There are so many diets that exclude certain food types. For instance, gluten-free diets obviously remove gluten containing foods from the diet, and same with dairy-free diets and dairy containing foods.
But other diet types are restrictive as well. Vegans remove meat or animal sources from their diet, while carnivore dieters remove plants from their diets.
While many of these diets have good intentions behind them, they may not actually be great for the long term.
Talking with Dr. Kim Bretz, we will be chatting about what these blank-free diets do to your gut microbiome, and how gut healing programs should look.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [2:30] What was the reason Dr. Kim Bretz became a Naturopath
- [7:30] Things that we have learned from fecal matter transplants
- [8:30] Looking at the bugs and bacteria in the body has changed Dr. Kim's views on how to assess nutritional information
- [11:45] Does bacteria prefer certain nutrients to feast on, or a variety of nutrients
- [14:15] When eating processed food, is that supplying any good nutrients to the good bacteria
- [17:00] Are blank-free diets beneficial to health, and what can be the long term effects
- [23:00] When limiting your dietary type, what happens when circumstances change and those foods are hard to find
- [26:30] Practitioners need to have exit strategies for their clients and patients so they aren't left in an unsustainable lifestyle
- [27:30] What would a protocol look like for someone who is working on their gut
- [33:00] Which oats are better for the gut bugs
- [34:45] What happens when people feel really good on their changes and don't want to revert back to old foods
- [36:30] How can people start expanding their palate to consume a wider variety of foods
- [42:45] Trying new foods helps your taste buds to refine their ability to sense true foods
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Bryan Carroll: [00:00:15] At this point, we have all heard about the different diet types that. Exclude a certain type of food such as a gluten free diet or a dairy free diet. There are even meat-free or vegan diets and carb free or low carb diets.
Everywhere you turn, there's some sort of blank free diet that people are on. While oftentimes, people have good intentions when trying out these diets, it doesn't mean that they are the perfect option for health. For instance, I could be eating a vegan diet by only eating Oreos. But that doesn't mean it is healthy for me, but when it comes to these types of diets, there are other factors that we often forget could be impacted by limiting the variety of foods that you eat.
What's up everyone? I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be adventurous. And today, Dr. Kim Bretz's will be helping us to debunk some of the blank free diets and how to get more variety into your diet to improve your gut health. And if you like the content of this episode, then it would be very helpful if you left a quick rating and review for us in your favorite podcast app.
It just helps us spread the word about the show and allows others to find this information. Now let's get into my conversation with Dr. Kim. Bretz's. Dr. Kim. Bretz's is a naturopathic doctor, international speaker, and adjunct faculty at the university of Waterloo pharmacy, and she believes everyone should be able to eat without pain.
An advocates for eating a wide variety of foods. combines the best research available along with clinical experience and patient preference to achieve outstanding results with her patients. Thank you for coming onto the show. Dr. Kim.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:01:59] Thanks very much for having me. I'm super excited about it.
Bryan Carroll: [00:02:03] Yeah, and I'm really excited to chat with you because you would do a ton of work with digestive health, which has been, one of the topics we've talked a lot about on this podcast, but I love the approach that you bring with it.
So before we get into that, let's learn a little bit about your background. What got you into, this field of medicine and, what are some of your passions around it?
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:02:25] Yeah. So I always get the question of why I decided to become a naturopath and my story is not remotely interesting. I know there's so many people that get into this because they had this amazing experience with a health issue of themselves or a relative or something like that.
And literally I was walking through my university to go to lunch with a friend and they had a postgrad fair that was on, and she stopped to get information from one school and next to it was the naturopathic school, which I had never ever heard of before. So I was bored waiting for her, and I picked up the brochure and started reading it, and it was like I had one of those moments.
Where everything went dark and quiet and there was this voice that was like, this is your career. And it was so much because I'm not in any way against sort of the Western medicine. I love the lifesaving techniques that we have and medications that can be used. But I really want to work towards the side of optimal health.
and that idea that there's a huge difference between living a long life and dying along life. And I really want people to be working towards that amazing quality of life. So that's sort of how I ended up becoming a naturopath, which was, definitely a shock to my parents when that conversation came up.
but the digestive side actually didn't come up until I was probably. More than five years into practice. It was something that I've always been interested in because of course, naturopath, that's just one of our things that we do. but kind of oddly, I got and email around 2008 or 2009 from a pharmaceutical company inviting me to be on their advisory board.
which obviously is crazy because. Pharmaceutical companies are the devil, and how would we work with them and all of that sort of stuff. but I certainly was interested enough to find out what they were looking at. And when I went to talk to them, they had talked about the fact that they worked with strain specific probiotics, and they only worked with gastroenterologists at that point and they were looking at expanding because this is something that we do really well.
And when I looked at their stuff and what they were trying to do and the interprofessional approach that they were taking to it, I was really interested. And that was the time where everything in the microbiome, those bacteria and microorganisms that live inside of us and affect our health, that's.
Everything exploded. so I sort of hit that really early point on things. that got my interest, so peaked at that point. And then it just snowballed into, that's where I consult and that's where I lecture and that's where I treat patients and I get to work with DS and pharmacists and gastroenterologists and Helvic floor physiotherapists, and it's just, it's just such an amazing area.
Bryan Carroll: [00:05:26] Wow. So you've had a ton of different experience. So you went from you the one mindset as a natural path to seeing the pharmaceutical stuff, and now you're seeing how it, integrates with biomechanics and everything else as well.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:05:41] Yeah. It's just such a huge area, and I think that's the thing that fascinated me, and it's always, I mean, the gut side of it is what I do and seeing my IBS patients or patients with Crohn's and colitis or reflux or whatever it is.
I see so much of that, but it's also the side of it, of how interconnected it is. And really early on I saw this. Proof of concept study where they took the bacteria from people who had anxiety and a twin who didn't have anxiety and they put them into mice that didn't have any bacteria to see what would happen to them.
And we saw that we could induce anxiety in the mice that got the bacteria from people with anxiety. And that was absolutely the moment of this is what I need to be doing. it just, we can see the same thing, that we can take the bacteria from people with IBS and we can put them into mice and we can give them bloating with no other changes that are happening at all.
So it's just such a powerful area that we never looked at. And for me, it is this. Absolute paradigm shift in how we have to think about human health because we've never really looked at them for anything other than infection. But then the other side of it is it also changes everything that we understand about nutritional science as well.
And that has been that sort of next level game changer for me as well.
Bryan Carroll: [00:07:12] So when you're taking bacteria from person to person or person to animal, is that fecal transplants?
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:07:19] usually in those cases it would be that form of it. So most of the time we're seeing animal studies and a few human studies right now.
but yeah, it's a very exciting
Bryan Carroll: [00:07:29] area. Yup. And for people that don't know, you're blending poop,
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:07:36] I'm super lucky that in the town next to me, we have this amazing researcher and she has the repopulate lab, that this is what they do is they study everything. So I got to go there one day, when she was being interviewed . That lab smelled disgusting. It was rare, but it was one of the most exciting days of my life.
It was like me in a candy store, except I was not touching or tasting anything. But other than that, it was super exciting. Yeah,
Bryan Carroll: [00:08:10] that is super funny. So you were saying that, you know, when you start looking at the bugs in the body of the bacteria and you're getting all this information, how it. It kind of changed your mind around nutritional studies.
So can you dive into a little bit more what you meant by that?
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:08:26] Absolutely. So I remember when I was in school, and I learned this fact that 90 to 95% of our food is digested and absorbed in the small intestine. And for me, the question always was. Well, what can I do to get that extra five to 10% into my body?
So do we need to juice things? Do we need to take more enzymes? Like how do I maximize all those nutrients for my human cells? And then we started to realize that the five to 10% that's not actually absorbed, that becomes the food for the bacteria. And when we talk about good and bad bacteria, we simply mean good bacteria.
When they eat the stuff that they eat, they will bio transform it or metabolize it, or fermented or whatever word we're going to use into gases and chemicals that are going to do good things for our human health. and then if we have the bad bacteria, it means that when they eat the stuff they eat, they're going to turn it into gases and chemicals that are negative.
So things like that. Increased pain or inflammation, or they could make us more anxious or cause us bloating or increase our blood sugar metabolism issues or whatever they do. So when we all of a sudden realize that there are all these bacteria and we work together with them, so we provide them with a house and food, and then they do stuff that changes how we function as humans.
When we realized we had only been looking at nutrition through the lens of our own human cells, and then we've got this 40 trillion or a hundred trillion or whatever the number is, cells that are actually. Hugely affecting how we function as humans. We realized we were missing part of things. and I think that it's, it's really one of the biggest areas in research that we're seeing right now is what do bacteria eat?
how does that affect how we function as humans? If we have a mix up in our bacteria, what does that do to human health and IBS or irritable bowel syndrome? That's one of the clearest cut indications that we can see that, if we change the food, we can change the symptoms, but we're doing it through the bacteria.
so the food isn't itself the problem necessarily. And I should preface every time that I am saying food. I don't mean McDonald's and Doritos, but when we change real whole food and people with IBS are feeling better, the food isn't the issue. It's the imbalance in the bacteria and the fact that they have more of these bad bacteria that could cause.
More diarrhea or constipation or more pain, or more bloating and socially inappropriate gas or whatever it is that's happening. it's about the, the bacteria being out of balance.
Bryan Carroll: [00:11:24] So it, yeah, you were saying that five to 10% of. The food that you ingest becomes food for the bacteria. Do bacteria have like a specific type of nutrient that they like to feed on, or are they feeding on a wide variety of nutrients similar to how humans get nutrients.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:11:44] Yeah. So if we look at the vast majority of diets through human history, most of what is not actually broken down and absorbed by humans is, carbohydrates. So it would be things that would be found in Oh, and bananas and beans and legumes and cauliflower and mushrooms and onions and apples and all of these things.
And yeah, so that would end up being the food. Now we see that if we have someone who has a really heavy protein, fat diet, and they really don't have those nondigestible carbohydrates in them, the bacteria will start to eat those foods. Or they may actually start to eat our mucus layer in the gut. so that can become a problem as well.
And we tend to see then a shift more towards, more inflammation and pain and things along those lines over the long term, not necessarily in the short term, because in the short term, it's almost like you're starving them and people can feel better when that happens for a period of time, but in the long run, it can be a problem.
Now, interestingly, it doesn't mean that people can't do periods of time, that they are higher protein or Quito, or we're doing these other styles of eating, but it often means that we have to incorporate a tremendous amount of fiber in there at the same time, because we're not absorbing the fiber carbohydrates.
They're not affecting our human bodies, but those are still the food for the bacteria. And if we can keep it. That balance. If we can make sure we got enough food for the bacteria, then we tend to still be okay at that point. So generally for me, the more protein and fat, the more food you require for the bacteria.
And that's why vegetables are one of my go to foods for people.
Bryan Carroll: [00:13:41] Right. And you had mentioned a good bacteria, bad bacteria. And then you also mentioned food that could be not classified technically as food, like McDonald's or processed foods, but since a lot of people do eat a lot of processed foods, which are typically pretty high in carbohydrates.
Yep. Would that feed both the good and bad bacteria or just. Say the bad bacteria.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:14:07] So most of the processed food has taken away the stuff that feeds the good bacteria. So then we're left with stuff that we don't necessarily completely absorb as humans, but we see it can negatively affect the bacteria. so we know that certain things like emulsifiers, that we might find in.
Ice creams and mayonnaise and things like that. Those have been shown to be pro-inflammatory and they can be a really huge problem for people with Crohn's and colitis or more heavy inflammatory processes, or we've seen that the artificial sugars, they. The whole point of them is we don't absorb them as humans, but we never took into account that then they stay in the gut and it turns out that the bacteria can ferment them.
And that's one of the ways that we're starting to see that they can affect blood sugar in negative ways, is actually through the bacteria. so some of the things that. We just thought, well, not we as in people who work in sort of these natural health areas. We didn't think that these chemicals were innocuous necessarily, but I think the way that it was proved that they were okay with tissue studies all of a sudden now, those don't really count.
Because they didn't look at whether the bacteria could use them or not. So we're seeing a lot of the stuff in processed foods is not only not feeding the good bacteria, it's then giving us negative effects, through the bacteria with the chemicals and all the process stuff that the bacteria are eating themselves and fermenting, or they're being harmed by those chemicals as well.
And that can. Kill off a bunch of our good bacteria and throw that balance out of whack even more.
Bryan Carroll: [00:15:56] Interesting. So over probably the last five, maybe a little bit longer years, we're seeing a lot more options in stores for, different dietary types. So like now there's whole sections for gluten free foods.
Yeah. I mean, you're seeing a lot of a dairy free org. I like cow dairy alternatives as well. and. Like you said, there's also you have the keto diet, you have carnivores, there's so many different diets now. and the stores are changing the type of foods that they have available to match these different diet types.
So what are your thoughts on having a, like a blank free diet? Is that beneficial to health? And if it's not, what are some of the pros and cons that could be happening to the body if you're staying on one of those types of diets long term.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:16:47] Yeah, so I certainly think that. Health is about being able to eat the widest variety of foods and feeling great.
So if people are taking out gluten or dairy because they don't feel like having gluten and dairy in their diet, because gluten is generally bucket loads of wheat, and that's a ton of it. Bread and cakes and cookies, and they've just decided that's something that I really don't want to have in my diet, or I'm vegan.
I'm not comfortable with dairy products there. I don't see that there's actually a requirement for gluten or for dairy. And there are definitely people who have celiac disease and there's nothing that I can suggest in the sense of how to get gluten back in your diet. That's, I think there's a lot of researchers who are working on that, but I don't have any suggestions at this point for that.
But that being said, what I see is the vast majority of people who are going on these. Free diets. and it, I mean, it, it used to be that I'd see gluten free, dairy free. and that's a ton of my patients who come in and their story is, I have all these gut issues and I'm tired and I don't sleep well, and I have anxiety.
And someone told me that maybe. Dairy was the problem. So I took out dairy and it helped with some of the bloating for a while and then, but then I was still having the gut issues and my anxiety was worse. And so I took out gluten and then I took out eggs, and then I found that onions bother me and cauliflower bother me and they just keep taking things away and the hope of feeling better, that's not health to me.
that's, there's something underlying that's happening that we need to work on. And often I'm seeing that the gut microorganisms are playing a huge part in that. but we see that the more we're taking away food, I see two big things happening. One is that we're often. I'm not feeding the good bacteria because we feel better by taking away the food for the bacteria a lot of the time because we've got this imbalance between the good and the bad.
So if we have more bad than we should, and we take the food away and we starve them. We can feel better. but then we're not fixing the good bacteria balance. so we haven't solved the problem necessarily, and we actually, longterm can be sort of exacerbating that imbalance that's going on. And that's often what I see is people just keep taking away another and another and another food.
And then the other side of it is a lot of the time. We still want to eat the way that we're comfortable with. So we buy the gluten free cookies and we buy the dairy free ice cream. And to make gluten free cookies tastes not like cardboard. They usually have to put a lot of extra stuff into it to make it taste okay.
because it turns out. Gluten is yummy. it's something that makes stuff taste good. So when you take that away, you can't, right. Flour is disgusting. so it doesn't turn into light, fluffy, yummy things. And to do that, we have to have a lot of these extra chemicals. And. Accompany company is no that they have to do that they're not looking at just because it's gluten free, it means it's absolutely healthy.
Those two things are not equated necessarily, but I think when things are labeled that way, that is absolutely the way that people take it, that gluten-free is equal to healthy or doing Quito, even if it means that I'm eating right, 20 fat bombs a day. Is healthy. And that's not true because all of a sudden, not only are we not feeding the bacteria, which I desperately love, and I think that we should all care about them a whole lot more, but we're also not doing great things for our own human cells either.
When we get that narrow. and I think especially because we are taping this during coven, and all of the things that are falling out there, it makes me think about food a lot more. I am thinking about food constantly right now. because there's not a lot of other stuff to think about while I'm sitting in my house a lot of the time.
So food is something that has become a minor obsession with me more than my regular obsession that I have around food because of my job and the fact that food is yummy. but. It's getting harder. And I think about could this be the actual, way to health is to have less and less food available to you.
because this is getting really hard for people who are trying to follow these free diets when we can't access food quite as easily. that's not a great way of living, and I think that it's a luxury to be able to eat the way that we eat in North America. to be vegan or follow a carnivore diet or be gluten free or dairy free, many people around the world would never have that option available to them.
so we want to be cautious about sort of these ideas that we
Bryan Carroll: [00:21:57] have. You know, when things first started shutting down, that was one of the exact things I was thinking about is how many people that are on a specific dietary type are going to be able to maintain that dietary type through this time.
Because who knows how long we're going to have good agriculture and, food coming in and you know, the stuff that you normally would have available. Who knows how long that's going to be available.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:22:22] For sure. And I think it's something that this makes it more stressful and that's a huge part of health.
I've all of a sudden had this spike in my gut patients, wanting to book in because they're not doing well because stress makes gut symptoms worse. We generally know that. so all of a sudden when we're looking at these free diets through the lens of stress. It's not fun to be the person who at every restaurant is having to have a 20 minute conversation with the waiter and the chef and trying to figure out what's okay.
It's not lovely to give a list to your mother-in-law to say, well, this is what I can eat right now, and then when she does it wrong, trying to figure out, am I going to eat this and feel like shit or am I going to. Refuse to eat this and have them looking at me and saying, Oh yeah, it's just her doing her food thing again, like it's just, it's so socially difficult.
It's hard to travel. Like there's nothing that is easy about this. So if it's something that the problem isn't the food, then we got to get back to what are the other things? And, and I think that's missed a lot of the time, which is disappointing.
Bryan Carroll: [00:23:40] Yeah. And I liked how you talked earlier about the marketing aspect because you think, Oh, gluten free.
Now it's healthy. Right. And just because it's a gluten free cookie with a million other ingredients does not mean it's necessary, necessarily healthy. But, The whole stress thing, like you said, stressing about, those type of foods and what can I eat, what can't I eat? And then constantly taking out.
That's going to have more of an impact on your gut and then anything else?
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:24:07] Oh, I think it's such a huge thing. And I literally have people who cry in my office because they're so frustrated and they come in terrified because. They, they want to know what food is the problem, but they're so worried that I'm going to take away more food.
because it's often so limited already, and it becomes. It just becomes so mentally and emotionally draining for people. That is really awful. And they're often surprised that when I do dietary programs, because I do work with eliminations because all my programs, we're trying to figure out what's happening with food and symptoms, but we often do it for two weeks.
so we're looking at a really short period of time and we're really quickly planning on. What do we need to do to sort of work on things to get them better, to get the balance on the gut better? What foods are going to be really helpful for you for doing that? What healing needs to be done? What, what are the good bacteria like?
How are we going to do that? And then we're really quickly thinking about, okay, what foods can we start bringing back right now? Because it's usually not something that this is going to be a long standing. dietary thing, unlike the celiac or someone who has a, a nut Anna Filactic reaction again, that those are different scenarios.
But yeah, the gut stuff or the energy and all of that, it's very, very different.
Bryan Carroll: [00:25:42] Yeah. Which I think is super helpful for the stress aspect of giving a timeline.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:25:46] Oh, do you know what? I think that's one of the best things, and I speak, I do a lot of continuing education and that for other healthcare providers, and one of the, the biggest things that I talk about is you need to have an exit strategy for people, unless you really think that their life.
Is going to be better, both symptom-wise and quality of life better, and they're going to be able to do this for ever and ever and ever. Then you've got to be coming up with another plan because if you are not, you are leaving people in a lifestyle that either sucks or is non-sustainable, and neither of those is is good.
Bryan Carroll: [00:26:27] Perfect. Well. So if we're trying to avoid, blink free diets for an extended period of time, but there is benefits to using it for a short period of time to kind of reregulate someone's system. Can you walk us through what. What a protocol might look like, or something similar when you're working on someone's gut.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:26:48] Yeah. So IBS, we, I think Canada, we've got the dubious honor of having the highest rate of irritable bowel syndrome in the world. so that is, well I think we eat a lot of shitty food. Jesus was going to put that out there as a thing, Kraft dinner, whatever it is. I also think we have, as much as we have issues with our health system, we do have a good health system that people get diagnosed fairly well.
so I think we have that side of things is as well. but yeah, we have the dubious honor of having, if not the highest. Close to the highest rate of irritable bowel syndrome. So I would have someone coming in and I would go through all the fun things about bacteria and what they eat and how they do this.
And, the fact that I am going to ask them to do a dietary program. That takes away the food for the bacteria, because we do know what bacteria eat. And it's really weird because I'm asking them to take away amazing foods like onions and garlic and mushrooms and cauliflower and apples and stuff like that for two weeks.
so in two weeks, if we are not seeing them feeling better, we're going to head down another pathway immediately. But generally about 75% of people. We'll probably start to feel better in that time period. and then we're going to move into. usually working with some specific probiotics that have been shown to be helpful, for helping with this.
So one that I love is L plantarum, two 99 V. We've got some good studies behind it. Multiple companies actually sell that. So it's, a nice, easy one for people to work with. So we're going to start working on the good side of things. We're usually going to start adding in some foods that are really beneficial and.
I have to say oats is one of my favorite foods now. it's actually one that when I, I have the program that I work with my patients with Crohn's and colitis, and the only grain that they get to have is oats. And one of the reasons is, is that, It feeds the good bacteria in ways that it increases a chemical called butyrate.
And butyrate is really anti inflammatory and it helps with immunomodulation. So our immune system is not just fighting against everything in appropriately, and it seems to have gut soothing properties to it. so it's a really nice one. So we then start to bring in foods that are going to be helpful for the gut.
And then usually by week four to six, we start a really specific reintroduction program. So we're trying to figure out what foods can you handle right now? What foods can't you handle? we approach enzymes from a different perspective. So, we're looking at. I'm trying to, to help people get foods back in more quickly.
So if you're going to a wedding, I'm sure, I guessing you guys have this as well, but like the product Beano yeah. So Beano that's actually not an enzyme that we make really as humans right? But it helps break down those nondigestible carbohydrates so people can kind of use it as a bandaid, to help in those meals that might have a lot of healthy vegetables or beans or stuff like that.
Now, it's generally not be know that I'm using because there's a lot more enzymes that do similar sort of things, but breaking down different components. But because we're really trying to get food back for people, and I want it that if you're. Well, if you were, if we were in the normal world and you were, say, going on holidays and you wanted to be able to just, I have the food at the hotel that you're staying at, those enzymes could be helpful in that type of a scenario.
And then I'm generally working people towards, more of a Mediterranean style or. the program that I work with for my, inflammatory bowel patients, some of those components, where we have more of these fermented foods, more of the prebiotic foods that feed the good bacteria. We try to incorporate those really amazing, things that are good for our own human cells and the bacteria.
And then if you're not perfect, every single second, people are generally fine. But they've got those principles around what should my healthy diet look like? and, and we see that for the vast majority of people, they can bring back a lot of those really super healthy foods, and still feel really great.
And again, I don't care if they eat wheat. I don't care if you never drink a glass of milk again, I that doesn't matter to me, but I would like it that if you went to a wedding and decided to have a bowl of pasta, that you weren't doubled over in pain because you did that. That's the bigger thing. I think.
Bryan Carroll: [00:31:48] Yep. That makes a lot of sense. And when it comes to oats, are you looking for better quality of oats or do you not care?
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:31:55] So yeah, I do. I love, I think steel cut oats or if you're able to get O'Groats that would be even better. Although those are often a little bit more difficult to access. But steel cut oats are fantastic.
I actually love the ones that I get from Costco. I think they're like the bobs. Red mill or whatever that thing is, and they're kind of par cooked, so you can make them in seven minutes on the stove. It's kind of like uncle Ben's incident, right? Brace, but it's for oats. but they're organic and they're lovely and you're getting all of the super benefit from it.
And what I strongly recommend is that people rethink oats. So it doesn't have to be a breakfast food. I actually thought I hated oats, because if you eat just oats, they're disgusting. so the only way that I liked oats is if you basically added an equal amount of sugar and apples to the oats, which of course, the sugar part of it is ruining the entire eating, the oats part of it.
and then I realized that. Otis, a bland grain, the same way that keenwah is a bland grain and racism, bland grain. So you can use it in the same ways that you would use rice and keenwah, but you'll actually get these added gut benefits that you're not going to get from the rice and the Kean wall. So we have it all the time for grain bowls, or if we're having a stir fry, you can do so many things with it.
I love oats. They are one of the most amazing things.
Bryan Carroll: [00:33:25] And then let's say I'm a three to four weeks on to your program. You know, I've had IBS for 10 years, and so I'm feeling the best I've felt in decades. Now you're telling me, okay, now let's start adding foods back in. I don't want to,
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:33:41] I know. So, yes, and I am so upfront about this, right in our first appointment, and.
It's so weird because at first I'm telling people about the utterly crazy dietary program that we're going to do. and then I'm saying that I think there's a very good chance that you're going to feel a lot better, like life-changing, better in two weeks, and then I'm going to have to convince you.
That you need to do this re-introduction. so we have a very long conversation first about why, but secondly, about how we do that in a really controlled manner so that we know what is happening and it's something we do these increases in our test foods over the course of a week. So if we start with a really small amount of something, a teaspoon of something.
And we find that you're getting symptoms with that. We're not going to go to the increases anymore to see exactly how bad I can make you feel. so we do it in a way, but I, I find that it is actually easier for me to get buy in to do the crazy elimination process. Then it is to do the reintroduction.
Although I do get people to do the reintroduction. But it was a much longer conversation when people are feeling a night and day difference on their health. Absolutely. Hmm.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:05] Yeah. Yep. Totally. It makes
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:35:07] sense.
Bryan Carroll: [00:35:08] So as we start wrapping up here, can you provide us with, you know, just some final thoughts that you have on.
Variety of food and your diet and, different ways that people can start, especially now with Kobe going on, trying to figure out how to expand their palette to be able to start consuming a wider variety of foods.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:35:28] For sure. So. It's very funny that I remember the first day I went to school as at the naturopathic school.
and I saw what some people were eating, and I don't know why I never thought about this, but I grew up on eating variations of bread and cheese and chocolate. Yeah. And being very honest, it's not even that I like chocolate because if you give me dark chocolate, I don't enjoy it. It turns out I like sugar.
so I'm at this school and people, I come from a world where I'm German, Austrian, so like it was just. Bland food and all of a sudden there's Indian food and Thai food and all these vegetables. And I didn't really like vegetables and like I would eat a green salad if my mom made me, but if there was a tomato piece on there and it got tomato juice, like those little seeds and the pulpy bit onto my lettuce, I couldn't eat it anymore.
I get just, it was completely ruined. So I didn't eat that. I, I didn't eat so many foods. It was unbelievable. And then obviously I decided that this is my career and I started learning more things. And part of the thing that I had to do was actually learn to eat vegetables because if I, I always get the question of, what are you like?
Are you okay? Vegan or paleo or carnivore or KIDO, like what are you? and it turns out I'm nothing. I am absolutely nothing. but if I have any one philosophy, it is to eat the widest variety of vegetables possible. That is the thing that I try to do. so for me, I literally started out because pasta was my go to food.
And pasta with cheese in. It was my go to food. So I started grading little tiny bits of vegetables into there. so that I wouldn't really have to chew a bite of vegetable, but there would be a little bit of vegetables in there. I was like, okay, I can do that. And then I started finally dicing them.
So they were a little bit bigger than the. The little graded vegetables and it sort of went from there. And there's things that we can do. So if we're someone who likes smoothies, we can start putting. Three leaves of spinach in there. or I love fritters. so, a lot of people will like, like potato pancakes.
But what about if you put some zucchini in there or you put in some Cole Robbie in there or we just put in little bit, so maybe you start out with it being. 75% potato and 25% other stuff, and then you start to shift in the direction of the other vegetables. so those are things that, for me, when I am looking at my plate, I plan the vegetables first and everything else has an accent around it.
we have, my husband and I have insane conversations where he'll say things like, Oh, okay, we're going to have chicken for dinner. And I'm like, okay, but. Is there going to be like a vegetable? Have you, have you thought about the vegetable? And he'll make this face like, Oh, we have to have vegetable. I'm like, yes, you're with a naturopath.
You need to eat vegetables. That is the requirement. so I think if we can focus on. What we can do with that. It all of a sudden makes it easier because right now there are very few foods that I don't like. which I despise bananas and I don't see myself getting over that, but I like almost all the foods now.
So all of a sudden when there's limitations in the grocery store, in some of the normal stuff isn't quite as available. It doesn't matter for me, cause it turns out I didn't love the beats that I grew up with as a kid, but I love them now in a lovely roasted salad with orange slices and toasted almonds and things along those lines.
All of a sudden, it's completely lovely. so I think it's, it's often a slow transition for people, but it doesn't, it doesn't mean that because we haven't liked something for a long period of our lives. It doesn't mean we can't adapt. I actually just learned to like all of like three or four years ago as glorious I love all is now also cilantro.
I really hated cilantro and now I love cilantro. So even those things where people are like, no, you can't do that. It turns out you can. It just takes some time with it. And I often encourage people to think about, you know, when they talk about a kid may have to try something 10 times before they'll like it.
That was me with kimchi. because again, all the fermented amazing, great stuff about it. There's this little Korean restaurant around the corner from my office, and they'd always put that little bit of kimchi on my plate and everyday I would ignore it. And then I just decided, well, if they're just giving me this for free, I will take a bite.
One bite of it every time I come in here, which is quite frequently. and if I don't like it after 10 tries, then I don't have to try it any longer. And it took me six tries. And then all of a sudden I was like, Oh, kind of like this and that. All of a sudden I started craving it so we can change. We just have to be gentle with ourselves about it and we have to maybe not do it in the style that we did at when we were kids.
Because often those things weren't that good, and that's okay. There's, there's, we have so many different options with food and seasoning and amazingness that foods and adventure. So I absolutely love that my, my horizons have expanded in that way.
Bryan Carroll: [00:41:16] And when you start playing with food too, you expand your pallet and you start actually like tasting all those different flavors
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:41:23] for sure.
It really is, and I look, I'm so excited when I opened my vegetable crisper, which I have to use two crispers for the vegetables because there's so many of them, but I'm like, how many vegetables and colors? That's the other thing you always want to look at. How many colors can you get on your plate?
Because they're also important for the bacteria and our own human cells. So yeah, and then it's beautiful. Then your plate just looks. Gorgeous, and we want that so much.
Bryan Carroll: [00:41:53] Yeah. So growing up for me, I was always pretty picky eater and then I discovered smoothies and I figured out smoothies is a great way to start getting like, you know, you can add spinach and a little bit of stuff.
Then I started going, well, let's just add the whole kitchen sink in there and I'll tell you what, I've made some absolutely disgusting smoothies, but it has helped. Like define my palette now. Yeah. I can have a lot more variety of food because I know that, you know, my smoothies used to taste like dirt, so this is much better than that.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:42:24] And that's where I usually, I advise people to use caution with that because there's a couple that I've made where I'm like, Oh, that tastes like dirt and I cannot drink that. and trying to get your smoothie down the drain is. Awful. So, so it's little things. I'm like, okay, how much beet in here is tolerable?
And it turns out for me, it's not that much. but I can chop it up in the little bits and put it in the freezer and then just add those little pieces in there. And then it's okay. And then we're still getting all that variety and really easy ways. But yeah, smoothies are great for that. And of course, for kids, for hiding stuff in there, it's such a great way to get in little bits of things.
yeah, it's, smoothies are wonderful for that.
Bryan Carroll: [00:43:11] Yep. Well, yeah, I love all this stuff that we talked about with this, especially since we always hear about the different dietary types and people get super confused with what dietary type is best for me. And now I'm gluten free, dairy free. Okay. Potato free, whatever, you know.
So, thank you so much for coming on and sharing that. People can find you at Dr. Kim. Bretz's dot com where else can people find you?
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:43:37] So I'm also on Instagram the same, Dr. Kim, Bretz's and D and my Facebook is fundamentals of health.
Bryan Carroll: [00:43:44] Perfect. And you do telemedicine as well, is that correct?
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:43:47] I do, yes.
Yeah. Yeah. And obviously that has become more important in the world of covert where none of us are in our offices. Yep.
Bryan Carroll: [00:43:57] Yeah. Telemedicine is now the, well, it was a future and now it's a present.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:44:02] Right? Yeah. I am very grateful that I already had some telemedicine setup because it's, we literally were in my office on a Monday afternoon, about a month ago, and then it was like, and we can't be here tomorrow.
We are walking away. So yeah, it's been a really big transition that's happened.
Bryan Carroll: [00:44:22] Yup. Well, thank you again, Dr. Kim. I appreciate having your expertise on here.
Dr. Kim Bretz: [00:44:26] Thanks very much for having me. You have a great day.
Bryan Carroll: [00:44:29] Pretty interesting stuff, right? I mean, nowadays we have so much more access to foods that are specific to different dietary types.
And I remember when gluten-free was becoming a thing, and the only food you could make was real whole foods that were gluten-free. Now, pretty much every product in the market has a gluten free option, which isn't necessarily better. It is replacing one item with something equally not as healthy and it is limiting our variety of foods in our diet and speaking of diet on June 1st I will be opening enrollment into our nutrition coaching programs to help people change their habits that lead to their food choices.
Well, increasing food variety is the end goal. If the habits aren't worked on first, then it is too easy to fall back to the old way of eating. That is what we address in our coaching and help you to get on a plan that you can make lasting changes with. Go to summit for wellness.com/nutrition to join the wait list.
Next week I will be doing an episode on the immune system and I'll try to break it down into easy to understand chunks so that you can learn how our immune systems are designed to work. There is so much info getting shared right now about viral loads and what it does to people, but not many are actually talking about what the immune system can do on its own.
So until then, keep climbing to the peak of your health.