In the kind of regular alternative health community, juicing, if you want, is a hugely popular activity and something that gets a lot of airplay and discussion. It is not discussed that much in the paleo world. It's not really a part of the paleo mouse, partly because our ancestors didn't really have Champion Juicers to squeeze something, so certainly from that perspective it doesn't really fit into the ancestral framework, but as I said before, the fact that our ancestors who have not done something is not sufficient reason for us not to do it.
In this episode we cover:
03:00 What Chris ate today
05:50 Update of the training program for clinicians
17:40 The benefits of making juice
21:36 The disadvantages of making juice
26:08 The role juice can play in a paleo or nutritious diet
Steve Wright: Good morning Good afternoon Good evening. You listen to the Revolution Health Radio Show. I am your host, Steve Wright, co-author at SCDlifestyle.com. I want you to know that this RHR episode is being offered to you by 14Four.me. Now, 14Four.me, if you haven't heard of it yet, it's a 14-day healthy lifestyle reset program. It covers the four areas of your health that we usually talk about in the show, particularly diet, sleep, exercise and stress. If you've ever tried to adjust all of them at the same time – I have – it gets really complicated, it can be very confusing and frustrating, and what Chris did is that he made this 14-day healthy lifestyle program where the kind of hand keep and walk you step by step how you could structure your day, so that you still eat well, sleep well, exercise a little and keep little stress. It can be complicated, but in 14Four.me Chris made it easy. So go watch it, 14Four.me, and we will continue with the show.
With me is an integrating doctor, a healthy skeptic and New York Times bestseller author, Chris Kresser. Chris, how's your day?
Chris Kresser: Oh, it's pretty good. What about you, Steve?
Steve Wright: It is going great. I am now in the beautiful mountains of Utah.
Chris Kresser: Sounds good. Is it snowing?
Steve Wright: It rains.
Chris Kresser: Wow.
Steve Wright: Kind of not expected.
Chris Kresser: Hmm. Not great for snow activities, right?
Steve Wright: Yes. That's why we have a podcast and I don't ski!
Chris Kresser: Turn right! Well, we didn't have any measurable rain in California for the first time in January, I think, since they keep records and it's a crazy drought.
Steve Wright: That is not good.
Chris Kresser: You see photos of the water levels in different areas in California. It looks pretty apocalyptic.
Steve Wright: I have to ask you, Chris, to solve this problem, because I really love your avocados, bananas –
Chris Kresser: Yes, there won't be much of it. Well, the advantage is that although California is turning into an uninhabitable desert, it is at least a very nice place to live in the meantime!
Steve Wright: Many cool people live there!
Chris Kresser: I was enjoying 70 degrees weather in my t-shirt yesterday, so there's always an advantage, right, Steve?
Steve Wright: That's true. You have to look at both corners. There is always a good side.
Chris Kresser: Yes.
Steve Wright: So before we continue with today's show, Chris, do people want to know what you've been eating all day?
What Chris Ate today
Chris Kresser: Today was a bit, well, not all the way intermittent fast day. I skipped breakfast, went to the gym, got a lot of work early on and was just so focused. Something I was doing was actually the clinician training program – I'll get back to that – and I just didn't want to take the time to stop and eat, so I continued to work and then went to the gym, came back , had brunch and brunch was –
Steve Wright: Mimosa & # 39; s, right?
Chris Kresser: Exactly! I had this raw kale salad from The Zenbelly Cookbook that is, as I said, by far one of my favorite cookbooks. It's a shredded kale that has been marinated and sat down for a while and becomes so soft, some sauerkraut with beets and carrots and cabbage, a green chili pork sausage from my favorite meats, The Fifth Quarter, and some white potato hash browns.
Steve Wright: Mmm.
Chris Kresser: The beloved, often malignant white potato.
Steve Wright: But delicious, especially with salt and butter.
Chris Kresser: So good, yes. This was salt and a little coconut oil with expeller pressing and a little bit of bacon fat to give it that extra hashish-brown taste.
Steve Wright: Nice.
Chris Kresser: Yes it was good.
Steve Wright: Could you make them crispy? Did you cook them in advance and then shred them?
Chris Kresser: Oh yeah. Well, we have this flat electric griddle, and what I do is that I grate them with a grater so that they are pretty good.
Steve Wright: And they are raw?
Chris Kresser: Raw. And then I lay them flat, but I put a baking sheet over them with this kind of weighted – I don't know what it's called, but it has a handle and it's actually just a flat one – it's a thing you press things on the grill, and it weighs the hob and then it creates some steam so that the potatoes are steamed a little, and it also makes them really crispy because it presses down and pushes them into the baking tray. That is a little trick I picked up from our friend Robb Wolf, actually, when I was visiting a few years ago, he and Nicki and Zoe in Reno. We stayed with them and Robb got that trick for hash browns, so I've been using it ever since.
Steve Wright: I like it. I will have to check this. I'm going to try this.
Chris Kresser: It is well.
Steve Wright: So tell us more about this project that you are now extremely focused on.
Chris Kresser: Did you skip meals?
Steve Wright: Yes.
Update of the Clinician Training Program
Chris Kresser: You know, I've been talking about clinician training for a long time, and this has just come from my experience working with patients and having a practice that in recent years has been largely closed to new patients and the growing demand for doctors who to understand both functional medicine and evolutionary ancestral nutrition and health. It is now so clear to me that there is no way that I, as a single practitioner, could ever come close to meeting the demand for this type of work. So many people want and need this kind of help, and even when I create employees who work in my practice as I have already started, there is just a pretty hard limit on how many people can serve that way, and so I always have knowing that the next step would be to set up a training program for clinicians that could help many more people than I could train one-on-one at my clinic.
I really thought about it this past year, developed it. I started and stopped different iterations. To be honest, it took me longer than anything I ever did to really figure out the best way to get ahead. For example, I wrote my book in about four or five months, and the first draft was 600 or 700 pages! And of course I had a lot of material that I had already written from years of blogging and stuff like that, so it was not like I just started all over again and wrote it in four or five months, but the overview came together very quickly, and my vision for it was clear from the start. It just went and I didn't really have to rearrange old ideas or concepts to make it work, while with this training program I am more or less back to the first one.
First of all, I started to read the scientific literature about the most recent developments in learning theory and realized that almost everything we think about learning is not true. The way we have usually been taught at school is a disaster.
Steve Wright: Perfect.
Chris Kresser: Yes, the worst possible way to teach information retention in many cases. So I went through that rabbit hole for a while and was really fascinated by how we learn and how we retain information and how we translate knowledge into practical skills, because that is of course the goal of this training. It's not just to give people a lot of information that they then forget and don't use in their lives. It is the transfer of the knowledge and skills that people need to start and manage a truly successful and effective functional medicine practice.
Steve Wright: Can you teach us a cool tip about what will simply surprise us?
Chris Kresser: I don't know, but the typical way of learning is what you could call "cover material." A textbook covers a lot of material, but it's all out of context. It's like learning the alphabet, A, B, C, D, E, F, G. It is out of context. You do not really understand when you read a textbook how it applies to real situations. You do not understand the relative importance of one compared to another, because it is all emphasized to the same extent and in terms of medical training, learn a lot of facts without understanding how they apply to what you do in terms of treating patients is not that useful.
An example of this would be that Harvard recognized this in the 1980s and that Harvard Medical School made the switch to a case-based learning style in their medical school. It was not pioneered by Harvard. I think it was McMaster University in Canada – if I'm right – it started, but Harvard really expanded it. It used to be medical school, the first two years it was just didactic education, mainly lectures, lectures on pharmacology and physiology and all medical sciences, and you didn't really go into the clinic and started thinking about patients until the last two years , and that is still how many medical schools are set up, but they are just completely switched to where when students come in, they immediately start working on case studies. I mean, they don't know what they do, but they come in small groups and they work on case studies. They get a case and then they have to find out what I need to know to work on this case? If it's someone who coughs, they go, Okay, I have to study the physiology of the lung. I have to study pathology, what can go wrong in situations like this. I have to – And then they go off and use their own learning styles and preferences in terms of how they want to learn to sort it all out. That is an example.
Another example is this kind of fill-up tube teaching method, such as the weekend seminar where you sit there for 16 hours and then you just spit information about the tube and you go back to your clinic at the end of that and you are like, What?! How do I apply this?!
So the way I organize things is in a way that maximizes what we know about learning science to retain information and use it in a practical way, so it becomes a case-based learning method where we just start looking to labs, to interpret labs, to design treatment protocols, and a lot of reference material will be provided to fill the gaps, but really my intention is that when someone completes this training, they will be able to achieve a highly effective, successful functional medicine practice. That is the goal. I am not going to provide a whole lot of information or give people the widest possible training in functional medicine. I intend to create super-effective functional doctors.
That is actually the whole background of it! And more specifically, the curriculum is offered in much shorter segments, such as 8-10 minutes, to maximize retention. There will be quizzes with little money, because we know from the learning survey that remembering information after you learn it greatly increases retention. There will be homework assignments and case assignments and there will be a monthly workshop, a longer seminar with me in which I present cases and give advice about cases of participants and answer questions. There is weekly support with my trained clinicians, somewhat like the university model where the larger lecture is and then there are the discussion sections with the TA's from week to week.
And it will cover four key areas: diet and lifestyle, such as how you can adjust diet and lifestyle recommendations from an ancestral perspective based on the specific patient you see; functional blood chemistry; GI disorders; and HPA axis or adrenal fatigue syndrome. These are the four core areas that I believe should be the starting point for any meeting with functional medicines. They are going to help the largest number of people. Certainly some people will need more than that, but if that's all you've focused on throughout your career and you've just learned to do that very well, you could help a huge number of people, and probably 80% of them the people who come in the door, 70%, that is enough to make them healthy again.
Steve Wright: Yes, I am enthusiastic about that, Chris. I think it's going to be a great program, and I think you're hitting something that is really important and missing in almost all areas of different medications, at least I have been involved in, that as a clinician you have to acknowledge that everyone is different and yet, if you have a framework that you can more or less circumvent the whole problem, you can usually move the ball across the field using the framework and then as soon as you start hitting some obstacles, that is when you get into the adjusted stuff. So I'm looking forward to having a large group of people who really understand these things. I think it will be great for the world.
Chris Kresser: Yes, I am excited. I'm really excited to learn it, and I think it's going much faster now. All those months were just figuring out the framework and context and strategy to deliver it, and now that I've arranged that, I have just made very rapid progress on the actual steps to get it there. I hesitate to make projections, but my strong intention is to launch this this year and hopefully before the end of the summer.
Steve Wright: Perfect.
Chris Kresser: Fingers crossed.
Steve Wright: Alright.
Chris Kresser: Alright. So today we have an interesting question. Let's listen to it.
Ask: Hey. I would like to know what your opinion is about making juice, the type of juice that Jay Kordich has made, and what your opinion is about the advantages or disadvantages of this.
Chris Kresser: Okay, so juice. In the kind of regular alternative health community, juicing, if you want, is a hugely popular activity and something that gets a lot of airplay and discussion. It is not discussed that much in the paleo world. It's not really a part of the paleo mouse, partly because our ancestors didn't really have Champion Juicers to squeeze something, so certainly from that perspective it doesn't really fit into the ancestral framework, but as I said before, the fact that our ancestors who have not done something is not sufficient reason for us not to do it. We are not going for paleo display here. We look at things from an ancestral perspective to generate questions and hypotheses and to give us some ideas about what makes sense and what doesn't, but we're not going to use the fact that our paleo ancestors don't cheer as a reason to do it. So let's talk a little bit about the pros and cons of making juice, and I'll just give you an idea of the role that juice can play in a paleo or nutritious diet.
The benefits of making juice
The plus points are that fruit and vegetables are full of phytonutrients that, according to more and more studies, have many health benefits. These are nutrients that are not the same as the essential nutrients for which research is very clear that we need things like vitamins and minerals, you know, vitamins A, D, C and minerals like zinc and iron and things like that. I mean, they are of course all important and are found in fruits and vegetables, but we are talking about other phytonutrients and things called antioxidants that are found almost exclusively in fruits and vegetables. They are not very common in meat and animal products. They are more common in plants and I think these things have important health benefits. In general, they seem to play a hormonal role, and what this means is that something that is hormetic is something that induces a positive adaptation. It is a stressor, but it is a stressor that helps us to adapt and evolve, to evolve over a longer time scale or to adapt in a shorter time scale.
Exercise is an example of everyone's hormone and we can talk in particular about weightlifting. If you go and lift a weight in a gym and lift a weight to the point of failure, you will create some tears in the muscles, and that will be a stressor, stress on the muscles and the body's reaction to rebuild that muscle so that it is slightly stronger so that it can ideally handle that amount of weight the next time you lift weights. This is a simplification, but that is the general idea. So exercise and weightlifting, in particular, have a hormonal effect.
It seems that many phytonutrients in fruit and vegetables have the same effects. They are often called antioxidants, but they are really more pro-oxidant because they have this hormetic effect, boosting the body's own antioxidant defense system. They cause a little stress and increase the body's internal antioxidant defense system. So they have an antioxidant effect, but they, the nutrients themselves, are not antioxidants. And this probably partly explains why studies consistently show that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is associated with better health.
Juicing is a way that some people find easier to get more fruits and vegetables in their diet, so that is a possible pro.
People with digestive problems who may have trouble breaking down a lot of fiber in whole fruits and vegetables may be able to tolerate juices, and they are part of the GAPS diet, which is a gut-healing diet, for this reason, I think. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables can be important for healing, but many people with a really inflamed gut cannot cope with the insoluble fiber and other tough fibers in fruit and vegetables.
Raw fruits and vegetables contain nutrients and substances that are not found in cooked food or that are lower in cooked food. Glutathione is a very good example. It is the most important antioxidant in the body and helps protect against oxidative damage and has a regulatory effect on the immune system. Glutathione is not really present in cooked vegetables or cooked meat. It is in raw fruits and vegetables and raw meat, so juice can give you glutathione. There are enzymes in raw fruits and vegetables that are destroyed during the cooking process, so that is another potential professional.
And then some people feel really good when they make some juice, and that is clearly another pro.
The disadvantages of making juice
On the other hand, juices can contain a lot of sugar, depending on what is squeezed. I have written and talked about how I think that even small amounts of sugar are toxic and that we cannot tolerate sugar in the form of honey or juices such as these, but certainly for some people who may be problematic depending on their metabolic function and insulin and glucose tolerance. That is a potential problem.
When you use juice with most juice extractors, it removes the fiber, and the fiber in fruits and vegetables can nourish the beneficial gut flora, and it also increases satiety. I don't think most people will eat too many calories with fruit or vegetable juice because they are super low in calories anyway, but fiber generally plays a beneficial role in feeding the intestinal flora and increasing satiety. Of course you can get around it. There is a new type of device that has become quite popular, the NutriBullet. Do you know the NutriBullet, Steve?
Steve Wright: I heard a little bit. I'm being marketed a lot, so yes, I've seen a few.
Chris Kresser: The NutriBullet is essentially a blender, I think. I don't own any, but I know people who know that, and it combines and pulverizes the fruit or vegetables so that the fiber is still intact, so technically it is not a juicer. It is more of a blender. And of course things like the Vitamix, which has been around for a long time, can do the same. So you put a whole fruit in it or whole vegetables, and you mix it in the round and it's more of a fruit or vegetable shake, I think, than a juice.
Steve Wright: A smoothie.
Chris Kresser: A smoothie, yes. There is still the fiber, so for some people it may not be absorbed as quickly or as completely as the juice, but on the other hand it has the benefits of the fiber.
Another potential drawback on the other hand for people with digestive problems is that many raw juices can cause loose stools or diarrhea in some sensitive people. I have seen that people on the GAPS diet start adding raw juices to their diet early on.
Making lots of raw green vegetable juice, which is very popular in the juice community, can be problematic for people with thyroid problems, because many of those green vegetables contain goitrogens, and if iodine intake is low because someone doesn't eat iodized salt and they & # 39; If you don't have fishhead soup or sea vegetables, they may very well lack iodine. If they have an existing thyroid problem, it can be a problem, for example, to have tons of raw kale juice. It will not affect everyone, but it can affect some people.
And then the last minus point is just a personal pet about juicers and juicers, is that they are difficult to clean!
Steve Wright: I still have a good one for you, but it is crap. It sucks completely.
Chris Kresser: That is my biggest reason not to make juice, to be honest!
Steve Wright: Yes, I am there! I actually had a few friends who basically kept the same recipe on a regular basis and they tried to save costs because it is clear that the same recipe is fresh every day.
Chris Kresser: Yes.
Steve Wright: They end with, like half non-organic vegetables, and so you increase your pesticide load if you continue with the same recipe and you do non-organic, so you have to watch out for that.
Chris Kresser: Yes. The disadvantage is that it is expensive to do well if you buy the products from the local farmers' market, and you have to have quite a lot to make enough juice, of course. Yes, that's another one.
The role juice can play in a Paleo or nutritious diet
So what do I think about making juice in general and what role can it play in a person's diet? I think that occasionally a juice or even a small amount per day in the context of a diet rich in nutrients is perfectly fine, assuming you have none of the problems I mentioned and you follow some guidelines mentioned. I think it can play a therapeutic role in certain situations. I know it has been successful for some people following the GAPS diet. Some people seem to like it at certain times of the year when they begin to feel slow or when they have a cold or flu and feel they need some extra nutrients or something. Like everything else, it depends on the individual and their needs and their health status and circumstances. When a patient asks for it, I essentially say what I have said here and I am not opposed to trying it as long as it does not become the focus of their nutritional plan. Of course I am not in favor of a diet that revolves around making juice.
Steve Wright: Yes, it seems to be one of those things that are the last 10% or last 15% of the total type of treatment plan to monitor your health. When you try to mix sleep and stress and food and exercise and then supplements and maybe some tests, juice can eat much of that budget both mentally and monetarily. It may seem very therapeutic to some people, but as you said, if you focus on it and miss the 80% that really seems to matter, I think many people don't get what they are looking for.
Chris Kresser: That's a great point, Steve, and I'll put it another way: you will probably get more for your money if you only switch on the basics, ensuring that you maximize nutrient density and minimize the toxicity in the diet, you choose the best macronutrient ratio for you based on your circumstances and your health condition, you ensure that you eat enough paleo superfoods such as iodine sea vegetables, fermented foods, fermentable fibers, bone broth, organ meats – all the things I am talking about in my book. And once you've dialed everything in, that's fine, if you want to mess around with juice, but I absolutely agree with Steve that focusing on the other things first will probably be the best approach for most people.
Steve Wright: Awesome. Well, if you want your question answered on the Revolution Health Radio Podcast, go to ChrisKresser.com/PodcastQuestion and record your question there, and hopefully we'll talk to you about it soon.
Chris Kresser: Okay, everybody, thanks for listening and we'll talk to you next week.
Steve Wright: Yes, thanks everyone. In between, if you are wondering what Chris is doing, what kind of research – apparently he might post things about learning behavior and nice fun facts like that – he posts all those cool things that don't always show or blog on Facebook and Twitter , so go to Facebook.com/ChrisKresserLAc and Twitter.com/ChrisKresser to get those updates. Thank you for listening and we'll talk to you at the next show.
Chris Kresser: Thanks everyone.