stress

#221 Dr. Justin and Evan On Combatting Stress and Forest Bathing

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand talk all about stress, its effects on our health and variety of natural ways on how we can beat it. They discuss into detail the parts of the brain and hormones affected when we deal with stress and how these hormones are related to health issues like gut inflammation, ADHD, decreased libido, weight gain, depression and memory problems.Natural solutions to combat stress Find out some of the sources of stress that we engage in consciously and unconsciously. Learn about the process and cycle of stress, develop awareness and apply some valuable tactics on how to combat stress in our life, which in turn improve our health.

In this episode, topics include:

1:46 Forest Bathing and its benefits

4:48 Cortisol levels and its effects on our body

9:19 Different sources of stress and  ways to deal with it

21:13 How the amygdala and hippocampi reacts to stress

26:09 Different approaches on how to beat stress

Justin Marchegiani: Hey there, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Evan Brand. Really excited here, we got the video going today. So hopefully, we’ll have the face-to-face connection here for everyone at home. Evan Brand, how are you doing today, man?

Evan Brand: Pretty well. It’s sunny and cold but I’ll take it over cloudy and cold so I can’t complain.

Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely man, I love it. I know we talked about talking about stress. Speaking of stress, how you are you dealing with stress up there? I know you have winter and you got cold weather up there in Louisville. How is that going?

Evan Brand: I mean it’s not too bad to be honest. I love living here in Kentucky so much that I turned a blind eye. I think I put my rose colored glasses on despite the winter and it was like mid-20°F so cold. But I- actually, I put together a weight bench in the garage yesterday so I’m gonna be beginning some outdoor primal exercise. I joked with my wife I was like “Babe, there’s nowhere to put the weight bench. Let me put it down in our daughter’s room” and she was like, “ No” and she said, “our primal ancestors wouldn’t have needed to work out indoors” and I was like “Fine, I’ll put it outside”. So I’m gonna be getting some, some- I guess we’ll call it cold, cold exposure training and lifting weights at the same time.

Justin Marchegiani: I love it, I love it. That’s excellent. I can picture your wife using that excuse to send you to the store to run errands. Well normally, normally in the hunter gatherer society, the husband will be out for weeks trying to get food for his family. You should go to the store for at least the next hour or two for us.

Evan Brand: Exactly

Justin Marchegiani: That’s smart. Very cool. Well yeah, here in Austin, it’s a great, great weather. It’s 56° on the colder side. I guess a little warmer up in the weekends but we talked about stress here pre-show. One of the big things I’ve been doing and I know you’ve done podcast of this in the past. I think you’re in bulletproof radio talking about this, is forest bathing.

Evan Brand: Yes, absolutely.

Justin Marchegiani: I found this awesome little nature trail behind my house there in Austin and I have taken my dog, Butter, and my wife and I now we go for a great walk down there and it is awesome. Really enjoying myself. We go for a couple of hours. I got my Fitbit on, I’m racking a couple of 10,000 steps days over there and then it’s great.

Evan Brand: I know, you feel so much better. For me, anytime that I’m stressed it’s usually due to a deficiency of nature. Obviously there are other causes at play which we can talk about some of those causes and effects-

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah

Evan Brand: -but you were designed as a human to be outdoors and if you separate yourself from the outdoor environment, you’re gonna have build up of stress. It’s just that simple.

Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And I know the research on forest bathing is pretty, it’s pretty- its quite compelling. Uhm the effects of lowering cortisol, lowering that stress hormone and the cortisol is this hormone that’s really interesting and today’s podcast is gonna be just on stress in general and natural things we can do. We’re gonna try to take a different nuance approach for it. But just getting outside and walking around not just on your street but if you can go on to a wooded trail, it’s actually great. The effects on lowering cortisol, if you just google forest bathing, a lot of really good effects with that. Can you go more into the detail? I know you’ve got more podcast on this topic.

Evan Brand: Yes, so basically a lot of the research is coming out of Japan who came up with the term “shinrin-yoku” and it makes perfect sense.

Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: Of course we’re gonna have a reduction in stress compared to the control group in the research where they take salivary cortisol samples of people walking on the side walk walking on urban area. They actually see increase in stress hormone cortisol but adrenaline too and you see decreases in adrenaline not only DC reduction in cortisol but you also see increase in heart rate variability and the higher your HRV score is, the healthier your nervous system is. Meaning you’re more in parasympathetic, less in sympathetic. And for us in the modern world we’re constantly reacting to things that our ancient wiring system wants to put us in sympathetic like a bad email or a bad text message –

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah

Evan Brand: – that can put us in fight or flight. We think our survival is at risk but it’s not.

Justin Marchegiani: Totally

Evan Brand:  And forest bathing also there’s some cool research if you type in rumination in the forest, you can read that some of the bloodflow to the prefrontal cortex which is the newest part of the brain. The blood flow actually decreases and the more reptilian part of the brain in the back increases the blood flow back there meaning, you’re less likely to start overthinking and beating yourself up and being self-conscious and you know, people are hard on themselves. And I’ve been guilty being hard on myself too and a lot of times it’s just that front part of your brain is overactive and due to the modern world and technology, social media, I mean there’s a lot of bad influence that contribute.

Justin Marchegiani: And what’s that part of the brain that causes the rumination effect?

Evan Brand: Pre frontal cortex

Justin Marchegiani: Okay. The prefrontal cortex, the neocortex, the high functioning part of the brain.

Evan Brand: Yup

Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.

Evan Brand: Yup

Justin Marchegiani: Excelllent. And also we know cortisol. Higher cortisol and lower cortisol are both detrimental, right? Higher cortisol is that tire but wire, you keep on going, you’re energized, but maybe you’re more anxious, maybe you have the heart palpitations, maybe you have excessive sweating and body odor. And these are the high cortisol. And again typically people that are higher cortisol, they least have the energy and the propulsion. It’s like the engine’s redlining but it still flying down the street versus, “hey, now the car’s going, it’s pot, pot and pot along”. But now your kinda in that low cortisol statement. Again, high cortisol, what it will do is rip up the gut lining, right. Coz it will rip up the IGA and it’ll tear up the gut lining. High cortisol also tear up muscle. So you start getting skinny fat. So maybe you look skinny but your muscles don’t really have much tone to it or contour. Or you start gaining weight because now you’re ripping up so much protein, you’re actually increasing blood sugar from the protein from the gluconeogenesis happening. So, now your blood sugars going up from the stress response as well. So you have- you can get insulin resistant, you can get sarcopenia, meaning the kind of the flabby muscle. And then you can also tear up the gut lining and tear up other tissues in the body, too. Hair, skin, nail, etc.

Evan Brand: I’m glad you brought up the IGA because I’ve been looking a lot. And I’m sure you have been too on the G.I. map at the bottom. Seeing how the link between people with adrenal issues their gonna have low IGA levels, but their also gonna have more infections, too.

Justin Marchegiani: 100%

Evan Brand:  So not only are you tearing apart your tight junctions contributing to leaky gut, which can contribute to autoimmune disease. All stemmed from you being on social media too much, for example, you can also contribute to yeast overgrowth, bacterial overgrowth, SIBO infections because now your bulletproof vest, which is your IGA, your first line of defense, that’s now reduced. And I had a guy last week-

Justin Marchegiani: Yes

Evan Brand: He’s in his mid-20s. His IGA level was, was one of the lowest I’ve seen. Like 2, maybe 200 and the scale is, you know, 500 to 2000 at least on the GI map that you and I use.

Justin Marchegiani: Yes

Evan Brand: And yet, I’ll see a 75-year-old woman you would suspect would have lower IGA just to distress and aging. And her IGA could be perfect. It could be 700-800. So just because you’re young and overall you, you hit the gym, and you wear cool yoga pants, and all of that- that doesn’t mean you’re any healthier.

Justin Marchegiani: I totally get it, man. And here’s the thing, too, right- Is you can be making all these great changes to your diet to your lifestyle, and how you perceive stress- Let me just take a side out here, I’m gonna digress for a second. But Dr. Robert Sapolsky, the PhD stress researcher out of Standford, wrote a book I think in the mid-to-late 90s called, “Why zebras don’t get ulcers?” and his basic philosophy was that, a zebra, right- when chased by a lion, they have to run and they basically either live or they die. That’s pretty much it. And you’ll see a liberal, uh zebra that survives a tiger attack, or lion attack. I think it’s lion attack with a whole tank of flesh missing from its back and it’s out there- eating and drinking the water like nothing even happened. So this zebra that is basically close to death, is totally turning the stress response on and off like it’s a light switch. The problem with us is that our stress which keeps on flickering on and off all daylong is we cannot turn it off because that stress becomes a micro-stress. And it’s constantly being turned on we’re driving a conversation with our wife or partner, dealing with kids, poor sleep, you know, politics, this that, friendship drama, finance issues, that’s constantly flickering on and off. It’s like you have a- a light show going on in your house. That’s what kind of stress is happening. Even though you get this zebra, who basically almost died, totally relaxing and in drinking water and eating grass over there by the stream.

Evan Brand: Well, that’s the problem. We got too smart. Because if you look at- you and I- I know people heard the stories of car crash accidents where the adults may die in the crash but the children expect depending on what age they are the real young infant, you know, 2,3,4,5 years old. The kids will survive because they didn’t go into fight or flight. They had no anticipation. They didn’t tense up. They didn’t flex all the muscles and argh, before it- before the crash happens. And so they’re fine and the adults who anticipated it, they set off the fight or flight flexed all the neck muscles, got tight, tense. Boom, they broke their neck. They’re dead. So, I guess what we’re trying to convey in this podcast today is so many people are looking to the food and fitness gurus and they’re frustrated because they’re doing Paleo and it’s, “Oh, I’m doing AIP so well. I do paleo so well, but I’m still not getting results” and it’s like, “well, we could look at your circadian rhythm, I mean, are you using your iPad at night?” “Oh, I’m wearing blue blocking glasses” “Okay but your skin receptors still can pick up light, there’s light receptors on your skin”

Justin Marchegiani: Right

Evan Brand: So you’re just bathing in an extremely bright bathroom plucking your eyebrows at 11 PM before you go to bed. This is the other factor.

Justin Marchegiani: I knew your eyebrows are looking good today.

Evan Brand: Yeah

Justin Marchegiani: Ha ha

Evan Brand: Thanks

Justin Marchegiani: I hundred percent agree with you, by the way. I think that’s a really important point, is that we’re just chronically under all the stress. My biggest thing is this, when dealing with patients is, try not to look at like- It’s so easy get stressed out over the diet and all the things that you have to do now. My goal is always a look at things from a perspective of, what can we exchange, what can we substitute or switch versus what do I have to remove and cut out, right. Because when you going to this cutout mode, “ I had to do this now”,  “Oh my gosh, I’m missing this”. The key is going to an exchange mode coz the exchange mode is kinda like a barter in your brain. It’s like, you want this result, that result is better mood, better energy, better libido, less brain fog. So for that, you’re gonna barter. What you gonna give up, what are you gonna exchange with, you know, uhm- let’s just call it your functional medicine doctor- us, right. What are you gonna exchange to Dr. J and Evan. What are you gonna do based on what they’re telling you to do, based on their experience and results to get to that goal that you want. So it’s kind of we’re having this barter. We’re  having an exchange of what, what habits can be put in your place, substitute in, for what your- what you were doing that’s not getting you the results you want. So, we can look at it as an exchange in a barter and negotiation versus like you have and give up all the stuff. I find patients have a much better mindset and they’re not getting stressed out by their mindset, making all these healthy changes.

Evan Brand: Agreed. The other thing too that’s really helpful if you’re stressing out about all the- minutiae. Coz that’s where the success really comes into me, is dialing in the minutiae. So getting the shower filter, getting the water filter, making sure that the butter is good. All of these minutiae things that tend to overwhelm people- you want to put those things on autopilot. So once that’s programmed on autopilot, for you it’s not a struggle to do AIP anymore. Maybe at first you’re like “Oh, I’m gonna miss this”, “I’m gonna miss that”.  But now it’s on autopilot, so it takes almost zero effort to maintain. And that’s the goal, is to get as much stuff and autopilot as you can that we don’t have to think about diet. You don’t have to think about exercise. And now all you’re focused on, is how my managing stress. So stressful situation comes at me, I know, okay- I’m to be more susceptible to go eat some sugar.  Because I’m stressed, I need a quick glucose to think better. That’s what your body’s gonna tell you to do coz that’s what you’re primed to do. Get a quick burst of glucose so you can think. And then the stress is gone.

Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: But if you can catch yourself  and you’re on autopilot, then you could just- maybe you do EFT, may be due a round of EFT. I’m about to make a really bad decision.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: I’m gonna tap this out.

Justin Marchegiani: All tapping points. Exactly. I think that’s great. I have my push up bar here. So between patients, I’ll be doing some push ups. Also, one of the best things I got- I haven’t told anyone, my patients probably hear it in the background- I’ve a walking treadmill now. So it’s lies underneath my desk and I stand about three quarters and half a day and I’m walking about 10 to 12 miles over 20 to 30,000 steps a day. Last week I walked 75 miles while seeing patients.

Evan Brand: Sheesh.

Justin Marchegiani: Isn’t that amazing?

Evan Brand: Are you wearing shoes? Or are you going barefoot?

Justin Marchegiani: I’m actually wearing sandals.

Evan Brand: Cool

Justin Marchegiani: I wear sandals. I used to wear shoes, but they were just too loud.

Evan Brand: yeah s

Justin Marchegiani: Because they’re too loud when they hit and I went barefoot and after about 5000 steps I started getting blisters.

Evan Brand: I’m sure.

Justin Marchegiani:  I feel like this is kind of a good compromise but any of my patients that hear the uh-you know, little me walking in the background,I apologize but I’m giving you 100% of my attention. I can walk and chew gum at the same time. Uhm, but yeah, I’m really pumped because I’m getting 20,000 30,000 steps a day. And that’s actually helping to lower my cortisol.

Evan Brand: That is excellent.

Justin Marchegiani: It’s keeping the stressed down. And just to kind of reiterate one thing, is you talked about the habits. Like once you have your water filter dialed in, once you have like the sea salt by your water when you fill up, once you have like the stuff in your fridge to make meals, it’s all easy. Coz when I go to the- use the water, the filter’s already there. When I go to grab the cupboard on the fridge, the food’s already there. So I always say preparation is the biggest first step. Once you actually go through the inertia preparing and everything is there, it’s so easy to capitalize it, so easy to focus. It’s like, I’m a big Tom Brady fan, I know, haters are out there, but the Patriots are in Super Bowl this week. I’m really excited about that. And you know, you got to talk about the game time, right. When the game happens, so much of that game is one in the preparation leading up to that game, right. So, so much of the preparation in our health is one leading up to us making decisions every day. We can get ourselves prepared, if we can batch cook, if we can have the water and the minerals in the right place, we can have supplements in a really easy setup place, if we can have a good routine were our gym time is scheduled or we have a little set up at home to work out, like you do outside, that’s gonna let us be successful. But it’s gonna lower that stresses coz it’s gonna put these tasks in the random access memory the RAM versus havin’ a- havin’ a startin’up from the hard drive, so to speak.

Evan Brand: Right. Yeah, instead of having to retrieve and start fresh. I agree. I mean to retrieve and start fresh. I agree. You know I think what we’re saying in so many words is the lifestyle component to me is the most important aspect.

Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Evan Brand: There’s so many sick people that have a great diet and they exercise 2,3,4,5 times a week. Maybe they’re doing hot yoga and Pilates and bar and all of these great things. And they eat at the hippest restaurants and they were the coolest leather boots. But at the end of the day, if you’re a stress case because you’re beating yourself up mentally, because there’s unmanaged emotional stress, or there’s a bad relationship that you’re not gonna cut out, I don’t care how organic your diet is. You’re not gonna be able to out supplement, you’re not gonna be  able to outkill it, you’re not gonna e able to out smoothie it. You’re toast unless you address the lifestyle. So you and I always talk about numbers, it’s tough to say because based on the context, our numbers might shift. But for this conversation, I could say 80% of the issue is lifestyle and 20% is combined diet and fitness. And lifestyle could include your circadian rhythm. So that can include getting bright light exposure-

Justin Marchegiani: Totally

Evan Brand: – a bright environment. This could include grounding yourself, this could include swimming, this can include walking with your dog and your wife like you’re doing, this can include you drumming, listening to music, dancing.

Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: I told you, I went to my grandparents house and played cards- huge stress relief. I mean that it’s so fun.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, absolutely.

Evan Brand: I mean it’s so basic but yet, the exchange that you’re making in a small lifestyle investment can be far more than a simple diet tweak or beating yourself up because you had an extra piece of chocolate. I think honestly, the biggest battle that people face is themselves.

Justin Marchegiani: Yup, I agree. It’s self-

Evan Brand: It’s self-inflicted wounds whether it’s physical because they’re under moving or over moving, or emotional. They’re beating themselves up for no good reason. They’re guilty about something because everywhere you go, there’s an article about how bad this is for you or how bad this is for you. There is no deficiency of information that anybody listening to this show has. Its not the deficiency of information. It’s preventing people from getting what they want. To me, it’s dialing in what, what does it take for you to be happy, what roadblocks are in your way there preventing you-

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah

Evan Brand:- from making the action steps you need to make.

Justin Marchegiani: I agree.

Evan Brand: If you got a constant battle going on with a spouse but yet, you’re trying to kick the sugar habit at the same time, I can’t tell you that you’re going to succeed by just trying to go cold turkey on sugar. You’re gonna have to take care the emotional stuff, too. It’s not one or the other, right. It’s not like you can- a perfect diet’s can gonna fix all these other aspects. I guess that’s what I’m saying. But I’m just been very long-winded about it.

Justin Marchegiani: No. You’re right on point. I always tell people about the patients that we kinda get into care. There’s four phases which most people go through during any difficult skill after trying to undertake or learn. And I, I call being healthy a skill. And also one thing to add on, too. It takes no more effort to get what you want than what it does to get what you don’t want. Meaning you develop habits in your life that are running in the background subconsciously, that are constantly making you sick and unhealthy. Now, we can create new programs and new habits that are running that are getting you to be healthy. So no more effort to get what you want than it does to get what you don’t want- same thing. So the four phases that people go through, typically in their health at this. They’re unconsciously incompetent. They don’t know what they don’t know. They think their grains are healthy. They think saturated fats- bad. They’re drinking their soda. They’re using aspartame and Splenda. They are clueless and in fact, they are thinking that what they’re doing is actually helpful to them even though it’s not. That’s the first step. Now, the second step is they’re consciously incompetent. Now they’re starting to know that they don’t know. Because now they’re starting to get sick, they’re starting to not feel well they’ve gone to the conventional doctor, they’ve said “Hey, you know we can’t help you” or they give him a whole bunch of diagnoses that involve some drugs that don’t fix the underlying issue. The drugs cause more problems, more symptoms. Maybe they keep on going back. Now they’re given antidepressant and a psychiatric referral and they’re like something’s wrong. They’re consciously- they’re like, “ I know something’s wrong, but I don’t know what it is”. Now that’s the point phase 2 with a reach out to someone like us, right. Now phase 3 is kinda where we intervene. This is the hard part going from phase 2 to phase 3 is the hardest. That’s where they are consciously competent. Dr. Jay and Evan have educated the patient. they know the kind of water. They know the minerals. They know the food. But it’s hard and it’s tough. And when they mess up, they beat themselves up. And they don’t quite know what the best exchanges are. They don’t- they haven’t made it a habit yet. They are not batch cooking. They’re not doing things. They are not prepping the house in a way that makes it easy for them to succeed. So they’re consciously competent but it’s taking all of the RAM in their database.

Evan Brand: Yup

Justin Marchegiani:  Me and you, Evan. We operate in unconscious competence. We don’t even have to think to do the habits that we wanna do. We just, “hey, I got my walking treadmill. I walk 10-12 miles a day. I got a gym. I got kettle bells on the corner. I pop out push-ups. You do this. You go out in your gym. You go for walk with your wife. You walk your dog. You’ve all these habits. You are getting vitamin D. You’re hydrating and you’re not even thinking about it. And there’s zero bandwidth being taken up. And that’s where we’re trying to transition our patients to. And I think any patient that’s listening, they have to understand the really big binds in that first one to two months while we get you from consciously competent to unconsciously competent, it’s autopilot.

Evan Brand: Yup. That was well said. That was excellent. I had a thought, too. And then I lost it. It was about how the lifestyle component is brought up. People say manage stress but they don’t know how to manage stress. So let me out one piece assigned to this.

Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: Because rational brains are like-okay, you guys are getting into airy fairy land. What is this actually doing to me?

Evan Brand: So you have this –

Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: – part of the brain called the amygdala.

Justin Marchegiani: Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand: And the amygdala is your- I call it your Rolodex, if you will. It kind of cycles through all of these thoughts, all of these things that come into the brain. And it determines whether it should trigger a fight or flight reaction, or is everything okay and we’re gonna press the green button instead. And with chronic stress- so if you are beating yourself up, You’re in this transition phase, you’re trying to remove bad habits, integrate new habits and your cell phone goes off. “Ding” that notification sound. Here you are trying to have a relaxing lunch, “Ding”, the cell phone goes off . Now you gotta go look at it. “Oh my God, it’s a text message from so-and-so”.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: This is the last thing you wanted to read. The amygdala, that part of the brain, is gonna go, “poof”, red button fight or flight. And the more that that red button gets hit, that becomes a hair- hair trigger. Just like a really sensitive firearm, that trigger is so sensitive you better be careful unless you’re ready to use it, don’t even get close. Because, “ding”, that notification goes off again, “poof”, red button gets hit. Fight or flight system goes, stomach acid becomes a luxury.

Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: So there goes good digestion out the window. Blood flow’s now shunted away from the central part of the body and blood flow is basically going to design- be, be working to get you to run.

Justin Marchegiani: That’s it.

Evan Brand: And our goal is, you don’t want to press that red button. Leave that red button alone. Put a glass case over it. So it’s a lot more difficult to hit that red button. And this takes practice. You and I talk about this. There’s things that can still stress us out and still get to us but the goal is, with the combination of bringing in this functional medicine approach. So this is where the adapted genic herbs come in.

Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: So like Rhodiola. You can look at a research study Rhodiola,  200 mg was used in about 1200 patients. And after just three days, it was- I believe it was above 90% of all of these patients experienced “a massive reduction in life stress”. So in this case, the adapted gene could be putting this glass case over this red button in the amygdala so no longer is as fight or flight system immediately, “ump” We’re not gonna hit the red button anymore. We’re building up the resilience so you can be a warrior. So next time that text message comes in, you can- maybe you shouldn’t have your phone by your table on the first place, but that’s fine. Let’s say you have it there, now you look at that bad text message and you can process it first. So instead of immediately, “ump”,  automatically hitting the red button. You can look at it, “okay not a big deal, I’ll take care of this . I’m gonna finish my meal first because I know Justin told me that if I skip meals, my blood sugars gonna crash coz I have adrenal stress right now. And if I skip a meal, have anxiety. And I’m trying to get off the Xanax that the doctor prescribed.

Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand:  Because I don’t want to be on it anymore and I want to get rid of this anxiety. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna put this phone aside. I’m not gonna hit the red button. I’m gonna put the phone aside, finished chewing my meal, take in my enzymes.

Justin Marchegiani: There you go.

Evan Brand: I’m gonna press the green button. Everything’s okay. There is not a situation I need to fight or flee from right now.

Justin Marchegiani: Yup

Evan Brand: And let’s get back to life. And the more that you can hit the green button with the amygdala, and the less you can hit the red button, overall the better you’re gonna be. Because you are not designed to be in fight or flight 99% of the time like we are in the modern world.

Justin Marchegiani: 110%. I love it. So let’s just kinda recap. We talked about stress, how it affects our gut lining, how it affects and burns through neurotransmitters that’s why the more stress you are, you burn through dopamine you burn through serotonin and you start getting depressed. You start getting OCD, you start getting ADHD. So all these different things happen. It starts burning up the brain tissue and affects the area called the amygdala in the brain, which is right around the hypo, hypothalamic area. And that affects memory, the hippocampi, too.

Evan Brand: We didn’t even-

Justin Marchegiani: Yes.

Evan Brand: We didn’t even talk on the hippocampi. So you can- you can look at-

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: -with MRIs, the hippocampi you have one on each side. It gets marinated in cortisol and it begins to make these memory centers all look like Swiss cheese. So people as they get older, it’s happening younger and younger. But people joke about being forgetful that’s not funny. That’s a sign that something is going on. So, yeah. There’s tissue destruction, there’s the leaky gut aspect. Keep rollin’-

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, a 100%. So you’re rippin’ up the hippocampus. With that affects memory and learning. So if you’ve any job like, let’s say me and you, Evan, we’re havin’ a problem solvin’, think all day long, you’re an attorney, you’re a doctor, you’re a nurse, you’re a teacher __, you-you’re a mom having to deal with your, kids you’re homeschooling you’re dealing with activities, you’re multitasking, people are calling. You need that higher brain function to perform at the higher end. Man, I’ve so many patients are reaching out to me, they’re like, I’m just- I’m a shadow of my former self.

Evan Brand: Yup.

Justin Marchegiani: Right. They have that inner kind of feeling like that is not quite where they used to be. They’ve aged 20 years in the last year too, right. So we’re trying to develop all these tactics to help. So number one: the diet’s in place. Paleo template, autoimmune template, whatever works for you in that realm. Number two: gets some habits that you can do with your family that will help decrease stress. I like the forest bathing whether its just walking outside or doing a little nature hike. Love it. Number three:

Do push-ups or some air squats, or get a desk treadmill that you can walk at while you’re at work or in between whatever you’re doing. Just get a little bit of movement in. One of the biggest things that CEOs do is they exercise to not work with their body, but to help their brain coz they feel exercise helps with their brain and their ability to function and deal with work stress. So the exercise piece is not necessarily an aesthetic thing or physical thing, it’s actually more of a mental, emotional thing. Number four:  Make sure you have the lifestyle habits of clean water, a good sleep, good sleep habits, and hygienes. And your food- your fridge’s stock of really good food. And once you have all that piece left, then we can talk about supplements. Then we can have magnesium for stress. We can add Valerian or L Theanine. We can add our Adaptogens, our Rhodiola, our Ginseng, our Ashwaganda, our Lutarol, our Maca for female hormones, our chaste tree. We can add extra B vitamins, we can add even adrenal glandular and support. We wanted to find out that more based on adrenal test. And then next piece is we dig more into the functional medicine with the gut and the detox and other specific more nuanced nutritional deficiencies. Anything you want to add to that, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Well, I love how you’ve laid out 1,2,3,4,5 like that because the gut infections, although massively important, that’s so much later down the road. You put so many other foundations and placed first. A lot of people that come straight from what is called conventional and want to go straight to detox. Or, “hey, I took this detox tea” or “this detox Paleo  shake” or “I went straight into some gut protocol”. If all that other stuff is not addressed- Yes, it’s very important to remove Candida. This candida problem, definitely is impairing brain fog.

Justin Marchegiani: Huge.

Evan Brand: If you look back at- If you look back at my organic acid test from a few years ago, I had Candida problems and it perfectly explain why I was mixing up my words.

Justin Marchegiani: Totally.

Evan Brand: I was putting words in different order. When I had to address that to get the brain better; however, if I just slept better, I noticed 20,30, 40, 50% improvement in brain function there. So yes, it may be Candida, yes it may be the infection, yes it may be the mitochondrial function problems that we’re gonna have to fix, but also could be that you’re staying up until 2 AM and then you’re getting up at 6 or 7. And you say, “well I can just function better on 5 hours of sleep”. Well you probably just running on adrenaline which will give you that temporary heightened sense of cognitive function, but that’s because your body thinks that you’re running from a bear because why else would you be light sleeping tossing and turning all night. There must be a bear around. We’re gonna have to run from that in the morning. So you’re gonna get that burst, but in the long run, your brain function is going to be sacrificed and your memories can be sacrificed, your sex drive is a luxury. So why ovulate, women can lose their period.

Justin Marchegiani: Totally

Evan Brand: Why have a sex drive for men if you’re running from a bear? That’s – Let’s do that tomorrow. We gotta-

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah

Evan Brand: We gotta live.

Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. Yeah, 100%. And one of the things I’m gonna put it out there, so everyone can hold me accountable as well. But the biggest thing I find, too- for myself and a lot of people I talked to, is mobile devices, iPads, phones, Facebook stuff late at night.

Evan Brand: It’s not good.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, I think I like to go on Netflix or Amazon prime or Hulu and I like to wind down. Find a nice show that kinda entertain me, I can laugh, I can enjoy. But I’m finding, and my wife’s it too, is pullin’ out the iPad or the phone, checking this checking that, checking my email, checking a text, checking Facebook, all this thread. And it’s like, my brain just constantly go, go, go, go, go. The thing I’m trying to do now is, I’m putting my phone in airplane mode. I’m having a little moon on my iPhone so, no notifications come up and I’m putting my phone in my room, already plugged in and ready to go so I can go to sleep.

Evan Brand: You know many family members are mad at me because my phone is on airplane mode like 24-7. You’re like one of the only people that I text because I’m so  anti-phone.

Justin Marchegiani: I feel fortunate.

Evan Brand: Yeah, haha.

Justin Marchegiani: I’m taking you out of your Zen date now everytime I text you.

Evan Brand: No, you’re not. You’re fine, man. You’re fine. It’s always good to chat with you. But seriously, though. And apparently something happened to my voicemail, where now my voicemail doesn’t work. So you just get this voicemail has not been set up. I’m not even gonna fix it.

Justin Marchegiani: Oh, man.

Evan Brand:  I’m not even gonna fix it because that’s just one more thing, right. We’re always pulled away and I want to cut all the strings on things that are pulling me away. And checking voicemail is just one more thing. You how it goes, you get  2,3,4,6 voicemails piling up. I can’t do it.

Justin Marchegiani: I totally agree. And the big thing I’m challenging you and everyone else, else anyone else out there, have you cut off for your phone, right. Whether it’s 8 or 9 or 9:30. Have that cut off, it in airplane mode. Hit the moon or whatever that equivalent is on the android. What’s the equivalent on the android for zero notifications?

Evan Brand: I think it’s do not disturb mode, something like that.

Justin Marchegiani: Perfect. Do not disturb. Do not disturb mode, moon mode, sleep mode and then put your phone away. Put in your bedroom wherever that charging place it belongs for the rest of the night. And be present with your wife, or your partner, your child  or whatever that night on time is that you guys do special whatever that routine is. Be fully present with that. That’s the thing that I’m trying to do. Also, I’m gonna be on I think- I think a staycation next week. And I think I’m gonna uninstall Facebook for the week.

Evan Brand: Ooh, I’m proud of you.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: So one other thing that for me has been massive is completely getting rid of Wi-Fi in the house. I completely disabled it. And so now, I’m hardwired. And so for me to use my phone, you may think it’s funny, but I have an ethernet cord that plugs into a u, an ethernet to USBC, adapter.

Justin Marchegiani: Oh my God.

Evan Brand: And so-

Justin Marchegiani: Really?

Evan Brand: Yes. So listen- So this is how much work it takes me to get on my phone to use social media. I have to get- I have to disconnect the adapter for my computer, unplug the adapter, plug up the new adapter, ethernet to USBC, then run with the cable wherever I’m going to use the phone. Plug up to the phone in then use the internet access. So for me, putting that many barriers in place, my phone is completely hands-off. If  I’m not on calls, my phone does not exist to me. And that has been so massive for my productivity because you get in the social media loophole. You gotta check this, you gotta reply on this, you gotta upload new data to this, you gotta post an article here, you gotta put the podcast there. It’s too much. So now, actually a guy from the minimalist, I’m not sure that I chatted with him, was an email something, something with the conversation of the minimalist guy- it was Josh, he said that he completely got rid of Internet in his home. Now for us, we can’t do that. That’s not practical. But for him as a writer, he completely got rid of internet access from his home; therefore he was only able to write on like Word document applications and then when he would go to a coffee shop or something. Then he would have the ability to get online and do email and Facebook and blah, blah blah. So for as a writer, I think that totally valid. It wouldn’t work for us, but like I said, I’ve still for many- many, many reasons disabled the Wi-Fi completely. And it’s enabled me to- I have to be grounded in a set location before I’m gonna use the Internet as opposed to me just mindlessly walking around the house checking this, checking that on my phone.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I agree. I think we’re hitting it two different ways. You know, I just try to put it in airplane mode and- and sleep mode. And then also the big thing is, you should’ve took this first, but either way, Christmas tree timer plugged into my router and modem. And the Christmas tree timer- that Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi is gone at 11 PM.

Evan Brand: I had that-

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah

Evan Brand: I had a power strip and a timer. I would- if we were not home, then I would I would use the timer. I would just let- because the fish tank was on the timer, too. But when we were home, I would just “poof” I would turn off the power strip. But for me, there’s a lot of cool, a lot of cool data coming out from Deborah Davis and some of these other-

Justin Marchegiani Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Evan Brand: EMF Wi-Fi experts that are showing like the different spectrums and babies. And in all of that- in showing that nature basically drops off around the 2000 MHz range. And that’s exactly where 2.4, 2.4 GHz

Justin Marchegiani: Gigahertz

Evan Brand: – and router. That’s where they pick up. So basically, they have this natural, nonexistent field in the spectrums.

Justin Marchegiani: Yup.

Evan Brand: And that’s where Wi-Fi plugs in. So for me, I don’t want to touch that spectrum, especially with the baby around. I feel much better. To me, it’s- we don’t have to prove it’s dangerous. For me, we can’t prove that it’s safe.

Justin Marchegiani: Right.

Evan Brand: So for me, it’s not a huge deal to just do the hardwired Internet thing.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand: And I chatted with Bing Greenfield, too. And apparently, he did that. He- in previous conversations he told me he was just turning Wi-Fi off at night. And last time I spoke with him,  he said, “nope, I’m doing completely hardwired. So I’m not the only one going- going so old-school. I don’t have dial-up.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think it’s good. I think it’s good but if you’re not ready to go that full length which I’m not because the TVs that I use, I have no cable- No cable TV. So my TV’s all Internet-based. And it’s- I don’t have router. I don’t have access to plug-in up there. So we keep it going just for the TVs at least. But if not, you can always put your router on a Christmas tree timer and just- There’s even one that will be like you can change the hours. So Saturday will go longer or Sunday longer, in case you’re up longer in the weekends. And you can adjust it. But I try to make it so that router is off for about eight hours a night. So that way, I can at least sleep without any Wi-Fi nearby.

Evan Brand: Agreed. Yeah, I think that’s- at the end of the day, the sleep time is most important. Some people goes as far as turning the breaker off in the room. I’ve not done that yet. Maybe when I get a new place-

Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s inconvenient.

Evan Brand: Yeah. You can put a kill switch on the wall but we’ll save that conversation for another day.

Justin Marchegiani: Oh that’s cool, I like that. Awesome. Part two coming up soon. Awesome, Evan. Hey man, great chat. I think we’re on video. This could be a really good one if we get this whole podcast issue fix, we get the video going, man.

Evan Brand: Go check out Justin’s YouTube channel. Type in justinhealth. You’ll see the videos. You’ve got what- twenty- 20,000+ subscribers there that are checking out your content.

Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Over 25,000. Really fun, plus you get to see our ugly mugs here, too.

Evan Brand: Oh, yeah. Don’t say that.

Justin Marchegiani: Of course. All tongue-in-cheek, man. Alright, brother. Good chatting with you. You have an awesome day. We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand: Take care

Justin Marchegiani: Bye

Evan Brand: Bye

Adrenal Fatigue: Signs, Symptoms and The Functional Medicine Approach

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It's time for bed, but you're wired. You're exhausted but you just can't get restful sleep. You toss and turn for hours and wakeup feeling like you never fully rested.

You may have anxiety during the day, but you're dependent on coffee or other stimulants to get you through the work day.

This scenario is reality for millions of men and women around the world and there is an answer to this problem--but you wont get it from your mainstream doctor.

They don't recognize this condition; adrenal fatigue.

Function of the adrenal glands

Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and produce 3 types of hormones. The adrenal glands consist of an outer and inner layer.

All steroid hormones require cholesterol for their production. [source].

The adrenal cortex is the outer layer of the adrenal glands, similar to the crust on earth.

This outer layer secretes the infamous stress hormone cortisol along with other glucocorticoids. Cortisol helps control inflammation in the body and is a key player in our stress and immune response. Cortisol also plays a role in blood sugar and blood pressure regulation.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which breaks town muscle tissue to increase blood sugar levels.

This is partially why highly stressed individuals have trouble burning fat or building muscle.

Do you have adrenal fatigue?The adrenal cortex also produces our sex hormones and allows us to maintain a libido. This is partially why adrenal fatigue, burnout, high stress and low libido may be experienced together.

Lastly, our adrenal cortex produces aldosterone which is a steroid that helps regulate our potassium levels and blood pressure by coordinating with the kidneys.

People with low aldosterone commonly crave salt and may feel lightheaded when going from a lying or sitting position to standing up.

The inner region of the adrenal gland is called the medulla.

The medulla produces adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. This is where our "fight-or-flight" system comes from.

This system becomes "stuck on" when you're exposed to chronic stress, eventually sapping your energy levels.

Causes of stress

You can assume most that people in the developed world have some level of adrenal fatigue for a myriad of reasons:

  • Chronic stress
  • Blood sugar dysfunction
  • Overconsumption of sugar
  • Low thyroid function
  • Inflammation
  • Food intolerances
  • Poor gut health
  • Autoimmunity
  • Low cholesterol (mostly from statins)
  • Not enough dietary fat
  • Type-A personality
  • Too much coffee and stimulants
  • Too much exercise
  • Heavy metal toxicity (mainly too much copper)
  • Low zinc status
  • Lack of fatty acids
  • Poor self esteem
  • Harboring anger and hatred
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Not enough play time
  • Taking yourself too seriously
  • Lack of laughter

While some of these play a bigger role than others, these are all important factors to look at when you are self-treating or working with a qualified functional medicine practitioner.

The stages of stress

Do you have adrenal fatigue?

Take a good look at this chart. Where do you currently lie?

The reason that we hear about stress so often is because the modern world presents new inputs, incomprehensible to our ancient ancestors, or even our grandparents.

iPhones, tablets, computers, emails, social media, notifications, TV, YouTube and more are constantly pulling us away from the rest-and-digest mode that we are designed for about 99% of our lives.

We are designed for stressful events about 1% of the time.

Our ancestor would have been walking in the woods when they startled upon a bear.

For the next 3 minutes, they would have either been running from the bear or hunting the bear. That fleeting moment of stress would not leave a significant impact on the nervous system or adrenal glands.

What stress does

When we become overwhelmed with long-term stress we can experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased tolerance to heat or cold
  • Aches and pains
  • Feel tired even after sleeping
  • Depression
  • Feelings that life is "unreal"
  • Lightheadedness and a poor sense of balance when sitting or standing
  • Fatigue and dizziness when fasting
  • Extreme energy and crash after a meal
  • Frequent colds
  • Sleep disruption or insomnia
  • Cravings for chocolate, caffeine and sugar
  • Mood imbalance and irritability
  • Headaches
  • Digestive issues

and almost anything.

World renowned Functional Medicine expert, Dr. Mark Hyman and I discussed stress together on the podcast. He agreed with the concept that 95% of all health symptoms worldwide are either caused by or worsened by some form of stress.

To be a bit more specific, stress first tends to wreak havoc on our digestive system by shunting blood away from the gut and into the muscles to prepare for a fight, getaway or to the brain to help improve decision making.

Digesting a meal to breakdown the proteins into amino acids which fuel the brain becomes a luxury. As does reproduction.

You're running from a bear, even if that bear is just an email notification, so your body puts your sex drive and digestive enzyme production to the wayside.

Cortisol scavenges our precious muscle tissue to make a quick source of fuel (glucose) for the brain and body.

Even having a cell phone around us can create a stress response due to the radiation emissions [source]. If that doesn't seem concerning, our neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that allow us to have a stable, bright mood are also affected by cell phones [source].

Minimizing our exposure to stress and minimizing our response to stress is of the utmost importance.

How can stress cause so many diseases?

This excerpt from stress.com, dedicated to the "founder of stress", Hans Selye explains:

[intense_blockquote color="#f5f5f5" font_color="#333333"]Many of these effects are due to increased sympathetic nervous system activity and an outpouring of adrenaline, cortisol and other stress-related hormones. Certain types of chronic and more insidious stress due to loneliness, poverty, bereavement, depression and frustration due to discrimination are associated with impaired immune system resistance to viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and cancer. Stress can have effects on other hormones, brain neurotransmitters, additional small chemical messengers elsewhere, prostaglandins, as well as crucial enzyme systems, and metabolic activities that are still unknown. Research in these areas may help to explain how stress can contribute to depression, anxiety and its diverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract, skin and other organs.[/intense_blockquote]

Stress can have effects on other hormones, prostaglandins, as well as crucial enzyme systems, immune function metabolic activities that are still unknown. Research in these areas may help to explain how stress can contribute to depression, anxiety and its diverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract, skin and other organs.

What can we do about this?

Since conventional medicine laughs at the idea of adrenal fatigue or dysfunction, it's important to work with a functional medicine practitioner that recognizes and treats this health issue at the root causes.

In the meantime, you can use these non-supplemental methods, that are free:

  • Engage in mild exercise. A study found that found that exercise prevents the anxiety-like behavior related to the stress response. Too much and/or too intense exercise taxes the adrenals. A good gauge to determine if your exercise is "good for you" is to pay attention to your energy levels after your workout. If you are much more fatigued after your workout than before it, you may want to tone it down a bit. Exercise should energize and vitalize you.
  • Avoid high-carbohydrate intake. The american diet is laden with an abundance of refined carbohydrates and sugar. The blood sugar fluctuations that occur with such a high-glycemic diet wears out the "PAL system", which consists of the pancreas, adrenals and liver. If you put stress on any part of this triad, symptoms arise.
  • Avoid horror movies and TV stimulation. Drama, the news and movies are stimulating and addicting to the mind and body. We seek these out for a short burst of fear-based energy. Find a show that makes you feel good if you insist.
  • Avoid loud and excessively stimulating music. Existing in the natural world was relatively quiet, much quieter than our modern world of chainsaws, diesel trucks and sound systems. Sound pollution not only disturbs humans, but other life forms as well. The guy blasting heavy metal to get through his workout may already be in adrenal burnout and not know it.
  • Seek out funny things. I've documented an increase in heart-rate variability (indication of a relaxed nervous system) during and after laughing. We all have different senses of humor. It's simple; find videos or things that make you laugh!
  • Don't take yourself so seriously. Looking at the lighter side of an issue can ease the whole response to it.
  • Use an acupressure mat. The body has various points that can be stimulated and activated to induce relaxation. Make this a regular practice.
  • Reduce cell phone and technology use. Find time to disconnect and completely get away from the inundation of WiFi, cell phones and other man-made electromagnetic fields.
  • Avoid heated arguments and don't feed them. We all end up in tense situations from time to time. Keep your cool and prevent an escalation.
  • Don't weave and speed through traffic. Driving amongst others is stressful enough. Weaving and speeding through traffic tells our body to escape. Drive defensively but passively. Don't let someone cause you road rage. Control yourself.
  • Try yoga. Yoga is not just a trend--it has thousands of years of practice and plenty of research proving the engagement of the parasympathetic, rest-and-digest mode of your nervous system.[source].
  • Go camping. Forest bathing, known as Shinrin-yoku to the Japanese, has been proven to normalize cortisol levels and blood pressure. Instead of a late night out on the town drinking alcohol, spare the health of your liver and circadian rhythm and opt for a night under the stars.
  • Go for a walk in nature. Nature deficiency is a major factor in our poor health and depression. Forest therapy has been proven to lower salivary cortisol and induce a calm nervous system. Depressed alcoholics even benefit from time spent in the forest and boost their immune system [source][source].
  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine and other stimulants. Caffeine is the world's most widely abused drug. It is effective, but it further depletes the adrenal glands due to its stimulating effects.
  • Go to bed by 10pm every night. Yes, even on the weekends.  A proper sleep cycle is essential to recovery and napping during the day may also be helpful in the beginning stages of your treatment.
  • Hug your friends and family. Our love hormone oxytocin is essential to detoxification and a feeling of happiness. Hug long and tight. Enjoy the people around you.
  • Avoid yelling and arguments as much as possible. Pumping up the adrenals with stress and anger will slow your recovery. This is a good excuse to practice solving altercations in a gentle manner.
  • Do fun things. Workaholics and those who think life is only about our duties are commonly stressed and fatigued. Find a minute to go for a walk and play frisbee with your friends. If you don't have friends, try making a few in a local meetup group.
  • Take epsom salt baths and try float tanks. Magnesium acts as a cofactor in hundreds of reactions in the body. Absorbing magnesium transdermally is a great way to calm the nervous system and enhance your brain function, since adrenal fatigue and brain fog coincide.
  • Generally take it easy. You can be your best friend or your own worst enemy. The perception of how you perform in life can be self-limiting and destructive. Make sure you celebrate the small wins and achievements and learn how to be content.

This topic is huge

Another entire article, or even a book can be written about the therapies that are helpful for adrenal fatigue such as herbs, botanicals and adaptogens.

We have reached 2000 words and I am left feeling like I've barely scratched the surface of this complex and pervasive issue in our modern world.

We have brought most of our fatigue and stress upon ourselves with globalization, 24/7 technology, poor economy, agriculture, industry and all of the supposed progress of modern life. We have many blessings and technologies that make our life more exciting and easier, but we must remember to take the simple road sometimes.

I hope this helps you and please share this with those who need help. Changing the world, starting a business, or even making it through your workday when you are fatigued is nearly impossible.

Remember that we can't help others until we help ourselves first.

Not Just Paleo now offers specialized salivary adrenal test kits to identify what stage adrenal fatigue you may be in. Evan Brand, the author and practitioner behind Not Just Paleo Functional Medicine Clinic will review your results and guide you towards healing via Skype or phone.

Resources Mentioned

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25332212

http://notjustpaleo.com/dr-mark-hyman

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12076339

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23852905

http://www.stress.org/about/faqs/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15666839

http://amzn.to/1sBWS7Y

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19735239

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21996762

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3258312/

Alpha Brain

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24682350

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23121080

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24969491

Vitamin C and zinc

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15666839

http://amzn.to/1wEO2fJ

Shroom Tech Sport

Krill oil

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Podcast #174 Evan and Tony Wrighton Discuss Stress and How I Wrecked My Nervous System

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Today's podcast is an episode that was originally recorded on Tony Wrighton's Zestology. We discuss stress and how your cortisol rhythm changes throughout the day. Most people think that cortisol is evil and that it's what causes their belly fat and if they can just get rid of their high cortisol, they will feel magical. The truth is that many people have low cortisol when we run an Adrenal Stress Profile test on them and that LOW cortisol is the real issue that causes their symptoms of fatigue.

Initially, people thrive with the onset of stress. The new job or stressful situation such as moving into a new city can cause people to feel alive; temporarily. Eventually the endorphin and cortisol high wears off and people begin to progress into deeper stages of adrenal fatigue.

There are several supplements including Vitamin C Tonic that I use personally and have my clients take to support adrenal and immune health. These are the small baby steps that can tend to push people in the direction of healing.

We also discuss lifestyle measures and how important it is to remove negative people from your life. If you feel drained after spending time with someone, it's not always true, but it could be that this person is toxic to you and that you need to distance yourself from them.

It's hard when the people you love the most are the ones that bring you down, but I encourage you to limit the dosage of negativity you are exposed to from all sources. If you take this one lesson from today's podcast, you will improve your health.

It's not how many things you need in life to bring you up, but rather how many negative sources of energy are bringing you down.

Enjoy this episode and if you are ready to schedule your 15 minute free call with me to discuss your health symptoms and goals, you can do that right here.

Podcast #159 Amino Acids Can Help Fatigue, Stress, Depression, Anxiety and Sugar Cravings

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Subscribe on YouTube Not Just Paleo on iTunes

NOTE: You can view the YouTube video that accompanies this audio right here.

Evan Brand: Hi! It’s Evan Brand here. And I wanted to talk to you today about neurotransmitter symptoms. Now, there are over a hundred different neurotransmitters but we’re just gonna be talking about four key neurotransmitters today and the symptoms that are linked to those. Whether these things are imbalanced to low, deficient, I mean, there are so many things in the modern world that deplete us of these brain chemicals, stressors including toxins, emotional stress, speeding on the highway, pornography, addiction, sugar, caffeine. All of these different things deplete our neurotransmitters and they lead to widespread deficiencies that cause symptoms.

So today, we’re talking about the main four symptoms that I see in my clinic and what we can do about them.

(00:46-02:58)

So first, Fatigue. Fatigue is epidemic. I see so many people every week in the office, in online - that’s their number one complaint right after that they want to lose weight. That they’re fatigue and they can’t get the energy to actually work out or do the things that they think they need to do to lose weight.

So Fatigue is generally linked to low dopamine levels. Now, low dopamine can be from many different causes but some of the things that are associated with low dopamine are gonna be people that are gonna be eating chocolate to try to boost themselves back up. Now, I’m a big fan of dark chocolates, I know it’s delicious. Seventy two percent (72%) cacao or more, that’s gonna be my recommendation for you. However, the more potent and the more raw, natural the dark chocolate is, the more caffeine and theobromine, theses stimulating compounds that are gonna be found in it. So, it’s definitely something that if you’re always going to dark chocolate, you may look into seeing if you have low dopamine levels.

Now, caffeine, that sort of tied in to chocolate but there’s lot of people that I see in the clinic that are drinking so much caffeine via coffee. Even if it’s butter coffee, that they’re just way too depleted and when you try to pull them off of coffee, or well.... How would you do that? Right? Or you try to switch them over to, say, a green tea or something to minimize the caffeine intake, they start to have these low dopamine symptoms such as just not wanting to get off the couch or just tired.

Lastly, pornography. Now, I mentioned this just because out of the top 50 and 100 websites on the web, some of the most visited are pornography websites. People in the age group 25 to 50, 78 to 80 percent of people are looking at pornography multiple times per week. And I actually have some clients come into the office that have been addicted and they’ve been completely just exhausted and fatigue from it and their whole life revolves around it because you get that nice dopamine hit. You look at a lot of different studies where they use rats and they measure neurotransmitter levels after being introduced to new females like you would with pornography, dopamine levels sky rocket. So to temporary high followed by low.

(02:59-03:40)

So, you know, with fatigue, typically what we’re gonna do is we’re going to look at an amino acid called L-Tyrosine. Now, tyrosine is a natural way to boost up, in support, dopamine levels. So this is isn’t like an adderall or something that’s just gonna crank you up or armodafinil - these type of smart drugs that are available on the black market in via your prescribing medical physician.

Tyrosine is an amino acid you can find in nearly any health food store in the world and its gonna help you boost yourself back up. So Tyrosine is eventually gonna come back over here (refers to dopamine) and support these dopamine levels. So that’s my first intervention when I see people with fatigue, that’s what we’re gonna do.

(03:41-04:27)

Obviously, we have other things like light. So getting you’re bright sunlight in the morning first thing when you wake up, that’s helpful, ten minutes if you can. Just go out, let the naked eyeballs touch the sunshine. Does that make sense? No sunglasses. I know it’s so easy. You ran out the door, you throw on the sunglasses, you’re getting in the car, you’re hiding behind the windows, window tint, all of that stuff, you’re really not getting the over one thousand natural light spectrums that you need to hit your body, you’re eyeballs especially. Helps regulate your circadian rhythm, helps make sure that your cortisol is gonna be outputted at the right time, giving you that energy to get through your day, making sure that your melatonin levels are gonna be low in the evening so that bright light exposure in the morning is really helpful.

(04:28-05:00)

Number 2. Walking. Now I say walking is because I find it, fatigue, is a bit like a snowball effect. If you’ve been in a habit of just being a couch potato, you’re more likely to stay there on the couch. But if you just go out for a walk, you’re gonna find that you may have some inspiration, you may have some new found creativity, and you may feel that that second walk the next evening or even later in the same day is gonna be a lot easier. So walking.. those are my two more lifestyle holistic things and then we also used Tyrosine as well.

(05:01-05:11)

Once we identified the deficiencies via organic acids testing, then we can really get some specific nutrients in to balance out these neurotransmitters. That was a long time spent on number one.

(05:12-06:01)

Let’s go to number two. Uptight and stressed. Are you uptight and stressed? Do you know somebody that’s just always round up so tight, you’re just like... Ughh! Take a breath, man! Do you know those people? Those people are mostly deficient in GABA. Now, GABA is the calming neurotransmitter. It’s the brakes of the brain. And I used the analogy on the podcasts all the time of the modern human being like a semi-truck with bicycle brakes. So we have so much go go go go go until we hit the wall or burnout but we don’t have breaks. We don’t have GABA, we don’t slow down. So a fast pace lifestyle does that, just generally hurrying yourself, locking yourself into that sympathetic fighter flight mode of your nervous system. Those are all types of lifestyle activities that intend to deplete GABA levels. So those type of symptoms that you know go on hand with uptight, stress.

(06:02

Binge eating. So, just the people that just go to a buffet and they just can’t control themselves until they’re stuffed.

People with anxiety. Even panic attacks or more extreme manifestation of low GABA levels, can’t relax. I mean it’s simple enough. This is the type of person that has to have a glass of wine in the evening after dinner and they just can’t relax without it. You know, these are the people that after dinner, they go for sugar or the sweet or the wine or the dark chocolate. So you see, some of these symptoms are similar to dopamine and also serotonin when we get there. They are all tied hand in hand. They are all sort of a, concerto, together if you will.

(06:43

So what do we for GABA? Well, two things. We can go straight GABA. Now, I typically don’t go these route because you’re not supposed to feel the effects of GABA. You have what is called a blood brain barrier inside of you, just like in your gut, where it’s supposed to be permeable only for certain things. Now, the GABA molecules supposed to be too big to fit through that center in the brain, that blood brain barrier. But people to have what is called leaky brain due to gut inflammation, tons of different disregulation that happens in the body with inflammatory oil, too much Omega 6, fats, things like that. GABA can relax you. SO if you take GABA, say 500 mg to 1 gram and you find that it relaxes you, you may have a leaky blood brain barrier. It’s a handful to say BBB, leaky BBB.

(07:35-08:51)

So, instead of that, I’ll do L-Theanine. Now, theanine is just an amino acid that’s found naturally in green tea. I highly recommend taking it in capsule form just because it’s a lot more bang for your buck. You may get 20 to 40 mg of L-Theanine which is just a little bit below the threshold that I like to see clients at, in terms of boosting up these GABA levels naturally. So, I like to see about a hundred to 200 mg of L-Theanine, if you want to drink some matcha tea which is just a special form of green tea, it’s more ground up, it has a higher L-Theanine content in it so it’s a great way to boost your mind up. Just a little bit of caffeine but has a lot more L-Theanine in it.

So other ways to reduce uptight stress, I’m just gonna go ahead and make it simple. Go back to walking. Take a walk. You know, that’s really gonna help. If you’re doing it in the forest, there’s tons of studies now about forest bathing, which is also known as Shinrin-yoku. I wrote a lot about that in my second book, Stress Solutions, where you can see a reduction of cortisol levels by 13 percent or more. You can boost your anti-cancer proteins by 50 percent and it boost your immune system. So get out in the forest, if you can. That’s the best way to naturally support GABA levels along with the amino acids therapy there.

(08:52-09:41)

Let’s move on. Number 3. Emotional Sensitivity. Now, these are the type of people that are low in endorphins. These people cry easily. Those are the people that wear their heart on their sleeve. The people that you just feel like you can’t say anything around them that you wanna say. You’re stepping on eggshells with that person. These people may be low in their endorphins so they can’t cope as well. These are the type of people where they just freeze up, you know, in a traumatic situation, like you almost get a car wreck or something like that. These are the people that just lose it. The people that can keep it together, they likely have a healthy supply of endorphin, whether that was genetic or they just are living a moderately relaxed lifestyle that doesn’t deplete endorphins. So, actually I have some PTSD clients that have been over in Afghanistan and they are lacking in endorphins a lot. So what do we for that?

(09:42-10:20)

Most of the time, we’ll go to what is called DLPA. Now, this is a special form of Phenylalanine, DLPA. It has two different molecules added to it. This really helps with emotional support and coping. So I find that even with just a few weeks of supplementation, after we verify vivid organic acids tests that they are deficient, you know, symptoms are good but you always want to have a piece of paper that’s gonna help you identify one hundred percent because if you start tweaking things here and they’re not balanced, then you can start exacerbating some other symptoms. So eventually once we identify that that’s what they need, we’ll start out with some DLPA.

(10:21-10:45)

Natural ways to support emotional sensitivity? Just remove yourself from the stress in general if possible. If you have to go into traffic, maybe there’s an alternate route that you can take where you go through some back roads and you drive through some woods and you happen to run across some wildlife and birds on your way there. That’s just the funderal lifestyle that my wife and I have done and I have found that’s really help build us back up and feel stable, emotionally.

(10:46-11:25)

Lastly, eat carbs to feel better. Now, this is so popular. 90 percent of the women that I see, they eat carbs, they feel better. Now, that’s low serotonin. Now, what happens with low serotonin is that you could have mood swings, so down here, depression, carb binges. These are the type of people that they try to go on a diet and then they just end up eating a whole piece of cake or a whole cake or a whole pie. They just binge. Now, low serotonin symptoms can kind of tie into low GABA levels so, you know like I said, it’s important to identify which one you’re struggling with so that you can use the appropriate amino acid to try to fix it.

(11:26-11:57)

But what we’re gonna do with for serotonin with L-Tryptophan. Now, you’ve heard the story about people getting trytophan from the turkey at Thankgsiving. It’s really not that much trytophan and you’re really not going to absorb that much depending on cooking. You’re going to cook out some of the amino acids, so that’s kind of a myth. So, a lot of people feel tired after you eat turkey for Thanksgiving because you’re with your family. It’s a good fun time. It’s relaxing. You know, that’s where you hear trytophan from most of the time.

(11:58-13:32)

Now, I’m talking about the supplemental form here in amino acid capsule form. Now, you can also use 5-HTP. But you’ve got to be careful with 5 HTP because if you’re taking too much of it or you’re taking it for too long, you’re gonna start depleting dopamine. So what happens is, I actually have one female client who’s taking 5-HTP for two to three years daily to the point where she couldn’t get off the couch in the morning without having a lot of coffee. So what she had done is she had pushed that pathway and that receptor side with the 5-HTP so much that she calls an imbalance and depletion of dopamine. So, that’s why I like to start out with tryptophan instead. It’s a very relaxing. It’s something I recommend in the evening, it really helps us sleep. It can help us some of the cravings and things like that, the emotional eating but 5-HTP, I will use in certain scenarios because that does end up converted to serotonin and I want you to have the necessary co-factors along with that vitamin B6. That serotonin can get converted to melatonin and hopefully you can sleep.

So, sometimes with people that have low serotonin levels, they’re gonna be irritable, moody and they’re gonna have trouble sleeping at night. So, we’ll find it when you add in some trytophen or in certain cases 5-HTP, that sleep will improve. Obviously, if you’re drinking way too much caffeine and you’re slow metabolizer that you find out just because or maybe you’ve had a 23 mid genetic test where you have the gene or you cannot metabolize caffeine quickly, like myself. Then you want to definitely limit caffeine if you’re trying to improve your sleep.

(13:36-15:14)

But we’re mainly talking about these four symptoms here . Eat carbs to feel better, low serotonin. Typically we’re going to go with tryptophan or 5 HTP . Emotional Sensitivity – low in endorphins, cry easily, heart on the sleeve. We’ll go with DLPA. (Meaning of DLPA) Uptight/Stress – typically low in GABA, these are the binge eaters, anxiety, uptight people that just can’t relax, tensed shoulders. Loosened up, you low GABA people. I know how it feels. L-Theanine or straight GABA. L-Theanine is preferred. Put a little star there. Lastly, fatigue – low dopamine is the chocolate eaters, caffeine drinkers, pornography watchers. L-Tyrosine is gonna be the amino acid of choice there. Get your good light cycle. Go for a walk. Obviously, this is a very general description of somebody’s symptoms. There’s hundreds more that we could talk about. I highly recommend getting an organic acids test to see exactly where you are deficient. It’s helpful to start with questionnaires but you always want to dig a little bit deeper before you start taking amino acids to try to self-treat yourself because I’ve seen many disaster stories where people start taking a lot of 5-HTP or other amino acids and make themselves feel worse. It’s always good to find a good functional medicine practitioner in your area if you want to reach out to me, I’m experienced in running these tests and identifying and giving people accurate and very targeted supplement plan to help fix some of these symptoms and imbalances.

You can reach out to me by clicking on the screen or there’s a link below to schedule a free consult with me. This is Evan Brand. Take Care. Alright, bye!

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Podcast #151 Adam Farrah on Possessions, Stress and Medical Cannabis

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Not Just Paleo #151 Adam Farrah on Possessions and Medical CannabisAdam Farrah comes onto the show to discuss the truth about possessions and the stress that comes with living a life that "makes you happy". We talk about how medical cannabis came into his life and has significantly improved health symptoms that stemmed from ulcerative colitis and life stress such as depression, anxiety and GI issues. Listen with an open mind and enjoy! To schedule a free consult with Evan to discuss your health symptoms and goals, visit here.

Keep up with Adam at Adamfarrah.com

The show

Not Just Paleo on iTunes

Click here to listen to the show on iTunes where you can listen, download and subscribe to the show.

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Today we discuss

  • Do possessions make you happier?
  • Did stress from debt cause gut health issues?
  • How simplifying your life improves your health
  • How medical cannabis helped Adam's health significantly

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Podcast #138 Evan Brand and Dr. Justin Marchegiani on Supplements For Stress

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Today's Guest

I'm now the co-host of the Beyond Wellness Radio podcast with Dr. Justin Marchegiani. It's an awesome experience where you will now be getting a lot more clinical experience on that show as well as on Not Just Paleo as I use these episodes for my show as well.

You'll see the transcription below that Dr. Justin had made for this show! As more people review the show, I will be able to invest into the transcriptions for all episodes of the show..

The show

Click here to listen to the show on iTunes where you can listen, download and subscribe to the show.

Click here to listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio where you can listen and subscribe to the show.

Today we discuss

Meet Evan Brand, the new new guest co-host of Dr. Justin Marchegiani for Beyond Wellness Radio. Today’s topic is all about stress and how to handle it. Find out what Shinrin-yoku aka “forest bathing” is all about and what adaptogens help with relieving stress significantly. This podcast discusses about the Paleo template, power poses and how posture can impact your hormones, as well as other lifestyle recommendations. 

Evan Brand is the creator of Not Just Paleo who shares great advice on taking control of your own health, happiness, and vitality. Learn more about the different kinds of Ginseng depending on where they’re grown and the kinds of mushrooms you can take as supplements. Listen and discover how to find good quality herbs and what types of blends are recommended.

In this episode, topics include:

2:50 All about stress

13:05 Importance of posture

16:13 What adaptogens are

18:40 The different kinds of Ginseng depending on where they’re grown

23:15 Organic mushroom blends

Leave a review for the show

Submit your question for the show here.

If you would take two minutes when you get to iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to the podcast, write a star and written review for the show. This helps other people find this information. Thank you!

Transcription

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there!  It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani and welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. We now have full podcast transcriptions over at JustInHealth.com.  Head over to JustInHealth.com, click on the Podcast button and you’ll be able to access all shows forward and past.  And while you’re there, feel free and sign up for the Thyroid and Hormone Video Series.  Some great information there for everyone and while you’re there, you can also sign up for the Podcast Newsletter where you’ll get access to these podcasts right in your inbox before anyone else.  While you’re there, you can also schedule a consult with myself, if you wanna dive in to any other functional medicine or health issues.

Again, stay tuned for the show and if you’re enjoying it, please feel free and share it.  Sharing is caring.  Think of one person that could benefit from this show and share it.  And also, feel free and head over to BeyondWellnessRadio.com/iTunes and send us a review.  We really appreciate it.  Thanks and enjoy the show!

Hey, this is Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Beyond Wellness Radio and I am super stoked that we have our new guest co-host here Evan Brand from notjustpaleo.com?

Evan Brand:  Yup, that’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome, Evan.  Great!  So today we’re gonna be chatting a little bit about stress and–and things you can do to help reduce stress.  But again, feel free and check out JustInHealth.com and BeyondWellnessRadio.com.  We have all of the podcasts up for full transcriptions and you can subscribe to the YouTube channel to also get the podcast as well.  And a lot of nice freebies on the website like our Thyroid and Female Hormone Video Course as well.  Evan, what’s going on with you today, man?

Evan Brand:  Oh, not much.  I’m staring at the clouds hoping they’ll break up so I can get outside and play in the woods later today.  But I’m excited to talk about stress today, man, just because it’s such a timely subject for myself trying to multitask 20 different things at the same time without burning myself out.  So I’m sure other people are in the same scenario.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and how can people find your podcast?

Evan Brand:  They could just search notjustpaleo or I–I’m that cool now that if you just Google Evan Brand, you’ll find me that way, too, and all my podcasts.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Good, awesome!  I figured it maybe Russel Brand would come up there in the search, too.  But–you out–outbid him.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s good.  Very cool!  It’s good to have your own brand, right?

Evan Brand:  Yup, definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Pun intended.

Evan Brand:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So, yeah, let’s talk about stress.  Why don’t you go first?

Evan Brand:  Sure, so I guess it’s helpful to talk about my first realization of stress.  You know, I’m a pretty relaxed guy overall and I didn’t really get my first taste of stress until I moved down to Austin a couple of years ago and had a–a big, big cool desk job career and all of that and moved down there with my–my now wife, and we got our own place and paying all the big bills, you know, growing up, becoming a man, and–and moving thousands of miles away to–to chase my dream.  And I started to have all these weird symptoms like insomnia.  I was just laying in bed staring at the ceiling.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on because I was exercising, I was eating Paleo, I mean it’s like–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Come–come on, I mean, I’m doing everything right.  What’s going on?  And so it slowly became harder for me to adjust to stress.  I was becoming easily startled.  I mean, if I heard a loud boom, I would kinda jump when I used to not jump.  So I figured that some–some nervous system taxation was happening and I needed to figure out how to recover it.  So I basically just began researching adaptogens at that point and relied heavily on them as a–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  As a stepping stone or maybe a crutch if you will for the time being, and then long story short, I ended up writing the Stress Solutions book, which I still don’t think I’ve given you a paperback copy of, but I basically tried to boil everything that I was going through down–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Into an actionable plan so that other people could apply it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.  I mean, stress is one of those, you know, things that people just kinda think about emotional stress as being stress, right?  As stressful.  They don’t think about, “Hey, I’m sitting all day or I have low blood sugar or I have reactive hypoglycemia or maybe I have low stomach acid.”  We don’t think of those things as being stressful.  And I think with functional medicine, we really wanna highlight the underlying chemical stressors that people forget about, because those are like the–the hidden energy zap of your adrenals, of your body’s reserve, and–and the lower your adrenals are, typically the lower ability that you have to adapt to stress.  Because it’s really all about adaptation and that’s one of the cool things that, you know, mean you’re both really passionately about is adaptogenic herbs because they really help your body deal with stress. We just gotta make sure the–the diet component is down because that’s such a–a big factor as you talked about to–to just being the foundation of helping to deal with stress.  Having those good meals, having that good sleep.  That really sets the foundation throughout the day so you can deal with more stress.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, well, I think the–the part you’ve kind of alluded to where people mess themselves up with stress is that they get so busy, right?  They’re trying to be so productive that they forget to eat.  I mean, you and I are probably are guilty of this ourselves sometimes we’re–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  Sitting on the computer and you look and, “Holy crap!  It’s–it’s 2 PM and I haven’t eaten lunch yet,” and the blood sugar issues.  I mean, you’ve even hounded me before, “Evan, you gotta get that blood sugar in check, man.”  And it–it’s a huge deal for general stress.  It’s a stress to the adrenals, you’re having to produce cortisol to raise up your blood sugar levels and people that–people may be familiar with cortisol and how it’s–it’s not always evil, you know, it has a place in your body.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It does.

Evan Brand:  Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to–to get up and–and do your work in the morning when you get hopefully, you get bright light exposure outdoors.  But you know, the cortisol picture when it comes to food was a–was a huge deal for me and I had to become more regimented in eating my meals.  So if you’re trying to get a take away from this, it would be to eat regular meals.  Try not skip meals, intermittent fasting and things like that have a great place but if you’re the type of person that’s listening and you feel like you’re recovering slowly from cuts and wounds and your sleep is messed up and you’re relying on the cups of coffee to keep you fueled up, then you may be–you may want to look at that diet picture and make sure you’re getting enough food but that you’re getting it in somewhat regular frequency, wouldn’t you say?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I think so, too.  And having a Paleo template, I don’t like the word diet, I like the word template because it allows the individuality of what your macronutrients may be best for you.  Again, my default is always to a lower carb Paleo template because lower carb tends to emphasize more on the vegetables and less on the starch and–and sugar or fruit so to speak.  Again, there’s a place for starch, there’s a place for fruit.  But anyone that has weight gain as a complaint in their top 5, emphasizing the lower carb is a starting point for their low carb Paleo template.  I think it’s a really good place to start with.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I think, 1 pat p2, sorry to cut you off there, is there are a lot in the Paleo community and this really drives me nuts where they make the exception the rule.  Where they may be able to eat something or they may be able to fast all day or they may be able to do that and then they go on and blog and talk about their–them being the exception and this is the rule and recommend it for everyone.  And I’m in a unique position because I’m in the trenches dealing with 40+ functional medicine patients a week from all over the world and I get to see the common trends in why and–why and what these people who are sick are doing.  And it’s a common trend of blood sugar stability being a major issue as a common trend of skipping meals and not eating breakfast, and there’s a lot of–when these issues are addressed from a–a diet and lifestyle perspective, people see an improvement.  So not everyone may be able to fast and do intermittent fasting.  Not everyone can skip breakfast.  People really have to be more diligent with their meals, the more broken or stressed their physiology is.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.  A man–a woman I was actually working with yesterday, she said, “Evan, I’ve read all the Mark’s Daily Apple Success Stories and I’ve done everything they’ve done, but yet I’m not losing weight,” and it’s–it’s so simple to see that and you see what works for someone so everybody does all of this self-diagnosing and self-treating and I think that’s a really good part about the Internet is that people are allowed to empower themselves but–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  I think that’s where the role of you and I really come in because people have tried to fix themselves and it just doesn’t work because they’re basing themselves off of someone else’s unique bio-individuality and you’re destined to fail that way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean it’s like if you get summons to court.  Let’s say something happened.  You’re called to court. I mean do you go online and just try to figure out the hacks so you can do good in court?  I mean, 9 times out of 10, the people that represent themselves in court, unless they’re a lawyer themselves, they don’t do too well.  So it’s like you get the lawyer because it’s worth it in the end because if you don’t, you know, a lot of bad things could happen.  And same thing in functional medicine and the functional nutritional world is that you can waste a lot more time because, you know, you only have your m=1 to go from.  You only have just your experience and it’s hard to connect the dots when you haven’t seen a lot of different experienced and–and then connect the commonalties.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.  And I wanted to talk a little more about the lifestyle part of stress and something that’s really cool in the research lately and that’s Shinrin-yoku, aka “forest bathing”.  I think I may have talked–talked to you about it before–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  But for people that–that don’t know, it’s called Shinrin-yoku by the Japanese and when you’re looking in PubMed if you’re, you know, a physician listening and you wanna research it yourself, type in Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, and you’ll see the results these Japanese researchers have taken.  There was one particular study that took 420 individuals out into the woods, several different forests and they took them–some out–were out there for a few days and some were out there for just 15 minutes and then the control group were people that were walking down the sidewalk in the city and they took salivary cortisol measures before and after this.  And there was a significant reduction, I don’t remember the exact percentage, but–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Evan Brand:  A significant reduction in reduction in cortisol levels after just 15 minutes in the forest but even more interesting is that their NK killer cells, they’re immune cells were boosted not only for that day, but even 1 month after.  I do remember this percentage, 23% boost in NK killer cells, 1 month after a hike in the woods.  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Whoa!

Evan Brand:  If you have the opportunity to take a trip to the woods or if you have maybe a trail behind you–when I was in Austin on the southwest side of town there was a pretty good patch of woods back there and I would go walk through there at the end of a stressful day and I felt significantly better.  Obviously the peace and quiet, not having to hear car alarms and sirens and things like that is helpful in itself but it kinda boils down to the airborne chemicals; they call them the–the phytoncides I believe it is.  It’s these airborne chemicals that trees and plants put off.  Of course, your body’s gonna benefit from those.  That’s what we’ve naturally been exposed to for a million years at this point.  So I just wanted to kinda throw that piece of research out there and encourage people to get outdoors.  If you’re stressed out at your desk, there is a reason.  Get off your desk and go out there and just try to get a change of environment.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And that’s really important to get out there, get your Vitamin D, do some grounding, lots of good benefits and I love having some of the physiology, some of the objective markers behind it.  Because you hear some of these things and you’ll like, “Oh, you’re just a hippie or whatever.”  It’s cool to have the science behind it because you’re like, “Oh, wow!  This is–this is legit.  This isn’t just like, you know, some hippie telling me what to do.”

Evan Brand:  Exactly.  Totally.  I know it definitely helps my credibility.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and there’s another cool thing because, you know, frankly we’re not gonna–we’re gonna spend more time inside, most of us.  That’s just the way it is.  So what can we do to help with that?  I’ve invested in my office at home and my office at work to have stand desk where I can have my desk literally go up or down.  And I’m sitting right now as you can see on the feed here, but I’ve been standing most of the day and I will stand most of the day.  And that makes a huge difference for me, the standing, being able to move around and posture is so important.  Amy Cuddy did a TED talk and she again let’s take some of the objective markers here.  She took people that were in this kinda slouched over posture and she ran salivary cortisol and she had them stand up and pull their shoulders back, and they went to this power pose with their arms up reaching overhead, kinda like maybe they’re running back when they score a touchdown or Stallone in the Rocky movies once he gets to the top of those steps and he puts his arms up.  And she had people literally just take their arms, put them above their head and hold them there for 2 minutes.  And she ran salivary cortisol and testosterone and she saw a 20% reduction in cortisol, that stress hormone and an improvement in testosterone just with a postural change for 2 minutes.

Evan Brand:  That’s awesome.  Yeah, I mean, and I–I write some stuff like that on my lifestyle recommendations when I’ll make a plan.  I’ll tell people, “Look, I want you to stand with your hands on your hips and–“

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Evan Brand:  “Put your chest up,” and I do feel a bit like a hippie when I’m telling people that, but I’m glad that there’s more verification there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean, she ran salivary cortisols, salivary hormones, and you know, we do that in our practice with our patients and it’s great to see simple things like posture.  And when I got to the gym I do like foundation training exercises which is like Eric Goodman’s work or I’ll do work where I’ll sit up against the wall, ankles, butt, shoulders and head, and I’ll keep my jaw level with the–with the ground.  Then I’ll pull my head back into that postural position and really work on strengthening the deep cervical flexors in front by the neck and stretching those back posterior cervical extensors and really work on good posture because we know posture is so important even to your hormones.

Evan Brand:  That’s cool.  So, I mean, that all does tie into stress because you–when you are stressed, you’re more likely to curl up in a ball–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You are.

Evan Brand:  And just feel depressed, and I mean, there’s no better word, depressed.  Your–your physiology is depressed, your posture, I mean, everything about you is exuding depression and stress.  So I mean, if you are feeling stressed this may be a time for you to stand up while you’re listening to this podcast and–and try out some of these poses.  When I’m out in nature, expressing, and I like to put arms out and put my palms up and just, “Ahhh” just open up like, “I’m powerful!”  You know?  And it’s goofy but–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.

Evan Brand:  It makes you feel better.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, my wife caught one time in the office, me doing the power pose reaching the arms overhead, and she’s like, “What are you doing?”  And I’m like, “Ahh, power poses.  Trying to decrease my cortisol.”  And–and she gets it though.  So, yeah, those power poses are coo, maybe play a little Eye of The Tiger and you know, get in that position, you know, and get–get pumped throughout the day.  So, yeah.  I agree.  Posture is a–is a big one and it can really help your hormones.

Evan Brand:  Definitely.  Well, what–what’s the next topic of–of stress?  Or what’s the next facet of stress you think that we’ve hit on?  We’ve hit on the lifestyle a little bit.  We’ve hit on the diet.  What am I missing?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So I think the diet and the lifestyle stuff, that’s the foundation.  Don’t do anything else until you have that mastered because that’s gonna be your best bang for your buck.  But you know, we’re big fans of adaptogens. I know you’ve worked at–on it for a bit, designing some of these custom blends and I have some blends in the work here that I use with my patients with various adaptogens.  I’m a huge fan of them because, I mean, everyone should be on an adaptogen in my opinion.

Evan Brand:  I agree. Yeah.  I took my adaptogens this morning.  I actually have been experimenting. I don’t have any affiliation with them but I’ve been experimenting with the Organic India Joy! blend–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think it’s a–

Evan Brand:  And it’s Ashwagandha, Shankpushpi, Gotu Kola, and one– Bacopa.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Bacopa.  Ooh, that’s a nice one.

Evan Brand:  It’s an awesome stack.  I mean, when–actually I didn’t take it this morning.  I should have for this podcast but I end up with a perma-grin for a few hours afterwards.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow!  That’s good.  I’m gonna have to give you one Paleo to merit today for not taking your adaptogens.

Evan Brand:  Well–well, no, I did take–I did take Ashwagandha and I take a–a mushroom complex as well.  So I’m on some adaptogens but not that one yet.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Nice.  Nice.  Yeah, I’m on about 800 mg of Eleuthero and also about 600 mg of Rhodiola today.

Evan Brand:  That’s great.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it’s just a Rhodiola-Eleuthero day and I’m feeling good. My wife, she forgot to take her adaptogens for the last couple of weeks, just kind of got into that–that stress routine and I could see, like there was a big difference in her mood, and we just got her up on the adaptogens in which she came home from work, her mood was just a thousand times better and you know, she’s–you know, an executive of a really big Internet company so she has a lot of stress on her and–and adaptogens for her make a massive difference–

Evan Brand:  That’s so cool.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  In how she performs.

Evan Brand:  Talk–talk about her stack a little bit.  I’m sure people are curious about–if she is taking capsules, tinctures, etc.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so for her, we have her on some female hormone tincture blends to help with hormones and keeping her cycle optimized.  And then she is on a similar stack as me right now because I create her regimens and programs, so it’s easier for her just to kinda piggyback on what I’m doing.  So we use some of the same adaptogens, but typically I go back and forth between Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, I’ll mix in some Panax Ginseng or Red Root Ginseng, and we’ll even do some Holy Basil at night and those are the big ones that I–I tend to go for.  Yeah, for adaptogen in qualities.

Evan Brand:  So Eleuthero, that’s the same thing as–that’s the Siberian version of Ginseng, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, so Ginseng is typically or made up of where they’re–where they’re grown, right?  The phyto signature in the soil makes up a huge difference.  So for instance, with Eleuthero, that’s kinda more the Siberian-Russia area, okay?  And then you have the Maca which is more of your Peruvian Ginseng.  You have your Ashwagandha which is more of your Indian Ginseng.  Your Panax Ginseng is more of the American Ginseng, American soil.  You have the Red Root Ginseng which is more your Korean Ginseng.  And then you have herbs like Tribulus which tend to have a better phyto signature growing in Bulgarian soils, so etc.  These herbs are really important.  You talk to any master herbalist, the quality of the soil is just as much to do with the quality of the herb.  So I like, you know, wild crafted, meaning you get guys that go out there and–and pick them up by their hands and–and you get really good quality and you don’t have like, you know, cheap herbs grown in countries where the soil isn’t good and, you know, you get bad soil so maybe there’s some heavy metals in the soil, like grown in industrial Chinese areas and then you get crappy herbs with a whole bunch of metals.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, that’s an important distinction you made.  If you’re concerned about that, you know, you can look for the organic.  You can look for the wild crafted certification and things like that, and always I mean, I go super geeky sometimes and contact the manufacturer or the company themselves and just say, “Hey, do you have heavy metal testing?”  Most of the time, I mean, generally speaking, if a company is reputable, they’re gonna have that testing available and they’re gonna have it done.  They’re not gonna have it on the shelves but I’m sure there’s some–there’s some shady adaptogens you can find in a little store on a corner somewhere.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and you know, I always recommend companies that are third-party independently tested as well.  Because if a person’s–if a company is willing to go to that extreme that means they’re very, very confident because independent tests don’t lie and–but patients will either choose an adaptogenic herb or will use a blend, a combination blend, and I’m–I’m gonna have some in the works right now that I’m creating in my private line for my patients.

Evan Brand:  That’s exciting.  I can’t wait to get a batch.  You have to send me the–the first bottle that comes off the line.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Absolutely and I know you’ve worked on blends with on it.  What are some of the blends you’ve worked on?

Evan Brand:  Yeah, there’s one that I don’t even know if it’s gonna hit the shelf.  I’m–I’m still kind of anxiously waiting to see and one was, basically, it was a workout supplement for women but what I did was is I basically added some adaptogenic support to this workout supplement but also a little bit of blood sugar support, too.  Because I’m guessing that women, they’re gonna be busy, it’s a fast-paced woman who wants to work out right after–right after she, you know, gets out of the office, things like that.  So what I did is I created a combination of some blood sugar support like some 7-keto but then I also added in some Ashwagandha and some Rhodiola and then I added just a little bit of Cordyceps to give the more oxygen utilization side of things.  It was too big.  I ended just having so much fun combining the blend.  It was–it was too big to fit in 2 capsules.  It’d be like 10 capsules or something ridiculous so it would have had to end up becoming a powder and then of course, the whole issue becomes how are you gonna make it taste decent with Stevia and can you get true natural flavors and things like that.  So I basically came up with all the ingredients and then sent it over to Aubrey, the CEO, and said, “Hey, here’s what I got.”  And then he goes to his stepmom who’s a doctor and she verifies and tells me whether I know what I’m talking about or not, and then it would go onward to, you know, the flavoring department and things like that.  So that was probably my biggest and most fun project.  But then I just worked on some of the science, too, behind the other pages of–like the Alpha BRAIN for example, the Shroom TECH Sport, the Vira Tech, it was like a vitamin C and alpha-lipoic acid, immune-boosting type supplement, making sure that the science was there to support the use of lysine to balance out your arginine and things like that.  I did a–a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, but if I see that product hit the shelves with a–with a label, I’ll be sure to–to have it framed or something like that in a little special box.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great, and I saw that you put out some affiliate codes for the–for the some of the Onnit products this morning.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, finally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Daily now.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I finally got a–a 10% code for people.  So if you wanna check that out, they can just go to notjustpaleo.com/supplements and then I have my little built-in code where you get 10% off because who likes to pay full price for supplements if you can get a discount, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great.  Very cool.  And you also mentioned Cordyceps, too.  And Cordyceps are a mushroom, they’re not necessarily an herb but they have adaptogenic qualities which is cool.  They really support the adrenals.  They help with glutathione production and they boost up DHEA which is that sex hormone precursor that tends to be depleted with chronic stress.

Evan Brand:  Yeah, I take Cordyceps every day.  Actually right now, I’m using Lucky’s Market.  They have just a store brand of organic mushroom blend.  I mean, it has everything.  You would love it.  It has Maitake, the Shitake, the Reishi, the Cordyceps.  I’ve been feeling so good.  I told Hannah my wife yesterday, I said, “Babe, I’ve been feeling so good lately because I’ve just added in a couple new combinations of nutrients to my stack, and I–I’ve been on fire.”  I mean, I’ve been really feeling good.  So if I mean, if someone’s questioning, “Do I really need this stuff?”  To me, it’s a 21st century pre-requisite to have a good stack on hand.  I mean, life is stressful.  You’re pulled in 50 directions.  You’ve gotta have some sort of solid basis of nutrients that are going in.  Of course, diet–that diet’s the first part.  But you know, assuming that you and I are following something like Dr. Justin and I, supplements or that thing that takes you to the next level and separates you from the competition.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and I had a patient that, you know, asked me like, “Do I really need this?”  And I say, “Well, would you describe your life at all stressful?”  She’s like, “Yeah, I have this and–,” and even though it’s like this person wasn’t a full-time, you know, in the corporate world, they were a full-time mom which a lot of times is even more stressful and it’s like, unless you can tell me that your life is stress-free and is relatively easy, you’re gonna benefit with some level of adaptogenic support and/or nutrient support because when we’re stressed we also burn through B vitamins.  So I also add in some extra B vitamins and in my patients at some level we do organic acid testing and we’ll look at the B vitamins because they’ll burn through those suckers pretty fast with extra stress.  So some level I–I have an adaptogenic herb or two in my protocol.  I’ll have extra stress nutrients.  Nutrients that go down or should say drop with stress or we’ll be burned up with stress and then a mushroom is great.  I’m a huge fan or Reishi just because of the fact of its immune-modulating effect that’s called the Ten-Thousand-Year mushroom so it’s been around longer than any, you know, any supplements so to speak and you know, it’s amazing you hear some of the people in the pharmaceutical industry saying, “Well, some of these supplements or herbs that are untested.”  They’ve been around so long, some of them––it’s not even funny.  The question is, do we have good quality?  And again 95% are crap so we just have to know the right places to get it from.

Evan Brand:  Totally.  Yeah, I–I love you mentioned that.  I mean, some of these drugs will come out and they’ll be out on the market for 2 years and 1 rat study for 6 months or something just proves that it’s safe and then you have ancient Chinese wisdom or something that’s been written in books on hemp and papyrus–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  And that’s–that’s the real stuff that we’re really starting to respect and the science keeps continuing to back up the, you know, the evidence and the great value in these things so–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Keep an open mind really.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, especially with stress.  I mean, you could–some of these scientific journals in these oriental countries, I mean, you have like Reishi being used as a first line therapy in cancer.  They’re using Cordyceps mushrooms for kidney transplants.  I mean, this is crazy, like–

Evan Brand:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  People in the United States have no idea.  Just go on to PubMed and punch some of these things in and you get lots of scientific journals in other countries that are researching this stuff and it just doesn’t make its way over here and it’s sad because, you know, medicine is pretty much co-opted by the drug industry so unless a drug company has billions of dollars behind something, it’s not really gonna get out to the everyday person just because it’s so expensive to bring something to market.  It’s hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars and if you can’t patent it, you’re not gonna get the money back.  So other countries they’re–they’re laws are more lax and it’s easier to bring things to market so it’s–it’s easier, and you know, the US–I think the US and I think New Zealand–it’s either New Zealand or Australia are the only 2 countries that actually market their drugs to the consumer on TV.

Evan Brand:  Oh, yeah.  Yeah, yeah.  I’ve–I’ve actually had some friends that have come from overseas and they see a drug commercial and are like, “Holy crap!  You can do that?”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Evan Brand:  Ask your doctor?  What do you mean, ask the doctor?  I thought the doctor was supposed to tell you?  Nope, you’re asking your doctor these days, you know.  So that’s just–that’s a whole another podcast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah.  And it’s 70 to 80–the research is clear.  70-80 percent–70-80 percent of the time when the patient goes into the doctor and request the drug because they saw it on TV, they get the prescription.  It is a major effect on influence and the doctor.

Evan Brand:  That’s incredible.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So kinda tie in this back to stress, I’m a big fan of mushrooms.  Alright, huge, huge fan.  Helps with stress.  I like Cordyceps and I like Reishi and also if you’re dealing with any chronic immune stuff like cancer, Coriolus is another awesome mushroom typically using that in conjunction with Reishi works phenomenal.  Love it.

Evan Brand:  Sweet.  Well, I think–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And I take these mushrooms individually, too.  Like I don’t use a lot of blends because I wanna get 3 grams of Reishi, I wanna get 4 grams of Reishi.  When you look at these blends, I mean, you’re lucky to get maybe 100 or 300 mg.

Evan Brand:  That’s a good point.  I probably am fairy dusting myself–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:  With­ some of these.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I think it’s good to just have like just a straight Cordyceps, a straight Reishi, and just kinda mix it that way.  That can be a good way to do it.  Just mix the whole herb straight in.

Evan Brand:  Uh-hmm.  I think we only got a couple minutes left but man, we could probably spend 3 hours on this topic.  This is–I didn’t realize how–how enjoyable both–both you and I would–would dig in this today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I’m really happy we have this extra, you know, once or twice a month, we’re gonna be having these conversations and really diving in deep and it’s great because I get to bring my clinical experience working with thousands with patients and you get to bring your clinical experience working with lots of patients as well, and we get to kinda share it with the listeners which is awesome.

Evan Brand:  It’s a blast.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.  Well, anything else you wanna add today, Evan?

Evan Brand:  Not really.  If people are interested in, you know, they can check out my podcast as well.  Dr. Justin, he’s been on there, and I’m still getting emails like, “Wow!  That Dr. Justin guy kicks ass.”  So check out that episode if you need a good place to start but there’s plenty more where that came from, and you know, 99% of the stuff that Dr. Justin and I both put out is free.  So there is hope, stay confident, and stay positive.  Take baby steps in the right direction every day and I guarantee you’ll get massive results.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and if you listen to these podcasts or read some of our blogs and posts and you feel like, “Well, I don’t know where to start.”  You know, this is kind of the best step, is to reach out to either me or Evan and we can kinda help guide you in the first couple of steps to take because you know, you’re always gonna do better with, you know, with a trail guide that’s already hiked the mountain a few times, that can help navigate all the pitfalls.

Evan Brand:  Definitely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Well, Evan, hey, it was great talking today, man.

Evan Brand:  Yeah.  Likewise.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Have a good one!

Evan Brand: You, too.

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