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Welcome to a brand new series! I am super excited about Healthy Living TV, which is a LIVE show that I am doing over on the 20 Dishes Facebook page every month.

In this series, I will be interviewing health, nutrition, and lifestyle experts about all aspects of healthy living. What you put into your body is just one small aspect of cultivating vibrant health. Our thoughts, our lifestyle, our movement, our spirituality, and so much more are vital parts of creating a well-rounded life that you love to live.

In this first episode, I interviewed my friend and colleague, Tami Chu about one of her favorite topics — the microbiome. Tami is a Holistic Nutritionist located near Los Angeles, CA. She is passionate about all things health but holds a special place in her heart for gut health and the microbiome. She has been doing a ton of in-depth research on the topic, not only for her family's health but her client's health as well and was excited to share this info with us today. You can find her writing about all things health on her sites TamiChu.com and OrganicCrumbs.com.

Microbiome 101 with Tami Chu

What is the microbiome? By definition, microbiome means: the microorganisms in a particular environment (including the body or a part of the body).

Many of you have likely heard of gut health and the importance of things like probiotics. It was one of the very first things I started learning about when I got my first autoimmune disease diagnosis years ago and a topic that I've been interested in ever since. I do have a whole section of this website dedicated to gut health that you can look through here.

While about 70% of our immune system lies in our gut, our actual microbiome extends far beyond that. As Tami explains in our interview, we are made up of so many different organisms that we each are really a whole little world of microbes. They live in our bodies and on our bodies. So next time you look down at your arm or your legs, just remember that your skin is teeming with living organisms. Creepy and cool, right?! 🙂

If you've been curious about gut health and the microbiome, I think you will love today's talk. Tami has a great gift of explaining a complex topic in a way that everyone can understand it. Today, we just cover the basics of the microbiome and give you a few tips and ideas for things that you can start doing now to improve the health of your body's ecosystem. I hope to have Tami back on the show in the future to dive even deeper into this expansive topic. You can watch the full interview below, or read the full transcript further down.

Feeding the Microbiome is Key

One of the most important things we can do to keep our microbiome happy and healthy is to feed it well. This means reducing consumption refined and processed foods, unhealthy oils, excess sugar, etc. Feeding ourselves (and in turn, our microbiome) real, whole foods like clean meats, healthy fats, and lots of produce will go a long way to helping support and encourage microbiome diversity.

Speaking of produce, did you know that fruits and vegetables play a foundational role in health? While healthy meats and fats are also important, plants hold a special place when it comes to nutrition. They are mineral,vitamin, and fiber powerhouses, not to mention all the other phytonutrients that are available.

BUT, most people today have difficulty eating enough plants to really see a dramatic shift in their health. While the general guideline for plant consumption is about 3-4 cups of plants per day, most people get 1 cup or less! This has a dramatic impact on not only our overall health, but our microbiome health as well. If you want to do one single thing to improve your health, eating more plants is a great place to start.

All in all, plants rock. And I want everyone to eat more of them! That is why I created my 30 Day Eat the Rainbow eCourse, where I show you how to easily and effortless increase your fruit and veggie intake so that you can reap the benefits of improved health, energy, and clarity.

In this eCourse, we discuss everything you could possibly want to know about eating the rainbow, including:

  • Why you should eat more plants
  • How to eat more plants on a budget
  • Does organic matter?
  • Does raw or cooked matter?
  • How to get picky eaters to enjoy plants
  • Fermenting vegetables
  • Tons of recipes, tips, and tricks
  • And so much more

This eCourse is perfect for all eaters — no matter what dietary style you follow. I also created this course to appeal to all dietary styles and all levels of “foodiness”. Whether you are brand new to eating real food or a seasoned expert in the real food world, this eCourse is packed full of easy tips, tricks, recipes, and nutrition facts that everyone can benefit from. With the Eat the Rainbow eCourse, you'll get 30+ days worth of email content, plus some great added bonuses as well.

For my Microbiome 101 friends, I have a very special limited time offer for you. If you enroll in my Eat the Rainbow eCourse today, I will gift you a copy of our popular Gluten-Free Snacks eBook. This eBooks features a ton of easy, healthy, and delicious snacks (all gluten-free). This book is perfect as we head into summer (or anytime of year really)!

To claim your special offer, simply follow these easy instructions:

  • Purchase and enroll in my Eat the Rainbow eCourse via this link here.
  • Email your receipt to support(at)deliciousobsessions(dot)com and we will send you a copy of the Gluten-Free Snacks eBook!
  • Sit back and enjoy your content AND your newfound health when you begin Eating the Rainbow. 🙂

Now, on to the transcript!

Read the Transcript:

Jessica Espinoza: Okay, we are live! Let me just double check on the 20 Dishes page and make sure that we actually are because we have been having some technical difficulties this morning.

Yes, we are live. Awesome! Cool.

Well, hello, everybody. It’s noon here in Denver, so good afternoon to everybody. Thanks for tuning in. This is the first edition of our Healthy Living TV series that we’re going to be doing here at 20 Dishes.

And so what this is going to be is, every month, I’m going to be interviewing a health expert on just a huge, wide variety of topics. You guys have been asking for more health-related information and we are kicking off the first episode today with my friend, Tami. She’s also a colleague. And we’re going to be talking about the microbiome.

So, before we get started if you’re new to 20 Dishes, or you don’t know who I am, my name is Jessica Espinoza. I’m a health coach. And I’m the co-founder of 20 Dishes. I’m really excited to do this series and give you guys some extra health info.

We’re very focused on nutrition and helping people eat real food over there, but there’s a lot more that goes into health than just what you put on your fork. So, we’re going to bring you some extra info.

So, we’re going to dive in and talk about the microbiome today. Some of you guys have probably heard about the microbiome. It’s kind of a buzz word now. And even mainstream media is picking up some of the microbiome stuff. You’ll occasionally see articles in pretty big publications about the importance of it.

So, Tami is our resident expert in the microbiome. We decided to talk to her today. I know you guys are going to love it.

Before we dive in, Tami, I want you to introduce yourself. Tell people a little bit about you and why you’re so passionate about the microbiome.

Tami Chu: I’m the founder of Organic Crumb’s Wellness and of the Organic Crumb’s Podcast which you can find on iTunes and any of the podcast apps that you want to look for it. And it’s on my website at OrganicCrumbs.com.

And I am a holistic nutritionist. I graduated almost a year and a half ago now with my master’s degree in holistic nutrition. And it was my second master’s degree because I’m kind of a crazy educator type…

Jessica: Wow!

Tami: Right? I know!

My first one was actually in education. So I was a teacher before I was a nutritionist. And then, I was a parent before I was a nutritionist. And actually, it was because my son was born with allergies that we didn’t know anything about. And within three weeks of his life, he was just covered in what they call “eczema.” He was head-to-toe. And so I was like, “There’s got to be something going on.”

And so, we spent the next probably three or four years just figuring out what his allergies were. And then, I spent the next two or three years after that just researching where allergies come from because we never had anything like that in my family.

And so, it just led to me going back to school because I kind of came to an end of where my resources were. I had to go seek out more. So here I am!

Jessica: Yeah! That’s perfect. It’s along the lines of what one of my instructors always says, “You teach what you need to know.”

That’s kind of where my story is too. I became interested in this certain thing because of my own healing journey. And then that’s what sparked the interest to go in a new direction. It sounds like the same for you. You have such a great background, but you already have a master’s in education. So you’re perfect to really be helping and educating people.

Tami: Well, I try. And it is definitely my passion. I mean, even when I went into nutrition, it was like, “I don’t need to go into the education nutrition. I need to get as much information as I can because I already know how to teach it.” I’ve got that covered. And so that has been my focus. It’s been about teaching people.

And honestly, it’s really funny because I think, now, my goal is to actually re-introduce people to themselves, and then give them the tools to nurture that relationship because that’s what nutrition is really all about.

Jessica: It’s a huge, huge thing.

Tami: Yeah! Yeah. And it’s interesting.

Jessica: And we always grow. We’re constantly evolving.

Tami: Yes! Absolutely, absolutely.

Jessica: Awesome! Well, you have the greatest background. So, let’s dive into the microbiome stuff.

So, let’s talk about first—we have kind of a wide range of people who are going to be tuning into this video. We’ve got a lot of very health-conscious, very well-educated people. But we also have a lot of people who are new to real food. They may have heard about the microbiome in passing, but they don’t really know what it is. So, can you talk a little bit about what it really is?

Tami: Yeah! Let’s see, starting with the kind of the basics.

We’ve always known that we kind of live with bacteria. We’ve always known that we live symbiotically with bacteria. But for the last probably 100 years, we kind of thought that we lived in competition with bacteria, so we’ve had this whole hygiene where we want to be ultra-clean and we do all these things.

But what they found about maybe 30 or so years ago is that we have a lot more bacteria that’s symbiotic, that’s important to live together with, that we are reliant upon than we originally thought.

And in the last 10 years, they’ve come up with—well, the testing has become more affordable. And so a lot more research has been done on what bacteria is in our gut and what bacteria is on our body.

And what we’re finding is that we actually, as humans, have about a hundred times more bacteria DNA-wise on our body than we have human DNA.

And so really, we’re a lot less human than we are bacteria in reality. And in terms of the number of bacteria to human cells, we actually have about 50/50. So I like to say that every time you have a bowel movement, you become a little bit more human.

Jessica: Awesome! We literally are a human petri dish.

Tami: We totally are!

And what’s interesting is if you think about the planet, the Earth planet, we have all these different ecosystems. And it’s the same in our body. Every part of our body is covered in bacteria. But they’re all different parts of bacteria, and everywhere is a different ecosystem.

So, we have a different ecosystem of bacteria on our palm than we have under our arms. And we have a different ecosystem in our mouth than we have in our eyes, in our ears, in our gut. We have, just as diverse as the planet, is our body for the bacteria that’s living on it and in it.

Jessica: Kind of a crazy thought when you really start thinking about it. We start looking at your skin saying, “Hmmm… there’s a bunch of stuff there.”

Tami: That’s true. And the more you dive into it, the more you’re like, “Oh, my gosh! It’s all related.”

So, when we go back to our gut, about 70% of our bacteria is in our gut, which is interesting because about 70% of our immune system is also based on our gut. And so when you think about what’s happening in our gut and how it’s really a second brain, then it’s really super interesting to start going into what kinds of bacteria, what lives there.

And it’s not just bacteria. The microbiome is actually the whole ecosystem of the gut. So you’re talking about fungi and viruses and all kinds of other living things that are in there. But a huge percentage of it is bacteria.

And that’s what we can test right now, so that’s what we’re focusing on. In the last 10 years, there’s been a tremendous, tremendous amount of research into the gut microbiome and finding out what it is and what’s there and what has changed and how our guts look different from indigenous tribes in Africa. So there are lots and lots of interesting information coming out about the gut microbiome.

Jessica: It’s crazy! You know, I started in the real food role back in 2009. And I had never even heard of the word “microbiome.” I knew nothing about gut health. People weren’t talking about that kind of stuff.

And then, it started exploding around 2011 or 2012. But then, just in the last three years, the amount of knowledge that we have about the microbiome now and the availability of testing and kind of really starting to look at each person’s individual microbiome and what can we do to help improve it—

Like you said, ultimately, our immune system is reliant on a healthy microbiome. And if we don’t have a healthy microbiome, we’re not going to have a healthy immune system.

Tami: Yeah, yeah. And actually, what they’re finding is that it’s not just—I mean, our immune system is all of it. But everything is based on the microbiome. They’re talking about brain diseases. They’re talking about neurological diseases. They’re talking about autoimmune function. They’re talking about the way that you sleep, your digestion. All of these things are related to your gut microbiome.

And it’s interesting. There’s a study that just came out in 2016, I think. It was a mouse study. But it’s related to humans. They were testing the microbiome to see if it was transferable to our children.

And so one of the things that they found was—and of course, they’re testing it with diets, high fiber diets versus low fiber diets (high fiber feeds the microbiome and lower fiber doesn’t). What they found was that after four generations of mice being fed a high fiber diet, the—

I’m sorry, I can see the…

Jessica: I know! I just saw a comment and I got distracted.

Tami: I know! It’s like, “Whoa! Is that a squirrel?”

Jessica: Squirrel, yes!

Tami: We’ll come back to that question.

But by the fourth generation of the high fiber diet, the mice were the same. So they were actually passing down the microbiome to each subsequent generation.

On the other side of the coin, you have the low fiber mice, and they lost a huge percentage of the abundance of diversity of their gut microbiome. And “abundance” is how much, “diversity” is how many different kinds of bacteria. They lost both abundance and diversity, each subsequent generation so that by the fourth generation, they had lost almost three-quarters of their microbiome. And they couldn't get it back by re-feeding it.

Jessica: Wow!

Tami: Yeah. And it’s scary.

So, what they actually did is they took it a step further, and they did a fecal microbial transplant. They took the fecal bacteria of the healthy mice, the full microbiome mice and gave it to the fourth generation mice that didn’t have it. And within two weeks, they looked the same.

So, there is hope!

Jessica: Oh, yeah! And I heard the fecal transplant stuff for C. Diff has been very successful. And I expect that—I’ve seen some researchers potentially use it for autoimmune disease and stuff like that just to help with that.

But you have to wonder, if we don’t change something now, at some point, we’re not going to have healthy people to even get the right microbiome from. So it’s almost kind of amazing that they can even find someone that has a healthy enough microbiome to even do the transplant. That’s pretty fascinating.

Tami: Right!

Jessica: I know people don’t like to talk about poop, but it’s a huge part of your…

Tami: It’s a huge part of it!

Jessica: Yes, and a very important part.

Tami: And when you do the testing, that’s what you’re testing. You’re actually getting a little sample of poop and you’re sending it in. So you have to be able to be okay with it a little bit to be able to test it.

And it’s interesting because we are in the United States. We’re fourth generation industrialized humans. And our recommendations for the amount of fiber that we’re supposed to be having is—I think it’s 36 grams of fiber for men and 32 or something like that. I could have the numbers wrong. That’s our recommended amounts of fiber. And what we’re actually eating is more like 8 – 14 grams of fiber per day.

And so we’re losing huge amounts of our microbiome with each subsequent generation. And we’re in the fourth generation. And so if you look at the mouse study and how much of our bacteria that we’ve lost, and then you compare it with indigenous tribes like the Hadza tribe in East Africa—

And East Africa is where scientists believe that human civilization started. So that’s kind of an important focal point for like “This is our original ancestry” kind of thing. These people are living as close to their ancestors as really anybody in the world is.

And so we’re out there testing their microbiomes. They’re going and finding their poop files and digging through.

But they’re finding that this tribe in East Africa has a huge, huge diversity and abundance of bacteria. And some of them, we’ve never even heard of because people have only been testing for 10 or 15 years. We don’t have those bacteria anymore.

So, it’s interesting…

Jessica: And the bacteria, it’s going to vary from culture to culture, right, depending on the environment that you’re in. So your East African tribe is going to be different than people in Russia and people here and people in South America.

Tami: Yeah, and depending on how much fiber you eat and what you’re exposed to in your environment.

So yeah, it’s going to be different, but we want to see more abundance and we want to see more diversity. So, if we’re just comparing the number of bacteria that they have compared to the number we have, it’s frightening. It really is. Even if we don’t have the same bacteria, we should have at least similar abundance to really be healthy.

And these are people who don’t have any of the common diseases in the western society that we have today.

Jessica: My internet froze there for a second.

Tami: Yeah, I lost you for a second.

Jessica: Okay! It’s like, “It figures!” My internet is always going to be—I live smack down in the middle of Denver, and for some reason, my internet likes to cause problems especially when we’re live.

Tami: Always! That’s always when it is.

Jessica: Well, this is totally fascinating. It’s a huge topic. I mean, we’re already 15 minutes in.

Tami: Gosh!

Jessica: I know we’re trying to keep these talks to about 30 minutes so that we don’t completely overwhelm people. We like little snapshots of info.

So, that’s a really great background info. And I think it’s a perfect segue way into talking about the things that we’re doing now that are harming our microbiome, what people can be aware of. And then, maybe we can transition into just some tips that are relatively easy for people to implement now without having to do a ton of work on things.

Tami: Perfect! So, I’ll do a really brief like the ways that we get our microbiome.

And obviously, the first way that we get it is through genetics. We get it from our parents, and particularly, from our moms. In a live birth, in a vaginal birth, we gather a whole bunch of this beautiful microbiome that we don’t like to talk about but is really, really key and important for the baby’s first exposure to bacteria.

And so the traveling through the birth canal is really important. That’s a huge gathering place for bacteria. And they have been finding some differences obviously in bacteria between c-section babies and vaginal birth babies.

So, that’s one of the first places. If you can have your baby vaginally, do it. If you have to have an emergency c-section, one of the things that I’ve seen some microbiologists actually doing is doing a vaginal swab and wiping the baby all over with birth canal bacteria. So that’s one way.

Breastfeeding is another one. We have something in our breastmilk called HMO’s—not like the insurance, but actually, it’s called human milk oligosaccharides.

And when formulas were being formulated, they left that out because they thought, “Well, we have no idea what that does. It doesn’t do anything. It’s just a wasted piece of whatever.”

And so what we found in the last 10 years is that these human milk oligosaccharides are very specific to feeding the baby’s gut microbiome. So it does nothing except feed that microbiome.

Jessica: So it’s pretty important!

Tami: Yeah! So breastfeeding for at least two years if you can, that’s another huge one. If you can’t, there’s actually breast milk that you can find through communities. So that’s another good way to get it.

Then again, the next big one is our food. Our microbiome starts changing as soon as babies start getting fed real food. And so the better the food that they’re getting, the better their microbiome is actually going to develop. So food is the big one.

And then, on and on into adulthood. They’ve done studies about how food can destroy your microbiome in just two weeks.

There was somebody who did a fast food diet, who did only McDonald’s for 10 days—don’t try this at home, please don’t try this at home—and within the first five days, his friends were saying he was already gray. So he had some complexion issues by the fifth day.

But by the 10th day, he had lost over 50% of his microbiome. And within a year after the experiment, he was still working to recoup the loss. So that’s…

Jessica: That is really “taking one for the team” in the name of science, to be willing to destroy your microbiome because he’s going to struggle to get that back.

Tami: Yeah, yeah. And he was in college. We kind of do a lot of things in college that…

Jessica: True! It’s important information, so I thank him for doing that. I guess there really is no other way to really test that kind of stuff. We can do animal tests but…

Tami: Right. Yeah! And most scientists won’t actually do it because it’s not ethical. You can’t. So, that’s another one.

And then, we get it from our pets, from the people that we live with. People who have lived together for a long time, you actually start to see similar microbiomes for them. And part of it is because they’re sharing food. But part of it is because they’re sharing their habitat. We transfer bacteria back and forth to each other. Our children are going to look very similar to us because of all the similar lifestyles that we have.

And then, the last one is dirt. Our soil microbiome is super, super important and super diverse. And so the more we actually get our hands in the dirt, and the more we actually eat food harvested fresh from the dirt, it’s actually feeding our gut microbiome as well.

Jessica: I was hoping you were going to talk about that. One of my favorite memes that goes around Facebook is pictures of little kids playing in mud puddles and just eating dirt and stuff like that. And it’s really, really important.

I’m thankful that I grew up in the mountains, and I was playing outside, and I was probably eating dirt and drinking muddy water.

We’re so over-sanitized. A lot of families, if their kid goes and jumps in a mud puddle, they want to clean them up and use antibacterial soap and all that stuff. It’s actually important to let your kids go play in the dirt—

And adults! That’s something I need to do. I need to go play in the dirt.

Tami: Yeah! Yeah, exactly. I mean, we used to do it because we would harvest and we would gather. We would dig in the dirt for our food. Even as we became more agricultural, we would grow things in the dirt, and so we’d still have to be digging in the dirt even as we’re working.

And we just don’t have that anymore—unless you’re gardening, and unless you’re gardening in good, organic soil and compost and all this great stuff. Even gardening today is a lot more sterile than it would’ve been even 50 years ago.

So, definitely important to get good organic dirt. And then, get the compost in there because that’s where all that bacteria is really thriving. The act of composting itself is a bacterial breakdown. And so there’s a lot of really good bacteria there too.

And then, growth stuff! Go grow stuff, and then eat it. Eating a carrot straight from the ground is going to give you bacteria that you can’t get buying a carrot in the store. It’s just, again, over-sanitized.

And then, to your point on the antibiotic hand soaps and antibacterial everything that we use, it’s horrible—horrible, horrible—for our microbiome. It really is. The less antibiotics that we use and the less antibacterial soaps and shampoos and all of these things, the better off we will be. So, we can get rid of those things. Those are big things.

Jessica: Yeah! We’ve been way too germ-phobic.

Tami: Yes, yes.

Jessica: And that’s myself, even me. I’m kind of overly germ-phobic. Sometimes, I’m like, “I don’t really need to sanitize that, do I?”

Tami: Right! You don’t most of the time. Unless you’re touching dead things and unless you’re around somebody who just sneezed on you or has pathogenic bacteria that you’re spreading, you really don’t have to do too much washing.

And we over-wash ourselves too. And so a lot of times, some of our skin issues come from over-washing the bacteria off of our skin.

And so it’s just this huge—I mean, there’s just definitely not enough time to touch on all of this stuff. But it’s this huge topic. And there are so many ways that we live today that we are just not paying attention to feeding ourselves well.

I like to tell people to think of their gut bacteria as pets. And the way that you would treat your pet is how you should treat your gut. Would you feed your pet badly? Would you let your pet go without food? Or chocolates for your dogs, would you feed your dogs chocolates? You know that’s bad for them. (But sometimes, chocolate is good for your gut.)

But feed your gut things that are good for it and things that will nourish it because there are little pets in there. And the better you treat them, the better they’re going to treat you. And so if you think of it as, “It’s not just me that I’m taking care of. It’s this whole colony. I’m a planet, and there’s this whole colony of little creatures that I’m nurturing,” then it can sometimes help people get out of that, “Well, I don’t care. It’s just me.” Think it’s like bigger than you. It’s much bigger than you.

Jessica: I love that analogy. I think that needs go on an image.

Tami: Alright! We can work on that.

Jessica: I love it! I think it’s great.

So, you touched on a few things that we can do. Is there anything else specifically that you recommend? So, we’ve got: you can go and play in the dirt, you can stop using the antibacterial soaps (that’s a huge one. If you do make no other changes than that one, then that’s a good place to start), and feeding your pets in your body. Love that!

So, what else could people do?

Tami: So, feeding your pets, one of the ways to do that is fiber. And they don’t know all of the ways that fiber feeds your gut, but they do know that fiber feeds your gut. And they know that it feeds more of the beneficial bacteria than the pathogenic bacteria because by the way, we also have e. Coli living in our gut, and we have Candida living in our gut. We have all these things. And if they’re in the right balance, we’re okay.

So, we want to feed the good bacteria as much as we can. And fiber is a big part of that.

I actually have a fiber chart that is on my website that we can talk about in a minute. But feeding your gut fiber is really, really important. And fiber is in like vegetables—especially vegetables, but also fruits. And root vegetables are a big place where you find it.

You can find that list. I’ll tell that in a second.

Another one is to drink spring water. Get away from city water if you can. If you can’t, get those filters because the chlorine and the fluoride in the water are hurting your gut, they actually are. Spring water also has its own bacteria. So it actually comes in and does these nice things to your gut as well—as long as it’s in balance. You don’t want to just go down the street and grab the water from the LA River or anything. You want to find those good spring sources.

FindaSpring.com is a good one. That has the whole United States. And I think that there are some other countries that are starting to add springs into FindaSpring.com. So that’s a good source to find spring water.

Orleatha, “LA River water, yum!” Don’t do it. Don’t try this at home.”

Resting is another big one. If you can figure out ways to sleep hack—and there are a lot of resources that you can find to help get better sleep. I actually did a podcast on sleep and how to hack your sleep to increase it.

And I talk about the gut microbiome in that podcast too because we need sleep. Our Circadian rhythm can throw off our gut microbiome, and that can lead into all kinds of other issues. So, sleep is another big one.

Get natural movement, ancestral movement. Movement has been shown to have positive effects on your gut microbiome—so natural movements as much as possible.

What’s another one?

Oh, focus on pre- and probiotics. So probiotics are like—squirrel!

Jessica: I see everybody’s questions. Keep piling them in there, and we can do a little Q&A at the end.

Tami: Totally!

Jessica: That way, we don’t totally lose our trains of thought.

Tami: Exactly!

So, prebiotics are the types of fibers that feed your gut microbiome specifically. And again, on my chart that I have on my website (that you can have for free) is a list of prebiotics.

And then, probiotics, we’ve all heard of them. A lot of us take them. And probiotics are not going to actually change your gut microbiome by colonizing it. They’re more like having your mom come to visit after you’ve moved out. She comes in and she brings food and she cleans. She takes care of all the things you wish was still taken care of. And then, she leaves. And so you’re better off than when you were before she came. But she doesn’t stay.

So, probiotics, you need to kind of have an influx of that constantly to keep things fresh and to keep things clean and to keep things—you know, all the extra food stored up.

So, pre- and probiotics are really important.

So, the other part is to check in with your ancestry. And this is a big one. Our ancestry tells us what our gut should be. If you look into your ancestry and look into the traditional foods and lifestyles that they would’ve had when they were healthier (about 150, 200, 300 or 400 years ago), and try and implement some of those things, try and get some of those traditional foods, you actually are going to do better for your gut than if you were just trying to eat what everybody is telling you is right for you (which may or may not be true).

Jessica: Mm-hmmm…

Tami:  So, I think those are—I mean, that’s kind of a long list right there. Start there!

Jessica: Yeah. No, that’s an awesome—awesome, awesome—list. And a lot of them are very doable for most people—with the soaps and if you can get outside and play in the dirt. I had no idea about the relationship between movement and your gut microbiome. That’s good to know. I think those are some great starting points for people.

Okay! Was there anything else that you wanted to talk about specifically?

Tami:                                            I think we can probably get into some questions if you want to go there.

Jessica: Okay! And just to note for people, like we said at the beginning, this is such a huge topic. We could probably talk for hours and hours about it. But if you guys want more information, we can do another one where we kind of dive into more deeper topics about it. Let us know! Leave us a comment down below. We will try to reschedule another interview with Tami so that she can educate some more.

Tami: Yeah!

Jessica: So a question from Megan: “Does this include disorders like mastocytosis?” which I know nothing about, so…

Tami: I don’t know a lot about mastocytosis either. But if it has anything to do with mast cells, then potentially yes.

The gut is your place where nutrients are released. Food has to go through the gut first to get everything else into the cells. And so if there’s anything related to cell, there’s potential—and I’m not going to say there’s any cures or anything like that—there’s potential for there to be some impact on pretty much any other disorder or disease.

Jessica: I was just going to say that. We could probably safely venture to say that any kind of chronic illness or even acute illness could be influenced and helped by having a healthier gut microbiome.

Tami: Right!

Jessica: Okay, cool! So, let’s see. Orleatha’s kids are out playing in the mud right now.

Tami: Yeah!

Jessica: That’s awesome.

Paul has a son that comes in every day from playing outside in the dirt. That’s great. So we’ve got some people who are playing in the dirt.

Tami: Perfect! Let them keep doing it.

Jessica: Yay!

The bottled spring water. I’m assuming that Megan is referring to just this spring water you buy at the store. I’m assuming that that’s not really the same.

Tami: Well, right. Most of the time, the bottled spring water, you have to check sources. If it’s Nestle, it’s probably not. Second, if it’s in plastic, you’ve pretty much lost all of the benefits because the plastic has leeched chemicals into your water that are endocrine-disrupting. It’s really pointless to buy water in plastic at all.

There are some companies—there’s one. I was trying to think of the name of it. Mountain Valley is one of them that I actually buy because I can’t—my nearest spring is 45 minutes away driving. We have to park on the side of the freeway, and then hike three miles in to get water, and then three miles out…

Jessica: …hauling water.

Tami:  …hauling water, five-gallon buckets over your shoulder, and then hop on the freeway again.

So, we do not get local spring water, so I do buy it. I buy Mountain Valley. And it’s in glass bottles. And you can taste the difference.

I have a hard time. I mean, I’m a super taster too, but not everybody can. My kids can’t taste the difference. They don’t care. But there is a difference. And sometimes, you can taste kind of that living feeling in the water. So yeah…

Jessica: Okay! Snoring, Orleatha wants to talk about snoring.

Tami: Let’s do it!

Jessica: So, microbiome in relation to snoring…

Tami: Not sure if you’ll have a difference there. Although I have heard that snoring is related to some potential illnesses, so you know… I mean, my husband is a snorer too, and I’m like, “It’s inflammation, honey. It’s inflammation.”

Jessica: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tami: I know! He like rolls his eyes and puts his mask on. So, potentially, potentially…

Jessica: Oh, that’s funny.

Okay! “How do you store the spring water if you do find a local spring?” That’s a really good question.

Tami: So, I recommend—you can actually buy the five-gallon glass jars. And it is kind of a pain to lug them in and out the springs because, a lot of times, the springs are half a mile in, two miles in, whatever. And so you’ve got to kind of figure out how you want to lug them out.

But you can also do like a moby wrap around your back to carry them in and out. Carry it like a baby on your back.

So, yeah, glass jars are the best. Unless you live super close to a spring, you’re not going to be able to really store for much longer than a week or two, and so you should be fine in glass bottles at that point. And then, chill if you want to and drink the rest.

Jessica: And that’s your ancestral movement right there for the day—lugging water. That’s exactly what we used to have to do.

Tami: Yes, exactly! We used to have to carry water every day. And that’s why we all lived near water which we don’t have to do anymore. So yeah, that’s a big deal.

Jessica: Awesome! Let’s see… Megan needs a little bit more information related to MCAD, mast cell activation disease.

Tami: I mean, I don’t think you’re necessarily going to find curative anything with the gut microbiome. I’d have to do so more research on it because there may be some other things going on with dietary restrictions. You just have to be really careful about making sure that what you’re feeding your body is right for your body.

A blanket “just go eat fiber” is with a caveat, make sure it’s the right fiber for you.

Jessica: Right, yeah.

I think that’s the end of the questions. If anybody else leaves questions, then one of us will come back to the replay and we can answer. So please feel free to leave questions down below. And if I don’t know the answer, I will ask Tami the answer.

Tami: If I don’t know, we’ll find it for you.

Jessica: She’s awesome like that.

We’ll go ahead and wrap up. We’re at five minutes over which is pretty impressive considering how huge this topic is.

Tami: Okay…

Jessica: So, tell people where they can find you. And I’ll also include links down in the video description below when we get done.

And I think you have a freebie for everybody, right?

Tami: Yes. So, I have two websites. One is TamiChu.com (which is pretty easy, just my name dot-com). It’s being redone right now, so it’s not super pretty right now. But there is a pop-up. If you plug in your email, it’ll take you to a download and you can get the gut feeding chart.

And basically, it’s a list, and it’s broken up by types of foods. I actually have the nightshades separate from legumes, separate from—I can’t remember, it’s all different. They’re all different so that if you have restrictions in your diet, you can look at just the section that’s for you.

And then, I also have a section on prebiotics. You can kind of focus on prebiotics and get those into your diet as much as you can.

And that is at TamiChu.com.

And then, my other website is OrganicCrumbs.com. That is where my podcast is housed. So if you want to go check that out, I’m going to be blogging a little bit more in the next couple of months. I don’t blog very much, but there will be some things there.

And you can find me at OrganicCrumbsWellness on Facebook. I’m very active on that page. And so questions, I love answering questions. If you have questions, that’s great, love it!

Jessica: Yay! Well, hopefully, we’ll get some new readers and stuff to check out your information. Your podcast is awesome. So that’s great.

Tami: Thank you.

Jessica: And I have a feeling that I will have you back on this series anyways.

Tami: Yay!

Jessica: You have so much information that I appreciate. And you’re fun to talk to.

Tami: Oh, thank you. And you’re going to be on my podcast too. You promised.

Jessica: Yay! I know, I know. We were supposed to do that? December.

Tami: It’ll happen.

Jessica: Life got in the way.

Tami: Yes, yes.

Jessica: It’ll be awesome! Very cool.

Well, thank you, Tami, for being here with us today. And thank you, everybody else, for tuning in and watching. Hopefully, it was helpful.

And like I said, this is going to be an ongoing series. So if you have a health expert that you’d like to see me interview, then leave me a name or send us a message or whatever. Let me know and I’ll reach out to them and see if they want to come on.

And then, if you have topics that you guys are interested in, specific things that we can do to help you and your health journey, let us know as well. We want to customize this information to really be as beneficial to you as possible.

So, leave us questions down below. We really appreciate you guys tuning in. I will see you guys again soon! Bye, everybody.


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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food wellness educator and the founder of the Delicious Obsessions website. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. She began helping her mother cook and bake around the age of three and she's been in the kitchen ever since, including working in a restaurant in her hometown for almost a decade, where she worked every position before finally becoming the lead chef. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

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