Clint finds out Anna’s main challenges and then explains “what I would do if I were you!”.
This episode is focused around getting motivated to make the changes we all need in our lives to reverse chronic disease. Anna’s processed food background put her in a significant health challenge and brought on RA. Clint covers all of the following topics with Anna:
- Protein pump inhibitors
- Acid Reflux
- Prednisone side effects
- Food sensitivity tests
- Motivation, discipline and habitual actions for success
Disclaimer -the information on this site is not medical advice. Before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, exercise, drug or supplement routines you must first discuss the changes with a licensed professional.
Clint: Thank you, Anna, for coming on this episode to cover your situation, and we can talk about what I would do if I were you.
Anna: Okay, great. I can’t wait to hear what you thought.
Clint: Well, so I set this up. You are the first of our sort of short series here where we’re going to look at people’s situations. In the past, we’ve had podcasts where people have done tremendously well and they’ve shared their recoveries. But sometimes people aren’t getting the same results as these other folks, and so it’s nice to consider the situation that you’re currently in, and then look at everything possible in the next sort of 20, 25 minutes that we can get you on the right track.
Anna: Awesome. Yeah, I feel bad because, like I said, I’ve read, done extensive research, have read quite a bit, but it’s the practical application of doing it day in, day out has been kind of my, you know, my nemesis. So I’m definitely open to whatever you think could help me because, like I told you in the text message, sort of a lobotomy. I just don’t see how I can get…
Clint: Okay, well, let’s just back up a little bit. So, first of all, have you clearly established and are certain in your mind that what you’re eating affects your joint condition?
Anna: Yes, definitely.
Clint: Okay, now, just before we started this call the only thing where we did discuss and the only thing that I know about you prior to this is that you did start on our essential package about three years ago and that you’re finding it hard to stick to. So why not talk about your experience so far with trying to change your diet and trying to implement other pain reduction strategies and then we will keep exploring your situation a bit further?
Anna: Sure. Not sure where to start, I guess, I can say in the very beginning, or I guess if you want to say my growing up years, everything was processed. So, very little…I would say I probably didn’t have any type of vegetable except for lettuce on a hamburger. You know, that’s pretty much the extent of the vegetables that I ate. So trying to go from that, and then I went on Weight Watchers and lost over 100 pounds, and then shortly after that’s kind of when my autoimmune problems started cropping up. And even on Weight Watchers, I ate a little bit more vegetables, but it was still like processed, you know, like the Weight Watcher dinners.
Clint: Oh really? Yeah, of course. They came in a packet, did they?
Anna: Yeah, the little box. So that was kind of…
Clint: You microwaved them?
Anna: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So then that was, even though I did lose, you know, over 100 pounds doing that, and then I lost a lot of hair, and then I found that back then that was around 2004, that was when Weight Watchers kind of said, you know, “We need to teach people to add healthy fats in their diet.” Because if you ate the packaged meals they were very low fat, high carbohydrate, you know, type dinners. So, kind of went from there and then, when I started developing the auto-immune symptoms, that’s when I started reading about, you know, Dr. Fuhrman, you know, his plan.
I read about McDougall, and then I watched several YouTube videos on, I can’t think of this name, but it’s, I want to say it’s Allan or Aulstine [SP], something like..it’s like McDougall, and then there’s the vegan ultimate weight loss, Chef AJ. And then there is another camp, I guess, you could say. There’s the vegan camp, and then there’s this auto-immune Paleo camp. And when I tried to do Dr. Fuhrman’s diet and I had it, he was doing phone consultations back then, I just got very weak and very, very sick quickly.
And I kind of experienced the same when I tried to start your protocol, and I think it’s just I can’t get the volume that I need, because when I was counting the… From my Weight Watcher days, you weigh and measure everything. So, I was weighing and measuring, and I think I was eating about 800 calories a day, and I just couldn’t seem to get the volume up there because, you know, I’m coming from a highly processed background. Then to go to an all-vegetable diet with no nothing, you know, so I struggled. I really couldn’t even…weren’t really to be able to get very far in your program before I kind of gave up, you know, yeah, just because I was so hungry. I just couldn’t get myself to eat the volume that I thought, you know, would be helpful.
And then, the other thing, because I was also going to a natural path and we did a food sensitivity test, and so some of the items which I know there’s differing opinions on the food sensitivity test and how accurate they are, but there are several items that are in your program that I show I do have a high sensitivity to, according to this blood work test, like the amaranth, the buckwheat, cucumber, those. And I kind of thought, well, how…could that be why? I did have, when I was… I think I was able to stick to your program for two weeks, you know, that was before I deviated, and I did have reduced inflammation. I still was in an incredible amount of the joint pain, but that I know it would take my understanding from people I’ve talked to it will take over one to two to three years before. Because I’ve been sick since 16. Well, let’s see, 11 since 2005. So I’ve had this condition for 11 years. So, I know it’s not gonna be a fast process.
Clint: Okay, what drugs are you on right now?
Anna: Right now I’m just cycling on and off prednisone. I’ve failed pretty much all the first tier drugs, and the doctor is now in the process. And I’ve just been on the fence about it. He wants me to start taking Rituxan infusions. He felt, because I’ve had in the past year and a half, I’ve had four blood clots, that they think are due to the auto-immune condition but they don’t know. So he felt Rituxan would target the B, I don’t want to say B cells because I know that’s wrong, but it targets B something, and he felt…because my inflammatory markers are kind of in both the rheumatoid arthritis and the lupus camp, so I’m classified as mixed connective tissue disease.
And he said the drugs are not really designed to treat someone with my condition and he said they’re generally designed to target the TNF in the rheumatoid…whatever those markers are. So, he has been kind…he has pretty much said I just have to try the drug to see if it would help or not. But my concern is that I’ve tried drugs before and I’ve had serious side effects to where I was hospitalized about six months ago because it dropped my white blood count so low that I ended up picking up some type of virus that I couldn’t fight off.
Clint: Which drug is that?
Anna: Arava, it’s an oral medication.
Clint: Okay. Now, just in your notes here, I just want to double check. You are on a blood thinner as well at the moment?
Anna: Yes. Yeah, they started me off, when I got my first blood clot I was on Coumadin because that’s cheaper drug. And then…
Clint: The generic?
Anna: Yeah. And then I… Or warfarin, yes. And then I got two blood clots while being within range on warfarin and so they switched me over to Xarelto.
Clint: Right, okay. And also a proton pump inhibitor basically for acid reflux?
Anna: Yes, and I only take that as…kind of like with the prednisone, I kind of take it if I have a flare up, as needed. The problem with the proton pump inhibitor is that I think it’s exacerbating, because I have a lot of GI issues, which is why I’ve been hospitalized, I think, four times now with just…I’ll start vomiting, and I can’t stop, and I try to, you know, I’ll try to do different…like I can’t hold down water. I can’t hold down any type of like broth. You know, we try to making potato soup and stuff.
And the only thing that’s helped is going into the… The hospital admits me, gives me IV fluids, and then pretty much starves me. I say starves me for like a week, and then until everything settles down and then they usually release me with high dose prednisone. And then I stay on that for about…until I can wean myself off because now I’m at the point where each time I’ve had to take prednisone, it’s getting more and more difficult to wean myself off. The pain is just…I say it’s brutal, I don’t know how else to explain it, but it is sort of like somebody took bat and just beat me all over with it.
Clint: Okay, all right. Shall I…?
Anna: Yeah, I know it’s like…just stick to the program.
Clint: You’ve given me plenty to work with here. So, first of all, you know, you’re in a situation where you still have an opportunity to intervene with what seems to me like a deteriorating situation. So, I’m gonna paint the picture pretty nastily because I want you to take action, and unless you feel this about how serious the situation is and can be, then you might not being inclined to, you know, make the necessary changes. It might not be fearful enough, or you might not be in a situation where you feel that it’s serious enough to really take action, okay? So, obviously, as you…in your words you know, you have gastrointestinal problems. We know that, we know people with rheumatoid arthritis have severe intestinal disorders, they’ve measured that.
One study showed that many people with rheumatoid don’t even have an epithelium, which is the lining on the intestines that plays the integral role between what’s in the intestines and what’s in the bloodstream. And so, you know, you’re going to a hospital now four times for not being able to hold down food and vomiting up even water, you said, at times.
Anna: Yeah, and just bile.
Clint: Bile? Right.
Anna: Nothing is even…
Clint: Going through.
Anna: In my stomach but it’s just…it’s spasming so much, I guess, it can’t… They keep saying it’s not like in sync, I guess, the nerve, impulses. So once it gets super agitated, I can’t get it to calm down.
Clint: And then, you know, you’ve got this ongoing acid reflux which you’re treating from time to time with antacids which work against everything that I’m for, which is good quality amounts of hydrochloric acid to break down proteins, because it’s the proteins entering the blood that’s triggering the rheumatoid arthritis. So, they are very counterproductive to what I believe should be the preferred path. So, you know, again, I’m speaking from a point of view of how I view the situation, and, of course, none of this is medical advice, it’s just what I would do. And then the prednisone going up and up and up, and we know that prednisone causes more leaky gut.
So, you’ve got two of your drugs are working against you in the long term. The more you take the prednisone, the worse your leaky gut will be and the more you continue to have to need, to take the proton pump inhibitors, and the more likelihood there is of more undigested proteins entering the increased leaky gut that’s going on, okay? So now, your doctor’s talking about this biologic, isn’t it? The… What’s it called?
Anna: Rituxan. I’m not sure what they…
Clint: Rituxan? There’s so many of them.
Anna: You know, it’s not another name.
Clint: That’s okay, but it’s a biologic, right? And so, once you get on that, you know, then if you don’t tolerate it poorly because you’ve tolerated drugs poorly in the past, let’s say that you do okay on it, but then you will still have the default side effects of getting infections, having a very, you know, weak immune system, being sick all the time, which will probably keep you more inactive. And that again works against what we’re trying to do with regards to increased activity to keep the joint healthy, to applause the body through exercise. So, the picture from… Yeah, just to summarize it in its negative form so that we want to do something about it, all right?
Clint: So, I cannot tell you how much of this will go away if you just do what I’ve put forward, right? How much of it? You should find that acid reflux no longer is an issue in your life after a couple of months if you just ate this way. The acid reflux is being stimulated by eating too much animal-based products that require a tremendous amount of stomach acid and then, you know, it sometimes finds it hard to know when to turn itself off. And so, I would expect that the whole thing settles down in only a couple of months, for instance.
I can’t think of a client who’s following my program inside our community forum who I pay close attention to all the time who has acid reflux, and we’ve got hundreds of members, right? It just doesn’t exist on the program. Then, if it were me, I’d then be able to get off the proton pump inhibitor. I never need to take that because I would see that as each time I need to take that, I’m doing something counterproductive for my health. With one less drug in my system, it also doesn’t add acidity to the body, not the stomach acid acidity, but a pH of the body like an acidosis problem.
Then what I would also expect is that you would need less prednisone. Because when you basically lower the inflammation, which you said at the start you noticed in just two weeks of using the program, during those two weeks, your inflammation went down. Now, imagine what it could be in just a month or two months or three months, and if you can have the frequency of the prednisone usage, then that is a tremendous improvement to the amount of taxing that’s happening on your stomach.
And when you’re not taxing the stomach as much, it has its natural ability to heal, sort of, I guess, opened up to it. It doesn’t have that…it does not, you know, restricted as much. Now, I’ll just keep going back through the notes that I took when you were speaking. The food sensitivity test surrounding one of your, you know, you mentioned the amaranth and the buckwheat and the cucumber. Now, you can leave out the cucumber… But first of all, I don’t encourage anyone to get food sensitivity tests. Some of the best results I’ve ever seen, and I want to put this politely, they’re almost like soldiers in the army who just follow instructions.
So, people who try to outsmart what’s being put together and over-intellectualize the situation and then do additional things to second guess what’s already prepared for them, can often, through something like food sensitivity tests or manipulations because of, in some cases, you know, “Oh, I need more protein, so I need add more protein.” Right? And I can answer all these questions to why… You know, the protein’s fine. This is X, Y, and Zed is fine. The food sensitivity tests, I would set aside the results you received on those. But just to be sure, you can even just eliminate the amaranth and the buckwheat and do it just quinoa and sweet potato-based for a couple weeks. And then I can almost give you my word that if you then added the buckwheat after a couple weeks, nothing would happen. That’s my deep belief. Okay?
Anna: Yeah. Because my understanding with the food sensitivity was that, with a leaky gut, you’re gonna show up sensitive to… Like the fact that I show up sensitive to over 40 foods, you know, that just, they said, was indicative that I’ve got a leaky gut, not so much that I’m actually allergic, you know, to the food.
Clint: Okay, well, that’s a good clarification on that. So you should feel very confident. But, you know, I like to sort of minimize the concerns. Why not, you know, do it without the buckwheat? First of all, leave the amaranth anyway, because it’s a problematic little grain that gets all over the kitchen and it actually offers almost the same exact nutrients as quinoa and buckwheat. And when I publish the book, I’m going to actually leave it out. It’s just gonna be a two-grain pseudo mix, not the actual third pseudo grain.
So, leave that out, and then you can do it with quinoa and buckwheat or just the quinoa. Cucumber, again, I mean, maybe 1 in 200 people react to cucumber. It’s very, very rare, and based on your previous dietary behaviors, I’d be amazed if you actually had a food sensitivity to it, because I’m almost certain that you never ate it. And we often develop food sensitivities…we develop food sensitivity mostly to foods that…
Anna: That is true. I was thinking, “Why could I be sensitive. I don’t ever eat a cucumber.”
Clint: Yeah, that’s right. I mean, it’s all just…it’s hogwash, right? Okay, now, let’s talk about how to actually implement the program with a degree of compliance. Because if I could feed you myself or if I were you, then within a couple of months your situation would be tremendously improved, okay? So yours is a motivation issue and a discipline issue and habitual issue because once you… Several things go on. Once you start getting used to… Wait, let me back up. There’re a couple of phases. First of all, you just got to basically force yourself to stop eating the crap and eating the foods that I recommend, okay? That’s stage one. That’s called discipline.
Anna: You make it sound so easy.
Clint: Well, every single…
Anna: I’m still trying to figure out how…it’s like I literally can walk by, eat something, I’m like, “What did I just eat?” There is no filter from… Like, if I could just get a stop gate from eating something to knowing that I shouldn’t eat it, I don’t know how to explain it.
Clint: Well, first of all, take all the junk out of the fridge. Don’t even give it to your family because that’s a sin for the family. Throw it away, right? Get the junk away from where it’s easily accessible. Fortunately, for me, I’ve never had too big a problem with discipline, because I wanted to get well so much that nothing would come between me and my health. Because I was told I wouldn’t be able to have kids, and the desire to be able to start a family and to actually be a husband that my wife wanted when she first started to, you know, get into a relationship with me, and to be able to, you know, not put her into a life with someone who was a cripple on medications, that to me was a must. I mean, I had to. I had to do everything that I possibly could.
And fortunately, I’ve been able to get to, you know, a very extraordinary position with that. But even if I have got half way, I would have felt that I had done the right thing by my partner and myself for my life. So, you know, when you know, right, that there is something right in front of you that you can do to lower what is one of the worst diseases you can possibly get, and you can throw lupus in the mix as you said before, if you know that you can follow this path, why on earth would you go and eat in a way that aggravates your gut, aggravates the need for all these other medications and for the involvement of the medical system when you choose what goes in your body? It’s a choice.
Anna: Yeah, and that’s where I’ve had the…that’s where I kinda thought, “Well, am I stuck? Like, am I too far in that addiction mindset to be able to break?”
Clint: No, I’ll tell you why it’s not. We’re getting into the second stage. The first one is discipline. You have to… Pretend it’s your daughter or your son, right? Imagine if it’s a loved one and you knew the right way because they’re a child, right? Children don’t know the right path. We have to teach them. And if your child each day was touching an electric fence three times a day and every time they touch the electric fence it’s slightly worsened their health to the point where one day they might not be able to even walk over and touch the fence.
You would tell them, “Do not touch the fence. I prevent you from going near that fence.” In the same way, three times a day you’re going over and touching a fence. You have to be the adult and teach yourself like a kid, and you have to say no, because after you do this, if you can get through… There’s a lot of different statistics around how long it takes to make something a habit. Now, previously, it was thought that it’s about 21 days for someone to create a habit. That’s all being revised, and it’s actually longer than that, unfortunately, and it’s different for different people.
But you know, it might take you six weeks before you get a habitual routine around the foods. That means you reach for the right thing each time out of habit. Because once it becomes a habit, it becomes so much easier. You’re not fighting, you’re not making decisions. It uses up so much mental energy in deciding what to eat all the time, but once it becomes a routine, it’s just like getting up, putting on your socks, putting on your shoes. You go to the fridge, you go in there, you get the oatmeal, you put on the boiling water, and you put on some, you know, some berries or something for instance, which would be my breakfast, right? And so I don’t even think about it.
So, the first step, and this is, again, we’re still in this sort of discussion around how to actually stick to it so that you can make so many improvements. The first thing is just you’ve got to have the discipline, right? But then the second part and it only is few weeks, only is a few…maybe two or three weeks, then the habit kicks in, right? And then the third thing that happens around about the…in fact, probably only after one to two weeks, the studies have shown that your gut bacteria portfolio will change rapidly. Within a few weeks, you’ve got a completely different microbiome than what you do right now.
Now, if you can keep nurturing that community of bacteria by giving the good guys lots of fiber, especially leafy greens to eat, and starving out the pathogens and unfriendly bacteria by withholding the foods, so-called foods that they eat, then their chorus of signals that travel from the gut to your brain via the gut-brain axis will be singing a different song. They will start to be requesting through subtle signals to your brain affecting your taste buds and your hunger levels, and you will start to be in sync with the foods that are supporting the healthy bacteria. And at that point, everything starting to come into alignment, because your disciplines there, firstly, it’s a habit, and now your gut bacteria are asking for the right foods.
Now, once all three of those things in parallel, you then have a very, very powerful platform to keep up the momentum and it doesn’t feel as difficult. And let me throw one more thing in the mix, is that once you start to get results, motivation goes through the roof. Because once you start to feel better and your energy levels are better when you wake up in the morning and you notice that your morning stiffness is less and that more joints are moving more freely, and when you’re able to sleep better at night because your joints aren’t waking you up or the drug is keeping you too alert when you’re on the prednisone, or you’ve got digestive disorders and all these things that disrupt your sleep and therefore your energy levels, then you will think to yourself, “I’m getting here. I’m making it, you know. I’m achieving this.”
And in the process of receiving those positive feedback from your body, it totally takes the whole process to a whole new level and people start telling you, “Anna, you look better, you know? You look like you’re glowing and you’re moving better. And hey, I just saw you get up off the chair like you don’t normally get up,” or, “You just seem happier.” And you feel more social and you concentrate better at work and all of these things. And so, I think that, you know, coming back to… If it were me, what I’ll do is I’ll give you a free month subscription to our support community because I want to give things free. I want to get you through. I’ll hold your hand through the first of next month, okay? All right?
Anna: I’d always ask if I could have a Clint Paddison in my back pocket because I think that’s a lot of… When I was able to stick to some of the diets, but it just took like 90% concentration. You know, like, I’ve listen to your lectures or other lectures, you know, in the morning, when I get off work, just to try to keep the focus of what I was trying to do, yeah, that would be awesome.
Clint: Let’s do that.
Anna: You may make me drink that cucumber and celery juice.
Clint: Look, you know, I want to defer the responsibility back to you. And I’m going to encourage you to do it. But when you decide that it’s not me, it’s not someone else that’s going to get you out of this, you can do this. Think of a time in your life when you’ve achieved what has appeared to be absolutely impossible, right? We’ve all done things that other people would have thought impossible. And so, if we can just go over and drink a celery and cucumber juice, I mean that’s a a small hurdle compared to what we’ve all been through. Anyone over the age of 30 has been through some kind of very big life challenge, and they’ve overcome it. And just hit 40, you know, last year and certainly I could say that from 30 to 40, the challenge is certainly for me, because that’s when my health deteriorated can be at a whole new level.
And so if…you know, yeah, start to own the solution. You are the solution. You are the solution. And when I use the word solution, I’m not painting a picture or making a claim that one day you’ll have zero pain, zero drugs, you’ll feel perfect, and you’ll be able to eat everything you want. What I’m saying is you are your own puppeteer, right? You control the strings of the little Anna doll. And if you move her towards the fridge and you move her hand you move her hand forward…
Anna: So, you’re saying what I say, the chocolate jumped into my hand. The chocolate never jumped into my hand.
Clint: Someone put it there, and you’ve got the strings, all right? So, I think we’ll leave it at that for the moment. Thank you for accepting my frank words. I know that sometimes it’s difficult to hear these things. We’re already so delicate. We’re already so emotional and frustrated from having the disease. You know, these conversations are sometimes a little bit confronting, but I think that it’s a conversation we needed to have. I know you reached out to me and said, “Let’s do this,” so I hope that you’ve got out of this, what you’ve hoped, and I’m looking forward to really working with you for the next months and see how far we can get you along that path.
Anna: Yeah, definitely. I appreciate. I’m glad you sent out that e-mail because I think I saw it like at 5. I don’t know what my time is compared to yours, but I saw it like at 5 in the morning, and I thought, “Maybe I can get this.” I was like, “It’s probably not gonna happen, but maybe, just maybe, let me text him real quick.” So, I’m definitely glad it worked out.
Clint: So am I, so am I. Because we’ve covered a lot of really important things and I know that other people will benefit greatly from these conversations.
Anna: I think a lot of like with the motivation, everything is related to kinda like I’ve been, you know, depression and things like that. And then getting the motivation, not motivation but that you’re worth taking care of. Because I think with the illness, you feel like, you know, you’re worthless, there’s no point, there is no… You know, so I think trying to bridge the diet is a very critical piece by getting the mindset that yes, I’m worthy of doing this and taking these steps.
And you know, because the shotgun approach is take the pill, you know, keep on with your hectic lifestyle with trying to burn it at both ends and trying to eat, go out and eat with everybody. You know, the social aspect. Or go out have the few drinks or… You know, but all of that is detrimental to someone. Well, it’s detrimental to everybody but especially with these conditions. And it’s going against the grain, you know, than what society and that’s always very difficult.
Clint: No happiness at a social event that involves drinking and smoking and late night party can even touch the amount of joy that you will feel when you have taken ownership of this and dramatically improved your health.
Clint: Your friendships will improve. You develop a social respect from your family, from your friends, from colleagues who look at you and instead of, you know, “She’s struggling from that disease, I don’t know much about it. I know she’s on lots of drugs that might be why she, you know, takes days of work sometimes. I don’t wanna ask.” It goes from that to, “Wow!” Their thoughts go to, “Wow, she’s on to something! She’s really like changing her life.” And they are so different, those thoughts that people have of you, and you sense them. You sense them.
Anna: Yeah, that’s very true. Well, thank you so much, Clint. I appreciate you doing this and talking to me today.
Clint: You’re very welcome, you’re very welcome. All right, well, we’ll work together, and I think that’ll help tremendously.
Anna: Awesome. All right, well, you have a great day. Thank you so much, Clint.
Clint: Thank you very much. See you and have a good night.
Anna: Okay. Bye-bye
Anna: You too.Bye.