Interview with Holistic Lifestyler
Let me introduce Jeremy Princi AKA @holisticlifestyler
Jeremy is my first Blog interview for Happywhenfit because he has had and continues to have a massive positive influence on my knowledge, passion and understanding around health and wellbeing. The value he adds to his community as a health practitioner and person is so inspiring!
He has also been a huge supporter of Happywhenfit from the start. Thankyou Jeremy! Let’s get started!!!
Jeremy, you’re a Chiropractor and a Gut Health Specialist. Why do you think Gut Health is so important and what led you to becoming a specialist in this area?
It really all started after I finished up my Holistic Lifestyle Coaching level two with Paul Chek. This course opened my eyes to look at things more ‘holistically’ so I became interested in ancestral eating habits after Paul recommended reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price. With that I dove deep into the Art and then more specifically the Science of fermentation – I soon realised there were quite a lot of microbiology studies done on fermented foods and the health benefits they possess. This then lead me down the rabbit hole of gut health and the microbiome which just so happened to be in the peak of the ‘boom’ when scientists really ramped up the research into this field, I have deeply been involved in it since.
As you know, I am passionate about Youth health. What are some of the common health issues that you see with our Youth of today as a result of poor nutrition, movement and gut health and what is your advice around how we can change that?
Since I have broadened my clinical practice beyond the scope of manual therapy and entered into the World of Gut Health and Holistic health in general, I have had an influx of parents bringing in their children and teenagers with two main presenting complaints.
1) Generalised gut issues ranging from significant constipation, diahorrea and anywhere between that continuum, which often has associated bloating, tummy pains and failure to thrive in the younger generation.
2) Skin issues in the younger population, generally eczema and atopic conditions and within the teenage population, primarily acne. Often within these individuals with skin related disorders, we see an overlap with comorbid gut related symptoms
When you dive into some of the underlying causes of these 2 conditions, we see broadly issues with the gut microbiome (typically significant imbalances with the different microbes). Often what we will see is an overabundance of microbes that tend to feed off suboptimal modern western foods, such as, highly processed foods, refined sugars, preservatives, sweeteners and the like. Counter to that, a lack of some of the key microbial populations that help control inflammation and adequate neuro-transmitter production. Second to that, if you look at our skin as being the largest detoxifying organ of the body, usually issues here are a reflection of things out of balance internally, which points back to what I just mentioned, however, when compounded with a lack of exercise and movement, the bodies natural internal pumps and lymphatic system isn’t allowing for adequate “flushing” effect and thus we get stagnation and often skin issues.
My simple solution is better education around simple wholefoods and strategies for parents on how to properly prepare foods so that they aren’t just going for the quick and convenient options. As for movement and exercise, I see a need for establishing healthy time boundaries with technology, so that kids default now isn’t sourcing external sources of stimuli and we revert back to how it was more commonly seen where we where encouraged to play, create, get outside and move all of our bodies, rather than just our thumbs and fingers.
If you went back to school, what would you like to see more of in Health classes?
Speaking from my personal experience, I was pretty fortunate in the sense that sport/exercise was strongly encouraged and there were many opportunities to travel with chosen sporting teams. In my case we had a cricket tour where we travelled around Australia and New Zealand every year, which also helped broaden our cultural experience. As for mental health and nutrition I would say these were fairly poorly executed. We got some basic cooking classes, even more basic nutritional education and I honestly can't recall anything around mental health education that I have been able to use as an adult.
I recognise that times have changed from back then and there is a much bigger need for mental health education to prepare youth for a range of pressures that weren’t as prominent in my highschool days due to the rise of social media and the issues that come with that. Children are exposed to a lot more at a younger age, without the mental capacity and maturity to process those things. I think there is more need for relatable positive role models and life skills to better prepare them and help lay down the tracks for a solid foundation for a healthy future.
What do you think are some of the biggest marketing misconceptions around Gut Health that we should all consider before buying products, making lifestyle changes or seeking help?
Like a lot of things, we have to be very careful and skeptical because marketing itself is very powerful, so anything that is labelled and marketed as '“gut health”, “good for your gut”, isn’t a guaranteed healthy product. I highly advise always reading labels and if your don’t recognise any of the ingredients and it’s full of numbers, than it’s probably not such a “gut friendly” product. Also take note of the sugar content and what they recommend as the serving size. As an example, if you were to see a coconut yoghurt, firstly take a look at the ingredients and secondly look at the nutritional breakdown per serving size and how many serves are in the container, because a relatively small tub may actually contain up to 5 serves, which some people may consume in one go, not realising that they’ve now consumed up to triple the amount intended. Learning to read labels would be a basic start to a lot of the misconceptions around “health foods” in general.
As for probiotics, reading the labels is much more challenging, as most people would have no idea how to pronounce let alone know what specific probiotics such as lactobacillus rhamnossus, Bifidobacterium breve even therapeutically do. The problem I see continually on a daily basis is people have been so drilled into how important “gut health” is through the media now that they just assume taking a daily probiotic is a good thing. Short answer is that this simply is not the case, there are many different species and genetic strains of probiotics that all have wide varying therapeutic effects so in my expert opinion these should be only used in a setting whereby a skilled and educated clinician prescribes them. I also know we will see much more tight regulations come into practice with probiotis in the near future. The other thing is some probiotic strains have been shown to increase histamines whilst others have been shown to decrease histamine Ievels so with out the knowledge one simply may be adding more fuel to the fire by taking any old probiotic from their health food store. Another couple of examples include; some probiotic strains have shown good robust studies that they have a therapeutic effect in helping with eczema whilst others (even with the same species name but different genetic strain) have no effect at all. Some strains increase bowel transit time and thus assist constipation whilst others slow it down thus exacerbate constipation if that’s something the individual is suffering from. So I think I have made my point, probiotics should be left to skilled professionals and one is better to invest their money into whole, real, and where possible organic food before throwing it into expensive probiotics.
What would you say are some of the best general ‘gut health basics’ to apply as a starting point?
Getting back to basic wholefood cooking from real ingredients. Being organised and preparing food and having a schedule in place so that we don’t get caught out without food and therefore resort to quick convenient foods. Sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store means not buying a lot of the packaged highly processed suboptimal foods which are often full of garbage preservatives, processed sugars etc which only create a very unhealthy gut microbiome. Even better sticking to local farmers markets! Adding in a small amount of fermented food each day such as sauerkraut and kimchi (no more than ¼ cup total per day) would go a long way – just make sure it is a good quality non-pasturised one such as Foley’s Frothing Fermentations or Peace Love Vegetables, these are teaming with lactobacillus species. Making sure you eat plenty of vegetables and focussing more so on the above ground growing ones as they are lower in starch and sugar comparatively, with fruits aim for more berries and don’t go overboard with high sugar containing fruits. As for meats sticking to ethically raised, and preferably organic is essential. Something that I can’t recommend more highly is a quality water filter, the Zazen filters we sell on our website (for a 10% discount use code HLCONNECT) is one of the best in my research as they filter out harmful microbes and parasites, as well as re-mineralise the water. I won’t get started on the topic of parasites and some of the common water borne pathogens as we will be here all day but suffice to say they are very problematic and having a quality water filter is a good starting point at combatting them.
you keep an incredibly fit and healthy physique year round. Do you follow any particular diet and training regime?
I stick to the principles we have already discussed (wholefood organic diet), I am constantly tweaking supplementation based off functional medicine testing. I think the key though with the diet/food side of things is no different to the training philosophy I have and that is CONSISTENCY. I make time to do some form of movement/exercise daily and make the time to prepare and organise my food so that as I have already explained don’t get caught out and then have to revert to quick sub-optimal foods. In terms of the specific type of training I have moved away from more of the traditional strength and bodybuilding type training to one that is focussed more so on body weight movements such as gymnastics rings, handstands, mobility work which has done wonders for my body and longevity as a chiropractor. I feel much better having more functional strength and mobility than when I was in my early 20s training hard with heavy weights.
This shift in movement and training philosophy was inspired by coming across Ido Portal, I have taken a few of his courses and a few rounds of online coaching with him and his team and I would never look back now. I will add if I had one piece of advice to share with the youth of today, be very careful with a lot of the marketed products out there, the pre-workouts, protein powders, fat burners - I went through this phase in my late teenage years and early 20s and was sucked into all the marketing claims out there. The day I saw the light and stopped all this was the day my body started to internally ‘clean up’, which was outwardly reflected with improvements in simple things like persistent acne especially on my back clearing up with 30 days, daily morning body aches & energy slumps in the afternoon all fading away. Whilst I don’t want to make emphasis on aesthetics, as I believe with social media these days we have a real issue on our hands here, however I will share this… Ironically since cutting out all those so called ‘necessary’ supplements and dropping back on heavy weights my body composition, and lean muscle mass all significantly improved, especially as the low grade chronic inflammation cleared up. Yet, these companies will try have you believe you need all those products for a 6-pack, I’ll tell you from experience, save the money and invest it into good quality real unprocessed food!
Who are some of your inspirations in life?
Paul Chek, incredible all round person.
Ido Portal, he’s probably the most influential modern day figure with exercise and movement.
A special mention should goto Pete Evans as he really inspired me to get in the kitchen more and upskill in that department.
Of course yourself Danae, what you are doing with Happy When Fit is an amazing and huge task which has been truly inspiring to watch it evolve from the very beginning!
It seems like you get over to Byron Bay whenever you can! Tell us a bit about what you love so much about Byron.
Good observation! I like to practice what I preach and as a practitioner running a very busy clinic I find I need to take routine time out from the clinic in order to “fill up my own cup” so that I have overflowing energy to give others. Byron Bay is that place for me that I can go for 5-7 days at a time and it recharges my batteries – I love the amazing hinterland and scenery such an incredible mixture of ocean and rainforest which is medicine for the soul, I believe there is a definition for the healing powers of nature – Biophillia.
Given the climate it provides the perfect environment for fertile soil so the food over there is full of nutrition and organic is the norm whilst conventional farming seems to be the minority, I love the progressive holistic and sustainable attitude the local farmers and community have, and sits perfectly with the Holistic Lifestyler Vision – “re-connecting food, farming, fitness & healing into one holistic model that supports, honours and respects Mother Earth”.
I can comfortably call Byron Bay and the Shire a second home for me.
Jeremy, you have achieved so much already with Holistic Lifestyler! What do you see in the future for HL?
Continuing to inspire and teach the community, I have filmed a number of my workshops now so we do plan on having more of a broader online presence with a teaching/learning platform released on the website this year, stay tuned J We have recently opened up our online gut health store which can be found at www.holisticlifestyler.com
Our clinic has also welcomed a few more practitioners and broadened our scope to now include a clinical nutritionist, integrative GP, two other chiropractors and a Bowen therapist.
Is there a favourite Gut Health Recipe you would like to share with us?
I’m a big fan of Gummies! They are probably one of the easiest recipes to make with minimal ingredients and time, but big health benefits from the gut healing gelatin! There are also endless options of other pre/probiotic that you can easily add such as Kombucha, Kefir, and fermented fruits. These Turkish Delight Gummies are my favourite and are a nice easy start to making gummies!
TURKISH DELIGHT Gummies
1 cup water
2 cups coconut water
3 TBSP Gelatin https://goo.gl/QR84Bq
3 TBSP Rose Water
Optional Sweetener: 1 tsp raw honey or 5-10 drops liquid stevia
Line a Pyrex dish with frozen berries
Add 1 cup of filtered water to a small saucepan and evenly sprinkle 3 TBSP Gelatin over the top. Allow gelatin to bloom for 3-5 minutes before putting the saucepan on low heat. Slowly bring to simmer make sure to continuously stir (don’t allow to boil).
Remove from the heat and add coconut water, rose water and optional sweetener
Pour into Pyrex dish over berries and transfer to the fridge to set
Jeremy is an incredibly educated and inspiring health practitioner. His passion for fitness, nutrition and all things health is evident in the valuable content he shares online and with his community.
Check him out @holisticlifestyler