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, 2022
Oct 29, 2022

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489: Mastering Diabetes: How To Reverse Insulin Resistance and Restore Insulin Sensitivity with Robby Barbaro

The quest to restore insulin sensitivity is a long, arduous one. In this episode, Robby Barbaro talks about the right approach, combined with progressive health habits and lifestyle changes, to help anybody achieve their ideal weight, master diabetes, and reverse their metabolic issues once and for all. He also talks about his upcoming summit, the most comprehensive one you can ever attend, all in one place with no travel and at no cost.



  • Endotoxins
  • Recommended foods in Robby’s program
  • Green light, yellow light, red light food categories, etc.
  • Insulin sensitivity and resistance
  • Robby’s summit


Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 489.

Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show Robby Barbaro who was in episode 233. You should definitely go back and listen to that. That was all the way back in 2018. Since then, you’ve published an amazing book. I’ve actually given your book as gifts before. Mastering Diabetes is a phenomenal book. You guys have coached thousands of people to reversing type 2 diabetes completely blowing it out of the water, completely reversing it. These people are getting off meds, losing weight, getting balanced blood sugar, living amazing lives, and even type 1 diabetics like yourself have cut insulin. Crazy amounts, 50 percent, 70 percent. They have had the best health success in their lives from the program that you and Cyrus have created and have been doing for many years. And I’m so excited to have you back on the show because you are about to launch a summit which I want all my listeners to attend because honestly, statistically, you as a listener probably have blood sugar issues or someone in your household or one of your friends does. Because statistically, I think, what is it, 1/3 of the population has diabetes or prediabetes.

[00:01:25] Robby Barbaro: That's absolutely right. It’s unbelievable. I’m just so excited to be here, Ashley. We have so much to talk about. And you’re exactly right. This our big event every year, happens once a year. It’s the Blood Sugar Revolution Summit. It’s absolutely free and people should absolutely register so they can get involved. We do free webinars in the evenings of this event, so we can answer questions live and some people call in, they do a phone call. It’s an incredible even. We have over 22 incredible experts talking on a wide range of topics. So, we’re just really stoked on it and people are going to definitely benefit. If you want to learn how to reverse insulin resistance, if you want to learn how to get rid of excess weight, if you want to learn about how you can prevent and reverse conditions like kidney disease, we have heart disease experts, we have fatty liver disease, we have gut health experts, we have cancer experts. It’s an amazing event with incredible speakers. Our goal is to help people really take full control of their health and understand the truth because it’s a very confusing landscape right now when it comes to nutrition, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. 

[00:02:39] Ashley James: I love that you brought up that you’re addressing kidney disease, fatty liver, heart disease, cancer. These are issues that are it’s kind of like an octopus like here we have diabetes but then you see all these arms of diabetes and we see that. It’s like what came first, right, chicken or the egg? When you go to a medical doctor, they’re trained. Now, I love all doctors. The unfortunate part is their education. They’re taught to see the body through the lens of reductionism and to see the body reduced to different parts, and then they're taught to prescribe pills to alter the body. They don’t teach us how to have optimal health and they don’t cure. These are standard medical doctors, right? And they’re doing the best they can with the tools they have but you wouldn’t take your car to a plumber.

[00:03:30] Robby Barbaro: That's right.

[00:03:31] Ashley James: Right? So, when we go to a medical doctor with chronic disease, their tools are drugs that manage symptoms but these drugs have other side effects and you go down a road of early death and disease.

[00:03:44] Robby Barbaro: That's exactly right.

[00:03:45] Ashley James: When we maintain having diabetes, because if you go to a medical doctor, I know like I’m preaching to the choir here, right, I’m talking to you, but this has been my experience also. I had, for many years, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and every medical doctor “you’re going to be on metformin for the rest of your life, you’re going to be on insulin for the rest of your life. Like you're going to be on this drug and we’re just going to keep adding drug after drug.” And you're going to “manage” your diabetes. You're not going to “master” it, you're going to “manage” it, meaning you get to keep diabetes and these drugs.

But here’s the thing. Medical doctors have probably told the listeners, several listeners just like me that you’ll always have it, which is complete nonsense. It’s like saying there's dirt on your face. You're always going to have that dirt on your face. It’s like, you just wash it off. Just wash it off. So yes, with amazing change in lifestyle and diet and nutrition, we can heal the body to the point where it no longer has diabetes.

But now you’ve got all these arms of the octopus because with diabetes comes inflammation and with inflammation comes heart disease, cancer, fatty liver, kidney issues, eyesight issues, neuropathy. You’re losing your limbs. And I have a friend whose boyfriend has erectile dysfunction and he’s in his early 40s and he now can’t get it up because of his blood sugar issues. There’s certain jobs that he’s been fired from and he can’t be hired because he falls asleep. Like he wanted to be a bus driver. Can’t be a bus driver because he falls asleep. That's all out of control blood sugar. But he’s not willing to change his diet. So those who are listening today are willing, they're excited and willing. They want to know what are the answers because they’ve been told so many wrong things. So, I want you to demystify. Let’s talk about how are we going to demystify and this juggernaut because we’ve been lied to by the pharmaceutical industry, by the medical industry, the giant medical complex which makes so much money. Maybe you have some statistics here because I have some old statistics, but maybe you have new statistics of keeping someone diabetic. The medical industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the hospitals and the doctors. I saw an old statistic where they make $120,000 off of these patients.

[00:06:00] Robby Barbaro: The statistic I have is that the average is $16,752 per year, costs that are incurred by diabetes patients. So, that's like medical expenditures. That number you got might refer to other things.

[00:06:19] Ashley James: Might be when it’s the end stage like when they're in heart failure and diabetes, stuff like that. Either way, it’s costing. It’s costing you.

[00:06:27] Robby Barbaro: It’s absolutely costly.

[00:06:28] Ashley James: But if it’s costing you, it’s profit for them. They're profiting to keep people sick instead of reversing it, and you have a program that you’ve been doing for many years that reverses these issues.

[00:06:40] Robby Barbaro: Absolutely. Just to add to that cost, basically 1 out of every 4 dollars in the US healthcare cost, is spent on caring for people with diabetes. That amounts to $237 billion each year on direct medical cost for diabetes. So, it’s expensive, it’s costing.

[00:07:04] Ashley James: It costs us but it’s a $237 billion profit to keep people having diabetes and to keep everyone in the old way of thinking that you have to eat lots of fat and lots of meat and you can’t eat any vegetables or fruit because those are carbs, carbs are bad, and you definitely need to take all these meds. To keep them in the old way of thinking keeps them sick, so it keeps them profitable. $237 dollars of profit for the medical industry which is costing us.

[00:07:38] Robby Barbaro: Exactly. There's definitely some misaligned incentives for sure in our healthcare system. Like you said, something that's really disappointing and you know this to your own experience, is going to a doctor, being made aware that your A1C is high or your fasting blood glucose is high and that you are living with either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, and then being told okay, the first line of defense is metformin. “Here’s some metformin.” And maybe the doctor will say, “Hey, you should also adjust your diet and move your body.” But it’s not very clear guidance, there's not a lot of support there. There's not any really mentality of, “actually, let’s address the cause. Let’s see what we can do to actually take care of this now and make sure it doesn’t progress. This doesn’t have to be a chronic disease.”

It’s such a missed opportunity because diabetes, in particular, can be a great wakeup call. Especially pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes because if you catch it early enough, it is quite easy to reverse and turn it around. If you don’t catch it early enough and you let the disease progress, you can get to a point where your beta cells are burned out. So the beta cells inside your pancreas are responsible for producing insulin. When you're in an insulin resistant state, those beta cells have to work overtime and they have to work extra hard to produce more and more insulin to compensate for your insulin resistance and eventually, they can get exhausted and they just die out. So the population is diminished and all of a sudden you get to a point where you're not living with an autoimmune version of diabetes, you still have type 2 but you can become insulin-dependent simply because your beta cell supply has been reduced too much.

Now, there are people who come into our program where that has happened. Their beta cell supply, the produce of insulin has been diminished, but because our program helps them become so insulin sensitive, even with a smaller amount of insulin being produced, they can maintain a healthy A1c in the nondiabetic range. They can maintain a healthy fasting blood glucose all while eating the foods they’ve been told that they should not be eating just like you were insinuating before.

Another point I want to touch on here is you were talking about something like the octopus and the tentacles here, and how when you're living with any form of diabetes, your chronic disease risk for a range of conditions is increased. The number one cause of death for people living with all forms of diabetes is heart disease. So, that is the most important tentacle, okay? And it is something that you can address. You can absolutely in many cases reverse heart disease. You can also halt it and make sure it does not progress. So, this is an important part of our program. And again, we have a few interviews in our summit. Dr. Brian Asbill, he’s a cardiologist and he’s interviewed in our summit and talks about this in detail to go in depth on cardiovascular issues, tests you can get and all that important information.

But what you highlighted is very important to understand. When you are living with diabetes, there are many other concerns. And so, our approach is a blessing in a sense that it addresses all of them simultaneously and that’s what’s really fun about this. When you follow a low-fat plant-based whole food diet and you start addressing the root cause which is insulin resistance, you can absolutely turn your health around. Does that make sense?

[00:11:34] Ashley James: Absolutely. I had the mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, on my show in episode 437 and he talks about how having diabetes was the wakeup call for him. He was losing his eyesight, not feeling really good, went to the doctor and came home with a bag of prescriptions and a pamphlet that said living with diabetes. And he rejected that. He thought, “I don’t want to live with it. I don’t want to have it anymore.” And so, he was called to. He just felt inspired to type into Google instead of like how to manage diabetes, he felt inspired to type in like how to beat it. And it led him to your information, it led him to eating a whole food plant-based diet, a very specific way of eating where you’re not eating processed oils and you're not eating processed sugar or processed flours, and you're eating real food. He had a huge bag of prescriptions. It was pretty gnarly. He was able to get rid of all of them and be taken off all of them and reverse all of his health issues. So, he is just a big advocate for this way of living because we can reverse the heart disease, the kidney disease, the liver disease, the diabetes, and prevent things like cancer. But also, people go from feeling incredibly crappy to feeling amazing.

Dr. Richard Fleming came on my show in episode 463 and he’s a research cardiologist, PhD, and he discovered way back over 30 years ago, discovered the root cause or the beginnings of heart disease before it was detectable in any machines. He invented a way of scanning in the body and he could then tell you if you kept doing the same thing, if you kept eating the same way, kept living the same way, he could predict where heart disease would show up. What he saw was that inflammation was the first thing that he would see in the body, the very first thing he would see was inflammation and that was the precursor to heart disease and as we know, that when we are in a diabetic state, the body is just full of inflammation. Is there anything you can say to that? Because I know that your program is incredibly anti-inflammatory. But just getting people’s blood sugar under control is also anti-inflammatory.

[00:13:56] Robby Barbaro: Absolutely. So, there's no question. I mean, having high blood glucose is a problem there. But really, it comes down to the foods that people were eating that led them to have a high blood glucose reading in the first place. It’s the foods that people are eating that cause them to be living in a state of insulin resistance. Okay? So foods like meat, cheese, and processed foods, they elevate your levels of inflammation in your body. But at the same time, what’s important to understand is when you eat those foods, you’re eating foods that cause inflammation, but also, you're missing out on the opportunity to consume those same calories with foods that actually naturally are anti-inflammatory. Okay? Those are foods that are high in fiber, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. These foods lower inflammation in your body. Okay? They do not have this saturated fat, the endotoxins. Okay? So, these are foods, the endotoxins that basically are toxins released from bacteria commonly found in animal food. So, these are the types of toxins that you avoid when you're not eating animal-based products and high fat products and foods high in saturated fat.

So, it’s kind of like a double whammy. It’s like, okay, we’re taking away the things that cause a problem, but then we’re replacing those calories with foods that actually address the problem. They’re anti-inflammatory. And that's really important to understand here. I mean, I would love to go a little deeper into the exact foods that we have people eating on the Mastering Diabetes program. Is that okay with you, Ashley?

[00:15:44] Ashley James: Yeah, I definitely want to touch that. First, I just want to talk about the endotoxins for a minute. Other guests recently have been talking about this and how harmful endotoxins are. But no one said, hey, you know, if you're really struggling and you know endotoxins are a problem for you, especially people with leaky brain, leaky gut, people who had Lyme disease or overcoming mold sensitivities, there's just certain people who are way more sensitive to endotoxins. You're saying that we get it from eating animal flesh. 

[00:16:17] Robby Barbaro: That's exactly right. So, basically, it’s present inside a bacterial cell and it’s released when that cell disintegrates. Okay? So, you have more of these cells when you're consuming animal products. It’s really that simple. And it’s a big deal. Actually, what’s fascinating is Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his summit, I think he’s on the first or second day, he almost talks about this for like the entire podcast interview. These toxins that are created inside your body when you're eating foods that are not designed for your body. Does that make sense?

[00:16:56] Ashley James: I love Joel Fuhrman. I’ve had him on the show. I also learned a lot from him when I went through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s coach training program and he was my favorite teacher.

[00:17:06] Robby Barbaro: I love that.

[00:17:08] Ashley James: He is so amazing. Just the things that he teaches. I love how he takes like the science of food to a whole new level and makes me so motivated to eat my broccoli and eat my mushrooms and eat my berries, all the good stuff. Oh my gosh. Yeah, okay, let’s talk about the food. One thing we didn’t touch on because I told listeners just go back and listen to episode 233 where you tell your story. But for those who don’t know your story, because I really want people to get what’s possible. Can you just give us the highlight reel? 

[00:17:42] Robby Barbaro: Absolutely. So, I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes since 2000, so that’s now over 22 years. It was in December of 2006 when I decided to switch to a low-fat plant-based whole food diet. So prior to that, I had tried many different dietary approaches. And my goal, my personal mission in life still to this day, is I would love to find a solution to how to reverse type 1 diabetes. I would love for my beta cells to produce insulin once again. That sent me on this mission to do anything and everything I possibly could to optimize my health from the inside out. That's why I learned so much and that's why I tried so many different diets. 

Just for those who don’t know, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, they're different. They’re different and they're the same in some ways. The reason they're different is type 1 is an autoimmune condition. We don’t know the cause, we don’t know why beta cells are damaged. But if you're living with type 1 diabetes, you don’t produce sufficient quantities of insulin. Your beta cells have been damaged and you have to inject insulin in order to eat food and survive. If you're living with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, in the initial phase, you're actually producing excess insulin. So, your body is in overdrive. It’s a lifestyle condition and it is caused by diet, exercise, genes are a very small component here. It’s really your lifestyle that causes type 2 diabetes. So, both of them, both type 1 and type 2, insulin resistance can be present. It’s insulin resistant that is the driver of the chronic disease risk that's associated with, again, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

So, I’m living with type 1. I, again, tried many different approaches and really, the last 2 things I tried. So, the one before this approach we’re going to talk about in more detail, was a ketogenic plant-based diet. They didn’t really call it keto diet back then. But I basically ate nuts, seeds, avocado, I had lots of oil, I had tons of greens. But I kept my total carbohydrate intake to less than 30 net carbohydrate. Okay? So, 70 because there was plenty of fiber in the greens. So about 70 total per day, about 30 net. So, at this time, I did it. I did it very diligently and I did see how because I reduced my carbohydrate intake, my insulin went down. The insulin I needed to inject as a type 1 went down. But what didn’t improve was my carbohydrate to insulin ratio. So, how many grams, how much insulin I needed per gram of carbohydrate that I consumed, that got worse. I became more insulin-resistant. I ate myself into a state of insulin resistance. At that time, if I had berries or if I had a banana, my blood glucose would skyrocket. I could not metabolize those foods. Now, after doing lots of research and looking into this topic and having a whole new experience, I can see why that is so problematic. I can also see and understand why people with diabetes are so confused, why this condition is so confusing to the general public. It’s one of the few conditions that you can self-monitor, and that is part of what makes if confusing. You can test your blood glucose as often as you want and that confuses people.

Back to my story here. So, I did that ketogenic diet and I lose energy, I’m losing weight. I’m a freshman at the University of Florida. I’m not feeling well, and I’m like, I got to find something else, I got to keep searching. And I heard a podcast. It’s so funny to say that while doing a podcast.

[00:21:40] Ashley James: Right.

[00:21:41] Robby Barbaro: But I heard a podcast with this guy, Doug Graham. He was explaining how he had an approach where you could eat lots of fruits, mainly fruit and lots of greens and lots of vegetables. And that could actually, you know, help people reverse chronic disease, improve your health, and improve blood glucose controls. Like, wow, this is amazing, I’m going to try this. So, I bought the book. This is in September of 2006 when I heard this podcast. And he was talking about a book that he was going to have coming out. It didn’t come out until December. So between September and December, I was a little bit confused. I was buying some of his older books to try and figure this out and started to follow a fruit-based diet. But it was December when I started coaching with Doug. And I would email him every single day and he emailed me back every single day. For 90 days straight. I really learned his program. And I started eating unlimited quantities of whole fruit and lots of greens. My life just transformed. All of a sudden, I was super energetic. All of a sudden, my skin started to radiate. It was unbelievable what happened to my skin. And I had really struggled with skin problems growing up. It was so bad I took Accutane. It was one of the most serious drugs you can possibly take for acne. I tried all the treatments you could do at the dermatologist. The pills, the laser treatments, the microdermabrasion, the creams. Everything. Accutane was the last resort.

But I get on this fruit-based diet and all of a sudden, my skin is radiating. It was amazing. And my blood glucose control was mind-blowing. So I started eating over 700 grams. So, we go from a total of 70 to 700. And my insulin use stays at a physiologically normal amount. Right now to this day, I’ll inject like roughly 27 to 30-ish units of insulin per day. That's basal plus bolus. And I’m eating, again, well, over 700 grams of carbohydrate. So, my insulin sensitivity changed by 900 percent when you look at it on just a glucose basis. So with modern nutrition software, you can remove fiber and you can remove fructose. Okay? Because fructose does not require insulin to be metabolized and neither does fiber. So, if you compare just the amount of glucose I was consuming on the low carbohydrate diet, the ketogenic plant-based low-carb diet, compared to now my low-fat plant-based whole food diet, it’s a 900 percent change in the glucose tolerance. So, it’s basically 1 to 1 for me. For every gram of glucose I consumed, I needed 1 unit of insulin. And now, for every 10 grams of glucose, I consume/I need 1 unit of insulin. So, 900 percent change. 

I love talking about that because on this podcast, we can go deep because we have plenty of time, I love that. Most people don’t understand. Most people, 99 percent of people listening don’t even know how to do that calculation. But you can do it in a nutrition logging software called Cronometer. When you look at the carbohydrates, it’s broken down inside the software and you basically take the sucrose and divide that by 2, then you add the glucose and then you add, what’s the other number… I’m blanking on the other number. But there's three things you end up adding together and you can do that.

But the bottom line is, I eat far more carbohydrate than anybody thinks that somebody with diabetes should be eating. And I use a physiologically normal amount of insulin. And that’s the goal for a person living with type 1. So, my pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin anymore. So, what I have to do is I have to inject what it normally would have produced on its own. That’s the goal. And so, oftentimes, people in the low-carb world, they get confused for type 1. They’re like, “Oh, I want to take as little insulin as possible. Therefore, I’m just not going to eat carbohydrates.” That’s not a good idea. Yeah, you can get lower and lower and lower, you probably could get below 27. You could get below 20 if you’re very disciplined. But your insulin sensitivity is terrible. You can’t eat a banana. You can’t eat blueberries. So, you’re trading 1 problem from a longer list of other problems that are associated with living with insulin resistance. So, people are confused about that.

But even when you look at published research on type 1, we wrote about this in our book, on average, the low-carb community in this particular paper was following the Dr. Bernstein diet. They would consume 30 grams of carbohydrate per day and inject 30 units of insulin per day. So again, just think about that math. Again, compare to other type 1’s, they're using 30 units of insulin which is more insulin than I am using, they’re eating 30 grams of carbohydrate and I’m having over 700. So, the magnitude of change here is very important. And again, as we talked about earlier, insulin sensitivity matters. It absolutely matters. It matters for everybody listening to the show. If you have low energy, if you’re looking to lose excess weight, if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, if cognitive decline is something you’re struggling with, neuropathy, retinopathy, cancer, like all these conditions are connected to insulin resistance. And that’s why this topic is so important. That’s why I’m so passionate about it. And that’s what led us to create Mastering Diabetes, is Cyrus had a similar personal experience.

We, as people living with type 1, have this unique advantage of understanding what decisions impact our insulin sensitivity on a moment by moment basis. The reason we have this advantage is because we know how much insulin we need to inject. So there’s three key metrics you’re going to have to know in order to understand insulin sensitivity. You have to know what’s your blood glucose. You can test yourself. You can get a CGM, anybody can do that. You have to count the carbohydrates you’re consuming. You have to know how much glucose is coming into your body. Number three is, you have to know the insulin levels. And that’s the number that a majority of people listening to the show don’t have but us type 1’s we do have. And so, I can see okay, what happens if I have like a whole avocado for dinner? What happens if I snack on too many brazil nuts? How much insulin do I need to inject over the next 24 to 48 hours because of that decision? Or let’s say if I’m not being as active or maybe I’m being more active, what happens to the amount of insulin I need for the grams of carbohydrate I’m consuming? We see that instantly like we are required to monitor that and manage it; otherwise, we wouldn’t survive. 

So, when I had that insight, okay, wow, like I know exactly what to do to make insulin work more efficiently, I can then translate that into okay, wow, we have over 100 million people in the US alone who are living with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and all they need to do is optimize the function of insulin inside their own body. They're trying to optimize the insulin that their pancreas is producing and their disease can go away in the vast majority of cases. So, that’s what we do at Mastering Diabetes. We help people with all forms of diabetes reverse insulin resistance. That is the cornerstone, we’re all doing that together. And the results are extraordinary. It’s amazing that we talked before our book came out and we were very excited to see that it became a New York Times bestselling book and the people continue to recommend it and it’s still a bestseller on Amazon. And we also have our own audiobook which is super fun. But to see this message being shared and the reviews on Amazon are incredible, we have well over 3000 reviews, and people are finally getting the truth. Thank you to podcasts like yours, truly beginning to understand why carbohydrate-rich foods are actually the best foods to eat, if you want to reverse insulin resistance. It’s just got to be the right carbohydrate-rich foods with the right combination of other foods, and we can get into that if you’d like me to.

[00:30:11] Ashley James: Yeah, absolutely. I definitely want to get into that. Listeners got to go to to sign up for your summit which is coming out on November 2, which is perfect timing, right after the Halloween candy orgy. I mean, it’s just this crazy amount of candy. I can’t believe how much candy. I don’t do this with my son. We go out and have fun and we enjoy all the festivities, but I’ve never made it about the sugar with him. I know it’s difficult for a kid but also, like I explained it to a few moms, you’re not going to go down to downtown Seattle, which is horrible by the way now in the last 2 years. It looks like a Third World country. It’s just graffiti everywhere. I feel so bad for the people who are like in the homeless camps and it is just overrun with drugs and crime. So, it’s very scary downtown Seattle. I would not go to downtown Seattle and score some drugs, some street drugs for my kid. Right? Like you wouldn’t do that. And yet, we’re giving children sugar which has almost the same effect on the brain. There’s brain scans you can go on YouTube and find where they do brain scans. Street drugs and brain scans of people on sugar, the same areas of the brain light up. You got dopamine. You’re triggering addiction brain and we’re training our children to be in addiction brain.

And I had a great interview with Joan Ifland, PhD. She earned her PhD in processed food addiction and she’s the reason why it’s in the DSM IV, which is now the DSM V. But she’s the reason why it’s now we understand it’s a problem to the point where people have a condition called processed food addiction. It is real. And about 1/3 of the population has addiction brain. Whether you choose to feed into it or not, people are susceptible, a certain percent of our population are susceptible to like someone can just go and eat some Halloween candy and it’d be fine, and in the next day they go to work or they go to school and they’re fine, but then there are those with addiction brain. You eat some candy and it triggers the dopamine high and crash and now that kid is looking for their next dopamine fix. And they don’t even understand it because it’s very unconscious, but now they’re going to binge on Netflix or screens or they’re going to go find more candy, or maybe they’ll do more daring things, more exciting, daring things. Whatever they do to get the dopamine. So much of processed food out there is the same. It’s meant to do dopamine spikes. It’s not just dopamine. There’s other chemicals in the brain that it spikes, but we like to go towards pleasure and away from pain.

What are we doing with kids during Halloween? We’re letting them have an almost unlimited access to a drug that affects the brain just like if we went to downtown Seattle and scored some drugs. We are training our children’s brains to do this. And like I have this love-hate relationship with Halloween because in my childhood it was so much fun. I loved the idea of making my costume, I spent a whole month working on my costume. For me, it was like I get to do theater. It’s just like it was so much fun. And yet, what’s happening now is as an adult, I look back and go, wow, this is just training us to be alcoholics, training us to be drug addicts. Training us to be sugar-holics when we’re adults. So, I do this fine dance with our sun where it’s like okay, we find some organic like just fruit candy kind of thing and I give him one or something. But we make it be about the fun. And I talk to him, I dialogue with him about how does your body feel when you eat these good foods versus if you ate this junk food, how do you feel. And he doesn’t like how he feels when he eats the garbage food. And so, you know, I wanted to be his choice. Right? I want him to grow up when he goes to his friend’s house, he goes, “No, I don’t want to feel crappy.” I’ve watched him do it which I’m really proud of him. I watched him go, “No, I really don’t want to feel sick. Like, give me the banana, I don’t want to feel sick.” I don’t want to feel gross in my body. 

And it’s that consciousness, but we have to also recognize in ourselves like here we’re coming out of Halloween and you’ve got your summit on November 2, and I really want all my listeners to sign up for it because everyone’s going to learn something whether it’s fatty liver, healing fatty liver, healing heart disease, cancer and preventing cancer, and how to heal the body from inflammation. Everyone could benefit from this insulin resistance. But if you don’t personally have any blood sugar issues, you know someone who does, and so you could be sharing with your friends. We can get everyone that we know and love, at least give them this information. Let them make the choice. If they're ready, if they're ready to no longer suffer, then they’ll make those steps, which is really, really exciting. 

So, we’re coming at a perfect time. It’s between Valentine’s Day and the Christmas holidays and all the really high sugar kind of holidays. I think Halloween is the highest sugar holiday. So you’re really catching people at a good time and I hope that my listeners will be more conscious of making the best choices they can during this candy season and making the better choices, knowing that the foods they eat can heal their body, which is really exciting. So yeah, let’s get into the foods that your program helps us reverse disease and heal disease.

[00:36:23] Robby Barbaro: Okay, this is my favorite topic. So, I’m going to go through a resource that we created. It’s free, it’s online, you can check it out. You just type in “High Carb Foods: Mastering Diabetes”. It’s going to take you to this article where we have a list and a photo of all our green light foods. So we’ve taken food, we’ve put it into green light, yellow light, and red light categories. Okay, so it’s very simple. And I’m going to list some of the key foods in each category that you can easily access that are affordable and some that are also particularly in season right now.

So, the green light category, it starts out with fruits. Fruits, as a general class of food, are high in water content, they’re high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fruit is a great food for people living with diabetes because it’s a whole food. It’s the package that is special and important here, all right?

[00:37:27] Ashley James: What package the fruit comes in? Like frozen, dehydrated, fresh, blended? Is there any way that they shouldn’t be consuming fruit or can they consume it like can they consume frozen and blended? Can they make a smoothie? Does it all have to be unadulterated? 

[00:37:46] Robby Barbaro: That’s a great question. I love that you’re asking this. These nuances, they really do matter. So, when you are living with insulin resistance, you have any chronic disease that you want to reverse, like you’re trying to truly, truly heal a chronic disease, there are nuances that we recommend you pay attention to, particularly in the beginning. Okay, you’re in a very insulin-resistant state and you’re on a path to get out of that state. So, in that case, it is ideal to eat whole fruit unadulterated, right? Like, just the whole fruit and chew it. And it’s important to eat that fruit with greens or non-starchy vegetables, especially in the beginning, okay? All our recipes provide that, we make it really fun and easy to do. But the whole food, chewing it.

Now, the next best form of fruit, as far as package, would be if you took whole fruit and you blended it. Okay, you put it in the blender. Now, the reason it’s not ideal especially for people who are struggling with blood sugar challenges and they see spikes in their blood glucose and they have a high A1C, is that what you’ve done when you blended the fruit, is you have broken up the fibers. What you’ve done is you have increased the surface area and because you’ve done that, it can get absorbed into your cells faster. And an analogy I’d like to share to help understand this increased surface area, is to imagine you have a gigantic block of ice sitting in your front lawn. Okay? It’s the summer, it’s in Florida, it’s hot, it’s 90 degrees outside, and there’s this block of ice literally the size of your car. Okay? And it’s sitting in your front yard. And as the day goes along, that ice is going to melt and it’s going to disperse into the grass, okay? It’s going to be absorbed into the soil. And it’s going to take all day. okay? It’s going to take a while. If you took that big block of ice and you broke it up into individual shards like you took a weed wacker or saw and you started just breaking it up into tiny little pieces, little shards all over the place, that will get absorbed into the soil rapidly. Okay? You’ve broken it up. You’ve altered the structure of the fibers. That’s what’s happening when you take the fruit and you put it in the blender and you blend it up. It’s going to get absorbed faster. Okay? So, number one is whole. Number two is put it in a blender.

Number three would be dehydrating. Okay? The less dehydrated, the better. Let’s say you put something in a dehydrator and you want it to be a little gooey. Instead of making a banana into a really, really dense strip, you kind of made it just a little bit of gooey, only took maybe half the water content out. That’s going to be better because you still maintain some of the water content. But the more and more dry it becomes, the more calorie dense it becomes, the easier it is to overeat. The reason it’s easier to overeat dried fruit is because you remove the water content. And what makes you feel satisfied, what holds you from meal to meal, is bulk. And bulk is water plus fiber. So this is the whole concept of calorie. Density which we talk about in detail in our book and it’s a lot of research done by Barbara Rolls from Penn State University, and she has established clearly through decades of research that it’s water plus fiber and it’s bulk that makes you feel satisfied. So, when you’re removing the water, you can easily overeat. 

Then I would say regular dehydrating, once you get into like freeze dried fruit, it really becomes like candy and stuff like that, like it sticks to your teeth. It’s not ideal. I would not recommend that at all. I’d probably go and put that closer to like a red light category to really try to minimize or completely avoid. You really want to focus on whole fruits. Does that make sense, Ashley?

[00:42:01] Ashley James: Mm-hmm. 

[00:42:03] Robby Barbaro: Okay, good. All right. So, I want to mention a few fruits here. Plantains. When you go and when you look at this article, you will see that we have organized all of these categories. So, the fruit category is organized by calorie density, meaning that the foods that are the most rich in their caloric content are going to be at the top of the list. And the reason this is important is because when people adopt a plant-based diet, they are shocked at the volume of food they have to eat in order to stay satisfied and actually get the right number of calories. In the beginning, it’s part of the reason why people lose weight so quickly and easily in the beginning, is because their stomach is starting to adjust to even get in enough volume to meet their normal caloric requirement. So you kind of get into a calorie deficit just because it’s difficult to eat the right volume of food. Now, the problem is if you maintain that calorie deficit too long especially beyond the point of where you’re looking to lose weight or if you’re losing weight potentially too fast, you’re just not satisfied, then the diet becomes unsustainable and you start to crave other foods and all of a sudden you go and you eat a cheeseburger, which is way more calorie dense, and you feel better. It’s mainly because you got calories. You are missing calories.

So, in the green light category, basically of all the foods in the green light category, you need to actually focus on the most calorie dense green light foods in order to stay satisfied. So for example, something like watermelon is very calorie dilute. It’d be very, very difficult to just eat watermelon all day and be satisfied. You could try to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you would be hungry like “I want more food” but you’d feel full. So your stomach would just be a little bit bloated because you had so much water, so much fiber with not that many calories.

So, the reason we have these calorie-dense fruits listed at the top, is to make this diet satisfying. And plantains are one of the best foods in the fruit category because they have 554 calories per pound. That’s the calorie density. The goal, when following this low-fat plant-based whole food diet for optimal weight and optimal energy and overall health, is to basically eat as much as you want that is under 750 calories per pound. And just for context, the most calorie dense food on the planet is oil. That is 4000 calories per pound. Okay? There is no water, there is no fiber, there is no carbohydrate, there is no protein, it’s just pure fat. Okay? So, that is the most calories. Then when you get into foods like animal products and processed food, that’s going to go much higher. So, let me give you an example here. Something like chips. Okay, let’s say you had some processed chips. That’s about 1200 calories per pound. Okay? Let’s say even sugar, 1700 calories per pound. You go to bread, 1200 calories per pound. Ice cream, 1000 calories per pound. Beef, 1000. Okay? Eggs are at about closer to 800.

So, what we got to understand here is that those foods, as you increase that calorie density and you decrease the nutrition value, it’s technically a junk food. Okay? So, oil is the ultimate junk food because it’s very high in calories, it’s the most calorie-dense food in the planet with very little nutrition.

So back to the green light foods here, plantains are in the appropriate calorie density. Now, you wouldn’t want to eat just foods let’s say like lettuce or something, or watercress like 40-50 calories per pound. Again, that wouldn’t be enough. You’d have to eat so many pounds of those foods, you wouldn’t be satisfied. So, there’s a sweet spot. There’s a sweet spot of somewhere between like 400 and 600 calories per pound is where you want the majority of your calorie-providing foods to come from and then you supplement the rest with nutrient-dense non-starchy vegetables and greens.

Another food that’s worth talking about is persimmons. Ashley, do you like persimmons?

[00:46:50] Ashley James: Oh, yeah.

[00:46:51] Robby Barbaro: It’s an amazing fruit. A lot of people don’t know about persimmons. They’re commonly found in two forms. Fuyu persimmons are round, Hachiya persimmons are cone-shaped. And this is a fall fruit. You can get it almost any grocery store. If your local store doesn’t have it, definitely find it at local Asian markets or Mexican markets. And with the Hachiya, you have to wait till it gets really soft like a balloon. And if you eat it before then, you’ll get a bunch of like a chalky sensation in your mouth and you won’t enjoy the persimmon anymore. The Fuyu, you can eat like an apple. That you can eat crunchy or you can wait till like it’s soft. That’s 477 calories per pound.

Then, bananas, 404 calories per pound. Jackfruit – have you ever had a jackfruit, Ashley? 

[00:47:35] Ashley James: Yes.

[00:47:37] Robby Barbaro: I love jackfruit.

[00:47:38] Ashley James: It takes a bit to process. A really, really big one. My son loves it. To me, it tastes like Juicy Fruit bubblegum which I imagine…  

[00:47:49] Robby Barbaro: Do you know what Juicy Fruit bubblegum literally mimicked the entire flavor? That’s why it’s called Juicy Fruit.

[00:47:56] Ashley James: Right. When the first time I ever had jackfruit, I’m like, wow, this tastes like my favorite bubblegum as a kid! Then I was like, oh no, no, the bubblegum tastes like jackfruit. 

[00:48:06] Robby Barbaro: That’s hilarious. I love that, I love that. That’s a way to look at it.

Okay, figs, a great fruit. Okay? Oranges, cherries, mangoes, longans, kiwi, pears, all the different varieties of pears, all the varieties of apples, pineapple, raspberries, tangerines. There are so many fruits. The variety that you can have on this program is surprising to many people and it’s an opportunity to expand your palate. So, there’s a lot of fruits. Okay?

Now, the next category is starchy vegetables. There’s less variety here as far as different produce items, but there’s a lot of variety within the fact that there’s over like 500 different types of potatoes. I mean, there’s so many types of potatoes and you can commonly get at least like 6 or 7 different ones at a grocery store. But potatoes are in this category. For example, the calorie density of a russet potato is 440. That’s the perfect place. You can eat these when hungry till satisfied. It’s very, very difficult to overeat because of the water content and the fiber. And similar to the question you asked about the package of the fruits, the ideal way to consume a potato would be steaming. That’s going to maintain the largest amount of water content and going to produce the lowest amount of advanced glycation end products which occur in the cooking process.

Then you’d go to something like you can do broiling, you can do baking, then you can do air-frying, but all these processes are doing more and more removal of water content and you want to focus on the whole food. So, we also have yams in this category. Taro is a great starch. Corn. There’s white potatoes, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, parsnips is a starchy vegetable that a lot of people love. The flavor is actually much better when you bake parsnips. And then squash, acorn squash, hubbard squash. That’s what’s in season right now. We have pumpkin here, spaghetti squash, butternut squash. There’s a lot of different squash varieties that you can try, and these are really, really beautiful foods. You can try and reverse insulin resistance.

The next green light category are beans, peas, and lentils. So many varieties of beans, so many varieties of lentils. Get the red ones, the green ones. Green peas are a wonderful food. So, we have on this article which you can access for free, it’s on the website. Chickpeas, pig beans, pinto beans, small white beans, black beans, adzuki beans, kidney beans, pigeon beans, great northern beans. These are things you can easily get in a can if you want to, and if you’re going to get it from a can, get the option that has no salt added, which is plenty of those available. And if it does have salt added, you can just try and rinse it off with water to reduce the sodium. But that’s going to be important for, again, addressing insulin resistance and also addressing high blood pressure which comes along with insulin resistance and diabetes in a majority of cases. So, lower your sodium intake, get the right package products. And I just want to say, a lot of people are scared of packaged foods. All of a sudden there’s this culture that we put like all packaged food into a class of being terrible. That’s not really true.

In 2022, there is an amazing amount of foods that do come in a package but like a plastic bag or a can, but they’re absolutely nutritious and delicious and convenient. So, don’t buy bypass some of the conveniences of the 2022 world where you can get these foods some of them pre-made. The next category here is intact whole grains. So for example, you can get intact whole grains that have already been precooked and you can heat them up. And if you need to save time, heat them up in the microwave, it’s great. So intact whole grains, those include spelt, barley, brown rice, quinoa, millet, rye, sorghum, wheat, wild rice, teff, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur. There are so many intact whole grains and again, published research shows how beneficial these foods are for reversing insulin resistance and also for longevity. 

All right. So, Ashley, we just went over the first 4 categories. Fruits, starchy vegetables, then we had beans, peas, lentils, then we had intact whole grains. Those foods are listed first because like I said earlier, you have to focus on foods that provide you energy, provide you with calories. Too many people transition to a plant-based diet, they go, “I’m just going to eat a bunch of salads. I’m going to have tomatoes and carrots and onions and greens, and just eat all these salads.” It’s not enough. The bulk will make you feel satisfied for maybe the first 30 minutes or an hour, but then an hour and a half come by, two hours come by, and you're like, you’re starving like “Well, I need some food.” And it’s because you didn’t get enough calories. You didn’t eat foods from the appropriate category of calorie density.

So, the next part of the green light category, these are foods you add to the calorie-providing foods. These are foods that are very dense in their micronutrients which again, Dr. Fuhrman loves to talk about. And he talks about it in our summit. These foods are also even higher in their fiber content and they help stabilize your blood glucose. So things like shallots, artichokes, brussels sprouts, onions, beets, egg plants, broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, fennel, rutabaga, kohlrabi, chayote, cauliflower, okra, turnips, radicchio, asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, summer squash, cucumber, bok choy. These are amazing non-starchy vegetables that you can add to your life. When you get amazing recipes, learn how to prepare these foods, they can become very satisfying.

Then same thing with leafy greens, their nutrient density. Leafy greens are so important. We actually had an entire interview with Dr. Rick Dina in this year’s summit where he goes and does a nutritional analysis of what happens when you add in some more greens and in some cases, you replace some starchy vegetables with more fruit, what happens to your nutrient intake. It’s absolutely fascinating, you don’t want to miss that.

So, in this category we have foods like parsley, leeks, colored greens, kale, green onions, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, beet greens, Swiss chard, purslane, endive, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, butterhead lettuce. The nopales. Have you ever had nopales, Ashley?

[00:55:10] Ashley James: I’ve never heard of it.

[00:55:12] Robby Barbaro: Nopales is fun. It’s kind of a Mexican food and it’s quite crunchy and has sort of like a little bit of a slimy texture, but it’s actually quite good. So if you’re listening, you guys got to Google that. Nopales recipes. You’ll have some fun with it. So, that's the greens.

Then we have herbs and spices in the green light category. These are foods you can essentially eat when hungry till satisfied. You really don’t have to worry about the quantity. The key is, again, we talked about this in the first podcast, Ashley, so I’m not like repeating too much of that old stuff. But the key is that you're having these foods in a low-fat environment. So if you eat a bunch of fruit and a bunch of fat, don’t expect to reverse your insulin resistance. You’re increasing your carbohydrate intake while simultaneously decreasing your fat intake. That includes even some of the foods that people are calling good fats these days, the healthy fats. That's why we have the yellow light category.

The yellow light category lists foods that are healthy, they’re nutritious, they’re nutrient-dense, but you have to be cognizant of how much you're consuming. So this includes avocadoes, nuts and seeds, soy products, olives, and some particular fruits which one of them would be durian. Durian is a high-fat fruit. Those are all whole foods, absolutely delicious, absolutely nutritious, can be a great part of your program, but you can’t sit down and watch a movie and just start snacking on cashews and almonds and Brazil nuts. You’re going to eat way too many, you're going to exceed your fat intake very quickly, and it’s going to cause insulin resistance even though these are plant-based fats. You can still have too much. So to be very clear, to make sure everyone understands our program, to maximize your insulin sensitivity, we want you to keep your total fat intake under 30 grams per day. And just by eating whole plant foods and having a normal day of eating greens and beans and fruits and non-starchy vegetables, all whole foods contain fat. As a matter of fact, all whole foods contain essential fatty acids. When you eat a large enough volume of them, you meet your requirements. You can have chia seeds and flax seeds as an insurance policy, but it’s just a typical day of eating. You’ll get 15, 16, 17 grams of total fat without consuming any high fat foods. 

The moment you start adding in, you know, a handful of nuts, half an avocado, all of a sudden, you're going to go past 30 very quickly. I highly recommend that people listening use a nutrition logging software to actually become aware of how much fat they’re consuming per day. It’s really important.

So, we have those high-fat plant-based foods in the yellow light category. We also have processed carbohydrate-rich foods that are still healthy but they're a little bit more processed. This is like pastas. You could have brown rice pasta, you could have chickpea pasta. You can also have something like Ezekiel bread, okay? Whatever these foods were originally made out of, it’s better to have the whole form. So brown rice is better than brown rice pasta. Okay? If Ezekiel bread was made out of some sprouted bread, whatever that original grain was, just eat the whole grain. That's the better option. It’s less refined, the calorie density is lower in most cases. To be clear, in the pasta case, the calorie density is actually quite similar. So brown rice pasta ends up having similar calorie density because of the water that's absorbed in the cooking pastas. But it’s still a little more refined and it’s better to have brown rice. 

So, we clarified that. We also have put fermented foods in the yellow light category only because of the sodium content. So, plenty of research showing the benefits of fermented foods. But the sodium content is a concern for people who are looking to reverse insulin resistance. So again, the distinction is, you don’t just eat an unlimited amount of fermented foods. You be cognizant of how much you’re consuming, keep it at an appropriate amount in your overall diet, and you’ll be just fine. Whereas the green light foods, you just don’t need to think about it. You just eat as much as you want. They’re self-limiting with their fiber and water content. 

Now, the red light foods, these are foods we suggest you completely avoid and minimize them. We put animal products in here, so that's going to be things like chicken, beef, dairy, even things like shellfish, salmon, particularly because of the fat content, the advanced glycation end products that are higher animal products, and a lot of the pro-inflammatory compound. So, animal products are out. 

We already talked a little bit about oil. But I really do want to go a little bit deeper on the oil topic because people really get crazy. They get up in arms about not having oil. It’s just upsetting to them. What I want to clarify for anybody who’s in that category and have just been concerned like, “Oh, but it’s just so good. I’ve read so much research. This is so good for me.” Here’s the deal. It’s better to consume the whole foot. There is no research that's showing that having olive oil is better than having olives. What I was looking at was a study where they documented the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols. This is a fascinating paper. Within the list of 100, black olives is in the list and so is olive oil. Okay? So, what I want people to understand is this paper documented the dramatic difference in nutrition content of whole black olives versus olive oil. When you consume the same weight of olives, the study did 100 grams of olives and 100 grams of olive oil, the polyphenol content is 9x greater in the whole black olives, the antioxidant content is 2x greater and it’s 75 percent less calories. So, it’s more nutrition, less calories. For a society that is generally overweight and needs to lose weight, it’s just better to have the whole food. It’s going to be the same thing across the board where you're talking about avocado oil, sesame oil, or any other of your favorite oils. It’s just better to have the whole food. You don’t need to have this processed food where so much is removed. So in this particular study, we see how in the olive oil, not only was the fiber removed and the protein removed and the carbohydrate removed, but a great portion of the nutrition was removed in the processing. It’s just unnecessary.

So, we’re big advocates of whole foods. Again, it’s not like we’re anti-fat like oh, just don’t have any fat. No, it’s have the appropriate fats in the whole food format and keep your fat intake, again, under 30 grams per day, or another way to look at it, is no more than 15 percent of your total calories coming from fat. That is how you optimize your insulin sensitivity. And this is where there's actually a lot of confusion in the research world because you’ll see a lot of papers where people are comparing a low carb diet to a low fat diet, but the low-fat diet wasn’t actually a low fat diet. It was usually 30 percent of calories from fat. High 20’s. Not under 15. That's a big mistake that’s happening in research. 

A few other red light foods that are obvious but I want to state them anyways, processed food in general. So, obviously we’re not telling people to have Twinkies or M&M’s or Snickers bars. That's not going to be helpful. But it’s also important to clarify that even some of the modern new plant-based foods you're finding in grocery stores, plant-based burgers, these foods are made in a laboratory. They're processed, they're high in fat, we’re not recommending you consume those. You can make amazing burgers from beans and other ingredients and you can really enjoy your life that way. You don’t need these processed foods. It’s not going to help you reverse insulin resistance. That's our really simple traffic light system, Ashley.

[01:04:00] Ashley James: I love it. So much to talk about. With the keto, I think so many people have been told or like so many people say “Well, I saw a study,” or, “I heard, or, “My doctors says that eating keto or Atkins increases insulin sensitivity. When I cut out most of my carbs and I eat really high fat, that increased my insulin sensitivity.” Can you speak to that?

[01:04:31] Robby Barbaro: Absolutely. I love this topic. I understand why it’s confusing and you’re exactly right, Ashley. You're seeing that all over the media, right? You're even seeing papers of people publishing saying olive oil. It’s in the research like the actual researchers are concluding that olive oil increases insulin sensitivity.

A big mistake that’s happening is number one, how insulin sensitivity is measured in the research papers. There are a few common ways. The gold standard in testing insulin sensitivity is euglycemic clamp test. This is a test. It’s very expensive. It’s done in a laboratory. It takes many, many hours. There's a solution being injected and insulin being injected simultaneously and a lot of things being tested. It’s not practical to be doing often. But it is the gold standard. Then after that would be the oral glucose tolerance test. And that's where you go to a laboratory, you consume 75 grams of glucose, and your insulin levels and your glucose levels are measured in your blood over the course of 3 hours every 30 minutes. You can see a graph of okay, well, how much insulin is required and what was your blood glucose levels as your body is metabolizing this glucose solution.

These two are both valid forms of testing insulin sensitivity because they contain a glucose challenge. The mistake that's being made is that there is a new form of insulin sensitivity being reported or basically being measured. It’s called the HOMA-IR. HOMA-IR is a surrogate basically allowing researchers to measure insulin sensitivity in a much less expensive, less invasive way. This test only requires a fasting blood glucose number and a fasting insulin level. So you can easily get that done. Those are very easy blood tests. Okay? What’s missing here is there’s no glucose challenge. So, of course, when you stop eating carbohydrate-rich foods, you in that case don’t need to produce as much insulin. You can have a depressed insulin requirement because you're not even eating carbohydrates. Okay? In the same case, you can have your blood glucose levels come down. But you're not testing insulin sensitivity. You're not assessing how well can your body metabolize glucose. So, this is a big mistake that’s happening in the research and people are getting erroneous conclusions because there is no glucose challenge. Does that make sense? 

[01:07:33] Ashley James: I just realize that some listeners might not even understand what insulin does. Could you just very quickly explain here’s the cell, here’s glucose, here’s insulin. What’s the dance?

[01:07:45] Robby Barbaro: For sure. Okay, so insulin is a hormone that does many different functions in your body. But the primary function is that it ushers glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells. The way it does that is think of insulin as a key. So, insulin is the key that opens the door so glucose can then go out of your bloodstream into your muscle and liver cells. What happens is when you consume a diet that is too high in fat, particularly trans fat and saturated fat, you end up storing excess fat inside your cells. It’s called intramyocellular lipid. This excess fat interferes with insulin signaling. Insulin resistance is a defense mechanism. Your body is trying to prevent your cells from intaking excess energy. So, if there's too much fat inside the cell, your body is saying, “okay, I don’t want that glucose. The glucose that's sitting in the bloodstream, I don’t want it. I have too much. I’m overloaded when it comes to fuel in here. I don’t need anymore. So, I’m not going to allow you to open the doors. Stay in the bloodstream.”

Again, it’s a protective mechanism. So, what’s happening in that case is you're going to develop a state of hyperinsulinemia. Your body is going to try and produce more and more insulin in order to shove the glucose into the cell. So now, you have high insulin levels, and high glucose levels. That is the classic state of insulin resistance, of metabolic dysfunction, and is at the root of a longer list of chronic conditions which we’ve discussed throughout this show.

[01:09:37] Ashley James: And the longer the blood sugar remains high in the bloodstream because the cells are rejecting it, the cells are like “I’m full” goes somewhere else, the sugar is staying high, the glucose is staying high in the bloodstream, the longer that happens, the more inflammation and damage it causes.

[01:09:54] Robby Barbaro: That is correct.

[01:09:56] Ashley James: What’s also been described to me by someone else is that the more insulin like when you have excess insulin, insulin is almost like banging down the door of the receptors of the cell and damaging the cell wall because it’s just like more and more and more and try to force it in, and it’s kind of like shoving the key in the lock so hard that it damages the keyhole. But there’s damage being done on a cellular level throughout the body and we’re overconsuming fat and so the cells are like, “I’ve got too much to handle right now, we filled the cells with fat, and then we filled the cells with sugar,” because let’s face it, the standard American diet is a high processed fat, high processed sugar diet. Then, we’re starving. Then, we feel like we’re starving. That's how I felt.

When I had type 2 diabetes, I was hungry every 45 minutes, I would just cry. This was back when we lived in Vegas, we loved going on drives. This was pre kids, just my husband and I, and we decided one day to go for this fun drive out into the dessert and we did this loop around one of the mountains and came back around, it’s beautiful out there especially when it was a little stormy and you see these beautiful thunderstorms off in the distance, and we talk and talk. So, we went for a drive, and I ate before we left and we’re out in the middle of the dessert, there's nowhere to eat, and I’m like, the hunger starts hitting me harder and harder and harder. I started feeling crazier and crazier. I just cried. I just was bawling. We were newlyweds and I’m bawling to my husband. I’m just like, I feel like a prisoner trapped in my body, I’m hungry all the time. I’m panicking. My body is actually physically panicking because there's nowhere to get food. I said the first restaurant you see, we’re stopping at and I don’t care what it is. 

This happened multiple times where we’d be out running errands or we’d be late to go meet someone or pick something up. My body would just get into this panic mode of needing to eat. And I wasn’t crashing. I’m not type 1 diabetic. I’m not going to go into a coma. I would survive. But it was this constant gnawing hunger that would get worse and worse and worse like 45 minutes after a meal. It would come on suddenly and I said, “Just pull over. I don’t care what it is. Arby’s, McDonald’s, whatever the first food. I just needed to put food in me. And that was back then when I was eating the standard American diet and listening to the MDs and all they had was drugs and they had no answers for me. I finally got sick of being sick and that's when I started to dive into the holistic health and shop the perimeter of the grocery store is what I was told, eat organic. I could not believe how one condition after another dropped off when I changed my diet. I found a naturopath who mentored me. I was able to reverse. I had chronic adrenal fatigue that was so bad I couldn’t process human language in the morning. I couldn’t even understand people talking. Like my chronic adrenal fatigue was really bad.

I had infertility. I was told I’d never have kids. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and then I had chronic infections I was on monthly antibiotics for. The infections went away when I started eating organic and I shopped the perimeter of the grocery store. I still at the time was eating cheese and meat, but I cut out all the stuff in all the aisles, basically. I was just going around the outside of the grocery store. Anything that was in the produce section was safe in my mind. That was back in 2008. That was my first big thing where I was like, wow, if in 1 month of changing just this little thing, if I can no longer be on constant antibiotics, then what else can I do? Right? I was able to just go bang, bang, bang down that list and reverse all those issues.

[01:14:00] Robby Barbaro: I’d love to know more about your story, Ashley. So, what was your A1c when you got diagnosed?

[01:14:10] Ashley James: This was 9.5 I think.

[01:14:15] Robby Barbaro: Wow. Okay. Then what’s been your most recent A1c that you remember?

[01:14:21] Ashley James: Oh, 4.7.

[01:14:22] Robby Barbaro: See, that’s what I’m talking about, okay. That's powerful.

[01:14:31] Ashley James: My midwife was like, “You have better blood sugar than I do.” And then I told her to get your book. 

[01:14:37] Robby Barbaro: Yeah, I love that. Okay. I mean, tell the audience, like what did you eat.

[01:14:41] Ashley James: What did I eat when I was sick?

[01:14:43] Robby Barbaro: To reverse insulin resistance.

[01:14:46] Ashley James: So it was a process for me because I was actually one of Dr. Bernstein’s patients. You mentioned the Dr. Bernstein diet. I was one of his patients. I love getting vulnerable and sharing my story and I could totally go on forever, so I want to be cognizant of the time. But I was not sick. When I was in my early teens, I was really healthy. I was very athletic. I didn’t care about food. I just ate whatever was put in front of me. We just ate a lot of vegetables and lean meat and brown rice and that kind of thing. My mom was pretty healthy, so we ate healthy. But I didn’t care about food. Then when I hit puberty, because women gain hips and boobs. My mom had the psychosis around weight and so she started putting me on diets when I was 12. She put me on diet after diet. I wasn’t overweight. She took me to the weight watchers, she took me to Dr. Bernstein. And that started messing with me because now I’m doing keto, I’m 16 years old, an athlete. I was on the rugby team, I was on the swim team. I rollerbladed and cycled. I weightlifted. I was very athletic. I thought I ate healthy but my mom in her mind thought I needed to lose weight. 

For me, I rebelled. I pushed against that, I rebelled. But I did his diet and after his diet, it messed my body up so much because it was this weird keto thing. Oh man, he would yell at me if I didn’t lose more than a pound a week. I remember losing less than a pound in 1 week. I’m 16 years old and I’m an athlete. And he yelled at me and he told me I cheated. I walked out of their crying. Actually, that wasn’t the first time that my mom sent me to a doctor or nutritionist. I’m surprised now looking back, like all these doctors were yes, telling my mom “yeah, she could lose some weight.” I can show you pictures. No one would think I was overweight, so I don’t know what these doctors were thinking. But they all put me on all these diets and my mom would buy all the latest. We went and met Dr. Barry Sears when he wrote his first version of the Zone Diet and met him, shook his hand, did the Zone Diet with my mom. She was so diet obsessed that it really messed with me. Then, I rejected all of it and said no, and then I started just eating like my boyfriend. I had never eaten that way. He was going to Subway and eating Subway sandwiches and baloney and Wonder bread. He was a black belt and I’m like, well, you know, I was into martial arts at the time going to the dojo 5 days a week, and I’m like, well, I’m going to eat just like the black belts because they know what they're doing. That made it worse. That's when really my blood sugar started spiraling out of control because I was eating literally no healthy food, it was all processed. 

[01:17:48] Robby Barbaro: That's an incredible journey you’ve been on.

[01:17:49] Ashley James: Right? Both my parents have passed away. I love my parents and now as a parent myself, I really understand that my mom was coming from a place of fear and love, and how many times as parents our love comes out as fear, and then that fear is anger. What we’re trying to do is we’re so afraid we’re going to screw up our kids and we actually end up screwing up our kids which is just life. My mom, she loved me so much. She put my through that craziness and it has led me to where I am today. Now I’m on my own healing journey, I can help others heal themselves. I don’t regret any of that. But I can look back and go, that was really messed up. Like I can look at my childhood and go, that wasn’t okay but at the time I thought it was normal. Right? Because we always think what we’re going through is normal. But now I can go back and say, you know, those doctors were wrong and they shouldn’t have done that with me. I’m surprised that not one of those doctors took my mom aside and said there's nothing wrong with her, stop putting her on diets, just let her eat healthy food. It’s just crazy how messed up this world is. Man, I wish I had known about the whole food plant-based diet sooner. I kind of kick myself. I think about man, what would my life had been like if I was on this diet back when I was a teenager.

I hate the word “diet”. It’s really just a lifestyle and a way of eating. As Dr. Joel Fuhrman puts it, it’s like a nutritarian diet where you're nutrient dense. You're eating as much nutrients possible. So I’d rather eat olives that have 9x greater the polyphenols than drink olive oil. Plus, olives are really fun to eat. Olive oil is not really fun to drink. So, I’d rather take in the nutrients from something instead of have to pay for the processing to take out the nutrients and eat a processed food. But for me, it’s been a journey. So, I really fought this idea of not eating meat because I had been on Atkins several times and Dr. Bernstein. I’d been so many times on these diets where doctors told me or books told me that meat was the solution and that carbohydrates were the devil. My mom would accost me if I ate any carbohydrates, she’d yell at me. So, I had a lot of emotional trauma around carbohydrates. This idea of eating even a banana was so foreign to me because I thought it was so dangerous.

[01:20:19] Robby Barbaro: I’m so glad you're sharing this experience because this is just another reminder. It’s also very unique that you’ve been an actual patient of Dr. Bernstein who literally is teaching the exact opposite, like literally says no fruit.

[01:20:34] Ashley James: It was really weird like if you could have seen the diet, just the regular way of eating I did before Bernstein, you’ve been like “That’s not bad.” I mean, it was steamed vegetables, rice, lentils. That was all in my diet. I wasn’t the picky kid. You put it in front of me, I ate it. I wasn’t picky. I’d have some kind of cream of wheat or some cream of rice pablum cereal for breakfast kind of thing. Then, just pretty much the same stuff. I did not like the lunches my mom sent because I’d open up my lunch at school and there would be brussels sprouts and they smelled really bad by the time you get to school. But I’d have brussels sprouts in a salad and apple and maybe some almonds, she’d throw in a few almonds. It wasn’t like I was eating unhealthy before. Then, doing these doctor diets were so radical and so unhealthy now that I look back. It’s really crazy. Of course, I lost weight but then my metabolism freaked out and I rejected it.

Then I got into, you know, there's a sense of control and fighting that control and then addiction brain, and I really acknowledge now how much addiction brain there is. So, I was depressed and angry and food was a soothing mechanism like babies want their blanket or they want their binky. My brain wanted the sugar binky or the bread binky. I really did feel like if my brain was suffering, I’m upset or angry or stressed going to that food, like a sandwich for example and all of a sudden, a sense of relief. Yeah, it’s a drug. We, more times than not, will turn to food for that “comfort”. And we’re just filling ourselves with crap and then we’re causing these diseases. Then the pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry gets to profit, what was it? $237 billion.

[01:22:49] Robby Barbaro: No one really knows how much profit is in there. But it is a large number. 

[01:22:55] Ashley James: A stupid amount of profit for big pharma and hospitals. None of them want us to be healthy, so of course, the world is upside down and we have to really acknowledge that. If what you're doing is not working and so for many years, what all these doctors and what all these sicko diets that I was on constantly wasn’t working, and then my own way wasn’t working, my own way was like addiction brain, processed food, standard American diet, all that wasn’t working. It’s like okay, well, what’s left? What’s left is this whole food plant-based diet that works and that people get results. So, I fought it and it actually wasn’t until I started doing the podcast. Because when I started doing the podcast, I was full on keto. I was like, keto is the best thing in the world! And if you listened to early episodes, it’s like keto, keto, keto. 

Then I started to get these whole food plant-based doctors on and of course, I’m open minded, I want my listeners to learn. I want to learn because nothing is perfect, right? And I didn’t have diabetes anymore but I didn’t have insulin sensitivity. And so I couldn’t go away from like, for example, if you went and ate a pizza, if you went and just ate the standard American diet for a day, would you be okay? The next day, would you be okay or would you feel like your blood sugar be so off and would everything be so off because you don’t have insulin resistance. You do have insulin resistance or you don’t.

[01:24:37] Robby Barbaro: That's okay. But you're asking me if I went and had like a standard American pizza, I would feel awful.

[01:24:43] Ashley James: You’d feel awful because you're so used to eating a healthy diet. 

[01:24:46] Robby Barbaro: Yeah, of course. It’d be super heavy. I would be eating myself into a state of what’s called situational insulin resistance. I’d become insulin resistant over the next 24-48 hours because of the garbage that I just ate. I mean, could I get back into my normal state of insulin sensitivity? Yeah. If I didn’t continue to eat a bunch of that garbage, then yeah, I’d be back to normal.

[01:25:16] Ashley James: You can situationally. Because of all the fat that fills your cells, does that mean that after 24 hours of not eating crap, can people already see insulin sensitivity coming back online?

[01:25:31] Robby Barbaro: When people come to our in-person retreats, which are about 3 ½ days long, people fly in on a Thursday, we have dinner on Thursday, we kick it off, all day Friday, all day Saturday, all day Sunday, people leave on Monday morning. In that rapid short period of time, every single person who’s come to one of our retreats in person, experiences an improvement in insulin sensitivity rapidly. Within the first day, type 1’s are reducing their insulin, type 2’s are reducing their oral meds, they're reducing their blood pressure medications. We have a doctor who comes in to oversee the whole process. We’ve had many amazing plant-based doctors come and join us. It happens rapidly, no question. And that's because when they're under our care to retreat, we do choose to give people optimal results as fast as possible, which means all three meals are changed immediately, it’s extremely high nutrient density, very low fat, and we’re having people move their body twice a day. So, we speed this up to show people what’s possible and help them give a plan to maintain it when they go home. Which is a little it different than, again, like if you read our book, most people transition one meal at a time over an extended period of time, but when you do everything in an optimal way, results come in very fast.

[01:26:59] Ashley James: Cool. So, going back to your question. So, at the time when I was keto, keto, keto, it was the best thing in the world, at the beginning of starting this podcast six years ago, if I ate outside of keto, but even if it was healthy like potatoes or had the Ezekiel bread like you talked about, but mine would be gluten-free, like sprouted gluten-free bread, I don’t know, I would be a mess. I would have felt like crap because even though when I was eating low carb in keto, I thought it was good. Go out of those boundaries of keto and I felt horrible. I also developed inflamed liver. It wasn’t fatty liver, it was inflamed liver. I had an ultrasound done and blood work done and my liver enzymes were through the roof. You could see my liver. It was pushing out, it was do distended, it was pushing out beyond my rib cage. It was so painful I couldn’t sleep on my right side. It was really painful. That was from the keto diet.

And so, I had to go, “Okay, this isn’t working.” I went down the list of like this isn’t working, I’ve done this over and over again. It’s just like Bernstein. Although Bernstein wasn’t as high fat or anything, but it was still keto. And Atkins and all that. It was just a repackaged Atkins over and over and over again, this whole low-carb high-fat thing that keeps getting sold to us. And it wasn’t working. It was very restrictive and then I would start feeling sicker and sicker and sicker, and then eating outside of it, I would feel even worse. 

So, when I started interviewing doctors who were on a whole food plant-based diet, I was open-minded but I was also resistant because I had my mom’s voice in the back of my head going, you know, rice is bad for you, potatoes are bad for you, what are you doing. She’s this little voice in the back of my head that I had to stop and go, I really need to examine my beliefs around food. Because I had been carrying some beliefs from childhood that aren’t true. And I need to examine my food beliefs.

When I had an expert, I don’t even think he was a doctor, he was an author. Because my last little reasoning why I shouldn’t eat a whole food plant-based diet was there's not enough protein. Because back in my mind, again, meat, meat, meat, meat is the answer. That had been my belief system that I had around food. But my belief system wasn’t serving me anymore because I was not optimal health. And I don’t believe in diet dogma. Here’s the thing. If we have a dogma and then something changes in the body, we need to adapt our diet to help our body. So dogma will stop us from doing that. I had to examine my own diet dogma and this one author that I had on the show said, “Well, you know, you can get 16 grams of protein from a serving of lentils.” And I was sold. I was like, wait, that's like two eggs or whatever, right? I was like, oh, I can trade out my eggs for lentils? And I can trade out my chicken for beans. Then I started kind of going down this list of wow, there's a lot of protein in vegetables and a lot of other nutrients also. But then, hearing like well, where does the ape and the elephant, you know, those strongest land mammals get their protein from? They're eating plants, right? So it was kind of the middleman.

But I started doing that and then shortly after eating, I decided to basically do the program that you recommend and chef AJ and Dr. Goldhamer and Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Fuhrman and all these other plant-based doctors that I’ve had on the show, they all pretty much say the same thing. There's nuances, right, like yours is really geared to reversing diabetes. Dr. Esselstyn has a slightly different spin and that's more for heart disease. But they all complement each other. You would still probably reverse diabetes on any of their programs because they’re all very, very similar. But I like had like you said, the nuances were dialing stuff in for your program which is fantastic. And watching people reverse disease.

I went and tested my blood sugar, which I hadn’t done, because again, I wasn’t diabetic anymore, but I didn’t have insulin resistance. And I always, always, always could not get below 115. Fasting, couldn’t get below 115. Two hours after a meal or four hours after a meal, couldn’t get below 115. It was just no matter what, even on keto, couldn’t get below 115. It was like the weirdest thing. It was like this barrier. And I remember, I don’t know if it was weeks or months into eating this way, but it wasn’t long after. It was still new to me. So, I was kind of on this high of how excited I was because I was feeling better and better and better. My rings were loose on my hand. I was like, wow, I’m doing really well. I tested my blood sugar and it was 87. And I just started crying tears of joy.

[01:32:13] Robby Barbaro: Good for you.

[01:32:15] Ashley James: I had eaten like a snack an hour before and it wasn’t a big snack, but like, this isn’t even fasting. I ate something an hour before. And I felt so even keel. I wasn’t hungry for hours. I know you said like when people first go plant-based, they’re hungry because they only ate 200 calories for a meal because they don’t realize that you kind of have to eat more. And so I was like, oh, I just had seconds. I’m like, okay, I’m just going to have a second serving of brown rice, beans, and my stir fry of vegetables that are done with water instead of oil. I’m just going to have a second serving, and that's fine and now I’m full. But I go hours, hours without crashing. I mean, I don’t crash. I go hours without feeling hungry. I mean, if I have to skip a meal because I’m super busy, I don’t have jitters, I don’t have panic. My body isn’t panicking. I just go, okay, I’m just a little hungry, I’m going to drink water and then I’m going to get something in me when I can. It’s so much freedom. 

Here's the paradox. Because the paradox is like people who don’t eat this way think they won’t have freedom like “Well, I can’t eat. You can’t eat it.” Like, I can’t eat at restaurants, I can’t eat at my mom’s house anymore, whatever, my aunt’s house or whatever relative. I can’t go have wings with the boys… they’re thinking about all the limitations on how they won’t have freedom. But that way of eating caused them health freedom and freedom in their body.

[01:33:42] Robby Barbaro: That's so right.

[01:33:43] Ashley James: So, what I love is I jump out of bed in the morning, I don’t need coffee anymore. If I do partake in coffee, I do a tiny, tiny, tiny amount and it’s kind of just my little fun drug of choice. But I don’t need it. So I don’t do it every day. I used to need coffee. I wake up, I jump out of bed like I didn’t have any stimulants this morning to get on the show with you. I just jump out of bed and I’m like, boom, my mind is awake, I’m awake. That is totally not me when I was on animal products and when I was on processed food. So, I have body freedom, I have energy throughout the day. I have so much body freedom. So yeah, I have traded the freedom of eating crap food for health in my body.

But yeah, so there are limitations. I can’t eat at certain people’s homes. But I’ll bring my own food. Or you know what, my friends are really accommodating. I’ll just tell them like listen, these are our restrictions and also, our son has some allergies so I’ll just say these are the things we eat, these things we can’t eat. Honestly, if a friend isn’t willing to make accommodations for you, like how much are they your friend? I’ve been impressed with like when our daughter died last year, people came out of the woodwork to bring us food and they all brought us whole food plant-based. They came out of the woodwork. My neighbor cooked me so much food. I had a friend that lives 45 minutes away brought just days’ worth of food. Everyone cooked us to our diet. Some of our friends even went and found websites that had whole food plant-based recipes. Our friends just Googled whole food plant-based recipes and accommodated. There was no one that was like, I don’t know, mean about the way we eat. So, it was how they showed love. And people who really care about you, there's always going to be someone who’s upset about your diet because what it does is if they have addiction and I’ve seen this before, if they have addiction and they're addicted to their processed foods, your change threatens that. Just like alcohol, people who choose to stop drinking and they tell their friends who they used to drink socially with, there's always a friend that gets angry about it and gets defensive about it. And that is because you're challenging their addiction. You're not asking them to stop eating meat, you're not asking them to stop drinking alcohol. Your change is a reflection of their addiction and it’ll make them angry. So, don’t take it personally, but you got to do you. You’ve got to stick up for yourself and just love those friends and family, but don’t let their discomfort influence the longevity you're giving yourself. 

[01:36:39] Robby Barbaro: So true. So true. 

[01:36:43] Ashley James: Yeah, so there’s my soapbox. 

[01:36:44] Robby Barbaro: I love that. What an amazing example, what an amazing story you have. And I mean, also the practicality of doing this lifestyle, communicating with people, with friends, with loved ones, like that can be an entire show. We should do a whole show on that topic. 

[01:37:01] Ashley James: Yeah, right? Your coaching, I love your coaching on helping people navigate once they’ve made these changes. Navigating those friends and family. Because that’s something that, you know, I’ve grown a thick skin. But I acknowledge that there's a lot of listeners who haven’t yet. Right? I don’t know what it was. Honestly, I think it was giving birth to our son. He’s 7 ½. So I think right about that time, I was in the hospital for 5 days, in labor for 3 ½ days straight. And it was pretty ridiculous and I was just like, people were walking in and out, and I was half naked, all naked, I don’t remember. I think that's when I just lost that ability to care about or like have what other people think of me, have me want to change the good that I’m doing for myself to make other people feel comfortable. And I was like, you know, somewhere around there, I grew a pair and I’m like, you know what, I love my friends and family, but if my health choices that are healing my body is making someone uncomfortable, they need to work on their baggage. I am not going to make myself unhealthy to make someone comfortable. And this is what we’re doing as a society, is we’re trying to make people comfortable by making ourselves unhealthy. And we really need to cut that out. That is not healthy for anyone. It’s okay to be that black sheep, the salmon that's swimming upstream, that’s saying no to the things they know are unhealthy for them when everyone else is saying yes to them. It’s okay.

[01:38:47] Robby Barbaro: Couldn’t be more. Be proud, proud of what you're doing. You’re reducing the healthcare cost in this country. You're reducing the impact on the environment and you're becoming an example of what’s possible and the having more energy and having less missed work days because you're actually healthy. I mean, that's actually another big cost of our country. When people are unwell, they can’t contribute to the workforce. It’s a problem. So, you have to be proud of yourself.

[01:39:18] Ashley James: I’m just proud that I’m reducing the profits to big pharma.

[01:39:21] Robby Barbaro: There you go. That's another thing to be very proud of. Fantastic.

[01:39:27] Ashley James: So you keep talking about half an avocado and I don’t have a concept for that because you cut open an avocado, you eat the whole thing. If someone were to eat too much nuts or too much avocado and too much for your program, do they not get results? What does this look like?

[01:39:46] Robby Barbaro: It’s a big question. Here’s what happens. If people start eating too much of those foods, it does inhibit weight loss for a lot of people. What it does is it also makes it more challenging to have certain fruits. So, you’ll hear a lot of people that say oh well, look, if you're going to have these nuts and seeds and you have diabetes, you should be careful with the “high glycemic” fruits. This is only a problem when you are in an insulin-resistant state. Basically, then if you're going to have more fat from plant-based sources, then you're going to be limited to things like berries and pears and foods like that in order to keep your blood glucose under control. So, that's the main concern. But again, nuts and seeds are fantastic, they’re great. It’s just that the quantity, you don’t want to sit down and just start snacking on them because it’s just easy to overeat them. It’s just really that simple.

[01:40:46] Ashley James: It’s so easy. I don’t love nuts or seeds, like they're okay, that’s not my thing. My husband, he did go through a phase where he’d eat like a huge bag of cashews in a day. He went vegan before ever considered going whole food plant-based. He was the guy when I met 14 years ago, he would only eat meat and yeah, he never ate vegetables. He would do like nachos. There might be a vegetable in nachos, but pretty much he was the meat and potatoes and the nachos guy. And oh, ice cream and just all the junk food and alcohol and the sugar and all that. When I first met him, I got him off of sugar, alcohol. I mean, he was not an alcoholic but just socially and I was like, no, this is not good. And we made some good changes but he was still just like beef for breakfast, lunch and dinner kind of thing. And even that was too much for me. I was like, always on and off Atkins. He was just go, go, go meat only. Meat and coffee basically. Then one day, he woke up and I think it was about five years ago, he just woke up and he said “I’m never eating the flesh of an animal again.” That was a complete opposite. And he goes, “Yeah.” And he’s the kind of guy who’d never kill a spider for me. He’s 6 foot 6. He’s very tall. No one has ever picked a fight with him just because he looks like he’d take you down, but he’s a total pacifist. He’ll take the spider outside but he won’t kill out. He goes, you know, “killing things just doesn’t feel right to me and it doesn’t sit well in my soul. It’s been really bothering me for a while. And I don’t want to partake in that anymore.”

I had been also telling him about stuff from my podcasts. I think the last thing I told him that might have been the very, very final thing that made him flip over was I had Robyn Openshaw on talking about one of her books which was something called like Vibe or High Vibration Life, and she’s talking about the vibration of food and that there's hertz, like you can measure the hertz of food. So if you go to the grocery store, you can take this machine that measures the hertz or the energy frequency of something. She says broccoli and carrots and apples and bananas, they’ll all be like 60 hertz, 90 hertz. They’ll be high in hertz. Then she goes, you know how much pork is? And I’m like, no. And I just had had like pork sausage just that morning for breakfast. She goes it’s 6 hertz. Well, why does this matter? They measure the hertz of people who are healthy and I can’t remember the exact number but something like 200 hertz if you're healthy. If you’re sick or have cancer, maybe you're like 120. People who are in the hospital dying are at 60, and people who are the day they’re going to die, they’re down to 40.

So, you can measure basically in health. You can measure hertz. And you see that the healthier you are, the higher your hertz; the unhealthy you are, the lower your hertz. Why wouldn’t you be consuming foods that are higher in hertz and not consuming foods that have no energy in them? I know that correlation is not causation, but it just was like an interesting thought like oh, why don’t I eat foods that are high vibration to increase, at least help my body have a high vibration that makes sense because we are all energy, anyway, if you study quantum physics. In chemistry you see that we’re more energy than matter. So, we should eat foods that are higher in energy to feed ourselves in that way.

And yeah, the next day, he woke up and said “I’m never eating meat again.” So I had to figure out how to cook for him. Then, of course, I had all these doctors on the show, we’re constantly talking about whole food plant-based diet. I kicking and screaming started eating that way, just dragging, it was so hard to say goodbye to chicken and eggs. I’ve struggled at times. I’m not perfect, I’ve struggled at times. But cutting out oil was fine. I had done that years ago because Dr. Wallach back 12 years ago told me to not eat oil. He wants people to eat gee or rendered duck fat. I’m like ugh, I can just cook with water, that's fine, I don’t need that.

So I started learning like from Chef AJ and other whole food plant-based chefs and it became really easy for me because I love cooking in the kitchen and making delicious food. it became really easy for me to do that switch. But what I was surprised with was that I didn’t miss meat. My body didn’t crave it. My brain did because of addiction brain. But my body didn’t feel like it needed it and I was surprised because I had never eaten a meal without meat. Then all of a sudden to have meals without it, I’m like, oh wow, I’m full. I didn’t think I’d be full. I thought I had to eat meat to be full. I thought I had to eat meat to have energy. And it was the opposite. I had way more energy without meat. Meat was causing me to feel sluggish. I couldn’t believe that. So, it was a big night and day. There was a lot of old belief systems that had to drop away.

So, I’m really excited about your summit, and thank you for breaking down those foods. If people just started eating that way right now, they’re going to see a difference. But we want to give them tools and we want to arm them with so much good information, which is what your summit is going to do. So, people can go to and get access to your summit. Sign up now because it starts on November 2. Tell us about your summit. What are we going to get out of it, what does it look like, how long is it. Are people going to be able to do your summit, and then dive into this and master their diabetes?

[01:46:32] Robby Barbaro: You said the most important word there. Practical. We’re all about practicality at Mastering Diabetes. Each interview, each expert is summing up what they're teaching with practical tips for you to put into action. That is what makes this summit so viable, is because whether you're coming in because you want to lower your blood glucose, or you want to lose weight, or you want to gain more energy. Or you're struggling with kidney disease or fatty liver disease. You have high blood pressure. Like it doesn’t matter what you're coming in with. There is something in here for you and there are action items. It’s an amazing event. So it's 22 speakers. It’s from November 2 to November 9, and the whole thing is free. You just enter your email, you're going to get emails inviting you to listen to the presentations during the day. It’s very, very powerful. We learn a lot. Every year we interview these experts and it’s a real honor and privilege to be able to share this with all of you out there. Again, it’s free. It’s November 2 to 9. We have an incredible lineup of experts. Once you register, you’ll be able to see all those details. But it’s just an incredible event and I really can’t wait for everybody to get involved. 

I can’t also emphasize enough the importance of the webinars. There's live webinars that happen and you get a chance to interact with us and our coaches, ask questions, and we’re here to set you up for success and get you going on the right direction. And really addressing the nuances. There are so many, and you’ve learned this and you’ve applied it in your own life. You’ve had so many amazing experts on the show. You’ve been able to dig into the details. But there are nuances to doing this successfully in your life and that's what the summit is going to help deliver for you. 

[01:48:24] Ashley James: I love it. I am so excited for it, I can’t wait. I’m definitely going to attend. I can’t wait for it and I know that my listeners should definitely check it out. Please, though, everyone share this with your friends and family. You can share this episode with your friends and family, or you can just tell them to go to, let’s get all of us signed up to learn. If someone is struggling, let’s help them and maybe they’ll make that leap. Maybe they will give it a try and they will see the results. The results speak for themselves. When people feel so good like when you feel so good eating this way, you just notice you don’t want to go back to feeling like crap and so the old way of being doesn’t serve you anymore and you're like you know what, I can still go hang out with my friends, I just don’t have to eat the food. That's okay. You still get to have all the fun and you get to have all the health. So, I’m very excited.

Thank you so much, Robby, for coming on the show again and sharing all this information. It has been so fantastic that you’ve been doing this and you’ve been eating this way for, what, 16 years now.

[01:49:37] Robby Barbaro: 16 years now, yeah.

[01:49:39] Ashley James: So awesome. Also, the links to your podcast will be in the show notes and all the links to everything that you do will be in the show notes of today’s podcast at Is there anything you want to say to wrap up today’s interview?

[01:49:50] Robby Barbaro: I just want to say thank you for everything you do and your consistent contribution to this movement of healthy eating and having people get well and address the root cause of chronic disease and you're so passionate about not giving profits and revenue to these pharmaceutical companies that aren’t acting in our best interest. Thank you for everything you do. It’s amazing, keep doing it, and I appreciate you having me on.

[01:50:13] Ashley James: Thank you. I appreciate you too. This is awesome. You’ve saved thousands and thousands of lives and we’re just going to keep turning this ripple into a tidal wave. I’ll see you at the summit,

[01:50:24] Robby Barbaro: See you there.


Get Connected With Robby Barbaro:


Official Website


Instagram – Mastering Diabetes

Instagram – Mindful Diabetic



Recommended Reading by Robby Barbaro

The Forks Over Knives Plan by Alona Pulde M.D.

Oct 10, 2022

Dr. Biamonte's website: 
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The Minerals Ashley takes and recommends:


488: Kill Candida Holistically and Restore True Gut Health, Dr. Michael Biamonte

Looking for a way to eradicate candida for good? Join me on this episode as I again interview Dr. Michael Biamonte, who has a unique and effective protocol to heal the gut, eliminate toxins in your body, and get rid of candida that is causing immune dysfunction.



  • MARCoNS and biofilm
  • What die-off is
  • Effects of candida on bowel movements
  • Dr. Biamonte’s diet recommendation to heal the gut
  • The different phases of Dr. Biamonte’s program
  • Candida and allergies
  • Candida strains
  • Female yeast infections


Hello, true health seekers, and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I am really, really excited for you to hear today’s interview with Dr. Michael Biamonte. It is mind-blowing. This is going to be one of those interviews, you know, once in a while. I definitely have done several interviews that are life-changing, and this is one of them. You know sometimes I’ve got some feel-good health interviews and mental health, emotional health, that kind of stuff, spiritual health. This is the one where rubber hits the road and I know that we’re onto something with his protocol.

I’m really excited to dive in and excited for you guys to hear how you can finally get rid of that elusive candida which it sounds like is a major contributor to many illnesses that people continue to suffer from and it’s just like playing darts in the dark. You keep trying different things, taking different supplements, changing diets, eliminating … I know some people who they can hardly eat anything. They’ve eliminated so many foods and yet, they’re always so sick. And candida is the root cause. It’s just amazing how so many people are walking around suffering from candida infection and here we have today the information that is going to change their life. So, I’m very excited for you to hear today’s interview.

I want you to plug in with the Learn True Health podcast to make sure that you don’t miss out on anymore life-changing interviews. Please, of course, subscribe to wherever you listen like Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Podbean, even the podcast app on your phone whether it’s Android or iPhone.

You can also come to I spent all summer long revamping the website and so it looks fantastic. It’s much more mobile-friendly. Please come to the website and pour through great information there. I also transcribe every interview to make sure that you can get the information you need, so that all the content is searchable on the website. You can use the “search” function if you're looking for, let’s say, you're like, “I want to learn more about detox or heavy metals.” You can type in “mercury” or “heavy metals” or “detox” in the search function of every episode where we talk about that and teach about it is going to show up for you. Also, I know that there are some people who like to take notes or like to read instead of listen to the show, and that's why the transcripts are there for you. And they're all at

Now, many of you are not on Facebook, but I encourage you to come join just to get into the Facebook group. For those who are on Facebook and are not in the group already, I invite you to come check it out and be part of our community because you are really missing out if you're not part of the Learn True Health Facebook group. We’ve got over 5,000 listeners in there, and together, we answer each other’s questions, we learn from each other, and we share our successes with each other. It’s a very supportive environment. I have learned so much and I’ve also shared. I answer all the questions I can and I help to bring all my expertise and all my knowledge from all the guests that I’ve interviewed and all the naturopathic physicians that have mentored me for the last 11+ years. I bring all that to the table. I help as much as I can. But, you know, we also have experts in that Facebook group. We have some of our past guests in the Facebook group. They’ll show up and answer questions as well. And we have naturopathic physicians. I’m so pleased that we have such a wonderful community of health nuts just like myself there to show up and to help each other. 

And so, whether you're brand-new to the holistic space and you're looking finally to get your health back or whether you're an avid long-time listener or long-time advocate for holistic health, you're going to love the Learn True Health Facebook group. It’s free. Come join it and just experience that either you could be someone who helps or you could be someone that receives the help, or both. And that’s why I think it’s such an enriching environment. So, please subscribe. I have a bunch of really great interviews coming out this month and I’m really excited for you to hear them. And I want to make sure that you continue to get access to my interviews. Make sure you come to, my website. Check it out, use the search function, take advantage of all the features that I’ve added to it. And come join the Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. You can find it by going to

Now, this episode I know is going to make a huge difference in people’s lives. So, please share it with any of your friends that have eczema, that have chronic health issues that don’t seem to resolve, that have chronic gut issues that don’t seem to resolve. This is definitely the interview that’s going to help them.

I’m really excited though for the next few interviews I have planned out that I’m going to be releasing soon, so definitely stay tuned because this one’s amazing and the next few are equally as amazing. I’m so excited. I hope you guys are having a wonderful, wonderful month. And thank you so much. Thank you so much for sharing, thank you so much for listening, thank you so much for coming into the Facebook group and sharing your testimonials of how the Learn True Health podcast has made a difference in your life. There is recently a testimonial that left me absolutely in tears, in a good way. And actually, I think what I’m going to do, because it is such a good testimonial, I think I’m going to read it out loud soon in an episode because I feel that it is worth everyone hearing it. And just spoiler alert: some of the information that she got from my show helped her save her mom’s life. So, how cool is that?

When I set out to do this podcast, it was to help people no longer suffer like I had suffered, and it was to help people. If we could save someone’s mom or save someone’s dad from dying of cancer or heart disease, if we could prevent illness, if we could stop suffering and prevent illness in other people’s lives, then mission accomplished. And I love getting your testimonials because that’s the fuel. That's the fuel that keeps me doing this because I want to help as many people as possible to learn true health. I want to stop the suffering of as many people as possible and help as many people as possible to save their loved ones. 

So, together, by sharing this, you are helping to do that. You're onboard with my mission to help as many people as possible. So, thank you for spreading this information by sharing my podcast with those you care about. Because we are really making a difference. When we get testimonials like that, that is why I do it and that is why. And so, I know that’s why you share it as well. Because if you can share it with a friend and they're able to resolve their chronic illness from the information you shared, that is better than any Christmas gift or any birthday gift or any gift you could ever receive, that is the best gift. To give someone the gift of knowledge that they apply that then allows them to no longer suffer, I mean, touching someone’s life in that way feels so good. So, thank you for helping me to spread this information. And you are part of that. You are part of helping people to get out and end suffering, get out of suffering and start feeling amazing, and living lives that are full. So, thank you.

Awesome. Enjoy today’s episode. I know you're going to love it because with Dr. Biamonte’s protocol, we’re going to help a lot of people. I’m very excited about that.

[00:07:55] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 488.

I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show for part 2 of the candida chronicles. We’re just diving deep into the gut today and we have listener questions because we just published recently our first part of our interview. And now, we’re going deep and I’m so excited to have you back on the show, Dr. Michael Biamonte. We have fantastic questions from the listeners, but first, I want to pick up where we left off. We were talking about your candida protocol. And for listeners who haven’t heard our first episode, we definitely want to go back to episode 486, so that they can hear the first part where we talked about how Dr. Biamonte came about understanding candida on such a deep, deep level and how to finally resolve it because it is a very elusive beast. And I’m so happy that we’re finally digging into the meat today.

So, let’s just pick up where we left off. You were talking about the treatments that work and that you see really work, and that before you even start treatments, you sort of have a pre-treatment protocol. Can we get into that?

[00:09:22] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Sure. We start typically with phase 0. The program runs phase 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. One of the major discoveries that I made in handling candida was that you needed to do certain things in a certain order and if you violated the order, it wasn’t going to work.

So, the first phase that we have, Phase 0, is like a preparatory phase, in a sense, where it is like a colon cleanse for someone with parasites and candida or let’s just say dysbiosis. What that phase essentially does is it removes any of the major organisms that are hanging out there that if we try to kill them with the latter phases would just create so much die-off that it would make it intolerable for the person.

So, phase 0 works mechanically. The products that we use in phase 0 destroy candida enzymatically by digesting it using diatomaceous earth which slashes into it. And by using herbal and fiber products, which sort of scrub this and get it to release off the lining of your intestine which is a very tricky thing with parasites and candida because they make certain proteins that lock themselves onto the lining of your intestine.

Then there’s the biofilm that's there too. So, phase 0 neutralizes all those things so that the organisms that are easily accessible are being able to mechanically be drawn out which is another thing that two of the phase 0 products, in particular, mechanically draw out candida and harmful organisms that are kind of living in the creases of your intestinal tract.

[00:11:17] Ashley James: We talked about biofilm a little bit in the part 1 of this interview. So, biofilm, because I keep seeing it in those colon cleansing parasite groups where people take a picture of this long weird thing that's not quite a worm but really, it looks like they shed something that molded. It was like a perfect mold of their intestines.

[00:11:42] Dr. Michael Biamonte: No, that's not biofilm. That's considered to be hardened feces and hardened mucus, which has stagnated in the intestinal tract. And you don’t find that in everybody. Dr. Jensen’s book on bowel management, I think it was Colon Cleansing Through Bowel Management, or Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management, that book had many, many pictures of people who had been very constipated, who excreted this black rubbery material that was literally like a mold of the intestinal tract, that's not typical. That's in more extreme cases. The average person doesn’t have that. The average person will have biofilm.

Biofilm is produced typically by MARCoN bacteria. MARCoNS or bacteria which are unfortunately drug-resistive and they become antibiotic resistive, and these MARCoNS, they're in the family of MRSA. These types of bacteria, these MARCoNS produce this mucus-like substance that they hide in. Unfortunately, the way bad organisms work is they cluster together. So if you have candida, you can be guaranteed that in the area of your intestinal tract where the candida is living, MARCoNS are going to find their way. They're going to become attracted to that candida as will protozoa and other harmful pathogens that will get sort of stuck together. Then, the MARCoNS produce the biofilm which is like a slime that they get covered in.

This was before until we learned about MARCoNS and biofilm, it made it harder to get rid of these microorganisms. But the advent of technology on biofilm has made it much easier because we know that the average person who is doing any kind of like a cleansing program to try to get rid of candida or parasites, if they have a lot of biofilm, you have to cut through that biofilm for those products to be able to reach those organisms. We now know that's essential. 

But it is typical that people who have biofilm – you touched on this before a little – people who have biofilm typically will excrete mucus. That's one of the ways we know that they have biofilm and the product to get rid of the biofilm is working. They’ll call and they’ll say, “You know, I pooped before and it was really slimy.”

[00:14:13] Ashley James: And that's an indicator.

[00:14:14] Dr. Michael Biamonte: That's an indicator. So, that’s for phase 0 of our program.

[00:14:17] Ashley James: I’m hearing how important phase 0 is because I know so many people who will jump into a “cleanse.” They’ll go to the health food store, they’ll buy something with a bunch of herbs in it and then they’ll just start taking it. And they’ll end up feeling horrible because there's a big die-off, but they're not addressing the hood/the neighborhood inside the gut where the candida has set up shop, basically, within this biofilm. And as long as we’re keeping the biofilm in there, then they hide inside us and can avoid these protozoa, these bad bacteria, the candida. They’ll hide together in their little bunker that they’ve created inside our gut.

[00:15:06] Dr. Michael Biamonte: It’s a pretty accurate picture. Phase 0 was originally developed when I was doing some work with Hulda Clark who wrote a lot of popular books. She made me aware of just how common parasites were in a lot of my patients. So, the original phase 0 was a parasite cleanse. Then, we discovered that the phase 0 was also busting our biofilm and doing all these other things that we discovered that the people who did phase 0 before they went on to the other phase is that we had less die-offs, and then we decided to extend phase 0. We gave the person phase 0 for the first month and then after that, the person continued phase 0 along with phase 1 and phase 2, which are the two major killing or elimination phases. The die-off was less in those people than if they did not take the phase 0. But still all relative because if you have somebody with bad leaky gut, people with leaky gut get very bad die-off as well because the nature of the leaky gut allows all those dead toxins from the organisms you're killing just to spill into the bloodstream and overload it and cause mast cell activation. But it still is less. Phase 0 still does cut back the die-off the person is bound to have. That's kind of the bottom line and that's why phase 0 is useful because it does lower the die-off and it does continually act like an ongoing colon cleanse, so that as the person is taking phase 1 and phase 2, the phase 0 allows them to get deeper and deeper and deeper, and make it work better. It’s just very synergistic.

[00:16:47] Ashley James: I love it. Can you just back up for those that don’t know die-off? When we say die-off, what we’re referring to? Could you please explain the mechanism in the body of die-off?

[00:16:57] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Sure. Die-off is technically referred to as Herxheimer reaction because it was Dr. Herxheimer who identified die-off. He had found that when he treated people for Lyme disease and parasites and things like that, they had a bad reaction, like a toxic or an allergic reaction that was generated by the dead organisms. So, if you give somebody some kind of antimicrobial, it goes into their system, it kills the candida, it kills the bacteria, it kills the yeast, whatever. Now you have this dead organism there, dead debris. The dead debris starts to denature. There’s a lysis that occurs which means the cells break down and they split, and it’s decomposing essentially. So, you have decomposing dead microorganisms in your gut that release all kinds of toxins and antigens and harmful toxic proteins and whatnot. They can even release viruses. Candida and certain parasites harbor viruses. They themselves are the carrier of a virus. So, this is why you’ll get some people with herpes, when they do a candida cleanse or a parasite cleanse, their herpes will get worse temporarily, and that's because killing those organisms, you're killing the host. And that's releasing the virus from that host, which is the microorganism.

So, that's what die-off is basically. Die-off is basically an allergic reaction that one has to the dead organisms they're killing on their cleansing program.

[00:18:28] Ashley James: Right. The mycotoxins and just all of it. Dr. Jay Davidson was on our show and he talked about how parasites can almost be like sponges for heavy metals and that when they die off, they end up releasing heavy metals right back into the body.

[00:18:45] Dr. Michael Biamonte: The same thing is true of candida, and that’s a very dangerous concept because it’s caused some people and some practitioners who are very intelligent to be misled into thinking that candida or parasites actually are a protective mechanism of the body to entrap these heavy metals, which is totally false. It’s completely false. The major reason why I can say it’s false that we can easily look at, is the fact that heavy metals, especially mercury, suppress fecal IgE and IgA. The mercury depresses your intestinal immune system. It suppresses your intestinal immune system. That's what allows candida and parasites to even flourish more, is that due to the presence of mercury, your own intestinal immune system is suppressed.

[00:19:35] Ashley James: I mean, this is such a strong point to make that the parasites are mopping up mercury, for example, and then they die off, they're releasing the mercury which is suppressing the immune system which is allowing things like candida to overtake it. Does candida itself also mop up or hold on to these heavy metals? What does candida release when it dies?

[00:19:59] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Candida can release and can accumulate all heavy metals. This is, again, why you’ve got to eliminate candida in a specific order and you have to know that it does this because when you put somebody on a program to kill candida, if you don’t have them on things that are also binders, which my phase 0 program covers, that are going to absorb the mercury or the heavy metals, then you're just throwing those metals back into their system.

[00:20:25] Ashley James: I want to talk more about the products that you figured out work, we’re definitely going to talk about. I’d like to also address food. Because you’ve talked about constipation and I wonder, do people with constipation have greater chances of candida, or do people with diarrhea, do people on either side of the spectrum, when it comes to bowel movements have candida issues? Or does candida end up causing constipation or diarrhea?

[00:20:52] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Actually, both are true. If you're fine and not having any issue and you suddenly get candida, it will constipate you. It can cause diarrhea, but mostly it will constipate you. But on the other hand, if you're prone to constipation for whatever reason or you suddenly get it, the constipation will cause you to develop candida because constipation causes your bowels to become more alkaline. And candida lives in an alkaline environment in your intestinal tract.

[00:21:21] Ashley James: And this is really interesting. That was actually one of the questions our listeners brought up in our Learn True Health Facebook group. The idea that if flourishes in an alkaline environment. Because you know, everyone is running around drinking alkaline water and saying we should alkalize our body. But there's areas of the body where we want it to be acidic for a reason as part of our defense mechanism.

[00:21:42] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Right. We have to separate this out. This is where a little knowledge becomes dangerous. The pH of the intestinal tract, a normal good pH for your intestines is somewhere between 6 and 7.2. When you go higher than 7.2, the acidophilus there dies. The probiotics die and then candida takes over. When you go below 6, you have other parts of your normal flora which die and then it’s very easy to have organisms that would cause diarrhea to take over. So, an alkaline colon tends to be constipated. An acid colon tends to be diarrhea. In the middle is where we want to be because that's where the pH is correct for all your normal flora to live.

And there is also a large majority of the normal flora, is E. coli. Now when I say E. coli right away, they're thinking of hamburger that’s putrefying and it’s going to be poisonous. But the large majority of your normal gram-negative bacteria in your intestinal tract is sort of a friendly E. coli which is non-pathogenic. You can even buy it in supplements in Europe, in Germany and other countries there. You can buy E. coli supplements just like you were buying acidophilus. They don’t allow that here in this country because they would be very concerned about whether or not the E. coli you're getting is the right strain or is it a pathogenic strain, so the FDA just doesn’t allow it.

[00:23:11] Ashley James: But we need the healthy E. coli?

[00:23:12] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yes, we do. The majority of your bacteria in your intestinal tract actually is the healthy E. coli. It’s not even the healthy gram-positive acidophilus and bifidus. The healthy E. coli outnumbers those.

[00:23:30] Ashley James: When we’re doing phase 0 and someone let’s say is either they have diarrhea or they have constipation and they're doing the protocol to bind and to get rid of the biofilm and all that, what foods are the best foods to support this program?

[00:23:46] Dr. Michael Biamonte: You know what, it’s funny, when it comes to candida, there is no food that helps you get rid of candida. There are only foods that make it worse. 

[00:23:56] Ashley James: So just don’t feed it.

[00:23:57] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Right. That's really the simplest answer. There is no food that really gets rid of candida. When we really cut down to the nitty-gritty of it, there isn’t really any food or any diet that's going to get rid of candida. Even if you go on a really low-carb diet that's high in vegetables and high in al these beneficial foods, you’re still not going to get rid of the candida because the candida has grown roots into your tiny capillaries in your intestinal tract to siphon off glucose to keep itself alive.

[00:24:26] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.

[00:24:27] Dr. Michael Biamonte: So, you're not going to get rid of it. But an ideal diet for candida would include organic non-GMO grass-fed meat and animal products. It would include a high amount of vegetables. It would be low in carb and low in sugar. It would be also very low in grain and gluten-free. That would be the essential makeup of the diet that would be helpful to somebody with dysbiosis. And on an individual level, it’s important that they avoid foods they know they’re allergic to that they say they have reactions to or maybe show up on an allergy test that they're reacting to. That would be important too.

[00:25:10] Ashley James: I’m going to ask the question just a little bit differently, but you did answer it. So, I’m asking the question again but slightly different. Certain diets claim to heal the gut like the GAPS diet, for example, that has a lot of bone broth. Do you see benefit? When it comes to treating candida and healing the gut, have you seen a benefit to specific diets that aim to heal the gut?

[00:25:37] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Some. Again, it’s kind of more important what you don’t do than what you do. When it comes to healing the gut, raw food, believe it or not, raw salads, raw vegetables are actually harmful. They further irritate a leaky gut. And fermented food also irritates the leaky gut. So, on the leaky gut diets that I give my patients, the first thing we’re concerned about is they're not eating fermented foods. They're not eating a lot of raw foods. And of course, because almost everyone with leaky gut has candida, you also want to make sure the diet is low in carb and low in sugar.

[00:26:13] Ashley James: But the carbohydrates from vegetables is okay, but you're saying maybe like remove fruit?

[00:26:18] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yeah, because fruit is more of a refined sugar. Fructose and fruit juice and things like this, get absorbed into your blood stream and in your body too quickly because you’re separating the fiber from the sugar. Like as an example, when you make a juice. That's a great example. But when you eat fruit, your body eventually separates out the sugars from the fibers and the fructose is pretty volatile. It does aggravate candida regardless of what some people out there say.

We had a patient who went whacko once with this concept that fruit would not be a good sugar to eat or fruit would be bad for candida. But anyway, so the fruit is bad for candida because it is sugar. Lactose is bad for candida. Maltose is bad for candida. Sucrose is bad. Just about anything that's sweet. Twenty years ago, we found that a lot of the alcohol sugars like mannitol and xylitol, these sugars were not really affecting candida patients. And it just happened to be we’ve noticed in the last few years that people who eat these sugars are now reacting where their candida is. And I’ve been scrounging, trying to find data, trying to find evidence from somewhere in some university where someone is able to prove that candida has genetically, let’s say, morph to where it can now feed off alcohol sugars, but I haven’t been able to find anything. I can only say that I hear more complaints from patients when they try to eat these called low-impact carbs. People are reacting to them now where they didn’t 10-15 years ago. But I think a general rule with anything that you taste that’s sweet is going to be bad for a candida program.

[00:28:11] Ashley James: Yeah. We’re using food as medicine, so these foods, like fruit is healthy for people who don’t have candida, right?

[00:28:17] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yes, it does.

[00:28:18] Ashley James: Get rid of the candida, you can start eating fruit again as long as you don’t redevelop candida. So, it’s not that fruit is bad; it’s that we’re really looking to use food as medicine.

[00:28:29] Dr. Michael Biamonte: This is therapeutic. This is a therapeutic use of foods specifically for an individual case. And so, someone who’s an apple farmer shouldn’t be offended by what I’m saying. This just happens to be the science and this is only, as you're saying, it’s only temporary. It doesn’t mean you can never again eat the fruit, but you have to get your flora back so that you don’t end up feeding these bad sugar-dependent organisms that are out to give you trouble.

[00:28:55] Ashley James: I wonder about the anti-candida diet. We’re starving the candida but at the same time, are we also starving all the good stuff that’s also keeping it at bay. There's that fine balance. 

[00:29:07] Dr. Michael Biamonte: To a degree because sugars do feed friendly bacteria. There are certain sugars that are found in certain foods and just right off the top of my head, artichokes and bananas are very high in sugars, which very often feed friendly bacteria without overfeeding bad organisms, although fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which is a popular product can feed harmful bacteria. So, when you use it, you have to be careful because if you have a bacteria like klebsiella, let’s say, in your system, which is a bacteria that causes a lot of autoimmune illness, if you take FOS, you're going to feed the klebsiella and make it grow. So, you need to be careful with this.

But to a degree, you're correct, there are certain sugars and things which do help feed the friendly guys. It’s kind of a war of attrition, this whole subject matter we’re talking about. We need to put a diet together that's going to starve the candida long enough for the supplements and the other, let’s say, products that we take to kill it. And then, once we get the candida low enough, then we need to reestablish the probiotics by giving the intestinal tract the prebiotics which are the different foods that help feed the probiotics so they could grow back.

[00:30:28] Ashley James: This is a very complicated garden that we are balancing within us. I love that you have these phases because we really need to take that seriously, the idea of phase 0 and phase 1. So, we’ve discussed phase 0 and I want to talk about the other phases. I want to talk about the products that you recommend that you’ve created or have seen really work. So, phase 0 being incredibly important, they do it for a month. Are there times when someone would do it for longer than a month or if they have certain symptoms, they do it for longer or a month would suffice?

[00:31:03] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Well, phase 0 is continued with phase 1 and phase 2. That’s my first answer.

[00:31:09] Ashley James: Okay, good. So after a month, they add phase 1. So, what does phase 1 look like?

[00:31:13] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Phase 1 is typically 4 to 5 naturopathic or herbal antifungals that I choose based on the testing I do on the person, and they rotate these every 4 days. Most typically, it would be 4 items they take 4 days each, that would mean it would be 16 days for them to go through the cycle once. Normally, we have them go through the cycle twice before we speak to them or retest them to see how much they’ve killed off with phase 1.

The herbals that we chose on phase 1 work systemically. They absorb into your blood in your lymphatic system and kill candida there as well as killing it in the intestinal tract. That phase typically will last 2-3 months. And we know when they're finished because the urine test that we do on them has a certain reaction when they're finished with that phase, and that tells us they're ready to go to phase 2, which is probably the most important of the phases in a way. Because on phase 2, we use fatty acid-based antifungals, which are able to absorb into the intestinal lining and kill the candida at its roots. That is the very candida we’re killing on phase 2, which prevents the probiotics from coming back. And right here, there’s a little microcosm of why all the people out there who are self-treating are constantly failing. They don’t know categorically which antifungals would fit into a phase 0 or phase 1 or phase 2. So, they just have everything thrown together. In Yiddish, the word is ungapatchka. Everything thrown together.

So, they don’t know specifically to select the antifungals for phase 2 that are going to be able to kill that candida that’s blocking their prebiotics from coming back. But you see, even if they knew the products and tried them, it still wouldn’t work because they hadn’t done phase 0 and phase 1 yet.

[00:33:03] Ashley James: Right. How long through trial and error? And this is why they call it practicing medicine. How long did this take you to dial in?

[00:33:15] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Let’s see. I started researching this in 1986-1987. We had a basic framework in about 1992 or 1993. A lot of the research took off when I met Scott Gregory who was the author of a book called the holistic protocol for the immune system. He helped a lot. We shared ideas to put together this because he had a basic structure. He had the concept of phase 1. Phase 1 would be killing the organisms. Phase 2 would be detoxing the body and phase 3 would be putting nutrients that are essential back in in phase 4 would be boosting the immune system. That was the skeleton he had. You can still buy the book. The book is out there. It’s called Holistic Protocol for the Immune System by Dr. Scott Gregory. So, he gave me a basic map and from that, I was able to fill in all the empty spaces and also include the correct testing that would go at each phase because he didn’t have anything on testing. And the testing is very important because you don’t know when to stop the phase. You don’t know when the phase has reached its end phenomena if you don’t have some kind of test to say, “Well, is this now complete? Is the action we’re carrying on complete?” You have to have that; otherwise, it’s not scientific.

[00:34:38] Ashley James: Absolutely. Yeah, we want to be pragmatic about it. I love this idea, the phase 2, the fatty acid-based antifungals, so that then we’re preparing the way for those good bacteria to come in and proliferate and like soldiers not allow for the candida, to not giving the space for the candida to come back. So, how do you know when phase 2 is done?

[00:35:07] Dr. Michael Biamonte: When phase 2 is over, the person no longer has die-off from these antifungals. And on the urine test that we do, the candida levels have reached a certain point. They’ve dropped down to a certain point that we know we can now give the probiotics, and the probiotics will work.

[00:35:27] Ashley James: Is that phase 3? No, you said phase 3 was the …

[00:35:30] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Well, phase 2, we split. We split into three sections. There’s the first part of phase 2 that everybody would do that has these anti-fungals we’re talking about. Then, there’s potentially the leaky gut section where the person would then heal leaky gut. And then, the probiotic section would be last. This is because people who have leaky gut tend to have bad reactions to probiotics. So, we never give prebiotics to people who have leaky gut. They have to handle their leaky gut first and then we give them the probiotics. Then, when they go on the probiotics, normally they will have bloating and gas for about 3 to 4 weeks and then the bloating and gas goes away. That's actually a sign that the probiotics are replicating and they're killing off or fermenting any remaining harmful organisms.

Also, the urine test that we do on them has a very, very particular reaction that it does when those probiotics have come back. Now, if we reach 2 or 3 months, let’s say, on the probiotics, and the person is still having bloating and gas and the urine test hasn’t reacted in that way that we’re looking, we know we need to go back to phase 2 part A, back to those fatty acid-based antifungals and do more killing.

[00:36:43] Ashley James: Now, what about small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or fungal overgrowth? Is that a concern through this?

[00:36:51] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Well, everyone with candida has it. It’s become in the last few months I think like a little bit of a kitschy that they’re talking, but it’s nothing new to me. It’s existed as long as I’ve been researching candida and there's nothing special we do about it. We just follow our typical protocol and that goes away. I think there’s somebody in a lab some place noticed that the small intestine may get candida overgrowth as well as the colon and he decided to try to turn this into some kind of a new thing It’s actually nothing new and I really don’t have very much to say about it other than what else is new. 

[00:37:33] Ashley James: How do you know that your patient has leaky gut? What tests prove that?

[00:37:37] Dr. Michael Biamonte: We do a test that’s done by a lab called Medisol. It’s a breath test. For years, I’ve been searching for tests for leaky gut. The original one we did, which everyone did, was called the lactulose mannitol recovery test where you have the patient drink a small bottle of lactulose and mannitol and then you collect their urine and you see how much they absorb and how much they peed out, and that will tell you if they had leaky gut.

Nowadays, we have the Zonulin test which is very good, which tells us about the integrity of the brush border cells. That's a very good test. They’re including it now in certain stool tests. Of course you can have it done as a blood test. But I have found that sometimes it’s a little bit iffy. The best results I’ve had had been with this breath test. The lab can actually tell us if the person has leaky gut based on the gases that are in the person’s breath. I have found that to be from trial and error with using all these tests, that so far has been the one that's the most reliable. 

[00:38:43] Ashley James: So fascinating.

[00:38:44] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Keep something in mind here. This is a very important point. When we do these tests, we follow up with them. This is where, unfortunately, a lot of practitioners and a lot of patients become very sloppy. We do a test on someone, we find they have leaky gut, they go on the program for leaky gut. When we feel that they’ve improved significantly enough, we retest them so that we have actual proof the leaky gut is gone. And if you don’t do that, your whole program is going to be very sloppy and you’re not going to be really assured of what direction and what’s happening because you don’t really know. You're guessing. You're guessing your leaky gut is gone because this main symptom I had of the pimple on my nose hurting, every time I ate this food went away. Well, that's not scientific. Because you can have other reasons why that's happening. We’ve had people who’ve done the leaky gut test. They were positive. They went on the leaky gut program. They got better to some degree. We repeated the test, the leaky gut was gone and they said it can’t be “because I still have this symptom.” Well, we end up finding that that symptom is caused by something else and not leaky gut.

You got to get away from opinionated, subjective concepts and you have to think more objectively if you're really going to get a result.

[00:40:00] Ashley James: It’s good to know your body and listen to your symptoms, but it’s not good to just decide that those symptoms are caused by this without doing any follow up test and proving it. I love your program because you're checking in with the body and what’s happening in the gut throughout the program so that you can make the most informed decision as to what’s best next.

My mom was on the anti-candida diet for half her life. I bet people get stuck, right? They go to a practitioner, they do a test, they say they have leaky gut, and then they end up eating for years and years and years like the leaky gut program without completing it, without getting to the final phase and getting true health like getting to the other side. They just get stuck in a cycle of just having to eat a certain way or take a bunch of herbs without completing it. So, I really love that you are so pragmatic about this. 

[00:40:59] Dr. Michael Biamonte: You’ve got to be objective and subjective. You have to know when to use both and when they fit in.

[00:41:04] Ashley James: At what point is phase 2 complete? What does phase 3 look like?

[00:41:10] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Well, phase 2 is complete when we have the flora restored. As I said, the evidence that the flora is restored is usually they’ll go through a period of a few weeks when they're on the correct flora program where they’ll have bloating and gas. The bloating and gas will go away with it. There's that particular reaction in the urine test that we’re looking for that occurs, we know they're cool.

Now, the next thing, the very first thing we do on phase 3 is we do a hair and mineral analysis, and we do a test called the organics test. The reason why we do these two tests is because the organics test will tell us if they’re being exposed to any kind of chemical toxicity. They’ll also tell us how well they detoxify. It also has a GI panel that looks for arabinol and some other organic acids which will further confirm the candida is gone. 

Then we look at the hair analysis for toxic metals. So, if we find any toxicity, if we find toxic metals, toxic chemicals, anything like this in the person, then we either can do some further testing to identify exactly what it is, or if we feel like we have the date and we know what it is, then we put them on a program to detoxify the metals or the chemicals or the molds or whatever it is we happen to find. 

 Once we do that which can last quite a few months, depending on what the person has, it could be 5 to 6 months easy to get rid of the metals. Once we have that done, then we repeat those tests to verify and confirm that the toxicity is gone. Now we look at their balance of nutrients in the body. We look at all their amino acids, we look at their hormones, we look at their vitamins, we look at their minerals, we look at their fatty acids, etc. We look at virtually every nutrient in the person’s body and look to see what we need to do now to rebalance that and get that into a normal level. When that's done, that's the end of phase 3 and then we can look at them from a phase 4 viewpoint. 

The phase 4 is dealing strictly with the immune system. If the person, and this again goes back to what I was saying about the order you do things in, if you're going to try to handle somebody’s immune system while they still have toxic metals, you're going to fail. If you're going to try to handle somebody’s immune system while they still have improper adrenal or thyroid function, you're going to fail. If you're going to try to handle their immune system while they're liver or their insulin levels are still off, you're going to fail. If you're going to try to handle the immune system while the person is deficient in testosterone or DHA or they have high cortisol, you're going to fail. So, all of those things have to be handled on phase 3 first before we touch their immune system.

[00:43:54] Ashley James: This thought came to mind. This would be an amazing program for those who are choosing to battle cancer in a holistic way. This would be perfect from the go-through because all these things you’ve mentioned cause the immune system to be totally drained and totally focused on these things instead of actually beating the cancer.

[00:44:19] Dr. Michael Biamonte: I would agree with you. You do have genetic factors when it comes to cancer. And even candida. There are genetics that make people more prone to candida. There are certain snips that actually make a person much more prone to candida than not. And of course, with cancer, we know that cancer and looking at the genes that are involved in cancer is an absolutely fascinating study and very, very warranted. What’s even more interesting is when you're studying genetics is when you look at the genes and you get a physiologist who is well-schooled in nutrition and herbology and things, and they're able to look at those genes and they’re able to actually tell you what nutrients or what herbs are good in trying to control that gene from manifesting and doing its damage. To me, that's the future of a lot of medicine is looking at somebody’s genes and then putting them on a program where they actually are taking nutrients that are going to try to control the aberration that the gene may cause.

[00:45:26] Ashley James: The epigenetic expressions being affected by levels of toxicity or lack of nutrients. What you're doing is perfect for that because you're looking at the body holistically but you're going about it in the correct order.

You mentioned how in phase 3 you're looking at the balance of nutrients and hormones and it occurs to me, does having a chronic candida infection affect? Or how does it affect our hormones?

[00:45:58] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Candida is very estrogenic. So if you have candida, you're going to become estrogen dominant. It may not show in your lab work, but it’s going to happen with your estrogen receptor sites. So, you're going to manifest being estrogen dominant. If a man has candida, he is going to have low testosterone. Generally, people who have candida have elevated cortisol.

[00:46:21] Ashley James: So their body is in a higher state of stress which is that fight or flight, so they're less likely to be in that rest and digest healing mode as well.

[00:46:28] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Right. Then the biggest one is thyroid. This is why if you do a search for me on the internet, you're going to find that I have websites that are dedicated to candida but I also have a website that’s called the New York City Thyroid Doctor. Because candida affects your thyroid and if the doctor doesn’t understand the relationship between candida and thyroid and if he doesn’t understand the relationship between toxins and toxic metals and thyroid, and if he doesn’t understand the relationship between trace minerals and thyroid, he’s not going to get the optimal result when he’s trying to correct someone’s thyroid function. Those are three areas we cover on that website that the average practitioner who deals with thyroid has no clue about.

I actually laugh about it when patients will tell me “I went to this thyroid specialist on Park Avenue and he’s one of the greatest in the world,” and blah, blah, blah, I’ll ask him “Well, what did he say about your zinc-copper ratio or your calcium-potassium ratio? Did he inquire as to whether or not you had any mercury affecting your thyroid? Or, did he talk about reverse T3 or T4?” He said, “No, the man didn’t say anything about any of that.” Most medical doctors are very good in understanding the thyroid from the viewpoint of hormone levels in the blood.

Now, for any people out there who took biology and biochemistry, you studied something called the Krebs cycle in school and you studied something else called the electron transport chain. When you're dealing with the thyroid hormone, the thyroid hormone enters the electron transport chain and the hormone undergoes certain changes. One of the major changes you get with thyroid hormone is that it’s converted from T4 to T3, and in order for that conversion to take place, you have to have a balance of other hormones which is a correct balance, and you also have to have certain trace minerals that enable that to occur. Those trace minerals become coenzymes in helping this transformation to occur. Then, when you hit the cell, the sensitivity of your cells to thyroid hormones depend on a ratio of zinc to copper and calcium to potassium.

For the medical doctors out there who are listening to me or thinking I don’t know what I’m talking about, go pick up Guyton’s physiology book. Guyton’s physiology is a book that's the bible of physiology. Pick up Guyton’s physiology and look up where Guyton talks about how calcium and potassium, in some way, he said not fully known at this time, act as either a receptor or a governor against thyroid function. In other words, Guyton was saying that potassium in your cells sensitize as your tissues to the effects of thyroid hormones, while calcium desensitizes. The reason why that exists is because if you went one extreme to the other, you’d either the thyroid hormone overrunning your body and making you hyperthyroid or you would be hypothyroid.

So, there is hypo- and hyperthyroid based on the hormone levels, but then there is also hypo and hyperthyroid based on the cell receptor levels. The only way you can understand that is that you can’t understand that by a blood test because a blood test isn’t telling you the level of the mineral in your cell. It’s telling you what the mineral level in your blood is and the blood is a means of transportation. The cell is a storage site. So, in order to understand how your thyroid hormone is working in your cells, you’ve got to look at a tissue. And the easiest one to look at is hair which is why we use hair analysis. You look at the ratios between calcium and potassium in your hair and zinc and copper, and then you have an understanding of how well your body is responding to thy thyroid hormone and how well you're actually utilizing it. Also, if you see your mercury or your arsenic is high, you know that those metals are downregulating your thyroid hormones.

[00:50:41] Ashley James: And the stuff in tap water as well.

[00:50:43] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yeah, exactly, of course. Exactly. So this is why we have this other website about thyroid is because thyroid and candida are very heavily related. There are some doctors out there who have told me that they don’t believe that Hashimoto’s occurs outside of a candida patient. They believe everyone with Hashimoto’s has candida and leaky gut. Now, I think that's a bit extreme because there are maybe some other conditions, environmental conditions which would also cause it. But they have a good point. It’s more prevalent in candida patients and patients with leaky gut. Hashimoto’s is. 

When you draw back to reveal a little bit, you find that a lot of what functional medical doctors and functional nutritionists like myself, what we’re really doing is a term that was used years ago which kind of died ago, but it’s called clinical ecology. This is what a lot of us are, actually, in reality, doing. It’s clinical ecology. We’re looking at the environment and how the environment and different infections and toxins in the environment affects this person and their health from a clinical standpoint.

[00:51:56] Ashley James: I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. So it sounds like your program could take about 2 years. Does that sound about right?

[00:52:04] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yes, that's very possible. Of course, people get upset hearing about that because they read advertisements on the internet, let’s say, for different products like Freelac and all these things which claim they get rid of your candida in a couple of weeks. You got to be careful because that's false advertising. They don’t have any proof that they're getting rid of. You take the product and you feel better. That's not proof your candida is gone. That's only proof you feel better. What happens when you stop taking the product? You feel bad again. Well, that's because you needed to continue to take it. That starts to get into the same fallacy and the same kind of racket that you have with psychiatric drugs.

Since I just said that, I will further say that most of the mass shootings, when you go and you analyze the people who have done all these mass shootings, most of them were on psychiatric drugs and now withdrawing from them. If you study the actual data, you find out that when people try to withdraw from psychiatric drugs, their symptoms go wild. Just as a side note.

[00:53:10] Ashley James: It is so painful to see how many people are suffering. And they go to their doctor, they say they’re depressed with anxiety and they're put on meds, and have a worst experience with the meds. My beautiful neighbor was murdered by a man. I mean, just terrifying. She was murdered by a man who had recently been put on drugs and once they put him in the jail with the psychiatric prison and they got him balanced, got him off the drugs or whatever, and he says “I have no idea why I did it.” They put him on these drugs and he started having obsessive thoughts about killing people and he claimed guilty. He’s spending the rest of his life in prison, but he absolutely did not understand why he did it. And he was put on a bunch of new-to-the-market drugs. I’m not saying that’s the cause all the time, but it’s just we see this, like you said, you look at people who do these violent acts and you see a lot of times they're also on drugs. There's got to be a better way.

[00:54:12] Dr. Michael Biamonte: This is something I’d be happy to come back to the show and we can talk about this exclusively because I’ve made it a hobby in the last 30 years to get people off psychiatric medications by handling the real problems that they have in their body, looking for the real physical problems. See, a psychiatrist, when they prescribe these drugs, they really don’t fully understand how the drug is going to work and how it’s going to work in combination. When they talk about a chemical imbalance in the brain, there's absolutely no proof that it exists. No one has ever proven with any tests that a chemical imbalance exists.

[00:54:48] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.

[00:54:49] Dr. Michael Biamonte: It’s never been proven. If you go out and look for it, you're never going to find it. There's no proof. It’s a word or a phrase that's been thrown around and it’s been marketed. Psychiatry and the whole field of psychiatric drugs is one of the most amazing marketing scams you’ve ever seen in your life. How it works is incredible. There's a video people can find, which is called Marketing Madness. You look for that video. It’s rather lengthy but it’s incredible in how it explains and give you all the actual proof about how this whole thing is just like one big racket. Because I can tell you they have no clue what they're doing. Psychiatrists are probably the most inept out of any group of professionals. They have the lowest SAT scores, they have the highest rate of suicide, they have the highest rate of committing felonies and other crimes. That's not my opinion. That came out of the LA Times in 1988 when they did a special on psychiatry.

But anyway, rather than wasting our time on them, let’s go back to the main point.

[00:55:56] Ashley James: Yes, I’d love to have you back. I know you are pressed for time and we only have a few more minutes. I wanted to make sure that we understand how we can get on your program. I also wanted to field a few of the questions from the listeners. So you talked about these different products, these binders and all these different products. Your program is really individualized. So, someone comes and works with you. You can perform telemedicine or do they have to come see you in person?

[00:56:24] Dr. Michael Biamonte: No, we don’t see anyone in person anymore. We do everything via the internet.

[00:56:31] Ashley James: So you can order the labs or tell them to get their doctor to order these labs; therefore, they could be covered. Some of these labs could be covered by their insurance. 

[00:56:39] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yes, some. But mostly, the lab tests are either self… I guess, you would call it a home test that I’ve developed. So it’s a self-test they do at home on their own urine. Or they can contact one of the labs online and have the kits sent to their house and they can collect a hair sample or urine sample, saliva sample, stool sample, or whatever is needed. The only time that we ever need a doctor is if they need a blood test for anything.

So, the testing, everything is basically done online and right with them at home. Very easy.

[00:57:17] Ashley James: Fantastic. I know you have a few websites. What is the best website for those who want to get on your program? 

[00:57:26] Dr. Michael Biamonte: I’d say it’s either or it would be The New York City Yeast Doctor. 

[00:57:32] Ashley James: Okay, dot com. And we’ll of course have all those links in the show notes of today’s podcast at So we’ve got a lot of questions from the listeners in the Facebook group.

[00:57:43] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Shoot.

[00:57:44] Ashley James: Okay. So, Desiree says, “I’m super excited to hear the protocol.” So, good, you already heard the protocol because we talked about it. “For kicking candida and heavy metal detox.” She has three questions. “Which would work first? Heavy metal or candida? Sounds like you handle candida and then heavy metal.”

[00:58:01] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yeah, you have to. Because if you handle heavy metals first, drawing those metals out, some of them you urinate out, some of them go out in your poop, and when they go out in your poop, they have to go through your intestinal tract, and the candida absorbs them. So you always have to handle candida first before heavy metals. There's a very famous doctor out in the Midwest who’s been preaching for years that you have to handle the mercury first, and I thank him for that because he has sent me so many patients inadvertently who couldn’t handle it. They come to me, they say, “Dr. Biamonte, everything he said made sense. But when I went on the piss treatment, I couldn’t handle it. My candida was going insane.” So that's how I learned not to do it that way. That's how I actually learned that was the wrong way to do it. I listened to what the patients were telling me and I sat back and I looked at it from the viewpoint of the textbooks in terms of how metals affect these organisms, and it made sense.

[00:58:59] Ashley James: I love it. I love that you figured so much of this out and we get to benefit from your years and years of expertise. Her next question: “What can we do for kids that have this? Can they also go through this program?” 

[00:59:09] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Oh yeah, the kids go through the same program. It’s just that it’s a little different for kids. Some of the products used are not as potent, but it’s the same concept. Kids have to go through the program using the same concepts. Not necessarily the same products and the same doses, but it’s the same concept.

[00:59:26] Ashley James: In the last part 1 of this interview series, we did discuss symptoms to look for to know whether you have candida or not, and of course, you could order Dr. Biamonte’s urine test to determine whether you do have a candida issue. Her third question is, “Does candida have a direct correlation to allergies?”

[00:59:43] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yes, it does. Absolutely. Patients with candida will notice that when their candida is worse, their allergies are worse, and they’ll especially, very interestingly, notice that when they have die-off, their allergies get worse. It’s all basically the same mechanism that's going on. It’s all the same mechanism. But the funny thing is, from birth, you’ll find that kids who are born with a lot of allergies, who are born with eczema, who are born with asthma, these are kids who are born with candida. Candida is the underlying reason why they have these problems.

[01:00:15] Ashley James: And by clearing it up, do allergies go away? The asthma from allergies go away?

[01:00:20] Dr. Michael Biamonte: They go away. Allergies go away. Because an allergy is from a hyperactive immune system. People think allergy, my immune system is weak. No, it’s not. It’s hyperactive, it’s hyper vigil. One of the reasons why it’s that way is because it’s dealing with candida all the time. So when you get the candida out of the computation, the immune system, it’s the balance between the thymus gland and the adrenal glands. Any good nutritionist or acupuncturist or chiropractor is going to know this. How you’re handling allergies ultimately is by balancing or rebalancing the adrenal and thymus. Most doctors don’t think the thymus does anything past the age of 2 or 3 years old. That's not true. The thymus makes a hormone called thymosin which is still active and is still doing things well into your years. So there is thymus involution that occurs. As you get older and your adrenals become more active, your thymus does shrink a bit, but the thymus is still there doing something. It’s not like your tonsils that you just remove or something like this.

[01:01:23] Ashley James: Sandy asks if you have experience with—and I hope I pronounce this right—C. krusei candida. 

[01:01:32] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yeah, there are many different strains of candida. What you need to know about them is some of them have evolved and become drug resistive because these strains have been exposed to repeated pharmaceuticals like nystatin and some other drugs. Ultimately, there is no difference between any of these strains as far as I’m concerned. Any strains of candida, whether it’s tropicalis, krusei, glabrata, whatever the strain is, we kill it all the same. There's only, I will say, of interest, there are some Japanese strains of candida which are very interesting because they’re able to produce huge amounts of alcohol in the person’s body to the point where the person could actually be legally intoxicated. But even that candida can be killed. But it is not worthy that those strains exist. They are interesting.

[01:02:25] Ashley James: I’ve seen a few episodes like House or those kind of MD TV shows where they have a patient that's chronically drugged and it turns out it’s in their gut. They love doing that as a plot because it’s amusing. But all these candidas will die in your program is what you're saying.

[01:02:43] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yes, I should probably be serving 20 lifetimes in jail for killing candida over and over again.

[01:02:52] Ashley James: Now, there are several listeners so I’ll just group it all together. There are several listeners who are so excited and they're saying they have irritated, patchy eczema lesions all on their body, and they wonder what is the connection between these and one of them said that they started appearing on their body after several courses of antibiotics, and they wonder if there's a correlation between eczema and candida. 

[01:03:18] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Eczema is caused by candida and leaky gut. I had eczema as a child. I didn’t really get rid of my eczema until I finally handled the candida I had, my own imbalance in my flora. Although when I did it on myself, I did it backwards because I hadn’t evolved this technology yet. I did it the hard way. But guaranteed, candida is the cause of eczema.

[01:03:45] Ashley James: Well, that is saying something because right here we’ve talked about 2 conditions that are autoimmune in nature. 

[01:03:53] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Have everyone go online, go on Google, do a search for candida and eczema and take a look at how many documents you end up pulling up.

[01:04:03] Ashley James: There's a listener who talks her tongue that is always coated and she wonders if it’s candida. Even though she scrapes it—she’s wondering is this candida—her tongue is always just covered in something.

[01:04:15] Dr. Michael Biamonte: There's a condition called thrush which typically happens in AIDS and latter stages of cancer where the candida starts to grow in your mouth. The American Indians used to call it furry tongue. Your mouth and your tongue become furry and white-looking. Your tongue is very painful. It’s very hard to swallow, it’s very painful. that's called thrush and that's having live candida growing in your mouth. That's a different condition than I believe what this lady is talking about. Simply having a coated tongue very often comes about due to your sinuses having a constant drip or having allergies. Or if you have candida, your tongue can be coated from the candida in your intestinal tract causing the mucus to form in your mouth. They’re two different things. But those are the two explanations for that. One is the extreme which is thrush and the other, we would just simply mark like let’s say it’s dysbiosis or it actually could be a sinus problem.

There's a great test you can get nowadays. It’s a sinus culture that identifies in your sinuses whether or not you have MARCoNS and biofilm there. I very often see that condition in these people with the tongue type of issue that they have MARCoNS. MARCoNS in their sinus with biofilm and even yeast. And that's what’s causing their tongue to get covered. It’s not the actual infection. It’s the fact that the immune system and the body is creating mucus there to try to protect itself from the irritation of these microbes.

[01:05:50] Ashley James: How would you go about helping the person get rid of those microbes in the sinus? Would these anti-parasitics and anti-fungals that they take on your program help remove that from the sinus. 

[01:06:02] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Yeah, they do but we also give them very specific localized treatments using different sinus products that are available now that kill all those bad bugs there.

[01:06:12] Ashley James: Love it. Then my final question is female yeast infections like vaginal yeast infections. How similar is that to a colon candida infection? Would going through this whole protocol also help a woman to balance her body to no longer have chronic vaginal yeast infections?

[01:06:33] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Per the Merck Manual, which is a book that should be in every physician’s library, you do not treat chronic vaginal yeast infections without concurrently treating the yeast infection in the colon. Women who only treat vaginal yeast never get better unless it’s just a flippant one-time yeast infection. Any woman who has chronic vaginal yeast infections has candida overgrowth in her colon and her intestine just like all the other candida patients. She’s never going to get rid of the vaginal yeast infection until she stops worrying about the vaginal area and starts treating her whole body, meaning her colon and her small intestine. It’s never going to happen.

[01:07:15] Ashley James: It was such a blast having you on the show today and having you back. I can’t wait to have you again to talk about getting people off of psychiatric medications. That is just going to be such a great rabbit hole to go down under. I am so excited for that one. I’m thrilled that we brought this information to the listeners because it sounds like a lot of people who suffer chronically for years and years have a candida infection in their gut and it’s this grouping of things. Like Lyme disease is not just one thing. They often find there’s all these co-infections and it’s a co-environment. It sounds like candida is the same thing. It becomes this ecosystem that supports this ongoing chronic infection and you help to break it apart and then support the body in creating that new ecosystem that is inhospitable to candida. I thank you so much for the work that you do and thank you for coming on the show and sharing with us. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?

[01:08:14] Dr. Michael Biamonte: Lyme disease. What happens in many patients with Lyme is they actually become cured by their doctors but they don’t believe it because they still have symptoms they associate with Lyme. Those symptoms are now candida. Interestingly enough, there are two conditions nowadays which are interesting to consider in this light, one is COVID. COVID causes candida. The COVID vaccine causes candida. And treatments for Lyme disease cause candida. So many of these things you're hearing about long COVID, very often long COVID is just simply somebody who’s now developed candida as a result of having COVID. The same thing with people with Lyme disease who are going around saying none of the tests really work, they're saying that because they had Lyme, they were treated for Lyme, they tested for Lyme, it showed the Lyme improved greatly or was gone but they still had symptoms that they think are from Lyme. Those symptoms are now from the antibiotics they took that caused candida because they took the antibiotics to get rid of Lyme. Very simple. 

[01:09:17] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. That's hundreds of thousands of people right there who are suffering, suffering and suffering. Thank you so much. I hope we help so many people today with the information that you're providing with us. Can’t wait to have you back on the show. This has been wonderful. Thank you.

[01:09:37] Dr. Michael Biamonte: You're more than welcome.

[01:09:38] Ashley James: Wasn’t that a fantastic interview with Dr. Biamonte? Aren’t you just on fire and want to share this with all your friends? I know I am definitely going to be sharing this. The second I finished this interview, I started texting some of my friends, telling my friends how excited I was for them to hear this because I know just how much this interview is going to make a difference in so many people’s lives. I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know about a resource that I have found invaluable, and that is When you go to that website, it’s very simple. You put in your information and Jennifer Saltzman who is the head health coach there, I’ve been working with her for over 10 years, we’ve become very good friends. Those supplements are designed by the naturopathic physician that helped me to heal and reverse, to no longer have polycystic ovarian syndrome, chronic adrenal fatigue, type 2 diabetes, and infertility. He helped me to resolve all those issues. And Jennifer Saltzman has been trained, as have I, in his protocols. But when you go to, you put in your information, and the two of you get to have a phone call together. She will help you based on there’s a set of questions we go through that determine what mineral deficiencies you have or what nutrient deficiencies you have. She’s also an expert in helping people to get especially those who are like have had to eliminate, have a lot of food sensitivities, who had to eliminate a lot of foods, who have symptoms like Lyme disease, digestive issues, bloating, or heartburn. Just frustrating, constant gnawing digestive issues. She’s been fantastic at helping people to strengthen the digestive system and to strengthen the immune system. She’s also fantastic at helping people with chronic pain. Those are her areas of expertise. She’s been trained by these naturopathic physicians that have created these protocols and also designed these supplements, and my favorite being, their mineral supplements are the most bioavailable mineral supplements I have ever found. They’ve made such a huge difference for me.

So if you're like, hey, you know, I’m thinking like I just need to add more trace minerals to my life, or you keep hearing about how important it is to have not only just magnesium but have all 60 minerals or 77 trace minerals and elements in your body, in your life, because our food is really void of minerals. They don’t remineralize the soil in large agriculture. So unless you yourself are growing your own food and you know you’ve remineralized your soil, then you’re not getting all the minerals you need. So, go ahead and just go to, put in your information, she’s amazing at working with people, really just very understanding. And she quickly goes through a list of the symptoms you have and then she helps you to determine what supplements you need that are within your budget. They’re dosed by body weight. So it’s a very specific protocol. Then you follow up with her. A lot of practitioners out there will just like drop off into nothing. She will follow up with you and help you along your path. So, I absolutely Jennifer Saltzman at and she’s helped so many of the listeners. In fact, if you go to the Learn True Health Facebook group, you will see a lot of testimonials there. You can use the search function in the Facebook group and you’ll see testimonials there of people who have shared how much she has made a difference in their healing process.

So, a lot of times we’re deficient in key nutrients. And we always think about vitamins. But really, minerals are the hardest thing to secure and I just love. They’re liquid trace minerals that are in such a way that the body can readily absorb them even people with chronic absorption issues because they're in such an ionic state that the body can readily uptake them. That was my experience when I started taking those minerals years ago. I immediately felt. I had this gnawing hunger all the time because my blood sugar was out of control and I was exhausted. In one day, the first day of taking the supplements, the trace minerals, I noticed that my gnawing hunger went away. Within five days of taking the supplements, my energy came back. I had really bad chronic fatigue and I had really out of control blood sugar. Within the first 5 days, feeling such a difference, it was amazing. In less than 3 months, my diabetes was completely gone. Of course, I did dietary changes as well. But the thing is, you can’t out supplement a bad diet, so you always have to make literally good positive changes to your diet. But at the same time, you can’t eat your way to enough minerals given conventionally grown food. It’s just not possible. So most people out there are nutrient deficient in certain key minerals. That’s why I love the I love their minerals and I love the work that Jen’s doing.

So, check them out. They also have a 30-day moneyback guarantee which I only ever recommend companies or products that I believe that make a difference for me, that have a difference for other listeners and that also will stand behind their products to make sure that they are legitimate and that they are their priorities and their ethics are there to support you in your health’s success. So, I’m proud of that as well. Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this show with those you care about. Come join the Facebook group and share your testimonials. I’d love to hear you and I’d love to see you there.


Get Connected with Dr. Michael Biamonte!








Book by Dr. Michael Biamonte


The Candida Chronicles

Oct 6, 2022

Use coupon code LTH for the listener discount at 

Energy Bits = Spirulina (for energy and nutrition)
Recovery Bits = Chlorella (for sleep and detox)
Vitality Bits = Spirulina/Chlorella combo

Coupon code LTH at 


Protect Your Mitochondria and Longevity with Algae:

Algae Outperforms Collagen for a Better You and a Healthier Earth:

Gut Healing with Algae:

Surprise! Your Best Biohack is Algae!


Mitochondrial Self-Healing Superfoods: High Potency Chlorella & Spirulina

Imagine feeling stronger, more alert, and more energized than ever. How? By taking in spirulina and chlorella. These miracle health superfoods contain all the nutrients that will protect your mitochondria, the powerhouse of your cells, from damage. In this episode, Catharine Arnston explains how it works in your body and offers tips on how to use this vital food product.



  • Macroalgae and microalgae
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Chlorophyll
  • ENERGYbits
  • RECOVERYbits
  • BEAUTYbits
  • VITALITYbits
  • Superoxide dismutase


Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 487.

I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show Catharine Arnston who was in episodes 234265266, and 357—all about studying, actually, the most studied food in the world that is used as a medicine. It’s a very medicinal food, a superfood. And today, we’re going to talk about mitochondrial health and healing the mitochondria. I’m really, really excited to dive into this topic. But first, for those who haven’t gone back and listened to those four episodes, Catharine, I’m excited that you're going to give them a quick recap for those who haven’t heard that information because it’s really important information. Listeners can go to and use coupon code LTH (as in Learn True Health) at for Catharine’s amazing superfood algae.

I’ve tried a bunch of different algae on the market, and there are a lot of companies out there. There's only a handful that I know of that strive to make sure there’s no lead and heavy metals in their algae. But out of all the companies that are sort of the highest quality and do the most testing, the rigorous testing to make sure that they are the cleanest, ENERGYbits is by far my favorite flavor. I’ve tried those other ones that the naturopaths push, and they kind of taste and smell fishy to me and chalky. And I don’t like them. I don’t know what it is about your chlorella and spirulina, but to me, it’s the best tasting. Yeah, I enjoy the flavor. But the real litmus test was getting our son to eat it, and he’s been eating your stuff since he was a toddler. We call it green crackers in our household.

[00:02:03] Catharine Arnston: Yeah, right. I remember that. 

[00:02:05] Ashley James: And it makes your tongue turn green, and we stick our tongues out at each other. And he loves it as a little snack. But I have some great anecdotal stories for detox. I’m having a great experience for the last few years using it in conjunction with my sauna therapy for detox. And then, I have a friend who eats it regularly, and she says her hair started growing and thick—thick, wonderful hair instead of having the hair loss that she was experiencing or the thinning hair. She started growing back thick, thick, thick. And her hair is thick and beautiful and lustrous. She said her skin cleared up and was just healthier. She just notices not only does she feel good while every day eating your spirulina and chlorella, but she sees it. She looks it on the outside. So, that is true health, is when we’re so healthy on the inside, it comes out on the outside.

[00:02:54] Catharine Arnston: Exactly.

[00:02:55] Ashley James: So, I love your coupon code “LTH“.

So, let’s dive in. Give us the recap for those that haven’t listened to those previous episodes, and then we’re going to jump into mitochondrial health. So, welcome back to the show. It’s been a few years.

[00:03:08] Catharine Arnston: Thank you. Before I do that, I just want to share with your community that I’m so thrilled just to hear about our algae tablets. I do too. But 99.9 percent, so that's virtually everyone else, swallows them. Because the chlorella does I think taste better, but the spirulina is very much an acquired taste. It’s very earthy, and it’s very chewy because of the very high protein and essential fatty acids. So, virtually, everybody else swallows them. And when you swallow them, there is no green flavor. There is no repeat like you would have with fish oil. So it’s an easy, fast, and effortless way to get your nutrients and protect your health and your mitochondria, and we’ll dive into that. But I’m so thrilled that you and your son chew them because I do too. But I’m used to eating them because I’ve been eating them for 12 years, which is how long I’ve been running the company.

[00:04:06] Ashley James: I like chewing them. I like chewing them because I feel like I’m eating a snack.

[00:04:09] Catharine Arnston: Exactly.

[00:04:10] Ashley James: It’s a snack. And then I drink water with it because it’s dehydrated. So obviously, you need to rehydrate it. But I like the flavor. At first, you don’t know what to expect. Right? So, in the first few mouthfuls, you don’t know what to expect. But after a while, you're like, “Oh!” Your body starts to crave it, and you start to really enjoy it. I like to drink water with it. I’ve tried throwing like 30 little tablets in my smoothie. Swallowing it? I don’t know. There's something satisfying about chewing it.

[00:04:39] Catharine Arnston: I agree. But for those who don’t like the flavor, it seems to be most people, swallowing is the easiest thing. But I do want to get into what algae is and I want to segue from something that you just said, which is that it’s food. The first thing people need to understand is that algae is food. It is not a supplement. Our tablets are about the size of a baby aspirin, and they may look like a supplement or a vitamin or a pill, but they are not. We actually call them, or I call them “bits” because they are bits of nutrition.

And first of all, algae was the first life on earth almost 4 billion years ago and there is algae everywhere. Macroalgae is basically seaweed which is high in fiber and high in iodine because it’s come from the sea, with virtually no nutrition. But what we’re talking about is microalgae, which is microscopic in size. Something like a million microalgae cells could fit on the head of a pin. That's how tiny they are. And microalgae is everywhere. Macroalgae is only in the sea; hence, the word “seaweed”. Microalgae is in the lakes, the rivers, the streams, the soil, yes, the oceans, what feeds the whales. It’s probably in your swimming pool, your aquarium.

But the two that we’re going to talk about today, spirulina and chlorella, are not from the ocean. They are harvested as food crops in fresh water. This is really important because we’re constantly getting emails from people asking, “Well, is your algae tested for microplastics?” Well, there are no microplastics because that would be something from the ocean. Spirulina and chlorella, whether it’s ours or whether you buy it from Target or Whole Foods, it’s all grown in fresh water. It’s called hydroponic. We’re well known for our high quality, as you mentioned, and part of that comes from the fact that our water is triple-filtered spring mountain water.

We don’t use high heat to dry it. It’s actually not dehydrated. It’s just dried. And this will become very important when we talk about the mitochondria health issue. Because there are some very important enzymes. I’ll give you a little spoiler. One’s called (it’s a mouthful) superoxide dismutase, which stops the free radical damage of your mitochondria DNA. And that is essential for health and longevity. Anyways, it’s an enzyme. So, if you use high heat like everybody else, it kills that enzyme, so you don’t get the benefits of that particular enzyme as you would with our algae. Then, of course, we don’t use any binders when we press them into these little tablets. And we do third-party lab tests here in the United States.

So, we grew ours in Taiwan, which is world-renowned for having the highest quality algae. But the number one thing is, A, algae is a food crop. You’ll be surprised to know that algae as a food crop in Asia is as big of an industry as the cattle industry is here in the United States. It is enormous. It is a multibillion-dollar agricultural crop.

Now, people outside of Asia don’t know about algae. Why? Because it’s just not grown here. In Japan, you can’t ride your bicycle, you can’t go in your car without going by an algae farm. It is everywhere. Here, we drive by cornfields or wheatfields, neither of which are good healthy crops to be consuming. But in Asia, it’s algae. Now, if I do my job right and I help the world outside of Asia learn more about the healing benefits of algae and you’ll find that there are some that cannot be duplicated by anything else in the world. If I do my job right, we will be growing algae here in America. I have identified Florida as a subtropical environment where we can grow it similar to Taiwan. That won’t be for another 5 or 10 years, but that is the long-term plan. So, number one, a food crop.

Number two, as you mentioned, it is a superfood. I actually call it a super-duper food because it has nutrients, as I mentioned, that are not found in any other food in the world. And some of them are these antioxidants, which we’re going to talk about, that are found in the highest quantity in algae that are essential for your mitochondria health because they are the only four that can get into that mitochondria and remembering which we’ll talk about in a minute.

Algae, by the way, is also the most studied food in the world, as you mentioned. There are 60,000 studies on spirulina, and about 40,000 on chlorella. And in a minute, I’ll just go over briefly the differences between the two algae and what they do differently in your body. This is amazing. So, these studies are from America, from universities, from PhD’s in India, Taiwan. Every single country in the world has contributed research to the study of algae and have determined through all these peer-review studies that it does things like stops cancer, stops Alzheimer’s, improves your gut biome, reduces inflammation, protects your mitochondria, is great for pregnant moms, nursing moms, children, energy, focus. You’d almost think it’s unbelievable if it wasn’t so science-based.

When I started the company, quite honestly, it’s because my sister had breast cancer, and her oncologist in Canada recommended that she change her diet to an alkaline diet because she said it would help with her healing. They didn’t tell her what an alkaline diet was and why it was good for her, so my sister called me, and I did some research. I had no nutrition background at the time, but I discovered that an alkaline diet was a plant-based diet, which led me to algae, and then I discovered that it was endorsed by NASA as the most nutrient-dense food in the world, endorsed by the United Nations as the answer to world hunger because it has three times the amount of protein than steak. A hundred thousand studies document it as a multibillion-dollar industry in Asia. And the only thing wrong with algae is nobody outside of Asia knew about it.

So, I decided that I would dedicate my life 12 years ago to helping anyone and particularly in North America, but anyone who’s listening, to understand what algae is, why it is so critical for you and your family and the earth at this juncture in our world, and how to enjoy the benefits of it. It is the most effortless, concentrated, simple, safe, pure food in the world and a gift to us from Mother Nature, and to ignore it any longer is something you will do at the risk of your health. It’s really that simple. So, it is my honor to be representing Mother Nature here. It’s her concoction. I’m just the voice of algae. I can’t claim that I made this stuff up.

And the tablets, by the way, that we sell, as I mentioned, most of you will swallow them, but you can certainly eat them or add them to a smoothie or the chlorella tastes great—we’ll talk about that in a second—when you add it to your salads as a garnish or as in trail mix. But they’re made like this in these tablet forms in Asia. The company that grows it for us, they’ve been making this for 50 years. So, I remind people when I get on these podcasts that algae isn’t new. It’s just new to you. And just as you didn’t know about chia or quinoa or matcha or CBD or probably collagen powder until maybe 5 or 10 years ago, I’m here to help you understand what algae is and why it is better than any of those things and will basically help you regain and reclaim your health and longevity and your children’s as well. But it’s not new. It was used by the Egyptians 2000 years ago. They used to wrap themselves up in it for health and skin benefits. So, that’s a little bit of a summary, a little quick history of where algae came from and why you don’t know about it.

So, let me segue into now the two algae we’re going to talk about, spirulina and chlorella. Before I do that, I want to mention that spirulina is a blue-green algae. It is one of thousands of blue-green algae that exist. And chlorella is a green algae, one of thousands of green algae that exist. There also is red algae. Red algae is what makes, by the way, salmon pink and flamingos pink because they eat these particular algae. But I mention this because many of you may go to the internet at some point and Google blue-green algae and be horrified when you see some notice about blue-green algae closing your favorite beach. It’s not spirulina. Blue-green algae is a strain of algae and there are thousands and thousands of strains of it. Spirulina is one of them, and it is the one that is harvested, as I mentioned, in fresh water as a food crop. It is not the one that’s closing your beach. And by the way, I want to mention that poor algae get a bum rap because algae will show up only when there are toxins because algae kills bacteria. Now, the reason it showed up to close your beach is because somebody or something has poured toxins into your water. Now, they could have been run off from an agricultural situation or chemicals from a plant or just more people peeing in the water. Who knows? But you didn’t see the toxins. But you do see the algae. But algae is the clean-up crew. It’s there to protect you. It kills bacteria on your beach and in your body.

When you take algae, as we’ll talk about in a minute, internally as we do here with these tablets, it’s killing the bacteria internally just like algae would kill bacteria on your beach. And the good thing is usually, many of it, especially chlorella, it does it while you're sleeping. While you’re getting your beauty rest, you got the cleanup crew in there getting rid of toxins, and helping regenerate healthy cells, so it’s really an effortless way to improve your health and everything else.

So, that being said, spirulina, blue-green algae. First life on earth. Spirulina, drumroll, is actually a bacteria. It’s called cyanobacteria. Chlorella does belong to the plant kingdom. Now, you may say yourself, “What’s so important about it being a bacteria?” Well, when we get to the mitochondria conversation, you’ll find out it’s very important. But in terms of what it does for you now, because there is no cellulose wall because it’s a bacteria, spirulina gets absorbed into your bloodstream virtually instantly, certainly instantly if you chew it because it gets absorbed sublingually through your mouth into your bloodstream. And because spirulina is known as an energizing algae, that’s why we call ours ENERGYbits, and it has the highest concentration of protein in the world. Now, all the protein in both the algae, spirulina and chlorella, are in amino acid form. This is important because this allows your body to get access to the aminos, again instantly, because there is no cellulose wall to break down, no protein to break down, and attached to the aminos are all the B vitamins. B vitamins are what convert protein and glucose into energy. That's why when you take spirulina, your mind and your body and your mitochondria—and we’ll explain that in a minute—are energized.

Now, it’s not like lightning bolts from the sky because that kind of energy is a rush and then you have a crash. It’s based on a stimulant, a sugar or caffeine. The energy you get from spirulina is from the nutrition. You might not even notice it. It’s very quiet energy. You just suddenly realize hey, you're not tired, you're not hungry, you can focus, you can get through your day. You can have a great workout. 

And by the way, you’ll need a minimum probably of 10 tablets. I mean, you could start with 5, but you won’t really experience much. Ten tablets is kind our suggested entry-level amount to take. Most people do take the spirulina tablets in the morning or the afternoon or before a workout. Basically, any time you’re hungry, tired, fatigued, want energy or focus, if you're going on a long trip, or running an exam, we have brain surgeons, students, soccer moms using them. They're great for kids. It’s the safest, purest food you’ll ever put in your body or your children’s body. It’s great for pets. Pets love them. For children, we recommend either 1 or ½ tablet per their age. So if they're 2, give them 1 tablet a day, half of one or 1. If they're 4, give them maybe 2 or up to 4. But there is no upper limit. We have NHL players who put 75 spirulina in their smoothie before a game because they want all that access to that energy while they're doing rapid spurts on the ice. So, you can’t have too much salad and you can’t have too much spirulina.

By the way, I’m the one that discovered spirulina’s nutrient profile, particularly the amino acid profile. It’s virtually identical to mother’s breast milk. Same aminos and same proportions. And we know that mother’s breast milk is the perfect food. Well, algae and spirulina in particular is the next perfect food. Since spirulina and chlorella were given to us by mother nature, I consider it—and she’s a mother—it’s her version of mother’s breast milk. It’s quite remarkable how the nutrients are so similar. So, that's why spirulina is very energizing. The B vitamins, the access to the aminos. By the way, it’s a complete protein. It has 18 of the 20 aminos, all nine that your body can’t make, which is different from collagen powder which is not a complete protein that's missing tryptophan. 

Spirulina also is very high in iron, which is what carries oxygen in your blood, so that's energizing. It’s known as a vasodilator that opens up your blood vessels so that more blood can flow to your brain. It’s loaded with essential fatty acids like omega-3 and GLA, which reduce inflammation and also support brain function. It has boron that helps brain function. So, again, very energizing at the mental and physical levels. And when we get to the mitochondria discussion, I’ll elaborate more on the benefits of spirulina and why it is energizing at the cellular level.

In fact, when you take spirulina, some people take it before bed because it balances your blood sugar and the energy, again, is at a cellular level. What you do once you take it is up to you. You could have 10 tablets before bed, and it would still help you sleep because the energy is at the cellular level. If you take 10 tablets before you go on a workout, you’ll have a better workout because now you're using that cellular energy to propel your workout. So, it’s sort of like if someone gives you $10, it’s up to you how you spend that $10, right? Somebody might put it in the bank, somebody might go have a great lunch, somebody might buy themselves a nice little bauble or something. So, think of spirulina as being given the gift of energy, and it’s up to you and your lifestyle how you use that energy. You could sit and still be enjoying the benefits of it and still be energized at the cellular level. So, it’s pretty cool stuff.

By the way, there are actually two spirulina products on our website The second one is called BEAUTYbits. The reason why there are two is because as I’ve mentioned earlier, I started the company because my sister had breast cancer. By the way, she’s completely cancer-free, 12 years cancer-free. We celebrate every year. I saw her a couple of months ago. So, women’s cells has always been a big priority for me. And I noticed when I first started the company that women were not purchasing ENERGYbits spirulina, and my girlfriends literally said, “Well, you got to make it pink and give it a cute name.” Because spirulina has more collagen than collagen powder, up to 400 percent by the way, and so it builds your skin and your hair, and it has the highest antioxidants in the world which stopped free radicals so it prevents wrinkles, I thought, “Well, the heck, let’s make a pretty version and call it BEAUTYbits.”

So, there are two spirulina on our website. They are absolutely identical. I’m not trying to fool anybody. I just want women to feel comfortable. Because it’s very happy packaging. I design everything. But I can’t help you or your skin or your health if I can’t get the algae into you. Just holding it outside of your body isn’t going to help you. So, that’s why there are two. Whatever strikes your fancy to make you feel comfortable because some people, if they think about algae at all, they think of it as pond scum or something that's closing their favorite beach. But they don’t think of it as something that is a remarkable nutritional beauty ingestible. So, all the things we do here at ENERGYbits is to take away the weirdness of algae, help you feel comfortable with it, help you learn the science, and understand there is no woo-woo. It’s just something that you’re not familiar with and we’re trying to make it more familiar for you and more comfortable because it really does amazing things, and it’s all science-based.

[00:22:54] Ashley James: And also, your company ensures the quality and the safety. Because it really is buy or beware out there. You can go on Amazon and buy some spirulina but it’s made in … I don’t mean to bash China. Unfortunately, there has been a history of toxic things coming out of China like melamine plastics in baby formula, as an example. Right? And the man that did that was put to death in China. China doesn’t condone this behavior. You know, it’s buy or beware out there, and it could be a different country that is producing something. It could just be some kind of green plastic powder claiming it’s spirulina. Right? As consumers, we need to do our due diligence and choose a company that does the third-party testing, doesn’t do skip batch testing. They test every batch. They will provide the test results to the public. They’re showing their integrity. And your company shows its integrity and that's why I trust that when I eat the spirulina and chlorella from your company, I know that it’s lead-free. I know that it’s heavy metal free. I know that it’s not filled with a bunch of fillers like these other companies, and it really is buy or beware.

So, yeah, I’ve heard a few people go, “Well, I can go to, like you said, I can go to Target. I can go to Ride Aid and pick up some.” But, I actually do know some, they're not college kids anymore, they graduated, but back about 10 years ago or so, I knew some college students that decided to do a study on their own of the different things in vitamin C that was on the shelf. And so, they went to every Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, and some supplement stores, generic supplement stores, and they buy all the vitamin C brands they could find and then they test it to see how much vitamin C was actually in it. Right?

[00:25:15] Catharine Arnston: I know the results.

[00:25:16] Ashley James: So, there’s some chewable vitamin C’s. They didn’t have gummies back then. They had some chewable vitamin C’s, they had some tablets, and then they had some capsules. Sometimes it’s powder, sometimes it’s like a hard-pressed tablet. So let’s say a tablet says it has a thousand milligrams, so 1 gram of vitamin C, ascorbic acid or whatever form they were saying the vitamin C was in. Most of the time it’s ascorbic acid derived from corn.

And so what they did was they picked apart each one in their lab at the college. They discovered that there was not one brand, not one brand that they could find that was over-the-counter that sold what they claimed had in it. So, if they said it was 1000 milligrams a capsule, maybe it was only 200. Right? There were some that were 100 percent filler, 0 vitamin C could be found. And most of them had some vitamin C but never was it accurate to the label. And this is a good thing and a bad thing. I know that sounds weird when I say it, but here’s the thing. It’s a good thing that the industry is not regulated. Here’s why: If the FDA actually took over, we would be in deep yogurt. 

[00:26:38] Catharine Arnston: You’d never have anything. 

[00:26:39] Ashley James: You would never have supplements again. And the FDA’s constantly under pressure from big pharma to shut down supplements. Now, there are certain health concerns when someone like takes too much of an herb and they have a negative effect and then all of a sudden now that herb is banned. Those are unfortunate. We don’t want the supplement industry being regulated because then big pharma will control the entire industry and then we won’t have access to things that are actually healthy for us. I know that kind of sounds like I got a tinfoil hat on and the thing is, I have so much more information on this topic and so I have been informed. And how it’s been laid out is that what we need to do instead is we need to do our own due diligence. We still want it to be the wild, wild west, but we need to find companies that will put the money and the time into ensuring the highest quality and stand behind the quality and not be these fly-by-night companies that get big and then get sold to Nestle.

I am so disappointed that companies like Pure Encapsulations were sold to Nestle, like I can’t trust them anymore. And I’ve seen this with like Garden of Life and other supplement companies where they used to have good products, they got sold to a big company and now the quality is gone in the toilet. So, please don’t ever get bought by a big company.

[00:28:10] Catharine Arnston: I’ll tell you. The little company, it’s a grind. I mean, I’ve been at this 12 years, 12-hour days 7 days a week for 12 years. And it’s a grind. Eventually, you run out of energy because you think “why don’t people understand this, what am I doing wrong?” The trouble is, these big companies, they have all the distribution channels. They can get to the product to places where us little companies just can’t go. So, I feel the empathy of other fellow entrepreneurs who have done their best to make sure they have a high-quality product. But at one point, you just run out of steam because it’s not easy. I’ll tell you this has been a labor of love for me. I mean, I just thought if I could stop one more person from getting cancer, I will die happy. But I’m 12 years in, I probably got another 12 years to go. And I do love still what I’m doing, but it’s not easy. It’s really, really hard to bring a high-quality product consistently to the world. I’ve seen pictures of other algae companies, capsules and they got ground up wrong because like you said, filler.

If there were ever a requirement of me to sort of get involved with a larger company, you can set standards of regulations. These things will not happen when you acquire the company. Or, you will file a lawsuit. And there are situations where that has happened and the quality has been maintained. But you have to do this because you love it. And I do love it. But it is not easy.

You were talking about vitamin C and just on that note, everyone thinks ascorbic acid is vitamin C. And I point out ascorbic acid is just one component. There's 200 components to vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is just one of 200, and yet, all the supplement companies make their vitamin C out of ascorbic acid and this is why they are so poorly absorbed because your body is looking for the other 199 pieces in order for it to absorb it. I tell people it’s like going to work with just your shoes on. You can’t just take ascorbic acid and think that you're getting vitamin C because it doesn’t exist in nature like that. When you eat vitamin C from an orange or from broccoli, there’s more vitamin C, by the way, in broccoli than there is in oranges, it has all those other components. This is one of the many reasons why algae is so far better for you than supplements because supplements are made from extracts, and extracts do not exist in nature. And so, when your body is trying to figure out what to do with it, it kind of gives up at some point, and you only absorb about 10 percent of it.

There are some exceptions because there are a handful of really high-quality supplement companies that are making their supplements from food. But it’s a very rare situation and that's why I’m so proud that algae is food and why I really take great lengths to help people understand that it is food and it’s unprocessed food. Again, we do not use high heat to dry our algae like everybody else does because as soon as you use high heat, not only do you kill the enzymes, you change the chemical structure of the nutrients. So, they aren’t as powerful, and they’re a little more difficult to absorb. So, there's lots of less expensive algae tablets on the internet or on Amazon. And lots of times, we have people saying, “Oh, I’m going to go try another brand.” They always come back because they say, “Well, I didn’t get the energy that I had from yours or it just didn’t seem to make a difference.” We have mothers whose kids are ADHD and have been reading statistics that in like within the next 10 years, 1 out of 2 children are going to be on the spectrum. I mean, it’s just insane what’s going on in our world these days. And algae literally is the answer for almost everything, and we’ll get into some of those details in a minute.

But yeah, we do go to great lengths. And these lab tests are not cheap. They're like $15,000 to $20,000, and they will only test what we tell them to do. So, I’ve got a long shopping list of things. Every time we do test, we do more tests. They’re very long and lengthy, complicated lab tests. We get labs from our suppliers in Taiwan, but we do a full set here in the United States. I think we’re the only company that I’m aware of that does that because we sell through doctor’s offices, chiropractors, functional medicine. And they need to know for sure that the algae has in it what we say it has, as you said. And we are only allowed to put a nutritional chart on our products that labeling requirements of the FDA. They don’t allow us to put all the nutrients. I mean, how crazy is that?

So, we have the nutritional chart that's found on all our packaging, but then we have a QR code that you can scan that gives you everything because we’re not allowed to put everything on. To me, that’s insane. Right? And we often get people saying, why does your nutrition chart on your website or the QR code not match the nutrition chart? This is why. Because we are just not allowed to put everything on there according to the FDA regulations. The FDA labeling is so stringent that if you have a line between the different nutrients that’s like 1/16 of a millimeter thicker than what they tell you it should be, they will not allow you to sell. I mean, it’s crazy. The regulations are so strict on labeling. So, anyways, I just want to throw that out there. 

[00:34:20] Ashley James: It’s just silly. It’s like on the one hand I can see how they want to help, but on the other hand, I see they're definitely not helping. I think my listeners are sort of really well-educated or at least they’re more into the health space than the standard American populace, the people who are asleep and just going with the flow. Right? And I say this on the show often that we need to be like a salmon swimming upstream. We need to go against. We need to be the black sheep. We need to go against the flow of the world if we want to not be a statistic.

[00:35:03] Catharine Arnston: Exactly.

[00:35:04] Ashley James: So, look at the statistics out there. 1 in 3 people are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. That's insane. That is so sad. My mom died of cancer, and I’ve made it my life’s mission as with this podcast to help save other people’s moms so that if we can help some people not lose their family members to cancer, and my dad died of heart disease, and those are the two big ones, the two big killers. But he died six years later, and he really died of a broken heart of losing the love of his life. She died at 55, and she was the healthiest woman I knew and then just very, very quickly died of cancer. That's a whole episode in and of itself to get into. I can see now what the lifestyle that leads to that. This is why I teach. This is why I get guests like you, and we teach how we can prevent this.

[00:36:02] Catharine Arnston: It’s absolutely preventable. Absolutely.

[00:36:04] Ashley James: It is. But if you go with the flow and you eat the way everyone else eats, and you think the way everyone else thinks, and you just do what everyone else does, then you will be a statistic. 1 in 3 people have type 2 diabetes or are pre-diabetic. Seventy percent of the adult population in the United States is on at least one prescription medication, so that’s pain meds, high blood pressure meds, and antidepressants. The list goes on and on. This is a result of the body being out of balance, right? When we look at the body from a holistic standpoint, which is a different lens than the mainstream. So, for the listener who was brought up, like we all were, under the lens of the mainstream, you wait to get sick, and then you go to the doctor, the doctor gives you something that manages your symptoms, and you shop down the aisles of the grocery store, buying the junky cereal that has dye and has sugar as the first or second ingredient, and you just go with the flow, you get your annual flu shot, you take antibiotics the second you have a sore throat or whatever, just like whatever people are doing out there. They eat mostly food that is processed that are factory-made, that was made in a factory, or go out to restaurants, eat fried food, don’t really ever see just whole foods, meaning this is a vegetable, look there’s a vegetable with nothing on it, not altered in any way. That is the standard American lifestyle that has encapsulated most of the world. 

As a result, we can see even in, for example, they have studies, just incredible studies where they see the descendants of because we think how much of this is genetic, right? Well, when we look at heart disease, anything below the Mason-Dixon line is there's just super high rates of diabetes and heart disease and arteriosclerosis, especially in African-American males. They die much younger than their white male counterparts, and we’re like, “What’s going on? Is this genetic?” Well, we look at the cultural diet in that area, and then we look at their cousins not genetically any different in Africa eating a different diet. Completely different outcomes. The heart disease is not there. So, it’s the diet is what I’m saying, not the genes.

Then we look at Japan in Okinawa and how they had very, very, very low rates of disease, incredibly long lifespans. It’s very typical to live to 90 or 100 or even a little bit past 100, disease-free, still gardening out in the garden. Now, the McDonald’s and American lifestyle and processed food has become more glamorous in that area. In one generation, cardiologists saw a shift. And now, Japan is catching up with America in terms of cancer and heart diseases. Catching up. It’s not there yet 100 percent, but it is definitely not where it was 50 to 100 years ago.

If we do not want to live the last 30 years of our life suffering in disease—and if you’ve watched your grandparents or your parents go through it or great aunts and uncles, if you’ve watched anyone suffer in the later years of their life, it should be the biggest motivator for you to pick up that fork and eat that salad instead of a drive through the drive-thru.

[00:39:43] Catharine Arnston: I was just going to say if you don’t like salad, algae is your answer. Men and children, in particular, are well known for not wanting to eat vegetables. I’m here to tell you. You don’t need to eat another vegetable in your life as long as you take at least 10 algae tablets a day and just swallow them and you're done. But we can get to that later on. 

[00:40:04] Ashley James: Well, I believe in the power of eating a variety of whole foods, I love that. But if you can’t get them in, I know my son is super picky, I figured out sneaky ways. And he’ll eat some vegetable. He only wants to eat raw vegetables, which it could be a challenge sometimes, but he only wants raw. There's only a certain kind he wants. So anyways, I think he eats more vegetables than any other kid I know, but I’m still not satisfied because I want him to be more flexible. But you know, he’s 7 and this is what kids do. But I love that he will any day of the week pick up your chlorella or spirulina and chew them up and swallow. It’s so reassuring to me that a neurotic mom such as myself who is so deeply concerned with the health of my child and wants to make sure that he has the best nutrition possible that at the end of the day, I could give him some spirulina and even some chlorella and that he is getting that nutrition.

But back to my point is that we need to be the salmon. We have to. I know it’s a little exhausting to go against the grain, but we need to be the ones to figure out how to do home-cooked meals. And I’m right there with you, figuring it out and doing it. Home-cooked meals, eating healthy food, walking every day even just to reduce stress, go get in nature, go walk through a park, walking every day, doing deep breathing, bringing down your stress levels, getting nutrition, getting the super-duper food like spirulina in you. And all these daily activities will make it so that you are divergent from the mainstream, the status quo, from the 1/3 of the population being incredibly, incredibly sick. You will diverge from those statistics, and you will be the outlier with true health. And that’s what I want for you. So yeah, it does take time and energy every day, but you have to make choices different from the masses.

And sometimes, it looks like grabbing your bag of ENERGYbits and throwing it in your purse or your gym bag or the car. That's a great place, as long as the car is not too hot. But that's a great place to always have it because you know how you're hungry or hangry in the car, instead of the drive-thru, grab 15 ENERGYbits and chew them. For me, I chew them and drink some water while you do it, or just swallow them if you don’t want to chew them. And within minutes, your body is digesting and absorbing that nutrition, and you really don’t feel hungry anymore. I love how it stops the hunger and it gets me to the point where now I can wait until after I cooked dinner. But instead of reaching for something unhealthy or even spending money, I don’t want to spend money out. I want to go home; I got groceries at home. I know that I’m giving my body nutrition. And so, it is a really great snack.

[00:43:02] Catharine Arnston: It’s really your lifeline. It’s a nutritional lifeline. I call it also your nutrition insurance. People know about health insurance. Well, this is your nutrition insurance. Because if you take these every day and if I do my job right, everybody in the world will be taking them every day, then your body is nourished in a way that will allow you to not just survive but to thrive. The sad thing is, most people know more about their cellphones than they do about their bodies. And once you understand what your body needs and the way that it operates, and we’ll get to that once we get to the mitochondria discussion, now you start to understand what it needs. It’s easier for you to give it what it needs because now you know the rules of the road. If you don’t know how to read a map and you’re driving to a distant location, you're kind of out of luck. You have to teach yourself how to read a map. And then, it’s easy. You just follow the road.

So, once you have a roadmap of how your body works, the algae makes that journey effortless because it gives you what you need, gets you where you want to go. You may take the spirulina because you want it for energy, but you’re going to find out that your digestion improves or maybe you’ll take it because you want improved mitochondria health. Maybe you’re taking the chlorella because you want to pull out toxins but you’ll find that you’re sleeping better at night. So, it will take you wherever you go, want to go, and then there’ll be some bonus trips along there as well.

[00:44:43] Ashley James: Love it. I had heard of it, but I hadn’t really gone and tried algae until I want to say about 4 years ago, maybe 5 years ago. I interviewed Dr. Klinghardt. He’s local to me, which is crazy, because people fly from around the world to see this man. He’s been a holistic MD for over 45 years, I believe now. And he has designed a system that detoxifies the body so well that he takes children who are non-verbal and, I think, misdiagnosed on the spectrum.

This is my hypothesis. I hypothesize that most autism is misdiagnosed heavy metals in the brain. That hypothesis is based on my observations of several holistic doctors that are able to take these children who have been diagnosed extensively. And they're non-verbal, they're agitated, they're not making eye contact, they’re beating their head against a wall, or they're beating their hands against their head, they're rocking. They look like their brain is on fire, and they're trying to soothe themselves. And they also have digestive issues. There's a lot going on.

And Dr. Klinghardt takes them and does a very gentle but rigorous heavy metal detox, and he can get these children to the point where they’re happy, calm, making eye contact, talking, going to school, and he says he has had children now, one of them has graduated, become a composer, several have become PhD’s. They’re essentially no longer considered on the spectrum. And the biggest thing is heavy metal detox and he explains that the heavy metals are in the brain, for whatever reason their bodies didn’t detoxify like others do, and this is how it shows up.

[00:46:48] Catharine Arnston: I think a lot of it is heavy metals—and when we get to the mitochondria—but it’s also mitochondria dysfunction. Because the highest concentration of mitochondria is in the brain. There are 2 million mitochondria per cell in your brain. It’s the highest concentration of mitochondria in your entire body. But I don’t want to jump the gun. We’ll get to that in a few minutes.

[00:47:12] Ashley James: So exciting. He uses chlorella as part of his package, as part of his detox with these children and with adults because adults will come to him. Unfortunately, he attracts people who this is their last-ditch effort, like they have tried every single doctor, every single method in their country. Because people fly from around the world to see him and they’re so sick of suffering, they’ve probably been suffering for 7 or more years, and then they come to see him. And yes, it’s expensive because he does a lot with them, and at the end of the day, people get better and mostly, he’s doing detox with them. So, he’s doing sauna, he’s doing the Platinum Energy System foot detox. Yeah, he’s doing all that. And he’s using the chlorella as part of the pulling out of the heavy metals.

So, I remember listening because I was having heavy metal issues. I learned from him in my interview with him. I did my research. I got a Platinum Energy System foot detox machine, I got a sauna, and I was eating your chlorella. Well, I’d throw 30 in my mouth, chew them and drink water, and then go jump in the sauna. When I take it, like it mops up the heavy metals and I don’t have, I don’t know, some people are really sensitive like I am to detoxing and they get like that kind of flu sensation from detoxing. And chlorella mops it up, so I don’t have that, which is really exciting.

So, I know the next thing we’re going to talk about is chlorella.

[00:48:46] Catharine Arnston: Yes, chlorella. So that's a great segue.

[00:48:49] Ashley James: That was my introduction and then I found you. I can’t remember if I found you or you found me, but I tried the company that Dr. Klinghardt likes and they’re a high-quality company, and honestly, I couldn’t even get through a whole bag. I felt bad because I bought, you know, their bags are maybe like $140. And I couldn’t even get through a whole bag because it just smells like dead fish. And I’m like, this is so gross. And then I tried yours because actually, I think I remember you sent me a sample pack and I’m like, “This is amazing!” I think you’re experimenting with like macadamia nuts because it was like a trail mix. And I’m like, “This is delicious! This doesn’t smell weird and fishy. This tastes good to me.” I like healthy-tasting things, but yours is totally different from the other high-quality company that I had tried from Dr. Klinghardt, and I said, man, I don’t know what it is with the Klinghardt one, but yours is way better, and I was getting great results.

So, then I started like singing ENERGYbits from the rooftop and giving them out to all my friends. I couldn’t believe our little toddler at the time was loving them and now he’s 7, and we’ll eat them and even though he’s very picky. So yeah, it’s exciting.

[00:50:02] Catharine Arnston: I remember that was when he was about 2. So, we’ve been connecting for almost 5 years. Wow! It’s really great.

[00:50:06] Ashley James: Yeah, I know. Time just flies, right? It’s just crazy. I’ll be serving ENERGYbits at his wedding.

[00:50:13] Catharine Arnston: Oh, there you go. Yeah, we have to sort of airdrop them from the sky. Instead of confetti, we’ll have RECOVERYbits

[00:50:23] Ashley James: Love it.

[00:50:24] Catharine Arnston: Well, that's a nice testimonial. And we will talk now about chlorella. And the great thing about chlorella is that it does taste pretty good especially, as you’ve mentioned, if you have it with pistachio nuts or macadamia nuts are the best. What we call our chlorella, it’s really a wellness algae. Spirulina is an energizing, nourishing algae. Chlorella, we call ours RECOVERYbits because it helps you recover your health. So, when you mix it with macadamia nuts, honestly, you close your eyes, you think you're eating potato chips. It's that delicious. And I still do plan to do a trail mix with chlorella and macadamia nuts and also, we’re working a lot now with pistachios and there's a brand that has a salt & vinegar flavor, and it is, again, ultra-delicious. Not only are these very good nuts for you, they're very soft, so they’re good for your teeth. They're very low in lectin, so they're really good for your gut biome. Dr. Gundry points out that a lot of nuts like almonds are very high in lectins and oxalates, and they can be very damaging to your stomach lining, and these two nuts are very low in both lectins and oxalates. So, I’m very happy that they're the two that we’ve settled on for our trail mix when we finally get that out there.

[00:51:41] Ashley James: Nice.

[00:51:42] Catharine Arnston: So, chlorella showed up on the earth a billion years after spirulina, and as I mentioned, it is a green algae. It does belong to the plant kingdom and so it has fiber in it and a fibrous and cellulose wall. Now, remember I said spirulina’s claim to fame had the highest protein in the world? Chlorella’s claim to fame is it has the highest chlorophyll in the world. Now, chlorophyll is very, very cleansing and healing. If you go online, if this was a visual, I would have shown you a picture, but you can go online to see this, and we’ll send you a bunch of articles that you can link to in the notes.

But the chemical composition of chlorophyll is virtually identical to the chemical composition of your hemoglobin, your red blood cells. Now, this is important because chlorophyll builds your blood. It’s that simple. And so when you have healthy blood, you're going to have healthy organs. You're going to have a healthier body, a healthier brain. So, it’s very, very cleansing.

Up until World War II and even as recent as World War II, they would give the injured liquid chlorophyll because it would help them heal from injuries if they’d run out of blood transfusions for this very reason. And it’s been used for centuries this way. It’s only since the pharmaceutical industry has got their hands around us that people have forgotten about the cleansing, blood-building capabilities of chlorophyll, and there is nothing with more chlorophyll than chlorella algae. It has 500 times more chlorophyll than arugula and 25 times more chlorophyll than liquid chlorophyll. Nothing in the world has more chlorophyll than chlorella algae. You could fill a room with arugula and you wouldn’t even come close to the same amount of chlorophyll as in 30 tablets of chlorella, so that's pretty cool.

Now, the other amazing thing about chlorophyll, of course, as you know, chlorophyll is what makes plants green, is that chlorophyll is a fat-based pigment. The blue that's in the spirulina, which is called phycocyanine, it is a water-based pigment. Now, this explains to me why the blue pigment in spirulina stops the growth of blood vessels to tumors. It’s called antiangiogenesis which in its own right is very important to know about. But the chlorophyll, because it’s fat-based, what it does is it heals your cell walls. Now, we will get eventually to mitochondria, but all of your health issues start at the cellular level. Everything. Whether you're healthy or unhealthy. And it’s not just the mitochondria inside the cell, it’s the cell wall itself. Now, we’ve all been told we need things like omega-3 and D3 and vitamin A because those are fats. Your cell walls are fat-based. They're called lipids. And you need to keep them nourished and moist because that’s how nutrients can get in and toxins can get out. And if they are not healthy with healthy fats, we’re not talking about the rancid, awful, poisonous, toxic, damaging omega-6’s like canola oil, please, if you do nothing else, stop eating canola oil. It should have crossbones on it. That and sugar are the two things that are making ill, diabetic, heart disease, we can go on. That's another podcast in its own way.

Anyways, so chlorophyll is just as healing to your cell wall as omega-3 because it’s a fat-based pigment. And I don’t take fish oil and I would encourage everybody not to because it goes rancid even before you buy it. And by the way, where do you think the fish get the omega-3 from? Because, of course, the fish oil has omega-3 in it, they get it from algae. I remind people to save themselves, save the oceans, save their health, save their cell walls, and get the healthy fats from algae, especially spirulina, it has the higher omega-3 in it. But the chlorophyll is fat-based. So, even if you don’t take fish oil or even if you don’t take D3, you're still getting the benefits of growing and building your cell walls from the chlorophyll.

So, not only is chlorella the highest chlorophyll and we now know it builds your blood and it builds your cell walls, chlorophyll is also very cleansing. And chlorella has a hard cell wall. Now, that hard cell wall not only has fiber, remember spirulina has no fiber because it’s a bacteria, chlorella has the fiber so it feeds the bacteria in your gut biome. And that hard cell wall attaches to toxins, as you talked about earlier with Dr. Klinghardt. It attaches to all heavy metals—lead, mercury, radiation, aluminum, toxins from mold. It also attaches to alcohol, lactic acid, and it will chelate them out of your body. This is very, very, very powerful. I read a statistic a couple of years ago that said the average American has 800 toxins in their bodies. 800. That's crazy! Our immune systems were not built to sustain that kind of toxic load. And even if you lived in bubble, and even if you had no exposure to any toxins, which of course we know it’s impossible, you need to know the good news is our bodies are constantly regenerating on a daily basis every single second. Cells die and cells grow.

Now, we have 30 trillion cells in our body. And literally every day, cells die, new cells grow. But where do you think those old cells go? Well, if you don’t get rid of them by pulling them out with something like chlorella, they sit there and they clog up your lymphatic system and they attract bacteria. And they cause disease. And I remind people, you know, if you didn’t take your garbage out from your house for a couple of days, it would get pretty smelly in there, right? Well, your body is the same way. If you do not get rid of the dead cells, they're called senescent cells, they're zombie cells, they're clogging up your body. This is why you do things like fasting to trigger autophagy, to get rid of all these dead cells that are either mutated or just dead and not gone, you need to pull them out. And chlorella is the best way to do it. 

In fact, I personally feel it’s far better than activated charcoal, which a lot of people use, but activated charcoal pulls out all minerals. The good ones and the bad ones. Chlorella only pulls out toxins and it has 40 vitamins and minerals as does spirulina. So, it introduces all the electrolytes—magnesium, potassium, manganese, and salt so that you don’t lose your minerals. It just pulls out the toxins. That's the big difference between activated charcoal and using chlorella algae.

So, with chlorella, because your body goes through a detox and repair cycle when you are sleeping. We generally recommend people take chlorella before bed. Now, you can take it any time of day. I eat them all day long. I have them for breakfast, lunch, snacks. I eat them with pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts. But I definitely have them before bed. But you could have them any time of day, but if you were only going to take them one time a day, I would recommend before bed because now, when you're getting your beauty rest and you’re getting your deep repair, you have chlorella which will A, facilitate sleep because both algae have the highest concentration of melatonin in the world, so it helps you sleep and know melatonin does not make you sleepy during the day, it’s only triggered by night. We’ll talk about melatonin more in a minute when we talk about mitochondria. It has the highest tryptophan in the world which is a precursor of melatonin. It has your daily requirement of vitamin K2, which pulls out excess calcium from soft tissue. This would have been very valuable for your father. Arteriosclerosis which is the hardening of arteries. I remind people, “You know what’s hardening?” It’s calcium. We’re all taking D3 and we’re taking calcium, but it’s going to our soft tissue. It is not going to our bones because most of us are deficit in vitamin K2, which moves excess calcium from our soft tissue like our blood vessels and our heart, and our skin, and our brain, and moves it into your bones. And chlorella has your daily requirement of K2, so it automatically does that. Kidney stones, you know what they are? It’s a calcification gathering with your gas.

So, all of these things, the high chlorophyll which stimulates peristalsis, highest RNA and DNA in the world, all of these things contribute to a great repair while you are getting your beauty rest. Chlorella, because your body goes through this detox and repair and because chlorella has all the nutrients that facilitate the repair, we definitely recommend taking it before bed. And so, you can just leave it at your bedside and have it as your snack before you go off to your Lalaland and you wake up refreshed. If you had a cocktail or a glass of wine, same thing happens.

Now, in terms of quantity, just like we said with spirulina, 10 tablets of spirulina will give you a slight improvement in your energy and your focus and satisfy your hunger. If you wanted it as a meal replacement, you’d probably want 20 or 30 tablets. Same with chlorella. You could take 10 tablets and you’d enjoy all the wellness benefits from the chlorophyll and all the other nutrients. But for detox, you need closer to 20 or 30 tablets. And you’ll find they're so tiny and as you would start to enjoy eating them, it’s not a hardship. In fact, you’ll probably start looking forward to having your chlorella even if you put maybe a little bit of sea salt on it if you don’t want nuts. It can be your bedtime snack, much better for you than cookies and milk.

And if you don’t want to take that many all of the time, you can do maybe 10 tablets for a week and then 20 or 30 for a couple of weeks and then get back to 10 at night or do 20 or 30 for a month and then do 10 tablets for a month, so you can cycle in and out just like people cycle in and out of doing keto. So, the chlorella, we call it RECOVERYbits because it’s very much a recovery algae that has so many benefits that there's nothing like it. And remember, it’s food. It's not a pill. It’s not a vitamin. It’s not a supplement.

Now, when you take chlorella on a daily basis and we would certainly recommend you do, if you don’t like vegetables or you don’t have time to eat vegetables, or you're traveling, or you want a fast recovery from sports, this is your answer. You just swallow 10 or 20 or whatever many you have or chew them, and you're done. No carrying groceries, the heavy vegetables from the grocery store, stuffing them into your fridge, cleaning them, cooking them, arguing with your kids or your husbands, and then throwing half of them out. None of that. It just goes away. And we sell the tablets in bags of a thousand tablets. And I use the quote from NASA that “1 gram of algae has the same nutrition as 1000 grams of fruits and vegetables.” And I did the math. I realized one bag of our algae tablets, it doesn’t matter which one it is, has the same nutrition as 551 pounds of vegetables. 

[01:03:55] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.

[01:03:57] Catharine Arnston: And at $3 a pound, that's like $1500. Normally the bag is $125. With your discount code LTH, it brings it down to $100. If you took 10 a day, the bag would last you about three months. That’s efficient nutrition. Right? It not only saves you money, it saves you time and it saves you arguing and now you’ve got something when you're traveling or going to the gym or going to school, or you're a soccer mom and you're stuck in traffic and you don’t want to eat any of those crappy carbs, here you go. You’ve just nailed. I call it the ultimate fast food.

[01:04:33] Ashley James: Well, I certainly enjoy the idea that it is such a, like you said, super duper superfood. I wouldn’t say don’t eat any vegetables or fruit, but like you said, if someone can’t, and actually there's a listener who has a … I don’t know if they call it a nursing home or a skilled nursing home where they host elderly people in their own home. They’ve got like 10 rooms and they take care of them, and they feed them the ENERGYbits. And how amazing is that? Because they want their clients to be healthy and for some, there's certain people who you can’t feed enough fruits and vegetables, too, right? So, it can be children, seniors, when we’re super busy, when we’re traveling. I know there's days where I’m traveling and I’m hungry and I’m like, okay, I’m just going to skip a meal and I’m going to fast, or I can take my ENERGYbits. I’d rather do that than go through a drive-thru for multiple reasons.

[01:05:41] Catharine Arnston: Exactly. And I’m with you. Because I love vegetables, but I know a lot of people especially as they get older, they don’t have the enzymes for digesting fiber and so they avoid fiber, which means they avoid nutrition. And white mushy stuff just doesn’t have any nutrition in it. So, for those people, or we work with a lot of bariatric surgeons and their patients have such small stomachs. They cannot physically put a lot of food in their stomach. So, they love the algae tablets because they're so tiny and yet they’re so tiny but mighty is what they say, they give them all the nutrition that they need. Or children who are just, let’s face it, kids love pasta, but again, not a lot of nutrition in pasta. We don’t want parents to have to worry. And if you turn the tablets into a bit of a game like you did with your son, they think it’s fun. Their tongues turn green. And now you've turned you eating healthy into something pleasurable. So, whatever it takes to get. And for older people who don’t eat very well, even if they took two tablets, there's probably more nutrition than they're having all week. So, we just want to help people get the nourishment that they need.

[01:06:58] Ashley James: Now, you’ve mentioned earlier that I know it’s going to spirulina, but you mentioned earlier how you’ve discovered that has the same like a really similar nutrient profile to mother’s breast milk. Have you ever thought about formulating a baby formula?

[01:07:13] Catharine Arnston: Oh, I mean, there's no end to the things that we can do, but we’re still such a tiny company. We’re so understaffed and we’re so underfunded. We’re self-funded. The number of things that we could do is limitless. But I have to help people first understand what algae is because those are all very what’s called vertical markets and there's hypersensitivity with mothers and with children and formulas. And the food companies have a stranglehold on that. I couldn’t even attempt to get to that community until we’d established algae as the nutritional…

[01:07:56] Ashley James: Safe. It’s safe, it’s nutritious. I mean, there are so many benefits. And we have four other episodes that listeners can go to. We actually talk about, well, what are the downsides. Are there downsides? And we talked about debunking the algae myths and you bring up a lot of science in episode 357. That was a fantastic interview. I highly recommend listeners who have been listening so far and going okay, well, like they're waiting for another shoe to drop. They're like, what’s the downside to eating this. There's got to be a hook. There's got to be a side effect. Right? We’re used to do that. We’re used to the side effects mindset because everyone’s used to drugs. This is a food. You don’t go, “What’s the downside to eating an apple?” I mean, I don’t know. Maybe you're full. I don’t know. And the thing is, a conventionally grown apple has upwards of 50 different manmade chemicals on it and in it. So, that is why we choose organic and that's why your spirulina and chlorella are essentially organic. They're very clean. There's no pesticides and those chemicals in it.

But we do talk about addressing those concerns in episode 357, so I recommend listeners go back and check that out. I definitely want to make sure that we do get into …

[01:09:13] Catharine Arnston: Cover mitochondria, yeah.

[01:09:15] Ashley James: The mitochondria. One thing I’d like to say is before we move forward, with the amount of chlorophyll, chlorophyll is like a deodorant for the insides. Right? Your poop does not smell when you do chlorella. So, if your husband has particularly horrible bowel movements or farts, give him the RECOVERYbits. It’s like a deodorant for the inside. It’s helping him detox and it’s also saving your marriage and saving your nose. That's one thing.

[01:09:50] Catharine Arnston: And same with people who are they're eating just meat. What’s it called?

[01:09:55] Ashley James: Oh, the carnivore diet?

[01:09:56] Catharine Arnston: Carnivores. Because I ran into some at this keto conference I was at last week and their breath was just it knocks you over. This will get rid of breath issues. That's the same with dogs and cats. You might not notice it with your cats, but with dogs. So, anybody who’s eating meat, the bad breath is from bacteria in your mouth. This kills bacteria. Remember I said algae blooms show up wherever there’s bacteria? Same within your mouth. Same within your colon. That's why they’ve used chlorella for decades for IBS, for Crohn’s disease, any kind of gut, abdominal issues at all, and laughingly, when I was at this conference, I held up a bag of my ENERGYbits on my head and I put my chlorella bag down by my gut. And I said the blue one, ENERGYbits, is for AM, and the chlorella which is the green bag is for PM, but if you need another visual, think of the ENERGYbits which is spirulina with all the nourishment for your brain and the chlorella which cleans out your gut and stops any kind of bacteria and deodorizes your lower part of your body. So, your brain and your gut. If you need simple things to remember what they do and when to take them, that hopefully helps.

[01:11:13] Ashley James: I do. I love it, yes. You mentioned that it’s better than activated charcoal. Would you consider taking the RECOVERYbits when someone has food poisoning? Would it help in that way as well? 

[01:11:29] Catharine Arnston: That's a good question. I don’t know about food poisoning. I guess it’s bacteria that’s caused the food poisoning like salmonella.

[01:11:40] Ashley James: But it’s like the toxins left behind from the bacteria is what I understand. I’m just wondering because people will typically take activated charcoal during food poisoning to help mop it up, and I’m wondering if, well, I guess you could take activated charcoal and chlorella just to see if it would help more.

[01:12:00] Catharine Arnston: But it’d be certainly cleansing. I’ve never had that question come up before, that's very interesting. I can only think that would help. 

[01:12:08] Ashley James: There you go. Okay, so we’ve laid down a good groundwork, although listeners can still go back and listen to the previous episodes because we really, really dove even deeper. But we’ve laid it out. Everyone now is excited and probably going to using coupon code “LTH” and already buying their bags of RECOVERYbits and ENERGYbits. And then one thing I wanted you to mention is if someone wants to try chlorella and spirulina, they can get the 50-50 bag. And what’s that bag called?

[01:12:37] Catharine Arnston: That’s called VITALITYbits.

[01:12:38] Ashley James: That's right. VITALITYbits.

[01:12:40] Catharine Arnston: It’s a blend of the two of them.

[01:12:41] Ashley James: You want half chlorella and half spirulina, get the VITALITYbits. Okay, so let’s dive into this. The superoxide dismutase (SOD), I am so excited about. I’ve had guests come on the show talking about how it is like the fountain of youth. We need more of it. And I’m so excited that your crop, your super-duper food is going to help us get more superoxide dismutase for our mitochondria. Okay, so let’s dive into this.

[01:13:12] Catharine Arnston: All right, well, let me first explain what mitochondria are, why they're so critical for your life full-stop and why algae contains all the nutrients that will protect your mitochondria from damage. [j1] And when the mitochondria are protected, then you have more life. And one of those antioxidants is superoxide dismutase. It’s also known as SOD, so I’ll use the terms interchangeably because it’s easier to say SOD than superoxide dismutase.

So, here’s the deal. Think of your body as a building. Okay? Like a skyscraper. And inside the building are offices. Think of those offices like your cells. And in the offices are lights. Think of the lights as your mitochondria. Now, you can’t do any work in your office without lights. And your building doesn’t function without offices and people in the offices. Your body is the same way. The mitochondria are the fuel, the thing that keeps the lights on in your cells. And the problem is, those mitochondria are getting damaged. The mitochondria, they're little organelles. If you look at any drawings, they're sort of like peanut-shaped things that are inside the cells and they generate energy for everything in your body. Everything from breathing. And the currency of energy is called ATP. We have electricity that is the energy for our homes or our phones, and we have gasoline for the energy for our cars and although soon to be electricity. ATP is what energizes your body. It’s what helps your blood to flow, your lymphatic system to function, your heart to beat, your brain to think. It fuels everything.

So, your mitochondria play a pretty important role just like in the building. Without any lights, you can’t really do anything. The trouble is, your mitochondria are located exactly where … actually, your mitochondria have their own DNA, I’ll say that first. We know that we have about 25,000 DNA and those DNA last a lifetime. The mitochondria have their own DNA. And interestingly, they all come from the female, which is quite different from your regular DNA. Half comes from the male, half comes from the female. All of your mitochondria DNA come from the female. I just have a sort of interesting note to put in there.

Now, there's only 37 of them. But these mitochondria DNA control all of your DNA. They control all of the communication on your cell wall. They control everything that goes on in your body. So, the analogy I like to help people so you can understand how powerful these mitochondria DNA are. They're like the air controller at an airport. An air controller controls absolutely everything that’s coming in and go on out. And if they are ill or not on their job, planes crash. When your mitochondria DNA are ill and they get damaged, your health crashes. It is that simple. Now, the good news is, we can change that trajectory because as you age, you have fewer mitochondria, you have more mitochondria being damaged and mutated and these mutated mitochondria send the wrong signals. It’s like an air controller telling a plane to land on a runway when someone’s taken off. So, when the mitochondria are damaged, they're sending wrong signals and so things, your tissues start to literally rust, that's what free radicals do and your health deteriorates.

Now, the reason why the mitochondria get so damaged and mutated is because the mitochondria DNA, they're located exactly where the ATP is produced. Now, the ATP is good. The problem is, when ATP is produced, a byproduct is something called free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are missing an electron, and so what they do is they steal electrons from other tissues, from other molecules. It basically is the equivalent of rust. If you’ve ever seen boats on a dock or an old car left on a yard, you see how there’s rusty holes that appear and they get bigger and bigger because of oxidation. That's what’s causing the holes, is oxidation.

Free radicals cause oxidation, damage, and rusting of your cells. Not a good thing. So, because the mitochondria DNA are located exactly where the ATP is and exactly where the free radicals are, they are constantly getting damaged and dying. The average lifespan of your mitochondria DNA is 10 to 20 days, whereas your regular DNA lasts a lifetime. When you're born and when you are about 30, your body creates antioxidants that can get into the mitochondria to stop this free radical damage. But the problem is, there’s only four of them that can get into the mitochondria inner membrane. They are glutathione, melatonin, superoxide dismutase, and also chlorophyll. I know your body doesn’t make chlorophyll, but we’ll talk about that in a minute.

So, those are the only four antioxidants that can stop from the free radical damage. And you go, “Well, wait a second. Blueberries have antioxidants. Oranges have antioxidants. What’s wrong with them?” Here is the problem. Those antioxidants are fine for all the other cells in your body to stop free radical damage. But the problem is, your mitochondria, unlike any other cell in your entire body, have two cell membranes. Every other cell has one. Remember we talked about it earlier and it’s a fat-based membrane and nutrients go in and go out. Well, there's one of those around the mitochondria for sure. But there is a second inner membrane that is impenetrable by virtually anything. Certainly none of the traditional antioxidants, and I’ll explain that in a minute why.

In your regular membranes including the outside one of the mitochondria, these nutrients that get in and out, and proteins, and antioxidants, they go through something called a porin. Now, porins are like little channels that open up and allow things to flow in and out. But that inner membrane of the mitochondria does not have any porins. The only four that can get through that inner membrane and they're not through porins, are these four antioxidants – glutathione, melatonin, superoxide dismutase, and chlorophyll.

Now, you mentioned superoxide dismutase, so let me start with it. It is heralded as the answer to longevity. And here’s why. The most damaging free radical that is produced in your body and it’s all at the mitochondria level, is something called superoxide. And I was curious I read all this literature. Hundreds of NIH articles talking about the super damage of superoxide. And then we’re like, why? Why is it so damaging? And here’s why. Most free radicals have just one electron that is by itself and so it steals one electron from another molecule, which damages that molecule which then becomes a free radical, which damages the next molecule. And that's how the cascading effect of damaged tissue occurs. 

But superoxide has three of these unpaired electrons. So, it steals three times as many electrons from the next molecule, which causes three times as much damage to the next molecule. So that's why it’s known as the most damaging free radical, because it requires three electrons to stabilize. So, superoxide dismutase, what it does is it encounters this superoxide and turns it into water. Harmless water. Imagine a fireman with a hose. Just hosing down all that superoxide dismutase and protecting your mitochondria. The reason why this is so powerful is because again, when you're talking about the free radicals being produced as a result of ATP, if anyone’s ever sat by a bonfire or a fireplace and you got too close to it and sparks would fly, you know that those sparks could burn you. And that's what’s happening at the mitochondria level with all this ATP. It’s generating a fire but the results are free radicals, which are like the sparks. And what’s getting burned is the mitochondria DNA. And so, you’ve got to find a way to protect those mitochondria DNA because when they're damaged, then again, they die or they send the wrong signals.

Now, the other two antioxidants that can get into the mitochondria, as I mentioned, is melatonin and glutathione. And algae has the highest concentration of superoxide dismutase in the world, the highest concentration of glutathione in the world, and the highest concentration of chlorophyll in the world. All four are the four that can get into that inner membrane to stop this free radical damage.

Now there's two ways to stop the free radical damage. One is to reduce the number of free radicals being produced. And the second way is to neutralize them like superoxide dismutase. The first way is easy for anybody to do because carbs and sugar generate the most free radicals in your mitochondria. So, removing processed carbs, anything white, rice, bread, sugar, and replacing it either with a keto diet or at least a low-carb diet, that's number one, because you're going to have fewer free radicals being produced that will then produce less damage. Now, the best way, the thing that produces virtually no free radicals is fasting, either intermittent fasting or long-term water fasting and algae. Algae creates virtually no free radicals because there are no carbs. The remarkable thing about algae is scientific discoveries that if you take chlorophyll and expose your body to red light, either red light therapy or the sunlight, the chlorophyll regenerates the CoQ10 molecule, which is part of the cycle of producing ATP and it creates energy without free radicals. So, now you're taking algae that's full of the four antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals and it’s giving your body, your brain, your organs nourishment, and it's generating ATP without free radicals. So, that's number one. Reduce the number of free radicals that are damaging to the mitochondria DNA, and the second one, which is getting these four antioxidants that can neutralize them like superoxide dismutase.

Now, the catch is superoxide dismutase, as I mentioned, is an enzyme. And virtually all the other algae companies that are lower priced, higher volume, they use high heat to dry their algae. Why? Because they have to get to market quickly, to sell quickly, to make money quickly. Now, when I started the company, as I mentioned, it was just to help my sister. And so, twelve years ago I learned that high heat kills enzymes. To be honest, I knew nothing about superoxide dismutase 12 years ago, but I knew if you got over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, it killed enzymes. And I knew enzymes were important for digestion. So I said, well, we can’t use high heat. We can’t use high heat when we dry it. So, we never have.

So, that's why when you use our algae, the superoxide dismutase which has been heralded as the answer. And by the way, there's 50,000 studies that have been done on the healing properties of superoxide dismutase. It has been proven to stop cancer, proven to stop heart disease, proven to stop brain disease. And 50,000 is a big number just like there's 100,000 on algae. So now you’ve got something that's been proven to stop these diseases and reinstate health at the cellular level. And yet, everybody else is killing it except us. There is one other source that you could use, I want to point out, and it would be frozen spirulina. Chlorella, by the way, does have superoxide dismutase in it as well, but spirulina has the highest. It has four times as much as chlorella.

Now, frozen algae because, again, has not been exposed to high heat would have all the superoxide dismutase still alive and well. Same with such a thing as frozen chlorella. I’ve never found anybody that sells it. The problem with frozen spirulina is that it has a very short lifespan, it’s messy, you can’t travel with it, and it’s even more expensive. But it is an option for those of you who do want to search that out.

So, superoxide dismutase is unbelievable for preserving your mitochondria[j2] . Now, as I mentioned earlier, the highest concentration of mitochondria are in the parts of your body where there are the highest energy needs. Number one, your brain. They have found there are two million of these mitochondria per cell in your brain. That's why they're realizing autism, ADHA, dementia, Alzheimer’s, any brain issue. Any brain issue.

Brain fog is a mitochondria dysfunction, a mitochondria disease. We have people writing in who have had dementia. They’re in their 70s. Within two days, they started being able to focus again. One gentleman said he couldn’t even figure out how to turn his microwave on. And within two days of using the spirulina, he was being able to focus again. The power of these antioxidants cannot be understated. It is crucial that you get these into your body because after the age of 30, your body, which normally makes superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and melatonin drops, and it drops, and it drops. By the time you are 60 and certainly in your older years, it is producing virtually none. This is why when you're 20, in your teens, in your 20s, you have energy. You might get a cold, you bounce back in two days, but once you get into your 30s and 40s and 50s and 60s, you’re not sleeping, you're not recovering, you're getting chronic illness, you're getting cancer diagnoses, heart disease diagnoses, your brain fog is increasing. It’s because your mitochondria, which used to be protected when you were younger by these antioxidants, the three that your body makes plus chlorophyll, it is not producing them anymore. And I’m not telling you anything that's not scientifically proven. This is the reality. So, as your mitochondria get damaged and as you have fewer of these antioxidants to protect you, your inflammation level goes up and up, and your mitochondria and your health goes down and down and down.

We can change that trajectory simply with algae. It’s un-freaking-believable. I have the lab tests that prove that algae has the highest superoxide dismutase in the world. There’s a teeny, teeny, teeny amount in cabbage. It has 28,000 times more superoxide dismutase than cabbage. It has more melatonin. It has 1400 times more glutathione than avocado or beef. I can’t remember the number but some crazy number, more melatonin and melatonin, they're realizing there's way more than help you with your sleep and manage your circadian rhythm. It’s an antioxidant that, by the way, is produced in all of your mitochondria and used by all your mitochondria. These are essential antioxidants that preserve your mitochondria DNA which therefore preserve your health.

But I want to walk you through where the other concentrations of mitochondria are. First, as I mentioned, is your brain. The second highest, you’ll never believe this one, is women’s eggs. There are 600,000 mitochondria per cell in a woman’s eggs, in every single egg. For infertility, is a mitochondria dysfunction. You get this back into your body, it will be so much easier for you to have a baby, carry the baby, nourish the baby because it takes a lot. And why is there so many mitochondria in women’s eggs? Because it takes a lot of energy to create another human being.

The third highest is your heart. Once again, they’re realizing heart disease is a mitochondria disease. It’s anywhere between 5,000 to 7,000 mitochondria per cell in your heart. After that, it’s the rest of your organs and your muscles, which have an average of 5,000 mitochondria per cell. So any athletes who are listening, you want muscle for performance, but you need mitochondria for a long-lasting performance because that’s where your energy is coming from, from the mitochondria in your muscles.

Now, just as a comparison, a fat cell or a skin cell has an average of only 100 mitochondria per cell, because there's not a high need for energy there. But the things that go first when we are aging is our brain and our heart and, of course, our immune system as well.

So, the fact the algae, both the spirulina and the chlorella have the four antioxidants that can get into that inner membrane to stop the free radical damage that is like sparks flying off a fire and damaging the DNA, which is what causes the cascading effect of decreased energy, brain focus, cancer, immune health issues, algae does provide that ability to protect the DNA and at the same time, generate ATP without free radicals.

Now I’m going to tell you why there are two membranes in the mitochondria and why algae is such a remarkable thing and basically saves your mitochondria. So, remember at the very beginning I mentioned that algae was the first life on earth almost 4 billion years ago. And this is all documented in science, by the way, so we’ll send you all the links so you can check it out yourself. So, the first cell was cyanobacteria. And it was an anaerobic cell because before algae, there was no oxygen on earth. There was just gas and water. No one knows why this little tiny anaerobic cell, cyanobacteria, started growing, and of course, spirulina is a cyanobacteria, so it’s effectively spirulina was the first life on earth 4 billion years ago. And after a billion years of it growing, of these little cells growing, and they generated ATP and released oxygen in the process, which always happens, now there's a lot of oxygen on earth. But now this little anaerobic cell is struggling because it did better when there wasn’t any oxygen on earth, and at the same time, larger cells that were aerobic started growing. But they weren’t generating ATP as well.

So, I can imagine the conversation that went on between the two of them because this is exactly what happened. The big cell says to the little cell, “Hey, little guy. I see you’re struggling there with all that oxygen, and we love oxygen. But we’re not doing so well generating ATP. So, how about you come and join us? And we’ll protect you from the oxygen and you can generate ATP for us.” And basically, that's what happened. The big cell engulfed the little cell but did not digest the little cell. That little cell, that little cyanobacteria became mitochondria. Your mitochondria evolved from spirulina, well, from cyanobacteria, which spirulina is a cyanobacteria. Crazy, right?

That is why there are two membranes on your mitochondria. The original membrane is when it was out by itself 4 billion years ago as an anaerobic cell. Then when it got engulfed by the big cell, the big cell put a second membrane around it as occurs in all of the cells in your body that have these porins and allow things to go in and out. But the original membrane was retained. And that is why algae has everything that can get into mitochondria inner membrane where nothing else can get in there because it’s the same thing. There are different processes that allow the absorption to get through the cells. Nothing else can get in there. Your mitochondria and spirulina are family.

[01:36:11] Ashley James: It is so cool. I did a whole interview on mitochondria back in episode 297 with Dr. Warren Cargal. And I feel like I should connect the two of you because he published a book on mitochondria. He’s all about mitochondria. He said exactly what you said, which is really cool. It’s cool to hear it from multiple sources, right? And it’d be cool to hook you guys up. I’m going to do that. I’m going to hook you guys up.

[01:36:38] Catharine Arnston: What’s his name again?

[01:36:39] Ashley James: It’s Dr. Warren Cargal. Anyways, that's episode 297. I’ll make sure I’ll hook you guys up. I’ve had another, Dr. Jack Kruse has been on the show talking about mitochondrial health. He’s a cardiologist that … pretty sure. I’m going by memory. No, maybe he’s not a cardiologist. I think he’s a cardiologist. You know, when you do 500 interviews …

[01:37:04] Catharine Arnston: Oh, I know. I know. God bless you if you're even remembering.

[01:37:09] Ashley James: Yeah.

[01:37:10] Catharine Arnston: I’m the same way. I meet so many people. But when I discovered that mitochondria evolved from cyanobacteria.

[01:37:17] Ashley James: It’s just fascinating.

[01:37:19] Catharine Arnston: It’s called endosymbiosis, which is the scientific terminology that's used. And I tell people it makes me sort of chuckle because it reminds me of, let’s say you had a friend who got kicked off out of their apartment, and they come to you, and they go, “Hey, can I come and stay with you for a few days?” And you go, “Okay, fine.” Then they come and stay with you, and they do your laundry, they pick up your groceries, they pick up your dry cleaning, and you go, “Hey, this is working pretty good for me.” So you tell your friend, “Hey, stay forever.” So it’s sort of what happened with the little single-cell cyanobacteria that kind of took up shop with the bigger bacteria, and instead of digesting it, the big bacteria said, “Hey, you're doing such a great job generating ATP for us. Why don’t you just stay forever?” It flipped me out when I realized that we came from algae.

This endosymbiotic theory was discovered, by the way, in the ‘60s by a female professor who was at MIT at the time. And she was ridiculed by her peers for almost 10 years until they realized she was right. So, any article that you read at the NIH library, the National Institute of Health library on mitochondria, they all reference this thing. That's why I was so comfortable telling you about this because it starts to make complete sense. The mitochondria is where everything in your health starts and ends. Everything. You cannot get any further down the food chain, so to speak, in your health than mitochondria. And algae, you can’t get any further down the food chain. It is the original life on earth. It is the original ancestral, paleo, historic food. And here we are looking at all these people getting sick and taking all these medications and dramatic surgery.

The answer to all this for prevention and for maintenance and for excelling in health and vitality for you, the earth, and your children, has been sitting in front of us for billions of years, but it’s not sexy. It’s not cool. No one’s explained it to you.

[01:39:40] Ashley James: I think it’s sexy. I think, like mushrooms and algae, I think it’s incredibly sexy. So, I have deep faith, and I believe in God, and so many who study the Bible go, “Well, okay, but you're saying something that happened a billion years ago, but the Bible doesn’t say that. The Bible’s only …” you know. Some people take it literally and say 5,000 years. And what’s interesting, as you transcribe the Bible, and we’ve sort of changed definitions of words as you transcribe it from one language to another, but in the Old Testament, where “day” actually is transcribed into a literal day 24-hour around the sun, which, I mean, I think God can do anything; however, it was originally said and remember also Bible stories were spoken before they were written for a long time. It was the original language. And I’m open to being wrong about this, but this is after talking to like rabbis and ministers and priests and stuff like that, and having these wonderful theological discussions. When it comes to theology, I don’t take the stance where I’m infallible and I’m right. I’m open to being completely wrong because I’m listening for God to show me. Show me what you want me to see. And so, I think we should all have this open mind, like show me, God, what is the truth, show me what you want me to see and what you want me to understand about my healing and about life and how I can help others and how I can be in service to you.

What they said is that the word “day” actually means event. On the first event, God made this. On the second event, you know. It was not a literal 24 hours, which is really fascinating, because we’ve taken it as 24 hours. Because I believe God made the universe, and the more you study science, it’s actually really fascinating. Go look under a microscope, under a really, really intense microscope. Go look at a single-cell organism. And when you see how complex a single-cell organism is, it will move you to tears. It is so beautiful. There's more happening. If you study biology, there's more happening in a single cell than in New York City. There's more happening than in a city with millions of people and all their lives. It is so beautiful, and scientists have never discovered something created out of nothing. Anyways, this is just me. I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone. But try it on. Try on this concept that there's a beautiful higher power that loves you and created this whole universe. And this has been my philosophy since I was a kid that God is the world’s biggest scientist, that He’s the world’s coolest scientist. Right? And I say He, it’s God, it’s everything. Everything, this beautiful universal energy that there's something behind life. There's something after life. There's something behind everything that's a universal life force. There's more energy in us than there's matter. So, you get into studying quantum physics. Just study any of these scientists, and you just start to see God show up in these beautiful ways. At least He does for me.

[01:42:55] Catharine Arnston: I completely agree. I totally agree.

[01:42:57] Ashley James: And He gives us what we need. So, it just makes so much sense that here He’s given us the mitochondria, this beautiful relationship between this interesting bacteria-like object that then is now in our cells, making energy for us. And that makes so much sense because now that we’re just starting to crack open or just starting to go down the rabbit hole. We’re just starting to crack open that pandora’s box. I know pandora maybe isn’t the best reference, but this beautiful deep, deep, deep rabbit hole of understanding how good bacteria plays a role in our health. Right? And there's about six pounds of good bacteria in your gut that digest your food, that make neurochemicals for you, that your gut bacteria is making about 70 percent of your serotonin for your brain, and we’re just scratching the surface. So, it just makes so much sense that here we have chlorella and spirulina, these crops that God has given us that is here in nature, nature has given us that is healing and healthy for our body. Just like when you go into nature and you find a plant that's poisonous, you will always find the cure nearby. That there is a balance, in a balanced ecosystem.

And I wouldn’t say like go into like a state park, might not be a balanced ecosystem or your city park. But in a balanced ecosystem, herbalists, when they go out, and they wildcraft and forage, they will point out. They will say here’s the poison, and here’s the remedy. They're nearby. There's a balance in nature. And here we have this balance and especially now when the world is more and more and more toxic, we need to go back and find what are the cures that are showing up. Like you said, it shows up in a beach when the beach is toxic to help mop it up. We need to bring this into our body and mop up all the damage we’re doing from living in a toxic world. I absolutely love it.

Now, you said it kills bacteria. But what does it do to the good bacteria?

[01:44:58] Catharine Arnston: Oh, it helps it multiply because it’s a prebiotic, so it supports the healthy bacteria and kills the bad bacteria. It’s an adaptogen, so it can identify which team it wants to play with. 

Speaking of teams, it’s also keto, vegan, paleo, carnivore, no lectins, algae is not technically a plant. It’s certainly not an animal. It will work with every lifestyle group. It has zero sugar, zero caffeine. One calorie per tablet, 40 vitamins and minerals, highest protein in the world, highest glutathione, melatonin and superoxide dismutase in the world. And just to go back to you referencing God, two things, they now think that in the passage where Jesus is feeding the masses manna from heaven, they now think it was algae because he was scraping stuff from the rocks and now algae grows on rocks. And if it’s exposed to light, the chlorophyll is pulled out. But all the protein and the polysaccharides remain, so you’ll see it on rocks like this white crystal stuff. That’s algae. But it’s still nourishing. You can live on algae forever. It’s that nourishing. So, that's one of those sorts of things I want to mention.

Because algae is so healing and because it is really truly a gift to us from God from nature, from the universe, whatever you want to call it, anybody who is on a spiritual quest or wants to at least find themselves and get out of the crazy world that we live in, you have to be quiet. You have to step back, listen to your own soul, listen to your own voice because your soul and your spirit whisper. It never shouts. You know who shouts? People and companies that are trying to get your attention to sell you stuff. So, I tell people whoever is advertising the most on TV, run the other way. Because they’re loud and they're pushy. Your soul and your spirit are never loud or pushy. It will just whisper to you. And algae has been sitting around waiting for us to take notice of it.

By the way, the agents have figured it out like 60 years ago. And there was no legitimate reason for me to get involved with algae. I have an MBA, I was doing international economic development, then my sister got sick, and that I just helped her, and then I wanted to help more people. And I kept going. I had no science background at all. I’m completely self-taught. I call myself a citizen scientist, which I was going to mention this at the very beginning. Everybody who’s listening, you need to consider yourself a citizen scientist. It is your job to find out how your body works and find out what you need to give it so that you do not have to be a statistic. You can turn around that trajectory that you are on if you do not do something like this, an algae intervention, because your body is not giving you the antioxidants you need to protect yourself from free radical damage and the world that you live in is too toxic, it’s dumping on your body and your immune system things that you just cannot continue to get access to and expect to live a healthy life. It’s just impossible.

So, I have no science background. I’ve tried to do as much heavy lifting for you as possible. I’ve probably read 3,000 NIH articles at this point. I’ve been on over 200 podcasts. I speak nationwide. I’ve written about 500 papers. I’m in the process of getting a book. I’m going to do a TED Talk. I will do as much as I can to help you understand the science of algae and the science of your body. We write a blog on our website. You could just come to our website. Don’t even buy anything. Just educate yourself. But be careful on the internet in general because nobody understands algae like I do, and so there's a lot of stuff that’s out there that's actually incorrect. And I’m here to help you learn from my 12 years, I’ve given you a bit of a brain dump, and you can listen to this multiple times, and we’ll send you a lot of articles that you can link to. But I can promise you, if you start taking both the spirulina and the chlorella, you, your children, your pets, your family, your health will improve, and so will the world, because it’s also the most eco-friendly, sustainable crop in the world. The earth is begging you to wake up and help it because it needs help, and it doesn’t need a voice.

[01:49:43] Ashley James: I love it. And especially as you dive in, first of all, you have a PhD in algae.

[01:49:49] Catharine Arnston: Algae. I do.

[01:49:51] Ashley James: Well, you’ve been studying it for 12 years as a scholar. Harvard would give you an honorary PhD at this point. Listeners can go to episode 357 to learn about debunking algae myths, especially for those listeners who consider themselves citizen scientists and want to dive into the research. Episode 357 is great for that. Episode 266, we talk about vitamin K2 and the importance of that in relation to algae. Then episodes 234 and 265. We did an even deeper dive than what we did today about these crops and understanding how these crops are made. So, if you want to go back and sort of have the behind-the-scenes tour of how these crops are turned into these wonderful little tablets and all that. You can go back to those episodes, and we’ll link these previous four interviews in today’s episode along with all the articles that Catharine’s going to give us to start diving in and digesting ourselves. And I love it. You can go to and just start poring through the information there, and of course, use coupon code LTH any time to get the listener discount.

Okay, so listeners at this point are sold. They want their mitochondria to be healed. They want all the benefits you just mentioned. I’m especially thinking about heart health and brain health. I’m so, so, so excited about helping listeners to protect their mitochondria, to heal their mitochondria. Which one would be the best bag to buy if they're just starting out and they're like, “There’s four different bags. I don’t know which one to buy.” Which one should they buy?

[01:51:36] Catharine Arnston: Well, because VITALITYbits is a blend of both the spirulina and the chlorella, that might be the way to go. It’s interesting, spirulina has the highest superoxide dismutase and the highest glutathione and then the chlorella has the highest chlorophyll and the highest melatonin. As I said, they do different things. But both of them have the highest of all four antioxidants. But if you take the VITALITYbits, it gives you a nice mix of the two of them. So, that would be my suggestion if you can only buy one bag. And if you are able to buy two, then I would get the ENERGYbits. Well, someone joked and they said you have a boy spirulina and a girl spirulina. Remember, ENERGYbits and BEAUTYbits are identical. So, that would be what you would take in the morning. I personally love the BEAUTYbits, so that's what I have on my countertop because I’m a girl.

 And it’s a very attractive packaging. I design everything, it’s my homage to Mother Nature. The ENERGYbits is blue because spirulina came from the ocean and so it’s in a blue ocean color package. The BEAUTYbits is a gorgeous pink rose in it which Mother Nature knows beauty is healing, and so there's no shame in wanting to improve your own beauty. I mean, Mother Nature does it every day with the gorgeous flowers that she provides for us. The chlorella has a green leaf on it, and of course, chlorella does belong to the plant kingdom, so it’s a green package. And the VITALITYbits is in a bold red, sort of a fuchsia red color because it’s a blend of the two colors, the green and the blue, and it’s almost a purpley color.

I used to have friends say “I want two blue bags and a couple of green bags.” Some people buy it by the color. But the spirulina is generally the best in the morning, the afternoon when you're hungry and tired, and the chlorella which is the healing RECOVERYbits definitely before bed, but anytime that you want. And most people, as I said, do swallow the spirulina, the blue, and the pink one, and they do enjoy eating the chlorella with either macadamia nuts or sea salt or pistachio nuts. The VITALITYbits is a blend, so it’s kind of up to you in your flavor, but there's no shame in swallowing them. You can swallow them, chew them, add them to smoothies, or grind them up first. They don’t dissolve because they're very concentrated.

And just so you know, each tablet has the same nutrition as an entire plate of vegetables. One tablet. So, again, if you have parents, grandparents, who aren’t eating well, just get even a couple of these and if you take one or both of the algae, you could eliminate a multivitamin, especially spirulina, a multivitamin, eliminate your fish oil, eliminate CoQ10, biotin. You can clean up the clutter on your countertop with something that is nourishing and food, and chlorella because of the high chlorophyll, you don’t need to if you don’t like them or can’t get to them, you don’t need to be preparing vegetables as frequently because it gives you all the nourishment that you would find in greens. It’s a one-stop shop.

[01:55:00] Ashley James: I’m an overachiever. I just want more. So, I’m going to eat my vegetables and I’m going to take this because I want to do both. But I can appreciate that people have gaps. There's some people that have gaps in their nutrition, and this is fantastic for feeling it, and for me, I’m like, I want that optimal true health. I want the best of the best, so I’m adding this in addition to my vegetables. But at times when I can’t get a good meal, this is a fantastic quick food on the go that also happens to be the most concentrated amount of food nutrition I can get, which is super, super, super exciting.

[01:55:41] Catharine Arnston: One last thing I want to mention. Because cancer and heart disease and all these other illnesses, Alzheimer’s is so prevalent, when I mentioned 10 tablets a day, that's kind of for adults who are healthy. If anyone listening or you have any family members and we all do who are experiencing cancer or heart disease, Alzheimer’s, please double the amounts, I promise, triple the amount. There is no upper limit.

[01:56:07] Ashley James: It’s a crop, it’s food.

[01:56:08] Catharine Arnston: It’s a crop; it’s a vegetable. Your poop might be a little green, drink a little extra water because there's high protein and that your body needs water to process protein. Please, please, please get them on this stuff. I promise you, it will make a difference. Cancer cannot exist in an alkaline environment. Algae is the most alkaline food in the world. That's how I got started. My sister’s oncologist told her to eat an alkaline diet when she was preparing for chemo. And I will send you a link to a PowerPoint that will give you lots of other references. It’s hundreds and hundreds of science references in my presentation that we’ll send you. Trust me when I tell you this is the most natural, effortless, non-invasive way to nourish and heal your cell and your mitochondria and your health. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, Ashley, to help people understand this.

[01:57:03] Ashley James: Absolutely. Well, I don’t want to use the word “desperation,” but I hear your passion and I hear almost like the tone of your voice, first of all, you have even more information than the last time I interviewed you. But I hear an essence in your voice and, you know what, the word “desperation” is completely wrong. That's not it. It’s urgency.

[01:57:25] Catharine Arnston: Yeah, urgency.

[01:57:29] Ashley James: There is a level of urgency that this deserves because people’s lives are at stake. For me having suddenly lost my mom at 55 and my dad at 62, young ages. It’s so sad that some people are just like drop-dead in their 40s of a heart attack out of nowhere, like young. I have a mom friend of mine who died of cancer. I have another mom friend who’s fighting cancer. These diseases that were maybe diseases of 80-year-olds are now diseases of 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds.

[01:58:10] Catharine Arnston: It’s unacceptable.

[01:58:11] Ashley James: It is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that teenage athletes drop dead of all of a sudden, a heart attack. It’s unacceptable, right? So, we need to take matters into our own hands. There is a level of urgency and you have an urgency that we need to get the algae to be accepted en masse and widely. You converted us. We’re believers. We’re excited. I know my listeners who haven’t tried your algae are doing a jump and try it. Please come into the Learn True Health Facebook group and let’s talk about it, listeners, those who have tried the algae, tried the ENERGYbits. Please come into the Learn True Health Facebook group and tell the listeners what your experience has been. Those who haven’t tried it, come ask, tell me about it. Let’s start a conversation about it. I want to hear your testimonials and your stories around it. And then those who are new to it, as you try it, please come to the Facebook group and share.

One thing I wanted to say is, and we’ve talked about this in previous episodes, those who are very sensitive like I am to detox and to toxins, I’m one of those people and the second I start detoxing, I feel it hugely. And I found that when I eat 30 of the tablets of the RECOVERYbits, which is the chlorella, that is the magic number for me to not feel detox effects when I’m going through a heavy metal detox. That for me is the magic number. Dr. Klinghardt said that's about the amount like a good handful, is what you want to take when you're doing heavy metal detox. If you take less and you're doing a heavy metal detox, you kind of are dusting in a room with no windows open and no air filter on. You're just kicking up the toxins inside the stores because toxins will store up. When I say toxins, I mean, man-made toxins and heavy metals. I mean like by-products of cellular waste, natural by-products of cellular waste. That's normal. I mean, the 80,000 manmade chemicals over the last 40,000 years that we’re now exposed to that our body has to figure out how to process, plus heavy metals that are in our air, food, medications, and soil, and water.

It gets stored in adipose tissue. Even if you're skinny, you still have some fat. It gets stored in that. And then when we do any kind of detoxing or weight loss, it gets thrown back into the 

blood system for your body to have to figure out how to get rid of and if you're like me and my liver’s not really great with detoxing, then it’s just going to re-damage everything and get back into the fat cells until I do more weight loss or I do more detoxing, then it comes back out. It damages everything and then it goes back in instead of getting out of my body. So, eating 30 of the RECOVERYbits is what mops it up and allows it to leave my body without feeling any ill effects of detox. So, that was my thing. And Dr. Klinghardt said, and he confirmed this that if you eat less than 30 and you're doing detox, you’re going to still feel sick if you're like me. So, eat 30. Don’t be shy. Just a handful. Every day, if you’re going to do detox like doing sauna or other detoxing things.

Because I’ve heard from a handful of people, not a lot of people, I’ve seen people eat 5 and have had no problem, but people who are also sensitive like me, if they're doing a detox and they eat less, they’ll then feel sick and they go, “Oh, this algae made me sick.” And I’m like, no, it’s not the algae that made you sick. You didn’t take enough of it to mop up. Then, they trust me enough to try again, and they're like, “You're right. I tried 30 and I don’t feel anything at all. But if I eat 10, I feel sick. But if I ate 30, don’t feel sick.” And like, see, there you go. It mops it up at 30, but you don’t get enough of the mopping up effect if you eat 10. So, that's been my experience.

[02:02:02] Catharine Arnston: And I agree. That's why you’ll get the wellness benefits from 5 or 10, but just so you know, and I’m not boasting about this, I probably eat 100-150 chlorella a day and have every day for 12 years. I mean, I love this stuff. It’s a main food for me. Probably eggs and algae are the two things. As ironic, when I first started the company, I didn’t have any money and the only things I could afford were eggs and algae. And here I am, I am finally not desperate again like I was 12 years ago. But my favorite foods are eggs and algae. And I’m not suggesting you need to eat 100, but I just share that with you to show you that there is no upper limit. So, if you can eat take the 30, that is the magic number. In fact, we sell them in boxes on our website in pouches with 30 tablets in it. So, for those of you who can, it makes it so easy because all you do is you start your day with a pouch of spirulina with the 30 tablets and you end your day with a little pouch of chlorella with the 30 tablets. You don’t even have to think about it. We also sell them in canisters that come with a bag inside. You open the bag, you put it in the canister and then you just leave it on your countertop, and then you just shake out the tablets through the little opening in the canister. It’s adorable. It’s beautiful, it’s effortless and then when you run out of tablets, you just buy another bag and you fill a bag up with a canister because we found people were sticking their hand in the bags and they're getting green powder on their hands and it was messy. So, we’ve done our best to make it as effortless for you. The little pouches that we call them travel single-servings are just the best. Just buy a bunch of boxes of those.

If you want to learn more too, we’re very active on social media. ENERGYbits is the main handle on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. And BEAUTYbits has their own Instagram handle if you want to see the girly stuff. It’s just that, BEAUTYbits. They're like kids, right? They have complete different personalities.

[02:04:02] Ashley James: So funny. I’m not one of those, a pink, you know. I’m kind of like, why, why is everything pink? Like, I’m not a pink girl, but I appreciate you do that for the girls, for the women who like it. I personally don’t. I don’t know. I liked climbing trees when I was a kid. And I believe that as a female, we have such a beautiful spectrum of what being a woman is. Being a woman is anything that we say we are. We are strong. We are so amazingly strong. And I have this wonderful naturopathic physician who’s been practicing for close to 40 years now. She’s delivered over a thousand babies and she used to be the dean of the naturopathic college Bastyr University just outside of Seattle. Her name’s Dr. Molly Niedermeyer. She says that women, they're so strong. Like blood tests show that they should be dead, you know what I mean? It’s like your energy levels through the floor or your cortisol or through or through the roof. But man, and I’m not putting you guys down but just as a comparison, we drag our bodies through the mud. We have a willpower and a determination to be the most amazing mothers, the most amazing wives, the most amazing businesswomen and students. And whatever we put our minds to, our physiology will keep us going. Just our mindset, our willpower. But we will drag our bodies through the mud and a lot of times put ourselves last because we are taking care of everyone we love and then finally, our body breaks. Then, we finally have to take care of ourselves. And I really don’t want, because I hit that breaking point 15 years ago, and I was incredibly sick. Now, I’ve spent the last 15 years recovering my health from that and going, okay, I put my oxygen mask on first in order to take care of those I love. So, we have to flip that mindset and go, for example, I buy ENERGYbits to take care of myself so I can take care of my loved ones. Feed them to your kids and feed them to you. Feed them to your husband, feed them to the whole family.

I know that there are some listeners right now going, “I can’t wait to give this to my kids,” but it’s like, “Oh, money is tight, I’m going to buy this for my kids but not for me.” Or, “I’m going to buy for my husband but not for me.” I know you’re thinking that. I’m in your brain. And here’s the thing. If you get sick, who’s taking care of the ones you love? You’ve got to take care of yourself. Please, please, please. Putting yourself first isn’t selfish. Putting yourself equal to your kids and husband in terms of the importance of health is necessary to take care of those you love. So, please try it, do yourself that service and try it.

[02:07:06] Catharine Arnston: My final sort of comment is I saw a great quote on the internet and it said self-love is giving the world the best of you, not what’s left of you. And that really resonated with me and I hope it resonates with you.

[02:07:21] Ashley James: I love it.

[02:07:22] Catharine Arnston: I need to run but …

[02:07:24] Ashley James: Oh, thank you so much, Catharine, for coming on the show. This has been wonderful.

[02:07:27] Catharine Arnston: Thank you for having me, Ashely. This is so great and I’m so grateful to share again with your community. And like I said, this is a labor of love for me and I’ve got to get people using this so they can regain their health naturally. It’s possible. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. But you’ve got to do it.

[02:07:47] Ashley James: Love it.

[02:07:48] Catharine Arnston: Citizen scientists, reunite.

[02:07:50] Ashley James: Yes, absolutely. Well, come back on the show when you discover more information. Just keep going down that rabbit hole. Listeners, go to to get all the show notes, get all the links to everything that Catharine Arnston is going to link to us, all those articles, so you can dive down into the science. And please go to, try the chlorella and the spirulina, and use the coupon code LTH to get the listener discount that Catharine so generously gives us. Thank you so much. I’m just so excited to hear the feedback from the listeners as they go down this rabbit hole with us and they notice that their health becomes even better and better from it. So, thank you so much.

[02:08:30] Catharine Arnston: Thank you. Thank you so much. All the best to everybody.


Get Connected With Catharine Arnston!


Official Website






Recommended Book by Catharine Arnston


Vitamin K2 And The Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheaume – Bleue

Recommended Links:


Learn True Health – Episode 357

Learn True Health – Episode 265

Learn True Health – Episode 218

Learn True Health – Episode 227


Downloadable Information About Chlorella And Spirulina:

why is our spirulina and chlorella the safest and best

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

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

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