Jeremy is a registered Chiropractor with post graduate training in Sports Chiropractic and International Sports Chiropractic including a stint in USA working with the Seattle Mariners Major League baseball team, as well as other national and international sporting teams and events. Inspired by Paul Chek’s teachings Jeremy has studied the Holistic Lifestyle Coaching program and completed his level 2 with Paul. Jeremy started his own branding “Holistic Lifestyler” manages a chiropractic clinic, teaches fermenting workshops nationally, has his own line of certified organic & fair wear clothing and is in the process of writing a book on Fermented Foods & Gut health. Jeremy is involved in speaking engagements on the topic of Gut health, Microbiome & Fermented Foods.
Jeremy’s vision is to re-connect food, farming, fitness & healing into one Holistic model of health that supports, honours & respects Mother Earth.
Q) Jeremy, you are trained as a Chiropractor, and I imagine you could have had a long trajectory in that mold of being a Chiro. Can you tell us what got you interested in gut health and what made the change to being a gut health and fermentation educator?
A) Indeed my formal tertiary training is in Chiropractic and I took that career path as my mission is to help people. What a lot of people probably don’t appreciate is the 5 year university program has us studying units in Biochemistry, Immunology, Histology, Microbiology, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Psychology, Anatomy, Physiology (basically any ‘ology’ you can think of) as well as the craft of hands on manual therapy of course.
For me I have not abandoned my chiropractic clinical work but rather expanded the tools in the toolbox that I can offer to help people, so now my clinical practice is not only focused on the hands on manual therapy but a big proportion of it is nutrition and gut health restoration, using stool analysis testing, blood test etc working alongside GPs to more Holistically work with patients/clients. So I guess having a good foundation in microbiology, biochemisty & nutrition made it somewhat easier for me to continue researching fermented foods & the microbiome post tertiary studies.
Nowadays I read the latest journal articles each week, attend continuing education seminars by the leading experts around the world & have a close relationship with a prominent microbiologist who I frequently consult with when I need more specific help with patients.
I love it and feel like I have found a real sense of purpose integrating it all into clinical practice whilst still maintaining a busy travel schedule fulfilling my “Dr” title — teaching workshops, presentations nationally and writing a fermenting/gut health book.
Q) Why is gut health so important to us?
A) When you consider something like 80% of the immune system is found in the gut, somewhere in the vicinity of 2Kg of microbes (around 100 trillion microbes from around 500-1000 species that we know of at the present time) are in the gut which all have clear orchestrated functional roles, such as producing nutrients, co-factors for neurotransmitters (90% serotonin and 50% at lease of dopamine synthesized in the gut), it kind of puts it into perspective.
These microbes and their genetic material outnumber our human cells and genetics by a significant factor. They are a predictive factor for obesity and certain illnesses. Long ignored scientists finally realized the importance and have in recent times focused intensely on researching it all, in fact the National Institutes of Health even set up the Human Microbiome Project. Hippocrates might have been onto something when he said over 2000 years ago “All disease begins in the gut”!
Q) For someone just starting out, what are three things they can do this week to improve their gut health?
A) Sleep hygiene – commonly overlooked but critical for maintaining overall health, restoring the nervous system – remembering the whole gut-brain bidirectional axis. Simple things like decreasing the amount of artificial light stimulation at night, using F. lux on computes/laptops and the Night Shift app in iPhones or even better staying off them at night to help the body’s own natural normal hormonal balance kick in and prime us for a restorative sleep.
2) Stress management – easier said than done in todays society but find some ways of balancing your nervous system whether that be some Tai-Chi, yoga, meditation practices (I often tell patients to download a meditation app and do 10-20 minutes first thing in the morning or at night) whatever resonates with you. We know from the studies the implications stress hormones have on gastro-intestinal permeability (leaky gut) so even the best diet in the world won’t completely offset the negative consequences of stress. And also moving the body, schedule time to nourish the joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and even organs with what the body is innately designed for – MOVEMENT!
3) Eat real, whole, minimally processed food – I like a paleo template to work off, but focus on organic wholefood that’s in season and local , quality filtered water, and with that aim to add some form of fermented foods doesn’t have to be much just a side component with most meals – kefir, sauerkrauts, kimchis etc.
Q) Have your food choices changed over the years, and if so, how? Is there a specific time you can point to where the decisions you made around what you put in your mouth changed?
Around 6 years ago my eating habits did a 180 degree turn around, I acknowledged I fell victim to good marketing strategies in the bodybuilding world and abandoned that dogmatic scene and also let go of the conventional nutritional approach (refined carbs, grains etc).
I embraced wholefood, nose-to-tail approach, within 30 days of letting go of grains and dairy the acne I had on my back that plagued me through my later teenage tears and early 20’s all but cleared up.
I no longer fear fat and over 6 or so years I witnessed my health shift into a whole new realm.
Q) What specific steps do you take to nurture your gut health?
A) Eat whole, real, nose-to-tail, in season, paleo’ish, drink the best quality water I can get, practice sleep hygiene & stress management as already mentioned, and I Move my body every day – ontop of my relatively active job I train anywhere from 1- 4 hours a day under the guidance of Odelia & Ido Portal who write my movement program, if you haven’t heard of these guys I suggest attending some of their workshops when they are in your area.
I do also enjoy getting out in the garden getting some good quality sunlight, planting and growing vegetables getting the hands in the microbially dense soil, I get a bit of a kick out of working on creating a rich microbe soil. After all the soil is basically a fermentation orgy, and by creating lacto-fermented veges we are really only continuing on the natural process that it went through to initially grow before being up-rooted.
Q) What are your favourite ferments to make at home and why?
A) I honestly do not have a favourite, I pretty much embrace the seasons and enjoy whatever goes at that time. Curing/fermenting pork sausages, pancetta etc I have a soft spot for as it’s my heritage and every year it brings the family & close friends together for a few weekends of fun, laughs and banter.
Q) What does your day on a plate look like?
A) changes day to day depending on how I feel, but I do try and rotate my foods, as Paul Chek says the fastest way to give yourself a food intolerance (probably more correctly sensitivity) is to eat the same foods every day. Might explain why some of these commonly daily consumed foods tend to come up reactive on food sensitivity panels. Diversity on the plate helps create diversity in the gut microbes.
Q) Do you have a specific food philosophy you stick to, or are you freer flowing?
A) Somewhere in the realm of paleo, WAPF and Metabolic Typing, with a strong focus on organic/biodynamic, local, seasonal & homegrown where possible. When it comes to meats, I’m pretty sure I’ve visited every farmer I get my meat from and have inspected their farming practices, in fact most these farmers have all become friends now and some I am very close with like poultry farmers Jeff & Michelle from Southamptom Home & Farmstead. I have an enormous respect for farmers who are respecting the animals and the ecology.
Q) Any health trends you predict for 2017?
A) kombucha clothing. Probiotic cleaning products and body care.
Q) Can you share a favourite home fermenting recipe?
700g sliced cabbage
90g carrot (sliced through a mandolin alternatively chopped manually into match stick sized pieces)
10 cardamom pods – cracked and seeds extracted to be used and the husks discarded
Ginger – grated 1tsp – 1TBS depending on flavor preference
1 Jalapeno – chopped into fine rings
1-2 Kaffir lime leaves finely sliced length ways
1 TBS of finely sliced lemongrass (bulb end)
20 g Celtic or Himalayan salt
Light some candles or rock salt lamps to create some ambiance & play some sexy music… Massage the cabbage, carrot and salt for 10 or so minutes to create a brine. Add all the other ingredients and mix through, can give a little massage. Pack tightly into a 1 Litre sized jar making sure the veges are submerged under the brine, has to be anaerobic (no oxygen), I like Fido wire bail lids or Fowlers-Vacola.
Store at room temp ideally 18-22 degrees Celsius and out of direct light. Burp (open close the lid every few days).
Leave to ferment for 2-4 weeks. Transfer to fridge. Enjoy
Notes: make sure all jars, hands, bowls and utensils are thoroughly cleaned and dried.