This week we are talking about food and why it matters what you put in your body. I’m really excited about this interview. We talk about root causes, mystery illnesses, and major dysfunctions of our systems, but we sometimes miss the basics. Sometimes we forget to check if we have our food, sleep, and movement dialed in. These basics are necessary for your body to function.
I’m really excited to talk to my guest today because he has studied everything under the sun related to medicine and now he’s finally finishing up a degree in naturopathic medicine. He’s in the trenches of just having learned this stuff and it’s all fresh in his brain. It’s a good reminder of the processes that are going on in your body.
We’re going to talk about how to know you’re making good food choices and what to look for. We also talked about supplements and how they’re not all created equal. You as a woman should understand everything that we talk about today. I think it’s really important we debunk a few myths that were created by the food industry. There are so many good nuggets and pearls of wisdom in this episode.
On This Podcast, We are Going to Talk About…
The biggest thing Devin has noticed working with patients on their diets
Basic things you can do to clean up your diet
How Devin got into cooking
The importance of phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins
What to look for in a quality supplement
What women need on a regular basis
The importance of the liver for our hormones
Devin’s favorite foods that contain B vitamins
What phytonutrients are and why they are important
Foods people need to stay away from
Debunking the dairy myth
Devin’s future practice
About Devin Stone
Devin Stone is the founder of Stone Naturals. Over a decade ago, he started a well-known integrative medicine clinic in Hollywood, California. There he had the opportunity to work with many athletes, celebrities, and other amazing people. He then went on to learn regenerative medicine from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and he’s currently completing his naturopathic medical degree at Bastar University.
Early on, food became a central theme in his life for many reasons. He found cooking to be a creative outlet. He enjoys all aspects of food, but more importantly, he noticed that many people had ailments that could be linked back to the food they were consuming. So realizing the food system was a culprit to so many of our diseases, he found it important to teach people how to eat real food again.
Really listen to this episode and share it with people because we need to get back to the basics. We need to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Welcome, Devin to the Gutsy Gynecologist Podcast!
Devin: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to get into our talk here.
Dr. Tabatha: I am too because I think there are so many women out there who are just going through their day from dusk till dawn, they’re not stopping, and they’re just grabbing whatever is handy to eat. If they have time, they’re shoving it down their throats in five or 10 minutes during meetings or phone calls.
I want to talk about the importance of really respecting food, respecting what you’re putting in your body, how we need to look at it from a different mindset and different perspectives, and how that can shift our health. Right?
Devin: Totally. I completely agree. I mean, that’s why food as medicine is one of the fundamental aspects of how I work with patients today. You could see so much promise and hope if you work with some of these fundamental aspects that we’re talking about.
What Has Been the Biggest Thing that You’ve Noticed Working with Patients on Their Diet?
Devin: I would say there is a lot of confusion around diet overall. People often follow trend diets or have no idea exactly how to eat for themselves. So really focusing on this and trying to find a personalized diet plan for someone is where we see the best benefit. There are so many different variations on how to eat and there’s a lot of information online that people get very confused about what to do. They might follow one of these trends, but it might not actually be the right diet for themselves. Because at the end of the day, what you eat is so specific to who you are and where you are in your health journey. That takes a lot of consideration and understanding to pinpoint exactly what someone needs to eat on a daily basis.
Dr. Tabatha: I couldn’t agree more. It needs to be individualized. What I’ve found over the past couple of decades is not only is it individualized to you, but also during what season of life you’re in. I see women who shift the way they need to eat depending on stressful events in their life, medical issues they’ve had, are going through pregnancies, or menopause and they’ve needed to shift how they eat.
I love the idea of figuring out what’s best for you.
Watch the video version of this blog post here.
What are Some Basics that Everybody Needs to Clean up Their Diet?
Devin: Oh, definitely. There definitely are some basics that everyone should be focusing on. I would say that starts with eating true whole foods. That’s something that is missed in today’s society because everyone is so busy. It’s easy to grab fast food or even processed foods at the grocery store.
However, we need to go back to how our diet originally started as humans. We ate whole foods and that’s what we really need to focus on. Focus on your vegetables, if you are a meat-eater, eating good meat products, stuff that you recognize as true food, and not something that when you flip the package around, there’s a whole list of ingredients. A lot of the time, most people don’t even know what they mean, but they still consume it anyway.
From there, it goes even further for me to look at how food is actually made as well. Today especially, conventional farming systems have many negative aspects that actually get into our food like pesticides and heavy metals. We’re consuming this on a daily basis. Which, at first, doesn’t sound too scary, but after years of doing this, it accumulates in our bodies, storing in our fat and bones. We do see a lot of disease processes happening because of this fundamental reason.
Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, exactly. We need to stop eating out of boxes and bags and actually eat food that was grown in the ground that looks like God made it. I would love to encourage women to take time to actually prepare and cook their food because I think they would enjoy it more and get so much more out of it than just heating up something frozen that they got in the mail. Do you know what I mean?
How Did you Get Into Loving to Cook?
Devin: It started with my mother. She was an amazing cook. When I started undergrad and left the homestead for the first time when you don’t really know what you’re doing, to begin with, I started to miss the foods I was eating. At that time, I started dabbling around in food. I didn’t know what I was doing at times. I was burning things and adding salt instead of sugar, but from there I was growing to understand food more and more.
Then, I started my naturopathic medicine degree which is such a fundamental aspect of our education. The more you learn about it, learning how phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals affect different cellular processes in the body, you really start to understand where disease could happen from a biochemistry level.
That was one aspect, just understanding how it directly affects my own health and also seeing patients that I’m working with. You really see where maybe some of the issues started with themselves. There are so many aspects of health overall, but food can be one of the major factors. So changing their diet and cleaning it up, you will see a lot of benefits happening there. This is amazing because conventionally, so many people will turn to different medications and whatnot right away to help restore their gut health. Oftentimes, this can be corrected very easily through your diet. For myself, I’d also say, I just absolutely love cooking. It’s my outlet and life being in the kitchen. It’s also creative for me. I highly believe everyone should have a creative outlet to stimulate that part of the brain and for me, that comes through food. The smells, tastes, planting, and what the presentation looks like. So, for me it goes both ways, keeping myself creative and the health factor behind it.
Dr. Tabatha: I love that. You hit on something super important. I hear all of the time people being told by their conventional doctors that vitamins aren’t that important. You can take them if you want to, but they’re probably not doing much good. Let’s talk about biochemistry because as you know I went to medical school, but then you get pushed into this conventional medical system that’s so broken and based on Big Pharma that you forget that you do need B6 to methylate and do those normal biochemical processes.
How Important Are Phytonutrients, Minerals, and Vitamins?
Devin: To break it down on the most basic level, we are what we eat. At the end of the day, every single cell in our body turns over and we have to restore its function. The way that that happens is by the food that we consume. So, if you’re not giving your body the right nutrients to actually replace cells, you’re not going to be able to rebuild and restore.
Another aspect is the actual biochemistry pathways that you’re talking about. Basically, every single day our body is doing 1000s of processes in our body, just innately without us even thinking about it. It’s the way we metabolize and make hormones. There are all these processes happening without us thinking about it. In order for this to happen, there are these little agents in our body called enzymes and they are like our factory workers that make all of these things happen. They need vitamins and minerals. If we look at just magnesium, there are hundreds of processes in our body that utilize magnesium. Also, B vitamins, like you were talking about, are also very important. When it comes to how our genetic code is expressed, meaning, how we actually make different proteins in our body. We need B vitamins to actually methylate different gene codes to make the response to create a different protein in our body. So without these minerals and vitamins, that’s when we start losing the ability for our body to function how it actually should.
There are some really cool ways to see what our body is missing. In my practice, I use a test called Spectracell. It’s a blood test that we send in and we can actually test all of your different minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and healthy fats in your body. And based on this, you could see exactly where deficiencies may be. Then based on those, you could correlate them with the different disease processes we see patients having. By just restoring this simple function, we know exactly what is missing.
Dr. Tabatha: Oh, yeah, without a doubt. I think it’s so important because I see women who are taking supplements and they’re still depleted because of the lack of nutrition in the food they’re eating or their gut is a mess. They’re not even absorbing the supplements they’re taking.
So I love the idea of testing and not guessing and seeing what we actually need. I think that’s so fundamental. We try to jump over that and do all this other complicated stuff. We jump to conclusions thinking we have Lyme, mold, or all these other things. Yeah, you may, those are really important root causes, but sometimes it’s just that you are deficient in your basic necessities.
Devin: Exactly. I think it even goes one step further, especially with the supplementation world. Another reason I got into naturopathic medicine was I had been designing supplements for quite some time and that world is a very unregulated world. So many supplements out there have a lot of negative additives like heavy metals and pesticides which could affect our bodies.
So when you might be supplementing, you actually might be putting some kind of poison in your body. Another big factor is a lot of supplements out there don’t even have a truly therapeutic dose. Meaning that if we actually look at the research, you actually need a certain amount of different vitamins for the work to actually happen within your body. So when we turn around a lot of the bottles and we see it has a B vitamin or magnesium, but it’s never really to a level that your body could actually utilize to restore health again. Oftentimes I think it confuses a lot of people because they might be supplementing, but they often can be doing it in a very wrong way. That’s why it takes proper education and working with someone that can help direct care in a proper way to restore all of these in the right way. And when you do, that’s when success starts happening.
Dr. Tabatha: That’s such an important point because I will get patients who have been taking their drugstore vitamins for years and we check their levels, their vitamin D is 20. They’re like, “Well, I take vitamin D,” but they don’t feel any different when they take these supplements.
It’s that you’re not taking anything of good quality that you’re absorbing to any sufficient level to actually be beneficial. It’s probably filled with heavy metals, gluten fillers, and everything that’s contributing to your inflammation and disease process.
What Should You Look for When Taking Supplements?
Devin: I’d say one of the basic standards is looking at how it is manufactured. The most basic manufacturing process is called GMP certification. That will let you know that it’s going through regulation at the actual factory level that has to meet FDA standards. You know it’s being made in a clean environment that meets all factors for packaging.
Another factor is to only utilize supplements and vitamins that come from real whole food sources. If we look at the vitamin and supplement market, about 95% of the products that are out there are synthetically made, meaning they’re fake versions that are made in the laboratory compared to food products. When vitamins come from food products, they’re actually better quality vitamins.
For instance, if we look at Vitamin C. Vitamin C is actually complex and has multiple parts to it. Conventional supplements that are made synthetically, it’s only a piece of that actual vitamin called ascorbic acid. So you’re actually not even getting the whole nutrient. We look at this also with Vitamin E. It also is complex as well and in the synthetic world, they only take alpha-tocopherol, which is also just one aspect of the actual vitamin.
When you look at a lot of the research out there where they actually utilize Alpha-tocopherol, in studies, it is linked to different cancers like breast cancer if you’re taking the synthetic version. There hasn’t been too much publication on why that is, but the theory behind it is that to actually make the full Vitamin E vitamin, it’s pulling the other nutrients from your body to actually create that full vitamin, like selenium. When this happens, you’re now taking away from your body in reality.
So for instance, taking vitamin E from sunflower, which is one of the major ways we get it from whole foods, you don’t really see these negative effects happening as much. So that for me is one of the biggest factors is where you get it from. For me, it’s the way I like to practice going back to nature. Nature does things perfectly. Oftentimes when we try to intervene, that’s where we see some complications happening.
Dr. Tabatha: I couldn’t agree with you more. We need to stop eating out of boxes and bags and start eating whole foods.
What do you Think Most Women Need on a Regular Basis?
Devin: One of the things that are happening with women today, is we’re seeing a lot of hormone disruption and dysregulation. A lot of the females that we see in our clinic, we’re seeing dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea, meaning changes in their menstrual cycle or having no menstrual cycle. When they’re tested, we could really see their androgen hormones, especially, out of the normal. A lot of the time this does come from food. And with food, you can either make the problem worse or make the problem better.
For instance, if we’re looking at kind of our prepackaged foods, a lot of them do have in there what we call Xenoestrogens, meaning estrogens from outside sources. Some of these might be from different chemicals that are actually sprayed on the products to help with farming practices or so many of our products today are put in plastic packaging that we heat up when we heat the food up in them. When that happens, typically, Xenoestrogens from the plastic will actually leach into our food and then we’re consuming them on a daily basis. So when this happens, we’re getting a huge influx of basically a fake type of estrogen in our body that changes the whole hormonal cycle.
On the opposite side though, we could actually use food to help our bodies. That’s what’s really amazing if we look at really using food in the right way as medicine. For instance, a fiber-rich diet, which today the American diet has about a third of the fiber in it that we require. Fiber is so important for hormone regulation as well. It helps pull out the extra estrogens and sorry to say but puts it into our poop and we poop it out afterward. That really helps restore function on another level as well.
We could actually use foods to help restore female cycles. Something we work quite a bit with is if a female is having her cycle changed, or having dysmenorrhea, we will actually utilize something called Seed Cycling where the first 14 days during the follicular phase, we will use pumpkin seeds and flax seeds because these foods are naturally rich in estrogens. We can promote the estrogenic phase to restore and then the second half of the cycle in the luteal phase will use sesame seeds as these are richer in progesterone. We could actually help bring back the cycle and how the body should be cycling just with foods alone.
These are some of the many ways we could look at food. It could either help or take away from the body. We know very well that these processes happen.
Dr. Tabatha: I hope that women listening are feeling encouraged because this is all so doable. They can take this into their own hands and actually start incorporating it. You don’t need to go see a doctor and spend a bunch of money. You can literally just start changing what you’re putting in your body and see a different outcome. I think that’s so exciting.
Let’s talk a little bit more about Xenoestrogens. You can really get into this picture of estrogen dominance. That’s really common with the ladies I see. I think they struggle sometimes to understand that it’s not about just producing too much estrogen or having too much estrogen, but it’s about not metabolizing and removing efficiently. So you mentioned fiber, which is super important. We got to get pooping everyday ladies.
The Liver is Important for Hormones, Right?
Devin: Of course. The liver as we know is one of our major organs for detoxification and for processing different chemicals and hormones in our body. In order to do this, we need to give our bodies the right chemicals and nutrients for the biochemical pathways to help restore function. Once again, this goes back to food. We need to look at what we’re giving our bodies in order for this to happen.
Something we work with quite a bit is looking at foods that are rich in sulfur products. Which would be our brassicas, meaning cabbage and brussel sprouts. These types of foods are rich in sulfur. Sulfur is so important because we have an antioxidant in our body which is considered our master antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione is really important for detoxification and removing free radicals. As we eat sulfur-rich foods, we actually help restore and rebuild more glutathione in our bodies.
We could also look into B vitamins. B vitamins are also important for metabolizing hormones. They’re pretty much in every single cellular process in our body. If we do this and actually help support our liver, instead of adding in more chemicals, or processed foods, all of this actually makes our liver more sluggish. We could in turn give it the right nutrients to help with hormonal dysfunction.
We see so many people with too many estrogens. We see PCOS all the time and if we help give back the right foods, this is one of the many natural treatment methods that we can utilize to help with this.
What are Your Favorite Foods for B Vitamins?
Devin: It really kind of depends, but a lot of the darker fruits and berries. Then this is always kind of a weird one, but organ meats. Some people might not agree if they’re on a vegan type of diet, but organ meats are some of the richest in the B vitamins out there. Meaning liver, kidney, and heart. When we eat these meats, this is where we get a lot of B vitamins, especially B12. B12 is traditionally not found in the plant kingdom. We could get it from meat products, as well as nutritional yeast is one way to kind of get around that. But to really get adequate levels, this is oftentimes a good product to work with as long as it meets your dietary beliefs. If not, there are other ways to supplement as well. However, from a whole foods source, that traditionally is the most nutrient-dense version of it.
Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, it’s important to know if you aren’t eating animals you could be deficient in some things and you definitely want to make sure that you’re supplementing and having a well-rounded diet.
I love everything you’re talking about and that you mentioned the phytonutrients. We have to have antioxidants and make glutathione. I would love for you to touch on eating the rainbow.
What are Phytonutrients and Why are They Important? And Why are Vegetables Different Colors?
Devin: That’s a very fun topic to talk about. If we look at starting with conventional food and the best food out there, it’s very bland colors. We see browns and colors on that spectrum for the most part. When we look into how we traditionally should be eating, it is, like you said, a rainbow of food. Meaning that if we look at our plate, we should see many different colors. We should see pinks, reds, purples, or greens. Each one of these colors is a different phytonutrient.
What that means is every single color might be a different antioxidant, vitamin, and phytonutrient that all do different things in our body. By having this variety, we’re actually going to give ourselves the ability to have the most nutrients available. That will help our body with inflammation, detoxification, and hormonal regulation. This is really how we get the most nutrients in our bodies by just eating this way.
A very simple tool to think about is when you look at your plate, how many colors are you actually eating on a daily basis? If you’re not seeing a variety of colors, you’re not going to be getting all the nutrients your body really is requiring.
Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, without a doubt.
What do you Think is the Number One Worst Food out There That People Need to Stay Away From?
Devin: Hot dogs are one of the worst ones out there. For me, it’s anything in plastic. Plastic is on everything these days. It really leeches into our food and it causes so many issues, not to mention how impactful it is on our environment, which then ends up affecting us as well. We also are seeing a majority of the fish that we’re pulling from the ocean have microplastics in them. Plastics, which then we consume, are just everywhere and causing a lot of havoc.
I would also say different fillers and preservatives that are in food can be very harmful. Lastly, any food that is conventionally grown and has pesticides on it. This is something I talk about quite a bit, is the pesticide diphosphate, or Roundup as we know it traditionally. It’s everywhere and sprayed on food. We’re now finally getting the word out on how this is causing cancers and hormonal issues.
Oftentimes, we could still be eating food that looks good. A whole tomato or cabbage, but with this product on it, it’s still causing harm to our body.
Dr. Tabatha: I was going to say Diet Coke. So, it’s not really food, but oh my gosh, is that shit toxic! If you want to destroy your hormones, never lose weight, or have energy, just drink Diet Coke.
Devin: I agree. It is such misleading marketing. We don’t have the sugars in it, but all the phosphorus. The havoc that it can cause on our kidneys and hormonal issues is crazy. It’s very misleading.
Dr. Tabatha: It’s so toxic and it should be illegal. You just made me think of something else when you were talking about phosphorus. I have a lot of women who are afraid to stop drinking cow’s milk and eating all this dairy they’re consuming because they’ve been fed the lie that they need to get calcium in their diet for their bone health.
Can you Debunk That Dairy Myth?
Devin: Oh, definitely. This is sadly something that was pushed years ago, that milk will build strong bones. We all think about the “Got Milk?” commercials. The push was to drink milk to get calcium and that’s the only way you could actually have strong bones. However, there are so many different ways to get calcium in our bodies. We can get it through different fish products and kale. A serving of kale has almost as much or more calcium than milk has itself without all of the inflammation that milk causes.
One of the negative things about milk too is the way it’s conventionally made. Cows are often fed corn and soy in order to be farmed today. So they too are not getting the healthy diet that we need. We’re all animals at the end of the day and we need the right nutrients in our bodies. They also utilize these different products to fatten them up, it’s cheaper to do. When that happens it actually causes a different type of protein called casein that is highly inflammatory in the body compared to if we give them a true grass-fed diet like the way cows should be eating.
When we look at ways of helping restore function to people, some of the most basic foods we try to get them off right away are dairy, sugar, alcohol, and wheat if they are sensitive or intolerant to gluten. If we can remove those four items right away, we’re going to decrease inflammation. If we look at any disease process in the body, it is inflammation.
Dr. Tabatha: It’s not just that you don’t tolerate it because it causes you gas, that’s a lactose issue. That’s the sugar in the milk. Milk is inflammatory for other reasons because of what they feed the cows, how they are raised, and how it’s processed. We don’t need all of that growth hormone in those proteins as grown women.
Get rid of sugar, alcohol, dairy, and probably gluten, and you’re going to make significant headway. You might not even need help after that. I’ve seen that alone clear up so many issues for people. I would love for women to start with these basics that we’ve talked about because I think it can totally transform them.
Devin: Definitely. These are just simple changes as well. You don’t need to go to your doctor’s office or spend a lot. Actually, you are going to be spending less because you’re removing some foods.
This is why I like food as medicine so much because it’s starting with the basics. It’s what we really need to change to begin the way that we’re trained in naturopathic medicine. We have something called our therapeutic order, in which we first kind of start with establishing what we call our foundations to cure. This is removing bad things from your body and making sure your basic lifestyle things are in the right order such as food, exercise, and even your relationships with people. Then we start moving up our therapeutic order into supplements, medications, and then surgeries. But oftentimes we don’t need to go higher if we establish these foundations first.
Dr. Tabatha: Exactly. I think that’s so important.
You’re Going to be Graduating Soon and Practicing in California?
Devin: Yep, that’s correct. I’m graduating this June and then I have to take my second set of licensing exams. I will then hopefully start practicing around October this year. I plan on staying in San Diego. I moved here for school and fell in love with it here. So, I most likely will be staying here for some time.
Dr. Tabatha: That is super exciting. I get a lot of women that reach out to me from California. I’m not licensed in California, so I can only do so much, but I love having more resources.
Do you Have an Idea of What Your Practice Will Look Like?
Devin: Yeah, I really want to do family medicine. I like the versatility behind it and it always keeps my brain open to all types of ways of healing. As primary care practitioners, we can do a lot, but I really liked the aspect of working with families directly and guiding them in any kind of way because it still takes referrals to specialists like yourself. I mean, we can’t do everything, but helping guide someone with the proper education and teaching them more about their bodies so they could be their own healers and seek out the right people afterward, that’s really what I’ve fallen in love with.
Throughout the last year, I’ve been working a lot in the integrative oncology space with some patients. So I definitely will work there as well because helping patients in the oncology world is so important. I mean, I still highly believe in the conventional treatments, but oftentimes those deplete even more nutrients and their bodies are not as supported if they’re going through chemotherapy. There also are a lot of nutrients we know that support fighting cancer. So this is something I found myself gravitating towards a lot, which was something I never thought of before. I wanted to stay very open and see what I felt very connected with and working in those two spaces is where I know I’ll be doing some work soon.
Dr. Tabatha: I love that. I was just thinking about how I’ve had so many patients with breast cancer. And unfortunately, their oncologists have told them that their diet, vitamins, and minerals aren’t really that important and that they don’t have to change things up. They also tell them that they don’t need to get rid of alcohol or sugar and that just breaks my heart.
Can you Speak to That?
Devin: Of course. We know there are a lot of nutrients that will help, especially with breast cancer, like you’re talking about. The main one is melatonin. There’s so much research out there now on melatonin helping with breast cancer. Also, EGCG comes from our green teas. There are so many nutrients that have tons of research now that have been used, especially in the eastern world for years that can help support cancer.
If we look at the different chemotherapy agents that are out there and look at their side effects list, they do deplete a lot of different vitamins, especially B vitamins. That’s why we see peripheral neuropathy happening, meaning losing sensation and having nerve pain in our distal limbs. This oftentimes can be prevented if we put them on the right nutrient plan beforehand. So it’s not saying we have to disregard the conventional treatment because that saves lives daily, but working hand in hand with one another really sets the patient up for the most success, having fewer side effects, and getting back to who they are faster, quicker, and better.
Dr. Tabatha: I love it. You listed so many good points.
At the end of everything, it’s what you put in your body actually matters. It can be the difference between being healthy and not.
I love all the work you’re doing. Thank you so much for being here.
Tell Me How My Audience Can Connect With You
Devin: Of course. Thank you so much. It’s fun talking about this aspect of medicine with you.
The best place to follow me is on Instagram. I try to put as much information out there because at the end of the day my goal is to let you know you are your own best healer. You understand your body best and know what works for your body and focus on that.
Dr. Tabatha: Awesome. Thank you so much.
That’s a Wrap
I hope you got a ton out of that. There were so many golden nuggets. I love that God created our rainbow of vegetables and he created the different colors to go along with the different phytonutrients and each of those vegetables.
You can go back and listen to one of my very first episodes called Food as Medicine where we talked about that in detail. I go over what’s in the red, green, and purple vegetables. That’s a really awesome episode. It takes this to a deeper level. I want to get back to basics and I want you to remember that when you’re starting to slip again and you’re not feeling the hottest, always check what you’re putting in your body because that’s probably one of those culprits.