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6 surprising gut killers that are hurting you and 3 ways to turn your health around [008]

Gut health is so special that it affects our skin, mood, weight loss, brain, and more. In this podcast episode you'll hear 6 ways you are hurting your gut health and 3 simple methods to improve that, so you can live a thriving life.

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Why is gut health so important?

If you’ve been trying to get healthy for a while, then by now you’ve probably tired “all the things.” from seeing your doctor to exercising 5 times a week and even to buying the trendiest weight loss miracle from some online influencer, because that product must have worked for them... that’s why they’re promoting it right?.

But throughout it all you’re still feeling... off. You’ve seen some improvements but you have this gut feeling that your body is not running how it should be. You may be facing a problem that nearly 70 million Americans face. A problem that causes everything from daily bloating to stubborn fat and even to low immunity.

In recent years gut health has entered the chat, but why does it matter and why should you pay attention? Short answer? The gut is so special that it affects our skin, mood, weight loss, weight gain, brain, and general overall health. Seriously, 80% of our immune system has been linked to our gut health.

Today I’m talking to gut expert John Ellis about the 6 surprising gut killers that we encounter in our everyday lives and 3 areas of our lives we need to look at if we want to improve not only our gut health, but our entire well-being.

So, if you’ve been doing “all the things”, but are still having trouble, then this episode is for you. 

 “The gut is so special that it affects our skin, mood, weight loss, weight gain, brain, and general overall health. Seriously, 80% of our immune system has been linked to our gut health.”

From losing to $20 million to becoming a gut health expert

Shaila Anne:
Hi John, welcome to the Easy Keto Podcast. Tell us about yourself. What brought you to specialize in the gut?

John Ellis:
OK, so how does a real estate guru that loses 20 million dollars in real estate industry end up being a bug expert? Yeah, I went back to school for six and a half years to become a naturopath.

My youngest son is autistic and after this lifelong adventure, which has become my life now, is poop and bugs. My autistic son has led me to life work and what I call my work "gut wars." I've been an active military person, I guess, and it just seems like we're at war with our gut

So now I own and operate a health food store, but I'm writing my second book and all my work is definitely on the gut immune system. Bacteria, how to keep alive, how to keep them thriving.

 “My autistic son has led me to life work and what I call my work "gut wars.”

What is the gut?

Shaila Anne:
That sounds good. So to help myself and the listeners at home, let's start with some basic understanding. What is the gut?

John Ellis:
OK, so really to understand what's going on, everything here (the stomach) is not the gut, but everything here does two things. It filters and turns into energy. So really, the gut is to take anything and to try to sustain yourself to make energy out of it. That's the essence of what's going on, it's to filter out the toxins and to give the energy to sustain yourself so you can stay alive and thrive, right?

What are some common tall-tale signs of a bad gut?

Shaila Anne:
Mm hmm. Mm hmm. What are some common telltale signs of a bad gut

John Ellis:
Well, you named what all happened, you know, 80%. Some scientists are saying 90% of your immune system is in your gut. So that means the disease fighter, the viral fighter, everything that sustains you as far as your immune system is 80 to 90 percent is in your large intestine. When they say gut, it kind of encompasses more. What I talk about when I talk about gut or a large intestine.

That's where 80 percent of your bacteria is. And in that bacterium, in and on your body, you've got twenty-five hundred species, but you got 100 trillion bacteria. And those bacteria are equal to how many cells you got in your body. So. Did I answer the question?

Shaila Anne:
Yeah. Wow. So for every cell we have, we have bacteria equal to that number.

John Ellis:
Now, the mass would be about the size and weight of your brain, but the actual count would be at least equal.

Shaila Anne:
Wow, incredible.

John Ellis:
And there are 2500 species that we know very little about.

Shaila Anne:
Wow, that's incredible. That's huge numbers right in our body. Right.

 “So that means the disease fighter, the viral fighter, everything that sustains you as far as your immune system is 80 to 90 percent is in your large intestine.”

What are the 6 gut killers I need to know about?

Shaila Anne:
So according to your research, there are six gut killers that we encounter daily. What are they

John Ellis:
Well, they are six primary areas that we're killing the bacteria in our gut, which therefore is killing our immune system and causing all kinds of havoc. And they're done without very much thought. And I've kind of categorized them to six. There are many, many more. But six primaries.

1. Feedlot Raised Animals

John Ellis:
The number one area that we are killing our bacteria on a daily basis and unaware of is probably feedlot raising of animals. And how would that kill the bacteria

You know, if you're getting the chicken from a farmhouse or getting a cow from a feedlot or cheese or eggs or whatever, it's because that they do low dose antibiotics. Antibiotic means "killer of the bug." So it's killing the bugs in the cow and it gets transferred through the egg, milk, cheese, or whatever we eat that gets that.

That's a silent killer for sure. They started off by just trying to keep their animals alive and healthy and then they realize, oh, my gosh, my cow, I can take it to market three weeks early and look at all the feed I save. So now it's become common practice. It's actually harder to find animals without the antibiotic than it is with them. I mean, it's like commonplace.

Shaila Anne:
That's really interesting.

John Ellis:
So that's probably one of the if not the top one that I'd put on the list for sure every time.

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2. Chlorinated Water

John Ellis:
The other one that is a killer is chlorine. Right. Chlorine kills bacteria. So it kills bacteria and doesn't know the difference between good or bad, just like the nuclear bomb "antibiotics" doesn't know. And we're drinking it in our water. If you're working and if you live in a city that chlorinated their water, you're drinking chlorine. Chlorine kills bacteria. So I usually put that on the top part. So those two are definitely two of the top things we're at war with.

3. Prescription Drugs

John Ellis:
Prescription drugs is another one. There are charts that you can find in science, but some of them are harsher than others. But it definitely destroys the microbiota or the gut bacteria especially. The other thing is just taking antibiotics.

 Of course, you know, if you have to get to a point where you have to take antibiotics you have to, but the problem with antibiotics in the past, and more people are being aware of it, is they were prescribing it for everything, you know, and antibiotics is what it sounds like

It kills bacteria. So if they're giving it for a virus or a cold, it's not going to do anything for it. It is just for bacteria. And the bacteria literally is what fights off the things that make you sick. Yeah.

4.Processed Foods

John Ellis:
Another item at the top is processed foods. (We talk about about processed foods later)

6.Conventional Produce

John Ellis:
...Like conventional produce. So they put Anti-fungal on it, which means "kills fungi" and your microbiota is made up of a lot of fungi

So that means now you're eating that apple and it's killing the fungi that are in your gut. That's part of the synergistic effect of your health.

7. Pesticides

John Ellis:
The other thing is pesticides. What does that mean? That means it'll kill a pest as big as your thumb. If it'll kill a pest as big as your thumb, how many billions or millions of bugs is one bite of that apple doing if there's any residue on it in your body? Yeah, so those are the big ones.

I mean, I can go on and on and into the science of it, but that's that's some of the big things that are definitely at war against our gut and our immune system and our health.

Shaila Anne:
And we encounter them every day because people eat all the time. So now that we know what gut health is, why it is so important, and the gut killers that we need to watch out for... Where do we start if we want to change this?

Where do I start to change my gut health?

John Ellis:
OK, well, first, it's like any toxin, you know, it's distance.

So it's trying to change your diet and stay away from the things that are killing them. But to restore always start with probiotics. So proteins like life of the bacteria or the gut bugs. So you can call it whatever you want, but it's bugs.

Microscopic bugs, and that's that bacteria. So what you're doing if you eat fermented food, which is literally a hundred that I know of on every continent around the planet, it is kind of like reinforcements to the bacteria you got

If you didn't have any bacteria at all, you would not be very healthy. I mean, so you've already got colonized bacteria in your gut, even if you've been destroying them for years in most cases, unless you've got an autoimmune disease or whatever, and even no matter what, you've got some.

Right. So it's all about reinforcements getting them to where they're getting enough strength. And the reason I call them reinforcements is most probiotics, whether it's a food or a supplement, is not going to colonize it.

They're (the gut healthy food that you eat) more like mercenaries. They're going to go down there, fight the fight and they're going to be eliminated. Kind of like pawns, if you will.

What foods can I eat to improve my gut health?


John Ellis:
And probiotic food, just to name a few, is, you know, sauerkraut kimchi, a key for the olden days before they started killing the enzymes in our food. You know, it would be sour or sour cream or cheeses and stuff like that, you know, sourdough bread, that kind of thing.

You're from Hawaii, which I have to mention poi. You know, but every area, continent, region has their own, if not one and multiple

And usually, it's multiple fermented foods. So for hundreds, if not thousands of years as a species, we've been fermenting food, sending reinforcements down there. And that's before modernization of the last 50 years. It's just all-out full-fledged nuclear war against our gut bacteria.

So now it's even more important than ever in history to send reinforcements down there as much as you possibly can.

Yeah, into our bodies. Yeah. Probiotic, whether it's a probiotic capsule, if you can. If you can't stomach sauerkraut and take a big forkful at the morning and every night, sip on kombucha throughout the day or whatever, fermented food of choice. If you don't have that artistic ability like you to make the best foods, right?

Shaila Anne:
Haha. Yeah, yeah. When my son was going to Kamehameha schools, they taught them how to make poi. They even had an entire song dedicated to making poi. They did a demonstration in front of the parents and everything.

John Ellis:
That's what we got to get back to to get healthy. I mean it's just so simple when you understand, you know, so that's reinforcements. That's literally delivering gut bugs down there. You're wanting bugs that, you know, it's going to get destroyed with acid to your stomach.

They're going to get die off in your small intestine. But you're trying to get bugs, mercenaries down to where 80% to 90% of your immune system is as reinforcements.

 "that's before modernization of the last 50 years. It's just all-out full-fledged nuclear war against our gut bacteria.”

2. Prebiotics

John Ellis:
So the second thing is your supply line called prebiotics. What does that mean? It means "bug food". So the bug food has to be fiber that can make it through that acid and make it down there to feed those gut bugs.

So I call it a "supply line." I wrote down a couple of things that I think of as a supply line as weapons and food and medicines. So in the best food, I mean, there's hundreds of good prebiotics, but a couple that always jumped to my mind is asparagus and hickama

But, you know, like sauerkraut had the steamy part of sauerkraut, kind of a preemptive probiotic, because some of that fiber and cabbage actually mix it down to your intestines. So you kind of get a little bit of both there. Celery is a good one because you're getting the water that you need, it's 95 percent water, and you get the fiber down there.

Shaila Anne:
So prebiotic is mostly high fiber foods?

John Ellis:
It is, because it's got to be tough enough to make it through your acid and make it down there and still have enough left over to help.

You're colonized bugs need to have something to eat. We need to feed them. You got to feed them. And, you know, when I mentioned earlier what's killing our gut, you know, one of them was processed foods.

Why processed foods hut your gut health

John Ellis:
If didn't mention it I should have because processed foods does the opposite. It full of sugars and weakens your good bacteria, and it feeds other things like yeast.

You know, how to grow mold? Yeast. Whatever you want to call it in your body. It's yeast. A lot of times described as mold in your house. But what feeds it? Darkness, fuel, moisture, darkness

What's the fuel? Sugar.

Shaila Anne:
Yeah, just like cancer cells, tumor cells. They did studies to show that the more sugar you eat them, the faster it multiplies your cells.

They took away sugar from the diet of these people and they started seeing it shrink because it had nothing to feed on. It's interesting, huh, very interesting,

so there's lots of good food that have high fibers, there's lots of good prebiotics probiotics, fermented foods even on the keto diet. I mean, pretty much all vegetables.

You have garlic, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, leafy greens, berries, fermented food. You have kimchi, tempeh, kiffer, yogurt with live cultures. Apple cider vinegar is fermented. It goes on and on and on.

John Ellis:
Some of the best yogurt is if you can make it with raw milk because then you've got real yogurt. In most yogurts the milk is pasteurized to kill all the bacteria.

Then they add it back. So it's it's still yogurt. It's still got good but usually the sugar bacteria trade-off is not in balance. You want to give your food the best advantage because it's going in your body.

 "You have garlic, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, leafy greens, berries, fermented food. You have kimchi, tempeh, kiffer, yogurt with live cultures. Apple cider vinegar is fermented. It goes on and on and on.”

When should healthy eating start?

Shaila Anne:
Speaking of kimchi, I guess we have to thank my parents for it. But we ate lots of fermented foods growing up. And especially with the kimchi we would fight over it because we would have bottles, huge bottles of it all the time in our house and we still do. You know, the real thick pieces of the Napa cabbage, my older sister, Taishanne, she would specifically go in and eat all the thick pieces, leaving us the leafy parts

John Ellis:
Yeah, she was getting her prebiotic fix at the highest, most perfect level.

Shaila Anne:
Yeah, I guess it's good when you have it starts from a young age, holistic health, feeding your body the right foods. I guess, even more than now, more than ever.

I'm so grateful to my parents because somehow they were in on it in the early stages. And I remember they would always make us take the most weirdest blended green smoothies. They didn't taste good, but they were good for your body. How do you get kids to eat all their vegetables every day, blend it up I guess.

John Ellis:
Now since you mentioned that and smoothie is it's process, so it's a little bit out of the wheelhouse, but it's still a miracle. It's still a superfood.

But they're finding that you got twenty five hundred species of bacteria. What do they eat? They all want different foods. So the wider range of raw vegetables and fruit you eat, especially vegetables, the more thriving canonizations of the right bacteria you have in your gut.

Yeah, you need it all. So if you're narrow and you only one vegetable, then you might have a thriving colonization. But it's going to be limited. You need the synergistic effect of your whole microbiota. It takes all everything.

Shaila Anne:
So eat a variety, eat seasonally, eat organic, fresh as much as possible.

What can I do to see how my gut health is doing?

John Ellis:
And I'll do a little plug for a company called "American Gut." You can send your stool sample in and find out where your bacteria is and what. What is interesting to me is in the last 50 years, how many species in the American gut have died. So they're extinct in your gut

Shaila Anne:

John Eliis:
So the only way for you to get them back would be to bring them in, somehow bring in reinforcements.

Shaila Anne:
To eat them.

John Ellis:
That's right.

What can I do if I can't eat certain foods?

Shaila Anne:
Some people, you know, with low auto immune or maybe they're on a special diet, whatever it might be, they either can't eat certain foods or they don't like to eat certain foods.

They have that narrow kind of. So what can they do in place of that to help them kind of give them those reinforcements if food is an issue

John Ellis:
You've got to start somewhere. And everybody's different. Everybody's body's different. Everybody, you know, you can't say this is the best food because we're just chemically so different. We can be we could be twins and our body's bacteria is going to be different.


So supplementation, if you absolutely can't eat the food is the way to go to. Is that what you're getting at? You have to supplement.

I mean, that's why they call it "supplement." You know, if I can't break down raw vegetables because my digestive system is so compromised, then you have to start somewhere.

The supplements again, probiotic prebiotic, the one we haven't talked about, which is your enzyme, is another one of the top three that all go hand in hand.


I mean, the American gut is so compromised at this point, almost all Americans should be eating or taking enzymes prior with every meal or every time you even snack.

So we're killing off our enzymes because it makes things last on the shelf longer. The point of an enzyme is to break things down and I'm not going to get into the science of it, but I just want to understand that if I eat this phone and it's food, let's say it's a sandwich and I eat this, my body has to break this down and every carb or whatever it is, protein gets broken down differently.

Enzymes means energy

And I have to figure out how to break this down molecularly to be able to use it as energy. And all foods used to have enzymes in them because we were eating raw food and now everything's cooked, processed, pasteurized, whatever you want to call it, to kill the enzyme so it lasts longer, even juices on our, you know, our raw milk last seven days, pasteurized milk, 17 days or whatever it is

Shaila Anne:
Yeah, it's a big difference.

John Ellis:
So an enzyme just takes a big rock and kind of breaks it to small rock so that it starts that process and helps your system.

Because if I eat this sandwich, which is all dead and doesn't have enzymes, it takes more energy to break this sandwich down than I'm getting out of it. And that's the problem.


Shaila Anne:
Yeah. Yeah, it's so incredible. So if you can't start if you can't eat certain foods, start with supplements, maybe even vitamins

John Ellis:
And I'll tell you about why good health is important. And kind of the I want to talk about the enzyme in the food enzyme first. That's papaya and pineapple.

So every time I say here's probiotic, there's a food, but there's also a supplement. If you can do it, it's easier to take three pills than it is to eat all the foods we just mentioned. And you've got to start somewhere.

But here's why. Probiotic prebiotic and enzymes are more important than even the vitamins, that you just mentioned.

If your digestive system is compromised, how are you going to break that vitamin down to to a molecular level to use it, to utilize that?

Shaila Anne:
Yeah, I know exactly what you're saying. And that is it is just so interesting. You know, sometimes it might seem like I'm going to take this vitamin and I'll be fine.

But if your body is not well enough, you know, it's going to have a hard time still making use of it. It might just flush it out, right?

John Ellis:
Yeah. So the enzyme is kind of like your generator, your electric system. It's what's going to get it to the energy point the quickest.

You know, you can rub two sticks together and get a fire or you can light a match. Yeah. And I don't know how to analyze that, but that's the fourth thing that I had. And there are polyphenols too, because it's the fuel, if you understand that piece. But that's a whole lot of information there.

But that's another piece that I put into that same it's really a trifecta, but that's kind of the subgroup that I do utilize just because it's a fuel.

 "You know, sometimes it might seem like I'm going to take this vitamin and I'll be fine. But if your body is not well enough, you know, it's going to have a hard time still making use of it. It might just flush it out.

Are you doing these things to improve your gut health?

Shaila Anne:
Yeah, incredible. So on top of eating, right. On top of taking supplements, if you need to start there, always go back to real food, that's where you're going to get the best of the best of the best

John Ellis:
The closer to the garden and the closer to the non cooked or raw the better.

Shaila Anne:
And on top of that, you know, you should cut down your stress somehow. Whatever you need to start, maybe start exercising, maybe get enough sleep. Sometimes getting enough sleep has shown to do wonders for the body.

And that's one thing that a lot of people are not even getting in their daily lives. It's the small things that we don't even think about that add up to our health over time. Good or bad.

So we got a lot of good information today. We know where to start, start wherever you need to, if it's a supplement, if it's a food, but do something to bring those reinforcements into your body to get your body going, working good, to get your body to thrive so that whatever you do, your body is healthy, because if your body's not healthy, you're not going to do anything.

So do you have anything you want to share?

John Ellis:
Well, I can go. I mean, I could go six days. But if you can start with those three things, you know, starting your day with a probiotic, you know, prebiotic as often as you can throughout the day, because they got to have that supply line continually.

 And then making sure that you have lights on and stuff at your base, if you will, and get that energy and power through breaking the big rock to a little rock, you know, to where it's closer to a molecular already

So that they can absorb it, so it's not taking more energy to break it down than it is to fuel you up. You're going to feel sluggishness and exhausted because your body's using as much energy to break it down as it is to get you back.

Where should I go to improve my health?

Shaila Anne:
Now, if you guys are loving all of this because I know I love it, you guys have to come and check out John's store in Kettle Falls, Washington. Meyers Falls Market. It's right on the 395. It's an awesome store. It has everything. It even has a cafe

It has hundreds of local vendors, I mean from micro local. Everything from honey to eggs to meet. Even three wineries, all in the county area.

So when we say local, we're talking micro, micro, local. And if you remember what this whole conversation was about, I mean, the more local, the more fresh and organic the better.

His store covers all of this stuff. You have to come check it out when you have a chance. And that is the best place for people to find you?

John Ellis:
Yeah, the best place right now. I'm writing my second book and I'm putting more energy into this and I'm immersing myself like, you know, Tony Robbins says immerse.

So I own the health food store. I'm immersing myself in it on a daily basis. I've got people that are coming in here that have the worst of diseases of twenty-five years ago, and they're living and thriving and tell me their stories and I'm learning from them.

What does healthy mean?

Shaila Anne:
Yeah, incredible. So one last question. When I say the word "healthy," what does that mean to you

John Ellis:
What does that mean to me? I mean, that's your system is working at a hundred percent.

Yeah. You're breaking down your energy as your food is sustaining yourself and your mind's good. You're you're in balance. I think I think that's what healthy means to me. Yeah. So you can thrive.

Well, you snuck that question in there didn't you?

Shaila Anne:
I decided I'm going to ask people I interview now. Surprise! So thank you so much. I really enjoyed this conversation.

John Ellis:
Thank you.

Main takeaway

The gut is so special that it affects our skin, mood, weight loss, weight gain, brain, and general overall health. Seriously, 80% of our immune system has been linked to our gut health. So, if you’ve been doing “all the things”, but are still having trouble, then this episode is for you.

  • How a real estate guru went from losing $20 MILLION to becoming a gut bug expert
  • The purpose of the gut - why gut health is important **HINT: It has to do with immunity, disease-fighting, and viral fighting**
  • The common signs of having a bad gut
  • The 6 gut killers that we encounter DAILY! 😫 Including silent killers like food 🤯
  • Where to start to improve our gut health
  • **keto-friendly** list of foods that you can eat TODAY to reenforce your healthy gut 

Psst! Are you ready to get healthy? Check out my 4 WEEK EASY KETO MEAL PLAN. Jam packed with tasty easy keto recipes, shopping lists, meal plans, tools, and text you need to get into rapid ketosis

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