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014: Gut Health... the seat of your immune system

Updated: Jun 22, 2021


Episode Summary:

Tammey speaks with Isa Lemaignen from True Holistic Nutrition about gut health and how functional medicine can be used to help fortify the immune system. Isa trained at The College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, both in nutritional therapy and naturopathy, and works in the principles of functional medicine. With a focus on nutrition, we answer questions like: What is the best diet for someone fighting cancer? What does good inflammation have to do with the immune system? Can I gain weight in a healthy way? Can I lose weight in a healthy way? Can I lose weight…? What is the deal with sugar? And much more. Join us for an informational packed episode with tools you will be able to put to use today.

Topics in this Episode:

  • Intro

  • What is Functional Medicine?

  • The Gut, your most important organ?

  • Good Inflammation vs Bad Inflammation

  • Tips for Gaining Weight – the Healthy Way

  • So which diet is the RIGHT diet?

  • Does a spoonful of sugar help the medicine go down?

  • Excitowhatsies?

  • How do I make this weight go away?

  • How can we fortify our immune system?

  • Sign off

Guest Contact Information and Social Links:

Contact Information and Social Links:


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Tammey Grable-Woodford: Hello, and welcome back to Your Killer Life. We have got an amazing guest today and Isa, I am going to try not to butcher your last name because it's French. And I already admitted in the green room that I don't... I don't speak French well. Actually, what I didn't tell you is I got an F in French in high school. It was the first and only class I ever failed, but we're going to give it a try.

Today we've got Isa Lemaignen with Truth Holistic Nutrition, and I am so excited to have you as a guest. I personally, when I went through my cancer treatment, and for those, if this is your first podcast, I was diagnosed with Stage 3b ILC with metastasis to the dermis, um, it had made it to my nipple, and also metastasis to the lymphatic system, to my lymph nodes.

And I was fortunate enough to work with a FABNO, and that is a naturopathic oncologist who shared an office with my medical oncologist. So I had the resources available to me, both from a naturopathic perspective, and also from the conventional medicine perspective and Isa, you trained at The College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, both in nutritional therapy and naturopathy.

And you also work in the principles of functional medicine. For someone who might not be familiar with all of that. Well, first of all, please feel free to add to your bio there with your introduction and tell us a little bit about you. And then, after that, could you tell us a little bit about what that means if someone's not familiar with the world of functional medicine or naturopathy?

What is Functional Medicine?

Isabelle Lemaignen: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah. So functional medicine. I will start with that because for me it's really important. Functional medicine is; basically, it was, uh, I think originally made for, uh, medical doctors in the U.S. who did not have naturopathy or nutrition training, I mean enough of it so that they could augment their scope of practice.

Uh, it was created, I think by this guy who's amazing. He's the head of the functional Institute for Functional Medicine, Jeffrey Bland, and he is amazing, this guy. He has got so much knowledge, and this group, this Institute for Functional Medicine, is growing by the day. So many medical doctors are actually wanting to learn more about how the body works. Other ways to heal the body. As you were saying about your, um, naturopathic practitioner, oncologist, which I think is absolutely fantastic because most medicines should really work together. Everybody should be respectful of each other for the greater good of the patient. That's what I believe. And so functional medicine is really addressing the root causes of what's going on in our bodies.

They have this map, uh, with, you know, you go deep, and then you go deeper, and you go so deep that you get to exactly what's going on. And I really love that naturopathy is a combination of tools. So it starts with detoxification, but it addresses a, it uses also traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbal medicine... I also did something with remedy, and that's, that was amazing. And also iridology for those who don't know about their iridology, it's the study of the Iris. So I know that this has been called quackery by a lot of people, but to be honest, I mean, I use that in practice, and it's really helped me, uh, with, I'm not going to say diagnosis because I don't like that.

But with, uh, understanding what's going on in somebody's body, I look at the nails. I look at the eyes, and I look at the hair, I look at the skin, so yeah, it's really, it's really important. And then the nutrition is my passion, and it's understanding how food affects us and how food is actually communication between ourselves and energy.

Yeah, it's a, it's a passion of mine.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I love it. And how long has this been a study and a practice of yours?

Isabelle Lemaignen: So, um, I started training ten years ago, so a few years, but before that, I had already looked into nutrition and naturopathy because of, you know, health problems. We, when we were... all of us students and we're introducing each other. It was funny how maybe 95% of us were there studying nutrition and naturopathy because of some health problems, either our own or somebody we love. A lot of people who have parents or children with cancer that was like most of the students in my, in my class, actually. So for me, it was, it just started with a slip desk back problems and not being able to get rid of that and then having all sorts of digestive issues. And then my skin had lots of things on it, and I didn't understand.

Went to see a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner who basically told me that my blood was poisoned, and I didn't understand what she meant. And so I basically went online afterward and I, I Googled it. I don't know if Google was there at the time, but I just put it on the internet, and it came up with leaky gut.

And then I researched leaky gut, and, uh, and then I realized that actually my digestive system was a mess, and then I had to build it up again to heal it, and I didn't know how to do that. So I went to see a nutritionist, and so she helped me do that. And that, for me, it was the beginning of this amazing, amazing journey.

Um, because I wanted to know more. Uh, the thing is. Before I started, uh, going to the CNM college. I was just like rubbing information here and then like a patchwork, but I really wanted to make sense of it all. So I decided to study science, which was never my forte, but I was like, you know what? I really want to know what's going on, and I want to be able to help other people.

So, yeah.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: So you were... you're from France. You lived in the U.K. and studied in the U.K. and now you're in the United States. And so I know that my experience and my friends from overseas, the attitude towards nutrition, natural medicine, naturopathy, a holistic approaches is more openly received in other countries... maybe more so than the United States.

And I don't know if that's just sort of a byproduct of us still being so young, right. As a, as a nation and still figuring our stuff out. So we don't have that thousands of years of traditional Chinese medicine and those, those, uh, treatments and, and a grandma's medicine, right? That's passed down.

Isabelle Lemaignen: Yeah, absolutely.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: So, I'm so glad you're here in the United States, and I'm so excited for this conversation as we talk about gut health and how the gut is really the seat of the immune system. For those that are listening in for the first time, I had a, an amazing interview podcast episode with the lymphedema guru and Joe, it was amazing, and he has such great research and the importance of the immune system, the lymphatic system with your immune system.

And what we can do, especially those of us who have had cancer, who often have lymph nodes removed and have challenges there. But the lymphatic system isn't the only tool in the arsenal. And in fact, gut health is critical to overall health. And so I am excited for us to talk today about how gut health is really the seat of the immune system.

And I'm just going to let you take it away.

Isabelle Lemaignen: Okay. Thank you. So it all starts with this guy called Hippocrates from ancient Greece. Um, he is said to be the father of medicine. And as a lot of people know, they, uh, take the Hippocratic oath, uh, when they were, I mean, medical students who are graduating, take their Hippocratic oath to a promise that they do no harm to their patients. And they're going to make sure that they do whatever it takes to bring these patient's health back to, um, it's optimal function.

The Gut, your most important organ?

Um, and so the gut has always been known to be the most important organ, even though there is no organ per se, like the stomach that you can draw or the liver or the bile, um, the biliary ducts and the lungs and the heart it's really like a sheet.

Uh, my husband said something yesterday about it being like a raincoat. And it kind of is like a raincoat from your mouth down to your anus, and it protects, uh, it's only a cell thick. So it's like super, super thin, but very strong because the body is that strong. And so basically it, it filters, whatever you eat, you eat to whether it's going to get into the body or not.

Because that raincoat is basically semipermeable. So, uh, it lets some molecules in, and some molecules are usually tiny molecules are allowed. So vitamins, minerals, amino acids, you know, some good fats and everything. And then the big molecules from probably, you know, things like gluten and everything. They're gonna stay outside because they are not allowed in because the body recognizes them as, uh, antigens. So bad guys.

Thing is when, in my situation you have leaky guts, you have holes in that raincoat. And so the big molecules are allowed in, and then your body reacts, and is like "Whoa, what's going on?" You know, I don't recognize these molecules and then starts and inflammation process to fight the bad guys.

So it's like a little war that starts in everything. But if you keep on, you know, allowing the molecules in, because you don't realize what's going on in your body, then the inflammation is getting bigger and bigger. And so after a while, you end up with some symptoms, it can be, I don't know, headaches, it can be hormone problems, it could be skin problems. It could be, you know, digestive problems. It could be a lot of things. And then it goes on and on and on.

So the gut is basically the foundation of who we are. It's the grounding of who we are. And that's why for me, with my clients, I always always address the guts no matter what.

Good Inflammation vs Bad Inflammation

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I love what you said about inflammation and how that in the beginning because I think inflammation is something that is misunderstood, that we automatically assume inflammation is bad. And don't necessarily understand that if you just went for a hard run, that exercise can create that inflammation in the body, that as a response to trying to fix something that can create some inflammation in the body. Do you want to, or could I get you to talk just a second about how inflammation can be good and too much can be bad and kind of how that works in the system.

Isabelle Lemaignen: Yep. So it's really about the difference between acute inflammation when you hurt yourself. For example, if you cut yourself or if you, you know, you've just fallen down to the ground, and you have scraped your legs or whatever, and chronic inflammation, which is inflammation going on and on and on. So inflammation is super important for us because it protects the area where the injury has happened.

So it basically closes up on that area of, for example, say, I mean, I burned myself all the time, taking stuff in and out of the oven. Right. Uh, and so I get injured, you know, I get inflammation. Yeah. But, uh, and I, I look sometimes so not all the time because I have, uh, you know, lots of things going on in my life.

But sometimes I just take the time to look at what's going on on my skin. And I'm really amazed at how things happen. Uh, because then you have all these cells that go around the injury, and that protects you, and they protect that sort of area in order to not make it bigger. And then you have, you know, like for example, if you scrape your knee or whatever, then you have a crust, and that's part of the inflammation as well and the repair. And then the crust goes away. Then the skin is on you because it protects the new skin. And then you don't have, if you let it happen, you don't have a scar because the process has been natural.

If we take the crust off, sometimes we get scars, you know, and I used to use that when I was little. Cause it's annoying, but, um, so that's acute inflammation.

Now. Chronic inflammation is usually happening within. A lot of the time from leaky gut, but it could be, you know, from other things like, for example, chronic stress triggers inflammation. The, um, stress hormones are great because they help us cope, but they're only supposed to be active for a while, not for a long time. And so if we're stressed over a period of time, I mean, I know that some people can be stressed for years and decades and everything.

Then that's going to create uh, chronic inflammation in the body, and then the body will want to counteract that. And then something's going to give because you know, you, you, can't a sustain balance in the, in the state yeah of chronic inflammation. So yeah, that happens to many of us. I have to say.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: In my case, and it was working with my naturopath, and I've seen a naturopath for a number of years. And for me, it was adrenal fatigue. That my cortisol levels were so high for so long that it suppressed my adrenal function. And so I've had adrenal support. And so it is interesting that inflammation is this wonderful tool and it's brilliance in the body.

And then that chronic inflammation can be... turn... turn... what some, something so magical can turn something so magical against us and cause issues.

So with cancer treatments, and since this is a, we talk all things, breast cancer here. There are a couple of things that go on well, more than a couple, but some of them, things that I hear often are I've been told to gain weight. How can I gain weight in a healthy way? And yet at the same time with some of the treatments, not only is it hard to gain weight, it's, it's damaging to the microbiome and to the gut health. And you have a hard time eating for a number of reasons, whether it's, you don't have the appetite, or you have mouth sores or, you know, the the treatments can be brutal in that way.

And then the other side of that, and I'll remind us because I have a feeling we'll talk for a while on how we can gain weight in a healthy way, or some tips there to gain weight while still maintaining the integrity and hopefully strengthening the immune system. But then the other side of that. And I know I experienced this, um, is trying to lose weight after all of the surgeries and treatments and kind of what happens there with metabolic changes. And, and it's not... things don't work like they did. It's not like it was, it's not that simple.

So can we talk a little bit about how we can maybe, um, maintain gut health, gain some weight, and utilize health, healthy foods and tools and nutrition to our advantage. While going through that process.

Tips for Gaining Weight – the Healthy Way

Isabelle Lemaignen: Yeah, that's a super good question. Because a lot of people, uh, in your situation and with other situations like, um, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, they're struggling with having appropriate nutrition because you're exhausted. You're hurting you, uh, you're stressed in your situation, you know, with cancer. A lot of the time, you know, people are afraid that they're going to die. So. So basically, your life is kind of at a standstill. So I would like to talk about fats for a few minutes, because yeah, because fats have demonized for so many decades and we have to just like for inflammation, we have to separate fats into the useful fats for our body who needs the fats, because our brain is made of fat, because a hormones and our neurotransmitters need fat all at the cells, in our bodies, in our body, they need fat. Okay?

They all have this phospholipid, which is a fat membrane around them. So when you deprive somebody of fats, basically you're killing the cells or, you're preventing the cells from communicating with each other.

Now you have some other fats, like, you know, the fats from processed foods and from vegetable oils, like grape seed oils and canola and, um, margarine, um, that has been said to be a savior from butter at one point. And I completely disagree with that.

Uh, it might be controversial, but I will have some grass-fed butter anytime over margarine, which by the way, is one at one molecule away from plastic, and it's, uh, the way it's made. So let's have the real stuff. Okay?

Um, so if you want to gain weight, usually, uh, you have to increase your good fats and your protein as well.

So for when I say protein, I mean, you know, for people who like eating meat, you can have some really good quality meats. You can have some really good quality fish, some great quality eggs as well, a free-range, organic. And if you're vegan, Like my daughter, then some really good quality organic lentils and beans. And, you know, um, all these things are fantastic, nuts and seeds and lots and lots and lots of veg.

Replacing the sugar with good fats, good protein, and vast array of the rainbow, uh, in fruit and vegetables. And I'm not saying it's easy, it's easy. It's not easy. But if you do it little by little by little step by step, then yes, you will put on the weight, and you will put on the weight because in your mind, you know, that you're giving your body what your body needs.

And it's a fantastic feeling, you know? So. So that's what I believe in. And if you want to make a shake, for example, you can buy some really good quality protein shakes. There are a few out there, um, for people who are going through those kind of illnesses and those experiences, and you can add, you know, your berries and you can add yourself spinach, your kale, your nut butters. And you can drink that in two or three times. You don't have to, you know, down it because sometimes, you know, when you're going through a... a... you probably have been through that. It's like your appetite has shrunk. So you can't have, I don't know if you had to have like several meals a day, but like tiny, but, um, a lot of people that I've worked with, you know, they can handle the big shake, so they will only have like, you know, maybe know half a glass, maybe over three or four times.

And that's, that's perfectly okay. As long as they get the the good stuff and…

So which diet is the RIGHT diet?

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I love that. I know that when I met with my naturopathic oncologist, his, his nutrition, and I was freaking out about nutrition. And I think this is kind of a common thing because when you're diagnosed with cancer, you feel like you have zero control over anything. The... you're choosing from options, you never would have signed up for otherwise. So you don't really have control. You're just making the best decisions you can based on the hand that you've been dealt and the taking the path you think is going to be the best path for your healing. And so for me, it was like, do I go all alkaline? Do I go, KETO? Do I go...? And I was making myself crazy with it.

And my naturopathic oncologist was the one that was like, "Okay, here's the thing. Get as close as you can to food that you could forage yourself. You could hunt yourself. That you could make yourself and get rid of anything processed and sugar. Which is going to be my next question, actually. His comment on that was get rid of sugar except for using nice organic maple or organic honey when something calls for it.

And so one of the things I do all the, I love remaking recipes and omitting sugar and using maple or honey and its place. And not only do I find honey to be sweeter anyway, and it takes less of it. There are other benefits there, but I did want to ask about sugar because, just like fat, sugar is something that your brain needs to function. You do need to have certain amounts of it.

That does not mean it has to come in that square or white spoonful type sugar cause berries, fruits, vegetables, and all kinds of other ways that you can get that. But, what recommendations would you have with regard to sugar? Because we also know that, especially in the United States, fats were labeled bad - sugar was labeled good.

And so you'll look at a pack of licorice, and it'll proudly promote that it's fat-free. And all it is is, is a dye colored, reformed sugar water. Yeah. So let's talk sugar for a second. Cause that seems to be one of the controversy sometimes. And I will tell you when I was first diagnosed, and I left the imaging office, they handed me a little bag of Hershey's kisses. When I would go to the oncologist office because the natural, uh, the FABNO shared the office with the medical oncologist, there were always cupcakes and cakes and things like that. And I wouldn't partake, and I've kind of taken... not... I'm not saying that I won't have a slice of birthday cake, but one thing I have consistently done with my food is to get as close as I can to things following his advice as close as I can, to as natural and unprocessed as possible and eliminating processed sugar.

Does a spoonful of sugar help the medicine go down?

Isabelle Lemaignen: That's a fantastic subject, and I love it. And my family and my friends say that I'm a sugar fascist. So I'm very happy to dive into this, um, because, since my digestive problems. Um, I went on a, I don't know if you've heard about candida? So candida is a yeast that lives within us, and that is fine, you know, it just it's it's life, and it's okay.

But then when you start having imbalance and dysbiosis, uh, which is, you know, problems with the guts. Then this candida takes over and can become quite, um, overwhelming and gives you, give you like lots of symptoms, and I have many symptoms.

So the first thing I had to do, I was a sugar addict. I mean, like I was a sugar addict, I was eating cakes. I was eating pasta. I was eating all this stuff, you know, jam and Nutella, all these things. And so I had to quit all that. And that was so hard. And I, I said to my family, you know, I'm, I'm going to be horrible for three weeks because I knew that it takes 21 days to break a habit. And I was horrible for 21 days, to be honest, I own that.

But then I quit sugar for six months. Uh, I did that diet for six months, and then I. Had a slice of, I was in the U.K. and carrot cake is a big thing. So I had a slice of carrot cake, and honestly, I never understood why I loved carrot cake so much. It was so sweet, and sugar is addictive. Sugar has been found to be more addictive than cocaine. Sugar feeds cancer.

So cancer cells thrive on sugar, and they hate oxygen. So basically, and I'm not going to say that it's the only two things that you should do, but like, You know, you deprive the cancer of a sugar, and you bring it, lots of oxygen breathing. Some people do... um, ozone therapy. Some people do hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is like, you know, deep oxygen immersion.

And then the body can breathe again because we don't breathe. In our culture. And so the sugar, that's one thing that I found. So it was already the case in England when I was living there. But when I came over to the U.S. two and a half years ago, oh my goodness. Oh, my goodness. I could not find anything without sugar in it.

And, uh, there sugar in the salami, this sugar in the fermented foods they put cane sugar in fermented foods, which are supposed to be amazing and a great, uh, medicine food for your, for your guts. Um, this should go everywhere in the bread, uh, in the ham and cheese, and I'm like, what's going on? So, uh,

Tammey Grable-Woodford: so fruit!

Isabelle Lemaignen: Yeah!

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I mean, that was one of the things that would make me crazy because I became an avid label reader with my diagnosis, right? And picking up a bag of frozen fruit and there's sugar added to the fruit. Like you have to literally read and identify, you know... and hey, I don't... truly do not pass judgment on those that want to stick with their, their diet and their process.

But I will tell you for me; it was one of the easiest things to omit from my diet that I could follow science to, that says, yeah, you probably shouldn't be eating that. And. It was so hard. And I think that's why the naturopathic oncologist was so, so adamant about, you know, hitting the farmer's markets and, and almost self-processing which I do now.

I just made some beautiful wild black raspberry jams sweetened with honey instead of sugar. And it's fantastic. And it didn't take that much, honey, but yeah, it's retraining the brain. And yeah, I don't know about you, but when I go long periods of time without sugar, and I have that first bite, I totally understand why little kids get amped up when they're on sugar, right?

Like, because you can feel it. And if, if you eat it all the time, you might not have that sensation, but you abstain for a bit, and it's a little jarring when it, what it does to the system.

Isabelle Lemaignen: It just it's, it creates, um, some ups and downs in your insulin levels. And so you it's like you're hooked, it's like you're deprived or your drugs or your alcohol and you just crave that next fix. And it's just ongoing and because we give children and really for ourselves as well, um, have so much sugar all the time.

We don't realize these up and downs, ups and downs, but when you, uh, I've taken my daughter, my youngest daughter of sugar and when she was 14, and there were ups and downs for real. And that's when I knew that she was, um, very much addicted. To, to sugar and that's a sign, you know, when you take the sugar away for even a day or two, you see the consequences, mood swings, you know, you can't sleep, and you're cranky.

You know, you just want your fix.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: Are the natural sugars the same way? So when we talk about, and when we say, honey, you also have to read a label and be very careful with honey, because you need to make sure that you're actually getting organic honey, not a honey product. With maple, you have to make sure you're getting actual maple and not something called "maple syrup." But organic tree sap, you're getting maple. Um, and then, of course, there's fruit, and there are so many other sugars out there, including, and I have learned this, like, I can't look for "sugar-free." I have to look for "unsweetened" in things because "sugar-free" usually means that there is a chemical sweetener that has been added versus the cane sugar.

And unsweetened means that... it's unsweetened. There's nothing, nothing in it. So are the natural sugars as addictive or, to the body. And then after that, let's talk a little bit about artificial sweeteners and how those impact, especially the microbiome.

Isabelle Lemaignen: Absolutely. So I like your choice of sugars because I use that too. And I'm very careful. I'm very, very lucky because, uh, our neighbors have to beehives and we get the honey from them. Uh, so I'm, I'm very, very grateful for that. Oh yeah, it's fantastic. And, uh, my stepchildren, uh, they love that. So I've taken away... poor things... but I've taken away all the processed sugars and everything, but they can have the honey that's my, uh, you know, the trade-off. And that's amazing.

And the thing with natural sugars, like, you know, with fruits, You only need a small amount, and that's the proof that it's natural is you don't binge on that sugar. I mean, like try bingeing on a jar of honey. You can't. I mean, even if you're a sugar addict because you would feel sick because it's so wholesome. It's so, you know, full of many, many things that are good for you, but then after a while, you know, you feel, I think I've had enough.

Maple syrup. And as you were saying, you know, not all maple syrups are the same. So you have to be super careful, uh, reading the labels and everything. And that's something that I like doing with my clients is teaching them how to read the labels.

And I'm really glad that you went to your naturopathic oncologist who explained to you how to read stuff because if you don't know, you're kept in the dark, you really have... it's like code. So you have to decipher the codes and anything ending with "O," it's sugar. Anything ending with "O." And then you have the preservatives citric acid, for example, that could be, uh, also like it's not sugar, but it acts as sugar. MSG, monosodium glutamate, same thing.

So you have to be really careful what you're putting in your body. And then, Stevia. But the Stevia plant, I've never actually tried Stevia. I've never been drawn to it because I don't eat sugar anyway. The only sugar I eat is organic dates, occasionally.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: Love those.

Isabelle Lemaignen: me too. Full of fiber are super good for the gut. Uh, but, uh, the Stevia plant is what you, you, you, you want to get, not the Stevia powder that's been processed, like, you know, white salt, refined, salt, and everything. So, so yeah, but those those two that you were mentioning absolutely.


Tammey Grable-Woodford: I read a book long time ago. I still have it on my bookshelf back there. I read a lot of books. And it was, uh, the book is excitotoxins and I'll link to it.

Isabelle Lemaignen: Oh yeah. I have that book. It's about MSG.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: It's an amazing book, and it's an eye-opener as to how some of these things, uh, really are so damaging to your body. And, you know, we're, we're sort of, I don't know exactly how to phrase it without it sounding controversial, but, we're we are conditioned to believe that we are tradings something really bad for something that is better. And that being the case with like fat and yes, there are some fats that are bad. Not all fats are bad, but we're being told on a package candy that, you know, the candy is a better choice because it has zero fat and so same kind of thing with many excitotoxins, and it is definitely worth a read.

So we talked about gaining weight, and we've talked about how the gut is this raincoat and seat of the immune system. What about losing weight and that such a hard thing. And it's probably too complex than just the nutrition because especially with women, who are on hormone suppressing therapies or have had a surgical removal of uterus or ovaries and had full hysterectomy or partial hysterectomy or even having the breasts removed is going to impact in some ways the hormone balance.

So, but talking about things that we can be... can do from a nutritional perspective that can support us in weight loss, because I think that a lot of times, and you and I did not talk about this in the green room. So I'm curious, I know for me, two things that helped me lose weight was to eat more often. To have protein at every meal and really pay attention to my macronutrients, and then also to intermittently fast.

And those things helped me finally get rid of the weight that, and, and inflammation. And I just retained so much fluid, this fluid retention that I had, I had to have endermology to try and get rid of some of it. It was just so bad. And that finally sort of cracked that nut for me. But from... from an expert, not somebody who's like "in my life, this is what worked." Um, what advice or tips would you have for folks who are trying to lose the weight?

How do I make this weight go away?

Isabelle Lemaignen: That's a fantastic question. Uh, so my first, uh, is that every single person is unique. So one size does not fit all. Some people will do very badly on intermittent fasting, which is something that I really love. I love intermittent fasting, but like, if I'm dealing with somebody with huge stress, I will make sure that the stress levels are down before, so I will want that person to, as you were saying, eat small, but often. Have that protein, every meal, balanced meals, and everything, because you want the stress levels to come down first. You don't want to add additional stress by telling them, "Oh, you need to eat within a window of, you know, six to eight hours, otherwise, you know, things are going to happen to you."

So it's really about nourishing the body first. And it's also about nourishing the mind because they work together. Um, we want, I mean, I want, the people to find themselves in a place of peace before they can address the body. But I love intermittent fasting. I think it's fantastic because intermittent fasting is really eating within smaller window. So basically you can start. I like the eight-hour window of eating, because I think that a lot of people can do it. So basically you can start eating at, let's say like nine o'clock in the morning, but then your last meal will have to be no later than five, or you can do 10 in the morning and then six o'clock at night, which is fantastic because then it gives your body two to three hours to digest before going to bed.

And then when you sleep is when your body is detoxifying, you brain is dumping all the bad stuff, all the toxins into the body, the liver is taking over. And so if you don't have to deal with digestion, then that's the best thing. So I think that people who really want to lose weight if they're not too stressed to stressed, even if they don't want to change much intermittent fasting would be a really good way to start.

Drinking more water. Hello, we're all dehydrated. Okay? So when we are dehydrated, we're stocking up as well. So drinking more water, and sometimes, you know, we think we're hungry, but actually, we're thirsty because those signals are the same. So what I say to people is like, you know, if you're hungry, Maybe have a glass of water, a water with cucumber, mint, or lemon, or something exciting.

Have that water and then see how you doing, uh, after 15 minutes. And if you are still hungry, then it means you're hungry. If you're not hungry and you're doing something else, it means that well, you are dehydrated. Uh, but a lot of people think they think that, uh, drinking water is an option, uh, which sometimes blows my mind.

Uh, I find it amazing, but we've forgotten how important it is to drink water. Just... water.

And the protein, a protein, as you were mentioning is so important because protein with every meal, it feeds our muscles. It feeds our cells. It feel... it feeds everything in our body just like fat, you know? Um, so we can't just, you know, have some sugar and not have some protein. We need protein first.

We need lots of vegetables, some fruit, not too much fruit. Because it's still sugar, but, uh, yeah, protein at every meal is really something that will satisfy the appetite and will not leave people in a state of" "Hmm... I'd like something more." Same with fat actually.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I know for me, that was huge. Right? When I added protein and fat, I was no longer almost obsessing over when I could eat next. And I think that that is such a disservice so many times as we start to try to lose weight because we oftentimes, what is recommended is this calorie deficit, right? And it's... finally, here I am at 49, realizing it's not about the deficit as much as it is about the right nutrients in a meal so that I have the fuel.

Starting to think about food as fuel for what it is that I have going on in the day.

And, you know, that changed so many things for me. I know when I was getting my master's degree, one of my greatest frustrations was I would be studying so hard and starving from it, and I hadn't been physically active, but I was still burning calories I still had... right? And so making sure that those meals are balanced in a way that I like to say that the macronutrients are balanced because we have, Oh my goodness. There's so many different ways we "balance" a meal.

Isabelle Lemaignen: Absolutely.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: So with the gut being the seat of the immune system with the immune system being critical for those of us who have been diagnosed with cancer, who are going through treatments and really quite frankly, for anyone right now with the pandemic, right? What tips do you have for really strengthening and reinforcing that, that seat of our immune system?

How can we fortify our immune system?

Isabelle Lemaignen: Okay. So first thing before we talk about nutrients and vitamins is listen to your gut. Listen to your guts, that little voice side of you, that's telling you, you know, uh, I want to go outside, or I want to do this. I want to do that. Or I want to eat this, or I want to eat that. That's your gut and not your mind, you know, the gut.

My first thing would be for people wherever they are, wherever they live, to go outside for 20 minutes in the sun. And get some vitamin D uh, I know you call it vitamin D. I need to make sure people understand me. Vitamin D is like super important for overall health. For gut health, immunity, our brain, depression, anxiety, uh, vitamin D is super important.

If you don't have this, where you live by what I call an SAD lamp. So it's a seasonal, affective disorder lamp. I have one for the winter. And so you have it close to you for about 20 to 30 minutes giving you, uh, this light that you need for your body to metabolize the calcium and everything and the magnesium. So vitamin D is like super important.

Vitamin C. Everybody knows about vitamin C, vitamin C is amazing. Parsley has great vitamin C Kiwi. Kiwi's amazing high in vitamin C all your berries like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries. They have lots of vitamin C and all your dark green leafy vegetables, kale, and spinach. And, uh, well, I know that's least attractive compared to, you know, the berries, but it's, they're still, uh, so good.

And zinc. Zinc is amazing. They've been talking about zinc actually with COVID, so many times since March because zinc is really so important for immunity, it's important for the skin. It's important for so many things, and you find zinc in, you know, the nuts and seeds, for example.

Um, but like if you're having. A very varied diet. You will have some of that any way. And if you want to, you know, increase, uh, your levels, then, um, you know, maybe yeah, you can take some supplements, really good quality from well-known people. Um, but you know, I like relying on food first.

Uh, I've got to say that at the moment, my family and I, yeah, we're boosting our immune system also with supplements. Um, and, uh, and it's been great, but we're not going to do that forever. It's just in this point in time.

So these are the three most important things. And I would add a fourth one, which is probiotics. Probiotics, because you want your guts to be populated by those beautiful bacteria that are helping you be healthy.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: That is great advice and, well, of course, I think it's great... cause I'm doing these things, right? So yes. That's awesome. Just made my own sauerkraut. Actually...

Isabelle Lemaignen: Oh, my goodness!

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I've got sauerkraut in process from cabbage from the garden, and I'm so excited. It's so easy. It's salt cabbage and water, so, Oh my gosh. Amazing. So, I am sure that some folks listening would want to know what it would be like if they were to work with someone like you and what to expect.

So did you want to talk a little bit about that? And then also, if anybody was curious to have a conversation with you, let us know where they can reach you.

Sign Off

Isabelle Lemaignen: Okay, thank you so much. Um, so basically, usually I give a 30-minute free consultation to so that people can talk about their presenting symptoms what's going on in their life. And usually, initially, their thoughts are all over the place. So it's good for me to have that place where. Uh, we don't need to organize the thoughts of anybody.

They can just be like, you know, projecting information after information. And it's great for me. And if they choose to work with me, then I have, uh, uh, uh, provide an initial, um, consultation, which last about an hour and a half, because I always ask tons of questions. Like. You know, about every single thing in their life, you know, from the moment they're born, until now, hormonal system, digestive system, medical history.

So, and I want to get a very big picture, like a map. You know, like the map of the world. So I, I want to have a map of the person's world to be able to understand what's going on. So I don't always know exactly what's going on straight away because, you know, you can be dealing with some people have, um, some, um, viral microbes or bacterial microbes, or, uh, they're dealing with, you know, some people deal with lime.

My daughter had, for example, she had like this nasty parasite, as well. So lots of people have parasites. And we're not talking like parasites that are super long, necessarily like tapeworms and everything we're talking minuscule parasites like they're super, super tiny, but they basically, they get into your brain, and they get everywhere in your bloodstream.

So this is afterward, but initially, yes. So, uh, I asked him about everything. I also about that diet as well. And then we have at least two followups. Usually, I like to do four follow-ups. Up to that, quite close together. You know, once they've started the diet, I like to have another conversation, maybe two to three weeks later to make sure, sure that they are they're still on track and they still feel supported by me. I want them to feel supported.

I'm always available via email anyway, and I always reply to emails. And so, um, so yeah, so that's what I do. Yeah. And people can get in touch with me through my website. I have a an info page where they can reach out, and it's my website is

I'm on LinkedIn as well. Um, but I can, you know, they can have my information later, but yeah, they can just reach out and let me know that they want to have a thirty minute free consultation and then we can, um,

Tammey Grable-Woodford: Yes, there is a lot of great information out on your website. And if you want it to leave our guests, our listeners with your, your top tip or top bits of advice, what would that be?

Isabelle Lemaignen: So my first advice is listen to your gut. That's the first one, because we've, uh, we've forgotten to listen to ourselves. We've been so disconnected from who we are, uh, and, uh, listening to our guts is basically listening to what our body is telling us, like at the moment, for example, I am craving liver. So I made a liver pate. All right, because I think I may need a vitamin A or something. So, uh, but I don't always want that.

So I'm telling people to actually listen to what your body needs, not your mind, your mind will say, I want sugar. You don't want that. And your body will say, for example, well, um, I will, I would love some tomatoes, and that's probably because you know, you, you will need some of the stuff from the tomatoes. So that's my first tip.

The second tip is really try to find someplace in your life to bring your stress levels down because stress is, uh, inflammation. Stress inhibits digestion. Um, so when you're stressed, you're not digesting your food. So no matter how great your food is, your food intake is your nutrition or whatever. It's not going to happen. So being in a relaxed state is super important.

My third tip is, please, please, please make sure you drink at least half, uh... one and a half liter. I don't know how many pints. I think it's eight pints of water every day. Preferably, clean water. Um, I call it pure water, but it's filtered water, uh, without all the toxins and everything.

And, uh, even without changing the diet, chew your food thoroughly. Like you're sitting down and I dunno, you're watching something, which is not great, but you're, you know, even if you're watching something on your screen, just make sure that you're appreciating the food because then the message to the brain is going to be much quicker to tell it that, you know, you're done. You've had enough food as opposed to like eating as much as you can. And then having your, you know, this feeling of, Oh my gosh, I ate too much.

And then intermittent fasting. So even without changing what you're eating, but intermittent fasting, if you're not in a, you know, stress state is fantastic. So eating within a window of eight hours is really good.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I love it. Those are great tips. I'm telling you, Isa, this is, this is how we know you're French and I'm American. I have never craved liver pate, no matter how many times a French person tried to get me to try it when I was in France.

Isabelle Lemaignen: You have to taste mine. It's really nice.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: I love it. I want to thank you so much for joining us today and joining me on the podcast and talking nutrition and health and gut health, and really how we can boost our immune system. This is I could talk to you forever. And I know that throughout this people listening are probably like, why didn't you ask about, and there's just so much amazing information. Thank you.

Isabelle Lemaignen: Thank you so much for having me.

Tammey Grable-Woodford: Absolutely. All right. And to our listeners, thank you so much for joining us again on another episode of the Your Killer Life podcast. We appreciate you. We appreciate your feedback and love the reviews that we've been getting. Thank you so much.

If you have not subscribed yet, be sure to click the like button or the subscribe button, so you don't miss an episode. And remember, all of the links and things that we've talked about today on this episode are going to be in the show notes. So you'll be able to find Isa. You will be able to find the book excitotoxins, and yeah. Any other resources that we mentioned as we do the show notes, we'll make sure that they are in there, and you can always find this out at

Thanks so much. And until next time, keep building Your Killer Life.

Remember the conversations you hear on the show are based on unique experiences and varying diagnosis. And we all had our own medical teams. We are not giving medical advice. So if you hear something inspiring, please talk with your providers.  

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