Episode 5: Riding the Wave of Change

Episode 5: Riding the Wave of Change

Season 1, Episode 5

Riding the Wave of Change

Dr Caryn Zinn is one of the few PhD dietitians, and one of the few prepared to think outside the box and make some waves. Caryn, one of Tim Noakes angels, tells her story of a free thinking dietitian..

Hosts & Guests

Prof. Grant Schofield

George Henderson

Dr Caryn Zinn

About This Episide

For podcast transcript please contact info@prekure.com

Related Episodes

Episode 4. Dr Richard Babor

How not to get cancer Richard Babor is an upper gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at Counties Manukau District Health Board. In his clinic, the question of how not to get cancer, or ‘why did I get cancer’ comes up a lot. Nobody is to blame for getting...

Episode 3. Dr Robert Szabo

Want to save the planet? Don’t blame the cows. Dr Robert Szabo, a Melbourne-based GP, started low carb clinic four years ago, helping patients who are looking to reverse insulin resistance and adopt a low carb diet to improve their health. He is also a well-researched...

Episode 2. Dr Carlo Bellini

The future of health “I think there is a massive opportunity for leaders within health to really open their minds about how we can do things differently.”   Dr Carlo Bellini, PreKure’s Lead Coach, takes us on a journey from Perth to Oxford, from medical studies...

Episode 4: Quiet Change Maker

Episode 4: Quiet Change Maker

Season 1, Episode 4

Quiet Change Maker

Cliff Harvey started changing the world 20 years ago, he’s still going. Catch up with his almost finished PhD, views on keto, mental health and more.

Hosts & Guests

Grant Schofield

George Henderson

Cliff Harvey

 

 Resources

About This Episide

Related Episodes

Episode 4. Dr Richard Babor

How not to get cancer Richard Babor is an upper gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at Counties Manukau District Health Board. In his clinic, the question of how not to get cancer, or ‘why did I get cancer’ comes up a lot. Nobody is to blame for getting...

Episode 3. Dr Robert Szabo

Want to save the planet? Don’t blame the cows. Dr Robert Szabo, a Melbourne-based GP, started low carb clinic four years ago, helping patients who are looking to reverse insulin resistance and adopt a low carb diet to improve their health. He is also a well-researched...

Episode 2. Dr Carlo Bellini

The future of health “I think there is a massive opportunity for leaders within health to really open their minds about how we can do things differently.”   Dr Carlo Bellini, PreKure’s Lead Coach, takes us on a journey from Perth to Oxford, from medical studies...

Episode 3: New Zealand’s Ketotown

Episode 3: New Zealand’s Ketotown

Season 1, Episode 3

Mayor of Ketotown

Dr Glen Davies (GP) has turned his medical practice and a whole town around. His low-carb keto approach to reversing diabetes is something you just have to hear about.

EP:03 New Zealand's Ketotown

Hosts & Guests

Prof Grant Schofield

George Henderson

Dr Glen Davies (GP) 

 Resources

 

About This Episode

Grant Schofield:               Today I’m with Dr. Glenn Daviess, who’s a general practitioner in Taupo in the middle of New Zealand, and I’m down in his place and we spend quite a bit of time exploring what he’s about.

Grant Schofield:               This is a real character of a guy. This is a guy that you will see has fundamentally changed the way he practices medicine and approaching the whole lifestyle is medicine angle. He’s reversing diabetes in his community, he’s got right hold of it. You’re going to love this. This guy is special and where our doctors need to be heading.

Grant Schofield:               Grant Schofield here with Dr. Glenn Daviess. Can you just say who you are and what you do?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I’m Dr. Glenn Daviess. I’m 53 last time I looked. I’m a GP in Taupo.

Grant Schofield:               Where do you work?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             At the Taupo Medical Center. The other thing I do is I’m involved in the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and I attempt to be a lifestyle medicine practitioner.

Grant Schofield:               Okay, so I’ve got the big five questions for you, Glenn. Are you ready?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, go ahead.

Grant Schofield:               First of all, you work in the health system every day.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Grant Schofield:               What’s good about the health system?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Okay. If I had a car accident and the paramedics would turn up, and they are incredible, they would take me to an ED or an emergency department and I would get the top quality care. If I needed to be in ICU I would be just looked after so, so well. If I needed surgery, acute surgery, then it would just be fantastic.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That part of the healthcare system has done so, so well. The part that’s not done so well is chronic care management. We’ve just got that all wrong. Most of what I do in primary care, we’re just doing very, very badly.

Grant Schofield:               What is chronic care management?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I was just going to be a little bit facetious in answering your question. Chronic care management is everything to do with insulin resistance, but I know that wasn’t quite what you’re asking me. Chronic care management is obesity, overweight, type two diabetes, ischemic heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s. It’s basically, I think 70% of consultations in primary care are for chronic health conditions.

Grant Schofield:               They’ve already got these?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             These are conditions that people have already got, so this is distinct from a child with an ear infection, a child with a sore throat, a sprained ankle, a fracture.

Grant Schofield:               Right and those latter ones you think we deal with quite well, you’ve got an ear infection, we can do something about it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Well yes and no. I think we’re actually getting better, because you’re bringing up the topic there of inappropriate antibiotic use, and I think we’re actually better than we were at that. Saving antibiotics for when they’re really required and not using them willy nilly as we have in the past. Apparently they don’t work for viral infections.

Grant Schofield:               Are you still … There are people coming in looking for antibiotic prescriptions?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yes, but I think people now expect only to get antibiotics when they need it.

Grant Schofield:               What do you say?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             If I recall the guidelines for ear infections, it’s if the pain has persisted for more than 48 to 72 hours, then it’s appropriate to use an antibiotic in an ear infection, otherwise it’s not. There’s guidelines for sore throats, so [inaudible 00:04:22] treat, otherwise probably not required.

Grant Schofield:               Okay, back to the chronic conditions then, so we’re talking about really the treatment and management of those. What about prevention? Is that part of your job?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s a fantastic question. It really should be, but I think we’re appalling at prevention. It should be the responsibility of primary health care, but we are still functioning as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff rather than preventing these conditions.

Grant Schofield:               What does a typical day in a general practice look like for a doctor in general practice?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             General practitioners would see somewhere between 24 to 40 patients a day. Consultations are generally 10 minutes to 15 minutes, and people will come in with their presenting complaint and we’ll do the best we can to manage it, and that presenting complaint could be anything. I think that’s one of the challenges of general practice.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             If you’re a neurologist, you’re going to see a small number of conditions most of the time. I think the challenge at general practice is you could see someone with Alzheimer’s disease who’s got behavioral problems, you could see a child with a sore ear, you could see someone with a sprained ankle, then you could see someone with uncontrolled heart failure. It’s that ability to …

Grant Schofield:               Or metastatic cancer or anything.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Or a new diagnosis of cancer or somebody concerned about HIV. You know, that’s the challenge, is you really have no idea what’s coming through the door, and I guess having the …

Grant Schofield:               Is that part of the excitement of it all as well and the …

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I guess it is, but you know, if you think about a specialist, really they know a whole lot about a small amount of things and it’s absolutely fantastic that they know everything there is to know, for example back to our neurologist, everything there is to know about Parkinson’s disease. The challenge for the general practitioner is just to know enough to be able to make the diagnosis, but you can’t possibly be all over the topic of Parkinson’s disease like the specialist can be, but yeah, it makes it exciting. It really does.

Grant Schofield:               What’s changed over the years from when you started? You’ve been practicing for how long?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I’ve been practicing in Taupo for 22 years.

Grant Schofield:               What’s different now than five years ago, 10 years ago, 22 years ago?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             About 18 months ago I developed a real interest in lifestyle medicine and that has dramatically changed the way I practice general practice. When I think about lifestyle medicine I’d say there’s two types of medicine, there’s pharmaceutical medicine and there’s lifestyle medicine.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Pharmaceutical medicine is what I used to practice. I would make a diagnosis and then I would run through my head, which is the best pharmaceutical agent to use for this condition.

Grant Schofield:               And then write your prescription and that was it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Write your prescription, and if it wasn’t fixed by a drug you’d probably fix it with surgery. You know, that was basically the entirety of it. Now what’s completely …

Grant Schofield:               Just hang on, that’s interesting. In a day’s practice in that mode, the pharmaceutical mode, that’s 90% of what you’d be doing?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I would say over 90% of what you do. Listen, examine, make a diagnosis and then which is the most appropriate medicine to use in the situation, that was general practice.

Grant Schofield:               Wow. What’s changed?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Now my life has become much, much more difficult, because now instead of actually making a diagnosis and prescribing a pharmaceutical, now what I do is I start asking why, you know, why did this person develop the situation, and then you ask why again and why again, and you start thinking about the determinants of the end result. You start thinking about the stress, the sleep, the cultural environment, particularly their diet, but you know, that’s just opening … When you keep it to pharmaceutical medicine it’s just so simple and clear isn’t it, and it takes 30 seconds to write a prescription.

Grant Schofield:               Right. You don’t open that door.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You start opening the door and wondering, you know, this person is a refugee and immigrant, what’s happening for them in their lives? What supports do they have? Is there a language barrier? Are there illnesses that they’ve brought with them? You know, it just starts … I don’t know, it just opens things up so much that you start … It could almost become overwhelming to start doing that.

Grant Schofield:               Then what happens? How does the consults go on from there, so you’ve asked the whys?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             What I’ve concluded is that there is probably one cause of most of the chronic health conditions that we see and that’s insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Generally that’s a consequence of a high carbohydrate diet, and I think that of all these things that we talk about in lifestyle medicine, we talk about stress, we talk about sleep, we talk about exercise, we talk about relationships, nutrition is the big factor. Nutrition’s probably 90% of it. You sort people’s nutrition out and I think most of these other things improve by themselves, and the key to understanding nutrition is to understand insulin resistance and the role of insulin, and going back a step, the role of carbohydrates causing hyperinsulinemia causing all these downstream effects of insulin resistance.

Grant Schofield:               You can’t control your blood glucose, you end up with high amounts of insulin in the blood and both of those combined are risks for eventual …

Dr. Glenn Davies:             For everything.

Grant Schofield:               For everything.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. High carbohydrate diet, insulin goes up and insulin is a switch, okay. This is the clearest way to think about it. Insulin is a switch. You switch it one way, high levels of insulin, that’s anabolic, that’s about building.

Grant Schofield:               Which we need from time to time.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Which you need and if you’re going to the gym and you’re wanting to build muscle, absolutely, yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You want to build, and then you switch the other way, insulin levels are low, that’s catabolism, and that’s when you rebuild and that’s when you renew.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             When you apply that to thinking about cancer, you know, when you’re destroying cancer cells that have popped up, that’s not going to happen in your building phase, that’s going to happen in your phase where the insulin levels are low.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             The big problem is that people do not get the insulin levels low for a majority of the day, which needs to happen for health.

Grant Schofield:               How do you deal with this? Say you’ve got someone coming in, they’re presumably expecting a prescription and then you’ve gone, why, why, why, and you’re thinking around diet and lifestyle. How do you now transition to doing something about it?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Okay, so well one of the tools that’s really useful is to be able to measure fasting insulin and fasting glucose.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Then there’s an online calculator called QUICKI that has a very good correlation with the gold standard for measuring insulin resistance. Ideally I’d like to calculate what the QUICKI index is. If it’s above 0.45 then you’re normal, if it’s below 0.3 you have diabetes and if it’s below 0.399 you have insulin resistance.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Looking at the United States statistics, 86% of adults in the USA now are insulin resistant.

Grant Schofield:               Wow.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             86% of adults in the US will fall into that range on the QUICKI index. To me that’s really powerful because I can say to people …

Grant Schofield:               Do you think we match the same in New Zealand?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I’m sure we will be, because you look at HbA1c, look at obesity, it seems to be pretty much the same everywhere around the world, doesn’t it?

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Well then New Zealand seems to be, we’re in bronze middle position on the obesity stakes, are we?

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, possibly predominately because of the large mass of Maori and Pacific people that we have in the country.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, if we can come back to that Maori and Pacific at some stage, because I think what we’re talking about here is really relevant in that situation.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, and so you eventually say, hey look, I’m actually not going to give you a medication or do you do the medication as well or this is what I want to do? What happens now?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             What I’ll do is I’ll say, you’ve got obesity, you’ve got type two diabetes, and instead of diabetes being a condition that will slowly get worse and eventually you’re going to go blind, need a kidney transplant and your legs are going to get chopped off, now I say, well that’s not the case at all. This is something that you, by taking responsibility for your diet, can turn around and you can now be normal.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I say to people, I explain that it’s all due to the high carbohydrate diet. They need to get the insulin levels down and I’ll talk to them about a low carbohydrate or a ketogenic diet. Then I’ll give them some resources.

Grant Schofield:               Is that what they’re expecting?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             No. Hell no, but I was just going to talk about the resources. I came across this very good book and we seem to have about 200 copies of it in our practice, and it’s by, I keep forgetting his name. He’s a professor of public health AUT.

Grant Schofield:               Oh, so you’re giving away What the Fat books?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Good on you. We appreciate it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, so that’s what we use as our …

Grant Schofield:               That’s been a reasonable resource for you?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s been a fantastic resource. We give away copies of What the Fat, and we’ve also got another resource that we’ve prepared, and I give that to people and I just say to them, you go and study, you go and learn this stuff, go and look at every YouTube clip you can find and learn everything you can about low carb diets, and wow, amazing results. We’ve now had 36 people that have reversed their diabetes or prediabetes. 36 and that’s from probably zero and that’s an …

Grant Schofield:               What do you mean been by probably zero? What does that mean?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I don’t think we reversed anyone’s type two diabetes before and now we’re getting people that are going from the diabetes range and into normal HbA1c ranges with using low carbohydrate, healthy fat and ketogenic diets.

Grant Schofield:               Right, and that’s the sort of results that we’re seeing from the actual trials as well, the [inaudible 00:15:21] study and these types of things [inaudible 00:15:22].

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah and this is kind of real life. This isn’t big interventions, you know, this isn’t big trials with lots of resource and researchers. This is little old me sitting in my room and saying, this is a really good book, why don’t you go and read it, and here’s a printout which lists the foods you can eat, go and do it. Then they come back, I recheck their HbA1c and they’ve gone from diabetic to pre diabetic, and that’s it, that’s all we’ve done. It’s like low cost, simple general practice intervention.

Grant Schofield:               But you’re being a little bit shy here in many ways, aren’t you, because you’ve also got a social media and actual physical group that comes together, and that is interesting because that goes beyond normal practice. Tell us a bit about that.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, so for about a year we’ve been running a group called Reverse T2 Diabetes Taupo. There’s a thousand people on the Facebook page and we meet once a week and we discuss either a topic or we do our beginners keto meeting where we just discus the basic science.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Some of the topics we’ve done have been awesome, we’re about to do one on Alzheimer’s. We’ve looked at the role of ketogenic diet in cancer. We’ve had a man who’s done a carnivore diet for four years.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             We’ve tried to use Marae as much as we can to host the events. Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               As you said that is quite a big change in practice really, that’s part of your practice now is running social media groups and meeting people in the community, not at your practice. What’s that like?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah and I must admit I didn’t have a Facebook page before I started this so that’s a whole new world.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I don’t know. I love it. I just enjoy that whole environment of being with a group of positive people and we’ve had up to 120 people in one of our meetings.

Grant Schofield:               Wow.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I was expecting 10.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             It’s always a bit disconcerting.

Grant Schofield:               Well 10 is good than none though, right?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, but it’s disconcerting when you intend to talk to 10 people and there’s 120, isn’t it.

Grant Schofield:               That’s good. [inaudible 00:17:42] go that I’ve talked to you since, I mean which I found profound, you said, “I’ve only just learned how to do my job.” What do you mean by that?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Well, this comes back to that comment about pharmaceutical medicine versus lifestyle medicine. With pharmaceutical medicine I think generally you’re just fixing the symptoms. With lifestyle medicine, you’re actually able to cure the cause of the problem, and that’s the difference. I’m actually a healer now, whereas before … I don’t know, I was [inaudible 00:18:23] data, what was I doing before? I was just treating people’s symptoms, which has a role, of course it does, but now I’m actually a healer, which I think is what we all hope to be as doctors and health professionals.

Grant Schofield:               What do you say to other GPs who are still thinking about that move?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Well, I’m involved in promoting lifestyle medicine. I think lifestyle medicine, for example, the Australasian Society of lifestyle medicine, that’s a fantastic group to get involved with and you learn the skills and develop some of the tools to practice lifestyle medicine.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Hopefully people are going to see the results like 33% … No, 33 people have reversed their type two diabetes and they’ll go, wow, I want to get in on this, and a lot have. A lot of my colleagues really have jumped on board with this, but others haven’t.

Grant Schofield:               There’s also a whole community here, a Maori, that you’re peripherally involved with. Tell us about their story and what’s going on there, because that’s interesting, isn’t it?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. Waitahanui is a small community about nine kilometers south of Taupo. Everyone in New Zealand has probably driven through it. It’s a 70 kilometer an hour area. There’s about 100 houses there. In the past it’s been, a low socioeconomic area with a lot of problems, but now there’s some amazing …

Grant Schofield:               All be it a nice spot. You’re lake front and then you’re off into the Waitahanui River and the forest there is just …

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Beautiful, yeah. There’s 100 houses there and they’ve built a new marae. There’s amazing leadership in that community, outstanding leadership, and they’ve adopted a ketogenic diet and they’re now measuring their weight loss in tons no longer in kilograms

Grant Schofield:               The whole community’s gone for this approach?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             The whole community.

Grant Schofield:               How’s that going?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I might be exaggerating to say the whole community, but I would say a majority of the community, including the catering at the marae.

Grant Schofield:               The [inaudible 00:20:30] of public events and the sort of food that’s served up there, which is pretty common.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, so previously I think marae have had a bad reputation in the past for the food that they’ve served at tangi, for example. Now Waitahanui marae in serving ketogenic food at tangi, which is quite a change. That really is quite a big difference.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             This whole community has got behind this and they’ve even got their own language around keto. They talk about the keto [Foreign Language 00:21:08], [Foreign Language 00:21:08] meaning vision or mission. They talk about cheato, which is when you fall off the ketogenic wagon, they talk about cheato. They all support each other, and yeah, really amazing.

Grant Schofield:               Why is it so interesting to you and why … I find that quite special and motivating, but what’s interesting to you about it?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Well on a personal note, I lived at Waitahanui when I first came to Taupo. I was married at Waitahanui and so I have a strong association with that community to begin with, but what excites me is that, don’t you get despondent when you see Maori at the wrong end of all the health statistics? You know, they are wrong end of all the health statistics and now we’re seeing a community that’s at the right end. Their weight loss is out of this world.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             What I think this comes down to is that Maori have only had exposure to sugar and refined carbohydrates for 250 years. You know, Captain Cooke brought sugar and refined carbohydrates to New Zealand 250 years ago, and Maori …

Grant Schofield:               It didn’t help.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             It’s the cause of so many of these problems, and 250 years is just a blink of the eye in terms of genetics to adapt to a major environmental change.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I’ve read that it takes 20,000 years to adapt to a major environmental change. Europeans have had exposure to agriculture for 10,000 to 12,000. Maori have had 250 years. What’s that? Five generations, it’s just not enough time to adapt, and that’s why Maori do so poorly with refined carbohydrate and sugar, but why they do so exceptionally well when you take it out. They do better than Europeans when you take it out, because of the fact it’s only been 250 years, and that’s why I get so excited. You know, that’s why we see these results.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yourself and I, we did a little venture down to the Pub and the Scrub, didn’t we.

Grant Schofield:               The Pub and the Scrub is a site to behold, I’ll tell you. It’s fantastic.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             The Pub and the Scrub is a converted house, which is down a gravel road beside the Waitahanui River, and we went there on a Friday night. We were so warmly welcomed, weren’t we? Really, really warmly welcomed, and I can recall you talking to a gentleman and you’d had a reasonably long conversation with you and you came back and Bill said, “Oh, he’s lost a heap of weight,” and you went back and talked to him and you said, “How much weight have you lost?” He went, “Oh a bit.” Then you come back …

Grant Schofield:               It was 48 kilos or something, from memory. Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, yeah, and he was just so low key about it, wasn’t he? “Yeah, I’ve lost a bit.” You know, and you said to him, “How have you found the Keto?” He went, “Oh yeah, good.”

Grant Schofield:               Yeah he was quite under ….

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Understated.

Grant Schofield:               Understated about the whole …

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Absolutely understated.

Grant Schofield:               [inaudible 00:24:21] I think his name was, yeah. The thing about that though … Then an elderly woman from the right walked passed and I said, “What’s the story with [inaudible 00:24:33]?” She goes, “Oh yeah, he hasn’t got a big gut anymore,” and that was the end of the conversation.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, that’s Sylvia. Sylvia, that was.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             The thing is that in Waitahanui it’s becoming so normal to lose 45, 30 kilograms, that it’s just not a big deal. There’s a little proverb, and I’m really sorry I can’t say this in [inaudible 00:24:54], but it’s something like, the kumara doesn’t need to tell everyone that it’s sweet. They’re just down there doing it. They’re not making a big fuss.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, they’re quite humble about it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             They’re not telling everyone and their message is that we’re quite happy for people to come to us and we’ll share this information, but we’re not going to be standing up there lecturing about it, you know, which is perhaps a little bit different from …

Grant Schofield:               The way we might do it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             The way we might do it and got to respect it.

Grant Schofield:               The older guy there, Bill. Was it Bill?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That was Bill, yeah.

Grant Schofield:               He was interesting, because when you got talking to him I was like … You asked him why he was doing it and his answer was, he’s like, “Well I’m now the second oldest here. I had four brothers, all of them died before they were 59,” and he said, “It’s not acceptable. We’re not doing that anymore, so we’ve changed …” I thought that was very powerful.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Really, really cool.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. I don’t know. I really love the way they’re doing this in such an understated and humble way, but they are literally measuring their weight loss in tons, you know. That blows me away and you’re not hearing about this in the media.

Grant Schofield:               No one’s putting it up, and also it hasn’t really been a public health initiative. They’ve just gone on and done it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s what’s so cool about it. Yeah, there’s been no money spent on this.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You know, not a cent. They’ve just got on and done it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             There’s another … Maybe changing the topic a little bit. Isn’t it so cool how every single person now has access to the highest quality of information if they spend the time looking for it, and everybody can learn about nutrition, everybody can work out for themself a nutrition plan. That’s the beauty of the internet and that’s what they’ve done down there. They’ve [crosstalk 00:26:40]

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, and more often than not it’s the exact opposite argument, which is [inaudible 00:26:46] and give them more information because they just, they’ll get too confused, but this hasn’t been the case.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             No. Yeah, that statement alone I think is 100% wrong. You know, people can access information, people can digest it, understand it, interpret it and they can become experts in a field. No longer is health the domain of the doctor. You know, health is the domain of everybody. We’re not there now to hold the information and tell people what to do. We’re there to coach them and support them on their health journey. That’s what’s different.

Grant Schofield:               It’s quite a different role isn’t it?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You’re a coach. Your role is to encourage and support and sometimes maybe interpret, because when you look on the internet with any symptom, you’ve always got cancer haven’t you. Whatever symptom you look up, you’ve got cancer.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, or like I was self diagnosing myself with adult ADHD the other day.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I’ve got that too.

Grant Schofield:               [inaudible 00:27:47]

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s … I’ve forgotten what we were talking about.

Grant Schofield:               All right. That’s a good chance to switch, so lets just talk about you a bit more, about the lifestyle behaviors you might do. What do you do to keep healthy?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I was actually thinking about this earlier today. Since I became a lifestyle medicine practitioner I have become far less healthy than I was before, mainly because of all of this work that we’ve been doing, it does take quite a lot of time and energy. I think I’ve probably doing less exercise.

Grant Schofield:               Although you’re pretty fit, aren’t you, [inaudible 00:28:30]

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I haven’t been fitter, but yeah I do … If I can’t run or mountain bike I will always go for a walk.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, I always try, but yeah, it’s just that all this work sort of takes up quite a lot of time doesn’t it?

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, right.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Diet totally different. I am absolutely sold on the concept that you have to keep your insulin levels under control and I will eat the amount of carbohydrate that I need to to control my insulin. How I do that is I’ll periodically measure my ketones and if there are some ketones there, like I don’t require myself to be at 0.5 and above, but if there’s some ketones, I know that my insulin level is under control.

Grant Schofield:               It’s low, it has to be.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I’m managing my carbohydrate intake to maintain some level of ketosis and that’s because ketones and insulin are on a seesaw, you can’t have high insulin and ketones and if you’ve got ketones you can’t have high insulin. That’s just a really simple way that I can monitor the main determinant of metabolic health, which is insulin.

Grant Schofield:               Okay, so what … A good day’s eating in the last few days, what might it have looked like?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             My breakfasts, I will try and have an omelet for breakfast. Sometimes a little bit lazy and it might be eggs on paleo toast.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Otherwise I’ll use a grain free granola with Greek yogurt and berries. Always try and have some berries every day.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’ll usually be breakfast. Lunch, I would try and do a salad with some protein, chicken usually.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Then dinner is just protein and veggies.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             If I do feel like snacking, it’ll probably be dark chocolate.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s … And I’ll drink water.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Coffee.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s about it.

Grant Schofield:               Couple coffees in the morning, is that what you do?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             No, I don’t actually. Coffee makes me really buzzy.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, and you’re already quite buzzy, so that’s …

Dr. Glenn Davies:             If I do have alcohol, the pure blonde, low carb beer.

Grant Schofield:               You like those?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, yeah. Then I guess maybe on a Friday night it might be a spirit with some soda water.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s the food.

Grant Schofield:               Under control.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               That’s changed over the years?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. Well I used to … Being an ex athlete I used to be totally into the carbohydrate loading and the excess carbohydrate approach, and I’ve turned way away from that, especially after hearing yours and Dan Plews talk on …

Grant Schofield:               Athletic performance.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Athletic performance on a low carb diet.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, yeah, yeah, so we’re all …

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Totally convincing.

Grant Schofield:               We’re both aspiring athletes, but yeah, we’re probably getting passed our use by date in many ways.

Grant Schofield:               What do you find hardest? You touched on that with some of the time for exercise. What don’t you do well that you’d like to do better?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I would just like to do … I think I’d do a moderate little bit of everything. I would just like to have more focus on doing all these lifestyle medicine things, and probably just time to sit and do nothing.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, right.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s not even necessarily meditation, I’m just really talking about those breaths you have during the day where there’s 10 minutes where you’re not reading, you’re not watching a YouTube clip, you’re not reading something. You’re actually just sitting or … That’s probably what I miss.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You know, you sit down and you go, I can return that text or I can ring someone, actually just to have the time to just sit there for 10 minutes and just sit.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You know, and then also you go … This active relaxation thing, you know, I’m going to deliberately watch this show on Netflix tonight so that I relax. You know, maybe just sitting there for a few minutes in the evening and do nothing.

Grant Schofield:               Just be bored. Being bored is underrated isn’t it?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Being bored. I was actually, when I was in Wellington this weekend I was thinking, I used to go and visit my grandparents and they had this bay window that looked out over the airport in Hataitai, and it used to rain and the rain would come blasting in there. As a child I had never been so bored in my life, I don’t think they had a television, and I would sit there in that bay window for hours after hours doing nothing, just watching the occasional plane in the rain. Now I think back, that’s one of my fondest memories. Absolutely one of the fondest childhood memories I have, yet I hated it. It was destroying me.

Grant Schofield:               That’s a little bit like the A, B and C class family holidays. A, going to Venice and doing all these things and B, doing this and C, just going to the local camping ground and it turns out … And then, what do kids love? [inaudible 00:33:38] holidays. That’s what sits in their memory.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You spent time with them, you were left to your own devices, you mucked around.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah. It’s astonishing, isn’t it? What else? If you are to sit down, it’s not a doctor conversation now, but it’s just you’re talking to some other people, which you are now. What do you say to them? What’s your best advice about a healthy lifestyle?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I would always, there’s just really one key piece of advice and that is, it’s all to do with insulin and you’ve got to keep your insulin levels under control. You have to ingest the amount of carbohydrate or restrict the amount of carbohydrate to achieve normal insulin levels. There is nothing more important than that and it’s that simple. You know, that is the key piece of health advice for everyone and if everyone did that, I think we would have amazing health statistics. That thing alone will make all the difference.

Grant Schofield:               Awesome. Well thanks. Is there anything else you want to say while we’ve got you here?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I think I mentioned that that book by Grant Schofield’s quite useful, but we had 200 copies of What the Fat, donated by a very generous donor, Wayne Richmond, and that’s kind of what got things started. That book is absolutely superb as an introduction to what a healthy lifestyle is, particularly the low carb diet.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I think if every single person in New Zealand could have a copy of that one book, I think we probably would have solved most of the problems.

Grant Schofield:               It’s interesting though, because Wayne wrote back to the both of us with some … He was quite generous and donating and buying these books, but now he’s become disenfranchised with the whole approach and is actually quite critical of me in particular on two things that we had an interesting discussion about. The [inaudible 00:35:44], do you want to talk about that?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. Wayne is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever come across and he’s solved some very, very complicated chronic health conditions of his own through learning. He’s spent about four years researching these conditions, like the gut microbiome, irritable bowel syndrome.

Grant Schofield:               Which she was suffering of some.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, and just metabolism and he’s worked a whole lot of stuff out. What he was critical of was the comments about protein and does protein cause a significant insulin rise and do you have to limit the amount of protein that you have on a low carb diet? I think …

Grant Schofield:               In What the Fat we were saying that’s probably a good idea to do that.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               And probably now, probably since we’ve moved a little bit on that.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, and I was just talking about my latest hero, that’s after you of course Grant.

Grant Schofield:               Benjamin Beckman.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Benjamin Beckman, who has some amazing YouTube clips and I think in his laboratory he’s really answered this question. If I am quoting him quickly, he’s saying in a low carbohydrate environment, protein has zero effect on insulin. In a high carbohydrate environment there’s a 40 times increase in your insulin levels in response to a protein load. I think that’s really the piece of detail that we’ve been struggling with in the Ketogenic environment, and I think he’s really nailed it.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             It depends.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Protein can raise your insulin and at other times it doesn’t, it depends on the context and the content. What we’re doing, a low carbohydrate diet, you wouldn’t expect to find protein causing a large increase in your insulin levels.

Grant Schofield:               Also protein itself is quite satiating and those sorts of things has that going for it, so it leverages hunger and …

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, and a lot of people also are not eating enough protein. Like we’re talking about two grams per KG and a lot of people, particularly elderly, are not getting even close to that.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah. Right.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               The second thing, so that was interesting that he raised it and we’re actually quite glad he did, it gives a chance to sort of keep changing your mind, which we should do as practitioners and scientists, right?

Grant Schofield:               The second thing he raised was about the value of vegetables at all.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, so I’ve just … The book that’s open at the moment is The Plant Paradox by Steven Gundry.

Grant Schofield:               Yes.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Have you read it?

Grant Schofield:               No, I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard of it.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Because I’ve had patients of mine who have turned their irritable bowel symptoms around with this, and we knew when you’re in this environment, this ketogenic environment, you are challenged all the time. You know, if you think of my journey, I spent 20 years reinforcing the message that you had to avoid saturated fat and you had to eat large amounts of whole grains and you know, the usual message.

Grant Schofield:               The usual dietary guidelines.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Then I would have been doing that, what, five to ten times every day, so that is so reinforced in my brain, then to get challenged with all of that and to actually have to turn your mind and now to be teaching what appears to be the opposite of that, you know, that’s really hard.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Then you get challenged even further. You know, when you get a carnivore … You know, we had this talk in our group from a local man who has been a carnivore, exclusively a carnivore diet for four years, and when …

Grant Schofield:               And appears to be extensively healthy.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             You know, this challenged me, and when, I hadn’t met him before, when I came into the lecture I was wondering what this man would look like, you know, and here’s the 68 year old guy who does 68 press-ups every morning. He was lean and buff.

Grant Schofield:               He’s going to add one next year when he turns 69, is he right?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. He’s lean and buff and clearly his brain was working really, really well, because he wasn’t satisfied with PowerPoint as a medium, so he integrated it with another program and he designed his own presentation format to give this lecture. You know, and he’d just won the club championships at golf, you know, so clearly his brain’s working well, his body was working well, his coordination was working well and he was just, he was eating a purely carnivore diet and that challenged me. I’m going, okay, you know, yeah.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Then I’ve come across The Plant Paradox by Steven Gundry, and then again you’re challenged because, you know, you and I we know that above ground vegetables are just so health giving and such an important part of this diet, but then you get challenged by something like this.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             I think it’s about keeping an open mind, being aware of your cognitive dissidence, meaning your resistance to information because you hold a belief so clearly…

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, for that to be wrong then there must be something wrong with you.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yes, and that’s a challenge for everyone, including scientists. I don’t know, I think a lot of doctors … You asked me sort of a question like what’s wrong with medicine, I think doctors are at risk of becoming lazy. I think they’ve been told that you are the experts in the field of health and you were told that maybe 30 years ago, and I think a lot of doctors have just got lazy about their ongoing learning and some of them …

Grant Schofield:               Haven’t kept up.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Haven’t kept up, and their cognitive dissidence prevents them from looking at new information.

Grant Schofield:               I see new information here that for some people, some reason for some vegetables they might mount into something like an auto immune response to eating them.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Actually that’s causing ill health and for those people, for whatever reason [inaudible 00:42:06] those intolerances, stopping that might actually help. Is that the theory?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That’s the theory. I’ve actually been so challenged by this that I hate to put it down, because it starts making you think, you know, well what am I going to eat? You know, and I haven’t quite got my head around the thought that I might personally become a carnivore. I put it down because I was challenged, but the idea basically is that a gazelle doesn’t want to be eaten by a lion and a plant doesn’t want to be eaten by an insect, and there’s a variety of chemicals in the plants that are insecticides. Some people if they’re very sensitive to those they may have an immune response to it, is basically the idea.

Grant Schofield:               That could cause problems?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             That could cause sort of irritable bowel type symptoms or autoimmune conditions. I suspect it’s a very small number of people, but you know, I think we have to be open to this idea.

Grant Schofield:               Because it also could be true for people who those insecticides, those poisons, their mild harm to other people might be the benefit, the big benefit of vegetables, right? That’s the idea of hormesis.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Hormosis, yeah. Hormesis?

Grant Schofield:               Hormesis is the word.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, yeah.

Grant Schofield:               It damages you slightly, but you build up stronger because of that.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Which is mind blowing, isn’t it?

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah. Isn’t it? Just challenged all the time and I guess being open to the challenge and yeah, open to it.

Grant Schofield:               I think we’ll finish there. Be open to the challenge. Thanks, Glenn Daviess.

Dr. Glenn Davies:             Yeah, thank you very much, Grant.

Grant Schofield:               Next episode we’re talking with almost Dr. Cliff Harvey and how he’s approached his own health, his mental health and his research on low carb and ketogenic diets.

Narrator:                             This podcast is brought to you by PreKure, prevention is cure. If you enjoyed this podcast, please like and subscribe. If you know someone who could benefit, please share it with them. Together we can change medicine for the better. Change medicine for good.

Related Episodes

Episode 4. Dr Richard Babor

How not to get cancer Richard Babor is an upper gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at Counties Manukau District Health Board. In his clinic, the question of how not to get cancer, or ‘why did I get cancer’ comes up a lot. Nobody is to blame for getting...

Episode 3. Dr Robert Szabo

Want to save the planet? Don’t blame the cows. Dr Robert Szabo, a Melbourne-based GP, started low carb clinic four years ago, helping patients who are looking to reverse insulin resistance and adopt a low carb diet to improve their health. He is also a well-researched...

Episode 2. Dr Carlo Bellini

The future of health “I think there is a massive opportunity for leaders within health to really open their minds about how we can do things differently.”   Dr Carlo Bellini, PreKure’s Lead Coach, takes us on a journey from Perth to Oxford, from medical studies...

Episode 2: Ditcher of Carbs

Episode 2: Ditcher of Carbs

Season 1, Episode 2

Ditcher of Carbs

Libby Jenkinson is a pharmacist turned health promoter – her site Ditchthecarbs.com offers a new way of thinking and eating aimed at families. Its runaway success and sheer site visits will astonish you.

Hosts & Guests

Grant Schofield

George Henderson

Libby Jenkinson

 

 Resources

www.ditchthecarbs.com

About This Episode

Grant Schofield:               We’re here with Libby Jenkinson today. Libby tell us about yourself.

Libby Jenkinson:               I’m Libby Jenkinson and I’m the Founder of Ditch the Carbs, pharmacist, and mother of three.

Grant Schofield:               What is Ditch the Carbs?

Libby Jenkinson:               Ditch the Carbs is a predominantly a recipe website and I’ve also got articles, videos, tips, practical advice, how to actually start low carb and why it’s so advantageous.

Grant Schofield:               That’s really your full-time mission now, is working on Ditch the Carbs?

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah absolutely. I used to be … I’m still a registered pharmacist, but no longer a practicing pharmacist. I ran Ditch the Carbs for a few years before starting, while I was still working, and now I’ve resigned from my role as a pharmacist and now I completely, yeah, dedicate all my time to Ditch the Carbs and helping people through low carb nutrition.

Grant Schofield:               It’s pretty big now right? Can you give us some numbers? Just the mind boggles when you hear this.

Libby Jenkinson:               Oh God, some numbers. I added up social media the other day, social media alone on all my platforms added up is just gone over the million mark now and page views, I think I get roughly two to two and a half million page views a month and a million visitors, so and I’ve got something like 85 thousand subscribers, so it’s kind of getting up there.

Grant Schofield:               The mind boggles that you were doing your pharmacy stuff and you became interested …

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, just up the road.

Grant Schofield:               You became interested in nutrition. How?

Libby Jenkinson:               Well it was through you and through Karen and I attended some seminars up at AUT about low carb nutrition and sort of you know the state of the world of nutrition and it was just fascinating, the effect. You discussed everything through how low carb works, what is wrong with the standard American diet that we’re all on now and you talked a lot about insulin resistance and metabolics and all these light bulbs were going off, and then I started to look at patients that were coming in and thinking, you know, it involved in so many areas these modern diseases with our nutrition and how we’re currently eating this high carb diet that we’re all supposed to be on.

Grant Schofield:               You started eating that way yourself?

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Your family was … Your kids were even younger than they are now then.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah. As soon as I started I knew immediately that I wanted our family eventually to become low carb and we kind of did it and I always teach the people who are in my groups, I always go it’s step wise. We kind of did the odd meal low carb and then I slowly transitioned us onto low carb and the children took a little bit longer and they were kicking and screaming a few steps of the way, but they enjoy it and they eat such amazing nourishing foods now compared to the food that they were on. Yeah, it takes a while, but you get there.

Grant Schofield:               How does one go from being a practicing pharmacist to then running an operation of the scale of Ditch the Carbs?

Libby Jenkinson:               It kind of happened by accident really. I literally started Ditch the Carbs as a hobby and it was something to kind of keep me accountable and to kind of have this almost hobby about low carb baking, low carb meals, everything like that.

Libby Jenkinson:               Then I remember my sort of light bulb moment is when I went to Low Carb Down Under. Do you remember that back in, I think that was 2014 possibly, when they held it here in Auckland?

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Libby Jenkinson:               The day was phenomenal. All these worldwide experts and whether it was low carb nutrition or some other kind of aspect, and it was fascinating and all the science is there, but what I loved is everyone stood on the stage, all the experts, and they all had to say what they ate, what their general day looked like. That was what the whole audience was like hanging on every single word and I thought well as much as the science is out there …

Grant Schofield:               It’s the practice.

Libby Jenkinson:               It’s the practice, that’s right, and how is it going to help public health unless people know as a family, “Okay well what on earth do I feed my kids?” or “What on earth do I make for dinner if I’m not going to have pasta and bread and potatoes anymore?” You know, practically how does that get applied to everybody.

Grant Schofield:               Do you pinch yourself? Do you look at it and just go wow?

Libby Jenkinson:               Well it is bizarre to think that you know, five years I didn’t even know … Literally I didn’t even know what a hashtag was and I remember asking a friend of mine going, “What’s a hashtag? How do you use them?” I had no idea, but you know what, if you’ve got an absolute love for something and it’s like with anything in life, you start looking into it, you look into every area and you slowly improve. Like all my photos, and they still are, of our family dinners, but I literally took them on my iPad and that was it and then they’re still our family dinners, they’ve just become a bit more professional how I take them.

Libby Jenkinson:               I kind of did it, yet again, step wise and gradually I kind of started off this website and thought, you know, people are actually finding this useful and helpful and I’m getting feedback. Yeah, it’s just slowly gradually taken on almost a life of it’s on, but yeah, I do struggle sometimes thinking crikey, I’ve got this beast that I sometimes don’t know what to do with.

Grant Schofield:               Well I’d just like to congratulate you on what you’ve done. I just think it’s astonishing.

Libby Jenkinson:               Oh, thank you.

George Henderson:        Yeah. It’s fantastic.

Grant Schofield:               What you’ve been able to achieve and the material that’s up there and yeah, almost all of it is just free.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, yeah. Exactly right.

Grant Schofield:               For people it’s just a massive resource isn’t it.

Libby Jenkinson:               That’s what I want to do. I don’t want anyone … I mean I do have paid courses and paid memberships now if people want that, but the majority I want it to be free for all. There’s free books, there’s free e-books, there’s free articles, everything, because I mean they’re the people who need it the most. The people who can’t afford programs or books or whatever, they’re the ones who just want to come into the free group and go, “You know what, what do I do?” And that’s the ones that I want to help the most.

Grant Schofield:               Right, we’re going to take you through our standard set of questions and I think you’ll have some particular perspectives on this because of your health professional background and what not.

Grant Schofield:               Just thinking about the health system in this country and around world, what’s good about it?

Libby Jenkinson:               I think we’ve got a fairly comprehensive health care system. We’ve got primary, secondary, tertiary care. It’s all predominantly funded by the government. Yes you can have private if you want to go better facilities or faster, but it is predominantly funded by the government, compared to other countries that aren’t. I think that’s what’s good about it.

Libby Jenkinson:               I think all of the medical professionals absolutely turn up to work to do the best they can, no one turns up to be miserable to their patients or everyone’s trying their hardest, so I think we have a good healthcare system.

Grant Schofield:               What’s not working in it?

Libby Jenkinson:               I think we actually instead of having a health care system I think we’ve got a sick care system. I think more should be done into preventative, to lifestyle medication … Not medication, lifestyle interventions and helping patients to help themselves. You know that’s the biggest thing is that give patients the options that surgery and drugs isn’t the only option, there is a third option, but then the poor GPs haven’t got the time. You know when they’ve got a seven minute window to literally go and see their patient and they know they’ve got ten more out in the waiting room, there needs to be this kind of health gap that needs to be filled where health coaches exactly could come in or something. There is this gap between what patients would like to have, this extra advice and given the options which currently aren’t being given.

Grant Schofield:               George and I, we talked about that earlier. Shop around. You’re offered a medication that could offer these benefits, but …

George Henderson:        If you shop around you may find that the medication is just effecting some pathway that could be effected by diet or fasting or exercise or something like this. Increasingly the most popular new medications all seem to work on pathways that we know as ketogenic diet pathways, to deal with blocking effects of insulin and blocking effects of glucose.

Libby Jenkinson:               You know, absolutely, and shopping around not only for that but also a medical professional that you actually like and trust and get on with and knows what your goals are in life rather than just this is the medication we want to give you and the GPs in charge. The patient’s also got to be their own advocate and fight for their own … At the end of the day it’s all up … The patient has got to decide as well.

Grant Schofield:               I’m not really anti medicine, but I’m anti this idea of interfering at just one step of the homeostasis of the body, when you’re going to get some side effects.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, exactly, and are those side effects worth the medication that you’re taking and for some people that’s yes and for some people in some situations that’s no, but to be given that sort of deeper understanding when you’re in the GP’s surgery. Again, it’s hard when GPs have got literally seven minutes.

Grant Schofield:               When you’re practicing pharmacy are you … How do you communicate that as well, because if someone’s taking a medication there’s always a chance of being affected and there’s always a chance of some harm and how do you help people weight that up?

Libby Jenkinson:               It’s really difficult because again there’s that ethical and decision between you cannot counter argue what another health professional has said to that patient because you don’t know the full medical situation, so I can’t say to somebody, “Actually I don’t think you should be on that medication,” because I don’t know the full history and the full background and what the patient may tell you is completely different to what their situation is and all that kind of thing.

Libby Jenkinson:               If people come and ask me, say for example, “Should I be on this medication?” and they’ve clearly asked for advice, then I think it’s unethical of me not to offer, say low carbers, if there is a solution in that example.

Libby Jenkinson:               I think when people say you can’t offer low carb as a treatment advice, well I think it’s unethical not to.

Grant Schofield:               Have you found yourself, when you’ve been in the pharmacy, offering that advice?

Libby Jenkinson:               Oh absolutely, absolutely, and I have to … When I was working I couldn’t say what I did, that I ran this website. Other people could, but ethically it would look like I was promoting myself, so I would just say, “Do you realize that there is an alternative route that you can go? Do you realize this is what you could do?”

Libby Jenkinson:               A classic example is one woman came in for her daughter and she went to the hospital dietician, her daughter is a celiac. She was given boxes, literally boxes, we had to collect, take them to the car, of gluten free pasta, spaghetti, you name it.

Grant Schofield:               Oh my God.

Libby Jenkinson:               Of the bread, the bread mixes. Honestly there would have been maybe 20 boxes in the dispensary. Anyway, so I said …

Grant Schofield:               That’s a prescription medication isn’t it?

Libby Jenkinson:               Absolutely, prescribed by the hospital dietician up here.

Grant Schofield:               Right, they can’t prescribe you a good steak.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah. I went up to her and I said, “I’ve seen you’ve got all these.” I said, “You’re clearly gluten free.” She goes, “Oh yeah, that’s my daughter.” I said, “Have you ever heard of zoodles?” I just explained to her politely and she goes, “Oh no, what are those?” I explained that instead of having gluten free pasta would she maybe just consider making some zoodles.

Libby Jenkinson:               Zoodles are zucchini noodles. You get your little grater and you make your zoodles, or you can do it with carrot, with lots of different vegetables, and she goes, “I’ve never heard of that.” She was flabbergasted and she goes, “My daughter, who the prescription was for, loves vegetables. Why was I never given this as an option?”

Libby Jenkinson:               Maybe if the dietician had time she could have given her the option of going “Well look, okay there’s this easy alternative and this whole food alternative that you can make zoodles or you can do other kind of things or you can have your dinner on top of coleslaw,” or there’s a hundred different things you could do instead of gluten free pasta which is so ultra processed and so expensive and nutrient devoid.

Grant Schofield:               And just disgusting in the mouth.

Libby Jenkinson:               Absolutely, absolutely. She goes, “She hates this bread. She was complaining about it.” I said, “Well there are these other options.” I explained to her, I said, “Look, you need to go and do your own research as to what’s available, but this is an alternative.” For her it was like, “Oh my word, why has no one told me this?” as she’s lugging all these boxes into her car.

Libby Jenkinson:               That’s just a classic example, whereas I wasn’t contravening what the dietician said, I was just giving an alternative, because I think it was unethical and moral of me not to say [crosstalk 00:12:18]

George Henderson:        You’re not telling her to eat gluten.

Libby Jenkinson:               No, exactly, exactly. I’m just saying, do you know there’s an alternative to these boxes that we’re giving you, and she was just amazed.

Grant Schofield:               I’m just disappointed by funding. I’m disappointed my taxpayers money is funding these products.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Thinking about yourself, top three things you would do for your health, what have you got?

Libby Jenkinson:               Okay, so it would be diet, activity and I guess just mental well being and happiness.

Grant Schofield:               Tell us something about each of those and how …

Libby Jenkinson:               Okay, so for diet we are all, our whole family, are all low carb, whole food. It’s not … We don’t go for low carb products, we don’t go for keto bars any of that kind of … It’s pretty much … I always say this, if you go whole food you almost become low carb by default. You’ve got rid of all the sugary drinks, the ultra processed snacks, all of those things kind of go, so that’s how we eat. We eat whole food that is lower in carbs.

Grant Schofield:               How old are your kids?

Libby Jenkinson:               They’re now 12, 15 and 18, but when we started they would have been 7 … I’ve got to think of the maths now. 7, 10 and 12 or something like those. They were young.

Grant Schofield:               You’ve negotiated adolescence with this.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Tell us about that. How does that even go?

Libby Jenkinson:               I think they always know they do the best they can as often as they can and they make as better choice as they can when they’re out. Say for example if my teenagers go out with their friends, they’ll say, “Mum, what will be a good choice?” Say if they’re going to Subway, I will show to them, you know what, if you go to Subway all your friends are probably going to have a 6, 12 inch sandwich or whatever. They either choose, my kids actually love salads, they either choose the salad of the day instead of a sub of the day or they will choose a thin wrap or say for example if they go to a burger joint, all their friends are having a burger fries and Coke or whatever and they know they will have a really thin wrap and they’ll have either a diet Coke or a water.

Libby Jenkinson:               They actually minimize … They still eat out with their friends, but they have better choices and they’re not a huge big deal of their day, they’re not going out to these kind of places all the time.

Grant Schofield:               No, but you have had any push back along the way, like mum you’re a loser or any of that stuff? No?

Libby Jenkinson:               I get that on a daily basis anyway, but …

Grant Schofield:               For other reasons.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, yeah, exactly, other reasons. No. I mean I think given the chance, if this ultra processed food wasn’t as damaging to people’s health as it was, yes they would love to go back on that. Everyone would think these things are very attractive and they’re developed to be that way, they have that bliss point that everyone wants, but they know how we’re eating is for the best of their health in the long run. They know what thyre eating and I give them good nourishing food. They love it. I will say to them when they come home, “What do you want?” They go, “Oh Mum, I just want …” whatever it is that they’re fancying. I don’t know, a can of tuna. I know that might be bizarre for some people who aren’t low carb, but that’s what my kids really like when they come home, or they’ll make themselves a low carb mug cake or …

Grant Schofield:               It’s also interesting as they progress through adolescence that they seem to get smarter and smarter. Like I look at my oldest boy who’s 18 now, I put some sourdough bread out the other day with stuff and no one ate it.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               No one was interested.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               I’m, okay.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah exactly. My kids just have learned, because that’s how we all live all the time, they know how to make better choices. If we go out for a dinner they’ll know what to choose. If they wanted say, I don’t know, I wouldn’t have the processed burger, but if they’re at a restaurant where it’s like a proper burger with proper beef kind of thing in there, they would know to order it without the chips and have salad instead or whatever. They know how to tweak things.

Grant Schofield:               Food.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Grant Schofield:               Exercise, what do you do?

Libby Jenkinson:               I run with a girlfriend three times a week, although sometimes it’s just walking because we’ve had a busy day the night before or something. When I say run, it’s more of a jog and a chat and to put the world to right when we run around the block. Honestly, both of us, we say if we weren’t there on the street corner waiting for us at 6:00 AM we wouldn’t be doing it. We have to have a friend there encouraging us.

Grant Schofield:               What about your vitamin sea? S-E-A, because I see you setting to sea in boats?

Libby Jenkinson:               Oh my sea. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah no, I love my sailing. I have a little boat. It’s a little sunburst, it’s like a little two man dingy that I love sailing. I absolutely love that and that to me kind of sums up everything I love about being active. It’s being fun, it’s being in the sun, it’s mentally challenging, you always have to learn where is the wind coming from, are you reaching, are you running, all that kind of thing, and it’s having fun time with my daughter, it’s having fun time with my girlfriends. We’ll have a laugh and a giggle and it’s just … It’s just fun and I still want to be doing that when I’m 80. Even if I’m in my Zimmer frame kind of hiking my legs into the boat, that’s exactly what I want to do.

Grant Schofield:               Do you reckon there’s something special about this, what we’re calling blue space now?

Libby Jenkinson:               Oh absolutely. There’s something about being by the sea. I used to live in the UK and we were near Meriden, which is literally the middle of England, you couldn’t have got further from the sea if you had tried where we kind of lived, and I missed it. I really did. Even just driving past the sea gives you that kind of uplift that you feel and walking in and having just … Feeling the sea with your … There’s something about it that I think one day they will discover what the sea gives us.

Grant Schofield:               Vitamin sea.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               What about this … What was your third? We had the …

Libby Jenkinson:               I think just your mental health. Being with friends, being with family, doing … I know a lot of people said in my groups, they don’t like the word exercise, they hate that because they just think of people in leotards and personal trainers with six packs kind of thing. I say exercise is more activity, being out is being active with your friends, it gives you that mental kind of boost and being socializing, you need to look after that, you can’t be hibernating all the time.

Grant Schofield:               Friends are our medicine sort of thing.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, absolutely. Friends and yeah, hanging out with friends, and like I say, the sailing kind of encompasses everything, just giggling the whole way round.

Grant Schofield:               One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Crocodile Dundee and when Crocodile Dundee went to New York they were like, where’s so and so, ah they’re with their therapist and Crocodile Dundee’s response was, “Crikey, don’t they have any mates?”

Libby Jenkinson:               Exactly right, exactly right. Yeah, yeah.

Grant Schofield:               Well that sounds all sort of pretty perfect. What do you reckon you struggle with on health behaviors?

Libby Jenkinson:               I think I’ve worked on everything slowly as the time goes … You know, I never used to run and I slowly introduced running. I Googled how to start running and I slowly addressed my diet and food and all of those kind of things, so I kind of slowly went there.

Libby Jenkinson:               I think the only thing I still struggle with is sometimes the attitudes from other people and that what I get from either friends, family, when you hear in media. It was on the news the other day, which we were discussing, that it was a study … They were talking about keto on the news and the guy who was the media presenter was talking about it and he was like, “Oh that’s ridiculous,” and he was absolutely poo pooing people do it and I thought, well don’t mock people that want to be healthy and don’t mock people who are, like you said before, fitness freaks. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, you should be proud of and if I want to do this that’s my … I’m not telling anyone else to do it. If you come to my page great, I’ll help you, but I’m not going out there being an overzealoused telling everyone to do it.

Libby Jenkinson:               I think just the attitude sometimes you get from people.

Grant Schofield:               What do you reckon is going on there, George? Why do people do that?

George Henderson:        Some of it’s defense. You know it’s a mechanism about their own kind of I think I know I should do this but I don’t really know what to do and they’re resistant to it. Some of it’s a resentment of people who are a little bit holier than thou out there. Some of it no doubt they’re impressed by some expert, like some sort of blow hard expert like Doctor Katz that’s made a good smoke screen of ridicule about something that seems to impress some people.

Grant Schofield:               But it runs a bit deeper than that, because I looked up yesterday, because I’m just interested in ketogenic diets and ketosis, I was reading the Wikipedia entry on ketosis. Oh my lord, someone’s written that with an agenda.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               There’s no resemblance to science.

George Henderson:        Rewritten it, because it would have been fine a week ago. Yeah, yeah. I mean we’re only just becoming aware that really we are in an information war here, like the political war that’s … the bigger war that’s out there, we’re in part of that, we’re in a small part of that and we actually have to be aware that media is being manipulated and kind of work out what to do about it because it’s … You don’t want to be the conspiracy theorist, you don’t want to be the person that cries foul, because it’s an overplayed card.

Grant Schofield:               Bearing that in mind, Libby, what would you say? What would be your advice to someone you’d meet off the street and says, “What should I do for my health?” What would you say bearing all that in mind?

Libby Jenkinson:               Well some friends, it’s interesting, when people sort of ask me why I have gone low carb I already know that they’re not ready to go low carb, but if they ask me how I’ve gone low carb that’s when I know they’re kind of … That’s the difference in the people’s attitudes, they’re kind of asking me. I often don’t … I never introduce myself as what I do because it’s just that would stop the conversation for the next hour and it’s kind of … So I hardly ever do it, but if people genuinely ask and they want to know how to either start low carb or just even to go into whole food, it doesn’t even need to be as difficult as going low carb, and it just goes start by looking at the worst areas first.

Libby Jenkinson:               The first thing is you drop maybe your sugary sodas, that’s the worst area. Can you drop that and if you can’t drop it immediately can you do it step wise and then you think to yourself, well how can I introduce more whole food into my diet and take the ultra processed food out. You slowly make little swaps like that and just address each little thing as one at a time.

Grant Schofield:               Are there different personalities for that though? Do different types of people thrive with different strategies?

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               I look at myself and I go, I’m either fully doing this. Are there those sorts of people are is it just me?

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah. No, I think there is and I think … Again, I kind of teach people you have to do the step wise approach where you slowly address either every meal or the worst things in your diet or there are other people who love to do the pantry clear out and from day one it’s quite cathartic and they actually show photos of bin liners of junk food either being thrown away or donated to the local food store and they love that.

Libby Jenkinson:               Either approach works and that’s what I try and tell people. Don’t think that what one person does is impossible for you, try to do whatever works for you in your situation. If it just means you just address maybe your breakfast and you get rid of the granola and the cereals and you go to something different like eggs or leftovers, then start with that and just then improve as you go rather than thinking it’s all or nothing. Just kind of do it little step wise.

Libby Jenkinson:               I remember talking to a mum at water polo one night and she was going, “I don’t know how to get my I’d off the sugary junk and everything else,” and I just said just make one little step. If it’s one change every week or one change every month, by the end of the year you will have made 12 massive steps or 52 little steps, whatever it is. She went, “Oh my God, I never thought of it like that.” She thought she had to go all out. How the heck could she start and I just said start reducing it.

Grant Schofield:               That’s a good point isn’t it. What you’re doing most of the time also counts. Is that another thing …

Libby Jenkinson:               Oh absolutely. You know some people think oh … Said low carb doesn’t work for them and then when I question it they have the odd low carb meal, well that doesn’t make them low carb and the converse is true, if they suddenly have a cheat meal, they haven’t fallen off the wagon, they’ve just had a cheat meal.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, it’s what you do everyday on a regular basis that counts.

George Henderson:        Something I’m really interested in, Libby, is you’re talking about reaching out to lower economic people, people who have not a lot of money to spend and a lot of low carb meal replacement plans are like you give up the cheap granola and then you make your own granola with nuts and things, it’s going to cost you $100.00 every time you do it. If you’re cooking something like eggs for breakfast instead of granola you don’t need to do that, so I’m really interested in that kind of budget approach to low carb. Hear enough about that because the high end approach has more reach I suppose.

Libby Jenkinson:               Absolutely and there are so many low carb replacement companies, you know low carb bars, low carb proteins, all these kind of things and also people really pushing the grass fed beef and the organic and free range. Yes, that may be the gold standard, but if it means you’re surviving on burger, chips and Coke compared to just having some, okay, it’s not free range eggs but just regular eggs, that is still a better alternative than staying on the burger and chips or the sugary granola.

Libby Jenkinson:               I always kind of say, do what you can where you are. If you can only afford the, yes the free range will be the gold standard but that is out of the pocket of a lot of people, and instead of having organic chicken, go for chicken drumsticks, they’re as cheap as chips. Go for the mince, go for the fatty … We go for the fatty meat cuts anyway, but the cheaper cuts of meat and make a casserole.

Libby Jenkinson:               We live like kings. You make these casseroles and it turns a cheap cut into a luxurious meal and you can do these options.

Grant Schofield:               Good point with that. What is a budget low carb day? What could that look like?

Libby Jenkinson:               It could be, okay, you’ve got to think of this now, maybe some scrambled eggs with maybe some leftovers or even leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Leftovers are absolute king. I love leftovers.

Grant Schofield:               Underrated.

Libby Jenkinson:               Absolutely. You know you cook once, you serve twice. Also I say leftovers, it’s immediate portion control. You won’t go back for another portion because you go, nope that’s lunch for the next day or whatever.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, right.

Libby Jenkinson:               You can build up a library of frozen meals in your freezer at the fraction of a cost of a ready meal. Breakfast could be scrambled eggs, it could be leftovers, anything like that. Lunch could be a salad with leftovers, that’s what my husband gets every day. I say why get a dog, get a husband, because he eats all the leftovers and all the bits. There’ll be like an inch of cheese left and I go, oh that will go on his salad and two slices of roast pork and that will go in his lunch.

Libby Jenkinson:               It’s all those … All the dregs from the bottom the fridge, that are still fresh but that could be a salad and then dinner could be a casserole, sort of a curry, which is a slow cooker or an instant pot with the cheapest cut of meat. Gravy steak, any kind of those, chuck steak, rump steak, any of those are so cheap.

George Henderson:        Frozen vegetables.

Libby Jenkinson:               Absolutely.

George Henderson:        Save a lot using those.

Libby Jenkinson:               And frozen berries. Everyone thinks, oh berries are so expensive at the moment. Well buy frozen. They’re a fraction of the cost.

Grant Schofield:               The preparation for that slow cook thing is pretty quick as well isn’t it? You’re just literally chucking things in.

Libby Jenkinson:               Literally and I don’t even now … A lot people they will pre fry the meat and they’ll pre fry the onion. No, if you’re really in a hurry you’re never going to do it, so I just throw everything in and give it a stir. Even the instant pot, which I absolutely love, you can cook … You know it’s a pressure cooker and you can cook a curry in 20 minutes.

Grant Schofield:               Both in exercise and diet, when you ask people about their barrier to doing it, it’s most often a lack of time and when we’ve, because we’ve studied this quite a lot in our research center, is time use and the astonishing amount of time people spend on screens.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yep.

Grant Schofield:               They don’t have time to either move around or cook. What do you make of all that?

Libby Jenkinson:               I think it’s where their priorities are. You know like you say, people say they don’t have time, well get off Facebook for a start.

Grant Schofield:               Well they might be on Ditch the Carbs though.

Libby Jenkinson:               Well they might be and if that case then stay there and I can give them some tips. Generally you look at the time and it’s where they choose to spend that time. Is it in front of the TV or is it on social media? Whatever it is, are they gaming? Whatever. I don’t know what people spend their time on, but generally you know that they do have time, it’s where they choose to spend it.

Libby Jenkinson:               There’s even meals you can prepare that require zero cooking. I always say my go to meal if we’re really busy and I’ve come home late with the kids off some sport or something like that, you literally run into the supermarket, you get a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad. Job done and all you do, you literally dump the salad on the plates, you’re ripping off the chicken. Meanwhile I’m doing that, kids are emptying the fridge of all the bits of blue cheese or the bit of mayonnaise or anything they want and it’s almost like their own salad bar and they just throw everything on and it’s the quickest, easiest meal possible.

Libby Jenkinson:               Like I say with prep, if you don’t want to prep then buy the pre made cauliflower rice or buy your bag of salad, buy pre cooked chicken or whatever it is. There are easy ways, yeah, yeah, to do it.

Grant Schofield:               Keto versus low carb and carb restriction in general, what do you make of all that? What do you think about all that?

Libby Jenkinson:               I think it depends, again, on the person’s situation. Some people love keto, because A, it gives them really good health benefits and mental clarity and everything else and it takes so many options away, they are quite restricted so they love that if that’s their kind of … You know we talked about before about their personality, it’s actually really fit for them and they love it. Other people find it far too restrictive and so then I go, well go to just moderate low carb or just plain low carb, just do that and do it to what you can fit in with your daily requirements. Does it fit in with … You’ve got to make it sustainable.

Grant Schofield:               Oh that’s a really interesting one isn’t it, about the rules, because George and I earlier were talking about what we call vitamin D.

George Henderson:        Yeah, I had this … This came to me in a dream and [crosstalk 00:29:54]

Grant Schofield:               Oh my God.

George Henderson:        It came to me in a dream and it was a setup like this and the podcaster was saying, “And you need some vitamin D, vitamin don’t.” That’s your rules of just don’t so this.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, yeah.

George Henderson:        You know like obviously the sugar sweetened beverages are one, you know that’s an easy one for me. Obviously the things that I’m actually allergic too, that’s an easy one. There are places in the rule book for some firm lines and that can be useful to have in place and that’s just not a thing I do. It’s like smoking, it’s just not a thing I do.

Libby Jenkinson:               Exactly.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah. For some people … There is a lot of talk, especially in the dietician community, and I debated a couple just last week about moderation and enjoying all foods and I found that as sort of the opposite of the vitamin D rule, which is have no real rule, just do whatever makes you feel good and that will work out. What do you make of that?

Libby Jenkinson:               I think this everything in moderation, A, I think that’s been invented by the food manufacturers. You can have a little bit of this and a little bit of that and basically having a little bit of all different types of junk food all day long kind of thing. What does moderation mean? For me that might mean something completely different to somebody else. If I’m moderate say in low carb, that might be extremely widely different to say somebody who’s extremely hardcore keto or a carnivore. What is moderation and really do we want our health in moderation? I don’t. You know, I don’t, so I want to do the best I can as often as I can, so I’m not having junk food and I’m not going to have ultra processed food. Yeah, it’s …

George Henderson:        I think there are areas where moderation has been defined, so alcohol consumption there is a defined … Moderate is a defined thing.

Grant Schofield:               One to two servings in a glass is one of those little small glasses that no one drinks out of.

George Henderson:        I think another area is if you look at things that are actually toxic, like oxalates in foods. Look at consumption of those as something that you don’t want to be immoderate, you don’t want loading up smoothies with spinach all the time because that can have adverse effects on your kidneys.

George Henderson:        There’s a few areas where it kind of does make sense, but as an overall plan to apply to everything that you’re offered, it makes no sense to me.

Libby Jenkinson:               No.

Grant Schofield:               I think there are some … There’s some epidemiology where they’ve asked, at least Americans, to report their eating style and those who reported them as moderators were in the worst condition of the lot.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

Grant Schofield:               For what thought that’s worth.

George Henderson:        Yeah. It’s a vague concept in the first place.

Libby Jenkinson:               If people think I’m being restrictive, well I’m only restricting myself two whole food.

Grant Schofield:               What do you say to people out there who aren’t even started on the journey though? They find out you do this low carb thing, they’re like, “What is that? What are you on about?” Is there a … Because this is …

Libby Jenkinson:               I’ve had this. Yeah, I mean I’ve had people … I’m on this kind of challenge at the moment where I’m actually alcohol free this entire year, which is for somebody who loves their red wine and champagne it’s completely off the wall for me, but I’m doing it. Someone said to me, “For goodness sake, what’s left?” It’s like, well for me actually it’s kind of like this negative. Again what we said about people being quite mocking or from some kind of place of defense. Well a lot people, food and drink and everything else, that is their hobby, that literally is their hobby, and it’s like well I have other things in my life other than food and dink. Do you know what I mean?

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah.

Libby Jenkinson:               I do get this kickback from a lot of people who say, “Oh for goodness sake, what do you eat?” It almost starts with this for goodness sake kind of and it’s like, well I don’t mock anybody, I don’t go up to anybody and tell them, I don’t preach it, but if people ask, absolutely I will help them, but then don’t be negative if I’m actually looking after my health as best I can.

Grant Schofield:               You started the year with the alcohol free thing?

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, yeah. I just did a little mini day challenge with my membership and then we did a little three day challenge and I did a three day challenge. I thought right, January first I’ll see if I can go without alcohol. I did three days, and we were away on holiday so I’m amazed. Here we’re going out fishing every day and of course when you come home from fishing what do you want, you want a glass of wine. I thought, no, no, I’ll see if I can do it and I thought no actually I felt really, really fabulous with not drinking. Then I though I’d just see if I can do the week, because it was a week in a holiday is near an impossible, you know, you want to drink and sit out on the deck in the sun.

Libby Jenkinson:               Then I thought I’ll just see if I can do it for January. I didn’t want to set myself any big goals and then I just, as the time went on I just felt so fabulous, I just thought actually I’m going to set myself a goal for 2019, other than two dates, on my fiftieth birthday and my daughter’s 18th, they’re my two caveats.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, right.

Libby Jenkinson:               It’s not going to be no forever. I just want to see, can I do it for a whole year and it’s also been … Like I say, when I tell people, and I don’t go out there advertising it, I’ll just say, “Oh no thanks. I’d just like a … ” you know, I don’t know, whatever, a soda water or whatever. It’s there again, the attitude’s kind of back. It’s like I’m not telling you to do this, I’m not telling anyone to do it, it’s just what I have chosen.

Grant Schofield:               It’s interesting because I’ve just started a three month alcohol … And I haven’t really told anyone about it. I’m a week and a half into it. Frankly I’ve actually found the first week and a half quite hard, because I don’t really drink wine, but I’d started for some reason drinking these low carb beers and then … And they’re quite nice, and then I started drinking them every day. You come home from work and you’d have beer.

Libby Jenkinson:               It’s a habit.

Grant Schofield:               It’s a habit.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah it really is.

Grant Schofield:               It’s the cues that get me still. I’m on a little challenge with some other guys. We’ve been doing this for a week and a half and on Saturday we got a [inaudible 00:35:30] from one of the guys, “Comrades, I’ve fallen.”

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, I’ve definitely got more mental clarity.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean I know so many people who have gone alcohol free and they’ve just found, and again it’s completely, completely optional to anyone in their position, but they’ve gone alcohol free. Even one guy, the guys that I go sailing with, I think I’m the youngest on the boat by quite a few decades, and even one of them, we went to a Christmas party and there he was this old sea dog drinking his kombucha instead of his alcohol and he goes, “I’ve never felt so good.” What was lovely, all the guys who were around him go, “Oh good on you mate,” and they were really positive about what he’d done, because he was on this health challenge for himself and he said he’s never felt so good when he didn’t drink it. He’s going to go back to moderation and like you say, there is a limit for moderation for alcohol, so he’s going to go back on one or two drinks, but he just felt that they were creeping up beyond what he was happy with.

Grant Schofield:               What do you make of this whole challenge? Mini challenges, bigger challenges thing?

Libby Jenkinson:               I like mini challenges, but I think people need to go into them thinking they’re not a some kind of weird, wacky, gimmicky thing. I like challenges just so you’re sort of laser focused for those three days or a week or whatever it is and it’s easier to say no, to go, “Actually I’m in a mini challenge,” rather than going, “Oh well actually I should cut back on my wine.” No, I’m on a challenge or I should cut back on my coffee or whatever it is.

George Henderson:        I think doing it from the point of view of not do this because you should, but do this and see what happens.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah.

George Henderson:        Do this and pay attention to the process of doing it, how it affects you and how hard is it, why is it hard, how does it make you feel is …

Libby Jenkinson:               It may be that people at the end may go, okay, well whatever it was, whatever their poison was that they’ve cut out for three days or a month or whatever, maybe at the end they might think, man I felt so much better, I’m not actually going to go back or you know what, at least it’s managed to make you cut down or address whatever it was, whatever that may be that you actually think, you know what, I’m not going to go back to where I was. I’m just going to cut it back to a level I’m happy with.

Grant Schofield:               Because there’s quite a lot of criticism about these sorts of things from the public health community in particular, right? [inaudible 00:37:46] have …

Libby Jenkinson:               Sugar free September.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah, right, okay, yeah there you go, so both of those. I’ve always wondered exactly why there was so much criticism.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah, I don’t understand it. I don’t know. Is it like you said, but is it something from … Are they afraid or is it their kind of … Are they feeling that that’s something that they’re not addressing. I don’t know what the backlash is, because to me I kind of think live and let live and if that’s working for you great, go for it, but if it doesn’t work for someone else then do what works for you.

George Henderson:        I think there’s an analogy here with the bigger picture of cutting the carbs. Some people go low carb and they don’t to be low carb and they’re going to eat carbs again, but if they do really give low carb a try they’ll know a lot more about the carbohydrates they’re eating they will be making better choices.

Libby Jenkinson:               Yeah and it will suddenly, when they start to look and see what they’re eating, go man I never knew that my chai latte had 20 grams of sugar in there when they make it or they never knew their skinny latte or their weight watchers sweet and sour low fat chicken had whatever. It just opens their eyes to looking at labels.

George Henderson:        They may go back to a very high carb diet, but it probably won’t be flour and it probably won’t be sugar.

Libby Jenkinson:               Exactly.

Grant Schofield:               To counter that though, the public health argument is like the food environments pathological, it’s full of sugary drinks. It needs to be regulated. That’s not an either or thing is it? We agree with that, so the fact that our leading cause of hospitalization in our children is getting anesthetized to get dental [inaudible 00:39:16] fixed and that’s a number one cost for kids as well. No one says that kids should go on a three day sugar free trial and that’s going to fix the problem. We know that we’ve got to fix the whole food supply, but they shouldn’t preclude us from getting started individually as well.

Libby Jenkinson:               Exactly.

Grant Schofield:               Yeah.

Libby Jenkinson:               Exactly.

Grant Schofield:               Right, well Libby, thank you so much. We appreciate it, being on Flippin Health.

Libby Jenkinson:               My absolute pleasure.

George Henderson:        And that’s it. Thanks for listening to the Flippin Health podcast.

Grant Schofield:               Next episode we’ll be talking with Doctor Glenn Davies, general practitioner physician from Tapau, New Zealand. He’s a man on a mission to reverse diabetes for a whole town. You’ll love what he’s got to say and what he’s done.

Related Episodes

Episode 4. Dr Richard Babor

How not to get cancer Richard Babor is an upper gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at Counties Manukau District Health Board. In his clinic, the question of how not to get cancer, or ‘why did I get cancer’ comes up a lot. Nobody is to blame for getting...

Episode 3. Dr Robert Szabo

Want to save the planet? Don’t blame the cows. Dr Robert Szabo, a Melbourne-based GP, started low carb clinic four years ago, helping patients who are looking to reverse insulin resistance and adopt a low carb diet to improve their health. He is also a well-researched...

Episode 2. Dr Carlo Bellini

The future of health “I think there is a massive opportunity for leaders within health to really open their minds about how we can do things differently.”   Dr Carlo Bellini, PreKure’s Lead Coach, takes us on a journey from Perth to Oxford, from medical studies...

Episode 1: What the Flip

Episode 1: What the Flip

Season 1, Episode 1

What the Flip?

Hear from Professor Grant Schofield and former addict and self taught expert in nutrition George Henderson as they share their stories and the plans for Flippin Health.

Hosts & Guests

Prof Grant Schofield

George Henderson

 

 Resources

n/a

 

About This Episide

Hello, I’m Grant Schofield.

And I’m George Henderson.

Welcome to the…

Flippin Health podcast. What is Flippin Health exactly?

Well, Flippin Health is an arm of PreKure, prevention is cure, where we’re really trying to shake medicine up, turn it upside down and check it all about and see what comes out. I think the real interest is in these lifestyle medicines. I’m not aware of a single disease in human history that’s been eradicated or sorted out by curing it after you’ve already got it than being prevented by not getting them.

Yeah, that’s about right.

So what I think we’re interested here in, George, is challenging the way modern medicine has gone, and the way we spend our money in health and healthcare, and what that means. At the moment, if you look across most developed countries’ health systems… Well, actually every country’s health system, not just the majority of money, but almost exclusively all money is spent on treating sickness. And that’s great if you’re sick, right?

Yeah, you need it if you’re sick, but it be cheaper not to get sick in the first place.

Yeah. And so if you look at… It’s hard to know what to make of all the economic analysis, but if you look at that, then you see that you’re probably… It’s about four times the saving for every dollar spent on prevention versus spent trying to fix it after [inaudible 00:01:55]. The sort of ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, it’s the fence at the top of the cliff argument. My argument would be that we’re better off not having a cliff in the first place.

Yeah. I mean, billions of dollars go into proving that one drug is marginally superior, or even just not inferior to another, that are then used to encourage people to spend billions of dollars on these drugs. Very few of which… some do, but very few of which actually cure the diseases and stop them all together, the diseases they’re meant to treat. And there’s got to be a more economic way of doing things, but I suppose investment in that is much more limited.

That’s right. The reality is we have a very well developed sickness system, a very poorly developed health system. Flippin Health wants to work in that space, challenge that, and I want to, with you, talk to experts from all over the world and get their view on how we change that. And I’m talking about, particularly about what we eat, and how we eat, and when we eat it. I’m talking about how we move, and the benefits of being physically active, I’m interested in sleeping, and how that affects our health, and effect about all the other aspects of psychology and the positive aspects of what helps us be well not just fixes us up from being sick.

And the way that we think about these things, how we can use our brains to kind of sort through the mess of information that’s thrown at us.

Yeah, that’s a real point because in the information age, of course, we’re not short of information, we’re overwhelmed by it. And how to make sense of it in terms of research, and we’re going to do a lot on that. How do you know if something’s even true in the first place?

Yes. I mean, you could say our health information is probably even more polluted than our rivers are, or the air of a big city is. It’s being polluted by vested interest, it’s being polluted by confused people, it’s being polluted by people with sort of non-health ideologies, and so forth. Yes.

In health and medicine, then money, politics, religion, all play a mess of part, and I want to explore those as well.

But that said, what do you see as positives in the modern health system in a country in New Zealand? What is it getting right, because we’re working with it, we’re not trying to destroy it. We’re hoping to improve it.

Yeah. I think there are some medicines that are really useful when applied in the right way.

I would say, for example, antibiotics, hep C drugs, and other more effective antivirals. These probably do produce cures, I mean, these are things that definitely do produce cures.

Some surgeries, particularly emergency surgeries.

Yep. Care of accidents. Care of accident victims is improving all the time.

Dental care when you need it, when you have something gone wrong. Those are good things, iCare and iHealth those sorts of things, same with auditory stuff. Those are all intact. In other words, I think when things go wrong, we’re mostly there for you. There’s been a massive increase in the effectiveness of various regimes for various cancers like chemotherapeutic, and radiotherapy, and those sorts of things.

Yes, the immunological side of cancer therapy is massively promising, yes.

Yeah, is massively improving. Now with some of these latest ones, you’re looking at melanoma, and a completely untreatable diseases there’s about a 50 percent remission rate, so those things are expensive, but working well. What’s not working well, is virtually no investment in helping people be more active and having a society that moves rather than sits around.

Yes.

Yeah. A complete confusion in research, in public health messaging, and food industry involvement in nutrition, and all the subtleties of how that plays out, and the research that goes into that. And in my opinion, no discussion, particularly about sleep. It seems that some of the pointy ends of that where that’s going utterly wrong, is mental health, diabetes, and associated diseases.

Right. So these are things like mental health and diabetes are, I suppose not direct killers. But they are definitely going to worsen your life, and shorten your life, and probably shorten your life. But they’re not… Perhaps because they’re not the kind of drop-dead on the spot diseases mostly, they really don’t get the attention they deserve. But they’re kind of maybe the canary in the coal mine because they affect so many people.

Yeah. And so that’s part of the problem in medicine, isn’t it? When you’re bleeding out on the street, or present yourself in an ED, and you’re in an acute condition, obviously, a compassionate society is going to do everything it can to keep you alive, but it doesn’t have the same attitude to chronic problems.

That’s right. I’ve got some old 1960s pharmacology text, and it’s got some essay in it quoted, and one of the lines is the more closely a disease resembles an accident, the better the health system can treat it [crosstalk 00:07:25].

Yeah, exactly. That’s a great one. Just say that again for everyone.

The more closely a disease resembles an accident, the more effective medical treatment for it is.

Yeah, and there’s human reasons for that, and inhumane reasons for that. But unfortunately, modern society are missing the point. So George, I think people will be interested about you, because you’ve got a pretty colorful, interesting background, and you’re probably the most published academic without a PhD. How did that all happen?

How this happened is a very complicated story, and I don’t want to go into it too much. But I am musician, I was a hippie drug user, I got hep C, and I’d always been interested in health, and I’d always been interested in all kinds of quack ideas, because I’ve always been a hypochondriac. But at some point, I just kind of focused that energy on what was actually wrong with me, and went to the med school library and looked at some textbooks. And I started to realize, hey, nutrition has a lot to do with the health of the liver, surprise, surprise, and started taking supplements and sort of thinking they worked. And I started thinking about why they were working.

So this is just off the street to the medical school library. Is it in Dunedin?

Yes, yes. And just looking at-

And you could just wander up there at the time and-

Yeah, you can just wander up there and look at the reference books, without even getting them out, just sit down and read them. Some of these books were also in the public library, and I was looking at… I started off with the desktop reference books that doctors use like the Merck one, and the different drug companies put out these kinds of encyclopedias, or they did before the internet of… And they’d have a little chapter on every part of the body, a little chapter on every common disease and so forth, in case you’d forgotten to remind you what drugs to give people. In the liver chapter, there wasn’t much about drugs, because there are very few drugs that are actually effective for liver disease. There’s no kind of standard of care, equivalent of a statin for a liver disease at all. Now I talk to people in alcohol and drug detox centers, and many of whom have cirrhosis, and no one is being given a drug to try and slow down or reverse the disease.

You’re particularly interested in liver disease because of A, hepatitis C and also drug and alcohol addiction.

Yes. And so the long story short is I realized the importance of nutrition, I knew the supplements were working, I found out they were co-factors and reactions and so forth. So I started, when I have these reactions, what is going on? So I got some biochemistry textbooks and kind of worked my way through those, and I started to come across… I was buying books on vitamins, and a couple of the books I had were Dr. Atkins books in Dr. Michael Eid’s books, and I was ignoring the low carb advice because I was underweight. But I was reading these for the stuff about vitamins that were in them. And one day, I just realized hang on, what Dr. Eid is describing here is the reduction of inflammation on a low carb diet. What Dr. Atkins is describing here is changes in lipoproteins, that would be beneficial for someone was hep C. Yeah, maybe I should try this, and I tried it, and it worked, and it kind of replaced the supplement, so I no longer take much in the way of supplements at all. And I slowly just improved my learning on the internet.

And your health.

And my health, yes. My health improved massively and eventually, I got into a trial for the new hep C drugs, and that cleared the virus away in about eight weeks I think the trial was, and at the start of the trial, I had no fat left in my liver, I had ALT and AST were both at 30, which is well within the normal range, pretty good for someone in my age. And now they’re at 15, so they’ve gotten even better. I responded really well to the drug, I also had the lowest viral load of anybody in the trial I was in and I didn’t even feel markedly better after getting rid of the virus because [crosstalk 00:11:28]

So you actually have no trace of the virus, now it’s gone completely?

Yes, so it’s gone completely, so this is a success, this is a cure. And it’s about 98 percent successful, 98 percent success rate, and you can try again. And even if it doesn’t work, you still get a benefit from the treatment. It’s pretty light on side effects, so it is one of the big success stories.

Okay. And then how did you become well known around the world for writing about food, nutrition, public policy, epidemiology? How did that all happen?

That’s a good question. I started a blog, I started working for you after disputing some things that people were saying around… Okay, so if you are like us, and you found that your health has improved on a low carbohydrate diet, this is the thing that’s worked for you and nothing else did, you start to notice that other people are kind of begging it all over the place. They’re saying, oh, this is going to kill you because of this, and this, and this, and then you go, well, hang on, you haven’t even really thought about this. These are quite spurious or spacious kind of arguments that you’re coming up with to try and stop people doing this.

You felt you were democratic right to indulge in that process.

Yeah, I felt I know the data they’re talking about, it doesn’t say that or maybe it does, but it can be interpreted in a completely different way. And so I just started putting that out there, and I came to your attention, and I suppose my blog got better known. And at some point, we started writing academic papers, review articles, and letters to the editor.

Responses to papers and stuff.

Yes, and with the help of the reviewers, I improved my writing even more, and yeah, I got it to a standard where I think it says good as most of the stuff published in that field.

So what’s interesting, because you’re the sort of guy who even still does just think on the way home, I’ll just write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or a popular magazine, and then the journals are just a natural extension of that.

Yes, that’s right. I mean I was used to writing letters to the editor, which I’d probably cringe if I could read them now. But I always used to write about a wide range of subjects, I probably wrote a lot of anti meet letters in my day, I can’t remember them, but I’m sure I did. Yes, I’ve always had that… I mean, it’s one of the things I’ve inherited from my Scottish [inaudible 00:14:02] I think is that disputative pleasure in just arguing the facts of something, and trying to analyze things, and kind of debate them.

Because in many ways we come from meet and the center of exactly the opposite direction, so what do you make of the not having gone to university, and this lack of formal training, all that sort of blah, blah, blah, stuff? But yet still having more skill than most in the area.

Well, I mean, I think where I’m lucky is that I’ve read all my life, read voraciously books written by people who did go to university, and who did… not books that are so cluttered with academic language, but books that had the clarity of thoughts, books by people that could explain themselves properly and kind of recognize a good argument from a bad one, and so forth. So I think, just by taking in by osmosis, the English language used properly is a logical process. And I think that’s a big help.

And of course, the information is just freely available, now you don’t need to go to that mid school library anymore. You can just get it all online, can you?

That’s right. Although, I still like to see things in print, I still like looking at my textbooks [crosstalk 00:15:18], not that I think that they’re 100 percent accurate, but it’s just if someone thought something was worth writing down in printing, that does have a certain cachet for me.

So, what I find is I came from a completely opposite direction, so I did all these early in my life, undergraduate and Masters and PhD degrees. And in fact, it’s hard to imagine anything that I learned there is useful for what I do now, so that’s the great irony of it, isn’t it? That having a few degrees on your wall as the currency of academia in medicine yet, and for me, most of that was of no use at all.

So Grant, how did you get into this area, and kind of what’s the journey, where have you been, what’s the different roles that you’ve had up to now?

Well, I didn’t mean to… I mean, the longest story is that when I was a school kid, I was really into sport up until about halfway through high school. For some reason I did the work that I was told to do, and was really into biology and science, and that was about it, after that I read [inaudible 00:16:29] much. And then I sort of even lost hold of that, through the end of that into early University because I was really into sports. And particularly, or every… or most New Zealand boys play rugby, so I did that, I wasn’t that good, but I generally better in that. And then rowing was another sport I was in, and I was quite good at that, and we were used to train a lot and not go to school and that sort of thing. And then there was never a job that anyone was going to employ me to do, I couldn’t even look after young children or anything like that there was just nothing that I was going to be able to coherently do in society to add value, so just sort of carried on to university. My father was an engineer, he said, I should enroll in engineering, that lasted a week and then it was either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science, so I thought I would do science.

And so I sort of mauled my way through that, and the only thing I could think to do, because every year I just thought, well, no one’s going to be giving me… there’s nothing I could do in society that has any value, so I might as well stay here. Then I just chose subjects that I was interested in, which were mainly physiology and psychology, so I just ended up with a degree in that, and then carried on to the masters in that, and then I ended up doing… Again, at just each point it was like no one could actually give me a job here, and in fact in the end when I got a scholarship to do a PhD because I was getting good grades again, by now mainly because I wasn’t taking any notes, I just would sit there and be interested in… and I’d only do stuff that I was interested in, so I’d just listen, and then I’d go write and read stuff, because it was more interesting or not.

And so when you get a PhD scholarship, which I did, I was able to live about it, and they may need people to tutor, the University model is one sort of job pyramid scheme where they pay their doctoral students very little to teach, but it’s still worthwhile, and the Professors just wander around doing whatever they do. So I did that, completing a PhD, and a lot of mathematical modeling and this sort of stuff, which I knew how to do then, I don’t now. And it’s the same thing, I still can’t get a job, what am I going to do? So I was like constantly worried about that, I ended up with a lecturing position in Australia, where Luis and I moved. It was my first job, she was a schoolteacher at the time before she eventually end up getting a PhD in public health. And I was in a psychology department, I was a registered psychologist, I’m a useless psychologist. But I ran into some like minded colleagues, I was now competing in triathlons, pretty much full time with a job on the side.

And learning everything that goes with that about physiology and human function, fuel, all of which were much more interesting to me than anything else, and have served me well, and that’s what I do now. And that’s sort of in the late 90s, early 2000s, it was really a view in public health that inactivity was a major problem in society that was emerging. So that’s how I sort of moved to the public health, I got into this idea about inactivity, and I worked really hard, and so the first decade of the better part of my career was in that, which I found really interesting. And were really successful, I moved back to New Zealand, and I moved from being a lecturer to full professor on the basis of that work, really in public health, getting people moving. I think the problem for me, it wasn’t that successful, it doesn’t work.

So getting people moving, wasn’t producing the benefits that you wanted to see, or you just weren’t able to get people move?

Well, it was always catching diabetes and obesity, and they respond really poorly to that sort of thing. If we really wanted to see benefits for physical activity, I think we should have concentrate on mental health. So then we started concentrating on environmental design and that sort of thing, and then they got quite micro. And there’s a connection here I think, hopefully people will see it, so there was this whole standing desks in the workplace thing going on in about 2010 or something.

Yeah, I remember that.

And so we did quite a bit of trial work on that, and discovered that you can make a small amount of difference, but actually, the inter-person difference was much bigger. So some people just move around a lot spontaneously, even when they’ve got a normal sitting desk, and others regardless what environment you give them, they slouch around. And you can’t really change their mind very easily, and I reckon that was physiological, and I started to think about that in terms of insulin and insulin resistance, and signaling around the vacuole nerve, and all that sort of stuff, always been interested in it. And at the same time, we were still testing in our labs, endurance athletes who had trouble with their fuel utilization, so they weren’t able to burn fat. And so we started to understand that was implicated there as well. Tim Noakes had started to do his own work around that time as well, and coming out as it were with the low carb stuff, which was interesting to us, sort of similar fields.

But you weren’t convincing, were you?

No, not at all. I mean, it was completely counter. But what happened was I’d been… a couple of things were going on, I’d done all this work, and I had a doctoral student Katja Siefken who’s a German who had spent a lot of time in the South Pacific, and got all this context with the World Health Organization. And the interesting thing there was that she had got us all these ridiculous contracts, you’d get paid on top of your normal job. This is how ridiculous it is to go to these remote Pacific Islands for a few weeks and do this testing and just sort of figure out what’s going on, and the World Health Organization knew that the more rural and outer Island they went, the healthier people were, but they were scared that they would start to contract these non communicable diseases, so you’d go out there with a healthy nutrition guide from the WHO [crosstalk 00:22:29]. And it’s just pretty obvious that there’s nothing wrong there, and someone like me coming along and tell them to eat less fat and more carbohydrates is only going to make things worse.

You don’t have to very smart to figure that this is a nutrient-

Yeah. I mean, I would make the observation here that I think a lot of our problems are actually caused by a risk averse public health model.

Yeah. So that was going on, so then I thought, well, I’m just going to… because I’ve always liked to just try things myself, and if there was an exercise program, or anything that was current on that field, or anything else, I’d try it. So I got this low carb diet stuff in particular performance context and first all that problem of inflamed lymph nodes for a decade for my chronic over-training and poor quality diet was resolved in a couple of weeks was just astonishing. I move from being quite overweight to back to my normal racing weight, if you like, so that’s what you would call it.

And I moved from being underweight to being my normal weight that I’ve stayed ever since.

Yeah, so actually there’s a homeostasis here and being a human that if you treat the body, right, it gravitates towards, which I still believe. And so then I started talking to my colleague, Caryn Zinn, I’ve just supervised her PhD thesis on nutrition, and we’ve done the traditional calories in calories out stuff and blah, blah, blah. Everyone lauded her thesis, wonderful stuff, no changes, which had to be the heavens. But it’s the funniest thing because we looked back at her thesis now regarding the work is terrible. And so we just got talking about that, we had a couple of other doctoral students Catherine Crofts who now is on our faculty at PreKures, PhD qualified pharmacist, and we started getting into this insulin and insulin resistance model. And then essentially started popping up about it, I was really surprised because in public health physical activity and exercise, some disagreement and there’s the industry, the gym industry and fitness industry is sort of its own little microcosm. It’s not like…

Yeah, it was just a bit of disagreement, and then people come to terms with it. But nutrition, goodness me that’s another whole world out there, so essentially we put our head above the parapet and talk about more fat not less. Then we had a situation where-

Triggers a lot of different responses in different people.

Well, the one that sets on my mind the most is that early on in this process, we’ve been making a bit of noise about this, and there was a letter that was under signed by the Hart Foundation, medical director that diabetes, New Zealand, most prominent nutrition academics around the country, sort of basically decrying us, very, very upset about it. Yeah, we responded back on blogs and those sorts of things. But you look back on it’s just hilarious, the claims about fat and carbohydrate and stuff even by the conventional standards these days are just ridiculous.

Yeah. They’re not really looked at and thought about before they’re made, it’s a received opinion that’s being repeated by people who do have the training and intelligence to check it before they repeat it.

Yeah. And so then the hypothesis driven research that you were taught in fit form science wasn’t happening?

No. I mean, I read a paper from the 1990s, yesterday, and it had a hypothesis was such, and such, and this didn’t validate that hypothesis, instead we found this and I thought, my God that really dates this paper that they say that in the abstract.

I mean that’s still the scientific method as far as I’m concerned.

Yeah, exactly.

So then what happened is that people started going well, if you’re telling people to eat more fat, they’re just going to go down to the takeaways, and it’s going to be pizza, and fish and chips and these sorts of things. And so we were inspired to write our What The Fat? book, and then the subsequent ones have sort of come from that. Bizarrely, we’re accused of profiteering from that, even though the whole point was to-

Give people the kind of that-

They’re told to make sure that we could implement [crosstalk 00:26:44]

Make it safe for them.

Yeah. And so now then, we’ve really switched our attention to nutrition as well as exercise fitness and physical activity, and it’s been quite the journey with that. And so the latest thing really, as I felt in tertiary education that’s changing massively as well, for the reasons that you have been able to benefit from those changes, I think, is that you don’t need the mid school library card anymore to get engaged in the democracy of research and learning actually, and there’re all sorts of random stuff, for example, the current world champion, javelin thrower from Kenya has never had a coach. He learned everything he knows about Javelin throwing on YouTube.

Wow.

Yeah, and I was reminded that stuff, I was watching my nine year old play soccer, and he’s on goal, he’s really into goalie stuff. And he’s directing, I need you on this post, I need this guy out here, and I need this guys here. And I know for a fact, he’s had no coaching in being a goalie whatsoever, I said how did you know that? He goes, oh YouTube. So there’s a totally different world in learning things.

Yeah, I mean, if you look in this specific area, where we’re interested in the health effects of high fat diets, I think the most important experiments of the last… my living memory have been done by Dave Feldman, who’s an engineer without formal nutrition training.

Yeah, an engineer in Las Vegas just doing his own thing.

Yeah. And these are groundbreaking experiments, they really showed new phenomena, here’s a new phenomenon that no one knew existed, and also here is an analysis of epidemiological biomarker data looking for something that no one bothered to look for before.

Yes. He’s done all the stuff that normal scientists would have, and maybe should have done.

Should have done to test their ideas, yes.

And so this is a great interesting new thing, and as always, people go well, Grant, you’re the only person on nutrition in this country who thinks that saturated fat is not a major nutrient of concern. I was like, well, are you just saying all those other ones are wrong? And I was like, yeah, I think so. Because science isn’t a democracy in that, we won’t have a vote, but we have a democratic process that’s different of presenting opinions and moving along.

Yes, you don’t put it to a vote, but you do put it to an experiment.

Yeah. And you can understand those things, so the way things have moved at the moment, then I think, back to the tertiary education thing, it costs $100,000 for the government and the person to get a three year undergraduate degree. If the student had to turn up and pay cash, every time they had an interaction with the staff member or the university, they would just go, oh, my lord, this is… $3,000 for that lecture, $500 for that bit of marketing, they would just go, no, that’s not worth it. So there’s got to be a different model for learning, and so PreKure is part of that.

Yes. And because there has to be… I mean, I’m largely self taught, but I’ve had this massive benefit of working alongside people like yourself, Catherine, Karen, and so forth.

Simon.

Simon, who are academically trained, and I do want to say that educating yourself, when most people do it, it does seem to result in their heads being filled with rubbish. So we need to be careful and say, you can’t learn everything on YouTube, and you need some kind of analytical process that will keep it clear of the weeds. Hence, still have the need for a solid framework.

Yes. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do with PreKure, is construct some of those frameworks and help people do some of that thinking with themselves, but provide some of the ways to interpret evidence and understand where things are going. Right, so the Flippin Health, we’re going to get on in the next few years, I guess, and really challenge this. What do you think we’re going to get to?

Well, I think we’ll start off by interviewing people who are kind of on the same page, so we know what they’re saying. And then we should probably move into seeing what people who don’t agree with us have to say that’s-

Yeah, that’s going to be more interesting and I think we need to-

Yeah, it’s going to be more interesting that’s going to taste the quality of our arguments.

Yeah, so standby, that’s where we’re going but we need to get those people to agree, so we need to go a few rounds on the board, so to speak.

Yeah. We want to kind of fill our audience in with where we are, and what we’ve learned from, I guess, the people within our echo chamber and then we’ll open it up. Yeah, is I think the idea.

All right, Flippin Health.

Flippin Health. To Flippin Health. Yeah, that’s it. Thanks for listening to the Flippin Health podcast.

Our next episode, we’re talking to Libby Jenkinson, pharmacist extraordinaire, and a woman who with her site ditchthecarbs.com is changing the way the world eats.

This podcast is brought to you by PreKure, prevention is cure. If you enjoyed this podcast, please like and subscribe. If you know someone who could benefit, please share it with them. Together we can change medicine for the better. Change medicine for good.

Related Episodes

Episode 4. Dr Richard Babor

How not to get cancer Richard Babor is an upper gastrointestinal and bariatric surgeon at Counties Manukau District Health Board. In his clinic, the question of how not to get cancer, or ‘why did I get cancer’ comes up a lot. Nobody is to blame for getting...

Episode 3. Dr Robert Szabo

Want to save the planet? Don’t blame the cows. Dr Robert Szabo, a Melbourne-based GP, started low carb clinic four years ago, helping patients who are looking to reverse insulin resistance and adopt a low carb diet to improve their health. He is also a well-researched...

Episode 2. Dr Carlo Bellini

The future of health “I think there is a massive opportunity for leaders within health to really open their minds about how we can do things differently.”   Dr Carlo Bellini, PreKure’s Lead Coach, takes us on a journey from Perth to Oxford, from medical studies...