Kristan Kershaw – Heal your body on a cellular level with the Root Cause Protocol

Content by: Kristan Kershaw

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Kristan Kershaw to the show. Kristan is a holistic health coach with a unique understanding of how minerals and vitamins run our bodies and how insufficient or imbalanced minerals will lead to a range of symptoms. She works closely with The Root Cause Protocol, which focuses on learning to feed your body the correct nutrients and supplements in order to repair cellular dysfunction. In this episode, we discuss the most common signs of nutrient deficiency and how high-strength supplements may not be the answer and also the recommended tests that we need to do today to start the healing journey.

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Questions we ask in this episode:

  • What are the most common signs of nutrient deficiencies?
  • Are high street supplements useful in this scenario?
  • What’s testing would you recommend for those feeling drained?

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Full Transcript



Brought to you by Welcome to The Health Sessions podcast. Each episode will cut to the chase as we hang out with real people with real results.

Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website, that is and take a look. Okay, back to the show.

This week, I’m excited to welcome Kristan Kershaw. Kristan is a holistic health coach with a unique understanding of how minerals and vitamins run our bodies and how insufficient or imbalanced minerals will lead to a range of symptoms. She works closely with The Root Cause Protocol, which focuses on learning to feed your body the correct nutrients and supplements in order to repair cellular dysfunction. In this episode, we discuss the most common signs of nutrient deficiency and how high-strength supplements may not be the answer and also the recommended tests that we need to do today to start the healing journey. Over to Kristan.

Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Kristan Kershaw to the podcast. Kristan, good afternoon. So we’re kind of neighbors, I think, at the moment. You’re in Queensland now in Byron Bay. Typically, I’m calling somebody over in the states or on the other side of the world somewhere, but how are you?



I’m really good, actually. It’s a sunny, amazing day outside and I’m like, “Oh, winter’s in Queensland.”



It’s not too bad, is it? Thank you so much for sharing some of your time. I know we’re going to dig deep into a couple of topics that I think will really interest our audience today. But first up, for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work, I would love it. If you could just tell us a little bit about yourself, please.



Absolutely. So I’m a mom to three. And believe it or not, you won’t have caught this, I could have warned you before and I’m sorry for it, but it’s pronounced Kristan, just to throw people because you’ll hear it pronounced different ways.






There’s a curve ball for you. Didn’t think to raise that before. So I’ve been on a twisty-turny journey with my kids. So I’ve got a seven year old and then 13 year old twins, whereby they have reactions to things and a number of different things. But especially my youngest daughter was so reactive as a baby and just what I was told by the doctors, I did what I was told and it didn’t seem right. And I followed my gut to investigate more on why and why was she the kid that reacted to gluten and dairy? And then why did I have to restrict my diet more and more to stop this projectile vomiting, silent refluxing, not weight gaining baby? And I’m like, “I’ve done twins. I can do one.” No, it was so much harder with one very unwell baby. But along the way, I learned that minerals were very important and that it could make a massive amount of difference.

So with a breastfed baby, I ended up on 15 foods that she could tolerate and so that meant that she reacted through my milk so I got to eat the same things. And somewhere along the way, a pharmacist, of all things, said to me, “Hey carer of this child, did you know that the reflux medications she’s on is causing magnesium wastage?” And I’m like, “No.” Three reflux babies in, no. They explained that at eight kilograms, she was only eight months old I think at the time. She was quite small. Eight kilos, she was on an adult dose of these medications, which actively pumped magnesium out of the body. And I’m like, huh. So the inner scientist in me, that’s the previous life is I actually am a scientist. I’ve worked as a technical writer and all sorts of stuff in different fields. So had that natural curiosity to go, “Maybe I need to learn more here.” And a few other things jumped in my path at the right time.

I saw a specialist which told me when she was only three months old, that she had a thing called eosinophilic esophagitis, which is a really fancy way of saying an allergic reaction in her throat. So that’s where the restrictions really clamped down and more and more things went. So to then be told months later that the reflux medications that I thought were helping, were probably making things worse and I’d not been told to do anything with magnesium for her or for me or anything. So within three weeks or so of that, I had gradually introduced magnesium just to me, just topical magnesium on my feet of all things and this baby was sleeping through the night and she wasn’t reacting to triggers and I’ve gone, “No way.” There are kids that go from infancy through to older and into adulthood, I guess, who are on limited foods who eat elemental formulas because they can’t tolerate any foods and I’m here with a breastfed baby and me putting a few sprays of magnesium oil on my feet is letting her sleep better. No… Anyway-






That was mind blowing at the time and that was my journey in 2013 to then start reading more about minerals and finding out more. So I got testing done the following year to find that I was really depleted and it started to answer so many questions about me that I had never looked up because it was just me. I just had migraines. I had sun sensitivities, I had hormone imbalances. It was just me, right? Only to find out that as I added more of these minerals in that the symptoms just went away. So I don’t get sunburned when I go and spend time in the sun. I don’t put sunscreen on most of the time, but I don’t get sunburned and I don’t need sunglasses because I get a migraine within seconds of going in the sun.

And I just don’t get migraines pretty much at all anymore from many, many each month, often hormonally linked. So all of a sudden you start to go, “What’s not adding up here?” So it’s been a huge journey of learning more in that area and our whole family is just… We’re on no medications. My daughter, by the time she was five, was eating pretty much anything. We do keep gluten away because we suspect two of the three kids are celiac. But other than that, we can eat pretty much whatever we want, whole foods wise. We avoid additives as well.



Fascinating, absolutely fascinating. And particularly for me, because I can associate with part of what you said in the upbringing of your children because I have three daughters, two of which are twins. The twins now are 11 years old, one was on a reflux medication and we went through a similar journey there and have been through again a whole journey of sensitivity testing and dietary interventions, so fascinated. So from the mineral perspective, I’m intrigued to hear about The Root Cause Protocol. So for everybody that hasn’t heard of this before, it was introduced to me three weeks or so ago and it was, from what I could read, it had deep roots in mineral deficiencies and dietary interventions and the like, so I’m really fascinated on first understanding, what actually is The Root Cause Protocol and then how might we apply it to better our health?



Yep. Yep. So The Root Cause Protocol, it’s created by a gentleman in the U.S. by the name of Morley Robbins. And originally, he started looking at magnesium of all things and this is before the time that I came along. So by the time I stumbled on his resources about magnesium, I’m like, “Bing, bing. Okay.” But it became more than that. He started to realize he trained with hair tissue mineral analysis looking at all of the minerals and then came to realize that hang on a minute, copper is involved and then started to look at iron and more recently understanding the deeper connection with oxygen and just really understanding how that interplays. So The Root Cause Protocol is a response to that, to basically give Mother Nature a way to support our bodies to heal by itself by reducing the oxidative stress on the body by giving us the building blocks that we need.



Why can’t I just go to Coles or Woolies and pick up a cheap bottle of vitamins and minerals to address that?



Oh, the pain of it. So many synthetic things that get added into those multivitamins. And you may have heard over the years, I remember news articles, you’re weighing out your vitamins and all that sort of thing when you’re taking these into a degree. I now agree with those.






But there’s an unintended consequence by blanket taking those things. Firstly, there’s a lot of synthetics in there and synthetic may be in a chemical structure similar to the biological version, but the body does not respond in the same way to synthetic versions at all. So you can actually add a lot more pressure to your body that’s already likely in a compromised position and you might get a temporary lift in symptoms, feel a little bit better, a bit more energy, but actually it’s adding to the longterm load that you’re doing. So adding things that you don’t need, firstly, not ideal. Most of us get enough calcium, for instance, from our diet, so adding more calcium, not ideal.

Adding iron to our diet, believe it or not, even those who are anemic typically actually have more than enough iron. Most of us have had several generations of too much iron, but we don’t have enough of the components to make that iron active so you add more iron into a body that’s already not quite working right and you actually exacerbate the problem. Again, you can sometimes get a symptom relief, but in the long run, you’re more likely to get, for women, heavy bleeding with their periods, hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, histamine intolerance, heaps of things because it actually pushes the other imbalances and makes them worse in the long run.



Interesting. And I’m trying to determine how we might, without testing right now, how might we determine whether we have a deficiency or an imbalance of any type? Because I would imagine that, a mineral deficiency and there are so many different minerals, and if we’re deficient in one, we’re going to be experiencing different symptoms so it could be just a such a wide ranging list of symptoms. How do we know? Where would we start?



This is where it gets really interesting, much diversity, and ultimately this is the amazing thing with what Morley has done. He’s looked at thousands and thousands of articles in the peer-reviewed Scientific World and found that the core things that we need are retinol, which is vitamin A, what we call bioavailable copper. So again, you don’t just go to the shops and buy a copper supplement or wear a copper bracelet or drink copper out of a copper bottle. It doesn’t make it functional. You need the retinol to go with it. So I’ll come back to some food sources of those in a minute to help people there. But you actually need those along with magnesium to do a lot of the energy making in our cells. So most people have heard of mitochondria and they make a lot of our energy. There are backup ways that we can sometimes make energy beyond the optimal ways, breaking down things and that sort of stuff, but it’s not optimum.

So the body’s always going to try and use the mitochondria to create that energy. But our cells can get really full with things that clogging system up essentially. And if we don’t have enough of the copper and the retinol, the mitochondria can’t make energy. So those would be areas that I would always focus people in. If they’re going, “Am I making energy? Do I sleep well? Do I keep up with my daily activities? Do I feel like I can’t focus because my brain is foggy and or am I clear and able to do a task that I set out for myself?” And I mean we all know, I think these days or people, your listeners are likely to be aware of their self limiting. We all have our moments of procrastinating and we all have these things. That’s human nature. But if it feels like it’s more than it should be, or that you can’t do as much as you should be able to or whatever for your age and stage, then that’s a flag that you’ve likely got an imbalance of these things.

And interestingly, when you don’t have enough of the copper, you’re what we call excess unbound iron, so form of iron we can’t use. It actually builds up in our livers and in our tissue and that can present then as iron anemia or we people feel more tired because the iron isn’t in the hemoglobin necessarily where we want it and it’s not moving from the bone marrow around to the cells. And you get these gaps where people like, “Oh, I need more iron.” It’s actually, you need more copper in the mitochondria to make the energy and to let things work. So believe it or not foods that have it in, whole food vitamin C, but not ascorbic acid. So you don’t want to go to the shops and buy the pretty bright orange ascorbic



… acid tablets, not so good. You want to eat foods that have bright colors. You want your whole food sources. And you can get whole food based supplements, but you want to get ones that don’t have ascorbic acid added as a synthetic. Sometimes you see them where they’ve got lots of ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids or just a small added whole food. You really want the food based. And retinol, two of the best sources that you can get, believe it or not, are beef liver and cod liver oil. They’re two of the, again food based, but typically in a supplemental form and for ease. Liver, you can obviously cook with more so. But also eating grass fed butter, eating free range eggs, all that sort of stuff. Great ways to get a bit of extra in there. So it’s food based and you’re not having to hit a bottle, necessarily, for some of these things.



Okay. And what about copper? Where would we find copper?



So the whole food vitamin C actually has copper at its core, so it’s a natural way of getting copper. So this is the interesting thing. When you’ve got ascorbic acid, it’s just a shell. You’ve got to imagine… Actually, an analogy that Molly sometimes uses, imagine a car without a motor. You’ve got the shell of the car. That’s your ascorbic acid. But the bioflavonoids, including tyrosinase, which contains the copper, is the engine. So without the engine, unless you’re the Flintstones, you’re not going too far. So you need the whole thing rather than the chemical. And a lot of the ascorbic acid is synthetically created or based on corn and very, very processed. So again, steer clear where you possibly can of those. And it’s so often added to our foods.

So one of the best things that you can do is, again, shopping the outside aisles of your supermarket, get whole foods that are not preserved, that are not added things to help. They say to help, but they really don’t. And the liver is a fantastic source of both retinol and the copper. And I meant to say that before. Vitamin C doesn’t have retinol, but it’s got the copper. The liver actually has both.



So I would imagine that there will be a very large proportion of our audience listening to this right now, me included, that can attest to feeling drained over the past week. Boy, I just feel tired today. I’ve got no energy. And the majority of people that I talk to have sleep issues too. Where would we go? What would we do to want to test, then, from a root cause protocol perspective?



So what we typically encourage is for people to do the hair tissue mineral analysis that I mentioned before, or sometimes it’s shortened to HTMA. In Australia, we’ve got interclinical laboratories, and they link back to TEI in the US. So your international listeners, there will be other laboratories that service the whole world, no matter where you are, either local to you or back to the TEI one.

And then blood test wise, what Molly has found over the years is that particularly the metals, you can get a bit of a snapshot as to your copper and your iron and your zinc, and manganese is another one. But it only tells you so much from the hair analysis. You really get the best outcome by looking hand in hand with some select blood tests. So there’s one called ceruloplasmin, which is a mouthful and a half, but that’s a copper measure. Also serum copper, the typical iron panels which are often done, which includes serum iron and ferritin transfer and hemoglobin, things like that. Most GPs will do those fairly easily. They get a bit funky with any of the copper ones. They may do one or the other, but they’re not trained in it.

And this is the thing that I find so sad, is that generally speaking, there are very few practitioners, whether it’s naturopaths, whether it’s doctors, even the integrative health ones, to be honest, that often are not trained in what the involvement is of these minerals at the mitochondrial level. They get very, very baseline stuff. So they know that they’re important. They don’t necessarily deny that. But they’ve been trained in a very linear way, which is, okay, zinc’s low. So supplement with zinc. They don’t understand that if you supplement with zinc, you’re going to cut the functionality of the copper, which is the one thing that someone who’s low in zinc desperately needs. But when you get that functionality of the copper up there and working, the iron will be less problematic, the zinc will actually go up naturally. And by eating foods that are high in zinc, your zinc will sort out.

They often also recommend calcium when, again, most of us do not need calcium. Calcium will harden arteries more than needed. And someone who’s got mineral imbalances, they often get stiffness and restriction in muscles and movements, and taking synthetic vitamin D is a really quick way to get a lot of that happening in the long run. It will actually cause calcification of soft tissues, which you don’t want. If you want strong bones, you want magnesium to be plentiful, you don’t want to supplement with calcium. You need the mag to actually get the calcium where you want it. So again, all of the blood tests, and I can make sure that you’ve got a link to a list for the listeners, that will give us a lot more insight into where the nutrients are recycling. We can see whether your recycling systems are likely offline.

And one of the biggest things that is important here is actually to work with a practitioner to help you understand where you connect to this. Because it’s not a straight line of, well, this is high and this is low so you need this. It’s really connecting in with what’s the stress behind your situation? Because a really big part of the RCP is actually understanding the connection with stress. Because the more that our body is in fight or flight mode, the more that these minerals are going to get out of balance. And so the more generations before us that have had significant stress, and the more stressful situations and trauma that we’ve had, it will perpetuate, especially down the female line. So for your example with your three daughters, your wife’s health while pregnant with them in the lead up to, even her mother’s pregnancy with her. A lot of us are not being born with enough minerals and it feeds down through the generations.

So when I had my consult with Molly years and years ago, now six plus years ago, I very quickly came to realize that I wasn’t born with a whole range of minerals and my mum wasn’t born with a whole range of minerals. And my grandmother was born in World War I, my mum was born in World War II. And then I’ve had twins and then had a pretty traumatic ectopic pregnancy, and a year later had another baby. There’s an age gap with my kids so there was some replenishing time between the twins and the ectopic, but less than a year later, I was pregnant with my youngest. And a very stressful year that was. There’s no wonder that she came out with lack of minerals, because I just didn’t pass them on to her at the time. So that conversation is really powerful to connect with the why and to understand what those results actually mean, because you can’t look at it… You can get an idea. When your magnesium’s low, you can go, “Oh, look at that. My red blood cell magnesium is really low.” That’s not ideal.



If our listeners are intrigued, you know what? This is me. I do feel I’ve got low energy and something isn’t right. I feel like I am deficient and want to take that path and decide, let’s get tested. What timeframes are we looking at from testing, analysis reporting, and then possible supplementation then from that point forward?



It doesn’t have to take too long. Generally it’s about three weeks turnaround from when you send the hair sample to get that back. Bloods is fairly quick. It just depends on whether you need to go through a GP or whether you order your own. A lot of people that I speak to actually just order their own. They decide I’ve had enough of dealing with doctors. And while it costs a bit and you may space out doing family members, the beauty of the RCP is firstly, for the most part, people can choose to get going before doing testing, because a lot of it is food based. You want to go slowly. If you’re on medication, obviously talk to healthcare providers. Don’t go doing anything, crazy changes and dropping things or anything without chatting with someone. But things like adding mineral drops to your drinking water. There’s a drink we do called an adrenal cocktail.

There are things that people can actually start now and start to feel better. Sometimes just doing the stops that we have listed on the RCP website can actually bring people a lot of relief from a lot of their symptoms. So in the meantime, they can actually start learning what those stops are, start learning what the starts are, and ease into it. Because there’s no benefit to actually rushing into any of the protocol anyway. So you can actually start to mobilize that without having those results back yet, and start getting your head around it. It becomes a lifestyle rather than a regimented, take 50 supplements and whatever. It’s just not like that.

So I often encourage people to start with the mineral drops and the adrenal cocktails in meantime, while the testing process is happening. It’s not going to skew your results massively. It can give you some relief in the meantime. And then people typically spend a few months stepping into the various things. Again, it’s not going by, you have to buy heaps of supplements and you have to do heaps of strict things. You’re actually going to want to introduce one thing about once a week, five to seven days, I tend to say.

And the cool thing is a lot of the aspects, you can do with your kids. So if you do have little people, you can do it for yourself, feel how you’re going, and then you can step into it with the kids. And again, you want to go slow. You don’t want to be changing anything dramatic in their life, and there’s no benefit to rushing anything. But to start getting that energy back, you can actually do some little baby steps and give your mind a bit of time to catch up too. Because often it’s like, how can drinking some orange juice with salt and cream of tartar make me feel better? How is that possible? That’s what the adrenal cocktail is, and it can make a huge amount of difference and really does for a lot of people.



Okay. You mentioned stops as well, and I’m keen to understand that. And I’m guessing that practices that we do every day, habits that have been ingrained over the years, food, all of that kind of stuff. What stops, then, could be negatively impacting our health? And in perhaps more of a common sense. What are the most common ones that the majority of us could be doing every day?



Probably some of the big ones are having multivitamins or having supplements without really understanding what they do. And vitamin D is a huge one. And most of us don’t realize, and for those of us in Australia, it’s like, why do we need supplements for vitamin D? Because we’ve got so much amazing sunlight in most areas, obviously not everywhere, but still, most areas do. And just as a side note, it’s actually needing magnesium. The body needs magnesium to convert the forms of vitamin D that are in our body. So typically, someone who’s showing up in tests as low in vitamin D actually needs more magnesium.



Interesting. Yeah. Boy, it’s all interrelated, isn’t it? And connected in some way.



Absolutely. And you’ve got this, I coined the term years ago now, it’s the simplicity and the enormity. Because literally, you’re getting down to some very core nutrients and it really is that simple. But at the same time, when you start drilling down into the interrelationships and what it’s really doing at the cellular level, I can go into as much detail as you want and most people will be going, “Oh my goodness. Shut up, Kristan.”






No more.



And I’m guessing that it isn’t as simple as, like you said before, just wandering into the supermarket and grabbing a magnesium capsule. Because from a whole food perspective, there’s probably a synergy of so many different vitamins and minerals in a relationship that can never happen when you just isolate that one thing.



Absolutely. And that’s one of the biggest challenges, and why in the stops list, so moving back to that, it connects completely. There’s stop zinc supplementation, stop iron supplementation, stop vitamin D supplementation, calcium supplementation, avoid ascorbic acid, ascorbate citric acid. It’s a lot of those and synthetic vitamin Bs. Sometimes they’re listed as B1 or B12 or B whatever, but sometimes they’re listed as a name, so it takes a little bit of time to get your head around what some of those are. But we’ve got food based versions, so you don’t need to be fearful. A lot of the time people like, “But I need the Bs,” or I need insert type here. But the RCP supports those from a food angle.

And so sometimes you will want to keep going on things for a little while, until you can feel confident that that security blanket of whatever that thing was, I actually don’t need it anymore. Oh, okay. So introducing liver was one of those things for me. I’m like, “You are never going to get me to eat liver.” I had too many mental hangups over it. But then when I found Australian suppliers of capsules, I’m like, all right, I can do this. And my husband and I couldn’t believe it, the energy that we got just by having one capsule per day. We were like, “Oh, why did we not do this for the last two years? Remind me.” So



We now have six capsules per day, our 13 year-old twins have five per day, even the seven-year-old has three. I sometimes will sneak it into foods, but especially the biggest kid at the house tends to be a little bit suspicious of that making it into food so we go for the alternative that they’re all willing to do. But yeah, so the stops tend to be things like that. It’s also trying to avoid things like fluoride in your water, trying to have filtered quality water, avoiding processed oils. Some of those are nasty so I’m sure most of your business would be well aware that canola oils and the really processed ones, you just don’t want to go there. Cook with ghee, cook with butter, cook with what would your ancestors … this is a big thing overall food wise. What would your ancestors a few generations ago have eaten? Would they have eaten unprocessed grains where it was handmade into breads or whatever? Fine. Have some breads, but get organic, get heirloom things that are not the hybridized and sprayed with glyphosate, things that are so common now. Eat nose to tail. Our generations a few up would’ve literally not wasted any of the animal. Steak and kidney pies. Again, some of this requires a whole lot of mental shifts of where we’re at, but sometimes people enjoy it.

Getting curious is so, so important on understanding where you’ve come from and trying to eat. Do little swaps. You might have a packet food that you like, and you’re like, “Oh, it’s a quick and easy thing for the kids.” “Oh, it’s got ascorbic acid. All right, what can I swap it for that doesn’t have that in?” Sometimes those little steps, especially while you’re coming to understand what some of these, the impact of these things are, can actually make a really big difference.

So not adding to your stress, one of the big things that I would encourage is overall being mindful of where you’re at with your stress, because the more that you … if you suddenly go, “Right, I’m going to do this root cause protocol from tomorrow and I’m going to drop every single stop and I’m going to start every single start,” I can tell you in about three weeks, you’ll be coming back to me going, “I feel I really messed up. What’s going on?” Your brain and your body can’t keep up. You’ve got to do stuff slowly so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s like suddenly going on a diet where you abstain from having all the things that you love. Well, in the long run, is that sustainable? Is that good for your mental health? Find alternatives that are healthier and that work for you and that make you feel complete and deal with the mental stuff that’s underneath, that need for those foods too, because that’s a huge part of what we do.



Yeah. I think that’s great advice as well. Small steps are always the way to go. We sometimes use the analogy of climbing Mount Everest. You typically don’t start to climb Mount Everest by climbing Mount Everest. You might perhaps just walk around the block first.



Absolutely. Yeah, and gaining awareness on how you feel. The number of people that I talk to and they don’t know … I’m like, “Okay, so if you eat this food, what happens?” “I don’t know.” “Okay. Go away, and your homework is to take note of how you feel on any given day.” Note down, after breakfast, do you feel energized? Do you get sleepy in the afternoon? You’re having those dips where you’re like, “Oh, I just need a nana nap,” or whatever. Take some notice of what it is in your day that, whether it’s food based, whether it’s environmental triggers, whether it’s stress, because when we start to switch on our intuition and our self awareness, it’s amazing how much that can contribute to us then finding our way forward.

Things like, I had mineral drops, my kids and I, and we line up cups and we have some water with mineral drops in morning and afternoon, and we can flex that. If we don’t do it, we’re all fine. But if we get out of routine and don’t do it for a few days, I’ll wake up stiff and sore and the kids will be cranky. Would anyone else notice that? Probably not, but it’s over the years, we’ve experimented with what works for us and what doesn’t. We just all know, and the kids are surprisingly willing, for teenagers especially. They’re quite happy most of the time, they remember to have the supplements that I ask them to have and these mineral drinks morning and night, because they know that they feel so much better and they’re calmer with their peers and they can focus better and all that sort of stuff. If we can impart that on our little people, or now my big people because they’re getting bigger than me, it goes such a long way. So I try and impart that in people that I talk with as well.



I’m intrigued to hear then a little bit more about perhaps your day, because you mentioned the mineral drops with the children. I’m guessing that you probably do a whole heap of other things that our listeners would be intrigued to hear because we’ve perhaps spoken about it in other podcasts. I’m talking about things like mindfulness, environmental pollutants, even your personal body care, all of those things. Because I get the impression that you’re dialed into all of these things. Run me through your day and where might some people think that you are a health nut because of what you do.



Definitely, the mineral drinks are probably high up there. We definitely have a routine as far as our supplements go. We do have some magnesium Vitamin C and liver morning and afternoon or early evening. In the mornings we have [inaudible 00:33:38] oil as well. So we’ve sort of got a down pat routine as far as the supplement side of things. But beyond that, when I first wake up in the morning, I do a thing called heart congruence, which is a type of meditation essentially, and show some level of gratitude for what’s ahead for my day and how excited I might be for that or something from the day before. Even if I’ve had a crappy day, I center myself on that and go, “You know what? I have house and I have healthy kids and …” whatever. Sometimes on the bad days, you’ve got to pick something. I do this practice to help calm my body overall so that I start the day on the right foot, not stressing about whatever might have carried over from the day before or what I’ve got ahead of busy-ness or whatever, so being mindful of that, absolutely.

I actually often start my days very early in the morning. I partly love it and partly hate it because I do so much international work. I actually meet with Molly and I support the root cause protocol behind the scenes as well as doing my own work, so I meet at 6:00 AM four days a week and one … well, three days a week and one day I start at 5:00 A.M. doing training, where we deliver training in the root cause protocol to practitioners in training around the world.

So I do start very early, which people look at me and go, “Are you crazy?” But I’ve got the energy to do it, and once upon a time, I did not have that. I would drag myself out of bed. I used to be an endurance horse rider. I remember dragging myself out of bed and just sort of sitting there going, “Eh.” You know? Once I got outside in the fresh air and the cool and whatever, and seeing dawn is just amazing. So I would be right, but then I’d come back home and I’d have to have a sleep afterwards because it’s physically exerting. You go and do a 20-kilometer horse ride, there is a reason to be tired, but it was … I now look at it as unnatural for that age and stage. Theory is I should have been able to do that without having to have a nana nap, but there was often no negotiation there.

So I can get up early, do that. Then my daughter gets up, I take her to school. I exercise our crazy puppy. You know, all the life things that have to happen as well. I’m just trying to think … you asked me something else and I’m blanking on what else might be part of it too.



Do you factor in personal hygiene products in terms of hidden pollutants and things like that into your health protocol?



Absolutely. We are low chemical overall and I guess that really started before the RCP from a point of view of having kids that … the twins had eczema, they had asthma, they were on so many medications growing up and I didn’t think any different of it because that’s what we were told. You know, “Okay, they’ve got this so you …” So we became very mindful from that point of view. So at cleaners and they would get itchy from stuff in the detergents and that sort of thing, so we go for, where we can, handmade cleaners for clothes and for hand washers and that sort of thing. Very bare bones, things that don’t have added surfactants and all that sort of stuff. Try and go for as natural as possible, shampoos and all of those things because it contributes to the stress load on our bodies, so absolutely …

I use Norwex cloths as how I clean my body for the most part. I don’t use any face cleaners like cleanses or anything. If I do use anything on my body, it tends to be a Dr. Bronner’s type, very basic castile soap type, liquid ice, often low fragrance or no fragrance. Again, I can actually use other things these days, but I’m like, “Oh, if I’ve got that, I don’t need to use anything else.” But other than that, we’re very blessed to have, in the area where I live, I’m in a few co-ops so we buy foods through co-ops. I get honest to goodness, organic food. So wherever I possibly can, organic food and produce is a no brainer to me. It’s taken years to get to the point where I could redirect funds in that way because for a long time, I’m like, it’s so expensive to feed five of us organic.

When you start this out, it all looks like, again with the Mount Everest. It’s like, “How the hell can I climb Mount Everest and do all of these things?” But you just take one step at a time. So for me, it was … I got coconut oil through a cart that was organic and I gradually used that. Then we started to get nuts and seeds, and as our food options opened up all of our pantry staples are now from coops wherever it’s humanly possible. There are local growers in the area and that sort of thing, but one of the coops we can get products from, a company called Kin Kin naturals. They’re, I think, Sunshine Coast-ish area of Southeast Queensland. I’m sure that there are equivalents of those all around Australia and around the world, but so that’s what we use for all of our household. So kitchen, laundry type cleaning beyond the Bronner’s. [inaudible 00:38:58] cloth to wipe benches and white walls [inaudible 00:39:03] bleach we do occasionally use, but well ventilated because while it’s nasty, it’s just bleach. You don’t want anything else in there too, and the fragrances and all that crap. Just go for the bare bones.

Some people I know use, I think it’s sodium percarbonate as another client here. Borax can be a great cleaner. I tend to go for that side of things wherever I can. We don’t really need a lot. We grow a lot of our own fruit and veg where we can. Not so much the fruit yet, the trees are a bit young, but I do grow dragonfruit, which are amazing. Glorious, big red dragon fruits. We don’t use sprays. We don’t use any chemicals. So we share it with the bugs and yes, there are caterpillars that get pulled off and there some critters that are driving me nuts with my tomatoes at the moment, which seems to be eating the leaves. But you know, we share with nature a little bit. Dog. But yeah.



Fascinating, and exactly what I thought you would be doing. I guess it would follow the protocols of the root cause by going back to nature and uncomplicating life as best you can. You mentioned before about our ancestors. I remember going around my nan and granddad’s house years ago and watching them eating bread and dripping for lunch. Many of us now would recoil at the thought of spreading animal fat on our bread and covering that in salt and away we go but it’s … yeah, we certainly, we’ve come a long way from our roots and I can see that it hasn’t impacted our health very well. Just looking at my daughter’s friends and the circles that they are in now are, it’s quite frightening because we’ve got allergies and sensitivities all over the place. We’ve got childhood obesity and attention deficit disorders running amuck, and we really do need to try and get back to our roots. So I’m really fascinated by the root cause protocol.

Had a question around exercise. Are there any guidelines from an exercise standpoint for the root cause protocol? Because oftentimes we can think that when we feel tired, maybe we just need to exercise. It’s very easy to get caught up now in the latest exercise trend, which could send cortisol levels sky high, rob you of your sleep, and do exactly the reverse of what we would hope to achieve.



Absolutely. There’s no set sort of guidelines, but we encourage gentle exercise that’s



Relevant to the person’s, again, it’s the age and stage thing. A 30 year old person may be going to the gym, might be all right. But if they come back from the gym going, “I hate this. I just can’t stand this,” your body’s trying to tell you something. It’s not that you’re lazy. There’s a lot of mindset work that really needs to go on for most people because no pain, no gain, all that kind of stuff is so counterproductive. And so coming from the person who used to do 120, 160 kilometers on a horse in a day, because you know, that’s natural and I still love doing it. I will never say that I didn’t love, but you’re exhausted. And your horse. It’s a challenge. It’s like marathon work in the humans running or triathlons or whatever. It’s there as a personal challenge. But if you’re in a body that doesn’t make energy and that as Molly puts it, can’t clear exhaust, so the byproducts of making that energy, going and doing a run or going and working out at the gym and doing a big hot bike session or weights or whatever, you are just setting yourself up for worse symptoms down the track.

So many years ago, I stopped riding for a number of different reasons, but I’ve had … When I was 10, I was in a car accident. So I have a lot of underlying injuries that again, I always identified as, “Well, I can’t do things” or I have chronic pain because of that. But with the root cause protocol, I don’t live in pain. And my bone therapist actually is who introduced you to the RCP. And she’s seen my body change massively over that time. So I use bone therapy hand in hand with what I do with the RCP, but I don’t need Neurofen and ibuprofen and painkillers all the time to deal with the chronic inflammation because it’s, there’s just not there.

But what I found over the years was that being very active did actually give me a lot more mobility from the accident. And I had a lot less pain overall. But when I went through the process with my daughter, I had learned instead of doing horse riding to be a jogger. And I would have laughed as a teen and in my 20s to think that I would ever be a jogger. I’m like, “I don’t run. What are you talking about?” You don’t see me wrong. I’m not most coordinated person. I’m not who you would typically stereotype into a runner. You know what, when you don’t have the options, you find other ways. So in 2010 I took up running and found that I actually was really good at long slow runs. And I got faster and faster. I actually kept running until 32 weeks pregnant with my youngest, which I now look at it and go, “Yeah, nine, nine kilometers up and down hills while you’re 32 weeks pregnant. Maybe that wasn’t the best thing for her health, really.”

When I was going through the process, around 2014 of … I was able to run again within five weeks of having her. So I went back to doing my 5K runs, felt great. I started to notice that two days after I did a run, I would a migraine without fail. And they were getting worse. After she came, they were worse and they just kept getting worse. And what I didn’t realize was for all of the mental relief that I got by having time with the dog, while having time away from kids, not working, whatever, it was absolutely thrashing my body. And so I had a colleague and Molly both said to me independently, “Kristan, I think you need to stop running.” And I’m like, “No, it’s my outlet.” And I fought tooth and nail for a bit until I realized they were completely right.

Who wants to live with migraines? I actually pared that back to walk. And so I could do the same distance, but if I walked it, instead of absolutely thrashing myself by running, again, I could run the distance without stopping and not get overly puffed or anything else. So I’m like, “But I can do it. So why should I not do it?” I enjoy the endorphins and all the rest of it. But then to be able to do a 5K walk. Yeah. Okay. It took a bit longer. So maybe sometimes I had to do a shorter distance to fit it into the available time, but I didn’t get the migraines and it let my body heal. So you really have to let your body, sometimes you actually will have to stop doing exercise and go and do yoga, go and do gentle Pilates. Because Pilates can be pretty full on. Go and do gentle, a gentle walk for half an hour will do more than thrashing yourself for half an hour will.

Just because you didn’t sweat doesn’t mean that, or didn’t absolutely sweat heaps doesn’t mean you haven’t given your body benefit. Half an hour of meditation and a little bit of yoga is going to work so much better for your body healing than adding to your adrenal fatigue and your body sitting there going, “When’s the bear coming?” Because a lot of the time exercise will just flick the body into that fight or flight mode and just make … You can be absolutely undoing all of the good food that you’re doing, all of the mindset work that you may be doing or supplements in the root cause protocol, whatever. You can literally be working, pushing the opposite direction by going and doing exercise. I see it time and time again.



Listen to your body. I think it’s interesting. You’re not the first person that has said that about endurance exercise as well. And the term oxidative stress has been thrown up there many a time.






We’ve spoken to a few exercise, I guess health and professional pioneers in that space that have really likened the reduction of that and maybe the swap to more high intensity interval, maybe just resistance training, but paired with mobility and movement and things like Pilates and yoga and breath work, mindset as a little bit of a balance. I guess it’s the yin and the yang. Because some is there is that bravado out there where it’s just like you said before, go hard or go home. Oftentimes we’ll be going home with a limp.



And this is the thing. When you already have the high oxidative stress, you’re much more prone to getting injuries. You’re much prone to getting sick all the time. And because the thing is when our body’s in fight or flight mode, our immune system gets switched off to to a degree. Obviously it’s not completely turned off. Because the body is going, “Well, I’ve got to run away from that danger,” or “I’ve got to fight that thing,” or whatever. And so until you can switch your body off and again, most of us have not realized that our bodies have been sitting in fight or flight mode most of our lives. And until you start to connect to the stress and understanding the impact that stress is having, you won’t realize that the little trigger of someone saying something on Facebook and your heart rate goes up or a little comment from someone that you take to heart, because you don’t have the techniques to help you process that.

And this is all seated in our childhood. It’s so ingrained in us that we don’t know. It’s literally part of the subconscious. We’re not meaning to make those moves, but when we get flicked into that fight or flight, we lose magnesium. And then we start to bind up the copper. So it’s not bioavailable. And then you start to build up that form of iron that you can’t use, and you will cascade all of these things. So it becomes, it’s not just about the nutrition in the root cause protocol. The identifying stress, we encourage people to do EFT or emotion code or whatever their thing may be. Different things work for different people. You’ve got to connect with that. And like you said, mindfulness and gentle movement and that sort of thing, just calming, everything, getting the vagus nerve to work properly because a lot of people have the vagus nerve is tripped far too easily and doesn’t have good tone and all that sort of stuff.

So you’re going to flick into that fight or flight so much easier. So again, it’s not about eating the elephant in one big bite. It’s about doing little steps towards what can I do to calm down the stress in my life. And we’re human. So we’re never going to be free of stress. You’ve got to realize that from the very beginning, but how do I respond to a stressful situation? That’s key.



Well, we spoke before, before we pressed the record button about you giving me an elevator pitch on the root cause protocol. And I would safely say that everybody that’s listened to this now has a great idea and understanding of what that actually entails. And I have to say, you’ve sold me. I’m sold, I’m interested. I want to find out more because I am a health nut. And I do like to try all of these things because ultimately I want to live my best life and I want to feel vibrant and energized in my 90s. I certainly don’t want to, I don’t want to just vegetate as unfortunately, many of us or many of the elderly population do. So I’m keen to find out more for our listeners. Where do we go? Where can you point us if we want to find out more, we want to sign up, we want to get tested?



My website is And I’ve got a lot of resources on there to start. You can read a bit more on my story. You can read some basics about the root cause protocol as well. There’s some information there about, I think it’s on a book with me and FAQs has a combination of where to get testing done and what are the lab things that I need to request with my doctor and things like that. And also if you want to understand a lot more about the root cause protocol, I’m pretty sure I linked to the RCP on my website, but you can Google the root cause protocol. It will definitely come up, but is a little shortcut that will take you to There’s heaps of resources. You can download the pre manual. That’s got all those stops that we talked about before and the starts. We’re actually doing a revised version of that.

So the beauty with the manual is you do a simple sign up. We’re not going to sell your details or anything. It’s just so that we can actually email you with updates. And by downloading that in hopefully the next month or so, we’ll be doing a bit of an update to make it clear, but it’s designed to literally help you step into, “What do I need to stop? What do I need to start? How do I know what I need to do?” Give you a bit of an intro.

There’s also some great resources. So for the science nuts, there are literally 80 articles written in great detail with links and all the rest of it. So those who want to immerse themselves in that, but there’s also some entry level videos, which are really good to just get your head around some of the concepts that I’ve talked about today and Molly explained some of the basics of why this is all important. Again, a different angle, but the same sort of concept of as what I’ve shared here. Both of them are great resources.



Fantastic. I will put all of that information in the show notes to ensure that our listeners, our audience can find exactly what they want to, but thank you so much for your time. Learnt so much and very intrigued to find out a lot more about that as well. So until next time I’m very, very intrigued to continue my exploratory journey into the root cause protocol. But again, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.



Thank you for having me. It’s been great.





Kristan Kershaw

This podcast features Kristan Kershaw. She naturally has been supporting others around her to learn and find their way since a young age. She has developed that skill in connection over time and has added a lot of knowledge and experience to this via formal training. She has completed... Read More

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