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I'm Stacy Ennis,

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Episode 139 | Why the gut is the future of health, with Greer McGuinness

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I'm a number-one best-selling author, success and book coach, and speaker on a mission to help leaders use the power of writing to uncover their unique stories so they can scale their impact.

Hi, I'm Stacy

I’ve been on a personal journey to understand the gut and how it impacts overall health, including the brain and chronic disease. And wow—it’s a fascinating area of study!

This week, I’m excited to welcome a guest to share more about this important area of wellness. Greer McGuinness, MS, RD, CDN, CLT, DTSP, CMH, is a registered dietitian, certified detox specialist, certified master herbalist, and certified lyme specialist who owns a virtual private practice called Biomedical Healing for Kids.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Greer’s personal story and how her son’s level-2 autism diagnosis inspired her work today
  • How the gut impacts the brain and body, including brain development, mood, and more
  • What conventional medicine is missing with neurodevelopmental conditions and chronic disease
  • Steps you can take right now to heal the gut and remove the toxic load in your body

She is a published researcher on her work with autism and alternative medicine, and trained in herbal medicine with expertise in detoxing toxins, gut health, and improving nutrient status. Using her rebalance road map, she created the first-ever detoxing toxins in pediatrics course to help parents and providers learn how to safely and effectively detox toxins in children through biomedical testing and integrative treatment, so children can advance in their developmental abilities and grow to lead an active and healthier life.

Learn more about Greer:

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Transcripts for Episode 139

These transcripts were generated by robots, not writers.

Greer: When we start focusing on real foods, like, I have a mom that I talked to yesterday. She was like, you know, I started pulling back snacks, and I started pushing more of the fruits and vegetables and stuff. And she goes, all of a sudden, like, his eye contact started getting better. Like, he started answering to his name better. Like, and those are just like little things that can make the world a difference. But as a dietitian, it was ingrained in us to be like, everything in moderation. Everything in moderation. Everything in moderation. Okay, but everything in moderation could mean like goldfish cheez its. Like every day you’re having something else that’s ultra processed and, you know, not healthy and beneficial from the microbiome. It got to the point where it’s like everything in moderation still meant everything you could.

Greer: You were eating ultra processed food every day. Once you start switching to a whole food diet, even some of my kids have to be gluten free or dairy free or whatever. And you can start to see, all of a sudden, their gut issues start getting better, their eczema goes away, their brain fog releases. They are able to focus and sit and not be as hyperactive as they were before. So, you know, it really depends on that child and how that food is truly impacting their system.

Stacy: Welcome. I am so excited about this week’s topic. If you have been anywhere near my newsletter or social media, you know that my family has been on a health journey for a couple years and a really core foundation of that has been detoxing and gut health. Those have been the biggest things that we focused on and these areas of focus have made such a huge difference in our lives.

Stacy: So we’re detouring a little bit from book publishing today and business building and some of the things we normally talk about to talk about health, because health is truly the foundation of all of the goodness that we do in our everyday lives. I’m really excited to get to introduce you to this week’s guest. Her name is Greer McGinnis. She is a registered dietitian, certified detox specialist, certified master herbalist, and certified Lyme specialist from New York and owns a virtual private practice called Biomedical Healing for kids. She’s a published researcher on her work with autism and alternative medicine and trained in herbal medicine with expertise in detoxing toxins, gut health, and improving nutrient status.

Stacy: Using her rebalanced roadmap, she created the first ever detoxing toxins in pediatrics course to help parents and providers learn how to safely and effectively detox toxins in children through biomedical testing and integrative treatment so children can advance in their developmental abilities and grow to lead an active and healthier life.

Stacy: Greer, welcome. I’m so happy to have you here today.

Greer: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Stacy: We connected a while back on Instagram. I’ve been following your content and I appreciate how honest and just like forthright you are about the work you do. I would love to know what led you to just this work that you do today. Can you tell us a little bit about your story? What got you interested in the work you do and led you into specifically working with kids.

Greer: So it’s funny, it kind of was an accident to start. I actually used to wrestle, so I was going. I actually went and moved halfway across the United States, and I was wrestling at the University of Minnesota Morris. Unfortunately, I was going to the Olympics and that was my dream and that’s what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, I got hurt really bad within the first three months that I was there. I wound up damaging my shoulder and unfortunately I was unable to be cleared to continue that path. But my major that I had declared at the time was social studies because I had no idea what I wanted to do in my life or what I, you know, I just didn’t have, you know, I don’t know, I just didn’t, I didn’t really have any ambitions or anything other than going to wrestle.

Greer: So I remember I was failing my classes because I was upset, and I was talking to my sister, and she was like, she was a social worker in a hospital, and she said, you know, why don’t you be a dietitian? She’s like, you’ve always been into health. Like, you know, I was a wrestler, which is very, you know, we’re very big into nutrition when you’re a wrestler for cutting weight and things like that. And I did a bodybuilding competition. So I said, well, what’s the dietitian? She goes, I don’t know. They just walk around with a calculator all day telling people what to eat. I said, well, that sounds like something that I would probably like to do because I really didn’t have anything to do. So I wound up being a dietitian, and I did love it.

Greer: I worked in nursing homes and I worked my way up. I became a chief clinical dietitian within five years. I was in charge of a team of dietitians and stuff. Really liked being in managerial kind of roles, but I love the nutrition aspect of really, you know, going against the grain of, you know, taking patients all off of supplements that weren’t healthy for them and, you know, medications like colace that wasn’t healthy for them every day. So when I had my first son, it kind of, you know, I never wanted to do pediatrics either. I cried my two week, you know, for a couple weeks during my pediatric rotation when I was in school, and. But when I had my son, I thought everything. I thought I knew everything, and I thought I was very educated.

Greer: And unfortunately, my son regressed into autism when he was about 19 months. Like, there were no red flags. There were no, you know, he was developing normally. He hit all of his milestones, and, like, his pediatrician, I said it was kind of like a light switch went off, and my son just was lost. And, you know, for me, you know, if I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it. And, you know, and that kind of started me down a spiral of, like, what happened to my son? Like, how did this happen? This isn’t. They just kept telling me it was regressive autism. And I’m like, what is regressive autism? Like, I’ve never heard of that in my life.

Greer: Like, when I went to school, we learned about all the different, you know, aspects and stuff, and they were like, oh, yeah, no, you know, kids can just regress later in life. And I’m like, that doesn’t make any sense to me. Me. So my son was my silver lining of, you know, going through the journey with him and learning all these things. And now I get to share with parents and support parents as they’re going through their journey as well. So my son was the reason for everything.

Stacy: Right now, it’s so hard when you go into those moments because we’re taught to trust the medical system, and we’re also taught not really to question right. And to kind of do as you’re told, but with any kind of developmental neurodivergence, anything, there aren’t actually a lot of things that are given to you that you can really do. So it’s very challenging for parents in those situations. What caused you to begin exploring toxins and the gut and getting into the work that you do today? How did you find that? And then how is that? How has that progressed within your work and within the work you do today with patients?

Greer: I was at his developmental pediatrician appointment, and were leaving, and she gave me a piece of paper, and she goes, oh, well, you know, one thing that we know can help is fish oils. And I was like, what? Like, I mean, it was like, almost like in passing, she said it. It wasn’t like a full blown conversation. It wasn’t about diet. It wasn’t about anything. She’s like, oh, but, you know, we do have research that fish oils can help. So put your kid on fish oils. And, like, walked out the door and I went, wait, what are you talking about? Like, I was just very like that. Like, after, you know, being there for over an hour, doing the assessment and stuff like that. And I was like, what? Do you like fish oils? I’m like, okay. Like, and I.

Greer: Omega is like, everyone’s on an omega, especially in a nursing home. Everybody was so, like, didn’t, like, really register until I got home. And I started, like, diving deeper into the research, and I was like, I kept getting one thing to another. So, like, you know, you would read and start looking on fish oils, and then that would bring you to gut health, and then, and it just kind of spiraled from there. So, like, her one statement to me is, what? Kind of opened the door a little bit. And I had a mom friend who’s a nurse, and she was very crunchy, and I didn’t know how crunchy she really was, but she was always nice to me. She never pushed and stuff, and she would just drop some breadcrumbs about, hey, like, have you looked at his gut?

Greer: Like, you know, because he’s so constipated all the time. You know, and, you know, miralax isn’t really great. So, like, she just, like, led me down this, like, little path where it kind of, like, opened me up to, like, learning more about, like, the gut health and the detox aspect. There’s.

Stacy: Can you give our listeners a kind of 101 on how the gut and the brain are connected?

Greer: So when a baby is born, they are born with no microbiome, basically. You know, when they go through the vaginal canal, they get their first big dose of microbes. When they get breastfed, they get their second big dose. And then when they start feeding, they get their third big dose. And that basically essentially shapes the microbiome. Anything during that time can alter the microbiome. And we don’t know why some kids are more susceptible than others. You know, it could be an environmental factor as well as a natural factor. But when a child is developing, the first, they call it the first 1000 days of life, is something called the critical period of a child’s life. So the first 1000 days. So usually up until about their three years old, the brain is developing more than any other time in a child’s life.

Greer: So anything that can impact brain function and that gut brain connection we know is so strong. So as the brain and the synapsis and the neurons are developing during that time, the gut is developing as well. They’re almost like, parallel to one another. Anything that can affect the gut can affect the brain. And anything that affects the brain can affect the gut. It’s a synergistic effect. So, like, kids who get tons of antibiotics, they could start having dysregulated microbiome that actually impacts the neurons and the synapses growth during that time. And the brain, they can affect the mitochondrial during that time, too. So it’s this what we call, like, we have critical and sensitive periods of a child’s life as they’re growing. And during that 1000 days of life, even up until they’re going into kindergarten, the brain will be 90% developed.
Greer: So anything that we can do or anything that happens during that time is essentially almost like a critical period that if something gets lost or something happens or there’s damage, it might not be reversible or fixable or, you know, supported because of that critical period. But we also have sensitive periods where the kids low in omegas, you give them omega. Now they have extra fat for their brain. So it’s kind of this push pull reaction.

Stacy: Can you talk a little bit about how that shows up later in life in, you know, adolescents, in adulthood? If you have dysbiosis or you have a sick gut. How does that impact your daily life?

Greer: It’s actually kind of interesting because I’ve had the privilege of working for some functional lab companies looking at stories, tests and stuff, especially of adults. And it’s interesting because a lot of the providers will tell me, well, this person’s had constipation issues or gut issues since as long as they can remember. So a lot of the times gut issues that never truly got resolved can actually carry over into adulthood. I mean, I’ve worked with patients who have been constipated their whole entire life since they were little, and they’ve never truly been able to fix those problems. There is analogy called the toxic load bucket, which means, like, if you have a bucket and you just keep filling it with all these different toxins, gut issues, nutrient deficiencies, medications, eventually the bucket will overflow. And those are all your symptoms.

Greer: That could be gut imbalance, autoimmune disease, chronic headaches, poor insomnia. Like, you name a symptom, you could probably relate it back to a gut toxin imbalance that a person just keeps filling their bucket and they’ve never truly been able to completely balance out their system.

Stacy: When, you know, I bet you somebody is listening to this right now and going, oh, my gosh, that is me. I totally resonate with that. When you meet, I know you work, you specialize with kids now, but you worked with adults for a long time before you started specializing in kids. When somebody is experiencing some of these symptoms, the traditional thing is to turn to a medication to help with whatever the thing is that they’re dealing with. And I would also ask you this question along with the one I’m about to ask you. Also thinking about attention, mood, like some of those other components that they might be experiencing, like mood regulation or really a lot of trouble focusing, brain fog, some of those other things.

Stacy: If they’re resonating with what you’re saying, what are some of the first steps that a person should take to maybe, number one, understand if it is their gut, and two, to start to heal it?

Greer: Yeah, it’s kind of like with kids and adults, you know, I call it peeling back the onion layer. The end result, like, I was just talking to a mystery son’s friend’s mom who came to me. She goes, listen, they think I might have miss. They found maybe a lesion on my brain. I have to go from some scans, but, you know, they’re kind of like. And I, you know, not sure what it is. And I explained, you know, MS is the end result of something. So MS is the diagnosis. So many times when we go, we have diabetes, we have heart issues, high blood pressure, cholesterol issues. That’s the end result of an issue. And when you go to the doctors, it’s not working backwards.

Greer: It’s just, okay, here’s your diagnosis, here’s your medication, because there’s no looking back at what’s been causing this issue. It’s just like, okay, we’re just going to fix it with this pill, but you’re going to be on this pill forever. And the pill is going to also probably cause a bunch of other issues for whatever reason. When I first started this, and I actually wound up going back for my masters after Keegan was diagnosed because I felt like I wanted to understand research at a higher level. So I kind of, I started studying health science with a focus on epidemiology because I was like, okay, well, here’s the end result. Autism, ADHD, hyperactivity, like, these are the end results of a diagnosis. And if we work backwards, what’s the first part of this?

Greer: And a lot of it has to do with diet and gut health, because one thing that you need every single day to survive is food. And every day, the one thing that the food affects majority of in the first line of defense is your microbiome. So if you’re looking backwards and starting from, I call it the biomedical snowball, I have this nice little diagram that shows everything and how that trickle down effect causes the symptoms. But if we focus on the food aspect, we start working on the diet and the microbiome, it changes the rest of that snowball effect to the symptom. So we essentially need to work backwards and peel back the onion layer and try to figure out, like, what was the initial issue? So that’s why I do stool tests on all my patients.

Greer: That’s like one of the first things I do, stool and toxins. Like, those are my two main tests that I do. A majority of my patients, unless they have other types of issues going on, like sleep issues or rage and things like that. But the mic, the stool test, the lab testing helps identify what’s dysbiotic in the gut. Like, I have never really tested a kid that I haven’t seen a dysbiotic gut. And a lot of it has to do with the diet and the environment that we’re living in every day, especially with autism kiddos who eat maybe less than 15 foods a day, and all of them happen to be white, beige, crunchy, lacks color and nutrients. It does a damage on the microbiome because our microbiome isn’t supposed to be eating those types of things.

Stacy: I think that has been my biggest area of learning, has been the power of food on our bodies. At the risk of all of the listeners being like, wow, we had no idea. Stacy was like, way crunchy, and I am way crunchy. You know, about a year ago, we moved to a fully organic whole foods diet. No, my kids have not had any processed foods for over a year at this point. And started fermenting all of our own yogurt and making all of our own ferments at home. And just basically, like, were like, we’re just gonna go for this. We’re gonna, like, send it, and we’re gonna do it, and we’re gonna see what happens. And it’s been really amazing to see what food can do to a body. It’s kind of crazy, actually.

Stacy: I’m curious, what have you seen in your patients when they, like, step into this healing process?

Greer: Yeah, I mean, I get so many different patients from different, you know, aspects with different symptoms. So I do get a variety of, you know, what their symptoms are versus, like, their diet, because not every kid’s going to have a really bad diet. So some kids are actually going to be pretty decent. But when we start focusing on real foods, like, I have a mom that I talked to yesterday. She was like, you know, I started pulling back snacks, and I started pushing more of the fruits and vegetables and stuff. And she goes, all of a sudden, like, his eye contact started getting better. Like, he started answering to his name better. Like, and those are just, like, little things that can make the world a difference.

Greer: But, you know, we, you know, as a dietician, it was ingrained in us to be like, everything in moderation. Everything in moderation. Everything in moderation. Okay, but everything in moderation could mean, like, goldfish, cheez its. Like, every day you’re having something else that’s ultra processed and, you know, not healthy and beneficial from the microbiome, but, you know, potato chips and stuff. But it’s like, we’re always like, oh, but everything in moderation. And it got to the point where it’s like, everything in moderation still meant everything. You were eating ultra processed food every day. It was just a different type. It was just a different kind. So pulling back and going to more of a whole food aspect and just saying, okay, you know, kids now are some. One of my patients said this to me the other day, and it absolutely, like, was perfect.

Greer: She said, the front of a package is entertainment. The back of the package is information. And I was like, wow. Like that 100%. Like, they make these packages look so enticing and colorful. Like, they’re not stupid. Everything is marketing. Marketing has a component to it to work on our different types of our brain. If you walk down an aisle and your kid sees Froot loop waffles, it’s colorful, it’s bright colored, and they make it look fun. So, of course, a kid’s gonna be like, I want froot loop pancakes. Like, they’re disgusting or waffles or whatever, but, you know, I mean, look at yogurt. They have ones with M and M’s and Oreos that, like, completely, like, down regulates the purpose of eating, like, a beneficial food. But that’s our society. That is, you know, we’re a fast paced, enjoyment type of society.

Greer: So once you start switching to a whole food diet, even some of my kids have to be gluten free or dairy free or whatever. And you can start to see, all of a sudden, their gut issues start getting better, their eczema goes away, their brain fog releases. They are able to focus and sit and not be as hyperactive as they were before. So, you know, it really depends on that child and how that food is truly impacting their system.

Stacy: Sometimes when, you know, I talk about this topic with people, I recognize, even when I’m sharing my experience, like, the immense privilege that comes with having the time and resources to provide these kind of things to your kiddos, one of the things that I often think about on the reverse of that is that the time and energy that you’re investing into the food, you make back in behavior problems in, like, you know, all this extra effort and energy that you’re expending in different places, if somebody is, you know, listening to this and inspired to maybe take some very initial steps with their food, what are maybe a few initial things that they could try to see if it would help their. Themselves or their kids?

Greer: Usually the. One of the biggest things is food dyes and sugar candy. You know, like, we. They did a study back in 2018, 2019. They found kids today are eating over 70% ultra processed foods. 70% of their diet is ultra processed foods. So just by saying, okay, let’s get rid of anything that has a food dye in it or, you know, anything even, like, New York, Missouri, Illinois, are actually trying to ban red dye number three now in products because of the downfall effects that it could have. I think it’s kind of wild to me. You know, where we have research and we have parents saying, well, if my kid eats something with, like, a ton of sugar and a ton of red food dyes, they’re, like, out of their mind. Their adhd is crazy, and things like that.

Greer: So getting rid of things like that is always, like, a really good starting point. It’s simple, it’s easy trying to find there’s tons of more alternatives now than there have been before, and then also just trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables. It’s. About 70% of kids in the United States don’t eat enough fruit, and over 93% of kids in the United States do not eat enough vegetables. Wow, that’s a staggering number.

Stacy: That’s wild.

Greer: You know, and. And I can attest, unfortunately, I have chaperoned some of my children’s school events, and what I saw for lunches was still, like, very shocking. You know, I had there, you know, and this is a fourth grade class. I had kids with Skittles. I had kids with Sunny D. I didn’t even know they still made sunny d. You know, and, you know, I had one girl had, like, a pack of gummies, like, different. They, you know, one looked like a hamburger and a taco. And I was like, why would you send that with your kid? Like, that’s just, you know, and so, yeah, I got to witness a lot of these lunches, and I was just like, oh, man. Like, this is just. It’s. It’s. It’s lack of education and lack of eating. Like, parents.

Greer: Like, I created a 31 day, like, meal plan for breakfast and lunches for parents that need to be, like, gluten, dairy, corn, soy free, because that’s majority of what my kids have to follow. And I had a bunch of patients and families reach out and say, like, thank you for putting this together, because I didn’t know how to eat myself, so I didn’t really know how to formally feed my kids, and I. And I had to take a step back and go, wow. Like, we are doing a really bad job at educating people on how to properly eat and feed kids. Like, she didn’t know. Like, you could add fruit to breakfast. Like, and I know that sounds crazy, but she just was like, oh, well, it’s breakfast. They get, like, cereal, a bowl of cereal and a milk.

Greer: You know, like, you didn’t know you could put a meat. Like, you should have a protein in there. You should have some fruit in there. Yeah. You know, so part of that I think is just we’re not doing the best education that we could be doing for the population that we have.

Stacy: Yeah, I mean, I was thinking about my own, like, amazing parents, you know, and they didn’t know, but, I mean, I would eat Cheerios with heaps of sugar on top of it every single morning before school and, of course, going into then raising kids. And to your point, not really knowing a lot. The other piece I have experienced personally is, how do I want to say this? I think it can be hard to be different with your food because it’s such a social experience as well. And even when my daughter was really little, I remember, you know, were going to a birthday party. She was two. We hadn’t let her have sugar yet at that point in her life. And so I brought, like, grapes or something, and I, you know, another parent commented that I was depriving her of experiences.

Stacy: And it still happens where people, you know, will we, because our kids are on a special, you know, like, we have this whole food diet in our family. We get comments from people that don’t know us, don’t know our situation, and don’t know how, like, many hours and hours we spend every week preparing whole foods for our family. And so for me, it’s been like a real need to be very humble, both in my own learning. Like, I learned something and then I find out it’s wrong, and then it’s like, oh, well, that’s too bad. Okay, now I’m going to try something new.

Stacy: But then I think also when you orient to the world, like, going into it and just saying people are not going to get it, and that’s okay, and I’m not going to take it anyway, except for they just don’t understand. I think there’s that whole emotional side.

Greer: But how crazy is that you’re eating whole foods and people judge you for not eating processed food?

Stacy: Yeah.

Greer: Why? Like, to me, it. It’s a very, what works for one family might not work for another. I call it the wow theory. It’s whatever one works. It’s whatever one works for that particular family and whatever for that kid. That’s why I have tons of families that went, I did the gluten diet, gluten free diet, and it didn’t do anything. I did the low glutamate diet, and it didn’t do anything because that wasn’t what was gonna work for your kid. That’s why it’s important to test and not guess because we need to figure out what is specific about your kid, that they need a specialized whatever. But our society is now so ingrained to say, these foods aren’t bad. You can eat donuts, you can eat chips, and it won’t affect your health.

Greer: But then we have this other side of us in the functional medicine world go. Trying to scream, going, stop. Like, it definitely impacts, like, there is a Netflix documentary that just came out called hack your health secrets of the microbiome. And they are looking at. They were talking about fecal transplant, where they’re actually taking stool to stool. And I know this is gross for anyone listening, I apologize. But they actually go to Nepal to take the samples because of the fact that they still live such a rural, whole food lifestyle away from technology, away from industrial, away from processed food. Their gut is one of the purest guts to feed and help support the microbiome. So they actually take these people’s stool, they process it and encapsulate it, and then they give it to people who have ulcerative Crohn’s disease, colitis, c. Diff.

Greer: And they basically can resolve over 90% of their problems with this fecal transplant, which is crazy. But if you look, if you go back and take that essence of they live such a whole food, rural lifestyle that they don’t have the same problems, and their poop can basically heal other people’s gut issues, that’s mind blowing to me. And that just shows how bad our system is and our diet and our culture. Because of all, like, for having a number one nation, we’re the sickest people in the United States for. Over 40% of children in the United States have a chronic health issue right now, and that’s from the CDC. If you look it up, over 40% of kids in the United States have some type of chronic health issue.

Stacy: I think that’s staggering and not surprising at the same time. And. And to your point, I think this, like, real reckoning with what we’re putting in our body. And I think also just responsibility and understanding. Like, obviously, if you have the information and you make a decision to consume it, that’s one thing. But I think with our medical system just kind of throwing their hands up and, like, refusing to even consider that diet and lifestyle has an impact. I think about, like, years ago, when I was in college, I had just been through a pretty serious trauma. I started having gastrointestinal issues. I went to all these specialists. They gave medication that was, like, $500 a month. I was 22. I couldn’t afford it. Nobody asked me about my emotional life. Nobody asked me about my food. I had an enteroscopy and endoscopy.

Stacy: I had, like, all this stuff done. And nobody, not one specialist asked me about any of the things outside of just looking in my body. And I think about that a lot because I’m like, man, I probably should have just gone to therapy. That probably would have, and I did eventually, but that probably would have fixed my problems. And then also now as an adult, I’ve finally overcome a lifetime of migraines, literally from the time I was nine or eight. And the only major change in my life has been diet. You know, so I think, like those types of things, we, it’s harder, though. So I think, you know, I’ve talked with some of my doctor friends, medical practitioner friends that are more in the conventional system. And, you know, I’m empathetic with them.

Stacy: They get, you know, they’re like, I get 15 minutes with a patient, I don’t even really have a sense of what’s going on with them. And our system’s just not designed to take a look at the whole body.

Greer: No, I mean, medical doctors get a couple hours of nutrition training. I mean, that’s why dietitians were created, because we needed. If a doctor has to go to medical school for x, Y, and z, they don’t have time to look at nutrition, which I think is a downfall. But I have met some doctors that will ask patients about their eating and stuff, but then erroneously get it wrong completely telling certain patients to follow a keto diet or, you know, things like that, it’s like, let’s just stay in your lane if you really don’t understand, like, let’s, you know, work on, you know, how we can be more incorporated into everyday lifestyle. But, you know, as a dietitian, it’s preventative medicine. We got into nutrition for preventing illnesses, preventing and using supplements and diet, specifically diet, to help and heal.

Greer: Like, we, I want all my kids that I work with to have this, like, amazing, broad diet. Is that going to happen? No, because of, you know, feeding issues, sensory issues and stuff like that. That’s where supplements come in. And I’m very grateful for supplements. We have some really great companies that are out there making whole, you know, the best that they can for the circumstances. But we need to stop pooing, you know, supplements and herbs that people take because a lot of times, like, because of how bad our diets are, because of the fact that our soil is more disintegrated from nutrient deficiencies and now heavy metals. Like, it. It harms our bodies sometimes. Like, you know, we have to look at everything as a big picture and say, okay, how do we get everything we need? But it’s hard.

Greer: Who’s eating 40 whole different foods a week to inoculate their gut? You know, like, you know, we’re very systematic. People eat the same thing every single day, you know, or similar things that we’re not very favorable to our environment and our host. You know, like, we just need to take a step back and reevaluate and relook at everything that we’re doing. And if you look at our, you know, people, you know, both parents have to work. You know, moms are, you know, having to do it all. Have a kid, raise the kid, work, have a home, have a husband, have, you know, it’s. It’s too much the stress for us. No wonder moms need more convenient food factors, because they don’t have time, and they don’t have the sanity. I don’t have the sanity sometimes. Like, last night, we had a very busy night.

Greer: You know what I did? Chicken nuggets and french fries. That’s what I made, and I don’t feel guilty and bad about it. I just didn’t have time. We had. My son had a concert. I was working. My husband unfortunately got. Was stuck at work, and it was all on me. So pop out the. The backup frozen chicken nuggets and fries. It just is what it is sometimes. And, you know, I have to chalk it up and say, you know, a 93, 90, ten rule. Like, 90% of the time I’m going to be on point, there’s going to be about 10%. I’m not going to be on point, and that’s okay. My sanity comes first, too.

Stacy: I like that approach because there has to be some flexibility, I think, in also, so that you don’t develop, like, fear of food, because I know that can be a real challenge for families that have gone through something like this. As you’re learning how much impact that food has on your body, you start to realize that, like, oh, it really makes a big difference what I put in my mouth. But having that flexibility, and also, when your gut’s healthier, you can tolerate some of food. I think I heard the term that I heard is metabolic flexibility. It’s like, you know, you can take in those foods from time to time, not every day, but that foundation seems super important in those moments so that you can tolerate the foods and be fine.

Greer: Yeah. Our microbiome. So our many people don’t realize our microbiome is actually intended to handle things like heavy metals and toxins, like our lactose and bifidos that inoculate our microbiome actually help to neutralize toxins when we have them. The problem is, because of the dysbiosis and because of the imbalance, we have lower levels of our beneficial microbes and beneficial gut bacteria. So they don’t. They’re not able to neutralize toxins and take them out, so they don’t harm us as the host. So that’s part of it where it’s, again, that you start off being dysbiotic, and then it just kind of continues to trickle down and it doesn’t stop.

Stacy: Can you talk a little bit about the testing? Because I find this area super interesting. We just went through microbiome mapping, leaky gut testing, and we also did an HTMA hair tissue mineral analysis. So we did, like, and a couple other things. We did this pretty broad testing experience in our family. I, number one, was super nerding out on the microbiome piece because the testing company that we used gives you, like, you can drop down and, like, read about each of the different bacteria and what it impacts in the body. So that was really interesting. But I I think that this area is so fascinating. Cause I really believe that gut health is, like, the future of health. And I, and I know we have a lot of things evolving. So can you talk a little bit about, like, what kind of testing?

Stacy: I know you’ve mentioned the testing that you do with your patients and then why you do that? Like, how does that help people understand their bodies better?

Greer: So I use the GI mat for stool testing. It’s one of my favorite stool tests that’s out there. It shows a really good dynamic of what’s going on in your gut. It’s going to show us the intestinal health markers. So your digestive support. So are you digesting and absorbing your nutrients? Are you having fat loss? Like, are your poops floating? That’s a big problem sometimes it means you’re not digesting your fats correctly. Do you have liver issues? We can kind of see some liver issues going on, and that plays in with digestive support. It’ll show you if you have immune dysregulation. It’ll show us if you have gluten sensitivity, which is really cool. Leaky gut. It’ll show us if you have pathogens and yeast overgrowth in your gut.

Greer: And it was interesting is a lot of these microbial species are supposed to be in there. You know, we’re supposed to see a certain level and a certain amount, but then there’s things that, like, overgrow, that, like, shouldn’t overgrow, like candida or yeast overgrowth, clostridium. You know, if these start overgrowing, then we know we have a really big problem. We have a very big dysbiotic system. There’s a couple really great markers like Ackermancia, which actually is very strong in the GPL. One insulin resistance, you know, and many times if I see that one low, I know I have a kid that might have blood sugar dysregulation, too, and issues, they might have trouble pooping because it actually helps line the mucosa layer in the gut. So they might not have that slip and slide for stool to kind of pass through.

Greer: So, you know, the stool testing gives us a lot of amazing information to understand the person’s diet, but also how their body is reacting to food and to the environment that it’s in. It also helps us understand that gut brain connection a little bit more. We have a very dysbiotic gut going to have a very dysbiotic brain. So it kind of plays a hand, you know, hand in hand with understanding that. And then I use toxin testing. I usually test my patients for heavy metals, mold, environmental toxins. That’s a simple urine analysis for me. And it, depending on my patient’s locations, too. Some locations are worse than others, like California, through Texas and then up the east coast are like my highest for heavy metals, mold and environmental toxins just because of their location. Canada, same thing.

Greer: Wet, cold, damp climates, humid climates, things like that. Alabama, Louisiana, because of their climates, they’re notorious for mold. So a lot of times people just dismiss this or don’t even look into it, which is mind blowing to me because we have the stats, we have, you know, the information to show that these particular states and these particular places have, you know, high amounts of mold. But, you know, nobody really tests them. Nobody really puts the information out there.

Stacy: That’s so fascinating. I mean, it’s also kind of crazy that these tests are available and they’re not being done in a conventional doctor’s office. That’s what blows my mind.

Greer: I know. I mean, especially since we have so much more information over the last 10, 15, 20 years. Well, I would say probably last 510 years, mostly. Like, we know that gut brain connection. We know all this information. We know how it’s important, but yet, you know, we don’t test. Like, I’ve had patients go and ask just for some simple blood tests for some things. And doctors literally wrote back, like, we’re not doing this test. It’s a simple blood test. It’s. It’s looking at some vitamin levels, some carnitine, some, you know, like, what’s the harm in doing that? Like, if it, and I just tell my patients, like, we can do the test. If they’re not going to do it and they’re not going to cover it by insurance, then we can do it.

Greer: And when something comes back abnormal, you can go back and show your provider that, you know, this was abnormal, you refused to do it, you know, and I want it documented about it because that’s a big issue with healthcare.

Stacy: Yeah, it’s very difficult. And I know here in Portugal, it’s just as bad as it is in the US. And actually, I do feel that the system is even a bit more like, you kind of don’t question the doctor if they’ve given their opinion on something like, how dare you know, ask for something different. But I think at the end of the day, the message that I’m pulling out of our conversation is really self advocacy. And this idea that we have a lot more power available, we have a lot more opportunity available to us to make a difference in our health than I think most places will reveal to you. This has been, to me, the most exciting part of learning about the gut, which, by the way, is not fringe at all. You’re right. So much research available. It’s well studied.

It’s just not. Well, it’s not readily available.

Greer: Well, I’ve done stool testing on patients, and my patient will bring it to the provider. And the provider is like, I don’t know how to read this. This is probably fake. It’s like, just say, I don’t know how to interpret this, but if you found answers, great, I should learn more about this. But literally, I’ve had GI doctors, I’ve fixed kids guts, you know, whatever their issue is. And the doctor’s like, well, this is just, this is anecdotal information. It’s like, at what point do we just, like, say, like, maybe I just don’t understand and I don’t know, and that’s okay, but don’t tell people. Like, this isn’t correct. Like, this isn’t proper.

Stacy: It’s also, like, a form of gaslighting, I think, in the medical system.

Greer: There’s so much gaslighting in this world, especially. I never realized how much gaslighting there was in the autism world. Until, like, I went through it and I was like, oh, my gosh. Like, literally, like, nobody. Like, I had a. I had a fight with one of his developmental pediatricians when he was constipated because she. She said, she’s like, just give him miralax. I said, but Miralax isn’t safe. It’s. It says on the label, not intended for kids under the age of 17 not to be used chronically. You know, it’s only for short term use. She’s like, but it’s fine. I said, no, you’re telling me to use something off label, so if something happens, I’m gonna, like, I could sue you. Like, that’s, like, you know, like, that’s dangerous to do that.

Greer: She literally wrote in the chart, like, mom refused Miralax because she says it’s unsafe.

Stacy: Yeah, I mean, that’s. That those kind of things, I think are so interesting, too. And I think the other thing that I’ll take away from that story is that we should be researching all of the medication that is prescribed by our doctors. And I speak, by the way, like, just to be clear to listeners, I come from three generations of medical doctors. This is not, you know, somebody who doesn’t have respect for the conventional system, but when you have a chronic problem, that is not what our conventional system is great at treating.

Stacy: The conventional system is amazing in acute situations, like if you’re dying or you have something, you know, a really serious injury, like, I want to be at a hospital, but I hope that what listeners will take away is that if you’re in a situation where it feels like you’re not getting the support for a problem that you know exists and you know that, like, something within you is, like, knows there are. There’s something out there. Like, you’re like, I know that I can find something to help. I just don’t know what it is right now. It pro. It’s out there, but it does require you to take a really active role in your health and do some hard things, too.

Greer: Yeah. You’re not gonna be told the whole truth. You’re not gonna be told everything. Cuz like, when I asked them about diet and stuff like that, they told me that there was no information or research about it. And then I went and I was like, there’s tons of research. Like, there. There’s a lot of research here. Like, what do you mean there’s no research? Like, that’s. That’s what I think I really didn’t understand. Are we just ignoring research because it’s just because, or like, I think that’s what really blew my mind mostly, is the fact that, you know, I kept getting, well, there’s no research out there that’s not, it’s anecdotal. It’s like, no, these were double blind placebo studies. Like, they were legit studies.

Greer: You’re just choosing to ignore them because of your own selfish, you know, being and that, I think it was a big problem. And for me, I think that’s why I wanted to publish more research studies and stuff, because I’m like, fine, you don’t think there’s research? I’ll go publish them, make it easier for you to actually see that there’s research out there. And that’s, I think what we need more of that. We need more of that validation.

Stacy: Yeah. And I think this is like where that humility comes in for physicians, that to be open to learning something new or developing referral partners that you can send your patients to if it’s out of your scope of expertise. I think the system only works when we all work together and are supportive of each other and respect each other in their areas of expertise.

Greer: 100%, I agree with you 100%, Greer.

Stacy: I could truly continue talking for another 2 hours. There’s so much to dig into here, and if this is new for anyone, I really encourage you to keep learning because there’s so much interesting information to dig into. Where can listeners learn more about you? Where can they follow you? And if they’re interested in working with you, where can they do that?

Greer: So you can follow me on any platform, pretty much. Biomedical healing for kids. Instagram is where I’m the most, I guess. Busy. I don’t like, I don’t like TikTok and stuff. But I have Instagram, I have a private Facebook group and I have my website as I have ebooks and things like that too, that parents can purchase meal plans. I have a couple resources coming out soon and they can book one to one appointments with me as well.

Stacy: I know you have a recent detox ebook that you created, so we’ll be sure to link to that in the show notes. And thank you so much for being with us today.

Greer: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.

Stacy: And thank you to you, the listener, especially those of you who this may have been a new area to think about. Thanks for sticking with us all the way to the end. I hope that this has been intriguing for you and that it encourages you to dig in and learn more. Thanks as always to this show’s producer, Rita Domingues. She makes this show possible, and I absolutely could not do it without her. And if you are a regular listener or you really like today’s show, please could you take a moment to rate and review this podcast? It’s one of the top things that you can do to help me reach more people with the message of living a life that is beyond better. And I will be back with you before you know it.

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