Transcript: Are you Sick, Fat and Tired? (EP40)
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Brendan Rogers: Hello everybody, I'm Brendan Rogers the host of the Culture of Things podcast. This is episode 40. Today I'm talking with Pat Boulogne. Dr. Pat is a certified functional medicine practitioner, coach, chiropractor, speaker, and author. She's helped thousands of people over the last 35 plus years stop adapting their lifestyle to pain and chronic problems by focusing on the whole person. The result is that her clients and patients find out the why and the cause of the problem and identify the starting point. What, why, where, and how to begin their health journey to live longer, better, and healthier.
Dr. Pat is the founder and principal of Ask Dr. Pat Health Team Network, a company dedicated to skyrocketing your health, lifestyle, and mindset with strategies and programs that make sense, and help you age gracefully, think, move, and feel better, and live longer, and happier. The focus of our conversation today is our health and the impact it has on performing at our best. Dr. Pat, welcome to the Culture of Things podcast.
Pat: Thank you very much. I love being here.
Brendan: Thank you very much for coming on the episode. I know you’ve done a very large number of podcasts over this period of the last six months. I just want to say, there's been a few firsts on the Culture of Things podcast, you are the first person that we're recording remotely but on Zoom as well. I’ll be able to put this on YouTube later on. Congratulations.
Pat: Thank you so much. I'm happy to be here. Glad to be the first.
Brendan: Pat look, I've given you a bit of an intro there, and we were talking also prerecording. You’ve got an unbelievable background and history. You’ve had over 35 years in this space. How about you give us a few minutes of wrapping that up into this space you got into, why you got into it, and how passionate you are about it.
Pat: I've had so many good teachers and good mentors. When I went to a chiropractic school, I almost decided to quit at one point in time. It was just overwhelming, the amount of information. It's all pre-med. It’s the same as the pre-med or a medical doctor, except that we never study anything about prescription drugs. We had a little bit of a class, but it wasn't something that was our forte. Just like western medicine doctors don't study anything about nutrition. They only had one class basically.
My background in being there and having the fortunate-ness of, if that's a word, to have really good teachers at specific times. For instance, my teacher who was a nutrition teacher, Dr. Chapel. Stuff that he was saying about butter, about fat, now what people are saying about butter and about fat that should never eat margarine. Margarine is carcinogenic, it's a bond that's not a good bond for you to ingest and expect to be healthy. Doing that like maybe one time is no big deal, but doing it for consecutive years and eating that way is bad.
He had all these really great tidbits of wisdom and learning about nutrition, about micronutrients, and macronutrients, and how to put them together. I love that class. It was the light bulb went on, because it became the biggest component of what people could do as a primary choice, and have control over in any day that they go into. They choose what to put in their mouth. They choose how to nurture themselves.
He was one of my big ones. My other mentor in chiropractic, his name is Dr. Victor Frank. He was a very eclectic guy, but I will tell you, I had such huge sensitivity to cigarette smoke. I used to like beer occasionally. Every once in a while I’ll have a beer and then I suddenly couldn't tolerate it. I would get congested, I would have to get up and leave the table, I would have a headache, it was horrible.
He and his technique which was called total body modification in literally five minutes, I no longer had those allergies. I thought wow, I want to learn this, because that's a turning point. Everything else that you know, it’s icing on the cake, it’s the candles on your birthday cake. He always said, I stick to it today. It is like when I'm looking and asking somebody questions, I always ask them, what is going on with this person? Because it isn't necessarily what you got isn't necessarily what you got is what he used to say.
He was from Utah or Texas or something like that. He had that really Texan stroll, but it was interesting because it's true. A lot of times, we have signs and symptoms and we go get treatment for the signs and symptoms. That's usually on the western medicine front and the traditional front on that. They don't ever look at the reason why somebody has something.
That really hit home for me when I studied and got my masters in oriental medicine and I studied acupuncture. It kind of was like the funnel that was pushing everything down and it gave me another excellent tool to assess what's going on with somebody so that I could help them and lead them in a fashion so they could go from point A to point C in the shortest period of time, or in a faster way, and a better way than trying to figure out how to do it on your own. Pretty interesting.
Brendan: It's very interesting, Pat. Again, what's going through my head is, what was it that really—we put so many things into our body nowadays. Whether that be, vitamins, and other prescription drugs from the doctor, and we just have a blind trust in doctors. What was it specifically can you remember that really got you thinking about taking a more natural path and not putting some of these things into our body? Can you explain that a bit?
Pat: I can. When I was in my undergraduate, I was doing an independent study and I was doing it at the University of Michigan Hospital. That was before University of Michigan Hospital turned their hospital into spa colours. The walls are like that really icky colour green. It was very dingy. My job was to go greet people who came into the hospital and say, Brendan, I see that you just checked in today. Is there anything that you need? They didn’t go with the second day, they always sent someone on the first day. Anything you need? Your toothbrush, you're shaving cream, anything like this, I can get it for you. I can make sure that you get it. Is there anything I can get, get you a book, tell me what's going on.
I would have a list about somewhere between 75-100 people a day when I went in for my studies. I did it in an 8-hour time span. One day, I was walking and I was cutting, taking a shortcut through the cancer, the oncology ward. There was a gentleman walking, shuffling and I said hi, did I ever meet you? And he said, no, and he goes, and we’ll probably never meet again. I said, why is that? And he said well, because they told me I'm going to die in six weeks. I went wow, and you're still here? He goes well, I am. He looked at me very puzzled. I said, this is the last place I would be if anybody gave me that diagnosis. That's all I said. At the end of the day, I got fired. I had to go find a different independent study.
I had different experiences when I was doing that of how unhelpful some doctors were. Some lady that was on the edge of the bed and I wasn't allowed to touch the bed or the person. A doctor was walking by and I said, can you help me? I said, I have this bad feeling this lady's going to fall off this bed, she was literally on the edge. I said, can you help me? Can we put her back. He said, that isn't my job and they continued walking. I just took the buzzer and got the nurse to come and assist. Tell me who that doctor is, I never want to go to him. We fixed the bed first of all, she never even knew that. I just really learned from those experiences that I want to be a medical doctor.
Originally when I was doing a work study, I also started an MBA program. I hated it. Those experiences that I had at the University of Michigan Hospital just made me think, there's got to be a different way, there's got to be a better way, and there's got to be a shorter way to do your life, and live it to its fullest. I didn't know what I was going to do and I was waiting on tables at that time and a friend of mine who decided to go to chiropractic school decided I was going to go to chiropractic school also. I said, absolutely not. I go, those people are quacks, I don't want to go. I go, let's change the subject.
I injured myself and I was telling you in the pre-talk I said, in this guy's office I was watching him do his thing. I thought to myself, if he can do this, I can do it better. Then I went out of there. I went and applied for school. I decided when I wanted to start and I never looked back. I've had situations with people that I've seen them come crawl in and walk out. I've seen people who have the flu come in with the flu, I have a special remedy so they don't throw up all over my office. It quells these symptoms. What happens is that they walk out and four hours later, they call me up and go, I don't know what you did, but I don't have the flu anymore. I feel phenomenal.
I did a lot of nutrition work. I look at how the pieces of the puzzle fit in. I learned how to do that from some very good mentors. I just did things that made sense. If it didn't make sense, I always tell patients, if I won't do it, I'm not going to ask you to do it. We might investigate it together, but I'm not going to tell you to do something that I've never done or wouldn't do myself. That's a big nutshell.
Brendan: Thank you for sharing fascinating stories. Isn't it amazing how our past experiences shape what we're doing and lead us in a direction sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly.
Pat: Yeah, for sure. For sure.
Brendan: I need to ask you an obvious question Pat, that obvious question to me is, what is health to you and why is it so important?
Pat: There's the traditional explanation in Webster's dictionary which is that it’s not merely the absence or infirmities. A lot of times, people associate health with being sick. Throwing up in the toilet, that type of thing. If they're not doing that and if they have the ability to go do whatever it is that they want to do, then they don't feel sick. It's a label that they put on, but for me, it's much more intricate.
For me, health has five components or five pillars to it. The first pillar is diet nutrition. The second pillar is exercise. The third pillar is proper sleep. The fourth pillar is a positive mental attitude. Those are your thoughts, that type of thing. Then there is a properly functioning nervous system. That relates to posture, biomechanics, structure function. Those have got to work in unison with each other.
When one is off balance, it’s going to eventually affect the other. When you eat poor food, it's going to affect how you structurally are. Poor food can relate to nutritional imbalances that affect joints and joint posture. If you don't exercise, you have weak muscles. We see the old person who's really hunched over and walking down the street, their rib cage is really pressing into all the internal organs. By doing exercises or helping people when they go through life to do more exercises that are on the backside or the extensors, helps them sit up straight, it also helps them look younger. Good posture can take off at least 5-10 years off how you appear to other people just by that. We all know people who take selfies. They're looking down and I guess they're horrible pictures. That’s true.
Brendan: Absolutely. Just as you're saying that, I'm just adjusting my own posture to make sure I'm sitting more straight. Thanks for the reminder, Pat.
Pat: Me too.
Brendan: In so many areas, this area, the specialty of yours around health, these foundational elements. You’ve mentioned five there. Is there one in that group of five that is maybe, can I say more foundational, it's often a really great starting point for people to get some solid action, some solid habits, some solid performance around in your experience.
Pat: I look at what people have control over. The biggest thing that somebody has control over is their diet. By making good lifestyle choices and not take the easy way out all the time, sometimes you got to do that if you're driving cross country or you're doing certain things. There's ways to do that, but nutrition is really important, because it isn't what you have the ability. Like they say, you are what you eat, that's not really true. You are what you have the ability to absorb.
The lining in the intestinal tract is only one layer. If it gets damaged from heavy meals or from having too much sugar, sugar is like pouring gasoline on a fire, you can visualise that. For more information, it was 2004 when Time Magazine had a front cover that said the surprising link to chronic illness and disease was inflammation. One of the biggest foods that create inflammation are GMO type foods or sugar. When you have that sugar in your digestive tract, it slows down digestion, things don't absorb correctly.
If you look at how people food combine, for instance a steak, it takes a long time for a steak to be digested. If you couple it with a food that—protein is acid, and it all comes down to chemistry. Potato is alkaline and it is a carbohydrate. If people have a steak and potato type thing going on, it takes a long time for that, and one cancels the other. You have to have the right kind of gastric juices to digest the steak and a different kind of similar but more kind of PH to really help with the carbohydrate of the potato. If you eat like that all the time, then it goes through your system ever so slow and maybe too slow. Some of the food starts to putrefy so to speak. That could lead to other issues.
One of the reasons why they do colonoscopy is this and for people who are big meat eaters, that's an issue. That kind of explains it more in a street language type of way.
I think the gut is one of the most important things that you can pay attention to and how you help the gut be its best is to choose foods that are combined correctly and that support digestion, and support your immune system. Your immune system is all in your gut. They say that for mental illness, depression, anxiety, any of those types of things, it comes from the gut. If you change the style of food that you're eating and how you combine them, then you can make a change with your mentality and what your mindset is. It's very helpful with that.
I recently read a paper about how much serotonin is in the gut. Serotonin is the key. There's more there than there is in the brain. It's funny, if you eat the turkey and the tryptophan serotonin mix and there's so much serotonin down in there, no wonder you go to sleep. This is the combination and the balance of that.
Brendan: Again, I'm thinking around this. We all get told in the society around the things that we should do. Let's stay with this gut theme and what we’re absorbing into our bodies. What are we doing wrong? I'm sure there's lots of things we’re doing wrong in society because governments all around the world are putting more and more money into health nowadays. I'm not sure that we're getting any better results. In your opinion and your vast experience, what is it that we’re doing wrong in what we're putting into our bodies?
Pat: I think we're eating too many carbohydrates, too much sugar. Sugar cuts the digestion. We're not balancing out our food. For me I think the best diet that works for me is the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is protein and vegetables. It’s colourful vegetables. It doesn't mean you can't eat potatoes, but you're not eating potatoes. A good source of how to balance that out would be a takeoff on that is Barry Sears’ book, it’s an old book, and he was way before his time. He's still alive by the way, but he wrote a book called, Mastering the Zone.
In Mastering the Zone, it looks at how many proteins that you need in order to have muscle endurance and help keep muscle mass. That's really important in an anti inflammatory diet, because in his diet, he did studies with people who have type 2 diabetes. They were able to reverse type 2 diabetes particularly with this diet. This is the anti inflammatory diet. I think that the biggest thing is not only what food you choose to eat, but quality over quantity. Staying away from GMO. Don’t eat corn if you didn’t grow it yourself. You can buy organic seeds, but if you're not growing them in organic soil, then you're missing the point.
If the intestinal tract is injured, because there's heavy metals in our environment so when you eat those and they go through your system, they're easily absorbed through the intestinal wall. When you accumulate them and the liver can't handle that process anymore of getting them out of your body, it stores in the blood, brain, bone, and fat. If you keep on having that accumulation, my idea is that it goes to your weakest link, weakest organ. All the organs are like a Swiss watch, they're supposed to work just like a Swiss watch as we know the fine tuning of the Swiss watch. When one of the components is off, the rest of the watch is off too.
We don't always recognise that. You're told that it's because you're ageing, it’s because like, I had it when I was 40, don't worry about it. Because you're listening to your friends, so you have all these signs and symptoms like floaters in the eye, you didn't have them when you're 20, but you have them when you're 50. In Chinese medicine, that’s a stagnation type of diagnosis. You have to take a look at one of those grim reaper syndromes that we're not paying attention to.
Bloat, you can gain 5-10 pounds and you think, next month, I'll get into that, and you don't ever really address it. If you combine the wrong foods together, there is very good food combining charts that are on Google that you can find. I have two of them. I have one that I had from 35 years ago and I found it recently. It’s the nice pretty one that has green and different colours on it, but the idea is to put a protein with a vegetable. If you're going to have your vegetables like green leafy vegetables, because they're really high in calcium, they're high in magnesium, they're high in nutrients, if they come from a good source.
If not—it looks like spinach, but it doesn't have all the components of spinach because it’s a GMO spinach, it looks like but not. It tastes like but it doesn't have the micronutrients. That's how I've learned that. I think the biggest thing that's missing, the biggest thing that we can do that we have control over is what goes from the plate and how it's prepared too. You don't need all the sauces.
I always use the example of ketchup. I love ketchup. I grew up with it. My mother, when we're waiting for dinner and she wanted to get out of the kitchen and stop bothering her, she’d put butter on bread and ketchup and tell you it’s the best thing since apple pie and send you back outside for 20 or 30 minutes. When I look at a bottle of ketchup from England, there are no chemicals in it. I don't understand why there has to be so many chemicals in food in order to preserve it.
This is a very interesting thing for someone to do, there's always a list of vitamins of the inert ingredients. I would implore anybody to take a list of those inert ingredients in whatever their vitamins that they have and look up what the side effects of those are. It is not just one use. It’s long term use for starters.
Also something if you ever want to find out, here’s a little bio hack, a little health fact, is take white vinegar, pour in a glass and put only one capsule of whatever you take as a supplement. If it doesn't dissolve in 20 or 25 minutes, then you're not digesting it. You’re wasting your money. It's just like one of those things that you can do—that's a good DIY thing to do.
I have a client who's always testing me by his do-it-yourself, I'd had this going on, Pat, and I did this, but it doesn't tell me beforehand. He always tells me afterwards and then if it worked out well for him or not. It always makes me cringe when I have to talk to them about stuff like that. If he was in front of me, I’d ring his neck. I’m like, why are you doing it? Why are you being a Guinea pig? Some of it doesn't make sense. Some of it has worked and some of it hasn't, so much for that idea. It can be dangerous too.
For instance, let's take the example of high blood pressure. High blood pressure, there are specific drugs that western medicine has to control high blood pressure. Then, there are alternatives that can control high blood pressure, like B12 B-complex. There are things like hawthorn berry. Things like that can control blood pressure.
The point is that when you're taking the medication, you're watering down the symptom. If you're taking alternative medications like pharmaceuticals, but then like nutraceutical-type things, you’re watering down the situation. The thing is, you don't know why you have it. Why, in the first place, do I have high blood pressure? Then look for the cause of that and treat the cause, why you're helping the symptoms. That's how I look at when I'm looking at somebody, I say, we got this going on. That’s your diagnosis. Go get your diagnosis and come to me and we'll figure it out.
Like me wanting to arrive Sydney, if I come down there, I want to arrive in time for a meal. I don't want to arrive in the middle of the night, so I would make my trip, make my plans based on when I want to be someplace where I want to be. I look at what the end result is for somebody and I design programs that are very, very specific, individualised per person so that they can get to that goal where they want to go faster and with more tangible results.
It could be simpler, too, but simpler—when I tell somebody, I always qualify the words simply or simpler by saying it doesn't mean it's going to be easy, because we’re so prone to do things by habit, which leads me into the idea of why I'm thinking of it. Some people say to me I have a genetic pool for heart disease in our family. I say, does everybody in your family have heart disease? Usually, the answer is no. I say if you have the genetic prototype and you eat the same foods that got your parents in that same place or your grandparents in that same place, more than likely, you’ll have it.
Especially since foods are not the high quality that they were in the 20s and the 30s where they weren’t using pesticides and insecticides on plants and vegetables to eat them and they weren’t pumping up the meat with antibiotics and other things. People were healthier. They were eating organic then and didn't know it. It’s as if taking those things and piecing them together correctly is important.
Brendan: Our interview will continue after this.
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Pat, I want to go back to—it’s great you mentioned high blood pressure because I think that's something that in the world of businesses and organisations, that seems to come up a lot where people have high blood pressure for whatever reason, I'm not sure. I’m hoping you can help us with that.
Let's say that I came to you and I've got this diagnosis of high blood pressure, can you talk us through a little bit about how you work through it? How do you first assess them as a person? What their habits are? All those sorts of things to help try and improve their situation.
Pat: The first thing I do is I have paperwork to fill out and part of my paperwork which includes my book, Why... Are You Sick, Fat, and Tired? Has a very intensive system summary questionnaire of all the 11 systems of the body. That gives me the first picture of where the high priority and low priority is at and how your health maps out in that Swiss watch kind of idea. You can relate this organ system to that organ system. It brings up my computer and I pull the pieces of the puzzle together for that.
That would be the first thing that I would do, then I would ask about a lot of things like the types of foods that you eat. I would ask you about your environment. What kind of chemical cleaners are you using in your house, because there's a lot of toxins in our system, our solar system that causes problems like high blood pressure. Those toxins can be from the cleaning things that you use in your house to any type of gardening type of chemicals that you use. They can be from anything in the air component, we have a lot of chemtrails around Washington DC. There are hundreds of them sometimes.
There's the food. Food is laced with things. Somebody asked me one time you have a can of Coca-Cola up there which is 22 teaspoons of sugar and how many grams—you got to look at grams, the grams of fat, the proteins, the carbohydrates and what is that good ratio. There are a lot of things and it’s not just—it could be like cutting out salt is going to cut and do the deal. There's inflammation someplace. The source of most chronic illness and diseases is inflammation. The reason why I do that system approach and those questionnaires is to find out what the weakest link is.
I also implore anybody who has high blood pressure to make sure they also do a heavy metal test, because there can be various components of heavy metal that are out there that can be causative for high blood pressure also. Looking for the cause of it, you’re going to have to be a CSI agent and keep on asking questions. Sometimes, I've applied the same kind of question and answer things, believe it or not with my dog. My dog had huge exposure to mosquito insecticide when I was going to Florida to do clinical grounds in a chiropractic college that's down there. I thought I was going to lose him that night.
I've been working ever since then because of the fact that it induced internal bleeding, it induced a couple types of anemia and kidney issues and liver issues, they're all shutting down. Luckily, we were able to turn it around and I've been working for two years to get his blood-work back to normal. His last blood work was the first one in two years, his RBC’s and the things that are important for him to have. It started to glue and come back together. I just hope it stays that way.
I apply those principles that I used with him, I apply it with people also. Sometimes we all have a box of what our tools are. We all know what the question is. This is how I approach my solution to this problem. You look at what this is, sometimes our solutions, especially if it's our health, are not inside our box, they're outside. Looking at what are all my possibilities if I have high blood pressure, what can I do in order to change that around?
Sometimes, it's as simple as losing some weight, because a lot of people are overweight. You can be overweight internally so to speak and have a high visceral fat content and still be thin. Everyone's going to go, he looked healthy, why did he die of a heart attack? Well, there are other underlying reasons that don't always surface. There are times when we have a big health glitch that some of those things that are lurking below the surface start to surge.
We see that especially with people with cytokine storms where the immune system is shutting down with Covid. People who seemingly were very, very healthy will pass because their immune system is not handling whatever the situation is. When you look at the high blood pressure, you can look at what's traditional to take then you look at alternatives, but to really know you can't guess, you got to test.
Testing, looking at what's going on and the summation of the system survey questions for instance that I ask, every doctor asks those questions. Some of them are more complete than others. You got to look at like what is it? That's why I like saying that I’m a CSI detective when it comes to stuff like that. The Chinese diagnosis also, are you familiar with Chinese diagnosis?
Pat: The Chinese diagnosis, their primary way to do that they look at your face but they look on your wrists. There are three points on your wrists on both sides that represent organs. They look at that and they look at your tongue. When you combine those three plus a whole huge of questioning, the Chinese intake is not as long as my intake. It's a little bit shorter actually, but I have a huge intake. I go back and look at medical records and all sorts of things. I look at blood work with people. When I see somebody who only has a thyroid test, they only test the TSH, then I go, did they do the whole panel? You got to go back, you got to get the whole panel. You need better information.
Women who'd have estrogen test, they should have all estrogen tested every time. They should do the whole panel. It's not negotiable. It’s important because how estrogen gets handled, same thing for testosterone, how testosterone gets handled. If there's a glitch in it, you're not going to necessarily see that on the basic test for things that are important like that. There are so many people who have breast cancer. There are so many men who have testicular cancer and cancer of the prostate. If you don't know you have it, it's your weak link and then it goes to your next organ system because it can only do so much. That's when you start seeing things like that metastasize to other places.
Brendan: How do we, as a society, get ourselves into the situation where I'm listening to you and I'm thinking that health is such a personalised, such an individualised thing for me with different people, different bodies and maybe process things differently? The common approach is go to the GP and they’ll ask maybe one or two questions and they’ll give some pills to sort something out. That's become the norm and that's become widely accepted in society. Whereas, your type of medicine and looking at the holistic view and taking an individualised approach is the alternative way. How did we get ourselves into this space? Because I think about this and think shouldn’t the alternative way actually be more than mainstream because that's a more individualised approach to take and we are all very individual people?
Pat: Well, in medical school, Mark Hyman, he used to be the president of the International Functional Medicine Foundation, I think it’s what it is. He made a statement at one point time, if I remember correctly, saying when he was in school they were taught how to treat high blood pressure. They would treat everybody with high blood pressure the same way. It is a hit and miss. I have a friend who had high blood pressure and started taking high blood pressure meds and he was allergic to them. He took a picture of it—I wasn't at someplace where I could get to my phone, I didn’t see it until the next day. His lip was as big as his nose. It was swollen all around because he was having this reaction to this drug.
Dr. Mayo from Mayo Clinic said one medication for somebody could save their life. The next person who takes the same thing reacts very differently. You have to be really wise. What happens is that people will—I have that high blood pressure problem. If I have that high blood pressure problem, I go to my doctor. My doctor gave me medication and then he doesn't tell me the check in a week. He tells me to check in three weeks or three months, something like that. In my world, I talk to people on a weekly basis. If I'm treating somebody physically when I was a chiropractor, I used to see them three times a week. I got to have a much more personalised, hands on and I talk to people about this muscle over here getting really rigid, did you slip, did you fall? Is that a possibility?
I think we get into that position because it's an easy way out. If you're driving and you go to McDonald's or if there's these places here called Sweet Pea and Sweet Pea is a salad place. It actually has organic lettuce components to it and you can go there instead. Does it take you longer? Sure. You’ve got Starbucks there, right? Starbucks in the United States, you can go and order a coffee, it’s the worst coffee to me in the world. I do not like Starbucks coffee. I like a good cup of coffee that I can sit and think. To me it tastes like it's burnt and you got to wait forever for it in order to get it.
Looking at that, I think people have got to learn that it's going to take time and the six chiropractic principle, I can't believe I'm remembering this from 38 years ago, the six chiropractic principle is, there is no process that doesn't require time. It's true so if you're looking at what's my healing process? How did they get here in the first place? A lot of times, medications dilute the situation.
When you look at antacids or you look at things like Prilosec and Nexium which are right-hand-left-hand the same medication. One is a generic, one is the real one, when you're looking at that and if you keep on diluting the problem, then it’s like the fire department coming to your house and spraying your whole house down, breaking through the windows with an axe, the door which would represent surgery and they hose the whole house down and they tell you, look I saved your house, but he ruined everything that was inside. Look, isn't that great?
Then you have to have a carpenter, someone like me, come in and go like this is a mess. Let's get rid of the stuff that we don't need and let's see what we can do about repairing what we got. You got to have somebody who has the right tools to do that like. You would never go to a dentist on the hose park, they have a hose too, but is that the right kind of hose. Likewise, in situations of emergencies, for somebody who’s having a stroke, you would never send them to me. You would take them to the hospital. They would do emergency type things. They would put the hose in, which is the medication.
When they hit a brick wall, what they do because there’s only what they know in their box, their next thing is surgery. I know an instance of a woman who for 10 years had blood in her stools on and off and they couldn't figure out what the problem was. They finally said we don't know what else to do so we're going to give you a bag. She said what does that mean and they said, we're going to take a part of your colon out and you're going to have a bag. She said, well I have six kids. Can I play with my kids? They go, no, you probably wouldn't want to do any rough housing with them. Can I go swim? No.
All the questions that she asked, she's like, I'm going to go look for something different. She found somebody who is a chiropractor who did a lot of alternative and did a lot of nutrition work. The first thing he did is he did a test. He wanted to see what foods in her diet could possibly be irritating her. The interesting thing in that story is the person that was involved, her culprit was avocados. She loved avocados. You can have reactions to food and not know you're having that reaction—what food it specifically is because it can happen three or five days later. You don't really tie it into the immediate allergic reaction, that kind of severe and take you to the hospital thing.
It's important to look at the whole person and to not say take this and we'll see how this works. They're looking at let's fix the symptom and let's not fix the cause. They don't know what the cause is. They are not trained to think that way. It doesn't make what they do incorrect, it just makes it that's what they do. You just need to know that when you go in that realm, into their box. That's why I said earlier you got to go outside, especially for your health. Sometimes outside can see what the possibility is and what is the best course that makes sense. Not what makes sense for you for something, for me with the same situation could be two totally different things to get to the same endpoint.
Brendan: It sounds like such a minefield and so many angles that you can go into, isn't it? You referred back to, I think it was, the 11 systems and relate it back to your book. Again, in your experience and all the people you've seen over the years, in those 11 systems, is there one or two maybe that jumps out more often that something within that part of the system is creating so many other issues? Are you finding any patterns, I guess is what I'm asking.
Pat: Fix your gut, change your life. That’s a Dr. Pat quote. When I'm looking at it, very rarely do I not go to the gut. But I do have to say that I always caution people when they’re answering those questions to really answer them in present time and not be in a rush.
I had a colleague’s daughter who filled out my form. She had a very, very severe case of tick, from Lyme’s disease twice. When I looked at her chart, I called her up and said were you running to an airport—because I knew she was coming back from Florida back to her parent’s house, this was before COVID—and I said, were you running back up North and doing this inside the airport? She was like, I was, how do you know? I said, because I’ve never met anybody who has a compromised immune system that doesn’t have a gut issue.
I have a very specific questionnaire that I look at, if somebody is a candidate to be able to do a detox or a tonification process—you get rid of toxins at a much easier basis. That tells me when I get that number, I can also sometimes see, a low score, a lower priority in the liver because the liver is still handling that. I have very specific questions in another questionnaire that tells me if somebody’s a candidate for going in and doing a “detox”. Because the liver does function, what you want to do is you want to tonify the liver’s ability to do that better. There is supplementation that you can take in a specific program to go from Point A to Point B.
The program that I use for that is either 10 days or 28 days. I rarely ever use the 28 days because I want to tonify the liver, and then I want to just let it sit for 5 days, but with a specific diet. Anybody can give up something for 21 days, if it’s important. The thing is that people, they’re in this crisis mode. The thing is not to get to the crisis mode. The questionnaire, yes, I see the gut come up more frequently. I think this is a really great book for anybody, even myself, to do on New Year's day. Take a couple hours, go through it, answer the questions and look at what my health snapshot is in the beginning of the year. Because when I was making those new year’s resolutions and health resolutions in the beginning of the year, this will definitely show you where to start that journey.
If you know where to put your time, energy, and money and to work your health, and you can do it at a reasonable cost, then it makes sense to pay attention before you get into a crisis. Because when you get in crisis, people are like, now fix that. You got to be kidding. I go, oh take two months to do, now it’s going to take you two years. You have to weigh that out.
A lot of people, they don’t want to do something unless it feels like there’s a problem. Which is back to the definition of health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmities. You can have something rolling underneath being sick. I had a girl from Australia who gave me a hard time about the title of my book. She was in my business group. She said, I’m not fat, I’m not tired, and I’m not sick. I said, well, I agree with you. You don’t look fat, but you could have internal fat. You know when you’re tired, but you don’t know when you’re sick.
A lot of people don’t experience some of those bigger signs and symptoms until they hit around 40 and they think like I chose happiness a little bit one too many times. But they rely on family and friends for their diagnosis or they read a book and they try to do it yourself.
Brendan: What do you suggest that we all do? I might be feeling quite fit and healthy. I run and I play football and those sorts of things. I eat okay foods, certainly not perfect, but how do I find out if I am actually sick?
Pat: I don’t like the word sick because in the sick model of medicine, it’s always when you’re in crisis. I’m always careful. If you see if you have something going on or something that’s brewing, I’m looking before the surface. The easiest way to do that, that I know of and a person who reviewed my book said, I’ve never seen a book do this before, is take the questionnaire. It’s easy. The book's 110 pages, something like that. It has questions that you can identify because you take the numbers and you put them on a chart.
The higher the number, the higher the priority. Your weakest link is going to be a high priority. Your strongest link is going to be a low priority or none, hopefully.
Brendan: Pat, I know we’re starting to run short of time, but I really want to ask you around mindset because that was one of the five pillars you mentioned very early on in the interview. When you talk about the gut and the things that we put into our body, where does mindset sit in this whole thing about making decisions on what we’re actually putting into our body?
Pat: My first question I ask people in my interview processes, how has your health been in the last two years? I wait for an answer. I don’t talk. And then I ask after they tell me whatever it is they want to tell me. Like, oh, it’s been okay. When they say okay, I’m going, so what happened? Because okay means something. Like I had the flu a couple times where I had a really bad cold, like I had more colds now at the end.
My second question is, if you knew what to do to be healthy, would you do it? Because that paradigm shift and going from having someone else do everything for you, you have to have accountability. One of the things that is important to me to offer to somebody is a lot of support. It’s that I have a really great rule. My rule is that if you break a rule that I give you, just start the next moment not breaking the rule.
I have this thing about whites. Like sugar, salt—that kind of stuff. Don’t eat it. If you can’t pronounce the word and the ingredient, don’t eat it. Ideally, five ingredients are the best. They’re all you can pronounce. It’s important in the mindset to really say, is this something I really want to do? Because nobody wants to be a burden to their family and nobody wants to be a burden to their parents, wife, or to their kids.
That’s what happens. The statistics they say, which I can see happening even more, but the statistics was, by the year 2030, 1 of 2 people, 50% of the population in the United States—this is a statistic—will have some kind of level of chronic illness or disease. That’s a lot of sick people. When you look around and you really get that mindset like, what does that mean? Well, they are your parents, they’re your boyfriend, they’re your husband, they’re your kids, they’re your best friends, they’re your grandparents. That’s a huge number of people. They don’t want to be a burden. But people feel that way when they get that kind of sick that they need that kind of help.
I was at a mindset conference for a retreat last October in Orlando. The biggest thing that stood out to me, because I wanted to relax, I wanted to go to a mindset thing, put my mind in gear. I was called right out of it when people got an opportunity to share. We have 20 people a day shared. Out of the 20 people a day sharing, 6 or 7 of them have cancer. I had to stop what I was doing because I got sick and I had to either stop my business. It’s so important to have your health in order to do a business. If you’re going to do a business and you’re going to be under that level of stress, you better eat really clean and better look at what nutrients that you have to have that sustainable energy all day long so you’re not depleted.
I was amazed at the number. I started taking pictures of the people who were talking and I started counting. The statistics for me was a huge number of people for 500 people and only 20 people a day talking out of 40 people. There were like 14 of those 40 people who got up and said they were on their deathbed or they were diagnosed with such a significant disease that they had to stop and regroup what they were doing. That’s got to affect your relationships, this got to affect how you approach your life.
The thing is if you could have taken care, I’ve had so many women tell me, my husband needs this more than I do. And I’m like, you got to be kidding me. It’s like, you need it more than your husband does because women are the caretaker of the house. We ruminate over everything, we overthink everything.
Okay, you’re like Santa Claus—you’re making the list check and checking it twice, three times, or four times. Because you care very deeply about the people who you’re so engaged with. Looking at that stat which is an actual stat, one in every three people in the United States, right now in the statistic, have some level of heart disease. Heart disease is directly related to diabetes. The estimate, 40%, I don’t know who made these numbers up or how they actually get to them, but 40% of the people who have diabetes will more than likely have Alzheimer’s.
I don’t know anybody who wants to lose their mind. The frustration as a physician is people really caring about their health before they get to that crisis and making the difference on that level. I hope your listeners just listen to that and then going into the new year that they turn that leaf and they’ll be like, I’m important, I’m important to my family, and I’m important to be here. I want to play golf, I want to play tennis. I don’t play tennis anymore as I was rotten at it before, but I like tennis, I like going out and hitting the ball, I like doing those kinds of things.
You want to be engaged, you want to participate in your life and not watch it go by. Live your life, don’t let life live you. That kind of thing.
Brendan: Absolutely. I’m sitting here thinking there’s a lot of unhealthy people and a lot of unhealthy leaders out there. That takes us into coming to a close on this interview, but obviously you don’t have the ability to just assess and diagnose everyone now. But what bit of advice would you give to people, where is that starting point for them if people are maybe not making the best choices around their health and around their lifestyle, where do you advise people that they start?
Pat: I would tell people to buy my book. It’s a book that just tells you, it’s pretty black and white and it’s well organised. Because that way, you’ll have something to work with. You have questions that you can go and you can advocate for yourself. If you go to your physician, you can say, hey, I got this stuff going on and based upon this questionnaire that I did which is nobody who’s ever looked at my questionnaire that’s a medical doctor or any kind of doctor who said, oh this question doesn’t mean this. They were actually, how did you do this?
It’s a good place to start. Because then it gives you some base knowledge and then you can look at the whole picture. It’s like when you go to a just a cardiologist and the cardiologist tells you to take Aspirin. When that was approximately around 1984. Before 1984, in the United States for instance, stroke was not a problem. Stroke was not one of the top 10 reasons why people died. After people started taking Aspirin, which is good for the heart, bad for your circulatory system, then you started seeing that number. Stroke is up there; stroke is 1 of the top 10 reasons why people in the United States die.
You can’t just treat one organ system. They all interrelate to each other. But I will tell you, it starts with what goes in your mouth and making those wise choices and how to put foods together, how to cook them. When you’re thinking about cooking, I remember the book Like Water for Chocolate, they talk specifically, in this book. This woman was making dinner and she was so sad because her parents arranged the marriage of her sister to the man she was in love with. And yet, she had to make dinner for everybody. The whole time while she made dinner, she was crying. When people sat there, and they started eating the food in the story, everyone at the table started crying and nobody knew why anyone was crying.
Because you are whatever emotion you’re feeling, when you’re cooking, it goes into your food. In a very kind of esoteric way.
Brendan: Well said, Pat. And thank you for that. Pat, to finish off, how can we get a hold of you?
Pat: I have a couple ways to get a hold of me. One way is through my website which is healthteamnetwork.com. I am on LinkedIn. On those pages you can find ways to connect with me. I have the Facebook page for my business that people can like and they can follow. I just am about to release an online course called Stronger than Medicine where some of the things that we’re talking about here, I do a primary intake with everybody in this course and then we have group sessions and talk about what’s the best way to get rid of stress, how to identify it, how to have energy all day long, how to eat better, how to think better, how to move better, how to feel better, and how to just go out and just grab your life and just do it.
That is from Bitly, that people wanted to find out more information about that, they got to go on Bitly. For my generation, I have to spell it out, bit.ly/strongerthanmedicine. The younger generation knows that Bitly thing. Anyway, I’m looking forward to doing it. It’s a beta launch and it’s at a significantly reduced price right now going into the new year.
The other way to find me is on my Instagram. That’s another way to grab me. But I’m always available. I always make time to talk and interact and engage with people. My goal is to help masses of people get better information so that they can make better decisions and have correct information to make those decisions so they know what they need to do for themselves. And then I help them and push them off the precipice in that direction so that they can achieve all their health goals and their dreams, everything that they ever wanted in life. You can’t do it without your health.
Brendan: Absolutely, you can not. If you haven’t got your health then how can you really be performing your best? Pat, thank you very much for sharing all of that information. That conversation was fascinating, to be honest, it just made me really think about some of the things that I’m doing myself and I’m sure that other people listening, hopefully, it makes them think about their own health and some decisions they can make and where they can get started if they’ve got some issues. Pat, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge today, your wisdom, great to have met you. You and I have had a few chats through LinkedIn, so fantastic.
I can second what you’ve said about having some good conversations with people. Thank you very much. It’s great to connect with you. Thanks for being a guest on The Culture of Things podcast today.
Pat: Thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure to be here. Loved it. Absolutely loved it.
Brendan: Interviewing Dr. Pat got my mind racing about the importance of self leadership. When I reflected on a number of scenarios over the last two and a half decades, there have been a couple of consistent patterns linked with the poor leaders I have seen. One pattern was they all had a focus on self serving as opposed to serving others.
The other pattern was they were very poor with maintaining consistently good habits, particularly around their own health. This reflection led me to some controversial questions. The first question that came to mind was, if a leader is unhealthy and not being the best version of themselves, how can they lead teams to be healthier and high performing. The second question was, if you can’t lead your own health, why should you be allowed to lead others.
I wonder if your own experience casts some insight into those questions. These were my three key takeaways from my conversation with Dr. Pat.
My first key take away, healthy leaders are high performing leaders. I’m not saying that if you are healthy, you are automatically a high performing leader. But I am saying that based on my own experiences, healthy leaders are consistently higher performing than unhealthy leaders. Let’s face it, if you don’t have the discipline to be healthy, it stands to reason that it’s unlikely you will have the discipline necessary to be a high performing leader.
My second key take away, leaders conduct regular health checks on their team. Like your own health, regular maintenance checks on your team will ensure problems are found quickly. When you find problems early and quickly, you can also fix and adjust quickly. If you don’t put a regular focus on your team, the problems will grow and they’ll be much harder to fix and will also take much longer to resolve. Be a leader and conduct regular health checks on your team.
My third key take away. A healthy leader starts with a healthy mindset. Like so many things, you have got to want to do it, and then set your mind to actually doing it. Whether it’s your own health or the health of your team, making the choice is the first step. Once you have put yourself into the right mindset, you will set about ensuring the five pillars of your own health are being worked on in unison. Achieving a healthy team is no different. Working on the four disciplines of organisational health must be worked on in unison. It all starts with a positive mindset and then taking action to do it.
In summary, my three key takeaways were healthy leaders are high performing leaders. Leaders conduct regular health checks on their team. A healthy leader starts with a healthy mindset.
To win this week’s $30 Jangle eGift card of your choice, answer this question, what is the title of Dr. Pat’s book? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for listening. Stay safe. Until next time.
Outtro (music): Thank you for listening to The Culture of Things podcast with Brendan Rogers. Please visit brendanrogers.com.au to access the show notes. If you love The Culture of Things podcast, please subscribe, rate and give a review on Apple podcasts and remember a healthy culture is your competitive advantage.