Let Food Be Thy Medicine And Medicine Be Thy Food

Episode 62

The most important decision regarding our health that we make every day is what we decide to use to fuel our bodies. Nutrition is the king of wellness; exercise is the queen. What we use to fuel our bodies; what we use as nourishment can either heal/prevent disease or be the root cause of disease. Culinary medicine is all about using food to nurture and prevent, treat, and reverse disease.
Dr. Michaela Ginn joins the podcast to discuss her transition into culinary medicine, how culinary medicine has impacted her own life, and how she works with her clients to let food be thy medicine indeed.

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Episode Transcript

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:00:00] Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body, strive for wellness, strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.

Welcome to this edition of the Strive For Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris, and now a word from our sponsors; this week’s sponsor is Real Ketones. Real Ketones is my favorite ketone-based supplementation. I actually used a couple of their products. I’ll use their weight loss sticks because it has caffeine, not for the weight loss properties, but I’ll use it as a pre-workout. I’ll use their prime product, their prime D product because of the vitamin D, the B vitamins.

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The link will be in the show notes, or you can head to our website, theghwellness.com. On the bottom, where it says the wellness link, you can click drink ketones. Okay. And now to this week’s episode.

Welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris. And today, I have a very special guest on the podcast.

It’s quite interesting how life can turn around and come full circle because I have with me Dr. Michaela Ginn, and Dr. Ginn is actually someone who trained me when I was at UTMB doing my residency, and we loved her as students because she was a wealth of knowledge. She always had a holistic view to how she treated her patients, and our patients loved her.

And so it’s, it’s a great pleasure to have Dr. Ginn on the podcast as a way of life coming full circle; we reconnected because we both ventured from conventional medicine into holistic medicine. So Dr. Ginn, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for coming on.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:02:45] Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure.

You’re so right about the full circle. It’s just so wonderful to be able to do this with you.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:02:52] Absolutely. And so I’ll start these podcast episodes off with a question about your own journey because I found that most of us who go into holistic medicine have like either an AH-HA moment or a moment where something happened in our own health that brought us into the holistic realm and then we decided to bring that to the people around us. So what was it that started your wellness journey? Do you have like an AH-HA moment or a personal incident that led you into wellness?

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:03:24] I do, I do. I have my own health issues that I’ve struggled with since I was a child, chronic gut health, back issues, arthritis.

And about nine years ago, you know, prior to that, prior nine years ago, I had always just, you know, done the conventional route. Tried all the medications people wanted to give me and just felt like that was really it. And that was as good as life was going to get. And so nine years ago, when my husband and I decided we wanted to have a child, we knew that I could only have one.

And so we were like, well, we better get ourselves together here. So all I had ever known with diet and exercise, you know, from medical school training, everything, no one ever told me about everything else that goes into being well. And so we just did that simple thing of taking sugar out of our diet.

You know, and that was really just dessert, just taking the dessert. And after the 40 days, we couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t believe how much better we felt. We had both lost 15 pounds and my, my gut issues, my arthritis, it all started to improve. And so from there, I started to think diet-disease; there has to be a connection.

So from there, it was, you know, years of teaching ourselves how to cook and prepare all of our food. And I just started getting better and better. And so from, you know, the diet and disease aspect, I started using that with my patients.  Never forget that one patient that really was the AH-HA.

This is what I need to be doing was a patient who had no diagnosed medical problems but came in, and I ordered some basic labs and. I’ll never forget. My lab tech came running because the blood was yellow, thick, yellow blood in the tube from high cholesterol significantly. I diagnosed him with high cholesterol and diabetes.

At that time found out he had significant heart disease. He didn’t want to take any medications. So I put him on a diet that I felt was right for him. And he resolved, the issues that he had resolved. So that was my real big AH-HA moment. And from there, I progressed for my own health as well into the whole realm of wellness, the sleep, yoga, meditation, and became certified in yoga and meditation, health and wellness coaching.

And it’s progressed from there. And for me, it’s been a long journey and, you know, a journey that continues on, and I have transitioned out of traditional medicine because I have found the profound effect of using this type of medicine before people get sick. And that was really what my true passion was.

I, I couldn’t push another pill without getting to the root cause. You know, what are, what are the, all the issues that are going on and to cause these diseases you know, we’ve found, you know, research has shown this chronic inflammation, and all the factors in life, as simple as stress can cause that chronic inflammation.

And so that’s really where my journey personally and professionally has taken me till now. And the formation of, you know, Never Say Never Wellness, which has been my true passion.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:06:35] Yeah. That’s amazing. You know my listeners can’t see you right now because I only record the audio, but you look younger now than when I first met you in 2013.

You can see the difference then it’s like, it’s like you have this Benjamin Button effect. I’ve heard that in myself, people who I haven’t seen since high school look at me. And like you haven’t aged a single day since high school, you look exactly the same. And if you look at pictures for me, like 10 years ago actually look younger because 10 years ago I had terrible habits.

Now I don’t. And I think that’s so important to our overall health. And then, like you said before, medical school really prepares you, and residency prepares you to prescribe; that’s really all it does. It doesn’t prepare you to think about root cause analysis. It doesn’t prepare you to do a comprehensive wellness plan.

Like we’ve never learned about meditation. We never learned about yoga. We never learned about true, you know, impact of nutrition or some of the other things, you know, EMF, toxins, pollution, all of these things that we know impact health. You don’t hear about that at all in medical school. I didn’t hear about that in pharmacy school, you know, I’ve got two doctorate level degrees in health and wellness, and most of what I do now, I went and learned on my own, seeking out that additional knowledge.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:07:55] Exactly. And I’m sure throughout your residency too, and multiple progress notes, you wrote lifestyle modifications, but in traditional medicine, what do we do with that? We don’t sit and talk to people about what that truly means and really understanding what one patient’s lifestyle is because everybody’s lifestyle is different.

And what is that lifestyle factor that’s influencing their health? And it’s just so important to be able to spend that time. Because we can give all the pills that we want, but if nothing else changes, it’s just not gonna make any difference.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:08:28] And I tell people that all the time being a pharmacist, I know how the medication actually works, you know, and I know that for most people, we’ve talked about this on the podcast, medication works at the population level.

You know, if I have a hundred million people and I can save 3 million, of course, I’m going to do that. That makes sense. But if I’m sitting, one-on-one in front of you and I’m like; there’s a 97% chance, this isn’t going to help you, that person is going to be like give me something that’s going to help me.

And like, okay, here’s all the lifestyle stuff. Here’s the wellness things. And let’s go through this step by step because your major problem might be EMF exposure, but someone else’s body can tolerate more EMF exposure, and that’s not their major problem. So that’s why we have a stepwise approach in how we do these things to get to the root cause. And, and sometimes it is a little bit of trial and error, and I know people are so used to the quick fix age that they just expect their body to get better immediately. And I always tell people, listen, it took your brain 25 years to develop, you know, you didn’t just gain all that weight or get all that inflammation or build up all those toxins in a day.

So it’s going to take time for you to realize and achieve your goals. You know, I always tell people, it takes at least 90 days for your body to figure out what happened with the change, at least 90 days.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:09:43] Yeah, exactly. And that patience is teaching people patience because in our country, at least it’s the quick fix, the pill for everything.

And changing that mindset is so important and to, you know, being a team with a patient and trying to get them to understand, you know, this is what we all, you know, we, I need to work with you. You need to work with me, and we need to work on this together to make these changes.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:10:07] Absolutely. I know we’ve gotten completely off storyboard, but my listeners are used to that.

I go all over the place. But what you just said there is really powerful. And when people come to me, they always say, well, give me a plan. I go, I don’t give you a plan. I help you create your own plan. Because if I give you a plan, you’re going to follow it for a week, two weeks, and then go back to what you know, because there’s no ownership, you didn’t invest anything in the creation of that plan.

But if I help you create a plan. Then it’s your plan. And then you take it, you go with it, and you mold it as things change in your life. But I think that’s so essential. And I think a lot of, even us holistic providers, fail at that is that we don’t have enough flexibility with our clients. And then we don’t help them create a plan.

I think that’s the way that we should do it because that creates sustainability and longevity, you know, just like you. You created your own plan for your own wellness, right? You had the background knowledge, and then you sought out additional knowledge, and you created your own plan. That’s the same way that I did.

It’s the same way that all the holistic providers; I know they all did the same thing. They sought out information, got the information, created their own plan. And that’s the kind of the paradigm that I follow with my clients.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:11:22] Yeah, it’s that whole concept that there really isn’t a one size fits all for any of this.

Everyone is different, and recognizing that there is no flow diagram, that’s going to make everybody better. You know, we have to insert each person’s information individually and go from there.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:11:42] Absolutely. Okay. So let’s get back on storyboard here. So Never Say Never Wellness. I looked at your webpage.

It’s a beautiful webpage. There’s a great blog there listeners, go check it out. The URL will be in the show notes. So the thing that jumped out to me was culinary medicine physician. That, that term, just like jumped off the page, like it was alive to me. So, in your own words, why don’t you explain kind of what you do as a culinary medicine physician?

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:12:11] Okay. So culinary medicine was new to me. I had been doing it because I had researched and used it for myself, and it got me researching more. And what basically it is, is you take the art of cooking, the preparation that, you know, meal planning, and then the idea of evidence-based medicine of diet, you know, there’s no diet that’s going to be perfect for everybody.

So each individual disease has a diet that should be used; there’s research for different diets. You know, the anti-inflammatory diet for people with rheumatoid arthritis, you have the Mediterranean diet for heart disease. You have the ketogenic diet for seizure disorder. So there’s all these different diets.

But telling a patient, okay, you’re going to go ahead and start the Mediterranean diet. They won’t know what that means. And so really getting down to it and helping them know what that is really. What is that diet that’s special for them and helping them learn how to prepare it, understanding what their limitations are because some people might not have access to food that we would like them to have. And so trying to help them, you know, figure out ways to get those fresh vegetables, whether or not you know, organic non-organic, whatever they can get to be the healthiest and to meet these diet changes as much as possible teaching them preparation skills. A lot of people don’t know how to cook, and they are so scared of cooking because they don’t know how to do basic things.

And I think cooking is so complicated. And so trying to break it down into the basics of how to prepare something that’s healthy, that’s delicious and not difficult to do, and really trying to get people to understand that. So that’s where the idea of culinary medicine has come into play. And it’s really amazing.

Now it’s in over 20 medical schools in the country as part of their regular curriculum. You know, they have teaching kitchens and these medical schools, and I’m so hopeful that this is going to be part of what medical students learn. And we just don’t tell them, go eat healthy because many people just don’t know what that means.

You know that you go on Google for a healthy diet. It’s just not going to work for everybody. You take somebody like myself who suffers gastric problems, and you tell me to go eat a bunch of raw vegetables. That’s going to kill, you know, not kill me, but that’s going to really cause my symptoms to flare. So really helping people understand the pathophysiology of their disease and why certain foods that are supposedly healthy might not work for them.

Why certain ways that preparing food might not work for that and what the best ways are. So that’s the basis of the idea of culinary medicine.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:15:08] Yeah, there’s a lot of great points that you just mentioned. Number one, you know, the true art of holistic medicine is meeting people where they are, right. If you’re living, you know, in the middle of the city somewhere, and you don’t have means, I’m not expecting you to go to a farm and get like grass-fed grass-finished beef.

That may be a limitation for you. Okay. But maybe we can say, okay, well, when you do go where you’re going, look at more of the fruits and vegetable type options, or look for more things like beans for your proteins or legumes or lentils or things like that. It just may be an example of meeting someone where they are.

Another key point is if you think about back in the origins of being a chef, why do chefs wear white? Because they were seen as healers. There is healing in food, and that’s what chefs used to pride themselves on. They pride themselves on making nutritious meals to literally nurture our bodies. And we’ve kind of, we’ve gotten away from that concept big time to now, even the way we prepare our foods is dangerous to our health. And I actually just added a whole section on food preparation and food storage to my wellness classes because that matters. Most of us are preparing our food in a manner that actually degrades from our health and then storing our food in plastics and then rewarming those plastics, which is also degrading our health.

And so that’s so important to teach people how to cook that is actually nurturing the body and not degrading the body. I always talk about; we have a literal health savings, you know, you’re making withdrawals and deposits on your health every single day. And what I try to do is get people to make more deposits every single day than withdrawals.

And then when something does happen, you have a savings account. Your body can say, Oh, you know what? We took a hit, but we’re fine. We’ve got this. We’ve got this reserve saved up. And I think that that’s so important to our overall health. And then the final thing is you mentioned; we need to teach people that this is the art of true medicine, and it starts with the medical providers.

A lot of what I’m doing right now, working on is working with groups of people who are trying to do that, realizing that most people still get their advice from their doctors. And most doctors don’t know how to give advice on these issues. And then, like you said, when people go to Google, they get, they get all kinds of information.

Eggs are bad. Eggs are good. Fat is bad. Fat is good. Canola oil is heart-healthy; canola oil is deadly for your health. So people are confused because they don’t know what’s the true path, because there’s conflicting evidence out there. And so you really need someone who’s able to, to read between the lines and be like, listen, this is actually what the truth is, and that’s how my approach to nutrition and how I work with my clients on that issue.

And I’m curious because a lot of people, when they come to me about this stuff, a lot of other physicians are like, Oh, this is just hooey. Like, this doesn’t matter at all. I’m like, okay, well, yeah, the 16 medications you’ve got that person on, really doing them wonders.

How did you learn about this type of medicine? Was there some, was there a, like a gateway, something that introduced you, and it just kind of like blew the doors off, and you just went down a rabbit hole. Like how, what was your process?

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:18:38] It’s actually a totally random story. I was reading a magazine and Dr. Harlan, who was the creator of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine out of Tulane. I was featured in that, about his program, and he was. You know, had this certification program for physicians, as well as they, were doing a lot in the community to teach the community how to, how to cook and, you know, in somewhere like new Orleans teaching people, how to cook healthy is a difficult change for that, you know, that type of cuisine.

So that’s how I found out about it. And I had already been doing it. And so in my mind, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that there was actually a certification that validated one, what I was already doing or what I had already seen. And I was just so excited. So I immediately signed up and took all the classes and courses online, and that’s really how I fell into it.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:19:33] That’s amazing. It was, you know, for me, it was, I went into a talk, and I gave a talk on where I thought the future of medicine was going. And then I met my good friend. He’s really essentially my mentor Willie Villareal. And he told me about a new ketone-based product.

And then once I dove into the research on it, I just went down a deep rabbit hole and like blew the gates off. And then it was like, I learned about ketosis. And then I learned about; I read every study I could find about nutrition, every study I could read about omega-3 fats, omega-six-fats, every study I could read about, you know AMP kinase and all these other things, you know, from the practical application down to the pathophysiology.

And I read probably 300 studies in the period of a year. And that was when I really started to learn about these things. And now that study counts up to 600 in the last two years, I’ve read 600 studies on all things related to lifestyle medicine, even on things such as grounding and the effects of infrared light and all of these things.

So. It was really that one moment. And then when I realized there was so much in medicine that I didn’t know, and I’m still learning, there’s things I still don’t know about. And I’m learning every single day. That was when I said, okay, this is really interesting and really fun. And I hate knowledge gaps.

So I felt like I had a whole knowledge gap and this other side of medicine that I was never exposed to. So I just went like full bore.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:21:07] Yeah. Yeah. Once you open those gates, you, you know, you do the search on our, you know, the common website that a lot of us use, and you see all these studies have been done and have been proven this stuff to work.

You know, for me, I’m a, I have a big emphasis in yoga and meditation and, you know, the studies were there and you just, I, I could find myself just reading and reading and reading and reading, just all the things that have been proven. And it’s fascinating.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:21:36] Yeah. The, one of the things I tell people to get them to buy-in, and my listeners have heard this.

If you’re going to start with anything, I tell people, start with two things that you can do today that costs you absolutely nothing that have high benefit and almost no downside. And that’s fasting and meditation. Yeah, there’s a boatload of literature on both of these things, as far as improvement in overall health, in so many different body systems, and it costs you nothing.

And I think that’s a powerful gateway, but you know, everybody’s got their favorite. So what are some of the favorite things that you like to cook as a culinary physician?

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:22:14] I think my favorite if you had to ask me what I really love to cook and to share with people would be spices and seasonings actually.

Because it allows you to create different meals from the same simple ingredients. So if you have, for me, I’m on a special diet that eliminates onion and garlic. So that’s a big thing with seasonings. And so I started making my own onion and garlic free seasonings because I couldn’t find anything good at the store.

So I started making my own, and then I realized, you know, if I just kept all these in the cupboard makeup, Easy. It takes a couple of minutes. I can take that same piece of chicken or same protein and throw a different spice on it and be ready quickly with a different flavored meal. Same thing with sauces, you know, just the ones that you find on the shelves are filled with things that you just really don’t want to eat.

I love the chemistry of it. I love just; my husband jokes that I often just opened the cupboard or the fridge and decide what I’m going to put in stuff. And, but that’s really my, my true joy is the seasonings and sauces. And it just really is the backbone to a lot of the meals that I prepare.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:23:32] Yeah, it’s the same with kind of us, you know me and my wife, we very rarely plan out a meal, but we have a wide variety of seasonings in our, in our kitchen.

And I’m a cilantro fiend. She’s not, I love, I absolutely love cilantro was probably cilantro and turmeric are probably my two favorites. She’s more of a, like an oregano/basil type of person, but even then, it’s still delicious. And so you’re right. A part of the essence of cooking is that people are so afraid of cooking cause they feel like I don’t know how to cook. I’m like, well, do you cook? No. I’m like, well, cooking is a skill. You get better at it the more you do it. I was like, did you know how to drive a car when you started driving a car? No. Did you know how to ask girls out when you started asking girls out? No.

It’s just like everything else in life. The more you do it, the better you get. And so, you know, we’re so afraid of, of looking like a failure or not succeeding that we’re even paralyzed to try not realizing that every time you do it, you get better. And if you do it consistently within, you know, three months, even you’ll see a dramatic difference in your cooking.

You know, my wife didn’t cook a lot before we met, and she’s been cooking more and more and more, and she’s gotten to be a dramatically better cook. You know, I’ve been cooking pretty much all my life, so I was used to it. And so she picked it up, and that’s one of the things I always tell people. Don’t be afraid to try.

You’re going to get better focus on how you’re going to get better. Don’t focus on where you are now. And that’s one of the tips that I love to give to people. So, you know, one of the questions I’ve never asked anybody, and this is something that I haven’t even thought of myself, but as a physician, and thanks for being the test dummy on me here, what is your favorite disease or condition to treat?

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:25:23] Probably a bias passion for people that struggle with irritable bowel syndrome, which is something that I’ve been labeled with my whole life; as you know, irritable bowel syndrome is one of those diseases that it’s those diagnosis of exclusion. There’s no real lab test or radiology to prove how miserable these people can be and how overwhelming it can be for their lives.

And to try to be able to help these people, when many of them have been told, you know, this is just how it’s going to be there’s, not much we can do for you. You know, a lot of times they’ve tried every, you know, conventional medication that has been out there, which isn’t very much, but showing them, the evidence for these alternative therapies, diet changes, yoga, meditation, stress relief, the importance of sleep, those kinds of things, or watching them improve or improve improving their quality of life is very personal for me.

And so I really have a passion for seeing that change in people because it just makes me happy. My other passion is taking people who think that they’re healthy and because they don’t have any medical problems. I, I love when people tell me you know, friends, family, they say, you know, I’m healthy.

I don’t have any medical problems. I might eat this horrible diet, but I don’t have any medical problems. So I’m fine. And trying to change that mindset to prevent disease because you know, like, you know, diabetes, you could be diagnosed with diabetes type two it’s five years of damage already been done.

We can’t reverse that. So by the time you get diagnosed, so really trying to focus on that younger population and trying to get those changes in now to prevent disease in the future would be my, my real true passions in medicine.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:27:18] Yeah, that’s really right up my alley. I was the same way. My listeners know that I got a really bad episode of colitis once when I was eight; my mom and I both liked the same thing.

She got hospitalized. I didn’t. And then I had another bad episode when I was 16. And I got hospitalized for that episode when I was 16. And ever since that episode, when I was eight, I’ve had GI issues ever since then. And it wasn’t until I got in college that I started to really figure out what is going on.

And then I figured out I was gluten sensitive, and I had been eating bread all my life. I cut that out. It got better. And then I started feeling okay; what else is connected to my gut? What other mistakes am I making that I was eating too high carbohydrates, even though I was eating clean carbohydrates, eating rice and beans and lentils and quinoa and all this stuff.

I was just eating too much carbohydrates. And I cut back on my carbs, increased my good fats. It got better. I improved my sleep; it got better. Meditation, it got better. And so now I went from being doubled over in pain. Most nights, like sitting in my room can’t go anywhere to alternating between constipation and diarrhea, lots of abdominal bloating too. I’m about 99% symptom-free now.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:28:35] It’s amazing. Yeah, it’s amazing. And had, you just listened and, you know, people say it’s just how it’s going to be learning to not accept that answer, well, this is just how it’s going to be for anything, for any disease, you know, really working to find ways that make you feel better. The fact of this kind of changes on, you know, just, just gut health is amazing.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:29:01] Yep. I’ll talk about that all the time with my friend Trevor; shout out to Trevor Crohn’s crusaders; he’s doing some amazing work healing people with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis through these principles that we talked about today, and diabetes is something that’s near and dear to my heart.

My dad has diabetes. My grandfather had diabetes. He ended up passing away from complications of diabetes and Alzheimer’s, you know, the Alzheimer’s was caused by his diabetes. And I told myself that I’m going to be the first Harris in, in three generations not to get diabetes. And that was a big push for me.

And it’s like you said, you know, a lot of people with diabetes when they get diagnosed with diabetes, they think, okay, well this has just happened now, you know, recently, so I can fix everything. I’m like, well, maybe, you know, but you’ve probably been smoldering. There are signs; there were warning signs for years that weren’t investigated properly.

You know, most people will go to a conventional medicine doc were told their fasting blood glucose is 96 and be told they’re fine. No, we know that you have a three X risk of developing diabetes if your fasting glucose is up. That’s above 95. If your A1C is 5.5, you’re going to be told by a conventional doc; hey, that’s normal, but we know that 5.5 and 5.6 is an increased risk of developing diabetes. That’s a yellow sign. That’s a yellow light. This is a, this is a time to turn things around before they get irreversible, as far as the damage goes, so you can fix your blood sugars, but you may not be able to fix the damage that’s been caused to your nerves in your heart and your kidneys by having the elevated blood sugars for a time period before you were diagnosed.

And just like you, every time someone tells me healthy, I go, well, what do you mean by healthy? How do you define healthy? Because just because you don’t have medical problems does not mean you are healthy. I shout this from the rooftops. If you look, there are cracks underneath the rocks. If you look, and if you know how to interpret lab data, if you’re able to order some of the tests that we routinely order in holistic medicine, you know, a lot of times, I check people for oxidative stress levels.

You know, you may have normal inflammation levels. But if I check your oxidative stress tests, there’ll be red flags popping up all over the place and being like, Hey, your body’s under inflammation right now. If we don’t fix this, it’s going to manifest itself as one of several chronic diseases. I don’t know which one is going to pop up in you. But I know something is going to pop up if we don’t fix this. And that’s a big part of what I do as well, is getting people to challenge the notion of what is healthy and how do you know you’re actually healthy? What metric are you measuring that by? And then let’s actually use the right metric to measure what is actually healthy.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:31:50] Exactly. My, one of my favorite comments to tell people is, you know, an organic gummy bear is still a gummy bear. You know, it doesn’t make it healthy just because it’s organic and trying to get people to understand that difference. There is, you know, it’s a whole mindset, just the basic misconceptions that are put out to, you know, either produce products or, you know, whatever. But it’s just a lot of education that needs to be done.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:32:18] Absolutely. Agave nectar. People are like, Oh, it’s organic, it’s healthy. I can eat as much of this as I want. I’m like, no, it’s still straight sugar. You can’t; you can’t just dump agave nectar on everything, you can’t just dump honey on everything. Yes. There are beneficial properties to honey, but you can’t just like eat tablespoons of honey every single day.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:32:38] Yeah, nobody sits down and talks to them about that. I think, you know, that’s what conventional medicine just doesn’t allow for that in that, in the practice structure, as it is,

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:32:50] We always like to end on practical tips, take-home tips, you know, things that you can do to start improving your life today. So what are three tips that you can give people to get them more involved in making their own food at home?

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:33:07] The first I would say would be, keep it simple because if it’s not simple, you’re going to become exhausted from it. And you’re going to give up because if it’s challenging to keep something up; it’s not sustainable.

That would be my first thing is just, don’t try to become a gourmet cook overnight, you know, learn some basic things to create a meal and use that technique over and over. The second I would say would be to plan. I’m a big planner. To plan it out to look at your week, look at, look at how your week’s going to go.

Do you have a day where you have meetings all day long, or you’re going to be out of the house all day long, and you need to prepare for that and planning out, you know, I always tell people, plan out your week ahead so that whether you’re going to the grocery store, you’re ordering your groceries, you’re going to the farmer’s market, whatever you’re doing.

You’ll know exactly what you need to get and what you’re gonna need for, you know, for the week. It saves you time. It saves you money. That’s one of my biggest things with home cooking. And this, the third thing that I find the most helpful is I would say cook once and eat multiple times, with your point of learning, how to store it correctly.

You know, one of my biggest tips is create, you know, you’re going to have a chicken, you’re going to have chicken for dinner. Maybe you’re going to roast a chicken, roast a second one too, and have it for the week. Have it to add on salads, have it to add for breakfast, you know, just different, have some roasted vegetables, make an extra batch, have it for lunch, for breakfast.

Nobody thinks you should eat vegetables for breakfast, but I don’t know where that came from. But so, you know, just having those things readily available so that you’re not constantly having to cook and cut and, you know, clean and all those kinds of things. So those would be my biggest tips to make it easy.

And I think that all goes back to the, keep it simple is having things that are readily available to you so that you’re able just to kind of create without it being a chore.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:35:07] Yeah, those are great tips. You know, I always tell people, there are so many culinary tools that you can get these days to make cooking easier.

You know, there are InstaPot’s, there are things that will slice and dice for you. You know, we use all of these things in our kitchen because we cook. You know, 97, 98% of the time we cook. So, of course, if we’re doing something that much, we’re going to find things to make it more efficient. And so we have a lot of these tools, you know, we have spiraler and things like that, all of that stuff around the house, it makes things super simple.

And then also, what you mentioned about having a plan. I always tell my clients have an if-then when plan; if I see this, then I’m going to do this when this happens. So that way, you are prepared for that situation and think about situations, you know, if you’re going out to a restaurant preplan, what you’re going to get, if you’re thinking about going to the store, preplan out an idea of the meals that you’re going to have, you know, that’s what me and my wife do.

When we go to the store, we have a general idea of some things that we want to try and throw together that week because we’ve, we’ve thought ahead. And I think all of those are great tips to get people to cook more and then just, don’t be afraid to start cooking. Just try it.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:36:20] Yeah. Just throw some stuff on a pan and put it in the oven, and you’ll be surprised that it comes out pretty, pretty awesome, you know?

And just it’s once you learn that, and once you gain that confidence that it’s not really that hard. And I think if people do go to my website, I don’t cook fancy. You know, I cook simple because that’s life, you know, we all have things going on, and that’s been, my biggest focus is showing how people, how to cook simple but healthy, that this is a sustainable way.

To be able to cook all, all your own meals, because it is really important to, to eat at home. You know, the studies have shown there’s less obesity with it, and sometimes you can think the same ingredients, but it’s the way that it’s prepared in a lot of the restaurants. People like us with gluten sensitivity, you know, you get into a restaurant, gluten is everywhere, and it’s only an eighth of a teaspoon that takes to set you off. So.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:37:14] Right. And then those courses, the social aspect of being at home, preparing a meal in the kitchen. I mean, some of my fondest memories when I was a kid was being in the kitchen with my grandmother. Learning how to cook,  her making homemade ice cream and going to pick plums and grapes from the trees in their backyard and running in and making like things from that.

Like, those are some of my fondest memories as a kid. And that’s something that I want my kids to have and my grandkids to have because that taught me how to cook. And it taught me the value of family time. And there, there are health benefits to that. That’s a whole nother topic for a whole nother discussion, but don’t, don’t be afraid.

It’s just like anything else. It’s just like going to the gym. People always tell me, well, I don’t have time to go to the gym. I was like, okay, well, how much do you think you need to work out? I don’t know, like an hour or two hours. I’m like, Whoa. Nobody works out for two hours unless you’re like an Olympic athlete or a professional athlete.

I was like 30 minutes, get in and out in 30 minutes, it’s the same thing with cooking. If I’m in my kitchen for more than 20 minutes, it’s because I’m preparing something that we specifically wanted to try or a new recipe, or we want to do something big. Most of the time, I spend less than 20 minutes in my kitchen prepping the meals, and that’s it, that’s it.

And most, and most of the time, it’s even shorter than that. It doesn’t take that much time to put some vegetables and a cast iron with some meat, season it, turn on the oven, throw it in the oven.

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:38:43] Exactly. Yeah. And it can be as simple as that it’s delicious, and I think just getting over that hump for people is, is the biggest, you know, real hurdle.

So, yeah. Yeah. I tell my eight-year-old all the time. You know, we cook a lot together, and I was like, you’re going to be the most famous people person at college, because, you know, if you could cook, it’s a, it’s a big deal. So really teaching kids to cook, I think is really important, you know, with the rise in obesity and diabetes, which again is a whole other topic, bringing back the family meal, again, another topic, but just, it really is important.

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:39:21] It is important. And for, you know, the single listeners out there how I got, my wife was, I cooked for her on the second date, and she was so impressed that I cooked and I took her to church, and she was like, who is this man?  So I was like for the singles out there cook and take them to church, if you want a good one. And that’ll, that’ll land you a good, significant other. Is there anything else you want to say before we bring this to a closing?

Dr. Michaela Ginn: [00:39:46] That’s it? I just encourage people. Don’t be afraid of it. You know, just, just try it and see what happens, really?

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:39:53] Right. Trial and error. I mean, it’s like everything else; the more you do it, the better you get. And before you know it, you know, a couple of months later, you’ve actually developed some, some great skills in the kitchen. You’ve got your routine down, and you become, you know, literally, a machine where it’s, where it’s simple, it’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s delicious.

If you want to check out and Never Say Never Wellness, I will have a link to her website and all of her services down in the show notes. Definitely check it out. There’s a lot of cool information in the blog. I love your blog. I was perusing through the blog the other day. It’s great information, but it’s also visually stunning.

So. Definitely check it out. There’s a wealth of information in there. I know that because she trained me. So if you like me check, check out some, one of the sources of, of where I got my information from. Always go to the source. We’ve had a good time today. This was fun coming back, full circle, and to my listeners, as usual, thanks for listening. Thanks for investing in your health, and have a blessed day.

Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals, to take control of their health, and live a life full of joy and purpose.

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Thank you again, and God bless.

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