The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #43 - Teri Cochrane
Teri Cochrane is an integrative practitioner and thought leader in personalized health care. She has developed her own methodology, “The Cochrane Method,” which integrates a multi-level nutritional approach, including bio-chemistry, nutrition, genetic tendencies, herbology, and counseling, to develop a bio-individualized plan for her clients. She is a writer and speaker, and maintains a nationally read blog and radio presence. Teri specializes in complex health conditions and has a private clinical practice in Reston, VA within the metro Washington DC area. She launched her groundbreaking and Amazon best selling new release book - The Wildatarian® Diet - Living as Nature Intended in March 2018.
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9:05 - Teri's Journey To The Wildatrian Approach
12:55 - The 3 Big Dietary Factors Affecting Health: Protein, Fat, And Sulfur
18:10 - What Is An Amyloid?
20:15 - Endogenous Vs Exogenous Amyloids: The Tipping Point Of Inflammation
20:40 - Functional Vs. Toxic Amyloids
22:00 - Amyloids For Extreme Temperatures
22:40 - The Role Of Animal Stress, Raising Practices, And Amyloid Formation
23:30 - Heritage Breeds And DNA Structures
25:15 - Serrapeptase And Proteolytic Enzymes
David Sinclair: Pandemic Survival Guide – Boosting Your Immune System, COVID-19 Vs. The Flu, Vitamin D, Symptomatic Vs Asymptomatic, The Role Of Iron, Intermittent Fasting, Sauna Use, Serrapeptase, Moving, And More!
27:15 - Ideal Animal Protein Choices, Omega 3/6s, And Fat Toxins
30:30 - The Factor Of Animal Gender And Hormones
31:30 - Dietary Macros: The Benefits Of Low Fat, Low Protein Diets
33:30 - Enzymes, Plant Protein, And Cooking
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38:45 - The Dark Size Of Digestive Enzymes
40:00 - HCL Supplementation
Melanie's FOOD SENSE GUIDE App
41:50 - TMG, Glycine, And MTHFR
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43:35 - The Role Of Glyphosate (Roundup) And Gluten Sensitivity
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48:45 - What Fish To Eat
50:20 - The Consciousness of Animals And Amyloid Formation
51:45 - The Potential Problems With High Fat Diets
55:10 - Should You Do Genetic Testing? The Role Of Epigenetics
1:00:00 - Plant Compounds And The Liver
1:03:00 - Should You Take A Multivitamin?
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1:05:15 - The Sulfur Probems - What cases sulfur issues?
1:09:40 - Humic Acid For Gut Health (Melanie loves ION+Biome, which you can get at melanieavalon.com/ionbiome)
1:10:15 - Quercetin
1:11:30 - Genetically Engineering Meat
1:02:45 - The Benefits Of Juicing And Chlorophyll Iron With Viral Load
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1:15:45 - Chlorella For Chlorophyll
Clean Chlorella Powder (Tested To Be Free Of Heavy Metals!)
1:16:00 - Fruit Vs. Vegetable Juicing
1:17:10 - Body Odor And Detox
1:18:35 - Wild-LYTES, Electrolytes, Potassium, And Oxylates
1:20:30 - Uric Acid And Kidney Function
1:22:00 - Break Your Fast For Maximum Nutrient Absorption
1:23:15 - The Healthy Role Of Sweet: Satiety, The Brain, And Combatting Candida
1:27:50 - Get 15% Off Wild-LYTES At TeriCochrane.com With The Code MelanieAvalon
Melanie Avalon: Hi friends, welcome back to the show. I have been looking forward to this interview for months, months I tell you. Ever since I read this wonderful woman's book, actually I think I first heard her on Ben Greenfield's podcast, was the first time I think I was exposed to her work, but then I immediately bought her book, read it. It goes deep into some very fascinating, I would say ther--, yes, I guess theories, but basically ideas surrounding our diet and how it affects health issues that we have today and that I think there is a lot there.
I think it's something a lot of people haven't really thought a lot about, so I'm really excited to tackle it. I am here with Teri Cochrane. She's an Integrative Practitioner and Thought Leader in Personalized Healthcare. The book that I am referring to that she wrote is called the Wildatarian Diet: Living as Nature Intended. I'm so excited. I have so many questions about this book. Thank you so much, Teri, for being here.
Teri Cochrane: It’s so good to be with your audience, Melanie.
Melanie Avalon: To start things off, I'm trying to decide how I should start this, because I want to just start with the amazing ideas that you have in your book, but I thought before that, could you tell listeners just a little bit about your personal story, because you have a wonderful story that you share in the book about health issues, that your son faced, that your daughter faced, and what really brought you to the ideas that you have today?
Teri Cochrane: Sure, I'd love to share that story because sometimes we don't understand why we're going through something when we're in the middle of it, but as we reflect back, the aha moments are so clear. I had a corporate career. I had been in institutional finance and strategic planning and even bankruptcy working in the line of whole asset-based in the financial industry. When my first son arrived, he was premature.
By the age of three, we were told that he would not be normal. He would have brain seizures. He would live a life that was not normal, that he wouldn't grow past five foot four. He had life-threatening asthma, bleeding eczema. He was failing to thrive. When we first received that diagnosis, I just fell onto my bed and thought, “Okay. Well, we can work with this,” but then a still small voice came later and what it told me was, “Well, what if it doesn't have to be this way?”
I'm a Cuban refugee, Melanie. My whole upbringing was live into the solution, do not be a victim, or accept the problem. I dawned that, which was instilled in me; it was reawakened in me. I became a rabid researcher. While I held my job at Freddie Mac, managing one of their business units, I had my night job, which was trying to avail myself of what was out there that hadn't been put together, the puzzle pieces in traditional or even functional medicine.
Now, this was almost 20 years ago. My son will be 26 this summer. There was no Google. There was no internet. We were just starting with the internet. I had to go and do the old-fashioned research, which was libraries and interviewing and reading, reading lots of books with actual touching the pages, but an epiphany came upon me after months and months of research. It was “Oh my goodness. Are the foods that we are feeding him poisons to his body?” and that was the catalyst of his healing path.
Now, I can say happily, as an almost 26 year old, he is a robust individual. That child who was told that would never be normal became a Junior Olympic Gold Medalist in Karate. He was the valediction speaker at his high school, a varsity athlete in swimming, a singer, a musician, and was given a full academic ride to University of Virginia, which is considered a Public Ivy and he has since graduated as a scholar and an athlete. I'm very proud of him.
I became that voice for other mothers when I decided to leave my career and move into what is now the work that I do. That voice for other mothers that were told, deal with a broken child and things will only get worse over time.
Melanie Avalon: That is such an incredible story and especially, I mean talking about in the times before the internet. I can't even imagine the amount of research and work that that would have taken going and finding all the studies and doing that research. I mean, for me, it's a similar story. My relentless search for answers came out of my own health experiences that I have been experiencing and do experience and just, it's like feeling like there is an answer and there must be something there. That search to find that is just I think what drives so many people. I feel like I keep teasing at it.
In your book and in your work, you posit this idea that basically our modern diet has led to a state of systemic reactivity and making us more susceptible to especially things like large proteins, viruses, bacteria, pathogens. You talk on three big things that can be an issue and those are proteins and amyloids, which we can talk about. I feel like dying to have this amyloid conversation for so long. Proteins and amyloids, sulfur metabolism and fat metabolism actually.
I'm just so fascinated by all of this because I think a lot of people don't really expect this. What's going on there with these three things? We can, of course, go into each one, but proteins, fat, sulfur, is it the actual compounds themselves? Is there a genetic response to it? What led you to this idea?
Teri Cochrane: This is a great question. The genesis of the Wildatarian movement and the Wildatarian way was really born from a client that found me, who had been diagnosed with amyloidosis. In his case, the amyloid structures, which are indigestible proteins had wrapped around his heart. They were carcinogenic. Two failed attempts of chemo had put him into congestive heart and kidney failure. By the time he found me, he had been given his last rights, basically told to go home and put his effects together.
His wife, being a CNN producer, also a researcher, found out about my practice and they came to see me. His name is Glen. We did research. I didn't know about amyloidosis. This was almost eight years ago. This was just at the beginnings of how amyloid plaques in the brain affect Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, but I'd never heard of it in the form of cancer. At the time I had on staff, a researcher that had been a genetics researcher at the National Institutes of Health. I sent Sarah down this path of why this might be happening. What is going on that this is being created?
What we found was that our food supply was contributing to the tipping point of amyloids in our body, that then were contributing to 50 major conditions in our society, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune conditions. What was so interesting about this is that we discerned that the food supply was becoming a feeder system for these amyloids. Amyloids are truncated protein structures. They're part of our homeostatic mechanism in our body that creates an inflammatory response, so the body can fight something.
What we found was that these proteins, through the food supply, were creating a tipping point in the body, so it could no longer use the proteins, disassemble them into amino acids and recombine them into that miraculous transformation to support hormone balance and tendon structure and cellular communication. Proteins are a big deal in our cellular communication, in our DNA. These truncated protein structures were now a bully to genetic expression creating deleterious effects in our body.
What we found through our research, Melanie, is that why was this happening? How could it have been that for millennia, we have been eating proteins from animal meat and all of a sudden, this now was becoming an issue? The research we found and then subsequent the thousands of clients that have come through this process, through our practice is that the crowding conditions of the animals were literally creating these truncated protein structures in their tissue that could not be disassembled through any type of cooking process.
We then ate them. They then were creating a firestarter in our system and in his case and in Glenn's case was creating a storm of potentially, not potentially, life-threatening storm in his body. When we switched his way of eating over to a Wildatarian lifestyle, he was my patient zero for Wildatarianism. Within three months of this, the light chains, which are the markers for measuring amyloids in his body, were normalized. At that point, he could then continue or restart his chemo. He is cancer-free almost eight years later. This man that was not to live, they told him, “Well, if you live, it will come back in two years. It will come back in three years. It will come back in four years.
He just sent me a video recently, just about a month ago or two, he is riding his bike. He used to be an avid bike rider, down this really rugged terrain and saying, “Teri, look how strong I am.” He recently also shared, “Any time I can be a voice for this truth, you have my complete support.” That's the power of the body to get back to balance if we give it what it needs and if we understand why it's doing what it's doing.
Melanie Avalon: That is so incredible. I think it's so huge because protein is obviously such a foundational building block of our body and then there's this potential for things to go wonky. I have some questions about the whole amyloid process. In a non-amyloid situation, in the ideal situation, is it...? We eat protein, it's broken down into amino acids and then those amino acids are reassembled and used by the body correctly. An amyloid, from my understanding, is it like the amino acids being just put together and correctly? What's wrong in the amyloid?
Teri Cochrane: An amyloid is a truncated protein structure, so that means that it's broken down. It cannot be disassembled by the body, even through our digestive processes. The body makes protease, which is an enzyme to break down proteins into amino acids. In order for that to happen, there also has to be hydrochloric acid. There's a whole other piece to that and that's why Wildatarianism really encompasses this very tapestried approach. It's complex in the way that I came to it, but very simple in its execution. What we know is that you need certain biochemical processes to occur in the body for protein to be disassembled and put into certain amino acids which then are recombined for multiple uses by the body.
What we find is these truncated protein structures don't get disassembled. After a while, the body hits a tipping point and it can no longer understand them. They start accumulating either on tissues such as on the brain, in the spinal cord, in the kidneys, in the pancreas or systemically. We have found that conjugated lymphocytic leukemia, which is a blood disorder, cancer as well, has an amyloid base situation. It can be systemic or it can be tissue specific.
Melanie Avalon: Can the body both produce its own amyloids endogenously, as well as take an exogenous amyloids and again, both of those buildup?
Teri Cochrane: Yes, exactly. Now, in a homeostatic environment, the body will produce endogenous amyloids, the homeostatic mechanisms, because it's small enough and it hasn't hit a tipping burden. The body can't digest other proteins, they are broken down, or they're used as inflammatory agents and the body responds with inflammation and then they are assimilated or metabolized.
Melanie Avalon: Basically, we have our body, just to break this down a little bit for listeners and there is this potential, with the whole protein system that... so that's the question, with the endogenous production, when our body creates its own amyloids, it basically has broken down protein and then reassembled those proteins into a structure that can now further be broken down?
Teri Cochrane: Yes.
Melanie Avalon: It's like you took in something, rearranged it and made it permanent and potentially inflammatory. That's okay, this is just very fascinating.
Teri Cochrane: They're called functional amyloids. They have a function.
Melanie Avalon: Functional.
Teri Cochrane: Yes. They have a function to their protein folds and fibrils. They're not specific to being a firestarter, as I call them. They're nontoxic in essence.
Melanie Got you. I mean, because if you think about it, if we have things like scar buildup or tissue buildup or things that we might see as unpleasant, I mean if you think about it, there's probably a reason the body created that, it's responding to something. I can see what you're saying about how it has a purpose, but then you're saying that we are now taking these exogenous amyloids, which are already preformed in conventional animal products. We're just filling ourselves up with these and then are not able to adequately, I guess, deal with them?
Teri Cochrane: Exactly. If you look at the functional amyloids, what they are is, in the amyloid fold, it's ideal for the storage of protein and peptides, which we need. If you look at our messenger RNA, which was the original DNA scaffolding, they were made of amyloids. The reason being is that they were able to withstand these extreme temperatures way back at the beginning of man in time. It's really interesting how it has shifted into a nonfunctional amyloid.
Melanie Avalon: That's fascinating. With the amyloids in animal products specifically, is it the stress of the conventional raising patterns that's encouraging the formation of those amyloids, or is it a species-specific thing?
Teri Cochrane: That's a really great question. The two most studied animals are beef and chicken. Chicken being the most studied. What they are finding is that the crowding conditions, the stressing of the environment of these animals are forming these amyloid fibrils within their tissues. They actually did a study. Michigan State University did a study with ducks, so they crowded the ducks. After six months, many of them had amyloids in their tissue. Months later, many of them died. The crowding conditions, similarly with chicken, they've done crowding studies with chicken and then amyloid fibrils are formed in their tissue.
Melanie Avalon: This is fascinating. I’ve heard you spoke about chicken in particular being likely very high in amyloid. What if you had a chicken that you raised yourself and it was never stressed and it was just happy chicken? Would it likely still have amyloids?
Teri Cochrane: That's a really good question. I've not done the independent study on that. What we do know is heritage birds tend to be safer. The subtitle for the Wildatarian Diet is living as nature intended. If these animals lived as nature intended, they would not have these amyloid formations in their tissue.
What we are finding is if that chicken that was raised happily, because now through the COVID environment, a lot of people are buying little baby chicks. Then they are raising them possibly to be consumed later and there have been a run on baby chicks however... and that baby chick may be raised in a very loving environment. However, if the mother was raised in a stressful condition, that DNA structure could have been passed on. There's the rub, if you will, in terms of what's possible with a DNA transfer.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. This is just so huge. I don't know. Just like with the whole movement about the need for responsible farming and practices that support the health and wellness of the animals, I think oftentimes it, which is amazing, but it's from more of like environmental, or almost... it's a different perspective it's coming from, but I mean this is like a literal scientific thing that's happening here that is actually changing when we consume these animals, how they affect our health as well. I'm just so fascinated by this.
Actually, and this might sound a little bit of a tangent, but one of my all-time favorite supplements, I'm dying to know your thoughts on this, it's something that on the intermittent fasting podcast, we are well known for. We are big fans of taking Serrapeptase during the fast, using it to encourage to break down residual and other proteins that are built up in the body. Do you know if that's something that has the potential to clear amyloid builds up in the body?
Teri Cochrane: I love Serrapeptase. Glenn was on Serrapeptase. It's a proteolytic enzyme that helps to break down these proteins. What happens is, when you look to having them... so two things, proteolytic enzymes have been used a lot in cancer. Actually in the work of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, he was one of the pioneers in using proteolytic enzyme therapy for cancer. When you take them away from a meal, instead of digesting the food, it digests that which needs to be digested, which can't be digested, and amyloid being one of them. It helps break things down.
To that point is I love Serrapeptase. It's an anti-inflammatory, but it's also what I call, it's a Pacman. I could see it. I visualize things. I could see it almost eating up those little amyloid fibrils.
Melanie Avalon: I love it. No, it's honestly one of my favorite things in the world as far as supplements go. Whenever I meet somebody who knows what it is, I get really excited. It's so interesting. Recently, I had David Sinclair on this podcast for an episode about Covid. I asked him about Serrapeptase because we were discussing the role of mucus as a protective measure against viral infections. I was asking if maybe Serrapeptase wasn't the best thing to take right now because people find that it can completely clear their sinuses, for example.
He had not heard of it. His question was why are more doctors not using it? I was like, “Good question,” but back to the amyloids and all of that stuff, so now listeners might be getting a sense of why your book is called the Wildatarian Diet. What type of animal products do you recommend to consume to avoid this problem of amyloids?
Teri Cochrane: What we have found and again, this has been empirical, but now, we have enough empirical information through the clinical outcomes that we have in our practice is that when we consume animals that are in their natural state, for example, bison, or elk, or antelope, or New Zealand Lamb that has been a happy little lamb raised in the fields, or boar. We have one of my staff members; she's actually the youngest on my team. She's this amazing Renaissance woman who actually hunts with a bow and arrow. For Easter, I had backstrap venison that she and her father had hunted, and that thing was like butter.
What we find is, the animals that were hunted in their natural habitats and that lived in grays and ample non-crowded spaces, I call them the original grass-fed free-range, sustainable meat source because it supports lower oxidative stress in our body. What we do know is that wild game is relatively leaner and also higher in the Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids have been touted as being really important for our brain health and our eyes and our mucous membrane, but Omega-6 is an inflammatory fatty acids, which can then ignite the prostaglandin response, which is actually in Covid, we need to be really careful about that. Prostaglandin six is being elevated, interleukin-6 rather is being elevated in this Covid environment.
We know that the domesticated animals are higher in Omega-6 fatty acids, which is an inflammatory fatty acids. They're higher in fat generally. What do we know about adipose tissue? Adipose tissue stores toxic elements. We know that these animals that are commercially bred are fed antibiotics and they are fed hormones and those hormones are xenoestrogenic, meaning that they're what I call kryptonite estrogen and then also that these antibiotics will create a dysbiotic environment in their gut, which creates up further inflammation.
The fatter the animal, the more toxicity they're holding in that marbling. That nice marble meat that you're eating could be rich in inflammatory amino essential fatty acids and hold a toxic burden in their fat that has estrogenic properties that can then disrupt the good little estrogen, the phytoestrogen on the cell receptor sites, knock it off and insert itself in its place. We know that we're becoming estrogen dominant, if you look at young girls and their menstrual cycles changing and polycystic ovarian syndrome being such a big deal right now, and boys having estrogenic breasts and testosterone shifting against their favor. Estrogen moves higher and insulin is disrupted. There's this whole inflammatory cascade that occurs when we eat the wrong animal product.
Melanie Avalon: That just made me think of something that I have never thought about before, ever. Does it matter then if you consume...? Does it change the hormone potential of consuming a male versus a female cow, for example, with the hormones?
Teri Cochrane: I know. I've never thought about that.
Melanie Avalon: Me neither. I'm like, how have I not thought of this?
Teri Cochrane: Wow. That's a really interesting question. I don't have an answer, but what I try to do is I'm a dot connector. If you assume that female cows just naturally carry more estrogen and then we're eating their meat, which is the wrong... that they are toxic because of the xenoestrogens that are carried because of the herbicides, which convert to xenoestrogens, then you could have an argument for potentially, possibly yes. It could be a worse situation. It makes you wonder for sure.
Melanie Avalon: It makes you wonder if you only ate male-made products for example versus if you only ate female products.
Teri Cochrane: Really interesting. I don't know that answer.
Melanie Avalon: To be determined. I love that you brought up the fat aspect before we talk more about that, a few more quick questions about the proteins and the amyloids, just because I have some lingering questions. I'm always really fascinated by different dietary macros and how they affect one's health, low carb, high carb, things like this. I've always been of the idea that protein is a primary foundation for health, but I am very fascinated by things like extremely low fat, extremely low protein diets and reversal of disease.
I'm thinking of things like Kempner’s rice and fruit diet if you're familiar with that. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on, if you were to take out the protein aspect almost entirely, or have it in a very broken down form, does that have the potential to address health issues just because the proteins are in a low quantity and completely broken down?
Teri Cochrane: That's a great question again. I guess it depends on what state the individual is in. With Glen, initially, we had to make him vegan. His kidneys were really in his liver and, of course, his heart, were really under very delicate conditions. Any kind of exercise, if you will, that the body had to undertake for that assembly, reassembly, was too much for his body to handle. Over time, he's now a happy Wildatarian. He's a low sulfur Wildatarian. He likes fat in his diet, but he became a low sulfur Wildatarian, and lives that way happily, almost a decade later.
Now, the average human needs about 0.6 grams per kilogram for protein. I work with professional and Olympic athletes and also bodybuilders. In their case, you can go up to 1.6 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of protein for competition to really cut the body. It has to be the right kind of protein and the right kind of the symphony around the protein, which is, what else are they eating, that either is supportive to digestion or impairs digestion. The body does not work in isolation, and so we have helpers and we have the bullies. We have to really avail ourselves of all of our helpers.
For example, papaya, which has papain, a natural protein enzyme. Those of my clients that cannot take digestive enzymes because they may have too much irritation in their lining, their gut lining, because effectively, what do enzymes do? They break things down. If you have ulcerative colitis, I don't suggest taking a digestive enzyme because the body, that lining is broken down. We have to build it up first and then you can start exercising that. With bleeding ulcerative colitis, I’ve just had a client last week, we say zero fruit that's raw because anything that's raw is going to have more enzymes available to it.
Everything has to be almost denatured and make it easier on the body. We don't want anything breaking anything down. Long answer to your question is, yes, you can be plant-based. You can be protein-based. For me, personally, I need my animal meat. I've tried to go plant-based. I can only do it for a short period of time and my body doesn't like it. Why? Because I burn a tremendous amount of cortisol because of my every hour now in the COVID environment where we're virtual.
We’re seeing our clients, but every hour in the hour, I'm being asked to make immediate and important connections, vis-a-vis what that client is telling me about their situation, so then I can in real time formulate an assessment and feed it back to them in a way that's going to be meaningful and helpful for them. I burn a lot of cortisol. My best way to stabilize my blood sugar handling is eating protein in the form of animal.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, I mean so much of that resonates with me. It's like in theory, in my spirit, I want to be vegetarian or vegan, but I just always come back. I just feel like I really need a high animal-based protein source. The diet I actually thrived on, you're speaking about the papaya, for quite a while was a really high protein, high pineapple diet. I was basically eating tons of protein and tons of pineapple. I found I digested it so well. I'm actually trying to work myself back to that. I went lower carb, and it has been a little bit difficult to bring back the carbs.
Do you think speaking to that...? Because oftentimes people will struggle with digestion. They'll take a lot of digestive enzymes and find that that really helps with digestion and bloating, but I don't know, sometimes it feels like you can get stuck on these enzymes, or I always wonder if it's doing more harm than good, if you become too reliant on them. It's really interesting to hear you say that about the potential of healing and building back up the lining before bringing these enzymes. Would it be better then perhaps to just be taking in wild forms of protein in the most already pre-digested form possible, like pressure cooking, breaking it down?
Teri Cochrane: Absolutely. Yes. Complete protein, so buckwheat, for example, is a plant-based complete protein. You need nine essential amino acids. Rice and beans combined will provide that complete protein structure. Quinoa and buckwheat, which are seeds that act like grains, but are complete proteins in their structure, are good ways to get plant-based complete proteins. Now, quinoa is also high in saponins. I don't do well on saponins. Those of us that are a kidney archetype may not do well on saponins.
I don't love quinoa, but I love buckwheat, I made buckwheat pancakes yesterday for breakfast and felt like I was getting my complete protein that I then had with papaya. I had fresh papaya. It really depends on, again, that individual and also what else is going on in the body. A lot of plant-based digestive enzymes are aspergillus-based, meaning that they're mold. If you have had a history of candida, which is a mold, then you're going to be feeding that candida through that digestive enzyme. That is no good.
Instead, go to a bromelain enzyme, or a papain that comes from papaya. Bromelain is your pineapple. Go to those type of enzymes, but don't go to an aspergillus-based enzyme or, for example, things that are animal-based. If you have significant protein malabsorption and you're taking Creon, which is a significant digestive enzyme. That's actually one that is prescription-based, that may be too heavy for you. Not all these enzymes are created equal. We need to understand first what's happening in the body? What is the genetic tendency of that individual and then move from that informed state to assessing and then recommending the best course of action?
Melanie Avalon: I am loving this conversation. I can't tell you how many supplement companies I've emailed asking them if they have mold-based enzymes. Wow. This is making so much sense to me, at least personally, why I feel like I thrive so well on a high protein, not using digestive enzymes, but high pineapple type of diet. Whereas, now I feel like I'm a little bit more reliant on enzymes. Is HCL supplementation? Is there a potential problem for too much of that or is that safer to supplement with?
Teri Cochrane: Great question. Hydrochloric acid. How do you get hydrochloric acid? Hydrochloric acid is the key that unlocks enzymes. The enzymes are waiting behind that glass plate door saying, “Hey guys, we need to be activated,” and you activate it through hydrochloric acid. How do you get hydrochloric acid? Primarily betaine. Betaine is derived from beets. If you have a high oxalate load, and you have a high candida load, and you have certain genes that don't allow you to break down oxalates very well. Then betaine is going to be no Bueno because it's going to create high oxalate load, which is actually going to feed aspergillus, which is going to feed the candida, which is going to leak the gut, which is then not going to allow you to avail yourself of all of you need because candida then also affects thyroid function.
It affects insulin. It affects serotonin. It has so many like a 4th of July effect, Fireworks effect on what that one little organism when overgrown can do. Also, if we're really irritated in our stomach or small intestine, so an acid would kick our butts. What do we do? We take something that is a precursor to that. What is one of those great things that is a precursor? Trimethylglycine and choline will help avail the body of producing hydrochloric acid naturally without introducing an actual acid, which could be contraindicated in an environment that's really highly sensitive.
We have to be smarter than just going to that, “What is it that I need?” You might need something that will make what you need because what you actually need, you can't take it at that time because you're too sensitive.
Melanie Avalon: Question about that TMG, the trimethylglycine. How does that compare specifically to glycine? Is it just the methylated form?
Teri Cochrane: Yes, especially for those of us that do not have or have actually the MTHFR genetic polymorphism. There are two snips, two single nucleotide polymorphisms related to MTHFR: the C677T and the A1298C. The C677T goes to your body's ability to manage hormones, bile acids, bile salts, hormone metabolism. Then the A1298C has to do with ammonia buildup, which has to do with protein, has to do with other issues related to a lot of metabolic processes.
In effect, what those of us with these MTHFR compound heterozygous, meaning I have one of each from my parents. I got the lottery on that one, but it doesn't matter because I don't express them. I haven't expressed those genetics, those tendencies. If we do not have methyl donors, we cannot activate certain things. Why is that important? We don't have that donor that turns on what we need to then activate this cascade. Trymethylglycine gives you three methyl donors to help turn on that methylation pathway, so then we can avail ourselves of that DNA methylation, which is so important.
Melanie Avalon: Got you. Now, I'm understanding more. I take a NMN supplement to support any D levels and the one I use is formulated with TMG, which that we are saying is important to support methylation with using that. Speaking of the glycine, fascinating that you're saying it's an important precursor for creating stomach acid. You speak in your book about glyphosate, which as listeners know is a pesticide, very prevalent in our agriculture today unfortunately. I was not aware that there are studies showing the body might mistake it for glycine. Could you talk a little bit about that? That was fascinating.
Teri Cochrane: Yes. This is super important, Melanie, because it really shows to the tipping point that I believe we have reached through the food supply on how deleterious this can be on our biochemical function. Roundup, which contains the active ingredient of glyphosate, which was made from all sorts of... it's an herbicide pesticide, but it was made from leftover bomb material from what I understand back in World War II and this was the first generic.
Melanie Avalon: Leftover bomb material?
Teri Cochrane: Yes, out of bomb material from what I understand. Yes, this is how these pesticides came and herbicides came into place. What we found is, and this is through the brilliant research of Dr. Stephanie Seneff at MIT. I've had the luxury of having multiple conversations with her on this, and really just drinking in her brilliance because we were coming to very similar pathways in my empirical research in her lab research is that glyphosate creates an environment where the body believes it is making glycine. It actually creates what is called a glycine analog, a glycine imposter.
Why is that so important? We know that glycine is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is that key that unlocks the enzymatic capacity. Glycine is super important in methylation. It inhibits in a big way our body's ability to break down proteins. How is that important? It's so important because what is gluten? Gluten is a big protein. Why has gluten become such a big problem in this last 15 years? I believe it's because we've hit a tipping point with glyphosate in our food supply even if we're eating organic because it's run off in water and because of cross contamination.
Protein, and then back to not only... because protein is animal as well as plant-based, but that gluten molecule, which has been, it's in the wheat crops, which is liberally sprayed with Roundup, which then we eat, which interrupts our protein digestion. Now, we've got these truncated protein structures in the form of amyloids. We have gluten that has been sprayed with glyphosate that interrupts the glycine and it interrupts sulfation pathway and we'll get to that in a minute, not gluten, but the glyphosate. We have a problem. We have a big protein problem.
Melanie Avalon: Do you think that's one of the reasons people feel like sometimes they can go to Europe and eat gluten and be okay compared to the US maybe the glyphosate aspect of it?
Teri Cochrane: That's what empirically we have found. I've seen it with many of my clients where they're like, “Teri, I went to Europe, I ate croissant. I ate all sorts of French bread and pasta in Italy. I was fine. I come back here and I have one slice of whole grain bread. I'm doubled over for two days.” I believe that that is contributory for sure.
Melanie Avalon: This is so fascinating. Even with like wine, for example, do you drink dry farm wines?
Teri Cochrane: I do. It's the only wine I drink.
Melanie Avalon: The only wine, I know. I was like, “I should have known.” Yes. For listeners, they basically go throughout... they're amazing. They're incredible people, too. They go throughout Europe and they find the wineries that are practicing organic practices and low mold. We talked about low toxins, low alcohol, low sugar, but what I found fascinating, was prior to that I was drinking organic wines for myself that I would buy. They've done studies and all organic wines tested from California contain pesticides.
If you think about it, I just think in the form of wine, when it's with the alcohol, I just feel like it, I mean I don't know if that's just me thinking, but I feel like that would be a very easy avenue to really get it into your body in that form. If you think about tinctures and stuff being alcohol-based, I just feel like that could be huge.
Teri Cochrane: That's brilliant, Melanie. Dry farms and we've partnered on creating wine pairing with Wildatarian menu options.
Melanie Avalon: That's awesome.
Teri Cochrane: Yes. We've got it on my website. We've done a fall and a winter, we call it wild wine pairing with dry farms because they are also, not only are they sugar-free, but they, according to their lab testing, they're sulfur free. It's very much aligned with the Wildatarian philosophy.
Melanie Avalon: I can start saying that. Do you know, does “normal wine” often contain high levels of sulfur, or can it?
Teri Cochrane: We have naturally occurring sulfur in wine and it's--
Melanie Avalon: The sulfites.
Teri Cochrane: The sulfites, but then they add added sulfites here in the United States for preservation perspectives. I did read that article, that 100% of California wines, sadly, because I went to Napa a few years ago, 100% of California wine contains glyphosate. That's really crazy.
Melanie Avalon: That's crazy. For our listeners, I'll put links to all of this in the show notes. Before we go to the fat/sulfur question, so fish, is fish on the menu?
Teri Cochrane: It is on my menu. As a matter of fact, I had sustainably raised sea bass for lunch with some Japanese sweet potatoes. That was my lunch for today, because I needed my fish food, which I call my brain food because it's so rich in zinc and selenium. Yes, I eat fish. If I'm going to go more, what I call down the continuum of easier to digest proteins, I go to fish. I'll go to certain beans, Pinto and Great Northern seemed to work really well for me. Black beans don't, even though I'm Cuban, because I have a high oxalate load post viral attack, which I had a viral attack a couple of years ago that really kicked my butt, and that really helped inform the book. I find that fish is phenomenal.
Again, farm-raised, you have to be careful. Farm raised salmon. Some people have called it “Franken salmon” because they're given pink dye. They're swimming in their own excrement. It's not a good deal. We want to be wild-caught when possible, also understanding that, if it's sustainably and humanely raised then that's also another option, because we are overfishing our oceans. That's another consideration and another dialogue for living sustainably. I've just launched, you'll be the first podcast I talk about, the Global Sustainable Health Institute. This is about the long game. We got to be in here for the long game. How do we, each as an individual, put our imprint on the planet to support the long game for this earth?
Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more. I have a super random question about the fish and amyloid formation. Is there not as much of a potential for amyloid formation and fish, because they're of a lower consciousness level, so they don't register being stressed from a mental perspective and thus, don't create the amyloids?
Teri Cochrane: That's a really beautiful question. I don't know, but my son and I were having a dialogue, he said, “Mom, I will no longer eat octopus as much as I love it because I now understand that they have feelings. They are really smart. They're super smart.”
Melanie Avalon: That was going to be my next question was, would “smarter seafood” potentially, if you put it in a stressful raising environment, would it potentially create amyloids?
Teri Cochrane: I think that's a really good question to be then, further a research.
Melanie Avalon: Further to another to do.
Teri Cochrane: Yes, exactly, but I think that that's a really viable question iff they can feel and they understand what's happening to them and their autonomic nervous system, their fight or flight response is releasing all of this information into their “body information,” then potentially yes.
Melanie Avalon: I've also heard on the flip side some vegetarian arguments for consuming shellfish, for example, because they lack a central nervous system, which is an interesting concept within that whole world. Because we spoke about fat and the potential of that to harbor toxins, endocrine disruptors and things like that, one of the fascinating things I found in your book was, obviously you understand and you talk about the important role of fat in our health, it can play a vital role.
But the irony which I took away from this was that, if we are in a state where we're not properly absorbing fat, that, a high fat diet actually could be counterproductive, because it basically inhibits further our ability to properly utilize fat. Is there this idea that for some, based on the individual, that actually a low fat diet might lead to a situation where they better assimilate fat?
Teri Cochrane: Absolutely. To quote one of my clients, “Teri, you are right, nuts made me nuts,” in the healthcare space. She's in physical fitness. She's a trainer. She was going to Keto. In her case, it was kicking her butt because she had a certain genetic predispositions and she was also pushing her body. I support a lot of the Washington ballerinas. I speak there regularly, so I work with a lot of ballerinas.
When you push the body beyond its ability to support itself, where we're constantly pushing epinephrin and it results to try to manage blood sugar because you've deleted your glycogen stores, which is your stored sugar, then you release epinephrin, which is a fat over time that's going to leak your gut and potentially make you fat malabsorbed. I'm seeing again, back to the point of being estrogen dominant when I was growing up, I'm in my 50s, we had... polycystic ovarian syndrome did not exist. We had girls that were on birth control and myself included. I was on birth control for over 20 years and I'm compound heterozygous for the MTHFR, which doesn't make me a really good candidate for birth control.
I realized it. Now, in retrospect that I had a couple of miscarriages, that's because my progesterone was low relative to my high circulating estrogen, even though I’ve always been a very fit woman. I was very healthy growing up, but my Achilles tendon related to fertility, or sustaining a pregnancy was in my low progesterone-estrogen ratio, but never polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a function of hormone disruption with insulin being at the core of it. Insulin is a fat. It's called the fat storage hormone.
Those of us that have certain genetic predisposition, like the MTFHR C677T, the COMT gene, which goes to fat metabolism, COMT, if you have leptin resistance, if you have the BDR gene that goes to your ability to process vitamin D, also a fat and a hormone precursor, if we have the APOE gene that goes to Alzheimer's, that's also related to fat. Certain of these genetic predispositions, if we can't assimilate vitamin A, which is so important, again, as a fat-soluble vitamin, but also as a helper to manage insulin and upregulate phase one liver detoxification pathways, and in this environment, help with the mucus membrane lining of our lungs, vitamin A is very important for lung function, then we have a problem.
If we're trying to eat these fat, especially in an environment, if we are fat malabsorbed because we're pushing epinephrine, which is the stress hormone that opens up the tight junctions of our gut that makes us more likely to be fat malabsorbed.
Melanie Avalon: Oh my goodness. So many things you touched on. With the genetic testing, it sounds like it could be very valuable to do genetic testing and see what your tendencies are. How do you feel though, on top of that, the potential of epigenetics and the potential of people? I feel like some people get their genetic tests back and they feel empowered by it. They see it as a way to optimize their diet. Whereas, others get their genetic results back and see it as all the things that are potentially wrong. Because I know you talk a lot in your book about the importance of mindset and how that ties into everything.
What do you feel about a person getting their genetic test done to see what polymorphisms they have to optimize their lifestyle compared to perhaps just following the diet? If they know they're the type that is going to get a result and think, “This means I can't process something ever.” Would they actually be better off just trying, for example, the Wildatarian Diet without doing genetic testing because of that mindset issue?
Teri Cochrane: That's a wonderful question. I think we have to look at who we are as an individual. One of the things that I try to teach my clients, is you never act from a place of fear; all information is feedback. Flip fear to feedback, this is a feedback loop that I'm receiving from either a genetic analysis, or the way that my body is talking to me. It's just feedback. It's one piece of information in the cadre of pieces of information that I will assemble to then make informed decisions.
Again, we're talking about the long game and one of the things that I say, is longevity starts in the womb. If we can and I've seen it through the trajectory of me now working with families for over a decade where we started with pre-baby and how these babies have evolved, now under our umbrella and our approach. Our genetics are just a tendency. They're a tendency they're not our destiny; they're just information. If I signal my gene to express in this way, which makes my body talk like that, then it's just feedback.
I understand. I just had a huge stressful event and I had to loose stool. I tripped to one of those fat metabolism genes, or I had news that was a shock to my system and all of a sudden, I started burping. That means that I'm not digesting my protein very well. It means I could have turned on or turned off my methylation gene, so therefore I'm not giving my methyl donors to make the trimethylglycine that I need to, or the glycine that I need to produce enough hydrochloric acid to break down my proteins. Again, it's really it's be curious about what it is.
That's interesting. I have all these genetic polymorphisms. I have a ton of them. I have this sulfur. I've got the MTHFR. I've got the CYP, which is the phase one liver detoxification. I've got oxylate genes. I've got COMT genes. If you look at my genetic predisposition, I could be a complete disaster zone. Yet, I'm a 58-year-old woman who is not on one prescription medication, who is very, I believe vibrant and very cognitively aware and fit and happy even in an environment that's rigorous right now, in the world that we're living in. I just look at that, I'm like, “Isn't that interesting that that's what I could be, but I'm not?”
My father's side of the family, most of his family members never made it past their 50s. My dad died at 67, hospital error, but I'm not going to... I'm choosing not that. I choose not that, and I'm living not that. Because I'm informed and will I make the exact perfect informed decision every time? No, I had champagne with my daughter. She came home this weekend. She's going to graduate from a top university. I'm very proud of her with highest distinction. She'll graduate from Duke, “graduate from Duke,” and we had lots of champagne this weekend.
That was great, but you know what? I do my green juice every morning and I counterbalance. People should not be afraid of what those genes are because we've had these genes for millennia. It's what we're feeding it, what we're feeding our body through dogma, through thinking, through food supply, through our toxic burden, that then creates an expression of those genes against our favor, but we can control it, we can. To a great degree, we can control it.
Melanie Avalon: I love that. I love that so much. Yes, I love the idea of approaching everything with curiosity because then nothing can be right or wrong or bad or good, it's just, you can be curious about the outcome and what can you learn from it, like you said, the feedback. That's incredible. One last question about the liver and processing, you’ve talked about how we often overburden our livers with processing medications and all of these things that has to break down, do you know if plant compounds are an issue there as well like people are supplementing with concentrated forms of resveratrol or where's the tea, or even milk that is supposed to support the liver, are “plant-based things” that require being broken down by the liver, given the green card, compared to medications?
Teri Cochrane: Great question. One of my taglines is, “There's no one food or one supplement for everyone during their lifetime,” because we're not static. We're not static. How could we expect to take the same thing for our entire lifetime? To your question, for me for example, curcumin, which has been touted as a powerful anti-inflammatory, I can't take it. It's a pro-oxidant, instead of an antioxidant, because if you have a certain genetic predisposition, it can downregulate your phase one liver detoxification by up to 50%.
I had a client, she had put on 15, brand new to my practice, put on 15 pounds over five weeks. She's like, “I have no idea. What the heck? What am I doing?” The edema was incredible and her brain fogginess and it was affecting her thyroid. It just had a cascading effect on her. Again, asking the right questions, the right answers will follow. We were able to pinpoint it to the fact that she started drinking turmeric tea every day, and that was creating a backlash in her metabolic pathways.
Milk thistle is good, but it also downregulates phase one liver toxification. I can't take it long-term, or usually at all. However, when I had a multiple viral attack, I took it without any problem because my body, this is what I call the hierarchy of needs, my liver enzymes were in the 500s. I had liver damage from the viruses. My body needed that milk thistle to help regenerate liver cells. Even though the long-term impact for my taking milk thistle would have not been efficacious for me; the short term impact was.
This is where it's really important to your listeners that you seek out these curious practitioners that go beyond even training in functional medicine. I have a naturopathic doctor that's in my practice. She's very skilled, but I had to train her. I kept telling her, “Follow the thread. Keep following it to that end state beyond even what the training is.” I hope to teach this one day.
Melanie Avalon: I love this. I love all this so much. Personally, for me, it's like my dream version of myself, I’m like I'm just eating real foods. I'm not feeling like I have to take this supplement or this enzyme. On the one hand, I feel like that is almost the ideal state of just eat the foods that I need, nourish my body, but then it's hard for me to ascertain when am I helping versus when am I hurting, and what's too much.
How do you feel about a lot of people, for example, their practitioner might prescribe them a general multivitamin to “cover the basis.” Let's say that it's a good brand, one that you would recommend if you did want to supplement with any one of those nutrients, do you think something like that, for example, it would be better just to do actual blood work and address specific nutrients rather than taking like a multivitamin?
Teri Cochrane: I'm considered a purist. I think multivitamins are good for those people that are having pop tarts. They're not informed. They're really not getting any new, very little nutrient value from their food supply, so they need support, but if you really need support, then you're going to need a lot more than that multivitamin is providing in that 400 IU of vitamin D. You might need 5,000 IU of vitamin D. 400 doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.
There may be other things in that, for example, a lot of these multivitamins come with, “We have some plant-based helpers, like the Brassica family that's back to sulfur.” For me, it would kick my butt because I'm a low sulfur Wildatarian. I can't do sulfur, especially in a therapeutic form. Less is more. If you need something, this is my personal opinion, but if you need something, go to a targeted dosing rather than something that just scratches the surface.
Melanie Avalon: I like that. I like that a lot. We've been speaking about the sulfur. What is the sulfur aspect that goes a little bit wonky with sulfation potentially for people? Is everybody susceptible to potentially sulfur issues, or is it what would cause sulfur issues?
Teri Cochrane: I think the glyphosate has been the tipping point. I have the CBS gene, the cystathionine beta-synthase gene. I have another, the SUOX gene, or polymorphisms of those genes. I've got BH4. I've got multiple sulfation pathway genes. I never had any sulfur issues until just a few years ago. I believe there was a tipping point in the food supply. I used to eat all the sulfur compounds. My first book, which I wrote almost a decade ago, I was very pro-sulfur, but our environment changed, our environment changed. That's why opinions can change. Does that make you a hypocrite? No, it makes you a curious ever researcher.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you for saying that. That's the problem. It's like if you’ve changed your mind, then people say, “See you were wrong and you were…” that it's against you, but then if you don't change your mind, you're not changing your mind. That's why I'm just like, everything I say, I reserve the right to change completely, because if I know one thing is that I know nothing and then I'm just trying to learn. My ideas are changing a lot.
Teri Cochrane: That's beautiful because we're not static. This is the law of physics. We are in constant motion. To believe that things will stay the same is against the law of nature.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, it is so true.
Teri Cochrane: Thank you for being ever-curious and ever-evolving. As I continue to discern, and as the planet continues to change, and as our response biochemically to the planet continues to change, we have to continue to evolve. Evolve in our thinking. Evolve in how we address these big issues, these planetary issues that are right in front of us today. Sulfur has been in our bodies in its end-state sulfate, which makes tendons and helps create the gut environment. It helps with a lot of our neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine norepinephrine, even histamine, which is a neurotransmitter. It has multiple body functions.
What glyphosate has done, it has created what I call an intermediary and metabolite of hell as it relates to the body's ability to convert the sulfur compounds. Instead, they're not converted and they can leak our gut. It's been linked to Crohn's, to ulcerative colitis, to IBD, It's been linked to mental health issues. It's been linked to arthritis. 73% of rheumatoid arthritis has a sulfur impairment association. We've been very efficacious against returning clients back to balance and returning their antibodies to normal in rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis, but arthritis is one of those big telltale signs.
If you have arthritis, you more than likely have sulfur impairment issue, among other things, because what causes that gene to be expressed? That's the pathogenic load in our thinking and so forth, or a toxic burden that flips the switch, but it's a big deal and very few people were talking about it. Dave Asprey and I are friends. I was on his podcast recently and we called it Killer Kale, because kale has both sulfur and oxalate properties. These things that we're juicing with and putting in our food supply and then we're wondering why we're so bloated. We can't think, and our joints are killing us.
We had a client, she found me out of Texas. She's a dear 70 something year-old woman. Liz is her name. She actually had me interviewed on a Austin CBS station because she was down to three foods. She had tried everything. This woman was in significant distress, both immunologically and from her gut. We brought Liz back from what she felt was impossible as a 70 something year-old. Her thing was sulfur, which created a neurotransmitter response in the body, which created an over innervation in her gut, which also affected her joints and affected her nervous system. Now, she's a happy Wildatarian. That situation has resolved, and she's doing so well.
Melanie Avalon: That's amazing. Listeners, no matter how far deep you feel like you are with everything going on, you can restore, which is that is so incredible. A question that made me think of as well. Are you familiar with the supplements that use the humic substances? What is it called, terrahydrite?
Teri Cochrane: Human and fulvic acid.
Melanie Avalon: Do you see benefit with using those to help restore the gut lining, especially with form glyphosate?
Teri Cochrane: Yes. Some people can take those, I personally can't. I've tried them, they don't like me. Because acid for me, again, having multiple sulfation pathway issues and I tend to acidify, which then could make my joints hurt, but it's been good in terms of lowering glyphosate loads. Some have found it to be really, really efficacious. I find for me quercetin because it's a bioflavonoid that actually seals the tight junctions of the gut. I've done some new research on that that shows that it also helps to break down oxalates, which oxalates and sulfur, they're cousins in that arena. I really like quercetin.
Melanie Avalon: What form do you take it in?
Teri Cochrane: I take quercetin with bromelain. It's usually 500 to 200 ratio. Bromelain helps the assimilation of quercetin, which quercetin now has been really touted to help increase the bioavailability of zinc, which is in this novel season as I'm calling it is super important.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. I've been taking quercetin every night for quite a while, but I have a powder form of it right now. I was wondering if there were potentially better forms of it.
Teri Cochrane: I like powder because anything that's powder... yes, anything that's powder, you got to put in water. Water makes it more bioavailable. When my clients are super impaired, I literally have them open up whatever capsule, take a tweezer and sprinkle it into some water until the body can tolerate it.
Melanie Avalon: I like opening my capsules, too. Here's a crazy question, but we were talking about how being open to new ideas and that whole idea. I was thinking about something the other day, which when the idea was initially came before me, my initial response was, “No. That's just no,” but then I thought about it some more. I was like, “I am wondering about this, so I'm actually really curious to hear what your thoughts are. They’re working on basically genetically engineering meat.
What are your thoughts on that? The reason I am thinking about it more deeply is A, it's completely in contrast to everything I think with eating natural and eating wild and all of that. What if it was a created form of meat that didn't have toxins, didn't have amyloids, and was just basically the animal version of protein without all of that? Do you think there's potentially problems there?
Teri Cochrane: Great question. I think we have to be really evolved and very like a skilled surgeon in its creation to be really careful that the body doesn't interpret it as something it doesn't understand. I think as we evolve scientifically, my position is nothing is impossible, but genetically engineered thus far has been disappointing. I think as we continue to evolve, that may be possible, but you have to nail it 100% because the body's super smart. The body is so smart. It's like, “I don't recognize you, so I'm going to put a law. I'm going to launch something, an upfront, against you.”
Melanie Avalon: I quote like that answer. Basically, it would have to be... I mean, it would literally in a way have to be meat, but it couldn't be even slightly off because there would be the potential that, like you said, the body, that could go really bad really quickly. You spoke about juicing. One of the things you talk about in your book was juicing and the role of chlorophyll. Something I had never heard before was that chlorophyll actually is similar to human blood. You said it was like the blood of plants. I love to hear a little bit about that, the potential role of chlorophyll and how we can get that into our diets.
Teri Cochrane: Yes. Chlorophyll is non-heme iron, but it's molecularly similar to human blood with the carbon in the middle is magnesium instead of the heme. What's so interesting about chlorophyll? I had a woman whose iron levels were seven. We were able to raise them to 77, in a... and I think it was about a ten-week process, not by giving her iron because she couldn't take iron, because she had a viral load in the body sequesters iron and give you feed-- the body iron in the wrong environment. It's going to do bad things by using chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll also is an oxygenator. An oxygenator is super important in the production of iron, oxygen, and B12, and hemoglobin. They're all part of the blood creating really robust red blood cells. We can use non-heme forms of iron. Heme typically has to come from an animal. That's why liver, desiccated liver, has become popular of late. I have a client who's 30 and a half weeks pregnant, who has had very, very low ferritin and low iron, but for a very long time. We've been able to hold her pregnancy iron levels and ferritin levels by using chlorophyll and desiccated liver and then some form of bio glycinate, fair chill. Yes, chlorophyll is a beautiful instrument in the body for the creation of iron-rich blood.
Melanie Avalon: Oh my goodness. I seem so excited right now because I've been struggling with my iron levels to very severe amounts. It doesn't make sense because I eat a lot of iron rich foods. With chlorophyll, can a person take, when you order the chlorophyll liquid, or are they getting it from food?
Teri Cochrane: Both. I like organic chlorophyll again, and alfalfa-based is really good. What I get back to your process, Melanie, in your protocol. I have my clients open up the chlorophyll and water, stir it and drink it, so again, more bioavailable. Then juicing every day is super important to get those iron-rich. If you don't have an oxalate issue, iron, parsley is super high in iron. I say iron, I'm sorry. Spinach and parsley is super high in iron. The deeper the green, the more the chlorophyll and potential non-heme iron that you can avail yourself of. Then chlorella, which is sea-based seaweed, it is also very high in iron.
Melanie Avalon: To clarify for the juicing, are these green juices only? I think a lot of people think juicing and they think fruit juice.
Teri Cochrane: Yes. Great question. I don't like putting fruit in my green juice because I call it a nutrition Ivy. You don't require digestion, when there's no pulp or fiber to slow its process down, so it's going straight to the liver and straight to the other organs. I don't like including fruit in my drink. I drink every morning my cilantro, cucumber, peeled cucumber and fresh cilantro, which then I add some collagen, too. I'll add my wild lights, which is one of my specially formulated supplements that it's an electrolyte mix that also supports all sorts of other things. Then I add a little bit of my vitamin C in the form of mixed ascorbic acid; it's more bioavailable.
That, for me, is my morning cocktail every morning as soon as I stumble out of bed, before I go for my run. It helps me wake up. It clears my body. It is my nutrition Ivy. It really helps to detoxify. I don't wear deodorant. I don't have to. I sweat because I work out, but that's another way to have your audience understand body feedback. If you have a strong scent to your sweat, then you are not fully detoxificating your system because it's coming out through the skin. My daily juice is my friend.
Melanie Avalon: Two really exciting things you touched on. One, I am obsessed with cucumbers. I was going to ask you your thoughts on cucumbers. It sounds like I'm good to keep the cucumbers at my diet. The amount of cucumbers I go through is insane. I go to Costco, I buy so much and they always ask me. They say, “What do you do with all of those?” I don't juice. It sounds crazy. I do juice them, but then I drink the juice separate and then I eat the fibrous material with my meal.
Teri Cochrane: Perfect. I just blogged on juicing, or actually did an Instagram post on juicing. I say, “You can take the fiber.” The Wildatarian approach is nothing is wasted. You can add it back to soups. You can put it in, like you're going to do a zucchini bread, or whatever, any kind of sweet bread, “if you will.” You can add it back in. You don't waste anything. You can put it into lasagna. That's the brown rice quinoa pasta lasagna. You can just put it in anything as a binder.
Melanie Avalon: You're the first person who understands my very strange protocol because I literally do that. Wow. I'm so excited right now. Then the second thing... yes, so the wild lights. Thank you by the way. We actually have a discount code for those few listeners, but I wanted to hear more about them. I haven't tried them yet, but I saw the ingredients. I am obsessed with watermelon, but they include things like watermelon, cilantro. What is in wild lights? Why did you choose those ingredients?
Teri Cochrane: Everybody's taking electrolytes right now. It's a big thing in the marketplace. I work with a lot of professional athletes. I work with a lot of athletes that sweat a lot. I work with a lot of sick people, too, but there was nothing in the marketplace that didn't have a sulfur-base situation. The sulfur such a big deal, especially with this whole glyphosate phenomenon, or there was some artificial ingredients. I worked with my partner, biotics research, who formulates this for me, but I actually gave them the formula, too. Then we did a couple of rounds of experimenting on what I wanted it to be exactly right.
Why I chose this, I believe it's one of my... I'm so proud of this because it has so many potential benefits to the body. Why cilantro and watermelon and sea salt? Together, they have calcium and magnesium and phosphorus and potassium. It's important in the full electrolyte compound. What's so interesting is what I love about this is that it helps with the sodium potassium pump, which is that intracellular exchange for intracellular communication. What's either more helpful is and what's even more helpful is that watermelon is really rich in arginine. Arginine helps support the upregulation of nitric oxide. Why is that so important? Because it's so important for cardiovascular function for vasodilation, which is so important in this novel season.
It's again, I thought it's simple, but I believe it's a brilliant symphony of what the body can avail itself of. It's also been shown that these combinations help to manage the lowering of uric acid levels, which are so important for kidney function. Uric acid has been linked to gout. It's also been linked to uric acid. Ammonia has been linked to protein malabsorption. It's a really beautiful, little, simple formulation. One of my testers in, as we were testing this product, she's a celiac. She claims that I made it just for her because she says that when she cross-contaminates, her cross-contamination symptomology, goes from days to minutes. She says she has one every...
She's got wild lights in every part of her kitchen. It's in her second home. It's everywhere. Now, she's not traveling, but she's like, “I don't leave home without it,” She really does claim I made it just for her. It's a great anti-inflammatory because, again, this is empirical evidence. We haven't done clinical trials on, does this happen, but just empirically what we're seeing is I believe it helps break down oxalates, which is so big in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's and celiac and along with sulfur. I'm really excited about this. We've just had just resounding thumbs up for the many clients and other folks that have tried it and use it. I take it every day.
Melanie Avalon: I am super excited to try it. A question I think a lot of my listeners will have because I and a lot of my audience practices intermittent fasting. Just hearing watermelon, I think it is you said it's from the rind though, is it from the rind?
Teri Cochrane: No. It's the actual--
Melanie Avalon: Is it sweet at all?
Teri Cochrane: It doesn't taste like sweet. If you were to think of it, it has a hint of cucumber because watermelon and cucumber are in the same family. No, but it doesn't taste sweet.
Melanie Avalon: I'm just wondering for listeners if they're practicing fasting, if they should take it maybe at a certain time.
Teri Cochrane: Yes. I would say if they're practicing, it depends on when they intermittent fast I would say break your fast with it because it would be a great way to break your fast with it.
Melanie Avalon: On the other podcast, we often suggest with things like that where it’s like liquids that oftentimes are posited as being fasting themselves, but we think it's still is as, “breaking the fast,” something like bone broth. We're like it's a great way to break your fast because that's when you're ready. You're primed to bring it in. It's the best of all worlds. I guess the same could go for the green juice as well.
Teri Cochrane: Exactly. That also, when you're breaking your fast, you're going to need those electrolytes. That’s really important then.
Melanie Avalon: Few last quick questions. I do want to be respectful of your time. The sweet aspect that you're talking about, one of the things that I loved in your book is you don't encourage completely eradicating sweets. You talk about the importance of our sweet taste and the importance of keeping “sweet foods” in our diet. What role is there, do you think, for the sweet taste and having sweet foods in our diet? I guess you can clarify what sweet foods are.
Teri Cochrane: Yes, not talking about a big fat doughnut. That's not what I'm talking about, but it helps with the satiety factor. When we have something sweet, there's a feedback loop in the body that says, “Okay. We're done.” You're now safe to turn off that hunger, the appetite response, but what we also know is the brain needs sugar to function. If we don't have enough sugar, then we really could be creating a rebound effect.
I had a young woman who had candida and came to see me. She couldn't drive. She was shaking. She was passing out. She was on a candida diet that had zero sugar. What was happening, as the body's response to zero sugars, her body was pushing a ton of epinephrine, which is what I call the cupcake, because it's a fat and a sugar. She was going so hypoglycemic, the body responded with a stress response to this hypoglycemia, therefore, releasing a ton of epinephrine that was causing her to effectively eat more sugar than the sugar she wasn't eating.
We put together. We started her on little buckwheat. She could eat some oats base because we do apply kinesiology here. She texted me two days later, she was like, “I feel human again.” She had stopped shaking. She had stopped passing out. We have to be really careful because the body then has to go through glycolysis. It's very hard on the kidneys when you're having to break down protein to convert it to sugar in that way, and fat and protein, actually a breakdown of our own muscle mass. I'm not talking about food protein, but our own muscle mass. We have to be careful with the zero sugar, we need it; our brain needs it for our fuel. We need it to move our muscles.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. I was just going to say, I'm so happy to hear that yet because like I said, for me, for a while I was on really high fruit, really high protein diet. I saw a practitioner who’s this... she thought that... it turned out that I had really high mercury toxicity, which was not good. She was saying that she thought I probably had candida, and I should cut out all of the sugar, and go super low carb. Honestly, that made that whole thing worse.
I mean, I think it does help a lot of people, but I think a lot of people as well, like you just said, the opposite happens. There's a stress response. There's creating your own endogenous sugar from protein. Then there's a potential of even, I think by starving the candida, detox Herxheimer type reactions. I just think it's such a more comprehensive picture than I think a lot of people think. It's all low carb-high fat or high carb-low fat. It seems to be much more nuanced, natural, going more natural, wild.
Teri Cochrane: Going more natural, absolutely. Being granular, this is what our practice offers. We offer a really granular approach to you. What you may be seeking and needing might be different than what your friend may be seeking and needing. Undergirded with genetic tendencies, you're blueprinting and you're in your current state of health and symptomology. Then the body tells the truth, always, in applied kinesiology and the way that I have adopted it, adapted it rather, is it works. Again, we've got almost, we've got over 15 years of it works. I'm very proud of that because this was born from a mama-bear trying to save her cub. I always remind him what a big influence he has played in the lives of thousands and thousands of individuals.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much. It is so incredible what you're doing. For listeners, in Teri's book Wildatarian, she does break it down into four different Wildatarian types. She has a quiz that you can do to help find that type and then recommended recipes and the dietary protocol to follow for that. It's a super helpful resource. I cannot recommend it enough, and it's fascinating. I mean, obviously, you can tell how obsessed I am.
I will put a link to it in the show notes and then the code for listeners for the wild lights, which I'm also really excited to try. You can use the code Melanie Avalon and that will get you 15% off of that. Thank you so much for that, Teri. Is there anything else that you feel that we didn't touch on that you would like to get out there to the audience?
Teri Cochrane: Thank you for having me on your show. It's been so fun. You're so informed. I'm just thrilled and pleased to know that there are people out there like you that are really being curious, ever-curious. What I would leave the audience with is, we're in this change for the long game, a short-term draconian approach to anything doesn't work because it's not sustainable.
It's really inviting curiosity, becoming informed and creating habits that become innately part of who you are. That it's not a deprivation and you're not separating self from sulfur. It becomes integral to how you walk and breathe on the planet and it is living in abundance and as nature intended. I leave everyone, hopefully, with hope and the fact that to stay ever-curious and look at the long game.
Melanie Avalon: That is so beautiful and it's so appropriate because the last question I ask every single guest on this podcast is just because everything you've said, I've realized how important mindfulness and our perspective and our view of everything is. What is something that you're grateful for?
Speaker 1: Oh my goodness. I'm so grateful for the fact that every morning, the sun continues to shine, which breathes life into us and helps be a catalyst for life on this planet. Even in this Covid season, in this season of uncertainty, is that it's just such beautiful evidence that there's something bigger breathing us and to breathe into that.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much, Teri. This has been incredible. Don't tell everybody, but this has been one of my favorite episodes yet. This has just been so amazing. I am just loving this. Are there any other links that you'd like to put out there for the audience, for listeners to learn more?
Teri Cochrane: We believe that we're educators first, so tericochrane.com, www.tericochrane.com, which is my website, has I believe a plethora of information. You can just search for whatever you want and we can talk. You would think from amyloids to Epstein-Barr to how our thoughts influence our epigenetics. It's all there, so we're here to help inform and empower truly.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much. This has been incredible for listeners. I will put links to all of this in the show notes. Again, the show notes will be @melanieavalon.com/wild. I have to ask you, do you have any future books or anything like that coming up?
Teri Cochrane: No, but my Global Sustainable Health Institute we’ll, hopefully, be launching soon. I hope to be really expanding the platform of sharing this, which will eventually lead to some books.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. So incredible. This has been amazing. Hopefully, we can talk again in the future.
Teri Cochrane: I'd love that.
Melanie Avalon: Bye.
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