Hey y'all and welcome to the everyday athlete podcast recorded live from Omaha, Nebraska and I'm your host, Katie danger U S army veteran and founder of Red H Nutrition providing everyday athletes just like you, clean, effective nutritional solutions, custom formulated to help you reach your absolute potential every single day.
Hello again, athletes. This is Katie Danger. Welcome to the everyday athlete podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in.
00:26 In episode number 10, the gut brain connection. Have you ever had that feeling of butterflies in your stomach before? Well, that sensation that you feel suggests that yes, your brain and your gut are connected. Now, there's a lot more to it than that, but we're going to dive into more about this connection a bit. However, first I'm going to share with you my journey to cleaning out my gut and what it's meant to my overall health. Now, I could start with a bunch of sciencey jargon, but one of the best parts about having this podcast and this intimate relationship with you is that I get this unique connection and I get to create it with each and every one of you. It's far more deep of connection than we could ever have with a blog post or even a short Facebook live video. So this time that we spend together, it should be enriching for both of us, for you, the athlete, so you can find quick, easy, actual ways to improve your life and health and for me so I can leave this world a better place than I found it.
01:21 I do not talk on these podcasts because I enjoy hearing myself talk. I talk because I really want to share the life changing wisdom that I have gained over the years. Now. It's been over a year now since I've heard about this gut brain connection and it's been buzzing around the health and wellness community for awhile now and the noise is just getting louder. The chatter is getting louder and to be quite honest, the information truly is life changing. When you take a concerted effort into what you put into your mouth, you start to realize that we truly are what we eat and also what our foods eat and how it can improve the quality of your life exponentially. So when I started to take a mindful approach to what I put into my body, it has helped my brain fog. It has helped my skin clarity, it has helped my productivity, it has helped my quality of sleep.
02:11 It's helped my body recover from my workouts. It's increased the ability of my myself to keep up with the intensity of my workouts. It's improved my mood and it has reduced the inflammation and pain in my body. And those are just some of the big points. There are so much more, but these are the really big key factors. The things you can feel, the things you can see and generally the problems that people want to solve. And my whole journey started back in November of 2017 and it started when I was recommended a book called the medical medium. The author is Anthony Williams and full disclosure, this book is not at all what I thought it was. I was looking for a book on the gut brain connection. So like what foods can I put in my body, what food shouldn't I put in my body, things like that.
02:55 But what I got, and I also thought it was a book about eating a plant based and the benefits that that can have on your health and longevity. And while some of it is Anthony Williams, the author of the medical medium, he communicates all of his knowledge as a medium, like literally, hence the title of the book medical medium. What happens is he's explaining that he hears a voice, he calls it a spirit and it has guided him to help thousands of people find solutions to their chronic illness through what they eat. The majority of what he recommends, the majority of what this spirit tells him is that people should be on a plant based lifestyle, heavy on the fruits and veggies and low on the process animals and dairy diet. So if you decide to pick up this book, I just suggest you have an open mind.
03:38 But nonetheless, this book has spoke to me because I was looking for solutions to chronic illnesses like depression, like my acne and like my just total lack of any energy or enthusiasm to life. So after consuming this philosophical approach that Anthony Williams communicated and he that he presents in the medical medium, I ended up being led to another book called how not to die by Michael Greger. And this book is 100% evidence based on how consuming more plants can improve your life and help you find cures or solutions to chronic illnesses. And he talks about helping anything from cancer to colitis to depression. And I found it absolutely fascinating because much of the information and research presented in this book was just not present in any of the doctrine or institutional knowledge that I had been exposed to in my eight years of education. So I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and I have a master's degree in exercise science.
04:38 So in some of that coursework I have been exposed to nutrition. I'm also an American council of exercise, ACE certified personal trainers. There is a little bit of nutrition information and that's certification. But when it comes down to it, what information was presented in how not to die, I haven't received anywhere. So that's why it was seriously incredibly fascinating. And a lot of the information goes against most of the standard government recommendations for food and dire dietary intake that we are presented with today. For six months I went entirely plant based and I increased my fiber intake significantly so that literally for six months I didn't have any animal products, I didn't have any dairy and increased my fiber intake significantly. I drank more water, I cut out sugar, I cut out oils and ultimately I felt better. But as I continued on this journey, I didn't find that eating entirely plant-based was enjoyable or sustainable for me. Now since then, I have started to add back in lean, high quality animal protein in my diet and now I only opt for grass fed animal protein and dairy products. I look for non-GMO. I look for no added sugars. So really what this journey did for me is it made me mindful. It showed me that the food I ate, the quantity that I was eating, and it was not good for my health. It showed me that if I ate higher quality foods that supported this gut brain connection that I
05:59 In fact, use diet as a tool to take charge of my life and find the quality I wanted. Again, ever heard the same. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. A major component to your competitive success will be your nutrition prep and I create a competition nutrition guide to help you utilize pre intra and post-competition nutrition protocols. Boost your confidence heading into a competition, recover quicker post comps. You get right back to training and increase your power output and max capacity so you can own that podium. I created this guy just for the everyday athlete and you can get your free copy at competitionnutritionguide.com. I'll say again, competitionnutritionguide.com. so with all the information that I just shared with you, it comes down to a few important key points that highlight how the gut
06:50 and brain are connected and why it's important to eat high quality foods, get your veggies and get your fruit and stay away from that processed garbage. Now the exact term. Well, we're going to shift back to, so I shared my story with you and now we're going to shift into a little bit more of the science part and the term that the industry uses is the gut brain axis and it's a term for the communication network that connects your brain and your gut. So first and foremost we're going to talk about the Vegas nerve and the Vegas nerve is one of the largest nerves that connects the brain to your gut. It sends chemical signals in both directions, both to your gut, to your brain, your brain, to your gut. But how does this affect our gut and our brain health? Well, if we're experiencing gastrointestinal issues, bloat, gas, little tummy ache, whatever, then there are actual stress signals that are sent to the brain and this makes us feel stressed so our tummies bloated, but our brain also feels that stress and we go into this fairly minor fight or flight mode.
07:47 I guess it depends on how bloated you are, but there is that stressed feeling. Conversely, if we're feeling stressed and we're letting our external factors affect us, our Vegas nerve is inhibited and that can then lead to gastrointestinal problems. So as you can see from this description, and it's not really like which came first, the gut and the brain are absolutely connected in a cyclical cycle. Now shifting into neuro-transmitters neuro-transmitters, they allow the brain and gut to talk to each other. They provide feedback through these chemical messengers, specifically serotonin, serotonin, and a large part of it is produced in our gut by microbes, microscopic gut bacteria. And if our gut microbes are out of whack, this leads to a lack of serotonin. And serotonin is generally what is quoted as happy feelings. And if we do not have enough serotonin, we can experience depression. So with this small bit of information, you can see how if our neurotransmitters, if our chemical messengers are off our body, our gut, and our brain cannot talk to each other, they cannot communicate effectively and we can experience depression.
08:54 So moving from the Vegas nerve, moving from neuro-transmitters, now we start to talk about the gut bacteria. These gut microbes, these microscopic gut bacteria and probiotics are a very important part to this gut brain access because gut bacteria affects our brain health. Improving your gut bacteria can improve your brain health. Specifically, I'm talking about more clarity, less brain fog, higher focus, and a higher sustainable mood. No mood swings. You know you're not going to feel depressed one day, the majority of the day, and then one day you're going to feel on top of the world. We're talking about sustainable clarity, sustainable focus in sustainable positive mood. There are a few gut bacteria that you need to know. There are three very dominant gut bacteria and they're the most abundant and this is what you're going to find in a healthy gut. That's experience homeostasis. B, bifida, L acidophilus and L KCI.
09:49 The summary here is that your gut and your brain are connected physically through millions of nerves, most notably the Vegas nerve, the gut and its microbes also control inflammation and make many different compounds that affect the brain. So after we talk about the vagus nerve, it's importance. After we talk about neurotransmitters and how they communicate effective messages from the brain to the gut and then how probiotics promote healthy gut bacteria which promotes healthy and neurotransmitter activity which promotes a healthy vagus nerve. What can you do to improve this gut brain connection? The first step that I would suggest is to start being mindful of what you eat. Don't throw everything out and go strict to a plant based diet overnight because as we know, those changes are very, very hard to make when you're not making a true identity change, when you're not truly educated about what you're doing.
10:39 So first and foremost, start being mindful of what you eat. The story that I shared at the beginning of this episode about my journey on a plant based diet was not to push you towards a plant based lifestyle. No, it was to show you that if you improve the quality of the food and the source of your food, this can have a huge impact on how your brain and how you think and how you feel and how you act. This can happen very, very quickly. This is how mindfulness of what you put in your body can really have a positive effect on the control that you have over your health. Full disclosure you guys, I was on antidepressants for years and it was that November, 2017 date that I mentioned to you. It was my breaking point. I was at a point where I had been increasing my Prozac dosage about every six months.
11:23 I started on 10 milligrams, I want to 20 and then finally my doctor suggested since I still wasn't feeling well that she bumped it up to 40 milligrams and I just, I had enough. I'm like, it's just not working. I didn't want to keep increasing my dosage because after 40 milligrams is for as Prozac is concerned, like that's the limit. So like then what I knew something had to change and I knew I had to have complete control and education and mindfulness over what I put in my mouth and ate everyday. So it was a great place to start for me. Now. As of this moment, I have found a great balance of both animal and plant based products that nourish me, fuel me, and allow me to live my best life. I'm always tweaking it to now that I have a fine tuned feeling of what I eat and the results I experience, how it makes my body feel, how much clarity, how my focus is on my mood is I'm in control of my thoughts and feelings.
12:12 I don't feel as lost as I used to when I was barely mental illness. I also think that we live in a society to becoming highly diagnosed with mental illness. Did you know that antidepressant prescriptions have risen 65% in the past 15 years? Now I don't believe that's because the rule that we live in has gotten that much more depressing. I really believe it's because the food we eat is becoming higher processed, lower quality, and the fast food culture is dominating our busy lives. So athletes listen closely, the gut and the brain are connected and the two can either work really, really well together or they can set each other off really, really quickly. Be mindful of what you eat, enjoy your food, choose high quality proteins, choose high quality fats and carbs at every opportunity. And also remember this isn't about being perfect. It's about being better than you were, staying true to your effort and being your best self.
13:03 Simply put, optimizing your gut is optimizing your brain. The gut brain connection, that gut brain access starts with quality food sources, but it's also complimented with quality micronutrition like a greens product with added fiber and a probiotic that helps get you to that homeostasis in your gut in a prebiotic fiber that helps proliferate those gut bacteria to stay healthy and strong. A great green supplement will ensure adequate fiber for digestion and a probiotic will keep your gut bacteria in that homeostasis, ensure quality digestive processes that assimilate proteins, fats and carbs, and everything's going to be utilized by the body and the most effective way. You can also prevent gas, bloating, and digestion with adequate fiber and a balanced gut flora. So you can see how keeping your gut happy is really the key to overall happiness. I hope this episode has enlightened you to the importance of the gut and its impact on the brain in his function.
14:01 I also hope that you start to incorporate higher quality food choices in your nutrition. Get your fiber, add in the necessary micronutrition to supplement your gut, bacteria and digestion, especially if in your compromised state, especially if you've taken a an antibiotic recently. Make sure you look into micro nutrition so you can get yourself back to homeostasis and get back to where you need to quickly. So moving on to next week, I want to give you a sneak peak in episode number 11 it is titled how fat burners work. And this episode is going to give you some education so you can learn more about one of the supplement industry is most crucified but desired products, fat burners. So stay tuned next week in episode number 11 and you're going to be surprised at what I have to teach you in episode number 11. So last thing, athletes, before I let you go, I'm going to ask you a question. Are you ready to optimize your gut and brain health and get every last drop out of your day
14:52 and your efforts in the gym? Are you ready to feel better? If you're ready to do that, head on over to Reddit, shop.com use code podcast 20 and save 20% on our super greens and our adaptogenic probiotic for 20% off. This is my gift to you. This is my gift to your gut, your brain, and your health and your overall quality of life, so don't hesitate head over there. Ready to shop.com use coupon podcast 20 and try our super greens and our probiotic and optimize your gut brain connection. That's all for this episode. Athletes, thank you so much for tuning in and we will chat more in episode number 11 this is Katie D over and out.
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