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Great to chat with Gerry Kelly on The Late Lunch Show on LMFM. See the interview below or you can listen by clicking the button

Gerry Kelly LMFM 0:00
You might remember a couple of weeks ago, we were talking to the people from my second spring about the menopause. And there's a big national conference coming up that was actually sold out. Well unfortunate that my next guest got in contact with me. She was listening that day and she said, God, Gerry, I'd love to come in and have a chat with you about what I do! Well, she's here today, and I can tell you her name is Rachel Graham. She's a Nutritionist & Medicinal Chef. She's based in Dundalk, and I'm delighted to welcome her to the Late Lunch - Rachel, great to see you.

Rachel Graham 0:27
Thank you very much. I'm really thrilled to be here. I'm delighted

Gerry Kelly LMFM 0:30
Will you tell our listeners a bit about you who you are and where you practice?

Rachel Graham 0:36
I practice in Dundalk in Waitley's GP practice. I'm there every Wednesday doing private consultations. But mostly I do a lot of my own workshops. So I really trying to translate all of the science and the medical background into very actionable & practical tips for people so that they can actually apply them to their life. I find that there is so many sources out there that people can get information that can become very overwhelming and they just really don't know where to start. So I find actually the visual learning part - of actually showing them which foods are beneficial for which specific am you know, illness or health issue that they are trying to address. And actually cooking it and actually making it taste delicious, is really, really beneficial.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 1:25
So, you are the conduit between the science and actually, you know, us an and our health. You know, the old saying your health is your wealth, but what you eat is your health. Is that a fair summing up of how we are as human beings on our life?

Rachel Graham 1:43
I would say it goes a little bit further than that. It's that we are actually what we absorb, and assimilate because a lot of people will have absorption issues. So they just are maybe eating the wrong foods. There might be lots of allergic reactions or things like that, that just compromises their ability to absorb nutrients to be able to actually stay healthy.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 2:09 So that's in other words, when we take in what we eat or drink or whatever, it's that absorption within the body. Which brings us on to this whole area of gut health. It is now coming to the fore, and I'm sure you'll talk about this now that this is so essential to holistically our whole being.

Rachel Graham 2:27 Yeah, exactly. It's unbelievably important. And there's so much new research coming out at the moment and in fact, nearly on a daily weekly basis, it's actually really exciting. And it's kind of like the scientists have newly discovered a new organ in the body. Because essentially, they have, good gut health has a knock on effect on every single system in our body and in particular with our mental health. So that is where I feel that the most Advantages can be gained by maintaining really good gut health for our mental health. So our our brain and our gut are constantly talking to each other, that feeling that gut feeling that's actually real, always listen to your gut. Your gut is lined in neurons and has the same amount of neurons that are found in the brain of a cat. As we know, a cats are clever! so always go with your gut. And always just trust your gut because your gut is talking to your brain the whole time and your gut can influence things like your appetite, your cravings, all those kind of things. So when you're saying I just can't resist this kind of food, it could all be caused by the balance of the gut bacteria.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 3:57 So here we are. You have the knowledge we want to hear about what's best for your Got or how do you balance that gut

Rachel Graham 4:06 Fibre really is the secret sauce, and we're just not getting enough fibre. The recommended daily amount of fibre is about 35 grammes. We're getting between 12 and 19 grammes. So we're just not getting enough fibre and the main reason for that is because we're eating far too many refined processed foods. The refined processed foods are the ones that have had actually the fibre refined out of them. So that's the white bread, the white pasta, the white rice, all of those kind of things. So essentially the first thing and the easiest switch that you can make is to switch from all of that refined white bread, carbs, pasta and switch over to brown.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 4:45 What about sourdough

Rachel Graham 4:46 Sourdough is fantastic because it is a long ferment and fermented foods are just amazing for your your gut microbiome. In particular sourdough, kimchi, kombucha kefir, all of these things. I run my own fermentation classes teaching you how to make all of these things over the course of four weeks. And the last class is sourdough. So yes Sourdough is amazing!

Gerry Kelly LMFM 5:13 So that's a decent replacement for the white if you can go the whole hog yeah bread. What do you mean by fibre you talk about the brown rice there the brown past is the whole grain breads and that's exactly what else will give you five bucks. So

Rachel Graham 5:28 fruit and vegetables in particular, you're also looking at things like oats. Oats contain a very beneficial fibre called Baeta gluten, which is particularly beneficial for heart health. If you have just recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol, I would definitely recommend that the first thing that you do - that's very, very simple - is just to eat a lot more porridge, switch to it for breakfast. Instead of having that slice of white toast with butter and jam, that's going to spike your blood sugar just go for your lovely bowl of porridge and topings. What about some nice blueberries? Maybe some live probiotic yoghurts, which has the beneficial bacteria. So there's lots of things like that that you can do that are very, very simple easy switches.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 6:11 You're looking at a toast butter and jam man every morning with a cup of tea and that's all I take in the morning one toast nothing else with a cup of tea. Right I have to change have porridge!

Rachel Graham 6:20 yes definitely because that's not doing you any good. You know, you're spiking your blood sugars, you're automatically saying to your body, release insulin, which is your fat storing hormone, which drives your blood pressure. There's loads of knock on effects. It's literally like a domino effect.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 6:35 I do like porridge. I love it in the wintertime. I don't know about this time of year or in the spring. What's a little dab of honey like on it? Is that all right, or is it a no no,

Rachel Graham 6:45 no, I absolutely. Especially if it's local honey. Yeah, I would definitely recommend using local honey. A lot of people say to me, which honey should I use? Should I spend 30 euros on a jar of manuka honey? I say no, you don't have to just buy some lovely local honey. That's so beneficial for your gut microbiome as well.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 7:03 And they do know I've told them for years I kept bees myself they do know that the Royal county beekeepers are in made the loud beekeepers are loud. And we have local beekeepers in Polk counties here. Yeah, and you can get honey from local producers back to the God you mentioned. Kieffer, their mom to go. And my organic gardening guru Nikki Kyle has had me on key for she probably listened to then I'm afraid to tell you, you know the way you have to replenish it. I was away in holidays and the cycle was broken. And the knots were a little bit I think over time, you know, ain't great. Should I say? Well, yeah, it's really good. That is it to take it. I see it in the supermarkets. Now. What do you say about that?

Rachel Graham 7:42
I saw it actually recently myself in in Tesco. They had the Kieffer there and it's a good entry level for people to try out and it's definitely going to benefit them. There's more of the lactobacillus bacteria, which is the beneficial bacteria in Kieffer then there would be an alive probiotic yoghurt So it's it's a great step. So you know, I think just simplifying things, I don't want to make things that are just too inaccessible for people.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 8:10
What you're saying again, in simple terms for people, more fruit and veggies every day. Yeah, change to the Browns from the white. Yes, maybe take the live probiotic or the key for something like that. Are you on the road then to better gut health? straightaway?

Rachel Graham 8:25
Absolutely. Absolutely, there's lots of other things that you can do as well. There's definitely lots of supplements and things that you can consider. But those simple swaps would be really really effective.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 8:36 You mentioned the class you give on what did you say imitation mentation? Yeah, I was watching a series from the far east and you mentioned is it kimchi you mentioned? Yeah, can she do do you teach that as well? Yeah. Is that really as good as they say?

Rachel Graham 8:53
It is and it's just it's a basically like a spicy sour kraut. So if you like the chilies and those kind of strong flavours, then I would say that'll be a great one for you to try if you don't really like them, then maybe go with the Sourkraut. I teach how to make lots of different types of sauerkraut. So not just the traditional, white cabbage one. I would include things like red cabbage, fennel and carrots that make it really, really interesting. And, and lots of garlic and ginger and those kinds of flavours, it's a lovely addition when it's in your fridge, you can add it easily to a salad plate or to a nice sandwich. And you're getting those beneficial bacteria in in a way that doesn't feel like you are eating really weird food.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 9:36
So that's why the people over there don't suffer from a lot of the Western diseases as we call them. Yes, exactly cause of these fermented foods and incorporating them into their diet. Exactly. Is it a huge change for an Irish palate? You know, to go this road?

Rachel Graham 9:52 I don't think so. Irish people really like yoghurt. You can learn how to make your own yoghurts that has a lot of beneficial gut bacteria and if you're having that every single day as a snack or as part of your breakfast then that's a very easy addition, then maybe your sourdough bread as well, these are all great things that you can do that also tastes delicious, and are very sustainable. So yes, there are really great high quality practitioner grade supplements that you can also supplement with. And maybe initially, you might have to do that. But I look at supplements as like the scaffolding in your life, you only have to put it up temporarily and then just take it down when the job is finished. But, you know, in the long term, it's much more sustainable. It's much more economical if you can just use food as your medicine, think of food as like your pharmacy.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 10:39 And you're saying that if you start on this path within a reasonably short space of time, a very short medium long space time, you'll notice a difference.

Rachel Graham 10:47 Yes, you can do some functional testing to get the breakdown of the different bacteria is, Then test again in three months time and just see what the what the balances are and which different strains you have. So some people will find that they have specific strains in access as in too many harmful ones that are a driver of inflammatory conditions, if they have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or any kind of arthritic conditions, joint pain, all of these things can be related back to our guest. So if you have those kind of issues, and you don't want to go on long term medication, this is the answer. You have to start with your gut and give it time I would say about three months is the shortest amount of time that you can expect to see any changes within and then after that, you're just going to feel so much better, you're going to sleep better, you're going to have more focus more energy and be able to concentrate so I think it's a really good thing.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 11:45 Why wouldn't you do it? Why wouldn't you keep listening to this wonderful woman she's staying with us on leg lunch. If you have a question for her today - more from Rachel Graham after the break. Rachel Graham is with us on Late Lunch. We've had a Listener on to ask you, Rachel, she suffers from inflammatory arthritis and other foods she should take or avoid.

Rachel Graham 12:14 Sure. And so essentially what she's looking at there is an anti inflammatory diet. So you're looking at trying to reduce the numbers of inflammatory foods in your diet. Inflammatory foods really are considered to be meat and dairy. You're looking at replacing meat and dairy with fish. In particular oily fish so oily fish is very high in two essential fats called EPA and DHA, which are really, really beneficial in reducing all of the inflammatory markers in our blood. I would definitely recommend that she eats a lot more salmon, mackerel, maybe some trace some sardines, things like that, and include those more and also to supplement as well.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 12:58 Okay, and what would you talk about Supplement Wise.

Rachel Graham 13:00 With the omega three fatty acids, just go with a really high strength practitioner grade supplements because they're going to have a much higher percentage of the active property in the supplement and therefore they're going to actually be properly addressing your inflammatory condition.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 13:18
Now another question for you Hi, Gerry, would you ask your wonderful guest is fasting for 24 hours good for the system. Now I you may need more information than that, but just based on that, what do you say?

Rachel Graham 13:30 Fasting is definitely very beneficial and maybe not for 24 hours, I don't know what condition she's trying to address but certainly, the kind of 16h style of fasting where you fast for 16 hours and you eat within an eight hour window is really beneficial, especially if you're trying to address any kind of weight loss issues in particular abdominal weight gain, or what they call abdominal obesity, which is very typical for anybody with heart issues or with the prediabetes or diabetes. For those kind of things fasting is is fantastic. It's also has amazing anti ageing benefits as well it actually enables your body to do housekeeping is how I think of it.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 14:13
So we really are giving it a break if you have to maintain the level of intake of fluid, of course. Yeah, so just take your fluids, water symbolises, yes. Anything else in for a cup of tea? No.

Rachel Graham 14:24
You could have a herbal tea for sure, some people even say that the benefits of coffee is are good. You can have a cup of coffee with plenty of water, it really depends - some people don't tolerate coffee on an empty tummy it depends on the individual but certainly all the fluids.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 14:47 Another question for you, Gerry, will you ask Rachel on average in a year I take about four to five antibiotics over a 12 month period after the course of In between, could you ask or what can I take to help? I presume that like antibiotics do knock your system

Rachel Graham 15:06 Completely, they totally compromised your gut health. Antibiotics, stress, a poor diet, lack of exercise, all of these things really severely compromise your gut health, when you are consistently taking antibiotics, you're pretty much consistently bombarding and damaging and your health. You're just literally obliterating gut health which you need to rebuild again. I would say, there is a fantastic brand of supplements called bio care. I don't know if I can say that on

Gerry Kelly LMFM 15:38 anything yet. We're here to help. Yeah, Rachel.

Rachel Graham 15:40 So go into the her local pharmacy and ask if they stock the bio care range, most of them do, they have an intensive seven day course, that has over 100 billion different strains. It's really high strength and will definitely help her. She could also take acidophilus everyday thats really good so she would need to supplement and also take a lot of fermented foods.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 16:11 Can you take grapefruit if you have arthritis now? I think grapefruit is out of your take stock Yes, it's a horse issue. Yeah, isn't it? Yeah, yeah. If you have arthritis Can you take great for you? Okay, yeah. But coming to the heart it's a no no of your taking statins that there's a warning on the arm because I takes that and let me tell you and I take them every single day. And there is a warning about that. But just as an aside for myself, I wake up in the mornings are times aching, all my bones ache, and I know what it is. I've done Dr. Google on this, Rachel. It's a side effect, isn't it?

Rachel Graham 16:44 It is the most common side effect is the aching joints. And so what I recommend everybody taking statins is to also supplement with CO enzyme q 10. It is an essential enzyme that we actually all make naturally but from the age 14 onwards, it starts to decline, in Japan, for example, they don't prescribe statins, they prescribe co q 10. So it's a really, really effective. So I would highly recommend that.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 17:17 Here somebody looking for a solution to a difficulty that many people live with. Gerry, can you ask Rachel, is there any supplement that helps weight loss?

Rachel Graham 17:28 Oh, there's no magic pill. No, absolutely no magic pill whatsoever. There's lots of things you can do. For Weight Loss, sugar is the big one, to reduce your sugar and I'm not talking about just the regular added sugar, as in with sweets, but things like starchy veggies, you don't realise just how much sugar they have and that they spike your blood sugar. Also, things like the white bread, the white pasta, the white rice, just do the switch over

Gerry Kelly LMFM 17:55 to that switch and that will certainly help you. So there's loads coming in for you today. Give them a call. Went through us, but I'll hold them if we don't get to them. Josephine has been on to say, please help me with my insomnia. Rachel, is there anything you can recommend supplementary wise or in my diet that will help?

Rachel Graham 18:11 How much coffee is she drinking? What time does she have her last cup of coffee is that huge, absolutely massive. It affects your your quality sleep, it's it stimulates your adrenal glands. So you can't actually get into that nice relaxed state where you're able to fall asleep. Also, the other thing that she could do is to turn off screens. Screens emitt a very stimulating blue light. And we all find ourselves late at night in bed on our phones scrolling through and that is very disturbing for your sleep. The other thing that she could do is to magnesium is fantastic. So the there's this great spray, it's a transdermal spray, so it's not a pill you actually spray it onto your skin is from a company called better use. You can buy it in the health food store and you just spray it on and there's one that they have called better you sleep.They call it nature's tranquilliser. It just completely relaxes you. It's fantastic. She could also take an Epsom salt bath which is obviously magnesium as well also creating a nice bedtime routine so that you're always going to bed roughly around the same time. That's what you call good sleep hygiene. And that's really important too.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 19:26 the Cola is full of caffeine if you're a late night drinker of it, cola or cola products

Rachel Graham 19:36 yes, of course anything that's fine.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 19:39 And we've admitted and if you can do this and Margaret's been on to say, Rachel What about food and sinus? I suffer terrible with my sinuses.

Rachel Graham 19:48 Dairy is a huge contributor to that. So she would maybe try and try plant milk. Try an almond milk or oat milk or a soy milk Just switch over to those, dairy is a massive driver and contributor to all of the kind of allergic conditions in particular sinus

Gerry Kelly LMFM 20:08 times beaten us today. And we did say you and I will tell them beforehand a set an agenda. We've barely tick the box. You'll have to come back your mind. Yes, absolutely them where they can find out more about you. And may I say congratulations on a wonderful website.

Rachel Graham 20:22
Thank you so much. Yes. My husband is amazing. And he is a web developer and digital marketer and he did the whole website for me which is fantastic. My website is Rachel graham.ie. I'm based in Dundalk. I do private consultations once a week in the GP practice there. And I also run extensive number of workshops with multiple dates on multiple topics and themes. So check it out.

Gerry Kelly LMFM 20:49 have you back to talk about those multiple topics and team. Yeah, you don't mind. So Rachel, Rachel has been a real pleasure this afternoon. Lovely to meet you. And thank you for joining us today.

Rachel Graham 20:58 Thank you so much. It was great, I really enjoyed it - thanks.