Naturally Nourished Episode 62: How to Feed a Brain with Guest: Cavin Balaster

December 11, 2017

Can food be medicine to heal your brain? Hear from post-traumatic brain injury recovery victor Cavin Balaster on how he used nutritional therapy to not only survive a traumatic brain injury but to rediscover how to thrive! From being tube fed and on a ventilator in a hospital to doing back flips and publishing his first book, How to Feed a Brain, Cavin talks about his journey using food as medicine from a leaky gut protocol to a ketogenic cure. This episode is sure to inspire and empower you!


Also in this episode:

  • Leaky Gut
  • Cavin’s perspective on the brain as a bridge building system
  • 3 super nutrients for brain support and synaptogenesis
  • Nootropics and how excess of anything can drive imbalance
  • Where to start with food for brain health
    The role of glandulars on brain and vestibular rebound
  • Honoring your metabolic threshold and stress support for brain recovery
  • Detoxification and infrared sauna therapy


Cavin Balaster Bio

In 2011 Cavin Balaster sustained a severe traumatic brain injury that left him comatose with less than a 10% chance of ever regaining consciousness beyond a persistent vegetative state.  He didn’t eat, walk, or talk for months while he was in the hospital. He was breathing from a tube in his neck, receiving nutrition from a tube in his belly, and his left hand was completely flexed inward.

About a year after his injury, he was introduced to a nutritional protocol that helped him begin to regain some clarity.  That’s when he dove into an intense study of why nutrition made such a difference. For over 6 years, he has devoted his life to studying metabolism, neurometabolism, mechanisms of neuroplasticity, neuroscience, and nutrition, while reaching out to doctors, researchers, practitioners, and neuroscientists, to learn everything he can to optimize his brain function and to maximize his recovery.

Cavin started an award-winning blog and a podcast “Adventures in Brain Injury”, where he interviews doctors, practitioners, researchers, and others involved in neurorehabilitation and brain function. He is soon to release a book called How to Feed a Brain, which is the culmination of the nutritional tools he has learned through this journey. Cavin wrote this book to share with others the nutritional information that has helped him to regain his brain function. While his recovery has been an astounding example for brain injury survivors, this book is not just for those with neurological conditions –it is for anyone wanting to improve their brains.


More information on Cavin can be found on: and register for his FREE Webinar series featuring me as one of his experts here:


Naturally Nourished Episode 61: Curb Your Cravings!

December 5, 2017

Are you dealing with unrelenting food cravings or food addiction? Not sure where to start to reset your relationship with food? Want to get to the bottom of the physiological and emotional drivers for your cravings? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki discuss the root causes for food cravings from neurotransmitter imbalance to micronutrient deficiency and the role of stress.


In this Episode, Ali and Becki drill into the physical and emotional reasons for food cravings and food addiction. Imbalanced neurotransmitters like dopamine or glutamate can actually drive addictive behavior and cravings for specific foods, while deficiencies in magnesium or essential fatty acids might be the culprit for others. Still others might be dealing with sleep deprivation, chronic stress or imbalanced gut bacteria or hormones as the achilles heel for their cravings. If you’ve ever felt out of control with your food cravings, this episode is jam-packed with practical solutions, suggestions for lab testing and supplements to get you back in control of your body and redefine your relationship with food for good!


Also In This Episode:

Neurotransmitter Imbalance

Naturally Nourished Cookbook (use code HOLIDAY20 for 20% off through January 2)


Naturally Nourished Episode 60: Dysbiosis and the Microbiome

November 27, 2017

Did you know that the microbiome is made up of 100 trillion cells of bacteria and yeast that line the mouth, skin and gut? Curious about the role they play in our health? Want to know how to make your bacteria work in your favor? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki go down the rabbit hole of the microbiome and discuss what happens in both a symbiotic (favorable) and dysbiotic (unfavorable) state. From mood stability to immune health to digestive function, the microbiome plays a critical role in expression of overall health or disease state. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of dysbiosis as well as what you can do to ensure a healthy and resilient gut population!


In this episode, Ali and Becki dig into the complex topic of the microbiome and address how dysbiosis or overgrowth of bacteria occurs in the first place as well as the multitude of symptoms and conditions an unhealthy biome can drive. Our neurotransmitters, immune system and digestion are regulated by our living bacteria in the gut which means that dysbiosis can impact many systems of the body and have seemingly unrelated symptoms. Learn about what to look for in a probiotic, when probiotics may not be enough and how you can reset your microbiome to work in your favor!


Also In This Episode:

Step 3: Start probiotic at 1 capsule at bed for 3 days. Continue to measure waist circumference at rise and at rest.

Step 4: Increase by 1 capsule capsule every 3 days until you meet 4 per night at day 10 of active probiotic challenge (not counting initial reads without probiotic)

Step 5: Try to continue at 4 per night for 3 days. Note changes in waist circumference as well as any changes in GI cramping, bowel movements, belching, or gas during challenge. Continue taking probiotic 1 at bed if well tolerated.


Naturally Nourished Episode 59: Q&A Grab Bag and Thanksgiving Menu Planning

November 21, 2017

Love the podcast but have trouble listening to a whole episode in one go? Interested to hear Ali’s take on several different health and wellness topics? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki answer burning questions that our podcast listeners have asked across a wide range of topics from the role of biotin to suggestions for skin conditions to advice for those considering ketosis!

In this special episode, Ali and Becki answer listener questions on topics ranging from biotin deficiency and hair loss to eczema to how to know if a ketogenic diet is right for you and what to do if you are having trouble absorbing fat! In the second half of the episode, Ali and Becki share their Thanksgiving menus and give helpful tips for staying on track during the holiday season!

Also In This Episode:


Naturally Nourished Episode 58: Cutting Off Cancer with Food As Medicine

November 14, 2017

Are you or a loved one dealing with a cancer diagnosis and looking to add diet and lifestyle tools to the fight? Are you confused about the gaps between conventional cancer treatment and a functional medicine and real food approach? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki demystify the pathology of cancer as well offer food-as-medicine solutions to supporting the immune system, starving off tumor growth, detoxifying the body and how ketosis can play a role in best outcomes during cancer treatment!


In this Episode, Ali and Becki discuss the role of diet and cancer pathology, whether you are looking for the best diet during active cancer treatment or simply want to add prevention strategies to your daily rituals. We all have potentially cancerous cells in our bodies, however diet and lifestyle play a huge role in whether those cells manifest in disease expression or not! From boosting the immune system to foods that can influence the way tumors grow and spread, this episode is packed with cutting edge food-as-medicine solutions to empower you in the fight against cancer.


Also In This Episode:



Naturally Nourished Episode 57: Keto and Cancer with Guest Alison Gannett

November 7, 2017

Have you heard about using ketosis as a therapeutic diet to conquer cancer? Curious to hear about clinical outcomes of a ketogenic diet as an adjuvant to chemotherapy? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki interview Oncology Keto Diet Coach Alison Gannett about her diagnosis of terminal malignant brain cancer and how she has used keto to not only survive but thrive and how you can too!

In this Episode, Ali and Becki interview Alison Gannet, a World Champion Extreme Skier, Self-sufficient organic farmer, Oncology Keto Diet Coach, and founder of multiple non-profits including Cooking to Conquer Cancer. Diagnosed with terminal malignant brain cancer in 2013, she chose to address the root causes of her cancer with Dr. Nasha Winter’s Metabolic Approach to Cancer. She since has trained with Dr. Nasha and now helps others to prevent and conquer cancer by creating personalized keto diets using blood chemistry, DNA, and client history. Learn about advanced testing for best outcomes, how Alison incorporates 9+ servings of vegetables per day into her keto diet and what she considers her superfoods for fighting cancer!

Also in this Episode:


Naturally Nourished Episode 56: Rebounding Your Body from Trauma

October 30, 2017

Have you or a loved one experienced a traumatic event? Wondering how it might impact your body, even years later? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki discuss the impact of trauma on the body and ways to mitigate the effects, from immune support to breathing techniques and the importance of returning to structure.

In this Episode, Ali and Becki break down what happens to the body after experiencing a traumatic event and how the after effects can lurk in the body for years afterward as a root cause of chronic illness. Trauma can be a physical experience like a car accident or serious injury as well as an emotional event like losing a loved one unexpectedly that elicits a psychological response. Trauma survivors may experience physical pain, immune distress as well as anxiety and PTSD long after the immediate danger has passed. Learn how to recover your body if you have experienced a traumatic event, the importance of the mind-body connection and how food-as-medicine can be used to help you get back in control of your body and mind!

Also in this Episode:

Immune Supporting Compounds

Practicing Self Care & Getting Back on Track

Stress & Trauma Recovery

Supplements to Support Stress Response

Mental Health Resources




Naturally Nourished Episode 55: Breastfeeding

October 24, 2017

Are you a new or expecting mom looking for support on your breastfeeding journey? Confused about all of the misinformation out there and not sure what is going to work best for you and your baby? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki share the science behind “nature’s perfect food” including the benefits for both baby and momma, tips for establishing the breastfeeding relationship as well as troubleshooting common issues experienced by new moms.

In this episode, Ali and Becki discuss the nutritional composition of breast milk, the benefits beyond caloric burn for new moms and how stress can influence the breastfeeding relationship. From use of nipple alternatives to mastitis to how to balance pumping and direct feeding for the working mom, breastfeeding can be a juggling act. This episode will provide solutions to common breastfeeding problems as well as delve into cutting edge research about the benefits of breastfeeding and discuss foods and supplements that can optimize milk production for baby’s first months of life!

Also In This Episode:


Naturally Nourished Episode 54: Anti Anxiety Diet

October 17, 2017

Are you dealing with anxiety and want to take the reins on your life? Know there is more to the story in terms of treatment but unsure of where to start? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki tackle the often taboo subject of anxiety from defining the broad range of symptoms to Ali’s 6 Foundational Rs for managing anxiety. From decreasing inflammation to restoring the gut microbiome, Ali and Becki go deep into how diet can help you to find long term solutions and freedom from anxiety, worry and rumination!


In this Episode, Ali and Becki discuss the foundation of an Anti-Anxiety Diet and how you can use food-as-medicine as well as nutraceutical supplement recommendations for managing stress, worry and anxiety. From defining anxiety to the symptoms that are seemingly unrelated, this important episode gets to the root cases of the “elephant in the room” that is anxiety. From inflammation to gut dysbiosis to micronutrient status and adrenal gland function, there are a multitude of underlying factors at play when patients experience anxiety. Ali and Becki give recommendations for simple dietary changes as well as more advanced functional medicine testing to get you feeling back in the driver’s seat of your body!


Also in this episode:


Naturally Nourished Episode 53: Coping with Chemo

October 10, 2017

Are you or a loved one dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation? Struggling with a new diagnosis and unsure of how to best support your body through treatment? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki discuss food-as-medicine therapies that can aid with common side effects of treatment as well as ensure best recovery and remission. From creative ideas for dealing with loss of appetite to nausea and digestive changes, this episode will provide useful tools for optimizing nutrient intake so that you can truly fight with your fork!


In this Episode, Ali and Becki explore the nutritional priorities during active cancer treatment including supporting the immune system, ensuring adequate cell membrane and gut lining support as well as optimizing overall nutritional status. The side effects of cancer treatment can often seem as bad as the cancer itself and malnutrition is a common barrier to getting best outcomes. From immune support with adequate protein and optimal micronutrient status to navigation of taste changes, dehydration and oral sores, this episode is jam packed with practical tips to empower patients in active treatment as well as their caregivers!


Also in this Episode: