What do guests say when the mic is turned off? What additional insights do they offer? This behind-the-scenes bonus episode features guests from full-length episodes published earlier this year. We hear from: Carrie Bennett, Kristen Files, Kate Kavanaugh, Dr. Tom Cowan, and Daniel Griffith. We cover the topics of electron depletion, muscle testing, cooking at home, dealing with hard truths, and an extreme approach to healing.
For more resources, visit our website: westonaprice.org
And check out our guest’s websites:
Carrie Bennett – carriebwellness.com
Kristen Files – forestcreekwellness.com
Kate Kavanaugh – groundworkcollective.com
Dr. Tom Cowan – drtomcowan.com
Daniel Griffith – danielfirthgriffith.com
Want to hear more? Check out the full-length episodes with each guest on our podcast page: westonaprice.org/podcast
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Within the below transcript the bolded text is Hilda.
Do you ever wonder what the guests and I talk about once the mic is turned off? Sometimes there are questions that I want to pose that are a little bit off-topic or don’t fit within our time framework. This is episode 436 and I’m excited to share this behind-the-scenes footage. This is a bonus episode that contains bits of conversations that are candid and, until this moment, confidential. It’s a summer sampler that I’ve put together as the season winds down, courtesy of the Weston A. Price Foundation, the nonprofit behind this show. Find out more about the Weston A. Price Foundation at the website.
That’s it. This bonus episode has no ads. It’ll be samplers from five guests and our candid conversations off-mic. You’ll learn about Carrie Bennett, Kristen Files, Kate Kavanaugh, Dr. Tom Cowan, and Daniel Griffith. At the top of each segment, I’ll let you know who the guest is, what they focus on, and where you can find the full episode. Enjoy.
First up is Carrie Bennett from the Quantum Body Collective. I first interviewed Carrie on Episode 431, called Still Sick? The Sun Can Help. In this little minisode, Carrie gets specific about how modern living depletes our electron-rich bodies and what we can do about it.
I’ve heard you say that one of the things humans are missing now is getting sufficient electrons. We have this huge electron loss thing going on because we’re only getting electrons from food. Can you tell us more about that?
The way that I learned that we derive energy is to take food, break food down into electrons, and then those electrons go into the mitochondria and the mitochondria make ATP. That’s not the only way that we use electrons in the body. If you look at electron flow in the body, you recognize that we are basically meant to have what I call a net negative charge inside of our cells. Our cells are meant to be electron-rich. As that gets depleted, cells lose function. It’s like a cell phone battery drains to a certain point and the cell phone says, “Now your screen can only be this bright. No, we can’t download that update.” Functionality decreases and so cells need this net negative charge and that means we got to be full of electrons.
How do we get these electrons? Sure, we can get them from food, but we also get them from earthing and grounding, which is the way that we would touch bare skin to the earth to flow electrons through our body. That happens through our connective tissue network and the water that surrounds it. We can also build exclusions on water, which is negatively charged water that lives inside and around all of our cells. If we can build exclusions on water, we can maintain that beautiful negative charge as well. A potent way to do that is with infrared exposures. It can be charging for that exclusions zone water and then come in contact with things being in nature. Being in nature is less depleting of our electron reserves than being in a modern indoor environment.
You used the word depleting. I feel like at every turn, I’m running into people who are exhausted, anxious, depressed, almost lifeless zombie-like, I would say. It could be that the key is that they are having this electron loss, right?
Absolutely. Think about it. If the body doesn’t think it has enough energetic capacity, it’s going to start shutting down different functions. It especially shuts down functions where the mitochondria are most dense. That’s the brain and ovaries. That’s in the eggs. We were seeing a rise in infertility. “Carrie, the electron status or the mitochondrial health does not help to have a baby.” We start to shut down reproductive capabilities. We start to get brain challenges. Cognition changes, that brain fog gets laid on so thick, and a lot of it has to do with reestablishing healthy electron status in the body.
If the body doesn’t think it has enough energetic capacity, it will start shutting down different functions. It especially shuts down functions where the mitochondria are most dense.
You said to get in nature and touch the ground. We talked about sunlight in the main episode. What about this cold plunging? Does that help in any way?
It absolutely does because cold plunging actually makes us more efficient flows of electrons. Also, cold plunging, believe it or not, helps our mitochondria do something called producing more infrared light. People don’t realize mitochondria make their own infrared. They run about 10 degrees Celsius warmer than the rest of the cell. When we cold plunge, they make even more infrared. That heat that light for us, which we can then use to structure our water into exclusion zone water, which charges up that battery. It helps with electron flow through the mitochondria themselves. Cold can be a supportive way to benefit all of these different processes.
Some people think it’s a fad. I think what we have to do is counterbalance this electron depletion status that we have. Maybe we do have to get a little bit radical, right?
Absolutely. We’re not living in a world that the human body was designed to live in. We have to potentially go to different lengths to support the body depending on how much we live indoors surrounded by artificial light and non-native EMFs. We might have to remediate that. Cold plunging is a great way to do that. It doesn’t have to be at the extreme that we see a lot. The fad that we see is 30 minutes a day for 30 days at 30 degrees or whatever. It doesn’t have to be that extreme. I do find a good five-minute cold plunge sprinkled in 3 or 4 times throughout the week can be beneficial.
What do you think about women’s tolerance for cold versus men’s? Do you see a difference in terms of how long they should be in the cold?
I think women’s tolerance is much less, especially if it’s a woman who’s trying to conceive or looking to optimize fertility because excessive cold can definitely be a stressor. Women are a little more reactive to the cold that way if you’re trying to conceive after ovulation and put on the brakes. However, you can do some good mitochondrial optimization leading up to that point.
I invited a friend of mine to join me on a cold plunge retreat in Wisconsin. We were jumping in ice holes and all the things and she’s like, “I want to have babies. I’m not coming.” I think she realized it could be too much of a stressor and she wanted to lower the stress in her life. Well thought out.
I think part of the stress of cold plunging is a mental barrier and that those of us who have done cold plunging maybe more as a regular practice recognize the way we feel afterwards. It’s like getting over that slight mental barrier of, “Am I going to get my body into this cold water,” with, “I know I’m going to feel amazing in about 90 seconds.”
The cold, the heat, and nature, I think these are things that our ancestors would naturally have experienced. They spent 7/8 of their day outside and 1/8 maybe sleeping in the cave. We do it the other way around. It’s important for us to find ways, like you said, to get into an environment that challenges us but also that is healing.
Ancestral health does talk about what we eat, but also how we experience our environment. These days, we do have to get back into nature and back into our natural setting.
Thank you for that reminder, Carrie. I look forward to talking to you again sometime.
Thanks, Hilda. Me, too.
Next up is Kristen Files from Forest Creek Wellness. I first spoke to Kristen on Episode 427, Address Adrenal Fatigue. In this minisode, she dives into muscle testing, more specifically, how you can use muscle testing to find any weak spots in your body and discover what the body responds well to, to remedy the weaknesses.
I love these because we get to do a deeper dive on the part of the subject, but something that could be a little tangential. In this case, I want to talk about muscle testing because you mentioned using that as a tool as a practitioner to help people discern what their body needs or what their body responds poorly to. Can you tell us a little bit about the practice of muscle testing?
There are several different modalities for muscle testing and I’ve combined several different things. Basically, muscle testing is a test of communication. Whenever a practitioner is muscle testing, they will very lightly or gently challenge a certain muscle and see if you can meet that challenge, which means to meet and match their pressure or whether they can overpower you.
We know basic anatomy and physiology like your muscle moves because your brain tells it to do so. What is not as commonly known is that every innervation from the brain to the muscle happens through a particular organ. If I were to challenge your quadricep muscle and you couldn’t meet that challenge or that pressure, then I know that I need to address your small intestine and I can address the small intestine in several different ways.
I can have you put your hand on the small intestine and that will strengthen you. It’s cool to see you can be strengthened immediately and all you did is put your hand on the organ, but it doesn’t make sense to walk around rubbing your belly all day. That’s not a solution. You can put the supplement that your body responds well to. That helps you to be very specific to that person because not everybody responds to the same supplement. It’s very different for different people. Some people are tricky and I have to dig around for a while and think about it and that’s always fun.
You’re not saying that tongue-in-cheek. You do like the research.
I think it’s fun. There are some practitioners will have vials of certain pathogens. I will keep in my office certain vials like bacteria and fungal vials in there. That can be sort of diagnostic. Personally, being a nutritionist, I can’t tell you that. I could say, “We need to support your microbial balance,” or something. I couldn’t say you’re dealing with X bacteria and here’s how we take care of it, but it helps us to get targeted towards what you are dealing with.
In the context of the small intestine, there are so many issues that it could be. It could be a leaky gut issue or an absorption issue. It could be like we need to nourish the small intestine. It could be a pathogenic issue. It helps you to get granular on that. Also, you can do what’s called two-pointing. You could say, “Is this issue localized to the small intestine or is it somewhere else that’s influencing the small intestine?” As we talked about in the episode, the hypothalamus, the pituitary, the vagal nerve, and the thyroid. All those influence your small intestine function. I’m not going straight to this downstream point. I’m able to address a northern point.
This is a little bit like the conversation I had with Dr. Bradley Nelson on The Emotion Code. In that, he was saying your body can tell you if you ask it. Through this method of testing, the body reveals a little bit about what’s going on.
I’m not actually very well-versed in Emotion Code. I use something similar but different. I need to dig, dig deeper into that. I will say, “Is this a nutritional or structural issue?” In which case, I would do some tapping or maybe some acupuncture pressure points, laser therapy, or something like that. If it’s an emotional issue, in which case you would do like an emotional release. It’s accurate every time. My kids will laugh at me when I’ll come home and say, “I made two people cry today.” They’re like, “You’re so mean.” However, I won’t even know what’s going on with somebody and I’ll say, “I feel like you’re dealing with maybe some guilt or shame,” and that’s the emotion that comes up.
It’s a little bit stressful for me to get into that because 1) It’s personable and personal and 2) That’s not my primary area of expertise. I’m nutrition but I acknowledge what comes up for the body. We joke around and we call it nutritional therapy because it’s like nutrition and therapy in one. Anyway, for this particular client I have in mind, guilt and shame came up. It turns out she was going through a nasty divorce and she felt guilty about that even though she shouldn’t have, but because she felt that, she was holding it and it was causing her to be in dysfunction. Supplements and diets are not going to help that. Maybe it’ll get you 50%, but you’re still struggling with it.
If someone is tuning in and they’re like, “This sounds interesting. I’d like to do some muscle testing to discern some of the stuff that’s going on with me emotionally or physically,” what practitioner should they seek out?
This is a loaded question. It’s important, but as muscle testing is becoming more popular, you see a lot of people taking a weekend course and then jumping in there and they don’t have good clinical skills or they don’t take the whole person. I don’t do the most muscle testing. I take it in the context of other tests and things like that. I would say definitely looking for someone experienced. I was taking a continuing ed course, for example, and there was a girl in there. She’s supposed to be doing muscle testing for the pancreas but she didn’t know where a pancreas was.
She went to go work on all her clients that Monday. That’s very alarming to me. I say look for someone who’s experienced, someone who has had training and not a weekend course but extensive training. I personally like the modalities. I like are ART, which is Autonomic Response Testing, which is Dr. Klinghardt. I use a little bit of KST, which is Koren Specific Technique. I’m training with my chiropractor to do AMIT, which is Advanced Muscle Integration Technique, which isn’t geared towards nutrition yet, but I’m hoping to develop something with that. Those are all good starting points, but make sure that someone has the certifications, skills, and experience when they’re muscle testing you.
Thanks for taking this extra time.
No problem. It was fun.
Kate Kavanaugh is next from Episode 434, From Vegetarian To Butcher. In this minisode, Kate shares why it is so important to cook and eat at home instead of eating out at restaurants.
Thank you for coming. One thing we did not touch on in the main interview is cooking, and how, I think I’ve heard you say it, it lies at the heart of many of our issues right now. Can you elaborate?
I’ve been thinking about how we have stopped cooking as much at home and to return to it would influence three spaces that I think desperately need us to cook at home. Those three spaces are human health. I think that your readers are very familiar with all the ways in which human health is declining. When we eat out, I think we are taking in a lot of ingredients that are hidden and a lot of sugars and seed oils that we might not know are in that food. I think that’s one thing that we can do.
We’re eating processed food and eating convenience foods in lieu of cooking that is going to be hyper-palatable, hyper-processed, and full of these ingredients that we might not want in our bodies. It lies at the heart of regenerative farmers and ranchers. Farmers and ranchers across the United States are struggling. This is something that I think is important to talk about. They operate on average on 1.5% margins. This is not okay.
Do you mean they’re making very little for all the work they’re putting in?
An average of 1.5% margins, which means that many farms and ranches are in the red. They are not making any money and they are growing the most important part of our food system. I believe that if we return to cooking at home and building these relationships with the people that raise our food, meat, and vegetables, we can begin to build a more financially sustainable system.
If we return to cooking at home and build these relationships with the people who raise our food, meat, and vegetables, we can build a more financially sustainable system.
I think that’s important as well as the reciprocity in regenerative agriculture and building soil organic matter. It has ramifications for the financial health of farmers, the health of the soil, and our land. That third piece is that we have become deeply disconnected from one another at multiple different scales. At the scale of the individual family unit where having a meal at the dinner table can bring us together. At the scale of our communities where when we host a little get-together potluck in our backyard where we’re cooking for one another, we’re connecting back into our communities. That connection with one another is as much of a nutrient as anything that we’re going to find in our food. I believe that cooking lies at the heart of this little triangle in that we’re experiencing some fractures.
You’re saying that if we literally rolled up our sleeves and made more meals from scratch, we would see the benefit in our own health. We would be hoping to revitalize the soil, farmers’ and ranchers’ livelihood, and our community too.
Yes. That’s my thought.
That’s interesting. That’s a novel way to look at it. That’s why I’m processing it out loud. If you were going to recommend to someone who eats out all the time, for example, I have friends in New York City who literally don’t even have a kitchen because they’re assuming New Yorkers are not going to cook from home or from scratch, what would be a simple meal to start with? What might be on your table one Thursday night, for example?
Oftentimes on my table, whether it’s for breakfast or dinner, is some ground beef or ground meat of some sort that has been sauteed with some herbs, maybe a little bit of carrots, celery, or a vegetable from my garden. That’s it. I actually think that one of the biggest hurdles in cooking is that we’ve been sold this idea that cooking needs to be fussy or fancy by chefs and by restaurants.
If we can get back to this idea that it doesn’t have to be precious, it can be simple and nourishing that that is helpful for those of us that need some convenience in our food. I count myself amongst them. I run podcasts, a farm, and a business. I need meals to be quick and easy and not take too much time. You can literally sauté up some ground beef with a little bit of salt and call that good. If you want to add some flourish, herbs, or vegetables, great. We can let go of this idea of these more put-together meals.
That lowers the bar and it’s still super nourishing. I love that my friend Hillary Boynton always says, “Simplicity is gourmet.” One thing that came to mind when you were saying what has influenced us to think we have to get fancy, I think it’s all the cooking TV shows too.
It’s celebrity chef culture. I think it’s when you open up a cookbook from Thomas Keller and he is telling you to blanch celery before you add it to your chicken soup, this is ridiculous. This is not made for people that lead busy lives and that want cooking to feel simple and accessible.
I feel like you’ve helped us remember that truth. Thank you so much for joining me for this little minisode and we appreciate you, Kate.
I appreciate you so much. Hilda.
Next is Dr. Tom Cowan from Episode 429, Myth Busting Modern Biology. In this minisode, Tom talks about hard truths and how they help us home to ourselves.
I wanted to ask you. You ended our interview on a note about how the truth is never scary, though it may be hard. In the end, it’ll bring us home. Can you tell us the story of one bit of truth that was maybe hard for you at first and maybe even scary, but then you realized, “This is good and solid?”
We’ve all had that with relationships. Many of us have been through divorces and breaking off of relationships and it feels hard, scary, and, “What am I going to do?” At a certain point, you check in and realize what the truth is. As was the case with me, you realize that what comes next is a whole lot better and you find your true home in life as long as you stay with the house of cards in the illusion.
I think one of the best analogies ever created. We’re living in a situation like the Peanuts comic book, Charlie Brown and Lucy. The best part of that story was, as everybody remembers, Lucy had a football and Charlie wanted nothing more in life but to kick that football just once. Every time Lucy would say, “Charlie, this time you can kick the football,” Charlie would say, “Are you sure? In the last ten times, you took the football away and I fell right in my butt.” “No, this time, you’re going to kick the football.” In all his earnestness, Charlie comes running up and Lucy pulls it away and he falls right in his butt and doesn’t kick the football.
That’s, “Vote for me. I will set you free.” “Eat this drug. Take Ivermectin. That’s going to keep you from getting COVID. “Watch this guy.” “Participate in this.” “If we get a better currency situation in the US,” they just made up the currency. Don’t look at that. It’s like, “This time, Tom, you’re going to kick that football.” “Okay, I’m going to do it.” You run up and they pull it right away. Once you learn that lesson that it’s your football and nobody is holding it for you, you start to develop trust in yourself, and then you start finding people who actually will help you learn how to kick the football.
Stop outsourcing your health and your autonomy, even to health freedom groups. Thank you so much, Tom, for this extra time. I look forward to seeing you at some gathering, maybe even this summer. Take care, my friend.
Batting cleanup is Daniel Griffith. I first spoke with him on Episode 430, Why Regenerative Agriculture is Not Enough. In this minisode, he tells the rest of his own story, how he healed from his serious health crisis and what radical changes he made to his diet to get there.
It was such a wonderful conversation. I feel blessed too. You gave me some food for thought, but one thing that left me hanging was wondering, were the chickens enough to help you rebuild your health? Take us back to that time when you were berating folks, “This isn’t normal on the back porch.”
No, not at all. A hundred chickens did not save my life. I think great change starts with clarity and most of the time, clarity is a very simple shift. One of my favorite authors, John Ralston Saul, has this quote, “Blessed is they whose clarity causes disquietude.” It’s a beautiful quote, but in this case, this little moment of clarity caused not disquietude but great amounts of health. I mentioned in the full episode that when we started raising our own foods, we started caring about local foods and local farmers who raised those local foods. We started farming. That was a huge moment. There’s a huge aspect of the story that I’m skipping over. I was a Mathematics and Computer Science major in college so that’s the way my mind works.
Great change starts with clarity. And most of the time, clarity is a very simple shift.
I started to associate the foods in which I ate with the feelings in which I had. I’d go through periods where I would lose 80 pounds in a singular month and then would work for the next two months to gain the weight back because it happened again. I would waste away. That’s when I read prices, nutrition, and physical degeneration and became a member of Weston A. Price. That’s not a plug.
I’ll say it this way. I have long been a huge fan. We started to understand not about local food and local farms but the actual reality of those foods mattered. A piece of broccoli, nutrient-dense or not, processed or not is not broccoli for everyone. We have this epigenetic reality of heritage. We have the chemicals that we’re exposed to in our early youth. There are many more facets and a lot more complexity to food than broccoli is good, Cheetos are bad.
My wife and I, for two years straight, did journal. I have many journals and I still have them on how I felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually before, during, and after a meal as open and as outrageous and as, if I can say, naked as possible. I got all these thoughts down physically, emotionally, and spiritually around that meal. I would document the ingredients and the location in which those ingredients within that meal were grown. I was like, “Maybe it was a local apple cider vinegar with local tomato ketchup or it was industrially produced,” whatever it was.
After two years of doing this, obviously, along the way, we were learning, but then I built this actual computer program that associated every physical, spiritual, and emotional positive, neutral, and negative feeling. They were all ranked with all of these foods and where they were produced and everything else. It spits out a 21-ingredient food list, which also included where I could obtain those foods. For instance, I was bad on tomatoes but good on tomatoes that I grew or something like this.
Maybe it was Roma tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. The Roma tomatoes were good if I grew them, but the cherry tomatoes could be fine as long as they were organic and non-GMO from the supermarket. A lot of complexity there. I immediately changed my diet to those 21 items. For years, we’ve been on that diet progressively. We add new ingredients every month. We added back in horseradish and nothing negative has happened. Sometimes it does and I’m down for a month and I have very little energy or I lose a bunch of weight or something like that. There’s a whole other side to the story of the hyperintensity of the data.
You were talking earlier about how multifaceted the whole food web is and of course how multifaceted your condition was. I couldn’t help but wonder, Daniel, some people say that we don’t have genetic conditions necessarily. I’m not trying to point to your parents, but more to the environment in which you were raised. I wonder if that was what led to the various bone issues you had with the ball, joint sockets, and all that.
Nicole Masters is one of the soil scientists in the regenerative ag space. A brilliant and wonderful woman. She has her story, which is based in Paraquat. Being exposed to Paraquat, the moderate herbicide all around her. I have no doubt that although my parents tried and they did their best in my childhood versus many of the childhoods of my peers is unprecedented both in spirituality, energy, emotions, physicality, nutrition, food, and everything else. Absolutely, epigenetically from my heritage mixed with chemicals and the landscape.
It goes back to why we can’t be regenerative unless we’re working to all be regenerative. It’s fence line photos. We need to deconstruct that model. Do you think I’m growing chemical-free regenerative beef on my land where my neighbor is spraying pesticides from a helicopter? This is a laughable matter. It’s a complete joke. Like my health, my parents could have led me down a perfect pathway, but glyphosate could have still been in the landscape. Paraquat could have still been in the landscape. There are a lot of external stressors. We have a community problem. Regenerating the soil is very easy. We’ve done it on all over the world. However, regenerating the human community around that soil is much harder.
I love your simple charge to the reader and to me to start where we’re at, even the methodical way in which you approached your health. You weren’t all in your rational mind because you were exploring your emotions, the spirits, all the things that makeup who you’re, and how you were interacting with the food. I find that fascinating. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anyone who has been so methodical and yet also thinking with the right side of their brain approaching their wellbeing. It’s cool.
I appreciate that. I also think that rationality is an alien to Mother Earth. That’s a very important concept. A lot of the time, when we, modern humans, think rationally, we believe we’re thinking reductionlessly. We’re thinking overly scientific and we see the science and we see scientists now, especially modern scientists nowadays, and we say, “That’s bad. I don’t want to be a part of that group.”
I think it’s ridiculous to think that Mother Earth only is a poet, philosopher, or lover. There’s a lot of life to be had. In that life, the grand complexity of all comes together for the elevation and health of all. There’s absolutely a place for mathematics. I think science has an amazing role to play just as much as like go out, sit here at the pasture right in front of my house, and breathe for two hours. That’s also unbelievably important. Breath works, meditation, and energy all have to matter or else, in my opinion, none of it does. It all has to connect else what’s totally tangential.
Speaking of connecting, I can’t wait to see you. I’ll come out to your Timshel Wildland and hang out sometime. I’m grateful for your time. I appreciate it, Daniel.
Absolutely. Thank you, Hilda. It’s been a pleasure.
Our guests were Carrie Bennett from Carrie B Wellness, Kristen Files from Forest Creek Wellness, Kate Kavanaugh from Ground Work Collective, Dr. Tom Cowan, and Daniel Griffith. Now for a review from Apple Podcasts. PaulMSchmidt kept it short and sweet. He said love and he gave us five stars. He said, “I love this show and all the people involved.” Paul, thank you so much. That is so encouraging. You, too, can leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Go to the site, click on Ratings and Reviews, give us as many stars as you like, and tell the world what you think of the show. Thank you so much for reading, my friend. Stay well and remember to keep your feet on the ground and your face to the sun.
- Carrie Bennett
- Kristen Files
- Kate Kavanaugh
- Dr. Tom Cowan
- Daniel Griffith
- Dr. Bradley Nelson – Past Episode
- The Emotion Code
- Apple Podcasts – Wise Traditions