060. How to Nourish Your Body for Longevity and Optimization with Dr. Heather Gosnell

Are you interested in exploring the potential of plant-based eating to enhance your well-being? Dr. Heather Gosnell, a highly experienced pediatrician and certified plant-based health coach, will be sharing her insights on this topic. Dr.Gosnell brings over two decades of expertise to the table, having served the Phoenix, Arizona community for many years.

Dr. Gosnell’s presentation will delve into the benefits of incorporating a wider variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. She’ll explore how these dietary choices can contribute to a more vibrant and healthy lifestyle. Get ready to discover practical strategies for integrating plant-based meals into your daily routine, making positive changes that are both sustainable and enjoyable! 

Key Points From This Episode:

  1. How did Dr. Heather decide to become a plant-based nutrition coach? 
  2. Just by changing our lifestyle and what we eat, we can decrease diseases.
  3. Transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle
  4. By changing your diet, you can reduce inflammation.
  5. How might people feel when you are inflamed?
  6. What is the general principle if you want to incorporate a plant-based diet?
  7. Try to focus on what you can add to your diet.
  8. What types of meat are inflammatory or non-inflammatory?
  9. How to improve your lifestyle through plant-based nutrition
  10. What do you mean by processed food?


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60 - How to Nourish Your Body for Longevity and Optimization with Dr. Heather Gosnell
Swinging Christmas

00:05 Dr. Ann Tsung Are you struggling to advance your career and sacrificing time with your loved ones because of endless to-dos, low energy, and just not enough time in the day? If so, then this podcast is for you. I am your host Dr. Ann Tsung, an ER critical care and space doctor, a peak performance coach, a real estate investor, and a mother of a toddler. I’m here to guide you on mastering your mind and give you the essential skills to achieve peak performance. Welcome to Productivity MD, where you can learn to master your time and achieve the five freedoms in life.

00:52 Alright. Hello. My name is Dr. Ann Tsung. I am your host at Productivity MD. Welcome to today’s episode. Today I have Dr. Heather Gosnell. She is certified pediatrician, and she is also a certified plant-based coach currently for adults, that might transition into incorporating kids too. She was in the Air Force for 14 years. The reason why I brought her onto the show is because if you want to be productive and be in peak performance, nutrition is a huge part of this. A lot of us have had food coma after we eat and then usually the afternoon is like gone; you can’t be productive after. I want to tell you guys that food coma, you can fight against it. It doesn’t have to exist. And also, if you eat live foods or plants that’s anti-inflammatory, with antioxidant capabilities, that can actually improve your health span, your lifespan, your energy too so that you can make more money or be more present with your kids. So again, Heather, thank you so much for being on the show. Can you give us a brief intro, a little bit more detail intro about what you do, and why did you decide to pursue this path of plant-based nutrition coach?

02:12 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, well, thanks for having me. I’m really excited to be here today. So yeah, so I’m a pediatrician, and I’ve been doing that for a long time, over 20 years now. I thought I was eating healthy when I was younger and raising my daughter when she was young. But then I figured out there are ways to improve for sure. So it’s a little bit of a funny story how I got introduced to plant-based eating. I actually had a vet appointment with my cat, and my vet locked in. He looked thinner. It’s not something I normally would comment on, but I did. And I’m so glad I did this particular day. Because he said he went vegan, and he was talking about this website. He asked me if I heard of it. It’s called nutritionfacts.org. I had not ever heard of it.

03:02 And so I got an email list and took me a few months to really look at the site because of busy work and everything. I was actually at archery tournament watching my husband and daughter compete one day. I had some downtime. I brought my iPad, and that was my day. I was like, alright. I’m going to look at this site and figure this stuff out. I was blown away by all the evidence-based nutrition that is out there, that I had no idea and that so many people have no idea, that we can change our longevity by changing our lifestyle. It’s actually changing our genetics by choosing different foods to eat. And so this was all new to me, how much impact we had by every bite we put in our mouth. Then this really also hit home for me because I have a genetic predisposition for early onset dementia. That’s always, always on the back of my mind. I thought, well, it’s in my genes. What can I do? Well, there’s actually a lot I can do. And I learned that. Just by changing our lifestyle and changing the food we eat, we can decrease our risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia. Any cardiovascular disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol — everything just is changed by our lifestyle.

04:18 Once I started learning about all this, I changed everything about the way I ate. I mean, I absolutely have to do this to improve my health and try not to get dementia. Luckily, my husband was on board. So our first step, we stopped buying meat, chicken and fish. We actually had a freezer full though, so we’re kind of slowly going through and trying to wait it out. After a few months, we decided to just throw it all out. So the first year, we took it slow. The first year, we were vegetarian for a while. Then I also read this amazing book that I recommend. It’s called How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. He goes through all the different diseases and what we can do, evidence-based nutrition, on improving our risk of getting these lifestyle diseases. And so I read that. Then by 2018, we were completely plant-based. So we changed everything about how we ate, our daughter eats, the advice we gave our patients. And so just continued to educate myself.

05:28 Then I always felt like I wanted to do more with this information. So many people don’t know, and I just want everyone to know about this because it’s so life changing. I just didn’t really know how to take it to the next level. Then in 2022, in the fall, I got an email from Food Revolution Network, at this other site that I subscribed to. They were launching a plant-based coaching certification. I got the email, and I was just so excited. It was like everything I had been yearning for. I’m like, this is definitely for me. I have to do this. So I signed up for the coaching certification. And so that, I took in 2023. I got my certification July 2023. Since then, I’ve been working on launching my business, and I started taking clients in January. So what I do is, I help people transition to a plant-based lifestyle, so they can improve their health span and lifespan and live longer and live healthier. We do that through education, goal-setting, mindset tools, food substitutions, recipes. Then I coach all along the way, so they can make those changes.

06:41 Dr. Ann Tsung And I wonder, when you say that it can be life changing, I want the audience to know why should they enact this or begin to look into this. It may not need to be exactly like you have to go vegetarian or vegan right now, but just incorporating more plant-based foods right now. Why should they care to do it now? Truly, what difference can they actually see in what time period? Because a lot of it is delayed diseases.

07:10 Dr. Heather Gosnell Right. I know. It is hard to know. But even just in the short-term, there are so many people that will say they have more energy. They sleep better. They just, overall, feel better. A lot of people will have just various aches and pains throughout their day. They’ll get better. When we go plant-based, we decrease our inflammation within just a few weeks. And so people will notice just in a very short period of time how much better they feel.

07:40 Dr. Ann Tsung And so in terms of when you say going plant-based, what spectrum? How much better? If you’re saying like not removing meat at all, but that’s how you’re talking about just by incorporating, what does it mean to be more plant-based in general, though?

07:59 Dr. Heather Gosnell Really, any movement along the continuum is going to be helpful. I tell people: even if we just start with one meal a week, that’s still something, and that does make a difference. So just the more we incorporate more and more plants, we get all these antioxidants from the plant. We decrease inflammation on our body. And all of that together will decrease our risk for all of the chronic diseases. So it’s not just like there’s not one diet for heart disease, or high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. It’s all the same diet. And by doing and making these changes, with more plants in the diet and less animal products, we make a big difference for our health. And so it doesn’t need to be 100%. I meet people where they are. If there’s one meal a week where we start, that’s great. We can work with that and see where we go. But anywhere along the continuum is helpful to improve people’s health.

08:54 Dr. Ann Tsung Sometimes when people are in a norm of what they eat, they feel like the way they feel is normal. Sometimes we don’t know how good it could get. Is there a way to diagnose yourself in a spectrum of whether you are having effects of inflammation from either damaged fats, commercial like meats or anything that’s processed? How can people tell that they’re actually inflamed versus, I don’t know, people are just tired, sleep deprivation. They’re drinking coffee.

09:33 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, totally. I mean, probably really the best way to know for sure, I would say, is to get labs drawn. We can check our CRP levels. There are studies showing that within just a few weeks on a whole food plant-based diet, our CRP will drop by 30% to 40%. So that’s very amazing. In just three weeks or so, we’ll see that change. People can check their other lab values, like their A1C, just various like CBC. Even looking at white blood cell counts, things like that will improve within a really very short amount of time.

10:09 Dr. Ann Tsung And I guess lipids as well for you.

10:12 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, lipids. Yeah, there are studies showing people who actually have diabetes, when they go on a whole food plant-based diet within just a few weeks, they will decrease their A1C, their glucose, their insulin. They can decrease their medications. Sometimes even come off medication all just within a few weeks. Some people even go into remission from diabetes by changing the diet.

10:40 Dr. Ann Tsung I know we mentioned CRP as an inflammatory marker. Then, of course, it can be caused by other illnesses, et cetera, if you’re ill or sick. I’m wondering, if you’re inflamed, total body inflamed in general, can you see that pretty consistently in your patients with mildly elevated CRPs? Because I know CRP is so general. Anything can increase it. So that’s why I’m wondering. Can plant-based nutrition work to lower? Is that something you can see and commonly detect to be elevated?

11:17 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, you can see it. Sometimes it might still be — oftentimes, it probably is still within the range of normal but, say, higher normal. And by changing the diet, we can reduce that lower. We really want it to be as low as possible because we don’t want any inflammation in our body, ideally. The standard American diet is very inflammatory. And so people don’t realize that just the normal foods that we eat, with the processed foods and the animal products, they do inflame our bodies. And so even though your level might be normal, you can drive it down lower by changing your diet.

11:51 Dr. Ann Tsung Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Because a lot of people I do see are high normal, maybe like less than one probably. Right? Are you targeting like — it depends on the lower limit you’re targeting less than their measurable amount. I think it was like 0.32. It’s like the one I had, the lab I used, at least.

12:11 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so I’d have to double check on the exact numbers. I don’t know off the top of my head. But yeah, I’ve had people where just within normal. But yeah, we can drive it down more.

12:23 Dr. Ann Tsung Not like the exact value. But essentially, your goal is to drive it down to undetectable, right? Like less than that. The lab value detectable range, right?

12:31 Dr. Heather Gosnell Right. Yes, that would be awesome.

12:34 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, so that is definitely possible. Okay. So those are like objective markers. I found it can be so general. Everybody’s different. Is there like a common theme of how people might feel if they are inflamed or if they eat foods that are inflammatory?

12:55 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, I mean, some common things are going to be low energy. When you have a highly processed diet, and you have a meal where you either ate a lot of sugar or fats, indulge on something sweet, you often feel that crash afterwards. And so those are the kinds of things where when you change what you’re eating, you don’t get those crashes. You don’t have the lows where you feel like you need to eat something else to pick yourself back up. And so all of those types of things will become stabilized. You’ll have much better even mood, even energy throughout the day.

13:27 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, I often tell my clients everybody is going to be different. But if you eat something that makes you tired, makes you sleepy afterwards, then that means that your body didn’t like it. Then if you eat something that didn’t really affect your energy or actually boost your energy, then that means it’s great. I’ve had a CGM for years just to test out. I don’t have diabetes, but I test out my individual responses to food. Every time I get low energy is when I have high peaks and troughs of sugar and insulin response. It’s usually when it starts coming down. That’s when I’m like super tired. It just happened yesterday, actually. My glucose didn’t really go up that much. It was like maybe 100 just with whatever I ate. It was 100 or some 100. But it dropped really fast to the 60s. That’s when I got really tired, which is crazy. Your glucose doesn’t have to be high. So whatever I ate, my body didn’t like it.

14:32 Are there any, I guess, general principles how can people start to incorporate? Because again, there are so many diets. There’s carnivore. There’s keto. There’s whole foods, paleo. I mean, plant-based. I’m just wondering, what is a general principle that you can use if you want to start incorporating plant-based diet? Is there a percentage of the plate or how it’s cooked might be important? I’m curious what your thoughts are.

15:04 Dr. Heather Gosnell So I’d say, ideally, our plate should be mostly fruits and vegetable. That’s the recommendation. But really, it’s just starting where you’re at. So I tell people try to focus on the food we’re adding to the diet. We want to add fruits and vegetables and beans and nuts and whole grain. Over time, what’s going to happen is when you keep adding in those new foods, trying to focus on the foods we can, and we want to focus on the food that we can eat. And when we do that, we’re going to just end up weeding out those processed and less nutritious foods by just adding the more nutritious ones in. And so that’s the ideal situation. And so, yeah, we want to be having mostly plants on our plate. But again, starting where you’re at, if it’s literally one meal a day, that’s okay. I’m sorry. Even one meal a week, that’s okay. Then you can just build from there.

15:57 Dr. Ann Tsung Fruits are often talked about with a high fructose and things like that. Is there a limit that you recommend per meal or portion size?

16:05 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, there’s actually no limit on fruit. And so food kind of gets a bad rap. You’re told it’s too much sugar, you shouldn’t eat it. Or if you’re diabetic, you can’t have fruit. That’s all a myth. When you eat natural fruit, it has fiber. And so it balances out the fructose, the sugar, in the fruit. And so you don’t get those big sugar spikes. It’s not harmful for your health. Adding more fruit to the diet is very beneficial. It has a lot of antioxidants. Berries, especially, are super healthy. Everyone should try to have berries daily, if possible. They have 10 times the antioxidants that other fruits have. So berries and strawberries, in particular. Strawberries have been shown to improve cognition, lower our cholesterol, lower inflammation, and improve our microbiome.

16:53 Dr. Ann Tsung And do you recommend like the Dirty Dozen list, avoiding Dirty Dozen list, and the Clean 15?

16:59 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, ideally, it is a good idea. I do like look at those lists on the EWG website. The other thing is, yes, if you can eat organic, that would be amazing. But if you can’t, that’s okay too. Just still eating the fruit, even if it’s not organic, is still better than not having it.

17:19 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, for the audience, go on the EWG website. There’s the Dirty Dozen where it has high residues of pesticides. Those are the things that if you really can’t buy organic, they’ll be great. But the Clean 15, those are the things that if you cannot buy organic, that’s okay too, because they have low residues of pesticide. So what type of meats? Are there more inflammatory meats versus the least inflammatory meats or by species, et cetera, you think? I don’t know if it’s like fish is best versus commercial a lot, like lot protein. I’m just wondering if there’s a grading that you can give our listeners to start, maybe eliminating or adding, like you said?

18:06 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so the farmed meat, the grain-fed beef, is very inflammatory. Beef is probably your most inflammatory food. Chicken is out there too. Chicken does have a lot of saturated fat. So even though it’s a white meat, it is still inflammatory for us. Fish can be inflammatory, too. The oceans are polluted, so we have issues with the fish as well. But yeah, I would say, first, cutting out the red meat would be the top priority.

18:39 Dr. Ann Tsung And on top of the RENI, I am just wondering are there must remove items, like top three must remove items if people actually want to be on a path to anti-inflammation?

18:55 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so the red meat, for sure. Eggs, actually, have a lot of cholesterol. There are studies showing that eating an egg is equivalent to smoking a cigarette. If you think about it, eggs too, usually, you’re not going to have just one. It’s going to be maybe, if you have an omelette, it’s like a three-egg omelette or something. And so that’s equivalent of smoking six cigarettes, inflammatory-wise. So that’s something to think about. The processed meats, for sure, like hot dogs and sausage and pepperonis and ham, luncheon meat, they’re linked to colon cancer. So definitely try to avoid those as well.

19:35 Dr. Ann Tsung Would you avoid any sort of vegetables? Because I know sometimes people say nightshades, et cetera. I’m just curious. Or is it like individual-dependent?

19:46 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, I think that can be more individual-dependent. For the most part, all the vegetables are going to be healthy for people. If there’s something that someone specifically has an intolerance to, then, of course, avoid that. But in general, they’re all good for you.

20:03 Dr. Ann Tsung So we talked about must remove items. So you’re talking about red meat, eggs, anything processed. What do you even mean by processed food? A lot of people don’t know what is ultra processed. I mean, maybe they can get an idea. Or, what is actually hidden in the packages of healthy-looking food?

20:28 Dr. Heather Gosnell Right. A good definition that I’ve heard about processed food is, it’s basically a food that has not been — there’s nothing good taken away and nothing bad added to it. So it’s basically, a whole food is going to be an unprocessed food, anything that’s grown in the ground and not changed in any way by commercial industry. Most things in packages are going to be processed. Then there’s going to be the gradation of some better packaged foods versus less nutritious packaged foods. So, of course, anything where there’s a lot of sugar added. Sodium is very inflammatory. So definitely, I would recommend people watch their sodium intake. The oils are very inflammatory. Almost all the processed foods do have oils added. So those are the things to really watch out for and look on the labels.

21:12 Dr. Ann Tsung Do you have a gradation of inflammatory oils or anti-inflammatory oils that you use to cook — oils to avoid, oils to use to cook?

21:23 Dr. Heather Gosnell So the tropical oils are the most inflammatory. That’s actually going to be your coconut oil, your palm oil. Coconut oil kind of has this reputation of being a healthier oil, but it actually isn’t. It does raise cholesterol, so I would not recommend coconut oil. When I do use oil, I try to stick with either olive oil or avocado oil.

21:45 Dr. Ann Tsung So that I guess that goes for MCT oil. Because I do MCT oil every morning with my bulletproof matcha. So I guess that is slightly inflammatory as well then.

21:58 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, maybe looking at flaxseed oil is supposed to be a good option.

22:04 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, I’ve taken Udo’s oil shots before. That has flaxseed oil. Yeah, maybe I’ll look into it to add it to my matcha. Okay. Is there top three anti-inflammatory types of foods that they must incorporate, or it’d be highly recommended to start incorporating?

22:27 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, I would definitely recommend berries. Berries, like I said earlier, very, very good for you. Lots of antioxidants. So I try to have berries every day. Also, cruciferous vegetables are extremely important. That’s going to be the group of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, arugula. Those ones are very good. They have a compound thing that’s really important for health. So try to get that. Then turmeric is the spice that I would recommend adding. I try to add that every day to my diet. I sprinkle it either on my salad or, if I’m roasting vegetables, I’ll sprinkle it on. So a teaspoon a day is good. That can help decrease just general disease. It has a high antioxidant level.

23:16 Dr. Ann Tsung What would you say you would recommend to kids, to prep their food for a toddler or elementary kid, to be able to incorporate it? Because right now, my child is 21 months. I got to blend the vegetables into the eggs for him to eat it. Otherwise, I don’t know, we’re still experimenting. Or lots of garlic. I’m curious if you have any magic tricks for kids.

23:43 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so definitely keep encouraging. We want to make it light and fun. Sometimes incorporating them in purchasing the food at the store and then incorporating, having them help prepare it, they’re much more likely to eat it if they’re involved in that process. Sometimes even if possible having a garden in the back, that can help kids get more interested. Then yeah, hiding them. I do recommend hiding them when the kids don’t want to eat them. Plain smoothies, cauliflower. One is if you can steam and smash cauliflower and add it to sauce, the kids can’t taste that. Then just having little bits on the plate, encouraging them to try it. But we don’t want to force. Because when we do that, it tends to just kind of backfire that they don’t want to.

24:27 Dr. Ann Tsung It’s a good idea about the cauliflower. I’m going to try that. Then smoothies, I think that’s a great idea too. Blended smoothies with berries so that they can take that. Okay. And avocados, yeah. Would you walk me through like a sample menu that you usually eat for yourself or your family, and a sample menu for a child?

24:55 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so for like a dinner menu, you’re thinking?

24:57 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, an example of throughout the day, like breakfast, lunch, dinner. Just like a very quick one. It doesn’t have to be very detailed.

25:06 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so breakfast-wise, oatmeal is super healthy. To get like steel cuts or whole grain oatmeal, those are going to be a great breakfast. You can add some fruit to it, add some cinnamon. You put anything on top that makes it tastes better to you, whatever your preferences are. That is a great breakfast. Cereal-wise, if you’re looking for something like really quick, grape nuts cereal is a low sugar one. So that’s a quicker breakfast if you’re looking for something. There are some toasts. I’ll do sometimes like Ezekiel bread toast. There’s like the plain, or there’s the cinnamon raisin one that’s good. So those are a low processed as the sprouted grain bread. Those are healthy.

25:55 Lunch-wise, I actually often have oatmeal for lunch. And so that’s kind of my go-to for lunch. It’s quick and easy and easily packable. So that. Fruit as well, maybe a handful of nuts. So we want to try to get some nuts in throughout the day a little bit. Not too much, because they do have some saturated or some fats, but healthy fats. Then snack-wise, usually, I’ll have fruit for a snack or maybe some broccoli and hummus or something like that. Then dinner, generally — this is another misconception about plant-based eating is that it’s just a bunch of salads. I’ll tell you we’ll have a side salad, but the salad is never made meal. So we’re eating good food. I’ll use whole grain pasta as a base of a dish and add some sauce and vegetables on top. Or we might have brown rice, or some farro, or quinoa with vegetables and a sauce on top. So trying to have a grain as a base with some greens on top and some sauce, beans added for protein. Lots of ways. You can have really delicious food and still have it be nutritious.

27:09 Dr. Ann Tsung I’m curious, do you have any — because I hear a lot about the glyphosates on the grains currently if it’s non-organic. What are your thoughts about that?

27:19 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, it is a concern of mine, too, yes. So I do try to look for the grains that don’t have a glyphosate. So looking for the organic, there are certain brands that you can look up. I think the EWG website has information on that, that people can check that out and make sure that the grains that they have are not with glyphosate. But yeah, definitely a concern with all the pesticides out there.

27:41 Dr. Ann Tsung Do you have any opinion on time-restricted eating or anything like that? Do you incorporate that typically? I’m just wondering if you’ve come across it during your studies in the plant-based nutrition coaching?

27:55 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, I actually do that for myself. I try to skip breakfast. I’m not that hungry in the morning, so it’s easy for me. I try to have my food over like an eight-hour period. I’ll start eating around noon and then try to finish by eight. I’m actually trying to move that earlier, just because it is chronobiological is better to eat. Like stop eating by seven, if possible. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s a goal of mine. But yeah, I do incorporate that. That has been shown to improve longevity, decrease dementia.

28:28 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, same. I practice the same as well. I think, yeah, it was like eight hours, maybe a little bit of 10 hours now with the pregnancy currently. I still am not that hungry, and my glucose has been staying fine. I think that the baby is growing fine. I know you’re not supposed to, or it’s not recommended to do time-restricted eating in pregnancy. But I would say that for people who have been doing it, just listen to your body. Of course, always listen to your OB. You save a lot of time. I think time-restricted eating is like a productivity hack too. By not having to prep breakfast, you cut one meal out per day every day for 365 days. I mean, that’s a lot of time saved.

29:07 Dr. Heather Gosnell That’s true.

29:10 Dr. Ann Tsung So for the people, the audience, they may have healthy food at home, and they’re trying to practice healthy nutrition. I know there are some physicians, they’d go into the hospital and they’re in that situation in the hospital where they’re stressed. They have low discipline. And the junk food is everywhere, candy. I mean, even the physician’s call room, it’s all junk usually. Very little whole fruits. Do you have any tactics or tips for people who are surrounded in the social situation or at work who are surrounded by these temptations?

29:50 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, that’s a hard one. The environment has such a big factor on how we eat. And so when it’s around us, it is definitely a struggle to try to stay on track. For me, I kind of have a few rules about, like, I eat this. I don’t eat this. That helps me to just have these general rules that I follow. I don’t eat doughnuts and things like that. So if that works for a person, great. But that doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes thinking about your why. Sometimes crumble cookies are dropped off at the office, and they look delicious. I’m like I just kind of remind myself of my why and why I’m doing this. And it does help me to not indulge. Then the other thing that I think about is that having these cravings, I just told my self it’s a body sensation. And sensations go away. So I just try to think of my why and move on and eat what I packed to eat for snack or for lunch instead.

30:50 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, I agree why. If you don’t it for your own health, that’s down the line for preventive reasons. That maybe you do it for your energy at work. You don’t want that energy slump when you’re at work. Maybe you do it for your kids, that you don’t want that energy slump. Otherwise, you can’t play with your kids. Or be less reactive to the people around you, and pack your own stuff so that you will feel satiated. I will say that I found that with some of my clients, once they stop decreasing their sugar intake, that they start getting more sensitized to the sugar. And so when they go back to try it again, they’re like, oh, this is really sweet.

31:33 Dr. Heather Gosnell For sure, yeah. Yeah, we can reset our taste buds in just two weeks when we start cutting back on it, salt and sugar. So when we cut back, then our taste buds will change. Then after a couple of weeks, when you have that again, it does taste like extra salty, extra sugary. Then you’re like, oh, I don’t really like it anymore.

31:53 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, so for anybody’s listening, maybe after this, if you can commit to yourself, if you eat like 10 candy a shift or something at work, that’s what you snack, or 20, maybe you can commit to yourself like for the next two weeks, I will only eat 10 and then gradually decrease. Then maybe you will be able to decrease, change your tastebuds, and that you wouldn’t want to go back to it anymore. That’s a good point. I didn’t know you can reset in two weeks. Wow.

32:26 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah.

32:29 Dr. Ann Tsung That’s why, I mean, I’ve cut out sugar for a while besides natural fruits. That’s why to me, everything is super sweet. All standard and even Asian desserts are too sweet for me now. Now I’m trying to do less salt because I wanted to actually taste the natural flavor of the food. But I love cooking with fish sauce, which is super salty. So that’s my next step to trying to decrease. And so I know we talked about a lot of various nutritional principles. But if you can just summarize it into a next three steps to take, what would you say it would be after this, immediately after this episode?

33:17 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, I would say, first, start with adding the healthy nutritious foods in. Adding more fruits, more vegetables, not beans, and whole grains. So I would start with just adding in, maybe once a week, add in a new item. So that’s a great start. Looking at your environment. If there’s a lot of processed food in your pantry, maybe take a look and start throwing some things away or giving it away. Changing the environment, so you don’t see those enticing snacks on the shelf is important. We didn’t talk about this earlier, but the drinks that we have. Increasing your water is very important. Coffee and tea have both been shown to really improve health and improve longevity. So drinking, especially green tea and coffee, throughout the day. The longevity benefits with coffee are negated by putting dairy in the coffee though. So it is something to be aware of that. If you like to put some cream, then I would recommend getting like a plant-based creamer versus regular dairy. But those would be three great things to start with.

34:26 Dr. Ann Tsung And for those of you guys listening, the packages, if you could just look up like 50 names of sugar, that would be really helpful for you to have a list to reference to. Because sugar is literally hidden in everything. And if you have a package of food that is too long for you to read, that means it’s best that you don’t eat it. Probably just find an alternative. I look for things with maybe five ingredients or less, maybe less than 10 if it’s like a pasta sauce with no sugar or something. But usually, two to three items, ingredients, in your ingredients list. That’s basically what you should be looking for. I want to know where can people find you. Oh, backing up a little bit on the drinks, sugary drinks, like you said. Because I know clients have had plant-based creamers with sugar added as well.

35:27 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so we need to definitely look at the label and see how many extra grams of sugar are there. Generally, for a woman, we should stay under 25 grams for the day. For a man, it would be 36 grams a day. So we want to try to stay under that. These are the added sugars. So don’t count the fruit. That’s fine. It’s just the added sugars. So that’s where you’re looking on your label. It’ll have a line, “added sugar.” Those are the ones you want to keep track of. And yes, sugar is in almost everything nowadays.

35:56 Dr. Ann Tsung What are your thoughts about — this is a question that came up — canola oil, palm oil, about them using hexane to extract it and causing inflammation and things like that?

36:08 Dr. Ann Tsung Yeah, it is a good idea to try to keep the oils to a minimum in our diet. They do cause harm to our health, so we want to keep those to a minimum.

36:17 Dr. Ann Tsung So you’re saying that if we’re looking for some oils that’s in the packaging, I’m guessing look for olive oil. Look for something made with avocado oil?

36:27 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yes, and those are going to be rare to find. I have not really seen much of that. Almost everything is either like coconut. Canola oil is not as bad as some of the others. So canola is better than palm. The tropical oils are the ones to stay away from the most. Then the vegetable ones would be a little bit better. Canola, sunflower, safflower, those ones aren’t as bad as the palm and the coconut.

36:51 Dr. Ann Tsung Is there a difference — I don’t know if you know this — between red palm and palm?

36:56 Dr. Heather Gosnell I don’t know that.

36:57 Dr. Ann Tsung Okay. I’m just curious. Because I see both of them, as well. The people who use red palm say that it’s different from the palm. But who knows? Okay. Then if people want to learn more about your coaching, how can they get in touch with you, or what is your website? Any social media?

37:20 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yeah, so my website is eatplantsMDcoach.com. It’s going to be the same for our social media. So on Facebook and Instagram, it’s Eat Plants MD Coach.

37:31 Dr. Ann Tsung Okay. Awesome. Thank you so much again for your time today, and thank you to the audience for your presence. I know nutrition can seem like there are so many different opinions about what to eat, when to eat. Though, I think if you, in general, just add more whole foods, then listen to your body, if your energy is down, that means it probably wasn’t good for you. And if you haven’t had a checkup, draw some CRPs, lipids, CBC, A hemoglobin A1C to see where you’re at, and have some objective measures of how you’re doing. Would you say that’s a good summary?

38:10 Dr. Heather Gosnell Yes, perfect. Sounds like a great plan.

38:14 Dr. Ann Tsung Okay. Awesome. Thank you. Everything we talked about here, of course, all of the links will be in the show notes in productivitymd.com. Thank you again, Dr. Gosnell, for being on the show. Really appreciate it.

38:26 Dr. Heather Gosnell Thank you so much for having me. I’ve enjoyed it.

38:28 Dr. Ann Tsung Thank you. And just remember, to the audience, that everything we need is within us now. Thank you.

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