Welcome back this week for our 12th episode of The Vibrant Health Podcast.
This week Jessica and I discuss metabolism in a way you may have never heard it before. We talk about the 3 types of metabolism (actually oxidation rates) and how those oxidation rates impact your health. We also talk about some of the basic things you can start to do to support your body’s current needs right now.
Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 12
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Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Transcript :: Episode 12
Jessica Espinoza: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 12 of the Vibrant Health Podcast. I am Jessica from DeliciousObsessions.com. And I’m here with my co-host, Lydia of DivineHealthFromTheInsideOut.com.
And today, we are going to talk about metabolism. We’re actually going to break this down in a way that you’re probably not familiar with. When we think of metabolism in general, we typically think of, “Oh, there’s a slow metabolism and a fast metabolism. And if you’ve got a slow metabolism, you may be prone to gaining weight. If you’ve got a fast metabolism, you may be more skinny.” But it’s much more in depth than that and I learned a lot about what we eat, how that affects our metabolism and how we’re feeling throughout every single day. So we really want to talk about this in depth.
Lydia’s going to hop in here. I want to kick this off with explaining to people why understanding our metabolism on a deeper level is important to our overall health.
Lydia Shatney: Hi, everyone. It’s Lydia. Yes, this is a great topic that I love and it’s not as simple as just talking, “Oh, my metabolism is slow,” or whatever we hear people talking about casually.
Your metabolism is pretty important and really, we could talk about it in different terms. The way I’m looking at it is through hair analysis, we call it the oxidation rate. So we’re going to use the term ‘metabolism’ to help you understand what oxidation rate really means.
The oxidation rate basically refers to the burning of your food in the body, how your body actually converts the food you’re eating into energy.
And so what it can tell us is really more about how your body is functioning in general. It can help a lot of different systems that may be slowed down or sped up or what-not.
So this is cool because once you know your oxidation rate – and you can’t really see this fully unless you get a hair test, but I’m going to give you enough information today that you can get a better feel.
There are actually several types of oxidation rate. And within each type, there are going to be some variances, pretty wide ones actually. So if you’re not quite sure where you’re at, then just hang in there and listen.
But there are three specific types. We have slow, fast and mixed. Those are the three main oxidation rates. And this has to do with your metabolism. And if you want, Jessica, I’ll just dive in and start talking about each one.
Jessica: Sure! I think this is a great topic and I think it’s important for people to understand too that your oxidation rate change throughout your life. You’re not always going to have a slow metabolism or be a slow oxidizer or be a fast oxidizer.
We were just talking prior to this call about how I personally see now that I’ve been doing the hair mineral testing for about eight months now. I can look back over the last five years and I can see the progression of where I used to be a fast oxidizer and then I shifted into mixed oxidation and now, I’m into slow oxidation. So I’ve actually made transitions over the last five years as my body has gotten more and more tired, stressful job. And all of the things that life threw at you have caused this cascade of shifting. So you’re not always going to be in a fast oxidation state or a slow oxidation state or whatever.
So it’s much more in depth than we’ve ever been. As with everything health-related, we have just barely scratched the surface. So let’s dig a little deeper.
So yes, go ahead and dive on in.
Lydia: Yes. And it’s interesting because you can even be typically a slow oxidizer that has fast moments, so it’s crazy! But generally speaking, we can categorize people where they’re at currently and help them understand it better and know a little bit more about how to help themselves.
So oxidation is really, and the way Dr. Eck breaks it down (he was the guy who founded this whole hair analysis process), he talks about how oxidation is the process by which certain elements in the body chemically combine with oxygen to release energy. So oxidation is a basic chemical process of burning.
So for example, if you burn a piece of wood, you’re oxidizing the wood. So you’re causing the wood to combine rapidly with oxygen and cause a high intensity energy release.
So oxidation can occur at different speeds. It’s not always this fast process. It can occur quickly as with burning wood or it can occur slowly like if you burn a nail or something.
All oxidation releases energy whether you feel it or not. So the human oxidation rate is the rate at which your cells are burning their fuel. So we say that there are various rates, we don’t really know that there are different kinds because nobody ever talks about this stuff except for us, folks, who do hair analysis.
But it’s so helpful because once you understand your oxidation rate and know more about it, you’re all of a sudden, “Whoa. Okay.” And then you know which fuel is optimal for you and some other information about yourself.
So let’s start with slow oxidation because the majority of people are in slow oxidation. And I’ve done hundreds of hair analysis tests and the majority of people are slow oxidizers. And in fact, many are extremely slow oxidizers. So we could say most people are in slow oxidation.
And basically, they’re metabolizing their food a lot more slowly than is really required for their body to produce enough energy and for their adequate body functions. So basically, everything slows down.
So one key thing about slow oxidation to know is that the activity of both energy-producing glands, the adrenals and the thyroid, are always going to be less than optimum. That’s what slow oxidation is. That’s what a slow oxidizer is. They’ve got tired adrenals and thyroid.
So a lot of women that I work with are tired and fatigued and they have a lot of health concerns surrounding their hormones and their adrenals and their thyroid. And we can really get a picture of how optimally those glands are really working. It doesn’t tell us what hormones are being produced quite exactly but it can tell us the basic function of the gland itself.
Slow oxidizers, these people are often experiencing fatigue. They don’t have as much energy as they would like to have. And it’s because they’re metabolizing their food more slowly.
So what this also means is that the digestive system is slowed down. And then this can lead to slowdown transit time, usually there’s constipation involved. Often times there may be some weight gain, not always. People will have lower blood sugar levels, maybe even some insulin resistance. So typically, you can have hypoglycemia.
And not everyone knows what hypoglycemia feels like. They don’t know. So I have to tell people, “You might have hypoglycemia. Let me ask you a few questions.”
And then we get into it and they realize, “Oh.”
And one of the key things, and this is a joke that we may hear around, “Do you get hangry?” We combine the words hungry and angry and we call it hangry.
Basically, if you’re getting irritable before your meals, your blood sugar has dropped and you needed fuel a while ago.
Jessica: I know I posted a hilarious video on my Facebook page the other day. Somebody had put a video together about all those different styles of hangry that you can get. There’s the monster, there was the golum and there was – I can’t remember all of them but it was pretty funny, but it was so true. And so many people could relate to a certain style of how they feel when their blood sugar drops.
As silly as it may have seemed, I think it was important for people to realize, “Oh, wait. I do get like that.” And make that connection with keeping that blood sugar stable and not allowing yourself to get to the point where you’re hangry.
Lydia: Right. I mean, there are people who can have severe hypoglycemia and it’s more of a reactive type of hypoglycemia but that’s not as common as just basic hypoglycemia. And a lot of people don’t realize they have this. It’s very common.
It’s simple to recognize it once you understand it and actually pay attention and deal with it so that you don’t experience those angry, irritable bouts. Or if you get to your meal time and you are chowing down. If you can’t get the food to your mouth fast enough and you’re already taking your next bite before you’re done chewing, you waited too long to eat. You’ve gotten your blood sugar too low.
So that’s just a little bit of information. So it’s really important to get educated on this because if your blood sugar is very irregular, you’re going to have a lot of problems. So I have to teach people on this one a lot. It’s something that I probably will be teaching until the day I die because it’s never going to go away.
And the problem is it will just get worse and worse and worse. And this is why we have such an epidemic of diabetes and all these other things we’ve got going on. People have severe metabolic problems.
So it’s really important to know this information about your body. We cannot just assume, “Oh, I’m fine.” Not today. Not in this day and age.
And there’s actually a list of maybe common health conditions. So I’ll list those. Excessive fatigue can be one. That’s probably the biggest thing I see. Depression, you’re not feeling as happy as you might want to feel. Dry skin, poor skin tone, acne, digestive problems, maybe even something like migraine headaches, definitely constipation, weight gain is a big one, allergies, anxiety, hypoglycemia, maybe even diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and asthma.
Those are just a few. Those are common and pretty big deal. But they also correlate with these mineral imbalances that are associated with slow oxidation. When we look at just metabolism and food and everything, we’re not looking at the whole picture. So when you’re looking at oxidation, you’re seeing the whole body and how it’s currently operating and then you can get a better idea of why your metabolism works so slow or too fast, and help yourself by eating the right fuel for your oxidation rate.
So some of the same problems can happen for a fast oxidizer too. It’s not just the slow oxidizer who has trouble. But there are some patterns. Usually the slow oxidizer feels weak and tired and isn’t a go go go kind of person. There are more in a defensive holding pattern. Their bodies are trying to defend against stress. And these people will be slow, more slowed down.
So that’s the slow oxidizer, very common. And then we have fast oxidation. So we’ll go to the other extreme. Fast oxidizers are metabolizing their food much more quickly and often more quickly than they should be. So they’re burning through it really fast. So they’re burning through their fuel. And it may seem like these people have more energy, or at least they seem to have more energy.
You’ll see this in hyper kids, kids who are maybe in more of an ADHD pattern. I’m not going to say I diagnosed ADHD, I’m just simply going to say what we would understand as that behavior and that pattern, they seem like they have more energy. But really, their energy is quickly burned out.
So they actually flat line more quickly. They may keep going to avoid that. So they may be someone who goes, goes, goes and goes, and they don’t want to stop because they know if they shut down, they’re just going to crash.
Jessica: That used to be me.
Lydia: Do you know what I’m saying? You know the person who is like, “Oh, I’m going to do this.” Running in circles around everyone but as soon as they sit down, they’re totally asleep.
And so that’s a typical fast oxidizer. With kids though, and these kids that are in fast oxidation, they literally can’t stop eating. They always want to eat. They’re eating, eating, eating, eating, and they’re driving their moms crazy. And the mom is like, “I have no idea why my child is always hungry. No, you can’t keep eating. Stop it. Why are you so hungry?”
But really, it’s not their fault. They’re burning through their fuel way too quick and they really need help slowing down.
It’s interesting. I like how Dr. Eck says it. He says a fast oxidizer doesn’t give into fatigue, they attack it. They go into over burn so that they can maintain the same pace and they are depending on stress to keep them going, like that adrenaline. They try to stay hyped up and keyed up because if they don’t, they’ll collapse.
So these are your people who are at the gym all the time or they’re running all the time, or they’re just constantly doing stuff. But when life is too peaceful, they fall to pieces. Or if things are too quiet, their organs don’t get enough stimulation. So they’re dependent on the stimulation to keep going.
We could say they maybe have high cortisol. So they’re in this acute stress situation. The thing is they can’t do this forever. Your body’s going to burn out eventually. Usually, someone in fast oxidation will end up at some point in a slower oxidation. And they may feel worse because of it because they go from this fast to totally slow and they’re like, “Why can’t I function like I used to?”
So for fast oxidizers, they usually have excessive adrenal and thyroid gland activity. And their glands are working on overtime. So they’ll experience the opposite of what slow oxidizers do and they may have a quicker transit time so they may tend towards looser bowels and diarrhea and stuff like that. Maybe they have oily skin – not always, but that may be more of a tendency. And then elevated blood pressure versus low blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, more anxiety, irritability, things like that. Those are more common to the fast oxidizer.
But they’re also more extroverted and more happy-going and those are your party people. They want to do everything. So that’s a little bit of an example of fast oxidizer. And they tend to need more fat in the diet than the slow oxidizer because it’s satiating source of fuel for them to help slow them down a bit. And they have to be a little bit more judicious with their starchy carbohydrates and some things like that, maybe less fruit.
Actually, a Paleo diet is really a good one for the fast oxidizer. And that may be why we see some of these prominent Paleo people that are athletes or they’re men. If you look at the type of person, you can guess or think, “Oh, that’s why this works so well for them.”
Whereas we have women, moms, who’ve had all the babies trying to do the strict Paleo diet, and they’re like, “It’s just not working for me.” That’s because they need a different source of fuel than that.
I don’t know if that sheds any light for people but that’s a tiny glimpse into the food part for the fast oxidizer.
Jessica: Yes, it’s very clear. You remember in 2012 when I lost all of that weight. I was eating tons and tons of fat. I was low carb, high fat, all the way. And it was very easy for me to lose that weight. I was actually surprised at how quickly it came off and I was eating a ton of coconut oil. I even wrote a blogpost about it.
And what’s interesting is that I plateaued for probably 18 months, maybe two years of that same weight, and then the weight started coming back on just due to environmental stress that I was going through.
And so I was thinking, “Okay. I got to drop the carbs again and I got to boost my fat back up.”
I couldn’t budge the weight at all. My body was not responding to the high fat, low carb diet again, and that’s when I realized, “Okay. Something has shifted.” And that’s an indication to me that—when I learned that our metabolism does not stay the same throughout our entire life because what was working for me three years ago and four years ago, is not working for me now.
As you’re going through all of these points with the fast oxidation and the slow oxidation, I can see specific times in my life when I was making the transition in my metabolism.
It’s fascinating for me. Hindsight is always 20/20. But I wish I had known then what I know now. But it’s really interesting to look and be able to tie those little pieces together.
So we covered fast and slow, so you said there is mixed oxidation. So those are people who are just in the middle of the road.
Lydia: Yes. One second. Before I talk about mixed oxidation, I do want to say that the fast oxidizers are just as tired as the slow oxidizers. They just compensate differently. So the only difference between fast and slow, it’s how they react to fatigue. So the slow oxidizer slows down to conserve energy, and the fast oxidizer speeds up to compensate for their underlying lack of energy.
And this is so funny because I am a slowed down, fast oxidizer. My boyfriend has been slowing down but he was a fast oxidizer and all the time he would say, “I’ve got to go running. I’ve got to do this and that…...”
And I’m like, “Dude, you’re making me tired.”
But he always wants to go, go, go, go, and I’m just sitting there like, “I just want to sit here. Why do we need to do all this stuff?”
I’ll do the only stuff I have to do and then I’m going to rest. And he’s like, “I’m not going to rest until everything is done.”
But the reason he was doing that as he was trying to compensate for really being exhausted. And it’s funny…
Jessica: And he knew that if he sat down, then that’s the end.
Lydia: Well, now he’s slowing down. So now he’s really bummed. He’s like, “I can’t do what I used to be able to do.” He’ll get home at the end of the day and he’s like, “All I feel like I can do is sit.”
And I’m like, “Well, sit then.”
But it’s frustrating because when you make that transition, when you finally do slow down, you feel almost bad about yourself. So it’s very interesting to know this information about yourself because then it helps you to understand what’s really going on and then the emotional, psychological piece that’s there, you’re maybe dealing with can be dealt with better once you have the understanding of your physiology.
So you can recognize a fast oxidizer because they seem to be running on nervous energy, not calm energy. They’re hyped up. They have to be active to keep going. Of course, there are consequences to this. But the slow oxidizer, you’re going to notice, you can kind of just recognize this in people once you understand this.
Jessica: I’m glad you touched on the issue with being able to recognize these types within yourself and within the people around you so that the mental aspects of it. Because you remember how I was when I started slowing down, I had guilt, because I had always been a go, go, go, go person. I can’t rest until the whole to-do list is done.
And so when I got to a point where I couldn’t get that to-do list done, I literally did not have the energy to do it, I felt so guilty and I felt bad about myself and I still am working through some of that. So yes, I think making that connection will make you a little bit more patient and understanding with yourself, and also patient and understanding with the people around you who may be behaving in a way that’s driving you crazy, but when you realize what’s going on with them, it makes you understand and be able to accept it, not dwell on it. They’re not doing it intentionally. That’s just the way it is. They’re functioning at that point.
So I’m going that you brought that up. That’s a really important aspect of this.
Lydia: Right. It’s so helpful. When I first started doing this whole hair analysis thing and understanding the oxidation, I figured out my kids a lot better, and that was really great. And once I saw it on paper, it was a huge relief as a mother to know what was really going on in my child’s body, causing the behaviors that they had.
And once I started to help them with this in mind, I could see the behavior shifting and it was so nice. So this is really great for parents, especially the kids who are really hyper. Or let’s say you have a child that’s apathetic and more depressed, this can correlate with how their body is functioning. They really just could need a little help. So it’s nice to understand this.
I really like how Dr. Eck describes how you’re burning fuel. A slow oxidizer could be a wood stove that’s not getting enough air. The fire is not hot enough and combustion is not complete. And so then you have residue and clogs up the stove, and eventually, it clogs up so much that the fire goes out.
Okay, sorry but that’s like how we die, in slow oxidation.
Jessica: That’s a little morbid.
Lydia: I get a little bleak at times but I’m not trying to be morbid. Honestly, that’s what happens. The more you’re slowing down, that’s eventually how we end up leaving this world. Also, the slow oxidizer gets more congested in their body and their liver and all this stuff. So that’s an interesting way to look at it. And then the fast oxidizer, they actually don’t deposit things. They don’t get clogged up. They burn everything out. So they’re more like a fire that’s getting too much air and the fire burns way too hot, and everything burns completely with no residue. But it burns out quickly because it runs out of fuel.
So the slow oxidizer will end up being the person who has the cold hands and feet and they’re always cold. They’re complaining that they’re cold. And then the fast oxidizer will sweat, and their skin will be warm to the touch. Not always. But my youngest son, he was always warm. And I remember one winter, he would go outside without a coat. And I was like, “Man, you need to wear your coat.” Because I’m freezing, on the other hand. I’m freezing and I’m like, “Dude, you have to wear your coat.”
But then I realized he’s just not cold. He’s really not cold. He’s actually okay. And his skin would always be warm to the touch. And yet my hands were ice cubes.
So it’s interesting when you look at it that way with the way you’re burning fuel and either you’re too hot or you’re too cold. So it’s very neat to think of it in those terms.
And then you asked me a minute ago about mixed oxidation, so I might as well talk about that now, and then we can maybe wrap this up.
Mixed oxidation is really when the person metabolizes food in a rate that fluctuates between slow and fast. And that’s usually because one of the energy-producing glands is slow, and one is fast. So they’re ping ponging back and forth a bit. And this can happen, someone could transition out of fast into mixed into slow. And we think that’s what happened to you.
So they’re ping ponging back and forth. And they can experience a combination of everything that I’ve just talked about that between the difference of slow and fast.
So overall, the goal is to balance the oxidation rates of any person and help them have better energy that’s more clean, pure, balanced energy, and when the body has that, it’s better able to metabolize food, digest it properly, clean out toxins the way it should, and then it’s just easier for you to get healthy when you have balanced energy through your oxidation rate.
Jessica: So ideal is balanced. You want to be a balanced oxidizer.
Jessica: That’s our goal. Do people actually get to that point? Is it realistic in today’s world? We’re just constantly bombarded and really reclaiming optimal health is hard work in today’s world. So not to be bleak—now, I’m being bleak.
Lydia: Well, I don’t want anyone to strive to be this perfect balanced oxidizer. I just want them to know, I want them to make sense for where their body might be at and why they’re feeling the way they’re feeling. And then really, this information is just to put it out there. If you really want to go deeper with this and understand how to help yourself, you have to see your mineral balance, because slow oxidation looks one way and fast looks another way. So the fast oxidizer will be low in calcium and magnesium and high in sodium and potassium. And the slow oxidizer often is high in calcium and magnesium buffers to deal with that. And then they’re low in sodium and potassium.
And so there is so much more you can glean from understanding all of that to help balance you but if you are just figuring out where you’re at and making sense of this, it’s like, “Okay, maybe I should slow down and relax or rest. Or maybe as a fast oxidizer, I do need to do some changes. As a slow oxidizer, I may need to eat a little bit more carbohydrate because that’s a quicker burning source of fuel for energy.”
Then everyone can really see improvement in their health whether they ever become a perfect balanced oxidizer or not. I mean, yes that’s the goal but let’s just strive for improvement.
The more balanced you can get, obviously, the better you’re going to feel. You’re going to have better health overall and a better supply of energy in general and better moods.
Jessica: Awesome. Well, I was just thinking as you were talking, if people want to learn more about the HTMA and adrenal health, and even digestion, we’ve done podcasts on those in the past. Episode number 3 was all about adrenal health. Episode number four, we did all about the HTMA or the hair tissue mineral analysis. And then last week’s podcast, that would have been episode number 11, was actually on hydrochloric acid, where we went into digestion in more detail. And I think that will be a great podcast for people to listen to because digestion is so important and it really plays such a role in oxidation.
So if you didn’t hear last week’s episode on the hydrochloric acid and digestion, then I recommend definitely checking that one out as well.
Lydia: Right. There is so much. And there is so much we can all do, kind of understanding more about your own digestion based on your oxidation, how you need to support that. Everyone needs to support their digestion in some way. And the adrenals and the thyroid, they’re very important too. So those three things, we all are going to need support with basically, as long as we’re alive, right?
So look at it in those terms. Hey, I really could focus on getting more support in one, two or three of these areas.
And if you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask in the comments below. We love questions, we love feedback. It helps us to help you and provide more content that you’re looking to get a hold of as well.
Jessica: We’ve got a lot of information on both of our sites about the hair tissue mineral analysis stuff. We’ll definitely make sure we share a link with that. And then Lydia, also has different options available for working with people. She’s got the hair testing that she does. She’s worked with hundreds of clients over the last year or so and really has the firm understanding of what’s going on. I’ve been working with her since November. The hair tissue mineral analysis is the first thing in a long time that has actually given me hope of being able to recover my health.
I feel like I’ve talked about this before in other episodes, where I feel that I got to this point where I plateaued and I wasn’t getting any better. So this has been absolutely life-changing, and I’m recommending it to everybody I talk to just because it’s been so life-changing.
So definitely, if you’re to a point where you’re ready to figure out the nitty gritty of what’s going on or if you feel like you plateaued and you’re really not making that progress that you want health-wise, this may be a really great option for you to really dig deeper and understand what’s going on at a cellular level inside the body.
So definitely check out that. We’ll make sure we put links to all of that as well. And then also, I share a lot of information about my own experiences, [inaudible 00:34:54], anything health-related, natural living-related in my weekly newsletter. So I’ll have a link right up above this podcast. So make sure you subscribe to my weekly newsletter and you’ll get information there that I don’t share elsewhere on social media or on my blog as well. So make sure you sign up for that too.
Jessica: Yes. Actually, I’ve gotten some questions about doing follow-up videos. I did some initial videos on – doing a [inaudible 00:35:33] when I first started. And so I am going to be doing more videos. So yes make sure you hop over to YouTube. Go to YouTube and search for Delicious Obsession, or I’ve got a link on my site or wherever you’re listening to this. It’ll be a direct link.
But yes, make sure you check that out, and we’ve got some really fun stuff coming up. We’re trying to hit a thousand subscribers over there on YouTube. And we’re going to have an enormously awesome giveaway when we do. So make sure you subscribe so that you can be a part of that really cool giveaway we’re doing.
So yes, thanks for reminding me about that, Lydia.
Lydia: No problem.
Jessica: Awesome. So anything else you want to talk about before we wrap things up for the day?
Lydia: I think the one takeaway for people is a lot of times they get stuck with the diet that they’re eating. Some people don’t necessarily diet. They just eat food. But some people are trying to eat a certain way and it’s not doing for them what they think it’s supposed to or what it might be doing for someone else. And that could be rare. Finding out more about your oxidation and what your body is doing could really help you pinpoint why it’s barely giving you any energy you would like or helping you feel better.
That’s it for me.
Lydia: Hope you all found this helpful.
Jessica: Yes, absolutely. This is great information and I think that it will help people better understand themselves and maybe better understand the people around them too. And that can be really helpful with just managing your own stress levels, just having a better understanding of why you are the way you are or why other people are. So hopefully that has been insightful for you.
Definitely let us know if you have questions. If there are topics you want us to cover in the future, let us know. We are doing these podcasts to help serve you and help you guys live a healthier life. So we absolutely love your input and we would like to cover information that’s going to be helpful for your own health journey.
So definitely send us an e-mail, leave a comment on social media. Tell us what you want to hear from us and we will definitely work that into the schedule. So we are going to wrap up now but make sure you come back next Tuesday. We will have another episode, lovely episode number 13. And we hope you guys have a fantastic day.
Thanks for listening.
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