- in guest/interview , health by allan
How to use food for an improved immune system with Dr. Donna Mazzola
In her book, Immunity Food Fix, Dr. Donna Mazzola shows us how food can be a powerful tool for improving our immune system. On episode 552 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how food can either lead to chronic illness or lifelong health.
Let's Say Hello
[00:02:45.550] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are you?
[00:02:47.220] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:49.410] – Allan
I'm better. Tammy's back from the US. And so I have some help here. Now, I had help, don't get me wrong. My staff we have are great. When there was only one of them, sometimes there was only me. The 18 hours days were just a little too much. And I'm glad that's over. I even told my wife, I said, look, if it gets to be too much, bring in somebody. Go ahead. Let's go ahead and spend a little bit of money so that you don't get as stressed out and beat up as I did. Skip meals. I sent myself to bed hungry some nights, and just because I didn't have the energy to cook. And so that was my week or two weeks, three weeks thing. I had staff for part of it, and then one of them was off completely, and then it's just four days a week. Three days a week. I didn't but I'm through it. And I just told her, don't beat yourself up the way I did, because that was not fair to me. It wouldn't be fair to her.
[00:03:53.390] – Rachel
Sure. Yeah. Well, gosh. Well, good luck, because you're fixing to leave. You're fixing to leave in another week or so.
[00:04:00.680] – Allan
Yeah, and that's kind of the point. As this is going live, I'm about ready to head up to the States for a while. And I told her, I said, don't live my life the way I lived my life. I learned, and it was wrong. We need to bring in help when we need help. And so even if it's just condensed shifts and asking someone, one of our staff that's supposed to be off, if they want to come in, give them a few extra hours, it'd be worth it.
[00:04:27.620] – Rachel
Well, that would be great.
[00:04:29.510] – Allan
How are things up there?
[00:04:31.160] – Rachel
Good. You know, we're doing the countdown in a couple of weeks, we'll be doing our trip across the Isle Royal. So we're just kind of weighing our supplies, making sure we've got the food dehydrated and ready to go. And we're stocking the weather right now to make sure we pack appropriately. So, yeah, it's getting exciting.
[00:04:51.170] – Allan
Good. That is going to be a good event. Exciting event. Eight days in the wilderness
[00:04:58.970] – Rachel
eight days unplugged
[00:05:00.170] – Allan
and moving. This is not just sit and camp for eight days. No glamping for these folks. They're going to be out there in the wilderness.
[00:05:11.580] – Rachel
[00:05:12.380] – Allan
Hoofing it every day.
[00:05:13.530] – Rachel
That's right. Looking forward to it. I can't wait.
[00:05:15.920] – Allan
What's your longest daily mileage that you need to be making? How does that work?
[00:05:22.130] – Rachel
I think we're hoping to average about four or 5 miles a day, but I think our longest day might have a seven-ish mile hike. We're trying not to do too much of that if we can manage it, but yeah. So it'll be reasonable.
[00:05:37.450] – Allan
Yes. It's an interesting trade off. Your pack is really full when you start because you have all that food you're carrying, and then at the end, you're fatigued. The pack weighs less. Do I want my long miles with a lighter packer? I want my long days with a heavier pack when I have more energy. That will be an interesting one.
[00:05:56.370] – Rachel
It will be. It will be quite the trade off.
[00:05:59.210] – Allan
All right, well, let us know how we're about four weeks away, but when you get back, we definitely want to want to hear how that went.
[00:06:07.690] – Rachel
For sure. Yeah, it'll be great. Thanks.
[00:06:09.900] – Allan
All right, are you ready to talk to Dr. Mazzola?
[00:06:12.860] – Rachel
[00:06:13.800] – Allan
All right, let's go.
[00:07:21.500] – Allan
Dr. Mazzola. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:07:24.330] – Dr. Mazzola
Thank you. I'm excited to be here.
[00:07:26.060] – Allan
So today we're going to talk about your book, Immunity Food Fix: 100 Superfoods and Nutrition Hacks to Reverse Inflammation, Prevent Illness, and Boost Your Immunity. And one of the things I really enjoyed about the book is kind of the juxtaposition of a pharmacist telling us that food is the medicine, and the stuff that we might be getting at the pharmacy is just a patch to get us over symptoms. I really appreciate that being in the book because it's too easy to rely on pills, and it's not that hard to rely on food if you just take a little bit of time to educate yourself. And I think this book is a great resource for someone that's looking to do that.
[00:08:14.090] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah, exactly. I appreciate that. I think that's my mantra is balancing nutrition and medicine, and medicine has a place in healing, and there's a lot of great medications out there that have helped and have extended lifespan. But food and nutrition is really at the brink of it. I mean, that's where we need to focus to prevent us from even getting to that point. But certainly you can reverse disease, and we've seen it happen time and time again when we change our diet and focus on those nutritional aspects. But I think where, as you stated, there is a gap is that foundational understanding and how nutrition fits into that.
[00:08:54.280] – Allan
Yeah. When I was way out of shape, way unhealthy, and not living the life I was supposed to live, I had high blood pressure, so I was on a pill. I had issues with my thyroid, so I was on a pill. I'm sitting there, I was 45, 46 years old, and I'm like, I've already got a medicine cabinet full of medications that I take every day. And so as I started fixing my food. My blood pressure came down, my thyroid picked up and started doing what it was supposed to do. And to me, it was so interesting that as I started eating right, my body responded by getting healthier.
[00:09:41.870] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah. All right, I say this in the book garbage in, garbage out. It's like a direct quote in there. And you're going to get out what you put in. If you feed up the right things and you nurture it, you do a plant. You feed a plant in the right things, and it's nourished and it grows and it's lively. You feed a plant garbage, it's going to die. And there's no difference between us and that plant. Let's just look at it that way. It's a good analogy for people.
[00:10:10.900] – Allan
Yeah. Now, most of us, if we're not paying attention to nutrition, we find ourselves eating the same stuff. It's the fast food. It's what you get in the middle of the grocery store when it's easy, the Hamburger Helper or the fixed meal that's already there ready to go. You just toss it in a microwave and two minutes later, you're eating that boiling hot apple, whatever it is.
[00:10:39.570] – Dr. Mazzola
[00:10:40.210] – Allan
And we call that a Standard American diet. What is fundamentally wrong with that? Why is that not really food? And what are the downstream effects that we're seeing from the sad standard American Diet?
[00:10:54.950] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah. I mean, the Standard American Diet, as we know, is a highly processed, nutrient depleted diet. And so when you think about the nutrients you need for your body to function, to operate at a cellular level right. Like, we want to go back down to the cell, and if it's broken at that point and we're not giving it what it needs, what is going to happen when it gets all the way up to the actual organism, which is you, and how these organisms are work together? They don't have the nutrients that they need to function in that way. Not to mention we bring in our gut into that and our gut microbiome and how we're destroying that by not also providing it the nutrients it needs, the food, if you will, from plant based foods that it needs to nourish the good bacteria in our gut. So Standard American Diet is ultimately a highly processed, high trans fat, high sugar, high gluten, high alcohol, processed corns, processed soy. Think about if you read any packaging. That's what's in all these packaged foods. And unfortunately, it's because of our lifestyle. So we call it the standard American diet.
[00:12:08.230] – Dr. Mazzola
But the American lifestyle requires that type of diet. Unfortunately, everyone's on the go, nobody has time. Making home cooked meals is not top of mind for people. They just need something convenient, something quick, and food is not necessarily a priority. And so as a result of that, and as a result of consuming these types of foods, we have a dysregulation in our immune system. We're releasing as a result, what's truly happening is you're consuming these foods and your body is responding to them as there's some type of invader. So it's like things that are not recognizable by the body, they're chemicals. I mean, we're consuming chemicals within our foods. And so as a result, you're getting this inflammatory response. So your immune system turns on as it's supposed to when it sees that there's a foreign invader in the body, something that's not supposed to be there. The problem is that we continue to consume this type of food and we never turn off our immune system. We constantly have this inflammatory response going on. And a lot of that is why we're seeing this uptick in autoimmune related diseases that are developing, or even just symptoms.
[00:13:25.830] – Dr. Mazzola
Like people don't even get a diagnosis. They just have these unexplained symptoms of like fatigue and brain fog. And it just the overall inflammatory type symptoms. And a lot of it comes down to the foods that they're eating when people switch their diet, get off of those foods and start consuming just whole foods. Like, we don't even have to make it complicated, just eat real food. And when they do that, that's where they see the change and suddenly their symptoms go away, as you have stated, like they're reversing some of their diseases. They're getting off medications and whatnot. But yeah, the standard American diet, the other big aspect of it to understand as a contributor, inflammation as well, is the ratio of omega six to omega three fatty acids that are consumed. And when you think about it, simply put, the omega three is your anti inflammatory. Omega six is inflammatory. Now, you do need some omega six. It's not all bad, right? But it's the ratio of it that we have to be looking at and where we evolved as human beings, we were at a one to one ratio and thinking about the Paleolithic diet where we've come now, it's like a 25 to one where we're consuming, right?
[00:14:36.430] – Dr. Mazzola
So it's much more inflammatory than it is anti inflammatory. And again, a lot of that is in the food that we're eating and that's leading to a lot of these inflammatory type conditions.
[00:14:46.800] – Allan
Yeah, the way I like to talk about real food is when you know it was alive, because it's really close to the state where it was alive. And it's something that if you left out on your counter for a week, it's probably not going to be edible. If it'll sit in your pantry. I think you even said this in the book. If your pantry is bigger than your refrigerator, you're probably eating much of the things that are in the Standard American diet. And it's interesting because some people will say, well, I must be sensitive to gluten because they eat the bread, but they're not sea lack. It's probably other stuff in the bread, preservatives other stuff. The fact that they basically broke down wheat to a powder. And now so finely processed, your body treats it like sugar. And then they put it back in there and they say, well, since we took all this niacin out of it, we're just going to put some more niacin back in to fortify it. And then we can even put the labeling on the bag. Fortified with vitamin B.
[00:15:49.450] – Dr. Mazzola
[00:15:50.570] – Allan
It's only because they took it out in the first place to make it shelf stable. Yeah. And so I think that's some key things is real food is not shelf stable for a long period of time. Seeds and that will sit for a while, but for the most part, most of the things we call whole foods, they're going to spoil.
[00:16:09.610] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah, exactly. And I think just thinking about another aspect of it, like we talk about processed foods, think about things like the emulsifiers, the stabilizers, the binders, the sweeteners, the flavorings, the dyes. Everything that's in all of that is causing that reaction in your body, that immune reaction to occur. Really? I refer to it as just this immune dysregulation that we're all suffering from. Like, everybody has inflammation. I mean, I told everybody, I'm like that's inflammation you're inflamed. And it's a result of our diet period.
[00:16:40.890] – Allan
Yeah. Now, your book and your book, you go through 100 foods. I think there were a whole hundred in the guides. But as you go through it, this was a great reintroduction to the variety of what's available to us in the world today. Of all the different colors of the rainbow, all these different foods that probably most of us don't really kind of branch out and maybe haven't even tried. Broccoli is very easy to get here. Cauliflowers, sometimes kale and some leafy greens are really plentiful, but there's a lot of them that were on your list that I won't ever be able to really get my hands on here. So when I go back to the United States, I'm scarfing that stuff down. I'm hitting Brussels sprouts on every menu because I just can't get them down here. Can you talk about plants, a plant based eating style and why plants are so good for us?
[00:17:41.870] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah, absolutely. And I like to start by stating this is not me saying that against animal protein or anything in that way. So when I say plant based, I get a lot of people, like, backlash on that. And it's really focusing on whatever else you're eating is fun, like other sources of animals, whatever eggs, whatever it may be. But focusing on the fact that you should be eating at least nine to twelve serving of plant based foods in your diet daily, that's where I think I just want to make sure there's not that misunderstanding from people.
[00:18:17.540] – Allan
Well, and the other thing is with the meat is if you're getting the standard meat that we get in the grocery store, that's where that mismatch of omega three and omega six are really blown up. So if you get a nice marbled steak at the grocery store that was not cared for well, as an animal, their omega six is out the roof. You're not going to get to that one on one. It's just not going to happen. If you're eating a little bit more grass fed, humanely managed animals, then yes, they're going to have a higher omega three if you're eating wild animals. So something that was hunted and living in the wild and it wasn't living near something where it was eating something it wasn't supposed to, then it's going to have a really good omega three to omega six ratio. And then now it's manageable with plants and fish and meat to get that right mix. But I think that's one of the reasons why having more plants in our diet is never a bad idea. That's one. The other is I have yet to really find anyone who can overeat plants. It's really hard.
[00:19:31.250] – Allan
I tried going pescatarian and the truth was I was overeating the nuts and I was overeating the fruit. And so that did cause me to put on a little bit of weight. But if you're eating a variety of plants, if you're eating the rainbow, weight loss is just going to be a symptom of you getting healthy. Your body can't help it because you just can't eat enough plants to get fat.
[00:19:54.120] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah, I would have to agree with that because plants, they're powerful. And I think where we focus on that is understanding that there are these phytonutrients in plants that are responsible for immune modulation, immune boosting, immune supporting properties all around for immune system, for your health, for your gut especially. Right. There's so much that we can get into, like apples. We talk about an apple day. Keeps the doctor away. That's the famous line. But why? Where did that come from? Right? What is the reasoning behind that? And just understanding that the pectin and fibers and how it can alter our immune system, how our gut responds to that pectin and nourishes, it, I mean, that's huge. So it's like, yeah, these little phrases we hear, there is meaning behind them and there's a reason for where they came from. But ultimately, when you think about plants, there's primary and there are secondary metabolites. And so the primary metabolites, essentially they're those substances that are used by the body, the carbohydrates, the proteins, the fats, et cetera, those are essential, obviously, but it's really the secondary metabolites that we are gaining the most benefit from. And when you think about a plant and when it's out there in the wild and growing, it has various phytochemicals and phytonutrients that protect it, right, protect it and stay alive.
[00:21:30.750] – Dr. Mazzola
Like antibacterial properties. Antiviral properties that are keeping the bugs and the other outside natural, I guess, invaders, if you will, from attacking it. And so they have their own protective mechanism. The beauty of that is when we consume that plant, we benefit from those phytonutrients. That's where those properties come alive, is when we're consuming it. And some people say, oh, I can get like, apple pectin in a supplement form. I can just take that. But it's not the same. So what we found and for some, when you look at some of the research, when they have extracted the actual phytonutrient out of a particular plant, they don't see the same response in a clinical study that they've done as they would if we ate the entire plant. And there's a reason for that. And it's when you consume the entire plant in its entirety that's the synergies that occur between, let's say, the stem and the leaf, all of it, the entire thing. And there's multiple phytonutrients in there. There's over 5000 phytonutrients. We haven't even discovered the majority of them. So we have a handful that we know of. But those federal nutrients work together in synergy to bring that benefit on.
[00:22:47.390] – Dr. Mazzola
Then when you start consuming variety of plants together in synergy, then it's just like a magical party that's occurring within your body, right? And so all of these phytonutrients are now working together, communicating with each other, and ultimately giving you those benefits, those immune modulating benefits, the gut health benefits that come from consuming that variety of plants. So that's why I say consumer variety, nine to twelve servings, but of a variety of colors. And you want to keep switching it up. I know you mentioned some people consume the same things, and we were talking about processed foods, right? They may eat the same, but it's the same for real food, right. So you don't only want to eat broccoli every single day. So there's a benefit to have that variety, to switch it up, to continue to bring on various phytonutrients from a variety of colors, as we say, eat the rainbow to gain those benefits.
[00:23:43.230] – Allan
Yeah. And one of the things I like about the book is very clearly you go through and say, okay, yeah, the reason that apples are good for the immune system is the pectin. And when you eat Brazil nuts and I'll tell you, you're not unique, I actually think that myself. When I hear the term brazil nut, I think selenium. So you said that in the book. I was like, I do that too. Just having a better understanding of what's in the food that you're eating kind of gives you an idea of how important it is to mix these. Because if you're just eating one type, yes, you're getting that benefit, but you're missing out on potentially a lot of other synergistic benefits that are going to help you. And just having that variety is going to really help you have kind of a good mix of foods that you eat and have that enjoyment of. We're going to have watermelon as dessert tonight, or we're going to have some of that papaya or oh, look, they've got persimmons available at the grocery store today. I'm going to go ahead and grab a couple of those.
[00:24:44.970] – Allan
And so you kind of see how knowing that these foods are there, and then when you see them in the grocery store, you might even have walked past them before. Like, I remember when I first discovered Dandelion, I was like, walking past the solid. I read something on Dandelion. I'm like, oh, my grocery store actually has dandelion. It's just all this leafy green stuff over on the side. And I started looking around at what was actually there. And then the health benefits around each of those Chickery what is it? Chard, Dandelion, all of them. It's just an opportunity for you to give your body something. And the way I like to say it is food is communication. It's a signal to your body. It's information to tell your body how to function better or worse, depending on your choices. And so choosing a good variety of plant based and good meats to put into your diet is basically going to be communicating to your body here you have everything you need to be healthy, so let's be healthy. And your body reacts and does exactly what you told it to do. Whereas if you're eating a standard American diet, your body thinks something terrible is going on, there's a huge immune response, and that leads to chronic disease.
[00:26:05.040] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah, it's simple. I mean, like I said, you put in the bad stuff, you get a negative output, and your body is going to respond accordingly. The human body is brilliant. It's amazing. It's just how it functions, and it knows it's going to fight off what we're putting in. We weren't created in this way to be consuming these types of foods, right? We're meant to be consuming whole food, real food, right? Not stuff that's been sitting on a shelf. So, yeah, absolutely.
[00:26:33.730] – Dr. Mazzola
One thing I talk about in the book is to try to keep it simple, is to focus on the colors. And this is not like across the board, but just high level, trying to categorize each color into its benefit. You think about eating the rainbow and having a salad of various colors. You have red foods, like tomatoes, for instance, things you want to think, okay, this is anti-inflammatory. Orange. Like, if you have shredded carrots in there that's hormone regulating. We know that carrots have the ability to detox out that bad estrogen. I've shared this multiple times on my platform just to say if you're experiencing symptoms, estrogen dominance a week before your cycle, consuming raw carrots can actually help regulate that.
[00:27:22.930] – Dr. Mazzola
And like, the response that I've gone because people let me try it, it's a simple, it's not going to hurt. That's the beauty of the ability to use plants as medicine is it doesn't hurt anything. Focusing on yellow for digestion, green for detox, like you're talking about dandelions, Char, all of that. Right. All of those green kale. They're beneficial in liver and detoxing out the toxins that are in the body. We have our own internal detox system. We just have to support it. That's what's missing. And then, of course, antioxidants are that purple color. So thinking about those colors and what they do, you can look at your plate and ensure that there's a variety so that you're at least gaining some of those benefits to kind of balance out each process.
[00:28:07.550] – Allan
Yeah. Now, the next thing I want to talk about is nuts and seeds, because this is one area where I find I tend to eat the same kinds of seeds and the same kinds of nuts all the time because they're just easy to obtain. But I did order some Brazil nuts and have them shipped down here. At one point, I think I bought like 10lbs of Brazil nuts, and I ate it in about three weeks. But let's talk about nuts and seeds and why they're so valuable to our diet. And again, as part of eating more plants for these health benefits, nuts and seeds are a great way to get more of this in your diet.
[00:28:52.150] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah. So you think about a seed. A seed grows an entire plant. So that's how I try to simplify, even in the book, is when you think about the benefit of a seed, they are truly the superfood, because you can take a seed and grow an entire plant out of it, so it actually holds tons of nutrients concentrated in there and so absolutely consuming. And then, of course, the nuts are the fruit of the plant. So as a result of that so having the two of them is essential. And there are so many benefits that come from we just start with seeds. I know I talk about in the book, like even seeds for, again, going back to balancing hormones and what's been found there, and the ability to utilize flaxseed or pumpkin seeds at certain days in your cycle versus sunflower and sesame seeds at other days in order to kind of gain that balance in your hormones. It just speaks to how powerful they are and the benefits that exist within them. And there's a multitude, and people often ask, well, then, what seeds should I consume? Again, it goes through all the different benefits in the book, but I think you can incorporate all seeds in various ways.
[00:30:11.190] – Dr. Mazzola
And so for me personally, I probably eat them all. Flaxseeds are my egg alternative when I'm baking. Sesame and hemp are easily added to salads. It gives you added fiber, added protein, and a small amount. You can also add pumpkin seeds. So, I mean, you can't go wrong, right, with what you're consuming there. But yeah, ultimately they are the super food because they're so concentrated in the benefits that they can bring from a phytonutrient standpoint.
[00:30:45.550] – Allan
And one of the. Things I really like about nuts and seeds are they are the snack that if you want that something that's savory or salty and you find yourself on the chip aisle, these can be a great substitute. You won't miss your chips. Some roasted pumpkin seeds, some sunflower seeds, pistachios, other nuts. They're a great opportunity for you to get a lot of good phytonutrients because they have those too, and they've got healthy fats.
[00:31:16.870] – Dr. Mazzola
Right. And Protein.
[00:31:19.480] – Allan
Yeah. And protein. And they're going to give you kind of that salty, savory flavor if you spice them that way. And so they can make a great snack to get you off of the standard stuff you're going to buy in a grocery store.
[00:31:34.100] – Dr. Mazzola
Exactly right. So it's like the fat and protein content in them is going to create that satiety. But you're also benefiting in a lot of ways. I mean, they're so anti-inflammatory as well. We talk about Brazil nuts and selenium, but Brazil nuts are also extremely anti inflammatory as well. And so there's more to it than just the minerals, and that goes across the board for all of them. So I think that's critical. And as we talk about the omega three omega six ratios, these are your good fats in these nuts that you're consuming. And so that's a good way to ensure that you're getting the appropriate omega three fatty acids in your diet, as you said, as a great snack alternative.
[00:32:20.710] – Allan
Dr. Mazzola, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:32:30.670] – Dr. Mazzola
So I'm going to move away from food for this answer because I think that's, to me, a no brainer, and I think some things that are not thought about, and I feel like we should put a lot more focus on them, especially with the American lifestyle, are movement, sleep and stress mitigation, that's what's killing us. Yes, our food, we need to change it. But if you can sleep 8 to 9 hours a day, if you have opportunity for breathing, exercise, meditation to mitigate stress, going for an afternoon walk in nature, whatever it may be, and then finding something you enjoy and moving for 30 minutes a day, people ask me, what's the best exercise for me? Should I do high intensity? It doesn't matter. Whatever you like. And if you like it, you're going to do it and just get at least 30 minutes of movement a day. And those are low hanging fruit to me. Like, for some people, it might seem like, oh, my God, I have to overhaul my whole diet. All right, well, then move 30 minutes, sleep eight to 9 hours, and have some type of stress mitigation. Start there, and you'll be on the right foot.
[00:33:35.650] – Allan
Great. Thank you. So what I like, again, about this book is you've really done a good job of defining these foods that we should have in our diet. Or should try to get into our diet eating the rainbow and not just, okay, here's 100 foods, so put them on your grocery list. This is why this food is good for you. This is what it gives you and this is the benefit you're going to see from it. So it's really good. If you want to get educated about some of these foods, this is a really good book to kind of really walk you through it in a very conversational way to understand your food better. And when you understand food better, you make better choices and your body's going to thank you.
Dr. Mazzola, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Immunity Food Fix, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:34:24.370] – Dr. Mazzola
Yeah, so they can number one, check out my website, drautoimmunegirl.com, and there you can find an entire page about the book to better understand what you're going to get out of it. Also, I have a blog on there. I have a newsletter. On social media, you can find me at drautoimmunegirl on Instagram and Facebook where I share regularly various nutrition hacks, what you can do. And it's all evidence-based. It's all backed by science referenced. Same with the book. We have over 150 references there, so it's nothing I'm making up and it's not opinion based. It's all factual and science.
[00:35:03.130] – Allan
Great. Doctor Mazzola, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:35:08.440] – Dr. Mazzola
Thank you. It's been my pleasure.
[00:35:17.150] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:35:18.680] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. That was another great interview about food is medicine and garbage in, garbage out, all the things eat the rainbow, all the colors of food have that variety, all the things we need to hear on a periodic basis and things that I'm even guilty of doing. I get stuck in a rut. I get to eat the same foods over and over and then I wonder why I'm so fatigued or just not feeling great or whatever. It's just my choices.
[00:35:48.440] – Allan
Yeah, well, it's easy. And then one of the things that we always going to come and gravitate to is what is the easiest thing to do now? Our ancestors easy was what was in season. Sure. You couldn't store food for months and months and months or you couldn't have other people transporting it from around the world with the seasonal there. So we didn't have a lot of the foods except for certain seasons. So pumpkin and squash, those are fall nuts or fall berries are in the spring. So you start looking at when food would be available and not available. And even if we're moving around a good bit to kind of follow the food, if you will, there's a lot to be said for eating what's seasonal.
[00:36:36.890] – Rachel
[00:36:37.580] – Allan
And we don't do enough of that. And as a result, it becomes very easy to say, okay, I'm steak and potatoes, steak and potatoes, hamburger potatoes, hamburger, potatoes.
[00:36:51.170] – Rachel
[00:36:52.250] – Allan
And that just becomes what we eat. And it's like, okay, well, what other vegetables do you eat besides potatoes? It's like, well, I eat french fries. I eat mashed potatoes. Every once in a while.. But you kind of get the idea. It becomes very easy to kind of get into the I like these foods. They're simple, they're comfortable, they're cozy. But taking the time to have a variety in your diet is a challenge. But it's a challenge worth taking. And the kind of the beauty of this book is it will give you those ideas about which of the foods you should also be including. And I only say they're super foods because I don't think there's really such thing as a superfood. But they're called superfoods because they're not standard in the diet. Most of the time, the standard American diet doesn't have these. So you're saying, okay, I'm adding this food, and I'm having pomegranate, or I'm having a kee berry, or I'm having beets. And if those are not something that you eat on a regular basis, then what we're ending up with is it's a superfood, because the nutrients that were in that food, you're never getting otherwise.
[00:38:04.830] – Allan
And so having a good variety and understanding what's in the food is good. Like, we talked about Brazil nuts and selenium, I've known that you actually have to be careful with Brazil nuts because selenium can be dangerous if you get too much of it. So I ate a lot of Brazil nuts when I had them, but that's not something I would do all the time. It's just I managed to be able to get some down here, and I ate the crap out of them until they were gone. But I know that's not something I should do all the time because the selenium is good. I need it, but I don't need it all the time in the quantity I was eating it. So getting good variety, not thinking of any one food as special. All the food a whole rainbow all the way across are good, and she identifies, like, 100 of them in here. And so there's something that you're not getting. This is a good pick list for you to add some foods to your repertoire.
[00:39:05.670] – Rachel
I think that's a great idea because, like I said, I get stuck in a rut. I don't do a lot of the cooking in my house. Mike does, actually, most of the cooking. And my daughter even does a lot more cooking than I do because I get bored with the same recipe over and over again. But maybe flipping through the pages of her book or just browsing the produce area of the store a little bit longer, maybe I could pick out a new vegetable to try and have that highlighted in a couple of days worth of recipes for the week. But trying new things would be helpful for introducing that variety that I don't often do when I cook.
[00:39:41.990] – Allan
And a lot of us would go autopilot. We walk into the grocery store we always walk into, and we go right to the same place and pick up the same things. And we might say, oh, they've got fresh raspberries. I'll grab those. That might happen. But if you slow down when you're in the produce section and you go over where they have all that green stuff that's not just lettuce, there's all kinds of stuff over there like dandelion greens and mustard greens and greens, things like that. Things that you're not typically eating that you can add. And it's easy enough to go online today with the internet and just look up a recipe, okay, they've got dandelion greens and they've got collard greens. What's something I can make with those that I would enjoy? And then you just try it. And it takes effort, it takes the money. And to break through your channel the way you are kind of grooved, that takes effort. It's not something that just happened. So just making that point of slowing down when you're thinking about food and realizing it's nutrition, and when you have proper nutrition and you're getting enough protein and enough fat and all the things your body needs, it feels good.
[00:40:57.070] – Allan
And when your body feels like it's getting everything, it needs things to start working better. Your hunger signals and satiety signals work better. You stop eating when you're full because you're not needing something. You're not having all the urges that you may have been having for something. I need something salty, I need something sweet that tells you right there and maybe you don't need something salty or something sweet, but that's your body telling you for one reason or another, it's lacking in nutrition and not necessarily calories.
[00:41:28.930] – Rachel
And to look for the food that has the nutrients that you're needing. It was interesting how she went through the rainbow and was highlighting. Red foods are good for the antioxidants, and green foods are good for gut health and whatnot. I just forget about things like that when I'm staring at the produce in the grocery store. But I have those side effects. I do feel gut health every now and then. And I know I'm not eating a whole ton of greens right now, so maybe I need to hit the grocery store and pick up some greens.
[00:41:58.410] – Allan
Yeah, that would be a plan. And slow down and just walk around and see what they have there, because I think you'll be surprised with the variety. It just looks like a bunch of green stuff sitting there, and you're like, it's just all of it's just lettuce. And it's like, no, there's a lot of other stuff over there. And so just taking your time, getting a good variety of the foods, different colors, and then yeah, having a book like this or going through and at least understanding the nutritional value of some of these different foods that you don't get regularly, knowing that your body needs some of it and you're not having other foods that have it. It's like, okay, maybe I need to go ahead and get some more Brazil nuts, or maybe I need some oysters when I travel back to the United States. And I'm going to eat the crap out of oysters when I'm up there.
[00:42:47.710] – Rachel
Yeah. Get it when you can.
[00:42:49.230] – Allan
Yeah. And so that's kind of the concept. And unfortunately, our food companies, they try they iodize our salt, and it's bleached, terrible salt with iodine. And we need the iodine because we're not getting it from the other foods. And it's really because you can't get the foods anymore the way that we used to be able to, so now they have to supplement it. And so supplements, there's a time and place for them. But if you're eating the variety and you understand why she's calling this, why people would call these superfoods, it's because it's a nutrient that's not available in a lot of other foods in the quantities that you're able to get it from this food. So incorporating it in regularly is something that's going to make you feel better, function better, and lose weight, if that's what you're into doing.
[00:43:37.200] – Rachel
Sure. That sounds great. Sounds like a great book.
[00:43:39.760] – Allan
Yeah. All right. That's a pretty book, too. Lots of pictures of food. Eat before you go with it and start looking at your grocery store.
[00:43:52.570] – Rachel
[00:43:53.840] – Allan
All right, well, I'll talk to you next week, then.
[00:43:57.080] – Rachel
Take care. See you.
[00:43:58.420] – Allan
[00:43:59.310] – Rachel
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