Feeling Bad? You May Be Eating Yourself Sick.

Irritants vs nutrients - the essential balance you need to prevent or reverse dis-ease.

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By Karl Lawrence on Thursday, October 1, 2015
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In this week’s episode of Your Best Life, Karl interviews Tom Malterre, who is an advanced functional medical nutritionist. Tom focuses on helping people leverage all that good food has to offer for great health. He is a faculty member of the autism research institute and was a medical affairs member for foreign research. Tom has lectured on the subject of nutrition and supplements across the United States and Canada and has more than ten years of clinical experience as a certified functional medicine practitioner. During this episode, Karl and Tom discuss how you can eliminate potential foods that could be making you sick and tired.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is functional medicine?
  • What can people do to reset and give their body the best chance?
  • Why is gluten the core of autoimmune and inflammatory issues?
  • Is food in and of itself enough? How do you feel about supplements as part of a daily routine?
  • Is the science community catching up with the integrative data and functional medical people?

Key Lessons Learned:

Functional Medicine and Adaptation

  • Functional Medicine says it’s less important what you call something, but it’s more important what is going on in a person’s life that gives them the state of disease.
  • Disease is caused by getting too much of something you don’t need and not enough of something you do need.
  • For thousands of years we were able to adapt, and now we can’t.
  • Adaptation is moving so quickly in society, because of the industrialization of everything, that our genetics aren’t keeping up.

Irritants Overcome Nutrients

  • The reason more people are reacting to foods and in a state of disease is because our level of irritants is surpassing our level of nutrients.
  • The amount of stress, chemicals, pollutions, pesticides, food chemicals is surpassing our ability to process and metabolize them.
  • We are now skewing our irritant levels higher and pushing out nutrient levels lower, as we are eating more processed food and foods that are grown in soils that aren’t as nutrient dense.
  • Diseases of today such as ADHD, obesity, and autism are adaptations. This is our body trying to adapt to the chemical signals and lack of nutrient foods.
  • As a presentation of symptoms, we are getting fatigue, pain and obesity as our bodies can’t process properly.


  • 74 billion pounds of chemicals are being imported or produced every day in the USA. That is 150 pounds per person per day. This number doesn’t include pharmaceuticals pesticides, food additives, and fuels.
  • BPA was used as a synthetic estrogen that was added to animal feed to fatten up the animals.
  • The vast majority of BPA exposure that a person has is through food such as the lining of cans, plastic water bottles, Tupperware, and plastic wrap on meats.
  • If someone stops eating packaged foods and consumes a fresh food diet for three days, they reduce their exposure to BPA by 50-60%.


  • We are putting this on our skin in the form of lotions and creams.
  • Phthalates increases obesity.
  • Females on average use 10-12 personal care products per day, and males use about 6.
  • Start thinking about what is in your soap, cologne, toothpaste, dryer sheets, and shampoo. If it is bright and has a strong fragrance, then it has phthalates.

Metabolizing Chemicals

  • For every action there is an equal or greater reaction. Every time we introduce these small chemical particles into the human body, there has to be a reaction.
  • Side effects of medications are dependent on individuals’ personal ability to metabolize the chemical synthetic compounds. The same happens for chemicals.
  • Children are susceptible to chemical influences, as they haven’t learned how to metabolize and detoxify compounds.

Making Changes

  • Look at what you are purchasing and consuming.
  • Eat better. By eating better and organic foods you’ll cut out a lot of chemicals.
  • Eat more plant-based compounds, and your body will change its gene expression and how it metabolize synthetic compounds.
  • The average person uses the same 13 recipes over and over. If you can learn one new recipe per week for 10 weeks, then you just changed your life!

Antioxidant Response Element (ARE)

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale.
  • With broccoli, you can get an increase between 55-63% of the excretion of pollutants from the urine.
  • ARE is the ‘super hero’ portion of your DNA. It turns on your DNA to start reading antioxidant and detoxification proteins.
  • You are able to repair some of the damage from some of the chemical influences and detoxify the chemical substances and get them out of your cells.
  • If we consume more vegetables, we can reduce inflammation and increase the reparative process.

Food First

  • The most common irritants you come in contact with are your foods. Look at your food first.
  • Food is the thing that provides the nourishment and nutrients that dampen down immune responses and increase repair and detoxification ability.
  • juice is a natural plant based compounds, which are in highly digestible form.
  • The consumption of more vegetables will change people’s lives faster than anything they can possibly do.


  • Gluten never gets broken down well.
  • Numerous articles show that everyone that eats gluten gets a leaky gut.
  • As society degrades, so does our intestinal health. The potential triggers, such as gluten, become problematic
  • 7.4% of the general population have a terrible response to gluten, which is around 20 million people.
  • It is estimated that more than 30% of the general population ‘does better’ when they adhere to a gluten-free diet.
  • Tom says that if people go on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet, between 70-80% of people get so much better.

Immune system

  • Our immune system can see adaptations of otherwise healthy cells in the form of food and see it as it has been modified or bound in it’s signaling mechanism that we don’t know how to process.
  • Profiles
  • Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) is when nominal exposures build up and alter our immune response.

Thank you for listening!

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Links to Resources Mentioned

The Gluten Free Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook
Whole Life Nutrition
The Whals Protocol
The Myth of Big Bad Gluten

2 click to tweet links! (Thanks for helping spread the word!)

Tweet: What foods are making you sick and tired? Find out w/ @nourishingmeals @wholelife @wellnessgroup

Tweet: What is functional medicine? Click for the best explanation you'll ever hear @wholelife @nourishingmeals @wellnessgroup

From Your Best Life Podcast with Karl Lawrence

Nutrition podcast Tom Malterre
Thank you, this article was very informative and helped me understand how my eating habits may be causing my problem.
Posted 7 years ago by Terri
Enjoyed your article.
Posted 7 years ago by Lisa

About Karl Lawrence

Karl Lawrence is the host of Your Best Life on the Wellness.com Radio Network. Check out his work at http://www.wellness.com/podcast Read More