Listen to the podcast audio here: Chronic Fatigue <===Click
Welcome to the Be Well Buzz podcast. This is nutritionist Shawn Stevenson. Today’s podcast is all about what to do if you have low energy or conditions that are under the umbrella of what’s known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Now Chronic Fatigue is something that’s sweeping the nation right now. It’s actually a worldwide thing. We’re all exposed to so many environmental stressors. We need to have strategies in place to help us to buffer all these different stressors and to have the energy and vitality that we truly need. What I’m going to do today is to give you some powerful insights that are going to give you some leverage to get out of the chronic fatigue and into having more energy and vitality every single day.
The first thing to understand is that when you get diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, this is what’s known as an idiopathic condition. In the medical community what idiopathic means is that there is no origin. They don’t know why you’re experiencing this. If you break the word idiopathic down, this is from the Greek “idios,” which means one’s own, and “pathos,” which means suffering. So this literally means one’s own suffering.
This is simply not a true statement. This isn’t something that you’re just subject to and that you have to deal with because a medical professional can’t help to address the underlying root cause of why you’re feeling this way. Now what makes it so difficult is that there is no diagnostic laboratory test or biomarker for having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It’s literally how you feel. It’s going on within you. It’s how you’re feeling. It’s not something that can be shown on a test. It’s very intimate, and it’s very real to individuals who don’t have the energy that they want to have.
In my experience in working with thousands of clients, this is something that I’ve seen a tremendous amount of times. It’s usually related to an underlying cause or illness because fatigue is directly linked to an illness. It’s directly linked to having a virus load or a disorder of some type. Fatigue is a symptom. Oftentimes certain conditions, underlying root causes are not able to be seen on these so called advanced diagnostic tests, but you know within yourself that your energy is supposed to be a lot higher than it is.
We’re going to get into really how to address this at its root cause. What we’ve done is, we’re going to split this up into three parts. Today is part one, because it is such a powerful and important topic, because we need you to have the energy that you need to give your gifts and talents. If you’re lacking in energy, you’re simply not going to be creating and doing the things that you’re here to do.
Let’s get started with the first part of the topic. What I’m going to explain to you and share with you is where does energy in your body actually come from. This is the most important question to ask, and most times people never ask this question. Get your notebooks ready.
Number one: approximately 90 percent of your energy is produced by the mitochondria in your cells. The mitochondria are like little energy powerhouses or little nuclear power plants within the cells of your body. You have upwards of 100 trillion cells that make up that amazing human organism known as you. Within each one of your cells, there is a plethora of mitchondria. There isn’t just one power plant in each cell. It depends on which organ it is, which tissue it is, which cell it is, that will disclose how many mitochondria are available.
Now what mitochondria actually do is to generate most of your cell supply of adenosine triphosphate. You can call it ATP. ATP is used as a source of chemical energy. ATP is your body’s energy currency; it’s the transaction method for you experiencing the energy that you have.
Again, if you didn’t write this down and take note of this, it’s 90 percent of your energy is generated by the mitochondria. It’s very important. If there is a disbalance within the cellular environment, this is the root cause of having issues like Chronic Fatigue showing up. It’s the environment. The body’s ecology itself is disoriented or out of balance. What we need to do is look at getting it back in balance and the things that make the mitochondria work at its optimal level.
Now to understand how this happens, you have to understand what the mitochondria actually are. Here’s the big secret. The mitchondria are actually bacteria. That’s right. You heard me correctly. The ability for you to experience energy is a direct relationship to bacteria in your body that are literally generating 90 percent of the energy you have.
Now, that’s mindblowing. Literally we can’t fathom an idea like that, that you have upwards of 100 trillion cells, but you have four times more bacteria than you have human cells or the cells that you know as you. Bacteria are literally the source of all the energy that you get to experience. With you now having this information in your hands, you can really leverage this in understanding that we want to have an optimal balance of healthy, friendly flora and good bacteria in our system.
This is where things like fermented foods and beverages have been so valued by our ancestors. You can look at just about any ancestral culture and see that there was some kind of an indigenous fermented beverage or food that’s a staple in the diet, because they knew that it was so important for your overall health and energy, and to be able to be a part of the community and to perform. To do the farming and the hunting and the gathering, you got to have energy. These fermented foods are a big key of that.
Start now. If you’re dealing with an issue with energy, you’ve got to make it a daily ritual to incorporate some healthy, friendly flora into your diet. We can implement some different probiotics absolutely, but I really like to go with the whole food because with a probiotic, what you’re getting is the probiotic without the prebiotic or the substrate, so you’re not getting the whole picture, the whole food itself. Adding in things like kefir, you know you can make coconut kefir, milk kefir. Getting on things like kombucha is a fantastic thing, and it’s really sweeping the nation. I really like kefir a lot better though.
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso soup–there’s so many different ways of getting fermented foods into your body. Another one often utilized by so many cultures are things like sour milk and yogurts. Even today we can make things like different almond yogurts and things of that nature. Just getting these friendly bacteria into your body helps to create the proper environment for the mitochondria to even function in the first place. It’s so important.
Now if we’re going the probiotic route, if somebody is dealing with a pretty significant issue and they need to get the “pro,” meaning for, and “biotic” means life–that’s how important they are–to get these back in their system if maybe they had a run-in with some antibiotics. They had an infection of some sort and they couldn’t find a natural approach, you got to get the good guys back in the position, or the bad guys are going to take over your body.
Oftentimes when people are dealing with low energy, they’re actually dealing with an energetic of lower level bacteria, viruses, funguses, that are running their ship. We want to gently get rid of those guys, and get the good guys back in. This is why lactic acids and acidophilus, things that are friendly and have a great symbiotic relationship with the human body, are so critical. Make that a daily ritual to add in some fermented foods. Have a little bit of sauerkraut with your meal. Have a little bit of kimchi. Have some kefir every now and then or even add them to your shakes. As a base to your smoothie, you can add a splash of kefir in there. Great, powerful ways of getting these things into your body.
Next what I want to share with you is an even more powerful understanding on what makes these mitchondria up, and how to leverage this for your benefit to your energy and your health. Mitochondria actually contain an inner and outer cell membrane that’s comprised of phospholipid bilayers and proteins. What that means is, these phospholipid bilayers are what actually allows the goodies to get into your cells and produce energy and the toxins and byproducts to get out of your cells and to eliminate the block and the flow of energy production.
This is why essential fatty acids are so important to our health and avoiding oxidized poor fats that really block and clog up our system. It can actually be deadly. The initial symptoms will be things like extreme fatigue. So we want to avoid like the plague oxidized fatty acids. Things like cooked omega-6 fats are “vegetable oils” that have been heated. Those omega-6 oils are very heat volatile. When you cook them, they become very dangerous. They oxidize. When you put that into your body, your body has to incorporate them, and what it does it block up the receptor sites. Instead of having these healthy, clean essential fatty acids, we have these coagulated, really nasty fatty acids clogging up those spaces.
We want to avoid, obviously, fried food, which is completely ridiculous. In our culture we’re actually eating fried Twinkies, which, a Twinkie is trans fat in and of itself, then we cook it in trans fat. But that’s a whole nother subject. We want to avoid fried foods.
We want to avoid cooking our vegetable oils – even like olive oil. This is why olive oil is bottled in dark glass, because it’s extremely sensitive even to light. We want to be aware of this, that olive oil is traditionally used as a salad dressing or something that’s splashed on bread, and it’s added as a condiment. It’s not used as much in cooking unless it’s very, very low heat. We want to be extra careful with our vegetable-based oils and plant oils.
For cooking we want to make sure that we’re using something with high saturation. This is where something like coconut oil is incredibly important if you are dealing with chronic fatigue. Now here’s a big time secret that you’re getting access to. Medium chain essential fatty acids that are uniquely found in coconut oil can actually penetrate the mitochondria’s double membrane that we talked about without the assistance of insulin. We’ll talk about the effects of insulin and how important this is to dealing with fatigue in an upcoming podcast.
But just understand this very clearly, coconut oil can actually penetrate right through that cell wall and provide fuel for your cells. It’s literally that powerful. Adding in some coconut oil is going to be so helpful to you. It’s just one of those things that you can add in as a daily practice. Literally you can use it as a tonic. Just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil even though… I didn’t say it tastes amazing, but have it with a little bit of sea salt and chew it. Make sure that it mixes really well with your saliva, and it can help to break down some of the lipase. It’s an instant energy booster.
Doing that practice or adding coconut oil to your shakes and making your different salad dressings with it, adding it to shakes–super powerful stuff. Coconut oil can be the thing that does it for you. Not for everyone. Some people their liver isn’t as friendly with coconut oil. Some people it’s the thing that really turns on that energy for them. Give it a try, be consistent with it, and pay attention to how you feel.
Some of the other very valuable essential fatty acids are going to come from sources like chia seeds. I absolutely love chia seeds. What an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds can be valuable, and borage oil, which is also known as starflower.
If you’re doing vegetarian sources and not just vegan, then you can do raw milk, which is incredibly rich in CLA, which is conjugated linoleic acid. This is a powerful anticarcinogen. That’s another great source. Raw butter, ghee. Ghee’s history as far as being a great source of energy, health, vitality, beauty is very storied, especially in the ayurvedic tradition. It’s a healing food; it’s a tonic; it’s a medicine. It’s very, very valuable to look into. That high saturation again, those are the valuable things for our cell membranes.
Also you can look to things like fish oil. Fish oil is incredibly valuable. 99 percent of the studies that are done on omega-3’s and have benefits to human health, they use fish oil. People really need to understand that. All the omega-3s are not created equally. We need to really take a good look at that and understand that fish oil is the one that stacks up with the science. We want to make sure we’re getting an excellent source of fish oil and not just any random stuff at any kind of supermarket. We want to get the good stuff that has the studies and the science to back it up. If you want to get a little bit lower on the food chain and avoid the whole fish thing, then you want to look to krill oil. Krill is just a microscopic shrimp, and it’s incredibly rich in astaxanthin. Krill is really sweeping the health community because it’s such a valuable source of omega-3 fats. Krill is the reason that salmon have their beautiful color, and they’re able to actually go upstream, against all the power of nature, and make it to their destination because they are fueled on krill oil, so krill is another valuable source.
Marine phytoplankton, which is the only source that I’m aware of that has pure ATP right there in it. That’s instant cellular energy. It doesn’t have to go through a conversion process. It gives you instant energy right to your cells. If you haven’t used marine phytoplankton before, that might be something to look into.
Then, of course, the traditional flax seed oil, as I mentioned, hemp, you can also do the hemp seed oil. These are all excellent sources to look into. And make sure that you’re consistently, adamantly using these things each day and avoiding the unhealthy fats, because you can take all of the krill oil you want, all the coconut oil you want; if your body’s receptor sites are blocked with oxidized, rancid oils, even rancid flax seed oil, for example, you’re going to have a problem and you’re not going to get to experience the benefits. We want to avoid the things causing the problem and do the things that make things better.
One more tip that I want to share with you that you’ll only get here on Bee Well Buzz is that there’s a structure in the mitochondria called the matrix, and it contains about two-thirds of the total protein in the mitochondria. The matrix is actually critical in the production of ATP. The matrix contains a highly concentrated mixture of literally hundreds, if not thousands, of enzymes, and also transfer factors, RNA . It’s literally a hub of all the things that make the magic happen for you to experience energy. As mentioned before, that’s what makes up the inner and outer cell membrane, is the phospholipid bilayer and the proteins. These proteins are like little channels, and we need to make sure that we’re getting the proper building blocks in to create truly healthy mitochondria. The protein aspect is what we’re going to get into in the next podcast.
To wrap things up I’m going to share with you one more important nugget, and something that you can start on right away. The energy conversion by the mitochondria is dependent completely upon the process that’s known as aerobic respiration, or it’s also called cellular respiration. This process is completely dependent on the presence of oxygen, so just breathing literally generates more energy currency in the body. Now, right now, check your breathing. Are you breathing shallow? Most people are. We don’t even know how to breathe anymore. It’s a protective mechanism because of the stress, because of the impurity of the air, and it’s usually because we’re indoors all day.
Something that you can start right now, if you’re serious about getting your energy levels up, is every day getting outdoors, getting in the fresh air, no matter what the temperature is, no matter how cold or hot, taking some time in nature and just breathing deeply, really getting that good oxygen into your system, and allowing your body to generate more energy. It’s as simple as that, but these are things that we usually don’t do because we’re programmed to be indoors all day, sitting in our little cubes, looking at a box, typing away and missing out on the things that are most important.
You’ve got the science here. I want to wrap up with the things that we’ve covered today. Number one, be adamant about incorporating true, living foods into your diet. Those living foods are fermented foods. Those are live foods. Those foods literally have active cultures, active bacteria, that are producing life. You want to be adamant about adding those in.
Also, avoid antibiotic substances, the things that wipe those good, friendly bacteria out of your system. Provide yourself sufficient oxygen through fresh air and aerobic exercise out in the fresh air every day. Just walking and deep breathing, taking some time to breathe deeply and allow your body to instantly generate more ATP. Avoid oxidized fats and rancid oils, and every day incorporate clean, bioavailable, healthy fat sources.