On this week’s A Different Perspective, Dr. Flynn begins with another patient success story. Renee shares her story about struggling with digestive issues and how eating according to her food allergies results helped her normalize her system and helped her get her life back. Then, in the “Hot Topics” segment, Doc interviews Courtney Swan of the website and podcast Realfoodology. They talk about organ meats, birth control, health misconceptions, and more. Doc wraps up the show with his thoughts on stories –health stories and life stories. You get to decide what you overcome and how your story ends.
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Dr. Flynn begins the show by sharing ways to stay up to date with what’s going on at The Wellness Way. He shares a bit about our Inflammation Talks, given regularly by each clinic around the country. Addressing inflammation is the main way people get results in their health journey. Doc had someone reach out to him this past week about how they love the patient success stories we have been sharing. This person also wanted to come into the studio and share their story. Doc welcomes anyone who has a story they would like to share to please get in touch with us.
Wellness Way Stories: Renee Umnus
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Dr. Jason Nobles of The Wellness Way Green Bay then introduces one of his patients, Renee. Renee came into The Wellness Way clinic struggling with digestive issues. She loved to share food with her friends and family, but her food reactions made it difficult.
Renee Shares Her Background
Renee works at Christ The Rock Church in De Pere, as the office administrator there. She does a lot of organization and works closely with the pastor. She has gifts in administration but also really loves counseling people. So, she also spends a lot of time sitting one-on-one with women and helping them work through issues. She’s a people person, so she loves interacting with people.
A Love for Entertaining
When it comes to making meals for her husband and their friends, Renee really enjoys the planning process. She plans two weeks out, so she knows exactly what she’ll be making for dinner on any given day. She loves to entertain, whether that’s cooking out, creating a nice meal, or just trying a new recipe. Cooking is a stress-reliever for her when she comes home from work.
She Couldn’t Leave The House After Eating
Before coming to The Wellness Way, Renee really struggled with stomach issues. It got to the point where she was afraid to do things. Renee and her husband love to hike, and when they travel, they hike a lot. But there were times when she would eat certain foods and she couldn’t go anywhere, because she needed to be near a bathroom. It was frustrating because she thought she was eating healthy, but then her stomach issues made it so that she couldn’t leave the house. It was especially hard because Renee loves to be outdoors, and she loves to be with people.
Guidance From The Wellness Way Turned Things Around
Renee found out about The Wellness Way from her friend, Rob. He had been coming to The Wellness Way for about six months before Renee got started. Renee heard of Rob’s success, and how Dr. Jason had helped him with his issues. Then her husband encouraged her to come into The Wellness Way. Dr. Jason made Renee feel at ease and started with some blood work. Renee found out she had over 30 (non-anaphylactic) food allergies. These included bread, milk, eggs, and even blueberries. Eggs especially were causing stomach issues.
There were many foods on her allergy list. But Renee is thankful to know what those foods are because avoiding them is helping her feel so much better. One of the things Dr. Jason taught her is to not focus on what foods are being taken away. Instead, focus on the foods that you can still enjoy. Renee learned that instead of chicken eggs, she could have duck eggs. She learned to stop focusing on the negative – what she couldn’t eat—and instead focus on the positive: all the things she could eat.
Renee has been on The Wellness Way journey for just over a year now. It was tough at first, but Renee had set her mind on this. She decided she going to follow through with it – to take her life back and feel so much better. So, she got on board with everything Dr. Jason asked her to do.
Life is Better After The Wellness Way
Now, she doesn’t feel nervous about leaving the house after a meal because she knows she has made good choices. She rarely has those stomach issues now. Her husband has been her biggest cheerleader. He’s excited about her success because now they can do those things they enjoy again: hiking, biking, morning workout outs, etc.
Renee hopes anyone who hears her story will try The Wellness Way because it really helped her. It’s a journey and you have to keep with it, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Hot Topics: Interview with Courtney Swan
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Doc then introduces his interview with Integrative Nutritionist and podcaster, Courtney Swan of realfoodology.com.
Courtney Shares Her Health Background
Courtney starts out by sharing her first introduction to health as a child. Growing up, Courtney was fortunate that her mom was very into healthy eating and making food from scratch. She bought organic food “before it was a thing.” She didn’t grow up on the Standard American Diet. So, when Courtney went off to college, she hadn’t eaten much fast food. She was used to all her meals being made from scratch. Now eating this new way, she got really sick. She gained a ton of weight, became very lethargic, and had a lot of brain fog.
She didn’t initially understand what was going on because she had grown up eating so healthy. She hadn’t made the connection between how the food she was putting in her body affected her health.
Nutrition Becomes a Passion
Her mom started sending her books on health and nutrition, and Courtney took a nutrition course during her undergrad studies. It was one of the last classes she took (during her last semester), and she was disappointed because she realized this was what she wanted to study. She became so passionate about nutrition, and it was the first time she realized that she could take her health into her own hands.
She started reading every nutrition book she could get her hands on. She found people like Michael Pollan and Dr. Mark Hyman. Courtney because so passionate about nutrition that she decided to go back to school. She got her master’s in nutrition and integrative health, which is putting holistic and Western medicine together.
Courtney worked in music for a long time before she started her nutrition career. Then, she started Realfoodology, her podcast, and her Instagram following. On her Instagram, she does educational posts to help teach people how to eat healthy. We’ve made it hard in this country.
Doc Brings Up Organ Meats
Doc interjects how he and Courtney both promote organ meats as part of a healthy diet. He tells women that if they want to keep their skin beautiful, it’s all about organ meats. He asked Courtney how old she is (37). People often think she is in college. She has beautiful glowy skin in part due to her organ meat consumption.
Courtney talks about how she knows organ meats have the most bioavailable nutrients possible. While we have, as a society, become scared of eating organ meats, what we don’t understand is that they used to be our ancestors’ most prized foods. In the past, whoever made the kill was rewarded by receiving the organ meats, because people back then knew that they were the healthiest they would eat. Now, most of us are only eating muscle meat, and we’re getting about half the essential nutrients. It’s the organs that store so many of those nutrients.
There’s a huge misconception that because the liver filters out toxins the liver meat must hold on to the toxins. But it just filters them out. It’s the way to get the toxins out of the body. It’s not actually storing them. What it does store is highly bioavailable nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin K2, and DHEA. These are essential – not only for skin health but for health in general.
Another one of Courtney’s secrets for elastic, vibrant skin, is collagen. Collagen also has essential nutrients that keep your skin elastic. We lose a lot of collagen as we age, so you want to replace that collagen that you’re losing.
Doc Asks What Courtney is Hearing from Women
Doc then asks Courtney about what she hears from women about their food choices and the conditions they are suffering from. Courtney says that a lot of women are dealing with stomach issues, thyroid issues, and metabolism issues. All these issues really stem from our hormones.
A lot of women are on birth control. Unfortunately, birth control creates vitamin deficiencies. It’s also causing our hormones to be all over the place and completely unbalanced.
We are being told that birth control is balancing our hormones. It’s not. It’s shutting off ovulation and is replacing our body’s natural/real hormones with synthetically made hormones. We are no longer ovulating and having a normal period.
For a long time, women were told we just needed periods for fertility. But that’s not true. Our periods are like our monthly report card. It’s how you know that your health is in order. For women, periods are our number one sign that something is going on in the body.
If you’re dealing with hormonal imbalance, thyroid issues, or stomach issues, most likely, it’s stemming from your hormones. Most women have no idea that they are messing up their hormones as badly as they are with birth control.
From The Music Industry to The Nutrition Industry
Doc asks Courtney what led her to make the career change from the music industry to nutrition. Courtney describes some of her experiences on the road and coaching a Swedish pop star in nutrition. Eventually, she left the music business because she wanted to take care of her health and further pursue a career in nutrition.
In her challenge to find healthy food while on the road with a band, Courtney put together a healthy restaurant guide. It links to healthy and organic restaurants and food sources in all the cities she has visited so far — the United States and overseas. She’ll be adding our new fully organic Wellness Way restaurant when it opens in Green Bay this fall.
Common Health Misconceptions Courtney Encounters
Doc asks Courtney about some common health misconceptions she encounters while working with people. Courtney says that the biggest one is that people have been taught to fear fat. Another one is that people think dietary cholesterol equals serum cholesterol. We now know that is not the case, yet so many people still avoid eggs, butter, and red meat. The real problem is sugar.
There was a study that was done in the 1970s with Harvard scientists. What they found was that it was sugar that was contributing to heart disease. But the sugar industry got wind of this and paid off the scientists to say that it was fat. Cue the low-fat movement. We’re still dealing with those effects today.
Courtney is here to tell you that dietary fat in healthy forms is one of the best things you can eat. So, that means foods like…
- Butter – organic, grass-fed butter
- Olive oil – Avoid seed oils because they are highly inflammatory, highly processed, and they have a higher omega 6 to omega 3 ratio. You want to have a ratio that is higher in omega 3s and lower in omega 6s. So, avoid canola and soybean oil, but keep the healthy fats.
- Wild-Caught Salmon – from a good area, like Alaska.
For the longest time, people didn’t realize how bad sugar was for us. They are also not aware of how much sugar is in our food. You can find it in salad dressings, nut milks, peanut butter, and even soup. We don’t need sugar in all these foods.
If you’re unaware of it, you could easily eat up to 60 grams of sugar in a day. We should on average be eating more like 20 grams of sugar a day.
Courtney’s Thoughts on Certain Foods
Doc then says he’s going to fire off some foods and have Courtney share what she thinks about it.
Soy – Courtney is not a fan. It has phyto-estrogenic properties, which means it raises the estrogen levels in our bodies – it mimics the estrogen in our bodies. Also, 94% of soy in America is genetically modified. That means it’s being highly sprayed with pesticides. It’s a common misconception that GMO crops mean they have fewer pesticides. We’re actually using more pesticides than ever because of GMO foods.
Corn – Courtney is not a fan of corn, either. The majority of corn in this country is genetically modified. And corn is even more terrifying than soy because there is a variety of corn called RoundUp Ready™ corn. This corn has RoundUp™ herbicide incorporated into it. RoundUp™ (made by Monsanto, now bought by Bayer) is known to be a “probable human carcinogen,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). RoundUp Ready™ corn blows up the stomachs of insects that eat it. For some reason, it’s assumed that that wouldn’t be harmful to humans. And we are consuming a lot of corn now, without even knowing it. If you look at the back of any processed food package, it almost always says, “contains corn, wheat, and soy.” So, we are being completely inundated with corn. We are eating way too much of it.
Sauerkraut – Courtney loves sauerkraut. It’s really good for the microbiome –it’s fully of healthy bacteria that are good for the gut and help promote a healthy immune system. You want to feed those good bacteria in your gut and sauerkraut is great.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Courtney says apple cider vinegar is another great food. It’s an ancient food/drink that we’ve been consuming for a long time. It’s fermented, so it’s excellent for your gut. It also helps if you have heartburn. It’s really good if you take a shot of it every morning for overall digestion; it’s really good for your gut.
Coconut Oil – Courtney loves coconut oil. It’s been debated a lot. For a long time, we were told that coconut oil was bad. Then we were told it was good… now they are back to it being really bad. Courtney errs in the middle, where she says that you don’t want to overdo it, but overall, it’s a healthy fat that you can enjoy in a moderate amount. Coconut oil and fats in general are good for satiety. Coconut oil is also great for your skin.
Courtney’s Top Favorite Foods
#1 Organic Grass-fed Beef (especially organ meats) – It has the most bioavailable nutrients of any food.
#2 Butter from Grass-fed Cows – It’s high in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and essential fatty acids, so it’s a healthy fat. It’s also good for your skin. Courtney is a huge fan and eats it every single day.
#4 Wild Caught Fish – If you source it from a good place, which is getting harder and harder. A lot of it is farmed these days, and we also have to worry about microplastics in the ocean now, unfortunately. But if you can get it from a good place, like Alaska, it’s great food.
Notice that most of these are animal-based foods rather than plant-based. If you move toward more of a plant-based diet, it may not be as good for you, cosmetically. You’re going to miss all the essentials that your skin needs.
In college, Doc had a couple of lightbulbs come on, especially when it comes to vitamin A. That’s what initially got him to be so obsessed with organ meats. Remember how people used to say that rabbits had good eyes because they eat so much vitamin A in carrots?
Carrots don’t have vitamin A. Carrots have beta carotene, which, if you’re lucky, you can convert into vitamin A. If you want to get vitamin A, it would be better to eat the rabbit instead of the carrot!
Are Most People Malnourished or Hyper Nourished?
Doc asks Courtney whether most of the people she sees are malnourished or hyper-nourished. Most people Courtney sees are malnourished. They are overfed but undernourished. Most of our food these days is dead – it’s packaged and stripped of nutrients. Then we add back synthetic vitamins and minerals. A lot of these nutrients are not bioavailable. So, you can look at the nutrition label and it will say that it has 50% of your RDA for folate or whatever. But just because it’s in there doesn’t mean that your body can absorb it. Not to mention that these nutrients are synthetic.
Instead, we could be eating organic grass-fed red meat and get that entire profile of nutrients –especially if we’re eating organ meat. We’ve been told that we need to go “plant-based,” and that you can get all your nutrients from plants – but plants are not even close to the nutrient density of organ meats.
Courtney’s anecdotal experience is that on a plant-based diet. She had gained 30 pounds and had cystic acne that would not go away for 4 years. She was so hungry 24/7 and was never satisfied with food. She was fatigued, brain fogged, and had thyroid problems, stomach problems, heartburn, and she could go on. When she started eating meat, the weight dropped off, her skin started glowing again, and she started to look healthy again.
When she went vegetarian, she was about 24. Courtney looks younger now at 37 than she did when she was a vegetarian. You can follow Courtney at www.realfoodology.com and on Instagram. She also has her podcast called Realfoodology, which you can find on all major platforms.
Doc’s Thoughts: Last 10%
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Doc wraps up the show with this “Last 10%.” Doc asks you, the viewer: “If you were to look back over the chapters of your life, what would your story look like?” And “What would the end of your story look like?” If you sat back and enjoyed your own story, you’d notice that your story has a beginning, it has some fantastic ups and some tragic downs.
Even Hollywood movies have a tragic part of the story and then an overcoming. Stories are important for looking at where we’ll go in the future. We can learn from other people’s stories. That’s why we like to share them, as we did earlier with Renee’s story. Yes, people call them “testimonials,” but they aren’t just testimonials –they are stories.
You can also have a story of overcoming something, but then you can go back and have to do it all over again. For example, the vast majority of people featured in “The Biggest Loser” end up being overweight again. Stories are important, but did you reflect and learn from the stories? You can learn from the stories of others, but you can also learn from your past stories.
People will say “experience is a great teacher.” No – learned experiences, reflecting on them, and learning from them is a great teacher. The story continues. Don’t stay in your past story, move on to the next chapter. The Wellness Way is here to come into your story and help you overcome something difficult.
There’s ultimately an ending to everyone’s story. How would you like your story to end? You’re the only person who can write the last chapter.
Tune in on Saturday Mornings LIVE
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