Hi. On this week’s podcast, I’ll be introducing Rowan who helps us with our meal planning and makes sure we have the nutrition and the balancing meals correct for your dogs. We’ll also be talking a little bit about inflammation in dogs, but we’ll start off from the human side and how that relates back to the dog world. And finally, we’ll be also talking about our meals and why we have vegetables and berries in them.
Mark: Welcome to podcast number one.
Rowan: Whoa! I wish I was wearing two paw gloves.
Mark: Well, I’m Mark. This is Rowan.
Mark: I really want to introduce Rowan on podcast number one because Rowan’s going to be heading up a lot of these podcasts going forward. So, and also Rowan takes care of a lot of the meals and the nutrition and balancing etc. And everything that goes in the meals. We have lots of discussions on all about the feed. And I really want to give you a little bit of history about Rowan or Rowan’s gonna give a little bit history about himself and the fact he is an FDN. So, over to you Rowan.
Rowan: I worked in the city. Got very ill. Couldn’t find any recourse in current conventional medicine. Ended up consulting with some people in the US. Thought wow! This is astonishing. Why isn’t this methodology being used more in Europe? So, spend five to six years retraining in functional medicine. Starting off in functional diagnostic nutrition which is basically a nutrition-based approach to health but relying on cutting-edge laboratory testing to see where you’re at and what’s happening. So, basically, the loss of different handles to a functional medicine practitioner, FDN nutritionist, whichever you want to call it. But basically, I’m the geek who is totally obsessed with biochemistry. How it impacts your health, information and how to live longer and look better. Because I’m also slightly vain and I don’t want to look my 72 years.
Mark: So, we met through biohacking and again. I’ll let you explain a little bit about biohacking, but with you met through my wife Sadie in a convention in LA. So, if you want to just explain a little bit about what a biohacker is.
Rowan: Yeah. Very briefly. Because this is a term that’s getting bandied around a lot reading the press at the moment. Biohacking is positively influencing and taking control of your own biology. So, for instance, we often look at the example of people wanting to influence their own hormones for health and longevity. Obviously, you can go to the doctors and get a massive slab of finer identical hormones or you can take control and regulate information in your body which allows you to stabilize your own hormone production and then enhance from there. So, biohacking – influence in your own biology by the shortest means possible to the positive. Whether it’s influencing you sleep or whichever performance, health.
Mark: And a lot of this doing through tracking. Isn’t it? You’ve got a track, track everything. How much exercise you do..
Rowan: Well, the process of biohacking is not really about tracking. The tracking element is just being able to quantify it. So, I like to look at that as, for instance, lots of people give you advice on health. And everybody’s got over you on nutrition. And they said ‘oh! I’ve done this, the grapefruit diet. You need to do it.’ well, I always look at that and I’m a little bit wary. Why? Because you have to know where somebody is on their health journey before you can offer advice to get them to where they’re going to. So, I live in Andalusia. If I’m going to take directions to Paris, that’s totally different the directions that Mark in Perth will take. If I say to him ‘hey! I got to Paris and I win this way. He’s going to end up somewhere in the Atlantic.’ so, find out where somebody is. Guide them to where they want to get. And you can do that through testing and through quantifiable metrics. That’s a lot of big words. Was that too many big words?
Mark: No. No. It’s perfect. And I think a lot of people turn to biohacking because they are either unhappy or become ill. There’s some reason why they’ve got into by hacking through research. And relating this back to dogs, I also think, with dogs a lot of people like myself came to raw because one of my dogs got cancer. I started doing research, I never even thought about dry highly-processed dog food and the health of my dog. So, I think, with nutrition etc. It’s much more of a holistic approach where if you can do it from the very start from babies or puppies, a lot of the diseases, the chronic illnesses that we see today, in your opinion, come from food?
Rowan: Um, okay. There’s two things that I guess we’ve discussed there. The first thing is a lot of people come to this through sickness or through dis-ease with disease. Totally true. A lot of people, for instance, in my own health journey, I was told simply to rest. Okay. Now, if I was resting, I would either be now dead or still just resting. It wouldn’t have got me well.
Mark: Because that was not the solution for you.
Rowan: That was not the solution. Did some very very cool lab tests. Found out exactly what was going wrong. Addressed it. In the stay of three to six months changed five years of illness. Now, so, yes lots of people get to biohacking or into functional medicine addressing the root cause of illness rather than just palliatively patting a symptom. And ‘yes’ to answer your question. Lots of these chronic conditions are utterly avoidable. Utterly! So, if we look at arthritis in humans, for instance, there’s some really really super smart people out there right now that believe it’s totally avoidable. Because they think it’s three things. They think it is a genetic predisposition which you can test for and we test for it and we can find it. Intestinal permeability and a stressor. And when those three things are brought together, it creates arthritis. So, by removing one or two of those bits of the chain, obviously you can’t alter your genes, but you can alter the environment part. You get rid of the condition! And this has been done repeatedly in our practice.
Mark: And we can’t obviously no one’s spending that sort of research and money on dogs. They’re just not going to do it.
Rowan: Well, this is what’s actually really frustrating is that there’s not actually that much research going into the human market. Why? Because the incentive isn’t there for a lot of pharmaceutical companies to look at a holistic diet based approach. So, for instance, statins been a case in point. I’m going to avoid going on a road and rant about those. But that’s an Alzheimer’s time bomb that’s being created. So, now there’s a couple of single, simple, really simple natural products which will radically change somebody’s bad cholesterol profile. But, of course, there’s no research gone into them except in alternative medicine in the US. Because ultimately it would be killing an industry.
Mark: Yeah okay. So, let’s take… Because of a biohacker, I have a pretty clean diet throughout mostly year. Muffins two weeks of the year. That’s obviously the New Year’s and Christmas and I just let it go.
Rowan: And whenever I seem to come to your house.
Mark: Yeah. Yeah. Well, actually that is a festival time. Though, I am so…
Rowan: …better in gym wheels for you only next time I visit.
Mark: So, throughout the year, made my way like my body stays pretty consistent. Christmas new year, bang! But I can bang on 8 to 10 pounds just like that. Now, within two weeks is no way that can be fat. It’s just absolutely no way that could be a fat. So, what is that? What is that extra 8 to 10 pounds I’m putting on?
Rowan: It’s just like that you Tommy Cooper diet.
Mark: just like that, just like that
Rowan: Right! Okay. Well, some of it will be fat. Because your body can store fat quite quickly and quite efficiently when the right things are brought together. Okay. Because we’re designed to actually store fat as a survival mechanism. However, not all of that will be fat. The majority of it will be water. So, there’s a couple of things which happen when you eat, for instance, carbohydrates, particularly bad fast sugar carbohydrates, your body can often become inflamed especially if they are grain based. So, your body looks at that and goes ‘oh! My goodness! This is something we’re intolerant to or allergic to. We shouldn’t be eating this. Let’s try and mitigate this poison. Let’s try and water it down. How did they do that? They bring water into the cell. So, it’s much like if you burn your hand. It swells up. Why? Your body’s actually becoming inflamed as part of the healing response. So, when you’re eating all that kind of Christmas Festival stuff (the generic term) then what happens is your body goes whoa! And it will absorb a lot of water and retain a lot of water to try and if you will water it down. So, you get this water retention. So, what you’re getting is people will feel bloated and you’ve referred to this before. You’ve talked about a muffin top or whichever, that is inflammation and inflammatory response rather than certainly your body developing strange mushroomy layer of fat.
Mark: Okay. Great! So, we relate that back to dogs. Sometimes, I see somebody on the Facebook group saying ‘my dog’s been on Bella & Duke for two weeks and he’s lost weight. The vet says ‘yes your dog has lost weight but it hasn’t lost muscle.’ so, what I’m assuming is going on there is the dogs inflow of sponsors actually reduce them because we’re getting rid of a lot of the highly processed food it was on. And that’s water that’s going rather than muscle and now you see in the correct shape of a dog and a healthy dog as opposed to a dog that’s either a beast or got a lot of water retention.
Rowan: Totally. I mean if we think about dogs in the wild, there’s no way that a dog should ever be obese. A dog’s frame, they’re meant to be mobile, agile. A dog should be lean. It should have enough fat to keep it warm and to protect its organs. But if you look a working dog or the term as fit as a butcher’s dog, these dogs are not waddling round, riddled with arthritis. That just shouldn’t happen. So, if you see that was an indicator that something is going wrong. So, as soon as you get a dog onto a raw diet. And let’s assume, it was on the kibble beforehand, the majority of weight is going to lose in the first few days is going to be water as you decrease the carbohydrate content and then also water that’s been retained as part of an inflammatory response. So, there’s two things. One is carbohydrates because dogs shouldn’t eat them. When you eat carbohydrates, people blow up a little bit and that’s why bodybuilders do that before they go on stage. But they won’t eat carbohydrates for months on end and then suddenly they’ll eat a few before they go on stage because make them look a bit more blown up.
Mark: Okay. So, there’s another interesting article. We will get onto it this time but just know out there a lot of people now seeing similar sort of issues for dogs as they are humans. Because dogs live in our houses and then the discovering their dogs were actually picking up a lot of the issues from chemicals in the house etc. Etc. But I think that’s something for another…
Rowan: That’s really really interesting and it’s something I’m currently geeking out on which is environmental chemicals and we can bookmark this for another time. But also the chemicals that get given to your dog regularly out of fear. Saying that if you don’t have this, it’s going to end up with worm the size of an anaconda.
Mark: Okay. So, that’s definitely another podcast. So, another point I wanted to just quickly go through before we finish up is, so we have complete meals. Fruit and veg. And I know there’s several different camps out there from the whole prey to the bar for example and obviously there’s more out there. What’s the reasons for us having vegetables and berries in our meals?
Rowan: Okay. Well, there are several camps out there. In fact, perfect timing Mark. It’s almost like you set this up. We have today, I wrote an article on this. So, please do read it. Give us your feedback. Um, we are a bit more towards the bath camp than the raw prey camp. Albeit being very very honest, no one really knows exactly what is exactly right. This is evolving science which is doing the best we can. The reason we’ve got vegetables in because dogs have evolved from wolves. And when I say evolved in that context I mean they have moved on. So, whilst wolves don’t have amylase and can’t digest any carbohydrate, the dogs can digest some. And the latest studies have shown that dogs which have some seasonal veg and some fruits, not tropical fruits more Aries, tend to have much lower cancer rates. So, yes! That’s not purely ancestral, but we’re looking at where we’re at now with the best science we have now. And the best science we have now and the experience is, keep the dogs carnivorous, high protein, quality meat or protein based diet with limited fruits and vegetables preferably ground up as well doing mincing them up or pureed to actually make them more accessible. Not only do they have higher antioxidants which keep cells intact and protect them against cancers. But it also the bits which aren’t digested tend to feed at the positive bacteria in the dog’s gut. So that they have a strengthened immune system. So, it’s win-win. You’re either getting the antioxidants if you can digest it. And if they don’t digest it, it’s forming a perfect substrate for the microbiome. And the final point is that this provides soluble fiber which keeps the dogs intestinal tract working smoothly.
Mark: And it’s sort of a cleaner.
Rowan: If that’s what you wish to describe it as yes.
Mark: So, cool! So, there’s tons of stuff that we could get into a more detailed which I think…
Mark: So, we could talk about seasonal veg and all other things we’re doing and going forth. So, that’s brilliant. I think that’s been really useful. I appreciate you coming on today and I guess we’ll be covering other things next week when we get feedback from our group and any questions and if you have want us to answer or especially Rowan who’s an FDM. You’d be more than happy to bring that book on our podcast number two.
Rowan: And please, please, please, really feedback is totally essential. We’ve got over 1800 subscribers now and everybody’s having different experiences. We’re hoping that all of them are largely positive, but together we can all evolve quicker if we’re sharing and giving feedback. So, we can make this even more of a positive movement or maintain the momentum just by chipping in. If you’ve experienced something it might be that somebody’s about to ask the same question. So, please share it. Please, please give us feedback because you’re helping us to improve and to provide better meals for you guys.
Mark: Great. Awesome! Thank you very much.
Rowan: Have an awesome weekend.inflammation, raw dog food