Fighting Chronic Fatigue

Holistic Health Bites podcast with Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson featuring Dr Evan Hirsch discussing chronic fatigue
On this episode, Dr Evan discussed the challenges of chronic fatigue and long Covid, with Evan emphasizing the importance of addressing underlying causes and adopting a holistic approach to improve overall health. He also explored daily habits that contribute to a toxic load, the dangers of exposure to chemicals, and the need for a mindset shift towards making small, gradual changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Lastly, he discussed the potential for environmental hazards, such as mold, in old and new buildings, and the long-term effects of Covid-19, also known as 'long Covid'.
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All Things Hormones

Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson interviews Dr RitaMarie Loscalzo on the Holistic Health Bites podcast talking all about insulin resistance and related hormones
On this episode, Dr. Ritamarie discussed the importance of the endocrine system, insulin resistance, and sensitivity in maintaining good health. She emphasized the need for a personalized approach to addressing these issues, using tools like glucometers and CGMs to gain real-time feedback on patients' health. She also explored the importance of a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques in maintaining good health. Additionally, we discussed the benefits of fasting as a healthy practice, introducing a fasting regime developed based on Dr. Valter Longo's research, and highlighted the importance of breaking fasts with the right mindset.
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The Two Faces of Keto

Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson shares her views on the ketogenic diet on the Holistic Health Bites podcast
The ketogenic diet, a subject of much debate, is scrutinized in a comprehensive discussion exploring its origins, applications, and the significant controversy surrounding it. Initially developed in the 1920s as a therapeutic diet to mimic the benefits of fasting for seizure patients, its application has since broadened to address various metabolic health issues, including weight loss, diabetes, and heart disease. This diet shifts the body's primary energy source from glucose to ketones, produced from stored body fat, offering a potential solution to a myriad of health conditions.

However, the keto diet's reputation is marred by its transformation into a "fad diet," often comprising pre-packaged, low-carb foods that fail to provide essential nutrients, thus not supporting proper metabolism or cellular function. A distinction is made between such commercialized versions of the diet and a well-formulated ketogenic plan that emphasizes whole foods, quality proteins, and healthy fats. This authentic approach to keto promises numerous health benefits, including improved metabolic markers, mental clarity, reduced inflammation, and enhanced overall well-being.

Addressing a broader health crisis, the blog post emphasizes the need for a dietary intervention in a world where a significant portion of the adult population faces cardiometabolic challenges. The writer invites readers to join a Metabolic Reset Challenge, aiming to educate on integrating fasting, whole foods, and a reduced dependency on carbohydrates and processed foods into one's lifestyle. This initiative serves as a call to action for individuals seeking a sustainable path to improved health amidst a landscape dominated by quick-fix diets and nutrition misinformation.
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Mental, Emotional, and Environmental Stressors

Holistic Health Bites podcast with Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson featuring Rachel Headings discussing underlying stressors
Rachel detailed her struggles with numerous health issues from a young age, leading her on a path to functional medicine. She overcame challenges by addressing root causes through diet and lifestyle changes. She explained how chronic stress keeps the body in a constant "fear" state, impacting cells and health over time. Mental, emotional and environmental stressors all contribute to dysregulation of the HPA axis and stress response. 

Rachel recommended starting each day with solo time to self-regulate the nervous system and reduce stress-driven behaviors. Other tips included identifying stress signs, using supplements to calm the stress response, and prioritizing rest. For those experiencing burnout, she stressed the need to completely stop all activities and prioritize self-care and rest through nutrition, movement, social support and relaxing activities to allow the body to heal from chronic stress. 

Rachel suggested small, sustainable lifestyle shifts like improving morning routines, food choices, movement habits and mindset to take control of health, focusing first on nervous system support before addressing other issues. By gaining self-awareness and writing personalized wellness goals, one can gain freedom from past limitations. Journaling, expressing emotions and self-love help reprogram thoughts for ongoing mental and physical optimization.
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The Importance of Breath in Ideal Health

Holistic Health Bites podcast with Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson, featuring Sachin Patel discussing the power of breathing on ideal health
Sachin Patel is a functional medicine practitioner and breathwork expert. He got into this field after realizing conventional doctors had no answers for chronic illness patients. Breathwork became his passion for integrating simplicity and sophistication in health.  In this episode, Sachin explained the health consequences of mouth breathing, including poor sleep, inflammation, and hormonal imbalance. Nasal breathing optimizes air through humidification, warming, and filtration before it reaches the lungs.

Sachin outlined various breathing patterns like coherence breathing and bellows breathing that can induce different physiological states. The "right" way to breathe depends on one's needs in the moment and goals.  He recommended finding prompts like checking emails or driving to associate with breath awareness. This helps establish breathwork as a habit. Wearables can also gamify the process and show physiological impacts.

Sachin detailed how mouth taping at night trains nasal breathing, improving sleep, hormones, temperature regulation and more. It strengthens respiratory muscles weakened by devices like CPAPs.  

HRV measures nervous system resilience through heart rate fluctuations with breathing. Higher HRV means better stress handling. Breathwork and lifestyle changes can optimize this important biomarker.

Sachin explained how breathwork impacts cell signaling, energy production and the body's intricate systems through oxygenation, CO2 balance and nervous system regulation. Proper breathing is the body's "steering wheel."
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