March 15, 2022

How Focusing on Big Health Changes Distracts You from Your Cellular Potential with VJ Hamilton

How Focusing on Big Health Changes Distracts You from Your Cellular Potential with VJ Hamilton

Our guest is Nutritional Therapist, VJ Hamilton.


ABOUT THE EPISODE

“Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” It’s not only a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. It’s also advice that can save, or at least change your life for the better.

In this episode, you’ll hear from VJ Hamilton. She is a nutritional therapist who suffered for decades with autoimmune conditions before taking control of her health and developing the skills to help others do the same.

We talk with her about improving your health at the cellular level and why that can actually be one of the best places to start with a personal development plan because the benefits can really flow upstream to all of the other issues you may be worried about. 

This is important because, as we like to say, “motivation isn’t going to magically appear.” However, there are a few examples of when that’s incorrect. Usually, it's at a rock bottom moment or when your health has taken a sudden and drastic turn for the worse. In this interview, VJ will share how her own physical ailments put her on a path to better wellness and a path to helping otters do the same. 

By following her advice we hope you’ll create the motivation to live a healthier life before your body forces you into action.   

What We Discuss with VJ:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 09:11 Diagnosed with an autoimmune condition
  • 11:28 Your cellular potential
  • 14:10 Repairing cell damage
  • 17:40 Proper testing
  • 18:31 Simple steps to repair cells
  • 21:02 What to avoid for better cell health
  • 25:41 Gut health and inflammation
  • 28:10 Your genes and epigenetics
  • 32:58 Start taking control of cellular health

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Resources:

Guest Website

Key Cellular Nutrition

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Transcript

[00:00:00] Zach : Don't put off until tomorrow. What you can do today. It's not only a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. It's also advice that can save or at least change your life for the better. 

[00:00:09] Jeremy : In this episode, you'll hear from VJ Hamilton. She's a nutritional therapist who suffered for decades with auto-immune conditions before taking control of her health and developing the skills to help others do the same. By following her advice, we hope you'll create the motivation to live a healthier life before your body forces you into.

[00:00:26] This is the fit mess conversations with world-class experts in the fields of mental, physical, and emotional health. And this episode 

[00:00:35] VJ Hamilton: I had skin issues. I had joint pain, I had muscle fatigue. I had hair loss. I had all sorts of different things going on. And by healing myself, I managed to heal myself in totality.

[00:00:47] , so I do think it is really, really powerful that we start focusing in on these little things inside as that make us who we are.

[00:00:54] Now, here are your hosts, Zach and Jeremy. 

[00:00:57] Jeremy : TRO

[00:00:57] Zach : Welcome to the fit. Mass brought to you by athletic greens. Thank you for listening while you're doing whatever it is that you're doing right now. I'm Zach, he's Jeremy. We've been through all kinds of struggles and ended up stronger because of them. And we want to help you do the same. If you're sick of your own shit, like we were, and you're ready to make a change.

[00:01:16] You're in the right place. 

[00:01:17] Jeremy : today. We're talking about improving your health at the cellular level and why that can actually be one of the best places to start with a personal development plan, because the benefits really flow upstream to all the other issues you may be worried about.

[00:01:29] And I'll tell you why this is important. I like to tell people who are struggling to take care of themselves, that motivation isn't going to magically appear. However, there are a few examples of when that's incorrect. , usually it's at rock bottom. Or when your health has taken a sudden and drastic turn for the worse, our guests will share how her own physical ailments put her on a path to better wellness and a path to helping others do the same. But why not learn from her experience and get out in front of those problems before they arise?

[00:01:56] Zach : So I think I've got that mindset now where, , I like to be very proactive with my health and get in front of things before they actually happen. Like eating correctly, exercising, making sure I'm taking care of myself mentally and emotionally. So when the big shit happens, Um, Okay.

[00:02:11] And I'm ready for it, but, , I can honestly say that , my journey down this path really started with a medical condition that started for me that caused me to have to take shit more seriously.

[00:02:23] So, you know, even I didn't have that, , , motivation to get in front of things. It took something that was, thank God benign, but scared the shit out of me for me to , go try yoga. And , it was game over from there. I was like, oh, I like feeling good. I like, I like this feeling of taking care of myself. , but it is so hard to really think about it and come to that conclusion of, I need to take care of myself for. , potential consequences later on that may or may not happen. Right? I mean, that's a, that's a tough mind game to play. 

[00:02:55] Jeremy : Yeah. And, and my stories is very similar. You know, we have told that a number of times now, but it took a knee injury to put me on a bike that put me on a path to better wellness and had that injury never happened. And had I had, I never gone to that physical therapist. I never would have started biking and I never would have then, , discovered how much I liked being in the moment and then wanting to meditate and then all the doors that, that opened up as well.

[00:03:17] I also want to emphasize that a lot of this isn't your fault. We live in a very fast paced society where we're barely keeping our head above water most of the time. So being able to put your head into a place of what's my physical condition going to be in 20, 30, 40 years, wherever you.

[00:03:34] That's not easy to do because a lot of times you're trying to figure out how am I even going to get to work on time or whatever the thing is. So that's why it's so important to take time, to do some self-care, to just check in with yourself, to figure out how your body's feeling and look at your calendar and figure out.

[00:03:50] Is there a point where have I not had a physical in five years? And should I go and talk to my. That's I literally today stopped by my doctor's office to talk to them about getting some blood work done. I'm fine. I'm, I'm feeling better than I felt in a long time. I'm I'm getting to be in pretty good shape.

[00:04:07] I want to do better. I don't want to wait until something breaks and until something shuts down to then go, oh God, if only I'd known and started taking that vitamin 12 years ago, I could have avoided whatever problem has now come up at 50 whatever years old I'll be. Oh, so again, It's small steps. I never would have imagined going and talking to my doctor and saying, Hey, I want to do blood work just because, but because of all the other things I've done, I'm now in a position where I want to go even even further, I want to take it even further and make sure that I'm doing everything I can to be as healthy as I can so that when I do get older, I'm not just crawling around and in pain and living a rich and full.

[00:04:47] Zach : I actually got, , my doctor in Seattle, , gave me shit a couple of times because I was always in there going, so I read this medical journal and I would like to get this test because I'm, , contemplating whether or not this change or that change will be beneficial for me, for my energy level.

[00:05:05] it got a little extreme, uh I'll I will admit, cause I was in there almost every week, getting blood work 

[00:05:09] Jeremy : Oh my God. 

[00:05:10] Zach : And while like my doctor was, she was very cool and she was like very supportive of it, , but there was a point where she was like, okay, insurance is paying for all this. I'm not sure I'm comfortable, you know, this stuff up or you, , because I was like diagnosed with myself and coming in.

[00:05:30] It was a very, very cool situation from my perspective, because I was literally getting blood work every week for like non-standard tests. It was so great. It was awesome. But I was like eating differently and doing things differently during the week to like really 

[00:05:48] Jeremy : did that do? Did that work? Did that optimize my health? It's been three days.

[00:05:52] Zach : exactly. And I, like, I know, I know that like, I don't, I, I'm not allergic to gluten, but gluten definitely. Has an impact on me, so I try and avoid it. , but I would have never noticed like that subtle little bit of, of gluten intolerance. Had I not been like that stringent , with the blood work and tracking what I was eating, what I was doing.

[00:06:13] Fast forward three years now, I like kind of have it dialed in. And now I feel lazy because I get blood work like once every six months. 

[00:06:21] Jeremy : well, the every six months, uh, is that, is that where your love for supplements came?

[00:06:27] Zach : It is because in a bunch of my blood work, I love, and I hate blood work because , when they do any kind of a test, you fall into the average range, right. If, if you're normal, they check a box And, they say, you're fine. You're good. But what's normal for you is different from the rest of the population in some cases, right? There's certain things that you're going to fall in the normal box and that's giving you whatever it is that you actually need. and then there's other cases where like, you need more of something or less of something than the rest of the population, because this we're all fucking different,

[00:07:05] Jeremy : right. it's an important distinction to make that because your normal means your normal in relation to how everyone else in your culture society is doing. So you may be normal, but if everyone is kind of sick, want to be normal. You don't want to fall into that range. You want to make sure that, that, you know, more than yup.

[00:07:28] Checks out just like everyone else. Because if you want to optimize your health, if you want to make sure you're, you're doing all the right things, you need to know more than normal. You need to know what can be improved

[00:07:40] Zach : Yeah, absolutely. So back when I was doing blood work all the time, that's when I discovered athletic greens 

[00:07:46] Zach: I started taking athletic greens because I really needed to have a sufficient. That tasted great, gave me all the things that I needed. , and I didn't want to have to take 10 pills a day or, spend all of my time cooking all the meals.

[00:08:00] I try and get my nutrients from food, but let's face it. We don't get everything we need every day from food. So athletic greens was a great solution for me. It tastes great. Gives me everything I need for more energy, better gut health optimized immune system. 

[00:08:15] It has less than a gram of sugar and there's no nasty chemicals or artificial anything. And it actually does taste good. And for what you get, it's less than $3.

[00:08:23] and right now is the time to incorporate better health and athletic greens is a perfect start to make it easy.

[00:08:29] Athletic greens is going to give you a free one-year supply of immune supporting vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit athletic greens.com/fit mass. Again, that's athletic greens.com/fit. Mess to take ownership over your health and pick up the ultimate daily nutritional insurance.

[00:08:48] .

[00:08:48] Zach : Our guests today I love this interview. It was, it was a little bit more technical , than some of our other interviews, which I totally geeked out on. But there is some great information in here. 

[00:09:02] Jeremy : that information comes from our guests. She's a nutritional therapist, VJ Hamilton. We asked her about her own health struggles and how they forced her to take control of her own wellbeing,

[00:09:11] VJ Hamilton: really my journey started when I was very young. So at seven years old, I got diagnosed with an autoimmune condition before that. Lots of issues with food intolerances.

[00:09:21] , and then as I went through, my teenage is, uh, developed skin issues, so psoriasis and acne, and, , then I decided to go to university and study it. So I studied biochemistry and immunology, and I learned all about auto-immune disease and really the biochemistry of it, which is very interesting, but I couldn't put it into practice yet.

[00:09:42] , and unfortunately, , during that time, my brother got diagnosed with multiple stories. , several of the members of my family had an autoimmune disease as well. Um, but I decided to change, , track at that point. And I became a Charleston accountant. I worked, you know, a corporate career. I moved at the latter.

[00:09:59] I did lots of traveling and, um, I ended up at my early thirties being , diagnosed with, , postpartum chronic fatigue syndrome. And that's when the joint. Started the fatigue, it become unbearable. , and actually all my joints are swelling up. So it's very hard to move around and was exercising and going to the gym.

[00:10:20] And I decided I needed to do something. . That's when I found functional medicine, nutritional therapy and decided actually, why don't I use my science degree? Um, some good use that I can put into practice. And that's what. Came I'm a nutritional therapist. I started my in-clinic, which is the auto-immune to nutritionist.

[00:10:38] And then do do my, um, also being paleo, , protocol, uh, became a certified health coach. Um, key cellular nutrition found me and I started working with them as well. So it's been quite a journey, um, but I'm very happy to be where I am. , and you know, working on some really exciting projects as part of that, I'm working with some great people.

[00:10:58] Zach: have to imagine that a lot of the things that, that you went through, , physical fitness and just, , eating right big air quotes there, , came up a lot. But, and I think those things can contribute to what we're about to talk about. But it doesn't really help you understand what your cellular potential is and how you can heal yourself through yourselves.

[00:11:20] So could you just tell us a little bit about , what is cellular potential and why should we care as a general population?

[00:11:28] VJ Hamilton: I think we focus a lot. Don't we on the diagnosis nine when I was, especially in my early thirties, I had been diagnosed with autoimmune diseases, but am only thirties. I just needed an answer and I wanted to know exactly what was wrong with me. I wanted to put a title on it. And I chased in chase with a diagnosis.

[00:11:47] And finally I got diagnosed and I realized there was nothing I could actually do. And I was just told to rest more. And that's when really all the cell biology came back. And you realize that energy system, , is all created in the cell. And I started hearing the word mitochondria again, which I hadn't heard since I was at university.

[00:12:07] , and. How essential that was to my energy system. And I'd probably have mitochondrial dysfunction for a long time. And if we think about it, we have cells in every part of the body. , but really in conventional medicine, we're looking more at an organ or a specific disease. And I. Yes, the party is a place for know, bringing inflammation down.

[00:12:30] Um, you know, especially if somebody's got hair loss and maybe doing something specific around like a half volatile, but really the truth there is to have a long lasting recovery, which is, I probably didn't mention that I mentioned direction, but I'd be symptom free. Now for six years, you really have to deal with the root of the issue.

[00:12:48] And what's more the root of everything then. , and that's you doing functional testing? , I, I realized that there were things going on at that cellular level. Um, by improving the health of myself, I'm really focusing on different lifestyle strategies and eating habits that can help with that.

[00:13:06] I managed to build a solid foundation. Um, so really working on that upstream issue, um, And that helped with every other symptom I had, my symptoms were vast, you know, I had skin issues. I had joint pain, I had muscle fatigue. I had hair loss. I had all sorts of different things going on. And by healing myself, I managed to heal myself in totality.

[00:13:31] Um, so I do think it is really, really powerful that we start focusing in on these little things inside as that make us who we are.

[00:13:39] Zach: when I use my phone and I use my laptop, , , there's a program in there. That's looking at the battery going. Hey, your battery's getting unhealthy. Uh, you need to switch it or you need to do something else.

[00:13:50] , a other than these symptoms, is there any way that we can, any tests that we can do to actually tell us that we've got, , some dysfunction or, or cells that are not providing enough energy for us, and then, um, right off of that, how do we get more energy , from ourselves? How do we fix them?

[00:14:08] How do we repair them?

[00:14:10] VJ Hamilton: Yeah. So, I mean, one of the classic tasks that I use in my own private practice is the organic acids test. , that's a urine test and what it does is it's looking at, cause Ray, cause there's all these processes that happening at cellular level. And what we really want to see is how well these processes are working.

[00:14:29] And by doing an organic acids test is it's going to show you whether you have a blockage, any of those chemical processes. And by understanding that you can see whether your cellular health is working appropriately or not. , For example, in my name, personal health, I had a bit of vitamin B12 deficiency and I was having, you know, I was supplementing lots of vitamin B12.

[00:14:54] I was eating this movie top rich foods. I even had some injections, vitamin B12. So I did lots and lots of different things. but what I realized it actually used the health of myself. I couldn't, I couldn't use the vitamin B12 at the cellular level, and I actually had to work on improving the cellular membrane to help those processes start working.

[00:15:13] Um, a complimentary test to that. I actually did, , a genetic profiling. Um, which certainly doesn't give you any indication of your current health status, but it does give you an idea of potentially where there might be some weaknesses within the body that need to be, um, kind of focused on. , so that was really helpful.

[00:15:32] It was kind of complimentary to that organic acids test, which tells you where your current health status. , and whether there are any blockages in those systems, for example, the energy system in the cell, the citric acids, citric acid cycle. So when we produce this thing called ATP, which is which people may be aware of.

[00:15:51] It's all energy itself, itself fuel that we, we survive on. , so finding out how well that process is working is really, really important for the cellular health because , the cells need that energy to survive and thrive. , so yeah, that was a really great test. , in terms of the health of your cell, , there's lots of different things you can do. , one of the issues can be the environment that the cell is in. , so first of all, thinking about kind of blood sugar regulations of, is there a high blood sugar environment? Because that I always like to, , somebody wants to describe it as being caramelized. And if you think about something being caramelized and sticky, um, it just creates lots and lots of damage.

[00:16:30] , so making sure that our blood sugar. we want it to be, you know, nice and stable. We don't want any lots of spikes all the time. , so that would be something to kind of focus on. Also inflammation. . in an inflammatory environment, the cells can become damaged by the immune system.

[00:16:49] And that again can lead to, uh, kind of, uh, malfunctioning of the cells, which can lead to kind of problems, systemically and symptoms. And then we have the, the toxicity part where we're exposed to all these things in our feed and our environment, um, in. In the, in the B2B products for years, and yes, they're not harmful in and of themselves, but when we're using lots and lots of different products over lots of many years, , they slowly trickled into ourselves and the cell membrane isn't working and able to clear them out.

[00:17:22] And again, you get older. All the functions of the cell, what we call the organal. So like one of the main mitochondria become dysfunctional and can't work properly. So we need to focus in, on all of those elements and we can focus in on what we eat to help with those barriers issues that might be impacting this out.

[00:17:40] Jeremy: The test you mentioned, , is that something that your standard doctor can order or is that, do we have to see a specialist for that test?

[00:17:47] VJ Hamilton: I believe. Yeah. You, you normally see a specialist to do that task. Yeah.

[00:17:51] Jeremy: Okay. And then I guess, to just sort of piggyback on what you were talking about, testing aside and whether or not we have an auto-immune disease, odds are based on the way that most people in Western culture eat and our lifestyle we'd probably generally have low energy, some sort of health problem feel kind of crappy all the time.

[00:18:12] So how do we, I mean, it's, it's really hard for most people to go from, man. I feel horrible to, I'm going to eat better and I'm gonna hit the gym. I mean, that's, that's a huge step. So how do we, where do they start? I guess if, if, if they're thinking I want to work on the cells first, right? Or, or are they one in the same?

[00:18:31] Should, should they just get more exercise and clean up their diet and will that start to affect their selves? Do you know what I mean? I'm just trying to find the entry level for somebody who wants to start taking the.

[00:18:41] VJ Hamilton: Yeah, I think the entry level would be exactly that to understand where you've potentially got unhealthy habits in your life and start working on them. Because a lot of this isn't rocket science to get started. It is really the simple. Uh, you know, the straightforward habits that we can bring in. I mean, it's not always easy.

[00:19:01] And I would always say, take it a step at a time in our program and key selling nutrition. We do, we, we've got a lot of support there, encourage people to kind of jump in if they can. , and we kind of assess that to see if they need more of a celebrity. , but rarely, yeah, cleaning up good day, eating more of those colorful vegetables because they're full of the antioxidants that we need when we do have that damage around the cell and not going to, you know, they've got these things called polyphenols and there's lots of studies, which support that, our effect on the function of the cell.

[00:19:31] So just bringing in more vegetables, like how many colors can be found on a plate. , and if you can't count three colors, I say this to my client. I don't even think about anything else. Just, can you get three different college plants on your plate to start with? Um, obviously there's like a, a healthy fish or meat.

[00:19:49] , start with that. And then you're bringing in more antioxidants. , the exercise piece. It's really, really important as well. It's important for, , kind of how we have our, um, we may talk about this later, but how we're kind of expressing our genes exercise is really, really important that, and it's shown that it helps with neurogenesis, so helping to create new neurons and new cells in the brain.

[00:20:12] Um, so exercise is really important, but if you don't doing any exercise currently getting out and going for a walk every day is going to be. Uh, great progress. You know, we talk a lot about, uh, progress, not perfection on our program as well. And we've got to really start thinking like that rather than we have to do everything all at once.

[00:20:30] We have to be eating the most, you know, the most optimal diet for ourselves. Um, we need to take steps to get that, um, and actually a loss of the. , we would do anyway. I mean, the railroad, the things that you can add in, but a lot of the things that we see as healthy are going to benefit ourselves. So eating that five to 10 portions of vegetables, eating really good quality grass, fed meat, and making sure that we're getting RME gets raised from our fatty fish.

[00:20:58] Um, all of the things that we hear there are actually very beneficial for ourselves.

[00:21:02] Zach: you mentioned a couple of things. I heard you say, regulating blood sugar, so sugars, , I am all for that eating as many veggies as I can and meet Jeremy is a vegetarian. So he's, he's on the other side of that. I'm curious, you know, other than sugar, is there anything else that we should be avoiding to make sure that our cells are as healthy as possible?

[00:21:25] And, and again, just to, to go back to what I said about Jeremy being vegetarian, do you have to eat meat?

[00:21:33] VJ Hamilton: I have, but yeah, it's a difficult exercise vegetarian actually for 11 years. Um, but I, yeah, I did start eating meat again when I got sick. Um, so I'll touch on that as well. But, um, and I do ethics, but, you know, from an ethics perspective I do support it. Um, but that's why I always look for the really good quality meat from a good farm.

[00:21:52] Um, but yeah. So another thing that, um, It can be very inflammatory in the body is oxidized oils. And unfortunately I think that's where with the vegan diet as well. And it's probably what I went wrong with my vegetarian diet. When I was such time for 11 years, it was a while ago. It was in my twenties and there just wasn't as much that there were, there weren't as many options out there when all these recipes that we have now with all these lovely foods.

[00:22:22] So lots of the time we were getting those industrial seed oils put into old, the vegetarian products and those industrial seed oils are oxidized that Ron said they got into the body and they create inflammation, which is really harmful for ourselves. And actually, you know, the, the nerves are covered with the mom and she, um, which we need to, in order for our nerves to communicate ourselves, have a fat cell membrane, a brain is native fat.

[00:22:50] , So when we're getting oxidized fats and we're not getting those healthy fats in. And so you, you know, as well as getting inflammatory fats, you're also not getting the healthy fats. So, uh, you know, I always really, really encouraged getting those healthy fats in and what I would, I mean, sorry, that's not a great term.

[00:23:06] Is it healthy fats? But what I mean by that? It's fast. They can have a benefit in the body. You say, for example, and a good variety is important as well. So like extra Virgin olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil, MCT oil, Cod liver oil. And so that's really important to make sure you're bringing those healthy oils into the diet and making sure they're out of the sunlight.

[00:23:29] So they don't get oxidized either. I'm looking to have like your extra Virgin olive oil and avocado oil in dark bottles and not. While you're cooking. I do get warm. Um, so that's definitely something to watch, but I'm really, it's worth reading. If you cut, do you eat any kind of process feeds, just check the back and check to see what oils I cooked.

[00:23:49] And I do find a lot of people will go onto the, kind of the auto-immune paleo post-call and start finding like plum 10 chips and those types of things. And they don't look for the oils and they add normally cooked in some. Seed oil. Um, not always, um, you can find them on and to be honest, really you're best to just eat whole foods rather than going to a later Fontane chips.

[00:24:12] But, um, it's better than a lot of. Um, in terms of the vegetarian diet, I do really promote eating lots of plums and having lots of juice, lots of seats. , but when your health is not optimal and your guts is not optimal, I do find that getting the right amount of nutrients from just a vegetarian dark can be difficult.

[00:24:38] Uh, vitamin B12 is one of them on. As I mentioned earlier, that was something that I had, uh, you know, quite an issue with and a deficiency. After being vegetarian, but as though there was things going on with myself as well, and it could have been thought that I'd eaten a lot processed foods during that period.

[00:24:56] , so just making sure that you're aware of, , your proteins, making sure you you're aware of those Fitzsimmons. We do miss out on, and we're not eating meat. For example, vitamin D vitamin D is much best from sunlight anyway, but, um, uh, vitamin B12. Um, so just having that awareness and also if your gut health isn't optimal.

[00:25:19] Thinking about potentially bringing things in to help with digestion like digestive enzymes, , and doing lots of gut healing. , so yeah, that would probably what I've saved about vegetarian daba in terms of eating vegetables. I'm very pro you know, making sure that you're getting those five to 10 every day, uh, bringing in a juice, having saves and all that type of thing.

[00:25:41] Jeremy: You mentioned the gut health thing and an inflammation. These are things that we hear a lot about. I don't know that I've ever asked anyone this, but how do I know if I'm, if my gut health is out of balance and how do I know if I'm having inflammation issues? I mean, it seems, yeah. I don't know that it seems obvious.

[00:25:57] It's just become such a part of the conversation. I don't know if I've ever heard anyone say, this is what it's like, if you're suffering from inflammation issues or, or, or if your gut health is out of balance. What does that mean from a functional level?

[00:26:08] VJ Hamilton: , The first thing would be to look specifically at gut symptoms. And again, getting back to my own health journey, I didn't have any gut symptoms. So it just was, it was, it was quite, I just didn't even think that that was part of my issue. , but the first thing to look at is if you are having any digestive issues.

[00:26:27] So are you having any heartburn? Are you having any bloating after eating? Um, what are your bowel habits like? Do you have constipation? , those types of, you know, is there an urgency to go? There's lots of different questions that I would ask around that side of things, but often people don't have any digestive symptoms or they're not fully aware of it.

[00:26:46] , at that point. So we were looking at other things that might give us an indication of inflammation. So for example, is there anything going on with the skin? How do the joints feel and I'm guessing any kind of headaches? , so looking for other symptoms outside of the gut for inflammation, and often when people do have inflammatory symptoms, we've talked so much about the gut haven't we in the health world.

[00:27:10] Um, but all things, you know, a lot of things do start in the gap. I would say now it starts in the cells, um, but yeah, a lot of the time, if you are having those types of issues and it could be a sign of, um, Uh, digestive issue. And actually I haven't mentioned as well, like mood disorders and whether you're feeling anxiety is another symptom that I see with my clients and I suffered with as well.

[00:27:36] Um, when I was kind of going through all this. So, you know, the, the brain and the gut is very much linked, so it'd be looking for those other symptoms. And then of course there's testing. So you can do stool testing, , to really see what's going on. And that can give you an indication of the day. , gut bacteria that you've got, how well you're digesting foods, whether there's any inflammation that, um, whether you've got any parasites that gives you a lot of information as well, if you want to take it to that level.

[00:28:03] And I do, I have to say every client that I've had that has done a stool test, some things come up that we've been able to work on.

[00:28:09] Zach: I want to switch just a little bit. I know we're all different, right? I, you know what works for me won't work. It doesn't necessarily work for the next person. So, you know, how do our genes play into this? And, and can you talk a little bit about epigenetics , and how that works with everything that you've been talking to?

[00:28:28] VJ Hamilton: Yeah. So, um, I think years ago we were really sad. Some finding out, you know, the human genome, it was a big project, so we all did, and we thought we're going to have all the answers. , but as that kind of research has evolved, we realized. You know, your, your genes, aren't your destiny. , and you can actually change the expression of your genes.

[00:28:49] And that's what epigenetics is. It's by the lifestyle that you lead, the diet that you eat can actually change the expression of your genes. Um, and what did genes do? Cause you can hear that and not realize how that actually applies to you. , Th the important thing about genes is they create proteins in the body.

[00:29:09] , and what proteins do, lots of different things. And one of the main things they do is they, they convert into enzymes, which help with lots of different biological reactions. So really it's going back to what we're talking about at the beginning. , when we have these biological processes included in creating energy and we need enzymes that, and we need co-factors for that.

[00:29:27] Um, so. Yeah, there's obviously some unhelpful genes as well. , so we want to be switching those off and turning on the helpful ones. And they found through research that there's various things that we could eat and the way that we live our life, like exercise is one of them that can really help to promote, , beneficial gene expression.

[00:29:47] , for example, fasting and he takes, this is something that, , lots of people had. Yeah, bringing into their lifestyles and in some form or another, and they have shown that by doing fasting, , you can, you know, switch on really powerful genes to help with. W to help with clearing up about cells, , you know, proteins, , uh, kind of a big, massive structure.

[00:30:10] , there are tissue structures and the three-dimensional sometimes that doesn't work correctly and that can cause all sorts of neurological issues. So, , by doing things like fasting, it can actually promote the removal of those types of cells as well. And that clearing out of, , anything that's kind of building up in the brain and, , yeah, so it's just really.

[00:30:29] By the things that we eat, we can turn on those genes, which are going to help the health of ourselves. , and help us kind of, as I said, build that solid foundation, , so that we have less symptoms and hopefully feel as good as we can fail.

[00:30:43] Jeremy: This might be a little too deep in the science realm for most of our listeners, but is there a way to target specific genes through any of our actions or diets? , and if so, how would I even know how to do that?

[00:30:56] VJ Hamilton: Um, yeah, I mean the raw, certain nutrients that we know can be beneficial, for example, , Curtin is one of the polyphenols that they've shown that can help with, , a gene that can help with neurogenesis. So it can help with the production of, , extra neurons in the brain. , So in terms of how we would apply that to yourself and actually with exercise as well.

[00:31:20] And for sharing that doing different types of exercise can promote that gene expression. In terms of living your life and they did show that things like meditation as well. So I've been talking a lot about exercise and diet. We've got to think about other factors in our lives, and they have shown that by doing things like meditation can really help to switch on beneficial genes as well.

[00:31:39] , so a lot, I, for me, especially when I was younger, exercise was all about, , being fair to and feeling healthy. And now I've just realized what a huge impact it has on the body. It's not just about, , getting fit. It actually has all these benefits at the cellular level as well. Um, so it's definitely worth if you're not doing exercise to start incorporating in your life in some level and start building that.

[00:32:05] Jeremy: It's funny. You mentioned that. Cause just this just last week, actually I started a new workout routine and everyday I'm, I'm not, I'm going into it with the idea. I don't care what the scale says. I don't care how I look. It's literally just, I need to do this today. And just having that mindset has really helped me stay consistent and want to go, because it's not about the outcome, right?

[00:32:26] It's about the steps along the path. So it's interesting. You mentioned that.

[00:32:31] VJ Hamilton: Yeah. And it's funny actually, because I always pick a word for the year of my word this year is consistency, which Foley sounds right. Dells people, but that's all it's about just

[00:32:41] Jeremy: That's what it is.

[00:32:43] VJ Hamilton: do it and do it. Um, you were having such great Benny benefit to your body. Yes, it's lovely to have goals, but for me, I'm, you know, I could, I could write a 30 goals.

[00:32:52] I just want to be consistent and do it every day. And you see the benefits in the law.

[00:32:57] Jeremy: Exactly.

[00:32:58] Zach: awesome. If somebody is hearing this and they want, , some simple things that they could start doing today to, , be healthier or have more energy, what can they do? And if they want more help, and if they're looking for additional resources, , where can they find you and all the work that you're doing?

[00:33:16] VJ Hamilton: I would say. First of all, just sit down and write down anything that you think might not be serving you at the moment in your life. Um, it doesn't matter how long the list is. Just write it down and then write a list of the things that you do want to start bringing it into your life. , and I would compare the two lists and you don't have to do anything immediately.

[00:33:37] , but start focusing on bringing more of the things that you want to do into your life. So that would just be kind of at, at the start. Just to get the motivation, , to really focus in on what you want to start removing and what you want to start focusing on. And then. I really think it's beneficial. If you do want to start changing your diet to just spend an hour on a weekend, just making a plan.

[00:34:03] , as I said, you don't have to do anything drastic. If you want to, for your plumbing for the first week might be. I'm going to eat three different colors of vegetables every day, next week. , and then you can, you can build on that. I'm going to start bringing in Cod liver oil the week after. So really start building in on bringing those healthy nutrient dense foods into your diet.

[00:34:24] , and you can do it gradually. And then I would just say, if you are exercising already have said, try and be consistent with it. , if you are training and it is making you feel dreadful the next day, then that's too much bring it down if you want. Stressing your body in any way, maybe just up your routine a little bit, or try something new, like a 15 minute hit classes.

[00:34:48] And then, um, so incorporate something new from an exercise perspective. And then the last thing would be to do something that you enjoy in life. If you are spending your days working. Falling asleep on the safe, watching Netflix, you must have had something you love doing when you were a child or, or even recently.

[00:35:08] And if that's not in your life at the minute, start bringing it in. , I realized that I, I love music and I just really haven't been doing much around music. So I've actually just bought a piano and I'm going to stop the other lessons.

[00:35:19] Jeremy: Nice. That's great.

[00:35:21] VJ Hamilton: I just gave him my consistent 30 minutes a day. Just getting committed to that.

[00:35:25] Nothing else and just going to enjoy it. And I think those three factors in life are really, really important and not putting too much pressure on yourself and not feeling like you have to do it all in, in a day. , so progress, not perfection.

[00:35:39] Jeremy: I love that. And where do we learn more about you and your work?

[00:35:41] VJ Hamilton: Um, so you can find me. My website is the auto-immune T nutritious.com and I am thoughts of Duck's bill calls, , cellular health accelerator, and our company is called key cellular nutrition.

[00:35:55] Jeremy: Perfect. Thank you so much. Lots of really helpful and valuable information. I appreciate your time.

[00:35:59] VJ Hamilton: Great. Thank you, babe. It's been lovely to be on the podcast today, so thanks for.

[00:36:04] Jeremy : All right. Our thanks to nutritional therapist, VJ Hamilton, you can find out more about her and all the links that we just mentioned in the show notes. For this episode@thefitness.com.

[00:36:13] Zach : I loved that conversation. Cellular health is something I totally geek out on and just. Yeah, we'll read for pleasure, like about mitochondria and all the science bits , that goes into this. And it's, you know, th there's all the surface level things that you can do, like just moving more And eating the right foods.

[00:36:35] But like knowing that, , it's not just muscle and bone that you're dealing with, like you're dealing with all of these little parts of your body that all of them contribute to your overall health and wellness. And we talk about small steps all the time. These are small things in your body that if you take care of them and you treat them well, you'll have the energy to go do the exercise.

[00:36:57] You'll have the energy to avoid bingeing at night. Like I may or may not have done last night.

[00:37:04] Jeremy : And you don't have to be an expert in biology, right? Like, yes, there's a lot of like really detailed, scientific stuff we just talked about. But when you, when you step back from that, it really comes down to what are you putting in your pie hole and how much are you moving your body? And if you can do a healthy combination of those two things, And add supplements when needed and, and test when appropriate and all that stuff.

[00:37:29] That's how you can really optimize your health and not rely on the doctor once a year saying yeah, your blood work's normal and be sort of led to believe that you're going to be fine. 

[00:37:39] Zach : And this stuff is, is kind of hard. Like, I, I will be the first one to admit, like I personally geek out on this stuff, but I totally, totally, it even takes me a lot of time to like fully grasp and understand, , some of the things that we talked about in that interview. This stuff is not easy. This stuff is hard and not if you're not interested in it, go get a coach, go find somebody who knows a thing or two about this stuff. If you're interested in exploring like how to take care of your cellular health, but you're not super interested in learning about the details of it.

[00:38:15] There are people that will help you for sure. 

[00:38:18] Jeremy : And one of them is our guest VJ Hamilton. So again, the links to her and her work Are in the show notes for this episode@thefitness.com and don't let the conversation about cellular health and they're join us in our Facebook group where you can join us and fellow fitness listeners for monthly challenges, accountability to reach your goals and connection with our community.

[00:38:34] That link is also at our website, the fitness.com. 

VJ Hamilton Profile Photo

VJ Hamilton

Nutritionist and Super Health Coach at KCN

After 25 years of suffering several autoimmune conditions and many unanswered questions from her physicians, VJ was inspired to pursue an academic career in immunology and functional medicine. She now runs a nutritional therapy clinic and is a Super Health Coach at Key Cellular Nutrition, founded by Functional Health Expert, Dr. Bill Cole. VJ is a trained Trichologist (hair and scalp expert) and is a registered nutritionist, among many other certifications. Her biggest passion is helping people to find the root of their autoimmune conditions to live happy, symptom-free lives.