Spread the gut love is one of Dr. Nicole’s favorite phrases, and with good reason. We get into gut health today- the good, the bad, and the leaky (leaky gut!).
If you don’t know already, I chatted with Dr Nicole last week in part 1. I highly recommend checking that one out before listening to this episode!
Here’s a refresher: Dr. Nicole LePera is from The Holistic Psychologist. She’s from Philadelphia (where my husband Mike is from also- go Phillies!) and studied at Cornell University in New York. Dr. Nicole experienced anxiety most of her life.You can read her anxiety story here.
Coming into her role as a practicing clinical psychologist, she realized there was a gap between what she was taught and problems she was enduring. Dr. Nicole describes an experience of her braining shutting down during one of her sessions with a client. She explained it as not just blanking out, but something completely different, something deeper. She recognized she needed to heal her symptoms and poured herself into researching non-conventional approaches and treatments. Dr. Nicole discovered so many things outside of her conventional psychology training, such as the gut-brain axis, microbiome, inflammation, and more. In her practice now, Dr. Nicole treats the whole person, helps her clients create body balance, teaches subconscious reframing, enables mindfulness practices, promotes gut health, and more. This is the type of true holistic work that takes time, commitment, and awareness. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Nicole for the Burnt Out to Lit Up podcast. Here are some top takeaways from our conversation:
1. STIMULATE YOUR VAGUS NERVE.
When you stimulate the vagus nerve, you are essentially turning on your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the ‘rest and digest’ system. We spend much our time and days in an ever-idling sympathetic nervous system because most of us are dealing with some type of chronic stress. Stimulate your vagus nerve by chanting, getting in a good belly laugh, gargling, and deep breathing exercises. Get your body into a calm state so that you can be in a space to effectively problem-solve and be your highest self.
2. THE GUT IS THE SECOND BRAIN.
According to Dr. Nicole, It’s impossible to look at psychological symptoms without addressing the health of your gut. When our guts are out of balance nutritionally, imbalanced gut symptoms can appear as brain fog, low energy, depression, emotional reactivity, IBS, and autoimmune diseases related to the gut. Leaky gut can cause a leaky brain. Toxins go to our brain and the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) can be penetrated. Gluten is one such substance that can cause brain inflammation. Dr. Nicole attributes depression largely as a result of brain inflammation, along with many other factors.
3. FEED YOUR BODY LIKE YOUR ANCESTORS DID.
Dr. Nicole shares how low B12 can lead to many health consequences, including depression. She talks about how an ancestral diet approach is what our brains and bodies can benefit from the most. Something that Dr. Nicole talks about is eating organ meat. When predators kill their prey, the alpha hunters go in for the for dibs of the kill and will go for the organs because they have the highest nutrients and offer the most energy. Dr. Nicole is no stranger to organ meat and highly recommends it. If you’re not a fan of regularly cooking up some chicken hearts, she recommends supplementation from a highly valued source from Eat Wild.
Connect with Dr. Nicole LePera here and be sure to get her gut healing freebie: https://yourholisticpsychologist.com/