Nourish Your Body, Heal Yourself with Kirstin Carey, Nourish123.com
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Start your nourishment diet today. Just because you don't have a diagnosed autoimmune disease doesn't mean something isn't brewing. Most autoimmune diseases take 3 to 10 years before they're found. That is why you need to start cleaning up your diet to free yourself from any inflammation. Each person has a diet that works for them, there is no one way to do it.
Join Corinna Bellizzi as she talks to Kirstin Carey about how you can free yourself from any autoimmune disease. Kirstin is the President and CEO of Nourish123. Kirstin suffered from celiac disease and Hashimoto's but managed to free and heal herself. Discover how she did it so you can also clear your own autoimmune disease. Learn the science behind these diseases and how they start. Learn some go-to supplements that can help stop it. Start nourishing your life today!
Key takeaways from this episode:
-Choosing your diet
-What causes inflammation
-What happens in adrenal dysfunction
-How to avoid autoimmune diseases
Guest Social Links:
Official Website - https://www.nourish123.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nourish123freedom
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/nourish123freedom/
Nourish Your Body, Heal Yourself With Kirstin Carey, Nourish123.com
We are going to get deep into the basics of nutrition as we feature our guest, Kirstin Carey. She's the President and CEO of Nourish, a proven system to stop the progression and heal from the damage of autoimmune-related issues. After freeing herself from celiac disease and also Hashimoto's, she has become a leading expert in helping others stop their symptoms, reverse the progression of diseases, and ultimately heal from their autoimmune issues. She's a certified holistic nutritionist and a professional chef. Her work centers around three crucial components, nutrition, science and soul. Kirstin, welcome to the show.
Thank you very much for having me.
Thank you for being here. I like to start this episode off with a simple question. What does nutrition without compromise mean to you?
To me, it means that you are getting the nutrition that works for you without having to sacrifice who you are or to sacrifice based on what's available. You figure out what works best for you. When you are not compromising, you are authentic to who you are and you are getting exactly what you personally need.
I'm glad you picked up on that. That's part of the ethos of the show itself. I do think that the simple phrase, "Nutrition without compromise," can mean many different things to many different people. In this case, all apply. Before we get into this discussion about how you were successful in ridding yourself of disease, it's going to be necessary for us to clearly state that this is not medical advice. We are not doctors. We are not seeking to treat, diagnose or cure anyone who's reading this.
We do hope this is helpful. The topics that we discuss, if they feel they are personal to you and they resonate with what you are going through, you should take this knowledge and meet with your health professional. You could be working with somebody on an integrative side of things, a naturopath, and even someone like Kirstin Carey’s Nourish123.com. It's for educational purposes. Let's get into this. How did you specifically work to rid yourself of celiac and autoimmune? These two things are pretty big. Hashimoto's, I personally have. I was diagnosed back in 2009 and I have not been successful in getting away from complete medication at this point.
That's the important part. We are overmedicated as a society. It doesn't mean that medication is bad. It just means that it's prescribed way too quickly before we look at what the body is doing and what the body can do on its own. We are amazing creatures. We have the ability to heal. When you work with the system, rather than against the system, you can help the body do exactly what it was designed to do, which was heal and find balance.
I didn't dress up as a nutritionist for Halloween when I was a kid. This was not what I wanted to be when I grew up. I got forced into it. I was in sales and marketing. I had a successful consulting company and I was traveling all over the place to speak to large audiences and work with companies on their sales and marketing systems.
I kept getting more sick and I didn't realize it because my doctors were saying, “That's normal or that's your hormones. Take this medication or do this thing and it'll be fine,” and I wasn't getting better. I knew I was too young to feel that old. I was getting up in the morning and I was in pain. I was too foggy-brained all the time. I was gaining weight. I'm a former athlete. I put a little bit more workout into it thinking I can lose the weight and it was getting worse. I was eating healthy as far as I knew. I was eating whole wheat pasta, low-fat cheese, and all the things that were supposedly healthy.
I was gaining weight and couldn't get it to stop. Migraines were bringing me to my knees. My skin was breaking out in ways that were mortifying. When you are speaking in front of larger audiences, that's not good. I couldn't get my thoughts together, which also isn't great when you are in front of a large audience.
I finally left after doing every invasive scope and test, taking the medications, and all the things. I was compliant. I finally got into natural medicine. One of the doctors I saw said, "You have celiac disease." I'm like, "Great. We found in the answer so everything is going to get better.” I stopped eating gluten like I was told to and I didn't see the results the way that I had expected to.
After taking hundreds of dollars a month in supplements and doing all stuff they were telling me to do, I still couldn't get the answer. I went back to school for nutrition, and then I started finding other additional educational components that I added to it. I opened up a series of gluten-free restaurants. They were the first gluten-free restaurants in Arizona because that's how deep I get into things. I decided I will open a series of restaurants to help the other people who couldn't find places to eat and feel normal.
I learned a whole lot more, at that point, being a chef running a commercial restaurant and learning how to put meals together for people. One of the things that we did was food sensitivity testing, and we started making meal plans specific to the people I was working with to help them get better as well. My chefs would make that food and people would come to pick up the personally designed food for their food sensitivity issues, and I started helping people heal that way.
That's the beginning part of the story, but I learned more about myself during that journey than I ever would have. I also started learning about my own blocks emotionally, as well as physically. To me, it was you just take the right supplements and food, then you should be able to fix it. I didn't incorporate a lot of the emotional healing until I got into my own healing journey. That's what we do with our clients too. We help them with the emotional components as well as the logical left brain thought process too.
I imagine that is what you mean by nutrition, science and soul because it's a more holistic approach to somebody's entire health journey. I was listening to a podcast. It's Dr. Mark Hyman's podcast. I have known him for years. I have watched his career progress and he awakens more as time goes on to integrative approaches to medicine and a more holistic approach.
One of the things that he shares is they go deep into people's histories, starting with how was your childbirth, meaning when you were born into the world. Was it a caesarean section? Did your mother breastfeed” For how long? At what point did dairy get introduced if it got introduced? What sorts of progressions that you have? Did you have acne in your teens?
It’s going through the whole thing of getting your entire health history and using that as a tool to then say, "Where is your gut health now? Where could it have been messed up in the past and how might we figure out the best path forward for you?" By looking at all of these things, they are able to help people on a new path forward, having treated hundreds of people, much like you have treated hundreds of people for autoimmune disorders. I'm curious to know if there was that first step or that first real a-ha that came to you as you were in that nutrition coursework. What was it?
It's a lot of what you were saying. It was the idea that what I thought was healthy. It’s understanding more about organics, gut health, and how your gut is 80% to 90% of everything that's going on in your system. Taking that to a deeper level, I’ve also tried every diet that was available. I have been vegan. I have been raw. I'm about to do three-day water fast with our clients. I have done the detoxes. I have done those pieces.
For the most part, after going through a lot of that and understanding how I grew up when I thought it was normal eating, and what I understood now not to be that healthy, what's helpful to me now is to find the right path for each individual person. There's no magic pill. There's no magic diet. There's no one size fits all. Understanding that you are still an individual, which is why we also ask a lot of those same questions. Was it rough childbirth for your mother? Were you breastfed?
When I was born in the mid-'70s, it wasn't popular to breastfeed your kids because only the poor ladies did that. They used to tell the mothers those things, and you were getting a better product if you were drinking formula because science created that. It’s understanding the difference between when science can support and when it's working against the natural rhythm of the system.
Your gut is 80 to 90% of everything that's going on in your system.
Even that idea that the mother thought she was hurting her child if she was not buying the expensive formula, that emotion that the mother has gone into that and that idea all plays into a lot of what our health looked like as children and how it carried through our adulthood. It's the understanding that we are all individuals, but there are so many pieces that play in and understanding those pieces is incredibly helpful to understand what's going on for you 40 to 50 years later.
One of the topics you introduced by proxy of this conversation thus far is gut diets. One of the diets that I have become aware of is the carnivore diet, which is being purported as a diet that will help get your autoimmune conditions under control. I would love for you to share your perspective about how that diet works, and whether or not you would ever recommend it for even a short term. What your thoughts are overall?
A lot of people have their own ideas on the way things work. A lot of times, they are things that will work in the short-term that will work against you in the long-term. We are big fans of the long-term game rather than the short-term moment. You might feel better for a moment, but if it's going to do larger damage to you later, we would rather see us spread it out. We are bigger fans of the tortoise versus the hare in most cases.
Even when it comes to the carnivore diet, keto or paleo, there are certain things that can work in your favor and against you. There are also ways to bastardize those ideas or the results people are getting because that might fit the rules, but it isn't necessarily the best way to do something. We find a lot of people, especially with keto, that's the more popular one that you see to lose weight. Most people aren't doing it right. Even if they are getting some of the weight-loss results, they are not eating the fats the right way or the good fats and things like that.
It's understanding what the diet’s purpose was and why people might be getting results on it. We find most of the popular diets that are out there, a lot of times people get short-term results because they stop eating nonsense. They stop eating all the processed foods. Even on the carnivore diet, you are not going to eat anything out of a box or a bag. As a vegan, you can eat stuff out of a box or bag quickly. You start looking at it and saying, “Why are they getting results?” Is it what they are eating or what they are not eating?
A lot of times, it's almost what they are not eating that they are seeing some quick results in the beginning, and then long-term, it's doing some other damage because we need green stuff in our diet. We need vegetables in our diet. We need certain things in our diet that some of these diets will pull out. I don't see that as long-term success or we haven't seen anybody with long-term success with a lot of those.
I'm in your camp here, I think nutrition should be something that's balanced. If I was to consume a carnivore diet, which would only include meat, raw dairy and honey, it would be quite boring pretty quickly.
The idea of what goes on in the digestive system starts to cause some other challenges in the digestive system. If you don't have enough fiber in the system, you then are setting yourself up for other ailments later.
For fiber, they eat fruits. They have to be traditional fruits, not tomatoes. They don't do the tomato thing. They argue that they get their fiber that way.
What happens is people lean too heavily into one side or the other. There's a percentage. We don't see people that are all about the meats and we are not seeing enough of that fiber. It's difficult to do that properly, but if you are doing it properly and it's working for you right now, then you do you.
Let's dig in a little bit to this whole topic around inflammation because so many of our health disruptions come when we get inflammation that is out of control. You had in your liner notes a simple statement, “The truth behind nutrition and inflammation.” What is the truth about nutrition and inflammation?
The truth is everything can cause inflammation or lower it emotionally, mentally and physically. Even if you look at it from a nutrition standpoint, it's just your food. How do you feel about the food that you are eating? If you are angry, upset or you are eating against what it is that you want to be eating, you could be angry the whole time. You are not going to get the nutrition the same way.
Emotionally, mentally and physically, we want to look at our nutrition, how we look at the world, and how we are accepting that everything can cause inflammation or take away from it. Whether it's a thought, a belief or food. With the idea that inflammation is the root cause of all things, you want to ask yourself, “What else is increasing my inflammation or helping to decrease it from everything in my environment, emotionally, internally or externally?”
I know that people would argue that things like omega-3 don't cause inflammation. What would you say to that?
I would say that anything can. If it's the wrong omega-3 or if omega-3s aren't prepared properly. If they aren't being shipped and contained properly, they can be causing it. We have to look at everything and say, “We want a better understanding of all of the things.” Omega-3s can be amazing. They may not be pulled from the right resources or they are not ethically done, even just that idea. Are we ethically sourcing them? That can cause an inflammatory response because of how we are doing it. That resonates with our health, believe it or not.
That’s an interesting point. You bring up the question of quality as well because you can manufacture an omega-3 that is in a rancid form, and your body will work to reject it in any way that it can. You can produce omega-3 that isn't ethically produced, and that is the exact opposite. You could be selling shark fin omega-3. That's a reality. That's a lot of trauma to the animal, and then also psychically to one who's consuming it.
You can look at everything and understand that everything has an influence on us in some way, shape or form, but two people could be doing the same thing. One is getting good results and one is getting bad. A lot of it has to do also with how they feel about the process they are going through. We want to see where are our foods, supplements and information being sourced. That has a lot to do with whether you are getting the results with your particular approach or not.
Why is it important for people if they have an autoimmune issue like Hashimoto's or celiac or it could even be vitiligo that they clean up their diet?
If they choose to continue and reinforce the autoimmune attack, by all means, keep doing what you are doing. If they don't clean up the diet, you are sending a message to the system. For those people who don't understand the basics of it, autoimmune is basically your body is attacking itself. The immune system is designed to protect you and help you heal. The secondary part of an immune system is to heal. If it's so confused that it's attacking parts of you thinking you are the enemy, that's a huge problem because what happens is it'll start somewhere, which is why you see a lot of people have one autoimmune. They often have 2 or 3 more, or they have a couple of more that are on the way. You get celiac disease, which was my original one.
What it will do if you don't take care of it in time, the immune system is already ripe to attack you. If you don't start taking care of it, it's going to start its attack on another part of your body. The real problem isn't the thyroid or the lining of the gut in that case. The problem is the immune system is so confused that it thinks you are the enemy. Not only is it not protecting you, but it's also the reason and the cause.
If you have thyroid issues, gluten is not your friend.
That's an incredibly important part. One of the major things that will cause that attack, whether it's celiac disease or any of the other autoimmune conditions is the gliadin in gluten. There are toxic glutens which have gliadin in them, then there are non-toxic glutens. Wheat, barley, rye, and we argue that oats will fall into that category too. The toxic glutens and we don't see anybody doing better when they have dairy in their diet when they have autoimmune diseases because it causes a similar reaction to the gluten.
I was very curious from a personal perspective because I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's back in 2009. It first came with self-diagnosis. I was coming off of a three-day juice fast and noticed when I started to reintroduce food, that I was having a little trouble swallowing. I knew that to be symptomatic of thyroid concerns. I went and got checked. My levels were out of whack. The doctor at the time told me if I didn't take the drug, I could end up in a coma or something to that effect.
I did not do well on levothyroxine which is the standard prescription that a doctor will give somebody who has been diagnosed with Hashimoto's or hypothyroidism. I went to some other natural products for some time with some success but not complete. I have been on a natural thyroid, which is taken from an animal for the entirety of that time virtually. I have not had any of the other symptoms that I commonly hear about with thyroid disorders.
I have been consistently curious about whether or not I would be able to step away from this because aside from perhaps a slightly slower metabolism or having a temperature that's a little bit lower on the regular, I haven't had low energy or lack of mental clarity or digestive issues. I did notice with time that I don't do as well with dairy. I have eliminated that from my diet, but that was something I grew up with and I didn't think anything of it until my son who was four was having issues with milk.
Instead of prodding him and having him go through blood tests, I'm like, “I have always noticed they get a little snotty when I have milk. I'm going to test my blood and see what happens.” I test my blood and they say I have a mild dairy sensitivity. Gluten didn't come up on any of that even though I have one of the markers genetically, if I'm to believe 23 And Me, for celiac disease. I have also eliminated any wheat from my diet unless it happens to migrate into my food when I'm dining out or whatever. When I don't have celiac disease, I haven't been super militant about only dining out at gluten-free restaurants and things along those lines.
At least with the removal of the dairy, I have noticed that I don't get phlegm the same way. My stool is more consistent. It’s not necessarily a great thing to talk about poop, but everyone does it. It’s a reality of your digestion. I feel I'm a little bit healthier by eliminating the milk. I'm curious what steps somebody like me might take to reduce or eliminate medication.
Again, this is not medical advice. Most of our clients, if not all of our clients, come off of their medications, especially with thyroid medications. My mother reversed her autoimmune issues with Hashimoto's. She was on medication for ten years. She's off it now with no problems. Her doctor is baffled and contacted me because she wanted to understand better why it worked. She still thinks my mom is a miracle. I'm like, “She's not. That's how the body works.” I got my mother off of gluten and dairy right away. She did much better digestively.
What's interesting about Hashimoto's specifically is it's attacking the thyroid. The tissue of the thyroid looks the same to the immune system as the gliadin in the toxic gluten. If you've ever seen anything by Dr. Tom O'Bryan, he's done a ton of research. He was the celiac guy. He then became the autoimmune guy and then became the brain guy. He gets deep. He's got some serious peer-reviewed study information specifically on gluten. He's the one to look for these types of studies.
He has shown that a fingernail-size amount of gluten getting into your system can cause an entire immune system attack that can last up to six months. We think we only have a little bit in our system, but what happens is the immune system sees the gluten coming in the gliadin. It starts to attack to try to protect you. As its continuing to look around to see if there are any more, it starts seeing the thyroid tissue and says, "That looks exactly the same to me. It's gliadin. Let's take that out too."
You are activating an immune system response and it's specifically looking at thyroid tissue that looks the same. Especially with people with thyroid issues, it's the number one most commonly diagnosed autoimmune condition. It was the first one that was ever discovered. You are seeing people with these issues over and over, especially women. It still does hit men, but women much more often. You don't feel it. That's why people get confused. They are like, “I don't have a reaction when I eat it so I'm fine.” It's an underlying inflammatory reaction that begins to attack, and it can last up to six months causing that inflammatory response.
We are very tight with our clients on that. We have to find the right diet for you, but we can tell you with certainty that gluten is not your friend, even in a little tiny bit. Dairy can also cause a similar attack because the immune system can often confuse dairy with gluten, which is another interesting component when you look at the body from a scientific angle.
It brings me back to how we evolved ultimately in the beginning. This was my entire scholastic pursuit before entering the workforce after college. I studied anthropology and evolution, and the thing you learn is that we didn't eat grain and we didn't consume milk. These are not the things that our bodies have necessarily evolved to consider staples in our diets. It makes logical sense that a lot of health issues could erupt from these sorts of dietary choices.
You reminded me of another person's work and that's Dr. David Perlmutter. He wrote a book called, Grain Brain about the grain-to-brain connection. There’s another called Drop Acid. It’s about the levels of uric acid in your system and how it can create inflammatory cascades. Retention of water cause you to produce more fat cells because you are essentially trying to save water for that rainy day like a camel within its hump. Those are two books that people should consider reading if this is something that they are concerned with. I personally worked with Dr. Perlmutter in my early career at Nordic Naturals. He's got his brain in the right place. He's a neurologist neuroscientist.
Let's talk for a moment about adrenal dysfunction because that is something that so affects people. Even when you are living in a stressed overloaded environment, you get adrenal fatigue. Often, this can then lead to a cascade of health problems including autoimmune or sometimes misdiagnosis as having an autoimmune issue because you get so depleted. Let's talk about that. How do we deal with adrenal dysfunction or adrenal collapse?
This was one of those moments when I was in school for nutrition, I sat there and went, “How could it be? I wish I had known this before.” It’s a light bulb moment. This is why we teach this. We teach our clients and all these people. Here's the most important thing about adrenal function. We are going to talk about men and women at the same time period. In our 30s and right around 40s, we all started going through this shift in our hormone production. Premenopausal, half the hormone production is in the adrenal glands. The other half is going to be your sex organs. Your testes and ovaries.
As we get closer to menopause, what happens is the sex organs start slowing down their production of the sex hormones and the adrenals have to pick up the slack. If they were doing 50% before and they were exhausted, now they are getting handed the other 50%. This is why you see a lot of people right around 38, 40 and 45 hitting brick walls of fatigue, hormone issues, joint pain and weight gain. It's not because of menopause. It's because their adrenals are not healthy enough to handle the additional workload of producing hormones.
People will say, “My doctor said this happens to everyone when they go into menopause and I just have to have replacement hormones.” If it was an everyone situation, then every single man and woman going through that similar process would have to have replacement hormones. Why would nature have done that to us? Why do some people sail through it and other people have problems? We go back to looking at adrenal function and how the body handles inflammation and stress.
Whether it's emotional, physical or mental, the body doesn't care where your stress is coming from. If you are eating foods that aren't working for you, that's inflammation and stress. If you are thinking things like I'm not worthy or I'm not lovable, that's inflammation and stress. If you are emotionally handling some underlying trauma, that's inflammation and stress.
The body doesn't care where it's coming from. It says, “I'm overloaded. Now you are telling me I have to do this additional amount of work to produce all these other hormones. Great.” That's why you see these brick walls happening to people in their mid-30s and 40s. If we understood more about adrenal function and how the body processes its perception of stress and danger, we would be much better off and we wouldn't see people go through and suffer through the change in the body. This is why, but other people go, "This is the way it is,” and then they jump on the bandwagon of, “Now I have to do all the replacement hormones.”
Back to when you were saying, “I'm taking these hormones for my thyroid,” or “I'm taking hormones as replacement hormones for my sex hormones.” We are going to talk about short-term versus long-term now. What ends up happening in the short-term is it might work for you and you might feel better or not feel the symptoms that your body is trying to give you because you are temporarily holding back the symptoms because you are giving it the hormone that it's struggling to produce on its own or struggling to convert properly.
You can't correct decades of challenge in just three days. The “work hard, play hard, detox hard” mindset doesn't work.
If you give it the hormone, what the message is to the body is, “You don't have to bother producing this hormone or converting other hormones properly into the hormones you need and finding your balance because we'll do it for you.” The message is, “I don't need to do the work anymore.” Your body slows down its production and its conversions. Over time, you have to up what it is you are taking or it stops being effective.
That's why you see people struggling over time, especially if they get closer to menopausal age to have the right balance of the replacement hormone, whether it's thyroid hormone or sex hormones. This is where it starts to get super interesting. Are we on the short-term game or are we looking at the long-term game here?
If you are taking something, you can wean from it effectively. We always recommend you go back to the prescribing doctor in order to do that, but we can show you how our clients have done it in the past so you don't just stop a hormone because that'll mess you up as well. You learn how to support the adrenals, support the body, get into a place where it feels safe and not in danger emotionally, mentally or physically, and then you help it to wean and you help to support it in the process. It's not just dropping it out. That's three answers circling back on some other stuff.
I want to connect to something else as it relates to this discussion around adrenal function because it's also very interesting about your point of diagnosis. You were traveling the world a lot. You were on the stage a lot. You were going all over the place. This is one of those ways in which we exhaust our adrenals. Too many people think, “I'm out here. I'm a go-getter. I'm going to put in those 70-hour weeks each week. I'm traveling the world. I'm making a name for myself. I'm doing X, Y and Z,” and none of it feels optional. You just push, push, push, so you burn your adrenals out. That is the moment at which so many people end up with a health problem that might have been avoidable in the first place if they were not pushing themselves to the absolute limits.
I'm looking at myself when I say this too because that had something to do with my diagnosis in 2009, having spent the prior seven years building the company that would become Nordic Naturals, jet-setting all over the globe and working so hard in so many hours. I'm going to throw a juice fast on top of this and try to take care of myself in another way when I was struggling, to be frank. I was overworked. I was not taking care of myself and I was out of balance for that reason. I'm curious to see how I might respond to something like your system. Perhaps we can connect on that after this session.
Most of our clients are women. Most of them are go-getters. Most of them are the ones that know how to white knuckle through. We have a lot of former professional athletes. We have a lot of people who are high performers. They know how to white-knuckle through. What they have learned is how to push past the message the body gave them that they were in trouble. They would do something like, “I will a juice fast. I will do a three-day rapid detox. I will go to this place for the weekend and I will get through this.” You can't correct decades of challenge in three days.
That's also more of the American concept of working hard, playing hard, and detoxing hard. It's not that. We are good as a society for supporting the idea that it's supposed to be a struggle. I think that life is going to hand you a challenge but I don't think you should ever be suffering, and there's a giant difference. When people recognize that, they understand they have been white-knuckling through for so long. They are saying, “I will put the kids, husband, employees, or everybody else first. When and if there's time, then I will do something for me.” They think bingeing out on Netflix is giving themselves time. I'm like, “Are you even connecting with yourself?” That's what the body is screaming for with all these symptoms.
It all speaks to me. If I'm being perfectly frank, 2008 to 2009 was also my marathoning season where I was training hard. That juice fast was part of me saying, "I'm going to do a cleanse now, as I prepare to go into my fall training season because I was getting ready to train for yet another marathon." Doing something like even a three-day juice fast when you are doing those distance runs is not super feasible.
As somebody who has cared about my health my whole life, I have white-knuckled it through. That's the appropriate terminology. It resonates. It feels right. I have white-knuckled it through several moments in my life. When you do that, you can push yourself into collapse. Avoiding those sorts of things is all of our goals. To avoid those sorts of collapses and challenges, what sorts of nutrition tips would you give those that are reading who might not be experiencing one of these diseases yet and who want to avoid them?
The first thing is to check. Just because you don't have a diagnosed disease, it doesn't mean something isn't brewing. For most autoimmune diseases, it's 3 to 10 years before a diagnosis is found. You've been suffering in that space for up to 3 to 10 years. There are also 200 known autoimmune diseases at this point with only 20 direct tests like, “Yes, you have this.”
A lot of doctors are reluctant to diagnose or to give that understanding. A lot of people who have an autoimmune issue are not being diagnosed or they are not being called out on it because the doctor wouldn't do anything differently. A lot of Hashimoto's is known as hypothyroidism or thyroid dysfunction. They are not going the extra mile because they wouldn't do anything different. That's the first part of that.
General rules, as far as health when it comes to nutrition, regardless. If you are experiencing any type of hormone imbalance, digestive distress, fatigue or skin breakouts, you want to look at your food. The first thing to ask is, "Where are the toxins?" If you are not eating organic, there are toxins going on in your food. You want to start looking at that. I know it costs more money but in the long run, it's going to cost you less in your healthcare. Organics is a better choice. How many colors are in your food each day? If you are only leaning into 1 or 2 couple of colors, there are fewer nutrients in your food.
What's fun if you want to take it this way, if you look at the color wheel, the colors that are opposites like orange and purple are opposite, there are actual nutrients in one that helps you absorb the nutrients in the other. It's the combination of colors. It can also be incredibly awesome. If you are missing a chunk of colors, you are missing a chunk of nutrients.
Gluten and dairy, I would highly recommend getting them out and being hyper-serious about getting them out of your diet. Start looking around to how many things are coming out of a box or a bag. If it's coming out of a box or a bag, it has probably been processed most of the time, so you might want to back off on that. For the most part, I'm not suggesting you do this, but if you could eat it raw, your body is probably going to accept it well like beans. A lot of people don't struggle with beans because you have to cook them in order to eat them.
I'm not saying avoid them. I'm just saying that the body does better when it was something that you don't have to cook in order to eat like rice. You have to cook it in order to eat it. It's one of those general rules. Most of your plates should have plants on them. If you do choose to eat meat, which I do, I find I do better when I have meat in my diet. It's a smaller portion of what's on my plate. The majority of my plate is filled with lots of plants. Those are just general rules on nutrition.
You shared with me offline that your husband is a vegan bodybuilder. He's also a partner in your business. You are eating one diet and he's eating something that's slightly different. He’s doing it so successfully to be able to thrive and put on a lot of muscle mass and compete.
He used to compete. Our marriage vow is that he would do another competition again because he's very grouchy when he does those. He literally spoke about it in front of all of our family and friends that he would never do another one as long as we were together.
There's something to the lean and mean as my dear friend Todd Scarborough, who is a Masters champion, has shared with me many times. A lot of that has to do with how little fat they consume when they are heading into competitions. They are looking to get as lean, mean and variegated as possible so that the muscle pops and shows, and dehydrated usually too.
There's a whole purpose. If you look at the bodybuilding culture, it's not what you are putting into your system. It's more of what it will make you look like. There's a lot of support for fake sugars. When he and I met many eons ago, he was in more of that thought process. He also chose to lead his job, and go back to nutrition and school. He's done additional education on science and lab interpretation, and we have the ability to do all of that too. He gets deep into the science side of it, much deeper than I do.
He found that eating plants for him worked beautifully well. Years ago, he shifted over and it does a good job for him. We are both big believers in if it doesn't work for you anymore, then you shift. We are big fans of you aren't a thing like you aren't a vegan or you aren't a paleo eater. You are somebody who pays attention to your system and you know how to shift should you need to. I know if he wasn't feeling as good as he does, he would incorporate animal proteins back into his diet if he felt that was the right answer. It's less of a religion and more of a philosophy on eating.
If a diet stops working for you, shift your diet.
There's a definite circuit that I would call a little bit religious, the vegan keto athlete thing. It's next level.
I know people will get very angry if you are not eating perfectly, and people get upset about honey and coconuts now because monkeys have to be trained to go get the coconuts and they get the coconuts down. They feel that's against animal rights. There's a level to it that we support animal rights and all the things, but we need to find the right health for us personally first. It was less of it. If you ask him, he'll tell you he’s plant-based. He uses that term more often than vegan, but vegan helps people understand what he's talking about.
What supplements are your go-tos? I imagine there are a few that you stand by with time.
For most people, especially people who were older, a good vitamin B complex is often something that they need, especially if they are more stressed out because they are going to be losing a lot of vitamin Bs. Make sure your D levels are appropriately in the optimal levels where if you look at the average traditional doctor, they will say, "Normal levels are normal,” especially when you are dealing with viruses and things going on in the world.
The anti-aging levels. When your levels are 80, you are good. I'm of Mediterranean descent. Even though I'm blonde-haired and blue-eyed, or maybe a little bit gray as time goes on, I don't produce vitamin D very well for my skin. It's just a reality. Even though I'm not super dark, I spend time outdoors, I don't wear a ton of sunscreen, I usually will use the hat method or whatever because I don't like putting all those chemicals on my body, ultimately, I don't make enough that way.
I do things like take my mushrooms and leave them out in the sun for a half hour before I eat them to get higher levels of natural vitamin D. I take 5,000 IUs a day, which sounds like a lot to certain people but for me, that's what I need. I will mention also that that was the reason we put B vitamins and vitamin D3 in our immunity sprite because both things get depleted when you are dealing with immune system challenges. I completely agree in getting a good level of your water-soluble B vitamins, as well as a good vitamin D source, is critical to ongoing support.
There are enough reports now coming out of traditional medicine at this point that's showing such a dramatic correlation between people who struggled with COVID or even died. Their D levels were across the board very low. When you are looking at anything like that, you want to start saying, “This has immune system support. We want to know what we are doing.” You can take too much. It's always what are your levels, to begin with, and are you absorbing it? That's the other important thing. You could take 10,000, 100,000 IUs every day and not be absorbing. That's the other thing. We were big fans of checking that one periodically.
You can do that annually. That's part of your health checkup. Sometimes you have to ask for it and this is where advocating for yourself is important. My doctor, she's on top of it. It's an automatic thing that happens each year for me. I have had prior doctors where I had to ask for it. I had to advocate for it. That's critically important. What about omega-3s? Where do you stand on that?
I'm a huge fan on omega-3s. We have talked about it before, even at the beginning of this. You have to understand where they are sourced from. Is it algae or fish? Where was it sourced from? How are they sourcing and how are they pulling it out of the source? Is it then becoming an issue and are the oils then going rented? We have seen your product and it's great because of how you are sourcing it. I know you are so on top of even the fact that the bottle is that dark.
It's like one of the things. Many of them are just white, and people leave them on their counters and they absorb a lot of light. I have questions about the long-term stability of those products.
Make sure that the companies are shipping it properly. A lot of people don't understand. There are certain products that need to be refrigerated. I live in Arizona, so we are constantly watching how are things being shipped here? Did it sit in a box truck for 2 days at 108 degrees? These are things that I don't think people appreciate. We are not big fans of a lot of supplements, but the few that we do recommend, we are going to be on top of how they are being sourced and things like glass bottles and things like that.
I know some people still struggle to get 4 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Tell me what that looks like for you. Are you consuming six servings of vegetables? Are you supplementing with greens? How are you getting there?
I don't supplement for any of that. I just eat it. My husband also does not. You should see the amount of plants that go into this guy because he's 185 pounds. He's solid. He's 5% or 6% body fat, but he has solid muscle. If he can do it, anybody can do it. That's the thing. Somebody that size is trying to get nutrients in. If somebody says, "I can't get four servings," I'm like, "Come on, people. Let's try a little bit harder," but it shouldn't be that hard. I only eat twice a day, sometimes only once. I do more intermittent fasting. When I'm getting something in, it's coming in 1 or 2 meals. I eat a regular-sized plate and the majority of my plate is going to be filled with fruits and vegetables.
A lot of people are afraid of fruits because they have heard about the sugars in fruits. It's a different sugar. It's processed through your body differently. We are huge fans of keep eating the fruit. You are all good. Juicing sometimes can get a little out of hand because you don't get the fiber in there so the body doesn't slow down the absorption. I'm a big fan of juices, but for people to think that's the only way to get them, the fiber is incredibly important. The fact is that whole food is important.
I eat a lot of salads, especially now because it's 110 degrees for us here in Arizona. I eat a ton of salads and I enjoy them. What we don't want is people eating something and hating on it the whole time. I would rather see if it's cooked vegetables that make you happy. That's great, but look around the color wheel and make sure that the vegetables you have are also many colors. You get the purples and oranges in there. Make sure you are getting all the fun colors too.
There can be even some fun ones. There are purple carrots now. I have been doing a deep dive into Dr. William Li's Eat to Beat Disease, as well as taking his course and doing a weekly supplementary additional episode around the content of it. One of the things that he hits almost every week is purple potatoes, which I don't eat potatoes anymore, but he started talking about them specifically for their anticancer properties. Also, for the fact that they seem to inspire gut health in a different way, and act as both a prebiotic and more in that space. Also foods like kiwi, which he counsels us to consume one a day of it. If you like kiwi, that's a win because it can be helpful for many of the five health defenses that he identifies. Also, super dark chocolate. There are things you can enjoy.
People don't appreciate it. They think, "It's going to be boring. It's a lot of broccoli." Yes, it's a lot of broccoli. It's the understanding of the color. Depending on where you are located in the country, there are certain foods that are available more often than you realize. It’s leaning into whatever is available in farmer's markets. Checking them out to see what's available right now.
Also, you'll get a higher nutrient intensity in the food because it's available on purpose at that point. Nature wanted it to be available, whatever that fruit or vegetable is. Lean into what's available to you during that season is also incredibly awesome. We love the multi carrots as the yellow and orange vegetables. They are so fun and it makes everything look more fun. Your brain will get nutrition by looking at the plate first and seeing all the colors. It gets excited. That's part of the beginning stages of digestion, seeing the colors.
Preparing your own food. This is one of the reasons I do like some of the meal kit deliveries, not because they are a good solution, but because it gets people back to cooking. One of the things that I always share with people is it's easy to grow herb gardens and it can spruce up your regimen and the types of foods that you even cook. I have got oregano, basil, strawberries, lemons, apple, and plums. I do have some fruit trees. I gleaned from my neighborhood, blackberries when they are in season because they grow wild here. Sometimes I will even find a wild strawberry. That can be a real treat too.
If you have the opportunity to do some of that, it's amazing. We have a much longer growing season here, but having fresh rosemary outside and putting that in when you are making something can be a huge difference in the flavor profile of what you are eating.
Don't be afraid of fruits because they have sugars. It's a different kind of sugar and it's processed through your body differently.
It takes almost no effort. You could even trim some from your neighbor's yard and start from that. They are incredibly easy to start. There are certain herbs that are very easy that way and rosemary is one of them. I encourage all of that. I feel like we have covered a lot of ground. I have so enjoyed our conversation. I would like to invite you back specifically to talk more about this emotional side of our health, and how it can impact our ability to do things like absorb nutrients and remain our healthiest. There's a lot to unpack there.
We could be doing this for weeks and still not unpack all of it. That would be a fun topic to get into.
Thank you so much. Is there any particular way that you will enjoy people reaching out or that you would encourage them to reach out to you?
Our website is going to be your best bet. We have got a ton of free resources on there. We have webinars, three-day challenges, information and PDFs. It's Nourish123.com. If anybody's like, “I want to bypass all of that,” have a chat with us to say, “Is this the right fit for me or not?” We are very clear about if this isn't the right fit. You can go to Nourish123.com/heal if you want to go right to the calendar.
Thank you so much for joining me, Kirstin.
Thank you for having me.
As stated at the beginning of this episode, this is not meant to treat, diagnose or cure any ailments that you may have. It's important that you seek treatment when you need it and be an advocate for your health. I encourage people to ensure they are getting their vitamin D levels checked at least annually.
You can even take an omega-3 blood spot test. They are available at OmegaQuant.com. I will go ahead and share links to this as well as all of the resources that we mentioned during this episode, including Dr. Perlmutter's important books and also the work of Dr. William Li. I will counsel you all. If you are curious at all about Eat to Beat Disease, go to those earlier episodes. There's one released each week. In addition to Dr. William Li's guest appearance on our show, which was episode three. He practically helped us launch this entire work with the show.
Visit OrloNutrition.com for our complete blog about this episode, including features you won't find anywhere else and even a few healthy food replacements or recipes for myself and other contributors to this show. You'll learn there about our immunity products, which contain B vitamins and vitamin D3 with spirulina, and also our leading algae-based omega-3s, the world's first carbon-negative omega-3s in the space. Thank you now and always for being a part of this community. If you have questions for me or Kirstin, you can always reach out to me directly via OrloNutrition.com or email us directly at Hello@OrloNutrition.com. As we close this episode, I hope you'll raise a cup with me as I say my parting words, “Here's to your health.”
- Dr. Mark Hyman's podcast - The Doctor's Farmacy with Mark Hyman, M.D.
- Dr. Tom O'Bryan
- Grain Brain
- Drop Acid
- Nordic Naturals
- Eat to Beat Disease
- Dr. William Li - Past episode - Dr. William Li's Eat To Beat Disease Course - 5 Health Defenses and 5 Surprises - Part 1 of 4
About Kirstin Carey
Kirstin Carey serves as the president and CEO of Nourish, A Proven System To Stop the Progression and Heal From the Damage of Autoimmune Related Issues. After freeing herself from Celiac Disease and Hashimoto's, Kirstin has become a leading expert in helping others stop symptoms, reverse progression, and heal from autoimmune. She is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a Professional Chef. Her work centers around three crucial components: (Nutrition, Science, and Soul). Her training and education as a:
Certified Holistic Nutritionist
Neuro Linguistic Programing Practitioner
Cognitive Behavior Therapy Practitioner
Certified EFT & TFT Tapping Practitioner
Certified Biofield Healing Practitioner
Her work with hundreds of autoimmune clients, and her own personal healing journey has helped her cohesively tie together the three crucial components (Nutrition, Science, and Soul) needed to heal and reach autoimmune freedom.
Kirstin is also a Board Member for the Council of Holistic Health Educators.