Inflammation and the Healing Power of Plant-Based Diet with Michelle Martinez

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Dr. Michael Karlfeldt, ND, PhD talks with Lifestyle Coach and Dietary Counselor, Michelle Martinez about healing the body from female health conditions and others with a raw food diet. This diet supplies specific nutrients to repair tissues and keep your body healthy and strong. The diet Michelle educates about uses food in its raw and natural form, and unaltered.

Dr. Karlfeldt: With me I have Michelle Martinez, she is a lifestyle coach and also dietary counselor. So you specialize in a certain kind of diet and what is that?

Michelle Martinez, Holistic Nutrition Practitioner: Plant-based nutrition; I got my certificate through Cornell University through the T. Colin Campbell Foundation, he wrote a book called The China Study. And I decided to pursue that because it helped me to heal some conditions I had.

Dr. K: What were you dealing with?

MM: A female condition called endometriosis.

Dr. K: Yes, that can be quite painful.

MM: Extremely painful. The medical options that I found said it could either come back, or total hysterectomy. And neither of those options appealed to me.

Dr. K: Either birth control pills or total hysterectomy.

MM: Right. So, I was too young for that. I did some research on my own and found that there were some alternatives, kept working with it, and I’m fine now.

Dr. K: Wonderful! So just with plant-based diet, you were able to eliminate endometriosis?

MM: Yes.

Dr. K: So, a lot of women are dealing with a lot of female concerns. And this is one of those that expresses itself as being very challenging.

MM: It’s not just endometriosis. I wrote a book talking about women who have naturally reduced fibroid tumors, reduced poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, infertility and a a lot of different things.

Dr. K: And all with a plant-based diet. They can correct these hormonal issues.

MM: Yes.

Dr. K: So tell me a little bit more about the diet. How do you practically go about doing that?

MM: Great question. So, the American Diet has been given the acronym the SAD or Standard American Diet. And the rich diet that we eat has really been the underlying cause for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Not to mention arthritis, auto-immune and even dementia. If we look at populations outside of the U.S., Asia for example and Africa, they don’t show the same rates of those diseases that we do here in America.

It’s easy to say that it’s based on genetics. But what’s interesting is that looking at migration studies have shown that even when people move to this country and adopt the Standard American Diet, with their same genetics, the results match what’s happening here in America.

Dr. K: So it’s really more about the dietary habits they maintain wherever they live?

MM: Yes. What’s interesting is that here in America, because we all eat the same, we expect when we get heart disease or diabetes, it’s not going to get any better because we don’t know anyone who has experienced improvement. And yet, not only can a plant-based diet prevent that from happening, but in many cases, it can also reverse the condition once it has taken hold.

Dr. K: So when a person comes to you: you will guide them with how to eat properly and correct their dietary habits, and reverse conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Also you mentioned the female hormonal problems, just based on what they are eating.

MM: Yes. I have a 30, 60, and also a 90 day program. I work with their doctor, so I don’t touch their medications. They have to let their physician know, and have their doctor adjust the medications.

I go to their homes and help not only with diet, but also exercise. And then with the diet we can go through cupboards, we can do recipes. I also offer classes on how to make meals.

People have 3 expectations about eating healthier:

  1. It’s going to be expensive
  2. It’s going to be time consuming
  3. It won’t taste good

Dr. K: Okay. And are they right?

MM: No. Five to ten minutes. No more than what you are currently spending. And at the farmer’s market every Saturday, I’d make recipes out of produce, and little kids loved it.

Dr. K: Really? So it tastes good, it’s less expensive, and it’s healthier for you.

MM: I wouldn’t say less expensive, depending on if you are eating out a lot it’s less expensive. But even if you are just breaking even, you are going to be saving on medications if you are paying out of pocket.

Dr. K: That’s huge. And so how does plant-based medicine really work?

MM: What they are finding is there is a lot of proteins and fats in animal foods that are highly inflammatory to the human body. It works by removing those sources of inflammation so the body can heal. And then there are a lot of healing anti-oxidants and vitamins and minerals in plant foods that help the body’s immune system repair itself.

So it’s kind of a one-two punch of supporting the body. If I cut my finger, my body heals that without me doing anything about it. So it’s the same concept: if I stop smoking, my lungs start to repair itself if I stop injuring my body.

Dr. K: Exactly. So you mentioned anti-oxidants. Can’t you just take a pill such as Vitamin C or Vitamin A?

MM: Great question. Studies have shown that Vitamin A in pill form can actually be harmful. There is such a synergy of compounds in plant foods that work together. When we take nutrients in isolation, we are not enabling them to work synergistically. There are compounds scientists are still discovering. Those undiscovered compounds aren’t yet being included in those vitamin product and pill forms.

Dr. K: So just to isolate each little component, and thinking that is all that’s in the food, it’s actually, ludicrous.

MM: Yeah. And then we this “take a pill” mentality and I can go and eat this way, and then take a pill to cancel it out. That’s like me saying, “Oh, I can smoke a cigarette but if I take this anti-oxidant pill I can negate the effects of the smoking.”

Dr. K: Yeah, exactly. So the best way to contact you; you’re going to be offering classes, and the holidays are coming up soon. So you’ll be offering classes and you can help clients to eat healthier through the holidays, and you’ll have some special offers.

MM: The most popular program I offer is the 30-day program. It is actually in the home where I’ve found is most effective to help people change their daily lifestyle habits. So I can travel to their home, and help them with shopping and whatever else.

And yes, I do have gift certificates available. So if someone wants to buy that program for a loved one, knowing they may not treat themselves to, then that’s available.

Dr. K: Wonderful! Well, thank you for coming to the show.

MM: Thank you for having me.

Dr. K: My pleasure!

Photo by ja-ma on Unsplash.

HealthMade Team

HealthMade Team

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