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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Learn True Health with Ashley James







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Jun 7, 2022
"You Are Not Broken: A Holistic Guide for Men and Women to Heal the Pathways of Sexual Dysfunction and Restore Relational Harmony Together"
May 18, 2022

More info on Grace and her story:

Below you will find more information and the links From Former House of Reps Dean Michele Bachmann referenced on the topic of the Biden Administration signing over US sovereignty on public health to the World Health Organization:

Take action:
"Some Senators are pushing back against this story of the proposed Biden amendments to be voted on May 22-28, 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland, at the World Health Assembly (the UN governing body of the WHO), because it’s hard to believe. But I’ve examined the amendments. One objection is that the International Health Rules of the World Health Assembly (which the US signed onto in 2005), contains an “out” clause that allows a member nation to withdraw from the rules. Formerly, nations could choose to comply with International Health Rules or they could opt out. 
The original opt out clause still remains in the current rules document, even if the Biden amendments are adopted, but the new amendments proposed by Biden completely undermine that opt out clause. Article 12 section 2 line 6 strikes the 194 nations' healthcare officers as decision makers over healthcare decisions within their nations, and instead transfers that decision making authority to the Director General of The UN’s healthcare agency, the World Health Organization—(WHO). 
The Biden amendments strengthen the WHO and undermine US sovereignty. 
We've just lived through 2 1/2 years of medical authoritarianism in the US, including forcing us to stay locked up for 15 days, shutting down businesses, throwing people out of work, forcing vaccines on people involuntarily, and mask wearing. We witnessed mandating school and public and private closures, denying people standard healthcare procedures, all in the name of Covid. The US CDC issued a recommendation, and Biden told people they no longer had to pay rent, leaving landlords with bills to pay, but no income to pay them. The Congress did not vote for any of these actions. 
Biden just issued orders, (and Trump did, too), on the basis of emergency powers. 
We are still living under emergency powers declared by Biden, with no ending date. 
These actions were not voted on by Congress. These were just recommendations made by Fauci and the CDC, but these recommendations were portrayed to the public as though they were law when they were not. This includes forced vaccines under pain of losing employment. We continue to experience complete violations of our first amendment rights. 
Authoritarian actions could easily happen on a global scale by empowering the Director General of WHO, as the Biden amendments seek to do. 
The proposed Biden amendments to the International Health Rules, weakens US and other nations’ authority over healthcare decisions and strengthens global authority through the World Health Organization, Director General at the UN. 
Could a nation technically say they won't follow the WHO Director General's orders? 
Yes, but ask yourself, why is the Biden administration seeking to pass amendments at the governing body of the WHA to singularly empower the Director General of the WHO and undermine the authority of US healthcare officials? 
The amendments are intended to show the policy orientation of the Biden administration toward global decision making and undermine US sovereignty over healthcare. 
If everyone can get these links and information to their representatives, and demand they vote on these amendments, that would help." - Michele Bachmann
Our Amazing Grace: Whistleblower Reveals How He Lost His Daughter to Medical Malpractice


  • What did Scott Schara find out about the hospital’s anomaly?
  • Why did Scott think that his daughter Grace wasn’t given the proper care?
  • What drugs did they put in Grace’s body to cause her sudden death?
  • How much money does the hospital make out of COVID patients?


Heartbreaking, but this story needs to be told. This gut-wrenching story of what Scott’s daughter, Grace, went through will not be easy to listen to. . In this episode, Scott Schara will share the intentional deaths happening in the hospitals after losing his loving daughter, Grace.



Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 479. I am so honored today to have Scott Schara on the show. Scott has a very powerful message for you. And for all of us. This is something that my naturopathic mentors have been warning me about for over ten years that I’ve been studying with them. They’ve kept saying to me the number one cause of death in the United States is done at the hands of doctors on hospitals. And that sounded so outlandish when they first started proposing this, and then they showed me the statistics, and they showed me the literature, they showed me the numbers, and they said—no look, it’s not just accidents that happened, like, “Oh, I meant to give you five milligrams, not 50 milligrams.” It’s not just those. And those do happen. It’s actual effects, not side effects but effects from drugs. It’s mismanagement. I don’t want to say it’s intentional, but there are certain hospitals, when we look at the statistics, they look as though they’re more interested in how many scans they can do, how many tests they can run instead of the health of the patient. They’re looking at the cash cow of the patient. And when we look at the overall picture of the medical system, we see that the medical system is designed for profit. It’s not designed to heal.

I love the doctors out there who want to do good. Who spent so many years of their life going to school because their hearts were in the right place. They want to do good. They’re in a system that is broken because it’s intentionally designed for profit. One of my naturopathic mentors was raised on a farm, very young, when he was feeding the calves with calf pellets. He looked at the ingredients, and he said—“Dad, why do we feed all the calves the vitamins, minerals, all these nutrients? Why are we feeding them all these nutrients with calf pellets? Why don’t we take these nutrients ourselves?” Because he understood even as a child. He understood the veterinary medicine aspect of farming that when you give an animal very good nutrition, it prevents disease. And if we can prevent disease in an animal, it makes the hamburger cost less. And for humans, it’s the opposite.

We wait to get sick and then go to the doctor and get put on very expensive meds. So it’s a backward world where we try to prevent disease in animals to keep them healthy and keep the cost down. But when it comes to our health, we’re not trying to keep the cost down by preventing medicine? So the whole system is just wackadoo. So when my mentor showed me, without a shadow of a doubt, they showed me all the evidence that hospitals and so many shady things go on that lead to the number one cause of death in the United States, and it is actually at the hands of the medical system.

So, Scott, you have a story that really echoes this message I keep hearing, and I’m very excited to have you on the show today because your message will save lives. So, welcome to the show.


[00:03:52] Scott Schara:  Thanks for having me. That was a great introduction. I just have a couple of quick comments before you start asking me questions. But what’s interesting, your introduction was well done, and it sets the table and what’s happened in the research only about a month ago. I crossed over to say that Grace’s death was intentional, and it was through research. When you’re at the point where you’re thinking maybe this is unintentional and I’ve come to the point of saying it is.

So the urgency my daughter put it this way which I think is a good way to put it, if you shot somebody on the street, they would put you in jail as soon as possible to stop you from killing more people. And that same thought process has to be applied to the medical professionals who are doing this type of thing like they did to our daughter Grace. And I’m not talking about just the people involved in Grace’s situation– this is running rampant in our country.


[00:05:00] Ashley James:  Right, especially in the last two years. We can do a whole talk just on the last two years and what we’ve seen hospitals do because they would get $5,000 or more per COVID patient. And then they would get this huge chunk of money from the government every time they put someone on a ventilator, so they were monetarily motivated. And again, I believe there’s good people in the system, but when we look at the outcomes, the outcomes were so horrendous.

Doctors kept doing the same thing, even though they saw a very slim chance that people would survive once they put them on the ventilator. And that their hands were tied, and they weren’t allowed to use certain medications that they saw or other doctors saw were working. But when we look at all the hospitals, we see that there’s a pattern of looking to monetize and maximize the money from each patient and not necessarily looking for the best outcome for each patient. And this is just the very sick part of the medical system is when someone’s monetarily motivated, they’re not going to make the best ethical choices for our health. So let’s dive into your story. Tell us about Grace.


[00:06:26] Scott Schara:  So Grace, I could talk about it for hours and hours. And I’m attempting to give a picture of Grace in a short time. She’s the whole motivation for doing this. There are some days that are exceptionally hard. She was my best buddy. You know when your best buddy is killed, and you know a lot of things happen in your mind. I missed her terribly just this last weekend. For example, we went on an annual fishing trip with Grace and our two grandsons, and I took the two grandsons this year without Grace. So that was tough. You relive what we did last year, and you can’t stop thinking about it. Well, it’s a joy to go on a fishing trip, but also it was so sad. I cried multiple times over the weekend.

It’s easy to do a podcast like this and all the ones we’ve been doing because she was a great kid. She had a love for our Lord that is different than anything I’ve ever seen. She called me earthly dad. And she represented God’s love the way that it’s supposed to be, and I can’t love that way. She did it because she loved me, even when I was a jerk. It gives me the motivation to do these stories and tell about Grace. And tell what happens, so it doesn’t happen to other people.

Grace was 19 when she died. She had Down syndrome. She was on the Down Syndrome scale of people. She was very high functioning, and my wife homeschooled her. She taught her how to read and write, and she could. She played violin at my daughter Jessica’s wedding. She rode horses. I taught her how to drive. She had a sense of humor second to none. She was a funny kid. She saw things through the lens of humor. If she met you for the first time, she would be encouraging. She would share a sense of humor right at the get-go. If she’d met you for the first time, she’d say, ” Well, nice to meet you, beautiful Ashley.” And then she would say– would you like to hear my dirty jokes? Of course, you would say, “Well, and I couldn’t wait to hear them.” And then she would say, “Well, why didn’t the toilet paper cross the road?” So then you’d say, “I don’t know.” “What she would tell you, “because it was stuck in the crack.” And you would say, “well, what about your second one? She would say, “have you read the book Under the Bleachers”? And you’d say no, “I’ve never read that book”. And she said, “Would you like to know who’s written it by?“ “And, of course, you’d say, “yes”. And she’d say, “well, it was written by Seymour Butts.”

We have a website that we started, There’s hundreds of pictures, videos, all kinds of cool stuff about Grace and her life, and obviously the stories on the website. You can get to know Grace that way. I get emails every day from people who go to the website and they see how special she was. She was very unique. We see her now as an angel. God gives us an angel to walk around with us for 19 years. And the only way to make sense out of it is with understanding that God’s sovereign. He basically had her unloan to us, and He had a different purpose for Grace.


[00:10:28] Ashley James: What is your mission by coming on this podcast and sharing Grace’s story and the website What is your desire, your wish, your hope that comes out of all this?


[00:10:46] Scott Schara: There’s two very specific things we decided to do this early on, right after the hospital decided to not meet with us. We had written up all of the research that we had done. We had known by November 8 that they killed Grace but at that point, we thought it was an anomaly. So we took all the research that we did, and we were probably over 100 hours at that time. Now, it’s over $600 of research, and we codified it, put it all on documents, and sent it to the hospital requesting a meeting. So, it sounds dumb when you think about it now. I really thought it was just an exception. So, they would want to know and change the protocol, so they don’t do this to somebody else. And when they said, no, we don’t want to meet. We realized, oh my gosh, this is deeper than that.

So then we decided to go public with the story and for two reasons. Number one is to save lives. So that’s the easy one. I mean, you’re going to be motivated to save lives. You don’t want this to happen to anybody else. And when you hear the details, you’ll see what I’m talking about. We want to stop this. So when we started to go on podcasts, then you realized the national media is not going to pick up the story because it’s too out there. So then, the website was developed to post the research so people cannot just believe some dead that’s telling the story. But actually see the documents and see the research, so then they see, oh my gosh, this is true to save lives. So that’s number one.

And I just want to drill that down just a little bit because there’s two very specific pieces of that. Number one is if you need to go to the hospital, look at what is the need to check-in. So go to the emergency room visit for a true emergency which at the time when we took Grace, we thought it was a true emergency in it probably was because her oxygen level could not be maintained above 90%. We did not have to checked her in the hospital if I would had known then what I know now we would have checked her in. We would have said, no, we’re not going to admit her, and they would have sent us home with a prescription for oxygen and steroid, and Grace would be alive today. And I say that with 100% confidence because I went into different hospitals three days after Grace died with symptoms three to four times worse. I was about to die the first night, and they turned me around in 24 hours with a completely different protocol than what was followed with Grace.

Then the second piece of this physical component of saving people’s lives is a lot of the hospitals have been bought, and I don’t mean legally bought. But they’ve been practically bought by the government through a money trail, and they used COVID as an excuse. So Grace died at a hospital in Appleton, Wisconsin. I went to a different hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and by God’s Grace, that hospital, we didn’t know, that hospital chose to do what’s right and follow the hippocratic oath versus doing what’s wrong. And that fact pattern, I think God used it so I could tell the story objectively. But that fact pattern is the second component of the physical piece of the message, which is check out your hospitals in your local area and vet them before the need arises because when you’re sitting in the emergency room, that isn’t the time to figure out if they been bought by the government or not. You need to know which hospitals are the good ones and which one are the bad ones ahead of time.

And then, the second component of what we want to do is the spiritual piece which we thought early on that Grace’s story may be used by God to prepare people’s hearts that they’ve been duped. That the government had duped our entire population, and if that does that to you, when you listened, you realize God wants to bring everybody back to himself and if that causes you to start searching, don’t turn it off. He wants you to search and find the only person who ever walked the face of the earth and who didn’t duped anybody, which is His Son, Jesus Christ.


[00:15:26] Ashley James: Thank you. How can we vet hospitals? I’ve got several in the area, but there’s only one I really like in my area. Actually, they publish, and it’s really interesting. This is the most honest hospital in the area.  They published all their statistics. So, for example, around COVID, what surprises me is that they’re being so honest with their statistics that if you look at month to month, the people who have been admitted in the last several months, significantly higher percentage are those who are fully vaccinated with the boosters, so they’ve got three shots. Some of them decided to get four shots, but the ones who are zero shots have a significantly less percentage of being admitted and even coming to the hospital with COVID.

They’re publishing all these statistics. They’re just being, here’s our statistics for this month, this is how many people are in the ICU, this is how many people were admitted. This is how many people who just came into the ER or tested positive. Eventhough, they are tested positive while not having any symptoms. They came in like a broken arm, and they have tested positive like they’re just showing where they’re at. And I thought that was a clue that maybe this hospital would be better than going to other hospitals because they’re being honest. But besides what they’re just showing, how can we question a hospital to know that they are not going to put money in front of my health?


[00:17:05] Scott Schara: That’s a great question. I would tell you the common sense approach. I don’t have any checklist, but just add a little critical thinking to your questions, and you can come up with an answer. So the first thing I would do is find out if they are part of a national chain or not. So with Grace’s hospital, St. Elizabeth, it’s part of a section that is a 142 hospital system. That’s big. They’re one of the largest in the country. So the bigger they are, the more likely they’re bought by the government versus the hospital system.

I went into a small region with five hospitals, that doesn’t make it good or bad. But that’s just a first cut. Medical professionals that you already know that are not generally bought by the system—chiropractors for example, dentists–if you have a trusted relationship with them, you can ask some questions to find out. But then ultimately, you’re going to find out their position on things. So, on a bright light question, obvious is, what’s your position on the vaccine? Because that will tell you an awful oath of tons of stories that I’ve heard about people that they went into their regular doctor who they trusted for years, and now he’s pushing the vaccine. Well, what does that tell you? He could be naive if you in the best-case scenario, but in the worst-case scenario, he is one that bought by the government because this thing is no good. And so, to me, the vaccination position is a bright light task. They’re pushing the vaccine. They’re pushing the narrative that’s no good. So they’ve been bought.


[00:19:03] Ashley James: It’s so overwhelming. When you think about it, we’re just us as individuals, and it’s this big system and we have to navigate this big system. When we start to go down the rabbit hole, the corruption is endless. So I’ve been looking into, observing, and picking through, and understanding the history of the modern medical system. So I urge everyone to look into that because this system is new in the scope of humanity, it’s been constructed in the last 115 years.

Before that, you could go to a homeopath. You could go to an herbal medicine practitioner. Allopathic medicine is a very new pharmaceutical-based medicine which is very new and most of their medications were made from herbs anyway. We had so many choices. And then, what happened was the entire system and the colleges and the universities were bought by the one person who owned the pharmaceutical company at the time. He made sure what was taught in the schools to the doctors was only pharmaceutical-based medicine. So, there’s been a slander campaign against all other forms of medicine for over 100 years.

Back in the 1980s, the American Chiropractic Association won a huge lawsuit against the AMA force, years and years of slander but the damage was done. There’s a whole generations of Americans and people from other countries who have been told by their primary care physician that chiropractors are quacks because that’s what they told by the AMA to say, but it’s not true. They won in the 80s, but it’s still to this day; people still believe what their doctor told them. The same things with there’s a huge PR slander campaigns around midwives because they wanted everyone to be born in a hospital and die in a hospital to increase their profits.

So, when you see that over the last 100-plus years, the medical system has been built upon the premise of making as much money as possible from each customer, not a patient. A patient is someone you want to heal, and help survive, live, and thrive and not suffer. A customer is someone you want to get as much money out of. There’s individuals in the system that are service to others that want to help, but the system is not designed to help.

So you’ve been looking into this. Can you explain how much money does each hospital gets? Let’s use this COVID as an example. I know others who’ve gone into the system and even before COVID and their care has been mismanaged significantly out of a desire to make more money for the hospital. Could you explain how much money does a hospital get when someone comes in and tests positive for COVID or dies from COVID? Or gets put on a ventilator? How much money are they being incentivized or being given by the government?


[00:22:40] Scott Schara:  Good question. I do want your last discussion. I want to just comment on it because it’s critical. You’ve laid it out perfectly. And if people don’t believe Ashley, Mikki Willis did a great job with the Plandemic tool. He laid this out in an hour and five minutes. It lays out this whole setup. So, COVID is just a bluff on the screen. It’s been used as an excuse to implement a whole bunch of stuff that’s been going on for, as you said, 115 years. So it’s important to realize that this COVID is simply being used as the excuse to open up Pandora’s box to this absolute craziness that is heading our way that Grace’s case just emphasizes.

So back to your question about the money. The Center for Medicaid Services has come out with some whistleblowers who have said that the average hospital bonus, this is not the hospital’s profit, this is just a bonus from the government for COVID patients is a hundred thousand. That’s bonus money, and I want to walk through an example so people can grasp how deep this system is being aligned or blocked by the government. So when a person checks into the hospital with COVID, they get a bonus for testing positive. I just want to walk through a ventilator as an example. So most people are pushed to be put on a ventilator, and this is by design, and the money fits the crime. So, a ventilator, when it’s put in the patient, yields a $39,000 bonus.

To set that up, they started the patient on a sedation med, typically Precedex, and that classifies the room as ICU, which is another bonus. That patient will eventually die, 85% of people put on a ventilator for COVID die, that’s a $13,000 bonus for death.


[00:24:53] Ashley James: Sorry, hold on. How much money does the hospital make if you die from COVID on a ventilator?


[00:25:00] Scott Schara: Just like COVID, death is $13,000.


[00:25:05] Ashley James: So COVID death is $13,000. If you had a car accident and you died in the ER, and you happen to test positive for COVID, do they get $13,000?


[00:25:19] Scott Schara: Correct, as long as they put it on the death certificate that way. Which their motivation is to do that. They convince the patient–not the patient at that time because they’re dead but they convince the advocate to do that because the government will reimburse your funeral cost of $9,000 for COVID death. So, if they have this way, just think about the government caused the COVID death and they make it, so they have this whole media campaign that it’s released from China and all this crazy stuff that our governments are involved with it. They want to make you think that they’re being your friend by giving you a $9,000 funeral cost reimbursement.

My wife wisely said we’re not taking their dirty money as we never took that in Grace’s case. We just felt that if we did that, we basically agreed that Grace’s death was COVID. It has nothing to do with COVID. So even though her death certificate says COVID, Grace didn’t die of COVID. So anyway, going back to how this plays out. So I just went through the bonuses that they get. The patient was probably already in a Remdesevir, so that’s another bonus. And then, they get an overall 20% bonus on top of a bonus as an added bonus for the entire state. But then, with the ventilator, the average amount of time for patients to keep them alive, they max this out. The average amount of time for patients to be alive on a ventilator is 22 days. So then you get the daily room charge which is the insurance payment and the patient’s payment. It’s approximately 300 grand for a ventilator patient.

So you can see why they pushed to put somebody on a ventilator. In Grace’s case, she was never on a ventilator because we denied it. Thankfully, we got wise to ventilators while we were in the hospital and we denied that push. They wanted us to give them a pre-approval or pre-authorization to put Grace on a ventilator whenever they wanted to, and, ultimately, I believe that because we denied that. They had to figure out a different way to take Grace out. So Grace’s case is extremely unique, not only because we were there, but the way they did it, it’s unbelievable.


[00:27:49] Ashley James: Let’s talk about that. What’s the evidence that you have that they maliciously killed your daughter?


[00:28:01] Scott Schara: There’s an overabundance of evidence. Again, I would point people to the website and then look at the tragedy tab. Roughly 70% of the research that I’ve done is posted in that tab, so that will point you to evidence. I’ll go through some other pieces that are not on the tab so then you can see–oh my gosh, this is unbelievable. We’ll go through the evidence first if you want to talk about the quality of care because that really sets this up. Because you might think, oh my gosh, how did this all even happen? What was the hospital stay alike?


[00:28:40] Ashley James: Why don’t we walk through it? So, her oxygen is lower than 90%. So you bring her into the hospital, and you check her in. Walk us through it.


[00:28:52] Scott Schara: So, right in the emergency room when they suggested that we should have met Grace, I just said well, then I’ll be staying with her. And immediately, the attending nurse said, we can’t. And I said, what’s the reason? And she said we don’t allow visitors in the COVID wing. And I said, then I’ll be taking Grace home. Unfortunately, at that point, they came back two hours later, and they said, we had a meeting, and they said, you can stay. So, I say unfortunately because, obviously at that time, I was in the mindset to take her home. I wasn’t going to be an advocate. That’s crazy that I will be going to leave my Down Syndrome daughter in the hospital alone, and no one’s going to do that.

So, they allowed me to stay, and we waited 10 hours in the emergency room for a room to open up. What I believe happened and you can make your own judgment after hearing the details. I believe, basically, we were waiting for somebody else to die. And specifically for them to take somebody else out because the hospital was at maximum capacity at this point with the Delta variant in the emergency room was also at maximum capacity. So when we waited in the emergency room for 10 hours. So about midnight on the 7th, we got in the room. My expectation at that point was that Grace and I were gonna have a mini-vacation for three or four days. It was on the first day, it was like that. So we just goofed and hopped in. They had a great menu. We could order food off the menu and it was really fun.

Towards the end of the day, they put Grace on a high-flow cannula, which is a regular cannula, what’s you see people have with the hose wrapped around their ears, with the tool inserts in the nostrils, and they’re just breathing oxygen.

That’s outmost of what Grace needed, but they insisted on a high-flow cannula. Grace’s really got agitated with that shooting air up your nostrils at 40 miles an hour. So it’s a big deal. So then, thinking oxygen is paramount here and I thought they know better. There’s an attitude that I had, unfortunately, to trust the white coat. And that’s another take-home message is let them earn your trust. Don’t just automatically blindly trust the white coat. And ultimately, based on these examples that I really didn’t trust the white coat because I was taken out of the armed guard. I may still have an overall trust for the white coat, but then they try to harm your daughter. 

So ultimately, I worked with the nurses for a couple of hours to get a BiPAP situated with Grace, and then she calmed down, and everything was fine. On that next morning, on the 8th of October, the doctor came in at eight o’clock and said, you’re going to need to put your daughter on a ventilator in the next two hours. So, I said, what is that recommendation based on? He said we did a blood gas draw the night before. So I said, what time? He said 11:30, and I told him the story about what just happened with the oxygen. And I said, I was watching the monitors. I said at that point when you guys did that, Grace’s blood pressure was 235 over 135, and her heart was racing a hundred beats a minute. So I don’t think that a blood gas draw is subjective. So I’ll let you take another one. So, they did, and Grace’s fine.

We dodged the ventilator bullet, but at that moment, I got educated mentally because I asked what’s the prognosis. I still think the majority of people will—like what you have said with chiropractors who won the lawsuit for defamation but the damage was already done. So, with ventilators, I think the damage was already done too but in a different situation. Something was  said, I think President Trump unknowingly convinced the country that we had a ventilator shortage and that ventilators are a necessary tool in the tool chest.

So I thought that just based on that paradigm that was sold to us at the beginning of COVID. At that point, I asked the doctor what the prognosis is, and he said only 20% of people walk out alive after being put on a ventilator. The attending nurse started crying and I talked with her. She has a daughter named Grace and she knew if I made this decision, Grace would going to die. So I started looking stuff up on my laptop. I had it there in the room. I talked with a doctor friend who’s helping us and we came to the base looking at home. We came to a conclusion, only 15% of people walk out alive and those 15% of people do walk out alive and most of them die in the first year from damage done to their lungs. So we decided then that Grace is not going on a ventilator and that would be crazy.

They pushed us four different times to give them that this doctor thought he had the evidence, but the other four times they pushed for a ventilator was coached in a way that they want us to give up pre-approval or pre-authorization just in case. Just in case, meaning when they decided that they would frame it this way. They said these things tend to happen in the middle of the night when we can’t get the whole family. So if we would have decided this, I mean Grace will be on a ventilator, 30 seconds after we gave him the pre-authorization because of the financial motivation.

The next example I would share with you is half on the very next day on October 9th. There’s probably 50 examples I can share with you. But these two kinds will give you a perspective of what was going on. So, on October 9th, which is a Saturday, Grace and I got up. She was hungry. I ordered food, and I started feeding her. 

Grace, obviously could feed herself, but she had a BiPAP mask on. The nurse came running in and said, you can’t do that. I said, what’s the reason? She said, Grace’s oxygen saturation was only at 85%. So, I processed that for about 15 minutes, and I thought this is impossible. She was at 95% in the emergency room with a regular cannula. Now, we had a BiPAP mask on, and then she should be near 100%. At all my COVID materials in the room, but one thing was an oxygen saturation finger monitor. So, I put it on Grace’s finger, and it read 95%. So I called the nurse back in, and I asked her if my finger meter was accurate, and she said, yes, it is. So, why is my $50 meter more accurate than your $50,000 machine? And she said, well because the lids get sweaty. Well, if you know this, I said, why don’t you proactively change out those lids or whatever you need to do every three, four hours, or whatever it takes so you have an accurate reading. Isn’t this the primary tool you’re using to manage my daughter’s care? And she’s not really responded to me.

You should just be thankful you caught this and we got wise to this one.  I’ve shared this particular example because this hospital is not the exception. I think this hospital has the rule, and they are arbitrarily lowering the oxygen saturation numbers to justify ventilators. So if anybody is wise enough to get the records after they get the call that Uncle Joe just died, and he was on a ventilator, and you started digging into the oxygen numbers, and you see, oh boy, I see where they had to put them on a ventilator is actually when he’s only at 80%. They can make these numbers anything they want and this example shows that. And now, we started monitoring Grace’s oxygen regularly. When I say we, myself when I was there, and then my daughter Jess who became the replacement. On Grace’s last day, death was at 6:02 pm, which was an hour and 25 minutes before Grace died. Grace’s oxygen was at 93%, but the meter that hospital was using was 49% lower. That’s how sick this is.


[00:37:12] Ashley James: The machine you’re talking about, the $50 machine called a Pulse Ox. 


[00:37:15] Brooke Hazen: Yes.


[00:37:17] Ashley James: I have three of them, I think which are scattered around the house because our son has asthma. When he was a toddler, actually, I had a pediatric-sized one as well for his little fingers. You can get them for $35. I just got the other one, and it had the best reviews on Amazon. And I’ve used them whenever my son has beating problems, just to check in, and then, of course, I have other ways I check his breathing like the volume of his breath and it’s allergy-induced asthma. So, we had to figure out all the allergens which are really weird stuff.

But that’s when I got introduced to a Pulse Ox and how interesting it is. When my family and I had COVID, we also used the Pulse Ox, and it’s just a little thing that clips onto your finger and sends a beam of light through your finger and It monitors your heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, which was a really great tool for me when I was going through COVID. I had just lost our daughter, and so I was going through incredible grief and also healing from birth. And then, around day 8 of having COVID, my blood pressure was like, I think it was like  80 over 60. It was some crazy low number. I remember trying to breathe heavily and feeling tightness in my chest, almost like asthma. Breathing heavily and still feeling very lightheaded, I used the Pulse Ox, and I don’t know, I was  86 or something.

I talked to a telemedicine doctor, and he said, you know what I’m not concerned about your problems that you’re having with COVID but I’m concerned that it might be a blood clot in your lungs from the birth. So, you should go in just to get checked. Thank God I’ve never had a blood clotting issue. I had just had a birth, and that is a possibility. So I did go in, and the moment I went in, I felt as if I was a prey. It was the weirdest feeling that the doctors wanted me on experimental drugs. And they said to me basically, I would not live if I don’t get these drugs. And I looked at there’s one doctor, who seemed like, yes he reminded me of my dad. So I felt like this immediate connection to him, and he felt like very kind and concern. I really felt like he had a genuine concern. I can’t feel he was like, haha, I can’t wait to get money out of this patient. Because he doesn’t like to take home the money, it’s the hospital. But he was so convinced that I would not make it like I’d be dead within 24 hours if I didn’t get on this experimental drug.

So, it’s the middle of the night, and I’m texting with my midwife, who is really good at reading research as well, and we go through and I actually asked her for informed consent. So I said, could you please give me your printout, your literature, anything on this? And they gave me a marketing pamphlet basically, I was like, this is the most amazing stuff ever. It’s not FDA-approved yet. So I said, like I’m going into my interview brain and thinking of all the interview questions I’d be asking a doctor about this, I said, what’s your experience using it? And he immediately starts telling me about the doctors on the East Coast and– oh, we’re seeing really promising results on the East Coast in the hospitals there. And I’m like, have you ever used it? What have you seen with your patients? And it turned out that their hospital just started using it and just joined the medical trial? But he didn’t have any experience using it. So he’s just citing. He’s basically the drug rep or whatever has convinced him with little talking points, the marketing points.

So, we go on the pharmaceutical’s website, it’s all the way to the bottom. And you have to scroll for days to get all the way to the bottom. I see one study that shows and this is again on the East Coast they did the study, where they showed that you have a higher percentage of dying if you’re hospitalized, and the only way you can get on this medication is if you’re hospitalized. So basically, those who get on the medication, more of them die than those who get hospitalized with COVID and don’t get on the medication. And that was enough for me. First of all, it’s an experimental medication. I’m not a guinea pig. No, thank you.

So that’s absolutely, no. There’s no way I would ever get on an experimental drug. I like drugs that have been around for like 50 years. You don’t show me a long track record of safety before you put me on anything. And so I’m looking at this and seeing that they really bury. They have to publish these, these studies, but they buried them away at the bottom. Like, how obvious can you get? Just scroll the bottom at the first place, and then more people die. If I were just not get on it, I would have a better outcome. This doctor was pushing it, pushing it and he was convinced. Now I said to him, I don’t have diabetes. I don’t have gestational diabetes, and I was like very clear about my medical history. When I came into the hospital, I said it, i mean, grief, so my blood pressure has been higher, like just from anxiety but it’s extremely low right now due to COVID. I was just worried about it. Listen, it’s kind of hard to breathe. Can you give me some like Albuterol or give me something for breathing? Give me some oxygen.

They wouldn’t send me home with oxygen, but what they did do–because I refuse to be on this medication that they want to put me on. So I said, listen, I’m not going to get admitted. I just want some help with breathing. And they handed me an Albuterol like inhaler. Inhaler that it is the exact same kind of inhaler my son has for asthma. All this is interesting that I could have stayed home–although that’s not legal I think to take someone else’s medication. But I mean, just jokingly, could have I just stayed home and hand me the hospital bill just by taking my son’s inhaler? But what they did was they handed me this inhaler and then they handed me the discharge papers. They’re like, oh welcome, he’s like I’m so worried about you, and you need to come right back to the hospital because the second you start to get worse, because you gonna get worse and you’ve got to get on this medication.

I’m like, listen, dude, I’m going to be fine. I just need a little help breathing. I wish they would have sent me home with lots of oxygen, but at least he gave me an inhaler. It started to work right away. I took a few puffs, my lungs sort of loosened up, and I’ve never had asthma, but it really helped. I was like, wow, I feel more stable already. And I look at my discharge papers, I’m looking because I want to see, and I’ve seen discharge papers before it shows the medication and how to take the medication and its side effects, like everything about the medication. And I looked through everything, and there’s not one mention of the Albuterol they handed me. And I asked the discharge nurse, can you please get the doctor or talk to the doctor like he doesn’t even say on the Albuterol bottle. Should I be doing four puffs or just as needed or four puffs or two puffs or what? And what’s really interesting is that none of my medical records it shows that he prescribed Albuterol because he doesn’t want to be seen as treating COVID with the medication. So, they handed me basically under the table and sent me on my way. So it’s not in any of my records.

It’s a day and a half later, because that’s the middle of the night. So a day and a half later, I’m sitting up, I’m on the couch, and I’m no longer in bed. I’m feeling great. Besides, like once in a while, I get on the Albuterol still because I’m still shaky, and I’m still recovering from COVID. I’m also  taking all my supplements, and I remember sitting up, but I’m helping organize because we’re actually in the middle of packing on top of everything. We’re in the middle of moving, and I get a call from the hospital. And it’s the pharmacist at the hospital and he says, you have to come back and get on this medication. Your records show that you are at high risk because you have multiple comorbidities. I’m like, what comorbidities are you talking about? He said, because you have diabetes. I specifically said I don’t have diabetes. I don’t know how they got that. But he was looking at my record and decided that– you have to get on his medication and it was a sales call. That was the weirdest and I thought was feel like it was in a twilight zone. So the hospital was calling me a day and a half later, begging me to come back and get on their drug that’s a trial medication.

It’s like a twilight zone, and the more I looked into it, I don’t even think this medication has gotten FDA approval, and it just ended up killing too many people. I’m wondering how much money that this hospital get for each patient they convinced to get on this trial. This experimental COVID treatment that was a failure. I mean, I’ve never heard of a hospital calling someone when they’re better days later. It’s not just so much checking–hey, how are you doing? No, it was the pharmacist, like you need to come back and get on this medication, and you’re going to die. I’m looking at my Pulse Ox right now, I’m 98% and I’m great. So, that’s really good, I know, I’ve gone off a little on my own tangent, but it’s a really great idea to own.

Every home should own a thermometer. Every home should own a sphygmomanometer, like a blood pressure cuff, get one for the wrist or get one for the arm, check your blood pressure regularly. That’s a good thing to know and everyone should own a pulse ox. These are the tools that allow us to check in with ourselves. But when you’re in a hospital, do you actually need to bring your own tools in the hospital to verify that their machines are accurate?


[00:47:26] Scott Schara: Thats sick, I know. I mean, I thank God we had that because we have so much evidence and it’s an overabundance. But I mean, you can’t orchestrate these coincidences without God being involved. I’m glad we have it.


[00:47:48] Ashley James: I am so thankful that you have such strong faith because it has been my faith that had helped me survive the grief of losing my daughter. Although not in any of the same circumstances. It has been drawing myself closer to the Lord, what has saved me mentally and emotionally. I’m so glad that you also have that strong relationship. And anyone who’s ever grieving, turning to the Lord, I highly recommended. It’s been something that’s been so grounding and reassuring.

So let’s keep going through Grace’s story. You were checking her oxygen that you mentioned, you could jump ahead and talk about your daughter taking over for you. Why don’t we go back? Walk us through. What happened before you left the hospital?


[00:48:52] Scott Schara: So on Sunday morning, that 10th, seven o’clock in the morning, the head nurse came in with an armed guard and told me I need to leave immediately.


[00:49:00] Ashley James: Excuse me?


[00:49:03] Scott Schara: So then I said, what is that based on? And she said three things. Interestingly, the official excuse that we received from the hospital was only the third thing. Which is she said the third thing is we suspect you of COVID. And that excuse was so laughable because they’re the ones who told me I was going to get COVID. And if they were so concerned about it, why then they ask me. I tested myself on October 7th, Grace’s first day, because I had a fever at about one o’clock, so I tested myself, and I was positive. I had COVID already for three days before they kicked me out. And if you were also concerned, you could have tested me if I gave you the approval. I mean, that wasn’t the reason. Then, she said, well  you’ve been shutting off the alarms at night.

I said, because that’s how nurses trained me how to do it. The alarms are going off constantly, which is a strange thing. It seems minor in the scheme of things when you hear the whole story, but it isn’t minor. We live in the 21st century, these alarms can go off at the nurse’s station. So I asked her, why can’t you have these go off to the nurse’s station and they lied to me, saying he can’t. The reason I said they lied, it’s because when I went into the hospital three days after Grace died, they asked, what would you like to happen? And I said, I don’t want any alarms going off, and I don’t want anybody coming in the room. I’ll buzz you if I need you, and they honor that request.

Whereas with Grace, I mean, I had to help them train me to shut off the non-essential alarms because they’re going off 20,30 times a night. Many times, it was over 20 minutes before they come in and shut them off. And then the third thing she said was that the last three shifts of nurses, I don’t want you in the room. Which of course, these stories I was telling earlier. I wasn’t doing any wrong, but I wanted to make sure my daughter was taken care of, so I was challenging everything, like with the alarms going off. I challenge right away. So, what’s the reason these alarms are going off so much? And they said, well, every time Grace–just think about these answers. They’re so dumb.

So the nurse, when I asked her this, she says, every time Grace moves her arm, it sets off an alarm. So I said, what’s the reason? She said, well we put the IV in the crux of her elbow. I said, so what’s the reason you did that at? And she said, well it was easier for us. So I said, you got to be kidding me. And of course, I’m challenging all this crazy staff, and they had such an arrogant attitude. They look down on us. They said that we were following the frontline doctors’ misinformation campaign. When they were looking, one of the doctors recommended that Grace gets on Tocilizumab, which may have been the experimental drug they wanted you to go on. So I looked this up and I found out the placebo group did better than the group on the drug. So the doctor comes in the next day asking, what’s your decision on Tocilizumab? Then I said, well, the New England Journal of Medicine has a published study that shows that the placebo group does better than the group on the med, and the med has umpteen side effects. When you see his report– we got to report after the fact. He makes me look like a complete dummy. I mean, I’m not going to put my daughter on a drug that has a better chance of killing her than not. I mean, that’s insane. Who would do that?


[00:52:53] Ashley James: You were advocating, I think, what you were doing was the right thing. The hospital kicking you out. I mean, that’s ridiculous. You are allowed ethically and legally. Your patient is allowed an advocate. The hospitals that want a patient to be alone, want an easy job. It’s not about making their job easy. It needs to be– we have one focus. When we go into a hospital, the person, the patient going in comes out alive and better than in the condition that they went in. And also that they don’t have long-term side effects of the treatment. Right? That is the goal. There’s so many good nurses out there. I’m not ripping on nurses, but there’s good people and there’s bad people. Again, I see the system’s broken, but it’s not an accident. The system is built this way. It is not built to make people healthy. So when nurses are taxed, there’s a nurse shortage, they’re working long shifts, extra shifts, overtime, they’re exhausted. Of course, we would want to do things to make it a little easier. The cutting off those corners takes away from the person’s ability to survive is not acceptable. You want to go into a hospital that wants the advocate.

I remember, I lived with my mom in the hospital in the last two weeks of her life. We brought her in, and she was dying. She had cancer. And I was her advocate, and I stayed by her side, lived with her, and this is at Toronto General. And the nurses, for the most part, very happy I was there. I got blankets, and I got water. I actually made their job a lot easier. We didn’t know we were going in to have my mom died. We didn’t know she was at the end of her life. She died very suddenly and it was a big shock. I just remember that the hospital staff—again I was 22, I didn’t have the perspective I have now. Maybe I would have seen it differently. But what I do remember that the staff were very accommodating for me and excited to have an advocate there because they saw they made their job easier.

When my son has been in the hospital and I turned to the doctor in the ER, and I say, stop what you’re doing, I need informed consent. I was expecting a fight. At the time, he was about two and a half. They were hooking him up to an IV, they’re about to pump some unknown liquid into him and I’m like, wait a second. You don’t even look at me or ask me for permission like I get we’re trying to save his life, but I need to know what’s going on. And that doctor got excited. She turned to me and she said, “Oh good, and you want informed consent? Okay, here’s what’s going on.” She explained everything. She explained the good, the bad, and the alternatives. And that’s what informed consent is.

What they’re putting in him was magnesium, so like, oh okay, sure, no problem. I’m very happy that you’re going to start using something more natural or what the body needs. Magnesium relaxes the lungs and helps them breathe, and that’s the first route. I’m not saying every children’s hospital is amazing, but my own experiences with Seattle Children’s Hospitals have been better than any other hospital I’ve been to. So there are exceptions where it’s good. If you go into a hospital and they don’t want an advocate, that is a red flag. That the staff or any of the staff or any of the nurses are frustrated that you’re asking questions that you’re advocating, that you’re there to ask for informed consent, if they are resisting informed consent, or they’re making fun of you, oh, you look something up on Google? If they’re making fun of you or talking down to being condescending or trying to go around or pressure you into something, that is a red flag. That’s a huge red flag. So at that moment when the secured guard was there, could you have taken your daughter and left the hospital?


[00:57:24] Scott Schara: Outstanding question. Technically no. I didn’t know that at the time. I learned that afterward. That’s one of the things that the first couple of months, I woke up several times a week with that question. I should have taken Grace with me, I should have taken Grace with me. And ultimately, I would have been able to, but it wouldn’t have been automatic. And the reason is we didn’t understand at that time. They had already studied Grace on the sedation drug on October 9th called Precedex and that fits into the last day when we get into that. But once a patient’s on Precedex, their room gets classified as ICU. So then, it’s one motivation they would the hospital has to get a patient get sedated because it’s not just financial, the room classified as ICU. If you want to take the patient home because you see the care is so bad, it’s not automatic anymore. It’s called against medical advice.

So now, you’ve got to sign off that you’re responsible for the patient—we didn’t ever jump through those hoops. But the way I understand it is you’ve got to sign off that you’re taking responsibility if the patient dies under your care because you’re not following the hospital’s advice anymore, that you’re responsible for the death, etcetera.

Which of course, that would have been a no-brainer. But we didn’t know any of this at the time. When we walk through these details, I try to interject the things that we learned after the fact versus what we knew live because it’s important. If you knew all this stuff live, of course, we would have taken Grace out and we had never checked her in. There were multiple times we would have taken her out. When the oxygen readings are different, and she’s not totally responds, that’s terrible care. Right? That’s an F. You don’t see it as part of an agenda at that time. Now I see it crystal clear, but at that time, I didn’t see any of those.


[00:59:35] Ashley James: Their arms have the same octopus, right? So how the staff treats you? It might not be like, oh, that one nurse was really nice and that nurse was not. Okay well, I guess they’re just exhausted. Look at any red flag as a symptom of how the entire complex works because it’s how they’re trained. It’s how they’re taught to work, and it’s the attitude that is alive in that hospital. So you have to really be aware of each red flag.

I know a friend of mine had to transfer her baby in the NICU. She advocated her midwife, and there’s big red flags. They’re doing things to their baby that is so out of the norm. I’m very concerned and so is the mother. She had just given birth. The baby’s in the NICU and she’s like, everything about their care was wrong and all the red flags are going off in her mind. And she goes, I’m transferring care. And they found a different hospital that would take them and that hospital did not want to release them. She’s like, too bad. So she got her baby to a different hospital and that hospital said I cannot believe what the other hospital did to your baby. So they did stuff like putting her on antibiotics with no reason to put her on antibiotics—all these kinds of things they did to a brand new baby, that there’s no medical reason why.

The other second hospital said, that hospital should be sued for things they were overmedicating. There was no reason for it. This happens over and over and over again. And it’s so frustrating and in between countries.

I have a family member who got a pacemaker in Chile and he comes back, and everything’s fine. He does pacemakers and doing his thing. He notices that every time he walks, he faints practically. And he came back. When he came back, he saw his cardiologist here, a good reputable cardiologist who’s been seeing him for years. For some reason, hadn’t caught that he had needed a quintuple bypass. And of course, his cardiologist will just put him on medication and doesn’t tell him to change his diet or anything. I don’t know how good of a cardiologist it is.


[01:02:01] Scott Schara: Right.


[01:02:02] Ashley James: So anyway, he’s fainting, and falling down, and hurting himself for over a year. Until we advocate for him, and we’re like, you got to go back and tell your cardiologist that something’s wrong. And he finally does, after we really push him to and it turns out they had in Chile they set the heart rate to 60 beats a minute.

So, basically when you have a pacemaker and certain pacemakers are like it’s beating your heart for you. And can you imagine like 60 beats a minute like when you’re sitting? If you’re an elite athlete, and you’re just walking, but if you’re in your 80s and you need to walk downstairs, you need more than 60 beats a minute to get enough oxygen to your muscles and your brain to walk up and downstairs.

So, the cardiologist never caught this. Never looked at it. It’s something so simple, and she’s like  if she knew about—oh yeah, Chile sets it to 60 beats per minute. He‘s been telling you for over a year that he’s been falling down, bleeding everywhere. So she had to go into a program with the pacemaker to beats higher beats a minute on average. Then he saw fainting and saw falling down. This isn’t even a life-saving event. But how many really and critically and important things fall through the cracks if you don’t advocate, if you don’t question, if you don’t push and if you don’t get a second opinion? How many critical qualities of your life, critical things fall through the quacks in medicine? We cannot look to those who wear a white medical coat as gods that are infallible. The organizations are being incentivized and paid. I think that originally the government wanted to help because– oh, the pressure would be on the medical system. So we better make sure we help and take care of it. Maybe it was out of good intentions. But it’s been like any system that monetizes, it will become an incentive for a goal. A monetary goal.


[01:04:20] Scott Schara: Well, you’re extending a lot more Grace than I am extending them. I don’t think they had good intentions at all to start with. And I say that with a fair degree of confidence, not because my daughter died, but Dr. Peter McCullough came out and stated the blinding flash of the obvious. Which is why isn’t there a research component to this virus? Why is it all going to bonus payments to hospitals for killing people? In any normal situation, the government would be putting its money behind the research, but that’s not happening with this one.


[01:04:58] Ashley James: Well, what has been talked about is that if they did the research, and they uncovered a treatment for COVID that was effective, then the pharmaceutical companies with loosey emergency use authorization for the experimental vaccines, so there’s pressure, there’s lobbying to not have a research because they want their cash cow.

I saw a meme the other day and it made me giggle, but it’s also incredibly sad and demonic. You know how they keep saying follow the science, just follow the science. And the meme says, why keep following the science, but it keeps leading me to the money?


[01:05:51] Scott Schara: That’s good. That’s great.


[01:05:59] Ashley James: I’m putting myself in your shoes. If my son was in a hospital, and armed guards came to kick me out. Oh my gosh! It would take more than armed guards to rip me from my son. I can’t imagine the intensity of emotions that was going on for you at the time.


[01:06:17] Scott Schara: That was quite an event. The armed guard was there the whole time. I argued with this nurse for about an hour. Ultimately, she said, if you don’t leave now we’re calling the Appleton Police Department. So then, I called an attorney who’s a friend and asked his perspective. He suggested leaving peacefully and so I did.


[01:06:48] Ashley James: Wrong advice.


[01:06:50] Scott Schara: I know, but I did. I gave my buddy a hug and the last time I saw her physically alive was on FaceTime calls. After that, the look in her eye that I will never forget. The armed guard walked me out to the truck and he said, Scott, you need to take this to a higher level. It was encouraging. I mean, he saw what was happening and it was wrong. Thankfully, Grace’s special needs’ attorney was available. This is a Sunday. I called one attorney and I know these people and I had their cell numbers and fortunately picked up. So, Grace’s special needs’ attorney was available and we started planning on how are we going to get an advocate replacement. My wife, Cindy couldn’t be the advocate because she had COVID. So, I called Jess and asked her, “Will you be an advocate for Grace?” And she said, “Yes, I will dad.”

We have 44 hours without coverage because we had to negotiate with the hospital attorney to let Jessica in. Second, during that 44 hours I mentioned earlier, they started Grace on the sedation med called Precedex.


[01:08:08] Ashley James:  Did they ask permission to do that?


[01:08:12] Scott Schara: To put Grace on Precedex?


[01:08:14] Ashley James: Yes.


[01:08:15] Scott Schara: No.


[01:08:17] Ashley James: So, they were giving her meds without anyone’s consent. I know the whole thing when you go to a hospital, they’re allowed to treat you with whatever because they’re trying to save you’re life, but not exactly, you are allowed informed consent. So do you feel that they went behind your back, went behind her back, and were doing some treatment plan that they didn’t talk to you guys about?


[01:06:41] Scott Schara: Absolutely. I mean, the Precedex could maybe make an exception for, but not when you see it in the light of everything.


[01:08:50] Ashley James: Why does she need to be sedated? I’m sorry to interrupt. Was she rebellious and throwing things? Was she biting nurses? Why did she need to be sedated?


[01:08:57] Scott Schara: There’s absolutely no reason. So the one minor exception you could say would be that first night when Grace had an issue when I was working with her to get the BiPap situation with the nurses. I actually suggested at that time that she needed to be sedated but that was because of that situation, my mind, oxygen was the emergency we had to get this done. I don’t know anything about sedation, but in my mind, we just need to sedate her to get her calm. Let’s get this situated, and then she’ll be fine. So, I actually recommended it down, but that was for that specific instance. So then, if you look at the records, you see that they did that at that time and then they took her off of it. Well, then they put her back on it. There was absolutely no reason. Grace was a super calm kid. She didn’t have anxiety over anything.

What they did, so, they put her back on it on October 9th when I’m still in the room. October 10th, they had her on it and I’m now out of the room during that window of 44 hours. So from eight o’clock in the morning on the 10th, during that 44 hours, subsequent, they increased the dosage seven times, and that’s ridiculous. There would be only one reason to increase the dosage, and that is because you don’t want to invest in your patient to take care of him or her. Otherwise, there’s no reason to have anybody on it. But as we’ve learned in studying, not just the records, but studying what is going on with COVID, Precedex is used as a way to set up the ventilator. So they want these patients on Precedex, just steady drips, then once they decide or the patient agrees to or the advocate agrees to a ventilator, it’s automatic. Boom! The ventilator can be done instantly. So Precedex sets the table for the ventilator.

So, your question as to why. It would be all excuses because there’s no justification to put somebody on a med when the package inserts says specifically to not use it for more than 24 hours. It’s right on the front page of the package insert and this drug is used for anesthesia, for surgery. And the anesthesia nurse that we’ve talked to say that it should never be used for more than three hours. And they had Grace on it for four full days before her last day.

So, if we walk into the last day, as I set this up with the Precedex already, then Jessica was in the room with Grace the entire day on the 12th. Grace died on the 13th of October. On the 12th, it was another good day for Grace, inspite of Grace being sedated. Grace was still herself joking around with Jessica right before they went to bed. Jessica called her two boys, Grace’s nephews, on a FaceTime call. Grace sat up in the bed and hollered through the BiPAP, “hi boys.” Just normal. She’s tickling Jess. Jess tells the story about, so she didn’t climb in bed with Grace but she would grab the chair next to the bed and lay her head on the bed, so she was holding Grace the whole time. She had her head next to Grace’s butt. Grace was tooting [inaudible 1:12:31] sorry Jess, sorry Jess.

Oh, it’s just so cute. For me, that’s typical Grace. She was a very calm person, and there’s no reason to sedate her on top of that. Jess and I were there other than the 44 hours. There were reasons to sedate when we’re not there is to not to do their job. You’ll see that as we now walk through the last day which is even pretty egregious.


[01:13:58] Ashley James: Your daughter Jess, how old was she at that time?


[01:13:03] Scott Schara: 31. Yes 32, she’ll be 32 coming up here in June.


[01:13:08] Ashley James: So, a 31-year-old woman, who’s your older daughter is taking care of her 19-year-old sister with high functioning Down Syndrome in the hospital. She’s being put on more and more and more sedation, although there’s no reason for it. While she’s using your $50 pulse ox to check Grace’s levels of oxygen saturation to see how different they were from the hospital, and she was maintaining that Grace was at high oxygen saturation the whole time?


[01:13:43] Scott Schara: In fact, that last night, Grace was at 98-99% the entire night.


[01:13:47] Ashley James: So why would she still be in the hospital?


[01:13:51] Scott Schara: Great question. I would say because they can. I mean, we weren’t wise enough to get her out. There’s multiple times when you could ask that question. The medical malpractice nurse who reviewed the records basically said that they used Precedex as the way to set up Grace’s death. She called it chemically restraining Grace. So they chemically restrained her to set up the the last day. The doctor called us at eight o’clock in the morning in Grace’s last day. He had talked with us the evening before asking for the fourth time to pre-approve a ventilator. So he wanted our decision. We told him, no again. Then he made that comment that Grace had such a good day yesterday. We should put in a feeding tube. 


[01:14:39] Ashley James: What?


[01:14:40] Scott Schara: So Cindy and I foolishly agreed to this.


[01:14:45] Ashley James: Wait. I don’t understand. Her oxygen is in the high 90s. Why does she need to be put on a feeding tube?


[01:14:51] Scott Schara: Well, she was malnutritioned at this same. So remember the story I told you when they wouldn’t let me feed Grace. Well, the same thing that happened with Jess. They wouldn’t let us feed her. That story gets deeper because I even told them, I said, there’s no reason we cannot feed Grace. So I said, I watched. When Grace was on a BiPap, they went through a series multiple times a day, where people would come in, remove the BiPap and then get Grace’s mouth moist because it would dry her mouth out. And I watched how they did it and I’m just right there. Okay, so they put in the high-flow cannula and they turned it down to low pressure, so it’s not at 40 miles an hour. Grace was actually stable the whole time. So, when these nurses would say we can’t feed her. I said, we could feed her and you could do it too, I told them exactly. This is what happens when the ladies come in and the nurses come into what Grace’s mouth.

They said, well the doctor says, we got to have the high flow BiPap at 40 miles an hour. It doesn’t have to be there. They would not listen to me. They have just dump that. So ultimately, Grace by this time is seven days into malnutrition. She’s malnutritioned because they chose not to listen and not do their job.

So we foolishly agreed to this. And ultimately, it plays out until this last day and you’ll see, he called us at eight o’clock and we approved this. Now eight-thirty or so. There’s a 14-year ICU nurse in charge of Grace’s care this day. Very significant because when you start wondering, was this premeditated, was it intentional, all these facts matter. And so your listeners are going to have to make that decision and don’t just believe me. Look at what I’m saying and then look at the research on Grace’s website. Everything I’m talking about now is under the tragedy tab, under Thou Shall Not Kill and I have a slide called Grace’s Last Day. It’s all documented there. This is straight out of the records.

Then Jess says to this 14-year ICU nurse that she must take a shower. And she says, you can’t take a shower here. So when I was there, they insisted and I leave. There’s a shower right in the room. And they said you can’t take a shower here. Jess was afraid to not obey because I was kicked out. She doesn’t want to be kicked out. So she goes home and takes a shower. She was back inside an hour. When she comes back, she started going up. She overhears the doctor and the 14-year ICU nurse talking in the hallway, saying the family’s not going to like this. So she said, “what are they not going to like?” They said, “we had to restrain Grace, while you’re gone.” So she said, “what’s the reason?” So restrain, meaning to strap Grace right down to the bed. So she said, “what’s the reason?” “Well, she wanted to get up and go to the bathroom.” So they made Grace poop in the bed while Jess was gone. So just process this.

One of the attorneys we work with he said, “Scott, do you think that you would have been restrained?” I said, “absolutely not. I would have made the nurses do their job.” But Grace was an obedient kid. She was the greatest kid you could ever have. So one of the people who interviewed me when they heard this, they just said, Grace died a murderous death. I think she did die a murderous death. She was obedient until death, just like Jesus was on the cross. But, of course, it wasn’t as dramatic as Jesus’ death. Just think through. She was just obedient.

So now, they use that as an excuse to ratchet up the Precedex further than instead of waiting for Grace’s numbers to rebound. Now, they insert the feeding tube and this is over. The attending nurse challenged the ICU nurse, I don’t think we should be doing this now. We should wait for Grace’s numbers to rebound. She wouldn’t listen. So they do that. They do the feeding tube next and now they take the Precedex up to max dose. This is at 10:48 in the morning, and Grace was in the max dose of Precedex. This is the equivalent of being knocked out for surgery. Grace was knocked out. For the rest of the day, she was knocked out. Inspite of Grace being knocked out, at 11:25, they gave her a dose of Lorazepam, which an anti-anxiety med. At 5:46, they gave her another dose, and at 5:49, another dose three minutes later. At 6:15, they gave her Morphine as an IV push, which means instantaneously. The package insert for Morphine says to not combine those meds. She’s on a max dose of Precedex, two doses of Lorazepam, and Morphine, all in 29 minutes.


[01:19:46] Ashley James: What was the reason behind Morphine? Was she in pain?


[01:19:51] Scott Schara: She wasn’t. How can you be in pain when you’re knocked out? 


[01:19:55] Ashley James: Exactly.


[01:19:57] Scott Schara: She’s not in any pain.


[01:19:59] Ashley James: I’ve been wanting to mention this. And so I think this is actually the most appropriate time. For me, it’s a common knowledge in Canada, but I wouldn’t say everyone in Canada knows this, but many do. In the Canadian medical system– so I’m from Canada and moved to the States when I was in my 20s. So I had enough experience with the medical system there. It’s very different and yet very similar. And the differences are it is for-profit and not it is to save money. So I just thought it was hilarious.

When I hurt my ankle, I was travelling in Nevada, and I tripped on a hose at a gas station and my ankle blew up to like the size of a softball, but I thought for sure I had broken my ankle. So I went to the hospital and I could hardly walk. And I could not believe the amount of X-rays they took. I was like are you kidding me? I think they took 20 X-rays. You don’t need that many X-rays, and it hit me. This is for America’s profit system. In Canada, I never got more than two X-rays. I broke an ankle doing sports when I was 12 and actually was the growth plate in my ankle and I fractured it. I remember two X-rays and that’s all you get.

The system in Canada is about saving money. Right? So how much money can we save with each patient? Not spend on each patient. They don’t just like offer you drugs willy-nilly. It’s different. When I came to the States, all of a sudden the doctors were offering me pain meds because I said I had cramps. When I had my period and I’m like, no, I don’t need prescription medication. That’s crazy. Whereas in Canada, a doctor would never have done that. So very, very different experiences in terms of like show me the money, follow the money.

It is common knowledge that they use Morphine to speed up the process of death in Canada. It’s an unwritten rule when someone is in Palliative Care Hospice, and they’re sleeping away at the end of their life. So let’s make it that nurses, and it’s their mercy. It’s their mercy that they would, or the doctors would give them little or doses of Morphine to gently speed up the process of death, and that’s what they did to my mom.

I didn’t know, I didn’t understand this at the time and since I’ve talked to many others and this is just a common practice. Maybe it’s a common practice here in the States. They use IV morphine just to speed up death. I’m kinda doing air quotes as you can’t see it obviously, I’m doing air quotes, in a humanitarian way just to speed up death. Maybe some people would appreciate that knock me out and fill me out with so many pain meds and I croak.

If someone’s at the end of their life from a terminal illness, that’s what they do in Canada. They did that to my mom. I watched them do it and she was in a coma at the end of her life. And  they’re like— okay, we just going to keep increasing the Morphine. So they told me, and the nurse told me we’re going to keep increasing it and help her transition faster in a more peaceful way.


[01:23:25] Scott Schara: In Grace’s case, I have become convinced that it wasn’t to transition in a more peaceful way. It was transition to transition period because they had a higher pain patient waiting for them in the emergency room. The hospital was at max capacity the day Grace died, and so was the emergency room. Then since, we didn’t approve the ventilator, they had to figure out a different way to take her out. How can you go from 98-99% oxygen saturation, and doing good? And even so much so that the doctor comments on it, to be dead less than 12 hours later.

It gets substantially worse as we keep going. So now, Jessica, remember she’s in the room. The package insert for Morphine says to not combine these drugs because it causes death. Similarly, the package insert says that the reversal drug is supposed to be bedside and they’re supposed to monitor the patient. After they gave this dose of Morphine, not one medical professional stepped in that room. They didn’t monitor the patient. They didn’t have the reversal drug bedside. They didn’t step in the room until they called Grace’s death.

So Jess is now in the room alone with Grace the entire time. She’s sensing Grace is getting cold. So she goes to the hallway to ask the 14-year ICU nurse. “Is this normal?” Because she wanted to have her take her temperature, she said, “yes, it’s normal, just cover with a blanket.”


[01:24:58] Ashley James: So she had a maximum dose of a sedative?


[01:25:04] Scott Schara: Yes.


[01:25:05] Ashley James: So she’s already out cold, she’s asleep, and she’s completely sedated. Then they begin to give her several doses of anxiety meds. Which is like why? And then they give her an IV Morphine on top of that, all within a matter of minutes. Is it like one doctor, or they’re like a bunch of doctors not looking at her chart doing whatever they want?


[01:25:25] Scott Schara: Well, we’ve learned subsequently that not only did a doctor have to order that, but a second doctor had to signed off. And on top of that, their alarm system in their computer, when they’d have the combination of meds, would have went off, and they would have had to override the alarm. Then a 14-year ICU nurse is the one who deliver the meds. So you put that combination together. The doctor who helped us review the records, she went right to intent right away, and she said it’s not even a question. This is intentional. The intensivist who reviewed the records and that intensivist is a doctor who specializes in med combinations. It took him minutes to discern and he wrote me that the meds that killed your daughter is sort of taken out of anybody on the planet. So that’s how severe this is.


[01:26:14] Ashley James: How much does your daughter weigh?


[01:26:15] Scott Schara: She weighs about 180 pounds.


[01:26:17] Ashley James: Okay, in the dosages that they gave, did they give it based on her weight?


[01:26:24] Scott Schara: I can’t answer that. 


[01:57:26] Ashley James: Okay.


[00:57:27] Scott Schara: Right now, I would question if anything was thought through that way because, I would say, it sounded so crazy, but it’s not crazy anymore. I’m going to use that word on this podcast. I would say it’s malicious. I can’t even entertain a logical question like that because none of these fits.


[01:26:55] Ashley James: None of it fits


[01:26:57] Ashley James: Intentionally, in the United States, in the hospital system, there’s no protocol for treating COVID and they’re not allowed to treat. They’re not allowed to treat with certain medications like Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Z-packs. They’re still certain things that they’re being pressured not to use, although like I had Dr. Fleming on my show who’s a PhD, an amazing cardiologist, whose also a research scientist. He developed the Fleming method.

Please listeners, go to my website,, type in Dr. Fleming. Find that interview and listen to it. It’s outstanding. He doesn’t know anything about holistic medicine. It’s very rare, I get something on the show that doesn’t know anything but holistic medicine. He’s 100% all about the science and he’s not anti-vaccine. He’s one of those doctors that got all of them except for the experimental ones because he shows and he has a four-hour lecture on his website, which is outstanding. He shows all the science. He had to go to different countries. So he’s a research scientist. He could not study COVID in the United States because it was banned to study a cure. This is how crazy it is. So he had to go to other countries to study the cure or the best treatment. And he did a study on 1800 COVID-positive patients and he found a combination of drugs that had 100% success. So he says, we put a million people through it, maybe a few will fall through the cracks. But so far, they’ve had a 100% success rate with this combination of three drugs, but the hospitals are not using those three drugs. They’re being told not to. So instead, they’re moving towards using what they’re monetarily incentivized to use, which is having the worst outcomes.


[01:29:02] Scott Schara: Absolutely. The next piece of this story is even worse than what I told you so far. So now, Jessica starts panicking. She can’t get any nurse in. She called Cindy, and I on a FaceTime call at 7:20 and said, “Dad, Grace’s numbers are dropping like crazy.” I said, “get the nurses in.” She said, “I can’t, and they won’t come in.” She estimated that 30 nurses are in the hallway at this time because of shift change. Cindy and I started screaming through the FaceTime call. “Save our daughter!” The nurses holler back. “She’s DNR! Don’t resuscitate.” This is the first we knew that she’s DNR. So we holler back. “She’s not DNR! Save our daughter!” They would not come into that room. So we watch Grace die on that FaceTime call at 7:27. This DNR thing is so bad. We found out in our references medical malpractice nurse previously when she reviewed the records that we had requested. She told me, “Scott, there’s at least a thousand pages missing.” I said, “How can that be? We requested everything.” She said, “That’s how what they do.” So she helped write out a request to get the missing pages. There was 948 pages missing. On page 853 is the smoking gun. At 10:56 in the morning, remember I told you at 10:48 was max dose Precedex. Then, at 10:56, the doctor put the illegal DNR order in the computer. During this time, that’s seven minutes when we were on a FaceTime call with Jess. She ran out on the hall to find out what was going on. A nurse had to write up on her computer screen and read off. The doctor put a DNR on Grace, and we can’t do anything about it. That specific fact violated at least seven state statutes. Just common sense would tell you a doctor can’t put a DNR on somebody. That would be illegal. It is illegal. The patient or the patient advocate, which was my wife Cindy, has to request for DNR. But we never requested the DNR. Why would we request the DNR? He tells us how great Grace is doing. We expected Grace to get out of there and not die there. Then he’s supposed to explain it to us and then have us, it would be my wife Cindy come and sign the DNR order, none of that happened. He put it on or her or himself. What’s the coincidence of eight minutes after the max dose Precedex? One of the attorneys made the observation which I think is true. They expected the Precedex to take Grace out. So they needed to have that DNR order in place to accomplish the dirty deed that they intended to do.

What’s even stranger is that at 12:57 that afternoon, the doctor did his notes for the day. He never did them at 12:57 in the afternoon before. Every other day, he did them after his shift was over. These notes are dated and timestamped. So the medical malpractice nurse wisely pointed out that if it was such an issue to get this DNR, that this was important, and you guys agreed to it or whatever excuse they’re going to use. Why he didn’t have you guys come in and sign it? Because that’s required by law.


[01:32:35] Ashley James: Yeah,  there’s a signature.


[01:32:38] Scott Schara: So, it’s terrible. We find out then when a couple of things happen after Grace died which really helped us to get a sense that this was something we needed to look into and research on our own. One thing was Jess told us afterward that there was an armed guard outside the room. When she went out in the hallway, there was an armed guard. We presume, to prevent any nurse with a conscience from coming in and saving Grace. We know it was an anomaly that he was there because Jess laid down in the bed with Grace after she was pronounced dead. 

And the armed guard stood outside and watched Jess in the bed the whole time. Jess stayed in the bed and waited until Cindy got into the hospital. I took Cindy into the hospital afterward, obviously after Grace died. Then after Cindy and Jess cleaned Grace up, I had to wait in the truck because I had COVID. Our Pastor Matt is there. The funeral director and the Pastor was walking Cindy out in a wheelchair. And one of the nurses had Grace’s belongings on a cart and leaned down and said to Cindy, me and several of the other nurses don’t think that Grace should have died today?


[01:34:58] Ashley James: The armed guard that had you, had they escorted you?


[01:34:03] Scott Schara: I don’t know if it was the same one.


[01:34:05] Ashley James: No, no, I was going to say, he knew something was up?


[01:34:09] Scott Schara:  Absolutely.


[01:34:12] Ashley James: How much money this hospital or a hospital get from having a patient on their death certificate that says it died out of COVID? How much money do they get in subsidies from the government?


[01:34:28] Scott Schara: It’s $13000.


[01:34:31] Ashley James: Your daughter’s life. There’s no child’s life that’s worth any amount of money. Do you feel there’s any discrimination against her because she has Down Syndrome? Do you feel like this is a discriminatory act?


[01:34:52] Scott Schara: I do. I do believe that and I have some proof. I actually have multiple things. So the first one is I review all of the reports that the doctors submitted. There were 22 reports on Grace’s seven days in the hospital. And I reviewed those one Sunday morning, looking for Down Syndrome and they referenced the fact that Grace had Down Syndrome 36 different times in 22 reports. The other discrimination was they referenced that Grace was not vaccinated six times. They referenced that we were Christian three times. They referenced that we were found in the frontline doctor’s misinformation campaign four times. So this is all the stuff that I found in the research.

The most recent thing is I’ve done stirred to looking at Grace’s death as genocide. The statistics are starting to come out with what actually happened to disabled versus non-disabled, the elderly, the non-elderly and a disabled woman going into the hospital with COVID, and also Grace was disabled, a Down Syndrome is a disability, and a disabled woman is 11 times more likely to die if they entered the hospital with COVID than a non-disabled woman.


[01:36:18] Ashley James: I’ve also seen that those African Americans are treated differently. African American women are specially treated differently. They’re not listened to. They’re written officer, oh, that she’s hysterical, their symptoms and what they’re explaining, I mean, this is in every case but statistically, there’s a bias going on. It’s not the same level of care for everyone.


[01:36:52] Scott Schara: I agree 100%. This is when the lead could get completely taken off of this as if we have enough time. I think, we’re going to see this is all part of a bigger agenda to depopulate the world and just had a financial payoff. In the United States, the financial payoff is to take out the elderly and the disabled. The elderly and disabled on Medicaid and Medicare are also on social security, that accounts for 39% of the federal budget. So with the average $100,000 bonus paid to the hospital, take out one of these people that costs the taxpayer $32,000 a year. So there’s a three-year payback period in business. Anytime you could do a three-year payback period on any asset, you would do it. You’d buy it because you want your money back in three years. So that’s a 33% rate of return on your investment. Just from a financial perspective, this fits like a glove.


[01:37:55] Ashley James: I know that there’s definitely listeners are going, this is crazy. The government isn’t bad. The government wouldn’t intentionally harm us. Maybe the source of thinking, yes, okay, this brat hospital was mismanaging her care, but the government, that’s not some giant conspiracy. That’s absurd. When we have to look back at history, I don’t want to pick on just the United States. I love living here. I love this country. There’s so many good people here. There’s so many good.

Can you think of any other country in the world that was founded on the Christian values? What I just learned, which is so interesting, when the pilgrims came. The Mayflower was the first round of pilgrims, for the first 50 years, there was no war. There’s peace. They got along incredibly well with those who were already here. And they had peace for the first 50 years, and that’s something that is not taught.

If you go back and you dig through the actual history, you find out that those people who were actually radicals. They left their Christian church because they were radicals who believed in the Holy Spirit, and they believed within the Holy Spirit, sort of what’s Pentecostal now. They’re like the Pentecostals of the 1600s. I think it was 1620 or something like. So when they came here, the first 50 years was peace. I was watching them. I was doing a lecture on understanding of America’s history and in Christianity. It was really interesting.

So there’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to this country and history. But when we look back, the government took African Americans and said they would give them free health care. But instead, what they were doing was they were giving them a venereal disease. So they could observe how they died from this disease. And this is well documented. What’s also well documented is this government, it’s not the same people, but when I say this government, it’s not the same officials, it’s not the same people, but it’s the system. So the system isn’t perfect, and within the system, we have lied to and harmed the black community by purposely giving them venereal disease.

Then we took Indigenous women, and we would say, we’re giving them free health care instead, we would make them infertile by putting X-ray machines on their pelvises for 10 minutes, running for 10 minutes to make them infertile. These are just some of the examples of the things that have gone on within the government over the last 100 years or so.

So now, the military took– and again, I’m not bashing the entire system, but we have to sort of pull the wool from our eyes. The military took hundreds of young, beautiful men and put them on the bow of these giant ships, brought them out into the middle of the ocean and set off nuclear bombs, atom bombs, miles from where they were, as a science experiment. So that they could see what would happen to these men, who all develop cancer and horrible things, and post-traumatic stress. They said, that although their eyes were closed, their hands–they were told to sit on the bows with their hands over their eyes and they said, when the atom bomb went off, they could see even though their eyes were closed and their hands over their eyes, they could see because of the X-rays. They could see the bones of their hands, and we could see everyone else’s skeletons.

So these are just three examples of hundreds. I believe there’s good people in this world. I’m not saying that everyone was out to get us. When you actually look at the definition of conspiracy, it’s a group of people that are conspiring to do something that’s illegal, or elicit, or harmful. So, when we say that this is a conspiracy theory, it’s not a theory, these are actual recorded periods of history. We need to not repeat the history. We need not let history be repeated. We need to stop organizations that use us as guinea pigs or practice genocide for the profit. We need as individuals empower ourselves by listening to stories like yours and learn from Grace and learn what she went through and pass this information on and be an advocate for your family and for your friends. So you do not succumb to the medical system, which is not perfect and it’s designed for profit. Again, I believe there’s a good people in the medical system. But the system is designed for profit, even at the expense of your life. And that’s what we have to remember. And the takeaway here is to question everything, advocate, advocate, advocate. And if there’s red flags, you might need to fire your doctor. You might need to go get a second or third, or fourth opinion. Make sure those opinions are outside of the same—like if you’re going in a hospital, okay, can I have a second opinion on a different doctor of the same hospital in the same network? You need to go outside the network. You need to go to a completely different network to get an actual honest, maybe an honest opinion.

Robin Openshaw has been on my show. I’ve been on her. She’s a wonderful, outspoken advocate for hope not only holistic health but for human rights. In the last two years, for really understanding the politics of what’s going on, and she said, she has uncovered scams in dental as an example. When she dug deep, she found that dentists will regularly, not all of them but many, will say you have a cavity when you don’t. You’re a cash cow. You’re in there. How do you know? You’re looking at a screen. They’re pointing at something on-screen and saying that’s a cavity. And you have to go to a second opinion. Take your mouth to a different dentist and say, okay, do I have any cavities? You might need to go to a few different dentists.

And she says, when she’s heard back from so many people that have done this, she couldn’t believe how many dentists were trying to scam them and this is just dental work. Imagine,all the other forms of– they have both payments too. This isn’t life or death, but this is just an example. Money motivates people. If there’s money involved, and then if there’s livelihood involved, they might choose to do the wrong thing. Right? So we have to really advocate for ourselves.

There’s one more thing I want to bring up because it’s timed. One thing I love about America—there’s so many things, but there’s one thing I love is that we can go to the state that has our values. If you don’t like the state you’re in, you can go to a different state. Each governor’s or manages like a little island, each state serves its own country in that. So the governor could say, let’s say pandemic, and you love masks, and you want everyone to be vaccinated. You should have gone to New York, or Washington, or California. Right?

But if you’re the opposite, I think masks are dumb. I can’t wear them for whatever reason. I’m never going to submit myself to an experimental vaccine. You should have gone to Florida or Texas. So we just knew and we just saw this very clear that these last two years had never seen it so clearly before. It really matters who was in the governor’s seat because here in Washington State, Governor Inslee shut down our state so many times for so long that almost half of the small businesses went under. I cannot tell you how many restaurants and how many businesses are shut down permanently.

Overnight, it was something like 40,000 people went on unemployment. Now the numbers are out and it shows that you could compare every state to the state that did no shutdowns to the states that had the most shutdowns. The states that had mandates to the states that had no mandates. We have the same level of cases. We can’t really tell whether the fatalities are accurate. Like what you’ve said, someone can go in and they’re incentivized that write on the death certificate that it is COVID. So both the same amount of cases are reported from state to state. So it was a big experiment. Right? What I really love about the state is that you can go to a different state. If you’re like, hey, I don’t want to live in a state that it’s forcing my family to do a medical procedure that I don’t feel comfortable with. Right? So you can go to that state that you could move. It’s about people, but you could move where you have a choice. The choice is the freedom.

What’s happening this week, it’s very crucial. I’m going to publish this episode right away. I’m going to have the links in the show notes because I’m not going to explain it. I’m not going to give the level of explanation it deserves. But President Biden is right now signing into with the World Health Organization, which is like an arm of the UN. Right? He is signing so that he’s giving our sovereign medical freedom, medical choices over to the World Health Organization. It’s not a treaty. But many other countries, the big countries, the top, and known countries have signed it. This is a weird thing. Once we’ve signed it, the only way to get out is to let the countries agree. And basically, what’s happening is it doesn’t matter what state you go to. It’ll be federal.

If America signs this, if Joe Biden signs us into this, the World Health Organization will be able to control all health decisions in all states. They could say every single vaccine is mandated. You can’t even go to the grocery store without having all your papers. The World Health Organization could say that. It would be in law, and it wouldn’t matter what state we are in. This is something that sounds so bizarre. I’m sure people think I’m absolutely nuts, and I’m just the messenger. But I’ve learned this from several politicians that this is happening. So I have links to this and I’m going to put them in the notes. The only thing we can do is call our local representatives and all the links to that will be in the show notes of today’s podcast called A Local Reps and tell them we’ve got to go up the chain and say no. We need to protect our freedom to choose. I’m not saying you should be anti or force something. I want you to have the freedom to choose. Scott, I want you and everyone in America, and in the world– but we’re in America we’re talking about– I want everyone to have the freedom to be able to say I didn’t like this hospital. I’m going to a different hospital because a different hospital practices medicine differently. Under this, we will not have a choice. These hospitals will be not have a choice to practice differently. So this is a big deal.


[01:50:44] Scott Schara: I saw that in Steve Castor’s newsletter last week. It is a big deal to our church.


[01:50:50] Ashley James: Yes. I will make sure that the links– everyone listening need just to take five minutes. We need to write and call our elected officials, and we’ve got to cry out to try to stop this. And also, please, if you’re a follower of Jesus or a faith that believes in prayer to God, please pray over this. That we do not succumb to signing over our sovereignty to the UN and the World Health Organization. We need to keep our freedoms. This is unprecedented and it’s never happened in America. This is completely unprecedented that America would give over its sovereignty. It boggles my mind what’s been going on over the last two years.

We have to get back to you. I love Scott that you are getting active, that you’re sharing, and advocating because the information you share today will save lives. So thank you. Is there anything else you could share to wrap up today’s interview? Standing assurance to teach us how to be the most alert, watchful advocates that we can be for ourselves or for our loved ones.


[01:52:12] Scott Schara: Sure. How I would summarize? It would be to compare it to what we are becoming familiar with in the public school system. So I was born in 1963. So people my age who went through the public school system everybody believed in God. We did the pledge of allegiance. It was pretty normal, and now they’re teaching critical race theory. So my paradigm of a public school system has changed. So, I would not send the child to the public school system, period.


[01:52:52] Ashley James: In Washington State, they’re teaching Sex Ed. I believe in Sex Ed for like teenagers. To teach them like, “Hey, how about you abstain from having sex because that’s going to stop. If you don’t have sex, you’re not going to get STDs!” “You’re not going to have unwanted pregnancies!” I remember being taught, starting in grade seven and being taught how to have sex? What’s the penis? What’s the female reproductive system? What’s the male reproductive system? How does this all happen? How does babies happen? How does STDs happen? I remember being taught from grade seven all the way up. I also remember a few students opting out because they were Muslim or they had a different faith. The parents felt that their 13-year-old shouldn’t be learning this.

I think, I was grateful for the Sex Ed I got in high school because it taught and helped me make good decisions. We want to help teenagers make good decisions. What they’re doing now is they’re teaching it in Washington State, and they started in pre-kindergarten. They’re starting to teach children– I’m sorry to be crass– but how to pleasure themselves by touching themselves at a very young age. There’s pictures like the fourth graders are being shown how to do this to themselves and others– and it’s grooming! This level of education, we have a literacy problem, right? We don’t need to teach children how to touch themselves. I like to teach children how to stop adults from touching them. Right? Like no, you’re not allowed to touch or my bathing suit touches me, right?

I want to teach children to say no, but teach children how to read and write. So we have a huge literacy problem and yet in Washington State, there’s a lot of funding going into this new level of sex education in the public school system. I’ve talked to several parents who have shown me the literature as it’s in the school system. It would make your blood boil and freeze at the same time. It feels like grooming. We have to remember the public school system is government controlled essentially.

Read any of the books by John Taylor Gatto. One of his books is Weapons of Mass Instruction. Fascinating books explain the history of the modern education system, which is called the Prussian Education System. It was very intentionally designed to make good little factory workers. They on purpose to stop teaching, the critical thinking in the education system that we have now on purpose. So the education system is designed on purpose to shape and model citizens in the way the government wants us to be shaped and modeled. So we have to remember that.

I’m sorry for interrupting and going on my little tangent, but this is something that is really we started to see ramp up. It’s breaking the family unit apart with the public school system is doing now. It shouldn’t be called a public school. It should be called government schooling, government brainwashing.


[01:56:14] Scott Schara: Of course, right on to the point. So my paradigm of the public school system has completely changed and I think there’s a lot of people that’s happened to. My paradigm of the hospital system didn’t change fast enough. Of course, it’s changed now. Until your paradigm or your belief about something changes, there can’t be change in actions because beliefs motivate all actions. So my closing statement would be if you believe what I’m saying, that should cause you to change your belief relative to the hospital systems. If that changes your belief, it’ll save your life.


[01:56:54] Ashley James: And there’s times when we want to take our bodies, or a loved one’s body takes us into a hospital system and we should be prepared ahead of time. Like you said, do the research around local hospitals. Find the ones that are small networks that have the best outcomes. Don’t go to a doctor that’s “the top doctor in the state” or “the top doctor in the city”.

What I learned from one of my naturopathic mentors is he said, “you know that big billboard that has this picture of this oncologist and it says, top oncologist in Seattle or top oncologist in Washington State, you know how they measure that? Because I thought it was an outcome.” So I was like, oh, that oncologist must be amazing and helping people survive cancer. No! When they say top doctor, it is the doctor makes that hospital the most money. They build the most money, that’s what makes them the top-rated doctor. It’s not be rated in outcomes. So you don’t want to go to the top-rated doctor because they’re just going to put you through the wringer. They’re going to put unnecessary tests and unnecessary medications, and attempt to make more money. You really have to question that, you want to go to the doctor who has the best outcomes and long-term outcomes as well. 

Scott, thank you so much for what you do. Thank you for continuing to add to your website, So, are you suing? What are we looking at in terms of legal outcomes?


[01:58:31] Scott Schara: We haven’t sued yet. The doors are opening up at a fairly rapid pace. I can’t talk about some of the things that are happening just because we’re at that point. So I would believe that’s going to happen. Time will tell. It’s a lawsuit. It’s very tough in this environment because there’s no immunity from liability under the prep act. But we have enough things in Grace’s case that we believe will prevail. But we’re just waiting patiently for these doors to open up.


[01:59:06] Ashley James: Hopefully, you don’t get a corrupt judge. That’s another thing. How far does this go, right? Would you close this interview off with a prayer for all of us?


[01:59:20] Scott Schara: I’d love to do that. Heavenly Father, we come to You knowing that you don’t change. We can always come to You with our problems, and You will always provide a steady rocking solution for us. Thank You for opening up our eyes and to shine light on evil. Thank You for the opportunity today for Ashley’s interview. Please help this time to be able to change people’s hearts to call. You want everybody to be called back to You and get closer to You. I hope that this time that we have just done will do that for everybody listening and that people will share the message so that we can have more people believe in Your Son Jesus Christ. I pray all these things and many more things Lord, in Your Name. Amen.


[02:00:30] Ashley James: Amen. And I pray that we put the armor of God on and the robes of faith, and that we look to truth, veritas, we look to truth, we listen for truth, and that we can see through the lies. Satan is the king of lies and he spreads lies and that is his work. He works for his lies. I pray that we can all see through the lies and hear through the lies and cut through like a flaming sword. We cut through the lies until we can see the truth and that the truth is exposed to everyone. Thank you, God. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.


[02:01:18] Scott Schara: Amen. Thank you, Ashley.


[02:01:20] Ashley James: Thank you, Scott. I appreciate everything you do. Keep up the fight. And please can you stay in touch with us or come back on the show when you’ve got a verdict and when you’ve got more to share? We want to hear your story as you continue to spread this ripple like a tidal wave and help save so many lives. So thank you.


[02:01:46] Scott Schara: You’re very welcome. 


Get Connected with Scott Schara!




Apr 14, 2022

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Proof of Heaven: Neurosurgeon Shares His Journey into the After Life, Dr. Eben Alexander



  • Understanding Gateway Valley on Dr. Eben’s life
  • What is Earthworm’s eye view
  • Interpretation of Near-Death Experience (NDE) and Shared Death Experience
  • What is the Coherence Technique of HeartMath Institute
  • What is Binaural Beat


NDE or near-death experience, for some people, is an uncomfortable topic to listen to or understand. Some testify to it being able to experience it first hand themselves, and our guests for today, Dr. Eben Alexander and Karen Newell, will be sharing some more insights about NDE, as well as with The Mysteries of Consciousness, Death, Eternal Nature of the Soul, Afterlife, Heaven itself on their personal perspective.


Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. If you listen to the last episode with Dr. William Davis, Episode 476, we talked about a very specific strain of really healthy bacteria for the gut, Lactobacillus reuteri, and its many benefits. He shares how to culture it that you can get all the benefits, including a natural antidepressant, and helps even people with lifelong insomnia. He had shared that his sleep problems are lifelong sleep problems recovered after starting to eat the Lactobacillus reuteri. A yogurt that takes 36 hours at 100 degrees to culture and he uses cow dairy. Because my whole family is allergic to cow dairy, and we’re dairy-free. I’ve been experimenting with the different methods of using it. I made the most delicious batch and best batch yet. I was so excited that I wrote out the recipe and put it in the Facebook group. The Learn True Health Facebook group has the non-dairy recipe for making the Lactobacillus reuteri, which an antidepressant. It helps with sleep, increases joy, and stabilizes mood. It helped me tremendously, and I suffered from post-traumatic stress attacks in the last few months. Since eating the lactobacillus reuteri, I learned from Dr. William Davis and it all has in his book. You can listen to the last episode to get that information.

I want to tell you if you’re dairy-free and you’ve wanted to try his lactobacillus reuteri recipe, I’ve found a way to make it so delicious. I’ve tried with soy and it tastes really bad but it worked. I got all the benefits from it, but it didn’t taste great. Then I made it with coconut, which also did not taste great. I didn’t even want to eat it, but it still worked.

Then I tried to make water kefir which was unsuccessful, and I’m going to look into what I can do to see and I still want to try to make a drink out of it. Then I made it with organic raw cashews, and it was successful. So I laid out everything I did and put it in the Facebook group. Come and join the Learn True Health Facebook group. If you can’t find the post, just use the search function in the Facebook group and search for yogurt or the word cashew or Lactobacillus reuteri and you’ll find it there.

I hope you enjoyed today’s interview. It’s a bit different. Sometimes we do episodes that aren’t about physical health. We’ve done episodes about addiction, mental health, and emotional health and occasionally, we also cover spiritual health. I think it’s really important to have this attitude of no stone left unturned. Keep our minds so open that our brains would fall out. That was one of my favorite sayings. I learned about 14 years ago from a man I was listening to his podcast. He would cover topics so far out there, even for me. It helped me realize when we expand our minds and get into the learning state.

Being open to what we don’t know that doesn’t invalidate our belief system, like I’m learning different spiritual beliefs, wouldn’t make me less Christian. I still have very strong rooted beliefs in my spiritual practices, but understanding other people and other systems help me better understand the world. If we can gain a deeper foothold into our health by taking in new information and seeing the world through other eyes, that is a positive thing.

In today’s interview, we have a neurosurgeon who has documented a near-death experience. His brain was so sick that it could not have been performing the hallucinations or the visions that he was having. He had a one in a billion chance of surviving. He was so incredibly sick. All the doctors were amazed when he came back to life when his 10-year-old son was standing there begging him to come back to life and then he did. After seven days of being in a coma, his brain was absolutely beyond damaged. So the doctors were saying– well, okay, pull the plug, let’s let him go, that would be a humane thing to do.

He shares his story and his adventures since where he has been studying near-death experiences and sees that there are millions, in fact, documented near-death experiences that all have very similar qualities. So we can take that and look at our own lives and how we’re living our own life now. I think this is a positive message for humanity.

In today’s interview, if you don’t have any spiritual beliefs, it’s going to be beautiful. It won’t challenge anything, but for those who are strongly rooted in certain religions, it might not align with your religion, and that’s okay, too. This episode isn’t meant to change anyone’s beliefs about their religion. It complements because what it shows us, God is love. The infinite source of creation is there with a love that has been the documented experience of millions of people who’ve had near-death experiences, which is fascinating. We explore this topic. We also explore tools that can help people who are in anxiety and depression, feeling disconnected, and feel they’ve lost their purpose.

Please share this episode with those who would benefit from being uplifted. At the beginning of the interview, I shared that yesterday was the anniversary of my daughter’s birth and death. Last year, I faced that question– where’s my daughter? What happens to us when we pass and a close family member of mine is in their final moments of life right now? We’ve been facing hospice care for the last few months, helping with that. My husband’s been doing hospice care. Looking at our family and our life from that lens, this time on Earth is short. I hope that everyone listening comes away after listening to this interview feeling uplifted and feeling inspired to live the best life. No matter how long or short it is, leave a positive impact on the world, know that you’re loved, and focus on gratitude.


[00:07:45] Ashley James:  Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 477. I am so excited for today’s guests. We have on the show two amazing people, Dr. Eben Alexander and Karen Newell. This is perfect in divine timing. As far as I’m concerned, this is the feedback I got after doing this podcast for six years now. The feedback I get from my listeners is that I’ve been searching for this information. I just looked in the last week and then boom– your podcast came up or I was having this problem with my child and the next episode that came out was the answer to my problem. Many times there’s this divine timing, although I typically have about ten or so interviews in the hopper to edit and publish. I feel guided when and what to publish. It’s like I’m told– okay, now’s the time for this topic that needs to be learned. Everyone needs to hear about this next topic. Its divine timing can be for the listeners, but sometimes the divine timing is for me too, because interviews will happen in my life right as I need them. I can’t tell you how many times this happened to me and where it was the problem I was going through. It just so happened that the interview was scheduled for the right time.

A very close family member of mine is in the final hours of their life right now. He’s been in hospice care for months and to have this interview be today even though we had to reschedule it, who was rescheduled to be at this moment. Where we’re all questioning what happens after we die? When we’re stuck with this realization, we’re not going to be here forever, which is motivating to live your life to the fullest now and do the best work we can while we’re here in this earthly realm. So what happens after we die? Do we just decompose? Is that it, or is there more?

What I love, our guests today have so much to share in this realm. The other piece of the divine timing for me in this particular interview was yesterday. I celebrated with my family the birth and death of my daughter. It was our first anniversary. This whole last year, I’ve been faced with grief and death and thinking about where we go when we die. Where’s my daughter? She’s not here. Where is she? Is there an afterlife? I’ve always had the knowledge of believing I was raised and I was Christian. I’ve had a very strong feeling that I’ve felt the presence of God with me. But not everyone hasn’t had that experience in their life.

To come from a scientific standpoint and in scientific observation, it’s very helpful to get a different perspective. I think today it’s going to be really exciting for everyone and this is something that we all have two things in common. We’re all born and we’re all going to die. That’s like if we can just sit around and go. It doesn’t matter where we were born, who we were born to. We all have these two things in common. There are a few more things in common like we all need to breathe and drink water. We start to see that we have a lot of common ground, but the fact is, we’re all faced with this sense of our own mortality and questions about what happens to the afterlife.

Welcome to the show, guys. I’m really excited to have you here today.


[00:11:45] Dr. Eben Alexander: Ashley, thank you so much for having us on. It’s great to be here.


[00:11:49] Karen Newell: Yes. I’m looking forward to this conversation.


[00:11:51] Ashley James: Absolutely. Dr. Alexander, your first book, I believe, was Proof of Heaven, then you wrote the Map of Heaven and Living in a Mindful Universe, of course with Karen. Could you both share what happened and what led you to this point you were authoring these books? I know there are some pretty big stories you have to share.


[00:12:23] Dr. Eben Alexander: Well, of course, it all started with the experience I had back in November of 2008. At that time, I was a 54-year-old neurosurgeon. I’d spent 15 years teaching neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School thought I had some idea of how the brain, mind, and consciousness work. Then I had this extraordinary experience. It was one that absolutely should have killed me, severe gram-negative bacteria, meningoencephalitis. So I go into all the medical details in the book, Proof of Heaven.

Luckily, there’s also a medical case report published ten years after my coma by three doctors not involved in my care. Who went a lot further than I did in assessing my medical records, analyzing them, and making two major conclusions. One is that my brain was documented to be way too ill to have supported any dream or hallucination that was not possible given the extent of my illness. The other thing was that I spent a week in a coma due to this severe and very rare and adults of bacterium, Indigo encephalitis.

My doctors had estimated early in the week, and I had a 10% chance of survival. By the end of the week, only a 2% chance with no chance of recovery. That’s why on that Sunday morning, day seven of coma, they recommended just stopping the antibiotics and letting nature take its course. But, of course, that’s when I came back to this world. But the point that the case report doctors were making is that my recovery was miraculous. The medical peer reviewers at the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases published it. The case report in September 2018 challenged the doctors who wrote it and said, how do you explain this? This case is absurd. This kind of patient doesn’t end up making a full recovery.

That’s when they said, well, because he had a near-death experience, he was gifted with this miraculous recovery. And the peer-reviewing medical scientists said, okay, that’s good enough for us, and they published it. The reason why the doctors who wrote the case report knew of other cases, for example, Anita Moorjani, who had advanced stage four lymphoma, a profound near-death experience, and then she came back from all that and cured cancer. Likewise, Mary C. Neal, an orthopedic surgeon, had an over 30-minute warm water drowning and then recovered from that completely. So anyway, that’s the main point for all of us because in Learning True Health, truly, the power of this kind of mind over matter healing here even goes far beyond the placebo effect is something available to all of us. And that’s one of the main reasons I’ve shared my story.


[00:15:07] Ashley James: That’s so beautiful. We now understand your background. Karen, where do you come into play with all this?


[00:15:16] Karen Newell: Well, I met Eben about three years after his coma and this is before any of his books had come out. We were at a workshop learning how to use sound to get into expanded states of consciousness and I heard that he had a near-death experience. I’ve met others who’d had near-death experiences. Just to start a conversation, since I didn’t know his story, I went right to the heart of the matter. I said, what was the big lesson you learned? What was the big thing you came back with? Because near-death experiencers always come back with some usually deep personal lesson.

He looked at me and said that the brain doesn’t create consciousness, and I was confused. I said, well, why would anyone think that it does. When we met, Eben came from this very materialist background where he thought it was birth to death and nothing more. So the physical world is all that exists, and everything else is just an illusion. I was coming from the opposite like you described when I was young. I just had this knowing many of us do, and we have this knowing that we’ve been here before. This isn’t just the beginning, and we may come back again. Certainly, this idea of a soul to me was very certain in my mind, and it wasn’t through any specific religious teachings.

Although, like you, I was raised Christian, it just came from my own kind of inner understanding. When Eben said the brain doesn’t create consciousness, I never thought the brain created consciousness. I thought that consciousness was what we are, or a soul consciousness, energy, spirit. That’s where we realized we were coming from opposite ends of the spectrum and Eben had just learned this profound lesson through his direct personal experience. That’s what intrigued him and I was taken aback when he said the most profound lesson he learned had to do with science. To him, this evidence could end the entire worldview belief system of reductive materialism. So I asked him, and I said, didn’t you experience love? What about the love? Wouldn’t that maybe be a more profound personal lesson? And he said, well, yes, I definitely experienced that love, but you can’t bring that back here.

It’s so intense and overwhelming on Earth. It’s not possible to experience that kind of love. So I looked at him again, a little confused. And I said, well, I’ve experienced that love without a near-death experience through spiritual, meditative experiences that I cultivated intentionally. I had experienced the love that many of these near-death experiencers talk about. That’s what intrigued Eben and he said–Oh, my gosh, and so you can tell just from that information, how many areas we had to discuss in order to find that common ground that we felt when we met?


[00:18:24] Ashley James: Can you share any details you remember from your near-death experience?


[00:18:30] Dr. Eben Alexander: Yes, there’s a tremendous amount to the story, but just too abbreviated for this discussion. It’s important to point out that one of the atypical features of my near-death experience was that I was amnesic and had no memory of Eben Alexander’s life. I had no words, no language, no knowledge of Earth as the universe, and it really was an empty slate. So I realized in the months after my coma that was absolutely necessary for me to learn some of the deeper lessons of the journey. It had to have some of those atypical features for me to avoid rejecting it out of hand is impossible to make sense of. Then the journey itself and this amnesic state started in what I call the earthworm’s eye view, a very primitive course, a kind of unresponsive realm. It was like being in dirty jello. So there came this spinning malady of light that opened like a portal and led up into this rich, ultra-real Gateway Valley, where I found myself next.

The Gateway Valley would be the kind of realm where all of us would reunite with our higher souls, with souls of departed loved ones, go through life reviews, and then make plans for the next incarnations. All that kind of thing. But in my world in this Gateway Valley, I was a speck of awareness on a butterfly wing. There were millions of other butterflies looping and spiraling and vast formations. There was an incredibly beautiful landscape down below us. That was a meadow surrounded by forests with waterfalls and the crystal blue pools, thousands of beings dancing. They were all dressed in very simple but very colorful garb.

All of the festivities I witnessed there, including all the rich plant life with no signs of death or decay, were being fueled. Because up above are these floating orbs of angelic choirs emanating chants and anthems and hymns that were just thundering through my awareness and completely enlivened that entire scene. That’s when I recognized that I wasn’t alone on the butterfly wing.

A beautiful spiritual guide was a young woman with sparkling blue eyes, high cheekbones, a broad forehead, and a broad smile. She never said a word. She didn’t have to. Her deep emotional truth came straight into my awareness, telepathically and emotionally. That message, I think, was the central message I was to bring back to this world through all fellow beings. You are deeply loved and cherished forever. You have nothing to fear. You’re deeply cared for. I can’t tell you how refreshing and reassuring that was at that time.

At that point, I was aware of all of the lower four-dimensional space-time, this material world collapsing down all of that spiritual realm of the Gateway Valley, including a different ordering of causality, then I call deep time. That’s what allows for things like life reviews, which are not just remembering events of your life but reliving them in a detailed fashion.

I witnessed all that stuff collapsing as the angelic choirs provided yet another musical portal to higher and higher levels. That portal led me up into what I call the core. The core was a complete resolution of all dualities and kinds of paradoxes of this existence, into that oneness with the Divine. An infinitely loving healing force that God forces that so many have encountered.

Over thousands of years, I would say that those encounters are the basis of all of our great religions, from prophets and mystics. I’ve realized that even though when I came back to this world, people who’ve read Proof of Heaven will realize, I called that deity alm. Because that was the sound, I heard the resonance in this infinity and eternity. That’s what I brought back and I realized that it’s a waste of time to say whether this is God or Allah, Brahman, Vishnu, Jehovah, Yahweh, Great Spirit, whatever you want to call it. So there’s some profound agreement about the love, compassion, mercy, and acceptance of that infinitely loving source of our very conscious awareness. That’s what I realized in this core realm.

I was told there would teach you many things, but you’re not here to stay. You’ll be going back. But, of course, all of those mini-lessons about reincarnation, the eternity of the soul about the fact that we’re sharing one mind. All of that was presented to me in this powerful passion. But then I would tumble back down to that earthworm eye view. That’s what I came to realize by remembering the musical notes. This melody would conjure up that light portal back into the Gateway Valley, and I always experienced that same beautiful guardian angel on the butterfly wing and different lessons that would happen in that Gateway Valley. But always, I would ascend back up through the angelic light portal into the core realms, that oneness with the Divine.

There finally came a time when they weren’t kidding, and I could no longer conjure up the musical notes of the melody to bring me that passageway up out of the earth worm’s eye view. To say I was sad at that point would be an understatement. I also realized a trust in the universe at that point. That’s also when I witnessed six faces that turned out to be what are called vertical time anchors. Five of them were physically present in the ICU room for the last 24 hours, and I was in a coma. One of them was Susan Ranches, a family friend I’d first met back in the early 1970s in freshman college English class. So many decades later, my family knew that she had done channeling work with coma patients, which helped some of them return to life. My family asked her to intervene. She channeled to me from 120 miles away. Her presence was clear to me as the physically present people in the ICU room.

I had first-hand experience of the absolute reality of channeling, which I would have denied to even existed before my coma. But, of course, I’ve grown a lot from this coma, and at any rate, it was at that point that the six-face that I saw were the ones that brought me back to this world. That was the face of a 10-year-old boy, who was my son Bond. Even though I said, my amnesia was still very active. I had no idea who this being was. But it was on day seven of coma.

Sunday morning, the doctors had just till the family conference, saying it was time to withdraw medical care and let me go. When Bond overheard that, even though they protected him from the worst news during the week, he ran down the hallway. I was lying there on my ventilator as I had been for the last seven days. He pulled up my eyelids, and I promise you, I did not see him with the eyes. I didn’t hear him with my ears. But he was pleading with me– Daddy, you’re going to be okay as if somehow that would make it. And now, all of a sudden, deep in the spiritual realms, I had assumed that this whole adventure could continue or cease. It didn’t matter. All of a sudden, I realized there was another soul involved. I had a tremendous responsibility to him. I did not understand his words, but I could sense that I knew I had to come back to this world from his pleading.

When I did, within the next few hours, opening my eyes, struggled, and fought the ventilator. That’s when the doctor pulled the breathing tube out. To their shock, I was coming back and saying words and showing some neurologic signs of progress. Although I still didn’t recognize loved ones at the bedside, my mother, sisters, and sons, those memories came back very rapidly. As did language over hours and the next few days, all my semantic knowledge of cosmology, physics, and neuroscience came back over about two months.

During that time, of course, I was wrestling back and forth with how to interpret my experience. When I first tried to tell my doctors about it, they said we couldn’t even understand how you’re coming back to us. But you can forget about it because a dying brain plays all kinds of tricks. My first statement to my son, Eben the fourth, who was majoring in neuroscience at the time and came home two days after I got out of the hospital, I told him it was way too real to be real. That’s how I interpreted the experience in the context my doctors tell me the dying brain plays all kinds of tricks. But over the next weeks and months, going back to the hospital, talking about doctors, going through medical records, neurologic exams, scans, all of that. I realized that my brain was in no shape to harbor any dream or hallucination, much less the most extraordinary, detailed, memorable, and meaningful experience of my entire life. How did that happen when my brain was so demonstrably offline? That’s why the medical community takes my case so seriously. You find it probably mentioned, for example, in the recent contest concerning the best scientific evidence for survival of consciousness beyond permanent bodily death.


[00:27:32] Ashley James: This experience that you’ve had and other people have had, it’s not common. A lot of people who are in comas, not everyone has the experience you had. But some have the medication, and it was the coma, and it was brain damage, and just things are firing off weird. Someone could explain it like that, but this isn’t common. If that were the case, then everyone in a coma or with brain damage or an infection in their brain would have the same experience?


[00:28:16] Dr. Eben Alexander:  Well, this is the beauty of my case. The facts when you line them up from a medical perspective, as that case report does. They make it crystal clear that this brain could not have had any experience. There was no way for it to support a dream or hallucination because of the extensive damage to the neocortex. Then, of course, you’ve got the healing to explain. The healing completely defies medical expectations. There are no other cases of this kind of severe meningitis resulting in somebody who makes a full recovery. So that’s why this kind of exceptional case makes the point.

But to get back to your original statement, it turns out that NDE is quite common. Probably 15 to 20% of people with cardiac arrest have some elements of a true near-death experience. They’re insanely common when you start to look at all of it. So when you follow Gallup polls, that kind of information suggests 3 to 5% of people on Earth have had NDE. Four hundred million people or more have had NDE. Their commonality is far more striking than that they don’t happen to everyone.


[00:29:29] Ashley James: You call it a near-death experience. A friend of mine was pronounced legally dead and then came back to life and shared his experience with me of what we don’t know what to call heaven paradise. The Bible says we go to paradise first and heaven later. Wherever he was, he was clearly in the presence of God. He describes that tremendous love that is so intense, beautiful, and divine. He says it was like God is a son, that we’re all orbiting around his experience. His friend, whom he had met, had committed suicide and was distraught about that.

He met up with his friend, and his friend said that his guilt kept him from getting close to his love. It kept him like Pluto is like way out there orbiting but just not close enough, and that he was wrestling with the guilt of what he had done. And the hurt that he had caused his friends and family. So my friend ended up having a near-death experience again, saying that his friend had resolved it in the spiritual realm, had resolved and healed from it. Just these interesting experiences that people are having, and there are commonalities like everyone describes that love. Intense love is the sensation of being close to God and being close to our Creator. So that it is, it’s intense love.

Karen, you say that through your spiritual practices you have tapped into that and have experienced it. Do you teach this in the book Living in a Mindful Universe?


[00:31:26] Karen Newell: Somewhat, you can teach with your words but the experience of love must be generated as an experience. When we just talk about it, it doesn’t have the same sort of impact. Yes, I teach practices where people can start cultivating these kinds of experiences. I know for me, at first, it wasn’t easy. I grew up in a family where we were not demonstrative when it comes to our love. We weren’t saying I love you and all of that. We were a perfectly normal family. There wasn’t abuse going on or anything like that, but I wasn’t used to expressing love. As I got older, my parents had been divorced. I had a whole idea about how love is not necessarily always successful. I just was so curious, and eventually, when I started reading about it, I could only understand it intellectually, which is just not the same as the experience.

It was the work of HeartMath Institute that brought me to where I am now. That’s because they’ve been studying the heart for decades. They find that the heart emits an electromagnetic field. It expands and contracts around our body, and the brain also has one. The heart’s electromagnetic field is much, much bigger than the brain. The electric part is 60 times greater, and the magnetic part is 3000 times greater than the brain. So it expands and contracts around your body based on your emotional state.

Emotions like love, happiness, and joy will create a very large electromagnetic field, whereas emotions like grief, sadness, or anger might create a small electromagnetic field. What’s interesting is that this electromagnetic field seems to influence people around you. Whatever emotions are inside of you are the ones that are being radiated by your heart naturally. So I took this very seriously. I don’t want to have anything in my heart that might offend someone else. I was thinking mostly about my family and friends. I don’t want to affect them in a bad way.

I started to learn some of the HeartMath techniques, and they have one called Coherence Technique. It’s as simple as generating a feeling of gratitude in your heart, and it sounds simple. Let me generate a feeling of gratitude, and all I could do was generate thoughts of gratitude. I could think of things I was grateful for, but it didn’t change how I felt. I took the advice given and had to go over several different kinds of sessions where I had memories from my past. What made me feel joyful? What can I be grateful for? It’s going to be different for each of us. It was a memory of a stray dog my mom had taken in and turned out to be my childhood dog through college. She ended up having puppies underneath my bed just a short time after we adopted her, and for me, it was a magical moment. My mom probably thought it was a big mess, and I thought it was just beautiful, living, cute, little, lively creatures right there under my bed. And my dog trusted me to have them under my bed, not my brothers.

It was to memory, and from there, I remembered all the dogs I had ever known and loved. That connection with dogs and animals started to allow me to feel this flicker, this warm, glowing flicker in my heart. I thought— Oh my gosh, that’s it, and then it went away. So I had to go to a little practice. Eventually, when you’re able to generate these feelings of gratitude, you can have the intention to attract that love that exists from the source, from God, from the universe, whatever you want to say.

Once you’re able to generate it from within, it expands, and you attract this greater love. It is a framework of how it works, but that’s exactly how it worked for me. Everyone can learn how to do this, and we feel that love is just as overwhelming as your friend was driving. I can’t know if it’s the same as when in your near-death experience or feeling it may not be as intense. But wow, it’s certainly wonderful to feel. If I’m just feeling a fraction, five or 10% of what they’re feeling is worth it. So you feel this warm connection to something greater. You feel like you are always well in the universe that nothing can be wrong even if you’re in the middle of hardships, and all seems to make sense.

The love that I feel is our birthright when you think about the term making love. Ideally, we’re making love when a baby is created. I love how Eben puts it, and he calls them homes for souls. When you create a baby from the love between two individuals, you’re creating and making love. You’re creating a home for a soul to live in. I always think it wouldn’t be just an ideal world if that’s how every baby was created. But if not, we can still rediscover that love even if we’re not gifted with it throughout our lives.


[00:37:18] Ashley James: My husband had a similar experience growing up. Similar to that, there wasn’t a lot of demonstrative affection and love in his household. His dad just said to my husband in his 50s, just two months ago, said I love you for the first time. There’s a lot of emotional healing going on. In my life and my family’s life, just imagine being 50. So what is my husband,53? For the first time hearing, I love you, and his dad never said it to anyone. He didn’t see his dad give you a handshake, not a hug. These last few months, there’s been a lot of love and a lot of discovery of gratitude. So when our daughter was born and died, we turned to gratitude to focus on what we’re grateful for, or you’re focusing on what we don’t have.

A lot of people get wrapped up, especially in the material world. If only I had that Tesla. If only I had a house and only I had a million dollars. If only I had a better job. If only I had a better body or this or that. If only I had this carrot on a stick that we get wrapped up in. It’s the chasing of what we don’t have. I find it interesting to look at other religions or spiritual practices like Buddhism style or Zen. They say attachment creates suffering, and I would say attachment to what you don’t have to create suffering because the things I do have them attached to if I can stay focused on the gratitude around what I have. So what I have now, be grateful for what I have that makes me feel so much joy and thankfulness. That’s a prayer that I love to do. I take God if you don’t know what to pray for. It’s like we’re not asking Santa. It’s not like a Christmas list. I don’t want a pony. So when we’re praying, we could just be grateful. It could just be listing off everything you’re grateful for every day. Just thank You, God, for what you’ve given me. Thank You for what I have. Thank You for the help I do have.


[00:40:00] Karen Newell: You bring up an interesting point that we often look for objects outside of us to meet our needs. One way that we like to teach intention. If you want to create something in your life, it’s not to think– oh, that Cadillac or Tesla, whatever it is. But it’s what is the feeling you would have when you have that thing. Instead, focus on the feeling you’d like to feel. Generate that feeling. Just imagine you already have that thing that you want. What does it feel like?

When you generate that feeling instead of a thought of a particular thing you want, somehow the universe seems to know how to provide you with whatever will continue for that feeling to go on. Sometimes we don’t know if that Tesla may not be the thing that makes us feel that way. Maybe it’s a vacation to South Africa. Who knows? Sometimes, when we get an attachment to things can be so damaging because they may, even once we finally get them, not satisfy us in the way we had hoped. So it’s just a different way.


[00:41:05] Dr. Eben Alexander: I just pointed out one of the deepest lessons from a near-death experience. I think most near-death experiencers would agree that the true currency of a soul in terms of successfully navigating and growing through this life is all about relationships. You’ve been able to share love and kindness and compassion and mercy with others. The more successfully you can harvest the love of the universe for all that is. This focus on material things definitely falls away after a near-death experience because we learn truly. It’s all about our relationships. The more we can foster that sense of love and kindness and help others, our lives will be better.


[00:41:52] Ashley James:  I did an interview a few years ago with a man traveling the world and studying depression and addiction. He talked about a study where they looked at cultures with the most material possessions and cultures with the least—looking at the level of satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy in one’s life. What I found fascinating is that you think the child with the most toys would be the happiest, and it’s the opposite of the children in South America who have one possession, and that’s a soccer ball, are the happiest. They’re far happier. These families with far less are far happier, more satisfied, feel more grateful, and have less depression than those in North America who have all the possessions we could ever want because they have the one soccer ball.

These kids have one soccer ball, and they get like 15, 20, and 30 friends together to play. It’s the relationships they have. In Latin America, the focus is strongly on the family. Everyone has cousins and aunts and uncles in the family structure, and relationships are important. More important than possessions. In America, culturally, it looks like we value possessions more than relationships. So it’s interesting to shift what we value.


[00:43:35] Dr. Eben Alexander: I would say the whole world of addiction and alcoholism is all about this notion of trying to fill this hole with material goods, material stuff, and substances that give you certain feelings. And what you realize in that addiction and alcoholism were you’re trying to fill a spiritual hole with material stuff. The only way to fill a spiritual hole is a spiritual matter. So growth of [inaudible 00:44:03] soul and a deeper understanding of one’s relationship. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the ego because the ego-mind, that little voice in our head, is not our ally in this journey.

The ego would rather see a toe’s dead and see itself dead that’s why many therapists do a ritual sacrifice. The ego allows it to be reborn in a much healthier kind of higher soul form, and not one so self-centered because that ego can lead us into tremendous toxicity, trying to satisfy its needs. The more we come to recognize this kind of bigger picture of who we are, it’s all about relationships, and it’s all about love and sharing kindness and compassion and mercy with others. The more satisfied we are with our lot in life. That’s done with gratitude, and forgiveness gives us tremendous tools to overcome most of the apparent hardships that human beings face.


[00:45:48] Ashley James: In the early days after your coma, did you begin to look at other examples? Can you share some other stories that struck you that made you realize others have had the same experience? You did mention two or three people shared the stories of what surprised you as you were in the early days you were doing your research and understanding that what you had was a visit to heaven.


[00:45:32] Dr. Eben Alexander: One of the people common things to encounter in near-death experience or just the dying experience in hospice care, in terminal patient care. What are you encountering in the soul of the departed loved one? In fact, for me, that means you’ve got an authentic experience right there. But, of course, the [inaudible 00:45:52]coma has said that the hallucinations you’re encountering as a whole of a departed loved one. I now know those are very real encounters; in fact, that’s imprimatur proving it to be real. Many other features of NDEs are quite common. The notion of going from darkness into light is sometimes described through a tunnel. Certainly, encountering that infinitely loving and healing God force is something that many NDEs involve. They also can involve encountering religious figures, although that’s much less common. For example, encountering Jesus Christ or Muhammad or something like that is not very common. Certainly, the encounters with the souls of departed loved ones can be very evidential to help someone realize that it’s all about relationships and that our souls do not die.

The biggest gift to me in this whole experience of sharing my story publicly is that thousands of people share their experiences with me. That kind of thing has proven the reality of this. We shared the resonance and overlap of these stories in the second book, The Map of Heaven. In our third book, Living in Mindful Universe, we go the distance to make this argument that science and spirituality are coming together. So the only way for them to move forward is by this kind of shared acknowledgment of rehab of spiritual reality. So that is one where our minds are all connected. That’s one of the deepest pieces of evidence for the reality of this afterlife, and all that is this notion of one mind.

I would say that the game has just changed dramatically in the last year about this question of an afterlife. Robert Bigelow, an aerospace engineer in Las Vegas, put up $1.8 million in prize money and challenged scientists who study this question– what is the best evidence for survival of consciousness after permanent bodily death? He received over 200 essays written by groups studying the question of the afterlife for more than five years from a scientific perspective. The 29 winning essays are available to the public for free right now, at

If you go and read the first place essay by Jeffrey Mishlove, who spent more than half a century studying this evidence, you’ll realize, of course, there’s an afterlife. We don’t understand how it works yet. Certainly not going to fit into you all kinds of religious or scientific wishes of the day. The more we investigate and the more we find out its reality, not only in the afterlife realm. Many of those essays also discuss the scientific evidence for reincarnation.

Reincarnation was never anything I considered as part of reality before my coma. My coma journey showed me very clearly that our souls come back again and again. In this process of continued refinement, but given the importance of relationships, you never have to worry that a loved one who is reincarnated before they would be available to you at your own passage. Some people worry a lot about that. That’s where that whole notion of deep time and a different causal ordering from this spiritual perspective is so important to get. So if you go to and start reading those essays, you’ll find a tremendous amount of evidence. Reading those essays, no rational person will ever doubt the reality of the afterlife and reincarnation again.

It just means we need a much bigger theater of operations to understand and explain the brain-mind relationships and the nature of reality that we seem to witness as human beings.


[00:49:49] Ashley James:  In science, because of your latest book, you talk about how science is now catching up to the spiritual in understanding it. Is there anything from your book scientifically that helps us better understand the spiritual realm or the afterlife?


[00:50:12] Dr. Eben Alexander: Yes, we go into great detail in the book Living in a Mindful Universe to do two major things. One is to make the scientific case for the primacy of consciousness of philosophical opposition, known as objective idealism. I think the whole world of quantum physics has been poised to acknowledge that reality for a long time. And the founding fathers of the field sifted the primacy of consciousness and the oneness of mind. In fact, in the second place winning essay Dr. Pim Van Lommel wrote a beautiful scientific explanation based on NDEs that he studied for over decades as a cardiologist.

Towards the end of this essay, he makes the argument for the one mind. We’re all sharing this one consciousness of [inaudible 00:51:02] to top-down calls of principles of the universe. He lists four scientific resources for this one-mind idea. One is the book, One Mind, by our friend and colleague, Dr. Larry Dossey, which came out in 2013. A wonderful expert vision of this oneness of mind between human beings that we share with other life forms, too—a very important concept.

He also mentioned the book Spiritual Science by Steve Taylor. He mentioned a Beautiful Paper by Bernardo Kastrup. I think it’s in the Journal of Consciousness studies entitled The Universe in Consciousness. Then he lists our book Living in a Mindful Universe as the fourth major scientific resource of the one mind. I would add Pim Van Lommel’s book, Consciousness Beyond Life. I think those five resources together will give people a full-blown scientific view of this concept of the one mind and how top-down causality from the mental air of the universe explains a tremendous amount of quantum physics about the hard problem of consciousness. So this is an impossible problem for materialism to try and conjure up a way for phenomenal experience to emerge from any arrangement of physical matter like the substance in the brain.

We also go into the apparent unity of consciousness, known as the binding problem in the philosophy of mind. Especially in this discussion of the consilience of supporting the one mind hypothesis for the primordial mind hypothesis, as we call it in our book, Living in a Mindful Universe. All the evidence for nonlocal consciousness comes out of the world of parapsychology. So this is the kind of evidence that I would have dismissed and debunked before my coma out of pure willful ignorance.

I know now that’s a pretty foolish position to take the evidence for things like telepathy, remote viewing, precognition, presentiment, psychokinesis, distance healing, power of prayer, near-death experiences, shared death experiences. These are identical in quality to near-death that happened in very healthy people and past life memories and children suggestive of reincarnation.

You go to— University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies. For more than six decades, they’ve accumulated over 2500 cases of past life memories in children, 1700 plus of those cases have been quoted solved. That is the research. They identify the person described as living the previous life of that described by that child. All this evidence is what we cover in Living in a Mindful Universe. It takes a store to a very profound consilience and consolidation of scientific evidence supporting the notion of the one mind. Our souls come back and again in this refinement process towards oneness with the Divine.


[00:54:04] Ashley James: Karen, as you wrote this book with Eben, the Living in a Mindful Universe, I always like to talk to authors because although they are the experts of their book, they’re also the students. To get into that position of learning while you’re researching for your book, I love what unfolds for authors. What unfolded that surprised you the most as you guys wrote this book together?


[00:54:36] Karen Newell:  What unfolded surprised me? Eben is very scientific, as you can hear from how he explains everything. Our goal was to make it accessible to the non-scientific mind while also ensuring that these science-minded people would not be thinking– Oh, you took shortcuts and all of that. I thought science was not something that was my forte and one of the exercises we went through in the book is when Eben did write with a very scientific passion. So I had to understand that goal, and that’s how it would stay in the book.

I learned a lot about quantum physics and the experiments in quantum physics, the double-slit experiment. Everyone always talks about the difference etween a photon and a wave. None of that had been of any interest to me, and I had to learn that. So in the process of doing it, I learned how to describe it in ways that laypeople would understand. That was interesting, a topic that I had avoided for my whole life. Then, suddenly, I was helping to try to explain it so that other people could understand it.

That was a really interesting few months, and we still go through that now. Not as much because I’ve learned so much, but when he’s trying to explain a concept, if I don’t get it, the burden is on him to make sure that I do. That’s been an interesting exercise to bring together the hardcore heavy science into a more accessible format. So that people who are more spirit-minded can access it and understand why it matters in our daily lives. Because of all of these things we can talk about, the philosophers pontificate about the reality of our universe, but when it comes down to it, it’s the experience. Individual people are walking around in this world. So that’s what matters. So that’s what we brought together. For me, that challenge was bringing science in.


[00:57:02] Dr. Eben Alexander: I would simply add that was a huge part of our effort. The book was not just to explain these things from a scientific perspective. But to offer people tools to explore their own life and consciousness because I had come to realize within two years in a coma if I had any hope of understanding the deeper nature of my journey. I had a much more active cultivating, navigating, and exploring my consciousness, which I ended up doing through meditation.

In Living in a Mindful Universe, we also talk about Karen’s work. She’s the co-founder of Sacred Acoustics, and that’s a form of binaural beat brainwave entrainment that I use an hour to a day and have been doing for the last ten plus years. In my own personal exploration, we wanted to share a personal experience with people. The book also has some indicators and information to help people in their own exploration of consciousness.


[00:58:00] Ashley James: I love hearing that a neurosurgeon likes the binaural beats music and uses it. So this is exciting because I’ve loved listening to these different melodies with different wavelengths, and I’ve always found it really helpful. I found this one on YouTube that’s like—come, focus and study for ADHD people, and I put that on. I could focus for like an hour while I was listening to it. It’s just beautiful melodies going back and forth. It helps me focus that I always laugh because it’s like for ADHD people to focus and study. I juggle so many things, I have a kid at homeschool, taking care of everyone and everything in my life, and then I’ve got the podcast. I’m constantly being interrupted by all these other things. So I think it’s my environment that makes me ADHD.


[00:59:04] Karen Newell:  You’re not alone. It’s not just you don’t have to label it as ADHD. We all can use the tools to help us get into a better state of focus you mentioned in these YouTube videos. We create at We create the same type of recordings. Just to caution on YouTube, the audio quality can only be so high when you merry it with a video. You’re not getting the best quality, the best potential to deliver binaural beats. You might want to check out

We have a free download that you can get by entering your email address. We also have something called the whole mind bundle, and it includes recordings that deliver Delta, Theta, and Alpha signals. Those Alpha signals that you’re probably listening to help you get into that more focused state. Theta signals will help you go a little deeper into a more meditative state, and Delta signals will help you sleep. So many, many people listen to these recordings to help them sleep.

So this whole mind bundle it’s available at We use that in a pilot study. A psychiatrist in New York City applied them in her psychiatric practice. She prescribed this set of recordings that people can sometimes listen to flexibly while doing other activities, just like you said. Also, there are shorter recordings that people can use for like 20 minutes a day to help them establish a regular meditative practice.

What she found with Dr. Anna Yusim and then published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in February 2020 was that a 26% reduction in anxiety occurred. People were able to sleep better, focus better, and reduce their anxiety. The control group, the patients in the same practice, did not listen to the recordings but only had regular therapy. Over the same period of about two weeks, they saw a 7% reduction in anxiety. So 26 versus 7% just by adding listening to these recordings.

Even if you’re listening to them to help you focus, they could potentially help to reduce your anxiety. One obvious way is if you’re able to focus and get your work done, you’re not as anxious about getting everything finished. Do they seem to play another role in really helping to relax the brain? Beta is the state we’re in when we’re walking around, talking, and anxious, and that’s a higher state. Binaural Beats are designed to deliver these lower states of awareness by delivering one signal to one year. A slightly different signal to the other ear. The difference between those two frequencies gives you the brainwave state we’re trying to deliver.

So Delta, the border between delta and theta, is right at four hertz. So many of our audio recordings deliver a four-hertz signal that borders between awakening asleep. So this allows you to support the body and profound relaxation, but the mind doesn’t fall asleep. It’s still aware. That’s the meditative space, the hypnagogic state where we can start to release all the emotional traumas, focus on feelings that we want to manifest in our lives, ask questions about problems that we might be having, and get some answers. We can also use that space to do lucid dreaming kind of activities.

It’s also possible to connect with your departed loved ones. Those who have passed from this world are often trying to contact and stay connected to people who are still here living on Earth in their human bodies. So when we are more open to that, when we can get into a relaxed state, we might more readily notice this attention they’re trying to give us.

There are many applications that people use these recordings for, not just focus. Certainly, the focus is one of those primary tasks that we all need help with during the day. Certainly, these days, anxiety, addiction, all of that is just running rampant. So any kind of tool that people can use at the beginning of COVID, that’s right when this study came out. Actually, right when it was published. I wanted to make these recordings available to others right when we entered into these lockdowns when people were panicking and so nervous and upset about what was going on.

I drastically reduced the price of these recordings to $19 for a whole set of nine recordings and a PDF guide that teaches you how to use that. I also made a free option because many people are in financial uncertainty. I didn’t want there to be any barrier at all. So many people have taken us up on that offer, and I feel gratitude towards them because I understand we are all part of one mind or one consciousness and one heart. So I feel that each of us takes the time to quiet the mind, release emotional traumas, focus on that essence of who we truly are, and find that meaning and purpose in our lives. As each person does that, I am so grateful because that contributes to the whole. So this is what I feel every one of us can do to contribute to the whole. We’re not only helping ourselves, but we’re helping everyone else by bringing our health into balance.


[01:05:08] Ashley James: I love it, and thank you so much for making that free for those in financial hardships. I am so grateful for people who are helping people. That experience of being we are all connected, I said that at the beginning. We’re all born, we all die, we have a lot in common, and if we could take on this idea that we’re all part of these raw pieces of the puzzle. I read something once God loves you so much. You’re one of his children. He also loves you so much that he is like your worst enemy. The person that you hate so much. He loves them just as much, and it’s like being a parent with two fighting kids.

If you can look at that person who you despise, maybe because of where they come from, or their background or what they believe in, their different political beliefs or different religious beliefs, or they’re just on the opposite spectrum of one of your values or one of your beliefs. You look at them, and you can’t understand them. You don’t like them as an entire group of people because they’re on the opposite part of the belief system than you. If you can look at those people and get that even though on this plane of existence at this very moment in the mindset and you guys can’t see eye to eye. You might not like each other because of your beliefs and values and whatever it is.

If you can both get that you were born into a family, you all have many things in common. That God loves you. That you are loved, showered with love and gratitude, and can transmute even your worst enemy in your mind. When you realize that this person, as much as you don’t like them or because of their beliefs, you guys have so much more in common than you think. If we could all live that way, we could all look at every one. Imagine if all politicians could look across the other side and go; we have so much in common.

Why don’t we focus on what we have in common and the common good we want to do? Of course, it doesn’t sell headlines. The mainstream media wants to keep us in fear, keeps us like it’s clickbait. Life right now could be social media’s clickbait and everything that is causing turmoil. There have been studies done that prove that things on Facebook and Instagram are increasing suicide among youth. I think suicide is now the second leading cause of death in youth under the age of 24. Mental and emotional health that’s the true pandemic right now. If we look at how many people are on antidepressants and anxiety meds.

I love that you talked about what we’re missing in cultivating spiritual health when we cultivate spiritual health that helps us heal our mental and emotional health. I found a new church. I just love it and have been going several times a week. And that’s where I’ve been doing so much of my emotional healing and working through the post-traumatic stress that I’ve had over the last year. We’re worshiping and praising, and we have so much gratitude. Everyone is in a state of gratitude, and then the whole, there are hundreds of us, and we all feel what’s described as the Holy Spirit. We all feel a connection to God, and it is so intense and so beautiful. It just feels so real.

I understand what you said about how you can practice spiritual experiences, especially with gratitude that gets you in that state of love. I’d love for you guys to talk about– either one of you. What kind of tools could be helpful that you already have mentioned a few? Do you have any more tools that could be helpful for those who are suffering from grief, loss, depression, and anxiety which is something I feel that so many are suffering from right now?


[01:10:05] Karen Newell:  What is one of the very simple tools I often recommend to people is just to imagine that your breath is moving in and out of your heart. You can imagine your breath. A lot of meditative teachers will have you practice imagining what is coming in and out of your left toe. Something anywhere on your body it’s an exercise in moving your awareness. But when you imagine that it’s moving in and out of your heart, it’s filling up a bubble around your body, a little sphere. If you can imagine that your breath moves in and out of you in all directions, this really moves you out of your thinking mind. That’s where your distress is coming from. The heart does not have a linguistic center. Interesting Heart Math will tell you that the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.

I feel like it’s collecting information out in the world and sending it up to the brain. Then the brain has to assign meaning to it and come up with words to describe it. We can escape those words, that little voice that maybe is telling us we’re not good enough or keeping us in a state of procrastination instead of productivity. Whatever it is, move your awareness to your heart. Imagine your breath is moving in and out of there. That’s a beautiful exercise that can help get people wrapped around it. I will tell you that some addiction doctors have used our free recordings, the alm recordings, right on patients when they’re in distress. They’ll come in, and they’ll be all strung out, and they can’t get them to come to have a conversation. So this doctor will pop the headphones. You have to use headphones to get the full power of these recordings. Put the headphones on the patients, and they just get calm right away. So lots and lots of tools related to the sound and just how you hold your awareness.


[01:12:14] Dr. Eben Alexander: The only other point I was making is a key starting point for people. Kind of new to this is in this kind of meditation, going within what you’re doing is acknowledging that this kind of mental air of the universe is something shared throughout the universe with great influence. The important step to take at the beginning of any such meditation is that one has to realize they are not to identify without running a stream of thoughts in their head. So many people think the running stream of thoughts in their heads is who they are. It’s their identity.

I’ll point out that it is your ego-mind, and that certainly serves some purpose in the general survival of biological systems on Earth. And yet we are far beyond the predator, prey, and dance that involves so much of biology. So that’s no longer humankind of preoccupation. My point is that we can discover that we’re much more than just our physical bodies. So we’re much more than just running a stream of thoughts.

In his book, The Untethered Soul, I love how Michael Singer calls running a stream of thoughts in your head the annoying roommate, and that’s a very important way to look at it because that’s not truly who we are. We can come to much greater discovery by cultivating the sense of connection across the veil with a unified mind with God-consciousness that has the highest and best good for all involved as its primary interest.

There’s something I would paraphrase from Einstein, and he said the true value of this whole depends on how much they’ve liberated themselves from the concept itself. That’s where this ego-mind, this voice in our head, can be so misleading. And Rene Descartes, a renowned French philosopher of hundreds of years ago, said, I think therefore I am. I wish he clarified it a little bit and said, I am aware of my thoughts, and therefore I exist.

That awareness of them, that’s the part that outlasts the death of the body and brain. That’s the part that actually expands when we die. That’s what near-death experiencers tell you: your awareness doesn’t shrink down to nothing as a materialist would postulate. Still, it expands when you’re liberated from the shackles of the physical brain and body. This is something we can all practice through meditation. Flipping these surly bonds of Earth in the material realm and the apparent here now and this kind of sense of self. We all have the freedom within meditation and centering prayer to escape from that kind of false imprisonment of the illusion of being isolated as an individual physical being. We’re much more than that, and that’s really one of the deepest lessons to start within this adventure is exploring that shared consciousness.


[01:15:20] Ashley James: Now, you lost your sense of self. You had mentioned that it’s like your ego wasn’t there, you didn’t know who you were, but that needed to happen so you would learn and accept what was going on? I’ve heard of near-death experiences where people didn’t know who they were, and they did see fellow members who had passed or met Jesus and knew who they were.


[01:10:50] Dr. Eben Alexander: Right.


[01:15:52] Ashley James: Is your experience uncommon that people don’t know who they are? Or are there some experiences people do and some don’t know? How can we better understand near-death experiences if this really happens when we die?


[01:16:15] Dr. Eben Alexander: I think the important thing to point out is that near-death experiences, as we said earlier, probably 400 million people around the world patterns are very common. And when you study them, you find a lot of commonalities, and you’re exactly right. Most people go into this with full memory of their lives. All this tells me is if my experience was incomplete, if I’m going to die, I would have gone on to that next level of going through the life review. Now it’s important to point out, though, that I did witness life reviews with a very powerful passion, even though I cannot have an Eben Alexander life review because of my amnesia.

The way I saw them, and these both occur in separate passages through the core realm, first was what I call the Flying Fish analogy, and that was basically where I experienced becoming flying fish. And when we’re down in the water, we are dumbed down. We didn’t have all the knowledge of our higher soul. We were buying into this material incarnation and that’s it. It gives a skin in the game. But then when I popped up out of the water into the air, as flying fish, I was in that space between lives and reunited with a higher soul and all that kind of thing.

Now, this next vision was even grander and happened on a separate passage through the core; it’s what I call the Indras Net Vision. That was this extraordinary higher dimensional network of interconnected threads, and the threads represented soul lines of an individual soul from multiple incarnations approaching this incredible enlightenment and oneness with the Divine. In that particular vision, that ultimate goal was reflected as this kind of golden center to this web network to which we were all kind of attached and working our way through these incarnations. The life review and reincarnation were very clearly presented to me in these visions. 

Now the important thing to stress is months after my coma, and this is something we explained in Living in a Mindful Universe. If I had scripted my NDE first and foremost, my father would be there. My doctor father was a world-renowned neurosurgeon. He was very important in my life. It passed over four years before my coma. And surprising to me, especially because I’ve never had NDE in the literature before after my NDE, at the advice of my older son majoring in neuroscience, who knew every time you revisit a memory, you change it. So he told me to write everything that I could remember from my NDE before I read anybody else’s NDE. That was important information. I wrote 20,000 words over six weeks or so. 

And then, I started reading the NDE literature and that’s when I was totally blown away by a lot of similarities. I was surprised by the absence of my father and we explained that especially in the third book, Living in Mind for Universe, how he appeared to me in meditation two and a half years after my coma. It made it very clear that if he had been apparent to me as he could, he could not be apparent to me in my NDE. Despite a one in ten million diagnosis from an E.coli bacteria of meningitis in an adult, despite a one in a billion recovery, if my father had been the one on there, I would have been more tempted to dismiss it. So you only see what you want to see all the way out. So it’s a psychological factor, that’s why my guardian angel had to be who she was. Someone deeply important to me in my life. Anyway, that’s kind of the longer version of NDEs, of life reviews, of my father’s presence and discovering the importance of why he couldn’t be there in my original NDE.


[01:20:07] Karen Newell: You touched on how we can know that Eben’s experience or people who have near-death experiencers have the same kind of experience we would have when we actually go on to die. Fortunately, we have data on that. Christopher Kerr is a director and doctor at Hospice Buffalo, and he started doing studies on hospice patients some years ago. He wanted to hear from them directly. So what is it that you’re experiencing as you get closer to death because up until then, it was only clinicians who had reported their observations of what people were going through?

No, actually asked for dying patients themselves and that was brought up at the institutional review board where this is going to be proper. Dr. Kerr explained that these patients are actually benefited by having the opportunity to talk about their experiences. What’s so remarkable is that around 90% of the subjects stated did have what he called End of Life Dreams and Visions. The dreams happen when the subject is asleep. When they’re awake and have these experiences, they’re called visions.

It’s the same type of experience that the subject is usually the same whether you’re awake or asleep, which is so weird for us. People who just have dreams think they’re a little different at any rate. These were very realistic types of dreams. These people reported them to be hyper-real, more real than real, and they would say as if they were actually lit. Which is remarkably exactly how near-death experiencers describe near-death experiencers. Their experiences say that they’re more real than real.

The other thing that happens is that people will say that there are scenes of travel where they know they’re going somewhere, that they’re packing or they’re in a car or bus, and they’re going somewhere. But they don’t necessarily know where they’re going. So the idea that it’s the end is not really brought out in these experiments. The other thing that’s very common in these experiences is that people will start to relive their life.

So when Eben talks about this life review, people in the– let’s say a couple of weeks before they die, say they’re in the hospice center. The first dreams that they started to have are up to their childhood. They’ll stretch or relive childhood events and connect with people they knew back then. They could still be alive, or they could still be dead at this point. But as they get closer to death, the prevalence of dreams and visions involving deceased relatives increases dramatically.

Often they’re just seen as being present, quietly observing, always emanating this loving energy, and other times they actually interact. We can be quite certain that actual death is very similar to what near-death experiencers tell us. It seems that life review starts to begin before you actually die. Once you actually die, it just continues in another form. And near-death experiencers, of course, are dying, necessarily in a natural way. So many people are oftentimes natural because it couldn’t have to do with a heart attack or something, but it’s a sudden way. If they’re not being led into death over many weeks and then days and then hours. It happens suddenly and they just pop right into their life reviews without a chance to start gradually. So this gives us a lot of information that can make us very confident that our awareness continues that we encounter the souls that departed loved ones. That love is a thief that’s another thing they say is that– everything is related to love and those loving bonds. We often call it the binding force of love because it keeps us connected even into the afterlife.


[01:24:23] Ashley James: We’ve talked about beautiful positive things. I’m going to turn to something negative now, but I hope there’s hope here. I feel like we’re in dark times. Hopefully, not everyone feels the same way. Hopefully, there are people who don’t feel like we’re in dark times, but there’s a strong sense that there’s a spiritual war. A lot of people that I know believe that there are demons. There are negative entities that there are forces out there that are not wanting what’s in our best interest. In your research in studying near-death experiences, studying the afterlife, and spirituality. Have you come across the concept where people are struggling with demonic possessions or a feeling like there are negative forces that are hindering them from being able to live that life full of gratitude and love and connect with God and move into a positive spiritual realm?


[01:25:37] Dr. Eben Alexander: I would say, especially, when you look at the broad literature on near-death experiences and combine it certainly with Christopher Kerr’s work as Karen was discussing the end-of-life experience so commonly encountered. You find that 90 to 95% of it is just this beautiful, blissful kind of finding of a spiritual realm. You don’t find that there’s some battle between good and evil going on in the spiritual realm. In fact, even that kind of predefined set of near-death experiences that are turned into hellish NDEs or negative NDEs is often involved– for example, someone who has been so busy handing out pain and suffering to others that their life review might seem kind of hellish because you have to be on the receiving end of that in life.

Your life review is not from your perspective. But from the perspective of those around you who were influenced by your actions and thoughts. But the overall ambiance of that kind of community and those reports. This even includes, for example, if you go to the really negative kind of expectations, you might have to say, for example, inadequate prison where with rapists and murderers, you find that when prisoners work as hospice workers for fellow prisoners, they still uncover these same stories of kind of redemption of forgiveness of people facing the bad that they’ve done in this life, but seeing it in this light of love that guides them more towards a loving presence.

That’s why I think overall, the evolution of humanity, given this huge kind of factor NDEs and the loving ambiance in the background, that over a period of time, we do become more loving and move away from this kind of false sense of separation in comes of materialistic thought. I would agree with you that our current world is very apparently conflicted, polarized, lots of conflicts, violence, warfare, economic polarization, corporate greed, climate change, and all that. I would say that the answer to that is a spiritual awakening. It simply involves more and more people becoming aware of this deep truth about our existence that in many ways is very optimistic.

When you look at the big literature on NDE reports, for example, the ions website hosts thousands and thousands of reports with these kinds of experiences. The overall background is one of a very positive transformation of humanity. Kenneth Ring is one of the founders of the International Association of near-death studies. He wrote it three decades ago. It’s about how just people knowing NDEs could change their own reality.

You don’t have to have an NDE just knowing about these experiences and their commonality helps all of us to come into a deeper sense of the higher good that we can practice in meditation, centering prayer, and through the way that we live our lives and all the choices, we make every day. But despite the apparent hardships, and I would say that the hardships are there, just as in the world of alcoholism and addiction study where people have these hardships that they’re dealing with. It’s like getting a bottom, a gift of desperation that they’re able to bounce back up and gain the energy to improve themselves.

Likewise, society is facing a collective gift of desperation with all these apparent hardships, conflicts, political polarization, etcetera. There is a way out, and that is for humanity to truly become wise. Homo sapiens, the word sapiens, means wise. Yes, you could attribute much of the scientific advances in medicine, communication, transportation, etcetera. Over the last two centuries to been a wise move. When you look at the ugly underbelly of all our addiction to fossil fuels, the floating gyre of plastic twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean, these are obviously very negative sides of our technological growth. So it’s time for humanity to really grow up and quit living this kind of myth of false separation from each other.

We’re all in this together. We need to take care of each other. And we need to have a much longer timescale. Politicians and corporate leaders look at the next quarterly report for next year’s elections. We need to look at 50 years in the future and our children and the quality of their lives and start doing what’s right for them. So that’s where I think this world can start to take stewardship as we should truly. If we’re going to call ourselves Homo sapiens and start leading this world in a much more positive direction, that’s beneficial to all.


[01:30:39] Ashley James: Your book Living in a Mindful Universe, there’s a lot of tools, a lot of actionable steps, can you guys certainly want to leave with us or teach the listeners today?


[01:30:51] Dr. Eben Alexander: I think the main thing is just to take time each day to go with that. Realize that little ego voice with a lot of its demands on you is not who you truly are. To try and cultivate a richer relationship across the veil with that primordial mind, that God force that has love, kindness, compassion, and mercy right at the core of all of this activity.


[01:31:15] Karen Newell: When we say go within, that may look different for each of us. It really is incumbent on each of us to try different practices. Find that combination of practices that work best for you because it’s going to be different for each of us. We are both very big fans of using sacred acoustics recordings to get into expanded states that not everyone will respond the same way, and so if that doesn’t work, you try something else. Some people like to do movement sorts of things, and others do centering prayer. I like how you said when you go to your church, and there’s a community of people, you’re all focused on generating that connection to the Holy Spirit together. Doing this with other people can strengthen the experience exponentially. I like to imagine that it is all about our heart energies interacting, and we are supporting each other in this effort. When you’re not nearby other people, you can always imagine that your highest energy expands all the way out to the entire Earth. It’s interesting at Heart Math when they measure that electromagnetic field. Whatever device they use, we seem to go to the maximum distance that it can measure. Who knows, it might be unlimited. Eben will always remind me that we can’t get confused and think that the electromagnetic field, which is a material thing, is all that it is. It’s a very useful mechanism that we can focus on that we know is happening, whether we realize it or not.


[01:32:53] Dr. Eben Alexander: There’s a much deeper form of information overlay between minds that presents in quantum physics as entanglement, and that would be my point. This kind of communication goes beyond just electromagnetic things that will be limited by the speed of light. Also, in adding to the comments you were making, I would point out that we’ve started developing a community of like-minded people, and you can access that at Very specifically, Karen had the idea that since all of our jobs were canceled back in March 2020 for the summer, she decided we would interview the scientists and fellow experiencers that we would have been meeting up with at those conferences. We would just interview them for the benefit of the public at large, and those interviews we did once every two weeks for most of the pandemic. They’re available at for free to the public. We hope that those will help people realize there’s a community of like-minded people growing up around all of this kind of teaching and effort.


[01:34:00] Karen Newell:  On that same website is a membership platform. The webinar access is all free. People can also connect, and we do on our platform, our teaching platform, where we have some core classes, but then also we do monthly Q&As, where people can submit any questions they want. So we take about 90 minutes to answer them. That’s also going on that same website if people are interested.


[01:34:25] Dr. Eben Alexander: There’s also a course available for mental health practitioners co-taught by Karen, myself, and Dr. Anna Yusim. I would say that course can be very valuable in helping people deal with mental health issues in the modern era.


[01:34:43] Karen Newell: One last resource is an online companion workbook that we created to go with Living in a Mindful Universe, and it’s called your 33-day journey into the heart of consciousness. If you go to, you’ll find a link to that 33-day journey. It’s an email. Just get an email once today with a note and a personal practice, and it’s all related to the book Living in a Mindful Universe.


[01:35:15] Ashley James: Excellent because I was actually just to ask about the free online course that you guys have, that’s Of course, the links to everything you talked about are going to be in the show notes for today’s podcast, So listeners go to to catch that or in the description whatever podcast platform you’re listening from. Go in the description, and I’ll make sure that all those links are there, of course, the links also to the books as well. This is such a beautiful thing to focus on. You’ve given us so many tools. I love the idea of making sure that we take time every day to stand in gratitude. To imagine when it comes to wanting something we don’t have, imagine what it would feel like to have it. Then imagine yourself having that feeling, that same feeling, and what other things you can experience or other relationships you can cultivate that will also give you that feeling. Stepping away from– I will be happy until I have this physical object and stepping towards your whole complete imperfect now as you are in and your possessions aren’t really don’t bring joy. But focusing on building relationships and staying grounded in love. Remember that even those people you don’t necessarily like or understand or get along with they’re just like you. They’re all part of the same soup. We’re all in it together. We’re all God’s children. And even these little mind shifts can help us live a more fulfilled life and a life where we’re focusing on being just beautiful human beings. I saw someone yesterday who was wearing a pin that said—humankind, be both. It’s exactly, be both, be kind and be human.


[01:37:31] Dr. Eben Alexander: I would like to think they go hand in hand.


[01:37:34] Ashley James: Thank you so much for coming on the show guys. This has been a pleasure and if you have more resources or discover more information and you want to come back and share more science. I would love you back.


[01:37:50] Dr. Eben Alexander:  Ashley, great talking with you. Thanks for having us on.


[01:37:53] Karen Newell: Yes, and thanks for all you do to help others as well and get all of this information and 20 more other people that you interview out into the world. Thank you so much.


[01:38:03] Ashley James: It is my pleasure.


Get Connected with Dr. Eben Alexander






Books by Dr. Eben Alexander

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife

Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness

The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife

Seeking Heaven: Sound Journeys into the Beyond

Apr 5, 2022
BioGaia LACTOBACILLUS REUTERI for fermenting:

Best Yogurt Maker for this type of fermentation:

BOOK: Super Gut: A Four-Week Plan to Reprogram Your Microbiome, Restore Health, and Lose Weight


Antidepressant Probiotic Homemade Yougurt Lactobacillus Reuteri, Dr. William Davis



  • Benefits of TRPV1 in our gut
  • Benefits of lactobacillus reuteri
  • Losing weight by focusing on gut health support
  • Importance of fermented food for the gut


After the success of Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis is back with a new book, Super Gut: A Four-Week Plan to Reprogram Your Microbiome, Restore Health, and Lose Weight. Super Gut explains how we can eliminate bad bacteria and breed good bacteria in the gut. In this episode, Dr. Davis shares specific bacteria that we can ferment that can target specific areas such as deeper sleep, increased libido, and muscle injury reduction.


Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. Okay, I’ve got a few really exciting things to share with you before we dive into today’s interview, so you don’t want to skip this part. I interviewed Dr. William Davis, this is today’s interview, back in February. My life’s been crazy. I have been wanting to sit down and publish this since I did the interview. It was late February.

We were in the middle of moving, packing, moving, and it was total chaos. I’m so happy, I finally have a moment to sit down today and publish this. I’ve got 10 more interviews. I’m just backlogged with interviews that I want to get out there and publish. Just watch out. They’re going to start coming out more frequently now. I’m so excited to finally get back onto a regular schedule now that we’ve landed in our new location.

This interview was so life-changing for me because in January and February, I was having breakdowns, emotional breakdowns. My mind was okay, I was like, hey, I can taskmaster. Give me five things and I’m going to just bang them out. My mind was totally clear, but all of a sudden, I just noticed that my physical body was incredibly stressed out.

I am definitely handling a lot of things in the last year and then I had a lot on my plate. Mentally I felt fine, This is the whole thing, I don’t feel stressed. Stress is not an emotion. I started noticing that the littlest thing would have me in tears. It wasn’t just one part of the month, it was two months straight. I was in tears at the littlest thing. I felt so bad for my husband and my son who is so good-hearted. I’m sure it was scary all of a sudden like seeing my mom smiling one second then mom’s crying another, what’s going on. I tried to explain as best I could. I did notice that my body was definitely emotionally in overwhelm. This was just such perfect timing to get this interview.

At the beginning of the interview, I had no idea that this was going to be the answer to what I needed. With what Dr. William Davis shared, I took his information and I made one of the things he shares about today is a specific kind of—it’s hard to call it yogurt but it’s a fermented thing that you can make to eat. I made it out of soy milk and then I made it out of coconut milk just to try different plant-based options because I’m allergic to dairy but if you’re not allergic to dairy you can follow his recipe. What was just so cool and I’m so excited to share with you is that I had a result the same day I took it.

The last time I had such a profound effect was when I got on the supplements that sells back 11 years ago. I think it was about 11 years ago. I was so sick. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility, type 2 diabetes, and chronic adrenal fatigue so bad that I couldn’t process human language in the morning. I was in really rough shape.

Getting on those supplements and going gluten-free, so cutting out barley, wheat, rye, and oats, and then getting on the supplements, the trace minerals they sell, especially the liquid vitamin which is really bioavailable and absorbable, and the trace minerals, within 24 hours of being on those, I noticed my blood sugar began to balance. That constant gnawing hunger went away within five days of being on the supplements. My energy levels were the highest they had been in 20 years. For somebody who has chronic adrenal fatigue, it’s amazing. It wasn’t like energy that was jittery, it was just like real energy like my body started coming back online because it was so deficient in those minerals.

Often, when we have a mineral deficiency, we have symptoms across the board that doesn’t make sense to doctors because the doctors are not taught what trace mineral deficiency looks like, that’s just not in their wheelhouse. By getting on the supplements that sells, I was able to—they’re very specific to each person and their needs—turn around within five days. I thought this was amazing. In terms of getting better from feeling horrible to feeling great, it was one to five days, boom, that was amazing.

Since then, I have had great experiences with many products. Using what Dr. William Davis shares today had me go from crying and just—I’m pretty sure I was still struggling with depression and all the changes that have happened with our family. Then I took the stuff that he told me to ferment, a very, very specific strain of probiotic, and 4I noticed a shift. That day was the last day I broke down crying for (I don’t want to say) no reason, but it’s kind of like crying over spilled milk like a way to overreact. Something small would happen, and my body would just completely meltdown.

Since I started introducing this specific probiotic, it’s a specific strain that affects the brain chemistry. How cool is that? It helps balance the brain chemistry so you feel happier. It also helps with insomnia so you get better sleep. I don’t have bad sleep, but I started getting better sleep. I started waking up wow, that was a really deep sleep. It helps with sleep. It helps with joy and a feeling of contentment, a feeling of connection, connectivity to the people you care about. It has a few other really cool positive results that Dr. William Davis is going to go in today. I wanted to let you know that since this interview, I tried it and I’ve been eating it, and I’ve been getting fantastic results. There’s my testimonial.

Please share this interview with everyone you know who has insomnia and also who wants to have more joy and feel even keel in terms of their emotional state, definitely share it with them. Another cool benefit to this specific strain of probiotic that you need to ferment yourself to get enough of it so you can eat it to get it in you is it increases the body’s ability to produce collagen so that wrinkles go away. Even for vanity’s sake, it’s worth thinking about because it’ll make you have better hair, skin, and nails. People are noticing all kinds of positive results.

I love this concept. The whole interview today is about this concept that there’s a pharmacy that we could tap into in our gut that we could prescribe ourselves specific strains of probiotics. These are healthy bacteria that live in our gut. Prescribe ourselves specific ones that have specific outcomes. It’s already well established. I’ve had dozens of interviews about this. You can go to and use the search function to find all my interviews about gut health. The doctors I’ve had on who talk about gut-brain access, that there’s a direct correlation with what goes on in your gut.

There are about four to six pounds. Think about you have a little chihuahua-sized animal that lives in your gut and it’s made up of thousands of different strains of probiotics. You want to have the good kind and you want to make sure you mitigate the bad kind. They actually digest our food for us. They make nutrients for us by digesting the food that we absorb. They make chemicals for us that affect our brain, affect our chemistry, and affect our hormones. It’s amazing. This is just scratching the surface. It’s so cool. We’re on the cutting edge.

Dr. William Davis shares that information today. That was the one thing that I wanted to share with you. The next thing I wanted to share with you is I’ve done some recent interviews which I’ll be publishing soon about some pretty amazing stuff like how to increase nitric oxide in the body which has just a host of amazing health benefits. I’ve been pouring through all these studies and what I’m seeing is thermal therapy, using the Sunlighten Sauna, the reason why I say Sunlighten Sauna specifically is the Sunlighten Sauna has near, mid, and far-infrared. It goes into the different depths of your tissue and it binds to receptors.

Now I had a cardiologist on, Dr. Joel Kahn, and he talks about this that in our cells, we have receptors for hormones, we have receptors for nutrients like let’s say calcium, and glucose, right? Insulin being like hormones, we have receptors for those things. We also have receptors for light. That these infrared lights, the spectrum affects our cells. There’s one specific protein that is triggered by heat and this protein is called TRPV1.

This protein when triggered by heat—I believe it’s over 41 degrees Celsius is what I read—then helps the body to turn pre-muscular cells into muscle cells. They’re seeing that for the elderly, it helps to lower the chances of wasting away. It increases muscle, continuing to have more muscles so the muscles don’t waste away. It plays a huge role in helping with cardiovascular health to the point where this one study I read showed that they’re now doing therapy with people who are in cardiac failure. They’re really far gone in terms of their cardiac disease and heart disease, and that using heat therapy actually helps to increase nitric oxide in the body which supports the endothelial function of the cardiovascular system.

It reduces the oxidative stress of the cardiovascular system that supports the autonomic nervous system. They’re seeing that there are so many things. It also helps balance blood pressure. They’re seeing so many benefits to using heat therapy for cardiovascular health. Well, I was looking into this specific protein, the TRPV1, because there’s also a role that plays in breaking down and helping the body break down fat and in burning fat as fuel. Everyone who wants to be healthy wants to make sure we have healthy levels of fat. Brown fat is linked to better health and better health outcomes and burns off excess fat.

What we’re seeing is, when you’re in a sauna, yes it increases the body’s heat, your core temperature, and thus you’re burning off calories. They say about an average of 500 calories. Obviously, it depends on the person and how long they stay there and how hot it is. They also see now the reason why being in a sauna helps people lose fat is that it is creating these specific proteins, it is binding to these receptors. When it was explained to me, it was like, imagine a fat cell has these triglycerides that are built inside the cell and then they’re too big to get out. You have to tell the triglyceride inside the cell to break down. Kind of like a sectional couch, you can’t take your sectional sofa out the front door until you break it down into its parts.

Using the Sunlighten Sauna therapy is one of those ways to trigger to create that cascade effect to the body that triggers the fat cell to break it down so that it can leave the fat cell so that the triglyceride can break down to leave the fat cell, which I found fascinating. There are all these health benefits that I keep reading as I’m pouring through this information, but just the fact that sauna therapy increases nitric oxide in the body, in my next episode you will be learning more about nitric oxide and how the amazing benefits of it.

Everyone says inflammation is the root of all. At the very core of all diseases, there’s inflammation. Then people say, actually lactic acid is the root. No, lactic acid and inflammation are the result of the root cause and the root. We go deeper than that when the body cannot make enough of the nitric oxide that causes inflammation, that causes lactic acid, that causes all these cascades of negative outcomes that we see. When we’re looking at the common factor between everyone with disease and we’re going well, everyone with disease has more lactic acid and has more inflammation. Therefore, those are bad things we need to manage. Those are results of not enough nitric oxide in the body. My next interview is going to be about that.

How cool was it that the Sunlighten Sauna increases nitric oxide production which is linked to longevity by the way and not having enough of it is linked to early death. Also, so many health benefits of looking better and feeling better. What I want to say about Sunlighten is I’ve had mine for a few years. I absolutely love it. I’ve gotten so many health benefits from it. I am always in touch with the owner of the company there. They offer a great discount for listeners. Please give them a call. If you have any questions, they’re fantastic. They can help you out, give you the literature, give you the science. Also make sure you mention the Learn True Health podcast with Ashley James because they will give you a fantastic discount, including free shipping. If you ever have any questions about it or anything at all, you can also contact me at and I would love to help.

I’m so excited for you to hear today’s interview because what Dr. William Davis shares today has changed my life. It’s now April and when I did that experiment with the probiotic that he recommended, that was near the end of February. All of March, even in the midst of the chaos of my move, we moved in March, I did not have any of those emotional overwhelm that I had before. I was able to navigate just by introducing this probiotic. You know what I said to my friend, I said that I’m on an antidepressant. She of course looked at me with big eyes. I said no, you don’t understand, not a pharmaceutical. This stuff that Dr. William Davis shares today, I said to her, this feels like I’m on an antidepressant. I feel amazing. I’m going through a very chaotic move and yet it’s not affecting me, it’s like the stress is gone.

That’s why I’m so excited for you today because imagine if the whole world was able to get their body to the point where they’re just feeling so calm and happy, and how much we could accomplish instead of feeling overwhelming stress. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with those you care about. Continue to please share, this episode is going to change lives I just know it. Come into the Learn True Health Facebook group because I’d love to hear your experience as you also experiment and play around with the things that Dr. William Davis shares today.


[00:17:12] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 476. I am so excited for today’s guest, we have back on the show with Dr. William Davis. Dr. Davis, you were on the Learn True Health podcast back in episode 167 which was eons ago but I have to tell you that you had a profound impact on my life and my husband’s life back in, this was like back in 2011, 2012, somewhere around there.


[00:17:48] Dr. William Davis: It was like the 19th century, wasn’t it?


[00:17:55] Ashley James: Yes, the dinosaurs roaming the earth. We went gluten-free. Actually, we cut out barley, wheat, rye, and oats. Oats contain gliadin, which is a protein similar to gluten. Some people react to it, some people don’t. We were just like, let’s just throw them all out anyway and we noticed a profound difference. I love sharing the information that you shared in your book, Wheat Belly, was so eye-opening for us. It really helped us solidify our decision to eliminate barley, wheat, rye, and oats.

Then what happened was amazing, my husband and I lost so much water weight. In one month actually, I lost 25 pounds of water weight and both of us had our wedding rings flying off our hands. I’d like to go to point, oh, the remote is over there, I’d point my hand in that direction and my rings would go flying across the living room. We had our rings custom fitted. We waited about six months because I thought this might be temporary because women are more in tune with the water weight of their body than men possibly. I was like, well, this might be the time of the month and by the next time of the month, it won’t be like this.

Six months go by and we’re still not eating barley, wheat, rye, and oats. The 25 pounds of water weight is still off of me and I can’t believe it. I couldn’t push a finger into my skin and then have an indent, it wasn’t like that. It was just overall inflammation. Then six months later we went and got our rings resized. That’s what we found out, I went down one and a half ring sizes. My husband went down two whole ring sizes.

Then I was able to overcome a lot of other health issues. I mean, the diet was a major factor and also nutrition. I brought in specific very high-quality supplements and I tweaked my diet, but I was able to reverse type 2 diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue. I no longer have polycystic ovarian syndrome. Every doctor I talked to was like, you can’t reverse that. Watch me and look at my labs, they’re like, oh my gosh, I love showing to doctors my labs. They don’t believe it. It’s like, these are two different people.

I reversed infertility, all these great big things, but really the big thing was eliminating barley, wheat, rye, and oats. I have had so many friends say, oh, I tried that. I was gluten-free for two weeks, and I didn’t notice a difference. I’m not allergic to gluten. I definitely want to get into that.

You have a new book out, which I’m really excited about, Super Gut: A Four-Week Plan to Reprogram Your Microbiome, Restore Health, and Lose Weight. I love that you have a deep dive into supporting this microbiome. It’s like six pounds of bacteria in our gut that we can actually use to heal our whole body. We talked about this that your book has very actionable steps that people can take to restore their health. I’m really looking forward to you teaching us that today. Welcome back to the show.


[00:21:10] Dr. William Davis: Thanks, Ashley. Thanks for the invitation. Glad to be back.


[00:21:13] Ashley James: Absolutely. Fill us in. What happened in the last four or five years since you were on the show with us?


[00:21:20] Dr. William Davis: Well, as you experienced, the Whole Wheat Belly lifestyle really can change people’s lives if they get it right. As you see, a lot of people say things like, I went gluten-free. Meaning they may have cut back on wheat and unrelated grains, but then turn to gluten-free garbage, which is awful. They make that mistake. Those gluten-free processed foods are just horrible for your health. It shocks me that that industry continues to grow and they fill store shelves with something that’s far worse than sugar.

If people get it right, they do experience as you have. By the way, reversing polycystic ovary syndrome is a huge advantage in health. As you see, the 15% of ladies who have it shouldn’t have it. Doctors say there’s really nothing we can do except give you diabetes medications, give you insulin, give you anti-hypertensive drugs, and then go through procedures for fertility, which is ridiculous. As you experience, it is readily reversed back to normal, including the hormonal distortions just by shifting your diet and maybe addressing a handful of nutrients that are lacking in modern life.

People are doing this and experience as you have dramatic life-changing improvements in health, weight, et cetera. But I also saw this, people say things like, I lost 73 pounds, but I have another 40 to go and I’m stuck. Or my joint pain from my rheumatoid arthritis is better, but I’m not off all the drugs yet. In other words, people were having successes but not 100% all the way back to perfect health, so I asked what is missing.

Now in the basic program, even back then, I was advocating adding a high potency multispecies, probiotic, fermented foods, and prebiotic fibers. But even those efforts to address the microbiome were insufficient for many people. I continued to dig and look for answers in the microbiome. I was shocked at the kind of things you can uncover in the microbiome. It led to an explosion and actionable solutions. Things you can do to take back control over their health.


[00:23:34] Ashley James: As you’re looking at the microbiome, what was the biggest, the first aha moment that really shocked you that made you go, oh my gosh, I have to dive into this deeper?


[00:23:44] Dr. William Davis: It was a series of things that I stumbled on was a series of very elegant research studies from MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conducted between 2013 and 2017. This cancer group was looking at a microbe lactobacillus reuteri named after the German microbiologist who discovered this microbe in breast milk in 1962. They were looking at this microbe because they were looking into how it prevented colon cancer. It has very potent anti-cancer effects.

They gave it to mice and they noticed something unusual. They noticed that within a few days of getting lactobacillus reuteri, these mice developed what they described as rich luxuriant fur. They decided to explore it and they found all sorts of unexpected phenomena. They found, for instance, that healing was remarkably accelerated. If you inflicted a wound, it healed in half the time. Hair grew faster and thicker. They found that skin thickness increased dramatically because there’s an explosion of collagen in the dermis, the dermal layer of skin.

There was one study, they did a very elegant series of studies. They compared two groups of mice both fed a really crappy diet, a fast food diet, essentially. White flour, sugar, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, et cetera. One group just got the diet, they got fat, old, lost their hair, stopped playing with each other, stopped mating. They got old, fat, and died. The other group was fed the crappy diet also but given reuteri. These mice stayed slender, had thick and luxurious fur, played with each other, mated, and stayed young until they died. When that would get really interesting. They even made some other interesting observations.

There’s a restoration of youthful immune response in old mice. There’s a dramatic restoration of youthful testosterone in male mice. There’s an increase in growth hormone. But the pivotal finding, the real central finding in all these studies, was that all those effects came because reuteri that colonizes the entire length of the GI tract, by the way, not just the colon, sends a signal to the brain to release oxytocin. This group worked out all the details. If you cut the vagus nerve, the whole effect is turned off. It’s so-called gut-brain access via the vagus nerve. The reuteri sends a signal to the brain, the hypothalamus, to release oxytocin and there’s a 300% increase in oxytocin.

I found that really interesting even though the group said, isn’t that interesting? Do with it what you may. I got a hold of the same microbe that they used in these studies. It was available as a commercial product from Sweden. The company is called BioGaia and the product is called Gastrous. The problem is, these tablets are made for infants, and they were targeted for reducing infantile colic, regurgitation and diarrhea after antibiotics. The tablets had very low counts of microbes, I would challenge that they’re even enough for a baby. They had such low numbers, I made yogurt out of that, but not yogurt in the conventional sense. I made yogurt in a very different way. I fermented for a long, long time, 36 hours, not the usual four hours or 12 hours that some people use at home. I want as many microbes as possible.

We performed flow cytometry on the yogurt and we’re getting around 250-260 billion bacteria per half cup serving. We increased the number of reuteri by a thousandfold over what was contained in the tablets. Then I want to see if we could mimic these effects in humans. Me and thousands of other people, including my entire neighborhood, are eating this yogurt. We all start to see all the same stuff.

People got that boost in oxytocin and said things like, I like my family better. They don’t annoy me as much. I like my spouse better. I like my coworkers better. I understand other people’s points of view more readily. My skin is smoother, I’m losing my wrinkles. I heal faster. My sleep is deeper with vivid dreams. I’m no longer hungry, my appetite has been turned off completely. I’ve regained youthful muscle and strength. I have an increase in libido. I’m having erotic dreams like I used to have as a teenager or in my 20s.

Increased muscle, increased libido, thicker hair, smoother skin. Ashley, this one microbe turns the clock back 10 or 20 years. That’s just one microbe but it became clear. It was an illustration, Ashley, just how potent it could be to restore this one microbe, which by the way, almost all of us have lost. When Gerhard Reuter was exploring reuteri in mother’s breast milk and stool, he found it in almost everybody. In the indigenous populations on this planet who have been studied for this, they all have reuteri. If you look at chipmunks, squirrels, dogs, and raccoons, they all have reuteri. Modern people have lost it. Very few of us have it anymore because it’s very susceptible to many things like the antibiotic ampicillin. If you took ampicillin for your urinary tract infection or upper respiratory infection, you’ve likely lost your reuteri. We restore this ubiquitous microbe and spectacular things happen.


[00:29:40] Ashley James: I’m just imagining how many women are breastfeeding diligently thinking that they’re supplying their baby with this and they’re not, because at some point they had a UTI infection and they lost it forever. It’s not something that’s in our food supply that we can get back once it’s gone.


[00:30:10] Dr. William Davis: No, it’s not in the food. Not to say there aren’t wonderful microbes in fermented foods. You eat, say some kimchi, which is my favorite fermented food of all. By the way, people in South Korea have among the lowest incidences of cardiovascular disease in the world, far less than we do. There are probably a lot of factors but I think a major factor is their enthusiastic consumption of fermented foods like kimchi. Kimchi’s got wonderful microbes. It’s got something called leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus pentosaceus. These are really beneficial microbes, but we can get species like lactobacillus reuteri, we actually have to get it specifically.

Now, one of the things that I think we’re in the process of figuring out is we have to pay attention. When you play with microbes, you have to pay attention to strain. Not just species but strain. To illustrate, you have E. coli, I have got E. coli, your listeners had E. coli in their colons. What if you ate romaine lettuce tainted by cow manure from the Central Valley of California? Well, you could die of that E. coli. Same species, E. coli, different strain. The strains that we use from the gastric tablets are two strains. It’s 17938 and 6475. I have seven other strains now of reuteri, they are in my refrigerator. I’ve made yogurt with all of them. I’ve experienced the same effect or greater with these other strains.

Now, we have a mouse study lined up. We’re going to compare five strains and see if any of them are better at provoking oxytocin than the others. That’s going to get underway in just a few weeks. We’ll be smarter. What I want to do at some point is say, Ashley, this is the strain you want to use. It’s the best at generating this effect. But right now, we can’t say that, so just to be sure, we stick to the Gastrous stains.

Let me tell you an embarrassing story. We get a boost in oxytocin from reuteri. Ashley, I think it’s safe to say, the restoration of reuteri makes us better human beings. Now, I did something crazy. I got another strain of reuteri from a microbiologist friend. He’s a master at generating super-duper high counts of unique strains. He was actually about half an hour from my house at a place called BioSource, his name is Suresh. He gave me some of his reuteri strains. It was super-duper high potency. I made yogurt out of it. Tastes the same, nothing different.

I had it that night and then I went to sleep. During sleep, I had this incredibly vivid dream. Really embarrassing, Ashley, but I will tell you anyway. I dreamt this imaginary woman came to me and I could see her in vivid detail. I could see her hair color, her eye color, and her facial features. She introduced me first and last names, which I have never had happened in a dream before. I felt overwhelming love and affection for this imaginary woman. When I woke up, the odd thing was that overwhelming love and affection continued for this imaginary person for many hours into the day. It was intoxicating. I hadn’t had that feeling for a real person in years.

I’ve not been able to recreate that feeling, but I think if we can recreate it, we can almost turn this on and off. It also makes me wonder, Ashley, if modern humans have lost reuteri and thereby the capacity to enjoy very high levels of oxytocin. Is the intensity of love and affection today less than it was 60, 100, or 10,000 years ago? Tough but I believe it might have been.


[00:34:11] Ashley James: Just think of maybe are there other groups of people that had higher levels of it naturally because their lifestyle didn’t degrade it? For example, in the history of the First Nations people in North America, what they taught in schools is so manipulated from the truth. When you actually dive into it, you find that most of the tribes were at peace with each other. They traded with each other. There were tribes up in the northern regions of the United States that had conch shells because they traded all the way down from the Mexico area. They trade routes. There was a lot of peace. There’s a lot of prosperity. There is vibrance, right? Then when they teach us that they were all savages, they’re all killing each other. That’s what they taught me in school.

Then I go and actually find out that it’s highly manipulated, the history that they teach. They had so much beauty in their cultures, of course, some war with each other but there’s more peace than war. There’s more togetherness, trading, and helping each other. I just wonder if cultures were more in touch with herbal medicine and nature if they had higher levels of these strains versus cultures that maybe were drinking alcohol and messing around with substances that would disrupt the microbiome.


[00:36:12] Dr. William Davis: I think we can only speculate. It will be tough to prove. I got the oxytocin levels, the blood levels of three primitive indigenous populations. I got unpublished data from a researcher in California who went to New Guinea and very bravely got the blood of some very—these are people who just two generations ago were cannibals who were eating other humans. He got the blood from these people and measured oxytocin.

I have also the data from the Somali, another indigenous population, and from the Bodango people in the Republic of the Congo. These are all people who have not been exposed to antibiotics and are not exposed to glyphosate, the herbicide. Do not get herbicide and pesticide residues in their food. Don’t take statin drugs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They have essentially a stone age microbiome and thereby presumptively higher oxytocin dose.

Unfortunately, the methods to measure oxytocin are so wildly different that it’s almost impossible to compare their levels to modern levels. Different methods, different tests, and platforms. I have the data, but I can’t say that they had higher oxytocin. I wanted to prove that primitive people with reuteri have higher levels of oxytocin. Unfortunately, this kind of a mess of data surrounding oxytocin prevents us from doing that. We’ll likely never know unless we have a time machine and go back in time, draw blood, and run those tests using modern methods.


[00:37:50] Ashley James: There are thousands and thousands of different bacterial strains, healthy helpful bacterial strains that we can have in our gut. You’ve isolated one and played around with one and found that your healing room time, your collagen, and people are getting younger. People are getting more feeling wonderful in their bodies and connecting with other people. That alone, yes, I think that you’ve sold everyone. Everyone’s like, okay, sign me up. That’s just one. Now, you talk about making yogurt. Can I take the same stuff and go make some fermented food with it? Just add it to the brine, add it to the saltwater and ferment some cabbage and get the same result, or do you find that we have to make yogurt and can it be a plant-based yogurt?


[00:38:40] Dr. William Davis: It doesn’t have to be dairy and it doesn’t have to be yogurt. It could be coconut milk. It could be veggies. What I don’t know Ashley is the number of microbes you obtain from that. If you were to ferment let’s say some eggplant and cabbage, the reuteri will compete with the microbes that are on the surface of the vegetable like say Leoconostoc. I can’t say that you get the same kind of numbers. That’s a work in progress. We’ll probably quantify that. That requires DNA analysis. Flow cytometry is a quick and dirty way to count microbes. When you have different microbes, several of them to tell them apart, you have to do DNA analysis to tell them apart and count them. We have not done that, but you can indeed do that.

You know what, you can gauge this by the effect. Personally, for instance, I go from terrible insomnia, terrible for years, decades taking horse doses of melatonin just to get a good night’s sleep. Now whereas I used to watch TV or read books at two or three o’clock in the morning. Now I sleep straight through nine hours of sleep.

By the way, those of us who wear actigraphy graphic devices like an Apple Watch, a Fitbit, or an aura ring, see that REM sleep, the deep restorative phase of sleep that helps you maintain good mental health is extended by about 20%. That’s another thing that needs to be formally documented with AEG, not just an active graphic device. I know I get a very deep sleep with vivid, colorful dreams. I know if I take a microbe that’s not working or I’m not getting enough microbes, I’ll revert back to being an insomniac. I have my own little built-in gauge. If your listeners do this, you try to ferment something else, and you lose the effect, then you know that the microbe count might not be enough.

One thing you’ll find in the world of the microbiome that’s not well explored is what’s called dose-response. The drug people, as much as I despise that industry, those people are very good at dose-response dies. They have a new drug, they’re going to test all variations in dose 0.25 milligrams, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.5, 5.0, 10, 15, 25, 50. They have deep pockets.

In the microbiome world, we don’t have deep pockets like that. We do have a human study where we are going to take a stab at dose-response, 10 billion and 50 billion with a strain of reuteri. My gut’s sense, forgive the pun, it takes probably 50 billion more microbes to generate an effect. What I don’t know is, let’s say you fermented sauerkraut with reuteri, will you get sufficient numbers of reuteri when it competes with other species? That I don’t know. But you know what, this is fun, it’s benign, it’s very low cost. In fact, you save money.

One of the things I advocate is you can spend a ton of money on these fancy commercial probiotics, which by the way have some real problems. Nonetheless, you can buy a probiotic. Pay a lot of money for it. You can ferment foods with it. It cuts back on your need to buy it again. If you make the yogurt, for instance, you don’t make future batches from tablets of reuteri, you make it from a little bit as a prior batch. That’s how I have my entire neighborhood making reuteri yogurt. I give them a little bit of the yogurt and they make their yogurt from that prior batch.


[00:42:18] Ashley James: Yes, right. Maybe you could clarify, I think a lot of people thought if you take a probiotic, it’s like planting a seed in a garden. Then you don’t have to keep planting seeds every day. Right? Whatever you planted is going to grow and then reproduce its own seeds and then keep growing. The idea is, if you take a probiotic, wouldn’t that one course of probiotics populate the gut and now the reuteri is living in your gut and that’s it. It’s over with. You do not have to eat anymore. Or do you have to constantly eat it because it doesn’t reproduce in the gut?


[00:42:57] Dr. William Davis: You raise a fundamental question, Ashley. That is how come if mom gave you a microbe, you’d likely have it for decades, if not an entire lifetime. If you take it as a probiotic or yogurt, you’ll have it for a few days, maybe weeks, and then it dies. Why? Well, it points toward all the inadequacies of the current understanding of commercial probiotics. The commercial probiotic is when nothing more than a slapdash, half-hazard collection of microbes just put together with no rhyme or reason. That’s the current crop.

The probiotic of the future will have other factors built-in. For one, they must specify strain for the reasons we talked about. If you don’t specify strain, you have no idea what you have. For instance, there’s a strain of lactobacillus rhamnosus, that GG strain that has very good evidence for abbreviating post-antibiotic diarrhea. If you take lactobacillus rhamnosus non-GG strain, it doesn’t have that effect. You need to know the strain. That’s one issue.

Another issue is microbes are just like people. We don’t live in isolation all by ourselves. We have partners, families, neighborhoods, and communities. Bacteria are the same way. They have guilds or consortia and they work together. Almost no probiotic preparation factors in that phenomenon. The only product I know of that does that is one out of Colorado called BiotiQuest’s Sugar Shift. I have no relation to the people who developed it.

My friends Martha Carlin and Dr. Raul Cano, a microbiologist with 40 years of academic experience. They formulated this because this group of microbes work together and generate bigger effects. They call it Sugar Shift because it reduces blood sugar quite substantially, by the way. Most other probiotics do not incorporate that phenomenon. Another deficiency of modern probiotics is they fail to include keystone species. These are foundational species that support other species like plankton in the ocean. Without plankton, you don’t have whales or jellyfish. It’s foundational or keystone.

We need to have restored keystone species. Reuteri is a keystone species. There are others like lactobacillus gasseri, faecalibacterium prausnitzii is another, don’t memorize these of course. When you buy a commercial probiotic, many of them lack. In their defense, a lot of this is a work in evolution. But the bottom line here is a probiotic is probably one of the least important things you can do to restore the microbiome. Among the most important is to include fermented foods. Bring back fermented foods, just like your great-grandmother did.

Kimchi, kombucha, kefirs, yogurts, fermented veggies, fermented meats, all those things, you get these wonderful microbes. The curious thing is the microbes you get from fermented foods like leuconostoc mesenteroides do not actually take up residence for very long. By some odd twist, just having those guys restored allows healthy microbes to re-emerge. It’s not quite clear how that works but this is very interesting data out of Stanford.

The Sonnenburgs, Eric and Justin, husband and wife microbiology team published a very important study that showed that fermented foods hands down are the most important thing that you can reincorporate into the modern diet. That is something that most people forgot about. In fact, most modern people think that fermented foods are rotten. They’ll often throw away something that ferments. We need to add those things back and that’s a really big advantage for the restoration of rebuilding a microbiome.


[00:47:06] Ashley James: I love it. What about prebiotic foods? Fibers that are non-wheat, there are some indigestible fibers that we don’t necessarily eat because we’re going to digest it but it feeds the microbiome. It just enriches it. How important is making sure that we eat prebiotic food?


[00:47:33] Dr. William Davis: Very important, Ashley. As you suggested, including sources of prebiotic fibers. If you and I were primitive, indigenous populations, you wouldn’t go to a grocery store, of course. You would dig in the dirt and look for roots and tubers. That’s where you get the majority of your prebiotic fibers. You would also kill animals, and as disgusting as modern people find it, in addition to eating the brain, heart, tongue, and pancreas, we would also eat the intestines and stomach, and sometimes do that raw.

That is the real version of prebiotic fibers and probiotics. Modern people cannot stomach those kinds of things so we have to compensate for it. I say all of that because sometimes things we turn to get our prebiotic fibers seem a little odd. Like a raw white potato is filled with prebiotic fibers. It seems a little odd because we’re not used to that. We’re trying to recreate what indigenous populations did by digging in the dirt. Raw white potatoes, inulin powder is an easy convenient way to get it.

Legumes, white beans, black beans, kidney beans, peas, chickpeas, hummus, root vegetables, dandelion greens. There’s a long list of these things and they’re very, very important. The problem that people encounter though is modern people have so massively disrupted their microbiome in the form of either dysbiosis that is unhealthy microbes in the colon or worse, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, where all 30 feet of the GI tract are filled with unhealthy mostly stool microbes that they say things like, I can’t eat beans because when I do, I have explosive diarrhea, panic attacks, bloating, and other effects.

There’s nothing wrong with the beans or other foods you’re intolerant to and that could be, by the way nightshades, FODMAPs containing foods, histamine foods. There’s nothing wrong with the food. There’s something wrong with your microbiome. These are modern phenomena. People say things like, I had the testing, I can’t eat these 42 foods. There’s nothing wrong with the food, it’s your microbiome. People have to get beyond this idea that there’s something wrong with the food. It is something wrong with you, the microbiome.


[00:49:55] Ashley James: Right. It’s fascinating that our microbiome actually helps us digest our food and turns it into chemicals that we absorb. Without the microbiome, we would not survive. It’s so important, but like you pointed out, it also plays a major role in our mood. Often we sort of live life letting our mood guide us. They woke up on the wrong side of the bed. People make decisions most of the time, not logically, but most of the time from their emotions. They’re letting their gut run them, right?


[00:50:29] Dr. William Davis: Exactly, I’m always impressed just how much our internal dialogues—the things we tell ourselves, conversations we have in our heads—are colored by our microbes. A really good illustration of this is when you try to undo all these bad things. Let’s say you have all these stool microbes like E. coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, and Proteus, and all these are filling your 30 feet of GI tract. Well, you do something to kill them. It could be an antibiotic, it could be an herbal antibiotic. It could be something I called SIBO yogurt. We make yogurt that I think is proven to be effective in eradicating SIBO.

You kill these microbes and when they die, they shed their breakdown products, some of which get into your bloodstream and people call it die off but the real name is called endotoxemia. People will say things like this as they are in the process of killing microbes. They say, I’m having terrible panic attacks. I’m having dark thoughts and nightmares. People are chasing me, I’m falling off a cliff. My heart is racing. I’m having a low-grade fever. I ache all over.

That’s a vivid illustration of the kinds of things that happen when unhealthy microbes die off. Outside of that situation of die off, just having microbes living in your GI tract—these microbes don’t live for hours, they do not live for decades. If you had trillions of microbes occupying 30 feet of your GI tract, and they live and die in rapid succession, they shed their breakdown products, some of it gets in your bloodstream, that’s endotoxemia. Even when you’re not trying to kill them, some of it gets into your bloodstream.

That’s the thing that colors your internal dialogue and your mood. There’s a very interesting but disturbing set of studies from Germany where they took people who are non-depressed, normal people, they took that endotoxin to break down prompts and bacteria and injected it into these normal people. Which is really scary because if you miscalculate the dose, you can kill somebody quite easily. They somehow got into the review board. An injected bacterial endotoxin into these people, within three hours were profoundly depressed and had all the hallmarks of depression by MRI. It’s just one illustration of the potent effect that microbes have on your internal dialogue and mood.


[00:53:10] Ashley James: That is scary. What about someone who puts on an antibiotic? Does that have a similar effect? Does endotoxemia occur when we go on antibiotics?


[00:53:23] Dr. William Davis: It can. It depends on the antibiotic, where it was targeted towards. But yes, people do get quite sick taking antibiotics. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the die off effect from the disease you’re treating. If you’re treating pneumonia, you’re already sick, feeling awful, and having a fever. The die off effect just makes you feel a little worse. This is a well-established phenomenon. That’s known for about a century. It’s not just unique to these efforts in the microbiome. It is known to occur with virtually any infection where you’re killing off microbes.

It is an illustration of the power of microbes and their breakdown products that color human mood and our internal dialogues. It makes you wonder, hate has always been part of the world. Humans are a violent species. As you pointed out, has it gotten worse? Did indigenous populations actually enjoy a lot more peace than we give them credit for? Part of that at least do the microbiome, such as loss of reuteri and thereby oxytocin, the hormone of love, affection, and understanding of other people’s points of view. We can only speculate, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is somehow we prove it to be true.


[00:54:41] Ashley James: You are a cardiologist. I wonder from that filter, from that viewpoint, have you seen that restoring the microbiome positively affects heart health?


[00:55:01] Dr. William Davis: I think so. That’s an area where the microbiome science has simply not been explored sufficiently. It’s my prediction that the microbiome plays a very important role in coronary disease. That is heart attacks and those diseases of the heart’s arteries. I think it plays a big role in cardiomyopathies, heart muscle diseases, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and other heart rhythm disorders. I predict that managing the microbiome will become a major—the problem with this of course, Ashley, is that practicing physicians, including my immediate colleagues and cardiologists, are typically 20 years behind in the science.

I still have colleagues say to me, there’s no such thing as SIBO, which is ridiculous, of course. There are thousands of published research studies on SIBO. They say things like, we know that probiotics don’t do anything. Well, we’ve got some criticisms of probiotics, but to say that they don’t do anything is completely nonsense. That’s the nature of things that the science has marched way ahead and the practicing physician is way behind. That’s why I think it’s so important for what you’re doing, what I’m trying to do, and that is broadcast these messages so that your listeners can take the reins. Yes, and their doctor will say, Ashley, did you consult doctor Google again? Right?


[00:56:23] Ashley James: I would fire that doctor and hire a more informed one. That’s what I will do.


[00:56:28] Dr. William Davis: That’s what you have to do. Take the reins yourself. That’s one of the great things about the microbiome. If you can tolerate a little bit of digging and understanding, it’s not that difficult. People have astounding control over their health if given a little bit of direction. The reuteri yogurt and other yogurts. I should tell you about the SIBO yogurt. This problem of SIBO, that is 30 feet of microbes, largely stool microbes that have ascended up into the small bowel.

I used to think this was uncommon or rare until something came out called the AIRE device made by a company in Dublin, Ireland. Invented by a Ph.D. engineer named Dr. Angus Short. He made this device because he saw his girlfriend, now wife, struggle with her irritable bowel syndrome when she was told to go on a low FODMAPs diet. He saw a low fiber low sugar diet. He saw how difficult that was for her and when she did get exposed, how she’d have bloating, diarrhea, and other effects. He invents this device for her that measures hydrogen gas in the breath because bacteria produce hydrogen gas but humans do not. You can use it to map out where microbes are. He commercialized this device a few years ago thinking it was just a device for people with IBS and FODMAPs intolerance.

I got a hold of it and I called him up and I said, Angus, this is far bigger than you think. This is a device that maps out where microbes are in the GI tract and helps people navigate all food intolerances. FODMAPs, nightshade, histamine-containing foods, sorbitol, fructose, fruit, legumes, nuts, all that stuff. He now knows that this is a far more important device than ever thought. I had thousands of people testing their breath now for hydrogen gas. Ashley, what shocked me was it’s everywhere. People are testing positive left and right.

It’s the uncommon person who tests negative. My crude estimation is that at least a very conservatively estimated, at least 100 million Americans have SIBO. I think that’s a dramatic underestimation. It’s gotten a whole bunch worse just the last few years. People say things like, this is too complicated. It’s too much to worry about. It is scaring me. It’s very unwise to ignore this because if you have SIBO, which is true for a lot of people—at least one in three—over time it leads to autoimmune diseases, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, colon cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. In other words, it leads to a whole host of diseases. Of course the doctor is more than happy to dispense all kinds of fancy drugs including biologics for many thousands of dollars per month.


[00:59:40] Ashley James: Just thinking about what led us here? I mean, antibiotic use is on the rise, right? Glyphosates in our foods, just one of the thousands of chemicals in our food. Glyphosate, although was first designed as a chelator, is now known back, I think, 2010 or 2012, they published that it’s also an antibiotic. Glyphosates, which is in the Roundup. Which is in so much of our food. Even if you buy organic at home, if you go out to a restaurant to eat something, you’re eating glyphosate.

That is basically antibiotics in your food. There are chemicals in our food that are harming our microbiome, then there’s the diet itself. I heard somewhere that eating high fat and when I say high fat, I mean a highly processed oil, standard American diet like eating french fries, like eating canola oils, right? This very high unhealthy fat diet, just go out and eat at restaurants basically. That oil itself suffocates the good microbiome. It makes it like an anaerobic environment. I’m just exploring, just in my mind, I’m exploring all the factors that we have in this modern era that are killing the good bacteria.


[01:01:26] Dr. William Davis: You know, Ashley, I could devote an entire episode of your podcast just talking about that because you’re making an essential point. We’re drowning in the factors that disrupt the microbiome. You’re right, antibiotics. Most of us by age 40 have already taken 30 courses of antibiotics. For every thousand children, over 1,300 prescriptions for antibiotics are written every year. That’s just antibiotics. You making an essential point with the glyphosate. Yes, an herbicide but also a potent antibiotic. Other herbicides, pesticides, a linoleic acid-rich diet that is a diet that includes lots of vegetable oils, corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil does disrupt the microbiome.

We have to be careful here. I love talking to a microbiologist. I’m not of course a microbiologist but I talk to a lot of microbiologists. I love talking to them because they have such great insights into microbes. The problem with microbiologists is they are microbiologists. They don’t understand nutrition. I mentioned that because you’ll see in a lot of the studies, they say, we gave our mice a high-fat diet just like unhealthy Americans.

They’ve subscribed to this ridiculous and outdated notion that we should all be low fat, which of course is absurd. The low-fat mantra has damaged so many billions of people’s health and lives and it’s a big driver of obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics we now have, so we have got to be careful. You’re right that the linoleic acid omega 6-rich oils do contribute to the disruption of the microbiome.

On the other hand, it’s omega 3, the EPA DHA, not so much the linoleic acid that has microbiome protective effects. One of the things that the omega 3 fatty acids do is activate an enzyme that lines the intestinal wall called intestinal outland phosphatase. One of the effects of that enzyme is to deactivate that endotoxin that microbes release and tries to get into your bloodstream. Even good old fish oil has beneficial effects on the microbiome.


[01:03:44] Ashley James: I love it. I love all these tidbits. Let’s talk more about your book because I’m sure I want to go make the SIBO yogurt. We’re going to make it out of coconut milk or something. I really want to make that. My husband has had mild SIBO. We did that test, eating a certain diet, then you blow into the little tubes and you send it off to the lab.

I also wonder about small intestinal fungal overgrowth, which the doctor who coined that and the first person who ever published studies on it, I had him on the show. He says it’s a man-made illness because without antibiotics and all the things we’ve done to disrupt—basically take healthy food and turn it into junk food, turn it into processed food, and all the chemicals we now eat. Mostly it’s the overuse of antibiotics. He sees that fungal overgrowth is now taking effect in the small intestines. He had a wealth of data to support this and he was criticized heavily by his peers.

It’s just funny that we can have a mountain of evidence. It’s like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. We can have a mountain of evidence, but when we challenge people’s belief systems, especially someone who has had more education around their profession, challenging that education sometimes leads to a lot of resistance. We have to remember to keep our minds open enough that our brains could fall out. Just think critically. Don’t take everything at face value. Question everything, but keep your mind so open.

What if you could cure your insomnia and depression because you changed what you ate? So many doctors out there will say that’s impossible, take this prescription. Yet here we have this book, Super Gut by Dr. William Davis. He’s showing us that we can do simple, small, actionable steps each day, and we could cure lifelong insomnia. We can look younger. We can have more love in our life. We can start to reverse major health issues and get off medications like diabetes.

For SIBO, it causes so much discomfort. Like you said, it can lead to colon cancer, it can lead to all these other issues, that it causes distension. I have a friend who has such a bad SIBO that she only eats meat. She’s so careful. She can’t even use spices. She can’t put onion on something. Any form of fiber and she is so sick. She gets a migraine. She gets bloated and she’s so sick that the only thing she can do is use a small amount of meat each day. She is becoming skinnier and skinnier in a very unhealthy way. She’s always in pain.

I can’t wait to give her your book. I am going to cry. I’m so excited for her because I know her case is extreme. It was years and years leading up to it. For those who notice that they have gut issues, they have digestion issues, and eliminating one food after another and after another. It is going to get to the point where it’s like, what can you eat? Whereas when we heal the gut and that we have a strong healthy microbiome, the microbiome is working with us, the healthy microbes are working with us to help digest our food, and assimilate our food, then we won’t have those issues anymore. The SIBO yogurt is that in your book?


[01:07:41] Dr. William Davis: It is. I came to it by just sheer logic, just reasoning this out. Because when you think about it, if you have SIBO that is 30 feet of trillions of microbes, if you take a commercial probiotic off the shelf, can it get rid of your SIBO? No, it might reduce bloating and diarrhea a little bit, but it really wants to get rid of these misplaced bacteria in the upper GI tract. That’s why people use things like Rifaximin, the prescription antibiotics, and some of the herbal antibiotic regimens that have some proven efficacy like the good the bad, and the FC biocides regimen that I discussed in the book. That we use for a couple of years successfully.

But I asked some different questions. I asked, what if we chose bacterial species that colonize the upper GI tract? Because that’s where SIBO occurs. What if we chose species that produced what are called bacteriocins? These are natural antibiotics effective against this species of SIBO.

I chose a strain of Lactobacillus gasseri. Gasseri colonizes the upper GI tract and produces up to seven bacteriocins. It was a bacteriocin powerhouse. I chose those strains of reuteri that also colonize the upper GI tract and produce up to four bacteriocins and a strain of bacillus coagulans. We co-ferment them as yogurt. It doesn’t have yogurt, but in this case, I use yogurt. Extended fermentation to achieve very high bacterial counts and we consume half a cup per day. Ashley, so far, this is only about 30 people but 90% have converted to hydrogen gas negative by the AIRE device.

So far, it’s holding up. We have several clinical trials in the works. We’ll probably do that one down the road, not as yogurt but we’ll have to encapsulate microbes to control the dose. We’ll probably look at that formally and see if this holds true, but so far I think it’s working. The downside is you have to eat it for about four weeks. It’s a little slower than antibiotics. There is a die off phenomenon upfront. You do get the little bloating, anxiety, and those light effects, but Ashley, it’s just yogurt. It’s such a nice way to approach it.


[01:10:11] Ashley James: Instead of having to go through the FODMAPs diet, that is infinitely easier than getting rid of SIBO traditionally.


[01:10:20] Dr. William Davis: Right. Now, one thing we’ve not done is test how well this works in non-dairy fermentation that I just don’t know. I believe you can do quite well though. We’ve had a number of people do this well with coconut milk, canned coconut milk. The only difference is when you ferment canned coconut milk, there are a few additional steps you have to add because coconut milk likes to separate into fat. You don’t want to get this big layer of fat. You have to add some guar gum. We preheat. We don’t preheat dairy, that’s an unnecessary step. They do that in conventional yogurt making because they start with skim milk or low-fat milk. I start with organic half and half, 18% fat. For all the problems that dairy may have, the least problem or no problem is the dairy fat or fat is fine.

This notion of low-fat nonfat dairy is ridiculous. I start with organic half and half 18% fat. You can also start with organic coconut milk. You’ll just have to add a few additional steps like adding a little bit of guar gum and then we also blend it with a blender until it thickens up. All of these additional steps discourage separation in the final product.


[01:11:37] Ashley James: This is so interesting. I’ve made plant-based yogurt before and I used whatever I thought was a healthy probiotic. It turned out well. I’m excited to play with your system and what’s in your book. Your book is Super Gut: A Four-Week Plan, so let’s talk about this. It is a four-week plan just to reprogram your microbiome to restore health and lose weight. Give us a glimpse into what it looks like for the next four weeks. We’re all going to get your book and then we’re going to do it for four weeks. How much time does this take? What kind of fun experiments are we going to be cooking up in the kitchen? Give us a layout of what it looks like for the next four weeks.


[01:12:26] Dr. William Davis: If we spend the first week, I liken this, Ashley, to a backyard vegetable garden. Let’s pretend it’s May or June and you’re going to layout a 10×10 plot. How do you do that? Well, you lay out your plot, then you pick out the stones and the twigs, and then you plant seeds. Then you want to fertilize it for the growing season. After a couple of months, you’ve got a whole bunch of eggplant, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. The same kind of thing happens in your microbiome. We have to prepare the soil. It’s done the first week of preparing the soil means undoing all the things that screw up your microbiome such as getting filtered water, and choosing organic foods over conventional foods wherever possible to minimize your exposure to herbicides and pesticides.

Working to get off medications like statin drugs and anti-inflammatory drugs. This might take longer than a week but at least you have a whole week to try to reorganize your life and clean up your microbiome. We also approach diet. I’m guilty of reintroducing some of the Wheat Belly-type concepts just because as you saw, even though the concepts in Wheat Belly did not take the microbiome 100% of the way back, it was a great start because one of the things that happen with brain consumption is huge intestinal inflammation. You experienced it, you lost all that water weight.


[01:13:56] Ashley James: Yeah, the inflammation weight.


[01:13:59] Dr. William Davis: When you lose water weight, that is very important because it means you were retaining water because you were inflamed. Getting rid of all that inflammation, water is a huge step. We reintroduce the diet like we’re already doing the diet simpler for them. I also introduce nutrients that are largely lacking in modern life. Not because of the diet but because of the way we conduct our lives. We can’t drink from the river because it’s got sewage, pesticides, and herbicides. We have to filter our water. All water filtration removes all magnesium. We all begin with profound magnesium depletion. We’ve replaced that and that helps the microbiome as well as other aspects of your physiology.

We’ve replaced vitamin D because we don’t eat liver and most of us live indoors and wear clothes when we’re out in public, we replace the vitamin D. Iodine and omega 3 fatty acids, similar reasons, which we’re because we’re just not getting enough from our diets. One departure we have to talk about is people get all excited when they hear about the reuteri yogurt and how you turn the clock back 10 or 20 years, the infantis yogurt that we use in babies that has dramatic effects on their future development and IQ, or bacillus coagulants, how it helps athletes recover faster.

But the problem with that is those are really powerful strategies but they work much better if you don’t have SIBO or SIFO. Many people have to stop the program and then deal with their SIBO or SIFO. It’s not that difficult, but it means there’s a delay. You might not do it in four weeks because if you’re going to do the SIBO yogurt, that alone is about four weeks. If you do the candibactin regimen of herbal antibiotics, that takes a couple of weeks. If you don’t have SIBO or SIFO, that’s a lot simpler. Then you start talking about these fermented foods, including yogurt to get these outsized effects.


[01:16:07] Ashley James: That’s really exciting. It’s exciting that people will be in touch with their bodies. They’ll notice these changes. They’ll go, okay, I’ve got to stop and go and do the SIBO regimen and then come back. It empowers people. It gives them confidence. I’ve experienced this as well. So many of us, because we’re raised to believe that we wait to get sick and then go to the doctor and the doctor is on their pedestal that will heal us. Then they write a prescription and which most drugs don’t heal, they suppress. They manipulate the body, suppress, and they don’t actually help the body overcome and get healthy again. Because the body was out of balance because it was missing nutrients, mostly it’s our diet.

We got to bring and we got to correct the diet. We’ve got to make sure our diet includes the prebiotics and the probiotics, the fermented foods. Like you said, first correct the overgrowth if there’s an overgrowth in the small intestines. We’ve been raised to believe that we wait to get sick and then see the doctor. It’s so backward. This is sort of the mainstream idea of health is that we are helpless and the all-seeing, all-knowing doctor is going to help us.

That’s the perfect business model. It’s perfect PR perfect marketing for big pharma. It’s perfect, a lifelong customer, for doctors and big pharma. Then there are doctors like you who are like let’s get so healthy we don’t need to get sick all the time, go to the doctor, and get a prescription. Let’s get so healthy that we prevent getting sick.


[01:18:06] Dr. William Davis: You make such a crucial point that I agree completely. That is, we need to get away from this idea of treating diseases like type 2 diabetes. What are they doing for type 2 diabetes? One, the American Diabetes Association diet is absurd. It raises blood sugar and sustains diabetes, so they’re no help.

The doctor introduces drugs whether it’s insulin, Metformin, Byetta injections, or other drugs to reduce blood sugar. They don’t address the cause. What you’re advocating is we identify the root causes of these conditions. In the case of type 2 diabetes, let’s remove the foods that raise blood sugar and cause insulin resistance. Let’s address the nutrients that are largely lacking that also contribute to insulin resistance. Let’s address the microbiome that via endotoxemia contributes largely to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes goes away in the vast majority of people.

I was a diabetic 30 years ago. I’m no longer a diabetic on nothing except my nutrients and food. I have perfect blood sugar and perfect hemoglobin A1C. I’ve done this with many, many people, and there’s actually published evidence to this effect, but unfortunately, it doesn’t drive revenues. While you and I know this, your listeners know this, my colleagues don’t give a crap because there’s no pot of gold involved.


[01:19:40] Ashley James: This is a really scary part of the medical system. You as the patient need to be incredibly informed and we have to pull our heads out of the sand. We cannot blindly take our bodies to a doctor that is just going to put us on the conveyor belt of allopathic medicine. We need to take charge. That can seem daunting and overwhelming, especially if we have a large family. I know as a mom, I’m responsible for feeding everyone every day, every meal, and it gets a little overwhelming and gets a little old.

If we can sort of step back and just take these baby steps, and I love that your program, let’s just make this yogurt and eat it for the next two weeks, that’s doable. What else are some doable steps that we can take? Nothing overwhelming, but something that really gives us some bang for our buck.


[01:20:45] Dr. William Davis: I have a really cool one. It’s not in the book, but it’s consistent with the program. It is on my website. I had my Wheat Belly blog for years. It had 30 million visits and I converted it over to I had so many websites and social media. I combined a lot of it into one website, this One of the things I’ve been advocating is that there’s a fungus, not a bacteria but a fungus called saccharomyces boulardii. It’s a cousin of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae that’s used to ferment wine and beer.

Saccharomyces boulardii is better adapted to the human body. It doesn’t take up long-term residence. It acts as a kind of a traffic cop in your microbiome that when you get exposed to this microbe, it does all kinds of cool stuff. It encourages growth, a proliferation of healthy bacterial species. It discourages unhealthy species including fungi like candida albicans, candida glabrata and malassezia. If you take it during a course of antibiotics, it minimizes the disruption of your microbiome because it’s not susceptible to antibiotics. It’s a fungus. We take this microbe and you could buy it in the US at Walgreens, Walmart, or Target as a product called florastor. Florastor has different names in other countries but in the US it is called florastor.

As often happens, they sell it in low numbers. What we do is take a capsule of the Florastor and empty it into some juice. Apple cider is a really good one. I recently made mango passion fruit juice. You have just had to make sure there are no preservatives in it. Look for potassium sorbate or those kinds of things. Don’t buy those, you want one with no preservatives because preservatives inhibit the microbe. Get a natural juice, it’s going to have a lot of sugar, but fermentation by saccharomyces boulardii reduces the sugar because it eats the sugar.

Take a capsule, empty it into any volume—a quarter, a gallon, whatever you want. Cap it lightly, not tightly, because you’re going to see within 24 hours as it sits on your kitchen counter it will be bubbling with carbon dioxide. Let it go for 48, not more than 72 hours refrigerated. You’re going to have sparkling juice. It’s effervescent, it’s delicious. You’re getting a wallop of saccharomyces boulardii that helps bring your bacterial and fungal microbiome back in order.

This is a great adjunct to the other things you’re doing like SIBO yogurt, the candibactin regimen, or whatever else you’re doing to reorder your microbiome. It’s a big advantage. Just be sure not to cap it tight because you’ll have an explosion because of so much carbon dioxide. It tastes like apple soda or whatever kind of juice you ferment. It’s effervescent like soda.


[01:23:59] Ashley James: It sounds like making water kefir where the bacteria eats the sugar and poops out the bubbles.


[01:24:02] Dr. William Davis: Exactly, yes.


[01:24:05] Ashley James: I love it. I have a dear friend who has lifelong constipation. Her parents had her on courses of antibiotics as a baby. I just think this is such a common problem. She has tried everything. Everything that I’ve given her because I have lots of health information. I’m like, all right, try this healing gut soup. Now, try this herb and try just everything and she says it’ll work for a bit. Then the second she gets off it, it’s a high-fiber vegetable soup. It’s really nice when she takes it but the moment she stops taking it, she’ll go back to incredible constipation. Nothing seems to last. Nothing seems to stick. Every supplement she’s tried, every diet change she’s tried, and it doesn’t have any lasting effect. She’s tried on over-the-counter probiotics. She has to be on high doses of oral magnesium just to keep her moving.

What would you say to someone who has lifelong constipation that has never been able to get it under control? I really feel like it’s a microbiome issue because she knows she was on antibiotics her entire childhood and it totally destroyed her gut. All the conventional ways of restoring the microbiome haven’t worked for her. What would you say for those who have very chronic constipation?


[01:25:32] Dr. William Davis: First, Ashley, I’m very impressed she knows you and she knows about magnesium because magnesium is a really big advantage. It abbreviates the so-called transit time. The amount of time it takes for food to pass through your GI tract. She’s already done that. That’s a great thing to do.

Another thing is called obstipation. It’s the most severe form of constipation that seems to respond to nothing. Getting rid of wheat and grains is important because of the gliadin-derived opioids. Of course, opioids are very constipating. Anybody who’s taking oxycontin or other opioids knows he gets terrible constipation from opioids. The gliadin protein in wheat and the related proteins and other grains become opioids and they are likewise extremely constipating for many people.

I had a woman way back when Wheat Belly first came out and she said, you’re not going to believe what happened to me. I moved my bowels once every three weeks. My abdomen is so distended. I’ve had numerous endoscopies and colonoscopies and all they tell me is to take laxatives, enemas, and stool softeners and nothing works. I went wheat and grain-free and I lost 30 pounds in a week.

For the first time in her lifetime, she’s moving her bowels every day. Then her family left the house for a day and she’s hungry for lunch. She says, what the heck, I’m going to make a sandwich. She had a sandwich with bread and it all came back. It took her about another week to get off of it and have her bowel movements returned. I’ve seen things like that. That’s called obstipation. The gliadin-derived opioids can be very potent.

The other thing here is likely she has, of course, methanogen overgrowth. That is an overgrowth of not bacteria and not fungi but these peculiar creatures called archaea. These are really fascinating creatures because they’re also called extremophiles. They live in the boiling water geysers in Yellowstone National Park. They live at the bottom of the ocean with extreme weight upon them. They survive in all kinds of extreme environments, the Dead Sea with extreme salinity and the human GI tract. No one knows how they got there or why they’re there, we are filled with methanogens. When they overgrow and possibly ascend into the upper GI tract, the telltale sign is unremitting constipation.

The newest AIRE device that came out literally two weeks ago, the old AIRE device only measured hydrogen gas. The newest device measures hydrogen gas and methane. She can do that and prove to herself whether she has methanogen overgrowth or she can do a stool analysis and see if she has an excess of so-called methanogens.

These are microbes like methanobrevibacters smithii and some others. One of the problems we have with methanogen overgrowth, it’s not quite clear how we best manage it. There’s some evidence that the Rifaximin antibiotic has an effect. There is some data and we’ve seen some successes with the Candibactin Herbal antibiotic regimen. There may be some other things, but they’re very poorly documented.

We’re not quite clear on exactly what to do with methanogen overgrowth, though I personally would consider the newest aire device and consider the Candibactin regimen. If you have methanogen growth, you’d likely have other disruptions in the microbiome. All the other things we do like saccharomyces boulardii sparkling cider, maybe the SIBO yogurt, all those kinds of things probably have value as well.


[01:29:26] Ashley James: The candibactin regimen is that in your book?


[01:29:30] Dr. William Davis: It is. It’s from metagenics. It’s Candibactin-AR and Candibactin-BR. I was very skeptical about these herbal antibiotics because when you combine things, when you say things like this, let’s throw in a little oil of oregano because it’s effective against E. Coli. Let’s throw a little this herb because it’s effective against this other microbe. You really can’t concoct antibiotics that way. There has to be formal evidence and these were concocted very sloppily. I was very skeptical.

Then there was a study from Johns Hopkins that compared incredibly Rifaximin to conventional antibiotics with two herbal antibiotic regimens. The ones I’ve mentioned, the Candibactin regimen and the dysbiocide regimen from Biotics Research. Lo and behold, the herbal antibiotic regimens outperformed the Rifaximin and the Rifaximin failures, of which there are many, responded to the herbal antibiotics. Lo and behold, some evidence that there are herbal antibiotics. Now, there are lots of other herbal antibiotics but they have no evidence for efficacy.

I have no reason to take them on faith. Those two regimens have worked for us. But lately, I’ve been inching towards this idea that you know what, if you have SIBO, not methanogen overgrowth, try the SIBO yogurt. There is one small study, I believe it was done in Italy looking at reuteri that suppress methanogens. But I’m skeptical, I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think that’s really going to play out in the real world. I wouldn’t advocate the reuteri alone for methanogen overgrowth and constipation.


[01:31:13] Ashley James: It sounds like a pretty stubborn microbe to get rid of like it lives in the Dead Sea and lives in geysers. It sounds like it’s going to take a bit more to move it out of the body.


[01:31:30] Dr. William Davis: Here’s an oddity. If we look at the microbiomes of indigenous populations like the ones that have been studied in Africa, South America, and elsewhere. They have methanogens more than we do. In other words, if we use them as a comparator to see what a healthy microbiome should look like, this is kind of puzzling, they have more methanogens than we do. I think what’s happening here—by the way, beyond constipation, methanogen overgrowth has not yet been blamed for any human disease. It’s not quite clear what these things are doing. I think what that means when you look at the Hodza, for instance like Maasai, Yanomami, or the people in the jungles of New Guinea, they have all these methanogens.

What the real story here is with the presence of methanogens per se may not be harmful. It’s the company it keeps in the rest of the microbiome. In other words, maybe those indigenous populations define with methanogens because they have more spirochaetes that we don’t have any of. They have more Prevotella and they don’t have any by sort of bacteria. They have a very different microbiome. Maybe it’s the setting that occurs. In other words, it’s not quite clear what we do about methanogen overgrowth but for the sake of your poor friend’s constipation, it’s still worth considering, like the candibactin regimen. I think in the future, we’re going to have to rethink this whole situation within the methanogens.


[01:33:09] Ashley James: Fascinating. I love it. I’m really excited to apply these to my life and get my friends and the whole neighborhood. I’m very excited to play with it. I’m very excited for my listeners to get your book, Super Gut: A Four-Week Plan to Reprogram Your Microbiome, Restore Health, and Lose Weight.

Lastly, let’s talk about this idea of losing weight simply by focusing on supporting gut health. We touched on how by removing grains, you can lose the water weight. How even just with the Lactobacillus reuteri improves the oxytocin and you feel so good and you’re not hungry so it curbs the appetite. Beyond those things, how does your book help us lose weight by creating a healthy microbiome?


[01:34:09] Dr. William Davis: Back to your reuteri and oxytocin, you may recall one of the effects of the boost in oxytocin is the so-called anorexigenic effect. It really turns off your appetite. If you go wheat and grain-free, you’ve eliminated gliadin-derived opioid peptides. They’re not only constipating, but they’re also very potent appetite stimulants. That’s why you see people, for instance, have a big bowl of pasta, they’re filled to bursting, yet they’re still hungry. That’s the gliadin-derived opioid peptide appetite-stimulating effect.

Wheat and grain-free, you’re given tremendous control over your appetite. Cultivate reuteri, get a boost in oxytocin and you become profoundly in control. Food is great of course, but you are no longer tempted. Hunger feels completely different. It’s no longer that gnawing desperate feeling. I personally feel hunger as slight restlessness after I haven’t eaten for maybe six to eight hours. It’s a very different experience. The oxytocin effect is a big, big advantage.

Then there are microbes like Lactobacillus gasseri that have been shown in two studies to reduce waist circumference quite significantly. If you did an MRI or CAT scan of your abdomen and measure the cross-sectional area of visceral inflammatory fat, you would see dramatic reductions in visceral fat. It’s not quite clear why that is, but I think it’s because gasseri is so good at reducing endotoxemia. We call that endotoxemia. The breakdown products of microbes that enter the bloodstream is a big contributor to insulin resistance.

If we took somebody who is slender and active and measured their fasting insulin, it’s likely something two micro units per liter. If we took somebody who was pre-diabetic, had a big waist, a lot of visceral fat, and we measured their fasting insulin, it’s probably 30, 70, 100 microunits per liter. In other words, it’s not 20% worse, it’s manyfold worse. When you have high insulin, it causes weight gain and prevents weight loss. One of the big drivers of that high insulin is endotoxemia. If we get microbe gasseri that reduces endotoxemia, your body is allowed to reduce insulin and thereby release weight. Those are the two biggest strategies that I’m aware of.


[01:36:41] Ashley James: I love it. I just had another thought for cardiovascular health. Is there a microbiome fix for high blood pressure?


[01:36:53] Dr. William Davis: What we do with high blood pressure is we start with the diet, which alone has huge effects because we lose visceral fat. Insulin drops, we don’t have insulin resistance, and that releases fluid as you experience. That alone is huge. We add the nutrients largely lacking in modern light, vitamin D, magnesium, omega 3, fatty acids, and iodine. Those four things all together have a huge impact on further reducing insulin resistance and reducing blood pressure.

Just the magnesium alone reduces blood pressure. Then taking the steps to restore a healthy microbiome, thereby reducing inflammation and endotoxemia also reduces blood pressure. Getting fermented foods reduces blood pressure. Those microbes, let’s say kimchi or fermented sauerkraut, like Leuconostoc Mesenteroides and Pediococcus they reduce blood pressure. We’re not actually treating blood pressure, we’re addressing the factors that allow blood pressure to emerge in the first place, and almost people walk away with a blood pressure of like 106.


[01:38:07] Ashley James: That’s awesome. When we go to make our yogurts, like you’ve mentioned, the Lactobacillus gasseri, the reuteri, and all these other really great ones, can we take all of them and throw them in and make a concoction, or do they compete and we really should make individual batches with each one?


[01:38:26] Dr. William Davis: That’s a good question, Ashley. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve. You can do that, you can combine them, but it’s like your backyard garden. If all you have growing your gardener tomatoes, you’re going to have a ton of tomatoes. What if you grow tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and squash, you have fewer tomatoes. The same kind of things and it depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re a competitive athlete, you want to reduce the amount of muscle injury you have with extreme exertion. You should take Bacillus Coagulans, probably fermented by itself from natural effects. You want to get smoother skin, deeper sleep, and restore youthful muscle strength, that’s a reuteri effect, you probably want to ferment reuteri by itself. What if maybe you have somebody in their 20s who doesn’t really need to reverse age yet and would also like some better recovery, and maybe wants to have lower blood pressure and a smaller waist? Maybe we could co-ferment reuteri, gasseri, and bacillus coagulans. You can do that.

We make future batches of yogurt from a little bit of the prior batch. As you get further and further in subsequent batches, there can be shifts in relative numbers of different microbes. One of the things that happen with the SIBO yogurt is you’ll lose the reuteri probably by your 10th batch. That’s an instance where you want to re-inoculate or start from scratch again.

A lot of this is a work in progress, we have not done DNA analyses and all the different combinations. You can do this, you can combine microbes. This is very useful for younger people. All humans are supposed to have reuteri. What if you have a 10-year-old or an 18-year-old? They probably don’t want to superduper the high numbers were getting. They can co-ferment several microbes and still get reuteri replenished and get those other benefits as well.


[01:40:29] Ashley James: I love it. Does your book have a list of all these different ones that talk about each one of them like an encyclopedia, all the different microbes that we could be fermenting to repopulate to get specific outcomes?


[01:40:49] Dr. William Davis: Approach it like a menu at a restaurant. If you and I walk into a restaurant and the waitress hands us a menu, you don’t freak out and say, oh my God, I can’t order all these appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. We pick and choose the dishes we want. We do the same thing with the microbiome. Pick the microbes for the effect you want. If you want deeper sleep, greater libido, and smoother skin, let’s ferment the reuteri.

If you want a reduction in knee pain from arthritis, let’s ferment the bacillus coagulans. If you have a baby and you want that baby to sleep through the night, take longer naps, and have half as many bowels movements, thereby half as many diaper changes, have less asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune disease, have a higher IQ for a lifetime, and are less likely to become obese as adults. Let’s ferment Bifidobacterium infantis. You can pick and choose the microbe you want for the effect you want just like a restaurant.


[01:41:51] Ashley James: This is amazing, everything you listed. I’m really just imagining the listeners are just getting so excited to get your book, try it out, and start making this yogurt. You don’t have to eat bowls and bowls of it. You’re just having a few spoonfuls of this yogurt. Then the question that arises is, because there’s an acid on my stomach, doesn’t it kill all the bacteria anyway?


[01:42:16] Dr. William Davis: There’s a drop in numbers, but the microbes that were using largely survived stomach acid and bile. These microbes are fairly tolerant to the stomach. There are microbes that do indeed die, but the ones that we’re using are the ones that have been shown to be tolerant to those kinds of things. If you eat, for instance, 250 billion, maybe only 100 billion survived, but it’s sufficient to give you a big wallop of an effect.

By the way, the saccharomyces boulardii that we make those sparkling juices with, by the way, you don’t want to overdo those juices. They do still have some sugar. It cuts the fermentation process and cuts sugar by 50% or more. If anybody’s ever interested, you can get a hydrometer from your brewing. If you have a beer-making store they have these things called hydrometers. With just a few dollars, you can measure the sugar content of your juice so you can calculate how much sugar you’re getting. I suggest people drink no more than a quarter cup a couple of times three times a day so you’re not getting a bunch of sugar all at once.


[01:43:27] Ashley James: As we’re drinking it, is it making it into the intestines, is it making it to the colon?


[01:43:35] Dr. William Davis: The saccharomyces, in particular, are very tolerant. That’s a really big advantage. By the way, it’s also tolerant to alcohol. You can make an appletini and other martinis with it.


[01:43:50] Ashley James: Some of these are supposed to populate in the colon not in the small intestine, is that correct?


[01:43:55] Dr. William Davis: That is true. Unfortunately, some of the probiotic manufacturers have ignored this whole issue of SIBO which is a big miscalculation. They do things like double encapsulate their capsule so that it does not dissolve in the small bowel. I think that’s a real mistake because even if you don’t have SIBO, there are so many factors that are trying to make you have SIBO that it’s worth always having microbes in the small bowel to discourage E. Colis and Klebsiellas of the colon from ascending.

You’re just taking Ranitidine or Prozac for a few weeks is not to give you SIBO. Just having an all-you-can-eat vacation in Mexico where you drink too many margaritas over three days, that’s enough to give you SIBO. There are so many things conspiring to make those microbes rise in your small bowel that I think is worth having those release in the small bowel and not trying to keep them in the colon alone.


[01:44:55] Ashley James: Which makes the yogurt make so much sense.


[01:45:00] Dr. William Davis: Yes.


[01:45:01] Ashley James: I can talk to you all day. This is so fascinating. I’m really excited about your book. Of course the link to the book, Super Gut, is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast down the description,, and in whatever podcast directory you’re listening from right now. Dr. Davis, is there anything you’d like to share to wrap up today’s interview? Any homework? Any suggestions? Of course, we’re going to have the link to your website and everything you do. Also in the show notes that people can follow you and read your blog and continue to learn from you. Please, impart us with final words of wisdom.


[01:45:40] Dr. William Davis: As you know, Ashley, the lesson to pass on is that if you desire, if you want to, you have astounding power over your health. The last person you want to consult and how to become healthy is the doctor. The doctor has no idea. If you said, hey, doc, I’m interested in boosting my oxytocin by getting reuteri. I’m trying to make the sparkling apple cider so I get a big wallop of saccharomyces boulardii, what do you think about that?

You’re going to get glazed eyes, they’ll make fun of you, or say something like, hey, did you consult Dr. Google again? Sadly, people in healthcare have abdicated their responsibility because of making more money for their healthcare system. So important to emphasize that people have huge power.

Also, it’s important to know that what you’re doing is so crucial. People like you and me are no longer welcome on major media. We can’t get on TV. We don’t get interviewed by major magazines or newspapers because there’s too much money at stake from big pharma. Big pharma now funds so much of the media via direct consumer drug advertising and other means that people like you and me have missed on his health, nutrition can’t get in anymore. It means that podcasts, blogs, and social media are the ways we have to get these types of messages. It’s not coming from the doctors, it’s not coming from the media, we’ve got to get these messages out because they’re so powerful and they empower people.


[01:47:20] Ashley James: I am so thankful that you came on the show. Again, thank you so much for sharing this information. We really do need to empower ourselves. We really do need to educate ourselves and keep our minds so open that our brains would fall out. We just have to be willing to challenge the belief system we grew up in. We have to be willing to be the salmon.

I like to say this often on the show, if you want to be a statistic, do what everyone else is doing. One in three people has a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. I think it’s one in three women and one in two men. It’s ridiculous. There’s a 50% chance that you’re going to get cancer if you just do what everyone else is doing. My listeners on the show don’t. They love to be the salmon, swim upstream, be the black sheep, and choose to take charge of their health.

Sometimes that’s overwhelming. Just taking one step at a time, just one little thing that you can do today to improve your health and continue doing that. If you want to have diabetes, one to two people are diabetic or pre-diabetic, obesity, it’s so common now. Heart disease and cancer are the top killers, and of course, diabetes is a trifecta because diabetes causes heart disease. Then there’s dementia. There’s just a deterioration, a quick-aging, quick deterioration, dying younger and younger.

If you want that in your life maybe not now but in the future, then do what everyone else is doing. Go eat what everyone else is eating. Just go to your doctor and get put on older drugs he wants to put you on. Going with the flow leads to being a statistic. We have to look at the statistics of health in our country and realize that doing what everyone else is doing is going to give you that life. You have to go against the grain. You have to throw the grains out and listen to Dr. William Davis. What I love is Dr. Davis brings science-based, holistic, you in charge of your health healing medicine that is backed by studies, that is backed by science. We don’t need to wait to get sick. We can take actionable steps today.

Definitely get Dr. Davis’s book, I’m so excited about this, and start to take these actionable steps and then do it with your friends and family. It’s so easy to hand a spoonful of yogurt to your husband, wife, sister, or whatever. Just hey, try eating every day. Just a few spoonfuls a few times a day, and here, drink this little sparkling beverage in here. Eat some fun fermented food I made. It doesn’t take cups and cups or bowls and bowls of it. Just a spoonful at a time, little tweaks at a time we can completely take back our health.

I know everyone is really excited about introducing the reuteri and having a better sex life, feeling amazing on oxytocin, and having better collagen and twice as fast healing. That alone I think has sold all of us on buying your book, Super Gut. Of course, following you on your blog and continue to learn from you.

Thank you for everything you do. I’d love to have you back on the show when you have more information. I know you’re just constantly digging into the bleeding cutting edge of all the science coming out. Please, come back to the show when you have more to share.


[01:51:10] Dr. William Davis: I will Ashley, happily, anytime.


[01:51:11] Ashley James: Love it. Awesome. Thank you so much. This has been wonderful.


[01:51:15] Dr. William Davis: Thank you, Ashley. Keep up your great work.


[01:51:17] Ashley James: I hope you enjoy today’s interview with Dr. William Davis. Wasn’t that amazing? I bet you’re so excited to jump on probiotics, go experiment, and make some yourself. I am going to put the links to what he recommends in the show notes of today’s podcast. Wherever you’re listening from, just go to the notes below of this recording, the description. You can go to or from wherever you’re listening, just click on the podcast and you’ll see the notes in the description. I’ll make sure I put the links there for the probiotics that he recommends to culture. Also yogurt maker and other stuff like that. Make sure that’s there so you could immediately go and give it a try.

Come join the learn true Facebook group and let us know how it goes. Of course, I’ve already shared my testimonial at the beginning of the interview. I look forward to hearing yours as well, I’m very, very excited. Please, join Learn True Facebook group, come share your experience, give it a shot.

I’m all about experimenting and the kitchen is such a fun place to do some great fermenting, culture some great probiotics, do some health experiments, and just try it for yourself. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day and I’m just really excited for the journey that you’re on. If you’re new to this podcast, welcome. Please join the Learn True Health Facebook groups so that you can ask questions and jump into the community.

I also recommend going to as they are amazing health coaches that help you through a naturopathic doctor-created program. Get on exactly what your body is craving, what your needs, and what your body’s missing, as well as helping you understand the nutrients that certain foods are hurting you, certain foods are helping you. They help you in that way to guide you. So if you’re looking for a bit more hand-holding, definitely want to check out as well.

Dive into the group, into the community because we’d love to see you there. You can even use the search function in the Facebook group to dive in and learn from so many amazing people from past conversations and start your own new conversation. Just throw some questions out there and it’s a very supportive group. I’m there every day helping people and I look forward to meeting you and seeing you there as well.

Get Connected with Dr. William Davis!







Books by Dr. William Davis

Super Gut

Wheat Belly




Mar 5, 2022

Medicinal Aloe Gel Drink

 - coupon code LTH2022


Dr. Vickers website:


Reversing Cancer with Advanced Gerson Therapy, Dr. Patrick Vickers



  • History of Gerson Therapy
  • Importance of alkaline diet
  • Importance of coffee enema in detoxing the body
  • What a Gerson meal looks like


Dr. Patrick Vickers is the Director and Founder of the Advanced Gerson Therapy Clinic. He studied under Charlotte Gerson and applied everything he learned about the Gerson Therapy and tweaked it to enhance Gerson Therapy based on scientific studies. In this episode, Dr. Vickers shares the Gerson Therapy and Gerson meals look like.


Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I am so excited for you to hear today’s interview with Dr. Patrick Vickers who shares the Dr. Max Gerson protocol and then the add-ons that he has added on that he has found in his clinical practice to even enhance the effects.

So Dr. Max Gerson and the stories shared in today’s interview, but to give you a little bit of a teaser trailer, Max Gerson was able to cure very stubborn migraines. Then he found out his migraine diet cured tuberculosis, and this is right before World War II when there was no cure for it. It was something that was very stubborn, can stick around for years, and was entirely fatal for many people. And then he found out it cured cancer. And then he found out it reversed even very stubborn diabetes, and so he treated tens of thousands of people with all kinds of conditions using this very specific protocol that he dialed in, and it is a specific diet, but it also involves other things and we’re going to learn about that today.

I’m so excited for you to learn from this episode. And if you don’t have any of those conditions, what’s really great is you can still apply what you learn today and add a bit of it to your life to prevent disease as well. Please share this interview with those you love who have migraines, who have digestive issues, who have cancer or have cancer in the family and they’re concerned about getting cancer. For those who have immune problems because this protocol helps the body have such a robust immune system, and for those who have blood sugar problems, even type 1 and type 2 diabetes really, really respond well to this protocol. So basically, everyone can benefit from listening to today’s interview.

Now, Dr. Patrick Vickers also mentions that he’s added on certain things to Dr. Gerson’s protocol that he found in his clinical practice to supercharge the program. One of those things he says is absolutely essential to supercharge the program is the Organic Medicinal Aloe Gel Drink that we talked about in the last episode, in episode 474 that Dr. Michael Haley talks about where they take the aloe straight from the field.

Dr. Michael Haley owns this farm and they take the aloe, they cut it open, they cut open the filet, they take just the gel, and then they immediately freeze it and ship it to you, and then you drink it. It’s so different from what you get in the store. It’s completely different. What you get in the store has been filtered, pasteurized, and all the medicines have been taken out. But when you drink only a few ounces of the stuff a day, Dr. Michael Haley spoke about it in the last episode that it will block the cancer cells. The cancer cells try to absorb it, it binds to the cancer cells kind of like stuffing their mouths full, and then they cannot digest it because the polysaccharides in the aloe gel cannot be digested by cancer, but cancer thinks it’s a sugar so it tries to absorb it but then it can’t digest it. But it basically blocks the cancer from absorbing any more nutrients, thus starving it out.

And so Dr. Patrick Vickers today talks about how he adds the aloe gel to every freshly pressed juice drink that he gives daily to his cancer clients and patients at his clinic and he tells people to do it. I love this aloe gel. I noticed it really helps our family. I have friends who take it and notice that even their hair, skin, and nails get healthier, their digestion gets healthier. So it’s just something wonderful to add to your smoothies or to your freshly pressed juice, or you can just do a few shots of it today. And in the last episode, I share how to make it taste good so kids even like it because my son thinks it’s delicious when I do these little tweaks and he thinks it’s really great as well, and we noticed that improvement for him as well.

You can get a fantastic discount that Dr. Michael Haley’s giving all of our listeners by going to That’s and there you can get a few frozen jugs. It’s great to keep it in the freezer for times if you ever have any digestive issues, it’s great to just have on hand because for me, for our family, when we had either food poisoning or some kind of stomach bug, we drank it and it immediately stopped all the symptoms—the diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, all of that stopped it in its tracks for all three of us. I thought that was pretty awesome.

It’s like medicine. It’s good to have on hand as well as a good to take for prevention. You can also use the coupon code LTH2022 and he’s going to give you his cream as well, which is an aloe cream. I really like it because it’s not greasy and I like to have it at my desk. I love anything natural to put on my body or to put in my body that helps. So that’s coupon code LTH2022. It’s a wonderful adjunct to the Dr. Gerson protocol, as well as anyone who wants better hair, skin, and nails, better digestion, less inflammation, less pain. People even with arthritis are noticing an improvement, which of course Dr. Michael Haley talked about in our last episode and of course in the first episode where I had him on about a year ago and he shared some amazing stories.

You can find lots of fantastic interviews on the podcast by using the search function at You can go to and use the search function to find all kinds of wonderful episodes. I have a ton of episodes on reversing cancer. Cancer and heart disease are the two largest killers. My dad died of heart disease, my mom died of cancer. My mom was the healthiest person I knew until she passed away of cancer suddenly, and that has helped fuel me to want to learn how I can help others. I can’t save my parents, but I maybe can help you save yours, or I can help you save yourself or save someone that you love. So let’s turn this ripple into a tidal wave and let’s help as many people as possible to learn true health and to reverse and prevent disease.

The body has an amazing ability to heal itself. We just need to give it what it needs and stop giving it what it doesn’t need. Dr. Patrick Vickers today shares exactly what we can do to support the structure and function of the body to cure disease. The body can cure its own disease when we help it, and I’m so excited for you to learn from today’s episode.

Thank you for sharing this podcast. Come join us in the Learn True Health Facebook group. We’d love to see you there. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day and check out the aloe, let me know what you think about it., use the coupon code LTH2022. Do a challenge. Do a whole bottle. Do about four to eight ounces a day depending on your medical conditions, what you like to reverse, and at the end of the bottle, notice any changes in your hair, skin, and nails, your digestion, your inflammation. Just notice it and then I’d love for you to come to the Learn True Health Facebook group and let us know different positive changes that you’re experiencing.


[00:08:09] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 475. I am so excited for today’s guest we have with us Dr. Patrick Vickers here to share about Gerson Therapy. His website is Of course, links to everything that Dr. Patrick Vickers talks about today are going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at Welcome to the show.


[00:08:45] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Thank you very much for having me, Ashley.


[00:08:47] Ashley James: Yeah, I’m really, really excited, but as we were joking around before we hit record, we were bound to meet because you kind of know all my friends or we have mutual friends. You’ve been on the Tim James show, of no relation. You’ve been with Dr. Michael Haley, who is also awesome. I’m sure if we sat around we could talk more and probably figure out we have a lot more friends in common.

I have been fascinated with Dr. Max Gerson’s therapy. I watched some documentaries on it. I highly recommend checking them out. There are a lot of documentaries out there so just pick one and go for it. There’s some on Amazon, the Gaia TV, and all that stuff, or just YouTube Dr. Gerson. I’ve actually watched some documentaries on YouTube also. What fascinates me is his entire story, and then of course the controversy, right? Because you can’t steal the money, the profits from the people trying to sell the drugs. If you create a system that eliminates a disease, you will be kicked out of this country, time and time again we’ve seen it.

This therapy is so effective, but you have to follow it to a tee. It’s so effective that he was able to help people completely reverse and no longer have cancer. That’s near and dear to my heart. I held my mom’s hand as she died of cancer at 55 years old, and she was the healthiest person I knew. Watching her pass away from cancer, I’ve always wanted to know what I could have done differently. I was 22 years old. I was just learning about all this, but if I could go back in time, absolutely, I would have taken her to your clinic to do Gerson Therapy.

I’ve had friends ask me, what would you do if you had a cancer diagnosis? I would 100% do Gerson Therapy. That makes me sit and think, well, why am I not doing it now? Maybe that’s something we could talk about. Just the other day my friend said, I know all the things I need to do to get healthy, but I’ll probably do them when I get sick enough to need it.

She was being honest. She was being very blunt that, you know, my life is busy. I’m taking care of two kids. I’m running a business, and really, I’m not going to actually take care of my health like seriously spend six hours a day between nutrition and exercise preparing food and all the things it takes. She’s sacrificing the time it takes to take care of herself until her back is up against the wall.

I’m like, okay, if my backs up against the wall with a cancer diagnosis, I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m 110% in on Gerson Therapy, ozone IV, and all the other kinds of modalities, but why am I not doing that amount of intensity into building health? Why do we wait for a diagnosis? I definitely want you to introduce Gerson Therapy and talk about Max Gerson, but maybe we can talk a little bit about is this podcast just for people who have cancer, or can we utilize Gerson Therapy or should it be utilized for people who don’t have cancer?


[00:12:27] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, I mean, that is the proverbial issue, isn’t it? I mean, how often have you heard an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? And so, we’re [inaudible 00:12:36] virtually every single degenerative disease including terminal cancer, so why wouldn’t it make sense that that would be also used as a lifestyle of prevention, which it is. I mean, you look at Charlotte Gerson who died three years ago this month, actually, at the age of 98. She used the therapy her entire life as a means of prevention after her father cured her of advanced tuberculosis when she was 12 years old.

This is a dietary therapy not just for reversing disease, but its principles are utilizable for prevention as well and should be. To wait until you get sick, let me tell you, I’ve had this clinic now for over 10 years. You don’t want to wait until you get sick because quite often, it can be too late by the time you’re diagnosed. So to live under those premises that I’ll just wait until I get sick, it’s not a very smart strategy.

[00:13:37] Ashley James: I know Gerson Therapy takes several hours a day between food prep and also certain bathroom routines you would be performing, to say it politely. It’s a part-time job to Gerson Therapy well, to do it to the tee, right? I mean, once you get into the routine, maybe you can shave some time off. But is there Gerson therapy for doing cancer reversal and is there Gerson Therapy light for just creating—like maybe just one coffee enema a day instead of six and maybe once a day instead of 12 times a day? Is there like a Gerson Therapy light for just preventing disease?


[00:14:28] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yes, of course, there would be. Our intensive protocol for the cancer patient is completely different from a standard detox protocol at home just to change your life and maintain health. But the principles, which hopefully people will learn on the show today, that protect your cellular health, particularly your metabolism, are going to remain the same for every patient, whether it’s a detox or a cancer patient. But certainly, the intensity is going to be different for varying cases. The detox would simply be much less than the intensive cancer protocol, no doubt about it.


[00:15:08] Ashley James: Got it. Well, I’d love for you to, later on in the interview, explain what we can do on a regular basis. Give us some actual homework on what we can do on a day-to-day basis to prevent disease using the Gerson Therapy for maintaining health. But let’s talk about Max Gerson. Give us a rundown, who was Max Gerson and how did he discover the Gerson Therapy protocol?


[00:15:37] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yeah, that’s a great question. And as you said, Dr. Gerson’s story is truly one of the greatest stories and tragedies in American history for certain, if not world history. Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer called Dr. Gerson the greatest genius in medical history. Eight years before Schweitzer won the Nobel Prize, Dr. Gerson cured Schweitzer of severely advanced diabetes within six weeks. In six weeks, he was able to completely reverse Dr. Schweitzer’s advanced diabetes and he cured Schweitzer’s wife, Helena, of terminal tuberculosis when they had a little girl who was only three or four years old at the time.

Gerson, his life, his story, his therapy, I mean, it is just a classic tragedy, so to speak, and we’re going to go into that, but who was he? So he was born in 1881 in Wagrowiec, Germany, which is now Wagrowiec, Poland. It was under German annex at that time. At the age of 18, when he wanted to go to university, back at that time, if you wanted to go to university in Germany, you had to pass an exit exam out of school. You just didn’t go to university based on grades or based on your SAT scores. You literally had to pass an exam out of high school.

Well, his calculus professor put a question on there that he’d never seen before. He managed to come up with such an elaborate solution that his teacher couldn’t even tell him whether it was right or wrong. So she sent it to all the top university math professors in Germany at that time and every single one wrote her back and said, we have a mathematical genius within our country and they all tried to recruit him for math. Recognizing that they had something very special in their midst, the Gerson family got together shortly thereafter one night at the Gerson home—aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins all got together to discuss what Dr. Gerson would study at university. They all agreed that he should study medicine because they felt that’s where he would have the greatest impact on humanity.

Here we are now, that was 120 years ago, literally 1900 and here we are 120 years later, talking about the man who truly had the greatest impact in medical history on his ability to reverse advanced terminal disease. He goes off to university at the University of Freiburg, and while he’s there, he’s suffering from severe migraine headaches. Now, this is at a time when Germany was leading the way in medical research. If you wanted a superior medical education, you went to Germany to get it. He had the top professors in the world at his disposal. None of them could help him. They had nothing to offer him.

He set out to completely cure himself of his disease by radically altering his diet. He cut out all the fat, all the salt, all the processed foods, the alcohol, all of it of a standard German diet of that time and completely cured himself of his migraine headaches.

Well, he graduates from the University of Freiburg, opens up practice in Bielefeld, Germany. And in Bielefeld, Germany starts using this migraine diet on his patients when one of his patients comes back completely cured of their tuberculosis. Now, this is at a time when tuberculosis was “pandemic”, for lack of a better word. It was literally killing over a million people in Europe at that time, and so that was a big thing. All of a sudden, he now recognizes that he can cure TB. So he starts treating all these TB patients and curing them of their TB.

When a guy by the name of Ferdinand Sauerbruch gets word that there’s this doctor curing advanced TB, now Ferdinand Sauerbruch was Europe’s leading thoracic surgeon. He was the guy operating on all these tuberculosis lung patients. And so when he heard this guy Gerson was carrying TB, he approached Dr. Gerson and he asked him to embark on a study of 460 tuberculosis patients. He said to Dr. Gerson privately, if you can cure but one of these patients, I will believe every single word you have to say, and Dr. Gerson cured, and this is no joke, 450 out of the 460 tuberculosis patients with his migraine diet.


[00:20:29] Ashley James: Let’s just pause there. I want to pause there because this one point, I think a lot of us just take for granted, oh yeah, cure TB, no worries. TB back then was like having the plague. If you were in a hospital with TB, you probably were going to die. What was the percentage? I don’t remember exactly what they said, but didn’t he expect something like only 4% to survive? How many people should have died under the normal care for TB out of those 460 patients?


[00:21:11] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, when he approached Gerson and said, if you cure but one of these patients, I’ll believe every single word that you have to say. So clearly, he wasn’t expecting much, was he?


[00:21:20] Ashley James: He wasn’t expecting any of them to live.


[00:21:22] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, exactly. I mean, I would imagine he was expecting some of them to live, but to cure 450 out of 460, and this is what we tell people—cancer is the monster, that’s the difficult thing to cure. We can still cure it. Viruses, bacteria, do you know how simple those things are to cure? You take tuberculosis and it’s easily curable with something as intensive and radical as the Gerson Therapy. So he became renowned at that point, Ashley, for reversing advanced tuberculosis.

And then Hitler came to power, Gerson and his family were German Jews. He lost his entire family in the Holocaust. He himself nearly died in the Holocaust and he was the only one left. He was on his way to Vienna to give a lecture on his curing of tuberculosis when the SS Army stopped the train and entered his cabin when they started looking for IDs. They were asking for their IDs looking for Jews.

There were two or three other men in Dr. Gerson’s cabin with him, and when the SS officer came in, Dr. Gerson actually panicked, but the SS officer turned to the other gentleman first and asked for their IDs. And then when the SS officer turned to Dr. Gerson, he didn’t immediately ask him for his ID. He asked him where he was going. And so Dr. Gerson told him he was on his way to Vienna, Austria to give a lecture because he was curing advanced tuberculosis.

Now, if you’re the SS officer, you’re like, yeah, whatever. Come on, you’re carrying tuberculosis. And so Dr. Gerson threw up two x-rays in the window and he showed the SS officer a before and an after x-ray of a TB patient that he cured. The SS officer was so shocked he forgot to ask her son for his ID and he led him off to Vienna, Austria. And as soon as he finished in Vienna, Austria, he immediately made his way back home, immediately packed up his family, Charlotte Gerson included who was probably only eight or nine years old at that point, and he fled to France.

When Hitler invaded France, Gerson fled to Manhattan and he set up practice on Park Avenue. Literally, I kid you not, a hundred feet around the corner from Memorial Sloan Kettering, the largest cancer research hospital, arguably, in the United States if not the world and he began to practice in Manhattan literally right around the corner from Memorial Sloan Kettering on Park Avenue. This is when it became known that he could cure advanced cancer and the story goes like this.

So a woman in New Jersey, I believe, was suffering from advanced gallbladder, stomach, and liver cancer, all three. Yeah, all three, and she had heard that Dr. Gerson was practicing in Manhattan. She approached him and begged him for his tuberculosis treatment for her cancer and he refused her. Now this is back in the early to mid-30s maybe and he refused to treat her. Now, why would Dr. Gerson refuse to treat her even back then? Because even back then as a medical doctor, under your licensure to treat cancer with anything other than the standard accepted forms of conventional treatment at that time risked losing your license, risking ridicule, ostracization from your colleagues, and so he refused to treat her. She kept coming back and she would not take no for an answer.

Finally, he said to her, all right, I’m going to treat you in secret, and he ended up treating her. Lo and behold, he completely reversed every single one of her cancers. It was at that point that he said, I can no longer turn my [inaudible 00:25:39] away from this deadly scourge of cancer. He dedicated the rest of his entire life to treating cancer patients at the risk of everything that he would suffer from that point on, and let me tell you, did he suffer?

He was completely ostracized and ridiculed by his medical colleagues. They took away his licensure at some point. They took away his membership from the New York State Medical Society. Up until that point, Gerson was one of the most published doctors in the world. He had a litany of publications in major medical journals around the world on his treatment protocols. And from that point on, he became a marked man and became prohibited from publishing in all major medical journals around the world. They destroyed him.


[00:26:37] Ashley James: How many cases of cancer did he cure in the United States before they did that before they took his medical license away?


[00:26:47] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, that’s a good question. I don’t really know, but he was able to get his license back. They briefly took it away. What they ended up permanently taking away was his membership from the New York State Medical Society. But between 1910 and 1959 when he died, he probably literally cured thousands of patients in that timeframe. From 1930 when he arrived in the United States to 1959, you’re probably looking at 5,000 to 10,000 during that time frame, I would imagine. He was a marked man from day one.

Let’s say he cured that woman somewhere around the mid-30s, 10 years later in 1946, word’s out that Dr. Gerson, this guy in Manhattan, is reversing advanced cancer. Well, in 1946, the Pepper Neely Anti-cancer Bill came to the floor of the United States Senate. It’s designed to appropriate $100 million in funding to anyone who can show promise in the realm of cancer research.

Well, they invited Dr. Gerson to testify July 1st through the 3rd, 1946 and he brought five of his most terminal cancer patients that he ever had and all five walked through the Senate chambers door and testified on his behalf. So shocked were everybody in those chambers that Senator Claude Pepper himself, who to this day remains the longest-serving senator and congressman in American history. He said Dr. Gerson dedicated his life to the mastery of this scourge of cancer and all should honor his great work.

So why haven’t you heard of him? Why isn’t his protocol standard among medical care? Well that day, Gerson was to give an interview to the international press after he gave his testimony. So they whisked him away to the international press room where he sat alone in a room for over an hour and a half. They never showed up.

They were whisked away to another room and an impromptu party was thrown on their behalf. They were not allowed to interview Dr. Gerson. Why? Gerson wasn’t only talking about being able to reverse the dance cancer during his testimony. He was asked why is cancer growing at such a rapid rate? What are the causes of cancer? And he exposed every single industry that are the huge lobbying organizations paying the politicians’ campaigns.

As soon as he started talking in those Senate chambers, red flags went up through all of Washington, and that man, Dr. Gerson, was prohibited from being interviewed any further by the international press. However, present at his testimony was a man by the name of Raymond Gram Swing. Now, who’s Raymond Gram Swing? Well, back then, if you wanted to listen to your news every night, you didn’t have a TV, you had a radio. You had the option every night at 7:00 PM Eastern to listen to ABC, NBC, or CBS radio. Each one had their own nightly anchor like we had Tom Brokaw growing up, right? Well, they had Edwin Murrow, the famous Edwin Murrow was the anchor for CBS. I’m not sure who the anchor was for NBC, but the anchor for ABC News Radio was Raymond Gram Swing, and he’d been working for ABC News Radio at that point for 33 years.

Well, he was present at all of Gerson’s testimonies and he went on his program one night and he said to the entire country, and probably the world parts of the world were probably listening as well. He said to the entire country that night, folks, forgive me if I don’t have my morals correct in talking about these top stories. The Truman Anti-Racketeering Bill had been signed. Something regarding Trieste and Italy and World War II has been agreed upon. Those would have been major stories for the entire night. He spent an entire 30 to 45 minutes talking about how the cure for cancer had been found. He spent the entire time talking about Dr. Gerson and his therapy.

Well, right after that, for nine hours straight at the ABC News switchboard in Manhattan, it lit up for nine hours straight from people all over the world calling, begging to find out where do we find this cure for cancer. Two weeks later, Raymond Gram Swing was fired from his job at ABC News Radio.

This is what we dealt with then. This is what we deal with today. If you are an editor of any major media outlet, your sole fiscal responsibility is to promote the financial interests of your organization. It has nothing to do with giving your eye the truth, and that is why any editor would be out on their butt on the street if they were to ever reveal something of this nature, then and now. That is essentially the history of the Gerson Therapy and what Dr. Gerson suffered up until his death in 1959.


[00:32:44] Ashley James: Did he always practice in the United States? I know that there’s the Gerson Clinic in Mexico. Did he open that or was it his children that opened that?


[00:32:55] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s right. So up until then, there were no laws prohibiting him from opening a clinic in the United States and treating people with that. The only thing would have been his license at risk, and all the other ridicule and the ostracization, which he went through wholeheartedly. It wasn’t until later when Nixon declared the war on cancer in 1971 and the pharmaceutical industry started to gain a tremendous amount of power in the realm of treating cancer that then they made it illegal.

So like right now in the United States, it is literally illegal to treat cancer with anything other than chemo, radiation, and surgery, that is the law. If you want to treat people with Gerson Therapy, you cannot do it in the United States. You have to be outside the states. In 1977, 18 years after Dr. Gerson died, the therapy actually died with him. Nobody did it for 18 years until someone offered Charlotte Gerson in 1977 all the money necessary to open up the first Gerson Clinic, which was opened up in Tijuana Mexico, and she became the face of the Gerson Therapy, essentially up until the day she retired and obviously until the day she died.

It was in 1977 it was opened in Mexico, and that’s what remains to this day.


[00:34:28] Ashley James: Now, is that your clinic or you have a different clinic?


[00:34:33] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yes, I have a different clinic and there are reasons for that, right? So the Gerson Institute which Charlotte originally opened and she retired from over 10 years ago, if you go to a clinic like that, you only get the Gerson Therapy as Dr. Gerson left it in 1959. That was probably the biggest tragedy that Charlotte Gerson left in her legacy. She never tried to improve on her father’s therapy. Her father was the consummate scientist. He was constantly changing and perfecting his therapy based on what was coming out in the scientific literature.

So if he were alive today, his therapy, while the dietary portions may look quite similar, a lot of the things that have been revealed to us since 1959 in the scientific literature is proving beneficial to the cancer patients, there’s a myriad of things that have come out. Charlotte stopped the therapy dead in its tracks from 1959. Why she did that I have my own ideas. I think having been the longest living Gerson survivor up until her death, she was the longest living Gerson survivor because her father cured her of tuberculosis at the age of 12. I mean, it almost brings tears to my eyes to even say that. You can imagine how endeared she was to her father.

I think that emotional psychological attachment made it really hard for her to change what her father left behind when he himself would have completely gone to work with the scientific literature, and that is where we are different from what remains of the Gerson Institutes Clinic.

We have taken Dr. Gerson Therapy, kept the basic foundational protocol he left for us, and we’ve added proven scientific therapies beneficial to the cancer patient and other degenerative disease patients. Nothing we do at our clinic is not in the scientific literature plain and simple, and so that is the difference between us and them.


[00:36:50] Ashley James: So you’re just taking Gerson Therapy and then turbocharging it?

[00:36:58] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That is exactly right.

[00:37:02] Ashley James: What comes to mind is Dr. Michael Haley, one of our mutual friends. He was on my show talking about how there’s a new study around aloe and consuming aloe blocks cancer. So the cancer thinks it’s food because cancer loves glucose, love sugar. The aloe looks like sugar to it, but it can’t digest it and eat it. So it binds to it kind of like it stuffs its mouth. It stuffs the cancer’s mouth but then the cancer can’t swallow it. And so then, it starves it because now the actual food can’t get in. When he explained that I was mind blown.

[00:37:54] Dr. Patrick Vickers: And so that’s how I know Michael, right? Well, of course, we use Michael’s Aloe. Our patients get one ounce of that aloe in every single juice they get throughout the day in 13 juices. That’s not the most powerful healing component of Michael’s aloe. When you realize that cancer and any disease is related to gut health, you have to restore the gut. There’s not a more potent healer of connective tissue and gut tissue than the aloe, Dr. Haley’s raw aloe. You can’t buy aloe off the store shelf, it’s toxic. It’s been deodorized, it’s been depolarized, it’s had preservatives added to it. It’s toxic and dead.

Dr. Mike Haley’s aloe is living, live, fresh aloe, and so that healing power, and there’s a myriad of things that aloe does apart from what you and I have just discussed, but those are the two major healing properties. So this is what I mean. We’ve taken Dr. Gerson’s therapy and we’ve added these things to enhance exactly what Dr. Gerson would have probably done had he had access to this information.

[00:39:15] Ashley James: Right. Yes. I love it. Okay. Now we know about Dr. Gerson. He discovered the system of how to reverse many diseases because first of all, he went to reverse his migraines and he did. Then one of his migraine patients was like, hey, by the way, my TB’s gone. He’s like, wait a second, I wasn’t treating you for that. He’s like, I thought this just got rid of migraines. So it gets rid of TB, that’s crazy because that’s like the Black Plague of the day, right? And then he’s like, well, this must affect the immune system, what else can we treat with this?

Then he goes on to cancer, like you said. He helped Albert Schweitzer reverse his diabetes. He was trying to figure out why this diet can reverse diabetes, cancer, and migraines? So let’s talk about that. If you go to an allopathic doctor, and we didn’t talk about you. We haven’t even talked about you yet and your background, but you don’t come from the standard allopathic medical school. But if you go to a standard—and again, I could get on my soapbox and start ranting about the allopathic medical system.


[00:40:45] Dr. Patrick Vickers: I won’t stop you. Go ahead.


[00:40:48] Ashley James: Individuals who go to medical school aren’t inherently evil. I’m sure some of them might be statistically, but inherently, they want to do good, right? The problem is they’ve been indoctrinated—through their medical schools—into a system that for 150 years has been designed to brainwash the doctors into thinking their form of medicine is the only form of medicine, and everything else is “alternative”. This is a quote from one of my old Naturopathic mentors. That’s like saying, a golden retriever is the only kind of dog and every other dog is an alternative dog, all right.

I mean, it’s ludicrous to think that drug, chemical-based, pharmaceutical medicine is the only kind of medicine that’s standard, and everything else is some back of the bus quackery, when in fact, we’ve been using holistic medicine, was the traditional form of medicine was the standard, and it was allopathic drug-based medicine that came in and tried to do through wonderful marketing the last 100 years, PR, and lobbying has brainwashed the public.

Hollywood also played a role in brainwashing everyone to believe within three generations that you wait to get sick, then you go to your doctor, and you get put on drugs. You wait to get sick, you go to your doctor, you get put on drugs like we’re cattle. Except they treat cattle better because they’ve tried to prevent illness in cattle because it would cost the farmer too much money.

If you waited for a cow to get sick and then they’d have a $2,000 medical bill, that would make your hamburger be $50 instead of $5, right? So they try to keep costs down by preventing disease in the farms. This comes from one of my other Naturopathic mentors, Dr. Joel Wallach, who talks about how—oh, you know Dr. Wallach.

When I was 12 years old—I have a distinct memory—I’m sitting in the back of my mom’s car and she’s driving around. I’m super bored, it’s a Saturday, and she has to run errands. I’m just sitting in the back of the car bored. My mom pops in because we’re like, okay, well, you’re bored. Let me pop in this tape. Bootlegged health lecture from Dr. Joel Wallach called Dead Doctors Don’t Lie and I was on the edge of my seat. My mom was really crunchy and really into holistic medicine, so she’d read me the journals and stuff that our Naturopath would give us for bedtime reading. She never read me like nighttime stories, but she opened up the newsletter or the articles that her Naturopath would write and she’d read them to me. I learned about antioxidants when I was like nine. I’m like, this is fascinating.

Anyway, my entire life has changed. I listened to Dr. Wallach and I realized the system is broken. I’m 12 years old. I’m getting it like it’s hitting me. Why is this so important? We have to shift our perspective because we’ve been taught that there’s a specialist for your eyes. There’s a specialist for your liver. There’s a specialist for your skin, right? Even if you go to the Mayo Clinic, which I’ve heard several people say, they felt very disenfranchised because they thought it would be this—now I’m sure people have good experiences there too. I’m not saying that no one’s going to have a good experience with these kinds of clinics, but what I am saying is that they still felt like there wasn’t enough communication between the liver specialist, the colon specialist, and the nose, throat, and ear specialist. Whatever they were doing, it still felt like they were being taken apart and only looked at their parts.

I have a listener whose mom has kidney problems and heart problems. The kidney doctor gave her a diet that will cause her to die from heart disease. The heart doctor gave her a diet that will cause her to die from kidney failure. She was so baffled. She was like, why aren’t my doctors talking to each other? They’ve both given me diets that will kill me. She finally got them to talk, they argued a lot, and they both could not figure out what kind of diet to put her on because they don’t know about Gerson Therapy. But the point is, we’re not being looked at as a whole, right?

So from the standpoint of our own training, because we have all been trained through the media to have a certain perspective, that’s why we need to examine our own belief system, and really learn the history of modern medicine so we really get that we’ve been constantly being bombarded by a narrative that is swaying our belief system towards what they want us to think. We need to come back to the truth. The body has an innate ability to heal itself. We have to give it what the body needs.

From an MD medical standpoint, it does not make sense that a protocol, you can’t give a drug to someone that’s going to cure migraines, tuberculosis, cancer, and diabetes in one drug, one protocol.


[00:46:37] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s right, but you can sure make a lot of money coming up with a protocol for each, can’t you?

[00:46:43] Ashley James: Right. By the way, you wouldn’t be curing any of them. You would be managing the disease. Oh, Metformin. I’m so livid that doctors still prescribe this. Go read the side effects of Metformin. One of the side effects can be that it causes blood sugar imbalance. This drives me nuts. It also put my friend at a hospital for a year, and the doctors never took her off Metformin. I was the one that pointed out to her, one of the causes can be acute pancreatitis. She was in the hospital for a year with acute pancreatitis, and the doctors never took her off of it. She was just on it because she’s at the age where you just want to prevent—

Excuse me, that’s not how you prevent diabetes by giving people drugs before they’re even remotely diabetic, but doctors are still doing it. They’re off-label prescribing all the time. Seventy percent of the adult population of the United States is on at least one prescription medication, which means 70% of the adult population, not only is it completely indoctrinated in the system, but also is so sick and so unhealthy that they’re using drugs to manage the symptoms. Most drugs don’t cure, we have to remember that. There are only a few handful of drugs that really helped to reverse the disease. Most drugs out there do not cure, they do more harm than good, and they just manage symptoms. My thing is we have to start questioning everything so that we can undo the brainwashing.

Could you please tell me, Dr. Vickers, why is it that Gerson Therapy, what did he discover about his protocol, and why is it that it can reverse all those different diseases that seemingly are not related?


[00:48:39] Dr. Patrick Vickers: And they all are related. That’s a great question. The question is, what’s the secret to the Gerson Therapy? Eight movies have chronicled this man’s work, no other therapy can boast even more than one or two max, but eight have chronicled5 Dr. Gerson’s work, which is why Schweitzer calling the greatest genius in medical history. And if you ever read Dr. Gerson’s book that he published a year before he died, that’s called A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Case, if you ever read that, you can see the absolute work of a genius. But in that genius, it is so ridiculously simple because the secret to reversing advanced disease, which is the secret to preventing cancer and degenerative disease I literally learned in biochemistry 101.

Everything that you read in that book is biochemistry 101 ultimately, and when you read it, when you read that book, there’s one word that he talks about over and over and over again, which is the secret of health and disease and what is that one word? Metabolism. We learned metabolism the first three weeks of biochemistry 101 in chiropractic school. Let’s start there because that is the crux of the matter. What is metabolism? Metabolism, by definition, is the breakdown of food into energy. Okay, that’s it. If there’s anything that we’re going to grasp, its metabolism, the breakdown of food into energy.

When you see someone who’s sick and dying, what do you notice? They’re lethargic. Why are they lethargic? Because they’ve lost the capacity to produce energy on a cellular level, and the immune system requires massive amounts of energy on a daily basis just to maintain health, let alone cure a sick and dying body. Metabolism again is the breakdown of food into energy. Every sick patient has lost that capacity. So is it any wonder, where are we taught? What are we taught? That 70% of our immune system is where?


[00:51:20] Ashley James: Our gut?

[00:51:20] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Exactly. Seventy percent of our immune system is in our gut. Well, part of the breakdown of food into energy begins in the gut. By definition, metabolism, the breakdown of food into energy starts in the gut. Every single sick human being has a deranged gut, so you must heal that. Now, where’s the other 30% of the immune system? Well, once the gut breaks down the food, you must now be able to convert it into energy. So the gut absorbs everything you need for that into the bloodstream, and now cells must convert that into energy. That’s where we also have destroyed everything from the day we were born.

Once the body breaks the food down, it now must convert it into energy. How does it do that? Well, inside your cells, you have this little thing called mitochondria. Mitochondria take sugar and in the presence of oxygen—and this is so absolutely vitally important, this is the other crux of the matter other than the gut. The mitochondria—only in the presence of oxygen—will convert sugar into energy. Only in the presence of oxygen. If oxygen is not present, then sugar will get converted by the mitochondria into lactic acid. We also know that as what? Fermentation, right? That’s how you make wine, that’s how you make beer, that’s how you make kombucha. You cut off oxygen so that the sugars get converted into alcohol and/or lactic acid ultimately.

Once you heal the gut, now the gut can properly absorb the nutrients, you now have to be able to convert those nutrients into energy, which requires oxygen. In 1931, Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in medicine for proving that cancer viruses and bacteria can not survive in a body where the cells are properly oxygenated. He went on to completely write this thesis and win the Nobel Prize on the fact that the primary factor in the body’s ability to oxygenate the cell is an alkaline diet.

[00:54:19] Ashley James: Why? Do you understand why? Can you explain why?

[00:54:24] Dr. Patrick Vickers: I can’t exactly explain why and it is so simple. Now, we’ve already discussed the gut, now we have to address the cell. I told you, inside the cell, you have little things called mitochondria that convert sugar into energy in the presence of oxygen. Now, what’s around that cell? Around our cells, we have a cell membrane. That cell membrane is the gatekeeper. It determines what can go in, what has to go in, what can’t go in, and it determines what must come out and what can’t leave the cell. That’s all determined at the level of the cell membrane.

What is that cell membrane made up of? It’s made up of fats. It is a phospholipid. Lipid means fat, right? Okay, so that cell membrane’s made up of phospholipids, but what fats are that cell membrane made up of?

[00:55:30] Ashley James: Cholesterol?


[00:55:31] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Whatever fats you’re feeding it. Whatever fats you’re feeding your body, your body’s going to naturally use that to maintain the cell membranes. Well, what kind of fats is everyone eating today? Cookies, cake, ice cream.

[00:55:54] Ashley James: Polyunsaturated, fatty acids.


[00:55:56] Dr. Patrick Vickers: No, on the contrary. Well, I mean, in some of the cooking oils and stuff, right? But most people are being bombarded with saturated fats. Cookies, cake, ice cream, dairy, milk, ice cream, pizza, pasta, meat. All of these things are loaded with saturated fats, and this is what’s going to make up these cell membranes. Now, why is this significant? We’re going to get to the issue of alkalinity here and acidity. How many times have you heard alkalinity promotes health, acidity promotes disease, right? Yeah, how many times have we heard that, but it’s never really explained on a cellular level what are the health implications of that very statement. Alkalinity and alkaline diet promotes health and acidic diet promotes disease, what does that mean?

So today, our cell membranes are made up of saturated fats. When we are talking about saturated fats, what does that mean? What are saturated fats? Saturated with? Saturated fats are saturated with hydrogen. This is very important to understand, they’re saturated with hydrogen. Your fats are carbon chains and the definition of that fat will be dependent on how much those carbon chains are saturated with hydrogen. When we’re talking about alkalinity and acidity, what are we talking about? We’re talking about pH, right? Alkalinity and acidity, when we’re talking about those two terms, we’re talking about pH. What does pH stand for? Its potential hydrogen. That’s it. PH is potential hydrogen.

Do you know what the definition of acidity is? The true scientific definition of acidity.


[00:58:26] Ashley James: How much hydrogen is present?

[00:58:29] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That is exactly right. The buildup of hydrogen in the body, particularly at the level of the cell membrane. Why is this significant? That cell membrane, the way it determines what gets in, what gets out is based on the electrical charge at the level of the membrane, and that electrical charge is dependent on the type of fats at the level of the cell membrane.

So if your body is bombarded with saturated fats like when you read a label as well, partially hydrogenated oil, right? Have you ever read a label and it says partially hydrogenated oils? Companies have learned that you can bubble hydrogen into their products, and when you do so, you stabilize it. When you can stabilize it, you can store it on the shelves until Christ returns. That’s what they do with these products, but then there’s naturally saturated fats, all the things that I mentioned previously.

What’s happened is when you saturate something, you completely stabilize it and change its electrical. potential. and charge. When oxygen goes and approaches that cell, that charge literally cannot accept it and it repels it away. When you are acidic, you cannot get oxygen into the cells. So again, acidity, by definition, is the buildup of hydrogen in the body, particularly at the level of the cell membrane. By definition, acidity is the improper utilization of oxygen.

This is exactly what Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in 1931 on by demonstrating these very principles, which I’m not going to go into it or maybe later I can, but by the way, Gerson was already demonstrating this very principle for 20 years with his dietary therapy. He already knew and understood this. Where did he graduate from? The University of Freiburg. Where did Warburg win his Nobel Prize? At the University of Freiburg.

My personal opinion is he won the Nobel Prize riding on Dr. Gerson’s back. He was a researcher, Gerson was a clinician. He knew Dr. Gerson no ifs, ands, or buts about it. He won the Nobel Prize based on that very principle. When we’re talking about alkalinity and acidity, we’re talking about pH. When those cell membranes are loaded with hydrogen in the form of saturated fats, you cannot oxygenate tissues and you will cause disease in the body because cells then go into a state of fermentation.

What are we talking about cancer? It’s a fungal fermentative organism. When it’s exposed to oxygen, it cannot survive. The way you restore oxygen to the body, to the cell is through massive amounts of nutrients in the form of glucose. Glucose sugar does not cause cancer and feed cancer. It actually heals cancer. How often have you heard sugar feeds cancer? It doesn’t. Sugar heals cancer. If sugar fed cancer, Ashley, we would be sending patients to their graves exponentially quicker than they’re trying to get not to there because our patients are getting 3500 to 4000 calories a day in sugar in the form of fresh-pressed juices daily.

It’s sugar in the presence of oxygen that gets converted into energy that rallies the immune system so that the immune system can destroy the disease. Sugar, hypothetically and theoretically, would feed cancer in an acidic body because you can’t convert that sugar into energy, it would get broken down into lactic acid fermentation, and that would continue to feed the disease.

However, sugar in an alkaline body, an alkaline diet as is the Gerson Therapy, is what cures the human body of all diseases because you now reestablish the body’s ability to oxygenate tissues. How do you do that? First, you have to change the fats at the level of the cell membrane. Gerson tried every oil available to him and the only oil that did not cause cancer to worsen was flax oil. Why? What is flax oil? Flax oil is a complete polyunsaturated fatty acid. Let me give you an example.

If I put flax oil, coconut oil, and olive oil in the freezer, and I put them overnight, I take them out, It’s going to take me about five, six hours for me to get two to three tablespoons of coconut oil out of that jar because coconut oil is so highly saturated, it’s so stable that when it freezes, it takes so long to unfreeze to thaw.

If I put olive oil in there, within two to three hours, I can probably get a few tablespoons. Why? Because olive oil is a monosaturated fat, meaning some of its carbon bonds are saturated with hydrogen, some aren’t, so it’s rather neutral.

Flax oil, when I put that flax oil on the freezer and I take it out, it is frozen solid. In five minutes it is completely liquid. Why? Because it has no hydrogen saturating its bonds. When you take flax oil internally and it goes to start restoring the cell membranes, the charge of flax oil literally acts as a magnet to draw oxygen into the cell. It literally sucks it into the cell. This is powerful medicine. This is how you restore metabolism. You have to restore metabolism to restore health.

Is it any wonder when we’re watching the news, reading newspapers, reading magazines, and we’re reading about cancer, what is one of the precipitating factors of you getting cancer? Obesity. How many times have you heard the obesity cancer link? It’s because of metabolism. When you’re obese, obviously your metabolism has become faulty. You restore metabolism, you restore health. It starts at the gut, then you must repair the cell. You must repair the cell membrane with the fats. Then the other thing you’ve got to do, you have to get all the other hydrogen running around the body out of the body and neutralize it. How do you do that? There’s only one way—an alkaline diet. Let me explain.

When you juice, and the Gerson patients are getting 17 pounds of fruits and vegetables every single day in the form of juices. Do you know if you test that juice with litmus paper before you drink it, it tests acidic? But when you drink it, it gets broken down into potassium hydroxide. Now potassium hydroxide is so highly alkaline now how do you write potassium hydroxide chemically? The way you write a hydroxyl molecule chemically is OH-. How do you write the acidic hydrogen molecule? H+. So you have all these H+ molecules running around the body. You need OH- molecules to neutralize those H+ molecules. There’s only one way to do that. There is no other way, it’s juicing.


[01:08:17] Ashley James: Does that become water?


[01:08:18] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Exactly.


[01:08:21] Ashley James: You get OH- plus a hydrogen is H20.


[01:08:26] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Is H2O. So all of a sudden, you start bombarding the body with these massive amounts of juices, which you’re creating OH- ions. They immediately start acting and interacting with the positive ions, go through the reaction, and the reaction creates H2O. H2O water is a neutral charge and all of a sudden, oxygen can begin to flow again in the body. And all of a sudden, all these sugars that you’re taking in can now get converted into energy.

So you’ve now repaired the gut, which you can only do with food and juices. You’ve now neutralized the acidity, which there’s only one way to do it, which is food. And now, there’s one more thing you’ve got to do. We have to destroy the mitochondria’s ability to function inside the cell. How have we done that? Salt.

Rule number one on the Gerson Therapy, absolutely no sodium other than what occurs in fruits and vegetables naturally. Why? There are two reasons why. When you eat salt and it doesn’t matter if it’s table salt, Celtic Salt, Himalayan Salt, salt is salt is salt. When you eat salt, you cause cellular edema. Salt and water enter the cell and they swell the cell up. My patients and the companions, they will all lose 7 to 15 pounds on a two to three-week stay when they come to our clinic just from the salt and water that they’re storing and stuck inside their cells because the only way you can get that salt out once it’s in there, that salt and water, is through potassium. The only way you get potassium is through raw fruits and vegetables or fruits and vegetables. There is no other way, other than possibly supplementation, right? But dietarily, the only way you can get salt and water out of the cell is through potassium. And who’s eating enough fruits and vegetables to get salt and water on their cells today? Hardly anyone, that’s the reality.

Rule number one on the Gerson Therapy is no salt, bombard the body with potassium not in the diet only but Dr. Gerson created a special potassium powder that the patient gets in all their juices. That just forces the excess salt and water out of the cells. The other reason why salt is so destructive to the human body is your thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland is specifically responsible—this is really important to understand—reproducing the mitochondria. The thyroid gland makes the mitochondria, the very things you need to convert sugar into energy.

So is it any wonder when someone’s overweight, they’re cold all the time. They have no energy. Their hair’s falling out. What do we say? They’re hypothyroid. The body’s not producing the amount of mitochondria necessary to convert food into energy.

Well, what’s the thyroid completely dependent on? It’s completely dependent on iodine? What is salt? Salt is sodium chloride. Chloride displaces iodine from the thyroid gland. That’s why when they came out with table salt, which is 99.999% sodium chloride, what happened? Everybody started getting goiter walking around looking like turkeys because they were getting goiter. So what did they do? They iodized it right? Just to the point so you don’t get goiter.

Take Celtic Salt, Himalayan salt, it’s 86 to 87% sodium chloride. You need very, very little salt on a daily basis to maintain optimal health, less than a quarter of a teaspoon. We are consuming exponentially more than that, and we’re just growing the mitochondrial ability to convert food into energy.

So it is all these principles from the gut, to the cell membrane, to the neutralization of hydrogen, and the restoration of the mitochondrial function inside the cell that makes up our metabolism, the breakdown of food into energy, which is the secret to the Gerson Therapy. Dr. Gerson talks about this extensively. All of these things I’ve just spoken about, he talks about them extensively in his book. It’s why Warburg won the Nobel Prize. This is how you must address all diseases. It makes sense, doesn’t it?


[01:14:21] Ashley James: My mind is spinning. I mean, I have so many questions.

[01:14:26] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Go ahead.

[01:14:28] Ashley James: So when you said the thyroid gland makes mitochondria, can you please clarify? Does that make the mitochondria for the whole body, or is it the thyroid’s making mitochondria for the thyroid gland?


[01:14:43] Dr. Patrick Vickers: No, that’s its job. Its job is mitochondrial production. It is responsible for replicating, reproducing mitochondria for the cells.

[01:14:51] Ashley James: All the cells, the whole body?


[01:14:53] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yeah, that’s its job. It is responsible for mitochondrial production.


[01:14:59] Ashley James: I did not expect to learn that today. That is kind of mind-blowing and I really want to go down that rabbit hole. Your thyroid gland needs to be optimally functioning so that your mitochondria can replicate in a healthy manner. The thyroid, does it talk to the mitochondria throughout the lifecycle of the cell, or is it simply responsible for making sure the mitochondria get produced?


[01:15:26] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s a great question. I can’t answer that, to be perfectly honest with you.


[01:15:35] Ashley James: Regardless, we understand that the thyroid hormone is important in the metabolism, which we’re talking about, right? So we got to like a little bit of a big picture, thyroid is really important. The potassium powder in the juices that you make helps the body. Now, we have to be careful. I’m sure this is why people who are on medications, right? Like people who know they’re really, really off-kilter, they should be under a Gerson-trained physician like yourself, they should come to your clinic because you can’t just take potassium nilly willy. If you’re already sick, you could cause heart issues, muscle issues, or whatever. We can’t just take potassium powder nilly willy, right? We have to make sure we’re doing it correctly.


[01:16:27] Dr. Patrick Vickers: This is definitely correct. That is correct. So someone who has heart problems, kidney problems, you obviously have to be careful with the amount of potassium levels that they get, right? But I’m going to tell you something. What we’re taught in chiropractic school is the same thing they’re taught in medical school—too much potassium could throw the heart into AFib, A fibrillation.

Ironically and clinically, that always isn’t necessarily the case. So this potassium powder has to get diluted in 32 ounces of water and then dissolved into solution. Then it’s that solution that goes into the patient’s juices. We have had patients go home, not dilute the potassium, and put three tablespoons or three teaspoons of that powder into each juice. If you told the medical doctor that they would absolutely freak out because that patient would immediately go into AFib.

Well, we’ve had countless patients do that for decades because they didn’t listen and they just call us up complaining that their stomach hurts, that it burns, and that they’re peeing like a racehorse. That’s it because they’re just dumping so much sodium and water, right? It’s amazing some of the things we learn hypothetically and theoretically and what ends up happening in clinical practice, right? However, with that said, people on meds, people with heart problems, people with kidney problems, you don’t screw around with potassium regardless. You do have to clarify that, but anyway, yeah.


[01:18:06] Ashley James: So salt, which is in everything, right?


[01:18:12] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Everything.


[01:18:13] Ashley James: Any packaged food, it’s hard to find a packaged food that doesn’t contain fats that are harmful that have hydrogen in it and salt. I try to buy healthy snacks for my son because I mean, there’s only so much fruit he will eat. I swear, I will feed him three bananas a day and four oranges and five apples, it just gets to the point where like in between meals—because I don’t know if you know about kids, but kids have two stomachs. They have a stomach the size of a pea and that’s for meals like mealtime, and then they have a stomach that is the size of the moon and that’s for snacks. My son, when it comes to eating meals, it’s like I’m not hungry. He takes one bite. I’m full now. But then it’s like five minutes later hunger, hunger, hunger. I just have to always have snacks with me.

So sometimes I need packaged or like shelf-stable food because we’re busy and I have a really hard time finding things that don’t have any hydrogenated fat and it just drives me up the wall. And then, of course, tons of salt. So we really need to become food detectives if we’re going to eat something from a package. I really like a whole food plant-based diet simply because it’s really easy. There’s broccoli, I eat it, like one ingredient foods. There’s spinach, I eat it. There’s brown rice, I eat it. There’s potato, I eat it. It’s very simple. One ingredient, no reading, my husband loves that. It drives him up the wall, anytime I touch a package in a grocery store you bet I’m flipping it over to read the ingredients.


[01:19:56] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Me too. Me too, Ashley.


[01:19:58] Ashley James: And then he goes, ugh. My husband’s just like, no. But he just stands there but then he’s just like, come on. Every grocery trip is 90 minutes. And now when I buy groceries online, then I could sit there for hours and read ingredients, right? But yeah. You and I could go grocery shopping, make a day of it, and read labels. It would probably be like, oh, look at this one, this is crazy. We should do that, it’d be fun.


[01:20:30] Dr. Patrick Vickers: It’s true, Ashley. Our stores today, even our health food stores, they’re so deceptive. It’s so deceptive.


[01:20:40] Ashley James: Yeah, you can’t really call them health food stores anymore since the ’80s. Not that I get off-topic in my interviews, but some listeners are like, why don’t you just ask questions? And I’m like, it’s conversational, we’re going back and forth. I love having conversations. We have to understand the history, the last hundred years, study, really understand the history of our food system and really understand the history of our modern medical system.

If you understand big pharma, big agra, and big food, if you could just take those three and really study the history of it, you will make such better choices for yourself because you will understand what is going into your body and it’s so sad that we have to do this. But back in the ’80s, and I had a great interview with Joan Ifland, who is a Ph.D. in basically food and addiction. She’s the one that made it into the DSM-IV, which I think it’s DSM-5 now. She made it into the DSM-IV processed food addiction understanding.

She talked about that back in the ’80s when the cigarette companies realized that tobacco companies were like, hey, we’re probably going out of style starting in the ’80s and they needed to do something about it because the word was out, tobacco causes cancer. They could only keep the lid on that for so long. And then they’re like, well, you know what, we’re in the business of addiction. We’re not in the business of tobacco. We need to continue being an addiction business.

So they started to buy up every single processed food company like Kraft and all these major food companies. Basically, if you go to this grocery store and you randomly put your hand out and touch a package, it’s probably owned by a tobacco company. The food made in that package was actually formulated by food scientists who are designed to figure out the exact amount of fat, sugar, and salt to cause a dopamine response similar to getting your fix of meth, heroin, or whatever, right? They really dialed in the exact chemicals and even in the healthy foods because Kashi was bought by one of those companies. So all these “healthy food companies”, once they get big enough they get bought out, and then they just get slightly changed so that there’s just enough salt in it to make you crave it and make you need that dopamine high from your food.

We have to get that this is an addiction. It’s like if you take a child and they were born from a mother who was on heroin, that baby was born but it’s not their fault they’re addicted to heroin, right? Everyone listening, unless you’re like no packaged food whatsoever, everyone who eats packaged food or any kind of processed food, you are like a baby born from addiction. This was given to you as a child, the cereal, and you didn’t know it. Unknowingly, they triggered the four chemicals in your brain that cause addiction.

So when you go to make these health changes that Dr. Vickers is explaining today, know that there’s going to be a transition where your brain starts screaming, give me the salt, give me the salt. That’s because salt, sugar, and fat, which is outlined in my episode 230 with Dr. Goldhamer. He wrote the book called The Pleasure Trap, a great book. It explains that salt, sugar, and fat are used in the food system to override your brain. So it’s kind of like quitting cigarettes, right? You can do it. People can do it. People do it all the time. You have to be intentional.

When you’re going to cut salt out of your diet, you have to know that it’s like quitting cigarettes. You can do it, but you have to be ready for the cravings, and it’s temporary. The cravings are temporary. You’re saying the number one rule is cutting out salt, which obviously, there’s a transition period. It takes about a month, I’ve heard from Dr. Goldhamer. He says it takes about a month for people to become neuro-adapted so that they start tasting food.


[01:25:24] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s amazing. That is exactly right. That’s the experience of our patients at the clinic. You have receptors on your tongue, right? You have receptors on your tongue for salt, sweet, sour, and bitter. Your receptors have become so dull that they can no longer taste the natural sodium in fruits and vegetables. When patients come to our clinic, the first week or two, they absolutely hate the food. Even though the food is absolutely delicious, they hate it. But right around the end of their second week, third week, they start raving about the food because they have neuro-adapted those receptors. They’ve cleansed those receptors to now where they can actually start to taste what real food is supposed to taste like. That man, that’s brilliant because that’s exactly our experience.


[01:26:23] Ashley James: The Gerson diet—just to recap what you said in the big picture—is making your cells so healthy again, because the salt is swelling them and not letting oxygen in. If you don’t let oxygen into the cell, then the mitochondria is going to ferment your food in because there’s not enough oxygen and it needs the oxygen and the sugar, but if there’s a lack of oxygen, it’s anaerobic, so it causes fermentation, it increases lactic acid, and then you feel sluggish and slow, you get stiff, and you get achy. People go like, I have arthritis or I kind of feel achy. It feels very gross. It feels like your muscle’s flu-like symptoms. Sometimes you have too much lactic acid.

You’re kind of achy, you’re really slow, you’re tired, you’re sluggish, you’ve got brain fog, and you just feel like poop, right? Unfortunately, when people feel like that, they go towards the foods that will mask it.


[01:27:23] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Quick fix.


[01:27:24] Ashley James: The quick fixes, right? Like sugar, coffee, and fast food, something that’ll just kind of get them through the day, unfortunately. Coffee doesn’t give us energy. It suppresses the nervous system experiencing tiredness. It’s just like if you had a headache, you took Advil, it doesn’t make the headache go away. It just makes the experience get numbed. So coffee doesn’t give us energy. It just tricks you into thinking you’re not as tired as you actually are.


[01:27:53] Dr. Patrick Vickers: It’s ultimately stimulating metabolism, right? Which is energy, right? It’s stimulating energy production. The caffeine is, and it’s deriving some of that probably from fat or stored up glucose somewhere, stored glycogen, but that’s why you’re getting a quick hit of energy obviously, which is like any drug like cocaine or whatever.


[01:28:15] Ashley James: Right. The problem is it’s not from your mitochondria, that energy is not from your mitochondria.


[01:28:19] Dr. Patrick Vickers: It is the mitochondria.


[01:28:22] Ashley James: Sorry, yes, performing in a healthy way. You’re forcing it to do something, but it’s not performing in the optimal, in a healthy way.


[01:28:30] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yeah, that’s right.


[01:28:32] Ashley James: Okay. So salt is not helping because it’s swelling the cell. We need oxygen into the cell. The oxygen’s not getting into the cell because the fats we’re consuming are full of hydrogen. Can you explain why is it that—I’m imagining. If we can all just imagine a cross-section of a cell and you’ve got this fat layer that’s the cell wall, if there’s hydrogen all through that, why is oxygen having a hard time passing through the cell?


[01:29:02] Dr. Patrick Vickers: It’s the charge.


[01:29:03] Ashley James: Okay.


[01:29:04] Dr. Patrick Vickers: See, so that cell membrane’s charged based on the fat. That cell’s either going to accept the charge or repel a charge. A saturated fat membrane is literally going to repel oxygen away from the cell. It will literally drive it away. Whereas flax oil, which has no saturated bonds, literally acts as a magnet. It draws it into the cell. Yeah, that’s it.


[01:29:38] Ashley James: So fascinating.


[01:29:39] Dr. Patrick Vickers: It is, it’s incredible. It’s an issue of biophysics, not an issue of biochemistry, ultimately. It’s actually biophysics.


[01:29:48] Ashley James: I love it. Okay. So no salt, take some flax oil daily, and drink fresh juice daily.


[01:29:57] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s right.


[01:29:58] Ashley James: First thing in the morning, best time to drink it, throughout the day. When’s the best time to drink it?


[01:30:04] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Our patients are getting every hour on the hour for 12 hours straight. They’re getting 13 juices a day.


[01:30:10] Ashley James: Okay. And how many ounces is that?


[01:30:13] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Eight ounces.


[01:30:14] Ashley James: Okay. And they’re also eating food in addition to that. This isn’t the juice fast.


[01:30:20] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s exactly right, and this needs to be very understood. So when a patient comes to you, comes to our clinic, what did I say in the beginning when we started talking science? What is completely destroyed and deranged? Their gut, right? Their gut is completely destroyed and deranged.

If you put a cancer patient on an all-raw diet, they won’t do well. So if you give them the juices and you give them meals that are all raw, they will not do well. Gerson was absolutely adamant that their three meals every day were thoroughly cooked. Well people say, well, oh, it destroys the nutrients, it destroys the enzyme. He didn’t care. You were getting all the nutrients in the enzymes in the 13 fresh-pressed juices, 17 pounds every single day. Those are absorbed into the bloodstream almost as quickly as alcohol with very little energy and enzymes required to utilize them.

Meals on the other hand, cancer patients cannot handle raw cauliflower, raw broccoli, raw carrots, raw whatever. It needs to be thoroughly cooked because cooking is actually a form of pre-digestion so that they can easily convert that food into energy. That was a huge, huge, huge issue for Dr. Gerson. He was so adamantly against a raw food diet for a cancer patient apart from the juices on a daily basis.


[01:31:59] Ashley James: Now, you mentioned that cancer is a fungal infection.


[01:32:11] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, it’s fungal and fermentative in nature. That’s how it survives. We know what survives on anaerobic metabolism. That’s how it survives.


[01:32:26] Ashley James: Except that there’s a form of lung cancer that doesn’t, but all other cancer does. There’s one form of lung cancer they found that didn’t do that, which is kind of weird. I can’t remember the doctor that told me about it, sorry. You said it’s fungal fermentation. Do you believe that tumors are an encapsulated fungal infection?


[01:32:54] Dr. Patrick Vickers: No, I don’t necessarily believe that. Look, you and I have cancer, right? We all have cancer. Every single day, our body’s destroying that cancer. There comes a point, and it’s usually right around the fifth decade of life because that is the standard mean age of the people who come to my clinic that the body just loses the capacity to destroy cancer cells and these cancer cells start to accumulate and accumulate then they form a tumor ultimately. I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily a fungal infection, so to speak. No.


[01:33:36] Ashley James: Okay. But it’s acting like fungus in that it is anaerobic?


[01:33:42] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yeah, that’s right.


[01:33:44] Ashley James: Okay. Does Gerson Therapy help the immune system see the cancer? Because the problem with cancer is that the immune system doesn’t see it. It’s like it has a cloaking device.


[01:34:00] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, it’s able to put a biofilm around itself, right? So cancer cells, and that’s a great question because melanoma and lymphoma, which are our two greatest successes, do not have the ability to put a biofilm around themselves to make themselves undetectable to the immune system. Whereas all your other cancers have that ability. Clearly, the Gerson Therapy is able to break down that biofilm.

Well, how would you break down that biofilm? Simple, I mean, we know ellagic acid like in cranberries. We know that that can break down the biofilm. So no doubt these fruits and vegetables are breaking down those, and then the massive amounts of enzymes that we also give, you can rest assured those enzymes are going to dissolve that biofilm that the cancer cell puts around itself, and then the immune system can readily attack it. But again, that’s why lymphoma in melanoma, they’re so easy to treat and they’re easy to treat because they can’t hide from the immune system. So you put someone on the Gerson Therapy and the immune system readily attacks the cancer because it has no defense. Pretty cool stuff, huh?


[01:35:14] Ashley James: It is really cool. So for those who don’t have those two kinds of cancers and they do have a kind of cancer that has a biofilm, you give them supplements.


[01:35:27] Dr. Patrick Vickers: I don’t give ellagic. I’ve been banging around the idea of giving patients ellagic acid as a supplement because you can get it as a supplement, but I’m just not sure how the digestive tract in the body can handle that in a cancer patient. I just haven’t been quick to jump on giving that as a supplement. If somebody said to me, hey, I’m interested in doing ellagic acid when I go home, I mean, I probably say, well, okay, I mean, I guess give it a shot. But I mean, historically, look, if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it, right?

Historically, clearly, we’ve been able to break down biofilm and cure cancer because that’s 120 years of the history of the Gerson Therapy. Whatever we’re doing is breaking down that biofilm, and so I’m just not ready to take that leap where we’re just bombarding the body with things to break down the biofilm because clearly, we’re already doing that.


[01:36:29] Ashley James: If someone ate cooked cranberries like they made a cranberry sauce, would they get enough of it in their food?


[01:36:37] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s a great question. I’m not sure how much. When you cook things high in oxalic acid, you actually eliminate the risk of a buildup of oxalic acid. I don’t know if you cook something, what happens to the acid when you’re doing that. So if they cooked the cranberries, I really don’t know. But I will say something. Chris Wark from Chris Beat Cancer who’s been in my clinic many times, he endorses my clinic. He once sent me a study somewhere where they tested all the fruits that we have available to us today. I don’t know if it’s in the states, around the world, or whatever.

But in that study, they tested all fruits, its effect, and its ability to stop cancer dead in its tracks. Of all the fruits they studied, two stood out clearly amongst the rest as being able to stop cancer dead in its tracks. That was lemon and cranberry. They stood out like way beyond the rest—lemon and cranberry. We’ve actually added lemon to the Gerson protocol, which Gerson had lemon before he changed his juicing protocol in 1952. He had lemon, so we’ve reintroduced it so to speak. Yeah, we put in our carrot juice now.


[01:38:01] Ashley James: Yum. And I love fresh lemon squeezed into water just first thing in the morning, also. Count that one back. What do we need to understand about preventing disease? Pretty much everyone who’s listening wants to be healthier than they are now, right? Not everyone listening has a cancer diagnosis or a major disease diagnosis.


[01:38:32] Dr. Patrick Vickers: We’re going on one out of every two if we’re not there already, right?


[01:38:40] Ashley James: Yeah. My listeners are enlightened. They’re with you. They’re like, yeah, we’re going to go drink the juice and screw that salt. We’re with you. I say this all the time on my show, so if you’re a longtime listener you’ve heard me say, if you want to be a statistic, eat like everyone else. Go  with the herd. Go with the flow, drive-thru McDonald’s, drive-thru Starbucks. Just go through the drive-thrus, order takeout. Just eat like everyone else, get some frozen pizza, drink some beer, just be like everyone else. Be like how everyone else is doing it and you will be part of the statistics, right?

So the statistics is one in three people have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. One in three people are obese and soon to be morbidly obese, and the thing is there’s so much shame and guilt around that. The fact is again, it’s like the baby being born of a mother who is addicted to heroin. It’s not the baby’s fault. This is not your fault. You were put in a system since birth that is designed to make you sick, not healthy. As we can see from Dr. Gerson’s life, he is the man who figured out how to cure cancer almost a hundred years ago, right?


[01:40:09] Dr. Patrick Vickers: And virtually every other disease as well.


[01:40:11] Ashley James: And was completely squashed on purpose. The system that we live in does not want you to know the truth about anything that would eliminate their power and their profits. The diseases you have now, they’re not your fault in that you didn’t know these forces have been controlling your life. This is like the matrix, right? But once you are outside the matrix, it is your fault if you continue to choose the behaviors, and still I don’t fault you because again, it’s an addiction, we’re constantly being bombarded by our friends, our family, the media.

We have to become the salmon. We have to become the black sheep. We have to become the salmon. We have to go upstream. But imagine you’re the only salmon in the stream and every other fish is going to the ocean and we’re like, no, I got to go this way going against the grain. Sometimes it’s lonely. Join our Facebook group, Learn True Health Facebook group then you’re not going to be alone. Thousands of listeners are just like you in the same boat. They’re the black sheep of their family. They want to get healthy. The rest of their friends are wanting to go out partying, drink beer, eat wings, or whatever.

The thing is it takes a complete mental shift, and it also takes being kind to yourself because you are that baby born of an addicted mother. You’re born into this and now you’re being birthed out of it. Now you get to decide, are you going to go down the steps and eliminate salt, increase your potassium drinking juice? Are you going to incorporate flax oil and cut out all other unhealthy oils? Are you going to go through the list, and I’m sure that Dr. Vickers has a lot more homework he can give us.

But now that we understand the science, the science is to heal the cell wall, heal the cell, heal the metabolism of the cell, and don’t do anything to impede it. Support the thyroid and the mitochondria to work healthfully to receive oxygen. That alone decreases inflammation in the body, removes the oxidative stress from the body, and helps restore the gut. I mean, those things, I don’t know an illness that that wouldn’t help. It’s very exciting. What we have to understand is that it just doesn’t end today, just listening to this. This is now the stepping point where we need to start taking action. We need to take actionable steps.

So, like I said, not everyone listening is in a disease state right now. There are some people listening who need to do it 110% go to your clinic and do that. Absolutely go to, check it out, go to your clinic, and get doctor-supervised transitioning into this therapy. And then there are those of us who have some minor things they’re dealing with and want to prevent it from getting worse and want to start heading in the right direction.


[01:43:34] Dr. Patrick Vickers: We have programs for them as well, right?


[01:43:36] Ashley James: Do you have virtual programs?


[01:43:38] Dr. Patrick Vickers: No, we don’t do online remote consulting at this point just because I’m so busy. I mean, I’m just ridiculously busy and I don’t have people trained up to provide that sole service, and that’s why we have a clinic where people come and they spend a week and do a detox or two weeks and do a detox. I mean, on my website, we just created a store within the last six months. There is like a month supply or a three-month supply of the Gerson Therapy supplements and included in that is a one-hour consultation with me. My time is so limited that if everybody started buying that, I don’t think I’d be able to keep up. But I do offer that included in that package, but that’s really the only thing that we have that’s of that nature.


[01:44:31] Ashley James: Got it. I would love to see in the future something where one of your cohorts of people coming into your clinic, you recorded all the seminars or educational pieces and then put that together online. So either those who need a refresher could take it or those who want to learn more, if they can’t travel for whatever reason, it would be really cool to get that, maybe have a digital course.


[01:45:01] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, for your listeners, for example, if your listeners go to our website, there’s a section you can click on that says gift. If you go to gift, your listener goes to gift, click on gift and put in the password podcast. They can actually listen to our private video series that’s only for our clientele that comes to the clinic. You can tell your listeners to do that. Hit the gift section on our website, put in the password podcast, and they can watch all of my interviews, my lectures on the very things we’re talking about on the therapy, all of those private videos they can have access to.


[01:45:52] Ashley James: Sweet, awesome, thank you. I mean, of course I want everyone to go to your clinic, but for those of us who can’t at this very moment, I love them. I’d love for people to just today do that because we got to start learning more and making it part of our routine. When I learned something completely revolutionary, I’m like, oh, yeah, I’ve got to do this. And then life happens and all of a sudden I’m back in that old routine. We need to make sure that we make this a habit that lasts.

We’ve talked about some things that people do for major illnesses. What homework do we do to prevent disease that’s really important?


[01:46:40] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, we’ve addressed the nutritional portions and how to reverse the underlying causes of a disease. We’re at the ultimate restoration of metabolism, which you do through diet, right? But there are some things we haven’t talked about. For example, you have to address the issue of toxicity. Patients coming to us, they’re so incredibly toxic from years of a toxic lifestyle, toxic environmental exposure. Then when you put them on a therapy like this, you’re generating even more toxicity, right? You’re breaking down diseased tissue, you’re breaking down tumor tissue, you’re rebuilding new tissue. The juicing is pulling toxicity stored up for years, decades out of the cells back into the bloodstream.

If you don’t detoxify those patients, they’ll all die. You cannot put them on the dietary regimen without the proper detoxification.

You kind of alluded to this at the beginning of the interview with bathroom procedures. Dr. Gerson made the coffee enema famous. Our patients are getting five coffee enemas per day—five per day. There’s not a more powerful way to detoxify the human body than a coffee enema, and that includes prevention as well.


[01:48:06] Ashley James: That’s one thing they mentioned in one of the documentaries I saw is that Gerson was having great success in Germany reversing cancer. And then when he came to New York City, when did he come to York City? What year?


[01:48:22] Dr. Patrick Vickers: I want to say probably the mid-30s.


[01:48:25] Ashley James: So mid-30s. Gasoline was leaded, I believe, so we can imagine in a busy city, people are breathing in lead all the time. There are no regulations for factories not dumping into anything—mercury, any kind of sludge—into the creeks, and then people might eat the fish like the Minamata disaster in Japan where people were born with major mercury deformations because of the mercury being dumped into the streams that led out into Minamata, which was a fishing village.

This is the same thing happening, and all of a sudden, he does the same protocol that was working in Germany, but he noticed that the people would immediately die. You didn’t mention that because it probably isn’t a great part of the story like, and then everyone died of the therapy. But what I found fascinating was that he figured out, he had to troubleshoot, why are people in Germany living and beating cancer, and then I come here with the same protocol and people in New York City will drop dead very quickly of toxicity?


[01:49:43] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Oh, no. I think he discovered early on in Europe that if he didn’t detoxify his patients he would lose them. I’m not sure that was discovered necessarily in the United States.


[01:49:56] Ashley James: Well then the movie got it wrong, but I thought that was really interesting and I thought maybe it had to do with America being more toxic, and I mean, still toxic today, but in terms of lead in the gasoline so the environment.


[01:50:11] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Maybe it was the cancer patient then because he didn’t start treating cancer until he got to the United States, right? That might have happened with the cancer patients, some of the cancer patients at first. The first one he did he completely cured her, right? How he did that without coffee enemas, I’m not sure if he maybe didn’t do enough coffee enemas going forward, I don’t know. At one point during his practice, he lost his first few patients because he didn’t detoxify them heavily enough and they went into more toxic shock, ultimately, and that’s where the five coffee enema protocol was ultimately derived.


[01:50:53] Ashley James: That’s why I think it’s so important to point this out because some people say, well, I’m going to do Gerson therapy, but I’m not going to do the coffee enemas because that’s weird.


[01:51:01] Dr. Patrick Vickers: You can’t.


[01:51:02] Ashley James: Some people are like, well, I’m going to do it, but I’m not going to eat breakfast because I don’t like eating breakfast or whatever. If you’re reversing your cancer with Gerson therapy, you don’t cherry-pick what you like and what you don’t like.


[01:51:13] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s exactly right.


[01:51:14] Ashley James: He trialed and errored this and got to the point he’s having the greatest success, and you could add things on like aloe. It’s not going to hurt, it’s only going to help more, but you don’t take things away. So you say one coffee enema a day for those who are just looking to prevent disease.


[01:51:32] Dr. Patrick Vickers: I’ve been doing one a day for 25 years.


[01:51:36] Ashley James: So could you explain why coffee enemas help to detox the body?


[01:51:44] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Absolutely. And it’s pure science, it’s not voodoo science. Your liver produces an enzyme called glutathione transferase. Glutathione transferase is the most potent detoxifying enzyme or one of the most potent detoxifying enzymes in the human body. Well, your liver needs palmitic acid in order to create glutathione transferase. Well, properly roasted organic coffee from a specific bean, not a drinking bean, is loaded with palmitic acid.

It’s been demonstrated scientifically by Peter Lechner, you can Google it, Peter Lechner. It has been demonstrated that when you do one coffee enema, the production of glutathione transferase by the body goes up 600 to 700% greater than normal. I mean, there is nothing that can produce that kind of detoxification.

Now, what people don’t understand is when you do the coffee enema and you stimulate that production, that requires massive amounts of nutrients. So if you’re not replenishing the body with nutrients in the form of juices and massive amounts of organic produce on a daily basis, you’ll actually cause yourself more harm than good over time because you’re going to deplete the body over time. That’s why drinking coffee, you deplete your body of nutrients so much because you’re losing so many vitamins and minerals because it’s a diuretic. It’s artificially stimulating metabolism, which requires nutrients.

When you do a coffee enema, the rule is three to four juices for every coffee enema. So if I do one coffee enema day, I’m literally eating three to five pounds of fresh organic produce every single day, raw. That’s to balance my system. But that’s the main thing that the Gerson coffee enema does.

The other thing it does, is as you and I are sitting here, if we’re talking for 15 minutes, our blood is circulating through our liver and our kidneys. It’s being cleansed two and a half times in a 15-minute period going through our liver and our kidney for cleansing, dialysis, so to speak.

When you do a coffee enema, it must be because of the hypovolemic state because you’re now adding a quart of liquid to you. You must increase the flow of fluid through the body. You’re actually running your blood through the liver and the kidneys five times rather than two and a half times. So it’s a natural form of dialysis, so to speak. That’s another side benefit, so to speak, of the Gerson therapy.

Finally, the other thing it does is it releases bile and it causes bile to flow, and that’s what your toxins are ultimately bound to. The way the liver detoxifies is cholesterol gets converted into bile acids, and then bile binds toxins and eliminates it through the intestines and the kidneys. So that’s the other thing that the Gerson coffee enema does. It produces bottom bile flow, which is also enhancing detoxification.


[01:55:01] Ashley James: And then we have to make sure that we have something that’s going to carry that all the way out, so don’t be constipated because the body tries to reuptake cholesterol from bile and it’ll reuptake some of those forever chemicals. All those chemicals the body’s trying to get rid of because the gut doesn’t know the difference, right? It’s costly to make bile, and so the body tries to reabsorb it. We want to make sure we’re getting enough fiber, that 15 grams a day, that average American diet, that’s not going to cut it. Aim for 50 grams of fiber a day, 100 grams of fiber. But the juices, there’s still some fiber in juice, right? I know that we do remove pulp, but can you also take some pulp and throw them back in or can make dehydrated crackers out of it.


[01:55:53] Dr. Patrick Vickers: There’s no reason. If you’re eating three Gerson meals a day, there’s no reason.


[01:56:00] Ashley James: What is a Gerson meal? Maybe we should give it a picture. What does it look like to eat three Gerson meals a day?


[01:56:08] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Every morning is oatmeal with dried fruit stewed into it, so prunes, raisins, and mango. What else do we eat? Sometimes we throw currants in there. That’s it. It’s oatmeal and dried fruit, and then they get an orange juice every morning. Flax oil is mandatory. Two tablespoons of flax oil every single day is mandatory. And they can have a natural sweetener. They can have up to two to three teaspoons a day maximum of a natural sweetener, so honey, a sucanat, maple syrup they can put in their oatmeal, so that’s breakfast.

Lunch and dinner, mandatory are potatoes. Potatoes are a staple. They’re so easily converted into energy by the body, and so Gerson made potatoes staple. There’s also something called Hippocrates Soup. Mandatory is Hippocrates Soup at lunch and dinner. It was actually a soup created by Hippocrates 2500 years ago. Now, Hippocrates is considered the greatest physician that ever lived. Ironically, Gerson used his work and Paracelsus’ his work to come to his conclusions and ultimately formed the Gerson therapy.

So Hippocrates Soup and potatoes are a staple, then any other vegetable. It might be asparagus, it might be squash, it might be onions or tomatoes, all of those things can make up another vegetable dish. That pretty much derives the Gerson Therapy meals, they’re simple.

We have very artistic chefs. We have vegetarian artistic chefs. I mean, they’re brilliant. They take fruits and vegetables and they literally turn it into appetizing art, and so it’s amazing what you can do with what God gave us. I mean, fruits and vegetables and the combinations you can make are just fascinating and just scrumptious.


[01:58:16] Ashley James: I love it. I didn’t hear any—some people are going to freak out—protein in that. Can you please explain? How am I going to get my 500 grams of protein a day that everyone tells me I need?


[01:58:35] Dr. Patrick Vickers: One of the biggest fallacies out there is how much protein the human body needs and what kind of protein the human body needs. I can’t tell you how many times people ask me that question, where am I going to get my protein on this diet? Well, where does a horse or a cow get their protein from? Are they cannibals? Are they pumping iron all day long and building that muscle mass that way? No, they’re not. How are they getting their protein to support their massive structures? They’re eating grass all day.


[01:59:16] Ashley James: Elephants.


[01:59:18] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yeah, they’re eating greens.


[01:59:19] Ashley James: Right? Largest land mammals.


[01:59:22] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Exactly. They’re eating greens. Greens are loaded with proteins. Carrots are loaded with protein. Potatoes are loaded with protein. They are, I thought they were a carb? No. They’re a carb, they’re a protein, they’re virtually a perfect food. Oatmeal, protein; lentils, protein; quinoa, protein. I mean, you combine these things and you get them all in your diet on a daily basis and your body will be able to take those amino acids and completely make a protein for your optimal survival.

You do not need meat, you do not need eggs, you do not need milk, you do not need cheese in order to get protein into your diet. It is one of the biggest fallacies and tragedies out there because meat and all those other things I mentioned, are such inferior proteins. They’re inferior proteins to keep the body optimally fit and healthy.


[02:00:25] Ashley James: And the fat, the diet is pretty much naturally low in fat minus the flax oil that you’re adding. How much flax oil should someone eat a day? Is it something they’re eating just by the spoonful, pouring it kind of like cod liver oil into the spoon, or are they putting it on their salad? Obviously, they’re not cooking with it? How much flax oil should someone be consuming a day and how do they eat it?


[02:00:58] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Just to clarify something, all our foods, whether it’s a fruit, a vegetable, or whatever, pretty much comes with everything we need from protein, to sugar, to even essential fatty acids. You wouldn’t even necessarily have to supplement with flax oil if you’re eating a proper diet. Even spinach and greens have essential fatty acids in them.

A healthy person, if they got one tablespoon of flax oil a day, that would probably be optimal. It’s a highly, highly concentrated fat right? I mean, how many freaking flax seeds do you have to press to get a tablespoon of flax oil, right? Our patients have to do two per day when they’re cancer patients, but then at six weeks, they have to go down to one because you can’t bombard the body that long with such a highly concentrated fat and it’s not necessary. In the beginning, they needed to do that because they need to restore the proper fats at the level of the cell membrane, but after six weeks, Gerson felt like he could wean them off or wean them down. They would continue one tablespoon for the rest of their protocol.

To put one tablespoon a day into your diet, whether it’s on a salad or in the oatmeal. I put it on the oatmeal, I put it in the potato, I put it on the salad until I have essentially a tablespoon a day. I don’t take more than that.


[02:02:41] Ashley James: What kind of flax oil because I know there are doctors out there like Dr. Wallach who say we shouldn’t eat any oil out of a bottle because it’s rancid and it’s going to increase—


[02:02:54] Dr. Patrick Vickers: This is true.


[02:02:57] Ashley James: It can potentially increase the hydrogen in the body. It can give it more free radicals. Of course, this entire diet would really help to mitigate that. What kind of flax oil is best to take?


[02:03:10] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Okay. So obviously, it has to be cold-pressed right, and there are a few companies that produce a really high quality flax oil. We get ours from Omega Nutrition. Barlean’s, perfect. Barlean’s not a problem. They’re just as good of a producer as Omega. Those are the two that I would highly recommend.

Now, in terms of getting rancid, you’re exactly right. Flax oil is highly volatile. What makes it volatile is what? It doesn’t have any hydrogen bonds, that’s what gives it its volatility and it’s quick to go rancid. Now, what does quick to go rancid mean?. Well, that cold-pressed oil is in an opaque bottle and it’s also refrigerated, so it’s not exposed to light, heat, or air until you open it then it’s exposed to air. But it’s not exposed to light and it’s not exposed to heat.

 If you continue to refrigerate it, a 12-ounce bottle will last you for three weeks. It should last you for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, that’s when it’ll start to break down. But for two to three weeks, you can use that oil perfectly, keep it refrigerated, and it will stay completely fresh. And then from there, they say pretty much after three to four weeks, you might want to consider throwing it away because it’ll start to break down even if you just open it up, pour it, close it, put it in the fridge. But it should last you anywhere for around three weeks.

But fish oil. Do you know fish oil they say is like 5 to 10 times more volatile than flax oil? And so, these supplements, they put them into these capsules, they put them into bottles and stuff. When you take those fish oils, you know how you burp and it has that fishy taste? That’s already gone rancid. These companies that are producing fish oil, they’ll tell you publicly because they’re trying to sell you their product how pure, unrefined, and how un-rancid their oils are. But reality is, behind closed doors, it is impossible to keep their oils pure. That’s why when you take them, you burp, and you taste that fishy taste, that means it’s gone rancid because true fish oil right from the fish when you eat it, it doesn’t have that taste. It has a pure almost like flax oil taste.

Fish oil, I would never touch it. Not to mention, where’s that fish oil coming from? It’s coming from the fat of the fish. Where do the mercury and the toxicity in the oceans get stored? In the fat of the fish. However much you try to distill it and distill the heavy metals and stuff out there, you’re not going to succeed in getting most of that out. I don’t buy it. I never touch it. Flax oil is my go-to guy.


[02:06:19] Ashley James: I love it. This is something we can all do. We can incorporate these things. It does take about a month to neuro-adapt fully, but we can look to see significantly less inflammation. This is incredible for those who are in pain. I mean, just the whole food plant-based diet alone. No oil, let’s say. A whole food plant-based diet, no oil, so no processed food, no oil. My friend Naomi who actually had her on the show because she reversed a major heart condition with the whole food plant-based diet with no oil.

Her parents got on it. I think they’re in their 70s, really nice people. Her mom reversed her arthritis-like major arthritis pain, kind of like preventing needing surgeries in the future kind of arthritis. She no longer has arthritis, and I think it was like three weeks in which she said to her daughter, hey, my arthritis pain is gone. That just blew my mind because we’re taught that arthritis is wearing away of the cartilage. I’ve seen people reverse arthritis. I’ve seen Dr. Wallach reverse arthritis. I know it’s reversible.

MDs will tell you it’s not. I remember back in college, [inaudible 02:07:47] was a neurosurgeon in Croatia and he escaped the war and came over to Canada. He was my professor. Later I think he was like the Dean of the Naturopathic College in Toronto. I remember in anatomy class, he said, you cannot regrow cartilage. This is like 1999. He goes, you cannot regrow cartilage. Once you have arthritis, you will always have arthritis. He was really adamant. Do not even think that arthritis is reversible. Once you’ve lost cartilage you could never get it back.

I thought, this is ridiculous. You’re expecting me to think that like you were the cartilage you’re born with is the cartilage you’re always going to have or something. It’s so silly. Of course, the body can regenerate cartilage. Are you wearing your body down faster than you can regrow it? If you’re not giving yourself the raw building blocks, if you’re not giving yourself the material it needs to grow—the bones, the joints, the cell walls—and then you’re dosing gasoline on yourself and then lighting it on fire every day with your habits, of course you’re going to go downhill. Of course, the cartilage is going to wear away because you’re dousing yourself with flames and then not giving yourself anything to rebuild, not enough. It’s like everyone else. You can be like everyone else; you’re going to become a statistic.

But we can reverse these diseases. That’s exciting. MDs will tell you you cannot reverse these because that’s their training. We have to start thinking for ourselves and question everything. Question absolutely everything and don’t take our word for it, question us too. Go look into this stuff. Go try it for yourself. See how you are. Give it three months, I’d say. What happens to people in three months? If we all jumped in and did this for the next three months, what would we expect to feel, what would we expect to happen in our bodies?


[02:10:05] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Oh, wow. I mean, look like Albert Schweitzer, severely advanced diabetes six weeks, Dr. Gerson cured him. Someone scheduled for triple quadruple bypass surgery, in one month we’re canceling their surgeries. You want to lose weight? Our patients are losing anywhere from a quarter to a pound a day until they’re normal weight. Now people say, well, how on earth can you lose a pound a day if you’re consuming 3500 to 4000 calories? Because the experts say that you have to consume anywhere from a maximum of 1200 to maybe 1500 if you’re going to lose weight.

Well, how is it that on the Gerson Therapy consuming 3500 to 4000 calories per day that you can lose anywhere from a quarter to a pound per day?


[02:10:55] Ashley James: You’re healing the metabolism.


[02:10:56] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Because the issue of weight loss has nothing to do with caloric intake. It has everything to do with being able to convert those calories into energy, and that is everything that we have spoken about today. We have restored metabolism from the gut, to the cell membrane, to the internal part of the cell so the mitochondria can convert those calories into energy, and that is proper and healthy weight loss. Massive amounts of caloric intake. Imagine that, and the experts tell you you’ve got to starve yourself on 1200 to 1500 calories per day if you want to lose weight. That’s bogus. It’s nonsense. They don’t understand the cellular science behind it, and that’s what made Gerson such an elemental genius.

He has taken modern nutritional ideas and theories, whether it’s weight loss, the ketogenic diet, and turned it up on its head. This is what you can expect on the Gerson Therapy. Skin conditions. Do you have a severe skin condition? A lot of our patients come in with severe skin conditions because typically, your skin conditions are underlying metabolic errors and preconditions to cancer. They come in with skin conditions, within three months, their skin conditions are completely resolved—three months. This is what you can expect.


[02:12:35] Ashley James: I love it. This is so exciting. I realized I’ve had you on the show for two hours now. I could talk to you for another five. I’d love to have you back on the show. Dr. Patrick Vickers, it has been such a pleasure having you.

This way of eating goes completely against the grain, in terms of weight loss, great read. I listen to the book. Who figured, right? I love podcasts, I like listening to books. Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis, just listen to the first chapter. He tells his story. He’s a second-generation weight loss surgery doctor. He made a name for himself cutting people’s stomachs out. He was in Texas and he was working with 600-pound plus patients, and his dad did too. He was on Bravo, he had a reality show, he had a book out. He was all about the lower fat, processed food, 1200-calorie day diet.

In his 30s, he started feeling sluggish, he started getting a little tubby. He started feeling more and more tired. He was eating the same thing that he told his patients to eat like high protein, low carb, low fat cheese, low fat yogurt, and he just started to just feel sicker and sicker.

He used to think his patients were just lazy because they said, I’m too tired to go to the gym. He’s like, you’re just lazy, and then he noticed he was too tired. He’s like, oh man, this diet that I put everyone on I’m on, it’s failing me. So then the kicker, he’s 35 years old, he’s a surgeon, and he starts to lose his eyesight. He goes to the eye doctor and they say, you have cholesterol deposits in your eyes so bad that your eyes are like a 60-year-old man and you’re going to have to be on, and he gives him like a long list full of drugs for the rest of your life. Cholesterol meds, high blood pressure, all blood thinners, whatever. He was put on so many meds.

He goes home and he sits there and goes, my lifespan is now just cut short because these meds will cause my lifespan to be cut short. He’s 35 years old and he has to eat humble pie. He realizes everything he’s been telling all his patients is wrong.

He goes back to the drawing board and that’s when he discovers the stuff that you’re teaching. That this way of eating is the way to heal the body, and then he heals himself and he has to completely eat humble pie, and that’s when he produced the Proteinaholic, which is his journey of discovering the true science of health. He debunks like 30 different diets. He debunks keto. He debunks everyone that’s all mainstream, and he does it in a very fun manner. It’s a really interesting book. I apologize, this isn’t meant to offend you. I don’t think there’s one doctor on the planet that has the entire truth.


[02:16:01] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Well, exactly, right?


[02:16:03] Ashley James: But it is up to us as the individual consumer to go and learn from each one and then figure out what works for me, right? We listened to Dr. Patrick Vickers and we listened to this doctor here and this doctor here, and we started to get this full picture. Dr. Wallach says no oil all the time ever. So I’m like, okay, great. No oil time ever. But then Dr. Patrick Vickers comes along and says, well, actually, flax oil has all these benefits. You take it in this way, and also, yes, I agree the other oils are good. And then we look at that and go okay, I’m going to try this on. We just have to continue to get the information from these amazing doctors, especially the clinicians because they’re boots on the ground seeing the results.


[02:16:54] Dr. Patrick Vickers: That’s exactly right.


[02:16:54] Ashley James: Implement it into our lives. Question everything. I like to say, I’m the biggest open-minded skeptic. Question everything, but also have an open mind enough to take in information that goes against your belief system.

I was a meat eater through and through and I was scared of having one meal without meat. You bet this challenged me and I didn’t want to hear it. I did not want to hear it. My husband went overnight, after I did these interviews like I did some plant-based interviews, my husband started looking into this information. Overnight, he went from never eating vegetables, only eating meat, to never eating meat again four years ago. He woke up and said, I’m never eating meat.

He would make a joke,I eat vegans daily because all he ate was beef. He’d eat pork for breakfast and then before lunch and dinner, and that was it, or eggs maybe, but that was it. That was his diet. He was on a carnivore diet. And then a switch flipped in his brain. He’s not a health nut, but a switch flipped in his brain, and I watched him do it. He said four days into eating this—you got to get he was like 100% meat to 0% meat. I had to all of a sudden learn how to cook whole food plant-based, like delicious meals that weren’t gross, that weren’t plain but also weren’t full of junk.

He said, four days into this, this food tastes so good. If you told me this food too would taste so good I would have done this years ago. He says this food tastes way better, way better. It’s just a matter of giving it a try.

The Proteinaholic book is great because he shares his own personal journey. He says at the beginning, you don’t have to be a vegan. You don’t have to go there and do that. But just look at the science, look at the results, look at it for yourself. Try this on, try this way of eating on. He just shows. Okay, you want to eat chicken breast once a week? Well, here’s the damage. Here’s the potential damage to the body. He just shows it. It’s interesting, right?

We have people out there who want to go and reverse disease and you’ve got fantastic answers, we want them to your website, It has been such a pleasure having you on the show. Thank you so much. I definitely want to have you back. Anytime you want to come to teach new things, share new things. This has been fantastic.


[02:19:25] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. I just want to share one anecdote with you. I lived with Charlotte Gerson, right? She invited me to come live with her for two months at her home in San Diego, where she had all her father’s handwritten files of all his patients between 1910 and 1959, which I’m one of maybe a handful of people who’ve ever had the opportunity to actually go through those files, but guess who lived on the same street as Charlotte Gerson. Joel Wallach.


[02:19:56] Ashley James: No way. Shut the front door.


[02:20:02] Dr. Patrick Vickers: He lives on the same street when I was living with her, yeah. And Joel and I actually have lectured at the same venue a couple of times. We’ve lectured in the same venue. A guy by the name of Vincent [inaudible 02:20:15] holds a thing in Missouri from time to time and we lectured on the same stage. But I met JoeI. I saw Joel walking up and down the street back in 1998.


[02:20:27] Ashley James: Oh my gosh, that is so cool.


[02:20:30] Dr. Patrick Vickers: When that video or that tape that you’re referring to, that’s when it was huge. He was iconic at that point. But he lived on the same street as Charlotte, go figure.


[02:20:42] Ashley James: Him and I have traveled together. I’ve helped him with his lectures, and he’s this little short dude, right? I mean, he’s stout, right? He’s not a pushover, but he’s really short. My husband’s 6’7″, and I’m also pretty tall. I’m 5’10”. For a woman I’m tall. We both got muscle, my husband and I, and when we were traveling, we were running through the airport and he had two 80 pound bags. They’re hockey bags or huge duffel bags. Two 80 pound bags and we tried to help him because we had our suitcase. We tried to help him and we were struggling. He picks both of them up like their feathers and starts running through the airport. We were winded. This dude is fit and that was about eight years ago.


[02:21:51] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Because he is tiny.


[02:21:53] Ashley James: He’s tiny, but he’s fit. I love his work. And again, I don’t think every doctor on the planet has the answers, but Dr. Wallach has a lot of answers that other doctors don’t. We just have to keep going down the rabbit hole, and I’ve had him on the show twice and it was great. I can’t wait to have him back. I can’t wait to have you back. This has been amazing. And of course, listeners need to go to and then go to the gift section, put in the password podcast to start getting your videos.

I’d love to come to your clinic one day, that would be so great. I hope that my listeners who need the help will seek your help. I just pray that this episode and all that you do, all your endeavors will fall on ears that are ready to hear and will make a ripple turn into a tidal wave and help so many people to beat cancer and other diseases. Thank you for helping end the needless suffering. That’s really important.


[02:22:55] Dr. Patrick Vickers: Thank you, and don’t forget, your listeners can go to that gift section and put in podcast, and they can listen to all the science that we’ve talked about today and even then some because there’s a lot we didn’t talk about. That’s only for our paid clientele, they have access to that. Those are our private videos. Have them go there,


[02:23:20] Ashley James: Awesome. All right, thank you so much. And please, come back to the show. Don’t be a stranger.


[02:23:24] Dr. Patrick Vickers: You just let me know when and I’ll oblige.


[02:23:27] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today’s episode with Dr. Patrick Vickers. Wasn’t it amazing? I just love this protocol. I have a family member who is in hospice care at the end of their life. They chose to go through traditional cancer treatments and now they are in the final stages of their life deteriorating, which they deteriorate quite quickly after doing the traditional methods, the cut, burn, and poison methods.

I convinced them to just try some freshly pressed juice. They’re not willing to use any form of natural medicine, but they’re feeling so awful. I said, would you just be willing if I bought organic vegetables and fruit and I made some juice for you, would you be willing to do it? And so they said, yes. And I said, would you be willing to try this diet, the Gerson protocol? I’m not expecting them to do the whole thing. Just would you be willing to do it, and they said, okay, well, I’m willing to do most of it. So they’re not willing to do all of it, but again, I just wanted to make them more comfortable. They’re not willing to fight for themselves and use natural medicine to reverse their disease so I can’t force them, but I did provide them with freshly squeezed juice every day and some healthy meals.

What happened would really blow your mind. They’ve been bedridden, unable to walk. If they try to stand, they faint because their blood pressure is so bad. There’s weakness in their body. They can’t stand, they have to be carried. Within 12 hours of them drinking juice, they were perky, peppy, sitting up without having sudden blood pressure drops. Within 24 hours, with a walker, they were able to take a little walk around the house first time in two months. That was so cool.

We’ve just been giving them some juice and basically, Gerson-style meals and they are feeling so much better. Now, the person is still in hospice care, they’re still at the end of their life. They’re still going downhill much slower now and having much more quality of life. We actually noticed their confusion went away. Their dementia where they didn’t know how to work a remote anymore went away. They’re able to use the remote control without asking how to use it.

Another thing, they had stopped reading, which they love to do, and they stopped using their cell phone. They were just, for the last two months, sitting in bed confused, staring at the TV. After about two days of being on most of the Gerson protocol, like I said, they’re not doing the coffee enemas, but they’re drinking some juice. Not drinking as much juice as you would if you were trying to save your life, but they’re drinking a bunch of juice, vegetables, and some fruits, and then eat some of the meals.

They started reading again. They started looking on another phone again. They started sitting up and talking. The color came back in their face. Pain became less. Bowel movements became much easier, going to the bathroom became much easier. Their mobility became much easier. It improved quality of life more than any drug that that hospice care could give them in less than a week.

If that doesn’t speak to the profound effect that food is medicine, that what you put in your mouth every day, that if you go through the drive-thru, what you’re putting in your mouth is hurting you is poison. If you spend the time to eat organic, fresh, raw and cooked vegetables, and the juice, you are blasting your cells with high oxygen nutrients that help the body to be healthier and healthier and healthier.

Another thing to remember, this has just given me such a perspective. How you manage your stress, how you take time to take care of yourself, the self-care that you put in in the kitchen, not just in the bathroom. I’ve heard people say, oh, I’m going to take an extra-long bath and that’s my self-care. Your self-care starts with the kitchen. What you do, what you put in your mouth, what you drink, what you eat, that is the biggest self-care. Go for a walk, pray, meditate, read, try to ground yourself. Go lie down in some grass. Literally, go hug a tree. Get out in nature. Give yourself moments of joy and nourish every cell in your body.

What you do now will affect the quality of your life in the last 20 years of your life. The last 20 years can be miserable or they can be filled with joy.

I’m a friend of a woman who’s a doctor and we’ve been friends for many years. She’s in her early 80s and you wouldn’t know it. You’d think she was in her 40s. She runs marathons. She’s been in the Olympics. She’s so wonderful and she took care of her body her whole life, and now, there’s the return on her investment. Because I know 80-year-olds that are going blind, that are losing their comprehension, that is losing their mobility. Whereas my friend has the same functionality as a 40-year-old and she’s loving life in her 80s.

That’s the blessing you get by really taking what you learned today and applying it. Just remember that, apply it. The investment in yourself can make such a difference and just try it for a week. I cannot believe what’s happening to my family member who clearly has seen benefits from this just a week into doing it. So I’d love for you to just give it a try and just commit to seven days of juicing and eating this diet and see what happens. See the miracle that unfolds in your body. I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to hear how you respond after a week. What are the changes? Even just the subtle changes, what are the benefits that happen? Please come to the Learn True Health Facebook group and share, I’d love to hear.

And also, remember to go to and get some of that Medicinal Aloe Gel and drink it every day. Let me know how that helps you. The coupon code is LTH2022, and that’s I look forward to hearing from you after you do all this. I want to know how this helped you. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day. Thank you so much for sharing this with others. Let’s help as many people as possible to learn true health.

Get Connected with Dr. Patrick Vickers!









Feb 22, 2022

 - coupon code LTH2022


Aloe: The Magic Formula For Achieving Optimal Gut Health



  • What foods to eat to be well
  • How to relieve constipation
  • Gut, the soil of our intestines
  • Nourishing the gut flora
  • Food Mood Poop Journal
  • Changes you can do if you have chronic gut issues


Keeping our gut healthy is very important because it has an impact on our overall health. How we eat can have a positive or negative effect on our body. Dr. Michael Haley is back on the show and we discuss all things gut health. He talks about how we can nourish the gut flora, keeping a Food Mood Poop Journal to track how food affects us, and simple changes we can make to improve our overall gut health.


​​Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I am thrilled to finally sit down and publish this episode. As you may have seen, there was a bit of a gap between the last episode and this one. Life has been very interesting. Lots of unexpected twists and turns. I’m actually in the middle of moving again, and it’ll be a good move. We’re moving closer to family members that we’re taking care of and so we will come out on the other side happier and just rolling with the punches. 

It reminds me about the lessons I learned when I studied Neuro-linguistic Programming that the person who has the most flexibility of behavior is able to overcome, and it’s those parts of our lives where we’re most rigid that we end up suffering when it’s required of us to become flexible.

Our guest today is Dr. Michael Haley, who’s a fantastic doctor. I’ve had him on the show before, and he’s come back today to talk about specific and actionable steps that you can take starting today to optimize your gut health, no matter where you are in the grand spectrum of gut health. Whether you are suffering and you’re really looking to get a leg up, or whether you have fairly good gut health and you end there’s always room for improvement, everything that he talks about today is fantastic and you will absolutely love it.

I also love and highly recommend trying out his aloe drink. It’s a medicinal type of aloe. He talks about how they produce it versus the store-bought aloe, which is very different. Store-bought aloe—even the pain you can get at a specialty health food store—is highly processed, filtered, most of the medicinal properties are taken out, and also they tend to be the whole aloe plant, which Dr. Haley talks about in today’s interview and how that’s actually not good for us. Whereas his medicinal aloe is the gel itself, it is unadulterated, it’s frozen immediately the same day that they harvest it from the fields, and then they ship it to frozen. You defrost it and drink it and it has immediate effects.

It’s really cool because he’s got more science on how it supports the body, and he talks about that in today’s interview. If you want to give the aloe a try— I love having it in my freezer because if you ever come down with a stomach bug, I had this happen before wherein its tracks, it immediately stopped all the symptoms of having a stomach bug. It really helps with that if you’re overcoming anything gut-wise. We talk more in-depth about that in today’s interview.

I’ll just leave you with a coupon code because I want you to get this listeners’ discount. He gives us a great discount and then he throws in a gift as well, so I want to make sure that you get that. I made it really easy. Go to That takes you straight to the page where he put the special just for our listeners there. It’s If you’re ever on his website and you’re checking out other stuff, you can use the coupon code []—as in the year 2022—and give it a shot.

Free to join the Facebook group and chat with us about the aloe. Several listeners have shared how it’s helped them as well. If you have any questions, you can always jump into the Learn True Health Facebook group. Again, the links which will always be in the show notes down in the description of today’s episode at, you always go there. And then for the aloe, it’s, and the coupon code is [].

Thank you so much for being listeners, and thank you so much for sharing this podcast. I am on this journey with you. You know I’ve recovered. If you’ve been a longtime listener, you probably heard that I reversed diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue, chronic infections for which I was on antibiotics for monthly. I reversed polycystic ovarian syndrome. I no longer have that. I reversed lifelong infertility. I was told after a battery of tests that I’d never conceive and I have. I was told basically that I’d always have to be on medication and I was always going to be sick. I said no, I’m going to go and find better medicine because MD, allopathic, drug-based medicine has its place. It has its place, but it’s not the only medicine we should always turn to.

Just like you wouldn’t take your car to a plumber, why are you taking your body to the person who only has a small fraction of the full scope of medicine? That’s what had me set out on my journey to healing, and I reversed all those conditions by being mentored by Naturopathic physicians, and later becoming a holistic health coach and being mentored and taught by these physicians since 2011. This wonderful journey that I’m on to get optimal health, I am on it with you. If you’re sick and suffering, please know, you don’t have to suffer. There are things that you can do to heal your body.

Now, lately, I’ve been really struggling emotionally with what I’ve gone through in the last year—losing our daughter right after birth and also having COVID. It was pretty brutal because it was right after pregnancy and I was still grieving, so it’s like three punches at once, then unexpectedly moving, and now moving again. With everything going on and then we’ve been taking care of a sick family member, and with all of it, I’ve been really finding that physically I’m strong, but mostly emotionally I’ve been really up against it. Turning to the tools that I’ve learned from all our guests has really helped me and keeping an open mind. That I don’t have all the answers. I have so many answers, but I’m always open to learning more.

I’ve actually spoken with one of our past guests who’s a fantastic Ph.D. in psychology. He and I have spoken and he encouraged me to find counseling around post-traumatic stress. I am going to find some great interviews for that because emotional health is as important as physical health. If you only have one but not the other, you really don’t have both because emotional stress affects us physically, and then physical stress affects us emotionally. We have to have both. Listen to these episodes, listen to the podcast, take all these tools from all these different wonderful experts, continue to learn, and continue to have the mentality that no one has all the answers, but that we can continue to grow and apply all these wonderful tools that we learn.

Now, Dr. Michael Haley today shares some fantastic tools that you’ll be able to apply to your life starting today to improve your health. When we improve our physical health, we also start to improve our emotional health as well as our mental health, and it gives us confidence that we get to continue to grow and strengthen.

Continue sharing this podcast with those you care about and continue listening. Join the Learn True Health Facebook group. I’d love to see you there. Thank you for being on this journey with me. I really dream, hope, and wish for you to learn true health, to really feel it in your body, and find what true health is for you. Enjoy today’s interview.


[00:08:26] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 474. I am so excited to have back on the show Dr. Michael Haley. When he first came on the show episode 401, we discussed the healing benefits of medicinal aloe and how you can drink medicinal aloe gel to have amazing healing properties for gut inflammation, for helping heal the gut, but also throughout the body that women were noticing better hair and skin.

There were people who noticed that they were in less pain, it brings down inflammation, it basically helps put out the fire. If you think about sunburn on your skin and you put aloe on it, it helps bring down that inflammation, helps the body heal faster. But if you drink it, it does that on the inside as well. We had a great discussion on bringing down that gut inflammation and helping heal the gut.

Since that interview, I had an experience with your aloe gel, Dr. Haley, where my whole family had the stomach flu. I don’t want to give any nasty details but it was like coming out of everywhere. We were all very sick. I took your aloe gel, we started drinking it, and at the time my son was about four and all the symptoms immediately stopped. Nausea, the vomiting, everything had stopped. My son loved it. I can drink it but to get a four-year-old to drink it because it tastes like aloe. It’s not like, oh, this is amazing. It tastes like aloe. I added a little bit of stevia just to sweeten it a little bit and added some lime juice over ice and it is so delicious when you do that. My son loved it. He had such a great experience and to immediately stop the symptoms in their tracks of having gastritis in all of us.


[00:10:35] Dr. Michael Haley: That’s a beautiful thing.


[00:10:36] Ashley James: Yeah, it was amazing. To me, it should be something that’s in everyone’s freezer, and this is described in episode 401, how you guys grow it, fillet it right there, take the gel out, and then immediately freeze it and ship it frozen. So it is pure, it’s fresh, it’s unfiltered. Anything you buy in the store, I love how you described it, the process of buying aloe gel drink in the store. Any store you’re going to buy it from it’s going to be highly filtered, and a lot of the medicinal properties are removed in the process, whereas yours aren’t.

But I think it’s something that should be in everyone’s freezer for those times when you have a tummy upset. It’s so important, and I can just think of a lot of other applications like someone’s going through chemotherapy or someone’s recovering from IBS, someone’s recovering from the stomach flu-like we were. It had an immediate effect. It was wonderful.

A few weeks later, my son overheard a conversation about his school friend who was having constipation. I was on the speakerphone with my friend and he yelled, get him to drink aloe, it’s so good for the tummy. It was really cute.


[00:11:54] Dr. Michael Haley: I love it.


[00:11:55] Ashley James: Yeah, he was giving that advice to his friend. I love your aloe, and listeners can go to That takes them to a special that you give us where you give your cream as well as the frozen medicinal drink. Use coupon code [] for 10% off in addition to the special where you give us the cream for free, so thank you so much for doing that for us.

Today, I’m really excited because we’re going to dive into more about gut health. I love your perspective and I love how you teach gut health. I think even though it’s not necessarily a new topic, I think it’s a new topic for a lot of people. Especially how you approach it and how you teach it, I think it’s going to give people a perspective that really helps them understand and they’re going to be able to take actions today to increase the health of the microbiome and the health of their own gut. Welcome to the show. Welcome back, I should say.


[00:13:04] Dr. Michael Haley: Ashley, thank you so much for having me on your program here. I love what you just said. You have a child that is six years old that’s already changing lives, helping people know what they should do. That is amazing.


[00:13:19] Ashley James: Yeah, it’s really cute. I mean, he hangs out with me so much that he hears me giving advice on health, and then he’s like, yeah, this aloe drink is so good. It’s so good for your tummy.


[00:13:33] Dr. Michael Haley: It’s funny too because people ask me, does it help with constipation? Does it help with diarrhea? Well, it doesn’t really treat either of those but people that are experiencing those tend to move towards the middle, more normal. It helps things to work more like they’re supposed to. But because you mention that, I do have to tell people, be careful. Meaning, we’re talking about the inside of the aloe leaf. There are products out there that contain the outside of the aloe leaf, and people specifically seek that out because they want the laxative effect on the outer leaf. 

You really have to know what products you’re getting and know the difference between whole leaf and inner leaf. Don’t think that, oh, well, it’s coming out all ends, I have diarrhea. I’m going to take the whole leaf and make it better. Oh, you’re not. It’s going to get worse.


[00:14:32] Ashley James: I had that experience. I was really into aloe drinking back when I was in my early 20s, so this is like 20 years ago. Kind of crazy to think that that was so long ago, but I had switched over from eating a really healthy diet to eating the standard American diet. I was in Canada so it was basically just a standard Canadian diet, which at the time was probably just as bad or slightly less bad. I was dating a guy and I was just going to eat what he was eating, and I thought he was eating a good diet because he was a black belt and he was very physically active. So I started eating pizza and Subway sandwiches and just rebelling from my healthy childhood. I got heartburn and I never had heartburn before. So I had no idea how to deal with it, and so I started taking whatever antacids there were.

One day, there was a Naturopathic physician on the TV. I’m pretty sure I was about 19 or 20 actually or just turning 20. She said that stomach acid is coming up into your esophagus not because you have too much acid, it’s because you have too little and your lower esophageal sphincter can’t close because it’s triggered by acid. The acid has to get strong enough for it to want to close. What we need to do is increase the acid. She talked about drinking aloe and she talked about drinking apple cider vinegar.

 I sought out some aloe and I had that experience where I drank a whole aloe plant. I found the whole aloe plant, ground up into a bottle, and that’s when I learned very quickly that you don’t just haphazardly buy whatever aloe is on the market and drink it because the outer shell and filament definitely has the properties of irritating the gut and making you have very bad diarrhea. However, when you get just the gel, which is what you sell, it has a calming effect and it’s wonderful. It’s so wonderful.


[00:16:37] Dr. Michael Haley: For those people hearing this and thinking, oh, well I have constipation, maybe I should try some whole leaf aloe vera. I’m going to caution against that too. Yes, it will loosen things up, but that’s not how you fix constipation. You want to look at your diet and say, do I have enough fiber? Am I drinking enough water? Is there enough fat, which might provide lubrication? Am I eating an alive diet, a probiotic-rich diet, or am I eating chemicals that are killing off my gut flora? Do I need to chew my food better, or am I digesting it properly? Do I need digestive enzymes? We stand back and say, what’s causing this? Let’s not take something to just loosen the bowels, and that’s the experience that you had, unfortunately.


[00:17:25] Ashley James: It was a good lesson to learn. The number one cause or at least the first thing to look for in constipation is dehydration. Then if you go for something like excessive magnesium or drinking a whole aloe, you’re irritating the gut and then you’re going to end up losing more water, so it’s going to be a vicious cycle of further dehydration. The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting 100 ounces of water a day spread out throughout the day, and like you said, look at your fiber. Make sure you’re eating enough fiber from plants.

Apples are a really good source of fiber because it has soluble and insoluble, and I know that Dr. Natasha—who I’ve had on the show and who has been one of your teachers—loves apples for their very gentle prebiotic properties as well.


[00:18:20] Dr. Michael Haley: I agree. I would say that if you don’t tolerate raw apples, bake them. There are so many good things that we can include in our diet to reverse constipation or diarrhea, to normalize, to make things work like they’re supposed to.

Now, it’s funny because you had a wonderful experience with aloe vera a couple of years back as you described, and sometimes, I do cheat. Meaning, I have a patient that has problems like that and I just give them aloe. I say, here, and they say, wow, we’re doing so much better. 

Now that I have your attention, let’s fix things because quite frankly, if I take the aloe vera away, the problem might come right back. Or if you’re still doing the things that you did that got you there—in your case, it was some kind of stomach virus you have gotten, but for most people that are having these irritable bowel conditions and we put out the fire with aloe vera and they’re doing so much better on day three, well your chronic irritable bowel condition, if I take that aloe vera away from you, your problem is going to come right back because all we did is temporarily speed up the healing, but we haven’t slowed down the damage. We need to slow down the damage. Let’s see what’s causing the damage.

That’s actually the most important part of the equation is what is going in through your mouth causing this and it could be other things. It could be mental stress and everything else that contributes to this, but for the most part and the easiest fix is putting healthy foods and keeping out the poisons. There’s more to it than that, we’re going to talk about it. I love the fact that, oh, okay. As long as I eat a healthy diet, then we don’t change our eating habits, and we’re stuffing it down and swallowing it whole. No, there’s more to it.


[00:20:21] Ashley James: So you got to take that healthy food and then you got to chew it. There’s a difference between cooking food and raw food. My understanding is that if you, for example, cook an apple versus raw apple or cooked broccoli versus raw broccoli, it actually changes the fiber a bit so it feeds a different set of microbiomes.


[00:20:44] Dr. Michael Haley: I would agree with that. I wouldn’t know specifics on it, but yes, it’s going to soften things and almost be like a pre-digested easier, which means probably some microbes would be able to process it easier and others probably want what they feed best on. It does make sense because we have such a variety in our microbiome, such a diverse microbiome with all kinds of different organisms in this wonderful community working together to do what they’re supposed to.


[00:21:16] Ashley James: You have a great way of explaining or painting the picture of gut health and how we can look at the gut in a new light. Can we touch on that?


[00:21:28] Dr. Michael Haley: Before talking about the gut and what’s inside it—the soil of our intestines—let’s consider what’s out in the soil outdoors. Some of the problems that damage the food that we’re consuming, and then we’re going to tie it in with the gut and it’s going to all make perfect sense. For those of us that are growing our own food, we know that if we have dead soil, the only way to really get things to grow in it is to add fertilizers. Well, what killed the soil, to begin with?

Maybe it’s pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides—things that are used to try to control what’s growing around our vegetation but it kills, those things are forms of antibiotics. They’re against life. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides are designed to kill and they’re not very specific. The same things that kill weeds can kill microbiology. In that soil, it’s life that makes that soil nutritious for the things that grow in it.

If you think about it, there are bacteria and fungus in the soil. Those things are probably being eaten by things a little bit bigger than them such as protozoa and other larger microorganisms that are probably being consumed by worms. I used to have chickens, they would eat worms. Birds would eat worms. Frogs will eat smaller things than themselves and bigger things will eat them like alligators might eat the birds and the frogs. 

All of these things up the whole chain are consuming and pooping. Literally, it’s the poop that is the soil. That’s the life. It’s nourishing. It’s pre-digested. It’s taking dead matter, recycling it by giving it life for a period of time, and it gets pooped out and it becomes this nutritious soil. The life that lives in it releases the nutrients so that when the roots of trees, bushes, or whatever you have growing in it, as they’re tapped into this poop into this soil, they absorb the nutrients that that life has released.

Now, if that life was not in the soil, if we had killed it off, the farmers have to use fertilizers for the vegetation to grow big and juicy or whatever they’re trying to create. It’s the same way in our intestines. A tree has these big roots that you see going into the soil. If you were to dig them up, you would see they branch off into secondary roots. They branch off into these tertiary routes with little fine hairs tapping into that rich soil.

Well, let’s start off with the poop. Let’s say they’re filled with poop. We have this tube that has these big folds in it, which are like the primary roots. Coming off of those big villi are these microvilli, which are pointed in the other direction increasing the surface area of our intestines so they can absorb more. That’s like your secondary roots with little filaments perpendicular to them, which are like the tertiary roots. These are the roots of our intestines sinking into the soil of our intestines so they can absorb the nutrients, so that our body can live. Our body is much like a tree or like something growing out in the fields tapping into soil to absorb the nutrients.

Now, who makes the soil nutrient-rich outside? We talked about the microbes. It starts with the bacteria, the fungus, the protozoa, and up the chain to the larger animals that are pooping out all of the smaller things down the chain from them. It’s the same way in our intestines. We have bacteria that have a very purposeful function and even fungus which got a function in our intestines. People think, oh, I have a fungus infection. I got to kill it off. It’s probably there for a reason.

I believe it was Dr. Natasha McBride. I think I read it in one of her books. She was saying that the fungus is there to, I believe, clean up heavy metal toxicity. Oh, no, they may have heavy metal toxicity and they’re multiplying so they can consume it. When they’re done with their job, their numbers will decrease. Well, that’s an interesting concept because we always think, I have an overgrowth of this particular bacteria. I have C. diff, I got to kill it off. Let me take some antibiotics or something like that.

Well, we probably all have fungus, C. diff, and all of these different bacteria that we’re trying to kill off with antibiotics, with medicines, but we’re in different balances. Some of us have a healthy balance and some of us have an out of balance. What’s causing that out of balance? Instead of letting me try to balance it with chemistry that’s going to do more than just damage to that particular fungus or bacteria, let me figure out what’s going wrong here. Am I consuming unhealthy food full of metals? Am I consuming toxic substances that might be throwing things out of balance?

That’s how we have to start thinking about our food. We have to think about that soil inside our intestines. When we eat, we’re making soil. We’re chewing it up so that the smaller things can eat it. Imagine if you just swallow your food whole, what are the bacteria going to do with that? It only has about a day to work with it. Maybe 12 hours, actually, if people’s digestion is really moving quickly and functioning well as it’s passing through. We’ve got to think about not feeding us. We have to feed them because they’re the ones that are digesting the food for us.

It’s a whole different perspective. Imagine sitting down to dinner tonight, you already made sure that you put healthy food on the plate, and you put that first bite in your mouth. If you’re thinking about your babies inside you, if you’re thinking about those microbes as being essential for your health and that you’re feeding them, are you going to just swallow or are you going to chew it and prepare it for them? Because really, you should love them because your life is dependent on them.

We’re probably 80% gut flora, 20% human cells. Actually, we’re probably less than that human cells. If we’re 80% gut flora and we also have flora in our ears, our mouths, and in our organs everywhere, they’re probably taking up some more percentage of the leftover remaining 20. We’re a shell for this microflora to live in, and quite frankly, they’re making a lot of the decisions for us.


[00:29:43] Ashley James: Yes, I was just about to say, I’ve read the research where they’ve seen that your microbiome will produce chemicals that are like neuro receptors received by the neurons and can sway you, sway your decision making to feed them. If you have an overgrowth of candida, for example, they actually hijack the brain and make you crave those foods that feed the candida more, that feed the imbalance more. 

On top of having been stimulated by highly addictive processed foods that are designed to trigger your dopamine, your serotonin, designed to override your critical faculty and hijack your brain, then you’ve got the microbiome. If it’s really out of balance, it’s going to tell you to continue to eat those bad foods because it feeds them. If you’ve fostered a really healthy, strong, robust, good, and balanced microbiome, it will also send out chemicals asking for the kale, asking for the baked apple, and asking for the foods that feed it.


[00:31:08] Dr. Michael Haley: This is so critical and we’re just beginning to understand it. Right now, I’m reading an interesting book by Dr. Jon Lieff. He’s an expert in cellular communications science. The book is called, The Secret Language of Cells. In it, he’s talking about how the immune cells communicate with each other and how they travel throughout the body. Somehow, I believe that our gut flora is communicating with our immune system. We know that the majority of our immune system is in our guts, and it’s directing all of these things, helping our bodies make decisions too on what balance of gut flora we should have and when we should let a certain one proliferate and kill off another one. It kind of keeps everything in check for us if we are giving it what it needs.

We can absolutely give it the wrong things, the chemicals that wipe it out. They can’t do a whole lot when we’re filling them up with antibiotics, and when I say antibiotics, I’m talking about anything that’s against light. Whether it’s chlorine in the water, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides in the food, or preservatives in the food. The preservatives which are there to kill things so that life cannot grow in the food. They’re chemicals, they’re antibiotics in the food put there intentionally to make the food uninhabitable. Well, how is our microbiome going to consume that food and stay healthy?

Any artificial colors, artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils are very antibiotic in the sense. They hydrogenate these things to make the food last longer, a form of preservation. We need to be eating real clean foods that are there to nourish our gut flora, not punish it.


[00:33:06] Ashley James: I agree. Can we dive into what foods you’ve seen have the greatest healing properties? Let’s say we have listeners who know they have gut issues right now. I have a friend I’m thinking about who I’m going to ask to listen to this one and she has had chronic constipation her entire life. Her parents had her on antibiotics. Her parents were giving her some kind of Imodium or something as a child. Her parents just didn’t know. They didn’t know how to help their child have a healthy bowel movement. She would go days and days and days without going to the bathroom, and it’s always been so painful for her.

Well, here she is now an adult and she still is having this problem even though she’s changed her diet. She’s eating really healthy. She’s really focusing on hydration and all the things for her gut health, taking probiotics, eating fermented foods, and it’s still chronic constipation. I’ve been throwing all this information at her and she’s just got this big question like, why do I still have it?

Of course, I think emotional work is important to do as well. Something I’ve talked to her about like Emotion Code is really great for something like that when you’ve tried everything and there’s still something stuck in the body. But for those listeners who know they have gut issues, maybe they have chronic something else like heartburn, if it’s gas, bloating, they feel like maybe they have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or fungal overgrowth. They are listeners who have had it for a really long time and they need to get something moving. They need some guidance to—like you said, you get your patients on aloe, and then they have a leg up. They’ve gotten some improvement and then you’re like, okay, now we need to make the changes. 

I recommend everyone drink aloe because at least, then they get some movement in the right direction and then they start feeling good. It’s like, okay, now let’s make more changes. What changes should people make who’ve had chronic gut issues and really are motivated to heal but need some direction?


[00:35:31] Dr. Michael Haley: The first thing we have to recognize is that absolutely, everybody is different. As an example, I have an Italian heritage. A lot of people can’t eat gluten. I could. I could snort gluten and be fine. I don’t and I minimize it in my diet because I do know that it’s inflammatory, and if I consume too much of it, I might mess things up. I know that the bread has more gluten in it than it used to. Being a former bread maker, I understand that. We want a lot of gluten. It really makes this stretchy dough. It’s so delicious, but that will ruin people.

As I’m talking about certain things, it’s not a formula for everybody. You have to work within what works well for you. You can take ideas from me and you can try them, but maybe keep a Food Mood Poop Journal. What’s that? Well, a food journal where I eat it and I’m going to document things like my mood, my bowel function, and how I feel. Do things hurt, am I thinking clearly, am I edgy, or do I feel great? Because how you eat affects these things.

As you keep that little journal, you figure out which foods work for you. But if we were addressing constipation specifically, I would say, okay, here are some of the things that we need to think about. When I mention certain foods, it doesn’t mean you need to include these. I make a 2 ½ gallon batch of yogurt every week for me and my family. Dairy might not be right for you. Maybe you want to try it out of nut milk and the whole concept of any yogurt might not work for you. We have to journal to figure these things out.

Number one, chew your food because remember, you’re not feeding you, you’re feeding them. You’re feeding that gut flora and you need to break that food up and pre-digest it for them so that they can have something to work with. As you’re chewing, you’re working in the saliva, and you have these digestive enzyme-type things working into the food that’ll help break it down even further. How many times should you chew it? Jordan Rubin used to say to chew your food 50 times before you swallow. Now, I tried that, and by the time I get to 50, there is nothing left to swallow. But think about how well things would be prepared for them.

Drink a lot of water, especially if you’re eating a lot of fiber. If you’re tolerating fiber well, that is something that needs to be included when you have constipation. You have to make sure you have enough fiber, you have to make sure you have enough water. If you’re consuming fiber without water, you’re actually going to almost make a cement plug in your bowels so it’s going to go the other direction. As you’re eating fiber-rich foods, you’re drinking a lot of water, and they soak up. The fiber soaks up that water and it not only helps cleanse your bowels and it helps provide bulk that moves through well, it stimulates peristalsis, so you start stimulating that very thing that you’re looking for to get things moving through.

When we talk about live food, it’s funny. People say, oh, well, if you cook it, it’s dead and all the enzymes are dead. First of all, I never knew that enzymes have ever actually had real life, but they could be denatured. There’s a good balance between cooked food and raw food, but when I think of live food, I’m thinking about food that is good food for the life that I’m feeding, which is that bacteria inside me. So it is going to be chemical-free. It’s going to be real food. It’s going to be chewed well, and it might even be probiotic, it might even be cultured because remember, the bacteria eat things that are produced by other bacteria.

As soon as you eat that probiotic food, it might die in your stomach acids. But that cultured pre-digested food that happens when I’m making yogurt, it’s pre-digesting the milk, the dairy, turning it into more nutrients that my gut flora can feed off of. It’s pre-digesting it. When I’m making sauerkraut, if I just eat raw cabbage and swallow it whole versus culture it and turn it into sauerkraut which releases all of these nutrients and enzymes, and then I chew it up really good and swallow that, I’m feeding them well.

We’ve got chew your food, fiber, water, probiotics, which is either cultured food or if you’re going to buy a good probiotic, and take them to help nourish that gut flora.

Digestive enzymes. Yes, when we chew, we’re working in our own digestive enzymes. Some people do need a little help or their food doesn’t have enough enzymes in it. There are digestive enzymes in a lot of foods. Aloe vera has a lot of naturally occurring digestive enzymes. 

But for someone that’s having a challenge, they might want to try consuming digestive enzymes in their diet. Things like amylase is a digestive enzyme that helps break down carbohydrates. Lipase will help break down fats and protease. Well, there’s more than just those three. You can get a complex enzyme formula. Usually, it comes in a capsule and they really help get things moving. When people have that, it feels like their food is just sitting there. They ate and it’s just not moving and they can’t sleep at night. A lot of times within 15, 20 minutes of taking a digestive enzyme, that relief that you were looking for is there as it starts breaking down the food.

I’ll never forget the demonstration I had by someone where they made a bowl of oatmeal. In this case, they opened up one of those capsules of green powder, fruit and vegetable powder, that had digestive enzymes in it. That cooked bowl of oatmeal liquefied in the bowl within about 10 minutes from sprinkling the digestive enzymes on it.


[00:42:14] Ashley James: Cool.


[00:42:14] Dr. Michael Haley: Yeah, it goes right to work. There are a lot of brands out there, they pretty much work. It’s impressive. They work, they help. Something to try if you’re having that problem. And then, a lot of people don’t eat enough fat. Why do we have this fear of fat? Fat is not only very satisfying and will help us control our appetite to where we’re not eating and craving some of those bad things, but it’s also a form of lubrication in our bowels that can help things move through easier.

When it comes to constipation specifically, I don’t know if I forgot any of this off the top. I hope I didn’t forget anything. Those are the major ones—the chew the food, the fiber, the water, the fat, and the probiotics.


[00:43:13] Ashley James: I just got into this habit about a year ago or maybe closer to two years ago. I eat an avocado for breakfast with sprouts—I sprout myself—and sauerkraut. All organic. I mean, a whole avocado, it’s a lot of fat. It’s also a good amount of fiber. It’s very satiating, and oftentimes, I’m not hungry again until 2:00 PM, and I go what? I’ve calculated it. I don’t think calories are anywhere near the most important thing to look at. I think calories was sold to us by the dieting industry, and it does a great disservice just to focus on calories alone because really, the macronutrients, it’s more important to understand your ratios and understand 500 calories of food really means nothing because it could be chocolate cake, it could be broccoli, it could be an apple, right?

Measuring the calories doesn’t inform you of the nutrition and the healing properties of your food. But just as a point of measurement, it was about 700 calories, my breakfast, when I calculated it, and I wouldn’t eat again until 2:00 or 3:00 PM. I just thought, that’s really interesting that that level of fat, because that’s the most fat I get from my diet is from my avocado or from beans as well, which some beans have a considerable amount of fat and fiber. I found that when I eat foods that have fiber and fat like beans and avocado or a handful of nuts, I’m satiated the most,

Now, I wouldn’t go overboard, eat nuts, beans, or eat avocado all day long, but just make sure it’s in my diet. When I’ve tweaked my diet to not have any foods with fat, I have noticed that I’m definitely more hungry. I definitely have to eat more often throughout the day. I’m just not feeling satiated. That’s right, the fiber and the fat together bring that satiety, and it also really helps, like you said, lubrication within the bowels.


[00:45:46] Dr. Michael Haley: Yeah. It sounds like we eat alike a lot too. I love my avocados, love my homegrown sprouts. I’ll probably sprinkle a little Herbamare on there and douse it with some olive oil because I like that extra fat, but it’s tremendously, tremendously satisfying. We’ve always got the sprouts growing in our little jar in the sink, you mix them up, and they all have all kinds of different flavors. Some of the bean sprouts have a nice even oniony type flavor.


[00:46:18] Ashley James: Oh, yeah. I have a sprouting mix that I do sometimes that is spicy. I don’t know what it is because there are like five different things, but it is spicy. Maybe it’s the clove and my son’s like, whooo, this is spicy. It has such a delicious flavor. My microbiome craves it because it tells me.

I didn’t used to like kale, for example, and then I started to eat, I started to eat it, and then all of a sudden I started to have the Pavlovian response where I’d be like salivating when I’d think about eating kale. That was definitely my microbiome sending those signals to my brain. We want more of that food, give us more of that, feed us more of that. I can really tell that my body craves the sprouts, which are so chock-full of vitamins. It’s something like 700 times the amount of vitamin C once you take a seed and then sprout it. 

I have a little bit of a different way of sprouting. I soak half a cup of the seeds overnight between 12 and 24 hours, usually closer to 12, and then I put it in a colander in a bowl, and then I put it in a warm dark place which is like my oven is a good example, as long as the oven’s not on. And then I water it twice a day and strain it. It grows in the colander in the bowl, and within five days I’ve got this huge, huge amount of sprouts. I do that two to three times a week. 

I tried the jar method. I don’t know if it’s because of the Pacific Northwest where I live, it just got soggy and died. I think it’s just too moist here to sprout things really well in the jar, but in an open colander, it seemed to do really well. I just think that’s because of the humidity here. It’s really easy to sprout. I was afraid at first when I didn’t know, and then I had some guests on the show and I started learning about it. It’s like, okay, I’m going to give this a try, and then it was ridiculously easy. It’s very hard to screw up. I screwed up a few times, but really, even if you forget to water it, it still grows. It’s going to be okay, it’s going to sprout, and it’s so delicious.

Of course, I’ve had Tim James on the show and he says that about 70% of all his daily food is what he grows in his house. That is so phenomenal, this idea that we could grow really vitamin dense, vitamin-rich foods just on our window sill or in a dark place. It depends on what you’re doing. If you’re sprouting or if you’re doing microgreens, you can grow food that’s fresh. I’m so jealous of you, you could walk outside and pick an avocado. I’d love to get a fresh avocado right from a tree, but I can’t. I can’t grow fresh food in the wintertime here in the Pacific Northwest. I grow my own sprouts and then I’m getting fresh food.


[00:49:20] Dr. Michael Haley: Yeah, that’s a beautiful thing. We love taking our sprouts. We’ll sprout some chickpeas and make some hummus. Maybe mix those into the sprouts and maybe wrap them in collard greens and have one of those all vegetable type burritos where the hummus really holds everything together. Now it’s funny though because one of the things you asked me is, what should somebody eat to get well? As we’re talking so much about fruits, vegetables, and sprouts, we haven’t really talked about animal foods.

When I have people that have gut problems and they’re not eating animal foods, they are the most difficult to get well. Dr. Natasha McBride talks about the fact that our stomachs can really only digest meat, dairy, fish, and eggs. I believe she’s talking about the acidity there because that’s really where we do the digesting. And then, once it goes into our small intestines and starts moving down the path into the large intestine, that’s where the microbiome takes over and does the digesting. They can work on the fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and all those things that we’re eating, but our stomachs really were made to digest animal foods.

Now, why do we need so many more fruits and vegetables now more than ever before? I remember talking to Gabriel Cousens probably seven or eight years ago, and he was talking about adapting with the Earth. We have more toxins now on the earth than ever before. At the time, he had mentioned the fact that Fukushima was still spewing radiation everywhere, and I bet you it still is. He talked about it being measurable even in the grasslands in the central US. Wow, all the way from the other side of the world there and it’s in our grasslands.

Pollution and toxicity are everywhere. One of the functions of phytonutrients is to help cleanse and detoxify the body. Well, shouldn’t I be getting those same nutrients from the animal foods? Yes, we should. But the foods that they’re eating don’t have as many in it as they used to because things are growing differently now. With the toxic planet, we have less nutritious fruits and vegetables, it’s just the way it is. 

An evidence of that, by the way, organic fruits and vegetables are demonstrated to have 40 to 60% more nutrients than inorganic, but we know that even organic is not grown like it was in the Garden of Eden or we’ll say a couple of thousand years ago, before the Industrial Revolution. Things have changed on this planet.

Gabriel Cousens was talking about adapting and consuming more of these things, really as a way of surviving. Not that our bodies were only made for vegetation, I think that would be a poor argument because they’re not, but consuming more of that probably makes sense. Take nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, and phytonutrients that we would get from even algae. Well, when the fish eat those, they become part of them, and then we might instead of calling them phytonutrients or plant nutrients, we might call them zoonutrients, but it’s the same nutrient.

We can get these important phytonutrients from eating animal foods, it’s just hard to, especially when all of the animals are fed grains instead of grasses. If they are fed grasses, they’re probably not as nutritious as they used to be. 

When we start thinking about our diet, I agree with what Gabriel Cousens said that we do have to adapt and think, where can I get the most nutrients, and how can I prepare these nutrients for my microbiome as I’m feeding them? How do I save them, make sure they don’t get the chemicals, they’re getting good nutritious food? How do I get the important nutrients from animal foods if I’m not consuming them? How do I get my fat-soluble vitamins? My A, D, and K. Where do I get my B12 from if I’m not consuming animal foods? Probably better off consuming a balance of both.

Animal foods that do have nutrients like collagen and stuff like that that helps heal not only your joints, but your gut, and phytonutrients from not only your animal foods but also from fruits, vegetables, things that grow on the Earth, the sprouts. Lately, I’ve been loving eating algae even, which is that first food.


[00:54:54] Ashley James: Yes. I have about seven episodes on algae and using chlorella and spirulina in healing. It’s so wonderful because the protein is in the most absorbable form in chlorella and spirulina. Within minutes of eating it, you’re absorbing it. You’re getting vitamin K, you’re getting some great vitamins, some trace minerals, but the green nutrients that you’re getting, it’s so condensed. I’m a big fan of algae, especially for heavy metals using chlorella.

Dr. Klinghardt, on the show, who helps the children who present with symptoms as if they were on the spectrum. After going through a heavy metal detox that he guides them through no longer present with symptoms. He gets children coming in who are banging their heads against the wall, rocking themselves, hitting their head because they’re in so much pain that their brain is on fire from the heavy metals. They’re unable to talk. They’re not doing eye contact and they’re nonverbal. It can take years, but after his program, these children are looking you in the eye, speaking with you, calm, happy in their own body, content.

Because he’s been doing this for over 40 years, he says he has children who came to him like that who are now composers, Ph.D.s. He’s so proud of all of his patients, but he uses chlorella with the children that he works with, in addition to many other things. It’s a gentle chelator of heavy metals. 

There’s a caveat. You can’t just eat any chlorella because most of them on the market are cracked with lead balls or cracked with marbles that contain lead. You want the kind that is cracked with a different method. That’s why I like ENERGYbits. There are two companies that I really like and ENERGYbits taste better, I don’t know why. The other company that Dr. Klinghardt uses tastes really fishy to me. I don’t know if it’s just sitting there more, stale, or fishy, but it had like a fish smell to it. And it shouldn’t, but the ENERGYbits doesn’t have that. I really like ENERGYbits. 

I’ve had Catharine Arnston, the founder of ENERGYbits, on the show about seven times. She does give a coupon code, which is LTH, and a lot of listeners have reported that they also love the ENERGYbits, the chlorella and the spirulina.

Now, in terms of animal food, I’ve had so many doctors on the show share about how the plant-based diet is incredibly healing, especially for diabetes and heart disease. That they see amazing results helping people to even reverse blockages in the heart. What I also like to say on the show is we don’t have diet dogma here. We’re not going to just go okay plant-based diet 100% and we’re nothing else because the moment we shut our brains off—even though it has great results and I just see the tremendous benefits these doctors have and I myself have had fantastic results with healing things in my body using the whole food plant-based diet.

However, we can’t buy into diet dogma because then we’re shutting ourselves off from other things that could help us heal. So if we look at food as a tool, when do we pick up the tool of whole food plant-based? When would we pick up the tool of bone broth? Dr. Natasha McBride, who I’ve had on the show, shares how she helps heal the gut in children who are so distressed that their bodies are so broken.

So much so that they also present with autism symptoms, and when she gets them eating the GAPS diet, they heal their gut because of the gut-brain connection. As a result, their brain also heals, the inflammation comes down there, and then they present with much fewer symptoms of a being on the spectrum, or in some cases, they get off the spectrum altogether just from diet. One of the primary things that she uses is bone broth. These are tools and I just want to say that I really value the whole food plant-based diet, and we have to keep an open mind because if there’s a tool that could heal you but if we’re buying into diet dogma, then we’re unable to see that tool. I just want to say that I love the whole food plant-based diet, and if I was dying and bone broth would save me, I would drink it. We can’t just shut off all of the tools. 

However, we should eat an informed diet. We should really listen to our body, eat an informed diet because the standard American diet is just go out and eat lots of meat, eat lots of fried food, get lots of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, get a ton of fried potatoes in you. 

Sixty-seven percent of the consumed calories that adolescents have—there’s a study out of Canada—is from the four food groups that are causing obesity. This is documented that it’s fried potato, gluten flour, high fructose corn syrup, and high fat milk products. Those four categories are the biggest reason why we have obesity and processed food addiction. Children and adolescents are eating 67% of their diet from those four food groups alone.

When we eat uninformed, we just eat whatever we want, and we let the addictive substances control us, the processed food. We’re not eating in a healthy way whatsoever. But when we use food as a tool, so you’re preparing bone broth for the collagen or you’re eating homemade applesauce or homemade plant-based yogurt or dairy yogurt, if that’s what you choose. If you’re being intentional with these tools, then you are working towards healing the gut

I just want to say, no diet dogma, but we’re going to take in the information and look at food as a tool.


[01:02:00] Dr. Michael Haley: I like what you said there and I want people to also look at it from a perspective of sometimes it sounds dogmatic and it’s not, meaning it comes from a certain perspective. I was lucky enough to be taught by Dr. Natasha McBride. I remember when she came to I think it was in Chicago and I spent a few days in class with her, she’s very big on bone broth, whether it be beef stock or chicken stock, but she is focused on healing guts for the sake of well GAPS gut and psychology syndrome and also physiology syndrome. Those are the two P’s—psychology and physiology.

But I did ask her and I remember her answer even though it was seven or eight years ago. I said well, what about if it was someone with cancer? She said, well, these are growth foods, not necessarily the best thing for someone with cancer. They need cleansing, detoxing food, which is going to be your plant-based diet. She even recognized. She might seem dogmatic about including animal foods, but she’s focused on healing the gut. In other words, it’s the right tool for the right job. In the case of cancer, your emphasis is going to be plant-based. She specifically used the word, animal foods are growth foods. I look at a growth food, my favorite example, if I was in the NFL playing line, I’d probably want maximum growth foods. It doesn’t mean it’s the most anti-cancer diet.

A lot of times we hear people that sound so dogmatic, but if we realize where their emphasis is coming from and what their expertise is—weight loss, that’s a whole different emphasis.


[01:04:15] Ashley James: Right. Using food as a tool. If I had heart disease, I would be going to Dr. Esselstyn and following the plant-based diet because he’s got great results. If I had massive gut issues, I would go to Dr. McBride because she has a fantastic track record with the GAPS diet. If I hadn’t been able to heal it with anything else, I’d definitely go to her.

I have a friend who almost died and the GAPS diet saved her life. She loves Dr. McBride so much, just loves her so much. She says, this woman is a miracle worker. I was on death’s door and her diet saved me. This is a dear friend of mine, so I had to look at that and go, okay. It seems like a paradox, right? How could something that reverses heart disease so clearly and reverses type 2 diabetes, this diet—the whole food plant-based diet—be so different from Dr. McBride’s diet, and yet both of them heal and save lives.

Food is a tool, and we have to know what tools we’re putting in our body to feed the six pounds of microbiome in our gut. Six pounds, it’s crazy to think. We really do have like a little koala bear. I like to think of a little chihuahua or something. We are feeding an animal inside our gut. However many trillion cells this is, they poop out nutrients that we absorb, and so we need to feed it. We need to know what to feed it and when defeated to support it.

It’s a really big thing to wrap our brains around. When you say take into account and take note of, journal, can you give us some guidance on how we can listen to our bodies? I feel like sometimes people are a bit overwhelmed. It’s like, well, where do we even start? So where do we start?


[01:06:26] Dr. Michael Haley: It’s funny, I stole the name of the journal from David and Karla [inaudible 01:06:30] just the other day, but the concept I took from Dr. Natasha McBride being the food journal, and imagine just a piece of paper with three columns on it. It’s really easy. The first column is the time and day stamp. Right now, it’s whatever day at such and such a time. The second column is what you ate, and sometimes in some of these entries, column two is going to be blank because the third column is how you feel. Sometimes, you’re making a day and timestamp and you’re going to enter what you ate, other times it’s going to be how you feel. Sometimes it’s going to be both. I’m eating this and I feel great, or I’m eating this and I don’t feel good.

The most important part of this is patterns and let me use a real good example. My father the other day, I went to see him in the hospital. It seemed like he was having a stroke of some kind. My first question was, well, what medicines are you taking? Is it possible you took the same medicines twice? Had he been documenting we would have known. After all kinds of exams for two or three days of this, we realize that actually, one of his medications got changed and in his case, it was too much high blood pressure medicine, which means his brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen, so he had confusion and dizziness.

What we’re consuming and how do we feel? Well, we noticed a pattern by day two or three, and that was that when he took his medications, a couple of hours after, he would get groggy, confused, and dizzy, and then several hours later, he would start coming back to normal. That was a pattern that we established in a couple of days, and we actually realized one of his doctors made a little mistake and instead of cutting his blood pressure medicine in half, he doubled it. That was the mistake causing the problems, lowering his blood pressure too much.

We were able to track that by making a note of what time he took what and what happened to him symptomatically. That feel section is not only because we called it a Food Mood Poop Journal. It’s what you eat and at what time and it’s the mood, how are you feeling? I’m very clear-minded, I’m focused, or I’m confused. I’m supposed to do something, what was it? Oh, I just feel so scattered today. What have you been eating? The last time you felt scattered, what did you eat? We start developing these patterns.

The last time you were feeling really energetic, clear-minded, you’re sleeping well, and your bowel function is good, what foods were you eating? You start developing a list. This is my naughty list. I don’t want to eat these because they make me feel this way, I get constipation, I get diarrhea, or I get heartburn. These are foods that I feel great. My digestion is good. I’m clear-minded. I’m energetic. I love life. I’m happy. The foods that make you happy and your bowels function great are probably going to be different than the ones that do it for me.


[01:10:18] Ashley James: Another thing to note is that you got to really look at it for 24 to 48 hours. Food sensitivities can affect you and histamine. It might not hit you right away, it may not hit you within three hours because it depends on what immunoglobulin response you’re having. It can also be a build-up over time, right? Maybe you have an IgG response. Let’s say you’re allergic to oats, you had some for breakfast, you had some dinner, and then you had some for breakfast again, and then then the histamine gets to that tipping point where then you’re having the histamine symptoms, which can present differently for different people, but it could be asthma, runny nose, burning eyes, gut issues, skin issues. 

The behavior we have to really look at. So you said mood but also behavior. Are you yell or are you quick to frustration? Are you noticing your behavior? Sometimes it feels like I’m normal, but everyone else is pissing me off. It’s like, well, okay, then you’re really irritable. Your fuse, you have a short fuse. And then also looking at the next day. How did you wake up in the morning? Were you groggy and how is your energy and do you have to reach for the coffee or can you survive without coffee? 

I think it’s really important to remove the things that are suppressing your mood, right? So if things are suppressing you. Alcohol, caffeine, sugar—these are blocking your ability to listen to your body and really hear where it’s at. If you’re drinking coffee and drinking alcohol at night to “calm yourself” and then you’re eating sugar, you’re not really getting an accurate food mood journal because you’re masking the symptoms your body is telling you. I think it’s also important to look at that and consider doing a complete sugar fast, a complete sugar detox, and getting off of caffeine. 

It takes four to eight days to detox from sugar, so you got to get to day nine before you judge it, but you’re going to go through the withdrawals, right? A little bit of headache, achy, cranky, then day nine, it’s going to be like you’re coming out of the woods and you feel like a million bucks compared to how you did. When your body gives you symptoms, when you eat something and your body loves it versus eat something your body doesn’t love it, the signals are going to be so much clearer.

When I do blood sugar coaching with people, we monitor blood sugar along with the food mood journal because seeing that like, okay, what you ate for breakfast not only affects your day, but it can actually affect tomorrow. If you drank wine last night, it’s affecting you for the next 24 hours, and they can see it. It’s subjective versus objective, right? They see, okay, this external device is telling them, okay, this isn’t working for me. That meal wasn’t working for me, and then they can dial in the meals that are working for them.

Dr. William Davis who wrote the book, Wheat Belly, came on the show and he said that he thinks that every 100% of the population should have a glucometer and check in once in a while and check to see two hours after a meal, was that meal good for me? Because we’re not looking for diabetes, but we’re looking for how did your body react to that meal. Is it driven too high blood sugar, too low, or was it able to stabilize and come back to normal within two hours? Just check in with yourself because that would be a real reality check.

I like the food mood journal, and then I also like those sometimes external reality checks. Even putting on a little pulse ox on your finger and checking your pulse. A Naturopath told me, one of the ways to test for food sensitivities is to monitor your pulse after a meal. You got to be calm, take a few deep breaths, but if your pulse is really high, that’s a stimulant. Even though you have no stressors and you’re just chilling out and your pulse is really high afterward, then there’s something that your body is stressed out about from the meal you ate.

There are these little external ways like blood pressure and taking vitals to see how our body is responding to the foods. I love the idea of tracking it though because I don’t even remember what I ate yesterday. I’m trying to think, I don’t remember what I ate yesterday. I definitely don’t remember what I ate the day before.


[01:15:43] Dr. Michael Haley: it was sprouts and avocado.


[01:15:44] Ashley James: I definitely ate sprouts and avocado. I just ate my last avocado, so I’m not going to have it tomorrow unless I go get some groceries. I don’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday. I might not have had lunch that’s probably why I don’t remember, but I don’t remember eight two days ago. But if I was thinking to myself, well, where did this rash come from or why do I feel so crummy? Well, if I didn’t write it down, then how can I track it? Every time I’m crummy, I’m going to go look back and be like, oh, every time I feel crummy it’s after I eat strawberries. Okay, I’m going to have to cut strawberries out to figure out what’s going on.


[01:16:19] Dr. Michael Haley: When you talk about the alcohol, the sugar cravings, and stuff, remember, we’re highly influenced by our gut flora. Something so simple like cultured foods or probiotics can even decrease those cravings for alcohol or sugar. Anyone that is struggling with those things, try it. It’s almost a calorie-free way of testing to see if you can decrease cravings. Wouldn’t that be awesome if you weren’t craving things that are harming you? That would be phenomenal.

I got to be a little transparent. I’m a little embarrassed to tell you this, but I’m going to because I think it’s going to benefit somebody that’s listening, probably a lot of people. The reason I’m embarrassed, and I have to preface and say, this is going back a good 25 years. I wasn’t the healthiest. I was like the one that you mentioned early in the show. I thought that it didn’t matter what I ate. I would just exercise into this beautiful physique of muscle and strength. You can’t do that. You only get away with that for so long. It’s not good for you.

I was drinking Diet Coke. I did not know why I had tinnitus. Eventually, I realized I needed to quit drinking Diet Coke, and it was a long time before tinnitus went away. I certainly did not know they were connected. I probably slipped up a few times, and I wondered, why is my tinnitus back? I remember one time when I drank Diet Coke and the next day I’m thinking, I have tinnitus again. I haven’t had this in so long. What is going on? It stuck with me for a few days and I started thinking about that. I wonder if it’s the Diet Coke?

Well, I realize it’s not only the Diet Coke that does it. It’s also Halloween candy. I don’t know which Halloween candy because it comes in and that’s the one day you cheat for the whole year, right? If you’re going to cheat, you’re all in. You got a big variety, might as well do it all. I haven’t figured out which of that mix that the kids would bring home, but now I haven’t had tinnitus in years because I recognize that these things make my ears ring. It doesn’t matter what the symptom is—pain, confusion, weakness, it could even be something like sciatica. There’s a good chance that your body chemistry, largely under the influence of your diet, is causing it.


[01:19:03] Ashley James: Yeah, that’s a big one. It is addictive. Even though there’s no sugar in diet soda, it still triggers the insulin response, which is so frustrating for those people who think they’re doing something healthy because it says diet. Also, if you leave diet soda—I think it’s aspartame that when you heat it up, it creates formaldehyde. If the diet soda in transit was in a hot place or you left it in the car and it was hot, you’re drinking formaldehyde. I don’t imagine that’s good for you either.

I also watched a documentary about aspartame a long time ago. 2008 or 2009, I watched this documentary about the hidden things about aspartame and how just awful it is. It’s a really interesting history though to look at aspartame, but certain military personnel was not allowed to drink it within a certain amount of time like one or two hours of flying certain military airplanes because it is a neurotoxin that limits reflexes. If you’re going Mach 4 you might screw up because you drank the diet soda. I mean, that’s really scary.

My husband who was a carpenter for 20 years (commercial carpenter), he could open up a blueprint and just understand it. I look at a blueprint, I’m like, what’s going on? But he could understand it and he could look at a room and basically, almost with his eyes, measure the room and know how much material he needed. He was really good at looking at blueprints and doing the math to figure out all the material needed.

Well, I was just getting into wanting to be healthier and I said, okay, I know you’re drinking Monster energy drinks, can you just switch to diet because sugar’s so bad for you? Well, he came home and he said, I couldn’t do math. I couldn’t do it. He goes, I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I looked at the blueprint, I tried to do calculations after drinking two Diet Monster drinks and my brain shut off. I could not even do the math to do my job, so he just had to come home. That’s when we started looking into it, and this was a long time ago. We looked into aspartame and saw it is a neurotoxin and it does have links to causing MS. It also is really bad for the gut. I don’t know if you know that. It is the chemicals in diet sodas, particularly the sweeteners, that is very bad for the microbiome as well.


[01:21:48] Dr. Michael Haley: Yeah, I haven’t had a soda of any kind in many, many years. I know that for a moment there, I probably completely discredited everything I had set up to that point. It was years ago, okay. It was years ago.


[01:22:05] Ashley James: The living glass houses don’t throw stones. We’ve all been there, right? We want to get healthier. I love sharing my health journey because I’m definitely not perfect by any means. But look how much I’ve come. I’ve healed like five diseases. Look how far I’ve come, and I continue my journey. I also love helping people learn through my sharing of what’s possible.

What is possible is you can heal your body, your body can heal itself. You have an innate God-given ability to heal, and we just have to figure out what your body needs and what your body doesn’t need. Doctors will tell you that you can never get better and they’re not true. They might really believe what they say, they’re not trying to lie, but MDs are trained in a type of medicine. They’re not informed on how to heal the body. They will tell you, you can’t heal.

For example, you’ll have A-fib forever. My husband no longer has A-fib and it’s because of his chiropractor and his Naturopath. It’s not a heart condition if it is the kind of A-fib he had, which was impingement of a thoracic nerve. His Naturopath said, there’s nothing wrong with your heart. Your thoracic spine is impinging and causing you to have acute A-fib attacks every time we lift something heavy up. We went to a cardiologist and he was a candidate for a pacemaker. Thank God we didn’t go down that route, we went the holistic route, and he is healthy as a horse.

I reversed my polycystic ovarian syndrome. I was told by an endocrinologist and doctors that you can never reverse polycystic ovarian syndrome. You will have it for the rest of your life. All the women I talked to that have it say, well, I will have it forever. No. Just like type 2 diabetes, I reverse that. You don’t have to have it forever. All the things that you have, you don’t have to have forever. Your body becomes out of balance and you can bring your body back into balance. That’s why I think it’s so important to talk about the way you talk about good health. Think about it like you’re a gardener and you’re trying to feed the worms in your garden so that those worms could feed your plants, right? You’re trying to feed the healthy microbiome so the healthy microbiome feeds your body.


[01:24:39] Dr. Michael Haley: I’m kicking myself right now.


[01:24:41] Ashley James: Why?


[01:24:42] Dr. Michael Haley: You said something and it triggered a memory, and it’s like, ugh.


[01:24:47] Ashley James: Tell me the memory.


[01:24:50] Dr. Michael Haley: It belongs approximately 45 minutes ago in the story. We were talking about constipation and we talked about everything diet-related. You brought up chiropractic and I got to tell you about an early patient and I’m a new chiropractor. Charlie comes in with pain radiating down his leg and pain radiating down his arm. I remember taking an X-ray of his back and just seeing this like crooked lumbar, I think it was like his L2, It was just tilted to one side, didn’t look right, and I’m being a new chiropractor at the time—it was easily 25 years ago. I’m going to fix it in one adjustment, that’s my method.

I put him on his side, I grabbed onto that bone, and when I shoved that thing in place, I’m telling you, it sounded like I just sat on a bag of Doritos. Have you ever seen the movie Caddyshack where Rodney Dangerfield was driving this speedboat? It wasn’t a speedboat. It was a huge yacht, but he’s got it wide open and it may as well be a speedboat. There’s this little black man fishing on a canoe and Rodney’s headed right for him. The man looks, sees the boat coming, then looks back, and then he realizes what’s happening. He looks again at Rodney’s boat coming charging towards him, and his eyes get about as big as doughnuts.

The way that man looked, if you remember that scene, that was Charlie on the chiropractic table when I adjusted him. His eyes just lit up just like that man that was fishing on Caddyshack. I thought, oh, maybe it’s because it made so much noise and he didn’t know what was happening, or I didn’t tell him. He hadn’t been in forever or was it his first visit? I forget, but maybe I just didn’t explain things. He just had this look of fear.

Well, the next day he came back. He said, Dr. Haley, I don’t even know why I came back. I’m thinking, oh, man, I must have hurt him or something. I didn’t explain that what I do might cause a little discomfort as I make a change because I really did set out to fix it in one shot. He said something you did? I said, well, okay, what’s going on? He said, well, I don’t have any more pain going down my leg. Something you did. Okay, what else? Well, I don’t have any more pain going down my arm. I did adjust his neck too, but that’s not what the story is about. So what’s going on?

The first thing he said is, I can have sex again. I said, oh, wait a second. You didn’t say anything about that. I opened up his entrance forms and there was no checkmark where that was a potential problem. I said, why didn’t you check that box? He said, I didn’t know that I could have anything. I said, how long have you been having this problem? He said 10 years.


[01:27:57] Ashley James: So he had erectile dysfunction for 10 years.


[01:28:01] Dr. Michael Haley: And it was simply something caused in his spine. I said, what else? He said, I don’t have constipation anymore. I said, really? How long have you had that problem? He said 10 years. So for 10 years, he had nerves choked in his spine that weren’t causing pain, but they were shutting down the function of things below it because the nerves come out of the spine and go downward. I said, Charlie, what was that look on your face? He said, I had to go to the bathroom. As soon as I adjusted him, it was one of those moments like, oh, this is not good. How much it’s going to take me? And he’s calculating whether or not he can make it home for this explosive emptying of 10 years’ worth of being backed up. Sometimes it’s not your diet.


​​[01:29:04] Ashley James: It’s a really good point to make. This again comes to the idea of how we’ve been raised. We’ve been raised to believe that allopathic MD-based medicine is the only form of medicine. That we wait to get sick and then go to the doctor. 

Holistic medicine looks at the body through a whole different lens, so we have to shift our thinking. It really comes down to how we see the world, how we see our body. We have to shift our thinking. Are we a petri dish waiting to attract germs—the germ theory versus the terrain theory—or is the terrain, the soil so healthy that it doesn’t get affected? How are some people walking around, they’re like, oh, I haven’t had a cold in years, and then there’s another person who just catches everything in sight. There’s something about that.

Even Louis Pasteur on his deathbed said that he was wrong. It’s not the pasteurization, the killing off of. He goes, no, the terrain of the body is the most important thing. Understanding of the healthier your body is in terms of the healthy microbiome, then the body can easily fight off things. But when the body is weakened, the microbiomes weakened, and everything’s weakened from the processed food, chemicals, stress, addictive substances, and all these things that are weakening the body, then you are more likely to attract and grow. You become the petri dish that grows these negative things.

Looking at the body holistically, looking through the lens and going we are the soil, the body as a whole. Nerves come out of the brain, so we have to understand that nerves innervate the organs of what’s going on in the spine. What about inflammation? Everything, the gut affects the brain, right? So if someone’s presenting with brain problems or emotional problems, we can’t just focus on the brain. We have to look to the gut. If someone has constipation, we can’t just focus on food, we have to look to the spine. It’s the body as a whole. We cannot just laser focus in on one part of the body. We have to look at the body as a whole and see how everything affects each other.

That’s why I love having a team of holistic health providers, having a chiropractor that’s really good. I like to say see chiropractors that have at least 15 years of experience. My chiropractor is about to retire. I think he’s been practicing for close to 40 years. I love him to death and I tell him that we have to clone him before he retires because I don’t want to lose him. He’s amazing. See a Naturopath that has at least 15 or more years of experience. You just want to have really good experienced holistic health providers on your team that are all informing you and educating you so that you can make the best decisions for yourself.

My husband no longer has A-fib because of his chiropractor and because his Naturopath pointed it out. Then we went to the chiropractor and the chiropractor fixed it but also gave him exercises to strengthen and to continue to keep it strong. The most important thing to know is that your body can heal itself. We just have to get the right information and your body can heal itself. When you were learning from Dr. McBride, did you have any aha moments that you want to share with us?


[01:32:52] Dr. Michael Haley: Well, yeah, you know what, a couple of them. One I already mentioned, and that was the fact that she talked about plants being very detoxifying, cleansing, and important in an anti-cancer diet. Because for me, that was the moment I think that I realized, oh, that’s why so many nutritionists disagree with each other, or seemingly do. When you turn to the internet for information and you do a search about what things you should eat, well, this person says that and that person says that, so that was one of those moments when I realized, oh, it’s because we have a different focus on what we’re trying to accomplish. That was big for me, and there’s probably a lot of people listening right now that say, you’re right, I get upset because one person says this and another person says don’t.

It’s a tool like you had pointed out, and it’s a certain tool for a certain job. Some jobs require it and some don’t. I think that was probably a big aha moment. I loved her book, and this one was her book. She has a lot of books. This is one of the GAPS books, but this is the physiology syndrome. This is the blue book. I love how she talks about the soil of the intestines, which we talked a little bit about, but she goes into tremendous detail about how that works. It changed my perspective. I’ve been putting nothing but good food in my body for a long time, but now I chew it better and that can make a huge difference.


[01:34:48] Ashley James: Yeah, the chewing is pretty crazy. When I was first taught about chew 25 times, I thought that was crazy. My jaw is going to get sore, and sure enough it did, but put down your fork. I couldn’t believe I was sometimes swallowing without even chewing. When I caught myself I was like, wow, we just inhale food. So to chew, to put down the fork, chew 25 times or more, and to take a minute with each bite allows for you to get the most out of your food. you’ll probably save on groceries because now your body’s absorbing the nutrients and you’re not eating as much.


[01:35:34] Dr. Michael Haley: You’re trying to break it down into portions small enough for bacteria that are so small you can’t even see them with the naked eye. You have to break it down. You have to break it down for them. Imagine if you took your bite and you were thinking about them.


[01:35:56] Ashley James: We’ve got to. I’m going to try that. Maybe print out a little piece of paper with a picture of a microbiome, cute little cells smiling back at you. Get your kids to draw a picture of some cute little cells smiling back at you, mommy, daddy, please feed me. Chew 25 times, I want to eat.


[01:36:20] Dr. Michael Haley: Or maybe a picture of one being crushed by a piece of meat the size of a planet, what am I supposed to do with this?


[01:36:34] Ashley James: I know that everyone’s different, and you’ve given us some great advice, especially for constipation. The constipation advice you gave could be like across the board good for all gut health. Do you have any recipes for gut health or any combination of foods that across the board are really good for everyone?


[01:37:00] Dr. Michael Haley: Do you ever juice?


[01:37:02] Ashley James: Yes.


[01:37:05] Dr. Michael Haley: What do you do with everything that’s leftover?


[01:37:07] Ashley James: Oh, that’s a good question. I put it in the garden, but I always feel bad because I’m like, I should bake with this or something. I think I baked it once. There’s a listener actually who figured out how to make really good dehydrated crackers out of it. What do you do with it?


[01:37:23] Dr. Michael Haley: I make really good crackers.


[01:37:25] Ashley James: Oh, sounds so good.


[01:37:29] Dr. Michael Haley: Oh my goodness, that’s great. Yeah, because it’s a whole food. We think, oh, all the nutrients are in the juice. Well, guess what, the fiber is amazing for your microbiome. It’s food for them and it’s going to provide bulk, help things move, and it’s cleansing. It’s a whole food. You want both parts of the food, and it’s so easy to do. You just take it, you throw it in a bowl. If you want them to stick together really good, you use a lot of things like flaxseed and chia seeds that gel up, and that turns into your dough. You can put whatever herbs, spices, maybe some sea salt, peppers, or even hot peppers if you want it nice and spicy. You mix it up like a gelatinous that you can spread out on a dehydrator tray and you dehydrate it. They are delicious.

They have a lot of strength from those seeds so it has a lot of scoop-ability to it if you want to make some homemade hummus and scoop up some hummus, absolutely delicious. I promise you, eat enough of that in about a day, you’re going to sit on the throne and have the bowel movement, the kind where you want to call your friends and say, this is amazing.


 [01:38:52] Ashley James: I’ve had several episodes where we talk about different aspects, pulling it all together, fiber binds to the toxins your liver has collected. So these toxins are toxins from your cellular toxins, but they’re also toxins from the environment and from food itself like pesticides, things you don’t want in your body anymore. For women, when your body is done with the estrogen it has produced, it breaks it down into a form that it can release out of the body. We want to get rid of that because that estrogen, if reabsorbed, is toxic. So estrogen is a catch-all phrase for a ton of different hormones, but anyway, it becomes a very unhealthy form of estrogen to remain and collect in the body. Estrogen dominance is not great for us whatsoever.

The liver takes all this stuff—takes hormones that it needs to get rid of, it takes the metabolites, it takes toxins from inside our body but also outside that have come into our body, and it puts it in the bile to get bound to fiber. Bile itself is costly for the body to make, and so it wants to reabsorb bile in the colon. All these chemicals have only been around for maybe just 150 years, let’s say. We weren’t exposed to man-made chemicals for thousands and thousands of years. Our body, the way it was designed, you can say design or evolved, whatever your belief system is, either way, it was not meant to be around 80,000 manmade chemicals.

These chemicals bind to your bile. It comes into your bile and then it binds to it. Your colon reabsorbs bile. So these forever chemicals, these obesogens, these endocrine disruptors, they’re then brought back and they’re reabsorbed in the colon, and especially if you have constipation because it sits there and sits there and sits there and your body reabsorbs it back in and you become more and more toxic. The only way to make sure that your liver is being honored, being respected when getting that stuff that your liver filtered out the first time getting it out of the body so it doesn’t accumulate over time and create cancer is to have enough fiber, have enough water, and have enough mobility so that you’re pooping three times a day—well-formed poops, not diarrhea—and that the fiber is binding to and not letting your body reabsorb that bile that has the man-made chemicals attached to it.

The body was designed to reabsorb your bile, but the bile is now attached to the man-made chemicals, so when we do reabsorb it, we’re also reabsorbing all the bad stuff too. Sometimes constipation can be the cause of something much greater like cancer down the road or systemic inflammation and brain fog because one of the reasons is the body is constantly absorbing these toxins.

I love fiber from the perspective of it’s binding to what your body needs to get rid of it. You see a deep mine in the old days when they had the little cars, the mine cars coming out and dumping the coal out. You got to get it out. We’ve got to get it out of the body. If it slows down, then it can get reabsorbed.

When you dehydrate your crackers out of the pulp left from your juicing, do you put them in the dehydrator? Do you put it in the oven? Can you tell us how to make it?


[01:43:09] Dr. Michael Haley: Yeah. I forget the particular brand of it. For the dehydrator, if you don’t have one and you’re going to get one, make sure you get one with the trays that are well horizontal but the fan is on the back of the unit not on the bottom.


[01:43:27] Ashley James: Yeah, the Excalibur is my favorite for that particular design.


[01:43:32] Dr. Michael Haley: So that it blows the air through all of the trays because if it’s on the bottom blowing up, then you’re going to dry the bottom tray real good and you have to rotate them all the time.


[01:43:44] Ashley James: Oh no, that sounds bad.


[01:43:45] Dr. Michael Haley: It doesn’t work. I spread them on those trays and depending on what dehydrator you get, I think mine does like 12 trays at a time. It’s awesome. We make a lot of crackers because they last a long, long time. But my favorite seeds to put them, and I mentioned the chia and the flaxseed. The flax really gives it a really good stick, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, all of the textures that you like, roll them in there. They’re amazing.

Play with how much pulp you put in there to get the fiber and the texture you want. Go nuts with the spices. What flavor you’re craving, do you wish you had like an Italian herb bread or do you wish you had something more of Mexican flavor? Go for it, man. It’s incredible.


​​[01:44:49] Ashley James: That sounds delicious, I love it. I’ve shared this on the show, but every listener might not listen to every episode. So to reiterate, my husband had lifelong constipation. He would poop maybe twice a week and I did not know this until we went to a Naturopath who has been practicing for a very long time and she has you go through her little checklist. Before she even treats anything, she’s going to make sure you’re drinking enough water, you’re eating enough fiber, you’re sleeping well, you’re exercising like you’re moving your body every day. You’re getting your vitamin D, your basic vitamins, and you’re pooping. We came to the poopy question and he’s like, I don’t know, once or twice a week. She’s like, whoa, okay, we got to work on this.

So she sent us home. She said to make a soup with cabbage in it. There were not many instructions. She’s like, make a cabbage soup. I’m like, okay. I’m very culinary-inclined and so I know that for liver—because I was working on my liver health at the time—so I’m like okay, I’m going to add beats for liver health and I’m going to make it really delicious, add a lot of fiber to this. A big pot on the stove. 

At the time, my husband was not vegan. He has since decided to go vegan, but at the time he wasn’t so I made bone broth, and then in the bone broth I simmered a whole head of cabbage, celery or the heart of celery, either one because I’d go back and forth. I put a sweet potato in. I had put carrots in and beat, and then I’d simmer them for about 45 minutes. There’d be a bay leaf in there, and then I turned off the stove and I’d add a whole handful of cilantro like a really nice big handful of cilantro. I take the immersion blender, I would blend it, and he drank that every day for a whole week. By the end of the week, and this was before our son was born, I was pregnant at the time, so that was seven years ago, his lifelong constipation was gone and it hasn’t come back.

I learned that cabbage has tremendous healing properties for the gut, and of course with that recipe, I have it on my website. You can type gut healing soup into Learn True Health and you’ll find it. But with that, it was so amazing to see something so simple. Your grocery store can be your pharmacy, that’s just absolutely amazing.

We went to the right doctor, if we had gone to an MD and not that MDs are bad, it’s just we have to understand their training. They would have put him on a drug for constipation that wouldn’t actually have fixed the problem. So we have to fix the problem from the root, and now he’s got perfect bowel movements. I’m proud of him.


[01:48:04] Dr. Michael Haley: I love how food can make such a difference. The last video I put on YouTube about a week ago—it’s so funny that we’re talking about this—the title of it is The Perfect Poop. If you search that on YouTube with my name, with Dr. Haley, you’d probably come right to it. But it’s essentially about fiber in food and poop. I actually interviewed someone that makes a food product and it’s a very high fiber food. Their customers came up with the name. They actually called it the Perfect Poo without the P, but it’s the same thing right. It’s amazing what fiber will do. I haven’t tried it with cabbage. I don’t know if it’s fiber in cabbage that’s doing it or if there are other secret nutrients in there, but it’s amazing what food will do.


[01:49:06] Ashley James: This was a few weeks after our daughter died and her name is Vale. I was lying in a tub and I wanted to watch a documentary on my phone. I thought, I want to watch a juicing documentary because it always inspires me. I’ve never seen a juicing documentary where I didn’t cry for some time through the documentary. It’s like my Hallmark. Some people watch the Hallmark Channel to cry. If I cry in a good way, every juicing documentary I’ve ever watched I’ve cried in a good way.

I went on Amazon and it had been a while since I had checked and there was a new free juicing documentary to watch and I burst into tears because the man’s last name is Vale. I was thinking of my daughter and I had just lost her. His name is Jason Vale and he did a juicing documentary and I watched it, of course, I cried. It’s really good. 

There’s this one man who is on every medication. He went to this retreat in I can’t remember what country but it was a tropical country like South America and it’s really beautiful. It might have been Peru. I’m sorry, I really don’t remember the country, but it was gorgeous. He came with two suitcases. One was for his clothes—he was there for a month—and the other suitcase was his medication. It’s ridiculous. These people that came were so sick and nothing was working. He had such bad (I think it was) Crohn’s disease. It was either colitis or Crohn’s disease, but either way, it was really bad inflammation and ulcers along the intestines. He was on a maximum amount of steroids, maximum out of everything, and he still was in total pain.

They’re drinking juice 24/7, but every day he had one glass of cabbage juice mixed with apple juice to make it taste good because come on, cabbage juice doesn’t sound really great. He’d drink it down and he just started to get better and better and better. At one point, he was just crying because he’s like, I’ve never felt so good. I thought I was going to have to kill myself. I think he was 26. He was going to choose to end his life because his life was nothing but constant suffering and he was on every medication and It still wasn’t working. He was able to walk out of there free of his symptoms of colitis, Crohn’s, or whatever it was. Free of the symptoms of the horrible prison sentence he felt like he had. He was free.

I just love that. Juicing is great, and it’s not something we should do all the time. Dr. Natasha McBride says it’s like we use raw foods, for example, as a cleanse, right? We use it as a point of a reset, as a cleanse, it’s a healing tool, but there could be other people that if they only juiced they’d become worse because that wouldn’t be the tool for them at the time. We have to understand that it is a powerful tool, it’s a tool we should have in our tool belt, and we should know when to use it.

Yeah. Thank you so much for coming on the show and having this conversation. I feel like it’s only been 10 minutes. Time just flies when we’re talking.


[01:52:51] Dr. Michael Haley: I love you, Ashley. You’re amazing.


[01:52:54] Ashley James: I love you too. What you do is wonderful. I just love our first episode together, episode 401, because I was so excited to hear about your company and the aloe because of this. When people are suffering and you are able to—with something very safe and healthy—bring down that medicine. The aloe brings down that inflammation and it speeds up. You had cited studies where it doubles healing time. It cuts the time in half, so you’re healing twice as fast. And then your body can finally get a foothold and then you start to make the changes. It’s not that it’s going to be the root cause cure-all, but it helps to get you there. It helps to get you moving in the right direction, and sometimes that’s what people need. So I love your product.

To wrap up today’s interview, do you have any more studies, any more science, or data that’s come to mind about medicinal aloe and your product particularly, which is clean, it’s pure, it’s just the gel, and it’s fresh. It’s freshly frozen and then shipped to you frozen so that you can keep it in your freezer and use it when you need it. I’ve already shared how to make it taste good, so don’t worry about that. Don’t worry about the taste. It doesn’t taste bad, but even to get kids to drink it, my son is very picky and I could make it taste good for him. Do you have any more studies or information to share about using aloe internally to help heal?


[01:54:34] Dr. Michael Haley: I found this one study that was done with 240 stage four cancer patients. The study was done by a chemotherapy company, I forget which one, but they divided them into two groups. Everybody got chemotherapy. One of the groups got one ounce of aloe vera a day. The other group just got chemotherapy, and they divided the people into four categories based on how they did. The fourth category was the complete result or the most healing from their cancers. There were 119 patients that got the one ounce of aloe vera and there were 121 patients that only got the chemotherapy.

This is what blows me away because we tell our customers to drink so much more than just an ounce. The group that got the one ounce of aloe vera, there were 10 of them that were in the complete result group versus only three in the complete result group from the ones that only had the chemotherapy. That is significant, and then of course, everyone else, if you look at a whole and the other groups as well, closer towards that better, more healing category for the ones that got aloe vera versus just the chemotherapy.

They realize that the sugar molecule—this blows people away when I tell them aloe vera is largely sugar—the slimy mucopolysaccharides, a polysaccharide is a very complex carbohydrate. Polysaccharide really means complex carbohydrates. Well, it’s a bunch of sugar molecules joined together and the sugar molecule is mannose. Mannose when they tested it on lab rats in the ’30s, put them in ketosis, and gave them mannose, somehow, they stayed in ketosis. So it’s not processed like sugars, which explains why diabetics can consume aloe vera and lower their blood sugar levels.

Now, their understanding is that what ends up happening is the cancer cells want to consume the sugar because cancer loves sugar, so it grabs onto the mannose or binds to it, but it can’t consume it and it can’t release it. So it’s almost like having your mouthful—


[01:57:19] Ashley James: It starves it.


[01:57:21] Dr. Michael Haley: Exactly, and that’s what their theory in the research is that the aloe vera somehow starves the cancer cell while the chemotherapy kills it, which personally, I think if you starve something long enough, it’ll die anyway. Not only that, but when the mannose is on that cancer cell, it’s actually like waving a flag for the macrophage to come eat it. It’s also a signal to the macrophage. The things that we’re learning now about all of these intracellular communications, the things that are happening, and how they communicate with each other and signal each other for certain things to happen, it’s really quite fascinating. We’re just beginning to understand it. 

Prior to that, I had known that Acemannan would increase tumor necrosis factor interferon and interleukin, because Acemannan , by the way, is a nutrient found in aloe vera. Those chemicals in the bloodstream would essentially increase intercellular communication and help the immune cells identify the cells that were cancerous. We’re starting to understand more and more how that happens now. So, it’s neat. We’re going to see more science about this down the road. No doubt we’re learning more every day.


[01:58:53] Ashley James: I got chills hearing about how it helps the body basically identify kidney cancer cells, and also, it starves the cancer like stuffing it’s mouthful with something it can’t eat. That gets me so excited. Oh my gosh. I mean, it’s such a good tool to have in your tool belt. Buy the aloe, have it in your freezer. I bought your aloe several times, big jugs, right? I keep giving it away to my friends. A friend of mine whose son had his constipation, my other friend had constipation, or another friend had stomach flu or something. I’m just like, oh, I’ve got something for you, and I just hand her a jug of frozen aloe. Oh my gosh, this stuff is amazing. gets you the free gift basically that you’re giving us. I love the cream, it’s not greasy. I have it on my desk, I use it as a hand cream. I really enjoy it. It makes my hands very soft and supple, but it doesn’t leave any grease because I don’t want grease on my hands when I’m typing or doing other stuff on my desk, so I really like your aloe cream. And then also the coupon code, which is []. Thank you for giving us a discount and thank you for the gift of your cream in addition to when we buy the frozen jugs it gets shipped to us.

I thoroughly enjoy it and I have several friends that are now hooked on your aloe as a result. Thank you for coming on the show. I’d love to have you back anytime you have new information to share. Is there anything you want to say to wrap up today’s interview?


[02:00:43] Dr. Michael Haley: Thank you for what you do. One podcast at a time, you’re changing the world helping people learn things about their health. They’re learning true health, so just thank you for all that you do.


[02:00:53] Ashley James: And thank you. I’m a little jealous because where you live it’s so gorgeous and sunny. You’re in Costa Rica, right?


[02:01:00] Dr. Michael Haley: Well, right now I’m in South Florida.


[02:01:05] Ashley James: Okay, you’re in South Florida.


[02:01:08] Dr. Michael Haley: I might go outside. We’re in the wintertime, I might go make some vitamin D naturally without having to eat anything.


[02:01:14] Ashley James: I’d love to live in Florida. My husband doesn’t want to live there so I probably won’t end up, but we’ll definitely go visit. But if I had it my way, I’d definitely be living in Florida. Love that weather. I dream of the day that I could walk outside my door and pick a fresh avocado. I think that would be a lot of fun. Enjoy the beautiful day. Wherever everyone is, enjoy your day, but particularly we know that Dr. Michael Haley will be enjoying his day because he lives in Florida.

I hope you enjoy today’s interview with Dr. Michael Haley. You can also check out my other episode with him, episode 401. Be sure to go to and use coupon code [] to check out his medicinal aloe drink, which is amazing.

Please come to the local Facebook group and share your experiences with the aloe. We’ve had listeners talk about how they’ve had benefits to seeing improvements in their hair, skin, and nail health, as well as their digestive health. Just for vanity sake, I think it’s a fun thing to try out. I just noticed that it brings calmness to my body, and I think that’s because it has such a profound anti-inflammatory effect on all tissues in the body. So I do notice that I’m emotionally and mentally calmer, more focused brain fog, although I don’t have a ton of that, but brain fog clears up. Just more mental acuity comes to me. Which just reminds me, I should go have some aloe right now. 

Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day and be sure to check out the next two episodes I’m going to be publishing. I’ve already done these interviews and I’m really looking forward to hearing them because they’re really, really good, so just stay tuned. The next two are pretty awesome. And remember, to check out Dr. Michael Haley’s Medicinal Aloe gel drink.


Get Connected with Dr. Michael Haley!

Haley Nutrition





Recommended Readings by Dr. Michael Haley

The Maker’s Diet  by Jordan Rubin

The GAPS Diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell – McBride

Jan 21, 2022

Psalm 23 Video:

BOOK: The Survival Paradox

Modified Citrus Pectin

Medical Center, Amitabha Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, CA:


The Survival Protein: Dr. Isaac Eliaz’s Integrative Approach To Healing Cancer & Other Conditions



  • What is The Survival Paradox
  • What is Therapeutic Apheresis
  • Inflammaging


Dr. Isaac Eliaz is an integrative medical doctor that focuses treatment of cancer and chronic, degenerative conditions. He founded Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center. In this episode, he talks about The Survival Paradox.


Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I am particularly excited to bring this episode to you because the topic of healing cancer and other complex illnesses is near and dear to my heart. If you’ve been a longtime listener, you know my mom died of cancer—even though she was the healthiest person I knew—and my dad died of heart disease. I have conquered several major illnesses myself. I’m on my own personal journey, on my road to healing, and so are you. We’re all looking to become healthier, stronger, and the best version of ourselves.

I share in this podcast that health is not just physical, that it’s mental, emotional, and spiritual. If we don’t nurture all these aspects of ourselves, then no matter how much we exercise or eat healthy, if we’re lacking in our spiritual health or spiritual growth, if we’re lacking in our emotional health, emotional growth, mental, or energetic, there are so many other aspects to just physical health. If we ignore those, then we can create a state of stress in the body that leads to poorer and poorer physical health, even though the root cause might not have begun in the physical. That’s one of the messages our guest shares today.

Right before I started editing this show today to post it, I was talking to a dear friend of mine and he brought up a Psalm. We were discussing a Psalm in the Bible and it just hit me. I’m going to see if there’s a really good video on it and I happened to find a different video on a different song, but I was called to it. You know when you’re called to something, maybe you’re called to listen to this podcast, I had to hear it.

I was like, okay, well, this is only a 4-minute and 40-second video. I can totally listen, and it really blew me away. It’s great. I’m going to put it in the show notes of today’s podcast so you can click on the description and you’ll see the link there. It talks about Psalm 23, which everyone’s heard of. It’s usually read at funerals, and it talks about how the Lord lays us down in green pastures as if we’re sheep and he’s our shepherd. 

Of course, you’re probably imagining—as I did my whole life—that green pastures were these beautiful rolling green hills. If you’re a sheep, you’re just getting mouthfuls and mouthfuls, there’s no worry in the world, and the Lord is our shepherd. We’re just happy little sheep eating up all the alfalfa and we don’t have a care in the world. That’s what I imagined, right?

Because I’m from North America, there’s lots of green grass. This one video, which you can totally go check out if you want to, it’s going to be in the show notes. It’s actually a man standing in Israel in the surrounding area. He explains what it was like back then and what it is now. You hardly see any grass. It’s very, very, very little. But the shepherds know where to take the sheep just to get one mouthful here and then one mouthful there, but if you look to the untrained eye, it doesn’t even look like there’s any green. He said, this is what it means by green pastures. Then he said a quote from a rabbi, “Worry is dealing with tomorrow’s problems on today’s pasture.” And then it clicked, right?

So we often will worry about all the things that are coming up in our life, but we’re thinking about the resources we have today. For example, let’s say there are bills or there are some events that are coming up in the future and we’re worrying about them because they’re in the future and we’re not prepared for them with today’s resources. That’s the message that I wanted to share from a spiritual perspective because my guest shares how he helps people to heal disease by turning off the stress response. 

I think a lot of times, our worry or anxiety, focusing on a future we don’t want to happen because we’re so worried because we don’t have these resources today. In the Bible, it talks about that in Psalm 23 that the Lord is our shepherd and he lays us down in green pastures, but these green pastures are not green. There are tiny little bits here and there, but the shepherd knows where to take the sheet so that it gets fed.

So it’s not saying that life isn’t going to be a struggle, but it is saying that you have the resources today to get through today, you do. And focusing on that instead of focusing on all the things that could go wrong in the future, which is what we often do. We often focus on all the things that could go wrong, and that creates huge anxiety and stress in the body. That puts our body in a state of inflammation and disease.

I teach a technique on eliminating anxiety, so if you haven’t heard me do it, please just internet search my name Ashley James and the word anxiety. I’ve been interviewed on so many, dozens of other people’s podcasts teaching this technique. I’ve also taught this technique on my show, Learn True Health, so you could also go to and type in anxiety and you’ll find where I teach this technique. It’s a very quick technique. It takes like 30 seconds, but I teach you how to turn off the stress response in the brain.

Now, our guest today goes several steps further and teaches you that there’s a way to turn it off on a biochemical level as well. But if you keep doing the thinking, the anxiety thinking that constantly creates worry and puts the body in the state of stress, then you’re constantly creating that state of disease. So we have to address it with our thinking. 

I hope you can just take a little bit of time to reflect on this message that worry is dealing with tomorrow’s problems on today’s pasture. God gives us enough. It’s not like everyone wins the lottery, right? That’s not what enough means. It’s that you’re given the resources for today. Be in today and focus on today. Focus on doing what you can to be healthy today. Focus on doing what you can to love yourself, love your neighbor, and love your family today. That ultimately, being in the now, being in a state of love is the highest form of healing, both spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

If you’re thinking about the worries, concerns, the what-ifs and the what-ifs and the what-ifs for tomorrow, and you’re lamenting on that, then you’re creating a state of disease in the body. Meditate and pray on love for yourself, for your body, for your God, and for your friends and family today.

Enjoy today’s episode. You’re going to love it. This doctor is awesome. He has so many degrees, my head was spinning. I just love that with all the medical training, he really does see that there’s a connection between our spirit, our body, and our mind, that it’s one, and we need to address it. He also takes all this wonderful information about the biochemical aspects of our meat sack that our soul is living in and how to take care of it on all these different levels. Enjoy today’s episode. 

Please join us in the Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. We’ve got so many wonderful listeners helping each other and answering questions. I answer questions there, and many guests also come in and answer questions, so it’s a really supportive community. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with those you care about. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day.


[00:08:38] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 473. Today we have on the show with us Dr. Isaac Eliaz. I’m very excited because what he teaches is the key. It is the key. You could be doing everything else right and still be sick if you don’t do the things that he teaches. I’m just so excited that he has taken what I think is the foundation, the fundamental foundation to true health and he’s put it in a book. It’s so, so, so monumental. I’m very honored to have you here today.

Your website is, and of course, the links to everything that Isaac does are going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at Welcome to the show. I’m thrilled that my listeners get a chance to learn from you today because I think what you teach could be the key to so many people ending their suffering.


[00:09:43] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Ashley, thank you so much for inviting me. I’m pretty excited about this podcast. What you’re saying, there’s a lot of truth to it because The Survival Paradox really offers a new, fresh, and deeper paradigm shift in our understanding of what health is and how we can improve it.


[00:10:07] Ashley James: Can you tell us about what happened in your life? In terms of going to become a doctor, what happened that made you want to become a doctor, and then later, what happened that led you to discovering and writing the book, Survival Paradox?


[00:10:26] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Yes, of course. So this book is really a culmination of my life journey and my medical journey. I started my interest in the healing art really as a teenager when actually, my hobby was raising bees. I was like the youngest beekeeper in Israel. Just watching the bees, I made a deep connection with nature and understanding how bees cope with nature? And then at age 15, my father was a civil engineer and we traveled to South Korea. I got to learn and practice taekwondo with the Korean National Team because I had to learn English. So I was very fortunate to get trained, really, by, at that time, all the world champions. And I learned yoga and martial arts.

When I went to medical school in Israel, which is a seven-year process, I already knew I’m going to do holistic medicine. It was really very early on like 1981 and I became a yoga teacher. I taught in yoga teachers’ courses. I learned shiatsu. I created a [inaudible 00:11:31] acupuncture school, so I can learn acupuncture, and I learned herbal medicine. Then I had a successful center for integrative medicine as a physician who does also Chinese medicine, but I felt it was too early for me to be successful. There’s much more learning I have to do, so we moved to the North Bay to Northern California where I obtained the Master of Science in Chinese medicine, became a licensed acupuncturist, and then, later on, got my medical degree here, my medical license.

Throughout this journey, my focus medicine-wise was on integrative oncology, on how to improve on cancer treatments, and how to cure illnesses. I’ve learned, as part of my journey, classical homeopathy and a lot of naturopathic aspects.

And so parallel to this, I developed a research career where I made a lot of the discoveries of the importance of blocking Galectin-3, our survival protein. So I had this interest in integrative medicine. I had the research part, but then I got also very deeply engaged in meditation practices and I spent decades learning and training in meditation. I spent 10 years doing a half-day meditation and 20 years going to the mountains for about 2 months a year. Some of my patients were really the most legendary meditation masters in the Himalayas.

This all came together, my inquisitive mind, being an innovator, and spending time to really observe the fundamental principles of our health. I came to the realization after really learning a lot of esoteric practices of meditation and combining them with different medical methods and decades of clinical experience, I realized that the key to healing is having an open heart is love and compassion. And really, what prevents us from connecting with this infinite healing potential is our imbalanced survival response. This is really culminated with the book The Survival Paradox because it is a paradox that what makes us survive is the same mechanism that makes us sick, shortens our life, and causes a lot of suffering, pain, and illnesses, both acute and chronic.

In the book, I take people through the journey of understanding what The Survival Paradox is, how it is driven biochemically, how it affects metabolism, circulation, and how to block Galectin-3 with Modified Citrus Pectin with PectaSol. Then the end of the first part or the chapter called The Heart of Survival where I really introduce the key concept that the survival of the heart is to allow us to heal and break free of The Survival Paradox. And then I go through different illnesses, organs, and systems starting with cancer, which is of course something I focus on through my career, and then talking about the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, metabolic diseases, neuroinflammation, microbiome, and immune responses,

It’s been an eye-opener on how to look at our health and our organ systems in a different way, and then I bring to the three last chapters really the solutions—detoxification, healing our scars of survival, and transforming the survivor paradox. And through the book, the book is full of stories of patients, really my heroes, inspiring stories of patients that really didn’t really change the expected outcome and how they did it, so the book is full of real-life examples.


[00:15:47] Ashley James: Through your sharing of your life, I think it’s so funny that a little footnote is, and then I became a medical doctor because some people that’s the highlight. The highlight of their life is they became a medical doctor, and that was sort of like one of the footnotes. You’re like, and then I got my medical degree. I wish every doctor was like you. I wish we could clone you. I wish every doctor had as much background and experience in all the different modalities that you’ve specialized in to really have a deep understanding of the human body and how it heals. That we’re not just meat sacks. That there’s so much more than just a physical body, and that our emotional, mental, spiritual, energetic—everything that happens in our life—affects the meat sack, and we have to see that this whole life affects the body.

Now, I really want to know, what happened in your life that made you want to focus on cancer? Was there a specific decision or moment that made you want to go down that rabbit hole?


[00:17:00] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: No, it’s very interesting. I had an interest in it early on. My grandfather that I’m named on after—Isaac, his name was Isaac—he was a Holocaust survivor, and his story is in my book in the chapter about healing the scars of survival. I’ll talk a little bit more about the topic of healing scars of survival later, and he died from cancer at an early age, at the age 50. And then, towards the last year of medical school, my father got cancer. We jumped to integrative treatments, he was one of the first patients in the world to get immunotherapy and his cancer disappeared. Then he died from a side effect of a treatment in 20 minutes 3 years later. But he died really in good health.

When you treat cancer, you really treat everything. People who have cancer are in a crisis and the crisis where your whole reality—everything you believed, everything you expected, you had planned and suddenly, you really see death in front of you, it’s very impermanent. And it really gives a profound opportunity for deep change. So it really fits my approach, and there are so many ways that you can help cancer patients from support, to after treatment, to maintain their good health for a long period of time, to supporting them in their dying process. It’s all part of the journey. It’s all part of healing.

So I had a deep interest and I made some very important discoveries about the development of oncological nutritional support that are very important, the main one being PectaSol Modified Citrus Pectin, which I developed over 26 years ago and has over 70 published papers. So it’s a field that I’m really deeply involved in. A lot of the integrative treatments that I use today, I mean, some of them have been developed by me in my clinic, but as I got more experience, my interest shifted more and more into a deeper understanding. Because, the deeper our understanding of who we are of our health, the better we can help ourselves and others with less aggressive tools. 

And it’s all about the right integration, for the right person, at the right time. And about being humble enough to recognize that we don’t know everything. What we believe in may be right and may be wrong. That’s a key thing that doctors have to remember, sometimes we forget. So that’s a little bit of an issue.


[00:20:02] Ashley James: So as you dove into oncology and helping patients heal when they have cancer, what surprised you? What began to surprise you in terms of helping patients heal cancer?


[00:20:18] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: You know, it’s a big question, of course, what helped. I think that if we look, again, we really can’t understand cancer patients unless we have cancer in one level because as one of my students told me, you are the best person who understands cancer who actually didn’t have cancer. But I still don’t know, it’s not my direct experience. 

It’s to see how vulnerable a cancer patient is to the system, how sensitive they are, how every word makes a difference, how much power doctors have when they come into treating cancer. It’s just important for us, the health providers in us, to really understand the responsibility of supporting people who are really facing death and a big change in their life, change in their dreams and plans, and how we can support them in a genuine, honest, but optimistic way because there are always choices. There are always options no matter what is happening. 

It’s about allowing the patient to make the right choices. When we are stuck in an automated survival response, which is a reactive response that is automated and immediate, we can’t really make the right choices. We can’t see our options. This is part of the value of recognizing the issue of imbalance survival response.


[00:22:08] Ashley James: I think that leads perfectly into what is The Survival Paradox?


[00:22:13] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: So, to really look into the survivor paradox, we have to first recognize the principle of the survival response. So, if I take a step back before I explain it and look at medicine and health, there is a greater recognition that inflammation drives every chronic disease and every acute disease. I mean, COVID is an example. It’s a strong inflammatory cytokine storm response. It is something I’ve been working on for decades, then people get organ failure and die.

But if we look at inflammation, it’s often pointed out to be the cause of many illnesses. It’s really not the cause. It’s really a process. What drives inflammation, what drives inflammatory response is our survival response. So the survival response is innate and built-in to each of us from the beginning of time—our ancestors, animals, every living being. So if we look at the survival response, if it’s so innate in us, it has to be automated, we can’t really control it and it has to start on its own.

So The Survival Paradox really demonstrates the same mechanisms that help us survive is the same mechanism that causes us to shorten our life. It causes chronic and acute diseases, and it will eventually also kill us earlier than expected. When we want to understand it and we understand how innate it’s in us, then we come to look at how it operates in our body. There is this automated system that it operates with, which is our autonomic nervous system. So our sympathetic response is automated. 

We can’t control it, our pulse goes up, our breathing gets faster, our heart works harder, the [inaudible 00:24:20] constriction so more blood can get to where it needs to be so we can run away. The basic response is fight or flight. We run away or we fight, and the running away is physically running away and it’s also hiding, isolating ourselves. So this is an automated response and it’s built to really start within seconds and it’s also built to stop very, very quickly. So this is something that is within us.

And then, on the second level, Ashley, there is a biochemical response. The biochemical response is really governed by a protein that we call alarmins.


[00:25:21] Ashley James: Can you spell that?


[00:25:24] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Alarmin is like alarm.


[00:25:26] Ashley James: Oh, alarmings.


[00:25:28] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Yeah. And the main protein that I’ve been researching for 26 years, Galectin-3. I call it the survival protein. So this protein really drives our survival. So in our embryogenesis when we are in the uterus, it helps to produce healthy organs. When we are in life, it protects us from injury, from stress, from danger. The mechanism it uses to protect us to reduce inflammation, fibrosis, dysregulations, immune dysfunction, cancer, autoimmune diseases, practically every disease, every organ. Why? Because it’s so fundamental in us.

So when we understand this and we understand that there is this biochemical alarm clock that never turns off, we also understand that it can be turned on by different things—by traumas, by infections, by heavy metals, by toxins, by genetic predisposition, by epigenetics. We get a deeper understanding of what drives it and then we get a better understanding of how we can actually change the outcome.


[00:26:49] Ashley James: I have written down a quote from you. “Your body has an innate ability to heal from a disease as long as your fight or flight survival response doesn’t stand in the way.” So, I’m a little bit confused about this survival protein because it sounded like we need it for some things, but then when we have too much of it, it causes disease and early death?


[00:27:13] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Exactly. So one thing is having too much of it and the other thing, it gets activated for too long. So for example, we’ve done fascinating research. I just published two really important papers on acute kidney injury, on injury to the kidneys from an acute illness, either from infection from sepsis or COVID. Forty percent of hospitalized COVID patients have AKI and 50% of them will die. So we have kidney damage, it kind of makes us deteriorate fast due to either sepsis or problems in the circulation. We showed that Galectin-3 spikes much earlier than any of the other cytokines like Interleukin 6, which is talked about a lot. And when we block Galectin-3 in these very well-established animal models, then we can change the outcome, we can improve the outcome.

So our ability to survive is innate in us, it will always be there. So Galectin-3 will always turn on when it’s needed. The problem is either we have too much of it, or it turns on too much and it doesn’t turn off, and this is when we get in trouble. So that’s the paradox. The reason why you say I can’t understand it is because it’s a paradox. But through the book, one comes to the understanding of what drives the survival response, what drives the survival paradox, and how to change it. 

Our survival response is truly automated on an autonomic nervous system, and then it moves to the biochemical system, which is much more serious because we know if we have a sympathetic response and our breathing goes up and our heart rate goes up, when we just go outside, we just gaze at nature, we take 10 deep breaths, or sit for a few minutes and relax, we’ll feel relaxed because we’re able to turn off the autonomic nervous system very quickly. 

But when it’s a biochemical response it’s a little bit more difficult, it goes a little bit deeper. It started many, many pathways, what we call downstream proteins, downstream cytokines, downstream molecules, downstream pathways that already start a cascade of events. In many ways, Galectin-3 is what starts the waterfall. So if you can shut down the waterfall from the top, there will be no waterfall. Once the waterfall falls and hits the bottom, you want to stop it, it’s not so easy, right?

So we often chase the symptoms instead of understanding what is the origin. So The Survival Paradox offers us a window into the origin of illness and the origin of how to transform our health. That’s really the deep message of the book. That’s the feedback I get from people. It really shifted my understanding of my health and about my life.


[00:30:26] Ashley James: That’s fascinating. It’s been something that I’ve been focusing on with my clients for years is getting them out of that extended or period where they’re in sympathetic, they’re in the fight or flight too long and helping them with tools to change the way they think because the body listens to our thoughts. You can actually think yourself into anxiety. 

Just like we can sit and watch a zombie movie and if we hooked ourselves up to machines, the machine would notice that our heart rate has increased, our respiratory has gotten shallow and faster, that we have a cortisol spike. We’re safe. We’re sitting in a living room watching a TV, our body isn’t under physical stress, but watching a scary zombie movie, our body’s listening to that, listening to our thoughts, watching it as if it’s real, as if it’s happening to us. So our body is reacting to what it thinks is a stressor, and this is the real kicker is that we’re not just a physical meat sack. What is going on inside of our body, our body responds to. And then like you said, there’s the nervous system response, but then there’s the cascading waterfall of physiological biochemical cascades that occur.

One time I was working with a client and I noticed that so many of her habits were triggering her into a state of stress. I’d given her homework to do throughout the day to help alleviate that and she wasn’t doing the homework. I asked her, I confronted her, and I said, you’re doing everything else. You’re eating healthy, you’re doing everything, but you’re not doing this. Why is that? She goes, well, I don’t feel stressed. And I said, that’s right, it’s not an emotion. People often who are in a long term state of stress don’t even know it or if they grew up in a very rough environment, their norm is—


[00:32:42] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: It’s a great example, and I just talked about it in another podcast earlier today. It’s a great example, Ashley, because if we are caught in a continuous chain of stressors and stress responses, we don’t have the space between the thoughts, the space between our automated actions to connect with how we feel. So one of the first things that happen, for example, in meditation, when people start meditating for the first time, they feel, wow, really. Either they fall asleep or they feel very, very restless. Why are they feeling restless? It’s not because of meditation. They always felt restless. They just were not connected with it. Now that they slow down and they took a step back, they start noticing the stress.

Actually, I get to this level of mind training in the last chapter of the book once the whole journey is complete. I have a diagram of pebbles. You make a distance between the pebbles, things start surfacing—feeling, emotions, insights, traumas—and we connect with our stress, we connect. And then of course, what we are interested in from my perspective is not what we experience, it is our response to the experience. Do we have a survival response, or can we have a transformative response? Our body, our physiology is built to do both. We are built to have a survival response, obviously. But we are also built to have a transformative response. We can talk about it when we talk about the role of the heart in healing. That’s a key role of the heart.


[00:34:32] Ashley James: How do we help people then if we go outside? We tell them, go outside, breathe in, be part of nature, ground yourself, do meditation. That’s helping them stop the waterfall at the top, but now we’ve got, like you said, your body’s still in that state of stress from a biochemical standpoint. What can we do from a biochemical standpoint to help regulate the survival protein so that we don’t exacerbate it, we don’t have too much of it, and end up creating disease and early death in our body?


[00:35:16] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: As you said, we are not just physical beings. We are an integration of the physical aspect, an emotional aspect, the psychological aspect, the mental aspect, and the psycho-spiritual aspect. It’s all within us. This means that all of these levels are also becoming doors to heal ourselves. Changing our lifestyle, changing our diet, changing our way of thinking, working with ourselves psychologically—all of these will have an effect. So on the physical level, the one thing that we do have to do is we have to block Galectin-3. That’s why it’s such a great value of PectaSol, of Modified Citrus Pectin because it blocks Galectin-3.

So if we look at over 70 published papers on PectaSol, they cover so many different health conditions. How is it possible that it can be such nutritional support for so many conditions? Because it addresses this upstream molecule.

So the first step is understanding the survival paradox, and then understanding it really affects our inflammation and it affects fibrosis. It creates fibrosis, it creates organ dysfunction, tissue dysfunction. And we understand this and we understand how the heart is the door to changing it, then we can start taking action. The actions are many different methods and I go a lot through it in the book, of course, but right now, within this discussion, if we allow ourselves to destress long enough, it will affect our physiology.

When you do a one-hour yoga lesson, Qi Gong, or meditation, there are at least 100 different genes that open and close, and that’s the power of epigenetics. So we are made from endless people who have made us over multiple generations, and I talk about it in the chapter about healing this scar of survival. Our scars of survival are from this life, but also, we carry the scar of our ancestors—both their genetic scars, scars that affected their genetic makeup and were passed on, and even more important, the epigenetic scars. Epigenetics like above genetics because it’s very hard to change genetics, but we have a choice if a gene will express itself or will not express itself.

One beautiful Talmudic Hebrew saying says, [Inaudible 00:38:07], which means, everything is predetermined yet we have a choice. The predetermination is our genetics. The choices are our epigenetics. So we have to recognize that how we feel, what we do, and how we respond is not always because of what we did. It’s often because of habits and traumas that we carry on through our ancestors.

In my book, in the chapter about healing the scars of survival, I tell the story as the grandson of Holocaust survivor of my grandfather Isaac who I’m named after, my grandmother, a little bit my mother, and then me. I always, from a very early age like the age 11, 12, had this upper back pain, but the pain is the center of my chest in my sternum. Whenever I would touch it, I would jump. It would be very painful, and I carried it all my life. I knew it had a deeper meaning. When I finally connected with it through meditation, through deeper work, I realized I’m carrying the Holocaust trauma of my grandfather. When I healed it, I just opened up. A few years ago, like 50 years later, my chest is open, my posture is open. But interestingly enough, my grandfather is not alive, but it affected my mother without her knowing that I did this work, and that’s a multi-generational healing power of changing these very, very deep patterns. Galectin-3 is our biochemical driver, but our heart is really what allows us to change and to shift from a survival-based unhealthy response to nourishment, love, and compassion because of this physiology of the heart.


[00:40:11] Ashley James: That is so fascinating. I’ve heard that they can actually take like yourself, children, and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, that they can see in bloodwork higher cortisol, and they can see a higher state of stress just genetically passed down. There are other studies I’ve seen where they did trauma to mice or rats, and that for up to five generations, they could see the epigenetic expressions of chronic stress


[00:40:51] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Completely. So it’s interesting. For me, my grandfather died at a very early age. He came to Israel with my grandmother and my mother. They escaped through Romania, and miraculously, they made it to Israel and he died in 1950, maybe 1952 at age 50—very, very young. He died from stomach cancer. And then my grandmother who saved the family in the Holocaust lived to 98, overcame two cancers, and died, as I said, at the age of 98, like in 2000, whatever. Around 2008, I think.

So, just on her graveside, my mother told us as a small comment, your grandfather, five out of his eight siblings, and his parents were killed by the Nazis. I never told this, so it was never spoken and he held his trauma in his stomach. That’s where he got his cancer. I could feel that I’m holding some of his trauma. I did before healing when I could feel my connection with him. But when I really released, when I released my trauma and my negative emotions around the Holocaust in a transformative way, and I gained this ability of freedom, my mother could never watch a program about the Holocaust ever. And then suddenly, two months later, like the day of the Holocaust remembrance, suddenly she turned on TV. Now she goes to ceremonies about [inaudible 00:42:40], about the Holocaust without her knowing what I did because by me healing the epigenetics that came from my grandfather, it affected his daughter, which is my mother.

That’s the power of multi-generational healing because time doesn’t go just forward. Time goes backward and forward. We just can’t see it because we are stuck at freezing time. That’s really the root of the Survival Paradox is holding two things—not understanding that everything changes all the time. Once we start shifting in this direction, then instead of having a life that is just goal-oriented, we start living the journey, we start living the moment, and we start not holding even to the moment because everything changes all the time.

This leads to one of my most favorite sayings, not everyone will be a miracle, but anyone can be a miracle. And why? Because everything is changing. Everything is changeable. Nothing is permanent. That’s the absolute truth that nobody can argue regardless of your belief system. It’s a fact. Now we understand this, we can look at the physiology of our body because if survival is so innate in us, it will be reflected in us. When you look at our body, we have, I’m rounding up, about 50 trillion cells. Trillion means a thousand times a thousand is a million, then a million times a thousand is a trillion times 50.

Each of these cells can have up to 1 million reactions a second. Ashley, it’s incomprehensible, okay.


[00:44:31] Ashley James: It is.


[00:44:32] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Fifty trillion cells having a million reactions a second, and we all work in harmony. Why? Because we are all working together for the greater good, for the good of our whole body, right? We are holding, we are identifying with our body, with our being, with our ego as an independent entity and we want to support it. Every cell knows it’s going to be created, it’s going to do its work, and then it’s going to go away through apoptosis. But when a cell goes into an inappropriate survival response and doesn’t want to die, how can he do it if the body’s telling you it’s time to die? It has to change its biochemistry just to change its environment.

That’s the same like the flight, running away. It creates a microenvironment by surrounding itself with a lattice formation made out of Galectin-3 that binds to different inflammatory compounds, and this environment now has a different metabolism. It’s no longer as responsive to oxygen. It doesn’t communicate anymore. And when it stops communicating, it becomes its own independent entity, and then it starts to proliferate, to grow, and it wants to take over. How do we call it? We call it cancer. Or it wants to attack other organs, how do we call it? Autoimmunity.

So these diseases are a reflection of an abnormal survival response. When we understand it and we apply this principle to health, maintenance, and to treatment, if somebody has cancer, we naturally will get better results.

So if we look at our body, if we look at our cell, our cell is a membrane, which is like the skin of the cell, and the membrane decides what comes in and what goes out. So the cell will take in what it needs and will release what it doesn’t want. It detoxifies and it nourishes. And in the membrane, you have to exchange the transformation. So the cell does it this way, the tissue does it in this way, the organs do it in this way. I don’t want to take too much to describe too many organs, but it’s a vital principle that organs take nourishment and let go of venous dirty blood. This is how the system is maintained because it’s being balanced by the heart.

The heart works completely differently, and that’s why open heart medicine is so powerful. That’s why the healing power of the heart is so powerful. What the heart does as part of its survival, the heart has to get dirty blood. The heart does not get clean blood. It gets venous blood. It gets all the stuff that the body doesn’t want, all the stuff that comes from the perspective of the heart from the past because it was released from the organs and tissues earlier on and it arrives into the heart. What does the heart do? It doesn’t say, no, no, I don’t want to take it. The heart accepts everything. It connects with the universe through our lungs, through our breathing, exchanges, releases carbon dioxide, volatile toxins, absorbs oxygen, and then the heart gives blood without discrimination. 

The aorta, the main artery that comes from the heart, is a rigid artery. It doesn’t contract. It gives blood everywhere. And who does the heart nourish first? The first organ that the heart nourishes is itself through the coronary arteries. So that’s the beauty. Our heart nourishes itself in order to nourish others and as part of nourishing others. That’s why from this approach, self-love and self-compassion come as part of love and compassion for others, very different from narcissistic focus. And if we look at the heart, one of the things which are kind of mind-blowing and again, for some reason, nobody has made this correlation until I came up with this image, but it’s obvious to me. The heart nourishes itself only after it finishes its work, only when it finishes accepting dirty blood—releasing the carbon dioxide and oxygenating the blood. Now it’s giving it to all the body only then, as really as a selfless organ, it also takes care of itself.

Physiologically, anatomically, the coronary arteries could have been in the right, in the left atrium, in the left ventricle. There’s already clean blood there. But no, the heart takes care of itself only when it’s done with serving others. It’s done with sending the blood out. That’s a selfless survival power of the heart that allows us to transform our health, and that’s the transformation of the survival response.

So how will it be, for example? So it’s done anyway even if we are anxious and we respond to everything with a survival negative emotion, the heart physiologically does this otherwise we won’t be alive. But because it’s done physiologically, it’s easier to take a ride on it and make emotional, psychological, mental, psychospiritual changes in a genuine way. So when you start applying it in different levels, when a situation in life comes, instead of responding with it with anger or fear, we respond to it with an open heart, with love, compassion, and empathy and it changes our physiology because the electromagnetic field of the heart is the largest electromagnetic field in the body. It’s 100 times bigger than the brain’s electromagnetic field.

So the electromagnetic field of the heart at any given moment reaches every cell of our body and reaches the people around us. We are connected heart to heart. So just like cells are connected to each other and the heart is the glue that keeps everything together through the circulation, so we as people are connected to each other right now, and of course from a genetic point of view realizing how many generations made us, there is no way that each person have had a mutual parent, sibling, child, or relative at one time in the past because we have been made out of an infinite number of people. So this gives us a little bit of a different perspective about health and life, right?


[00:51:10] Ashley James: The analogy of the heart is so beautiful and so perfect. It doesn’t discriminate. It brings in the old and the past and it connects to the universe, detoxifying, bringing in the nourishment, and then nourishing itself first before other organs so that it continues to nourish other organs. It loves itself so it can love others. I think that it is beautiful, perfect, and so needed. We have to remind ourselves that self-love and compassion are how we’re going to have the most love and compassion for those around us. I love it.

You talked about apoptosis program cell death, and another thing I’m interested in is autophagy, which is the body’s mechanism for digesting pathological tissue. I think combined with triggering apoptosis and triggering autophagy, that’s the cleaning mechanism to ensure we don’t develop cancer out of control. Does Galectin-3 turn off apoptosis and autophagy? Does it affect it in that way? Does it affect the mechanisms the body uses to prevent cancer?


[00:52:34] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: You know, Galectin-3 will speed apoptosis of normal cells, which we don’t want, but it will prevent apoptosis of cancer cells, for example, because they will move into glycolysis. Autophagy is really a repair mechanism of the cell and of the body. As you said, it’s a cleanup mechanism, and it’s often disrupted when we have an abnormal glucose metabolism. When we have normal glucose metabolism something called AMPK, adenosine monophosphate kinase, in the cell that produces energy from glucose by working properly with the mitochondria. When there’s not enough oxygen or when another pathway called MTO1 turns on, then you get abnormal metabolism, the mitochondria shuts down, the cell goes into a survival response.

It moves into glycolysis. Why? It can produce energy 100 times faster but at a heavy cost. Only two molecules of ATP from one molecule of glucose instead of 36, and a lot of nasty byproducts—lactic acid, et cetera. So autophagy is key to clearing the system because it will reduce the activity of this MTO1 and will restore the activity of AMPK. And yes, Galectin-3 will have a harmful effect and when we block it with modified citrus pectin and we block Galectin-3, indeed it will support healthy autophagy. And of course, I talked about in the book in detail, what really supports autophagy is intermittent fasting.


[00:54:27] Ashley James: Yes. That was next question was about fasting. This is great.


[00:54:31] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: I talk about it a lot in the book. So intermittent fasting and how long you have to fast depends on what food you eat. If you eat a lot of sugars, you have to fast longer because you have more glycogen. If you have less carbohydrates, then even at 13, 14, 15 hours, autophagy starts, and that’s why intermittent fasting is a very valid way of eating used by multiple cultures because you think in old times, it was too late. You would eat when it was early on, easy to cook, easy to prepare food. There wasn’t light, and then you went to sleep. You ate at 5:00 PM, 4:00 PM then ended the day. Then the next morning you wake up, you will do your stuff, and then you will eat once you do some activity like at 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM. So you had 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating.

So, really, intermittent fasting is a good strategy on a long term basis. It’s different from the ketogenic diet. It’s worthwhile mentioning it because when the ketogenic diet became very popular in cancer, I remember I was teaching at A4M in the integrative oncology module like certification, I was one of the teachers. When people got excited, I warned them. I told them, look, don’t overuse it because the ketogenic diet is a survival diet. A ketogenic diet allows us to survive on a long term basis. But if the ketogenic diet was our ideal diet, it wouldn’t be our alternate diet. It would be our day-to-day diet because the body is smart.

The ketogenic diet is very useful on an intermittent basis. So for example, for my patient who will go through chemotherapy or radiation, I will use a ketogenic diet intermittently during the cycle, not all the time. But intermittent fasting is something that we can really adapt into our diet on a daily basis. You can do a longer fast, one day a week, every two weeks, or two days a month, but it really gives a break to the glucose pathways and it allows us to clean them up, to fix them. Meanwhile, if we need, then yeah, the fat ketogenic metabolism will kick in and things will be okay, and then we go back when it’s cleaner and it gets erased. It’s like giving a break. It’s like changing the oil on many levels. That’s really what it is.

So it’s important to really recognize this very important role of intermittent fasting. It’s also important to recognize because I have a fascinating chapter on detoxification in the book, and really, honestly, it’s like a topic of its own because everybody talks about detoxification and detoxification, but detoxification is really something we do all the time. Our body is a balance between detoxification and nourishment. Where if we look at our lungs, the big detoxifier, the lung naturally contracts, when it contracts, it lets go of air, it releases. The exhalation is twice as long as inhalation, which means we detoxify longer than we nourish.

When we come to this world, the first thing we do is we cry, we let go, we detoxify. The lungs let go. The last thing we do before we leave this world is we take an exhalation. So detoxification and letting go at our basis are innate to us, but we have to recognize that when we are detoxing, it’s a process and we’re going to get rid of things that we may have been hiding in certain places in our body, in certain boxes like I call it in the book. So when we open the boxes, when we throw everything from the closet on the ground, it’s going to be a mess. So we have to be equipped to clean the mess, and that’s part of what we do on a daily basis. For example, intermittent fasting is an example, right? The cleanup just like you mentioned that’s why I’m elaborating. Then when we do more concerted, longer, targeted seasonal detoxification all-around treatments and diseases, then it requires more support. But when done properly, it is effective and almost universally side-effect free, if done properly.


[00:59:11] Ashley James: How about longer fasts? Three- to five-day fasts or 21-day fasts. Is there any harm in doing a longer fast or do you find them to be helpful as well?


[00:59:26] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: No, there are a lot of spiritual traditions that use longer fasts and water fasts, and when we peel off, it’s a catabolic process. We break a lot of tissue and when we break a lot of tissue, we also break and release a lot of the toxins, a lot of the trauma that has been in the tissue. And if we clean them in nature with good food and clean water, it definitely can have a profound effect, but we are not built to shut down our system. If you look traditionally like in different religions, most of the fasts are one day or you’ll fast during the day like in Islam, which is for a month, which is pretty much intermittent fasting, right?

So from a health perspective, it’s better to drink a lot of water when you fast so you can help the clean-up. But fasting has a profound effect because it really turns off our maintenance activities so our body and our being can tune into deeper things. I’m personally not a supporter of long term fasting. I don’t think it’s physiological. It’s much better to do it in a moderate way through intermittent fasting with a one-day fast with water. We just peel off gradually. The more we do things gradually, the more we create a gradual change, the more sustainable it will be.


[01:01:04] Ashley James: I’m all about making sustainable, gradual, healthy changes instead of trying something really big, blowing up on our face, beating us up, and then going back to our old habits that were hurting us, right? It’s good to do small steps that then get solidified into our daily habits.


[01:01:23] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Yeah. In The Survival Paradox in the chapter of detoxification, I really map the process of detoxification from preparation to exposure of what you want to detoxify, to binding the toxins, to processing them, to supporting the system, and I explain the phases and how to do it. So afterward, either it’s a health provider helping others or it’s somebody doing it, there is a better understanding of what’s happening. And then in the appendix, I provide a very detailed detoxification protocol. It’s about 80 pages in the appendix of multiple protocols, supplements, how to do, and when to do it. But the book itself is more about changing the journey. It’s about a really deeper understanding than the appendix that I give the different details.


[01:02:22] Ashley James: I hope that everyone that reads your book will take this as a life guide to helping them in the long term and integrating what you teach in the long term. This isn’t like one of those magazines that say 30 days to lose 30 pounds. It’s not a get quick, do something for only 30 days, get a result, and then go back to your old habits. This is something that is life-changing and you have to integrate so it takes time to integrate these changes. Can you give us homework? Give us some things we can start today, some habits we can change today to make a difference.


[01:03:07] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: So the first thing is to start by doing small changes. For example, try to make sure that your room is really dark when you go to sleep so your melatonin level goes up. Unplug electronics from your surroundings, especially your cell phone, put it away. When you wake up in the morning, start your day by drinking two glasses of water so you will hydrate. This is a simple thing also before bedtime. And then find the time for yourself to unwind in whatever way works for you. Whatever your belief system is, in whatever method you want. 

If you have a very busy life, then start it for a few minutes in bed before you get out of bed. Sit in bed and meditate for a few minutes, and then before you go to bed, sit for a few minutes and meditate. Just allow your mind to expand, allow your breathing to slow down, and then open your heart to yourself into every other living being that wants to be happy. Everybody wants to be happy and then go to sleep with this energy. 

The other part is actually, believe it or not, read my book. It really takes you through a process. And then when it comes to the clinical part from chapters 7 to 13, I mean, if somebody was really interested in medicine, in health, and specifics, it’s okay to skip it also. It has a lot of inspiring stories. The book is full of dozens of inspiring stories of patients, my heroes. But really, it will give you an understanding of how life is inseparable from our health and how intertwined, interdependent things are, and it gives us the power back to own our health, to own our well-being, which is so needed. I mean, self-empowerment is really not overly available these days. In a manipulative, divisive survival response, and negative environments.

One thing why certain things are so important now is because when it’s very dark, one small candle can be seen really well. When there’s a lot of light, when the sun is shining, you can turn on a candle, nobody will see it. But when it’s dark, every small light will shine far away. That’s really the value of understanding what drives us and that we have the power to change it, we really do.


[01:05:49] Ashley James: We talked a bit about healing the scars of survival. Do you have specific tools? What tools did you use to heal that emotional pain that was showing up as physical pain near your heart and your body? Do you have any recommendations?


[01:06:09] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Yeah, of course, of course. So part of what I do, I teach meditation and healing retreats. I teach it very extensively in Israel where I have a few thousand students. But now with the book being out here, I’m going to have a one-week masterclass about transforming the survival paradox sometime in the second quarter of 2022. Then I’m going to actually have a summit about it with different guests in November of 2022. But when I do these few days of retreats, it’s what people go through profound healing, profound.

But in general, we really have to address our being on these multiple levels and really find places where it’s relatively easy for us to change. Don’t be hard on yourself. I mean, life is not always simple, unfortunately.


[01:07:14] Ashley James: I studied a lot of these different modalities and my favorite one for getting to the root cause and healing unresolved negative emotions that are stuck inside us is Time Line Therapy, and I highly recommend checking out timeline therapy. It was created by Tad James, of no relation. I love him but we’re not related. We have the same last name. And then also, Emotion Code I’ve had really good experiences with as well. I’ve studied Time Line Therapy and done it for many years with clients, and I’ve seen huge results. Those are the two methods that I have seen help people resolve the root cause of negative emotions, but also release them from the body like when it’s trapped in the body physically.


[01:08:03] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Right, right. So let me expand on this a little bit. In the clinic setting, we addressed the scars with healing, with acupuncture, with different supplements, but I also specialized in a procedure called Therapeutic Apheresis, which is similar to dialysis. I’m really a disruptor in the field even on a global level where I use an Apheresis device. It is FDA approved. And Apheresis is similar to dialysis. It’s a fancy procedure where you take the blood, you separate the cells from the plasma, and you filter the inflammatory compounds, the [inaudible 01:08:42] lipids from the plasma. And what happens, you allow the body’s opportunity to recalibrate. That’s on a physical. That’s on one end. Most develop in our special column that will remove just Galectin-3. It’s a medical device project I have with some NIH grants.

But on a healing level, it’s exactly what you talked about. It’s understanding the multi-generational and timeline events. The way we respond now is a result of things that happened in our past, happened in the past of our ancestors, and to make things really complicated, it’s a result of what happened in the future because the future goes backward just like time goes forward. I have a diagram when I present it and teach it usually in the context of retreats, and then I use a lot of scar injections where I will inject a scar with Procaine, it’s called neural therapy, with different homeopathics. Universally, scars will get smaller. 

Universally, scars from laser, from surgery that have been there for 20, 30, 40 years and you put Procaine, the scar gets numb for 45 minutes and then it gets smaller and smaller by 10%, sometimes smaller and thinner by 60, 70%. Now what’s mind-blowing, it will never come back. How is this possible? Because the scar has a relationship with the nervous system where there is a message coming to the brain that there is a scar, that something is not functional there. When we numb it, we cut this ongoing automated response, which is part of a survival response on a neurological level. And then we allow the body to relearn, to create a new memory, what we call memory reconsolidation. It’s really a psychological system. It’s not my system, but I use it on a physiological level. So this healing of the scar, I do it on a physical level, and I do it with acupuncture, healing, and visualization, so it’s a little bit more powerful. But we also do it emotionally or with different systems like you described. But they all come to allow us to be ourselves. At the moment, as much as possible, without having all these strings to our past mainly that make us react in a way that is really not how we would react if there was no past that was affecting us.


[01:11:23] Ashley James: I love it. That procedure where you filter the blood, I want to do that. That sounds fascinating. How can we do that? Do we have to come to you in California or other places?


[01:11:36] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: No, no, no. That’s actually a very specialized procedure that I specialize in. It’s really what I do. It’s usually done more in hospitals for people with genetic hypercholesterolemia, but I specialized it for inflammatory purposes and I have a lot of publications in the field. And yes, it’s done in Amitabha Medical Clinic. But important is to do this in a larger context just like you and I talk today.


[01:12:10] Ashley James: Right you can’t fix it by going and getting a machine to filter it because if you don’t change your lifestyle, you don’t do the emotional healing, and you don’t change your habits it’s just going to come back.


[01:12:20] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Sometimes if you are in really bad shape, the machine will give you a chance to recalibrate because people try to heal and try to heal and it just gives you a break. You just get a moment where something else is doing the work for you and then suddenly, you finish the treatment and your blood is a way towards when you were like 18 years old, and then suddenly, the tissue can let go and changes can happen. That’s the power of the procedure.


[01:12:49] Ashley James: How can we measure that what we’re doing is working? So I know heart rate variability is a good way of measuring if the body is under stress. But that’s not measuring the cascade effect, like you said. Is there a way to measure or would you give us some examples of how we know the changes that we’re making from your book, right? Like I’d say we start integrating these changes. How do we know it’s working? How do we know we’re reducing our Galectin-3 and that we’re getting our physiology back into a state of healing?


[01:13:28] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: So the first thing that we see that we know is we just feel better. We’re not as tired, we are more spacious, we’re not as reactive, we are happier. We smile more. The same interaction doesn’t bring up negative emotions. We are more tolerant. That’s one thing. Our inflammatory markers go down if you’d see reactive protein or fibrinogen activity, et cetera. We can also measure Galectin-3, which is an FDA-approved inexpensive test that is done by all labs. It’s supposed to be paid by insurance, almost always is. If not, if you don’t have insurance, it’s one of these things where people who pay without insurance pay 10 times more than insurance, which anyway, I won’t get into this. I can’t solve it, unfortunately. 

But when you look at Galectin-3, you have to be careful about relying on the level of Galectin-3 because of genetic differences, people can still have a damaging effect of Galectin-3 with low levels. But if you think that you are healthy, you do a blood test, and your Galectin-3 is elevated, then this can be like a wake-up call that something is going on in the body. And then following Galectin-3 is important.

So one of the basic things and why this is my number one recommended supplement is the PectaSol Modified Citrus Pectin, not because I developed it. If you look at my programs 10 years ago or 15 years ago, let’s say, yeah, some of my patients got it, but not all of them. Now it’s the first thing I did, why? Because it blocks the Galectin-3, it helps to stop this damaging process. At the same time, it removes heavy metals, it regulates the immune response, and supports the microbiome. So it has this amazing benefit. So that’s why just like the starting point, you can take as little as 5 grams a day for maintenance, or if you have serious health problems, you take 15 grams a day, either powder or capsules.

That’s a basic thing that we want to do. And then our pains get better, our memory improves because it’s all driven by the same inflammaging. This undercurrent of subclinical inflammation is not evident but it’s causing damage and rapid aging. Yes, so it’s a combination of how we feel and changes of course in our blood test also. It changes our perspective of life because when we are more tolerant, when we’re not as reactive, then some of our life dramas just go away because some of it, unfortunately, is objective difficulties that so many people have. It breaks my heart. Some of it is our reaction to our life, right? People can react to the same thing in different ways and shifting from reactivity to tolerance to what we call loving, compassionate, responsiveness instead of reactivity. It really shifts our physiology and our being. These days, Ashley, it is so critical to go to these places for all of us.


[01:16:57] Ashley James: You said inflammaging like inflammation and aging, and oh my gosh, that hit me so hard. I say this all the time on the show. If you want to be a statistic, live like everyone’s living. Go eat the same food everyone’s eating, go watch TV until one in the morning, binge on Netflix, or vape whatever everyone’s vaping. Just go with the mainstream flow, Hollywood, just follow what everyone else is doing and jump from fad diet to fad diet. Do what everyone’s doing and eat a ton of candy, drink a ton of alcohol, and you’re going to be a statistic. 

But if you don’t want to be a statistic, and right now, the statistic is one in three people will have cancer. One in three people has diabetes or a prediabetic. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the three top killers. Stroke is the fifth, I believe, top killer. That is your future and early death is your future if you live like how everyone else is living. We have to be a salmon and completely go against the grain and stop the inflammation and the early aging, right? Inflammaging, I just love that.


[01:18:16] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Inflammaging is very much driven by Galectin-3, by the abnormal survival response by the survival paradox. In the book, I just show how it’s driven through all diseases.


[01:18:30] Ashley James: But it’s never too late. Do you have any success stories you can share of people who were in their 60s, 70s, 80s and they turned themselves around and gave themselves a healthier living experience?


[01:18:44] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: A lot and a lot of stories about cancer patients. Of course, the book is full. Every chapter is between one and five stories. So there are dozens of stories of healing, absolutely. I mean, I share my own story of healing, absolutely. As I said, everything is changeable because nothing stays the same, everything flows, right? The moment the heart stops contracting and blood stops flowing, we are dead. There’s always a flow. There’s always a movement, nothing freezes. There’s a difference between ice and water, right? Everything flows. 

So as long as things are changing, everything is possible, and this is really the key for tapping into our infinite healing potential [inaudible 01:19:39]. That’s why I mentioned already in this podcast, my favorite saying, not everyone will be a miracle but anyone can be a miracle. Because when we change our habits, we change our biochemistry, we change our physiology, and we change the outcome. That’s the beauty of the infinite healing power that each of us has.


[01:20:05] Ashley James: You brought up scar tissue and I think it’s really fascinating because every cell in our body is different within seven years. Every atom, every molecule of our body is new every seven years, right? We renew our body from the earth, from what we eat, we renew it from what we breathe, and yet, our body can remember to hold on to a scar. But I have actually seen people do emotional healing work and scars disappear. They no longer hold on to the memory of the scar and the body lets go.


[01:20:40] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Absolutely. That’s the idea, multi-dimensional. So you do the emotional work, you do the psychological work, you create space in the mind, and you do the physical work. That’s why amazing things can happen. That’s why anything and everything is possible.


[01:20:56] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. So I definitely encourage listeners to read your book, the number one most important book. We should be buying this for Hanukkah, for Christmas, and for the holidays regardless of what you’re celebrating. December is kind of the time to buy presents for our friends and family and those we love, and I just think your book, Survival Paradox, is a wonderful gift for those we love who we want to help them stop the inflammaging and live a healthier, happier life balancing all aspects of their life. Regardless of how long you’re going to live, it’s all about quality of life. Let’s increase the quality of life now and extend life but extend the quality of our life, and I think that’s so important.

And of course, all the links are going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at Thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been wonderful. I’m really looking forward to hearing the feedback from my listeners as they dive into Survival Paradox and begin to incorporate these practices into their life. Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?


[01:22:05] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Yeah. First of all, thank you so much for having me and being interviewed by somebody who understands what I’m talking about makes it easier, of course, and I really appreciate it. It’s a process. I mean, the book is a guideline, but if you’re really interested, use the opportunity. I’m going to start teaching more, in classes more, and offering more of these. It’s like offering my heart. You can get a sense even in a recording, I’m coming from my heart, and I’m sharing decades of studies and experience. It’s not something that I just came up with after a few months. I’ve been in the healing arts for almost 50 years, so there is a lot of experience, a lot of fun observation, and multicultural different parts of the world. Like a sponge, I absorbed and absorbed. Now I distilled it and I really want to offer this important healing advice to as many people as possible. It’s my third act.


[01:23:15] Ashley James: Well, I’m looking forward to your fourth and fifth, and I definitely want you to come back on the show when you have more to share and when you have more to teach. Your summit in 2022 sounds fascinating. I’d love for you to come back and continue to share with us. Thank you so much for coming on the show.


[01:23:28] Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Thank you so much for having me. Have a great day.



Get Connected with Dr. Isaac Eliaz!

Amitabha Medical Clinic & Healing Center 

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Books by Dr. Isaac Eliaz

The Survival Paradox




Jan 14, 2022

Check out the sample class from IIN visit


Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Training Program, Jim Curtis


  • What makes IIN different from other health and wellness schools
  • Bio-individuality
  • What’s new at IIN

Jim Curtis is the Chief Revenue Officer & Head of Brand at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Before joining IIN, Jim helped develop WebMD, Everyday Health, and Remedy. He is also the author of The Stimulati Experience. In this episode, Jim shares what’s new at IIN and what you can gain from studying at IIN.


Hello, true health-seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. Back when I started this podcast, I had come really far in my healing journey but I wasn’t done. And you’re never really done, are you? But I had accomplished reversing type 2 diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue, chronic infections, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and infertility, and that’s a lot. And I’ve been working on myself to get to a point where I’ve considered myself to have optimal health. I’m not there yet, but I am way closer to my goal than I’ve ever been.

So when I started the podcast, I had already accomplished all that, and I was still working on solving some of my health issues, right? I did not know what health coaching was when I started my podcast. I was actually doing a lot of coaching with clients for years, but I didn’t really have a strong grasp on the definition of what it is to be a health coach. I kind of wrote it off as something froufrou or something really superficial like probably someone who tells you to go for walks and drink water. I didn’t respect it because I didn’t understand it.

But as you know, if you’ve been a listener for a while, I am the most open-minded skeptic. I’m going to think critically, but I’m going to give things that maybe I just write off or just dismiss, I’m going to give them a chance. I’m going to have an open mind and try things on even if they go against my belief system because I want to grow. I want to grow outside of my own belief system, I want to learn things like the things you don’t know you don’t know.

That’s the realm of possibility where you’re so open to learning about the unknown. You see, there are things we know we know, right? We know we know how to tie our shoes. We know we know how to drive a car, and there are things we know we don’t know. I know I don’t know advanced calculus or I know I don’t know how to fly a plane. Just taking the stuff you know you don’t know and learning it is only about 5% of your life. That is not nearly as fun as being open. Opening your mind up to the things you don’t know you don’t know. You don’t even know there’s this whole world out there of possibilities. You don’t even know they exist and you don’t even know you don’t know them yet.

That’s where I like to live. And especially with my podcasts, I like to have guests that show me a world I didn’t even know existed and show me that it’s possible. It’s been through holistic medicine that what I didn’t know I didn’t know came to light. I didn’t even know there was this world where I could reverse disease naturally. That my body was deficient in nutrients that could reverse disease because I was raised in that same system you were where we waited to get sick, then we went to the doctor, and we were put on drugs to manage something but never cure it, never reverse it.

I was, for many years, told by an endocrinologist and doctors that I would always have these conditions, always have these issues—diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and infertility. I was told I’d absolutely never have kids. That’s the reality that most people live in. But there’s this whole other world you don’t even know exists. And of course, you’re listening to this podcast so you do know that there is holistic medicine and that the body can heal itself. But there’s this whole other world that is waiting for us, and that’s 95% of reality out there is what you don’t know you don’t know. That’s the exciting part. So open your mind and let the unknown come in and show you that there’s another way of being that allows you to transform your life.

With today’s guest, it’s a little bit different. I had Joshua Rosenthal on the show back in episode 106, so that was quite a while ago. Joshua Rosenthal is the founder of IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and that’s a great episode. You should go back and check it out, episode 106.

When I first started the podcast, I had no idea what health coaching was. I looked down upon it because I didn’t respect it, I didn’t know what it was. And I had a health coach on the show. This was very early on, probably in the first 40 episodes. He told me about the school that he graduated from, IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and he said that it’s an online program. It’s been around since 1992 and they’re the world’s first health coach training program, also the world’s largest, and the most organized.

So I looked into it, I spoke with them, and that same day I enrolled. I went from being completely skeptical, but you know, open-minded, to just absolutely feeling that this was my path, that this was the next step for me. I learned so much about myself and about how to help people through that program. What I loved is that health coaching is not just eating apples, drinking water, and going for walks. Health coaching, most of it, is actually emotional counseling. It’s helping people to peel back the layers and really help themselves to bring joy and expression, love and vitality into every single area of their life, and to help balance every area of their life with that experience of joy.

The fun part about health coaching is that you help people—by asking the right questions—to uncover their joy in each area of their life. Even though you do learn 100 dietary theories in the health coaching program through IIN, most of the time you’re not even talking about food because so much of it is about our habits, behaviors, beliefs, and emotions. And so health coaching really is about helping someone achieve the goals that they set out for themselves.

What I like about IIN is that they are the most authentic company I’ve ever met. What they teach they also practice. So behind the scenes, I’ve actually had the CEO on the show as well. I’ve had a few of the staff members on the show, kind of just getting a glimpse, pulling back the curtain. I kind of love doing that, pulling back the curtain and seeing what goes on behind the scenes?

Well, today, we have another staff member who is high up in the company, and he gets to pull back the curtain a bit and show you what it means to have a truly holistic company. If you are a business owner, imagine how you can shape your business so that your employees and you have the most healthy experience. Now, they have a very low rate of attrition. They have a really profitable model because they actually invest in the health and well-being of their staff. And that’s really exciting because I see that they’re modeling something that is the wave of the future. If you can imagine every single business truly being holistic and taking care of their staff, how beautiful and how healed this world would be.

So enjoy today’s episode as you listen from the perspective of imagining this world, imagine a futuristic sci-fi where every single company treated their staff like IIN treats their staff, how neat that would be. And then if you’re interested in adding tools to your tool belt, I highly recommend checking out the free sample class. So you can go to That’s, and there you’ll get a free sample class and you can check out IIN yourself. We do talk a bit about the program. They have a 6-month program, they have a 12-month program. It’s a 12-month program, you can do part-time or full-time.

They also have smaller classes. They have newly adopted smaller classes, a few week-long classes if you are looking just to not become a health coach but looking to grow yourself. I love the health coach training program. About half of the people that go through it every year go through it just for their own personal growth and to help them become healthier and help them help just their family and friends. So that’s definitely something to check out. I highly recommend it.

And of course, IIN gives the listeners a really great price. So when you do talk to them, you can mention that you heard it from me, Ashley James, the Learn True Health podcast. And also use coupon code LTH most of the time when I interview someone. I asked them to get us a coupon code LTH and give the listeners a discount. And when you do, mention my podcast. They do give all the listeners a really, really great discount.

Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing my podcast with those you care about. Come join the Learn True Health Facebook group, we’d love to see you there. Check out the IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition sample class. It was quite moving. I thought it was awesome. It’s free. Check it out. Go to Enjoy today’s interview.


[00:09:58] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 472. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have Jim Curtis on the show. Now, you are the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Brand Officer of IIN, is that correct? Is that how I say it?


[00:10:23] Jim Curtis: Yes. I handle the business side of things. So marketing, sales, community. I wear many hats here.


[00:10:32] Ashley James: Now, why that excites me to interview you is because this is a health podcast. We’re approaching 500 episodes. I’ve had many of the teachers that teach the students of IIN, IIN being the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the school that I graduated from a few years ago. I graduated in 2017 I think it was. Time kind of flies. All of a sudden you look back and it’s been years and years, but I have interviewed many of the teachers that have made videos for the students of IIN. We’ve had actually hundreds of my listeners, either they already are graduates of IIN or they signed up and became students of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition after hearing my podcast, so it’s really exciting.

What I love about IIN is I walked in thinking I’m just going to learn a lot about nutrition and I learned so much. That was just such a fraction of the piece of the pie. I learned so much about myself, about creating really true happiness, and balance in every aspect of my life. There’s so much more in terms of fulfillment, emotional, spiritual, and mental health. Doesn’t that just really make so much sense when it comes to health coaching, right? It’s not about how many carrots you eat and how many glasses of water you drink. At the end of the day, if every other part of your life is falling apart and you’re miserable but you’re eating healthy, you’re still not achieving health.

So I love that I learned from my IIN how to help myself, my family, my clients, and my friends to find the things in each area of their life that they want to enrich and all the tools that I gained to help them do that. 

What I was excited about having you on the show, I’ve had your CEO on the show who was so amazing. I had the founder of IIN on the show, who I’m such a big fan of Joshua, and then to have you on the show. And of course, I’ve had graduates and I’ve had other staff members who share fun stories like you guys have free avocados for your employees. There’s a yoga and there’s a meditation room.

Your company believes in that work-life balance, and I think that if every company on the planet modeled themselves after IIN, we would have such a happier world. Companies would save money because they wouldn’t have such a high turnover rate of employees. I want to know more about you and the branding and marketing side of IIN because this isn’t like Amazon where you guys exhaust and work your employees to the bones. You are a company of the future. You are a company that I want to learn from because you’re a company that models holistic health for your employees and for your customers, for the students. It’d be really interesting, from a health perspective, to look at how IIN markets itself, brands itself, but also, I hear really exciting things are coming in 2022. I’m so excited to learn from you, welcome to the show.


[00:13:52] Jim Curtis: Oh, it’s so great to be here. I love all those things that you said about the business. It’s particularly important to me because, for 20 years, I’ve been a coach, a wellness teacher, and in business. I think that goes hand in hand for everybody who’s listening to this too who are both trying to run a coaching business or another wellness business and be the teacher in that business. So IIN is kind of a great example, and I think I’m a good example of my own career, how I brought the two together, and how we kind of help our students to bring the two together.

I think that some of our employees would disagree with you about working them to the bone because we work people so hard here and they work so hard here. But what we know is that oftentimes, we’re sacrificing and working the weekends because it has such a profound effect on the health of people. We can see it from a one-to-one basis meaning we will get a story written constantly of a student or a graduate that we’ve changed their life so dramatically and had such an impact that the hard work, the sacrifice, the late hours, and the weekends are worth it. So that’s kind of what we’re doing.

And yes, we do spend an enormous amount of money on avocados, more when we are actually in the office more often. We do have a chiropractor and acupuncturist. We cater a delicious lunch for everybody every day that people are in the office now. We’ll just shut the office for a week around the holidays or we’ll take all the employees on a trip where you don’t have to do any work or even meet. They just go out and have dinner. The last time it was in North Carolina. There are a lot of lifestyle elements, and of course, everybody in the company can take the courses. That’s some of the perks of IIN.


[00:15:53] Ashley James: I love it. Because when I was first looking into IIN, any staff member I spoke to when I called were also graduates, and I thought that that was really neat. I know it’s not every single staff member is a graduate, but more often than not, you throw a stone in IIN and you’re going to hit a graduate. They’re health coaches as well. So talking to them didn’t feel like a high-pressure sales call, which is what I was really expecting because I’ve called other companies who do online education and it felt like they were trying to sell me used car insurance. But with IIN, the conversation was more about my goals, where I want to see myself, how would this help me, and how would this help me help others. So the conversation was more about the ripple effect and the fulfillment that IIN can bring as a student and as a graduate.


[00:16:50] Jim Curtis: The authenticity in business is super important to us. I have so many students and grads writing to me just talking about how they position themselves as wellness pioneers and coaches with authenticity. Over the last two years since health coaching has become so popular, there’s been a lot of schools that pop up. We kind of look and say, are they walking their own walk? Are their employees actually trained health coaches, or is it you just sign up online and then go take your videos type of thing?

Ninety percent of our employees are trained by IIN, and then when you come and start at the company, you can take the course, which most people do. And we really believe in a path to employment. When people graduate from IIN, our alumni services help get them and show them job opportunities. So we partner with companies like Wellory and many others so that IIN graduates get hired first, and then we hire our graduates. 

We’ve hired hundreds of people who have graduated to be employees, and oftentimes, they don’t have the exact background that we need in business but we can teach them. We know that they’re amazing people and very well trained because they’ve been through our program for a year or in a very intensive six months. So that authenticity, that eat your own dog food type of saying is so true to us and important to us.


[00:18:35] Ashley James: You, before joining IIN, have been part of some major health brands that we would recognize. What was attractive about IIN that had you want to join and work for them? Because I think you could have had your pick of so many different companies.


[00:18:59] Jim Curtis: I was. I had started my own businesses and exited them. I’ve had a pretty successful career in business, and I could really choose where to go next. I was just a few blocks away in New York City from the IIN offices running a wellness center that I had started there with a partner, a med spa and a wellness center, and it was going well. Someone called me up and said this role is available at IIN and they’re interested in you. I was immediately interested because IIN is such a pervasive name and wellness for so long. They’ve created the health coaching field. They had all the major health influencers and leadership from the beginning and oftentimes built those careers, but they’re still relatively unknown. It’s kind of a niche thing that you get to know IIN when you get into that wellness world.

I had been in the world and I knew what a great brand it was. I had so many people in my life who had gone through the program that I immediately was interested. It was something that I saw that this could be a great project, and this could get very big under the leadership that was in place. Not only that, we could really expand upon that mission of changing the health of the world. I could see how it wasn’t just like a media company or another company that started that puts out information and then people read it. This is a direct contact with a person whose life you’re going to change. I wanted to do that for millions of people, so it was a really exciting project.


[00:20:52] Ashley James: So you joined IIN and then and then you took the course. You hadn’t yet taken the course. So while you were taking the course and working for IIN, what really surprised you about going through the health coach training program?


[00:21:09] Jim Curtis: Well, I thought that I was the expert, right? I was the speaker. I had started the business, I had done everything, and I thought that I was really the expert and that I wouldn’t learn much from the course, but I was very wrong. And also, I had known of the IIN brand, but I was impressed by it but not connected to it.

One, I learned firsthand that, okay, food really does change everything. I focused a lot on the mental aspects of wellness, the scientific aspects, or what’s trending in wellness in terms of devices or science or how do you change your mindset to be successful. I was what I thought was a healthy eater, but I started to cook more for myself. I started to incorporate far more whole foods, raw foods, and vegetables. I realized that I was eating out way too much. The oils that were inflammatory were a lot in my diet, and it just really changed everything in that respect for me. I started to really realize what food changes everything mean, so that really impacted me.

I started to realize that IIN can teach anybody something even if you think you’re an expert because it really taught me also how to hone my coaching skills. You can be an expert, you can be someone who comes to for advice, but it’s a whole nother ball game when you’re trained in coaching how to listen, how to how to actually lead someone through the coaching continuum where you leave with a result. That was really interesting to me.

And then I loved hearing Joshua talk about why the brand is the brand. What is integrative nutrition? That’s a term he coined. Nutrition is more than food. It’s everything that feeds you. It’s integrative from what feeds you spiritually, what feeds you in your relationships, what feeds you in your career, and how you move your body, what feeds you for exercise. And then, you start talking about what colors and foods are on your plate.

That was a huge impact on me. And even all the way to Joshua’s story about the color red and why IIN uses so much of it. How he was in India and he had traveled there for many, many years. He would study with the monks there and they all wore red robes. Red really signified one, the color of our blood and how everything that we consume becomes our blood, and how we all have the same color of blood. It’s an equality. We all have red blood. Our economic status or the color of our skin doesn’t affect our blood. It’s the equalizer and a connector.

He really wanted the red symbol—that is shaped like DNA, by the way—to be the hallmark of IIN and really stand for something. He also loved it because it was different. One thing IIN is always touted is fitting out. You don’t have to do what everybody does. Even though wellness is becoming much more accepted and much more mainstream, oftentimes, you’re kind of out there if you’re practicing Reiki and trying a new diet that only eats raw foods, vegan, vegetarian. He said it was important not to fit into the general society of the world that is pertaining to just one thing.


[00:24:55] Ashley James: I love that idea that the red represents what’s on the inside and everyone’s got the same thing. We’ve all got blood. I have a family member who’s in hospice right now and it’s having me really reflect on end of life and how none of us get out alive, right? Death is the real equalizer. It’s something that we’re all going to have at some point. What’s really important is how we live now. I think we get really caught up in the day-to-day minutia. We get dissociated from what’s in the now and we start becoming more like robots. They say human doings instead of human beings. And then all of a sudden we’re just highly unsatisfied.

The unconscious mind, that’s where most of us are stored. The unconscious mind doesn’t want us to just go with the flow, go with the motions day-to-day. Go to a job, pay a bill, come home, go to sleep, eat. Eat, sleep, eat, sleep, repeat. The unconscious mind, that’s where our values are and our desires are. Sometimes we stuff that down and what pops up is depression, sometimes physical pain. Physical pain can manifest in the body when we’re really just not living our path. It can feel so uncomfortable in the body. If we’re disconnected from it, it can become uncomfortable physically, but then uncomfortable emotionally and we don’t know where to put it, right?

Some people fall into illness because they’re not eating healthy and they seek out a health coach. And then if it’s an integrative nutrition health coach, that health coach is helping them analyze and look at all areas of their life and really listen to them. That’s what I love because it isn’t a program where you just are scripted and you’re just telling people what to do. You’re listening. You’re listening for the deepest layers of concern, right? You’re listening and you’re listening, and then you ask questions that help them dig deeper themselves.

It’s not about you talking at them. It’s kind of funny how as a health coach, how little talking we do. When you’re doing it really well, you’re asking the right questions that drill down and drill down and allow a person to see what’s beneath the layers that they themselves have, it’s been in their blind spot. Then they have their own aha moments and oftentimes they’ll even tell you what their homework is. When you’re really doing it well, all you’re doing is just being this amazing listener. You said that that’s a skill or a tool that you learned when you went through the IIN program.

I was so impressed with—before I did the program, I’m also a master practitioner and trainer of neuro-linguistic programming. I really feel like I’ve trained myself in listening, and IIN really had me slow down and listen even more, and listen even more, and listen even more. My husband who’s an introvert always says, God gave us one mouth and two ears so use them proportionally.


[00:28:15] Jim Curtis: Right. I love that. I mean, active listening is a real skill. You’ve almost become magnetic when you’re a great listener. When you’re listening more than you’re talking, it has more of an impact when you say something because people know that you’re really processing what they have to say, and that’s kind of what coaching is all about—learning those things.


[00:28:38] Ashley James: You said active listener. I’ve said in the show in the past (I think a few years ago), you know, some people have never ever actually been heard. And going to an integrative nutrition health coach, going to an IIN graduate may be the first time in their life that they’ve actually had someone truly hear them and truly listen without ulterior motive, without their judgments of their past. Just someone really authentically being 100% present to them. That in itself is so cathartic. It allows the person to slow down and really feel honored, respected, and heard as a human being. 

I feel like growing up, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, comparing yourself to the Kardashians, whoever’s on Instagram, or whoever was popular in school. I think everyone has that in their mind, maybe the imposter syndrome, or maybe they feel like there’s always someone who is better than them and so they’re not good enough, right?

They’ve never felt like just being honored as an individual because it is an even playing field. We all have the same color blood, and we’re all going to die. It is more about how we live in the now. We can cultivate physical things on the outside like I can have a lot of material goods, but that doesn’t leave me with anything that I’ve cultivated on the inside. But the more we cultivate on the inside, that’s something that can never be taken away from us.

That’s what I love about the health coaching program because it’s like 99% of it was called feeding on the inside, and then 1% of it was here’s like 100 different dietary theories. I thought it was going to be the opposite. I thought I was going to learn just a bunch of nutrition stuff. Boy, was I wrong. I love the program and the impact that it has. What are some other skills that you were surprised that you learned like active listening? Were there any other skills that you were really surprised that you learned when you went through the program?


[00:30:46] Jim Curtis: There is something called bio-individuality, meaning we go through life getting taught that this is the right diet for you. This is the way you should eat, this is what a diet is, and then there’s always this pull between keto is right or vegan is right, and you have these two groups. What I love is that it kind of bridges the gap there. Diets are ways of eating. When we say diet, I mean nutritional diet, not going on a diet. Ways of eating that are right for many different people.

Vegan may not be right for one person, but it could be right for another. As opposed to, okay, there’s this belief that everybody has to be vegan or everybody has to be keto. That was something that I learned. I was really impressed with the concept of crowding out, meaning we put a lot of pressure on good and bad, right? I’m bad, I didn’t exercise. I’m good, I exercised. I’m bad, I ate a doughnut. I’m good, I ate broccoli. There’s no good or bad, right? There’s food.

You can start to crowd out foods that make you feel better or worse. Meaning, if you’re used to drinking 12 Diet Cokes a day, start to drink 10 Diet Cokes and 2 glasses of water, or 6 glasses of water and 6 Diet Cokes until you crowd out the food that is making you feel less good, right? Instead of getting really down on yourself for having the food, understand that you’re a work in progress and that what you’re consuming is just food and we put the good and bad on it, and that we want to consume more things that give our body and our cells more energy. I always really love those types of things, which I didn’t think of in that way before. I’ve always been, I feel guilty, emotional eater type of person, and that really set the stage for me.

The other thing I noticed with the program is that you don’t have to become a health coach, right? A lot of people are doing this just for them. Although I did some coaching and I’ve always been a coach, I did the program and it affected me profoundly as an individual and how I was relating to people. I didn’t actually have to go and be a full-time health coach. By the way, integrative means that you’re also life coaching. This is not just food. This is life coaching and health coaching in one, but you don’t have to do that.

A lot of people just do it to start with them. They’d use it to coach themselves, their families, or their friends. Some people write books. There’s a book in everyone, and some people say, I’m doing this so I can be more credible or have more information when I want to write my book, my health story. Some people nowadays even become health influencers. They start a content-driven media type of health influencing in the sense of they’re reaching millions of people on a massive scale or hundreds of people, it doesn’t matter how many people. It’s just how you’re reaching them with health information. That’s very much what you’re doing, which I’m impressed with. Those were all things that I learned very quickly.


[00:34:36] Ashley James: And hospitals are hiring health coaches, insurance companies are hiring health coaches. My insurance company offers me a free health coach through my insurance because they see it saves them money when someone is actively going through health coaching, they’re working towards achieving their health and wellness goals, and then they don’t end up going on a bunch of medications and costing them money. So they would rather pay upfront for preventive medicine, which is what health coaching can be because it can help us to go from feeling good to feeling great or feeling great to feeling awesome. But most people wait until there’s a pain point, and the pain point doesn’t have to be physical health. It can be dissatisfaction with their marriage, with their work, with their body image to be able to go to an integrative nutrition health coach and work on those areas.

You’re not allowed to call it counseling because of how they define counseling now, but it was once called counseling back in the day before they changed the rules of what you’re allowed to call counseling and not call counseling. But like I said, with active listening, you’re really just guiding that person and helping them to get to the root. I love that.

Take us to the environment of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and share with us what changes, what improvements have you made since you joined the team?


[00:36:25] Jim Curtis: Well, what can I say to that? The changes that I’ve really made since being here are accessibility, meaning we have provided a lot more content for free. People can come on our Instagram, YouTube, webinars, or lives that I do. So I’m constantly interviewing our visiting teachers so people can have access to them on a live basis, whether it’s a webinar, an Instagram Live, it’s a live event for the community, or it’s a special event for the community that people go to. So there’s a lot more access for people who aren’t students for free content. And then there’s a lot more community access for the graduates and the students so that they can interact, get information, and talk with me, so that’s one thing.

We’ve gone a lot deeper into business. The folks that are like, I’m really good at coaching or I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to start my wellness career but I really don’t know the first thing about business, we do a lot to help people along the way. You can now just sign up online. You know what we’re finding is that a lot of people are younger that are signing up and they’re of the generation that doesn’t like phone calls. They just want to sign up online, not talk to anybody, and communicate via chat and email. We accommodate and do that now a lot more.

What has made the biggest impact here is that we’ve hired a lot more people at the company. The company’s size has grown so that we have a lot more touchpoints with alumni services, with student success. We are constantly creating new courses. We have two new specialty courses on Whole Person Health with Deepak Chopra and Detox Your Life so that we have more people to service the students more often, and we have more content that is either cheap or is less expensive and free. That’s the impact that I hope that I’ve made, that I’ve made it more accessible for many more people.


[00:38:48] Ashley James: Well, it sounds like there’s a lot more courses and content since I graduated. Back when I joined, there were I think three courses. It was the main one, you had to take the main one first, which was yearlong at the time. For me, I invested about 20 minutes a day, or if I got really busy in my life I would spend an entire Sunday afternoon once a week and Sunday afternoon evening going through and studying. But day-to-day, I could listen to the lectures in the car, while I’m doing laundry, while I was cooking. I was able to fit in the training for a whole year in my very busy schedule being a career mom and all the stuff I do.

So many people have asked me, do you think I could do this? I have a family and a career, or I’m a student and they have a family or whatever? I say, yeah, I think anyone who wants to do this could do this because you can do the training while you’re doing tasks as long as you can listen. You don’t even have to necessarily watch. Although there are slides and there’s a person on stage sometimes.

What I would do is I download the slides, I’d look at them, then I’d listen to the lecture, and then I’d go back and look at the slides. If I’m, for example, driving or exercising, I definitely do it while I was exercising like if I was on the machine. And cooking, I just have it on the speaker and then I’d go and pop my head over and look at the slide when they reference something.

It is available to people. It is accessible to busy people, and it was designed for busy career moms basically, who could fit it in 20 minutes or 30 minutes a day. And then you guys came out with—and there’s a few other courses. There was a write your own book course and I think there was like an autoimmune. There are advanced courses that someone who was a graduate could take. And then after I graduated, you guys came out with a six-month-long program basically condensing it so someone could be considered a full-time student. Although, I still think you could have a career and be a “full-time” student with IIN given that it’s in six months. So now you have all these other trainings. Are there training that people can take before they become an integrative health coach? Could you explain that, walk us through that?


[00:41:17] Jim Curtis: Certainly. You’re absolutely right. I mean, you did a great job balancing everything, and I think that we try to make the program so you can. But also so that you still have contact with over phone calls and now a lot more virtual Zoom type of stuff. And then live events, we’re still meeting in person less but still doing it. Now there’s a Spanish course. So if you only speak Spanish, there’s Spanish Assist, so there’s been a lot of enhancements.

You don’t have to go through the health coach training program anymore to say I want to take a course. We have short-form courses like Whole Person Health, which in over seven weeks you can learn from Deepak Chopra and others. It’s less than $500. I think Detox Your Life where you find out how to remove toxins from your food, from your home, and from the people around you, that is under $300. We also have courses on emotional eating, hormone health, gut health, and even business courses that you can take. Oftentimes, you don’t have to be a grad.

There is an advanced licensing course that oftentimes graduates take so that they can sit for the advanced licensing of a third-party accreditation. You do have to be a grad for that. But there are many courses now that you don’t have to be a grad of the 6- or 12-month course to take, and that’s part of the accessibility that we wanted to offer this to more people in the world.


[00:42:58] Ashley James: That’s really exciting. For those shorter courses that are more specific, do you find that people then graduate and then join to become a holistic health coach, that they see the benefit in continuing to study with IIN?


[00:43:13] Jim Curtis: In some cases, yeah. In some cases, people work on their wellness a little bit slower, so it’s different for everybody and that’s really apropos to what we’re all about. We want to deliver the wellness that is right for you. So in some cases, people will go on and say that was amazing. I want more, and they go on to take the health coach certification course, which is the health coach training program and they do really well. Others say, I like that but I’m going to go on to take the Hormone Health course, or I’m super interested in the Gut Health course because I have gut health problems. I see you’re working with a company called Seed. I love that probiotic. They give a supplemental course to that too so they go on and do it. It’s really what meets your needs, and that’s important to us.


[00:44:11] Ashley James: I love it. Now your background is in business and so you’ve obviously had an impact on the new business training that IIN provides for health coaches. That’s actually something I’ve seen in my past. I’ve been in this industry since I was a teenager. Actually, I took all the courses that I could with Landmark Education and became a coach through many of their programs, and then I was hired to be on staff in my early 20s with Landmark Education. Then I went on to study neuro-linguistic programming and did coaching through that until I found IIN. 

One thing I’ve learned working with training coaches because I did that through Landmark and then also through neuro-linguistic programming, I saw that the biggest problem was that they didn’t know how to market themselves. They didn’t know how to grow a business. There’s a stigma around money, business, and charging people. They felt kind of like, I don’t know what to charge people. Their tools would change someone’s life, would completely change someone’s life. I mean, you can’t quantify that, right?

I mean, you don’t want to charge too little because they don’t take it seriously. You don’t want to charge too much. And then there’s a person worth, right? The health coach feels like there’s this, what am I worth? I don’t want to charge that much because I don’t want people to say no. They go through this fear because there are so many negative stigmas around money, charging, and knowing what you’re worth, but also creating a fair business model so that you have a mutual win-win. You really have to face a mirror and look at yourself, look at all the negative emotions and looming decisions around money when you’re getting into doing your own business. What kind of advice can you give health coaches when it comes to these kinds of concerns?


[00:46:13] Jim Curtis: It’s really common. First off, don’t feel like it’s just you. I did all the Landmark courses too, by the way. I love Landmark. I started with them when I was 19 years old and I moved to New York City. I took a year off of college because I was dealing with an illness and I moved to New York City and I started Landmark. It’s just, I mean, really wonderful and impactful. I can see how that would lead to IIN because it’s very much about rapid transformation.

When people go through this course and they start to say, am I worth it? Am I ready to be a coach? And then if I’m selling wellness, should I really be charging? How do you combine those two? Because oftentimes, people see sales as a dirty word and wellness as the good word so they want to give it for free. But here’s the important thing. One is you’ve been through the training, you’re there to help someone, you deserve fair compensation for that. 

Sales is really a service. I mean, if you’re selling something that’s hurting people, if you’re selling cigarettes or junk food, yeah, I can understand you’re doing the marketing that is tricking people into something that’s not great for them. But you’re providing a service. Your sales is a service that’s helping people change and better their lives, and then better the lives of the people around you.

Knowing that your mission is really beneficial for the world is the first step. Knowing that you are uniquely positioned because one, you want to do it, you have a desire and a passion to do it, and because you’ve been trained to do it. But sometimes, you just have to go through the fear and know that you are the one, believe it, start to do it, and it becomes very real to you. And that you’re worth it. You need to be financially stable to make people financially stable. You need to be working on your finances and your health so that you can help other people with that.

I always lead people to Marianne Williamson’s book called The Law of Divine Compensation. And in The Law of Divine Compensation, it really talks about there are real rules around exchange of energy and receiving payment for the service that you’re doing. That’s a great book to read for anybody that’s kind of struggling with this, and that’s kind of how I approach it. We work with a lot of students. I particularly work with a lot of students on that because it’s common, and if you’re feeling that, you’re not alone at all and you can overcome it.


[00:48:56] Ashley James: Do you have to be an IIN grad to take business training, or do you have business training at any health coach they graduate from anywhere take?


[00:49:09] Jim Curtis: We have business training that any health coach who graduated from anywhere take. We have the Advanced Business course. We’re constantly updating our course. It’s been around for 30 years, but every year, we add new content, change things, and we have more business in the course now. Then I do a lot of free training. People can sign up for webinars with me. I, on Instagram, every Thursday do business basics where I answer questions. We know that having confidence and understanding your value and how you’re contributing to the world is an issue sometimes, so we do a lot to help train people on that.


[00:49:50] Ashley James: Now what I loved about the IIN program, back when I took it it was 12 months long. Within the first half, you’re learning how to do health coaching, but then you actually start working with people halfway through. The rest of the program is like fine-tuning that and teaching you how to grow your business. It’s not like IIN just teaches you how to be a health coach then throws you to the wolves like, okay, grow your business, bye. You’re actually growing your business. Something that Juliet, she was the person that helped me on the phone because that was before you guys had a robot on the website.


[00:50:26] Jim Curtis: She’s still here.


[00:50:27] Ashley James: Juliet’s amazing. I love talking to her. For those listeners who just sign up online, you should just give them a call just to experience it because I really had a blast talking to Juliet. She was so helpful and I called her many times asking her questions. She was always a wonderful resource. I really love her. She said, you know, the most successful IIN students pay off their entire program before graduating. I said, really? She said, yeah, because you start working with clients halfway through, and so then you’ve got another six months of growing your business and being trained to. You have IIN teachers to talk to and to connect with. You get to grow while there’s kind of a safety net because you’re still in the school, and I thought that was really cool.

Then of course, with your full time course, it’s after three months of doing it then you start growing your business for the next three months while you’re still in the program. I just like that IIN always creates a soft place to land while someone is completely changing their career path.

Now, I’ve heard something like 50% of graduates don’t go on to become health coaches. They did it purely for their own personal growth, which I can totally see doing that or to augment it or just bring tools to what they already do. So about half of the graduates do go on to become health coaches, and many of them then want to start their own business. There are so many mediums, like you said. You could become a content creator, write a book, do social media, work for a hospital, or work for a clinic. I know so many clinics now where they have a health coach with a chiropractor, with a doctor because it’s looking at the person as a whole.

There are a lot of opportunities out there, whereas I don’t think 15 years ago it didn’t even exist then, even 10 years ago. There are so many more opportunities now. I heard Joshua say about two years ago, he said that this is the number one growing field in the health space.


[00:52:39] Jim Curtis: Coaching is, if you look at the jobs report, one of the number one growing professions. We’ve transcended just health. It’s like, okay, coaching is something that people want to do, why? It’s because people are looking for a purpose in their lives. This allows you to make a great living while serving something greater than you, and that is other people serving a bigger purpose. That’s changing the health of the really sick United States. Although we’re in 175 countries, the United States is the most ill of 133 million people suffering from diabetes or obesity. It’s a place that really needs health coaches and so in demand.

We talk about all the different things health coaches can do, and I always say set up multiple revenue streams, meaning see some clients directly one-on-one. Work part time. There are so many tech companies now hiring health coaches like Wellory or Kensho, wellness centers like The Well or even hospitals like Cleveland Clinic. Mark Hyman says he only hires health coaches from IIN, same with Frank Lippmann hires IIN health coaches. There are many different ways, many revenue streams, we say, as a health coach that you can become really financially stable doing what you love and something good for the world.


[00:54:10] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. Are there any testimonials that you feel really connected to? You say that people write in all the time. Maybe in terms of the business training that you give, do you have a testimonial that you feel you’ve earned because you’ve had a direct impact on the lives of the students?


[00:54:37] Jim Curtis: You know, we have so many of them. I just read a three-page testimonial yesterday about a woman who started IIN during a really difficult time because her daughter was diagnosed with cancer. She was ill, she was having trouble with what she was doing and her finances, and she knew she had to make some changes. She wrote literally a three-page letter about IIN and how it really gave direction and opened the doors that she took that changed the rest of her life. I hear that so often. We put them up on our site and we have thousands of people commenting on Trustpilot and that kind of thing.

But even when I just interviewed some of these folks that have become superstars like Melissa Wood or the founders of Sakara Life, I could name even Bobbi Brown cosmetics, they talk about how IIN was really the jumping-off point that allowed their lives to change. They dedicated themselves to this study, and by opening that door, it opened up so many other doors. Whether it was in their career or in their health. 

I wish I had them in front of me to read, but we have our admissions reps who are all IIN graduates and we go over every week, who did you speak with? Because we’d love to hear the stories. We have women that are grandmothers, they’re in their 80s. During the pandemic, their daughters and their grandchildren came to live with them and she took the course because she wanted to make sure that she was cooking right for them. She was into wellness, she had retired, and she wanted something to do. I love that story.

There was one woman who had diabetes and she lost her fingers due to diabetes. Her daughter had juvenile diabetes and she’s like, okay, this stops here. I’m not going to see my daughter lose her fingers. She started the course. And then sometimes you see families go in together like mother and daughter to take the course together. Guess what, we even have some guys now. We have a lot more doctors and a lot more people from sports. We have Olympic athletes, we have ex-NFLers, and we have a lot more men signing on. Before it was 100% women and now it’s about 90% women. Even guys are getting into this a little bit.


[00:57:18] Ashley James: That’s funny because the person I interviewed when I first learned about IIN, it was on my show. It was the first year I was doing my show and I interviewed a graduate of IIN. He was talking about how he reversed his ADHD that he had had since he was a kid with food. At the time, honestly, I was really skeptical of this title health coach. I thought it was hokey. I thought anyone called themselves a health coach. I had no idea, I had no concept as to what it was. I asked him in the interview where did he learn from? He told me about IIN and I signed up that day after the interview.

I talked to my husband. I mean, it’s a major commitment, right? For me it was a year-long commitment, it’s a financial commitment. But after that I called Juliet, I had a few conversations with her. I picked through the website—super impressed by all of the visiting teachers. I was like, oh my gosh, these are all the people I look up to and learn from anyway. I love these people. I read their books. I watch their YouTube videos. I talked to my husband, he was like, why are you still talking to me? Go, sign up. Start, do it. I was just in love with the program.

But it’s so funny how that morning I woke up and health coaching wasn’t on my radar. When I heard the word, I don’t know, I poo-pooed it because I didn’t know what it was and so I thought it was hokey. By the end of the day, I’m like, yes, I’m becoming a health coach. This is amazing. It was so funny.


[00:58:51] Jim Curtis: That’s awesome. At one time, chiropractic and acupuncture were considered hokey too, and then insurance started covering it, it became more accessible to people, and they saw the real benefits from it. That’s what’s happening with health coaching right now as well.


[00:59:05] Ashley James: Right. Has there been any traction in terms of insurance covering graduates of IIN?


[00:59:14] Jim Curtis: Well, it’s in the process. Right now, one insurance is called CPT Codes. It’s in the code process where they’re collecting data. They will make the case that health coaching increases health outcomes. And then from there, they submit for coverage. So that usually takes a couple of years and it’s been a year and a half in. IIN, unlike any other school, has lobbyists in DC that are working on healthcare bills and getting health coaching inserted into those bills, and we’re making real progress.

We’re, as a company, just trying to move it in general. We’re not setting up an online training with videos just so that we can make money. We’re trying to change the health of the world, and that includes hiring lobbyists and people that work for the company to represent health coaches in DC, in government, and move the insurance process forward. So it’s happening.


[01:00:19] Ashley James: I hope my listeners now understand. This is why I was excited to have you on the show because it’s not just a company that wants to make money off of you. When you look at other companies like I look at Amazon, you feel like they’re just like, give me your wallet. Just give me your wallet. You get convenience out of it, but there really doesn’t feel like there’s this huge humanitarian effort behind it. Whereas when you look at IIN, you guys want to change the world, and you’re doing it and you’re working on it.

I know that when I first signed up that night, I have a really clear memory of watching the first modules crying tears of joy. My mirror neurons were just firing. I felt the oxytocin and the sense of connection and community as Joshua was starting the whole year. There’s a huge audience. Even though I’m watching a video, I felt like I was in that audience. I’m brought back to that moment just crying because I felt like this is it. We are here to make a difference in the world. This is my mission and I am on this path with all these people.

Every graduate, whether they go on to be a health coach or not, they are part of that ripple that wants to make a difference in this world. That is so exciting to be part of this bigger picture together as a collective moving forward, having this common goal of helping people live happier, healthier lives in all aspects of their life. I would just love it if we could take the model that IIN uses and duplicate it for all companies in the world.

In closing, I’d love for you to share—you’ve been with so many companies. You started companies, you’ve been with major, major companies, and what’s the difference? When you first walked into it IIN, walked into the building, what is the sense, the ambiance of IIN versus all the other businesses that you’ve worked with?


[01:02:33] Jim Curtis: Well, people really feel a responsibility. Everybody feels a responsibility, meaning the content they create, the people that we partner with, everybody is really concerned with, does this fit the mission? There’s nothing that we launch, partner with, teacher that comes on, or even if we’re writing something that’s about staff picks because the staff may love some products and we want to communicate them. There has to be a group consensus, meaning, is this to the benefit of the people that we’re talking to? Does this give a holistic view of it? Does it pertain to bio-individuality?

People really feel that they can make a difference in the product and that their view matters because it does because everybody here has a health coach. So it’s really important that we’re living up to what we teach. It’s a business. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we’re working really hard hours and we’re hitting deadlines. It’s for-profit for sure, so we have to be financially healthy just like our health coaches do. But what’s different here is that there is real care and concern, it’s not just a job, and that to me means everything.


[01:04:09] Ashley James: That is so cool. I love it. Thank you so much, Jim Curtis, for coming on the show and sharing about IIN. I know there’s a lot in the hopper, and I know that there’s a lot we can’t talk about, but is there anything you can talk about future projects that are in the hopper?


[01:04:25] Jim Curtis: Stay tuned. There’s more coming, that’s what I’ll say. There’s definitely more coming from IIN that will blow your socks off, just stay tuned.


[01:04:33] Ashley James: Yeah, I’m really excited and I’m bummed we can’t talk about it. But like you said, stay tuned, it’s happening soon. I’m very excited. Now, listeners can go to That takes them to a page where they can get a free module from IIN. They can check it out and get a feel for the training. I recommend listeners do that. Jim, is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?


[01:04:57] Jim Curtis: Well, I just want to say, thank you so much. I’m proud of you as a student that’s doing so many amazing things and inspiring so many people on the platform that you’ve built. It’s really impressive, and thanks for having me on.


[01:05:10] Ashley James: Awesome. Well, thanks for coming on. I know you’re super busy. You’re doing really great work. I’m very proud of IIN. Again, I keep saying that this is the model I wish all other businesses were, but could you imagine if all for-profit businesses looked at the ecology of their community, their customers, and the planet? Ecology means that it’s healthy, that it takes everything into account, right? If any company, if a farm, let’s say, said is this ecological for us to spray this on the food versus do a different kind of farming that doesn’t require any chemical. If every company really started with, is this an ecological decision for my community, for my employees, for the planet?

Can you imagine if Amazon took into account the health of their employees and the health of their customers, how different would this world be? And so I love that IIN really for me, yes, it’s a for-profit company and that’s exactly what I want it to be because I want it to be the example that all other companies should look to to see that there can be a profitable business that takes care of its employees and its customers and looks to make the world a better place.

Thank you so much for being part of this project, and I can’t wait to see what IIN can create in the future. I’m thrilled that you guys are shaping the health industry. There’ll be a day when insurance will pay for someone to see an IIN grad. And that level of satisfaction, growth, happiness, and balance that that person receives and it’ll all be because of the money that you guys invested in lobbying and that you guys invested in marketing. So I thank you for all the work that you’re doing now that’s going to have such a profound impact for generations to come.


[01:07:01] Jim Curtis: Thanks. I appreciate that.


[01:07:04] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today’s interview about IIN and looking behind the scenes, learning more about the health coaching training program. If you’d like to check out the sample class, go to and check it out.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to reach out to me you can join the Learn True Health Facebook group. We have dozens of health coaches in the Learn True Health Facebook group, probably hundreds now. We’re almost at 4,000 members. It’s a really amazing group of holistic-minded people. You can come in and ask questions and get a lot of fantastic feedback from me and from all the other people out there as well, the community, the listeners have joined the group. Several guests actually have joined the group and like sharing and helping out as well.

But if you have any questions about IIN, you can ask it in the Facebook group, and not only will you hear from me, but you’ll also hear from a lot of listeners who’ve graduated from the program and have gone on to help their friends and family, have built careers around it. There are also people who are already in the health business in some capacity and used it just to grow their tool belt. You can use it as a launching pad to completely change your career path and start a new one, or if you’re already on a career path, you can use these tools to aid yourself.

What I love about this episode though is this idea that we could take this model and we could replicate it for every business to flourish, to grow. Imagine if every business’s number one priority along with income, along with profit, right? Every business wants profit. But imagine if they said, okay, we want to make a profit and we want to take care of our employees as much as we value taking care of our customers.

Could you imagine how better this world would be if profit, taking care of customers, and taking care of the staff was equally as important? Because the staff who feel taken care of then, in turn, takes care of the client, the customer better and takes care of the company better. Everyone’s healthier, everyone’s happier. I just think that this is such a needed thing. That’s why I love interviewing staff to learn more about IIN’s business model.

Thank you so much for listening to this show. Thank you so much for sharing it with your friends. Come join the Learn True Health Facebook group. I’d love to hear from you. And again, check out the sample class. It’s awesome, Have a fantastic rest of your day.


Get Connected with Jim Curtis!



Book by Jim Curtis

The Stimulati Experience

Jan 2, 2022

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471: Healing Processed Food Addiction with Dr. Joan Ifland Using Neuroscience, Mirror Neurons



  • What is food addiction
  • How do you get food addiction
  • Processed foods attack cell function in eight different ways
  • Processed foods impair major frontal lobe functions
  • What are mirror neurons
  • 11 behaviors in addiction diagnosis


Dr. Joan Ifland is a food addiction expert and the lead editor and author of the textbook, Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery. She has helped thousands of people overcome their food addiction and recover from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, fatigue, isolation, and obesity. In this episode, Joan explains what food addiction is, how it affects people’s lives with food addiction, and what you can do to overcome it.


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Our health coaches want to help you gain your health back naturally with the best holistic medicine. They work with the highest quality vitamins, minerals, and herbs to support you in increasing your health and achieving your fitness goals. More energy, mental clarity, balanced hormones, and blood sugar, better sleep, stamina, fertility, immune and digestive health, and the list goes on and on. Natural medicine gives your body the raw building blocks it needs to create new healthy tissue, repair, and heal. Everyone who supports their body’s ability to heal itself with the right natural medicine protocols feels and sees a substantial positive shift in their well-being.

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These are the exact same supplements that my husband and I have been on for years and then the same supplements that we give to our child. I love these supplements. They’ve really worked, of course, alongside a very healthy diet, which another benefit of going to is you will have the aid of your health coach who will help you dial in your diet and your supplement protocols to help you gain your health back and gain all of your health and fitness goals. So it’s really a win-win situation for you.

Visit today and try them out. Give them a try and see just how amazing you feel with their help.


[00:02:24] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 471. I’m so excited for today’s guest. We have Dr. Joan Ifland on the show who has groundbreaking research in how to recover from food addiction. She’s designed a program that helps people with severe processed food addiction overcome that. What I really like, Joan, is that you mentioned that those who have food addiction have been severely disrespected in the media, even from certain therapies. It’s a not well-understood addiction, it has a really negative stigma, and people feel a lot of shame and guilt about their food addiction. I’m really excited for you today to unpack what is food addiction.

It’s such a strange thing to me because we have to eat, right? You don’t have to drink alcohol. You don’t have to smoke cigarettes. You don’t have to do heroin, but we have to eat. To have such day-to-day, moment-to-moment struggle with the internal desire for food, that hunger that never goes away, and all the body shame around that really eats the person alive. And then to feel like they can’t get any help because there’s such a stigma around it.

I love the work that you do. You’re making such headway in this field, and I’m looking forward today for you to share some tools and for us to dive into this. I think that there are degrees of food addiction and there are degrees of recovery. And so I hope that for all listeners who have caught themselves realizing that for whatever part of the spectrum they’re on in their recovery or in food addiction, that they’re able to gain a foothold, some healing today, and some tools that they can take away and continue to grow. So welcome to the show.


[00:05:00] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yay. Thank you. Wow, that was the best introduction. Well done. You’re very clear on the issues and the context in which these issues have developed. Well done. Well done.


[00:05:16] Ashley James: I want to start by saying that this topic is no stranger to me. I watched my father struggle with food addiction. I watched my mother and I don’t know what flavor of food addiction she had, but she definitely had body shame, body issues. She was always dieting. It was like the last 15 pounds to lose. My mother was never overweight, but there was a lot of control around food. Then she would binge red jujubes and that was her secret. She would eat almost nothing. She would have almost nothing and then she would maybe eat handfuls of red jujubes.

She believed low fat, so she bought into, okay, I’m going to grill a chicken breast and I’m going to have half a cup of broccoli and that’s my lunch. She believed that any starch was really unhealthy, so she would yell at me if we were at a restaurant and I ordered a fish with a side of rice. She did this one. She stood up at the restaurant and yelled at me. I was about 12 and she shamed me and yelled at me because I ordered rice. I mean, in her mind, she was so afraid that if you ate starch that you would get fat.

So I grew up in this very controlling, food was very controlled, and she had a lot of emotion and upset around it. And then my dad on the other hand, snuck food and was always up and down 100 pounds and just yo-yoing. And then for me, I really have seen that food, and I don’t gravitate towards processed food because I’ve learned it’s so not healthy for me and for anyone, but for me, I have worked on the emotions around food, around binge eating, overeating, and food addiction. I’ve been working on that for years.

I’ve seen people who are sort of worse off than me and people who are better off, and like I said, that’s what I feel it’s a spectrum. I feel that even someone who seemingly looks healthy could have a food addiction. Just like any addiction, in my experience—I’d love for you to fill in the details—we go towards an addiction, for that dopamine, for that sense of control, and that sense of relief. It’s a stress relief that dopamine in the brain. It is a coping mechanism, but it’s also like our blanket, our Binky, something that comforts us when we’re in high stress and it gives us that relief.

What I’d love to dive in and find out, what starts food addiction? Why do some people go towards heroin and don’t have a food addiction and other people have food addiction? What is it about the people that end up with food addiction, why didn’t they end up with heroin addiction? It’s such a different thing.


[00:08:48] Dr. Joan Ifland: This is a really, really great way to start the interview. I do want to say I’m sorry for the modeling and the behavior of your parents. But it does answer your opening question, which is how the heck do we get this? You got it from your parents, the processed food industry, the health industry, and the diet industry. They all contribute to the development of processed food addiction in different ways.

But let me start out with mechanics. So what is actually going on in the brain? This is a great gift that brain imaging technology has given us is an understanding of what’s going on in the brain. Because prior to a clear understanding of the mechanics, these brain cells are hyperactive, these brain cells are not active. Prior to that, people made up stories about addictions. This person was weak-willed. If they just had more willpower, they’d be able to conquer it. They don’t like themselves, they lack self-control, or they’re even immoral.

So all these stories about addicted people have sprung up, and none of them are true. None of them are true at all. It’s simple in concept and thousands of complexities in implementation for recovery, but the concept is quite simple, and it happens in stages.

So step one is the reward system brain cells are taught through Pavlovian conditioning to explode with feel-good neurotransmitters. How do you teach a cell to explode with feel-good neurotransmitters? You ingest substances that cause those cells to explode. Literally flood the brain with enough craving neurotransmitters to control behavior, and that is the key to everything. Once we have addicted brain cells and they are putting out this flood of neurotransmitters, that alone is capable of controlling behavior. 

So those neurotransmitters go over to the motion center, the behavior center in the brain, latch on to the behavior of brain cells, and you are going to get the substance. So here’s what is not happening is the frontal lobe which is where rational thought lives—


[00:12:03] Ashley James: Yeah, where’s the frontal lobe in any of this?


[00:12:07] Dr. Joan Ifland: So the blood flow has been pulled off to the addicted brain cells and the frontal lobe is not firing. It’s literally not firing, so all the good things that you’ve learned, the determinations, all that stuff is not available. It’s like that part of your computer has crashed. There’s no data in, there’s no data out, and there’s certainly no control.

Well, here’s the next step then. Anything associated with those substances is actually more powerful in being able to trigger the addicted brain cells. Maybe you have a friend and you go and you get addictive substances with that friend. That friend is now what’s called an associative cue, an associative trigger. That just seeing that friend can set those addicted brain cells off to creating this flood of cravings. 

In the case of processed foods, there are so many different substances that all four of the major feel-good reward pathways have become addicted. So that’s dopamine, serotonin, opiate, and cannabinoid. This is one of the reasons why this particular addiction is so hard to give up.

And then the other piece of it is that the processed food industry was really taken over by big tobacco in the mid-1980s. They have an addiction business model. They deliberately train those feel-good pathways to become reactive to cueing, so you associate processed foods with everything because they’re everywhere. They’re at your school, they’re at your faith organization, they’re at your workplace. They’re all over your house. Hopefully not anymore, but they’re on the road. They’re on TV. They’re everywhere. 

You are constantly, by association, being stimulated to release those craving brain chemicals. If they build up enough, they will get control of behavior. That’s how you get an addiction. This substance is ingested, the substance causes this eruption, and then you begin to get the cued eruption. You’re not using the substance, but you have an association with it, and that starts setting off this flood that controls behavior. Let me just stop there. Does that help?


[00:15:15] Ashley James: That’s great and I have questions. When you said there’s an associated person, but that’s like the Pavlovian trigger, the anchor. It could also be a location. It could be smells. It can be marketing like you see the brands, you see the logo, or the box. o for me, location. I think back to a location where I would have ingested a substance that causes all of the feel-good or chemicals to go off. Then just even thinking about being back in that location for me. 

It could be music if music was playing at the time of the heightened—so maybe not everyone knows what the Pavlovian response is. It’s when you’re at a heightened emotional state and there’s another stimulus around, your brain will then anchor those two together. A song is playing when you’re in a heightened state, the next time that song plays it will trigger that heightened state, not as much but it will trigger it enough for you to think back and maybe start wanting that again.

My husband said something very interesting. He goes, the first time you do—I’m just going to say substance because it could be drugs, alcohol. Whatever the substance is, the first time you do it is not as good as the next time or the time after. He did a substance, let’s say it’s a chocolate chip cookie or whatever the substance was, he did it and he loved it so much. Then he did it 20 more times throughout a few months trying to chase that high and he said it was never as good as the first time. 

Can you explain why is it that the first time is amazing and then we tend to try to chase that high of maybe in our memory it feels like it’s so amazing and then we get disappointed? I ate a chocolate chip cookie and it’s like, wow, this wasn’t as good as that other time. I’m going to keep trying to find the chocolate cookie that brings back that first time.


[00:17:38] Dr. Joan Ifland: You’re asking a super excellent question. Let me elaborate on the first part of what you just said, and then I’ll go into the kind of diminishing return. Why is it that the brain so easily picks up these associative cues? People, places, things, time of year, time of day? Why? 

It’s because if you believe in evolution, every time a human for 7 million years found food, the brain would mark every, every, every, every detail of that moment because a year later with no ability to record anything, just relying on memory, that human would have to find that place again at that time of year and maybe even at that time of day. If for example it was maybe an egg and you needed to go up and get the eggs when the parent birds were off foraging.

The brain timestamps every, every, every detail, and this is also true for addictions because these foods are not food. The sugar, flour, gluten, excessive salt, dairy, processed fats, caffeine, food additives, the brain is not registering those as food. They’re registering them as addictive drugs, but addictive drugs timestamping works the same way. 

If you were a human a million years ago and you found food, your brain would timestamp every, every detail of that moment. The weather, the plants, the mountains, the path, the location of the stream, the time of day, who’s with you, the terrain, the soil, every, every detail so that you could find it again in a year with no ability to record any detail of it. So it’s every detail.

I mean, you may think, oh, it could be a color, it could be anything, the brain will just look at every, every detail. And then, of course, the food industry exploits that by putting those associative cues in front of people all the time. Okay, so I just wanted to reinforce exactly what you were saying.


Now, why are there diminishing returns? This is called tolerance or progression. There are two easy things to understand. One is when the brain has had a big an over like an abnormal amount of anything, there is a counteracting emotion. When the feel-good pathways have had this extraordinary flood, the counteracting motion is for the stress pathway to release stress.

It’s called the corticotropin-releasing factor pathway, and it sends messages to the adrenal glands to release cortisol, create some stress, and put the brain back into balance. That part of the brain also gets trained to respond, and it will respond sooner and sooner and sooner as it picks up the Pavlovian conditioning. That’s one reason why there is a diminishing return.

The other reason is that the way two neurons, two brain cells communicate is across a gap called a synapse. The way it works is cell number one releases the neurotransmitter. Cell number two has a receptor. In the case of the reward pathways, the receptor is a C-shaped receptor, so the neurotransmitter actually hits like a ball into a C.

What happens over time because those receptors are not designed to maintain that level of bombardment, the first time it happens, all of the neurotransmitters hit the receptors and the pleasure is transmitted through the nervous system. But the second time, the body is saying no, no, no, no, we cannot tolerate this amount of excitement, pleasure. We’re not designed to do that. 

The brain will start to shut down receptors to prevent that surge. Over time, it just shuts down more and more and more and more. This is why you don’t get the pleasure from it, but you continue to pursue it because if you stop, then only the stress pathways are active and it hurts. It hurts to stop. That is withdrawal. That’s how we know that this is drugs.

People continue to use processed foods. This could take months or years. At some point, you’re not getting any pleasure out of it at all. There are so many receptors that are shut down. We actually see this on PET scans, Positron Emission Tomography scans, where a healthy person has these bright red dopamine receptor fields. Obese people don’t have them and cocaine-addicted people don’t have them. It’s one of our strongest pieces of evidence that this is drug addiction, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with eating. 

Just like the tobacco industry hid nicotine in cigarettes and addicted people by hiding the addictive substance. Once tobacco came into processed foods, they hired a consultant, Howard Moskowitz, to hide the maximum amount of sugar, fat, and salt in foods before people could detect it. It’s just diabolical, but none of it was our fault.

In the progression, you feel worse and worse and worse, the depression and anxiety are increasing, but it’s increasing in response to the substances, to the mechanical almost like an allergic reaction now. You have this big flood of neurochemicals being released. There are fewer and fewer neurotransmitter receptors to send the message and you’re still having this stress reaction. So people’s emotional profiles just fall apart.


[00:24:43] Ashley James: A few years ago I was reading a study that talked about these PET scans. The TLDR was people who are not obese don’t think about food, they don’t really get pleasure from thinking about food or planning it, but when they eat, they actually receive pleasure. Those who had obesity or food addiction spent a lot of time thinking about and planning their next meal and planning their next snack and really getting stimulated. The pleasure center’s getting stimulated over thinking about it. But then when they went to eat, it was so disappointing. 

Kind of like porn addiction, fantasy is better than reality and I thought that was fascinating. Is there a way to reverse it? Is there a way to reverse it so that those who have a food addiction and also cocaine addiction that those centers of the brain aren’t lighting up anymore? Is there a way to heal the brain and come back from this?


[00:25:55] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yes. What you have to do is give the whole system a big rest. You have to stop stimulating it. Now if for alcohol or cocaine addiction, you avoid the cues. So you avoid the people that you used with and you don’t drive past the crack house, find another way. This is part of the complexity of recovering from processed food addiction is it’s everywhere.

You have two pathways. One is to avoid the cueing and two is to neutralize cues. You can rewire the brain to associate the substances with pain and people are more driven by pain aversion than they are by pleasure-seeking. This is great research coming out of the economics field.

In our programs, we encourage people to come into the program and talk about a lapse so that they can then immediately associate the pain with it. There’s a lot of pain from processed foods—physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral. It’s quite destructive. It’s just as destructive. It looks very different, but it’s just as destructive as any drug addiction. 

The name of the game is to train the brain that when you think about that food you think about the headaches, stomachache, screaming at your children, fatigue, not able to sleep, racing thoughts, intense cravings, breaking out of the skin, stomach ache, asthma, inflammatory properties, infections, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Processed foods attack cell function in eight different ways. There are 144 conditions associated by research with processed foods. It’s not hard to come up with a very long list of things that go haywire when you eat processed foods. 

Let me go back to something that you started out saying, Ashley, we have to eat. That would be saying to an alcoholic, well, figure out how to use alcohol because you have to drink. No. We all know how to divide the world of beverages into safe and alcoholic, non-alcoholic and alcohol, and then there’s really a third category, which is the druggie sugared beverages.

We do the same thing with food. We have safe unprocessed foods and then we have addictive processed foods. It is the processing that concentrates natural endorphins in the food to the point where they’re strong enough to train these reward centers to release craving neurotransmitters.


[00:29:13] Ashley James: Is there a particular diet that helps us heal the brain faster or the fastest diet that doesn’t overstimulate the pleasure centers?


[00:29:30] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yeah. If it’s okay if I mention a website.


[00:29:35] Ashley James: Sure.


[00:29:36] Dr. Joan Ifland: and just sign up for the free information and you will get to two lists. One is the excluded food list. This is based on research. I wrote and edited the textbook for the field, Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery. I wrote the whole food plan chapter in that textbook. It’s based on 250 studies. We know—the research is clear—that there’s a whole range of addictive substances that have been added to our food or just presented through advertising that they are food. They’re not food, they’re drugs.

It’s just like the tobacco industry was able to persuade us that cigarettes are sexy. Cigarettes are disgusting and repulsive. Cigarettes are rebellious. No, they’re killing you. Or that they’re sophisticated, they’re modern, or any of those things. They’re none of those things. So these are fantasies that the tobacco companies created in order to get people to use the addictive substances often enough to create the conditioning of the reward centers.

They’ve done exactly the same thing with these drugs. They’ve created the delusion that they are food. They’re not food. They’re just not food. We do have the excluded list, and then we have the clean list. Now inside our programs, we teach people a rotation method to figure out which foods on the unprocessed list are harmful to that individual. 

There’s not a food plan. My food plan is completely different from anybody else’s food plan. I’m 70 years old. When I was 44 almost 26 years ago, I had a completely different food plan. The commonality from all these food plans is a highly individualized personalized food plan is they don’t have drugs in them. 

Step one is to get the drugs out of your food and step two is to use a rotation method to see if you’re allergic to any of the unprocessed foods. I can’t eat the nightshade group, I can’t eat the citrus group, and I can’t eat the gourds—the melons, zucchini, and squash. I can’t. Those are just three groups. I have had lifelong asthma and they kick up my asthma, so I don’t eat them.


[00:32:34] Ashley James: And for others, the symptoms might be not as obvious. Figuring out your food sensitivities is a fun game. You could benefit from working with an experienced naturopathic physician or functional medicine practitioner. There’s also evidence that suggest that leaky gut syndrome, which of course we can definitely develop from eating processed foods and particularly gluten, grains, barley, wheat, rye, and even oats, which contain gliadin similar to gluten. That causes leaky gut syndrome, which increases food sensitivities and the body overreacts to certain foods.

Healing the gut and also the microbiome, and I have several episodes on that. Listeners could go to and use the search function to find them, but several interviews on healing the microbiome of the gut and healing leaky gut syndrome. There are ways to support the body in overcoming some food sensitivities, but then others are baked into the cake like for you, you’ve noticed that nightshades do not complement your physiology and so you avoid them.

I think it’s really important to also listen to the body because problems with sleep, problems with concentration, mood swings, and even skin problems all can be from foods that we’re having sensitivities towards. But my big thing is whole foods. If it came from the ground or if it’s the whole form it’s not processed, and therefore, it’s much more likely to not trigger the hyper response that processed foods are designed to like designer drugs, right?


[00:34:30] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yes, exactly, exactly, exactly. This is a business model that is used by alcohol, marijuana, vaping, tobacco, and processed foods. Even the pharmaceutical industry used it to start the opioid epidemic. The way they marketed it to doctors, very deceptive, were hidden addictive properties to the product, which they did not tell the doctors about so the doctors prescribed it freely and people became very addicted. It’s very, very sad. It’s very sad. Our government just stands by and lets it happen.


[00:35:13] Ashley James: No, the government actually invests in it but through food subsidies. We’re subsidizing crops that directly benefit the processed food industry. Not only that, the processed food industry lobbies so that these foods are fed to prisoners and to children in schools. I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around when you look at what public school children are fed, the amount of processed food they are fed, the amount of sugar, and then they’re given drugs for ADHD. It is just like the perfect storm. 

Big food and big pharma got together and said, let’s both work together to lobby to increase our profits. Let’s fill children with sugar and with artificial dyes, and then we’ll create a drug that they need because they’re going to be so hyper off the wall because their brains are being put on a barbecue. They’re putting them in the deep fryer, basically. Their brains are so hopped up on all these excitotoxins and all the neurotransmitters that are so hyped up it’s like they’re on cocaine and then we’re going to have to give them drugs.

When I was a kid, in a classroom of 30 kids, there’d be one kid with ADHD. One kid was on Ritalin, and now it is so much more common. These children’s brains are still developing and to put them on these drugs will affect them for the rest of their lives. The long-term devastating effects of being put on Ritalin or Adderall is incredibly harmful to a growing child. Food is the main culprit.


[00:37:06] Dr. Joan Ifland: Processed foods.


[00:37:07] Ashley James: The processed foods, I apologize. Yes, processed foods are the culprit that is creating this. I have several episodes on ADHD and overcoming it, healing the brain, healing the body, and correcting the diet for ADHD. We have to get the 30,000-foot view and we have to study the history of the last 100 years to really understand the amount of marketing, the creation of what we live in today.

I’ve said this on the show before, so I grew up in the ‘80s. I was born in 1980. I’m 41 years old, and I grew up in Canada. So a little bit different than the states, but not much. I remember watching Kellogg’s commercial, “Milk does a body good,” watching Tony the Tiger, and all these different childlike characters for all the different cereals and it made me feel good. Now, I never ate any of these cereals because my mom wouldn’t let any sugar in the house. My mom was very controlling of our food. It did have its benefits.

Once a year, on my birthday, I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted and you bet I ate cereal. I ate Honeycomb even though it tore my mouth up. I remember that. But once a year I was allowed to have Pizza Pops and whatever junk food, but the rest of the year there was no junk food. That’s a good thing. It’s a good thing, but I think that there needs to be a balance to teach a child how to make their own choices so they don’t rebel when they’re older like I did. 

I remember watching the marketing and then going into the grocery store and seeing it on the shelves. You know what it instilled in me although I never ate them? It instilled in me a sense of safety. I remember because I grew up with all this marketing and then I walk past all these cereal boxes. Oh, the familiar faces. Look, there’s that rooster. There’s that little ghost character. There’s Tony the Tiger. It was like all these familiar faces, the branding.

You see these companies, the tobacco companies, they don’t just mark it for the next 5 or 10 years. They are generational marketing. They plan on paying for marketing so that a four-year-old will buy their products when they’re 40. When you said that we have to take ourselves away from the stimulant and choose foods that aren’t going to create that stimulant but also just walk into a grocery store alone, you’re bombarded by all the logos even from your childhood.


[00:40:04] Dr. Joan Ifland: We have innovated a very, very new approach to this particular addiction. We get it deep, deep, deep down on the inside to spend three years full-time developing, editing, writing, and researching the textbook. There are two things I got out of doing that. One, we’ve never had such a severe addiction on the face of the earth because there are so many different substances, because we’re being bombarded with cueing because the illnesses to develop are so debilitating.

But you hit on the thing that’s never really happened before. Once high fructose corn syrup was introduced to the market, the drugs could be cheap enough to be marketed heavily to children. So if you are born to parents using processed foods, the very first DNA replication will be of an addicted DNA strand, and you’d never have one minute. If your mother’s eating sugar, the sugar’s coming through the breast milk. If they’re not, then the baby formula industry has loaded sugar into baby formula, so it starts at a very young age.

There are many complications of that. The blood flow is being pulled to the addicted brain cells and away from their frontal lobe. So all the major frontal lobe functions are now impaired, and that includes being able to pay attention, learn, make decisions, control impulses, and remember. So you see these epidemics of impairment in those areas.


[00:41:54] Ashley James: Can we pause for a second? Can you go back? I think that just really is something that needs to be underlined. What are the functions of the brain that are impaired?


[00:42:05] Dr. Joan Ifland: The whole frontal lobe is not getting blood flow. The very highly specialized cells in the frontal lobe that distinguish us from animals are things like the ability to pay attention to something for a long time. That’s not getting any blood flow. That’s an attention deficit. Learning is in the frontal lobe. This is very different from just mechanical Pavlovian conditioning of the midbrain or the primitive brain, so you have learning difficulties.

Here’s the thing, if I’m going to assert that this is a very, very widespread addiction, then you have to show things. You have to show an agent who’s creating the addiction. Okay, we have the processed food industry and we have the complicity of the government. You’re absolutely right if you say big pharm. You have the blood flow being pulled away from the frontal lobe where you have attention paying. You have decision-making, and this is different from the reflexive behaviors that come out of the midbrain. 

The frontal lobe is able to create conscious behavior if those cells have blood flow, but in the addicted brain, the blood flow is going back into the addicted brain cells, the stress pathways, and the locomotion pathways.

If you don’t have good decision-making, which we see rampantly, you don’t have impulse control and you don’t have memory. Those are all frontal lobe functions, so you have an epidemic of Alzheimer’s and you have an epidemic of poor impulse control. I know I went into kind of the “online basement” of the US Department of Agriculture to write. Our research team published the first description of refined foods in addiction in the Academic Press. We got to name the disease. 

But for that article, I said, I’ve got to show exactly which substances were increased in use through the obesity epidemic. I think I went to like 1970 and 1997, and these substances that were increased in use were high fructose corn syrup, gluten-containing flour, high-fat dairy, and potatoes, so frozen potatoes, french fries, fried potatoes. Beans did not increase, red meat did not increase, none of those real foods increased.

They’re always trying to point, oh, see, carbs are bad or red meat is bad. No, no, the consumption of those did not increase in between those two years. If I’m going to say that processed food addiction is behind these cognitive impairments, this mental impairment, I’ve got to make all those pieces fit together and they do. The research is just incredibly consistent. If you say, well, these foods are causing the problems, then you better be pointing at epidemics of those problems. 

At that point, in 1997, people were eating a pound per person per day of sugars, gluten-containing flour, high fat dairy, and fried potatoes. That was then. As we were just talking, the progression, the tolerance eating more of the substances over time, that data is from 20 years ago. Now we have new research actually coming out of Canada, showing that adolescents are eating 67% of their calories in these processed foods, and that probably doesn’t include dairy. People don’t know to include dairy in the category of processed foods. 

If you’re going to say that processed foods caused these problems, then you’re going to have to point to epidemics of those problems at that consumption level, and there they are. There are the epidemics—diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, Alzheimer’s, dementia, learning disabilities, attention span, poor decision making, poor impulse control, memory loss, and then all the rest of them you would have to see gut disorders. You would have to see inflammatory diseases, and they’re all there. They’re all epidemics.


[00:47:34] Ashley James: Everything that you mentioned makes them feel worse. This is the catch 22; this is the cycle, right? They feel bad because they have those conditions, and then they need that pick me up because they feel bad, so then they reach for one of these foods.


[00:47:52] Dr. Joan Ifland: It’s the insanity. It’s the mental illness aspect of it. You also have all the emotional disorders because of the downregulated—it’s called downregulated when those feel-good receptors start collapsing. They look like the head of a dead [inaudible 00:48:13]. Now you cannot process quick feelings. You see this very minuscule but very disturbing not yet statistically significant increase in suicides across all ages but among children.


[00:48:33] Ashley James: Yes. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among children today.


[00:48:39] Dr. Joan Ifland: It’s because their world, all the pathways in the brain that would bring reasons for optimism or some kind of future, has collapsed. It’s a mechanical problem, and so you have depression. Now you have all this extra adrenaline because remember, the stress pathways are compensating for these surges of euphoria. You have extra adrenaline, which is anger and anxiety. I got into this field 26 years ago because I got off of sugars and flours to solve a weight problem and my raging went away. I wasn’t expecting that.

The sinus infection went away. The bloating went away. The weight was coming off easily. The cravings went away. The brain fog went away. All that stuff went away and I was thrilled. The allergies went away, fatigue. It was amazing. It was like I was winning the lottery every day. But when I got to the third week of that program, I realized that I hadn’t raged at my husband or children. I hadn’t yelled, I hadn’t criticized, I hadn’t found anything wrong with them. I got a new career. 

I was a Stanford MBA. I had a corporate career, which I had to let go of because I was too sick, too allergic to go back to work, too tired, too brain fog. But instead of going back into the corporate world, I began looking for research. That was 26 years ago. The impact on the personality of these drugs is horrifying.


[00:50:28] Ashley James: Sorry to interrupt, you describe my mom. Ninety percent of the time she ate so strictly because she had to keep her figure. But then she would sneak these jujubes, she’d sneak these chocolates, and then she’d just rage at us, just snapped. 

Like I said, she stood up in a restaurant and started yelling at me because I ordered a dish that had a side of rice with steamed vegetables and a grilled fillet of fish. I purposely made this really conscious effort. I really wanted to impress her with making a good choice on the menu and then she just stood up and screamed at me. She would throw things. She would just snap and start raging. That does really describe that.

She had huge problems concentrating. I remember she couldn’t follow movies. She was wonderful as a businesswoman. She owned her own business. It was incredibly successful, so she had a lot on her mind. She admitted that when we went to plays or musicals, she couldn’t follow the plot. We watched movies, she didn’t really follow the plot, and she read all the time. I found her to be incredibly intelligent, but her concentration and her raging, I mean, I wonder if that was linked to her own food addiction.


[00:51:55] Dr. Joan Ifland: Totally. These are drugs. These are characteristic behaviors of people with cocaine addiction or alcoholism, these really vast mood swings. On top of the elevated adrenaline, these processed carbohydrates particularly get into the bloodstream all at once. They’re pre-digested, there’s no breaking down process. So you get these glucose highs, and then the pancreas can be conditioned to anticipate this surge of glucose in the bloodstream, which is deadly by the way. 

If your glucose is too high, your brain goes out, so it’s deadly. The pancreas is on red hot alert, oh, it’s coming, It’s coming, it’s coming. It’ll start releasing insulin before the glucose even gets there so you constantly have these highs. And then in the crash, it’s the adrenal gland that goes back over to the fat cells and pulls glucose out so that you don’t die from low blood sugar. 

There are two danger zones—the high blood sugar and the low blood sugar—and then there’s the safety zone in between. So when you are crashing, the insulin has been released and your blood sugar is falling, you totally lose control of behavior. Eighty percent of violent offenders in prison have hypoglycemia, not enough, so it’s unstable blood glucose. And then on top of that, you lay on the caffeine. 

Caffeine works by blocking a calmness function on the nervous system. The part of the nervous system that is designed to emit messages of calmness, peacefulness, contentment, caffeine blocks that function. You can’t feel calm. Caffeine doesn’t work because you’re more alert. Caffeine works because you’re less calm. It’s a nasty combination.


[00:54:15] Ashley James: It blocks the part of the brain that tells you you’re tired. So your body is tired, but your brain’s not going to tell you you’re tired. It’s blocking the tiredness. I mean, that is just such a great example of our entire food industry, our entire processed food industry. It’s like, we’re going to jack you up. You wake up and you’re tired.

Okay. Dr. Molly Niedermeyer is a naturopathic physician. She was the Dean of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University. I think she was one of the first deans. She’s been practicing for well over 30 years. I had her on the show and she said a 5% reduction in hydration leads to a 25% reduction in energy production. ATP can’t be created as well if we don’t have enough water. So we wake up dehydrated and what do we do? 

We’re tired, we’re cranky because we had a bad night’s sleep because we’re rolling on the sugar highs and lows and all the stimulants from the processed foods, and so then we reach for caffeine. Caffeine dehydrates us further and blocks the ability for us to even recognize and get in touch with our body and feel that we’re that tired. Then what you said is it blocks the calmness in the brain, so now we’re more agitated, then add sugar to that and we rage.


[00:55:46] Dr. Joan Ifland: Exactly. It impairs, it just makes painfully dysfunctional every system in the body.


[00:56:01] Ashley James: We don’t have access to the logic centers of our brain anymore, so we can’t think critically. And then we go around our life reacting to things instead of planning and controlling our behaviors. If we control our behaviors, we control our outcomes in life. If we don’t have control of our behaviors, we don’t have control of our outcomes, we feel out of control, and then we reach towards substances that allow us to, at the moment, feel like we have control, which furthers the cycle.


[00:56:28] Dr. Joan Ifland: Feelings drive the whole thing and feelings are now being controlled by the substances. But can I offer your listeners a ray of hope?


[00:56:38] Ashley James: Yes. I’m glad we’ve painted the picture though. I think it’s really important to really understand that someone who is involved in food addiction and possibly even their parents, their grandparents, this could be generational. It’s not because, like you said, they’re weak-willed, they don’t love themselves enough, or there’s something wrong, bad, and shameful about them. Their brain chemistry has been hijacked by an industry, for some people, since birth.


[00:57:07] Dr. Joan Ifland: Since conception. There’s one system in the brain in the body which works no matter what. No matter what else is going on, this one system continues to work, and the fact that it continues to work will either kill you or save you. I am talking about mirror neurons. 

They’re quite a recent discovery. It was discovered in a monkey lab in Italy. What they do is they copy. They copy the behavior of the people they see the most. They’re the second most powerful system in the brain. The most powerful system in the brain is the autonomic system, which is making our heartbeat and our blood flow. Then there is, under one particular circumstance, the fear of famine brain, the food-seeking brain will become more and more powerful than mirror neurons. There has to be a pretty severe famine going on for it to take precedence over mirror neurons.

So mirror neurons are the second most powerful system in the brain for a very good reason. For seven million years of human evolution, if you were accepted into a tribe of 7 to 12 other humans, you lived, you survived because they could find food, find shelter, protect your children, and protect you from predators. If you’re the kind of person who likes wandering off by yourself, well, the predators were waiting for you.

The evidence on this is kind of shocking. But in prehistoric hyena caves, anthropologists and archeologists have found human bones in the bone piles. So we know that at least hyenas ate humans. In evolution, if you had really good mirror neurons you would live. So in the evolution of humans, mirror neurons take just increasing precedence in the hierarchy of the brain. 

Now, the food industry knows this tragically well, and this is why you will see commercials on TV that feature people sitting on sofas watching TV. When you see one of those commercials, your mirror neuron says, oh yeah, that’s my tribe. I’m going to the kitchen because I need something to eat.

The opportunity to get free of all of the brain malfunctions, all the brain dysfunction is to find a tribe of 7 to 12 people that you are going to spend most of your time with. This is the breakthrough that we have incorporated into our online community. We offer 15 hours a day of live programming. There is a real trained person on that Zoom screen. Because you can just pop in, you can pop in for five minutes, you can pop in for an hour, you can pop in for all 15 hours, and then you can fill in the gaps through the day with videos from our video library that we have made ourselves. And it’s pretty cool. I mean, it’s just so cool. 

So hopeful is what a short period of time it takes for mirror neurons to swing away from the unhealthy people in our lives over to the healthy people. We are seeing that screens work perfectly well. Only 2% of the brain is the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is teensy, teensy, teensy tiny. The frontal lobe cannot win in any kind of competition with any other nodules, nodes, cortexes in the brain. It’s too tiny. It’s way too tiny. But what the frontal lobe can do is it can control the messaging that reaches the other 98% of the brain, and that’s the hope of the world.


[01:01:53] Ashley James: Fascinating. So throughout the day, if someone is struggling or catching themselves in the middle of a food choice, they could login. What does that look like? They log into the group video chat. What does that look like?


[01:02:13] Dr. Joan Ifland: It’s a Zoom Room. We have a Zoom Room for those 15 hours. One of those hours is a conference call because then we can record the conference call. We don’t record anything on Zoom for confidentiality, but we do record the conference call. They can listen to that conference call then any time of day.

The idea for this came from writing the textbook. There are 11 specific signs for addiction and I wrote a full chapter on how present those signs are in overeaters. There are 11 chapters in the textbook describing each one of those diagnostic criteria as they manifest in overeating. They are criteria that are adapted from diagnosing the existence of alcoholism, so they’re adapted to overeating. That’s also on the website.

Once I got that, oh, it’s a severe addiction. Oh my gosh. And people are severely traumatized by having had it, the addiction itself alone would be traumatizing. It creates so much pain. But then you get all this insanity out of the health industry. The diet industry is working away to wake up your fear of famine brain. Now you have fear of famine on top of the addiction. It’s another reason why it’s so severe. Well, I’m in the middle of researching what do you do for severe addiction?

You go to residential treatment for a couple of years. You go for a fully committed year and then you go maybe on a work-release program where you go to work during the day and then come back to the facility at night. And then maybe you go to a halfway house for another couple of years. We’re not doing that for the hundreds of millions of people who are addicted to processed foods. 

The next level of treatment is something called intensive outpatient (IOP). Well, hospitals don’t have a clue and hospitals are profiting from this, so they don’t want to fix it either. I mean, they do, but the pharmaceutical industry has got their claws into the medical community. They’re trained to believe anything outside of the pharmaceutical is quackery, so they’re not going to be supporting this.

But right at that time, Zoom came along. Literally, I turned in the manuscript for the textbook in May of 2017. I was already doing a daily phone call, which wasn’t working. A daily phone call was not nearly enough to rewire 100 billion brain cells. I mean, I’m serious, you need to rewire every friggin’ brain cell, and there are 100 billion of them. Zoom came along and I thought, wow, I wonder if this would work.

We did a beta the first week of January 2018. These were people who had been on my daily phone call and they were all eating clean by the end of the week. They had not been able to get to eating clean going through withdrawal from all these different substances, maintaining the elimination of these. They hadn’t been able to do it with a daily phone call for two years. But boom, within one week, they were all eating clean.

I had scheduled a pay the public week the following week, same thing, same friggin’ thing. Even at the end of day one, everybody from the outside—so we had the people from the beta who were on and that. I didn’t know about mirror neurons at this point, but the fact that there were people eating clean from the week before, you need at least five people to fully engage brain cells. The more similarities between the people the better this works. But by the end of the first day, I think we had 7 or 10 people from the outside, they were all eating clean. I was shocked.

Ashley, at that point, I had spent 22 years looking for a reliable method. I’m going to start tearing up here. Twenty-two years looking for a reliable way to get people off of processed foods. I mean, I started out with a handout. I’m sure that once people know they should eat this and all that they’ll just do it. No, no, no. I went through 14 different really highly committed efforts to get people off of processed foods, and there it was. It was probably January 7 or January 8, 2018. There it was. After 22 years of looking, there it was, the mirror neuron engagement.


[01:07:24] Ashley James: So the mirror neurons don’t engage when it was just auditory, it needs to be visual as well?


[01:07:31] Dr. Joan Ifland: So you can get some mirror neuron engagement from auditory, but getting the visual, the eye-to-eye. When you think about how these brain cells developed over seven million years. For 7 million years until humans developed language capabilities, everything they saw was true, so that’s why in 98% of the brain, there is no filter. The brain absorbs messaging and files it away as if it were true. 

This is how the food industry has made—they kill a million Americans every two years. A million Americans die of diet-related diseases every two years. The epidemic of COVID would not have happened unless it was coming in on top of processed food addiction with compromised immune systems.

How is the food industry able to do that? How was it able to persuade those reward system brain cells to accept this messaging? It’s because only this little tiny frontal lobe, 2% of the brain, has the ability to tell the difference between something true and something not true. The only reason that capability developed is because language developed. Until you had language, there was no way to lie or deceive another person.

Once you stop bombarding the addictive brain cells and the blood flow stops being taken up by the addicted and stress pathways, it will return to the frontal lobe. It’s the coolest thing. I mean, people think losing weight is the coolest thing, no. Getting your frontal lobe online is really cool. 

People have been told, for example, that they’re stupid. They’ve been told that they’re slow. They’ve been told that they’re dumb. Boom, the frontal lobe starts getting blood flow and they’re brilliant. These are the kinds of very, very cool fun things. This is why it is worth it. It is worth it to get off the processed foods and get off the messaging. Get off the cueing, get off the triggering. Train the brain to go to the pain rather than the deceptive pleasure. Retrain the brain.

It’s like learning a language, and it takes years. This quick weight loss thing, all it does is to fire up the fear of famine brain.


[01:10:25] Ashley James: Right. They certainly know how to market us to keep us cycling through this endless loop. We really need to step back from the dieting industry, the food industry, and all of the marketing and messaging. I think it’s so good to go back actually closer to 150 years. Go back and really understand the history of modern medicine and understand the amount of marketing and it’s generational marketing. Understand Edward Bernays and the history of propaganda. Since your grandparents, it has been in place and it’s a machine. It really is akin to The Matrix, isn’t it?

We are plugged in, you are doped up, and you are plugged into a matrix where it is designed to keep us as cattle. We are fighting amongst ourselves. When I came from Canada to the United States and saw the difference in our political systems, I’m not saying that a parliamentary system is any better or any worse, but I am saying that is just a new perspective as an adult coming into the United States going, oh, okay, two parties. That’s interesting. Two is not a choice. Two is a dilemma. When you’re only given two, it’s a dilemma, right? 

What I really clearly saw was that the way they set up the two-party system is it’s moral- and value-based arguments so that they keep us, the 99%, fighting amongst ourselves because how do you control a population when there’s less than 1% of the people controlling us? You keep fighting amongst ourselves. How do you control the cattle? If they constantly keep up abortion, and I’m not saying these issues aren’t legitimate issues. But the way the politicians fight on camera and then go behind the scenes and shake hands and they’re all buddy, buddy behind the scenes, it’s professional wrestling. 

We need to use that very small 2% of our critical faculty of our frontal brain and we need to get the 30,000-foot view of how the entire society is set up to control you, to suck money out of your wallet, and to keep you sick and suffering. Not to do that to depress you but to free you. When you see the matrix you can free yourself from it.

Another point is you touched on the autonomic nervous system, and one thing that happens when our body goes into fight or flight, which is a sympathetic response, is that it shunts blood away from the logic centers of the brain. We think, oh, well, I’m not in fight or flight.

I had a client once tell me, because repeatedly she would do all my homework except do the homework that surrounded calming her nervous system, getting her out of fight or flight. She wouldn’t do that homework. I thought it was really interesting. She’d eat a pound of broccoli, but she wouldn’t take five deep breaths, go for a walk, meditate, or whatever. 

After five sessions I said, there’s a lot of stress in your life. Why aren’t you doing this homework? She said, I don’t feel stressed. At the time, her mom was dying of cancer, she had a very busy job as a manager, then she came home and she had a daughter and a husband to cook and clean for, and there’s a lot of symptoms that she was expressing were unmanaged stress-related. Physical stress, her body was in the sympathetic nervous system response. 

I said, I’m glad you said that because stress isn’t an emotion. Your physiology is switched over into emergency mode. Certain enzymatic processes stop happening so your body is not healing. Your body shunts resources. The analogy I like because I’m a big sci-fi fan, if you’ve ever watched Star Trek, Captain Picard will say when they’re under a Borg attack they’re really losing, that he needs to shut down the floors that are in use and divert all energy to the shields. That’s what this is. 

So being in stress mode, your body is shutting down anti-cancer properties, immune properties, healing the lining of your stomach and your intestines. All these properties that aren’t essential for immediate survival get suppressed.


[01:15:36] Dr. Joan Ifland: They’re deprived of blood flow. The blood flow is going to the muscles.


[01:15:41] Ashley James: Yes, so that you can fight, flee, or survive in some way. The problem is people think, well, I wasn’t in any “stressful situation” today. I wasn’t in a car crash, I didn’t fight a bear. Yet what people don’t know is that you could be sitting here listening to this podcast and already be in fight or flight because your thoughts can trigger it, the processed foods you eat can trigger it. There are so many things. You don’t actually have to do anything external to trigger your ancient mechanism of survival.


[01:16:22] Dr. Joan Ifland: It can be habitual.


[01:16:25] Ashley James: Yes, habituated to it. Right.


[01:16:26] Dr. Joan Ifland: All your glands and organs are trained to be in that state and you might not even be aware of it. But it’s just what you’re saying.


[01:16:37] Ashley James: What do you do to help turn that off, get us out of sympathetic nervous system response, get us back into parasympathetic nervous system response of rest and digest, and get the blood flow going back into the frontal lobe so that we can begin to really make behaviors consciously?


[01:17:04] Dr. Joan Ifland: The big thing about our program is called the Addiction Reset Community. The very first stressor that is vastly relieved by coming into the program is isolation. You immediately get oxytocin releases, so those systems in the brain, that feel-good systems in the brain aren’t working too well. But being among a community releases oxytocin, and oxytocin will help the dopamine system start to work again. 

Immediately, the fear of being eaten by a predator, which has been instilled for over seven million years, is gone because you now have people around you, and 98% of the brain doesn’t know that those people aren’t right there. Ninety-eight percent of the brain does not understand screens.

It really does believe that those people are right in the next room or they’re right in front of us, but they’re in our house. They’re a couple of feet away. So immediately, the stress of isolation, and not just physical isolation, but processed foods cut off our ability to connect to other people. We have brain fog, we have cravings, we have shame, and we have a body shape that people are eyeballing disdainfully. We are raging, we are anxious, we are making up stories about how they don’t like us. We’re not connecting.

You come into the ARC, the Addiction Reset Community, and people in the ARC, the managers are trained to let the members know that we understand what’s going on with them. We also have been through periods where we have lost control over food, where we have this deep depression. Just almost immediately, that mirror neuron engagement, oh, this person is like me. They understand me. They’re not telling me to push back from the table for heaven’s sakes.

Now, why is that so important? Go back. Go back to the 7 million years of evolution and if you were able to communicate to another person, if you could look them in the eyes and make enough sounds to say there is a tiger behind that bush you would live. If you went to that person and you signaled with your eyes and your fingers that there was something wrong there and that person just said, oh, calm down. Let’s see. Oh, you have hyperexcitability. Let’s give you some medication for that, then you would die because the tiger would pounce.

The ability for another person to see exactly what is going on with you, acknowledge it, affirm it, and agree that it is a huge relief.

From there then you get into the complexities of changing your food. What we’ve learned over these 26 years is that there may be other problems that have to be solved before you can start eating in a different way. 

You might have emotional, mental, or physical abuse going on in the household. You may have to work on relationship boundaries before you can even begin to go grocery shopping. You may be subjected to cueing, you might be working in a food environment, you may have a saboteur at home, or you may be too tired or brain fogged and it may be that somebody else is going to have to get on and order some groceries for you. You may have to start with sleep because fatigue and sleep deprivation are huge cues. 

You may have to start with turning off screens earlier and earlier in the evening before you can have enough mental clarity—because screens are there to also scramble your brains—that you could actually put in a chicken breast and some broccoli. We give people the option to use starches or not just to make a meal. Get a couple of scrambled eggs going. You may have to solve other problems before you can even start on the food.

But the thing that’s so cool is no matter how deep the cognitive impairment, the brain fog, the confused thinking, and the cravings, mirror neurons will take you there. The whole rest of the brain can be just so badly addicted and the cognitive impairment can be so severe you cannot think. Inflammation because these foods are inflammatory and they inflame the brain. The inflammation cuts off the ability to think. But through all that mess, through all that fog, mirror neurons are working. 

People would just be so surprised. I ordered groceries and I made clean meals. I have been trying to do that for 20 years. I did it today. I’ve only been in here two or three days but I did it today. I made clean meals today. I’ve been trying to do this for 20 years. What happened? Oh, see, you were on the Zoom. You were on the ARC all day Monday and Tuesday and so Wednesday you made clean meals. It’s just so incredible. 

It’s like you’ve been swimming in these rough cold seas for your entire life. And finally, the lifeboat came along and threw you a life preserver and somebody on the boat instructed you to grab onto the life preserver. When you got dragged over to the side of the boat you decided to get in. It’s so incredible, Ashley, now I’m crying here but it’s amazing to be able to get somebody to safety in just a few days.


[01:23:51] Ashley James: Yes. I’ve heard this quote several times from different people so I don’t know who came up with it originally, but whoever it is, mirror neurons describe it. You are the summary of the five people you spend the most time with.


[01:24:08] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yes, that’s exactly right.


[01:24:10] Ashley James: JLD is a podcaster, Entrepreneur on Fire, and he was one of the people I modeled learning different technical things about podcasting and editing. It was about six years ago when I was studying. It was six years ago so it’s December, so it has been six years. I started studying how to do podcasts and I looked to him as well as Andrew Warner of Mixergy. Those are my two biggest models. JLD, with almost every episode, would say, you are the summary of the top five people you spend time with, meaning it can also include the podcast you listen to, it can also include the content you are consuming, right?

As I’ve been listening to you, I’ve been thinking about reflecting on the last few years of my life because as I said in the intro, I’m on my own journey of overcoming my negative relationship with food and healing my body. I’ve healed my body from a lot of things. I used to have type 2 diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue, chronic infections for which I was on constant antibiotics for, and I had polycystic ovarian syndrome. I was told by an endocrinologist after a battery of tests that I would never have kids, that I’ve conceived naturally twice. I don’t have diabetes anymore and don’t have chronic adrenal fatigue anymore.

For the last several years, I do not have polycystic ovarian syndrome, but I just got my blood work again because I do that bloodwork once or twice a year with my naturopath. Sure enough, there’s zero evidence of polycystic ovarian syndrome and yet it plagued me for over 20 years. If you go to an MD or an endocrinologist, they’ll say you have it for the rest of your life. It’s a falsehood just like diabetes, you don’t have to have those things.

What I’ve been working on is weight loss and my problem has been my liver. I couldn’t figure out why every time I went to do—I have done over 30 diets my entire life, and I’ve shared this on the podcast before. That has definitely negatively impacted my body and I’ve learned from that and learned about how it harms the metabolism, the body goes into freak-out mode. 

But even with healthy diets, when I started to lose weight healthfully, my liver would become inflamed and would stick out and become distended. You could actually see it pushing out. I went and got ultrasounds. What I finally figured out is that my phase two of liver detox is so gummed up, I have some genetic SNPs like MTHFR. So for me, in the last three or four years, I’ve been really working on heavy metal detoxification and lots of interviews about it. 

But since I started the podcast, my mirror neurons have really benefited from these interviews. They’re not video interviews, but I have found myself after an interview about food addiction or about healthful eating, eating to nurture the body, and eating to bring stability and balance to hormones or to emotions, I’ve always found myself making better and better choices and then celebrating those choices.

What really also helped me, because I’m just seeing this now, is that I did take a yearlong health coach training program through IIN, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where it was videos but they were recorded videos of the audience and of the lecturer. Then they would break out and they would show the audience. I always felt like I was in the audience. I’d cry with everyone, I’d laugh with everyone. I felt like I was in the community and they were recorded videos. 

My food choices and my health choices like going to sleep at a better time or removing certain things that were not healthy, adding certain things that gave me vibrance, joy, and health, and activities that improved my health. All these little steps, every baby step I felt like was definitely easier. I felt like I was celebrating it with this community as I’m watching this video.

It makes so much sense that your Zoom calls live would create that sense. I can feel this warmness in my stomach, I can feel it even now in my body.


[01:29:07] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yes. You’re getting an oxytocin release.


[01:29:10] Ashley James: Right. Last year we had such a hard time, everyone did with COVID, but we have a child who is such an extrovert. He craves other children’s attention, and so I found a small community of moms—like-minded, very holistic. I called us crunchy moms with very holistic organic eaters, gluten-free, and all that kind of stuff. They all have kids and they all wanted to create a community where the kids can play freely in the parks. 

We’ve been doing that together for a year and a half now and I noticed that I’m almost addicted to going to the park and doing our weekly meetups because I feel so good in their presence. We just gab about whatever, give each other ideas, and share with each other.

But that sense of that oxytocin, that sense of community, there’s nothing like it. It’s just wonderful. I can totally see why your Zoom calls would be so quick to help people start to make better and better choices. 

Okay, so they step into the Zoom call, their mirror neurons are firing. It really does help them overcome the withdrawal, the physical withdrawal. Can you walk us through more of the biochemical or what’s happening in the brain when someone is stepping into these Zoom calls?


[01:30:38] Dr. Joan Ifland: So the dopamine is working better. Oxytocin actually works by supporting the dopamine system. If your dopamine system isn’t working at all, you get an oxytocin release that you will feel better for sure. Withdrawal avoidance is one of the reasons why people can’t get off particularly of the refined carbohydrates.

But one thing I hope all of your listeners know is that withdrawal from refined carbohydrates—so sugars, flours, and sweeteners—is four to eight days. People will get to day three and maybe their cravings intensify. Day four, their cravings are still just unbearable. Hang on because that is going to go away. We also encourage people to take that list very slowly. It might take a couple of years to get off of the seven major categories of addictive substances because they are affecting four different pathways.

The other thing to remember is that it only takes about three weeks for the dopamine receptors to open up again. People feel better within a couple of days because the pancreas is no longer pumping out vast amounts of insulin which is driving down blood sugar, which is releasing the adrenaline. So the anxiety levels start going down and getting better within a day or two or three or four. So people do start feeling calmer. They’ll say that. They’ll come on day two and say, wow, I can’t believe this just happened and I didn’t blow up. They begin to like themselves more. There’s a lot of self-hatred, self-blame, self-stigmatization.

We use a lot of science to explain to people what happened to them and disengage them from the mythology that the recovery industry, the therapeutic industry has created. Because when therapists can’t get on top of this addiction in their patients because they’re not giving the patient enough immersion recovery. I think there are 167 hours in a week. One hour versus 167 hours, you are not going to retrain 100 billion brain cells by that approach. You need hours and hours and hours per day. You need a residential level of recovery. 

Mirror neurons are watching other people get off of sugars and flours. We do have a pretty sophisticated method for managing the headache, the lethargy, the depression, the anxiety that comes with withdrawal. We know how to manage those and make it not quite so painful. It’s very important that withdrawal not be painful.


[01:33:57] Ashley James: Right, then you’re training the brain to not like it, to not like being off of those things like you said earlier. That makes so much sense.


[01:34:04] Dr. Joan Ifland: The cueing is so intense and the addictive brain cells are so sensitive, if you have a lapse, you want to be able to go straight back into withdrawal. You don’t want that lapse to drag on for days or even years. You want to have a lot of confidence, okay, I’m really good at managing withdrawal. I’m going to put the rest of this down the disposal and get back into withdrawal.

So yeah, it’s part of the training. I feel like the Addiction Recovery Community is a training community. What happens when children are born addicted is that they’re trying to get life skills through an addicted brain—an inflamed brain, a craving brain, a brain that’s impaired cognitively, and it just doesn’t happen.

I remember I said, oh, you know what, I’m going to start trying to describe all the skills that we teach in this community. The spreadsheet got longer and longer and longer. Finally, I sat back and I said why? Oh, it’s because it is one of the tenets of addiction that when the addiction starts, personality development stops. So if you started drinking at age 13, you have a different recovery than somebody who starts drinking heavily in their late 20s. You’ve just missed 15 years of personality development. Well, we never get any.

I’ve been in New York now for four years. I have a very, very traumatic upbringing. I had that raging mother, I had a raging father. I had a raging older sister. This is in the 1950s and already women were being positioned, oh, modern women use convenience foods. We had Crisco, cake mixes, Tang, juice concentrates, jelly, white bread, and Velveeta cheese. We had all those processed foods already in the 1950s. Now, we were skinny as rails because we didn’t have the 15-pound packages of potato chips in our house, but we had personality disorders. We were always fighting, all five of us.

I didn’t get life skills. Now, in the ARC, we lead with compassion. We lead with gentleness. We never tell our members what to do. We’re using a form of communication called motivational interviewing where we are listening carefully to the person’s strengths, the member’s strengths, and then we’re really discussing in detail their strengths. 

What’s happening there is you are literally rewiring the part of the brain that says I can’t do this. You’re rewiring that part of the brain that says I can do this. Look, everybody around me is doing this. I can do this of course, and you’ve got the cooperation and the collaboration of the mirror neurons to do that. It works like gangbusters. It is shocking how well it works.

Four years later, I’ve thrown off I don’t know what percentage of my parent’s’ negativity because their own self-confidence, self-esteem were so low they were using caffeine, sugar, processed foods, alcohol, and cigarettes every day—typical 1950s. He was a corporate executive, a Ph.D. biochemist, and a commander in the Navy, so he was a very authoritarian person. And then my mother was always drinking caffeine and sugar and she had that totally wacko emotional profile where you never knew—she could go from calm to belting you in 60 seconds.

So growing up in that kind of a traumatic household, I was carrying a tremendous amount of fear, self-loathing, and self-doubt. But over four years of being in the ARC, we do a lot of what we call ARC exercises where we rewire a brain and it’s so simple. It’s so incredibly simple. 

So an example would be what we call the because card. Because of ___ I used to ___, but now because of ___I ___. So when you say because of ___ I used to ___, you are opening up the synapse between two memory cells. And when you do that, you can put new information in there so that if the memory comes up, it doesn’t control behavior anymore. The new information controls behavior.

So if I say because I was addicted to processed foods I used to rage, but now that I have eliminated processed foods, toxic media, toxic behaviors, and toxic people I am calm in all circumstances. So if something should happen to trigger a memory of raging, instead of being pulled back into raging, no, there’s new information there. I am calm in all circumstances. It works. It’s incredible. It’s so simple. 

None of us are therapists. We’re not providing any therapy. We’re providing peer support, a structure, an environment, and a community in which people can get back in touch with how wonderful they are.

So the way advertising works is it wants to persuade us that we have a pain, there’s something wrong with us, and we need to buy a product to fix it. None of that is true. We are incredible. We’re spectacular. We have incredible resources inside of us. We need very little. We need shelter, transportation, clean food, and good company. It just works, but that is how you do it. We have members all over the world. It’s a 24 hour a day operation. That 15 hours of live programming is extended over 24 hours.


[01:40:47] Ashley James: I love it. Oh, it’s so exciting that you’re having these results. The question that’s been on my mind is because we talked about your recent work and all the work that led up to these breakthroughs. I’m really curious though, what was your thesis when you earned your Ph.D. in addictive nutrition?


[01:41:05] Dr. Joan Ifland: So it was to validate the DSM, that’s the Diagnostic Manual for Mental Illness. Addictions are considered a mental illness. It was to validate the DSM for diagnostic criteria for alcoholism, for overeating, and we did it right out of the box and went to go with a really small sample. I’m teary because I remember, I had to go to school for new fields to get that Ph.D. I went to Union Institute & University in Cincinnati. The way it works is you have to collect faculty from other schools because you’re in a new field so there’s no existing faculty.

I got the greatest people to work with me. Yeah, it was only 64 people. We got statistical significance, no problem. These characteristics of alcoholism are running rampant in overeaters.


[01:42:16] Ashley James: Where would the food addiction field be if it wasn’t for your work?


[01:42:26] Dr. Joan Ifland: Oh, Ashley. Oh, dear. It would still be in the dark ages. I have to tell you this little story if you don’t mind.


[01:42:41] Ashley James: I’d love to hear it.


[01:42:46] Dr. Joan Ifland: I have to think about how old I was, but  mid-60s, how in the world do I carve out three years full time to research and write? The textbook is 240,000 words. It’s built on 2000 studies. I wrote 70% of it and I persuaded other scientists to write the other 30% and I edited the other 30%. I persuaded food addiction practitioners to co-write the chapters on behaviors. It was just such a confluence of factors.

My dad died in 2014, the same year that CRC Press came to me and asked me to write the textbook. One of my failed attempts to get other people to recover was a prepared meal company. There I was in Houston spending my divorce settlement to run this company. I thought, just give people clean food. They’ll feel so great they’ll want to continue, which is like saying to an alcoholic, oh listen, I’m just going to give you this nice clean water. Just drink this water in place of the alcohol, you’ll see how great you feel, and then you’ll just want to do it.


[01:44:10] Ashley James: I love your intentions, though. I think they were the best of intentions, but like you’ve outlined, it’s not that simple. It’s not a matter of just making good food choices. I mean, that’s like saying to all the people that have a food addiction, why don’t you just eat healthy? You know what to eat, just eat fruits and vegetables. Just go eat healthier.


[01:44:32] Dr. Joan Ifland: Why didn’t I think of that?


[01:44:34] Ashley James: There’s so much, like you said, stigma and shame around it.


[01:44:41] Dr. Joan Ifland: There’s all this mythology.


[01:44:42] Ashley James: Mythology, yes.


[01:44:44] Dr. Joan Ifland: All this insanity, this confusion. People have made up stories about what’s going on for they’re not—I’m not going to say this. I was going to say for their profit. But I know my daughter, my MD daughter, I have a daughter who’s an MD. She’s also an MBA, fortunately, because she finally said to me one day, mom, I cannot fix people in an eight-minute office visit, and I’m not going to spend the rest of my life trying. She has now left practice. She’s now a full-time consultant. She’s a well-intentioned person, and she left behind in her clinic well-intentioned doctors. The whole system is set up so that the only thing that doctor can do is be a marketing person for the pharmaceutical industry.


[01:45:40] Ashley James: They’re trained drug dealers, and like you said, MDs are not bad people. Inherently, they’re good people. The system is corrupt that it has been since its birth, and that’s why it’s so good to go back and study the history of the modern medical system and see that from day one, the universities that teach the medical schools, the pharmaceutical companies have been funding them and have been controlling what they can do. 

All of that is designed to keep out real cures. Doctors who’ve come up with systems that have actually cured cancer more successfully than the cut, burn, and poison method have been run off to other countries basically time and time again.

You’re not allowed to have a cure. One of my mentors, he’s in his late 80s. I’m not sure how old exactly, but I think it’s 86. Thirty-five, 40 years ago, around then, he worked at Yerkes Primate Research Institute. He has multiple degrees. He’s a pathologist. He’s a veterinarian. He’s a naturopathic physician now, but he started out as a large animal vet and then was into the research. He’s written many papers.

He discovered by accident the cause and cure for cystic fibrosis. Other pathologists confirm his findings. He brought it to the Yerkes Primate Research Institute, and they fired him and blacklisted him from the research field. He went back to his alma mater and was going to be a professor. He was unpacking and the dean came in and showed him a letter that said that the university would lose all their funding if he would remain there because he discovered a cure that basically, in one generation, we could completely stop and never again have cystic fibrosis.

Get this, it’s a selenium deficiency in utero, just like neural tube defects are caused by folate. Well, we know that. He also discovered, at the moment of conception, zinc deficiency causes Down syndrome, and selenium deficiency can also cause muscular dystrophy, it depends. It causes one or the other. A lot of his research was around nutrient deficiency in utero and the diseases it causes, but all of it was completely suppressed. He fought and fought and fought and fought and all the doors were closed because that would have cost the pharmaceutical companies billions.

Now, your daughter, the MD, is not taught this. She’s taught how to prescribe drugs. She’s not taught that there’s a cure and that there’s a way to prevent these illnesses in the first place because MDs are not trained in this.


[01:48:39] Dr. Joan Ifland: She’s taught that everything you’ve just described is quackery. It’s very bad out there. Well, anyway, my dad died and CRC Press appeared at the same time, and he left me enough income. My stepmom was living in Cincinnati, so I moved from Houston back to Cincinnati to get her through the end of her life. I walked into the first apartment I looked at—a beautiful little tiny apartment overlooking the Ohio River. 

Three years, I turned in the manuscript and my stepmother died, and I moved out here in Seattle. But it was just like the universe cleared out three years of my life where I could sit full time and write and edit that textbook.

Today, anybody who says, oh, it’s so controversial. They are lying. You just open the textbook and there are 2000 citations. Why is there so much research on this? It’s because of the amount of research on obesity, eating disorders, and drug addiction. We have brain imaging technology, we know exactly what an addicted brain looks like. Overeaters’ brains are addicted brains. All that obesity and eating disorder research is actually describing aspects of the addiction diagnosis.

The addiction diagnosis is 11 behaviors. Its unintended use, failure to cut back, time spent, cravings, unfulfilled roles, relationship problems, activities given up, hazardous use, use despite knowledge of consequences, tolerance or progression, and its withdrawal. All of those things are used to diagnose alcoholism and they are all rife. They’re everywhere in overeating.


[01:50:51] Ashley James: One thing I’d like to clarify because we use the term overeating. Like you said, you guys were skinny when you grew up, but it would have been considered food addiction. Some people overeat and are obese, but my mother was never obese. Sometimes she’d say she’s 15 pounds overweight. I think she was five. She’d point to her tummy and she had a little tiny pooch that could not have been more than the size of a kitten. She was always a size six, just a very, very fit woman. She did step classes. She was kind of addicted to exercise and really controlling food. And then, like I said, she then had these side projects of sugar that she had to dig into secretly.

And then there was alcohol every night socially. My parents would split a bottle or two of wine. So there were these things, which also leads to the sugar going up and down. A lot of times, there are similarities between bipolar and sugar spiker. It’s really important to understand oneself and also one’s partner in life. 

My husband, and I’ve said this on the show before, he gave me permission to say this. We noticed that every single argument we’ve ever had—I mean, I’m not perfect. In arguments where he’s being irrational and I’m calm and he’s freaking out, I’m like, why are you doing this? We figured out it was low blood sugar. That’s when we really started to dig into—this is 2014. 

I said, okay, but at the time, he had chosen to be a vegan. He’s now a vegan, but back then, so let me scramble you some eggs and then let’s talk in 20 minutes. He’d eat some eggs and two minutes later and he’s like, I don’t know why. He said to me, I feel like Jekyll and Hyde. I’m watching myself and I can’t even control myself being that way, being so nasty, and he’s not nasty. He’s a very sweet and loving person, but when he’s low blood sugar, watch out.


[01:53:01] Dr. Joan Ifland: That’s exactly why I got into this field 26 years ago. It’s personality.


[01:53:09] Ashley James: I think the term overeating is people go, well, I don’t overeat. I don’t overeat at all. I’m not fat. Maybe you could just distinguish the difference between overeating, emotional eating. There’s binge eating, right? There’s binging, but they all fall into the category of food addiction, is that correct?


[01:53:33] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yes. I think the American Psychiatric Association, which is the author, of course, of this Diagnostic Manual, they cannot get their brains wrapped around the idea that processed food addiction exists, so they’ve tried to describe other syndromes.

Let’s just take binge eating disorder. It’s very interesting but binging is not a requirement. The word binging does not appear in any of the diagnostic criteria for addictions for any kind of addiction. How did the American Psychiatric Association decide how to diagnose an addiction? It’s through behaviors. 

So when you don’t have your frontal lobe and the addicted brain cells are controlling behavior, very specific things happen. You have relationship problems. You start dropping activities because you’d rather go home and use. You have relationship problems for the reasons that you just described. You have this Jekyll and Hyde personality. You can’t fulfill your roles because you’re too tired, drunked, drugged up, or passed out from processed foods, so you have behaviors.

As it turns out, the first four criteria are things that are going on inside the person. You have a plan to use a certain amount and you don’t follow the plan. That’s unintended use. You’ve tried to cut back, and this is again where you see prevalence. So over 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. They don’t want to be that way. They’ve tried to cut back and failed. This is something else you would have to see. We’d have to see really widespread prevalence. 

Time spent. They might stop at three fast food places on their way home from work. And then when they do get home, they might go back out in the evening and get more grocery items. Cravings, everybody has cravings. Cravings are so prevalent that people don’t even know that it’s possible to not have them. You have it starting inside the person with those first four, and then in the next three, you have it affecting their behaviors—failure to fulfill roles, relationship problems, and activities given up. 

And then the last four are measuring progression. It’s getting worse. You are getting sick from it. You use in spite of knowledge of consequences is a very common manifestation of addiction. You know you shouldn’t be. You start to say it, I know I shouldn’t, but, and then you go and use it. That’s a sign of an addiction. Eating more of a substance, you see that over the years and the manufacturers are just making larger and larger containers of these substances. 

And then withdrawal. You’ll see people using processed foods, not because they’re hungry, it’s because they’re tired, they’re irritable, they’re anxious, they’re depressed, or they’re foggy. Those are withdrawal avoidance. They have a headache, they have a stomachache, they’re lethargic, they’re bored, or they can’t think. Those are withdrawal avoidance.

This is how you decide, and you’re right, I say overeaters, but they’re people who are using processed foods in those 11 ways. You’re right, 20% of diabetics are not overweight. Twenty percent of people accumulate fat around their organs and not under their skin, you can’t see it. But the way the American Psychiatric Association trains psychiatrists and therapists of all varieties to tell whether the person in front of them is suffering under an addiction, they ask those 11 questions. That’s how you know, and it’s not a weight issue.

In fact, thin people who have food addiction are more traumatized in some ways because they have sought help from the health professionals and the doctors or whoever just look at them and say, you don’t have a problem. Get out of here. They are being traumatized right in front of their very eyes. 

I don’t know if your listeners would relate to this phenomenon, but I call it the robot. The remote control robot phenomenon where your frontal lobe is screaming, no, no, no, no. But the addicted brain cells in the midbrain have control over behavior. Like a robot or like a zombie, you are walking to the kitchen, out to the car to go for fast food. You’re two different people. It’s terrifying to have that experience, and thin people have that experience.


[01:59:24] Ashley James: I’m so excited about your program. The more I think about how someone could plug themselves in and get those mirror neurons firing, get the oxytocin of community firing to their advantage to help them overcome it is amazing. 

Little things that I’ve seen work for me is I order my grocery. Now, I love going to the grocery store like picking up my own fresh produce. It’s not that I don’t like going to the grocery store. But what I noticed is I’ll add a bunch of stuff to my cart online, then I’ll stare at the cart, and I’ll ask myself with each item, do I really need this? I get to slow down. I kind of have that internal dialogue. Because what you described that robot, for me it’s more like a possession, right? It’s like an entity, like a satanic possession trying to force you, overcoming your own consciousness to do bad to you. 

So I look at that list of foods and I’m like, okay, I’ve got my vegetables there, and then, oh, wait, okay. I’m going to say cookies. I don’t add cookies, but I can’t think of something bad at the moment. Okay, there are those cookies there. I’m like, do I need that? Do I really need that? How am I going to feel after I eat that? Does that really serve me? Does that really help me and my family? Because whatever I’m buying everyone’s eating. And then I hit the delete button. 

Then there’ll be that, no, wait, you’ll… And then the fear of missing out, that FOMO kicks like, you’ll feel bad if you don’t. You’ll regret not having it in your cart. You’ll regret it. It’s like a conversation I have with myself.


[02:01:08] Dr. Joan Ifland: It’s a battle.


[02:01:09] Ashley James: It is, it’s a battle.


[02:01:10] Dr. Joan Ifland: It is a battle between the addicted brain cells and the frontal lobe. People don’t realize that different cortices of the brain can battle each other. And that addicted cortex, it does not want to give up control, and it’ll keep coming back. It sleeps with one eye open, and it will never go away. That programming is there permanently. This is something that we have to protect ourselves against for the rest of our lives.

The thing is, it’s not just food addiction, it’s screen addiction, and it’s porno addiction. The addiction will happily slide over to some other source—shopping, addiction, gambling, whether it’s a behavior addiction like a process addiction or whether it’s a substance abuse like alcohol, prescription drugs, or any of the other recreational drugs, it’ll happily slide around. This is something else that we’re very aware of in our community. We are creating a very fundamental foundation of self-regard, self-respect, and from that self-caring, self-likings, self-loving. From that comes the urge to protect ourselves. So we’re starting in the right place.


[02:02:27] Ashley James: Your work is tremendous. If it wasn’t for you, we would be in the dark ages still, like you said, with understanding food addiction and understanding what’s going on in the brain and really acknowledging it, and taking the stigma away. There are so many people needlessly suffering. 

We need not look farther than the statistics of disease. In the United States alone and every other country tends to follow. We’re the worst in the United States. We really are, it’s unfortunate. The United States spends the most money in the world on “healthcare” and yet it’s the worst for many outcomes.

We have to acknowledge that this system is broken and we need to take ownership of our health. That’s why you’re listening. Anyone who’s listening is taking ownership of their health, not waiting to get sick, and then go to a doctor to be given a drug. They’re taking ownership of their health. If it wasn’t for you, we would still be stuck in the dark ages when it comes to understanding how processed food, there is an addiction. It is designed to be addictive like cigarettes. 

Literally, the cigarette companies went, well, how are we going to use addiction in other places, right? It’s just phenomenal. So thank you for the work that you do. Thank you for the groundbreaking work that you do. I’m so excited for our listeners to check out, which is your website. It provides free evidence-based handouts, and then you have as well.


[02:04:13] Dr. Joan Ifland: Hang on. The best place to go is That’s the hub of all of our other websites. Go there, take the self-quiz to see if you’re experiencing the signs of processed food addiction, then sign up for the free information, and just get on our email list. Then you can start to consider the programs that we have.


[02:04:41] Ashley James: Awesome. I’d love to have you back on the show at some point to continue sharing. It sounds like you’re constantly learning. You’re tapped into the research when it comes to the brain and all the latest research. Your community, which started in 2018 and it’s just taken off, and you’re seeing that people, within three days of being in the community, are able to finally start to cook healthy foods. Just that oxytocin in that community is helping them overcome the four- to eight-day withdrawal period. So I’m very excited about that. It’s Everything that Dr. Joan Ifland does is going to be the show notes of today’s podcast at Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?


[02:05:33] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yes. This is not your fault. These are things that were done to you for profit. This is not your fault, not the weight regain, not the loss of control, not the hiding, not the binging, not the weight, not the diet-related disease, none of this is your fault. It requires a lot of skill-building and training to get out of it, but it’s not your fault. It’s not because of your child’s issues. It’s because you have an addiction to substances.


[02:06:11] Ashley James: And through Joan’s program, I’m very excited that she’s getting results, and you can get results too. I love that there’s a supportive community that can help you. I’m excited to check it out as well. 

I like to say, keep your mind so open your brain can fall out, right? I’m an open-minded skeptic. Try everything. Try everything. Obviously, you have to go but try everything. I’m all about growing. It sounds like your community helps people to learn new life skills. If I can figure out where my personality stopped developing because of addiction, I don’t know what age. I’ve seen it in others, but we have blinders to our own self, right? So it’s easy to see in others, we can’t see it ourselves. But if I could learn more new life skills to grow, I’m all for it. Thank you so much for coming on the show.


[02:07:06] Dr. Joan Ifland: Thanks for having me. This was amazing. Truly amazing, Ashley. You’re a gifted podcaster.


[02:07:13] Ashley James: Thank you. I really appreciate that and I can’t wait to have you back.


[02:07:16] Dr. Joan Ifland: All right, take care.


[02:07:18] Ashley James: Awesome. That’s a wrap. How do you feel it went?


[02:07:21] Dr. Joan Ifland: Oh my God. This might be the best interview I’ve ever done. I don’t cry very often during interviews, but there’s something about your understanding and your own knowledge that made it safe for me to feel my emotions in this situation. We are saving lives.


[02:07:44] Ashley James: You’re saving lives. You are saving lives.


[02:07:47] Dr. Joan Ifland: Yeah. And saving people from really, really painful lives. We’re not just preventing them from dying. We’re also preventing them from missing out on their lives.


[02:08:02] Ashley James: Do you feel like you’re missing something? Are you searching for the right answers to solve your health issues? Do you feel like you should have more energy and mental clarity? With everything you’re doing for your health, you may be missing one key component. Our body needs 90 essential nutrients every day to function optimally—60 minerals, 12 amino acids, 2 fatty acids, and 16 vitamins each and every day. Because of the farming practices over the last 100 years, most of our food has 60% fewer vitamins and minerals compared to just 50 years ago.

So if you aren’t eating eight cups of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, you may be missing some of your essential nutrients. These are the raw building blocks the body needs to create new healthy tissue, healthy hormones, a balanced digestive system, strong muscles, bones and joints, and maintain an optimal functioning nervous system. 

Especially, if you’re experiencing more stress or if you’ve gone through an illness like an infection, that takes more resources. So if you’re not consuming more vitamin C, more of all the 16 vitamins, and all the 60 minerals when you’re going through more stress either physical stress, emotional stress, mental stress, those stressors take more nutrients to survive those bumps in the road in life. Over time, that whittles away. That depletes our nutrient tanks, our stores in our body. Without these 90 essential nutrients, things start to break down. 

Now, you’ve experienced these breakdowns. Maybe you get migraines, maybe you’re exhausted, maybe your hormones are out of balance, your digestion is out of balance, or you have some aches and pains. Maybe you’ve even been diagnosed with something. You have a series of symptoms and if those symptoms all look like something, then we can diagnose it right? That’s what MDs can do. MDs will treat these breakdowns with drugs and mask your symptoms. But if your body has a nutrient deficiency, no amount of drugs will fix the problem.

Seven years ago, I embarked on a journey to cure my diabetes, infertility, PCOS, high blood pressure, and chronic adrenal fatigue. I felt like I was a mess. Through my research, I found a company that made natural supplements to address these nutrient needs. They formulated their supplements to exceed all standards of quality. Their minerals are the most bioavailable and absorbed by the body that I have ever found. 

After getting on their protocols for healthy hormones and blood sugar along with their dietary recommendations for better health, I reversed my type 2 diabetes, I reversed my infertility. I no longer had high blood pressure. My energy and vitality came back. After six years of trying to get pregnant with my husband before we found these supplements, once we got on the supplements, we were able to conceive our wonderful healthy son who’s now three years old and he is amazing. We would have never had that had we not found this company.

Speaking of our son, he’s also taking these supplements for optimal health. His pediatrician thinks they’re amazing. If you’d like to give these supplements a try and see for yourself if you’re experiencing a nutrient deficiency, please go to That’s Their health coaches are phenomenal. I personally know all of them, they’re amazing people. 

I just want you to know, as my listener, I feel like I need to protect my listeners. I would never promote anything that I didn’t 100% believe in and I didn’t feel was healthy or good for you. I feel like you’re my tribe, and I’m sharing this information. In fact, I’ve been doing this podcast so that I can help as many people as possible gain their health back.

The health coaches at I really trust that they will make sure that you’re well taken care of. They will work with you to help determine the best protocol for your nutrient needs and work within your budget. They will also help to implement a holistic protocol that includes supporting a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Go to, fill out the form, and one of their health coaches will get back to you really shortly. And then you guys can schedule a time to talk on the phone and they will work with you to help you dial in all your nutrient needs.

I really look forward to hearing about your experience with them. Please feel free to reach out to me. You can reach out to me on our Facebook group. Go to Facebook, search Learn True Health, and join our group. Let me know what you think about the wonderful health coaches at

By the way, when you go to and you get assigned to a health coach, they’re your health coach. You’re not going to keep getting a different person every time. You get one person, they work with you, and they hold your hand for months down the road. They’re there for you to support you month after month while you’re on your nutrient protocol and they’re helping you dial in your nutrient needs. They’re really wonderful like that.

I know you’ll enjoy your experience with them, and I’d love to hear about your experience with them. Please feel free to email me as well, I love hearing success stories. Like I said, I’ve been working with this supplement company for my own health. I love sharing this information because I think that many of you will be able to resolve your issues with nutrition just like I’ve seen many people do. 

With that said, go to, fill out your information, and a health coach is very excited to start working with you and helping you get your health back.


Get Connected with Dr. Joan Ifland!

Website – Processed Food Addiction

Food Addiction Education Facebook Group




Book by Dr. Joan Ifland

Processed Food Addiction

Recommended Reading by Dr. Joan Ifland

Metabolical – Rob Lustig