World’s Leading Nutrition Experts: ‘Let Food Be Thy Medicine’

want to open with a quote from thomas edison he said the doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs but rather will cure and present prevent disease with nutrition are we there yet we're on route so tell us about what you do at the center for integrative health and center for integrative nutrition so um at the centers we are we have a broad-based set of integrative approaches to healthcare the one that i'm particularly passionate about among all of these well i'm passionate about all of them but particularly about nutrition and food as medicine and we've been developing programs clinical programs research programs educational programs community outreach on all levels to try and really help create what we think is the medicine of the future which is actually the medicine of the ancient past hippocrates uh said it best right and uh and hippocrates probably learned it from ancient chinese medicine and ayurvedic medicine so this has very very deep roots the perfect lead-in tell us about ayurvedic medicine i know you're a you're a medical doctor a western medical certified doctor but you also have a big focus on ayurvedic medicine and not necessarily everyone understands or knows what that means so yeah so yeah i did my medical training in the conventional western medical model and then got out into practice i'm board certified in family medicine so i practiced for many years and realized i didn't really have all the tools that i needed to help people and my parents are from india and so i knew a little bit about ayurveda you know i thought it was kind of home remedies and things like that and uh at somewhere when i decided to learn a different way of helping people heal i you know ayurveda really resonated with me it's you know a mind-body spirit approach to medicine so it's a thousand-year-old uh health and healing system so it's a very comprehensive healing system that incorporates many many different modalities but really the foundation in ayurveda is that food is your medicine and digesting your food and so you know there are lots of quotes and different sayings and ayurveda about how important it is to eat properly and and have good digestion and that's the core of your health and then everything else is complementary but it's a really rich medical healing system that's really based on prevention as well as the root and then there are lots of treatments for health conditions when they happen but the really the principles are based on prevention and empowering people to be their own healers that's the thing i think that interested me when you and i first chatted is that western medicine often deals with the symptoms of the problem you're treating the symptoms whereas ayurveda would say that's number six and we go back and start at step one and i think that's really fascinating thinking about prevention or perhaps if you're on a certain trajectory it doesn't mean that you're predestined to end up there you can take steps and in your diet and your activity in in eliminating toxins and so on to change that and i think that's really fascinating now tell us a little bit about what you do at the gerson institute okay at the gerson institute uh we're a local non-profit and we have we have another anniversary actually celebrating we're 40 years old this year and we are we were developed as an education and training and information and referral agency for the work to support people that would like to follow dr gerson's work he was he was trained as an internist he was a neurosurgeon he was a soil scientist in his own right and he even for a period of time served as the agricultural consultant to the prussian government at that time and also the bavarian government before he came to the united states in the 30s and he originally developed the gerson therapy to treat his own migraine headaches and he did that through a diet elimination program and then that progressed and developed to his using it to treat skin tuberculosis at that time and then developed into a pulmonary tuberculosis and soon after that he was asked to also try it for for cancer which he refused at first because he said i know nothing about that and this is so but he was he was starting to realize that he had a systemic program here he he came from the attitude and the concept of totality so he looked at everything he looked at the air quality issues the water issues besides the the nutrition it had to be fresh organic he developed of course individual protocols for people but there were similarities and some of the basics were just like salt restriction potassium enhancement some natural supplementation protein restriction initially and developed continued to develop the program to treat very seriously ill people so that's where now training doctors around the world in cyberspace in a tele education program and expanding our ability to help more people so it's very exciting to see the um the interest coming from everywhere with with not just that it's necessary to eat healthy but that it can really be used as as a treatment for very very serious illnesses to bring the body back into total balance and to to move to a vibrancy and a vitality of life it's been said that food can either be the best medicine or the slowest poison right and so we have a little yin and yang on this panel today to talk about both sides of that coin because it's important right as we talk about what you should choose maybe sometimes we have to talk about what you should not choose and it it may and depending on the discipline or the focus that that answer may vary but i want to use it as a segue to my friend zen over here to talk about the work that you do zen oh thank you so much well i'm zen honeycutt from moms across america and we're a national coalition of unstoppable moms and our motto is empowered moms healthy kids and we raise awareness about gmos and toxins all kinds of toxins from all kinds of exposure and we offer gmo free and organic solutions and through supporting local leadership we are creating healthy communities together in collaboration with many different organizations and that means offering free materials supplies training talking points to go to city council or join into fourth of july parades or to reach out to your food director at your school and so i'm very excited to connect with people from all across the country and now around the world we have mothers across the world as well and and to see the results that children are getting better you know our children are the most vulnerable to these toxins and they are getting better by changes through diet in fact my my three sons who were in the back are examples of that they had allergy life-threatening allergies my son almost died from pecans and the stuffing on thanksgiving and also autism symptoms asthma and autoimmune issues and all of them have recovered through using food in their in their diet eating organic taking care of the gut biome which i'm sure we'll talk about and um and and so i know that we can do this as a country we can recover our children and our families and we can turn around the food industry and and the health in our country thank you and now john you also have some background in gmo but that's that's in generally your scientific expertise but you also have a laboratory tell me a little bit about what it is that that the laboratory does what is it testing for and how does it work and and why how does it relate to what she's doing very good what what the health research institute is designed to do is to create transparency in the food system so that everybody can make better choices about the food they eat that has to do with the good things the nutritional aspects and also the bad things the pesticides the gmos the all of those sorts of things the heavy metals that might be there and so what we do is we we carry out testing which then is used by organizations such as zens and many others around the us to inform the public about these issues and our belief and we're very confident of this is that when moms and dads have better knowledge about the quality of their food they can and they will make better choices about what they feed to their families and that is going to have a cascading effect all the way through the food system it creates demand for better food and ultimately farmers were are going to need to figure out ways they're very creative and innovative and ingenious individuals and they're going to figure out ways to produce food without these nasty chemicals that harm our physiology and produce food that is actually higher in nutritional value because that both of those can be really measured and connected with the practices of agriculture so that's what we're working on healthy soil healthy food healthy people so we're dealing both with the soil microbiome the gut microbiome and sort of all of the effects that can have positive and or negative in terms of overall health now since we're in the dirt maybe we ought to go to the farmer on the panel tell us a little bit about how you got into farming from your last career so um my name is stephanie norton i'm the founding farmer of dickinson farm this is nothing that my husband and i ever expected to do know where we expect it to be if i follow my original life plan right now i would be finishing up in kuwait and heading back so i went to a deployment just prior in our plea to pre-deployment workups i was on sacramento island i got bit by a tick military medical system is amazing if you've been shot or have a broken leg but anything else they really don't know how to deal with so the medical system looked at me and said well you have a plane to catch and we have a deployment to go on um so 10 months in another country i was at guantanamo bay dealing with the detention centers there were days that i couldn't walk if i stayed standing i could stay standing but anytime i laid down to go to sleep i couldn't really move my body and it just kept on getting worse and worse i came home and the attitude then was now i could figure out what was going on so i got bounced around to a whole bunch of doctors and then finally landed with a misdiagnosis which landed me with an amazing doctor so i'm very thankful i had a misdiagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis and the attitude was it's okay because it'll stop hurting when your spine fuses together um so we ended up with an amazing doctor here in san diego who was considered the best for ankylosing spondylitis and was going to give me somewhat of a life that day i could walk slightly and i came in and he said you don't have it i know pretty sure i know what you do have we're just going to take some blood and we'll talk in a month and in that month i got married we went on our honeymoon and uh we'll get tuned up about a week after we get the diagnosis and that day i was told for the next two years you're going to be in an iv chair and we're going to start today and i said no no i'm on active duty military i have to run up i have to tell my unit like i can't do this and the attitude was you'll be here monday or you'll be in a hospital i had my bacterial load was active i typically in remission for lyme your bacterial load is about less than 200 and mine was 27 000 so it was a petri dish um undiagnosed in my tissues my bone marrow um and we started iv therapy and his his thing he's an amazing doctor but he said you're gonna be mad you're gonna go home and do whatever sailors do you're gonna drink you're gonna smoke whatever you're gonna do but i'm gonna tell you if you if you watch what you're doing and you don't inflame your body anything more than what lyme is already doing the medicine will work better it'll work quicker and you won't destroy yourself anymore because i'm going to kill your immune system i'm going to kill everything in you to get rid of this bacteria so if you do this it'll help you and he's like but take a week be angry you know i'll see you monday and we we spent about three months dealing with you know other we did csas we tried a personal chef we tried all these things and as a military family we were like we're gonna go broke there's no way um my husband was on duty at nights and taking me to treatment during the day and and out of desperation i was finally like i said to my doctor if i go vegetarian and just grow my own food can i do that like will you tell me i don't know how to be a vegetarian like can you tell me what i have to eat to get through this and his answer was you think you want to spend your time not here growing your own food and i was like yeah like that's that's personal completely rational he was like don't let her kill herself do whatever you're gonna do and um my husband and my cousins and my dad built me some raised beds that i could sit on the edge of and in the evenings and weekends i grew my own food with no experience i'm from orange county my husband's la um and we it turned out very well you started a new program this year we did tell tell us about pharmacy i love this so with this we've been we've been we we started farming in 14 we went to market in 16.Um and then last year we were i was talking with my my nurse and just you know how are you how's the community that type of thing and when we were talking i was like yeah we're selling to our community our neighbors and she reminded me in the the way that best nurses do that your community is the people that sit sat next to you for two years in an iv chair right your community is the people that that have the same struggles and don't forget that those people still sit there every day and new people still feel their chairs and they're who need your food and we grow 100 heirloom we we don't take anything this past world war ii we we only use very very little organic pesticides and that's when it's just the load is too high and we're going to lose the whole farm and in four years the only thing that we've sprayed is organic copper and we're really considerate of that for my health and our customers health so after thinking about it and i reached out to christina we had worked together before and she does amazing work with heirloom greens and heirloom vegetables and they do cook differently and she can work with them and i was like hey i want to do this thing like i i want to get our food in front of patients and everything from me i just got my diagnosis and i can't even stand up to cook for myself to the hey i'm doing well and i want to get back to cooking for my family and everything in between so we launched it and it's been it's been amazing thank you let me ask you something gordon it's been my understanding for a long time that nutrition wasn't sort of part of the required curriculum for medical doctors is that still the case it's changing although gradually uh so it seems a little counterintuitive i'm just a lay person but we got we got we got training in biochemical nutrition you know we all had to learn how to recite the krebs cycle forwards and backwards you know 16 times but that has no clinical practical application it's found its way a little bit uh they're teaching maybe a little more about the epidemiology the nutritional epidemiology of heart disease diabetes some of the chronic diseases so how food relates to those specific can get it yes don't eat this eat that and in some quarters it's just lip service and others there is an effort to try and ingrain it into what people do and practice how does that differ from what you do we are fully focused on using food either as an adjunct or as the sole therapy for any patient for any health condition that comes in the door you have something that i've seen a pyramid of what's called or what you call the therapeutic order sort of if most of us who've been to the doctor had a condition we know that typically we're we're told to take this medicine and or potentially have this invasive procedure that's not where you start where do you start so years ago when my dad was sick when he had developed cancer and trying to find a way to help him and his doctors at johns hopkins told my family that he would likely die in less than a year i realized western medicine didn't have the answer and i just started searching reading on the old microfilm machines and the bowels of johns hopkins medical library and i came across i'm dating myself here and and i my eyes bugged out when i read the story of a physician who had healed himself of advanced prostate cancer through a major change in his diet and and he was as skeptical as anybody but he had this experience and i found out about him met him and met a community of folks who were doing similar things part of me thought that you know this is some kind of a strange cult that i'm slipping into you know people who claim to be able to use food to treat all these diseases and yet when i started to change my own diet to have support for my dad i realized wow i'm feeling better than ever in my life and i then learned that all of the chronic health conditions that we're facing the epidemic diseases as well as the chronic ones like heart disease diabetes and cancer all have strong nutritional links strong dietary factors it seems that food is is somehow involved with the top two to three you know killers that we know of diseases is that how's that differ or is that similar to your work yeah absolutely you know again it starts with the digestion and the food and and what about digestion because that's a specific focus in ayurveda tell us about that it's very interesting because you know although food is you know the most important factor and in fact i think i had sent you that quote um there's an ancient proverb and this is thousands of years old you know that when when the diet is wrong then medicine is of no use and when when diet is correct then medicine is of no need so there is this philosophy that you know you have to eat properly however and we see this quite a bit there are a lot of people who are eating what's considered the right foods and and in ayurveda we all have different mind body types so i think that's where people struggle a bit and where one size fits all exactly yeah and you really have to look at everyone as an individual the food you know should be organic and non-gmo and you know from nature and all of those things and then how you prepare it is very important as to how you're going to digest it's raw or cooked raw or cooked and also there's this principle of the six tastes in ayurveda where you know in western medicine it's very reductionist we look at this one food and we say oh that's carbohydrate that's bad but if you eat it with the micronutrients that you need and spices and they don't have to be like hot spices but just savory spices that's what helps you digest that food so there's this concept of of how you're going to digest the food are you optimizing your digestion and a lot of the foods are all about now we know with science which has been really fun to do the science that a lot of you know these healthy foods are shifting the microbiome and they do most of the digesting for us but in ayurveda again it's the sixth taste so we focus on macronutrients which is what we learned in medical school carbohydrates fats proteins how much do you need of that those are the energy foods and they're important but that's one taste in ayurveda and the other five are all about the micronutrients and what you're putting in your food to support your own digestive process so that you don't have to take other things to help you digest your food you're optimizing your internal mechanisms for healing and so when you combine a little bit of sour and a little bit of salt and the pungent and then the bitter and astringent those are all the micronutrients then your body will also improve digestion it helps you to improve the digestion so that you can extract the nutrients from the food and also there's this concept of synergy even in food science now where when you you know one plus one doesn't just equal two one plus one can equal ten if you're combining foods in the right way there's this concept of food synergy so i think that's what these you know and a lot of other traditional healing systems recognize when a lot of ethnic cooking naturally has a lot of these flavors all mixed together and that's what my mom did she just knew what to put in the foods she didn't necessarily know it as a scientist but she was a food scientist right in the kitchen and so any food you made you knew what to put in it and then in my analytical mind now i look at all these recipes and i'm like oh yeah it's got all there's a reason for it yeah and and it's interesting too that each of those tastes has a very specific purpose of what it's doing in your body to help you digest because again otherwise you can eat healthy food and still not digest it absorb it use the micronutrients the way they're you know meant to be used and so it's very it's very um it can be very complicated it's a very sophisticated sort of science but honestly it's the easiest way i ever found to figure out how to eat and so um and it's fun you know when you you know you know my kid i taught my kids you know the these are all the six tastes and then we would look at our food and say did we miss one of the tastes and sometimes you just have to add one little thing and it makes it a complete meal so and that's again optimizing your internal healing because ayurveda is all about using what your body already knows what to do but things have just gotten in the way of it maybe you're not giving your body what it needs to do the healing process and and again food is is key in that process but also optimizing the internal mechanisms that we have for healing so we gordon and i talked a minute before the show i brought a couple of kale salads and i forgot that he had told me that it would be best to cook some of the kale i could have one raw kale salad and one partially cooked kale salad because a lot of people can't digest raw cabbage i'm a big kale fan i know no one likes to admit that but um but then you had a very specific answer as to why it is and so i was thinking about as you were talking that people think i can't eat that good ingredient but it might be they can't eat it raw or they can't get cooked tell us a little bit about that because you were just talking about that earlier this really gets to uh what sheila was talking about what dr patel was talking about uh about the digestion there's a concept in chinese medicine referred to as the digestive fire and they call it agni in ayurvedic medicine and it really is talking about the ability of the body to extract the good things from food the nutritional components the healing properties and to expel the waste product and to do that smoothly and easily and when we get sick that that that ability starts to weaken and we end up not fully nourished and not able to easily eliminate and holding on to toxin and waste and so the the most foundational thing you can do is to strengthen the agony it's to build up the digestive fire and sometimes when people's digestion is very weak you have to cook your food in a vessel outside of the body you put the digestive fire into it in essence pre-digesting it a little bit so that then your weakened power of digestion can be aided by your cooking method that's also true of fermenting and sprouting as well those are sort of pre-digested foods are easier to for the body to assimilate right correct yeah a little bit of breaking the food down you know before you ingest it can help then the body so it doesn't have to do as much and then as that agni that gets stronger then you may find you can you know eat things that you couldn't eat when it was um not so strong although there are some people again in ayurveda that just naturally don't digest raw foods very well and you know there are these kind of different mind body types and and that might not be so good for them if they try to do that so it's very interesting and i thought you raised something very interesting earlier anita when you were talking about one of the things you do at gerson is is reduce protein intake and i know from my own research that americans on average eat about five times more protein than the world health organization recommends and still twice as much as our own usda recommends never mind that we also waste 40 percent but importantly i i'm curious about that because protein is one of those things that for some people is harder to digest so tell me why that's part of what you do at gerson yeah let me put it in the context first of the fact that the majority of our patients are very seriously ill and i just want to comment first about food too on the gerson therapy cooking methods are a very big part of it and the food is cooked very slow and low and waterless and a lot of people experience it as being mushy but that was that's that purpose of it's not only what you eat it's what's important it's what you assimilate and therefore for for a body that is stressed and already compromised to have that like you say pre-digestion done by that so the protein is a temporary restriction during the at least the first six weeks of the therapy because we're trying to mount in that patient some healing reactions and some strong detoxing so and then by protein we mean after six weeks there could be for some people it could be shorter it could be longer introducing organic low fat or yogurt or some lentils that type of thing so it's still it's an important point when we say protein we always tend to think of animal products but there are lots of vegetables that have protein as well that's right so yeah and then also on the on the therapy it's a tremendous amount of food if a person is able to tolerate the full regime we were talking about this last night it's 20 pounds a day of fresh organic produce but about 15 to 16 pounds of that is because there's such an intense juicing regime and so four carrot juices a day four carrot apple juices a day and four green juices and then the remainder of that is still for three meals so this is this is very different when from you and i we talked a little bit about official medical food is used in western medicine and and what that is versus what she's talking about tell us what medical food is not within your practice but in general well generally it's very precise chemically defined compositions uh supplemental foods that are given to people with a very precise um usually fda approved definition in mind but not real food then powders supplements they're almost the almost the diametric opposite of real food it's sort of one of those ironies isn't it that medical food in the medical profession is not food it's sort of like how vegetables under the farm bill are specialty products i mean it's one of these things that sort of boggles the mind so um yeah honestly the most healing foods are are the plants you know the other foods that and it's not that you have to be 100 vegetarian although you know there's a huge amount of data that shows that uh in you know whole food plant-based diet is the healthiest you know diet as far as prevention of chronic illness etc i think a lot of people feel sometimes overwhelmed by the information and the sources of information how do i know what choices to make what's right for me or my family and where is there an easy fix or an easy source you know where where does anybody please where does one go if they say i want to do the right thing and we're not talking about diets and short-term restrictions except maybe in the case of fasting but you know how do i know what whether i'm eating the things that are good for me or bad for me well it is so individual you know because for instance i was directed to the gaps diet when my sons had severe allergies but one son was allergic to eggs the other son was allergic to nuts and the gaps die has a lot of almonds and eggs and so that just wasn't going to work for us so i first looked at eliminating the processed foods taking things away right the processed foods the sodas and the chips and all of the processed junk foods and adding in fermented foods because that's something i could easily do and with the fermented foods i had to give some gold stars for a little bit with my son to get sauerkraut into them but after a while it became a habit at dinner yes so they are used to now eating sauerkraut with dinner almost every day and one tablespoon of sauerkraut has a trillion good bacteria in it and and that's something that's a shift for a lot of americans to think about we think of bacteria as a negative thing and we really do need to reintroduce this idea of the bacteria in the microbiome being our friend and and something that's necessary to take care of so i like to think of okay first you know the easy step is to get the junk out of the house and if if there's a parent out there that says well but my kid will only eat you know these foods well that's because you're buying them i like to start with what's their the replacing the their favorite foods with something that's healthy and adding in the fermented foods to help the gut right and you can also add them in in small doses to a meal or a dish they're already and you can sneak them in a sandwich you can you can do all kinds of things that are fermented sneaky tips on your site oh yes kefir cheese and and yogurt you know organic yogurts things like that that they do like that they will have you can you can sneak some good fermented food in there we there's an organization locally olive wood garden and they bring students in to plant and then harvest produce and then there were a group of volunteer chefs and i helped on many occasions and we would teach them you know prepare a food using that vegetable they had just pulled out of the ground and a lot of kids you know didn't know the vegetables and didn't really want to try it and i remember one of the chefs julie darling would always say there was a one bite rule you had to take one big bite before you were allowed to say no and i thought i always think of that when i try to you know usually it's my husband uh try to ask him to try something that might be green or you know has kale in it uh so you know the one bite rule and then usually if you've done your job well you know then they'll they'll actually like it much to their surprise i wanted to ask you something too as a follow-up because some of your work has been really focused on gene expression and how that's altered by food by toxicity as well as obviously more recently also meditation but as we're talking about the way food you know affects us most of us think you know calorie in calorie out fat carbohydrate protein we're talking a little bit about within the family of carbohydrates there are better and worser okay so but tell us about but that's just for this moment i think oh my goodness should i eat the cinnabon or the oatmeal but more specifically you talk about how yeah well okay sorry i failed dang mobile you talk about how it's not just affecting you at this moment but in fact how genes express themselves and this creates a trajectory and explain that a little bit for people like myself who are not science people so think about food as being not just those macronutrients the protein the carbohydrates the fats think of them as intelligence as information that influences your physiology and what we're so so food has that energy and uh you know protein building value to it but it also has this ability to give your physiology signals move its move the physiology's functioning in a better direction and that's really what happens with gene expression is that you're altering things so that and those gene expression effects the effects on the way that our genes are being expressed can happen in seconds or and and then go away in the next few seconds if you eat that cinnabon there are enzymes there are genes in your liver that will be turned on immediately you will produce enzymes that will allow you to deal with that cinnabon okay for better or for worse and it will have to do with accumulation of um glycogen and fat and all that sort of stuff but it's not just affecting you at that moment though right you're creating a future path yeah right be that's the point that comes next is that when you are eating a certain kind of diet it affects your functioning your gene functioning longer term has anybody heard the word the term epigenetics epigenetics what happens with epigenetics is that when you when there's a certain impact on your physiology the effect of that can actually change the way that your genes are chemically functioning it doesn't change the sequence of the genetic alphabet but it changes the actual ability of that dna to be turned on or expressed or not and this effect can be long-term in fact these effects can be inherited so that if there's an epigenetic change that occurs as a result of your diet that can influence your son or your daughter's diet and when they continue it can go on to their children so these effects can be long term and uh of course they sort of uh you might if you don't continue the um what would you say the in the the stimulus that's giving rise to it then it falls off in a few generations but this is something that strongly affects the physiology long term and there's now evidence that this occurs with the pesticides that you eat anybody heard of atrazine atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides it's used in corn it's used in many crops there's now research that's been done showing that the effects of atrazine on this was done in in mice if you feed a mouse atrazine in their diet and then you look at you will see changes in their genome okay you look at the end behavioral changes you look at the next generation those will be there and you look at the third generation and they'll be there so this happens both from the good things in our diet and from the bad things well this is this is a little heavy and and you know so no no but it's it's important because we're looking at pat our our history of our own choices in life our families and looking back perhaps but what's really great about food as medicine is that the choice to change that trajectory can happen as soon as the next meal right so that's a beautiful thing and so that's what what you really focus on right how and you as well like how to flip from and avoid some of the toxins both in the food on the food or in the environment generally and or how to counteract that by limiting those toxins and shooting choosing food for health and there's studies that show that within one week ninety percent of the pesticides were reduced in a family in sweden that went organic and within two weeks a hundred percent were out of their system and out of their body so it is it can be done very quickly now that's that's very encouraging i think that's the beauty of it maybe you don't know exactly which foods are right for your dosha for you know your body type and you might want to do some research online or go see a professional but what you do know is if you can avoid the bad and shoot for the good then you're on the right direction what you were just describing zen what that says to me is that we have a profound ability to change our health and that probably the most singularly most important thing is not even worrying so much about pesticides or contaminants but just simply choosing healthy food because it will be restorative not quite overnight but almost so within a week two weeks we see changes in the pattern of the gut microbiome in a matter of days and we can influence this they did eat organic though they were purposely avoiding pesticides yes sure oh i'm not advocating that people continue eating even plant foods that are contaminated but i mean but the thing is that just simply stopping that and replacing it with healing foods that help to bind and take toxins out of the body and replace them with really good things can have a profound almost overnight effect and with regards to the gut microbiome we talk a lot about the fermented foods and i'm a big fan of them but the singularly most important thing we can do again is a whole food plant-based diet that provides the fiber and the resistant starch that nourishes the microbes that are already there it feeds the good guys and it and it doesn't feed it actually sort of starves although i don't want to use the negative term but it doesn't feed the opportunistic ones that overgrow and cause so many problems so just simply the singularly most important thing is change your diet in this healthy way and the effects are profound that certainly was your experience when i was this made me think as we're talking here this is your life this is what you did and what happened to you it's you know it's interesting because not i think a lot of us want to eat healthy we hear all these things we hear gmo non-gmo we hear organic better than organic if you're in the farming community some people tell you that organic has lost its real meaning all these different kind of labels that get slapped on everything we heard them all before we started doing this we we shopped organically when you're in guantanamo bay you shop with whatever is there um so it's a little different but but when we even started the farmers market yeah yeah we even we just got our seeds from the local seed store i mean nothing didn't really pay attention to how they were grown and where they came from and whether or not they were manually hybridized or any of that and we were growing and i was having responses to corn which i'm a california kid i mean we three world tacos are like a part of every college here and i was having this like severe reaction to corn i would i would have a mini seizure my my face would tick i would and and we're talking very quickly um and then the next handful of days all my joints would be um really sore i'd have trouble walking again and it took us a while to to figure it out and finally i did a just a sensitivity test not necessarily an allergy test and it was showing up as like number one then those and corn and plums and my thought process was you can't not eat corn in the united states it's in everything it's in your medicine it's in makeup it's it's literally everywhere and we we tried it and we were getting the medicine i had to take compounded and it wasn't making a difference and for me when we talk about making these changes there's there's kind of the um there's the perfect world right and then there's also the i'm already overwhelmed i have a diagnosis i'm just trying to keep my life in order i just need to know what i have to do today to make sure i get to tomorrow and then i'll figure out tomorrow right and for me that corn was the thing that i was like this is absurd i don't know how this is i'm gonna do this the rest of my life and not and really just live right um so i took some time and i read a lot about heirloom and heirloom varieties and how that people were that were having sensitivities to even uh wheats that they were able to eat heirloom varieties and not have a reaction um so i convinced my husband to listen to me um and we planted a small patch of heirloom corn and uh when we were harvesting it my dad and i were standing there and we peeled it and mike stopped me when i met him he was a paramedic and he's like my here my job here is to save you like that's my job right i wear a cape my job is to save you if you have a reaction i don't ever want to hear corn again like suck it up like we're done and dad and i sat there and pulled it off and we're eating sweet corn just standing there and no reaction and literally within the next two weeks we pulled everything out we converted 100 to heirloom because it took it from i'm not a scientist i don't have that background it took it from all this stuff that we hear and this group says this and this group says that and and it took it from this anecdotal i don't know who to believe everybody's arguing to the like i can tell you if i eat this my body literally physically reacts in a way people can see and it's negative and if i this it doesn't and that's that change that even with organic it's one step further and and the hard part with organic is for a lot of years all of the genetic testing for gmo was too expensive for these agencies to even be doing it so you have grains that people are saying they're organic but depending on when when you kind of made that transition california organic cert i've spoke to them just this past year and they said the tests are cheap they test every time grain comes into california because that happens to be a big thing that's genetically modified um that they're actually testing it but the problem is is that if you're if you're eating a varietal that is either manually hybridized and you're allergic to one part of that plus is a good example i'm allergic to plum so i can't have pluts i also have some trouble with some of the tree nuts and because that's all in that family so if it's hybridized with something to give it a better shelf life or to give it a different flavor and you don't know that you're going to have a reaction so for me going completely organic or completely heirloom was the change that made the huge difference and and trust me like as any normal we have people that say like oh and let me guess amazon's never at your house and like you don't use toilet paper use cloth and just all this crazy stuff right i was like no amazon's on my house every day it's the cheapest way to run a farm and and i still eat food that's not heirloom right like that's life but i can tell you i can walk and i'm not twitching and i'm not lifting my legs at the end of the day when i eat the way that i know my body needs me to eat this is this is something oh sorry go ahead you know i was just gonna say you bring up a really interesting point that also that we're always trying to get people to you know you can give people guidelines because we have some information about you know general principles but it's about listening to your body you know and if you eat something even if your sister your whoever spouse says you know this is really good and you should eat it and your body says no you know and if we're listening we you know it'll tell us then that's not right for you and then you try something else and you say oh my gosh i feel amazing when i eat this and then you know that too and you have to be honest with yourself because our minds can trick us and say you know what you're eating our cinnabon every day feeling great but the girl scout cookie message is incorrect okay got it yeah and i do i i tell people follow an 80 20 rule you know because also we add a lot of stress by saying i have 100 of the time eat this perfect food and you know our body's pretty resilient when we're you know out of that really really sick stage that we can you know sometimes have that food but you know most of your diet should be like what your body is healthiest with the important thing though is to not give up that she she pursued it and she went after the heirloom corn you could have just said that's it no corn ever again like we did with my son it was no nuts you know once he almost died from nuts we said no nuts not ever again and and we were just resigned and doubtful that anything could change until one day he said mom i wish all my allergies would go away and i said me too buddy but in my head i was saying that's never gonna happen and then i realized wait a second that's not empowering that's not what i'm committed to what if something could be different what if there is some other ayurvedic or some other way to to to have an opportunity happen and something could happen so i asked him would you like to you know maybe one day eat a slice of pizza at a birthday party which he couldn't do at that time um because we knew a cousin who had gone gluten-free and eventually she could have it right once she healed her gut she could have it later on and he said yes and i said well then would you be my partner would you partner me with me in your health would you drink green drinks and try alternative medicines and all that he said yes and i said then i promise you you're going to get better and that promise whether you do that for yourself or your spouse or your child is very important because then that has you do things you normally would never do right like when you go to a doctor and you you make that promise to follow that protocol you step up and you do things that you normally never would do so the important thing is to not give up and to keep trying new things and to promise somebody else that you're going to do this well and the easy answer is not always you know what we tend to do is say i can't eat wheat or i can't eat avocados but let's remember like what kind is being grown and is it a very hybridized modernized version or is it a heritage heritage or heirloom variety sometimes they call them biblical right on the other hand and then therefore how is it grown is it grown organically is it grown conventionally and or gmo which means that it's likely to carry a significantly higher toxic load and of course then again on top of that it depends on which kind of you know vegetable you're talking about i don't know if you guys are familiar but environmental working group puts out something called the dirty dozen and they say look not everybody's perfect none of us buys 100 organic all the time or most of us don't and so there are certain foods that are more likely to carry a toxic load and these are the ones they say buy organic these other ones they might still have it but they don't carry quite the toxic load so again it's not sort of a one size fits all on these things i had a reaction to an allergic type reaction white blood cell buildup and so my body constantly felt tired and sick because it thought it was you know fighting these foreign invaders and once you go through a process to eliminate and clean and detoxify then your body is just sort of focused on itself again and can move forward instead of constantly in fight mode how does is that consistent with what you you experience in your work i i wanted to just pick up on zen bringing up empowerment because we know from the research that when people are engaged in their own health care even things like monitoring your blood pressure or your glucose or so what's any more involvement than your daily preparation of food and also i've always heard that if you're trying to make changes in your life a lot of people kind of go to all or nothing instead of realizing that if you'll make some small steps that can make some big differences if you just go home and get rid of one or two things in your home that that you feel is the most destructive or that you don't feel good about the other thing too is to have a plan and on gerson do we ever have a plan we we tell people exactly every hour what you're doing and what juice and what kind of what what meal and what things need to be involved in that meal and then what you're going to do the next day and that kind of thing but but the same thing applies to to us in our day-to-day lives too nothing's any more empowering than to to literally quote excuse the excuse the pun step up to the plate and and uh take care you know take charge take charge but for some people it is 100 at least for a while just make that commitment to go 100 you know for instance like gluten getting gluten or dairy out of your diet it takes months for that to come out of your body so it is important to go 100 as much as you know as much as you possibly can and don't give up yeah and and i do want to add that my son did get better his allergies went from a 19 down to a 0.2 and so he no longer has life-threatening allergies to nuts which typically get worse not better and he did that by healing him himself yeah and i think one of the disservices we do in like really conventional medicine is is disempower people you know and and i think the worst thing you can tell a patient is this is what's going to happen you know and i like as an integrative provider and you know i do primary care still you know send people to specialists and you know if they need certain tests and then they'll come back and tell me oh the gi doctor they they said diet has nothing to do with this and it's like oh my god doctor who focuses on digestion the cancer ward that serves donuts yes and and you know and they'll say the the um rheumatologist or the whoever said that this is what's going to happen with this disease and so i need to do this medicine or whatever and you know and not to you know i i'm kind of on both sides in the sense that i i do see what happens when people don't do anything and yes that is true that would happen if you do nothing however if you do these things like change your diet and um then then you can shift that trajectory and it doesn't have to look like that and just giving people that that sense that our body is constantly changing and that every choice we make affects that change it's a dynamic process it's not necessarily just you're headed down this course that may be true if you don't change what you're doing because that's kind of what how you got here and so i think just giving people that little sense of you know empowerment and a different perspective that this is really a dynamic process going on right now like we were talking about the microbiome can shift in a couple of days um one bite of food you take can shift your gene expression and then you start to realize like wow i can really affect what's happening i think that sometimes that empowerment is also daunting because then it means that i have a responsibility as well and you know i think these things are sometimes in in turmoil obviously no one here is saying that you know anything and everything can be 100 cured with diet on the other hand can you alter the trajectory that one says that you are on dramatically i think the answer is clearly yes you look like you want to jump in yeah there's there's really a continuum of possibilities there are some things where diet some diseases where diet probably will have marginal if little effect it might help your health in other ways but not necessarily address the disease on the other hand there are some diseases on the other end that are diet driven and some of the most common and important ones are very much on that end of the container top two or three right yes so um you were asking before about the concept that i was going to mention about the therapeutic order oh sure your pyramid yes no no this is good because most of us are used to the sort of western paradigm which is you know what drug do i get or what procedure do i need let me keep eating my honey bun or cinnabon uh but no so so how is yours is very different you're very different well years ago when i studied some of the more ancient healing systems chinese medicine ayurvedic it was intuitive to me that you started with food food and lifestyle and you change you create the conditions for health with these and then only when those aren't sufficient do you then go up sort of the latter or the the pyramid toward increasingly invasive kinds of things if you're in a car accident you go straight to the trauma center you don't waste your time with you know diet and herbs and all that but write that down folks if you're unconscious that's not the time to do psychotherapy well actually actually a calming influence is always a good thing and healthy food when a person recovers is the first thing after the crisis has been resolved so we have to use really good judgment but in naturopathic medicine they came up with this concept called the therapeutic order and it really holds that diet and lifestyle is the foundation most things before we ever even medicalize them and give them a label and scare people with all this work up and evaluation they'll simply resolve if we change the health conditions through diet and lifestyle and then if that's not sufficient we use targeted natural therapeutics herbs acupuncture allopathic medicine when that's not sufficient and then of course it's allopathic medicine allopathic is western medicine the way the common you know understanding of you know disease or symptom focused and you know pharmaceutically or surgically based interventions at the forefront well i think this is really important you know we've been talking a lot about how we might use food to deal with a particular problem but again if we go back to sort of body fundamentals and immune system and gut as the origin of the good or the bad you know maybe what we're doing is we're creating a lean mean fighting machine so that when the incoming comes we're better able to ward it off is that true it sounds really good star wars e-like but i like it i mean that's that's so right you know children children used to play outside barefooted on the earth they weren't slathered with antibacterial soap as a kid i ate dirt i tasted everything on the farm you know my mother would wait she'd see me coming down the lane and she'd wait with a garden hose to hose me down so that i could go in the house because i would step on anything i tried to drink water out of the dog's bowl you know those those kinds of exposure to to just those what we're talking about you know so and as we know now it's as in the soil so in the gut and so she was very wise in a lot of ways to to have given me that so your immune system is stronger i am i have a very sturdy immune system yes yeah charlotte charlotte gerson tells me that if she had done to her body what i did that she'd been gone a long time ago and she's 96 years old but she's she's lived very clean eating very clean and if there is a crisis by by living this way we've created resilience within ourselves that will help us enormously during that crisis that's what i wanted to hear a little bit more about because i think that's you know we're not just talking about again you know if we think about disease or or or symptom focus now we're backtracking to young healthy people how do we keep them that way strong i mean and how does it do that and why does that matter we really need to start with how we educate our children you know start with what we're feeding our kids maybe that's the most singularly most important thing or place to focus if we want to build a healthy population healthy society so they have had healthy habits of their own and and so that for them it's they know what a vegetable is they know where it grows and into it then that helps them develop their intuition about how to heal themselves or what they need to do and i think that ties in just lifestyle in general like are you taking your kids outside or are they inside all the time or you know and then is it is there just over stimulation and stress like is a huge factor with digestion you know and how you digest your food and your immune system and everything so when you know because we teach meditation and lifestyle in addition to food like food is a big component and again when you're doing all of these things and you're reducing the stress response and you're connecting to nature and all of these things and teaching your kids how to do that then you know again sometimes things do happen and and we do need medications for things and certain people and but your your body is going to be able to use anything you give it in a much better way when the foundations are there you know it's important to trust your children too that they can do much more than a lot of us think that they can do for instance my middle son had autism symptoms when he was about eight and a half a sudden onset of autism symptoms hitting and yelling and grades dropped you know from a's down to d's and it was not like him and so i took him to the doctor and he tested him for fungus and bacteria in his urine i said why are you testing for fungus and bacteria he said because oftentimes the bad gut bacteria can lead to inflammation in the brain which can lead to behavioral issues and i thought wow that's what glyphosate does you know that's what's in roundup that's sprayed in our food and it occurred to me that that sun was eating wheat which is sprayed with glyphosate or roundup as a drying agent it does not wash off not even gmo just yeah it's not gmo it's just it's so so wheat wheat legumes beans peas tea sugar oats are highly sprayed with glyphosate as a drying agent if it's not organic and so he was eating this you know gluten food because my other two sons were gluten intolerant but he was not so he was the only one that was eating gluten and at that time we tested again very important we tested his urine and his urine was eight times higher of glyphosate levels than was ever found in europe and so there was roundup in my son and we realized that we needed to go strictly organic and he needed to not eat sugar and this was between thanksgiving and new year's and he promised to do that and he did that and we went strictly organic 100 even like the canned chicken we had to get that out because that's not organic and and we did put in probiotics and colloidal silver we did have to do a compound anti-fungal medicine but that was 650 a month so when people tell me they can't afford organic i remind them the cost of medicine it is much more expensive and then within six weeks we retested him for glyphosate his levels were no longer detectable and his autism symptoms were gone and have never come back but he did that also by not eating sugar he made that choice and we trusted you know that he would do that in partnership with him and so i think we need to trust our children and our family members even even like if you have a mom or a dad you're like oh they're never gonna change their diet don't do that to them give show them the movies like gmo omg or genetic roulette or there's a great movie out now called modified there's a new movie called secret ingredients it's all about people healing through food there's a movie that's coming out pretty soon called food cure right so there's great educational tools that you can use out there just have faith that they will be inspired by one of them and i'm glad that you mentioned some of the the desiccation and the use of glyphosate in that process because i think a lot of people assume that roundup is only associated with gmo crops and not conventional crops that aren't you know haven't been modified to withstand the spring but all of these grain crops get sprayed at the end for desiccation and interestingly if you're not aware you can look at food democracy now did some testing of basic breakfast cereals and one of the things that for me was most horrific was to see that of all of the cereals they tested the one that had the single highest residual rate of glyphosate was ordinary cheerios and i think to myself what is the one food that every parent in america carries around in a small you know ziploc or tupperware to feed to their child it's cheerios and that has a really high toxic load and so there are some foods and that that's one of them that you know you really may want to pay attention to eating organic if you want to reduce that toxic load and how it might affect you and it's it's very important also that vegan and vegetarians understand that hummus and chickpeas garbanzo beans had the highest levels along with wheat so if you're feeding your child a plate of chickpeas and hummus and they have oatmeal for breakfast and then they have buckwheat noodles for dinner they are eating the highest levels of glyphosate exposure that you can possibly expose them to so unless you buy organic unless you buy organic so it's very important to not just be vegan and vegetarian if that's what you're doing but to also purchase organic food in order to avoid glyphosate i think it's also important to not put the focus just on glyphosate i'm not saying it's a healthy thing at all but the same kinds of dietary changes that will reduce glyphosate also change the food in many other ways when you when you're eating refined products they have a thousand things including glyphosate perhaps but also many other negative attributes and so we can't just pin it on the glyphosate and say that's that's the evil thing because we're like the seven blind men with the elephant and saying it's just the trunk or it's just the tail we really need to think about and not even not even focusing on villainizing things but on focusing in a positive way on what we want what we want to move toward and i come back again like a broken record to a whole food plant-based diet not a refined diet but one that is that has intact kernel whole grains not villainizing them because although they may contain gluten or they may contain you know glyphosate or whatever but because they are rich in healing properties that nourish the microbiome from underneath create that balance create good gut brain connections activate genes in the brain change the expression in the brain that code for neurotransmitters that make us happy reduce our stress reduce our anxiety so changing the dietary pattern in this way i think is really that i want people to focus in a positive way on what they can do to help themselves and not just the judges of the grocery store yes can i just touch on can i just i i i agree with you that's really it's the foundation but in this day and age we need to look to these indicators for of impurity in our food and we look at glyphosate as being an indicator of other things in in meat products there are also indicators a few things that you can measure easily that are are indicators that you don't want to eat that chicken you want to eat another one and it's critical that people be given the ability to make those choices and zen talks about glyphosate because that's been an indicator that's made a big deal big difference for her family but we need to go deeper than that and we need in a way what we're finding in our work because we've tested hundreds of products at this point and what we find is that the difference between conventional and organic is striking and so by making the choice of going organic or growing your own and especially even going to the uh you know the ancient varieties this making that choice however you can personally make it has a huge effect and so we can then from that foundation begin to make good choices about what we eat in there it's very important to to avoid these things i hear and i agree with what you're saying john my concern is that if we focus just on the negative thing like you know stay away from that in a kind of phobic way and we don't put equal or greater emphasis on moving toward healing foods and thinking about the richness and focusing on the diversity of taste and the balance of the foods and understanding how the healing properties within us where we're going to compromise our ability for self-healing so yes you definitely want to understand the toxic load of foods and and i'm not advocating them in the least if anything i would that's one of the first things i warn people against but but but i think the emphasis needs to be a positive one an affirming one toward life and foods that are rich in life energy this is always an eat this not that kind of dialogue and you know this is a bit of a yin and yang kind of conversation but of course we're talking about all the things that you could you should eat and and what they do to the body and how they can create a stronger immune system and how they can deal with even specific ailments and so on you can get down into the weeds like here's a food that's good for the brain or the liver or and has great numbers of lysine great or you can sort of focus on you know michael pollan eat food mostly greens not so much i mean sometimes like i always come back to that again and say you know that that's sort of the fundamentals on the one hand you don't want to get you these are important issues extremely important issues but you also don't want to become you know fearful of food i had someone come over the other day and said i don't want to eat your romaine lettuce out of your garden i hear it has e coli and i said well not this one i think i hope but i mean but but but but that's that's an important point because you know we can we can we can all focus and agree on you know eat real food not processed food okay step one and then we can talk about you know whole nutritionally dense foods great we all agree now as we get down and we say okay so then we have organic conventional gmo we probably all agree on which of those is the best as well but i think you know it is sometimes good to stay here we don't want to make people fearful of you know romaine lettuce i think about that but then there is a study there was a study out recently that showed that women who were doing ivf to get pregnant that were eating fruits and veggies the ones who ate the fruits and veggies with pesticides on it had lower levels of success so it's not factual to just say eat your fruits and veggies if you really want to be healthy and to to get pregnant and to have healthy children it does need to be organic fruits and veggies for the best outcome well actually zen i would totally turn that around and i would put veggies way before fruit and i would put whole grains and veggies at the top because people have a misconception about what is even healthy within a plant-based diet you know fruits are important especially when it's the right season for them but we want to we want to have greater diversity and when we're encouraging people to have clean versions of these and and life energy filled versions of these you know we don't i think i also wonder when you mention people who you know women who are undergoing ivf and didn't have as good a result it may have been a function of what was in the fruits and veggies they were eating or maybe they were missing other things in their diet that were healing it may have also been that their awareness of that was a reflection of other or lack of awareness of of that was a reflection of other things were they more likely to be smoking to be you know drinking alcohol to not exercise so i think you have to be careful to say oh it was their non-organic fruits and veggies that was the cause when it was part of a larger powder but when we know that there's pesticides that cause endocrine disruption and impact you know fertility we know that now so with especially with glyphosate so it is it's it's just not factual i'm just saying to to tell people to eat whole fruits and vegetables without addressing the issue of pesticides that can i mean we have a thousand endocrine disruptors in the united states sweden allows three these endocrine disruptors impact fertility sterility we have you know a sperm quality level of men now is 50 percent of what their grandfathers were we have an issue in the united states and it is it is primarily stemming from i believe and many doctors believe now the toxic burden and that toxic burden is primarily introduced through our population through the food and the water and that's coming from gmo chemical farming and other and other sources i mean there's others too but that's primarily the point is i think the point that he's making and you guys actually are agreeing but it's just that as a legal matter you can't point to a single cause in most instances because any our toxic load comes from a variety of sources those are two big ones but there are others you know and it's one of the reasons why in the law it's often hard to prove these kinds and as a scientific and as a scientific matter as an epidemiologist i know that we have to be careful when we assert this is the cause that's the effect when there are multiple potential causes that are associated with one another that go together and so we really don't know i'm not at all arguing for gmos or for toxins in food quite the contrary but but to say that's the cause that's the effect i get a little concerned and i think we may we may weaken our our argument or the force of what we're arguing for because people can find you know the potential flaw in the reasoning and then dismiss everything else we're saying so i want us to be really strong in our arguments and really grounded and that's can i put that out a unifying concept that we should be going for nutrient dense foods that are toxin lacking the toxins that you put lowest toxic together and then you're in good shape and if you look at and the the key thing it's easy to say yes foods that are infused with nutrients and we want all of that but for the mom or the dad it's well where do i get those how do i tell if this zucchini is better than that zucchini no and no no no let me finish the the key thing there is that we do have some indicators we there is quite a lot of research out there indicating that organic is more nutrient dense than conventional and also that organic is lower in these toxins than than conventional and so it's pretty logical to use that as a big guide it's not enough it really isn't and this is what you experience well i just wait i just want to go back to what i said a minute ago about the environmental working group study and what they have on their website which is look i think we have to be honest i think in a perfect world weeding organic 100 of the time and some people are but not everyone is and maybe not everyone has access to that so for the majority of people it's certainly in some areas let's talk about those things which we should most avoid and that includes certain foods over other certain foods but most importantly it's processed foods so let's go back to whole foods and talk about how whole foods nutrient dense is the way to sort of create this i want to add another attribute though and that's what's in season what's growing in our own backyard because if we if we understand that we're eating with the seasons because if we eat locally we're going to be doing that more or less and we understand that plants have life energy and intelligence we also understand that that changes over the course of time over the course of a year the life energy of plants where is it in the winter it's down in the roots the leaves have come off the sap has gone down the life energy is the chi of the plant and the the and and the nutrients follow that so if we in the winter are eating the more rooty kinds of things the more the stored nuts and grains and we cook them with fire to make them more digestible and in the summer we're eating more leafy things and fruits at the right time we're going to be naturally going where the nutrients are the most dense so i think really focuses on seasonal eating as well what you eat in the summer versus the cold or the hot weather absolutely it can get very very um sophisticated in the in like even what the phases of the moon when you harvest the fruits and things like that and it's i that sounds like biodynamic now yeah yeah i mean i and i fully i believe it um and and you know again just to speak to the whole conversation like the thing i love about ayurveda is that there's you're always going back to the basic principles and the basic principles you know and like when we we do do detoxes and cleanses because we you know even despite our best efforts we are exposed we live in a world that in ayurveda the whatever is out there is in us as well like you were saying you're saying you know we all have these chemicals in us we and there have been studies where we could draw the blood of everyone in the room and you're exposed to things you didn't even know were in you because anything that's happening out there is our body in ayurveda that is our extended body and and when when you start talking about that you i think it brings a little bit of social consciousness and social awareness to supporting organic and supporting um you know how we're treating the environment maybe not necessarily for a selfish purpose but kind of in a way because that is our body and so that's going to affect us so you know when we're cleansing we say we're doing two things we're we're taking out what isn't serving the body and we're bringing in what it needs to heal and so like those are two really basic principles and that's again speaking to all of this is is we want to remove what's what's not serving us and what's creating disease and blocking our natural pathways and we want to bring in nutrient-rich food that's that's natural so we always go back to nature so again whether it's the cycles and the seasons or whether it's producing food as naturally as you can meaning not putting man-made things on there um you know these are like the core principles and you know like if you can just have that in your awareness and just be aware every time you're choosing food you know chances are you're going to be much more on that side of making the best choices for your health you know i just i think as a as a culture we tend to be in san diego is great we have a lot of farms here um you can more farms per capita than anyone anywhere in america folks you can go to a farmers market i think every day of the week except monday is how last time i read it i think monday is the or the one that has the there's even a farmers market here on campus just down that grassy area so we have that but we're also culturally really disconnected from our food right we don't know our farmer we think local means california so if i'm going to get carrots from central california and that's local but i can't get grapes from baja because that's out of country and that's not local we're disconnected we're missing something major when i have people ask me when when we have figs ready and they say how many days do i have to wait to eat these and the first time i was asked i was like what are you talking about you eat them whenever you want and the answer was no i always get them and they're hard and i have to wait till they get soft and i'm like oh by the way figs don't ripen off the tree they're going rotten eat them like we we're right we're disconnected from that looks similar yeah yeah texture is kind of different but but we're disconnected from that part of it and and then there's also some some information that's been out there that says like um millennial generation is the the generation that has it's something like less than 30 percent actually know how to cook and there's no desire to so it's not like they're refusing it's just that there's no desire to it's a different it's a different kind of generation and they're not doing that all of those things mean that we that like it or not we're falling on processed foods in some fashion they may be they may be better processed foods because they're organic but that part of it if if all people could do and we have i i still go to treatment every day i'm back in treatment i was in remission for 18 months i started back in treatment actually the day christina and i launched pharmacy which just was the most ironic thing in the world but i was there so i i sit and get significantly less medicines than i did the first time around actually very very little but that means every day since we launched it i'm talking to the other patients and talking to people in a real world life scenario right how we all eat and how we want to eat is probably like the best of the best and then there's like life and their answer is i don't know how to cook that i don't know how to break down garlic i don't know how to make yogurt i don't know how to do all of these things so if i could make that one change right so if i could get rid of the 12 items that i should never buy a conventional and only buy organic what are those and so i agree with that i agree that there's like these baby steps that have to get there and then you realize things like um you eat a tomato that's from your local farmer and that's the best tomato that you'll ever have the ugly one that's got appendages you know right and those are and to me those are the um like instant gratifications right like see so you have somebody that goes well i get this and i'm used to getting that or i always just get whatever yogurt and it says organic and it's okay and then they start to kind of go more to those whole foods and they're like oh i can actually make yogurt or i can make my own pasta sauce and get closer towards that i think i think part of what's needed here is to draw on both sides of the brain the scientific reductionist side is very important for you know for making sure we're doing things carefully but we also want to unleash the artist our intuition we want to get in tune with the natural rhythms of nature because that's telling us where the nutrients are that there's it's not one juxtaposed against the other it helps us to understand and to deepen our healing well um we're about out of time and i just sort of want to close with a final thought it's something my husband often says you know there's a lot of information that's been imparted today from the sort of 30 000 view perspective and down into the weeds on the positive and on the potential negatives um and and i guess he likes to say that you should never let the perfect perfect be the enemy of the good enough and we all have to to make the steps and take the steps that we're ready and able to make at this point in our life and hopefully heading toward perfection and on a right trajectory but we all do the best we can listen keep this conversation alive we will continue to engage we'll bring in the panelists just hashtag food as medicine on twitter and or facebook and we'll we want to keep this going because i think this is fundamentally the the most fundamental building block of our own health and as it turns out the health of our communities and the environment thank you for coming bye-bye folks on facebook thank you so much for watching this video please subscribe for more and don't forget about the epic plant-based nutrition course giveaway that we're doing in collaboration with ecornell and nutrition studies everyone strives to live the happiest healthiest life they can but for the vast majority of us something seems to be missing at the t colin campbell center for nutrition studies we get it because if you aren't taking advantage of the benefits of a whole food plant-based lifestyle you're not getting the full value out of life the vast majority of the people the public are really quite confused about this topic of patricia which is pretty sad because now we know that nutrition ought to be the premier biomedical science of the future you could be feeling better living longer being kinder to our planet leaving a better future for the next generation and more that's why dr campbell felt we needed a way to teach people the real science behind nutrition and how it affects our bodies and education even most doctors rarely receive i thought the program was fantastic i really loved it you absolutely do not need to have a background in nutrition to take the class i think that the information is very easy and accessible for anybody that's interested in learning about plant-based nutrition but the question remains what exactly is it that's missing if you've ever tried to understand nutrition then you've seen the vast amount of over-hyped conflicting information out there what can you believe our plant-based nutrition certificate program was created by the world-renowned dr t colin campbell and his staff in conjunction with prestigious online educator e cornell to be scientifically based easy to understand and incredibly accessible it's a six-week three-part education on everything from how food is affected by big business to how an optimal diet can help prevent or even reverse chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease and all that happens with plant-based nutrition is that the benefits improve with the passage of time and perhaps the most important thing of all is that the patients are empowered by the knowledge that they are in control of this disease that was destroying their lives amazing isn't it that the key to good health is never further away than the end of your fork and yet so many people feel it's an unattainable dream it's not and with the understanding you'll gain from our program you'll have the tools to help yourself and others stop wondering what's missing and start living 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