw half a stick of butter, let’s do one whole stick of butter. Let’s do Crisco on everything. Let’s use a pound of cheese on top of this casserole. For dessert, we’re going to split a tub, and I mean a tub a gallon of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. And it just goes on and on—Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper. The food at the firehouse is abysmal.

So the funny thing is you mentioned firefighters. If there’s one culture on this planet that needs us more than anybody else, it’s firefighters. Firefighters, in some ways, they consider themselves superheroes. They are there when we when the sh** hits the fan, and they need saving. They expect a superhero, gold medal decathlete, to come to the rescue. The unfortunate reality is that so many of these firefighters are overweight. They’re pre-diabetic. They’ve had a shot across the bow with cancer. 

It’s funny though how many fire departments across the country—at a really slow and steady rate and firefighters—have been reaching out to me for help. Literally, right before I jumped on this interview with you, I got an email from a firefighter who’s telling me he’s battling PTSD. His weight has ballooned back up to almost 300 pounds. The stress of the job, he’s starting to drink again—just all these things—and would I be willing to talk to him once a week? I’ve got fire departments that have reached out to me and asked me to do videos that they can then circulate out throughout their department. 

Anyway, the fire service is slowly but surely coming around to this message that the plants really are king when it comes to nutrition. But there’s still a lot of dinosaurs in that firefighting culture, no doubt about it. I’ll give you another example. When I wrote my first book, The Engine 2 Diet, I did a pilot study that was comprised of 62 people for the first round, and we did before and after biometric screenings on everything just like my father did with his patients back in 1984, 1985. I weighed them in, we did blood pressure. I had a relationship with a lab and we did a full biometric screening. I had a medical director. We did a three-minute step test where people did this step test and then we measured their before and after heart rate to see how their heart rate was doing. And then we did all this again four weeks later.

But one of the people that took part in this was a guy, a firefighter that I went through the training academy with. His name was Tim, and Tim was probably 220. He was one of the biggest firefighters when we went through the six-month-long academy together in 1997. And then, when I was looking for people that wanted to participate in this pilot study for my book, he happened to call the station for some reason. I said, “Hey, Tim. How are you doing? He said, “I’m doing good. Put on way too much weight.” I said, “Oh, really? Where are you?” He said, “I’m over 300 pounds.” I’m like, “Oh, Tim. Wow. Well, hey. You know what, I’m doing this pilot study. If you’re willing to eat just whole plants for 28 days, I’d love to have you be one of the participants.” He said, “Sure, I’d love to do it. I got nothing to lose.“

Tim lost 33 pounds in 28 days. And surprisingly, his cholesterol was not that high, to begin with. It was 172, and so for a big boy, that’s not very high. But at the end of 28 days, it came down to 88. So he was below 100 on his total cholesterol. His LDL came down below 40, and it was just miraculous what he was able to do. But the reason why I’m telling you this story is that most firefighters, after they graduate from the fire academy, will typically go out into the fire service and they let their guard down. They get pulled into this toxic food environment where they’re eating the same unhealthy food that everybody else is eating. They’re gaining somewhere between three to five pounds, on average, a year.

You look at Tim, again, he was doing this in 2008. We went through the academy together in 1997. So almost 11 years later, he had gone from 220 to 303 pounds. He put on over 83 pounds in 11 years. Tim, he was the first to admit. He had become a liability to himself, a liability to his crew. If he was to go down in a building or in a house fire, nobody’s going to be able to pick him up and drag him out because think about it, he’s 303 pounds. You add on to that his bunker gear, his boots, his helmet, his air pack that he’s got on, and now you can add on another almost 65 pounds. Somebody’s got to try and haul out 375 pounds.


[00:27:09] Ashley James: In a fire?


[00:27:11] Rip Esselstyn: In a fire where you can’t see. It’s probably 400, 500 degrees depending upon where you are in the structure. That’s a problem.


[00:27:25] Ashley James: Yeah, he’s putting his own health and life at risk, but he’s also putting his fellow brothers at risk. That’s something to consider. If we know that we’re eating a certain way, we’re gaining weight, or we’re not taking care of ourselves, at what point are we actually putting other people’s lives at risk? We could have a heart attack while driving, we could die and our dependents all of a sudden don’t have us to take care of them. If you’re not willing to make the changes for yourself, you’ve got to think about those you love most to get to start making changes.


[00:28:02] Rip Esselstyn: Completely. And to take it a step farther, I mean, if you want to open up this pandora’s box, look at the predicament that we’re in right now—the United States of America. We’ve got COVID-19 that has struck. I believe, and I may be off here by a percent or two, but 98.5% or 99% of the people that are being hospitalized for COVID-19 and are subsequently dying have some sort of underlying comorbidity. Whether it’s high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, or weakened or suppressed immune system. Unfortunately, if you’re obese, the latest figures that I just saw from the CDC show that 42%. A couple of years ago, we were at 35% obesity. We’re at 42% obesity now. I think that 50% of people over the age of 40 are now on some sort of hypertensive medication because their blood pressure is too high.


[00:29:27] Ashley James: And that comes with a list of side effects including those who are on long term for high blood pressure meds have shorter lifespans. So being put on a med doesn’t solve the problem. It masks the symptoms for now, but it makes things worse in the long run because we’re not addressing the root cause. My head spun so fast watching—so I’ve been a health coach for many years. (I watch the blood pressure, the triglycerides, the cholesterol, and blood sugar, especially, come into healthy ranges so fast when people get off of oil salt, sugar, processed food, and get on whole food, plant-based. I cannot believe how quickly people can heal and come back into normal ranges and go back to their doctor and get taken off of meds. It’s mind-blowing.

A friend of mine’s mother, within weeks of going plant-based, said all her arthritis and all arthritis pain was gone. All her pain was gone.


[00:30:32] Rip Esselstyn: Well, it’s such an anti-inflammatory way of eating. Like you just said, the effects happen so quickly. I mean, you look at the seven-day medical immersion programs that we’ve been throwing with Whole Foods’ unhealthiest team members since 2011, and the results that we got were so phenomenal. I was able to track all these different data points literally. It’s now over 2000 people that I had to write a book about, and that’s why my third book is called The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet. And when I say rescue, it’s not me rescuing, it’s you rescuing yourself with the simple power of food.

But let’s go back for a second, Ashley because where I was going with this thing with COVID-19 was that somebody asked. I saw this interview with Dr. Fauci where they asked him, “Why don’t we open society back up?” And he said, “We can’t. We have too many sick citizens.” Again, when you look that we have 42% of the population that’s literally considered obese. When you look at all the numbers of people that are diabetic or pre-diabetic, and I think it’s now over 50% and he says that, it’s like wow. COVID-19 is crippling this society because we’re so unhealthy because we have not embraced, of course, there are so many conflicting messages and there’s so much noise out there with paleo, keto, and all this stuff.

If we could—as a culture, as a society—embrace something as simple as eating a whole food, plant-based diet, we wouldn’t be in the predicament we’re in now. This thing would probably be able to blow over, herd immunity. Sure, some people that are young and healthy are going to get hit pretty hard, but for the most part, like I said, 99% of people that are affected have some sort of underlying comorbidity and are over the age of 70. If you’re in that subset, you just really need to be super, super careful.

But anyway, I’ll throw out one more thing. That is a long time ago Winston Churchill said something very, very profound, and that is, “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country has.” I mean, again, look at where we are right now, 20 cents out of every dollar goes to healthcare costs. Heart disease, the number one killer of Americans right now. 50% of us will have a brush with cancer in our lifetimes. Like I just mentioned, the fact that almost 50% of this country is considered now either pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic, these are all lifestyle created diseases. I don’t know at what point we’re going to be able to wake up and confront this.

The Game Changers did a phenomenal job, and the latest that I’ve heard is that this documentary has been seen by more eyeballs. We’re approaching now close to 100 million views of The Game Changers. It’s the most-watched documentary on the planet.


[00:34:27] Ashley James: I love that.


[00:34:28] Rip Esselstyn: But I still have to wonder, what’s it going to take? What is it going to take? You have this phenomenal documentary, the most-watched documentary in the history of the planet. I mean, it’s moved the needle, but it’s not moving it enough, it’s not. And then you look at everything that’s going on right now with climate change, the environment, and sustainability. It’s like come on people. We all got to be pulling in the same direction, and we got to do it fast.


[00:35:08] Ashley James: I really don’t like the phrase climate change because it so removes—did you watch that George Carlin clip? This is years ago where he said in World War One it was called shell shock, and in shell shock, you can feel the emotional impact. Like oh, he came home with shell shock. Through the years, they kept changing the diagnosis’s name to be so sterile that now we call it PTSD, and there is so much humanity removed from what they actually are experiencing.

Climate change feels like something big, out of our control, and not anything that really affects us, but okay, maybe when the weather’s weird. What I like to do is go back to the root, which is pollution. Look at that word. Okay, I don’t want to breathe in pollution. I don’t want to eat pollution. I don’t want it to be in my food. I don’t want it to be in my water. We have to come back to this really strong emotional word. We’re polluting this planet. Our food supply is compromised. Our air is compromised. Our water is compromised with pollution.

When we look at the places in the world that help to clean our water and air like these forests, they are being torn down by the hectare every day. Just unspeakable amounts of acres and acres of these rainforests, which we will never get back, in order to feed cattle. That is just one of the many problems. If everyone just ate more plants. If everyone just chose some meals that had plant-based protein and just tried that and then kept going more and more and more towards plants, we could actually start to heal the rainforest. We could start to stop pollution.

We have to think about the impact that’s happening right now, which is we’re poisoning our bodies by poisoning the planet, and we are voting with our fork. When you go to the grocery store, go online to buy your groceries, your purchases say where you want your money to go. And if you are buying products that require us to tear down forests in order to feed the cattle because they are growing crops to feed cattle, instead buy just crops and eat them. It’s much more complex than, but it can get as simple as vote with your fork. Do some research on the foods that you buy and vote with your fork where you want the earth to heal, you want your body to heal.

That’s my little beef about the word with, and there needs to be a vegan word for beef. That’s my schtick. I have such frustration with the word climate change because it takes the responsibility away from us. Whereas if we can really focus on the fact that—remember in the ‘80s they call it acid rain? It’s like, geez, I don’t want to go outside and get rained on by acid rain. That’s what we’re experiencing now is the pollution in our local environment because of the choices we make, and we can make better choices, which will directly—impact our lifetime—lessening the pollution and reversing it. That’s why it’s so important that your message is for healing our bodies, and it’s for healing the planet because there’s no difference between the two.


[00:38:44] Rip Esselstyn: Bravo, and thank you for bringing that up. I actually like that a lot more. We’re polluting the planet, right?


[00:38:58] Ashley James: Right, and there’s no political like, oh, climate deniers. You can’t deny pollution. It’s right out of your front door. You can test the water, soil, and air. We are polluting this planet. You can’t get political about it. It’s the truth. That way, there’s no denying it, but we can make choices based on all of our consumption. Based on what car we’re going to drive. Based on the clothing we’re going to buy, if it’s used, new, or local, or whether we’re going to buy local groceries or grow our own. Every single choice with our dollar really does go towards making a sustainable and healthier planet for our own health right now. Anyway, that’s my soapbox.


[00:39:45] Rip Esselstyn: No, it’s good.


[00:39:46] Ashley James: Thank you.


[00:39:48] Rip Esselstyn: Let me add to that. You look in the grocery space and what has been growing about 20% year over year? It’s the plant-based meats, it’s the plant-based cheeses, it’s the plant-based milk, it’s the plant-based yogurts. Plant-based is on a tear right now, and people are voting with their dollars, and they’re voting that they want more plants and fewer animals. That’s very, very telling. James Cameron, we were talking about The Game Changers. He was one of the executive producers, but I had the privilege of getting to meet James Cameron several years ago. I also helped get him on board with The Game Changers project.

You said you went to the opening night of The Game Changers. Did you see the 20-minute clip afterward?


[00:40:50] Ashley James: Yes.


[00:40:51] Rip Esselstyn: James was basically the star of that bonus footage. And in it, he says the single most important and powerful thing that you can do starting tomorrow is just to start eating plants. As far as starting to heal the planet and not polluting nearly as much. When you look at some of the data that’s out there, and there’s some from the Worldwatch Institute that’s part of the World Bank that has the global greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by livestock. They wrote a paper. I believe it’s called Livestock’s Long Shadow. That 51 of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture between the supply chain and the life cycle of us as a world having this insatiable diet for animal protein. 70 billion animals, it’s incomprehensible. Anyway, I want to add that to the whole conversation we were just having.


[00:42:20] Ashley James: I really like the visuals in the documentary Cowspiracy. I don’t like watching documentaries that lay down the guilt trip or make you feel like you’re hopeless, and there’s a little bit of that in there. But I just like to urge listeners just to watch it because the visuals are really good. For example, for that one hamburger that you eat, how much water actually needed to be used in terms of the crops and also feeding the cow versus if you just had a bean burger. You can see the environmental impact of that, or how much gas was used and how much CO2 emissions. But also how much fecal matter, right?


[00:43:03] Rip Esselstyn: I was just going to say, how much poop is produced by animals. It’s staggering, right?


[00:43:09] Ashley James: Yeah. In our environment, there are parts of the Carolinas, when there are storms, the water and all of the soil is really so unhealthy for the humans that live in those areas. And it’s documented that the humans that live in those areas have incredibly high rates of cancer, but they’re kind of impoverished, they can’t move away, and they just have to suffer because there’s so much fecal matter. All the waste from the big pig farms out there. But just imagine if there are billions of animals that we’re raising for slaughter, how much waste they create that is going to polluting the planet.

So, yes, there’s a huge environmental, but we have to keep coming back to environmental equals our health. So a healthy environment equals a healthy body, and we can come back to the science which is just eating plants but a whole food meaning not processed or as little process as possible so that we’re eating the whole plant and getting all the nutrients we require from it. And there’s so much science and you’ve mentioned some of the doctors and scientists that have made the published studies. Listeners can go through your books, through your dad’s information. You can go through, search whole food, plant-based. and listen to all the other experts that I’ve had on the show about it. You can collect lots of information and see that science is there and the science is sound and proven.

You were in—a while ago—a documentary called the Marshall Plan. It’s on YouTube. I highly recommend listeners watch it. That blew my mind that an entire town took up a challenge to get healthy through the whole food, plant-based diet and that you actually went there. Met with the fire guys there, the firemen there, and that you got all the labs, then you help them with the diet, and then you got the labs afterward. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with the town of Marshall in Texas?


[00:45:22] Rip Esselstyn: Well, yeah. That was almost nine years ago now if I’m not mistaken. What happened is the mayor of the town of Marshall and his wife—two just phenomenal people—got bit by the whole food, plant-based bug. It’s really a testament to what can happen when one person that has a little bit of power, can try and just spread the wealth. When we went there, there were restaurants that were serving these whole food, plant-based options. We put on a whole weekend-long healthy eating symposium for the citizens of Marshall, Texas. Like you mentioned, I spent some time working with some of the firefighters.

Again, Ashley, and I apologize, I’ve worked with so many different firefighters and fire departments that I can’t specifically remember.


[00:46:46] Ashley James: Oh, yeah. Nine years ago, I want you to remember all of the numbers.


[00:46:50] Rip Esselstyn: But I can’t specifically remember how it went down.


[00:46:53] Ashley James: But they just have to watch the documentary for that.


[00:46:55] Rip Esselstyn: Yeah, and I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen the documentary. To this day the Marshall of Texas, I think they continue to hold a weekend-long event. The restaurants are carrying—and I can’t remember what the term is now that they have. They had some sort of special term for Marshall and the whole food, plant-based options there. For a little while, it was Engine 2 approved, but then they changed it. They’ve done something really phenomenal there in Marshall, Texas. Of all the places in the world, who would have thought Marshall, Texas.


[00:47:40] Ashley James: Right, a town in Texas. Anyway, it’s a great documentary. They show how much everyone loves meat and how incredibly unhealthy everyone was, and then the whole transformation of the town. You’re in it, your dad’s in it, and all the stars of the whole food, plant-based world are in it. My favorite, Chef AJ, who I’ve had on the show is in it. The meals look really delicious, and I think it’s a very authentic documentary. It feels very indie, which I love. I’m going to make sure the link to the Marshall Plan documentary is in the show notes of today’s podcast. Even though it’s nine years old, it’s still incredibly relevant. What I liked is having you walk through it with the firefighters. More time was spent on it even in the Game Changers where you got to walk through with the firefighters and show them what your arteries look like.


[00:48:31] Rip Esselstyn: Really.


[00:48:32] Ashley James: They slowed it down and they interviewed the firefighters. You felt the emotion with them. They don’t want to die, they don’t want to drop dead out of a heart attack. It’s very cool how much their lives changed because of it. But there are so many videos out there that you’re in that are like that, which is just wonderful. 

You do a lot of traveling, and this has been a question on my mind. What and how do you eat when you’re traveling? Because you’re in airplanes, you’re at hotels. Sometimes you’re in areas of the world where it’s not like Marshall, Texas where there’s a bunch of whole food, plant-based restaurants. How do you stay true to the whole food, plant-based, no processed, no oil diet?


[00:49:24] Rip Esselstyn: Well, that’s a great question, and it’s been really easy the last six months because I haven’t really traveled at all.


[00:49:33] Ashley James: I fell into that one.


[00:49:35] Rip Esselstyn: But you’re right. Before that, for the last 10 years when I was a healthy eating partner with Whole Food market stores, I was on the road probably somewhere between 80-100 days a year. Basically sharing with people the good news about plants. Let me say, the good news is that typically, whenever I went on the road, I always was going to Whole Foods. Literally, I always had the ability for lunch to pick up something if I did a lunch event. I’d fill up my cart and I’d buy some stuff either something that was prepared for dinner, or I could go and they always have a little rice cooker. I could do rice, I could do beans from the salad bar, and then top it off with all kinds of veggie relish.

But, aside from that, I would always go on the airplane with cereal. I always travel everywhere with my commercialized Rip’s Big Bowl cereal. And then at the airport, because you can’t take milk through the detectors with you, I would usually go to a Starbucks and I’d ask them for a plain glass of almond milk. I’d also carry with me typically raisins or bananas, so I make my own bowl because a lot of times, I have to get up early like 4:30 AM, 5:00 AM for some of these early morning flights. I always travel with cereal. I always travel with fruit. Sometimes I’ll travel with a homemade burrito or a sandwich.

I can always go out to dinner and make it work. You just got to be a little bit of a pain in the butt and ask for what you want. You can go to Indian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, or Chinese. Typically, you always get some sort of rice, lentils, vegetables to that effect. In a pinch, I’ll do Chipotle. Obviously, Chipotle’s got a lot more sodium and a lot more oil than I want, but I’m not so perfect that I don’t sometimes do that.

You just figure out a way. I typically get hotels where they’ve got a microwave in it. Sometimes they’ve got a little kitchenette in it. I have the ability to cook a few things. If you really want something bad enough, you’ll figure out a way to make it work. John Mackey who’s become a great and cherished friend, the CEO of Whole Food market stores, travels with a miniature rice cooker and he makes his own steel-cut oatmeal in the morning. He’ll make his own brown rice in the hotel room, and then he’ll add to it the toppings that he wants, the beans, the sliced up vegetables.

I have found out that nothing is as important as your health. If it requires you traveling with a rice cooker if it requires you at the restaurant saying, hey, you know what, I want this cooked and I don’t want it cooked in any oil or any butter, then you deserve the right to make that request, no doubt about it.


[00:53:15] Ashley James: There’s a Mexican restaurant near where my parents-in-law live in Seattle or just north of Seattle, and I get them to do veggie fajitas with no oil. They put every vegetable known to man. I love their veggie fajitas. Some places just do bell peppers. This place does everything. There are broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, and every bell pepper known to man—there’s just everything, and it’s a huge pile of vegetables on a sizzling skillet. They’ll do zero oil for me and then I’ll get their platter with the beans, the corn, tortillas, and the guacamole, and you feel great. You feel full. It’s just wonderful. I love it. And then there’s usually enough to take home. 

You just have to ask. You just have to be willing to ask, can you cook that with no oil, or can you steam that? A lot of Thai restaurants will have—in the back of their menu for a few dollars—a side of steamed vegetables and brown rice. You can bring your own sauce. I love the 3-2-1 sauce that Chef AJ teaches, which is three parts balsamic, two parts any kind of mustard, and then one part maple syrup. But that’s too sweet for me so I do half that amount, just put it in a jar, shake it up, and then just bring that wherever you go. You can put it on vegetables. It tastes amazing. It absolutely tastes amazing. You put it on steamed vegetables, put it on rice. You can get creative.

I like to do road trips, and Wendy’s has baked potatoes. I don’t eat the skins. They probably pour oil on it anyway, but you can find a way but you have to get creative. I think some people don’t take the first step into trying even a whole food, plant-based meal because they’re like, well, I’m tired. I’m busy. My mind is spinning, I have bills to pay, and this is just another thing I have to learn how to do. It’s kind of learning a new language. But once you do it, once you jump in, learn, and just try it, then it becomes very easy.

I travel with my Instant Pot. I learned that from Chef AJ. I will not go to a hotel that doesn’t have at least some form of a fridge. I just check in advance, make sure they have a fridge or mini-fridge, and I bring my Instant Pot always, always, always, and then go to the grocery store once we get there. We just do a little cookout in our room. There are even some hotels that have hot plates that they will provide for you if they don’t have a kitchenette. I found that out when we went to Idaho a few months ago. We just get really creative, but sometimes I’m tired, I’m hungry, I just want to like to do take out. This isn’t one of those opportunities to cheat or eat unhealthily. I don’t want to feel bad the next day. I want to feel better and healthier, so we got to get creative.

That’s where probably having some food either do big meal preps. You already have food cooked in the fridge. I can just go grab some cold sweet potatoes and eat them. Or have some meals that you’ve already made that you’ve frozen, so I’ve had to learn because I’m the one that cooks for our family. I’ve had to learn, and what I’m always blown away is how delicious your recipes are. So yummy. No wonder you can convert big firemen that love to eat steak to a whole plant-based diet because your recipes are delicious. I know that you’ve had some of your family members make these recipes as well.


[00:57:04] Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. Well, Ashley, let me say that you have really embraced the lifestyle, and you got it going on between doing the bulk cooking for leftovers, and then freezing, but you get into a routine where you learn how to do it and it’s not that difficult and it’s so worthwhile.


[00:57:29] Ashley James: Absolutely.


[00:57:30] Rip Esselstyn: You mentioned the food being good. I mean, there’s no way that I could have gotten a bunch of Texas male firefighters to do this if they thought they were eating a bunch of rabbit food, twigs, berries, and nonsense like that. Literally, from the beginnings of this, it was always hearty—as one person said—mantastic food that fills you up and sticks to your ribs. That’s why, if you look at the Engine 2 cookbook or Plant-Strong, you’ll see that it’s a lot of pizzas, burritos, casseroles, stews, and chilies. It’s just hearty filling food. And of course, we’ve got our fair share of really big muscular salads as well, but it’s very intentional that the food leans towards being more firefighter man-friendly, and that’s not at all a knock on women.


[00:58:56] Ashley James: No, as a woman, I can say that we as all women—I will speak for all women—would be happy to bring home a cookbook for our male counterparts in our lives that they would embrace because it’s so delicious, and we’re secretly also helping them get super healthy. There are not a lot of whole food, plant-based cookbooks out there that would make a man feel like they could do this if they’ve eaten meat every day of their life. That’s what I love about yours is they are super hearty. I love the chilies. Oh my gosh, don’t get me started. I make them all in the Instant Pot by the way so it’s really easy to make.

What’s interesting about the Instant Pot, I don’t know how much you’ve looked into—they call them the anti-nutrients. Some people are really sensitive to—makes them have gas and bloating. But when you cook beans and lentils in the Instant Pot, it destroys the anti-nutrients. People that often go, oh well, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t eat that way because I’d get gassy. Well, if you use the Instant Pot, the pressure and the heat of the Instant Pot destroy the anti-nutrients and make it so much easier to digest and it doesn’t cause that gas problem. That’s why I love using Instant Pot for all the beans and lentils that I make.


[01:00:26] Rip Esselstyn: Isn’t that interesting?


[01:00:27] Ashley James: It is.


[01:00:28] Rip Esselstyn: Well, we have a rice cooker. I don’t have an Instant Pot, and I probably should get one. I know that Chef AJ would be very happy if I decided to get one.


[01:00:40] Ashley James: You really need to get one, and you guys should do like a little video together where she teaches you how to use the Instant Pot. I actually own three Instant Pots. Last Thanksgiving I made the most delicious—I came up with this recipe for like a shepherd’s pie. I got four huge disposable aluminum tins to bake them in because I got one for us for home. I brought one to the in-laws for Thanksgiving, and I gave two away. One to a funeral who were Seventh-Day Adventists, and they just lost their daughter in a car crash. I donated that to their funeral and they really appreciate that. I mean, it’s the least I could do. And then the fourth one was given to my friend’s family.

My dear friend Naomi went whole food, plant-based to reverse her heart disease, and then everyone else in the family started to. She has three sons and a husband. Now the husband raves about it, and her parents rave about it. But the three boys, they could never like the same thing. They’re all very picky eaters, and this was the first whole food, plant-based dish that all three boys and the entire family liked. The reason why I got three Instant Pots—because I used to only have one—is that when making it, I did the potatoes on one, the lentils on the other, and the vegetables in the third.

I made a layered dish because I was running out of time, so I ended up getting three Instant Pots to make the whole thing. I constantly use three Instant Pots. I’ll make potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, or yams in one; I’ll make beans or lentils in the other; and then I’ll steam vegetables in the third. I hardly ever use my stove. If I use the Instant Pots, I hardly ever use the stove. It’s actually way quicker to use the Instant Pot, and the food comes out really fresh instead of something that’s been cooked too long. Anyway, I’m a raving fan of the Instant Pot. You should definitely get one and play with it.


[01:02:50] Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting you say all that because do you know who Nina and Randa Nelson are and Jeff Nelson and Sabrina Nelson—a VegSource?


[01:02:59] Ashley James: No, I don’t.


[01:03:01] Rip Esselstyn: Well, Nina and Randa, you should have them on your show. They had this awful cystic acne that was almost debilitating, and these guys were actresses and singers out in LA. They’ve been following a vegan diet their whole life, but what happened is they decided to then go off all the peanut butter, the tofu, and all the processed refined vegan stuff. Literally, within a couple of weeks, their acne cleared up. They wrote a book about it called The Clear Skin Diet, and it is phenomenal. But Jeff and Sabrina have been in the space since 1990. They were the first ones to start throwing some of these live in-person plant-based events.

But the reason I bring them up is I stay at their house sometimes when I’m out in LA, and they have three Instant Pots going all at one time. Typically in one, they have one some sort of grain, let’s just call it brown rice. In one they have a bean, so let’s just call it homemade black beans. And then the other one they have steel cut oats or oatmeal. At any point in time during the day, you can go in and take a spoonful of whatever you’re in the mood for and then you put whatever you want on top. It’s brilliant. I’m kicking myself that I still have not bought.


[01:04:30] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. Guess what you’re doing this weekend.


[01:04:32] Rip Esselstyn: I think you might be right.


[01:04:33] Ashley James: You’re going to be playing with your new Instant Pot this weekend. When you call up Chef AJ for some advice, tell her it was me that finally pushed you over the edge.


[01:04:43] Rip Esselstyn: All right, I’ll say that Ashley James—


[01:04:46] Ashley James: Ashley James got you to finally get one. They’re so much fun. I burned a bunch of stuff the first time I used it, and I almost never went back. But then I think it was videos like Chef AJ’s videos that got me to try it again. You have to be willing to experiment and fall on your face in the kitchen. You’ve got to be willing to burn a few things because that’s how we learn, and it’s okay. Some of your meals don’t have to be awesome, but please, learn from those experiences because now I’m like such a passionate chef at home because food is the gateway to our health. You walk into your kitchen, you’re walking into your pharmacy. That’s just one of my favorite tools is the Instant Pot because it saves me so much time, but also it’s actually a health aide because it does break down those anti-nutrients for many of the grains, beans, legumes, and lentils.

Awesome. Now, you’ve got a program coming up. I definitely want to make sure we talk about it. You used to do—with thousands of people—these boot camps where you change their lives and then like you said, you documented it and wrote about it in one of your latest books. I got to see that actually because I met several Whole Foods employees who had been through your program. It’s life-changing, absolutely. I love the stories that came out of that, and then with COVID now you’ve gone digital, which is great because now actually more people can have access to this boot camp.

So you’ve got a program coming up really soon. Tell us all about it. What would we get by joining it? What is the experience like? And when what kind of people is this meant for?


[01:06:31] Rip Esselstyn: This will be our third virtual event of 2020. The first one we did was called the Plant-Strong Primer, and it was just for anybody that needed a little tune-up on all things plant-based for those who were new to the space. We had great attendance, and it was a whole weekend. The second one that we did was—we’ve had our annual Plant-Stock event for nine years now, and typically, it’s happened either at the backyard at the Esselstyn family farm in Upstate New York. And then recently, we moved it to the Black Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

But when COVID hit, we had to figure out what to do. We moved it actually back to the Esselstyn Farm, and Plant-Stock is just a celebration of all things plant-based, and we have a wide range of really what we call the brock stars in the plant-based movement come and speak. God, we probably had 22 different speakers, but the backdrop of the whole event was the Esselstyn Family. We got to give people a really nice backstage pass to the farm, which was in Forks Over Knives and it’s been in a lot of different documentaries. It’s a very, very special place for the Esselstyns because it’s been in the family for almost 350 years.


[01:08:09] Ashley James: Geez, wow.


[01:08:11] Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. We’re so grateful. As a family, we know how lucky we are to have this in our lives, this special resource. So we wanted to share it with people. That’s on my father’s side of the family, so my father grew up on this farm in Upstate New York. This next event that we’re doing on October 23 and 24, it’s called the Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue, and it’s actually going to take place in Cleveland, which is where I grew up. It’s where my father spent over 40 years at the Cleveland Clinic. But my father met my mother in Cleveland. He was going to Case Western Reserve Medical School. My mother grew up in Cleveland. Her grandfather was the founder of the Cleveland Clinic, believe it or not. In 1921 he founded the Cleveland clinic.

My mother’s father—we call him Barney—was just an absolutely revolutionary surgeon. He really single-handedly brought to this country instead of doing the radical mastectomy, he believed in the partial lumpectomy, which is not nearly as disfiguring. At the time it was considered a radical approach to treating breast cancer, but it is now the preferred method for breast cancer. I don’t want to get too far off track. My father was going to medical school. His father and my mother’s father both went to Yale and crossed paths because my dad’s father actually played football at Yale and was one of the coaches after he graduated. So he was one of the coaches for my mother’s father while he was going through Yale and on the football team.

It’s a small world, and my dad got invited over to my mother’s place for a meal. They met and they fell in love. This Kitchen Rescue event is going to take place at a place called The Knob. It’s this really phenomenal woodsy location in Northeast Ohio. It’s about 20 miles outside of Cleveland. It’s the second-highest point in Northeast Ohio, and you’ve got all these pine trees. The glaciers came through there and left all these crazy rock formations and white quartz pebbles everywhere.


[01:11:17] Ashley James: The Precambrian shield I think it’s called.


[01:11:19] Rip Esselstyn: Oh, yeah? Say that again. The what?


[01:11:21] Ashley James: I think it’s called the Precambrian shield.


[01:11:24] Rip Esselstyn: Wow.


[01:11:26] Ashley James: Because that’s what created the great lakes and all the terrain in Upstate New York and also Ontario, which is where I’m from, have these beautiful sections of the forest. There’s just exposed rock in granite and just gorgeous rock out of nowhere and these giant rock cliffs. Part of it was these big glaciers kind of scraped away and left behind. I think it’s called the Precambrian shield, but it’s a very unique landscape and just gorgeous, right?


[01:12:03] Rip Esselstyn: Oh, it’s gorgeous. The views, you can see over 7 ½ miles from this point all the way to Lake Erie. You can see the freighters going across on clear days. The cliff where you can get these views, it’s almost a 70-foot drop. There are sandstone formations everywhere, but this is a piece of property that has been in the Crile side of the family—my mother’s side of the family—since 1910. There’s this cool house that my parents built that’s on top of it now that’s made from these huge 5×3 foot sandstone rocks, and these huge Douglas fir beams that came from somewhere in Lake Erie that my father—one of his heart patients was a truck driver. And he got this truck driver to basically load up and go and bring back like 15 of these huge Douglas fir beams that serve as the part of the structure of this house.

But we’re going to have this as the backdrop to the Kitchen Rescue. We’re going to be making all kinds of fantastic meals going into the holiday season. Do you know who Dr. Will Bulsiewicz is?


[01:13:33] Ashley James: The name sounds familiar, but no I don’t.


[01:13:36] Rip Esselstyn: Okay. He wrote a book called Fiber Fueled.


[01:13:38] Ashley James: Oh, okay. Right, right.


[01:13:40] Rip Esselstyn: It’s so hot. Will will be joining us. We’re going to have a couple of amazing transformational stories, but mostly, it’s going to be time in the kitchen. We’re going to send out to all of our attendees all the different recipes, grocery lists that people want to cook along with us. We’re going to teach people how to read labels, pantry clean-out, what to put in place of some of the no-no’s that maybe a lot of us have in our freezers, our refrigerators, and in our pantries. It’s going to really be highlighted by my sister Jane, my mother Ann, my father, myself, and my brother-in-law Brian. Everything will be videoed. It’ll be live. This isn’t something that’s pre-recorded—it’s all going to be live. And then afterward, people will have access to the videos for up to a year. Anyway, in a nutshell—a big nutshell—that’s the extent of it.


[01:14:48] Ashley James: This is cool. Who should attend this? Is this for newbies, is this for people with major health problems? Who would get the most out of attending your upcoming event—October 23 and 24.


[01:15:03] Rip Esselstyn: Well, to me, it’s for anyone that is looking to get their head around some new exciting recipes, some mantastic recipes going into the holiday season. It’s for anyone that wants to be inspired, and it’s for anyone that feels alone out there and wants to feel like they’re really part of a very special family and community. What we discovered after our primer event in the spring and our Plant-Stock event in the summer is that the bonding that happens in the chat room over the course of the weekend is really special. And then afterward, we send everybody—that wants to—to a free community group where we continue on with all the relationships and the bonds that were formed over the course of the virtual weekend


[01:16:10] Ashley James: That’s very cool. I know several very happily married couples who have met in chat rooms much like what you’re describing. Also good for singles who would like to meet other singles who are looking to get healthy together. I always believe in divine intervention, just like how your dad met your mom. That feels a lot like there is some divine guidance going on and how I met my husband. It took a lot of divine intervention to bring us together.


[01:16:46] Rip Esselstyn: It’s funny you say that because there were people in the chat room during Plan-Stock that were like I can’t date anybody anymore that’s a meat-eater. I just can’t do it. I have to find somebody that shares the passion and the values that I have around plants. And then there are people that are divorced that are looking for somebody as well. Luckily, I am happily married and we have a Plant-Strong family. The kids are all on board, everybody’s on board with it. It’s really nice when you can have a united front with your partner, your kids, and your family. But I can tell you if I was starting over again—just like I don’t think I could ever marry a smoker—I don’t think I could ever, ever marry a meat-eater. Just the smell of the meat in the kitchen, cheese in the refrigerator, chicken breast, fish—I just find it all to be, frankly, just so revolting now.


[01:18:01] Ashley James: What’s really interesting about that—so again, my husband who ate beef breakfast, lunch, and dinner, maybe he had pork for breakfast. But that’s all he ate when I met him, and I tried to get him to eat something else other than meat. That was just meat, meat, meat every single day, and we’ve been married for 12 years. He just woke up one morning and said never again, never ever, ever again. Within a matter of weeks, he began to become disgusted by the smell of meat, by the sight of meat. He is actually completely turned off by it, and what a 180 degree just transformation.

But I noticed it in myself too, and I never ever thought. I saw it in him, I never thought it would happen in me. But I also noticed that the more you stay away from it, the more it actually feels unnatural to consume any animal or animal products, and I was very pro-eating animals before this. But it was my health journey that led me, and this podcast and interviewing because I want to interview everyone on all these different points. I want to bring in all the information that I can and to help people to heal because I suffered from many diseases including diabetes and reversed it with nutrition.

Just through my own learning and adapting this way, I noticed that my desires, my cravings changed now. I have a Pavlovian response to kale. I just start salivating when I think about plants. It’s really interesting how our bodies will adapt and change. I think for people who are still primarily meat-eaters, just try a meatless Monday, try just a few meals a week, or just try a seven-day challenge like the one that Rip wrote about in his book and just notice how great you feel. Let that motivate you to use food to heal your body.

Now, I’m very excited about your upcoming event on October 23 and 24—Plant-Strong Primer: Kitchen Rescue. It’s going to be delicious, I just know that. By then, you will have bought yourself an Instant Pot. You and hopefully all the listeners will get themselves an Instant Pot, and then we can all cook along with everyone in your live online event. The links to it are going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at

It has been such a pleasure having you on the show today, Rip. You are welcome back anytime you want to come and share more stories of success, more information about your future events and books. We would love to have you back on the show.


[01:20:58] Rip Esselstyn: Oh, thank you so much. In closing, let me say one thing because I mentioned it earlier on and we didn’t ever have the opportunity to circle back to it. That is the answer to your food products that have been at Whole Foods for eight years. What’s happened is they have turned the brand back over to me. It was a ten-year contract.


[01:21:23] Ashley James: I didn’t want to ask in case it was really sensitive.


[01:21:28] Rip Esselstyn: No, no, no. It’s really good because now, what we’re doing is we’re revamping the whole look and feel. We’re giving the brand a whole refresh. Instead of being called Engine 2, it’s going to be called Plant-Strong. We are going to have a little Engine 2 in the upper right-hand corner just to give a nod because that’s the whole origin story at a fire station—Engine 2. But the packaging is so beautiful, it’s so colorful, and it’s so wonderful. And we’re going to have a limited variety of products at retail outlets including Whole Foods starting in February 2021.

We’re going to start with some veggie broth, then also some chilies, and some soups. And then online, we’ve started an e-commerce store where people can go right now today. We have the cereals and the granolas, and we have the pizza kits with the pizza crust and the sauce packs. And then we’re slowly, every couple of months, going to be adding more and more products to the e-commerce side of things. But in 2020, as we’re dealing with COVID-19, we’re just trying to figure out how to be smarter and more streamlined with our offerings and what makes sense. The D2C play, e-commerce, people are buying more and more food that way. This way, it allows us to get food to people—these premium products—at a better price point.


[01:23:08] Ashley James: Oh, great. Well, I love that. I just started buying all my groceries online because it just freed me up from so much time, and I used to love going grocery shopping. But with COVID, masks, hand sanitizers, and people looking at you worried like, oh, are you six feet away from me? I just don’t want to cause people to stress or live through that stress. I feel very, very blessed and fortunate to live in an area where I can have my groceries delivered, or I can order stuff online. I just ordered some whole food, plant-based cereal just last night. I normally don’t eat cereal, but I’m pregnant right now with our second child. My cravings, luckily, have been healthy ones.


[01:23:56] Rip Esselstyn: Good for you.


[01:23:58] Ashley James: Absolutely. Rip, it has been such a pleasure. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to attend your event coming up on October 23 and 24, Plant-Strong Primer: Kitchen Rescue. And of course, all the listeners are invited to attend as well. See you all in the chat, especially the singles who want to get healthy together. I just think that’d be so cool to hear some love stories.


[01:24:19] Rip Esselstyn: We’re going to do it. Just so you know, there’ll be several thousand people that will be partaking. This is going to be a big party. It will be a pre-holiday kitchen party where we’re going to get in, roll up our sleeves, and make potatoes, lasagnas, and pizzas together. It’s going to be a blast.


[01:24:41] Ashley James: Sounds great. Can’t wait. Thank you so much, Rip. Please, come back to the show at any time. We’d love to have you.


[01:24:46] Rip Esselstyn: Thank you so much, Ashley.



Get Connected with Rip Esselstyn!

Website – Plant Strong

Plant Strong Podcast

Plant-Strong Foods

Facebook – Plant Strong by Engine 2

Instagram – engine2diet

Instagram – RipEsselstyn

Twitter – Plant Strong by Engine 2


Books by Rip Esselstyn

The Engine 2 Cookbook: More than 130 Lip-Smacking, Rib-Sticking, Body-Slimming Recipes to Live Plant-Strong 

The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health

The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds

Plant-Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet–with 150 Engine 2 Recipes

My Beef With Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet — Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes

Oct 6, 2020

Visit to get on Dr. Wallach's protocol & the supplements that Ashley and her family have been taking for the last ten years.


Mineral Deficiency: Root Cause of Diseases



  • Root cause of mineral deficiency diseases
  • Four categories of health
  • Symptoms of osteoporosis of the skull
  • Why going gluten-free is important


Have you heard about osteoporosis of the skull? In this episode, Dr. Joel Wallach is back on the show, and he talks about different symptoms of osteoporosis of the skull. He shares that osteoporosis of the skull is a nutrient deficiency and can be cured with proper nutrition. He also talks about the root cause of mineral deficiency diseases and how it caused hundreds of diseases that we now have today.



Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. Today, we have my hero, Dr. Joel Wallach. He’s a Naturopathic physician with so much experience. He’s in his 80s, and he’s the reason why I no longer suffer from all the illnesses that I had. I’ve been mentored by him for the last 10 years, and it’s such an honor to have him back on the show.

Go listen to episode 435 to hear my first interview with him. In this episode, we continue our discussion, and then, in the end, he answers some questions for the listeners that posted questions in the Facebook group for him. We didn’t get to all the questions, so he’s agreed to come back on the show and he will continue to answer questions for us. As you’re listening to this episode, if you have questions for Dr. Wallach, come join the Learn True Health Facebook group, and when I announce that I’m going to have him on the show again, please post your questions in that thread and I will get them answered for you.

Now, as you’re listening to Dr. Wallach, if you’d like to get on his protocol, he designed a supplement company about 25 years ago. My family and I have actually been taking his supplements for the last 10 years, and I’ve been using them with my clients for the last 10 years having fantastic success. In this interview, I saw nine years and then I realized September was the 10th anniversary of me on his supplements, following his protocol, and reversing the illnesses and diseases I had using his information.

As you’re listening, if you want to get on his protocol, go to and one of our experienced health coaches that are trained on all of Dr. Wallach’s protocols will help you. There’s also a health coach training program that completely trains you in all of Dr. Wallach’s protocols and we can hook you up. It’s very affordable, and it teaches you exactly how to help people—yourself, your friends, and your family. It’s a great adjunct to those who are already in the health field, but also, it’s great for people who just want to learn for themselves.

I talk about IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is a year-long health coach training program. That’s a major program to start a career as a health coach or if you are in the health field in some way to really add tools to your tool belt. If you go to and talk to them about learning specifically Dr. Wallach’s protocol, that training is much shorter, and it’s specifically designed to teach you everything about Dr. Wallach’s protocol. It’s a fantastic adjunct to IIN or to anyone who wants to learn more about holistic health and healing. I have been working with the health coaches at for years, and we’ve all been trained by Dr. Wallach and all of his information.

What I love about his supplements, and the reason why he created these supplements is after all the research he did in discovering the root cause of 900 diseases—diseases that cross-species lines, and he’s published his work. For the last 35 years, he discovered the root cause of major diseases such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, even down syndrome. He discovered they’re all different mineral deficiencies and element deficiencies in utero, and he’s published these findings.

What he found was as he worked as a Naturopath with his clientele, they would get inconsistent results from different supplement companies because of the quality control (or lack thereof). So he was finally driven to produce his own, which have consistently, very high quality, and are third-party lab-tested. We can help you contact the company and get all the labs. They publish them. They’re very open about showing that Dr. Wallach’s supplements are very high quality, bio-available, easily absorbed by the body, and consistently get results, which is very exciting.

They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which I think is really important because I spent thousands of dollars on supplements before I ever met Dr. Wallach, and felt that it was just a waste until I met him and got on his. Overnight, I started to notice fantastic changes. So if you’re wary about buying another supplement, know that his—when you go to and work with them—has a money-back guarantee. That is to show you that you can trust them. And if you like it for whatever reason, we want you to be satisfied, and we want to show you that you can feel comfortable and safe trying them and knowing that the company is all about helping you get your health back, which is why I’m so happy to be part of all of this.

Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this show with those you love. Strap yourselves in. This is going to be a great one. Enjoy today’s interview.


[00:05:04] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 447. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have my hero, Dr. Joel Wallach. Dr. Wallach, because of you, I no longer suffer from type 2 diabetes, from chronic adrenal fatigue, which had me bedridden most days. I no longer suffer from the polycystic ovarian syndrome. I actually just got my blood work done with my Naturopath to confirm that I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. But the last nine years I’ve been on your protocol I’ve been able to reverse all these issues. I was told by an endocrinologist I would never ever conceive, that I was completely infertile. And because of your protocol, your guidance, and your advice, we conceived our child naturally. He is a healthy almost 5 ½-year-old boy. You have helped many of my family members, many of my friends, and my clients through your supplements and through your nutritional information.

It’s such a pleasure to have you here. The difference you’ve made in millions of lives is so important. Your research has changed the world, but it needs to get mainstream. We have got to get your information out there, and that’s why I’m having you back here today so you can continue to share this information. Thank you so much for being here.


[00:06:37] Dr. Joel Wallach: Well, you’re very, very kind, Ashley. Thank you so much for the testimony and so forth. I get more women pregnant every year than any other man in history because I know the process. The human body has a phenomenal ability to heal itself, but it does need raw materials. You have to absorb and then you have to have the raw materials. You cannot get everything you need from your food. It’s like saying don’t waste your money on oil. Just put dirt from Texas in your car. There’s bound to be some oil in it. That was very, very stupid. Well, it’s very, very stupid to just say, well, I’m going to eat well and I’ll get everything I need. Nutritional minerals occur in veins like chocolate and chocolate ripple ice cream and veins like gold, silver, and coal. That’s why in some places on earth, people live long healthy lives. They say, well, boy they don’t even have doctors. They live 160-200, what’s going on?

Well, that’s because they live in a place that has the nutrients there because of the glaciers, grinding up rocks, and all that kind of stuff. That’s why you see cultures, they’re famous and legendary for long lives. James Hilton wrote the book of course and the movie came out of it, Lost Horizon. He was a New York Times reporter. He was told to go to Hunza where people were claiming to be over 200 years of age and so forth. He went there, spent a year, and he said, hey, this is real. He wrote an article for the New York Times, and he made a book out of it, Lost Horizon. It became a movie, Lost Horizon and Shangri-La where people live forever and all that kind of stuff.

I think the advantage I have, Ashley, is I’m a veterinarian as well as a physician. We don’t have health insurance for animals. We do have life insurance for expensive racehorses, but when it comes to health insurance, health insurance is the vitamins and minerals they add to their food. We’ve eliminated every disease that still plagues humans. I’m proud that I was able to—through lawsuits in federal courts—forced the baby formulas to put nutrients in there that doctors said were poisonous. The baby formula manufacturers like Enfamil and [inaudible 00:08:54] put it in there. In federal courts, I won because I did 1700 autopsies on kids under the age of 10 published in three languages.

We got rid of cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and crib death. I’m the guy that eliminated those three baby diseases. You don’t hear about them anymore because I’ve eliminated them by putting all these nutrients into the baby formulas and eliminated them because none of them were genetic. And certainly, the mother never laid on the babies to kill them.


[00:09:21] Ashley James: Even more so, prenatal nutrition, and even before we get pregnant, helping the mother become fully nutrified is incredibly important. Now, we talked about your experiences with curing Keshan disease. We didn’t get into talking about your work with the Amish though. Can you tell us the story about how you were invited—I believe it was—in Pennsylvania to go and help the Amish figure out what was going on with infertility and the diseases that were plaguing them?


[00:09:51] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah. They had a lot of birth defects. Amish all over the country were plagued with birth defects. I had been working with the Amish. Started out in Kansas City, Missouri who was the parents of an Amish kid who became a decorated Navy Seal of all things. When he came back he said, look, we got to really spend some time with these Amish communities. They have so many birth defects. The doctors just tell them it’s genetic and there’s nothing to do about it.

Well, it turns out that all these birth defects—and I’ll tell you a couple of specific stories—with the exception of getting the measles early in pregnancy and you damage the embryo that way. You’re too young probably, Ashley, to remember thalidomide, which was a pharmaceutical made to deal with morning sickness made in Australia and it was shipped over here. Ob-Gyns actually gave it to mothers early in pregnancy when they were having morning sickness. We had 10,000 babies born in America with no arms and legs because thalidomide interrupted that part of the embryonic development.

With the exception of those kinds of things, 99% of all birth defects are caused by nutritional deficiency during the developmental stages of the embryo. There are no genetic diseases transmitted as birth defects. I’ll repeat that. There are no genetic diseases transmitted as birth defects. There’s no genetic disease transmitted like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and that kind of stuff. As a result, my thesis, which is from my 10-year study—20,000 autopsies. It’s kind of like a Ph.D. degree for a post-doctoral fellowship like a Ph.D. degree at Washington University in St. Louis. My thesis is in the Smithsonian Institute as a national treasure. We got a $25 million grant. Did the 20,000 autopsies. Did all the work, tracked everything down. Showed how all the birth defects could be prevented with prenatal nutrition, and how all these diseases that are said to be genetic in families were not genetic.

The example I used was sickle cell anemia because every thesis of animals can have sickle cell anemia. Both white guys and black guys get sickle cell anemia, and it’s all caused by the same nutritional deficiency in the early stages of embryonic development when the bone marrow is being developed. This nutrient is missing in central Africa. That’s why so many people in Central Africa—like the Congo and places like that—they have sickle cell anemia. Of course, the medical doctors say, oh, it’s due to a genetic thing in these people in the Congo. No, they’re just missing that nutrient.


[00:12:29] Ashley James: The nutrient is missing from the soil so they’re not getting it when they eat their food?


[00:12:32] Dr. Joel Wallach: That’s correct because plants cannot make this nutrient. I’ll give you a hint, it’s a mineral. The plants cannot make it. Here’s the beautiful part of it. So I’m seeing all these white kids with sickle cell anemia. I’m tracking their families, they don’t have any interactions with black families and there’s no intermarriages or anything like that. So it turns out, it’s the exact same deficiency in white guys as black guys. In white guys, they gave it a different name. In white guys, they call it thalassemia, and in black guys, they call it sickle cell anemia. It’s the same exact birth defect.

I’ve done this. Actually, in my presentation, I show people that both the mother and father have either thalassemia or sickle cell anemia, they’ll have 10 normal kids as long as they’re getting all 90 essential nutrients for at least three months before they get pregnant. Nutritional deficiency.


[00:13:35] Ashley James: Because it happened in utero though, can you reverse sickle cell anemia or is it baked into the cake?


[00:13:41] Dr. Joel Wallach: It’s baked into the cake. However, I can take somebody who has maybe 25%-30% percent of their cells will be sickle cell anemia or thalassemia. I can give them a program and I might drop it down to 12%-15% because I’m really feeding the healthy cells in the bone marrow. They just make more healthy hemoglobin. But it is baked into the cake, all right. I can improve them, but you can’t cure them. I can take a mother and a father—both of whom have sickle cell anemia or both of whom have thalassemia—give them all 90 essential nutrients for three to six months prior to pregnancy and guess what, they can have 25 normal babies. This one, my thesis is in the Smithsonian Institute of Natural Treasure.

There’s a great little story about arctic foxes at the Brookfield Zoo when I was working there, and it was part of this grant where I did my 20,000 autopsies. They had a big aquarium there so I had to spend a couple of years there dealing with all the tortoises, sea turtles, and things like that. I was covering all the species.

Anyway, the keepers came to me and said, “Look, we’re going to bring you 10 baby arctic foxes, and the mother and father are wild-caught arctic foxes. We just had a litter of 10 babies all born with cleft palate. They have a bad gene, we want to get rid of them.” “No, no,” I said, “Oh my gosh. This is perfect. I’ve been looking for something like this and you guys are going to bring me the babies and bring me the foxes. What were you feeding them?” “Well, we gave them horse meat. Gave the two animal foxes horse meat because they’re carnivores. They’re meat-eaters.” “Well, did you give me any vitamins and minerals?” “No.”

“Okay. Well, that’s why all the baby foxes were born with cleft palates. It’s a birth defect caused by cleft palates when they go from a flat disc into a tube, at that moment when their palate is forming, they’re missing these nutrients and it doesn’t close completely. Then they get cleft palate, cleft lip, and all kinds of stuff. So what I want you to do is start feeding the mother and father dog food, and then I want you to get infant formula, milk replacer like we’re going to give orphan baby puppies and start feeding those baby foxes. 

When baby foxes get to be six months old, they’re going to go through puberty. Then I want you to take one female baby and put it with a father. I want you to put one male baby and put it with the mother, and all the other brothers and sisters you’re going to put together we’ll have five pairs of inbreeding. Actually, we’ll have seven pairs of inbreeding with the mother and father. You tell me when the baby foxes are born.”

Well, it took six months for them to get to puberty, and then of course the baby foxes when they started eating solid food, we got them on dog food also. To make a long story short, we had 100 baby foxes born a year and a half later, and guess what? They’re all born perfectly normal, no cleft palates even though we were seriously inbreeding—brother and sister, mother and son, father and daughter. They’re all born perfectly normal because we gave them all the nutrients. This is written up in scientific journals. It’s in the book Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures. It’s in the book Epigenetic. And it’s in my presentation, which I give all the time in the section on pregnancies.

Gosh, I have so many horrible pictures. They would do abortions of babies born with a terrible cycloptic eye—one eye in the middle of their forehead—or their brain was sticking out of their skull, and things like that. They would go ahead and do an abortion. They bring me those babies so I have lots of pictures of horrible birth defects all of which are preventable by proper diet—maximize absorption, no gluten, no fried foods, no processed meats, no oils, and then you throw in the 90 essential nutrients and there will never be another birth defect.


[00:17:41] Ashley James: The best place to get the 90 essential nutrients—myself and others who have been mentored by you, working with you, and working with your supplements for the last nine years—is If you go to, you fill out your information, and you actually speak to one of us. We work with you and help you get on Dr. Wallach’s protocol. I want to talk about the four categories of health and healing in terms of nutrient deficiency, and how you easily help people to reverse diseases. But before we do, I just want to wrap up the Amish story.

You went with Marvin Rob, and I’ve met Marvin Rob—an amazing, amazing man. I’ve learned so much from him too, and the two of you went to the Amish communities where there was a lot of infertility and birth defects. What happened?


[00:18:36] Dr. Joel Wallach: Well, basically, the Amish, of course, they grow a lot of grain—wheat, barley, rye, and oats. They eat so much of that bread, spaghetti, noodles, pancakes, waffles, pie crusts, cake, and so forth. Well, guess what. They have so much gluten their intestines are all dead. They lost the villi in their intestines, and they couldn’t absorb nutrients even if they had them in their food. Now nutritional minerals do not occur in a uniform blanket around the coast of the earth. They occur in veins like gold, silver, and coal. The only way you’re going to guarantee you’re going to get all 90 essential nutrients is to supplement.

Well, even if you supplement, if your villi are all gone, you can’t efficiently absorb them, so they’re still having problems. We took some willing families that had some really serious problems. There was one family, I think it was Idaho. A 31-year-old young man and he was in a wheelchair for 31 years because he was born with severe muscular dystrophy, and they were told there was nothing to be done about it. Just giving care that dealt with the symptoms as opposed to there’s nothing you can do. To make a long story short, his name is Amos Wiki. This got to be 12, 15 years ago. We put Amos on the 90 essential nutrients. We gave him extra of the nutrients we’re missing when you have muscular dystrophy. Of course, they had already published a story about Jerry Lewis and so forth and everybody knew about that.

Jerry Lewis, of course, we gave him 50 of these Amish kids who were born with muscular dystrophy. We had cured them. We gave him the charts. He took them to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and before he left the room they fired him. He said, “Well, Wallach’s curing all these people with muscular dystrophy.” They fired him and took him off the telethon route. This is in 2011. And in 2015, they had to stop the telethon because they couldn’t raise a penny without Jerry Lewis being on there. He’d already raised $2 billion on the telethon, but when they took him off the telethon, they couldn’t raise a penny.

Anyway, here’s Amos Wiki. We put him on the program and we cured him. About a year later, Marvin and I are going from colony to colony in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Idaho, Utah, Texas, and so on running in all these Amish. They have annual meetings and all the farmers get together and say, okay, this year we’re all going to go grow sweet potatoes. This year we need extra, this, that, and the other. So they make all these plans, and they don’t have computers, telephones, cell phones, iPads, and things. They have to have these big meetings to communicate this stuff with each other. Otherwise, they’re writing letters and so forth, and they don’t like to do that. They rather just get together.

I was going to speak to them because they were having this big gathering of 150 Amish families in Idaho, and Marvin took me there. This elder—white hair, typical looking Amish guy, probably in the 60s. Very, very accusing tone, “Before we start, Wallach, I want to know. You’ve been working with Amos Wiki for years. For three years you’ve worked with him and he’s still sitting in his wheelchair.” And Amos wiki was sleeping in his wheelchair. About 180 pounds, 31 years old. So I said to myself, what would Moses do here?

What I did, I had to be a little bit of a showman, right? I stuck my right arm out 180 degrees away from Amos. I stuck my index finger out and I slowly, slowly turned through the face of the audience all around until I was pointing at Amos. I screamed his name. I said, “Amos, get up and dance.” And Amos got out of his wheelchair and he started doing a little jig. He runs up the middle aisle, runs around all the outside isles three times, and sits back down in the chair. Everybody, they couldn’t even breathe. It was quiet. They could not breathe.

What had happened was Amos, in 90 days, we had cured him of his muscular dystrophy after 31 years of muscular dystrophy. But he had paid for that wheelchair himself. They don’t have health insurance so he paid for the wheelchair himself. He didn’t want to give it away, sell it, or just throw in the barn. So he took it with him wherever he went, and wherever he went he would just sit in his own wheelchair. He didn’t need it anymore. But the elder Amish guy thought Amos was still in the wheelchair because he still had muscular dystrophy. But no, we cured him in three months.


[00:23:45] Ashley James: I love it.


[00:23:47] Dr. Joel Wallach: We deal a lot with every kind of autoimmune disease you can think of. Things like lupus, which Amish used to get a lot of. They have the butterfly rash on their face, and it’s kind of like fibromyalgia with a butterfly rash in your face they call it lupus, an autoimmune disease. It’s really just a manifestation of gluten. They can’t absorb nutrients. One nutritional deficiency causes eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea when you have a deficiency of that nutrient. Also, you get ulcerative colitis, your villi go away, you get diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, or irritable bowel syndrome. Basically, these diseases are all gone in the Amish community now. They used to eat so much wheat, barley, rye, and oats because that’s what they would grow to feed their livestock and also to sell in the markets.

Now they know they need to live like Asians and they eat rice. They can’t have fried rice, but they could eat wild rice, white rice, yellow rice, and red rice. They could eat sweet potatoes. They can eat their dairy. They can have all the vegetables they want. They can have buckwheat, which is not wheat. They can have millet. They can have corn and so forth. All the diseases they used to get, they don’t get anymore because we got them off of gluten, got them on the 90 essential nutrients, 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 aminos, and 3 fatty acids. And 2/3 of the 90 essential nutrients are our minerals.

Plants do not make minerals. They can make vitamins, they can make amino acids, they can make fatty acids, but they can’t make minerals. Plants only need three elements from the soil, and farmers, Ashley, get paid by tonnage. They don’t get paid by the nutritional value of the food, they get paid by tonnage. When you look at all commercial fertilizers, they only have three minerals in it. They don’t have 60. They only have three. When they get everything ready to harvest, they harvest it, they sell it, it goes to the market, and we get three minerals in our food.


[00:25:58] Ashley James: Can you imagine what our health would be like as a globe if farmers got paid for the nutritional quality of their crop and if doctors got paid for results?


[00:26:10] Dr. Joel Wallach: Well, yeah. That’d be a totally different story.


[00:26:14] Ashley James: Yeah, exactly. There’d be no disease, and everyone would be listening to you.


[00:26:17] Dr. Joel Wallach: I can tell you when it all happens, 3:00 PM in the afternoon, Monday, September 4, 1882 on Pearl Street in New York City in the bluff overlooking the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, Thomas Edison pulled the switch on the first commercial electric generating plant and lit up part of New York City. Within 10 years, 100 new diseases occurred that had never happened before in America. All mineral deficiency diseases and doctors are telling people, oh these are genetic because before 3:00 PM in the afternoon, Monday, September 4, 1882, nobody had electricity. Everybody had wood stoves. They were putting their wood ashes into their gardens, and wood ashes are more than just carbon. Wood ashes are the minerals that are left when you burn the carbon in the wood, the corn stalks, or whatever it is you’re burning, coal.

People put their wood ashes in their garden as fertilizer. If you were in a place where there were 15 minerals in the soil, there were 15 minerals that would ashes. If you’re in a place where they had 25 minerals in the soil, there were 25 minerals in the wood ashes. People did much better when they were putting their wood ashes in their gardens. I’m going to give you one more bit of story here and I’ll turn back to you. 

That is most people don’t know this, Ashley, but slaves lived longer than plantation owners. There were more 100-year-old slaves than there were 100-year-old white people. Most chief slaves who were actually running the plantation operations outlive three generations of white plantation owners who die in their 40s and 50s. These slaves are 110, 112 still running the show. That’s because the plantation owners want to be like kings and dukes. They just ate the meat—steaks, roasts, and loins, that kind of stuff. They made the slaves eat the chicken feet, pig’s feet, the livers, the brains, the heart, and the lungs, which had all the trace minerals in it plus the sulfur, the calcium, and the magnesium. They would put the bones from what they would eat onto the stove at night and water and just simmer it all night and make bone broth soup.


[00:28:55] Ashley James: And get more minerals.


[00:28:57] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah. The white people didn’t drink that or eat that. That was all the slaves. That’s why there was uncle Thomas. They couldn’t call him Sir Tom or Sir Remus. They call him Uncle Remus because they were giving him some kind of heroic name for living so long and running the plantations. Being an Uncle Tom was a good thing. Being an Uncle Remus was a good thing. Being an Aunt Jemima was a good thing because they were living to be 100 eating the things that the plantation owners thought were not even fit to feed a dog, only slaves could eat them.


[00:29:43] Ashley James: And they were getting more nutrition because of it. That’s fascinating.


[00:29:47] Dr. Joel Wallach: Isn’t that crazy?


[00:29:48] Ashley James: Yeah. I love how you look through history—different cultures, the rate of disease, and how you can link it all back that the people who have the lowest rate of disease and the highest rate of longevity are the people who are getting all their minerals, getting more minerals, and getting more nutrition. That’s very fascinating. I just love it. 

Now, it’s been complicated for people to understand how to reverse disease, but you, in the last few years—in working with so many wonderful experts—have devised something to make it really simple. So that the average person or even health coaches who want to jump in and use your protocol, not only for themselves, but also for their clients or for their friends and family, they could understand how to figure out what nutrients their client, their selves, or their friends or families are missing. Can you discuss the four categories of health, and dive into how we can utilize them to help reverse disease?


[00:31:00] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah, well you have to appreciate that all tissue has stem cells. No matter what tissue in the body, every tissue in the body has stem cells. The purpose of the stem cells is to make new cells when the old ones die because none of your body cells live forever so they have a lifespan. They might only live six weeks, six months, two years, or whatever it is. Then the stem cells will replace them with a new cell. Also, if you have an injury like a trauma, an injury where you get a bruise, a cut, a burn, or something like that, your stem cells will repair those injured cells and make new ones when the old ones die. They all require the 90 essential nutrients.

This is why people who live in areas that have lots of minerals in the soil and eat food grown there, they actually have much longer lives. They tend to be disease-free, are very strong, and can resist the plague and all that kind of stuff which everybody else gets. People say well where are the longest-lived people on earth? The longest-lived people on earth come from Hunza, which is where the [inaudible 00:32:20] Glacier is which is in China. There’s a place called Pakistan and China, the [inaudible 00:32:30] glacier in Hunza is in between them. 

These are the longest-lived people on earth. And again, the Hunzas didn’t know what they were doing. They just drank the water that came out from underneath the glaciers. They irrigated with the water that came out from underneath the glaciers. The glacial water had the minerals in it because the glaciers were grinding up all the rocks. It just so happens all the rocks there have 78 minerals.

Also, this is where we get our plant minerals from these types of deposits. There’s half a dozen on earth, and we get our minerals from these types of deposits which come from the ocean. It’s not like rock. These are not rocks. These are plants. I’ll tell you a little bit about that in a second. And then also, we can get these things from the pink Himalayan salt. In the Himalayan mountains, when the oceans dried up, all the salt and minerals that were in the oceans there piled up down there and became the pink Himalayan salt. They have 84 minerals in them.

Now, Ashley, before I answer your question, I’m going to tackle it backward a little bit so when I answer the question it’ll make sense.


[00:33:53] Ashley James: Okay.


[00:33:54] Dr. Joel Wallach: You know the carbon dioxide is going up in the air, and all the environmentalists are convinced that it’s due to fossil fuels for gasoline, oil, and all kinds of stuff for cars and things.


[00:34:09] Ashley James: Cow farts.


[00:34:12] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah, things like burning coal, oil, and gasoline and all that kind of stuff. That’s where the carbon dioxide is coming from. They want everybody to drive Tesla cars and have all these hydroelectric plants and everything. Well, going back to the 1920s, they began to put in hydroelectric dams. Today, to make a long story short, we have a million hydroelectric dams. We have two million dams for our irrigation and water conservation. We have 400 million farm ponds that intercept the flow from creeks that would go into tributaries to dump these silts, minerals, and volcanic ash into the big rivers, which would then go feed the ocean and feed the reefs. Millions not thousands, millions of these dams.

Well, here’s what happened is they shut off the food supply to the algae that were eating the carbon monoxide. Algae make up more plant life than all the plants on dry land earth. Algae in the ocean have a bigger plant mass than that. Well, algae, the purpose of it is to eat the carbon dioxide in the air, throw out oxygen into the atmosphere, then take the carbon out of the carbon dioxide, and make carbon chains like amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars, fiber, and stuff like that for plants like kelp and that kind of stuff. Well, we dammed up the rivers with 1 million hydroelectric dams, 2 million water conservation dams, and 400 billion farm ponds. We cut off the food. Only man has the power to cut off the food supply to the ocean, cut off the food supply to the reefs.

I gave a lecture last year, a little more than a year ago—August of 2019, to Tesla at their annual meeting, and 2/3 of my lecture I had maps of all the places where the reefs have died and showed where they had dammed up all the rivers. I have pictures of the maps and then where the rivers were dammed up. In Queensland in Australia where the Great Barrier Reef is they dammed up all the rivers that were feeding the volcanic ash into the ocean on the western side of the great barrier reef that killed the great barrier reef by making hydroelectric there. 

We’re working on getting a grant. We’re going to rebuild Queensland, we’re going to rebuild the Great Barrier Reef. We’re going to leave them to have their electric dams. We’re just going to go around them, through them, or over them with augers, get the silt back to the algae that were feeding the Great Barrier Reefs. And in 90 days’ time, we will have rebuilt the Great Barrier Reef and prove to the environmentalists it was the dams that caused the problems.

That’s why anybody dealing with electricity and they want to make more electricity, it’s actually safer to burn coal than it is to dam up the rivers. Just think of all the diseases we’ve gotten since we went away from wood ashes for fertilizing our plants and we’re using electricity now. We got 1000 new diseases that never existed before because of nutritional deficiency.


[00:38:04] Ashley James: To summarize what you said because it is such an important—that moment you said, that exact moment that Edison did that. The exact moment, just a pivotal change happened in our world because until then, we were cooking with fire, basically. We’re cooking with wood.


[00:38:26] Dr. Joel Wallach: Wood and coal.


[00:38:28] Ashley James: But if you look at old like a few hundred-year-old recipes for bread, for example, they’ll call for wood ash. They’ll call for the white ash to be added to the food. Or they used it as a thickening agent in stews. We used to eat minerals, and we used to put them in our garden. Minerals were part of our everyday supplementation. We didn’t know it. We didn’t know that it was, we just did it. It kept us healthy until we traded in our wood stove for the electric stove a few generations later plus everything we’ve done with commercial farming, we’re not getting the 60 essential minerals. I’ve heard you talk about the dams before but it really, really hit me today.

What we saw happen with our bodies over the last hundred years in terms of mineral deficiency and the rates of diseases go up. Now we’re doing it to our oceans. Isn’t it 70% of the earth is covered in water, and we’ve starved the minerals. We’ve cut off the mineral supply because of all these dams with the food supply, the mineral supply to the algae. And the algae is the most important plant on our earth to help us breathe oxygen and create homeostasis.


[00:39:55] Dr. Joel Wallach: Something usable from carbon dioxide.


[00:39:57] Ashley James: Right. What we did to our bodies over the last hundred years is what we’re doing to the entire ocean right now. And it all comes back to minerals are the most important thing for our health. Of course, vitamins are, but I’ve heard you say you can accidentally get vitamins if you eat enough vegetables, but you can’t accidentally get enough minerals because of all the things that you’ve talked about.


[00:40:22] Dr. Joel Wallach: Plants don’t make minerals.


[00:40:23] Ashley James: Right. They have to be grown in minerally rich soil, which is very hard to secure especially because of the farming practices of the last hundred years and the fact that we’re not re-mineralizing our soil.


[00:40:35] Dr. Joel Wallach: After a few years, the minerals and salt are gone because the plants suck them out of the soil. Now, grandma, as you point out, used to eat wood ashes and she’d put them in the bread dough, she’d put him in the soup, and that kind of stuff. When she got crazy cravings when she was pregnant, she’d go out in the yard with a spoon and eat dirt, and she’d eat more wood ashes when she was pregnant. It’s called pica.

Now, during the Second World War when they came up with baby formulas so mothers could work in the factory so they didn’t have to breastfeed their babies, babies developed what was called cribbing. They would chew on the rails and the cribs because they were minerally deficient. They were looking for minerals and say we put their hands on the crib rails and chew on the rails and they call it cribbing. When horses are minerally deficient, they chew on the top rail of a barn stall, they call it cribbing because the horse looks like they’re doing what the kids are doing in the crib.

Now grandma didn’t know why, but she knew that the terrible craving she had would go away when she would eat wood ashes and put them in the food and that kind of stuff. Also, obesity was not a big problem in the world until electricity came along. I mean, if you wanted to see an obese person you had to go to the carnival or the circus, and they would have the fat lady who was 300 pounds. Other than seeing a fat lady in the circus or the carnival, you never see a fat person because they’re eating minerals because they’re putting the wood ashes into their food.

When you have pica, you’re driven to want to eat even though you just had a 5000-calorie dinner. If you’re missing minerals, you are going to eat and eat and eat and eat six desserts and all that kind of stuff. That’s when the clever guys came along and said you know grandma’s out there eating dirt. We need to make pretzels, potato chips, corn puffs, and all these desserts and sell them in the stores. She’ll buy those desserts and eat those rather than eating dirt and ashes. That way we can make some money. We’re not making any money with her eating dirt and wood ashes because entrepreneurs noticed that grandma’s eating that stuff because she was craving them.


[00:42:45] Ashley James: Why is it that people will crave salty foods or sweet foods when their body really wants minerals?


[00:42:52] Dr. Joel Wallach: Because they don’t know. They’ve never been taught that craving is telling them to eat minerals. If you’ve ever been around cattle farms, bee farms, they put these red trace mineral salt blocks out in the pasture on the big corrals. The cattle will lick the salt, they’ll lick the salt, they’re getting the trace minerals at the same time because they need the salt. All vertebrates require sodium chloride for digestion to make stomach acid and all that kind of stuff. Now, here’s a funny piece to it.

You go back to the years 3600 BC, there was a healer in Egypt who began to give people dried seaweed. He noticed that the ones that had goiter when he gave them dry seaweed their goiter would go away. Well, that went on until 1930. That’s a big long time. Almost 4000 years. About 1930, chemists were doing analyses of seaweed. It was getting rid of goiter in people, and he noticed that one of the biggest things in the seaweed that would cure goiter was iodine. It was in 1875.

Then comes along 1920. There was a salt company in New York. They’re selling a lot of salt, but they read about this iodine, which was a big problem all around the world. They put iodine in salt and they called it iodized salt. We eliminated goiter in the world with iodized salt because everybody salted their food because they were deficient in salt, so they would eat salt with iodine. They got iodized salt.

Well, just before the Second World War, all these doctors were getting trained in medical schools. Being told that salt is what creates high blood pressure. So they’re running around telling people to get rid of the salt out of your diet, it will lower your blood pressure, so take drugs. But they didn’t say be sure you’re taking a supplement that has iodine in it, so goiter came back with a vengeance. That’s why we have so much stuff going on with our thyroid glands now because even if they do have salt out there with iodine in it, people are told don’t use salt.


[00:45:25] Ashley James: Fascinating. And you pointed out that our body actually needs salt in order to make hydrochloric acid.


[00:45:33] Dr. Joel Wallach: For digestion.


[00:45:35] Ashley James: And if we don’t have enough hydrochloric acid, then we get heartburn, and then a doctor will put someone on antacids which just makes the problem worse. Then they can’t digest, so then they can’t absorb. so now they’re going to become more nutrient deficient quicker and then they can get on more drugs. It’s just a perfect path to make the pharmaceutical company money.


[00:45:58] Dr. Joel Wallach: You’re exactly right. That’s why we have our savory division, our spice division, we have the pink Himalayan salt. I use that on my breakfast food, my lunch, and my dinners. I use our pink Himalayan salt, and I take it with me when I go out on the road, and it has 84 minerals in there. That’s an addition to our sports drink, which has 78 minerals in it. Our plant-derived minerals have 78 minerals in it. We have in capsules, liquids, and powders. Oh my. There are so many diseases, they’re very simply gotten rid of.

For instance, diabetes. You don’t need to go to a doctor to see if you have diabetes. You go to a pharmacy without a prescription. You get the test strips for your urine, you get the test scripture blood, and for about $1.50 for each test strip, in three minutes you’ll know if you’re diabetic or not. And you didn’t have to pay $100 for an office call. You didn’t have to pay $200 for a lab fee. It just cost you $3 or $2.50 test strips, and you know if you have diabetes or not.

And then of course, if you have diabetes, we have what we call the Healthy Blood Sugar Pack. If you’ve had it for 30 years, in 30 days or less you’ll actually be an ex-diabetic.

Of course, the scorecard for how well you’re doing, how well you’re managing your diabetes is the A1C. It’s supposed to be down around 5. I get people, their A1C has been 15-19 for 20, 30 years. We get them on our program, our Healthy Blood Sugar Pack, and get them off of gluten so they can absorb everything. In six weeks, their A1C is now 4 and they don’t have diabetes anymore. They go into their annual or quarterly physical and the doctor says, we’ve got to run your A1C again, it came out 4. That can’t be right because it’s been 19 for 25 years. So they rerun it and she said well I don’t know why but your A1C is 4. It’s a miracle. I’ve never seen that before. And then they just turn and walk out the door.

I asked the patient. I said, “Well, did the doctor ask what you were doing?” He says, “No, he just says it’s a miracle and walked out the door.” That’s because he didn’t want to be responsible. He didn’t want to be knowing what you did so he’d have to give it to his other patients.


[00:48:14] Ashley James: Well, that happened to me. I used to have type 2 diabetes, and I got on your protocol for healthy blood sugar and it went away so fast it made my head spin. I was feeling so good. And the pica, I thought it was part of my blood sugar problem. I had constant gnawing hunger. I was hangry. Every 45 minutes I had to eat. And then within the same day, I started taking your plant-derived minerals, my hunger went away. I just burst into tears of joy. I was so excited. My blood sugar started balancing very quickly, my adrenal fatigue subsided very quickly.

Within two years, we naturally conceived our child, and my polycystic ovarian syndrome had gone away. It was bam bam bam. Things were resolving. It was great. I got so excited I changed my career and became a complete advocate of your work, of nutrition, and of the fact that we can reverse disease. I’ve traveled with you. I’ve watched you, helped you, or set up lectures, and I’ve met hundreds of people that have worked with your protocols.

I have personally seen people reverse adult-onset asthma, arthritis, MS, kidney failure, COPD, infertility. I’ve met people who were supposed to go in for surgeries to have knees replaced, kidneys removed, or heart surgery, and then through your protocols, they got so healthy they no longer needed to have those procedures. Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes nutrition and diet and then it takes a few more months or it takes adding in some herbal support, but stick with it.

I highly recommend listeners go to and get on Dr. Wallach’s protocol. There are these four categories that you came up with—soft tissue, hard tissue, blood sugar, and healthy nervous system. There are a bunch of different symptoms that someone could look at. There’s a checklist and they could look at and go, oh, my problem is this. An example being is if someone has cracked heels, that they have soft tissue—it’s the nutrients that support soft tissue, specifically like essential fatty acids. They have that deficiency, but they might need further support in terms of digestion if they don’t have a gallbladder in order to fully digest and absorb their EFAs. But could you talk a bit about how you’ve made this very simple so that people can get on the right protocol with all the essential nutrients their body is missing in order to correct their problem?


[00:51:12] Dr. Joel Wallach: Okay, well thank you. Again, my thesis for my post-doctoral fellowship represents 20,000 autopsies. I’ve done over 32,000 autopsies for my thesis in the Smithsonian Institute as a National Treasure. When I would get bodies—whether humans or animals—if they were vertebrate, they would have the same external signs of the internal deficiency disease. If it was diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid issues, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, if they had irritable bowel syndrome, or they had colitis, all these kinds of things. Of course, then they would have skin pumps, eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. I’m saying, well, what causes these things? I would go look up and sure enough, there has been a paper written about it 25 years earlier, 100 years earlier. That they would make the connection between a nutrient deficiency and that particular health issue.

I began to write these things up and do handouts and meetings. Usually, after a while, I had enough of those handouts. I just put them together in a book. The first book of course was Let’s Play Herbal Doctor. It goes into 600 different diseases and tells you what signs to look at. For instance, my most recent book now 50 years later is It’s All In Your Head. It talks about the 25 different diseases you get when you have osteoporosis in the skull, and it’s another thing that doctors never talk about is osteoporosis of the skull. They talk about osteoporosis of your legs, your vertebrae, your pelvis, and your shoulders, but that’s it. They never talk about osteoporosis of the skull.

Well, there are 12 pairs of cranial nerves. And when you have osteoporosis of the skull because your skull gets thicker and bigger when you have osteoporosis, it fills up those tunnels that those nerves go through and the spinal cord coming out of the back of the skull and squeezes them and you get all these diseases. I ask people questions when they come in and they tell me they’re losing their vision. The doctors can’t figure out why because they don’t have glaucoma, they don’t have pressure in their eye, they don’t have cataracts, they don’t have macular degeneration, but they’re slowly going blind. They have to change their eye prescription every couple of months because it’s getting worse and worse and worse no matter what the eye doctor does.

I learned if I ask them, “Do you have ringing in your ears? Do you have tinnitus? It’s called tinnitus, that [ringing] tone.” “Oh, yeah. That’s terrible. I have that all the time.” “And do you ever have dizziness or balance problems?” “Oh, man. If I get up too fast the world will spin. I’ll fall down, so I have to get up very slowly and stand there for a moment before I take a step. I do have vertigo.” “Well, that’s because your skull is squeezing the auditory branch of the atrial nerve to get that tone, and you will gradually get deaf. The skull is also squeezing the vestibular branch of your atrial nerve. The tone is called tinnitus. The dizziness, vertigo or Meniere’s disease now it’s called Wallach’s vertigo because it’s not a genetic thing. It’s a simple nutritional deficiency.”

But also, I think what was happening, the skull is squeezing the second cranial nerve which is the optic nerve, and slowly causing the optic nerve and the artery that goes into the back of the eye. Formed in the brain, goes to the skull to the back of the eye. They would slowly lose their vision, and didn’t have any classic eye problems. I learned, by rebuilding the skull, I could get their vision to come back. I actually won a wager. I don’t know if I told you that story.


[00:54:52] Ashley James: I don’t think so.


[00:54:54] Dr. Joel Wallach: Okay, this is a great story. It has to do with these sorts of things. I was in Salt Lake City giving a lecture and about 50 people in the audience. It’s got to be 25, 30 years ago. There are 30, 40 people in the audience. When I was done, the guy in the front row said, “Dr. Wallach, my mother is in her 70s, and she’s been legally blind for eight years. Is there anything you can do for her? She’s got this terrible macular degeneration that caused her blindness. She’s been legally blind 6, 8, 10 years.” “Okay, I can fix that.”

This guy jumps up in the back of the room. He says, “Wallach, you’re a liar.” I said, “Who are you?” He says, “Well, I’m an eye surgeon, and I diagnose people who are legally blind because they have really severe advanced aggressive forms of macular degeneration, and they go blind. There’s nothing to do about you. You just got to accept blindness at that point.” I said, “Well, sir, let’s have a wager. Why don’t you bring me 12 of your patients that you have diagnosed? There’s no question about the diagnosis. You have diagnosed with macular degeneration. They’ve been legally blind 6, 8, 10 years.” He says, “You’re on.”

The next day, he brings me 27 charts. He says, “Pick your 12.” I said, “Why pick 12? Let’s take all 27.” He says, “You’re on. Well, what’s the wager? I said, “Well if I win, if I can cure these people in 90 days, if I can do it, it’ll happen in 90 days. If I can cure these people in 90 days—they go from being legally blind to be able to read 20-20 in 90 days, now you have to pay for their supplements. You have to apologize in public for calling me a liar. You have to buy me one of the most expensive steaks in Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and you’re going to buy me the most expensive French red wine in America, a bottle of it.” He says, “You’re on.”

I said, “I’ll take all 27.” He says, “Well, how are we going to get him the information.” I said, “Well, I’m going to write up a little protocol that’ll be per 100 pounds of body weight, and I’ll call and talk to each one and I’ll mail each one so you need to give me their addresses so I know this is really happening.” He says, “You’re on.” So we went at it. Gave them the 90 essential nutrients, the anti-inflammatories, the MSM, vitamin D3, and so on. We went at it. In 90 days, 25 of the 27 could read 20-20. It took two more weeks for the other two. So he paid off on all counts.


[00:57:37] Ashley James: I love it.


[00:57:41] Dr. Joel Wallach: This is why we came up with a book, It’s All In Your Head. We talk about these 25 different diseases you get. You lose your sense of smell, you lose your sense of taste. You’ve heard of Bell’s Palsy, that’s the squeezing of the seventh cranial nerve, the facial nerve when you have osteoporosis. And then there’s trigeminal neuralgia. You have pain in your face and you can’t make saliva and everything because the fifth cranial nerve is being squeezed. And then people, when they get older, their voice tends to change. That happens because their ninth cranial nerve≤ the glossopharyngeal which controls the vocal cords are being squeezed. Beginning to get the picture?


[00:58:41] Ashley James: Fascinating. It’s all osteoporosis of the skull.


[00:58:43] Dr. Joel Wallach: Of the skull, and that’s why we have the book now, It’s All In Your Head. We’re selling these by the hundreds every day now. It was on the best-selling list, number one bestseller in ebook for the ebook companies—Amazon, Apple, Kindle. It’s going viral this book.


[00:59:13] Ashley James: I love it, and now you have a new DVD that just came out. If we were to watch it, what would we learn?


[00:59:19] Dr. Joel Wallach: Okay, the new DVD, Is Your Doctor Killing You? It goes into these things that are supposed to be genetic, supposed to be autoimmune, and so forth. They’re really just nutritional deficiencies. This was a Zoom video. It started out as a Zoom video. The person who interviewed me—like you’re doing now—was an academic pharmacist. It’s one of those things where Pharmacist Keith Abell, he was really on me when I was saying I can cure this, I can cure this, I can cure this. I always give references to make him satisfied.

While we’re doing the Zoom, he goes online—he’s a techie—and he gets that article and he puts the cover page with the abstract and the authors in the title on it right next to my face. When you look at this Zoom, you’re getting the reference right next to my face on this DVD, Is Your Doctor Killing You? Of course, he is. And then, of course, we have the two CDs set—two one-hour CDs, and it was a two-hour lecture. I was lecturing to a big church up in Baltimore, Maryland with Linda. It was such audience participation. There were 1000 people in that church. It was really great.

Those are the two new tools, Is Your Doctor Killing You? It goes along with the book Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures, and of course, the new book is It’s All In Your Head.


[01:01:03] Ashley James: Thank you. Very good. Now, recently, it just launched a few months ago, and I’ve already had several of my listeners participate. There’s a health coach program—it’s all online and it’s very, very affordable. Anyone, you don’t have to have any previous knowledge about holistic health. It goes through and teaches them exactly what your protocols are and how to help yourself, your friends, your family, but also, it’s great for health coaches. It’s great for even naturopathic doctors or any kind of doctor could go through this protocol, go through this health course. They can learn exactly your protocols, and you have these four categories. It goes through the list of the different symptoms and then it relates back to the nutrient deficiencies.

I love that you saw this, that you saw that when you did all of these autopsies and the millions of histopathologies and blood panels, you’re able to see that nutrient deficiency was the root cause of 900 diseases, and that each disease you could replicate. You could see either in animals. If you starved an animal of a nutrient, you could predict what disease they would get based on the nutrient they were not getting—same with humans. You could see certain symptoms—exterior symptoms. I use the examples of cracked heels because it’s so common, but that there are many symptoms that an MD would not consider relevant, and that these symptoms are actually red flags showing us that we have nutrient deficiency.


[01:03:01] Dr. Joel Wallach: That’s correct.


[01:03:02] Ashley James: In terms of this course, the best way to go about joining it is to go to because once you communicate with us, then we set you on that path and help you to sign up and learn all of Dr. Wallach’s protocols. Done in a really easy to use way, which I’m very excited about because I have been studying your work. How I learned the protocols is you’ve been doing radio shows for many years answering questions.


[01:03:35] Dr. Joel Wallach: Thirty years.


[01:03:34] Ashley James: Right, I went back and I listened to all the recordings I could find. Every day, eight hours a day, I would put them on. In my first year and a half working with the supplements, I had it playing in my house and I would listen to every single archive I could get my hands on. I’d hear the problem and then I’d try to predict the different course of action that you’d help them take. What’s really cool is that listening to it—because I listened to several episodes in one day—a few months later, someone would call back. They would say, okay, I don’t have MS anymore but I’m calling for my sister.

So many people would call back and tell you that they’ve had progress, or they’d come back and they’d say, okay, my migraines are gone but my hands are still shaking. You’d correct their protocol. All this information has been put together in a really easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to learn way. Do you have time to answer a few questions for the listeners?


[01:04:37] Dr. Joel Wallach: Absolutely. I have one thing I need to do first and that is to thank you so much for putting together that training. I just appreciate you, respect you, and look forward to working with you for the next couple hundred years.


[01:04:52] Ashley James: Well, that’s it. When my husband and I learned from you almost 10 years ago, and you said we have the genetic potential to live to be 120, my husband and I are like let’s do this. We’re going to do this. Let’s do this. Let’s live to be 120. We’re right there with you. I’m very, very excited about that.


[01:05:10] Dr. Joel Wallach: Okay, thank you so much.


[01:05:13] Ashley James: Absolutely, you’re very welcome. Mike Park is one of our listeners whose son has an SCI. He got a fever and all of a sudden his legs stopped working. They think it was a viral infection of his nervous system, and he has neuropathy. He would like to know, is there a protocol that you know that can help stimulate the neurogenesis nerve growth factor and help with neuropathy in people with SCI?


[01:05:47] Dr. Joel Wallach: He’s got low back stuff, is that what it is?


[01:05:53] Ashley James: He’s like a five-year-old child who no longer has use of his legs because of this, I believe, a viral infection that happened to his spinal cord.


[01:06:04] Dr. Joel Wallach: It may just be osteoporosis of the skull because newborn babies can have osteoporosis in the skull. When you read this book, it’ll make you weep and cry. He’s five years old. I bet his skull is squeezing his spinal cord is what’s going on here.


[01:06:19] Ashley James: Fascinating.


[01:06:22] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah. It makes you take a deep breath, doesn’t it?


[01:06:24] Ashley James: Really does.


[01:06:27] Dr. Joel Wallach: Do we have any idea how much this little kid weighs?


[01:06:31] Ashley James: Probably about 40 pounds.


[01:08:36] Dr. Joel Wallach: Okay, so let’s get him off all the bad foods. Everybody in the family’s got to get rid of fried food, processed meats, oils, glutens, wheat, barley, rye, oats, and sugar. He’s got to live like an Asian. Live on rice, sweet potatoes, and millets. You can make bread, pancakes, waffles, and all kinds of stuff out of rice, sweet potatoes, or white potatoes. You can have all that, okay. And the vegetables and the fish. I like the smoked Alaska salmon. I have that almost every morning for breakfast. That’s a good thing, plus my three poached eggs, soft yolks, and so on. I do have rice. I have three ice cream scoops full of rice, and then I have all my pills, my liquids, and so forth.

Let’s say this kid weighs 40, 50 pounds. Let’s get him one Healthy Brain and Heart Pack that’ll last him two months because it’ll be a half a dose of everything every day, so he’ll get a quarter of a dose of everything at breakfast and dinner. I also want him to have the MSM. I want him to take three MSM a day, one with each meal. That bottle of MSM’s going to last two months. I also want them to get vitamin D3. I want them to take three of those twice a day, so it’ll be two bottles of vitamin D3. I want him to have the Glucogel. He can have liquid Glucogel. It’d be an ounce twice a day, put it into his shake. Or if he wants the capsules, he could take five capsules twice a day.

Of course, he needs to be using our pink Himalayan salt. When they go out and eat, he can take what we call the mineral caps. One capsule of mineral caps has the same amount of minerals in it as one ounce of the liquid minerals. And then I want them to have six eggs a day. You can put them in a shake, you can have them soft boiled, soft poached, soft scrambled with butter, or you can whip them up with a blender and put them in one of her protein shakes. Because this kid, he had an infection they said that caused his problem.


[01:08:36] Ashley James: Yes. He is about five years old and the infection happened. I believe it was about a year ago, so he’s now in a wheelchair.


[01:08:43] Dr. Joel Wallach: So it happened when he was already four years old. Let’s see what happens in 90 days by doing all this. He’s got to make sure there’s no gluten in his life. No wheat, barley, rye, and oats. No cheat day. No one cheat meal a month—no gluten. Everybody, all the other brothers and sisters, mom and dad. Everybody’s got to get rid of gluten. You need to ask him did he have any skin problems as well—eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea? Does he ever complain about ringing in his ears or tinnitus?


[01:09:19] Ashley James: So if he complains of ringing in his ears that would be one of the symptoms of the osteoporosis of the skull.


[01:09:25] Dr. Joel Wallach: That’s correct.


[01:09:26] Ashley James: And then the skin problem, is that gluten-related?


[01:09:30] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah, the gluten causes damage to the villi in the intestines, so you cannot absorb nutrients. And the nutrient is missing when you get eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea. You get things like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, diverticulitis. All those types of diseases are caused by a deficiency of the same nutrient that causes eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea. Same nutrient deficiency causes all that. And then when you have damaged your intestines—I want to get into it if we have time. I want to get into a little bit of the COVID-19. But this kid has a great possibility of recovering 100%.


[01:10:25] Ashley James: I’m very excited about that.


[01:10:28] Dr. Joel Wallach: You’ll know within six months.


[01:10:32] Ashley James: Excellent. We’ll definitely follow up. Mike has been an active listener and a member of our Learn True Health Facebook group, and he’s been sharing his son’s journey. I’m excited to help Mike get on that protocol. For everyone who’s listening, please go to to get on these protocols that Dr. Wallach is talking about.

The next question is can we fix lazy eye or weak eye muscles? Is there a way to support eye health and reverse lazy eye?


[01:11:03] Dr. Joel Wallach: And how old is this person?


[01:11:05] Ashley James: You know what, I don’t know. They submitted it in the group, and looking at her picture, she looks to be in her 30s.


[01:11:17] Dr. Joel Wallach: Well, the fourth cranial nerves and the sixth cranial nerves are the ones that control the eyes and muscles. If you have osteoporosis of the skull, you get a lazy eye because it’s squeezing those nerves.


[01:11:28] Ashley James: I’m really starting to grasp how prevalent these problems are. The osteoporosis of the skulls is producing so many problems because it’s a nutrient deficiency. 


[01:11:44] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah, well it is a mineral deficiency. It is nutrient deficiency. I mean, how many doctors have told their patients, look, you have osteoporosis of the skull that’s why you have Bell’s palsy. No, they just say we’re going to give you steroids. They’ll get some benefit for a while, but it’ll come right back because they haven’t dealt with a basic problem.


[01:12:01] Ashley James: So then the problem isn’t a weak eye muscle, it’s that the nerve is being impinged and it’s sending a weak signal?


[01:12:09] Dr. Joel Wallach: Either sending a weak signal or an overactive signal.


[01:12:14] Ashley James: Very interesting.


[01:12:15] Dr. Joel Wallach: Either one.


[01:12:18] Ashley James: So your approach for her would be to follow a protocol that supports healthy bones and joints?


[01:12:26] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah. You don’t know how much this lady weighs or anything?


[01:12:31] Ashley James: I do not.


[01:12:32] Dr. Joel Wallach: Let’s say for 100 pounds of body weight, one Healthy Brain and Heart pack. Five Glucogel capsules twice a day. MSM, three of those tablets twice a day. Just in case, I would also throw in the Ultimate Daily Classic tablets for circulation in the brain, three of those twice a day.


[01:12:56] Ashley James: Excellent. Thank you. Lauren wants to know about raising estrogen and testosterone in herself naturally. Her doctor says her estrogen and her testosterone is low. What can we do to balance and increase healthy hormone levels?


[01:13:15] Dr. Joel Wallach: How old is she? What does she weigh?


[01:13:17] Ashley James: I do not know what she weighs, but she looks to be in her late 20s.


[01:13:24] Dr. Joel Wallach: Okay, so young person. Well, again, she got to get rid of gluten. Got to get rid of all the fried foods, processed meats, oils, glutens, wheat, barley, rye, and oats, and absolutely no sugar. And then per 100 pounds of body weight, give her one healthy brain and heart pack for a month, three eggs with soft yolks twice a day—hard-boiled eggs won’t count because 95% of estrogen is cholesterol, 95% of testosterone is cholesterol. Avoiding cholesterol and taking statin drugs will make these things happen in people. I’m avoiding cholesterol because my family all had issues with their heart, well your doctor needs to be put in jail. Anyway, then they also need the D-Stress capsule, take those twice a day. Ultimate Niacin Plus, one of those twice a day. Anything going on with the brain and spinal cord needs to have the Ultimate Daily Classic tablets.

Now, there’s one other thing that has to be done for the testosterone and the estrogen. We have a product called XeraTest, which is the food for the Sertoli cells and testicles that make the testosterone. They need the cholesterol and all the 90 nutrients to be able to work, don’t waste your money on the XeraTest if you’re not giving them the 90 cents of nutrients and the eggs, the cheese, and so on. And then the same thing is true for the female part for the estrogen and progesterone. They need XeraFem. Let’s see here, I can personally testify. I’m 81 years old, and I look like I’m 50, I sound like I’m 50. And sexually, I act like I’m 25.


[01:15:29] Ashley James: That’s a very important point to make. Many men, in their 30s and 40s, are experiencing erectile dysfunction, and it’s a nutrient deficiency.


[01:15:37] Dr. Joel Wallach: That’s correct. Especially cholesterol. Remember, testosterone is 95%, by weight, cholesterol. So they got to give up the statin drugs. What they need to do is wrap up the statin drugs and give them to their doctor with love.


[01:15:56] Ashley James: Here, you take these if they’re so good for you.


[01:15:59] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah. I was going to give them to somebody else because I’m going in another direction here, but I thought, who do I really think a lot? I’ll give them to you, doc. Please take them.


[01:16:11] Ashley James: So funny. I love it. I love that we could take someone who is struggling with hormones and show them through food and through supplements they can easily balance it. That’s exactly what happened to me. Leslie says she has scleroderma, right heart failure, and pulmonary hypertension. She’s been vegetarian for several years eating not junk food but very healthy food. She’s 117 pounds and 5’7”, and she says her autoimmune disease is progressing. She would love to support her body in no longer having these problems.


[01:16:50] Dr. Joel Wallach: Okay, we can do that. Get rid of all the bad food. No fried food, no processed meats, no oils, no glutens—wheat, barley, rye, and oats, no sugar, and everybody in the household—dog, cat, bird, fish, spouse, renter, roommate, mom, dad, brother, and kids. Everybody’s going to be drop-dead gluten-free because what do vegetarians eat a lot of?


[01:17:13] Ashley James: Gluten, a lot of it.


[01:17:16] Dr. Joel Wallach: Grain. There you go. That’s why she has all these diseases that doctors are telling her are autoimmune because even if she was supplementing, she can’t absorb it because her villi are gone out of her intestines. I’m going to tell you a story here. I don’t think I told you this yet. There’s a guy by the name of Herman Cain. Did I tell you that story?


[01:17:42] Ashley James: Oh, gosh. The name sounds so familiar. Go ahead and tell the listeners.


[01:17:45] Dr. Joel Wallach: Well, Herman Cain, CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. On the last day of June of 2020, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He’s a billionaire, 74 years old, and he had respiratory symptoms. They put them in a hospital, they’re giving him oxygen, and they’re giving him IVs of antiviral drugs. On the 29th of July, 29 days after they put him in the hospital, he died. He’s a billionaire. CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. He has all the free pizza he can get. Gluten alert, gluten alert, gluten alert—the crust. He also had five pre-existing conditions because of the gluten, he couldn’t absorb nutrients. I don’t know if he was supplementing or not because they didn’t say in the newspaper releases.

But when they did the autopsy three days later after he died, they said he didn’t have a respiratory infection, which is what they were treating him for but he did have respiratory distress clinically but he didn’t have respiratory pneumonia from the virus or anything. Well, that’s because the capillaries in his lungs were filled with clusters of a weird plot of red blood cells that didn’t have platelets in them. Well, he didn’t have any platelets because his bone marrow is dead because he couldn’t get nutrition because his intestines are dead because he’s been eating gluten—pizza pie crust for 35 years.


[01:19:37] Ashley James: Just fascinating.


[01:19:40] Dr. Joel Wallach: Yeah. If they’d have gotten him gluten-free, gotten him on the 90. If he still wanted pizza, he could have pizza, but it had to have cauliflower gluten-free crust.


[01:19:55] Ashley James: But people say, oh I tried going gluten-free I didn’t notice anything. It’s not something you feel a difference like a peanut allergy. You’re removing something that’s doing damage to the microvilli of the small intestines, you eliminate it completely, and then your intestines then grow back and become strong, especially if you’re supplementing.


[01:20:19] Dr. Joel Wallach: And you have to have the 90.


[01:20:22] Ashley James: Right. And then, like you said, if you’ve been eating gluten, then over time, your bone marrow can’t produce platelets in a healthy way. Your immune system can’t function in a healthy way, and we end up getting autoimmune conditions and inflammatory conditions, but the root of it is a nutrient deficiency and eating foods that are doing damage to the body and the ability for the body to absorb nutrition.


[01:20:47] Dr. Joel Wallach: Here we go, Ashley, when you have these types of diseases, things like cortisone and prednisone can give you some temporary relief. I just love my doctor. Man I had skin problems all my life and he gave me prednisone and cortisone and the itching went away overnight. Within two weeks’ time, the skin problem was gone. Three months later they die.


[01:21:15] Ashley James: Of course, it would temporarily go away. They’re treating symptoms, not getting to the root cause.


[01:21:20] Dr. Joel Wallach: Exactly.


[01:21:21] Ashley James: Right. Dr. Wallach, thank you so much. We’re going to have you back on the show for sure because more questions have poured in from the listeners. I’d love to have you back on and to continue to share this information. You are a godsend. The work you do is absolutely amazing.

There’s so much confusion in the nutrient world. What I love about your message is it’s science-based and you are backed by so many years of results. I’ve met thousands of people, myself personally, who have gotten results with you, and you’ve helped millions of people. We just have to get this information out there that we can prevent disease, we can reverse disease, we can prevent birth defects, and we can help ourselves. But also help the planet through proper mineralization and through making sure we’re avoiding the bad foods and ingesting the 90 essential nutrients.

Please, listeners, go to to get on Dr. Wallach’s protocol, to learn more about how you can actually become certified as a health coach learning everything about Dr. Wallach’s protocols. Thank you so much. Is there anything that you’d like to say, Dr. Wallach, to wrap up today’s interview?


[01:22:33] Dr. Joel Wallach: Well, I just want to thank you so much, Ashley. You’re an angel of God. I’m just so proud of you and your husband, all the things you guys do. I’m just blessed that you would ask me to participate with you. We will do great things together, and it’ll be one of those things where right now people are also looking for things to do because of the COVID and they’re being laid off. We’re looking for help. I’m glad you’re working to get these people going. I’m willing to participate and help you do what you’re doing.

Of course, we have all the textbooks, CDs and DVDs, and everything like that. It’ll be one of those things where everybody’s going to get the same answer to the same question. They don’t have to be scared and say, oh my God. I don’t know. I’ve never heard of that disease. Well, look it up in Let’s Play Herbal Doctor, Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures, or Epigenetics. Look it up in those books and you’ll find the answers of what it is and then how to deal with it. It’s one of those things where you cannot fail. We’ve been doing this for 50 years. We’ve been doing this for 50 years. We have literally millions and millions and millions of people all over the world, and that’s why we have to travel so much and do worldwide Zooms and so forth. I can’t thank you enough for all the people you’re helping, Ashley. God bless you and your husband. Thank you.


[01:23:55] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today’s interview with Dr. Joel Wallach. Check out, talk to us for free. Let us help you get on his protocol, and also join the Learn True Health Facebook group because you can ask Dr. Wallach your questions when I have him back on the show next. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing these episodes with those you care about.

There are so many amazing episodes on so many fantastic topics. You can go to, use the search function on my website. Most of my episodes now have been transcribed, so you can even read through the transcripts. You can listen to the episodes, you can read through the interviews, and you can search through the content to find what you want to learn about. And also, if you have a friend or family member with an illness, an injury, or disease, or a health question, you can use the search function both in the Facebook group and on my website to find information to share with those you care about.

I can’t talk highly enough about, so please, go there if you haven’t already. Try it for 30 days. Just try especially the liquid minerals. Give them a try, or just get on the 90 essential nutrients for a month. It’s fantastic. I’ve even had clients stop drinking coffee and no longer even need coffee because they got so much natural energy because the body—when it’s lacking energy and it says get a coffee, an energy drink, or eat more sugar, it’s really desperate for nutrition. When you start to fill up those nutrient tanks with your vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals, it’s amazing how much energy you will get from that. Just give it a try. It’s pretty fantastic. It has really changed my life and all my clients rave about it. I know you will too.

And hey, if you want to hear from those listeners who have been working with, come join the Facebook group and ask or use the search function. There have been a ton of listeners who have shared that they’ve had a great experience working with and Dr. Wallach’s supplements. Awesome. Thank you so much. Stay tuned. We have some really exciting episodes coming up in the coming weeks. I can’t wait for you to hear them. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day.


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