Welcome to The Betty Rocker Show! In today’s episode, I’m joined by Dr. Vincent Pedre, a functional medicine certified practitioner who specializes in gut health. He is the medical director of Pedre Integrative Health, the founder of Happy Gut Life, and he practices in New York City.
His newest book the GutSMART protocol is an amazing resource for understanding gut-related issues and how to address them and is based on his years of research and clinical experience as a functional gut health expert. In the new book, you can take his quiz and get a customized protocol for addressing your own gut health.
In our conversation today, Dr. Pedre shares how he himself struggled with gut issues while he was in medical school, the issues he found with conventional medicine (and what he did about it as a practitioner) and how intrinsically connected gut health is to our overall health.
He breaks down how the health and function of our gut is related to our energy levels and our mental health, and how disruptions to microbiome impact inflammation levels in the body. Plus we get into the gut-hormone connection as it relates to how we transition between our cycling years into perimenopause and menopause.
I’m excited for you to listen to this great conversation!
If you didn’t catch our first interview, you can listen to that here.
- The GutSMART Protocol – Dr. Pedre’s new book here
- Dr. Pedre’s website here
- Dr. Pedre’s instagram
- Dr. Pedre on Facebook
Episode TranscriptNew Tab
Betty Rocker (00:00):
Welcome to the Betty Rocker Show. The place to be to nourish your mind, love your body, and rock your life. What’s up, rock stars. Coach Betty Rocker here, and I’m excited for today’s episode with Dr. Vincent Pedre. If you didn’t catch our last interview together, it’s a great one and I recommend it. Dr. Pedre is a functional medicine certified practitioner who specializes in gut health. He is the medical director of Pedre Integrative Health, the founder of Happy Gut Life, and he practices in New York City. His newest book, the Gut Smart Protocol, is an amazing resource for understanding gut related issues and how to address them. And it’s based on his years of research and clinical experience as a functional gut health expert. I’m sure you’re looking forward to hearing from him, so join me in welcoming him to this show. Welcome, Dr. Pedre. So great to see you.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (00:53):
It’s great to be back, Bree.
Betty Rocker (00:55):
Yay. Oh my gosh. It’s been a while since we last chatted, but I’m always following you on social media and benefiting from all the wonderful tips that you share.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (01:06):
Me too. I follow you. I love your stuff. I love your reels.
Betty Rocker (01:11):
Thank you so much. And I’m so excited to dig in on this topic of gut health with you today because I feel like it’s one of those things that’s hidden in plain sight for so many people every day. They’re maybe dealing with skin issues or they’re not having daily bowel movements or just certain things that we just ignore.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (01:39):
Hormone imbalances, having really bad PMS that you think is unrelated. Migraines, allergies, asthma, autoimmunity, hives, all these things that we think aren’t related to our gut, but are actually related to our gut health.
Betty Rocker (01:59):
And it’s so interesting because you yourself had really a remarkable journey. I didn’t realize this about you until I was reading your new book, the Gut Smart Protocol, and it made my heartache for you as a young man going through medical school and dealing with these symptoms that you sounds like had been dealing with your whole life and not really having…
Dr. Vincent Pedre (02:27):
Since I was a teenager.
Betty Rocker (02:29):
And not having the tools to address them in medical school, which is so ironic. And then your journey, will you tell us about how this all happened because it’s so interesting.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (02:44):
I’m going to come in through an angle that I know I’ve watched you talk about, and I don’t think a lot of guys talk about this, but I probably started going to the pediatrician with infections and stuff around age 10, as far as I can remember and being put on antibiotic. And then next time I had an infection, which was maybe six months later, I went back and another antibiotic and another antibiotic. So I was on two to three rounds of antibiotics every year. And I can only say this now, looking back with my functional medicine hat on and reevaluating what had happened to me, that all those antibiotics destroyed my gut microbiome. They led to leaky gut. And what’s funny is that people might not realize is when your gut is leaky, it doesn’t mean you absorb nutrients better because it’s leaky. It actually means you don’t absorb nutrients well, but that things are getting through that shouldn’t get through partially digested proteins.
And for me, I develop sensitivity to both gluten and dairy, along with a whole host of other foods. But I’d gone through my growth spurt as a teenager and then I became really skinny. So I had gut issues all the time, IBS-like stuff upset, stomach, all that stuff, trying to do my hardest to gain weight, eating like 3,500 calories a day. If I look back and think about, my mom used to stop, I think it was Burger King. We would go for a vanilla milkshake on the way home through the drive-through every day after school. So just imagine the number of calories in that. And I was having cereal with milk and I was having ice cream and lots of carbs, and yet I was real thin and I was body shamed for being too skinny and people would make fun of me for being skinny.
And it’s very easy for us to think if you’re overweight and somebody does that, that that hurts. I think people don’t realize that if you’re too skinny and people constantly make fun of you for being skinny, it’s just as bad as being told that you are too fat because it basically just leads to body dysmorphia and you end up not loving yourself because you look in the mirror and you think, “Well, I’m not the way that society thinks I should be, and yet I’m eating all these calories and yet I can’t gain weight. I can’t put on muscle.” And one, I was eating a lot of protein too, and I was working out. I was doing my best, and yet I didn’t know that I was working against. It was swimming against the current, and that current was my leaky gut, my messed up gut microbiome, all those food sensitivities that basically weren’t letting me absorb my nutrients.
Betty Rocker (06:03):
Wow. There’s a lot to unpack right there from a child perspective, just thinking about how damaging it is, these comments that we get about our bodies and there was a legitimate health concern happening there in you.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (06:21):
With my immune system, the pediatricians were worried about my immunity. Not that I was immunosuppressed, but they just thought they would look at me and see how thin I was and say, “You need to eat more.” And I’m thinking, “You have no idea how much I eat.” And then they would put me on these horse multivitamin pills because they thought, “Well, you just need a multivitamin that’s going to make you better.” I’m sure they were giving me some, I kind of want to curse, like some crappy multivitamin. Can you imagine? It was one of those things that were packed down that probably was like a…
Betty Rocker (06:59):
I’m picturing it. It’s a yellowish color. It’s like [inaudible 00:07:02]
Dr. Vincent Pedre (07:02):
It was a weird neon color with yellow number six. What’s that?
Betty Rocker (07:05):
Horrible. I was saying it was like a packed down yellow. I was saying the same thing as you.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (07:09):
Yeah, yellow number six or whatever. And it made no difference.
Betty Rocker (07:14):
This happens to people, and this was back when you were a kid. This still is happening today to people. And you had this wonderful analogy in your book about the difference between functional medicine and conventional medicine. And you use the example of a tree. I love this analogy so much. Do you want to tell us about that analogy and the difference between the two? Because they’re addressing your issue from this conventional standpoint at that point, but there is another way.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (07:44):
I think first of all, you have to understand that when a tree is sick, if you’re a horticulturist, if you’re a farmer, you’re not going to take care of the leaves. You’re going to look at the roots, you’re going to look at the soil and you’re going to take care of what’s happening in the soil. Maybe the minerals aren’t balanced. And then by treating the soil and the roots, you’re going to make the tree healthy again. So keeping that in mind, we think of our bodies as that tree. And when Western medicine is looking at disease and symptoms, it’s seen from the outside that your leaves are turning yellow, some leaves are brown, you’ve got these symptoms and then they’re going to come in and give you medication to treat the symptoms. It’s almost akin to saying, “Let’s paint the leaves green, and that’s going to make the tree healthy again,” because now the leaves are green, so it’s nice and pretty, but it’s not addressing what’s actually happening down in the roots.
And if we, again, think of the analogy between us and that tree, then our root system is our gut, is there a digestive system. And so what functional medicine does, is it turns that around and instead of looking at health from the outside, it’s looking at it from the inside, looking at the root system of the body and recognizing that the pathway and the avenue to healing is through the gut. And you could almost say that the slow way is the fastest way, whereas the fastest way is not the fastest way. The fast way is the Western way. Let’s put a cream on, let’s take a medication, let’s dampen the symptoms. And sure, you might need that from time to time. I’ve trained in both. And I think sometimes you’ve got to bridge people get their symptoms under better control so then you can start to work on the root system because that part is the slow part that gets you to where you need to go. So in the sense functional medicine is the slow way, that is the fastest way to sustainable health.
Betty Rocker (10:25):
That’s a beautiful analogy. And I just absolutely love the tree visual as the human body and that we would want to address the root system. We want to go to root cause when it comes to medicine as well. And that’s what really interesting about your personal journey through healing your own gut, going through medical school in a conventional Western medicine environment, going through years of education, which I’m sure we’re very valuable in many ways. But then in wanting to treat yourself, you actually had to develop and figure out this new…
Betty Rocker (11:00):
… develop and figure out this new protocol to help heal yourself. And then you’ve gone on to help all of these other people, as you then went and pursued functional medicine on top of your other medical …
I mean, it’s amazing the amount of education and schooling that you have undertaken. And also that this was such a personal journey for you, and it makes sense why you’re so interested in sharing it and helping other people.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (11:29):
And I will say it’s a really interesting journey because if we go into college … So I left home, I went to the Northeast. And once you’re in college, you’re in those all-you-can-eat dining halls. And of course I was first time living up North, I was stressed and there were times that I just ate until I was stuffed to the rim. And I want to tie it back to there was a little bit of body dysmorphia and that had sometimes triggered a style of eating, where I would eat to the point where I was overstuffed because I just wanted to gain weight.
And during college my, I actually started shifting and I thought I was gaining weight. But if you look at the pictures from that time, what I was is I was retaining water and I was becoming puffy because I was eating … My wheat intake had gone up, so I was eating much more wheat. And when you eat a lot of wheat, it actually draws a lot of water into your body. It’s an inflammatory.
So I actually started looking puffy, and I thought, “Oh wow, I’m finally … I gained 10 pounds,” but it wasn’t a healthy 10 pounds. And I continued to have gut issues. And like you said, I went to medical school where they do very little training in nutrition. And I mean, if you go to a gastroenterologist nowadays, a traditional gastroenterologist will tell you that diet has nothing to do with gut issues.
Betty Rocker (13:12):
Which makes no sense at all.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (13:14):
Which is mind-blowing because, I mean, even if you’re just a … I mean, you’re just trained in science. We were trained to think logically, but also to challenge, to think through things. Like common sense would say, if you’re putting it through your mouth, how can it not have an effect on your digestive system if it has to go through your entire digestive digestive tract?
And we just didn’t know where to go. We weren’t looking in the right places. I mean, microbiome was not on the radar, Western medicine, 20 years ago.
Betty Rocker (13:55):
It’s really mind-boggling.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (13:55):
This has shifted.
Betty Rocker (13:58):
It’s mind-boggling to me the blindness when it comes to the scientific approach. It’s a wonderful approach, and yet there’s blinders on because how-
Dr. Vincent Pedre (14:08):
You can’t see what you’re not looking for.
Betty Rocker (14:10):
Yeah, and like we [inaudible 00:14:14].
Dr. Vincent Pedre (14:14):
But just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
Betty Rocker (14:17):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (14:18):
It just means you’re not looking for it.
Betty Rocker (14:20):
Look at how few studies and research, scientific research, has been done on women specifically when it comes to training and nutrition. How many segments of female population did they actually take to study specific dietary strategies and approaches? Women in different life stages who are maybe menopausal, versus women who are still cycling, versus women on the pill? There’s a vast difference in the population between 18-year-old men or obese men, who they’re studying, versus women –
Dr. Vincent Pedre (14:51):
And a lot of those studies have involved men. You’ll be interested actually, one of the studies that I put in my book, because it was a study that came out in 2021 from Stanford University, the study actually was 73% women-
Betty Rocker (15:07):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (15:07):
… in that study. They divided 36 people into two groups, 18 and 18. And they decided to look at what is the effect of a high-fiber diet versus a high-fermented foods diet.
Betty Rocker (15:26):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (15:27):
And they were looking at how does this affect inflammation in the body? How does it affect microbial diversity? And I can go into that because microbial diversity is a really important concept when it comes to the gut. And how does it affect your immune response? Because hello, the gut is command central for your immune system. It’s basically pulling the strings, controlling what’s happening in the rest of your body.
So it’s really fascinating what they found, because if you follow functional medicine you hear people talking about eat the rainbow, that rainbow of vegetables. That’s going to create microbial diversity. And we translate the rainbow into meaning fiber-rich foods, foods like root vegetables with resistant starches, grains, dark leafy greens, all of those rich in fiber.
And I honestly, when I was reading this study, I thought that I was kind of almost like a horse race. Like, which group is going to win? Which group will do better? And I really thought it was going to be the fiber-rich group.
Betty Rocker (16:37):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (16:37):
And I was shocked when it was the fermented foods group that actually showed an increase in microbial diversity, which we can talk about, and a drop in 19 inflammatory markers.
Betty Rocker (16:50):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (16:52):
And that’s huge.
Betty Rocker (16:53):
That’s huge. Why is it that fermented foods are so important for microbial diversity? And explain what it is.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (17:01):
So ferment is a food that has been in a controlled spoil, that has a certain bacteria. And there’s different bacterial lines that are used for different types of foods, like making yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi. Some of it grows on the bacteria natural to the food. And they just, once the food sits for a bit with the right conditions, then the bacteria starts to ferment and break down the proteins and the cell wall in those foods. And it’s something that’s been used traditionally for years because it’s a way to preserve and prolong the life of a food, especially before refrigeration existed.
But the other thing that you get, so when you eat these foods, you might get vitamins that are being made by these bacteria. But the other interesting thing is that what they found was that when people were eating these fermented foods, and if you tested the poop, yeah, you’re going to see an increase in those bacteria initially, but then you start seeing this system-wide increase. And what we understand about them is that in this ecosystem, one group will make certain metabolites, secrete those metabolites, and those metabolites get gobbled up by another group of bacteria. And those maybe make another type of metabolite that gets gobbled up by another. So then becomes this cross-feeding community that’s supporting each other.
And this is probably part of the reason why the high-fermented foods diet helped increase microbial diversity, which is basically just like having a large variety of different microorganisms in the gut, like different bacteria. We all have approximately 100 trillion microbes in our large intestine. And I know that’s such a big number. How do you even fathom that? The analogy that I like to use is there are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy and we’ve got 100 trillion organisms. So we’ve got, how many, 200-some galaxies inside our gut.
Betty Rocker (19:21):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (19:22):
Milky Way galaxies.
Betty Rocker (19:23):
That’s a beautiful analogy too.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (19:25):
Yeah. I mean, if we have multiples of that, and within that there’s 500 to 1, 000 different species. And so when we talk about diversity, diversity is the holy grail. It’s the holy grail to health because the … And this is not just this study, but other studies are finding that when diversity is lost you start seeing chronic degenerative diseases. And we’re not just talking about physical, we also start seeing anxiety, we start seeing depression. It’s connected to the gut microbiome. And when you have more diversity, you see a drop in inflammation in the body.
But I do want to point out, this study, it was more women. Yes, it was mostly white women, so I think they need to go back and broaden the study. Like you said, not everybody is the same. I think we need to look at this in different groups. But also, I think we need to look at what happens if you take another group and you put them on fiber and fermented foods, because I think that’s where the answer is.
Betty Rocker (20:38):
That’s the sweet spot, is where you –
Dr. Vincent Pedre (20:40):
That’s the sweet spot. And then compare it to control group because they didn’t have … Usually in a study you have a control group. I think we need a control group to see, well, what happens if you just give general dietary guidelines?
Betty Rocker (20:51):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (20:53):
And interestingly, another group during the pandemic decided to do this with healthy volunteers. They took 45 people, divided them into two groups, and they did exactly what I was hoping for. They put one group on a high-fiber, five to eight servings, and two to three servings of fermented foods per day. And the second group just got general dietary advice.
And they started the four-week period with having them fill out a standardized stress questionnaire. And then they looked at their stress score. So they’re again looking at the gut brain connection and whether diet has an effect on the gut, that then has an effect on the brain. And what they found was that in the fiber and the fermented foods group, their stress score dropped by 32%.
Betty Rocker (21:54):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (21:55):
Compared to 17% in the non-intervention group, that were just getting general guidelines. And-
Dr. Vincent Pedre (22:00):
– group, but that we’re just getting general guidelines. And that 32 to 17 maybe doesn’t sound big, but it was statistically significant to say that yeah, there was a dietary effect in this group and it’s worth looking into.
Betty Rocker (22:17):
I would say so too. And in your practice you have guidelines for people that include fermented foods, fiber, all of these recommendations for a very good reason.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (22:32):
And the thing is that these foods are great, but part of why I decided to write this second book is realizing that there’s also a problem with generalized recommendations when we tell people, “Hey, ferments are good, eat ferments. Fiber is good, eat more fiber.” And then people go out and they start eating a lot of these foods and then they feel really sick. And they’re wondering, “Well, what’s wrong with me? And supposedly this is healthy, this is going to improve my immunity and all that.” And what I realized from taking care of patients and what’s evolved since my first book is just realizing that there’s a uniqueness to gut types.
Betty Rocker (23:18):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (23:19):
And we need to say goodbye stereotypes. Hello gut types.
Betty Rocker (23:25):
Gut types. Yeah, exactly. How interesting. And you actually have a quiz in your book where you can determine what your gut type is, so that you can then choose the correct pathway. And you give a unique individualized pathway for people based on their quiz outcome, which I really enjoy.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (23:44):
Which I want to say. So, if you test severe, if you go in and you get your score, you get a number score that’s between 25 and 450. And if your number score puts you into the severe category, you can’t have fermented foods yet. But I just told you that fermented foods are good, but they’re not good for you if you’re in a severe category. And I know before we started talking, you started telling me about changing the food for your dog, Body, and how your dog is doing much better now, and it’s cooked food. When you have severe gut issues, you’re also going to have a lot of trouble with raw vegetables. And so I’ve had patients come in and I’ve actually put them on an only cooked vegetable diet while we were working on improving their gut health. And then one of the signs that we’re actually progressing and they’re getting better is that they start to be able to introduce raw veggies back into the diet.
Betty Rocker (24:46):
Now what you’re saying right there, this is so fascinating because a lot of people will at one point in their life have had developed a food allergy, food sensitivity… They haven’t developed an allergy, they’ve developed a food sensitivity towards something, and then they think that for the rest of their life they can’t eat that food. However, the body does adapt a bit and change if we introduce things in the right way and we work towards healing the gut. Correct?
Dr. Vincent Pedre (25:13):
As you heal the leaky gut, you can definitely resolve some food reactions. I think that food reactions are quite complex. They can be an allergy mediated by IgE antibodies or a sensitivity that’s mediated by IgG or IgA antibodies. And I think there’s also other ways that we can react that maybe we’re not measuring yet. So, there are things that can improve and definitely will improve when you improve your leaky gut and gut permeability. And there are things that may just be too damaging and it doesn’t matter how much gut healing you accomplish. It’s better that you avoid that food because for some reason it just doesn’t agree with your body. And that’s really about developing a level of embodiment and intuition around eating that. I talk about in my book that I think is really important, because I think it’s not just about me telling you you’re a moderate gut type, so your gut smart score is 300 and this is the way you need to eat. But I also tell people, “Look, there’s a wisdom to your body. So, I might be telling you that something is good for you, but your body, when you eat it, you feel tired, you feel a little bit off.” And I tell people, “You also need to develop that intuitive muscle and start to listen to your body because the “why is this person in the room” is your own body speaking to you.”
Betty Rocker (26:53):
100%. And what about the connection for women, as we go through our different life stages, say we come out of our regular cycling years and we’re in that transition of perimenopause before we get to menopause. Women experience, I think a lot of… They notice that there’s a gut component or something is changing. Do you have anything you want to say to that particular population about things that they could be paying attention to or looking at addressing?
Dr. Vincent Pedre (27:25):
Absolutely. I mean, first of all, it’s important to be pooping every day. And pooping is not just about having a slimmer waistline. When you poop, you are dumping out toxins, you’re dumping out metabolized estrogen. And what happens to a lot of women as they start going into those premenopausal, perimenopausal into menopause years is that their progesterone is dropping and their estrogen is rising. And if they’re stressed, not everyone who’s going through this transition, but a lot of women going through the transition are moms with teenage kids, they’re maybe working, or they’re either at-home mom, or they’re balancing a job, the kids and being the mom and taking care of everything, so life is very high stress. Maybe there’s a glass of wine there on the weekends.
And all of these things are going to disrupt the gut microbiome and the high estrogen is going to predispose to more constipation. So, then you start recycling more of that estrogen that’s getting metabolized out because it’s just sitting in the gut for too long. And you start retaining more water, you start gaining weight, the gut becomes leaky because you’re stressed, maybe you’re having some drinks, maybe sometimes you’re eating too much sugar. And then it just becomes this vicious cycle that happens during that time. And then you think that it’s you going through menopause, but it’s really your gut is actually shifting as this is happening, as your hormones are shifting. And if you pay attention to your gut and how you’re treating your gut, you can actually go through that process much better.
Betty Rocker (29:32):
I love that you addressed that. Thank you so much. Because I think it’s a topic where a lot of us feel a little bit overwhelmed or lost. Suddenly the things we used to do are no longer working the same way, and we know that there are other aspects to this process, hormonal aspects, but everything’s interconnected. All of these systems in the body are integrated.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (29:55):
And it’s important. It’s important for people to understand and women, your audience, that the body’s in constant flux. And women know that from the beginning because they’re on this moon cycle, so they understand that the body has this internal fluctuation that’s happening. But it’s also happening over time, and your gut microbiome responds to those fluxes. It’s going to respond to if you go through a dietary, I call it drift, because you start, you’re really good, and then you have a cookie, and then you let yourself have something else. And then little by little, you don’t do it overnight, but slowly over time, your diet is drifting back to old habits. And that’s controlling the types of bugs that predominate in your gut. You’re controlling them by what you put into your mouth. But I also like to joke with patients that the human body is a like board game that changes the rules, but it doesn’t tell you that the rules were changed. The only way you can find out that the rules change is by playing the game.
Betty Rocker (31:13):
Cheers to that. That’s such a great analogy. And we both just took a sip of water, and we were talking a minute ago about how wheat and gluten kind of make you retain a lot more water because your body’s trying to deal with all of that, and that causes bloating. And I think it’s a really interesting thing that doesn’t get talked about enough], it’s like the importance and value of hydration in your gut health conversation. How much water should we be drinking alongside of the foods we’re eating? Should we drink water with our meal? After our meal? Does it matter? I know that’s such a silly, silly question, but it’s so important.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (31:55):
So important. It’s so important. When you drink a lot of water while you’re eating, you’re actually diluting your stomach acid and you’re going to make it harder for yourself to digest your food. Now, you may be thinking, “Well, but my mouth gets so dry and my food gets stuck if I don’t drink water while I’m eating.” Well, if that’s happening, that means you’re not chewing enough. You’re actually eating too fast. So, it’s a sign that you need to slow down. So, the ideal thing that I try to do is drink before a meal. Make sure you’re hydrated because most people are walking around dehydrated.
And if you start your day with coffee and you’re going to the bathroom, or for me it’s matcha and I’m going to the bathroom, you’re going to dehydrate, so you have to make sure that you remember to drink water in between your meals. Because a lot of times you’re at work, you’re busy, you’re talking to people, you have meetings. It’s so easy to forget that, it’s almost like we lose connection with that hydration signal that are thirst. And again, it’s about-
Betty Rocker (33:00):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (33:01):
Our thirst. And again, it’s about being disconnected from the body because we’re so busy, our minds are somewhere else. So hydrating before meals, then trying to only have minimal water during the meal, and then wait at least about 20, 30 minutes before hydrating post meal to give your stomach a chance to do its job of breaking down the proteins in your food using the stomach acid and the proteases, the protein digestive enzymes in your stomach.
But the thing is, if you’re really dehydrated, then you’re going to be constipated. And it goes back to you want to transition well, you want to go through perimenopause well, you need to make sure that you’re pooping every day. And that means you’ve got to hydrate well. And you might even need to take something like magnesium. But you also have to see, are you eating enough fiber?
Maybe. Maybe the reason you’re not pooping every day, maybe you poop just two to three times per week is because you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet. There’s not enough vegetables.
Betty Rocker (34:12):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (34:12):
And a lot of people think, “I eat vegetables with dinner. That’s enough.” Well, that’s maybe two servings and we need seven to nine servings per day.
Betty Rocker (34:22):
And then there are a lot of women in my age group are thinking about taking specific supplements for preserving muscle. For instance, creatine. But creatine can be extremely dehydrating if you’re not drinking enough water while you’re also taking it. So I think we have to be really aware and mindful of how all these things that we’re choosing to use for different purposes, how they interconnect with each other, that it’s like we were talking about with conventional medicine, how they’re looking at one thing at a time and not saying, “Oh, and there’s also this dietary component which functional medicine brings in.” We have to really try to think about the body and these systems holistically.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (35:01):
I like of thinking about how everything works together, even though it seems like the things are apart and how every part affects everything. And the gut is such a beautiful place to start because the gut is connected to everything. Your skin, your immune system, your metabolism, your energy levels-
Betty Rocker (35:20):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (35:20):
… Your joint and bone health, your mental health.
Betty Rocker (35:24):
Yeah, that’s a big one. And you talk about the vagus nerve and the importance of that stress connection. You mentioned it a little bit ago as well, and that’s a whole separate podcast. I’m sure it’s just a whole topic.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (35:41):
Oh my gosh. We could go just dive into that vagus nerve.
Betty Rocker (35:45):
But why don’t we, just in the last part of the time that we have together, maybe just some general guidelines for how we could get started? Obviously step one is get this book so that we can take the quiz and go through our own customized protocol.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (36:02):
I have it. Can I see it here? Put it in front of my face.
Betty Rocker (36:05):
It’s such a beautiful book.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (36:10):
Take the gut smart quiz, but also it’s really important to know, even these studies that I mentioned, they didn’t take people from eating one serving of fiber rich veggies per day to eight servings per day. You actually need to ramp up slowly over time. So they actually, in that study, had a four week period of ramping up to get them to the goal.
Because you recognize that if you try to go from little to a lot overnight because you just heard like, “Oh, I need to eat more fiber, so I’m just going to start eating.” It’s actually going to be a shock to your system. It’s better to take baby steps and I talk about that in the book, but it’s also practical piece of advice that anybody can apply right now today.
If you feel like you’re not getting enough servings of vegetables and berries, fiber rich fruit, in your diet and you want to increase that but don’t go crazy.
Betty Rocker (37:10):
How many servings of fruits and vegetables should we be eating daily, Dr. Pedre? Generally?
Dr. Vincent Pedre (37:16):
Seven to nine.
Betty Rocker (37:16):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (37:16):
Betty Rocker (37:17):
Combined fruits and veggies. So you could have three fruits and four veggies or vice versa.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (37:24):
Yeah. Think of each serving as about a cup size, not compressed.
Betty Rocker (37:30):
Like a banana?
Dr. Vincent Pedre (37:31):
It doesn’t have to be compressed.
Betty Rocker (37:32):
A banana would be a serving.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (37:34):
Betty Rocker (37:34):
Maybe a couple of blueberries or a cup of blueberries is a serving.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (37:39):
And if you can then into that, add two to three cups or two to three servings of fermented foods, that might be a little bit hard. But getting that in, I love to add, I love pickles, I love adding sauerkraut to my meals. So I always compliment a meal with a bit of sauerkraut and love the acidity because the acidity also gets your stomach acid going. And I also will add yogurt sometimes in between meals, sometimes as a snack or in a smoothie or as part of my meal. So that there’s a lot of ways that you can sneak these things in throughout the day.
Betty Rocker (38:20):
For dessert at night, I like to do a bowl of blueberries and black raspberries or raspberries with, and I’ve got this organic probiotic. It’s a kefir that I put on, or kefir, however you say it. And that’s my dessert.
Sometimes I’ll put just a little bit of honey or sprinkle some flaxseeds or some chopped walnuts. But that’s my-
Dr. Vincent Pedre (38:42):
And you’re doing your gut good because you’ve got different sources of fiber there between the berries and the walnuts. And then you’ve got the fermented food in there as well. So you’re doing a lot of good things.
Betty Rocker (38:56):
I really took dairy out entirely for many years because it really disrupted my gut health for a long time. And I also eliminated gluten. And at this point, if I do have anything that has gluten, it’s coming from a sourdough bread or a fermented or sprouted source. So at least that it’s partially broken down. And then I can tolerate some, but I don’t do it daily. But again, that’s after having gone through an elimination kind of protocol and healing my gut.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (39:28):
And listening to your body.
Betty Rocker (39:29):
And listening to your body.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (39:32):
Listening to your body and knowing when you need to pull back if you need to.
Betty Rocker (39:36):
Dr. Vincent Pedre (39:37):
There’s an intelligence to the body.
Betty Rocker (39:38):
There really is.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (39:39):
I’m primarily dairy free, but when I came back from Guatemala during the pandemic and I had Giardia parasite, I don’t know why I had this intuition that the two things I needed to heal my gut were bone broth and kefir, but it had to be dairy-based kefir. It wasn’t going to be a nut milk based kefir and that was just my intuition. That’s exactly how I healed my gut.
Betty Rocker (40:06):
So interesting. Oh my gosh. So much more to learn from Dr. Pedre, you guys. So I really encourage you to read his new book. And we will have a link to it of course, in the show. And you’ll be able to get the bonuses and stuff. You’ve got a whole thing.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (40:26):
I have five bonuses, including just being able to get your gut smart quiz right away and find out what your gut score is. But also having the downloadable quiz that you can just retake, because the idea is to take it in the beginning and then test again at the end and see where you’re at. And then use it as a marker for tracking your progress with your score as well as your gut type.
Betty Rocker (40:51):
Yes. Perfect. And you’re also on Instagram, you’re on Facebook, you’re on all of the social media platforms as we discussed at the beginning. And I really recommend you guys follow Dr. Pedre as well online because he just puts out all these great tips constantly and you can connect with him, and you can connect with his community of great people like us who are interested in what he has to say and talk to them in the chats and in the feed. But I’m so appreciative of you spending time with us today, Dr. Pedre. Thank you for coming on and sharing your wisdom
Dr. Vincent Pedre (41:24):
Betty Rocker (41:24):
We wish you all the best.
Dr. Vincent Pedre (41:26):
It’s great to see you again.
Betty Rocker (41:28):
You too. And look forward to talking to you again…
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