The pro-metabolic approach to wellness has been gaining popularity lately, but it is rooted in ancient ways of eating and supporting the body. The more I have learned about it, the more I have realized that I have actually been following many of the pro-metabolic principles for a long time. This way of life goes hand in hand with the from-scratch homestead kitchen. Though I have already been implementing many metabolically supportive practices in my life, I still learned so much from this conversation. I walked away with new ideas to try and areas of my health to reexamine. Whether you are new to the pro-metabolic conversation or have been embracing this approach for many years, join us for this rich conversation about supporting our health in a truly sustainable way.
In this episode, we cover:
- The individual health journeys that led both Fallon and Kori to a pro-metabolic approach to wellness
- Breaking down what it means to eat in a pro-metabolic way
- Aiding your body’s production of youthful hormones in order to resist stress
- Going beyond a black and white list of rules around food and learning what supports your individual metabolism
- Prioritizing connection to your body and food over checking off a list of dietary achievements
- Why it is important to take in a variety of sources and opinions as you are learning about health
- How many calories women actually need and how to slowly increase your calorie intake
- Why it is necessary for mothers especially to nourish themselves well
- Pushing back against the diet culture dogma and truly taking pleasure in food
- Examining popular claims that dairy and gluten are inherently bad for the body
- Questions to consider about the quality, sourcing, and preparation of your food
- The power of your mind to convince your body that certain foods are harmful
- Physical and mental considerations when reintroducing certain foods back into your diet
- Some of the possible underlying factors behind food restriction or intolerance
- Debunking the claims about the benefits of intermittent fasting
- What metabolic markers to look for when assessing your own health
- Why the metabolism is the cornerstone of overall health
- Where to start if you want to heal your metabolism
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Fallon was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s after the birth of her second son, and within a few years of going the “cutting foods” & chasing symptoms route, she was down to eating only seven foods. When she came across the world of metabolic health, she was both amazed and a little offended that she realized she did not have to claim this identity of restrictive eating & autoimmunity for life. She could heal?! And that’s exactly what she did. Today she is walking in absolute food freedom (including DAIRY & GLUTEN), she is off of all medication, & she is teaching other women that they can do the same while curating delicious recipes along the way. Aside from being a metabolic recipe queen, she is also a wife & homeschool mom of 3 boys in Texas.
Seven years ago, Kori was struggling through a private battle with debilitating Endometriosis. She had a moment of clarity leaving that OB/GYN appointment where she got her diagnosis- “I can either take this diagnosis as my death sentence, or I can ditch the authoritarian medical model and believe that my body can heal.” She took the latter route. She found a holistic practitioner and worked with him to identify the root causes of her Endometriosis, which led her to the world of metabolic health & mineral balance. The deeper she dove into the work of pioneers like Dr. Ray Peat & Morley Robbins, she realized that her symptoms were simply the result of metabolic dysfunction & mineral imbalance. The body can heal, but the foundation has to be in place. Her course, Freely Rooted, teaches women how to lay the foundation for the body to be able to thrive according to its beautiful design. She lives out her simple & outdoor lifestyle on a tropical island with her husband and 2 barefoot kids.
Episodes of The Freely Rooted Podcast that we referenced in this conversation:
23. A Handmade Home in a Quick Fix World with Lisa Bass of Farmhouse on Boone
24. Misunderstandings of the “Pro-Metabolic” Approach
8. Breaking Down Popular Diets
2. Restoring Your Metabolism | Our Top 3 Tips
1. Welcome | Our Stories Of Healing
How to Heal Your Metabolism by Kate Deering
The Freely Rooted Podcast | Website | YouTube
Fallon Lee | Website | Instagram | Meal Plans
Kori Meloy | Instagram | Freely Rooted Course
Lisa Bass of Farmhouse on Boone | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Pinterest
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Lisa Bass Welcome back to the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. Today I am having on Kori and Fallon from The Freely Rooted Podcast. If you aren’t familiar, this is a must listen. We actually talk way too long, so I hope that in the next couple of days maybe— I’m sure a lot of you can’t listen to this all at one time, but maybe while you’re folding laundry or doing dishes or making dinner or whatever else you are doing, maybe running the kids somewhere, you can listen to this conversation because it was so inspirational. I actually am recording this intro after already recording the interview with them, and I am so inspired to take a lot of what they say and actually implement it. I’ve been learning about it for a long time. I felt pretty convinced, but at the end of this episode—I think it’s more towards like the last fourth or quarter of the episode—go into why you should care. Why is not health just more than being thin and having energy? Why are there so many more markers and why they matter really opened my eyes to this topic. So without further ado, join me for this interview with Kori and Fallon.
Lisa Bass My name is Lisa, mother of seven and creator of the blog and YouTube channel Farmhouse on Boone. Join me as I share with you my love for creating a handmade home, from-scratch cooking, and a little mom and entrepreneur life along the way.
Lisa Bass Well, thank you all so much for joining me. I refer to you as the pro-metabolic girls. This has become a topic of conversation between me and my sister, me and my mom, my husband. And also—which this is jokingly—call you the sugar girls, but we’ll get more into that later.
Fallon Lee Thanks for having us, Lisa. It’s great to be able to join you on your podcast this time.
Lisa Bass Yeah, I’m so— yeah, I was telling everybody, “I was on theirs,” and so yes I’m so excited to have you both on talk about pro-metabolic stuff. This is something that I’ve been really interested in lately, even though I feel like how I’ve been eating over the last long time has been pro-metabolic essentially, except for a few things. And so it’s interesting that there’s a name for it. And basically I’m excited to introduce this to my audience. So let’s start with introductions. Tell us about you both, your Instagrams, your course, credentials, meal plans, whatever else you want to share.
Fallon Lee Yeah, I mean, where do I start? My name is Fallon. I am on Instagram as @FallonDanae. My business is called Fallon’s Table. And so primarily what I do kind of in the Instagram space is I am primarily a recipe developer. That’s what I most like to call myself, honestly. When people ask me what I do, I feel like that’s kind of my knee jerk reaction. I do have meal plans that are kind of my digital baby, and I love those so much. It takes recipes that I developed and pairs it with different calorie range breakdowns, especially for women who are kind of just getting started on trying to heal their bodies, eat enough, see what an actually balanced day looks like. That was kind of my brainchild for my business. That’s kind of what got me started. I remember messaging Kori and being like, “I’m going to do meal plans. Like, this is it.” And so that was kind of the first thing that sort of got me in the Instagram arena as somebody who was actually doing something. I was on Instagram before as almost like a wannabe influencer. I was always sharing something that I was learning, but kind of into a void of like, I don’t know, not even a thousand people. So I dove into the meal plans. And last December I also launched a cookbook, it’s called Batch. And so it’s focused on bulk recipes that you can make in advance. And all of them are nourishing and comforting and warming. It’s actually perfect for this time of year. I made it in the fall. And so it’s very much like soups and stews and casseroles and really warming things. So the recipes are definitely what I like to cling to the most. I do have a whole foods sort of pro-metabolic, if you will— which we’ll dive into that more a little bit as we talk about what is it and why is it called this and what does it mean? But my main philosophy is like whole foods, ancestral eating, things that are nourishing and warming and of course delicious. There’s no point in eating bland, awful food. I think food should be enjoyed and it should be beautiful and vibrant. So that’s kind of my M.O. is creating food that people enjoy, that your kids enjoy, that your family enjoys. And so I mainly show up on the Instagram space. And then, of course, Kori and I—this will be a great tie in to your intro—we do have The Freely Rooted Podcast together where we dive into a little bit more of the minutia of the principles we talk about on our social platforms, etc. We have a great episode with Lisa, by the way, if you haven’t listened to that. It was really, really wonderful. And so that’s the other way that we kind of like to show up together online and talk about some more niche topics that take a full hour to cover as opposed to a little Instagram square. So that’s kind of what I do. Otherwise, I live in Texas with my three boys. We homeschool. Married to my college sweetheart, and we’ve been married for almost ten years. And we just have this really not perfect, but beautiful, vibrant life in the Dallas area. And yeah, that’s kind of who I am in a nutshell. Kori, would you like to jump in?
Kori Meloy Yes. Also, I love this world colliding because whenever, Lisa, we had you on our podcast, so many members of our audience were like, “I feel like these are two worlds that are collabing and colliding.” So it will be really cool with your podcast as well because I think that people have followed us historically for different inspiration and yet there’s so much that meets in the middle and I think that’s so cool. So, yeah, I’m Kori. On Instagram, I’m Kori Meloy. I’m also a homeschool mom. I live on the island of Maui. My kids are four and one, so homeschooling is just kind of pretty relaxed right now still. But similar to Fallon, before I got into the metabolic health space, my platform before then was a lot of holistic mom information, like non-tox living, things like that. And then I had a particular interest in metabolic health that started in like 2012. A guy named Dr. Layne Norton kind of introduced me to this idea of metabolic adaptation. So that’s a fancy word, but it just means that our metabolisms can either— like our metabolic rate can either speed up or slow down, to simplify it. And things that factor into that are stress and undereating and over exercising. And so that was kind of like my 10,000 foot view of getting into the metabolic health sphere, was making sure that women were eating enough, making sure that they weren’t killing themselves with cardio, just doing exercise that was kind of biologically appropriate for their bodies. So going out and running five miles a day is not necessarily the most— it’s not necessarily how women especially have evolved. And so being able to be in touch with our feminine nature and going through rest cycles and just being able to really get in tune with our bodies is a huge part of supporting our hormones. And so, like I said, that was kind of how I got into metabolic health. And then in 2018, I found this man named Dr. Ray Peat. My whole world was turned upside down and I was like, wow, I thought I understood the metabolism. And he was the first person that introduced me to this idea that everything I thought was literally the opposite, like whether it was hormones— like, I always believed that estrogen was just the female hormone and we need a lot of estrogen. Ray Peat talks about how estrogen is actually a stress hormone and how we need to be promoting our production of youthful hormones like progesterone. And even like serotonin I’ve always heard was the happy hormone. And that’s actually a stress hormone. And we need to be, I guess, managing our serotonin. And so like little things like that all got flipped. Foods that I thought were supportive for our bodies could actually lead to a buildup of estrogen in the body. So little details from nutrition to sleep to light, even just our thoughts all had an impact on our metabolic rate. And so Dr. Ray Peat kind of started me on this trajectory. I ended up developing a course because my work before then was just a macronutrient coach. So I would work with women loss. And going into that, I was working with them on eating more and being able to lose weight because, again, if women were coming in historically restricting their food, their metabolisms were really slow. And so that was my work coming in. And then after I discovered Ray Peat, it was like the full picture. And so I developed a course and then put that out online. And then that’s when I started, kind of sharing— I guess, being able to share my business online as well, because before it was just word of mouth referrals because I didn’t have capacity to take on too many clients per month. And so yeah, that just developed into this whole wonderful kind of just niche audience and Fallon and I just collaboratively decided to really cultivate that together. And so we developed the podcast and just simplified— really specifically for moms. We have a lot of people that follow us that are not moms, but taking this information to mothers and allowing them to realize that how their metabolism impacts their mental state, their emotional state, their physical state, and how they show up in the world was huge. And I truly believe that generations— that this ripple effect has been started through these women. I mean, we’re just sharing information. These women are the ones that are coming in and taking it and applying it to their families. And it’s been incredible and so fruitful to watch. And I just feel really grateful to have the platform and the people that have supported us over the years.
Lisa Bass Those are really great intros and like you mentioned, you have The Freely Rooted Podcast where you go deeper into all of this. You pretty much mostly explained it, but in case there’s something you missed, this is a loaded question, but can you just give us a brief rundown or a quick rundown—if somebody didn’t already catch it—of what pro-metabolic eating is, if that’s a whole new term to someone listening?
Kori Meloy Yeah. So the way that I like to see this in a really simplified way— and that’s what we try to do on our podcast is take these really complicated concepts— Dr. Ray Peat’s language and how he speaks for a lot of people is very overwhelming at first. And so we like to simplify that. And this is one of those concepts where the way I like to explain it is when we are living day to day, lifestyle around us can be a stress, children can be a stress, things around us can add stress to our bodies. And what can we do to support the foundational pieces of our health that allow this resilience to stress? And so pro-metabolic eating by definition actually is taking as much stress off of the body—even down to what you eat—as possible. And so it could mean the bioavailability of nutrients, for example. So what you’re eating. What is prioritized is foods that are low in anti-nutrients, foods that are low in plant toxins, things that can interfere with the body’s ability to assimilate and absorb nutrients. A lot of this ties in with the Weston A. Price way of eating as well, because this is something that a lot of people have been aware of for a long time. The piece where Dr. Ray, Peat and people before him in that metabolic health sphere have really kind of set themselves apart is understanding the production of those youthful hormones. So when you think about stress, the way that Ray Peat likes to talk about it is it’s actually aging, like aging, rapidly aging. There’s hormones that are in unison with that concept of the body rapidly aging and being under stress. And then there’s hormones that promote the ability to be resilient to stress. And when you think about it, those youthful hormones are what allow us to be resilient to stress. Because when you think about a child and how resilient they are to stress, it’s really the accumulation of too much of those aging hormones and those stress hormones too early in our bodies because of our lifestyle and the soil and things around us, pharmaceuticals. It’s not necessarily how our ancestors used to live. And so it’s really taking the modern world and going, how can I understand the modern world that I’m in and prioritize keeping as much stress off of my body as possible so I can be resilient? And that makes me resilient to like everything in the books, whether it’s being resilient to being triggered by your child or whatever have you, but especially disease. And so the accumulation of disease—chronic disease symptoms—is essentially the accumulation of those stress hormones and those aging hormones. And so, yeah, the way that we like to see pro-metabolic eating is creating resiliency in the body. And we can get into more of the specifics if you’d like to, but that’s kind of the overarching theme of it. And so what we like to say a lot—what Fallon and I like to say a lot on the podcast—is how can we eat in a way that’s cultivating safety in the body and telling your body that you are safe? Because a safe body is the one that can thrive in this world and the one that has so much impact on even just our hormone balance from day to day. That all comes down to a root of do I feel safe in my body to live day to day and be able to thrive?
Lisa Bass I don’t know if there’s anything you wanted to add to that, Fallon.
Fallon Lee Sure, yeah, I’ll jump in, too. I mean, that was so well worded that I was like, should I say anything else? That was already really beautiful. I mean, I think from the food perspective, I would love to just add— because I think that when you encounter a new way of living, way of eating, lifestyle, people’s knee jerk reaction is to want to know, okay, but what are the parameters? What am I supposed to do and not do? What am I supposed to eat and not eat? And you will find that Kori and I—very intentionally and specifically—do not give that list to people where there’s— you know, you think of something like Whole30, Paleo, Keto, there’s this list. There’s a column of yes. There’s a column of no. And I think that while we can form sort of these lists of foods that are more nutrient dense and more supportive— so when I think about the most nutrient packed foods on the planet, I think of beef liver, I think of oysters, I think of bee pollen, I think of ripe fruits. I think of animal protein, raw dairy. Those are the things that immediately come to mind. What we don’t want to do, however, is create this other list where we say, okay, but all of these foods are actually not okay because that’s not what pro-metabolic is. Pro-metabolic as a concept is something that I feel like Kori and I have been very—I don’t know—carefully treading around because I think there is a lot of misinterpretation, which I think we’re going to get into in a bit, you know, what are the sort of misunderstandings? But I think there probably is a sect of people that claim to be pro-metabolic that will say like, “Oh, there’s actually this list of foods that you should and shouldn’t eat.” The thing that Kori and I like to stress is A) the ancestral principles. Was this food in existence hundreds of years ago? If it wasn’t, you might want to think about that. And as a secondary question, is it actually food? Because that’s where it gets tricky, is that there’s all these things on our shelves in today’s grocery stores that I look at and I’m like, this isn’t food? So for me to say, “This is a no item,” is not me saying that I can’t eat this food because in reality, it was never intended to be eaten. And so I think that we view things from that lens, and then alongside the lens—which, Lisa, I know that you are really big about this as well—is like, how are you preparing your food? It is super different to eat store-bought bread than it is to eat sourdough that you made in your home and it’s been long-fermented and the flour isn’t bleached or enriched. Those are wildly different things. And so our current culture’s knee jerk reaction is to say, “Well, is bread good or bad?” And it’s like, I’m not going to answer that because it depends on a lot of things. There’s not an across the board rule. It depends on sourcing, it depends on growing, it depends on how is it prepared. And so a lot of people want to approach us and say, “Well, can I eat X, Y, Z food?” And I’m like, “I don’t know, can you? Where did you get it from? Did you prepare it in an ancestrally honoring way?” And so, so many times people want us to give this list of like these are pro-metabolic foods. Sure, there is a list of things that, generally speaking, should support your metabolism, but it does come down to your individual response and the quality of your food. And so I know that that’s kind of people’s second question is like, “Okay, now that you’ve defined it, what do I eat?” And I think there are some guidelines that we can sort of set around that, but it’s not a hard and fast thing. We don’t do black and white lists. We don’t do yes and no foods. And so I think that’s also a really important part of like “defining” pro-metabolic health, is that you can define it and it’s also very bio-individual in terms of what supports your personal metabolism.
Lisa Bass Yeah, I like what you said about the stress that the food causes to your body, and a lot of these traditional preparation methods—like with sourdough bread you were mentioning—that does make it more digestible, so it’s less stress on the body. And so it’s isn’t equal to talk about one kind of bread versus—like you mentioned—one made at home. But people do like lists. And I think this is because where we’ve been as a culture for so long, everything has a label, everything has like a fad name for it. And so we don’t know how to navigate healthy living without some parameters. And that’s where it gets tricky for people. So with that being said, what are some of the common misconceptions about pro-metabolic eating? I’m sure that I already know a few that you’re going to say, but what are some of the ones that you hear over and over again that you’re like, “Ugh.”
Kori Meloy And I wanted to add one thing from what you just said, Lisa, because I remember in your podcast about—I think it was the baby sleep podcast—you were like, “Oh, I just learned that there’s this name for the way that I parent.” You’re like, “I didn’t know there was a name for it. I just show up and I’m an intentional parent and I’m a mindful parent. I just love my kids.” And I think that concept actually really applies in the metabolic health space because you may be already doing so many things that support your metabolism without even realizing it. For example, eating within 30 to 40 minutes of waking up in the morning is much more metabolically supportive than going an hour, two hours without eating. And we can go into the specifics of that in a second, but even that, it doesn’t necessarily need a label, it just means supporting your body to keep stress off of the body. And so as far as misconceptions, I would say, I mean, the label thing is great. I want to go back to the concept of safety in this conversation or in the answer to this question because something that we talked about on our last podcast episode on our podcast with a woman named Parris and Niecia we’re talking about this concept of when we’re operating out of performance, performance, performance, performance, that in and of itself is a stress to the body. It says that we can’t actually rest and digest and enjoy life. So literally part of the biggest misconception that I see in the metabolic health community is when people treat it as a diet because they go in and they’re like, okay, this is what I’m supposed to do. There’s so much black and white thinking. And then there’s these checklists and there’s this performance and food is more of a box to check off at the end of the day as opposed to this moment of connection and nourishment and that satiating feeling of enjoying life so much that the food that God gave us— connecting in that way to our land again. And so the way that Fallon and I have seen these concepts from the beginning in our own experience is like I have never felt so connected to God’s creation than when I’ve started eating this way because I enjoy life so much more because my body is not under as much stress. And so I am able to actually enjoy what is in front of me. So I think that that black and white list that Fallon said is one of the biggest pieces. That would be my first thing. Fallon, I don’t know about what the second one would be for you.
Fallon Lee Mm hmm. I mean, that would be my first one for sure. I think some others that come to mind immediately are that everyone—I kind of alluded to this earlier—but that everyone who says they have some connection to the pro-metabolic world, that they all believe the same thing. I think that there is just really a spectrum of things that even Kori and I cling to or that other people in this realm would stand behind very adamantly. I think that there are some principles that all of us—at our core—agree on. But there’s a lot of minutia that I just want to say just come to this space with an open mind and with the willingness to educate yourself because I do think there is certainly just a wide range of beliefs on some of the fringe topics that you get into, which will not be part of what we discuss today for sure. But I think it’s easy to find an account on Instagram that they’ve got like a pro-metabolic tag in their bio or something or they have used a hashtag about the metabolism. And so it’s easy to think, oh, well, I can just— everything this person says is trustworthy. It can apply to everyone who’s talking about these principles. And I do think that they’re just— one of the big proponents— not proponents— one of the big, I don’t know, like monumental ideas in this realm is that you are in charge of your own health. You’re in charge of figuring out what do you believe? What works for your body? And so I just want to encourage people because I think I made the mistake of coming in, finding a bunch of accounts with a lot of followers and feeling like, oh, my gosh, everything that they say must be truth. And I am just going to cling to that instead of doing my own research. And so that’s another thing that comes to mind. And then I’m trying to think. Kori, I mean, we literally did a podcast episode on this on like the top misunderstandings in this realm. And I think a couple of other that come to mind are just that it’s only about eating more and that you will inherently gain weight because you’re supporting your metabolism. Those things may or may not be true. You probably need to eat more if you’re an American woman just kind of as a general assumption because most women are just severely undernourished. Or it may be that your nutrient focus needs to change. Maybe you’re getting enough calories, but you’re not eating things that are supporting your body. And then the weight gain, which— go ahead, Kori.
Kori Meloy I was going to say, with the eating more piece, because there’s a really important part that Fallon just touched on is it actually might be true for the grand majority of people—like she said—that they might need to eat more. I know that in my own statistics, like when I used to work with women, over three or four years, I would like really gather— I loved gathering just general stats to understand, like, mm this is a good very small view of like maybe this is true for like a certain demographic or population. And I found that over 95% of women that I worked with—so coming to me—were eating about 1200 calories or less. So some would come to me eating 800 calories a day, 400 calories a day, like I’ve seen the full spectrum. But it was the overwhelming majority of women thought, “I’m eating enough. I’m I’m satiated. There’s no way I’m dieting.” And then they would actually track their food for a day just for the heck of it, just to see, and they were eating probably a thousand calories less than their actual energy demand required. And so what that does is slows down your metabolism. And they’re wondering, “Oh, this is why I’m irritable? Oh, this is why I have painful periods or my hair is falling out or I look like I’m rapidly aging?” Just all the things that are so beautifully encompassed in metabolic health in those production of those youthful hormones can sometimes simply be started with just eating more food. But the caveat that Fallon is saying is, even if it might be true that even the majority of people listening to this podcast might need to eat more to support their metabolism in their body and their youthful hormones, it doesn’t mean—and this is where the misconception comes in—it doesn’t mean to eat that right away. So what a lot of people think is— and we completely get it. So we have compassion there for sure. And this is actually Fallon’s story. It’s like, okay, let me fix this right away because I don’t want to be starving myself. You think, oh my gosh, the most supportive thing would be to get out of that starvation mode. But there’s actually a sequence that your body needs for that slow accumulation of food for your metabolism to respond to it. That’s actually metabolic adaptation that I learned way back when I mentioned in the beginning of the podcast from Dr. Layne Norton— is this idea of the body slows down, the metabolism slows down slowly over time, and then it actually needs a chance to raise back up slowly over time. So we find that the ideal incrementation is anywhere between maybe even just raising your meals or snacks just a tiny bit each week instead of going, “Oh, let me go buy three gallons of raw milk and a jar of honey and all the sugar and all the things.” Actually, if you think about it, it requires us to slow down and it requires us to think. Because if you think about it, when we learn new information—like Fallon was saying—sometimes our amygdala gets fired up and we’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’m doing so many things wrong, so let me fix it.” That’s that amygdala part of our brains that is amazing for us moms to have. Like, that’s a God given part of our brains, but it actually requires us to like slow down and think and think like, what is the most logical way to come out of this and to support my body out of this? Because health and wellness and any kind of goal that you’ve set for yourself, it really doesn’t come overnight to us. And it may sound like the simple answer to fix things overnight, but it actually is more appropriate for our bodies to have a slow accumulation. And so it’s also not as overwhelming to our nervous system. And so, yeah, our bodies need slow implementation. I teach these principles in my course, but you can go about this on your own. It just takes, again, slowing down and thinking like, how can I change things over time in a way that’s supportive to my metabolism? So that was one thing I wanted to add to what Fallon said.
Lisa Bass Yeah, I feel like when you first mentioned that most women are not eating enough, that is—right there—a shocking thing to say, because I think— I know that you guys are in this world, and so it’s just like, oh, yeah, just something you say: everybody’s not eating enough. But I think if you asked Americans or American women, you did a poll and they had to guess what the average woman eats, they would say that she’s definitely eating too much. So I don’t know. I don’t think you maybe even realize—I mean, you probably do—but like how shocking it is for people to hear that, oh, wait, we’re not eating enough? I thought all Americans actually ate way too much, but really, it’s that we aren’t nourishing ourselves enough. That right there is interesting to hear. Do you find that everybody can repair that metabolism? Or is that a lost cause for some people?
Kori Meloy Definitely not a lost cause. And one thing I wanted to say about the not eating enough— I would say if you took a large group of women and asked them what they were eating in a day, had them track their foods, I guarantee that statistically the highest amount of the people that were under eating absolutely were moms of littles. That would be my guess. Littles going from like age zero to maybe like eight, nine, ten. There is this concept— and I don’t know if it’s necessarily like the church or— I’m not blaming the church, I’m saying culture within the church of this idea of, oh, we put everyone else first and then we’re last. It’s almost this martyrdom that comes with it. But I definitely grew up with that being kind of the culture around me. And so it really was no shock at all when the moms that I would interact with would be like, “When would I have time to eat? I’m feeding my kids, I’m feeding my husband, I’m feeding whatever.” But we pour out to our children—emotionally, mentally, through our love, through our heart, through our bodies—because we nourish ourselves first. Otherwise, it is literally taking from our bodies what is not there. And that obviously ties in even this concept of spiritual fulfillment, too. We love because we understand how loved we are. It’s this pouring out of how whole we are. And so unfortunately, I think that there is kind of this martyrdom that has been normalized in our culture with moms of littles of working so hard to feed who is in front of us and almost, yeah, forgetting about us, but almost believing that that is the righteous thing to do. Does that make sense?
Lisa Bass It does. And then there’s also— that definitely makes sense. There’s also guilt around enjoying food, too. Like if you’re going to eat a certain food, you’re like, “Ooh, I’ll just have one. Maybe half.” There’s that culture, too, with women that it’s not right to enjoy certain types of foods, certain— if it has carbs or it has dairy or it has gluten, you shouldn’t enjoy it. I get that all the time on my videos, people are like, “How do you eat bread?” And I’m like, “Well, I’ve just always done that. It’s okay.”
Fallon Lee You’re like, “With lots of butter.”
Lisa Bass Yes. With lots of butter.
Kori Meloy You know what’s interesting about that, Lisa, is that progesterone is often called the pleasure hormone. So this is the hormone that actually your body— to be in a state where it’s producing enough progesterone, it means that you are actually soaking up and you’re in a state where you can actually receive the pleasure in life. So the birds chirping outside, the taste of your food, this is actually in our innate design as women. And I think there’s a total disconnect there with many in our culture because there’s a huge disconnect with women and their bodies. And so, yeah, I love that you said that because actually that is literally one of the biggest problems that I’ve seen is like, “I can’t experience the pleasure of life. I have so many things to do.” And so if we understand that—in our innate design—we’re actually designed to be the vessels like that God created to be able to experience the pleasure around us. And that in and of itself puts us in a state where we are actually producing more of those youthful hormones. It’s amazing. And then you think about a child. Think of a child and how when they walk outside or experience something or taste ice cream or just that state of them being in full enjoyment, we can receive that and experience that as adult women as well. And I think that is forgotten. And there is a guilt associated with it because of diet culture, of fitness culture that has labeled so many foods as bad that are actually some of the most supportive foods for us. Ice cream is a superfood. It really, really is. If you think about it— especially if you’re making your own. Raw milk, egg yolks, salt, like these are some of the most supportive re-mineralizing foods that we can introduce to our bodies. Being able to get into a state where we’re like, do we even enjoy our food anymore? Because again, that’s another martyrdom thing. Fallon and I talked about this—I just forgot about this—at the beginning of our podcast, we were talking about the concept that diet culture literally introduced this almost righteousness aspect of how disgusting your meal is. Like how if you can eat a salad, if you can get that salad down or that kale smoothie, you’re like, man, I’m doing it right. When if we stop for a second and look diet culture in the face and go, does that make any sense that we think that growing up or adulting means that we need to scarf down kale smoothies that we’re gagging on? Then I think we’re backwards. So this is why the metabolic health journey, for Fallon and I, it has not just been a health physical journey for us. It has opened up our minds and our emotions and the psychology behind, like, do we enjoy the life around us? And are we grounded enough where we can really allow that to happen? And anyways, that’s why I love talking about these concepts, but that would be another misconception part tying in to just this idea of eating enough right away, going back to yes, most of us are probably under eating. It’s mothers a lot because we are— yes, we have a lot on our plate, but that is more reason to support ourselves even more. And you will show up differently for your family, I promise you. I’ve seen it happen over and over again, how moms show up and literally a flipped switch of one moment they’re wanting to escape their lives and be like, okay, how many breaks can I get? And almost viewing it as a job, right? Here’s my job and I’m going to go all in and then take my breaks when I can, as opposed to when they get into this place where they’re producing more of those youthful hormones, they’re like, “Life is enjoyable. Showing up and being around my children, it’s a relationship. It’s not a job.” Yes, you can still call it a job. But I’m saying to view it in this more relational sense as opposed to my duty. You know what I mean? I’ve just seen it happen over and over again, and I get touched by it every single time that a mother tells me that of how differently she’s showing up for her husband and her kids because she’s starting to support—at the foundational cellular level—her body again.
Lisa Bass Yeah, that all makes sense. I think, culturally, there’s a lot of things that we don’t expect to enjoy or we feel like we’re not allowed to enjoy—motherhood is one of them, food is another—that it’s just expected that when you grow up to a certain age, you need to reduce your calories, otherwise you you should feel guilty about it. And motherhood is always bad and hard. Yes, I totally relate with a lot of what you’re saying.
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Lisa Bass So one of the things that I also wanted to talk about was some trends. This is something that I know a lot of people, even in my personal life, do a lot of these. So gluten free, dairy free, intermittent fasting. I want to talk about some of those. And I guess we can start specifically with gluten free, dairy free. I notice now that whenever something is gluten free or dairy free, people consider it healthy just without looking at any of the other ingredients. Those are demonized foods here. So what are your thoughts on some of that? And then also, how does someone who’s intolerant to some of those things introduce those very good foods?
Fallon Lee I guess I’ll kick us off, Kori, just because I feel like I have such an extreme story in terms of elimination. And so I love talking about this question because I was full AIP—autoimmune paleo—which is like no dairy, no gluten, no soy, nuts, eggs, no chocolate, no coffee. Like it’s a ridiculous list. And I was in this world for like five years, and I think I was dairy free for maybe six years and gluten free for five, six years. I guess, to start with the dairy element. So it’s very interesting in hindsight. The logic that I put behind going dairy free just completely crumbles when I think about it now because I just was listening to these blanket claims that it was like, well, dairy is inflammatory. And I’m like, oh, well, that sounds like a solid statement. Sure, yeah, why don’t I cut that out? And in hindsight, I never actually took the time to put logic behind that. It just was like, okay, well, somebody said this and all these people have had symptoms improve because they stopped eating dairy or gluten. Well, here’s the thing about that. There’s a couple of things. One is that if you are to eliminate dairy and gluten, you are probably eliminating 90% of processed foods from your diet just out of the gate, before you get into the territory of consuming these like Franken foods that are labeled gluten and dairy free. That’s kind of like a next step, I feel like, when you try to go gluten and dairy free. Like out of the gate, cutting out dairy and gluten is going to take away a lot of foods that you would have typically eaten, whose inflammatory causes have nothing to do with probably dairy inherently. It’s a totally different set of ingredients that’s causing your body trouble. But when I stopped and thought about dairy historically and when I thought about that dairy has been truly one of the most ancestral foods. Humans have consumed dairy for all of human history. And there’s just not really any logic that I feel comfortable backing to say that it’s—as a whole—inflammatory. Here’s where we get into the weeds a little bit. Conventional dairy is much different than raw grass-fed even A2 milk. The way that your body responds to those things is wildly different. So sure, if you were consuming a diet high in conventional dairy where those cows have been raised with injections and hormones and feed that is enriched and just awful and they don’t have space to graze and roam, yeah, that dairy is probably not going to be great for your body. But that’s wildly different than grazing animals that have been raised regeneratively and they’ve been raised in a very intentional, ethical way. I mean, that’s a wildly different product when you’re talking about milk or butter or whatever else that you turn dairy into. The difference between quality organic raw dairy is just extreme from conventional dairy. And so that’s the only logic that I can put behind dairy being inflammatory is that it’s like, well, yeah, consider your sourcing. I mean, kind of back to this original conversation of like, can we say dairy across the board is bad? No. Are there some forms of dairy that you probably would be better off without? Yeah. I mean, I think that sourcing your dairy in a very intentional way makes all the difference. And I mean, it’s kind of the same for gluten, honestly. I know we’re kind of starting with dairy, but it’s like grains and bread are a historical food. They’re ancestral foods. We see them in scripture, we see them in Weston A. Price’s work. The societies that he was studying relied heavily on freshly milled grains like rye and oats. And all of a sudden, it’s like these foods have become inflammatory? Like overnight? They’re just suddenly not good for us anymore? It’s not the food; it’s the production method. And so I think that makes all the difference in terms of sorting through, is dairy bad? Is gluten bad? You have to get past the black and white thinking and consider where did this item, animal food, where did it come from? And so I think that’s what kind of spearheaded this whole like “dairy is bad” movement is that we started treating our animals terribly and we gave no thought to the environment. We gave no thought to our animal welfare or health. And we just started trying to get the biggest cuts and the most bang for our buck. And we’ve really paid the price for that. I just can’t stand behind the principle that a food that’s been consumed for thousands of years just like magically isn’t good for us anymore. It just doesn’t make any logical sense. And so I think once you wrap your head around that, it’s like, why did I believe that for so long? There’s literally no basis behind dairy as a whole being inflammatory. It’s the way that we’ve kind of sort of jaded our dairy production over decades and centuries of trying to take the easy way out, honestly. Kori, I don’t know if you want to add anything to that. I kind of went off on a few different trails there.
Kori Meloy Yeah, I’ll kind of bring in the psychological piece because I think that culturally we have been taught to look for one single answer to all of our problems. It’s the way that our medical system is set up right now as well. Nothing is collective, nothing is holistic. It’s you have one person for this issue. Nothing is connected in the body. And so you’re always looking for that one single thing. And so with diet trends, there is something— and again, the amygdala piece. Like whatever is trendy and hot right now, you can literally convince your body that your body hates that thing just because you believe that it’s bad for you. You know what I mean? You can develop food sensitivities from your mind. I’m not even kidding. I’ve seen it happen all the time. Fallon reversed food, like, major reactions through brain rewiring. It shows how our minds are this powerful. So I think historically we watched this happen with the plant based diet. I’ll give that as an example. So back in like 2012, I think, is when veganism got kind of hot because of the documentaries coming out: What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy. Like this boom, boom, boom, boom. All these documentaries came out about veganism. And you watched this huge wave of people go vegan overnight. What you see happen is these people feel better, right? And they’re like, “I feel so much better because I cut all that toxic food out.” Toxic food like eggs, red meat, quality milk, because they believed like this is bad for me. And I truly believe— because I’ve seen it happen over and over again— let’s say a woman, five years, four years, even a few months down the road, they felt temporarily good. And then they get to a place where they’re like, I am kind of spiraling and I feel like I am not in a good place anymore. You watch them try to reintroduce this food that they demonized as toxic and bad, and they have a very hard time with it. Not everybody does, but I’ve known plenty of people who weren’t able to even get down that first piece and had to actually go through and literally rewire their thoughts around that food to be able to digest it again. And so when you think about digestibility, digesting is accepting a food, right? Accepting it, assimilating. And this is why our thoughts have so much power and this is why even sitting down—to bring it full circle—even sitting down and enjoying your meal, having that pleasure piece actually changes the way that your body will absorb those nutrients. You will absorb nutrients better. There’s science to prove it. If you say a prayer before your meal or express some sort of gratitude over your meal because you’re going, wow, this is amazing. Like, thank you so much, land and God and everybody that has put this food on my plate. These farmers that have worked so hard. You growing the food for yourself. Like all of it will change the way that your body will absorb those nutrients. And so when I think about the diet trend piece, I wonder how many people have developed food sensitivities, food reactions, food intolerances because of the belief that that food is toxic. And so when they try to reintroduce it to kind of experiment with it, but not actually believe that the food is good for them, they have a reaction. They have, you know, whatever that looks like. I just wonder perhaps how many of those people would change the game if they were able to start with their mind first with gratitude and realize this food is actually nourishing to my body. And what that would do, because Fallon is a living and walking example of someone that has been able to do this with foods that she was so reactive to before and then was able to— it was DRNS, correct? That was helpful for you?
Fallon Lee DNRS. mhm.
Kori Meloy DNRS, got it. Yeah. So I think that that’s a huge piece is the psychological piece of watching diet trends, watching people believe that food is toxic and seeing how that actually messes with them. I would go as far as to say there’s—even the plant-based community as well—but there’s also even a trauma piece because people will watch slaughterhouse footage of animals and then be like, “I can’t possibly ever eat animals again because I’ve developed almost like a trauma bond with not ever doing this again.” And so it’s a pretty wild road for some of these people to reverse some of those thoughts. And I think dairy is even bigger than the gluten piece because the dairy thing is like, I can’t take the breast milk or whatever of another animal because— and we’ve all heard the argument of like, well, humans are the only species that are going around and drinking the milk from other animals. Which is funny because you can find so many pictures of animals drinking milk from other animals. You can do one quick Google search.
Lisa Bass Yeah, they do.
Kori Meloy So that’s always funny to me. But secondly, I’m just like, we are the only species that does so many things because we are evolved, we’re smart, we know how to use the land, we know how to be connected to the land. And so I can see how so many thought processes have come from that and just been that really hard bump to go over because of the psychological piece. And that’s why diet culture is so successful because as soon as you label something as toxic, that amygdala is like, oh, okay, I’m never going to eat it. So that’s my two cents there, for sure.
Lisa Bass Yeah. And it’s fun to start something new, too. You get really excited about some new trend because you’re like, I’m doing this. And then it makes you feel really good because you can successfully do whatever is supposed to be the best thing, and you’re a good little girl and you can do it. And so I think that also makes us feel really good. Fallon, do you have anything to add to that? I feel like I interrupted you there.
Fallon Lee You’re fine. It was super unimportant. I just was thinking about this meme that I saw of someone saying, like, well, no other species drinks milk. And it’s like, well, no other species drinks kale oat milk smoothies, Karen. So what about that? Just like, the argument does not hold up at all to say, like, we’re the only species. Like, A) no. Have you been to a farm? We’re not the only species who drinks other mammals’ milk. Otherwise, I mean, Kori, I thought that was so well-said. And I love that you touched on the trauma piece and the mindset piece of it because it just is so strong. And even in my own journey, I mean, looking back, I had several seasons where I could eat like 7 to 10 foods. And it’s so hard to know in hindsight— I mean, I fully believe a lot of that was mental in the sense that like—not that it wasn’t real; it was very real—but in the sense that my emotional and mental health very much played into that because of exactly what you were saying, Kori, all of these messages that I was feeding myself that this food is bad, this food is going to cause a reaction in my body. And, Lisa, we didn’t dive into the reintroduction part a ton. I know that you kind of asked how do we work toward adding these foods back in? And so I wanted to address that a little bit as someone who did kind of walk through that process. I mean, exactly like Kori said, the brain rewiring part of it is so important because if you have told yourself for five, ten years that dairy is bad, in what universe are you going to take a bite of it and feel good? Like you’re just not. You’re not going to feel good if you have not consumed a food for so long because you thought it was bad for you. And so I think before you ever even start reintroducing, you have got to get to this place of mental capacity and mental resiliency to accept that food is nourishing and that individual foods are nourishing like dairy or— like I didn’t do nightshades for the longest time, so like I would eat a tomato and be like, oh my gosh, this tomato’s going to make my joints hurt. Of course it was going to because I was telling myself that. You have to take the time to really retrain your brain to acknowledge that food is nutrient dense and nourishing. And then I think the biggest thing that people sort of forget is that you have to go slowly. And Kori did reference this in terms of increasing your food consumption. And the same is true for reintroducing foods. I made so many mistakes of feeling like, okay, well, I haven’t had coffee in years, but I’m going to try a whole cup and see how that goes. And spoiler alert, it did not go well because you can’t go from doing zero of a food to like, I’m going to drink a whole cup of it. Or I have a friend—I always laugh—she was dairy free for a long time and then she was like, “I’m going to make a lasagna and eat like half of it.” Obviously, not the best approach. Slow and steady is what your body needs, especially in terms of dairy, because you stop producing some of the enzymes needed to actually break down dairy when you haven’t had dairy in a long time. And so you just have to go slow and steady. I did end up creating a dairy reintroduction meal plan so that people have kind of a step-by-step if your brain functions that way, where you want, like, okay, this week, this is what I should do, next week that’s what I should do. But I think the slowness and then the intentionality of it paired with calming the nervous system, like Kori was talking about like thankfulness and mindfulness and really enjoying that bite of food that you’re taking and telling your brain that it is good and nourishing. I mean, all of those things go into reintroducing a food. It’s not as simple as like, oh, I’m going to make, I don’t know, a cheesecake tomorrow and have a piece. It’s not that simplified. You really have to be very mindful and intentional. I think people miss that component sometimes. I know that I did miss that component. You’re just so excited to finally feel like, wait, I can actually have dairy and it wasn’t inflammatory that whole time? And it just takes a really gracious and gentle approach to be able to add that in. And so I think that you have to do it slowly or your body is probably going to be like, I’m not sure. Kori, did you want to add something?
Kori Meloy I was just going to add one more thing that something you said reminded me of this. Going back to the psychological piece, if you are at a place where you have a lot of food restrictions, whether self-imposed or being in a place of intolerance— well, those are two different things. So let’s talk about the intolerance thing. If you are in a place where you are intolerant to a lot of food, it might— in fact, it most likely is not just the food that is the acute issue. You might be in a place where you are intolerant to a lot of things that are happening in your life, whether it means you aren’t accepting that these are your current life circumstances. Something is going on where you’re like, no, this isn’t happening. It’s almost a denial thing, a rejection, an intolerance. That could be playing into the food category as opposed to it just being the food is what I’m saying. And then self restriction, self-imposed food restrictions, I find are more of that control piece. And so if you have this underlying current of exercising control because you don’t feel safe in your body for whatever reason, whether that’s a childhood wound piece or your current life circumstances don’t feel safe. It doesn’t feel safe, it doesn’t feel steady, it doesn’t feel consistent. Then food is one of those really easy places that women go to to exercise and exert control because it is that easy scapegoat in a way. And so typically when people go through some sort of stressful life circumstances or if something feels out of their control, they— I don’t know, something happens to their house. Let’s say, like something breaks down or something. I don’t know. It just feels like life is happening to them and they can’t step into that place of like, no, life isn’t happening to me. I have ownership over my life. I find that being in that state of believing life is happening to you—kind of more of that victim mindset—what comes from that is a state of a lot of self-imposed food restrictions because you want to feel in control when really you can step into that, I guess, ownership and responsibility in your own life. And so sometimes being able to start with the food, with what Fallon is saying of like, I can eat these things. Sometimes it can start that simply and then you realize, wait, I have control over how I respond to my children. I have control over how I respond to my husband. I have control over my emotions. I don’t have to be reactive. You get what I’m saying? So it’s kind of like this beautiful ripple effect. And the food usually shows up. That’s the cool thing. The food usually shows us actually what is psychologically happening around us. And so we can start with the food to allow us to kind of embody that state that allows us to apply that to the rest of our life, if that makes sense.
Lisa Bass Yeah, that definitely makes sense. And you were talking about how feeling in control of things, food is something that we’ve demonized for so long. And it’s, you know, you should only eat things that are “healthy,” that we just want somebody to tell us what to do. It feels very scary for some people, I would think, to just be like, okay, I’m just going to just eat 2200 calories a day of nutrient dense food. That, I think, is a hurdle for a lot of people to get past, actually just eating and nourishing their bodies with dairy and gluten.
Lisa Bass Taking another quick break to tell you about the School of Traditional Skills. I’ve told you about this on this podcast before, but I have had a chance to dive into some of the classes, and they are so well-done and so informational. They’re packed with what you need to preserve food, build a garden, dairy, homesteading, fermenting. All of the topics that a lot of you—if you listen to this podcast—are probably interested in. The School of Traditional Skills is the perfect way to continue to learn those skills because they are constantly adding new classes. All very well done. They have pressure canning, reclaiming pasture, pasture-raising meat chickens, gardening, curing pork, a nourishing bone broth class with Sally Fallon Morell. You can get all of this by visiting bit.ly/FarmhouseSkills. Again, that’s bit.ly/FarmhouseSkills. Sign up for the School of Traditional Skills and continue to get their classes, learn new things that you can implement in your home that will help you to be more self-sustaining, save you money. So much good information over there. I am looking forward to continuing to watch all of their classes as they put them out. Again, that’s bit.ly/FarmhouseSkills.
Lisa Bass One of the things I wanted to ask you about was intermittent fasting. That’s something that—hey, Mom—I talk to my mom about a lot and she listens to all my podcasts, and she has been really into that for quite a while now. And so I was telling her what I know from just my experience and listening to pro-metabolic people and just also in general with more of the traditional food perspective that I have. And she said, “Okay, well, if you listen to this person, they will tell you that this is good.” But she’ll do like a really, really big— or really tiny window. So anyways, would you just tell my mom why— or what about pro-metabolic— or what about intermittent fasting is damaging to her hormones?
Fallon Lee Oh, Mom, where do we start? We have so much grace for you.
Lisa Bass Oh, boy.
Fallon Lee Well, I’m going to let Kori take most of this, because we actually have a whole podcast episode on trendy diets and why they’re not the most supportive. And I remember you tackling this, and you just do it so well. The point that I do want to highlight before I hand the mic to Kori, one, is that all of the studies that have been done on intermittent fasting have been done around men. And so I think it’s easy to kind of say, “Oh, look at this study. Look how great it is.” But female physiology is not the same as male physiology. We have a different flow. You know, men are on a 24-hour rhythm, whereas women are on a monthly—give or take—rhythm. It’s not the same. It’s not apples to apples. So we can look at all these studies on intermittent fasting in men and think, wow, how impressive. Look at the science. And it’s like, but that’s not science that we can apply to women. And the other thing is that this conversation about stress that Kori talked about toward the beginning of our conversation. Especially when it comes to overnight, because I know there’s this big wave, this big— if you Google how to lose 10 pounds in a month, it’s going to be like, stop eating after 6 PM. Let’s talk about a couple of things. First off, you are fasting overnight. It’s almost like the Lord gave us this inherent natural fast overnight called sleep. It’s like we are fasting overnight in the way that we were meant to. We are using that time of rest and restoration for our body to fast and take a break from eating. The thing is, our body needs that fuel to be able to make it through an eight, nine, ten hour stretch—ideally—of sleep. Our livers need that fuel to be able to go all night long without eating because it is a long time. I mean, it’s not conscious that we’re sleeping for so long, but your rest overnight ideally should be like an 8 to 10 hour fast. And then you may not be eating 30 minutes before bed, 30 minutes after in the morning. So you’re already fasting for a really good amount of time without even intentionally doing it. And so creating these sort of extra rules around when you can’t eat, even without taking into account the way that our bodies function, the needs that we have. Just logically, I’m like, why are we trying to create more rules around when we can and can’t eat? Like if we’re hungry, our body doesn’t stop processing food after 6 PM. It still absorbs and utilizes those nutrients. And so just again, it’s one of those logic things that I’m like, I don’t totally see it because if I think back to even like my great great great grandma, she was not fasting because that wasn’t even a conversation in her arena. Maybe a spiritual fast that was short-lived and intentional. But until recently, women were not intentionally starving themselves, which is kind of what I see intermittent fasting to be. Kori, I’d love for you to take it from here because you will have such a succinct answer to this.
Kori Meloy Well, I love that you talked about the grandma piece, because what’s funny is—I’m going to talk about church culture for a second as well—but in the early 2000s, I remember— oh, I’m forgetting who this is now, but it’s an author, and she was talking about her own experience when intermittent fasting became I guess like a diet trend, and how she used to use spiritual fasting as a way to kind of toxically enable this diet culture mindset of like, look how much weight I’m going to lose because I’m spiritually fasting. And so it’s interesting to watch the how the diet trends have actually intertwined into the spiritual conversation, which is just— it’s sad. I find it very sad that those two have come together because something that people ask us often is, “Well, what about spiritual fasting? Do you guys not support spiritual fasting?” And we’re like, if that was something God designed, he sure as heck did not design us to do that every single day. He even talked about, like in Scripture, spiritual fasting is talked about as this very set apart time like Fallon was saying. But as far as the fasting piece, yes, to what Fallon is saying. Our bodies are actually wired and designed to already experience a fast while we are sleeping, and that is so many hours. And when you actually study the physiology of the body on top of that, there’s something called liver glycogen, and liver glycogen is this stored fuel that we have in our bodies that we can create through eating food. It stores fuel in our liver for sleep and it’s able to actually sustain us about 8 hours. Like that is actually about the design of how long it takes for that liver glycogen to completely run out. And so when we wake up in the morning, we need fuel to restart our ability to sustain ourselves. Now when we do not give our bodies that fuel, our bodies will actually create that fuel. So people are like, ding, ding, ding, I’m going to let my body take care of that for me. But if you look further into it of how the body actually creates the fuel, it cuts down and breaks down and eats its own body parts in order to create that fuel for you. It is a survival response. It is a, hey, I am starving and it’s our way that our bodies are designed to not just die out immediately. We have a grand innate design that is protecting us and for us constantly. Does that mean that we want to turn our survival response on all the time? No. It’s there to keep us alive. But we don’t stay fueled day to day on the things that are there as a backup generator. We talk about this concept of—actually, this is Kate Deering’s concept, she wrote the book How to Heal Your Metabolism—of the house being what we fuel. There’s the generator in the back and so many people are living on the fuel off of the generator instead of just feeding the house. Feeding the house and giving fuel to the house is so simple. And when we’re relying on the generator fuel, that is when we start chronically living on stress hormones. So when you go into a state of intermittent fasting—and especially women. When we wake up, we need to refuel our body to be able to—like I said—sustain our day. And when we don’t, the body starts doing this process called gluconeogenesis, breaking down those parts. And the way that it does that is actually elevating our stress hormones. It can’t do that without doing that. So stress hormones go up, and your stress hormones actually have an inverse relationship with your thyroid. Anytime we talk about the metabolism, we’re talking about the thyroid. So they’re the same thing. So everything we talk about on this podcast has actually been thyroid supporting foods, thyroid supporting lifestyle habits. So stress goes up, thyroid goes down, metabolic rate slows down. So what happens is a lot of people love the feeling of that stress hormone high. It actually feels pretty good. You have mental clarity. You can even kind of see better. You have this boost in energy. You kind of feel light and flighty. And if you think about it, it’s because your body’s in that survival response. All of your senses are heightened whenever you’re running from a predator or an animal trying to— like a bear out in the woods. That is how our bodies are designed as well. It’s so we can survive. And so that feeling, a lot of people kind of create this addiction to because they have to because it’s what fuels them throughout the day. They wake up. They don’t eat. They drink coffee. Coffee mixed with stress hormones is just like skyrocketing and like bubbling over the impact of that intermittent fasting. And so it’s so interesting because that is the hot topic— or that’s the trend. It’s like you intermittent fast and then you drink coffee on an empty stomach when that is the worst thing that we can do for our body’s ability to produce those youthful hormones, to keep stress low, and to go throughout life just thriving and resilient. And so intermittent fasting is one of those topics where it’s like when we think about what things are actually doing for us, that’s where the important conversation of the metabolism goes in, because a lot of people don’t know what it feels like to have a healthy metabolism. And, Fallon, do you want to talk about the metabolic markers? Because when someone’s like, “Intermittent fasting, it works.” We’re like, “What does that mean?” And they’re like, “I’m energized,” or like, “I lost weight,” and I’m like, “Okay, well, let’s talk about metabolic markers.” So yeah, Fallon you want to touch on that so people can understand what it actually means?
Lisa Bass Before you touch on that, I want to ask for you to include this in your answer. Why should I care? If I feel good or I feel like I have a lot of energy and I lose weight, why should I care about the other things? Let’s, like, make sure that I know that.
Fallon Lee Yes. I’m so glad you asked that. Before I even answer metabolic markers, I think that we never gave, like, a succinct definition for what your metabolism is and what it does. And I think that’s super important because I know that when I kind of stumbled into this idea of supporting my metabolism, the only frame of reference that I had was that you either have a fast metabolism or a slow one. And a fast metabolism means that you can eat whatever you want and eat so much food and stay skinny. That was the frame of reference that I had around the metabolism whenever I realized that I needed to start supporting it. And that’s not— it’s not that black and white. Yes, your metabolism can lean slow or fast, but it’s less important whether you have slow or fast, because when you get into— there’s something called an HTMA panel, it can tell you like there’s a spectrum of how slow or fast your metabolism is. And you’re always kind of fluctuating depending on your stress, your toxins. The more important thing is, is your metabolism healthy? Is it thriving? And so the way that we can look for that— there’s several different ways. So, one—this is fresh in my mind because I was talking about this yesterday on Instagram—is the warmth of your body. So over the past probably couple of decades, we have started to see actual medical professionals say that like, “Oh, humans just kind of run in like the 96, 97 degree range now. It’s just like adaptation. It’s totally fine.” That’s not completely true. Our bodies need warmth to run our metabolic functions, to support our thyroid. A warmer body—of course, there’s a spectrum. We want to fall— upon rising, the general recommendation that we find originally from Dr. Berta Barnes who was a thyroid doctor that kind of spearheaded this temperature check in terms of where your thyroid and, again, and metabolism because like Kori said, this is the same conversation, where those are functioning. Upon rising, your temperature should already be close to that 98 degree range and start rising throughout the day. As you eat, your food should be warming your body. You should feel the warmth in your extremities. So, one thing that I remember vividly from my paleo days was that I had freezing cold feet and hands and nose and body. And we talk about frequently it’s become this kind of cute, trendy, like girl thing that like, “Oh, I’m just always cold,” and it’s like, “Sweetheart, no. Your thyroid needs some help.” It’s not just, like, a personality trait that you have. Like, that’s a sign that our body needs more nourishment. And I remember being that girl that was like, “Oh, I just need a sweater.” And it’s like, “No, you just need some thyroid support.” So that’s one thing that we can look at. Heart rate is another. I was a distance runner for a long time and so when I came into this realm, my heart rate had slowed down quite a bit. And this is another narrative that we hear that your heart rate, like if it’s super low, that means that you’re super healthy, that you’ve like worked out so much and done so much cardio that you’re super healthy. And it’s, in fact, the exact opposite that that stress from long-term cardio has caused our heart rate to kind of suppress, and in turn, all of our metabolic functions to start like slowing down. And so we want to see a resting heart rate in the range of like 75 to like 85 beats a minute is a solid place to be. Otherwise, your digestion— this is something that people don’t talk about enough. I did not know until I was a grown woman that I should be having a daily bowel movement. Like nobody taught me that. It was just like a weird taboo topic that wasn’t discussed. And I remember when I learned that I was like, oh man, my body is not really thriving right now because I had no concept. That’s not what my body was doing. So you want to be eliminating every single day at least one to three times a day, and comfortably. You know, there’s a spectrum of your digestion, and you want to feel happy with your digestion and the way that your stomach is responding to things. Sleeping all night long. There is this kind of acceptance right now in our current culture that like, oh, you just wake up at night. People just have insomnia. They just can’t get to sleep easily. Those are markers, again, that something is not quite right with our thyroid, with our metabolism, maybe with the amount of nutrients and nourishment that we’re getting. We should be able to sleep seven to nine hours throughout the night with no interruption— assuming that there’s no external factors. Right? Like we have children that wake us up. That’s part of it. But, you know, if left to your own devices, we should be able to get that solid stretch of sleep every single night. Our skin health, our hair health. We want skin that is vibrant and healthy. And that’s not to say that you can’t never have, like, a blemish. And if you do, that means something’s wrong. But generally speaking, your skin is very much a reflection of your internal health. Your hair is very much a reflection of your internal health. Libido is very much a reflection of internal health. And Corey and I have a whole podcast episode on this as well and healing that and restoring that. Your attitude, your mood, your response to life. Kori touched on this quite a bit, but the way that you interpret and view the world is very much representative of your internal state. How stressed are you in responding to an inconvenience, your children, somebody cutting you off in traffic. The way that we respond immediately to things shows how our body is feeling inside. Where our stress hormones are at can really dictate how we respond to very simple things. And this is something that, gosh, I’ve seen such a change in my own personal life and my own personal healing is it I feel like I was just triggered by everything when I first started this journey and I’ve seen how my body has just regulated and found that calmness. And a lot of that I think is from adding in raw dairy again, honestly. That calcium has such a calming, regulating effect. And so that’s something we went to see in terms of a metabolic marker. Kori, do you want to add in? I know there’s several that I probably did not touch on, but I’ve talked for a very long time.
Kori Meloy Yeah, well, what Fallon is describing is these are the metabolic markers. So these are the things where if you have a thriving metabolism, you’re warm, you have a higher heart rate, you’re regulated, you have a strong libido. All of these checklists. If your metabolism needs some help, it’s the latter. And the reason that—what Lisa was asking—the reason this is all important to be able to measure is because all of this— your metabolism is the sum of your metabolic functions in the body. And so your metabolic functions in the body is actually every single function in the body. It is describing your body’s ability to detox. It is describing your body’s ability to maintain hormone balance, to—like I said before—produce youthful hormones. That means resiliency to disease. Your metabolism is literally your body’s ability to be resilient to toxins, stress, chronic disease, cancers. These are the things that are all wrapped up in those metabolic processes. It is your health. And so this is what we talked about in the very first couple of episodes, I think, of our podcast is we used to define health as being lean or fit or maybe like having energy. And now we’re like, no, this literally turns the entire thing on its head because your metabolism is your health. It is the most objective measure out there of your health because when we talk about the lean conversation, stress hormones are actually even better at burning through energy than your metabolism is. And so a lot of people can go their whole lives—their twenties, then their thirties—thinking like, oh, I have a super fast metabolism because I’m super lean. And then they crash in those like upper thirties, forties, and they’re like, what’s happening? I feel miserable. And I guess my metabolism just finally crashed and burned because it was super fast. And I’m like, no, no, no. It’s possible that you’ve been in a hypo metabolic state your entire life. When I look back on my life on when I was the leanest, when I look back on my childhood, I’m like, no, no, no. That was not being lean as a result of a high metabolic rate. I absolutely was living off of stress for the grand majority of the decades that I have lived. And so now I’m at a place where I have finally redefined health for myself, because this is what’s sustaining us into our old age. This is what’s sustaining us to be able to be grandparents one day and running around with the grandkids and being able to, again, just like seek and enjoy life’s pleasures and community. And it literally has changed everything for us. And so being able to redefine health for yourself is one of the most honest questions and answers that you can give yourself. Because if you define health your entire life as just being able to be fit or just being able to be thin, you will find on your own that you might crash and burn one day and think, what happened there? And so this is what gave us those answers of like, oh, my gosh, this is truly like the difference, like a 180 between someone that is able to go through their life with resilience and yeah, just be able to enjoy it. So that would be the definition of the metabolism is that it literally describes your health, and that’s why it’s that important, because this is why women that we’ve interacted with and worked with have been able to put chronic disease into remission, get off chronic medications, literally just from supporting their metabolisms because they’re able to get out of that survival response that is so prone to sickness and illness and disease. And so it’s been just an incredible journey to be able to watch people do that. But I wanted to make sure I gave that definition of like it literally means this is your objective health.
Lisa Bass Yeah, thanks for that explanation because that really puts into perspective why someone should care. If the health markers are being thin, having a lot of energy, that can be achieved easily by just basically starving yourself, whereas you’re defining all of these things that will sustain us into old age, give us the energy that we need without crashing. I’ve never really heard it put quite that way with all of the markers that you gave, but that makes a lot of sense as to why we should care. So with all of that being said, how does someone start? Let’s wrap it up with that. I have way more questions to ask you, but I do want to take your entire day. So now that I am fully convinced because even that made me realize that I have a lot of stuff I need to do because a lot of the markers you talked about, I’m like, yeah, I kind of think I’ve maybe thought I was supporting my metabolism more than I am even going into like being hungry right away in the morning. That’s something I’m not. So I know that that is something that I need to work on because if I’m not hungry, it’s probably because I—like you mentioned—have ran off those stress hormones most of my life. I feel like I’ve always been—I’m not currently that lean—but I’ve always usually been lean, tons of energy. And I feel like lately I’m now in my late thirties, at 37, I feel like I’m starting to kind of have happen what you’ve basically just described is like, okay, it’s catching up with me now because I am that mom who I make a lot of healthy food, but like today I scarfed down a taco and a half and then had to go put the baby down for nap so I can get ready for my podcast. And so I’m definitely in that camp like way more than I realized, especially because like also I’ve charted before and my temperatures are not even close to 98. So anyways, where should someone start with all of this? And you can refer me to your whatever, your Instagram, whatever you want to refer me to, your podcast. But yeah, help me figure out where to go.
Fallon Lee I guess I’ll kick us off. So functionally, you’re so spot on that Kori and I both do have a literal “start here” highlight on Instagram, which I would use as kind of a secondary thing. I feel like my answer to this would change in different seasons is what’s so interesting. I mean, I think there are some core principles like the eating within 30 minutes to an hour of waking. Like Kori said, that’s a really good way to kickstart your metabolism and start off with nourishment support. And that can be a small step. I think that what I want to make sure that we encourage women to realize is that—we’ve had this thread woven through this conversation—that this is not about achieving and I’m not doing enough and I’m not good enough. We want to repeatedly say that that’s not the message we’re trying to communicate. The message that we want to communicate is grace. And so I think while yes, eat within 30 minutes of waking up, have a bedtime snack, eat every 3 to 4 hours. Those things are super supportive. I think alongside that, partner it with this grace for yourself that you didn’t know what you didn’t know. I lived for several years thinking that I was doing the best thing for my body, and once I learned better, I did better. But it wasn’t about this checklist of achievement. It was this grace for my body that I could step into this freeing space of realizing that, oh, I actually get to eat the foods that I enjoy. I don’t have to avoid coffee anymore and I don’t have to avoid chocolate anymore and dairy anymore. And so I think while we can live by these principles of consistently eating, like I said, every 3 to 4 hours, eating a carbohydrate and a protein together when you eat. So like an animal protein paired with like fruit or soaked and rinsed rice or overnight oats. These are things that we can put together with eggs or yogurt, like a protein and a carb go really well together to support our bodies. While, yes, we want to also learn those principles, I think there’s just an element of grace that comes with it and mindfulness and that appreciation of the food that you get to eat. And so I think that, yes, there are some functional answers to like, okay, you should start with eating breakfast at a decent time or drinking an adrenal cocktail every day. Those are solid, functional answers. And I think that we also want to pull in that emotional component of giving yourself grace that you have the freedom to eat and the freedom to nourish yourself well. And that mindset shift is one of the first things that I would do, honestly. And I think that even a year and a half ago, I probably wouldn’t have even said that. I would have been like, oh yeah, eat every 3 to 4 hours and maybe check your ingredients for highly refined oils. And those things are important. But I also think that we have to step into this space with just a lot of forgiveness for the choices that we’ve made in the past that weren’t so supportive and kind of take on this next endeavor in light of just, I don’t know, compassion and not like a “do better, be better” type mentality, if that makes sense. So, I mean, I kind of threw some functional answers in there as well that I think are very important. But Kori, I’d love to hear what else you have to add to that.
Kori Meloy Yeah, and I love what Fallon is setting up is like, this is not about to be the next thing on your trajectory of, okay, then I’m going to try this, and then I’m going to try this. This is not going to be the next thing that you try and see if it works for you. Metabolic health is for everyone. It’s for everyone. And the thing that Fallon is saying is it’s not black and white how you do it. And so we wouldn’t want someone to jump right in and then be like, “Ah, what are the rules?” And then be like, “Oh, and then I’m off to the next thing.” It truly is for everyone. And how you want to implement that is up to you and your lifestyle. But practically and functionally, I would say historically what people have enjoyed the most—as far as tools—is there’s our two free downloads. So Fallon has a list of metabolically supportive foods just to wrap your head around what this actually looks like day to day when building your snacks and your meals. And then I have a free guide that is a five step guide on restoring your metabolism. So I walk you through that checklist again that we’ve talked about, and then I have five steps on how to start implementing those into your day in a holistic manner. And then third would be our podcast episode called Our Top Three Tips. It is by far, I think, double as far as listenership out of our whole podcast. It is the most popular episode. It’s the one people keep going back to. It’s our second episode ever on our podcast, but I would also encourage you to listen to our first one. That’s our welcome story. That’s where we share our own personal story of putting chronic disease into remission and being able to just wrap your head around what it even means to talk about metabolic health. So we go more in-depth in that episode. And then beyond that, Fallon and I both have products as well, but we always encourage people to jump into our free content first. Kind of like whet your appetite and then just kind of like— we’re very much not impulse buy people. We don’t want you to go and impulse buy anything that we have to offer. We want you to immerse yourself and be able to slow down and be able to implement anything that we have for you already. And just telling yourself like, wow, I have the capability within me to make these changes for myself and no one’s going to save me. No one is my savior. Like it’s no human. That I am capable within myself to be able to help myself. And that’s a huge part of this metabolic health community is that’s where it’s so different than these diets that are out there that are focused on this authoritarian model where someone tells you what to eat and then you just listen. It’s so much different than that. It’s so much more about putting responsibility back into your hands as the individual.
Lisa Bass All such great information. So inspiring. I myself felt like I already knew what all you guys talk about? Cause actually I have your course, Kori, and I’ve listened through all of that, and I still feel like I learned so much from this and have a lot of things that I want to implement, none of which are guilt. Mostly, just taking the time for myself to nourish myself, which that’s what I love so much about this. Who doesn’t want to have a bedtime snack? Like that sounds like too good to be true that that’s something that is recommended, but I love all that. So again, thank you so much and everyone, we’ll leave links down in the show notes for your Instagrams and also just be talking about that in the intro and anything else that you mentioned that you want to send over, we’ll link that down below. So again, thank you so much for taking so much of your time to share all of this with us.
Kori Meloy Thank you so much, Lisa, for having us on.
Lisa Bass All right. Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. I’m sure that you were as inspired as I was. Make sure to go follow both Kori and Fallon over on Instagram. That is where they share a lot of really great information in real time, as well as just real time ideas for groceries and meal ideas. I love following over there. Check out any of the tools that sounded applicable to you. I know I have a few things that I want to go check out now that they told me about them and listen to that podcast where they go into their three tips and all of that. So thank you so much for listening and I will see you in the next episode of the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast.