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Lee Holmes – Heal Your Gut With Supercharged Food

Content by: Lee Holmes

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

Stu: This week we welcome Lee Holmes to the show. Lee holds an Advanced Certificate in Food and Nutrition and is a certified holistic health coach (IIN), yoga teacher, wholefoods chef and bestselling author of the Supercharged Food series. She is a columnist for Wellbeing Magazine and Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, and her articles have appeared in leading Australian newspapers and journals.

In this interview we discuss gut health. Why many of us are experiencing issues with our digestive system and the steps that we can take to fix it, enjoy…

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • Why is gut health so important?
  • Why are digestive issues becoming so common these days?
  • What are the telltale signs of an imbalanced gut?

Get More of Lee Holmes

If you enjoyed this, then we think you’ll enjoy this interview:


Full Transcript

Stu

00:03 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 long-lasting health. I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

00:23 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 super-foods 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 180Nutrition.com.au and take a look. Okay, back to the show.

00:44 This week, I’m excited to welcome Lee Holmes. Lee is a nutritionist, yoga teacher, whole foods chef, and author of multiple books with a whole food focus. She’s the founder of the website Supercharged Food that aims to help you feel amazing and improve your health through diet, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle tips. In this episode, we discuss gut health, why it’s so important, how we can determine if we might have issues, and then the steps to take to get us back on track. Lee is a wealth of knowledge, we have great fun, and I know you’ll enjoy our conversation. Over to Lee.

01:21 Hey, guys. This is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I’m delighted to welcome Lee Holmes back to the podcast. Lee, how are you?

Lee

01:28 Hi. I’m well. How are you, Stu

Stu:

01:30 Very well, thank you. Very well. Thanks for coming back. It was a while ago that we spoke, so I’m just aware that we may have a few new listeners that may not know who you are, so before we get stuck into the questions, could you just tell us a little bit about yourself please?

Lee

01:46 Sure. I’m Lee Holmes. I’m a nutritionist, a whole food chef, and I teach yoga and meditation. I have a website called SuperchargedFood.com, which I share a lot of recipes on there and I’ve written about nine books now.

Stu

01:58 Wow.

Lee

01:58 All cooking books. I love cooking. I love being in the kitchen.

Stu

02:03 Great, fantastic. The conversation today is going to take very much like a gut focus because it has been a hot topic, is a hot topic, and will probably remain a hot topic until we figure out how to get on top of all of the issues that people are currently experiencing. I know that you’ve got a program and you’ve written a book about it as well, so I thought who better to talk to than Lee Holmes. My first question is gut health didn’t seem so important 20 years ago, but now it’s like the epicenter of health.

Lee

02:35 Yes.

Stu

02:36 Why? Why is it so important?

Lee

02:38 It really is. It’s like the engine room of your body, obviously, and also, it’s connected to so many other body systems and parts. It’s connected to your immune system, it can affect the way you think, your mood, the way you feel, your sleep, your thyroid, so many different areas it can affect. I feel that doctors now are really coming around to looking at the gut as one of the first place to start. Yeah, because it is, like you say, the epicenter to health.

Stu

03:04 Yeah, definitely, and it’s great that you said doctors are starting to come around to it as well because I think in the earlier days, it was a little bit of a woo-woo topic. People thought, what? What’s up with you? We’ll just label it as IBS or something along those lines.

Lee

03:19 Yeah, absolutely.

Stu

03:20 Why do you think then gut problems, digestive problems, food allergies, sensitivities, all that kind of stuff that’s related to the gut becoming so common these days because back in the day, and I always reference the day like a grumpy old man, but I didn’t have any friends that had food allergies? We just ate everything.

Lee

03:40 [inaudible 00:03:40]. I’m turning 52, so I’m back in the day as well. [inaudible 00:03:47] they’re becoming issues, becoming a lot more prevalent due to things like our diet, obviously-

Stu

03:54 Yeah.

Lee

03:54 … the overuse of antibiotics that can affect the state of health of your gut as well, stress can also affect the state of health of your gut, the environment, alcohol, there’s so many ways that you can disturb your gut health actually, but mainly diet because if you can imagine, everything goes through there.

Stu

04:13 Yeah.

Lee

04:14 I think diet is a big part of looking after your gut for sure.

Stu

04:17 Got it. Telltale signs and you spoke a little bit earlier about it’s kind of everything, like skin, sleep, mode, energy levels, digestive function.

Lee

04:30 Yeah.

Stu

04:31 What are the big ones that might lead me or our listeners to think, “Well, maybe there is something going on with my digestive system in the gut that I need to investigate further”?

Lee

04:41 Yeah. I think some of the things are obviously gut issues in terms of constipation, diarrhea, bloating, feeling tired after eating, don’t know if you experience that, but a lot of people experience feeling really tired after eating.

Stu

04:55 Yeah.

Lee

04:55 They’ve got a very sluggish digestive system. You can also get allergy symptoms, skin rashes, headaches, so many different things like that, but really if you feel that your gassy, your constipated, or you’ve got diarrhea, or you’ve got those kinds of issues, then that could be a problem with your gut [crosstalk 00:05:11].

Stu

05:12 Okay. What about tests? Is there a gold standard for testing or is it just like a try and test and go through a whole different kettle of things before we try and make some sense about what’s happening?

Lee

05:29 I think there’s so many different ways that you can take it. If you just have small issues, such as bloating after eating, you could try and change a few things in your diet and see whether it resolves that way. If you have pain in your gut, ulceration, anything like that, IBDs, those kinds of things, obviously it’s best to go to the doctor and get tests. Some of the tests that you can do are the stool tests. You can do micro [inaudible 00:05:54] do a test that look at the whole microbiome and see what bacteria, good and bad bacteria you have or don’t have in there. There’s so many different levels to it depending on how you feel and how desperate you are.

Stu

06:07 Got it. Okay. In terms of knowing where to start, so typically doctor, naturopath, nutritionist, have a chat to them, see what they think. If there is a test required, then amble along those lines.

Lee

06:23 Yes.

Stu

06:25 Now, you’ve got an online program as well. I know that that probably encompasses the journey that you need to take in order to get on top of that. What would we expect if we log on to your program?

Lee

06:38 The program’s a four-week program and I started it … Well, I was doing it myself about eight years ago when I had gut issues I went through. I think we’ve chatted about this before, but I went through a series of different tests. I was diagnosed with a non-specific autoimmune and fibromyalgia. My gut wasn’t working properly. I lost a lot of weight, I was having the hives, all the issues like that, and I’ve since, actually now been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Took a gastroenterologist to diagnose me, but that’s it. I found that doing certain things really helped me and doing certain things in a certain order.

07:15 The four-week program that I undertook and that thousands of people now have done and have great results from is really looking first and foremost at the things you’re eating and taking out anything that’s aggravating or irritating you. You can do that by trial and error I like to say. For me, it was chemicals and MSG. MSG was one of the worst things that I was eating. I would just get tummy ache afterwards, break out into hives. Yeah, so it’s really just about, it’s a four-step process whereby you rest the gut with just a very simple diet and by that, I mean a lot of pre-digested foods.

07:49 There’s a lot of, on the program, there’s soups and smoothies and slow-cooked things. Everything’s cooked, there’s nothing raw and you try it just for a four-week period. You’re still getting all your nutrients because you’re eating a really diverse diet.

Stu

08:01 Yeah.

Lee

08:01 You still eat well. You’re just taking out those aggravating things. You’re letting the gut and the gut immune system, because we have our own immune system in the gut, you’re letting that rest. You’re healing the lining of the gut whereby you’re looking at certain foods, things like turmeric, which is very anti-inflammatory. You’re adding aloe vera and slippery elm, things like that are really good in healing and sealing the lining of the gut. Once that’s kind of healed, you can absorb more nutrients from your food. That’s step one.

Stu

08:28 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lee

08:29 Step two, after the program it’s really just about I was on a lot of, a cocktail of different drugs when I was really sick in the beginning, so it’s cleansing and detoxing the body and you can do that through simple practices like tongue scraping, oil pulling, there’s a whole bunch of funny and crazy things that you can do.

08:47 Then, once you’ve rested and cleansed the gut, it’s really all about re-population. The way that I look at the gut is like an Amazonian rainforest, so to speak. I look at the soil, how to really feed that with really great food. You look at the trees, the birds, the butterflies in spring, all that kind of thing. The trees are like your good bacteria in the gut, so you have good and bad bacteria. That can throw that balance off, so you could, if you are feeling tired after eating, bloating, and getting those symptoms, you could have an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. Sugar, smoking, all the things, antibiotics, they throw it off as well.

Lee

09:20 If you do feel like you do have an imbalance, then really repopulating the gut once you cleanse and rested is really good. Then, you can do that with certain foods. The trees, I like to call the trees the good bacteria. The thing with the good bacteria is it dies every 20 minutes, so you have to feed it with the right kinds of foods. The good bacteria foods are things like fermented foods, kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, those kinds of foods. Then, feeding those prebiotic rich veggies, which I think people aren’t really getting enough of. It’s getting enough of the sweet potatoes, you know, the asparagus, the chicory, the fennel, all those really great foods that feed, they’re really good for feeding the good bacteria in the gut.

10:04 Then, you repopulate the gut and then, the fourth section of healing the gut is really all about looking at stress and how it’s impacting your life.

Stu

10:14 Yeah. Well, that’s the big one, isn’t it?

Lee

10:17 [crosstalk 00:10:17] of gut health, yeah. Really big part of it.

Stu

10:18 Yeah.

Lee

10:21 It’s 34 degrees in Sydney.

Stu

10:23 Yeah. I’m in the same zone. Just going to swipe at my phone and see what it is up here. We’re 29 degrees in Byron Bay, so it’s-

Lee

10:32 [crosstalk 00:10:32]. We are 34 today.

Stu

10:34 Oh, boy.

Lee

10:35 I’m sweating.

Stu

10:35 That’s good. You’re-

Lee

10:36 It’s hot.

Stu

10:38 You’re detoxing right there, so it’s great.

Lee

10:41 I’m detox. It’s good, isn’t it?

Stu

10:42 It is. Who needs an infrared sauna?

Lee

10:46 Exactly. Yeah, [inaudible 00:10:46] of the program, so people sign onto the program and they get all the recipes, they get guided through the program individually. We’ve got doctors on the program as well, nutritionists, all different experts, so they help as well.

Stu

11:01 Nice, good.

Lee

11:02 [inaudible 00:11:02] there’s any questions and they’re slowly guided through how to eat better. It’s really interesting, though. Week one’s really good because they’re really excited and they’re like, “Oh, this is a great program, I love it, this is amazing.” Week two, they’re all like super grumpy. They’re detoxing, so they’re like, “Oh, this program’s terrible. I feel awful. When’s it going to stop?” Then, a few days later, they feel better. Then, week three, they’re really happy. They’ve got energy, they feel amazing. Then, week four, they start to worry and say, “I’m really worried about putting those foods back into my diet.” I guide them through that process of reintroducing foods as well, some of them that they kind of see whether they can tolerate them again. It’s kind of a process like that.

Stu

11:44 Fantastic. Now, that does sound absolutely complete, which is people need a road map. Like, we all need just guidelines and rules to follow, otherwise it’s so easy to veer off course. Well, look, we’ll put all of the details for that in the show notes as well. Now, you mentioned Crohn’s, which is of particular interest to me as well because I have a young daughter who has ulcerative colitis and that led us down a path of investigating and chatting to the world’s best experts about what they would do from a nutritional perspective because when we were in hospital with her late last year, we were told emphatically that diet has no bearing on your health with ulcerative colitis.

Lee

12:30 Yes.

Stu

12:31 I thought, “You know what? I just don’t believe that, so I’m going to reach out to the, like, the pioneers in that industry.”

Lee

12:38 Yeah.

Stu

12:38 They told me the complete opposite. I’m interested then from your perspective; do you modify your program at all for you or your protocols for somebody with maybe Crohn’s or colitis?

Lee

12:51 Yeah. Absolutely. There are certain foods that … The program is really, really structured for people with IBD,-

Stu

12:58 Right.

Lee

12:59 … colitis, Crohn’s, celiac as well.

Stu

13:02 Yep.

Lee

13:03 It’s very structured towards that because that was a personal thing for me personally.

Stu

13:07 Yeah.

Lee

13:08 It’s very structured towards that, but obviously, everyone’s an individual. Certain foods, like, say for example garlic and onions, they’re great for you, but some people with IBD cannot tolerate them at all. They’re really good foods. They’re in some of the recipes, so then we switch over to garlic oil or onion flavored oil and that

Stu

13:26 Okay.

Lee

13:27 … works fine for them. There’s different things [inaudible 00:13:29] as well is something that we bring into the program as well, which is a certain kind of, as you know, a diet that can help if you have gastrointestinal symptoms, but in terms of colitis and the ulceration, what I’ve found is most helpful for me are things like, as I mentioned before, aloe vera-

Stu

13:46 Yeah.

Lee

13:47 … and slippery elm.

Stu

13:47 Right.

Lee

13:48 My Love Your Gut powder, which is my product, but I take that and that is for cleaning the gut, so it gets rid of the bad bacteria and it really, really kind of helps to get everything clean so you can absorb more from your foods. It gets rid of

14:00 … so it gets rid of a lot of that [inaudible 00:14:01], which I found, that yeah. I was on a lot of antibiotics when I was younger. That’s where the problems stemmed from in the beginning.

Stu

14:09 Sure.

Lee

14:10 But obviously, it can run in families as well. IBDs can run in families as well. So, it’s really just about if you think of the lining of the gut and the ulceration, you don’t want to pour vinegar on top of it, or put alcohol on it or anything that’s going to hurt it. So it’s really just about smoothing out and soothing that layer, and the cells do regenerate.

Stu

14:32 Excellent. Yeah. No, absolutely. Yes, they do. Food can be so powerful in terms of a medicinal tool and certainly not to be ignored. I think that conventional medicine has a lot to catch up with at the moment, when we’re looking at the likes of functional and integrative medicine and their protocols and beliefs around that. So, yeah. I …

Lee

14:55 Great. The other thing that I did want to say in terms of IBDs is, I know for me with Crohn’s it can flare up. I know how to get rid of it in a day now. I just go on to really soothing foods and soups and things and I’m good again, but stress can really impact it.
Stu: 15:13 Yes.

15:14 So, when you are going through a stressful time, it can come back and it can recur. I know it’s a holistic thing, isn’t it? It’s not just having Crohn’s and then you have to change your diet. I think stress is part of it as well.

Stu

15:29 I think stress is massive, and over the course of the five years that we’ve been podcasting, we have spoken to a whole length of very smart people who have directly linked and proven stress and the link to the changing biology that occurs in the body when we go through stressful times, in as much as we’re flooding the system with a whole heap of very different and potentially quite harmful and hormones in that time.

15:59 Think like cortisol, which are great for short bursts, but when we’re living in that state for a long period of time, it’s anything but healthy. So, definitely, and I know that through our daughter as well. We’ve got to be on top of her mindset and her mood, because that is linked as well. What types of strategies then, would you employ in your program for stress? And I’m thinking you’re very Ayurvedic and is it … Are we talking meditation and things like that?

Lee

16:35 Yeah. I do have meditation audios that people can listen to, and I also have specific yoga poses, because I am a yoga teacher, for digestion. So there are specific poses that you can do, which are in the program as well, which I talk you through and guide you through exactly how to do those poses. Some people find them really helpful, just to do a couple of things in the morning.
Lee: 16:56 It’s not like you have to sit there and meditate for hours on end, really uncomfortably, or you have to get into the shape of a pretzel to do yoga. I think you can do little poses here and there to help you through your day. Obviously, breathing is a big part of it, because you want, when you’re eating, you want to be able to digest in that rest and digest mode. You don’t want to be digesting when you’re stressed, because you won’t absorb anything properly and it’s just a viscous cycle. So mindful eating is part of it as well.

Stu

17:27 Brilliant. Absolutely, mindfully. And yeah, it’s so true, isn’t it? Because there is a system that the body needs to follow to be able to digest and assimilate all the nutrients in the appropriate manner. And if we’re texting on a mobile phone or we’re doing whatever we shouldn’t be doing when we’re eating, we’re so distracted, that system certainly doesn’t work as best as it should. So, mindfully …

17:50 Totally.

Lee

17:51 Yeah, and then it can cause the bloating and those kind of gastro symptoms as well, so mindful eating is good. I’ve been trying to do a bit more of that, and I find it really good. I try and sit down and have my lunch, instead of standing up and eating and walking around with it, and I have found it quite helpful.

Stu

18:08 Well, and again, I think it’s backed by hard and fast science, like there’s stuff that’s happening that is really important when we try and switch off, which many of us don’t. Me included, of course. But, I try. So, let’s talk about the things that we could be doing everyday, unknowingly, that may compromise our gut health. And I’m talking things outside of antibiotics, which are the big one, and being crazy stressful. Where do you think we might be falling down without actually knowing it and compromising the gut?

Lee

18:44 I think one of the big things is raw food. So I know that raw food is so healthy. It’s really good for you. It’s enzymatically rich ad it’s nutritious, but for people with sensitive guts, it’s actually really hard to digest. It’s so hard on the system and it overworks your digestive system, and then you get tired.

19:04 That’s why you get really tired after eating. I think that if you do suffer from things that have given you problems in your gut, just for one day, don’t have any raw foods. Just have cooked foods, things that are blended, squished, smoothie, whatever, and see if your tummy feels a bit easier and lighter. Because I just know, a lot of people have tried that I’ve spoken to and it really works for them. So I think raw food is one.

19:30 Not that you have to give up raw food and salads and things like that altogether, but what I generally do when I make a salad, is I cook a lot of my veggies and then throw them into a salad and have a few leaves and raw food, which is very antihistamine. I love broccoli at the moment. So I do things like that instead of having raw cabbage and raw … you know what I mean? It is very hard to digest for some people. So I think that could be somewhere that people could look to benefit them, for sure.

Stu

19:57 Great. That’s good advice, because I think often it’s very easy to jump into this preconceived idea of health. So I’m going to go and just eat a truckload of raw vegetables, this beautiful salad with everything in, and I’m going to drink a giant bottle of Kombucha as well. And you mentioned histamine. That could be a huge trigger for somebody that has histamine intolerance or issues.

Lee

20:25 I’ve written a whole piece on histamine intolerance, and I love talking about it, because I have it myself. So I actually don’t eat a lot of minted foods, because as soon as I do I break out in hives.
Stu: 20:35 Right. Then, let’s talk about it. I’m really, really interested, because I know that … A couple of years back, we had the low-histamine chef on the podcast as well and she …

Stu

20:47 We did. Yes, Mayna, yeah.

Lee

20:49 She’s a good friend of mine, yeah.

Stu

20:50 Oh, fantastic. Well, she had an amazing story to share and what she went through and how she managed to come out the other side was just so empowering. So, for all of those people then that might not have a clue what we’re talking about right now, just tell us a little bit about histamine, what it is and how you kind of …

Lee

21:13 The way that it works and operates with me and how I write about it is that it’s like a bucket, so it fills up. It’s a reaction that you have. It’s a substance in your body and it’s a reaction you have when you have too much histamine or you have histamine-inducing foods that you eat, things like anchovies. Fish can do it if it’s not fresh. Anything like leftovers, that have been leftover, vinegars, those kinds of foods.

21:38 There’s a whole list on my website of all of those foods. You eat them, one day you might be okay, then you eat them a few times and then your bucket is filling up, and then it tips over, and then you have histamine reaction, whether that’s a runny nose, hives, tiredness, any kind of reaction like that. That’s the way I see it. Something else called Mass Cell Activation Syndrome, which is around histamine as well. I want to do more research into that, because I’m interested in looking into that. But really, a low-histamine diet can definitely stop that bucket from over-tipping.

Stu

22:14 Got it, got it. And do you supplement at all, because I know that Yasmina was very fond of Quercetin, I think.

Lee

22:23 Quercetin, yeah. She was really fond of that. The only thing that I really take is my gut powder and I take turmeric.

Stu

22:32 Right.

Lee

22:32 I’ve found turmeric very … I don’t know, I just … really antiinflammatory, and I love it, so that’s what I do. I haven’t tried any of the other supplements yet, but because I do low-histamine eating, I don’t really get too many reactions anymore.

Stu

22:46 Right, and you …

Lee

22:48 I went to a retreat recently and they gave me a [Kadvia 00:22:52] drink and something and everything was fermented, and it felt like I had to eat it. And then on the plane I started just getting hives all over.

Stu

23:00 Oh, crikey. Yeah, the bucket was full.

Lee

23:03 You can pull it back. The good news is you can pull it back with a low-histamine diet, and also Quercetin, and I think turmeric is a good one. And [rocket 00:23:13] is so antihistamine, so when I do my smoothie, instead of spinach, I put [rocket 00:23:17] in it or a root.

Stu

23:19 Okay, all right. No, that’s a good tip, because yeah, I guess if you can try and follow a histamine diet, but then also incorporate these histamine-reducing foods as well, then you’re definitely on to something. Who would know, really, you’ve got histamine, you got gut problems, more probably hormonal problems thrown in to boot as well, you’ve stress on top of that. Where would we start? You’d have to be a super sleuth to be able to figure this one out.

Lee

23:51 I think that there’s a lot of people out there who have done every diet and tried everything and gut diets and it’s just not working for them. Bod MATs, histamine, and SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, they’re the three next areas to look at. Because normally histamine is diagnosed way down the track. But if you do eat fermented foods and you do notice that you’re itchy and getting rashes and hives and things like that, then it could be a histamine issue. And you know those people that drink and they get the flushing and the …

Stu

24:22 Yes.

Lee

24:23 That’s a histamine issue, too.

Stu

24:25 Oh, okay. Fascinating. So, if we could do three things, and again, I apologize for this question in advance, because it’s just like, it’s semi-ridiculous, but three things that we could do to be most beneficial for our gut health, and I know there are so many things, but what would they be? And it might be like, “Well, look. Just stop drinking Coca Cola and ditch the bread.”

Lee

24:51 Yeah. I think, no raw food one day a week. Try that. Obviously, sugar is very inflammatory to the body and it can change the balance of bacteria in the gut and feed the bad bacteria, so cutting down on sugar is going to be beneficial for the gut.

Stu

25:11 Yeah, right.

Lee

25:12 Then, the other thing would be, yeah, just trying to do some more mindful practices and trying to look after your stress levels.

Stu

25:22 Okay.

Lee

25:23 I would say those are the three main things.

Stu

25:25 Do you incorporate fasting at all in your diet?

Lee

25:28 Yes. I’ve written a book called Fast Your Way to Wellness, which we chatted about last time.

Stu

25:32 We did.

Lee

25:32 And I absolutely love intermittent fasting, so that’s what I personally do. So my whole week consists of I have dinner at six and breakfast at 10 or dinner at seven and breakfast at 11. So I have a sustained hour period of fasting. On hour 12, that’s when we’re fat burning, where our insulin, our leptin is balanced, our hunger hormone. So I do that everyday.

25:55 And then twice a week … today is actually my day. Mondays and Thursdays I do the 500-calorie fasting, so the intermittent as well. So that’s what I do, and I’ve found it’s really helping with menopause, and also I put on a little bit of weight during menopause and I’ve lost all of that through intermittent fasting. So it’s helped me hormonally. It’s helped with that little weight gain that I had.

Stu

26:24 So, tell me about those 500 calories.

Lee

26:29 [inaudible 00:26:29]. Oh, I lost you there for a minute.

Stu

26:35 Oh, sorry. We’re back, we’re back. So, I was just going to say, I’m intrigued as to your 500 calories. What does that look like?

Lee

26:57 Okay, so that looks like, so I go to the gym in the morning. Then around 11 … [inaudible 00:27:03] have some kind of smoothie with [inaudible 00:27:03] have that. And then around 1 or 2 o’clock I’ll have some kind of veggie dish. And then for dinner, I’ll have some fish and some steamed veggies, or sometimes a salad. It just depends. That’s kind of how it looks. Yeah, it’s easy. It’s amazing how much you can actually eat when you’re doing intermittent fasting. 500 calories can go a long way.

Stu

27:20 Yeah, and I guess, on the other side of the coin, it’s amazing how much we think we need to eat when we’re governed by our hormones and cravings and things like that, because …

Lee

27:33 I agree.

Stu

27:34 Yeah, because I am a big eater and I’ve been in a scenario many times where I haven’t had access to food, and I’ve been so hungry and then an hour later it just disappears, but I’m not hungry anymore and I feel fine.

Lee

27:49 I actually really like that feeling. I never used to. The first two weeks of intermittent fasting is so hard. You literally eat your arm off. After that, once you get used to it, feeling hungry, like I

Lee

28:00 I haven’t actually had anything … Oh, I had a celery juice this morning.

Stu

28:02 Right.

Lee

28:06 I like that feeling of being hungry and it’s really good, in a way, like spiritually speaking, not having to think about cooking all the time and shopping and doing all that. It gives you more space in your head to think about other things if you’re not focusing on the three meals a day and everything that you [crosstalk 00:28:25] in that way.

Stu

28:26 That’s right.

Lee

28:26 I kind of embraced that and I go to bed early on a fasting day. I have a bath with a lot of candle, that kind of stuff so I treat it like a bit of a self-care thing.

Stu

28:35 Yeah. No, totally. Do you find that way of eating improved your sleep at all?

Lee

28:45 Yeah. In the beginning it didn’t but now it really does and the thing that most improves is the next day I feel … I don’t feel hungry in the morning and I feel like I could do a whole week’s work in one day because mentally I feel really switched on after a fast or an intermittent fast.

Stu

29:02 Yeah.

Lee

29:02 Men for women stopping eating altogether or just having juices. I believe in intermittent fasting with good quality foods and the right kind of nutrients, just not a lot of it. Just smaller quantities, I think. Also a bit of protein as well. I find that helps for being satiated, so a little bit of a protein helps. Plant protein, I’ll throw that in my smoothie in the morning. It kind of keeps me going.

Stu

29:27 Yeah. That’s good advice. I think oftentimes people wonder, what should I eat in my eating window? Our advice is often just try and maximize the nutrition because-

Lee

29:39 Yeah, absolutely.

Stu

29:41 Yeah, that’s …

Lee

29:42 One of your powders as well, which are amazing. The 180 Nutrition powders. They have everything, don’t they?

Stu

29:47 Yeah, well that’s right. Yeah. Like a meal in a glass. I’m always so keen at every opportunity to eat, I’m trying to nourish my body. I’m not just trying to get food in. Yeah. We actually had that very question today on YouTube actually. Somebody said, “I’m really struggling with knowing what I should be eating during my fasting window.” I said, “Well, just maximize your nutrition. Just try and get as many nutrients in as you can.”

Lee

30:18 Absolutely.

Stu

30:19 And see how you feel.

Lee

30:21 Yeah. I agree.

Stu

30:23 In terms of exercise and movement, we could fall into the trap of thinking that I am just going to exercise like mad and get all these great hormones and all the benefits from exercise as well. But that might not be the best approach I think if we’ve got a compromised gut. Am I right in thinking that?

Lee

30:44 Yeah. I think so. I think some people could over exercise and it’s just too much. There are certain kinds of exercises you can do. The yoga poses I spoke about before, swimming, walking. Walking’s really good after you’ve eaten something after a meal. Walking is fantastic. There are more gentle forms of exercise that you can do if you do have tummy ache or a compromised gut. That can really help you with digestion.

Stu

31:08 Great. How do you exercise? I’m intrigued.

Lee

31:12 Oh, this morning, I went to a barre class. A Barre Attack class. That’s at the barre and you do different movements, which is fun. I actually … As I’ve been getting older, turning 52, I started doing weights. This morning I just did dumbbells, only four kilos on each arm. I have a little routine that I do at the gym. I do it a couple of times a week. So I did that this morning. My daughter also exercises in the morning. We both find that it’s really helpful to just get it done and we can get on with our day. That’s why I did this morning.

31:44 This afternoon, I’m going to take my dog for a walk to the park, Oscar. It’s kind of up and down hills, so we’ll take him to the park as well this afternoon. I might go for a swim sometime. I just do gentle things like that. I find as you get older you can’t do those really full on hardcore, what I call, workouts anymore. I’ve just have been leaning towards more yoga, body balance, those kinds of things. I switch it up all the time. But I try and do a little bit of exercise every day. Yesterday, I did 24,000 steps. I walked to [inaudible 00:32:19], which was good.

Stu

32:20 Wow. Crikey. Where … Boy oh boy. That’s good going. I’m pleased to hear that you say you’re lifting weights as well because I believe that there are so many benefits for the body with resistance training.

Lee

32:33 It’s terrific.

Stu

32:33 I actually had a conversation with a longevity specialist a couple of weeks back. One of my questions to him was, if we could only do one thing to extend our life, what would that be? Surprisingly, he said lift weights.

Lee

32:47 Really?

Stu

32:48 Yes.

Lee

32:49 Oh, that’s good.

Stu

32:50 Yeah.

Lee

32:50 What about … because in barre class, we use those elastics and we move our body as resistance. I find that quite helpful as well.

Stu

32:58 Absolutely. I think any form of resistance will be beneficial. Yeah. I think it’s just great. It has so many benefits that people don’t recognize from things like-

Lee

33:11 [inaudible 00:33:11] lady arms.

Stu

33:11 That’s right. Yeah. Getting ripped.

Lee

33:15 I wouldn’t say I’m getting ripped, but I’m definitely feeling amazing for my age. Just looking after the gut, looking after mental health, and exercising. Just those three little things where I can incorporate it into my day. I really try and make that … do that as a priority, which I’m lucky to be able to do that. I’m very grateful for that.

Stu

33:37 Well, I will say that for all of our listeners that are on audio only, this will also be displayed on YouTube. You have to go over there and have a look because you don’t look like you’re going to hit 52. I’ll tell you that.

Lee

33:48 Thank you.

Stu

33:51 I wouldn’t be shocked if you said, “Well, I’m just about to hit 42.” So you’re-

Lee

33:55 Aw, thanks.

Stu

33:55 You’re definitely doing something right. Fantastic. For all of those people that really want to dial into the program and maybe the book, would it be more beneficial to dig into the book as well and try to familiarize yourself with the way of eating before you go into the program? What would you suggest?

Lee

34:18 Yeah. It just depends on how you kind of want to consume it, so to speak, no pun intended. It’s an e-book which is the cheaper way to do it which is an 18 dollar e-book that you can get online through superchargedfood.com. That is one way you could do it. If you like reading online. Then there’s the print book which has a few more recipes in it and a little bit more information and there’s a program which is more guided. I’m the person that talks to everyone in the program and then obviously we have all the experts as well. But it’s 24/7 get to chat with me. It’s really good. It’s really fun. There’s a private Facebook group. There’s other things as well if you’re with the online program. So depending on how you want to go with it and your budget.

Stu

35:01 Yes.

Lee

35:02 But even if you don’t want to do anything, I recommend those three trips that we talked about before.

Stu

35:07 Okay, fantastic. I will absolutely put all those links in the show notes. Outside of gut health and you’re clearly radiating health and so knowledgeable over all these different areas as well. What tips do you think that you could offer that would make the biggest impact on our overall health?

Lee

35:33 I think looking after your mental health I would say because however you’re feeling and thinking, the way that you’re thinking, can impact your health. If you have negative thoughts about your health or other things, it can really impact you. I think just remembering to have positive thoughts throughout and for you as well, looking after yourself. Positive thoughts. I would just say for me, I’ve learned that throughout all the journey of writing books and getting sick and recovering and starting to feel better and working on all these different things, I think that I’ve learned about mental health being a priority.

Stu

36:11 That’s good. Yeah. That’s really good advice especially in the age of the internet and social media where everything’s shiny and bright and new and happy.

Lee

36:19 Yeah.

Stu

36:20 Which I don’t believe to be true at all. I’m talking to all the Instragrammers out there. I believe … Yeah. It’s interesting because I’ve got three young daughters as well and they’ve grown up knowing the internet and so they’re in a very different digital space. So I think, yeah, great advice.

Lee

36:39 Thank you.

36:40 What have you got coming up? What’s next?

36:45 Actually I’m just releasing a book in a couple of weeks, Supercharge Your Life. It’s a philosophical kind of book but it’s a cookbook as well, so there’s like hundreds of recipes in there. But it’s really about falling in love with food again. It’s getting away from restriction. It’s getting into the kitchen. It’s pairing flavors. It’s talking about how to eat. Everyone has a food culture, so we talk about that. How to grow your own … I think it’s my favorite book because it’s really about where I’m at right now. I’ve got a little veggie platter. I’ve got my [inaudible 00:37:17] going. Yeah. It’s all about really embracing food and loving food. Yeah. It’s about that.

Stu

37:24 Are you able to maintain a sense of calm when you’re writing these books? Because I have heard so many authors say, “Oh my word. I just went through the most stressful and unhealthy period of my life writing this book.” How does it work for you?

Lee

37:36 I think I’m lucky because I feel like even with my first book way back in the day, it just poured out of me. I had so much that I wanted to say. With each book, I’ve grown and I’ve learned from different things and made mistakes and come back. I think it’s just if you’re authentic and genuine, you’re just writing your story or things that you think are going to help other people, then I think for me, I find it … I love it but I’m passionate about writing. But I always go away to write. I never write at home because I feel like I need to lock myself away. Then I’ll write from 6:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night. Probably not very good for you, but I just really feel like I just want to get it all on paper. Then the recipe process of the books, that takes a lot longer because obviously they all come out of my kitchen and I have to get them tested. Then once they’re tested, my publisher also tests the recipes as well. Then there’s a whole process that goes into writing the books as well. That can be stressful.

Stu

38:40 Yeah. God. I can only imagine. Well, I certainly look forward to receiving the book. If you need anybody else to help you test those recipes, you let me know. I’ll come down to Sydney.

Lee

38:51 That sounds good.

Stu

38:51 Yeah. It does. We’re just about coming up on time. Where can we send everybody to get more of Lee Holmes?

Lee

39:03 Superchargedfood.com is the website. You can find everything there. If you’re interested in the Love Your Gut powder or Golden Gut powder blend, Superchargeyourgut.com is the website for that. Instagram, I’m @leesuperchargedand Facebook, I’m Supercharged Food.

Stu

39:18 Fantastic. Thank you so much. We’ll share all those links and really appreciate your time today. Thank you again and hopefully we’ll be speaking to you sometime soon.

Lee

39:28 Thank you so much. It was so nice to chat with you.

Stu

39:30 Yeah. You take care. Bye.

Lee

39:31 Bye.

Lee Holmes

This podcast features Lee Holmes. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Food and Nutrition and is a certified holistic health coach (IIN), yoga teacher, wholefoods chef and bestselling author of the Supercharged Food series. She is a columnist for Wellbeing Magazine and Lifestyle Food Channel's Healthy Eating Expert, and her... Read More
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