How To Optimize Your Nutrition and Enjoy Nutrient-Dense Foods - Dr. Michael Ruscio, DNM, DC

How To Optimize Your Nutrition and Enjoy Nutrient-Dense Foods

Approaches To Tracking Macronutrients, Stabilizing Blood Sugar, Fasting, and More with Marty Kendall and Aimee Gallo

Marty Kendall, engineer and founder of Optimising Nutrition, and Aimee Gallo, Health Coach at the Ruscio Institute of Functional Medicine, bring their unique backgrounds to this discussion about why what, how, and when we eat matters for our health. Listen in as we discuss approaches to ensure your diet is nutrient-dense and steering you in the right direction to achieve your health goals.

In This Episode

Intro … 00:09
Introducing Marty and Aimee … 04:37
Fad diets aren’t best for everyone … 08:35
The problem with keto and fasting … 18:10
Protein: “the biggest, strongest lever in nutrition” … 24:17
Fasting is not one-size-fits all … 30:21
Glucose monitoring as one useful tool in the health toolbox … 40:03
Get more of these nutrient-dense foods … 44:22
Incorporating “optimizer” foods in a way that’s palatable to you … 49:21
The health food staple that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be … 52:22
The benefits of nutritional coaching … 58:36
Food tracking doesn’t have to be forever … 1:05:51
Rethinking the (oft-dreaded) practice of food tracking … 1:08:54
Where to find Marty and Aimee … 1:13:02
Outro … 1:15:43

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Hi, everyone today I spoke with Aimee Gallo and Marty Kendall. Aimee Gallo is a health coach over at DrRuscio.com and she’s been fantastic. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that my mother has been working with her and she’s been having some pretty spectacular results. And Marty Kendall has a program that Aimee has been incorporating with her clients, and it’s quite interesting. It’s a nutrient optimization program and Marty has been on the podcast in the past, but Aimee had mentioned how helpful she has found his program and his database and method of analysis to be in assisting people in identifying where they are insufficient in their nutrients toward this aim of really hitting the most nutrient-dense diet possible.

And we talked about carbohydrates (too much, too little), over-eating, protein (too much or too little), fasting, how to troubleshoot things like lower carb, glucose monitoring, and what are some of the nutrient-dense foods that most people are not eating enough of, techniques for how to integrate these into your diet, and within that, how helpful a coach or a consultant can be to assist one in identifying holes in their diet. Like I had mentioned before, I had a few habits that I thought were healthier for me than they were. And, in working with Mike Nelson, I had been able to pinpoint those, make changes, and see improvements after doing so. And because of that, I’m actually going to be seeing Aimee as a client to go through another appraisal and have her interfacing with Marty and some of his nutrient optimizing program. [And] to, again, get another check of how I’m doing. It’s been probably about two years since I’ve done this. And I think going forward, my aim will be to do this once per year—link up with someone, have them track some of what I’m doing from a dietary and lifestyle perspective, and look for where I can improve things.

I think I’m doing pretty good, but I’ve learned that (and Aimee actually made this excellent point) people are very, very good at convincing themselves they’re doing everything as good as they should. And this is where having someone else to overview things can be so helpful. And I have to say at the clinic, a large part of what we do is help people to identify where they’re not doing things correctly, because as you can imagine, many of the patients we work with at the office are doing a lot well, but they’re also not hitting some of the dietary and lifestyle foundations. And those are definitely low hanging fruit.

So anyway, this is a very interesting conversation and I would highly recommend if you haven’t gone through the exercise of linking up with some sort of health or nutrition coach and having them overlook what you’re doing and give you perspective and feedback on where you can make changes, (it’s not as daunting as it may sound) it can really yield benefits. And like I said, a moment ago, I’m currently in the process of sending Aimee an email and getting myself started to go through a reappraisal to see where I can make some tweaks and how that may translate to better energy, better athletic performance, better cognition. What have you. And I hope you will do the same. And with that, we will now go to the conversation with Aimee and Marty.

➕ Full Podcast Transcript

Intro:

Welcome to Dr. Ruscio radio, providing practical and science-based solutions to feeling your best. To stay up to date on the latest topics, as well as all of our prior episodes, make sure to subscribe in your podcast player. For weekly updates visit DrRuscio.com. That’s DRRUSCIO.com. The following discussion is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor. Now let’s head to the show.

Dr Ruscio:

Hi, everyone today I spoke with Aimee Gallo and Marty Kendall. Aimee Gallo is a health coach over at DrRuscio.com and she’s been fantastic. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that my mother has been working with her and she’s been having some pretty spectacular results. And Marty Kendall has a program that Aimee has been incorporating with her clients, and it’s quite interesting. It’s a nutrient optimization program and Marty has been on the podcast in the past, but Aimee had mentioned how helpful she has found his program and his database and method of analysis to be in assisting people in identifying where they are insufficient in their nutrients toward this aim of really hitting the most nutrient-dense diet possible.

Dr Ruscio:

And we talked about carbohydrates (too much, too little), over-eating, protein (too much or too little), fasting, how to troubleshoot things like lower carb, glucose monitoring, and what are some of the nutrient-dense foods that most people are not eating enough of, techniques for how to integrate these into your diet, and within that, how helpful a coach or a consultant can be to assist one in identifying holes in their diet. Like I had mentioned before, I had a few habits that I thought were healthier for me than they were. And, in working with Mike Nelson, I had been able to pinpoint those, make changes, and see improvements after doing so. And because of that, I’m actually going to be seeing Aimee as a client to go through another appraisal and have her interfacing with Marty and some of his nutrient optimizing program. [And] to, again, get another check of how I’m doing. It’s been probably about two years since I’ve done this. And I think going forward, my aim will be to do this once per year—link up with someone, have them track some of what I’m doing from a dietary and lifestyle perspective, and look for where I can improve things.

Dr Ruscio:

I think I’m doing pretty good, but I’ve learned that (and Aimee actually made this excellent point) people are very, very good at convincing themselves they’re doing everything as good as they should. And this is where having someone else to overview things can be so helpful. And I have to say at the clinic, a large part of what we do is help people to identify where they’re not doing things correctly, because as you can imagine, many of the patients we work with at the office are doing a lot well, but they’re also not hitting some of the dietary and lifestyle foundations. And those are definitely low hanging fruit.

Dr Ruscio:

So anyway, this is a very interesting conversation and I would highly recommend if you haven’t gone through the exercise of linking up with some sort of health or nutrition coach and having them overlook what you’re doing and give you perspective and feedback on where you can make changes, (it’s not as daunting as it may sound) it can really yield benefits. And like I said, a moment ago, I’m currently in the process of sending Aimee an email and getting myself started to go through a reappraisal to see where I can make some tweaks and how that may translate to better energy, better athletic performance, better cognition. What have you. And I hope you will do the same. And with that, we will now go to the conversation with Aimee and Marty.

Dr Ruscio:

Hey everyone. Welcome back to Dr. Ruscio Radio. Today I have two special guests, Aimee Gallo, who functions as a health coach on our team and also Marty Kendall, who is hopefully going to help motivate me to do an even better job with food quality. I don’t think I’m doing a terrible job, but I have a feeling there’s a few gaps and Marty’s done a lot with, I guess you could broadly describe it as, ensuring people have adequate nutrient density. And Aimee as someone who is just fantastic with health coaching and helping people to get their diet (amongst other things) dialed in, including my mom, (Hey mom!) she’s had great things to say about Marty and his work.

Dr Ruscio:

So I thought this would be a great chance to have a round table on what you may be deficient in and what foods are typically under eaten and why it’s important to start eating more of those. And so, Marty and Aimee, welcome back to the show.

Aimee Gallo:

Thank You.

Marty Kendall:

Great to be here, mate. Thank you for the opportunity to come back, and for Aimee, for being such a raving fan of this process.

Aimee Gallo:

You make it easy.

Dr Ruscio:

Maybe we start there, Marty, with just a quick recap on who you are and what you do. People may have heard your name before, but let’s give them the short version of what you’ve been up to.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah, I think I chatted to you a couple years ago and had a really good time. But I’m an engineer by day, recently a part-time engineer. I suppose I grew up, without going into too much detail, in a SDA family that had a very belief-based nutrition approach—vegetarian, sanitarian, Kelloggs, etc. But then, you know, [I] married a type one diabetic, Monica, and she’s had type one since she was 10. And then recently in December, my son who’s 16, we realized he was type one diabetic as well. So, I suppose I’ve thrown my engineering background and numbers into how do I control this diabetes?

Marty Kendall:

And I’ve been through the journey of paleo with Robb Wolf. And then low carb and keto and just trying to quantify things. And I’ve sort of got amazing access to watching two CGMs and insulin, and then more recently with all the nutrient-optimizer data—to have this massive amount of data to go, “let’s cut through the noise and the confusion and nutrition to have a agnostic data driven approach to nutrition.” And you know, the fundamental question is what helps us stabilize our blood sugars and why do we eat more than we want to? Why are we always struggling to eat less? And what are the parameters in food that help us to manage that without having to fight against our instincts all the time? So yeah, that’s me.

Dr Ruscio:

And Aimee, is there anything in particular about Marty’s work that—because I know that you’ve mentioned it’s been helpful in your practice—is there a few remarks there in terms of specifics that were helpful?

Aimee Gallo:

Yeah, so I’ve studied nutrition for almost 30 years now. And even with both of the degrees in nutrition that I’ve gotten, no one has really synthesized all of the information and the data quite like this. So we learn about micronutrients, we learn about macros and components of a healthy diet, but it’s really kind of a high overview level. And there isn’t an emphasis in utilizing that information in clinical practice, as detailed as what Marty has done has allowed me to do. And so I feel like everything that I’ve been trying discover in the field of nutrition has been synthesized and presented in a very easy-to-access-and-implement fashion that has just really taken what I feel I’m able to offer folks to a whole new level.

Dr Ruscio:

Yeah. Well gosh, it sounds good to me. So let’s drill down into some of the specifics on this, because the way I’m trying to list this [is] into a number of questions I’d like to answer and share with our audience would be maybe macro, we start and then we go to micro. And I guess macro would be [both] big picture but also literally macronutrients. And there’s some things here that flag as low hanging fruit. But one challenge I also see is, what population are we talking to? If we’re talking about the standard American diet then it’s pretty easy to say, “get off processed food [and] overeating carbohydrates.” If you come into the audience more likely encapsulated in this conversation, I’m assuming that’s not always the case. And it’s probably not so much of the standard American diet problems, but more of the diet-enthusiast problems, which are also varied, but probably have much more uniformity.

Dr Ruscio:

So I know I’m giving you maybe a little bit of a trip wire here before even asking the question, which is try to answer this for two or three or four different audiences. But I just want to acknowledge that this isn’t always so easy and it’s hard to paint with a broad brush, even though I’m trying to start us off painting with said broad brush. But you know, high level, what are some of the things that you see that are problematic? And maybe we should assume mostly, for an audience such as this—which is an educated audience, they might be doing Mediterranean [diet], they might be doing paleo [diet], but you know—it’s not the level one diet conversation. And maybe that’s the best way to frame some of these answers.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. I suppose you’ve hit on the number one point is that everybody’s diet is different and everybody has a unique nutritional prescription really to take it forward. And, you know, I talked about belief-based diets, plant based vegetarian, even you’ve got carnivore at the other extreme, or low carb or keto—everybody falls into sort of a belief-based community approach to nutrition that sometimes drives them to overdo that. And you look at paleo, we all love paleo. But then paleo comfort food, plant paleo cookies, “can I make this decadent hyper palatable dessert?”, and is it paleo because it doesn’t contain any X, Y, Z? You can hack any diet, any named diet to be hyper palatable. And we continue to do that.

Marty Kendall:

And it’s like, well, what are the fundamental things that make a diet work and make a diet not work? And really it’s are you getting adequate protein? Protein is definitely satiety promoting. Fiber to a lower extent. And then if you look at what’s happened to our food system over the last 50 years, it’s basically we’ve dumped non-renewable fossil fuels into our agricultural system, created a whole lot of empty calories from sugar, refined cards and refined industrial oils and created a very nutrient-diluted diet. So what I love about the agnostic data-driven approach to nutrition, it’s just like, are you getting the nutrients you need? Which ones are you missing? Like you said, from a macro perspective, starting with macro nutrients is the easiest low-hanging fruit to hit. But at the same time, Ted Naiman comes out with the PE diet and the protein low/rich. And everybody’s trying to get to 70% protein and saying I’m still really hungry. Why is that? It’s like, well you’re getting no energy and your body needs some energy and you can’t really get it from protein.

Marty Kendall:

So you need to find that balance point to just move the needle just a little bit in the direction you want to go without falling off the rails and it being unsustainable. So I suppose what Aimee and I’ve learned over the last couple of years of doing this is that you need to find a way of making it sustainable by just nudging what you’re doing now a little bit towards optimal rather than trying to jump all in. It’s unsustainable at that point.

Dr Ruscio:

Yep. That makes a lot of sense. And certainly that’s one of the things that in the clinic—even though we’re not going for dialing in their micronutrients per se, we might be trying to get someone to adhere to low FODMAP—and just getting them to take steps in that direction can be quite helpful as opposed to thinking that they have to be 100% adherence. And yeah, so I like that approach of nudging them. So it doesn’t feel like this, you know, arduous task that they can only do for 4/8/12 weeks and then they crash.

Marty Kendall:

Yep. Totally.

Dr Ruscio:

But within that, are there some certain, let’s say trends. So maybe we can’t say everyone’s overeating or under-eating carbs, but taking carbs as one I’m sure people are curious about, we’ll see maybe 20 to 30% of patients who clearly are under-eating carbs. Right? They have this orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, insomnia, they’re on a highly restricted diet and they’re eating nothing but meat and vegetables. And even within that, they’re somewhat restricted with the vegetables that they eat. And so they come in and it’s like, geez, okay, and they may even have some historical observations of, “I feel good when I eat rice,” but they’re still not eating it. Right? Because you know, whatever they read about, you know, the type 1.5, Alzheimer’s from people eating too much processed carbs. Which is true, but they are lightyears away from that on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

Marty Kendall:

Or they’re an endurance athlete saying why I’m a bunking but, “I won’t eat carbs because I don’t believe in them.”

Dr Ruscio:

Right. Yeah. So are there a few important patterns? So are there a few patterns here that you think are worth making people aware of?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. I suppose from a carbs versus fat perspective, I was definitely in the low carb/keto bandwagon coming from a family with two type one diabetics. And stabilizing blood sugars is really, really helpful to get off that blood sugar roller coaster. But when you look at carbs versus fat, they’re both really just energy sources that burn. They oxidize in slightly different ways and they store in slightly different ways in our body. But they’re really just carbon-carbon bonds that break down in our body to produce ATP and energy. And from a satiety perspective with—we’ve got 125,000 days of data from 35,000 people—and when you look at that, you look at well, if you reduce carbs from 45% to 10-20%, you get a reduction in energy intake. But you get the same reduction in energy intake when you reduce fat from 70% to 30%. So really reducing one or the other is going to help with satiety. But if you’re a athlete and you’re doing a lot of explosive activity, then you definitely need to consider bringing a little bit in, especially if your blood sugar’s great.

Dr Ruscio:

So is that a fairly constant trend that those who are doing a lot of athletic activities, they tend to need more carbs? Or at least that they don’t do well on let’s say a keto or a very low carb sort of diet plan?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. It depends on the intensity. If you’re doing lower intensity exercise, you’re typically burning more fat. But if you’re doing explosive activity than the explosive activities can really be helped by that explosive fuel, which is the carbohydrate. And you look at the work of Dr. James Morton, (Team [Ineos] nutritionist) [he] does amazing work. And the way they win Tour de France is training in a glycogen depleted state, train the body in a lower intensity range to learn to burn fat. And then when you want explosive energy dump in the—whatever you want, really—just that high octane fuel to make you go and climb the mountain really quickly. But yeah, training the fat burning and metabolism is really important, but if you want performance then adding in the carbohydrate for the explosive activity can definitely be helpful.

Marty Kendall:

And that’s where you get the balance between—I think Aimee’s gone through a few times in our micros masterclass—is going “I want to aim for nutrient density and maximize that, but if I go too far, I don’t get enough energy to fuel.” And again, it’s that balance and finding, “where am I now? Where do I need to go?” If you’re an endurance athlete, then maximizing nutrient density is not going to be great, because you’re not going to get enough energy. But if you’re you know, one of the many people who aren’t an endurance athlete, [eating] super lean and maybe a little bit more leaning towards the nutrient density, which will promote satiety and vitality, you’ll do a lot better.

Aimee Gallo:

I’d also like to add that chronological age and biological sex can also impact one’s performance […] or how well they do on a certain carbohydrate level.

Marty Kendall:

And as people age, they tend to get more insulin resistance and need to manage the carbohydrate load a little bit more. That’s where managing your blood sugar, tracking your blood sugar, understanding, “am I in a healthy range or am I overfilling my glucose fuel tank, my liver, my blood with excess carbs that I don’t really need cause I’ve got CGMs backing up my body already.

Dr Ruscio:

Right. I definitely want to come to CGMs and some of the nuances of glucose levels/glucose tracking. But before we go there, while we’re kind of on this macro/carb topic, are you noticing that the same people who might be very athletic and they’re doing a lot of non low intensity activity are also those who don’t do well on keto, low carb and/or carnivore or something like a prolonged fast? Is there a general observation there? I’m asking both for myself because I’ve noticed that I don’t do great keto. I tried again recently. I was pretty jazzed about trying breath keto monitoring after we had a conversation with a gentleman who has a really novel device there, and just did not do well. And I can fast, but I don’t tend to be able to go past one day.

Dr Ruscio:

And the main reason why is my sleep will just be hellacious. And for me, it’s not worth losing a night of sleep. And you know, there’s two things that go through my head, either there’s some sort of metabolic adjustment period I need to push through, or I’m just under too much stress, both cognitively—which is definitely the case, there’s a ton of cognitive demand—plus athletically. I’m working out usually six days per week and it’s usually pedal to the metalish sort of workouts. So yeah. Just wondering what your experience here has been, because I am wondering if there’s some sort of path through this where I would thrive on low carb. I’d be curious to discover it. My clinical experience, my personal observation, hasn’t reinforced that, but I’m totally open to a new avenue of exploration here if there’s something that you see there.

Marty Kendall:

No, no. Fascinating experience. First stop point is, the breath acetone tracking I think is much more useful than the BHB blood ketone tracking. Just because it’s more of an indicator that you’re actually using the ketones rather than that the excess fuel is just backing up in your blood. You don’t really want high blood ketones, blood glucose, free fatty acids, just backing up in your blood—that’s not a great sign. And celebrating really high blood ketones is not a fantastic thing for anybody, I don’t think, as much as we’ve done that in keto. Chasing optimal ketosis and people chasing ketones of two or three, I think is a bit of a cargo cult that just because you’re losing weight, you’ve got high ketones, that’s a great thing. But if you keep on loading in extra exogenous fat to get those high ketones, I don’t think it’s a metabolically healthy thing.

Marty Kendall:

On the fasting, I think if you’ve got a lot of stored energy, it’s a lot easier to fast, just because you’ve got a lot more stored energy. But if you’re leaner, you’re active, your body fat stores, your glucose isn’t full in your body, [then] you really need to top that up on a more regular basis. And if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, then your blood glucose might be high. Your fat in your body, your fat in your blood is going to be high. So you can go for a lot longer without feeling incredibly hungry or bonking or getting poor sleep. But for you, if you’re stressed, that often requires a little bit more carbohydrates to promote serotonin release. And you know, ketones are a sign to get up and go hunt, not lie down and sleep.

Marty Kendall:

So, yeah, definitely understandable that if you’ve got a lot more glycogen demand from your activity, from your pedal-to-the-metal workouts, you’re going to need more carbohydrate at that point. And that’s the thing, I don’t think there’s no one right diet for everybody. And you know, you’ve got the carnivore scene now getting into honey and fruit because they’ve found that “yeah, we can’t exercise on just meat alone.” Because yeah, you can get glucose from protein, but it’s really hard. Glucogenesis is an intensive process to yield glucose from protein. And it’s easier just to load a little bit more in if you actually do need it because your blood glucose is down.

Dr Ruscio:

Sure. Yeah. And I mean, that makes sense. And from an evolutionary perspective at least, from every documentary I’ve read or paper that I’ve examined looking at hunter/gatherer eating it, wasn’t carnivore. You know, they would also pursue things like ripe fruits and honey. So that makes sense. So is it fair to say that you’re seeing this trend where hard charging athletes, CEOs, type-A types are generally not doing well on keto and very low carb? Is that fair to say?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah, definitely. Potentially. And we just guide people in data driven fasting and the macros master class. If your blood sugar is elevated, if they’re rising by more than 30 milligrams per deciliter or 1.6 millimole after eating, then you’re overfilling your glucose tank. But if they’re oscillating nicely within that range, then you’re not overdoing carbohydrate and you just need to focus on dialing in the macros and micros. And you know, if you prefer a high carb diet, then that’s fine. You don’t need to avoid all carbohydrate. And dropping below 15% carbohydrate tends to eliminate fibrous non-starchy veggies that are nutrient dense as well. So you don’t need to go to the extreme to get optimal results. In fact, dropping really low, going total carbs and taking that right down you don’t get enough nutrients from the plant-based foods that are harder to find in the muscle meat.

Dr Ruscio:

And speaking of muscle meat. Is it also a trend that people aren’t generally getting enough protein? I know Aimee, this is one of the things that both you and Mike Nelson, both kind of had acknowledged that at least as it pertains to body composition, people not getting in enough protein and upping their protein and also increasing their fasting were two of the easiest levers to pull for improving body comp. And I’m not sure if you agree with the fasting per se. I know that was one of the things that Nelson found, was fasting. I know that you and Nelson, Aimee, both agree on the protein. But curious about [your] thoughts on protein and what people should be thinking about in that regard.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. Protein is definitely the biggest, strongest lever in nutrition, but not necessarily protein in grams, but protein in percentage. It’s not just about eating more protein from macadamia nuts or bacon or butter. You’ve got to get, you know, where is my protein coming from? Is it a high protein percentage source? And you know, the way to increase your protein percentage is dial back the fat and the carbohydrate and that just blips the satiety and you tend to be satisfied with eating less. So that goes back to Raubenheimer and Simpson’s protein-leverage hypothesis. And more recently, our data analysis indicates that there’s definitely a micronutrient leverage hypothesis in a similar sort of way that you get from the amino acids you get from minerals especially, but also vitamins.

Dr Ruscio:

And Aimee, what are your thoughts regarding protein? Are you sharing a similar observation that this is something that needs to be maximized and it’s not hard for people to do, and it seems to work?

Aimee Gallo:

It definitely works. And in regards to how difficult it is to do it really depends on the person. When I’m working with obese patients who have metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance, they often come in consuming anywhere from 40 to 60 grams of protein. And, you know, the first goal straight out of the gate is let’s try and double this. Because most often that is the minimum amount that they would need simply to maintain lean body mass while working to reduce weight and stabilize blood sugar. So that significant in a jump in protein is often very difficult for people. And I had a similar experience myself just trying to shoot over, about 105-110 grams to 130 grams in the first class that I took with Marty. And it took me a good six to eight weeks to just incrementally increase. Because again, protein is so satiating that it can end up blunting the appetite to the point where there’s just an aversion to eating anything. So when I’m coaching people through that process, it’s a lot of reinforcement of “this is where we’re aiming to go, but know that this can take time.” And it is literally a bite at a time, each meal, to getting there.

Marty Kendall:

The theory is simple, but the practice is more difficult because like Aimee said, it’s hard to over eat protein. And everything in our biology craves energy from fat and carbs, and ideally fat and carbs together, which is croissant, donut, pizza, etc. And everything in the middle food aisles of the supermarket that’s got a label is just some mixture of processed fat and carb. And that’s the first thing you want to avoid. And to satisfy hunger just go hard on the protein. But then it’s a matter of, where are you now and how can we just incrementally tweak it? Cause if you go from 10% to 60% percent protein, you’re going to be incredibly hungry because you’re just not eating enough calories. You’re going to not get enough energy.

Dr Ruscio:

This is something back from when I was early college years and kind of into body building, my cousin (a former wrestler) was kind of a mentor to me when I was a grunt, trying to go from skinny to big. And he said, you know, just make sure you eat your protein first. This was when I was in the trying-to-trim-down phase because in old school body building you bulk and then you cut. And he would say, just make sure you eat your protein first, because if you’re really hungry, that’s going to fill you up and put the breaks on and prevent over-eating.

Dr Ruscio:

So just one thing to echo for our audience, eat your protein first. And I can definitely say that if there is a bag of chips around and I come home hungry and I don’t have my protein first, I will eat the entire bag of chips and I black out and I come to and just chips all over my chin. “What happened?” Or the whole bag is gone. So if you can eat your protein first, I’ve definitely experientially noticed that that really helps to check your appetite and prevent you from eating the other starchier and fattier things, for example, that you may have on your plate or in your cupboard, that can just be gone in the drop of a hat.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah, definitely. And front loading protein earlier in the day. Just our analysis tends to show that if you get protein earlier at your first meal, if you try to prioritize more protein then, then you’ll have a more accurate appetite for carbs and fat energy later on in the day. And you definitely still need protein later in the day. But like you said, you might have a couple of chips or some yogurt or fruits or whatever later on the day, to get that energy you need, but you won’t be…If you try to fast all day until dinner and then that bag of chips in front of Netflix [is] looking pretty attractive and then you’ll just keep on going from there.

Dr Ruscio:

Yep. That makes sense. Now, as it pertains to fasting, is this something that you are finding helpful for cravings, for body comp? Using me as an example again, when I started doing the OMAD (one meal per day), I do this on Sundays typically, and I noticed that that really checks any creeping up of my satiation signaling going haywire. So that seems to work for me. I don’t push it too far. The OMAD seems to work well for me done once per week. But I’m wondering what place you feel this tool has in the kit?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. We do data driven fasting, which uses blood sugars. I think you wanted to talk about CGMs and blood sugars. But there’s sort of a balance point again, it’s all about finding the right balance point for where you are now and just pushing you, nudging a little bit in that direction towards where you need to go towards optimal. I think a lot of people go, “oh yeah, OMAD’s great, so I’m going to go to the next step and do extended fasting or alternate day fasting.”

Marty Kendall:

But you know, what do you eat after you haven’t eaten for three days? You’re into the…I’m into the peanut butter and the yogurt and the honey and anything I can, that’s energy dense to get the energy back quickly. And I think a lot of people fasting and keto tend to end up just loading up on fat, not getting the protein, and then that’s a cyclical pattern where they end up not getting enough protein, not getting enough nutrients, and then overeating when they refeed. And then they’re going to lose muscle mass, the appetite’s going to increase because the body doesn’t like to lose muscle mass, and then the body composition over longterm doesn’t fair too well.

Dr Ruscio:

Aimee, what’s your experience been here with fasting?

Aimee Gallo:

My personal experience or clinically?

Aimee Gallo:

Well, I guess both. Whatever you want to share personally, and definitely what you’ve seen clinically.

Aimee Gallo:

Clinically, it really does depend upon the individual. What I’ve experienced is men tend to do better with fasting than women do. Particularly women who are still cycling. Postmenopausal women can do pretty well on OMAD and then there’s a whole psychological component to fasting that gets really tricky depending on who you’re sitting across. So it’s something that it’s not usually something that I lead with, but sort of a very targeted, very strategic experiment with a very specific person. Because it’s definitely not for everyone. And it can backfire both psychologically as well as physically. Personally, I did some extended OMAD-type fasting when I was quite young and you know, 18 years old, you can get away with with quite a bit. More recently, I don’t find it helpful at all, either for body composition or any of the other reported health benefits. I did do the ProLon fasting multiple times and did not have any of the reported benefits from implementing that. So particularly now, with as much exercise as I’m doing, I don’t fast at all.

Dr Ruscio:

And this is what’s interesting to me, because you’ll hear all about how as people age they become more insulin resistant and they need to clean up some of these cells that are dysfunctional. And it can be a pretty attractive bill of reasons why those who are aging need to fast more. But then again, you also hear people who are aging become anabolic resistant. I just heard Robb Wolf use this term—him and actually Diana Rogers, thankfully, were on Joe Rogan talking about their “Sacred Cow” book and documentary (which I highly recommend, by the way, for our audience)—and he echoed this term that I used to hear Jeff Moss write a lot about when he was discussing how important Leucine, the amino acid, is for triggering anabolism or anabolic function. And he used to write about how as you age, you become more anabolic resistant. It’s harder to put on muscle and it’s harder to build tissue and repair. And that would, potentially, be improved by eating more and especially eating more protein.

Dr Ruscio:

And that’s where clinical experience, I think really helps kind of reconcile what might be an attractive story or narrative that can be told based upon mechanism in theory, but real world clinical experience can suss that out. And it sounds to me like you’re both leaning more in the direction toward upping protein intake and away from fasting more.

Aimee Gallo:

Absolutely.

Marty Kendall:

At least away from extended fasting. When you look at anabolic resistance, Raubenheimer and Simpson in the “Protein Leverage Hypothesis” paper talked about what’s happening with the anabolic resistance is really just insulin resistance leads to greater gluconeogenesis of the protein you’re eating. So the insulin in your body isn’t adequate to stop the conversion of the protein, the glucose, C elevated glucose. And you’re actually leaching that protein into glucose in your body. So as much as the keto crowd tend to go, “oh yeah, protein raises my insulin, protein kills my ketones.” You actually need more protein if you’re insulin resistant to manage your appetite, because otherwise your body’s going to go, “I need more protein in my diet to make up for that glucose I’m making from a protein.”

Marty Kendall:

So if you are insulin resistant, if you’re fasting, if you’re trying to lose body fat, you need to prioritize higher protein. And in the data-driven fasting we always see that when you eat carbohydrate, your blood sugar rises, when you eat fat, it doesn’t raise blood sugars, but it stops your blood sugar from dropping down back to below your baseline when you’re ready to eat again. So what you really need to do is dial back both, but still get the nutrients and protein that you need.

Dr Ruscio:

And with fasting, you know, I’m glad we’re discriminating here between shorter intermittent fasting—maybe a 12 to 16 hour window—versus a full day or a couple days. Is there a sweet spot fasting window that you guys find? Or is there maybe a threshold that if people fast for X or less, it tends to be mostly beneficial without any problems associated with it?

Marty Kendall:

What we do in data-driven fasting is look at your blood sugars and when they get below what’s normal for you, it’s time to eat again. So that might be a couple of solid meals a day without fasting for extended periods, to the point that you get so hungry, you’re just going to eat indiscriminately at that point. So once your blood sugars drop below what is normal for you, then your appetite is going to be more out of control. So once you get to that point where you can’t control your appetite, you’re reaching for the chips and the Doritos, then you’ve gone too far. And we find people tend to do quite well with a couple of meals a day, not necessarily within a compressed eating window. But maybe, 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM is a really nice pattern of routine that works for them to get regular nutrition while managing the overall energy input into the system.

Dr Ruscio:

Are you noticing that there’s an adaptation? If people push a little bit, will they no longer have those blood sugar lows and will they adapt? This is something that I noticed, that at first it seemed much more difficult to fast, especially the OMAD, and then after a few weeks, I was really able to do it without much of an issue.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. Once you get off the blood sugar rollercoaster and your blood sugar draws down, you start topping into your body fat and the ketones rise. So that’s definitely a point where the appetite can be improved. But you still need to prioritize getting adequate nutrition when you do eat over the long term, otherwise you’re just going to waste away and get extremely hungry.

Aimee Gallo:

Right. And you mentioned maybe an 11 AM-5 PM eating window. Are you noticing any trend in terms of if people eat too late or too many hours close to their bedtime? I’m assuming a huge meal an hour before bedtime is a problem, but outside of that easy target, what else, if anything, are you noticing regarding meal proximity to bedtime?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. Definitely the early time restricted eating tends to be a better pattern, if you can make it work with your lifestyle. Obviously a lot of people can’t, but you definitely don’t want to go to bed too hungry or too full at the same time. So that’s where sort of monitoring your blood sugars can be really helpful to know, “Hey, when is my blood sugar low around my exercise, around my routine.” Low-carbers will tend to see slightly elevated blood sugars in the morning and then lower blood sugars during the day. And people on a lower fat diet, vice versa. So they have lower morning blood sugars and are more elevated during the day. So they can sort of use the glucose patterns to identify, “when is my body needing food and when can I wait? When do I not need energy? When do I need nutrients?”

Dr Ruscio:

And it sounds like you’re finding the CGMs to be a fairly crucial tool with how you’re guiding people into finding or fine tuning their diet.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. My wife and my son are on CGMs, which is completely fascinating. But at the same time with our programs we tend to recommend people, if they don’t already have one, not worry about the CGM, because a fair added expense. They can just use their standard glucose monitor, which is a whole lot cheaper and simpler. Just because the CGM provides a ton of additional data that tends to confuse people. Like more data is not necessarily better. You don’t really want to be a biohacker with 20 different data inputs all the time. You just need to go, “am I hungry? I’ll validate that with my glucose. Okay. I’m good to eat.” Or, “Hey, I’m a little bit above my glucose trigger, I don’t need the Doritos right now, I can prioritize the higher protein meal.”

Dr Ruscio:

Gotcha. Yep. No, I’m glad that you said that because you know, one of my concerns with CGMs is people have more data than they know what to do with and enough data to start making some bad decisions. Because they’re trying to make decisions based upon this data that we don’t know what to do with, and they exercise less or less intensely or they don’t sauna or whatever it may be.

Marty Kendall:

And the best way to tame your CGM is to eat fat, avoid protein or maybe eat fat and carbs together, which gives you a more stable blood sugar response. But it’s the fat and carbs together that’ll lead to increased insulin, increased blood sugar over a long time. So what we guide people to do is to manage the area under the curve glucose response. So you don’t want your glucose to go too high, but what you really want to do is hack it so it comes back down below what’s normal for you quicker. And it’s a combination of dialing back fat and carbs and prioritizing protein and nutrients.

Dr Ruscio:

Yep. And that’s what the people over at NutriSense seem to be doing. They seem to have a really reasonable approach to how they’re advising people with their CGM data.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. I had a good chat to Carly from NutriSense the other day. She was very much on the same page with that. It’s really fun.

Dr Ruscio:

Yep. Is there a certain device CGM-wise that you like?

Marty Kendall:

The Contour Next glucose meter is really accurate and cheap and got a cool app.

Dr Ruscio:

It’s called Contour Next?

Marty Kendall:

Contour Next One. Yeah. Just any [drugstore] you can get them fairly easily. People get a little bit squeamish about pricking themselves, but once they do it a couple of times you have hose them down and say, “stop testing so much, you just want to validate your hunger.”

Aimee Gallo:

Oh, so you’re talking about a finger stick test?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. It’s not a CGM. And like I said, more data is not necessarily better. Got your Aura Ring, your CGM, and your sleep mat, and you know, with 150 supplements and you’ve given up your life to be a bio hacker. And it’s about living, not bio hacking.

Dr Ruscio:

Yeah. And this is important to echo. I think my audience knows where I’m going with this, but it really is important to acknowledge that treating numbers for which we don’t know what they mean can actually make it harder for you to feel well. Because now you’re inserting variables that don’t really have any meaning. And this is why in the clinic we use this model and this moniker of: treating people, not numbers. Numbers can help inform the process but they’re really 20% or 1/4th, roughly speaking, of the data that we use. And certainly, it’s not using test values at the exclusion of the person sitting in front of you and how they’re feeling and what their symptoms are and what their history is.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And, yeah, using one data point. Manage one thing at a time, don’t try to manage 20 things at a time, because you’ll never make progress and you’ll be overwhelmed. And in our programs we love the data but managing overwhelm is just the biggest priority for us to dial it back to the point that people can actually make progress and get through four weeks and go, “I learned something,” rather than, “my brain blew up and I was face down in the pizza because I was just so confused.”

Dr Ruscio:

Yeah. That makes sense. I think we’ve all been there. So coming over to micronutrients, this is one of the things I’m pretty curious [about as far as] what trends you are seeing. Of course people seem to not be eating enough organ meats, as one example, and also things like sardines I know have a certain nutrient profile—I believe they’re high in B12 and a few things that I’d have to double check my list here. But to say it simply, it seems that there are some foods that aren’t super popular in the US diet that are quite high in certain nutrients. And [I’m] just wondering what you’re seeing here in terms of things that people do well to bring more into their diet of.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. We recently did analysis of our top five optimizers. And when you look at the plate on a picture or from a, a volumetric or a weight-based approach, you see it’s a lot of plant-based food and you go, “wow, they’re eating a lot of spinach and mushrooms and green non-starchy veg.” But when you look at it from a calorie perspective, all the calories are coming from the seafood and the meats and potentially organ meats—a lot of liver. So it’s a combination of both.

Marty Kendall:

And I think the—not just the American diet, Americans leading the way—international diet is becoming more and more dominated by the sugar, the refined grains, and particularly the industrial seed oils. Just a massive increase in just empty calories from industrial seed oils that are just diluting the nutrient content of the entire diet. And then you’ve got fortification, which is like a bandaid on the label, that our bodies are getting a few B vitamins so they’re no longer craving them from nutritious meat, veggies, and seafood that actually contain them naturally. So we’re still able to eat the processed cereals without getting bored of them as quickly.

Dr Ruscio:

Right. So to state that again, you’re saying that certain greens, organ meats, and seafoods tend to be the most common. I mean the more detail here, the better because I’d love to give people some specifics so they can say, “oh, you know I’m shopping today, let me make sure to get X, Y Z.”

Aimee Gallo:

Can I chime in here?

Dr Ruscio:

Please?

Aimee Gallo:

So sardines are fantastic. They’re widely available and you can get them with the bones, which is a great non-dairy way to boost calcium. And a lot of folks struggle with dairy and this is one workaround that’s quite effective. Same with canned salmon with bones, which will also boost omega3 fatty acids, quite significantly. The greens, absolutely broccoli, chard, kale, spinach—very high in a lot of vitamins as well as minerals. And the organ meats are tricky, but if you can find a way to make it work, it really is rather revolutionary. And I can say, personally, it took me five years of episodic but persistent effort to get me to get my pallet adjusted enough that I can consume liver on a regular basis. And it’s phenomenal. It’s a phenomenal food.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. I just dug up the list of foods by calories of our top five optimizers. And you’ve got salmon, mushrooms, liver, sunflower seeds, tomato, egg, anchovy, spinach, cottage cheese, sardines, bell peppers, mackerel, brussel sprouts, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, sesame seeds, egg white, pork, flax seeds, okra, broccoli. There’s this sort of range. I mean, there’s not a lot of packaged foods that contain fortified nutrients to cover enough of the obscene lack of nutrients that come from the nutrient dilute.

Dr Ruscio:

Is that list in terms of what people need to match into their diet based upon insufficiencies or insufficiencies based upon their historic cronometer data? And is that list in order of number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah, that list is what we run our micros masterclass [with] and people buy for the top of the leaderboard to maximize the diet quality score, which is all about getting enough of all the micronutrients per calorie. And that’s what these people are eating across the top five. That’s what they eat most regularly in terms of where they get the calories from.

Dr Ruscio:

And can you give the top five again?

Marty Kendall:

Salmon, mushroom, liver, sunflower seed, tomato, egg, anchovy, spinach, cottage cheese, sardines…You know, it’s a variety. It’s not just eat more liver or eat more protein from muscle meat. It’s a variety of colorful, nutritious protein-filled nutrient-filled foods.

Dr Ruscio:

On the note of organ meats, Aimee, I share your challenge…I was making some headway when at Whole Foods they had these thinly sliced calf livers and they were fairly easy to cook. They were thinly sliced, so it made it much easier to cook. And it wasn’t the roundish orb-like nature of regular liver, which I found harder to sear and therefore get a good flavor profile from. Then they got rid of those and was back to square one. US Wellness Meats offers a ground beef with liver, kidney, and spleen—I believe are the three other meats in there. And if you do a high heat browning with that, I pull a packet apart into little chunks that are the size of a lemon cut in half, and I douse it with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. And high heat so you sear brown on each side, flip it over, and that actually tastes very good. You can barely even tell it’s not just straight ground beef and it’s made it very easy for me to get a smattering of different organ meats in. So I’ll offer that as one easy action item for people to get a ground beef that has other organ meats in it. The one I’ve been liking is from US Wellness Meats.

Aimee Gallo:

Yeah. I do something similar at home. I’ll purchase liver and then blend it in my Vitamix and mix it into ground beef. And that way I’m able to increase the ratio a bit. And I’ve worked up from about four ounces of liver for every two pounds of ground beef to about a 25% ratio. And that I think is just really due to allowing the time for my palate to adjust to the flavor. And when you overshoot it a bit, that’s what pesto and hot sauce and everything else is for to cover it up and mask the flavor. And that can help.

Aimee Gallo:

As well as pate was another one. Micky Truscott has a fantastic pate recipe, it’s her beef liver and rosemary pate. And that was actually my gateway. That was the first thing that I found that worked for me was that particular pate recipe made with chicken liver instead of beef liver, as chicken liver is more mild. And then I doubled the amount of herbs in there. And between the garlic and the herbs and the more milder flavor of chicken liver, that became something that I was able to consume about a table spoon a day to, again, get my palate to adjust to liver. So I can’t recommend that recipe often enough to folks.

Dr Ruscio:

Yeah, that’s great.

Aimee Gallo:

It’s a game changer.

Dr Ruscio:

And this is why having a health coach to check in with can be so helpful, right? Because just one recipe guide can make a difference between struggling and actually doing it on a consistent basis.

Marty Kendall:

Definitely.

Dr Ruscio:

Now regarding one other easy way to get in nutrients, green juices and green powders have become more popular. And I have to say, I’ve been liking a green juice and/or green powder in the morning. It’s an easy way for me to get some nutrients in. And I usually do this along with a protein powder. I like to eat light in the morning. It’s quick, it’s easy. And [I’m] just wondering what your guys’ thoughts are, good or bad, pro or con, for or against green juices and green powders. I should clarify also with green juices, you have to be careful. Aimee, I want to thank you actually for making my mother more aware of reading labels. Every time I go home to visit my parents, my mom is such a doll that she’ll always try to stock the fridge up with food she knows that I like. And a couple times I would come home and she’d have a green juice, but it was one of those one that has like spinach and then pineapple and apple and the carbs are like 60 grams per serving. It’s ridiculous. And she’d say, “well honey, why didn’t you ever drink the green juice?” “Ma, do you see the amount of carbs in that? It’s like drinking a can of Coke.”

Marty Kendall:

You’ve become carb-phobic now, Michael.

Dr Ruscio:

Yeah. Right. And she finally kind of got it. She goes, “Oh my God. I looked at the one that had no fruit and it was 12 grams, and the one with the fruits was like 60.” And so she is reading labels. So thank you for helping get her dialed in on that. So if we’re looking at a juice that is not super high carb…Because I do think that’s something, especially with a juice that you want to be careful with. And that’s one of the few things I felt my CGM was helpful in me pinpointing was that juices really spike your blood sugar, especially if there’s nothing else you’re having the juice with. But what are your guys’ thoughts on green juices if they’re well balanced and/or powders?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. I think the powders and green juices can provide some micronutrients. They’re sort of akin to a supplement in a way though, which is good and bad. They’re not going to provide the same satiety benefit you’re going to get from getting those from whole food, from the non-starchy veggies. So you can down a ton of green juice and you’re probably not going to get a lot of calories, but you’re not going to get a lot of satiety value out of it either. So if you’re relying on it for satiety, it’s ideal if you can get it from the food itself. If you can load up on the food. A teaspoon of green juice isn’t going to give you a lot of nutrition compared to the, you know, the plateful of veggies that you could be eating if you wanted to prioritize that. But if you’re struggling, then there’s definitely a role for that. The boost [to] your micronutrient.

Aimee Gallo:

Yeah. I’m definitely more biased towards the green juice over the powdered greens. I think the processing of the powdered greens may be problematic and not necessarily in ways that we know about. One of the things that I struggle with when it comes to supplementation is, even with a processed greens powder, the assumption is that it will supply what is needed. But the reality is, in nutrition there is so little that is actually known. So, you know, if you’re taking a multivitamin, it provides, you know, a hundred percent of the RDA for everything that you need. The RDA is what is known to prevent deficiency, but I don’t feel confident that those are all the nutrients that we know we need. I’m pretty certain there are stuff that we have not found yet.

Aimee Gallo:

Right? And so the more that you take a food that is unprocessed and fresh from the garden and manipulate it, the more likely we are to accidentally discard things that may be helpful. And so with a green juice, that is less processed than a greens powder. So I’m a little bit more amenable to a greens juice than I am the powders. The other thing that I find with powders is that, for some individuals they’re like, “oh, well, if I take this, then, you know, I’ll get my greens in. It’s the same as eating a salad, but I don’t have to go through the misery of eating a salad.” And that’s not true. That’s totally a false equivalency.

Aimee Gallo:

One of the things about our produce is that it provides a lot of volume. Particularly for those who are looking to lose weight or to do time-restricted feeding, [who] limit the amount of meals that they have, if you remove volume from the meals that you’re having, you’re more likely to be hungry.

Marty Kendall:

It’s going to give you a false sense of security that you’ve got some nutritional insurance so you can just keep eating other crap that you’re eating before. Because you’re getting vitamins on the label, but they’re not going to provide the same satiety benefit and maybe even not the same health benefit. And definitely we see people as they prioritize getting nutrients from food, we’ve got a ton of examples of people who have thrown out their buckets of supplements. And once they get it from food, they actually get the results they want because the food that they’re eating contains the nutrients in the form and ratios that the body understands.

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Dr Ruscio:

That’s maybe a good segue. Marty and Aimee I’d love for each one of you to explain a little bit about how your coaching or your program works. And the benefit people can expect to garner from this. And I’ll just share quickly that when I started doing my training with Mike Nelson—as a parallel (some of this is nutritional, some of it’s exercise)—the remnants of some of my body building years was still making its way into my programming. You know, it wasn’t bad, but when I was doing my own exercise prescription, if you will, it was okay. It was in need of some improvement. And part of that was just because I wasn’t putting a ton of focus on this. I was working so much in the clinic and with everything else that I’m doing, that I was just kind of spackling together a workout.

Dr Ruscio:

And Nelson was fairly easily able to say and pinpoint my posterior chain wasn’t getting enough exercise. And I can now say that my back is much stronger than it’s ever been. My back, my glutes, my hamstrings. And that helps you to be faster, more functional. And some of the knee ache I was having is pretty much gone. That was so worth the money. And just to share some of my mental process, it was partially, “well, why do I need someone to do this? I can do it fairly well on my own.” Kind of true, but not really. But just kind of sharing some of the internal dialogue that I had going on beforehand.

Dr Ruscio:

Also with my diet, as he had me put everything in cronometer—and I shared this story in the podcast before, but it it’s worth a quick repeat—he was like, “you know, the half a block of cheese at night? Probably don’t need that.” I was like, “oh, I thought it was just fat. You know, it’s healthy fat, it’s raw organic dairy.” But it was just helpful to have him call me on a few things I had habituated to and probably kind of convinced myself of being okay. And he said, “why don’t we get rid of that block of cheese, maybe make it a slice or two, and you’re really low on the carbs, why don’t we bump those up?” And I actually ended up losing weight while upping my carbs and probably seeing an improvement in my performance.

Dr Ruscio:

So even someone like myself who has a fairly strong background in exercise science and in nutrition, really benefited from getting some external perspective. So, with that as my endorsement of why it’s important, I’d love for you guys to give us a short snippet of how you’re helping people. Just so they can learn if this is something that they may want to take some of their dollars and invest in.

Marty Kendall:

You can go first, Aimee.

Aimee Gallo:

Alright. It is extremely helpful to have a third party, an unbiased third party, on the outside looking in. And I think we’re all really skilled at fooling ourselves in different ways. And most of us are unaware at how skilled we are at fooling ourselves in different ways. So having that extra pair of eyes to gaze on a situation can be really helpful. And I’m sure everyone listening has had the experience of a group of minds coming together, creating something greater than any individual could on their own.

Aimee Gallo:

And that’s really how I envision coaching is that you have an ally, you have an extra brain, an extra pair of eyes on the situation who, as you mentioned before, might have the recipe that allows you to finally break through the organ-meat-barrier that you have and include these foods in your diet. Or, you know, I was talking to a friend the other day about increasing carbohydrate intake because I’m at this place where I might actually be needing to do that. And I’m butting up against my biases about that. And she had talked about how when she was training for an Iron Man, her husband basically force-fed her Coke and ginger ale so that she would recover. And then as soon as she experienced the benefit of drinking soda as a post recovery strategy, she was like, “oh, shoot, I need more carbs.”

Aimee Gallo:

That’s something I would never think of to do, to drink my carbohydrates. And I don’t know that I’m ready for soda, but to drink my carbohydrates because my appetite is so blunted by nutrient density that perhaps that will be what I ultimately choose to do. And it’s amusing to me that I never considered that because I recommend to people all the time to consume whey protein shakes or ready-to-drink protein shakes as they’re incrementally bumping up their protein intake because protein is so satiating, right?

Aimee Gallo:

So having a different perspective, someone else’s lived experience—you know, coaches work with a lot of different people and so they carry this collective experience of each person that they’ve worked with and what has worked for them and insights that they’ve gathered from that experience—and they bring that to you. And so it’s not really just a brainstorming between two, but it also includes the experiences of everyone else that that person has worked with before. And it’s incredibly valuable.

Dr Ruscio:

Well said.

Marty Kendall:

Yeah. And I suppose just to add to that, a little bit of data can be really powerful and really illuminating to understand where your gaps are. For you, Michael, it was like, “okay, I’m not getting these nutrients, and I’m diluting my nutrients with that block of cheese every night cause it’s a good, healthy food.” But a lot of people find that if they’re coming from a lower carb diet to keto diet, they’re going, “oh wow, I’m eating a lot of fat and the nutrient density’s hard to get when I’m eating that much fat.” Or if they’re coming from a low fat diet, they’re struggling to get protein and the micronutrients that go with that. So a little bit of tracking.

Marty Kendall:

I don’t think tracking for the long term, tracking your food forever is something that’s fantastic. It’s a little bit time consuming and people can get neurotic. But just to jump in and say, “what am I eating?” And, you know, with nutrient optimizer and our micros and macros masterclass that says what foods would be best for you to fill your gaps. It may be liver for you, but maybe spinach, it may be salmon, it may be some other nutrient that you are currently missing and these are the foods, these are the recipes that contain those. And that’s different for everybody.

Marty Kendall:

And I think we all fall into our nutritional tribalism where, “this is the magic food and I just need to eat more of that.” And none of those are bad foods that people in this camp don’t believe, but a little bit of data can help break off those shackles and help you to see your food in numbers and quantify it. And therefore, if you just fill the nutritional gaps with the foods that will meet those nutritional needs, you don’t have to be a slave to particular nutritional camp anymore.

Dr Ruscio:

And I do think it’s important to mention for people, tracking and data doesn’t mean it’s a forever endeavor, but it could be episodic. And I actually think that I need to go through another round of tracking to recalibrate and identify where I have holes. Because it’s been a while since I’ve done this. So I’ve made some shifts since. And for me, and just to paint this perspective for everyone, if the idea of tracking every meal forever does not appeal to you, that’s okay. It would not be forever.

Marty Kendall:

Don’t do it. No. And I don’t think it’s a healthy thing. It can become erotic and time consuming. And eventually you want to retrain your appetite. You know, “when do I need to eat, what do I need to eat?” And once you take out the trash in the diet that is hyper palatable and flavored and colored and that really screws up your appetite. Once you take that out of the picture and train your body to understand what flavors correspond to what nutrients, then you don’t need the training wheels anymore, and you can actually get on with your life. But you have to go through a period of training wheels, which is the tracking and guidance, and then you can move on and ride the mountain bike and then get out there on the road with the road bike.

Dr Ruscio:

And Aimee, I’ve been meaning to ask you about… With your coaching, I believe you had said for people like me who don’t have the bandwidth or the desire to actually punch their food into cronometer, were you doing a, “just send me a picture of what you’re eating and I’ll kind of figure it out?” Is that something that you can do or would do if I asked you nicely?

Aimee Gallo:

That was not me who suggested that.

Dr Ruscio:

That may have been Morgan then. So she she’s putting you on the chopping block.

Aimee Gallo:

Can I do that? I mean, technically yes.

Dr Ruscio:

Is it accurate?

Aimee Gallo:

No.

Dr Ruscio:

Does it get you accurate enough? No? Because the serving size and exactly what it is you don’t know?

Aimee Gallo:

Precisely. How big is the plate? You know, I would need something on there for reference. And then once you even know how large the plate is, how thick is that stake? Right. There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of nuance that a photograph can’t quite capture. And the nature of reporting anyway is very hand wavy and very imprecise. So that would just add another layer of imprecision to something that’s already pretty much a guesstimate.

Dr Ruscio:

And, you know, as I’m going through and arguing with myself back and forth here, I’m saying to myself, “I don’t want to do this.” But the other voice is saying, “well, remember last time you did it was only really a pain in the butt for the first week? And then once you had your stuff identified it autopopulated for you as soon as you started typing it the second week?” So I should mention that for people because I am fighting myself on this. I would like to have you monitor what I’m doing for a little while, Aimee, and then integrate that into Marty’s program to some extent. I think you could be maybe a good bridge.

Aimee Gallo:

Happily do that.

Dr Ruscio:

And as I’m, again, just sharing my internal dialogue of not feeling like I have the desire to enter all my food… For people who haven’t done it, it sounds worse than it is. But if you’re like me, your week one to week two to week three to week four of a month, don’t differ a whole heck of a lot. And it’s only really the first time you’ve got to get stuff put in the system. And then once it’s in there, it’s literally a click of a button. So, okay. So Aimee, I think I’ll probably link up with you in the back end here, and then you can help get my ducks in a row. I’d love for you to plug some of the stuff into Marty’s…Is there a name for your database, Marty?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah, we’ve got a tool called “Nutrient Optimizer” that you plug chronometer in that, you know, all those green and red and yellow lines. And cronometer don’t mean a lot to a lot of people. But to get more green in chronometer you need to eat more. But what we’ve done with nutrient optimizer is to say, “how do we eat better?” So we get the nutrients we need without excess calories. So Nutrient Optimizer tells you what foods and meals will give you those nutrients that you need.

Dr Ruscio:

Great. So, Aimee and Marty, you guys can make me smarter, funnier, and better looking?

Marty Kendall:

Guaranteed.

Aimee Gallo:

Or your money back.

Dr Ruscio:

Perfect.

Dr Ruscio:

Right. Awesome. Well, yeah, I’m looking to doing this. It’s been something that has been on my mind for a little while, and I forget how this popped up. Aimee, you may have mentioned it to me, but, yeah, I think this is something I need to go through. Just for our audience. I, again, I found a lot of benefit from this. So if this is something you haven’t yet done, I really did find for the money and for the time it was well worth it. Because I, again, I identified a few holes in my diet that were not very hard to change and definitely it wasn’t a big deal. Swapping out the half a block of cheese and swapping in for it, something like a sweet potato or a potato. And I did notice that I slept a little bit better and my performance probably got better. I keep saying performance probably got better because I’m accounting for the fact that I also started working with someone and they were giving me new programming and there’s some excitement and placebo associated with that. So I try to be careful in my language, but anyway, you know, that withstanding, it was definitely a good investment of time and effort. And, Aimee, expect to have to wrangle me a little bit, but, hopefully I won’t be too much of a pain in the butt client.

Marty Kendall:

You’ll be one of those people to get triggered by the other people with the high nutrient score.

Dr Ruscio:

I definitely will be.

Marty Kendall:

You should have seen Diana Rodgers when she did it. She [said] “oh, I have to beat Rhonda Patrick’s score, and let’s nail this.” And she got really into it, which is great to see. Aimee’s done the same.

Dr Ruscio:

That’s great. Yeah, it’d be good for me.

Aimee Gallo:

I will say one thing regarding food logging, particularly, for anybody who’s dieted in the past or tracked their food in the past where it’s been very calorie focused and about minimizing and restricting. In beginning this process expect that to happen, that will absolutely happen. But the thing to continue to remind yourself through that process, if you can, if you can push through it, is that what we’re really looking to do is add more, not take away. It’s about adding more quality. And taking how we have traditionally treated food as sinful and something to restrict and limit, and turning it upside down on its head to really be about nourishing and supplying and truly feeding yourself. [It] is not only profound for your physical health, but it completely changes one’s mindset and emotional health around how they feed themselves and tracking their food as well.

Marty Kendall:

So much of the food industry is all about restricting and you know, “food’s bad, and I have to avoid all the things that taste good.” But if you look at it from a, “how do I get the nutrients my body needs to thrive and be satisfied” [perspective] the food quantity then just falls away and looks after itself.

Dr Ruscio:

Yep. This is a fantastic point. And that, and that’s what my experience was. It wasn’t me being highly deprived, but it was more so focusing my intentions. Which didn’t feel confining at all. So Martin, do you want to remind people of your website or where else you would want to point them?

Marty Kendall:

Yeah, definitely. Thanks so much for the opportunity. It’s been a lot of fun to chat to you and Aimee. Yeah. We’ve got a “Optimising Nutrition” website that they can check out. Got a whole pile of stuff. We mentioned data driven fasting, which is using our glucometer to guide when and how much and what you eat. Then we’ve got a macros masterclass just to help tweak your macros. And then a micros masterclass. And both those are four weeks long and just enough tracking to dial things in and then get out and enjoy your life with your newfound foods that you love eating.

Dr Ruscio:

Love it. And again, guys, I’d recommend going the road of Marty or Aimee. If you want to see more about Aimee and her work, you can go to DrRuscio.com/health-coaching. But as long as you get…or even someone else, but as long as you get someone to have a look at what you’re doing, I think you’ll find some low hanging fruit that could be beneficial. And I can vouch for Marty and for Aimee. I’m sure there’s many other good consultants out there that can walk you through it. But again, if you haven’t done it yet, it’s not a huge, laborious thing to do. And it can help you pinpoint some of these things that you’re doing day over day that might be able to be somewhat easily modified and then improve your wellbeing, your performance, your body comp, whatever it is that you’re looking to do. And also, Aimee, I should mention to your point, my mother did say and has a few times, she’s like, “oh, like when I eat this, I get so happy because cronometer just lights up green, green, green.” So yeah, you’re probably laughing, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Aimee Gallo:

I do.

Marty Kendall:

Love it. You get the dopamine hit in the data driven like, “oh, I’m getting more green, I’m getting a better score.” And it’s all about, you know, “how do I improve my nutrition rather than deprive my body,” which is a beautiful thing to see.

Dr Ruscio:

Yes. I mean, she was legitimately excited about it. So just for our audience, frame in a very positive way. So again, I think, especially for our audience who sometimes they’ll read about low FODMAP, low histamine, low carb, and they end up going on these very restrictive diets.

Marty Kendall:

How am I gonna eat now?

Dr Ruscio:

Right. This will hopefully be a breath of fresh air for them. Awesome. Well guys, great conversation. Thank you both so much. And I guess more to follow to get me tuned up and I’ll thank you both in advance for that.

Aimee Gallo:

Awesome.

Marty Kendall:

Looking forward to it. Thanks, Michael.

Aimee Gallo:

Alright. Thanks again, guys.

Outro:

Thank you for listening to Dr. Ruscio Radio today. Check us out on iTunes and leave a review. Visit DrRuscio.com to ask a question for an upcoming podcast, post comments for today’s show, and sign up to receive weekly updates. That’s DRRUSCIO.com.

 

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