Jonathan: Hey everyone Jonathan Bailor back. I know today’s shows gonna be action pact. It’s a good show, we’ve got wonderful, passionate woman, author, speaker, holistic nutritionist who’s been out preaching and telling people that it’s not just all about calories folks. That’s a myth. She goes way beyond that. She’s been doing that for quite some time. Literally tens of thousands of people. She’s the best-selling author of the book The Plan. She is the executive director of nutrition over at a bunch of holistic nutrition centers around the country. She’s doing good stuff, she’s helping people live better. Lyn Genet Recitas welcome to the show.
Lyn: Thanks so much Jonathan, it’s great to be here.
Jonathan: Lyn before we dig in to the science which we both know and love. How did you get started on this, what some people call controversial. I don’t think it’s controversial. Some people think controversial path.
Lyn: I started off just like a regular traditional nutritionist. I believe that healthy foods made you healthier, made you lose weight. But in 2007 I opened up a holistic health center that was important. I really think the most important thing in advance with my career was a Black Berry believe it or not. What was happening was that people that I would traditionally just say once a week, once every two weeks or once a month I encouraged them to email me daily.
When they started emailing me daily and sometimes hourly I could start to track their symptoms to foods. I noted that certain healthy foods like black beans or salmon or Greek yogurt or oatmeal would not work for 85% of my clients. Here’s what’s interesting, if you don’t change the caloric value of the day you shouldn’t gain weight, right? I have people steadily losing weight, they are losing tons of weight and all of the sudden I introduce one food have at least two pounds weight gain. How is that possible?
Not only that I see this huge weight gain say to asparagus or strawberries but I will also see amplification of whatever was in their physiology. If you had migraines, you will have migraine that day. If you have arthritic pain, your arthritis will flare up. If you have digestive issues, your digestive issues will flare up. I started to track all these allegedly healthy foods and started to notice that 85% of the people react to this and 70% of people react to this.
We almost called the Las Vegas School of Nutrition here. We’re working with odds. We’ve monitored hundred and thousands of people responses to foods. We found out which foods seem to be universally low inflammatory and which ones that are healthy have a higher risk of being inflammatory for you. That’s how the plan started, just tracking data.
Jonathan: Lyn what resonated with me so much about your work is your message of I’m not gonna sit here and say this is right, this is wrong. I’m gonna say try it. How do you feel? If you feel like garbage it’s probably not something you should continue. If you feel good, it probably is something you should continue. Whereas we traditionally hear, there’s healthy foods and unhealthy foods and that’s the bottom line.
Lyn: It’s funny you say that because I have an article come out in MORE magazine few years ago, called oatmeal the devil. I receive hundreds of emails a day saying thank you for saying that I always felt like garbage after eating oatmeal but I forced myself to do it because my doctor said I should do it or I read it in a magazine and it was healthy. My body was talking to me. When you feel bad after eating a meal that’s your body talking to you.
It talks to you in many ways whether your mood or the way you sleep or your hot flashes or your digestion but it will always talk to you in your weight. You want to find these foods. Really ultimately the plan never started off as a weight loss plan. It just started off to make people better. We just noticed when we started to identify the foods that don’t work for your unique chemistry, you would also lose weight eating a lot of food, never starving yourself and feel amazing all the time until of course that triggers healthy foods that were introduced.
Jonathan: Lyn I don’t want to get too metaphysical but there seems like there’s an issue with human nature going on here because it’s, what you are saying seems so common sensical. If it makes you healthy and feels good, it’s good for you. True. How could anyone ever argue with that but that is not, we’re not told to eat what helps us to further our goals. We’re told eat low fat, eat low carbs, eat vegan, eat paleo. There’s always some other thing we’re told to do other than eat the foods that make you feel and look great.
Lyn: That’s great and let’s discuss it because you have to remember not many people are gonna take that effort to work for an individual on individual basis and that’s what I did. It’s a lot of work and many doctors and many people in the medical establishment just don’t have that time that’s where our healthcare system is set up. If somebody finds, if you are doing research, you’re a researcher you say you that blueberries work for 70% of the population, you can say its healthy right?
Cause hey 70% is a good number. What if you are the 30% it doesn’t work for? Here you are plugging the blueberries in not knowing that it’s causing a huge inflammatory response and remember 70% of our immune system is in our digestive tract. If we’re plugging those blueberries in daily thinking we’re doing the best thing first. Eventually we’re going to start to affect our immune system.
Jonathan: What I hear you saying is it’s not, I can imagine some of this saying okay great there’s no such thing as, nothing is good or bad everything is completely up in the air. I’m so confused. I don’t think you’re saying that either. What you’re saying is certainly there are guidelines. Certainly there are things which really 99% of population is gonna struggle with. You are pretty safe just tearing away from those.
These other things that 99% population will probably be fine with. You are probably good focusing on those. Then there’s this swath of stuff in the middle which if you do a web search you get five hundred blog posts saying it’s the best thing ever. You get five hundred blog posts saying it’s toxic. They’re probably both right. It depends on the person.
Lyn: Absolutely. That’s why in the plan what we do is the first three days is we put in the least inflammatory foods. Literally the testimonials that I have from people that have read the book and have done the plans just on their own for $15, they’ve changed their life and their health. It’s pretty awesome. There are universally low inflammatory foods are in those first three days. Then we slowly start to introduce foods based on the lower inflammatory aspect for instance.
On day four we’ll test goat cheese because we’ll find that goat cheese is lower inflammatory and everybody loves cheese. You want to bring that joy factor as soon as possible. On day six we’ll start testing new animal proteins or vegetarian source of the proteins but on all those we’re using the least inflammatory out of my research. We are keeping the body healing, we’re reducing inflammation. If you need to lose weight that means you are losing a lot of weight too and you are feeling amazing and you are just introducing that one food.
Yes certain food really worked beautifully for some people and really poorly for other and I have people say all the time, I can see my friends eating this and they’re doing great. They’re in a great mood and they are losing weight and I eat it and I blow up like a balloon. What was happening is when you do that you start to have this fear and distrust of your body.
What we are trying to do is we are trying to bring that trust back. Your body is just talking to you. Your knees shouldn’t hurt but how often do you just go oh my freaking knee? My knee sucks. There’s probably a reason for that and it’s probably the foods that you are eating.
Jonathan: Lyn this in and of itself we got to have you back on the show. I think there’s some deep philosophical, you probably got this plan for your future books. You talked about you have clients which you talked to their friends, their friend does X. X works great for me and your client tries X it was horribly for them. It seems like health, we could draw an analogy to happiness.
I crossed stitching, crocheting, crocheting might make me very, very happy. It might bore the heck out of you. Is crocheting a good or a bad way to be happy? I mean lying to people probably makes everyone sad. There’s these things which just depends on the person, like let’s stop arguing.
Lyn: You bring out that there’s a couple of interesting things that you’re brining up. One is that yes we can start to have this disconnect between the brain in your cranium and the brain in your stomach. What winds up happening is we start losing touch with the rest of our body and we start intellectualize too much. You can and certainly that’s fun but you’re gonna intellectualize then you really need to know the chemical process of your body and if you don’t it can be really, really frustrating.
Every single client that I have has said I had a day where I thought that I ate that healthy food in the world. The next day I step on the scale and say how the heck that number there is? How did I gain 2 pounds eating the healthiest foods? I get upset and I spend the day eating cookies and then I stabilize. Maybe I should go on the cookie diet and be happy, right? Obviously cookies long-term are not gonna work for your health but what we found is that when you eat a food that doesn’t work for your body, what was happening is that there is a huge histamine response and that that’s automatic water weight gain that you have.
You should be able to loose water weight right? How does it stay on as long term weight? What winds up happening is when you eat say those strawberries and they don’t work for you, after that histamine response you have a high cortisol response cause your body thinks it’s under attack. We all know that cortisol long term can increase fat storage, right? A lot of people don’t realize is that cortisol in our hormones really come from the same place.
When you have those heightened levels of cortisol, you’re also skewing your hormones and for most women that means it’s gonna shunk progesterone and in men testosterone. What winds up happening with that is we start affecting our thyroid, great when there is long term metabolism. Those hormonal fluctuations are gonna affect our yeast. Well great now we’re pouchy and bloated and have awful PMS and awful mood swings.
Then those long term effects will start to really affect our immune system because as we said 70% of immune system is in your digestive tract. Every time you are eating whatever food it is that you think is healthy you’re plugging in and it’s not working for you. You really have to start to go through this really awful domino effect and it is really amplified over the age of 35 because as we age we lose digestive enzymes, we lose stomach acids. Even our saliva decreases.
That’s why I people would say, I used to go on this diet when I was 20 and I felt great. Why isn’t it working now? There’s another reason we’re not trusting the process of our body instead just understanding what’s happening. The mood thing is very important because the cortisol is also gonna heightened that stress. So yeah you’re feeling miserable.
Jonathan: Lyn how have you found the most success, because there’s a psychological issue here to which you are hitting on. There’s a lot of biology going on. There’s also just this psychological issue of trusting your own body. How have you been able to help your client do that?
Lyn: It is so amazing and it is so joyful. When somebody says you’re right, I realize calories are nothing and my scale is my best friend. What winds up happening is all those times we are suddenly beating ourselves up for either that creaky knee or the migraine or the depression or the weight gain and realizing when I plug in the right foods I feel amazing. That’s putting you in charge. We live in a society where it’s like you are getting old suck it up.
That’s part of the process. Depression that’s hey, you’re stressed out. That’s what happens you have a stressful life. Not knowing that these foods when we understand how they make us feel and we choose to have these foods in our diet, that we feel better. When I’m saying I don’t want to become vegan or paleo or macrobiotic unless you want to. What I want you to do is test the foods that you love. If you find that the turkey burger doesn’t work for you and there’s a good chance that it won’t ‘cause Turkeys 85% reactive.
The beef burger does and there’s a good chance that it will ‘cause it’s about 8% reactive, then goes with the beef burger. Well that’s not a diet, right? That’s just making a better choice. If the black beans don’t work for you, well black beans are high reactive but lentils are low reactive. Okay, that’s not a big huge change. It works better for my chemistry.
Jonathan: Go ahead. I’m sorry.
Lyn: No go ahead. Go ahead.
Jonathan: You made such an important distinction that I really want to just focus on for one second because the distinction of if you want to be a vegan that’s fine. If you want to be paleo that’s fine. If you want to be low carb that’s fine. If you want to be low fat that’s fine. But you encourage people as would I, correct me if I’m wrong, if that what’s make you feel good and accomplish your goals, that’s why you should do it. You should do it because it’s “right”, you should do it because it enables you to reach your goals.
Lyn: I don’t know. People say all the time, what should I eat? I don’t know. No freaking idea. The start of those first three days of the plan, I don’t know what I should eat, I don’t know what’s healthy for you. I want you to be know to be able to determine your physiological response to food. If the foods make you gain a little bit of weight but there is no accompanying physiological response, I want you to eat it if it makes you happy because you can always lose weight.
It’s only when we have inflammatory day after inflammatory day that we start to have our health and our weight go on a down spiral. What winds up happening is that there are some pretty interesting things when you eat foods. Remember everybody’s unique. We find that with some people that we may eat an inflammatory food that it will cause their lepton level to rise which means that we are starving. Some people the food is so inflammatory that sometimes serotonin levels will rise and they will have that feel good feeling.
What we want to do is we want to, if you are not eating enough nutritious foods that you have lunch and you have a salad with some cucumbers and tomatoes. They go you know what there was no B12 at lunch, there was no iron at lunch, there wasn’t enough fiber at lunch. You’re still hungry. A lot of times we can’t really renew to this, say this food makes me feel that I should eat it. That’s why we say that’s starting with the cleanse what winds up happening is that our body rapidly wants to be on that path to health and then test the food that you love.
We need to go through the sort of cleansing process. Remember during that three day plans and the women are eating over seven thousand calories and as a man over eighty five hundred calorie. Which we’re losing anywhere from five to ten pounds, which is pretty cool. Then slowly test the foods that you love so it doesn’t become Lyn Genets plan but it becomes your plan. It becomes something you can sustain for life.
Jonathan: Lyn Genet I don’t know how anyone could really disagree with the plan, the idea of saying, if it makes you feel good you should do it and if it makes you feel bad, you shouldn’t do it. Sadly that element of comments seem to be missing a bit from some aspects of the nutritional dialogue which is unfortunate and I appreciate you for reminding us of it.
Lyn: Thank you very much. I have to say I was mystified when I was gathering this data as well. How can walnuts trigger my brains acid [cut out 0:18:26]. I couldn’t believe the things I was finding on a consistent basis. It’s just like people say I feel like I’ve been in bizarro world. I have no idea of what’s going on. But it’s fine because you know what that does? It makes you tune out everything else and tune back into your body.
Jonathan: Lyn well it is mind bending and in another sense we all intuitively get this. We know that there are people who have a peanut allergy for example. Peanuts conceptually could be fine for someone and kill another person. I think people are starting now to understand that’s okay peanuts are fatal to some and just fine for others. There are mired other foods which are probably not that extreme in their variation in the metabolic response they cause in the body. But what if more foods than just peanuts needed to be thought of in that way?
Lyn: Right. I actually used the peanut analogy a lot. When people will gain two pounds from tomato sauce and they get mad at their body for doing it, I say look people that have a peanut allergy don’t get mad for their body for going into anaphylactic shock from having the peanut. It’s just that’s your chemistry, find something else. Even when you are talking about just ethnicity it’s very common knowledge that Asians and African-Americans don’t do well with lactose.
Northern Europeans have built these enzymes over generations and generations because it was a primary food source for doing well with dairy. Its common knowledge that people with the highest instance of fish allergy are the Japanese because it’s over consumption. The highest incidence of sesame allergy are people with Middle Eastern descend. There are many reasons why a food may or may not work for your unique chemistry. You don’t need to over think it unless you want to. Being a science geek I think its super fun. All you need to do is to know that every time I eat pork I feel creepy I gain a pound, I will not eat pork. It’s not rocket science, you know?
Jonathan: Lyn Genet this is wonderful stuff. I have notes here we didn’t even touch on so we’re going to have to have you back in the show but I know you are a busy woman. I want to wrap up here. What’s next for you?
Lyn: We’re working on some exciting things. We’re having a cook book come out where the plans all over the world right now so people from Indonesia, India or Thailand saying can you please make a food plan centrally for my cuisine. That’s super fun. We have a lot of people saying make Mexican and lasagna plan for me. We are gonna do that.
But we’re also working on a thyroid book because we find that easily 85% of women have thyroid dysfunction in their 30s and by the time a man is in his 50s the thyroid dysfunctions rate is just as high. We’re also doing for exercise what we did for food and that’s showing how certain types of exercise can be inflammatory for your body and most people that are exercising are doing something away that effecting their thyroid and metabolism negatively.
Exercises like cross sit and boot camp and spinning can actually be pro inflammatory depending on how your body deals with that oxidative stress. That’s kind of fun, that’s what we have up in the air right now.
Jonathan: I love it Lyn Genet I appreciate you for bringing this sense of self and self-trust back into the nutritional dialogue. It is so important. Got some compassion there as well as some chemistry and that’s a wonderful combination there. Thank you so much.
Lyn: My pleasure, it was great being on your show.
Jonathan: Listeners we’ve been talking to and I truly hope that we have the opportunity to talk again. We have to dig into that exercise thing. I’m a fan of exercising less but smarter with Lyn Genet Recitas. Not only that her name is fun to say but it is not at all spelled the way it sounds at least in my world. You could learn more in her website which I will spell out here for you. It’s lyngenet.com. Lyn Genet Recitas and her book that we talked about today is The Plan, easy enough.
Folks thank you so much for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed our conversation as much as I did and please remember that this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. Chat with you soon.