BIRTHFIT Podcast featuring Paleo F(x) Favorites
BIRTHFIT Podcast: Episode 64 Live From Paleo f(x) 2017
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All right, what’s up, BIRTHFIT tribe? This is Lindsey, your BIRTHFIT founder, and I’m sitting here with Tero. What’s your last name?
Tero: Isokauppila, easy right?
Lindsey: Super easy. We’re sitting here at Paleo f(x) and he is the founder of Four Sigmatic. I’ll let him tell you a little bit more about that.
Tero: Four Sigmatic tries to make mushrooms cool again, so we try to popularize mushrooms by making products, giving education so we have a free Mushroom Academy which is an e-learning course online about all things fungi. And then we make mushrooms a little bit easier to use with things like coffee, hot cocoa, all like organic healthy stuff. But we incorporate mushrooms to things that people already like to take to make them kind of like easier to access and they don’t taste that shroomy and things like that. That’s what Four Sigmatic does.
Lindsey: I’ve been traveling, actually, I don’t know if you know this. I’ve been traveling with your product, the coffee one, for a while. I love it. And then when Dr. Jeremy introduced us, I was like, “Oh, dope! This is cool. I’d like to hear the story about this.” So how did you get into mushrooms?
Tero: That’s unfortunately a little bit long story but I’ll keep it short. I’m a 13th generation family farmer out of Finland and we would grow up foraging. My great great grandad started an environmental school like where we would also forage and we would forage for mushrooms, berries, things like that. My mom taught physiology and anatomy and that’s how I got into nutrition. And then by random accident 12 years ago, I won this innovation contest for finding a rare mushroom that was only thought to grow in one island in Japan, and that kind of embarked my mushroom journey.
But my passion has always been on the performance side, how they help with physical health, the functional benefits of mushrooms. Not all mushroom have great functional benefits. Some do, some don’t. There are other people who are more into the culinary world and I know something about it, but I’m more passionate about the functional benefits that certain mushrooms, especially mushrooms that grow on trees, possess. That’s the journey I’m right now on.
Lindsey: Wait, so mushrooms don’t only grow on the ground? I know there are people out there that are going to think that, so can you tell a little bit of difference?
Tero: So one step back, fungi was the first thing to come from the ocean to the dry land. I thought for the longest time they came 1.3 billion years ago but there just came research like a few weeks ago that it’s actually 2.4 billion years ago. So the first 1.8 billion years, they were alone eating rocks and then they create the top soil that then created plants then later created — but what they actually do is we share, animals and fungi, share a lot of the DNA. We’re a lot closer to each other than we are to, for example, plants. So mushrooms, for example, breathe oxygen, expel CO2. Mushrooms can make their own food. They have to eat external food, yada, yada, yada.
But fungi create about 25% of the earth’s biomass. Fungi is everywhere. It’s in all of the soil. As for human consumption, they grow on the ground and on trees. But they’re also in the air. So as we’re chatting here at Paleo f(x), we’re breathing mushroom spores. That’s a fact.
Lindsey: So they basically laid the foundation on earth for everybody here.
Tero: On the dry land. There is great bacteria and phytoplankton in the ocean so there’s a lot of marine life that was before fungi. But yeah, on the dry land, they were kind of the pioneers eating rocks.
Lindsey: That’s fascinating! Okay, so can you tell you tell a little bit about the products you have even if it’s just here or if you have more products online that you want to share about.
Tero: Sure. I guess for BIRTHFIT, specifically, one of the most common questions we get is that, “Are these mushrooms safe? Are they safe for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding?” So what’s funny about mushrooms is that there are food. Even though they have these functional benefits, they’re not a supplement per se. Obviously when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you’re probably more sensitive to anything. Some people crave cauliflower. Some people can have any cauliflowers. So it’s like, I think, thousands of years evolution, the mother’s instinct is always the best.
But on a very generic level, mushrooms are very safe and good, and especially I think the mushrooms that a lot of people — because they can get confusing, the whole new kingdom of fungi, is reishi mushroom, REISHI, or rei’shi, pronounced differently. It’s a Japanese name. But it’s one of the most studied of the mushrooms and it’s kind of known for its stress-reducing, calming properties. A lot of pregnant women love that. And we make that on an elixir that is just caffeine-free evening time drink, and we also made a hot cocoa. So it’s like a healthy Swiss Miss using reishi or something, using organic ingredients, two grams of coconut palm sugar, cinnamon. So it’s like as healthy as you can make a yummy hot cocoa but we also hide this reishi mushroom in it.
We also have the coffees that you mentioned. That’s probably what we’re most known for is coffee. We all love it. It’s amazing. But the challenge with that is it can be a little acidic and some people even get heartburn if they’ve been drinking it a long time, and some people had adrenal issues and they get jitters if you’re sensitive. And I guess during pregnancy and breastfeeding like we talked they’re even more sensitive. So what we use is we use mushrooms like chaga that was used as a coffee substitute during Second World War, and Cordyceps or lion’s mane that create coffee-like benefits, and we combine it with little bit of actual coffee so you get the same coffee as from a green tea. Oh, I mean, how does it taste, Lindsey?
Lindsey: It’s really good. Like I take it with us to Fiji when we go and everybody wants it.
Tero: Yeah, that’s epic. I need to try that as well.
Lindsey: Awesome! So where can people find you at?
Tero: At foursigmatic.com, so foursigmatic.com, or on Amazon, Thrive Market, Whole Foods, stuff like that. But yeah, Four Sigmatic on social as well.
Lindsey: Awesome! Thanks so much. If you get the BIRTHFIT newsletter, you’ll find a link to Thrive Market and you can find all that there. Thanks. Bye!
All right, we are still at the Paleo f(x) Convention and I am sitting here with Joe and Serenity of Serenity Kids. Or do you call it Foods?
Serenity: Serenity Kids and Foods.
Joe: Serenity Kids and Foods.
Lindsey: Awesome! So I’m going to let them introduce themselves and tell a little bit about their product.
Serenity: Hi! I’m Serenity and our product is the first high fat, low sugar baby food in a pouch. It contains all either organic or pasture-raised or grass-fed meat mixed with organic veggies.
Joe: I’m Joe. Serenity and I, last year at Paleo f(x) Conference, decided we — we started looking for baby foods because we were trying to get pregnant and we couldn’t find any. So we were like, “Wow, this is really bad. We need to find — we need to create some good baby foods,” because not only were there no Paleo baby foods, there were no — all the baby foods out there were really high in sugar. There were none with — hardly any had meat in them. None of them were high in fat. None of them had grass-fed or pasture-raised meats which we knew were the best, so we were like we really want to change this and create food for our baby and also for all other babies out there.
Lindsey: Awesome! I love that. And you’re so right. Like last year, we might have been the only people talking about birth and it wasn’t even a big conversation. And there was nothing like for, I would say kiddos under five, like that’s — the market there people want it but compared to the stuff in the store. Can you talk a little bit about that because even like in Whole Foods or somewhere, you have those pouches, and maybe elaborate a little bit of how your product compares to what’s in those guys?
Serenity: Yeah. So when we kind of started, we got the idea and then we thought, “Well, why is no one else doing this?” So we started sort of running down the answers and doing the research. One of the first things we did was a study. We looked at 265 organic pouched baby foods and collected all the nutrition data and collected the ingredients and realized that 64% or more of them — or 64% had at least 5 grams of sugar per pouch, which to a grownup like it doesn’t sound like a lot. But when you’re thinking about a 15-pound baby, if you multiply that by 10 and compare it to a 150-pound adult, that’s 50 grams of sugar. I’m wrong? I just realized. It’s 84% have 5 or more grams, and the sad, sad, sad thing is that 60% have 10 or more grams of sugar. It’s shocking.
So really, we went with the super-low sugar option, our three flavors. We have organic chicken with carrot and pea. We have pastured pork with butternut squash and kale. Actually, that’s the uncured bacon, bacon flavor. And then we have a grass fed beef with sweet potato and kale and they all have three or less grams of sugar. So we’re really going for — there are already a lot of baby foods out there that contain fruit. We’re not saying that fruit is a horrible, evil thing but it’s out there already and so we are going with a no-fruit, super-high fat meaty option.
Joe: Because we just really discovered how much fat babies needed. We are like, “What?” It’s 30 grams of fat a day that babies need and they need about 12 grams of protein a day and they’re just not getting that from any of those other baby foods. Less than 1% of all the baby foods had more than two grams of fat. That’s two grams. So less than 1% had more than two grams. Pretty much most had zero fat and a couple of them had a little bit. So we were just like, “This is really bad” because babies need fat really bad. Breast milk is anywhere from 40% to 60% fat, so they need that fat.
And then with the grass-fed and pastured fats are the best fat. It’s got the really high CLAs that has really good omega-3 to omega-9 ratios. So we were just really excited to make this meat easier because a lot of parents already know that and they’re just making it themselves. They just have to blend it themselves. So we’re just like, “Okay. That’s great. Make it yourself,” and it’s not always an option. So we wanted to make a food that’s more convenient and also makes it more accessible and educate parents so that when that they see the meat on the aisle now that they’ll think, “Oh, can I give meat to my baby?” because a lot of people don’t realize that meat is a really important first food, that meats and animal proteins and fats are an excellent source of protein and fat and vitamins for these babies. Even the USDA and like even very conservative nutrition and organizations all tell people to give meat and animal products to their babies really early.
Serenity: Yeah, and one more thing. So last summer when we were doing the research and trying to figure out if this was a product that was viable, if it was what people wanted, I read all of the blogs from the top Paleo thought leaders and really figured out that a lot of them were doing everything they could to get the most nutrition in their kids, and it wasn’t always the choice they could make. Sometimes, they had to cut corners for convenience’s sake or for when they’re traveling. There’s all kinds of reasons why today is not a good day for us to whip up a batch of homemade liver and whatever. Like sometimes, in this world, we need a more convenient option.
Lindsey: This product sounds amazing already and I haven’t even tried it. Talk to me a little bit, what age group are you aiming for or not aiming for? And then I want to reiterate what you all were saying before we get into that. It’s like, meat fats, those should be baby’s first foods and like not the cereal and stuff that probably our parents gave us that, “Oh, let’s just put Cheerios in a bag and we’ll take them to the restaurant and give them that.” I always see babies grabbing for food and like they know intuitively like, “This is not real food.” So thank you for saying that. But yeah, what age group are you going for?
Serenity: Yeah, so we’re looking at six months and up. Our products all right now are blends. So they are meat with a couple of veggies. So before you give your baby our food, you will want to have gone through the kind of allergy testing. Give them a food, wait a couple of days, see if they have any reaction, and try that with kind of each of the ingredients that are in our products. And then once baby has passed the test, their allergens are all clear, then it would be fine to start giving them around six months. It is a very thin puree so they don’t have to have teeth to eat it.
And then what we’re learning here at the conference is that there are a lot of people well over six months who are interested in our product. I mean, we’ve talked to a lot of people who are like, “Oh, yeah, don’t tell anyone but I eat baby food.” Or talking to people who are like, “Oh, I could travel with this.” And this could be something — “Is this shelf stable?” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s shelf stable for a year.” It goes through a complicated manufacturing process to make sure that there are no pathogens and so it’s something that is a super convenient option.
And then we’re also even thinking like I misheard someone yesterday. I thought she said she bought some for her mother but she said she bought some for her granddaughter. But I was also thinking for people elderly or people that are having trouble with teeth, anyone with their jaw wired shut, trying to get healthy foods, very hard. People in hospitals, very hard. So there are definitely secondary markets for us.
And even the parents themselves, right? You give a kid something, they don’t eat it. They’re like, “Okay, I’ll go ahead and finish this off.” So it’s a healthier option for the parents because all the parents eat the leftover food. They don’t want to waste it so good choice for mom and dad.
Lindsey: That’s funny you say that about the secondary option because I just had an acupuncturist in my office have jaw surgery and she’s like, “I’m just living on broths and shakes.” And I’m like, “Dang, that is terrible!”
Well, also, you’ve seen the fruit packets or stuff like that that people consume after the workouts. These sound like an awesome option, like brilliant. Have you tried that?
Joe: Yeah. Yeah, I would love to make some of them for adults. I had this idea that adult squeeze pouches would be a great idea. And I was like — they don’t have to have this at REI. They’re just like MREs, like the military ready-to-eat. They’re like this vacuum-sealed plastic-sealed meat in little bags. And then we have it all, like everything’s powered. Like if you get REI, it’s all you have to add water to it. So it’s having like actually prepared meals that were also healthy and Paleo and had good quality meat in it would be great for adults and we want to do that.
Serenity: Yeah. And none of those meat sources were as clean as ours. The products that exist out there, they’re not pasture-raised, they’re not grass-fed, they’re not organic, and so having that option is a really cool choice. And then we were talking to some other people here, some athletes, some endurance athletes where the guy was like, “I could just line these up in my back shirt when I’m on my bike and my shirt pocket and just squeeze them in super fast.” I mean, for me like I’m a little bit — sometimes I’m in a big hurry and I don’t want to waste my time chewing. So it’s also a good choice for when I’m just like I just need some food, my energy is — and just yeah, I’ll just have it.
Joe: I want to tell a story of our farmers because we have an amazing mission that goes well beyond our product. My mom grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Missouri and so I grew up going to my grandparents’ farming and seeing the animals and seeing the gardens and the crops and just connected to that. I’ve always been passionate about animals. I’ve always loved animals. I was even vegetarian and then vegan for a few years because I thought that was the best thing for the environment and the best thing for animals.
But now, really realizing that the small farmers are the ones doing it right, they’re the ones like treating the animals really well and are actually making the planet better with the way that they are farming and raising animals, and so we are committed to sourcing our meat from them. So not only pasture-raised and grass fed but that are also really putting a lot of care and they’re all small, they’re all farms. We visited a bunch of the farms. We did a little tour, met the animals, met the farmers, so we’re making sure that what’s best for your baby is also what’s best for the planet, what’s best for the animals and for the farmers, and everybody along the way.
Lindsey: That’s awesome. Happy food. Like the whole cycle creates happiness and…
Lindsey: Oh! That’s good. So where can people find your products now?
Joe: Yeah. So people can order our products on our website, www.myserenitykids.com. They can pre-order and get it shipped in — we’ll be shipping in August after the first production run. We are talking to a variety of some grocery stores just to plan to get stocked in some stores and then we’ll be on other online markets like Amazon and eventually Thrive Market and things like that.
Lindsey: I was going to ask, do you do wholesale like for BIRTHFIT or somebody like that?
Joe: Absolutely! We want as many people to get our food as possible so we’re happy to work out arrangements with anybody who wants to carry our food and sell it to other people whether by the pouch or by the case. We have lots of it. We are going to make lots of it and we have these three flavors and we’re going to make a bunch more. We’ll have a whole bunch more flavors, yeah.
Serenity: Yeah. So our flavors are we have free-range organic chicken mixed with organic green pea and organic carrot. And there’s a little bit of avocado oil and a little bit of Himalayan salt. We wanted to make sure that the fat was fatty enough and that the flavor profile and mineral profile was good.
And then we have our uncured bacon flavor which is uncured bacon made from pastured pig. It’s also mixed with a little bit of just ground pastured pork and then organic butternut squash and organic kale.
And then our third flavor is our 100% grass fed beef that is mixed with organic sweet potato and organic kale and a little bit of Himalayan pink salt.
Lindsey: This sounds amazing. It’s making me hungry. Okay. So myserenitykids.com. Do you have any other social media or anything where people can follow you or find you at?
Joe: Yeah. We’re #myserenitykids on Instagram, Facebook.com/myserenitykids, @myserenitykids on Twitter just the same. My Serenity Kids is our handle on all those platforms so like us, share us. We’ve got some cool videos. We also wrote a — Serenity co-authored an e-book with Dr. Sarah Valentine, the Paleo mom, on infant nutrition. It’s the infant-feeding start guide. Very, very simple, 30-page e-book with lots of — it’s very thorough but very easy to read on what should infants be eating and what stages. It even includes some recipes for what food to make.
Lindsey: Awesome! Thank you so much! I want to have you all back on when production goes out and tell them all about that. I think that would be awesome. But thanks for stopping by here at Paleo f(x).
Joe: Yeah. And thank you. You were now the second baby booth at Paleo f(x) so you really helped inspire us when we met you last year. We’re like, “At least there’s one birth thing here,” you know. So you’re the first one we love to see how you guys have grown this year and now we’re here too. And so every year, hopefully, we’ll multiply. There will be four next year.
Lindsey: Yeah. We’ll all have babies. Awesome! Thanks, guys!
I am sitting here with…
Dr. Gustin: I am Dr. Anthony Gustin.
Lindsey: And tell them about your product, what you’re doing here.
Dr. Gustin: Yeah. So I am a chiropractor. I came here for the first time two years ago, still practicing in San Francisco, [0:25:34] [Indiscernible] sports medicine and really getting into functional medicine at the time. And coincidentally, at that time, I was also formulating some products that were for my patients for things that I thought would exist that would — which is not on the market. And things have kind of blown up since then. That was two years ago. I had little like brown sample sachet packs. I just kind of handed them out like a drug dealer running around to different booths and now we have a full booth with two different companies. One is Equip so we just rebranded from what’s called pureWOD before. These are whole food supplements. For instance protein powder which is just beef with — so each serving is four ounces of grass-fed beef. Then cocoa powder and Stevia. That’s kind of like our flagship product.
What makes that different is going through the manufacturing process, I was realizing what garbage was in supplements and what stuff didn’t even need to be on the label that manufacturers are putting in there just to make their machines run faster. Obviously as a chiropractor, you know that stuff too, but people, like whatever you eat essentially makes your cells. So when you’re working, even if it’s like internal things or musculoskeletal pain, if you have the poor raw materials, you’re never going to make proper cells. So that kind of spun off into a few different products so we have the sweet potato powder for carbohydrates, a greens powder that has digestive enzymes, liver enzymes in it, a pre-workout powder, we have collagen which is grass-fed collagen peptides, turmeric ginger, berberine blend that we just launched yesterday, and then a line of our ketosis supplements which will just help the accessibility of ketosis. Yeah, it’s been a wild ride the last couple years from Paleo f(x) two years ago to this year.
Lindsey: So did you make all your patients try this stuff before launching it or were you like, “Oh, we’ll just put it out there. Yeah, share about how that process got started.
Dr. Gustin: Yeah. So that was also super fun because I had just basically all these lab rats that I could just — yeah, what I would do is I get a bunch of samples from a manufacturer and either test them with — so I was working with a lot of pro athletes, the high-end CrossFit athletes. So we’ve been able to give them, for instance, the pre-workout and say, “Okay, tell me how it works,” and then have them give me feedback back and forth.
Or people with gut issues, also, that I had been working with for functional medicine, with the carbohydrate powder, so we processed it in a way where the plant cell wall stays intact. So it actually digests further down in the intestines. So people, if they have anything like a SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or gut problems, and they have any other type of carbohydrate, even sometimes dietary like eating like rice, for instance, would blow up their gut and they have a lot of problems. So that stuff, luckily in the first time, it was good so I didn’t intentionally give them any problems, but yeah, I had a bunch of lab rats which was really nice.
Lindsey: I knew about your product back when it was called pureWOD and I was just introduced to it and it’s now called Equip. What made you all change the name?
Dr. Gustin: Yeah, in the beginning, a lot of our patients, like I say, were kind of CrossFitters and athletes and so we were in the kind of Paleo and CrossFits kind of Venn diagram scene which was a pretty big overlap.
What I know noticed though is when we started to come with just more whole food supplements, it was more of like the people here who are attending Paleo f(x) or those who just want a clean supplement, I was getting a lot of emails, I get a lot of feedback surveys just to see what people are looking for and what they would want us to improve. And lot of thing people were saying was that initially, I wanted to try the product but I don’t work out, but my friends were recommending it so much that I decided to give it a shot. So they finally did and now they love it, and so I just figured out I was going to alienate a lot of market kind of going into the workout scene. There’s enough workout supplements out there and so I just really want to try to draw attention to the fact that ours are very high quality and made with real ingredients.
Lindsey: So tell us more about this ketosis product, ketones or ketosis, what is it called?
Dr. Gustin: Yeah, so this is Perfect Keto and so one of the thing about this product is it’s kind of a selfish endeavor where I’m making products that I want for myself.
Dr. Gustin: Yeah. I’m just like, “Okay, I might as well sell this to other people do.” But the keto products kind of fall in that category. So in the last year and half or so, I’ve been getting a lot into ketosis myself. It’s been kind of a hot topic.
Paleo is good for what to eat, kind of choosing which foods that are proper and good. Ketosis is more so how to eat for kind of some specific goals. The reason that I eat a ketogenic diet is one, there’s mental clarity. So I perform the best during a ketogenic diet. It’s like my brain works the best, have extra energy on it. Two, I don’t have to eat as much. I eat larger, high fat meals, and so for me, I’m running a couple of different businesses right now and so I just need all the time I can get. So the extra hour where I’m cooking and cleaning and buying stuff, eliminating that is actually honestly pretty huge for me.
And then there’s all the research coming out with — there’s a high rate of cancer in my family and the therapeutic kind of preparation that you can have with a ketogenic diet for cancer, if I can avoid that as much as possible I’m going to try to do that. And so, two of the products we have. We have one is — there’s a beta-hydroxybutyrate salt which is essentially — beta-hydroxybutyrate is one form of a ketone body. Ketosis is essentially the breakdown of fats for energy instead of on a normal diet, you have a breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose. And so, it’s kind of a different way to feel for your body. This is essentially the breakdown of fats will eventually go into beta-hydroxybutyrate and that will go into your cells for ATP so this is just supplement of the beta-hydroxybutyrate. And so when you take this, your body will just instantly go into ketosis.
So a lot of time when people have like MCT oil in their coffee which is very popular here. I just walked the floor and it was like nine coffee companies. It was something of a fat in them. That’s kind of what they’re going for eventually. So MCT is kind of like a longer chain of a fat that will eventually turn into beta-hydroxybutyrate and can be used for other types of energy as well. But beta-hydroxybutyrate is going to be the end product of the MCT oils. That’s kind of what we’re trying to get at using that stuff. And so, that product is just the high dose of beta-hydroxybutyrate so you take it and you instantly go into ketosis.
So for instance, when in the morning, let’s say I’m not in a deep set of ketosis because like in the nutritional ketosis or just eating a high fat diet, very low carbohydrate, very moderate protein is actually pretty difficult to sustain. I’m very, very specific with my nutrition and it’s still pretty hard for me. So if I go over like 85 grams of protein a day, I check my blood, ketone levels, and I’m on a ketosis. And so this is the product that will help you get back into ketosis or help boost the level of ketones. It’s like I would take it, let’s say, I want to work in the morning for a good chunk of focused time, like fours is up, I’ll take this and have way better than coffee for energy and brain function.
Then also, another time when I take it, so there’s a lot of times when people can use this product to help them get back to ketosis but people say that, “Oh, ketosis is not for me because when I work out, I feel awful,” which is sure because having a high-intensity exercise like kind of like CrossFit X or like more so like that type of like powerlifting, weightlifting, your body cannot make the ketones from your fat fast enough and so you feel very low energy and so could you feel very lethargic when working out. So when you take these beta-hydroxybutyrate salts, you have the ketone breakdown right in your bloodstream. So your body, once working out, is asking for ketones as fuel and you’re giving it to your body immediately.
Yeah, and so workouts are way better with that and so the crash people feel when they’re on a ketogenic diet when they’re working out can be eliminated completely. And so, for instance, like the CrossFit workout, I did some of the upper workouts and the first one was just kind like a light dumbbell with burpees over a box just for a while and so I took a bunch — I’m not a good athlete at all. I’m very [0:33:55] [Indiscernible] crazy CrossFit freaks, but I was like I took this stuff and it helped so much with endurance workout like that especially for people who are doing like cycling, triathlon, swimming, things like that. It’s just big game changer.
Actually, when you’re on a ketogenic diet, the need for oxygen is much low per cell count, and so you can stretch endurance a lot longer. So when I took it before that, I had some great performance, whereas normally, I would not. Yeah, so that was my secret back there.
Lindsey: It’s interesting you mentioned that because you’re right, like there is a trend going towards ketosis, ketogenic diet, stuff like that, and we’ve got a lot of questions about pregnancy, postpartum, stuff like that. The little research that I’ve done and I just haven’t had time to dive deep into it is that basically, a baby, like on the postpartum side for mom, like when a baby’s breastfeeding, the baby’s almost in a ketogenic diet because if you look at breast milk, it’s like tons of fat, a little protein, little carbs. But yeah, do you have any experience working with women versus men because I’ve also noticed like women say that it’s much more harder for them to operate in like a state of ketosis?
Dr. Gustin: Yeah. So I wouldn’t recommend switching to ketogenic diet if you’re second, third trimester. There’s too much stuff going on already. But every human is born in the state of ketosis, actually. And you’re right, like babies generally operate in that and so it’s a normal thing. People can sometimes confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is something completely different. But the comparison between men and women, what I found working with a lot of my patients and getting them on a ketogenic diet is the problems that women have from a ketogenic diet actually comes from undereating.
Dr. Gustin: Yeah. So I was tracking a lot of that stuff and I published it on my website with my results from like a really strict eight-week ketogenic diet and I was aiming for 2500 calories a day. Most days, I would be at like 1700 calories and be stuffed, and I’d be like, “Oh my God, I have to eat more.” So it’s a very self-regulating diet. So women, especially, get more for eating fat. And so when you’re on a diet with 85% fat, undereating chronically can lead to some thyroid issues and so that’s what a lot of people, I think, associate with “Oh, ketogenic diet isn’t for me. It’s not for women. I have low energy. It’s bad for your thyroid.” I think that’s more from undereating. It’s actually pretty difficult to get enough food on a ketogenic — if you’re eating the real foods. You can do like the classic Atkins style ketogenic diet where you’re wrapping cheese sticks and baking and dipping it in butter and sour cream, that is not a diet I would recommend. I would say more like choose more like Paleo-ish foods and then add in fats where you can. It’s a very filling diet.
And so, I think at least tracking for women in the beginning, I think for everybody but women especially, to make sure that you’re eating enough calories and enough food to support your body’s functions are super important.
Lindsey: Yeah, that makes complete sense. Like I said, I haven’t done a ton of research in it but from the podcast I listen to and the stuff online that I’ve read, the consensus is that women don’t eat enough when they trying to do this type of diet. You mentioned that you have a history of cancer in your family and stuff like that but what got you even into chiropractic or the health build and going down this journey? Like how did you start?
Dr. Gustin: Yeah. So there are a lot of health problems in my family in general when I was younger. I came from like a smaller town in the Midwest. There’s just not a lot of education on nutrition, stuff like that. So a lot of stuff stems from that, I think. For me, I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare from very, very early on, but I also wanted to own my own business, which you can see now with all of these I’m trying to do. I also wanted to be on the preventative side of things and so everything kind of matched for chiropractic. Generally, you can own your business. You can be on the preventive side of things.
I was talking to a family friend who was surgeon. I was looking at doing orthopedic surgery and he was saying how one, you have to work for a hospital, and he said it’s a nightmare. And two, you fix people after they’re broken and you really have no intervention on their life. That happened around the same time I was playing a lot of football and sports, and again, some parts of that, I was getting injured a lot. I was having this really bad knee pain. I’m sure you’ve gone over this a lot of times too but we got some x-rays from a family physician. He’s diagnosed me from x-rays to have torn menisci which is like —
Lindsey: No, you didn’t.
Dr. Gustin: No, no, it’s just bananas, like you can’t see that on an x-ray and so they said I needed surgery from that. I kind of [0:39:03] [Indiscernible] on that thing. And then, a couple of months later eventually went to chiro-PT clinic. Luckily, that did a lot of functional movement and they’re like, “No, your hips are weak, like just strengthen them a little bit and you’ll be fine.” Like I need [0:39:17] [Indiscernible] four years [0:39:17] [Indiscernible]. And then I just did some very basic hip work and it went away and it’s been away, gone since then.
And so, I was like, “Okay, this is what I want to be doing, preventing surgeries, actually educating people how to fix themselves.” So that kind of path of helping people take control of their own health has kind of permeated into everything else I’ve done since then. I knew exactly what I wanted to do so I went straight through it really quickly through undergrad and then through the doctorate program at University of Western States and then I did the dual degree with the Master’s in Sports Rehab too. So it’s been a wild ride since then, yeah.
Lindsey: Awesome! So where can people find you and your product? And do you still practice where you live?
Dr. Gustin: I practice very sparingly. I really want to do more. I really miss the kind of one-on-one patient interaction but there’s just so much going on right now that’s almost impossible. That’s in San Francisco. Because of that — I guess you had him before, Dr. Ryan DeBell. Him and I made what’s called movementproviders.com. So a lot of people were asking, “Where can I find someone like you in my area?” and so we just made a resource. It’s free for everybody. We don’t charge for anything. So if you’re looking for somebody that does the functional movement stuff, you find that. Otherwise, me personally is just dranthonygustin.com as well as on Instagram. It’s pretty much the only place where I’m active. I don’t really check email or do anything else. So Instagram, if you want to chat with me at all. And then, the products are equipfoods.com and perfectketo.com.
Lindsey: Awesome. Thanks so much for chatting with us. This will all go together on the Paleo f(x) compilation.
Dr. Gustin: Awesome.
Lindsey: Yeah, so it will go out soon, but thank you so much.
Emily: Hi, guys! Its’ Emily, a.k.a. EmboSlice, BIRTHFIT Los Angeles, here at Paleo f(x) in Austin. Lindsey is manning the booth right now so I’m taking over the podcast. I’m here with Samantha Rodgers, we met her today, and we invited her to hang out with us. Basically, we just want to know who you are, what you do, and then we’re going to talk about how our worlds come together. So welcome.
Samantha: Thank you, thank you. So I’m the founder of Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty. And I’m so excited to be here this weekend because I am sans kids and get to geek out on all source of awesome information. But I run a subscription-based meal planning service which sounds kind of odd for a lot of people. But I basically mostly help moms eat well and feed their families well without spending hours in the kitchen. And I’m obsessed with food.
Emily: We all are too. Yeah, so Samantha is part of our booth and we got to talking. Obviously, we’re at Paleo f(x) so food is a hot topic. We can like sit really close together. We’re sharing a microphone.
Samantha: We are, yeah.
Emily: I’m one microphone down. And so many families, after baby and after kid are just like, “Holy shit, like how do we not just get fast food every day?” So I think it’s really important to offer nutrition, like physical food and advice for families. So talk a little bit about how you got into working with moms, sounds like it was pretty natural, and then like what’s your philosophy on food and your company?
Samantha: Yeah. I got into CrossFit. I got into Paleo in 2007 and 2008, was not going to have children. I was super hardcore against children and all about living life without kids. And that totally changed. One day, I was like, “Yeah, okay.” My husband and I said, “Yeah, this is right.”
Emily: That’s funny how that happened.
Samantha: I know. It was literally overnight. I literally remember waking up one morning and thinking, “Yeah, I’m ready,” and it literally took once and then there was a child. And going through that process, before I had kids, it was so easy to make meal prep and Paleo. Everything just made sense. I didn’t need somebody to help me out about it. I just got it.
And then I had my daughter, and I literally could not figure out how to work full time, have time my daughter breast feed full time, and not eat a croissant ham and cheese sandwich every day — literally every day. It was horrible because you ended up — it helped me get calories really quickly and that I needed for nursing but at the same time, the grains, the sugar, all that stuff was not doing good things for my body. And I knew, intellectually, I knew what I needed to do but I just couldn’t figure out the whole process.
And one day, after I stopped nursing, I said, “That’s it! We’re going to figure this out. I’m going to make this happen. How do I spend the least amount of time in the kitchen to get the maximum benefit and go back to a Paleo or mostly Paleo lifestyle?” And I figured it out and it was all about meal prep. It was all about prepping once a week so that I had food ready for the week so that I did not eat the croissant sandwich, so that my kid had food, my husband had food, and we were just eating a healthier lifestyle. And that for me, it’s really the foundation of a healthy life.
When we’re dealing with anxiety, which I had a lot of, and depression, and all these other potential diseases and disorders, food is first. Food needs to be first. That’s where I come from for myself and what I ended up talking to other moms about and not intending to talk to moms. But really, moms are the drivers, traditionally. And just statistically, moms are the drivers of the food in the household. They’re the ones that are buying. Even when my husband and I were equal earners outside the home and we’re both in full-on corporate careers, I was still the driver. I still did all that other stuff but he just ate it, right? So I ended up speaking to moms and that’s what I do now and I’m really passionate about it in helping them figure out this path because it is amazing and it is rewarding, but it is not easy.
Emily: No, it’s definitely not easy. And like BIRTHFIT, one of our pillars is nutrition, and I think Lindsey and all of us who have been in birth or from the beginning spent a long time figuring out what our pillars are. And neither Lindsey nor I are nutritionist by any means, and most of our regional directors are not nutritionists. We have a few. However, we’ve spent part of our life that we’ve been in BIRTHFIT or in fitness like thinking about food and opening our eyes to a world that’s healthy.
And you hear healthy all the time like I grew up with the “Low fat ice cream,” and whatever, like shit like that. But once you start understanding real food, you’re like, “Oh, hey, this makes sense.” And I think that’s why it became such a pillar in BIRTHFIT for moms because, gosh, I remember one of the women in my postpartum classes, we’re talking about food and we’re talking about “What kind of carbohydrates do you eat?” And she said, “Potato chips.” And I was like, “Oh, Jesus Christ!” You know, I got to help, right? And so anything we can do like if you just have that awareness of what’s working, what’s not, it’s so huge.
And hitting on the like dealing with anxiety or postpartum depression, things that are normal for moms, like focus on the things you can control, right? So I think having a meal prep business or a company where you are helping women get their control back is huge. So talk about how you started your business and what does your meal prep look like? Or how do you make it work for families?
Samantha: Yeah, when I started figuring this out for myself, I’m a little on the OCD side. And in my corporate life, I was a process change management person, for lack of a better term, and so the way I think is all in terms of how to get this job done in the most efficient manner in the least amount of time. And food and Paleo lifestyle just happens to be an obsession of mine and nutrition and health and wellness overall. So I started writing all these down so I just would write out my own meal plans for myself and then I’d start having conversations with moms. You just can’t not talk about food, “What are you feeding your kid at all different stages of life? How are you getting food on the table?”
Everybody is stressed out about food. Everybody knows, like, everybody wants to do either a little bit better or change things up or whatever they’re trying to do, and it’s stressful. So I started and they would ask, “What are you doing?” And one day, I was like, “Well, I have these meal plans. I write it out. I plan it out every single week.” And I started sharing it. I just would just give it to my mom friends and after a while, I realized my corporate life was not working. Having two parents that work outside of the home full time is really hard. And anybody who’s doing it, I applaud you. I feel for you. It is not easy.
And I realize that in order for us to improve our family lifestyle, I also had an opportunity to start this business and stop working in a corporate environment and start focusing on my passion of really helping people because I know that this literally changed my life. And the more people I can help, the better it is. It’s really all about opportunity and information and tools. And if we have those, then we can make the choices of what works for our family.
So what I do is every week, I provide four different menus. I do 100% Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free. And then I have two menus that are, for lack of a term, 80-20, they’re not scientifically…
Emily: Like mixeterian?
Samantha: Mixeterian. There we go.
Emily: Make that up.
Samantha: That is awesome.
Emily: Yeah, you can copy that. Okay.
Samantha: I love that. And I design menus that could still be gluten free, like you can still make that choice. And then I have itemized grocery lists, menus, prep day instructions. So I do step by step prep day instructions, so two hours, one day a week, prepping everything for the week, four dinners, a lunch, breakfast and snack. And you’ve got food for the week. Most people don’t eat at home every single meal so I don’t do seven days’ worth of food. It’s not worth it. It will waste money and you just end up with leftovers from dinner sometimes, and you’ve got lunches and you’ve got a lot of different options to feed yourself and your family and it just — some people do all of it, all the meals every week. Some people only the dinners. But just to have that flexibility and that option and that tool that you don’t have to spend the time thinking about and that was honestly stupid affordable because that’s the other thing is that hiring a nutrition coach and hiring somebody to do meal planning for you is amazing but then, on the long term, it can get really expensive. And so my goal was to make this a tool that almost anybody could say, “Yeah, no-brainer. I can spend 13 bucks a month so that I have this at my fingertips.”
Emily: Cool. I thought it was like a meal delivery. This makes a lot more sense because you’re out of Portland, right?
Emily: So I was like, “Okay, that’s great for Portland families.” But sounds like this can be all over.
Samantha: I have people all over the world.
Emily: That’s amazing.
Samantha: Australia, England, Belgium.
Emily: And we never introduced the name of your company. Let’s share that. Whoops!
Samantha: So the name is Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty.
Emily: Awesome! Yeah, I think something that I hear really commonly with families that I work with is like feed the kids first and then eat whatever the hell’s leftover. Like, okay so feed the kids food and then I’m snacking on crackers. And it’s like, “Oh my freaking god.” It’s like when you’re on a plane, like, first yourself then the people around you, which is like kind of a selfish way of looking about it but the family involves you and you have to be fed too. So if you can think about everybody, that’s awesome. So do you — I would want to make food for me, partner, and kid all the same, right?
Samantha: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely! And so, really, what I try and do is help families, help moms cook one meal but maybe at serving it differently. So if meatballs are on the menu for tonight, if I was going to serve my kid, I would do give her meatballs with a little bit of sauce on the side or even ketchup, maybe, so that she can dip it because ketchup’s a food group if you’re a kid. And you know, some cherry tomatoes that are fresh for her probably, and something green. She loves frozen peas. And then, something that’s a little bit heavier carb. Sometimes I do pasta but I really like to do sweet potato if I can if she’s willing to eat it, or rice.
Emily: This is for your daughter.
Samantha: This is my daughter.
Emily: Right, okay.
Samantha: Yeah, so like this is my family. And I actually have his picture of like my meal, my husband’s meal, and my daughter’s meal altogether where that’s her food and it’s on a plate. My husband has this like massive sweet potato topped with meatballs and sauce with a side of like tomato mozzarella salad. And then for me, it’s meatballs and sauce and no sweet potato for me but then some extra vegetables and a little bit — a lot less cheese than what he likes to eat.
Because everybody needs different food, like mom and dad, man and woman, they shouldn’t be eating the same food, generally, or the same portion sizes. We’re just different. And then the kids are also going to eat a little bit different but there’s no reason why you should be cooking two meals every single night. So I try and share that information and just show parents that they can and they should be feeding their kids what they’re eating. Maybe you just need to plaid it a little bit differently so it’s a little bit more accepting from the kids’ standpoint, so.
Emily: It’s awesome, yeah. I mean, we talk about nutrition so much and I’m just going to be a broken record, but I think that’s appropriate here at Paleo f(x), like feeding yourself and your children should come first. And I think like when I changed my diet and rid myself of sugar, I mean, the results are almost immediate. I sleep better, my skin is better, I have less anxiety, I lose weight in a healthy way, and it’s so easy. You just have to put a little fun to it. So having a company like you, there’s tons of meal services out there but something that just where you have a tool and then gets like really, really amazing. So cool.
Okay, so we were just chatting at the booth earlier but like, here, at Paleo f(x), nerd out, what has been your biggest takeaway so far? We’re like six hours into day one of Paleo f(x) but there’s a lot of stuff here already. So let’s talk about what you just saw.
Samantha: Yeah. So first thing on my list this morning was Dr. Perlmutter. He is a neurologist that has written some amazing books. The most recent one, I think, is Brain Maker, I think is his most recent. He just gave an amazing pretty technical, pretty in-depth talk on the brain and gut and how the microbiome is really affecting your potential for Alzheimer’s and dementia and autism and ADHD and all these other issues, and that you really have to focus on the gut health which is something that I talk about constantly. And he, especially at a place like Paleo f(x), so many of us are coming from a point, a place of we had some sort of a crisis and some sort of a low point, right, and then you’re like you come out of it and you can’t help it tell the world all about it, and so gut health for me is really close to my heart. I have dealt with a lifelong history of gut indigestive issues that literally went away when I turned to a Paleo lifestyle. I got off all of the medications, all of the supplements. It was insane. And it was literally almost overnight changing my diet to a Paleo lifestyle and then making sure that I consume a lot of prebiotic and probiotic. And so having somebody from the Western medical community coming to a place like Paleo f(x) and speaking to the importance of a Paleo lifestyle, Paleo diet or clean diet, even if the word “Paleo” is not your favorite term, it is so important to have this blending of Western medicine with ancestral health medicine and bring those together. So that is my number one and I really hope that his speech is available so that I can share it all over my Facebook and everywhere with my community that I can possibly share it because it really is the foundation for so much.
Emily: Yeah. People who have lifelong issues, digestive health, asthma, whatever it may be, autoimmune disorders or diseases, it’s huge. The gut health, it’s insane. And being in the birth world, we really talk about preparing women and men from preconceptions. We want everybody to be birth fit. I don’t have a child yet. Lindsey doesn’t have a child yet. But that doesn’t mean we’re not birth fit, right? And like being able to help your body out at whatever stage of life you’re in, but starting a preconception if you’re lucky, right, so that you can pass on this healthy lifestyle, not only to your child but to everyone around you. So it’s exciting. I wish I heard that. I hope it’s recorded too just so I can have it. But I just wanted to say thank you so much for sitting with me and let’s share where we can find you.
Samantha: Yeah, you can find me at eatingcleancookingdirty.com or on Instagram at eatcleancookdirty.
Emily: And your name on the record.
Samantha: Samantha Rodgers.
Emily: Thanks, Samantha.
Samantha: Thanks, Em.
Emily: Okay, have fun for the rest of the weekend.
Bye, guys! You can find us at birthfit.com, BIRTHFIT Instagram, emboslice_instagram, whatever. Find us online. Thanks, guys!
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