#245 Lower Your Toxic Burden Without freaking Out

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Going through breast cancer can throw your life into a spin. And one of the things that might cause your spin-out to speed up is considering all the changes people tell you that you have to make to be “safe” from getting cancer again.

You might hear everything from changing your diet to the brand of underwear you choose. Then there’s your drinking water, your cleaning products, your skin care…and here comes the spin.

In this episode, I want to help you slow down the spin-out while understanding the first step to why lowering your toxic burden is truly important and how you can approach it in a way that isn’t overwhelming.

The last thing we need in our lives is more stress and anxiety. So, listen in to hear how you can lessen your toxic load in ways that work for you so you can stay calm and clean.


Referred to in this episode:

Dirty Dozen
Clean 15

Endocrine disruptors








Read the Full Transcript:

Hello, hello, welcome to episode 245 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast in this edition of our Tuesday terrain talks, I'm your host, Laura Lummer. And I'm excited to be here with you today.
I love doing these talks because I love talking about what we can do to support our body in the healthiest way. And I love talking about it in terms of what's really realistic, because it's no secret to me, that making change comes with a lot of challenges. You know, we resist change, not just because we're humans, but oftentimes because of what we've been through. And we make different justifications based on what we deserve what we don't think we should have to do, what we don't want to do, what we're not willing to do. And all of that is okay, it's all a part of the process of figuring out what it is that we're open to, and the changes that we're ready to make one step at a time in our lives. And so these Tuesday, terrain talks are all about that. And it is not medical advice, I'm not giving medical advice. This is all just information for you to process and for you to discuss with your own doctor if there are changes that you want to make to your lifestyle. So last week, I just want to start off with a little bit of a review from last week and a little bit of an update. Last week, I talked a lot about how you can start with the lowest hanging fruit, meaning making very small changes to your diet in order to clean it up, meaning choosing organic foods as often as possible, and how you can work within your existing grocery budget to make those changes. So I wanted to just touch base on a couple things before we move on from that. One is a couple of my clients are brought up with me over this past week after hearing the podcast about the clean 15. And the Dirty Dozen. These are two lists that you may be aware of already, they are compiled every year and they're updated by the Environmental Working Group, ew g.org. And the Dirty Dozen are basically 12 fruits and vegetables that are known to have the highest levels of pesticides, herbicides or toxins on them. And the suggestion is that if you want to incorporate these particular 12 foods into your diet, that those are the ones you'd want to choose organic first, and try to stay away from eating the non organic versions of them because they can have so many chemicals on them. And then the clean 15 is kind of the opposite of that the clean 15 or 15 produce items fruits and vegetables, that if you were going to choose things that are not organic, these are considered by the Environmental Working Group to be the safest choices, that they absorb either the fewest amount of chemicals or that in order to grow them. They don't need as many chemicals as the ones that are in the Dirty Dozen, because some plants are just more susceptible to fungus and to insects and so they do get more pesticides sprayed on them. So in the show notes for this episode, what you can find at the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash 245. And right here where you're listening to this podcast, you can just scroll down and look at the links. And I'll put a link there to both the list for the Dirty Dozen and the list for the clean 15. So you can see which fruits and vegetables are on there and use them as you work towards cleaning up your grocery list. And I wanted to share a comment that I also heard, which was really exciting for me. And one of my clients said, you know, I never really thought about even looking at organic foods, because I did have the idea that they were just going to be too expensive. And she said after hearing that podcast, she looked and found that for her to purchase organic bananas would only be 12 cents more than that same purchase for the non organic banana. So it was really within her budget. And she was able to do it which spiked some curiosity for her. And she has now continued to look and compare prices with other items. So that's pretty exciting. You know, when we open ourselves to curiosity, you never know what you're going to find. Alright, so I love that keeping an open mind and having some guidance and remembering that anything we talked about on the train talks, and especially what we're going to talk about today is not to be meant as fear mongering of any kind. I just want to present you with information. So you know and understand why these things are being brought up. You know, oftentimes, in my experience after having cancer and going through how do I clean up the toxic burden in my life and what foods are better foods for me? You know, a lot of times you'll hear people talk about things and they just say, oh, that's bad. That's really bad. Oh, you shouldn't do that. And that's good. You should do that. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I wouldn't know why. You know, I'm curious. I have a question. Why are you saying that's bad? What does it mean? Why is it bad? Why would it be bad for me? And so in this episode, I hope to clear up a little bit of that and give a little more clarity to when we're starting. And we're taking these first steps. And we're considering what's in our diet and what's in our life. That to understand why making small changes might be important to you, I think helps us a little bit along the way, you know, the judgments of that's good, and that's bad. In my opinion, it's just, you know, there are some things that we know are dangerous, but I think it's important to know why. And to just accept that judgment without more information, it doesn't work for me. And I'm sure it doesn't work for a lot of you. So on today's show what I want to talk about a little bit more, or why you would make these choices, why would you choose more organic foods than not? Why would you look at what's called the toxic burden in your life? And so toxic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, skincare, laundry, cleaning items, things like that, that we might say, oh, you should use all natural. And why is that? Why is it important? And is it important? Do you need to use all natural everything everywhere? And the bigger question is, are you willing to, you know, a lot of times when we talk about cleaning up the toxic burden, I'll have a discussion with people and they say, You know what, I just really like how well the scrubbing bubbles work. I know I'm supposed to wear a hazmat suit when I use those things in the shower. And I like the way they clean. And if that's your thought, then that's going to be your thought, right? And do be careful and do wear protective equipment when you use something like that will use gloves or don't breathe it in. And so again, there are changes we're willing to make. And there are changes that we're not willing to make. But why would we be willing? Like what is the deal behind cleaning up the toxic burden, and why is it even important? So I want to talk today about what are called endocrine disruptors. And as we go through these terrain talks, we'll dig a little bit more into endocrine disruptors. But for this show, I just want you to understand what they are, what they do in our body and what some of the sources of endocrine disruptors are, so that you can do more research. I'll provide links to more information to on endocrine disruptors, so you can read about it. And you can make decisions about what works for you in your life, and what changes you're willing to make. And I know that oftentimes, that thought comes up when we talk about toxic burden where people just say, Everything's toxic. I know everything causes cancer, everything's toxic. And, you know, on some level, that's not far from the truth. There's a lot of toxic things in our environment. And that's why we know that the majority of cancers are attributable to environmental and metabolic causes, right, and the environment affects our metabolism. So we know this to be true. But is that really the reason why we don't want to think about it, look at it, examine it, become curious about it, maybe change that thought from everything is toxic, so it doesn't matter, too. There are a lot of toxic things in the environment. Let me see if there are some of them that I can actually get out of my life and not miss so much. Or some of them that might have really nice alternatives that you may like even more, and that you're willing to make those changes. So the reason why we talk about specific fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, is because many of them are endocrine disruptors. So what is endocrine, our endocrine system is basically the system that produces our hormones. Our hormones, work on different things have different mechanisms in our body, and we have a lot of hormones, they're not just estrogen, progesterone, estrogen at all. Testosterone, you know, we have a lot of different hormones. Insulin is a hormone. Leptin is a hormone. Ghrelin is a hormone. We have thyroid stimulating hormone. We have many, many hormones in our body. And hormones are this beautiful, amazing thing. They can do great stuff for us. When they're not working, right? They can do really crappy things for us, and we can feel really bad. So what is an endocrine disruptor? an endocrine disruptor is something that is exogenous it's outside of us. So it's something in the environment. And we take it into us through the environment through the biggest organ in our body, which is our skin and our skin absorbs stuff. So I mean, that's not even up for debate. We know our skin absorbs things right? So we breathe in endocrine disruptors, We may eat things that have endocrine disruptors on them, we may touch things and absorb them through our skin through body care products. It's through touching certain things. And so endocrine disrupters have a certain mechanism in the body, and they can do a few different things. So it's a chemical that may either mimic or partially mimic a natural hormone that's in your body. Well, why is that a problem? Because hormones act on specific cells. And those cells have what's called receptors. So it's like a doorway, right? Here's my doorway to this particular hormone. And then the hormone seeks out that particular doorway, it fits right in it, it goes into that cell, it does what it's supposed to do, it does its job. But when we're exposing ourselves to endocrine disruptors, they can act like hormones in our body, they can fool our body into thinking, Oh, here's more of this hormone. And so they can overstimulate the production and overstimulate the action of hormones in our body. So that's one way that they disrupt the natural mechanism, the natural hormones and what those hormones naturally do. So that's one way. Another way is that they can, these endocrine disruptors can latch on to these doorways, the cell receptors and block them. So they block them from the natural hormone getting to them. So the natural hormone doesn't get to do its job the way it would normally do its job in our body, you could see why that would be a problem, right. And then a third way that endocrine disruptor affects our health is that they can actually interfere with or block the way that hormones are made in our body. And so they can change the way that the hormone functions, the way that it's made. And even the way that it's metabolized, so it can change the way it's metabolized in our liver. And you know, hormones can go through all kinds of processes, right? Our bodies are these amazing, complex things. You're not just simple, like, hey, it's made here, hey, goes there, hey, does this there's all kinds of stuff that it goes through. That's so scientific, isn't it, all kinds of stuff that goes through. But we're not being scientific, or we just want to understand what an endocrine disruptor is, and what it does to us, because I don't want to say to you, oh, avoid anything that has an endocrine disruptor? Because they're just bad, right? I want you to understand what they do in your body. So then you can decide whether or not that's a problem for you. You can hear that and say, I'm not really loving what they do here. So let me look into it. Or you can say, You know what, I don't care. That's not a problem for me. Either way, totally fine. That's your choice. So that is what an endocrine disruptor does, it can have these three different pathways. And in some of the articles and some of the studies that I read about endocrine disruptors, were that these are what we know so far. But that there could be actually so many more endocrine disruptors and so many more things that they do inside our body. But science hasn't had the opportunity to do studies on those things. So at this point, these are some of the things that we know for certain happen when we expose ourselves to an endocrine disruptor. Now, this is the part where people usually freak out. Oh, everything's toxic, right? Because if I started giving you a list of endocrine disruptors and where endocrine disruptors are, you probably get overwhelmed and just shut this podcast off. I know, I've done that many times. So let's start off by saying some of the ways that we can clean up endocrine disruptors is by one, getting rid of plastics in our life. And that's not just plastic water bottles. So endocrine disruptors are very prominent in plastics. And that means plastic food containers, plastic toys, plastic water bottles, of course, but things that contain plastics. And I was, you know, I heard this statement one time, and I thought, I think that's a little extreme, isn't it? And what I heard was that you shouldn't be handling with your bare hands, cash register receipts. And now again, you may hopefully, if you listen to me, you know, I kind of take a not super extreme his stance on things. And so when I heard that, I thought, that's a little bit extreme, right? I mean, don't touch a cash register receipt. So I started to read about it, I thought, well, let me look into this, what's really going on here. And it's true that many of these cash register receipts are covered with or the ink has BPA is in them. And we know BPaaS are the things that everybody says don't leave your plastic water bottles exposed to heat, or by plastic water bottles that don't have V pas in them. And I can say the long scientific name, but I'm gonna say it wrong. So be pas, and they are an endocrine disruptor. So I thought, well, that's really interesting because we talk about things being everywhere around us in our environment, and that's not really far off from being the truth. So instead of just Pooh poohing that though, what if we just go there are a lot So where could I change this? How can I reduce this? You know, a lot of times, if you don't really need a receipt from someplace then just say, Oh, it's okay, I don't need the receipt, or take photos of the receipts. I know there are a lot of if you are a receipt collector or receipt keeper, there are a lot of apps and things you can use on your phone, and just take receipts, and then it stores them take pictures of receipts, and it stores them for you. So it's an interesting thing to understand what an endocrine disruptor does, and how we can get rid of them in our life. So I'm going to post a link to a really interesting article from the National Institute of Health, it's on endocrine disrupters, so that you can read that for yourself and see what you're comfortable with. And again, I just want to keep encouraging you don't freak out. Don't be terrified of everything. Don't think, oh my God, I've got to get rid of all of my sheets, and all of my blankets and all the things in my house, if you are if you can, and you can replace everything in your house and get new pots and pans and new sheets and whatever, whatever. If you find out something has an endocrine endocrine disruptor in it, go for it. But most people aren't in that position. So let's talk about what what are the small changes you can make. Now something that was a real challenge for me was the understanding that when you see the word fragrance and that's it just fragrance on a product that most of the time, that's going to have some chemicals in it that we really don't want to expose ourselves to and many fragrances, chemical fragrances that is have endocrine disruptors in them are a chemical that is an endocrine disruptor many, many of them do. Now I'm very sensitive to chemicals. So when people have scented candles, scented laundry soap, things of that nature, I get very clammy, and I get this weird feeling that comes over me when I smell it, I get a little nauseous, my head starts to hurt. I know I sound like a pansy. But it's just true. I'm super sensitive to chemicals. But I also love fragrance. I love the smell of certain perfumes. And I love scented candles. And so it was a work in progress for me to say, you know, I gotta get these things out of my house. And the more I was exposed to them, the worse I felt around them. So that made it easier. And of course, then I just explored essential oils and essential oil, scented candles. And then I learned to love those more and bring those into my home where they're safer, and they didn't make me feel sick. But I think that's another piece of the low hanging fruit, we can look at things that have fragrance added to them and know that a fragrance is added to them. And you can get that out of your environment, that that's one really big way you can lower your toxic burden. So how do you know if something is toxic? And how much do you have to think about this? And you have to look at every single thing. And you know, there's a couple of different I have a little bit of different perspective on that. So when it comes to food, people may ask, well, what am I supposed to do read every label? And I say yes, I mean, I read every label, because it's very important to me to understand what I'm putting in my body. So for me, I think when you have that thought, What am I supposed to do read everything, look at everything. I guess I would say can you get a little curious about that thought and ask yourself, why not? Why is not a problem to scan something and look at it and see whether or not this is something that might have more chemicals in it. Or expose yourself to endocrine disruptors when you don't need to or want to.
Now how do you know? Well, there are some very easy ways to find out and I want to give you both sides to this story, too. So there's the EW G which is the Environmental Working Group, they have a website and they have a very easy to use app. And you can scan barcodes on makeup on cleaning products on laundry soap on all kinds of things, you can scan products, and ew G will bring up a rating and tell you a this is considered safe or this is considered toxic. And they're scored kind of like a report card from A to F. So if something is really toxic or known to be dangerous chemicals in it, it might score an F and then you get to decide how important to me is this product? Do I want something that scores an F, which means it's probably as far away from being considered safe to put in or on or around your body as possible? Maybe is is? Is it some kind of cleanser or something that you tell yourself you just can't live without? Maybe you want to know where did these items score? And how important are they to me? Because I know when I started investigating this I realized you know there are a lot of items in my life that just aren't that important to me. Maybe I picked it up maybe it was gifted to me and it's just not that important to me. So if it doesn't score really safely, then I don't mind getting it out of my life. If it's one let's say if it was a moisturizer or something that I just absolutely loved. I love skincare and it's core to F Oh my break my heart but If I might just decide, you know what that's about worth it, I might decide otherwise, right. But I think that when we look at these things, and we make it easy on our life to understand how safe how toxic what's in them, then we just get to make better informed decisions. And I think that's the really important thing to focus on here. So there is the Environmental Working Group that you can use as a tool to help you see the safety or the toxicity of most products that are in your home. Now, there are a few other websites that are similar to ew G to the Environmental Working Group. And some of those sites I listed the URLs to also in the show notes for this episode. So green facts.org, Earth share.org, tree hugger.com. So there are a lot of websites out there. And they're looking at environmental safety, personal safety, different products, different practices, and how safe they are for us and in our environment. Now, I also want to point out that although the EW G has a lot of programs, that they may reach out to a manufacturer and say, Hey, we will work with you on your product development to make this product safer, so that you can get a higher rating as a safer product on the EW G website. And these companies do pay the EW G to work through this process. Now, I'm not saying they pay in the sense of hey, let me give you this much money and get the stamp. But I just want to be really transparent here and say that I may love the EW G. But I think it's really important that we look at everything with openness and transparency. And we say this is the Environmental Working Group. And their idea of safe, maybe different are more extreme than your idea of safe. So this is another reason why I say don't freak out about things. Just look at them, and gather information and make decisions on what you're okay with and what you're not okay with. You may look through the EW G website and say, Hmm, based on what I read here and what their criteria is for an A or a B, or C or D or E or F product. I'm pretty okay, if it's a C not too bad, I'm okay, if my product is a C, maybe you want all your products to be in a. And also note that not every product on the face of the earth is going to be in ew G database. And that does not necessarily mean that it's not a safe product. Right? It just means that that company for whatever reason, has not gone through this working process for this certification or the stamp of approval with ew G. So I think it's important to keep that in mind as we approach things with some moderation and some understanding. But it also gives us some really good feedback and some really good information. Because there's no question that the more we can reduce the toxic burden in our lives in and around us. The more we're supporting our health, these things do get into our bodies, as I said, through food, through water through breathing through touching, through taking baths through taking showers through our drinking water, which you'll hear more about the drinking water on our show next week. And ways that you can look into and affordable ways that you can make sure that you're filtering and getting nice clean drinking water. It's funny because I noticed that on the podcast last week, I had said something about eating food as organically as possible, and drinking clean, clear water. And I thought okay, well, I mean, seriously, who doesn't drink clear water, like I don't think most of us drink muddy water. But what I meant was filtered water and why that's even important. And I'll dig more into that next week as we talk about the importance of having filtered water and affordable ways to do that and reasonable ways to do that as well. Okay, so another little tidbit for you to add to your toolbox here, working with websites like ew G, or green fox.org, or any of the other websites I've listed here. And just having an open mindedness notice if your mind is very closed off to oh, I can't even look at that, oh, that's too much. Oh my god, if I start thinking about that, I get overwhelmed and realize that that it's just a story. You're telling yourself, you know, our brains, they don't like change. And so when we bring up changing things or eliminating things from our lives, lots of times they go right into fear and we shut ourselves down. But you don't have to make changes you don't want to make so why not inform yourself? Why not look at what is actually happening in your house. You might be surprised at the fact that you may look at your skincare and at the things that are in your home and the cleaning products you use you may rate pretty highly and go Alright, little pat on the back there. I'm doing a good job. So let's look at the thoughts we have around it and be open to being curious and to be making small changes is a little bit at a time to clean up our environment, clean up our toxic exposures and support our best metabolic health. All right, that's how to get on Friday. And if you have any questions or comments about the show, come and find my free Facebook group, the breast cancer recovery group on Facebook and let's talk about toxic exposures. Find me on Facebook as Laura Lummer The Breast Cancer recovery coach, or you can DM me on Instagram the breast cancer recovery coach. All right and I will talk to you very soon. Take care

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I'm excited to share the second edition of Tuesday Terrain Talks with you, where we discuss how to care for the terrain of our bodies. 

In the Western approach to health, we often focus on treating specific issues or symptoms, but in these episodes, we're talking about how to support and treat the tissues in our body, much like we would nurture and care for the soil in a garden.  

It’s easy to slip into overwhelm when we talk about supporting our health because the idea of making numerous changes can feel daunting, but it doesn't have to be.  

In this episode we’ll talk about how to start making simple changes that won’t break the bank and how to notice when your brain tries to stop you from thinking about the possibilities that might be available to you. 

Watch the full episode on myYouTube channel 

Referred to in this episode: 

Dr. Chris Palmer on the Andrew Huberman Podcast 

Brain Energy by Dr. Chris Palmer 

Podcast #29 Three Things You Should Know About Your Gut Health 

Read the full transcript here:

Laura Lummer  00:00

Hey friends, welcome to episode 243 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. This is the second edition in our newest episodes, which come out on Tuesdays, and I'm calling Tuesday terrain talks. Because in these episodes, I'm talking about how we care for the terrain of our body. And let's just picture this like a garden, if a body is a garden, and we think about our garden, what's one of the most important things is that it has healthy soil, when we have healthy soil, and it's got the right nutrients in it, and we give it the right amount of water, and we give it the right amount of food and the right amount of sunshine. It produces good fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers and beautiful greenery. And when we think about our body, in the western approach to health, oftentimes we think about what is wrong? And what we have to treat to, I don't know relieve symptoms. But in these episodes we're talking about what do we do to treat our body the tissues in our body? Like the soil, like the terrain? How do we keep that terrain healthy? How do we give it the best nutrients? The most efficient water intake? How do we make sure we're taking just the right amount of calories and the right types of calories? How do we make sure that we move our body enough? What do we do to support the things that make our body feel as good as it can feel, function as good as it can function, and support its ability to do what it does, which is to do detoxification, to clean ourselves out to support a healthy functioning immune system. And to keep us healthy and vibrant through the span of our life. That's what we want to do. So this is all about what do we do to support the terrain. And if you've read the metabolic approach to cancer, you know that Nisha winters, even though she is a naturopath, and she talks about oncology, she says very distinctly, I don't do anything to heal cancer, what I do is help to support people's terrain, and then their healthy bodies do the work for themselves. But when we start to talk about the things we can do, to support the train to keep this soil as healthy as possible, so that it functions as good as possible. The first thing I hear from people, and something I have often and frequently experience is overwhelm. And again, if you've read the metabolic approach to cancer, starting on page 11, you're going to find about a 10 page intake called the terrain 10 questionnaire. Now, if you're anything like me, well, the first time I read this book, I actually stopped at the terrain 10 questionnaire, I saw that questionnaire and I was like, la la la la, it's just too much too much. I can't do it. And why is that because it depends on where we're at, in the process of supporting our bodies where we're at in the process of breast cancer before, which will really dictate what we're ready to take on, we only have so much energy, right. And that's why even as a life and health and nutrition coach for breast cancer survivors, I specifically when I started my business, I'm starting this business to support people in that space after breast cancer. Now, although I have many clients who come to me, Well, they're in treatment now. Because what they hear resonates with them, that tells me that they have that space. And they're in the right place when they're in treatment, where they can balance the thoughts and the ideas and the amount of emotional and physical energy that goes into being in treatment and managing all that that entails. But they also feel that they're capable of having enough energy to focus on doing other things to support their health, and some people aren't. And some people are ready to take on a tiny little bit. And some people are ready to dive all in. So I want you to know that wherever you're at, is perfectly okay. Even if that is only I just want to listen to this podcast, I don't even want to do anything. I just want to hear. And you'll hear this information. And maybe it'll percolate with you. So like the first time I started to read the metabolic approach to cancer, and I saw that list and I was like, look, and I put it down. And it sat there for months before I picked it up again. And then I worked through it and what you'll find in the train 10 or 10 different little buckets that basically say hey, where are you at in this as far as your hormones? What do you experience? Where are you at in this as far as the toxic burden in your environment? Do you have these things? Do you experience these things? And each question has a purpose. And then the book fills you in on on what things you can do to support your body within that bucket. So there's a tremendous amount of information. And I remember the second time that I picked it up, I started reading through it. And then I got to the part on toxic burden. And my thought about toxic burden was, Oh, my God, everything's toxic, everything causes cancer. And I flipped through to the next section, I wasn't ready to take that on yet. I don't know, I'm losing track of how many times I've read the metabolic approach to cancer because I ended up being in the right place, and falling in love with this book. And I think a lot of that was in the interviews and the summits and things that I listened to nature winters on, and she's just so dang smart, and so brilliant. And I started to really dig deeper into this a metabolic approach to supporting the terrain of the body. So I wanted to start here, because I understand that there are so many things out there, there are so many approaches to health, there are so many ideas, there are so many people who say, this is what you should do. And that is what you should do. And it is overwhelming. And it is confusing. And whenever our brain goes into overwhelm, what do we do? We freeze, we do nothing. It's just too much to take in. And it's okay for us to admit that and just say I cannot take it all in at once. So I considered walking you through the terrain, 10 buckets, and really simplifying and looking at these buckets and saying what each of them mean. And I thought you know what, not yet, we're not going to do that yet. We are going to get there at some point. But where I wanted to start was with the low hanging fruit. Where I wanted to start with is the idea of here we are, you've gone through breast cancer treatment, you're done with treatment, you're feeling all of the fields that happened to our body after that, whether you went into menopause, you didn't go into menopause. So no, I'm not talking about necessarily, you know, the thought processes in the emotional piece at this point. But we will also address that because it's a huge part emotions are a huge part of supporting our train. But here we are. And one of the first things that people turn to is that, what can I eat? What can I do? How can I get healthy again, and there are so many things, so many things that can be done so many therapies that can be done. And we're going to move into those therapies a little bit at a time and talk about them. But the first thing that I want to bring to mind, and the first thing I want to ask you to consider and focus on for yourself is looking at this from a very big holistic picture. You've gone through breast cancer treatment. So at the very least, that says to me, you had a surgery, and then you're on some kind of aromatase inhibitor, or scrm. So these things in and of themselves and the stress that you've been through, have an impact on your microbiome, they have an impact on your gut. Now, if you've also gone through radiation, and you've also gone through intravenous chemotherapy, or you are taking some kind of oral chemotherapy, then it's having even more of an impact on your microbiome. And what does that mean, when we say it has an impact on your microbiome? It means all these trillions of living little critters that are inside of our gut? Are they healthy? What do they eat? When they eat something? What do they produce? Because yes, the bacteria in our gut producing so think of it as a little cell that poops it's not poop, but it's a metabolite. So when we eat things, it feeds the bacteria in our gut, those bacteria have different functions. And as they do their functions, they have different waste that they release into the body. Our intestines are built out of cells, and these therapies, drug therapies, radiation, therapy, stress, all those things affect the cells in our body. And they can widen the connection between each cell and we end up with leaky gut. In fact, I'm pretty sure I did a podcast way way back in the beginning, on chemotherapy and leaky gut, look up that episode and put a link to it in the show notes for this episode. So you can click back and refers to that podcast also in listen to how chemotherapy impacts our gut. But now, even in these few short years, so much has come out that talks about our microbiome. Now let's think about this, again, from a holistic perspective. When we go through any kind of stress or any type of medications, whether they're antibiotics, and that's another thing we may have been through many of during breast cancer treatment. Steroids. I


Laura Lummer  09:41

know I had a boatload of steroids. I also had different times where my white blood cells dropped to literally nothing and was put on prophylactic antibiotics. So when we think about all of these things that we did for all the right reasons, no shaming, no judging, no regrets you did them because you believed it. was going to save your life. And that's probably what it did. And now is the aftermath. Now we look and say, Okay, I gave my self permission to do this, because I believe this is what I needed. And I knew this was gonna have side effects. And now I'm done with this treatment, and I'm cancer free. Or maybe you're not, maybe you're managing the effects on an ongoing basis, like I am of living with and being in treatment for Stage Four metastatic disease. But we have to realize that this is having a side effect. And one of the biggest impacts of those side effects is going to be in our gut. And when our gut is impacted, the signals that those little bacteria send to our brain has a huge impact on our emotions on our mood. And the science behind that is utterly fascinating. I believe I've referred to this book before on the podcast, but I will refer to it again here. And it will also link to another podcast, the Huberman lab podcast here, where you can listen to Dr. Chris Palmer, and you can read his book brain energy. And that book talks a lot about diet, gut health and its effect on our mental well being. Because as I sit back, and I look at cancer, and I think about the clients that I deal with, and I think, well, from everything that I read, and it shows how common depression is after breast cancer. Now, of course, that's going to have emotional elements and thought elements. And there's a tremendous emotional trauma involved in breast cancer. But I wonder how much of it is also impacted and built on by what's happened in our gut, because of the treatments that we've gone through, because of the surgeries and the drugs and all the other things that I've talked about. And I know that those have an impact, right? So what percentage of what we experience emotionally, even if we, if it's chemo brain, if it's depression, if it's anxiety, if it's living with tremendous amount of fear, how much of that could be lessened by what has happened inside our gut? I don't know the answer to that. So what I'm suggesting, and this is just my philosophy, and my theory, is let's step back and take a big picture, look and say, Okay, well, we know that drugs, antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation has an effect on the microbiome. We know that gut dysbiosis when our gut is not as healthy as possible, affects our ability to eliminate affects our ability to digest may cause GERD and heartburn and diarrhea and constipation, and malabsorption issues as well as emotional and mood issues. We know this, the science tells us this. So for me, the lowest hanging fruit is to work on healing your gut. So how do we work on healing our gut, we don't have to worry about whatever label of diet you're gonna call it. The only thing we have to think about when we talk about healing our gut is eating nourishing foods broths clean water and allowing toxins to escape our body. So if you're experiencing elimination issues, if you're having constipation, or diarrhea, or both, then these are indications that the gut is not as healthy as possible. So there are things that we could talk about that include different detoxification therapies, meaning he therapies and herbal remedies, and all this kind of stuff. And we'll dig into them later. But before we get to that point, because that gives your brain an opportunity to say, oh, my gosh, those must be expensive. Oh, my gosh, I don't know how to do that. I wanted to start at the very, very, very basic, the lowest hanging fruit. And even though I say this is very basic, this is going to come with a lot of work, you're going to have to do with the way that you think, because the best thing we can do to heal our gut is to clean up our diet. It's to get refined foods, refined sugars, and lots of carbohydrates and pesticides out of our diet. So what does that mean? It means we have to work towards eating more organic foods. And I'm not saying all organic foods because I realize all organic foods may not be in someone's budget. However, before you tell yourself, it's too expensive for me to have organic things. I want to offer you a couple of options. So I'm gonna come back to that. So we're talking about drinking clean, clear water, eating whole foods as much as possible with as few pesticides as possible, so organic wherever you can. animal proteins that are wild caught in or grass At, but eliminating things that have tons of preservatives and food dyes, and that are laden with sugars and pesticides. Okay, we can start there. And that's a free way to do not freeway as in 405 freeway, but it is a free approach to beginning to support our train. Let's go back to the garden analogy and think about if our body is the soil, what's the Miracle Grow for that soil? Right? When we have an unhealthy plant, we go down to Home Depot or Lowe's or the nearest garden store and we say what do I do to get the soil healthy? Well, let's feed it differently. That's water a differently, let's say compost, right, let's take your morning paper, if people still read the morning paper and your coffee grounds and your eggshells and grind them up and compost them and get all these great nutrients and put them in the soil. That's what we're talking about when we're talking about improving our diet. So I don't want to talk about what has to be eliminated, this is only going to bring up thoughts of deprivation. What I want to offer you here are ideas of things that you can do to clean up your diet, support your microbiome, get those gut bacteria nice and healthy, so that they're producing metabolites that are sending messages to your brain that support even better moods and a clearer ability to think this is so wild how the gut affects the brain so strongly, it's just a fascinating, fascinating part of nourishing our bodies in the right way.


Laura Lummer  16:40

So let's talk about some things that you could switch up in your diet. And depending on your financial resources, maybe you can't afford to go all organic. For all I know, maybe you can afford to hire a personal chef. Fabulous, do it right. Maybe you can hire a nutritionist, maybe you can go to wherever you're being treated, and see if a dietitian or an oncology nutritionist at the hospital, your ad is covered by your insurance, many of them now offer that service. And then you can get some expert guidance. Okay. But we're going to come back to if you had to start here today, without searching anything else, without putting out any more effort to hire someone to find someone to listen to something new, what could you do, we can consider how you can shift the grocery budget to support a cleaner way of eating. And here's what I mean by that. If you're eating dairy, that is not pasture raised, and organic dairy, then there is a very high likelihood I'm not gonna say 100% Because I don't know. And there may be different percentages in your food. But there's a very high likelihood that that dairy has residue from hormones, antibiotics. And if it's not grass fed animals, and it's grain fed animals, then those grains more than likely have pesticides and herbicides on him that that animal has been consuming. And so those residue are going to be in the dairy products. And so dairy products have been shown to have and to elicit inflammatory responses in many people, not all people, but in many people. Some of us are more sensitive, some of us are less sensitive, but dairy products also come with a little bit of a higher price tag. So since we don't need to have dairy products, and I just want to point out here because a lot of people think eggs fall under the category of dairy. And I'm not suggesting that eggs come from chicken butts, eggs or eggs. Anything that comes from a cow is dairy. Okay, except obviously the meat. So let's talk about what a cow produces from cow milk as dairy. So since we don't need to have that, we don't need to have dairy products to get proper nourishment into our body. I would offer that you consider shifting those dollars that maybe go to your dairy products into more organic vegetables into different portions of grass fed grass finished beef or wild caught fish or pasture raised chickens. Okay, because even though the organic products may be slightly higher, if we think about things that we include in our diet that don't support our wellness, like processed foods, like high sugar foods, specially high sugar, fructose laden drinks, breads and pastas, and things that we may enjoy from time to time, but don't necessarily need to be staples in our diet because what they offer us is not required for optimal nutrition. But for optimal nutrition. We do want to have great high quality fruits and vegetables. And if the fresh vegetables are too much out of someone's budget, frozen vegetables are good Ah, and I know that tons of grocery stores out there, they offer organic lines, their own namebrand organic lines. And since I mean over the years over the last couple of decades, just organic food is more and more available. And because of its availability, it's becoming more and more affordable. So I think a lot of times when you hear that, eat more organic food, people's minds go, right, that's too expensive. I can't do it. But if we stop and really look at it, and I would ask because I'm all about the data, don't guess, right? Get the data? Is it really that much more expensive? If so, how much more expensive? If so, where are those dollars going? Is there anything you can shift? Are there things you consume in your diet that do not support getting the healthiest microbiome, reducing leaky gut again, that's the space kind of in between the cells in your intestines and the danger with that. And the problem with that, is that larger food particles that normally would not go through the intestinal wall, when we have leaky gut, and we have a separation in those gap junctions, those things that connect our, our intestinal cells to each other, those spaces get larger, larger food particles go out into our body before, they really should, they're too big to be out there. And they cause inflammatory reactions and immune response. And that's a problem. So we want to address that. So this is the first step we can take and starting to really decide to look at our food, like, what if the food was money, right? Where do you want to put your money, you want to put it in a way that serves you the best. So if we looked at the food, and we said, Okay, this food could go towards healing my gut, mostly organic food, as much organic food as you could afford, as much grass fed grass finished. And this is important. Now, grass fed, grass finished, because a lot of times, you might even find a butcher that says we have grass fed beef. And when you ask them, how is your beef finished, they'll say it's green finished. And the reason that happens is because we can still call it grass fed, which has a great health halo, we all want grass fed. But green finished gives who's ever producing that beef the opportunity to fatten them up, because carbohydrates make us fat. So they take grain at the end of the animal's life and give a lot of grains to that animal to get it fat and ready for slaughter. And what happens then even though it may have had a lovely grass fed life, it now is grain fed. And it's taking in more than likely glyphosate because we put glyphosate which is the one of the chemicals in Roundup, and has known to cause different cancers and to have crazy inflammatory responses in our body. And I mean, it's amazing how glyphosate permeates our life and people's bodies. So if an animal is green finished, then more than likely, they're taking in grains that have been sprayed or have some kind of residue for glyphosate on him. So just to be aware of this. Now, we have to be careful not to allow yourself to freak out about this. Don't get overwhelmed by this. Because again, as you've heard me say, do this as much as possible. Now, even if you cannot afford to have wild caught seafood, or grass fed grass finished beef, or free range poultry in your diet every day, that is also okay. Because we don't need to have it every day at every meal. There are wonderful alternatives. Eggs are a wonderful alternative. cage free organic eggs are an excellent alternative. And you can make them in so many ways with different vegetables, right? There's so many creative ways that you can cook eggs. So when we start to think about, well, how can I eat that much organic and you know, I've seen those organic meats and they're really expensive. We don't have to eat them with every single meal every single day. Right? That's not how we have to nourish our body. So there are options to that as well. So here's a simple plan, low hanging fruit. First step, how do I heal my gut? How's my elimination? Am I going one to three times a day? pretty smoothly, pretty easily. No discomfort, no pain, no gurgling stomach, no offensive gas, no heartburn, like what's flowing from my digestive tract, which means from my tongue, all the way out the other end. That's our digestive tract. I know when I went through chemotherapy, I had sores on my tongue. I had sores in my mouth. I had sores in my throat, I had horrible heartburn and it lasted for years. Right? So if you think about your digestive tract, from tongue to anus, how do you feel? What's going on there? And then we started to experiment. Let's clean up the diet. Let's look at the grocery budget. Let's make some intentional decisions about what you might be willing to let go of so that You can add in something that gives you better support. And I want to address this thought I don't want to give up. I feel deprived, I shouldn't have to go without. And I want you to think about it in a little bit of different way. I'm not saying cut everything out. As I said in the beginning of this podcast, ask yourself what you're ready for. If you heard me say dairy, and your thought was what I hear most commonly, I didn't give up cheese than don't give up cheese. Right? Ask yourself, What am I ready and willing to do? Could I eat less cheese? Is that possible? Am I willing? Am I open to that idea? Do I really eat cheese as much as I think I do? Maybe I could eat the same amount of cheese that I already eat, because I don't really eat cheese all that much. It's just now and then. Okay, great. Get yourself some really good quality cheese. And really enjoy it. Make sure it's nice quality. You don't have to have it all the time. So you see where I'm going with the way that we're thinking here. So how do we nourish the train? Let's get into the food. And let's not go with the first thought that comes to mind that automatically says can't change won't do it too expensive. Not possible. If we've got breads, pastas, desserts, and we look at the pantry and say, well, there's a lot of prepackaged processed food here. Can I shift this a little bit? Can we forget to fresh or Whole Foods without preservatives that are freezable, right, because I know another thought that can have oh, if I buy all these veggies, they rot, veggies, freeze beautifully, my friends, clean them up, peel them, chop them up, put them in baggies, throw them in the freezer,


Laura Lummer  26:38

I do it all the time. I mean, walk down the freezer aisle in your grocery store, you're gonna see frozen veggies, right? It's okay to freeze your veggies freeze from fresh, there are meal services there organic food services that take foods that maybe have blemishes on them. And I don't mean by blemishes that this was rotten food, my God, I would never suggest that to their blemishes like it's kind of remarkable how we as consumers don't realize that people behind the scenes on the food industry and the grocery industry, they know that if food is ugly, we're not going to buy it. So they'll go through it and put the most perfect foods out into the produce section for us to buy. But then I think Jamie Oliver was one of the chefs who kind of got on this bandwagon and said, Hey, let's take these imperfect foods that are still full of nutrition. And let's get them back out into the world. Let's not waste so much. And so now there are food services that offer that as well. So if you're willing to peel a little, you know, blemish off of your sweet potato, and you also have the opportunity to get a better price on that as well. Okay, so before we dig really deep into terrain 10 And we start looking at genetics. When we start talking about testing and all this stuff, I can tell you right off the bat, we can all begin by examining our gut health, getting to really understand what's going on in our microbiome, and looking openly and honestly at our food budget. And asking yourself what am I willing to do? And without spending more money? What could I shift in what I'm already putting in my pantry and my fridge, my freezer and then subsequently into my body and into my gut? Okay, I would love to hear questions and comments on this. I love love, love it because I want to support you in helping to understand whatever it is you need to wrap your mind around to move forward with supporting your healthiest reign, so you can find me on Facebook, Laura Lummer, the breast cancer recovery coach, you can find me on Instagram the breasts. As the breast cancer recovery coach, you can DM me you can leave a comment you can join my free Facebook group, the breast cancer recovery group on Facebook where you can also ask questions when it comes to the podcast. And you can work with me by joining the better than before breast cancer life coaching membership, where you have an opportunity to do live coaching with me several times a month and I'm there for remind people to answer your question support you and coach you through the thought processes that can sometimes get you stuck between treating yourself and nourishing yourself in the way that you want to or even learning about it first. Okay, so go to my website, the breast cancer recovery coach.com You'll find everything there. Alright, so good luck. Let's get started on supporting our microbiome. And check out the show notes for this show the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash 243 where you'll find the links to anything I referred to here in this episode. Take care friends


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