Episode 013 - Gut Health, Inflammation & the Stress Response from a Holistic Lens with Mia Giommi

Episode 013 - Gut Health, Inflammation & the Stress Response from a Holistic Lens with Mia Giommi

January 03, 2022

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Elisabeth Poyner  00:00

Welcome to Keeping it 100 Radio. I'm your host Lissie Poyner. Type one diabetic, certified health coach, personal trainer and founder of Needles and Spoons Health and Wellness. Inside this podcast, you'll find the real and raw conversations around diabetes management, including the lessons that we don't learn in our endo's office, my best tips and trainings and conversations from the experts that I trust inside the community so that you can create more predictability in your diabetes management and feel empowered while doing so. Let's dive in. 


Elisabeth Poyner  00:26

Keeping it 100 Radio is brought to you in collaboration with Skin Grip, the only patch company that I trust with my diabetes devices. I started using Skin Grip about two years ago and before I found them my Dexcom would last maybe four or five days before falling off, making it really hard to lift weights, hike with my dogs or just wanting to do the everyday things that I love. But now I can confidently travel, workout, and navigate life with diabetes without having to worry about dealing with insurance more than I have to, begging for replacements and resorting to fingerpricks. Plus I'm in love with their mission: to help us live fearlessly with diabetes. You can check out Skin Grip at SkinGrip.com and save 10% on your order by using the code Lissie. L-I-S-S-I-E at checkout. 


Elisabeth Poyner  01:05

What is up everyone? Welcome back to Keeping it 100 Radio. On today's episode, we are diving into gut health and all the good things about digestive health with Mia Giommi. And I actually met her in a previous program that I was in. So I'm super excited to have her on this episode and just talk about all of her expertise that she brings to her audience and now our audience. So Mia, can I ask you to introduce yourself? And yeah.



Amazing. Yeah. Hi, Lissie, thank you so much for having me here today. I'm very, very excited to be talking to you and your community. So yeah, my name is Mia. I am a Certified Nutritional practitioner, which is also known in my field as a holistic nutritionist. And in my practice, I help folks who struggle with burnout and more chronic digestive issues, to increase their energy and restore their digestion via really like a root cause funded like functional, you know, holistic approach to health and well being and um yeah, I currently have like my own practice where I work one-on-one with clients virtually, which allows me to support people from all over the world, which is super cool. I'm very excited to be, you know, practicing in a time that allows me to reach more people in this way. Um, yeah, that's like about, like, a bit about me on the work side of things. In terms of


Elisabeth Poyner  02:26

Yeah, let's hear like the fun stuff. I mean like, obviously this is fun. But let's hear like what do you do? What do you enjoy? Like yeah.



For sure. I know, it's funny how I always start my bio with like, work related things. I know, I know. I know. Don't subscribe to that being, you know, the only thing. Um but yeah, so I'm from I'm from Canada, I live in Ontario. I'm originally from like a little town in northern Ontario. And I don't know, some of my like biggest loves in life are definitely traveling, especially, obviously, pre-pandemic. I love backpacking and just exploring the world, living out of my bag. That's like a huge, huge passion of mine. Um reading, hiking. dogs. I'm definitely obsessed, probably a bit too much with dogs. And yeah, I don't know, good coffee. I love good coffee, great company, good food and wine. I'm Italian. So it kind of goes with the nature of that.


Elisabeth Poyner  03:18

Oh, yeah. It's so funny. So for anybody listening, Mia is actually not type one diabetic. But because of her expertise, I wanted to bring her onto the show to kind of talk about because everything ties into each other, right? Like, whether it's type one diabetes, gut health, and just you know, that holistic approach really impacts everything. So it's funny when you say that you like, you know, traveling and living out of your backpack. All I'm envisioning is all the supplies that would go into my backpack [..] I'm like wait, people can do that. I forgot.



Absolutely, yeah. As a non type one diabetic, I can't uh, I can't imagine what that would look like for sure.


Elisabeth Poyner  03:54

I mean, we can still do it, just be a lot bigger of a backpack.



Yeah. Lots of planning too. For sure. 


Elisabeth Poyner  04:01

But no, I'm so excited to have you on and it's kind of funny. Like I think that our our backgrounds are pretty similar, like so we were just chatting before the episode and you were talking about how you worked previously in architecture, correct? And what brought you from there to now working more in the holistic healthcare space?



Yeah, so I feel like most people who end up here, it's often because we have a personal tie to, to it right? So of course I like personally struggled for years.Like literally, as far back as I have, like any recollection of my life. I struggled with chronic digestive issues. And later in life, it was a lot of burnout that I can sort of attribute to my university experience in architecture. Um, but yeah, like since I was young, you know, I struggled with a lot of upper GI issues. I was diagnosed with GERD at a young age which is gastro esophageal reflux disease. That's, you know, quite chronic acid reflux, I was put on medications for it. Um. You know, I was always struggling with infections one way or another, like be it strep throat or UTIs, my immune system was just not sort of up to snuff. And it was in university that it went nearly downhill. And I think it's just because and I know, you can relate to this, we've chatted about it a little bit, Lissie, but like, I was just not living a lifestyle that was conducive to health and well being. I was not taking care of myself. I was living chronically in a stressed state. And that's where, you know, I saw a pretty rapid decline in my health, you know, through both burnout. I started to have, you know, kind of anxiety-ish panic attacks. I got sick with things like scarlet fever, which I thought were like, like extinct illnesses, you know? Like, yeah, my immune system was just like, really, really bottomed out. And my gut was kind of at an all time low with regards to how that was doing. And I think I just got sick enough that I was like, okay, I should, you know, probably try to do something about this. And ended up down the rabbit hole personally, through like my own research. Any free time I had was dedicated to, you know, scouring Google for answers and going to health food stores, and trying supplements and weird things like colonics and enemas, and anything I could try, you know, that kind of promise to fix to my issues. And I started to lean on working with practitioners as well to sort of get to the bottom of things. And then yeah, I think, just as I started to see improvements in my health, I was like, wow, okay, this is very profound. And I want to help people do the same, right? So that's why I work with the clients that I do, they're going through very similar things to what I went through. And it's nice that I can, you know, empathize with people, and, for the most part, understand, you know, kind of where they're coming from. It makes for like, a really nice, working relationship.


Elisabeth Poyner  07:01

Yeah, no, definitely. And I feel like as unfortunate as it is that we have to go through the experiences in some ways it's actually good, because then we can bring more of a accelerated solution to other people who may be experiencing the same thing. So, you know, maybe the path turned out to be different than you initially expected. And I think that we, yes, we definitely have very similar stories as far as university and like, I yeah, constantly studying for especially like those Bachelor of Science kind of degrees, like very like, [...]. You know, I remember taking 21 credits at a time. I was working part time so that I afford like, my rent and everything. I was responsible for that. I was volunteering for, like we, Penn State has the largest student run philanthropy, so that was like a full time job in itself. I was trying to start the diabetes organization at Penn State, like, right there constantly stressed, constantly losing sleep, living off caffeine, living off those quick on the go foods, and just at the end of the day just did not serve me and I think all those years, culminating together, it finally my body was like, we can't do this anymore. And that's when I was diagnosed with colitis, which now I'm more formally diagnosed with Crohn's.



interesting. Right? Oh, wow. It's


Elisabeth Poyner  08:21

So. I feel like our,  there's a lot of synchronicities in our stories.



Yeah. For sure, and like, I don't know about your school experience, or if it was like my program or what, but I just remember, you know, like, the, the stress and the grind was glorified. Like you were doing better, you are better regarded by your peers if you were like, I remember during finals, we would have these sort of critique periods where I would have to present you know, my like, building proposal or whatever project I was working on. And for the two weeks prior, like, I wouldn't leave school. I would go downstairs, nap for three hours in this like, lounge space at school and it was glorified. People were like, you know, happily pulling all-nighters numerous nights in a row. And now reflecting on that, I, as a practitioner, and then just, you know, also, as a human, I think, I'm like, that's just so detrimental to our health, and I'm still paying for it now. Honestly. 


Elisabeth Poyner  09:14

Yeah. You're right. You live in that like, that hustle culture of like, that's so it's idolized. It's wow, you're working so hard, and like, you're gonna like to pay off because you're working so hard. And like, I don't know about you, but like, I mean, I had a shit GPA I had like a 2.6 because I was like, so into every little thing. I couldn't put all my focus into one one area, right? Sure. Yeah. But yeah, and in the end, it's just hurting us more than it's actually helping us because in the long run, it's gonna impact our health, it's gonna impact our mindset. I still kind of live there sometimes. I'm like, Oh, the more I do, the, the more successful I can be. And sometimes I'm like Lissie, slow down, like you don't  have to work 12 hours a day. Like you can take a break. It's like hard to break out of that.



Yeah, I think when you tend towards that personality, right? Like, I don't want to speak to you but for me like I'm definitely like a type a, go getter, very driven, very self motivated, and it's hard to unlearn. Unlearn that. Yeah.


Elisabeth Poyner  10:15

What is your what is your Zodiac?



I'm an I'm an Aries. 


Elisabeth Poyner  10:20

I'm a Virgo, I was like maybe there was something there.



Very fiery. I don't really. I don't resonate much with my Aries side. But I think on the work side of things, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And that's like, it's it's very interesting how I also tend to see a lot of people who have the same or similar personality traits present with gut issues. Like it's so related to stress. It's I know, yeah, yeah.


Elisabeth Poyner  10:45

So what made you because I I don't know about, again, in your experience, but I had that kind of experience where it's very oversimplified. Like, I went to the I went to like an urgent care at first because I was experiencing some of the symptoms and like, something's not feeling right. And like, basically, the doctor there was like, you're constipated. Here's some Miralax. And I'm like, I feel I feel like that's not it. But like, I'll take your word for it. And then eventually, I went to like the GI doctor, and they're like, Well, have you taken an antibiotic lately? I'm like, no, but and they're like, well, you probably did. And just like, that's kind of what did it like? Okay, like, Well, regardless, but like it was very, like oversimplified of hey, just take these pills and like, we'll kind of see where it goes down the road, like what made you first of all, like, think that there was more out there that could support you on that level?


Mia Giommi  11:40

Yeah, I mean, and I think that's what my issue it's the allopathic medicine side or like Western medicine world is and while I absolutely believe in it, it absolutely has a time and place for certain things. I think it's it's not health care, right? It's sick care. It's when people are very sick, they can you know, come in with procedures and surgeries and pharmaceuticals to help you there but when someone yeah, maybe isn't presenting with a broken leg or you know, something that's, I don't know, much more um like obviously, supported by that medicine industry, you know what I mean? Yeah, um, it's kind of written off as it's in your head or it's just constipation or it's anxiety or it's that. And I think for me, I went through the same thing. I went to my family doctor, I was recommended to go see the gastroenterologist, I had, you know, the upper endoscopy done and ultrasounds and X rays and bloodwork. And it always came back normal, it always came back normal. And I think, you know, I got to a point where I was very fed up with basically them like gaslighting me and saying that nothing was wrong when I knew intuitively in my body, and I could feel it right? I felt so unwell. But, you know, I was just kind of like, there has to be another way. And that kind of just like, led me down the path, probably through research online would, would have been where it kind of started where I've looked into just like alternative measures. Yeah.


Elisabeth Poyner  13:09

What were those first kinda steps that you took? Like, which like, did you have to do a lot of trial and error? Like, where did you find reputable resources? Where did you start?


Mia Giommi 13:18

Yeah, I think, honestly, probably first started just through, like my own research on Google, like, I remember just like scouring blogs for hours and hours and hours and watching videos on YouTube. And then I got into reading books, but as you mentioned, it was it was probably years of, of trial and error before I you know, and even dabbling and seeing some practitioners like I would see a naturopath here and there, but I would never really commit to the process, you know, of like, following up and maintaining that relationship. And then I think I got more serious about it. I think my why behind wanting to feel better got a lot more prevalent in my life, where my health really started branching out and impacting, I would say every single aspect of my life, from my relationships, to my happiness, to my ability to do the things I wanted to do, to my sex life, like literally everything. Hope it's okay that I mentioned sex on here, but truly, I think I got to I think I got to that point where I was like, okay, something's got to give and, you know, then I was able to, like work with a couple practitioners. I did seek support through, you know, I was seeing a psychologist for a while and an osteopath. I had functional testing done, which was really helpful and but truly, a lot of it was just looking at the way that I was living and my lifestyle and my mental health and my stress management and just really making sure I was locking in, like the more foundational things that were the root cause of why I was feeling the way I was feeling.


Elisabeth Poyner  14:49

Right. I feel like that's kind of the hardest thing to do is acknowledge that maybe the lifestyle that we chose isn't serving us. Or maybe not even that we chose, but that we've been kind of learned, like, that's been learned for years and years. Like I saw my dad constantly working long hours at work, constantly 80 hour workweeks. You know, my mom was always working. Like, you know, so it's we kind of like, learn those behaviors as well, by along with exercise, you know, everything. So it can kind of be like the first path of resistance, I feel like. Of like, no, like, it can't be what I'm doing, it has to be something else. But once we kind of open up that level of awareness, it's really, it can be really groundbreaking of like, okay, there's more to this than I thought. And just kind of like part of the conversation that you and I had earlier, like, you know, all of that stress culminated into whether it was more it was more stress internally that we saw. So like, for me, it was a lot of inflammation. That's kind of where I saw the Crohn's develop. But do you mind speaking on that? Kind of the, because for those who are listening in our audience, you know, most of them will be type one diabetic. And we see that maybe not everybody can be can have similar experiences as far as like their digestive health and feeling it on that level. But we see other places, we usually see it show up in our blood sugars, our insulin resistance. So can you speak on the kind of the importance of stress management and how that can play internally? And what we might see from it?


Mia  16:24

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, to maybe give like a really brief, like biology lesson and the stress response, it's, you know, it's a very normal part of our physiology. It's a like processing function that was designed for us to be able to survive life threatening situations, which is amazing, right? It's, it's a survival mechanism. And while that's beautiful, we now live in a world, in a society where we are inundated with stressors on not even a daily basis. It's like a minute by minute basis. We have technology, we have blue light, we have pollution, we have emails from our boss, we have angry texts from I don't know a friend who you blew off. Whatever it is. And our body can't discern between an actual life threatening situation like back, you know, years and years ago, we were faced with a bear or something in nature that was threatening our survival, versus an email from our boss asking us where you know, the assignment was that was due yesterday, our body doesn't know the difference between those situations. One is, you know, quite obviously not life threatening that email. But the same physiological process happens when we experience stress, whether it's perceived stress, inflammation, blood sugar mismanagement, a lack of sleep, our body initiates this stress response. And what that basically does is in the body, it prioritizes all of our systems and functions that we need to survive a situation and everything else gets shoved to the side. So when we're stressed, our body is pumping blood to our extremities, our so we can run or fight. Our bronchioles are dilating so we can breathe better. Our senses are heightened, our blood pressure increases, all of those things happen because our body thinks we're in a situation that we need to like fight or flight right? Or run away. And then that's where things like digestion gets shut down, our reproductive hormones get shut down. And over a longer period of time, our immune system also gets compromised when we're in a chronic state of stress. And then that's why we can see a lot of, you know, dysregulation and those symptoms or like, digestive issues start to creep up or like, our sex hormones become imbalanced because we're living in a state of stress so often, and those systems just, you know, keep getting shut down and keep getting shut down. So yeah, I definitely see stress as a huge if not, like, the biggest, most profound factor in a lot of the imbalances that I see in practice. 


Elisabeth Poyner  18:59

Yeah, and it's kind of interesting because for a lot of people who, just again just kind of bring it back to diabetes, like a lot [...] and even other autoimmune diseases, like we see that were diagnosed after big like stressful events. So I was diagnosed with diabetes after I had the flu, which was again something that was very stressful on my body and we can go into the autoimmune response but same thing with Crohn's. After years of comi culminated stress. That's what happened and I hear that time after time with all the clients that I have, usually there's some kind of event that triggered it.


Mia 19:38

Absolutely. Wow.


Elisabeth Poyner  19:41

So when you when you're looking at the stress response, do you like where I know that everything ties in when we're looking at the holistic picture, but like, where do you think is like the most important place to start? Lifestyle, nutrition, movement? Yeah, I think there's so many different parts of it.



Yeah, that's such a great question. So I think well, there are four main sort of categories that, you know, contribute to the stress response occurring in the body. So one of them is blood sugar mismanagement. One of them is inflammation. One of them is perceived stress, which is probably like the most prevalent, I would say, that most people experience. And then the last one is sleep dysregulation. So, those four things, so blood sugar, inflammation, sleep, and perceived stress, which is emotional or, like mental stress, right? Those are four areas that are really important to look at, when we look at, you know, down regulating the stress response, supporting the nervous system supporting our stress hormones. So I think that, you know, probably perceived mental emotional stress is probably the more not most important, but it's, I think, for most people, it's the most, um, like prevalent I would say, in their life. More people probably struggle with that than the other few things. And I think that, you know, both actively reducing stressors in your life, where it's possible, is one piece of it. And then the other piece is, you know, stress is inevitable for all of us. So removing stress where you can, and what I mean by that is asking for help, taking things off your plate, saying no, asking for support where you can, all of those things are sort of actively removing stressors. And then with regards to perceived stress specifically, putting, putting practices in place to support you when you do inevitably experience stress. So whether that's movement, whether that's a hobby that you enjoy, or breathwork, or journaling, or reading, you know, I think it's really important to have tools in your toolbox that you can lean on, when you do feel that way. Just to help your body stay out of our fight or flight mode as much as possible and stay in our rest and digest state as much as possible. And then also navigating blood sugar balance, inflammation, you know, removing maybe, maybe the stress is that it's an infection in your gut, or it's Epstein Barr Virus or something, you know, that's kind of a self infection in your system that needs to be taken care of, so that you don't have as much chemical stress internally in the body that's initiating that stress response. Yeah, so I think, like definitely getting a handle on your mental health, whatever that needs to look like for you, is a huge, huge, huge piece of this. And then also looking at what other stressors you have going on in your life.


Elisabeth Poyner  22:47

Yeah, I, that's so, it's interesting that you brought that up. Because again, I feel like we're so accustomed to just dealing with stress and getting through it, that we never think about how to actually regulate it, or bring it down. And that's kind of like the first place I started once I realized that there's more to the holistic journey. So like, when I was diagnosed, I was living in Miami because I was, if you're listening to the podcast, like you've heard the story a million times. I was living in Miami because of the job that I had. They were kind of like, you know, you have to move in order to have this job, right, fine. Fair. I was living in Miami, 1000 miles away from my family, away from like, my first niece was born, I missed that. I was in a toxic living environment, I hated my job. Like, I feel like there was so much of those mental and emotional stressors that as soon as I removed those, like I moved home, I got out of the bad relationship, I was closer to my family, I got to see my niece more, like that, in itself, I think helped bring me into remission with Crohn's. Like, that was the first step. And then I started focusing on the nutrition and movement and all the other pieces, but we call it so like, I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition just for that lifestyle piece. And they call it kind of like this, the Circle of Life. So kind of the the other ways of nourishment other outside of foods. So there's like creativity, your physical environment, your education, um your your relationships, joy, like all those basically those other areas where you want to be sure that you're feeling fulfilled in those areas. And then that's what actually brings wellness. And I think it goes and serves your point a lot because we think of stress, just as I have a deadline due, I'm stressed, but really, there's so much more to it. It's our relationships, it's our environment. It's the food we're putting into our body. It's the workouts that we're doing. Like there's so much to it that we don't think about.



For sure. And that's I think, absolutely and I think that's why I resonated so much with quote unquote holistic nutrition because it affords me the opportunity to look into that with people. And it's Yeah, I think I just agree with you that I think people think that stress is yeah, deadlines are more tangible things like that. And we often discount how important it is to have good relationships and to feel safe and to have hobbies and find pleasure in things, and that those have a huge impact on our health and well being. 


Elisabeth Poyner  25:16

Mm hmm. Absolutely. Can we speak on those other three areas that you had mentioned? So you mentioned inflammation, sleep and blood sugar management?



Yeah. So blood sugar management, sleep, inflammation and perceived stress. Yeah, so those are kind of like four main categories that impacts our stress response and our HPA axis, which is our hypothalamus, pituitary adrenal. So it's kind of like our stress pathway in the body. That's the system that's responsible for the stress response. But yeah, so inflammation is one piece of this. So when there's inflammation in the body, whether it's localized or more systemic, maybe because, you know, what I often see is if there are, you know, certain imbalances, or infections in the gut, that contribute to inflammation locally in the gut, we can start to see something called leaky gut develop, or intestinal permeability, which can then contribute to more widespread systemic inflammation in the body. And what can happen with inflammation is our stress response can become activated because cortisol, which is like one of our main stress hormones, is actually anti inflammatory. So when we have inflammation in the body, our body secretes cortisol to deal with said inflammation. And, again, when it's, it's when these things become chronic, right? So inflammation is a good thing, it's there for a reason, when we have a cut or something needs to be repaired, that's what it's there for, to help us to heal. But when it becomes chronic, like, in the case of leaky gut, like I just mentioned, and it's something that's persisting, and persisting, and our body's constantly pumping out cortisol to try to bring the inflammation down, we can start to see dysregulation in our stress system, which, as we've kind of just been talking about today can cascade into, you know, a wide, a wide variety of other issues.


Elisabeth Poyner  27:13

Yeah. So what do you what would you say would be like the first step navigating inflammation itself? 


Mia  27:22

Yeah, um, so, I mean, stress management, for sure, is really important. I also think that nutrition can play a huge role here. So you know, I don't, I don't subscribe to the belief that there are quote, unquote, good and bad foods, that's not the type of nutritionist I am. But there are foods that tend towards being pro-inflammatory in the body. So you know, a lot of refined foods, highly processed sugars, and oils, refined flours, you know, fillers and like, all that weird stuff that they put in our food that aren't, you know, whole foods as they would have been found in nature, a lot of those foods tend to elicit, like an inflammatory response in the body. So I think just a great way to lessen the burden or the load on the body is to look at nutrition. Another by, and what I mean by that is to focus more on anti inflammatory whole foods as much as you can without feeling like you have to be restrictive, or subscribing to diet, because that's not what it's about, it's about supporting your body, nourishing your body to be, you know, as healthy as possible. So that's one way. Another thing too, is, you know, if you figure you're maybe experiencing inflammation, or that's something that you're struggling with, is looking into why, right? So if it is, if it is related to you know, and I'm just bringing this back to my practice, because what I see often is, maybe it is a an infection in the gut, or an overgrowth or SIBO, or, you know, whatever it is that, you know, the body is eliciting, like an inflammatory response to and once you kind of navigate that and take care of that, inflammation comes down, the stress response comes down. You know, we see kind of homeostasis as a result. So definitely looking into root causes to as to why inflammation is occurring is really important, if that's accessible.


Elisabeth Poyner  29:17

Yeah, definitely. I like that you mentioned that you don't take like a restrictive approach, because that's kind of our philosophy too, in that like, you know, yes there are going to be better pairings or foods that may help your blood sugars more than others, but that doesn't mean that we need to completely avoid them. I remember when I was diagnosed with the colitis, like the first thing that I did was buy an anti inflammatory book and I forget which one exactly but basically, it kind of gave like the do's and don'ts of an anti inflammatory diet, and I just felt like I had to avoid everything that I would have normally eaten like, I felt like the donut was off limits. The bread was off limits, like all of these things. And what I learned through like I.I.N. was it's not so much about avoiding the foods but you know, they're the concept that they use is crowding out. So you know, like, just filling your diet more with yeah, like the whole foods, the, the foods that made us feel better, and then you kind of like crave less of those foods or like they just become less abundant in our diet. It's not about restricting them, but just kind of like having that balance. 


Elisabeth Poyner  30:21

Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think, you know, knowledge is power. And it's really empowering to know that, you know, okay, there are there is a subset of foods that tend to be more pro inflammatory. And it's just being mindful of it, like maybe reflecting on what your nutrition looks like currently, and see how you can I'm totally aligned with that, like, I'm more anti inflammatory foods versus being worried about removing all the pro inflammatory foods, right? And I agree with you that you kind of just naturally, naturally crowd them out, especially once you start feeling better for it. You know, like, I think people start to feel good in their bodies, and then they're like, oh, yeah, like I could, I could do more of this, you know?


Elisabeth Poyner  30:59

Right. When we feel less guilty when we do have them. And we're like, I can allow myself how this without feeling like, without it not feeling good.



Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 


Elisabeth Poyner  31:10

I love that you have that approach. 



Yeah, um, and then, I want to be mindful of our time, but just quickly to touch on the other couple things. And I know that your community will know all about blood sugar. But blood sugar dysregulation is obviously very stressful in the body, especially when when we get into a hypoglycemic state, cortisol, again, our friendly stress hormone is secreted to help bring up our blood glucose again. So you know, in, in the case, where we're not focusing on managing our blood sugar levels, and we're spending our day with really high spikes and really low lows, which can often too, perpetuate kind of the cycle of blood sugars mismanagement, I mean, Lissie'll know more about this than than I but, you know, when we're in a hypoglycemic state, our brain is like, we just need glucose. So I feel like people tend to more readily reach for something that will bring up blood sugar levels quickly and not maybe think about how can I have a blood sugar balancing meal with protein and fat and fiber, which can sort of like perpetuate this cycle, right? And then that's, again, where it's like a chronic mismanagement of blood sugar levels, and we're spiking and dipping throughout the day, cortisol is being released many times throughout the day again, and that's our stress response, again, that's being like turned on and turned on and turned on. So again, that's where we can start to see dysregulation because of the stress response. And then that sort of like seeping out into other systems as well. And then sleep. So our circadian rhythm, sorry, like mismanagement is kind of like another thing that can contribute to, you know, our stress response being initiated. So caffeine is a big one. And this can actually impact our cortisol levels and our blood sugar. You know, we all metabolize, there are fast metabolizers, and slow metabolizers of caffeine. So it's important to know kind of which camp that you sit in, but excessive intake of caffeine can one disrupt our sleep, which can then like send the stress cascade into into action. And then it can also initiate the stress response itself. And I'm just thinking back to our university days now, and my my lack of sleep, but not sleeping is inherently super stressful on the body, it's, um, it's really, really important to make sure that we're not only sleeping long enough, but that we're getting really good quality sleep as well so that our body can detoxify and repair and process and do all of these things. Yeah, and that's, again, like holistic approach, right? We have to look at all those different pieces. And rest is definitely one of them.


Elisabeth Poyner  33:58

Everything. Yeah, it's so funny that you talk about those four things, because so at the time that we're recording this, we had just put out like a free resource on with our team. And we talk all about it's basically called the Insulin sensitivity Optimization Tracker. So like how to make the most and optimize your blood sugars, and, you know, kind of make everything work more efficiently. And all the things that you touched on are the things that we have our clients track of, like, how much sleep they're getting, how much caffeine are you drinking? What is your heart rate? What is you know, what type of movement are you doing? How long is your like, all those different stressors so I think it just goes to show that everything works together and it like not only Yes, it works for our blood sugar management, stress impacts our digestive health, it impacts, like everything. So it just it's so funny that like, just seeing everything cycle back together, is really interesting.



Yeah, yeah. It's fascinating. I love nerding out about it. I think I think it's it's adjusting the whole picture and like using this holistic approach that's gonna allow people to, to heal and to feel good in their bodies again, right? And that's, you know, I think that that's such a positive for our field in our industry is that it does afford us the time to look at all of these pieces with our clients versus a gastroenterologist that's just looking at the like looking at the gut or an endocrinologist or rheumatologists who are just looking at their own systems, I'm not knocking doctors, but it's that system doesn't support like the holistic model, right? And I think that it's the holistic model that can be be really profound and, and really serve people. 


Elisabeth Poyner  35:39

Right. I feel like coaches, or like holistic, the holistic side in particular gets kind of, it can get a bad rep at first, like I didn't believe in it. I thought it was just all about drinking green juices and detoxes and all that. Now, when you really learn what a holistic approach is, and that's where I think people like you come in, and like people that, other people we have on the podcast, when like, when you have more people talking about it, the more it really makes sense. And like that's, I think it plays such a huge role in our lifestyle. And just like the first tangible thing that we can do, like Yes, bring in your team of doctors bring in the the medicine that you need. I believe that they can all work hand in hand and that's when you optimize your health.



For sure, for sure. Yeah. And I think, again, just like the holistic approach allows us to look at why these things occurred in the first place, right? Like, that's, I'm so passionate about helping my clients to explore, you know, what allow, like, what dominoes fall to sort of allow this to manifest as constipation, or as SIBO or as whatever it is, and, you know, from there, how we can make lifestyle changes, and really, like foundational changes to help support them.


Elisabeth Poyner  36:51

Yeah, I think it's so empowering. Because then you're taking more of a proactive approach, like you understand the why, you understand what your body is doing, and why it's performing that way. And you can kind of take the action to, that's less reactive, less, okay, like, I feel like, especially my doctors, just they're just like, you come you come in with this symptom, we're going to give you this pill to resolve it. And again, not knocking medicine, but it's very reactive and everything kind of dominoes, like you said into each other. But when we can take the approach of like, what can we control? What can we take ownership of? I just think it's so empowering.


Mia 37:27

Yeah, I couldn't agree more.


Elisabeth Poyner  37:30

So can you tell us a little bit more about just like, kind of wrap it up with How do you support your clients? What do you like, I know, we kind of talked about it in what you discussed. But yeah, how do you support your clients? What do you help people with? And where can everybody find you? Most importantly. 



Yeah, amazing. Um, yeah, so I currently only work with clients in a one on one container, which is the signature program that I have. It's called the Gut Restore Method. I might be next year venturing out into a couple other offerings, we'll see. I'm noodling on that a little bit. But yeah, I work with clients in a one on one container I'm pretty firm on, you know, it's a 12 week commitment on both ends. And the reason that I love working with people in sort of a 90 day or 12 week container is just because it affords us the time to really start to make progress, really start to make sustainable lifestyle changes and build habits. These things take time, especially if you've been you know, struggling with chronic health concerns for years and years, right? It can take time for you, like we were talking about to unlearn things and get support from, you know, build a team of support around you. And anyway, so I work with people in sort of a longer container. And it looks different for everybody. It's very bio individualized, depending on the person and what they're going through. But I do mostly work with clients who are struggling with, you know, chronic digestive issues, burnout, so fatigue, energy issues, like things related to basically chronic stress. So I talk a lot about stress, a lot of the nervous system. And, and you know how that's really important to take care of. Um yeah, and, you know, I, I run functional testing, I'm really getting into that lately for clients. And that's just like a great tool to help further inform sort of the whole picture of what's going on beyond, you know, just like an intake form and a health history and all that kind of thing. And, yeah, typically, you know, my work just involves, you know, recommendations to clients to help them heal and to develop lifestyle habits that are more like health conducive, right? So we look at all those pieces like you were mentioning and address all of those pieces through nutrition and lifestyle and supplements, if that's necessary, testing if that's necessary. Yeah, so it's kind of like the gist of my work currently. I'm on socials way too much, so you could come hang out with me over there. Really trying to cut back on Instagram, but it's not, it's not been happening for me. I usually try to keep my phone out of my office. And that helps. But anyways, yeah, definitely coming out on Instagram my handles @wiseandwonder. Um. Yeah, I love connecting with people over there. It's it's a great part of social media even though I spend too much time. Um, and then yeah, I on my website, actually maybe Lissie you can link the listeners to, I have an awesome free training called the 6 Foundations so it's on my website wiseandwonder.com/training and it actually covers like the what I call my key six foundations that I believe that everybody what I don't like the word should but what ideally start with no matter kind of what they're going through and it does talk about, you know, blood sugar management, um sleep, nervous system support, stress support all that stuff. Yeah, so that's a great training to check out and have a ton of free resources on my website and stuff. So.


Elisabeth Poyner  40:55

I'll absolutely put your socials and everything in the shownotes so everybody knows where to find you. And yeah, your page is so informative. And I'm just so happy that we got to connect in this space. And I'm just rooting for all that you do, because it's such an important work that not everybody knows how to get those resources and get that support. So I'm really glad that you're offering it to everybody.



Yeah, thank you so much that I yeah, I feel the same. I feel so grateful that I'm able to do this now. And I think just because I have such personal ties to it now just like rooting on my clients lights me up like nothing else. It's yeah, it's really amazing. I'm really grateful. 


Elisabeth Poyner  41:29

It's amazing. Thank you so much for coming on and giving us all this information. It's amazing.



Beautiful. Thank you Lissie! Yeah I'm so honored that you had me on today. Especially not being a type one diabetic myself. I'm very honored that you gave me the invite. So I appreciate it.


Elisabeth Poyner  41:52

We love you anyway. 




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