#36 – Sarah Ballantyne: Paleo Isn’t Just Food; It’s a Lifestyle, Part 2

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Episode Summary

Welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life with Krisstina Wise. This episode is a continuation of Sarah Ballantyne’s fascinating interview from last week. Today, Sarah dives into what an autoimmune disease is and how you can keep it at bay with healthy habits. Sarah also explains how she is able to keep a busy lifestyle, like working on her fourth book and traveling all over for speaking engagements, and still keep her autoimmune diseases in remission.

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What We Covered

  • [03:10] – Around 60% of people will still consume a particular food even though they know it’s really bad for them. Sarah believes that percentage is slightly higher.
  • [04:00] – So many people have been told a particular type of food is bad for them, but they don’t know or understand why.
  • [05:10] – Sarah really wants to raise public awareness as to why a certain type of food is a better choice.
  • [06:45] – What is an autoimmune disease and how does it start?
  • [12:25] – Autoimmune disease is on the rise. It’s becoming a huge problem with very little public awareness.
  • [15:45] – If autoimmune disease is on the rise, does it mean it is not genetic?
  • [20:00] – When you have an autoimmune disease, ditching gluten is the number one step.
  • [23:15] – Although Sarah was able to push her autoimmune disease into remission, this does not mean she is cured.
  • [27:40] – Sarah is busy! How does she manage such a healthy lifestyle?
  • [32:05] – Did Sarah ever have a low moment in her life where she was really, really struggling with it all?
  • [35:45] – Does Sarah have a myth that she’d like to bust?


[Tweet “We have these fail safes, but what happens in autoimmune disease is that these f”]
[Tweet “There are estimates that 1 in 5 to 1 in 6 of us has an autoimmune disease.”]
[Tweet “My bedtime is non-negotiable and that helps.”]

Links Mentioned

Sarah Ballantyne on Twitter

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You are at the intersection of wealth, health, and happiness. Welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life.

Hello, and welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life, the show about becoming wealthy without sacrificing your healthy. Each week, I interview a counter-cultural thought leader to bring you a unique millionaire mindset. I’m Krisstina Wise, bestselling author, millionaire coach, and your personal guide to money, health, and happiness.

Today, I tackle health wealth with Sarah Ballantyne, or as you might know her, the Paleo Mom. Sarah is the creator of the award-winning online resource, “The Paleo Mom”. She is co-host of the top-rated podcast, The Paleo View. She’s a New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Approach, The Paleo Approach Cookbook, and The Healing Kitchen. She’s the creator of the new online program, Go to Bed: A Guide for Getting Healthier Sleep. Sarah is a PhD in medical biophysics, and through nutrition and lifestyle changes, Sarah was able to reverse over a dozen diagnosed medical conditions, and lose over 120 pounds. She now helps millions of others do the same. I loved our conversation so much I wouldn’t let Sarah off the phone, so this is a long episode that I broke up into two parts. This is part two of the two-part interview. Enjoy.

I’ve been on your website now a lot, and it is so good, and any of us that are looking into these different things for own selves or to share it with others, I’m on a lot of blogs, I listen to a lot of podcasts, but I have to say yours is actually my favorite because I learn a lot. Like so when you say improving scientific literacy in the educational aspect to more of the Layman let’s say, you do an exceptional job of that. I mean I was reading one and really looking at how you broke up the liver because I’ve really been confuse, like the liver does so many things. Like what are all these things? And I’ve done, try to do my own exploration but it’s so complex or complicated, the way it’s explained these different ways. You have this nice little chart and explanation, nice blog, like the first time ever I think I’ve had a semi decent understanding of how the liver works, right? Which is important as we really get into these things. I think the more we understand how our body works and how these things break down, did it naturally, we’d become more conscious of the food. Then it’s not about I should or shouldn’t, it’s just understanding these are the chemical reactions. These are how these things breaks down. These are how our bodies use it, use different things, and how it detoxifies. I mean our body is such a beautiful, amazing system, and the more that we can understand that even the simplest terms, I think it affects our lifestyle versus the opportunity that we’re out.

I saw a statistic one– I’m even a little bit cynical about the statistic, and I basically said, “60% of people will still choose to consume a food even though they know it’s really bad for them.” I’m like, “I think it maybe more than 60.” I think it’s probably more a lot, a lot more than 60. But it still was this idea of you know we’re not suppose to eat something and we choose to do it anyways because it taste good, or we’re at that party, or this is all I have to eat right now, whatever the reason is, and I think about that. I think about but most of us have a sense of whether or not a food is a good food or  a bad food based on some kind of dogma, some kind of set of rules, some person you said, or that’s junk food, that’s dessert, right? And we thought these categories for foods that we know we shouldn’t eat but we do anyway. I realize that most of us have a sense of whether or not it’s good or bad, but not really why. So we understand trans-fats and potato chips, we might understand sugar and a piece of cake but even still, why are trans-fats bad, why is too much sugar bad, is that the only problem with that food or is there something else with that food. I think that giving people a better foundation from which to make those choices, so if you really understand what that food is going to do in your body, and the difference between having it occasionally versus having it daily because that is a different thing. Person of celiac can never occasionally eat bread. That’s not a thing that they can do, and there’s a lot of people with sensitivity that just can never touch it. So understanding where we are in that spectrum, I think that’s part of the self-discovery journey. But I feel like if I can raise the general public’s awareness of why a food is a better choice, I think that will affect choices in a much more effective way than just saying, “Oh here’s the new list of what’s good and what’s bad,” because that’s what I think every diet has done so far, right? Just giving you a list of what’s good and what’s bad, and it’s what every single — that’s what Atkins did, that’s what low carb does, that’s what Mediterranean diet does, that’s what the Dash Day does. All of these different — and whether you’re counting points or counting calories, or counting carbs, whatever, I think it’s really important to understand how food impacts our health in a more detailed way.

Agreed. Well thank you. I think that again, that’s so important. Our natural human tendency anyway is to do what we shouldn’t. Yeah, well you tell me I’m not supposed to that, well, I’m going to do it anyway. But anyway, just again, this is why I love you so much. The way you approach this, that’s very different and unique. So one thing, like just doing a level deeper in this that I really want the listeners, maybe for the first time ever to have some understanding, you talk a lot — I think you’ve done a lot of research, you’ve had your own issues with autoimmune disease. This is a term that’s thrown out there a little bit but I don’t think people really understand like what is it, or even if they might have some of these different autoimmune disorders or problems that are either fully, kind of vested or it’s in the process of developing, so would you maybe share like what is autoimmune disease and how does it start, and what are maybe some of different examples?

Autoimmune disease is a really broad group of approximately 140 different diseases, and including some very common ones like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, atherosclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, did I say multiple sclerosis? Yeah, I probably did. So there’s this– a type 1 diabetes, so there’s some very common diseases, and I had a psoriasis as a teenager and I was diagnosed with Lichen planus in my mid-20s, those are both autoimmune diseases. I never had a doctor tell me they were autoimmune diseases. So I think a lot of us are walking around a diagnosis and we think of it as “this is psoriasis”, and we don’t think of it in terms of belonging to a greater category of diseases. So if you walk around with — you can diagnose with and I hope nobody listening has been, but you are diagnosed with breast cancer for example. You would understand automatically that that is a type of this broader category of things called cancers. We don’t have that with autoimmune disease just because we do not have that awareness, and there’s not an autoimmune specialist that we go to. So you would see the doctor of whatever organ is affected. So if you have psoriasis you would see a dermatologist. If you have multiple sclerosis, you would see a neurologist. If you have Celiac disease, you would see a gastroenterologist. So part of it is just the way it’s sort of viewed right now, it’s not viewed as an umbrella. Typically in the medical community, there’s not a specialist just who focuses on all autoimmune diseases, but what they have in common is basically a breakdown of immune systems. What happens is, our immune systems are designed to protect us from foreign invaders, and viruses, bacteria, parasites, things like slivers, slivers are foreign invaders, right? It’s designed to help us heal wounds, so it’s a protection. What can happen though is sometimes just based on what antibodies are and how they recognize different proteins, our bodies will accidentally make an antibody that yes, it attacks that bacteria, but it also happens to attack something in ourselves.

We have all these “fail safe” mechanisms. That’s an accident that happens. We have these fail safe mechanisms within our immune systems to detect, “Whoops! We’re not suppose to attack us, that’s us. Let’s not do that,” these fail safes. What happens in autoimmune diseases, the fail safes fail. So our body loses the ability to really differentiate between our tissues and foreign invader, so we no longer can tell the difference between that bacteria and our thyroid glands for example. What makes the different diseases is just exactly what tissues being attacked, right? So if you have rheumatoid arthritis, it’s the joint tissues. If you have Graves’ disease, it’s your thyroid. If you have an inflammatory bowel disease, it’s the intestines. So that’s the difference, but the root of every autoimmune disease is that the immune system has accidentally started attacking our own tissues, and it’s lost the ability to figure out that that’s a bad thing to do. Then you combine that with some kind of stimulus, right, attach ramp up our immune systems typically are very bad at regulating themselves, so they’re very bad at turning off. You got an infection, your immune system just to turn off once you’ve conquered that virus. In autoimmune disease, our immune systems are very bad at turning off, and then when the damage builds up to the point where we have symptoms, that’s where we got a diagnosis.

Unfortunately, a lot of autoimmune diseases don’t have conclusive tests. So there are blood tests that are biopsies, organ function tests, there are some types of radiology scans that can be done to detect different autoimmune diseases, and there’s some that are just like, “Yup, your disease has gotten to a point where it’s got this predictable amount of symptoms and here’s your diagnosis.” That makes autoimmune disease can be frustrating to get a diagnosis, so there are people who will spend decades knowing something’s wrong and going to a specialist and being told they’re attention-seekers or they’re crazy. There are hysterical women because for some reason– so many of these stories, perhaps two-thirds of autoimmune sufferers are women, and a lot of the stories that come out of seeking diagnosis come from women being told they’re hysterical, because they’re crazy. Then we finally get this answer, and it’s this a little bit of validation, “Okay, great.” I’ve probably had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis since puberty, I didn’t get a diagnosis until my late 30s. So okay, great I can see all of the weight issues that I battled with because since I was 14 in this different light now, but it doesn’t change the past. It makes it not my fault in a good way, I guess, that doesn’t remove the part where I thought it was my fault for 30 years.

So autoimmune disease is a very, very frustrating thing and it’s on the rise. So there’s now estimates that somewhere between like 1 in 5 or 1 in 6 of us have autoimmune disease, that’s 50 to 60 million Americans which is about double the number of Americans affected by cardiovascular disease, and about quadruple the number of Americans affected by cancer. So it’s a huge problem with very very little public awareness, very very little of resources, very few places where you can go and actually get good information, and I have, depending on how you count them, maybe four autoimmune diseases. I have fibromyalgia which is a suspected autoimmune disease, so you could count it or you could not. Really, it was those battles with two skin autoimmune diseases that brought me to Paleo, and it was the tinkering that I had to do beyond a standard Paleo diet to really understand what foods are optimal for a body sort of Paleo, but then, take a body that’s super sensitive and that tends to flip out over a really minor thing like a tomato. So then, okay, so what is an optimal food in the situation of an immune system that’s not regulating itself? Well, it’s a slightly different question and basically I actually think of it as I have to be stricter. So I can’t tolerate as many suboptimal compounds in foods, and I need to be even more nutrient focus, and that’s framed in something called the Paleo autoimmune protocol, which is a more specific version of the Paleo diet, really for — not for autoimmune disease but it really is applicable to any chronic illness because it’s designed to help the immune system regulate itself.

So autoimmune disease is huge. The symptoms can be, like really common symptoms that cross over many autoimmune diseases are things like fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches and pains, headaches, gastrointestinal symptoms, skin issues, and with things that so many of us dismiss. We go, “Oh, so I didn’t get enough sleep last night, I’ll have a third cup of coffee this morning.” We have these ways of just kind of going, “Ah! I’m just getting older,” or whatever it is. Often, we attribute these things to age. We go, “I have rheumatoid arthritis, I must be getting old.” It’s an autoimmune disease, we’re not doomed to have rheumatoid arthritis  just because we’re aging, it’s something that is completely related to our immune systems not working rather than any kind of degeneration due to age. So because of that, it is hypothetically at least something that is preventable, if we can treat our immune systems with some love.

So that was my question, is that if it’s on the rise, it can’t be just genetic, right? So what are the causes, like what trigger if it’s not genetic or if it’s some genetic I guess you’ll let us know, but are there triggers that actually then where the immune system at some point it becomes damage?

So autoimmune diseases is considered to be genetic, so about one-third of your risk for autoimmune disease comes from your genes. It’s not just one gene, so it’s not like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. It’s not one gene that if you have one copy or two copies that you got that disease, it’s a collection of genes that make us more susceptible. So it’s a lot of genes that relate to have the immune system works, or detoxification pathways in the body, so it’s classically those types of genes and you can have a few different mutations here and there that mean your immune system is more likely to make that accident of attacking itself or not regulated, not figure it out, or be too easily stimulated, or the things that create that situation where the immune systems doing its shenanigans.

So about one-third of your respecter comes from genetics, and about the other two-thirds comes from environment. Environment encompasses a huge amount of things, so things like toxin exposure, hormone exposure, infections, so there’s a bunch of infections that can be triggers. Leaky gut maybe part of the development of all autoimmune diseases that’s present in every autoimmune disease in which it has been investigated. Gluten sensitivity maybe a part of all autoimmune diseases that’s been present every autoimmune disease in which it’s been investigated. Nutrient deficiency maybe a part of all autoimmune diseases. There’s a huge amount of scientific literature looking at individual deficiencies and specific autoimmune diseases and then they do blood test. They all look at all these patients and think, “Well let’s give them zinc and see what happens,” so that they do a little bit better. But there’s a ton of nutrients, the immune system is a huge nutrient hub and it uses nutrient resources like no other system in the human body. The most demanding aspect of the immune system from nutrient resources is the regulatory aspects. So the part of the immune system that shuts itself off, that can detect that it’s doing something it’s not suppose to be doing and turns that off. It regulates and resolves inflammation. So those are the first things to go when we’re nutrient deficient. So nutrient deficiency is probably a huge component.

Microbiome is a huge component, so that’s the bacteria that live in our digestive tracts. They actually– we have a symbiotic relationship with them, so we provide them a home and food because they eat what we can’t absorb, and then they regulate our neurochemistry but they also release impactful on exactly how our gut is functioning and our immune system. So they’re really key players and we see that a microbiome environment that is abnormal in some way, can be a huge trigger for autoimmune disease. Then the presence of stress, lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyles, overtraining, so we see it especially in endurance athletes, and the toxin exposure, so all of these things can kind of– You don’t need all of them probably, but they serve different collections and it may depend on– if you don’t have that many genes, then your environment needs to be that much worse. If you have more genes, then maybe you’re more sensitive to an environmental factor or this group of genes will make infection to be a dominant contributor versus this group of genes will make gut health to be a bigger contributing factor. So it’s certainly complex and definitely just the tip of the iceberg is understood in the science. Well, one of the things we can say unequivocally is nutrient density is hugely important in getting rid of exposure to things like toxins, dealing with persistent infections, and getting rid of food toxins, right? So ditching gluten is sort of a number one step with an autoimmune diagnosis. 

We can say that those things are very likely to impact the progression of a disease. So what people are finding and it’s totally in theirs, probably hundreds of thousands of people I think at this point who are following the Paleo autoimmune protocol for autoimmune disease, they’re finding either regression or sometimes full remission of their autoimmune diseases. It’s different than a cure, once you’ve got an autoimmune disease, and once your body is broken, it’s never going to completely forget how to be that broken. But if you can remove all those triggers, your immune system would stop attacking the tissue and those tissues can heal at least partially, and a lot of people have all of their symptoms just completely go away. Some people get off medications depending on exactly what the disease is. But often it’s also just a slowing– right, so there are autoimmune diseases that are incredibly aggressive and that are eventually lethal. So sometimes these changes are about slowing the progression, finding a plateau, extending quality of life, extending lifespan, so it is the whole spectrum. It’s not designed to replace conventional medicine intervention, although it often does, but it’s designed as a complementary approach. So it’s optimize diet and lifestyle for immune regulation and healing, and just overall health, and then use the best of what our doctors have to offer us to ideally be able to walk around feeling awesome.

Yeah, but I’m guessing that you go the dermatologist because you have this skin condition and maybe they say it’s psoriasis and they give you a prescriptive cream to put on, with no conversation of like, “Hey! Food.” So to circle back around to almost where we start, it is that it sounds like you started with this Paleo thing, and now you’ve gotten more into this and become a student of the learning basically, and trying to overcome some of your own autoimmune diseases because it sounds like you had a long list of them. That is like wow, okay, that it goes back to food, being nutritionally dense, and the quality of our food clearly, and our environments, and our lifestyle, these things. “So we just need to pay more attention to the toxicity of our environments,” maybe it can be a factor, and I’m guessing that’s why these different autoimmune disease and other diseases are on the rise because we’re not getting nutritionally dense food, our environments are toxic, we are too stressed out, we’re not getting enough sleep and that cycle continues into ultimately the bodies kind of react in like in an autoimmune disease, or a cancer, or a diabetes, or Parkinson’s, or something, just whatever maybe we’re most predisposed to. It sounds like what you’re saying, there’s not necessarily cure when you get to this part. Once you get to that point, hopefully we can reverse some of the symptoms to replace what we usually are in remission.

Well, and remission feels like it’s here. Remission is, I know longer have symptoms of this disease. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the ability to crop up if I stop my nutrient focus or super stressful event happens in the future, or random. I mean there’s an aspect of this that is I can’t pinpoint exactly what happened, but if things went downhill really fast right there. But I think that a lot of people do put their diseases into remission and that’s an amazing victory. it’s interesting because within the Paleo community, we see a lot of people who have struggled getting a diagnosis. A lot of the conventional treatments are symptom managements, or they’re drugs that for example, dramatically increase risk of cancer and have a ton of side effects, and you’re like, “Why am I taking this, I don’t necessarily feel better.” So the pharmaceutical treatment options tends to be– for most autoimmune diseases tend to be pretty flawed, and so we end up very jaded from that experience. We change food, and we get more sleep, and we change our activities, and we’re distressing, and all of the sudden we feel fantastic, and it makes us distressed, medical establishment. I think that’s completely understandable, but I do serve and encourage people to– doctors are still amazingly smart people with fantastic bodies of knowledge in their head and they’re great resources to take advantage of, but it does help dramatically to find a doctor who will engage in a conversation about diet and lifestyle, and at least understands that as advocates for our own health, that we’re going to make some changes in addition to whatever they’re recommending, or perhaps sometimes it’s like, “Hey! I know you’ve got this drug, can I try some changes for three months and move to evaluate before I try it,” right?

That’s good. That’s great advice.

Depending on our situations, how aggressive the disease is, what exactly the drug is, where we are on our healing journeys, right? Sometimes those types of conversations are in a perfectly acceptable conversations. Think of it as the analogy of the person who gets diagnosed with high cholesterol, and the doctor says, “Okay, I’m going to write you a prescription for a statin.” If the patient says, “Hey! I’d like to try some diet changes and some lifestyle changes to bring my cholesterol down before I do the statin, can we recheck in three months and see what a good job I’ve done?” A doctor generally is going to be like, “Sure. Go ahead. Try that and quit smoking,” right? You’re going to be like, “Yeah, go do all those great things. Come on back to see where you’re at.” I think with autoimmune disease, there’s maybe more skepticism that those healthy choices are going to affect disease. But generally, they’re still on acceptance that if you want to try something and you’re willing to come back, and it’s not immediately life-threatening, then you’re not going to die in the meantime if we don’t intervene, and that that does happen with autoimmune disease. So it’s really important for us to go, “Okay, I’m at the point where conventional medicines going to save my life, and I’m still going to work all this diet, lifestyle stuff and get over at this hump to a great place in the future. That’s fine. But autoimmune disease, it colors all of our health journeys in a way that is different for each one of us, but also in a way that I think can be, in the end, very very empowering. I think in many ways forces us into that self-discovery in a way that overall is extremely positive.

Yeah, and I love again how you slip it open, like you have these things to try and really checking with your body. So I know we’re really approaching the end of our time together, you’ve been so generous with your time, so I want to squeeze in a few more questions. Especially you coming from your background, and some of the health issues and the autoimmune diseases, you probably have to manage your stress and your sleep, and your food, your nutrition, these things. Everyone, we all need to but maybe you even more so, like what you’re saying because you tend to be more sensitive and already have some of these diseases that have taken hold that you have to manage. You’re busy, you’re a mom, you’re a wife, you have one of the top Paleo websites, you have thoughts in the country, perhaps in the world.

I’m writing my fourth book.

You’re on your fourth book, you’re speaking all over the place, you’re doing bazillions of podcasts in getting the word out. So how the hell are you managing all these?

I think in many ways, it sort of boils down to developing work ethic and ambition when I was sick. I was able to find a place of getting a lot of work done despite feeling terrible way back then. So now that I feel good, getting work done is a joy. I don’t even have to push through all that pain. To be fair, I do have distill the habit of ignoring pain and I can sometimes push myself too far, not be listening to my signals of, “I need to be working a little bit more.” It’s usually either — it’s the sleep stress is usually for me of a thing, so I’m giving up sleep because I’m working to a deadline, the deadline is stressful, and then that’s when things start to crumble for me. I have many times pushed it too far and then gone away, “Okay, now I have to spend two weeks of self-care, trying to recover.” So part of it is I just work hard, right? The other thing is I make– I think what our maybe sort of countercultural type choices, maybe it’s unconventional choices in my day-to-day life to create the time for me to do all the things I want to do. So I spend a lot of focus time with my kids, and when my kids get home from school, I put down work and then I work again maybe when they go to bed in the evening, but I also make sure to have some time to have conversations with my husband. I’m trying to work, whether at school, then grab whatever time– when they’re playing outside during the weekend, and I still make time for my work out, and I still make time for an early bedtime, and I still make time to meditate and all of those things.

So what I do to create that time is I don’t spend very much time on social media, other than putting — I put stuff out there, I don’t observe very much. So I’m not spending very much time like going through different Facebook pages or whatever it is. I don’t watch very much television at all, and I don’t spend very much time doing shopping. Things that — not very often, when I need clothes, like I really have to, but I don’t have very many things in my life that are serve time syncs, and I especially don’t have very much veg-times. Sp I tend to have very focused meditation time, exercise time, I’ll have time in the evening where I’m reading fiction and chatting with my husband, and maybe we’ll watch a little bit of television, but it’s not ours so that creates more time. So I try not to have things — I don’t like things that waste my time. Then I try to keep my health as good as possible because when I am rested and my diet is dialed in, and my stress level is low, and I’ve got my workout in the morning, I get a lot done for my  time investment. So then I make other choices that might be taking time away from work, but at the same time they’re increasing my productivity so much when I am working, that it’s a net game. So it’s sort of this combination of workaholic, I guess is the summary, and a boring, boring life. No social life, I think it’s the summary right there, right? That’s whatever I heard, “Wow! She’s a workaholic dude!”

But I do to things with my work-life balance that tend to be very balanced, and at the same time, my bedtime is non-negotiable. So that helps make sure that when I am working, I’m very energetic and focused, and get tons done.

Wow, you’re such a great example as a woman, as a mom, that you really are highly accomplished, very successful. You’re making a huge impact on the world, and a better place, and you hang out with your kids and husband and enjoy your life. So you really are such a great example and there’s not a lot of that. So keep doing what you’re doing. Alright, two final questions. One thing I like to ask my guests, because I think it’s important because sometimes it’s so easy for those of us that have worked through so many challenges, maybe we’re on the other side of it, we’re very positive and like to speak about the positive effects. But sometimes I think it’s really helpful for people to really connect with what was the low moment? Like was there a really low moment in your life that did really become this turning point, where you’re just like something’s gotta give, I just can’t do this. Have you had that moment, that really was this turning point to make you a big change?

I think I had a lot of moments. I think I had years that were moments. Do you know what I mean? Like, I hit some really low lows. I can remember being at a cousin’s wedding and being so self-conscious about how overweight I was that I couldn’t have fun. Then recognizing that I wasn’t having fun and then feeling guilty that I wasn’t having fun, and then feeling like, “Oh, I don’t want to be the party poopers over here in the corner,” but I also don’t want to be on the dance floor because I don’t want to be the big fat person on the dance floor of all of these beautiful people. I think that I have many moments that are like that, that have colored my journey and affected my journey, and many ways affected how I appreciate where I am now. I think major moments, when I discovered that I was borderline or probably type 2 diabetic when my first daughter was one, and that was the beginning of my weight loss journey. So I had realized that I was feeling really sick, and I still had my tested supplies from having had gestational diabetes. And I just had a box of Oreo cookies, then I test my blood sugar and it was 200 which is the cause, between prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and that scared me. I was so scared, I was like — I knew so much about diabetes because I worked in a vascular-surgery research lab, so they’re patients that are diabetic and smokers, and smoking diabetics. So I knew, I knew all of the bad things that can happen with that and I knew also that it’s completely tied with carbohydrate intake, sugar intake. So that was like a big wake up motivation moment for me, and then that first time in my second daughter’s bedroom where I — it was my WTF moment, right? Like, what is going on? I’ve worked so hard to lose all these weight, I’ve reversed my diabetes and yet here’s my scan.

I think my health journey is really been going on my whole life, and there’s many lows and may eureka moments, and they kind of have all added together, and I’m sure I’m not done. I’m sure there’s still lows to come and I’m sure there’s still amazing eureka moments in highs to come. I think it’s important to embrace the learning experience of the lows. I try not to regret any of it because it did shaped who I am now, and I think that I’m doing some pretty cool stuff now. So I wouldn’t be, I wouldn’t be if I hadn’t had those experiences.

Well awesome, well thank you. Thanks for sharing. Alright, one final question, I ask this one of all my guests as well. You’ve done, I think a lot of these naturally already, but I’d like to always do myth-busting on every episode because I think there’s so much conventional wisdom out there, that’s not really serving us, or that what we used to think was true was actually now proven to not necessarily be true. In fact, they’re absolutely false. So what do you notice on a regular basis? What are you confronting all the time that’s just like a big bold face lie out there? You’re just like, ah!

There’s so many. I mean I would actually say that more generally right now, I feel like I’m battling sort of an antiscience sentiment in general. So I often share scientific study, and I’ll have comments that are like, “Oh, you can prove anything with science.” Science is just massaging, the statistics to show whatever, and there’s a lot of that comes from the way scientific studies to portray it in the media often incorrectly, too shallowly, and just the individual study without the broader contexts of the entire field, very sensationalist. Part of it comes from as more scientists done, consensus does change. What we thought a scientist was accurate 50 years ago, is not necessarily the same now. So part of it comes from – this is science. Science is at incrementally adding to our understanding and everyone as well taking a step back and seeing if the picture’s the same. Part of it comes from, “No guys, this is new science, and it’s really cool. This is what it tells us.” Part of it comes from like, “Oh, but I’ve seen the same study that shows the opposite.” Alright? That’s when you have to look at the whole field. For me, as the person who wants to talk science, to be facing this, just general skepticism about science can be very very frustrating. I find myself often on this little soap box where I’m trying to explain, “No, academics are not all in pharmaceutical company pockets that extremely few of them are,” and those ones feel very lucky because they’ve got all of the funding they want for their studies. Scientists aren’t just sitting there and massaging data in order to get a publication and further their own careers. Scientists are some of the most altruistic people. And yes, we have to break up these complex problems into little tiny pieces in order to understand them. It sometimes means we need ten studies in order to really have an answer to something. 

And yeah, some studies when you look at methodology, it wasn’t — there was a choice that doesn’t make sense. Okay, not every study is amazing but they all have something to inform us. We can’t just say, “That doesn’t confirm my current set of beliefs, therefore I’m going to trash it as bad science,” and they see that a lot. As soon as we start dismissing a scientific study because it doesn’t support what we think, we’re not talking about religion, we’re not talking about a rigorous scientific conversation. I think non consensus is interesting, and I think conflicting studies is interesting, and I think that we can link that information and integrate it and stay open for more information, and still find the really important education out of that information.

Well, thank you. I think it really– this is what I love about you. You’re just so open-minded. Again, that’s just another statement that proves that like, “Hey! This isn’t dogma, this isn’t role-based. We’re just trying to uncover what we can learn and find out, and apply it and try it, and being open to what’s working, not working. Try to get to the why and be open to, just to really any sort of outcome.” So you’re really amazing, and you’re just so beautiful inside and out, and you’re so generous with your time and in what you’re doing, and the information you’re putting out there. You really do help the literacy of science. I mean I’m just speaking from my own experience, and so I think it’s really needed.

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

So thank you very much.

And so ends another episode of The Wealthy Wellthy Life. This was one more millionaire mindset that will make you wealthy while keeping you healthy. Before we leave, remember that if you want to really get it all together, then make sure you sign up for my free online training session at mindfulmoneywebinar.com. You will learn my signature formula for transforming your life from debt to multimillionaire, while actually improving your health. It’s helped thousands of others and it can help you too. It’s the only money-making system that makes your health your number one asset. So if you’re curious how it all works, visit mindfulmoneywebinar.com and sign up today. Again, that’s mindfulmoneywebinar.com, and remember, it’s free. As always, be sure to subscribe to my podcast to make sure that you catch next week’s millionaire mindset. This is Krisstina Wise, your personal guide to having it all. Signing off, here’s to living a wealthy wellthy life, and I’ll see you next time.

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