#295 Evan Brand and Keith Norris on Conventional Medicine's Blind Spot

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This interview was part of the health summit put on by my friend Keith Norris, the founder of PaleoFX. You can checkout the full summit interview list here: http://evanbrand.com/hacker

Today We Discuss:

  1. Missing piece in the conventional, Western approach to medicine

  2. Therapeutic / symbiotic relationship between humans, parasites and worms 

  3. Why stomach acid level is vitally important!

Traditional Medicine’s Blind Spot

Guest: Evan Brand

The contents of this presentation are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This presentation does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Keith: What’s up, everybody? Keith Norris back again, co-founder of Paleo f(x) and your host for Health Hacker f(x): The Insider’s Guide to Biohacking Genetics and Personalized Medicine. And today’s episode, Mr. Evan Brand!

Evan is a podcast host, certified functional medicine practitioner, and nutritional therapist. He’s passionate about healing the chronic fatigue, obesity, and depression epidemics after solving his own IBS and depression issues. He uses at-home lab testing and customized supplement programs to find and fix the root cause of a wide range of health systems.

Evan Brand, how are you doing today, sir?!
Evan: Hey, Keith! Good morning! I’m doing awesome.

Keith: Right on! Evan and I go back a little bit, I think way back to the second Paleo f(x). It’s about that far, I think. Yeah.

Evan: It was. I put together a little stress panel, which you and your wife graciously approved. And we had Nora Gedgaudas on stage, and Ben Greenfield with us. And we had fun, man! I loved it. The room was packed. Everyone was starting to realize...This was before smartphones were as addicting as they are now. And people were still already addicted to their phones. But they were stressed. And I knew that something was going to continue to get worse, like technology. I mean, it’s good, but bad. So a lot of people resonated with that conversation. People think of stress as just emotional stress. But it’s so many other things. And I’m sure we’re going to hit on that. And I’ll make sure to tie that in to today’s conversation, too.

Keith: Right. Well, technology, social media, stress in general, like everything, there’s a yin and yang to it all. There’s a good and a bad. There’s good stress. There’s bad stress. There’s good aspects of social, bad aspects of social media. It’s funny. I was just listening to the Elon Musk interview with Joe Rogan. And he was talking about how he has issues with social media. And you tend to think of people like Elon Musk being above it all and beyond all that. And he still says that he gets sucked in to negative Twitter comments.

Evan: Right! I listened to that interview, as well. That’s part of the reason he deleted his Instagram account. He said because the people you see on there, they portray their life as if they’re so happy. But those are the most miserable people. And the people who don’t post much or don’t act like they’re happy, those could be the happiest people.

Yeah, I’m a big fan of Elon. I drive a Tesla. I love it. It’s the greatest car in the world so I highly recommend people do it if you can because one of the things that I do with my clients is I test for toxic chemicals. And most of the people I test, they’re off the charts. And I was off the charts, which is why I finally said, “I’m pulling the plug on fossil fuels.”

I test a chemical that’s called MTBE and ETBE. These are gasoline additives, which we added to gas to improve the octane ratings. And this is something we added after we removed led from gasoline. And it’s a neurotoxin. So it kills brain cells. It’s a hepatotoxin. So it can really, really affect a lot of body systems.

My levels were off the charts. I had a lawn care business when I was a teenager. So I’m sure I was breathing in more gas than the average person. But every time you go to the gas station and you’re pumping gas, you’re breathing that stuff in. And if you accidentally get a drip of it on your hand, that stuff dissolves into the bloodstream.

I’ve got a video. One day I’m going to do a YouTube video with it. I just haven’t yet. But I’ve got a video of me back in 2016, my last gas pump when I had my Honda Accord. I was like, “Okay, guys. This is it. This is the last time I’ll ever pump gas.”

So I always push people, even if you get a Nissan Leaf, those are even on the market now used for so cheap. And that’s just one less toxin in your bucket, if you can avoid gas. And I tell women, too, get your husband to pump it because women generally are smaller. And so toxins affect women generally more than men.

So the only thing I don’t like that Elon’s doing—which maybe we’ll get into today—is the wireless internet program, where he’s hoping to put 7,000 satellites up in space and beam a 5G signal down to the planet. I just feel like we should probably try to study this a bit first before we just go gung ho into it.

Keith: Right. That might bake a few people.

Evan: So I have a client up in Seattle. And as soon as the 5G is rolling out in Austin...It’s rolling out in Seattle...It’s rolling out in Chicago, L.A., New York City, a few other places, Miami. I had a lady who got one of the small cell towers, which are the new technology they have to implement usually every 3 to 4 houses for the 5G speeds so you can download a YouTube video in 1 second, and as soon as that little tower got installed, she started losing clumps of hair. She sent me a picture. She’s like, “I just lost this clump of hair. I’ve never had this happen in my entire life.”

And, now, we can’t say correlation is causation, but I’m having a lot of people in these big cities that didn’t have X, Y, Z symptom. And then all of a sudden the 5G is rolled out, and they had this new symptom. So I just feel like we want to study stuff a little bit better. There was no long-term studies on Wi-Fi even before we fully put that in every Starbucks and Whole Foods and everywhere else.

Keith: And it’s hard to place blame on any one thing because it’s all a problem: vaccines, 5G, every additive in gasoline. You could just go down the list, down the list, down the list, down the list. And it’s a cumulative issue. And finally each individual system hits that tripping point where it’s, okay, so maybe for you the 5G was the last straw, boom, on the camel’s back, and that cracked it?

And was it the 5G? Yeah, the 5G. But it was also the 50,000 other things that added up to that point to where you were right on the precipice. And that was just the final pfft.

Evan: Yeah. I think of it like a bucket, too. Everything is a drop in the bucket. It’s like, you eat one non-organic meal. You go out to a restaurant. You ate a

conventional meal. And you get some toxins. So, okay, maybe that’s not going to destroy you. But now we know even parts per billion of glyphosate can kill your good bacteria in your gut.

So I tell people it’s not that I want you to be neurotic and just be so focused on health that you become miserable because you can definitely do that. But you just want to try to uncover as many things as you can. You want to flip over as many rocks as you can. And then, “Okay, I can fix this. I’m going to go organic. I can filter this water and avoid pharmaceutical drugs. I can not pump gas or have my husband do it or try to get an electric car. Or I can buy an electric lawn mower.”

I’ve got an electric push mower. Now I’ve got quite a bit of grass. So that doesn’t cut it anymore. But I did have an electric riding mower, but then I realized it took me 5 hours to cut it. So then I just hired somebody else to do it.

Keith: Good plan. Yeah. Where was I going to go with that. I had the total question I was going to ask, and you brought up the lawn mower. And it totally slipped my mind. So I’ve got other things I’m thinking about here.

Let’s talk about your own IBS and depression issues. So when did you notice them? And when did you figure out a fix for them?

Evan: So I had issues as long as I can remember as a kid. But I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal to go into a building or a restaurant and have to figure out exactly where the bathroom was as soon as you go in in case you’ve got to go run and poop out of nowhere. I thought, Okay, everybody’s got to figure out where the bathroom is.

But for me, as a kid, that’s just what I had to do. And that even went into high school and went into college where I was in business school for a few years...A waste of time, by the way. It doesn’t teach you anything about running a business. But what I discovered is that it’s not normal to run into a building and have to figure out where the bathroom is. Nobody was doing that.

And long story short, I went to the conventional doctors. They diagnosed me with IBS, which is an idiopathic diagnosis, meaning the word idiot is kind of programmed into that, meaning, “We don’t have a clue what it is. But something’s wrong. And what we can do for you is give you antispasmodic drugs. And we can give you drugs to try to regulate the speed of your gut motility so you either slow it down or speed it up, depending on whether you’re IBS-D dominant like diarrhea, or whether you’re constipation dominant.” For me it was diarrhea dominant.

And it took many, many years of investigation. I did go paleo. That was like my first step into the health field was getting rid of gluten, getting rid of dairy. I probably got 80% better with all my symptoms across the board: mental health, physical health, my sleep, my skin. I had acne issues. My gut was better but still not perfect.

And then eventually had to seek out functional medicine and find out that I had infections in my gut. So I had H. pylori, which is a common bacterial infection. Over 50% of the population has it. Some people can live and not have many symptoms from it. But in my case, I did have symptoms: indigestion, heartburn, some bloating, skin issues, depression issues.

I’ve seen a lot of mental health issues come from the gut. I would say it’s the biggest, biggest source of issues. If I were to take someone that has an anxiety or depression, suicide type issue, look at their gut, I guarantee they’ve got infections. Tested my stool, I showed up with giardia and cryptosporidium, which I believe I got from Barton Springs because I was swimming like every weekend at Barton Springs, sucking down that water. And we know that a lot of fresh water—in fact, the majority of fresh water sources—are contaminated with parasites like giardia and crypto.

Now, I had issues long before I moved to Austin. I was there for a couple years. But I think that was, as you said, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I probably picked up so many infections that I just couldn’t tolerate it anymore. I was having insomnia. I lost 25 pounds in about 6 months without trying. And I was pretty ripped for a while. I’m 5’10”. I was about 170 pounds, pretty strong. And I got down to about 130, 135. And I did nothing. I didn’t change my diet. I didn’t change anything.

And so once I found all those infections, of course, just to quickly compare and contrast, the conventional gastro docs, if they even knew how to run or read the testing we were using, they would have prescribed anti-parasitic pharmaceuticals. But instead I chose to go the herbal route and do things like wormwood and black walnut, berberines and oregano oils and olive leaf and stuff like that to address the bacterial overgrowth and to address the parasites.

And it took a good 3 or 4 rounds of me testing and retreating, testing, retreating to finally clear out all the bugs. And the one indictor that I always tell people to look at is your fingernails. And that was one of the first signs something was off was I had these vertical lines, these vertical ridges on the fingernail. And if you’ve got malabsorption, that’s what’s going to happen. You’re not going to manufacture the nails properly. And you can even feel the ridging if it’s extreme. And if you see those vertical lines, you know something is off in the gut. That was the indicator, and then, of course, the weight loss.

So do I ever still get gut issues? Maybe if I go off the rails. Do I ever get depressed? The world’s got a lot going on. So I think there’s a lot that you could be depressed about. So I’m not going to say I’m just happy go lucky every day. I try to think of depression as a symptom rather than a disease that requires a pharmaceutical drug to treat it.

So if something is off with my gut, it would make sense that you have depression because you’re not manufacturing neurotransmitters. But from a worldview, the world depressing you, that’s completely different than a gut- induced depression.

Keith: Well, I think, too, people who have never been...And I’ve never been depressed, so this is my point of view, too—but in talking with Mikhaila Peterson, she brought up depressive issues. And she goes, “I’m not talking about being depressed like kind of bummed out, just like, ‘This sucks. That sucks. And then later today, I’ll get over it.’”

She’s like, “This is like crawl in bed. Pull the blanket over your head. Hope that the world just goes away or you go away, one.” She said it is just this impending doom and gloom and anxiousness that something horrible is going to happen, even though there’s no outward sign of something horrible going to happen.

And that’s a totally different thing than somebody being temporarily set back or bummed out about something temporarily. Everybody goes through that. And I think depression is a hard hit, man.

Evan: It is. And I wasn’t to the point where I was like wanting to crawl into a hole. But I would describe it maybe a little less severe. And it was more for me like a cloud was over my head, almost like a governor on a golf cart, how you can floor that golf cart, but it’s only going to let you get up to a certain speed. It was like I had a governor on my happiness.

So good things could happen, but I couldn’t get up to that high level of elation or bliss. It was like I had to stop 3⁄4 of the way up the happy scale. And then once you fix the gut issues, then the governor’s removed. And now I can experience peak emotions, which is great.

Keith: Now, at this time were you working with a functional medicine doc? Or were you fielding this all on your own?

Evan: I wasn’t. I was just doing this all on my own. I had a buddy named Dr. Justin Marchegiani, who I know he spoke at your events, too. He’s a good buddy of mine. He was the guy who first looked at me. He goes, “Evan, you probably need to test your gut.” And I was like, “Well, I’ve looked at my gut before.” And he’s like, “Well, look at it again.” And that’s when I got the stool test. And that’s when I saw the H. pylori and the crypto, the giardia. It was a triple whammy.

And I had a bunch of candida and bacterial overgrowth going on, too. So it was probably a good 7 or 8 different infections going on at the same time. And that was all stealing my nutrients. So people are like, “Okay, what’s the mechanism? Why?” Well, it’s because it’s robbing you of your nutrition. And H. pylori, it damages your parietal cells in your gut.

So then you don’t secrete stomach acid. So your paleo diet or your ketogenic diet doesn’t work as much because now you can’t digest your grass-fed steak. And when that happens, your marker called steatocrit goes up, which is your fecal fat marker. And I was over 20%, meaning I was hardly digesting my fats at all. So no matter how hard I pounded the fats, it didn’t matter because I couldn’t digest them. So I really had to up the gallbladders. I really had to up the acid and enzymes.

And then you had to fix the infection. Why was the gallbladder not doing what it was doing in the first place? And part of it is because parasites like giardia can actually go up into your bile ducts and affect the gallbladder. So if you just type in, just go in PubMed. Just Google giardia gallbladder, this was documented even back in the 1940s that parasites can do this.

So I actually had a gallbladder attack when I was doing my protocol because I wasn’t aware of how important it was to use bile acids to keep the bile flowing thin. I thought I was dying. I was curled up in the fetal position on the ground after using herbs to kill the infections.

And so to prevent that, you make sure you use a lot of good liver and gallbladder support. So it could be beets, like beet powder. You could do taurine, milk thistle, methionine. There’s a lot of different things you can do to support liver and gallbladder. And therefore if you are killing, you’ve got to make sure if you put the garbage to the end of the road, the garbage man has to show up. And that’s when you come in and support liver and gallbladder.

So luckily my disaster of a first protocol has been prevented with all of my clients because I learned it the hard way, which is the best way.

Keith: Right. And for healthy people, their immune systems should be able to keep these parasites mostly at bay. So it’s not just if you come in contact with it you’re going to get infected, right? And tell me if I’m wrong here. So, many people may have these parasites at a low level or such that their immune systems can keep the symptoms at bay. Does it work that way?

Evan: It depends on the level of secretory IgA. So they did some research on this with prisoners where they had a bunch of different guys drink water that was contaminated with giardia. And I don’t remember the number of guys. But let’s just say it was 40 men. And all these guys drank the giardia- contaminated water. And the scientists were trying to figure out, “Okay, who gets giardia that turns into an active infection? And who doesn’t?”

And it was the people who had lower IgA, which means leaky gut because your IgA is your mucosal barrier. So think of it as your bulletproof vest. The guys who had the lowest IgA level, those are the ones who developed an active giardia infection. People who had normal IgA levels, they were fine.

So if you’re still eating gluten, or you’re eating a bunch of dairy or grains or something that’s disturbing that IgA level, creating a permeable gut, you’re more likely to pick up an infection. So if you and I went to a sushi restaurant and maybe your IgA was better than mine and my IgA was low because I haven’t fully healed my gut yet, I may get infected and you may not.

And that’s the same thing with partners, too. Like 90% of the couples that I test, they share the same bugs between each other. But occasionally the husband or the wife has an healthier IgA level. Maybe their diet’s been dialed in, or maybe they’ve done less antibiotics over their lifetime. Or maybe they’ve avoided acid blockers where their spouse did acid blockers, something that destroyed the gut. Or maybe the spouse did a lot of aspirin or something that disturbed the gut lining and the other partner didn’t. Only 10% of the time do I find someone that doesn’t share bugs with their partner.

So most people have a leaky gut in the modern world. And I don’t really like that term because it’s so generic and kind of buzzwordy. But that’s just what people know it as. But it’s intestinal permeability. It means that the one cell tight junction in the intestines was separated by something—a toxin or a food allergy or something. And therefore, now the bacteria, parasite, yeast has access to the bloodstream. And then that’s when you get the systemic

inflammation. And then that’s when the depression, anxiety, that type of stuff occurs.

Keith: Right. And so when people find you, number one, how do they find you? And I’m imagining that they found you after they’ve been kicked around the traditional medical system for a while.

Evan: Yeah. I’d say 90% of people find me through the podcast. I’ve been doing it every single week since 2012, which is kind of a long time for health podcasts. So most people find me through there. And then YouTube videos, I do whiteboard videos where I’ll try to condense a one-hour topic like this into ten minutes. A lot of people find me on YouTube.

And then also a lot of talks, I love doing stuff like this almost even more than speaking on stage because 50,000 people may hear this, whereas 50,000 people may not hear me if I went and spoke at some stage in some city where I had to travel and leave my baby behind.

Keith: Right. So they find you. And they’ve been kicked around the traditional medical system that has pretty much, unless they’re enlightened to functional medicine, they’re just not going to even know where to look. They’re going to try to treat symptoms. But they’re not going to do any root cause analysis.

Evan: Yeah. And honestly I don’t know why it’s so revolutionary to think that there has to be a root cause to something. That’s kind of revolutionary. But even as a young kid, when I was 14, 15, 16, I knew something was up with my brain. I knew even then it wasn’t a deficiency of an anti-depressant that was my problem.

So I don’t know why that’s so revolutionary. I’m glad that it’s becoming more popular. But most of the time, it’s just symptom, drug. Or even in the naturopathic community, a lot of people even go to naturopathic doctors first. Like they start with conventional doctors. They go to the specialists like the gastro doc. Then they go to the naturopathic doc, which is generally a level better.

But even then in the naturopathic field, naturopathic doesn’t mean functional. There’s a huge difference, or integrative. Integrative doctor doesn’t mean functional because you could go in with IBS, and then the naturopath could say, “Hey, Keith, I’m going to give you this herb,” like triphala, “which can help you to poop more. Or I’m going to give you this supplement, which maybe can help regulate your nausea. I’m going to give you a ginger extract.”

But that’s still not root cause. That hasn’t addressed why is the nausea coming in the first place? Oh, it’s H. pylori. So you’ve got to just keep going a level deeper and deeper and keep asking, “Well, why? Okay, I have nausea. So I need the ginger. But why do I have the nausea?” “Well, because you have something going on.” “Okay, well, what’s that?” “It’s bacteria.” “Okay, well, what else is there?”

And then eventually, if you keep asking why, you get to the answer

Keith: Right. And it seems common sensical. I’m like you. It’s like if you’re working on your car, I’ll just bring it back to when I was a teenager working on my car, trying to keep my car running. There was just a natural why. You had to. You had to ask that to get to the root cause. Otherwise, you spent all your time replacing parts and spending more time working on your time than you were drinking beer, taking your girlfriend out. So you had incentive to go through a process of root cause analysis.

Evan: Well, I’ll take the car analogy a step further. And what do you do when you’re trying to figure out your car is generally you would hook it up to one of those OBD1 or OBD2 scanners. And you plug it up under your dashboard somewhere. And it’s going to pull up something. And it’s going to say, “Oh, it’s this.”

It’s still rudimentary. It wasn’t that good. But even with my Honda, I remember saying, “Oh, look. I’ve got this going on.” And then I knew, “Okay, now I’m not going to just replace spark plugs just because. I’m going to go straight to replacing this.” So, yeah. It sounds so simple. But for some people to get here, it could be a 10- or a 20-year journey of suffering, which is very unfortunate.

Keith: Right. Well, our society has been conditioned that doctors are the everything because they’re generally smart kids. We’ll give them that. They are usually the smartest in your local high school, goes on to become a doctor. And you just assume, well, that’s a smart guy. And he’s been given 12 years of education. He’s got to know something.

But the problem is they are taught—smart people, well-meaning people, well- intentioned—but they’re tool kit has been, if we want to say it has been purposely limited by the pharmaceutical industry, we could say that. Or accidentally limited. But that’s the tool they have. If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail.

Evan: That’s right. And I’ve got friends that are medical doctors. I love medical doctors. I think there’s definitely a place for them in society. It’s funny; a lot of them, which it blows my mind. This is not to toot my horn.

But it blows my mind that even last week, I had an ER doctor, this guy who emailed me. He said, “Evan, I’ve been listening to your podcast. In the emergency room, I see all these symptoms of heart palpitations where people think they’re having a heart attack. We run all these tests and nothing’s wrong with them. So we send them home with an anti-anxiety drug. He goes, I heard about your heart palpitations when you had gut issues. I would love to be able to say, ‘Hey, maybe you have this infection. I’m going to calm you down. But when you get home, you need to do this instead.’”

So it gives me goose bumps when I say it because it’s amazing to think that these people are realizing, “Hey, look, this stuff isn’t working.” And then you come home with a $10,000 emergency room bill. You had a panic attack. You thought you were having a heart attack, but you weren’t.

There is a place for them, for sure. Like my daughter, she’s 2 years old. She fell out of her highchair like 6 months ago. She pushed herself off of the table when she was done eating dinner. And when she kicked herself off the table, her highchair went back. And she smacked her head so hard on our hardwood floor, which was terrible. Vomiting, the whole 9 yards.

We took her to the hospital because she had a concussion. And we thought, okay, we need to figure out if her brain is bleeding or not. Had to give radiation, unfortunately, to investigate with the CT scan. Thank the Lord nothing was wrong. And then we came in and we did the CBD oil. And we did fish oil and boswelia and turmeric and all the good functional medicine tools.

And then we followed up with the pediatrician, who is a medical doc. And she has nothing to offer. She doesn’t know anything about using fish oil or CBD oil or anything about post-concussion syndrome, like nausea that my daughter was having. We took her in and said, “She doesn’t seem like she’s fully recovered.” This was like a week later. And she goes, “Oh, well, let’s test her for strep throat.” It’s like that is in left field. You’re not even taking into context what happened.

So I don’t want to stay on my soapbox too long on this topic. But I just want people to know that if you’ve been through the ringer, that’s okay. Most people have. But you can get to the end of the tunnel. And there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is an answer that you can find.

For example, I think you and I chatted about this when we talked a few weeks ago. But rheumatoid arthritis is becoming a really, really common occurrence for people, young people, 20 year olds, 30 year olds to get diagnosed with, now they call it “early onset” rheumatoid arthritis because it’s historically not supposed to happen at the ages that it’s happening.

And there’s an infection that I see every single week on stool testing called prevotella copri. And 75% of people that get diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, they show up with that bacterial infection. So imagine how many people, if we could save them and say, “Hey, you’ve got joint pain. Investigate your gut. Don’t go straight to the rheumatologist because when they give you the diagnosis, all they have to offer is a drug to manage the disease.”

But if it cured the disease, then you’d go to that doctor. They’d give you one pill. And you’d be done. And you’d never see them again. But that’s not how it works.

Keith: Yeah. So when you have people, clients come in and they go through your intake...And I know everybody’s totally different. But what are some generalities that you see? What are some paths that you go to? Do you go right to stool testing, gut testing, right off the bat for most?

Evan: 98% of the people, budget permitting, I run 3 to 4 tests on pretty much everyone. Number one is adrenal testing because we know that if your adrenals are too weak...And I don’t really like the term “adrenal fatigue” because the adrenals aren’t getting tired. It’s the brain downregulating production of cortisol. But because people know it as adrenal fatigue, we’ll call it that.

So we’ll test the adrenals to see because if the cortisol output is too low and you’re too weak from an energy output perspective, if you go straight to the gut and you start trying to kill parasites, that person is going to crash out.

So when you hear about a die off or a detox reaction or a Herxheimer reaction, generally that means a few things. That means that the protocol was either too fast, like you were trying to move too fast. You were going too hard like the dosing of the herbs was too strong. Maybe you weren’t supporting the liver or the gallbladder properly. Maybe the thyroid was too weak, like maybe the person’s detox pathways were not working. They had methylation problems, genetic problems. If all that stuff’s dialed in, you can go straight to the gut and kill the infections. But just to make sure, I always look at the adrenals. So that’s step one.

And then step two is the gut. So that’s an at-home stool test called the GI Map. It’s a one-day, one sample stool test. And it’s DNA based, meaning it’s a thousand times more sensitive than an antigen based testing, which is the old school where you’d have to poop for 3 days and collect 6 samples. That’s what I did even just a few years ago. That was the only technology that existed. And I had to collect 6 different poops to test it. Now it’s one sample. But you find more infections.

And then step 3 is usually the urine testing called organic acids. It’s kind of like measuring your tailpipe when you take your car in for emissions testing. So we can measure these breakdown products of candida, fungus, bacterial infections. And then we take that urine and we run it through the chemical test, as well.

So we can measure things like flame retardants and phthalates and BPA and pesticides. I love testing people for pesticides because it’s very interesting to see people in the valley of California where all the vegetables are grown. Even though a lot of organic stuff comes out of there, there’s still conventional farms right next door. And I’ve tested farmers, and their levels of pesticides are just insane.

And even people who aren’t farmers. Don’t think if you’re listening, hey, I’m not a farmer; I don’t care. I’ve seen stay-at-home moms who do really good with their diet, but their levels of pesticides are still really high. And we just have to encourage them to sweat and try to get that stuff out, and then of course avoid getting re-toxified by eating organic.

So that’s the go-to. That’s my go-to. And then if I need to run blood, I can only run blood in the U.S. I work all over. So the Canada people, the Europe people, I can’t do blood on them. But usually I’ll try to just create a custom panel and then just tell them to go to their doctor. And if they can get it run through health insurance, great. But if not, then in the U.S. at least, people can just pay me and then we run the blood for them.

Keith: Right, right. But mostly I would imagine you see the problem is a parasite overgrowth in the gut. Is that generally what it all boils down to in most cases?

Evan: I would say...I’ve kind of come up with this term like basically with gut I say guilty until proven innocent because I see so many bugs. Now, maybe I’ve just got a little bit hyperfocused on it because I see it and maybe there are other issues. But that’s why I try to be like a specialist in this sense of focusing so much on the gut, but not too special that I assume everyone is like that. So that’s why I run these other tests, too, just to see because if, for example, if you’re a Lyme disease guy, you’re going to look at everybody and you’re going to say everybody has Lyme disease. And that may or may not be true.

But I do see a lot of people with gut bugs. So I’d say if I had to point the finger at the biggest needle mover for someone’s health, whether it’s adrenal, thyroid issues, autoimmune diseases, it all comes from the gut because you don’t get Hashimoto’s or other autoimmune disease without a leaky gut being present. So the leaky gut is like the cascade, the first domino that falls. And then that’s when all these toxins get into bloodstream.

And the immune system is trying to fight the bad guys. I thinks that it’s going after a gluten molecule, but really it accidentally goes after the thyroid, and you get autoimmune disease. If you didn’t have a permeable gut barrier and you had that IgA level lower, you wouldn’t have autoimmune disease. So if you had to pick one place to put a lot of your eggs—not all the eggs in the basket, but a lot of your eggs—yeah, I would say make it the gut, for sure.

Keith: Right. And we live in an atmosphere and an environment that’s just chock full of toxins. But environments have been that way forever. And organisms develop abilities to get affected and they detox. And it’s just this cycle of contact, detox, contact, detox. What are some ways that some of the best ways, most effective ways that a healthy person can just continue that cycle of detox?

You’re going to come in contact with it. We can avoid it where we can, and that’s part of it is to just avoid where you can. But we can’t live in a bubble- wrapped world entirely. We have to get out and function. So what are some good detox methods?

Evan: Yeah. So the first thing I would say would be supplement with acid and enzymes, specifically hydrochloric acid. If you look at the book, which is one of my favorite books of all time...You and I were chatting about being a minimalist before the show. I’ve got a bookshelf right behind me. And I have only got literally like 10 books. I get books sent to me every week. And then I usually give them away after I read them. So I’ve only got a few left on the bookshelf. And one that remains is Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You by Dr. Jonathan Wright. It’s a game-changing book.

And what he found is using the Heidelberg test, which is where you take a capsule with a technology inside of it so you can measure the pH of the stomach. And the stomach is supposed to be very, very acidic. We’re talking

1.2 to 1.5 pH, meaning that is so acidic that if you poured your stomach acid on your shoe, it would hopefully melt it.

And this is why animals in nature, like for example the turkey vulture, they have the most acidic stomach of literally any living creature on the planet. And that’s why turkey vultures can go on the side of the road and eat a dead racoon that’s been rotting for months and not get sick. It’s because they have adequate levels of hydrochloric acid to neutralize the pathogens in it.

And so what Dr. Wright found over the years of testing thousands of patients is that after age 20, you make less and less enzymes every single year, and less stomach acid. So by the time you’re age 40, your stomach acid levels are much lower than what they were when you were 20, which is why people, when they get 40, 50, 60, they start to develop heartburn or indigestion.

Don’t blame it on the food. You could. It could be something spicy: tomatoes, peppers, a lot of your nightshades can be triggers for indigestion. But a lot of it’s just that you have too low stomach acid, and you don’t have enough stomach acid. So supplementing is key. If I have someone that’s traveling like, “Hey, Evan, I just did this gut protocol. And I’m going to go to Thailand for a month, and I don’t want to pick up bugs. What do you recommend?” I say, “Bring 3 things: hydrochloric acid and enzymes, charcoal, and oregano oil.”

So if you do get poisoned, you take your oregano oil. You take your charcoal. Those are just to be used as needed. Break open in case of emergency. But your daily dose of extra HCL and enzymes, that’s going to kill off anything. So if you and your friend eat sushi, and it’s not just sushi. I’m just using that example. If you took acid and enzymes but your friend didn’t, you may have been able to successfully kill off giardia. And now you’re not going to get that active infection.

Keith: Interesting. And what’s the dosing for HCL? So I know the old Charles Pollack when bodybuilding dosing where you would dose, dose, dose until you burp and acid taste, and then you back off a smidge. And then you’re good to go. But is that essentially how it’s done?

Evan: You could do that. Most of the people I work with, they generally have so many complaints that I don’t do the acid test with them because their gut is so inflamed. So you can measure it. It’s called calprotectin. That’s your intestinal inflammation marker. If their levels are above 50 on this specific test, that’s too high for me to do the acid test or the acid challenge.

So generally speaking, I’ve got a blend of enzymes I’ve created. It’s got 200 milligrams of betaine per capsule. So I have people work up to about 1 gram of HCL. So 1,000 milligrams. Some people can go 2,000. Some people can go 3,000, especially if they were on acid-blocking medications. Or if you’re on a natural acid blocker, H. pylori, that infection acts like an acid blocker because it lowers stomach acid.

Like me, if you previously had an H. pylori infection, you’re going to need more acid than someone else who didn’t have that. So I would say depending on your meal, like if you’re doing a soup, a salad, a smoothie, bone broth, you probably don’t need to use an enzyme. But if it’s like a nice grass-fed steak with a baked sweet potato, some broccoli and butter, that’s a good time to do enzymes.

I generally do around 600 milligrams of betaine with hose types of meals. And then I have extra enzymes, too. So that would be like your proteases, your lipases, ox bile. I generally do around 100 to 300 milligrams ox bile per meal. And that’s just to make sure that the gallbladder is releasing the stored bile. So liver’s helping to create bile. Gallbladder is the storage organ that releases the bile.

If bile is flowing good, you’re going to digest your fats good. So that way your poop doesn’t float. If your poop floats or your poop is really messy, that means you need extra fat-digesting enzymes, or you need extra ox bile. Your poop should sink. And your poop should be like a banana consistency and a banana shape. If you’ve got rabbit turds, that’s not enough fiber. So you probably need to add in some extra blueberries or some type of good organic fiber.

If it’s really messy, though, or your smell of your poop is terrible and your family’s like, “Good Lord! Why do you smell so bad?” that’s a gut infection. That’s usually dysbiosis. That’s usually some type of a gut bug. Yeah, poop is going to smell like poop. But I have a lot of moms that I work with. I work with 2-year-old, 3-year-old, 7-year-old kids. And the mom will say, “My son, we have to evacuate the house when he poops.” Okay, that’s not normal. There’s something there.

Keith: Now, is there something inherent in yucca that makes it good to take? Does it have enzymatic properties?

Evan: I think yucca does, actually, because there’s a couple products I use that has wild yucca root is. And I believe—don’t quote me on this—but I believe yucca contains fluvic acid, which can act as a mild detoxifier. There’s a formula I use. There’s a couple formulas I use that are binders to try to soak up toxins. And some of those ingredients are including yucca. So not a yucca expert. But I do think it may have fluvic acid in it.

Keith: Okay. And the other question I had was back to the HCL question. Do you think this is a reason why apple cider vinegar is a folk remedy for everything?

Evan: Absolutely. And believe it or not, apple cider vinegar helps stimulate the mitochondria, as well, which is why some people say they get an energy boost if they do apple cider vinegar. I don’t know the mechanism. I talked with Dr. Mercola a little bit about this on my podcast. I interviewed him and he kind of brought that up. And I thought whoa. Apple cider vinegar and vinegar supporting mitochondria, that’s insane.

But, yeah, it does help to act as almost like a digestive bitter where it triggers the body and the body’s like, “Oh, we’re about to start eating some food.” And then you’re going to start producing more acid and enzymes.

And let me say two more things about this whole stomach acid piece, aging, reduction of stomach acid. One is that in prehistoric times or ancestral times, we had much more of a parasympathetic dominant nervous system where we were relaxed. We were sitting in the forest together, telling stories about hunting and hanging out by the fire. And we were able to shift into sympathetic mode if we needed to go into a hunt.

Now, I may think I’m getting a text message or I’m getting an email or I’ve got this business meeting today. I may be stuck in a more sympathetic dominant state, which is your fight-or-flight response. And that’s when the blood is going to shift away from the stomach, and it’s going to go to your extremities so you can run from this bear, even though the bear is only an email or a ding notification on your cell phone, which is why I have no notifications. I have no social media apps except twitter on my phone. And I have no sounds on anything that’s buzzing or dinging me because I don’t want my nervous system thinking there’s any bears around because I want to rest and digest.

And so part of the issue with the modern world is that you take your average person who’s got a 20- or 30-minute lunch break, half the time they’re probably trying to check up on social media. I’m not judging you people. But admit it if you’re sitting there scrolling on Instagram while you’re eating your Chipotle bowl. Your body doesn’t know what to do. It’s like, “Okay, should I run from this email I just read? Or should I digest this meal?”

So part of it’s just our nervous system is screwed up because we’re too busy and we don’t slow down and we don’t chew our food. And even just chewing your food is helpful, which is why I don’t really like the bowl idea. Let’s just put the spotlight on Chipotle. It’s great. They have grass-fed steak and organic rice and such. However, it’s so soft and mushy. You could just shove that stuff down. And you finish that bowl in 3 minutes, and you’re like, “Did I even eat anything?”

So I try to chew, chew, chew, chew, chew until there’s nothing left. And it’s more work to do that. But that way you’re telling your body, “Hey, man. We’re actually digesting something here. Let’s make acid and enzymes.”

And then the one other comment I wanted to mention was there’s this, I guess, fear of supplementing with acid and enzymes. And people say, “Well, aren’t I going to mess up my own body’s production of enyzmes and acids if I supplement” like it’s a crutch like testosterone where the testicles shrink.

No, it doesn’t happen that way. You’re only adding to the fire. You’re not replacing the fire, versus with melatonin, we do know melatonin if you take that or if you take a neurotransmitter supplement like GABA, you do down regulate your production of GABA if you supplement. You do down regulate production of melatonin if you supplement. Acid and enzymes? No way. You’re just adding to the party. So supplement away.

Keith: Right. And is there a particular brand of hydrochloric acid that you prefer?

Evan: I like to go professional grade. So I’ve got my own line of products that professional healthcare companies make for me. But other ones, Pure Encapsulations, they just got bought out. But I haven’t seen any degradation of their quality yet. So Pure is good. Designs for Health is good. Biotic Research Corporation is good. Those are my top 3. And that way you know what you’re getting.

Now, could you go on Amazon and buy some random enzymes and probably get decent results? Maybe. But if you’re paying me to get you better, I’m expecting you to get a certain improvement every month. And when I do a progress report with you and you say, “Hey, I only got 5% better this month. You said I was going to get 20% better this month,” I want to know that it was something I did, not the supplement wasn’t therapeutic enough quality to work.

Keith: Right. You’ve got to control the variables where you can.

Evan: Yeah.
Keith: And is this dosed prior to each meal? Is that how you dose it? Or is there another dosing protocol?

Evan: I haven’t seen a big difference. And if you’re asking like in terms of do you take it before a meal, in the middle of a meal, after a meal?

Keith: Right.

Evan: I haven’t seen a big difference, as long as you’re doing it around the time of the meal. Now, if someone is really, really inflamed, like I had a guy. His calprotectin level was at 300, meaning his gut was really inflamed. Like a celiac disease patient, their level would be like 1,000 of calprotectin. Or ulcerative colitis, their levels very high of inflammation.

This guy wasn’t that bad. But we tried the acid and enzymes before the meal, and he had burning. We tried it right after the meal; he had burning. So we do what I call an enzyme sandwich where he takes a couple bites of food, pops the capsule, and then finishes the meal. That way the enzyme capsule’s kind of sandwiched in between layers of food. When that capsule does burst open, if the gut is inflamed, it’s not going to come out.

And in some cases, if someone’s really, really inflamed, you might not be able to do HCL. You may have to do enzymes without HCL, and then heal up their gut first. And then later you can add in HCL by itself.

Keith: Right. So let’s say you do an analysis on someone, and it does come back that they’ve got an HPA issue going on or an adrenal issue going on. What are some of the things you look at there about potential paths of healing?

Evan: Yeah. I’m going to start pretty unconventional here, getting rid of toxic people and toxic things in your life. So if you’ve got a really, really bad friend who’s supposedly your friend, but they treat you like crap and they talk down about you or they judge you for your decisions your diet and lifestyle, get rid of that friggin’ person. You’re not going to heal with them being in your ear every day. So get rid of toxic people.

If you’re in a toxic job, whether that’s an environmental toxin, like a lot of guys in Texas who work on the oil rigs or something, they’ve got to get out of there. But if it’s more of like a toxic boss or a toxic co-worker, first of all you can move your desk. Maybe you move your desk to the other side of the room. And you get away from the person.

If that’s not enough, move to a different department. If that’s not enough, move to a different sector or just move to a different company. Or if you have to just get out of the job, get out of the job. So that’s huge because you’re stuck in sympathetic dominance, like, “Uh-oh. Here comes the boss. Oh, my God.” You get sick to your stomach every time the boss walks down your little hallway, that’s bad. So that’s huge.

And then other stuff from an adrenal perspective, saying no is huge. I’m kind of a yes man. I love opportunity and I love trying to help people. So somebody may say, “Evan, I want your help on this project.” “Yes!” “Evan, I want to do this.” “Yes!” “Evan, can you help me with this?” “Yes!” “Oh, my daughter, my grandmother, she needs help with this.” “Yes! I’m going to help her.” And then I burn myself out, man. And I made myself sick trying to help others.

So now, to be honest, I think the game changer for me was making sure that I had everything on the calendar. And if it wasn’t on the calendar, don’t do it because then you lose track of how much you’re actually working. So now I know I’m working Monday through Thursday, and that’s it. Whereas before, like if somebody messaged me on Facebook about something, “Hey, my daughter is seven years old. She’s vomiting,” I used to message back and be like, “It could be this. It could be that. You need to do this. You need to do that.” Now I only do it during my “business hours.”

And I think this is more of a conversation for people that are working for themselves. Especially if you work from home like me, you’ve got to really have a clear distinction between, “Okay, I’m working. I’m not working.” Because if you blend those two, which is going to happen somewhat because I love what I do. But if you let those blend too much, then you’re going to be sick. And you’re never going to shut off.

Keith: Yeah. I have those issues, too. I think every entrepreneur has that because you wouldn’t do what you do unless you freaking loved it. It’s 24/7. And there’s times that it’s 10:00, 11:00 o’clock at night. And not just me. Michelle is better at cutting it off than I am. But she’s like, “Hey, you’ve got to put the stops on that.” And it’s almost like I’m on this roller coaster. I don’t want to get off.

Evan: It’s addicting. It’s addicting, man. I know. I know. So for other people, too, the strategies you asked about, some of it is just going to bed on time. I’ve got a little girl. So she goes to bed early. So I tend to go early because it’s like, “Okay, it’s 9 pm. It’s dark. What else am I going to do? Play on my phone? That’s a waste of time, so I’m just going to go to bed.”

So I go to bed pretty early. I candle down in the evening. So if I am going to use any screens, I’m always going to wear my Blu Blocking glasses. And not all are created equal. Some don’t block blue like they say they do. I’ve tested them with spectrometers.

Also, getting up with the sun is huge. I try to go out every single morning, even in my boxers, like before I even get dressed for the day. I’ll just go outside and get ten, fifteen minutes of bright light exposure in the first part of the day.

Cortisol, it’s a light-driven hormone. So if you’re waking up and you’ve got your blinds shut or you’ve got contact lenses or glasses or you’ve got your curtains pulled and it’s kind of dim and you’re not really doing much in the morning, think of your ancestors. They would have been in a cave. And that would have been the only dark place. Otherwise, they were outside. And they’re going to be getting massive amounts of light.

And you can measure what I’m saying and prove this with a Lux meter. It’s a measurement of brightness. On a sunny day, you’re going to get around 100,000 lux. Inside an office, you’re going to get maybe 500 lux. I wrote a book on nootropics because a publishing company reached out and said, “Hey, we’ve heard you talk about this. Can you write about it?” And I did.

But part of writing that book I didn’t enjoy because I felt like I was giving people the hats, like, “Take this nootropic. Take this nootropic,” instead of getting right light exposure. It’s like you’re freaking tired and your brain’s not working because you’re sitting in a dungeon in your basement. Get outside. That’s free.

So I kind of got annoyed while writing it because I thought, man, I hate the idea of promoting silver bullets to people. Everything we’re talking about is so simple. It really just goes back to the primal living. But it sounds so corny because you and I have been beating the drum on this for like twenty years combined total between us. You would think that there’d be some new way to explain it to people. But it’s the same stuff, and it always will be.

Keith: It’s just like weightlifting. Everybody’s got a new hack. In the training and weight training, it is just this year to year to year cycle of the same thing coming back and back and back. And at the end of the day, it’s like if you want to put on muscle, you’ve got to spend time in the gym and bust you’re a$$. I don’t know any other way around it.

Can you do it smarter? Yeah, you can do it smarter. But at the end of the day, you’ve still got to do the work.

Evan: Yeah. Then you’ll hear, “Oh, here’s a brand new liposomal creatine. It’s a magic creatine that’s going to get even more water into your muscles.” It’s like, okay, but if you’re scrolling on Facebook, that creatine is going to do nothing. You’ve got to get you’re a$$ to the gym.

Keith: Right. I guess it’s just human nature. And I get it. We probably didn’t get to where we are as a species without trying to figure out shortcuts and figuring out more efficient ways of doing it. The thing was in those times, those shortcuts, just like the available foods, were few and far between.

Evan: And you just have to do the work. That’s another book that stays on my book shelf is Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work.

Keith: Right. That’s a great book.

Evan: It’s basically like, hey, I know you want to achieve this. I know you want to achieve that. But nobody is going to give you a free handout. And that’s the same thing with the health, too. I don’t want to go too far off the rails here. But so many people are looking for someone to save them. And that’s why we give our power away to the doctors because we think if we just wait til we have a health problem, we’re just going to consult with them. They’re the doctor. They’ve got it. They’re going to take care of us.

It’s like, look, they’re going home. And they’re eating dinner. And they’re watching Breaking Bad or whatever else on their Netflix. They’re just doing their job. Your job is you. No one saved me. I wish I would have been able to be like, “Yes! This guy was the guy who saved me.” That didn’t happen. There wasn’t that miracle thing. It was just a gradual evolution. “Okay, this got me ten percent better. This got me twenty percent better. This got me forty percent better.”

And then now I’ve been able to create a lot of answers for other people. I don’t have all the answers. But I’ve got enough answers now to where I’m like, “Okay, this is some stuff that could change a lot of things for a lot of people.”

But here’s the thing, Keith, is that people are so tired. They’re so tired of being tired. They’re so busy. They’ve got kids. They’ve got financial worries. They don’t want to have to figure this stuff out. It’s too overwhelming. So maybe you only take one thing away from our conversation, and then you implement it.

If I did one thing right now for everyone, I would say, “Go test your gut. Go get a stool test. If you can’t afford or you’re not interested in testing your adrenals and other body systems right now, that’s fine. Maybe you’re still going to pump gas and maybe you don’t care about gasoline and you don’t believe me and you’re still going to keep your gas-powered lawn mower and trimmer. You’re not going to go electric. Okay, fine.

But at least test your gut because let’s just say that 60% of your health problems were attributed to your gut. That’s huge. Let’s say that you could be that much more productive at work. You could be that much of a better father, that much of a better husband, that much of a better entrepreneur because now you’re digesting your nutrients 60% better. And that grass-fed steak that you spent $12, $15 a pound on, you’re going to digest that better now.

Wouldn’t you rather get as much nutrition as you possibly can from that food? Because people say, “Oh, you are what you eat.” Well, you’re really not. You are what you eat from what you digest. And then you could even go a step further and say, “Depending on what that animal ate, too.” So if it was a grass-fed but grain-finished, I wouldn’t want that. I’d want a hundred percent grass fed. And then I’d want to make sure I’m digesting that grass fed steak.

Keith: Right. And I think the first win policy is huge because if you give someone one win, whatever that win is...And this is true in coaching sports, too. You bring a quarterback into a tight game. You need one completion. I’m going to have you throw a screen or a dump pass or something. But I’ve got to build some confidence. I’ve got to give you one win. A baseball player that’s in a slump, I’ve got to get you on base somehow. I want you to remember what it feels like to be on base again.

And it’s the same thing with healthcare. If you give people one win, whatever that win comes from, they’re like, “Oh, wow. I did that to myself? For myself, I did that. And I feel this much better. All right, what’s next? All right, you’ve got me listening now. Now what do I do?”

Evan: Yeah. I love that idea like a base hit because imagining the homerun is a little too overwhelming at first. It’s not realistic for most people to think. Let’s take an example that’s pretty relevant. For example, like thyroid antibodies. I saw a woman that had TPO—thyroid peroxidase antibodies—over 2,000. Her endocrinologist diagnosed her with Hashimoto’s, which is where the immune system attacks the thyroid. And this is 90+ percent of cases of hyperthyroidism.

So if your doctor or if you already know you’re low thyroid, if you’re hypo, you’re underfunctioning. Ninety percent of the time or more, it’s autoimmune. And this lady thought, there’s no way I’m ever, ever, ever going to be able to

get off my thyroid medication. So the base hit was we tested her gut. We found infections because remember infections create leaky gut. Leaky gut opens the door to autoimmunity. We fixed the gut bugs alone. I did nothing else for her thyroid. She’s like, “Well, aren’t you going to give me a bunch of supplements for my thyroid?” I’m like, “No. Bear with me. Hold on. Let me show you something.”

So we work on the gut for a couple of months. We retest the blood. The thyroid antibodies went from 2,000 to 300. Now, that’s amazing. That’s still not out of the woods. You still want less than 20 for TPO would be great. So she’s still way too high at 300. There’s still an autoimmune attack going on. But look how much we shut it down.

And that was the base hit enough for her to say, “You know what? I’m no longer giving my family the option of whether they’re going to eat gluten and these other foods. For me, I was just doing my autoimmune paleo diet. And my husband was making fun of me and eating pizza and ice cream in front of me and putting me down. And my kids were going to their friends’ house and saying, ‘My mom is weird. And now everybody thinks I’m crazy.’ Nope, I’m not giving them an option anymore. I’m making the whole household paleo.” Awesome. That was the base hit we needed to get her to third base and then hopefully we’re going to get this gal to home plate.

Keith: Right. And it’s so very true. And that feeds back into compliance. And you as a practitioner know—and I as a trainer know—that compliance is like the number issue that you have to contend with because if information were the answer, what the saying? “We’d all be billionaires with six-pack abs.” And stellar bloodwork. I’ll just throw that in there.

But that’s not the case. So you have to coach compliance somehow. Do you have any tricks on that?

Evan: Well, to be honest, you have to be blunt with people. And some people don’t want to be blunt. Practitioners just want to softball it like, “Okay, Keith. Dial this in for me. Dial this in for me.” And they never follow up. Add an extra avocado. Did you actually reduce the nuts? Did you actually change from this butter to that butter? Did you actually do this or that? So I have to be very detail oriented because the devil’s in the details, they say.

So I had a guy last week. I promise everyone, no matter what health symptom, I generally say, “Hey, look. I’m expecting five to ten percent improvement each month. And if I beat that, that’s great. And most of the time, I do. And I followed up with this guy. I don’t remember his name. But let’s just call him

John. And I was like, “Hey, John. What’s going on? It’s been six weeks since we started your protocol.” And this was a guy who had like seven or eight different gut bugs, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, etcetera, mitochondrial problems as identified on his urine test. He had adrenal problems. His cortisol was pretty much flatlined. So we were doing some adrenal herbs.

And he goes, “Evan, honestly, I’m not noticing much.” And in his tone of voice was like he wanted to put it back on me, like it’s my fault. And I used to get offended by that, not offended, but I used to get my fight or fligh response, like “Uh-oh. Something I did didn’t work. I hate being wrong. I hate not helping people. What am I doing wrong?”

But now I just know to investigate. And I just take it neutral. And I’m like, “Okay, John. Let’s go through everything. Let’s talk about the diet. Tell me what you ate yesterday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.” He goes, “Well, honestly, man, I don’t eat anything for breakfast. I usually eat a granola bar, maybe 10 a.m.” I’m like, “What kind of granola bar?” “Oh, just whatever I found at Costco, what was on sale.”

I’m like, “Are you home right now?” He’s like, “Yeah.” I was like, “Okay, go in the pantry. I need you to get the box. I need you to pull it out.” And it ended up being like Nature Valley, high fructose corn syrup, extra added cane sugar, sunflower oil, safflower oil. It’s like, “Okay, we’ve got to change that, man. I want you to do a pastured bacon or pastured sausage for breakfast. Maybe a handful of pecans, half an avocado, a handful of blueberries.”

“Okay, what did you eat for lunch?” “Actually, I was so busy, I went out to Subway. I didn’t do the bread. But I got a Subway sandwich with no bread.” I’m like, “Okay. And then what about dinner?” He goes, “Well, my wife and I, we ended up going out. And I got some pizza. But I just didn’t do—” He said he didn’t do something. Like he didn’t do parmesan cheese on top of the pizza. I’m like, “Dude.”

And this is rare, Keith, by the way, because like I said, most people find me through the podcast. So they’ve been listening to me for like a year before they even sign up. So they’ve already addressed all the low-hanging fruit, so I don’t have to waste my breath on this crap. But this was a guy who found me from somewhere else. And he wasn’t indoctrinated, if you will, into the paleo philosophy. So this is an outlier. I don’t want to say most people are like this because they’re not. Most people, they’ve already killed it. They’ve done everything before they get to me. But this guy was just an outlier.,

And this is back to the question of compliance. I said, “Well, look, man, based on what you’ve just told me, I gave you the protocol, the diet protocol to follow. I set you up with my nutritionist. This is a compliance issue on your part. So we have to change our expectations of our progress. I told you five to ten percent improvement. To be honest with you, I don’t know if your gut symptoms and your energy’s ever going to improve with this type of diet. So right now, I have no expectation of you getting better unless we can dial this in. So I’d like to schedule a half an hour with my NTP (nutritional therapist). I want you guys to chat about your entire week. And I hate to do this because I don’t like to count and measure and stuff. But, honestly, we need to do a food journal for a week. And I need you to follow up with Megan, who’s my NTP. I need you to follow up with her in a week and show her that food journal because now we have to have more accountability from you.”

Most of the time, that conversation doesn’t happen. Most of the time, people are like, “Evan, I did your protocol to a T. Everything’s better, blah, blah, blah.” But this guy was a guy where he tried to put it back on me. But then I flipped it back on him and just put the mirror on him. And when the mirror got flashed back at him, he didn’t like it. But he had to taste it.

Keith: Yeah. And people need to realize that. And a lot of people in your situation, your clients have been vetted, so to speak. Not that you vet, but they’ve gone through the process.

Evan: Yeah, they’ve self-vetted, really, because they don’t want to waste however many hundred bucks an hour to consult with me if they’re still eating garbage. So they’ve pretty much done every single thing I’ve talked about on the podcast. And then they’re still wondering why are they not better. And that’s because just doing paleo wouldn’t cure everyone, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.

Keith: Right. I would think your issues would look more like what my issues when I was training at the time looked like. It was more, I’ve got all these hyper type A personalities. My big issue is pulling the reins back and getting you to realize that, yeah, you’re not bulletproof. You will hit a wall. And, in fact, you are hitting a wall. And you’re trying to get through the wall instead of backing off and figuring out a way to get over it. You’re just trying to ram your head through the wall. That’s what’s going on right now.

Evan: Yeah. Or they feel like, “I just need to find one more supplement. Or I’m going to listen to one more webinar or one more podcast, and I’m going to find that magic little hack that I didn’t figure out to make it work better.” And it’s like there is no magic hack.

Keith: Yeah. So this is a classic. It’s the forty-year-old female attorney who’s divorced, three kids. She’s working 80 hours a week for the firm. And she wants to drop an extra five pounds because she’s going to go to Cancun in a few weeks with her friends. And I’m going to throw intermittent fasting in the middle of all that.

Evan: Dude, oh, my God.
Keith: Right?!
Evan: That’s it. That’s very accurate.

Keith: Don’t do that. Don’t do that.

Evan: That’s highly accurate. That’s why one of the first questions on my intake form is, “How many hours do you work per week?” because that’s important. And anybody who works over forty, they get better slower. And I tell people that. I say, “Look, you’re working sixty hours a week as an accountant. I know it’s tax season. But, look, man, you’ve got to do something. Like the saying work hard, play hard. You’ve got to work hard, rest hard. If you don’t rest hard, meaning massage, float tanks, essentials oils, CBD or cannabis extract, whatever you’ve got to do to rest hard, you’ve got to do that.

And for me, I had a problem with that because I thought the answer was to just keep trying harder and push further. And it wasn’t. I literally had to take off work. I had to schedule weeks off to heal.

Keith: Yeah. And I get it. I’m as type A as they come, too. And I’m all about hard charging. But I’ve had to learn over the years that there is a yin aspect to that. You’ve got to back off. You’ve got to rest. You’ve got to chill out, recover, and do all of that. And maybe I had insight into that much earlier than a lot of people just through sports and through the martial arts training and all of that. But my base drive is still type A. It’s still, run, charge, go and do this.

So speaking of fasting or intermittent fasting or any version of that, what’s your take on that?

Evan: So it’s a case-by-case basis, which sounds like a cop-out answer. But it’s not. And the reason why is because some people with adrenal issues, they may not be able to adapt straight away to it. So, for example, I tried intermittent fasting when I had adrenal problems. I had blood sugar issues, as well, because a lot of gut issues create blood sugar issues. And that’s tied into adrenals. You’ve got the system called the PAL system, meaning pancreas, adrenals, liver. And this is why some people in the middle of the night, while trying to adapt to intermittent fasting, they may wake up in the middle of the night. And they’ve got their heart racing or their mind racing or they’re just really revved up.

And what can happen, if you’re not adapting well because of adrenal stress, because maybe you work too hard or you train too hard, is the blood sugar crashes too low while you’re sleeping. And what happens is the adrenal glands are having to pinch hit for the pancreas. And the adrenal glands will secrete a little bit of cortisol, which then elevates blood glucose. But in that process of trying to get your blood sugar back up so you don’t pass out, the cortisol and usually a little bit of adrenaline and noradrenaline comes with it—that’s when you wake up. And your heart’s racing at 2 or 3 a.am. And you’re like, “Well, what is going on?”

Intermittent fasting and fasting is a stress. And from an evolutionary perspective, it’s really smart because let’s say you hadn’t eaten a bison in a week. And you’re out in a prairie, I would hope that you’re making some adrenaline, your endorphins. I would hope you’re making some cortisol because you need to be stressed because, dude, you’re going to starve to death if you don’t get a kill.

So it’s completely normal to have an elevation of hormones to make sure that you’re a little more hyperfocused and a little more fight or flight to make sure you get that kill so you can survive. But you can mimic that with the intermittent fasting and fasting.

So if you’re a good candidate for it, there’s a ton of benefits. Like if somebody had cancer, I would absolutely say that they need to be doing fasting, at least a couple days a week doing some fasting. I personally do maybe one or two fasting days a week. But it’s not a whole day of fasting. It’s just a shortened eating window.

So let’s say my wife and I, let’s say we cook dinner at 6pm. I may just push my breakfast back til maybe 9 or 10. So 6pm to 6am, that’s already twelve hours. And then 7, 8, 9, 10, that’s a sixteen-hour fast. And it’s easy. And I don’t have to think about it. So when people try to make it super fancy and complex, I just get bored with it. It’s like, it’s not that hard. It doesn’t need to be a whole book. Just postpone breakfast. Eat dinner at six. And don’t snack before bed. And that’s sixteen hours. Rarely do people need to fast more than that unless they have a real severe metabolic issue. Then they may be a better candidate for more.

But let me just circle back to why some people can’t do it. If you’re too stressed, like you said the attorney, 60, 70 hours a week. There’s no benefits in having no nutrition in your body. So in that analogy you gave, that’s like you flooring the car all the way down the highway. You’re on E. And you’re still going to floor it.

It’s like, dude, you’ve got to either do two things. You’ve got to let off the gas pedal because you’re burning more fuel than you can. You’ve got to get to a more fuel efficient speed, aka slow down, you big dummy. Or, two, you’ve got to refill the gas tank.

So I’ll just restate it. There’s no benefit in starving. If you’re pushing too hard...Now, if you’re resting, like on a fasting day if I just do a fasting day where it’s just like bone broth or soup or something, that’s on a weekend day where I don’t have too much stress. I’m not going to pick a high, I need to be performing at the top of my A game day to just not eat anything all day because you need nutrients to fuel your mitochondria. You need nutrients to create brain chemicals. You’ve got to have amino acids from your protein, from good digestion, to make brain chemicals so your brain works.

So at the end of the day, if intermittent fasting or let’s just say fasting were the cure-all, my friend Justin, he used the analogy on a podcast we did. And then we got some flack from a couple of our mutual podcast friends like, “Oh, how dare you compare to this?” But he mentioned like the Holocaust victims. And he’s like, “Look, these people were on a starvation diet. If fasting was so therapeutic, well, then why were these people so emaciated and looked so sick?” Fasting is not a miracle. It has to be done correctly and it has to be intermittent. It can’t be, “I’m fasting all the time. I’m at a calorie deficit because I heard that’s how you lose weight.” No, that’s not the answer.

Keith: And I think it’s a very important point to what you said about establishing where you are right now. So the analogy I use for that is in military flight training, there’s a part of that where it’s survival training. So they helicopter you out into the middle of the woods, drop you off, and the point is you’ve got to get from wherever they drop you off back to camp.

Well, you can’t even begin if you can’t figure out, number one, where am I right now? Because you’ve been blindfolded. You have no freaking clue where you are. You just know you’ve been in a helicopter for a long time. And you get dropped off. Number one, you have to figure out, “Where am I? So I have to use all the navigational tricks to figure out where am I right now. And now I can begin plotting the path back to where I know I need to get.”

But if you don’t start off with knowing where you are right now, you’re never going to get anywhere. You’re just going to walk in circles or go the wrong direction even.

Evan: Yeah. And it may make me sound biased or like I just want everyone to do a consult with me when I say everyone needs a practitioner. But I do firmly believe you need a practitioner because even myself, I can’t see stuff because I’m me. So I still consult with a lot of my friends when I have issues because I’m too close to me to know that I don’t have an objective view.

I thought I already flushed out all the ideas, and then here comes my buddy Justin saying, “Well, Evan, why don’t you just recheck your stool?” How simple was that, and I didn’t even think to do it because I was in my own body. So I don’t care who you do a consult with, whether it’s me or somebody else. But I just recommend that people have somebody on their team because you miss some of this stuff.

And it could be a simple hack of, “Oh, you were too overstimulated at night. Well, let me take a look at your adrenal supplements that you took at 3pm. Oh, that actually had a little too much licorice or a little too much of B6 or B2 or B5 in it. Why don’t we switch you out? Why don’t we shift that adrenal supplement to the morning? And then let’s have you do ashwagandha reishi mushroom in the evening instead.”

Maybe your protocol is good, but maybe the timing of your nutrients is off a bit. So even just somebody to take an objective view at, “Oh, you took that too late in the day. No wonder you had trouble falling asleep.” Just the little stuff like that could be the differenc between your sanity and your insanity.

Keith: Right. Now, switching the conversation all the way back to parasitic infestation, what about worm infestation?

Evan: This is real. And this is a brand new technology. We couldn’t even test for this literally a year ago. So it’s pretty cool that we’re having this conversation now because this is brand new technology.

Now, I had people who we’d run protocols. And they would poop out stuff. And they would email me pictures: “Hey, what’s this? What’s that?” And I would try to identify worms.

Keith: That’s got to be a highlight of your day, by the way.

Evan: Oh, I tell you, man, I’ve gotten more pictures in my inbox than you would like to see. In the past month or two, I had a guy poop out a three-foot © 2018. All rights reserved. 30

worm. He had to pull it out. So he went to wipe. And he felt something when he wiped. And he’s like, “Oh, something’s there. And he just kept pulling and pulling and pulling.” I don’t want to ask how he confirmed three feet. But why would he say three feet if it’s not three feet?

And then I had a lady last week, she pooped out 36 small worms. They were little white worms. And here’s the interesting thing is that sometimes, even though we can test for it now, the testing’s not accurate in terms of all the worms. We have some species identified like whipworm, tapeworm, the beef tapeworm. There’s certain worms that come from pork, etcetera. We can identify a good 6 to 10. But we can’t identify all the worms.

So I’m trying to learn and get better at this. But sometimes I just have to tell people, “I have no idea what that is. That thing is ugly. And I’m glad you got it out of your body. I don’t know what it was, though.”

I had a guy who said he pooped out something. He’s a truck driver. So he’s a semi truck driver. So he’s on the road a lot. And when you go to public bathrooms, a lot of them have the automatic sensors. So as soon as you stand up to look at your poop, it’s already gone. He said, “But one time I got to check my poop, I saw something that had teeth.” And he said, “I don’t know what it is. But it was white. And it was a worm thing with teeth.” And I’m like, “Dude, I don’t know. But let’s just be glad that it’s gone.”

Keith: Right. And at best, these things are sucking up nutrients that you would be absorbing.

Evan: Yeah. People may have this idea like, “Well, all the people in India have H. pylori,” or, “All the people in India have worms” because there’s been a study on this. And a massive amount of people have infections in India. There has been some literature on that. And people say, “Well, why can’t we just coexist.” Maybe if you had no stress and you worked like ten hours a week and you had beautiful men or women fanning you with banana leaves, maybe you could do it. Maybe you could coexist with these bugs and leave them alone.

But in the modern world when the soil’s already depleted even if it’s organic, you’re still not getting the minerals that you would have gotten 500 years ago from the soil. So in my opinion, we have less room or less margin for error. We have to have things more dialed in by default because of the environment changing so much.

So that’s why if I see worms on the test result, I’m going to get rid of those worms. And sometimes we kill stuff, and we poop it out. And we don’t even know what it was because a lot of times I have people show negative for all the current worms we can test for, but they still see them.

I don’t want worms. Luckily, I’ve never had any. I only had parasites, which the giardia and crypto. They’re microscopic. You would never see those.

Keith: I read—and I don’t know how accurate this is—that obviously this is a symbiotic relationship, right? We get the worms in our intestinal tract. And evolutionarily we skipped a defense for them somehow. So the question is, “Well, what are they giving back in lieu of sucking up nutrients that we didn’t evolve out of this?”

And a lot of them, from what I understand, affect the opioid endocannabinoid system. And so we get a natural, feel-good release from the endocannabinoid that these critters release, or the opiate. And I may have that totally wrong. But that’s essentially what I got from this particular article, which would make sense. You kind of dumb down the system.

And this works in the animal kingdom, too, with different worms and parasites. I’m more familiar with horses than anything. But there’s lots of symbiotic worms and infections that horses will get. And they get something from it, some kind of a endocannabinoid-affecting chemical. Anyway, it’s just very interesting.

But I agree with you. I would rather not have them in my system sucking up nutrients that I could otherwise use.

Evan: Right. So the way I look at it, too, if there are symptoms there...And let’s say on the organic acid test, there’s a whole section dedicated to amino acid metabolism, which looks at how well you’re digesting your proteins. If all of your amino acids are flatlined and you have worms, I’m going to say those worms are probably not in your benefit.

Like maybe we will figure out, “Hey, maybe everyone should have this or that worm.” But if I see your amino acids are flatlined and I see that your dopamine level is flatlined and you have no energy, you have no drive, it takes tons of coffee to get you motivated, I’m probably going to go after the gut bugs and see what happens if we get rid of them and then we retest. All of a sudden, now the amino acids have shifted up the slider. And now you’ve got more aminos, meaning you’re digesting proteins better.

Now, I’m always moving multiple levers at the same time. So it’s hard to say, “This or that was the magic fix.” But as a whole body system, getting rid of worms, increasing enzymes, if that fixes it and now we see brain chemistry has been better, that’s awesome.

Now, one benefit. You and I kind of briefly chatted about this previously about benefits of worms and infections and all that. And I think one benefit—and this is not a real benefit, but we’ll say it’s a benefit—is that these rope worm colonies, rope worm is kind of a made up term, which means it’s a big ball of gunk that’s not quite feces, but it’s not quite infection. It looks like a rope. And when we do these worm protocols, people poop out this rope-looking substance.

And Dietrich Klinghardt, he’s a medical doc up in Seattle. I’ve spoken with him about this. He says, “Evan, the benefit of these rope worms is that it can act as a reservoir for heavy metals and other toxins.” So if you have mercury fillings in your mouth, you may more be susceptible to have the rope worm in your gut sucking up the metal so that it’s not actively in your bloodstream or in your brain.

And this is an interesting concept because I have seen on test results verified that when we do a gut protocol and these people start pooping out all this stuff, sometimes they’ll get a skin rash. And sometimes a detox rash pops up. And we’re like, “Whoa.” And it’s almost as if we cut this, think of a balloon full of garbage. It’s almost like we cut the balloon open. And on the way out, some of that toxic air or toxic whatever leaked into the system. They get a rash for a week or two, and then it goes away.

And then you retest heavy metals. And even though they didn’t get the silver fillings out of their mouth yet, their mercury levels are lower. And it’s like, well, how would working on the gut lower mercury? And I’m suspecting he must be right with this idea and that it is that whatever gunk is in the gut, it was the storage facility for heavy metals.

So that’s pretty cool. But I still wouldn’t encourage you to leave that in your body. I think that’s a crutch. Maybe that’s making you less toxic to have that. But it’d be good to get that out, and get the silver out of your mouth, as well.

Keith: Right. And maybe it’s just a staging issue. Again, try to get all the offending, whether it’s friends or toxins out of your life, get that taken care of, and then revert back to clearing out the sponges.

Evan: For sure.

Keith: That’s super interesting. Well, Evan, how can people get up with you?

Evan: They can just Google my name. Just type in Evan Brand. And you can find my site. It’s just my name, EvanBrand.com. And they can find the podcast. By the time this is out, there’s probably going to be 300+ episodes. I’m gradually getting to that 300 number, which will be cool. And it’s all free, of course. So if there’s a topic that you heard some about today and you want to dive in deeper, I’ve probably covered it to the point that you’re going to be exhausted of hearing my voice. So just go check it out.

And if people want to reach out, then they can find information about booking a call with me there. I work with people around the world. So even in Australia. It’s more expensive because you’ve got to pay to ship your tests back to the U.S. That’s the only downside to working internationally is you’ve got a little more money to pay the postman to put the package on the donkey and bring the donkey back to the lab.

But besides that, you can pretty much fix any issue across the world, which is cool. It’s like whoa. I had a lady in Saudi Arabia a couple weeks ago. And she had tons of gut bugs. And she’s like, “All of my friends, we all drink the same dirty water. The water is not good here. We all drink the same dirty water. I’m sure all my friends have it.”

And I was like, this is amazing. She got to ship the stool test from Saudi Arabia, in the middle of the desert, back to Georgia to get the results. And then we ship everything across. It’s some weird triangulation pattern. We’ve got to ship it to here, and then she ships it to there. And then her friend ships it. Like it was weird. But somehow magically stuff ended up at her door. And then we’re able to fix it. It’s like that’s cool. That’s one benefit of technology.

Keith: Right, that’s pretty incredible that you can help somebody anywhere in the world.

Evan: Yeah. And I guess my closing message for people is don’t give up. Realize that you can do this, whatever your goal is. Everyone has a goal. Everyone wants to be a little more this, a little less of that. Those goals are probably achievable. And I would just encourage you to make sure that you sleep. Make sure that you’re grateful. Gratitude is the attitude.

Like my wife and I yesterday, we took our little girl to the zoo. It was the worst weather ever. It was like 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It was raining. It was just a little bit of a mist, just enough to get you wet, just enough to turn the windshield wipers on in the car, but not enough to soak you. And we’re like,

“This is like the worst day ever from a weather perspective. But let’s go to the zoo anyway because there’s probably nobody else that’s going to go out and do it.”

We had the best experience ever. All the animals were so active because they weren’t irritated by people. At our zoo here in Kentucky, there’s a rainforest room where there’s no cages. There’s just a bunch of birds flying over your head. Normally all those birds are freaked out and they’re hiding away. But all those birds were right there. So I got some amazing pictures. We got to hang out right next to these birds and had an experience we never would have had just because we took a situation that other people would say is not a good situation, and we took advantage of it.

I told her on the way there, I said, “Babe, there’s some people that may say, ‘Oh, the weather is too crappy. Why would we want to do anything outside today?’ And I thought, babe, there’s people in a hospital right now with cancer that are going to die today. And they would do anything, even if they were in a wheelchair or a stretcher. They would pay for someone to take their stretcher to the zoo and let them have one last good day on earth.”

So you have to take that day. Stop living like there’s going to be this magic day where everything’s going to be perfect. Today may be that day for you. You have to just suck up that day because you might not get another one. So that’s my message.

Keith: Yeah. It’s the Eastern thought idea of right now this very second is perfect no matter what’s going on. It’s exactly as it should be. It is perfect. Accept it as such.

Evan: And that’s hard. That’s hard, man. That’s hard. But continually work on that. I do this exercise every morning and every evening. It’s like a mixed gratitude visualization. I think Tony Robbins does something similar. I know I’ve heard he does something similar. I don’t know his exact protocol.

But my kind of protocol is I’ll come up with things that I’m grateful for. And then I’ll intertwine that with visualizations of things that I want to become reality. So it could be, “I’m grateful for my wife. I’m grateful for this interview with Keith. I’m grateful for this.” And then I’ll throw in something else. Let’s just make something up materialistic that’s cool. “I’m grateful for this boat.” I don’t have a boat. But that’d be cool to have a boat and go on the lake and have some fun.

And then you go back to things that are actually real. And it’s like your brain and your nervous system gets confused on what’s reality and what’s not. So then your dream...That’s why I don’t like the idea of a dream car. I had a guy pulled up into the parking lot like, “Oh, dude, Tesla is my dream car.” I said, “Don’t make it your dream car. Make it your reality car” because that’s what I did. I knew one day I was going to have that in the garage. And it’s materialistic, so people are like, “Oh, whatever. Screw you. That’s a material item. That doesn’t make you happy. Whatever.”

Even Elon in his interview, he said the idea of a Tesla is to maximize fun. And he said it’s the funnest thing you will ever buy. He’s correct! It’s a fun machine, is what it is. But the way that I got to that point was that I was grateful for something that I didn’t even have.

And therefore I wasn’t dreaming. I was just visualizing it. So if something is a dream, it’s too far out of reach, and then you might never achieve it. He’s like, “Oh, I dream one day...” It’s like, “Dude, don’t dream. Make it reality.” And I don’t know all the answers. But that’s kind of a cool little exercise that’s helped me.

Keith: Yeah. That’s a great exercise. I like that idea.

Evan: Don’t separate it. Don’t separate. Don’t make things not reality. Make them reality. It’s just a future reality. Instead of calling it a dream, call it a future reality.

Keith: Right. So instead of having a dream board, you would have a reality board with a few I-want-to-haves popped in there.

Evan: And then maybe to confuse your brain, you put something that you already have on there, like a picture of your wife. Like, “I want her in the future, too. But I’ve also got her right now, which is pretty sweet.” And then that way your brain doesn’t look at that and it’s like, “Oh, Lamborghini or this or that or that.” Your brain says, “Oh, wait a second! Oh.” And then the brain makes a connection. “Oh, there’s the wife,” or, “There’s the baby,” or, “There’s the dog,” or, “There’s the house that we already have. And my dream is already real.” You know what I mean?

I don’t know. We could do a whole hour on that. But look up the book...There’s a book called The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale, which is great, too. And in that book, he goes into some of the strategies that he used to try to basically trick his brain and his nervous system to create a reality that he wanted.

Keith: And what’s it called again?

Evan: It’s called The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale. That was like the best Amazon purchase I’ve ever made in my life. That book changed my life. That one and then Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, and then Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work, and then Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You.

And then another book I think people should have is Dr. Weatherby’s book here. This is on my desk every day. It’s called Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis. You can get this on Amazon. And what you can do is you can take your bloodwork. And you can look at your bloodwork from a functional perspective.

So a conventional doctor runs your bloodwork. “Hey, Keith, everything looks fine. Go home.” But you could look here, and you could go to the chloride page. So this is your chloride. And then you see right here, “If you’re low in chloride, a decreased level is associated with hypochlorhydria, which is low stomach acid. Chloride is one of the main elements necessary to produce stomach acid in your parietal cells.

So if you see, “Hey, my chloride is a few points low. My doctor never would have found that. But now the functional doctor saw chloride was a bit low. I need more stomach acid. And maybe that means I have an H. pylori infection. So now I need to test my gut because why is my chloride low, meaning my stomach acid’s low?” So that’s a cool book. It’s like fifty bucks. I highly recommend it.

Keith: Right on! Well, Evan, it was great talking with you, man. You dropped knowledge bombs left and right like I knew you would.

Evan: Well, I hope I did. And I hope this helped people. And take care of yourself. That way, you can take care of others. All the moms out there, all the dads out there, I know you want to take care of your wife, your husband, your kids, your parents. Your parents are aging. Maybe they’ve got some health problems. Look, to take care of them, you’ve got to take care of you. And it’s not selfish. It’s self first.

I’ve got to take care of me. Otherwise, I can’t take care of others. That’s as simple as it gets right there.

Keith: Right. And that’s the cornerstone. I know I keep going back to sports and military training, is you put team first because you will go over and beyond for others, especially those that you identify as a team member or a

tribe member, over and above than what you would do for yourself. So if you think, I’ve got to be here for them. I’ve got to be healthy for them, that puts things in a whole other perspective. And that gets back to compliance and follow through and all of the other stuff we talked about a little bit earlier.

Evan: Amen. Well, thank you for having me. It was a lot of fun.

Keith: Right on, Evan! And it was great talking with you. Health Hackers, I’ll be back in the next episode. But for now, we’re going to sign out and say adios to Evan. Take care, brother!

Evan: Take care!

#293 Erin Elizabeth on Breast Implants, Mold, & Candida Illness

Erin Elizabeth is an author, TV journalist, public speaker, and activist. You can download her free ebook now about going from obese to fit and keeping the weight off 5 years. She travels for speaking gigs, rallies and spends time at home with her better half of 9 years, Dr Mercola.

Today We Discuss

  • Mold illness

  • Breast implant illness

  • Eating out while staying healthy

  • and much more!

#290 Evan Brand with Robyn Openshaw on Home Toxins, EMF, & Gut Health

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Today’s interview is from the Toxic Home Transformation Summit that I was part of.

Robyn Openshaw, the Green Smoothie Girl interviewed me and we had a blast!

You can register for free and get access to all the talks for 7 days. Register here.

Today We Discuss

  • Why do some people take probiotics and feel worse?

  • How do you properly test for gut issues?

  • Why does conventional medicine fail at healing gut issues?

  • Do you need to eliminate fruit to get rid of Candida overgrowth?

  • Do you need pharmaceutical drugs to successfully eradicate parasite infections?

  • EMF mitigation strategies

Transcript

Robyn: Hey everyone, it’s Robyn Openshaw, and welcome back to Vibe. And I have someone I’m going to interview today. I know I always say that I’m excited about it, but I’m really excited about this because I’ve been trying for a while to get Evan Brand on the show. He’s super busy, I’ve never done a podcast episode this early — people shouldn’t even have to get out of bed this early — but it’s what he had available.

What’s exciting and interesting is he’ll actually get on the phone with you for free for 15 minutes. He’s a longtime podcaster. If you’ve been podcasting since 2012 (I always say I’m a grandma in the blogging space because I’ve been doing it for 11 years) then he’s a grandpa in the podcasting space, even though he’s really young.

He’s actually really young; he has a two-year-old. But, he’s been podcasting since 2012 and has had 7 million downloads of his show. But the thing I like about Evan is that, like many of the people we interview here, he got well and then took that knowledge base that he gained and dug even deeper, and now he helps others.

He’s a certified functional medicine practitioner — a nutritional therapist — in addition to being an author and a podcast host. He really jams out on working with people who have chronic fatigue, or obesity, or depression. And he came by his knowledge because he has or had IBS and depression issues himself.

If you work with him, he’s going to use at-home lab testing and customized supplements to help you figure out what’s wrong, and then get to the bottom of it and get well. Welcome to the show Evan Brand.

Evan: Robyn, thanks for having me.

Robyn: We’re doing this interview, and we’re using some parts of it on the Vibe podcast. But the original intent was to talk to you about how you got well, your story; and specifically talking about pathogens, talking about parasites, and bacterial infections.

People who do our 26-day detox often will get on a pathogen protocol. We really like systemic formulas: a pathogen protocol or their parasite protocol. But talk to me a little bit about how you became an expert at this: what’s your own personal story that led you to so much knowledge about this?

Evan: Sure. Well, the more and more interviews I do, the further back the timeline goes. I used to say that it was when I was in business school that I realized I was depressed. But the more I do interviews and I think back, I realize I was depressed since I was a kid.

I remember seeing other kids that were just so happy, they seemed so bubbly, so vibrant. And I wasn’t like that. Something would go good in my life and I wouldn’t get the same pleasure that someone else would get from it. It was almost like I had this governor or some sort of a cap on my neurotransmitters even as a kid.

And it makes sense, my parents divorced when I was three years old. And I think that was probably a big part of it because I’ve spoken with Dr Dietrich Klinghardt and he told me that a lot of kids have traumas before they can even remember. You’re talking one-year-olds, two-year-olds, three-year-olds. They can’t remember the stuff, but the trauma still affects them.

And that’s the first time I’ve actually mentioned this on an interview, but I think that’s probably maybe when it all started. And then it just progressed into teenage years; I wanted to drive fast and seek out things to boost the adrenaline. And then I got into business school, and my sleep schedule was messed up. I was working third shifts at UPS to try to pay for my college.

I quickly realized I didn’t want to be a bean-counter, I was going to be in accounting or marketing or something like that. But I realized that’s not what I wanted to do and I wanted to figure out my health issues instead. I dropped out of business school and moved down to Texas, and started studying nutritional therapy: trying to figure out how to use food as medicine.

And then I made huge progress, I probably got 80% better just by the diet alone. Lots of good green veggies, organic as much as possible, getting away from chemicals because we know those damage mitochondria and gut bacteria and other things.

I got a lot of progress, and then I lost a bunch of weight. I thought I had cancer; I lost about 25 pounds without trying in about six months. And many women joke and they’re like, “Oh, Evan, I’d love to have your problem.” It’s like, “Look, you don’t want to lose weight that fast not trying.”

I ended up finding out I had parasite infections. I had a couple friends who had looked at me and said, “Evan, you’ve probably got some infections. Let me see your fingernails.” And I looked at my fingernails and sure enough, I had some vertical lines, these vertical ridges on my fingernails. And that indicated some sort of malabsorption.

And then the question is, “Okay, do you take digestive enzymes?” And the answer is: maybe. But the question is, “Okay, well, why is there malabsorption? Why is there issues with your skin, your hair, your nails, your sleep, your detoxification? You’re sensitive to perfumes and fragrances and car exhaust, why is this happening?”

And long story short, it was the gut bugs for me. I had a yeast overgrowth, I had parasite infections, bacterial infections. I had adrenal problems, thyroid problems. I had mycoplasma pneumoniae and a couple other infections from tick bites. I had the full whammy. And all of that was compounded by me moving to Texas, leaving my family behind, working for a supplement company, getting married — that’s a stress, but it’s a good stress, having a kid.

All those things add up in your stress bucket. For me, the bucket was full and it overflowed. And then finally, I realized, “Okay, food as medicine is great, but you’ve got to have functional medicine.” That’s when I took as many functional medicine courses as I could without being a medical doctor and then got certified.

Now, I’ve helped and tested over 2,000 people. And what I found is that, look, what happened to me is not rare, it’s actually very common. In fact, 95% of the people that I’ve tested using urine organic acids testing have a candida overgrowth, just like me, due to antibiotics and sugar in the diet and other things. And I’d say 60 to 70% of the people, they have infections of some sort, whether it’s bacterial.

People throw around the term SIBO a lot, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. I don’t really like that term because it doesn’t tell you what the species of bacteria are, because when you’re working with a patient with autoimmune disease, it’s more important to know the species, like Klebsiella pneumoniae. That’s a common form of Hashimoto’s. Prevotella copri is a common bacterial infection that triggers rheumatoid arthritis. To me, it’s more important to know the species. That way, you can identify what’s the possible autoimmune disease rather than just say, “Hey, it’s SIBO, here’s a generic SIBO protocol.” I don’t like to do that.

Long story short, I fixed all those issues and I’m better than ever. Now, I just told you off-air, my daughter pushed herself off the table and fell out of her high chair, and busted her head on the floor and had a concussion and was throwing up and all that. That was a stress for me. And now, I’m doing all the tools I can to try to recover her.

Life is unpredictable, but I think if you want to make it in the modern world in the 21st century, you’ve got to be adaptable, whether that’s using adaptogenic herbs, whether that’s doing meditation and yoga and doing retreats and setting time for yourself, getting energy vampires out of your life, removing toxic people from your life, toxic things from your home, which I know we’ll talk about a bit. To me, this is the foundation. You must have these pillars in place to exist and thrive in the 21st century.

Robyn: When you’ve had to address all those different pillars, you’ve had to, I’m sure, learn how to manage the stress because stuff like that is going to happen. If you have kids, you’re going to have one fall out of the highchair and bang her head. You cannot be watching and catching her every second. That’s one of the most terrible realizations of being a parent, I think, is the trouble they’re going to get themselves into that you then have to help them, get them out of the jam. But learning to manage those stresses and like you said, be adaptable is part of it.

I’m glad to hear your story, and I’m sorry that you went through all that. But I think you’ll relate to when I fixed my own health, and I was obese and had 21 different diagnosed diseases and was on five different drugs, and my first child was dying — in and out of hospitals, emergency rooms, on all kinds of steroids, antibiotics, bronchodilators every four hours.

The process of turning that around, I really thought it was about him, and then I thought is about me and him. And then I thought it was about our family, and then I thought it was about our neighborhood because I started having classes and teaching people stuff and they started doing it. And now, I see that those things that I learned were for so many more people that I have the great honor to influence.

And I think you’re the same, and you’re young. I was having my experience in my 20s too and it changed me forever. And just bad habits I had back then, I’ll never go back to because I don’t want to pay the price that I was paying back then.

Evan: I know. It’s not even worth it. You’ll go out to social events and people will make fun of you for your dietary choices, it’s like, “Oh, just eat the bread or just eat this.” And it’s like, I don’t seek pleasure from food anymore in the way, not a hedonistic way. I still love everything I eat, food is delicious, you can make amazing food.

Food can taste good and be good for you. But a lot of people tease us for the things that we’ve done. I’m sure you’ve had people make fun of you for the choices you’ve made. And I’ve had people say, “Oh, Evan, you’re trying to live in a bubble.” And it’s like, “Look, glyphosate is bad news. If I can avoid it, I’m not going to use it on my yard, I’m not going to put it in my food, I’m going to stay away.”

I don’t understand why trying to be an optimal person should get shunned. I don’t know if it’s jealousy or envy or what it is. But I think ultimately people have to find their why, I think that’s what makes me a better practitioner too is because many people come to me after they’ve been to conventional doctors, and I had all the prescription pads written for myself too (I had acid blocking medications and antidepressants and all sorts of other drugs prescribed).

I never took them, but many people say, “Look, these people are recommending things they’ve never done.” And I tell people, they’ll ask me about, “Hey, Evan, what do you think about this supplement?” And if I haven’t taken it, I’m going to tell them, “Look, I haven’t taken it, I don’t know. It looks pretty good, but I haven’t taken it.”

I don’t like to do things with people that I haven’t done myself. I don’t know where that drive comes from, but I’ve been in the trenches and I want to help people get out of the trenches. You gave me goosebumps telling me about you thought it was about your kids and then you and then your neighborhood because this really is a whole, it’s a planetary issue.

You have to help people one at a time though, that’s the thing. And what do they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. We’re leading you guys to the water, but it’s up to you when you’re ready to drink. And I just want to say a quick note about that, which is don’t wait until you hit rock bottom before you try to start making changes because people like Robyn and I can help dig you out of the hole, but it’s so much easier if you just notice something is off and then you want to start fixing it.

Let’s say you’ve got some depression or some anxiety or you had a panic attack or you’ve got mood swings or PMS or a little bit of issues with sleep or energy problems or sugar cravings or brain fog or joint pain, let’s not wait until that’s to a catastrophic level where you’re dialing the emergency room and you’re getting in for urgent care. Let’s try to figure out, okay, something’s not right.

Let’s figure out what’s going on under the hood, let’s investigate these body systems. Let’s look at the adrenals, let’s look at thyroid, let’s look at mitochondrial function and liver function and neurotransmitters. And let’s look for fungus and yeast and parasites because for me, I had no choice. Like I said, I thought I had cancer. I literally went from 160 pounds, I’m about 5’10”, 5’11”, and I went down to about 130 pounds. That’s almost 30 pounds without trying. I almost looked like a concentration camp victim. I was so skinny people were asking, “Evan, are you okay? What’s wrong, what’s wrong?”

And the answer for a long time was I don’t know, I don’t know what’s wrong. Don’t do what I did, I had to do it out of choice plus necessity because I was so scared. But it’s much better to do this out of optimism rather than fear. If you’re in a place of fear, it’s really tough.

Robyn: Yeah. I think you are probably having the same experience I am where it’s a huge win if we get any kind of pattern interrupt on these lifestyle changes that we’re teaching. And I think it’s important that we be friends, all of us out here in the wellness space. And I consider part of my job listening to your podcast because I learn something from every episode.

I’m a huge Evan Brand show listener, and I learn something new in every episode. And I feel like that’s my continuing ed and it keeps me current, all the reading that I do. If I’m working out, I promise you, I’m listening to a podcast and I’m learning something about health and wellness. And sometimes I don’t agree with what I’m reading because it conflicts with something that I think is more evidence-based. But I like to always have those questions going in my head.

You and I will probably get really excited if we can get access to a mom before she has gone over the waterfall, before her kids have gone over the waterfall, and she starts making changes before the catastrophe. That’s when it feels like a big win, although, I’m perfectly happy to start with someone wherever they are. A dietary change, like you said, it’ll do 80% of it usually.

Evan: Yeah. Well, I’m so glad you brought up the moms too. I don’t really market myself as a pediatric functional medicine guy, but I’ve had to gradually evolve into that just because a lot of these doctors that are in the naturopathic field, they’ll just throw a homeopathic remedy or something at a child and that’s it. And it’s like, okay, well, the kid obviously has food intolerances and asthma and these other issues for a reason. It’s not a deficiency of homeopathic remedies just like it’s not a deficiency of antibiotics or something else. There’s a root cause.

I’ve had to learn this the hard way that a lot of these infections are passed throughout the family. You brought up kids, we’ll just go down this avenue for a minute if that’s okay, which is that I’m seeing two-year-olds and three-year-olds and four-year-olds and five-year-olds with many parasites.

I had a mom with two kids, they were five years old each. And she took the kids out of school because they were about to get kicked out of school due to their attitude problems. And we ran their stool tests, and they showed up about 30 different infections between the two twins. We’re talking five parasites each, seven different species of bacterial overgrowth, yeast, fungus, inflammation off-the-charts.

I believe that if we can start kids young — and that includes even prenatal stuff for moms — if we can make sure that moms are healthy before they get pregnant, that’s a goal. And the funny thing is too, I’ll work on a parasite protocol with a lady who wants to get pregnant and then all of a sudden she emails me, “Hey, Evan, I’m pregnant.” And I was like, “Oops, I forgot to tell you everything we do increases fertility.”

You’ve got all these infertility moms out there that are struggling and they’re paying 10 and $15,000 for the IVF treatment. But if you just fix the body, the body is amazing. You just have to help it fix itself and then all of a sudden, these issues just go away.

Robyn: Yeah. I don’t think people’s minds goes to parasite or a bacterial infection first unless they’re sick and they have flu-like symptoms. You’ve talked about ridges on your fingernails, and you had rapid weight loss. Those are kind of the more obvious ones, but what symptom should people be looking for? Because for toxic home transformation, for the summit, what I want you to go deep on is pathogens.

How do we know that we have? Obviously lab testing, but how do we even start with, “Oh, this symptom may be connected to a parasite”? I remember reading in John Robbins’ book, Diet for a New America, or maybe it’s The Food Revolution, literally 25 years ago when I started my thing that a cubic inch of red meat has a thousand larvae in it. I quit eating red meat and pork, I’ll never eat pork again 25 years ago, and a lot of animal products.

But I think people think that the answer is to eat sterilized food and never eat any vegetables and fruits. And vegetables and fruits can have parasites. But to me, that’s not at all the answer. Talk about some common symptoms that might make somebody wonder, “Oh, I wonder if I have this underlying chronic infection that’s a bacterial or viral or a parasite.” Talk a little bit about that and then we’ll go deeper.

Evan: Sure. People may say I’m biased because that’s what I work on so much, but I would say it’s almost anything and everything that’s not right with you. As I mentioned, energy problems.

It could be energy swings: one day you may feel good and then the next day you feel terrible and there’s no correlation or major change in lifestyle. You’re just drained for some reason. You’re waking up not feeling rested, like you’ve got to go for that coffee — imagining a day without coffee is bad or stressful. That’s something that’s not right. And I’ll explain a little bit of the mechanism just for the listeners and then we’ll kind of dive back into symptoms.

The mechanism of all this is that it’s multiple. These infections, they’re stealing your nutrients because there’s competition. Just like when we’re talking about Lyme disease and then the co-infections like your Bartonella and your Babesia, et cetera.

These things need amino acids to thrive. Your dietary protein, whether that’s plant proteins, whether that’s animal proteins, whatever your source, those proteins are supposed to get broken down into amino acids and then those amino acids then go to manufacture neurotransmitters and hormones and make all of our body systems run, feed the mitochondria, et cetera.

And when you have these infections, think of it as if you’re a gardener: you may have one of those little hose diverters where the hose can go two ways and there’s a little knob in the center. It’s almost like that knob is getting stuck in the center. Some of the water flow is going to this other direction, which is the bugs. And then some of your water flow is making it to your garden to nourish you.

When that happens, that’s when energy levels go down. That’s when sleep gets affected because you have to have certain neurotransmitters, like tryptophan to make serotonin, which then combined with vitamin B6 makes melatonin, which isn’t just important for sleep: melatonin is one of the most potent antioxidant hormones that fights cancer, which is why there’s research on night shift nurses. Type in night shift nurses breast cancer into PubMed, you’ll see that women who work night shift as a nurse, they’re 50% more likely to develop breast cancer than someone working day shift. And it’s due to the melatonin being disrupted because they’re under artificial light at night and they’re not obeying the laws of sunlight, which is get up with the sun and go to bed with the sun.

Back to symptoms though: this could be joint pain, it could be migrating, or it may be stagnant. It could be digestive issues, it could be bloating, it could be heartburn, which would likely indicate like an H, pylori infection (forgot to mention that; I had H. pylori as well). H. pylori damages the parietal cells of your gut; these are the cells that make stomach acid.

If you’re getting heartburn, you’re getting bloating, burping, indigestion, if you have rosacea, if you have eczema, you have dermatitis, you’ve got issues with your scalp, you’ve got maybe the keratosis pilaris on the back of your triceps, you’ve got little bumps, maybe you’ve just got some random spots of dry or flaky skin somewhere else. Look, it’s not a deficiency of topical steroids that your dermatologist is going to give you, it’s not.

My wife was covered in hives at one point, she had bumps all over her body. It turned out not only was she allergic to all the skin care products she was using, but she had some infections as well. We had to treat those with herbs. What else symptom-wise? Robyn, we could go on and on, and on.

I think mood issues too, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety. I had a mom a few weeks ago, I believe her son was 9 years old, maybe 10. She lives in New Jersey and they take the subway to school, they get on the subway together. And the mom told me that the kid tripped on the subway when he was walking on and tripped. And he told his mom, “You know what, I’d rather just kill myself.” I said, “Whoa, how long has he been saying that?” And she said, “Oh, he’s been saying suicidal stuff for several years.”

And sure enough, we get his gut test back and the kid has more infections than I had. I can’t say 100% this causes this, but these are just correlations that you see in the clinic that science is not going to test. It’s like, who’s going to do the double-blind placebo study, give a bunch of people a Giardia parasite infection, and then see who of those people get suicidal thoughts or not. There’s some stuff that we have to depend on, clinical pearls versus waiting on the research, same thing with passing infections between each other.

Kind of to answer your question in a longer form: you couples, I see a lot of couples. And the literature is not 100% clear on this, but 90% of the time, the partner has the same infections or similar infections because you can pass things like H. pylori, the bacteria through saliva, oral sex, kissing, intercourse. The literature is not clear because who’s going to do that study. This is stuff you just have to figure out.

Now, 10% of the time, the wife may show up with an infection and the husband doesn’t have it. But I tell you more often than not, 9 times out of 10, you’ve got to come in and support the whole family. And then this is how the babies get infected too; is the mom maybe feeding the kid from her fork, “Hey, baby, try this, try a bite of this, try a bite of that.” And the bug gets passed (when I say bug, this is microscopic. You’re not going to see it crawling). The mom gives the baby the food, the fork or the spoon or the drink, or they share the cup, and then the H. pylori gets passed and then the kid ends up with reflux and then the pediatric doc puts them on an acid blocker and then they develop skin issues because they’re not digesting their food anymore.

The whole cascade, the whole domino effect can happen just from a minor infection, which is why I talk about it so much like a broken record, but it’s just because I see it so often.

Robyn: Blood tests: you can order them, you can work with people remotely. Telemedicine has probably really been helpful to people who can work with somebody like you, even though you’re in Kentucky. Talk about the blood test and what you learn, and then what the treatment looks like once you figure out specifically what pathogens someone’s actually contending with.

Evan: Sure. Everything we’ve discussed so far, you can find those with two different tests. One is the organic acids panel, this is an at-home urine test. You wake up or you have the kid wake up, you collect first morning’s urine, you get that back to the lab.

The second one is the stool panel; I use one called a GI map which is a DNA PCR based test. Conventional docs and gastroenterologist, what they use is called antigen-based testing, or they use microscopy, which is where they have a human looking at the poop. And obviously, human error is a big issue; they miss infections very, very often. There’s a high, high, high rate of false negatives. This is why I use those tests because they’re about a thousand times more sensitive than what a conventional test will look at.

I do run some blood just depending on the case. I don’t run it always, but I do run it a lot more because I am seeing, unfortunately, so many people with Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune diseases that we just have to run blood to check and see, “Okay, are the antibodies rising; are the antibodies coming down?” The good thing is the blood work generally goes in a positive direction once you work on the gut. I may just go based on symptoms and I may not do blood right away. I do blood for Lyme and for testing the co-infections and all that stuff too, looking for inflammation markers. But I’d say 90% of the issues that people face, you can really solve and investigate those issues with saliva, stool and urine. And then if you can’t or you start to spin your wheels, you can get blood work and look deeper.

But once again, this is going to be a custom blood panel, this is not going to be just a standard CBC because, unless you’re at a disease level, there’s not much that changes. There’s little minor things that change; white blood cell count tends to drop if you have a chronic infection. You may see ferritin dropping, which is a common issue with women that are losing a lot of hair or they can’t catch their breath.

Ferritin can go low, which is an iron storage protein. That gets affected by parasites. A lot of women, they’ll go on an iron supplement. They’re like, “Evan, why is it my ferritin or my iron coming back up? Why am I so anemic?” And it’s like, “Well, you’ve probably got a gut bug, look at your white blood cells, they’re really low, which would indicate chronic infection and a leaky gut situation going on.”

The blood does fill in a lot of the blanks. I think of it as kind of the glue for the puzzle. The functional medicine labs are the big pieces and then the blood is the glue that kind of seals the picture together.

Robyn: Are there are some specific parasites or infections that you’re seeing a lot of? When you’re testing blood of your clients are there somewhere you can say 80% of the people I get tested have this or 60% have that? Just so that someone who’s listening and has thought, “Gosh, I have not really thought much about having infections or parasites.”

I travel internationally a lot; I take my readers to Switzerland every June. I’ll be there for three weeks this June and it’s a clinic of biological medicine. You should come with us, it’s amazing and you could-

Evan: It sounds fun.

Robyn: Yeah. You should sit in, you should do rounds with them and sit in with patients. They don’t have the HIPPA laws there; they let our practitioners that we take sit in on any patient meetings if the patient is okay with it. But they have looked at my blood and year after year what’s in my blood is different. And they have said there’s parasites here and they have said there’s a bacterial infection here. And they can tell by what my white blood cells are doing how many white blood cells I have and also structures in my live blood analysis.

Talk about what you see a lot in children and adults.

Evan: Yeah, sure. I mentioned the candida; I’m doing a whole summit on it because it’s huge. I was going to call it the Infection Summit, but then I thought, well, if people hear infection, they’re going to think, “I don’t have an infection,” and then they’re not going to pay attention.

Like I said, I’ve tested over 2,000 people and here’s some statistics. Just a disclaimer, I may be biased because people are coming to me with health symptoms. No one’s coming and saying, “Evan, I feel 100% amazing, I just want to get checked out.” There are those people. And guess what, those people even show up with infections. They thought they felt amazing, we fix something and then they feel even more amazing. There is that small percentage.

But most people have an issue; they’ve been to practitioners before they get to me. That disclaimer stated 90 to 95% of the 2,000 people have candida overgrowth, meaning it’s off the charts: they’re doing what’s called auto-intoxication syndrome where the aldehyde and basically an alcohol-like compound is produced from the yeast, and it’s making the person drunk, causing brain fog. Some people think they have dementia and Alzheimer’s because their brain is so bad, but it’s just Candida. That’s the biggest thing I see.

Robyn: 90 to 95%.

Evan: 90 to 95%. If I don’t see a candida overgrowth, I’m like, “Whoa, that’s amazing. Is this accurate? Do we need to retest? What the heck’s going on, this is amazing.”

Robyn: I realize this is what your whole summit is about. We don’t want to go too far sideways on candida, but I think a lot of people are curious about it and I think you’re going to get really good attendance at your summit because a lot of people have been diagnosed with candida overgrowth, probably just about everybody who’s been on antibiotic really ever. People who eat very much sugar and flour — processed food — they’re probably really, really likely to have it.

What’s the diet? I always say a candida-starvation diet is one of the hardest diets. What do they eat? I want to hear it from you because there’s people who are like, they’re taken off of all fruits, all starchy vegetables. Basically, they’re eating greens, some vegetables and meat. And I’m a plant-based eater, I would probably die on that diet with that much meat. But I think that a lot of the plant foods are going to feed that candida, though it might be a healthy diet for a healthy person, but not honestly someone with candida. Talk about the diet for just a minute.

Evan: Yeah. The things that I really pull out are the fermented stuff at least just temporarily. Kombucha is a big no-no at least temporarily because the woman that I saw who had the biggest candida I’ve ever seen, the biggest candida overgrowth, meaning that her arabinose and her tartaric acid, these are markers that you measure on the OAT test. Her levels were hundreds of times higher than normal and she looked like she was nine months pregnant after she ate anything. She ate a walnut and her stomach would blow up. She was drinking five kombuchas a day. That’s crazy. Now, kombucha has some benefits, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Same with your fermented.

Robyn: I think that you probably crave the kombucha and other sweet foods if you have Candida because you’ve literally got billions of microbes screaming for the food they want, which is sugar. People with candida, their candida is out of control, their sugar cravings have got to make them feel completely insane. And Evan, just so you know, the worst I’ve ever seen, it’s very similar.

It was a guy and he was at the ashram where I go to water fast once a year. And he was there for a 21-day water fast. And I was there with him for nine days and we stayed in the same building. Everybody shares one bathroom, it’s super one-star. But it’s always an adventure. And he was there to starve out the candida. And I do want to say, I thought it was pretty interesting; he was successful, he went home. He had been a meth addict, no, heroin addict in and out of hospitals, got a MRSA infection in the hospital. He was on a month of antibiotics and anything at all that he ate, anything, he swelled up. I have a picture of it, it’s in one of my video master classes. He gave me permission. His gut would swell. He was a thin guy, he was like 6’3″ thin guy, fit guy, looked eight months pregnant, fully eight months pregnant if he ate just any food at all. Anyways, a water fast is not for everyone. But he was serious about it; he was miserable enough and he did it. And it worked.

Evan: Gosh, I believe it. And you and I were texting back and forth about my issues and I told you when I got my wisdom teeth and my 12 year molars extracted; unfortunately, I did get put on antibiotics and did it out of fear. And that’s probably a big downturn in my whole candida journey. But back to some of the stuff we were talking about-

Robyn: The diet, candida diet.

Evan: Yes. That lady, she was doing a ton of Kombucha, but she was doing the other fermenteds too. Now, a lot of people are promoting fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and things like that, which I do believe have value. And a lot of people talk about probiotics.

Now, the funny thing is in the health space, a lot of us are do-it-yourselfers. But that can be a downfall sometimes, and then you build up what I call the supplement graveyard, which is where you’ve got a whole pantry of stuff that you’re not really taking anymore because you heard it would help or work so you bought it, and you tried it, and you didn’t do much with it. And I want to prevent people from building up a bigger supplement graveyard because, yes, probiotics can be good, yes, kombucha can be good, yes, fermenteds can be good. But what I found is, sometimes, it’s adding gasoline to the fire.

Before you throw in all these beneficial fermented things, you may need to come in and clean up the fire first — before you come in and reinoculate with the good guys. This is why some people, including myself, take probiotics and they feel terrible. They get worse bloating, they get more fatigue, they get more skin issues. And it’s because you’ve got to clear things out.

It’s kind of like if you were to use a garden analogy. If the garden is just covered in weeds and you just come in and throw a ton of fertilizer, everything’s going to grow better. That’s including the bad guy. You may need to come in, let’s pick out the weeds first. And how I do that, is systemically with herbs once you knock out the bugs, then you can come back in and go ahead and reseed and add your probiotics in later. But the order of operations is something that people mess up.

Now, I don’t believe you need to cut out all fruit. In fact, I ate berries pretty much the whole time during my parasite and candida protocol and I did just fine. I think if you’re not getting crazy with it, you’re keeping it low glycemic, you’re doing your blackberries or blueberries or raspberries, make more organic please, you should be okay.

Now, am I going to say go for like mangoes and pineapples and stuff like that? Probably not. I think it’s a bad idea, especially the dried fruits. A lot of women tell me their favorite snack is dried mango strips, it’s like, “Whoa, that’s probably a no-no.” Fruit snack, stuff like that, let’s keep it real food.

I’m a huge fan of smoothies because many people are juicing, but with juicing you’re removing the fiber. Then you’re just creating a massive blood sugar spike, and that’s affecting the pancreas. And then that affects the adrenals, and then the liver gets involved.

I would just say go for smoothies over juicing, and just throw in a couple berries and maybe you throw in some coconut or some avocado, some pumpkin seeds, have some good fat in there. Throw in your greens with it, and stick with that. But do I believe that you have to cut out all carbs, all fruits, all sugars? I don’t. I’ve seen enough success with just having people follow a lower sugar, lower fruit diet, low glycemic. And then as long as you’re doing the herbs consistently, within six or eight weeks, you can take care of it.

Robyn: Do you want to talk in any more detail about testing and treating infections in the gut?

Evan: Yeah, sure. I’ll just mention get the organic acids test if you’re working with a functional medicine practitioner. Just ask them; I’m sure they’re going to run it anyway, but not everyone knows how to read it. A lot of people run testing now because it makes them sound smart, which is cool. Testing is becoming trendy, that’s why you’ve got like 23andMe. They have 23andMe at Walgreens now, did you know that?

Robyn: No.

Evan: Yeah. I went to Walgreens and they had 23andMe testing. I’m like, “Holy smokes, genetic testing at Walgreens. Who would have thought?” Testing is becoming trendy, which is great. I’m glad that awareness is rising. But just because somebody knows how to run a test doesn’t mean they know how to make a protocol based on it.

Make sure that whatever practitioner you’re seeking out is putting out regular content, videos, podcast, audio, blogs, something because if they have a really nice smile and super white teeth and all that, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to get you better. And I tell people, “Look, I’m not a medical doctor. I’ve had to figure this stuff out the hard way and take as much training and education and seek out mentors that are smarter than me because I don’t want to be perceived as a guru. I just want to be somebody who’s figured out enough stuff to help people.” That’s my little disclaimer about practitioners.

But get yourself an organic acids test; get yourself a GI Maps tool test and run it. You may spend 600 to 1,000 bucks to get a good functional medicine workup on yourself. But look, a diabetes medication is $1,000 a month after insurance. If you had a massive infection affecting blood sugar that was cranking up your A1C and affecting your pancreas and such, it’s like, “Man, what if we could prevent you from getting diabetes, or some other issue where you’ve got to be on pharmaceuticals, and we could find it now?” Just get yourself tested, that’s the message.

And then in terms of treatment, there’s websites dedicated to shaming herbs and saying that specifically for the infections —

(I never answered the rest of your question, let me briefly answer it. Other infections I see, Blastocystis hominis, very, very common parasite. H. pylori, very, very common bacterial infection. Dientamoeba fragilis, very, very common parasite. Cyclospora, that’s a waterborne parasite, Giardia Cryptosporidium. I see these every single day, I’ve got clients after this interview. I’ll probably see those on their labs today)

— the good thing is herbs can successfully treat these. You’ve got medical docs making website saying it’s a myth, herbs are BS, it’s pseudoscience. “You can’t get rid of parasites without anti-parasitic drugs”, not true. Look at my lab results before and after, look at the thousands of lab results before and after. I’ve got proof: here’s test A because I like data, I like science. Here’s test B, and here’s the protocol we use — no pharmaceuticals because I can’t prescribe them, and I wouldn’t if I could — and they’re gone. Yes, don’t get discouraged if you’ve been told that you can’t treat these things naturally, that’s wrong.

Robyn: Okay. What you talked about, kissing, that every time you kiss someone, you’re kind of taking on their entire toxic body burden probably. I probably should share this with my two college daughters.

Evan: Tell them, absolutely.

Robyn: Limit your partnerships, that’s easy right there.

Evan: Investigate your partner’s too. I work with a lot of teenagers too, because a lot of moms come with teenagers having mood issues, or they can’t focus in school. And the teenager always gets embarrassed because I’m like, “Okay, do you have a boyfriend?” And it’s like, “Okay, are you sexually active with that boyfriend?” They’re like, “Yep.” I’m like, “Okay, let’s get him tested.” And then they come back with infections and then we’re like, “Okay, this is why mom spent 500 bucks on herbs.”

We eradicated the H. pylori, but then three months later you’re emailing me again, “Hey, she’s had a flare-up, her symptoms are back.” And then I say, “Are you still with the same boyfriend? Okay, you’re still the same guy. Okay, good, let’s test him.” And then boom, they had it. Then we go and we give a protocol for the boyfriend, then they’re both cleared out; then they can stay better.

And same thing with pets, a lot of people playing with their dog toys and stuff like whipworm. I’ve been seeing a lot of whipworm lately, which is about a two inch worm. The CDC says they lay between 2 and 20,000 eggs a day. If the dog has whipworm, you can test for it on a client. Not a dog –maybe you could put a dog’s poop and test it. Why couldn’t you? — but I’m testing adults, not dogs, or humans — not dogs.

But I found that people that have dogs, it takes them longer to get rid of worms. I’m guessing, I can’t prove this, but what I’m guessing is that maybe if the dog has the infection, maybe some fecal oral transmission is happening and that the eggs are maybe on the dog toy and then you throw the dog toy and then you’re like, “Oh, my nose itches,” or, “oh, I got to pick my teeth.” And then maybe you ingest a small microscopic egg and then that starts the whole life cycle all over again. Sometimes I think you need to be treating your pets too.

Robyn: Interesting. You have mentioned that relationships play into gut health; is it more than just that? The fact that you’re actually exchanging microbes affects your infection rate, affects your immune system, your relationships. Have we said everything we want to say there?

Evan: I would add one more comment. I got more emails from a YouTube video I did on energy vampires than any other video. People are like, “Evan, nobody’s talking about this.” It’s like, well, energy vampires are real. I think from the relationship aspect, if you’ve got a bad husband or a bad boss or a bad friend or somebody who’s disrespecting you, or negatively affecting your health.

And that’s the hard part because sometimes it is your partner and you’ve got to … I’m not a therapist with emotions but I’ve learned enough to try to help people walk through these situations. Some people have to go through divorces to heal. Some people have to go through breakups to heal, some people have to quit their job or get a new boss or get a new best friend to heal because there are emotional roadblocks that do affect health. We know now with the whole ACE questionnaire, the Adverse Childhood Experiences and traumas, that these do affect the immune system.

And if your immune system is constantly suppressed because you’re getting verbally abused, physically abuse, et cetera, how can you heal? All the leaky gut supplements in the world will not heal you if you’ve got a bad relationship. I just encourage people don’t be afraid. And if you do need to cut someone out of your life, if you tried to mitigate the issues and you can’t, unfortunately, you may have to cut them out. And that’s what I’ve had to do, I’ve had to systemically remove people.

Systematically is what I meant to say, systematically remove people because you can feel it. You come into the room and something happens. Your gut hurts, or you have anxiety, or you have heart palpitations, or you start to panic. You get a little bit shaky when you’re around that person. That’s a sign that something’s up. Try to fix it. And if you can’t, you might have to part ways. I hate to say that, but it’s a reality.

Robyn: I’ll tell you, I absolutely agree with you. And when I talk about this issue — because I’m a psychotherapist by background — when I talk about this issue, I get real actual positives back from people, but also some negatives because they always come back with, “I can’t.” They say “my boss is killing me” or “this coworker is killing me” or “my marriage is killing me” and I’m like “Well…”

At the risk of sounding like, “hey, this is easy for me to say,” I was a divorced person myself. I was married for 20 years. Easy for me to say, “Well, get out of the relationship.” But, I actually think there are some issues that people should work through in their marriages. 10 years ago they were completely miserable and didn’t think they can fix it, and now they’re completely happy. And I believe that there are many situations like that. But I think we all have to get over the idea that relationships sometimes have permanence… Everybody who walks in the room, we don’t have to attach to them for life.

And it’s okay to have a limited relationship, and it’s okay to have a relationship that has pretty firm boundaries. One of the people who raised me, I have a pretty thick 10-foot brick wall to that person. They’re allowed if there’s a party at my house, that’s fine. But I need the wall. I have a relationship with them, but the boundaries have to be maintained.

I feel like sometimes we have to acknowledge that a relationship has a season, and that it was there to teach us something. We had some kind of growth that happened in the crucible of that relationship. It does not mean we have to keep that relationship for life, or we fall into this dark depression and we cannot live without this one person. I don’t believe that that’s the case.

So, I agree with you; I’m glad you’re talking about that because I think getting rid of the toxic relationships in my life, or managing them when it comes to someone that I’m linked to for life by biology, is as significant in my own healing, and coming to a place where I love my life and I’m happy and healthy. I think that getting rid of those toxic relationships has been as significant in my healing as changing my diet to be a whole foods, mostly organic plant based diet has been, I really do.

Evan: Oh, God, I believe it. I think it could even be more powerful. I can’t tell you how many people are like, “Evan, I do yoga three times a week, I eat 100% organic, I eat a ton of plants, I meditate, I go to the beach. I feel terrible, my life sucks, I hate everything, I’m depressed.” “How’s your relationship?” “Oh, I haven’t had sex with my husband in 10 years. He sleeps on the couch, I sleep in a separate bedroom. We don’t speak to each other, we just live in the same house.” It’s like, “Whoa, extra yoga is not going to fix that, I’m sorry.”

Part of me thinks, man I might just do nothing but relationship work with people. I don’t have a psychotherapy background to do that. What you and I are talking about here is so huge, that you can’t go to Amazon or Whole Foods and buy some miracle supplement that’s going to out-supplement this issue. You have to face this.

And I’m sorry, it’s not going to be easy, but you have to do it. And, look we’ve been through some crazy stuff in my life/relationship stuff. And you will get through it, that’s the cool thing about humans is we’re pretty resilient. But that’s a chronic stress in that stress bucket. That’s the last thing I’ll say about it.

Robyn: Yeah. Just because you’re used to it doesn’t mean that you’re fine.

Evan: Agreed. And it’s a hole in the bucket. It’s like, okay, you throw in the yoga, the meditation, the retreats, the travel, the this, the that. That it’s like, okay, cool, but look at that big hole in the bucket. I’m sorry that energy bucket can’t fill up if you’ve got that big hole. That thing has to be patched. And if it can’t be patched, you’ve got to replace the bucket.

Robyn: Yeah. And I think that you would be wise to learn some good modalities to help people with their relationships, because I think you’re finding the same thing that I am. The last 11 years as GreenSmoothieGirl online and with 14 of the 15 books that I wrote, I’m helping people with their nutrition. But like you, I meet people who are like, they’re doing everything right, they’re probably eating a healthier diet than I do. And then this last book, my 15th book I talk about those things.

Vibe is talking about how even in psychotherapy, there is stuff we’re missing. All these energetic connections with people. I have a chapter in the book on Tantra and reconnecting sexually. So many relationships are broken because of the weird things that we do that disconnects, porn being just one of them, and how we are so very disconnected in this culture. Psychotherapists aren’t looking at the connection between what people eat and how they show up in their relationships, but I think there’s a big connection there. I think there’s an enormous connection there.

Evan: I agree. I’ll make a brief comment. It’s always interesting you have these specialists like you’ve got the kidney specialist, the liver specialist, the heart specialist, the brain specialist. It’s like, okay, I think specialty is good and important, but I’m predicting within the next 20 years that everything, just like you mentioned, all of us and the health space need to be together like a spider web.

I’m hoping that every branch of medicine starts to just merge into one conglomerate because we’re realizing over and over again that the science is clear: there’s no separation between mind and gut. There’s no separation between mind and body, there’s no separation between physical energy and emotional energy and vibrations coming from a person and how those vibrations affect you. I hope everything is going to have a mass convergence. And I don’t know exactly when or how that will manifest, but I’m putting that out to the universe. Let’s hope it happens.

Robyn: Yeah. I think one thing that — I’ll check this out with you and see if you agree with it — but I think so many people they come to us and they want the easiest fix, and they usually want to supplement.

Supplements can do a lot of work. And you work with these adaptogenic herbs and you work with things that actually sort of remove the food source from the bacteria or actually kill the parasite. And there are plant-based supplements that do that and they are evidence-based. And I’ve seen amazing things happen from using plant-based medicine. At the clinic in Switzerland, they use no drugs. The two medical doctors that run the place, they believe in the creed they were charged with, which is first, do no harm. They’re not going to go straight to a pharmaceutical and nuke the crap out of the microbiome. They’re going to use something that works with the body’s adaptive systems.

But anyway, people come to us and they want to supplement or they want to change their diet, but they don’t want to fix their toxic work situation or their toxic caretaker situation or whatever. I just find with most people that we work with that it’s not just one thing, they’re going to have to address two or three or all those different areas. Are you finding the same?

Evan: Oh, 100%. It’s a spider web, you can’t go and touch the left side of the spider web with the right side being affected. It’s like, okay, cool, amino acid you’re great. You can come in with tyrosine, and help someone’s dopamine and catecholamines, fix their energy, fix their drive. But if they’ve got an infection, the tyrosine is a crutch; or if someone’s got an endorphin issue, they’re tearing up, they’re crying easily, they’re really sensitive to emotional or physical pain, you suspect they’ve got endorphin deficiency. You can come in with DLPA, which is DL phenylalanine, and rebuild that. But you’ve got to find the root.

You could take somebody with anxiety and panic attacks and issues like that and you can give them a GABA supplement or passion flower or valerian root or cava or theanine or blue vervain or ashwagandha. But are you working backwards to figure out why the anxiety and the stuff is there in the first place?

I had a lady who — I’ll mention two ladies real quick. I had a lady who had done everything right, fixed all of her labs, everything looked beautiful on the piece of paper, but she couldn’t lose weight. And I’m not a huge fan of a weight loss goal because it usually just happens as a side effect of getting healthy. And I’m like, “Okay, I hear you, you want to lose 20 pounds.” And then I asked her one day, I said, “Hey, is there something that we haven’t discussed.” I said, “I’ve done everything for you, we fixed mitochondria, the liver is better, brain’s better, infections are gone. Is there something you haven’t discussed with me?” And she goes, “Yeah, it’s my husband.” She was like, “I’ve been thinking that we need to get separated for 10 years but I just haven’t brought it up because I’m scared to.”

And I said, “Okay, well, I’m not a therapist with relationships, but I just want you to go home and why don’t you guys just talk about it?” She went home and she talked over the issues with her husband. And I followed up with her in six weeks and she had lost 20 pounds in six weeks. And I said, “Holy crap, what did you do?” And she says, “I did nothing.” I’m like, “You had to do something.” And she goes, “Oh, well, I did talk to my husband, we worked everything out.”

Robyn: Wow, yeah, even just the energetic shift that communication creates — talking about the hard thing, talking about the wide elephant in the room. Lots of marriages get stuck for years or decades around an issue. Sometimes issues-

Evan: I had another story in my brain, but I lost it. But that one’s a cool enough story to mention.

Robyn: That’s a pretty cool story of how sometimes its energy that we have to change to lose the weight, to kill the bug, whatever it is.

Well, you’ve been an incredible source of amazing information, Evan. Tell us three other things that you did on your own wellness journey. You know a ton about a ton of subjects, what are three things that you cleaned up in your home? Just in the spirit of toxic home transformation, what are three areas you addressed? And you can talk about what brands you changed to, or whatever room in your house that you decided these specific chemicals have got to go. They were causing a reaction. You can talk about your baby daughter, any of that.

Evan: Sure, yeah. Well, the first toxin is, hey, get rid of this darn bar stool. That way, she won’t push herself off the table and hit her head again. We sold the table and chairs. Now, we’ve got a really small, low-to-the-ground table and chairs. Thank goodness. Look out for things that your kids can fall off of. That’s more toxic than anything else.

Secondly, I just built a house and we used a paint called ROMABIO, like Rome but with an A, ROMABIO. And it’s a potassium-based paint, which is kind of cool. It’s almost like they took a potassium supplement and ground it up and painted it on your walls.

(The zero VOC thing is kind of a myth in the industry, that’s kind of a buzzword like natural or gluten is. Sherman Williams and these big paint companies say zero VOC, but that only means no VOCs for certain types of VOCs. That doesn’t mean there’s no off-gassing period. You got to go beyond VOC just like certain farmers say we go beyond organic, same thing with the paint industry.)

We did a full potassium based paint in our home, we did a cork flooring from a company called Cali Bamboo. They make a bamboo floor too, but bamboo is really hard and it can scratch. Cork is a little bit softer-

Robyn: We also learned from my interview with Andy Pace, who is the Green Design Center man, and he consults with people. It’s not green building materials like the building industry calls it, but he actually looks at the health of the human occupant and the toxicity level of everything from paint to furniture to fluorine. He said, just so you know, good choice on the cork; with bamboo products, yes, it’s very sustainable because they’re weeds and all that, but they are put through a process so that bamboo flooring actually picks up a lot of the same chemicals in it that there are in the very worst floorings.

Evan: Oh, man. Well, that’s good. Yeah, I didn’t know that, I just thought bamboo was too hard so I just went with a cork instead. I’ll try not to repeat too much that the healthy home guy said.

But addressing EMF was another thing too, I made sure that there’s certain type of breakers. Now, I’m sorry because I don’t know the name of the breaker. I want to say it’s a double arc breaker, don’t quote me on the name. But there’s a certain type of breaker that you can get installed in your breaker box that I had the electrician do.

And what that certain breaker does, if there is a wire shortage or some type of a dirty electricity problem in the home, it will trip the breaker verses your standard breakers, they will not trip and you can have dirty electricity, massive EMF issue in the home and the breaker will not alert you. I think it’s called a double arc fault breaker, but I’m not 100% sure. Consultant your electrician, ask him what I’m talking about. It’s typically a white little breaker inlet versus a black breaker insert.

We did that and then we had kind of an extra coating on the wire throughout the house to try to mitigate any dirty electricity, or what’s called ELF, the very low frequency fields. And then we are doing the Stetzer filters from Graham Stetzer. And I have measured those. Some people talk about dirty electricity filters, but the caveat is you have to make sure you’re not making a magnetic field problem worse because if there is a wiring issue, and you plug in a green way for a Stetzer filter, you can actually increase the magnetic fields and you make a worse problem.

You need to make sure that you’ve got a building biologist or just do your own research if you get smart enough about it on your own. Measure the before and after with magnetic fields, because you can have some people buy dirty electricity filters to fix a high frequency noise problem, which is separate from a magnetic field problem.

Magnetic field is typically from motors and things like that. Dirty electricity is a separate type of EMF, bad guy. Reducing dirty electricity can increase magnetic fields. We could do a whole nother hour on this. But just do it before and after and make sure you haven’t made a problem worse when you think you’re making it better. EMF would be a big one, the paint, the floor would be a big one.

And then I moved out into the country. It’s kind of inconvenient because when my daughter hit her head, it was like 45 minutes to get to the hospital. But pray to God that that’s a rare situation and that the rest of the time, we can be out in the peace and quiet. And I planted a ton of trees and I’ve got 80 acres of forest behind me where my daughter and my wife and I, we watch all the birds. That’s our favorite hobby is to watch birds. We got a Baltimore Oriole the other day. That was so cool to see him come in and migrate north for the spring.

I think connecting to nature is important for your home. Try to integrate nature, the whole Fung Shui thing. I’ve got so many plants that people think I’m starting a nursery. It’s like, what are you doing? I love plants, I’ve got so many plants I can hardly keep up with. I’ve got blueberries out there in the yard, I’ve got peaches and apples and evergreens and honey berries, which is a new thing I just learned about.

And what else do I have? Service berries, I’ve got a raised bed garden out there where I’ve got some other stuff growing. I think connecting to nature, even if you live in an urban environment, you can still grow herbs or something to try to ground yourself. I’m a huge fan of being grounded to the planet both physically, emotionally, chemically, spiritually, and planting and putting your hands in the dirt.

Oh, my gosh, there’s no better thing. If I’m stressed out, I’ll just go buy a new tree and I’ll plant it. And then I come inside, I’m just like, “Oh, I feel so good.” It is therapy for me to go plant stuff. I think that’s good advice.

You said three, but I’m going to give you one more too, which is really, really take your sleep environment seriously. I’m sure people have mentioned that and they say the typical boring stuff like cool, dark, blackout curtains. But measure your bedroom for magnetic fields and dirty electricity because my daughter, when she was an infant (now, she’s almost two), all of us were kind of having some sleeping issues. And we thought, “Well, why don’t we try turning off the breaker to the bedroom?” We turned off the breaker to the bedroom and all of a sudden she started sleeping much better through the night. And she’s not susceptible to placebo effect.

It’s like, okay, we changed nothing else: flipped the switch, turned off the power to the bedroom, she started sleeping better. It’s free, it doesn’t cost anything to try this. And if your Wi-Fi router is in your bedroom or on at night, or your cell phone is charging on your nightstand… I’ve had teenagers with their cell phone under their pillow, don’t let your kids sleep with their cell phone under the pillow. Put it on airplane mode if they’re going to do that. These are simple things and it cost nothing to try it. But if you’re sleeping good, then your daytime life is going to be much better.

Robyn: Yeah. So many words of wisdom there, I love it. I appreciate you and I appreciate the show that you’re doing. Nobody pays you to do a podcast. And you’ve interviewed some amazing guests, and you’re an outstanding interviewer. I really enjoy your own depth of the way you ask questions.

It’s the Evan Brand show, everyone, friends. Make sure you check that out. And Evan, thank you so much for this conversation today. I loved it.

Evan: Robyn, thank you so much, it’s so good to chat with each other. We’ll get you on my podcast soon too, we’ll have some fun together.

Robyn: That sounds good, have a wonderful Monday.