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How to Manipulate Your Hormones for Fitness and Health


How To Manipulate Your Hormones For Fitness and Health


By Travis Wade

I hate to say it but your doctor isn’t going to take good care of you. They will do their job to keep you alive and pain free and some of them will put in the extra effort to do a good job. That’s all free health care will get you and do not expect any more. They will not keep you at optimum health. It’s not a concern to our health care system if you are overweight. Your doctor isn’t going to tell you what I’m about to tell you here.

Personal Training 101

how to manipulate hormones

I love fitness and I love seeing people achieving their goals in the gym. Here’s a stat for you; 20% of people in the gym are getting their goal. Over 90% of the people getting their goal in the gym have training.

Lots of people will plateau at some point. It’s very common and there are ways to get around that. Some methods are undulating your program, changing your program once a month, periodizing your program, and working on the weak link or sticking points of your lifts with your accessory exercises.

This is personal training 101. Not every trainer knows how to do all this effectively because 79% of trainers will quit within one year. The industry is saturated with beginners. Learning a lot of these skills takes experience.

The thing I really want to talk about is how a holistic personal trainer can manipulate hormones to achieve goals. Most personal trainers may not know it but it’s one of the main things we do. Heavy lifting with compound movements will boost testosterone and human growth hormone; proper nutrition avoids insulin spikes and gets the nutrients your body needs to function well.

Your Allostatic Load


This is where most good personal trainers stop. If they don’t get you past your plateau with diet and exercise, they will likely be stumped. There is much more that can be done. What I want to talk about is called your allostatic load. This means the total stress on your body.

Oxidative stress from the types of foods you eat, the mental stress (from your job, family and life in general), your toxic load, and dysbiosis which is the imbalance of good and bad bacteria of the gut. These are the main components of your allostatic load.

Your allostatic load has a major impact on your adrenal glands. A high allostatic load increases cortisol. Cortisol is a really good antiinflammatory. The side effects are weight gain around the belly, lack of sleep, frustration, reduced performance, and increased health problems. This can lead to depression, adrenal fatigue, and Addison’s Disease.

Another thing is when cortisol is high, thyroid hormone is low and so is melatonin. High cortisol and low melatonin will make sleeping difficult which in turn increases your stress. Low thyroid hormone will cause low metabolism creating weight gain.

One last thing is, a high allostatic load fills your bucket. There is no room for added stress like working out or getting a project done. If you do workout, it will take much longer for recovery and you won’t fully recover before your working out again. If you have low allostatic load then there is plenty of room for added stress and recovery from that stress.



The first component of allostatic load I want to talk about is mental stress. It’s the one that most people are familiar with. One thing I try to get my clients to do is meditation. I don’t mean once a day for a half hour; I mean for 5 minutes about 5 times a day. We get distracted in our minds too easy. The more times a day you practise the better you’ll get at it. One of the things over achievers have in common is meditation. They say they can over achieve because they take the time to do their daily meditation.

Another thing I’d like to talk about is telomeres; they depict your age. They are the ends of your DNA strands and the older you get physically the shorter your telomeres get. Scientists have only discovered one thing that makes telomeres longer; meditation. If you don’t do meditation you will likely have a high allostatic load, age faster, never be able to overachieve, and live a stressed life.

Sleep well!!

Your Toxic Load


Your doctor will tell you that your liver takes care of toxins and that’s what they are told in med school. The truth is your liver can’t keep up anymore. There are 3000 toxins being created every year, you’re exposed to over 200 before you are born, you have approximately 700 in your body at any given time. It’s called your toxic load and it has an extremely profound effect on us. If your liver was taking care of it you wouldn’t have 700 toxins in you at any given time. Maybe your liver was keeping up a hundred years ago but not anymore.

Your toxic load increases your chances of disease and inflammation. It causes chronic fatigue and brain fog. It needs to be excreted. The heavy metals bind to mineral receptor sites and need to be unbound from places like our brain and mitochondria which are the energy factories in our cells. For more on heavy metal detox read my article on it here.

The Microbiome

bulletproof coffee

We have 10 times more bacteria cells in and on us than we do human body cells, we have 10 times more viruses than we do bacteria cells, we have fungus, yeast, and all kinds of other tiny creatures. They are on our skin, in our mouths and noses, in our lungs, and mostly in our guts. This ecosystem is called our microbiome. It is involved in virtually every aspect of our physiology.

The microbiome is complicated but one thing I will mention is candida is a very common yeast overgrowth and SIBO is small intestine bacteria overgrowth. These are very common and need to be eliminated along with any other type of bad gut infection.

One other thing I should mention is firmicutes is fat person bacteria and bacteroidetes is skinny person bacteria. You can manipulate these with probiotics, antioxidants, fermented foods, and when the timing is right, resistant starch.

Oxidative stress can be caused from processes in the body like metabolism, exercise, phagocytosis, and inflammation. Sugar metabolism has 16x more oxidative stress than fat metabolism.

People are convinced they need to eat carbohydrates for energy. I hope to change that belief in people and you can read my many articles written on fat and how it should be used for your energy source. Of course, that’s not an easy diet to follow but there are many tricks to make it easier and it gets easier with practise.

All of the above have huge impacts on your hormones. When you have an imbalance, it is very likely that one of the above is the cause or most likely all of them. If these concerns are not addressed there may be a plateau in your future along with other health concerns down the line.

When one hormone is out it affects the other hormones. One will be high the other will be low. Then there will be compensation in another area. A lot of times thyroid hormone will be reduced which depicts your metabolism. Lots of weight gain starts to happen. There is a symphony going on. Manipulating your hormones is not a simple thing to do and a lot of times a specialist may be required.

What To Do

personal trainer Edmonton

#1. Hire me.

Other Things You Can Do

how to choose a personal trainer

True Balance is a place in Sherwood Park that offers hormone replacement therapy which is a quick fix but I like them because they educate their clients and offer solutions to the cause of the imbalance and they use bio-identical hormones as opposed to the synthetic crap your doctor will prescribe. They do a full panel and find out your nutrient deficiencies, blood cell counts, hormone levels; it’s a very in depth panel. They do get people fast results while they address their causes.

The causes will still need to be addressed. Eat well to get the nutrients your body needs and avoid oxidative stress. Meditate 5 times a day for 5 minutes at a time. You will never get really good at it but that’s why they call it practise. You will get better at it though; I promise. Detox by getting rid of as many sources as possible and get infrared rays; consider Biosil and Pectasol C. Have your microbiome tested and address major issues then feed your good bacteria.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.

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The Ultimate Health and Happiness Plan

stress relief

The Ultimate Health and Happiness Plan

stress relief

By Travis Wade

I’ve been an EMT for over 18 years now and it’s great to be able to help people out especially when they need it most. The down side is most of the people we deal with are people who don’t help themselves so we have to help them. There is way more depression out there than I ever thought and people have what they call “failure to thrive”. They don’t die. They live out their life on our stretcher. It’s not a great way to live and the number one reason why we get called is loneliness. What I do now is help people before they get to that point. I help people who want to help themselves. I keep people off the stretcher.

The main reason I do what I do is because I’ve seen what fitness has done for me. Of course it does a lot physically, I’m faster, stronger, feel better, look better, and move better in general, but it does way more. It created a lot of confidence for me which spilled over into every aspect of my life. That’s what I see in others as well. It starts with getting fitter and then confidence starts when someone accomplishes a goal. Confidence creates success for people.

What I Do…

blue zones

“The Blue Zones” is a book by Dan Buettner. He talks about the 4 regions of the world where people are living the longest and what they all have in common. Research shows that people who live happy are the people that are living the longest. The 5 things that these people have in common is:

1. They have a sense of purpose. In other words, you can’t retire. The people that retire and sit at the coffee shops complaining about the world around them are miserable.

2. They have friends and family around them. They don’t believe in moving out. They live together. You can’t move to paradise island and be happy. You will last about 3 months and then it’s time to come home.

3. You have to surround yourself with the right people. You could have the best job in the world, but if you go to work with a bunch of dirt balls everyday it’s going to suck.

4. Proper diet with proper proportions.

5. Proper exercise.

What I do creates happiness and longevity.

My mission is to create a community of happy people around me that are beautiful on the inside and out. I encourage volunteering and altruism when I can and try to help out when I can as well. This is why I do what I do.

How I do It…



The first thing I try to do is get people exercising doing things that they will enjoy. You have to like it or you won’t continue with it. You’ll have the initial motivation and after a while you’ll have all kinds of excuses to not show up.


The next thing I do is to try to get people to eat healthy. The number one thing you want to do with food is get the nutrients your body needs. The book I most commonly use to help my clients eat well is called “The 10 Day Detox Cookbook” by Dr. Mark Hyman.

Sometimes diet and exercise is all people need and they feel great and get their goals. I heard a trainer say once that people aren’t fat because their bodies are broken. He’s partially right. There is usually something more going on, but almost everybody has underlying physical health issues these days that contribute as well.

So my next step after diet and exercise is to look at nutrient deficiencies. Without doing a panel on someone I just address the top nutrient deficiencies in north America.  Sometimes this is all people need to accomplish their goals and feel great.


Next, I educate people on the importance of meditation. It’s an easy concept to laugh about because people appear to be doing nothing but people that overachieve dedicate their ability to overachieve to all the meditation they do. Many cultures have been doing it for thousands of years and they know the benefits.

More recently in our culture we have been studying the effects with MRI and other technology to see what’s happening in the body. Activating the relaxation response is the only intervention known to man that actually makes a person’s biological age younger. It also allows a person to focus to get more done.

Other Resources

neurotropic factor


After that I will get to know someone and get a feel for other possible resources to make them as healthy as possible. viome.com will test a person’s microbiome to see what they have going on inside them.

We are made up of 10x more bacteria than we are human body cells and we have 10x more viruses than we do bacteria cells. We have a huge ecosystem going on in and on us and it has a massive, massive impact on us. One example is there are two main types of bacteria in us; bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Bacteroidetes is skinny person bacteria and firmicutes is fat person bacteria. You need to know how to manipulate these to your advantage.


I might ask people to work on hormone imbalances. A place called True Balance does a full panel including nutrients, blood cell counts, hormones, and even antigens. It’s great to see this and they educate people about their particular situation and offer treatment as well.

DNA Test

A couple other resources available are The DNA Company. They test your DNA and tell you what things you need to avoid and what things you should be doing.


Another resource is Wendy Myers who deals with toxicity and minerals. We are exposed to over 200 toxins before we are born and 3000 more are being created every year. A hundred years ago our liver could take care of us, but not anymore. Toxins accumulate in the brain and in our mitochondria which are responsible for creating our energy. We become slower and can’t think as well over time. We need to detox.

Mental Barriers

I guess I should mention Jon Gabriel. My friend that talked about how people’s bodies aren’t broken has a point. We’ve all been through some mental trauma in life. Sometimes it’s enough to prevent people from attaining their goals. Jon Gabriel deals with that side of things and his website is thegabrielmethod.com.


Finally, I try to get every client I have to journal. My coach journals twice a day. I journal once a day in the morning. If I give you the formula to happiness, it doesn’t mean you will be happy. You have to implement the formula. The best way to hold yourself accountable to implement the formula is to journal. These are some of the key factors to implement in your daily life that have been proven to significantly increase happiness. 

Journal in the morning because starting your day by taking time for yourself is the best way to start a day. If you start your day on a positive note then you will live your day on a positive note. If you start every day on a positive note that is how you will live your life. Rate your happiness out of 10 and journal for a month and rate your happiness out of 10 again.

Journaling allows us to relive the good things in our lives. No matter what happens to you in a day, no matter how good it was, journaling will be the best part of your day because you get to relive whatever happened without the bad. 

When good things happen it creates dopamine which is the “feel good” neurotransmitter. When we journal we relive the good things without the bad and we get the dopamine again. We all need dopamine! Some people get it by eating sugar, I’m asking you to get it by journaling.

If you want more information on journaling watch this Tedtalk with Shawn Achor. If you want to know what I journal, contact me and I will send you the happiness template.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton

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A Tribute To Gordon Downie Of The Tragically Hip


A Tribute To Gordon Downie


By Travis Wade

My good man Gordon Downie just passed through town for the last time. I’m very sad I never got the chance to see him. I’m terribly heartbroken the Tragically Hip lead singer doesn’t have long to live. He is a Canadian icon and has a knack for Canadian references in his songs that sound so natural and unforced. No one can do it the way Gordon Downie can do it. FYI Trois Pistoles is a cute little town near the coast in Quebec that I passed through on my way to Gaspé.

I’ll never forget my first van and how the CD player was broken and I couldn’t get Gordon Downie’s poetry album out of the CD player. There was the time they were playing a word of mouth gig at the Trailway Pub in Vancouver as they often did. 75 people in a small pub and the Tragically Hip. I ran all the way there and after standing in line for about 10 minutes they announced they were sold out.

I found myself on the roof looking at ways to break into the Trailway when I came to my senses and decided, maybe not get arrested that day. Another time I raced to Rexall from a job near Lloydminster to see if I could get a ticket at the box office, but the band already started playing and the box office was closed. This time I didn’t have to break in, but I snuck in and sat down and enjoyed the show. I have seen the Tragically Hip more times than any other band at 7 times.

The Brain

Although I am very sad Gordon Downie is going to pass and there is nothing I can do about it I want to pass on information to all of you that prevents cancer and brain degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

As an EMT, dementia and Alzheimer’s was seen in almost every patient living in an assisted living establishment. It’s so common it has become accepted as something that is inevitable with age. This couldn’t be more false.

The truth is brain degenerative diseases can be avoided with proper nutrition and exercise. That’s where I come in. I listen to Health Talks in my spare time everyday and I listen to hundreds of doctors talk about all kinds of diseases like cancer, thyroid problems, Alzheimer’s, etc. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, I hear the same things for all of them. So here is how to be healthy.


Avoid GMO’s.  Stay away from white foods – sugar, flour, grains, dairy, potatoes – all foods with low nutrient value and high carb/glycemic index load. Lower your toxic load as much as possible, avoid food sensitivities, heal your gut with bone broth, find out what’s in your microbiome, correct dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad bacteria of the gut), detox from heavy metals and other issues you might have; common ones are SIBO – small intestine bacteria overgrowth, and Candida which is a yeast overgrowth.

If there is something major to overcome, medication might be necessary, however, proper diet and exercise will give your body the optimal environment to recover and prevent relapse.

There are always specific things to help with specific issues, but today I will focus on brain problems and cancer in tribute to Gord Downie.



The specifics for cancer beyond the above mentioned methods is a raw foods diet. There are books written on this and studies show pharmaceutical intervention in the treatment for cancer is futile. Juicing vegetables is the basis of the raw foods diet. Without sugar to feed the cancer growth and all the antioxidants in plant foods, an environment impossible for cancer to grow is created and in so many cases it reverses cancer growth.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and the research keeps showing the positive effects of this powerful antioxidant. It helps with cancer and brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you supplement then a quality fish oil that isn’t rancid may help. If your cheap omega 3s taste like a rotten fish, you might want to upgrade. Of course eating the actual fish is going to have the best effect.


 A quality multivitamin is always recommended and Sayer Ji from Green Med Info has brand names he recommends. If you want a recommendation just give me a text. Vitamin D is the biggest nutrient deficiency in North America and I’m sure our American friends get more than we do.

You’re not going to get a better source for vitamin D than the sun. The sun also detoxifies. You can never get enough sun and especially where we live. Take off your shirt and take off your sunglasses; you absorb most of your light through your eyes and I’ve heard one speaker say up to 90% of your light is absorbed with your eyes.


Alzheimer’s is now being coined type 3 diabetes because Alzheimer’s is actually insulin resistance of the brain. This just means insulin can’t take sugar into the cells of the brain and brain cells die. The best solution doctors are recommending is coconut oil. MCT’s are great for weight loss for various reasons, but also great for the brain. Coconut oil has been seen to help reverse Alzheimer’s.

Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee refines coconut oil to isolate the C8 in the coconut oil. C8 in particular does a liver pass and you will be in full ketosis in about a half hour. It’s instant ketones in the blood and doesn’t need insulin to feed the brain.

One more supplement I need to mention is according to research an apple a day reduces chances of Alzheimer’s by 37%. The sugar from a fruit affects the body much different than sugar extracted from fruit. High fructose corn syrup didn’t exist 60 years ago. Stay away from anything processed.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton

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Are GMOs Really That Bad?


Are GMOs Really That Bad?

These are the secrets food producers keep!



There is so much controversy when it comes to Genetically Modified Organisms. Anything that makes a ton of money will always have controversy it seems. The last time I looked up GMOs on Google Scholar (in 2015) the first three pages had nothing but articles showing how spectacular of an invention GMOs were.

I was very surprised at the time because I had learned what GMOs were and how they were made. I had heard many doctors talk about how they remove GMOs from people’s diets and their patients got better. Were all these doctors lying?? Was everything I read about GMOs not true??

I’m going to tell you exactly what Genetically Modified Organisms are and how they are modified.  You make your own decision on whether they are good or bad for you. However, one thing I learned about nutrition is if anything has been altered by man it usually won’t be good for us.

Genetically Modified Organisms


How a GMO is made is scientists remove a desired gene, or combination of desired genes, out of a specimen and multiply the genes they want. They inject the desired genes into a petri-dish of plant cells and some of those genes make it into the DNA of some of those cells. They clone those plant cells into plants, and now every single cell of the cloned plants has the new desired gene or new gene combination.

Types Of GMOs



There are three main types of GMOs. The original GMO was herbicide tolerance. Monsanto’s scientists discovered bacteria growing in a chemical waste dump, not dying in the presence of their herbicide “Roundup”. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which was patented as an antibiotic. They discovered the bacteria had a particular gene that allowed it to survive in the Roundup.

The scientists took the gene out of the bacteria and inserted it into soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, sugar, and alfalfa. These GMO crops are all engineered not to die when sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This unfortunately leads to Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate getting absorbed into the GMO foods.

The amount of glyphosate allowed was increased dramatically to accommodate spraying it on so many crops. Although wheat is non-GMO, glyphosate is sprayed on wheat crops 3 days before harvest to dry down or kill the plant. It speeds up the ripening process and kills the weeds for the next season. Of course the glyphosate ends up in the food.

As mentioned glyphosate gets sprayed by the tons and it’s in all our waterways. When tested, it was discovered that glyphosate is in all North American wine which is why I only drink wine from New Zealand. In New Zealand they only use organic pesticides and herbicides. They like to keep their island as pristine as possible. That’s why their lamb is so awesome too!

Glyphosate kills our reed wildlife and without reed wildlife we lose our ecosystems. I had a consult with a girl that had her masters in environmental science. Her job was to count all the reed wildlife along the North Saskatchewan river and plot them because we are losing the reed wildlife so quickly.

I asked her what was killing the reed wildlife and she said agricultural runoff. I asked her what that was and she said pesticides and herbicides. I asked her if she could name any and she said no. I told her about glyphosate and she had never heard of it. She told me the government’s plan was to not allow people to build on the existing reed wildlife.

Another environmental disaster I would like you to look up is the dead zones of the ocean. Most people are unaware that they exist. According to google they are caused by agricultural runoff and glyphosate is the number one pesticide sprayed in the world. However they do not mention glyphosate as one of the causes. It literally kills everything that’s not GMO. 89% or more of soy, corn, canola, sugar beets, and cotton are genetically modified. That’s a lot of glyphosate!

If you read what causes the dead zones of the ocean it’s too much nutrients feeding algae and bacteria then the algae and bacteria die leaving a low oxygen level in the water. The first one discovered was in the 70’s long before Glyphosate was being sprayed by the tons on crops. However, being that glyphosate is in all our waterways I can’t see it helping the situation.

dead zones of the ocean

When I first wrote this article years ago we weren’t allowed to call glyphosate a carcinogen because there were no human studies, (no volunteers). We are now officially allowed to call glyphosate a carcinogen. You can look up the Monsanto papers. They show you all the lawsuits against Monsanto. The weird thing in the U.S.A. is if you change the name of your company, anyone with a lawsuit against you has to start from the beginning. Unfortunately, people with cancer die. Monsanto is now called Bayer. Also, have a look at this study that shows the cancerous effects of glyphosate on animals.

BT Toxin


The next toxin used for GMOs is called Bacillus Thuringiensis or BT toxin and it’s found naturally in soil bacteria. You can gather that toxin and spray it on plants. It kills certain insects and washes off and biodegrades within a few days.

Biotech scientists took that gene that produces the toxin and put it into corn and cotton. The crop produces thousands of times more BT toxin. It’s much more dangerous. It kills insects by poking holes in their gut. It does the same to human cells. Maybe you’ve heard of Leaky Gut Syndrome? It’s also found to create allergic reactions or immune type reactions in humans and animals. Monsanto/Bayer claims it only affects the bugs it is intended for and is harmless to humans.

The BT toxin modification was designed to kill the European rootworm. Instead of having to spray a field, the crop itself will kill the bugs. Unfortunately, the BT toxin binds with clay in the soil. It can affect the ecosystem, reed wildlife system, beneficial insects, and of course humans.



Increasing natural plant toxins has become the most popular GMO. All plants have a natural toxin called lectin. Lectin is poisonous but we can handle it in small doses that we get in our non-GMO fruits and vegetables. However, beans are very high in lectin and have to be soaked first before we can eat them. People get sick if they don’t soak their beans and approximately 2 people a year die from slow cooking chili with un-soaked kidney beans.

When they massively increase the lectins in fruits and vegetables no bugs will touch the produce and you get a perfect specimen. It’s very high in poison but it looks perfect. My friend planted organic potatoes and GMO potatoes on her acreage. The bugs ate all the organic potatoes and the GMO potatoes were untouched.

What lectin does to us is it binds to cells in our gut lining and destroys junctions or kills the cell. The amount of lectins in most peoples’ diet is easily enough to cause leaky gut syndrome. Our gut is meant to break down food into amino acids, vitamins and minerals and absorb those nutrients. Our gut is also meant to keep toxins out. I don’t know too many people these days that do a good job of this and from my 18 years of experience in EMS I can tell you there is a huge epidemic of gut issues and about half of them leave the hospital undiagnosed.

Other GMOs


Zucchini, squash, and papaya are engineered to withstand certain viruses and they have their own problems. It’s mostly papaya, zucchini, or squash from Hawaii or china. There’s also potatoes and apples that have been approved in 2015. They have genes that prevent browning or slow it down. Farmed salmon has now been approved for genetic modifications as well.

Is That Really A Problem?

If you plot the percentage of certain diseases in the U.S. and plot the amount of Roundup or glyphosate or GMOs, they have a distinct jump starting in 1996. Certain diseases follow the same slope as the GMOs; autism, diabetes, death from obesity, about 7 types of cancer, schizophrenia, anemia, ADHD, inflammatory bowel syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease, and many others. Although correlation does not equal causation it is another hint.

Jeffrey Smith has heard more testimonies than anybody about individuals getting better from removing GMOs and switching to organic. The number one category is always gastrointestinal (stomach) problems at every lecture he has gone to. Number two, glyphosate can mess up your testosterone/estrogen balance, it’s also a mitochondrial toxin causing fatigue, and brain fog.

More problems are birth defects, weight gain, skin conditions, immune system problems, allergies, asthma, autoimmune disease, mental conditions like anxiety or depression, headache or migraines, joint pain, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and cancer.

Weight Loss

People that switched to non-GMOs were able to lose weight they weren’t able to lose with a “conventional” diet. Weight loss is a consistent side effect of a non-GMO diet; seen often amongst many doctors’ surveys.

The Microbiome

genetically modified

There are 10 times more bacteria cells in the body than human cells. There is good bacteria and bad bacteria. These bacteria are a critical aspect of health. The microbiome supports our immune system, our digestion, prevents Leaky Gut Syndrome, it’s also involved with detoxification, produces amino acids that are the building blocks for our neurotransmitters, like serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine which control mood.

Glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic and it kills the beneficial bacteria. This allows the pathogens to overgrow leading to inflammation. This environment leads to inflammation of the brain, autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, produces toxins, and loses the ability to repair the lining of the gut. Leaky Gut Syndrome is linked to all kinds of diseases.

Glyphosate was developed to bind to minerals and clean the minerals off of things; it’s one of the widest spectrum chelators. Monsanto claimed it was safe in humans because it only blocked the shikimate pathway in plants and because humans don’t have a shikimate pathway they claimed that we are fine.

Our gut bacteria use the shikimate pathway to build the building blocks of serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters depict our mood. If we are blocking the shikimate pathway by depriving it of manganese and cobalt, depression is likely. Serotonin also tells the body when it’s full. To make matters worse because glyphosate binds to minerals, we will likely not get enough leading to increased appetite due to lack of nutrients.

My Google Scholar Search


I did a search on google scholar to see what was being said about GMOs recently. I couldn’t find any studies but there was a lot of articles on what people’s opinion of GMOs were. I found this one article, it’s not a study, just an article reviewing the benefits vs the risks of GMOs.


In this article they say “GM crops and their products must be rigorously evaluated before being commercially released”. The CEO of the Food and Drug Administration at the time GMOs were approved was Michael Taylor. He approved GMOs against the boards recommendation and many letters to not approve GMOs for public consumption.

Have you ever heard the term crony? A crony is someone who is put in a powerful position to carry out a specific task then they will be rewarded with a high paying job in the private sector for their hard work. Cronies have always existed throughout history. If you follow the path of Michael Taylor’s career, I think you will see some shady activity.

Another point made in this article is that GMO products are not labelled with a warning sign. You can put a Non-GMO label on your food but GMOs do not have to be labelled GMO. According to this article the reason this decision was made is because me and you along with all the other laypeople are too stupid to know whether GMOs are good or bad.

“Nonetheless, an increasing number of countries have been involved in labeling with distinct regulatory characteristics. At least 64 countries worldwide, such as the EU countries, China and Australia, expect some form of GMO labeling”. It also states, “the USA strongly opposes labeling”.


Another important quote from this article states, “Many prevalent GE myths exist and cover wide-ranging themes, from health and safety to other environmental safety areas. Allergies, toxicity, possible horizontal gene transfer (HGT) to the environment or other species, and several anomalies such as metabolic disturbance, tumor genesis, or infertility have all been related to the consumption of GM crops. Overall, the considerable scientific consensus holds, insofar as currently marketed GM food does not pose a higher risk than traditional food [8,33,47]. The authors offer a risk–benefit analysis based on scientific evidence and debunk myths that interest groups have spread.”

The article goes on to talk about the future of GMOs and what they are currently in the process of working on. They talk about wonderful things like getting more production and less waste from viruses and other plant pathogens. They talk about increasing nutrients and delaying the ripening process of fruit and vegetables for less waste in transport of these products.

I believe all of these concepts are awesome and in a perfect world GMOs would be the best. However, whenever you alter something our body sees it as foreign and rejects it. Like a transplant. People have to take medication so their immune system doesn’t reject the new organ. It would be great to have more productivity and more nutrients if there was no bad reactions to the new product.

What To Avoid

genetically modified

If you want to avoid GMOs, some of the foods you want to avoid are legumes including soy, grains including corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa, papaya, zucchini, yellow squash, salmon, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, milk, meat, and eggs, unless it’s wild caught or organic.

Unfortunately, avoiding GMOs is not good enough which is why organic is strongly recommended. If you use nongmoshoppingguide.com it doesn’t guarantee your food doesn’t have glyphosate, but it’s a much better bet than conventional. Avoiding GMOs and Roundup can be done by switching to organic.

In the film Secret Ingredients they will show people that had autism and people that were disabled, had breast cancer, diabetes, infertile, a whole list of people that when they switched to organic got better. For many of them the weight came off; there’s a lot of benefits switching to organic.

One last thing I think you should know is GMO corn, soy, sugar, grains, and many others are in packaged foods unless otherwise mentioned. A great resource to help you avoid GMOs is resposibletechnology.org. Sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date on new GMOs. A couple other resources are:



I hope this article was helpful and remember your vote is important. Your vote is what you choose to eat. The big companies can’t keep producing crap if you won’t buy it. The other thing is to let everyone know about this information. Like and share this article with as many people as you can.

Very shady things happen at the cost of our health to make the rich richer. This stuff really happens. Reminds me of a cartoon with the big evil villain wanting to take over the world at the cost of everyone else’s lives.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.

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Heavy Metal Detoxification

heavy metal toxins

Heavy Metal Detoxification

These are the secrets manufacturers keep!

heavy metal toxins

Do you know what your allostatic load is? Don’t sweat it if it sounds Portuguese to you. Allostatic load is just a fancy way of saying all the stresses on the body combined. The three main stresses are mental stress, toxins, and microbiome.

We all know what mental stress is, and there are many ways to reduce it. The microbiome is the bacteria of the body. To put it simply, the more good bacteria you have, the less bad stuff you’ll have. Grow your good bacteria instead of killing them off with antibiotics. Antibiotics should only be used in case of an emergency.

The third factor of the allostatic load is toxins, which we are focusing on today. Heavy metal toxins, to be more specific.

The Heavy Metals


Heavy metals are just one more son of a kitchen health hazard we have to deal with. However, I do have some good news, (bad news as well). Because I can’t ask which you want first, I’ll start with the bad. The bad news is we are all exposed to heavy metal toxicity.

The good news is, if you choose to detoxify, you will have much more energy, a better ability to gain muscle, and a better ability to lose weight. This article will talk about specific heavy metals, how they ruin our lives, and what to do about them.

Mercury and Copper

Mercury is the number one heavy metal toxin that interferes with so many of our metabolic processes and causes so many health issues. I would love it if you had a look at this video from the University of Calgary, showing what minimal amounts of mercury does to our neurons.

Many people can’t gain muscle because mercury poisons the enzymes that transport amino acids into the enterocytes (absorptive cells of the small intestine). In other words, people are not effectively able to absorb proteins through the gut lining. The number one way people get mercury in their system is from dental fillings.

Copper will block nutrient receptor sites in the gut to prevent the absorption of nutrients in general. Many females and vegans are copper toxic, which also leads to adrenal fatigue. Beans are high in copper, and when there is a lack of minerals from meat to detoxify the copper, we get copper toxic.

Trivalent Toxic Metals

There’s a special group of metals that prevent us from having energy, which makes us not want to exercise. This group of metals are called trivalent toxic metals. They include aluminum, arsenic, tin, thallium, cesium, and antimony.

Trivalent toxic metals poison enzymes that transport nutrients into our mitochondria. Mitochondria make our energy (Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP). If your mitochondria doesn’t have the raw materials to make ATP, your metabolism will suffer, causing fatigue.

Aluminum is found in tap water, deodorant, flour, salts, and cheap cookware in restaurants because they are very disposable. We all have some level of aluminum toxicity. Tin is in tin cans and dental fillings.

The Thallium Story

The thallium story is a prevalent story that gets repeated with many harmful toxins such as trans-fats. Here’s the story…

Petroleum companies used to put lead in fuel, but people complained so much that the government felt the need to do something. So they took the lead out of fuel but not before they found a replacement. (Clear throat), enter thallium.

Nobody is complaining about thallium in gas because no one’s even heard of it. Thallium is just as bad, if not worse, than lead. Thallium binds to the body’s receptor sites for potassium, and it’s added to gasoline to prevent knocking in car engines.


Arsenic blocks our ability to lose weight and decreases our energy levels. It poisons an enzyme that transports triglycerides from fat cells, which makes it difficult to lose weight. Arsenic is found in water, pesticides, and conventional chickens because it’s in their antibiotics.

Most people that have trouble losing weight have arsenic toxicity, and if you have uranium toxicity, you can’t get rid of your arsenic. Uranium is another offender often found in water, and it interferes with blood sugar control.

Estrogenic Chemicals


Estrogenic chemicals are one of the biggest problems that interfere with our metabolic function. The more estrogen you have, the more fat you will retain. Xenoestrogens in our environment are the estrogens I’m worried about. Xenoestrogens are foreign estrogens and can be man-made or natural. The phytoestrogen found in soybeans is a natural xenoestrogen.

Some man-made estrogen mimetics are in BPA, PCBs, and the number one being phthalates. Phthalates are in everything; fragrances, cosmetics, detergent, personal care products, plastic softeners like your rubber ducky or shower curtain, nail polish, hair spray, plastic bags, microwaveable containers, safety gloves, printing ink, varnish, and paper coatings.

I have to tell you about the frogs! Frogs are considered an indicator species because they live on land and water. Frogs are sensitive to any changes in our environment or ecosystem. With three thousand new toxins created every year, there are so many xenoestrogens that we barely get any male frogs anymore. They are becoming female frogs. I know, it’s sad.



Minerals and metals occupy the same binding sites in the body. When we are deficient in certain minerals, we accumulate more heavy metals. For instance, if you don’t eat grass-finished red meat, you will likely be deficient in zinc. Zinc is used in the body to repair connective tissue like your skin. If there is an absence of zinc, your body uses cadmium, which causes cancer. When cadmium steals the receptor sites to repair arteries, it makes the arteries very brittle and hard, contributing to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Heavy metals replacing minerals happens in many other instances where you have a deficiency in a mineral. That’s why grass-finished meat, bone broth, and juicing vegetables are important.

By detoxifying and re-mineralizing the body, the cellular metabolism will work better, making it easier to lose weight and control blood sugar. Mineral deficiencies and heavy metals reduce your ability to regulate blood sugar, which leads to type 2 diabetes.

How To Test For Toxins

hair analysis

There are three different tests for toxins. The first one is a hair mineral analysis to customize a detox for someone. The next is a urine test for more metals, and the fecal test will test for even more. These latter tests are needed because some metals don’t show up in the hair, like thallium.

There are many options to get a hair mineral analysis, but the one I used was Wendy Myers’. I had to cut off a lock of my hair and mail it in for analysis. They use hair because a blood test will only tell you what’s in your blood at that time. Hair will tell you what’s been in your system over the past three months.

Unfortunately, we accumulate chemicals a lot faster than we can detoxify them. Medical school teaches doctors that we have detoxifying organs, and they work fine, and we are detoxifying all the time. Every year three thousand new toxins are being created. Our organs can’t keep up.

How to Detox

detox diet

Start heavy metal detoxification by having a nutrient-rich diet filled with grass-finished meat, raw egg yolks, bone broth, and juicing vegetables.  Secondly, use BioSil (silica), six drops a day in orange juice or pineapple juice; any citric acid juice helps it absorb better. BioSil (silica) will displace the aluminum, arsenic, tin, and thallium from the bones and the brain and other hard to reach areas to be detoxed. You can use up to 10 drops a day, but that may increase fatigue.

Also, you need a binder that’s going to bind to all these metals. I use citrus pectin such as PectaSol-C 5g a day and activated charcoal. That will absorb the metals mobilized by the BioSil and other metals as well. Do not take these two together. They will bind together and go right through you. I take Biosil first thing in the morning and then PectaSol-C a few hours later. It takes about two years to remove these heavy metals.

An Infrared sauna is one of the best ways to detox the hundreds of toxins in our bodies and kill off infections by raising body temperature. Experts recommend using one every day for 30 minutes for 2-3 years, then at least 2-3 times a week after that to keep the heavy metal toxins low.

Some other supplements that can help detoxify from heavy metals are cilantro extract, N-acetylcysteine, glutathione, sodium R-lipoic acid, curcumin, and garlic. Alkalinisation can help as well. For more information, you can check out Wendy Myers at https://liveto110.com/

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.

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Soup and The Benefits of the GAPS Diet


Soup and The Benefits of the GAPS Diet

Learn the secrets of GAPS, Microbiome Balance, Good Bacteria, and Benefits of Eating Soup!


By Travis Wade

What is the Microbiome?

As kids, we learned the downside of bacteria; that they’re bad and we must wash our hands, as well as disinfect them, to protect ourselves from getting sick.

However, that’s simply not the truth.

microbiome and immune system

In reality, bacteria are your greatest allies against disease and illness. Your microbiome, bacteria that flourish inside you, controls virtually every aspect of your physiology. Learning how to nourish it to avoid health problems and perform at our optimum is crucial.

Good Bacteria Keeps You Healthy

good gut bacteria

Your body contains 10x more bacteria cells than human body cells. In fact, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, you’re alive because of good bacteria and every chronic disease is caused by not taking care of your microbiome. Dr. Natasha has an autistic son and she learned how to help him by managing the bacteria inside his body.

Dr. Natasha is a neuroscientist from Russia who realized her practice wasn’t going to cure her child. She noticed the abundance of gastrointestinal problems that people with autism, and other neurological conditions, have and knew there had to be a connection.

She began studying the microbiome in the early 90’s and says that knowledge of it is only deemed new in North America. It’s important to know, each of us is ten percent human body cells and ninety percent different species of bacteria, fungi, worms, protozoa, and a variety of organisms.

Common Causes of Microbiome Imbalance

Among the things that cause problems for the microbiome are the usual suspects: medication, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Tylenol, Advil, and Motrin), processed foods, preservatives and flavourings, mercury, pesticides, BPA from plastics, soy, grains, seeds, dairy, GMO foods, and sugar.

microbiome imbalance

The most frequent cause of dysbiosis (the imbalance between good and bad bacteria) is antibiotics. After a course of antibiotics, it takes two weeks for beneficial bacteria to recover. During which, bad bacteria have a window of opportunity to flourish because there are too few good bacteria and more unaddressed pathogens. Bad bacteria create toxins which enter the bloodstream and cause a number of symptoms depending on the toxin, which, in turn, depends on the pathogen creating the toxin. Plus, sadly, wherever a toxin flows, dis-ease (and eventually disease) are sure to follow.

Your Gut Flora Produces Vitamins

how gut flora works

Your gut flora creates vitamins, B vitamins in particular and vitamin K2, which helps with mineral absorption, especially calcium. Without K2, calcium is deposited in places you don’t want, like your veins and brain. Misdirected calcium can also cause bile stones and kidney stones. And get this. the only two sources for vitamin K2 is your gut flora or a supplement.  Traditionally, vitamin K2 gets produced from fermented foods including cheese, yogurt, and sauerkraut.

Leaky Gut Syndrome Causes Treacherous Inflammation

Another result of hazardous bacteria is Leaky Gut Syndrome: In short, as your gut lining becomes more permeable, your body will react to foods that leak through by causing inflammation. And even if you eliminate the offending food from your diet, the trouble won’t end; your body will react to additional “leaked” foods to inflame you. So, the solution is to both seal and heal the leaky gut.

leaky gut syndrome

The GAPS Diet

Dr. Natasha developed a concept called GAPS: Gut And Psychology Syndrome. Its main focus is the diet she prescribes, which has three parts to it. The GAPS diet heals and seals the gut lining, normalizes the microbiome, and stops the inflammation.

The first step in the GAPS diet is to eliminate inflammation and heal and seal the gut lining.

gut flora GAPS diet

You’ll eat soup for breakfast, lunch, dinner and between meals. The soup’s broth derives from meat stock. As meat from an animal’s muscles is hardest to digest and least nutritious, the GAPS diet uses gelatinous meats. This includes joints, hooves, head, organs, bones, and tripe to make a soup stock.

The glucosamine, vitamins, and minerals in this concoction are natural, as opposed to getting them from a supplement. The main ingredient is collagen, as that’s what connective tissue is mostly up of. Sadly, this tissue, and the cuts of meat they come from, are hugely lacking in a North American diet.

Next. remove all foods that are hard to digest. Instead, eat foods that reinforce the wall of your gut. You need vegetables that are good for the immune system, including non-starchy leeks, onions, cabbage, carrots, marrow, and squash.

Cellulose is an indigestible fibre and starch is 70% indigestible. Beneficial and bad bacteria eat fibre, starch, and sugar so these three are forbidden until your gut is healed—anywhere from two months to years, depending on your baseline condition.

Your wellness scale changes all the time depending on your environment. After eliminating starches and sugars, listen keenly to what what your body’s telling you. Your re-calibrated food cravings, sense of smell, taste, and satisfaction levels will cue you to your actual nutritional needs.

For example, what are you driven to eat right now? After you eat it, your food preference will change, and you’ll want something different. The last food you ate will seem repulsive (“Enough is enough!”), but something else will sound delicious.

In the second stage of the GAPS diet, add more foods and supplements to your diet.

Common second-stage supplements include fish oils, vitamin K2, vitamin D, vitamin A, cod liver oil, amino acids, and a probiotic containing as many species of gut flora as possible.

whole foods GAPS diet

However, some supplements that are beneficial to many can be detrimental to others, (Vitamin D3 and L-glutamine). Although L-glutamine might be the fix for some, in others it can cause depression or other problems.

In the third stage of the GAPS diet, work in hard-to-digest foods.

hard to digest food GAPS diet

Dr. Natasha referred to the program as a dance: moving forward, taking a step back, moving forward some more, then maybe two steps back – all the while slowly moving forward until you can move forward without problems.

Some of the diseases Dr. Natasha’s diet has helped with are Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, depression, all kinds of autoimmune diseases and allergies, fibromyalgia, MS, and diabetes. Dr. Natasha believes the microbiome is the root cause and cure of virtually all chronic diseases.

Dr. Natasha has personally trained people all over the world with the GAPS protocol, to help them become GAPS certified. There are five practitioners in Calgary, but none in Edmonton.

I contacted a GAPS practitioner in Calgary and have a freezer full of soup bones and animal parts. I eat soup regularly—and happily. It’s delicious!

If you want to know more about the benefits of the GAPS diet and the huge impact it can have on your health, contact me and I can help you out.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton

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The Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee

bulletproof coffee

The Benefits Of Bulletproof Coffee

Discover the secrets behind Bulletproof Coffee!

bulletproof coffee

By Travis Wade

If you haven’t heard of Bulletproof Coffee yet, it’s a coffee recipe founded by Dave Asprey in 2009 and was featured on some very popular talk shows in 2014, causing it to gain a lot of popularity. Today, Dave has a number of New York Times best selling books: “Game Changers”, “Head Strong”, and “The Bulletproof Diet”.

A lot of people have been butchering the original Bulletproof Coffee recipe not knowing why the exact ingredients are in place. Some people that have heard about Bulletproof Coffee have been putting butter and coconut oil in their coffee hoping to lose weight. I’ve seen an intermittent fasting specialist talk about putting coconut oil in your coffee and skipping breakfast to keep your body in fat burning mode. As long as you’re not adding carbohydrates to your body you will be in fat burning mode; this is the basis of a keto-diet.

About Dave Asprey

Dave Asprey

I’m going to tell you straight up, Dave is the real deal and his recipe sounds way too tempting not to try. In this article, I’m going to tell you the real recipe to Bulletproof Coffee and why the ingredients are exactly the way they are. If you want to try it yourself you can order some with this link.

First, I have to tell you a bit about Dave Asprey: Dave’s not a doctor, he’s just a very brilliant man that had medical issues and learned how to overcome them. However, he is married to a doctor. He is also known as the original “Biohacker”. He is the man that coined the phrase “biohacking”.

Dave’s arthritis started at 14 and he was 300 pounds by the time he was in 4th year university. He had fibromyalgia, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, and brain fog. Today, Dave weighs 200 lbs. at 6’4” and all of his other symptoms have been relieved. The remedy to Dave’s health problems is rooted in fixing his microbiome.

In time, Dave learned the importance of meditation and travelled to Tibet to improve his skills in this area. On a mountain in Tibet, Dave was given some yak butter tea in a bowl and it made him feel so awesome he had to recreate it.  Dave learned why the yak butter tea worked so well then came up with his own recipe and wanted to share it with the world.

The Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

bulletproof coffee

The first component of the coffee recipe is the beans, which Dave grows in Central and South America. The problem with even the best brands of coffee in North America is the mold toxins in them. The mold toxin, which is a metabolite of the mold called a mycotoxin, accumulates in the brain and affects the gut biome. In fact, these mycotoxins are so toxic they are limited in the parts per billion, (not parts per million) in other countries. As a result, Dave makes sure his coffee is toxin free with his processing, before lab testing it for 27 different toxins. (That was last count, maybe more now).

The mold toxins cause side effects like the jitters and a crash after the original caffeine high wears off, alongside food cravings. These mold toxins are banned in other countries in Europe and Asia, but are not regulated as much in North America. This means, coffee companies sell their toxin free coffee in other countries that have better toxin regulations. This doesn’t mean they throw out their toxic coffee – they sell it to us here in North America.

Furthermore, I have to mention that mycotoxins are also found in grains. People and cows eat the grains and breast milk/dairy products have mycotoxins. Also, antibiotics are a mycotoxin. Dave, myself, and a lot of medical professionals believe antibiotics are way overused and should only be used in emergency situations.

Grass-fed Butter

bulletproof coffee

The second component of Dave’s recipe is the grass-fed butter. There’s 3 ingredients in the butter that are important and that’s why it’s necessary for it to be grass-fed. In fact, Dave stresses the importance of not cheaping-out on proper butter. The first ingredient is saturated fat, the preferred energy source of the brain and body and an anti-inflammatory.

The second ingredient is butyrate or butyric acid, named after butter because that’s where it’s most commonly found. Butyrate is used to help increase good gut flora. Lastly, the third ingredient is CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is commonly used as a weight loss supplement.

Plus, the antioxidants in the coffee and the ketones from the fat are anti-inflammatories. All in all, this whole combination turns down the bad and turns up the good bacteria. In a nutshell, this is one of the greatest things you can do to improve your overall health, performance, fat loss, and disease prevention.

Brain Octane Oil

brain octane oil

Finally, the last component of Dave’s Bulletproof Coffee is “Brain Octane Oil”, also known as C8 oil. There are 4 different medium chain triglycerides: C6, C8, C10, and C12, named for their length of their hydrocarbon tails. You’ll find all 4 MCTs in coconut oil, with C12 being the most abundant at 52% and C8 being the rarest at 5.5%. Dave’s C8 is triple-distilled in an oxygen free environment. Dave doesn’t give away all his secrets but he says if you get your C8 anywhere else you’ll get what he calls “disaster pants”. As you can imagine, it’s not good. That is all.

C8 and Weight Loss

bulletproof coffee

C8 is the key ingredient for people who want to lose weight. This is because its metabolized and used by the body a lot more efficiently than other fats. C12 is a longer chained fat. C12 will go through the liver and is stored there as fat that can be used when necessary.

On the other hand, C8 metabolizes a lot like a sugar, as it easily breaks down into ketones for your brain and body to use immediately. With 2 tablespoons of C8 and the absence of any carbs, you will immediately go into full ketosis in about a half an hour.

When I first started taking C8 I didn’t drink coffee and I put it in my soup. I remember one morning when I actually felt it kick in. My brain just felt like I snapped out of a day dream and was ready for the day.

Plus, you’ll think better and clearer without the crash you normally get with coffee and you won’t get hungry. The C8 puts you into ketosis and you’ll stay there until you eat carbohydrates. Better still, the butter is another source of fat that staves off hunger. As a result, if you drink Bulletproof Coffee in the morning, by lunchtime you may or may not be hungry. Coffee just happens to be another appetite suppressant.

Perhaps best of all, Dave also learned how to manipulate the microbiome to lose weight. C8 is an anti-fungal and works together with the coffee to induce a healthier microbiome. Thin people have more bacteroidetes and less firmicutes while obese people have the opposite.

Scientists have conducted studies where they put bacteroidetes in obese people, causing them to lose weight. While, on the other hand, they put firmicutes into skinny mice, causing them to gain weight. In short, C8 decreases the firmicutes, and the antioxidants in the coffee feed the bacteroidetes, (these are the 2 main types of bacteria in the gut).If you’re interested, you can have your own levels tested at viome.com.

How to Become Bulletproof

the bulletproof diet

In Dave’s New York Times best-selling book “The Bulletproof Diet”, he talks about foods you need to avoid to heal your body and to lose weight, as well as those you need to incorporate. Click here to view the Bulletproof DIet Road Map. Plus, if you want to try Dave’s Bulletproof Coffee, you can click here.

In next week’s newsletter, I will talk some more about the microbiome. I hope you liked this article and, if you did, then please forward it, like, and share. If you want more help with your health and fitness journey, contact me and I will help you.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.

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Leaky Gut Syndrome

leaky gut syndrome

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Learn all about Leaky Gut Syndrome before it becomes mainstream knowledge!

leaky gut syndrome

By Travis Wade

“We don’t know a lot, but we know that it exists. In the absence of evidence, we don’t know what it means or what therapies can directly address it.” Linda A. Lee, MD, gastroenterologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center.

Dr. Oz says leaky gut syndrome is a clinical diagnosis.

Wikipedia says it’s not.

How does a person know who or what is the more reliable source?

Amazingly, the medical profession is just now agreeing this condition even exists. Yet, “intestinal permeability” has been discussed in medical literature for over 100 years!

The medical field is a rapidly advancing field. It seems like the functional medicine doctors are moving forward while your family doctor follows their protocol. However, we can’t be too upset with our family doctors, but you might consider adding a high-quality functional medicine doctor to your team, to ensure good health.

As an EMT, half the people I see going to the emergency room are there for abdominal problems. Worse still, half of those people leave the hospital undiagnosed. While your family doctor argues with an alternative medicine practitioner about whether leaky gut syndrome exists, let me explain what it is, what causes it, and what to do about it. Leaky gut syndrome is nothing like the sasquatch: you see it every day, it has a profound effect on our society, and you probably have it to some degree.

Conversely, the other half of the argument is there are no studies that prove what to do about it. The pharmaceutical companies are working on a medication to treat leaky gut syndrome. When they develop it, they’ll monetize leaky gut syndrome and it will become mainstream knowledge. Remember, you heard it here first!

Fortunately, there are studies on what improves the gut lining and what to do to maintain a healthy gut.  The theory is these methods of improving the gut lining will fix leaky gut syndrome.


We have junctions in our gut linings that act as “gates” in cells at the molecular level. In the gut, they carry nutrients across to the bloodstream. These gates usually allow small molecules to pass while holding larger molecules back to break them down further before also allowing them to pass.

leaky gut syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome exists when the permeability of the gut lining has been compromised. The gut lining may be damaged in many ways: This includes cell death, damage to junctions, and the destruction of microvilli, all of which cause the gut to be much more permeable. As a result, when the gut becomes hyper-permeable, larger molecules and toxins may enter the bloodstream and start doing damage.

Ultimately, the liver is forced to work harder to destroy toxins and larger molecules while the immune system takes on foreign invaders in the bloodstream.  As a result, the body experiences full-blown, system-wide inflammation.


Symptoms include autoimmune diseases, allergies, skin problems, candida (yeast) overgrowth, digestive issues, depression, and all kinds of other unexplained issues. Also, I should add that there is an unusually massive surge in these types of problems in our society. Sadly, almost everybody I know has at least one of these symptoms.


According to Robynne K. Chutkan, MD, FASGE Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital Founder and Medical Director, Digestive Center for Women, there’s a simple test for leaky gut syndrome: a urine test.

Mannitol is a small molecule that passes through a healthy gut. On the other hand, lactulose is a larger molecule that doesn’t normally pass through. After drinking the mixture of mannitol and lactulose, we wait six hours and do a urine test. If there are high levels of both mannitol and lactulose, this indicates leaky gut syndrome.



Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide “Roundup” which has recently been publicized as a cancer-causing agent. Originally patented as an antibiotic, glyphosate has instead proven to be the cause of many devastating issues, from depleting vital minerals and good bacteria to causing leaky gut syndrome.

dead zones of the ocean

Monsanto is the company responsible for creating glyphosate. “The Monsanto Papers” shows lawsuits against the company, who eventually sold out to Bayer. A weird thing in the United States is if you change the name of your company, anyone with a lawsuit against you has to start their lawsuit from scratch. These lawsuits are mostly cancer patients who will likely die before any settlement. Monsanto also created things like artificial sweeteners, Agent Orange, DDT, dioxins (PBCs), phthalates, and polystyrene (Styrofoam).

Worryingly, glyphosate has been sprayed by the tons all over North America and many other parts of the world where it isn’t banned. It’s in every American-made wine, our waterways, almost all of our food, and GMOs, of course. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to avoid but do your best to consume as little as possible.

In addition, because glyphosate has been sprayed so much, it’s killing our reed wildlife, which is detrimental to our ecosystems. Obviously, it’s going to settle where water settles, and that’s where reeds usually grow, but glyphosate kills them. Ultimately, no more reeds = no more ecosystems.

I had an environmentalist come see me for a consult one day. I asked her if she heard of the “Dead Zones of the Ocean”. She had learned about them in school. I asked her what they told her caused the dead zones of the ocean and she said “agricultural runoff”. I asked her what exactly is agricultural runoff. She said “You know, pesticides and sprays”. I asked “Can you name any?” She said “No”. She had actually never heard of Glyphosate before!?

Her job was to count up the reed wild life along the North Saskatchewan river and map them because we are losing them rapidly. She told me the prevention strategy our government came up with is nobody is allowed to build on the reed wildlife. My heart sank.

Plant Toxins


Lectin and phytate or phytic acid are plant toxins. Because plants can’t run or fight like the rest of us, they have thorns or toxins as their defense against predators. Of course, we eat lectin all the time. In low doses, we are fine. In high doses, on the other hand – not so much.

Dietary sources high in lectin include soy, grains, seeds, beans, dairy – specifically, the casein which is the protein in the curd of dairy – and the highest in lectin is food containing GMOs and gluten. Gluten is the protein you’ll find in rye, wheat, barley, oats, kamut, and spelt. Lectin will bind to your gut lining and damage or kill the cell causing a leaky gut.


Dysbiosis is an imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the body. In theory, dysbiosis is one of the leading causes of leaky gut. Glyphosate, prescription antibiotics, chlorine and fluoride in water are the biggest contributors that kill healthy bacteria. This imbalance, along with sugar, increases yeast in your gut. In the end, yeast attaches to your gut lining and does damage in the same way as lectin. Anyone want some bread?

leaky gut syndrome


Inflammation exacerbates the issue. When the body is in attack mode, our cells often get caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately, the antigens our bodies create through inflammation actually attack our own cells.

Worse still, inflammation also makes the body weak and allows all kinds of problems to occur, just as mental stress is the number one cause of medical problems in North America. Things that cause inflammation are another type stress on the body.

Some causes of inflammation include medications, NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like Tylenol, Advil, Motrin); processed foods, preservatives and flavorings, mercury, pesticides and BPA from plastics. Obviously, infections and other sicknesses are in there too. Also, importantly, I’d like to point out that some functional medicine doctors believe NSAIDs are the number one drug that kills people.

Looking at all of the above, it’s clear that your gut is under constant attack. For most people, this is happening at a higher rate than the repair. And, of course, age contributes to leaky gut syndrome as well. I’m sure with all the undiagnosed abdominal problems coming through the emergency room, we can all agree it’s a big deal to take excellent care of your gut. Let me tell you how.

leaky gut syndrome


Step 1: Eliminate Causes

Many studies have been done to learn what repairs and maintains a healthy gut. As a result, the four R’s (Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair) is the agreed treatment among functional medicine doctors for leaky gut syndrome. The idea is twofold: First, to heal inflammation and then to restore the integrity of your gut lining.

For a start, eliminating sugars, starches, grains, and other irritating foods alleviates inflammation and starves out yeast overgrowth. The most common allergens are gluten, dairy, sugar and other sweeteners, soy, corn, peanuts, and egg whites. No processed foods either. Almost any food that comes in a package is processed.

What’s more, artificial sweeteners deserve special mention because they kill the good bacteria (flora) in your intestine. We want to grow the good bacteria for protection against bad bacteria that destroys our gut.

Worse still, artificial sweeteners are more addictive than sugar, which lights up the pleasure centers in the brain four times as much as cocaine. On top of that, artificial sweeteners cause diabetes faster than sugar because they spike your insulin even more than sugar. Also, sweeteners increase your pallet for sweet foods which isn’t good for someone who may be addicted to sugar.

leaky gut syndrome

Step 2: Add the Repair

Now that you’ve eliminated things that cause leaky gut syndrome, you can work on healing the gut with proper diet and supplements.

The next thing to incorporate is the GAPS diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. It starts with soup and Dr. Josh Axe recommends 3 cups of bone broth a day. Moreover, Dr. Natasha advises eating nothing but soup at first; then you can incorporate other foods after your gut heals a bit.

The bone/meat broth is the key ingredient, as it contains collagen, minerals, and the amino acids proline, L-glutamine, and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. The good news is, all these nutrients are great for the gut and all the body’s connective tissue, including the skin.

After incorporating a healthy diet, you may want to consider some supplements to help maintain a healthy gut. I have to mention that taking some of the supplements listed below may do more damage than good, and you should contact a doctor before taking any supplements. However, the bone/meat broth naturally contains a lot of the desired nutrients, so you can consume it safely.


Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid) and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It is used as a supplement for many ailments. According to Dr. Axe, it’s also been shown to improve gut barrier function by supporting the creation of tight junction proteins.


L-glutamine is an essential amino acid and an anti-inflammatory. It has many benefits, including assisting brain function, promoting muscle growth, preventing muscle wasting, enhancing athletic performance in endurance sports like snowboarding, improving metabolism, curbing cravings for sugar and alcohol, fighting cancer, improving diabetes and blood sugar, and dramatically decreasing recovery time. I wish I had been taking it before squat day on Tuesday…

leaky gut syndrome

The main benefit of L-glutamine is how it helps build and repair the intestines.  L-glutamine coats your cell walls and acts as a repellent to irritants. Also, L-glutamine has been shown to repair the gut after damage from chemotherapy and radiation and, in theory, is beneficial in leaky gut syndrome.

Coconut Oil

Similar to omega 3s, coconut oil comes with a long list of benefits, one of which is its positive influence on weight loss. When it comes to improving lifestyle, its anti-inflammatory properties make it one of the healthiest disease fighting sources of energy for your body. It is also easy for the body to use.

Omega 3s

The list of benefits of omega 3s is far too long to duplicate in this article. Instead, please visit my article specifically on omega 3s. For now, I’ll just state omega 3s are high in beneficial anti-inflammatory properties and reducing cortisol. This reduces stress but ultimately, omega 3s are building blocks of the body and help in the repair and maintenance of a healthy gut.


Fibre also offers many benefits, including weight loss; but here, I’ll just talk about its contribution to a healthy gut. Your gut is a muscle that is activated by the parasympathetic nervous system or the digestive system. In other words, you can’t work this muscle the same way you can work your biceps.

The way you work the smooth muscle of the intestines is to consume insoluble fibre. It improves motility or the wave action of the tube moving contents through it. Another thing fibre will do for you is maintain a fresher environment – out with the old; in with the new – less time for things to ferment.

leaky gut syndrome


Doctors recommend that you have 85% good bacteria in your gut. If you have lots of bad bacteria, nothing you do will heal your gut because the bad bacteria will continue to destroy it. Yeast overgrowth (Candida) or SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth) are common problems that cause leaky gut syndrome.

Unfortunately, most probiotics are completely ineffective. Dr. Kellman interviewed a guest doctor who conducted a study in Africa and Canada; and, according to this doctor, taking a probiotic is like sending an army out without weapons! Consequently, you need the medium that a bacterial culture grows in, like yogurt. When bacteria take up residence in the gut, it’s like equipping the bacteria with weapons. So, eat fermented foods!

Your microbiome is essentially an ecosystem in your gut. There are trillions of bacteria in there, outnumbering your own body cells by approximately 10 to 1. Fermented foods, including kimchi, sauerkraut, and homemade yogurt and kefir, will improve your microbiome. This has so many benefits that another article will have to be written…

leaky gut syndrome

A Good Multivitamin, Vitamin D, and Zinc

One of the things I’d like to mention is how zinc improves dry skin (it’s the active ingredient in dandruff shampoo but you’re probably better off getting it in your food) and prevents prostate cancer in men.

Chronic skin problems are rooted in gut problems. Zinc improves gut health as well so if you have dry skin and you add it to your diet, you get treatment for all of your connective tissue. Sadly, Zinc is typically lacking in a North American diet. It can be found in grass-finished red meat and, of course, wild meat is best. Don’t bother with zinc-oxide as your body doesn’t absorb it. (It does make a great sunscreen, however!) Inasmuch, zinc-citrate isn’t good either; citrates are good for bowel movements but not for absorption.

A high-quality multivitamin has many benefits. Your body needs nutrients; and when you get those nutrients your body functions at a much higher capacity. The same can be said for vitamin D which is the leading nutrient deficiency in North America. Over 95% of us are not getting enough. Conversely, do not over do it on these vitamins. Too much is just as bad as not enough. For more on vitamin D, see my article on it. I take my multivitamin once every 3 days or sometimes after a good sweat at hockey.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes ensure full digestion of our food, decreasing the chance that partially digested food particles will damage your gut lining. Most people have low digestive enzymes which causes acid reflux. Acid reflux is usually treated with medication to lower stomach acids. Although this relieves symptoms, this just increases the cause of the problem. A natural substitute is to take lemon water or apple cider vinegar water in the morning or before meals. It is also a great additive to improve digestive enzymes for anyone looking to improve gut health.


In closing, maintaining a healthy gut is imperative to your health. Spend five minutes in an emergency room. “Unexplained abdominal problems” are an epidemic which is often treated with pain meds and the old phrase, “We will have to keep an eye on that.”

Functional medicine doctors highly recommend a detox to kick-start your journey to a healthy gut. I mean a proper detox – not some gimmick you buy. If you want me to hook you up with a proven detox, DM me or see me in person for a free transformation session.

I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!

Travis Wade

The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.

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