Episode Highlights

00:00:59 Guest’s Background
00:02:22 An Alternative Route
00:04:07 Self Evaluation
00:10:08 Connect with your Inner Child
00:13:16 Nervous System
00:13:57 Nutrition Links to Stress
00:18:47 Optimizing Time for Yourself
00:22:47 Be Fun, Be Creative
00:24:56 Stress and Sleep
00:28:52 Sleep Deprivation on Stress Level
00:31:45 Gut and Brain Connection
00:34:38 Brain Fog in relation to Leaky Gut
00:36:02 5 Key Things to ReduceĀ  Stress
00:39:11 A Good Exercise
00:41:14 Connect with the Guest



Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for men in their 40s who want to improve their health through nutrition and fitness. This is Episode 106. And in today’s episode, we are talking with Madison Brookes, on the topic of reducing stress. Madison is an integrative health practitioner and has a postgraduate in nutrition, physical activity and public health. Madison’s approach in restoring the body back to its natural state of being through addressing individual symptoms so we can find out the root cause of what is shaking the body out of balance. Hi Madison thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?

Madison: Hello, I’m great, thank you. Thank you so much for having me on the podcast. It’s great to be on.

Darren: Thank you. Yeah. Thanks very much for taking some time out of your day. So for people that haven’t come across you before or I’ve heard of you, can you give us a bit of background as to Madison and how you’ve got to where you’re at today?

Madison: Yeah, so my name is Madison and I run my business, which is called Manifest with Madison, as I truly believe you can manifest whatever you want, especially when it comes to health. And I am an integrative health practitioner with the postgraduate degree in nutrition, physical activity and public health. And kind of how I got here today was a kind of went for my own health struggles not long back, mainly suffering as well with my hormones and my health, which took quite a long while to overcome that. And it was quite a little bit of a dark space. But eventually I got free from working as well as my own practitioner and working on my own mindset and addressing my root cause, which was mainly stress, which got me to where I was and to gradually over a few months and really working on my own mindset and knowing that I could manifest what I wanted to, which was to get back to a healthier state. It was kind of like a little bit of an awakening for me. And I realized, oh, I really want to help all the people who are kind of going through the similar things or prevent them to get in to sort of a dark place and so they can start making healthy life choices now, which will mainly definitely benefit them down the road.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s interesting, isn’t it? And I think this is quite. Kind of profound when you realize that there are other ways other than just following a medical route or a pharmaceutical route to overcome whatever challenges you’re having, isn’t there really? And I think a lot of people are starting to wake up to that and see what really was the catalyst for you to kind of seek an alternative route rather than just kind of following what doctors were saying?

Madison: Yes, I’ve always kind of been interested in what the healthy side like, always been interested in like nutrition and exercise. But it wasn’t really until I really fell ill myself. And for the first month or so, I was speaking to the GPS and no one really knew what was going on. But deep down, like I knew, like my intuition, like my gut was telling me kind of what was wrong. And I knew I needed some external help us even into this myself. Like, I knew that I needed someone else to be like my guiding force along this journey with me. And I started working with my own, like, functional medicine doctor kind of did some research online, found who I thought would be beneficial for me. And we did some like private tests. And it kind of came back that my gut health was pretty much of a mess. I had too much like bad bacteria going on, not enough good little bit of like and mainly what was contributing to that as well was my stress and the lifestyle that I was living for four, living a healthy lifestyle because I’m in this walk of life. But it was I was just pretty much dragging myself into the ground. That was kind of how I got there. And a little bit of a wake up call when I came back. Kind of glad that I went through it in a way, because this got me to where I am today.

Darren: Yeah. What I think it is, isn’t it? And if you take any kind of challenge in life as a learn as a lesson, you can take that and grow from it, can you? But I think what you do is very interesting because particularly from a male standpoint, and obviously we work with with dads and men over 40, these men are very good at keeping it all in and not so good at actually putting their hand up and saying, you know what, I’m not in the best condition and I could really do with some help. And I think a lot of the time we let our egos get in the way because this is kind of a macho thing around the mouth to provide and be the kind of strong person in the family. Don’t actually say I really need some help. But, you know, you’ve obviously linked stress with gut and I think there’s a lot of science around that which kind of supports that. So I want to talk a lot about that today, really, because I think it’s quite relevant, particularly as the last year that we’ve gone through with, you know, the pandemic and everything else. So what would you say are the key things that the people listening to this could start to look at if they feel they’re in a place where they’re always like on life treadmill, aren’t they? They kind of just keep going and going and going and things are not really improving and they just supplement with stuff on a daily basis to try and get through the day. But really, if they were to stop and analyze, they’re not in a really good place now.

Madison: Yeah, definitely as well. I find that with most of the male clients I work with who are dads who might not be dads as well, is that they don’t really recognize how much stress they have going on in their life. And kind of from the get go, I find over more patients. I get them to like fill out a little bit of a health questionnaire before we work together. And some of those questions are like pretty basic in a way, but a little bit more explained to me as well. It could just be how would you find how stressed do you think you are right now in life? Out of one to 10? And quite often they might themselves down a bit of a fall. But then I’m thinking, hmm, I think it’s a little bit more stressful. And then that’s mainly because as well, we get so used to just living in the rat race of everyday life that we just so used to what we’re going through and just think, oh, it’s kind of normal. And then it’s not until I sit down with them and ask them some questions and then they start talking to me about the daily life. And to some pretty you have got a lot going on and we kind of then work through there and then so yeah. Going back to where you could pretty much start straightaways, kind of sit down with yourself and look how how much time do you have for yourself in in you.

Twenty four hours a day. Because of course we have a lot of expectations of us with work, whatever your occupation may be, your family life that we give give gives everyone else. But how much are we given to ourselves? So I mean, even if it’s just from ten minutes to an hour or two hours, how can I make those ten minutes to an hour beneficial for me? And how can I look after myself? Because initially, if we’re not looking after looking after ourselves, mainly we can’t talk for the people. So again, addressing those things. And then if it’s only a little bit of short time that you have for yourself, what do you enjoy? Then again, because of stress, when when we are too much stressed that we have something called our nervous system. So our nervous system, we have the Para symptomatic side, which is the rest and digest and the systematic side, which is go, go, go and. Constantly in fight or flight mode. Go, go, go. We’re not engaging in enough parasympathetic activities and those activities could be anything from hiking to yoga. If you like meditation, just going out with friends, spending time with family, or spending time with your kids, playing their activities and getting into that little bit of more of, like, connecting to your inner child as well, because I think that we lose that a lot growing up and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about as well.

I kind of try to explain to more of my male clients since the finger was a little bit by bit like your inner child needs nourishing. And if we’re not getting into that parasympathetic state that rest and digest, we’re constantly stressed and that is just going to die because of it as well. Over time, more gut digestion issues because it can manifest in different ways for everybody. But I do think there is a strong link there between stress and I have got health stress. We’re not going to be digesting our food properly and that can leave the food particles to not get digested properly in our stomach, which can get into our bloodstream and cause a lot of host and different problems as time goes on. And then again, I think if they’re exercising too much as well in a case as well, maybe because they’ve come from in their teen years where you had time to go over to the gym every day and you had the energy table as we get older, we can’t really do that is a little bit of a realization, a bit of a kick up the bond finger like we all get in our body, be called take on as much.

We’re not really meant to take on that much anyway because it is quite harmful and we clean it every day and whatever exercise if we’re not notional, but at the same time. So I think an evaluation as well. What kind of exercise levels are you doing? Is it too much strenuous on the body which is causing too much stress and inflammation, which linked stroke back to our guts? And can we maybe switch that activity around to less tenuous exercise, which I go back to more hiking and getting out in nature more, which I find a lot of my clients seem to enjoy, which maybe once a week switch in a little bit of their weight training or run to a less strenuous just walk in the park, or whether that’s with themselves taking up 10 minutes an hour for themselves or doing as a family and then as well dialing down on their nutrition. Are they in a lot of processed foods or are they in a lot of healthier green foods and just kind of making that realization and trying to make time when they go into the grocery shop to pick up more healthier foods, as I like to say, then less processed foods, because again, I will link back to our good health and have a lot of strength. Yeah. Overall, yeah.

Darren: Yeah. So there’s so much I want to pick out what you just said. I think the first thing is, is around the play and it’s something that I learned early about 18 months ago just how important it is, but just how absolutely liberating it is. And it sounds absolutely mad like for a 40 year old guy to say, I like playing. Right. It’s easier when you’ve got kids because then you’ve got an excuse. Right. But just to let let you hang and just be silly, just be stupid, move around, laugh, you know, laughter and all that. You know, they say laughter is medicine. And I think, yeah, I think you’re right. I think we are so. Serious, you know, we’ve got a lot of commitments from careers, from family, from bills to pay, from bringing up children, and we’re so focused on making sure that we can do the best job that we can. You’re absolutely right that we do completely forget about ourselves. And I think I’ve spoken to quite a few of my clients about this. And in some ways I feel a little bit guilty if they do take time for themselves because they feel that they should be there for their families. Right. And which which is fine and it’s great. But like you said, just actually become aware. I think more than anything that you find to take time for yourself is not being selfish. And actually, I would say it’s selfish not to take time, isn’t it, really? Because you can’t then show up, like you’ve said, for your family in the right way. So I think that’s really profound.

Madison: Connecting to our inner child, I think is so important when we especially dealing with stress and especially our good health, because we kind of lose that. And I think many society and the male ego stigma, especially in maybe Western society, has to do with that as we get older for our teens into adulthood. And and like you said, the responsibilities start coming. We just lose that side of ourselves. And that’s why it is so important to have and to still connect to what we enjoy, whatever that may be, it could be a variety of different things. And still having that element about also not being afraid to show up and playing, like you said, if not just kind of like maybe a little bit embarrassing. But I find that I did work with one client and he said to me, he’s like, my kids just think I’m soft and I’m daft all the time. I know that is excellent. Like about you instead of me still going to have to have maybe be that element of like strict to bring up kids. So get in trouble or anything. But having that element of playing, just being silly and goofy with them. And I love that about the kids, love that about their dad and they like to talk to their friends about, oh my dad do this and he’s so funny that’s the best about him. And I’m like, that is so important to have. Yeah. And then I did have another client as well who kind of felt a little bit of embarrassed as one of his his kids were getting a little bit out of the teen years. So he didn’t really like playing with toys anymore, but he still did. And I’m like, there’s nothing if you want to carry on playing, like even if it’s just like one day a week for a little bit like polishing off your toys. There’s nothing wrong with that at all because that is what you enjoy and you’re giving yourself some time to digest.

Darren: Yeah.

Madison: And again, going back to the parasitic nervous system, which is the rest and digest. So the parasitic nervous system controls many bodily functions when they are at rest. And some of this includes stimulating our digestion and that in our metabolism and helping the body relax. So we are always on flights or flight mode. Our health is going to be suffering initially and then again engage in the activities. Where is you enjoying playing with toys being? If we have kids hiking, meditation or exercise, if it’s less strenuous, then it’s so important that we tapping in them. If it’s ten minutes a day or an hour a week and just knowing they have that time for yourself is so important.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s such a great point you make when we link that back to nutrition is where you mentioned about eating real food, about eating Whole Foods. And obviously there’s a lot about that right now in the media, in the press. And I think, again, coming back to men, obviously, this is for that podcast. And so I’m not kind of trying to put the pressure on. But, you know, around that, you know, the perception is that if it if it’s in a packet that says it’s good for you or it’s healthy, we’ll gravitate towards that. Right. Because it’s just it’s marketing. And B, it’s like we don’t we have this perception that we don’t have the time to really look in detail. And I would argue that it doesn’t take any more time, in all honesty, to eat real food than it does to eat. Processed food is just where you prioritize your time, but particularly linking this to stress. What what would you say are the key thing, key areas that you see around nutrition and linking that to stress, you

Madison: Know, cause like stress can mess with other gut lining. So when we’re agitated or stressed, our cortisol levels spike. So our cortisol is established at hormone that regulates a range of different processes in the body, which includes our metabolism and immune system. And it’s a very important role in the body’s response to stress stress. So our cortisol levels are controlled throughout the day by our blood levels and they’re generally higher in the morning to get us up and going out of bed and enough for gradually again at nights and to help us get into a more relaxed for sleep. So increased cortisol actually makes our gut junctions larger, which can increase leaky guts. So go to experience in a lot of digestion issues. Pain, cramps. Constipation or diarrhea, bloating, and this response to stress can damage the lining all the time, hence the symptoms might start to get a little bit worse. And one interesting study actually found that in married couples who were led into discussions on sensitive topics while researchers assessed the styles of the styles on collected blood samples, that the men and women who engaged in more hostile interactions had higher levels of leaky guts because those interactions with just increasing more stress hormones and is getting the more agitated and then consequently that was then affecting their health. Then again, it is pretty hard not to engage in stressful situations day to day.

A little bit of stress is good for us. But if we’re having that constant chronic stress, my arguments not resolving things that can consequently have an effect on our good health, that is, I think, something important to be aware of and then reflecting maybe on our own behaviors in stressful situations and to maybe taking a step back and thinking, let me calm. Yeah, I think of the bodily processes that are going on in that moments as well, I find kind of helps me. And then stress also slows down our digestive system, which can prevent the release of digestive enzymes, which helps us to digest our food into a stomach, pancreas and gallbladder which can contribute to constipation, baby food intolerances, gas bloating and increases the risk for bacterial overgrowth, which is when we have too much bad bacteria in our guts, we need some of it, but still overpopulated. And then as well as decreasing our insulin sensitivity, which can interfere with our blood sugar levels, which can then if we’re struggling to maybe lose a little bit of weight, but we’re doing really well in the gym, that could be a big reason why our stress levels could be too high and it’s just not letting our body get into that rest and digest to help for those extra pounds.

And then it can also affected our immune system. So if you find that we’re always getting a cold now and then, now, I mean and I don’t mean like at winter time when we get there in normal, if we find that we’re getting frequent, infrequent infections and getting frequent colds, then you might want to look about look back about how stress is my Day-To-Day life. How can I start to nourish myself a little bit more. Yeah. Yeah. And then go and linking that to the food. Then again, like you said, I think that we do have enough time to prepare healthy, fresh food as we do. We’ve just processed food because again, if we just check in maybe a pizza in the oven for 20 minutes, that’s 20 minutes to whip something up. Instead of just sitting down, we can make it into more of a maybe a family making meal with our kids, showing them how to do more things, and then just picking up those fresh ingredients, which maybe take about 20 minutes. It’s so much easier when we have more of the knowledge to go ahead to do things than just picking up the healthy option, like you said, in a supermarket, because it’s marketed healthier, which is great for the marketers, but it’s not great for our health.

Darren: Absolutely. No, I completely agree. And I think it’s it’s again, it’s just kind of having this knowledge in this realization that when you are stressed, you know, you can there are other avenues to improve your stress levels. And it’s having that introspection of yourself and just stopping, which is which is difficult to do. I’ll be honest, because I’ve it’s taken me a long time to kind of just stop and reflect about what I’m feeling where I’m at, because we’re in this kind of, I guess, is this routine of kind of reaction instead of just stepping back for five seconds and what’s going on here, you know, and then responding instead of reacting. But I think, you know, coming back to the nutrition side of it, I think, again, for me it’s about these habits situation. So, you know, yes, everybody says that they’re busy and and they don’t have time. But I was just kind of advise you to kind of just have a look at your day and you say, well, when I’m sitting in the chair in the evening and I’m really tired, could I just take ten minutes out just to prepare my meal for either my lunch the next day or my evening meal so that I’ve got less to do when I come in. And so it’s just about optimizing that time, isn’t it, really? You know, you can get that the right nutrients into your into your body.

Madison: Yeah, absolutely. And I kind of talk a lot more to a lot of happy Bassat in with my clients. So each week we might set a new habit where we are starting off with three or then working on them. For instance, one of my clients said, I can’t get enough. I just drink Coca-Cola or diet and I have one glass of water. And when they came into me, they actually had one liter of water. And I said, and the drink about maybe a sip or something. And I said, Okay, so I want you. The goal is to start having at least one layer of water a day for this week. And they gradually did slowly start to get into the habit and. Then by week three, they’ll have in two years, and that was just by getting in and eventually they got a big Tulita and you had some like four words on it go in nearly there, like in half way. And I think for me as well, giving them that consistency and knowing why is it so important? Because we need to things like dehydration, AIDS and as well, because that’s having so much Coca-Cola. There’s a lot of caffeine in that. So then again, that was just spiking their stress levels and anxiety so they can create habits where we can see how we’re moving forward with, again, the onely, which went into the two liters with the little words, which gives us a little bit more motivation. And then as well, moving on to nutrition and how we can start eating healthier, as I like to saying can you batch cook meals? So, for instance, tonight, if you’re having a lovely homemade chili, can you may be important a little bit wider and then have that for lunch tomorrow or maybe if the next time if you can freeze it because it just helps you so much time.

And I think as well, the next time you kind of enjoy looking forward because you know what? You’ve got to look forward to lunch. I know I’ve got that lovely chili. Or if you don’t like a roast dinner with, like, retitle the next day, it just helps so much. And I think then buying those fresh ingredients, though, for like a chicken dinner or chilling, you can kind of take off as well for your kids with you. And what I like to say and if you take your kids with you grocery shopping, help them to pick the rainbow. So how many different colors of fruit and vegetables can they find and then kind of say, oh, what is this? Oh, it’s carrots, parsnips, Beatrix. And then kind of maybe cooking it with them and then saying at dinner time as well, oh, what’s in? We got five portions of vegetables I like. That’s excellent kind of thing. We’re hitting our target and I find little habits like that which can you can turn into more fun, makes it so much easier and then you feel good about yourself because you’re eating better. Instead of just talking to your phone, make it into a family routine. You walk around. Yeah, it just makes us like us. The clients feel so much better because I know that they’re working towards that goal as well.

Darren: And the funny thing is about that is that what you’ve just described is is is actually so simple, isn’t it? But the ramifications of actually ignoring that and not doing it, you know, the illnesses and everything that can come with it are quite profound. And I find this is where, again, you know, men like to overcomplicate things. They like to think that it’s more complicated than it actually is. And it’s not just about building a simple, healthy habits. And I love what you said there about getting the kids involved, because when my kids were younger, not making it a bit of a guessing game, we find it that that engages kids so much more. And if you just think, you know, we all want to be good parents, how good is that or how good of a habit are you teaching your kids to pick the rainbow, to understand what the rainbow is, to understand why it’s good for us, as opposed to kind of just kind of drilling into them, you know, by getting them involved, getting them picking the vegetables. Yeah, I think that’s just such a great effective way of making sure.

Madison: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Because I can remember when I was a child, my mom would try to get me to learn how to cook, but I just wasn’t interested in when she took me to like the grocery store, we went food shopping and was asking me what would you like? And I’d start looking the fruit and veg or like different proteins, fish. I was more interested in that so that I know when I was going home or how do I actually cook me. So I think when she went straight and trying to get me how to cook, I just wasn’t having any of it for that. But then when she introduced me to that, I just really had a profound impact on me and science, get me interested in food and kind of understand what I was eating and where it was coming from, a different varieties of different foods and then learning how to put that together in the kitchen. Gradually, over time, I was getting more interested and then urged me to start cooking my own meals or asking my parents, can we try this different recipe and things? And you just kind of sparks more and more imagination in your kids minds as well, which sparks you. And then you start thinking, oh, that showed this in the pan and see what concoction kind of comes up. It might not look the best way if it tastes delicious. Yeah.

Darren: And what if it doesn’t taste very nice, doesn’t taste right. You try try loving you. So yeah. Well I want to just touch on the subject around stress and sleep because a lot of dads, a lot of parents, they do struggle with sleep. There is this misconception that I don’t need much sleep. I can survive in five hours a night. And and again, the science is very clear on this. You can’t you know, there’s so many different illnesses linked to the lack of sleep from outsiders and all the rest of it as we age later on in life. So so what would you say? What are some of the common things that you see around sleep or lack of it? And what are some of the things that we can look at to improve that?

Madison: Yeah, so sleep is so important. Sleep allows the body to restore and detoxify at night and especially. Between the hours of like 11 PM to two am, I think that’s so important to be in bed by 11 because that helps the body to start detoxifying the brain and from what we’ve conquered throughout the day, helps to digest and rest again, as I’ve mentioned. But I find as well, like you said, they don’t really prioritize sleep and they think, oh, no, I’m fine, just getting into bed at 12 one and then trying to get through the day as best as I could and not feeling on their top game and then down in the caffeine in a few cups of coffee, which again would then just increase stress levels and anxiety. So I find that most of the dads and miles I work with are not really prioritizing sleep at all. And they’re getting into bed quite late. And one of the habits that I might start to stir is can you start falling asleep at least 15 minutes earlier? Just 15 minutes of your usual bedtime is half a living. Can you make it 11, 15 and against only just getting into those little habits? And I always as well recommends blue light blocking glasses at night as the blue screen can’t interfere with my at night and inhibits us getting into a restful state. So I always recommend them, especially if you’re not ready to turn off the screens an hour before bed. It’s just getting into more hubbins. But if we’re not getting enough sleep, that again reflects to the our immune system immune system might be a little bit dampened or decreased, so it won’t be as beneficial as fighting off infections or illnesses. Like I said, we have less ability to recover from exercise.

We’re not by my sleep. It helps us to store information that will attract the dying. So we’re not getting enough. We’re not, again, on our top guy in the next day. And again, we can’t just show up for ourselves or our family if we’re not getting enough sleep because it’s just so important. And I find we pretty much spend half our lives asleep as we do awake. So why aren’t we putting enough party into our sleeping habits as we are swimming in the day? Really? Yeah. And I find as well after if we put in the kids to bed, depending on what time that is, can then if it’s them two hours after, can you use that time beneficial to you, to you wind down instead of maybe just watching Natalie like binge in it because you start to stress, can we start then as well in that little bit of time frame, incorporating against long past interactive activities to rest and digest? To help us get into a more restorative sleep in the evening? Because even if we all get in six hours, how much of that is actually restorative sleep? Are we not constantly throughout the night we’ve got to go to the toilet again. That signals telling us that maybe something’s going on because we’re not we’re not giving out restorative sleep. So it’s so important the quality as well as how much it is, because, again, if you get in nine hours, it’s not very good sleeping and waking up. It’s just as bad as maybe having five hours. So, yeah, I always say like minimum seven. It might sound quite a lot, but it’s doable if you start putting yourself to bed like you can like.

Darren: Well I think yeah, I think it’s important my kids laugh at me because I actually go to bed when they go to bed, know the oldest goes to bed at half an hour and I’ve got about a half nine. I’ll get up early in the morning. And they think that’s hilarious because being kids, they want to stay up all night, don’t they? Yeah, but you can definitely, definitely feel your alertness the next day if you’ve not had at least seven hours sleep. I definitely feel it now because I make such a priority on my sleep. But also, like you said, the important point about that is not just the volume, it’s the quality of the sleep, you know, and you need to be going through these deep sleep state, the REM sleep state, you know, those kind of states. Because if you I mean, I track my sleep. So if you look at my I’ve got two tracking devices, the majority of your sleep is like sleep. Not all of it is the danger from sleep. And the brain needs to detoxify, like you say, in order to to kind of it’s almost like a hard drive on a computer when you shut it down to flush out all of that blocks of data and keep those memory stored, locked away in our unconscious memory. So, yeah, I think and the other thing is, you know, what do you see for people that are sleep deprived? Can you do you see, like a correlation between their kind of stress levels and their sleep deprivation?

Madison: Yes. So sleep deprivation can alter the composition of our gut bacteria and just as little as 48 hours. So if we’re not getting enough sleep and we might find as well, if maybe if we’re going on holiday and a little bit jet lagged, like we often find a little bit feel the side effects more, then if it’s just we’ve took on too much work for the week and we get less sleep and less sleep deprived, that it just has the same effect on our gut bacteria and then again, can lead to more bloating or. Food crumbs, so it’s just so profound that, like you said, getting that restorative sleep between different hours of the night because otherwise if that keeps going on for a long period of time, that can just manifest into more problems. And then we’re might be dialing down on exercise and nutrition. But really, it’s we’re not getting enough sleep for our good health to really be digested a restorative stuff and doing the job that it needs to. So they’re not trying to really nail down on the importance of our sleep because that could just be the pillar, the loss pill. And that’s got that’s been forgotten in our health and well-being that I do find quite a lot. But I think now as well, we’ve researched the importance of sleep is a lot more becoming known maybe to a lot more people, but maybe in just a few years ago or ten years ago, it was just like, yeah, get five hours on the ground up at five and go to sleep at 11 p.m. when that could be more damaging, really, if we’re not launching ourselves correctly.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. But, you know, in terms of the we’re not spoken to much about, this is the gut brain connection. Now, I understand it to a point. We’ve got the vagus nerve that connects the gut in the brain. But can you talk a little bit around that? Because obviously that has a direct connection between the brain in the gut and stress and how important it is to make sure that your gut is balanced.

Madison: Yeah, now, definitely. So our health is definitely connected. We’ve got brain access and as well, this is where sleep comes in as well with stress. So if not, get enough sleep and constantly stress, stress and depression, if there can be much connected in the same incidence, can increase our gut barrier ability. So if we can zoom in a lot more on Alvear foods like processed foods or foods that are triggering for us, that will then increase our guts. I have a gut lining, which I’ve got lining is just I tried to use the analogy like a teabag, so we don’t want our tea bag to become broken and all the nice bits come out and we drink and it’s just way too strong. Imagine that the tea bag is our guts and we want it to stay nice and conjunct. So the tea all stays in the tea bag, but once it becomes open, that’s when a lot of problems can manifest, even if it’s to do with momentously. So we started suffering with mental health. We’ve had depression or anxiety as well as down below Valcourt, which is difficult, and the two are definitely interlinked. So if we find that we have in suffering of a little bit of difficulty because of stress, that can then just manifest back into our mental health problems. So they’re all so interlinked together.

So, you know, you want to go back to the diet and then our stress levels and then looking at the guts. And then over time, bacteria can seep into our circulation, which produces more inflammation in inflammation response. So then again, if we start to experience a lot of inflammation, even can be linked to arthritis, again, that could just be coming back to our health. Do you have a little bit of cotton that’s going on, that’s going on there that we need to pay attention to which bad bacteria that’s creeping me out? So, yeah, I find that the bulk of that then to be some of the labs that I’ve done with my clients stress as definitely kind of like prohibited Legutko in a way. And I use the term like you go. It’s just like a lot expectation. But initially it’s just the bacteria started flowing and flowing in places where it shouldn’t be. Yeah. And again, from the stress from our stressful lives so we can nail it back into how can we start to get back into that breast and digest, because the communication with the vagus nerve and neurotransmitters affects our gut microbiome and it might play a role in the stress responding. So it’s responding to too much stress or is it not responding enough to the stress that’s going on in our lives?

Darren: Yeah, yeah. Know, that’s really interesting. But the other the other commonality that I see with the guys I work with is this brain fog that they experience. Is that related to leaky gut or can it be related to leaky gut?

Madison: Yeah, absolutely, because brain fog is something I suffered with initially when I was going through my little bit of health episode not a few years ago. And one of my main symptoms was actually brain fog and fatigue. And my brain fog was immense that I had to initially quit my job that I was having at the time, luckily had already finished my studies, but I was pretty much of a cabbage in bed. And that was one of the things that I wanted to get more under control. And I knew that maybe it was related a little bit more to my health. And then maybe just using myself as a little analogy, I did some stool testing to see kind of what was going on. And again, I didn’t have enough good bacteria, so I didn’t have enough good bacteria to help digest the food and too much bad bacteria, as well as a little bit of all the growth of Candida Albertine’s, which again, is about bacteria that we want to keep in balance. So the. I think a deafening silence, which I’ve seen in a few patients as well, and then as well, the variety of the brain fog and how bad it is can just depend on the severity of what’s going on down there. Is it all right or is it just on borderline or is it quite bad? So, yeah.

Darren: Yeah, OK, so obviously we’ve spoken about a hell of a lot there. And I think, you know, it can be quite complicated, but I think as we’ve already described, it can also the kind of, I guess, the maintenance and to ensure that we’re not suffering with stress and bad gut can be relatively straightforward if we understand it. So what would you say the five things that guys listening to this could could start to implement if they are feeling a bit stressed or they’re not feeling quite right, low in energy, that kind of thing?

Madison: Yeah. So again, going back to where we start, it is incorporating more systematic activities, notion that in a child so whatever it is that you enjoy most. So we can stop all the stimuli in our nervous system to get it back into that rest and digest. So we’ve had a busy day at work. Can we come back now and create some time making sure that we are doing that more time, even if it were just for ten minutes reading a book for pleasure? Or it could be just watching some funny videos. Absolutely. Anything but making that a non-negotiable. So that time for us is our boundary phone that’s so important so we can stop overstimulate that nervous system and all that kind of rolls into getting enough restorative sleep, even if maybe if we can’t get any more than six hours, can we make sure that our six hours are proper restorative so we can maybe be wearing a blue light glasses at night to help with the production or maybe switch off all electronics altogether and winding down with a book, really dialing no sleep and getting enough quality sleep and as well. Thirdly, incorporating more fruit and veg from back to the rainbow. Are we getting enough fiber and nutrients and minerals to help feed our gut microbiome? Because the more variety we have, the more diverse gut bacteria will have in our goal, which can have profound effects on the gut brain axis, which is excellent. So trying different things, getting more of a diversity in our diet.

And then again, exercise is great overall, especially for Iveco and stress levels. So but then again, looking if we’re doing are we doing too much exercise, too much profound, that’s too much profound stress in the body which can cause inflammation or we’re doing just enough. That makes us feel good. So again, making exercise more fun. We’re not going to the gym just because we want to get be the biggest in there or whatever it may be. But doing it because you enjoy it and it can be whatever if it’s from archery and tennis. Jim Bunning prioritizing what you enjoy and not what society thinks we should be doing to look good. Yeah. Yeah. And then lastly, if you really want to, again, investing in a practitioner, if you think that’s best for you, finding someone that you think works well for you and maybe your family, get them on board and see how working with someone else can start to benefit you if that’s maybe one of you that you want to go down. But again, I think the for start really working on those as a priority. And I can promise you that you’ll start to see some benefits after a few weeks once we nail down our activities, boundaries, sleep, nutrition and exercise, because they are pretty much the lifestyle pillars. And when you get them in starts, we can start to feel a lot better.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s important to pick up on the point you made there about the exercise you said at the beginning of the podcast. And that is, you know, we have this perception that if we want to be fit and healthy, we must go and smash ourselves in the gym. And actually, again, science has shown, particularly with endurance athletes, that actually it’s quite detrimental to the body because your body is continually under stress. And, you know, is again, it might be a male thing, but thinking that we need to really hit it hard. But actually going out for a nice long walk is as effective as doing a session in the gym. So it’s it’s about that variety as well, isn’t it?

Madison: No, absolutely. Just to talk about a little case study, I had four clients and he was a personal trainer for Long Geauga. But after time I’d say about hitting it so hard, called a gym for ten years and using steroids to really have major consequences on his body. He was always fatigued. Brain fog couldn’t really seem to lose the extra pounds. And even though he knew the importance of like nutrition, exercise, he just couldn’t really get it under control. And we kind of did. He decided to do some functional laps and a little bit of a detox. And he was feeling great about the detox, where we just limited some certain foods for a few weeks and slowly started to introduce them again. And from the labs, his testosterone levels were somewhat novel, about 19 years old because of stress, because he was just so stressed and had so much information coming from his health. After three months, he was starting to feel much better, started to lisson down a. In the gym, getting more out in nature and starting to do things that made himself feel good again because he kind of just lost that, especially with the pandemic, that was kind of when you come to me because you just find way too hard. And then all the times working on those pillars, how this all connected, you started to feel much better back in the gym, showing up for work, not feeling as kind of a personal trainer every day and trying to enjoy work again. And you should. So you kind of did like a forensic thing.

Darren: Yeah. I mean, that’s super interesting. And more I would say that I definitely would recommend, like seeing a practitioner because, you know, once you listen to the podcast today and you can get a lot of good information and good tips, there’s nothing like having a third person with it, with the perspective and the education and knowledge, like you have to be able to kind of decipher what’s going on and join all of the dots, because we might be looking at one area. But there are so many different facets, aren’t there, as you’ve explained, that that can affect our overall health. And obviously you’ve got the knowledge and experience of all the clients you’ve worked with that you can kind of an impact on people that come to you. So so on that day, Madison, how can people connect with you? Where can they go and find, you know?

Madison: Absolutely. And so on Instagram, my name is manifest with Madison as well as my website’s manifest with Madison and Facebook. So you can reach me on all those free platforms. And I do offer free consultation course. If you a little bit particular about what I do, we can just jump on a free call, get to know each other a little bit, see if we’re both fit to work together. And again, if maybe if we’re not, I don’t want to push you to do something you don’t want to do. Or if we are, I can explain what you’ll get work for me from a one-to-one consultation or my 12 week package that I offer and then go from there.

Darren: Awesome. Well, I really appreciate your time coming on the podcast today. Thanks very much. And yeah, I look forward to speaking to you again soon now.

Madison: Thank you so much. It’s been great to have you on here today. Thank you. Thank you.Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe. And I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes or the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast.