Learn True Health with Ashley James

On Learn True Health, Ashley James interviews today's most successful natural healers. Learn True Health was created for YOU, the health enthusiast. If you are passionate about organic living or struggling with health issues and are looking to gain your health naturally, our holistic podcast is what you have been looking for! Ashley James interviews Naturopathic Doctors and expert holistic health care practitioners to bring you key holistic health information, results based advice and new natural steps you can take to achieve true health, starting NOW! If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are fed up with prescription drug side effects, if you want to live in optimal health but you don't know where to start, this podcast is for you! If you are looking for ACTIONABLE advice from holistic doctors to get you on your path to healing, you will enjoy the wisdom each episode brings. Each practitioner will leave you with a challenge, something that you can do now, and each day, to measurably improve your health, energy, and vitality. Learn about new healing diet strategies, how to boost your immune system, balance your hormones, increase your energy, what supplements to take and why and how to experience your health and stamina in a new way. Ashley James from Learn True Health interviews doctors like Dr. Joel Wallach, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Molly Niedermeyer on Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Supplements, Meditation, Holistic Health and Alternative Health Strategies for Gaining Optimal Health.
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Now displaying: November, 2023
Nov 20, 2023

Black Friday / Cyber Deals: If you listen to this after the end of the sales, visit to get the latest discounts I secure for my listeners on my top favorite health things!


November 17th until November 26th 

25% on all products using coupon code LTH25 



Pre-Black Friday / Black Friday

  • Nov 13-25th
  • Save up to $1,149 (Includes free shipping on Amplify and Signature models)


Cyber Monday

  • Nov 27th-Dec 1st
  • Save up to $950 (biggest savings on Amplify)

Mag Soak

35% off with coupon code LTH at checkout

Medicinal Aloe Drink

BFLTH for 7% beginning Monday 20th and ending Sunday 26th at the end of day.


Organix Therapeutic Mattress


10% off, free shipping, free mattress protector, free bamboo sheets, OR two non-toxic/chemical-free healthy pillows PLUS a copy of my latest book. 



IIN: 45% off IIN's Health Coach Training Program! (with coupon code "ASHLEYJAMES20")

Visit to learn more and see all the courses!

Curious but want to learn more before you dive in? Get a free sample class here:

The 45% off sale ends on the 25th!


513: Psychophysiology Breakthrough Cure For Long Haul and Pain

Unlock the secrets to overcoming chronic pain and illness as Dr. David Clarke, a trailblazer in psychophysiologic disorders, reveals a revolutionary, drug-free path to recovery. Our latest episode goes beyond the surface of physical ailments, exploring the deep-seated emotional traumas that often fuel persistent health challenges. Dr. Clarke's expertise shines as we traverse the landscape of mind-body therapies, offering hope and transformative healing practices for those afflicted by conditions like long-haul COVID, chronic pain, and unexplained medical symptoms.



  • Treatment for Chronic Pain and Illnesses
  • Mind-Body Connection in Chronic Pain
  • Discovering the Mind-Body Connection
  • Long-term Impacts of Childhood Stress
  • Top Therapies for Chronic Pain
  • Understanding and Treating Chronic Pain
  • ACEs' Impact and Coping Strategies
  • Childhood Trauma and Its Physical Impact
  • Effective Therapy and Preventing Chronic Stress
  • Combined Therapies and Introduction to Timeline Therapy


Hello True Health Seekers and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I am so excited. If you listen to today's interview with Dr. David Clarke, it's possibly one of the most important interviews I have ever done in the last seven years and will ever do. 

He presents today the now proven treatment that is drug-free, that very quickly helps people to recover from chronic pain, from unexplained illness, from those mystery illnesses. Right. When the doctors are like, well, we've done everything we can do and you still are sick, those kind of things get resolved and even long haul covid. It's restoring people back to their true health and I'm just so thrilled that we can get this information out there. Please share this with those you care about, share this with everyone, because we've got to get this out there. This one interview, the information that Dr. David Clarke has the potential to completely change the entire world of medicine, the entire world of healthcare. That's how exciting it is, and before we get to that, I'm going to blast through six sales that are coming up or have just started that I want you to know about, because these are my favorite health companies and they're giving us huge discounts for Black Friday for the Thanksgiving 2023. 

But if you're listening to this and it's no longer Thanksgiving, I want you to go to's to get the latest discounts that I secure for my listeners. All my top favorite health things that I want you guys to know about. The list is always there and it's always going to get updated to the latest stuff, so go check that out. But right now, if you're listening and you just dropped this episode and you're just listening during November 2023, here's the sales I want you to know about. I'm going to go through this list really fast and then we're going to get to the episode. Analemma, which is the structured water device. I did two interviews on it. Fascinating. I've been using it with my family for a whole year. We absolutely love it and love the health effects that we get from it. The discount is 25% off all their products, including they have a whole house unit, and there's some great studies coming out about how bathing in this structured water, significantly, improves heart health and other biomarkers, even your cellular energy production, the ATP production, and your mitochondrial health is improved and your microbiome of your gut is improved. It's very cool. So listeners can use the coupon code LTH25. LTH is Learn True Health 25 and that's going on from November 17th until November 26th. Use the link to get there and check it out. That's coupon code LTH25. 

Sunlighten is my favorite sauna. I've got my sauna right here beside me in the office and I absolutely love using it, especially in the fall and winter time. But even in the summer I'll jump in there because there's nothing more refreshing than detoxing in the sauna any time of year. Friday sale goes from November 13th to the 25th, so that's already started. You save up to $1,149. That includes free shipping on certain models. You just want to call them really and just say, Hey, Ashley James sent me from Learn True Health podcast. You guys give us a special discount because they do, and they specifically give my listeners a special deal and I talk to them about that. And then after the November 27th to December 1st, they are doing the biggest savings on the Amplify, which is one of their models, and it's going to be over $950 off. And I believe that also includes free shipping, because that's what we get for my listeners. 

The next one my favorite Magnesium Soak. I've been raving about this for about six years now, along with the magnesium cream and the magnesium muscle cream. Right now, when you go to, it says 25% off. However, at the checkout, use coupon code LTH. Make sure you always use coupon code LTH on that website and it'll add an additional 10% off, bringing it to a total of 35% off. I always stock up every year when it comes to this big, big sale that she does and she gives us an extra discount, and that's really nice of her. 

Now the Aloe Drink. The medicinal aloe drink. I have three interviews about this. The medicinal aloe drink you can go to Make sure you use the coupon code and this is going to expire on the 26th of November. BFLTH as in Black Friday, Learn True Health, so BFLTH. That gives you 7% off. I know that's not much, but he has really low margins and this is the best medicinal aloe drink I have ever found, so I'll take it. I'll take the savings. And also, before the Learn True Health listeners use that link, he does throw in his amazing aloe cream and I absolutely love it. It's my favorite hand cream. 

Okay, second to last Organix Bed. I've been sleeping on this for several years, and I will never sleep on another mattress again, if I can help it. When we go on vacations, we actually like, really don't look forward to any beds and except our own, and we love coming back for our vacations because of how amazing this mattress is. This mattress is healing for the back. I've done several interviews about this. I've raved about it before. 

You can go to with an X O-R-G-A-N-I-X Now here's the new deal, because they already give us a really great discount and everything we get 10% off, free shipping. We get a free mattress protector, free bamboo sheets, you can choose the sheets, or you can choose two non-toxic, chemical free, healthy pillows. Plus, I'm going to give you the latest copy of my book, which is about to be published. 

If you do decide to go for the Organix mattress right now and that deal is ending soon so if you are up for a new mattress, we're supposed to replace it every five years. If you can believe that it's kind of crazy. Organix mattress lasts for over 25 years. You will be buying this mattress and it's possibly sleep on it the rest of your life. It's that amazing and it doesn't break down like regular mattresses. It's paying for two mattresses but then you're getting six mattresses out of it. It is so like heaven sleeping on this thing. 

Lastly, the InSuit for Integrative Nutrition, which is where I went to become a health coach. They're offering the biggest sale I've ever seen them do. They recently merged with Dr Chopra. All of his courses are also offered there. If you're like I'm not interested in being a health coach, well, they have other courses. 

You got to go check it out. Please go to That's Be sure to use the coupon code AshleyJames20. I couldn't get them to do LTH, just their system needed more letters or whatever. AshleyJames20. In total, you're getting 45% off their health coach training program right now and the sale ends on the 25th. That is huge. I've never seen them do that significant of a discount. It is an amazing program. I highly recommend checking it out. If you're curious and you just want to see more and get a sample class, go to That gets you a sample class. It's 45% off for the health coach training program with coupon code AshleyJames20. When you go to, it's 35% off, I believe for their other trainings. They've got a ton of them. Go check it out. It's really cool. 

There's a few other health-related Black Friday sales that I'm seeing coming up that I'm going to possibly be talking about next week, just to let you guys know but these are the major ones. Thank you so much for sticking around and listening to them.

Today's interview is mind-blowing and I'm so excited to bring it to you. Please come join the Facebook group, the LearnTrue Health Facebook group, so we can have a discussion about this afterwards. I just really think it's important that we get together as a community to talk about this, to share our thoughts on it and to learn from other people's thoughts and experiences. Come join the community. Let's chat about this. You can always reach out to me. You can email me, ashley@learntruehealthcom. I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments, but, really, the Facebook group is where we all get together as a community. The listeners get to learn from each other and share and feel a part of something. It's kind of a lonely world out there. When I'm just talking into a mic and you're just sitting there listening. It kind of feels lonely. But I'm reaching through the mic, I'm giving you a hug and I'm saying we're here, we're all in this together and I support you and we support each other. Come join the Facebook group so we can do that with each other. 

Also, go to my website,, and sign up for my newsletter, if you haven't already. It's not really a newsletter. I just like maybe send one or two emails out a month on average, just sharing the latest news in this arena when it comes to helping you achieve true health. With that being said, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving in America. To all my American friends a wonderful Thanksgiving, and, around the world, I wish all of you true health. Enjoy today's interview. 

Ashley James (09:58.011)

Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 513. 

I am so excited for today's guest. We have Dr. David Clarke on the show endchronicpainorg. This is such a fascinating topic to get into. The mind, is something we're just beginning to understand, we're just beginning to explore. I kind of imagine us like we're in the 1500s and we're discovering the Americas and we're discovering all these new areas around the world. That's where we are when it comes to understanding the mind. We know so little and we're always amazed by how much we can learn. And when I saw the study that you're here to talk about today, where they have such a powerful breakthrough when it came to long haul covid, I just had to have you on the show. Now, you are the president of and let's see if I can even say this correctly Psychophysiological Disorders Association. Is that correct? 

Dr. David Clarke (11:05.409)

Almost, yes. We dropped that little AL at the end because it's got way too many syllables as it is, so we call it the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association, and the easiest way to think about it is that it's a blend of psychology and physiology.

Ashley James (11:22.683)

Which makes perfect sense because when we go to the doctor, the doctor says, oh, it must be in your head, go to the shrink. And we feel really hurt by that because it's like, no, my pain is real, my suffering is real, and you're telling me I'm just making it up. And that's not necessarily what they're saying. They're saying that the mind and the body are intimately connected and that the mind does impact the physical body and vice versa. And it's so interesting that you get to explore this area. It's so unchartered, right? It's worth learning new and new things every day about the mind-body connection, how powerful it is. I have been fascinated by this subject my entire life. I remember a teenager reading books on the mind-body connection. And here we have your studies showing how you can turn off chronic pain, like And now with your new study on how we can help those who are suffering from long covid. I'm so excited to have you come and teach us today. 

Dr. David Clarke (12:34.152)

Thank you, I'm delighted to be here. And you know, patients should be angry when they hear that something is supposedly all in their head because that's the last thing it is. We've found real anatomic changes in the brain in people that have these conditions. That's why we have physiology in our name because those are the processes of the body. And there are anatomic differences that have come about because of stress.

And the stress is largely unrecognized. When you would think that a stress that was severe enough to produce physical illness in somebody's body, pain or otherwise, that the stress would be obvious, but actually it's not. And the stresses can come from the remote past, from adversity in childhood, they can be going on in the present day, but just simply not recognized for how powerful they are. But all of this turns out to be good news because if we can identify what those stresses are, and we know how to do that in 2023, we can almost always treat them successfully. And when we do that, as was shown in this study, people's physical symptoms, even severe, long-lasting, multiple symptoms can respond dramatically. And the long covid study was a group of people who had been suffering for an average of nine months. They had 23 adults under the age of 60 that were studied. And this was done at Harvard, but it's just one more example of what psychophysiologic work can accomplish. So these patients had been very ill with their long covid, and they were treated with exactly the approach I was just outlining, uncovering the sources of stress, which can include emotions, it can include things that are triggering for you in the present day, it can include long-term impacts from the past, such as personality traits that are stressful, and they help people identify these, work through them, and in a matter of weeks, there was dramatic improvement, 80% improvement in shortness of breath, 77% improvement in how pain was interfering with their activity, 74% in pain anxiety, 67% improvement in brain fog. Other body symptoms improved 60% and on down the line with physical limitations, average pain through the day, gastrointestinal symptoms, and even fatigue was 44% better. And the other dramatic finding that was a standout to me is that a majority of the patients had experienced that exercise made their symptoms worse. But after eight weeks of treatment, only 4% was that still the case.

Ashley James (15:35.715)

Oh my gosh, that is so cool. Because long haul covid, there's all these different symptoms and we think this virus destroyed my body and I'm left ravaged. And there's over 8 million people suffering from it. We know it's a real thing. And they're just wondering, do I ever get my body back? Is this something like mono where we have to wait a whole year? Do I ever get my body back? And that was so stressful. I mean, the last few years have been stressful for everyone. But people who have suffered from covid and survived, it was such a traumatic event for so many people, myself included, and then to then have day-to-day suffering compounds the stress. So, it's this catch-22 because the past was stressful. Now the present is even more stressful because they're stressing about their current symptoms. And then you're saying that finding the causes of stress and helping to relieve them and solve them was the key to helping their body get on the other side of long haul covid.

Dr. David Clarke (16:44.593)

Yes, absolutely. It's a perfectly natural assumption that if you are feeling something in your body, if you've got pain or illness, that there must be a disease or injury going on that is causing it. And that if only you can find the right doctor or the right diagnostic test or the right treatment, that you're going to be able to do something about that disease or injury. And people go from doctor to doctor, they get specialty evaluations, they go see alternative health clinicians, they try different diets, they try medications, they try supplements, sometimes depending on the symptom, they will try various manufactured devices, all with this intense focus on there must be something structurally wrong with the body. But it turns out that you can have just as severe symptoms, just as long lasting, even multiple symptoms that are generated by the brain. The classic example that's kind of an analogy for all this is what's called phantom limb pain, where a person has had an amputation, but they feel pain in the location of the missing limb. Now, obviously, the limb isn't doing that because it's not there anymore. The only place this can be coming from is in the brain.

And it turns out that the brain can do this literally from head to toe in people who've never come close to having an amputation. And the reason why the brain is doing that is again because of this stress. So that means the whole focus of diagnosis has to shift, that we need to move our attention from what's going on in our bodies to what is going on in our brains. And from there,

to what's happening in our lives or happened in the past. And when we do that, that's when the solutions begin to appear. 

One of my patients, I'll just give you an example of how dramatically this can turn around. She was hospitalized at a major university medical center on the West Coast 60 times in 15 years. And no diagnosis. She had her attacks were nausea, vomiting, and extreme dizziness, just to describe her symptoms. And she saw gastroenterologists like myself. She saw a neurologist. She saw ear, nose, and throat specialists. And when they all were unsuccessful, and she saw a dozen of them, they had her see a psychiatrist in the third year of her illness. And he evaluated her according to the normal approach that mental health professionals are taught, looking for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, personality disorders, and she didn't have any of those things. And so he sent her back to the medical doctors and said, she's fine mentally, which is true from the vast majority of my patients. They're very strong people actually. But she happened to have one of her attacks when she was in Portland, Oregon, which is where I'm based.

When I went to see her, she said something I'd never heard from any other patient, which was, thank you for coming, doctor, but you're wasting your time. You'd be better off seeing your other patients. She was in such despair. But you can imagine, 15 years, major university hospital, no answers. But even though this was early in my career, I knew what to look for, which was to find a stress, either in the present day or the past. And it turned out she had significant amounts of both that were directly linked to her attacks of these dizziness and vomiting episodes. And just by showing her that connection, she was well on the spot, just bringing the stress into her conscious awareness when she could see it, think about it, do something about it. She went home from the hospital the next day. She called me a year later. She'd gone the entire year without a single attack.

Ashley James (20:57.941)

Oh my gosh, this doesn't make sense when we think about the brain, its job is supposed to help us survive, right? The brain's job is supposed to get us through life and, anything that's not conscious, right? All the autonomic functions, everything about the brain is to keep the heart beating, to keep the blood flowing, to keep us hunting or gathering and for another day, mating, right? It's supposed to keep going. And yet now we're seeing when we have a certain amount of stress, it could be emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, we've got some kind of stressor or unresolved stress from the past that we're bringing into the now, that the body is just manifesting things physically. It's breaking down and manifesting things physically. And that doesn't make sense because isn't the brain's job intended to protect us and keep us in, keep us living.

Dr. David Clarke (22:00.071)

Yes, and you're talking about the fight or flight nervous system and that absolutely the sympathetic nervous system absolutely is designed to keep us alive in a stressful situation. But the reaction to that is when the stress goes away, your fight or flight nervous system can settle down and then the rest and digest nervous system can take over. So it's natural to have a back and forth between the two.

But if you are feeling like you are constantly under threat, then your sympathetic nervous system is turned on all the time and it begins to have its impact on the body. And you're constantly under threat when there is a stress going on in your life that you're not recognizing. It's impacting you, but you don't know how to make it go away because you don't know where it's coming from. And until you recognize it and bring it into your conscious awareness and get some help in reducing it, it's going to be impacting your sympathetic nervous system. Everybody's had a psychophysiologic stress at one time or another, or psychophysiologic symptom at one time or another. A classic example is blushing with embarrassment. That's a mind-to-body reaction. Same with feeling a knot in your abdomen when you're in a tense situation. That's a mind to body reaction. There are countless expressions in our language that wouldn't exist without there being a brain to body or mind to body connection. And that's something like a spine tingling excitement or heart pounding thrills, for example. There's scores of those. But the good news is that if you know what to look for, we can uncover what's going on, bring it out into the open where we can see it, think about it and do something about it. And then people get better like that patient who was hospitalized so many times. I wish I could say I get people better that quickly in every case. I certainly don't. There are many patients who need up to several years of psychotherapy to achieve the same outcome. But even those patients once they've identified the stress, they can see that they're on a pathway toward recovery. They can see that they've found the source of the problem, that it wasn't in their body, and that they can use their cognitive skills to overcome it.

Ashley James (24:40.342)

So before you became a doctor, you received a degree in psychology. Is that where you started to see this, that it was so important to look at the stressors in someone's life? Did you have an aha moment or is it something you pieced together over time?

Dr. David Clarke (24:55.946)

No, there was definitely an aha moment. My degree in psychology was just a bachelor's degree and it didn't really include a lot of information about individuals who were struggling with these issues. It was more just general background. Honestly, I never expected to use it again. I was on a pathway toward becoming a garden variety gastrointestinal specialist. We put camera tubes inside people and do all kinds of interesting things in their GI tract. That's what I was headed for. And I was having a good career up to that point. My formal training years were going very well. I got an award for excellence in medical school. I was at a top training program at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. I was passing my board examinations with excellent scores. So I was completely unprepared to run into a patient that I didn't know the first thing about diagnosing or treating because this isn't taught in medical school, even to this day. This huge issue that affects 40% of people who come to see the doctor in outpatient care is just simply not taught. So when I met this patient, she was a 37-year-old woman who had been referred from another university because she was having an average of one bowel movement per month. And…yes, that's what I said. I mean, I'd never heard of such a severe disruption. And she had already had almost every diagnostic test. The reason that she was sent to us is that we did very specialized testing of the muscle contractions and the nerve impulses in the large intestine. And my department chair and I were completely convinced that test was going to be abnormal because what other explanation was possible or so we thought. And this woman was taking four different laxatives at double the usual doses and it wasn't doing a thing. So we knew this test was going to be abnormal. But we were very surprised and perplexed when that test was perfectly normal also. And we just threw up our hands and it was left to me to do the exit interview with this woman and just basically tell her she was going to have to live with it.

I didn't want to just walk in and tell her she was going to have to live with it and walk out. So I asked her about stress, knowing it was going to be a waste of time because everybody else had asked her about stress and she didn't have any. She was happily married, she had two nice kids, she enjoyed her job. And then I asked her about, well, were you under any stress earlier? Thinking, well, maybe something happened two years ago when her illness first started.

And she interpreted the question to mean way earlier. And she said, well, my father molested me. And when I heard that, I didn't know what to say because I had no training in asking people about childhood abuse. I had no experience with it. I was worried that if I asked her too many questions about it, it might make her very emotional and cause her a lot of pain to have to discuss that. But I didn't know what else to do. And so I fell back on my early training, which was take a history, find out the details, get the exact story of what happened. So that's what I did. And she seemed to be perfectly calm about it. I mean, she was describing what happened to her in the same tone of voice you'd use to read a grocery list.

And it turned out that her father had sexually abused her hundreds of times, up to the age of 12. And then he stopped. And for the next 25 years, nobody touched her against her will. So I'm sitting there thinking, this can't possibly be relevant. I mean, she's been away from this horrible, horrible event for 25 years how can it possibly be connected to this very severe physical illness that she has? I didn't think that was possible, but I knew of a psychiatrist at UCLA that was certified in internal medicine as well that had an interest in patients like this. So I thought at least I've got something I can do for this patient. At least we can maybe help her live with this condition a little better.

So I arranged for the patient to see the psychiatrist, Harriet Kaplan, and forgot all about her for the next several months, until I ran into Dr. Kaplan in an elevator. And just to make conversation, I said, whatever happened to that patient that I referred to you? And she said, oh, I haven't seen her in a few weeks. She's fine now. And that just upended my world.

Because the idea that you could alleviate a really serious physical condition just by talking to somebody for, in her case, an hour a week for 10 weeks is what it worked out to be. That was impossible as far as I was concerned. I was in the eighth year of my formal training and nobody had ever mentioned that such a thing was possible- just completely shocked me. But I decided, if I want to be a complete doctor, I should know a little more about this because if I've seen one patient with this condition, I might see a few more over the course of my career. So I prevailed on Dr. Kaplan to teach me her framework for how she thought about this kind of illness and how she approached it, what kinds of questions she asked, and over the next year and a half of my training before I went into private practice in Oregon, learned the basics, never thinking I would use it very much. And now we're 7,000 plus patients later.

Ashley James (31:21.962)

Did you follow up with that patient to hear her side of the story or like how do we know that she is having healthy bowel movements now?

Dr. David Clarke (31:33.769)

Well, that's a good question, but she was welcome to return either to me or to Dr. Kaplan at any time and never needed it. She was, according to Dr. Kaplan, she was even able to stop taking all of the laxatives. It basically went all the way back to normal. It was like my patient with the attacks of severe dizziness and vomiting, who in her case, didn't even need 10 weeks. I mean, just in the course of, one 50-minute conversation, that was the end of her condition.

Ashley James (32.12:990)

God bless you. Just the intuition you had to listen, even though it was uncomfortable, and to get curious and ask questions and to want to explore this. There's so many doctors out there that would have shied away from that. And you leaned in towards it and look what it's achieved. Look how many people you've helped and how many people you're helping. I'm just so ecstatic for the work that you're doing.

Dr. David Clarke (32:41.931)

Thank you. Well, it turned out to be among the most rewarding in my practice, to be able to alleviate someone's serious physical condition just by talking to them. Sometimes your best medical instrument is your brain and what it knows. And we don't necessarily always need the high technology that was, frankly, heavily used in two-thirds of my practice.

But the other one third, being able to see people recognize what was happening, being able to make the connections to stresses that were often not obvious at all. We had to do some real searching to find what the connections were that were making people ill. But it was just tremendous to be able to do that. And I've seen this with other doctors too.

We have a course on our website, the that you mentioned earlier that some doctors in a medium-sized city that I worked with, took the course, just three of them and their psychologist they collaborated with. Took the course at first, and it just transformed their practice. They suddenly the 40% of patients who had been a tremendous source of frustration for them.

They couldn't help them, they didn't know what to do. The patients were truly physically ill in a variety of ways, but the doctors, after looking for biological explanations and not finding any, didn't know what to do next. So after they took the course, then they knew what to look for, just as I'd learned from Dr. Kaplan. And all of a sudden, these patients started getting better. And one of the doctors took me aside at a conference and said, these ideas, have put the joy back into my work. That was wonderful to hear. And then three years later, it had spread. They had such enthusiasm for this that it spread from the original three doctors to now, as of a year ago, 72 doctors are using these ideas.

Ashley James (34.55.521)

Well, I want to keep spreading that. Everyone who's listening, share this with your doctor. This is something they could also be trained in. I think every doctor should be trained in this. What did you say the percentage was of people who come into the doctor's office? What percentage was psychophysiologic?

Dr. David Clarke (35:18.093)

A review article that looked at that question in 32 different studies from two dozen countries around the world and the average was about 40% that had real body symptoms but no organ disease or structural injury to explain it. So it's about 20% of the adult population or 50 million people in the United States alone.

Ashley James (35:45.756)

Well, the pharmaceutical companies do not want that to get out because they would get a significant pay cut if like 20% of adults were able to resolve their issues by getting to the root cause of their stress and managing it.

Dr. David Clarke (36:04.832)

Yes, it's definitely going to change medical practice once these ideas become common knowledge. Even better news is now that we have gold standard science that backs up the anecdotes that I'm sharing with you. We have randomized controlled trials. In addition to the long covid study, there are studies of pain patients from Harvard, from Detroit, from the Boulder back pain study is a great one. And there was one of older male veterans, usually a very difficult group to treat successfully for chronic pain. And they got dramatic results in Los Angeles. And these are controlled trials. This is very solid gold standard science that is showing that if you know how to talk to patients, what issues to bring up and how to discuss them, that you can make a huge difference. The Boulder back pain study, they had three groups of 50 patients each, and the 50 that got the pain relief psychology, which is the sort of umbrella term for this kind of work, they just got eight sessions, two sessions a week for four weeks, and their pain scores dropped dramatically. After an average of 10 years these people had been suffering with low back pain, their pain scores dropped from over four down to one on average in four weeks. It was just astounding. Nothing like this from talk therapy alone had ever been seen in a randomized controlled trial. But it's just exactly what I saw in my office every day.

Ashley James (37:54.738)

And that is so exciting. A lot of the listeners, are familiar with the concept of fight or flight, the sympathetic nervous system response, and then rest and digest, the parasympathetic. But we're not all aware of what are the physiological changes that take place when we get stuck in the sympathetic nervous system response. So like we shunt blood away from the core, away from our organs, our digestion kind of like goes on hiatus, shunt blood away from the logic centers of the brain, but could you kind of walk us through, like, let's say we're stuck for one day, one week, one month, what begins to break down in the body? There's even epigenetic changes that can take place when we are stuck in that stress response for too long.

Dr. David Clarke (38:48.544)

Yes, the differences over time can be, let's say, significant and profound. All the details haven't been completely worked out, but it definitely has long-term impacts. There's increased rates of a variety of conditions.

One of the places you can get the hard and fast data is from the ACEs study. And I should say ACEs studies because there are now scores of them where the stress was inflicted on people as children. ACEs stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. And these were categorized into 10 different groups in the original paper from 1998. And the more of the 10 that you had the more likely you were to suffer long-term consequences. So some of the long-term consequences are psychological and behavioral. For example, depression, suicide, intravenous drug abuse, alcoholism, obesity. But there are also organ disease impacts as well. There's higher incidences of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease. And the working theory at this point is that stress in children turns on the inflammatory system in the body, has effects on the immune system, and that chronic inflammation is what leads to the damage in what we call the end organs, the heart, the circulatory system, the fat tissue, and produces these long-term effects on the body. My particular focus is not so much the organ diseases as it is the processing of signals that are coming from the body and being interpreted as painful by the brain. Again, coming back to that idea of the phantom limb syndrome that the brain is interpreting signals from the body as being painful. And that if we can help people understand the stresses that have changed the circuits in the brain, we can change them back. The Boulder Back Pain Study included, as part of the work that they did, scans of the brain. And what they found was that the pain relief psychotherapy actually changed the brain back to a healthy pattern. It rearranged those circuits so that was why the pain was relieved.

Ashley James (41:43.710)

Many years ago, I read the book Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno, who is just fascinating. I'm sure he would have loved the work you're doing. Back pain that was not explained by scans. There was nothing on the scan to say that it could be causing his back pain. And what he saw was that the brain was creating ischemia. For example, the quadriceps lumborum, which is like the low back muscles would be grabbing. And so ischemia, for those who don't know, it's like cutting off blood flow. So you can imagine if like maybe you sit on the toilet too long, you get pins and needles, it's really painful, right? If you continue to sit there, and then when you get up that pins and needles, it can be like very, very painful. But what he saw was that there was definitely something going on where the brain was grabbing ahold of and squeezing and making almost like a spasm in muscles like the quadriceps lumborum. And to the touch, when you examine it would feel cold. Like it would seem like almost white and cold, like there was less blood flow in the area. And this definitely sounds like stress to me, but specifically when they were shoulding themselves, like I should like my job, I should like this, and even though they hated it. So if they really hated something, it was very stressful in their life, but they were kind of suppressing their feelings around it, and when they suppressed their emotions around it, wouldn't listen, that's when it would present as this ischemia in the muscles. And if they could just listen and ask their body, like what is this, I'm listening, what emotion is present, what emotion is present.

And as they began to feel it, the pain would subside and the muscle would release. And I ended up using that technique with my clients and a lot of them had a really great success, which was just mind blowing. But again, the brain is in the body are affecting each other and this is exactly what you do in your work. And I love that there's so much science now behind it that we can get

other doctors on board, because man, if we could help that, like between 20 and 40% of those people that you talked about that are, you know, coming to the doctor, going to the clinic and they have pain or discomfort or disease or they have symptoms and there's no physiological explanation, then instead of just putting, here's some pills, go home, I have nothing for you, instead of giving up on them we can actually go deeper and find the root cause.

Dr. David Clarke (44:39.772)

Yes, it's very exciting. I should mention that on that same website, the, there is a 12 item self-assessment quiz for people that are listening and wondering if perhaps they might have this condition themselves. It's arranged so that the more questions to which you answer yes, the more likely it is that a psychophysiologic disorder or PPD for short is responsible for your symptoms. So that's something easy that people can do. But you're absolutely right in the approach that you took. Many of my patients have, probably a majority of them have experienced adverse childhood experiences and we can't go back and change those, but we can change the long-term impacts. We can make a difference for the effects that those ACEs have had on people in the present day. One of those effects has to do with the emotions. Many of my patients have had anger, fear, shame, grief, or guilt that they're not fully aware of because they've repressed it. But if we can help people connect with those emotions, put them into words, then they can alleviate them. The more of those emotions that are put into words, either written or spoken, the less they need to express themselves via the body. And that's an approach that's helped a lot of people. One of the techniques that I use to help people connect with these unrecognized emotions is to have them imagine themselves as a butterfly on the wall of their childhood home. And to imagine also that a child they care about, whether it's their own child or someone else's, is in that home and is having to cope with whatever adversity there is in that home, while the patient, as a butterfly on the wall, is only allowed to watch and to see what's happening. And this is a very difficult exercise, as you can imagine, but it helps people recognize much more accurately the reality of what they went through because so many people, when they look back, they have a strong tendency to minimize how bad it was. And until they see the reality of it, until they're able to feel the emotions that would be appropriate for someone who is going through this adversity, then those emotions are going to be locked away with the only outlet being into their bodies.

Ashley James (47:32.108)

Wow. I just totally went there. I had my son in my childhood home and I'm already seeing some stuff. I haven't seen before. That's a very interesting exercise. 

Dr. David Clarke (47:43.045)

It’s been very, very useful for my patients, that one. And it's not easy and I see the facial expressions of my patients often change dramatically when I ask them to do this, but it is so useful in cutting through the layers of repression.

Ashley James (48:06.343)

Repression, like you said, we minimize it, or justify it. But if we put someone we care about as like a child in that situation that we were in, and then watch, and then we have empathy for that child, it's like, oh, that empathy is actually for me when I was going through it. Right.

Dr. David Clarke (48:27.585)

That's exactly right.

Ashley James (48:29.884)

Right. Do you have any other exercises that you like to share?

Dr. David Clarke (48:34.165)

Yes, for reaching the emotions, there's one that's kind of completely different, that you cast your mind back to a difficult person or event or situation from the past and just think about that for a moment and then start writing down words and phrases that come to mind about that person, event or situation, just as fast as you can, trying not to worry about spelling or grammar or syntax or whether it makes any sense, just to scribble down every word or phrase that comes to mind about this past event. And keep writing for five or ten minutes, however long it takes, until you feel like you've got every conceivable idea out of your head. And the reason for writing them down so fast is to bypass your cognitive brain. We don't want you thinking about this. We wanna reach into your subconscious and just pull out whatever is boiling and bubbling away in there and get it onto the page. And then once you're done with that, take a look at it, think about it, and start writing complete sentences about what it all means. Try to figure out why those particular words and phrases wound up on the page and start writing complete sentences about the meaning of what you scribbled down. And that is another way to tap into emotions that you might not have been aware of before.

Ashley James (50:16.378)

There are so many different kinds of therapy out there, right? Some types of therapies might be better suited for certain personalities, but as far as your experience with helping people, for example, with chronic pain or PPD, psycho-physiologic issues, do you have like a top three or top five types of therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, or, can you say like, oh, these ones have the best results in helping people get to the other side of it and then they resolve their symptoms.

Dr. David Clarke (51:03.323)

Yes, that's a really important question because the new form of treatment that's been developed by a number of us around the country and overseas, what I call pain relief psychotherapy, basically covers three very closely related types of treatment. 

The first is pain reprocessing therapy, which is relatively new, but also straightforward. Straightforward for patients to apply to themselves and for psychotherapists to learn. And then the next one is emotional awareness and expression therapy, which is what I use in combination with the pain reprocessing therapy, but it's emotional awareness and expression is the one that I rely on the most heavily, particularly since the patients that I see tend to be the most complex and severely afflicted and they need kind of a higher level of delving into those repressed emotions and then the third closely related type is intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy or ISTDP, which is strongly associated with Clinicians based in Halifax, Nova Scotia and it's not as widely available in the United States.

But all three of those share a lot of characteristics. There are chapters about them in our textbook, Psychophysiologic Disorders, that I edited with three other people. And that book is written without jargon. So people who like to read about science even if they're not a healthcare professional, can perfectly easily read that and learn about these forms of treatment.

And it turns out that because we are shifting people's attention toward, from their bodies to stress, because we are delving into repressed emotions, and there are two other whole categories we haven't talked about yet, but because we are focusing on those things, the results are far better than they are with other forms of psychotherapy, because you're right, there are hundreds of different kinds of psychotherapy. 

The dominant one is cognitive behavioral therapy, but it has been scientifically compared with these new forms of treatment and it falls far short, unfortunately. The Los Angeles Veterans Hospital Pain Study, for example, with cognitive behavioral therapy was given to those veterans, only 5% reached the goal for pain relief that they had set before doing the study.

With emotional awareness and expression therapy, it was 42% achieved the goal. So a vast difference, an eightfold difference, just because of a different kind of talking that the patients were getting, that it was delving into emotions and getting people to focus on sources of stress. This is really new. This is not widely available, but there are books about it, as I mentioned, my first book is called They Can't Find Anything Wrong. The Psychophysiologic Disorders textbook is written by 16 different people that had found their way to these same principles. And there's an app now called Curable that I highly recommend. It's taken all of the best ideas in this field and put them into a user interface that you can have on your smartphone or computer.

Ashley James (54:53.346)

Oh, very cool. Well, I'm going to make sure the links to everything that you just discussed is going to be in the show notes of today's podcast at learntruehealth.comCurable app. That's really neat. So someone's listening to this somewhere in the world, not in Canada, like not on the East coast of Canada, so they wouldn't necessarily have access to the ISTDP. Is that what you say? Yep. And how would they get access to all this? Do you have a list of practitioners that can work with them remotely?

Dr. David Clarke (55:29.456)

Yes, we do. On the website, we have a practitioner directory and there are practitioners there from around the world who have found their way to these concepts and have taken the available training in it. And there are lots of resources now for professionals who want to learn how to do this. We have the online webinar course on the website. There are other practitioners who provide training in this. The Dr. Abbass who does the ISTDP is regularly traveling around the world giving trainings to professionals. I do presentations on this topic for professionals all the time. A couple of weeks ago, I did 13 hours of presentations in four cities in seven days. So we are definitely trying to get the word out.

And there's going to be a new course in January. I'm very excited about this one. I finished filming for it in late September and the video production company is furiously working away on editing all the footage and we're planning to release it in January. It's going to be a really advanced course about challenging cases, but again, going to be done completely without jargon so that anybody can comprehend it.

Ashley James (56:55.605)

So this course, anyone can take it, but any kind of doctor or practitioner should definitely take it.

Dr. David Clarke (57:05.872)

Yes, I think not only medical professionals, but mental health professionals, because the medical professionals don't learn the psychology of this condition, and the mental health professionals are not taught the particular kinds of issues that can make people physically ill as opposed to having mental health challenges. That's why the psychiatrist at the West Coast University failed to diagnose my patient with the extreme dizziness and vomiting because he didn't know the kinds of issues to look for in somebody who was physically ill. So that's what we teach in the courses. And that's why it's a giant blind spot in the healthcare system that 50 million Americans fall into, because they don't have a biomedical cause for the doctors to find. They don't have a classical mental health condition for the mental health professionals to find and deal with. They kind of fall right in the middle and neither group of professionals really feels like they have the expertise to deal with it. But that absolutely can change and we've seen it change in numerous locations around the world.

Ashley James (58:24.879)

But it's important to grasp that this happens to relatively healthy people. Someone who's listening might go, I don't think I have any trauma. I feel normal. I feel emotionally normal, day to day. But someone could be bumping along in life and then there might be a trigger they're not aware of and then they start having these symptoms and they could be relatively healthy people. And like you said, your patients are strong. They're resilient people. And it just happens, it just starts. It can just start, like for the long haul people, there was like a very known trigger, but when you go deeper, there might've also been adverse childhood experiences. There might also have been stress that they were suppressing emotions that they were suppressing and it compounds.

Dr. David Clarke (59:28.120)

Yes, this is a condition that can happen to anybody. Most of my patients were not aware of the level of stress that they were coping with, mostly because they'd been coping with stress their whole lives. And so it just didn't seem like it was out of the ordinary. I've had countless, countless patients who have told me that their childhood wasn't really that bad. And then when we get into the discussion about it, we begin to see that, well, yes, there were some things that were pretty bad. And then when I do the exercise of having them imagine themselves watching their own kid try to cope with the same stuff, and they get this horrified expression on their faces because they've never truly appreciated before just how tough it really was. I think of my patients like champion weightlifters who are suddenly being asked to carry a weight that's 50 million Americans fall into, because they don't have a biomedical cause for the doctors to find.

They don't have a classical mental health condition for the mental health professionals to find and deal with. They kind of fall right in the middle and neither group of professionals really feels like they have the expertise to deal with it. But that absolutely can change and we've seen it change in numerous locations around the world.

Ashley James (58:24.879)

But it's important to grasp that this happens to relatively healthy people. Someone who's listening might go, I don't think I have any trauma. I feel normal. I feel emotionally normal, day to day. But someone could be bumping along in life and then there might be a trigger they're not aware of and then they start having these symptoms and they could be relatively healthy people. And like you said, your patients are strong. They're resilient people. And it just happens, it just starts. It can just start, like for the long haul people, there was like a very known trigger, but when you go deeper, there might've also been adverse childhood experiences. There might also have been stress that they were suppressing emotions that they were suppressing and it compounds.

Dr. David Clarke (59:28.120)

Yes, this is a condition that can happen to anybody. Most of my patients were not aware of the level of stress that they were coping with, mostly because they'd been coping with stress their whole lives. And so it just didn't seem like it was out of the ordinary. I've had countless, countless patients who have told me that their childhood wasn't really that bad. And then when we get into the discussion about it, we begin to see that, well, yes, there were some things that were pretty bad. And then when I do the exercise of having them imagine themselves watching their own kid try to cope with the same stuff, and they get this horrified expression on their faces because they've never truly appreciated before just how tough it really was. I think of my patients like champion weightlifters who are suddenly being asked to carry a weight that's 50 pounds more than the world record for their weight class, that would break down the strongest person. Their bodies would break down, they would feel like failures, they would not know why they couldn't carry the load anymore. It comes as a big surprise that there's stress involved. 

People have trouble imagining that stress alone could make you physically ill like this. So yes, it comes as a big surprise to people. And the level of illness that you can get from this, that's one of the myths is that it's going to be mild. Absolutely not. I've had many patients in the hospital with this. One of my patients I was asked to see after she'd been in the hospital 70 days, she was getting morphine around the clock, in doses you would normally give to somebody with widespread cancer. You would never convince her in a million years that her pain was due to stress, but it was, we uncovered the stress. She was out of the hospital in a week, and she was off of all the opioids in 30 days.

Ashley James (1:01:44.794)

Amazing. I have friends in my life, I'm thinking of two of them specifically who have had surgeries because of chronic pain, multiple surgeries, and the pain persists beyond. And I've, you know, I'm going to be sharing this episode with them. And I can imagine those who are listening are thinking of their friends and family who have chronic pain. And it's not just chronic pain. Like you said, that there could be the woman who had the vomiting or had another woman who had the constipation. It can be these odd illnesses that don't have an explanation. And but sometimes they get a doctor who says, I know what to do. Let's cut this body part out. That's the problem. And then the problem continues to persist and now they have less body parts.

Dr. David Clarke (1:02:35.068)

Yes, that's unfortunately true. And there are lots of non-pain symptoms, dizziness, trouble swallowing, visual disturbances, seizures that are not due to epilepsy, chronic coughing, difficulty breathing, all kinds of gastrointestinal symptoms, as we mentioned, problems with the pelvis, with the menstrual cycle, with the genitals, with bladder spasms, numbness and tingling, certain kinds of rashes can happen from this. The only common denominator tends to be that people with this condition have more than one symptom at a time, more than one location in the body, or the symptoms can move from place to place. They don't have to, some people just have the one symptom, but the more symptoms you have and the more different locations they are, the more likely it is that PPD is responsible.

Ashley James (1:03:33.542)

Do you have any way to measure stress? Like for example, heart rate variability, is there any way that you could hook someone up to a machine? I know there's blood tests that measure cortisol, but is there any way that you would say you could measure their chronic stress and go, oh right, now we can put this device on you and we can see your stress lowering?

Dr. David Clarke (1:03:57.216)

Yes, I really wish there was. I wish there was a blood test for this condition. If we had a blood test for this, then you can bet that every health care professional would learn how to diagnose and treat this condition, because we could get a blood test for it. And we could see, oh, your PPD level is high. We need to find your stresses, and we're going to make you better because of that. But unfortunately, we don't have that. And I don't expect to see that anytime soon. But when you think about it, because we don't have a blood test, it means that we should spend even more time training healthcare professionals how to figure out what's going on, because it's not so simple without the blood test. But people who have had stress for a long period of time, they get accustomed to it. And when you ask them, do you feel stressed or depressed or anxious, frequently they say no, because they've been living with this for years.

One of my patients, my personal record patient, had PPD symptoms for 79 years. And even that patient, once we uncovered the stress and helped her with it, she got about 60 or 70% better, even after all those years.

Ashley James (1:05:17.027)

Amazing, but, yes, you become habituated to your stress. You become habituated to your environment. So, yes, of course. 

Now this pain, the typical chronic pain that persists, does it come and go? Is there any commonalities? Is it always there? Does it come and go? Does it act almost like a migraine that comes on and there's telltale signs that's coming, or all of the above?

Dr. David Clarke (1:05:45.867)

Yes, all of the above. Everybody's different. And migraines definitely are part of this, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, all of those are part of this spectrum. But everybody's different. But we definitely, if the patient's symptoms are moving around, if they're highly variable, from with respect to any kind of triggers, then we get suspicious that PPD is responsible. It's really hard to have an organ disease or structural damage cause symptoms that migrate from place to place, or that are highly variable in terms of what triggers them. But I should go back to the point you made earlier about having surgery for this. It comes up most frequently in low back pain because a majority of people over 40 and a large number of people younger than 40 have abnormalities in their spine on an MRI. And this is in people with no symptoms whatsoever, it's just part of the normal aging process. But if you have PPD related back pain and you go to the doctor and they image your spine one way or another, and they find these age-related abnormalities, it is very tempting to say, okay, you've got pain, you've got this abnormality there, let's go in and do surgery and fix this and that's probably going to alleviate your pain. But it turns out that the success rate of surgery for pain is about 30%. If you have evidence of nerve damage, then it's better. But most patients don't have any evidence that they have a damaged nerve. And if they get surgery for back pain, the success rates are terrible. And there was a study from the 90s where they took a whole bunch of patients, I think it was 87 patients who had lumbar spine surgery, low back surgery, and looked at the success rate of the surgery. And they compared it with their ACE score, the adverse childhood experience burden that these individuals had suffered. And it turned out that if you had no ACEs, your success rate from the surgery was pretty good. It was about 95%. But if you were in the top range of people with a lot of ACEs, the success rate for the surgery fell to 15%.

Ashley James (1:08:23.029)

I've never opt into a surgery that had only a 15% success rate, but I guess if you're in chronic pain, you might roll the dice, you know, if it meant, if that was the only answer, right. And now, now you have the answer and we need to get this information out there. Please, everyone listening.

Share with your doctors, with your practitioners, with your friends and family. Share this episode with those you care about and everyone. If we can get this out, we could be part of the movement to completely change the way medicine is practiced and the way people are helped. We got to get this information out there. I am so, so thankful for what you do. And I said earlier, God bless you. And I mean it. God bless you for the work that you're doing.

Dr. David Clarke (1:09:20.637)

Thank you.

Ashley James (1:09:21.704)

Absolutely. Now you had said that there's two other categories we haven't even touched on. Can we, can we touch on those?

Dr. David Clarke (1:09:28.571)

You bet. This is a long-term impact of ACEs. And the first category that we did talk about was repressed emotions. That turns out to be the most challenging to diagnose in most cases. But the other two are stressful personality traits that grow directly out of the child's attempts to cope with their adversity. And the third one is triggers that are going on in the present day that are in some way linked to the traumas or stressors of the past. And the personality traits that can be stressful include the most fundamental and important is low self-esteem. This is the common denominator, and my patients who've survived ACEs is that they are made to feel like second-rate human beings, or in some cases, made to feel like worthless pieces of crap. Other personality traits that are kind of linked to that include being excessively self-critical, much more critical of yourself than you would be of others, for example. Having limited self-care skills, people who are devoted to the care of everybody else in their world, but have difficulty putting themselves on the list of those they take care of. So if you ask them, what do they do for fun? They have trouble coming up with very much.

People who are perfectionists, people who are living on high alert all the time, people who suffer from anxiety or depression, people who are focused on pleasing others, who tend to choose narcissistic partners to be in relationships with, or partners who have significant issues or problems that need to be solved. That's, a direct outgrowth from growing up in a home where there were problems in that home and the child trying to survive, trying to make the best of that situation, ends up focusing on trying to solve those problems. So it's not a big surprise when they end up choosing relationship partners for themselves that need a lot of support and they end up in relationships that are not mutually supportive, not balanced, but where the giving from them is not balanced by getting back from the partner. Other ones, self-sacrificing to an excessive degree, difficulty setting boundaries, not being very assertive for your needs, fear of abandonment, need for external validation. And in more extreme cases, you get into coping mechanisms to try to deal with the emotional pain of all this.

And those can include eating disorders, can include self-mutilation behavior, can include all kinds of addictions, not just to substances, but to behaviors like work, sex, food, gambling, exercise, even shopping I've seen in one or two cases. So all of these, as you can imagine, are highly stressful.

And people struggle to make changes. A lot of psychotherapists just accept them as largely a given and don't even try to intervene. But when people see where these came from, that one of the questions I'll ask people is, who taught you these false assumptions about yourself that you need to be the caregiver for everybody, for example, or that you are a second-rate human being. Who taught you this and how did they teach you? And when people can understand where that came from, it truly facilitates making changes.

Ashley James (01:13:36.226)

Oh, man, that is such a good question. Wow. You describe so many people I know and some of me, I was feeling called out there for a sec. I was like, wow. I've done a lot of personal growth work through the years and I can see where I have overcome actually a lot of that. And my parents did the best they could, but I definitely had to go back and work on stuff and heal stuff and I mean, I'm seeing so much of this, exactly what you described, in so many people. 

Dr. David Clarke (01:14:13.071)

Yes, those are the most difficult. I was just working with a patient last week. Her parents clearly meant well, meant the best, but they created an environment of extreme pressure without realizing what it was doing to their child.

Ashley James (01:14:37.175)

Yes. It's not always obvious, right? Emotional abuse or mental abuse. That's the hardest because it doesn't leave a bruise, a broken bone. You know, we can say, Oh, I didn't have abuse as a child. My childhood was fine because there wasn't an alcoholic throwing bottles at my head, like it's not always like Hollywood style, right? And like you said, we do a lot of times we'll repress, we'll justify, well kind of almost blank out. I've talked to people who they sort of don't remember most of their childhood, like big chunks of it, until you start really talking about it and then they start remembering.

Dr. David Clarke (01:15:21.962)

Yes, it can be very difficult to recognize. And so many of my patients have told me, no, my childhood was okay, and then we start talking about it and they start remembering. 

We just have this conversation. One of my patients, we talked for well into my lunch hour because I wasn't finding the stress. And he finally just stopped and said, the only time I ever got praise from my parents was when I did something better than my brothers and sisters could do it. And he had three siblings and they were all very accomplished kids, academically, extracurriculars, athletically. It was not easy to do something better than those siblings could do it. So he ended up rarely, if ever, being made to feel good about himself. And it had a lot of those consequences that I mentioned. He was in a very bad relationship. He was addicted to his work. And he was having all kinds of physical symptoms.

Ashley James (01:16:30.773)

If we were friends with that kid growing up, we wouldn't think, oh, my friend's really abused. Like that's a really bad household. We wouldn't imagine that's abuse, but internally, what's going on? The stress levels over time and that self judgment and like you said, the poor self esteem. So, so I think it's worth it for anyone, especially if they're having health issues, right? And you said this even affects immune. So if someone is having immune problems, always sick, always catching every cold, it's worth diving in and doing the work. I mean, what's the work? It's not going to hurt, right? There's no negative side effect of self-personal growth, other than you might have to shake up a few relationships, learn how to enforce healthy boundaries. But transformation, at the end, only good comes from it.

Dr. David Clarke (01:17:29.395)

Yes, all these issues are worth assessing and treating for their own sake. And I have patients who say, well, I'm not sure that these issues are contributing to my pain or other symptoms. And I'll just say, well, let's work on them anyway. They deserve attention for their own sake. And we'll see if your physical symptoms improve in response to that. And a very large number of patients will experience physical improvement as well.

Ashley James (01:18:04.282)

Is this something that you're going to be able to have colleges, universities start to teach? Is this something that we can get into the curriculum?

Dr. David Clarke (01:18:14.488)

We are working on it. I taught a class at the University of Rochester last year and I've just been invited to teach it again. I taught for 10 years at Arizona State. I taught at Cummings Graduate Institute in Arizona. I've taught a class on this since the late 1990s at Pacific University here in Oregon. So I'm teaching in the medical school now, short module on this topic. So it's growing. I mean, when I think back to 15 years ago, in terms of widespread acceptance in the healthcare community, especially the educational community, we were really nowhere. But today, 2023, it seems to be growing exponentially, to be honest.

Ashley James (01:19:06.164)

Good. Well, we need to get it to where it's in the meme, to where it's common. 

Dr. David Clarke (01:19:12.807)

Now you are helping with that Ashley, I appreciate it.

Ashley James (1:19:15.743)

Absolutely. And I hope my listeners will as well. I mean, I am on fire about this.

Dr. David Clarke (01:19:20.419)

I should finish before I forget about that third long-term impact of the ACEs, which are the triggers. Just say a few words about that. These triggers are people, situations, or events in the present day that are in some way linked to the past. And the most common example is someone who was an ACE perpetrator, someone who created the adversity for my patient as a child who is still in the patient's life today. And because of some of the other personality traits that I mentioned, it can be very difficult to set boundaries with such a person, to assert yourself with such a person, and to limit your interactions with that individual to the point where they're not making you physically ill. But it starts with just realizing that this person is still creating issues for you and is triggering for you. It turns out that patient who was having the attacks of dizziness and vomiting, who was hospitalized so many times, it was her emotionally and verbally abusive mother that was responsible for the attacks. All of the attacks, it turned out, were linked to interactions with that mother who had been verbally and emotionally abusive, starting at the age of three with that patient and continuing for the next 47 years. The patient is now 50 years old, mom is in her 70s, and mom is still doing it. But the patient, having experienced mom doing this since she was three, it just felt normal to her. She was completely blind to the idea that it was triggering her episodes, even though there were giant screaming clues that were saying exactly that, which is what made it so straightforward to diagnose her, let's put it that way.

Ashley James (01:21:24.955)

Well, that's the habituation. When I remember that moment somewhere in my early teenage years, when I realized that my household that I grew up in isn't a carbon copy around the world. I thought everyone did what my parents did and lived like we lived. And then started to go over at friend's house to see. Wow, other parents act really differently, have different rules, have different boundaries or no boundaries and different communication styles. Some are abusive, some aren't, some are very more loving than my parents are outwardly loving, some are less. And just realizing that the person you have in your whole life, if it's an abuser, we go, this is normal. This is who they are. This is normal. 

Dr. David Clarke (01:22:18.799)

Yes, none of us has a parallel life to compare ourselves with.

Ashley James (01:22:21.355)

Right, exactly, and I love that exercise with the butterfly where you're putting someone else in your shoes, because then you go, wait a second, if you have a child, you can do this. If not, you can think of someone you really care about as a child, but putting them in that situation that you were in, oh man, I just wanna go save that child as soon as possible.

Dr. David Clarke (01:22:46.013)

Yes, one of my favorite stories about that is I get some interesting consultations because my name is out there and one of them was a Hollywood type actress and I found myself in a very pleasant bar having a conversation with this impossibly good looking person who was telling me she had suffered physical symptoms in many locations in her body for 20 years.

We got around to talking about her childhood and it turned out that her parents were verbally and emotionally abusive of each other but not her and she was the peacemaker and she was the only child so it kind of fell on her to try to keep the peace. When she's eight years old the parents get divorced but unfortunately, they kept living in the same house They slept in separate bedrooms, but they lived in the same house.

So for her, nothing changed. But she was telling me this story and every other sentence was, this didn't bother me, it wasn't that bad, there was no abuse, they didn't drink too much, I could deal with it, I'm over it now, I'm out of that household for a long time. And she just was not accepting that this situation was sufficient to account for her 20 years of illness. Until I told her to do the butterfly on the wall experiment with her beloved niece, whom she spent a lot of time with, who was six years old at the time, and just said, imagine your niece is in this household, and you're there watching your niece try to cope with your parents for, let's say, just a week, how is that going to be for you? And she just stopped talking and stared at me for probably two minutes, but it seemed like longer than that because she was a very verbal person, as you can imagine, and just stared at me. And I just let her stare. You know, I was going to let her process this thought experiment. And then finally she said, ‘At the end of that week, I would shoot myself.' And that was the first time that she realized just how bad it had really been.

Ashley James (01:25:10.501)

We love our parents. And if it's not that outwardly like, all the alcoholics throwing bottles at your head or whatever, like if it isn't this very stereotypical, that's definitely abuse, right? But if it's something like she said, well, they weren't yelling at me, I know they loved me and they meant well, as children, and then when we grow up, we love our parents and we in some ways want to protect them because we don't want to necessarily say, oh, they were abusers, that they're the cause of my pain. Like that would almost feel like betrayal, saying something that negative to someone you care about. And the thing is, what we have to get is they're human. They did the best they could with the resources they had. Of course they didn't mean to hurt you. Unfortunately there's some very sick people out there, not the majority, but there are some who actually did mean to hurt people. However, if you love your parents and you know they loved you, we want to say they did the best they could. They loved you the way they could. And unfortunately, the way it turned out, it was a stress on the body. And there's stuff to process. There's ways that our mind protected ourselves. We justified, we coped, we suppressed, but we have to process it, and we can do therapy and still love our parents and honor and respect them while also admitting that the experiences we had were traumatic and that they hurt us.

Dr. David Clarke (01:26:53.943)

Yes, and that leads directly into a key idea that I think a lot of therapists don't emphasize nearly as much as they should, which is that when you finally recognize the reality of what you went through, you have to also give yourself credit for having gone through that. I like to use the analogy of being born on the far side of Mount Everest or born in the middle of a dangerous jungle, that through no fault of your own, you found yourself in this very difficult place. And again, even when the parents are doing this from a place of love or doing the best that they can, from the child's perspective, it can be, far side of the Himalayas or middle of the Amazon. And I want my patients to give themselves credit for having endured that. It takes truly heroic levels of perseverance to pull yourself through these situations when you're a child. And you need to respect that. You need to recognize that you're truly meeting the dictionary definition of heroic when you've come through an environment like this. A hero in our society is somebody who's overcome a difficult mental or physical challenge for a good cause. And my ace surviving patients have done exactly that. And it is a truly critical foundation for their future recovery that they be able to think of themselves in these terms, that they respect what that kid did to get through that situation. And once they can do that, once they can engineer that 180 degree flip in their self-image, all kinds of other things change. It makes it vastly easier, for example, to make changes in those stressful personality traits that I was mentioning earlier. My patient who was the actress, she was in a dysfunctional relationship with a boyfriend at that time, one of those unbalanced, giving way more than you're getting back kind of relationships. She dumped that guy the next day. She began building her self-esteem. And a year and a half later, she met the love of her life.

Ashley James (01:29:20.439)

Oh, that's awesome.

Coming back to this idea that it's not all in your head, there's physical experiences, the body has been changed physically, but the stressors are something we need to process. So it's the heart and the mind and that we can see and now measure results. So we can see and measure, like for example, with the long haul, that they had shortness of breath. It's hard to measure brain fog and fatigue, but you can measure shortness of breath. You can measure, there's certain things that you could measure before the study began to see that they were physiologically impaired by the long haul and other people like that woman you talked about that sparked much of this, the woman who pooped once a month, which I can't even imagine. And it was very clear, you could definitely measure that. It is a physical thing that's happening. And by healing the heart and the mind and going through the process of that.

So it's not taking a drug, it's not taking another antidepressant, it's not another, just one drug after another, one surgery after another. Those are bringing the wrong tools to the table, right? Like they say, a carpenter, every problem is going to be handled with a hammer, right? Like so when you come to a doctor, he's going to use the tools he has.

Dr. David Clarke (01:31:12.199)

That's right, when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Ashley James (01:31:16.075)

Right, but this 40% of the people, and you said it was somewhere around 20% of adults, at the time, it's not a nail. Don't bring your hammer anywhere near me, it's not a nail. So the long haul covid sufferers who went through the study and went through the therapy, how much therapy did they receive?

Dr. David Clarke (01:31:45.287)

Well, most of their improvement took place after just four weeks. So these are people who had been ill for an average of 40 weeks. And after four weeks of treatment, they achieved the majority of the results that I mentioned earlier. But yes, you're right. It's not that often that we are able to document real biological changes in the body as a result of this. It's more a subjective, internal to the brain, a kind of perception that's going on. But one of my patients had a completely paralyzed stomach. There's a special test called the gastric emptying test or the stomach emptying test where we have them swallow a very slightly radioactive material and we just watch it with a specialized camera and see if the stomach empties it. And we know how fast the stomach is supposed to empty it. And when we did this test on this gentleman, it didn't move at all. It just sat there for two hours and they said, well, we don't need to watch this anymore. We know it's abnormal. So they stopped the test. But I had never seen or heard of somebody with a psychophysiologic complete paralysis of their stomach.

His symptom was vomiting naturally. I mean, if nothing was emptying in the forward direction, it would eventually empty in the backward direction. And I know that it was psychophysiologic because we uncovered the stress in his case, successfully treated it, and his eating and digestion went back to normal.

Ashley James (01:33:31.111)

Oh, that's so exciting. But just that we have cases where you can demonstrate through imaging, you can measure and show here's an impairment. We go through four weeks of very specific therapy that's proven to be the most effective so far, right, until something better comes out. But so far, this is the best we've found. And we're always striving for excellence, right? That's the thing, especially in the case of mental health, and I'm just so disappointed that people still practice archaic mental health techniques that have been proven to be insufficient.

I know that not everything's for everyone, right? Sometimes you got to pull out different tools for different personalities, but you found something that is incredibly effective and in a short period of time. 

Dr. David Clarke (01:34:31.329)

Yes, it's really dramatic. I mean, I'm a bit of a statistics nut and there's a statistic that really captures the power of this new pain relief psychology and it's called effect size. And basically what it means is when you apply a treatment to a group, how big an effect did you have? And normally with things like cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness-based stress reduction, you get an effect size that gives you a number of 0.2 to 0.5. Those are just the numbers that are associated with this and those are considered small to moderate effects. Rarely do you see anything better than moderate. A large effect would get you a number of 0.8.

The effect size in the Boulder back pain study for Pain Relief Psychology was 1.5. I don't know, if it was a football game, the score would be 150 to 30, something like that. The lead researcher for this was very skeptical. I met with him. Some other people in my organization met with him. And we said, we truly believe, based on our clinical experience, that you are going to get excellent results from this. And he's a psychologist, he knows about pain. He'd been researching pain for several years. And he said, I don't really believe that this is going to happen, but I'm willing to do the study and we'll see what kind of results you get. And he was just blown away.

Ashley James (01:36:26.273)

That's so exciting. So we've talked about people who have this and the things they can do, especially going to your website, and check that out, do the quiz, they can find a practitioner, they could take your courses, they could read your books. What about prevention?

So everyone, it would be good for everyone across the world. We already discussed this to do personal growth work, to dive into our childhood, just learn and forgive and process. It's a joke, life is crazy, can't get it alive. None of us are going to survive this, right? We've all been through something. It's good to process.

So let's just assume everyone is going to take this really seriously and go do some really great therapy and get super healthy mentally, emotionally. What can we do starting today and for the rest of our life to prevent chronic stress? What are the top things? Like you love statistics, so what are the things that are the most impactful? Is it meditation, exercise, breathing, deep breathing? Is it hugging everyone you love for 90 seconds every day? What are the things that are the most important? What are the things that you do to make sure that you stay on top of managing your stress so that it doesn't become this big problem?

Dr. David Clarke (01:38:07.267)

Yes, that's a great question. You can go on the internet and find all kinds of highly valid techniques for reducing your personal stress level. And I have no issue with any of those. I do them myself. I go for walks with my wife along the river that we have here in Portland.

I played soccer as an adult on up to three teams at a time for over 20 years. That was a great one. I ride a bicycle. I do photography. I play chess with my grandchildren. My wife is a fabulous cook. Her meals alone are wonderful for just general stress reduction. All of those things are great and I absolutely recommend them. 

But if you have what could be called deep stress, if you have issues that are the result of long-term impacts of adverse childhood experiences and those have not been recognized, then you are essentially swimming against the tide in trying to reduce your own stress level. There is this tide of long-term impacts that is going to limit your success with all of the stress techniques that I just mentioned. So it's worth the exercise of looking back and taking a serious review of how you might've been impacted as a kid, doing some of the exercises that we've discussed earlier today, and figuring out what some of those long-term impacts might've been. 

The two biggest, the self-esteem, having a realistic sense of your own value in the world, contrary to what you might have been taught as a kid, is very important. And that in turn facilitates the second important part that gets the tide working with you instead of against you, and that is to set aside regular time for self-care. Regular time, every week, ideally several hours if possible, for activity with no purpose but your own joy. What we're looking for is the moral equivalent of finger paints for a four-year-old. The four-year-old doesn't care who sees the finger paintings, that doesn't care about the quality of the work, doesn't care about how many pictures per hour they produce. They just know they're having fun and everybody needs that. 

One of my patients was a champion athlete as a girl, but she did her sport before school, after school, on weekends, starting at the age of four. And she never really got to be a kid. I mean, there was no time to just self-indulgently play, which every child needs. And by missing out on that, she never really learned self-care skills. So now she's in the emergency room at seven in the morning, where I'm looking over her records, where she'd been the entire night getting tested for sudden abdominal pain. Everything was normal. So I'm talking to her about her lifestyle, and she's working full-time. Her husband's working full-time. She's got two kids. She coaches the kids in her sport. She's on the athletic club board of directors. She's driving kids to out-of-state competitions.

She's coaching other people's kids. And I asked her, what do you do for fun? And she had to really think about it. She said, well, you know, maybe every other month I go out to the movies with my husband. That was it. So her treatment was to carve out a regular block of time and her family was 100% behind this idea where she would just do trial and error to learn how to play.

And at first, she's just looking at me, what am I going to do? Because she, age 32, she had no idea how to go out and have fun because she never had in her entire life. But what she ended up doing was going for walks in a park. And that wasn't enough, but while she was walking, she was thinking. And one day she hit on the idea of taking piano lessons, which came as a surprise because she'd never done anything musical before, but she absolutely loved it and her physical symptoms just melted away once she started doing that.

Ashley James (01:43:02.309)

Wow. I love it. I love it so much. Oh, Dr. Clark, you are a godsend to this world in this day and age. So I don't know if you know about me, but I was sick for many years. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome, type two diabetes, chronic adrenal fatigue. So bad. I couldn't process human language in the morning. It was really odd. My husband would talk to me first thing in the morning and it would be like being on Charlie Brown and hearing the parents, he would just be like, whoom, and I would just put my hand up, I can't even understand what you're saying, just hand me four cups of coffee. It was bad, I suffered for many years, and also had chronic infections, and it was wicked. And that's where I found natural medicine and resolved these issues. Also been big into, like I said before, personal growth and working on myself, right? Working through all this stuff. I've been through the wringer when it came to doctors. One doctor after the other told me, I'll never have kids after a battery of tests when I was 19, the endocrinologist said, I'll never have kids. I wait with this beautiful eight-and-a-half year old boy who is our whole world and he impresses me.

I look into his eyes and I recognize that God exists because of how amazing this child is and how life is so beautiful. Life is filled with so many beautiful things. And being a mom is so amazing. And I'm so grateful that I was able to overcome. If I had believed that doctor, if I had just believed her and had not taken the steps, I would have never had my child in my life. And just the impact that the words doctors have when they say you can never do this or you'll never be able to do that is sickening. I was told I'd always have diabetes. I was told I'd always have these problems and I overcame them and I don't have them anymore. And that's why I started the podcast is I suffered, I cried daily, I was suffering in my body. I felt like a prisoner trapped in a sick body every day. And I created this podcast because I wanna reach out to all those people who are crying, they're suffering. And they don't need to. And this podcast is for them. It's a lifeline. I'm throwing the lifeline, the giant flotation device, I'm throwing it and hopefully reaching them. And we can help them. And you have the answer to millions and millions of people suffering. If all the doctors I had been to were trained in your work, I wouldn't have had to suffer as long as I did. Let's just put it that way. And so you're going to help so many people. 

So everyone listening is going to share this with those they care about. And frankly, share this with those you don't care about. Jesus talks about how we need to treat the least of us is how we actually treat Him. So just like, share this with your enemy. Let's mend some bridges. Let's share this with everyone.

Dr. David Clarke (01:46:14.971)

They might become a nicer person too.

Ashley James (01:46:18.377)

If someone has shared this with you, they're going to be like, well, wait a second, do they like me or am I their enemy? Share this with everyone. We've got to get this out there. The impact of what you're doing is so important. And I'm so honored to have you here today. I want to make sure that we've covered everything you wanted to cover. I know you've already shared a lot, but is there any homework? Is there anything to wrap up? Is there anything that you didn't get to say?

Dr. David Clarke (01:46:48.671)

You did a great job with asking questions, and I think we covered a huge amount of material. I can point out that these ideas that we're sharing aren't especially new, but they are largely unknown to the healthcare professionals of this world, and that's why my colleagues and I created the nonprofit, and why I do teaching all over North America and Europe and speak on wonderful podcasts like yours. 

There was a Harvard professor named Francis Peabody who gave a speech in 1925 and it became one of the most famous speeches in American medicine. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1927. It's easy to find on the internet. It's a 6,000 word speech. He covers a lot of the same ideas that you and I have covered today. This was 100 years ago almost. This was before the discovery of penicillin is how old that speech is. And all those ideas that we've discussed today are in his speech. So this is kind of timeless wisdom that we're trying to bring back amid the tsunami of technology that has overtaken medicine today. We need the technology. I used it in my practice for 30 years. I've benefited from it myself. I'm all in favor of technology, but we absolutely don't need to lose the humanistic side of medicine in response to the technology.

Ashley James (01:48:39.311)

Right, exactly. This should be foundation. This should be something dealt with first, not last. Unfortunately. I'm sure you've heard it, that people come to you after they've already been through a battery of tests and trials and, wouldn't it be wonderful if this was the first thing we tried and not the last thing we tried.

Dr. David Clarke (01:49:00.723)

Oh, absolutely. It makes doctors happy when they learn how to do this. It saves a ton of money. It saves complications from diagnostic tests. It alleviates vast amounts of human suffering. 

Now, one of my patients had been ill for 55 years. Volume three of his paper chart was three inches thick, and he was cured in less than 30 days, just by bringing these issues to the surface.

Ashley James (01:49:32.475)

Oh my goodness. I would love nothing more than to watch like a documentary of following people's lives. Did you have that in the works? I know you've been a producer of three films. Do you have the intention of covering this in a documentary?

Dr. David Clarke (01:49:49.411)

It is covered in three different documentaries. I participated as a producer and helped as a consultant with the editing. The first was All the Rage, and the second was This Might Hurt, and the third was Pain Brain, and links to these are on our website, and you can easily track them down through the titles on the internet. They're all different. But they're all excellent and provide information about different aspects of this. So yes, those are great. You pay a few bucks to watch them, but the filmmakers did outstanding work.

Ashley James (01:50:33.938)

Very cool. Well, holidays are coming up. I think one of your books would be make an excellent stocking stuffer. I think listeners should go and check them out. I keep saying share this episode, but also get the books, watch the movies, check out I'm very excited, even though this is like you said, timeless wisdom. It wasn't really until recently that you have been able to put together the three types of therapies in that order that were the most effective, right? So it took many of you to come together and create the system that is working and be able to measure the system that is working, which I'm so grateful for, cause it's one thing to be, cerebral about it and it's another thing to put, where rubber meets the road, right? Where we actually have to go do it. So we can be cerebral and go, just knowing that this is the cause of your chronic pain isn't going to solve anything until you get into action and do it and do the therapies and do the work. But what's showing across the board is in a very short period of time, sometimes as little as one month, you can have tremendous results, which is really exciting. 

Dr. David Clarke (01:51:58.432)

Yes it’s. People get the insight into it, and even if they don't experience complete relief right away, they can usually see that they are on a pathway toward recovering, and that's tremendously reassuring for people.

Ashley James (01:52:12.568)

Oh yes, especially if they've been through the wringer for many years. One therapy I definitely want you to check out, cause there's so many out there is a Timeline Therapy. It was created by Tad James and I studied underneath him of no relation. We just happened to have the same last name but Timeline Therapy is a wonderful tool and I'd love for you to look into it and see if it's something that, you'd like to add.

I did have a client with chronic back pain. I was able to do a Timeline Therapy session with them, took one session over eight hours over one day. We did an intense session. And I'm a master practitioner and trainer of NLP and Timeline Therapy. And we were able to resolve her chronic pain in that one day. I mean, that's just one person, but for her, it was her whole world. But Timeline Therapy incredibly amazing as a technique for resolving trauma. And it would be great for you to check it out and see if it's something you'd wanted to add to your repertoire, if it helps, if it advances your cause.

Dr. David Clarke (01:53:23.644)

Yes, I'm happy to take a look at it. I hadn't been familiar, but especially if the timeline goes back to day one, I can imagine a lot of ideas that would overlap with the work that I do.

Ashley James (01:53:35.580)

Yes, so actually, so with Timeline Therapy, you're in a light state of trance, so you're conscious of the unconscious mind and you're conscious the whole time because it's a light state of trance. And then we go back to the root cause, the very beginning, and kind of do the fly on the wall thing so they're not completely immersed in the emotion and they're able to then get a non-mirror image reverse of the event because we go above and beyond it, but it's a little hard to explain without a visual, but the way in which they're visualizing the beginning of the trauma and then they gain positive learnings from the experience, very quickly they're able to then go into the event and the emotion is gone, it's resolved, and they've gained positive learnings and they're seeing things from different perspectives. So it's very cool.

But like I wouldn't say it's the only thing to do. I would just say I'd love to add it to your tool belt because I think everything you're doing is wonderful and in addition to what you're doing, I think it'd be really cool for you to have Timeline Therapy. I think it's just or the Tad James company that teaches it and there's many practitioners out there now. I studied it with Tad back in 2005 and 2006.

Dr. David Clarke (01:54:56.086)

Very cool, I'll check it out.

Ashley James (01:54:58.562)

Dr. David Clark it has been a pleasure having you on the show. I'd love to have you back or any of your colleagues. Anytime there's new advancements, you guys want to come back and share more as things develop. You are always welcome back. And I will definitely be just like screaming from the rooftops for everyone to go to

Dr. David Clarke (01:55:20.774)

Yes, thank you. The research that I described today has opened the floodgates for money from National Institute of Health and other places to do even more research. So I'm sure those will be published in the next couple of years and is just going to help accelerate this snowball rolling downhill for more and more people to become aware of this.

Ashley James (01:55:44.450)

Beautiful. That's so exciting. Awesome. Well, it was been a pleasure having you on the show and please come back anytime.

Dr. David Clarke (01:55:51.660)

Thank you.

Get Connected with Dr. David Clarke

Website – Psychophysiologic Disorders Association


Books by Dr. David Clarke:

Psychophysiologic Disorders

They Can't Find Anything Wrong

Nov 20, 2023

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511: Grow A Younger Brain, Phycocyanin & SOD Spirulina Algae Secrets

In this interview with Catherine Arnston, founder of EnergyBits, the focus is on the transformative health benefits of algae. Catherine discusses the potential of algae in improving brain function, preventing cancer, and enhancing cardiovascular health. Emphasizing the importance of choosing clean sources of algae, she explains why EnergyBits prioritizes product quality. Practical advice is provided on incorporating algae into daily meals, with a particular emphasis on the distinctions between chlorella and spirulina. The conversation also delves into the production process and nutritional profiles of these microalgae, highlighting their rich content of essential nutrients. Catherine expresses her aspiration to pursue further research in algae nutrition, concluding with a discussion on the critical role of algae in gut health and their potential to revolutionize overall well-being.


  • The Benefits of Chlorella and Spirulina 
  • Spirulina Benefits for Brain Health 
  • The Power of Spirulina's Phycocyanin 
  • Investing in Health
  • SOD and Algae Supplements Importance
  • Algae Benefits for Healthy Lifestyle 


Ashley James (00:00.737)

Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 511.

I am so excited for today's guest and I know you will be too when you hear that we have Catharine Arnston back on the show. So excited to have you back. Welcome. 

Catharine Arnston (00:24.804)

I think this is my third, or is this my fourth?

Ashley James (00:27.340)

No, this is more than your third. Let me give you the list. You might be up there for one of my guests that's been the most frequent. Actually, frequent flyer. That's it. We've given you the Learn True Health frequent flyer. You've entered the Frequent Flyer Club.

We had you in Episode 234 talking about algae, just going deep into discussing algae and chlorella and spirulina. Episode 265, we talked about the superfood components of algae. Episode 266 was all about vitamin K2, of course, from algae, which is a great, great source. Episode 357, debunked algae myths.

I really like that one because, everyone's an expert these days and just because they have doctor in front of their name and then they write some article that was just a real misconstrued idea from one study and then all of a sudden everyone's it's bad science and everyone's running around like it's the truth and we have to really keep our heads about us and look a little deeper and so I really liked that episode.

And then you were on Episode 487, mitochondrial self-healing superfoods, which we dove deep into chlorella and spirulina, understanding how they can help us not only detoxify, not only nutrify, but also help the mitochondria be healthier. And of course, when you get into understanding the body's ability to heal itself, you learn that- every disease has one thing in common besides inflammation. Go a bit deeper than that. On a cellular level, every disease becomes a mitochondrial disease. And if your mitochondria isn't working, you're dead. 

Catharine Arnston (02:11.923)

Yes, exactly. And by the way, 90 percent of that inflammation is in the mitochondria. So their mitochondria and inflammation are inseparable. If you understand mitochondria, you will understand how to maintain, protect and regain your health. It's that simple.

Ashley James (02:28.947)

And you love digging into research and then, bringing it back to us and giving it to us in a way that we can, we can take your thousands of hours of diving in through the years. And then you condense it and give us, the bullet points we need to know so that we can walk out into our life with this information to best help ourselves be healthy, as healthy as possible. This is episode 511. Can you believe it? I know, is that cool?

Catharine Arnston (03:03.016)

Oh my god, thank you, I'm so honored.

Ashley James (03:06.222) 

I think I'm handing you your frequent flyer pin right now. And today we're gonna get into something you've been researching for a long time and seeing all the studies. And of course you see the results in those who regularly eat chlorella and spirulina. Now of course in past episodes there's really very few companies where you're gonna get clean, very, very clean chlorella and spirulina from. 

My favorite being your company, Listeners can use coupon code LTH as in Learn True Health when they go to and buy Catharine Arnston's amazing chlorella and spirulina. You can chew it, you can just swallow it, or you can take a handful and throw it in your smoothie. There's all kinds of ways you can incorporate it. What I really appreciate about your chlorella and spirulina is you go above and beyond to make sure that they're very, very clean. 

So many companies out there have to have the warning on the back of the label proposition. I always forget the number. Proposition, what? 

Catharine Arnston (04:04.467)

I think it's 65 or 64.

Ashley James (04:05.873

Yes, proposition something. California says that this contain something that can cause cancer and all these things. And that's because there's heavy metals in a lot of those other algae companies because of their poor practices and you have outstanding practices. 

So of course that means it does cost more because you go above and beyond in testing and in the farming practice to this crop to make sure that it is pure. So we talked a lot about that in our past episode. So we're not gonna get into that too much in this episode because I really wanna spend a lot of time diving into what you're here to talk about today which is maximizing brain health, preventing cancer, and then of course, by doing those things, you're actually also supporting amazing cardiovascular health. 

But I really wanna make sure listeners know to go to, use coupon code LTH to get the listener discount. Thank you for that, by the way. Thank you for giving us the discount. I can't tell you how many times my family has sat around in the evening to watch something on TV. We like learning stuff. Well, my husband does not wanna watch fake TV. He really likes documentaries.

So we've found documentaries as a family we can watch with our eight year old and we'll sit around and we will pass the bag of EnergyBits around and we'll eat it instead of popcorn.

Catharine Arnston (05:25.882)

You're making me so happy.

Ashley James (05:28.418)

It is amazingly delicious. Of course, it is a fantastic to add to your trail mix or make your own trail mix, but I'll sit there and pop them like candy and they have that wonderful crunch and that wonderful saltiness. And it's not overly salty, but it is for me better than popcorn.

Catharine Arnston (05:45.624)

Yeah, and I actually put sea salt on my chlorella and sometimes add pistachio nuts and OMG, it is my favorite food. I have them for lunch, snacks, dinner. When you add the sea salt, it's particularly the chlorella. Although spirulina tastes a little bit better, but definitely the chlorella. It's a game changer and then you're eating it, so you know you're eating food. And when we dig into the subject matter of today, I'll start by just giving a quick thumbnail overview of the different two algae, because they are quite different. They do different things in different parts of your body, and you take them at different times of the day for maximum and optimal benefits. And they work, as you said, to protect your brain health, protect you against cancer, and protect you against heart disease. And those are the three biggies in our world today. And the brain health is more than Alzheimer's. It's anxiety, it's depression, and we'll talk about some of the science that's coming out that reinforces why spirulina in particular is amazing for brain health.

Ashley James (06:54.772)

Love it. Now in becoming a health coach, I took a year long program through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. 

Catharine Arnston (07:04.294)

Me too!

Ashley James (09:05.370)

Oh really? You went to IIN? 

Catharine Arnston (07:07.222)

Yeah, but I went there the last second last year they were live classes. So yeah, I graduated in 2009.

Ashley James (07:13.498)

Oh my gosh. I love that. I, oh, I'm not sure if you had Dr. Daniel Amon as one of the teachers. Did you happen to have him? Okay.

Catharine Arnston (07:23.041)

I don't know if I did or not, but we're hoping I have someone who's setting up a meeting with me because we want to work with him.

Ashley James (07:29.977)

I want you to work with him. So I'll let the listeners know in on it. So I went to IIN when it was not live, it's all prerecorded. And it was kind of like every week, kind of like watching these 45 minute long Ted talks. You know how you watch a Ted talk and you wish it was 45 minutes long, cause it was so good? Well, that's what it was like that every single week. And there was audios and there was written stuff. And it's done in a way that even busy career moms or working women or men, time should not be an issue because you can break it down and do it 20 minutes a day kind of thing. And I absolutely love that it could fit into my busy schedule. And Dr. Daniel Amos, that week we were studying all of his work and I was blown away because he figured out after doing thousands and thousands of brain scans and then using more holistic based medicine, he was able to take people who had Swiss cheese brain, basically the scans would show that there was pockets in the brain looking like Swiss cheese that had diminished blood flow or almost like no blood flow over time, those areas were overly toxic because the blood flow can't come in, it can't cleanse the glymph, can't drain out and people's brains were just becoming Swiss cheese and eventually it was like dementia, right? But he could detect dementia 30 years before it ever took place or more. And what he figured out the number one thing to preventing and reversing. He was able to take people with Swiss cheese brain, put them on an amazing nutrition program and exercise, everything to do with helping cardiovascular health, helping the vasculature, helping blood flow. And he was able to reverse the Swiss cheese brain. So five, 10 years later, they actually anti-aged the brain, right? The brain now is younger, healthier. And that's where you live. Like, this is our house. Our body's our house. So this is where we live. And what I love, the big aha moment, is that everything you do to support your brain also supports your heart and vice versa.

So today, and yeah, exactly, right? We often think of the body as broken into these parts

that aren't affecting each other because that's how allopathic medicine works. You go to the liver specialist, you go to the stomach specialist, you go to the eye specialist, and no one talks to each other. And this is the really annoying part of Western medicine is that we're all broken down into parts when the body really should be treated as a whole. And that's where holistic medicine comes in. So we're looking at the body as a whole, but Dr. Daniel Amon was able to see, Oh wow! In focusing on helping brain health, we actually then corrected a bunch of other stuff too. So that's why I'm very excited for you to dive into brain health today. And I really hope you get to work with Daniel Amon because I'm a big fan of his work and I'm excited to hear about that.

Catharine Arnston (10:37.185)

Yes, yes, me too. Yes, and when he sees what spirulina and chlorella do for the brain, I think he'll flip out because my specialty is this area of algae nutrition and correlating all the nutrients that are uniquely found in algae, not available in any other foods, if it comes from a good source. And you're right, it's not just being the clean source, it's the production process, because, as I get into this in a bit deeper, growing Algae isn't like growing tomatoes or broccoli or carrots, it's more like wine, and when you grow and make wine, it's affected by the angle of the sun, but most particularly by the production process. And so, the thing that distinguishes us from pretty much everybody else is the production process. We do it so carefully that we retain all these nutrients that are other companies are killing because they dry their algae with high heat. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

So let's talk about that brain. But before we get to that, I'm just going to give you a thumbnail on the two algae in case you haven't heard the other episodes to understand that there are different types of algae and they do different things. So the big broad sweep is that there's something called macroalgae and there is microalgae. We're going to be talking about microalgae today but let me tell you what macroalgae is. It's that big stringy stuff that washes up on shore also known as seaweed because it's found in the sea and it's still good for you because it has lots of fiber and iodine, because the iodine comes from the ocean but there's virtually no nutrition so high fiber high iodine both of which are good for you.

Well, I don't know if you don't have a hypo thyroid condition. Microalgae is the complete opposite. It has either virtually no fiber or no fiber. I'll give you the distinction in a minute, but it has the highest concentration of nutrition in the world. This is because it's called microalgae because it's microscopic in size. You can get a million of these microalgae on the head of a pin.

Now it has so many nutrients so that when you consolidate them into these little tiny tablets it's there's nothing in the world with more nutrition than these tablets. One tablet has the same nutrition as an entire plate of vegetables and microalgae compared to macroalgae is everywhere. Microalgae is in the ocean but it's also in the lakes, the rivers, the streams, your swimming pool, the soil and there's a few strains of macroalgae, the stringy stuff.

But there are tens of thousands of strains of microalgae. And the two that are harvested as food crops. So not from the ocean. Yes, there is microalgae in the ocean, but that's not what we're talking about today. We're talking about spirulina and chlorella, which are the two microalgae that are harvested in fresh water. It's called hydroponic. And lots of vegetables are grown this way.

So number one, you need to understand that algae, microalgae, which we're talking about today, is a food crop. It is not a supplement. Supplements are made from extracts and then they're mashed up with heat in factories. We're talking about a dried type of vegetable grown in fresh water, so not from the ocean, so no toxins. And we do not use high heat to dry our algae and we do not add anything to it. So our algae tablets are whole food, they're raw, vegan, unprocessed, highly concentrated with nutrition, but they do completely different things. Spirulina and chlorella are like night and day, or chalk and cheese. Some of you maybe have family members and you're quite different from them. So is algae. The spirulina, which we'll talk about next, is completely different from chlorella. And the things that they do, it does in your body, are also very different.

So spirulina is known as having the highest protein in the world, it's three times the amount of protein, and very high B vitamins. By the way, it has 18 of the 20 aminos, including the nine that your body can't make, so it's a complete protein. And it gives you energy because of the B vitamins converting the protein, the aminos, because they're all individual aminos, into glucose for your body. And it also is a vasodilator, so it opens up your blood vessels and has lots of iron, which carries oxygen to your blood. So that's why we call it our spirulina, Energybits, because it gives you energy in the moment. But as you'll find as we get into the deeper dive on brain health and also the heart health, it has nutrients in it that protect and stimulate your mitochondria. Now your mitochondria are what generate cellular energy, which is called ATP. So you get energy in the moment when you have spirulina which we call Energybits. We also have another brand called BeautyBits. They're exactly the same, just packaged differently. But you also, because of the nutrients, we'll talk about in a minute, get additional long-term cellular energy. Now cellular energy is necessary, it's called ATP, for everything that you do. It's not just energy that you need to run to the grocery store or go do a workout. This is cellular energy that helps you breathe, that helps you think, it moves your lymphatic system, it helps your heart, it's what drives your heart to beat, your cells to replicate, or your autophagy, which is cellular death to occur. It generates everything, all energy for everything that you do. When you have cellular energy, you are alive. When you don't have cellular energy, that's when problems start surfacing.

That's when you get indigestion. That's when you have brain fog. That's when you start not being able to have a strong immune system. That's when you can't fight off cancer cells. I tell people having cellular energy is like money. You know, when you have more money, you can do more things and you have more choices. Cellular energy is exactly same thing. When you have more ATP, you can do more things and you have more choices. So everything that you do now that you know about this is you should be protecting your mitochondria so they can generate more cellular energy because that cellular energy is what helps you sleep, it helps you fight disease, it helps you recover from any kind of illness, it helps every part of your body, every cell in your body and spirulina as you're going to find out has a couple of nutrients that are particularly powerful and critical to generating cellular energy and protecting your mitochondria.

So you get that long-term energy from spirulina that is very unique and these nutrients aren't found anywhere else. Spirulina also satisfies your hunger, and it has zero carbs. We work with ketogenic physicians, fasting physicians, because it does not interfere with your fast, and yet it gives you all the energy, mental and physical, and satisfies your hunger without interfering with your fast, without decreasing your ketones or increasing your glucose. So it's a perfect food for any time of the day You could snap have some for the morning have some in the afternoon In fact, that's generally when we recommend people to have the spirulina in the morning because you're hungry and tired when you get up or in the afternoon when you get a slump or before a workout because that's when you need the nourishment for your brain and for your body.

By the way, spirulina is called a blue-green algae because it has two pigments in it. Chlorella, which we'll talk about in a minute, only has one. Now one pigment that's in spirulina you'll know about. It's chlorophyll and that's what makes plants green. And there is chlorophyll in spirulina. But the other pigment that you've probably never heard of before, it's the blue pigment and it's called Phycocyanin and I'm going to spell it for you because I encourage you to google this particularly because we're going to talk about how Phycocyanin has been proven to kill cancer cells and Phycocyanin does not exist anywhere else in the universe except in spirulina and it can only be in spirulina that has not been dried with high heat which is us or raw spirulina. So let me spell Phycocyanin for you, it's P-H-Y-C-O-C-Y-A-N-I-N. And when we get to our discussion on cancer, you can Google phycocyanin and cancer treatments and you'll see all the articles that have been in the PubMed or the National Institute of Health for a very long time. But of course, who's gonna tell you about these things, right? Well, that's what we're here for, right, Ashley? We're opening the Pandora's box to tell you things that nobody else will. So spirulina, because it has this blue pigment that has unique properties, some of which increase energy, some of which kill cancer cells, but all of which protect your mitochondria, it's pretty powerful. But chlorella is a green algae. It only has one pigment, that's chlorophyll, and indeed it has the highest amount of chlorophyll in the world. It has 25 times more chlorophyll than even liquid chlorophyll. And it also has 500 times more chlorophyll than something like arugula or a thousand times more chlorophyll than Chinese greens. There is nothing in the world with more chlorophyll than chlorella algae, which is why it's called chlorella, because of the chlorophyll. And what's so important about chlorophyll? Well, it heals your cell walls, it builds your blood, it has the same chemical composition in fact as your hemoglobin. So that's very important. It's also very cleansing. Chlorella also does have fiber. Oh, I forgot to mention spirulina has zero fiber. The reason why this is important is because this is one of the reasons why you get energy from it because there is nothing for your body to break down. There's no cellulose wall. And this is why it gets into your bloodstream so quickly and the nutrients can be directed instantly to your mitochondria or wherever they need to go. 

Chlorella has the hardest cell wall in the plant kingdom so it does take about an hour and a half to be fully absorbed but the amazing thing about that hard cell wall is that it attaches to toxins and heavy metals and when we get to brain health we'll talk about this a bit more but it pulls out any kind of heavy metals from all your cells, all your organs.

And for that reason, we generally recommend chlorella before bed or after a workout. Because when you sleep, that's when your body goes through a detox repair cycle. So if you take chlorella before you go to bed, you'll be able to have a more effective detox and remove heavy metals. Although I will put the caveat that you can have either spirulina or chlorella at any time of the day, with each other, separate, with food, without food, with water, it doesn't matter. You can have them as often as you want and as much as you want because again they are food. We generally recommend 10 tablets of each one, spirulina in the morning and 10 chloral at night. But if you have any health condition, you really should be taking 30 of each until you get a clear diagnosis. And I have way more than that and have for the 13 years that I've been using it.

So chlorella is a detoxing algae because of that hard cell wall, a cleansing algae because of the chlorophyll, and also it builds your immune system. Your immune system is primarily in your gut, and the combination of the chlorophyll, the hard cell wall which has fiber which feeds the gut biome and the bacteria down there, and also chlorella has all the nutrients that are necessary for a strong immune system.

So it's very much a wellness algae as opposed to spirulina, which is an energizing and nourishing algae. So we call our chlorella RecoveryBits because it helps you recover your health or recover from your day, recover from toxins. It even pulls out alcohol and lactic acid. So you could take it after drinking any wine or anything or after sports to get rid of lactic acid. So it's very much a cleansing algae as opposed to the nourishing spirulina. And I came up with this kind of fun analogy to help people remember the different types of algae and what they do differently and when to take them. Because I give a lot of lectures at conferences in fancy hotels. And it dawned on me that spirulina, because it's so nourishing to your body and to your brain, is sort of like room service.

It gives you everything you need for the day. And then chlorella, because it's so cleansing and detoxing and gets rid of all the junk in your trunk, it's like housekeeping. Housekeeping comes in and takes all this stuff out that you don't need. So think of spirulina as room service and chlorella as housekeeping. Another simple way to think about it, and we'll get to this in a few minutes, because spirulina is so nourishing to the mitochondria and so healing to the mitochondria and because the highest concentration of mitochondria are found in the cells in your brain you have two million mitochondria per cell in your brain two million think about that the next highest is actually women's eggs after that it's your heart and then your regular cells have maybe anywhere from a hundred to a thousand mitochondria per cell, but the highest concentration of mitochondria are where the greatest energy needs are, and that's your brain. Your brain is a workhorse for energy. So think of spirulina as brain food. You know, it occurred to me, you know, a lot of people eat fatty fish like salmon, and they know it as brain food. Well, part of the benefit of that is because these deep cold water fish have a lot of omega-3 in them. And I tell people, well, where do you think the fish get the omega-3 from? Yes, they get it from algae. So here's spirulina, I forgot to mention, has high essential fatty acids, including omega-3. So think of spirulina as brain food, just like you do with salmon or some of these other cold water fish. 

Ashley James (25:56.604)

Cut out the middleman. The salmon, the salmon's the middleman. Just go eat with the salmon, with this, the fish eat the algae, the salmon eat the algae or the salmon eat other fish. But it all came from the algae to begin with.

Catharine Arnston (26:11.146)

Correct, correct. And then think of chlorella as healing your gut because that's where your immune system is. That's where your microbiome is. And chlorella heals the gut and it's been used for IBS and Crohn's disease for decades because of the chlorophyll, the hard cell wall that attaches the toxins, the fiber that feeds the gut biome. 

So Spirulina is brain food, chlorella is gut food. And let's not forget that there's a highway between the two of them called the vagus nerve that connects the brain to the gut. And this is where the real magic happens because as you mentioned earlier, as you heal your brain you are going to be healing other parts of your body but most particularly your gut. And on the other hand, as you heal your gut, then you are also going to be healing your brain because of the two-way communication that occurs between the two of them. And think about it, if you know, that whole concept of a gut feeling, it's real. Your gut is your second brain. And on the other hand, if you are eating in a rush or standing up and you're not focused on your meal, very often you get indigestion and that's because your brain is so distracted that your body can't focus on digestion and the reality is it's not just eating nutritious food that's going to benefit you it's not just the nutrition it's the absorption. What are you absorbing? And if your gut lining and your gut biome are not functioning or they're overrun by candida and all the bad bacteria, you're not going to be able to absorb the nutrients very well and that will affect not only your gut but also your brain. And that's the other reason why particularly I like both of the algae because they're very bioavailable. The nutrients are all there ready for absorption. So anyways, that's the two differences. Spirulina nourishing and very energizing both in the moment at the mitochondria level and Chlorella is very cleansing and detoxing. it's very much a recovery algae that you would take any time of day, but definitely at night, whereas Spirulina is more of a daytime algae.

Ashley James (28:37.119)

And that was probably the best breakdown I've ever heard you do. You were great the first episode, but it's like, you have now like three PhDs into algae.

Catharine Arnston (28:56.599)

Yeah, yeah, I know. Well, in fact, it's funny that you mentioned that because I realized, oh my God, I mean, 13 years I've been studying algae nutrition and how it interacts with the body for optimal health. And I thought, maybe I should do a PhD. So I've actually found a university, there's a lot of steps to go through, but I'll get credit for some of my previous degrees. I do have a master's and I would have to write a test, but I think I'm going to get a PhD from them. So please, please. I mean, yes, exactly. Yes. That's what I want. Dr. Arnston.

Ashley James (29:26.070)

I am so excited for you. I mean, yes, yes. What, come back on the show and tell us about that. I love it. I want to go back because you, you laid down so much amazing information. There's one thing you said that I think for people who didn't hear the previous episodes would have written it off as you being just over exaggerating how great it is. So these are like little chewable tablets, they're the size of aspirins. And when our son was about three years old, I introduced him to EnergyBits and he would chew them because they temporarily turn your tongue either blue green or green, depending on which one we're eating, chlorella or spirulina. And we would play a game and we called them green crackers because they're crunchy but they look like little pills, right? But they're chewable tablets essentially, and you don't have to chew them if you don't want, you can just swallow them like pills.

Catherine Arnston (30:27.620)

Yeah, and most people do swallow the spirulina because it's very earthy and very chewy. Yeah.

Ashley James (30:32.087)

I love, I love the flavor. So the first time you put it in your mouth, you're like, ooh, because you didn't know what to expect. But then if you keep eating it, your body starts to go, wow, I really like this. And then like five minutes into eating it, you're like, mm, this is actually really good. And you start tasting all these flavors. So my son who didn't like it at first, but then we played a game where we stuck our tongues out at each other and he got excited. It's like, oh, your tongue is green. I want my tongue to be green.

Well, we both called it green crackers and he'd ask for them. And now, like I said, he's eight and we'll sit there watching TV and we'll pass the bag around and we'll be chewing them and sticking our tongues out still. And it's great, it's a lot of fun. But you said that one of these chewable tablets, right? Which is very small, size of an aspirin, is the equivalent of a plate of vegetables. And that's something that we discussed in the last time you came on the show, Episode 487, because this is actually research from NASA. Can you just elaborate a bit because again, that point seems too good to be true.

Catharine Arnston (31:30.702)

I know, I know. And just on that note, when I started this as this company, I wasn't planning on starting a company. I just wanted to help my sister, younger sister, who had breast cancer and her oncologist told her to change her diet to an alkaline diet because it would help with her healing. And I was doing international business, nothing to do with nutrition, but I just jumped in and helped her and found out and led me to algae, which is the most alkaline food in the world. 

And it turns out, it's been endorsed by the United Nations for 49 years as the answer to world hunger because, drum roll, it has the highest protein in the world, has three times the amount of protein at stake, there's tens of thousands of studies that confirm all this. So whatever I'm telling you today, I want everyone to know, everything I say is documented in the National Institute of Health and in medical libraries all around the world, there's almost a hundred thousand of them.

But we also found this great quote from NASA who's been using algae for the astronauts again for almost 50 years. And the quote from NASA, and I can give you the paper with it if you want it, says one gram of algae has the same nutrition as a thousand grams of fruits or vegetables. One to a thousand, that's a big number. So I took that calculation, that's about

30 or 40 grocery carts of vegetables, just to give you a visual. And so I was trying to communicate this to people so they could understand the concentration. And I did the math, and we sell bags of algae tablets, and I did the math based on the weight of our bags, which have a thousand tablets, and found out one bag of our algae tablets has the same nutrition as 551 pounds of vegetables.

That's probably 50 or 60 or maybe 100 grocery carts of vegetables. And our bags are $120 and with your discount, it's about $100, but that's, I would have been $1,600 worth of vegetables. And then I took it a little further that, well, I still need to get it to a level that people could really understand. Cause so it worked out to about three quarters of a pound of vegetables per tablet, which is basically a big plate of vegetables. It's three quarters of red peppers, green peppers, tomatoes, greens. 

Ashley James (33:52.181)

It's about two cups. If you think it's just maybe depending on the vegetable. It's about two cups and that's a larger serving than most people will take a vegetable. So that's a big bowl of vegetables.

Catharine Arnston (34:03.378)

Right. Yes. So the CDC says 97% of Americans do not get their daily requirement of fiber and vegetables. And after I graduated from IIN, I taught plant-based nutrition at corporations and hospitals for free, by the way, trying to get people to eat more vegetables because I had seen all the science about the importance of the alkalinity, the phytonutrients, blah blah. And everyone came up to me and they said, you know, look at my mother's been trying to get me to eat more vegetables, but they're heavy to carry home from the grocery store. They go bad quickly. They take a long time to clean. They take a long time to cook. My husband won't eat them. My kids won't eat them. I throw out half of them. So I thought, okay, I have seen the science, I've read for years the science of the importance of vegetables. If I can't get people to eat vegetables, and what mother doesn't struggle with this, I thought I have to find a way to get the nutrition of vegetables into people in a way that is effortless. And I didn't know what I was going to find, but I just re-examined everything I had found for my sister, and that's what led me truly to algae, because it comes in these little tablets. This is how they use it in Asia. They have been growing it in Asia for 60 years. They take it every day. Some of them it's in powder, but the Japanese don't leave their house without chlorella every day. And by the way, I'd like to point out they have the best longevity, lowest cancer rates, lowest obesity rates, and great skin and hair. And I know it's not all the algae, but it certainly contributes to it. And they know about the science of algae, but the trouble is here in North America, nobody knows about the science of algae. They know it's a superfood. Actually some people don't even know that spirulina is an algae. And they put it in their smoothies because it's supposed to be good for them. But they're not really sure why. So I spent 13 years discovering the why. And whoever's listening, you aren't alone in the fact that you don't know anything of what I'm about to tell you today. But that's because no one's explained it to you until I did and it's not grown here. So you don't ride your bicycle to school and go buy an algae farm but they do in Asia. You don't drive to work and go buy an algae farm but they do in Asia. So it's just never been explained and it's not grown here although I do plan to grow it in Florida.

Ashley James (36:38.864)

I would love that. I can't wait for you to grow it here. You know, the other day I was talking to one of my clients and I was getting her list of supplements and things she was taking and she said, oh, I'm taking chlorella and spirulina, but I'm not buying EnergyBits anymore because they're too expensive. I said, okay, hold on, stop. What are you eating? Which brand? I want you to go get the bag. I need you to look on it, see if that proposition such and such is on that bag because the 99% of all the brands out there that sell chlorella and spirulina, the chlorella has lead in it. And the spirulina is like highly heated. It's like flash heated. So it's dead. You're missing out. I like, let's say someone wanted to save $40. So they bought a $60 bag. And she said, oh, wait, the bag that she bought, cause she was saving, $20, $30. She goes, and it tastes horrible. It tastes and smells fishy. I'm like, well, okay.

Energybits is the only company I have found that is pure, that is highly nutritious because at every step of the way from growing it to processing it to shipping it here, every step of the way there's testing and there's things in place to make sure that it is the optimal quality and it preserves the optimal quality of the nutrition. And you can smell it and taste it because the Energybits does not taste like of rotten fish, and so many other companies do. And then I said, you don't ever, ever wanna eat chlorella from any company unless you confirm, because there's only a handful, and EnergyBits being one of them that does not have lead added to it because of the process of cracking the chlorella. And those are the cheaper brands. So if you find it cheaper, it's because they did, they cut corners, which hurt you, or there's no nutrition in it.

Now, with the supplement industry, and some people think this is a supplement, it's a crop, like you said, with food and supplements, it's buyer beware. And it's not a regulated industry like drugs are a regulated industry. We don't really want supplements to be regulated because then a lot of really good companies would go out of business and Big Pharma would be the ones running the show. We don't want that. But at the same time, it is buyer beware.

And these companies that make it cheaper, it's cheaper for a reason because they can put fillers in, because they can do processes that either harm the algae or harm you. And so really you just wasted, you think you save money by buying a $60 bag instead of a $100 bag, you actually just wasted $60 and you possibly harmed yourself in the process. So it is worth spending and like you said, get the discount, use the coupon code LTH. And that bag will last you for a month and that is giving you one tablet as a whole bowl of vegetables worth of the nutrition. And you can make it last longer than a month, like you said, eat 10 a day. I like 30 a day because I'm more focused on using it to detoxify. But for people who are just wanting to stay on top of nutrition, between five and 10 tablets a day, they could just do that. They could hand their kids. Sometimes I just hand my son three to five of the tablets, here, just chew this or swallow. And I know that he just got bowls and bowls of nutrition like comparative to fruits and vegetables. I'm still gonna feed him fruits and vegetables, but there are days I don't get fruits and vegetables into this kid. I'm just gonna hand him three to five chlorella and spirulina and feel good about it.

Catharine Arnston (40:18.589)

Yeah, right, right, and even for adults who don't have children, when you're traveling, you're stuck in traffic in between meetings, you don't have time to eat, you go to any of those convenience stores, it's just carbs, sugar, and carbs, carbs. And so this way I call spirulina chlorella, your not only your nutritional insurance, but your health insurance. And, and let's just, I just want to circle back to that comment about the young lady who didn't want to who'd stop buying ours because of the higher price. So it's like buying a car. If you don't look under the hood, maybe there's a car that's $1,000 cheaper than the other one. And you think, oh wow, I'm getting such a deal. But if you don't lift the hood, maybe there's no engine in there, right? It's just from the outside, because what do you know? They look the same, but you gotta lift the hood to find out the deeper story.

Same with algae. So here's the lift the hood thing, and we'll get into this hopefully in a few minutes.  I'm gonna do a deep dive on two nutrients that are found in spirulina that are damaged, that are killed by high heat. And all the other algae companies use high heat to dry their algae because they are cheaper and because they're less expensive algae, so they need to sell more to make money. So to get to market quickly, they use high heat.

But they kill these two important nutrients. And what do these two important nutrients do? Well, one of them is superoxidismutase, which protects you from heart disease. And the other one is the pigment that I already mentioned, the blue one called phycocyanin, that kills cancer cells. Cancer and heart disease represent 75% of all deaths. And by the way, these two nutrients also prevent brain disorders, anxiety, Alzheimer's, any kind of dementia.

So, this lady is saving $20 and not getting the benefits of protecting herself from heart disease, cancer or dementia. I would say everyone here, everyone in the world deserves to be protected from heart disease, cancer and dementia. And when you take 10 tablets a day of spirulina, same thing for chlorella, 10 tablets a day, you know what that works out to? A dollar a day. She is depriving herself of protection from cancer, heart disease, and dementia because of a dollar a day. 

Ashley James (42:52.990)

Well, I don't blame her. She didn't know this information and a lot of listeners, but it's like, this is where we have to go, we're investing in our health. Yeah, educate, we're investing in our health and it is worth spending a bit more for the highest quality product on the market. And exactly.

Catharine Arnston (43:10.045)

Yes. But someone has to tell you why you want the higher priced algae. It's just everything we do is just more expensive. I've been on 275 podcasts. I've been on 30 summits. I write all the scientific papers. I do all the research. I do all of the writing. Every single weekend, I'm working on more material to help people understand the science because whether you're buying an expensive handbag or you're buying algae, you want to know what is it that makes it better. And nobody else is telling you. Nobody else is explaining how your body works and why the needs the cellular level are perfectly matched by the nutrients found in raw spirulina or chlorella. Again, it can't be heated or you lose all those benefits. This is the key that unlocks the door to great health. That is, in a nutshell, is what good spirulina and good chlorella, i.e. spirulina chlorella, not heated, not dried with heat. They are the key that unlocks perfect health. That's what I've decided.

But you need to know what, how does that work? Like what exactly is it doing? So I'd like to unpack that for you today.

Ashley James (44:31.733)

Yeah, let's do it. I have had several guests come on and do whole interviews on superoxide dismutase and its benefits and how we need more of it and it is crucial for life and crucial to avoid disease, like an amazing nutrient for the body. And the fact that we get it through eating EnergyBits or go to getting your stuff, because we know that your stuff isn't heated. So it's not destroyed because it's raw algae. And then of course the Phycocyanin. 

Catharine Arnston (45:13.384)

P-H-Y-C-O-C-Y-A-N-I-N. So, well, let me talk about both of those because we'll do them separately so we can do this two ways. We'll talk about those two nutrients and I'll address the three major chronic diseases, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and cancer, and address how these two nutrients that aren't found anywhere else in the world can protect you and also get you back to health and they're essential for longevity. And then we'll flip.

Ashley James (45:52.519)

Before you do that, and I want you to do that, can you tell us, like, is this something that's found in trace amounts? Is this something that is in high concentration? When you address the individual ones, can you give us an idea of how much of the superoxide dismutase, for example, is found in your algae?

Catharine Arnston (46:14.723)

It has the highest concentration in the entire universe. I don't have the slide in front of me, but there is a little bit of superoxide dismutase in cabbage or broccoli. I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but if spirulina was 100, cabbage or broccoli would be 0.00000000001 percent. There is nothing, and we do lab tests that give us the concentration of super oxygen dismutase. I know I'm stumbling as well. It's also called SOD. It's a little easier to say that way. So there is nothing in the world with more of it. And chlorella has quite a bit of it as well, but half of what spirulina has. So spirulina is the number one algae for the mitochondria. And chlorella is the number one algae for your immune system. So I can dig into that a little bit deeper. So, well, since we're on superoxide dismutase, or SOD, let's address it first of all. So as I mentioned, it's virtually non-existent from any other food in the world. It's certainly not in any amounts that would have any kind of medicinal benefits. I mean, 0.000001 percent is nothing that's going to move my needle. And even if you did find some supplements with it, they get damaged, it gets damaged in the stomach through the digestion. And here's the other benefit of spirulina. It does not have a cellulose wall. So it gets absorbed almost instantly. So it's 99% bioavailable. So all of the nutrients, including the superoxide dismutase get absorbed and directed to the mitochondria so it can be put to use. If you chew it, as I know Ashley, you do, you get it within seconds because it goes sublingually through the mouth membranes. And if you swallow it, oh, it's maybe 10 or 15 minutes before it's completely absorbed into your cells. So there's nothing that's faster than spirulina for that reason. 

So, what is superoxide dismutase? One other thing I want to tell you about superoxide dismutase, the good news is your body makes it from the moment you are born, but it stops making it after the age of 30. And you're going to find this the same thing happens. After the age of 30, your body stops making melatonin, it stops making glutathione, because up until recently, we died at age 30. We have been on the earth, mankind, for 2 million years.

And up until about 125 years ago, maybe 50 years ago, we died at 30. So biologically and evolutionarily, if that's a word, our bodies think we're dying at 30. So it shuts down some of these protective measures like superoxide dismutase, which, drum roll, you're going to find out right now, is one of the very few antioxidants that can get into the inner membrane of the mitochondria, it's like an NICE unit in there, to stop free radical damage. Now, because when your mitochondria are damaged by these free radicals, they die, they mutate, and that's when your health starts to go astray. This is when chronic disease hits. This is when brain fog hits. This is when everything just slides in a downward spiral. And it's no surprise to me that most of the diagnoses of heart disease, cancer, occur after the age of 40, because that's when your body has pretty much shut down its ability to create superoxide dismutase, which is one of the few antioxidants, like I said, that can get into that inner membrane and stop free radical damage. You can eat a room full of blueberries and not a drop of antioxidants will get into that inner membrane. Your mitochondria are your only cell in your body that have two membranes. All of your other cells have what's called a lipid membrane, which basically is a fancy word for saying fats. And your mitochondria have that one too. But they have a second membrane, and I'll tell you where that second membrane came from later on, that is impenetrable by drugs. Drugs can't get in there. Almost no antioxidants can get in there. But virtually all the nutrients found in algae like superoxide dismutase, and we'll talk about some of the other ones in a minute, like chlorophyll and glutathione can get into that inner membrane. 

So what's so important about that? Well, we talked about earlier about ATP being cellular energy and you need ATP to do anything. Thinking, sleeping, walking, talking, digesting, immune health, absolutely everything. But the downside of production of ATP, the byproduct of ATP, guess what?

It's free radicals. Nobody tells you about that. And the most damaging one is called superoxide. This superoxide is a byproduct. It's a free radical produced, I think it's only in the mitochondria, as a byproduct of this ATP. And I read that superoxide is the most damaging free radical. So I was curious, well, what makes it so damaging?

So I dug around in all the different papers and I found out why. So those of you who aren't familiar with a free radical, it's a molecule that has an unpaired electron. The mother nature likes balance. And so if there's an unpaired electron circulating around the atom, it will go and snatch an electron from the neighboring molecule and so to create harmony. But then that leaves a molecule with one unpaired electron so that it steals one from the next molecule and on and on it goes so it leaves this trail of damaged tissue, damaged cells, wherever it goes. And when you have damaged cells then they don't function properly. So superoxide is so the reason why it's so damaging is it has three unpaired electrons. So it is three times as damaging as any other free radical found. And I believe that it's only generated in the mitochondria. So this thing called superoxide dismutase, the word dismutase means it reduces something. It demutes, it's like a dimmer on a light. So think about it's superoxide dismutase. It dims this superoxide. Basically, what it does is it turns that free radical into harmless water.

Ta-da! Mitochondria is hydrated. It's like having the fireman in there with a fire hose. Just puts out the fire caused by all these free radicals that are a byproduct of ATP. Because the place where the ATP is produced, which is also the place where the free radicals are, are exactly where the mitochondria's DNA are located. They are front row and center.

And if you've ever sat near a bonfire or got too close to a fireplace and sparks would fly and you might get burned, that's what's happening to your mitochondria DNA every single nanosecond. They are exactly where the ATP is produced, which is exactly where the free radicals are produced. And so they are always being burned. That's why you need the superoxide dismutase, which is like having a fireman with a hose to put it out and your body makes it for you but only until the age of 30. Right? And then after the age of 30 it makes less and less so by the time you're 40 you do not have any more firemen in there putting out the fire. And this is why people get chronic disease because their mitochondria are no longer being protected by these free radicals as they were until they were 30 or 40 and there's no food source for it. Nothing. Right? Crazy. So now spirulina comes along, but here's the trick, superoxide dismutase is an enzyme. It's an antioxidant but it's also an enzyme. And if you know anything about nutrition you know that heat kills enzymes. That's why a lot of people eat raw food because they want all the all the enzymes and all the other algae companies use high heat to dry their algae because they're lower priced to get to the market quickly. We don't use high heat. So all of our enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, are alive and well. So they can go in there into your mitochondria and put out that fire caused by the free radicals, which are a byproduct of the ATP. Pretty sweet, right?

Ashley James (55:42.560)

Oh my gosh, totally blows my mind. And I loved how you explained free radicals. I went to a naturopath with my mom when I was a kid and he would write these really cool news articles. And of course there was no email back in the eighties, right? So he would physically print it out and mail it to us, and we would read and it was like almost digesting a bunch of different journals, right? He would take all this information, but from the naturopath standpoint. And you know who it was? My naturopath when I was six years old was Dr. D'Adamo, the man who invented the eat right for your blood type diet. He was amazing. And he totally turned my life around. That's part of my health story that I was sick as a kid. And then when I was six, I went to him and he looked in my eyes, took my blood, looked at my tongue, looked at my ears, you know, did the whole naturopathic rundown. And he told us to stop eating milk, yeast, wheat and sugar. And overnight our kitchen transformed and we ate really clean and we took his supplements and I did not get sick once from the age of six to the age of thirteen when I rebelled and started eating all the junk food because I was a teenager. And I quickly learned that you can turn health on and off and you can turn diseases on and off and here I am.

But what was really interesting is I have a distinct memory and I was probably about seven, maybe eight. I was in my mom's bed and we were reading through the articles that he wrote, the newsletter, and I loved it. When you look at kids, you can tell what they're gonna be interested in their whole life. And I was fascinated by his articles. Can you imagine a seven or eight year old being like, I want to read more about antioxidants, right?

Catharine Arnston (57:37.413)

Wow. Everybody else is reading Nancy Drew or comic books and there you are reading naturopathic newsletters. I love that.

Ashley James (57:42.289)

I know, I know. And I was super fascinated but he described free radicals as a bullet on the microscopic level. A bullet bouncing through your body, piercing different cells and breaking open cells basically, but on an electron level. And it was like bullets ricocheting inside you. And  then he talked about how the foods that we can eat can either reduce that damage or can increase anytime you eat fried food, you are essentially swallowing loaded guns, shooting bullets throughout your body, like breaking apart cell walls because the free radical damage from fried foods, right? Same with overcooked red meat has the same effect. There's a bunch of foods out there that we eat as Americans, as Canadians, right, as many, many countries eat these foods that are so high in what causes free radical damage and then thus causes inflammation, right? So, we've got to stop doing that and then start doing the opposite of that, which is eating foods rich in antioxidants and knowing that specifically the antioxidant that targets the mitochondria… 

Catharine Arnston (59:05.048)

There's very few that can get in there to do that. 

Ashley James (59:06.924)

Yes. And the fact that there's very few companies out there that produce a chlorella, sorry, a spirulina that is not heated.

Catharine Arnston (59:16.742)

Right. So you're shooting blanks if you want to use the bullet analogy again. If you buy algae that is less expensive, I can almost promise you they dried it with high heat which would kill the superoxide dismutase. So it may have been there before they dried it, but it's empty now. And you're shooting blanks. And I love that analogy about the bullet bouncing around and piercing different cells because that is what happens. Another visual that just came to me while you were talking is bumper cars. When I was a kid, we used to go to the circus and there'd be these bumper cars and you just go around and you smack into everybody else and hopefully didn't damage anybody permanently. There were lots of studies done about the fact that antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C, they have never had an impact on longevity. And it's because I have realized those are two antioxidants that cannot get into the mitochondria inner membrane. Everything, if you come away from this podcast today, understanding nothing else except the fact that everything that happens to your health is determined by your mitochondria. And the problem is this mitochondria, like I said, they're like the ICE unit. They're in lockdown. Virtually nothing can get in there except a handful of antioxidants. Not even drugs can get in there. So the fact that superoxide dismutase is one of them that can. There's also glutathione, which also algae has the highest concentration of, chlorella, in fact, and chlorophyll. And we could talk about those as well. But, in this case, superoxide dismutase is the number one antioxidant. It's considered even more powerful than glutathione. And there are 25,000 medical studies, proving the benefits of superoxide dismutase to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's, inflammation, any kind of respiratory illnesses, proven. So, but the problem has been your body stops making it after the age of 30 and there is no other source of it from food. And now you know you can get it from RLG or from frozen spirulina because those are the two that have not been exposed to high heat. So the SOD is active and will protect you for a dollar a day.

Ashley James (01:01:56.925)

Now what about those SOD supplements?

Catharine Arnston (01:01:59.537)

Well, they did some studies and again, they were finding that they were getting damaged during digestion and a very limited amount of those tablets of the SOD was making its way into the mitochondria. Here's the thing, those supplements probably cost 60 or 70 dollars and you probably have to take four or five a day and that's all you're getting. Think of a supplement and I've told this to people before, think of the supplement, it doesn't matter which one it is. It could be fish oil, it could be SOD, as just like a grade three soloist. And when you take algae, you've got the Boston Symphony Orchestra because it has 40 vitamins and minerals, the highest chlorophyll in the world, highest protein in the world, in this case, highest superoxide dismutase in the world. You're cheating yourself when you take these isolated supplements for isolated purposes. 

You mentioned earlier, our medical profession has become so disparate. You've got one person for brain health, one person for liver health. And so you're running around going to all these specialists and nobody talks to one another. Supplements are the same way. They are isolated. They don't talk to one another. They actually don't exist like that in nature. So you pee 90% out of what you're taking. And some people take chlorophyll water, for example. I applaud the use of chlorophyll.

Well, chlorella has 25 times more chlorophyll than liquid chlorophyll, and at the same time, you're also getting 60% protein, 40 vitamins and minerals. Chlorophyll water is just chlorophyll. So you always look for the greatest efficiency, and you usually get that from nature. Mother Nature knows best.

Mother Nature has laid out a bounty of ways for us to look after ourselves and most of them are free: sleep, walking outside, simple pleasures, lik,e community, getting fresh air, any movement, sunlight, you have to pay a little bit for your algae, but it's the most concentrated nutrition in the universe

And it was a gift to us from Mother Nature, the first life on Earth, I might add, four billion years ago. So I always encourage people to slow down and take a look, lift the hood, because when you find the truth, it resonates with you. You were saying earlier your body craves the spirulina and the chlorella. So does mine. I've been taking this stuff for 13 years. Every single time I have my first handful in the morning.

It's like an exhale. It's just like, oh, thank God. Honestly, I don't know, I do eat real food, but I don't know how I would survive without these things. It's so instinctual and my body just absolutely loves it and everyone's will too, because it's so high quality, it's so concentrated. It's Mother Nature's invention, but we do the best at preserving the nutrition that she's provided to us by growing it carefully in triple filtered spring mountain water, not using high heat, and then not including any other crappy stuff like binders or whatever. So it's as pure a food as you're ever going to get. The only other thing I could say that would be better is mother's breast milk, but you can't have that after about the age of two. So spirulina and chlorella are your next best shot. So, but pretty amazing about that superoxide dismutase, right?

Sneaking in the back door of the mitochondria to help it survive. And it's like if you had a friend who was in the hospital and they were feeding them crappy food, which they of course still do at hospitals, and then you have some friend who brings you quietly or in a hidden bag, a bag of salad and maybe some grass-fed beef or something. 

Ashley James (01:06:10.632)

The homemade chicken soup.

Catharine Arnston (01:06:14.774)

So glutathione and superoxide dismutase, they get in there to deliver what your mitochondria aren't getting from anything else. They're like your best friend.

Ashley James (01:06:25.980)

Well, I just love that, that it's putting out the fire and at the same time, transforming it into water. So it's not only stopping the damage to your cells and the DNA in your ear, mitochondria in your cells, and restoring balance, like removing the chaos, but then it hydrates at the same time. It's like here cell have more water and less chaos. That is so, so cool. 

Catharine Arnston (01:06:51.232)

And also, and because water has oxygen in it, and there's a German scientist who won a Nobel Prize back in the 30s, his name is Otto Warburg, and this will be my next segue into cancer. He discovered that cancer can only exist in an acidic environment. And there's a scale of zero to 14 that measures acidity to alkalinity, alkalinity being at the high level. And your cells need to be 7.1, slightly alkaline, your blood needs to be a little more alkaline, but when it's slightly alkaline that's indicative of a lot of oxygen that's in the cell and that the cell is functioning in a healthy way. And algae is the most alkaline food in the world and this particular nutrient as you mentioned superoxide dismutase normally reduces the fire from the free radical production, it encourages the production of water, which brings more oxygen into the cell because that's what oxygen water is made of. Pretty cool.

Ashley James (01:07:54.424)

It is very cool. So in your research, you saw that superoxide dismutase helps the cell become more alkaline, like achieve that alkalinity.

Catharine Arnston (01:08:04.296)

Well, it's actually other nutrients that do that, like the chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is probably the most alkaline lining nutrient, and it's another pigment found in both spirulina and chlorella. Chlorella has a higher amount. But this engagement of the superoxide dismutase by stopping the free radical damage of the superoxide dismutase and turning it into water contributes oxygen to the cell. But you get other contributions from other elements in the algae, whether it's from the magnesium or from the chlorophyll in particular is a very alkalining nutrient.

Ashley James (01:08:45.765)

I think there's a lot of misunderstanding around alkalinity and making sure the body's alkaline because there's certain areas of the body, we want at certain times to be high acid. For example, in the last part of digestion with the stomachs about to empty out Into the small intestines it it'll it brings it back to neutral because the small intestines would not be happy with you know hydrochloric acid but there's certain tissues have a range of like, from here to here is the healthiest range. And we have buffer systems in the body to maintain our acid and alkaline balance. And the thing is, is that the body uses our own mineral stores in our bones. So it'll have us release minerals from our bones to buffer the acid in our tissue. So if you're the kind of person who goes and drinks Coke or Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi or whatever, goes to McDonald's, you know, drinks some wine at night, eats a high acid, like the opposite of an alkaline diet, right? Alkaline diet, think of like the raw vegan frolicking through the fields, just picking wild berries and eating raw food in the sunlight, that's an alkaline diet, juicing, anything with a lot of enzymes, anything from plants. You've got a very alkaline diet. And then lots of meat, dairy, sugar, flour, fried food, and also the beverages, high in sugar and Coca-Cola.

One of my backgrounds is massage therapy. This is in Canada where I worked in hospitals and in sports medicine rehab. This is like over 20 years ago, but it's in Canada. Massage therapy is, we work alongside physical therapists. It's a two year college program, not like a 500 hour program that they do here in the States. So it's much more advanced and we would have oil on our sheets. So you can imagine massage therapists end up getting their sheets, have a lot of oil on them. And you know how we wash our sheets to get the oil stains out. Cause you know, any kind of detergent will not get oil out of massage sheets. And then the sheets start smelling rancid from the oil, from the massage oil. 

Do you know how we do it? We take a two liter bottle of Coke and we take a bucket and we put all our sheets in the bucket and we pour the two liter bottle of Coke and we let it sit overnight. And then we put it in the washing machine the next day, 100% removes oil. And if you have clothing with oil stains, I have a friend, a good friend of mine, her husband works as a mechanic for helicopters and there was a leak, like some crazy fluids from the helicopter, got on him, and it was like jet fuel and all this other fluid. And he came home soaking and smelling like just awful chemicals that you would not want anywhere near you. And the only way she was able to get it out, because she tried detergents and everything and it stunk up the whole house. And then she did what I told her, use a two liter bottle of Coke, soak it overnight and then put it in the wash. And it 100% cleaned all these oils, like petroleum based chemicals. So people are drinking this stuff. This stuff is a degreaser agent. This stuff is like this crazy, but people drink it. And that was my little side note to say, people on a regular basis, the standard American diet, which is copied throughout the world now, is highly acidic and it's unnaturally highly acidic. So the body in order to cope with it, because the body isn't running around if we were too acidic, you would just drop into a coma, right? But the body has to regulate and so it has buffer systems.

If you have to constantly use your buffer systems, you're putting massive stress on the body. So yeah, go drink your two liters of Coke and eat your pizza this weekend, but just know that your body is now leaching minerals from your bones in order to compensate. What is the saying? You rob Peter to pay Paul. Eventually, it's going to catch up to you. So yes, we have buffer systems. And that if you constantly eat an acid-forming diet, you are leaching your body of nutrients in order to keep up with that lifestyle. Whereas if you eat a diet high in enzymes and nutrients and phyto plant chemicals, high in plants, and you look for these like rich in superoxide dismutase, Chlorella spigulina, you are putting out the fire. And now you are helping the body. Now you don't have to rely on the buffer system so heavily to stay in a perfectly balanced state for those cells, those cells being 7.1 perfectly balanced. So there's my little rant about pH, because a lot of people go, what are you talking about?

Catharine Arnston (01:13.41.491)

Well, it's, there's a misunderstanding. There are organs and there are cells. And different organs like your stomach do need to be acidic. But universally, through your entire body, your body is made of cells. I came up with another analogy. Think of your body like a building. You know, when a brand new office tower is built, it's glorious and everything works. When you're a baby and you're born, everything works. 

And then in the building are offices. And so think of those offices, the equivalent would be your organs. They're gathered, they're groups, so they have maybe a city group in one place, maybe TJ Maxx is in another, they've assembled offices to have big corporations. And so in your body, you have groups of clusters of things that are organs that work together to function.

And then in the office, the things that keep, or in the building, the things that keep the office working and the people working are lights. And so in your body, those lights are the equivalent of your cells and your mitochondria. And as the building gets older and if they don't replace the lights, the people start closing their offices and leaving. And eventually the building, it's decrepit, and maybe there aren't any people there anymore.

in your body if you don't keep your cells functioning properly and your mitochondria protected, they're basically your lights. They go out and eventually just like the building that becomes decrepit, you do too. So think of your cells and your mitochondria as the lights that keep the equivalent of your building, your body, working. And part of that is, when you mention about the coke getting rid of all that grease and all the oils from the massage. Well, remember I mentioned at the very beginning that all of your cells have a cell membrane that's made of lipids. That's another word for fats. And so when you're eating these things like coke, just like the coke stripped out the oils in your sheets, it must strip out. Similarly, the oils and the healthy oils in your cell walls.

And when your cell walls are stripped of the healthy fats, they become dry and brittle. We're entering the fall here in New England. Think of a leaf that when it does not have the sunlight and it doesn't have all the nutrients and the chlorophyll, it becomes brittle and dry. That's what's happening to your cells. If you do not have the proper fats and if you eat too much acidic food, it causes your cell walls to become brittle and dysfunctional. And that causes your mitochondria to suffer because they're not getting the nutrients either and all that sort of stuff. So you can see how it's all connected, right?

Ashley James (01:16:45.595)

Absolutely. I love it. Anything we can do to keep us like just optimally healthy. I want to be that 106 year old that's still hiking, it's possible we can do it. I think you will.

Catherine Arnston (01:17:00.519)

I probably will be. But the other thing that you have to remember, because we live in North America, people want things that are effortless and simple. And if you can swallow water, although you and I chew these tablets, you can get the nutrition that you need to prevent these chronic illnesses or restore your health. It's that easy. We're not talking about going out to a cryotherapy center, although you could do that. We're not talking about going out for an IV drip But you could do that too. We're not talking about complicated anything. You're in your home. You just open your bag or your canister or your whatever you put some tablets in your mouth and you swallow them down. Seconds we're talking about seconds. This is like in fact, we're going to an IV drip show in a couple of weeks because People are getting glutathione drips. Well, you know what? Glutathione is an algae. People are getting collagen drips. Guess what? The highest collagen is an algae. They should probably have a superoxidized dismutase, but nonetheless, the highest concentration is an algae. So it gives you everything that you need for nourishment, cellular protection, and it's effortless. You don't have to cook it, clean it, mix it, nothing. Just open your mouth and take it. That's all you have to do. And at a dollar a day, it's the best prevention that you're ever going to get and those of you who currently have a condition, it will help speed your recovery faster than just about anything. But anyway, so that's  superoxidized dismutase, how protective it is of the mitochondria, and as long as you are protecting your mitochondria, everything works better. It just does. And I can walk you through some of the science behind that. 

And for brain health, the highest concentration of mitochondria are in your brain, as I mentioned earlier. And we did our own clinical trial recently. We were working with a nonprofit group called the Gray Team. They're based in Florida. And their entire purpose is to stop the suicide rate of military veterans, which is at a heartbreaking 35 to 50 percent. 35 to 50% of military veterans are committing suicide. Just let that sink in. I mean, that's just tragic, beyond tragic.

Ashley James (01:19:25.248)

That's beyond tragic. That is incomprehensible how time and time again, and I'm not gonna just say this to the United States because I mean, I love living here. I'm from Canada. My home is the States now, but it's not just America, unfortunately, because I have seen Britain, I've seen Canada, I've seen multiple countries, Australia, Asia, I've seen them just throw away their veterans like trash. And that is unacceptable. Like just for example, for this country to throw away their veterans like trash and then take billions of taxpayer dollars and give it to other countries. Now I believe that we should all help each other, right? I believe in aid, I believe we should all help each other. But why aren't we helping our veterans? Why do we just throw them away like trash? That gets me so angry. And it's not, again, not just America, it is other countries too. These people, they've been through enough, you know what I mean? And they just deserve so much better. And suicide is such a big problem, especially since 2020.

Catharine Arnston (01:20:26.914)

Oh, well, and we know it's also on the rise just in the general population and COVID didn't help. I mean, it really pushed it over the edge. So there's a lot of people suffering, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder. And you and I talked before we started recording, there's a great book that came out. I would encourage everybody to read it. You can get it on Amazon. It's called Brain Energy. And it's by Dr. Christopher Palmer, P-A-L-M-E-R.

He is a physician, a psychiatrist, at the Harvard Medical School. So he's got all the great education behind him, and he's also been a psychiatrist for 25 or 30 years. Anyways, his entire book documents how all brain disorders, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, suicidal thoughts, Alzheimer's, any dementia, all of it is because of damaged mitochondria.

Damaged mitochondria are the cause of all brain issues. And what did I just talk about? How superoxide dismutase protects and heals the mitochondria. You can connect the dots and see that spirulina is the highest superoxide dismutase as long as it's not from a heated spirulina source. So all the science points to this. So I thought, you know what? We want to help other organizations.

And we had been meeting with them. So they said, let's do a small clinical trial with our particular spirulina. So we did. And all we'd had a small group of their military veterans who had been discharged for 15 or 20 years because they'd had these mental issues that had never gone away. And all we did was give them a pouch of our spirulina tablets. So 30 tablets a day. They did nothing else. We did a brain scan before the clinical trial. And we also hooked them up

to some devices that measure their sleep and their CRV and stuff, HRV, heart rate monitor. 

Anyways, and then we did a brain scan after 30 days. Only thing we did was give them 30 tablets a day. We asked them not to change anything else, no extra exercise, no change in diet, nothing. And within 30 days, and it probably would have happened within even probably seven, that inflammation we could see from the EEG, the brain showed no activity, it was all inflammation, virtually gone, completely gone. One person had multiple sclerosis, his tremors went away. 30 days, not from a drug, but from food. 

Spirulina are raw tablets, 30 tablets a day. Meanwhile, they're still getting 64% protein, 40 vitamins and minerals, and part of the reason it worked was because of the superoxide dismutase. Also, we're going to talk about in a minute, the phycocyanin that's found in spirulina. It's also loaded with essential fatty acids. Your brain is mostly fat. One of the things I didn't mention is one of the things that superoxide dismutase also does is it protects your telomeres. Your telomeres are these things that protect your DNA. And as your cells replicate, the telomeres shorten until they get so short that the DNA gets exposed. 

And then, when the DNA is exposed, it interacts with toxins and it becomes damaged. And then when it replicates, it damages as damaged DNA. And this leads to other chronic illnesses. But when you take the superoxide dismutase, it protects the telomeres so they aren't shortening. So you start to get more functionality and this also contributed to the brain health. So, and as I said, it probably could have happened within a week or even two weeks but we did do the EEG's at the beginning and at the end and that was pretty powerful when you think of how something as simple as this whole food unheated just spirulina could do so much more than any drugs could. Amazing, right?

Ashley James (01:24:36.525)

I am beyond thrilled. So this 30-day study, did you do any questionnaire just to get an idea of their mood before and after, or did they report anything like that?

Catharine Arnston (01:24:53.797)

I think we have, there's so much data and I haven't looked at everything because I haven't been able to, we're gonna write a paper about it so we could submit it. I have to submit, I've fallen behind on that because there's a professor who also works with NASA, Dr. Dominique D'Agostino, who I'm a good friend with, he was going to help us write the paper and submit it to the PubMed and all that sort of stuff. So I have to get back on that. It's just one more thing I haven't had chance to follow up. 

Ashley James (01:25:22.561)

So it's totally fine. It's totally fine. It hasn't been published yet. These are preliminary findings, but in the preliminary findings, the most exciting thing that you've noticed is that there was definite changes in the brain scans. And what other definite cool things did you notice while just looking preliminarily through the findings?

Catharine Arnston (01:25:39.833)

Yeah, well, there's a marker called HRV, which stands for heart rate variability. And you want a high heart rate variability because it shows that under stress, your body can respond quickly. When you have a low heart rate variability, it cannot. So I just remembered this looking at one data point, this person's heart rate variability, I think went from 40 something to 80 something. It was a 50% increase which is unheard of. People brag about how their heart rate variability increased by 2 or 3%. This was like literally a 50%. They also monitored their sleep. They used something called a wavi, which is sort of like those rings, aura rings. So there's tons of data, but with science and studies, you gotta go comb through the data and you look for trends and then you have to write up the findings. It's just time consuming. And I'm running the company, I'm traveling all over the place and I'm busy with my stuff.

Ashley James (01:26:43.789)

It is totally fine. I'm so happy that you dropped some of this information, but you know what? It's like, don't wait until you're done. If you've got something, share it, right? And then you can come back, and once the paper's been written and all the scientists have poured through the data, and you can come back and share more. There's no harm in that. Heart rate variability is super interesting, and life insurance companies are now playing with the idea of using it in order to determine whether someone should be insured or not, because they have seen that it is possibly a way to determine lifespan. Because low heart rate variability means you're in a state of stress and your body can't bounce into stress and then out of stress mode, that if you have low heart rate variability, you are kind of always in stress mode and it wears on you faster and you die sooner.

Whereas, a high heart rate variability means that when you inhale and when you exhale, your heart rate changes and your heart gets to rest a bit. And so your heartbeats won't be consistent. They'll be higher and then lower and then higher. And that's the variable that's measured between the two. Liistening to my son's heartbeat freaks me out because I'm like, did his heart stop? Because in between, there's such a noticeable difference in his heart rate from his inhales to his exhales. Now he's been seen by doctors. He's been seen by naturopaths. He's totally fine. His heart's healthy. But from the untrained ear, who's used to hearing a consistent heartbeat, when he inhales and when he exhales, his heart rate changes.

And that's heart rate variability. So he has actually very healthy because there is a very clear measurable difference between his inhale and exhale heartbeat. And if you listen to your own heartbeat and you notice there's no difference between your inhales and exhales, then you've got low heart rate variability. And there's some work we gotta do to bring your stress response down. So it's really cool. That's something that largely people have been thinking heart rate variability was more associated with mental, emotional health and getting you out of stress response mentally. Of course, you know, the body can stress the stress, right? So eating McDonald's is as stressful as having an argument with your husband or drinking a glass of wine is a stressor or running up a hill really fast is a stressor. Some stressors are good for you in the long run, right? But it's a stressor nonetheless. And the more cumulative stress we have, wears us down if we don't know how to turn off the stress response, right? So with heart rate variability being so changed by one factor, which is like you said, it takes what 10 seconds – open your bag, throw the chewable tablets in your mouth, either chew them or swallow with water, close the bag, done, go about your day. And for some people, the heart rate variability changed by 50%. That is just my mind is blown. My mind is, I'm so excited for that. And I can't wait for your study to be released.

Catharine Arnston (01:30:02.761)

Well, and to have this book by Dr. Palmer, Brain Energy, the health of the brain is determined by the health of your mitochondria. And we have something that basically blows everything out of the water, all drugs, nothing comes close to the impact that these nutrients, and I'm gonna talk about another one in a minute, in spirulina and also to chlorella for protecting the mitochondria. But if you had to choose one algae, for protecting your mitochondria, it would definitely be spirulina. And if you were looking at building your immune system, it's definitely chlorella. And that's another conversation, the science is there and there's literally no question, but we've changing the perception of health in general and predictability of longevity is like moving the Titanic because we have certain ideas in our head, but the new science keeps coming out. And so, I stay in my lane about algae and I keep connecting the nutrients found in algae with the discoveries found in the longevity research and I'm going, Wow! Superoxide dismutase stops heart disease. Hah! Spirulina, our spirulina has the highest superoxide dismutase. That's amazing! Or as we're going to find out next, research finds that phycocyanin, which is the blue pigment in spirulina, kills cancer cells. And I go, Gosh! That's pretty interesting because our spirulina has the highest phycocyanin in the universe. So the science is there about these nutrients, but the scientists don't know those nutrients exist in algae or at least in our algae. So I'm sitting here, I feel like, the kid with the finger in the dike holding the water, holding a dam from exploding and I'm so eager to get this information to the world because this is why I did this. I mean I just wanted to help my sister heal from cancer and I did, and I thought if I can help one more person I'm going to just keep going and now we're in thousands of people, but it's so important to get this information out because it's scientifically proven and there's no question, but you have to know what to look for. People say, you don't notice a red car until you have one. You're not going to notice the benefits of superoxide dismutase, or next we'll talk about phycocyanin, until now that you've learned about it. Now you are informed. Being educated about these things, because nobody else is telling you, is critical. And so that's my goal, and I love educating people, because, I know Mother Nature has provided for us and we just need to get her bounty out to the world in a way that is understandable. The science is complicated but what it does in your body is so remarkable. So is Mother Nature. I mean she is so smart, the universe, God, whatever you want to call it. We are supposed to be healthy, right? But you have to follow a lifestyle that mimics the one that we were born into. I don't think Coca-Cola and white processed food and sitting all day long was the life that Mother Nature, God, the universe intended us for. We need to move, we need to hug, we need to drink water, we need to sleep, and we need nourishment.

And the best way to get it is from spirulina and chlorella. The best and easiest. Again, it's health insurance, not just nutritional insurance, it's health insurance. So it's pretty powerful. And before I swing over to cancer, I do want to make one more, just do a little mini deep dive into another benefit of the SOD. So as I mentioned, the most mitochondria are in your brain and this almost a similar amount and I have tried for months to find a number for this, but nobody, I can't seem to find a number, but virtually your retina has virtually the same amount of mitochondria as your brain, because your eye is literally another brain because it's taking senses, strings of light and and converting that into an image in the back of your head. If you have eye issues, not just your reading deteriorating, but glaucoma and other serious eye issues, they are almost 100% predictor of heart disease and a heart attack within a year. Crazy, right? And why is that, it's because of the high concentration of mitochondria in your eye. There's 7,000 mitochondria per cell in your heart and there's close to 2 million in your eye. But the eye is more visible, you can tell when you have eye issues whether it's glaucoma. So it breaks my heart because I don't think there's any direct communication between the eye specialists and heart specialists, but I have talked to a lot of heart specialists and they confirm that this situation with the glaucoma is indeed real. And it even hit home with me with a fellow I grew up with all my life. He was like my best friend's brother. We did everything together and about a year ago he was diagnosed with some form of glaucoma, but they didn't know that was a predilection of potential heart issue. And so they didn't really do much about it. He's a big skier. He was out skiing about six months ago, had a heart attack, and died on the spot.

Ashley James (01:36:31.384)

Oh my goodness.

Catharine Arnston (01:36:33.920)

So, anybody who's listening, if you have glaucoma issues going on, get your heart checked because, pardon the pun, but it's more visible. It's damage that's occurring at the mitochondria level. I know I'm going to keep hammering home. All of your health issues are determined by your mitochondria, and some of them are easier to detect, like your eye, than your heart.

Ashley James (01:37:04.776)

I have a little side story to share. I am friends with a man who is on the kind of the same health path we've studied under the same nature paths. Really fascinating guy. I've told this story before on the show so I'll try to keep it brief. I forget the names but it's like Green Beret. He was like one of those, like those Navy Seals. He was like one of those, but I can't remember which one. But it's up there. It's like he used to be one of those. But before he actually was Amish and he left the Amish community. He loves them, but he left the Amish community to become like a Navy SEAL green braid, whatever. And him and I were hanging out and he said, and we study under the same doctor. And he was telling me this story. He goes, okay, so the doctor that we've studied under, I've studied under him for over 12 years. He is amazing naturopathic physician, old school. He's like 83 or something like that.

And he was, I mean, his story is fascinating. I've had him on the show twice, Dr. Joel Wallach. And he says that he's told people for over 20 years to not eat oil or fried food. 100% don't eat oil. He goes, just cook with water. He's not plant-based. He grew up on a farm. He thinks beef's amazing. To each is own. He's doing something right. He's 83, he still works. He works like six days a week and worships the Lord on the seventh day. And he’s a very fascinating man. But he says, never eat fried food. It destroys your health. Don't do it. Don't eat fried food. Don't eat oil. Well, our friend, his name's Marvin, and he decided to eat McDonald's fries every day. And he was doing like a little experiment. He wanted to see if he could notice a difference because he ate clean his whole life, right? He was grew up on this, he grew up on a farm, but he'd never really eaten the standard American diet. And he goes, I've never been sick. My whole life I've never been sick. And he is very passionate about studying health, but he'd never been sick. So he started eating McDonald's and started eating fries, just fries, not anything else, just fries at McDonald's. He drives home and he lives in Utah.

And it's really dark out if you've ever been to Utah, but just outside the city, it's pretty dark at night. And there he is driving home. It's like the moon isn't out and there's no street lights or anything, right? It's been seven days of eating fries every day. Now, it's  not been every meal, but every day he's had large fries. On the seventh day, somewhere around there, he's driving home and he realizes, he has completely lost his ability to read signs. He's lost his night vision.

He should have glasses at this point. Everything's fuzzy. He's driving home and he goes, I can't see. Now he was a green brayer, whatever it was. He had like 40, 20 vision. He had some crazy good eyesight. And all of a sudden, seven days of eating fries every day, his night vision was gone. It was shot. And he said, you know what happened? Obviously he stopped eating fries. He went back to his healthy lifestyle. He goes, it took me a year of taking antioxidant supplements and of course eating really healthy. But it took him a year of taking everything he could he knew to nourish the eyes, except for, chlorella and spirulina. But he took everything that he knew to take for eye health for a whole year. It took him a whole year to reverse the damage that seven days of eating fries and just think about all the people that are running around destroying. And so then we go to Dr. Wallach. Well, why did this happen? And Dr. Wallach pulls up an image of anatomy of the eye, specifically the vasculature. And it is the eye's mostly blood vessels. And these blood vessels, which are very small, just like the kidneys, right? Kidneys are another thing that gets damaged by fried foods. That's another reason. Dr. Wallach's been able to take people on dialysis and get them so healthy, they no longer need dialysis. And one of the things is fried food, get rid of oil, get rid of fried food, and then also get rid of any processed meats like have nitrates or nitrites. And because the vasculature is only wide enough to house single blood cells going through. So the vasculature is thinner than hair and it becomes destroyed and inflamed. And so then everything gets backed up. And what happens is that just eating that seven days where the fries was enough to inflame and damage the vasculature of the eye and the retina and the mitochondria and just everything took it like, I could not believe it took him a year to get his eyesight back. So just really we have to listen to our body and listen to the symptoms of our body and don't just go, oh, it's cause I'm getting older. You know, if you notice you can't see it at night very well, we got to take this seriously. Just like you said, the vasculature of the eye, things to go first, right? Men won't see the doctor till they have a penile dysfunction, till they have erectile dysfunction, right? When they can't get it up, that's when they go to their doctor. Well, they should have gone five years ago when they started developing diabetes, but it wasn't until their penis stopped working. Well, their heart has been affected by their declining health and the way they're eating. So we have to listen to the symptoms of the body.

And that person, the man who temporarily lost his penis' function, that can be reversed if we catch it quick enough. But also if he had listened to his body, he would have noticed years before, starting to get tired, going towards more sugar and more caffeine for energy, because he felt tired in the morning, not being able to stay up as late, just like falling asleep while watching TV, getting acid reflux, little things that normally the average person puts band-aids on. Oh, I'm going to take an antacid. I'm going to take a Tylenol or an Advil. I'm just going to drink some alcohol here and I'm going to self-medicate, right? I'm going to take some coffee here, alcohol here. People self-medicate instead of listen to the symptoms. And if we listen to the whispers, then we can catch something, but we have to know. And so I love that you said, if anything's happening with eyesight, especially like glaucoma, we need to get our heart checked right away. We need to take it seriously. And there's a way to reverse it. And we can do that with food, certain foods we gotta stop putting in our mouth and certain foods we gotta put in our mouth  more. 

Catharine Arnston (01:43:51.713)

Exactly. You've got to give your body what it needs and stop giving it what it doesn't. But you also raise a really very important point, which I want to emphasize. Your body, there's a great expression, an old ancient Asian expression. You never step in the same river twice because a river is flowing. So every second different things are flowing by and your body is the same way.

You have over 30 trillion cells in your body and guess what? 30 trillion cells die every day and 30 trillion new cells are born every day. You change your entire stomach lining, I think it's either 24 hours or 48 hours. Other parts of your body take longer, like your skin if you're young it's a 25 day turnover as you get older it's more like 60 days or 72 days your organs.

But the point is, is that if you have a condition, like this gentleman developed, you know, an eye condition, it's not, it doesn't have to be permanent, but you have to do something about it. And the other thing is that if you slide into this, getting into a condition,, in this case, it was unusual because it did happen so quickly, but usually things like cancer and heart disease. They call it silent inflammation for a reason. You don't even know that it's going on. You may be having damaged mitochondria and cellular acidity for decades before the symptoms even start showing up. And once the symptoms start showing up, then you start noticing, because your body's like finally throwing you a flare. It's like, hey, over here, buddy, like do something. And that gets your attention, but sadly in America, we think, oh, we need to go get a pill. But what you really need to do is evaluate what part of your lifestyle has caused this condition because the drugs only mask the symptoms. They will not correct the condition. And your friend at least was well aware that he had a change in condition, but look, it took him a year to regain back all of that new damage. And so this is why I tell people, even if you are healthy now, start taking spirulina and chlorella on a daily basis because you don't know what else is going on under that hood. There may be conditions that symptoms haven't shown up yet, but if you continue down the path you're on, they will eventually. This is why I again consider these two allergies as your health insurance and for a dollar a day you're worth it. Because lots of these symptoms take a very long time. In his case it was very dramatic.

But the eye, because also it's very porous, and porous things like blood, they change very, very quickly. Organs, which are very dense cells, take a long time to either get damaged and or corrected. So anyways, I just wanna mention that. Whatever condition you have, it does not have to be permanent, but you have to make a change.

And the algae seems to be the most effortless, most powerful instrument that has been proven time and time again to have that benefit. So I definitely want to talk about cancer because we've talked a little bit about the brain health and whether it's Alzheimer's, depression, anxiety, mitochondria health is critical and spirulina is proven to facilitate mitochondria health and of course that affects your brain and it also affects your heart because it also your heart also has such a high concentration of mitochondria and again that superoxide dismutase is stopping the free radical damage because it can get in there in the inner membrane to prevent all that damage. But there's another equally powerful nutrient. I have these usually these great visuals I show people It's sort of like Superman and superwoman So think of superoxide dismutase as Superman and the one I'm going to talk about now I've mentioned a couple times the blue pigment in spirulina called phycocyanin think of it as superwoman and again that spelled P-H-Y-C-O-C-Y-A-N-I-N and I'm sorry for repeating myself, but it's very important to me that you have the ability to go on Google and check some of these things that I'm telling you about and you'll see that I'm telling you the truth. But just like you wouldn't know to look for something, it's like those Rorshach inkblot tests where, there's that one picture where you see an old woman and suddenly you look at it differently and you see a young woman and then you look back and you see the old woman, right?

Now that you know some of these things. You're informed. So you can't unknow something. And so now you're more empowered to look for the things that you are aware of that will help you be healthier. And that's my goal here. So this other thing that I really want you to know about is this blue pigment called phycocyanin. So it's so powerful. I'll send you all the links so that you can put it with your show notes so people can get access to the actual links to the actual National Institute of Health studies where I get all this juicy stuff. So in this one particular study, they took a Petri dish and they put cancer cells in there and they dyed them purple just so you could see them in the Petri dish.

And then they added some phycocyanin, the blue pigment in spirulina, to the petri dish. And there's six images and it takes 24 hours. They space them, four hours apart, I guess. And after 24 hours, not all, but virtually all of the cancer cells are gone. Gone. That's because phycocyanin kills cancer cells.

And I'll tell you how it works in a minute. So I went into the study and I saw how much phycocyanin they used in this particular experiment. And I realized, and I checked our lab tests, one of our L-EnergyBits tablets, one, has 4,000 times more phycocyanin than they used in this particular experiment that basically wiped out all the cancer cells within 24 hours, gone, gone, right? I'd say that was pretty powerful. But just like superoxide dismutase, phycocyanin gets damaged by high heat. So anybody who is using, and it's 99% of the companies who use high heat to dry their algae, so these are lower priced algae companies, you're not getting the benefits of phycocyanin because they've killed it. The only other place that I can confidently direct you is to frozen spirulina because once again it has not been heated so your phycocyanin is alive and well and it will go to work for you. But let me tell you how this works. So I don't know how geeky Ashley's been on the mic. We're going deep, it's worth knowing it because again once you know you can't unknow.

So we know we've talked about this production of ATP in the mitochondria. Well, it's not like going to an ATM machine and you just get ATP. There, it's quite a complicated process. God love Mother Nature, Universe God, whatever you want to call it. It's beautiful how this all works. So the way the ATP is produced is in the mitochondria, in that inner membrane, there are these

four molecules that take the glucose from the food. So you eat food and your stomach digest it into smaller molecules called glucose that make their way into your cells and there's a process that reduces those into electrons. And so it's the passing of these electrons from one of these molecules to the next and there's four of them.

that actually, and then the fifth is where the actual ATP is produced. So think of these molecules like you would someone in a relay race. You've all seen relay races. You have four or five people. One person starts, they have the baton, they run a certain distance. They pass the baton to the next person. That person runs the next distance. And hopefully, the person who's at the last part of that group crosses the finish line and wins. So in your mitochondria, instead of,

runners, you have these four molecules and instead of crossing the finish line, you get ATP produced, which is cellular energy, so what they're passing instead of a baton is an electron and so it goes from one station and then there's a conversion that goes the next station, the next station and then boom ATP. Well it's a little more complicated than just a relay race, because in that process between the four stations, there's two other molecules. They're called transport molecules. They're kind of like having trainer wheels. They help the electron move a little faster from one station to the next. And the analogy that I've come up with is that when you're traveling, a lot of these airports are so big, and so you have to either take a shuttle bus or a shuttle train to get you to your gate. I call them shuttle molecules because they're kind of like a shuttle train. They help you, you may be at the airport but you're not at your gate yet. So you can't actually get to your plane. So there's two of these molecules that are like shuttle molecules. One of them, the first one, which we'll talk about maybe another time, is CoQ10. You've probably heard about the importance of CoQ10. And so it's a shuttle molecule and it is a fat-based molecule. And I'll do a little sidebar just while we're talking about CoQ10. Scientific studies have shown, if you have chlorophyll, and of course Chlorella has chlorophyll, and red light, so it could be red light therapy, it could be sunlight, it actually recycles the CoQ10 molecule so that it can generate ATP for you by recycling that CoQ10 molecule. You don't even have to eat. Pretty cool, right?

But that's the first molecule. That's CoQ10. And that's a fat-based shuttle bus. The other shuttle bus further down between 3 and 4 is called cytochrome c. I know these are, again, scientific terms, but feel free to go Google everything. So this little cytochrome c molecule is a water-based molecule. And guess what? The blue pigment in spirulina is a water-based molecule which I may have mentioned earlier and what it does in healthy cells is it speeds up that cytochrome c. This is one of the reasons why spirulina gives you more energy because it's speeding up the transition of those electrons through this shuttle bus cytochrome c so that you can generate more ATP at the final station. Pretty cool.

But if you have a cancer cell or what's called a zombie cell also known as a senescent cell basically a senescent cell is a cell that is subdivided so many times it's basically dead but it doesn't die it just hangs out and it's inflammatory and so you do things like fasting and cryotherapy to get rid of those senescent cells but back to the story so in a cancer cell or a senescent cell the zombie cells, instead of speeding up that cytochrome c molecule to generate energy, the blue pigment, phycocyanin, detects that it's a cancer cell and it kicks out that cytochrome c molecule completely, and that cytochrome c molecule kills the cancer cells or the senescent cells. Boom. And so just to repeat, in a healthy cell, the blue phycocyanin speeds up the cytochrome c molecule so that the electron transport chain can generate ATP for you faster, which is what you want, but in a cancer cell or a senescent cell which is a zombie cell it kicks out that cytochrome c molecule which then goes and automatically kills the cancer or senescent cells and here's the proof. Well, actually you can just google it and you'll find out about it but when you get chemotherapy, the way they tell whether it's working or not is they measure the amount of cytochrome c in your blood. Because if there's a lot of cytochrome c, that shows that the cancer cells c are dying because that's what cytochrome c does to cancer cells. And that's what they use in a lot of these chemotherapy treatments. I don't know whether it's the phycocyanin, well they do use the phycocyanin, and yes they do, sorry I was drifting there for a minute, and it kills the cancer cells. But who wants to wait to get cancer and who wants chemotherapy? You can kill your cancer cells now just by taking the spirulina tablets daily.

And daily we always have cancer cells, but if you have a strong immune system and strong mitochondria, and who does these days? Like nobody. But if you did, you can start taking the spirulina and it will start killing cancer cells immediately. Unbelievable, right? And none of this is conjecture. This is slam dunk. They are creating the chemotherapy companies in the pharmaceutical industry, they're deep in this rabbit hole of using phycocyanin to kill cancer cells. But who wants to wait to get such a diagnosis of cancer? You can start killing those cancer cells now and trust me, we all have them everywhere at all times.  Cancer is basically cells that have gone rogue. They're acidic, they are not functioning properly, they're not communicating properly, they multiply and they're so damaging and inflammatory. They take over others' neighboring cells so quickly. And by the way, while we're talking on the amazing properties of this blue phycocyanin, there's another amazing property that it does. And again, it's a bit geeky. It's called antiangiogenesis. So what that means is angiogenesis is basically the growth of blood vessels. And you need the growth of blood vessels to feed your brain, to feed your organs, to feed just about everything. But you don't want the growth of blood vessels to tumors. But that's what happens with cancer and tumors. They basically hijack your blood vessels and reroute them to feed them. So they have a blood source so they can grow quickly. And there are certain things that cause what's called anti-angiogenesis, which means it stops the growth of those blood vessels.

The blue pigment in spirulina has been proven to do that. And the process is called anti-angiogenesis. And in fact, there's a really famous nonprofit organization based here in Boston called the Angiogenesis Organization. It was formed by Dr. Li, L-I. And all their research is on things that prevent the growth of these damaging blood vessels to tumors. And I think it was about eight years ago, we got a call from his organization, which is right here where I live in Boston, and he said, we're doing our 20th year celebration conference and we would like you to come and set up a table because did you know that the blue phycocyanin in your spirulina has anti-angiogenesis properties. We didn't even know at the time and then they sent me a bunch of papers and sure enough Bill Gates was there and Bill Clinton was there. I mean very prestigious organization. Dr. Li is very well informed. He's got a great TED talk. He's one of my mini heroes. Anyways so we went and but that's just one more cool thing about blue phycocyanin. A. It kills cancer cells. B. It stops the growth of blood vessels, two tumors, and I might as well throw a third one in there while we're rolling on phycocyanin. As you know with COVID, it has those prongs that stick out from it, those prongs that stick out are how the virus attaches to your cell so that it can invade your cell. Now the cells that it invades are called ACE2 receptor cells. And these types of cells are predominantly found in your nose, your mouth, your throat, your stomach, and your lungs. That's predominantly where these ACE2 receptor cells are. And it's where all viruses enter, but particularly COVID. So blue phycocyanin has been found to sit on top of those ACE2 receptor cells and basically shield them. So the COVID virus can't get in. It's like having a superhero standing in front of your cells. And so if you got exposed to COVID, it would just slip through because it can't get in. It doesn't have the combination lock to get into your cells. And proof of this is that a couple of years ago, when we were height of COVID, the University of Pittsburgh was developing a nose spray made of algae. And I'm pretty sure it was the phycocyanin because, researchers know about this. It just always amazes me how much science is available. 

And this is why I feel I have a role in the world because I go to a lot of these science conferences and I read a lot of scientific papers. But you have to know the jargon. I mean, they speak in jargon. They don't know how to explain simple terms. Like they wouldn't know to talk about a free radical being like a bullet bouncing around or, a fireman or superoxide dismutase being like a fireman who hoped to put out the fire. But I do because I've always been a writer and it seems that I love science. So, the science has been around in many cases 60, 70 years, but it hasn't made its way out to you.

And I read a statistic somewhere years ago that said, like, once there's been a scientific discovery, it takes an average of 18 years before practitioners even know about it because it's still hanging around in the scientific world before the practitioner. And then, it didn't say this, but I think it's true. It's another 18 or 28 years before it moves from the practitioner awareness to consumers. The fact that all this research around spirulina and the superoxide dismutase, and we didn't even get to glutathione or the chlorophyll that's found in chlorella, that's a whole, another two or three hours, but the fact that the science is there's a 100,000 studies, about 60,000 for spirulina and about 40,000 for chlorella, documenting all the different health benefits, whether it's brain health, gut health, detox, skin health, stopping breakouts, wrinkles, the important ones clearly like heart health, mitochondria, a 100,000! I mean, you can't argue with 100,000, but the problem is the knowledge from these papers haven't made their way even to this practitioner community they certainly haven't made their way to the consumer and the other side of the coin is nobody knows the nutrition of algae like I do so even if the practitioners knew about superoxide dismutase and cytochrome c, most of them know about that but they don't know that you can get the highest concentration of these nutrients that protect the mitochondria from algae, 

So there's this huge void that I'm trying to fill to help people understand the science, understand algae, and so that the two worlds can meet because honestly it's from Mother Nature, it's absolutely effortless, it's so proven, but keep in mind not all algae is the same. Algae, like I said at the beginning, is like wine and the way you produce and dry and grow the algae affects the nutrient value by a hundred percent. So you can't just grow a bunch of grapes, stomp on them and then put it through a sieve and think you've got wine. You've got to let it distill. You've got to do a thousand different things before it's ready to be consumed. Same with algae. So there's all these companies. I mean, you can go to Costco, you can go to Target, you can go to just about any place, CVS, and buy spirulina and chlorella. But what you're missing are these critical nutrients, and we've only talked about two, superoxide dismutase and phycocyanin, that aren't in 90% of them, or 95% of them, because they've been killed in the production process. So people are not getting the true prevention benefits or restorative benefits or maintenance benefits. Yes, they give you the nutrition. But man, the clinical benefits far outweigh even the nutritional benefits. Of course, they're very tightly intertwined. So anyways, I just want people to understand, if you can understand your body better, it amazes me, we know how our cell phone works better than we know how our body works. And so if you can just, Body Health 101 is the first lesson is don't eat garbage and understand that the mitochondria are the key determinant for everything. And so whatever you do should be to preserve and protect and nurture, nourish your mitochondria. And when you do that, they will protect and nourish you. You guys are on the same team. I tell people I never eat alone. I always eat with my mitochondria.

Ashley James (02:08:07.140)

That's so good to think about because we tend to eat like we're four years old and we're like a kid in a candy shop. We tend to choose dinner based on what is going to taste good. And if you remember that you're eating with your mitochondria, everything you put in your mouth is going to be feeding your mitochondria. Do you want bullets ricocheting in your cells, creating cancer and creating early death and before you die early, you will have years of suffering and declining health. 

That is guaranteed because you look at the average person and the last few years of life are not pretty for those that eat the standard American diet. It is incredibly unfortunate. Or you imagine you're eating with and for your mitochondria, you're nourishing your mitochondrial cells. Okay, don't eat foods that are super fun, right? Like not everyone needs a kid's meal, right? We can be a responsible adults. And here's the thing chew your food more, get some fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans. And for me, it's non-gluten whole grains. I'm super into quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth, taff. The list goes on and on. You can get brown rice. You can get lots of organic non-gluten grains. So no barley, wheat, rye, oats for me. There's many benefits to avoiding those personally. But eating a wide variety of really healthy foods, incorporating algae, incorporating the, use coupon code LTH. I want you guys to save money and also get the best one on the market. Incorporating that into your life because you're eating with and for your mitochondria. And then here's the thing, maybe dinner isn't the most delicious thing out there, but it is nourishing your cells, it's still gonna be yummy, it still is, because your body knows it's good for you. And maybe you don't love the taste of your kale salad the first time you eat it. There's ways to make it delicious. I can teach you if you want. Write me an email or find me on Facebook, we have a Learn True Health Facebook group. I'm gonna talk about that in a second actually because if you've listened for over two hours, I think we should do a giveaway for If you're still here, we will we're gonna do a giveaway but think about this, if you don't know how to make really healthy food taste good, please come reach out to me. I created a little membership. I filmed for many, many hours in the kitchen and I made delicious meals that are very healthy and also very easy. And so you go to click on Home Kitchen. You could check that out or just message me, join the Learn to Health Facebook group and say, Hey, Ashley, how do I eat really healthy but also delicious? I'll tell you, I'll point you in the direction of some resources so you can find simple, quick, delicious meals. But the thing is, as you eat healthier and cleaner because you're eating with your mitochondria and for your mitochondria, for your cells, as you eat cleaner, your body actually begins to enjoy and crave those foods more. And there's a lot of studies that show that you're not only feeding your cells in the mitochondria, which are this amazing bacteria that live inside your cells, you're also feeding the bacteria that live outside your body in your digestive tract, because we're kind of like a donut. The inside of a donut is not like the little hole, is represents our intestines, and that's considered still outside the body, because it hasn't been absorbed yet. And so there's about six

pounds worth of bacteria. So think about like there's a chihuahua or like a little baby panda that lives inside you that you're feeding. And it actually helps digest our food and it's a pharmacy, it's a complicated pharmacy that creates nutrients for us, digests our food and makes nutrients for us and then we absorb those nutrients. And when you have a really healthy, robust microbiome, which I have lots of interviews about that. Listeners can go to, type in microbiome, and use the search there. They can also type in viome, and use the search there, and listen to those episodes. Listen to my episodes with Sarica Cernohous. Those are really good ones to listen to for understanding more about the microbiome of the gut. But fun thing, when we feed it healthy foods, the microbiome excretes chemicals that go into our brain and make us crave those good foods. Likewise, an imbalance of yeast or candida can make chemicals that overtake your brain and force you to crave foods that feed the bad stuff.

So a lot of times we walk around thinking we're actually following our body's cravings, we are slaves to the what's living in our gut. If you have craving for donut and you're driving up to Krispy Kremes, you need to stop and go, wait a second. That's the bad guys in my gut that want me to feed them that I'm going to go eat the kale salad and throw some chlorella.

Catharine Arnston (2:13:40.605)

Chlorella is the answer to feeding your gut and your gut biome. And it's just as effortless as the spirulina. And so the other thing, you're absolutely right, but I just want to reinforce again, because a lot of people, when they first realize that what they're eating isn't healthy and they're facing this huge monumental shift in lifestyle and food choices. So here's what I want to tell you. If you did not change anything added 10 or 20 or 30 spirulina in the morning and 10 or 20 30 chlorella tablets at night as many as you can get into you just add those because that's effortless again put them in your hand swallow them down chew them whatever it takes but then that will automatically start nourishing your mitochondria your cell walls your brain your gut and it will slowly ease you into choosing on your own to make other changes. But the reason I like it so much is because we are told so many things, well stop doing that and stop doing that and stop doing that. This isn't something that you can add to your life that you don't have to if you don't want to if you're not ready yet. You don't have to change anything but just add it and that alone will make a difference because you will start feeling better. You'll be nourished.

I mean, we had this one woman who was 85 years old write us. We have people writing us every single day. And this woman was incontinent. She couldn't sleep. She had no energy. She started taking our spirulina and chlorella. And like within 24 hours, she said her incontinence was gone. She could sleep six or seven hours in a one fell swoop. Her energy was so high that she said, this is what I did today. I went to see my grandson played basketball at school, I went to see my friend at the nursing home, I did a two mile walk, I came home, I cleaned my garage, I painted my kitchen, and at five o'clock I had some dinner. Oh, and she now does CrossFit. This is an 85 year old woman. And so she got a whole new everything, sleeping through the night, not being (inaudible 2:16:00.49). I want to go hang out with her. Like any 85 year old that's doing CrossFit, I want her number. But so this is all she did. This was the same, like when we did that our clinical trial with those veterans, all they did was add spirulina. They did nothing else, changed nothing else. So, so yes, the goal is to have a healthy lifestyle that includes nourishing foods and lots of regular activity, movement of any kind, good sleep. But on the nutrition side, you don't have to throw everything out and start over again. In fact, don't change anything. But definitely add, because honestly, algae has been around for so long, four billion years, I might point out.

The Egyptians used it 2,000 years ago. The Aztecs used it 250 years ago. They've been using it in Asia for over 60 years daily. It's time. It's time for algae to be recognized. There is nothing else in the world with more nutrition, more healing properties, more nutrients that do things that nothing else can do. And so you might as well get on the algae train now so you can learn to determine the difference between a good company with nutritious, safe, clean algae. You can give your pets or your newborns or your grandparents and one that's just not well grown, not well carefully dried, missing lots of the nutrients. You've got to educate yourself so that you can get maximum benefit from your purchase. And I am very proud of what it is that we do and how

how clean, I mean, we sell through doctors offices. We do third-party lab tests. I couldn't live without this stuff. I take it every single day. I couldn't imagine a day without algae.

Ashley James (02:17:56.148)

I introduced this back when we first did our first interview years ago to one of my best friends who to this day orders on a regular basis. And she said without a doubt, she noticed a remarkable improvement in her hair, skin and nails like night and day. And now she's already very healthy. This woman is gorgeous and, and she's listening probably. But she noticed night and day improvement and also, energy, feeling healthier. But she will not be without this stuff because she said absolutely better hair, skin and nails. And of course, when we look better on the outside, it means something good to happen on the inside, right? Because that's how the body works. And I've got my bag right here. I've been you've made me want some. I've got my bag.

Catharine Arnston (02:18:52.460)

Because you're mentioning beauty, so we do have a brand of spirulina called Beauty Bits because I found when I started the company, the women didn't like the packaging of the blue spirulina. And I started the company because of my sister having breast cancer. So women's health has always been important to me. And the spirulina has more collagen than collagen powder.

It protects your elastin and your collagen production and it kills bacteria so that you don't get blemishes. So anyways it's very good for skin and hair and I wanted women to like the packaging. So we do have a second spirulina called Beauty Bits. And just again a little sort of side note so there's lots of very expensive creams that have been using extracts of algae in their formulations for at least 20 or 30 years. One that you might know is called La Mer. A small jar that's about the size of a tin. It costs $450,  but they're only putting extracts in there and it's $450. And it's only getting on your face because that's $450 you certainly wouldn't be bathing in it. But when you take algae as it's called an ingestible so you're swallowing it or chewing it. It's a more than extracts. It's the whole deal and it's going to all of your body not just your skin but also your organs, your brain, your cells, your digestion, it improves digestion improves elimination so it's a it amazes me that algae has kind of been around, but in the behind the scenes. And it's sort of like someone who's always been a supporting actor. And it's time for Algae to step up and be recognized as a, as a leading man or leading woman.

Ashley James (02:20:49.586)

Nice. Well, we could talk for many, many hours. I want to do a giveaway for the listeners who stuck it out for almost two and a half hours. I want to reward them. So so tell us the details of the giveaway. I'm going to do it in my Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. And you let us know what you're giving away and I'll create the giveaway in the group.

Catharine Arnston (02:21:20.060)

Well, because we've spent a lot of time on spirulina and because we have two brands of spirulina, how about we do a large canister of EnergyBits and a large canister of BeautyBits, because they're both spirulina. And the canister is fantastic because it comes with a large bag of tablets inside. And you open the bag, put it into the canister. By the way, the canister also comes with a really cute travel tin so you can always carry about 60 tablets with you wherever you go. And when the canister is empty, as you only get a canister once, then you refill it by buying a bag. So the canister is great to put on your counter. It reminds you to take your tablets, because they don't need to be refrigerated or anything. And the packaging is really beautiful. So how about we do that?

And again, remember a full bag that's in these large canisters equals the same nutrition as 551 pounds of vegetables. So I live in a one-bedroom condo, and I think 551 pounds of vegetables would take up all the space in my kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and eke out into the hallway. So it's a very, very concentrated nutrition.

Just again, they're safe for pets, babies, pregnant women, nursing moms, grandparents, children. Give your child one or two tablets per their age. So if they're six, you could give them three or six a day.

Ashley James (02:23:01.616)

But you can give them more. I've like just handed the bag to my son and he eats till he is done. Sometimes he'll just eat six. Sometimes he'll eat 20. We'll munch on it. You can eat more because you can't overdo it because it's like you said, it's a crop. You can't overdo it. But especially if you're budgeting, you can just give five or six to a child.

Catharine Arnston (02:23:25.298)

Yeah, I was at a chiropractic conference about four years ago and this chiropractor, I'm trying to remember his name anyways, he's a heart surgeon, his wife is a chiropractor. Anyways, they brought their little daughter, she was I think maybe 16 months, no taller than maybe two feet max, probably weighed 40 pounds if that, 30 pounds. Anyways, they've been feeding her our algae, spirulina chlorella, since she was born.

This little girl, and I have pictures of her, she's absolutely adorable, maybe I'll remember to send them to you, Ashley. She came over to my table, and she started eating our chlorella. She came back probably five times, whole handfuls, just shoved them down her mouth. She had the green on the sides of her mouth. She was making me so proud. In the space of probably two minutes, she must have consumed at least a hundred tablets. This is a year and a half child that was like maybe a foot and a half. I don't have kids so I can't figure out the weight. But I finally said, I think she's probably had enough. But they were fine with it. And so to your point, you can have as much as you want. It's very, very concentrated nutrition. So we always start people with smaller amounts just because if you have been eating a bad diet, it's a lot of nutrition to hit your body with if you suddenly chow down 50 or 60 tablets. But after a while, you get so used to it that you love the energy. You will notice when you stop eating spirulina. Your energy level will plummet. Your mind just doesn't function.

Ashley James (02:25:02.276)

It's no just to preface this you just go back to the way you were you just don't realize if you eat it and you're feeling great and then you stop eating it it's not that you go worse it's you just you go oh my gosh I can't believe that's how I used to feel. Yeah, it's not like you stop eating it and then there's like negative effects of being off of it. But just like it's amazing how we walk around.

Catharine Arnston (02:25:39.246)

Well, it's like putting gas in your car. When you don't have gas in your car, your car doesn't work. When you put gas back in your car, your car works. So think of spirulina in particular, it’s the equivalent of gas for your car, very high test gas or electricity, electricity even better.

Ashley James (02:25:42.794)

Love it. So you essentially have three products on your site. And we've talked about this in the other episodes. You have chlorella and it's packaged in different packages because sometimes people would like a caniste,r with like a bag or there's a few different colors because you notice that women didn't want a masculine bag. They wanted a feminine bag. And I'm not one of those kind of women. I don't care what color the bag is. I'm it's like the good stuff's inside the bag. I don't care what the bag looks like, but there's some women who just  want it to not look like their husband's chlorella. I don't know. And so their's more elegant, so that you could have this beautiful canister on like a cookie jar, basically on your counter reminding you to take it and that's great. I'm so no frills. I'm like, throw me the bag, I'm gonna shove them in my mouth, just give me the good stuff. But some people like the good look. 

Catharine Arnston (02:26:35.518)

Yeah. And I'm very high frills. 

Ashley James (02:26:38.324)

And that's great. I appreciate women who are. I appreciate that. That's not me, but that's cool. So, I mean, it's so beautiful how there's this gorgeous spectrum of femininity. In our femininity, we can be no frills and we can be all frills and then we get anywhere in between. So, you have three products. You have Chlorella, you have…

Catharine Arnston (02:27:04.316)

Well, we actually have two. Spirulina and Chlorella. Boom.

Ashley James (02:27:06.992)

Right, but the third one is the combination of the two.

Catharine Arnston (02:27:09.068)

Yes, so there's two spirulina, BeautyBits and EnergyBits. They're just packaged differently, but they're both spirulina. Then there's the chlorella, which we call RecoveryBits, because it helps you recover your health, recover your gut, recover from drinking, recover from sports, recover from day. Very healing, very detoxing, really builds your immune system. And we didn't talk much about the immune system, but the mitochondria health and your immune system are the two things that work equally powerfully to keep you healthy. But they do different things. So chlorella is the other part and that's the RecoveryBits. And then we have a fourth brand that's called VitalityBits, which is a blend of the spirulina and chlorella. And we did that because some people just want simplicity. They don't want to have to think about spirulina in the morning and chlorella at night. So, this way they just take both the VitalityBits in the morning and they take it at night. They just one stop shop. And one thing I didn't mention, which I should, is because there's so much nutrition in both of them, especially spirulina, it can replace many other things that you already have, like a multivitamin, fish oil, Coq10, biotin for your hair, vegetables even. So it's not that you're gonna spend more money, you'll actually end up spending less because there's less things to track, fewer expiry dates, by the way, the algae last are expired dates usually three years and it never actually goes bad.

Ashley James (02:28:39.120)

It does not, because I have found partially used bags, like in a gym bag somewhere. And I'm like, oh, that was from five years ago or something like that's from many, many years ago. And then I eat them. I'm like, that doesn't taste sale. This tastes great. So I've had that experience where I'll find like a partially used up bag of EnergyBits to RecoveryBits. And I'm like, well, we're just going to keep eating these ones. And it's great. Yeah. Just keep going.

Catharine Arnston (02:29:06.097)

So it does replace a lot of things so you ultimately will save money. Remember if you took 10 a day, it's only a dollar a day. With cancer rates, heart disease, Alzheimer's escalating, no slowdown in the foreseeable future, you just have to be very proactive and protective of your health. This is hand-to-hand combat.Take control over your life. Don't hand it off to the medical community, which as we talked before, I mean, I don't want to bash the medical community because they're very important in certain situations, accidents, major surgeries, but the prevention side of wellness is not their strength. And so things like sleep and nutrition are. And so algae is the best nutrition you can ever put in your body and by the way the chlorella even helps you sleep. So prevention is where the action is and whatever age you are whether you're 25 or 55 I tell people it's never too late to feel great. 

Ashley James (02:30:16.682)

I love it. Well, and to do a 30 day challenge, get a bag of chlorella, get a bag of spirulina, use coupon code LTH is in Learn to Health at Of course, these links are going to be in the show notes of today's podcast at And then do a 30 day challenge and check. Tell us about see how you like it.

In our Facebook group, the Learn to Health Facebook group, when this goes live, I'm going to make a post asking, “What is your favorite thing you learned from today's episode?” And then I'm going to pick a winner. Actually, I have my son do it. I'll give it a few weeks to fill in, cause everyone takes their own time to listen to each episode. And then, after a few weeks, I'm going to have my son pick the winner. And of course, regardless of when you're listening to this, cause it could be five years from now that you're listening to this, jump in the Facebook group, read the comments, maybe someone else learned something that you didn't or you can learn from other people's comments. And also jump in the Facebook group and share what your experiences have been with taking the EnergyBits and the RecoveryBits and let us know what health changes you noticed. Like I was really surprised that my friend was like, “My hair, skin and nails are absolutely amazing! And I think there was one point where she stopped eating it and then she noticed her hair eventually just became lifeless again and thinner and not great. And then she started eating again. She's like, “Oh yeah, I remembered, I really like these!” And she's like, “Now I'm never without them because I really notice a difference in hair, skin and nails.” And I'd never noticed that because my thing was detox. I take the chlorella for heavy metal detox and I really notice a difference. Like hugely, huge. I'll feel, I'll be in like a very toxic state and then I'll take them and I'll just feel it sucking it out of me. Like it's a natural key later. I'll just feel it sucking it out of me and I will eat them in conjunction with sauna therapy and I'll also take them when I'm really hungry but I'm also really busy and I don't have time for a meal. I'll just pop some in my mouth. Or like I said before, when we're just sitting around and we feel like we wanna snack and we wanna chew something and it's salty and it's just the best. And I smile ear to ear watching my family eat these instead of junk food. Not that we have junk food in our house, but we could. 

Catharine Arnston (02:32:40.711)

Yes, and we'll get you some more. we probably have to wrap up, but one thing I do want to mention is, and hardly ever anybody talks about it, is constipation. Whether, if you're eating a lot of bread and sugar, you're going to have a slower digestion because the bacteria suck those things up and slow everything down, which causes you to be constipated. If you are on any kind of medications or antibiotics because they wipe out all the healthy bacteria which again allows the bad bacteria to flourish, and the bad bacteria eat all your food and slow down your digestion and also just when you're older and so you're not moving as much in many cases that causes constipation and when you're traveling i mean the list is endless. Chlorella clears that up for you. 

This is another reason why we want you to take the chlorella, which is called RecoveryBits, before bed because it will work through all the stuff, the junk in your trunk, and the chlorophyll and the other nutrients in chlorella will stimulate what's called peristalsis and magnesium also stimulates that, so that's another thing you can do if you are constipated. But there's magnesium in both the algae. But it does help with that.

Like I said, it's something a lot of people don't talk about, but it's more common than you believe. So that's another sort of benefit for Chlorella, because I know we spent most of the time talking about its sister, Spirulina. So they're both amazing. So, anyway.

Ashley James (02:34:21.163)

I love it. I love it. That's so great. I hope I hope everything's okay in Boston. I feel like the entire interview, I've heard nothing but sirens in the background. I just want to like call up Boston, be like, you okay, Boston? 

Catharine Arnston (02:34:32.094)

Oh, yes. I'm sorry. Well, I live right beside Mass General Hospital. So, the ambulances normally close off their sirens by the time they get here. I'm sorry about that. 

Ashley James (02:34:41.166)

Oh my goodness. No, I was just thinking was there some kind of major emergency? Oh my goodness. When I listened to podcasts when I'm driving and if there's like that background sound, like looking everywhere. So I hope the listeners weren't like driving around listening, going, oh, is there a siren nearby? Oh, but no, and it's not your fault. I mean, other than you chose to live near a hospital, but that's what we get, right? For living in the beautiful city of Boston, right? That's what we get. Oh my goodness. It's been wonderful having you on the show again. And I can't wait to have you back.

Please come back when you earn your PhD, after all the sifting through the data of your study, when that's published, I want you back. Anytime you've got major findings, I want you back. Here's your passion and your compassion, right? You have both. You've got compassion in one hand and passion in the other, and you want to bring this information out to the world. It's not just about you selling a product to us. 

Catharine Arnston (02:35:48.915)

No, I've never wanted to be a vendor. I just want to help people, but algae is the best and easiest way to do it and scientifically proven. It slows me, it upsets me a little bit that I can't get this information out faster. So thank you actually for helping me.

Ashley James (02:36:04.857)

So absolutely, and everyone share this information with those you care about. And what I get from Catherine, her and I have known each other for a few years now, which is really cool, because you know what, when I first met you was through Shark Tank. I watched that episode live, and I despise Mark Cuban for his comments that I still remember that episode. Yes, you were there.

Catharine Arnston (02:36:29.081)

Oh my god!

Ashley James (02:36:31.617)

And then it was a few years later that we connected. And so I've gotten to know Catherine over the years. And what I get is that you brought EnergyBits to market because there's a need and there's no ethical company doing it for us. And you're the one going well, because there's so many unethical companies selling it cheaply that are harming people. We're not getting the benefits because of the way they're processing it. And you're standing up going, no, this is such a powerful superfood that has so many healing properties that could really change people's lives but we have to invest in the way to farm it and to process it so that we maintain the quality and we test for purity, so you do all that and it costs a lot of money to test every batch and make sure that everything's clean and everything's well done. So we're passing on our dollars to make sure we get a superior product. And I really appreciate you. And I know 100 years from now, you and I won't be here, but your legacy will live on and that you have been an early adapter to spread this information. And I always describe it as this visual of a little ripple becoming a tidal wave, right? So this little ripple of information needs to go out, but the listeners, the person that's going to make it grow into the tidal wave to become a roar, to help people and spread it. So listeners share this information with those you care about and share it with those you don't care about. You know, Jesus talks about forgiving our enemies. You should be sharing this. Share this with your enemies and then make them wonder if they're your enemies or your friends. They're going to be like, wait a second, she shared it with me. Am I a friend or an enemy? But forgive your enemies. Share this information with them as well. We should all want to get better together. Thank you so much for coming on the show and listeners. Please check out, use coupon code LTH and come into the Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group and join in the giveaway and in the conversation. Yes! And Catherine, I can't wait to have you back on the show. It's been such a pleasure.

Catharine Arnston (02:38:47.669)

Yes. Thank you Ashley.

We'll get that giveaway going. Yes.

Thank you. Algae is the answer. So just give it a try.


Get Connected With Catharine Arnston!

Official Website





Recommended Book by Catharine Arnston

Vitamin K2 And The Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheaume – Bleue

Recommended Links:

Learn True Health – Episode 357

Learn True Health – Episode 265

Learn True Health – Episode 218

Learn True Health – Episode 227

Downloadable Information About Chlorella And Spirulina:

why is our spirulina and chlorella the safest and best

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

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

Vitamin K2 is found in RECOVERYbits chlorella, helps prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's, and osteoporosis

Nov 20, 2023

Have you seen the new page on my site where I compiled a list of everything I love and recommend health-wise?

Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming launch of my new book/health challenge journal!


Break Free: Defeat Cravings, Overcome Overeating with Dr. Glenn Livingston


This episode welcomes back a familiar voice, Dr. Glenn Livingston, the creator of the Defeat Your Cravings system. Dr. Livingston opens up about his personal struggles with food and how this led him to develop his groundbreaking approach. Together, we discuss his new book, Defeat Your Cravings, and share valuable insights into the process of making lasting changes in your relationship with food. We also share strategies for controlling cravings, defeating emotional eating, and finding pleasure in healthier options.



  • Food Industry’s impact on overeating
  • Overcoming food cravings and addiction 
  • Stress response and defeating cravings 
  • Understanding the inner voice and discipline 
  • The importance of breathing techniques 
  • Things to do instead of overeating
  • The negative effects of indulging cravings 


Hello True Health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. I went through something very interesting in October and that's why it took me so long to publish the next episode. I lost my voice for a few weeks and, as I'm hearing my own voice, it's not 100% back yet, but every day I'm getting better and better. So I had quite the adventure in health last month, which of course, included, like I said, losing my voice, and I'm very excited to compile everything I learned from the experience and I'm definitely going to be putting together something for you guys in the near future, where I'm going to share what I found out really worked. 

So I was hit out of nowhere with really bad bronchitis. It was the weirdest thing. I went from totally fine to boom, 100% bronchitis, which led to losing my voice, and the adventure which was last month in my health journey led me to discover a few things that I hadn't used before. I used all my whole bag of tricks, everything I normally use, all the herbs and the homeopathy, the phototherapy patches which actually was the single most important thing in getting my voice back. I went from I'd open my mouth and no sound would come out. I put one of the patches on that, specifically designed to generate healthy new tissue and decrease inflation, and almost immediately I was able to talk again, albeit squeaky and a little gravelly, but it was really amazing to see how, just how fast it helps. So the phototherapy patches I was amazed by, as all my tools I use, but none of it was 100% helping me overcome. 

And I really wanted to avoid the use of antibiotics for several reasons, one being that I am highly allergic to most antibiotics, so that is just not fun for me. In general, and, being the health nut that I am, I will choose antibiotics when I absolutely need it. But I wanted to challenge my body to overcome, and my Naturopath watched me the whole time and said yep, you're fighting it, you're good, you're fighting it, it's not getting worse. It definitely was a really bad case of bronchitis that came out of nowhere. It hit me so hard. It was the weirdest thing, but what I learned was amazing. And, of course, the whole journey is something that I take as a lesson to be able to pass on and help others. So I'm going to put together all the things that I use that really helped. 

Now I have Episode 115 and I've done this a few other times in the podcast where I've shared the tips and tricks and the home remedies for overcoming cold and flu and supporting the immune function and also just making yourself feel better while you're going through the experience. So there's lots of information I've already shared, but I'm going to give you my updated version soon, based on what I went through for most of October, including some new stuff that my Naturopath had me do and it really helped, and it's not something I'm comfortable sharing on the podcast because it's pretty interesting. But I think what I'm going to do is compile a free course, just a free mini course to give you guys all my notes, which is great for anyone who wants to boost immune system and also help yourself when you are fighting something respiratory or when you're fighting, cold or flu. It's great to have these tools. 

I believe in modern medicine, like I believe in that there's life saving drugs and antibiotics are some of them. But I also know, and I've seen so many times, that we overuse antibiotics and we tend to run to them first instead of helping the body fight the battle. So if you're like me and you're one of those people who really wants to support the body and fighting the battle and not wiping our entire microbiome every time we get a cold or flu, which can lead to so many health issues in the long run, including Candida in the gut. But also Dr. Joel Fuhrman talks about this I had him on my show before. He talks about this that there are studies that show that every time you use antibiotics, we raise our chances of cancer, and so we are damaging ourselves for our long-term health, our long-term gut health, but we're also significantly harming our immune system and leaving ourselves more susceptible to what they now call superbugs. So not to fear monger at all, but basically it's a tool. These drugs are a tool that we want to use when we need them, and we also don't want to run to them at the first sign of infection if we can fight it ourselves, and I have some amazing holistic tools that are scientifically proven to help our bodies overcome, which I did, and now my voice is healing. Every day. It's getting better and better. You should have heard me a few days ago. I sound like a Mickey Mouse, or Minnie Mouse if she had been a smoker for 30 years, which is kind of sexy but also not great for broadcasting. So I'm going to wait about another week before I start doing interviews again, but luckily I had actually done this interview right before I got sick, so I'm able to publish it now. 

I am so excited to share something with you and that's a project I've been working on. I've compiled what I've done the last 12 years working with clients. I've compiled a list of health habits, of lifestyle changes that are so significant or so meaningful that they make huge strides in health. So if you want to increase your immune function, if you want to increase your energy, if you want to deepen your sleep, if you want to lower your stress, if you want to have more joy in your body and more joy in your heart, have better digestion all these things. I have these amazing and very powerful foundational tools that are daily habits, and habits are kind of hard when the at first right, because they're such a new thing. It's not one of our habits, right, so it's easy to forget or easy not to do. But I teach them in such a way that's fun and easy to implement and you see almost instant results. And by the end of this journey you will have all the foundational tools that I teach all my clients that really help them overcome major issues and feel like they're just loving the body they're in. 

So I'm going to be launching in a few weeks my first book, which is more of a wellness journal. It's going to be the Learn True Health 12 Week Wellness Revolution Journal and in it, every week you get to do a new habit that I teach you. It's like a health challenge that you get to do for seven days and if you love it and you see a difference, you can keep implementing. Keep doing it. Most of these habits are things that are no cost or very low cost, things that are going to be easy to implement in your life and you'll see big rewards. So it's totally worth doing. It's going to be a lot of fun. And well, I think it's a lot of fun because I'm a health nut. I think you're going to think it's a lot of fun because why else would you be listening to this podcast? But I'm working on launching it so it'll be available before the holidays. 

I think it's going to be a great gift for those you care about, those that want it, no matter where they are on their health journey. My goal with my journal that I'm publishing is that it is going to meet you where you're at. So if you're someone who is just taking their first steps into health, just taking the first steps into getting their health back, or if you've been walking the health nut path with me for years, both people will benefit from this journal. So it's going to meet you where you're at and help you build foundational health habits in a fun way that you get to see results and feel results in your body, and that's so rewarding. So you can give this to those you love. You can do it with your friends. You can even get friends or family or your sister, your sisters, or get your partner or your kids or your mom with you to do it with you. And how fun would that be. And it'll also be great going into the New Year's because I think January mentally is kind of like wipe this slate clean. 

I remember just last January because we lost our daughter two years ago, and just last January I was at church and it was the New Year's and I just saw my hand. Just mentally it's like wiping the slate clean. I'm like I am closing the book on suffering, like I did my grieving. I love her, I miss her, I think of her all the time and yes, I get sad about it and I also feel tremendous love. 

And what happened in January is I said, you know what, 2023 is a new year and I'm closing the book on that suffering. And It's just another day, right? December, and then, all of a sudden, January 1st, it's just another day. It's very mental. It's a mental exercise. It's not real, we made up these days. But there's something significant when we say January 1st, we feel like we can wipe the slate clean and we can start again and we can take on new challenges and it's all just your mindset, right? So I love that idea of saying you know what, I'm closing the book on those old health habits that no longer serve me. I'm closing the book on doing things in a way that's not serving me and today, January 1st, I'm starting new health habits that are helping me become healthier and stronger. And you could start it in December if you wanted to, or you can wait till the holidays are over, but either way, my journal is going to be amazing. 

So make sure you subscribe to the Learn True Health podcast. Make sure you come into the Facebook group. If you're on Facebook, Learn True Health on Facebook you can go to and sign up for my newsletter. I send like maybe three emails a month. I promise I won't spam you, but I'll definitely be sending you updates as this journal is launched. And for my top listeners, if you are a big fan of the Learn True Health podcast or if you want to be, either way, I'm going to be offering a few of my listeners a book for free and I'm going to be updating you very soon on the details of that. So just pay attention, keep listening, because there's going to be a way to get my book for free. It's actually going to be a signed copy as a gift I want to gift some of you guys, and so just keep listening, keep hanging in there, and you'll hear from me soon about it as I launch it. 

Thank you so much for being my amazing listeners and sharing this podcast and my podcast with those you care about, because together we are helping people to overcome. And just remember that, no matter where you are in your health, think about what you have overcome and what you are grateful for, because there's always something in your body, in your life, in your health, that you are grateful for. And think about the things you don't like about your health or your life, the things you want to change, and whatever it is. There are steps to change it, there are steps to improve it, and here on my show, I'm here to help you with that and my guests are here to help you with that. So let's turn this ripple into a tidal wave and help as many people as possible to learn true health. Enjoy today's episode. 

Ashley James (0.11:38.719)

Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 512.

I am so excited for today's guest. We have back on the show with us, someone who is so near and dear to my heart, Dr. Glenn Livingston. He is the creator of the system, Defeat Your Cravings. You can go to to check it out. Glenn, you today are earning your frequent flyer miles pin, because you have been on our show now. This is your fifth time.

I just want to let listeners know about the other times you've been on the show so they can go back and listen to previous episodes with you if they'd like. Episode 56, all the way back when I was just a little itty bitty baby podcaster. Episode 56, you came on and talked about ending binge eating and that was like six, seven years ago. So lots happened. Yes.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.12:39.603)

When I still had my teeth and hair.

Ashley James (0.12:43.879)

Episode 231, he is gorgeous by the way. He definitely still has teeth and hair. He's just joking. Episode 231, you talked about willpower. Episode 249, we talked about the impact of eating right. Episode 423, stopping nighttime eating and cravings. But today, you're coming on the show to talk about your new system, which has been an evolution of the ongoing work you've been doing for so many years and you and your team have helped over 10,000 people, is that correct?

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.13:16.955)

Well, the book has over a million readers. My Psychology Today column has over a million readers and we've had about 2000 paying clients. So, I imagine we've helped a hundred thousand people or so. 

Ashley James (0.13:33.561)

Okay. So somewhere in there, it's in the thousand. So, but 2000 paying clients, you've followed their progress and seen them overcome and watch them. And your system has evolved based on working with 2000 people. 

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.13:52.070)

Yes. Exactly. 

Ashley James (

Very cool. So I definitely want to jump into you talking about what is the difference between defeat your, your new system and your book, by the way, holding your book right now. I love your book. I couldn't put it down. I've read your other books and they're all great, but this one I feel is, it was so much easier for me to work through the system and to look at myself and do some self-reflection and to set some rules in place. It's like a fine wine. You've refined it. And of course, after working with 2000 people, there's definitely something to say about your book, Defeat Your Cravings. And I want listeners to go to if you feel like food controls you in any aspect of your life.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.14:45.501)

You can get a free copy in the Kindle or Nook format there. Well, thank you, Ashley. I'm really excited to be here. We've always had in-depth stimulating conversations where I learned things too. And I've had you on my show, so I guess we're buddies. I guess we're in the mutual appreciation society.

Ashley James (0.15:04.977)

Absolutely. And you've really helped me through the years. And I don't know if you know that, but part of my podcast is that I'm on this healing journey with my listeners. I consider myself an expert. I've put in the 10,000 hours into research and working in the holistic health field, but there's no Mount Everest of health and mental wellness. Like there's just no like, Oh, I achieved it. That's it. Check that off my bucket list and I'm done. We're always growing, evolving, learning. And I just love what I've learned from you. And I've told my friends to see you and you're someone who I feel is so compassionate, so caring, but also will cut through the BS in such a loving way that you really help people just get to the heart of it and get results without having to do years and years and years and years of work. Like you just cut through in a very loving way. So I really appreciate your system.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.16:03.877)

I'm going to have to have you follow me around and introduce me everywhere.

Ashley James (0.16:08.013)

I will edify you. I hope to introduce you to other people for sure. 

Well, for those who didn't listen to the other episodes, why don't you just give us the little tiny blurb about you so people can understand where you're coming from.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.16:25.755)

Okay. So I guess the thing to know about me is I'm not a doctor who just decided to work with obesity or, eating troubles. And by the way, part of what's different about the new book is it really expands to allow people to work with anything that's making them eat beyond their own best judgment. You don't have to have an eating disorder to benefit from this. But I'm not just a doctor that decided to do that. I had an awful lot of trouble with food myself. I mean, if you went by the Woodbury Country Deli in the late 90s sometimes, and you found that they were out of pizza or pop tarts, the odds were that I was there before you. I was almost 300 pounds and I was suffering, not initially. Initially, I thought I'm 6’4 and I'm modestly muscular just genetically and so I could get away with a lot when I was a kid and I was working out all the time, but when I got married and I got a little older and I was commuting two hours each way to see patients and I wanted to help my wife at the time with her business, I'm divorced now, but I wanted to help her with the business. I didn't have time to work out and the food started to catch up to me. And it wasn't so much the physical impact at first, later on it was, but it was more the mental obsession with it. Like I'd be sitting with patients and thinking, when can I get to the deli or when do I get the next pizza?

And to be a really good psychologist, which has always been really important to me. I mean, I grew up in a family of psychotherapists and I used to have my little friends come over and lie down on the couch and tell me about their mother and it was always the most important thing to me to really help people. But, I just found that I was a little too obsessed with food to be a hundred percent present. And thank God I worked that out eventually, but, I went the traditional route, and, I tried to love myself thin. I thought if I could heal the hole in my heart that I wouldn't have to heal the hole in my stomach. And I went to the best psychologists and psychiatrists and counselors. And I went on a spiritual journey and I went to Over It Is Anonymous and everything got me a little thinner and then a lot fatter, a little thinner and a lot fatter.

I learned a lot about myself psychologically. I feel like it made me a more compassionate, soulful, in-depth person. So I don't really regret having done the journey, but, it really wasn't until about 20 years later that I started to put it together for real. And there were three things that happened that changed my paradigm. What one was that my ex wife was traveling for business all the time. So I only really saw her on the weekends for the most part. And a lot of time into my hands, and I used to consult for some of the clients that she was consulting for, except in a different way, which unfortunately were clients in the big food and big pharma industries, right? I was on the wrong side of the war. Like I'm kind of like the Marlboro man later in his life when he felt contrite. You know, when I was kind of selling sugar all these hyper-palliable concentrations of starch and salt and fat and cytotoxins. It's engineered to hit the bliss point in your reptilian brain without giving you the nutrition to feel satisfied. And as I was doing that, I really started to see how much money and time and rocket science they were putting into engineering these concoctions, and it had nothing to do with personal psychology, like the fact that there are so many calories in such a small space for so little money in a package that mimics what we would see in the wild so that we hit those evolutionary buttons that say we really need that, advertised by, an industry which was spending an equal amount of money to make us believe this stuff.

And I saw there were, five to 7,000 messages per year beamed over the airways and the internet. But hardly, hardly anything more about just eating more fruit and vegetables, right? And I said, well, these are not psychological forces. This is not a problem with my mother having dropped me on my head or her mother dropping her in her head or, you know what I mean? I'm being a little silly, but it's not a depth psychology problem, this was a problem of industry where we're living in a society with a perfect storm for overeating and, overindulging. And then the addiction treatment industry was saying, you can't quit. Even if you want to, the best you could do is abstain one day at a time. And there's no evidence of that, by the way. 

And in the meantime, there were all these fat cats and white suits with mustaches that were laughing all the way to the bank every time I'd look for love in the bag or a box or a container. And I said, okay, this is not necessarily an internal problem. And maybe I have to switch my paradigm to being the alpha dog of my own mind.

Maybe it's not so much, I love your inner wounded child, so that you can get thin kind of approach and maybe it's more so of a take charge and take no prisoners, tough love kind of approach where, it's very similar to other biological urges. Like if you really have to pee.

You don't pee in the middle of a business meeting. You tell your bladder that you're in charge and you've got some things you want to accomplish as a civilized member of society. And when you're done, that you'll take a trip to the bathroom. Or if you see attractive people on the street, you don't run up and kiss them. There are ways to go about these things. And actually, my way was usually to run the other way because I was shy. But, you know what I mean?

We're expected in our world to take control of our biology. We're not really allowed to say, well, the devil made me do it and I can't help myself. And we don't have to go to therapy for 20 years to figure out how, not to run up and kiss someone in the street. And so I kind of got tired of all the depth psychology. I loved all the personal growth, but I got tired of the implication that if I loved myself enough, I was going to be okay. And I think that was just a big distraction. Okay. Then I learned a couple of other things. I learned that the reptilian brain, which is the seat of, cravings, which is the seat of, food addiction, really, or any addiction that.

It doesn't know love. It looks at something in the environment, and its assessment is like a bad college drinking game. Like, do I eat it, do I mate with it, or do I kill it? I love your laugh. But I mean, that's what it is. It's eat, mate, or kill. The reptilian brain doesn't really care about your tribe or your loved ones or your romance or your connection. And it certainly doesn't care about your long-term goals or contributions to society, your spirituality, your art or your music or, your psychological growth, it's in an eat, mate or kill situation. And so in order to be the alpha dog of my own mind,  I'd read a little bit of alternative addiction treatment literature and it suggested, this is by Jack Trimpe, the book was Rational Recovery, it suggests that you bifurcate your mind, that you separate your thoughts into two kinds. He was talking about drinking, so he would say there are the kinds of thoughts that suggest that you'll ever drink again and there are the kinds of thoughts that say that you never will.

And I thought, okay, so I just need a line. I don't have any trouble with alcohol or drugs, but food has always been my drug of choice. I said, I'm just gonna draw a really clear line in the sand. And one of my first ones was that I would never have chocolate on a weekday again. And that way, if I knew that if I was in a Starbucks and I heard this little voice that said, Hey, Glenn! You worked out really hard today. A couple of the squares are not going to kill you. You're not going to gain any weight. Just start your silly rule again tomorrow. I'd say, wait a minute, who's in charge here? That's not me. And this is a little bit embarrassing, but I said, that's my inner pig. And chocolate on a weekday is pig slop. I don't eat pig slop. I don't let farm animals tell me what to do. It's I'm actually a sophisticated psychologist and I've been all over the airwaves, but this is what it took for me to start to beat the thing. And it wasn't a miracle, like I wasn't better right away, but what did happen was that I would wake up at the moment of impulse. And I had the opportunity to make a different choice. There's extra microseconds. It's like I managed to pry a space between stimulus and response. And what I know now is that the brain really wants to automate the acquisition of calories.

That only makes sense. It's a survival response. So actually people who have stronger cravings actually have healthier brains. It's not a sickness. They actually have healthier brains. It's just that in the modern and food environment, those cravings don't really serve us, and so that was the birth of my recovery.

Over the course of the next eight years, and and it only takes a couple of months for people to recover now when I work with them but over the course of eight years for me I worked entirely with that cognitive operation separating my thoughts into– thoughts that wanted me to break the rule and thoughts that wanted me to stick to the rule.

 When I heard a thought that wanted me to break the rule I would try to take a breath and calm down and then I would say, Well, how is that thought wrong?

Well, I mean, the way that particular thought is wrong, the idea that you could start your rules tomorrow, it'll be just as easy, is that the way the brain works, if you're craving chocolate, and you  think, I'll just start my silly rule again tomorrow, and then you eat the chocolate, you've just reinforced that thought because what fires together, wires together, and you've made it more likely that you're going to think start tomorrow, tomorrow.

So if you're in a hole, you really have to stop digging and use the present moment to be healthy And that that's an example of what I would call a cognitive refutation We figured out what the pig was saying we figured out what was logically wrong with it. And what that does is It eliminates the justification in the absence of a justification if you make a commitment to a goal and then you can't justify breaking that commitment it becomes psychologically uncomfortable to break the commitment. Not impossible, but uncomfortable. because you don't have the excuse anymore. It's kind of like if it was previously a greased chute, now you've poured some sand and glass on that chute. You can still go down if you want to, but it's not really advisable and it's not much fun. And so that's how I recovered. But it turned out for me that there were a lot of things that the pig was saying. There were a lot of lies it was telling me. 

I did it the long hard way because I only use these cognitive techniques and I hadn't really developed the methodology for flushing them out quickly, so I didn't have my systems available to me when this all started. It took about eight years keeping a journal. Then I eventually wrote a book. That book took off just around the time I was getting a divorce in 2015. I published it and it took off in 2016.

I wound up with a million readers and all these clients. Then over the course of the years, coaching those people, I develop ways to do it faster and better, still focusing almost entirely on the cognitive component, like how to fix your thinking about food, which is very important, so I was able to speed things up, but I started to see that there were things that people were doing where some people would do better than others. And they didn't have to do with fixing their thinking about food. It had more to do with self-care. Like the people who were eating more regularly and reliably and who weren't trying to lose weight really quickly, who were like prioritizing health and control over the eating more so than losing weight fast.

So they mostly would have three meals a day. They mostly weren't doing extreme diets. I would see higher levels of success with those people than the people that would say, well, I'm only gonna eat apples for a month, or I'm only gonna have one meal a day, or something like that. I've befriended many of the intermittent fasting podcasters and I don't dispute the medical benefits of it, but I just tell people that if you're struggling to get your eating under control, you should probably have somewhere between three and six months of regular reliable nutrition before you do that. And then you can go back and integrate it. So Ashley, you still there by the way? I didn't hear.

Ashley James (0.31:14.569)

I really agree with you about the intermittent fasting and actually that in your book. I'm again, love your book, Defeat Your Cravings.

I really want listeners to go check out There's lots of great freebies. Like you said, you can even download the book for free if it's on Kindle. And in the book, you talk about intermittent fasting and I found it fascinating because I'm one of those health coaches who tells my clients not to intermittent fast at the beginning. And so many of my clients are like, okay, I'm ready to get my health back and I'm gonna only eat two hours a day. And I'm like, no, and fasting is really healthy and it's not healthy at the beginning especially if people have been eating more the standard American diet or processed food, but I love how you elaborated on that and explain that what you saw in your 2,000 clients that people who jumped on the intermittent fasting bandwagon, they ended up failing in their recovery or the recovery became much more difficult because they would relapse and they didn't really do the work. It's just harder to do the work and get to a place where food isn't this constant obsession in their mind or they feel like they have really great control over their cravings and their eating. And then later down the road, like you said, three, six, nine months down the road, when you really feel like you are at a really good place with your eating, then start to slowly transition into intermittent fasting and give it a try, but only when you feel like you're in control.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.32:55.102)

I think it's because you first have to normalize your blood sugar and get used to what it feels to be more even keeled. And I think you have to, getting a lot of the toxins out of your system. Your body has to do that work first. And also, when you get a lot of the processed foods, not my people don't have to give up anything necessarily. There are things in processed foods that turn off your ability to know when you're hungry and full and they mess with your leptin and ghrelin and the hunger regulating hormones and they really create cravings for themselves. And so, it's very, very uncomfortable getting off of those foods in the beginning. So if you combine that with

the fasting element that tries to speed up that production, the purging of it, it's more uncomfortable and I think a lot of people crap out because they can't get through that.

Ashley James (0.34:02.016)

Another thing about intermittent fasting that we don't consider, especially if someone has a blood sugar dysregulation, and you don't have to have type two or type one diabetes. Like you can just be like pre-diabetic or you could have metabolic syndrome or you could sort of still have somewhat okay A1C, but you could sort of go into hypoglycemia or you could go into hyper. You can still have problems with your insulin resistance  and jumping into too quickly into narrowing your feeding window, your eating window, causes you to go into stress response. And the stress response then oftentimes will trigger our desire for comfort food, right? It's like our binky. I don't mean to like make fun of people, again, everything I say is because I've personally been on this journey. I am on this journey with you, but I have to catch myself. because like Glenn, you talk about how your inner voice is your pig. And I identified in one of our interviews, I'm pretty sure it was the Episode 56, that my inner voice is my inner brat. And I am like this total spoiled five-year-old little girl, like think of in the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. What's her name?

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.35:29.248)

I know who you mean. She went up having a big…

Ashley James (0.35:34.324)

She became a big blueberry! That's like me, this little brat, and she wants what she wants when she wants it. And so if anyone said to me, like, do you really need that dessert? I don't eat sugar anymore. I'm so much better than I used to be, but again, I'm not at the Mount Everest. I'm not done.

I want to keep getting better and keep getting better. But Ashley in the past would get very angry and I'm not an angry person, but there was just something in me, the brat came out and she's like, no, I want what I want when I want it. And now I'm gonna have two pieces instead of one. And it was really interesting to observe that and to them, like you said, almost like dissociate and become the observer observing the voice and going, Hey, that's not me. This voice is the brat, or for you, like it's the pig, which is great. I just love that because you call anything that is outside of your food rules that you get to create for yourself is pig slop. And and it gives us so much strength in the moment because it causes that pause. It causes that little break.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.36:47.443)

Because you'd wake up and wonder who's in charge and whether you really want them to be.

Ashley James (0.36:51.785)

And with intermittent fasting, it does trigger the stress response until you get really used to fasting. And anything that increases your stress response is going to have us be thrown back into that reptilian brain. And so that brat becomes louder, that pig becomes louder. And I just feel like it's we're shooting ourselves in the foot. As we're going through defeating our cravings, or using your system to defeat our cravings to then do stuff that increases stress. We want to do things that decrease stress and I love how in your book, you talk about how so many people have found that when we take just five minutes and anyone can take five minutes in a day or just even take three breaths, that kind of pause gives us so much more control.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.37:40.317)

So gosh, you said so many important things that I want to take off on, but let's talk about that stress response. 

Psychologists might call this organismic distress. It's really the experience of something's wrong, I need resources. Maybe I need warmth or contact or food or water or sleep or space to think, but there's something wrong and I need resources. When the reptilian brain feels like that, and it is mostly a reptilian brain function, it wants to force you to be less discriminating with food. So this is why you get the screw it, just do it and response. And this is really what the evolution of the new book was about. The original book was about fixing your thinking with food so you didn't have the justifications. And we do that in the new book also, we took the best of the best of that. But the new book is more about, what is this screw it, just do it, response all about and how do you fix that? And there are a number of things that you said that I could take off on to help people to do that.

One of them is just taking those decision-free breaks throughout the day, because the ability to make good decisions, that's what willpower really is. Willpower is the ability to make good decisions. And we only have so much willpower in a given day. We can only make so many good decisions before our willpower tank is empty. And this doesn't only apply to food decision, it's that applies to- What do I do with this email? Do I delete it? Do I spam it? Do I delegate it to someone? Do I save it for later? Do I execute on it right now? Do I reply right now? Every little decision like that burns a little bit more of that brain glucose that lets you make good decisions later on. What are you going to wear today? Who's going to take Jenny to soccer practice?

It all feeds into it. And there are studies where they show that people have trouble resisting marshmallows if you make them do math problems before. So what we can extrapolate from that is if you can take a few decision-free breaks during the course of a day. Just five minutes where you put your phone down, you turn off your email, you take a walk by yourself, you go and you take some deep breaths and there's nothing to decide. Just five minutes, 10 minutes, twice a day, it makes a world of difference. 

The other thing that can minimize the pressure on your willpower is using the hard and fast food rules. People have a lot of objections to using hard and fast food rules. They're afraid it's gonna stimulate their inner rebel, a whole bunch of things we could address if you want to. But the real benefit of it is that rules make decisions for you. If I say I'll never eat chocolate during the week again, that I don't have to make any chocolate decisions every time I'm at Starbucks during the week. If I say, I'm going to have chocolate 10% of the time and avoid it 90% of the time, that might be a great idea in theory, but how do I decide which is the 90% and which is the 10% and in the absence of a heuristic that helps me to do that then I have to make these decisions all week long and it eventually wears down my willpower. So one of the benefits and one of the reasons why people got so much better when I helped them to overcome their fear of making hard and fast food rules was that, they eliminated a lot of the pressure on their willpower because decisions were made for them. We had them make a list of all their trouble foods and only their trouble foods. You don't want to make rules about everything because it'll drive you crazy but you make a list of your trouble foods and you come up with hard and fast rules to define what role you want that food to play in your life. And it can be anything from I'll never have it again to I'll have no more than two ounces or four ounces per day, whatever it is. We have the good humor person here as we're talking, which is after a poke right. The ice cream truck is here passing by. Can you hear that in the back?

Ashley James (0.42:07.561)

Oh no. See your mic is so good. Maybe heard a tiny bit, but no, that would have been really funny if we all could hear that ice cream truck go by. That's hilarious.

Yes. Glenn lives in Florida where people eat ice cream all year round. I mean, I'm up here in Washington state where it's like 50 degrees. It's 13 Celsius for I have my computer set to Celsius. So I'm, I'm thinking it's in the fifties, but anyway, yes, we're not eating ice cream anymore up here. I love your thing about rules. Sorry, I'm going to interrupt, because you talked about how it's like when people object about, Oh, I can't follow a rule. You're like, well, would you rob a bank?  No, of course I wouldn't rob a bank. Well, would you murder someone? No, I wouldn't. So if you think about there's things in life you've decided you'll never do.

And you know you actually you don't have to have willpower to do those things. They just become part of your character. And over time, these rules that you decide, not you, Glenn, but you, the listener, decide a food rule, then it becomes part of your character. It's like, I don't do that. That's not what I do. Like, I don't murder people. I don't rob banks. I don't eat chocolate during the week or something like that. 

My food rule lately that I created and have been implementing is I never eat past 7 p.m. unless it's apples or algae, like a handful of chlorella or spirulina with my tea. I do like a golden milk, it's not milk, it's a type of Ayurvedic tea that has all these wonderful herbs. And I like to try to eat as early as possible during the day, not intermittent fasting, but I don't want to catch myself at night eating dinner, because I want to go to bed an empty stomach. And I also find that like the willpower, like you talk about, we run out of willpower. So it's like at night, if I'm hungry, the inner brat is the one making the decisions for me. Oh, what sounds good? What sounds delicious? I'm like, no, it's not at night. I don't need calories. I'm about to go to bed. 

If I'm hungry, I could drink some tea. I could have a few apple slices or I could have a handful of chlorella and, or I could just drink some water and be fine. But that inner brat, if I don't have that rule in place, that inner brats like, let's make sushi at 10 at night. I mean, I love cooking. I love cooking healthy food. I cook whole food, plant-based. I don't eat processed food, but I can still over indulge.

I can overindulge a kale salad. It is ridiculous how that inner brat, no matter how healthy you eat, could kind of go off the deep end because you said like the brain really wants to secure as much calories as possible for our survival. And I'm not in a desert. Hopefully none of us are gonna ever be in a famine, so I want to be conscious of eating healthy, but also eating healthy portions that are getting the right amount of nutrients in me. And late at night, if I let myself just eat whatever I want, I almost always will eat too much. And so when I learned about your rules, it's like, yes, at first, there's definitely a part of the brain that goes, no, I'm a rebel, this'll just make it worse. Don't restrict me.

And then when you follow the rules, it's like, oh, there's so much freedom because like last night, I came home from volunteering at the church and I'm like, okay, it's seven o'clock and that's my rule. I'd already eaten enough today. It's not like I was starving myself, but already eaten enough that day, but I came home and had slices of apples and I was so happy and proud of myself following my rule. Instead of, I did not feel like I needed to rebel. 

Dr. Seuss, that was his pen name. I don't remember what his actual name is, but he wrote about this, that in restriction, we actually gain more creativity and we gain more freedom within a set of rules. And he talks about that because he wrote his bestselling book. He was only given 50 words in order to write his bestselling book. I think it was Green Eggs and Ham. I'm pretty sure that's what it was, but he was given 50 words.

And he ended up making a masterpiece. And he said, it was within that restriction that he found freedom. And I found that by following your system, it gives me so much more freedom. Because like you said, now we don't have to constantly rely on willpower and decision-making. We have set rules up for ourselves that give us so much freedom.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.47:06.061)

Jim Rohn said that a life of discipline is better than a life of regret And I found that to be very true and there was a philosopher. I forgot his first name. I know his last name was a Bell Anyway, he explained that Freedom sits on top of discipline. It's not opposed to discipline so for example I'm actually a jazz pianist or I was 25 years ago. I wanted to be.

And I could improvise my soul and you would hear it if I was sitting and playing. But I couldn't do that if I hadn't had the discipline to study the structure of music and if I hadn't had the discipline to study the scales. So I know how to improvise away from that structure because I know where it is and how to get back to it and I know how far I can improvise away from that structure before the ear starts to hear it as noise.

And so that discipline has given me the freedom to express myself. You could also think about driving. It's only because of the discipline of the engineers that work it out so that when you turn your wheel 30 degrees, that the wheels of your car turn 30 degrees. And a lot of other things that the engineers, put into your cars only because of that discipline. That your radius of locomotion is expanding greatly, that you can drive all over town and even all across the country, all around the world without that discipline, you wouldn't have any freedom. So it's a mistake to think that discipline restricts your freedom. Discipline is actually the foundation, which enhances and expands your freedom. And I really think that life is about, as we get older, implementing new disciplines and then working on them so that they become part of your character because then eventually character trumps willpower, eventually you say, this is just who I am. I don't have a rule that says I'll never eat chocolate, again I'm just someone who doesn't eat chocolate, period end of story.

Ashley James (0.49:16.473)

I love that because the pig, the brat, that little inner voice that's always constantly, always ready to get us to break our own rules, right? That wants to convince us that discipline's bad.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.49:35.725)


Ashley James (0.49:37.235)

And so we have to get that like, what part of us doesn't like discipline? And is that part of us really for our best interests? Does it have our best interests at heart?

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.49:49.107)

Right. And you don't even necessarily have to go that deep. At the moment of impulse, you don't have to be asking yourself, is this good for me or bad for me, or you don't have to have that, that in-depth conversation with yourself, you need to set up your rule so that you firmly believe that these are the best ones to follow.

So it's kind of like you do all the strategy work. You do the General, like a General in the army. You would be General Ashley when you're sitting and thinking through the rules and setting them up. But then you're Private Ashley when you're executing them. 

Ours is not the reason why ours is put to do or die. That's a really good motto when you're executing the rules in the moment. If you want to put on General Ashley's hat again, that's perfectly okay if you think you know something, but you do that when you've got a full belly on the rules that you followed and you've got time to think and strategize and you're being rational about it. You don't do that at the moment because the pig wants a piece of chocolate cake or the brat wants a piece of chocolate cake.

Ashley James (0.50:57.358)

So let's talk a bit about the screw it, just do it attitude. I've seen that in myself. I've seen that in my husband. I've seen that in my clients. I've definitely seen it in Hollywood, right? Like mainstream media, like, Oh, you had a fight with your husband. Just go get that pint of ice cream. 

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.51:13.874)

Or on the Golden Girls when they went to get cheesecake, right?

Ashley James (0.51:17.361)

Yes. Right. It's this idea that tomorrow is a better day. And I love that you talked about how it over time builds the neurology of our brain so that we end up just always doing that behavior. We have to think about a behavior you accept is a behavior that repeats. It's not a one off. It's not a one time thing. How do we catch ourselves in the moment and like refute the pig when the pig says, screw it, just do it. You deserve it. We can start tomorrow. Why are you following this rule today? You know, life's been hard. You deserve the food you're craving.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (0.52:04.433)

So the first thing you need to do is create at least one simple rule so that you will wake up at the moment of impulse. If you're trying to eat well or eat healthy and you tell yourself, well, I really know how to eat healthy. I just need to do it more. That's not going to cut it because there's not a clear bullseye to aim for. So you're not going to wake up if the arrow is pointing away from the bullseye. So you start with one simple rule and examples of those could be, I'll never go back for seconds, I'll always put my fork down between bites. It doesn't have to be something that restricts a particular food oir it could be, I only have pressables at major league baseball parks or I never eat bread during the week, but on the weekends I can have two slices when i'm out to dinner. You need a very clear rule so that you'll recognize any thoughts which suggest that you're going to break it so that's what creates the separation between you and your inner food enemy, but once you have that, you'll start to become aware that there are things that happen before those thoughts emerge. Like, your mouth might get a little dry or you might get goosebumps or you might start sweating a little bit. There are signals of activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system that gets us geared up for action. That's the part that says there's a little bit of an emergency here. Now it might not be rational, but we need resources. We might have to fight off that hungry bear. We might have to find heat or shelter. We might need to reconnect with the tribe. We need resources one way or the other. This is not a time to be discriminating about food.

So you try to become more aware of the activation of your sympathetic nervous system. And then you also become aware that between the moment that you first have the thought about breaking the rule and the time when you actually execute the behavior, there's usually a series of fantasies that ensue. For example, I recently gave up all caffeinated beverages whatsoever. I was down to just drinking decaf for a long time and I decided that I had to give up decaf. I'd done it before, but it was harder this time. And the reason for that, by the way, that was my blood pressure was still a little bit high, even though I was eating so well and exercising and not having any truly caffeinated beverages, I was still having gobs of decaffeinated. So I said, okay, I got to get off that. So I made a rule that I never have any caffeine whatsoever, even in decaffeinated drinks. I'll only ever have herbal tea or, non caffeinated beverages. And once I made that, I was aware that, my pig got very active, but I was aware that there was a fantasy that would ensue the moment I started considering maybe that was a stupid role. Maybe I could actually get a little caffeine, maybe I could handle one a day. I would think about, first of all, stepping away from my computer and stopping my work and getting in the car and driving about five minutes to my favorite coffee house and getting the coffee and I put a little plant-based milk in it and schmoozing with the people behind the counter who would often give it to me for free because I was there so much. And I realized it was just this whole pleasurable experience then I'd go back into the car and I'd maybe listen to podcasts while I was drinking it or I'd call friends or my sister or something like that. And it was just this incredibly pleasurable fantasy, even before I began to get in the car.

And then I learned that I could stop that fantasy in the cradle. I don't have to let that fantasy grow up. So I started to ask myself, what authentic pleasure can I redirect that to? Now, with food and drink, it might be something that's on your plan. Like for me, having an herbal tea with a little bit of plant-based milk was almost as delicious as the coffee itself. I couldn't really get it because they didn't have that kind of tea at the coffee house, so I didn't have the whole coffee house experience, but it was equally as delicious, and it would force me to take a little break as well. So I started to immediately recognize when that fantasy would start and I would redirect the fantasy to making my mint tea at home and putting in a little bit of the plant-based milk that I kept in the refrigerator. And so you can do that. You can try to catch the urge before it gets out of hand. Then you can also do a type of breathing, which takes you out of the sympathetic nervous system, and puts you into the parasympathetic nervous system. And Ashley you told me that you were going to add a piece of this-

Ashley James (0.57:12.645)

Oh, yes I'd love to. Yes So you discuss in your book the 7-11 breathing. And we had a little talk about how I teach something, very similar to that. But I add a few details because they've done studies around or observations around, Increasing heart rate variability. So they discovered heart rate variability, I think. I'm 99% sure this is how it was discovered. That there was a Russian cosmonaut up in the space station and he was sleeping, how they kind of harness themselves to the wall or otherwise they'll float around. Allegedly, I've never been there. Just guessing on how they do it. And they were monitoring his heart rate in space. And they started freaking out because his heart rate became what they thought was erratic, but he was sleeping and he's incredibly healthy. And they noticed that when he took a breath in, his heart rate was significantly different from when he exhaled. So like heart rate speeds up and then it slows down with the breath. So imagine breathing, especially when you're sleeping should be a lot like an ocean wave, very just up and down, up and down, just very gradual, slow. And the exhale is much longer than the inhale. And to recreate this, there's no pauses.

So we inhale for seven seconds and then we exhale for eleven. There's no pauses. So you inhale, count to seven, and then immediately begin to exhale, but exhale longer. Now, for some people, this is like eleven seconds is too much or seven seconds is too much. So you can start, because some people have never really taken deep breaths and their connective tissue, the ribs, everything is, it's sort of like you're at the gym, you warm up before you do stuff. We kind of got to warm up the back, warm up all the little joints, get the ribs going. So you might start with a deep breath that's five seconds and then an exhale that's eight seconds. And then if you keep that up, you might get a little lightheaded. So then you gotta slow it down. So take the deepest breath you can. And when you breathe, they call it the three point breath, where you first of all, soften your belly. because a lot of us, especially, I don't know, there's certain cultures which people don't care, but in where I'm from, everyone kind of tries to suck in their tummy and look skinnier than they are. So you gotta let your belly just hang out, just rest and soften your belly. And then when you take a deep breath, feel your diaphragm go down, feel your belly come out, like just give yourself room in your abdomen to let yourself take a deep breath. And then on your next breath, so do the same thing, let your abdomen go down, just relax, let your diaphragm go down, so take a deep belly breath. And then at the height, at the peak of the belly breath, now try to get a few more inches in by expanding your ribs. So now you're breathing like to your sides. You can put your hands on your sides and feel them move. And then the next breath, you're gonna do the same thing. Soften the belly, lower the diaphragm, really get that deep belly breath, feel the ribs expand. And the last part is put your hand on your clavicles, the sternum and the collarbones and feel them rise. So that's the three point breath. So it's belly, rib cage, rising of the clavicles or the collarbones. And that's a really big full breath. And then slow down in the exhale and there's no pauses. So you inhale and then exhale slower and you try to get to a point where your inhale is seven seconds Your exhale is eleven you could even if you're more athletic or you're just more practiced or as you practice this you can even get to a point where maybe it's eight seconds in and twelve seconds out you can play with it, but the idea is you're slowing down your breath, you're getting full deep breaths, you're not pausing between, and your exhales always longer than your inhale. And if you do this every day, you will increase your heart rate variability. And the exciting part about heart rate variability is it's one of the accurate ways that we measure whether we're in fight or flight or not. So whether you're in the stress response, which is the sympathetic nervous system response, or whether we've switched that off and we've switched on the parasympathetic response of rest and digest, of healing. This is the response where the body is able to gain nutrients from our food, where it's able to calmly make healthy hormones, healthy sex hormones, just healthy everything. The body goes into heal mode. The body is constantly triggered to be in stress response and we're seeing this in our food. Actually the processed food triggers stress response. Looking at your cell phone triggers stress response. Looking just at every aspect of our life is constantly triggering this fear. And we're thinking about things we're afraid of, even just thinking about things you don't want to have happen triggers the stress response. So we're bombarded with stress response triggering input all day long. And yet we've never really been taught or raised to perform a habit on a daily basis that intentionally gets us out of stress response. And this is why so many people are so anxious and have sleep problems and have hormone problems and have digestion problems because when we're in fight or flight, the body stops putting resources towards long-term health and healing. And it shunts blood away from the core, so we don't digest. It shunts blood away from the logic centers of the brain. So we have a really hard time focusing and concentrating on critical thinking and higher thinking. And we become more into that reptilian brain. Now, of course, we can override this. That's the cool part is that this is not, this is not like a life sentence. This is not like you're doomed to be controlled by the reptilian brain. This is just what happens if you're not the one driving the bus.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (1:04:03.682)

Well, and the exciting thing is that you can drive the bus. The exciting thing is that the first step is awareness, but once you have the awareness, you can start with a simple breath out for longer than you're breathing without any pauses. So you can push yourself into the parasympathetic nervous system and then you have a lot of options.

See, then you've really pried yourself apart from the automatic loop that the brain really wants to set up in the acquisition of calories. And I have to admit, I didn't know everything that Ashley was just saying now. She just schooled me a little bit. 

Ashley James (1:04:41.618)

Well, I love learning from you, so it's mutual.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (1:04:45.094)

What I would tell people is, think of it like this. If you were running from a hungry bear, you wouldn't have time to breathe out for longer than you breathed in. You'd be going, “Hh–Hh-Hh-Hh-Hh”, because there was an emergency. And so it only makes sense that when you can breathe in slowly and breathe out for longer without pausing, that your brain says, there ain't no hungry bear around. I guess we can work on your strategic rules and your weight loss and all those other things. So that's how you open up the window where you can do things. Often that's enough. Then you can remove the justification we talked about that.

Ashley James (1:05:31.226)

Oh, I want to just jump in right here because I think some people's pig or inner brat might've just said to them, it's not enough. The breathing is not enough. You will always go back to eating the foods. And this is what I love about your book is that it helps us to identify that the second we start on our path of gaining control, that pig, that inner voice is constantly telling us we can't do it.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (1:05:59.902)

That you're in a pig. No self-respecting pig will let you get away with just learning how to stop eating because you started breathing. There's no self-respecting in a pig that's not going to put up a fight. But we're wired to be superior to the reptilian brain, the neocortex.

Part of its function is to delay the gratification of impulse because it turned out to be a survival advantage to be able to do that. So the neocortex and even the mammalian brain, it's layered above the reptilian brain. Reptilian brain is really in the brainstem. So, we have the advantage of tens of millions of years of evolution on our side. And by the way, some people make the creationism argument and say, this wouldn't work for them. It doesn't matter if God put it there or if this is just something that evolved, that the bottom line is we are wired with the ability to, inhibit the reptilian brand. I think it's even in the Bible sometime, like there's no temptation that I haven't given you the capacity to resist. I'm not an expert with that, but so once you have that space, you can look very specifically at what your pig is saying and disempower it. That's fixing your thinking. You can ask yourself, what do I authentically need nutritionally? Sometimes this scruge occur because you're genuinely hungry. Maybe you had a skimpy breakfast. Maybe, it's been too long between lunch and dinner.

I know that for me, I started having kale and banana smoothies when I would have chocolate cravings. So the pig will present to you that your only options are to white knuckle it and starve without the chocolate or else to really indulge and go to town. But the truth is you have a lot of other options. You could get the energy in another form, right? And for me, that was the kale, I think it was the energy and also the minerals and the kale banana smoothie and then kale celery also helped. Sometimes you just need a break, we talked about that. Sometimes you need some human contact. We're a pack animal and we get a little bit frightened. We experience that organismic distress when we are separated from the tribe for too long. So we can tolerate it for a certain amount of time. But if we really don't know where I try this, then, sometimes we really need that attention. So you can ask yourself what you authentically need and you can remind yourself that, you do deserve some pleasure in your life. Your pig will say the only pleasure you can get is from the slop, but I've got a long list of things. I like to watch movies. I have a long list of movies that I could watch again if I want to be happy. I like to take a walk on the beach. I arrange my life so that I'm right by the beach. I like to look at old pictures of my dogs and friends and family and kind of reminisce about things. There's a long list of things that give me a little dopamine hit that I like to do. And you're entitled to some pleasure like that during the day. So you can make a long list of things that would give you some pleasure, take a break from the rat race. And, it's kind of interesting. People will give themselves permission to take a break to go get a chocolate bar, but they won't give themselves permission to just take a break.

Ashley James (1:09:46.159)

Actually, I have a list right here. I made this list. Yes. So you can hear it. It's my list. I made this, this was years ago, probably right around the time that you and I did our first interview together and I had it up on my fridge and that was two fridges ago, cause I've moved twice since. And I just found it as I was going through some boxes. because I had it up on two fridges ago for about seven years or so, just under seven years. 

Things to do instead of overeat, which was the title of it. But overeat for me could also be considered, because it wasn't like I sat there and ate 20 servings, right? For me, overeating could be, I had one serving, I'm full, but then I went back for half a serving more. Like for me, that's like anything beyond what I actually needed was an overindulgence trying to find pleasure in food. And, I think you can definitely find pleasure in healthy food. And then there's that responsibility of like, okay, I'm full. Anything beyond this is just gluttony, right? Or for me, overeating might be categorized as, the screw it, just do it, just eat what you want or eat what you're craving. So here was my list. Drink water, listen to music, adult coloring, which is surprisingly fun. Clean the house, which I know that doesn't sound fun, but you can get a dopamine hit from like decluttering an area or organizing area. We just did the bedroom this weekend and every time I walk in the bedroom I feel so good. And then when I declutter and organize the bathroom for like a week, every time I go in the bathroom, I get a dopamine hit. because I'm like, Oh yes, we re reorganize the bathroom. This looks so good. So cleaning in the moment doesn't sound fun, but once you start putting on some music, once you declutter an area, for days later, you get these pleasure hits from the accomplishment. And that feels really great. 

Sauna. because I've got it. Here's my- (knocks at portable sauna) Can you hear that? That's my Sunlighten Sauna right beside me in the office. Soak in magnesium. The I just got to do the plug coupon code LTH. My favorite is to soak in magnesium. That gets you out of the stress response. And you could be reading a book or watching TV or listening to music or being in a sauna while soaking in magnesium. So that's usually what I would do. Take a bath, walk outside.

There are some water stains, so I don't see what these are, but let's see, exercise.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:12:27.564)

What is adult coloring?

Ashley James (1:12:30.357)

Oh, adult coloring, it's coloring books for adults. Don't knock it till you try it. 

Go on Amazon and just type in, adult coloring book and you could do kid coloring books but the adult coloring books are like mandalas or way more like detailed. I have some that are like Bible verses and yes. And you can, I mean, you could use paint or pencils, color pencils, you could use crayons if you wanted to like get out your inner child. 

You could just grab the book and do it for five minutes. The only decisions you'd be making are like what color goes where, but it's very calming. The whole world kind of melts away and you're just staring at this piece of paper and filling it with color. And it is surprisingly calming. Then as you're doing it, you're like, I'm gonna give it to this friend or I'm gonna put it on the fridge, cause why not? Yes, I'm gonna, why not? Let's see.

You could give yourself a massage or go get a massage. Do some goal visualization. Play with a child or a pet. I wrote play with our son or play with a niece or nephew or something. I wrote Marie Kondo. Yes. Well, the list, I'm not even halfway done the list. I don't know if you want to hear all of it, but I sat down and I wanted to fill a piece of paper with every activity I could do to gain pleasure instead of, eat food for pleasure. My thing is I will get pleasure out of the healthy food I eat and the healthy portions I eat. And my inner brat or the inner pig will constantly tell me that I could never get pleasure from healthy food and I could never get pleasure from healthy portions. And to sit down and write this out, that inner pig would be screaming like, you have to eat, you have to eat the chocolate or you have to eat the whatever you're overindulging in. And by writing this huge list with like the page is full, it's 39 things, once you write this list, it's like, yes, and I'm sure I could come up with even more activities that I could do to gain pleasure. And what's great is that it's way more pleasure to do these things than to say, screw it, I'm just going to give into the craving. Because for some people, for days after they binge or after they give into that craving, they feel horrible. They feel horrible about themselves. They might have eaten food that made them feel bad.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (1:15:16.160)

Most people do.

Ashley James (1:15:17.442)

Yes, they beat themselves up and they're no better off. And I love that in your book, you talk about how there's actually studies that show that when you indulge in the craving, the pig lied to you and said, this is going to give you pleasure. It actually doesn't. We think it will, but it just shows that when they did tests, they found that it didn't increase pleasure. And in fact, in a lot of cases, it increased stress and decreased pleasure.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:15:47.371)

Well, and it decreases your ability to get pleasure from the natural pleasures in life. Like if you have a chocolate bar every day, your taste buds and your dopamine response down regulates as if you've been sleeping under a subway, and you can't hear the subway anymore after a while. And you won't taste the natural pleasures in fruit and vegetables and, fish or meat. You won't taste the natural pleasures in food after a while. And that's why so many people feel trapped.

When you listen to the pig's interpretation, that the only viable pleasure is slop. You know, these concentrated forms of all the things we talked about. And you ingest that every day. Your nervous system has to downregulate it. It can't respond the way that it's supposed to respond because it's a supersized stimulus. And so over time it downgrades its response the same way that your hearing would downgrade its response if you're sleeping underneath the subway. And because it's downgraded the response you can actually get to the point where chocolate doesn't feel pleasurable anymore. It just you kind of feel like you need it to feel normal.

I was just looking at some research on this, that it does generalize to a type of, depressive mood, this thymic mood, and even the inability to think logically as well as you did before you went through this.

Ashley James (01:17:29.176)

This is so important because we see that porn, pornography, when people first start out, largely men, but I think women, there's a percentage of women that watch porn, when they watch porn and they ejaculate or they have an orgasm, that first few times.

It's a huge dopamine, like just massive dopamine, and then it crashes for two weeks. There's a dopamine low for two weeks, and people often will then chase that high. And like you said, it desensitizes to the point where they have to go for more and more extreme porn and find just more and more extreme things to participate in or visually participate in order to even accomplish the same or try to chase that high, I accomplish the same pleasure they got the initial time. Like you said, chocolate, the first bite of that chocolate wedding cake is going to give you the most pleasure and every other bite after that will be less. But yet we'll eat the whole piece because we're chasing the high, we're trying to get back to the first fun thing. And that's what a lot of people describe meth, for example, their first or second time doing meth was amazing. And every other time they did it was just trying to get back to the pleasure they got the first time, but they were always dissatisfied. There's a study about obese people and naturally thin people when it came to expectations around food and pleasure. So they like hooked them up to brain scans and did whatever they did to figure this out. But obese people will think about or obsess about food, think about their meal that's coming up and think about the pleasure they're going to get, like sitting there going, I can't wait to get the pizza, I'm gonna go to Costco and get a whole pizza or whatever it is, like whatever food, insert food that you are daydreaming about.

And they're thinking about the pleasure they are going to get, but when they actually sit down to get it, they are disappointed. They do not achieve the amount of pleasure that they expected to. Whereas skinny people, naturally skinny people hardly ever obsess about or think about the food or the pleasure they're going to get from food. And yet when they eat, they actually experience way more pleasure than the obese people do. And that described my life so accurately, it really shook me because at the time I read that study, I hadn't become conscious of just how much I thought about food and obsessed about and thought about the pleasure I will be receiving from food and the disappointment that when I ate it and then the chasing the high and trying to find more and more pleasurable foods in order to find that high. And it is such a frustrating and disappointing journey to be stuck on.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:20:28.375)

Yes. But the good news is that there's also a phenomenon called upregulation. And so that if you're having a chocolate bar every day and you stop doing that, or maybe you go back to once a week or something like that, your taste bud and your dopamine response system, upregulates to the point that I think it doubles in six to eight weeks.

You don't have to believe me about this. You just have to try it. But before you know it, you are tasting the natural differences between different types of apples or vegetables, or, you're able to garner pleasure from more things that nature had to offer. So it's not all doom and gloom. 

Ashley James (01:10:23.915)

No, yes, no, absolutely. Well, this is why I learned so much from you is that when I had cut sugar out many years ago, probably around Episode 56, somewhere around there, I had a whole episode about doing a 30-day challenge, no sugar, and I was blown away by how much sugar is hidden in our food. We have like a Whole Foods sort of and I sat there and even though it's a healthier store They say there's no GMOs and they have a list of things that they will never have their food. Almost every single hot sauce had some form of sugar in it and I was really blown away by that. That it's very hard to find an oil-free hot sauce with no sugar. And it's even impossible to find a salt-free, oil-free, sugar-free hot sauce. So I just ended up, I mostly make my own for the, for the most part. 

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:22:07.278)

I found one last week. I've had the same problem. It's called Melange of Peppers and it's from Whole Foods. It's a little expensive, but I was looking, I eat salt oil and starch free also. And it's called Melange of Peppers. It's really good actually.

Ashley James (01:22:28.260)

Nice. Well, just to prove my point, I went through every single thing I ate, looked through the ingredients, which I, at the time, was still eating some processed foods, so you still have to read ingredients, and it would annoy my husband because we'd go in to grocery shop and spend 90 minutes reading labels. But you have to be a food detective, and I just was blown away at how much sugar is hidden in our food, and also, it might not say sugar, it might say maltodextrin or fructose, or there's over 20 words that means added sugar.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:23:00.078)

Actually, when I work with people to make a sugar rule, I'll tell them that it's usually not sufficient to say, like I will only have sugar once a week or I'll never have sugar again. You need to make an inclusive rule rather than an exclusive rule. What that means is you say the only sweet tastes that I'll ever eat again are X, Y, and Z. Like, for me, it's whole fruit and berries. For other people, it might be whole fruit, berries, and honey in my tea or whole fruit berries, whatever. I mean, I'm not preaching you have to do any particular thing, but if you make a list of the sweet tastes that you will eat, as opposed to those that you won't eat, then your pig is not gonna fool you about all those other words.

Ashley James (01:23:41.738)

Yes, but you have to know the words in order to avoid them, because then you accidentally eat sugar because there it says maltodextrin and you didn't know that was sugar, as an example.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:23:50.646)

Oh yes, and in all sorts of savory foods, there's a lot of added sugar too. Yes

Ashley James (01:23:55.382)

Yes, it's just wild. So when I gave up sugar, which I was a sugar holic, I loved it. And it's been years. I talk about upregulation. First of all, I don't even enjoy it. If you talked to Ashley 10 years ago, she'd be like, who are you? I don't even get pleasure from it. It's sickly sweet.

And when I eat an apple, I have to put cinnamon on it just to dull down the intensity of the sweetness. It's just apples alone are too sweet to me. But now when I taste kale, like there's a burst of flavor. When I eat fruits and vegetables there's a burst of flavor I did not experience 10 years ago. So you talk about upregulation, it is possible, and that's why it's so exciting that you can get such pleasure from healthy foods. I still though have to separate and put a pause in between me and that brat or that pig, because that that it still comes out, especially in the screw it, just do it. If like it's really late in the day and I'm hungry and I've been really busy, oh, just order in or just get takeout or just let's just go to restaurant or just let's just get X, Y, and Z.

And that is such an easy trap to fall in. Let's just go through the drive-through, right? Like so many people fall into that trap of processed food that's fast food or easy food, because the pig says, you're tired, you've worked a long day. This is so much easier, let's just do this.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:25:28.904)

There are a few other things that we've learned in the last eight years that make the new book different than the old book. Do you think I could mention a couple of them?

Ashley James (01:25:36.813)

Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:25:38.019)

The first one is that overeating isn't a unitary habit. It's a collection of habits. And in order to really overcome it, you need to make a list of those habits and extinguish them one by one. So for example, suppose that you want to give up pizza. Suppose you're just eating way too much pizza and you need to give it up. I'm not saying you have to do that. Two out of three people will be able to moderate it, but let's say you need to give it up. And let's say you've developed a habit of stopping at a pizzeria on the way home from work at your new job. You just moved to a new city and every time on the way home from work, you stop at the pizzeria. And so you say to yourself, I will never eat pizza again. And you drive past the pizzeria and you feel the cravings and you do a lot of the things we talk about and your pig will say a bunch of stuff. Oh, come on. You could start tomorrow. You worked out hard enough. A couple of bites are not going to hurt a couple of slices, whatever it's going to say. And you disempower that and you do your breathing and all other things we talked about. And then about 30 days later, you probably should not be too bothered by the pizza cravings anymore. Research shows that somewhere around 20 to 30 exposures without rewarding the craving is what it takes. So you, right? So you have the pizza place as the stimulus as you're passing by, you don't go in, your brain tries to get you going, but you don't go in and eventually, your brain will label that craving as dormant because it no longer wants to waste energy on things that you're not going to do. Remember the brain's job is to acquire calories and automate the acquisition of calories.

So it will label that learning as dormant. That means if you do it again, it will wake it up pretty quickly, but it's not gonna bother you about it after about somewhere between 20 and 30 days. Well, then you find all of a sudden that you go to your mom's place and you're playing bridge with her and the girls. And you and your mom are accustomed to having pizza every time you go to the place and play bridge with her and the girls and you get this incredible craving and it's hard to resist and you go to time on the pizza. Well, what a lot of people do at that point is they say this is too hard, I failed. But you didn't fail. You succeeded in extinguishing the pizza place as a signal for pizza. You didn't make a plan to extinguish your mom's bridge game as a stimulus for pizza. And for most cravings, there are usually about 70 to 80 percent of the problem is tied to one particular stimulus. So you can make tremendous progress by just working on one thing But there are infrequent stimulus stimuli that you haven't thought of and they comprise the other 20 or 30 percent and it's really important that you know that so you don't give up and think that you failed.

It just means that you're going to have to have 20 or 30 bridge games before you feel like, the bridge game doesn't bother you anymore. You don't really want the pizza at the bridge game. We often have people when they make a list of all the different places they expect to be exposed to a pizza stimulus. Well, we'll kind of order them in order of how frequently they occur and how much they bother them. And then we'll have people send themselves an email to arrive, just before that's going to happen. So if you know you're going to be playing bridge with mom on Saturday the 14th, then in the morning of Saturday the 14th, an email shows up and it says, Hey, this is your higher self. Just want to remind you, you're going to be, really craving the pizza at the bridge place. I want you to have this meal before you go there. So you're not too hungry. I want you to give your mom an extra big hug. So she feels love without having to feed you pizza. I want you to figure out what you're going to do instead while you're there. And here's all the things your pig is going to say. And this is why they're wrong but you send yourself an email and that arrives that morning. Then you're going to be alert. You're not going to be caught by surprise that there's this other stimuli that you're not used to, which you thought she already fixed the problem. And this turns out to be a big vehicle for defeating the cravings.

The other thing that misleads people sometimes is that they think that the extinction curve should go straight down. Let's just go back to talking about the daily drive past the pizza place. You would think that if you decided I'll never have pizza again, day two would be less of a craving than day one, and day three would be less of a craving than day two, all the way on down to day 29 or 30 when it wasn't occurring anymore.

But that's not actually what happens, because in nature, the brain, it wouldn't be advantageous for the brain to give up on the acquisition of calories that quickly. Let's say there's this caveman named Thag, 100,000 years ago. And Thag figured out that chimpanzees, following a chimpanzee could lead him to a banana tree. Well, Thag follows a chimp to a banana tree, he cordies himself on bananas, takes him back for his family. That's great survival advantage. Thag follows the chimp the next day to the banana tree, does it all week long, he's living high on the hog, right? And then all of a sudden the next day, the chimp leads to a banana tree that doesn't have any bananas in it. Well, is it more advantageous for Thag to keep following the chimp or to go try to find other banana trees on his own?

It turns out it's more advantageous to keep following the chimp because probably that as the bananas get a little scarcer, the chimp is going to find banana trees 80% of the time and then 70% of the time. And so what Thag would actually do is double down on his efforts because it would be more painful to lose that signal and have to go find another tree, make an effort on himself to go find it, than to just put up with the 10 or 20 or 30% of the time that he doesn't get rewarded. So how this plays out in everyday life is that when the reward starts to be available intermittently, we actually crave it more. It's kind of like a slot machine. And so you have to push through. So there's like a little temper tantrum somewhere around like five to ten times. There's a little temper tantrum that your brain will pull where you're actually going to get worse cravings than you ever had before. And if you push through that, then the brain starts to go and it goes down more or less literally. And then somewhere around the 25 to 30 day mark, it's got a tiny little blip and cravings, and then it mostly goes away. 

So having that technical scientific understanding of how cravings actually work and the function they're supposed to serve, it'll help you to power through. It also helps you not to go into battle with a plastic helmet. Like this is a serious thing to extinguish your cravings. You've got to figure out what else are you going to eat? What are you going to do to take care of yourself when that temper tantrum hits? Make a list of them, but don't try to extinguish every last one of them at onceand be proud of yourself, celebrate the success when you get through. So I wanted to be sure that people knew that.

Ashley James (01:33:53.798)

Absolutely. Well, we only scratch the surface of your whole system. I definitely encourage listeners to go read your book, Defeat Your Cravings and go to your website, defeatyourcravings.comSo we have a book. Now you've got these other books in the past. And what you have now, the Defeat Your Cravings, is the evolution of all the work you've done with so many people.

And I feel it as I've as I read through your book, I felt like it was it was so much more complete, even though the stuff in the past helped. You've got more insights after working with so many people and it's concise. And as you said, people are going to get faster results with this new system. So they go to and they can read your book. What if they want to work with you? How does that work?

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:34:46.882)

So what I suggest that you do is click the big blue button on the website,, and sign up for the reader bonus list. When you do that, you'll hear what it's like to work with me. You'll get a list that you've got a set of coaching sessions that I recorded, in full so you can see how this process transforms people from feeling hopeless and despairing and desperate about food sometimes to feeling confident and enthusiastic and, and hopeful. You'll get a set of food plan starter templates to help you see samples of food rules for any dietary philosophy. So we're diet agnostic. You can do this on any reasonably nutritious philosophy.

And a whole bunch of other things like little recordings to walk you through difficult moments and it's all free. So it's a whole bunch of free stuff and I recommend people start there. There's also a podcast you can subscribe to. Once you do that you will be led or you can look at the coaching part of the website if you want to we do have a coaching program, we call it the Unlimited Coaching Program because you have as many sessions as you need to with your coach with certain conditions like, you guys have to kind of agree on what you're going to do between sessions. You don't schedule another one until it's done and that kind of thing. But we do have a 90 day program with a lot of success. Part of that program are daily life support groups. So every day of the week, there is a group you can come to. If you're struggling with anything, I run several of them myself right now. I'm running four of them. I can't promise to always do that, but four days a week, I'm running a daily support group. 

If you wanted to go directly there and see that set to, but I highly recommend that what you do first is just immerse yourself in the free stuff. Click the big blue button, sign up for the reader bonus list, listen to the podcasts, read the articles, join our free community and talk to some of the people there. I highly recommend you do that. So big blue button. It's that simple.

Ashley James (01:36:59.309)

Nice. Very cool. Have you ever looked at the statistics around your system and compared it to other systems to see that you're more successful or as successful? Or like, can you talk a bit about the results you guys get in the long term?

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:37:19.721)

Over the last three years, this is in the previous program, because the new program is, well, it's new. But over the last three years in the last program, in the first month, people would get an approximately 90% reduction in over-eating episodes. And that's by self-report. It's not like a double-blind controlled study published in a…

But still that's pretty darn good. When we go out to about six months, it's more like 60%, but you divide that up into people who are still using the tools and people who decided not to do it anymore. And you can see that the people who use the tools do well and the people who don't don't. So at some point I'm looking to get third party clinical trials funded so that I can really prove this and maybe work with insurance companies to bring it to the world at large.

But I'm getting a little old and that's, that's a 10 year process. So right now I'm just focusing on helping as many people that want to come from a homegrown personal coaching. I've got some coaches that work with me. But really we get much better results with people who've been listening to the podcast for a little while first. So I just recommend that you go sign up for the free stuff.

Ashley James (01:38:39.750)

Yes, I love that you give away so much and then so many people can transform themselves on their own and get such great results on their own. And it's those that a small percentage of people after doing all the free stuff, they're like, you know what I really want? I shouldn't say small percentage. I don't know what percentage it is, but you did have like a million readers and then out of that, 2000 people were like, no, I really want to work with someone one-on-one and man, all the amazing reviews for all of your books.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:39:09.082)

Oh, I mean, we have more than 20,000 reviews. So not on the new book, we're just starting with a new book. 

Ashley James (01:39:19.358)

Yes, exactly. You just came out with this book, but again, your latest book and your latest program is the evolution of everything you've done over the last eight years. So seeing that you have is the best of the best. You really figured it out. I mean, I know you figured stuff out before, but you really figured it out this time and the 20,000 reviews, people's lives are transformed. Like so many people's lives are transformed by following your system. And I love seeing that. And then people who, in addition to that, need some extra help, they can get that through your coaching program.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:39:51.255)

I haven't held anything back in the book, just like I'm not holding anything back in this in this call. I don't have a lot of money, but I used to make a lot of money. But I was on the wrong side of the war. I feel like I did the wrong thing. And so it's money is still important to me, but it's kind of on my second list. My first list is really how many people can I help? And let me get this out there. That's why the book is free for Kindle on The Nook.

That's why we put out so much free material with the podcast and all the freebies to help you walk through those hard moments. 

Ashley James (01:40:31.067)

Love it. Sometimes people can go through all the programs and all the free stuff and still really want that personalized one-on-one attention and then they can do the online course with you. But like you said, you're not holding the good stuff back for working with you one-on-one. It's all laid out for free. And should someone want the additional support or like the daily calls or the coaching, any of that is also available, which I think is really beautiful. And I love your system.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:40:59.918)

You could read an exercise book and use it to get in shape, but most people want to go to a gym with classes, and some of those people want to work one on one with a trainer also. So it's kind of like that.

Ashley James (01:41:13.254)

Nice. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I can't believe 90 minutes has just flown by. Is there anything you'd like to share or say to wrap up today's interview?

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:41:23.995)

Boom, chug a lugga boom, chug a lugga boom, chug a lugga la boom.

Ashley James (01:41:30.871)

That was probably the best out of over 500 episodes. That was the best one. I love it.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:41:37.947)

I don't have anything else that's brilliant to say that I didn't get to say. I mean, I probably do. Oh, there is one thing. There is one thing, earlier you were talking about the comfort food in response to the stress response, it's important to stop thinking about it like comfort food because what you're eating is not just for comfort.

I often highlight this out, highlight this people to people, because they'll say they have to numb out. They were emotionally upset on the answer to them out. And I said, it's not really what you're doing. You're actually getting high with food and I'll prove it to you. Did you ever go to the dentist and they say we're all out on over cane and referred, we're going to have to inject you with some chocolate. But there's something else going on besides numbing out.

The things that we go to at those times are unnaturally concentrated concoctions, industrially concentrated concoctions of starch and sugar and fat and all that kind of, and then another word for that is a drug. So that's why I think it's apropos to think I'm getting high with food. The other thing is that the relationship between emotions and overeating is two ways. Most people think you have this uncomfortable emotion that causes you to want to eat some chocolate. They don't understand that the chocolate also causes uncomfortable emotions by the principle of operant conditioning. So for example, a lot of people tell me they can't get to sleep without overeating and, but because they feel too anxious.

And I'll tell them that, well, do you know that anxiety has a physiological correlate? Your blood pressure goes up a little bit and your galvanic skin response goes up and your respiration and your perspiration. And all of these are measurable. In animal studies, for example, they give baboons a sugar reward, whenever they have raised blood pressure, don't you know that those baboons can be conditioned to have a raise of blood pressure more frequently as a group.

Ashley James (01:43:57.552)

Oh my gosh, that's right.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:43:59.888)

And so if you're telling yourself that you need this comfort food because you're anxious, you might also tell yourself this comfort food might be making me more anxious. It might be reinforcing it in the long run.

Ashley James (01:44:12.364)

So your body creates anxiety, so you will go eat that food.

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:44:17.840)

Yes the body is a calorie acquiring machine. And when you show it that it can get a lot of calories, if there's a certain physiological state, it's more likely to create that physiological state in the future. 

Ashley James (01:44:32.516)

Yes and that's what we really want to have clarity over. We want to just be consciously aware of that and not reinforce that. Does the Defeat Your Cravings system help us to really be conscious of that and make sure that we don't reinforce our body creating a negative stimulus in order to gain “comfort food”? 

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:45:03.770)

All of that.Yes

Thank you, Ashley.

Ashley James (01:45:05.019)

Love it. So cool. Yeah, that's wild. Thank you. Thank you for coming. And so excited for the listeners to learn your new system and help them.You call it Defeat Your Cravings, but I think there's a lot of different words for it. It could be that nighttime eating binge eating, overeating, emotional eating, just all of it. It's that big soup. And some people say, well, I'm not an overeater. But if you feel like food is controlling you instead of the other way around, if you can't eat a healthy diet because you're going here and there, your brain is kind of guiding you. Your inner pig or inner brat is guiding you. Then you're going to benefit from doing Dr. Glenn Livingston system. Awesome. Can't wait to have you back on the show. Because, you're just going to keep evolving and growing and learning. And you'll have new stuff to share with us next time. So I can't wait to have you back. And what's the name of your new podcast?

Dr. Glenn Livingston (01:46:08.718)

Defeat Your Cravings Podcast

Ashley James (01:46:09.234)

Okay, there we go. You know how to brand yourself.

Glenn Livingston (01:46:14.730)

At the It'll just take you to a different page with a website where you can sign up for that.

Ashley James (01:46:18.606)

Nice. Okay, great. Of course, all the links to everything that Dr. Glenn Livingston does is going to be in the show notes of today's podcast, so It was great having you on again. Can't wait to have you back.

Glenn Livingston (01:46:28.956)

Thanks, Ashley.


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Check out these other amazing episodes with Dr. Glenn Livingston!

Episode 249: The Impact of Eating Right

Episode 231 – Willpower To Stop Bingeing

Episode 56 – How To End Binge Eating