We were so chuffed to speak to Dr. Chatterjee, star of the BBC One series Doctor in the House about all things health and nutrition. Check out the video below.
Below you can find a full a transcript of the interview
– Are we live?
– I think so.
– Yeah, well it says in broadcast, so it must have started. You’ll have to have a look on the page. Guys, how are we doing? This is take two, we are using a completely different app altogether, thanks to Dr. Chatterjee, actually you gave us a heads-up. So first of all Dr. Chatterjee, huge welcome, thank you for coming on for this Live Pod we really appreciate it.
– Hey guys, thank you very much for inviting me and Rangan is absolutely fine, it’s a real pleasure to be on with you guys and I’ve been watching what you guys have been doing for a number of years and Keris, we’ve also met a few times at various conferences. So super excited to be able to get this in the diary.
– Yeah, we were actually saying before hand it kinda feels bizarre because I do feel like I’ve met you because Keris has obviously spoken very highly of you since she met you that first time. And then we’ve been following you on social media since and you’re on the telly all the time, I can’t get away from you, buddy.
– It’s quite bizarre what’s happened over the last years in terms of how much prominence I now have in various aspects of the media. Because there was no master plan here at all, there really wasn’t and I’m just genuinely very passionate, like you guys are about helping people and I see a lot of people around me particularly as a doctor I see a lot of people walking through the door who genuinely, I think most of the issue comes down to their lifestyles and what they’re putting into their mouths and this is not about blaming people at all. I think it’s very important when we talk about people’s lifestyles and nutrition that it’s not about saying, you did this to yourself. That’s not what I ever say, that’s not what you guys say, it’s basically the way we live modern life these days. I think we’re doing many things that we just don’t realise the impact they’re having. I’m just passionate about getting that message out there to help as many people as possible.
– What’s amazing from our position as well is that because you are a doctor and this isn’t information that like previously we’ve heard from doctors and again, we often speak about the fact that it’s not really possible for doctors to deliver this information in 10, 15 minutes. But it does carry more authority, definitely, so I’m sure you’ve found, well you’re a doctor so you wouldn’t have found this. But when I speak to friends and family they’ll always listen to a doctor over me when it comes to kind of chronic disease and kind of very ongoing health conditions. So it’s amazing because lots of them have kind of spoken to me and said, oh, there’s a doctor on the telly and he’s saying some things that you say about gut health and exercise and yeah, so it’s been amazing for us because it’s kind of given us that backing, that authority that I think nutritional therapists, personal trainers have all needed. And of course you’re on TV so you kind of also walk through the practical steps which is fantastic.
– It’s great to hear that and I’ve heard that from a lot of nutritional therapists and other healthcare professionals. Personal trainers that actually for a lot of people it’s been quite eye-opening to have a doctor speak the same language and preach the same things. And I’ve said for many years that, actually a lot of our patients I think would arguably have been better seeing people like yourselves or other healthcare professionals than their doctor. That’s again, not anti doctor it’s just I know how we’re trained. You know I’ve got the full gamut of medical training. I used to be a specialist, I’ve got an immunology degree. I’ve also trained as a GP, so I know what the training is that we get and the sad reality is that we don’t get given this information and so we don’t really recognise how important nutrition and lifestyle can be, not just for Type II diabetes, right, but for a whole range of different conditions. That’s why I’ve created this new course is to try and help teach doctors, you know, at least just how to think about what we might be able to do here. It doesn’t mean doctors have to know it all but I’d love us to be able to as we refer out to other specialists, I’d love us to be able to refer to you guys or to healthcare professionals or to nutritional therapists and say, “Hey look, I think this migraine, “actually I think various things in your lifestyle “might be contributing. “I’ve got this NT who works here in the practise “I’d love you to see her for half-an-hour “later this week to go through that.” That’s what I think would be fantastic.
– That was actually gonna be one of our questions to you was if you can see kind of change on the horizon because I know as a nutritional therapist I will try and start a dialogue with doctors and ask for certain tests I think would be helpful, like vitamin D or just complete blood count and things that would give an indication of nutritional status. And often I’m kind of met with some barriers sometimes and I understand it because in their position, if someone write in to me and kind of making suggestions, you know when there isn’t that kind of conversational or dialogue from the off, it’s really difficult but it’d be amazing I think to hear that there’s gonna be kind of a bit more of a joined up approach in future, I don’t know if it’s something that you know about that the healthcare system is looking at. We’ve heard about lifestyle coaches coming in, into to GP surgeries. Is that something that you are kind of aware of?
– I think, Keris, you make a great point. Well, I don’t know what the future holds. I’m very, very optimistic that things are going to change. I am an optimists by nature and so that’s my character anyway. But the reason I believe that things may well change now is I think, you know, if peoples health isn’t enough of a reason to change, which it should be, I think the financial reality of the situation for the country, for the NHS is likely to drive and force new solutions to come out. So, there’s so many ways to answer this question. There’s the prescribing lifestyle medicine course, that I’m hoping, well not hoping, it is happening that the Royal College has accredited so at the end of January, course number one runs where we’re hoping to train 250 doctors. Actually my hope is that that’s not gonna change every one’s health around the country, but if those 250 doctors can start to be thinking, oh right, we help this condition and this condition, that then means that they receive a letter from you, right, potentially they can be more open to having that conversation because it’s not going to be as foreign a language as maybe it is currently. And yeah, some people say, what are you really gonna teach in one day, it’s not enough. And it’s kinda like well, I know it’s not enough but I’m trying to start somewhere. It’s not easy trying to create change and this is a small step, and a very significant step I hope.
– I think you’ve actually made a difference already because in the last couple of weeks alone I’ve had some GPs come back to me who I’ve written, completely endorsing my recommendations. So they’ve spoken to the patient when I said go gluten and dairy free for some immune issues, autoimmunity, that kind of thing. And they said that the GP has actually kind of suggested that’s a good idea and that some of the supplements like vitamin D would be helpful and that’s only happened in the last few weeks but it’s been amazing for me because it’s like it good for people that you’re working with to hear it from the different sources because it gives it that, well it’s just more trustworthy information I think if they hear it from different people all singing from the same hymn sheets essentially.
– Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. I think it is, it is so nice for me to hear that that you’re now having a little bit of that dialogue because also the only way we’re going to really help our population get healthier is by working together. It’s not gonna be just you guys, it’s not gonna be just doctors, it’s not gonna be just health coaches, we need a joined-up approach, that’s the scale of the problem. It’s not only us you know, we need schools on board, we need hospitals on board because frankly life, you know modern life, is just not setup for good health at the moment. I’m a father, I’ve got two young kids and I find it incredibly frustrating sometimes what goes on in schools. I can see someone called Chris Finney who’s actually, I can’t read it all, going into schools is something that is great. I’m so happy to hear stuff like that because let’s get the message out to kids and they will teach their parents I often find.
– Yeah, yeah.
– Yeah, I mean obviously we’ve been saying this to be fair, oops sorry, just gave Keris a quick like elbow in the ribs there. We’re sat very close together so we can fit into this tiny little screen here. But we’ve been saying for years we just all need to collaborate a little bit more and that goes for GPs, fellow personal trainers, nutritional therapists, rather than kind of it being seen as being in competition with each other all the time let’s work together, you know let’s join forces if you will to kind of make the nation, the world even a healthier place and I think that’s why your message has been so refreshing over the last 12 to 18 months that we’ve been following you. Is because for us it’s almost very preventative as opposed to I’ll do this to help with that. It’s more like I’ll actually do this prevent that even being a problem in the first place. And I think you mentioned earlier about the kind of financial strain that is currently on the NHS at the moment and it’s huge. And we just keep saying, yeah but instead of making cuts here and cuts there, you know the biggest cut of all is probably making so less people actually come through the door because they’re healthier, they don’t actually need to go to a GP or an A&E probably.
– You’re right, I mean trying to put more money into the NHS to say we need to offer more appointments, I’m not against that but I don’t think that’s the solution. The solution is we need to take the pressure off the NHS. We need to take a lot of this lifestyle related illness, which I honestly think, you know some days in general practise I think 70, nearly 80% of what I am seeing is in some way related to people’s lifestyles and often they don’t realise the choices they’re making, the impact it’s having. And you mentioned prevention, I am very, very pro prevention, there’s no question but the one thing I would say is that I’ve realised that lifestyle and nutrition and Leah Butler-Smith here is saying about mindset as well, I absolutely agree. But lifestyle and nutrition, yes can help us prevent getting a disease in the first place there’s no question, I think that’s been known for awhile. But I know that even if you have a disease it can absolutely help you reverse that in many instances or certainly get it a lot better. And that’s a very, I think when you know this and you guys clearly know this it’s quite obvious but actually I don’t think it’s well known that actually lifestyle itself can actually make your disease significantly better and in some cases, not all, but in some cases it can start the process of reversing it and I find that incredibly empowering as a doctor but also empowering for patients. One thing I do want to add because I do feel that a lot of people and certainly on my Facebook wall and express quite a lot of discontentment with the medical profession and I understand that. But I generally do believe that the majority of doctors are trying to help their patients with the tools that they have been taught and we just need a bigger toolbox now.
– Yeah, I mean to be honest with you I think that’s a really important message to say. And coincidentally Jill has just commented below saying due to anxiety and being rejected by my GP I don’t feel able to ever set foot in a surgery ever again, and you know I’ve not been to a GP surgery a huge amount of times in my lifetime, but I think the same with any organisation if you will or like customer facing day-to-day activity, you know every doctor is very, very different and yes they all kind of come from the same school of thought if you will. So I think that’s a really, really cool message that you’ve put out there is just by having that bigger toolbox because you can go into one GP surgery with the exact same symptoms, go into another one with the exact same symptoms and potentially have two very different experiences with the particular GP that you’ve seen that day.
– But also I think–
– No go on.
– I was gonna say so having just, I don’t have anywhere near as many clients as a GP and it can be, it’s a very full-on role to have. You’ll know more about this than me obviously but I can’t imagine trying to see the volume of patients that they see across the week. And it must be also for them hugely stressful and I think that’s why you’re getting sometimes it’s kind of you know maybe this feeling that they don’t care. It’s more that there are so many things they have to get through in a day and they’re just being you know maybe a bit more official about it and they know that if they maybe open a dialogue with you it’ll be difficult to end that dialogue, especially if it’s a very personal thing.
– Absolutely I agree, see Carol Eddy is watching this, she’s says as a GP I completely agree. I think she put that around, well Carol maybe you could clarify what you were referring to there but I think it was potentially around that most GPs are trying to help, genuinely trying to help, but everyone’s got a different method of doing that. I think one thing that people probably aren’t aware of is that there is such disillusionment and burnout in general practise at the moment. So GPs are genuinely feeling, the majority of them, and I’ve got plenty of friends who are GPs and I don’t know anyone that I can think of who doesn’t feel overly stressed and burnt out by their job. That’s impacting their own health, it’s then impacting their own relationships with let’s say their husband or their wife and their kids. It’s a huge problem and in the GP forums everyone’s talking about stress and burnout and wanting to leave general practise. And that clearly doesn’t make it easier for patients who feel they’re not getting the help that they want. But I think workload is one of the reasons why doctors are feeling so frustrated. There’s no question. But I think the other thing is because I think the toolbox we have is limited. And I think the tools we were taught at medical school are very good for what we used to see in the NHS, 30-40 years ago, a lot of acute disease. I don’t think the tools that we’ve been taught are actually that good for a lot of chronic diseases and therefore I think there’s a frustration that we’re medicating patients, they’re coming back because they’re not feeling better and I think therefore that contributes to GPs feeling quite burnt out as they feel, you know what I’m just not getting this patient better, I don’t know what to do, they keep coming back and in a busy day where sometimes your seeing 40-45 patients it can be a bit overwhelming. So I think we just gotta be quite careful, I think the situation is very imperfect at the moment and it’s just an issue about let’s work together, collaboratively. And one thing I would say is I would like my colleagues to be more open minded to things than often patients report back to me. I think many doctors really are open minded but I think there’s quite a few also that do feel if I wasn’t taught about it it doesn’t exist and it’s not very good and I really don’t have any sympathy with that way of thinking at all. I would have been a bit more charitable about it a few years ago, but actually I don’t have any sympathy with it because we have to be aware now, if you’re honest and you look at how many patients you’ve truly helped that day I think if you’re really honest as a GP, you know I’ve not actually really helped, I’ve helped, I may have medicated symptoms but for many of them I really don’t have the time or the knowledge to do what I really wanted to do with them and I think that’s incredibly frustrating for a lot of them.
– One thing I actually say to, ’cause people are kind of writing down things that they’re struggling with at the moment and one thing that I often say to them is if they’ve not had much success with a GP sometimes with some of these issues, especially autoimmune chronic kind of diseases that are gonna take a long time, they’re not gonna be resolved in 10 minutes and one prescription. It’s almost better to see it as a blessing in disguise which it doesn’t feel like that initially but the changes, if you go away and educate yourself through all of your materials and whatever, there’s lots of great sources now. If you go and make those changes you stay accountable because you know that you’re not well and you have to do this. And then you go on a journey that pretty much transforms every aspect of your health and that’s also things like your mood, we kinda talked about mindset, you get into a routine and it just does become a kind of lifestyle for you. But then you go off and you do, you’re kinda the best version of yourself and this is the message we keep trying to give people. You go and you might wanna change your job and do all sorts of other cool things because it’s become a platform for you having better energy, better mood, more motivation and getting rid of pain which is obviously, you know it’s depressing and it’s a barrier to doing the things that you love. So I often say to a lot of people you know just whatever it is that you’re working through right now it’s gonna be a blessing because you’re gonna get these tools together and change your life, probably completely at some point.
– Absolutely and look you guys have written some fantastic, you’ve got good stuff on your website, you’ve got the books and I as a GP look to refer people to, because it’s just general practise, right. One thing I always say is every doctor I’ve talked to about lifestyle medicine or function medicine says the same thing, once you get it you can’t go back. And once you know it you can’t pretend that you don’t know this new-found knowledge because ethically on a some level you became a doctor to help people. So the way I managed it in the NHS, or do you manage it with the NHS and it’s very hard but I’ll set the scene in those 10 minutes which often becomes 15 minutes and I’ll say look maybe you can look at this book or this blog or you know try this dietary change and then I’ll give you a followup in two weeks time, you know and I often give them a double appointment so it’s 20 minutes and I say you know you go and try that, write down any problems you’re having, make a diary of how you’re feeling and we can discuss it and that’s how I try and leverage the time that I have, it’s not perfect, right. I’d much rather have an hour with them or have a nutritional therapist in the practise to go an refer them to, but this is how I try and make it work within the NHS. But it can be challenging and I think it’s interesting there’s quite a few GPs who are on this conversation and who are commenting. It’s really interesting you know, a lot of them you know they’re all saying they do want to make a difference, but that’s why they became doctors. Actually that’s why a lot of people become GPs because they want that human touch, they want to communicate with people, they don’t want to be in a hospital necessarily with lots of tests and investigations and not having that continuity. The way we’re having to practise these days is incredibly frustrating, it really is.
– Actually it was interesting that you responded to Carol Eddy, she’s been working with us for years and she has completely overhauled her health as a GP and lost a lot of weight after a patient made a comment, I’m sure she won’t mind me saying a patient made a bit of a rude comment to her and said I was going ask about weight loss but you’ve clearly got a problem yourself. So Carol had told us that and went off and changed her entire lifestyle, does exercise, really, really good nutrition. And she has asked me frequently where could she go and get some kind of background information to expand her repertoire, so it’s great that you’re launching your course because I’m sure, I hope Carol will be jumping on that next year because we’ve kind of said wouldn’t it be great to have Carol Eddy now as our doctor because she’s gonna know all that background knowledge about lifestyle information, but she’s done it on herself, so she can walk people through.
– It’s a great story to hear about Carolyn and hi Carol, for you watching, well done for all that, that’s fantastic to hear. But I would say that I find a lot of doctors who are currently this way inclined have had a personal reason either in their own health or a family member’s health that’s forced them to confront the limitations of what we have. I actually got a text from a local doctor last night, I’ve not had a chance to respond yet so if you’re watching I’m really sorry. But basically he was just saying look can you help me with my son’s eczema? We just can’t get him better, we’ve seen the dermatologist and conventional medicine is just not helping him and this the thing for me, this is the crux of the matter, when the tools that we’ve been taught are working there’s no reason to think outside the box, there’s no reason for saying there could be another way. But when the tools that we’ve got are not working, let’s be very clear, a skin condition is an external manifestation of something that’s going on inside the body.
– Putting a cream on is symptom suppression and that can have value, right, it can absolutely have value. It’s not about one way or the other. Often I see patients with skin conditions, if they’re using steroid creams to make their life bearable but at the same time trying to fix the inside, hopefully they won’t need it long-term. But the point is that I think I want to get to a stage where doctors don’t have to wait for a personal crisis to switch sides, as it were, it’s not really about switching sides, it’s about just opening up our toolbox, I’d love it to be standard for medical students but it’s one step at a time. Just getting a course like this accredited by the Royal College of GPs was a huge amount of hard work.
– I imagine.
– It’s incredibly rewarding, as I said there’s so many positive comments, quite a few negative ones, it’s not enough, you need to do more, you should be doing it in London. And it’s like I’m kinda thinking, if you knew what we had to go through just to get to this stage, you know I wish we could roll out, I wish it could be free-of-charge for everyone across the country. You know what, we’re not there yet. I’m hoping that this snowballs, time will tell.
– On that subject, how do you manage? I’m always watching you on Instagram and looking at your Facebook page and you are absolutely here, there and everywhere travelling. How are you managing to look after your own health within all this, is there kind of key things, like non-negotiable things you do everyday? To make sure that you’re still, because obviously to be able to do this and enjoy it and feel energised requires you to be probably what you’re preaching to people.
– Yeah, Keris, I think that’s a really good question. I’ll answer that a couple of ways. I mean the first thing to say and as you know I think already is that I really talk about with every patient and every lecture, I talk about, I talk about four pillars of health, right. I can make it six or seven or eight, there’s so many sub-fractions to that. But I try and keep it at four to keep it simple for people. Food, movement, sleep and relaxation. And I personally believe that we should try and give, you know pay attention to each area and you maybe not be perfect in one area but make sure we pay attention to each area because I think that rounded approach leads to long-term health outcomes. So if I then apply that with my own life, my food is pretty much always dialled in. Okay, I very, very rarely go off plan with my diet, it’s a whole food diet. I personally don’t do very well with either gluten or dairy so I never touch them, by-and-large, you know when I can. I’m not perfect, I’m human, I sometimes I’m in situations where it’s very, very challenging but I’ve got, you know four or five years now. I feel great on it so it’s not about following a fad diet or anything like that. I love feeling good, so I know the foods that make me feel good. I am totally in tune with my body, when I go off that, I don’t feel good. I get sinusy, I can’t sleep so well, I feel tired. So for me that’s the motivation and that’s what I try and do with every patient is get them to feel better because I believe that nobody is gonna follow our advice, long-term, if they’re not feeling a change. I want people to make the changes because they’re feeling better so they want to, not because I told them to. So my food is dialled in, sleep I do prioritise getting to bed early, I switch off, you know. I won’t stay up late working, I used to, but I will not do that anymore because I know I’m much better when I get to bed early. Now I will wake up early, and it’s not uncommon for me to wake up at five or 5:15, because I’ve got two young kids and I like a bit of time to myself in the morning. So I get up early and I’ll sort of come down, I’ll try and do maybe 10 minutes of meditation. I’ll try and put some coffee on, you know it’s a whole process and a ritual for me where I’ll weigh out the coffee and as my coffee is brewing for four minutes, yeah, time it as well for four minutes, I’ll do some movement exercises, some particular moves designed to get my body in the right shape for the rest of the day. These are exercises I go into a lot of detail in my book so they really helped me get rid of my back pain. And I’ve done a lot of work with someone called Gary Ward, who I think is one of the most revolutionary thinkers in movement mechanics, he’s really shaking things up. And Gary collaborates with me on a chapter to give people some actionable exercises and they just take a few minutes. So my movement tends to be dialled in, my sleep, there’s my food. The thing that I struggle with out of those four pillars the most is the relaxation, or stress piece.
– Totally agree with that.
– That’s the hardest thing for me and I always, that’s the one I’m fighting with because honestly what goes, the switch off tends to go, I know I shouldn’t be and I’m pretty good but the only way I could go around the country, travel so much and still have a family life is by looking after myself. And I also feel, I’m not saying I expect this of every doctor at all. I mean I think people are individuals to do what they want. But I think if I’m gonna go out and preach this message around the country, around the world, I feel I need to live and breathe it as well. I think there’s just more integrity for me, personally, if I’m doing these things. Saying, you know, this morning I did meditate for 10 minutes. I shake it up, I use the Calm app this morning, C-A-L-M, the Calm app. And it just totally got me in a, you know I don’t look at my emails for a good hour in the morning. I try not to switch on my laptop and if my phone goes on it’ll be in aeroplane mode for a good hour because I don’t want to start getting this bombardment of information. So I do try and walk the talk basically. I could go into a lot more detail, I’m sure people probably don’t want to hear every thing about my everyday life.
– I’m sure people would be very intrigued.
– We’re like, what’s breakfast, what’s lunch, what’s dinner?
– At some point I’m sure we could go into all these things but I do live and breathe it, I probably eat in a very similar way to you guys, I’m sure.
– A great point as well that that makes advising people, like when we’re helping people ’cause you’ve done it yourself and you’ve done it when you’re busy, you’ve done it when you travel. You just have a stack of resources then and it’s a lot easier and that’s why social media is a great thing for that because you can just start to live out your day a little bit at a time, give people that insight. That’s what we do, but like you we also get a bit overwhelmed at times. It’s interesting I was doing a similar thing of not turning my phone on for an hour and that’s gone out the window because it’s coming up to Christmas, we’re quite busy. So you just reminded me to start doing that again, actually.
– That’s the whole thing right, when we’re time-pressed, that’s the thing that goes I find. That’s the thing that and for a lot of people sleep also goes, they’ll stay up late. That’s one thing it’s amazing, I used to be able to stay up really late, and get up early and still function or I thought I was able to function. But since I started prioritising my sleep and to be very, very clear I think pretty much every single person in society these days, unless they are trying to prioritise their sleep I think they’re likely to be not prioritising it because we’ve got infinite temptations now that we didn’t use to have.
– I think sleep is something that unless you are actually saying, well I need to make a conscious effort to get my sleep in I think for most of us it just doesn’t happen. And I actually find look, I give the pillars equal priority and I could talk about each one and say it’s the most important because I wanna say that when you sleep better everything else is easier, your food choices are easier. You know you don’t crave that sugar. You wanna be more active. So I’d say three out of four pillars are pretty much dialled in for me, pretty much all the time, but it’s taken my five years to get to this point and it wasn’t overnight.
– Well, I think that’s the key message because what you just said there we always say, don’t we love. We always say that if something’s in place it tends to generally have a natural knock-on effect to everything else anyway. So rather than trying to do everything, you know just by changing one thing can often be what gets that positive ball rolling. But equally, we’re always trying to stress that, you know ’cause people always say that’s already for you. You know you work for yourself, you’ve got all the time in the world, you’ve always been fit and healthy. And we’re like no, that’s not actually the case at all. We’re quite open about kind of like how our experience with our own health and nutrition, et cetera, et cetera, and the battles that we had and how we overcome them. I think people are kinda quick to just think that you’ve kinda always had it easy. But like you say it’s taken you a good five years to kinda like get to where you are now.
– I haven’t said, right, sometimes I’m not actually that tempted with wheat or dairy anymore, you know it really just doesn’t temp me, but sweet things. If I’m tired or stressed.
– Like what?
– Like what, you’ve got to name them?
– What would I be tempted by? I’m just trying to think now, you know actually a lot of these sweet, healthy bites, they’ve got no gluten, they’ve got no dairy but they’ve got a tonne of sugar, even if it’s coconut sugar. You know I’m tempted by that stuff and I’ve also got the taste for this stuff when I was a kid. One thing that’s also an extra motivation for me is because my kids are young I want to be the example around them. I think trying to get my kids to eat healthily when I’m stuffing my face with unhealthy food, frankly it’s never gonna work. Kids are just sponges and they absorb what you’re doing, how you’re doing it. And so we make a big deal about sitting round the table. Right we sit around a table every night that I’m back, we sit here, we often put candles on, you know it’s sounds a bit hippy. But you know what? It really has a beautiful atmosphere, everyone feels quite calm and actually we play this game that Charles Poliquin, I don’t know if you know the strength coach Charles Poliquin?
– Yeah, I did some bio signature course, years ago.
– Yeah, so the first time I met Charles a couple of years ago we went out for dinner. And he was telling me about this game that he always would play with his daughter everyday before she went to bed and it’s three questions. And those three questions are what we play, my wife, myself, my two kids, you know most evenings we play it. And it’s just a fantastic way of engaging everyone. The three questions are simply this, what have you done today to make somebody else happy? What has somebody else done to make you happy? And what have you learned today? And such a simple thing has such a profound impact on our sort of mental outlook. We feel good afterwards, we’ve connected with each one even if we’re all busy, we’ve learnt a little bit about each other. And it’s a small thing but it translates to big health outcomes, little things like this.
– I think it’s amazing.
– How old are your kids, if you don’t mind me asking?
– My son is seven and my daughter is about to be five and she’s very excited about her fifth birthday. So seven and five, let’s say.
– So how would you say they’ve responded to some of the changes? I know they’re very young, but I suppose a big question that we often get through our page and in our support email is people with young children and that being a huge barrier to the foods they can prepare because I think a lot of people are finding that they’ve got to prepare a certain meal for them but then they’ve got a slightly rebellious partner who’s like I’m not eating that and then they’ve got kids that are like I’m not eating that. And they’ve got this big dilemma of trying to prepare food that everyone’s gonna enjoy. You know what kind of barriers did you have, if any, from your kids, your partner?
– That’s is incredibly challenging, there’s no two ways about it, it’s an incredibly challenging situation. So I, I don’t know if you call it luck or not, but for my daughter for example, she’s almost five, we had shifted our mindset before she was born so she’s grown up with this, right.
– So actually with her it’s not actually that hard at all because that’s all she’s known. And I’m just being really, really clear if that’s all your kids have known that’s all they want, right. If they love the taste of vegetables, if that’s what they feel is a natural taste. If they feel that a sweet treat is a ripe peach, rather than a packet of Haribos, you know what, that does it for them. You know treats for them are like slices of mangoes, they’re like ah, we’re gonna get the mangoes today, right. So it’s all relative, but you know for me I know you know some of my personal story and I won’t go into all now but essentially, my son when he was six months old he was very unwell. And he nearly died actually and that really was the incident that shifted my mindset. I was moving that way anyway, but that incident really shifted things for me. So since he’s been about 12 or 18 months he’s been eating this way, so he’s pretty much used to it. I think when it gets hard is when kids are older, when they’re used to all the modern junk and sweet stuff that’s out there. I think it’s incredibly challenging so it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, even if you make one small change, right. That is key, you know it’s a process, it takes time. Instead of sweet treats, what about some jars with some like colourful, dried fruit in it and seeds and nuts and things that look visually attractive. That could be like an intermediate treat, that could be a way of just transitioning. Or what we did with my kids, even my daughter who’s four, we engage them in the kitchen so she’ll cut mushrooms that we’re gonna make like an omelette or something, she’ll cut them and my son has been chopping for two or three years and I posted a photo recently and granted it wasn’t the best photo, my wife said that wasn’t the right photo to post. but he had a big knife, right. But you know what, I’m okay with that because he’s been doing it for two years, he knows how to use a big knife. And so the other morning he chopped up seven really hard apples for me before I stewed them in the morning and that’s how we do it at home. Now I get it, it’s not easy for everyone. Just find one thing and start that and don’t expect perfection and try and model that behaviour for your child if you can, and I know that’s hard. I’m not talking down to you, I get it, it’s really, really difficult. But maybe have a conversation with them in terms of what different foods are doing. So again, I don’t know, we’re probably a little bit over the top here. I don’t know you know, like last night at dinnertime, no two nights ago at dinnertime, I was like, “Okay, kids, what are the top four foods for gut health?” That’s the kind of crazy games we play and even my daughter’s like, “Leeks, onions.” and my son really wants to answer. So I’m like, “No, let your little sister answer.” She goes, “Artichokes, garlic.” “Yeah, that’s it, what do they do?” “Well they’re good for my gut bacteria aren’t they daddy?” I’m like, “yeah, that’s exactly what they’re doing.”
– But I think it’s important because this is what I, I get up everyday and my mission, right. What gets me out of bed is I want to transform the way people view their health. And if I can’t do that in my own house then I kinda feel slightly disingenuous to go around the country and speaking about it. So we do live and breathe it.
– It’s interesting as well, this isn’t just, I think kids, when we first started out and started to talk about cooking from scratch and the importance of it for nutrition we were actually in Central London running loads and loads of carbo-classes and a big base of our clients didn’t cook anymore and didn’t know how to. And so the reason we started doing recipes is actually because we said right, okay, minimal skills, minimal ingredients, but good quality ingredients and emphasise the why so there’s always a why in all our books. But the reason, and we’re often kinda asking people about their favourite foods and what do you miss when you go onto more of a whole foods diet and then we try and develop recipes that will replicate it. But actually some really traditional dishes like Shepard’s Pie and things like that you can fill with vegetables. It’s stuff we have been eating for years and years but we’ve just become a kind of culture of convenience and so that was kind of why we started out. It’s amazing that your getting your whole family involved but we almost found the adults were loosing that skill and certainly didn’t understand the value of that skill of cooking. Including us at one point I think and that’s why we kind of, once you go on a whole foods diet you’ve got to learn to cook, basically haven’t you?
– You just make me think about the Instagram page and what I posted last night. I just started filming a new BBC One show on health. People are asking me this is not Doctor in the House? It’s a different show, but I think it’s a really good one about giving people a lot of information. It got rather late, I was quite tired, it was like a 12 hour day, and I was very lucky I came in and my wife had, you know there was dinner leftover and just shoved it on a plate and thought, well actually this is quite interesting. A lot of people commented because I had white rice. People think you know it’s not healthy and I think this is one of the issues is, you know, is it healthy or unhealthy. So I know for me, right, I don’t do well on gluten or dairy. I just don’t, I don’t do well at all, I get mucus, I get sinusy, white rice for me is not really a problem. I don’t have it all the time but I do have, you know I often will have it. But I do well with it and I am very insulin sensitive, I work out, I look after myself, that’s not an issue for me, at all. And I think that surprised a few people. One thing I try and do on my Instagram is more and more now is I’m trying to show what’s real. You know on Instagram it can be so manicured sometimes on some people’s feed that a few of my friends actually last week texted me and said, “Mate, you are looking exhausted on your photo’s.”
– They said that out of concern and I was exhausted. But I thought no, I’m going to post when I’m tired because this is real life. I’m not gonna touch it up, I’m not gonna, you know. When I go to the gym I’m sweaty, right? I’m gonna post that photo because sometimes I look on Instagram, I think actually wow, I don’t look like at the gym. I don’t look as though I’ve just had my hair done. Again, I’m not criticising anyone who does that, but what I’m trying to show, I think, or I’m certainly gonna try to, what is real life for me? What does that look like? You know I’m tired sometimes, I’ve worked too much, right. But this week I’m trying to get back on track. So anyway, I’m just sort of sharing some insights.
– To me honestly mate, this is– we talk about, I’m sorry what was that? Hold on, who’s phone? You know we talk about this all the time. We love social media because it’s allowed us to connect with so many more people and help so many more people around the world. You know we’ve got clients in New Zealand. We’ve got clients in Dubai and things like that. We could never do that without social media. It’s an amazing thing, but you mentioned Instagram and Instagram a real kind of, I’ve got a real love-hate relationship with Instagram because I love it because again, it’s an opportunity to share your message and help people. I also follow some really inspirational people on there as well, however, as you say for a lot of people they showcase, I would say they’re showing their highlight reel, it’s all the good stuff, it looks really amazing it looks perfect to a degree and I think the problem we’re kinda facing now is people are comparing themselves to just unrealistic scenarios. Because no one’s life is perfect as you say. Sometimes we don’t get enough sleep, sometimes we are ill, we’re tired. Sometimes we skip the gym, sometimes we eat a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, that’s me more so than Keris, but. And like you we share that because we’re like we are normal people, we have the same barriers, things aren’t always plain sailing so I’m really, really pleased you said, mate.
– Yeah, Instagram is one for me, I’ve got a love-hate relationship with it as well actually. My problem, actually I was in California recently and I stayed with a friend of mine who was great. And he actually said, “Look, Rangan, you know what? “You should be posting everyday because “your in a position where you can communicate with people “and you can help engage people and change.” So he said to me, “You’ve got a responsibility “to post regularly because you might be able “to help create change.” That just shifted things for me because I would go hot and cold on Instagram. I’d post maybe three times one week, then I’d go off it for two weeks, I didn’t even want to go on the app because I just want some down time.
– Also very similar to you our meals don’t look Instagram worthy, often, you know they’re hearty, family meals, just serve and don’t post.
– You used to tell me off though, you were like, “You can’t put that on Instagram, “that looks terrible.”
– I’m not your wife.
– I’m keeping it real, keeping it real.
– And then it’s gotta be on Instagram stories and actually people have noticed that for me I often, if I’m at home nothing happens on my Insta-stories quite often and if I’m in London for a couple of days suddenly I’m on it all the time and that’s because actually I don’t want to model the behaviour to my children that every time something happens, oh daddy’s got his phone out and he’s taking a photo and putting it on. Because then they’ll grow up thinking actually that’s normal and so I’m very, very conscious. For me my family is top priority and you know it’s about doing the right thing for my kids, first and foremost, and my wife and my close family. But I kind of, because people say you need to be posting more, but I’m like yeah but I don’t want to do that in front of my kids necessarily ’cause then they see that. So I struggle with it, just as much as anyone.
– One question I was gonna say as well is a question that has come up on some of the comments so I just started lecturing in nutritional therapy in the college I trained at CNM and there’s a huge vegan influence across nutrition at the moment. I’ve seen it as I’m lecturing and also we see it online a lot. I love aspects of a vegan diet and we kind of you know, we’re kind of a mixture aren’t we. We say we’re kind of a bit of everything because we eat some vegetarian meals, some vegan meals, and we have a little bit of good quality meat, fish, eggs. And one thing that I often speak to anyone interested in health about is to say it’s more about like you kinda mentioned is the four pillars anyway. But if you’re kind of making that decision to go down a paleo route or a vegan route or vegetarian, my advice is to actually familiarise yourself with micronutrients and essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats and then you can make a decision about where you want to draw those from but also like you’ve mentioned with your patients you often say but keep reflecting on whether it’s right for you because we know that genetically some people are good on a vegan diet, some people are not so good. But because a few people are asking about it on the comments I thought it’d be great to get your take on again, this is social media creating this notion of there being perfect diet that we should all follow. Which we don’t, we try and get people to personalise it if they can.
– I’m very happy to share my thoughts on that and what you say about this one perfect diet and obviously you guys have written a book, but in the process of writing my book you have to really condense your thoughts and compress them and really figure out how you want to say it. I refer a lot in my upcoming book about there is no one, true diet, that’s a total myth that we’re gonna find that one true diet. I really don’t think it exists and even if you look at these blue zones around the world where a lot of people are living with high rates of longevity without much chronic disease, they’ve all got different diets, you know. To speak to the guy who coined the term, blue zones, he’s called Michel Poulain, he’s a Belgian researcher. We actually went round and visited some of the areas, it was an incredible experience for me. He’s like, “You know what?” “They all eat definitely some of the meats, “a lot of meat, some are vegetarian.” but what was consistent is pretty much all their diets are minimally processed, they’re local, they’re in season and they’re cooked from fresh, right. So I think that’s a pretty good template to start from is that seems to be consistent with the majority of healthy diets around the world. Now if you have an ethical preference around food, who the hell am I as a other human being to actually be derogatory towards you and really annoys me on social media. I find it so frustrating that animosity towards different people who choose different choices. I mean when is that acceptable in any other aspect of life to call, oh you’re on a fad diet because you feel better on something. I find it ridiculous. Some of us our so arrogant that we feel we can talk down to other people who are making a different choice on their diet. So that frustrates me a little bit, but look if you want to be vegetarian or vegan, well I will respect that and I will try and make you aware of healthy choices around that. So you guys know as well as I do that being vegetarian could be very, very unhealthy with you know vegetarian pizzas, cookies, crisps, chocolate, these are all vegetarian. Or it could be colourful, lots of vegetables, lots of healthy fats, lots of avocados, lots of nuts. They’re two very different things and the term vegetarian or vegan, yes it’s a way of eating but it can be done so many different ways. Now I don’t personally suggest my patients to go vegan necessarily, I do have a lot of patients who tend to do a little bit better, certainly in my experience and I know this is emotive subject for many. So as a doctor looking after their health, sometimes I find they do better with some animal products in their diets, if they’re good quality. But I’ve got to say, some people do incredibly well on vegan diets. Particularly if they have gone from a highly processed, junk-food, Western diet. If you guys are eating a healthy vegan diet that’s gonna be an improvement. So I also think and this is without, you know I keep coming back to this four pillars, I think that your nutrition also depends on those other aspects. So how is your sleep quality? How is your stress, what’s your stress levels like, what’s your movement like? I think that also determines what diet you need. So a bodybuilder is gonna need a different diet from a pregnant mother, right?
– So it depends on your goals. Actually my wife’s dad, his family, a huge part of his family are Jane and they live in Nairobi in Kenya. So I went to visit them, we all went to visit a few years back. What was really interesting is Jane people are vegans. And I watched them out there, it’s really interesting. They’re very quiet, they do a lot of meditation, they’re very introspective. They don’t go off and you know pump iron at the gym. Their culture and their lifestyle from what I observed, I was only there for 10 days, right, so I’m not claiming to be an expert. From what I observed, I thought you know what? I can kinda see how your diet is kinda working for how you guys are living your life. I found that incredibly interesting for me, it was a huge learning point for me that, well maybe that works in that context and I think that’s something we can all possibly think about.
– Yeah, definitely.
– I mean a big thing that I’ve noticed is kinda like, you know cause like you, you know I mean we, I like to think we, I’m pretty certain that we share very, very similar beliefs, hence the reason why our message is very similar and hence the reason why we’ve got you on the show of course. That would be weird wouldn’t it, if we just disagreed with everything.
– Well, we can try it, you know I’m working a bit in telly now, they like controversy I’ve noticed on television.
– Oh they love a bit of that, gosh. There won’t be any here, buddy, don’t worry, you’re safe here. But we’ve noticed like, ’cause if you look at like, you know, we’re big fans of getting plenty of veggies into your diet as are you. You know we often try and get people to try and include some form of fruit or vegetable at every single meal, good quality protein, et cetera, et cetera, as a template. You know as a guide, it’s not set in stone, this is how you must eat for optimal health but like you say it’s a good place to start and you can adapt it along the way. But just as something we’ve noticed is like when you speak to you know parents, grandparents, great-grandparents about how they used to eat. It’s quite similar to a degree. You know meat and two veg, potatoes, et cetera, et cetera. But a big thing that we’ve noticed and you know you may agree is it’s not necessarily just what people are eating but how much people are eating. You know for us we feel like portion control has kind of gone out the window for a lot of people, even on the good stuff. You know so I’m not necessarily just referring to bad food here or whatever you want to class as a bad food, but as an observation I always say if you go to like a coffee shop that sells cake, you know if you ever see like an old couple in the corner, the amount of times you’ll see them they eat half their cake and then they wrap the other half up in a bit of tissue and whack it in their handbag or something like that so they can take home to their partner or have another day. Like I mean I wouldn’t do that.
– I wouldn’t do that either. You know I’d scoff it down my face, you’re right. I think it’s a really, really good point, that.
– I think the food industry in terms of food to go, so you got your coffee shop culture and things like that, I have to fight to get a small coffee and a small tea. In any coffee shop they go yeah, a large is just the same price. I know that, I just want a small cup of tea.
– I did that in America recently, they’re small is like a large, I actually have become a bit of a coffee snob over the last couple years actually. I think I’ve transferred addiction maybe to sugar onto coffee. Which I’m not saying is a good things guys at all. But A, I don’t want this big, dilute black liquid in this big, I want a nice, small, concentrated coffee that tastes like coffee. And again, she said to me in the shop, “It’s the same price.” “I know I’ll pay the same price, I don’t want a discount, “that’s fine, but can you just make it small, please?” I’m sure you guys asked this a lot as well is you know why are foods now causing so many problems when they weren’t in the past? I mean I’m sure you must have been asked that question several times because there is this growing rate of intolerances, and allergies or perceived allergies. And I think there’s two reasons. I think the food has changed. So I love in Michael Pollen’s Cooked documentary series on Netflix he talks about bread, 10,000 years ago used to be three ingredients. It used to be flour, salt, water. And now you know you’ll struggle to find a bread in your supermarket with under 10 ingredients. So the food has changed, that’s the first thing but I also think our defences against that food, our gut health, our microbiome, that also is a lot weaker now because of lots of antibiotics, you know pollutants in the environment, junk food, all these things start to decimate our microbiomes and our gut health. So you’ve got this double-whammy where the food is, you know it’s a bit like the attackers are stronger now, our foods are stronger and our defence system is weaker so on so many levels now I think that’s why we’re struggling. And I have found that with some people foods they’re struggling with now, today, a year on as their gut health gets stronger they can start tolerating a lot more foods than they could have done. And I’ve certainly found that myself as well and that’s incredibly empowering I think for people.
– It’s interesting you raise that point because I get a lot of emails about food intolerance tests and people tell me about a journey through the doctor’s surgery where they’ve been referred for more intolerance tests, environmental and food. And maybe their intolerances are basically buildings and more and more developing. And like you I go back and explain the problem isn’t that you know all these things are suddenly an enemy to the body, it’s that your defence system needs fixing and we start with the gut and most people if they’re kind of unaware of what we do or haven’t seen you talking on the TV, they’re completely surprised by that and no one’s mentioned it to them, at that point in time, that and again, this is fixing the gut is nutrition, it’s lifestyle, sleep is also a factor, relaxation. So it’s a combination of things and some supplements were needed to help the process. So a lot, my gran said to me the other day “I think it’s all nonsense, all these intolerances, “they didn’t exist in my day.” but I see that they’re not nonsense, I see the physical reality of them. I see the skin problems and hear about the bloating and everything so I was trying to explain it to her just how different her lifestyle and diet has been in the early stages of her life compared to ours. She kind of nodded and said, “Maybe.”
– That’s a great story and quite possibly when she was young she wasn’t getting antibiotics, you know four times a year. Her gut health, her microbiome was probably becoming robust at a very early, at a very key developmental stage she was having that strong robustness there in her gut which is now perfectly standing her in good stead for the rest of her life.
– Yeah it is.
– Kids now are not having that start to life so they are prone to a lot more of these things. And if anyone listening or watching this the most effective tool that I have seen in 16 years and seeing tens-of-thousands of patients is the elimination diet. It is free, you don’t need any tests and you cut out, you know maybe with the help of someone like you, a nutritional therapist or if your doctor is knowledgeable enough to put you on that it’s amazing how many times that can clear up symptoms quickly and then you get buy-in from the patient and suddenly it’s like, oh, right, so there’s something in my diet that’s causing my pains, there’s something in my diet. So people often say well why don’t you just cut things out one at a time? Well, I don’t like that approach because I find it’s very hit and miss. I like to cut out quite a few things at once for like a two, three week period. Get the patient feeling better and then figure out by reintroducing what the problem food is. And that’s the approach that I find much more effective in practise.
– Definitely and one thing I have to emphasise up front is it’s not forever. So some of them think well if this is the way forward it’s not worth living. So I have to emphasise that we can fix the gut with all the other things, you know these foods can come back, not all of them, some of them will always be a trigger for you possibly. Like you identified with yours but yeah, and again, it’s amazing to hear you say that. And I’d love it if GPs, ’cause the process is long and it’s something that probably a nutritional therapist is better working through but if a GP gave that bit of advice to somebody it could really make a big difference to their buy in for you know, the four pillars, essentially as well.
– One thing I’m just gonna say in relationship to a comment I saw a little while ago saying there’s plenty of websites with this free information, doctors can just go there to learn. I agree, right, I agree but unfortunately that’s not happening on a large scale, right. The other thing I would say with that is the course that we’re putting on for doctors is, you know it’s not just doctors actually. I get asked that a lot, the reason why I don’t think nutritional therapists should probably come on it is because I think you guys are already tuned in to this kind of thinking so I’m not sure it would have that much value. But we are having a lot of nurses now coming on because a lot of people go and see their practise nurse first and a lot of nurses say, can we come? I’m like yeah, absolutely. Pharmacists are coming because they say we see all these patients we’re putting on all these medications, we want to help them get off those medications. So that’s kind of been empowering for me. So we’re not gonna just replicate what is on websites. We’re gonna teach people the science, we’re gonna teach people how that applies to that patient when they’re sitting there with you. Because it’s not just for doctors to be able to apply this. They have to understand which patients to utilise which interventions for and I know it may seem quite obvious to just refer people to websites. But you know what that’s not happening at the moment so I think there’s gonna be plenty, I think the course has incredible value for people. You know I think it’s gonna help them not only get their patients better I think it’s gonna help them increase their clinical satisfaction, which is why they became healthcare professionals in the first place. But I think for many of them it’s gonna help more so improve their own health. My journey down this route of lifestyle medicine and functional medicine has absolutely mirrored improvements in my health, because once you learn this the natural consequences, I’m gonna apply it in my own life. Wow, I feel better and then you’re doubly motivated to talk to your patients about it ’cause you know how quickly you can feel better.
– I just thought, I’m sorry, when I started to study functional medicine there was a lot of people in the fitness industry talking about this and saying maybe personal trainers have this role to be kind of doctors of the future by delivering lifestyle medicine information. But I actually now see that many doctors are gonna be the personal trainers of the future by actually giving a prescription of 100 squats. 16,000 steps a day.
– Well look, I think it needs all of us right. There’s so many fantastic personal trainers out there that I’ve met, very, very knowledgeable, you know really able to help their clients and these are often patients who were frankly struggling a bit with the conventional medical advice. I do want to add this is not anti medicine, right. This is simply saying, I call this progressive medicine. I feel this is an evolution of how we practise which is to recognise what we’ve been so very good at in the 20th century. Okay look, we’re really good at these problems right. If you’re knocked down in the road you wanna go to a really good A&E and get the best modern medicine has to offer you, right. But we also have to recognise actually what, you know what we’re not so good at. That’s just being honest and that’s the way we learn and get better is we say, actually we’re really good at these conditions. We’re not so good at these, can we learn some new tools that are gonna help us with these conditions? That’s what it’s about for me, it’s just about getting better and as we get more knowledge how can we not stop implementing that, but we will absolutely need– yeah, Pam look, I wish it would have– it’s a great comment. You know and that’s why Fitter Food with all their resources they put out, that’s why it’s so fantastic you can go and access things and actually empower yourself to get better. But it will take as long as it takes. I was in London last week and it was actually, what was I there for? Oh yeah, I was reading my audio book last week which is quite a fun experience and I bumped into two people who had basically reversed their Type II diabetes on the back of watching my show and then reading one of my blogs. And I thought wow, isn’t this phenomenal. I feel so lucky as a human being that I’ve got the potential to impact people who I’ve never met, who you know in some way have been inspired by something and motivated to make some changes and that’s why I became a doctor and I don’t care whether it was reading my blog or your blog or anyone else’s. I just want people to understand that they have a lot more control over their health than they might have thought.
– And I think the more that we can do, even this conversation which we thought was gonna be a 10 minute conversation, it’s probably gonna be an hour because frankly I’m really enjoying this, I hope it has value for people watching.
– I’m sure it is, mate, 100%.
– I just thought it would be amazing to see you this morning when we do the phone in. that would be a really good role for you.
– I’ve done it a couple of times actually. I did it after, I did it in 2016 at the start and I won’t go into the reason why I’m not doing it at the moment. But as I said before I’m passionate about trying to make a change but I also want to be here. I wanna pick my kids up from school. I wanna play with them after school, do things with them. And the reality is I have now got to say no to a lot of things and I do and you know what? I used to feel bad about it, and I feel very okay with it. Because I’ve realised once I prioritise other people that means I am in some way not prioritising my kids and my wife. And I know it sounds quite harsh, but that’s how I’ve had to look at it. So now I find it a lot easier to say no. You know I was meant to talk at a conference this Saturday in London at a really, really important conference run by someone who runs a cancer charity called Yes to Life.
– I saw that this week actually yeah.
– Yeah, and actually after this Facebook Live I think they’re coming up to interview me here and they’re gonna play that interview at their conference. And the reason is because it’s a Saturday. My kids are both at school, I’ve been away a lot recently. I am not giving up a Saturday to go on a train to London to speak at a conference ’cause that means then that I’m not spending another Saturday with my kids. And so for me, I’ve made that choice. It doesn’t mean that his cause isn’t fantastic, it is. But you know I can’t be at every event. So this is a really nice compromise where they’re coming out with a camera crew and they’ll play it there and it means on Saturday I can be in the park, you know clearing up leaves or doing whatever with my kids. So that’s just a small way but I still find it hard, it’s just not as hard as it used to be.
– That’s amazing though because that for me you know it kind of it’s all part of the healthy lifestyle that you live because you know as we often say it’s not as you know, it’s not just food, it’s not just exercise, it’s not just stress, sleep, et cetera, but also your relationships with your children, with our partner, with your friends is such a huge part of a healthy lifestyle and I think we often forget that. And especially I’d probably say, you know not to stereotype but I’m sure many would agree like I have to see this with a lot of mums, you know mums really kind of spread themselves too thinly and they’re so giving, which is amazing. But at the same time their health pays a bit of a price. You know they sacrifice their own health to give to others which on the one hand you’ve got to admire, it’s part of who they are. But then it’s also really sad when you can see there health declining, if you know what I mean.
– I’ve seen with mums, just like you. I think mums by nature are nurturing, they’re giving. They often don’t have time for themselves and I have written down, you know you talk about this lifestyle prescription, I have written before, number one, 15 minutes of me time everyday. And I make them put it in their diary and schedule it. They don’t have time, and again, I’m replicating about the concept in my book here because the first suggestion I make is me time everyday. How important that is for our overall health and I say look if you do the school run and your car broke down on your way. Let’s say you were driving, your car broke down on the way home, what would happen? Well, I’d probably just end up waiting for an hour for the AA to come and fix my car. And you know what, you’d probably still get every thing you had to do, done, because you’d just speed up and you’d get it done before school pickup time. You’re probably right. You will fill up your time with whatever you have to do. We know that, as people who often work for ourselves you know if you’ve got 10 hours to do something it will take 10 hours, if you’ve got two hours to do it, you’ll get it done in two hours. So maybe after you drop your kids off to school put in 15 minutes. Go sit in a coffee shop and have a coffee and read a book or go for a walk but make that habit and just see how you feel in seven days. And it is life changing for people. People think this is soft medicine, this is not soft medicine, this is real medicine. This is what is getting people better in 2017 where we live modern, stressed out lives. This is the stuff that we need to know, all of us, to help people we need to understand how important that stress response coming down is. How prioritising time for yourself is, it’s critical and we really, really need it.
– It’s interesting you mentioned last night because my driver for going into nutritional therapy was my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and I took her to a talk by Esther Life on what she could do with her nutrition and lifestyle and very safe supplements like zinc and things like that. It was an incredible talk and led me to go and study nutritional therapy. But she has been my one client I would say. They always say don’t treat friends and family but you do, I kind of intervened. She will do everything I say, nutrition, supplements and again, safe supplements. But I’ve spent a good six years working on this, probably longer now, she just will not prioritise herself.
– Carbon copy of me and my mom, carbon copy. My mom said something a few months ago, “So how come you’re going on TV “and getting all these families “and all these patients better? “You’re not getting me better.” I’m like, “Mom, that’s because you’re my mum “and I won’t give you that information the same way “and you won’t hear it in the same way from me “because of our personal relationship.” But I will say that four-and-a-half years ago when my dad died, I used to take care of my dad along with my mum and my brother. My mum was on about, I think 13 or 14 drugs and medications every single day for a whole variety of problems with blood pressure and pain and she’s had knee replacements. She’s now on zero medication a day,
– Nothing at all. She’s doing incredibly well. The whole me time side of it, prioritising herself is something I have outsourced to somebody else now because I’ve realised that I’m not the right person to go through that. And actually that’s going incredibly well now, now that somebody else is looking after that independent of me. And that’s a good lesson for all of us actually is that often the people closest to us our the ones we quite often we can’t help in the ways that we wish to be able to help them. No comment there’s, but I can probably echo some of that.
– I was like that because you made the transition before me didn’t you?
– On the kind of life and nutrition side of things. I was just one of those guys who just lifted weights, played rugby and thought I could eat whatever I wanted. I was quite reluctant at first.
– He’s a doubting Thomas which helps me because I have to make sure I can explain everything and give justification and reasons. So it actually helps me that you doubt and don’t just take everything I say as gospel.
– Devil’s advocate.
– Yeah, but then it gets annoying at times.
– I’ve really enjoyed this conversation but I think I’m gonna have to wrap it up shortly.
– We’ve really taken up all your time.
– We just got carried away there didn’t we.
– I’ve really, really enjoyed it and I know we’re going to do a podcast interview. Which I’m looking forward to doing as well.
– Let us know about the book very quickly. So when can people expect the book? Is it January?
– Yeah, well it comes out on the 28th of December. I’m very, very proud of it, I think it’s gonna help a lot of people, you know that’s certainly my goal with it. I’m truly humbled at how many people have already bought or pre ordered, I literally can’t believe it. I feel very, very lucky. So yeah I really hope there’s so many practical, actionable tips for people and it’s not about this is one way to do things it’s about trying to give people options. So I think you know you mentioned veganism before, you know I think my food advice in the book will work for people whether you’re a carnivore or a vegetarian, I think the principles will still apply. I want this to be inclusive for everyone. For people who’ve got a disease already, for people who are trying to prevent getting a disease or people who simply just want to feel a bit better in their everyday life, they just want a bit more energy and you know have a bit more thriving in their everyday life. We’ll talk more about it on our podcast I’m sure and then just after Christmas.
– Good stuff.
– Well mate, thank you so much for your time.
– Yeah, thank you.
– And just one last thing before we go. Aside from obviously coming off of this Live and going out there and pre ordering your book what’s one thing you would love for everyone to do today to have a positive effect on their health? Just one thing.
– One thing, you know what? It’s a miserable grey day where I am so I’m gonna say I would love you guys to go and embrace the outdoors today. Go outside, get an umbrella if you need to but go outside, reset your circadian rhythm which will help you sleep better in the evening just by getting outdoors. On a day like today, everyone wants to sit in. But just go out, have a 10 minute walk. You will feel better.
– Love it, great advice mate.
– Thank you.
– And guys thank you everyone for tuning in. Loads of comments, I’ve never had this many comments on a Live video, ever. So many that we could never have got through them anyway I think, but what we will do is some of these there’s some really great questions in there that we can potentially use for the podcast.
– Yeah, okay.
– So thank you very much everyone for contributing there. Thank you once again, Dr. Chatterjee. It’s been an absolute pleasure, buddy.
– Yeah, I’ll tell you what it’s been so good if the feedback is there from your audience let’s do it again sometime because this has been–
– I’m sure it will be.
– Cheers buddy.
– Bye bye.