Have you ever gone to the doctor and had them whip out their prescription pad after just a few minutes and then send you on your way? My guess is the answer is yes, because in this day and age of modern medicine, that’s pretty much the normal protocol. It’s kind of infuriating, especially when they hardly ask any questions, nor do they even give you a chance to question the diagnosis.

Honestly, it’s why I’m not a big fan of traditional medicine and why I always recommend looking for a functional doctor who’s committed to looking at the big picture and your health as a whole.  

In this post, you’ll read my interview with Risa, who had an experience very much like the one I just described. It led her down the path of functional nutrition and into a career of helping people heal their bodies through nutrition.

She’s got a ton of insight to share, and I can’t wait for you to dig in.

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Without further ado, here’s my interview with Risa.

Ruth: Hi, Risa. Thanks so much for being here today. 

Risa: Thank you for having me, Ruth. It’s awesome to be here.  

Ruth: So I would just love to start by hearing a little bit about you, who you are, what you do, and then let’s go from there. 

Risa: Sounds good. So I am a functional nutritionist, which means I’ve been trained in functional medicine.

I’m a freak about reading labs. I’m not really good at playing darts with the lights off and I cannot see the target. I’m always looking for root causes. I’m also looking for prevention. We’re trying to prevent disease before it already happens because you know, that’s what conventional medicine does.

We normally wait until you’re in full blown disease until we help you. But we don’t do that. I don’t do that in my office. And we consider the whole body one interconnected unit. So that’s what I do. I’ve been doing that for decades in my office and I absolutely love watching people heal. 

I pretty much always had a passion for nutrition and natural health, as long as I can remember.

I grew up in a house where my mom was constantly on a diet, trying to lose five or 10 pounds, just constantly having a bad relationship with food. You know, some foods are good. Some foods are bad. It just was not a very good paradigm for a girl to grow up with. And my grandma was doing the same thing. And she would tell me she’s going to the fat farm every year.

I later found out it was Canyon ranch, but it was just this relationship with food and your identity. So I really wanted to break that and I really dove in once my kids were born. I was reading every single book on nutrition and went back to school and became a clinical nutritionist and then found functional medicine. In the time I was going through that, I was diagnosed.

I had my first pregnancy after we got married. In 10 minutes we were like, pregnant. We wanted to get pregnant? Done. We got pregnant.  It was like, no problem. I had an easy pregnancy. Everything was great. And then when we started trying for the second, a few years later, we just could not conceive.

And then when I did conceive, I would lose the baby. So I had a few miscarriages and it was super frustrating. I was like, what’s wrong with my body? I did everything. You name it. I did it. And then I went to a fertility specialist. And he took some blood and said, “You’ve got an underachieving thyroid. Here’s a prescription.”

And I’m like, “what’s the script for?” And he’s like, “Well, thyroid hormone.”

I’m like, “well, you know, how long do I take this for?” 

And he’s like, “well, every day.” 

And I go, “no, no, no. For how long?” 

And he goes, “Oh, for the rest of your life.” 

It was that moment I walked out of that office and I thought, “Why am I taking a synthetic medication for something I was born to make? And why is the doctor not looking at why I’m not making it?” I just couldn’t understand that. I just couldn’t. I still to this day, I’m not understanding why. And that’s always their solution. 

Ruth: Oh, don’t even get me started on that. Yeah. There’s a pill for that. 

Risa: So I was like, that’s not going to work for me.

And I just kept diving in, and it turned out I had MTHFR, the gene mutation that’s super common. I test everybody for it. I took some B vitamins and I ended up getting pregnant. Shortly after my son was born, I went to a naturopathic doctor and they finally tested my antibodies.

And it turned out I was now diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and I’m like, “What? What is happening to my body?” That’s where I took a deep dive. I never found anything that listed root causes. So I just started to investigate. It took me probably close to 10 years to figure out every root cause that would be possible.

Of course, I had pretty much all of them and it took me a while to go through them and to test for them and then reverse them. It was a very long, painful process but I learned a lot. I was in nutrition school at the time. And so I ended up implementing so much of that in my office and now I’ve been able to reverse my Hashimoto’s.

Ruth: Wow. That’s amazing. Okay. So there’s a couple of things I want to dive into from what you said. First of all, what was the gene mutation you mentioned? 

Risa: It’s called MTHFR. Just think of what you would say to somebody who cut you off on the freeway.  So everybody gets that, right? 

It’s very, very common. The statistics are that 50 to 90 percent of the population has it, but I test every single person I work with. And I would tell you at least 90 percent of the population has it. It’s a mutation that basically means you’re not able to methylate or process either your B12  and/ or your folate, your B9. So you have to get them from exogenous sources. You will not be able to process them. Even if you eat a ton of leafy greens and you’re getting folate.

Or you’re eating a ton of animal protein and getting B12. You’re not able to digest it. You’re not able to process it and absorb it. So when we have MTHFR, there are several symptoms, you know, headaches and migraines, anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, autism, bipolar, schizophrenia, but infertility and miscarriages are two very common symptoms.

I didn’t have any other symptoms.  I find teenagers and early twenties will come into my office with a lot of anxiety and we give them some B vitamins. We changed the diet a little bit and off they go. Like the anxiety is gone. 

Ruth: Amazing. So all of this stuff was happening behind the scenes with you personally, while you were also studying nutrition, probably eating really well, eating all the right things, doing all the right things. So I’m curious, you started down the traditional nutritionist path, right? And then you switched more to the functional. What was the difference between those two things? 

Risa: Well, there’s a difference between a dietician who’s really doing more of the government pyramid. They’re a little bit more focused on low fat and portion control. And, you know, you can have a little bit of Coke, but not that much. And I do not subscribe to that. I believe that it’s not about moderation. I mean, when I first started my practice, I was like, “okay, everybody’s on the same food plan, this anti inflammatory food plan. 

And some people were just absolutely thriving. Their symptoms were going away. They were losing weight. They were feeling amazing. We could see it in their blood work. 

And then other people are like, I am bloated. I don’t feel well. My stomach’s not good. So I realized, it took me a while to realize, but I created what’s now my methodology called Food Frame that everybody should be eating according to their current health status.

Because if you have IBS or you have SIBO, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, and somebody else doesn’t, the person who doesn’t have SIBO can eat all the onions and garlic they want. They’re not going to have any issues. But somebody with SIBO who’s eating onions and garlic is going to feel horrible.

And we’re going to continue to feed that. If somebody has autoimmunity, if they’re just diagnosed with autoimmunity or they’re in major pain with autoimmunity, then I’m going to, after I detox them, I’m going to put them on the AIP protocol, the autoimmune protocol. And then, you know, we jump on different diet types after that because we want to maintain that.

But when you have autoimmunity, you have a fire in the basement, a raging fire. So you go to the doctor and they’re like, oh, here’s a squirt gun.  

That’s not going to help me. So we need to get the fire out. 

Ruth: Right. So what percentage of the population currently has some form of auto immunity issue?

Risa: It is growing. There are 50 million Americans, 50 million Americans, mostly women, but men too. And it’s growing. We’re seeing more autoimmunity and we’re going to because one of the major contributors, a third of it, is genetics.  And another major contributor is leaky gut.  We only have one layer of epithelial cells in our intestinal lining, so it’s very, very fragile.

And when we are exposed to all these chemicals, tons and tons and tons of chemicals and more, we’re getting, you know, right now the FDA has approved 86,000 chemicals for us to use, eat, put on our skin, breathe. It’s crazy. 

And then with the foods that we’re eating and the glyphosate that is in the conventional produce that we’re having, it’s all these things that are happening.

And then of course, MTHFR is a root cause and low vitamin D could be a root cause and viruses and pathogens. Throw in a very traumatic emotional event or pregnancy, and if you’re not taking care of your gut, you’re susceptible to autoimmunity.

We’re seeing much more of it in younger kids. I see younger people with autoimmunity. It just, it just breaks my heart. But then when you realize what is in our food and all of the stuff that we’re eating, it’s not even that surprising anymore. Nothing surprises me when you really start to dig into it.

Ruth: On top of that, the pharmaceutical company is pumping us just full of more medications and more chemicals and all it’s… I don’t know how you feel about this, but the more I learn about it, the angrier it makes me, but also I just go, why? Why is this what we’re talking about right now?

Why is this considered alternative, right? Like, how is it that we’re talking about just…. eat the right things, right? Fuel your body with the food that’s going to heal you. And somehow that’s counterculture. It’s counterculture to be talking about not wanting to fill our bodies with chemicals.

I’m baffled by that. And yet at the same time, it makes me so infuriated. And then when you talk even about your experience with the doctor, like that’s the solution. Let’s go to the doctor. And fill our bodies with more drugs. And it makes me… it makes me crazy. I’m sure you get it.

Risa: Clearly it makes you crazy too. It’s not a wellness paradigm. It’s a sickness management paradigm. And the food that we eat absolutely can be our greatest form of medicine or our greatest form of poison. I mean, we should be screaming from the rooftops and to other countries: Do not allow your citizens to eat these foods.

It’s just  that we are okay with poisoning ourselves because it’s good for business. And there are several people at the top who are making an absolute obscene amount of money and this is okay.  It’s crazy. 

Ruth: And money talks, right? Who’s the biggest advertisers, who are the biggest lobbyists out there? Like you follow the money trail and it’s right there. 70 percent of commercials on television, 70 percent, are pharmaceuticals.  That’s disgusting. 

Risa: It really is. And we’re probably one of the only countries that even allows pharmaceuticals to advertise. 

Ruth: Yeah. It makes me crazy. Okay. So let’s talk a little bit more about autoimmune specifically, because I think that’s a word that comes up a lot, right? And yet I think there’s a lot of misconceptions that happen. So what are some of those biggest misconceptions that happen in regards to autoimmune disease that you’ve encountered. 

Risa: Hey, one of them is you can’t reverse it.  You know, you just have to manage it. Now there are some that you cannot reverse.

But I’ve seen amazing, incredible things that I could not even anticipate in my office. So I never say never. I’m working with somebody right now as an example and she came to see me, in her late thirties, has three young kids, very, very busy, travels a bit.

And she is really trying to juggle all of that. She doesn’t sleep very much. And she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She came to see me and she was like at a level eight to 10 in pain every single day, debilitating pain, can’t function. She’s just in major pain and gets through her day that way and exhausted all the time.

So we did my typical testing. We did a pretty comprehensive bio screen and we found out what was going on with her. Autoimmunity is inflammation, right? It’s just a tremendous amount of inflammation and she had some leaky gut.

I put her on AIP after I detoxed her and I just spoke to her last  week and she said I have like zero pain every day. She’s at a 0. 5 to a level 2 only in her fingers and it stops when she gets out of bed. I mean, it’s almost like a miracle. 

I didn’t give her any medication. I just, you know, I gave her a fire hose to get the inflammation out and she’s been eating very differently than she used to. We haven’t done any testing to see if she’s still having antibodies, but chances are she’ll probably have that for a long time, but I always look for the root cause.

So she’s been able to reverse rheumatoid arthritis.

Colitis is a big one that people can’t leave the house before 11 o’clock in the morning. They are in major pain and it’s horrible. It’s horrible what they go through and they just can’t leave the toilet until it’s safe. Around, you know, late morning.

So I’ve been able to see that managed without medication. And  I’ve seen amazing things. I worked with a doctor who’s a surgeon years ago. And it was funny. I’ve worked with the whole family. And finally the wife said, I think my husband is ready to come see you. I’m like, really? So we worked together for my 12 sessions and at the end, he said, I have to tell you something.

And I said, sure, what is it? He said, I didn’t mention this to you before, but two years ago, I started wearing hearing aids and he was in his mid fifties. And I said, oh, you never mentioned that. And he said, I just went to the audiologist when I was in the hospital. And the audiologist said, I don’t know what you’re doing, but you do not need any hearing aids at all.

Ruth: Wow. 

Risa: Right. And I looked at him and I had an idea what I thought it was, but I wanted to hear it from him. I go, what do you think? And he said, it’s gotta be systemic inflammation because we marked it. You know, we’ve found massive amounts of systemic inflammation, which nobody tests for.

And so we got rid of that and his hearing came back. 

Ruth: Okay. That’s insane. 

Risa: Yeah. Because they always tell you that it’s irreversible, any sort of hearing damage, right? 

Ruth: Oh, that’s amazing. So let’s go back a little bit. Cause you said the first example that you gave, the woman with rheumatoid arthritis, what was she eating before? And what did that look like? Like specifically? 

Risa: Yeah. So she was eating corn and processed foods like honey baked ham and a lot of chips. Sort of convenience foods, the typical American diet.  Lots of dairy and gluten. I’ll always ask people when they come to see me, when they’re diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, did your doctor tell you anything about your diet?


So they don’t change anything. 

And gluten is really an offender. Pulling apart those intestinal linings and fissures, you know, the tight junction. So it promotes leaky gut. So we absolutely do away with gluten and typically dairy as well. Just all the inflammatory properties of food. 

Ruth: And how long does it take? Like how long was it for her? 

Risa: Everybody’s different. So when I spoke to her, she was on like day 84 of the AIP protocol. I always encourage people do it for 90 days.

It’s very strict, but it isn’t for life. You know it’s not a lifelong death sentence, right? It’s just getting the fire hose out. It’s healing your body.  It’s a gift you’re giving yourself and it’s inconvenient, but if you feel amazing and you’re jumping out of bed with great energy… she’s like, “Oh my God,” and she’s lost all this weight.

And she’s like, I can’t believe it. She’s a different person. So what a reward that is, right? I would do anything for that, right?  Most people will. So anyway, 90 days is what we typically see. You know, I worked with somebody who had Tourette’s and when she went on AIP, the Tourette’s went away.

Ruth: Just crazy. That’s insane. 

Risa: Yeah. It’s amazing. 

Ruth: I think that’s what people don’t get: it’s all connected. Our program is primarily marketed as a weight loss program. But I always say it’s not just weight loss.  It’s a lifestyle because your whole body is connected and you’re not even really focused on losing weight.

You’re focused on healing your body because when you do that, the weight loss just happens. Your body wants to be at a healthy weight. Like that’s what happens when you can balance your hormones and heal your gut and do all of this other stuff. The weight is just a side effect and all the other side effects are the things that you’re going to notice.

Risa: So it’s just so crazy to me that we live in this world that is filling us with poison constantly. And then we wonder why we feel like crap and we look like crap and why there’s an open obesity epidemic and all of these things.

Ruth: Weight loss is a side effect to wellness. 

Risa: Exactly. You put beads in the jar in my office and we lose tons, I mean tons of weight. But it isn’t about weight loss. It’s just that reward, it’s the side effect of wellness. There’s a few major reasons why we do not lose weight. One is blood sugar dysregulation,  two is thyroid dysregulation,  three is cortisol dysregulation, that’s our stress hormone, and four is other hormone dysregulation, and the fifth one is an overload of toxins, because toxins live in fat cells, that’s why we lose weight when you do my detox for two weeks.

If I can say one thing to your readers, it’s, if there’s a fire in the basement, whether it’s autoimmunity or something else, looking to lose weight is like asking somebody on the second floor to help you change the light bulb.

You know, you wanted to lose weight, but you’ve got this raging fire. When we are in a state of inflammation, we hold on to all of our resources because we don’t know when we’re going to use them. We just hold on to everything. Once we put the fire out, people will lose weight. 

Ruth: It’s incredible. I love that you take such a clinical approach to this and with all the testing and how do you, how do you actually approach identifying the root cause of autoimmune and whatever the disease is, that kind of underlying fire. How do you figure out exactly where the fire is and how to put it out?

Risa: So I do a very comprehensive blood screen. So I’m looking for all four markers of blood sugar. I’m looking for all nine markers of thyroid. Sometimes I’ll add sex hormones or do that after but I’m looking at everything–  the white blood cell breakdown so I can see if there’s an allergy, a parasite. I’m looking to see the whole general body.

I’m looking at inflammation markers so I can see whether we are in an inflamed state. Then I do a comprehensive stool test. So it’s about 84 pathogens. In addition to the good guys, the bad guys, worms, parasites, fungus, e coli, h pylori, all the really major things that really disrupt the microbiome.

And then we’re looking at, are you producing your own, pancreatic enzyme production? Do you have inflammation in the intestinal lining? You know, how is your immunity in your gut? And do you have leaky gut? And a myriad of other things. So once I get those two reports back, you’re pretty much done with my detox.

And now I have a blueprint. I know exactly which direction I’m going now. Do I know your exact root cause for every autoimmunity? No, not always. I don’t, but we know that we are reversing the inflammation. We know that there’s a cytokine storm, right? Our T T H 17 gets activated and we start to have a cytokine storm and inflammation storm.

So if you’re autoimmune, I’m going to put that fire out. I may or may not know the cause of that. When I was going through my journey, I was eating amazing. And then, I was vegan for a while. And then my levels of mercury were so high that I chelated.

I stopped eating all animal protein and I was really vegan, like really vegan, no pasta, no ice cream, no syrup, no sugar, nothing. And my blood sugar started to go up a little bit and my cholesterol was like through the roof. I knew that so I did a Boston heart lab on myself and I knew, or I had this high likelihood, of having a cardiovascular event.

I knew teeth and heart were related. So I found a biological dentist in LA and I went to her and I brought my stool test with her and she goes, “Oh yeah, that’s a salivary bacteria.” Two seconds later, I was having a cat scan and she found it. I had had my wisdom teeth removed 23 years prior to that visit and they had left a root in there.

It had grown an abscess around it. I felt nothing. You couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t feel anything. I had zero symptoms, zero. And once they got in there, they saw the surgeon had left a piece of metal in there for all those years. But anyway, they removed all that, cleaned me out with ozone. And next thing you know, my levels started to normalize. Crazy, right?

So what I always suggest is if you don’t feel right, if your blood labs don’t show improvement and something’s off, then something’s off. You’ve got to find it. And I will go to the end of the earth to find that. I’ll do anything to find out what’s going on because something’s going on, right?

Ruth: Yeah. Cause you know how people are supposed to respond even to the protocol. And if you’re not seeing that response, then something is wrong. So what are your tips then? Like for somebody who wants to start doing the right things. Like, where do you even begin?  

Risa: Well, I would first start with turning on the light so we can see the target. So order the extensive lab work, blood work and the stool test. That’s where we start once we have a baseline and we know which direction we’re going in, then it’s easy.

Ruth: And what does that look like?  Do you have a detox protocol that you do for everybody?

Risa: Everybody starts with my detox and it’s two weeks. It’s not a starvation diet. It’s just cleaning out the liver very gently. You’ll feel amazing on it.

Your skin will be better. Your energy better. Everything works better. You lose weight, all that, but we’re eating real food in vegetables, sweet potato, yams, and good fats. There’s plenty of food. You shouldn’t be hungry. If you’re hungry, you should eat.

But once we clean you out, so many of the symptoms possibly will go by the wayside, but it also helps me because if they don’t go by the wayside, then I know where to look. Everybody’s different from there because it depends if you’ve got, you know, blood sugar dysregulation, or it depends.

I worked with a professional athlete. He’s probably one of the greatest golfers of our time, Freddie Couples. And he came in to see me wanting to lose 20 pounds before the masters. But I said, “Freddie, you know, I, I’ve heard all about your back pain for decades.” And he said, “Oh yeah, you know, it’s terrible. I travel with my physical therapist.” 

I’m like, well, tell me about it. 

So he tells me this whole story and all these doctors and I’m like, so no surgeries?” He said, no, I’ve never had surgery. So I’m like, has anybody tested you for any inflammation markers? He’s like, I don’t know. I don’t think so.

And he lives on two golf courses. Both of his homes are on golf courses and he works on golf courses. He is breathing in chemicals day in and day out. So I tested him and his inflammation numbers were through the roof. We were able to completely get rid of his inflammations and back pain. It was crazy, crazy.

Ruth: Wow. Like that’s a different situation, right? 

Risa: So I knew he had a smell sensitivity. There was a lot going on. I was able to detox him and decrease the systemic inflation. I don’t do a one size fits all. If that was the case, I’d put a little chart on my front door and I’d be at the beach, but every person is different.

But that’s the first step I take. So I can find out which direction I’m going.  

Ruth: Gotcha. So if somebody just wants to eat better for less inflammation and try to be proactive about it, what would be the first things that you would say? What are the things to cut out and what are the things to actually eat?  

Risa: So sugar is the devil. I’ve heard this for years, but it’s true. Sugar is highly inflammatory. We don’t really glean any nutrition from it. So I absolutely cut out the sugar. 

And then we cut out the chemicals, you know, read your labels. Read them. I mean, even if you think they’re healthy, just read the labels on everything. If there’s seed oils, canola oil, soybean oil, those are highly inflammatory. So don’t eat those foods. There’s a health food market, that’s a chain that is supposed to be healthy and they make all their salads.

Now their chicken salad, their tuna salad, everything’s with soybean oil or canola oil. I make all my own chicken salads and everything because you have to take out the inflammatory oils for sure. We should be really eating foods that don’t have a nutritional panel and an ingredient label, so if you pick it, if it sprouted from the ground or it’s crawling on the earth, you’re pretty good to eat it.

Ruth: Good advice. So what are you working on right now that has you fired up?  

Risa: I’m super fired up about my course on achieving optimal thyroid health. I put my heart and soul into that course because I know pretty much everything about thyroid, I think.

I wish I had that when I was going through what I was going through. It’s a tool for any situation– you’re hyper, hypo, autoimmune, thyroidectomy. It tells you what to eat, what not to eat, what supplements to take, what supplements not to take, what labs to order, how to read those. It is like my baby that I put together.

Ruth: So let’s talk a little bit more about thyroid because I think it is an issue that comes up and is super misunderstood. Almost everybody is immediately put on synthetic hormones, right? What percentage of people are put on synthetic hormones?

And how do you know if their doctor says, Oh, you need to be on thyroid medication. What do you do?  

Risa: So we’ll first test to see if it’s working.  Oftentimes Synthroid doesn’t typically work. It gives you T4, but we have to convert that to our active thyroid hormone. T4 is 93 percent of the equation and it’s inactive. It’s just, we need to cleave off one atom of iodine and convert that to T3.

That’s our active thyroid hormone, only 7%. So the doctors give it to you and they go, “I hope you convert. I hope you convert.” But they don’t even test the T3 to find out. So we’re basically waiting until you come in exhausted, way out of lab range. I just had a patient just a couple of weeks ago who came in with their TSH at 10, which is insanely high and has been on Synthroid for 25 years.

So it’s criminal really. I’m working with somebody right now who said, you know what? I’ve got low thyroid, but I do not want to go on meds. I said, okay, well, how compliant will you be? He said, a hundred percent. I said, great. We just got his labs and we have totally moved the needle.

He’s not quite there, but really close to there and without mints. So I’ve given him all the nutrients that he needs for that thyroid. And we give him that support and he’s doing all the other things, lifestyle wise that he needs to do and it’s working. But not everybody has the same situation.

Ruth: Right. So the only real way is to work with somebody like you to figure out exactly what’s going on, dive into it. Change the lifestyle and actually test for it because it’s true. The doctor is only testing for the T4. They don’t even test for T3. They just dole it out and cross fingers and hope it works.

Risa: Then don’t care when you tell them it’s not.  And I’ve tested for all nine markers of the thyroid because are your sex hormones affecting your thyroid? Is your cortisol, your inflammation affecting your thyroid? Are you creating any antibodies? There’s so many things and there’s free and then there’s total.

So we don’t know where your markers are. So I look at all of them because I’m not really good at guessing. I mean, I probably could after all these years, but I don’t like to, because everybody is different. So you have to get the facts right. To know how to fix it.  

Ruth: Right, so do you find that if somebody is dealing with a thyroid issue that they’re almost always dealing with all of these other issues too, because they’re so interconnected, or is it the thyroid seems to be off on its own in a kind of its own little bubble. Do you find that one affects the other or not really?

Risa: Yeah. Not always, but most times there is something affecting it. You know, reserves T3. If somebody has a very stressful lifestyle or they’re eating very stressful foods because it could be, you know, food, environment, relationships, work, it could be any myriad of stress. And if you’re not doing anything to decrease that cortisol, it’s going to start pulling from your reserves of your T3.

Basically, you have your cortisol, your stress hormones, your adrenal glands, you have your sex hormones. So, you know, for women, this changes every single solitary day. And then we have our thyroid, right? Which is our temperature gauge metabolism, but a lot of other systems. So it’s imperative that that is a symphony that’s working together.

Ruth: So what do you do about cortisol? This one comes up a lot for me because being a high stress person, a high, strong and driven entrepreneur and doing all the things all the time. I’m like, I got to get my cortisol down. But I almost feel like you get so stressed about your stress levels that your stress levels stay high.

What do you do for cortisol? 

Risa: Yeah, I totally get that.  Another thing on your to do list, right? There are lots of ways we handle cortisol. There’s natural ways. There’s a lot of natural remedies, which I’ll go through. And then there’s supplement help, which if somebody’s really in tough shape, I usually give some kind of natural supplement assistance.

The bad news about cortisol dysregulation is it takes time to regulate it. It’s a slow mover, but the things that you can do naturally about it that you can do at home is an Epsom salt bath, two cups or more for 20 minutes or more in an Epsom salt bath a few times a week, harder to do in the summer, easier in the winter, right before bed.

Make sure there’s no chemicals in it or fragrances, just that and maybe essential oils you can put in. It will help balance you out. Phosphatidylserine is another. I use a cream with phosphatidylserine that helps regulate hormones. But other things that you can do naturally is some kind of meditation or unplugging or laughing or getting into nature and just taking yourself out of the stressful situation, walking on a farm, walking in the woods, walking, breathing fresh air, putting your feet in grass. You know, those are all things that are going to help balance your cortisol, not exercising too hard.

There’s tons of things that you can do naturally to help that stress. And of course, managing your food intake, making sure that it’s not high stress foods, you know, the chemicals and lots of work for your liver to kind of figure out what this is.  So basically take it easy.  

Ruth: That is my personal struggle. That’s why I love this. This is so interesting. How can we learn more from you and tell us more about where we can find you, where we can find your program. 

Risa: you can find me on my website at RisaGrouxnutrition.com. That’s where my book “Food Frame” is. And the subtitle is “Diet is a four letter word” because I’m not a big fan of that diet restriction thing. It’s just eating lifestyles. So I break down the six major eating lifestyles that I usually work with in my office. And I go through my detox as well. It’s really great information in that book.

In addition is my course on achieving optimal thyroid wellness. I have tons of recipes. You can take your quiz and learn which diet type is best for you. And it’s really helpful because if you’re AIP or low lectin or paleo or keto, it really helps you.

And then I have a boatload of recipes. From all the different diet types and meal types. I work with people all over the country via zoom. I love watching people heal.  

Ruth: Awesome. Thank you so much, Risa.

If YOU or someone you know is struggling with hormonal issues or thyroid conditions or autoimmune disease, please be sure to send this their way. 

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