Hi everyone! I have a massive treat for all of you today!
I am a member of Dr. Josh Axe's Leaky Gut Program. The level of health education I have received from this particular program has proven invaluable. In addition to all of Dr. Axe's best clinical recommendations regarding leaky gut, he also let's you sit in on a series of interviews with some of the most influential individuals in the wellness arena.
I was SUPER excited when I got to sit in on this interview between Dr. Axe & Jordan Rubin, founder of Garden of Life. A large majority of my supplements are from Garden of Life (I believe they have the most effective probiotic on the market) so, I was eager to learn more about Jordan Rubin & hear what he had to say.
Included below is the actual transcript from their interview! So, you too will be able to sit through this interview for FREE! I don't know if ya'll realize what a gift this is!
Dr. Axe: Hey, everyone. Dr. Josh Axe here, welcome. We are talking about restoring and
repairing your digestive tract. And we have a very special guest lecture today. It’s Jordan
Rubin. And Jordan Rubin is the founder of Garden of Life, one of the most successful
natural health companies of all time who create food-based supplements. Also he’s the
New York Times bestselling author of The Maker’s Diet and a good friend of mine.
And so Jordan’s going to share with us some of his top tips, his four step strategy to
overcoming GI issues. And so Jordan, welcome. Thanks for being a guest with me today.
Jordan: It’s good to be here, Dr. Josh. And digestive issues are one of my favorite topics
to talk about. I always joke that when I was younger if you would have told me that I
would spend most of my adult life discussing people’s bowel habits, I probably would
have opted out at that point, but some people are called, others are chosen. So I know
my lot in life.
Dr. Axe: Well, that’s great. Well, Jordan, just to kick us off, I know for so many people
struggling with GI issues, whether it be something like leaky gut or constipation or
irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s or colitis I think for myself, I really get inspired when
I hear stories. Because it’s one thing that we can go and read a medical study that this
supplement helps this. But I think when we really hear and see, okay, there’s a person out
there that overcame this problem completely, I know that that’s something that always
inspires me. So I know we have your four-step process here.
But before we jump into that, I would love for you just to share your story of battling
inflammatory bowel disease and how you overcame that.
Jordan: Absolutely. I was a late teenager. Very healthy, even grew up eating natural, and
at the time organic foods. I made a few mistakes that I’ve now looked back on regarding
a vaccination at the wrong time, a backwards diet for what I would recommend today
to fight bowel disease or support bowel health. A lot of stress, but either way I was just
like any other college student. So why was I predisposed to bowel disease? Who really
knows? What were the exact triggers, I’m not sure. But what I do know is that I spent two
years of my life visiting 70 medical experts, battling Crohn’s colitis and often was cited
as having the worst case that many of these practitioners had ever seen.
I had to go the medical route. Even though it wasn’t my first choice, I was in an extremely
acute situation. At one point I was having 30 bloody bowel movements a day. I was down
to 104 pounds at a height of 6 feet tall. My resting pulse rate was 250. My iron level was
0. I was on very harmful medications that I took myself off of even though the hundreds
of thousands that my parents spent on natural cures didn’t seem to be helping. And it
took quite some time, two years of being trapped in a body that I described as a prison.
I couldn’t sleep. I was up all night in the bathroom. It’s indescribable what people go
through with severe inflammatory bowel disease. And you really only understand it if
you’ve gone through it. But I will say this. If you’ve ever had food poisoning or a 24-hour
virus, imagine having that for two years. It’s just unbelievable.
But I found an answer. And the answer was in a historical diet. I started with the bible. I
studied a lot about historical eating and living. And I was able to, in just 40 days, really
go from death to life. And at that point, and this is now nearly 20 years ago, I was able to
dedicate my life to helping others either overcome bowel disease and avoid it.
And here’s the thing. Everyone tells me, “Well, Jordan, I am sick, not quite as bad as you
but . . .” This isn’t a challenge or a comparison. If you’ve got gut issues, whether it’s an
ulcer or gastritis, if you’ve got celiac disease, diverticulitis, if you have ulcerative colitis,
Crohn’s disease, if you’ve got chronic constipation, if you have chronic diarrhea, irritable
bowel syndrome, it’s the worst thing you’ve ever had, no matter what it is, and let’s find
ways to deal with it.
And not to mention, Dr. Josh, the millions and millions of people who have excess gas
and bloating, look 10 pounds heavier than they are, can’t lose weight, I believe the gut is
the key to health, but it also, in its toxicity, can be the cause of most major illnesses. So
in that I was able to overcome my health challenges and help many others. My before
and after picture, if you want to check out either one of the websites that we have or
you can just go to Google Images and type my name “Jordan Rubin,” you’ll see multiple
iterations of that before picture and there’s also a comedian Jordan Rubin. So don’t look
up his photos because I don’t want him to think I’m calling him a before picture.
Dr. Axe: Well, Jordan, that picture’s inspired millions. I know Patient Heal Thyself, your
book, and The Maker’s Diet, and many other books you’ve written since then, I believe
over 20. And that’s the thing. It’s that phrase a picture is worth a million words. And
where we see your before and after picture, you can see a life altering transformation
there. And, again, I know that that’s something that really inspires me. So one of the
first things you mentioned is there’s some things you weren’t doing right, from the
immunization to maybe some dietary things that you thought were healthy that weren’t,
to stress. What would you say are some of the biggest triggers right now? Maybe it’s
foods or other things that people are doing that is causing inflammatory bowel-like
Jordan: Well, I believe that it’s challenging because, in my cases, the “healthy foods”
that you think you’re eating could be contributing to your health challenges. And so
for me, when I was in college, I was an athlete. Well, I call myself an athlete. I was really
a cheerleader. And, believe me, telling your 10-year-old football playing son when he
asked what position you played and you talk about a megaphone and pom-poms, it’s an
interesting moment. But I was athletic. I was studying sports nutrition, sports medicine.
And back then, this was the mid-90s, the fat-free diet craze was in full swing. So I was
consuming loads of grains, very little protein, very little fat, and a lot of people are doing
that today and in the name of good health. I mean, I used to get the most disgusting
whole grain oil-free muffins sent to me from my parents. They’d go, “I got them at the
health food store.” I got these I guess you could say goodie boxes.
But my roommates continually made front of me. I remember, Josh, I had Rice Dream,
and I hate to mention a brand name, but anyway, rice milk called Rice Dream in my
fridge, and one of my roommates crossed Dream out and wrote “Nightmare”. I mean,
this is what I was eating. I was eating what I would now say is a health food junk food
diet. And that I believe is a trigger for many. Imagine folks who, in the name of good
health, have been consuming a lot of soy substitute foods only to realize that soy is
difficult to digest, it can work against you in your metabolism, your thyroid, etcetera.
So one of the biggest triggers is the healthy foods you’re eating or the foods you think
are healthy. So I want to break that down. Most people with gut issues do very poorly on
foods that contain disaccharides, which would be table sugar, maple syrup, it would be
all grains, it would be certain legumes like soy, potatoes, even sweet potatoes, and corn,
particularly cooked corn. Now, I know there’s a lot of talk about FODMAPs, which we’ll
get into another time, but it’s really critical to avoid or minimize disaccharides.
I left a big one out: dairy. When you consume unfermented dairy like milk, it is loaded
with lactose, which is a disaccharide. It’s a sugar that’s hard to digest. And then there are
really the terrible two proteins. There’s gluten, and obviously if you avoid grains you’re
not going to consume that, but even if you consume hard cheeses and cultured dairy
products, if you consume them from the modern cow, you’re getting A1 beta casein
which is the devil in the milk and, I believe, worse than gluten. So disaccharides and two
proteins, even in organic foods, even in whole grains, even in healthy foods, can be a
major cause of bowel issues.
Dr. Axe: Wow, Jordan. The crazy thing is, and I think for a lot of people, we don’t realize
that a lot of these foods that are labeled health foods aren’t healthy at all. As you’re
saying, even the rice milk, that was gluten free, but people don’t realize that even those
types of things can cause some of those issues. And so I know, people that are listening
in, we have those big food triggers listed as part of our program, but it’s crazy and I think
it’s confusing and overwhelming for people because we hear so often this is healthy and,
well, if I just eat gluten free, but then everything I eat is gluten free, it’s like gluten free
animal crackers and Cheetos and it still doesn’t work.
So talk about some of the biggest foods to avoid and then let’s jump in what you
think are maybe the most important healing foods. Or if you want to go through it in a
different way, I know you have really a very specific four-step process you bring people
through in helping clients and patients recover from these issues.
Jordan: Well, let me answer that on the foods to avoid and foods that can heal. And then
I’m going to go into really four steps to support digestion. It’s great if you’re the average
person who has the tendency to be constipated, not move things through, a little bit
toxic. We’ll go over that in a moment. And the order might actually surprise you.
But let’s start with foods to avoid. And I’m picking on foods that we would think are
healthy and can find at a health food store, only because I’m assuming that if you’re
listening to this program, you are already a health seeker, someone who’s somewhat
enlightened. So I don’t need to tell you that eating at a fast food restaurant three
days a week is going to cause you gut issues or drinking lots of carbonated artificially
sweetened and flavored sodas is going to cause gut issues. So let’s assume for a
moment that you are a health food store shopper, you are an enlightened health seeker,
and I’ll tell you some of the things that I would avoid.
Let’s first talk about IBD. Then I’m going to go into someone who tends to be more
constipated. Because here’s the thing, we talked about, Dr. Josh, the avoidance of grains,
even whole grains, particularly gluten containing grains like wheat, rye, and barley.
So I believe in general, if you’re going to consume grains, I would consume the grains
that would more fit in the category of seeds or even fruits like quinoa, amaranth, millet,
There’s this new grain that I love, Dr. Josh, called kaniwa, which is quinoa’s baby cousin.
So you learn something new every day. It’s a beautiful red, shiny grain about the third of
the size of quinoa that I predict will be very, very popular in the future. It’s more similar to
amaranth in size. So I would stick with those grains.
If you consume any grains, try to soak them so they are more digestible. So you want to
avoid or minimize grains. I mentioned fluid dairy, but I also believe that those who are
making their own kefir, yogurt, etc., or buying it from a local farm, from raw milk or raw
milk itself, if it’s not from goats or sheep or cattle that are specifically labeled as the A2
genetic, I would avoid it. I think those are definite triggers. I mentioned potatoes, corn,
certainly table sugar.
Here’s a tough one, Dr. Josh. I love coconut sugar as a sweetener, but it is heavy in
disaccharides. So if you’re somebody who has inflammatory bowel disease with a
tendency towards diarrhea, IBF, I would also limit that. I really think that raw unheated
honey is the best sweetener.
Also, here’s a big one. This is a challenge for some people, especially those who are
seeing natural health physicians. I believe sugar alcohols can really cause problems
for people with a sensitive gut. That’s Xylitol, maltitol, and sorbitol. So if you look at
these lower carb bars or proteins, they may be really good for some for blood sugar,
but they are a challenge to many who have gut issues. Also, agave nectar can be very
And here are a couple of other quick things. If you’re taking a probiotic, and this is
something you won’t hear very often, FOS or fructooligosaccharides, which is a type
of non-fermentable sugar and it’s used as a prebiotic, often gives people with IBD or
IBS fits. And lastly, and there’s many more, but lastly right now, raw vegetables and raw
juices can cause an inflamed bowel to be worse. So you could be on the absolute right
track. And Dr. Josh, you and I drink veggie juice and eat raw vegetables.
But if you are someone who has a highly sensitive gut, raw green juice, concentrated
raw fruit juices, and raw veggies, especially the broccolis of the world and peppers, they
can tear your gut up good in the short term. So you’re better off consuming cooked
vegetables and not consuming juices in the short term, even though for the average
person raw can be really, really good.
Dr. Axe: Yeah. It’s crazy to think, but if somebody would tell you I’m eating a salad
every day with vegetable juice for breakfast, it would sound pretty good, but as you’re
saying, obviously those with inflammatory bowel, it’s not ideal. And, in fact, this is very
interesting. I’ve been reading up on different forms of Chinese medicine and they were
talking about especially with GI issues, not even drinking cold water, drinking more teas
and things that are warmer. And I think that’s another thing people would never think
Jordan: If you talk to so many practices, Ayurvedic or traditional Chinese medicine, they
will say never put a cold thing in your body because your stomach and your gut has to
warm it up. My dad has told me for years don’t drink a lot with your meals. Drink more
on an empty stomach and drink room temperature water, so I’m used to it. But some
people, if it’s not ice cold, they can’t even get it down.
But think about it. Your body has to warm it up to body temperature. And even with
juices, I just had some veggie juice before starting this program, but I let it sit out for
a period of time out of the fridge, because I had made it, to warm up so to speak. So,
again, these are all tricks of the trade.
I have to add one more thing because this is so cheap and easy but so often ignored.
And I have six children. I can tell you this is difficult for us humans. Chew your food.
Folks, if you have IBD, IBS, if you have celiac especially or grain sensitive or carb
sensitive, chew your food. I learned years ago to masticate my food 25 to 100 chews per
mouthful. This is most important for carbs. Proteins you could literally swallow. The way
they are digested through hydrochloric acid, starting higher up in the GI tract, chewing
is great, don’t swallow a whole steak, but it’s so much more important in starches that
you chew your food because your saliva contains an enzyme called ptyalin and it helps
break it down.
If you will count your chews 25 to 100 times per bite, it will become a habit in the
future and your digestion will improve even if you didn’t change your diet. And on the
flip side, if you want a healthy gut, don’t chew gum. If you chew gum, you’re wasting
your enzymes. You’re not going to have the same enzyme reserves when you need
triggers? And what sort of role do you think stress might play in this? And if it is an issue,
what are some things people do or that you did to relieve stress?
Jordan: Stress is an absolute trigger for gut issues, but you can’t blame it all on stress
when you are eating junk food. However, I will say this. Stress comes in many forms. So
I would say metabolic stress from trying to metabolize this junk is a very real challenge.
So, yes, stress is really big, but I think what’s even bigger is just your outlook on life and
how you believe.
And the challenge is when you become so sick like I was, I didn’t smile once probably in
two years. I didn’t want people to see me. I didn’t want to look in the mirror. I didn’t know
if I was going to live or die. I didn’t go around saying I’m going to die, but I certainly
didn’t go around saying I’m healed, I’m going to live. So I think it’s critical when you’ve
got long-standing gut issues that you have I would say a positive outlook. That doesn’t
really put the words to what we need to, but you have to believe you’re going to get well.
You’ve got to take steps, but you’ve got to believe. This goes for any chronic and/or
incurable disease. You have to believe you’re going to be well. My faith in God kept me
going during my crisis. I didn’t find God in the crisis. But because I already knew God
in a relationship, he kept me going. I clanged to him. And it was a hellacious battle.
But I knew there was an end in sight and I knew that once I got well I would share this
message. But it’s really critical.
Also, I found that when it comes to gut health and, in particular, chronic diseases of
the bowel, that dealing with un-forgiveness, memories that are I would say upsetting,
really emotional things, you got to deal with that somehow. And I was able to do it really
reliving my life through my mind’s eye during that time. I had a lot of time on my hands
and I just relived the various memories and I dealt with them and allowed God to forgive
some of those.
And forgiveness is so critical. When you are put through the ringer of medicine, there are
a lot of doctors that you need to forgive. Family members don’t understand your illness,
but it’s so critical to find a way to forgive others for your hurts. Most people I meet with,
fibromyalgia with IBS, any of these syndromes, and even arthritic conditions, have had
a major emotionally traumatic experience and you’ve got to let it go. And there’s not
enough time on this call to lay out the specific steps. I write about it in various books,
but it is absolutely critical to be healed emotionally and spiritually along with being
Dr. Axe: Well, last couple of questions here, Jordan. I want to ask about holistic
treatments and also want to just touch for a minute on upper GI issues. Let’s go into
holistic treatments here first. I get questions all the time, and I obviously do have
opinions but I would love to hear yours on things like hyperbaric chambers, colonics,
doing different forms of cleansing whether it be a liver cleanse or colon cleanse, even
things like fecal transplant. What are your thoughts on some of those different therapies?
Are any of those different therapies worth trying in people trying to overcome digestive
Jordan: It’s funny, Dr. Josh. When I wrote my first book I was really young and I did sort
of a dissertation or an exposé on all the alternative treatments that I tried, some strange,
some not so strange. And I remember sort of joking around about coffee enemas. I’m
going to write a jingle that says the best part of waking up is Folgers in your . . .Well,
anyway, you know how that goes. And they decided to cut it from the book due to some
legal ramifications from Folgers.
But, folks, here’s the thing. Everything you mentioned has its place. But I can tell you
if you’ve got IBD or even severe IBS I think colonics are dangerous. Not to the average
person, but I think when you have an inflamed bowel or a spastic bowel, you don’t want
to be putting water in there. First of all, it’s a very painful experience when it happens,
but also I think that it can be disruptive.
However, with chronic constipation, I think bowel irrigation through enemas and/or
colonics can be very beneficial. And I can’t say that everyone in the world needs it.
Certainly colon therapists believe that, but I think there is a place for it.
When it comes to fecal transplant therapy, I learned about this quite some time ago. My
good friend, Dr. Brasco, was really a student of Dr. Brody who developed this in Australia
and he’s seen some great results with chronic clostridium difficile infections and really
utilized it well. But I get concerned, Josh, about the indiscriminate use of it where an
individual is sort of straining a bowel movement through a cheese cloth and putting it
in a capsule. It’s difficult for me to wrap my arms around making that recommendation
to people even though I do believe there are beneficial organisms that we are missing, I
just think that there’s a much better way to get it done.
And I’m pretty concerned about the biblical ramifications of eating something or
ingesting something or putting it in your body that God specifically said you need to
take outside of the camp. Because I roam through the camp and I don’t want to be near
that. So those are just some thoughts. Look, all these things are helpful, but I’m just not
sure that they’re necessary for all conditions of the bowel.
And then let me say some things about upper GI. I mentioned raw sauerkraut juice.
There’s a vitamin called Vitamin U, which is an active form of sulfur that is in cabbage,
particularly fermented cabbage, and if you can tolerate fermented sauerkraut juice,
amazing for ulcers, that’s where the Vitamin U comes from: ulcer.
I do think if you’ve got upper GI issues, potentially gastritis, then you probably want to
stay away from various digestive enzymes. But I think upper GI, it’s really, really good
to consume certain compounds that are either alkalizing or causes your body to create
more alkaline buffer. That’s why you get your apple cider vinegar. Your fermented living
herbals are really good for upper GI issues. I think potassium-rich foods like veggie juices
in this case and whey, whey is very beneficial if it’s from the right animals for upper GI.
Dr. Bernard Jensen, who is an early hero of mine, swore by the benefits of whey for
upper GI stuff and really helped me in my understanding, when we developed our
cultured whey beverage, SueroViv, we did it in large part because of Dr. Jensen’s belief
that the potassium-rich foods like whey were very good for the heartburn, the GERD, the
upper GI stress.
We have found, Dr. Josh, that many people who will get on a good diet, we found this
with The Maker’s Diet, people scheduled for surgery, for esophageal surgery, for upper
GI surgery, they would literally get on the diet, not have heartburn after two days, and
never have it again. So there is a way to help this. Certainly drinking the right beverages,
avoiding the disaccharide foods, gluten if you’re sensitive, those all benefit the upper GI
in terms of symptoms and long-term health.
Dr. Axe: Awesome, Jordan. Well, I learn things every time I talk to you. I know this is
going to benefit everybody. And I love your four-step process. It’s so practical. As
you’re saying, I think a lot of times people are trying to find that specific treatment or
something that’s more complex, when you go through these things, if we would take
this interview and break it down, it really isn’t that difficult. It’s do a lot of bone broth,
eat some good real foods like pumpkin and blueberries and avocado, get some good,
healthy, long-chain fatty acids, and get probiotic-rich foods in various forms from things
like kefir and sauerkraut juice and some of the bacillus strains of probiotics.
I think some of us make it more complicated than it is, but I know obviously for those
who are struggling with it, they’ve tried everything. But I think that you’ve done a
good job of really boiling down that there are some simple steps to take to overcome
inflammatory bowel issues. So I want to say thanks so much. Any sort of last words
before we just go ahead and close up here?
Jordan: I think sometimes, Dr. Josh, the greatest challenge when you’re dealing with a
health problem in today’s Internet-driven, convenience-driven world is that there are too
many voices in your head. You really need to pick a path and go with it. And for me, I was
taking 50 supplements a day. I was taking every single therapy known to man, but I had
to hone in on what really worked, and that’s where the diet that would later become The
Maker’s Diet was formed. I took the probiotic that would later start the Garden of Life,
and that included the bacillus septilis and the humate. So try to start simple. Start with
the chicken soup and then branch out.
But I promise you there’s not a miracle supplement out there. I’m telling you this not only
from my experience but also from thousands of others. This isn’t a one-supplement deal.
It’s not a one-medication deal. This is a process. It can happen but you’ve got to pick a
path, go with it, believe and take action.
Dr. Axe: Great, Jordan. Well, hey, thanks so much everybody for listening in. Again, this
has been Jordan Rubin, author of The Maker’s Diet, former founder of Garden of Life, and
I want to say, hey, thanks so much for listening, guys. Have a blessed week
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