Ep. 18 - Gut Microbiomes and Mental Health: The Digest on Gut Microbiomes, Stool Samples, and more

May 30th, 2022

The Digest on Gut Microbiomes

This post includes the transcript from an episode of the Weight Loss with Hypnosis podcast. You can find the full episode here.

Where to Find Rachel Doyle on the Web:

Instagram: @happygut.nutritionist

Website: https://www.radrdnutrition.com/

Rachel’s Gut Reset Challenge:  A free 14-day program to build the habits that improve digestion and gut health.

Full Episode:

[00:00:00] Doug: If you feel you often lose control of your eating and your hunger, if you feel anxious or even afraid to enter your kitchen or go out to eat with friends. If you feel you can’t stop eating once you start, or you no longer want to be controlled by food and the emotions that surround it, lean in my friend and get inspired.

This is your wake up call to a life where food doesn’t control you. Where you’re comfortable with what you eat and where you can easily stop whenever you want to. This isn’t science fiction and it’s not another empty weight loss promise. This is hypnosis. And if you like this show, you’ll love my powerful hypnosis audio, The Binge Blocker Protocol. This hypnosis helps you stop out of control eating the moment you feel that urge. It’s a 15 minute audio that deals with the emotions behind compulsive eating. Once those emotions are out of the way, the urge to overeat goes [00:01:00] away with it. Once you get your binge blocker protocol, you can download it to your phone to carry with you whenever you might feel that urge. Whether in a restaurant, in your home or even at your workplace when those breakroom donuts are calling your name. Whether you call it a binge, overeating or simply losing control for a moment, this audio will help you resolve it. You can get your Binge Blocker Protocol by going to anywherehypnosis.com.

That’s anywherehypnosis.com. Right on the homepage, you’ll see where you can get your copy of the Binge Blocker Protocol right now. And I’m serious about that, right now. Pause this podcast to go get your hypnosis today. Don’t worry. I’ll still be here when you get back. Go to anywherehypnosis.com and sign up.

It’s completely free. And if you’re even thinking about getting this hypnosis, trust me, get this hypnosis today. Try it out because you’ll never know just [00:02:00] how effective this can be until you test it out in your own life. Again, that’s anywherehypnosis.com. One more time, anywherehypnosis.com. Now on with the show.


[00:02:12] Rachel: You’ll have to make some changes. So I definitely work with clients on meeting them where they’re at and fitting our interventions in with their lifestyle and their preferences. But ultimately you do have to do the work and make changes in your life to see results. So that’s a mix of mindset and physical habits. But yeah, you have to put in the effort for your health to improve…”



[00:03:32] Doug: Welcome back to the weight loss with hypnosis podcast. I’m your host, Doug Sands, and I’m the hypnotist behind this show. This week I am so excited because we are talking about the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is something I have been fascinated in for a long time. To think that we have little organisms living inside of us. To think that there are more organisms than cells in our body.

And to think that these organisms that aren’t actually us, control [00:04:00] so much of our emotions, our health and our mental health. It’s just fascinating to me and I’m always excited to talk to an expert in this area. Today, I’m sharing an conversation that I had with Rachel Doyle. Rachel is a gut health dietician who helps clients get to the bottom of what’s actually going on with gut issues.

Rachel first got into nutrition via fitness and gradually she took more interest in it because of personal health issues. We spoke of what specific issues that she had in this conversation. And she says that she tried almost everything to fix it. Rachel also spent much of her twenties dealing with diet culture, trying every diet under the sun.

And she speaks about how many of these diets cause more harm than good, especially to our gut microbiome. Ultimately, Rachel found resolution for her personal gut issues with a GI map test, which is essentially a stool test, which doesn’t sound all that glamorous, but it can really be the starting point to making amazing changes in your [00:05:00] life.

And we explain this in the podcast, we explain how simple it is and just what you can learn from this. We also explain how many of us might not realize just how much our nutrition can impact our mental health until we actually make that change. I know it’s been my story as well and Rachel talked about that as well.

So I’m so excited to have this conversation shared with you. with that, let’s dive right into the content.



[00:05:33] Doug: Welcome back to the podcast, everyone. I’m your host, Doug Sands. And today I’m so excited to bring this conversation to you guys, today I’m sitting down for a conversation with Rachel Doyle. Rachel, thank you so much for joining us. 

[00:05:44] Rachel: Thanks so much for having me, Doug. I’m excited to be here.

[00:05:47] Doug: Absolutely. Would you mind telling my audience a little bit about yourself and perhaps, about your practice? 

[00:05:51] Rachel: Sure definitely. So, hi, I’m Rachel. I am a holistic and integrative registered dietician, and I have a [00:06:00] virtual private practice that focuses on gut health. So I work with clients on things like digestive issues, such as bloating, reflux, diarrhea, and constipation, as well as other things like anxiety and fatigue.

[00:06:14] Doug: That’s fascinating. I’m curious, how did you get into this line of work? 

[00:06:17] Rachel: Yeah, so as soon as I started studying nutrition, I knew that I wanted to have my own practice and kind of work for myself. And so that’s what got me into that. But in terms of focusing on gut health and functional nutrition, a lot of that stemmed from personal health challenges. So a lot of my health issues kind of revved up before and during grad school, when I was in grad school for nutrition, probably banks at least somewhat to the stress, you know, just to being in school and all that comes with that. 

So I was dealing with a lot of different things. Fatigue, some skin stuff like eczema, digestive issues, like loose stools. And at the time I really didn’t know that all of this could be related to my [00:07:00] gut health, but it definitely was. And so my first intro to functional medicine happened when I personally went to see a naturopathic doctor to address some of these health concerns I was dealing with.

And I was really fascinated to learn more about, like the functional lab testing and how intricately connected everything is within the body. And so then after becoming a dietician, I did some further training in functional lab testing. So I could incorporate that into my practice. And, one of the tests that I use a lot with my clients that also was a big game changer for me personally, is the GI map stool test, which allows you to take a look at what’s going on inside the gut and then use targeted supplements, nutrition, and lifestyle changes to correct imbalances and get people feeling better. 

[00:07:45] Doug: I think it’s so powerful when practitioners have their own personal connection to their work. And there’s so much that I’d love to explore in that. But first there’s one question that I’d love to ask. For listeners who may not be familiar with functional medicine, would you mind just defining that for us? What is it and how [00:08:00] does it work? 

[00:08:00] Rachel: Sure, definitely. So functional or integrative nutrition medicine, it looks at the person as a whole and as everything kind of interconnected.

So instead of how it is kind of in our typical Western medicine model, where it’s like, okay, you see a GI doctor for GI stuff, you see, you know, this doctor for this specific issue. It’s really all interconnected and seeing like, how does one thing affect another and also focusing on finding the root cause. So like the underlying cause of why is this happening in the first place? You know, the symptoms you’re dealing with are not something to just kind of be silenced, but it’s your body’s way of communicating with you. And, you know, we can dig together to figure out, like, why is that happening? 

[00:08:43] Doug: I love what you mentioned there about the body communicating with us. I think as a hypnotist personally, I’m fascinated by the ways that our body communicates with, you know, thoughts and images and feelings and those sensations that we get. And I’m sure, that impacts our gut health as well. And I’d love to explore, you’d mentioned the stool sample [00:09:00] testing. This is something that many people might not know a lot about. Would you mind telling us what we can learn from this and how that can impact our nutrition? 

[00:09:07] Rachel: Sure, definitely. So the test I use, like I mentioned, it’s called the GI map and so it’s an at-home stool test. So it’s nice because it’s very easy, clients just get it sent to their house, they can do it at home. so the kind of info it gives us is a lot of good stuff about the gut microbiome. So it looks for different infections, a bunch of different strains of bacteria and whether they are overgrown or maybe some of the beneficial bacteria is low. It also looks at like our digestive function, your detox, your immune health. Kinds of, a lot of different things that are going on in the gut that can impact a lot of these different symptoms that people deal with.

[00:09:44] Doug: That’s really interesting. And looking at the gut microbiome as a whole, would you mind telling us kind of what that looks like, perhaps what’s the environment kind of like, is it like a blend of many different bacteria or they’re majorities of certain bacteria? What is really going on in our gut?

[00:09:58] Rachel: Yeah. Great [00:10:00] question. So there are trillions of different, you know, trillions of bacteria in our gut. So many that, you know, it’s not like we’re testing for all of them. We’ve only kind of scratched the surface or at least researchers have, in digging into the microbiome, but tons of different types of bacteria, some of them are beneficial and really good for us and help our bodies to carry out all kinds of necessary processes.

And then other strains of bacteria are more detrimental. And if they are, they might be okay at a certain level, but then as they get overgrown, they can cause a lot of different symptoms, whether that’s bloating or reflux or even things like mood issues and anxiety. And then also in the gut microbiome, also most of which is in the colon or the large intestine, that’s where we have the majority of this bacteria or at least where we want it to be.

And then, there can be like yeast or parasites, like other things in there that, you know, if that shows up on the test, that’s something we typically want to work on getting rid of. But yeah, it’s a delicate balance and we [00:11:00] really want to have a lot of variety in the gut microbiome.

So something too with that, is that the way we eat affects our gut microbiome. So the bacteria in there feed on different types of fibers that come from our diets. So having variety in the diet is going to help lead to a diverse microbiome as well, which is a healthy microbiome. 

[00:11:19] Doug: That’s fantastic. And looking at that diet, a lot of us have heard, you know, eating yogurt for the probiotics or kombucha or fermented foods, but we may not really understand what these foods are doing with our gut.

And personally, I have definitely experienced this. I remember last summer, I was eating very well and I was brewing kombucha and eating a lot of fermented foods. And it wasn’t until after the fall that when I stopped doing that for a while that I realized, hey, I was feeling fantastic. Why did I stop doing that stuff? 

I’d really love to know do these things impact our health and perhaps our mental health? And what’s actually happening when we eat specific good foods for our microbiome? 

[00:11:54] Rachel: Sure. And I also love that you shared how much better you were feeling, you know, when you were eating that way, because I love to [00:12:00] hear the differences that people notice, based on kind of what they’re eating and that pattern.

So, okay. Probiotic foods, like you mentioned, some of them, different fermented foods, yogurt, kombucha, you know, kefir, different things like that. So those actually contain live bacteria. That’s why they’re called or, you know, they say that they contain probiotics. So they actually have the live bacteria and that can populate your gut with those beneficial bacteria strains.

But similar to when we take probiotic supplements, those are only like they’re not going to stay in your gut for that long of a time. It’s kind of like if you’re regularly eating them, your microbiome will have those strains. But if you stop and kind of shift your diet, likely there won’t be as high of amounts of that specific type of bacteria.

But there’s also another point to this, like to the diversity of the microbiome that people might not think of first or as regularly. And that is like prebiotic foods or fibers. So prebiotics are different types of fiber foods and [00:13:00] fiber is found in all different plant foods. So vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds, even fresh herbs.

So it’s a lot of different foods and there are different types of fibers and prebiotics. So the gut bugs or the gut bacteria, they actually feed on this fiber, which is like an indigestible carbohydrates. So it’s one that our bodies can’t fully break down on our own. And so the bacteria helps us to break it down. And so it’s feeding these good bogs and helping with that diversity.

[00:13:29] Doug: That’s fascinating. I was actually going to ask you later about fiber. I’d heard, fiber was good for our gut microbiome, but I’d always thought it was just for perhaps clearing things out, moving things along. And I’d love to know, are there any other foods that we can’t digest that our gut microbiome can help us with?

[00:13:43] Rachel: Yeah. So another food that is kind of, you know, similar and it is like a type of fiber, but it’s resistant starch and that’s another type of food that our gut bugs really enjoy. And foods that you can find this resistance starch in are things like cooked and cooled [00:14:00] potatoes or pasta. And the key is like the cooked and cooled, so eating them kind of leftover. You can reheat them and they still have these resistant starch characteristics, but that’s another food that’s, you know, really good for your gut too. 

[00:14:12] Doug: That’s really interesting. And talking just a bit on that starch. We hear a lot about carbohydrates and weight loss and nutrition.

I’d love to hear your take from the gut microbiome perspective on starches carbs and other forms of food that we might limit in certain diet. 

[00:14:28] Rachel: Yeah, definitely. 

So I think that carbs have been kind of getting a bad rep for a while now. And I definitely am not a proponent of eliminating carbs. I know that we need carbs in our diet.

But people can also kind of, I think, mistake what carbs are. So, you know, when you hear carbs, someone might think, oh like white bread or pasta or cookies and cupcakes, like that kind of thing. And they’re like, I’m going to cut those out so I’m healthier. And those are carbohydrates, but a lot of other foods are as well.

So like fruits are carbohydrates, [00:15:00] vegetables have carbs, like whole grains, even like dairy has carbs in it. So, you know, lots of foods contain carbs that might be beyond what we think it is. And so we need carbohydrates for, like I was saying, mentioning the fiber and the resistant starch, like those feed our gut microbiome.

We also need carbs for energy and our brain uses carbohydrates. So that’s going to play in a lot too with like the mental health piece, if you’re under eating carbs, that can increase things like anxiety, because your brain’s not getting enough fuel that it needs. 

[00:15:33] Doug: Hmm. For many of us, we often think that weight loss or our ideal body shape is the only measure of our health when it’s so much more than that. And I love to explore the mental health side of the gut microbiome and our nutrition. First and foremost, I’d love to know how does our gut microbiome actually play a role in the way we feel?

[00:15:51] Rachel: Yeah. It plays a really big role. So it’s sometimes referred to as the second brain, and our gut and our brain are in [00:16:00] constant communication. They’re connected in a couple of major different ways. So one is, the vagus nerve and that starts that originates like in the brainstem. So in the brain, and it goes down all the way to our digestive track.

It also connects with, and has some control over a lot of different organs in the body, like our heart and our lungs and a lot of different things. But so, this connection is from the brain. So like the thoughts that we’re having, you know, our mindset that goes to our gut. And if we are having a lot of negative thoughts or a negative mindset, things like that, that impacts our gut health. And so that can lead to digestive issues like bloating or reflux or constipation, whatever it is. But it goes the other way too. So if your gut microbiome is out of balance, like if, one type of bacteria, you know, is overgrown or another as low, or there’s some type of infection in the gut or poor digestion. That can affect your mental health as well. So your gut is sending signals back up to the [00:17:00] brain via the vagus nerve and also the enteric nervous system. So sending messages via neuro-transmitters as well. And so if your guts kind of out of whack, that can cause or worsen mental health. Things like depression, anxiety, mood swings, things like that as well.

[00:17:17] Doug: That’s fascinating. And touching on that point of eating something good for a long time and then going off of for a while, it sounds like the gut microbiome is always in a state of flux. It’s always changing. And perhaps, how long does it take to change the gut microbiome for the better and how long do those changes actually last?

[00:17:34] Rachel: Yeah, great question. So, it can change pretty quickly. So based on while you’re eating, we can start to see changes in the gut microbiome within like 24 to 48 hours. And that’s not to say that, like, you know, say you’ve been eating maybe not as well for a really long time. And you’ve been really stressed and not taking care of your body, then like, one day of eating really well isn’t going to make your gut change enough to be like now I feel [00:18:00] amazing. Everything’s good. So, you know, it takes a while for us, and it’s a journey to get to where people are feeling better, but the microbiome itself, you can start to see changes really quickly, which is pretty cool.

[00:18:12] Doug: That’s excellent. And looking at our body and recovering perhaps from, you know, you mentioned infection or from stress, how long does it take for the body to work through things like that, to recover from a cold or an illness or something like that and bring that to gut microbiome back up to health?

[00:18:27] Rachel: Yeah. So it definitely depends, which I know is, probably not a very popular answer, but it does. It depends on the type of infection and the person and what else is going on, you know, and what they’re doing to take care of themselves and manage stress, what they’re eating, like exercise and sleep and all of that. But to give like kind of a timeline to it, so you mentioned from like a cold or something like that or like an infection. So I think it depends on the type of infection. So one that I see a lot in my clients is H pylori. And so that’ll come [00:19:00] up on the stool test and that is a really common cause of like acid reflux, GERD, a lot of upper GI stuff. So that one typically takes a while to clear, at least in the way that I worked through it. If you take antibiotics for it, it would be a lot quicker, but I use like natural herbal supplements. And so that’ll typically be a good, like couple of months before we’re able to clear that. And then after that, you know, we’ll be working on kind of rebuilding the gut lining and healing the gut a little more from there.

So it can definitely be a process. But people typically start to feel better sooner in that. And then we kind of keep working through it. 

[00:19:35] Doug: Yeah. I’d love to touch on the mental health a little bit more, but before I do, one thing that you brought up that I had never heard of was repairing the gut lining.

Would you tell us a little bit more about whether that breaks down? What’s actually happening with the lining of our gut? 

[00:19:48] Rachel: Yeah. Great question. So there are these like tight junctions and kind of the like outer layer of our gut that, you know, keeps things like particles of food and other things from leaking out [00:20:00] like into the bloodstream and the rest of our body.

And so that helps to keep that protective layer, but that can get kind of, you know, those junctions can get loosened. You’ve maybe heard of like leaky gut. That’s something that it’s sometimes referred to as, and this can happen for a lot of different reasons. So maybe if a person is eating a food that they are sensitive to, or if you have, some type of infection, for instance, like H pylori, like I mentioned, or a bacterial overgrowth, this can like decrease the stomach acid and allow more detrimental things into your gut.

And that can kind of mess with that gut lining. And so, as we work on, you know, killing off whatever it is, the bacterial overgrowth or the infection, then we also use different like nutrition and lifestyle things, and some supplements to help to kind of tighten up that gut lining again. 

[00:20:51] Doug: That’s excellent.

And thank you for sharing that and explaining that. Looking at the mental health side of things, I often get the question about mental health. People think that it’s either [00:21:00] they are depressed or they have anxiety, or they are completely fine. Whereas I tend to think of it more as a spectrum.

What would you say to someone who is perhaps skeptical of mental health or who has some of the old stigmas about mental health and perhaps as a little wary of coming into work on their nutrition for mental health? 

[00:21:17] Rachel: Yeah, totally. So I agree with what you said, you know, that I think some people can kind of be, I guess, stuck in that older way of thinking that maybe that nutrition and mental health aren’t connected. And like, why would they be, those are totally separate things. But I see with so many clients, especially a lot who come in with digestive issues. They also have mental health issues going on and it might not be, you know, that they are diagnosed with anxiety or depression or even working on that, but they have anxiety, you know, they have those symptoms and that, that stress and the anxiety and the irritability and things like that. And it’s so, so connected. So like 90% of serotonin is made in our gut. [00:22:00] Like so much of the mental health is connected with it. And also like in those ways, I said earlier with the gut brain connection. But so for people who are kind of skeptical of it and maybe don’t want to work on it, I always meet clients where they’re at.

So, you know, where are you? And let’s start from there and take little steps towards something that is going to help. So with a lot of clients, I’ll start with mindset and, or actually with most clients, we start with mindset. And talk about the ways that your mindset can impact your physical health and how, you know, reframing negative thoughts into more positive thoughts can have a really big impact. And most people are pretty receptive to that at least as a starting point. So yeah, I’ll usually start and then kind of go from there. I also often recommend that clients work with therapists or work with other mental, emotional health type of modalities, because obviously I am not equipped to like fully handle all of that.

So, you know, I like to refer to other professionals too, when it’s appropriate. 

[00:22:58] Doug: I really appreciate that. [00:23:00] And bringing up that point that we used to, perhaps in the past thing, that we would go to one person and they would solve the entire issue, but oftentimes we need that team of experts. And I think that’s a really great point to stress.

And looking at your own practice, you mentioned your approach touching on mindset at first. What does your practice look like? I know you mentioned that you work virtually. What should someone expect if they come in for a first session or a discovery call or something like that and what does the process look like?

[00:23:25] Rachel: Yeah. So we start with like a 90 minute initial intake session. And in that I ask a lot of questions, gather more info about their health, history, symptoms, sleep, exercise, eating patterns, stress levels, like all the things I’m just getting a really in depth like health and lifestyle history. And then I also have clients start by logging their food and all those other things for a few days.

And that gives me a really good baseline idea of where they currently are and which direction will be best to go in because I take a very customized [00:24:00] approach for each client. Everyone is different, so, you know, not everyone is going to have, it’s not like super cookie cutter, the exact same thing. So, you know, that initial intake helps me kind of frame out where we’ll go from there.

And then after that, each time we meet, we set some smart goals for them to focus on over the next week or two weeks. And so those are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. And so we like to be specific, cause that is easier for the people to actually implement and, you know, get that done and stick to it.

And then I also focus on helping to figure out the root cause of the client’s symptoms. So we touched on that a little bit before, but instead of just saying like, okay, you have acid reflux or bloating, let’s like remove these foods and try these supplements, you know, kind of just putting a bandaid on it. We want to really know why you’re dealing with the reflux and bloating in the first place.

So, are you eating too fast and not chewing your food? Or are you under eating? [00:25:00] Maybe you have really high levels of unmanaged stress, something like that. So, we dig deep based on your health history, and lifestyle and all that. And also do functional lab testing when appropriate, like the GI map test, also like micro nutrients or mineral testing, lots of different things just depending on the client.

So yeah, very customized. 

[00:25:20] Doug: Excellent. And looking at, you mentioned the root cause. Do you find that the root cause is often nutrition-based or it’s often mental health based or perhaps combination of both. 

[00:25:29] Rachel: So it can be a combination, but more often than not, it’s lots of times more towards like mental health or stress.

Like stress is such a big root cause that a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge or don’t want to deal with like, we’re all stressed. Right. But people are like, oh, it’s fine. I don’t want to work on stress management, just like, give me the easy fix or something like that. But yeah, stress is a really, really common one or sometimes things like unhealed traumas or other kind of mental health issues can be contributing to it.

And of course the food too, so it’s [00:26:00] a combination. But, yeah. 

[00:26:01] Doug: Yeah, that’s really powerful. And thank you for sharing that. You’d mentioned something about health history, or lifestyle history, and looking at the flip side of the question I asked a little earlier about how fast our gut recovers, are there any long-term results, long-term damage, any long-term changes that happen to our guts that perhaps cannot be overcome because of past health choices we made?

[00:26:23] Rachel: Hm. You know, I would say that they can all be overcome with kind of the right interventions and the right nutrition and lifestyle. Yeah, nothing really comes to mind as something that can’t be overcome with because the gut is so malleable and able to change. Yeah, I really think that all of it is able to be worked on and improved upon.

[00:26:43] Doug: That’s so good to hear. A message of hope and you mentioned, mineral testing. Minerals are something I really know very little about. Would you mind explaining perhaps what minerals do for us and maybe how we can improve our mineral intake? 

[00:26:57] Rachel: Yeah, absolutely. So there are tons of [00:27:00] different minerals, but I’ll focus on a few, just to you know, a few key ones just so that we don’t get too overwhelmed with it. So there are some minerals that also function as electrolytes in the body. So sodium, potassium and then magnesium, and these all are really important in our body’s stress response. So they function in cellular hydration, so really hydrating well. 

If you are someone who like drinks a ton of water and you feel like you’re going to the bathroom all the time and you still always feel thirsty, you might be lacking in some of these minerals or electrolytes like sodium and potassium because they help to actually get the water into yourselves so that your cells can be hydrated. That’s like one example. 

They also help with energy production in the body, healthy digestion. So they’re important for gut health digestion, healthy bowel movements, as well as blood sugar balance and metabolism. So many different processes in the body. And Unfortunately, our [00:28:00] soil is depleted of a lot of these nutrients. So it’s not as rich in it as it once was just kind of due to modern farming practices. And so sometimes it can be helpful or for most people really to supplement, to make sure you’re getting enough of these. So I do recommend for my clients to supplement with sodium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, which is a vitamin, not a mineral. So I’ll have them do like an adrenal cocktail or mineral mocktail, two different names for the same thing.

And that’s just a beverage that has all of those in that. So there’s a supplement we can do. That’s just like a powder or you can make your own with like coconut water and sea salt and some fresh juice as well. So that’s one way to get that. 

So the mineral testing, it’s a hair mineral test. So you cut off some little pieces of your hair and send it into a lab. And that gives us a look at three months worth of your mineral status. And so our minerals give a really good picture into how stressed our bodies are and how [00:29:00] they’re responding to stress. And so it looks at more than just those minerals I named, but, you know, we can go more in depth with that and then kind of see what kinds of foods we might want to add more of specifically to get more of those minerals in.

[00:29:13] Doug: Thank you for explaining that. You know, I’ve had a lot of questions that kind of go off on tangents, but getting back to your practice, I’d love to know who do you work with most often? What kind of demographic is it? 

[00:29:24] Rachel: Yeah, definitely. So I mostly work with women, but all different ages. So anywhere from like 20 up to sixties or seventies. So a big range there. And then I work with a variety of different ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. I serve a mix of self pay and health insurance clients. And that allows me to work with people of different income levels, which is really nice.

[00:29:47] Doug: That’s excellent. And looking at your practice, is there a certain thing that you think is perhaps the most important thing to know about GI health and the gut microbiome? 

[00:29:56] Rachel: Yeah, definitely. So this is something that we’ve [00:30:00] already touched on some, but it’s super important, so I’ll say it again. And that is how big of an impact mindset and mental and emotional health have on gut health.

A lot of people tackle their gut issues, like, okay, what do I need? What do I not eat? What supplements should I take? What kind of exercise should I do? And don’t get me wrong. All that stuff is definitely important and can make a big difference, but that gut-brain connection has such a big impact on overall health and ignoring things like mindset, stress levels, emotional things like unhealed traumas. 

Ignoring that stuff can be such a major roadblock to healing. And I’ve seen this with a lot of clients. 

[00:30:36] Doug: And thank you for sharing that. I agree. That’s such an important part for healing. And, we talked about stress being a very common issue. Perhaps do you have any uncommon advice that you give to clients that really helps them change. Perhaps that runs against the grain of what most people expect?

[00:30:51] Rachel: Sure. So one thing is, that you can’t heal in the environment and you got sick in. So basically what I’m saying, I’m not [00:31:00] saying like you have to move out of your house and completely change your life or something like that, but basically you’ll have to make some changes. So I definitely work with clients on meeting them where they’re at and fitting our interventions in with their lifestyle and their preferences.

But ultimately you do have to do the work and make changes in your life to see results. So that’s a mix of mindset and physical habits. But yeah, you have to put in the effort for your health to improve. 

[00:31:26] Doug: Yeah. And I think that’s a really great point. As a hypnotist, I see some people who expect me to wave the magic hypnosis wand and just fix them.

And I imagine as a practitioner yourself, do you have people who come in just perhaps wanting to be fixed? And if so, what do you do to help motivate them and encourage them to take action and to take it into their own hands? 

[00:31:45] Rachel: Yeah, definitely. And so some people will come in just kind of wanting like a meal plan or, you know, just tell me exactly what to eat. Tell me what to do. And I say, you know, if you really want a meal plan, I can give you one, but I don’t think it’s going to help you. So what [00:32:00] we’re going to work on instead is figuring out how do you take charge and how do you get, you know, back in control of your health and your life. And of course, I’m going to help you and we’ll talk through ideas for planning your meals and, you know, I’ll share recipes and all that.

We can definitely do that, but it was really about giving them the power back and teaching them things so that they are able to feel confident going forward, even after we’re not working together in making healthy choices and taking care of themselves. 

[00:32:29] Doug: And giving them that agency back, that’s such an important point.

I couldn’t agree more with that. So looking at the time, we’ve covered quite a few excellent topics. And I’d love to know, do you have any resources, tips, or tools that listeners at home can use, perhaps on your website to work or to get started on this?

[00:32:46] Rachel: Yeah. So a great place to start is my free 14 day gut reset challenge. And in there I share six of my top gut health habits that have been the most helpful for my clients. And [00:33:00] it’s evergreen, so you can sign up and get started anytime. And throughout the 14 days, you’ll get daily email check-ins sharing tips and helping you stay on track with implementing those new habits.

[00:33:12] Doug: That’s excellent. And listeners, I really encourage you to check this out. All of these links will be in the show notes or in the description if you’re watching this on YouTube. And speaking from experience, we often do not know how much our mental health and our physical health will change until we actually make those changes and having both of the information that Rachel provides and that encouragement through that program, I think it’s definitely a great resource that I highly encourage people to check out. And so Rachel looking at your website, perhaps your social media, where can people find out more about you? 

[00:33:42] Rachel: Yeah, so I’m on Instagram @happygut.nutritionist. And I spend a lot of time on there sharing different tips and info.

And then my website as well, Doug will I’m sure, share the link for that. You can connect with me there and, you know, [00:34:00] reach out about working together through my website or Instagram as well. 

[00:34:04] Doug: Perfect. Thank you so much for sharing that. And finally, do you have any parting words of wisdom or advice that you’d like to leave listeners with?

[00:34:11] Rachel: Yeah. So I would say, start where you are and know that making one small change at a time is a step in the right direction and that you don’t have to do it all at once. And you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of amazing practitioners and other support systems out there to help you. 

[00:34:32] Doug: Excellent.

Rachel, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This has been great. 

[00:34:36] Rachel: Yeah, it was so much fun. Thank you, Doug.


What a fantastic conversation. I truly encourage you to check out Rachel’s 14 day program because you’re going to get knowledge from the expert herself. You’re also going to get continued support, which, trust me, is a major part of making changes like these and making them last.

And as always, I encourage you. If you gained a nugget of wisdom from this [00:35:00] conversation, subscribe. Click the bell if watching this on YouTube or the plus sign if listening on a podcasting app, because you won’t want to miss out on the amazing content that we’ve got coming up for you. 

Rachel and I put in our time to get this information out to you, and I’m asking you to please take just a moment of your time to help us out as well. Rate and review this podcast on your favorite podcasting app, because that helps this show get into the hands of people who really do need it. Whatever podcasting app you use, feel free to leave a review on that.

We’ve been getting a lot of fantastic reviews from many different podcasting apps, and I thank you for that. And I encourage you, if you haven’t yet, you don’t want to be the one listener who hasn’t pitched in yet. We still need more for apple podcasts, because apple does get pushed to many different podcasting apps. And even a one word, five star review really helps us out.

And remember, this isn’t a vanity thing. This isn’t me trying to have the best podcast out there or something. This is trying to help others get this [00:36:00] information in their earbuds, in their heads so that they know what’s going on with their health. The higher, the ratings that we have, and the more of them that we have, the more podcasting apps will suggest these episodes to people who might be interested and who might actually benefit from this information.

 In fact, you may have first heard this show because someone else was kind enough to leave a high review and help the podcasting apps promote this content out to you. So please, pay it forward. If not for me, if not for Rachel or the other wonderful guests that you’ve had a chance to listen to on this podcast, do it for the listeners. Do it for the others who haven’t found this podcast yet, and who are currently struggling.

Having resources like these when we are struggling and our lowest moments can really be the difference that helps spark amazing change. 

Again, my name is Doug Sands, and I help compulsive and emotional eaters to end the obsession with food and make peace with it. Often in as little as two sessions. Thank you so much for listening in to this episode.

And I look forward to seeing [00:37:00] you in the next one.


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