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Good morning, everyone, or good afternoon or good evening. I know we have lab
attendees from all over the globe; welcome, welcome to our first day of the Digestive

We have holistic nutrition professionals here from Alabama, Arizona, Florida,

California, New York, and of course, Oregon. In fact, we now have all 50 states accounted
for. How exciting! We also have among us awesome holistic health professionals from
Canada, a very good number this year, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Belgium, Bulgaria,
Egypt, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore,
Switzerland, Trinidad, Turkey, and of course, the UK. I’m sure that there are countries I
didn’t mention.

Welcome, welcome. What an amazing community and wow. We are going to change
the way we do healthcare around the globe and it’s not a minute too soon.

There are over 500 of you that said yes, you were ready for this upgrade in your
knowledge and your practice, either returning graduates or new students. This is an
amazing population to be a part of and you’re going to feel the momentum. I love the first
day of school and I’m incredibly excited to spend this time with you, intensively bonding on
the form and function of the digestive system and what we can do to support those in our
practices that are experiencing digestive woes. As we’ll uncover through the month, those
woes are both the obvious and the not-so-obvious because everything in health stems back
to or is rooted in digestive health issues.

The health of the gut is implicated in every single system in the body.

Depression: you can’t address it without looking at the gut.

Cancer: you cannot address it without looking at the gut.

Copyright © Functional Nutrition Alliance LLC Page 1


Multiple sclerosis: you cannot address it without looking at the health of the gut.

In fact, a few years ago, after attending my third Integrative Health Symposium in
New York City, I heard one of my favorite presenters, Dr. David Brady, who’s now become a
friend, speak about the autoimmune trifecta, which has now become a mainstay in my
thinking. What this means, meaning the autoimmune trifecta, is that in order for
autoimmunity to occur, there needs to be the perfect storm of three biological factors.

#1.) Genetic predisposition.

#2.) The makeup of the bacteria in the gut (this is otherwise known as the
microbiota and sometimes this number, number two, is considered in the realm of

#3.) The compromised integrity or permeability of the gut lining.

You got that, right? Genetic predisposition, the makeup of the bacteria in the gut,
and compromised integrity or permeability of the gut. You can think of this as a three-
legged stool. By that, I mean a stool of the chair-sort, not the poop-sort. We will talk more
about poop later in the Digestive Intensive for sure. For now, envision a three-legged stool
onto which the overactive immune gremlin that is autoimmunity can climb. Without one of
those legs in place, there is no stool to stand upon. Think about this. Two, yes, two of those
legs on the three-legged stool that I mentioned are related to the health of the gut.

How can this critical system be so overlooked in conventional medicine approaches?

Well, this is where we come in. This is where we get to make the difference in the
lives of our clients and patients by filling in the missing pieces of their healthcare. We teach
them to swim upstream, get to the root of their health concerns, and auto correct. We’re not
just addressing how to remedy signs and symptoms, but we’re looking at why the signs and
symptoms are there.

This is an analogy about signs and symptoms that I love. If we simply alleviate
symptoms without looking at the root cause, we are essentially putting a lid on a pot of
boiling water. What happens when you do that? The pot eventually boils over, even though page 2

the lid’s on top, right? When instead we find the root cause, we then turn off the heat and
the boiling will stop. The symptoms will not just be masked but will actually go away.

That’s what this is all about.

When we turn our attention to what’s going on in there, we always, always need to
consider the health of the gut. This is something we can all do. This is within your scope, no
matter what your background or degree or scope, no matter where you live in the country or
the world, you are allowed to think through this lens, to get to the roots and to think and
practice functionally.

My goal with this holistic nutrition lab is to go deep. I will offer you both the tools
and the community for uncovering and discussing the health challenges that your clients
and patients face.

Nutrition, as you well know, is taking a front seat in healthcare these days and I want
you to be poised to sit comfortably and with confidence in that seat. I want you to be able to
communicate with your clients’ doctors or skeptical families and to support the efforts of
everybody on their healing team with your more extensive knowledge of what’s going on in

I had a client that I was seeing who came to me about her son, Thomas. Thomas was
six years old at the time and he had major behavioral issues. He was so disruptive in the
classroom that, of course, his doctors wanted to put him on Ritalin and his school wanted to
expel him. His mom brought him to me in a state of panic and desperation. I worked hard to
teach that family about healing the gut, optimizing digestion, and finding balance that
would support Thomas’s brain function. Remember that the first step in the “Mastery
Paradigm” is empathy, and the second step is leadership.

I built the bridge to what they wanted, a shift in Thomas’s behavior, and I took on the
leadership role through education.

Thomas’s dad happens to be one of the top osteopathic surgeons at the teaching
hospital here in Portland, Oregon. He was extremely skeptical that food and nutrition would
make any difference for his son, but it did! Food and the gut healing made a significant page 3

difference in the temperament and behavior of his son. We employed some major gut
therapy, removed his food sensitivities, limited his grain intake, and went through an anti-
candida protocol, all concepts you’ll understand more fully by the end of our month

The changes in Thomas’s behavior were obvious and the doctor, his father, got

The family purchased my nine-course series called “Your Vibrant Child” and listened
to it together like a podcast over several road trips and that doctor became a convert. He’s
now the one in the household who helps toe the line when it comes to dietary changes and
adherence. Back in 2013, he invited me to speak to his entire team of over 50 orthopedic
surgeons at the hospital during their grand rounds.

Now, I’m always thrilled to have the opportunity to go speak to a group of doctors
willing to hear our message and those opportunities are multiplying for me and for HNL
students around the globe. Do you know why this excites me so much? I’m thrilled not just
for the opportunities for me, but for all of us. These doctors will take what they learn and
touch more people’s lives with the good word about food and nutrition. They will help us get
the word out to those that might still be dubious about the healing powers of food, but here’s
the big thing: They need you to take that message home. Like I said, I’m going to teach you
how to take it home and how to BUILD those bridges.

This is what I want for you. I want you to stand up. I want you to speak out! Many of
you already do. I love that! I love seeing what you’re up to and believe me when I say if
you’re here with me now, I’ve got my eyes on you. I’m watching you so I can cheer you on. I
want to give you more tools and a place to delve into the underlying issues that affecting
each and every one of your clients or patients. Sometimes it’s easier than you might think.
Other times, there’s a lot of detective work. Believe me when I say a lot.

You don’t give up.

For these clients that require a lot of digging, well, everyone else has given up on
them. Everyone else has shrugged their shoulders, but if you can do that detective work and
connect the dots, one of the later pillars in the “Mastery Paradigm”, that client or patient page 4

will trust you to be the leader on their healthcare team. They will keep coming back, and
together, you create the most delectable transformation possible: one that encompasses
both hope and healing.

I have to tell you that, for me, this offering is more satisfying than any raw or treat or
dessert that you could offer me and that’s saying a lot. This possibility of giving people hope
and offering transformation and allegiance for their own health is the most awesome thing
you can feel in your life. It is your life’s purpose come to fruition if you are here to help

Understanding what’s going on in there is the secret weapon to my success, both with
clients and in my business growth. What’s going on in the digestive system is my number
one tool. People who have studied business coaching often want to know my “signature
system”, as it’s called.

What’s my secret?

Well, as you may know, it is the Practitioner Mastery Paradigm and much of it starts
right here in the gut and our understanding of its function. If you go to your first empathy
matrix, the one with inputs, you can begin to get an idea of how each area impacts
physiology in general and the digestive system specifically.

Before we move on, let’s do some important housekeeping. First, these materials I’m
referring to, the Practitioner Mastery Paradigm and the Empathy Matrix, are handouts and
materials that you can find in the Functional Nutrition Toolkit drawer on your DI Hub. Let
me make sure that’s what it’s called. It’s called “Practitioner Mastery Toolkit”. That’s a
brand new drawer, new to this Digestive Intensive, on the DI Hub. “Practitioner Mastery
Toolkit”. You’re going to love this drawer! Again, the “Practitioner Mastery Paradigm” and
the “Empathy Matrix” and some key materials for the overarching approach can be found in
that drawer.

Let’s move into ground rules so we can set expectations and make some agreements
with each other before we move forward. page 5

Ground Rule #1.) Understanding what’s going on in there takes time and patience.
Just as you have clients that want to fix their inflamed and misshapen colons overnight and
you know full well that it took a lifetime to occur and can’t make a turnaround with any
quick fix, this is going to be true of you and your learning and your practice.

Most complex health conditions take time to heal. We can’t dump all our tricks on
the client at once, but instead, we have to build the process of healing, meeting the client or
patient where they are at each stage in their journey. That’s empathy, building the bridge,
and that creates trust, which is how we build the process of learning together as well.

I’m going to ask you to agree to trust me that we will cover the bases in class, in Q&A,
in the bonus sessions I’ll be offering you, and on the message board. Trust and you will
receive what you need and what you came for, no matter what level you’re coming in at. It
won’t all come today. Today we’ll be building some foundation. We’ll be setting the ground
rules, setting the stage for our work to come with a solid introduction with the subject at
hand, the digestive system, and diving into the anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract.

Our number one ground rule is trust. If you’re ready to accept and trust this process
of unfolding and learning, please press 1 on your phone keypad now. I want to see you raise
your hand and I’m raising my hand to trust you in this process. What I want you to
remember is that you and I are involved in a dynamic relationship together. I’m going to be
listening to you, watching you, seeing what your needs are, but I do want you to trust that
nearly 2000 graduates have gone through this program and we’ve likely covered all the
bases and you’re going to get your needs taken care of. If you haven’t raised your hand by
pressing 1 on your phone keypad, please do so now. You can also, I believe, type into the
Social Webinar page, if that has been corrected. I see most hands up. I’m going to assume
that those of you who are not raising your hands are saying, "I trust the process," and for
some reason can’t press 1 on your phone keypad. Okay. Awesome. Thank you!

Again, I’m going to trust you, too. I’m going to trust that you are here to be a
dynamic learner, to learn at your own pace, to know that the materials are yours to return to
and to start to put all that you learn into practice so that you can join me on this mission to
change the way we do healthcare. page 6

Ground rule number two is related to the details of being in class with me now. In
order to share the remainder of the ground rules with you, I’d like to invite my lead
nutritionist and right hand wonder woman on the call with me now.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Caroline Stahlschmidt, who will be joining you at the
top of the remainder of the Digestive Intensive classes to do some important housekeeping
and share any relevant news with you before we dive into class materials. Caroline,

Caroline: Welcome. Let’s make sure I got myself in the right place. Can you hear

Andrea: I can hear you loud and clear. I’m so glad you’re here.

Caroline: Good. I’m so excited to be here for another journey through the Digestive

As Andrea said, I’m just going to walk us through some ground rules, more on the
technology side of what we’ll use today and in the course. If you’re here with us live and
you’re on your computer, please keep two tabs open in your browser, one with the
dashboard, which is the Maestro dashboard, it’s also called the Social Webinar page, for this
call, and in your other tab, keep the DI Hub open or the DI Member Page. You’ll access
materials there and visuals as Andrea’s teaching today.

If you’re not at your computer or you can’t find those two things, don’t worry, just
stay on the call and stay with Andrea while she’s teaching. We’ll sort all of that out later.

Also on the DI Hub, we have the login support handout and that is going to outline
the technical navigation of the course. Please do refer to that if you have any problems.
You’ll find that document in the drawer labeled Technical Support on your DI Hub and you
get to the DI Hub, in case you’re not there yet, by going to
You’ve got that link in your emails from us as well. page 7

When you click the little arrow next to the words Technical Support, towards the
bottom of the page on your DI Hub, it will open up and reveal your support information
there, including the login support document that I just mentioned.

Also on the hub, you’ll find the orientation class that Andrea and Brian O made for
you. I don’t think Andrea has introduced Brian O yet, but we will. That orientation class is
there for you. That’s in the drawer at the top of your DI Hub that’s called Getting Started. I
definitely recommend that you listen to that if you have not already. If you have questions,
technical questions, at any point during the call today or in any class, you can press 5 on
your phone keypad, no star needed, just 5, and our support team, made up of the two
Brian’s, Brian O and Brian H, will see your hand is raised and they’ll take you into a private
room to help you troubleshoot your problem. That’s 5 for technical support or issues. If you
can, stay here with us. As long as the technical problems aren’t impeding your listening, let
it go and just stay here with us and we’ll help you later.

Speaking of later, right after class, both Brians are going to hang around to help
answer any of your technical questions. You can just stay on the line after Andrea completes
class if you’re stuck with anything. If you can’t stay for that, we’ve still got you covered. You
can always reach out to us at and we’ll hop on the phone with
you or point you in the right direction to get you the answers that you need.

We’ve led nearly 2000 students through DI from around the globe. Trust me, this all
becomes easy in no time. We also recognize that online learning might be new to you and if
you’re new to holistic nutrition lab and Andrea’s coursework, our systems may also be new
to you. We are here to help you navigate it all.

Now for the really fun part, now that we’ve got the tech aspects covered. In most
classes, as time allows, Andrea will be inviting you into a work group session. Usually this
will be at the end of class. We added this new last year and students loved it. I’m so glad that
this is part of the course now.

Here’s what’s going to happen. You will grab your work group questions or
assignment from the DI Hub and you can find that in the bottom gray box of the DI Hub.
You can go there now if you’re online and you can grab that sheet. It’s called Class 1 Work page 8

Group. Andrea will also give you the instructions verbally when it’s time. If you can’t get the
handout now, don’t worry. No big deal. We’ll then place you into a private virtual room with
two other classmates and you’ll introduce yourselves and you’ll work on the assignment
together. If you’re not able to join that part and you are on the call live right now, Andrea
will invite you to press 3 on your phone keypad at that time. No need to do that now. She’ll
prompt you when it’s time to do that. I do really want to encourage you to go into the work
group. I think you’re going to have a great experience and learn so much if you do that. If
you’re not on the call due to scheduling conflict but you do want to find a partner so that you
can connect and do the exercises together, we’ll help you coordinate that. There’s a thread
on the Week 1 section of the DI Message Board called Work Group Seeking a Partner. You
can go ahead and post your name, your email, and your time zone and you can work
together to find connection.

I think that’s it for our tech announcements, Andrea. I am so excited to start this
journey into the digestive system. It’s my favorite topic, for sure. I’m super excited and I
hope you are too. Let’s get into it, Andrea!

Andrea: Thank you, Caroline. Remember, everyone, Caroline will be the one to
greet you at the top of class for all DI classes moving forward. She’ll be addressing any
housekeeping, any news items. I just also want to remind you that Caroline was in your
shoes a few years ago now when she first took the Digestive Intensive and she really showed
up on the Message Board, got my attention with her good questions, took a second year of
Full Body Systems and eventually was invited to apply for our next level of training and now
is a part of the Replenish team. Caroline was in your shoes, had a practice, a health coaching
practice, and she’s here. You’ll see her on the Message Board. You’ll also see the other
people from the Replenish Nutrition Team on the Message Boards. I’ll be there. Caroline
will be there. Brian H, who’s also in the backroom with me, will be there. Sandra and Jen, all
from the Replenish Nutrition Team, are here to support you on the Message Board which
you can go visit after class today. You’ll also get to know Brian O who runs the business side
of things with me and is here to help troubleshoot any technical issues, especially in this,
our first class.

Thank you so much, Caroline, and I’m so glad to have you here. page 9

Okay. Moving forward.

In my book, “Functional Nutrition 101”, the e-book, which I have placed in that
Functional Nutrition Toolkit drawer on your DI Hub, that Mastery Toolkit drawer, I
mentioned that I’m a firm believer that “you are not what you eat, but what your body can
do with what you eat.” In other words, you are what you can break down and absorb. Let’s
uncover exactly what breakdown and absorb mean so that we can look at digestive function
and what that might mean for you and each and every one of your clients or patients and the
critical place where food meets physiology. This is what allows us to start tailoring diet to
the individual.

Food is the carrier for microscopic nutrition. Microscopic nutrition is essentially the
minute chemical components of the food that we feed ourselves. The digestive system is the
highway along which that microscopic nutrition travels and your cells are the final
destination for that microscopic nutrition. What this means is that diet is fundamental, yet
so is the health of the digestive superhighway, which translates food into you.

The relationship between how and what you eat, how you can process what you eat,
and ultimately how you feel is undeniable. This is, again, where food meets physiology and
what I like to call symbiosis, which is another one of our pillars in the “Practitioner Mastery
Paradigm”. It’s all about understanding this connection, this symbiosis where food meets

There are several ways in which the inside of your body interacts with the outside
world. Between the two, inside and outside, you have what’s called barrier systems. They’re
designed to protect you. Your barrier systems include your skin and your mucous
membranes which are found in the obvious areas as well as throughout your digestive,
respiratory, genital/urinary tract, and elsewhere. The constituents that interact with and
bypass these protective barriers make their way into your bloodstream to interact with every
cell in your body. These constituents consist of those minute chemical components from the
food you eat as well as myriad microbes, yeasts, and pathogens. Oh my!

I’ve seen the digestive system likened to a doughnut. If you visualize this, you can
appreciate that the hole of the doughnut is separate from the doughnut itself, right? Yet, page 10

while the digestive system is essentially separate from the rest of the body like the hole in
that doughnut, everything that travels through that digestive hole spanning from the mouth
to the anus interacts with your inside environment as well through means we’ll be exploring
in more detail next week. There are various mechanisms that allow for this interaction,
some in support of your best health, and other factors in our ill-health.

By the way, this doughnut analogy is further illustrated in a bonus video on your
URL Cheat Sheet that you’ll find on your DI Hub. That video is entitled “Overall Digestive
System Review” and I recommend you write that down and take 10 minutes to view that
after class today. I know that we all learn differently, but don’t feel the need to frantically try
to take notes and scramble to capture my every word, you’re going to receive the transcript
of this and every class and you can review and return to that at your leisure. I recommend
that you stay focused and listen. Jot down notes that are your to-dos, like things I’ve
mentioned to do as homework, or perhaps notes that pertain to a client or patient that you
want to remember because something begins to make sense. You begin to connect the dots
and have revelations. Ultimately, you’ll retain more if you can just stay here with me in the
lecture, tuning in, and paying attention.

I bet you have a personal story about your relationship to gut health. I think that’s
why Caroline said she appreciated the Digestive Intensive so much be she too has a history
with gut health. My personal interest in digestive health came during an all-day lecture with
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, whose name you might be familiar with. She’s the author of
the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” or the “GAPS Diet”.

There I was at a Weston A Price Foundation conference in San Francisco. This was at
the very start of my nutrition career, maybe back in 2008 or 2009. I can’t remember it for
sure. At the time, I was primarily a raw pesco-vegan, meaning I ate some fish in addition to
my otherwise raw, sprouted, fermented, and dehydrated vegan fare, but I was also a huge
fan of many of the WAPF or Weston A Price Foundation approaches to food and healing and
cultural shifts in health, many of which are outlined in Sally Fallon’s book “Nourishing
Traditions”. I especially appreciated this when it came to the critical importance in
biochemistry of fats. At the time, I was going to the conference to learn all that I could. I’m
sure you can relate! page 11

I was sitting with a friend in the morning session of an all-day session with Sally
Fallon and I confessed that I was going a little bit stir crazy. Sally’s premises had so many
holes in them in relation to my understanding of physiology. I remember scribbling in the
side of my notepad and I still have that notepad. I thought I was going to feel self-conscious
at this conference, being raw and mostly vegan, but I actually feel self-conscious about the
shape of my face. According to Sally, I was essentially cheated of my birthright to physical
perfection, beauty, and optimal intelligence somewhere along my lineage, evidence by the
thin and narrow structure of my face. Woe is me. I wasn’t round enough. Whether or not my
ancestors were responsible for my seeming impaired beauty didn’t matter to me in the

Ultimately, I left the room. I just felt like Sally wasn’t telling me anything that I
hadn’t already read in her book “Nourishing Tradition and Eat Fat, Lose Fat”. Like I said, I
was there to learn. I was hungry.

I need to stress here that I would have a tremendous respect for Sally Fallon and am
in no way dissing her. I think she’s done awesome work and has galvanized a movement
around the consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods. I’m 150% in favor of
that, as I’m sure you are. Her lecture was not compelling enough for me to stay put, stuck in
a chair, for one full long day. At this conference, I had options. There were other lectures
happening at the same time. The room I wandered into changed my life forever.

At the time, and again this was 2008 or 2009, I had no idea who Dr. Natasha
Campbell-McBride was. I had never heard of Gut and Psychology or the GAPS Diet. I had
not once, for an instant, in all my previous studies considered or been introduced to the
connection between the gut and the brain or the gut and autoimmunity, as I mentioned
earlier, or the gut and fibromyalgia or the gut and allergies, the gut and migraines, the gut
and asthma, the gut and eczema or psoriasis and certainly not the gut and mental health
issues as serious as autism and Alzheimer’s. I was transfixed and thus began my mission to
heal guts. Like I said earlier, I want you to be a gut healer too! No matter what your niche or
target market, from fertility to fatigue to folate metabolism, you need to THINK about the
gut. page 12

Three or four months after that WAPF conference, I was sitting in the Avery Fisher
Hall auditorium at my second IIN weekend. I realize that most of you either know, attend,
or attended IIN, but for those of you who either don’t or haven’t, IIN is the “Institute of
Integrative Nutrition”. During that weekend’s lecture, we were talking about niche markets.
Joshua said clearly that we had to pick one, one niche to focus on. In that moment, my heart
sank. "Oh no," I thought. For the first time this notion popped into my head, it’s not cancer.
My original designated niche, or so I thought, had been cancer due to my husband’s cancer
that had propelled this entire career change. In that moment, I knew it wasn’t cancer
anymore. It was mental health, all because of this fascinating connection between the gut
and the brain.

Though I was a little freaked out in that moment, my whole story was being turned
on its head, I comforted myself with the fact that I had at least gone from one brain issue,
cancer as my husband had had, to another, mental health. Of course my niche continued to
change and morph over time, as I’m sure yours will. By the way, don’t be scared of this. Just
as we have to build the bridge anew with our clients each time we see them, we also need to
recognize that our own needs, desires, and situations will change.

Now, I like to invite you to consider that your niche might be how you work, like
working functionally in addition to looking at only the population that you work with. At
that moment that I’m sharing with you was a pivotal moment for me in my relationship to
the gut.

My next big gut raising consciousness was not about the gut, but about my gut. At
this point, I had begun to put much gut healing into my work with clients. I’d been seeing
children with autism, sensory issues, ADD, ADHD, and Asperger’s and Turrets syndrome. I
saw adults with depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. I was finding the ways to heal their
woes by addressing their diet and their gut health. It was working. Then there was
something calling my attention to my gut. It was a subtle shift. It was actually a shift in my
weight. Again, really subtle but noticeable to me. I stopped wearing most of my jeans and
started favoring my skirts because I didn’t like the snugness around my waist and thighs. All
of a sudden, I started to get a little thicker around the middle. Nothing about my diet had
changed. In fact, I was eating a diet that I thought to be cleaner than ever. page 13

What was up? Maybe you can relate. Yeah, I had rounded the corner and was over 40
at the time, but I wasn’t going to let that be an excuse. I was determined to find out what
was going on in there that activated this shift. Had anything changed? Had I missed
something that had changed about my makeup or my constitution? This is all where the
importance of story and history is important to how we think functionally.

I ran an IGG food sensitivity panel on myself and we explore those IGG antibodies,
along with the other four antibodies, more in the Immune Intensive. What I found was quite
an array of sensitivities. I ran a full blood panel on myself and found even more there, most
remarkably an elevated TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone level. Then I poked around a
little bit more, went to see an integrative endocrinologist and she confirmed what I had
already uncovered on my own. I had “Hashimoto’s disease” or autoimmune hypothyroiditis,
a result of what? That three-legged stool that I mentioned at the start of class: genetics, a
leaky gut, thus all those food sensitivities, and bacterial imbalances, again otherwise known
as infection.

According to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, one of the leading experts in thyroid disorders,
and confirmed by the three-legged stool analogy that I’ve shared, the health of the gut is
intimately connected to the health of your thyroid. If your clients have thyroid problems,
and believe me, so many of them do, it is likely they have gut problems, even if they don’t
know it. For those with gut problems, it’s possible for those to lead to thyroid dysfunction.
Gut health is foundational to thyroid health, says Dr. Kharrazian.

It’s funny how so many practitioners skip right to hormone balance, bypassing the
gut, when in doing so, we bypass the roots: the root cause. Kharrazian’s premise is that the
gut-thyroid connection can be a vicious cycle as hypothyroidism causes poor digestive
health, think sluggish metabolism here, and poor digestive health can cause
hypothyroidism. Appropriately managing and treating Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism
involves more than finding the right thyroid medication, which at the time, until I learned
more, I was not willing to go on anyway.

As an aside, Hashimoto’s is responsible for over 90% of the hypothyroidism cases

you’ll encounter in your practice if you’re in the US. Your clients may not know it’s
Hashimoto’s, but you should always be addressing the gut, whether you know how to page 14

determine if it’s autoimmune in nature or it’s not, while supporting their underlying health.
What happens with Hashimoto’s is that our immune system views the thyroid as foreign
and attacks healthy thyroid tissue. Since most of the immune system is situated in the GI
tract, and we’ll later explore this all in detail in DI, or gut health is the significant factor is
treating and exasperating autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s and others.

What I quickly learned for myself was that repairing my gut health was an important
step in taming my overactive immune response. Check this out. I had no idea that there was
a problem with my gut health. I had no symptoms or problems that pointed to the health of
my digestive system. Your clients and patients will tell you this all the time. They’ll tell you,
"I don’t have any problems with my digestion." When this happens, you’ll need to go back to
empathy and then to leadership, first to build the bridge to where they are and appreciate
their perspective and then step into leadership and educate your clients about the gut and
why digestive health is critical to what matters to them most. This is something I really want
to impress upon you today in our first class together as we build this key foundation. We’re
certainly going to explore some of the ways in which digestive health appears as digestive
dysfunction, like heartburn, constipation, gas, diarrhea, IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, candida, and
more, but it’s really important to understand that the health of the gut affects the health of
many, if not all, organ systems in the body.

I just shared two stories with you about my journey to the importance of the gut. One
was about mental health and the other about thyroid or hormone health. What connections
can you make? Start connecting the dots and asking questions. What does this or that health
issue have to do with gut health? If you’re already working with clients or patients, start
seeing what you can articulate to them. I’ll give you some guidelines for that before we part
ways today.

The health of the gut is at the core of health, period. This is no surprise anymore!
This information has become more mainstream with articles in the New York Times and
shows about bacteria on National Public Radio and one online telesummit after another.
This is great! Information distribution does some of our job for us, normalizing the unusual,
but it does not do the heavy lifting, the education of what it means for the particular
individual or the appropriate steps to take to move towards resolution with that person
that’s seeking your help. page 15

Information distribution means that our clients and patients may come to us much
savvier about the connections, but we need to know how to act, how to teach, and how to

Getting back to those conditions that are isolated in the gut, think about this. About
70 million people suffer from digestive disease of some sort. 70% of all Americans are or will
suffer digestive disease or dysfunction in their lifetime. That’s a lot of people. We’ve got
work to do, my friends. It’s like we’re the mercy corp of gut dysbiosis.

I promise I’ll share with you what I did to heal my digestive system and what I
continue to do to support myself at the gut level, given my autoimmunity. First, let’s take a
journey into that superhighway I was mentioning earlier, that superhighway that is the
pathway for the food to transform into the micronutrients that we need at a cellular level.
Again, this is symbiosis, where food meets physiology.

Speaking of cells, let me take a quick diversion down to the source of to which all our
food is ultimately going. Let’s get microscopic for a moment. Do you know what is all the
rage to talk about in functional and integrative medicine these days?

It’s the mitochondria.

The mitochondria are the portion of every cell that transforms energy. All living
things require energy from the outside. Our bodies, as we’ll continue to uncover, require
energy from food. The cells require energy from that microscopic nutrition that travels into
the bloodstream that I referenced earlier. It’s the role of the mitochondria, within each cell,
to convert the chemical energy or fuel from that microscopic nutrition from the food we eat
into a form that the cell can actually use to grow, reproduce, repair, and respond.

The mitochondria are like little factories inside of our cells and they play a central
role in our metabolism, our vitality, and our overall well-being. They can speed up aging and
affect our mental health or they can heal fibromyalgia and they can end chronic fatigue.
Mitochondria turn food and oxygen into energy and this is a process called cellular
respiration. page 16

In each cell, and just close your eyes and imagine this for a minute, in each cell, there
are hundreds to thousands of these little energy factories, depending on the type of cell,
shaped like tiny little sausages. Cells that need a lot of energy like muscle cells can contain
more mitochondria. Believe it or not, all the mitochondria you have came from your mother.
Thanks, mom!

Mitochondria are very sensitive to damage and when they aren’t working properly,
you suffer the symptoms of low energy, fatigue, memory loss, pain, rapid aging, and more.
In fact, while we will be talking about leaky gut in the Digestive Intensive, consider that it’s
now known that the wall of the mitochondria can get leaky too. Fatigue is the most common
symptom of poorly functioning mitochondria. In fact, the core reason we experience fatigue
as we age is the constant insult and injury to our mitochondria. This is why it’s such a hot
topic in integrative and functional medicine circles. This, by the way, is the oxidative stress
petal in the Functional Nutrition Matrix that you’ll find in that toolkit drawer.

The fuel that the mitochondria produces is APT and it’s essentially producing your
APT from the glucose that’s in your bloodstream which was broken down from the
carbohydrates you ate through a series of mechanical and chemical processes that we’ll be
exploring together throughout the month. Metabolism of one molecule of glucose yields 31
molecules of ATP. The energy released from ATP through hydrolysis, which is a chemical
reaction with water, can then be used for biological functioning. Remember, if the food is
toxic or the digestive system impaired, then the mitochondria are too. Boom, the damage
has occurred way down where it possibly matters most.

The point I want to make here is that the food choices we make matter all the way
down to the mitochondria. Terry Wahls, author of the ”Wahls Protocol” l, whom you’ll hear
me interview in the Immune Intensive if you join me for Holistic Nutrition Labs Full Body
System, does a great write up of mitochondria in the book, the “Wahls Protocol”. She
discusses what they are, why they’re so important, what fuels the cell, what degrades the
cell, and how the “Wahls Diet Protocol” effects cellular function. She says, "At the most basic
level, scientists are discovering that nearly all of the chronic diseases that cause so much
suffering all share mitochondrial dysfunction, excessive inflammation, high cortisol levels,
and other markers of broken biochemistry. In a very real sense, we all have the same disease
because all illness begins with broken, incorrect biochemistry and disordered page 17

communication within and between our cells. For health to return, the chemistry must
revert to normal and communication within and between our cells must be restored." This is
true for every disease.

Curious, right? It’s why the digestive system is so important because it provides the
fuel down at that microscopic level.

Now let’s zoom out, out from that detail of the energy factory within each cell in your
body to the digestive system as a whole because its function ultimately results in the health
of the cells and their mitochondria. Let’s pull out our digestive system map. We’re going to
start today with the simple anatomy of the digestive system and from there, we’ll begin to
peel back the layers of the system like we would layers of an onion. I realized this may be
review for some of you, but review is a fantastic thing and it puts us all on the same page. To
be honest, that’s what happens for me at most of these medical conferences I attend because
they are just catching up with us. It’s a whole lot of review with some gems and pearls
thrown in the mix.

Don’t discount what you think you already know and tune in for the clinical pearls,
the places where you may be able to connect the dots, to upgrade your understanding of how
to support a person you know or love, even yourself, or articulate something in a whole new
way in your practice.

I always like to share the story about when I first started studying cell biology and I
think I might have shared this story in the orientation call. I met with one of my
naturopathic friends to help me study for an exam. At a certain point, I asked her in
exasperation “how she remembered all this intricate biology stuff”? Her answer was that
you’ll hear it again and again. The same has been true for me and will happen for you, even

In the Digestive Intensive, we’re actually going to be intentionally looking at some of

the same information again and again through three different vantage points to build your
foundational knowledge. That’s how important this system is to know inside and out. Those
vantage points are the anatomy of the digestive system, the function of the digestive system,
and the physiology of the digestive system. You can see those three perspectives detailed on page 18

your class outline at the top of your class packet. Brand new class packet for all of you that
are returning students. Those three vantage points will enable us to move to the particular
health issues we’re going to be exploring together with much more insight.

Today our focus is anatomy. In science class, in A&P as it’s called, “Anatomy and
Physiology”, this is the lab class we have to attend before going to physiology class. This is
where we have to label everything, every curve, turn, mucous layer that exists within the
system. While I won’t make you do that, we will be establishing the terrain so that we can
come back and look at what might go wrong in each of those arenas.

For some, anatomy can be boring. It’s like studying geography versus volcanology,
the map instead of the eruption, but you can not do one without the other.

Let’s pretend we’re going on a journey into the highway of the digestive system.
We’re the chicken sandwich that your client just bought for lunch at the corner deli. Our
journey has a map. There will be certain places we’re stopping along the way.

Let’s do a simple mapping of our journey now. On your DI Hub, you can look at the
popup visuals for some quick anatomy or you can look at the detailed and labeled organs in
your class packet. We’ll start on page 4 right behind the outline.

Let me just do a quick orientation here to find your related visuals, option one.
Again, let’s look at your class packet and you will see the one that I’m talking about on page
4 is labelled “Digestive System Overview”. Also you will see your digestive system popups
right on the DI page. The first image that you’ll look at there is called “Anatomy of the
Digestive Tract”. Two different visual options. You just need to pick one. Again, if you’re
having any problems locating what I’m talking about here, there’s no need to freak out or
get frustrated, stay here with me on the line and hang around after class. Remember we will
stick around to answer your technical questions and you won’t believe how easy this is all
once you get the hang of it.

Back to your client and her lunch. Your client takes a bite of her chicken sandwich.
That sandwich contains the nutrients that the body needs. It has all three macronutrients,
the protein in the form of the chicken, the carbohydrates in the form of the bread, and the page 19

fat or lipids in the form of the mayonnaise, all three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrate,
fat, check.

Quick review of our macronutrients to be sure we’re on the same page. First, the
word nutrient means a nutritive substance, something that is there to nourish, support
growth, to maintain what the body has achieved and to repair what might need fixing,

Proteins, as we’ll see through our travels, are broken down into peptides, which are
broken down further into amino acids, which are absorbed at the level of the small intestine,
into the bloodstream, the cells, and those tiny mitochondria. Hello, energy! Carbohydrates
are broken down into monosaccharides, such as glucose, lactose, and galactose, which are
all also absorbed at the level of the small intestine into the bloodstream, the cell, and those
tiny mitochondria.

Fats are broken down into fatty acids and they are absorbed in the small intestine
and they go where? That’s right. They also go to the cells and the mitochondria. That small
intestine seems so important and it is, but so is everything else that happens prior to getting
there and we’ll be coming back to those processes for sure.

From our anatomical lens, digestion starts in the mouth. You’ll see that when we look
at this from different lens, the starting place is in different places. From our anatomical lens,
digestion starts in the mouth. Your client takes a bite of the food and it enters the oral
cavity. This is pit stop number one on our anatomical journey.

The oral cavity is the mouth. Three different pairs of salivary glands release saliva
into the cavity. The salivary glands are pit stop number two on our anatomical journey. The
three different pairs of glands include the parotid, sublingual, and submandibular salivary
glands. You can see these labeled on that first diagram in your class packet, again, page 4.

The saliva released from those salivary glands lubricates the food as she chews her
chicken sandwich. The saliva also aids in swallowing what will now be called a bolus, which
is the name for the food mixed with saliva. Within the saliva is an enzyme called amylase
that assists in the chemical breakdown of the carbohydrates. Carbohydrate digestion or
breakdown starts right here in the mouth in a big way in this oral cavity. page 20

A couple of summers ago, I believe it was 2014 when I went to visit my father-in-law
in Hawaii, he was having problems eating. We did some work on his entire digestive health
to support him and you’ll see we did what I like to call digestive health top to bottom. One
thing I did was bring in some kimchi at mealtime to activate his salivary glands. Do you
know what kimchi is? It’s a probiotic rich food. He wasn’t producing much saliva and
therefore his hunger had diminished. This is often the case for the elderly. The more we can
get them producing saliva, the more enzymes they make and the more this supports
nutrient breakdown and delivery so they can better tolerate their food. Even chewing some
non-sorbitol gum can be of help here but I prefer pungent and tart foods like kimchi and
also umeboshi plums for this purpose. The great thing is, in introducing these foods with my
father-in-law, is that he’s part Japanese so these foods are among his childhood favorites.
Remember the cultural petal of the Empathy Matrix here. I took into account both what his
physiology needed and what would be most easily assimilated into his life based on his
culture and his upbringing. Win-win in terms of compliance.

If you have some favorite kimchi or umeboshi plum recipe favorites, be sure to share
them on the food section of our Message Board which will be open after class today. In fact,
we’ll tag previous years’ conversations on the subject so you can start to whet your appetite,
so to speak, for the Message Board.

Getting back to our enzyme focus, remember I was talking about amylase. I’d like
you to take note for later that anything ending in the suffix -ase, like amylase, A-M-Y-L-A-S-
E, is an enzyme. This is some of the fun of science and chemistry. Another good one to note
is anything ending in -ol, like the sorbitol that I mentioned, is an alcohol. That’s why
substances like xylitol or mannitol are not sugars that can feed the cells at all, but instead
sugar alcohols that bypass natural processes of absorption, which we’ll be moving into in the
coming weeks. This is why those substances can potentially cause diarrhea. It’s because of
how they are naturally digested.

After mechanically breaking down the food by chewing, with a touch of the enzyme
amylase for chemical breakdown, your client begins to swallow that bolus made from
masticating that first bite of her chicken sandwich. I’d like to highlight that there were two
kinds of breakdown of the food happening in the mouth. page 21

#1 was the chemical breakdown assisted by the enzyme amylase in this case. That
enzyme is cleaving apart that molecule. It’s chemically changing the makeup of that

#2 is the mechanical breakdown, facilitated by that all-important action of chewing.

Take note. Two types of breakdown happening in the digestive system: chemical and
mechanical. We want to take note because issues that our clients or patients experience
could be due to one to the other or to both. The more we understand the terrain, the better
detectives we become for problem solving. I’ve a good article on chewing on the Replenish
website that you can take a moment to read this week. We’ll post that article on the Message
Board for you as well.

By the way, we also have all the digestive related Replenish articles and some really
great visuals and graphics that we found posted on a Holistic Nutrition Lab Pinterest page
for you. Make a note to hop over there after class and scroll around if you’re on Pinterest. I
want you to have all the resources you need to drive this information home. You can find
that pin board at and then just look for the Digestive Pin

What happens to the bolus now after that chemical and mechanical breakdown?
With the assistance of numerous muscles, mechanical action, it moves into the oropharynx
and slides up against the epiglottis. You can find the epiglottis on your diagram packet. I
realized last night that it was spelled incorrectly. If you got your packet before yesterday,
there’s an upgraded version now on page 4. You can find it there on the right hand side.
Epiglottis is spelled E-P-I-G-L-O-T-T-I-S. The epiglottis is what protects food from getting
into the trachea, which is the pipe for breathing. The epiglottis diverts the food from the
respiratory path so that it can travel into the esophagus. It’s a good little flap and you want it
to do its job.

The esophagus is pit stop number three in our anatomical journey. It’s that long pipe
on your diagram. We already traveled through the oral cavity and gone through the wet
terrain of the salivary glands. The bolus moves through the esophagus with rhythmic waves
of smooth muscle contractions called peristalsis. This is a squeezing down action that
happens along that long tube that leads from mouth to stomach. Along with the squeezing, page 22

there’s some major mucous release to help lubricate the travel. You can trace a line down
from your neck all the way to the upper opening between your ribcage.

Go ahead and do that now. Down your neck to your rib cage. Trace that line on your
own body. This is the path of the esophagus and the bolus travels through that passageway
in that rhythmic peristaltic motion in about six minutes. When you trace that line on your
body, you can see why reflex, which has to do with this area of the body, is referred to as
heartburn even though it has nothing to do with the heart, as we’ll be exploring in the
coming weeks as we move more into function, physiology, and pathology.

Once the food approaches the stomach, there is a little doorway it needs to pass
through and that doorway is called the lower esophageal sphincter, often referred to as the
LES. This isn’t labeled on that same diagram on page 4, but if you turn to the next page in
your packet, you’ll see its location there where the esophagus joins to the stomach. That LES
is very important in the treatment of heartburn and acid reflex. Like I said, we’ll be
exploring that more soon in quite a lot of detail because this is a huge misconception in
modern medicine.

Once the food passes through the LES, it enters our fourth pit stop, which is the
stomach. You can see the global location of the stomach in the diagram in your packet on
page 4 and the whole diagram on page 5 is the stomach. This is an important part in the
journey of our bolus, as we’ll discuss throughout the entire month. The stomach releases
highly acidic gastric secretions to destroy any bacteria or parasites that may have entered
the body with the bolus. This is where the foreigners, those that might disrupt the peace of
the kingdom we are about to enter, are eradicated. If the mayo on that sandwich included
some raw egg and that raw egg was a carrier of a pathogen like salmonella, then it’s the job
of the stomach to kill that bugger.

Gastric acidity is recognized as the first line of defense against foodborne pathogens.
Most bacteria do not like acidity and will suffer in a properly acidic environment, as we’ll
discuss in coming weeks. Like I said, lots of teasers in this first class. In the stomach, there’s
also the production of an enzyme called pepsin. Pepsin begins the digestion or breakdown of
the proteins in the chicken in that chicken sandwich. Note that the chemical breakdown of
protein doesn’t actually start until the food hits the stomach. We have the mechanical and page 23

chemical breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth, but only the mechanical breakdown of
protein happens up there in the oral cavity.

Do you remember what that mechanical breakdown that occurs in the mouth is
called? The technical term is chewing. How about the mechanical action of the esophagus?
That’s called peristalsis.

Well, in the stomach, we come to the chemical breakdown and that chemical
breakdown continues with the carbs and is first introduced to the protein molecules. The
mixture of the food substances entering the stomach, which are now broken down into
smaller chemical constituents in conjunction with the gastric secretions produced by the
stomach is called chyme, C-H-Y-M-E. The stomach is blending and mixing like a high-speed
Vitamix to create that chyme. On that second diagram in your class packet, so page 5, go
ahead and take a look at the thick layers of mucous and muscle that surround the stomach.
When we switch on our functional and physiological lenses, you’ll see how critical those
anatomical layers are for many biological functions that will affect health and energy.

On your URL Cheat Sheet, you’ll see a stomach digestion video in the additional
video section that I’d like you to aim to watch this week if you have time. Go ahead and put a
start by that video or make a note to yourself in your notebook. That’s also part of your
homework, bonus homework.

Our bolus has now become chyme, broken down foods mixed with acids. We went
from a bite of chicken sandwich to a bolus, to chyme. Are you following this transformation
of how food turns into you? Just a quick note about the location of the stomach. Again, if
you’re looking at that global view on page 4, many of your clients and patients don’t know
where their stomach is.

My dad, as you may know, recently went through radiation due to cancer. When he
had the radiation and they said they were radiating his stomach, he was shocked at how
high it was because when he said he had a stomach ache, he was actually talking about the
area below his belly button, which is not his stomach. Remember just presencing this for
your clients this week is a huge win when you start to help them see more about their
physiology. Many of them don’t know. page 24

After about one to three hours, the chyme comes to another doorway. Entering the
stomach, the food encountered the LES or lower esophageal sphincter. Remember that
doorway? Exiting the stomach, we now find the pyloric sphincter and the formation of
chyme is what triggers the opening of the pyloric sphincter. In fact, this sphincter is never
actually closed. Peristalsis, that squeezing motion, happening in the stomach causes small
amounts of chyme to pass into the small intestines along with water all the time. Yet most of
the chyme is forced back into the pyloric region of the stomach until there is a sufficient
amount to initiate a more tangible opening of that doorway.

One thing that arose for me while reviewing this information in preparation for the
class was a deeper consideration of this pyloric sphincter and where things might go awry.
You know we see clients at Replenish with all sorts of odd and unresolved digestive signs
and symptoms, some that even persist after all the normal clean up and support has been

I did what I normally do at this stage where a light bulb goes off for me, connecting
signs and symptoms of one client or another to some physiological possibility and I started
to go down the familiar rabbit hole of research. I’m very careful about that, only when I feel
like I need to do some connecting the dots that I don’t already have. It’s in the realm of
Andrea in wonderland and what we formerly call, again, connecting the dots in our Mastery

What I started to look into here was something called dumping syndrome, where the
contents from the stomach enter into the small intestine in a more concentrated fashion
than usual. This occurs most frequently post-GI surgery, like gastric bypass procedures, but
can happen, on occasion, underlined and highlighted, sans surgical procedures as well. It
has different stages of labeling, early, middle, and late, characterized by the severity of the
signs and symptoms.

Go with me down this rabbit hole just for a minute more, even though we’re not
doing too much function, physiology, or pathology this week, just to consider this possibility
and where these remedies might come into play for someone you know. Before I take you
here, I have to share that when I teach into any new pathology, in Holistic Nutrition Lab, page 25

there are a number of students who become convinced that this is what’s wrong with them.
Please, let’s not get too diagnostic.

Just stay in the realm of curiosity with me. I promise it’s going to serve you better in
being a detective. We all want the quick fix and sometimes we want that quick fix in the
form of a diagnosis. Sit in the seat of curiosity, not diagnostics, as we explore this realm of
dumping syndrome.

The signs and symptoms of this condition called dumping syndrome, where contents
of the stomach are moving too quickly into the intestine, include fullness and/or nausea just
10 to 30 minutes after eating. This is typically in the earlier stage. Intermediate stage may
appear as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, cramping, or explosive diarrhea just 20 minutes to
one hour after eating. Late stages will result in a reaction that looks more like reactive
hypoglycemia, occurring one to three hours after eating. Think about a quick rise then fall in
glucose levels appearing as flushing, rapid heartbeat, and the feeling like it’s time to lie

I need to note here, since we have so much more to explore together, and as you can
very likely see, these symptoms that I just mentioned can be related to many things other
than the pyloric sphincter and dumping syndrome. What I like most here is that it
illuminated another area for questioning, for mapping, those signs and symptoms. When I
was thinking about dumping syndrome in relation to this particular client who had
unresolved issues, the question or request I made was pretty darn simple.

Are you ready for it? I asked, "Please use the Food Mood Poop Journal to document
for me when those symptoms you’re experiencing happen in relation to your meal. In this
way, we might be able to glean some further information to help you." Just like in functional
medicine where we’re fond of saying "test, don’t guess", I’m continually going to remind you
to dig, not diagnose. If you’re not sure where to dig, go back to your matrix and see if you’ve
looked under each petal. You can find the different matrices and we’ll be talking into them
at different points in that toolkit, that mastery toolkit on the DI Hub. In there, you’ll also
find the Food Mood Poop Journal. page 26

Before we get back to the journey of the food or now chyme, let me give you some
quick tips on addressing dumping syndrome now that we’ve outlined those signs and
symptoms. These are all tactics that could be useful for other GI conditions as well. In this
way, you might be able to offer some remedy for someone experiencing those signs and
symptoms while you’re doing more digging, whether they’re related to dumping syndrome
or not.

Here are some tips:

Eat small, more frequent meals. Eat less solid and more crushed foods, well-cooked
foods would be good. Eliminate liquids during meals. Eat a lower glycemic diet. Eat more
complex carbohydrates and higher fiber foods. Increase the good fats in the diet as
tolerated. Of course, eliminate dairy, which can exacerbate many digestive distresses.

Let’s climb out of the rabbit hole and get back in the digestive hole and follow that
chyme. The chyme, the food mixed with those gastric juices, moves through the pyloric
sphincter and enters our fifth pit stop, which is the small intestine. The small intestine
presents a 20-foot long journey in and of itself. 20-foot from beginning to end, the small
intestine is a tube that consists of three distinct parts, the duodenum, the jejunum, and then
ileum. Each of these distinct parts of the small intestine has its own role.

The duodenum or upper part of the small intestine introduces pancreatic enzymes to
the chyme and bile that comes from the gallbladder. It’s the bile and the pancreatic lipase
that helps the body to begin to chemically breakdown and digest fats. Again, that’s
pancreatic lipase. That’s a pancreatic enzyme and note again that every enzyme ends in -ase,
A-S-E. Bile, which I’ll talk more about in the liver bonus class, which will be released on the
first Wednesday in March, is a very interesting substance, deficient in a lot of clients,
particularly those with no gallbladder. That translates dietary fat into a water soluble
substance that can be transported throughout the water soluble bloodstream. Otherwise,
those really good fats just don’t do their job.

While there is a little bit of chemical fat digestion that occurs in the mouth, in the
oral cavity with that enzyme lingual lipase, most fat digestion happens here in the small
intestine. An impaired duodenum will mean impaired fat digestion. An impaired gallbladder page 27

will mean impaired fat digestion. That’s a big ouchey on the coconut oil for those clients who
are compromised in one or both of these areas! From our empathy handout, bio-
individuality in what’s going on in there, it’s so critical to inquire because otherwise you
might think of coconut oil as a healthy substance for everyone. Inquiry is so important in the
nutrition process. You would not believe how many people forget to tell you that their
gallbladder has been removed or that they have problems with certain foods and digesting

I just have to say that this is where we really have to be critical and careful with
dietary theory traps. This is where I’ve seen people suffer like the dickens on high fat diets
like GAPS that I mentioned earlier or ketogenic diets. Both diets you can learn more about
on your “Nutrition Skills Matrix” in that same toolkit drawer. The duodenum looks like that
C that is leading down from the stomach towards the long squiggly seeming mess of the
small intestine. Can you see it there? You can trace is on your diagram. As you’ll see in
coming weeks, this is the body’s primarily location of digestion. It’s the biggest area for the
breakdown of nutrients.

The jejunum is the next portion of the small intestine. It has a lining that is
specialized in the absorption of the carbohydrates and proteins. Digestion, when we talk
about that, means breakdown and absorption means uptake or the use of our nutrients.
We’re really first encountering that here in the jejunum, the uptake of the nutrients into the
system. The proteins have now been broken down in the stomach by enzymes called pepsin
and the acid into their chemical constituents. Peptides, which break down further into their
chemical constituents, amino acids. The jejunum lets those chemical constituents, which
have hopefully been properly broken down and not leaked through as a gang or a peptide
into the bloodstream. The carbohydrates are further broken down in the duodenum by
enzymes from the pancreas and the liver into simple sugars. Those are the sugars that
regularly feed the cells and the powerhouse of the cells for the creation of energy.

What are those powerhouses called? They rhyme with my name, Andrea. They are
the mitochondria. As you’ll see in the coming weeks, this is the biggest area of absorption
right here, the jejunum. page 28

The function of the ileum, our third portion of the small intestine, is mainly to absorb
vitamin B-12 and biosalts and whatever products of digestion that were not absorbed by the
jejunum or midsection of the small intestine. The wall of the ileum is made up of folds, each
of which has many finger-like projections known as villi, which we’ll talk about as we move
into the function and physiology of these organ systems, ultimately playing a key role in the
absorption of some key nutrients. You can get a sneak peek at those villi on page 6 of your
class packet. The ileum is also largely responsible for much of your immune system.

The small intestine is where food should go through its final breakdown. We have
that breakdown, remember, protein gets broken down into amino acids, carbohydrates into
glucose and other simple sugars, and fats into fatty acids and glycerols. I go into a lot of
depth about the chemical carbohydrate breakdown in the “Sweet Tooth Bitter Truth” class
and the lipid or fat breakdown in my Fat or Fiction class. I’ll likely do a Heart Day Special
for Valentine’s on the Fat or Fiction class so stay tuned for that. Anybody joining me for Full
Body Systems will receive those two classes on me.

The small intestine is where these final products, those microscopic nutrients that we
talked about at the top of class, are then absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to
the cells in the body to be used as nutrients, again, nutrients for the cells, your cells’ food.
This is the it-spot for nutrition, guys, this place, this small intestine below your belly button.
This is pretty much the most important organ we can know about and understand for
nutritional healing. We’ll be spending a lot more time there throughout the month.

The last straggling nutrients and waste products, the stuff we don’t need, move out of
the small intestine through the ileocecal valve, the place where the ileum connects to the
colon, and into our sixth pit stop, the large intestine. While most of the nutrients were or
should have been absorbed in the small intestine, the large intestine still needs to reabsorb
water and electrolytes from the remaining products into the bloodstream.

Finally, your client’s chicken sandwich meets its ultimate destination: the toilet. The
indigestible waste products move through the rectum and out of the anus for elimination
from the body in the form of poop. We’ll consider the rectum and anus the seventh and final
stop in our journey before reaching the super bowl. There you have it, the full anatomical
journey from chicken sandwich to poop. page 29

What we have reviewed here is the anatomy of the primary digestive tract, the GI
tract or alimentary canal. There are also accessory organs in the digestive system that you’ll
want to consider as critical parts of the system, but which we’re not going to cover today.
They come in more to the function and the physiology and they include the teeth, the
tongue, the liver, and like I mentioned, you’re going to receive a special breakout bonus on
the liver, which will be sure to help you in all your detox and cleanse programs, the
gallbladder and the pancreas.

Let’s review our seven pit stops on our journey, or in other words, the seven principle
organs in the primary digestive system:

• We have the oral cavity, which is the mouth.

• The salivary glands, which are often thought of as accessory digestive organs but I
brought them into our primary discussion for our nutrition focus.

• The esophagus, that long tube leading from the mouth to the stomach.

• The stomach itself.

• The small intestine, which we broke into three sections: the duodenum, the
jejunum, and the ileum.

• The large intestine or colon, and the rectum and anus.

What we’re going to do now, and you’ll see that I like to do this in HNL classes to
break things up and also to commit things to our visual memory, is watch a short video to
help us see the anatomy more clearly. If you’re on the recording, you can go to your URL
Cheat Sheet and find the first video URL under the heading Anatomy.

If you’re listening to me now, you can actually see, I’m not sure you can see this.
Brian, maybe you can let me know. Oh, yes. You can see it. On your Social Webinar page, so
on your computer, you can see the URL that we’re posting there. You can find this on your
URL Cheat Sheet on the DI Hub. It’s the first URL under the heading “Anatomy”. If you’re
here with me now, live, you can see that on your Social Webinar page. page 30

What we’re going to do is take just over two minutes. The video is about two and a
half minutes long. I’m going to give you a tiny bit more than that because we have a little
more to cover before work group. When I say go, you’re going to put that URL into a new
tab and you’re going to watch that video. We do a lot of this in FBS so it might be your first
time. If you get flustered, don’t worry! Just take a two and a half minute breather and you
can come back and watch the video later. Let’s give it a try now. Are you ready for this test
run? You can go paste that URL into another tab. One, two, three, go.

Okay. Welcome back. Hopefully that went off without a hitch. If it didn’t, no worries.
You are going to get the hang of this. We like to take these breaks, look at some visuals, have
those “aha moments” that come when we see something that we’ve been talking about. My
hope is that that video solidified that journey that we’ve been discussing. We’ve now laid the
groundwork for the critical information ahead of us.

Your next bit of homework to write down, to complete before next week, is to take
quiz number one. You’ll find that quiz in the drawer on your DI Hub. Click the arrow where
it says quizzes and you’ll find it there. Feel free to ask questions about the quiz on the
Message Board or when we have Q&A or study hall.

Some quick notes about the Message Board before we part ways today, but before
those notes and some closing notes on the GI, let’s do a breakout workshop to start bringing
some of this information down to earth right into our own bodies. What’s going to happen
now is that we’re going to break into groups of three as Caroline explained. You may end up
with a group of three, you may find yourself in a room with two because someone left that
line or is one mute, or you may find yourself alone. Whatever your situation, do the work
I’m about to outline for you here and we’re here to help you!

First, I’ll let you know when you’re in your breakout rooms. Say hello and we’ll take
one minute for you to introduce yourselves to each other. You can say your name, where
you’re from, and one new thing you learned in class today or were reminded of, if the part
we covered today is old hat. Maybe it was the anatomy, the chemical ending for enzymes or
sugars, alcohols, or the story I shared about my father-in-law and what stimulated the
salivary enzymes. Just share a little something. I would say, "My name is Andrea and this is page 31

something that’s true that I learned today and I live in Portland, Oregon." Your name, where
you’re from, and one quick share.

We just have one minute for those three intros. I will ring a bell, just like I did after
the video, and that signifies that it’s time to switch gears and get to work one-by-one. The
person with the first name that starts with the later letter in the alphabet will go first. The
reverse alphabet will define our order throughout this time. If I was paired with Caroline
and Brian on my team, who are in the backroom with me here in class, Caroline would go
first and then Brian and then me, reverse alphabetical order, C, B, A.

Here’s what you’ll do.

First, you’re going to share what you ate for breakfast. Then you’ll define which
macronutrients where included in what you ate. Then you’ll trace the food down your
digestive system, starting with your mouth and ending with your bum. After you do that, go
ahead and consider any signs, symptoms, or diagnosis that you have that are related to
these organs that we’ve covered in our anatomical exploration. Share those with your
partners and consider how those signs, symptoms, or diagnosis may affect the proper usage
of those macronutrients based on the location where it occurs. This is speculative now. We’ll
be putting a lot more pieces together but just allow yourself to play detective. Help each
other out, put pieces together between what you feel and what’s going on in there in that
area, just anatomically.

If it were me, I would share that today for breakfast, I ate a chopped green apple
mixed with some Nuttzo nut and seed butter, MTC coconut oil, chopped walnuts, ground
cinnamon, Cacao Nibs, and bee pollen and a sprinkling of vanilla Himalayan sea salt and on
the side, a cup of matcha green tea. The apple was my carbohydrate. That got broken down
in my mouth both mechanically and chemically with chewing and the salivary enzyme
amylase. The fats in the oil and the nuts and seeds were slightly broken down by some
salivary lipase, but further digestion didn’t happen until later in the process because fats are
mostly broken down in the small intestine and so on and so forth, carrying forth with the
proteins. Then I would share that I don’t have many signs and symptoms related to my
digestion but that I do have Hashimoto’s. Here’s where my bio-individuality comes in. There page 32

was that mention of the three-legged stool. Plus I always need to remind myself to sit and
chew a bit more to engage in the mechanical processing of my food.

Get the idea here?

Each have about six minutes to work on the route of your breakfast through your GI,
thinking a bit about your own digestive health in relation to your food, our third pillar where
food meets physiology. Together in your groups, rotating, like I said, from the first name
that starts with the later letter in the alphabet down.

Before we start, if you know you cannot be in a room, please press 3 on your phone
keypad. I’m going to give you a chance to do that now. If you know you cannot be in a
breakout room, press 3 on your phone keypad. We won’t put you in a room but I do want to
make sure that you do this exercise because it’s an exercise you can start doing with clients
and patients immediately. Then, if you find yourself in a room with nobody there after I say
you’re in your rooms now, press 5 on your phone keypad to get our attention and we will
come help you out.

Are you ready, Brian? Let’s break everybody that didn’t press 3 into groups. Again, I
will let you know when you’re there. Just give it a second for me to let you know you’re in a
live room. If you end up in a room alone, you’re going to press 5 on your phone keypad but
you’re just going to wait untiI I tell you you’re all there. Then I’ll let you know when you
have a minute for your introductions. Brian is working on putting you in those breakouts.
You are now in your rooms. Count to three, say hello, and start your introductions. You have
one minute for those.

Thank your partners and come back with me for just a couple minutes. Okay.
Welcome back. I’d love to hear from you on the Message Board about what arose from doing
an exercise like that. For extra credit, consider how you might bring this sort of thinking to
your client or patient work this week to come more deeply into the connections between
food and physiology in your work together and share what comes from that experience.

Before we leave today, and I realize we’re at the top of the hour, I want to share some
pointers about the Message Board, which you’re going to see much expanded from the last
time you were there. page 33

You will, again, see myself, Jen Baum, Caroline Stahlschmidt, Brian Hedgpeth,
Sandra Brougher, and also Brion Oliver on the Message Board. You’ll see different forums
including food questions, supplements and testing, and general discussion. You’ll also see
an area active for Week 1 for our Digestive Intensive discussion to dive in more deeply or
ask any questions about what we talked about today, make connections or associations with
the exercise or ask about the quiz.

There are separate forums for colleague discussions which I will not visit. Those are
called “All About Me” and this is where you can write about your own health issues. We will
redirect you over there if you’re asking for help about your own health. There is a way to ask
a question without asking as a client and you’ll get some help with that. There’s also a “Kid
Talk” section to ask questions about your kids’ health. If that seems like a lot, it is, but you’ll
get the hang of it. I promise. What you’ll see is that we’ll link back to previous years’
conversations in some of our answers because there’s a goldmine in the Message Board and
we know you’re just starting to crack into that.

Before we say goodbye, I want to let you know that Brian H will be posting your
homework on the Message Board under Week 1. Your primary homework this week is
actually to tune in, think about your body, its passages, and think about you, clients,
patients, the food you eat, consider playing with the “Food Mood Poop Journal”. Then I did
issue a few videos that you could watch and to respond about the exercise. Brian will post all

Also, if you have time, grab the Functional Nutrition 101 e-book and start to think
about the what, when, where, why, how and apply the principles that we explore there in the
realm of leadership into this area of symbiosis. I’m going to bid you adieu! page 34