Tag Archives for " food quality "
If you want high-quality, real food, you have to go to the source, the farmer. On episode 569 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Tyler Dawley of Big Bluff Ranch and discuss regenerative farming and food quality.
[00:03:01.290] – Allan
Hello, and thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness podcast. The day we were supposed to record this hello section and the discussion for this episode was the day that Rachel's husband, Mike was going in for surgery for his kidney cancer. I don't have a lot of details yet, but the surgery was successful. The doctor feels really good about it. Not a lot of details, but just want to let you know that that's why we won't have a hello section this week. We'll learn more next week. Otherwise, let's get on with the show.
[00:04:08.230] – Allan
Tyler. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:04:10.820] – Tyler
Great, thanks for having me. I'm excited.
[00:04:12.530] – Allan
I'm excited too. I've talked on the podcast quite a bit about how particularly when I was living in the United States, I made a habit of making friends with farmers, either whether it's at the farmers market or otherwise. I was always looking for farmers in my area to provide fresh, high-quality meat because I knew it would be better for me. And I could tell and know where that came from. It didn't get shipped across the world, across the country. The animals are humanely raised and it's someone that's actually looking out for not just a product, but looking out for their family. Because when you work on a ranch or a farm, that's how you feed your family.
[00:04:48.320] – Tyler
Absolutely true. I mean, we eat a lot of chicken around here.
[00:04:52.430] – Allan
I can imagine. So now your site says that you do regenerative farming. Can you kind of give us a definition, or at least your definition of what that means? And how is that different from the industrial agriculture chicken I'm going to find in a standard supermarket?
[00:05:09.340] – Tyler
So regenerative agriculture is this really cool, amazing thing that lots of farmers are moving into, but it's still a little bit of a Wild West. There is not a set definition of what regenerative agriculture is right now. So every farmer rancher is going to have a slightly different take on it. My take on it is that my job as the steward of our family ranch is to put as much life back into our soil and that it gets expressed back to us through plants, and that we can take those plants and raise our cattle on it, raise our chickens on it, and then that animal gets turned into food for our bodies. And that this regenerative agriculture is this big ball of goodness where you focus on any step of the chain, the animals or the ground, or the soil mobicrobes, or the health of the product or the health of the people. If you really kind of aim to make one link of that chain, the healthiest possible, it almost inexitably links back to everything else. So I can't really grow a super, amazingly healthy chicken for you without worrying about the pasture that it's on.
[00:06:22.800] – Tyler
And I can't really have a healthy pasture without worrying about the soil microbes and the water infiltration rates and take it the other way around. If I really want to worry about my water infiltration rates, where that's how much rainfall I actually absorb into our soil, which is we're in California. We're in a mega drought. So I think about a rain a lot right now. I want every single drop as much as possible to go straight into our soil because that's going to grow grass. Well, how do I encourage that rain infiltration? Well, I need a porous soil structure. How do I encourage a soil porous structure? Well, many cool things, but basically roots. Roots from plants. Okay. How do I get as many green plants as possible for as long as possible? Well, I'm talking about planting things. I'm talking about grazing it the correct way. Okay, great. Now I'm like talking about plants. Now, how do I graze those plants? Well, now I'm talking about cows or sheep or goats or chickens. What sort of chickens do I need to do to graze that plant? Well, I need a certain you see how it goes.
[00:07:28.900] – Tyler
It links all together. And so in my mind, if you can concentrate on any part of this whole food chain and take it to its most natural healthiest state, almost by default, your entire chain will have to production chain will have to be regenerative. So like I said, there's not really a good answer. You get one of us talking about it, and we're just going to go for a while.
[00:07:52.220] – Allan
Well, right. But the interesting thing is industrial agriculture, they just lay concrete and raise their chickens and kind of disregard the rest of it. So what fundamentally now, other than the pollution and other problems that's probably causing, what makes regenerative type farming the chickens that you're raising cows that you're raising better than the cows that I would get at, say, just a standard grocery store.
[00:08:18.210] – Tyler
Right. So the conventional birds now, and I don't want to point fingers at the farmers, at the system, any farmer you ever meet, all they're going to care about is the lifestyle of their birds. You just can't raise animals and not care about them. You may not know a better way, but you're doing the absolute best you can. So it's not like conventional farmers are evil. They just are kind of trapped in a system. But their system is really aimed at efficiencies and control and reducing the variabilities down to nothing. So they're raising big barns that they have fans on them. So the air intake is carefully regulated that, for instance, if they lose electricity, that there's no actual native air flow that they have suffocation that they control everything down to the air, to the light, to the feed, to how much space these birds have. And it's very, very close to being a factory as you possibly could get with a living creature. What we do, we pretty much try and go the exact opposite way. We're putting those birds back out onto pasture. They're out in the sun, they're getting a little bit hot, they're getting a little bit cold.
[00:09:29.810] – Tyler
They can huddle up together if they want. They can spread apart if they want. And just like humans, if you get some sun, you get some exercise, you have the right social environment, you're eating the right sort of food, you're just a healthier person. So it's the same thing with our chickens that we are trying to provide an environment to these chickens where they can be as much of a chicken as they possibly can be. Like I said, that kind of links back into the whole chain. A healthy, happy chicken has to be on pasture. That pasture pretty much has to be well managed. And if you have a healthy, happy chicken, it's going to turn into a healthy, happy meal that you get to sustain your body with, and then you become healthy and happy. It's this big, big thing. So it's all about finding the right system in Mother Nature. That's kind of what all this regeneration stuff is about, that Mother Nature is a really good hands off manager. She sets up systems and sets back and says, hey, this is a system. Here it goes. So example like the buffalo in the Midwest that they would be herded around by the wolves.
[00:10:37.700] – Tyler
And so plants evolve for raising heavily in a long rest period. Now, those bison maybe stay too long, or maybe they don't come back at the right time. They'll be ballpark correct, but they're not going to be precisely correct. Well, us humans, if we step up and we're like, oh, what is the Mother Nature's system? Okay, she needs to graze something down, have enough rest period that these plants are fully recovered before our animals come back. We can take Mother's Nature system and then actively manage it. We can go from a passive system to an active system. And as long as we're using her blueprint, we can do some pretty amazing things. So that maybe is another definition of regenerative agriculture, is using mothers of nature's blueprint in an active manner, not a passive manner.
[00:11:29.120] – Allan
I have a friend that I worked with in the industry when I was in corporate. And just about the time I was leaving corporate, he was leaving corporate. His wife's father ran a chicken farm, one of the standard big name, company sponsored little farms, and they would literally drop off a certain number of chicks at a certain point. Tell him the feeding schedule, the temperatures, everything he was supposed to do in between chick drop off. They go do an inspection, give him a list of things he had to have done before the drop off. Then they would come by when it was time to pick up the chickens and then he'd get ready for another load. And that was just his cycle. Like you said, it was very regulated. And he was told everything he was supposed to do, down to the exact amount of food to feed them each and every time and the type of food to feed them each and every time. Those chickens never saw the outside until they were basically picked up to go be harvested. You have over 2500 acres, so you're able to rotate these chickens around and make sure they're in an optimal environment for their lives.
[00:12:31.310] – Tyler
Yeah, that's the whole point of what we do is to with our chickens, with our beef, and we plan to get into goats and sheep next spring. That's another part of my regenerative answer, is that your farming should match your environment. That we're in California, we're Mediterranean climate, we're hot and dry in the summer, gets really kind of into the weeds, but it's a lot of fun. But anyways, it means that we should be growing lots of goat and sheep in California. We should be eating lots of goat and sheep in California. And that our meat cases here in California grocery stores should reflect the fact that we have a different environment. It should not look the exact same here in California as it does in New York State or Florida or I don't know what it would look like in Panama, but I imagine Panama still probably has lots of beef, lots of chicken, some pork. Anyways, I don't know. So the idea is that that's kind of what we're doing because we are trying to steward our landscape in an active manner according to Mother Nature's blueprint. Mother Nature wants small ruminants out here.
[00:13:35.400] – Tyler
So that's kind of what we're growing into. So we do chicken now. You can buy chicken from us. We'll have a little bit of beef here in the spring. And then we're just going to be growing and getting bigger and getting better at growing the exact right animal mix for Big Bluff Ranch to Hammond County, Northern California.
[00:13:54.490] – Allan
[00:13:54.890] – Tyler
It's pretty exciting. I get excited about that.
[00:13:56.920] – Allan
Yeah, that sounds exciting. I would enjoy that myself. I'm going to go into a grocery store and I'm going to see all of these words. And most of them, in my current opinion, is that they're just marketing words at this point. When someone sees something that's organic or a vegetarian chicken that laid an egg or omega three in the egg, what's going on there and where's the line between what this is actually what it is and then this is just a marketing thing?
[00:14:24.920] – Tyler
Right. So third party certifications is what we would kind of call that in the industry. Third party audit, some outside agency comes in and says, okay, you're doing things the way you say you're going to do. And they have a checklist of practices that they bring with them and they come to your operation and be like, have you done this? They do that, and then they run down the list. And so each one of those terms is regulated. So free range, vegetarian fed. Well, that might be an affidavit, but organic, you already kind of teed me up for this. It goes into this big ball of like green washing and self promotion and it's really tough to be able to make good choices when you go into the grocery store because these companies know that people want to eat good meat and they're willing to pay more for it. And they realize that all they have to do is slap a label on it and people are going to assume that they're getting what they're actually buying, or assume that what they're buying is what they want, which is not really the case. So case in point, one of my favorite pet peeves is vegetarian fed chicken.
[00:15:32.990] – Tyler
Chickens are not vegetarian in the slightest. They eat a lot of grass, don't get me wrong. But if they have any sort of red meat, live protein running around, they're after it bugs. So if you actually see something that's a vegetarian fed egg, that diet is actually counter to the most healthy diet a chicken should be eating. And that to get the protein into that diet that they could have gotten from animal proteins. They're doing weird convoluted exercises to get the right protein levels from plant sources. So vegetarian fed, that's just a complete bunk. Don't even bother. You're paying more for worse. Free range. Your first image of free range is like, oh, chickens. There's a red barn and green grass and white hens running around with the farmer in overalls and taking care of Julie here and Juliet over there. And that's not the case at all. Free range is one of these big conventional barns and that they have access to outside. That's it. Free range is access only and that's access only. That's not even saying that they use that access. What that means is that at a certain point in the animals production cycle, doors are open to let the birds go outside.
[00:16:53.830] – Tyler
Chickens are hugely creatures of habit and usually these doors are opened up well into their lifespan where their habits are pretty much just rock solid. And they're like, there's something weird about this wall. I know this is a solid wall, I can't go through it, but it's got a different color and there's something weird and blue out there. I'm not going out there. I don't know that. It's not the pasture raised birds that you expect from the term free range. They're not free range. They're living in a barn with access to outside. So yeah, free range is better than nothing. It is showing that they have taken some steps to improve the living condition of the birds. But it's not what you would expect because everyone always says, hey, Tyler, you guys are Pasture raised you must be free range. I'm like, well, we are so much more than free range. So the other standard would be organic. And now organic is a worldwide term. It's got a lot of regulations and stipulation, which means there's lots of loopholes there. But I think there's a lot to be said for making directionally the right choices.
[00:18:00.020] – Tyler
You can't be perfectly correct every time, but if you do the best you can, moving the forward in a good direction, it's better than nothing. And so even though there are tons of issues with organic, I think organic in general is better than non organic. It's a surprising amount of organics end up in the American animal production system. We get a lot of Chinese organic soybean and random commodities. Now, is that stuff organic product coming from China really, truly, 100% organic? Probably not. But is a bad organic better than a conventional operation? Yeah, I would say yes. So organic is something especially when you start talking about chickens, that's really only talking about their input. So it's talking about their feed. That means the feed has no herbicides, no pesticides in it, other controlled substances. That means the birds themselves are not being fed antibiotics, no growth hormones, although that's another tricky thing. Everyone always says no growth hormones on chicken. Chickens are not allowed to have growth hormones, so it's no growth hormone chicken, because you can't do it, you just can't do it. So it's just another silly marketing term, no antibiotics, but organics does not really talk about it does, but not a lot.
[00:19:24.290] – Tyler
It does not talk about outdoor access. You can be an organic chicken farm and keep them completely enclosed in a barn and in control every single environment. It's not perfect, but it's probably a lot better than just a conventional chicken that doesn't have any organic standards behind it at all. So you do get into a murky area when you're really trying to do this. So to get back to your point about knowing your farmer, I think that's really your best standard. And just talk to them and go with what they're doing. Even if they're a conventional farmer, just the fact that you can talk to them and that they're local and you're keeping a local farm in the rural community is hugely important. That the average age of the farmer, I believe, is 65 or 67 now. That we are just at the beginning of a huge cultural transition in agriculture, where our farmers are aging out, they're going to be done here in the next decade or two, and that there's no one really coming behind them and the ones who are coming behind them are struggling. And that you want to support as many of farmers as possible.
[00:20:34.080] – Tyler
Because what's happening is that big money likes to get into agriculture. Land is a really good place to store money. It retains value. So, for instance, I believe, I'm not 100% sure, but Bill Gates is now the largest land owner or the largest farmland owner in the United States, right?
[00:20:53.100] – Allan
I think it's actually both. Yeah. And it is predominantly farmland that he's buying. Yes.
[00:20:57.680] – Tyler
Right. And so that's one guy in charge of however many millions of acres do you really want? And I'm not even saying whether or not he's doing things right. I'm just saying that do you really want one person control over that much land? And he's not even a farmer. He's probably got some really smart farmers working for him. But ultimately you want small people who can touch the land. That there's this great saying, the best fertilizer is the footsteps of the farmer. Right. And that you want your farmer in your community taking care of your community. You don't want someone just down the road. You don't want to be bringing in stuff from Bill Gates. I mean, it's just..
[00:21:40.620] – Allan
The way I like to say it is this, this is the stuff you feed your family. I don't know what they feed their family. An executive at a poultry company. I don't know where they get the meat to feed their kids. It may or may not come from their company, but it's just one of those things. When I know a farmer lives on the land, you're taking care of the animals and they are the source of nourishment for you and your family.
[00:22:04.020] – Tyler
It's absolutely true. Just an example for you that this is a kind of a fun story. So we have been going the regenerative, organic, sustainable route since the early 80s. I was very short back then, but my dad, he was the one who started this change in the ranching structure. And there's this one really illustrative story he likes to tell at the time, and it's still somewhat commonly practiced. You can add to cows, you can give them growth hormones to steers for feedlot purposes. And that if you do that on farm before they go to feed lots, you get a little bit more pay. It's a bonus value added process. So you bring your calves in and you give them these subcutaneous growth pellets and it's shots. No one likes this. Your kids don't like shots. Calves don't like it. But you kind of do it. But there's some kicking and struggling and my dad shot himself with a growth hormone, a cow growth hormone, and nothing happened to him. He's still all around. He's totally fine. Finest he's ever been. Right? But he's like, I don't really particularly like having this chemical in my body.
[00:23:11.530] – Tyler
And then once you have that realization, you're like, I don't like it in my body. Why do I like it in my cow's body? Because if it goes into the cow's body, it's going to end up in my body. Right. So to your point about the farmer is eating his own food. That's exactly it. That we stopped doing those growth hormones in the mid 80s because my dad decided, I don't want to eat that. I don't want to do that to the cows, and I don't want to eat that. And so even before we started doing direct marketing our beef, we stopped because it wasn't right. We didn't believe in it. So it's a good metric.
[00:23:46.110] – Allan
So Big Bluff Ranch has been around for quite some time. Can you tell us a little bit about the history and where you are today?
[00:23:54.540] – Tyler
Sure. So my grandpa bought the ranch in 1960. So it was my mom's dad, and he was a city boy, and he had dreams of being a cowboy. And that's actually why we're called Big Bluff Ranch, because he told Graham, he's like, Graham, I bought a ranch. And he's like, she's no, he didn't. It's a big bluff. He didn't buy a ranch. Big Joker. And so he brought her up some time later and said, here you go, here's the Big Bluff Ranch. So that's why we were a Big Bluff Ranch, not because of our big hillsides, which we do have, but because Graham thought Grandpa was full of BS. And then my parents moved up here permanently. In the late 80s, agriculture changed in the we had to work a lot harder at making money. And that led my dad down the path of holistic resource management at the time, which was Alan Savory, who has a very well known Ted Talk these days. He is now called the Holistic management. He's in charge of the Savory Institute, and he's just got all sorts of cool stuff going on. And he is the one that kind of started us thinking about how Mother Nature farms.
[00:25:03.020] – Tyler
And so his central thesis, and it's a very small part of what he talks about, is he talked about the herds of wildebeest or what have you in Africa, and how they're herded together by lions and they eat everything here, and then they're gone, and then it rains and the grass grows back and then the wildebeest come back. And that it's a very fluid, ever moving system. And he came up with ways, among others, of how to take that natural process and apply it to our style of production. So for us, we don't use wolves, although that would be kind of fun. We use electric fences. So in the late 80s, my dad got into range management. Range management, which is taking care of your grass. If you want the grass becomes good, you want your animals to be eating your grass. And so in the 90s, we started changing our beef genetics. 2000, Michael Poland wrote an article in The New Yorker, I believe, called Power Steer, which really blew up the grass fed beef movement. And I graduated college in 2000 and was pretty much immediately at farmers markets. Farmers markets with our grass fed beef.
[00:26:10.220] – Tyler
Then we wanted to bring other prio teams there. So we tried goat, we tried lamb, which was fun, but no one ate it, although they should because it's delicious. We tried a little bit of chicken and we did not have fun doing it that first time. And we came up with the rule, four legs only. We're only going to raise animals with four legs. So the only animal left was pork. So we got into pasture pork and that was way worse than chicken. Oh my God. Because we had a really large population of wild pigs at the time. And so we had wild boars mating with our domestic sows our sows barrowing completely out of cycle in all sorts of random places. And the genetics of the piglets was weird because they were half Russian and half domestic, no good. So we got out of that eventually. Quickly we got back into chicken because no one else was either smart enough or dumb enough to get into chicken. I still haven't figured it out. Probably smart enough not to get into chicken. But we got into chicken. We got up to about 1800, had a year processing on farm, reached a processing bottleneck where he had to figure out what we were going to do next.
[00:27:19.450] – Tyler
And I ran into a guy who said he could sell more than he could raise, I could raise more than we could sell. That was about 2009. So for the past twelve years, or whatever the math is, we've been growing and getting better at producing pasture poultry at scale. Not very much as big bluff ranch, mostly under contract, growing or some wholesaling. COVID changed everything, as everyone well knows. And we decided that we didn't like the precariousness of only having one or two contracts, that we needed a, we wanted to talk to people we like, talking to people we like sharing the joy of what we produce and getting the feedback directly. Because our chicken is really good, really, really good. And you don't get that sort of feedback when you sell to a wholesaler. They don't care. They're like, here's your check. And like, oh great, how's the chicken?
[00:28:12.660] – Tyler
Bad. Good enough. And so that's what we're doing now. So we're going kind of back to our original roots of direct marketing, but not through farmer markets, through shipping it to your doorstep. So that's kind of who we are now. We're a super awesome pasture raised chicken operation who will ship chicken to your doorstep. So this is a funny story. Everyone always says it tastes like the chicken my grandma used to make. So yeah, your grandma definitely had her own good recipe, don't get me wrong. But what she really had is she had her own chickens in the backyard that were being raised on pasture in the sun eating grass that she would process and cook for you. That's what made her chicken so good. So when people get our chicken, they're essentially buying grandma's chicken. And so when they make their own recipe or use Grandma's recipe, they're like, oh my God, I finally figured it out. I know how to do it. It's like, yeah, you get a really good chicken and you get a really good grandma's chicken recipe. Kind of depends on the chicken. So that, I guess, would be our long story to the short point of us.
[00:29:15.040] – Allan
Well, Tyler, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:29:24.310] – Tyler
Three. So I personally am kind of in the paleo, ancestral, kind of go back to what we were designed to do type philosophy. I'm not like any sort of perfectionist by any means, but it really makes a lot of sense to me to do the things that your body was sort of meant to do. So I've gotten really into rucking these days. So I put on a heavy backpack and I take nice walks around the ranch. I'm actually posting little videos on LinkedIn these days. LinkedIn is actually my social media addiction. I don't know. I never really got sucked into Instagram. LinkedIn though, can't tell you why I love it. So I believe in kind of doing the things that your body was designed to do. So carrying heavy things. I like barefoot shoes. I'm actually wearing some barefoot shoes now, so I'm into that whole barefoot movement. I do also believe in getting sun at the right time. It just makes sense. So I don't know if I have anything particular or any specific tactic. I think all the ones you hear that kind of come from that like, hey, this is what we used to do as a species.
[00:30:33.190] – Tyler
I kind of believe that sort of stuff. And generally speaking, when I do it, I feel a lot better. So I'm like, well, feels good, so I'm going to keep doing it.
[00:30:42.260] – Allan
If someone wanted to learn more about you and Big Bluff Ranch, where would you like me to send them?
[00:30:47.570] – Tyler
Yeah, just come on over to bigbluffranch.com. You will see pictures of me, pictures of the ranch, the chickens, and how we raise them. And you can hit a Shop Now button. Buy some chicken if you think that's a good idea. And if you just want to keep chatting with me. I love talking to anyone about this sort of stuff. I've got contact info there tyler@bigbluffranch. Yeah, I think our phone number is on there too. You could just call me. My dad would probably answer the phone, but that's all right. He's pretty fun to talk to as well. Ask him about his growth hormone incident.
[00:31:20.490] – Allan
All right, well, thank you Tyler, for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:31:24.250] – Tyler
No, thank you for having me. It was great.
[00:31:34.970] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:31:36.420] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Another fun interview. I always like to hear how farmers get started or how people manage a ranch. The Big Bluff Ranch. Sounds like a really cool place.
[00:31:46.500] – Allan
It is. A lot of things we couldn't talk about on the podcast. But if you go to his website, they actually have a lake out there that you can fish. And you're not going to catch trophy fish out there, but you can go stay in a cabin and fish and swim and enjoy the lake. They're in Northern California, so realize that their seasons are limited when it's actually warm enough to maybe swim. But it's a cool place to go hang out. And if you run into Tyler, he'll talk chicken. I've always talked about get to know your farmer. Granted, you'd be buying this chicken from Northern California, but you would know your farmer. You know the family that's doing this. Like I said, his father is going to pick up, probably the one that pick up the phone and you can actually have a conversation with this farmer and he's going to tell you exactly how they raise their chickens and what it's like. And as a result, you end up with a better quality food product, which makes a better quality nutrition, which improves what you are. Now, these are not grocery store prices.
[00:32:51.570] – Allan
Not even if you look at organic and you know it says organic, it's going to cost more. But these are going to cost a lot more because this is not a mass produced thing. This is a family owned they're doing it themselves. They're processing it right there. And so this is not something that's put into a factory situation where all the chickens are living on concrete. Drop the food eight weeks, ship them out, slaughter them and ship them to the stores. This is a family doing this hand managed. So it's a very different environment.
[00:33:21.860] – Rachel
You mentioned that they might produce about one, 1800 hundred chickens or so per year versus your friend who has a turkey farm might get in maybe closer to a million chickens per year.
[00:33:32.080] – Allan
Yeah, well, that's what happens.
[00:33:34.930] – Rachel
[00:33:34.930] – Allan
Yes, it is. And so if you tickle, if you live down in the southeast, you see this a lot because that's where a lot of these chickens are done is there'll be chicken trucks and there's a truck and they literally like these little wire cages and they cram chickens in these low wire cages. And these trucks are driving down the road towards the slaughterhouse with thousands and thousands of these chickens. And it's literally just a factory. And they are just a product going into that factory. So it's not set up where the chickens are roaming around enjoying their lives. They're not. And so these chickens, I mean, literally, he's got pictures on his website. It's so cool. They're like out in the field and they're doing what chickens do. They're just hanging out. They're eating bugs and living their lives, eating grass and eating bugs and mice and snakes and everything else. But the important thing is he talked about the whole biosystem, and some things we didn't talk about was okay, in a normal industrial agriculture, they want to control everything. And granted, he wants to control what he can control, but he's not going to be out there killing the bugs because he knows the bugs are a part of the process to make the grass grow.
[00:34:45.240] – Allan
That's going to feed the cattle and the sheep and the goats, and then the birds are going to peck around there. Of course, the animals are going to go to the bathroom. That's going to potentially draw flies and maggots and other things. The birds are going to eat that. I know it sounds disgusting sometimes, but that's what they are. They're carnivores. They're little raptors is what they are. They're little raptors. They're going to eat what they're going to eat. And so you let them run around and you let them cuddle, and you let them have their time together and basically enjoy their lives instead of being crammed into a warehouse where they can't move and in many cases are brutalized. It's a very different thing. And so if you believe in the quality of your food and you're really working hard to make that better, organic is going to be better than not. Vegetarian is not better than anything else. It's a marketing term, so don't fall for marketing. Organic actually does mean a little something. It's better. Vegetarian does not mean better. Omega three does not mean better. So be careful with the wording.
[00:35:47.890] – Allan
And it was really hard because they're really good at advertising. And another word that Tyler and I talked about afterwards. Sometimes I should probably just leave the mic on because sometimes we're having really cool conversations after we get off the phone or off the recording. But I wanted to talk about the word natural. Natural means absolutely nothing, and it's true. In any kind of food product, you see the term natural. It means nothing. It has no meaning whatsoever. In fact, when you see natural flavors on a box, all that really means is that chemical for flavor exists in nature. Therefore, they can make it in a factory, they can make in a lab and call it natural because it already existed. We earned okay, like a vitamin. They can say it's natural because the chemical already exists, that they understand it, it's been identified, and then they can make it through this chemical process. They can call it natural. It means absolutely nothing. So there's a lot out there that's meant to mislead you to market. But here's the thing, whole foods are harder to do that, too, than boxes, cans, jars and bags. And so just as you go through this process, if you're trying to eat better, do better.
[00:37:04.780] – Allan
If you want to have something great, and you want to understand the difference when I say if your grandmother walked into a grocery store, she wouldn't recognize 95% of what she sees.
[00:37:14.400] – Rachel
[00:37:14.990] – Allan
Go ahead and buy one of Tyler's chickens or a couple of them, because I think he sells them in packs. They are not cheap. But you're going to taste the difference from what you're getting today and understand that. Then do the research and find someone close to you that does something similar, and you might find it for a better price. But if you want to try it, Tyler makes it very easy. You go to his website, you can order it. They'll ship it to you right to your door. I think you can buy, like, two chickens or six chickens or whatever ship to your door. Not cheap, but it's going to be high quality. You're going to enjoy the food, and you're going to recognize the difference between high quality, nutritious, well raised poultry and the stuff you're getting in the store.
[00:37:59.690] – Rachel
It's absolutely worth trying. It would be a surprise to do a taste test between what you get at the store versus a farm. We've got a couple of farms. As you know, I live kind of out in the sticks in a kind of a rural area we've got. Turkey Farm is right down the road, and the cousins of that family have a chicken farm on the other side of town. So it's great. It's if you happen to live in a rural area or near one, you can go check out your farmers and see what you can find. And it sure would be fun to have a taste test between the two.
[00:38:29.000] – Allan
Well, I think what I'm going to do, I wouldn't want to do a taste test because I'm not going to buy that crap if I have a choice. But anyway, one thing I think I'm going to do is when I go back to the States, my daughter Summer is getting married in May. When I go back, I'm going to check in with Taylor and see what a shipping time is and maybe have some chickens shipped to my mother's house in North Carolina.
[00:38:50.190] – Rachel
[00:38:50.750] – Allan
So when I go to visit her before the wedding, I can try a couple of his chickens.
[00:38:55.300] – Rachel
Oh, that would be cool.
[00:38:56.640] – Allan
I don't know when he'll get to the goats and the sheep and that type of thing. I'm cool with that. Tammy not so much for goats, sheep, or lamb. That's not her thing. But at any rate, I am. I'll eat it, but she wouldn't. But at this whole point, I think I'm going to give it a shot when I do travel back, is to try to have some of that ship to my mother's house so we can give it a shot and see how it is.
[00:39:16.240] – Rachel
[00:39:17.650] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, again, I hope everything goes well with Mike today that we're recording it, and we'll talk soon.
[00:39:25.490] – Rachel
[00:39:26.310] – Allan
[00:39:27.270] – Rachel
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Today, we meet Michele Stanford and I discuss her new book, Informed Consent: Critical Truths Essential to Your Health and the Health of Future Generations. The quality of food and health are closely linked. You'll learn more about why that's so during today's interview.
Allan (1:33): Michele, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
Michele Stanford (1:38): Thank you, Allan. I’m very happy to be here.
Allan (1:41): The book we’re going to talk about today is called Informed Consent. It’s interesting when I see the title; it seems very serious and very legal. And some of the history you taught in there, you’ve done your research, I have to admit. You have really impressed me with the research that went into this book to not only understand what is going on today, but why and where it came from. So the history all the way up to today to bring someone all the way into what has happened to our healthcare system, what has happened to our food, why are we unwell, why are we all sick, and what we can do about it? Excellent book, and like I said, it comes off very, very serious because it is a very, very serious topic.
Michele Stanford (2:35): Yes, it is. It really was a labor of love and it began with my own health issues and trying to find answers on my own, because my doctors just were not able to help me. I was at a point where I really had to figure out what is wrong with me and how do I fix it. As I began researching, I went down all these different rabbit holes and began learning. As a former educator, I love learning anyway. So, I was just fascinated and I thought if I didn’t know all this, there are many other people who don’t know this either. That was the catalyst for writing the book.
Allan (3:23): I really enjoyed your story part of it. I guess I’m not going to say “enjoy”; that was probably the wrong word to say, but I felt what was going on with you and how you were going through a difficult time and you were trying to find the answers. In some cases your doctor really wasn’t all that helpful. But you knew there was something out there. And what I find almost somewhat appalling is that there’ll be a study that will tell us that bacon causes cancer or something causes cancer, but then we have another study that comes back and says, “No, we actually studied it again and it’s fine.” The problem is that this is not new stuff. The things that we’re learning about nutrition or supposed to be learning about nutrition now with the studies, a lot of the information that’s truly coming out as being the end-all answer, came out of a doctor who was actually a dentist named Dr. Weston A. Price. This was back in the ‘30s that he was doing the bulk of his work initially. Can you tell us a little bit about Dr. Price – what he was doing, why he was doing it and what some of his findings were?
Michele Stanford (4:42): Yes. I found that completely fascinating as well. Dr. Weston A. Price was a dentist, and in the ‘20s particularly, he noticed that there was a huge rise in the amount of cavities in individuals, and he couldn’t figure out why. He wanted to know why this was happening all of a sudden. So, what he did was he used his own monies because he didn’t want to be influenced. Other people and companies offered to finance him on his trips and he refused their monies because he wanted a completely unbiased research and discovery of what was going on. So his hypothesis was that it was the food and the nutritional deficiencies that were causing the rise in the cavities, and deformities too, of the shape of the mouth and the arch.
And so, he visited indigenous peoples around the world, in Switzerland, Alaska, Australia, Africa, South America, and all of these people groups that visited were isolated from modern society. Their only food sources were what they sourced locally. They did not have any industrialized foods, so everything that they consumed was what he considered nutrient-dense. And what he found was they were healthy, they had no cavities. These are people who are not visiting a dentist regularly. So they had no cavities, they had perfect vision, they had perfect arches, their teeth were perfectly formed, they were vibrant and healthy. And what he also observed was that as these people groups began to incorporate modern foods, industrialized foods into their diet, within a generation, they began to have cavities, their arches were becoming deformed, they began to form diseases and there was all this degeneration that was happening, within one generation, which to me is amazing.
He wrote a book – it’s really a tome – and he completely lays out all of his findings. It’s very detailed. He was a scientist along with being a dentist. What he found was that nutritional deficiencies are really the cause of degeneration, and not genetics. We think of genetics as being a cause of why we have diseases, but it was more nutrition, or lack of nutrition, that was the cause.
Allan (7:42): It’s fascinating. He didn’t necessarily step into the whole model, because that model didn’t exist, of epigenetics, but we now know that we turn on and off genes that are going to make us well or make us unwell, and we pass on that setting set to our offspring. If we’re not eating well as we grow up – so we’re growing up eating Twinkies, Big Macs, Coca-Colas and Dr Peppers – then you end up basically passing on not just a genetic scheme but the epigenetics settings for an unhealthy child. And then that goes to the next generation. When you break it on down and look at the incidents of diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s – we’re creating that with our food.
Michele Stanford (8:41): Correct. And not just food; toxins too. Skincare, cleaning products, anything that goes on our skin, things we breathe in, the toxins in our food too. It all creates those metabolic changes that you talk about, epigenetic changes. And they are transgenerational, which means that for a woman of childbearing age, what she eats today and what she uses on her skin and the cleaning products that she uses today, can affect her great grandchildren, because of the changes that happen that are caused. What happens is that one gene may get turned on that normally would have been turned off, or vice versa – a gene that would have been turned off gets turned on that causes disease. So, all of the things that we’re doing are detrimental to our health.
Allan (9:44): Now, there is hope in all this. Actually one of the stories you said in the book was that a woman was effectively not living a good lifestyle; had a child and her daughter had issues. And she cleaned up her nutrition, cleaned up some of the toxicity in her life. Her second child was much healthier.
Michele Stanford (10:10): Yes. He relates that story as proof it can happen within a generation, meaning she had been deficient nutritionally on her first child. She had terrible labor. It took her a long time to recover from labor. The child was anxious and stooping and had all of these physical deformities. Four years later, she had changed her diet, she had gone back to a nutrient-dense diet. She was in labor for three hours. She recovered very quickly and her child was very healthy; much healthier than the older sibling. So, while these changes do happen in a generation, they can happen within a generation. It speaks to the power of food and nutrient-dense foods to promote health.
Allan (11:08): I can’t agree more. The message of hope is that we can make changes today and that’s going to help us in the future. While most of us are past our child-rearing years, this is a message we can pass on to the next generation – let’s fix these things and make things better. So if they start seeing the changes in us, then hopefully that will start it. Plus, if we just change our shopping habits, which I want to get into in a moment, that’s going to change a lot as well.
Michele Stanford (11:39): Absolutely.
Allan (11:45): When I walk into a grocery store, I just see shelf after shelf after shelf of “not food”. I’ve come to recognize that those shelves, all the way from one end to the other, 90% of the stuff that’s in there, it may all be dishwashing liquid as far as I’m concerned, and dish powder, and laundry powder for you to wash, because I don’t want to eat any of it now. That’s all fake food. In your book you go through and you pick one thing that you used to really like, but you did a very good detailed breakdown of what was in these Cheez-Its. I don’t want you to go through all that, because that was pretty deep and dark, but can you go through and talk about what is this fake food stuff that we’re being fed now, and fed mass quantities and advertised to?
Michele Stanford (12:46): First of all, a lot of the ingredients are inferior, that they begin with. And then they take those ingredients and they denature them. They take what was real food and strip it of everything that was good about it. And then they add those things back in in a synthetic form, which our bodies do not recognize. A lot of the ingredients are GMO ingredients, which I think we’re going to talk about later. A lot of the ingredients come from factory farmed animals, which are sick and dying animals. They’re just full of chemicals. The way that they create these processes, for instance, the way that they create the flour and the oils – they have to use chemicals. They use bleach, they use hexane, which is a neurotoxin. The EPA monitors the release of hexane into our environment. So all the residue of these chemicals are left into the food. When they get finished, it’s not even real food at all. It’s just an industrialized product that is marketed as food.
Allan (14:05): And as I said, that makes up 90% of what’s in most grocery stores today. We instruct people to shop around the perimeter of the store, because that’s where you’re going to find regular food. But even that, 90% or more of that is industrialized farming and other things that we’re doing to the animals, to the plants that are kind of stripping it of any true value as a food. I call it “industrial food”. I’m sure there are a lot of different names we can throw out there about it. Some of the practices are quite horrific. Could you take some time to go through and explain to me why when I walk into my vegetable section, most of those vegetables are not actually good for me, or might actually be harmful to me? And when I get over to the meat section, why most of that is a problem? And of course when I get to dairy and I’ve got the milk and eggs and cheese, and again, another set of problems. Can you talk through those? As I’m walking around my grocery store, I’m kind of visualizing where things are. What am I actually looking at that’s keeping it from being real food?
Michele Stanford (15:19): Okay. We’ll start in the produce section because that’s usually the first section people walk into in a grocery store. Farming has become kind of a monoculture. So you’ll have one particular farmer and all he farms and all he grows is one particular vegetable. There’s no crop rotation. He sprays his vegetable with pesticides and herbicides. The soil has been depleted of any nutrients, so they have to put all these fertilizers in the soil to get it to grow. And so, the vegetables are not nutrient-dense like what Dr. Price talked about, because if the soil is not full of nutrients and teaming with all the beneficial enzymes and minerals, then the plants are also deficient. So there’s that.
When we get to the meat section, those animals in factory farms – it’s deplorable conditions. I go into some detail about that in the book. I don’t give all the details, because it’s horrific. It is horrific, the way these animals are treated. They’re not in their natural environment. They’re inside buildings. They are in tins that they can’t even turn around in. They are sick. They’ve been given hormones. They are fed food that is not natural to them. For instance, cows are herbivores. They thrive on grasses, but they’re given grains and they have trouble digesting those grains. So, they’re constantly given antibiotics and hormones to make them grow faster. When the female cows give birth, their calves are immediately taken from them. So there’s a lot of stress, and as you know, stress causes an inflammatory response, so they get more infections and they’re just sick. Poultry – please don’t be deceived by the labels of “cage-free”, because all that means is that they’re not in a cage. It does not mean that they actually have grass. There might be an opening in the chicken house for them to get outside, but there are hundreds of thousands of chickens in one house. If you’re at the opposite end of the door, that chicken’s never going to make it outside. They live in cramped conditions. It’s just horrific; it is absolutely horrific. They do everything they can to make sure that animal is alive, to make it to the truck, to make it to slaughter. So we’re eating sick animals. How can we expect to be healthy and receive proper nutrition from animals that are sick and dying?
The dairy industry, as I talked about cows a minute ago – they’re sick. They’re just sick. And then they pasteurize the milk, which denatures the proteins in the milk. Raw milk from pastured cows is full of enzymes and bacteria that help us break down those proteins that are typically harmful and people have trouble digesting. But the animals are just sick. Our vegetables are deficient in any kind of nutrients. And we’re not even talking about the processed foods that are in the grocery store – those are industrial, they’re full of chemicals, if they’re even food at all. Everything that we’re eating is just deficient in what we need to be healthy and vibrant in our lives.
Allan (19:39): Like I said, 90% of the food in there that was supposed to be food is this fake food in boxes, cans, jars and whatnot. And then even if you try to walk the perimeter, now you’re getting food that’s not as nutritious. It was effectively bred to be resistant to the herbicides, be resistant to the pesticides. It was made such that it could be hauled long distances, and then ripens right there, before they get it to the store. So basically a big wholesale system of moving this food that now lacks a lot of what we need.
It’s funny because like you, I grew up in the country, so we had chickens, we had plum trees and we grew a garden. We did the weeding – the kids got down and we pulled the weeds. If we saw some bugs in there, we would treat a little bit for the bugs, but not unless we noticed something. Whereas today they just go ahead and spray, assuming they have bugs and they don’t want to even bother with it. And then the plums that come off a tree… I go in now and look at these plums, the plums are three times bigger, they’re three times or four times or 10 times sweeter, and they’re perfect. Whereas the plums we used to get, all looked a little different, almost none of them were pretty, but we didn’t care because they were going to go into a jam or they were going to go into my mouth right there as I was picking them. The chickens were providing us eggs. We named the chickens and we knew everything that went into those chickens as they were eating around the yard. They were pecking and getting what they needed. But they were never stressed; they were just allowed to be chickens. We just don’t have that. When I would think of a cow and I think anyone would think you have this open field, a few acres, and there are maybe a couple of cows on it. But that’s not what’s happening with the industrialization of our food and trying to get food to us. I’ve said this on the podcast many, many times – the farmers’ market and some co-ops are your best opportunity to fix this by getting real food. So, in a nutshell, Michele, if you had to define “real food”, what would that mean to you?
Michele Stanford (22:15): Real food. My favorite day of the week is the day that I go to the farmers’ market. I have gotten to know my farmers, they’re my friends. To me real food first of all is not processed, it’s not been refined in any way whatsoever. It is in the natural state of that food as it comes out of the ground, or from a healthy, happy animal. The vegetables have been grown in soil that has been amended and has been taken care of, it has been tended to in such a way that it is completely full of all the nutrients and the vitamins that we need, so they’re nutrient-dense. Real food is what I call nutrient-dense food. Now it really is important. You have to seek that out. Even some of the organic food in the grocery store is not as nutrient-dense. I mean, it’s a better option than some of the other things in the grocery store and if that’s all you can do, then please do that. But real food is the ingredient, and we’ve got to get back to sourcing our food. And it’s worth every amount of energy that you can put into to source locally produced foods. That was one of the things that Dr. Price emphasized too. And like you’ve said, the food was not shipped from another country or across the country. It’s whatever is grown locally, that’s what you need. That’s what your body needs. It’s so important to find locally sourced foods, and it’s worth it to even travel an hour to find a local farmers’ market. You can ask them, “What are your farming practices? Do you use any chemicals? If so, what are you using?” They are more than happy to talk about what they do and to tell you and explain to you. But real food that’s not been stripped, that’s not been processed in any way whatsoever – that’s real food.
Allan (24:43): I think the more this message gets out there and the more we, as the consumer, it’s our wallet. And unfortunately there’s no advertising to sell zucchinis. The farmers’ market that’s selling the zucchinis that they picked this morning before they went out there – there’s no advertising for that. But they’ve got multimillion dollar budgets to advertise Pringles or Cheez-Its, and they’re buying Super Bowl commercials. So you see the money that’s in this food product that they’re able to spend to get you to buy it. Most of the commercials you see on the Super Bowl are car commercials and food commercials.
Michele Stanford (25:31): Right. And we’ve been conditioned to believe that these companies have our best interests at heart. They show us these warm, fuzzy commercials, families sitting around eating whatever processed food they brought home from the grocery store, and they’re happy and they’re healthy. It’s just not the case. We’ve been conditioned also to believe that allergies are normal. It’s not normal. If you have a skin condition – cczema or psoriasis – that these things just happen and it’s okay, and we’ll just take this pill or that pill and it makes it better. These things are not normal. We’re just conditioned to accept whatever comes our way physically as being normal. These companies are in the business to make money. They’re not in the business to make sure that you’re healthy. It’s up to us as individuals, it’s up to us as women, as moms and dads to make sure that we are nourishing our families with nutrient-dense foods. We’ve got to stop the deception and wake up and realize that these companies are not about what’s good for us. They are only about what’s good for their bottom line.
Allan (27:05): Yes. That’s why there’s not going to be a ton of experimentation, unless it’s happening in a university setting where they’re going to look at food in a way that we really need them to look at food. And even then, the influence that study will have over the policy makers isn’t necessarily as strong as the lobbying effects of what big food can do. So we talk about experiments and I’ll say today we are all subjects of probably the largest food experiment of all time. The sad part of it is, most of the time when a study goes wrong, they pull it, they say, “Oh my God, we’re killing people. We’ve got to stop.” Ethics just say “Stop”. But we’re going through something now with a product called Roundup. They came up with seeds that could survive Roundup. We don’t know what the seed will do to us, and we actually do now know a little bit more about what Roundup will do to us. But we’re ingesting this stuff every single day. Our children are ingesting this stuff, our grandchildren are ingesting this stuff. Can you take a few minutes to talk about the whole thing about Roundup and why it’s so insidious?
Michele Stanford (28:32): Yes. The active ingredient in Roundup is called glyphosate, and it originally was created as a chelator. What a chelator does is it binds in the ingredients and metals and minerals and pulls them out. Let’s back up a little bit. We’ll just go ahead and call them out – Monsanto wanted to create seeds that they could spray, because they have these huge fields, let’s just say of corn, and they’re overrun with weeds and it’s too costly to hire people to come in and weed. So, they created genetically modified organisms, or genetically engineered organisms is really the more appropriate term, that could resist being sprayed. And they found a bacterium in their waste dump that was resistant to the glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. And so they took that bacteria and they spliced it into the DNA of the plant, so that when the plant grows, it’s now resistant to the glyphosate. So it’s sprayed on everything. And it’s not just the glyphosate. We talk a lot about glyphosate. Recently, when I wrote the book, there were hundreds of lawsuits being filed. Since having written the book, one of those lawsuits has actually gone to trial out in California. The plaintiff’s name was Lee Johnson. He was a custodian at a school and he used glyphosate on the playground there and he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When they won, it was an amazing victory. Monsanto for all these years knew that it was cancer-causing. The World Health Organization in 2015, after some studies had come out and said that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen. And Monsanto have known this all along. It’s horrible, but it’s not just the glyphosate. The surfactants that are also in Roundup, open up the cell membranes, so that the glyphosate can actually get into the individual cells. So when the glyphosate in Roundup is sprayed onto the plants, you can’t wash it off because it’s been driven into the actual cells. So it’s not like it’s just on the surface of the plant. It can’t be washed off, so we are constantly ingesting it. And it doesn’t just cause one kind of problem. It causes about 14 different processes to happen simultaneously. It’s not like maybe this one will happen, or this will happen. No, it’s all 14 of these processes that it disrupts in the body simultaneously, which is why we have so much cancer.
Allan (32:25): I agree. I want to take a step back to the chelation, because that’s the one you really have to wrap your head around what that means. And I want to slow you down there, because when something binds to something else, basically it means it’s unavailable. So I just ate, say, an apple, or some corn, and I expect to get certain minerals from that meal. My body needs those minerals. But because of the glyphosate attaching and binding to those minerals, I’m not getting those in my food. So if I have the corn and then I’m also trying to get calcium from something else I eat that night, that’s now all in my system and they’re going to bind, and that calcium is going to leave my system.
Michele Stanford (33:21): Right. The glyphosate that’s sprayed on to whatever vegetable, whatever product, it binds with the minerals that we are getting, the few of the minerals that are in the foods we’re eating, and it’s pulling them out of the body. So it acts as a chelator in our bodies when we ingest it. It’s also an antibiotic. So, we’re ingesting that.
Allan (33:46): So it’s messing up with our gut biome. Every one of those processes is important. Cancer is a big, big thing, but there’s so much more to it. What I try to tell people is, if you look at nutrition and you truly understand, most people say, “I can’t afford organic.” And I’ll say, one, you look at what the healthcare costs are. I know that’s really hard to wrap your mind around, but here’s the other side of it. When you’re eating nutritionally-dense food, you don’t have to eat as much of it.
Michele Stanford (34:21): Correct.
Allan (34:25): If I walked into a normal steakhouse, I’m not going to say “No” to the stake they’re serving. It is what it is. I’m there to eat; I’m with friends or whatever. I’m not going to sit there and say, “I can’t eat this.” I’m going to eat it, but I know for me to get the nutrition out of that steak, I’m going to have to eat the whole 12-ounce or 16-ounce steak. And I am.
Michele Stanford (34:46): That’s a lot.
Allan (34:47): It is. That’s three to four servings, is what it actually is. Versus I can cook four ounces of grass-fed steak and feel satiated, because I got the nutrition I needed from that stake. Everything about your hunger hormones and everything that’s going on in your body, it gives you that message because it turns on and says, “We’re getting good nutrition here, so let’s pay more attention.” Whereas, “He’s chewing, but I’m not getting any signals that we’re getting what we need.” That’s a big, big chunk of this.
Michele Stanford (35:26): Right. And so, as it’s chelating, it’s pulling out the minerals. The body’s not getting those minerals, vitamins and the things that we need. So that hunger mechanism is still in process and it’s telling us that it needs more nutrition. And so, it’s never satiated, as you say. We still feel hungry even after we’ve eaten a big meal.
Allan (35:49): I think that’s a core element here as we look at overall health. It’s making us eat more of the foods that we shouldn’t be eating, because we’re looking for things that we need, which we know we can get from nutritionally-dense real food. It really is upsetting that we have to actually now use the term “real food”.
Michele Stanford (36:08): Yes, that we have to take the adjective. And also a lot of the processed foods are intentionally created to be addictive.
Allan (36:21): I was talking about a Super Bowl commercial and I’ll just deflect to this for a second. The guy is eating Pringles; it’s pizza Pringles. He says, “Mmm, pizza.” I’m going to call him the victim. He had two friends with him and they each had their own flavor. So one of the other guys has chicken flavor and he hands it to him. He puts two of them together and he says, “Mmm, chicken pizza.” The other friend hands him the barbecue chip. And he puts them all together and says, “Mmm, barbecue chicken pizza.” And I’m thinking the lesson of this is not to tell you that they have three different flavors. The lesson here is to tell you you need to be eating multiple chips at one time to create your own taste experiment. And I’m thinking this is insane, that they’re teaching people to eat three chips at a time. But again, they’ve got the money to do it.
Michele Stanford (37:18): It’s a whole industry. The food creating flavor is an entire industry.
Allan (37:22): Yeah. So Michele, I define “wellness” as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
Michele Stanford (37:35): Only three. Nutrient-dense foods. As Dr. Weston A. Price said, the biggest driver of disease is our food is lacking in nutrient density. So, seeking out the most nutrient-dense foods you can find is probably the number one thing you can do for your health. It is the number one driver of everything else. Sleep is not something that we think about a lot of times as something that we should be doing for our health, but receiving adequate sleep, restorative sleep is so, so important for our health. Daylight saving time is an absolute menace to society, because it’s disruptive. It disrupts our circadian rhythms, and that is the time when our bodies detoxify. It is the time when the body repairs itself. So many people are sleep deprived or they’re not getting really good restorative sleep.
So that’s the second thing I think that’s really important that we overlook quite often. There are other things, but I want to mention this one thing that some people don’t think about, and that’s trauma. Anytime we’ve been through any kind of trauma, particularly as children, and it can be physical trauma, it can be emotional trauma – our bodies hold on to that. And if you’ve done all kinds of things to get well and you’re still struggling and you’re still having some problems, that’s another area to look into to see, did you suffer any kind of adverse childhood experience, or even as an adult? Have you suffered any kind of extreme physical trauma or extreme emotional trauma? Working through that is a huge piece of wellness. If you’ve done all of the other things that you needed to do, but you’re still not quite where you want to be, that’s one more area that we can look at to bring you into wellness.
Allan (39:55): Excellent. Michele, if someone wanted to get in touch with you or learn more about the book Informed Consent, where would you like for me to send them?
Michele Stanford (40:05): They can go to my website. It’s MicheleStanford.com. There is a “Get In Touch With Me” button there. There’s also the social media, where they can follow me on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. So they can use that to get in touch with me.
Allan (40:27): Alright. You can go 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/356, and I’ll be sure to have links there for you to find Michele and be a part of what she’s doing over there. Michele, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
Michele Stanford (40:43): Thank you for having me. I’m really happy to be here and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. Thank you so much.
Allan (40:56): I hope you took something valuable away from today’s program. It’s a very important topic for us to understand our food supply and understand our healthcare system and how that impacts our wellness. If you did enjoy today’s episode, would you please leave us a rating and review on whatever application you’re listening to this podcast on? It really does help the podcast, so I really appreciate each and every review that’s out there. I read each one and I do take them to heart to make the show better for you. So thank you for that.
We are just now starting to see the first bits of winter here, even down in sunny Florida. I was up in North Carolina for Thanksgiving week with my mother and my family. It was really nice to have that family time. And now we’re settling back into getting the house ready for Christmas and actually getting ready to put it on the market, which is a little scary, that we might actually sell our house out from under ourselves and not really have anywhere else to go for a little while. But we’ll figure that out. Obviously, a move to Panama like we’re planning, has a lot of ups and downs, little things going on here and there. Not to mention that I’m trying to launch a book, The Wellness Roadmap, so lots of moving parts. We’re less than a week away from the book going live, so another big, exciting thing going on in my life. Lots going on in my life, but it’ll all settle down soon enough.
If you haven’t checked out The Wellness Roadmap, you can go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com. We also have pre-orders on the ebook. I’m offering it for $0.99 on Kindle for a limited time. We’ll launch the book, we’ll leave it up for probably five, seven days maybe, let some folks have the book for next to nothing, leave some ratings and reviews. Amazon is one of those interesting companies that quite frankly will not show your book to other people if there aren’t any ratings and reviews. So, this book could die on the vine if it doesn’t have the support of readers like you. So, thank you so much for all the ratings and reviews that you’re going to leave on The Wellness Roadmap. I really do appreciate it. It’s been a labor of love. It’s definitely been a labor, but it’s been something I’ve enjoyed learning from and doing. So, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness and thank you for all of your support.