Episode #76 Dr Paul Jaminet And The Perfect Health Diet

Dr Paul Jmainet

The guest for this week’s episode is Dr. Paul Jaminet, a leading technology entrepreneur and Harvard astrophysicist who has recently begun his own journey into health and wellness. Dr. Paul sits down with us to discuss his nutritional plan – the Perfect Health Diet – and the benefits of attending the Perfect Health Retreat. With thousands of people reporting successes through following the plan, we wanted to take a look to see how this diet might benefit our listeners.

Dr. Paul started investigating his own health back in 2005 after noticing changes relating to age, and discovered the Paleo diet. Although the original anti-carbohydrate Paleo plan had some great benefits, Paul also noticed areas of his health that were negatively affected, and began research into which nutrients were missing in the Paleo plan and needed supplementing into his diet.

Through this research, the Perfect Health Diet was created. Dr. Paul tells us about the advantages of the plan, and discusses how important your relationship with your food is. Cooking is a vital part of eating, and taking the time to prepare your foods can make you much more mindful of what you’re eating and why. Vitamins, carbs and proteins are all necessary to health and varying the Paleo diet to your own needs can see more health benefits for you.

If you’d like to know more about the Perfect Health Diet, visit www.perfecthealthdiet.com

For more information on attending the Perfect Health Retreat, visit www.perfecthealthdiet.com/perfect-health-retreat

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Melissa: Welcome Paul. Thanks so much for taking time to be on the program today

Paul: It’s great to be with you Melissa.

Melissa: Paul you’re an astrophysicist and currently an internet software entrepreneur and strategic advisor for entrepreneurs. How on earth did you get sort of take a deep dive into the health, your own health and repairing your own health? How did that happen?

Paul: Well, it was a big career detour, but it happened for me in the same way it does for so many other people is I started having this middle age health problems that were becoming more and more severe and they reached the point where I thought like I had to start devoting time to my health and spend less time on work and earning money and more time taking care of myself. And I was lucky I came across the paleo diet in 2005 and it kind of showed me a direction to go and that would actually make some improvements. So like you and like many other people, I’ve been going to my doctor for years and getting worse for years but not getting any health. And paleo diet was the first thing I found that had some significant changes in my symptoms. And so I had some negative changes as well as some positive ones. So it was exciting because I knew I had found something that made a difference, but it was also something that got me started on a major research project because I had to figure out how to fix it. Suddenly I get all of the good effects, but none of the bad ones.

Melissa: What type of, there’s a bunch of paleo evangelists out there and everybody has their own method of sort of adopting it to their, to what they want. How did, what plan did you follow? Was it Robb Wolf or somebody else that you followed initially when you started?

Paul: Yeah. Well, when I started in 2005, there was no Robb Wolf or Mark Sisson. So I followed Art De Vany. He was one of the pioneers of the paleo movement. But I was so persuaded by his anti carb comments that I went even lower carb than he did. And that proved to be a mistake. But I also developed some micronutrient deficiencies on that version of paleo. So that shifted my attention to nutrition and I started researching nutrition to try to figure out what would, how much do we need of each nutrient and how can I design a diet that would give me the optimum amount of every nutrient. And that what led us of over five years of research to the perfect health diet.

Melissa: Right. I think you made a really good point there which is you can either doing a diet or doing your version of the diet. Mistakenly or inadvertently deplete yourself of a lot of nutrients that you actually need to be not only healthy, but successful, particularly if you want to lose fat and improve your health. And that’s one of the things I faced myself and it’s a tricky one because you think you’re doing the right thing and yet you don’t really have a good visual of exactly how things are going. How did you test to make sure… did you do it like blood panels every few months or…?

Paul: No, we didn’t. Some of it is kind of experimental. I ended up developing scurvy. So I had a lot of the symptoms like scratch wounds wouldn’t heal, I would have like scratch on my leg that wouldn’t for six months. And then one day I decided to try supplementing vitamin C and all of a sudden the wound healed.

Melissa: Wow.

Paul: And I also had dry eyes, dry mouth. And those got better. And I could reproduce that. I could reproduce those changes with beneficial changes from adding carbs in and see symptoms reappear when I took the carbs out. And I’m interested in repeated experiments like that. And so that was how I got started sort of self-experimenting to see where my most severe deficiencies are. But those kinds of experiments they only really work if you’re extremely deficient because that’s how you can get to clear symptoms and you can clear them up pretty quickly with supplements. So less severe deficiencies are much more insidious. It’s really hard to detect them because you may not feel any different. And so there we really did a lot of research in the literature to try to find out what’s the, where does the evidence point? The way that the evidences to be optimal amount of nutrition of each nutrient to get. And then what food should you eat in order to get that. And that turned out to be a really fruitful approach. And by the time we actually, it took us a long time to really research that and design a diet. By the time we did and published it in a book, we got one that really worked. So we’ve had several thousand readers report back. They fixed serious health problems or improve their health substantially on the diet. And so we’re really confident that fixing nutrition with a good ancestral natural whole foods diet really makes a huge difference in health.

Melissa: Yeah. And we’re going to talk about also what you wrote in your book that’s available everywhere now, but something else that you have that people might be interested in. Another area that you talked about is how sugar can cause malabsorption and lead to inflammation and things like that. And I think that a lot of people don’t really realize, they think of process sugar is not good for me, but I can certainly eat other things like dare I say agave, honey. The paleo folks love their agave and maple syrup, but what you talked about a little bit is how some of these things can actually create inflammation and also cause the gut bacteria to become dysregulated which sort of cascades and makes things worse and worse and worse kind of opens the door to inflammation.

Paul: Yeah, that’s right. So gut problems are really extremely common. And Hippocrates said ill health begins in the gut and that’s really true more often than not. People disturb their gut, disturb their gut floor and then once they’ve done that, if you think about how do people acquire infections, the most common route is by swallowing a germ and then having it infect the body through the intestine. And it’s pretty important to have a good gut environment and lots of things can go wrong. So one of the most common problems that developed is some form of small intestinal bacteria level growth. And one of the ways you can induce that if you’re eating a lot more sugar than you need, then not all the food carbs may be absorbed. And you can leave extra fructose for gut bacteria. And when they have food in the small intestine, they can migrate up from the colon or you can get new species multiplying there. So you’re a little more vulnerable to having more bacteria in the small intestine than you should which is inflammatory. Or some things that aren’t absorbed can go down into the colon and meet an overgrowth species that really shouldn’t be there. So there’s various ways to develop gut problems. It’s really complex ecosystem where many species of bacteria interact with our immune system or gut cells. And it’s actually many ecosystems. So the small intestine is different than the colon. So it’s quite a complex ecology there and it’s easy to disrupt if we don’t give the right ancestral type food and ancestral type lifestyle signals to the gut.

Melissa: When you were recovering your own health, what did you find the most helpful to restoring gut health?

Paul: Oh that’s a hard question because we’ve developed our diet gradually piece by piece over 5 to 7 years. So there were a lot of, it’s kind of 2 steps forward 1 step back. A lot of time. And it’s hard to put a finger on exactly what made the difference when the improvement is so gradual. But I would say first of all adopting a natural whole foods diet was crucial. For me vitamin C was crucial, supplementing vitamin C. So I had some infections which greatly increased my need for vitamin C compared to healthy people. So I was, if I didn’t supplement [inaudible 00:09:02] I was always in potential danger of running low on vitamin C. And then I would say managing vitamin A and vitamin D is good. So when I started to eat liver and then I got more vitamin A and that was probably very beneficial to me. I would say those 3 were probably the ones that were most important for me. And our health [inaudible 00:09:23], the ones I end up recommending over and over again are extracellular matrix material that you get from making soups and stews with bones, joints, tendons, chicken feet. So almost all the common conditions nowadays involve deficiencies of extracellular matrix and that’s crucial for wound healing and good function of tissues throughout the body. And many people are also short in the ingredients to conjugate bile which includes glycine, taurine and vitamin C. and you get glycine mainly from extracellular matrix. And having abundant bile is pretty important for gut health as well.

Melissa: So when you’re talking about these soups and so forth, you’re referring to something that’s made from obviously pasture raised animals and very clean.

Paul: Yeah, those are definitely preferable and certainly for bones it’s very good to get them. I’m not exactly sure why but the bones from commercially raised animals seem to taste quite a bit worse than the bones from the grass-fed or pastured animals. So I don’t really know why that is. It’s the same for liver and that’s a little more understandable because the conventional animals tend to fatty liver disease and so they have an inflamed liver. But I’m not sure why the bones are affected.

Melissa: Yeah. I would be scared, to tell you the truth. Knowing what I know now, I would be scared to make a bone broth out of anything but the cleanest of the clean animal who have been born and raised in the pasture and never had any GMOs or any medications it didn’t need to have and stuff like that. Which I know is available like in US Wellness Meats and places like that and other high end, it’s expensive, but you can also I think do it yourself if you get [inaudible 00:11:21] with chicken anyway. If you get a pasture raised chicken, the chicken bones and stuff can be broth. That’s what I do.

Paul: Yeah, yeah. People should check with their local farmers and reach out at local farmers’ markets because often these parts of the animals are just given away or if not given away but priced at very low level. So we often get bones at three ninety-nine or four ninety-nine a pound. So there’s not as much demand for them as there should be so you can get them fairly cheap.

Melissa: Yeah and I’ll put some links in the show notes to some online places for broth and stuff like that and for gelatin things. I know I’ve experimented with doing broth when I felt that I’m either really, really fatigue or I feel like I’m getting a cold over this past winter and I just dose myself with bowls of broth. And I must say you feel great. In fact I just, I put it in a cup and drink it’s a tea and soup it while I’m working or whatever. And you really, as the day goes forward you just feel that kind of burst of well-being. It’s really noticeable. And really it seems to, at least for me anyway, it fends off becoming completely sick and like with a cold or something like that.

Paul: Yeah. Well there’s a reason chicken soup was the classic home remedy.

Melissa: Yeah.

Paul: And of course it was with whole chickens and not with chicken breast or something. So the way a lot of people would make chicken soup nowadays wouldn’t be as healthy. But if you get the feet and the skin, and all the bones and joints, then it can be really healthy.

Melissa: Yeah. I have to say that whole foods, I’m not in California so we have all kinds of stuff that’s available to us here locally. But at whole foods here you can get past, they’re up 20 bucks for a small pasture raised chicken. So it’s like buying a gold bar almost. And it would probably feed 2 non-unhungry people. But what I really get it for about once a month is to use the carcass to make the broth and freeze them. And have those available for when you’re not well or whatever. And then there are also some purveyors, luckily we have a farmers market near me and there is a grass beef operation that does have those bones available not every time but maybe once a month and things like that so that you can bundle up a bunch of those and make your own broth. But I highly endorse it for making you feel better and if you’re like I said if you’re feeling fatigued or ran down. It just seems to give you such a boost during the time you’re drinking it. And particularly if you drink it I find in the evening or after dinner, the next morning you’ll feel really well. Really really good.

Paul: Yeah, it can help you sleep quite a bit.

Melissa: Paul, what do you think about multivitamins? Do you recommend taking them or is there one particular group that you think is good or one formula?

Paul: We don’t recommend taking a multivitamin. So the problem is they tend to be rich in things that you don’t need and missing things that you do need. And the reason for that is that a lot of the things you do need are pretty bulky and they wouldn’t really fit in one pill. And they want to let you take just one pill. So the things they give you are the things you don’t need much of and they try not to be the things that are pretty common in food also. Whereas things like magnesium, if you’ve ever taken a magnesium tablet, it’s a big pill just by itself.

Melissa: It’s a big pill. Yes, it is.

Paul: Yeah. You can see why they wouldn’t want to add that to a multivitamin. But magnesium deficiency is extremely common. And it’s the same with vitamin c. it’s also, people are often deficient in it. And also I mentioned extracellular matrix, something people are missing. But the amount you need of that per day is more like 2 tablespoons. It wouldn’t fit in a multivitamin. So it’s really hard for them, the things that people are missing, it’s really hard to squeeze into a multivitamin. And a lot of the things that are in the multivitamin, you’re much better off getting them from food. So people should really focus on eating a balance natural whole foods diet and that will help them quite a bit more than a multivitamin, generally speaking.

Melissa: Yeah. And I think it’s very easy to get sidetracked with the vitamin of the month or the week that’s publicized in media everywhere. And take this, take that, take the other thing. And people tend to it seems overdo it. And I know when talking with my performance doctors I call them, they’re always warning me; just because your blood panel says this, don’t go suckling on any of this by the handful because that’s not what you need. Which is an important point because what’s causing a low reading in one or other nutrients in your body or vitamins might be a different cause actually than what you think. So by taking handfuls of supplements, you might not be helping yourself. Spending money and throwing money down the toilet so to speak, literally and physically.

Paul: Yeah. Well it’s pretty important for you to balance diet and have nutrients in the right proportions. So if you supplement too much of one thing then you may throw everything out of balance.

Melissa: Right. Now do you have any specific recommendations for when you are in sort of a detox phase, if you’re trying to sort of clear out all the bad things that have been going on in your body and help for instance your liver and other organs sort of get a rest and recover and bounce back?

Paul: Well detoxification is one of the normal functions of our body. So if you nourish yourself well, then you will detoxify. Some of the things that is good to do; if you eat more fiber, then you’ll have more stool mass and then it’ll help carry away more toxins. The feces is one of the major excretion pathways. And being well hydrated and getting electrolytes like potassium from eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, starches, tubers, and some salt. So if you have plenty of electrolytes and water, then you’re going to sweat more easily, you’re going to urinate more easily, and those are important excretion pathways. And then you want to be well nourished in the liver. So you want to be able to make glutathione which is made from cysteine and glycine. And glycine comes mainly from extracellular matrix in the diet. So that’s the most abundant amino acid in the collagen. Most people don’t get enough of that. And from the liver things get excreted through the bile and so need to be able to make bile. So I mentioned things like taurine, vitamin C, glycine to support bile production. And cholesterol also so it’s good to eat egg yolks. There’s a lot of things that are helpful. Interment and fasting can be helpful. That helps clear out the digestive tract each night. People don’t need to do extreme cleanses or you don’t need to do out of the ordinary things in order to detoxify your body. You just need to be well nourished and getting everything functioning the way it supposed to.

Melissa: I think that’s good advice because a lot of people want to do these really stringent cleanses of vinegar and water and god knows what and not eating for days. And that cannot be good if you’re already in not perfect health. If your gut is in bad shape already if you’re drinking vinegar and other stuff.

Paul: Yeah. That can backfire.

Melissa: Dare I say the master cleanse.

Paul: That’s right. Yeah. McSweeney had a humor article not long ago about a chili dog cleanse that they were recommending.

Melissa: Here you go. That’s more like it.

Paul: Yeah. That might be a little healthier.

Melissa: That might be a little healthier. Yes, that might get things going in the right direction. I want to take some time Paul to talk about the Perfect Health Diet retreat which you have, like you said, has been going for 2 years now? 3 years now?

Paul: 2 years now, yeah.

Melissa: Tell us a little bit about that. When it happens during the year and how people can find out more about it and what goes on in that retreat.

Paul: Yeah, while we’re doing two retreats per year in May and October, the next one will be October 10 to 17, and it’s, we hold it in a luxury property on the beach in North Carolina. So we got two heated salt-water pools, two salt-water hot tubs on a delightful newly private beach and basically what we do is in one week giving you a complete education in how to be healthy. So we have science classes every day where we teach you the reasoning behind all of our advice. We have 4 movement classes every day, there is sort of a morning wakeup movement which is very light activity but it’s helping the body, prepare the body for the day time. There’s 2 activity lessons in late morning, late afternoon and then we have a night time relaxation stress relief healing class where we’ll do all kinds of things, from mindfulness meditation to aroma therapy to massage to hearth rate variability lab bio feedback to other kinds of relaxation methods. And then we have cooking classes before every meal, and we’ve got great food, perfect health diet food, and we call our diet it turns out to be similar to traditional gourmet cuisines in composition and it taste like gourmet food, and so we like to call ourselves an example of ancestral gourmet cuisine. So the food is really good. And then we do personal one on one health coaching. And so I help people understand what’s may be causing their health problems, and what natural diet nutrition lifestyle things they can do that help heal their health problems. At some part we’ve had really terrific results and people are really enjoying it, and they are really getting a lot of health benefits and that was a big part of motivation for starting this up. So we really wanted to prove that our diet and advice really work and really help people learn how to be healthy. And be able to prove to the larger world that ancestral diet, ancestral lifestyle can really work much better than commercial medicine would believe is possible.

Melissa: I think one of the cool things that you’re talking about in the retreat is the cooking, because that’s a big stumbling block. It was for me. And I know a lot of people I talk to everyday, they’re like “I can’t cook any of this things. I can’t do it.” And I learn, sort of at first I tried to outsource my meals.

Paul: And?

Melissa: Which could not work. I just said yeah, you just get what I need and it will fit the more or less paleo model and it will just be delivered and I’ll be fine. And I think one of the things I learned as I was going along was that you have to change your relationship with food. And even if you have, if you eaten processed food for most of your life, you still may have issues with proper nutrition and how you should be relating to food. Whether it be grabbing snacks or eating on the run and not being mindful about your eating. You need to adjust that. And I found that once I took on the meal prep with what I called my super tools like cracked pot or things like that, the whole situation change. And the meal was more of a celebration each time. It was more about a really happy kind of mindful, grateful session rather than just grabbing something quick and running and going someplace else and never having a real thought about what’s going on with the meal. I think people need to do that. They need to change that thinking.

Paul: Yeah, it really does make a huge difference. One thing I like to do is to look at obituaries first, centenarians and super centenarians and see what they have in common. You know, really the thing they most have in common is they love to cook. And it makes a huge difference. And one of the great things that our cooking classes at the retreat is that Shou-Ching has been thinking about how to make perfect health diet food. Yeah, she does most of the cooking in our house and she’s really, really good at it but she’s also very busy. She’s a scientist and so she’s been working for years to figure out how to produce a terrific tasting and nourishing food in less than thirty minutes per day often less than fifteen minutes per day and she’s gotten really good at that. So one of the things, we’ve just had out main retreat and she was teaching the cooking classes and she said people got up exclaiming “oh, it’s that easy?! You can do it so simply?!” It really is not that hard to cook delicious healthful food. But it is a skill and most people don’t know how to do it and that can be a really big barrier. Most people just don’t like to cook and it’s no wonder because it’s too much work as most people do it.

Melissa: Yeah, it is a big barrier. I think to a lot of people because they just like I said a lot of people that I bumped into all the time and ask me what’s going on and how did I get results and things like that. One of the things I said is “oh, cooking, I can’t cook, I’m not going to do that.” and I’m like well, you know. There’s some things you just got to do. You can’t outsource some things. But I think also when you talked about community and people interacting as being an important part of this too is again, you have to change what I’ve pretty much grown-up with which was after you get out of school, even when you’re in college, you got some really bad eating habits there. It was all about rushing to the next appointment or the next job or whatever. And then again when people get into family situations, it’s about getting the kinds off to school or back from school or away from school and all these. It’s always the emphasis is on quick, fast, easy which results in quick, fast, easy food.

Paul: Yeah. Yeah.

Melissa: Which isn’t the most healthy and also it takes away the whole interaction with whoever you’re sharing your food with. So if it’s your family, your friends, whatever. One of big just sort of sore points once I got going was going to somebody’s place for a party or a dinner or something and having people at the table be texting on their cellphones. That usually drives me nuts. It’s like what are we doing here? Why are we at this celebration of food or this meal or whatever and no one’s, everyone’s looking at their phones? This is outrageous. We should be interacting here and talking about the food and enjoying the food and really concentrating on the people and the food that’s before us and not looking at our phones. And that sort of got me disinvited to a few parties.

Paul: Yeah. I think it’s getting harder and harder to live in ancestral lifestyle in many ways. The cellphones, we can look at our electronics right up to the last minute before we go to bed, and that’s not necessarily great for our circadian rhythms. We can miss out on social interactions. We can miss seeing faces and voices because we’re just looking at texts on our phone. And all of those things actually have a big health impact. And people don’t really, aren’t really aware of what they’re doing to themselves in the long run by living in a way that’s most convenient. You spoke about fast food, processed food, smart phones, bright lights on till late at night, eating late at night, not getting enough sleep, lots of stress, all kinds of things that are really not the inputs we’re supposed to give our bodies.

Melissa: Yeah, and I think you can really tell if you withdraw from some of those things for a period of 24 or 48 hours. I’ve talked about on a podcast before about how I was on a trip a few months ago and it was a whole day of like travel, air travel and stuff and I shut my phone into airplane mode. And the flight was a long flight and I didn’t have, I was more or less sleeping or resting during the flight listening to music. I didn’t have any screen in front of me flashing movies or anything. And when I finally get to my hotel late at night I go right to bed. Of course luckily these hotels that aced, have the blackout curtains perfect. So it’s a really dark room. I wake up I’m feeling pretty good. I’m feeling great even after all this long travel time. And I thought to myself I need to know the weather. And I’ve gone like to the other coast and I need to know the weather, was it going to rain, do I need an umbrella, what’s going on? Instead of quickly looking at my phone app that would tell me in 2 seconds, I turned on the TV. I turned on the local news station and within just a minute I’d say of having that on, I could feel myself just becoming very tensed, very agitated, very almost angry. It was a huge noticeable change and it was because of the phase of the program and what they were saying. They were just blasting these news headlines and then going over to the weather and blasting the weather things and it just the rapid phase of it and the negativity of it really hit me. And I was like wow, this is having a huge impact on my mood. What’s going on? But I just really noticed that it came really right to the front of my awareness. And I thought, wow. So if you’re doing this a lot every day, this is really building up in your stress mode for sure.

Paul: Yeah. Well, nowadays we have a baby so we are mostly listening to is Old McDonald had a Farm.

Melissa: Blissful, blissful music.

Paul: Yeah, it’s fun.

Melissa: Yup. So now before we run out of time here Paul, where can people find out more about the Perfect Health Diet Retreat and also your book Perfect Health Diet?

Paul: Yeah. Well come to our website perfecthelthdiet.com and there’s a tab there that says perfect health retreat. You can read all about it. And our book is called Perfect Health Diet. It’s available on Amazon and any other book seller. And a few other events coming up. I’ll be in Berlin for the Paleo Convention in Germany like July. We’re going to do a talk open for the public on neurological healing. And some readers of ours whose daughter had a severe untreatable seizure disorder got better on our diet and the parents organized a mini conference in New Jersey with some leading neurologists and myself speaking. And so that’ll be an interesting event.

Melissa: And it’s called, what’s it called, Paul?

Paul: It’s on our website. We’ve got an event calendar over on the right.

Melissa: Okay.

Paul: I don’t think that’s up at the moment.

Melissa: Okay. I’ll look for it. Put a link in the show notes because people might want to go to that if they’re listening. It’s in, when is that in New Jersey?

Paul: October twenty second in New Jersey.

Melissa: Okay.

Paul: And our retreat is October tenth through the seventeenth and that’s really a great experience so if you’re able to take a week off.

Melissa: It’s on my list. It’s on my list.

Paul: Yeah, I think…

Melissa: The minute you said where it was and cooking, cooking and I was like I’m there.

Paul: Yeah. It’s really fun even for me even though I’m working all the time.

Melissa: Oh yeah. It must be really cool. Now can people bring, is it just for adults or can families go or..?

Paul: We kind of back and forth, my partner with me and I so she [inaudible 00:31:37] thinks most of the guests would rather not have children present. I personally kind of like families but to date we really haven’t had children. So the youngest attendee has been nineteen. But we would like to have a family retreat at some point. But we’ve had people of all ages from nineteen to eighty-two. We’ve had people of all weights from underweight to a BMI of fifty or more. People with all kinds of health issues, lots of healthy people also. So it’s a great way to come and learn how to be healthy for the rest of your life. And also pick my brain and see if I can help you in any health problems you do have.

Melissa: Yeah. I think it’s great. And I’m glad that you’re offering something like that because a lot of time people like yourself they do a lot of research and stuff, they put out the book or the study or whatever and it’s good and it’s great information but a lot of people need more help to implement and they need to ask more questions and they need more of a hands on guiding to get going or make that first big step and then they are okay. They can kind of go along with their training wheels for a while and then check back and maybe eventually lose those training wheels but they need the initial step. And a lot of people o talked to or right where I was they’re afraid to just take that one step to get to try an alternative seeing and see how it works out. Because so many people have been brought up, that conventional medicine is the end or be on you just do whatever they say and that’s it for you. And I think people need to these days take that step forward to look at an alternative solution to the problem because there’s a lot of good ones out there that are proven like yours.

Paul: Yeah it’s really eye opening how much of a difference a good diet, good lifestyle can make. Just simple interventions but they make a huge difference.

Melissa: Yeah and I encourage people, I think it’s a really good idea and all the doctors I’ve talked to that have been able to go to a lot of these events and conferences. And they all say the basic whole food diet to get started is your best step and then to worry about like a lot of supplementing and things like that later on. And I know you’re proponent of that because what people a lot of times do is they go too far to the extreme and they also follow maybe like this high end athletes and people like that who are way different than themselves who are at a different level and who maybe using supplements or other things like that to enhance their performance but not so much to regain health.

Paul: Yeah. That’s right. It’s easy to make mistakes and it’s especially easy if you go to some extreme. Whether it’s in the vegetarian vegan extreme or get rid of animal foods or extreme low carbs and get rid of plant foods or some other extreme diets you mentioned that cleanses. It’s easy to actually start inducing problems.

Melissa: Right.

Paul: Some people end up escalating, go diet one extreme, like a vegetarian diet and then they’ll start getting, then their health may get [inaudible 00:34:54] first but then it starts getting worse…

Melissa: And then they switch.

Paul: Yeah and the reason is they’re becoming deficient in all the things that they kept out of their diet like the nutrients found in animal foods. And then they may switch to the opposite extreme like a low carb food and they feel better, they feel great because they’re getting all the animal foods that they are missing and then after a while they start getting deficient over the things that plant foods. And still people wonder, why is this so weird? Why is the diet seem to help me and then it seems to hurt me? And they don’t really think of, some of the negative effects can take a long time to develop.

Melissa: Yeah and I think that’s a really good point. As I said, as you point out you can go from one extreme to the other and feel good for a while and then have things backfire on you. And all the time you’ve been depleting in one area and then you switch diets and then you start depleting in another area and you just get more and more, your body keeps getting worse rather than better. And I think like you say, it’s better to start with whole foods as your baseline and then sort of tweak things from there. But there’s no question in my mind that people should seek out good blood work before they get started. That’s what I always recommend. Get a baseline from where you are, what is wrong. And one of the reasons I recommend, they’re not a sponsor and I don’t get paid or anything but I work well on Wellness Effects. Just because for me when I was able to see those panels and understand because I’d never seen my blood works before. I didn’t understand what it meant. But they have this little dashboard, red to green and in between and you immediately get an understanding of what needs to be fixed and what doesn’t. And if you have a practitioner which you can find through them or other sources to work with you, they will tell you ‘we’re not going to focus on some of these areas right now because we need to get this other areas fixed.’ So you won’t be enticed to run wild on one are that might be in the red zone when you should be concentrating on tweaking some smaller things over on the other side. But to me that’s really really helpful because it shows you progress but it also shows you areas you need to be focusing on before you get started and what the deficiencies are.

Paul: Yeah it’s always good to get, actually one of the places that doctors can most help you is with lab tests and diagnosis.

Melissa: Yeah.

Paul: Their therapies are often they’re not the best things for you but their advice and their diagnostic testing is generally very good for you. It’s definitely worthwhile to take advantage of lab testing.

Melissa: Right. Alright Paul, well thanks so much for spending so much time with us today and telling us about the book, what you did to resolve your health issues and promote good health and also about the retreat.

Paul: Yeah, thank you very much Melissa.

Melissa: Hopefully I’ll see you at one of the retreats.

Paul: I would love that.

Melissa: Alright, thank you.

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