Healthy Cells, Healthy You with Janet Walker

Want to Live to Be a Healthy 100? Dr. Felicia Stoler tells us how!

March 15, 2022 Janet Walker, Felicia Stoler, MD Season 1 Episode 5
Healthy Cells, Healthy You with Janet Walker
Want to Live to Be a Healthy 100? Dr. Felicia Stoler tells us how!
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode, learn about longevity!   Janet talks with Dr. Felicia Stoler.  Dr. Stoler is one of the most sought-after nutrition and fitness experts for TV, radio, newspapers, online and magazines in the US.  She’ll tell us all about Blue Zones, the Pilliars of Lifestyle Medicine and intermittent fasting. Wouldn’t we all love to live to be a healthy 100?

Dr. Felicia Stoler earned her Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University and her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions. She is a Registered dietitian, nutritionist, exercise physiologist, and expert consultant in wellness and healthful living.  She is Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine with her own private practice in New Jersey and is a college professor and public speaker.  Dr. Stoler was the host of TLC’s ground-breaking program “Honey We're Killing The Kids!” and is the author of “Living Skinny in Fat Genes: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great.”

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Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, FAND Diplomate ABLM/ACLM (feliciastoler.com)

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LifePharm products are scientifically shown to target cellular health in your body with whole foods.

Together, we'll build Healthy Cells, and a Healthy You!

Janet Walker  00:03

Welcome to healthy cells healthy you. I'm your host, Janet Walker. I've been working in the healthcare community for 30 years. And for 16 of those years, I've been a writer and producer for the award winning national PBS Health Information Programs, American Health Journal, and innovations in medicine. We've interviewed 1000s of doctors, scientists and researchers on every topic related to health, medicine and medical technology. You can watch current episodes of innovations in medicine on your local PBS channel, or you can stream our programs on the American Health Journal channel, the better health channel and TV healthy kids. This podcast is sponsored by the good folks at life farm Incorporated, a company whose innovative cellular repair products are backed by extensive science, research and clinical studies.

 Janet Walker  00:56

Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan Nicoya, Costa Rica II, Korea, Greece and Loma Linda, California. What do these five seemingly different places have in common? They're all blue zones, places where people live exceptionally long lives. They have higher concentrations of people that live to be 100 than anywhere else in the world. What's their secret? In today's episode, I'll be talking to Dr. Felicia Stoler. Dr. Stoller is one of the most sought after nutrition and fitness experts for TV, radio, newspapers, online and magazines in the US. She'll tell us all about Blue Zones and explain the pillars of lifestyle medicine. Wouldn't we all love to reach a healthy 100? Now to introduce our special guest, Dr. Felicia Stoler earned her Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology and nutrition from Columbia University and her doctorate in clinical nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions. She is a registered dietician, nutritionist, exercise physiologist and expert consultant in wellness and healthy living. She is board certified in lifestyle medicine with her own private practice in New Jersey, and is a college professor and public speaker. Dr. Stoller was the host of TV's groundbreaking program, honey, were killing the kids, and is the author of living skinny and fat jeans, the healthy way to lose weight and feel great. Thank you for joining us, Dr. Stoller.

 02:30

Felicia Stoler, MD
Thank you for having me.

 Janet Walker  02:32

So we've got some really current topics to discuss, that are so important to healthy living and cellular repair. Okay, we ready?

 

Felicia Stoler, MD  02:39

I'm all ready.

 Janet Walker  02:41

Let's go. First, let's talk about the pillars of lifestyle medicine for good health and well being the first one being food. Can you tell us a little bit about the pillars?

 Felicia Stoler, MD  02:51

Sure. Well, I'm excited that lifestyle medicine is a relatively, I don't want to say a new science, it's really a group of people finally got together and realize they should blend everything together and not just look at medicine in separate you know, lanes to really look at how everything comes together as like a big highway. So if you think about, you know, we could talk about pillars, you know, being like the structure, the foundation that like hold up a building, which is our body, you know, the pillars of lifestyle, medicine, or food, physical activity, mental health, emotional health, and well being stress, sleep and a feeling of importance or feeling they call it conviviality, like having a purpose, feeling like a part of the community. And those also sort of came together by way of the Blue Zones, which was done as a project, you know, people even call it the Blue Zones, you could talk it, talk about it or state it as longevity regions of the world. But it really started off as Dan Buettner doing a story for National Geographic where he went around the world on assignment to see where people live to be 100 or more. And they obviously National Geographic had beautiful photographs. But beyond that, it was what do these people have in common that they live so long? And that's where, you know, lifestyle medicine sort of came to play because they looked at all of all of these things and what they had in common and so you know, the nutrition part. I know you want to talk about that as people eat predominantly plant based, that's the foundation of their diet. And I just got back from being at a natural products, food show food and food and products show and it's funny how people now take plant based and they assume that that means vegan, and I'm like, I keep saying people No, no, no, no, don't say that. Like we've been working so hard to get people to understand what plant based means. Don't start confusing it and don't change the definition of it. I liked it. We all liked it the way it was and there were a number of dieticians. There we all were laughing about that. So eating food close to the way it's found in nature is important and again, eating plants So, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, right? So that's what we mean by plant based.

 Janet Walker  05:08

So you said that plant based was not necessarily vegan? Yes. How would you describe plant based then?

 Felicia Stoler, MD  05:16

Well plant based is if you want to really know that the real truth is that plant based is really a bit of an extension of the flexitarian diet, which my friend Don Jackson Blattner wrote the book on that I don't know how many years ago, but it has been consistently in US News and World Report's like either top five or top 10 have best diets, because it really talks about eating plant based, I mean, she really started talking about it. Meaning that you can eat small amounts of animal sourced protein, and eat larger amounts of plants. So it's, it's not being so rigid in your beliefs or your mindset about food or in your practices, but about being open to you can be healthy and still eat beef, you can be healthy and eat chicken, you can I mean, the truth is, like, even for the planet, I mean, when you think about plant based and, and mind you, you know, I'm trained as a journalist, just like you are, you know, people that are on the on the plant protein side, they only want to show you the data on plant protein and why they think it's good. And then you know, the people on the animal protein side, they want to show you their data too. So, you know, we have to be able to, you know, not only look at our bias, but really look at all the facts all together. And you know, the fact is, people are still gonna eat animal foods, whether, you know, nobody, everybody's not going vegan anytime soon. And the truth is, also when you look at humans have evolved, I mean, humans ate animals, you know, like other animals, right? animals, human having plants. That's part of the whole ecosystem. I mean, look at animals eat other animals. So we're not the only ones that do that. And so you know, how much we eat is different. Whether or not animals are the only cause of greenhouse gases. I mean, really, one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gases is food waste. I mean, so we could talk about, you know, like, all the garbage and the stuff that people throw out that they don't, you know, use or eat or spoils, and it goes in a garbage dump. I mean, those are, those are important, think about the carbon inputs that that goes into creating all these, what I call, like, faux proteins are not really fake, but they're just, you know, you're taking pea protein, soy protein, other proteins that come from plants, and trying to put it into some kind of a mash, and then create it into something that resembles the texture taste. And it's never equal the same nutrition profile as other meats. You know, we were wondering to somebody who's a vegan really want to eat a ham, like a fake hamburger that tastes like beef. If they don't like beef? I don't know, you know, I don't know, if you didn't like it, then I don't know why you would eat it. I love the taste of vegetables, and I prefer to eat them in their natural form was close to the way they're found in nature.

 Janet Walker  08:01

One thing that surprised me when I was looking at the pillars of lifestyle medicine was that you've got components of healthy relationships, reducing stress, getting sleep, and things that aren't related to food at all. So how do you help? Yeah, how do healthy relationships coordinate with food and what we're putting into our bodies? Like where's the where's the connection? 

 Felicia Stoler, MD  08:26

Mind Body wellness component, right? I mean, and look, there's a lot of research that's been done and continues to be done on the gut, brain, you know, relationship in terms of health and mental health. If you think about it, our stomach is the first line of defense for our immune system. But more importantly, COVID has shown us that isolation is really detrimental to a lot of people's physical health, their emotion and when your emotional health isn't good, your physical health is bad at if you look up symptoms of depression, among the symptoms of depression or sleeplessness, our physical aches and pains. I mean, I I have people around me that struggle with mental health issues and certainly as a clinician, a lot of people that have disordered eating, or exercise or body dysmorphia have other mental health issues. So I'm acutely aware of some of the other effects that mental health has on your physical health. So that's where that's why that is really important. I mean, if you think about our jail system and punishment, what is the I mean other than death, the other ultimate punishment is solitary confinement. Think about that. They use that as a means of punishing people and it is so traumatic to the human I mean, like now that I'm even saying it out loud. I think it's almost like unethical. You know, if you think about that for a moment, like you're basically like inflicting some other form of harm, even though it's not physical directly, it indirectly can create some physical harm for an individual. So that's where we found these things. To be important, so things like we all know, people, or we've seen pictures where people live in multi generational residences, meaning, somebody might have a grandparent that lives in the house. And it's not just to, for them to be there. So the younger generation can take care of them. It's so they can have a purpose also. So sometimes they help with doing chores around the house, not to be a maid, but because it gives them a sense of purpose, or watching children, you know, or gardening. The, you know, for the home. I mean, these are things that people enjoy doing. And it's important for them not to be isolated. Very early in my career, I had done a lot of work with seniors and congregate meal programs are really important. Because what happens is when people isolate, they eat less, their nutrition goes down, it's lonely eating by yourself. Some people can't handle being alone. And you know, even in a lot of, I guess, their assisted living facilities, what happens is somebody might have their own independent apartment, but then a lot of times they'll go down for lunch or dinner for a communal meal. Because there is a value and community there is a value in being around other people. And for so long, we've only looked at health as far as physical health numbers, diagnoses, we haven't looked at how all these other factors play into somebody's you know, risk for disease, or if somebody is going to have a disease that comes on as a result of, you know, the lack of these important pillars.

 Janet Walker  11:39

Well, that makes a lot of sense. 

 Felicia Stoler, MD  11:42

Anyway,if I could just add one more thing about sleep, because I think that that's really important. I know, we started off talking about that offline. But what is interesting about sleep as you think about things like sleep apnea, which, you know, is been diagnosed more in the last 20 years, and then acknowledged and discussed in really research, you know, people that don't sleep well, what happens is, when we sleep our body, our bodies have the opportunity to recharge, repair and renew. Right? You talk about cellular renewal with this. I mean, this is so key, right? Like, when is your body really resting, it's when you're sleeping, it's the ultimate form of rest. In fact, you burn the most calories from fat when you're sleeping. That's why I think the more people don't get it, like you really need to sleep more, you'd burn more fat, especially as you age, which is kind of weird, because especially women in menopause complain about not sleeping well, and gaining weight. And so if you think about it, having a really good solid sound, sleep is important. And so one of my friends is a sleep disorder expert. She's a pulmonologist. And we talked about like, which comes first the chicken or the egg with regards to sleep, is it that people that don't get enough sleep become overweight? And then it exacerbates their other health problems? Or is it that, you know, their other health problems creates a situation where they don't sleep? Well. So

 Janet Walker  13:00

it seems like, especially today, you're trying to balance work, and family and all of your other activities? And the first thing that you compromise on is your sleep, and you shorten your sleep time?

 Felicia Stoler, MD  13:13

Right? Right. Think about even doctors trainings, you know, doctors used to be on call for like, 24 hours, like, we know that that's not good, why or, you know, 12 hours is really a stretch. But think about that pilots aren't allowed to work that long. Why do we let doctors work that long? They're trying to save our lives. You know?

 Janet Walker  13:31

That's a good point. Very good point. Listen up, doctors get your sleep. Let's talk a little more about those blue zones. Because you know, I had never heard about that before. And you were telling me that you were at one of the first conferences where these blue zones were being discussed.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  13:48

Yeah, but it was the American College of lifestyle medicine, was talking about that they've really embraced the end partnered with the blue zones, which is a business that Dan Buettner sort of formed after he did this fantastic and groundbreaking, you know, article, and now there's research going on, it just really made people sort of pause and go, ooh, like, let's like, wow, you know, like, let's delve a little bit further how something that seems more like entertainment science or social science really gave a lot of people a reason to look further and really determine what is so unique and special about these places.

 Janet Walker  14:32

Have you visited any of the Blue Zones?

 Felicia Stoler, MD  14:37

No. No, I'd like to I mean, that would be like a great tour. You know,

 Janet Walker  14:44

it was funny. I was looking at the list of places that are blue zones, and I was so surprised to see that Loma Linda, California was one.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  14:52

Do you understand why that is? Yes, I know that

 Janet Walker  14:55

in Loma Linda, California, where Loma Linda University is There's a high concentration of Seventh Day Adventists. And they practice a garden based diet and very healthy living, no alcohol and Community Church is very present in their lives. I've done a lot of humanitarian work with a Seventh Day Adventist Mission in Fiji. Yeah. And it was like, Oh, that makes sense.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  15:22

And this has been going on for multiple generations, you know, so if you think about that preservation of a belief system and, and making a choice, right, like, it's not so much that they live in Loma Linda, it's that there's a very large cluster of Seventh Day Adventists that live there and continue to live there. And they just keep staying within that community. So you know, you could look at eat Korea, Greece, and you could say, alright, well, is it just keep Korea? Are there other places in Greece that are, you know, considered Blue Zones? Right. So they're, you know, is it Greece as a country? Is it Italy as a country? Is it Japan as a country? You know, is it Costa Rica as a country, you know, or very specific places. So when they did that they were looking at specific places. But, you know, really, again, when you bring that all back together full circle, and look at what they have in common. In fact, since you mentioned Loma Linda, seventh day, Adventists, are the outliers in that they don't believe in any alcohol consumption, right? Or smoking. And in Europe, they smoke, and they drink. And the same thing, I think, in Japan, too, so and I don't know about Costa Rica, Costa Rica, they don't necessarily have or other places in Latin America, they don't exclude that. So it is, it's interesting to see what everybody has in common. And then what some of those, you know, other outliers are.

Janet Walker  16:51

Let's talk a little bit about intermittent fasting. Because this is another hot topic, everybody's talking about it. Even at my last physical, my doctor said, you should try intermittent fasting. 

Felicia Stoler, MD  17:04

Dr really said that to you?

 Janet Walker  17:07

So now, I guess these things are working their way into the medical community, which is a good thing.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  17:13

I think it's wonderful. And that's nice that the universe, you know, put your doctor there, you're lucky to have a forward thinking Doctor, I'm the one who goes to my doctor and tells them what they should be telling their patients. We always laugh she's like, I always love when you come in your once a year because I learned so much from her appointment. So intermittent fasting. So intermittent means like, you're changing it up, right? It's not consistent. So let's start with the word. So intermittent fasting actually is an umbrella term for a number of different fasting modalities. And let's just start with the word fast and what that means. So fasting is when you are not consuming anything, technically, it's no food, no beverages. When we go to sleep at night, the word breakfast means to break your fast. So we've evolved from humans that spent their day light hours, like we're talking 1000s of years ago, they were out looking for food, they were foraging and looking for food, maybe they caught up fish, maybe they, you know, killed an animal, you know, whatever they ate, and that saved seeds. And then when the sun went down, they went to sleep. So what happened, fire, people figured out how to make fire harness fire, then they cooked things that was a game changer. And not only did they get to cook things, but it created more light. So they could do more during the light of day, you know, or what they perceived, maybe not the light of day, they were able to do more when there was light around, right? When then when it's pitch black and dark. Or when there's not a full moon out, right? If there's a full moon out that that's, you know, that changes things. But you know, fire was really a big and I know a number of years ago, somebody wrote a book on that about how fire change the way we eat, and so much of our lifestyles, but so you think about that, like okay, well there's that there are religions, right? So people in Judaism and Christianity, the major religions, even in Islam, they integrate fasting and I don't I believe protect potentially in Hindu and some other religions. Fasting is part of a cleansing process within the soul where you're restricting, eating for different, you know, reasons. So, you know, with the invention of fire and then electricity, you know, we have pushed the amount of light hours we potentially have in our lives, where we've opened up this window of opportunity for eating. So, you know, there are different types of fasts. You could do a 24 hour fasts where you eat nothing at all you can do it where it's just a water fast. You can do a fast where they have like the five to where five days you eat whatever you want, and two days you either eat limited calories are no calories. I know some people do a one day a week full on fasts, and they only drink water. I do something called time restricted eating, or time restricted feeding, where you eat within a finite number of hours a day. And you don't necessarily have to be restrictive in what you eat. But it's funny, I do know people that, you know, might eat events in this limited window. And I wouldn't necessarily agree with all the foods they do. I think binge eating in a finite amount of time isn't healthy for lots of reasons, either. But you know, and there are people that do it to the extreme, I would say what the research shows is safe is to keep that eating within eight to 10 hours. Anything less than that does sort of trigger some stressors in the body, which may not necessarily be helpful. But the reason why there's a few reasons why. And then there's something called a fasting mimicking diet protocol that Dr. Valter Longo created and the company was formed as a result of that called El neutre. And they, they do a fasting mimicking diet, which was actually originally created to help people going through cancer treatments. So the reason to do fasting for various reasons as one, you know, to potentially eat less and consume less calories throughout the day. The other is to give your body sort of arrest, or your digestive tract arrest and all your organs arrest from, you know, having to produce enzymes and hormones to deal with that.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  21:29

The other reason to do that is something called autophagy. So autophagy is this process that was discovered where the body will in a stressed state and I mean, a physiologically stressed biologically stressed, you know, state not like mental stress. It's like calorie restriction. In a stress state, people will knock out underperforming cells, to allow for the development and growth of stem cells and regeneration of stem cells. And if you think about it, you know, look at people that have been prisoners of war, or people that have been in internment camps throughout different world wars and history. I'm not saying it's a good thing, and it's but But you look at a lot of people that, for example, came out of concentration camps. After World War Two, there were a large number of those people that lived well into their 90s. You know, there is something about the process of restriction. And there are even people that I've seen over the years in my practice that have had disordered eating where I can't believe these people are alive. And I'm not saying it's good. And I'm not encouraging anybody by any means to go develop an eating disorder. But there is something about the process of the telomeres with DNA replication, that by creating a physiological stress in the body, it allows the body to protect itself, and that it slows down the aging process. So do you remember a number of years ago there were those people that went into the biosphere? Do you remember there was a biosphere in Arizona?

 Janet Walker  23:07

Into the biosphere in Arizona? Yeah, so yeah, absolutely.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  23:11

They're actually the person that was in there was a professor of Dr. longos. And they did extreme calorie restriction there. And they were eating, I think they were vegan, too. But, you know, they look, they looked pretty sickly when they got out. But you know, I don't know, as far as long term ROI, how all of those people that were in there, you know, what their health and, and their longevity is, but it is hypothesized that by doing these different fasting modalities, that you may indeed, extend your life. So that's why I've been doing it. I went to the very first global summit on fasting at University of Southern California almost three years ago, and I was really kind of blown away like that, just like the blue zones are kind of new topics. I remember when people first started talking about intermittent fasting maybe even 15 years ago, I remember my brother asking me about it, and I thought it was a bunch of garbage. And I didn't think there was a lot of science around it, because at that time, there wasn't a lot of science around it. Now, there's a lot more science around it. And so there definitely is a value in it. I can tell you, I personally do the time restricted eating. And I also do periodic fasting, you know, the pro lawn pro protocol. I do that once it's recommended that you do it, you know, sort of I do it quarterly so I do it every three months as sort of like a reset reboot, and I happen to like it for me. I'm 55 years old. So obviously, my game after 50 was about longevity and living vibrantly and healthy, and trying to stave off disease as long as possible and maintaining a quality of life. So, and again, it's all based on science. So I decided to be my own little, and have one experiment, experiment.

 Janet Walker  25:07

Nice. So for someone who is told by their doctor, go ahead and try intermittent fasting or just someone who wants to try it, the restricted eating would be stopping at 6pm and don't eat until 10. The next morning, 16 hours, or is there the way? What's the formula? 

 Felicia Stoler, MD  25:26

Sure, some people, some people don't, I think what you have to start with, I mean, some of the research shows that eating early in the morning, and stopping in the evening, is a little bit better for certain disease states. But everybody's got a different circadian rhythm. And, you know, you ask a lot of parents, for example, admittedly, will recall that they've had a hard time getting their kids to eat breakfast in the morning, because they're not hungry. Some people are very hungry when they wake up, I'm not hungry till 12 or one o'clock. And I do two hours of exercise every morning, and I'm still not hungry until 12, or one o'clock. And I've always naturally been that way. So for me personally, that type of time restricted eating works, where I'll stop, you know, I'll let's say I'll eat at 12 or one, and I'll stop by eight or nine. And it's not only just eating have to remember, alcohol counts as calories. So if you go out on a Friday, or a Saturday night, or whatever night of the week, and you want to drink alcohol, that is calories,

 Janet Walker  26:24

and probably not not great to drink alcohol on an empty stomach anyway.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  26:29

Right. But I'm just saying like, at night, like you, you know, it's all calories. It's not just the chewing kind, it's the drinking kind too. So we have to really be cognizant of what those calories are. So what I really say to folks is start with a 12 hour window first and see if you could do it. So can you go eight to eight, right, or seven to seven, or whatever that window is for you. And then if that works great, if you want to shorten that window, fantastic. But I don't recommend doing any less than eight hours,

 Janet Walker  27:03

when someone is doing intermittent fasting, should they be concerned about vitamins should they try to take supplements or vitamins or just make sure that they're getting the nutrition they need? 

 Felicia Stoler, MD  27:14

I think it's like anything, all you're doing is shortening that window of time that you're consuming calories throughout the day. It's not saying that you have to have restrictive eating. In fact, there, there are no recommendations as far as eating, I could say, you know, eating predominantly, you know, more flexitarian or plant based is going to be better. But, you know, in terms of I mean, in terms of whether or not you need vitamins or minerals, I think that's important to assess your entire diet, I can't tell you how many times I speak to folks, and I'm working with a young man right now is 25 years old, who just can't get it out of his head that he doesn't need the extra protein shake every day, or the protein bar, the protein industry in the last 20 years has done a tremendous job with making people think that they need more protein. And the truth is the protein energy malnutrition has not been a problem in the United States since before the 70s. Wow. Think about that for a moment. You know, we don't have an adequate protein intake in this country, if I would argue we actually have excessive protein intake in this country. And for a lot of people, they forget that protein is the same amount of calories per gram as carbohydrates, fat, right? Fat has more.

 Janet Walker  28:26

And those, those concentrated protein products can be hard on the organs, right? And hard on the

 Felicia Stoler, MD  28:31

kidneys, right? And then think about all the other extra added added ingredients that are in there that are just not necessary when people say, you know, do I need to have a protein shake or a protein bar? I'm like, Well, what's your protein intake throughout the day? And, you know, when I went to that fasting Summit, just to go back to that for a second, one of my colleagues said to me, she was surprised by how many of the diets were actually lower in protein, you know, what that they did the research with? And she said, Does that surprise you? I said, No, because I don't know why people are eating so much protein. I mean, higher protein intake until the age of 60, or 65 is correlated with increased rates of cancer. You know, everybody's worried about gaining cancer. The truth is the number one cause of heart disease of death is heart disease worldwide. So, you know, protein, are people over eating soy or nuts or seeds. No people are over eating. You know, beef, poultry, fish. Pork, you know, pork, believe it or not, is the is the number one meat that's consumed globally. Everyone focuses on beef, but worldwide, it's actually especially in like Asian countries, they consume a lot more pork than they do B for chicken.

 Janet Walker  29:45

And do you remember that ad campaign for pork? It's the white meat.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  29:49

It's the other white meat.

 Janet Walker  29:50

It's the other white meat like it's a healthy alternative.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  29:55

I eat it. I mean, I everything. I just eat everything in small amounts. That's all.

 Janet Walker  30:01

And the last question I wanted to ask about fasting is, are there any dangers and fasting things that people need to be concerned about when they're fasting? Should they check with their physician before they fast? 

 Felicia Stoler, MD  30:13

Well, I mean, I don't think, you know, everybody always say check with your physician. But if your physician doesn't know anything about it, and let's face it, like you're not going to pay your doctor for an office visit, to ask them about whether or not you should do a fast, I think the things to be careful of you to really be aware of is what kind of fast you're doing. And what does that mean? I mean, for example, some people do extreme fasting, which is very dangerous. I mean, anything to an extreme can be dangerous, right? Even among religions that use fasting, and usually they're only using a 24 hour fast for spiritual purposes. They say, if you are sick, if you're pregnant, if you're nursing, if you take medications, they tell you not to do that, you know, if you're elderly, if you're frail, if you have a disease, like you're not supposed to do that. So of course, you know, like, you have to use some judgment and and understand like, right from wrong, that you don't want to put yourself in harm's way. So I think that's important,

 Janet Walker  31:13

Are juice and other cleanses part of a good fasting protocol?

 Felicia Stoler, MD  31:18

I would have to say no. So first of all, let's use that word cleanse for a minute, it invokes this vision of somebody like going in and like scrubbing the inside of your intestinal trash. And you know, our GI tract is fantastic at doing that. In fact, when you look at cellular turnover in the body, the cells of the GI tract turned over like almost every three days, whereas like red blood cells turn over every three months. So our body does a really good job of cleansing itself. That's I mean, the human body is fascinating, if you get into the physiology of how it all works. juice cleanses, which I see a lot of places offer are literally just pressed juices, right, or fruit, or vegetables that have been juiced, or, you know, there's extraction, a lot of times the fibers been removed, you're literally just drinking sugar and water. I mean, I hate using the word sugar in place of carbohydrates, but you're just literally drinking like carbohydrates, and water. And that's just not good. I mean, that's that that's an extreme, but that's not beneficial for the body, necessarily, you are better off chewing the foods, if that makes sense. I mean, if you want, like I literally tell people make sure you're eating more vegetables, I've looked at 1000s of food journals in the last 25 years 1000s. And the one thing that most people, if not all people, but a majority of the people, I'd say 90% of the food journals I've ever looked at, are deficient in vegetable consumption. And fruit consumption. That is what people don't eat enough of, you could cleanse every day, by just eating more fruits and vegetables, and chewing them instead of drinking them down. It's it takes longer, first of all to chew an apple, right, that might have 40 calories versus drink, you know, eight ounces of juice that might have 120 calories.

 Janet Walker  33:11

That makes sense, right? That makes sense.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  33:13

Yeah, you know, the act of chewing everything about it enzymes in your mouth that start breaking down starches and breaking down the food into smaller Park particles before it goes down your esophagus into your stomach, right? Where it's then you know, getting made into even smaller particles so that enzymes can become exposed to it to help pull it into, you know, through through the lining of our GI tract and sends it out to our liver where it goes first and then from the liver and then goes into the bloodstream. So almost everything starts, you know, goes to the liver first for a little like, what are we going to send out here? You know, and I think people don't realize that your liver doesn't know how it came into your mouth.

 Janet Walker  33:58

So that old advice about chewing your food well, 20 times 40 times whatever before you swallow, it really is good advice.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  34:06

It is good advice to chew your food. Well. Exactly. The purpose is to slow down your eating. I even tell people sometimes Put your fork down between bites because some people eat so fast. Really to your food, you know something that's become more popular in the last 10 years is mindfulness. People talk about being mindful, it's not just mindful in other things you do mindfulness in in your food. For example, my boyfriend and I were driving my car back from New Orleans to New Jersey and we had some chocolate bars in the courses instead of chewing that chocolate. Why don't you put a square in your mouth and let it dissolve on your tongue and appreciate the flavor and the texture? And see you know, is it creamy? Is it not creamy? Has it make you feel where on your tongue? Are you experiencing that sensation? That's a very easy part of mindfulness. If it's not chocolate, it's like a cracker. Do you bite a salty Do you bite a cracker and chew it? Have you ever Just let it dissolve on your mouth, and really appreciate the flavors and what that does. So that's what mindfulness is really about. It's about like being in the moment, experiencing it, savoring it, right. And really like allowing that experience to end your senses to experience that food while you're chewing it.

 Janet Walker  35:18

So years ago, I was reading Andrew Weil book, and he said, Take a cob of corn and don't slather it with butter and salt. Just say that in my book, yeah, just chew it. Enjoy the sweetness, enjoy the taste of the corn. Get all that pleasure from what that air of corn is. And since I read that, that's how I've been eating corn on the cob.

 Felicia Stoler, MD  35:43

I've been eating it like that, since I'm a child because my grandmother yelled at me. I mean, she lived in New York for a long time, but she loved Jersey corn and she would eat it raw. And I thought it was weird, but like I've eaten it raw too. And she said to me, Felicia, if you keep putting salt and butter on your corn, then all you're really eating is salted butter. You don't really know what the corn tastes like. And she's so right about that. You think about that urge that people have to just salt food or to just put butter on things. A good good piece of sourdough tastes really yummy when it's fresh, right? It's good if it's warm, too. And I put a little butter on it. But you know, to just always go with butter all the time or go with salt all the time or pepper. I know people that put hot sauce on everything. You know, sometimes you're just not allowing the food and the flavor of that food to come through.

 Janet Walker  36:36

Thank you so much for joining us today, Dr. Stoller. We learned so much. Can I ask you to come back and talk to some more? 

 Felicia Stoler, MD  

Absolutely. My pleasure. 

 Janet Walker  

I'll thanks so much. We'd love to hear about your book, “Living Skinny and Fat Genes, The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great”, as well as learn about to other areas of your expertise that are so important. gut health and digestion and supplements to help those. Thank you everyone for joining us. Please be with us next time when we welcome Dr. Stoller back to the studio. Thanks so much for listening to healthy cells healthy you with me, your host Janet Walker. You can find us on Apple podcasts I Heart Radio, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. subscribe and tell your friends together we'll build healthy cells and healthy you