Tom Malterre, author of the Elimination Diet, shares information contained in his book, including the fact that certain foods you're eating could be making you sick, as well as foods you should be eating to prevent you from becoming sick.
Malterre shares how his diet eliminates specific foods to make you feel better and healthier.
He also explains exactly how the diet works and how you can effectively lose weight.
RadioMD Presents: Wellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: March 27, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: Tom Malterre
You're listening to RadioMD. She's a chiropractic, holistic physician, best-selling author, international speaker, entrepreneur and talk show host. She's Dr. Susanne Bennett. It's time now for Wellness for Life Radio. Here's Dr. Susanne.
DR. SUSANNE: If you feel like you're constantly feeling tired, moody and in pain, it really may be from inflammation in your body you are not aware of. My next guest is here to share how, surprisingly enough, this is caused by the foods you eat. He will share how to eliminate certain foods from your diet so you can actually heal yourself from certain diseases.
Welcome to the show, the best-selling author of The Elimination Diet, Tom Maltere.
TOM: Thanks so much, Susanne. It's so great to be with you.
DR. SUSANNE: Absolutely. So, what made you develop this book, The Elimination Diet? And what exactly is it, in a nutshell?
TOM: Yes. Absolutely. Two different questions. What made me do it? People. You know, the reality is, you become a practitioner, you study for years and years so you can sit across from somebody, you can listen deeply and you can provide them options that will turn their life around. When I was asked, what do you want to write for a book? I said, "Oh, my gosh." I didn't hesitate. The elimination diet. I have to write about the elimination diet. I've seen so many people come in, whether it's with MS or chronic fatigue or bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety. When we get them on an elimination diet, they have more success than they've had working 10 years with multiple specialists, lots of different medications. They can turn their lives around. So, absolutely, I had to do the elimination diet.
Now, what is an elimination diet? That's a great question. What you do is, you eliminate your symptoms. You take out the foods that research and clinical practice has shown over the many decades irritate the vast majority of people. Things like gluten and dairy. We all know that people are going on these diets and you're hearing these fantastic case studies all around the globe. It's true. So what we do is, we take these foods out for a couple of weeks and then we slowly reintroduce them one by one. You wait and you see how you feel. So, if you start feeling, as we both know, that foggy thinking or that fatigue that comes back, or you get joint pain or your gut is upset or you get post-nasal drip in your sinuses or your rash comes back, then we say, "Oh! That's a suspect food." Let's take that out. We leave that food out and then we start adding other foods back in. So, you determine, over time, what it is that's behind your symptoms. You know, most people are like, "Well, I know what's behind my symptoms. It's a medication insufficiency. I should be taking more Prozac or I should be taking more anti-inflammatories or something." No. That's not what's behind your symptoms. What's causing you to have those diseases to begin with? Those disorders. What is it? What's irritating your body? I would have to say 9 times out of 10, it's the food. So, if you can just look at your food, you can remove the irritant foods from your life for a while, it's amazing. I'd have to say it's the most potent, functional medicine intervention that we've ever seen. So, if you take the foods out, you can feel better.
DR. SUSANNE: Oh, I truly believe in that elimination is really the gold standard of getting rid of your allergy symptoms and all of the other chronic symptoms that you just mentioned. I know in my book, The Seven Day Allergy Makeover, I talk a lot about our environment. You know? How what you're putting in your environment, in your home and how you're feeding your children and what type of chemicals that you're exposed to, that has a lot to do with it, too. What do you think? I mean, how much do you think environmental chemicals play a part in all of this? These chronic illnesses.
TOM: You're so ahead of the game. You know that? I mean, the reality is, we've been talking about this for a while, right? For the last decade, it's been very, very clear. The science is getting stronger and stronger and stronger. Pretty much, now, it's screaming at is to all be conscious of the fact that we can't expose ourselves to these pesticides. We can't expose to all these plastics. We can't expose ourselves to all these hand sanitizing chemicals without having adverse effects. I don't know if you saw that study, Susanne, where they were looking at parabens in triclosans. So, the hand sanitizer preservatives.
DR. SUSANNE: Oh, yeah.
TOM: They saw a 400% increase in food sensitivities when people had high levels of these chemicals in their urine. So, we have to understand that some of these chemicals change our immune cell functions. They change our microbiome, so they change how we interact with our environment. So, the higher levels of chemicals we have in our bodies, the less we tolerate proteins in our environment, including food. So, we now know these are huge constituents for why everybody's now having the peanut sensitivities and the dairy sensitivities and all sorts of different issues. So, environment is massive. It's a massive player.
DR. SUSANNE: Yes. I know. I know you hit it right on the nail, especially when it comes to the things that we deal with. I mean, there are so many chemicals that are out there. You mentioned that what it does is, it causes inflammation. It disrupts our microbiome. You know, why is the microbiome so important? I talk about the fact that it is where the largest immune cells are, the immune system, the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Why is the microbiome the most important part?
TOM: Oh, my gosh. Because the immune system should be called the microbial interaction system. If you look at the science, clearly it shows us that the whole design of our immune system is to interact with bacterium, fungi, viruses, parasites. That's what it's there for. It's our sixth sense to determine what's out in our environment. We literally have receptor sites in our intestinal cells. These receptors that wait to be bound with little fragments from bacterium. They wait to interact with bacterial pieces. When those bacteria are present in our intestine and those little receptors are bound, it actually sends a very calming signal to the surrounding immune cells and it says, "Hey, there's nothing to see here. We've got the good guys present. No reason you to get upset about a thing." When we don't have those microbes around, the opposite happens. We actually start sending these signals that say, "You know what? If anything moves, kill it." Like, we're on edge. We don't know what's going on out there. Something's wrong. You literally have an edgy immune system and we lose something called tolerance. So, whatever you see, interesting shapes, food proteins, boom! You start launching an attack against it and we gain these food sensitivities or these food allergies.
DR. SUSANNE: You know, in your book, you talk about that people have these unintentionally triggered cross-contaminations. Of course, they don't know about it when they eat. What does that mean?
TOM: So, you know, God bless everybody for really trying hard when they go on gluten-free and dairy-free diets. It's so great the amount of effort people put in. I feel so sorry for people because they don't always get the results that they deserve. So, they think they're going on a gluten-free diet, but they're still eating processed food that's processed in a plant that has wheat in it or they go in their kitchen and their spouse has just made a big batch of wheat pancakes right next to them making their turkey hash or making some sort of salmon burgers or whatever they're doing and the flour gets on the food. Next thing you know, they still have their arthritis; they still have their irritable bowel. So, this process of what's called cross-contamination where the wheat or the dairy or the corn gets into your food supply without you knowing, is incredibly, incredibly common. So, what we try and do is teach people how to make their own foods and then, they can guarantee that they're not going to have cross contamination. So, my wife, as you know, Ali Segerson. She's amazing at cooking. We have two cookbooks we've published together. She has the most fabulous recipes in the back of that elimination diet book you have. It's amazing.
DR. SUSANNE: I love that book.
TOM: We taught a class last night and we had a bunch of people who had no idea what they were getting into, right? Everybody left just raving saying, "Elimination diet or not, I'm cooking these recipes every day." So, you know, you can replace what's causing you harm with things that make you feel fabulous. That's what this is all about. It's not about eliminating foods. It's about eliminating your symptoms and introducing foods that are delicious.
DR. SUSANNE: So, in your book, The Elimination Diet, you go into detail about what not to eat, right? But, I want to know what can we eat? What can we eat on this diet and what I love about The Elimination Diet book also is because you've got recipes in there. Let's go ahead and give a couple of a few second on what we can eat because I can't believe time goes by so fast talking to you.
TOM: Oh, yes. Sweet tart cherry chicken. Just made it last night for the cooking class. It was one of the biggest hits. So fantastic. Put that on top of some plantain tortillas. Maybe have a side of the [garbled] and then some lacto-fermented vegetables that are just like hopping in your mouth delicious. So, yes. You can put together all these meals. We have salmon burgers. We have salmon-quinoa burgers. We've got turkey meatballs. We have all these different meals that you're not going to suffer at all. You're going to actually have a wonderful taste-bud fest in your mouth and, at the same time, feel fabulous.
DR. SUSANNE: Can't wait. You know what, Tom? Thank you so much. You and Ali are such great people. So happy to have you on the show and grateful for all that you're doing to help people feel better.
Everyone, go to WholeLife Nutrition.net.
Until next time, this is Dr. Susanne sharing my natural strategies to ultimate health and wellness right here on RadioMD.