Fitness experts Heather and Damian Dubé share their journey about how they have used Functional Medicine to heal their bodies and recover from autoimmunity disease. We discuss the top nutrition, sleep and stress reduction strategies to help you balance your body and improve your metabolism without having to spend hours in the gym.
01:36 Heather and Damien’s Health Journey: They had been involved in fitness for many years. However, during a series of stressful events, Heather began to see/feel shifts in her health. They had worked with sports and weight loss nutrition, but not therapeutic nutrition. Heather had chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive imbalances, candida and toxicity, culminating in an autoimmune illness. Traditional medicine had no answers, so they pursued an integrative path. She then went to school for functional nutrition to learn to restore her body functionally.
04:30 Functional Nutrition: Functional nutrition considers the source, considers food as energy, and considers food’s energetic properties. It is not about numbers or calories. It is focused on the individual. Functional nutritionists do not receive funding from food companies, so there is no influence. The human body organism is evolving and constantly in flux. Our body tells our life story. Functional nutrition helps you get into a better spiritual, mental, emotional and physical relationship with your body.
11:58 Lean vs Healthy: Too many of us are focused on getting lean when we are in an unhealthy state. You aren’t sick because you’re fat. You are fat because you are sick. If your health is out of balance, your body wants to heal rather than make you lean out. You won’t be able to repair from your workout. Calories in/calories out is not an appropriate model. We are way too complex. When you restore function, becoming lean is an outcome.
15:29 Body Fat: Our livers are overwhelmed with toxins. Gut imbalances create additional toxicity within your body and causes permeability of the intestine. Toxins that the liver cannot deal with are stored in body fat to keep them from hurting us. Until you work on the inside of the body, getting lean is difficulty.
18:35 Restoring Wellness: Their typical patient has a type A personality, getting a high from intense activity. The focus on intense fitness inflicts additional stress onto the body that is already stressed. Our adrenals glands are not designed to handle this. This compromises the endocrine system, effecting other systems in the body. A full assessment, including comprehensive labs, is important. People underestimate the power of food to drive change in the human body.
23:05 Stress Response and Thyroid Function: The adrenal glands are designed to respond to immediate life-threatening stressors. During the response, non-vital functions like digestion slow. After the response is complete, your adrenals restore. In today’s world we have non-stop stress. The burnout of our adrenals effects our entire endocrine system. It effects your cortisol production that effects your thyroid TSH production, which effects your thyroid hormone production. Your gut and liver are heavily taxed when there is no restoration time. Their slowing impacts the immune system. You can have normal thyroid numbers, but hypothyroid symptoms. Thyroid hormone is involved in every cell in your body. If you are having hypothyroid symptoms, you are having some sort of thyroid issue. Damien finds that often thyroid conditions are not a thyroid issue, but a symptom of something else going on within the body. As the body rebalances and heals, so does the thyroid.
27:16 It’s Never Just One Thing: There are always multiple issues. Your body is a system. All of the issues need to be address in a synergistic fashion. It does not matter that you are eating real foods if your body is not absorbing them and utilizing them properly. Everyone’s solution is unique. It is so complicated that you need professional help to heal.
31:05 Heather and Damien’s Protocol: There is a guide on their website. They look at the energy going into your body: nutrition, rest, recovery, and supplementation. Get to bed by 10 pm every night. Your adrenals do the majority of their repair between 10 pm and 2 am. Your liver does most of its detoxifying between 11 pm and 1 am. Cook your veggies. It takes a great deal of energy to digest raw foods. Don’t be afraid of fats. They are the precursor to hormone production in the gut. The energy out portion of their protocol looks at the way your body uses energy. What is your lifestyle, movement patterns, stress management, and health imbalances? Your body works on imbalances than weight loss. We can have it all. We can do it all, but we can’t do it all at once. High intense exercise is a far lower priority than healing.
36:33 Weight Loss Resistance: You don’t need to push harder when the weight does not come off like it is supposed to. Pushing can push you further down the hole of illness and imbalance. Listen to your body. You cannot force your body to do what you want it to do.
37:07 Energy Environment: Environmental stressors, endocrine disruptors and detoxification. Eliminate fluoride. Use clean water in your home. Electromagnetic fields are also an issue. We were not meant to have a cell phone against our bodies.
39:30 Heather and Damien’s Favorite Nutrients: Your body requires balance. Supplementation can lead to imbalances. A high quality probiotic is probably applicable to everyone.