Keto Leads to Dietitian’s Dilemma
What would you do if your health was restored by doing the opposite of everything you were taught?
After years on a high carbohydrate diet, intense running sessions, struggling with an eating disorder, and feeling the throes of anxiety & depression, Registered Dietitian Michelle Hurn knew she needed to make a change. Does the “One size fits all” food pyramid work for everyone? Are there other options, such as a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet that may mitigate our risk for metabolic illness and restore us to health? Could this way of eating reverse diabetes, alleviate depression, pave the way to heal eating disorders, allow us to age gracefully, and prevent heart disease? Why as a nation is our health failing, and why aren’t the nutrition guidelines updating with the science?
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Carole Freeman: [00:00:00] Hey, we’re live everyone. Are you trying to follow keto, but your doctor, nurse and nutritionist told you that it’s unhealthy dangerous or unsustainable.
Are you a healthcare provider that’s maybe said or thought any of those things I just said about your patients or clients, would you like to hear the story of how one dietitian buck the current and even getting in a little bit of trouble along the way we started doing the opposite of what she’d been doing.
Because it was so effective. Hey, this episode is for you. Stick around. I have the amazing guest of Michelle Hurn you all. But first off I got to do our little medical disclaimer. Welcome. Welcome over one to keto chat live. I’m your host Carole Freeman. And. I have a master’s degree in nutrition and clinical health psychology.
I’m a board certified keto nutrition specialist and also a certified clinical hypnotherapist. I specialize in helping women 40 plus follow a keto diet for sustainable health. And as our lawyers like me to say, this show is meant for educational [00:01:00] entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to be medical advice nor intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any condition whatsoever.
If you have questions or concerns about your specific medical conditions, please seek out a qualified personal health care professional. And everyone helped me and join me in welcoming our special guest today. Michelle Hurn registered dietitian and author of the dietitian’s dilemma. Let us know you’re here.
Tell us your joint, where you’re joining from as we welcome Michelle.
Michelle Hurn: Thank you. Thank you, for the. introduction. That was a really awesome introduction. I like your displaying references.
Carole Freeman: I’m gonna read your little bio too, that you said, let’s give it a little more background about who is Michelle.
I’m so glad you were here. I heard about y’all just give a shout out to Siobhan Huggins is how I heard about you. Cause she posted about your book that you wrote and how helpful it was to her. And so I reached out and I was like, oh my gosh, I got to meet this Michelle person. And it’s just been great.
Michelle is a registered and licensed dietitian with 11 years of experience as a clinical acute care dietitian. [00:02:00] Lead dietitian in psychiatric care and outpatient dietitian while practicing inpatient and outpatient care. And the in the hospital setting, Michelle discovered a discerning connection between the high carbohydrate, low fat sugar in moderation, nutrition guidelines.
She was required to teach and the rapidly declining health of her. Michelle is an endurance athlete and she has competed in 12 marathons. Congratulations. In 2019, Michelle decided to follow a low carb, high, fat, high animal protein diet to see if it would alleviate severe muscle pain.
Michelle Hurn: I started having severe muscle aches and pains and I ended up adopting a low carbohydrate, high, fat animal based diet just with the goal.
I thought maybe all this extra protein could actually help my muscles. And what I found was my anxiety, I had suffered from life altering anxiety, crippling anxiety from the time I was a teenager. Improved significantly. Within weeks, that was one of the biggest changes.
And of course, my muscles healed, I felt a zillion times better. So yeah, I’m super grateful, I’m struggling being able to run it all to know I can be an ultra marathons [00:03:00] and ultra marathon is any distance over the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles. So yeah, I’m just going to hang out and wait for her.
My goal was to talk a little bit about my journey. What is it like to be an acute care dietitian? What does it currently and what was it like for me when I first got my health back, because, you get really excited. I’d be like, oh my gosh, I’m going to be able to help so much more people with this information.
But unfortunately, in the acute care setting, you’re just not allowed to teach a low-carb high-fat diet. So we’ll see if Carole, if not, they will just say the Michelle show. And I’ll just say, I’ll just talk about and share my stories. So we’ll give it a few minutes. Thank you guys. If you’re watching this live, thank you for your. I started to lose my health in 2019.
And I ended up adopting a low carbohydrate high-fat animal-based diet, purely with the goal to help my muscles. My muscles were hurting. My body was hurting. And what I found was not only my muscles heal. within weeks my lifelong anxiety was significantly better. And, I was very excited. I was like, oh my gosh, [00:04:00] I can’t wait to talk about this, teach this or research this.
And if you’re a dietitian in the acute care setting, you’re not allowed to teach low carbohydrate nutrition. And yeah that’s where I left off.
Carole Freeman: So I’m curious. Do you remember how you even heard of low carb we’ll base first? What made you decide that may be an answer?
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. I had been familiar with ketogenic diets and low carbohydrate diets. Like I was along under the impression that blood sugar stability was very important. Like no matter what your diet life disease state was, but, as a dietitian, I was just constantly indoctrinated with you need carbohydrates.
Everybody needs carbohydrates. It doesn’t matter. What if you’re type two diabetic underweight, overweight, everybody needs carbs. And ketogenic diets were talked and mentioned, but they weren’t. They were really like, oh, it’s a dangerous diet. It’s a very high, fat diet. It should only be used maybe with epilepsy in certain cases.
And I’d always followed a lot of the fitness world and I was very curious about a low carbohydrate diet and, I intuitively knew, and I imagine many people watching this [00:05:00] know this carbohydrates didn’t make me feel well. When I was running, when I was a high carbohydrate athlete, I was eating about 350 grams of carbohydrates a day.
And then when I turned 36, my performance started to suffer. I was having all kinds of muscles. Two sports dietitians told me I just needed more carbs. So I started eating 400, 500 grams of carbs a day, and things went from bad to worse. Like my anxiety went from, I couldn’t even leave the house.
I was having panic attacks, my whole body hurt. And I just, you deep down know, like this just doesn’t feel good. This doesn’t make me feel good. I was constantly hungry. I had, a lot of digestive issues and oh, the moment that I, decided I’m not gonna run anymore.
This is not working. My, my life is flying. I thought like, why not just give it a try, give it a try for a few days. Like I was just going to adopt a purely ketogenic. And then I heard about the carnivore diet and I remember literally like laughing like that. I think this is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.
Once again you’re very indoctrinated, not only with the need for grains, but also oh, fruits and vegetables. It’s so good for you. Unfortunately that’s where most people stop. Most people just are like, that’s crazy and [00:06:00] move on. But I, it was like, you know what, that’s crazy.
But all these people I’m seeing on Instagram and it’s an incarnate. They all look pretty happy and healthy. And I was not, I was a mess. And so really I said what I’m doing is not working. So I’m very grateful. Yeah. I reached out to a few people in the community. Just ask some basic questions and everybody was very gracious with just, this is what I’m doing.
This is what’s working for me. And I thought my only goal is like what if I just go very low carb carnivore for 30 days, maybe that all this protein will help my muscles. And I knew that like meat and Liver and things have iron, but I just, I was not, this is something we don’t teach in nutrition.
We don’t teach by the availability. We don’t teach about, the potential for, carbs and fight a gap, for anti-nutrients to block the absorption. And yeah. So I just, I remember that moment that I decided to do it honestly was scared. I’m like, oh my God, am I going to have enough energy?
I’m not going to be able to get through my day. It’s so funny. Cause I, I tell people too, like how we’re so far removed. From how humans are supposed to [00:07:00] eat. If you just take a step back, nothing about science, all, if you just say humans evolved eating meat and fat, like that’s how we evolve.
That’s how humans thrive. When I see things that are like ketos dangerous or meat causes cancer. It’s if that was true, human species wouldn’t exist. Like this evolved, we were completely free of chronic diseases until, processed carbohydrates and a lot of this.
Carole Freeman: Oh, so true. I remember so much of your story reminds me of various phases of my ignorance of keto, and then learning more. So I used to teach nutrition classes at a little school up in Portland, Oregon. I remember teaching all this stuff, and then showing an article of this family that was a hundred percent carnivore and laughing at it.
And all the students were laughing and the same question of like, how do they have any energy during the day? They must be just completely exhausted all day long and fast forward now. And I’m like, oh, now they had something figured out a long time ago. And I remember after [00:08:00] learning about. Where, carbohydrates are arm one non-essential macronutrients.
So we need protein. We need fat, but carbohydrates have no. Function in the body. And I remember telling him that yeah, posting it online and fellow dietitians that I went to school with was like that’s not true. The brain needs 130 carbs a day. And he’s that’s not true. And that’s what we’re taught.
But it turned out, but it can make them, it doesn’t have to. So I would say level your stories are so much of yeah we’re just taught the wrong thing and you’re right. If you logically go by. What did we eat before? We’d had farming, that’s only been the last 10,000 years.
What did we eat before?
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. And what’s interesting is sometimes, you have different experiences in your life and I just feel so grateful for, this journey started for me in late 2019 and continues and I still am. I still see things that make me go, wow. Oh my goodness. I was recently, I just got back from visiting my sister in California and I was in a hotel for a couple of days that had a continental.
And I’m not a parent, so my [00:09:00] non-existent children are perfect, but I was shocked. I was like to disclaim that how many not, and not just like little chubby kids, but these children there were, and I’m watching them eating, that is the waffles and the frosted flakes. But the issue is when we feed, when we eat all these carbohydrates, when we follow this food pyramid, when we construct our diets to have these, quote, unquote, healthy, whole grains and rices and breads, they set us up to be hungry.
You either have to like a lot of carbs or a lot of fat. And as we’ve shifted eating a lot of carbs on a lot of processed sugar, those are getting stored as fat. And then, they’re making us hungry and unhealthy, and I’m seeing that I don’t the fastest growing obese demographic is children ages two to five.
And I was just, I was struck because it wasn’t just oh, there’s this one or two chubby kids. It was like, holy. Cause this is our next generation.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. That’s always strikes me too, because you’re setting the foundation for the rest of their life, for their health. Whereas, lot of [00:10:00] parents, think, oh, they’re young.
Let’s just let them live. Their kids. They’re only young ones, but you’re really building their house. You’re building the foundation, the house, they have to live in the rest of their lives. I say good nutrition is even more important in childhood. Don’t wait until you’re an adult to fight your weight and your health.
Like why not have good health your whole
Michelle Hurn: life? Yeah. And you’re also establishing habits you’re establishing hopefully utilizing healthy coping, coping mechanisms, versus oh, you’re sad. Let me give you sugar. Or you’re happy. Let me give you sugar. Oh, you’re out of bad debt, yeah.
Yeah. It’s really it’s really interesting. And I constantly am disappointed. I see lots of dietitians that think that everything in moderation is fine. We need all these carbohydrates, but once again, it really comes down to our education is just poor. The academy of nutrition, which used to be the governing board of dietitians.
When I was a dietitian, when I became a dietitian in 2001, the number one sponsors were Coca-Cola Pepsi, co Frito-Lay, general mills. Kellogg’s Hershey’s. As of today, or sponsored by Barilla pasta the national confectionery association. That’s my [00:11:00] favorite where I literally sponsored my candy.
And that obviously impacts you know what, we’re what we’re going to teach people.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. Speaking of the. The re restrictions of the diet. So you’d shared with me before about how history of eating disorders and I was taught. If you put some on someone on a diet and you’re restricted food groups, the whole everything in moderation thing we were taught that’s what caused eating disorders.
And so the way to cure them was it let people eat whatever they wanted. So will you share with us a little bit more about what was that like with your past history of eating disorders and going on this primarily meat only.
Michelle Hurn: Absolutely. And yeah, you know what I mean to really flashback quickly when I was 12, I was diagnosed with anorexia.
I was a five feet tall and 57 pounds. So I was immediately inpatient hospitalization. The doctor told my parents, I had a 10% chance to survive. And I, I wasn’t supposed to hear that they went across the hall in a room and I was told to wait, I’m 12, so you don’t do what [00:12:00] you’re supposed to do.
But yeah, so it was very, it was pretty bad. And, I was immediately put on a 24 hour, two feeding system. That’s another interesting thing to feed ingredients are the same today. I mean that they were when I was 12. So over 25 years, two feeding back then I was fed maltodextrin, soy protein, foreign surface.
Exact same stuff today. It’s pretty terrible. Yeah. And that’s the dogma is that you’re going to be fed the standard American guidelines. You need to be able to eat all foods to heal. That’s one thing like you will know you are well when you can eat all foods and be okay with it. When you can eat a cookie, when you can eat, chicken, whatever, and you’re going to be okay.
And I realized that I’ve Val validate that. That sounds good in theory, but that completely ignored. Human physiology, how humans are designed to eat, metabolize that also completely ignores what certain foods do to our hormones and our brain. And I, when I decided, I had struggled when I left inpatient treatment I was still 12, about certain 13.
I was told you will have lifelong anxiety. You [00:13:00] will probably have racing thoughts with food and panic attacks. You will likely relapse. This is your cross to bear. That’s a lot for young human and they weren’t wrong. I struggled with food and, worrying and thinking and all kinds of things.
And when I decided, fast forward to I’m 36, I’m going to try this, all meat, all fat diet I’m married. And my wife was like, no, you can not do this eating disorder. This will set you back. This is terrible. And I don’t know, I can’t tell you why exactly, but I was like, I just feel like I need to do this.
And we thought about it, argued about it. Finally. She was like, all right, whatever, you’ll quit. And then, of course the first few days are rough. You’re transitioning from very high carb to low carbs. Like, how’s that going? It’s great. Your head is like electrolytes.
Everybody felt like there was announcement. I wish I didn’t know what I was doing. Within three weeks, the first after the first week, my muscles stopped hurting, but I was like I’m not running. And then I remember it was like 11 to 12 days into Integrating just meat and fat.
I was still working at the hospital at the time. And one of we were in a meeting and one of my [00:14:00] dietitians coworkers was like shaky. And she was like, Michelle, I got to get a snack. Do you need a snack? And I was like, we’re gonna, we’re going to eat lunch. And like at noon. And she goes, Michelle, it’s almost two.
And I was like, whoa, because I used to have to eat every few hours. I would get angry. Even like I said, those cold sweats. My, body was finally leveling out my foremost or leveling out. And then I got home almost exactly the third week mark, my wife was sitting there and was like, Hey, will you sit with me?
And you’re like, oh yeah, what’s going on? And she just said, I don’t know what’s going on. This is the best anxiety has been in the 11 years that I’ve known you. And that’s great. We need to find out why what is going on. And so we go down the rabbit hole. I did not know there was so much research.
Like we have so many clinical trials specifically on blood sugar stability. We can we’re type two diabetes. We can reverse type two diabetes with a ketogenic diet. We can start to reverse it within 14 days. I had patients who were diabetic for decades, I saw amputations and rotting, teeth and [00:15:00] hair falling out slash all this kinds of stuff.
Yeah, and I was just blown away. I was like, and then the mental aspect, depression leads. Our nation is the number one cause of disability. More people will not go to work because of depression versus anything, accidents, tumor, anything. And it’s not getting better. Bipolar disorder in our children has increased 4000% in the last two weeks.
This is not good. And it was Dr. Georgia. He who first talk to me about the impact of all these process carbohydrates and seed oils on our brain. We are literally shifting that the narrow transplant. Obviously you’re getting a dompamine response, but we’re shifting the neurotransmitters, that teacher.
How to, or allow our body to cope with stress and learn to behavior in GABA, in the brain. So high that our brain can no longer cope with stress. We find high levels of GABA and suicide victims and people, a lot of illicit substances. It’s it’s not good. So
Carole Freeman: yeah. So yeah, [00:16:00] we have the knowledge that we don’t have to be suffering from these things. So I’m glad that you’re here again, helping get the word out. Hopefully just one more person hears this information and can take control of their health back. And there’s no, and
Michelle Hurn: It can be hard specifically with anorexia.
I wanted to, I did a presentation on anorexia. I wanted to make sure there was enough science for it. And like you said, there’s this okay, you have somebody who’s severely underweight. Who’s terrified of food. How in the world, can you feed them a diet that doesn’t include lots of carbohydrates or sugar or.
And here’s why it says what I’ll tell you that I found in that I believe we started Michelle’s at the center for healing people in our anorexia. When you have starved yourself or you have been bingeing and purging, you have damaged your intestinal epithelium. What does that mean? You’ve damaged your GI system.
Your GI system is incredibly important for you to absorb nutrition. If you cannot absorb. Then you they’re effectively useless to you. It doesn’t matter how many vitamins, whatever I give. If you can’t absorb, you need to be able to [00:17:00] absorb things, to build, for your hormones to work, to build neurotransmitters in your brain.
And you also so many people with anorexia, including myself report, incredibly high levels of GI pain, stomach constipation, diarrhea. And when I was in treatment, I was told the top on your head, you’re making this up. Nobody hurt. You’re feeding us, you’re making us hurt. And so by, by following a very high fat, high meat, potentially ketogenic or.
What you’re doing is you’re providing the most bioavailable nutrition. And once again, we don’t teach this and via TEDx, what does this mean? That nutrition and meat is much, much more absorbable than the nutrition. For example, once again, if you can’t absorb it, it is effectively useless to you.
I like to use the example of like iron and spinach versus steak, steak, you can absorb at 20% where iron is like 1.7%. I always say that would be like, I wrote you a check for a thousand dollars and you get super excited and you’re like, oh, I’m Michelle, I’m going to go cash it. And they’re like, yeah, she’s had $17 in her bank account and you’re like, [00:18:00] it matters.
Can you access the funds? Can you. Yeah. And when you don’t have all the fiber, you don’t have all the fight like acid, you don’t have things that are going to potentially block you from using that nutrition. Look, how different would it be to? And when you get the meat and fat, you stabilize blips, or just that alone, we know reduces anxiety, but how we feel and treatment for eating disorders is we give you, all of these carbs, all this processed sugars say energy, blood sugar, cause you crashed and you feel sad.
And then you’re, have all the side effects and your stomach hurts. And then we do it again and again. And we’re like, man, I don’t know why they’re I was 27 different medications, so anyway, my, my theory and my thought, and I’ve seen this in several individuals is what you need.
This is not a low calorie diet. If you’re underweight, four to 5,000, I’ve talked to one individual to 8,000 calories. Jaime high-fat there’s not to be no carbohydrate, but minimal carbohydrates for a set period of time to let your system heal. And then we built into it. And then for bulemia or, binge-eating disorder, [00:19:00] you don’t have to eat all foods to be well, that’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard in my life.
That is the company you’re telling, trying to sell their stuff. Nobody needs, that’s like telling an alcoholic. If you can’t drink one, then you’re not that’s nobody.
Carole Freeman: If you can’t get moderation you are not healed of your alcoholism, right?
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. And I’ve known
Carole Freeman: yeah. Michelle, that analogy, but that’s so true.
We don’t tell alcoholics that your cured when you can drink in moderation. No we know that those foods cue up the brain too much and they can’t control it. Why are we trying to tell people? Any kind of eating disorder that like somehow you’re going to be able to achieve moderation with these highly addictive foods that hijack your brain
Michelle Hurn: chemistry.
Our society thinks there is something wrong with you or you are missing out, or you’re somehow not having fun or whatever. If you don’t want to eat pasta and Oreos I can tell you how many times I, my wife and I have been out or whatever oh, you’re a runner. You must want these pancakes in this.
It’s no, I brought my beef. [00:20:00] And it’s like why wouldn’t you do that? You were spending all this energy, doing all this. You look so lean and my whole life I’ve been relatively lean. I did not have, a metabolic disorder per se. I wasn’t type two diabetic or obese, but my.
Crippling, everybody experiences, symptoms potentially differently, but yeah, we don’t if somebody says, yeah, Hey, I’m not drinking. I’m a recovering alcoholic. Everyone would be like, oh yeah, cool, man. No worries. But if you’re like, you know what, I’m going to pass on the cake.
I just, I really struggle with sugar. They’d be like, oh good, come on and have some fun, we just have a great different attitude about it. Unfortunately it takes a very strong person. It’s hard because there’s so much societal. And, when I think about like a recovering, maybe addict you don’t drive down the street and see ads for methamphetamines.
Sometimes you do obviously for alcohol, but we’ve even regulated cigarettes. We don’t even allow cigarettes to, to be advertised. In like big billboards or in magazines. But the food it’s everywhere. I think I shared with you, like you literally, I was trying to check the sports news and there’s an ad and there’s [00:21:00] everywhere you go.
There’s processed food. I want my dogs at the vet. They have a free mochaccino machine. Like you press a button and you can get a sugary cappuccino, like it’s we have to rise above if we’re going to be metabolically healthy. And we also.
Carole Freeman: Wait. So getting the humans addicted to the sugar, wasn’t enough, they’re going to, they gotta get the dogs addicted as well.
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. The dog food industry is even by Mars, while a lot of the bigger companies are owned by processed food companies, they’re putting nonsense in our dogs. So yeah it’s really sad, and I’ve shared before that healthcare. If you have an acute accident, let’s say, God help you.
You’re in a Carson or something. Our healthcare system is second to none. It is amazing, big problem. They can save your life. I I was pushing down some stuff in my trash and I didn’t know there was glass in there. I ended up having eight stitches and that was great. Went in, no problem.
But if you have a chronic illness, our healthcare system. It is designed to keep you safe [00:22:00] a society. We do not live in a socialist society. This is a capitalist society. It is designed to make money. They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, and the only way they can do that is to keep you sick.
If they heal you, you’re gone. You’re happy you and I are paying, for diabetic medication or whatever. If they kill you, then you’re gone. We got to keep you needing surgeries. We got teeth. We got to keep you amputations. That’s how it is. You guys, you have to realize you and your life. The system is designed to keep you sick.
You have to think outside the city.
Carole Freeman: Oh speaking of that system, walk us through. I bet you discovered the healing power of this for yourself. You started to feel so great. I bet you were like, oh my gosh, I’m going to go change the lives of everybody I’m working with now. So walk us through whatever.
Trying to bring this into clinical practice.
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. First of all, my dietitian coworkers thought I was totally whack. Like I think they rallied around, like maybe she’s doing this for her running. Curiously though. And I’ve shared this before, and this is not trying to be judgemental.
It’s just purely facts. [00:23:00] And I worked in three different facilities and about 60% of the dietitians I’ve worked with her. It’s not overweight, obese. But yeah, so I immediately was like, oh my gosh, I went to my boss because when you work at a facility, you generally have access to to print out full clinical trials.
Often you’ll have that memberships or something. But but yeah, I could add, and I had all this information, then I had to highlight it and I was like look at this we can literally change. We can go. And I was like, I was ready to set up meetings with doctors. I had emailed a bunch of people and she pulled me in her office and I was like, no, like this is against regulations.
We could get in trouble for. And I was like we’re not helping people. And she asked me, she said you are you’re charting. I’m like yeah, of course. She’s you’re fine then I’m not really, the message was, we’re not really trying to help people. We are trying to check bosses, get insurance reimbursement, make sure everything’s checked off and move on.
And that’s what burns had. If y’all know people like nurses, doctors, a lot of people get burnt out with this because it’s just like this rotating cycle of sickness, and so I struggled. I was like, how am I going to get through my day with not being able, I have a type two [00:24:00] diabetic that I see trying to shovel down this brown rice that they think is garbage.
And thinking that all, if they’re obese and I’m like, eh, I know I should eat. And so I struggled, and I will neither confirm nor deny that I may be said like, Hey, I’m going to chart this, but would you like what could actually help you? But yeah, I actually, that was one of the times I, a patient got excited about a low carb diet and told his nurse who told my boss and I was suspended.
Carole Freeman: at the beginning, a little bit of trouble along the way and trying to right the ship that’s been going the wrong direction for so long. So it’s a. It’s nice to hear that your passion, like you’re doing it because you truly cared about these people you were working with. If you didn’t care about that.
You wouldn’t have tried at all to, to change the system or anything like that. So I applaud your efforts as stuff.
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. And I definitely found in that it’s just not something we can really change from the inside. This is a very powerful system. We saw that in.
Dietary guidelines. Now they’ve published it. It’s, nobody’s surprised at 99 or [00:25:00] 95% of people in the guideline advisory board have ties to process food. It’s Nina who told us that every single member of Congress, not one, not 10, every single member is sponsored by a pharmaceutical. It’s going to be very hard to change this.
Once again, it’s a capitalist society. The only goal is to make money and we are only goes to make money. He don’t really care who you are. And I wish that if I didn’t have a soul, I could still, you can make so much money. It was very hard to leave healthcare. You have all these student loans.
So this is, this was what I wanted to do for my life. And, it got, when I, my health was restored, it was like, I can’t do this anymore. But then it was like, oh crap, what am I going to do? What do I do? That’s the dietitian’s dilemma.
Carole Freeman: And w were you required to. Based medicine. Did they use that phrase with you?
Michelle Hurn: Evidence-based medicine. So you froze for a second. The,
Carole Freeman: Did you hear that? So were you required to do evidence-based medicine or evidence-based nutrition? Did they use that phrase?
Michelle Hurn: We, didn’t not really evidence based, but [00:26:00] what it was basically the nutrition guidelines and you had to use only what the hospital had approved.
Like you couldn’t even have a separate handout that didn’t have what the hospital had on it. And we know that evidence-based you have so much epidemiology and non-sensitive. It doesn’t really make sense. It just it’s it’s like carb counting for diabetics or these recommendations where people would say, oh, you don’t need the, too much protein will cause kidney failure.
It’s we’ve already debunked all this stuff.
Carole Freeman: Okay. Where should we go next on your journey? So to always you wrote this book, how did that come about? Tell us about the dietitians dilemma.
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. In back in 2019, I wanted to qualify for the Olympic trials. I was training a bunch and then, like I said, I lost my health.
Couldn’t run it all, did the low carb diet, got my health back. And I was just so inspired. I was like, I couldn’t believe it. Like I did not know. There was so much research on a low carb diet. I was told it was nonsense. It would cause your heart failure. And I just was so super excited and like I, and I probably first thought that so would my colleagues, so would my healthcare.
So when people in the [00:27:00] system and there was so much. And I was told once again, you have to only preach this way of eating. So every free moment I had, I was like, you know what, I’m just going to start talking, making notes about disease states that I believe could be helped by a low carb diet.
And I started reaching out to anyone who would listen. I started listening to all kinds of podcasts. I talked to Dr. Chris Palmer, talked to her westbound, Dr. Beckman teach me, talk to me, share with me. I want to learn. I want to learn. And so every free moment, it almost was a joke that like, during our lunch break, Shell’s working on her book, and I’m like, no, I really am gonna write a book.
And I had actually had one dietitian, pull me aside and was like, Like you, even if you’re right, like you’ll never be able to work in a hospital. And I said we’ll see. And and then also because I was so healthy and I literally, I’m not joking. I could not run at all.
Like I was getting full sleds and about, probably about a little over a month into my low carb journey. I’m just starting to write the book. My wife just casually mentioned you should go for it. I was around more. She’s you’re annoying me. Go for a run. And I ended up [00:28:00] like, huh, you know what?
I’ll just go jog a few miles. I should be fine. And I ran eight miles, like no carbs. And that also got the wheels turning in my head. Like maybe my story isn’t over. Maybe my competitive running isn’t over, my boy, she was like, oh, fun. You could be a recreational runner. I was like, what have I run ultra marathons?
What if I forget this 26 mile? What if I run like six hours or 50 miles? And. Okay. She, wasn’t thrilled about that idea at first, but we’re like, let’s give this a minute. Let’s see how I feel. I reached out to Zach bitter who was the current world record holder of a hundred mile race who also follows the low carb diet.
And he was like yeah let’s try it. This. And so as the days went by give us to be honest, I was very angry. It was hard working in the hospital cause I saw so much sickness and you see what’s being served with the patients. What’s being taught to the patients with the nurses believe. And also I got more frustrated when I would talk to nurses and I would just hit what’s going on?
That’s a lot of carbs for a diabetic. They laugh it off. Yeah, it’s fine. We’re giving them insulin like, oh, we know it was almost just like [00:29:00] people were just resigned to the fact like. I haven’t had one doctor tell me, Hey, Michelle, we just have to assume people aren’t going to do what they’re supposed to.
And I was like, all right, that’s what, we’re, that’s the assumption we’re starting with. Like, how about we at least teach them, give them options, knowledge. Yeah. And so then I, then it was just like co then COVID happened. And so I lost a lot of my dietitian hours and I was put in the. Where patients called for eight hours a day.
I had to take calls where patients ordered food. I wasn’t allowed to give any nutrition. I just had people call with diabetes and say, I want a caramel macchiato and cake. And that was that moment. I knew okay, I gotta get outta here. I’m I can’t do this. I wasn’t allowed to tell people anything, but once people would ask what should I eat?
And I said, and then I’d get in trouble for that. And so yeah, so I, I found a there was, and then a lot of places were closing, but there was a part-time job in Portland, Oregon. Basically helping make sausage, breaking down animals, working with regenerative farms. And, we looked at it financially and it’s I’m going to be taking like, I’m going to be making.
22% of what I made [00:30:00] in the hospital and I’m going to be working 40 times harder, but I loved it. Like I was so ready to get out of there. And, it was very hard manual labor on my days, basically consisted of I’d run, 10 to 18 miles in the morning. I’d work at scrap. It’s called scratch meets from 10 to four, and then I’d come home and write until I fall asleep.
And I was just every single day, we’re going to do this until I get this book. And I’m just, I’m grateful, I’m grateful that I have a story to tell. I’m grateful that I’ve had, I’ve been so fortunate to have met and networked with so many great people. I met Dr. Ken Berry, Diana Rogers, so many fantastic.
Do you know Sean Baker? And I’m just, I just want people to know people ask me I really don’t care what people want to eat. Like I’m very happy with my life. I’m great, but I believe. If I could leave a legacy, it would be that every single person with a mental health disorder, with depression, anxiety, OCD, every single human with type two diabetes, struggling with sarcopenia who has issue, heart issues.
And certainly [00:31:00] my history, every person with an eating disorder is presented this as an option that you know what, this can do this. How do you feel about. Are you willing to try this? Because what we do in healthcare is we just throw medication at you. We let you do your same shitty diet and you don’t get mattered.
Carole Freeman: Oh yes. It’s so true. So sad and so true. But yeah. Why can’t the options be given there? Because there’s so many people that I’ve seen, I’ve worked with. Once they get keto done the right way that they just feel free for the first time, right? Like I’m not obsessed with food. I’m not constantly hungry and craving mental clarity and energy.
And like, why has this never been an option before that’s been presented?
Michelle Hurn: And isn’t that the ultimate irony is people say, oh, it’s so restrictive. I’ve never felt more free. What’s restrictive is thinking and obsessing about. If you’re overweight, restrictive is, being overweight and paying.
And then, I was literally sitting on the sideline of my own life. If you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Certainly an eating disorder, tendencies it’s [00:32:00] socks. And if someone had told me when I was 12, God, even when I was a teenager in my twenties Hey, you know what?
This. And I appreciate that. You said do keto the right way, because what really frustrates me is when people are like, oh, I tried keto, it doesn’t work. I’m like how long did you do it? Oh, like a few days I just ate a bunch of fat and it didn’t work. It’s you need to, nobody would do that. You and just be like, oh, the doctor prescribed an antibiotic.
I just took one. And it didn’t work. You have to do. And also we’re just such a quick fix society. I. Things delivered in two days from Jeff Bezos. And I can Google whatever I want, but you have to follow the laws of nature, like nothing in life that is worth anything. It all takes time.
It’s not sexy. It’s not fun if it doesn’t sell well, infomercials, but it’s time on task. If you have been sick for a decade, it’s going to take time. The good news is it’s not going to take a decade. I have. Rideable results in three weeks, many people, 30 days, how to give it time. And I am better today than I was six months ago than I was six months [00:33:00] before.
So you have to buy into the process.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, it and you’re oh, that’s, I’m so glad you said that too, because people want instant results. They want. The nice thing is that they do feel better pretty quickly. Now. Not everything gets healed immediately, but I’ll just brag on one of my clients recently.
So she did a year over year DEXA scan. She’s lost over 70 pounds, and I already know her labs are beautiful. Perfect. Everything is perfectly healthy in her. And she’s been with me almost a year and a half. And her DEXA scan showed that she did not lose. Any lean tissue in that 70 pounds lost. And in fact, she gained a pound of lean mass in the time that she’d done this with no exercise.
So the trainer that did the DEXA scan for her was like, Ooh, you’re your weight trainer is on point. The fact that you lost that weight and didn’t lose it. And she goes I’m not exercising. I’m not doing any weight training. It’s just my nutritionist. And so it’s just. [00:34:00] Because I was training probably were trained in school, as well as it, once you turn 30, it’s just downhill from there, from your bone mass.
And so one of the things I noticed was her bone density increased and. My theory. I don’t know if there’s any research. Maybe you can tell me if there is, but my theory is a couple things. So one is adequate salt, which is required on keto to avoid the S the symptoms, the side effects, coupled with adequate fat.
Cause you know, the physiology to get em minerals into bones. You need fat soluble vitamins in order to signal that. And we have some studies that I know of that are like keto preserves, muscle mass, better than some other diets, but this all coupled together. So anyway, so she was thrilled.
The former bodybuilder, that was the guy running the, the DEXA scan clinic that she was at was just astounded at her results. And so just, another example of cause you’re talking about sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the muscle wasting,
Michelle Hurn: it’s just, it’s so much. And we also have people who are obese and sarcopenic, just so much fat and minimal
Carole Freeman: muscle.
And then the so then osteoporosis as [00:35:00] well while there’s some some worry that, a keto diet causes osteoporosis, but that’s not true. And I would add osteoporosis to your your
Michelle Hurn: list of things. Yeah. You certainly could, and I think you nailed it. I don’t know the salt.
That’s very interesting, but definitely you have to have fat, you need adequate fats to build bone and yeah. And, vitamins, AED, and K are there for the fat-soluble. And you also need, your hormones have to be stable. And I feel like when we’re eating a lot of those processed carbohydrates, we’re throwing, our blood sugar goes up, insulin comes in and we’re getting cortisol.
We’re getting glute, we’re getting all kinds of wacky things happening with our hormones. We stabilize our hormones. We provide adequate saturated, fat and saturated fat is. When we eat a lot of these vegetable oils that is very inflammatory, that causes a lot of oxidation and inflammation, so we remove those, we’re eating the good saturated fats. Also, you made a good point. We’re providing adequate protein, especially women. We do not eat enough protein. This two to three ounces a day. Nonsense is ridiculous. Eating one egg a day, or, I had the tiny little, a [00:36:00] handful at dinner.
No, you need adequate protein. And a lot of fats.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. I’m so glad you said that too, because this whole, like plant-based message that’s out right now and how they’re going towards like lists Mondays at schools and all this kind of stuff is you’re not doing anybody favors. In fact, you’re making them not only nutrients are missing, but the blood sugar regulation and so much more stuff.
We won’t even get into here today, but
women need lots more protein than they think. Probably I think probably every woman I’m working with is probably we’re getting her to at least double and maybe even triple the amount of protein she was used to eating to start with. Yeah.
Michelle Hurn: Yeah. The regular, the RDA is 0.08. This is ridiculous. And there’ve been lots of studies that have encouraged, recommended pleaded.
We need to go higher than this. And they just, but when you do that, you got to cut down on something and they don’t want to cut down on their process carbohydrate base there. So I don’t feel like they’re, the recommendations are going to change, but yes, meat and [00:37:00] meat, isn’t just protein. That’s another thing we have to think.
Human physiology. We H we absorb meat. It’s the vitamins. It’s the minerals. It’s the, carnitine, carnosine Taryn, all these co-factors that work perfectly and synergistically in our body. You want to try to reproduce it in this little plant-based lab created nonsense. That’s terrible.
I wouldn’t feed that to my dog or my chickens do not eat that. It’s not good for the planet as a huge carbon footprint. It’s horrible for your body. And it’s just making people in Silicon valley a lot of money. So don’t fall for the.
Carole Freeman: Yes. Oh gosh. What a, what am I the same client that had such good results on Dexascan?
Her son has been inspired by her journey and he’s gained remarkable health. So he, I think he’s about seventh grade. And not only did he lose 14 pounds. Gained five inches. The fat percentage change was remarkable. And one of his teachers is having them do research on plant-based stuff right now, but she’s clearly a plant-based person.
And so making them watch like forks over knives and research, this and that. And then th you’ll [00:38:00] this, wait til you hear this, wait until you hear this. So he had to have a diet diary and turn that into his teeth. And he was forced to take a form home to his mother and have it signed to inquire as to why he eats so much meat.
Cause that’s just so bad for him and for the planet. So we had some good discussions and thankfully he’s a very intelligent young man. Who’s this is not right, what she’s telling me. And so he’s rebelling against what the teachings are, but it’s just it’s going into our schools now and these poor kids.
Michelle Hurn: It’s really bad. And some of the documentaries are just so bad, but they hire people, and they have these scary voices that, music will kill you. And it’s ridiculous. It doesn’t have any basis in reality. Like I, this is not reality. Once again, with me, it was dangerous.
The human species would not exist. And obviously it’s just use your common sense. Are things created in a lab in Silicon valley? Is that better for human health? And it’s just like humans. We need calories. We need meat that we need enough [00:39:00] bioavailable nutrition that is very hard to get in plants.
Plants have lots of things called anti. Things that actually bind iron deficiency. We is the number one mineral deficiency worldwide, more than 25% of us are iron deficient kids. It’s about 50%. And it’s even if you’re eating meat and stuff, we’re eating things that bind with it.
If you’re eating grains, beans, OLEDs, peanut butter, those things bind with with iron they’re full of phytic acid, so it’s like this notion that eating more plants is better getting more fiber, It’s actually binding to a lot of the Dean can iron and removing these things and making them less bioavailable throughout history.
Humans ate very small amounts of plans. Of course, if you live close to the equator, you ate more, plants were very small. They didn’t have a lot of carbohydrates. We did eat some fruits, tubers and things, but the human species thrives off meat and fat. Once again, you can’t defy the laws of nature.
You can try. You ended up just making what is his name? The guy that the Titanic that made that maybe making me, making him a lot of lenses. He owns a lot of this plant. [00:40:00]
Carole Freeman: Oh, does he? I did some digging awhile ago about iron and, same thing. You said that it’s really hard to get enough iron.
And I find you have to have three animal Blake based meals a day to get adequate iron. Nevermind. If you can absorb it all or utilize it, right? So even just having one meal, that’s not animal food-based, you’re going to be behind in the amount of iron that you need to consume a date. So a meatless meal or a meatless day, you’re like.
Like you said, kids need so much more and don’t even knew cause they’re growing and that’s essential for that too. So went through a
Michelle Hurn: history of kids. We used to eat especially if you grew up close to a farm, you steep eggs, you’d even have bacon. You’d have skew steak, you’d have it. School you’d have meats.
And at dinner you always had some type of Emmy. And now it’s just like my God, if you look at what kids eat, it’s just like French toast and chocolate milk and a bag of chips and candy bar for lunch. And mom and dad are exhausted. So we’re getting McDonald’s or pizza for dinner. It’s like we’re getting processed junk, and so little actual.
Protein. And that’s a huge problem. And I think that’s, what’s contributing or one of the main factors [00:41:00] contributing to obesity. And then, we have kids, like I w when I was on a plane, I watched a woman give to the kid, literally pull out the lucky charm, like from the big box and give her to this kid.
And she was just eating. She had to be like four years old and halfway through the plane, she’s screaming and freaking out. And her mom’s why won’t you be quiet? I’m like call on me. I know you just gave her like 90 grams of sugar, but once again, one more time then, oh, these things are fine.
They’re good snacks. Eat them in moderation. Like we have to, as a society, come back to common sense and say, you know what we need to be. We need to be giving our kids snacks that are low or no in sugar. I’m not anti-car by I eat some carrots, I eat some berries, but if everybody had them as a rule, Low percentage of their diet.
And certainly if you’re a growing child or an athlete, you can have more, but having your foundation start with that foundation, meat, fat fish, seafood, butter, tallow, all the condos, whatever. And then, you’ll have a small amount of carbohydrates. We’d flip the. You want to heal the planet, we’d heal the planet quickly.
You’re doing that.
Carole Freeman: Yeah. So true. [00:42:00] Then I think that, the, all the big corporations that are making money off of us being sick right now, they should invest in, wellness technologies, right? Like you guys can still make money, just create, some apps for health or, some apps to a lot of moving into the the.
Michelle Hurn: And that’s, and that’s what you, I was actually, it’s hard though, I literally like I was on a run and I was like, man, that’s frustrating that I can’t make any money doing what I went to school to do, and processed food companies. Like it’s very cheap. Producing their food, they’re making a ton of money.
So it’s, it’s hard to do the right thing. And I’m fortunate that, my wife has a good job and I was in a position to take a huge pay. Cut. But, I’m always hopeful and I’m always hopeful that we can reach people, grassroots that we can, somebody watches this and is man, my health is crappy.
Like maybe I what would my life be like if I decided to change and I reached out and got a health coach, cause I’m just telling you I, if you had told me a few years ago, how much different my life would be health wise, I wouldn’t believe you. I was like, no, I’ve been dealing with this stuff for decades, but it’s amazing how.[00:43:00]
Eating the correct fizz and really removing some of those more inflammatory foods just changes everything.
Carole Freeman: Oh yeah. The same thing I would have. I would have totally I’m trying to add a banner for your website. I would have same thing. I would’ve been the person that was like, oh, it’s a fad.
It’s not sustainable. It’s not good for you. You can’t cut out all this whole food group. Like you needed to do moderation and
Michelle Hurn: Know, I have people I’ll ask me sometimes that are like, Hey, my, my dad, my brother and my sister, how do I change them? I’m doing so well. And my best friend is struggling.
She put, she won’t give up soda. What I do. And the tough answer is you cannot change people who are not ready to change. But you can live it because people desperately want healing. Like I’ve worked. I’ve worked in catcher care. I’ve worked on some pretty people want healing, their parents, people want to heal.
And when they see you being healthy, first they might not believe you. But if you keep just showing up being yourself, like eventually when they’re ready, cause that was my thing. I was like, okay I’m scared about this keto thing where you’ll look pretty healthy and happy and I’m not [00:44:00] healthy and happy.
So when people are ready, then you can share your story. And I always have a few talking points ready. Someone asked me like, oh, why are we know that me? And I’m like, yeah, you won’t believe me and my anxiety so much, but because people can relate to that, but had. Oh, I’m like, man, I used to be tired of the military and I have stable energy.
Oh, wow. Really, give people a couple of talking points, but do not be those, nobody likes those people that knock on your door. They want to tell you about Jesus. I’m a Jesus fan, but nobody likes those people. And you’re like, no so you can’t be that person. Like it just sets.
People are like, go away. You have to be, just show up, live it. And when they’re ready, you’re ready to share your story.
Carole Freeman: Oh, that’s such great advice. I love that you asked that question of yourself. I should have asked that too. Any thing in closing, anything you would hope I would ask you about, I’m going to put your website up on the banner here?
Michelle Hurn: No, I appreciate that. Yeah, I’m sure I could talk about a million different things, but I really appreciate the time I’m gonna if people are looking for me, I’m on Instagram at Brun, eat meats for Pete. Yeah. The dietitians dilemma.net is my website. Meet, [00:45:00] repeat, run, eat meat.
Okay. And then my book is on Amazon. You can go to the dietitians, dilemma.net. I got a paperback e-book and audible and yeah. And the next I’m going to be at keto con and Austin in July, I’ll be at a low carb USA in August. Yeah. And I’m always open to questions, feedback and yeah, I guess it’s like a.
Carole Freeman: So great, Michelle, thank you so much for being here today, sharing your story. Thank you for doing the hard work that we got to turn this whole ship around and is a lot of work. All of us rowing together, trench we’re making
Michelle Hurn: waves, and that’s a really good analogy though, because sometimes I’m sure you feel this way too.
I guess, closing that man, you feel like you’re doing all this work and you’re advocating and you’re like, oh, the world is so messed up. But it’s the ripple effect. You throw the pebble in it, like you don’t know and you, and I don’t know. If somebody might hear something today and I don’t know.
And then a few months down the road, they’re like, oh, I remember hearing that. And I understand her. So I would encourage anybody to like, keep sharing, keep advocating, keep living it, cause you, you may [00:46:00] not know you might be impacting the people around you
Carole Freeman: for sure. So such great advice. So speaking of that, share this episode with everyone.
Yeah, again, thank you so much for being here. Our next episode. And a couple of weeks, episode 42 is going to be Nicole Laurent. She is a licensed mental health counselor and uses a keto diet to help her mental health of her clients. And so I don’t know if you know her or not, but I’m gonna have her on next.
Also on a personal note, I’m headed to Vegas next week, so we won’t have a live show, but also follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see how I live my life keto, even while I’m traveling. And even in Vegas, it’s not hard folks, you can do it. So again, thanks. Thank you to our guest, Michelle for being here.
And thank you for sharing all your hard work and everyone’s support the show by leaving a review. If you listen to this podcast platform share this episode on Facebook or YouTube that you’re watching too. And remember help us grow the show and we’ll help you shrink. And thanks again everyone for being here today.
We’ll see you next [00:47:00] time.
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