483: Your Quest To Wellness: How To Self-Heal Through Food, Dr. Mark Sherwood

Ashley James And Dr. Mark Sherwood


  • Diseases and the two major causes of death in the United States
  • Allopathic versus naturopathic/holistic medicine
  • Sleep dysregulation and emotional trauma
  • Inflammation in the body and its effects
  • Cortisol
  • Metformin
  • Foods that cause inflammation and what to cut out in your diet
  • Cytokines
  • Broccoli is good for you

Nutrition has a tremendous effect on our lives. Some foods harm, and some foods help. In today's episode, Dr. Mark Sherwood speaks about how our emotional health, spiritual health, and lifestyle play a role along with the foods we eat. He also shares tips on healing and getting our health back or taking it to the next level.


Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health Podcast. You're going to love today's interview with Dr. Mark Sherwood. He brings some amazing information to help us heal and help get our health to the next level. He said at the end of the interview, “This felt like I was just chatting with my bud and it was such a great conversation.” It's interesting that he said that because a lot of listeners say to me that they feel like they're sitting in the living room with us, chatting with us, and just learning from our guests, asking the questions that they wanted me to ask, so it feels like they're a part of the conversation.

Learning from him in this interview reminded me of my experience with IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. When I went through their year-long health coach training program, I learned from the world's best holistic health experts and functional medicine experts. It was phenomenal. And then, I ended up interviewing many of them on the show. I had Andrea BeamanDr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. And I loved them all and I had many more. You can go to my website LearnTrueHealth.com and type in “Institute for Integrative Nutrition” in the search function. You'll find all my episodes where I interviewed many of the graduates, the staff, the founder and the CEO, also health coaches that have come through their program and many of their teachers.

Now, when I was considering doing the course, considering going through the year-long health coach training program with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I had two problems, two dilemmas in my mind. I didn't have enough time, and I didn't have enough money. What I was really surprised about is that they broke it down so the year-long program, even incredibly busy people can do it because it's about 20 minutes a day. So, sometimes a little bit longer, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, but it averages out to be about 20 minutes a day. I did it while I was washing the dishes, cooking, and doing the laundry; I just have it playing. I'd be driving and I'd listen to it. I'd be at the gym listening to it. I would just listen to it whenever I could; I would turn it on just kind of like you're listening to this show, you fit it in maybe while you're driving. If you can listen to a podcast, you can do the program. You can go through their program. So, that eliminated that first dilemma for me.

Then the second dilemma was I didn't have enough money. And it is an incredibly rich program, so of course, it costs money, right? It's not cheap, but also, they deliver so much value that at the end of it, I was like, this was worth every penny. And what I love is they give a discount to my listeners, which is amazing because I talked to the founder and I talked to the CEO, and I talked to some managers there, and I asked them if they could please give a discount to the listeners of my show, and they do. So, if you do want to go forward and check it out, make sure you get the discount from the Learn True Health Podcast with Ashley James. Make sure you get the discount.

But what was great was that I signed up with a payment plan. I was like, okay, that eliminated my last barrier to entry for me, and I was able to jump in and do it because I had a toddler at the time, I was working full-time, go, go, go, go. I was so busy, and yet, I was able to afford it on a payment plan. I was able to do it about 20 minutes a day; I was able to fit it in. And I got so much out of it. Imagine how great the content is on my show and condense that into TED Talks like how great some TED Talks are. Every time I would sit down to learn, it would just be these amazing, amazing health lecturers that were so well thought out and so well-taught that I got so much information out of it. And I was really surprised at how much my life transformed, and then I was able to spill that over and help my friends and family and, of course, go on to help others.

About half the people that take the program don't ever intend to work with clients and be an actual health coach. They just want the tools for themselves and their family and their friends, or they just want those tools because that is for themselves alone, and then maybe it'll be a great addition to whatever they're doing in life. You learn to help people on so many levels. You learn how to communicate with people and really listen to people and help people on so many levels. It's incredibly rewarding.

So if you'd like to check out IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, you can get a free sample class by going to LearnTrueHealth.com/coach. That's LearnTrueHealth.com/coach. Check it out, and see if it's for you. If it's for you, you can give them a call, or I believe you just go to the IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's website, and I think they have like an ability to chat with them there. But go ahead and just check it out for free, first of all. Just go get the sample class and see if it's for you, and just dive in and look at it. It was amazing for me.

Now, if you have more time on your hands, let's say about 40 minutes to an hour a day, you'd like to become a health coach sooner, they have a six months program. And recently, in the last year, they spent the year really working at this, and they have completely revamped their whole program. It's so exciting. It's just amazing. So if you geek out on health stuff just like I do and you're also into personal growth and development, this class is for you. And I love that people do it all around the world. You get this big sense of community because you actually participate with people around the world. There's nothing quite like it. I actually remember crying, just bawling my eyes out like good tears, good happy tears the entire first day I was taking the class because I felt like I had finally found my tribe, like I had finally found the people that would understand me. It was such a good feeling to be a part of that and part of that experience. And at one point, you actually get to do coaching calls with a group of people, and you can connect with people locally in your state or province or your territory or your area that are going through the program as well. So, you can make friends, and you feel like, wow, you're not the black sheep anymore, like there's a bunch of other people who are also just totally geeking out on health stuff and personal growth stuff and emotional healing stuff. It's just fascinating. So, check it out.

In this interview today, Dr. Mark Sherwood just reminded me so much of how much I got out of IIN, and so if you just love this interview, you'd probably also love their program. Make sure you go to LearnTrueHealth.com/coach, sign up for the free program and just see if you even like it. Even if you're not interested in signing up, you get a free sample class. Go get it. Maybe you'll get something out of it. Anyways, I know you're going to get something out of this episode, so enjoy today's interview. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with those you care about. Hey, if this interview or if any of my interviews were shared to you by one of my listeners, they really care about you, and that's saying something. Because we have to help each other, right? There's too many people sick out there.

Seventy percent of the adult population is on at least one prescription medication. We're walking around thinking that health is disease management. And that's not the case. Up is down, left is right; everything is backward in this world. Because true health is being symptom-free and off of drugs, true health is feeling amazing, jumping out of bed full of energy. True health is having longevity. And if you do get sick, you recover like that. You recover so fast. That's true health. I want you to have that, and you can have that. I've watched people heal from things that they were told by doctors they could never heal from including myself. And I want you to have that.

So, keep listening, and keep sharing the episodes with those you care about. Let's help our friends and family to learn true health and to experience true health. Enjoy today's episode!

[00:08:06] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health Podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is episode 483.

I am so excited for today's guest! We have Dr. Mark Sherwood on the show. The website to go to is Sherwood.tv. And I just want to point out that he has a great free download. It's an e-book, it's about 27 pages. And it has some fantastic protocols in there and it also will show you what is possible, the healing that is possible for you.

Mark, I'm such a huge fan of the work that you and your wife do because your mission statement is right on par with my mission statement: to eliminate all unnecessary usage of medication, to eradicate all self-imposed choice-driven disease. The thing is, a lot of people are walking around not knowing that their choices have led to their disease. That's what happened to me in my 20's. I developed a lot of diseases, and then I, in my 30's, eradicated them all with my choices. But I was walking around like going with the flow, not being a salmon. I was a good hillstream. I was doing what everyone else was doing, and I developed a bunch of diseases. Then I had to turn around and be a salmon and go totally against the flow, and that's when I eradicated my diseases.

So, a lot of people don't know, and sometimes they might get offended like “I didn't give myself fibromyalgia,” or, “I didn't give myself MS. I didn't give myself autoimmune disease.” We're not saying that people consciously chose to give themselves that, but their choices have led to the state that they're in, and that also allows them to step into their power when they realize that they are now in control. And

Today, Dr. Sherwood is going to teach us that you are in control. All your MDs have been giving you drugs and telling you that you are going to have that disease for the rest of your life, and it's not true. You can heal, and your choices really do make a difference. Welcome to the show! It's so exciting to have you here today.

[00:10:20] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Ashley, thank you. It's an honor to be here. I appreciate what you do, I appreciate your show, and I appreciate the audience that you draw. I know people want to learn. So, I'm excited and it's going to be great.

[00:10:29] Ashley James: Absolutely. Can you start by sharing your story? What happened in your life that led you to become the doctor that you are today?

[00:10:39] Dr. Mark Sherwood: My story's quite unique, actually. During my childhood years, I was not brought up in a healthy environment at all. I didn't know anything about it. As a matter of fact, it was so unhealthy physically and emotionally that I went through a tragedy in my life, the early 2000s, unexplainable, but it was the suicide of my own mother. It was that traumatic. But during the trauma, I was determined to learn a few things on how not to do that in my own life. Even though I didn't learn it, it didn't really come to full fruition until probably the late '80s, when I found myself on the other side of the world in the country of Australia playing professional baseball. I had nothing to do during the day except sit around and wait for the games in the evening, but I decided to start exercising, and before I knew it, I realized there was something to this.

Then shortly thereafter, I joined the police department in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was put in charge of a wellness program. I'm speeding up the story, but you get the idea. And I didn't know what I knew now. I wondered why my colleagues were dying so quickly and I wanted to figure that out.

So, I started to really get into the idea of does stress really have to have this much effect on us and what effect does nutrition have in our lives? And how do those two relate? Do they relate? So, I went on that quest, if you will, Ashley, to determine the answers to those questions. Is our lifestyle creating this increase, this thing I call “sick span”? That led me down the pathway of naturopathic study. I was always a fan of that because it made sense. I thought, okay, if we can take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, what does that mean? Because I knew enough at the time that conventional medicines and allopathic medicine wasn't working. It was a measurable failure, and it has been for, what, 60 years now. We can look at that simply based upon evidence. We are now growing diseases much, much faster than we're growing people. We have seen disease processes like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and autoimmune conditions, as you were speaking of earlier, that have absolutely skyrocketed. So, when I look at the system, and I looked at the system then, I realized that doesn't work, and I wasn't going to continue to practice insanity. As Einstein said, to continue to go on the same pathway, do the same thing, expect a different result.

So, I went on a mission to find out what I could learn about the human body and its interaction with the environment we live in and other people and nutrition and medicine that's put inside food. I really wanted to understand why. Why? That “why” question was the thing that drove me, and it still does. And so, that kind of began the journey, and now, all these years later, we're still learning, we're asking why. But the most important thing to understand is we're seeing literally thousands of people around the world get well, and I can't be more grateful than that. I'm thankful to God that He gives us the wisdom, the knowledge, and the ability to do that. I'm so happy for people to get well. That's what drives us every day.

[00:14:17] Ashley James: What were your colleagues dying of when you were in the police force, and you started to notice that they were dropping like flies?

[00:14:24] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Well, this is an interesting statistic that's been around for probably five decades that a few people are aware. This is an FBI study: the average male police officer, it's 20 years of service, and this is back in I believe the '70s that was done, the average age of death was 66 years of age. Which is substantially lower than the expected age, right?

[00:14:48] Ashley James: Oh, my gosh.

[00:14:50] Dr. Mark Sherwood: So, in my own city, and this brings me back to the early 2000s, I did a study of the officers that had died, and I did the same analyses that the FBI did, just a smaller group. And I found that the average life expectancy for a 20-year retired male officer was 65. So, I thought to myself, something is wrong with this, but basically, because of shift work, you get a lot of cortisol, you get a lot of blood pressure issues, weight issues, metabolic disorders, blood sugar issues, depression, sleep issues. They were on all these medications, and eventually, they ended up dying of things like cancers or heart disease, so that was predominantly the two causes.

[00:15:36] Ashley James: Which are the two major causes of death in the United States.

[00:15:38] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That's right. So that led me, as you've picked up there, I looked at the major two causes of death in the US. I found that same thing, and I said, “Okay, well, this must be hitting everybody,” because I used to think that only police officers and the military had PTSD. Right? Then I realized, wait a minute, it's everybody that's had trauma and drama in their lives. All that put together in a big mesh bucket, if you will, was one of the things that I said, “You know what, I can do something about this.” I'm going to believe that if people knew the information, that they know how to do this, they know how to reverse, they're going to do it.

So, with this information quest, I learned as much as I could to communicate then in an effective manner this concept of hope. Now, we've kind of coined the phrase, if you will, my wife Michele and I, who I get to work with every day, we are hope dealers. A hope dealer. We give that away every day, and I pray that the listeners will, during the course of time, gather and grab on to that hope.

[00:16:50] Ashley James: So, MDs are “drug dealers”. [laughs]

[00:16:53] Dr. Mark Sherwood: They are. They really are.

[00:16:54] Ashley James: And Michele and Mark Sherwood are hope dealers.

[00:16:58] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That's right. And it's funny, my wife, and this is interesting; she came from the conventional system because she's an osteopath as well. So, interestingly enough, she had a drug rep actually call her a “drug whore”. That was the word. We still look back at that in shock and awe and horror, but also, we looked at it like, you know what, that's exactly what that is. And I want everybody to kind of get this. When you go to that conventional doctor, they are looking for what's wrong. “What's wrong?” There's something wrong with that question. When people come in here, they want to know what's wrong. I say, “Wait a minute. Let's turn this around. Let's first look at all the things that are right about you.” So, we don't let them go down that pathway; so, therefore, our diagnostics are not looking for diseases. They are going upstream to look for the root causes of symptoms that are named diseases or disease categories.

[00:18:07] Ashley James: Right. Well, MDs break the body down; allopathic medicine is breaking the body down into its parts and then treating it with a drug. So they're not seeing the body as a whole or finding the root cause. The problem is that philosophically, the lens that they look through is so different from a naturopathic standpoint. Right? The lens that they look through governs their choices — what tests they're going to run and how they're going to interpret those tests. If you took the same tests to an MD that you took to an ND, a naturopathic physician or a functional medicine practitioner, a holistic practitioner, the MD will say, “Oh, your vitamin D is at 35. Okay, we're good with that,” whereas “As long as it's below 30, I'm fine,” that's what the MD says. Or if it was above 60, they go, “Oh, you're toxic. You have to stop taking your vitamin D.” They don't have any training around nutrition. They don't have that training on how to prevent disease and how to reverse disease. Their training lies in pharmacology. They're wonderful diagnosticians; they're fantastic at diagnosing. And treating symptoms or making sure the body shifts into like with drugs, it pushes the body in one direction. Right? But they are not trained in reversing disease and supporting the body's ability to heal itself.

[00:19:45] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That is a very good statement. I agree with all of that. Additionally, we need to understand that all drugs, for the most part, have these are not side effects. These are actual effects. But they will pull out various vitamins and minerals and nutrients, and therefore, when you look at that, you say, okay, well, for example, let's use one drug – the drug metformin. It's always given to people for blood sugar issues to create more insulin sensitivity, in other words. So, somebody's hemoglobin A1c is running at 6 or 7 or whatever or 6.1, slightly over the “normal range,” and so they're going to go on metformin. Well, when you go on metformin, it may help with blood sugar, but it also pulls out vitamin B12 and also folate.

Now, vitamin B12 and folate are critical factors in the methylation cycle. So, if you pull those out of the methylation cycle, again, metformin is looked at as this anti-aging product but let's think about this from a holistic standpoint. If we pull out vitamin B12 and folate from the methylation cycle, we render the methylation cycle ineffective in creating methyl groups. Methyl groups are in charge of, in a nutshell, repairing DNA, maybe helping create neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, and also driving down the transsulfuration cycle, which is going to be creating glutathione. We would be in effect inhibiting glutathione production and neurotransmitter production that could be leading to toxicity issues, oxidative stress issues, or even depression issues.

[00:21:33] Ashley James: Cancer.

[00:21:34] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Cancer. That's right. Something has got to change in the paradigm over the course of time, or we're doomed to be stuck in that system. And that system is not going to create wellness because it's like a male going to a suit store. I'm going to buy a suit, I'm going to go over here, and the first thing we're going to do is try on a pair of pants. Well, then you're going to go over here from the pants department, they go to the jacket department, but the jacket department person is going to say, “I don't care what the pants department said. That's their department.” They're going to get a mismatch, right? And you get the idea it's going to go from the shirt to the tie to the shoes, and you're going to have just a mishmash of stuff that looks terrible.

That's what the body looks like when it goes through that system. It looks terrible. I could go on and on with examples such as that.

[00:22:24] Ashley James: It reminds me of a story I just heard about. I think it's one of my listeners who shared with me that her mom has kidney problems and heart problems. The doctor said, “You have to eat less meat,” and the kidney doctor said, “You have to eat more meat.”

So it's like okay, one diet is going to cause her kidneys to fail, but her heart will be better, and the other diet is going to cause her kidneys to be healthy but her heart, you know, so anyway, it's just back and forth. And so the doctors, she said, “Wait a second, you guys are giving me the opposite diets.”

Now, medical doctors are not trained in nutrition. They get something like 20 hours of nutrition unless they, after graduating medical school, go on to take further courses and actually dive into the studies, which we'd hope that doctors would continue to look at the latest science and studies around diet because it makes sense that everything we put in our mouth is either hurting us or healing us. So, there's the dilemma. Right? There is a lot of confusion around diet.

Now you mentioned heart disease and cancer being the two top killers of police officers after they retire but also, that's what the two major causes of disease are in the United States or the causes of death are. I recently had Dr. Richard Fleming on the show, episode 463. He's a research cardiologist. He's not a holistic doctor at all. He's 100 percent all about the drugs. What I love about his work is he dives into the research. For the last 30 years, he's been looking at the root cause of cardiovascular disease, and he also did studies on cancer and heart disease and found that really the root cause was inflammation. Years, years, years before cancer will appear on a scan, you can see the inflammation that's there beforehand, same with heart disease.

So, really what we're doing is we're looking to decrease, to mitigate all the things in our life that cause the inflammation. My question, because we could definitely talk about foods that harm and foods that help, we could definitely talk about herbs and supplements, but you mentioned the emotional aspect, and my question is, like sleep, the police who are on altered schedules, I'm sure there are lots of listeners who have to do the second or third shift so their sleep is disrupted or maybe they go to bed at 1 in the morning. Does sleep dysregulation and also emotional trauma, do those play a significant role in increasing inflammation in the body?

[00:25:16] Dr. Mark Sherwood: They do. Let me explain to people in a way they'll understand this concept. So, let's look at both of those. When you have trauma or drama or you perceive stress, now stress doesn't have to be real to create this response. You can have this perceived stress. Because you can think about something, it creates the same response as if you're going through it, so we all understand that. So, let's key into the hormone called cortisol, which comes in second after the short-acting adrenalin goes and does its things, and then cortisol is produced. So, cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is produced.

When we have these stressful occurrences, that's originating from the sympathetic nervous system arousal side as opposed to the parasympathetic nervous system arousal side, which is relaxation. So, this yin and yang, if you will, this rest-stress should be balanced, but when we're living perpetually in a cortisol-driven mode which can come through stress and emotional lack of resilience or non-resilience, we combine this with the lack of sleep. Now, lack of sleep, let's think about this whether you're shift work or just not sleeping, we have this opposite effect of melatonin and cortisol. So if you're not sleeping, melatonin should be up but it's not. Cortisol is up. So, cortisol is elevated when we don't sleep as well.

In both cases, cortisol being a glucocorticoid (kind of sounds like glucose), it will elevate glucose because the body can't digest food when you're under stress like that. Our genes have changed 2 percent. That's it, Ashley, in 10,000 years. Two percent. So, when the body is perceiving stress or going through stress and synthesizing cortisol from the adrenals, the body's going to interpret that as if it's being chased by a saber-toothed tiger, trying to eat. So, there are several things that happen in that. We see blood pressure going up, of course, muscle tension going up, perspiration going up, tightness going up, and we see digestion going down. This is a big deal right here because when we see that glucocorticoid coming up, it's going to create some sort of blood sugar because it has to drive the body because you can't get it from food digestion. You don't have time to stop and eat while a saber-toothed tiger is chasing you.

So, what happens is glucocorticoid comes up, blood sugar, the pancreas secretes the insulin to match it, and insulin becomes perpetually elevating, creating, fat-storing all the time. This constant stress creates a lot of fat, belly fat called cortisol belly. Too much fat tissue on the frame is a home for toxins. Too much fat tissue also creates this endocrine disruption creating more inflammation. And the beat goes on.

When you look at this whole metabolic process, this whole obesity crisis that we're having, you can drive at least in part back to this emotional lack of resilience and even lack of sufficient sleep, and of course, that leads us into this idea of comfort food eating which everybody can relate to that, eating the classic standard American diet which perpetuates the same thing. It kind of is a snowball, if you get my drift.

[00:28:46] Ashley James: I remember that snowball so well. I remember I was working towards my black belt, and I was going to the dojo four days a week, sometimes five days a week. Sometimes I'd do it on the weekends also. We do clinics, like all-day Saturday kind of thing. I just remember I was working like crazy. So, I was raised in a household to eat the way a naturopath told us to eat. I was super healthy until I rebelled as a teenager.

But while I was studying and I was 19, I was studying karate, I started eating like all the black belts because I wanted to mimic them, I wanted to model them. We'd all go to Subway. And this was my first time eating wheat and cheese before I had seen a naturopath when I was five years old. Also, I'm eating white bread or I think they did whole bread, whole wheat, but whatever the difference is isn't really that great. It's processed bread, cheese, processed meat, and maybe some lettuce and some tomatoes. I remember, for the first time in my life, having heartburn. But I was just planning on eating exactly like how my Sensei and Shihan and all the black belts and brown belts were eating because I just wanted to model them and be excellent.

And I just started to pack on the pounds. I gained about 50 pounds a year very quickly, and I was exercising like mad, and I thought, what is going on here? My mom passed away of cancer two years later, so I didn't really sit down to think this through like my diet had caused this. I was just in go, go, go mode. But it got worse and worse. I developed chronic adrenal fatigue, type 2 diabetes, and chronic monthly infections for which I was on antibiotics for. I had polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility. I was told after a battery of tests by an endocrinologist that I'd never have children.

I then spent years just eating takeout and whatever, totally forgetting that I had all this wonderful health because in my early years, I ate just like our naturopath told us to. Until 2008 when I watched with my husband, it was one of the first streaming movies on Netflix in 2008, they just started streaming and watched Forks Over Knives and all those health ones. What stuck for me was: shop the perimeter of the grocery store and eat organic. In our first month of doing that, my chronic infections went away. And I still was miserable, I still felt horrible in my body, but at least I was off of antibiotics. So, I just kept searching and searching and searching, and that's when I found naturopaths that became my mentors; and switching my diet, taking the right supplements, changing my mindset, all of that. I eradicated all those diseases and conceived naturally.

For me, that's why I started the show. I started the show because everyone who's suffering doesn't need to be suffering. Seventy percent of the US adult population is on at least one prescription medication. They've been told they have to be on it, but the thing is, most prescriptions, we don't have to be on it. We can get so healthy, that we don't need it. That's why I love the work that you do because you want to show people that they can get so healthy and absolutely it's possible to get so health that they no longer need drugs.

Now, you brought up metformin. And I want to point out that one of my friends who often comes to me for help, she was in and out of the hospital. She lived in a hospital more. This was about two years ago. She spent more time in a hospital than she did out for acute pancreatitis. She lost 80 pounds, she was on a liquid diet, and she was in such bad shape from pancreatitis. I didn't think she was on any meds; I didn't know. Then I said, “Hey, just tell me. What are you taking? Are you taking anything? Let's figure this out. Why do you have pancreatitis?” That's when she told me she was on metformin. I'm like, “Why are you on metformin?” She doesn't have diabetes. What's going on here? And her doctor did that thing, “Oh, it's good for longevity. It'll prevent it later on.” Oh, my gosh.

This is what I say to all my clients: go to the actual drug's website. Go to the website that manufactures that drug and go to the full list of side effects. Not the little WebMD like here's the common ones. Go to the one that shows you the entire list of side effects. Again, they're not side effects; they're effects that you may or may not get. Then, read through them. And sure enough, acute pancreatitis was one of the causes.

But here's what surprised me. Do you know that a side effect of metformin can be hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia? The very reason why they gave it to you, it actually can cause those problems, which blows my mind. And it changes all those pathways in the body, it depletes us of all the nutrition, making us more sick so then we need to be on more drugs. So, I just have a very big distrust.

Now, drugs have their place when they can save my life, and I want people to always use the best tool in the toolbox. I'm not crazy. If there's a tool that's going to save my life, I'm going to use it. The problem is, MDs are only taught to use hammers so everything looks like a nail.

[00:34:56] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That's right.

[00:34:57] Ashley James: We have to make sure that we hire a whole team of professionals to support us, so that's why I love the work you do. I would hire you, I would hire a chiropractor, and I would hire an acupuncturist. I'd hire a whole team. And then all of them would inform me on what choices I should make for my body instead of just going to an MD. Going to an MD to tell me what to eat is like asking my plumber to the wiring in my house.

[00:35:30] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That's awesome. I love that.

[00:35:32] Ashley James: You could keep that one. So, your wife is an osteopath. I'd love to hear a bit about her journey through seeing holistic medicine through the lens that you see it through. When I went to an osteopath for the first time, I think maybe an ovarian cyst was popping or something, I don't know. But I had excruciating pain and I was worried something was wrong with me, like maybe I was having ectopic pregnancy or something. I went to an osteopath, and he stood there, holding his prescription pad, ready to prescribe me a pain med.

Now, I'm from Canada. I live in the States now, but I'm from Canada. In Canada, they don't give out pain meds like candy. I realized they didn't when I was growing up. So, he was like, “Okay, so we're going to give you a pain med.” I'm like, “I'm not here for a pain med. I'm in pain, but pain tells me that there's something wrong. I don't want to just numb it.” I was really surprised. I thought going to an osteopath would have been more holistic. But he was just ready to write me a prescription and make me comfortable.

Your wife is an osteopath. What happened that had her see the holistic medicine versus allopathic medicine in terms of how she can help her patients?

[00:36:51] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Her story is quite unique. She was homeless, believe it or not, at one time, and working as a massage therapist trying to get by. Her story, by the way, is depicted in a just-released movie, believe it or not, called The Prayer List. So, I encourage people to go there. I didn't think about that before we went live, but that's a cool movie. It's called The Prayer List. A wonderful story.

During that time, she had a massage client say, “You got more to your life. Come on. Not that massage is bad,” but she paid for her first year of school. My wife had this healing in her mind in the background and thought, “I'm going to go back and be a doctor and really heal people.” So, she graduates with honors, it turns out she's the valedictorian in her class. Just a wonderful comeback story. She was in martial arts too, by the way. But she got into the system. This was back in the early 2000s. She had been in the system for a couple of years. And she began to show her patients how to cook, how to eat and all that stuff, and then she was chastised by her fellow clinicians and even her bosses about how that's not how we do it here. She still persisted not because she was rebelling at them, but she just knew it was right.

What turns out after being in the system for about three years, she was fired. She was let go because she wasn't contributing adequately to the payer mix. People didn't need to see her as much because she had that kind of a healing mindset going in, and so they fired her. She couldn't find a job anywhere for like six months. It really put her in a tailspin and then, hence, the birth of the Functional Medical Institute. So, she went into that kind of backwards.

And it's been interesting because some of her colleagues that she went to school with come to see us as patients.

[00:38:55] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.

[00:38:57] Dr. Mark Sherwood: The irony of it all.

[00:39:04] Ashley James: How did you two meet? She had her own path leading to holistic medicine, as did you. How did the two of you come together to work together?

[00:39:14] Dr. Mark Sherwood: When she started, she got into medicine basically because of those reasons I stated. But she had really bad experiences with men, quite frankly, like a lot of women have. She was abused and treated badly. The whole story is in the movie. And basically, swore off men because men hadn't treated her well at all.

With that said, I had come through a very horrific divorce where I became the sole custodian for my two-, four- and six-year-old child, respectively. Basically, I swore off women, and I'm not going back to that anymore. So, about 10 years go by where I'm just kind of like doing my thing and she's doing her thing. Then one day, we met, and it was the very first meeting we met, and I saw something in her. Actually, it was just unique and there was a draw there. There were people around, and I said to her, “Dr. Neil,” that's her maiden name, “Dr. Neil, I appreciate the conversation with you. Definitely enjoyed it,” and I stuck out my hand to shake her hand because chivalry is not dead in my world.

And so, when I shook her hand, and it truly happened, I couldn't let go of her hand. It was the oddest thing in the world. Couldn't let go of her hand, and she couldn't let go of mine. It was this really awkward few moments there, and it was so awkward that other people were looking at us, and we were looking at each other, and we're like, I don't know what's going on but for some reason, my hand is glued to your hand. So, I just heard this voice inside me say, “Mark, would you please have some courage for once in your life, dude? Seriously? Ask her out.”

So, I did. I asked her if she would go to dinner with me and she said yes, and so we exchanged numbers, and we really, since that first dinner, have not been apart since. It was truly love at first sight. Since then, it was like that equally yoked, that common theme, that healer mentality, that healer gift that we all have. It just multiplied, and we just feed off of each other. We encourage one another and she's my best friend. And I call her my queen. We have this interaction. We work together in the clinic, and people love that. I will show public display of affection. I will give her a hug and a kiss right in the middle of the work day multiple times. It is interesting because we can't imagine not working together. It's been kind of cool because people come here, and they come here because we're a couple. Right? It's inspiring to them because today, obviously, there's a lot of horrible relationships that people are in and decisions they made that have affected their lives, much like the few moments ago we were talking about the stress, trauma and drama. Well, many times that comes from a relationship, doesn't it?

We give them a sense of hope in that area, too. And every time I'm speaking, literally whether it'd be in front of 5000 people live or a podcast that's audio-only to millions of people around the world, I'm always going to one, thank God for the opportunity to be here, and number two, honor my wife because she is my backbone. I say she's not my spare rib; she's my prime rib. So, that's kind of how we've met. The long story short.

[00:43:02] Ashley James: I love it. That's beautiful. It makes a difference in the work that you do. You both bring your backgrounds to the medicine that you practice. So, let's dive in now that we have an understanding of the philosophy, the lens in which you see our body, our human body, that our spiritual or emotional health and our lifestyle, like when we go to bed really does play a role in our health along with what we eat. Let's talk about how we can eliminate the usage of unnecessary medication and how we can eradicate all self-imposed choice-driven diseases.

[00:43:50] Dr. Mark Sherwood: As you mentioned earlier, the main issue that we see within heart disease and really all other disease conditions is this thing called inflammation, and it's chronic systemic inflammation.

If people can grasp just one concept I'm going to share right now, it will absolutely set you free. Because the immune system is unique, the immune system is one that's like surveillance. It's like the army, navy, air force, marine, coast guards, and space force all combined, magnified. So, it has internal surveillance and external surveillance. It's always looking for something that might be an intruder. We all understand the inducement of the immune system being from the idea of parasites, bacteria, and certainly, in today's world, virus. We understand that. The immune system will respond. And the immune system when it responds like that, it will send out signals or another word for that is cytokines. And some of the cytokines are inflammatory cytokines. So, that's how we get this idea of inflammation. We also know that when we have an injury or something like that, like a cut or a bruise or a broken bone, we get inflammation.

But the greatest inducer of the immune system that creates the most inflammation is the standard American diet because it's got chemicals, it's got genetic modification and all kinds of pollutants in it that the body looks at as foreign. So, just the very intake of a burger and fries is something that the body looks at as like “holy crap, I haven't seen that before. What is that?” That's sending a shockwave to the system, and it's not food. It's an enemy invader. So therefore, we have this chronic bombardment of this inflammatory-driving system that contributes to all these diseases we see.

In our clinic, when we get people off of that, we bring back just the concept of real food. If God packs it like this, it's probably how you eat it. And we don't give people dietary restrictions. We don't even tell them to count calories. We just say if it's on this list of anti-inflammatory foods that we generally believe, then eat it as much as you want. If it's on this list of inflammatory foods, don't eat it, any of it. And guess what? One hundred percent of the people get better. They're like, “Well, that was easy.” Yeah, it's not that hard. So, that's kind of our philosophy in practice, and that's the very first place we go.

[00:46:24] Ashley James: Can you give us homework to help decrease inflammation? Let's dive into the actionable steps we can take.

[00:46:33] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Let's first of all look at a list, and I hope everybody gets their pen and paper out or your phone and just begin to take this down. What are some known inflammatory foods? Well, some of these are going to be really obvious, and some of them not so obvious, and I'll explain why.

The obvious ones are going to be like processed foods, fried foods, artificial sweeteners, sugars, and MSG. We know those things are going to be inflammatory. We would include sodas in there. But let's look at corn, soy, and grains.

[00:47:11] Ashley James: What about non-GMO organic corn or soy grown in our own backyard? Is that going to also be inflammatory no matter what? Or like a store-bought, not organic, non-GMO? Is there a difference? Or should we avoid soy and corn no matter what?

[00:47:35] Dr. Mark Sherwood: There is a difference. And in your case with a non-GMO soy and a non-GMO organic corn, those will be just fine and beneficial because they're in their natural state. What makes corn, soy, and grain so damaging is really multiple things inclusive of the following: the genetic modification is one of them, specifically in the wheat crop, the grains. They've been genetically modified to avoid the effects of the herbicide Roundup. Roundup is sprayed on the soy, the corn, and the grains. And those are subsidized by the US government. So, you got to think about this from that standpoint. If the government tells you to do something in regard to your health, you probably need to do the opposite.

So, with the genetic modification, we have problem number one that's glaring. When these grains specifically come into our body, even though they're going to be genetically modified at a small percentage, the genes again haven't changed but 2% in 10,000 years, so it's still looking at this newfound genetically-modified seed grain crop different. So, it looks at as a foreigner, so therefore we get that immune system inducement, and that's why so many people have so much problem with grains creating this idea of leaky gut or hyperpermeability of the gut, leading to autoimmunity.

We also see when those genetically modified grains are digested, they become exorphins, which turn around and bind to the opioid receptors in our brain, creating a chemical addiction. This is why people have a hard time giving up the bread and the grains because we're talking about real, live, genuine addiction. That's problem number one.

[00:49:30] Ashley James: Same with dairy.

[00:49:32] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That's right. Dairy.

[00:49:33] Ashley James: There's sugars in dairy that also trigger that same opioid response, the dopamine. Mammal milk is meant for the baby. And the baby, we got to trick the brain into wanting to keep eating, so it grows, so a baby's brain is hooked on its mother's breast milk for a very good reason. God is smart.

[00:50:01] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Yeah. It creates comfort and peace, and that's when a baby can be crying until the baby latches on to that nipple and it's like, “Oh!” That makes them happy. It's not just the milk. It's the chemistry within the process.

That's why it's interesting. They were saying that milk does the body good. No, it doesn't. Don't drink it. Period. You got a double whammy there with milk because the cows in the confined animal feeding operations are fed these corn, soy, and wheat products to get fat fast, the antibiotics and the hormones, so we're selling them by weight, not by health. Therefore, when they put out that milk, I mean, that's fat, so this stuff is carried in the fat, and toxins are stored in the fat, so you have this milieu of just a mess that's subsidized. Again, the government subsidizes dairy. But all that is problem sort of number one.

Problem number two is you got Roundup. I mean, in itself, think about the concept of glyphosate and atrazine, a known carcinogen, known estrogenic compound. Why are people getting so fat so fast? Why are we seeing the feminization of our world in front of us? It's because of these compounds, the chemicals binding to the estrogen receptors creating the same mimicking effect of estrogen. So, we see this troubling trend across our country in the United States specifically, but it's lending itself across the world as well. So, these things are as bad as I just described, as inflammatory as I just described, and even much, much more.

When we talk about this with other people, we're just saying stay away from it. I know what you heard. You can take this argument over here to an allopathic side and the majority of them are going to say, “Oh, that's nonsense.” But it is true. Everything I just said is true, and folks, you can look it up out there, and there's all kinds of studies on that that you can see and the way it works. It's out there. It's not hidden from you. Just search it out and see that it's actually accurate.

[00:52:15] Ashley James: I just read a recent study. Really fascinating. I'm not an advocate for Frankenfoods, for highly processed foods. But this one study took two groups of people, and one group of people, they just said keep eating meat at every meal like just keep eating what you normally eat, get your burgers and your fries and whatever you do. Then the other group, they said keep eating what you eat, keep eating the standard American diet, but you're going to replace five meals a week. And five meals a week is nothing, right? And five meals a week with some non-meat Frankenfood like beyond burger or whatever impossible burger.

Then, they took their stool samples for a month. I don't know, maybe it was six weeks. I think it was six weeks, but it was a short study. So yeah, it was six weeks. They looked at the microbiome and what they found is that eating the Frankenfoods, because there's fiber, even though they're not healthy at all, they have canola oil and all kinds of GMOs and stuff, they're not healthy foods. But what's interesting is that by switching out some meat with something that had fiber, now these people weren't eating the way you and I eat. They weren't eating fresh fruits and vegetables. They weren't getting proper fiber from whole food sources, to begin with. But just adding in something that wasn't meat and instead had fiber in it increased the butyrate that was made, which helps to digest and absorb. It also has other functions in terms of lowering heart disease.

So, I thought that was incredible like just kind of blew my mind. I thought, well, okay, we're not taking blood because I want to see like maybe eating these Frankenmeats is going to increase inflammation because now they're getting more canola oil. But they were told to just keep eating the standard American diet, just replace some meat with something that has fiber in it, the Frankenmeats.

So, I thought that was really interesting. I'm a big advocate of telling everyone to get fiber up to 40-50 grams a day from whole food sources for a variety of reasons. Yeah, the first few weeks maybe you're going to fart more. Your microbiome is going to catch up and get used to it. But oh my gosh, the difference it makes. The difference. It's such a huge, huge difference. Then just to see that that study shows that even just replacing meat with something that has fiber in it for a few meals a week was noticeable in the microbiome within six weeks.

It kind of gets exciting that you can make a health change, something small like a baby step. Some people choose to eat vegetarian dinners, or they choose to eat more plants until 6:00 PM, and then their dinner has meat in it or something. So, I personally have found, because I have done over 30 diets to try to find what works for my body, and I believe, I've come to the conclusion that diet is a moving target because your body's needs change as we age under different circumstances and stress levels. So, you got to listen to your body, right? And also, my body really resonates with the most whole food plant-based possible. The more whole food and plant-based, the less processed food I eat, the more health my body gains. But I don't believe in diet dogma, and I don't tell everyone to eat the same way.

But I do want you to share what you've seen promotes the most health and makes the biggest difference. If everyone followed what you said, like avoid these foods and instead eat these foods for the next six weeks, you're going to see a big shift. So, can you give us sort of what is the biggest bang for our buck in terms of changing? So you've already said cut out, obviously GMO foods, obviously non-organic GMO foods, all the processed foods, the fried foods, the processed meats, the sugar, and the corn and soy. What else has a really big impact in terms of cutting out of the diet?

[00:56:55] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Well, I think you nailed them a moment ago. You bring in more plants with more fiber. It's interestingly enough, the idea of gut health, digestion, and assimilation is very key, and the short-chain fatty acid butyrate that is increased with good fiber intake is going to help heal the leaky gut, and it works to bring about more repair to the tight junctions that get spread apart with the increase of that protein zonulin.

All that said, people can expect, and we tracked that for a long time and we've got thousands of people in our database, this is what we've seen in only 30 days, and we measure what's called body fat percentage. We're trying to get ladies down somewhere in the low 20's more or less percent body fat. Men, I want them below 15, or 15 or somewhere less than that. We see in one month, the percent body fat dropped 2 to 4 percent with ladies. We've seen this consistently. The percent body fat went down 3 to 5 percent in one month with men. We've watched this occur over and over and over again.

Really, it's about our body composition adjustment. We know people have a hard time for 4-5 days if they have heavy addiction to this sugar-grain thing. But once they get past that 4-5 days, their energy level goes up higher, their sleep gets more effective and functional, the clothes fit differently, and the confidence goes through the roof. And that correlates well with the reduction of stress because we now have confidence which is a precursor for resilience, which is required to deal with stress.

[00:58:53] Ashley James: Now, to be clear, you are not promoting a vegan diet. I looked on your website. I saw that one of your smoothies had beef protein powder in it. So, what way of eating are you promoting that gets these great results?

[00:59:14] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Yeah, we are not promoting a vegan diet. As a matter of fact, vegan diets typically lead to deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, many times even iron as well. To that end, we promote more of the quasi-Mediterranean diet, I would say without breads and grains. If you keep that parameter there, a lot of plants, a lot of fruits and vegetables of course. I want to stay away from the white potato more or less, the majority of the time, especially if you have had blood sugar issues and you have metabolic issues. And the white potato is the most polluted vegetable consumed in the United States today. We consume more of that.

Then, you think about nuts and seeds. We want to get nuts and seeds that are not cut or raw, not rolled and roasted in a lot of hot oils. That's not healthy.

With proteins, I want to pick organic grass-fed, wild-caught, and free-range. Those kinds of things like that. Grass-fed is a cool double-term there to think about. But as long as you do that, you're going to have good results. Even further, if you say, “Well, I'm going to have a hard time doing that just off the bat, I'm going to have a hard time flipping that light switch on,” okay, well, do one meal a day that's right. One meal a day under these guidelines and you will feel better, much like you cited in the study that just adds a little bit of fiber to a meat diet. One meal a day can change the microbiome. And we know that mood can change because the neurotransmitter serotonin is produced primarily in the gut, so people feel better, they're more calm, and they're more confident.

You say it like this. Small victories and small successes lead to more successes and more victories. If we just take these steps one at a time and just commit to doing one baby step every day to benefit us physically, emotionally, spiritually, just one thing, it's going to lead to two things. It's going to lead to a lifetime of those things that are perpetual and habitual, and we will have a higher quality of life with the concept of wellness not being just a pipedream but being realized.

[01:01:43] Ashley James: For someone who doesn't want to eat meat, can they eat beans, legumes, and then supplement? Like you said, they might end up with a deficiency. And there are meat eaters that have B12 deficiency, too. So, saying that a vegan diet leads to that, I know plenty of meat eaters that are incredibly deficient in their B12 but also in their intrinsic factor, which leads to B12 and iron deficiency. It all starts with the gut, right? We have to heal the gut. They could supplement with omega 3 to fill in the gap there. I do though say if you're going to eat any bean or lentil to cook it in the Instant Pot because under pressure, it breaks down the lectins. And then you don't fart as much. So, it's easier to cook it in the Instant Pot and just walk away from it. So, there's that.

Do you have any superfoods that are just like if you add this, people are going to get sort of for brownie points, some extra points there? Do you have any super, super, superfoods? Let's say someone is walking around totally feeling inflamed. I've done it. Like once in a blue moon, I'm going to go out, and I think maybe five times in the last 11 years I've been gluten-free, I've had a slice of cake at a party or something and a glass of wine. I drink once a year. I go somewhere, a birthday somewhere, and that happens. Then the next day, I'm walking around feeling a little poopy, a little inflamed. And I own it. I'm like, okay, I'm going to get back on my eating healthy. I'll go to something like quercetin, turmeric, resveratrol, a big green smoothie, something that I know is going to kick that inflammation in the butt. What do you have that kicks inflammation in the butt?

[01:03:45] Dr. Mark Sherwood: I really like the broccoli. If you can take in broccoli. And this is why – because broccoli, and even broccoli sprouts if you can take in broccoli sprouts, that would be number one of those two because a sprout has 100 times more density of nutrients than a full-grown plant. What happens is when that broccoli sprout comes — and this is why I like it because it does so many things — there are two compartments in the broccoli. One has something called glucoraphanin. The other has an enzyme called myrosinase. When you choose this or digest this, these two compartments bust apart, combine together, and we get this wonderful compound called sulforaphane that is yielded inside the body. Sulforaphane upregulates the nerve II pathway genetically, which will increase the antioxidant enzymes and your detox enzymes. You're talking about a triple whammy in the ability to conquer this chronic systemic inflammation caused by the toxicity that is driven by the standard American diet. So, think yielding sulforaphane, and to get that, broccoli sprouts or broccoli.

[01:05:03] Ashley James: I love it. Now, cooked broccoli has the same effect, or does it have to be raw?

[01:05:08] Dr. Mark Sherwood: The more you cook things, the more the degradation occurs with anything. Obviously, if you can find some sprouts. Like raw broccoli can give some people gas.

[01:05:22] Ashley James: Yeah, I just live with it. I know. I love broccoli. I just have to be careful. If I'm going to go and do a meeting with someone, I'm not eating broccoli before that meeting.

[01:05:35] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Oh yeah, you don't want to do that because you're going to have awful gas pains and you let it out, it's probably going to smell bad. That's not cool. But honestly, if you can find a way to grow some broccoli sprouts, those aren't bad at all, and you can put those things on salads. And I haven't seen them cause that gas nearly as much as a full-grown stalk. It's really interesting.

So yes, on the one hand, you want to cook less. But I get it. I'd rather somebody eat/cook broccoli than none/no broccoli.

[01:06:09] Ashley James: I have this health book and I got to find it somewhere. We just moved, so my books are unpacked yet. But it's from, I don't know, the '50s or something. It's this old health book and it's all about juicing for wellness, like way back before its time. It has a whole section on sprouting and how whenever you sprout, either you can sprout lentils, you can sprout beans like mung beans, not all beans, and then seeds. I've been really into sprouting seeds lately. I'll post a picture of last night's dinner. It was brown rice cake, that's my little guilty pleasure. The Ashley in her 20s would not think that that was some little cheap food. But my brown rice cakes with avocado and piles and piles of sprouts on top, it's really delicious. To me, avocado mixed with sprouts is so good. I get like a dopamine high from eating it. It's so delicious.

Sprouting is actually really easy. Go on YouTube, and look it up. Different types of seeds or beans or different types call for sort of different times, but I found it really, really easy. In the Learn True Health Facebook group I'll make sure I'll post how I do it, so listeners that want to try it can do it for themselves. It's so great because even in the winter you can have fresh food. I had a guy on the show recently, Tim James, who said 70 percent of the food he eats, he grows in his house because he sprouts like no one's business. He has a whole wall of sprouts and he mostly eats that. That's how he cured a lot of diseases he had and his friend cured his cancer with it. He's a big proponent of eating live food. But just having sprouts in your house, it's so easy. You don't need sunlight. You just need a dark cupboard. I put it in the oven. You just got to remember it's in the oven and not start the oven.

[01:08:22] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That's right.

[01:08:23] Ashley James: That was a kitchen fire a year and a half ago. My husband and I now understand to always check the oven before we turn it on.

One thing I wanted to bring up. You talked about MSG, and I think it's really important that we not gloss over that. Because just last night, my friends told me about this video, Dr. Katherine Reid. It was a TEDx Talk, “Unblind Your Mind.” It's a great video. I highly recommend everyone listen to it. She shows clips of her autistic daughter, who is in her own world. In the first video, in her own world and not making eye contact. Then they chose to go gluten-free and do a green smoothie every morning. They saw neurological changes. They also went casein-free, so all dairy. All dairy, all gluten. And do a green smoothie. So now we've upped the fiber, gotten a bit better gut health, and now she's able to make eye contact but she's having two-hour meltdowns where she's stuck in a yes-no loop.

I saw when my kid was younger, he did yes-no loops a little bit and we would give him chamomilla homeopathic and it would take him out of it. But I noticed that. Then, she was stuck in these loops. That's when she figured out. Dr. Reid figured out the problem was MSG and that the glutamate is so excessive in our processed food diet that then she went through and made her child's diet 100 percent processed food free in order to eliminate MSG. There are 40 different words for MSG. When you read the packaging, it can say soy protein, but that actually means MSG. There are all these different words for it, right? We might look at a package and think it's clean, but there's actually monosodium glutamate in it. The problem is glutamate is good for us, but the problem is too much, right? So, she eliminated that.

Then the last video, my jaw was on the floor, is of a healthy, happy child making eye contact, speaking clearly and calmly, and having a wonderful discussion about her kindergarten class. She was kicked out of her special needs class and put into a regular class. Her daughter is no longer on the spectrum. Her daughter was diagnosed on the spectrum, moderate autism, and now she has zero autism. And it was 100 percent done with diet.

[01:10:58] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Wow!

[01:11:00] Ashley James: And it was all about the doctor figuring out that eating wheat, barley and rye, and in my opinion, oats as well because oats contain gliadin which is similar enough to gluten. It's kind of a lie when they say gluten-free oats. I'm like, yes, but it has gliadin in it, so don't eat it. By avoiding those grains, we are reducing glutamate. By taking out processed food, we're reducing glutamate. And that affects the brain. It also affects the gut.

So, that is this sort of huge wake-up. I've never heard of this — this standpoint because I've been dairy and gluten-free for so long. But a lot of people see a benefit because they've reduced the free glutamate.

[01:11:48] Dr. Mark Sherwood: That is so right. You think about glutamate being a neuroexcitatory hormone. So we're talking about affecting brain health. You think about an inflamed brain where you think of excess glutamate. So, think brain inflammation. If you don't feel good in the brain, you're not going to make good decisions.

Again, as we've talked about at the top of our conversation, everything is connected. It's not segregated. It's connected. And because of that, just like you said correctly, we have to think about all these different effects it has all around our body. And they are significant, to say the least.

[01:12:28] Ashley James: Amazing. This has been so much fun having you on the show. I absolutely would love to have you back to dive in deeper. I feel like this has been an introduction to the work you do, and I'd really love to get specific, especially specific on how to lower high blood pressure. A lot of patients are like, “Okay, I get it. I don't want to be on meds, but my blood pressure is 160/110, and I'm taking medication. So yeah, what do I do?”

I'd love to have you on the show again. We can discuss how to lower high blood pressure. Think about the most commonly prescribed drugs that we can heal the body by doing these changes like doing these lifestyle and diet changes, to the point where the body is so healthy, it doesn't need the drugs anymore. I'd really love to have you back on the show and dive into the most common drugs that you get your patients off of because you get them so healthy, that they no longer are a candidate for them.

[01:13:33] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Yeah, I would love to come back. Let's do that and talk about high blood pressure. We can talk about osteoporosis, that kind of stuff as well. That's huge. Certainly, we can talk about autoimmunity and reducing the ability to depend on those immunosuppressants. There's all kinds of things, etc. etc. that we can talk about.

[01:13:51] Ashley James: Yeah, let's do it. Yeah, so let's come up with a list of the most common drugs that you get people off of. And let's go down that list and talk about the protocols. Wonderful. All listeners can go to Sherwood.tv of course. It links to Dr. Mark Sherwood and everything that he does and his wonderful wife does, Michele. It's going to be in the show notes of today's podcast at Learntruehealth.com. When you go to Sherwood.tv, go to the free download e-book. Didn't you say it was like 27 pages or something? But it gives you some great protocols to start today. I love that your mission is to continue to spread this information. I also want to let listeners know you do have some great books. We didn't even get to talk about them today. We can definitely dive into that next time. I'd love to know maybe some tips from each of your books Quest for WellnessFork Your Diet, Surviving The Garden of Eatin. That's cute. I love it. Then, of course, watch the movie, the newly released movie, The Prayer List, which sounds fantastic.

Mark, can you give us some homework to do between now and the next time we have you on the show?

[01:15:02] Dr. Mark Sherwood: Yeah. I want people to make a list of what I'm going to give you right now, and I want you to do these couple of things. It's not going to be much, but again, let's celebrate small victories.

I want people to work on having at least a 15-minute walk every day. That's number one. Okay? Number two, I want people to work on 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. That's very important. I want people to work on having a salad once a day. Just one salad once a day. That's beautiful. Number four, I would like to challenge people to come up with a two or three-sentence positive affirmation that they speak out loud over their life twice a day. For example, it can be “I am a loving being. I am worthy. I am successful.” There you go. There's three things right there. Say that out loud twice a day, every day.

Do those couple of things that I just named off. Do them between now and the next time we talk and watch your life change. Watch how those small little things lead to bigger changes. No matter where you are in your health journey whether you're just getting going on, whether you've just been into this, look, we all have improvement. So, you can take those things right there and you can improve them based on where you are. But I've given you a little bit of homework that you can do every day. It doesn't take much time. You're talking just a little bit of time and thought. We get 1,440 minutes a day. Why can't we spend a little bit of time on self-development so we can make the world a better place?

[01:16:52] Ashley James: Beautiful. We're starting with ourselves, and then we expand out to our friends, our family, our neighborhood or community, our county, our state or province, our country, and the world. We have to think of all of our choices in that ecological way because if our choice is harming ourselves, it's trickling down, and it's harming our children.

I always pick on McDonald's. They're such an easy target. Going to a fast food restaurant in the moment, it's easy because “I'm tired. I'm hungry. My kids are hungry. I'm just going to go through the drive-thru.” That easy choice, right? We have to choose our hearts. We have to just choose our heart. Maybe our heart is getting that salad and doing it. But once we do it, it's going to fill you with so much energy that then you're going to want to do it again and again. But choosing out your heart, the good choices are trickling down to those you love. And the bad choices are also trickling down to those you love.

We have to remember that, especially as women, because we like to put our kids first and put everyone first and then we're left just hungry and tired and just doing takeout. I've been there. Just trust me, I get it. And ultimately, harming ourselves harms those we love. You don't want to imagine a world where you're not here anymore and your children don't have you or your spouse doesn't have you or your family and friends don't have you because we kept putting ourselves last.

So, I love these little things. A 15-minute walk and 8 hours of sleep. Also, it matters when you go to bed. I just want to point out that if you go to bed at 1:00 in the morning versus 10:00 at night. So at 10:30 at night, we get a cortisol spike and that makes it hard to stay in a deep sleep all night long. It'll actually affect the depth of our sleep and when we wake up. Maybe you notice this with your children. If you let them stay up late, they'll actually wake up early in the morning. You're like, “Why didn't you sleep in?” But same with us. We'll have a lighter, restless sleep. You got to make sure you fall asleep by 10 so that you don't have that second wind, and you don't have that cortisol spike. Then, you have a deeper and most restful sleep. You wake up 7 to 8 hours later feeling way more rested. So yeah, I love that.

Then you want us to eat one salad a day filled with lots of wonderful vegetables and hopefully some broccoli sprouts. And then using that positive affirmation is beautiful.

Thank you so much for coming on the show. Can't wait to have you back. This has been wonderful.

[01:19:33] Dr. Mark Sherwood: I can't wait to come back here. It's an honor to be here with you today. And I look forward to it, I truly do.

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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