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Healing Your Gut

Dr. E's Highway to Health Show Episode 26

Expert Interview
26: Healing Your Gut with Cathy Biase

In This Episode:

Cathy Biase is a registered Holistic Nutritionist and Cancer Coach. She specializes in educating people on nutrition specifically as it pertains to our microbiome and immune system.

As you know, I’m a very big fan of these kind of disciplines that promote health by respecting our biology.

Show Notes ↓

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Actionable Steps:

  1. Sleep is crucial for our microbiome and thus, for our overall health. It is important to sleep, at night, at roughly the same hour every day, to respect our circadian rhythms.
  2. Move more. Physical activity is very important. Just like I suggested in episode 25, it is a great idea to use a timer and move every 15-20 minutes.
  3. Eat more fiber. Fiber is what feeds our microbiome and most people are not eating enough of it.

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Show Notes

  • [00:02:44] Cathy’s health journey started with a breast cancer diagnosis.
  • [00:14:48] What is the microbiome
  • [00:15:20] Our gut microbes do many things for our body.
  • [00:16:17] Caring for the microbiome is crucial for overall health.
  • [00:18:06] One mistake is to think that we can abuse our bodies until something happens.
  • [00:19:03] People in the BlueZones
  • [00:20:16] When you are stressed, your body cannot digest properly.
  • [00:20:38] we have to live a preventative life
  • [00:22:49] It all has to do a lot with just respecting our biology.
  • [00:23:27] Happy thoughts make a happy gut.
  • [00:23:58] we are really lacking in our community.
  • [00:24:27] We are social beings.
  • [00:24:54] Foods that most negatively affect our microbiome
  • [00:25:22] Feed your microbiome well and it will produce positive things
  • [00:25:54] Fiber is key.
  • [00:26:10] Once the industry hones in onto a food that is becoming popular, you need to be aware.
  • [00:26:24] a very healthy kombucha, it’s more like a vinegary taste.
  • [00:27:31] You can ferment everything.
  • [00:29:33] Your microbiome is like a thumb print.
  • [00:30:01] Migration and the microbiome.
  • [00:34:30] We’ve gone astray from our intuition.
  • [00:35:55] Cathy’s Recommendations
  • [00:39:38] Connect with Cathy
Episode Transcript
Dr. E: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to The Highway to Health Show. In today’s episode, I am joined by Cathy Biase. She is a registered holistic nutritionist and cancer coach. Cathy specializes in educating people on nutrition specifically as it pertains to our microbiome and immune system. As you know, I’m a very big fan of these kind of disciplines that promote health by respecting our biology.
Dr. E: [00:00:22] But before we get onto that, let me remind you that in our last two episodes I shared with you the different ways in which you can improve the results of any stem cell treatment. It ended up being two solo episodes that allowed me to cover a lot of very important things. And keep in mind that these recommendations not only make sense when you’re planning for a stem cell treatment, but at pretty much any point in life. So make sure to go back and listen to episodes 24 and 25 for that.
Dr. E: [00:00:48] Oh, and speaking about stem cells, I also want to remind you that you can still sign up for a free copy of the stem cell book I’m working on. Just head on over to dre.show/book. That’s D R E dot show, forward slash book and follow the instructions there. But let’s not keep you any longer. Here’s my conversation with Cathy Biase. And remember, you’re on The Highway to Health and I’m your guide to get you there.
Intro: [00:01:12] Are you ready to live Ageless? Want to discover alternative health choices? Cutting edge nutrition and fitness for the entire family? Welcome to Highway to Health Show with your host Doctor E ‘The Stem Cell Guy’ where Dr. E. helps you live ageless. And now here’s your host, Dr. E..
Dr. E: [00:01:39] Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of The Highway to Health Show. For this episode I’m joined by Cathy Biase. She is a registered holistic nutritionist and cancer coach who is dedicated to helping people understand the power that lies at the end of their fork. A breast cancer survivor herself, Cathy specializes in the functional application of nutrition to remove the root cause of chronic disease with a particular focus on cancer care.
Dr. E: [00:02:02] Through TV, speaking engagements and working one on one, Cathy educates people on topics such as nutritional support for cancer patients, managing side effects of allopathic cancer care, the microbiome and its links to health, immune support, improving good gut health and cancer coaching. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto with a major in psychology. She’s also a graduate of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and is a certified professional cancer coach.
Dr. E: [00:02:27] She’s also, by the way, the current host of The Health Hub, a radio talk show and podcast covering various aspects of integrative health. Cathy, it really is a pleasure to have you here.
Cathy Biase: [00:02:37] Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity.
Dr. E: [00:02:40] Absolutely. So before we begin and there’s a lot that I want you to share with our listeners. But first, tell me what got you on this path of health education?
Cathy Biase: [00:02:48] Well, I’ve always been interested in health. I’ve been very active in sports and exercise. And then when I was diagnosed myself with breast cancer, I went through the allopathic, the medical side of treatment.
Cathy Biase: [00:03:02] But I also incorporated three very key people that helped me with my exercise routine, my nutrition and lifestyle. And at that time, I had really never come in contact with anybody that did this type of thing. I was much more in the medical focus of things. And when I saw how I did coming through my treatments, the doctors I love my doctors, I love the medical profession. We were definitely all a team. But even the doctors said how well, I came through chemotherapy and I saw people lining. You know, when you go in to treatments in the hospital, I’m sure it’s all over. But I’m in Toronto here. I actually had to line up to register for chemotherapy. I had to line up to get my bloodwork. And I thought, there’s something missing here. There were women with children that were people that had to come by bus. So once I got through my treatment and by the grace of God, I made it through my treatment. Knock on wood, I thought, I want to do something.
Cathy Biase: [00:04:02] I think once you’ve had cancer, people want to give back. I was so grateful to be here and alive and with my family. I thought I can do something.
Cathy Biase: [00:04:13] So I learned about nutrition. I went to school for nutrition and I had a background in psychology. And then I wanted to get more into the cancer side of things.
Cathy Biase: [00:04:24] A lot of people are afraid of getting involved and working with cancer patients. But I just had so many things that led me in this direction. So I went and I took a course with the National Association of Professional Cancer Coaches, and I learned how to take my background in nutrition and lifestyle and work with cancer patients in that aspect. It’s gravely missing. So I wanted to bridge the I don’t call it alternative. I call it complementary aspect of care with the allopathic or medical. And try and pull the fear out. Try and put a different spin and a new face on cancer where people are more hopeful.
Dr. E: [00:05:05] We’ve talked about this with some of our other guests. As a matter of fact, I recall correctly I think, Sas Edwards, she’s also a cancer coach. I’ve spoken about my own journey, how obviously I didn’t even know that there were cancer coaches at the time; I was diagnosed in 2003. Why do you think, though, that it is so important to have this coach alongside your medical professionals? Because it’s something very interesting, which you just mentioned, that it is not instead of. But it is a team effort.
Dr. E: [00:05:36] You’re not gonna say, well, I got my coach, I’m not doing the chemo or I’m not doing the everything else. So what do you think that a coach brings into this equation and why is it so powerful?
Cathy Biase: [00:05:48] Well, every coach has their own bent. So some cancer coaches are doctors, some are psychologists. So each cancer coach learns the impactful properties of nutrition. But alongside with that, they’ll take their perspective of what they’re learning from the cancer coaching program and apply it to what they want to do in their practice. So some cancer coaches will actually go with their people to visits to help go through the wording of things, to help talk to the doctors. So every coach brings their own piece to the puzzle. So theoretically, you could have a cancer coach who will drive you to your visits, walk with you through the doctors information session, because if you’ve ever been a cancer patient, it’s overwhelming.
Cathy Biase: [00:06:35] So when you’re first diagnosed. The knee jerk reaction is to go to a dark place and you have to get over those emotions and then you are thrust into the medical system with words and tests and results and it becomes overwhelming. So for some people, a cancer coach can just help them to step back and clarify and see their past. For what I do, I try and pull the myths out of nutrition. The people that I see in my clinic are very broad based. I get some people who are extremely well researched or well “interneted” researched on nutrition.
Cathy Biase: [00:07:13] And I get some people who, you know, are coming from a very poor place in nutrition. So for me, I’m working very individualistically with the person that I am with to try and piece together a good protocol for them. And I think probably one of the most valuable things that I can do for the people that I work with is their faces change when I tell them that I had cancer. I’m a compatriot in a club and they look at me and they say, you get it. And most people that I work with are going through the standard of care, which is surgery, chemotherapy, radiation. And I have been through all of those. So it’s not just me working from book knowledge. I will sit and listen. I will do my intakes are an hour to an hour and a half. And I listen to all aspects. And so many things come from a cancer diagnosis that as a cancer coach, you kind of sit back and let the person come to you and then you launch from there. So I think that’s the value of a cancer coach, is that we can take you in and give you some perspective as well as the knowledge where you’re looking to find it.
Dr. E: [00:08:22] Yeah, I totally agree with you. Like I said, when I went through this whole ordeal, in my case, I didn’t really know that this profession really existed. And I don’t even know if it did back then. Probably did.
Dr. E: [00:08:32] But I can see now from my experience afterwards, since I graduated from medical school and my experience seeing patients and my experience with a lot of times a very important diagnosis, how important it is and how valuable could be for a patient to have someone in their corner helping them in all steps of the way. And most importantly, knowing what that path looks like, not just from books, not just from experience of dealing with other patients, but from personal experience of saying, listen, I sat in that exact same seat you’re sitting at right now.
Dr. E: [00:09:04] Because a lot of people can describe nausea, but you don’t really know nausea unless you’ve been on that end of it. Right? So I think that’s incredibly powerful. It’s a great way of looking at it and it’s a great service for the people who were going through it.
Dr. E: [00:09:17] Now, this was really just the warm up. And I really liked the fact that you have that psychology background, but then you noticed that there was something else missing and that’s what got you to learn a little bit more well, quite a bit more and go into the whole nutritional aspect.
Dr. E: [00:09:34] And for many years, I’ve been fascinated really about the role our gut microbiome plays in so many areas of our lives. And I know you’re very well versed in this. So I first started learning about it when we worked with the autism community of my stem cell clinic, and the more I learned, the more I realized how important these little bugs are for us. You know, for our health, for our gut, for… they control our hunger, our digestion. Heck, even our moods and ability to focus is heavily influenced, if not straight up managed by our microbiome. Is that correct?
Cathy Biase: [00:10:07] That is correct.
Cathy Biase: [00:10:08] And you know, as an individual, the microbiome, we can talk about it within the cancer care realm. We can talk about it, as you say, within the autistic realm. The microbiome is powerful for our systemic health. And as with anything, you can pull studies and apply them to cancer. You can pull studies and apply them to everything.
Cathy Biase: [00:10:26] The microbiome and its direct link to cancer is of a newer field, but we can pull studies from different areas and sort of link not causatively, but pull out things like if there is a dysbiosis, if there is a imbalance of good versus bad, this can lead to what is called a leaky gut. And this leaky gut, this issue is applicable to everybody. But when we’re talking about a cancer person and we’re talking about someone who’s gone through chemotherapy and we’re talking about the blood brain barrier, we’re talking about trying to strengthen the immune system. That’s where I hone in on the microbiome.
Cathy Biase: [00:11:12] So you have to understand, when I’m speaking with cancer patients, they have so much information coming at them that I really try and do a lifestyle, nutrition and understanding with them that’s not overwhelming. I’ve learned from my beginnings to now, my protocols used to be for nutrition and lifestyle, microbiome, insulin management. They used to be seven or eight pages long. And I would give them and go over them with the person sitting in front of me and they were overwhelmed because everything that I present, I always had a study. I always pulled from science. I always try and back up everything I do.
Cathy Biase: [00:11:51] Within the nutritional field, though, the research is very difficult. It’s hard to research. It’s hard to make money on researching a tomato. It’s hard to make money on researching an apple. So a lot of these things are observational studies.
Cathy Biase: [00:12:03] Stepping back to about being a cancer coach, just like with any other person trying to put their team together. What I and my bent may be different from another cancer coaches bent. So I do focus greatly on the microbiome. I tend to stay away from diet, particular fad diets. I will use diets like the ketogenic diet as a therapy. If someone is well enough going into chemotherapy. But generally speaking, I use a Mediterranean type of diet because some of the focus we’re talking about the microbiome, again. The focus of the microbiome is on getting nutrients, vital nutrients from plant based foods as well as fiber based foods. Very rich in fiber. And this will promote the health of the microbiome, which will translate to helping reduce inflammation.
Cathy Biase: [00:13:00] When a person is sick, you can generally go to the area that the gut has been impacted. When someone is going through chemotherapy, you know that that is being impacted. So supporting the microbiome within the confines of what the oncologist will allow. And I never go to battle with an oncologist. I am not a doctor, so an oncologist. Many oncology doctors are still at that point where they don’t want a large amount of supplements. Some might not even want a multivitamin. So working on things like sleep, when you eat, what you eat and trying to strengthen the microbiome is huge for a cancer patient.
Dr. E: [00:13:44] It’s a great thing that you mention those things because recently and just very recently, one of the last episodes that I did, I talked a lot about how to optimize your stem cell treatments. Right? So when you’re going in for treatment, a lot of the times people think that it’s just a matter of showing up and getting treated. But there are several things that you can do, both before and after to get the most out of this treatment.
Dr. E: [00:14:06] The most basic ones are what you just mentioned. Right? So nutrition, sleep. How to take care yourself, how to prepare, how to better receive all those things. So it’s actually super important. And like you said, the more you learn about pretty much all of these things. And in terms of regenerative medicine, in terms of anti aging and age management medicine, the more I learn all these specifics, they’re just about living healthier. Healthier lives.
Dr. E: [00:14:30] The problem is that a lot of times when we’re not sick, we don’t have a specific condition. We just abuse our bodies. And then when we do get that diagnosis, suddenly we say, like, oh, I need to do this, I need to that. Well, we needed to do that all along. We needed to eat well all along. It’s just that now it’s become crucial.
Dr. E: [00:14:48] But before we move on a little bit, I just want to ask you, because you’re far more knowledgeable than I am in this area. So could you break down for our listeners in the simplest of terms? What is the microbiome? How would you define the microbiome?
Cathy Biase: [00:15:01] In the simplest of terms, what I tell people it is the yeast, bacteria, fungus that live within our body.
Cathy Biase: [00:15:09] And we now know that there’s a microbiome in the eye. We know that there’s a microbiome in the nasal passage, in the vagina, and the breast. There’s very interesting research being done with the microbiome and its link to breast cancer.
Cathy Biase: [00:15:20] And these bacteria, which we thought were only harmful to us. They do so many things for our body. They have their own genetic code. So what they will do is they will take nutrients from our food, make them more bio available to us. They will make vitamins, b vitamins. They will make products that will help nourish the colon. They reduce inflammation. They’ll crossover with what they do. They’re all crossing over. And now we can pull out inflammation. We can pull out increasing the immune system. But when you necessitate these things to try and the microbiome is going to reduce inflammation, well, when you reduce inflammation, you are almost necessarily increasing your immune system.
Cathy Biase: [00:16:05] When you are getting more nutrients and extracting them from your food, you are feeding your body to help that reduce inflammation and increase your immune system. So we tend to try and compartmentalize all these things.
Cathy Biase: [00:16:17] But what I really want people to understand is this is a whole system that we’re working in. So you were right when you say that we need to take care of our microbiome in our health. Most cancers, they are now saying, are not genetic. They are saying it’s a lifestyle thing. And for me, it starts in the gut.
Cathy Biase: [00:16:37] Now, the gut is equated with good sleep. It is equated with good exercise. All of these lifestyle things. Years ago, cancer patients were told to stay quiet, stay in their home, stay away from people, you know. And now we know that’s not good. I had to fight that battle. I exercised every day when I could. I mean, when you’re going through treatment, you don’t be stupid, but you try and move. You try and get your fascia moving, you know? There’s now research and fascia and cancer. You want to keep the body moving.
Cathy Biase: [00:17:07] You want to keep your blood flowing. You want to make sure that it doesn’t thicken. All of these things are very important within a cancer sphere. But they’re important lifestyle things in prevention. So this just doesn’t stop during. You know, you’ve finished your treatment. You go back. This is a lifestyle change. And I never want to say that cancer has ever been a gift to me. I would never wish it upon anybody. But when it makes you stop and step back and say, I got to make some changes, these are important changes.
Cathy Biase: [00:17:36] Every person I work with, I’m expected to come through the other end and start a prevention pathway when they’re finished.
Dr. E: [00:17:42] Exactly. And I think you touched upon something very important. And when do you talk about these lifestyle changes that something as important as a cancer diagnosis makes you realize and step back and change, you shouldn’t really wait for that to happen. This prevention happens with everyone. You don’t prevent having cancer when you think you have a genetic predisposition.
Dr. E: [00:18:06] Even when you think about it, just the cancer prevention lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. Pretty much when you look at it and you see all these, you were talking about Mediterranean diet, right? And you look at all these blue zones where people are living longer than average and they are consuming a highly Mediterranean-like diet and healthy fats and all these things. That’s not something you do to reverse a condition that you have. It’s something that you do simply to be healthier, to live longer, to be vibrant, to have health, to have energy. So I think the one mistake that we make sometimes is to think that we can abuse our bodies until something happens. And I think that the big challenge for most of us health professionals right now is to really transmit this to people, that it is our job to be seeking health every day with every bite that we take. Would you agree with that?
Cathy Biase: [00:18:57] 100 percent and everything that you do and every thought that you think. I mean, all of these are impactful.
Cathy Biase: [00:19:03] But what I try and tell people is you can research, you can do the Google, you can Internet. But when you step back and you talk about studies like the blue zones. Those are people that are living simple lives. They’re getting up at the same time every day. They’re going outside. They’re moving. You know, they’re not running marathons and getting up and having smoothies. They’re going outside and they’re picking their vegetables. They’re eating their vegetables. Are using good quality food. They’re using good quality oils. They’re sleeping properly.
Cathy Biase: [00:19:31] And then when we talk about it here, when I talk about it with with people, people here want to know the science, they want to know the research. So I talk about circadian rhythm and why you need to sleep when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light because your cells have these clocks. But we really don’t need to know that. We need to know that we need to move our bodies. We need to eat healthy food. We need to take time to rest, and we need to have good thoughts. And you could have the most pristine diet, you can exercise the way you’re taught to, but I always tell people that you’re led with your head because what you think and the thoughts that go through your body, it’s not just lack science. It’s scientifically proven, impacts your body.
Cathy Biase: [00:20:16] If you are stressed, your body cannot digest properly. And if you cannot digest properly, it’s a trickle down to your microbiome, to everything. So back to the area of cancer. I can’t help you if you don’t believe in what you’re doing. So once you’ve established your protocol, you must believe in what you’re doing, that it’s the most beneficial thing to you.
Cathy Biase: [00:20:38] But you’re right is that we have to live a preventative life and with one in two people now the statistics are that we’ll be getting cancer. We have to be more adherent to a good life. You know, things that are hard for us to avoid. There are toxins that we just can’t avoid. So we really have to strengthen our system by what we do, by sweating, by eating well, by sleeping, drinking good quality water. But again, I always move to the stress aspect of it. You know, cancer starts, they say, about eight years before you actually can feel a mass. And a lot of people will look back over the eight to 10 years of their life and they’ll make a connection of something that might have been a little bit traumatic, of a lifestyle that wasn’t great. It’s amazing when you start looking back over all of that. So demystifying is a great thing to do. And I have to do that with science. But I think “logicating” people is even a better way to go.
Dr. E: [00:21:35] Yeah. Yeah. Totally agree, and of course, it starts in your head and people who know me know that I’m very big about. Being very clear in your head of what you want and what you don’t want, in setting goals. And it doesn’t just work for personal or professional goals, it also works for your health, it also works for your well-being. And manifesting isn’t really woo woo as people think.
Dr. E: [00:21:57] Of course, it’s not magical either. You don’t just say, I want a million dollars, I want a million dollars, then go check your bank account and it’s there, right? But it is actually programming your brain to saying, listen, this is what we need to look for. This is what we need to start generating. This is what we need to be doing. And the same is true for the opposite, like you very well said.
Dr. E: [00:22:14] And something that baffles me is, when people recognize that there are certain things that happen because of stress and you have stress ulcers in your stomach and you have stress this and stress that. But then we don’t recognize that low grade stress extended through a long period of time can also cause something as bad or as grave as cancer, as autoimmune disorders, and make you put on weight and make you all these different things that we a lot of times aren’t really recognizing because, like you very well said, we’re also not stepping back and re-evaluating and seeing our life and really preventing.
Dr. E: [00:22:49] And one thing that I love that you just mentioned about the Blue Zones is exactly that people in these areas, they lead a much simpler life. They enjoy it. They have that social interaction. They are outdoors. They move around, they are out in the sunlight. They are away from most of these different artificial lights and artificial everything’s and Wi-Fi. So I think it all has to do a lot with just respecting our biology.
Cathy Biase: [00:23:15] I agree. There are two things there. Community is one thing that you’ve touched upon that I’d love to chat about. The other thing you mentioned was stress. So you’re right. And we know that you want to get up and you’re getting ready for a podcast.
Cathy Biase: [00:23:27] Your timing goes, you know, you get a little anxious. We’re well ready to accept that stress can affect us negatively. But a lot of us aren’t prepared to go the other direction. Where anti stress or happy thoughts are thinking positively will impact us in a good way. This intrigues me a lot. Everybody knows of the actor’s angst and the speaker’s angst. But people will not flip that over and think, well, if I think happy thoughts, maybe my gut will be happy. Stress impacts the gut. Happy thoughts make a happy gut. It goes that way.
Cathy Biase: [00:23:58] And community is another thing we are really lacking in our community. Years ago, people went to church, they had community picnics, they did that. We’re very much isolated now. And I think when you have a community, you know, it says you need a community to raise a child. A community when you’re ill is also extremely important and can very much impact the way you come through any disease. To me, all of these things are important to a healthful person.
Dr. E: [00:24:27] Yeah, totally. And even a community can also prevent developing most of those diseases, just socializing and being out there and having that connection. We crave that, we are social beings. And it’s strange because people who really know me, they’ll say that I’m a bit of a hermit because, you know, I’m very focused. I’m not very outgoing. However, I do crave and I do enjoy that social interaction and that talking and all those things, because I think we all do.
Dr. E: [00:24:54] But before we move away from the microbiome, I want to ask you, obviously, we know and we touched upon this with chemotherapy and certain drugs that will affect our microbiome. But let’s not go so far. When we’re thinking about the regular person that’s not taking medications, that’s not doing all those things. What are the foods or even food like substances that most negatively affect our microbiome health and that we might be consuming and even abusing it sometimes?
Cathy Biase: [00:25:19] Sugar and processed foods.
Cathy Biase: [00:25:22] I mean, when you eat a whole foods diet, you’re impacting your microbiome in a positive way. So when you’re eating processed foods, they’re inflammatory because your body basically doesn’t know what to do with it. And then your body is responsible for getting rid of this. And when you’re not properly feeding your microbiome, I like to think of them as little bugs, little organisms. If you feed them well, they will treat you well. If you feed them negatively, the good guys are not going to stick around and the bad guys are going to come in and do you harm.
Cathy Biase: [00:25:54] I can go into the good foods if you like. So we want to increase fiber. Fiber is key. Probiotic foods. So fermented foods, they’re not too well known here and maybe not as accepted here, but fermented foods like Kefir, which is one of my favorites, kombucha.
Dr. E: [00:26:09] I was just going to ask you a Kefir.
Cathy Biase: [00:26:10] Yeah. I love Kefir, Kombucha. You’ve got to be careful with all these things. Once the industry hones in onto a food that is becoming popular, you need to be aware. Educating people is important for me.
Cathy Biase: [00:26:24] So Kombucha, which is a very good probiotic food, is wonderful. I always suggest you make it on your own. The industries have now honed in that fermented foods, probiotic foods are important for the diet, so now they’re making it, but they’re adding more sugar to it because when you have a kombucha, a very healthy kombucha, it’s more like a vinegary taste. Because what the bacteria is doing is it’s eating the sugar.
Cathy Biase: [00:26:47] This is something that people don’t quite get, you know? Why you add sugar to the cultures? But they’re eating the sugar and they are fermenting and putting in great products in what you are drinking. But there are tastes that you have to get used to. But companies will put sugar in there. So it’s a little bit more palatable. So things like yogurt will have maybe 17 grams of sugar and a little tub because yogurt, plain yogurt isn’t palatable for many people. So they add in sweetening agents. So you must read your labels. You must be attentive to added sugars. Those are things that will crush your microbiome.
Dr. E: [00:27:25] Yeah, I see that all the time. What about sauerkraut and kimchi and all those different fermented foods?
Cathy Biase: [00:27:31] Oh, they’re lovely. You can ferment everything. You can ferment beans, you can ferment carrots, celery. So they’re all acting in the same way. This fermentation process is giving us probiotics to feed our gut. Sauerkraut, I often recommend for cancer patients, have a teaspoon of the juice. I mean, it’s great. Sauerkraut is one of the easiest to make. It’s a good cabbage. Ripe cabbage that you’re shredding, you’re adding salt to and you’re working it and then you ferment it. So they’re all wonderful foods.
Dr. E: [00:28:00] Plus, it’s really cheap.
Cathy Biase: [00:28:01] Oh, it is. Fermented foods is very inexpensive. I ferment my own kamboucha and my own kefir. And it really is an act of love because those babies grow very fast. And I am turning these things over, my kefirs everyday. My june tea, which is a probiotic tea, is every three days. So it is a lot for some people, just like juicing is a lot for some people. But find your good products, know what to look for and what not to have on your label and you’ll be fine.
Dr. E: [00:28:29] Yeah, for a long time, our son is now closing in on two and we’ve been very, very careful with his diet. I’ve discussed this in the podcast before, how we’re super strict. Like he’s never had bread, he’s never had sweets or sugar or anything like that.
Dr. E: [00:28:42] Sometimes people think that we’re almost terrorists, right? Because we oh, it’s just a little treat and we tell them, you know what? He doesn’t really miss it right now because he doesn’t know it. So once he’s old enough, you’ll be able to try those things and see how he feels about it.
Dr. E: [00:28:54] But what I was gonna say is that we for a long time before when we were in Cancun, then we were in California, really mostly when we were in California that he was old enough to start eating. And now that we’re here, there’s a lot of yoghurts, there’s goat milk here, goat yoghurt, kefirs, all those things. We always tried to make sure that we’re feeding his microbiome because we understand how important that is. And I heard you on a podcast talk about a certain age that children will kind of like almost fix their microbiome at. And if I recall correctly, it was around age 2, correct?
Cathy Biase: [00:29:33] Yes. That’s the research now. That basically your microbiome is like a thumb print. So around the age of 2, it becomes fairly established. Probiotics, they are transient. They will come in. They will support your own microbiome, but they leave your system. So, that’s an important thing to understand. You’re not generating growth. These probiotics aren’t sticking with you. They may stick around for a week or two. That’s why you continually need to have them in your diet.
Cathy Biase: [00:30:01] An interesting thing that we’re seeing clinically. There has been a little bit of research that I have come across. But again, this is more of an observational note that I’ve seen working with people, people who immigrate from one country to another whose diet changes profoundly. I’m seeing a lot of people with cancer and it’s not necessarily from a healthy diet to an unhealthy diet. It’s the change of diet. Now, again, I haven’t seen much research. It’s just what I see clinically how people used to eat this way and now they have to eat this way. So it’s important that even when I’m working with people, I need to know what they used to eat, because as I said, it’s only observational. But, it seems to me that there is some sort of a co relationship between feeding the microbiome, what it’s used to eating, and then maybe a drastic change to what it eats when it comes to a new culture. They’re like your babies.
Dr. E: [00:30:56] Now, that’s actually a very interesting point you raise right now, because one of the things is if it is kind of like a thumbprint, is this something that you develop so your microbiome is used to eating something? Or, is your microbiome closely related to, for instance, your ancestry? Let me rephrase that.
Dr. E: [00:31:17] So my family and my twenty three and me is almost entirely Iberian. So from Spain. Although I was born and raised in Mexico and I lived in Mexico my entire life. So my question here would be, would my microbiome be really used to eating more like the Mexican food? Or should I be better off feeding closer to Mediterranean? I don’t even know if you have the answer to this, but it just brought that up. It’s like, OK, that would be interesting to know.
Cathy Biase: [00:31:43] Intuitively to me what you feed your child as they’re growing up would be what your microbiome would be used to eating. It doesn’t matter if you’re of descent –now genetics, I have no idea how far genetics would play into this–, but just intuitively think about going overseas and eating food. So I’m from Toronto. And if I go to China or India and try eating their food, there’s going to be a period of digestive unrest. There just will be. How that impacts? I mean, the microbiome, I think, can be fairly hardy and we’ll bounce back. But I don’t know if it will ever be completely fed like I’m feeding it here.
Cathy Biase: [00:32:26] We’re talking about within the realm of healthy diet, right? I mean, if I’m eating, you know, McDonald’s and whatever here and I go to India and I start eating whole foods, I think my microbiome would be very happy. But on a one to one basis, just that upset that we get from travel. It’s a delicate eco system when it comes to things like that. So I don’t have the hard facts, but my ideas would be the environments that your baby’s raised and what you initiated feeding.
Cathy Biase: [00:32:53] It’s like, honey, they tell you that you should try and get local honey because that’s what you’re used to. The bees are pollinating from the flowers close by you. So perhaps any allergic reaction will be minimized because you’re eating local honey, honey that your system is used to. That’s the way my mind thinks.
Dr. E: [00:33:12] That’s actually really, really interesting. Now that we’ve touched upon that, because there is so much migration right now. And just in terms like look at my family, my wife’s from Spain and we met while we were both working abroad. And then she moved to Cancun and we lived there. Then we moved to California and we all lived there and now we’re living back here in Spain.
Dr. E: [00:33:31] So obviously, there’s big dietary changes like you very well said. And also there is a lot of differences there. These adaptation periods. And that might also help explaining why we have these comfort foods that are the kind of foods that we grew up with.
Cathy Biase: [00:33:48] Exactly.
Dr. E: [00:33:49] It’s not only that they bring happy feelings, but maybe they’re bringing happy feelings because they’re making our little bugs down there, in our gut, feel good?
Cathy Biase: [00:33:57] Well, intuitively, that seems absolutely on par with what I think. So here in Canada, we have four definite seasons. So in the summertime, I don’t want to be eating squash and soups. I just don’t feel like it’s not because I just don’t feel like. I want salads. I want watermelon. But as we move in and as the crops in Canada change, you’re getting the heavier, earthier the squashes, the pumpkins, things like that.
Cathy Biase: [00:34:20] And our bodies want that. We want to warm up. We want to stay with those types of foods. We need those types of nutrients when the sun is not as bright. So we’re not as bright, but not as low.
Cathy Biase: [00:34:30] You know, I think we’ve gone astray from our intuition. I think that’s a big piece of the disconnect with our bodies is we’re not listening to what it’s telling us. Symptomology is a wonderful, wonderful script for us. And I think we don’t listen to our bodies. We write things off to this, that or the other. You know, we’re tired. Oh, it’s because, you know, I stayed up late, but maybe it’s something else that’s going on. Pay more attention. I think that we’re too scientific sometimes. I think we really need to start listening to our own bodies. And this is what I really try and put forth to people.
Dr. E: [00:35:09] Yeah, a lot of the times we’re trying to look out for answers from the outside. So we want somebody to give us the solution. We want the magic pill. We want the superfood. We want the solution from the outside. And we’re not stopping and listening to ourselves like you very well said.
Dr. E: [00:35:25] Like, how does this make you feel? And not because I can eat bread and feel OK. Does it mean that somebody else should be able to do that. It drives me crazy when we worked so long with families with autistic children and they require a gluten-free, casein-free diet because it just not good for their gut. And I would hear other doctors say like, oh, no, that’s nonsense. Unless they’re celiac, it makes no difference. They should be able to do this. And in reality, it’s not. I mean, they recognize this. They can tell when they’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with them.
Dr. E: [00:35:55] So, I completely agree with you. I think this has been a tremendous episode so far, Cathy and I really want to acknowledge you for that. I’m sure that everyone listening now has learned at least one thing that they can incorporate into their lives to improve their health and their wellness. But before we wrap things up and I always ask this to our guests, what are your top two or three recommendations from what we’ve just discussed that our listeners can take starting right now to start healing their gut microbiome?
Dr. E: [00:36:22] And this is coming from someone assuming that most people, probably the ones listening to us on the lower end of things, but they’re still eating processed foods and they’re still eating sweets from time to time and they’re still doing all those things. So what would be your top two or three recommendations for these people to start healing their gut?
Cathy Biase: [00:36:38] Sleep is key. So you want to get good quality sleep. You want to get yourself into a routine. So, your body will understand routines. When the sun starts to go down, the melatonin kicks in. You start to get a little bit tired. At this point listen to your body.
Cathy Biase: [00:36:55] Start to shut down your computer, shut down the technology, do a routine if it’s going up and brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, get into bed. Once you signal that you’re going to bed, I’m upstairs and your body will understand, ok, she’s brushing her teeth. OK. Now she’s doing this. She’s doing that. We’re going to bed.
Cathy Biase: [00:37:14] The body likes that. The body likes routine. So sleep.
Cathy Biase: [00:37:17] Exercise is becoming more and more profound for the microbiome. And more and more studies are linking the huge impact of exercise onto the microbiome. So move your body. It doesn’t have to be a marathon. Start where you’re at and move your body. Dedicate time every day to moving. We’re very stationary. Our bodies are meant to move.
Cathy Biase: [00:37:39] Incorporate the third big thing when we’re just talking about the mechanistic approach to the microbiome is eat more fiber. We are really remiss in getting 30 to 40 grams of fiber a day. It’s a lot of fiber. I always recommend to people that I work with. Take a day, write down your food, go to the computer, Google a bowl of blueberries. How much fiber and really denote this. You’ll see where you are lacking or if you’re right on par, if you’re short on fiber. There are a lot of supplements that you can take. Psyllium husk has a whole bunch of different fibers to up this and those are my key things.
Cathy Biase: [00:38:14] The microbiome is your baby. It is going to be more and more and more in the scientific literature. It’s going to be coming more and more into health. I love it when doctors now are saying take a probiotic when you’re on your antibiotic. I just it’s like to me, such a huge step.
Cathy Biase: [00:38:31] So these things are important and they’re becoming more and more important as time goes on, more and more linkages to health.
Dr. E: [00:38:37] So there you have it, everyone. It couldn’t be clearer.
Dr. E: [00:38:40] Despite the fact that Cathy stole the first two recommendations that I’ve been giving on every other episode with sleep and exercise. And it’s funny now that you mentioned the routine, because I talk about something that I have called a digital sunset, and I have learned this from Brian Johnson. You know, when the sun goes down, your digital devices go down. And it’s harder here in Spain, especially with the kind of work that I do, because interviewing people in America, the time difference is a lot of times I’m still running interviews nine, ten, thirty PM.
Dr. E: [00:39:06] But usually you do that and you start going into that routine and same thing with movement. I try to move when I’m not doing a video or something like that. When I’m sitting down and writing, I have a timer on my watch. So every thousand seconds it beeps and I just get up, I take a couple of deep breaths, I stretch a little bit, and then I continue going. So those are great things. And then the third one, remember everyone to start increasing the amount of fiber. This is what feeds your gut microbiome. And most of the time, although it is not a nutrient, I’ve heard more than one doctor refer to it as a deficiency that we do have in our diets and we do have a fiber deficiency at some point.
Dr. E: [00:39:38] So, Cathy, once again, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show. I’m incredibly grateful. Now, if our listeners wanted to learn more about you, perhaps even work with you. Where can they go to do that?
Cathy Biase: [00:39:49] My Web site is simply Cathy Biase dot com. www.cathybiase.com. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. You can just Google me there, I’m very easy to connect with.
Dr. E: [00:39:59] Awesome. As always, you can find the links to everything Cathy just mentioned. Her Web site, her social media profiles, her podcast and many other things like our complete show notes, including a full transcript and a link to send in your questions to me or to Cathy over at dre.show/026 0 2 6.
Dr. E: [00:40:15] And better yet, but only do this if you’re not driving right now, you can just open up your podcast app, scroll to the episode’s description and there you will find all of these links that you can just tap and go directly to them. Cathy, thank you once again for joining us. This has been a wonderful conversation. For everyone else, I hope you join us here next week. This has been the Highway to Health Show. I’m your host, Doctor E ‘The Stem Cell Guy’.
Outro: [00:40:37] Thank you for listening to Dr. E’s Highway to Health show. Helping you learn the science of Living Ageless. Did you enjoy the show? Please like, share and subscribe where you listen to podcast. Dr E wants to hear from you. Go to dre.show Again, that’s DRE dot Show . Until next time! This is Dr. E’s Highway to Health, helping you live ageless.
Dr. E: [00:41:08] So there you have it. This has been episode 26 with Cathy Biase. If you enjoyed the episode and would like to learn more, make sure to check out the show notes and the links to everything we mentioned in this episode’s description.
Dr. E: [00:41:20] And before we go, remember to also sign up for a free copy of the book I’m working on about stem cell treatments. Just as a dre.show/book. D R E dot show forward slash book to sign up now and I will make sure you get a free copy once it’s released.
Dr. E: [00:41:35] Thank you all once again for tuning in. I look forward to seeing you here next week. I’m Doctor E ‘The Stem Cell Guy’. You are on the Highway to Health and I’m your guide to get you there.

Our Guest for this Episode:

Cathy Biase

Nutrition Consultant & Cancer Coaching

Cathy Biase is a registered Holistic Nutritionist and Cancer Coach.

She specializes in educating people on nutrition specifically as it pertains to our microbiome and immune system. As you know, I’m a very big fan of these kind of disciplines that promote health by respecting our biology.

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