Ever wonder if you have food sensitivities? Dr. Laura Brown shares her expertise on identifying signs and symptoms of food sensitivities, and how to improve bad gut health. Don’t miss Dr. Laura’s expert advice on food sensitivity tests, how gut health relates to your overall health, and what you can do to improve it!
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Food Sensitivities & Improving Poor Gut Health

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Ever wonder if you have food sensitivities? Dr. Laura Brown shares her expertise on identifying signs and symptoms of food sensitivities, and how to improve bad gut health.  Don’t miss Dr. Laura’s expert advice on food sensitivity tests, how gut health relates to your overall health, and what you can do to improve it!

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  • Dr. Laura’s own gut health journey 
  • Signs and symptoms of poor gut health
  • The 3 best food sensitivity tests
  • Procedures and costs of food sensitivity tests
  • How to assess gut health in your children
  • The correct way to eliminate and reintroduce food



Dr. Laura M. Brown is a licensed naturopathic doctor who practices functional medicine. She recognizes patterns, eliminates impediments, and activates the body’s natural healing processes to restore health and repair damage. She is the best-selling author of Beyond Digestion, a HeartMath Certified Practitioner, a level two Certified Gluten-Free Practitioner, and a Kresser Institute ADAPT Trained Practitioner.

Ever wonder if you have food sensitivities? Dr. Laura Brown shares her expertise on identifying signs and symptoms of food sensitivities, and how to improve bad gut health. Don’t miss Dr. Laura’s expert advice on food sensitivity tests, how gut health relates to your overall health, and what you can do to improve it!


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So, this is why gut health is connected to the rest of your body and why sometimes things like even anxiety and depression, aren’t a diagnosis onto themselves. They’re actually a symptom of poor gut health. Welcome to the M perfectly empowered podcast with leading DIY lifestyle blogger on. Where women are inspired with authentic stories and practical strategies to reclaim their hearts and homes by empowering transformation.
One imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I’m your host on a former today on the show we have Dr. Laura Brown. Dr. Laura is a registered nurse. Position with a functional medicine approach to repair damage and rebuild health. She is the author of bestselling book beyond digestion, and she is here to teach us how our gut health could be affecting our overall health and what we can do about it.
Welcome Dr. Laura Brown. Good morning. Good morning. How are you Ana? I am good. How are you? I am well, nice book behind you. Goodness. Thank you. I love how color coordinated it is too. It’s all very synergistic behind me. Here. There you go. There you go. How are you this morning? I’m good. Welcome to the podcast.
This is so fun to have you. Well, thank you so much. I love meeting people through podcasts. We have such interesting conversation. And while you’ve got some great podcasts out there. I listened to a few of the busy family. This is wonderful. You’re just rocking it on all levels. Oh, that’s sweet of you. Well, I don’t know about rocking it.
I’m doing something surviving is more like, uh, I love I’m looking at behind you here. It’s funny. I know that it’s not, but it looks like you’re in a bar with a bunch of whiskey bars. Oh, no, that’s my tincture cabinet. It’s so cute. I love it. We all know that that is not a bunch of whiskey, but it’s so cute.
I love the cabinet set up behind. There you go. All the shots of a gin saying are great. So what can I say? They are shots. Just not of alcohol? Well, I, as everyone can see here, if you’re watching on YouTube, if you’re listening, I have Dr. Laura’s book behind me here beyond digestion. We’re going to dive into that in a little bit.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. There was a lot that I learned, and even as a nurse practitioner, there’s a lot of things, you know, having worked in the ER for 10 years. We are our own world. And a lot of the things that we refer people to, or we suggest a lot of times we don’t even know exactly what it entails.
We just know it’s the next step for them. So I really enjoyed learning more about food testing, sensitivity testing. We’re going to dive into all of that, but let’s press the rewind button a little bit. Cause one of the favorite things that I like to talk about is how you got to where you are today. And you have a lot of interesting you live in Ontario.
Canada. And I understand that you were, is it miss Ontario? Oh goodness. Yes. When I was a teen, I did fitness, like was bodybuilding then, but it was more like what fitness is now. And yes, I had the miss teen Ontario title in the fitness competition. So I had competing. It was interesting because that’s kind of how it started to, for me to understand how, what you eat connects with, how you feel in your body.
And that was kind of the beginning of the journey, because I figured out that, wow, I feel so much better when I’m eating clean, which was essentially lots of protein at that point. It wasn’t a lot of fat, which probably wasn’t so good. But that’s hindsight, you know, we learned things as we go along. Right.
Tell me a little bit about that experience. You were 16 years old at that time. Entail. Can you think of specifics, ways that you changed your diet that sort of propelled you to where you are? You said mentioned eating clean, but can you think of specific things that you remember changing or even just in your fitness routine to.
But had always done gymnastics as a child. And then I had issues with my knees, so I had to quit gymnastics. And then I coached gymnastics when I was like 11 years old. I was coaching kids from two to 18 and then my dad bought a gym and that was kind of interesting. And he loved to work out. And part of my physio for my knees was a lot of.
Weightlifting or, you know, just the machines and the equipment. I thought, you know what? I don’t need to go to an appointment like this every week. I can just go to the gym and have my workout because I was so used to being active for four or five hours, like four nights a week. And you know, it just wasn’t voting me well to be sitting around.
So I just started to do that. And then on top of that, I ended up with a diagnosis. Hypothyroidism. I have the age of 16 now, like a younger, like 14, 15, my periods didn’t really come and things. Weren’t right. And I ended up doing a lot of, you know, doctor’s appointments to figure out what was going on there.
And it was like two different things happening at the same time. But I noticed, you know, when I was eating. You know, when it’s preparing for competitions or eating clean. And then when I say eating clean, it was just a lot of protein. Like a lot of fish at that point, my dad’s friend had a fish shop and it was fish and chips, but he was getting the Cod by the case.
So he’d get that, you know, so I just didn’t do my caught up and I do my veggies and non-water carbohydrate, just a lot of greens. Protein and that combined with the type of training and it was a lot of weight training and some cardio. I mean, I was doing a lot of things at the time, like biking and running and, but not a lot of running cause my knees didn’t handle it.
So I ended up biking more. Play volleyball. Like I was pretty active that way. So lots of, and that’s what I find even today. It’s not like just one thing it’s being active in different things, you know, like getting on the bike, going out in the garden. If you have a chance to go canoe and go canoe. And if you have a chance to do some rolling that isn’t growing in high school as well, I’d loved it.
It was just for fun, like here and there. Yeah. Just like try different things and just have fun with it. So, and then, you know, and then I finished kinda bad. I went off to university and I thought, oh, you know, and then I started eating like all the cafeteria food and which was totally different than anything I was ever raised with or what I was eating when I was competing.
And I felt awful and everything. And I brain fog, couldn’t focus acne, and I’m like, what’s with this. So then I just started to, you know, visit the nutritionist and they say, well, this is the carbohydrate you should eat. And none of it worked. It just made me feel more. So it was through trial and error that I realized that, you know, gluten and I used to think it was carbohydrates.
And like what’s with, I can’t eat bread, but I can eat potatoes what’s with that. And I didn’t really know at the time, but it was just kind of parsing things out. I thought I was crazy, but I started to learn and it wasn’t until I was probably in my thirties. I actually went totally gluten-free and then later dairy-free and later sugar-free, so it’s been an evolution and that’s what I always say.
No, it’s evolution, not revolution. You know, it takes time to kind of get there. And I wrote the book because wish boy, I wish I knew a lot more than, you know, and have a lot of patients that come in. Some of the books, not just about my story. It’s about lots of patients that come in. Kind of their experiences too, because we all have our own unique experiences and there’s no one right.
Diet for anyone, but there are some basic human body requirements that there’s kind of a recipe there. Yeah. Yeah. Now tell me a little bit about your process in going gluten-free because this is a concept and we’ll dive more into specifics later, but you know, a lot of people don’t understand the difference between celiacs being.
Gluten intolerant being gluten, the difference between sort of the different implications of being sensitive to gluten. So tell us your experience. Do you have celiacs? Do you have a gluten intolerance? How was that diagnosed? How did you approach. For myself, because it was such a process of slow elimination.
By the time I eliminated it, I didn’t want to go back to eating it, to get tested. Okay. So that was my choice. It just wasn’t worth it. And I have a lot of suspicion of, you know, family traits that maybe people that I, you know, aunts and grandmothers and parents that, you know, I just like, well, maybe there’s some celiac there, but I don’t really know.
I think mine is more like a non-celiac wheat sensitivity. But I don’t want to go back to eat it, to be tested, to see. So if I’m in a restaurant, sometimes I’ll say celiac, because then I know I’ll have it prepared properly. But technically I think it’s just, non-celiac wheat sensitivity. I’m very, very, very sensitive, like a celiac.
So I treat my body like a celiac. There’s no vacations from it or anything. Cause it’s just not a treat. Actually quite awful, so, right, right. And we’ll talk for people who don’t understand what we’re talking about. We will dive into that a little bit later in terms of specifically the step-by-step, how you go about diagnosing these different terminologies so that you can understand that with a little bit more clarity.
I also noted that you live on 20 acres in Ontario, Canada. I’m a little jealous. Tell me a little bit. What do you do with your 20 acres? You mentioned canoeing. You clearly are an active person and she lives on 20 acres. So what are you doing on those 20 acres? Oh yeah. Well, I’d love to have it be so much fun.
So on the 20 acres part of it, I would say about half of it is wooded with ponds and wetlands. So we get a lot of dunks and, you know, just like really pretty stuff. And we back and share. Other land with our neighbors. So there’s a trail system that goes through our property and then some of our neighbors property.
And they’re so kind as to allow us to walk. So I’ll take the dog for a walk and obviously, you know, being an Ontario that’s, I’m typically walking on the trails from like September, till may and then the bugs get really bad and I just avoid it. And then I’m in the pool, right. We’ve got a swimming pool and then my son has his masters in agriculture and he has like a really amazing garden.
I just go out and pick and help him do things. But I am so jealous. I hope my children get them, get them to grow your lettuce. It’s great. Seriously. Oh my. So what is your weather like? This is showing my ignorance. So I’m on the east coast. We’re in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. What is Ontario like in comparison?
Well, because we’re nestled in between all the great lakes. We do get modified whether, because of the large bodies of water. So in the winter time we can go to like minus 25 minus 20 can be kind of a cold day in January, February during the summer, like very cold. Oh, sorry. This I’m talking Celsius. So let me think Fahrenheit.
Oh, okay. So. That would be like zero Fahrenheit kind of thing. Like very, very cold yesterday was 87 degrees Fahrenheit. So interesting. Okay. I get really big swings. Yeah. So it’s like, we’re definitely for seasoned people. Yeah. Yeah. I love that though. Yeah, anyone that’s been around here for any length of time, knows how much I love.
We’re looking for property right now. So I enjoy hearing what other people are doing on their properties. So that sounds incredible. Give us one. Before we start diving into your expertise here, give us in your journey of becoming a naturopathic physicians, functional medicine doctor. Can you think of a time where.
There was a mistake that you made in your journey or a major learning curve that you look back on and you think this was a pivotal moment in my success down the road. And what advice might you give to somebody who is struggling feeling like they don’t have what it takes. They’re making all these mistakes.
They’re not seeing the outcomes. Yeah, for sure. On a, because this is my second career. My first career was, you know, I quit university helped my first husband with his business. It was a technology business, which was going really well at the time. We have two beautiful children and when the marriage didn’t work out, then I exited from the business as well.
And I hadn’t, you know, I finished university and what do I do? So I went out and I use my skills I had, and I got it into a technology when I left that I was a senior account executive with Microsoft business solutions. So I worked my way up, worked really hard through that, but it wasn’t aligning with my soul.
And my whole passion is in the sciences. And, you know, I got to a point where I could keep going. But my kids were now off to university. And my second husband, he said to me, he goes, you know, what do you really want to do? And I’m like, I want to go back to my sciences. I think I want to be an entrepreneur doctor.
So I went back, finished my university degree and to get all my credits I needed in the sciences. Then I went on to medical college and it was four years. And then did my pharmaceutical. Disqualifications after that. And then always continuing education. I went into Chris crossers, adapt functional medicine programs, did that for a year while I was practicing.
And now it’s just like, you’re always learning. That’s. What I love about this role is that it’s a continual learning of how the mind, body and solar are knit together. And we’re just amazing creatures. And as much as we feel that we can know, there’s always more to learn. So it was just not looking back at the point where I made that decision.
To go back and do everything. It was like, you know what, in five years I’m going to be five years older. What will I have done that I’m going to feel good about? So I left my age behind and just said, I need to do what my soul needs to do. And here I am. I love that I left my age behind. I think that’s a poignant statement we get so caught up in, well, I’m already this age or I’m already at this stage of life.
And so you sort of feel like. Make the changes. And I love the point that you’ve made. And I’ve heard this a lot. It’s the idea that the time is going to pass regardless, what are you going to do with it? And I think your story is a beautiful Testament to doing something that will make a difference, not just for you, but for other people, when you feel like you’re aligned and your passions are there.
Every day is, I mean, there’s always 20%. That’s a little quirky, but 8% is just amazing. Right? That’s a little Erky. I love a man. Sometimes it’s more like 40. Sometimes it’s more like 15. You never know what an average averages out. It depends on how my kids wake up that morning, whether or not it’s going to be a 15% kind of a day or a 40% kind of a day.
Yeah. Yeah. Just don’t know. I love that. Well, take notes. If you get nothing else from this entire hour here that what’d you say leave age behind. Yeah. Except that you’re going to have the 20% earthiness part of life. And what were you going to say? Just do what aligns with your soul. It’s you know, one thing I wish I had known more so that I could teach my kids or had known when I was younger to learn that inner yes and inner no, and I’m still learning it because I think it’s more difficult as you’re an adult, but when you learn that inner yes and internal, then you’d know what aligns with your soul.
And then you’re truly just following, you know, what you’re meant to do, and then it doesn’t really matter what everybody else does because you hope that they find their own thing so that they can shine and be beautiful too. Yeah. I love that. We are going to take a really quick break, but when we come back, stay tuned for a speed round of this or that with Dr.
Laura, and we are going to hear her expert advice on how your gut health could be affecting your overall. And what you can do about it. Stay tuned. Right? When we come back, you have tried it all worried. You will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed, want to achieve fat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet.
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You just pick one, no stress. Family card game or board game. We don’t do a whole lot of either, but probably because they have 20 beautiful acres in the and cultural experts we’re in the garden. So not much of either, not much of either of a, probably a board game put where to be one. Yeah. Okay. Well then let me ask this canoeing or kayaking.
Hmm. I think both are fun. I’m terrible at both, but they’re good. Probably a canoe. Because there’s more than one person. That’s my thought, at least in a canoe, somebody else can take over, but you can blame somebody else that he said they’re steering wrong, but steering. Yeah. Oh, that’s so funny. Okay. I agree.
Canoe, would you rather grow tomatoes or cucumbers? Cucumbers? They’re easier. I think yes, they are tasting and they take over what all do you. Oh, it’s like, what, what don’t we grow? Because we have a researcher, corn potatoes, peas, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, beans, lettuce, kale, cabbage, herbs, rhubarb. What else is out there?
Spinach. Strawberries. It’s like he does micro gardening, like, like everything’s condensed. And he likes to have plants, have friends with plants, that type of thing. We have apple, we have an orchard. I think I’ll be 70 by the time I get a pair square. But anyway, do you have pictures of your garden? I’m legitimately curious to see how it looks.
That sounds please. I would love to see, are you okay if I share them or do you want me to keep for sure, for sure. I would love to share them. How much space does your garden. Oh, I think he has probably about half an acre probably there, like that’s amazing. That’s kind of the food. And then we have lots of flower beds.
I do more of the flower beds, intensive care, and then he does love that. Yeah. I love that. We’re in a similar zone. Yes. W wouldn’t we be five? Yeah. Four or five, because you’re going to be a little warmer down there. Yeah. Ah, yes. Okay. I need to learn, we’ll put that on the shelf for now, but I would love to learn.
Okay. What’s worse. Laundry or dishes? Laundry. Yeah. In the cupboard. When you put away cups, do the rims go up or down? Uh, this is, I did not realize how controversial this is. Whether you put the rim up or down. The water cups go down, but the mugs go up. I don’t know. Oh, see, I can appreciate that because if you put the rims down on glass, it doesn’t matter, but a lot of mugs have script or something on them, and then they’re upside down.
If you put the mugs upside down and people tend to take the mug by the handle and turn it up as they’re pulling it out and it banks against everything else. See there’s leading up. Then he was pulling. You guys, there are strategies to everything. I agree with that. That’s actually, I’m thinking about my cupboard right now and that’s exactly how it is.
And the mugs look prettier when the right side up too. Okay. Two more questions, flats or heels generally flats. Now, would you rather a cabin by the lake or a house on the beach for vacation? I would say for vacation a house on the beach. Cause I kind of live in that woods. Yeah. Do you guys have a favorite vacation?
We have gone to Barbados a number of years, and there’s a lovely spot that we rent that is right on the beach and your ears. Just get numbed by the sound of the waves and you can go out and swim. I mean, that’s kind of the easy spot out. Of course. Hawaii is always beautiful. It’s just a little farther for us to get.
Yeah, I love Hawaii is my favorite, but I agree with you. It’s the distance is a little harder. Yeah. It’s a long flight. Yeah. Where’s your favorite spot in Hawaii? Oh, what did we like? I think Kaanapali was where we had in Maui Maui. Okay. Yeah, that was really nice. There’s some of the smaller islands that I haven’t been to that I’d really love to go.
And the big islands, so great for adventure. We did helicopter rides around there and waterfalls and all the different green St you know, different colored sand beaches, and the turtles laying their eggs. That was all really fun. And so. Yeah. I went to Molokai when I was there. Now we is, yeah. Maui is the one that I actually would like to go to next and Malek.
You would love it. It is the true Hawaiian experience because it’s not really like all of the commercialized aspects to it. It is very, I would say it’s as natural as can be and we biked everywhere. The food was the best of all the islands, actually that I’d been to was malicious. That’s where I learned that eggs and brown rice tastes really good together, right?
Oh yeah. There was one place that we’d go to for breakfast and you’re right. What is that called? There’s a name for it. There’s like a whole thing they put together. Yeah, I’m sure. Yeah. Are you on Molokai? No, we never went on Malibu. I think we could see it from where we were, but we never got. Yeah. Yeah.
Well, everyone, you need to visit Hawaii at least once. It’s so beautiful. Well, speaking of food and delicious food, we’re talking about healthy guts. This book beyond digestion is such a great resource for any of you really interested in diving. We’re just going to skim the surface in the content of this book.
But I think before we talk about anything related to digestion, gut health, we need to define. One, what is a healthy gut? And then consequently, how do we know if we do not have a healthy gut? So what are signs and symptoms that we may be experiencing? Perhaps we don’t even realize it. That could suggest that our gut health is not optimal.
So, number one, what does a healthy gut? And then number two, how might we know that it’s not healthy? Okay, good question. Because there is no one. Perfect. You know, academy of this is what a healthy gut looks like. However, so everybody has their own fingerprint that they develop by the time they’re age three.
And then we of course can change that throughout our lifetime, just even with what we eat in the past 24 hours, we’ll change what’s in our gut, but we’re typically looking for healthy balance of about seven different families. And if we do a stool analysis, a comprehensive stool analysis over a few days, we can see, you know, do we have a good balance of these houses?
They families that. Synergistically or working to serve us. These guys are there to serve us. And if we feed them, they look after us. Right. So it’s getting that nice balance and then making sure that we don’t have any things that we don’t want in there. And that could be like an overgrowth of one particular strain of things.
It too much of a good thing, or not enough of a good thing, or some of the bad guys that sometimes can creep in there from, you know, our environment, our food, you know, stress can help, you know, disrupt things. So it was many different things. The signs that we typically get. People often think, you know, pain, gas, bloating in the abdominal area, you know, loose stool or difficult to pass stool.
So IBS kind of things, diarrhea, constipation, but sometimes it can be other things that we’re not always thinking of. It can be mood, right. Can be anxiety or depression. It can be skin issues, rashes, stuff like that. Going on. It could be joint pain. It can be headaches because what happens is if we have a poor health in our gut, We can end up with a compromised gut lining, which, you know, people have heard of leaky gut, but what happens is the toxins start to leak out into the bloodstream and the immune system starts to attack and we end up with inflammation, things going on in different parts of our body.
And this is where we’re getting the pain. So this is why gut health is connected to the rest of your body and why sometimes things like even anxiety and depression, aren’t a diagnosis onto themselves. They’re actually a symptom of poor gut health. And would you say it’s. You mentioned that not everybody’s footprint is exactly the same, that the way that the body responds to.
Those toxins is very unique to each individual. So it’s almost like a auto immune response. If you will, to those particular toxins in the body, would that be accurate to say everybody’s response to that could look very different. There wouldn’t be a one size fits all. Oh, definitely. That’s why individualized medicine is so important in these cases because people respond differently.
We’re all our unique body chemistry and our genes on our destiny. But sometimes, you know, there are things that environmentally will impact and we start to respond in different ways based on our genetics, based on our environment and based on our body chemistry, like what we’re feeding it, how we do, how much sleep we get.
You know, what kind of infections we might be carrying around with us because we carry around a lot of stuff with us. And often, you know, the body is designed to just kind of shake hands and say, okay, you know, you can stay there just don’t bug me. But then sometimes, you know, it starts to bug you and then it really starts to bug you and then you have to get it under control.
Yeah. And I think it’s an important thing for people to hear too, is the idea that. It isn’t a one size fits all and what could really bother somebody physically may not bother you at all. So, you know, it is a very individualized approach and understanding that the interventions then could also cause different responses in different people too.
So I love that you focus very much on the individual. Approach to not just diagnosing, but then also treating as well. Food sensitivities and testing have become a much more familiar concept. I would say, oh, I don’t know. At least in the last decade, this idea that food could actually be causing more of our chronic.
Problems and thank goodness that we’re starting to make this correlation as a fitness nutrition coach myself. It is very enlightening, even everything from the difference between simply eating organically versus non organic. But talk to us a little bit about testing. When we talk about gut health. And we talk about the stool test.
You mentioned there’s three main specialty tests that I understood from your book, stool testing, gluten and wheat testing, and then a more generalized food sensitivity test. Talk to us about the three tests, what they involve. And then ultimately, what do the results tell us what do we do with those results?
Yeah. And that’s the thing was labs. You want to make sure that if you’re doing a lab test, you understand exactly what it’s meant to do because yes, they’re not the be-all and end-all there. None of them are perfect. And. If you’re doing it, is it going to give you information that is constructive? I mean, that’s how I would go about it.
There’s there. I mean, you can test so many different things, but what’s going to be most productive. And that’s why I kind of narrowed it down to those three to talk about in the book, but the food sensitivity, there’s different ones. If you look at your immune system, there’s different immunoglobulins or different parts of our defenses.
Okay. So we have. You know, our primary or 80% of our immune system that meets our environment is in our gastrointestinal track. And that’s IGA. But when we’re talking about food sensitivities and blood analysis, often it’s IgG, which is floating around in the bloodstream. So it’s what immune responses are primed in your bloodstream based on the proteins of different foods.
So this one’s not, I find overly, you know, entirely accurate. It can give you some good preliminary ideas. What’s there, but sometimes it just shows you, you know, are you eating too much of something and in those levels might be high. So in that case, you’re using it as a guided elimination tool. So you would take the things that are really high and you would pull them out of the diet maybe for like one to three months, usually three months and then reintroduce.
One at a time. Cause then you’ve had a break from it. Maybe you could just for eating too much, you just needed a break. The body likes Friday. Then as you’re introduce it one at a time, then you can see it’s like that black spot on the white paper now. And you can now see, does this really, you know, did my headache come back?
Did my joint pain come back? And sometimes it could be, you know, quantity, you know, oh, I can have this much, but not this much. And other times it’s like, no, you know what? I think I needed to stay off this for a little while longer. So there might be some foods that you can have once in a while. And you do okay with some that you find that you just really need to stay away from because you’re truly intolerant.
And then some, you can find that you can reintroduce and be fine, just needed a break. So that’s kind of the food sensitivity side of it. There’s another one. That’s a blood test that you can have done where you take your wife. That smell sensitivity test was a blood test. Right. That was that particular one.
There’s ice could talk about guide elimination. There’s two more. There’s the Al cat test, which is a functional medicine test where they take the energy and that the food and they are the protein of the food. And they introduce it to the white blood cell to see how your body responds. That one’s more accurate cause they’re retesting and that, and they’re taking specific proteins and then introducing it to a new, one of your healthy white blood cells to see how it responds.
That one seems to be a little more accurate and it’s also a little more. And then there’s a third one that I use often in clinic. It’s bioimpedance testing where we’re taking everything in the world has a vibration and an energy. So we’re taking the food vibration. That’s stored in the computer, passing it through the meridians of the body, much like you would do with an EEG or an EKG.
You’re just doing retrofit. And peanuts and seeing how the nervous is responding to it. And then you can tell, you know, that’s like a bell curve, there’s some foods that are totally fine. Other ones that, you know, what maybe we need to reduce, rotate or remove. And then some ones that are the outliers that maybe you’re stressing or weakening in the body that we might choose to remove for, you know, three months.
So similar to using the IgG blood. But we’re sitting down and using a different, a nervous system response to it, which I use a lot because over use of, you know, hundreds of patients and then just using it as a guide elimination tool, people are happy with it. And they often say, you know what? I didn’t really have any surprises.
And if there was a surprise, it’s often because they love that food, but they know that it’s not really. Yeah. Do you find that one to be relatively specific? The, the nervous system one or is it just more. Sort of generalized tool. I find that it is if people are prepared properly and they’re coming in at a really good baseline energy and lots to go with that, but it can be very accurate and somebody is coming in and they’ve been drank a bunch of coffee or they’ve had a big workout, you know, or the tickets of anti-histamines.
Right. So it’s. You know, people prepare for the test. So they’re coming in and we can get an accurate reading. If they’re sick with something, we’re not going to get an accurate reading. Like if they have a cold or flu it’s on them home, there’s that? And you asked about the wheat testing and the wheat testing is another blood test that you’re looking at.
And it’s looking at antigens or proteins in the body against wheat. And that there’s over a hundred different proteins and wheat and it’s measuring on 24. So it does include the two that you would measure for celiac disease, but it’s doing many other ones so that you can see. You know where your sensitivity is for weed in particular.
So you can see, how am I, is it that? So that one would be for somebody that you’re suspecting is celiac or strongly sensitive, and then they could see how sensitive are they or if they are celiac and they want to see how well they’re doing with their diet, you know, is their body clean or is it still responding?
So we’re looking. There. So there’s varying degrees to that. One is what I’m hearing. You could have a very, very low so that it could suggest you’re not really that sensitive to gluten or wheat, is that correct? Or you could see a very high sensitivity. My understanding that, right? If you’re eating wheat, it could show you how sensitive you are.
If you’re not eating wheat or gluten, it can show you how well you’re actually doing with that. Because if you’re really super strict, then it should show up kind of low. But if you’re getting things that are sneaking into the diet, So sometimes people wish to find out, you know, how well am I doing?
Because sometimes there’s hidden things that we don’t think about. So it’s good to test on that once in a while, too. Especially if people are having health issues, they think they’re eating clean or eating wheat or gluten-free and something’s happening. So sometimes good to test for that really quick for these tests that you’ve just mentioned so far, give us some sense of.
What does cost to look like? Generally, I realize this is a going to be different in different areas too, but which of the cheaper, like cheaper options, if somebody is interested, but very nervous about the cost gauge the cost for us a little bit. And how insurance plays a role in any of this? Yes. And that will be different based on your jurisdiction, obviously.
And the benefits that you might have with. Through work, right? Your healthcare benefits, you may have the comprehensive stool analysis that we didn’t talk a whole lot about. It’s around 500, 5 50 Canadian, the ELPAT task, and probably the Primo blood test for food sensitivities or food and tolerance that one can range from like 700 to 1200 Canadian.
So you’re not the one-time. Yes. Like you’re not having to get. You may choose. Yeah. You may choose to once in a while, but initially it’ll give you a pretty good, you know, good idea. But I have had people repeat tests, you know, every three years, five years, just to see how they’re doing, because again, your body that can change.
And then the IgG blood tests usually range around $500. And then the bioimpedance when you come in the clinic, it’s around 300 Canadian dollars. So often people pick the cheap and cheerful when they’re seeing me they’re coming in and they’re doing that. Others prefer the blood work and I’m okay. I’ll work with anything.
It’s just understanding the nuances of how each test kind of behaves and to know how to implement, because you can’t just take the numbers and go, you’ve got to have some kind of idea of, you know, the health of the individual, that individual chemistry, like we talked about in this. And then put that together with the results of their tasks in order to help them construct their guided elimination diet.
Right. So it’s not just taking out things, you know, cause sometimes people can be sensitive to like an outlier thing and that’s really what’s causing them the inflammation. Um, and you mentioned the stool test. Talk to us a little bit about the stool. So I like the one that you do over three days. So you’re used to take home tasks.
You’re actually taking samples out of your stool and putting them in little vials and shipping them off to be evaluated. They do PCR, which is your genetic testing. So if they’re saying. You know, what is in here that we might expect. And then they also do microscopic where they’re looking at it and saying, oh, what did we see?
Right. What do we see in there? And then they record that you’re getting back. And then they might also culture where they’re taking samples, putting it in a Peachtree dress, feeding it and seeing what grows and that’s, you know, he’s does a common one for that to see if wherever the culture and a use, because, you know, naturally we have yeast, but sometimes.
Overgrowth of yeast, which can cause issues. And here we can see, you know, how prevalent is it? Are there a few, are there, you know, a lot so that we can kind of understand that. And then in that report you can look and it tells you how well you’re doing with your seven healthy families of bacteria. How well are they balanced?
Do we have any, you know, bacteria in there that doesn’t really cause issues unless there’s too much of it. How well are we making our short chain fatty acids, which is our by-product and very important for keeping us healthy of the microbiome helps us understand that helps us understand inflammation, markers, how well we’re digesting food, whether there’s any other infectious things like viruses, bacteria, tapeworms, pinworms, flukes, protozoa.
So somebody had repeated food poisoning. Right. That could even be like, you know, drinking some lake water. Right. So things like that can show up and be helpful. I loved your story in your book of when your, when your test results came or what was that? That made me laugh. You were talking about that in your book.
When your package came up to the front door and your husband. I have my, so I did a stool analysis and I had my package ready for pickup. It’s like grape cheerleaders picking up my poo. But my husband’s like, what’s that at the door? Cause he’s always thinking, oh, is this something I need to bring in for you so fine.
The Amazon I’m excited. Yeah. And I’m like, no, that’s my lab sample. Oh, it’s your shit at the door. All right. Literally, quite literally that made me laugh and a couple of questions. Another thought that I have is where do kids fall into this testing? Like, is there a certain age that we would say don’t bother testing beneath this age and are there signs and symptoms in kids that are more prevalent?
Because we know that the whole belly pain thing and kids as an ER provider, I can tell you is one of the most like non-specific and adults too, but it’s, it can be so many different things. So talk to us a little bit about. Maybe our children, teens and below. Absolutely. And you’re right, because, you know, belly aches, I mean, it’s the nervous system.
There is so vague and how it provides us information as to what’s going on. So of course you want to rule out, you know, the obvious, like, have they gone to the bathroom? You know, like, are they eliminating regularly? You know, are they just constipated as their twist or a constriction is an impending, you know, did they fall and hit their swing?
You know, We want to rule out all those things like you would be doing in the ER, doing your imaging and stuff like that, to make sure that there’s nothing ominous happening once we’ve kind of ruled out the ominous stuff, then we’re looking at what’s in their water. Do we have left? Do we have mercury? Do we have like heavy metal stuff?
Just recognizing that. Do we have. You know, just looking at things like that, then family medical history, is there a medical family, history of celiac disease, that type of thing, you know, we’ve got to check in and not kids can have bellies that blow right up and get really bloated and they’re constipated or diarrhea.
And this could be signs of celiac, right? They’re just not feeling well. They’re kind of foggy brain. They’re not developing properly. There’s a whole gamut of things that you look for, even with like forehead development. And I play shear that you’re looking at and children for identifying, you know, could they potentially have celiac disease?
What’s kind of the ominous things are aside. They hate needles. They don’t want that blood work. That’s where bioimpedance comes in because I can throw the one end of the wand and the diaper and work at the other end. And. You know, I don’t have to do the whole gamut of 250 foods. I can just do gluten. I can just do dairy or award the five foods that the mom kind of thinks that might be right.
And then we can see how the body’s responding and then go from there. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And you want everybody to eating as very, the guide as possible. It’s not about trying to take a bunch of stuff away, but sometimes we do need that break or we do need to pull something out because there is a sensitive.
And I’ve seen lots of different like cinnamon or garlic or tomatoes, or, you know, sometimes it’s not just dairy wheat and sugar. Sometimes it’s these oddball things, you know, mustard, Sesame, right. Everybody knows peanuts, which is more NFLs. But sometimes, you know, you’re looking at two different nuances of groups of foods, right?
Like nightshades or lectins or things like that. And I would also throw out for people listening and watching. And Dr. Laura mentioned it earlier too, but rashes are one of the things that are kind of the sneakiest symptoms of potential sensitivities to foods. So if you don’t have a clear explanation for reoccurring rash on.
Kid or you’re a teenager. This is certainly an area that I would explore for sure. Cause it tends to be one of the things we don’t correlate as quickly, maybe as we should, rashes are big and then children they’re so evasive, right? Like, oh my goodness. There’s so many different ways the skin reacts. And sometimes it’s just a way of like processing stuff.
Right. But if it’s happening reoccurring, Yeah. Always look for where the rashes are and what they look like and how they behave, because they almost have a pattern to them or, you know, a particular look to them, take pictures of them so you can bring them in and show them to your medical provider so that, you know, sometimes that can be helpful because sometimes you make the appointment and by the time you get there, the rash is gone and you’re like, oh, the stickers.
Yeah. Yeah. But then you’re worried that it might happen again. So, and then when it does happen again, you be like, okay, Right. It’s a learning process. So you don’t always get that diagnoses right up front. Sometimes it’s a bit of a learning person. You mentioned, you touched on this a little bit. I want to hone in on this because I hear this a lot.
I think people aren’t doing it correctly. You talked about a guided elimination diet. A lot of people are doing this on their own, you know, their own guided elimination diet. They’re temporarily eliminating gluten, but I think a lot of people don’t do elimination diets, and then reintroduction. Properly.
So tell us one, how long do you need to actually eliminate something from your diet? If you’re truly wanting to assess. Sensitivity from Justin elimination standpoint. And then I like how you described the re-introduction, especially if you’re eliminating more than one thing, just tell us how we should be doing that.
Absolutely. That’s a really good point on what I would do is, you know, sometimes I’ll say eliminate for a month, but I prefer three months because it can take up to a month for a rash to disappear from something. And we want to make sure that we’re really giving the body a break. So three months is what I tell my patients.
You’re going to take these things out of your diet for three months, and then when it comes to re-introduction, you’re going to do them one at a time. Very isolated. Don’t mix it up. So if you’ve eliminated gluten and dairy, don’t try. Right. Cause they’re both in there. Don’t eat lasagna. You’re going to have, you know, just noodles, right.
Or just cheese. So say you’re trying to, you know, just the wheat. So you’re doing bringing it back and you would eat a little bit of it. One to three times a day. For two or three days and watch how your body reacts because food sensitivities can take three minutes to three days to show up. So we’re giving it that time.
We watch it very carefully and how our body is behaving. If something comes up and you’re going, oh, right. There’s the headache. There’s the bloat. There’s the rash because it takes them to diarrhea. Does it, could it take, how long approximately with diarrhea would you expect? Somebody to react and that sometimes that can be immediate cause many physiological, you know, sometimes it can be three minutes.
Sometimes it can be three days. Sometimes it can be different. So you just kind of be prepared if you get responses, stop eating that food and give it a break for another one to three months and wait three to five days before you. Re-introduce the next food, your gut lining cells. Turn over every three to five days.
So if you’ve just done something that really makes them angry and disrupted things, give them a chance to reformulate, right. Regroup. Before you put the next thing down there to see how things respond. If you didn’t have any issues, re-introducing that. After three days and you feel okay, you’re not getting any reactions, then you can probably bring the next food in, in a similar fashion.
I always say keep notes. Yes, people, you have to take a journal. This says you got to have an organized system here and journal it and the timeframes have a calendar. And I mean, I’ve gone through this myself and I’ve had issues with things. There’s things that I can not bring back. There’s things that I play with initially when I was doing a gut reset, I was, you know, I think I had really bad leaky gut.
I was reacting to so many things. I would eat a potato and with while I was still chewing it in my mouth and, you know, I probably had already swallowed some of that. I would have this patch on my leg that would rise up and it would be so itchy. I’d want to scratch my leg off. And it was the same spot.
Every time. It’s not, the body is so weird. Let’s just throw it out there. That is so strange. It is you guys strange things happen. Yep. And it’s just like, I’ve whispered at you and now I’m screaming. Right. So, but now I find, you know, I can have a potato once in a while. I know my joints get tight and sore and I feel them.
But if I have a little bit, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not scratching my skin off. It doesn’t flame me. So it’s like how much. But if I were to have that and you know, five nights a week, I’d not be a happy camper. Right. I would not be feeling well. So it’s just kind of, no, absolutely no gluten, absolutely no dairy right now.
And I don’t really do much sugar, but these other things I kind of play with a little bit. Cause I think we should be able to, and I’m always like, okay, you know, like when I was little, I could eat everything. So what’s wrong with me, you know, I should be able to get back to that. So I’m always looking for different ways.
Cause I think sometimes through stress and not treating our body very well. I think sometimes the nervous system has these prime to responses that we have to retrain. So I’m doing some learning right now with like vagal nerve has metal. There’s huge in the digestion. And then, you know, can we try to calm things and calm the reaction to somethings.
And I think some things just aren’t meant for our bodies to process, but then I think other things, yes, it should be able to. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Just to recap. So for people listening, so you eliminate for at a minimum, we’ll say one month or six weeks at a minimum, ideally three months that you are eliminating something from your diet.
So then. When you are re-introducing, you’re reintroducing one food at a time, and then you eat that approximately three times a day. For how many days you said about three days, or if you have a reaction stop. So you’re going to eat it three times a day for about three days, or if you have a reaction to it that is clear, then you stop it and you.
All of that. If you have a reaction, you’ve stopped that food. And before you reintroduce another food, you must wait a minimum of another three days and then you can reintroduce. So specifically, if we’re talking gluten and dairy, you’re going to reintroduce, maybe just gluten three times a day for three days.
If you’re doing okay with that, then you can continue to eat gluten don’t stuff. Your face. Yeah, I would say with the gluten sometimes, you know, we don’t want to be eating it three times a day, if we’re re-introducing it probably, you know, cause it is hard on the body. We really don’t have the enzymes to digest it.
Most people’s bodies will repair with, you know, the time period. But for those that are sensitive, it takes about five hours for dinner. Yeah. Yeah, it’s your body, but the point being, so if you’re going to introduce that, you can continue a restricted sense of gluten specifically, but then you can add the dairy that’s.
After you have introduced gluten for approximately three days, then you can introduce dairy and the same thing. Goes three times a day for a minimum of three days. Assess, stop. If you’re responding poorly, otherwise continue in a restricted fashion moderation people like she just said moderation, but I think that’s really important.
I want everybody to be taking notes if you are eliminating. Cause I think people are not eliminating and fully understanding. It’s not going to benefit you if you’re not doing it correctly. So make sure that you write that down and you’re journaling these things so that your timeframes are accurate.
One of the best things in this book is if the whole book isn’t good enough, then at the very end you offer these incredible resources. These lists, the last thing I want to touch on here is you really hone in on sleep. And gut health. And I loved all of the things that you talked about at the end. You, for people listening here, this is one of the things that you’re going to get in the book when you buy it.
Cause you definitely want to check this out. She talks about improving quality of sleep through this whole list of stimulants to avoid. Routines that will promote sleep, bedroom, air quality, bedding, and pillows. There’s so many incredible recommendations. Share with us a few, because this is such a common complaint of my clients.
Sleep is one of it’s up there. Share with us some of your most valuable sleeping tips that maybe we have not thought of or heard before. Absolutely because if your body’s not sleeping, sleep is not inactive. Sleep is a very active state of restoration and we absolutely need to make sure that we’re sleeping well.
And so routine, our bodies love, love, love routine. So we want to make sure that we’re going to bed at the same time. We’re waking up at the same time. Our bedroom is our sanctuary, so we want to remove any electronics. TVs screens, phones, charging, get them up and say, say that again. Say that again. My clients heard me say this so many times.
My followers have heard me say this so many times. Say it one more time for the people in the back. Yeah. Screens, TVs, and electronics. Get them out of that. Well, then TVs need to get out of the bedroom. It is a place for sleeping. We are constantly stimulated by noise, noise, noise. You need to have a place in your.
Where the body can relax. And that is your bedroom. There’s like one activity that is appropriate for bedrooms. Oh two. And it does not involve,
I meant other than sleep. There’s one activity that is generally encouraged in bedrooms plus sleep. Absolutely. Okay. Sorry. I interrupted you for the people in the back. No screens, no technology. Get it out. Okay. Continue. So your air quality of your bedroom, right? So you want the humidity between 45 and 55%.
You want a HEPA filter in there to get all the dust mites. I mean, their skin cells are feeding these dust mites. A lot of people are sensitive to best mates. This makes the upper respiratory tract respond makes you stuff that you can’t. Bedding. You want your bedding, natural fibers, cotton wool, silk, right?
You want to keep it all very natural so that it breeds and the temperature of your bedrooms should be a little cooler. And I think around 60 65, it starts to get 65 that’s too warm, like 60, 62 is kind of nice. You wanted a bit cooler, so that’s all important. So calm. Fresh air. That’s the right temperature, the right humidity.
That’s clean. You’re going to bed at the same time. And also that your body is learning to do. When it goes into that room was either sweep for sex. And this is, you know, something that you reserve as your sanctuary. If you need an alarm clock, you can put an alarm clock in there. Try to get one. That’s not a blue.
Alarm clock. If you, any of your appliances you have in there, like your fans and your purifiers have blue light things on them, put the electrical tape over them so that you’re not seeing that blue light, that blue light triggers your retinal cells and stops your body’s release of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone.
We want it to be a natural release. Yeah, and you guys, I did a whole podcast. There’s a whole blog post with all resources on a whole bunch of ways to improve sleeping at night. And what Dr. Laura just mentioned. I share a clock that we use in our home where you can actually turn off, it’s a sunrise alarm.
You can turn off the screen and it still functions as an alarm. And then the light gets brighter and brighter in order to wake you up. But it’s exactly what she just said. There’s no light on the face of. Until you have to wake up and it’s still the alarm clock still function. So definitely check that out.
She has so many, I mean, you have so many resources in this book that are just, you know, amazing and beyond digestion, literally beyond that, she talks about so many other things other than food. Any other thoughts that you want people to know, and then also, where can they find you any other thoughts? I mean, it’s just always keeping an open mind to things that, you know, if you have diagnoses that you’re working with, you know, start with fresh eyes and fresh ears to see.
Potentially there’s something more at the root of what’s going on. Are you getting to the root cause of your issue? Because that’s when you will start to fully heal. And a lot of what you need is truly within you. You need guidance and that from others, but your body has so much for you. And if you’re quiet, A new, listen, you already know.
As far as finding me I’m on LinkedIn. So you can always look me up on LinkedIn, beyond digestion, the books on Amazon worldwide. So you can find it there. My website is south end Gwelf and Gwelf is G U E L P H. Dot CA so it’s south ended gwelf.ca. So you can find me there and that’s all. Oh, and her beautiful 20 acres, we’re all gonna come visit your garden.
All of these links you guys will, of course, be on the show notes at hammers and hugs on my website, hammers and hugs.com. YouTube it’s all below. You can check it out. Definitely click on the link to buy her. You will not regret having that resource on your shelf. It has been an honor. I can’t wait to see your garden pictures.
I’ve learned so much reading this book and I just pray God’s blessing over your heart, your home and everything that you do in your clients and patients. Thank you so much on and blessings to. Yeah, take care. You too. Thanks for listening to this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today.
Head to your preferred podcasting platform and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined only redeveloped one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.

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