Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
Greetings readers, as you know, gut health has become the hottest of topics in ancestral health circles, and is also getting increased attention in mainstream medicine. More and more science is validating how a healthy gut microbiome has wide-reaching impact on general health, and that a damaged gut can set you up for all kinds of downstream health challenges. There are several helpful primers on gut health published here (1, 2, 3).
Today’s message, however, is something a little different and more personal. It comes from a dynamic young health expert from Australia named Kale Brock. We are pleased to bring his wildly popular grassroots gut health book, The Gut Healing Protocol: An 8-Week, Holistic Program to Rebalance Your Microbiome, to the U.S. market. Kale became an expert on gut health not from formal medical training, but rather the hard way. Like many thought leaders in the ancestral health community, Kale’s obsession with gut health was triggered by a serious health setback that was poorly addressed by traditional medicine.
Through diet and lifestyle modification, including special attention to nourishing a healthy gut, Kale was able to correct a condition that his cardiologist insisted would require surgery.
Kale’s story that he is about to share is his own, and of course must not be construed as medical advice. After all, few if any cardiologists would enthusiastically support the idea that a dietary protocol to heal an inflamed gut might positively benefit a heart condition!
While the details of Kale’s story are unusual, his message of pursuing holistic health and healing is one that many people can relate to. I cannot emphasize enough the urgency in looking beyond the flawed “disease care” model of medicine that is entrenched in modern society today, and to explore the boundaries as Kale has with his own healing journey.
I’m feeling a little testy about this subject, for I had a bizarre health scare myself this year that landed me in the hospital for several days. A routine procedure (that it turns out I didn’t really need!) went seriously awry, causing a life-threatening infection. The whole experience was highly disturbing to say the least. It’s one thing to rail about the flaws in conventional sick care approach and preach about taking responsibility for your health, and quite another to become an unwitting victim of the system.
Kale’s immersion into gut health has been all-consuming. On the heels of self-publishing and promoting his book throughout Australia, he traveled to remote area in Namibia to live with the San tribe and study their gut microbiomes in search of the perfect gut. The documentary of his journey, The Gut Movie (preview and link below), has screened to sold-out audiences throughout Australia. This guy is the real deal, and full of enthusiasm and a fresh, simple, sensible approach to gut health.
Without further ado, here’s our newest Primal Blueprint Publishing author, Kale Brock, to share his message:
I was diagnosed with Supra Ventricular Tachycardia when I was 16 years old. I remember the cardiologist announcing this long, strange sounding diagnosis and thinking to myself; well that’s it, 16 years is not a bad slog old chap, time to hang the boots and give up. But my story went in a different direction. I am an author and filmmaker from Sydney, Australia, and I have specialised in research on the gut and microbiome for the last five years. My journey into health started with the aforementioned diagnosis. I was a young, avid surfer at the time – that’s all I cared about – and the challenges I faced, as far as I was concerned at the time, could result in two outcomes. First, I would continue to experience intense arrhythmia attacks to the point of fainting and would probably have to give up surfing, or anything interesting and exciting for that matter. Second, I would have to find a way to overcome the issue permanently so that I could continue to do the things I loved without fear of drowning, fainting, or coming to another form of demise.
The cardiologist gave me one option at the time. He said I would have to undergo an ablation – a procedure where my heart would be operated on, more specifically my sino atrial node would be burned away – in order to fix the problem. I was curious as to why we would need to attack the part of the heart which wasn’t working, and voiced my concern. He said it was the only option which might work, but was not guaranteed. I asked about any potential influence of nutrition, to which he responded with a quick dismissive wave, as in: it’s got nothing to do with it. In all fairness, I don’t think he was lying per se, but rather demonstrating the education he had been given throughout medical school, in which there is no recognition between nutrition and the optimal electrical signaling of the heart.
I decided to investigate whether there indeed was a nutritional aspect to what I was experiencing. After all, everything we put in our mouths builds and nourishes the human body. That was all I knew at that point, but boy did I have a lot of questions to ask! It was roundabout then that one of the more fortuitous events of my career, and my life, took place. I was introduced to an incredibly well trained naturopath in Australia who, in a very short amount of time, was able to point me in the right direction with some diet and lifestyle factors which she, obligingly, suggested might be influencing my condition.
Using the principles recommended by my naturopath, I was able to turn around my condition naturally within about six months. I went from experiencing serious arrhythmias once or twice per week to just once or twice per year. I can’t even remember the last time it happened. My efforts focused on the area of gut health; that is, rebalancing the population of gut bugs using all the relevant knowledge available in, at the time, a minimally understood field of nutrition and health science.
Over the next six years I went into research overdrive. I sat in on consultations with practitioners, I read every book I could get my hands on, and I interviewed dozens of incredible practitioners whose focus had turned to the gut and microbiome. The message was clear: heal the gut to heal the body. Speaking with these incredible experts outweighed any other information gathering – these guys were putting in the hard yards and seeing the results first hand!
Throughout this time I was learning as much as I could about not only about food and nutrition, but also the pain points people experienced when it came to implementing this information into their life. I saw sick people with serious conditions who couldn’t, for the life of them, begin to change the way they ate or lived. It was bizarre. I realised that no matter how much information I gathered, it didn’t make a difference unless people applied it in their life. And that’s when my role as a storyteller came to light.
With a journalistic background, two years experience in TV and extensive online publishing, I knew that I could tell a story about health in a way that not many others could. There was so much information being uncovered about the microbiome and its impact on our health and wellbeing. Crazy things like affecting and even reversing neurological conditions, influencing our immune system, metabolic systems and our overall health in extremely fascinating ways that even still we’re only just beginning to understand. But there was a gap. The information was there, but people didn’t understand it, and because they didn’t understand it they didn’t act on it. That became my role. I became the middleman between the science and the every day human being.
My new book, The Gut Healing Protocol, focuses on the science of the gut microbiome. It expands on and supports the work of various of the world’s best gut-centric practitioners and ties it all up into a gentle, holistic framework on which great gut health can be based. With a heavy emphasis on using a long-term, sustainable dietary approach to cultivating a healthy microbiome unique to your body, this book is written for you and me, the every day guy or gal who wants to understand and apply all this ‘gut health stuff’ coming out on the news. Inside we have recipes, scientific studies, a short term gut healing program and a long term gut nourishing program which focus on individuality, empowering you to take the driver’s seat.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. In fact, one thing I’ve learned through all this research, writing the book and making my first feature documentary The Gut Movie, it’s that we don’t have all the answers when it comes to the gut just yet. It’s still being worked out. Practitioners are still refining their approach based on the science and, importantly, based on the symptomatic feedback they get from patients. But I do believe we know enough to get started.
Many people ask me, what’s the number one thing someone can do to improve their gut health? And the answer is very simple, and unanimous across the board. Start with a whole foods diet.
Everybody is unique, each microbiome signature contains different populations of different microbial species however the research seems to be quite clear in that when we eat a varied, whole foods diet, our gut bugs begin to thrive. Within the framework of eating from nature exists your perfect diet, but ultimately that can only be determined by you, the individual. My goal with The Gut Healing Protocol is to give you the tools to feel empowered when making that decision. The decision on what you put on your plate, and what you don’t.
Good luck on your journey, and much love (all the way from Australia!),
As you know, a Primal Publishing book release just wouldn’t be complete without a deal for MDA. You can probably guess what kind of promo we’ve cooked up to entice you to order Kale’s amazing book (not to mention help implement his practices). What could be more fitting?
That’s right, a piggyback with our acclaimed high potency supplement, Primal Probiotics. Order a book now and we’ll throw a bottle of Primal Probiotics into your shipment for free!
At $29.95, the bottle is worth more than the book, making this one of the craziest giveaways I’ve ever approved. (Just use code GUTHEALTH at checkout.)
The official release date for The Gut Healing Protocol is January 2, 2018, but a limited number of advance copies have arrived at our Oxnard, CA headquarters and are ready to ship. I recommend you take advantage of this offer immediately. We’ll honor the promotion until December 21, but you may have a wait time if we run out of books and need to back order.
Kale’s right, the centerpiece of gut health is a whole foods diet. I made a great effort to promote this message, recommending foods like fermented dairy (yogurt, kefir), sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, fermeted soy products (tempeh, miso) and even high cacao percentage dark chocolate to support gut health.
However, today’s food options and stressful lifestyle patterns often leave our guts vulnerable to bad bacteria winning out over healthy bacteria. This is where a high potency probiotic supplement can also play a wonderful supporting role in the process of both healing an inflamed gut and keeping healthy bacteria predominating over harmful bacteria on a day-to-day basis. Primal Probiotics contains a concentrated dose of four different strains of bacilli bacteria, along with bifidus and saccharomyces. This is some high potency, long-lasting stuff, with 10 billion colony-forming units per capsule (check the product page on our website for details about the product). A healthy intake of probiotics improves not only digestive health, but immune function, antioxidant production, fat metabolism, mood and cognitive function, and hormone balance.
Finally, here’s the preview to his incredible film, The Gut Movie. Just like his book, it offers fascinating insight into the conditions that support essential gut health.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you take advantage of our awesome offer, enjoy Kale’s groundbreaking book, and get your gut functioning at peak levels!