Q & A with Dr. Matt, N.D.

So I had the privilege of sitting down with my Dr. last Saturday, and chat all things health.  I didn’t come empty handed however, but with questions from you, my readers.  We tried to get through as many as we could.  As always, I grabbed so many nuggets of wisdom.  I know you will too!

Without further adieu…here are the questions and answers:

-How many times per week should a woman who wants to lose weight work out? How long in duration, and what ratio of cardio to weight training? Then once she gets to a healthy weight, does she need to keep that same regimen up, or is there a better plan for maintenance?

Forget about the scale and think about body composition.  Focus on health, instead of weight.  This simple mindset change will reduce stress, and make it that much easier for you to burn fat. Health is universal, weight is individual. I would shoot for 7 days of activity, with interval, strength and/or sprint training 5 days per week.  The best type of exercise is HIIT(high intensity interval training) if you want to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously.  For example: try 8 second sprint 12 sec rest, for 30-60 reps.  You wouldn’t do that everyday, maybe 2-3x per week.  The first time you do it, you will be sore head to toe!  Not everyone can start out running, so you may need to start with sprints on a stationary bike. You could take 2 other days during the week, and do more of a circuit involving weights. Stick mostly to bench press, shoulder press, squats, deadlifts, thrusters, pull ups, dips, rows and burpees.  You want to perform movement across multiple joints.

-If it is true that under eating causes the body to go into starvation mode, and hoard fat, then why do girls who don’t eat still get stick skinny?

Well if you’re not eating, you’re going to lose weight.  Just because a person is skinny doesn’t mean they are not fat. The issue is most people want to be productive in their life and productive for a long time.  A person who is starving themselves will not be productive physically, mentally or emotionally. Low calorie dieting decreases your metabolism and stresses out every part of the body associated with getting someone “skinny.”  If you want to be fit and feel extraordinary about your body, you must think about nutrient density and forget about calories. Who wants to be stick skinny?  Forget the unrealistic magazine covers.

-If yoyo dieting has been the lifestyle of an individual and it has messed up their metabolism to where they can’t lose weight without starving themselves, where would the best place be to start balancing things out/recovering from it? Substantially is it actually possible to obtain a balanced lifestyle, and a healthy weight after a situation like this has occurred?

Eat tons of high fat meals, make 60 to 70 percent of diet fat. Yoyo dieting really messes with the mitochondria’s ability to make energy, and if you can’t create energy then you can’t have a metabolism.  Consider probiotics, because the microflora get deranged as well.  Also, have blood tested to look at leptin levels, because leptin has to do with how your body stores energy.  Yes, it is possible to obtain a balanced lifestyle after this but in my experience very challenging.  The body is exceptionally resilient, and you have to come to grasp with the fact that your entire lifestyle will have to change for 1-3 years pretty drastically to maintain a “normal” fuel burning state indefinitely.  Also, you want to lift lots and lots of heavy weight.  Put cardio on the back burner as many times it will only make things worse.

-How does one know how much they should be eating if it’s difficult for them to feel full.

You don’t need to feel full to be satisfied.  Look for satisfaction from a meal, not the I can’t stuff anything else down me feeling.  Adding more fat to your vegetables or increasing overall meat intake in place of grains can help.

-What are the best foods to eat before and after a workout and is there a certain time gap they should eat within?

It all depends on what your wanting to accomplish.  If you want to build muscle, then protein and a little sugar, within 30 minutes of working out.  If you are really overweight and need to specifically just get fat off, then I would stick strictly to protein (meats, eggs, whey protein, pea protein).  For athletic performance and recovery, then definitely sugar and protein.  If you don’t put some protein in your body after workout, then your body will become insulin resistant for upwards of 24 hours.  On the other hand if you do have protein immediately following your workout, you will actually increase insulin sensitivity.  This keeps your body in a calorie burning mode as opposed to a calorie hording mode.

-I’ve heard more and more that fruit should be very minimal in ones diet because it contains a lot of sugar, is this true?

No, nobody is getting fat because they are eating too much fruit. If you want to lose fat, you’ll be better to decrease fruit intake and increase vegetables.  People are getting fat because they are not eating real food, or they are not handling stress effectively.  Of course there could be disease conditions as well, but that is a very small percentage of people.

-If HIIT training is part of ones workout routine what is the best duration they should shoot for?

Really depends on how good of shape your in.  10 minutes is a good place to start. The critical thing is going 100% during the active phase.  The gains come from intensity more than they do from duration of activity.  Even at 10 minutes 3 times a week people see serious results.  HIIT works the majority of the time, but there are some people that need other things.  Some people find super heavy weight training, 5-6 sets of 5 reps of heavy squat, bench press, deadlifts, thrusters, etc. actually is extremely beneficial.  Heavy lifting is a great way to maintain when you have reached your desired physique, without having to spend lots of time in the gym.

-I’ve heard great things about using the Paleo diet as a lifestyle but I’ve also heard that beans and grains are very good for you. What is the truth?

Depends on the person.  Wheat isn’t really good for anybody, but oats, black rice, wild rice, buckwheat, there are benefits you can gain from those.  Tons of people react to lectins in grains and dairy.  Lectins can promote an inflammatory response in lots of people, especially if fat loss is an issue. It really depends on the state of your current digestive system and your ethnicity, and various other factors. I wouldn’t recommend eating wheat.  If you sprout all your grains it will decrease their reactivity.  But even sprouted wheat for most people doesn’t work out that well. The truth is for some people they’re fine, but for other people they’re not.  If you want to know if they’re ok for you, don’t have any grains for 30 days, and after 30 days add in a whole grain that you want to eat.  And then see how your body feels.  If you feel good, then continue eating, but if you get symptoms then minimize or eliminate.

-I’ve heard eating gluten free is the way to go just for better health. Does this mean even organic sprouted wheat and whole grains are not good for you? Even the Ezekiel and Rudys brands?

For the majority of the american population, eating gluten is not going to work out for them.  The problem is we overdue everything, The asians eat soy and don’t have a problem and then Americans get soy, and end up putting soy in everything, and now we have all these soy issues. I feel like that is where we are headed with coconut.  Coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, coconut milk and coconut flour….there are plenty of great foods out there other than coconut.  If you really want to eat bread, then make it yourself. Use some other ancient grain, such as buckwheat or spelt- which hasn’t been manipulated as much.  Moderation is key…Colors are your friends.

-What’s the most common health thing that could be fixed-

Sleep, food, thought life, and activity level. A negative mindset is killing people.  If we simply stopped comparing ourselves to others many of our health issues would go away.

-My stomach bothers me a lot-

Not enough acid in stomach, could be sensitive to a food your eating, could be that your stomach or intestine is inflamed, heal them using probiotics, glutamine, aloe, licorice root, and diet.  Also, could be not taking time to eat.  Allow your body to prepare to eat, your body sends signals to prepare to eat.  Low acid in stomach is very common.  Could be H.pylori or SIBO, Small Intenstinal Bacterial Overgrowth or yeast issues.  A lot of patients have excess histamine in the digestive tract, which often shows up as pain or discomfort after eating.

-Is it better to get tested for food allergies and leaky gut or do food elimination to see how you feel?

Food elimination, 30 day elimination. Gradually add in 1 new food every 3 days.

-What do you do if you feel lethargic?

Exercise, go outside, if your sleep habits are consistent check iron levels, hormones, B levels, thyroid, adrenals, your diet, increase fat intake, carbs.  Also, check your air quality, mold?

-Things to help with seasonal allergies?

Figure out if sensitive to food, and a month before your seasonal allergy hits eliminate them.  Freeze Dried Nettles, Fish oil, quercitin, high dose vitamin C, liver and digestive support/repair.  If you can decrease the inflammation in your body then you can decrease the seasonal allergy.

I’ve been getting BPA free cans for coconut milk but now I’m hearing it doesn’t matter if it’s BPA free or not because they are putting replacements in that are just as bad?

This is true, avoid eating out of cans, whenever possible.  Use glass and stainless steel.

What are some supplements everyone should be taking?

Vitamin D with vitamin k-2, a good multivitamin, probitics, don’t take everything every single day, but at some point during the year. As a minimum, make sure supplements do not contain soybean oil, corn oil, food coloring, folic acid, cyanocobalmin.

-Butter used to be bad for you, at least that’s what people said, now everyone is saying it’s good for you?

Butter can be great for you, everything in moderation, make sure butter is grass fed.  Butter is really high in butyrate which is great for your large intestine.

-Do you think it’s important to get regular blood work done?

Yes, this can be extremely valuable, usually by the time you have a symptom, you are years down the road with the condition.  If you get blood work every year or two years, you can keep yourself from ever getting the condition. You can tell so much about heart disease, dementia, blood sugar issues, autoimmune tendencies and cancer via the right blood markers.

-What do you tell family members who are stuck in their ways and don’t want to change their eating habits for the better?

I don’t tell them anything, lead by example.  Wait for them to ask, otherwise they just get bitter.  It is the weirdest thing, but people get very strange when you give them suggestions that would make their life better, if it involves food choices.

-Do you think everyone needs to buy organic produce?

Organic and local would be best.

Why is it such a big deal to buy organic, what can pesticides really do to me?

Kill you slowly, linked to all kinds of autoimmune diseases, cancers, digestive issues. Many people become sensitive to different foods, because it’s actually what was sprayed on the food, not the food itself.

-Do you believe in the pay now pay later philosophy with health? For ex. buy organic now to save yourself from disease later?

Yes!  Disease costs way more than buying vegetables does.  It’s not just about money.  It’s about your kids, grandkids, husband, wife. It’s about not being tied down to having to see a doctor all the time or carrying a CPAP machine with you on vacation.

-Can I pick my protein up anywhere as long as it says non-GMO?

It’s a good thing, but doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you.  Grass fed, goat protein is extremely good- the highest grade of protein.

-What cleanse would you recommend?

Best off doing light cleanse, versus a heavy liver cleanse. Think about supporting the body instead of purging it. The body is really good at cleansing itself.  Every week have 10 servings of fruits and vegetables for a month.  Juice cleanse, veggies, more veggies, drink lemon water with cayenne pepper.  Beets in juice. Probiotics-add in for a week. Do a sauna-sweat therapy.  Get a few nights of really good sleep.

-What do I say to my husband who doesn’t want to spend the extra money on organic food?

You can tell him if you don’t value your food, you don’t value your future. We will see how that one goes over. I would try to come to a compromise and say, “How about we go for two months buying and eating all organic.  Let’s just see how much of a difference there is in our food bill.”  Consider shopping directly from the Whole30 shopping list.  Check around at the different grocery stores on their price for organic produce.   Buy a half or ¼ grassfed cow and stick it in your freezer.

-Do you think it’s good to cut out yogurt, even if it’s organic?

If you want to lose fat cut out yogurt, make sure its grass fed organic, full fat. Watch sugar content.

-What can I do if my joints and knees hurt when I run?

Whole food, hydrolyzed collagen to help with joints, look at changing up foot wear, stride, don’t run on asphalt or cement. Tension off hip flexor, hamstrings and quads.  Do more weight training to build muscle helps.  Ride a bike instead of running or speed walk.  Lack of movement of the joint will definitely only make things worse.

-Would you take gelatin everyday?

If it’s grass fed hydrolyzed gelatin.  Great for digestive track, skin, bones, hair, nails, and joints.

If this helped you in some way, leave me a comment!

Cheers, Suzi


Suzi is a wife, and mama who is passionate about sharing her natural lifestyle with those around her. She created Gurl Gone Green to show how our everyday decisions, from what we use on our face, home and the food we eat affect us more than we know. She loves holding space where people can weed through the marketing clutter to find truth, and ultimately make the best decision for their families.


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