Ep. 11 - A Functional Approach: The Burnout Bible with Rachel Philpotts
Rachel Philpotts is the Founder and Clinical Director of the re:Nutrition Functional Medicine Clinic, which utilises root cause testing and ultra-personalised health programmes to help tired and wired career women to wake up feeling energised, focussed and ready to fulfil their true potential. She holds an MSc in personalised nutrition alongside qualifications in functional medicine and neuro-linguistic programming.
Rachel is also a health writer and has contributed to publications such as BBC Good Food. She recently published her first book The Burnout Bible: How to tackle fatigue and emotional overwhelm naturally, which instantly became a #1 Amazon Hot Release in 7 medical and health categories. Rachel’s scientific research into stress, alterations in brain chemistry and major depressive disorder was published by The Journal of Affective Disorders Reports.
In this episode, Nicole invites Rachel onto the show to discuss her book, her perspective on burnout, the lifestyle changes we can make in our lives, as well as the four key pillars Rachel teaches within the book for taking back control and overcoming fatigue.
DISCLAIMER: The content in this podcast and related website is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat, instead it is designed to help educate and inspire. Always seek the advice of a professional medical practitioner or qualified health practitioner. Never ignore or disregard advice given to you based on information in this podcast or related website and do not delay in seeking medical advice.
FIND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.
Rachel’s backstory and why she decided to specialise in burnout
The reasoning behind writing The Burnout Bible
Rachel’s perspective on burnout and what can contribute to it
Why has burnout become a hot topic in the health world in recent years?
The connection between cortisol and thyroids when addressing at burnout
Discussion around thyroid and Iodine supplementation
The difference between grain fed and grass fed animals and why it’s about quality when it comes to your diet
The link between stress and the Mitochondria, and how it impacts our bodies
Why methylation is so important in burnout
The Burnout Bible’s four pillars and what they each individually stand for
The shocking statistics found in a research study relating to burnout in employees
No one knows your body better than yourself
“Be kind to yourself. Understand your unique needs and take one step at a time.”
Essential learnings from this episode…
The Burnout Bible and the four key pillars Rachel teaches
The impact sticking to your habits consistently and making them a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix
The other elements that contribute to burnout and how to address them
There isn’t just one ‘healthy’ approach to our diet – it’s about what works for you
Important links & mentions from this episode
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Hey there, I´m Nicole
LLB(Hons) DIPION MBANT CNHC mIFM mRSM
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Registered Nutritional Therapist BANT CNHC
Registered Nutritionist BANT
Podcast Host – The Goode Health Podcast
Media Contributor – Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Thrive Global
Tatler Approved Nutritionist
Founder of The Goode Health Clinic – WINNER Best Functional Medicine Clinic UK 2023
Nicole is one of the UK’s leading voices on immune health and optimal health, a specialist in autoimmune diseases, further specialised into thyroid, brain and fatigue conditions and optimising health for ambitious high achiever’s. Providing bespoke, personalised functional medicine programmes for clients worldwide.
Nicole has partnerships with worldwide global leaders in functional medicine including practitioner only supplement companies, testing laboratories (inc. from USA), to assess health, discover underlying imbalances and root causes of sub optimal health. In doing so Nicole works with clients on their own personal health history, root causes and genetics to achieve long lasting, effective results, providing optimal health status.
Please note: Transcript is automatically generated.
[00:00:00] Hi, and welcome to the Goode Health Podcast. I’m your host, Nicole Goode, a registered nutritional therapy practitioner and functional medicine practitioner. Join me as we explore thyroid, brain and fatigue conditions with positivity. From Hashimotos to multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue to adrenal dysfunction.
I’ve got you covered with expert advice and tips to help you take action now and inspiring real patient stories from successful individuals who refuse to let their health hold them back. Start your journey to good health today. And don’t forget to come and join the conversation on Instagram at Good Underscore Health.
That’s G O O D E or visit my website @nicolegoodhealth.com to find out more. Today we’re welcoming Rachel Phillpotts talking about burnout. Rachel is the founder and the clinical director of the real nutrition and functional medicine clinic which utilises root cause testing and ultra personalised health programmes to help tie it and why career women to wake up feeling energised, focused and ready to fulfil their true potential. She holds an MSc in personalised nutrition alongside qualifications in functional medicine and neuro linguistic programming. Rachel is also a health writer and has contributed to various publications and she’s also recently published her first book the burnout Bible, how to tackle fatigue and emotional overwhelm naturally, which instantly became a number one Amazon hot release in seven medical and health categories, racial scientific research and distress alterations in brain chemistry. A major depressive disorder was published by the Journal of Affective Disorders report. Okay, so today we welcome Rachel Phillpotts to the good health podcast and I’m so excited to have Rachel here with me because we work in very similar areas, which means that we’ve got an awful lot in common and therefore there are so many different things that we could discuss and that was one of the things I found as I was researching for today’s episode. which mostly involves reading Rachel’s newly published book, the burnout Bible. It was really hard to pick areas of conversation because there’s just so many things that we could delve into. Rachel, I’m so pleased to have you here. Welcome to the Goode Health podcast.
Thank you so much for having me. So, you’ve recently published your book, the burnout Bible and can you just tell us a little bit about why you specialised into burnout to start with? Was that like, was it a personal journey? Or was it an area that just excited you? What’s the what’s the kind of backstory to lead you where you are today?
Yeah, so it’s definitely a personal journey for me. So burnout is something that I experienced personally. It was back when I was working in corporate. Quite a successful commercial journey. I enjoyed what I did, but I just kind of worked too hard and burnt out. And it was during the time that I was resting and recovering from that experience that I discovered functional medicine. And I guess the changes that I made personally, and the more I understood about myself for my own unique needs, that led me to become really interested in this subject area. And yeah, I think I think just seeing anything firsthand and experiencing how well you can feel when you’ve not been feeling so good. definitely inspired me to question my current career and decide to leave it behind me retrain, and really specialise in this area because I wanted to help others so that they could feel you know, the benefits of this so that they could step off the emotional rollercoaster of burnout wake up thinking clearly. To give them back their mood Mojo the way I was feeling and really help them to fulfil their career potential. So that’s why that’s why burnout. I think a lot of us get into what we do through a personal story. And I think it’s nice for people to hear that in a way because it’s sort of it may I think, sometimes I think when you’re sort of practitioner, you’re you’re professional in this area, and people think we’ve totally got it together. And we’re like why? I think actually, it’s quite nice for people to see the kind of the human behind that actually. A lot of us have actually been there and yes, now we have a lot more knowledge and we know what to do to help ourselves. None of us perfect, but you have that personal story. And I think it’s really nice for people for the listeners to hear that and know that there is that sort of journey behind it. And what led you to writing the book because it’s obviously it’s you know, it’s a huge undertaking. But what was it something that you’ve always wanted to do with it a way of reaching more people and helping more people what was sort of the reason behind it?
Yeah, I I’ve been asked this question quite a lot, actually recently, and I’ve been reflected on it, and I definitely was somebody like many people who always wanted to write a book. I was an enthusiastic reader and was a writer, you know, as a young girl. But back then, I think I thought the book I would write would be more like, a mystery or something like I was obsessed with Nancy Drew when I was younger, so I think I thought it was going to be something like that. But I think you know, as life kind of takes over and you quickly get into your career path, you sort of forget about book writing, or actually you probably not got anything particularly to say because I think you need to have something to say when you write a book, and I think then the career change, working in clinic sort of converged at a point in time when I felt like I had something to say, and that motivated me to write the book but also, I think, I soon realised in clinic that you can only hope help those people that a know you, or know about you and to be sorry, Amy, the that can afford your services. So functional medicine is still very much private healthcare in the UK. So I was quite conscious of that. And the book for me then is a way of increasing reach and being able to help more women than I can in in the clinic. So that’s the motivation behind it. Yeah, so that kind of young writer and that motivation sort of converged at that perfect moment in time and that’s how it’s happened.
I think that’s great. It is a great way of being able to help and support more people because like you said, you know, functional medicine is still very much a private health. I mean, it doesn’t even come under private health care. It’s outside, outside of paying for that. So it is nice to be able to help and support people who maybe can’t come and join us one to one in clinic and things like that. So, for those listening who are maybe not sure, or for those who have maybe had some confusion around this area, because we know that doctors are you know, they commonly sort of say that adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist, or at least a lot of doctors do. I’ve talked about the misrepresentation around this term quite a lot on my social medias and with clients and we’ve got a lot of terminology in this area. And as practitioners I don’t know how, how you refer to it, but I tend to when I’m in practitioner mode, refer to it as kind of HPA Axis dysfunction or adrenal dysfunction. In public, I tend to say burnout. The reason being is people tend to understand adrenal fatigue or burnout more than they do sort of in more technical terms. And this has kind of created this confusion maybe around the area as to whether it’s a natural thing, whether it exists whether it is a medical term, and you know what, what would you say to people listening you know, when we’re talking about burnout, what is it that you’re talking about? And, you know, does that does that exist? Is it a thing?
Yeah, I mean, you’re right. So if you’ve typed burnout into the NHS website, you wouldn’t get any results. So it’s not a recognised medical condition, necessarily, but it is a recognised occupational syndrome. So the World Health Organisation has recognised it as such. For me, when I’m talking about burnout, is that synonymous with it’s synonymous for me with occupational exhaustion, so that end state that occurs following a period of chronic stress. So there are all kinds of scientists and researchers out there who have defined burnouts, the most popular one being Maslik, and she uses the three dimensional model where she talks about emotional exhaustion, occupational cynicism, and reduce personal achievements. But I think when many of us think of burnout, we also think of the non work related factors that can contribute to that feeling. But I think it’s really important to state that it is that occupational element that distinguishes burnout from other stress related mood mood disorders. So when you think of things like generalised anxiety or major depressive disorder, which can, you know, result from chronic stress and have some overlapping symptoms, they are distinguished from burnout because they can occur from a occupational or non occupational background whereas burnout is linked with this occupational axial exhaustion. So there is that key link back to what’s happening in that working environment.
And do you include I mean, occupational See, we’re talking work. Do you include kind of the modern day fast paced life within that because obviously, some people might be thinking, Oh, I feel burnt out, but maybe they maybe they only work part time or something like that. But they’re also a mom and they’re juggling a family and everything together, isn’t it? It’s all that combination of things. And that’s why I was saying that well also we’ll also recognise that with a quantum with chronic stress it can come from anywhere. I think the main thing that I’m only saying is that there will be an element of occupational stress in the mix when we talk about burnout. That doesn’t always have to be you know, it that could be happening anywhere, anyway, and it could be actually something happening in your personal life that is almost the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s not necessarily that, you know, they’re all contributing factors that are occurring as a result of all this pressure that we put on ourselves to be the best at this be you know, I’ve got to be doing this job at the same time as being a mom at the same time as looking after elderly relatives and all these things are going on in life. So, yeah, I think the thing I get a lot of people saying to me is particularly actually with the sort of the High Flyers the high achievers. A lot of them say to me, but I love my job like they do. They love what they do at the time, and then they maybe don’t recognise it as a stress even though it was stress on them or it could distress could even be that you know, with their job, they’re flying around the world all the time, you know, and things like that. And yeah, they’re not looking after the health properly and that sort of thing, but a lot of them said like, it’s not my job because I love my job. Yeah. You can still be stressed by I used to declines to travel a lot in my corporate job whenever I all the time I would get comments of people saying oh, that travel, you must be exhausted and I used to I know I used to say but I like the travel. I like it because you don’t realise the toll that that is actually having on your body up and down, up and down. And also that that that takes you out of your environment where you can prepare your own food and you’re kind of relying on other conveniences and you’re socialising with whoever you’re with when you’re down there and all those factors that kind of add up, and then when something does then negative happen in that environment, you’re the all that travel and all that stuff is going on all that stress is the context in which burnout can occur. So it’s not necessarily that that’s the one thing on its own. But that’s, you know, part of the environment, isn’t it that that’s happening. So yeah, you’re right.
And why do you think burnout has become such an issue for people today? Because it’s it’s, for me, it’s something that’s coming into clinic more and more it’s you know, it’s a big issue with people cases are kind of exploding in this area. More and more people working in immune health. I’m obviously passionate about this because I often see people that come to me with burnout and actually they’ve now got immune health issues because it’s triggered something in auto. So it’s I’m very passionate about people jumping in early and getting to the bottom of it, but why do you think it is a growing issue and it’s become more of a more of a hot topic, I guess, within the health world? Yeah. It’s a number of different things. I think that we’re all struggling a little bit more post pandemic, you know, that was kind of a big global shift is changed the way that we worked. A lot of us are working from home a lot more now and becoming more isolated which creates stress in and of itself. But I think even that aside, you know, we live in a society where we were that expect more of us, and there’s a lot more self pressure. I think there’s there’s almost being busy. It’s almost this badge of honour that we feel that we need to kind of live by and and that’s that sort of pressure on information overload in living in an age where everything’s instance. You know, we’re never we were never designed to cope with that. You know, we’re still we’re still very much those prehistoric human beings that kind of went out with a cave and went and hunted for some food dealt with a threat results that came back and you know, has a celebration with the tribe and that’s, we’re not living like that anymore. And I think that’s why and the more you know, we move away from that natural although kind of his prehistoric hunter gatherer nature that the more we’re gonna see burn out because we’re just our bodies just aren’t able to cope. In that way. We’re not we’re, we’ve evolved so fast from it, you know, in a technology perspective, but our biology just hasn’t kept kept up basically.
Because we actually haven’t as we think we’ve evolved, when we look back at your answers, we think we’ve evolved massive massively. Worlds evolve massively around us, but we haven’t evolved much at all. So one of one thing and there’s so many things that I loved about your book and a copy of it, I highly recommend that they do but one of the things that I loved about it is the way that you link burnout and the adrenals to other parts of the body and take that whole body approach because we know how important that is as practitioners. I’m sure you’re as keen on that as, as I am. And I’m one of these areas that you connect is the thyroid and in clinic I work extensively with thyroid and adrenals. And I find that most of my patients actually have adrenal issues, be it because of the thyroid or whether it’s, it’s because of the stress of having a chronic condition or whatever it might be. It’s almost impossible to work on the adrenals without working on thyroid and thyroid without working on vice versa. interlinked. And the thyroid is one of the main pillars of my the motor immune method that I use in clinic. Do you find that same intensity of connection when you’re working with people with burnout and can you tell us a little bit more about that connection between the cortisol and the thyroid? Yeah.
So for the first part of the question, I think with with any of my clients that come in and are presented with that, that those symptoms low mood low energy, especially in the mornings, constipation, although all the other things are wrapped around that, you know, that could very much be burnout and be driven from you know, a nutrient deficiency or you know, a brain chemical issue. You know, the first thing you want to go you’re gonna want to rule out is the thyroid anyway because the Bible it could be something that’s contributing so that the case presentation in my clinic is mixed. So we sometimes see thyroid issues and sometimes not, but it’s something we always scream for because I want to rule that out or rule it in at the beginning to understand in terms of that connection, and the fibroid needs a certain amount of cortisol or our stress hormone to function effectively. So cortisol can influence signalling from the brain to the thyroid gland itself, and it also influences our ability to convert from inactive thyroid hormone to active thyroid hormone. So in short, we kind of need the right amount of cortisol, which were my burn out is highly unlikely we’ve got the right amount. So you know, we may it may be that the point where if, you know, we’re kind of completely burnt out and the adrenal output is reduced. So cortisol is low that may occur like in the later stages of burnout, and then it may be at that point that will was will observe reduced hormone conversion because we just haven’t got enough cortisol that to support that. Conversely, we’ve got less active thyroid hormone in circulation, which then means we’re, you know, we’re less able to carry out metabolic functions in the body, which is obviously an issue. Conversely, then, if we’re kind of in those acute gogogo stages of stress response, or we’re, you know, high cortisol, state, such as the kind of what I call stage two burn out so before we kind of get to that crash point that we’re kind of, you know, living on cause dogs, we’re producing an awful lot. So at that stage, you know, that can interrupt the signals from the brain so we could actually be suppressing the release of thyroid stimulating hormone from the brain. And in that case, a by what is it then getting the message to even produce thyroid hormone? And so yeah, it’s one of those like complicated systems where we need just the right amount. So you can just even just with this, it’s more complex than that. I’m sure that while you definitely are aware, but that is just kind of two examples of where this interplay between the stress hormone cortisol and the fibroid can have issues in the body.
And is this so interlinked? Aren’t there even even at the different stages, like you say, whether it be the stage of having high cortisol in sort of earliest stages or low cost on late stage to burnout and, and coastal as well is very linked to the immune system. So when it’s exactly early stages, when it’s high, it can suppress the immune system. We can see an increase in the thyroid antibodies so I mean, there’s just there’s so many different ways that it’s it’s a fact of life, the TSH, the conversion pathways, the immune system antibodies, there’s just so many different so many different connections out there. And I also noticed in your book you picked up on something that I’m very passionate about, which I’ve had just wanted to bring up with you because it’s something that a lot of practitioners don’t necessarily talk about. So much. I know I get a lot of people coming to me with confusion over it and that is thyroid and iodine supplementation. And I strongly advocate for people being aware of the dangers of iodine supplements when they’ve got Hashimoto. So particularly when they’ve got this auto immune thyroid and this is what you talk about in the book you touch on this. And I know a lot of practitioners who are still advocating for the use of iodine supplementation, which is sadly you know, it’s outdated. If you look at the latest research, it is outdated research now, you’d like me kind of pick up on this on this link. And that’s because of this potential trigger of an autoimmune flare and once we’re not just talking hypo thyroid here, we’re talking if people have got the Hashimotos, the autoimmunity and just to kind of quickly explain that for people that are listening because they may not be aware of of this, or I know a lot of people are not aware of this because they come to me in clinic asking about it. But I didn’t can initiate and it can kind of bring down TSH and patients can kind of feel better at first and they think that taking ideas is beneficial. But actually over time, it can kind of increase this inflammation in the body it can increase the autoimmune response, it can cause flares, and then we get more of the thyroid destruction over time. So overall, it puts people into a worse position further down the line, even though initially they may feel better and they think higher Dean is kind of working. Is that something that you’ve come across a lot is you still see a lot of people taking ideen.
I think it’s it’s something that we so we again would screen for it. So if we saw thyroid antibodies in like a blood screen then before utilising like a really robust multivitamin add once then test higher D levels first to kind of understand because I wouldn’t want to push that up, isn’t it? Yeah, exactly. I wouldn’t want to push that. And we’ve actually seen it in fact, in the book, there’s actually a case in where there was a client who’d kind of listened to a friend who had been seen as a nutritionist and got this kind of multivitamin that she was taking I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t feeling great. And then when we then she was completely unaware that there was an issue with the thyroid is only when we screened and we picked up on this potential for Hashimotos that we’re like, Okay, let’s get you off this multivitamin onto something different. Because we know we suspected that that Id may have been exacerbating the issue. So I think it’s just being aware I think the problem is that many people have done reset will have read about the firewall and will realise that iodine is one of the building blocks for thyroid hormone, and they will also kind of read Okay, one of the drivers behind hypothyroidism might be an iodine deficiency, and that might be the case but it may also be this auto immune condition, which you’ve already alluded to. And the second problem is we live in this quick fix society where we kind of think okay, the magic bullet to help me so I’m going to go and get myself an ID and supplement. I’m going to start popping that all my problems are going to be solved and I think that will feel better initially. Exactly. You’re like yeah. So I think that’s, I think that’s it and I think all that in the book. I just wanted to kind of put that word of caution out there. But you know, talk about actually generally in the supplement section as well. Some of these supplements aren’t the panacea that they are marketed to be and I think if we’re you know, if something like autoimmunity, actually motors in this in this example, is suspect it’s and I do think we need to be, you know, cautious in terms of where we’re using supplements. So, yeah, it’s always good to chat about it isn’t it?
It’s good. Just raise that awareness. It’s just it’s something that I don’t see many people talking about. So when I saw it in the book, which is something I thought, I want to just kind of bring it up. It helps raise awareness, people listening. I know a lot of people listening to this will have thyroid issues because a lot of my patients listening who have thyroid problems. It’s nice to sort of bring those those things up. So when, when you were talking so another one of these links around the body that you talked about in the book was with the immune system. And when you’re talking about the immune system, you discuss red meat, and I’d love to can just pick up on this video as well. It’s something else that I’m hugely passionate about, like I said, the beginning we’ve got a lot in common. You talk about kind of the modern farming, the grain fed animals and of course, you know, the use of things like growth hormones, antibiotics, and obviously regulations vary depending on you know, where people live and things like that. But yeah, where do you sort of stand on, you know, advising people about meat in the diet? Do you have a preference as to whether people eat meat or don’t eat meat and if they do eat meat, you have advice that you kind of give over how to make a healthier choice?
Yeah, I think the first part in terms of whether I have a preference whether people eat me or don’t eat me, I think I think it might lock in our professional we can’t really afford to have preferences. We used to be loved by the person in front of us and guide them in whichever way we think is best for them. And, you know, certain thyroid conditions, certain mood conditions. You know, having meat in the diet can be super helpful to help in those individuals. So, you know, I’m certainly not going to say that we know one way is the best way. That being said, you know, meat can be pro inflammatory. As you’ve already mentioned that like grain fed animals. The meat from those will generally be higher in Omega six than omega three which will tip the inflammation balance on favourably, whereas grass fed meats or animals that are free to roam, generally tends to be higher in Omega three so helps with that inflammation balance. So with meats if you are a meat eater, obviously, this isn’t for you. But if you are a meat eater that I think it’s quality over quantity when it comes to red meat, so buying locally higher welfare, organic meats, and really understanding the provenance of what your of where it’s coming from, how it’s been raised, how it’s been fed, and even you know how it’s been slaughtered. Really, to kind of understand all of that end to end process will kind of help you to understand how health promoting that meat. will be for you. So that’s what I’m just advocating to people as to just be a little bit more aware of of that the food chain, I guess.
Yeah, I think it’s really be important to know where our food comes from and often don’t because it’s packaged and put on a plate in front of us and no longer looks like oil and we don’t think about it and I think like you said one of the things to pick up on something you sort of mentioned that one of the things I always say I get asked a lot. What’s what’s healthy, it you know, is a vegan diet healthier? What is it pescatarian is it we have what’s the healthy diet? And I always my response is always the same. It actually doesn’t matter whether you are carnivore, pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, whatever it is, you can be healthy or unhealthy within any of those diets. You You could be a really healthy vegan who’s eating all the fresh veg and all organics and all of that sort of thing. Or you could be a really unhealthy vegan who is, you know, eating processed junk food all day long. And that makes a vegan diet really unhealthy and the same goes but you know, the meaty, you can be eating really unhealthy meat products, you know, very sort of processed and all of that sort of thing, or you could be eating really good, organic, you know, grass fed, free range, all of this sort of thing that makes it a healthier diet. So there isn’t, I don’t feel like you’re obviously you know, that going the same way that there isn’t I don’t think there is a healthy diet, as in, you know, you get or pescatarian or whatever. I think it’s more about the choices you make within the diet that you choose the way you choose to live your life. It’s about making healthy choices within each of those individual diets and and I also think as well that doesn’t just apply to meat. I think you know, even in terms of you know, if we are talking sort of with vegan or vegetarian everybody should be eating veg anyway but whatever diet you’re on, you know the quality of our of our veg is just as important as the quality of meat, you know, badges can be sprayed with pesticides, or it can be organic and be a lot cleaner. I don’t like the word cleaner but you know, for want of a better word. You know, depends on the you know, the soil health as well you know, as you know, if the food is organic, the soil health is better. There’s more nutrients in the veg than there is if we’re buying fish that’s been sprayed with, you know, fertilisers and pesticides and all of this sort of stuff. So it’s not even necessarily just tied down to meat down really to quality of food generally. I mean, how to make those choices.
Absolutely. I think it’s always quite interesting as well, how often that we as practitioners get asked for our opinion or the way that we personally eat and I do still think that that is kind of irrelevant because it when we all we all have personal preferences we all have different belief systems. And actually, we as practitioners, as I said, right at the beginning, are led by the person in front of us, and led by the evidence, aren’t we? So you’d like to use that you’ve hit the nail on the head that it’s definitely about quality with whichever eating pattern that you’re currently observing, and we can only advise in terms of whether we think there needs to be tweaks here and there that might be more beneficial for them. We’re just giving them that information from a purely scientific point of view, and then make our choices accordingly.
So you also talk about mitochondria, which is another one of the pillars. It’s one of the very big pillars in the in the Mito method that I I use in clinic and and you talk about it as your burnout m&ms, I think you call it in the book, which is mitochondria and methylation. And so for those listening who don’t know what we’re talking about, because they don’t know what mitochondria are, they are the the organelles in the cells in your, in your body. They like the battery so they give every every cell Yeah, they convert the nutrients to ATP that give us energy. So they’re kind of like the batteries of and I work on mitochondrial health with my clients a lot. It’s obviously something that you are passionate about as well. I can tell from reading the book, but can you tell us a little bit more about the link between stress and the mitochondria and the impact that that has on you? Know, on our body?
Yeah, so I had already pick up picked up on the burner m&ms. I was trying to make, you know, to like biochemical processes or feel a bit a little bit more exciting. When people gotta go mitochondria. And yeah, they’re just you burn out m&ms. So yeah, you’re you’re absolutely hit the nail on the head. So the mitochondria are battery or as usual words or I’d quite like how the energy engine room of each cell. And you know those bands are configured relying on key nutrients for the very function. But unfortunately, many of those nutrients are the nutrients that are depleted through stress. So I’m thinking about B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and they are nutrients that we might be consuming, but if we’re stressed out we’re probably burning through them really quickly, which then means there’s less fuel if you’d like for the mitochondria to function. And on the flip side, ironically, the mitochondria are actually crucial for CBl to produce our stress hormone and cortisol. So we’re starting to see that kind of interplay where we’re kind of in that first stages of stress, lots of cortisol circulating nutrients getting depleted, mitochondria not functioning so effectively, less able to then produce cortisol and an ending in that state where there’s less cortisol around so it’s kind of at the heart of that cellular process. And so yeah, suddenly fatigue, physical fatigue the two are definitely very much linked. Stress is also pro inflammatory, which can create byproducts so when we burn any fuel, we may produce toxins or free radicals it was as a result of that and mitochondria are particularly susceptible to damage from free radicals. So there’s lots of things going on in the stress response that can potentially impact our energy engine room from being able to produce the energy we need to function.
Yeah, and we, we mentioned that you call it the burnout m&ms And part of that is the is the methylation which is it’s a it’s a that’s a biochemical process whereby and this is where it gets to be a little bit scientific and not so interesting. So I love to try and make out about it karwi Is the biochemical process whereby a B cell group is added to a molecule so it becomes more biochemically of active, which which needs to happen as a process a bad crisis needs to happen in the body. So it can you sort of tell us a bit more about why this methylation why you picked up on these two things. Why is methylation is so important in burnout.
Yeah, so we think about burnout with you know, if we’re feeling burnt out, it’s gonna affect our energy. So we’re thinking about mitochondria, and it’s gonna affect our mood. So thinking about methylation. So as you said methylation is that process that helps us to produce the mood regulating chemicals Yeah, this process is happening all the time throughout the body. It’s happened hopefully billions of times while we’ve been having this conversation. And so I think it’s important to understand that that’s happening in the body and perhaps the individuals that come see us in clinic perhaps need to worry less about mitochondria and methylation but they’re gonna be the things that are in our, our minds in terms of all we know, is there a mitochondrial dysfunction issue here is individual Apollo methylator. And Mike, one of these two things or both of these things be explaining why this individual has ended up where they are today. So methylation is that crucial process that you know, and if it’s not effect, it’s not working effectively. It can affect our sleep, it can affect our mood, it can affect our hormone balance, etc, etc. So we can’t even produce without methylation. We can’t produce the first chemicals in the our stress response. We also can’t produce the chemicals that make us happy, keep us content help us asleep, and we can’t make the hormones that help supercharge our nervous system. So basically, they ensure I think I say in the book that without methylation, you can’t be burnout. So it’s, you know, I kind of include it at the end because it is a bit sciency. But that’s why we’re kind of you know, we’re peeling back the layers of the onion to understand what’s happening with this individual. So yeah, it’s basically just telling people we’re doing our jobs. Well, right, Nicole. And on that note, we’ve kind of we’ve geeked out a little bit on the side, which which I love to do, but I also want to I just want to sort of talk about I guess, the more sort of the fun stuff for for the listeners, but we you know, people obviously they want guidance on dealing with burnout and you’ve got some amazing steps in the book, which you put into pillars you put into restore, nourish, engage and reframe. So can you can you just explain for us sort of why those pillars that have and what those what those four pillars sort of stand for?
Yeah, so I for the book, I wanted to kind of create this formula that would make it quite simple to to help either recover from or prevent burnout and I call it my mood boosting method and i i If someone was in working with me in clinic, I would generally go through it in that order, because you know, depending on where someone is in their burnout scale, if they are completely flat out, burn out, and the first thing you kind of want to do is restore, and that is all about thinking about rest and relaxation has given themselves a time to heal. The nourish part is all about nourishing the brain and the whole body. So all those, you know that function that we’ve already talked about there, those little biochemical processes, we want to give the body the nourishment, so we enable them to carry that out, unbeknown to them. And then engage is about thinking about the activities that you might have disengaged from as a result of feeling burnt out, and that may support might support recovery. So we’re thinking about exercise, maybe hobbies, maybe socialising and it’s these things that can start to drop off. Am I feeling burnt out with disengaging from our friends were perhaps not prioritising exercise as much and we’re not you know, we might have dropped all our hobbies and all we’re doing is basically the bare minimum is a function. So we engage is about gently starting to re engage in those activities. And then finally, then reframe is thinking about the limiting beliefs and the negative self talk that, you know, that might be happening on a subconscious level that we’re not even aware of that may have contributed or made us more vulnerable to burnout. In the first place that if we address them, and may be them and they may be protective against Bernama in the future. So yeah, that was kind of whistlestop tour of immune boosting method.
I think but I think it’s really important for people to understand because I hear a lot the time people almost assume that we we just do food. We can just do diet, and it’s it’s just around that kind of one pillar, I guess. People are maybe not always aware that actually there’s a lot more to functional medicine, even to nutritional therapy, lifestyle, medicine, you know, whatever, whatever those whatever it might be whichever modality we’re talking about, there’s always a lot more to it than just food. And I think your that sort of nice sort of four pillar framework sort of really shows people that actually you know, one of those is about is about food, but Exactly, yeah. About all the other things that are involved in in healing, and it’s a much bigger thing than just, you know, change your diet. I’m going to tell you what to eat and change your diet and you’ll be fine, you know.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think you’re right there and I think there’s probably an element and you asked him right at the beginning. You know why, you know, why write the book and with you just saying that though, I think one of the other motivations for me was to showcase what we do in functional medicine and showcase that it is a lot more than that. And when you introduce yourself to somebody as a nutritionist, and the first thing someone says is oh, you know, it’s all about, you know, what should I eat? And actually, no, we’re all about understanding the root cause of what’s happening in your body. And actually, you know, the pathology that this is this is taken to get you here. So that kind of backstory and then it’s all the things that are going to make you feel better not just what you eat although that is going to become that is a you know, a big part of it, but it’s that whole wrap around so yeah, you’re right.
Yeah, I I get I get asked a lot. Just like you said, your Introduce yourself as a nutritionist or whatever sort of terminology you use. And instantly you can guarantee the next question is going to be Oh, right. Okay, great. So what should they eat them to feel better? And like, it’s just it’s a way more complex question than that. And I think there’s a really easy it’s almost a bit like I guess the sort of, you know, which they actually vegan pescetarian you’re what what should I have a bit of a similar question. I think people think there’s going to be sort of one answer that we’re eating and pushing and actually, we’re not where it’s about, you know, getting some functional testing done getting to the root cause finding out actually, you know, what underlying imbalances are there what’s causing you to be feeling this way? Let’s do those so that you don’t feel that way any any longer. And I think sometimes that gets missed. And I think that’s why it’s really nice to have things like you said, like the ball cow and things like that, where people can actually see that there’s a whole lot more to the picture than just, just absolutely. And I love the simplicity of that as well. You created that structure. And yeah, also I know, even though that that it sounds like you said it’s a whistlestop tour, but it sounds like quite as simple sort of structure. I also know obviously that the huge benefits that following those sort of steps are going to give to people you know, could you maybe give the listeners and I know if they want to if they want to get the full picture obviously go and go and get the book because there’s tonnes of tips in there that are really going to help people to take those those steps to feeling better, but give the listeners maybe one task from each pillar maybe that they could walk away from today implements sort of straightaway, that’s gonna just help them to start working on you know, the burnout and the stress levels and, you know, just just one thing from each they think that they could maybe walk away and implement.
Yeah, absolutely. So the first one I mentioned before is restore. So when I think about restoration, the main the first thing that I think of from that is getting sufficient sleep and I think that that’s not new advice. Your listeners aren’t going to suddenly think this is rocket science and that you know, getting a good night’s sleep is going to help them but it really can’t be emphasised enough. So in terms of how to support themselves in doing that, I will be thinking about implementing that routine in terms of has that beat being truly honest with yourself and has your sleep routine, you know, gotten a little bit out of whack and can you tighten up on that a little bit so that you are giving yourself you know, two hours with asleep with no food one hour before bed to kind of have like a ritual to kind of get your brain ready for sleep. And even more importantly, perhaps the next morning when you wake up, going and standing by a window or getting outside so that your brain knows it’s daytime nap time to be awake, which will then in turn help you feel sleepy later on. In the day. So that’s kind of step one. Can you tighten up on your sleep routine?
In honest I think that’s largely being honest. Because we all slit actually had a conversation with a friend and other practitioner this morning. Because we both had a really bad night’s sleep last night as we were both working on the computer far too late. We know we know what organisation and it’s it’s so easy, isn’t it to slip up. And then it’s very easy to not be honest with yourself. It’s easy to wake up and wonder why did I sleep? Well I’m actually I know why I didn’t sleep well last night are like human at the end of the day, aren’t we you know when none of us are perfect. And I think the more aware you can be about why these things are happening and also like then you’ll be more accepting of the fact that if you have had a bad night’s sleep and you can kind of go back and you know well what could I do differently next time around because I you know I’ve been responsible in some way for this. Okay, you know if if your husband snores and wakes you up or dies example, that’s what happens in my house. But you know, these things that are you know, or like a car alarm goes off or something that’s kind of you know, the dog burst in or something that’s kind of like out of your control. As well child’s waking you up in the night. These are the things that you can’t help and can’t be helped. But the things that are are, are within your control are the things that we often kind of ignore or pretend that we’re not, you know, aren’t happening but if we’re more honest about those things, then that’s when we can start to put that you know back into place. Like to admit it to ourselves doing. Exactly. So then thinking about nourish I was in terms of like the, for me the really simple thing that you can do when I’m thinking about these steps as well and I’m thinking that what are the things that you can do really quickly that are simple and you know, probably either cost nothing or very inexpensive, so with Norrish, I always think about focusing on hydration. So if you’re feeling even a little bit dehydrated, that can increase feelings of anxiety. You know, we’re not going to be efficient energy producing machines. So the first thing I would prioritise for nourish is simply having a glass of water first thing in the morning before you do anything else. simple, inexpensive, you can put that into place right now. You could even take it to bed with you tonight. So it’s right there. So it’s looking at you as soon as you wake up saying Drink Me. And that could be helpful from an engaged and engaged point of view. So kind of step three, again, thinking simple and inexpensive. I would say get out into nature. So we don’t want to be you know, hammering the exercise or kind of going out and sort of training for a marathon in our recovery. But some gentle exercise and being outdoors could be beneficial. So, you know, maybe it’s just a five minute walk today, a 10 minute walk tomorrow, just something to kind of get you back out and re engaging. And then finally then with reframe, so reframe I think is a bit of a, you know, it’s deeper work than some of the others. It’s, you know, really understanding yourself and what’s brought you to this point, and sometimes people aren’t quite ready for that at the beginning. So it’s something about at what point am I ready to kind of really understand, you know, whether these limiting beliefs have held me back but in the short term, we can capture some negative beliefs. So simply simple things like I can’t get through the afternoon without chocolate is a is an example of a negative belief that might be holding you back. So for that kind of thing, I would just encourage someone to write down three alternative examples that are positive that actually are more helpful to them than you know, I can’t get through the afternoon without this. I’ve got like a really nice simple belief change tool on the website that people can utilise. If if that will be helpful for them.
Yeah, well link work it will link your website below. So if you if you drop me the link for that, well, we’ll make sure link below so people can can jump onto that. I think it’d be really useful for them. Yeah. It sounds that kind of like do at home little tools, I think are always helpful, aren’t they? So they are and again, it is it is a lot about being honest with yourself, as well, I think and, you know, like we said we’re not always very good. At that. But I think, you know, it’s, I think with the reframe, sort of side of things that sort of being mindful and things like that, it takes a little bit more time maybe to develop those tools. And absolutely, that you you use them when you’re not necessarily just in a bad place. Yeah, absolutely. You can use them all all the time. Even when you feel like you’re in a good place, a lot of time people sort of drop those, those sort of things, those sort of tools and, and habits that help them they drop them off when they think they’re in a really good place. But actually if you can keep them going when you’re in a good place when you’re in a bad place you actually really need them they’re so much easier to then implement so it’s obviously harder when you’re not in such an atmosphere Okay, yeah, yeah, exactly. Well, you know, if you don’t if you’re feeling burnt out and the negative self talk can be running rife because your moods not great. So and that’s why it’s harder to kind of dig yourself out at that point. And but whereas like you said, if you’ve kind of developed that self awareness about yourself, you’ve implemented some of these tools and you’re continuing to use them, then it can be protective. But it takes the it takes time. I mean, it burnout is not like a one and done thing either. It’s something that we kind of have to work on. All the time. I have to work on it all the time. How I didn’t burn out burn out writing the book about burnout, I’ll never know but it’s so I’m definitely someone who knows from experience that you have to constantly be working out this you know, it’s once you learn these tools, you’ve got to then be constantly implementing them. But also kind of be kind to yourself with that as well. Yeah, I’m making it a lifestyle change rather than a sort of quick fix. Diet, isn’t it? It’s not like rather than doing a diet that you know, you’re going to do for the next sort of month to go on holiday. It’s about it’s about implementing a nutrition plan, that is a lifestyle change. And it’s the same thing with with everything that we do, you know, developing it as a sort of a new way of life. And doing that in a way that fits into the lifestyle that you want as well. I always say that to you know, to clients and things it’s is we’ve got to develop something that’s going to work for you and fit into your life that there’s no point you know, for example, with burnout, there’s no point saying to somebody, I had a I had a client recently who said to me, am I going to have to give up my job. And I was like, No, you don’t have that we’re gonna build you up and get you in have these tools so that you can do the job you love. Yes. But also protect your health and look after yourself. You just know how to do that and what to do about it. You know, and it is about those sort of lifestyle changes that fit into the lifestyle that that person wants and that’s where it has to be kind of individualised I guess, technically, totally agree.
So final question. And it’s one that I asked sort of every guest. If you could give the listeners one piece of advice. I know you’ve given them some steps and if people want more of those steps around around those sort of four around your method around those four pillars, are really strongly advise they go and get the book because there’s tonnes more tips in there for them to implement. But if you if there was one thing that you wanted the listeners to walk away from this conversation with today, have be it, you know, be it a piece of advice or tip or just a message, I guess, what would be the one thing that you would really love for them to sort of take away from this conversation?
I think the the main thing for me is to listen to your body, you know yourself. Symptoms are that warning sign from the brain to get us to change our behaviour. So burnout doesn’t have to be, you know, inevitable. And recovery and prevention aren’t necessarily a quick fix, which we’ve just talked, talked upon, so talked about so I would just say be kind to yourself, get to know yourself. Understand your unique needs. Just take one step at a time.
I love that. Rachel, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed it too. And that maybe you’ll you’ll come back on and join me again sometime for another episode because like I said, there’s so many more things that I think I’d absolutely love to being a guest that is thank you so much for having me out. Yeah, it’s been brilliant. Oh, thank you for joining me and don’t forget to pick up a copy of Rachel’s book. It’s called burnout Bible. You can get it in your local bookstores. It’s stable from online for the main sort of retailers sell on Amazon and everywhere else so people can can find that we will drop the links as well for the book below and your website for that tool that you mentioned as well. So all of that will be in the show notes if people want to grab a copy of the book or use that tool as well for the behaviour change. So thank you so much for joining me today. I really hope that you enjoyed this conversation and I will see you next week on the good health podcast. If you’re listening to this episode and you think that burnout might be an issue or you want to prevent burnout because you know that you live a really busy fast paced life. And we’ve got a couple of things for you in the show notes below. We’re going to link our free adrenal challenge guide this is 12 days of steps you can take to help prevent burnout, burnout, and this is entirely free so you can download this in the show notes below. If you’re ready to start working on your nutrition, we’ve got a full week nutrition plan for you that is specifically designed for enhanced energy and balanced immunity. So this is really going to help you if you’ve got that really busy fast paced life. You know that burnout might be an issue but you want to keep going and you want to elevate your energy to the next level. Both of these will be linked in the show notes below so that you can join now.