How To Figure Out What To Eat Based On What Your Ancestors Ate & How To Heal Your Immune System Using An Ancestral Diet Approach.

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autoimmune disease
Body, Diet & Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Longevity & Age Reversal, Nutrition, Podcast, Podcast-new

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Today's podcast is a two-part special on ancestral eating and healing autoimmune disease using an ancestral approach.

In the first part of the show, I teach you how to determine how you should be eating based on how your ancestors ate.

Next, I turn it over to my guest Dr. Michael Smith for a special lecture from him on his specific protocol for healing autoimmune conditions using an ancestral eating approach.

Dr. Smith, who first appeared on my show in the episode “Cupping, Urine Drinking, Dream Interpretation, Open Heart Surgery Using Acupuncture As Anesthesia & Much More.” hails from the First Nations in Canada. He grew up on the diet of his indigenous ancestors and ate things like wild salmon that he caught himself as well as wild organ meats from animals he hunted. He learned many of the medicinal traditions and the “Medicine Wheel” of the First Nations people. He studied martial arts and taught Canadian Military self-defense techniques.

Along the way, his martial arts teacher took him aside to tell him that he was “more of a healer than a fighter.” His teacher then began to teach him the oral tradition of Classical Oriental Science, or better known as traditional Chinese Medicine. Michael is now a huge pillar in the healing community of Nelson, BC. He's helped with bringing medical cannabis dispensaries to the city and produces supplements paired with medical cannabis sold there. You often see him ushering in folks at open public sweat lodge ceremonies with burning of sage.

Michael is an author, speaker, professional martial artist, teacher and clinician, and a respected integrative medicine pioneer with over 20 years of experience. In his Nelson, British Columbia practice he combines functional medicine and evolutionary nutrition with the ancient wisdom and vast experience of traditional Chinese medicine. His primary focus in medicine is complex chronic auto-immune diseases. (As a patient, Michael had lived with both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis for well over 20 years.)

He is a co-founder of the prestigious Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences, the first five-year full-time doctorate level training program in TCM in Canada. He is also the primary developer of Neuro-Somatic Therapy, a hands-on approach to reducing the way people embody distress, illness, and trauma.

As a Martial Artist, Michael has been training for almost 40 years. He has had the good fortune to train with some of the highest level teachers in the Western world, including a teacher of the late Bruce Lee. After training prison guards, police officers and members of both military and paramilitary organizations, Michael decided to leave traditional martial arts and develop his own approach to resolving physical violence. He has taught this approach, called Applied Combatives, for over 20 years.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Ben's thoughts on ancestral dieting [7:25]

The Ancestral Autoimmune Protocol” w/ Dr. Michael Smith

-Why we should care about autoimmune disease [14:00]

  • 1 in 5 people throughout the developed world are living with an autoimmune disease
  • Autoimmune issues can be underlying causes of other diseases
  • 80% of Dr. Smith's patients get relief or healing engaging in this protocol

-Dr. Smith's clinical approach to treating autoimmune disease [17:55]

  • 25 years treating patients with Autoimmune disease, and/or PTSD, and/or addiction; crossover of these is significant
  • Focused on all 3 of those elements
  • Treating the whole person, not just the diagnosis
  • Clinical, functional medicine; sometimes breathwork
  • Somatic mindfulness: acupuncture, breathwork, etc.
  • Qi Gong, ayahuasca trips
  • Dr. Smith has Crohn's disease, complex PTSD, and previous addiction – perfect case study for his own work

-What is autoimmunity? [23:15]

  • Immune system (police force) views your tissues, cells, etc. are invaders and need to be destroyed (or cause inflammation)
  • Described as a “self-allergy”
  • The “house” illustration to describe autoimmunity
    • The police investigate an incident near your home (they're the T cells)
    • Newscaster (V cells) identify markers for your body
    • Ambulance (phagocytes) clean up dead cells, debris, etc.
    • Fire hydrants (anandamide system) and firemen (adaptive immunity)
    • Snipers (killer cells)
    • MCH1 regulates specific protein pathways in the cells
  • Martial law is the best metaphor to describe autoimmunity

-The Standard Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) [35:30]

  • List of “No's”: Grains, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants)
  • Focus on ancestral eating (thousands of years) rather than just the last 100 years
  • Seasonal component of the diet
    • Mono diets throughout the year are a relatively new idea
  • Grains, beans, nuts, seeds are all plant embryos; eventually reproduce an entire plant
  • More difficult for humans to digest “baby” plants than the mature plants
    • The chemicals inside them are created to defeat the digestive enzymes
  • Eggs and dairy contain enzymes that compromise intestinal permeability

-The four pillars of ancestral AIP [42:35]

  • Nutrition
    • It's more about good food (solving a problem)
    • Like dating; it's all about what you bring to the table
  • Metabolic resilience and physical fitness
    • Fasting and keto diets are helpful
    • Get mitochondria moving, nerves functioning properly
  • Mindset and mindfulness
    • Mindset sans mindfulness is a misnomer
    • Mindfulness is what sets up the mindset
  • Support (supplements and shamans)
    • People in “blue zones” have good social connection and support
    • Shamans, ayahuasca circles, microdosing w/ LSD, etc. is more and more popular

-The four protocols of ancestral AIP [54:20]

  • Rest and reset
    • 1-2 weeks is ideal
    • Anti-inflammatory diet (ice age diet)
    • Raw fish, ceviche, raw veggies (in moderation), stews and broths, sea vegetables
    • Lots of water
    • Hibernation (lots of sleep)
    • Low-level intensity exercise
    • Meditation, qi gong, sensory deprivation tanks, breath work
    • Epigenetic resets
  • Rebuilding body, brain, mitochondria
    • 1-2 months
    • Nutrient-dense keto diet
    • Nose to tail, connective tissue, intermittent fasting
    • Resistance starch
    • Circuit training to rebuild mitochondria and metabolism
  • Restore
    • Begin adding nuts, seeds, pseudo-grains, legumes, see how things go
    • Hormonal and neurotransmitter reserve
    • Cold showers
    • HIIT training
  • Rebalance
    • Homesteader diet
    • Get in the best shape of your life
    • Four fundamental needs as beings:
      • Coherence
      • Adaptability
      • Autonomy
      • Belonging

-And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Click here to pre-order Ben Greenfield's new book “Boundless” now and to get in on the Boundless Sweepstakes!

Podcast: The Autoimmune, Trauma, And Addiction Connection

Michael's Somatic Mindfulness website

Michael's Integrative Health Detective website

The Epigenetic Retests Video

Michael's Upcoming Qi Gong, Breathwork, Trauma Release Course

-Wild Health MD

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Michael Smith or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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18 thoughts on “How To Figure Out What To Eat Based On What Your Ancestors Ate & How To Heal Your Immune System Using An Ancestral Diet Approach.

  1. Alex says:

    Michael – how does the act of activating nuts/seeds etc come into your recommendation to cut it completely? Are there different levels?

  2. bob says:

    I am not able to access most of the websites of Dr. Michael Smith

    1. Hi Bob,

      I just checked and they are both fine:

      Not sure what happened

  3. Melissa Winiarski says:

    What are examples of resistance starches to add into the Rebuild Phase?

    1. Hi Melissa,

      I use Inulin, Potato Starch, Plantains, and Green Bananas.

  4. Brandon says:

    Loves this podcast. I want to try your protocol but I have slight hemochromatosis, slight porphyria and high oxalates. Yes a mess. With the raw fish and nose to tail eating I fear it may make me worse. Would love any thoughts or resources on the topic!

    1. Hi Brandon,

      Thanks, glad you liked the show.

      That is a tricky corner to be in…

      Gelatin is a big part of the nose to tail adventure and does not have significant Iron. There is a lot of info on low oxalate diets and hacks out there.

      Glad the HCT is slight.


  5. Derrick Hines says:

    Michael and Ben, thanks this was some great information I will be passing this along to some of my patients. I would love to get a link to the the How Sensory Deprivation works info that was mentioned. Can’t seem to find it in either website

    1. Hi Derrick,

      Glad you enjoyed the show!

      Here is a link to a podcast on Sensory Deprivation.

  6. Lise says:

    What if your autoimmune disease is caused by two metal hip replacements? (First replacement was ceramic and a piece chipped off, so I now have metal.) Do I have any alternative options (other than being crippled)? Can diet make a difference in this case?

    1. Hi Lise,

      I am curious about the condition that required the original hip replacements?

      If your immune system was already highly reactive, that may be why it is attacking surgical implants.

      Down-regulating your immune system will definitely help. Give the protocol a try, you might be amazed at how fast things improve.


  7. Len A. says:

    Great podcast, thank you both for this. I am going through a healing process for my condition, and find it similar to Plant Paradox, at least from the idea of plant defence mechanism causing inflammation. I do appreciate your emphasis on mindfulness and other aspects of well-being. Your methodology had highly resonated with me

    1. Thanks, Len,

      I hope you find the eye of your hurricane and restore your health.


  8. Christine says:

    I cannot access the websites either?

    1. They are back up. Power outage in a small town.

  9. pjd says:

    I am not able to access most of the websites of Dr. Michael Smith. Does this have to do with the fact they’re Canadian? Is there another way I can access his material?

    1. They are back up. Power outage in a small town.

  10. thanks for the information

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