Episode 136 | Gut Health and Fermented Foods | Meg Kilcup of A Whole Health Life

Gut health is a big topic in the health world right now, and for good reason!  Having a healthy gut impacts so many areas of our physical and mental health.  Meg of A Whole Health Life joins me to talk about why gut health matters and how to begin healing your gut through diet and lifestyle changes.  We also camp out on the benefits of fermented foods and how to begin incorporating them into your everyday life.  Gut health can seem like an intimidating topic, but you might be surprised by the simplicity of Meg’s recommended first steps on your gut healing journey!

In this episode, we cover:

  • Why all the fuss about gut health?
  • How food and medicine can negatively impact your gut
  • A surprisingly simple start to healing your gut
  • When you might need to seek help in your gut healing journey
  • Easy fermented foods to start incorporating into your diet
  • How and why to consume beef liver, heart, tongue, etc.
  • How adrenal cocktails can support your health
  • One superfood you should be consuming every day

About Meg

Meg Kilcup is a pharmacist, passionate about patient safety and preventative health. She is also a farmacist, passionate about using REAL foods to fuel your body wholly and powerfully! Her heart is to empower you to live a nourished and healthy life.

Based on her experience as a pharmacist with a holistic mindset, Meg believes western medicine is most often not needed if we simply maximize our natural food resources to serve and nourish ourselves and our family’s whole health. A whole health life is fun, simple, delicious, and family friendly. Meg teaches others to live well nourished so they can live their best adventures!

Resources Mentioned

Lisa’s favorite kitchen tools


Meg Kilcup of A Whole Health Life | Website | Instagram

Lisa Bass of Farmhouse on Boone | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Pinterest

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Lisa Bass Well, hey, Meg! Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it. 

Meg Kilcup Hi! This is fun. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I know. It’s been a— gosh, like seven months-ish. I know I last saw you at the Wellness Collective, and I was pregnant with Theodore, who is going to be seven months this week, so— 

Meg Kilcup Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Crazy. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, that’s how that goes. So start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your background. I know that you have a few credentials as well. 

Meg Kilcup Sure. So I’m Meg. Meg Kilcup. And I am a mom. I have three boys: four, six, and eight. A lot of energy is in our house. Married to Rob. We live in Washington, and I am a pharmacist by training. So I went to school, got my doctorate of pharmacy and was in that field for a decade. Never actually worked in a pharmacy. Didn’t actually want to do that. I just wanted to help people. And I love health and wellness, but I don’t like blood and guts. So I was like, oh, okay, I’ll just be a pharmacist. I was very young, and process of elimination. So anyways, I ended up getting really interested in patient safety and preventing adverse drug events because our nation is generally very overmedicated and there’s just a lot of harm that comes unfortunately along with our health care system and medications and just the way it all goes down. And so that kind of became my passion— getting involved in preventing use of opioids, overuse of antibiotics, and just unnecessary deaths, honestly, from medicine which should not be causing that. So yeah, I did that for about ten years, was kind of higher on the administrative level, worked with doctors and quality leaders mostly, and ended up— my passion became wanting to get people off of all their medications and creating health in their homes with their lifestyle. Because I think that’s where true health is created, not piling on the meds. So yeah, lead me to get an integrative health certificate, and now I just share about how powerful lifestyle is. And that’s what I do. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, that is quite the story, really. You went from studying to be in medicine, and then now your whole goal is to get people to hopefully achieve where they can actually get off a lot of that medication. So one of the topics I really want to discuss is gut health. I know we hear a lot about it. Everybody probably at this point— you don’t really have to even go into it without people already knowing what you’re talking about. But why is gut health so important? 

Meg Kilcup Sure. So gut health— I feel like it almost can get a bad rap these days because it almost feels so trendy. But it’s actually— you know, everyone’s talk about gut health, and I think that can mean a lot of different things to different people, but it’s just kind of like the origin of how God made us to be. We have microbes residing in our body that literally dictate everything from how we digest food to our mood and our mental health, to whether or not we have allergies or digestive problems or attention problems or energy. So I think a lot of people—when they think of gut health—they think of their gut and maybe IBS or just kind of digestion focused. But because of the gut brain connection and the way it connects through, the way the bacteria literally talk to our brain through our nervous system, it impacts everything. And so gut health, I mean, we actually have that bacteria inside us. Their DNA outnumbers ours like 10 to 1. So it’s kind of funny when you think about like the bacteria literally like not driving our thoughts and our mood, but what happens in our gut impacts literally everything. Even our hormones like serotonin. It touches everything, our immune system. So yeah, I mean, it’s funny that you just— you know, we talked about pharmacy school because when I was in school, we never even talked about gut health. We didn’t talk about how the birth control pill can totally damage one’s gut, which impacts other hormones, everything, allergies. You know, ibuprofen, so many medication, but it’s also like food people are eating. Everything can either help or hurt our gut and then it just bleeds out into our entire body. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, it affects everything. So do you have any specific stories? Or what was the catalyst for getting you into a lot of this? Do you have any specific stories from your family? Like somebody had a damaged gut or something else that you then prioritized gut healing and saw results? Or was it more just what you saw in the pharmaceutical industry whenever you were there?

Meg Kilcup Yeah. For me, what led me down the rabbit hole was I spent the last five years of my career heavily focusing on the overuse of antibiotics. And so that actually is generating all sorts of really dangerous superbugs that are going to be honestly more dangerous than cancer down the road if we keep on like we’re doing, unfortunately. So you have this whole component of antibiotics where we’re generating these entire new microbes and superbugs that we can’t even treat because we don’t have antibiotics to treat them. We’re overusing them leading to that major, major issue. So but then the other issue is how much the antibiotics impact our own bodies and our gut health and literally just wipe out all the good bacteria that is housed in our gut. Because they’re going to kill the bad guys, but they’re going to kill the good guys, too. And so when that happens, there’s so many downstream effects. And in school, I just feel like we didn’t really talk about that. It was just kind of like, I don’t know. It’s like, oh yeah, you know, take a probiotic or it’s just kind of like not that big of a deal. And so I got really interested in it because I was like, wow, I think these are actually really impacting people’s health and especially children, because so many children are put on antibiotics for ear infections that do not require them or other just colds. And their little bodies can’t tolerate that as well. It’s harder for them to rebuild all those good bacteria, even though it can impact adults too. So yeah, that’s what got me researching it because not only antibiotics do that, but so many other drugs that are taken all the time. And then you think about like glyphosate and other chemicals that people are taking in. And I kind of realized like, wow, I think a lot of the problems that people are having today when it comes to the leaky gut, which can be caused by antibiotics and other things and glyphosate. What can happen actually is there can be a fungus overgrowth when all the good bacteria are stripped and then those fungus can literally poke holes in that intestine lining. And that is what can make the gut leaky. So I was kind of realizing, I think, that a lot of issues we’re seeing today in children ranging from even like ADD or ADHD, to allergies, to skin problems, to mood, and all of those are touching adults, too, right? These are not kid-only problems. I think can be traced back—a large proportion to—the drugs we’re taking, the food we’re eating, and how it’s impacting our gut. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I think something we forget to talk about a lot is the antibiotics that can be found in foods, like meat for example. 

Meg Kilcup Right. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. What do you do about that? Or how do you avoid that kind of thing? 

Meg Kilcup I think when it comes to meat, meat I think can actually be really healing or really harmful if you’re not eating the right meat. So I think, unfortunately, meat has gotten a bad rap in today’s society. It’s like, oh, you know, vegan is healthy, meat is going to hurt you, all this stuff. And I think the issue is that the meat that we have created—the system in America—is not healthy. It’s not healthy for the cows and the pigs. It’s not healthy for us because they are just pumped full of steroids, antibiotics, hormones even. And so when you’re eating that animal, you’re also eating whatever they ate and whatever was pushed into them. And so I know some people that were eating terrible quality meat, and then they stop eating it, and then they feel better. And I’m like, well, it’s probably because you were eating really terrible meat that you didn’t want to be putting in your body anyways versus eating meat that is organic— so the cows aren’t eating grass that’s been sprayed with glyphosate or whatever, and they’re not treated with antibiotics, they’re not treated with hormones and steroids and all the things because that can impact you in a very, very strong way. Maybe not exactly the same way as taking a course of a strong antibiotic, but think about how often people eat meat— day after day after day, especially the low quality kind that’s offered at all the stores, served at a fast food restaurants, and just becomes part of their own hormone system and can totally throw it off. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. So how do you recommend going about healing? I think probably everybody has a damaged gut to an extent, unless you’ve been actively working on healing. So do you have any recommended resources, diets? Where do you suggest people start when they’re trying to heal their gut? 

Meg Kilcup Sure. So healing the gut— I wish there was like a really easy answer to this, but just like all health and medicine and wellness, it’s very individualized. But I will say that, for pretty much all of us, if you remove the toxins out of your life—anything that’s going to destroy the gut, so the meat that’s got all that stuff in it, or food that’s full of seed oils and other ingredients you can’t even read. Like just doing the basics of just like, okay—even without going into like a stool test or this or that—you can just start with, okay, we’re going to eat real food. We’re going to try a month of literally just eating food that’s actually real. We’re not going to eat processed foods, things like that. Some people, just by completely changing what they’re eating— maybe they’re going to incorporate some movement in their life which also supports healthy, good gut bacteria, which is amazing. Just eating real quality meat and real produce—just real food not in packages—can be completely life changing for like 90% of people. But then there’s a portion of people that are like, okay, I did that, but I still have brain fog or I still have eczema or I still have irritable bowels. And IBS can be a word that’s tagged on to like 100 different root causes. So for some people, they might actually need to dig deeper. Maybe they need an elimination diet. You know, my husband, for example, his gut is sensitive to certain vegetables. So for some people, those vegetables are totally fine, right? They can eat cabbage or they can eat mushrooms. And their gut is like, that’s fine. But for other people, they’re sensitive to that. So even real foods, people have different sensitivities. And some people, too, might need to go off of a food. Like say they go to real food for a month and like, okay, I still don’t feel good. They could try, okay, we’re going to go off dairy and egg whites for a month because those are super common triggers. And that can give the gut a time to heal. So if it is a trigger and all of a sudden you remove that  inflammatory process, it can heal itself, become less leaky over time, and people can even reintroduce quality butter, reintroduce raw milk. So it’s just such a different process for people. Some people need to go off their prescription meds they’ve been on for a long time and develop a plan. Some people, some women go off the pill. Just some people are like, okay, I can’t take ibuprofen every day. You know, it’s just such a different story. But there is kind of some basics where if people do have a problem beyond sensitivities, if they’re like, okay, they have a overgrowth like SIBO, you can work with a provider to remove that bacteria. Some people have to take a short course of antibiotics, and then they replace that. It’s a whole thing. So yeah, a lot of it can be done at home in your own life, just especially with food. And sometimes you need to work with a practitioner to know, okay, well, what am I sensitive to? I’m eating clean, I’m working out, I’m getting my vitamin D, I’m doing the things, but I still don’t feel right. Maybe your gut is sensitive to something and you might need do some labs, so you’re not just guessing. But I would say—I’ll just throw this in there—I don’t think adding on a lot of supplements is the secret to gut health. If you’re working with people that are like, oh, you know, just take this magical collagen and all my gut health cocktails— I think it should start with lifestyle first. Then if you’re like, okay, I’m going to try something to— little extra bonus, like go for it. But I just think we tend to run towards adding things on rather than just simplifying and thinking, how can I actually get to the root cause? 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I definitely know what you’re talking about. I feel like— the first thing you said was that 90% of people can heal their gut, likely just by switching to a real foods diet. I’m always amazed at how well your body can heal itself whenever it’s given the right things, or at least not given the offending things. It wants to heal your body wants to constantly— it’s working on that. And so I think, like you said, for most people that actually will be the magic ticket for you is just to switch to real food. Now, one of the things that I know a lot of people recommended and I’m a big proponent of is incorporating fermented foods to add in good bacteria. So how do fermented foods contribute to gut health? 

Meg Kilcup Sure. So there’s two ways to kind of beef up your good bacteria. And one way is by giving them extra good bacteria into your gut. So eating fermented foods is a really awesome way to do that. And I love all sorts of fermented foods. And ironically—this is very fascinating—but when my husband was working on healing his gut, he was recommended not to eat a lot of fermented foods for him specifically. So always listen to your body because some people’s bodies react differently to different forms of even good bacteria. So that’s a really important— no matter what you’re doing with your health, always listen to your body. But oh my gosh, I love fermented foods. And that’s just— it’s great. It’s easy. And I think that’s just often overlooked. People, for some reason, think if something is in a pill battle, it’s going to—even like a supplement bottle—it’s going to be more effective than something on your plate. And that’s just not true. I think what is on our plate is the most healing or damaging factor that we do—one of the most—for our health. But also, another really amazing thing is you can feed the good bacteria and these are called prebiotics. And I love prebiotics because it’s also found in real food. And basically anything that is like a plant, like fruit or vegetable, and even meat is a prebiotic. I forget which strain of bacteria they promote, but even meat helps some really good bacteria populations thrive in your gut. So pomegranate is a really amazing prebiotic. Apples, leeks, plantains. But really, it’s any plant. It’s just some are like— there’s been really solid research on it, like pomegranate. But it’s easy. It’s like when we eat the real food from the earth, when we eat the animals from the earth—like how they should be eating—and when we eat the plants from the earth that aren’t covered in glyphosate, we’re just feeding our gut what it needs to let that good bacteria thrive. And I think it’s just often not taken advantage of because it takes intention and lifestyle change. But once you feel it, it feels so good. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, I totally agree. So what are some of your favorite fermented foods in your own home? What are the things that you’re incorporating every day? I feel like people get really overwhelmed with the idea of fermented foods because there are so many ways you can take it, there’s a lot of different methods on how to do it. Even when it comes down to fermented vegetables, there’s like 50 different ways that you can do that. You can introduce a starter culture, you can do whey, you can just do lacto fermentation. Then there’s your milk kefir and water kefir and kombucha. How do you simplify this into your own home? What are some of your go-tos? 

Meg Kilcup Yeah. I’m honestly not like a ferment expert. I think part of it is when Rob— like, he just doesn’t eat a lot of fermented foods, personally. And his gut has actually healed a ton and it’s continuing to heal. I don’t know. I really haven’t gone down that road of like experimenting a ton. Like we eat a lot of sauerkraut and kombucha. I actually want to start making goat milk kefir. But yeah, I wouldn’t say I’m like an expert on that. We do love them. I’m sure there are better ways than others, but I would just say if you’re interested in it, don’t sweat the super small stuff. Go for it if you want to start fermenting your own food, if you feel good doing it. I’m sure there’s 100 different ways to do something, but find a way that works for you, research it, listen to your body, and just go for it. That’s how we do a lot in our house. 

Lisa Bass Well, I actually love that, though, because what we’re saying is you don’t have to be an expert. And so you’re like, oh, we eat fermented foods in our house. But I’m not an expert. It’s like you don’t even have to be. You can seriously just ferment very basic things. Like you love sauerkraut. And that’s how we are, too.

Meg Kilcup It’s overwhelming. You listen to even podcasts like ours. And if I was listening to us, I’d be like, oh my gosh, they probably know so much, and they’re doing all the things in their houses. And you make all these presumptions like people out there are doing so much more than you or better than you, and it feels overwhelming, and you just don’t want to start. Whereas we’re all just doing the best we can with the time that we have. And you don’t have to do everything perfectly, and you don’t have to do all the things. Right? Like just take— my main recommendation is, whether you’re fermenting foods or you’re wanting to do sourdough or you’re wanting to try eating quality meat or whatever it is, just take that baby step and see how it feels and go for it. And I think that’s good for kids, too. Always just being around a family that’s trying different things to help them feel good and not feeling like you have to just own it, you know? That’s kind of how I am. 

Lisa Bass Well, and we’ve fermented so many different foods in our home over the years, but we have our staples that we come back to again and again for a few reasons. One, we they’re in our routine. We don’t really have to think about, okay, how do I make this? It’s very simple, easy. You don’t have to like a recipe. You just know what you’re doing. And I feel like, you know, you’re getting that good bacteria in no matter if you’re consuming 5,000 different fermented foods or if you just stick to the basics. Like in our house, we always have sauerkraut with every meal, we have milk kefir every morning, we have yogurt. And those are the things that we’re always consuming. But the other ones are just like— yeah. 

Meg Kilcup Yeah, totally. And even making your own yogurt. I think some people— like, if you’re to buy quality yogurt from the store, it’s getting pretty pricey. That’s another thing that is on my list because it doesn’t actually take that much time. And like you said, once you get it and your routine and your rhythm, it’s so easy and it can be so nourishing. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. Do you have any sourcing tips? I’m going off the outline, but I’m thinking about where you live. Where do you get your food? 

Meg Kilcup Mm, that’s good. We’re actually kind of, I would say, new-ish to really trying to buy and support a lot more local. Honestly, we’ve only been where we are for a couple of years. And so we have a co-op that we go to. So they actually do source a lot locally, which I appreciate. We can get raw milk there, which is nice— from like a co-op store. But otherwise we historically had shopped at places like Whole Foods and even Costco to get certain items. But just recently we decided to try to start supporting more of our local farmers. There’s a farming town that’s just north of us, and they have so much goodness and eggs and things like raw milk and meat. So actually on Saturdays now, we’ve incorporated into our rhythm going to pick up all of our meat for the week. We’d actually love to do a cow share, which I would recommend to anybody because you can just buy a quarter of a cow. It’s way more cost effective and you can support someone local. I love that idea for sourcing, but we’re actually not going to be in our town a lot this fall, so we’re not buying large quantities of cow, but we’re getting our ground beef, our steak. We’re actually buying cow organs now, too— heart and liver and bone marrow. You’re literally talking to the farmer. You can see the cows. You could take a tour. You can see like— you know, ask all the questions. And it just feels so good. Even eating the meat this morning, I was like, I love that I literally know where this comes from and we talked to the farmer. And I know not everybody has the opportunity. So I would say, don’t feel bad if you can’t do that, but if it’s within your reach, you can even sometimes be a part of a CSA, which is pretty cool. You can take your kids often and volunteer at some of these places and then go do your pickup of your produce. So there’s so many ways to support local farms and usually they’re within like half an hour of most towns. So yeah, I would just say take baby steps. That’s what we’re doing. Do we still buy a lot of produce from Whole Foods? Yeah. But are we starting somewhere? Yeah. And I think that’s what’s important. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. So I was going to really quick ask you, what do you do with the liver and the heart? Do you have any good recipes that people— because I think people get really scared of that. 

Meg Kilcup I know. We’re a total newbies. We’ve been doing it a month with the organ meat. But organ meat— I’ve really been reading a lot, and it’s so nutrient dense, especially with nutrients that you can’t get from vegetables and fruit, and B vitamins. I actually am already feeling a lot better and it’s only been a month of increasing my red beef and the liver. And I’ve kind of been dabbling in the bone marrow, mostly because I forget to take it or eat it. But as far as recipes, I know a lot of people grind it up with the beef. So they add some heart and liver and make meatballs. And so really the taste is completely disguised, and then you can serve it with whatever— spaghetti or meatballs and veggies or whatever you eat, and your kids won’t even know what they’re eating. So we’re going to actually start doing that because we have some heart in our refrigerator. So weird to say. But as far as liver, I have been eating it raw, and I just take it— I put a piece in my mouth, a small piece, and then I just take it down like a shot. So I have, like, some of my adrenal cocktail or just a glass of water, and I’ll take like seven small little pieces, and I just— I don’t even chew it. I literally take it like it’s a pill, and it’s so easy. It literally tastes like nothing. It doesn’t have a taste. But it has a unique texture. So my husband can, like, chew it, and he’s like— I don’t know, he’s next level. But yeah, I kind of like just swallowing it. It’s so easy. But otherwise, some people have these amazing European recipes with like onions and liver and like duck fat. And I think we’ll get there some day, but right now I’m just taking her down. 

Lisa Bass Yeah, that’s what I did all through my third pregnancy because I was trying to get my iron up. So I was taking raw beef liver, chopping it into small bits— or freezing it, then chopping into small bits, and I’d put it in a bag so it’d be like small bits in the bag, and I would take down several. And that was a really effective way to do it because I used to— like way back in the day, like a decade ago, I would, like you said, put the liver in with the ground beef and make a meatloaf. But you do have to do it in small proportions or you definitely can tell the taste. Whereas things like heart and tongue— honestly heart and tongue are tasty. They taste just like the other cuts. Liver— not so much. I do not like, I have to admit. Yeah, I don’t like it. 

Meg Kilcup But if it’s frozen and you’re doing what we do, it’s literally like— it’s honestly easier for me to take that. I take a magnesium capsule every day, and I think the liver is easier to swallow than the magnesium capsule. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. Definitely do it like really small because I’ve had— I remember like cutting it too big and it being frozen and be like, oh, that got a little stuck in there. So yeah. 

Meg Kilcup I know. 

Lisa Bass I’m sure people are gagging right now. 

Meg Kilcup Yeah, get a good chaser, too. I feel like if I’m chasing it with my adrenal cocktail—which tastes delicious—versus my water, it’s just a nice experience. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. So what is this adrenal cocktail? I’ve been following people who are in the pro-metabolic health community, which is like a whole new world for me. And I’ve been hearing about adrenal cocktails. And so, yeah, tell me about this. This is all new to me. 

Meg Kilcup Yeah. I honestly didn’t really jump on the bandwagon on purpose. I personally, I think, overdid my own life and my own nervous system last year, and we just went through a season of a lot of change. We moved a year and a half ago. We gutted a house—I mean, it was disgusting—and renovated it. And then my husband, we knew he was going to lose his job with the fire department because of mandates.

Lisa Bass Oh, that’s right. I forgot about that. 

Meg Kilcup And our life just was very, you know, swirly. And I actually— and that’s all kind of while my account here was growing and it was great because we needed, you know, a livelihood. But I think what happened to me personally is I just— and I felt really passionate. I still do. I think I just worked too hard and we were a bit in a state of fight or flight, I feel like, for a whole year. And my body crashed earlier this year and I didn’t know what was going on. I had some signs of like, oh, maybe do I have like adrenal fatigue? I didn’t know what was going on. But I think what happened is my symptoms actually created anxiety in me because I was like, what is happening? And it was just odd because the season of stress was over and then my body kind of broke down. So anyways, I realized that my nervous system was just taxed. And so when that happened, I was like, okay, I got to take a break, right? Lifestyle, this all goes back to lifestyle. And of course, I saw doctors that were like, oh, you should consider these like four medications and like all this stuff. And I’m like, no, I think I just need to go get some vitamin D and relax. So anyways, changed my lifestyle the last few months, definitely slowed down. But on top of that, instead of taking medications or anything, I was like, I’m going to do these adrenal cocktails and see if it helps. Because what happens is your adrenals can get taxed. So they put out cortisol. And what can happen is you can have the fatigue that the stress— the chronic stress gives your body obviously fatigue. And then all of a sudden it’s not putting out cortisol which you actually need. And so your nervous system can become very disregulated when that happens. And so for people who do have adrenal fatigue, which— you know, a lot of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue could be other things, but they include things brain fog. You’re tired, you have those crashes during the middle of the day and you have to have coffee or else you just can’t get through. Weight gain, just all sorts of things. And so of course those can be caused by other things, but many people I actually think in today’s society are living in quasi fight or flight. Like we’re literally always just going and pinging and checking our email and getting on Instagram and making dinner and just running around like crazy people. I really don’t think we’re designed to live like this and our bodies are telling us that. Our bodies are telling us you’re not supposed to be on your phone all day. Your brain is just in constant high alert. And when your brain is in constant high alert, and when you’re in that fight or flight, your adrenals will get taxed. And so what can help is adrenal cocktails. It’s basically just like a great little punch of some salts and minerals. So most adrenal cocktails have a salt in it, which supports your adrenals. Magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. And so it’s pretty simple. You can just mix orange juice with water or coconut water, and I add a little bit of heavy cream because orange juice has a lot of sugar in it. So it kind of makes it like an Orange Julius. But you don’t have to add the heavy cream. I love it. Some people do coconut milk. And then you can just add cream of tartar, which is actually just potassium. And you can get that at the store. So that’s potassium and then salt. So I just use Redmond Real Salt because that also has 60 trace minerals in it, which is awesome. Oh, so you want quality salt, get your potassium. I add in magnesium powder and then the OJ. I don’t even do a ton of orange juice, but just, you know, I do a little bit. Maybe 50/50 or not and I’m 60/40 to the OJ. And it doesn’t have to be a big drink. Just like a kind of like a cocktail. You don’t have like a huge cup of it, right? And then when you add in the cream, it is actually really yummy and some ice. So it’s going to be kind of sweet, a little salty. And I drink about one a day. But some people notice a big difference, literally right away. If your adrenals are pretty taxed and you hit your body with those minerals, it’s going to feel pretty good right away. For me, I don’t feel like it hits me like that, but I like the way it tastes and I think it helps.

Lisa Bass So do you have like a certain time per day whenever you find it most effective to take that? 

Meg Kilcup Some people find it most effective during their common slump time. So 10 AM or 2 PM. I would say I usually do it in the afternoon because you know, for me, there’s that point in the afternoon where I’m like, oh, you know, a little coffee sounds good. Or you just kind of like want a pick-me-up, and I feel like the adrenal cocktail is a good spot for that. So rather than having an afternoon snack that you don’t need or a coffee that’s just going to like tax— and that’s another reason I think that a lot of people’s adrenals are taxed is we’re just like crushing the coffee, which impacts cortisol. So it’s a really good alternative to that in the afternoon. 

Lisa Bass Yeah. Yeah. I need to get on that bandwagon because I’ve been hearing about this adrenal cocktail a lot. And then also a lot of people have been talking about raw carrot salads. Are you familiar with that, too? That’s another whole thing. 

Meg Kilcup Yeah. I know. It is a whole thing. I have not done that consistently. I know it’s supposed to support healthy estrogen levels, which is great. I used to eat a lot of raw vegetable salads, like carrots and cabbage and peppers. But my body recently has been craving more cooked veggies, so I’m just listening to my body. But yeah, it seems like a good idea. I don’t have anything negative to say about it. 

Lisa Bass Well, yeah. This whole community is completely new to me, and I love exploring into different diet things and health things. And so I do find it really, really interesting. Are there any other foods that you eat every day? So you’ve talked about liver and you’ve talked about your adrenal cocktail. I’m assuming you eat some form of fermented foods every day, but are there any other foods that you need to make sure to incorporate them every single day? 

Meg Kilcup Mm. That’s good. I would say eggs. Eggs I just think are one of nature’s superfoods, and they are so easy to get or you can have your own chickens. I actually did a blood test when I wasn’t feeling well a couple of months ago. I was like, I need to make sure I’m okay. And one of those tests was for sensitivities and actually came up to have an egg white sensitivity. So I’ve been eating egg yolks for the last couple of months. Because what can happen often is when you have a sensitivity, if you stop eating the food that’s causing that, your gut can heal over that time, like you said. Our bodies are designed to heal. And then usually you can always reintroduce. But yeah, eggs contain so many vitamins and nutrients. And I like to think of things like eggs or liver as being very nutrient dense. Vegetables have a lot of nutrients and minerals, vegetables and plants, but they’re not necessarily nutrient dense, you know what I mean? But if you eat a few eggs, you’re really packing a punch there. So for breakfast this morning, actually, we had organic grass-fed beef, and I had two egg yolks, and I usually always eat a half a avocado every day because it’s delicious and I love it. So good. So yeah, avocado. And then we usually had a root vegetable with it. I love potatoes, and potatoes are a great prebiotic food feeding those good bacteria. And this is not every day but in this season we eat like a mango every single day and it will change your life. 

Lisa Bass I love mango. 

Meg Kilcup Also, what’s really important to us when it comes to the every day, I think is what is locally— like what’s in season? Right? So that’s important. And then also what you’re cooking with. So be really aware of how you’re cooking your eggs, your meat, your veggies, right? Because that is greatly going to impact your health. So we avoid the seed oils, inflammatory oils, and we have really been focusing on organic grass-fed butter, ghee. We have a jar of the bacon grease because that is healthier than eating, you know, like an oil. Sometimes even olive oil because you’re cooking it and then it’s getting oxidized and it’s becoming a chemical that is not good for you. And we’re going to start actually using tallow more. So we like getting butter in our diet and we just started doing raw milk more too, so yeah. 

Lisa Bass Oh yeah. All good, nutrient dense, packed things. So tell us where we can follow along for more of your— what all do you share on your Instagram and what and where to follow you? 

Meg Kilcup Sure. So I share all sorts of stuff. So a lot of what we talked about today, but also just how to do it in your family in a way that feels like easy and sustainable. It’s really important to me because I feel like it can be overwhelming. And I also share about medications. There is a role for certain medications for certain seasons of life for some people. But I talk about potential harm and I talk about the health care system sometimes and just faith and family and yeah, we have fun. Anyways, you can find me at— my Instagram handle is a little bit of a mouthful, but it’s @AWholeHealthLife. And that’s just because I feel like our health is really— if you’re not treating your whole body and you’re just playing whack-a-mole or just piling on supplements, you’re not really going to heal, and God designed us to heal and to feel alive and well. And so whole health is really important to me.

Lisa Bass Yeah. Awesome. Well, I encourage people to go over there and follow along with all that you continue to share and inspire. And thank you so much for joining me. 

Meg Kilcup Yeah, I’m so glad we got to chat. Thanks for having me, Lisa. 

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