We’re taking you back to the highlights of the last 10 episodes of Recipes For Your Best Life so you can get a flavor of each one and hopefully, go back and listen to all of them. From the benefits of fasting to hacking your thyroid to finding joy in your everyday to finding the right fitness routine over 40, there’s so much good stuff to sink your teeth into, so make sure you watch and hear the whole episode and hit the SUBSCRIBE button so you never miss a bit.
When you are more mindful and present as you're eating, you're actually absorbing more nutrition.’’
-Dr. Glenn Livingston
“If you say something for long enough, or you get enough people to say it, they'll follow you. And that's what people do. Follow.''
--Chef Andre Rush
0:11 - Fit and FAB over 50: The keys to getting that killer physique with Melissa Neill
6:38 - A Longer, Better Life by Fasting - Mimicking with Dr. Joseph Antoun
13:09 - Fittest ever at 53: Why I did my first NPC bikini competition at this age
18:01 - Never Binge Again - How to break out of the prison of overeating
22:11 - Flexing with White House Chef Andre Rush
28:44 - Hashimoto's disease: How to have a healthy thyroid
35:31 - Happiness U: How your mindset can make you happier
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[00:00:00] I feel like naturally women are cardio bunnies. For whatever reason we sort of get into this, like cardio is everything. Um, and I think there's some intimidation about weightlifting. You know, I think you go into the gym and you see all these, you know, people kind of hurling around weights, you know, and if you're just getting started, it's really intimidating to know what to do.
[00:00:27] Um, what, what? How did that kind of unfold for you and what do you teach your, um, you know, your followers and, and the people that sign up for your programs? How to get started in that, because I also see some pretty bad form that can cause injuries, so I, I feel like we need to guide people in the right way.
[00:00:53] I, yeah, so I think for me personally, I've never feared putting on a bit [00:01:00] of muscle because I've always been sort of drawn to sort of muscular physiques and I think what's happened with women, I myself had a cardio background as well. is they see the images of sort of the very big women on stage, sort of the figure ladies.
[00:01:20] Some of the women, I'm not saying they all do this, but some women will take performance enhancing drugs and they just look incredible, don't they? They look like, yeah. The figure physique. Yeah. And the figure physique is a very big kind of, it's not, it's not the biggest, is it? Cuz there's physique as well, but there's figure and they're physique and they're very big.
[00:01:43] So they sort of have this image, their idea in their head, if I do strength training, I'm gonna look like that. When the reality of it is you can't look like that. You can't really look like that naturally. And you, you, as an older woman, [00:02:00] it's even more difficult to put on muscles. So you are just never gonna look like that.
[00:02:04] Um, now some women, they are naturally a bit more, they, they've got the sort of genes where they can put a bit more muscle on a bit. Easier than other women. But for most you, most women, they're never gonna look like that. They're never gonna look so say bulky. They call it bulky, don't they? Yeah. And so you've gotta sort of dispel that myth.
[00:02:24] So I think with me, that's where I do a lot of visual stuff. So I've got my YouTube channel and I've got my other social media channels because then they see what I look like, and I've been really working hard to look like this. Yeah. I'm not bulky, you know, I, I'm just, what people would, they would say, oh, Toned.
[00:02:42] Oh, I, you've got lovely toned legs. They say, well actually that's muscle. It's muscle. And so, you know, I did the whole cardio thing. I did the running and lots and lots of cardio and, and that's fine when you are young. But when you're older, it just doesn't serve you anymore. [00:03:00] It's not gonna get you the results you want, particularly when you're talking about your midsection and belly fat.
[00:03:06] What's actually gonna reduce your midsection is doing strength training and not particularly on your midsection, actually, with the rest of your body. So you. Building up muscle and that's gonna change your body's metabolism, which has, we've lost metabolism through the aging process. And so what, what the muscle's gonna do is actually enable your body to burn calories more easily.
[00:03:29] And that's kind of what you want when you're older. And the problem with cardio, doing too much cardio is that can actually. Counteract your strength training. And I get it that people really fear it and I kind of like on my YouTube channel, I've got beginners workouts and you know, I use resistance bands and body weight.
[00:03:48] So that's a really good way of starting is actually resistance bands and body weights at home. You don't need to step inside the gym and you know, you can then progress onto sort of [00:04:00] dumbbells and actually develop some sort of work in the first, um, stages of covid because I didn't have very much equipment at home and you couldn't buy it even if you know you could afford it, you couldn't buy it.
[00:04:13] It just wasn't available. Wasn't available. You're right. I. You know, you can use, um, quite, you can get very good results with a minimal amount of equipment from home. So I'm very much pro that. I think when you get to a certain age, if you are a couple of years in, that's probably the time to step inside the gym.
[00:04:34] But for women starting out, I'd advise doing it from home because it's much less intimidating. You can get your form right, you can sort of, you know, you can, it's really accessible because you can just do it either within your working day, if you work from home or get up early in the morning, do it then.
[00:04:54] And then you've just kind of got it done. And you know, you can use follow along videos on my channels, like [00:05:00] my YouTube channels. You can buy workouts. You know, there's a ton of stuff available to you now to actually do some sort of strength training and get that right. And then maybe later down the line when you've kind of got, you know, a bit better at it, that's the time when you can kind of step in the gym and start.
[00:05:20] Lifting a bit heavier and using varying your equipment and your sort of repertoire of, of different exercises. And I always tend to go for, and you can still do this at home as you're starting out, the main exercises that are really great for this stage in life are sort of things like your squats. Yeah.
[00:05:41] Your deadlifts, your pushups, you know, you can do a pushup on a wall. You do not have to start with a full military pushup on the floor. Um, you've got, or even on your knees. Yeah. On your knees, you know, this is where people sort of fear it a bit cause they think, oh, I can't do that. But it's not, you [00:06:00] can't do it.
[00:06:00] It's, I, I'm a great believer in saying, you can't, I can't do it yet. So I couldn't do full body weight exercises until I was over 50. It's never too late. You found out? Yeah. Maria to sort of actually start something new and just push yourself a little bit further. And now I can kind of do dips full pullups, which, you know, a lot of, a lot of younger girls can't do.
[00:06:24] But I've just been persistently, you know, actively practicing and getting better at it. But when you start you can't, you can't do all those things and that doesn't matter cuz what you're doing is you're building up your strength. If you're skinny, you have a high metabolic rate, you're exercising maybe one to two.
[00:06:43] If you have a lot of reserves, you have a little bit more weight, you have a low, slow metabolic rate, so you have more reserve and you burn less, and it will happen around day two, three, or maybe at four fourth day. But let's say most people will get it between day two and three in, in auto G won the Noble Prize [00:07:00] in medicine in 2016.
[00:07:02] It's a big, big discovery. It's a lot of doctors call it the miracle of biology. This is how our body fixes itself to survive. Right. Imagine a, a car race, A Formula one car race. When the car gets worn down, you go to the pit stop and the pit stop. The mechanic come, they change the wheels, they put more, uh, oil and gas, and they, they fix everything going wrong.
[00:07:25] This is what happens during a prolonged fasting of two to three days. Um, and, and, and it's the body cleaning the cells so biological, so it's, it's that cellular renewal, so to speak. Right. Kind of the body cleaning out. I almost envision it like a little broom, you know, sweeping out the old stuff to make way for the good stuff.
[00:07:45] The new stuff, right? Yeah. It's part of survival, of being new and effective. And um, and, and now the issue is that who's gonna do three and four and five days of water fast? So difficult. But when we did the [00:08:00] trials in mice, first they were like, you know, for example, cancer cure rate went from 36% to 93%.
[00:08:08] Wow. Diabetes reversal rate was off the roof. We're talking about hundreds of percent higher. So we showed this data to the national issue of. And they were fascinating with it. And we, we, we were not able in humans to do trials on water fast because people couldn't fast for four or five days. And then they said, okay, we're gonna support your labs, your research with money from the nih, um, to develop the fasting mimicking diet.
[00:08:35] And basically the fasting between diet is the nutrition that we formulate, um, you know, the commercial name of Prolong. There are others for, for health conditions. Basically it's the food that we deliver to you at home, uh, bars, soups, snacks, olive, those drinks. So you get your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but they're specifically formulated to nourish your body, but not [00:09:00] to take the cells off fasting.
[00:09:01] And, and I, I need to basically explain that because we will be like, where the fucking fasting is no food. How you're mimicking fasting with food. So to explain that there are two ways the buddy recognizes food one way we. The endocrin level, meaning the systemic level. When you eat carbs, you know insulin increases as a response.
[00:09:21] Insulin is, the growth factor is a signal that there's food. And if you eat proteins, then insulin like growth factor, IGF one increases telling the body, Hey, there's protein. So the body at the, at the systemic level recognizes foods through insulin and igf, they're both growth factor. There's a signal of growth.
[00:09:39] It means there's. And so the, our food is specifically designed to not spike insulin and insulin-like growth factor. They barely increase and they plateau and then they decrease. So the system at this, at the, at the, at the level of the blood level is not feeling that there's a growth signal. So like, shit, we're still [00:10:00] in a fasting signal.
[00:10:01] Mm-hmm. . And when food gets into the cell, it's specifically designed to not trigger. The nutrient sensing pathway of the cell. So the cell senses food through three radars, pka to and ra. And our food is designed to when by the time it gets to the cell, it is barely triggering these sensors. So basically the body is not feeling the food and the cells are not feeling, although we you.
[00:10:30] And, um, and so this is, this is the secret behind a fasting mimicking diet. The body doesn't recognize it and the cells don't recognize it, and therefore we give you the benefits of fasting without having to do the starvation, fasting on water. Okay. So this is kind of it, it's a pretty interesting concept because you're still getting to eat, but the body is still [00:11:00] recognizing it as fasting.
[00:11:02] Exactly. Correct. Exactly. Exactly. So, so if that's the case, how. How long and how often do you recommend that people do this? I mean, is this something that we are supposed to be doing daily or are we supposed to be doing it maybe once a month? Or how, how frequent are we, you know, what is your recommendation on the frequency that we should be, you know, intermittent fasting?
[00:11:28] Yeah, so this is not intermittent, right? Intermittent fasting is only the 16 hours and you can do intermittent fasting. Daily just to lose weight. But if you wanna do the prolonged fasting with prolong, P R O L O N is the five day nutrition that we talked about that keeps your body into a prolonged five day fast.
[00:11:49] And you would lose a lot of weight on average, five to eight pounds in just five days. But you would rejuvenate yourself. And this is the interesting piece that, that we think is very much, [00:12:00] uh, pro longevity. Uh, based lifestyle. So you do pro on five days, only two to three times a year if you're healthy. So, and, and by the way, this is how you figured out when a CEO tells you, you should do my product only three times a year, that should send you a signal.
[00:12:16] Yeah. , right? And so if you're healthy, let me give you two profiles. You're 40, uh, you're active, you just have, you know, just few pounds to. Otherwise you don't have a health condition. You're not that concerned yet, and you wanna do the prolonged fast just to, to rejuvenate yourselves and to lose a little bit, just a little bit of weight.
[00:12:39] So you can do that once a quarter or three or four times a year. Only that, so when you go to prolong to buy it just three times, that's it. Now, if you're 55, 60 ish, you feel that, you know, I have a, I'm, I'm, it's, it's difficult to shed off your. You're concerned about potentially having a health [00:13:00] incident, you're kind of feeling the aging on your body and you want a deeper renewal.
[00:13:04] This is when you can do it four or five or six times per per year. We start believing the BS that gets served up in popular culture, that we're on the downhill, right? Things are going downhill, can't produce muscle anymore. You're never gonna be in the same shape that you were in your twenties and your thirties and even your forties.
[00:13:25] Um, and then J-Lo came along and, you know, I mean, people are defying. What that norm is. You know, people are giving us a different look at what being a mature aging woman can look like. And I love that. I'm not normal. I am the girl that hula hoops, that wears cutoff shorts that, you know, where's a bikini? I don't care if my goat's hanging out, like I'm never [00:14:00] going to.
[00:14:01] Age, chron chronological age be a deterrent for, for what I wanna do, and I wanna show you that you don't have to accept that either. Um, , I got my mojo back by doing this, getting ready for this competition. It gave me purpose in training. It gave me, um, you know, it pushed me to my limit. It has continues to push me to my limits physically, um, and mentally because the discipline that goes into it.
[00:14:35] The, the, the regimen of eating and the workouts and the requirement for rest and then, you know, kind of releasing all your inhibitions and learning how to pose, you know, it's all been really, really, I believe, positive for me. I recognize that this is all to get to show. You know, [00:15:00] stage ready showmanship, like this is not gonna be something that lasts forever.
[00:15:05] And that's the mindset that you need to be in. If you decide this is what you wanna go down, um, the route that you want to go down. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it though. It's not for the faint of heart. Um, if you are the kind of person who has just a really hard time passing up food and the idea. Not drinking alcohol is just too much for your brain to comprehend.
[00:15:29] This is not gonna work. You have to connect with a stronger y A why that says, you know, I want to do this for X, Y, Z because it means something to me. You know, when I went to my trainer for the first time and he asked me, why do you wanna do this? And I said, you know, I wanna show women. 50 and up, even 40 and up, that it's never too late, that whether you've been injured or you've been knocked down in life, or you [00:16:00] have had something that you didn't feel like you could ever get through, you can overcome.
[00:16:06] You know, I was a single mom for 13 and a half years to two beautiful children who have grown up and are becoming amazing. Big people and, uh, I started a business during that time. I really surprised myself in a lot of ways. I published a book, I like checkmarked, a lot of things from a, uh, from a career standpoint.
[00:16:35] But I never really got the physical part that I want. I always wanted to be a professional athlete. Being an athlete, being a, a sports lover of sports, um, and, and just admiring what the human body can do, has always. In my bandwidth, it's always [00:17:00] been I, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. I watched Nadia Combintion.
[00:17:04] I was like, that's who I wanna be. You know, I wanted to be a cyclist. I wanted to be a professional soccer player, like, Being active has always been an intrinsic part of who I am, but I've never gotten to that level before. I've never gotten to like that big stage level. So I guess this is a cathartic way for me to say yes, I have made it to a stage, I have worked my tail off to get here and um, you know, I may not show like everyone else.
[00:17:35] I may not be the most muscular person. . But I can say with a full heart that I put my all in and that whatever ends up happening, I'm gonna have a big smile on my face. I'm gonna be grateful that I can walk and that my knee is working and that it doesn't give me pain anymore. And that. I have made a lot [00:18:00] of progress on this journey.
[00:18:01] What about portion sizes? Can we just kind of shift to that for a second? Because I think what also puts us into trouble is we get into this place where, We're a little delusional about what a portion size should look like, and if we're going out to eat, you know, chances are they're giving us way more calories in a meal than we're supposed to be getting.
[00:18:26] I mean, is there a way to. Also tell your brain, look, I'm going to eat until I am satisfied, like two thirds full, not over full, and I'm going to eat slowly to achieve that, like how do you also coach people on once the food's in front of them, how do they just, you know, eat to moderat?
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[00:20:25] We do it in stages, um, because it's my firm understanding from having worked in the food industry and having, you know, we've seen almost. 2000 clients, um, you know, who are struggling with bingeing, that there's so much going on to break our foam meters, that it, it takes four to six months of having some work, more objective measures.
[00:20:47] What that looks like might be, um, you know, if you go out to eat, tell yourself that half the portion is for me, half the portion is for my reptilian brand. And so you're, you take home the second half you. [00:21:00] Try, use a knife, cut it in half on the plate, and um, literally have them have the waiter take it away so it's not even a temptation.
[00:21:07] Right? Yeah. Or, or, or bag it up or something for later or, or something like that. But just, just know that portions are probably about double what you need. It's a, a good heuristic and it'll give you a lot of protection, um, or to use something else that's subjective. Maybe you think a meal is, um, one fist of protein, something about the size of your fist of protein, something about the size of your fist of starch and, you know, two fists of vegetables and then maybe a piece of fruit for dessert or something like that.
[00:21:36] Um, but, but to have some kind of objective measure for the first few months where you're getting used to, uh, normal portion sizes and, you know, accustoming yourself. Not really eating what our society, um, condones is eating because we, we live in a society where everybody tacitly encourages each other to slowly commit suicide with.
[00:21:58] I mean, we, we, [00:22:00] we just don't live in a healthy, um, Jao Christian me said it's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. And unfortunately, I think that's what it's come to. Do you think that that, um, philosophy is something that, like this whole idea of people wanting to put themselves first and.
[00:22:21] In the spotlight, um, is something that you see as a problem? Uh, yes and no. I mean, I, I was, before I did all this, I was, I didn't have social media one day I had to pop up and have social media weren't allowed to have social media. A lot of perspectives that where, you know, where I worked at and, um, Social media grow, but sometimes people can use social media for the best in the world and sometimes they use it for evil, meaning that they want to be viral, they wanna do something and sometimes, and unfortunately they can attack other people do it.
[00:22:56] Just to get that recognition, to get a laugh, to get those [00:23:00] views, to get those followers. And at the same time is they don't realize with this day and age, from pandemic to to pre and post and all these other different. Mental health is at its worst. You know, you gotta think about that, especially for the kids, you know, with the bullying, with this stuff, and not only kids, but just everybody in general is very hard to deal with that.
[00:23:20] And it's always like you have to tiptoe. I mean, I've been attack on social media a million times. I can do the, I can, I can save a million kids or jump out a burning building with. Kidneys in my hands and people attack me anyway. Cause they'll say, you think you're better than us. And it, it is just the way it is because if you see somebody different and you're envious them inside internally, you know that they're gonna attack you.
[00:23:44] And I'm, I'm, I'm okay with being different. I can take it, I can take all the attacks in the world because I've been attacked so much that it doesn't matter. You know, long as you not threatening my kids, my, you know, my family on that part of it, or coming around me because it's just not my [00:24:00] nature. But here on social media, you have to realize I can take a bullet for each and every person that I continue to do.
[00:24:06] So I tell everybody your representation of what you wanna be represented as. You know, that'll get different people. It may get you viral videos and have millions of followers, but what do you bring with that? What's your legacy? What's your give back? You know? Are you just one of those takers and it's a lot of people that's just those takers.
[00:24:24] Yeah, I agree. I think that you have to understand what you stand for regardless of what, how many followers or how many likes, or how many views you. Are you actually living your purpose and sharing that with the world? And that's the first thing I noticed by about you, your energy, your purpose, who you are and everything that you do.
[00:24:46] It was just an instant like relationship. It's like she's amazing, which you are. I the feeling is very, very mutual. So you are really, you've got so many things going on right [00:25:00] now in your career. Um, I wonder sometimes when you sleep, but you've got your meal prep, you've got, you know, shows that you're part of.
[00:25:09] You've got your new book. Let's talk a little bit about that. Let's talk about your book. Call me Chef. Dammit. Call me Chef. Dammit. Can you talk a little bit about why you wrote the book and, and what people will learn about? You so, so call Chef Dam is actually one of the things that happened when I was as a a up and coming young chef, you know, trying to be, and not being involved or accepted in a community of chefs.
[00:25:40] Um, it's not a cookbook, it just tell, I was very, I told people what they, um, needed to hear and not what they wanted to. Cool. Uh, and it went very transparent about all my good, my bad, my difference, my failures, my successes, my, you know, from toxic leadership to nine 11, being involved in nine 11 when the [00:26:00] plane hit in a Pentagon to, you know, just people attacking me to all these different things.
[00:26:05] I, I let people know, and I was very transparent about. All those different things. And um, and then from that, it went number one for dealing with toxic leadership, dealing with, uh, um, um, um, dealing with suicide ideation, dealing with ptsd, uh, learning from toxic, uh, leadership development. So many different things that came from.
[00:26:25] Which I didn't know it would go that route. Now I'm doing a cookbook, which is gonna be out, uh, the following year, and it is, I actually changed the demographics of it and I wanted to be like you, which you appreciate. I wanted to be on the health and fitness side, universal. You know, and use food, what it was meant to be, you know, as holistic medication, family gathering love, you know, uh, relationships, all those different things.
[00:26:50] I want people to go back to appreciating food for what it is and know the properties of it on how to use it, whether you're doing it for yourself, for your health, for different [00:27:00] things that, I mean, food is amazing, hers, vegetables, all those different things. Yeah. I love it. I love it and I love that you know, you stand for so many social issues that people, um, oftentimes are not aware of, and I love your suicide prevention initiative and awareness, your, your pushup challenge.
[00:27:21] I remember. I challenged you to pushups. I don't know what I was thinking. I think I had a momentary lapse of, um, any, any, any sort of intelligence at that point. Me challenge you to pushups, but we had a lot of fun. We got everybody on the floor doing 22 pushups, right? Why 22? 20 group that's committed suicide a day.
[00:27:44] And, uh, I carry out that with, you know, just the kids again, while bullying and the mental, uh, capacity in this world where, you know, uh, suicide between the ages 1127, actually 11 and and 32 is number two in depths in this [00:28:00] country. Number 10 on the radar in this country in its entirety. And, uh, you know, that's hard.
[00:28:06] I stand for that. I have a lot of causes. I'm, I'm actually just. Person, uh, for the National Council Society, which is gonna kick off in November for a council Awareness month. Uh, so my causes are deep. I, I tell people, don't make something your cause when it happens to you or your family or something. I don't care if it's from pets to whatever.
[00:28:26] Whatever you believe in, don't say. This person has something and now all of a sudden it's the most important thing in the world. You have to, you have to emphasize to each and every person's needs and wants, you know, whether it be autism, whether it be something very minute, because you never know what may happen and who it may affect.
[00:28:44] And I was like, okay, there is no help for me in the medical system. , that's clear now. So let's go find some solutions. So I started eating again. I started, like you said, spoiler alert. Started eating regular quote unquote regular food, and 50 pounds came back on like in a matter of two months, [00:29:00] and I felt so out of control because they weren't bad foods.
[00:29:05] Like we would say bad foods, right? I was eating a very clean whole food unprocessed diet. So now I'm frustrated. Why is this not working? So I ended up, um, going into a master's degree in nutrition, and my studies are in traditional nutrition, so it's looking at foods that we evolve to eat and how they nourish our bodies and, you know, all those things.
[00:29:24] So in that process, I started to learn a lot about gut health and discovered that my own gut health was a raging mess and. One of the things that changed my life, I went to a conference and um, this was a gut health conference and a man stood up and I wish I knew his name, but he stood up and he said, okay, we have this new, uh, data and research from the National Gut Institute.
[00:29:46] And they've concluded now that all autoimmune diseases, and that word stops me every time because all. All is actually my favorite number. Mm-hmm. , I like all the things. Mm-hmm. , give me all the things. Yeah. So he said my [00:30:00] favorite number, so I'm listening. So all autoimmune diseases, 100% of autoimmune diseases begin in the gut.
[00:30:07] Oh. All that's inclusive of every single one. Every single autoimmune disease. So he said that, and I remember this moment because everyone in the audience sat up straight. And there was like this hush, and he said, you know, we were finally realizing that Hippocrates 2,500 years ago when he said all disease begins in the gut, what do you know?
[00:30:27] He must have had some inside secrets, right? Yeah. But the mechanism of why that happens is because 80% of the immune cells in our body are made in the gut. So if you've got immune cells attacking your thyroid or attacking your tissues or your joints or anything in your body, Why, why are they doing that?
[00:30:45] Where did they come from? Yeah. Well, we better take a look in your gut. So that was the turning point for me where I was like, I've never had gut testing in my entire life. I've had everything else poked and prodded, but haven't had any gut testing. And had you had any, [00:31:00] any gut. Specific symptoms though, like, and, and let's just take a pause here to kind of break down what that means.
[00:31:07] So oftentimes people will experience bloating or indigestion or, um, diarrhea going to the bathroom. Mm-hmm. or, you know, some, some kind of clue that's saying like, I'm backed up, or I can't seem to get in a regular rhythm of going to the bathroom. Yep. So the answer to your question is no. And again, this is where the medical system, it's come a long way because this of course was, you know, 10, 15 years ago.
[00:31:36] Um, but they have this checklist of symptoms, like you said, are you having gas? Are you having bloating? Is there constipation? Is there diarrhea? Is there mixed stools? And for me, the answer was really unmark. Therefore we're not gonna test anything. And um, it's funny because later I got diagnosed with celiac disease, but I actually went to a gastroenterologist and had all this testing done and I was positive [00:32:00] for celiac antibodies, but they did a scope and there was no tissue damage.
[00:32:05] So they were like, well, it's not Celiac, which we now know. Is diagnosed regardless of the scope because obviously it hadn't had time to destroy my be life. But, um, anyway, no, I wasn't having overt symptoms, therefore, it was just kind of like IBS is what they diagnosed me with. Hmm. Your bowel is irritable.
[00:32:25] We don't know why. Ibs. Interesting. So you really didn't have celiac. Yeah, I didn't have celiac. And that was missed. It was missed for two years after seeing gluten. Gluten was obviously a big part of your. You know, your gut being degraded. Thank you. And let's talk about that in relation to Hashimotos. So the gluten was a huge trigger and I pulled that out and began feeling better really quickly, and started losing weight, and my thyroid dose started coming down.
[00:32:59] Interesting. [00:33:00] My hair was a real pivot. Big pivot point. My hair started coming back, started feeling better. Um, so I really got interested in what that mechanism was. This was back in, that was like 17 years ago, so this is before everything was labeled gluten free. And you know, you couldn't go down and get things off the shelf.
[00:33:18] So of course, with my nutrition degree, I remember I had lists of like every single ingredient that might have. And I'd like go and read all the things and it's a lot, it shows up in things like soy sauce where you would most people mayonnaise even look for it, right? Yeah. You'd find it in these things that you're like, mayonnaise okay.
[00:33:37] Not getting that one. Like it, it, it was a lot of work and nowadays it's wonderful cuz companies label to the point where it's even hilarious. I saw carrots the other day that were labeled gluten free. I know , I, I always. When I'm like, olive oil, gluten free, I'm like, great. Why would there be gluten in olive oil?
[00:33:54] Okay, it's good marketing, marketing 1 0 1. Yeah, so funny. But anyway, I got really interested in that [00:34:00] mechanism. So what I discovered in that is, like you said, gluten can be very, very triggering. And cause inflammation in the gut. And with someone with an autoimmune condition, we often have issues with proteins leaking out of the gut, and that's just due to inflammation.
[00:34:17] So in my case, there was a lot of inflammation in my gut. It was causing these proteins to leak out. And by protein I mean gluten. Mm-hmm. . So the gluten is a protein in these. Wheat products or barley and, you know, different gluten products. So anyway, it was leaking out into the bloodstream and the immune system has one job.
[00:34:35] It's to decide what's me and what's not me. And that's the job of your immune system too, Maria. Right. So gluten is not me. Therefore, if it leaks out of my bloodstream, my immune system sits right there. The, the immune producing cells are there. So they see this gluten and they. Oh, that's not messy. We should launch an attack.
[00:34:58] Yeah, and [00:35:00] that's beautiful for anything like, let's say it's strep. If it's strep, perfect, we're gonna take care of it. Well, in this case, it's food, so it takes care of the gluten. It creates these antibodies. Well, the problem is the gluten protein looks nearly identical to the thyroid hormone. And this becomes a problem for an activated immune system.
[00:35:20] Mm-hmm. . So what we know now is the immune system will kill that gluten and then it will be like cops roam in the alleys, going to see if there's any more gluten, seize my own thyroid tissue, and starts to say, Hey, wait a second. No, you're not allowed here. Your happiness is created from, Before, like meaning, like your happiness is created through your reality.
[00:35:40] And how do you create your reality? You all, we all have a reality. How do you create it? You create it through your thoughts, what you're thinking on, what you're focusing on. So all of this old like love attraction, think positive. That stuff actually doesn't really work because you're not understanding the whole picture, which is both.
[00:35:57] So we start with the understanding. There's polarity. We [00:36:00] start with the understanding that our negative. Thoughts, uh, anything negative will pull our attention three times more. So if everything is equal, one unit of positive, one unit of negative, the negative will feel three times stronger. So we start with that awareness that it's, it's the perception of how you've been looking at that negative, those negative situations for so long.
[00:36:23] So everything starts with the first step. So the first step is understanding that, and then the next step is you don't say, Oh, I'm gonna just suppress the negative. I'm just not gonna think about it. You, you, you're like, okay, it exists. So let's work on strengthening positive muscle. And that positive muscle is strengthened through how I talk about my life, how I look at my life.
[00:36:41] And so we start with, and this is a, this is actually a, a scientific, um, exercise. And I do start with this. At the end of the day, you go back over your life. And you think of three specific things that you might not have noticed the day. If you [00:37:00] do this for seven days in a row, you will actually change a, a, a, a neural pathway towards more positive.
[00:37:07] So the idea here is if we don't control our thoughts, if we don't set intentions for how we want to, uh, live our life, we'll end up blaming and complaining everyone else. So now that's all it. It's that simple. So if you wanna start and you say like, yeah, where do I even start? My life is just such a big mess.
[00:37:23] Well, we can't change that mess sometimes. Sometimes it's just time and space needs to play it out. So we start with, okay, let's look for one positive thing at the end of the day. Three. Three. At the end of the day, it's not as easy as it sounds. Most people say, I'm grateful for my health, I'm grateful for the uh, this you have to be.
[00:37:39] When we're negative, we are so specific. I don't like the way that person chooses food and it just drives me crazy. And every time you come, we're so specific with negative, but with positive it's like, oh yeah, it was a good day, but you wanna be, what specific was good about the day? What specifically did you appreciate about John bringing you donuts or coffee [00:38:00] because he thought of you.
[00:38:01] So the more specific you can get with the things that you do have in your life right here, right now that are happen. The more you'll start to be able to change the reality of how you look at the negative things in your life. And consequently, you will feel better over time and it's not instant that it happens.
[00:38:17] But if you can do this exercise seven days in a row, if you forget it, you've gotta start from over it. It takes eight days and they found it a seven days, and on the eight day they found that they can check. And in 30 days, 60 days, 90. You're still like on that, you still have shifted that neuron. So that's how we start.
[00:38:37] That's how we start. And then with that physical, mental, emotional, spiritual thing, we just have a bunch of classes. If you need to get over guilt, you need to see how and say, say no. You need to clear your clutter. You gotta find meaning and purpose. So that we have pretty much everything, um, the pieces, but at the core is really accepting that there's two sides to everyth.
[00:38:53] I love what you're saying about focus, where you put your focus is where you put your future, is [00:39:00] what I say. You know? And um, it's interesting because I just launched a program that helps women over 40 and the three anchors are food, fitness, and focus. That's perfect Wellbeing, right? Wellbeing. Has everything to do with focus and where you put your energy and your thoughts, and then food and fitness help to also change your, your chemistry, your, your actual physical chemistry so that you're even able to focus.
[00:39:32] Because what I find is a lot of people come to the table and they're seeking happiness and they're seeking joy in their life, but they have devastating habits. You know, they. Eat the right way. They don't exercise at all. Or, you know, sleep is a problem and in order to get your focus on track, all those things have to be in alignment too.
[00:39:57] Do you ever come to the table, so to speak, with, [00:40:00] you know, the people that are doing your program and examine those other aspects of their life as. . Yeah. Look at all of it. Yeah, absolutely. It's, and again, most people will come with their, with their perceived problem. Like, I have this, somebody's annoying.
[00:40:16] They come with that. And then as they start to, and you start with wherever they're at, like, I'm mentally stressed, I'm burnt out. I don't know my purpose. Like my husband or wife is just driving me crazy. So we start with the problem, but then these things all get woven in and all it takes is intention.
[00:40:31] And like you said, focus. Like we have gotten so lazy with the way we think a thought comes out and we believe it. Oh, I'm not good enough. Oh, then I'm not good enough. You swirling those thoughts. Yeah. So you have to be mindful enough to recognize what are you thinking? Because every thought you think is stitching together pieces of what?
[00:40:48] What is your lens of how you see life and that reality has to. Before anything else can change. Once you change your reality, your life will come to meet you. Once you shift how you look at things, [00:41:00] your life will show you how you've shifted. But it's just like boiling water. I tell people, you don't just put a pot of water and turn on the heat and go, why isn't it boiling?
[00:41:08] And turn off the heat and walk away. Go, oh, let's try it again. Turn the heat, and then you wait and it's like, dammit, it's not working it. You have to turn on the heat and keep it on because once, once you start to get the habit. Of how to think. It's not, it's, it's a habit. You just naturally go there and people say, oh, you seem like you're so happy.
[00:41:31] You manifest all these amazing things. I manifest equal amount of non amazing things in my life, because of the, it's the world of polarity, but I recognize that I love the, the, the things we're manifesting on the good side, and now I have capacity to deal with the things that I couldn't have dealt. Last year, 10 years ago.
[00:41:49] So it's that, it's, we're constant, just like you're getting stronger. You don't just go in and go, let me just bench press 500 pounds. You work up to it. So I think that's the biggest thing. Like we [00:42:00] need to recognize that we can start right now. We just need to make a commitment. Just like how you brush your teeth.
[00:42:06] You, you, you started, someone forced you to do it, your parents, and now it's like something you can't not do.