Hello and welcome to another episode of a Dad’s Path podcast. I’m Will Braunstein. Today we’re here with Dr. Will Cole. He’s a health advisor to Gwyneth Paltrow, a top functional medicine practitioner in New York Times bestselling author. He’s dedicated his career to teaching people to apply skepticism to nutritional trends.
Instead, pay closer attention to their own intuition. Very important, uh, for everyone, but especially dads here. Uh, he specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for things such as thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and more.
He’s the host of the Art of Being Well Podcast. An author of Keto, the Inflammation Spectrum, the New York Times bestseller, intuitive Fasting, his new book, GU Gut Feelings, demystifies The Gut Brain Connection provides a framework to repair the relationship between what you eat and how you feel. So welcome, will, excited to have you on here.
Thank you. This is Will squared. I’m really excited about that. We’re coming together for this, uh, monumental will occasion. Right? Lots of wills. We’re, we’re filled up. But there’s a will, there’s a way. Exactly. Exactly. Uh, And, and that’s what I’ve fed. I, I felt, you know, reading your book is, um, or, you know, kind of your approach, which is saying, you know, understand what your will is, what you’re feeling, what you know your gut is.
But I’d love you to just kind of explain at the very top, You know, the gut brain connection and then its significance to overall health. Sure. So it’s just really important for everybody, no matter who you are, if you’re a dad or just a regular human being, another type of human being, uh, your gut and brain are formed from the same field tissue.
So when our babies are growing in their mother’s womb, the gut brain are formed from the same fetal tissue, and they’re inextricably linked for the rest of. All of our lives through what’s known in the scientific literature as the gut-brain axis, or the connection between the gut and the brain. And if you think about it, even on a physical level, appearance-wise, the gut even resembles the brain.
The intestines even resemble the brain. 95% of serotonin or happy neurotransmitter is made in the gut. 50% of dopamine, our pleasure neurotransmitter is made in the gut. So the, there are far-reaching implications to the influence of the gut and the gut microbiome, which is the collective term for the trillions of bacteria.
Yeast and fungus that are living in the gut, and it seems to be how it works, is that the bacteria in the gut influence GI motility, the movement of the gut and work on something called the vagus nerve, which is the largest cranial nerve in the body, which is responsible for our parasympathetic, our resting, digesting.
Hormone balanced state of which many people to varying degrees, and this is what I’m talking about in gut feelings in the book, is poor vagal tone. And a lot of people have anxiety and depression and brain fog and fatigue and other autoimmune inflammation type issues. And these are physiological issues in part.
So really looking at the underlying root components as to why people feel the way that they do, and oftentimes has. At least a gut centric component to it, if not entirely due to underlying gut issues. Um, and the trillions of bacteria in our gut not only influence the vagus nerve and crosstalk with the brain, but.
The gut is home to about 75% of the immune system. Inflammation is a product of the immune system. So there’s a whole field of research known as the the cytokine model of cognitive function. It’s research looking at cytokines or pro-inflammatory cells. How does inflammation impact how our brain works?
How does inflammation impact our mood and mental health? So in the book it is, and it’s born out of my work with my telehealth patients, is that. In the West, we’ll oftentimes separate mental health from physical health, but in fact, mental health is physical health, and our brain is a part of our body just as much as anything else is.
So it’s really looking at both the physiological and the psychological, hence the name gut feelings. It’s the physical gut and the feelings, the mental, emotional, spiritual components, and the interplay between the two and how those physical things will impact our mood. But then the research around.
Chronic stress and unresolved trauma and how these mental, emotional, spiritual facets, the feelings stuff of gut feelings, how does that influence our physiology? How does it impact inflammation in dysregulating, our nervous system impacting the gut brain access that way? So it’s multi-pronged is multi-faceted, but it’s something that I find.
Extremely important for the average person out there because when you look at the statistics of the amount of people that have mental health issues or brain health issues and other metabolic issues and gut issues and autoimmune problems, it is the majority of the human race at this point, sadly. And we have to do something different to see something different.
And these are things that we have at least a large degree of agency over to overcome and heal and, and Im improve our health overall. Awesome. No, it makes a ton of sense. And the, uh, the impact of inflammation seems, you know, just gigantic. And I guess I’m curious, uh, you know, the relationship between, as you’re saying, you know, your gut and your brain and your mood, uh, when you’re inflamed, and I guess as a follow up, you know, what would also be some common signs of inflammation, you know, or of something that’s unhealthy going on with you?
You’re right, inflammation is, um, Abstract concept become nebulous, I think to the average person cuz they know probably it’s not the best thing. But actually inflammation is not inherently bad. It’s a product of the immune system, as I said, meaning it’s needed to fight off viruses and fight off bacteria and heal wounds.
And when someone has like an injury that’s, that’s swelling and redness is a healthy part of a normal inflammatory immune response. The problem is, Chronic inflammation that is the forest fire that’s burning in perpetuity. That’s a problem. That is what’s associated in the scientific literature to just about every health problem under the sun.
But it exists on a spectrum. I mean, on one end there’s the more extreme diagnosable issues like type two diabetes, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune problems. I mentioned anxiety and depression, and the researcher on the inflammation components of that brain fog fatigue. But researchers show that it’s about four to 10 years prior to that di, that official diagnosis of all those problems.
On average, it’s about four to 10 years prior to someone being diagnosable that things were brewing on this inflammation spectrum. So meaning these things for most people. Most of the time we’re, could not happen overnight. So we have to look at the, look at the larger continuum of what’s at play here. So if you’re not, I mean, if you are diagnosed, all, all those issues have been shown to have inflammatory components or being overtly inflammatory in nature, but.
The more insidious issues like fatigue or background anxiety or trouble losing weight, or digestive problems or skin flareups or hair loss or erectile dysfunction, or trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. These are all what we would call in functional medicine, check engine lights. The body’s telling us something that, Hey, like something’s not right here.
And so many people, especially men, will. Come downplaying gaslight themselves. Well, that’s not that bad. I can go to work. I’m all right. But the reality is these issues are typically left to their own. Devices will get worse over time. Slowly, if you don’t do something different, you have to do something different to see something different.
And I hopefully, just speaking to the men and dads people out there that are listening to the podcast is just. Listen to your body. You know, if your car’s check engine light came on, you wouldn’t just cover up the check engine light and keep on driving. At least I hope you wouldn’t. And if you took the car to the mechanic, He’s not gonna, the, the mechanic’s not gonna do it either, and if they do get a new mechanic, but all of these symptoms that I mentioned are like check engine lights and we have to fig look underneath that proverbial hood of figuring out what’s dysfunctional, what’s misfiring, what’s off in the first place, what’s dysregulated in the first place that’s causing that symptom or that check engine light to be on.
And we should be certainly treating ourselves better than we treat our car. Absolutely. And that’s a great comparison though cuz we do treat our cars, you know, very well. We do look at the tech engine line and say, all right, you know, this is what I need to prioritize now. And uh, for all of us, you know, especially as dads who are super busy, it’s easy to ignore self-care or it’s easy to, uh, put that to the side and, um, Obviously that doesn’t work.
You know, you can’t do your best, uh, when, when you don’t feel like that, you don’t feel good. And I, I, you know, in, in your book you talk about the role of, you know, stress managing, stress, addressing trauma, uh, and then finding food peace. And just as sort of takeaways, so not just diet, I mean food peace is part of that.
But I was wondering if, um, we could kind of hit on each of those, maybe starting. I think you, you called chronic stress, uh, the ultimate junk food. Was that your, your term? So I’d love you to talk about that for a second, and the connection between stress and, um, you know, mind body. Sure. So the book’s really a bidirectional.
Conversation about how the physiological impacts the mental, emotional, spiritual, and then the mental, emotional, spiritual, how does it impact the physiological? So it’s broken up into gut and feelings, and then connecting the two, and then how to really support both because that’s how you’re going to really get sustainable health.
And if people focus so much on one and not the other, it’s really for many people, an incomplete picture as to how you can feel your best. And. The feeling side is the bigger part of the book, to be honest with you, because it influences the physiological in many ways and it actually in so many ways when you talk about clinical nutrition and the food choices that people make.
Will actually happen a lot more unimpeded in a PO in a positive direction when you get the feeling stuff, at least moving in the right direction. Meaning if somebody is filled with ruminating thoughts and chronic stress and shame and unresolved trauma, they will tend to make more the, on average, they’ll make more poor.
Food choices, food, they’ll eat foods that don’t love them back so much. But when you start at least not perfect, but at least being conscious and mindful and anchoring yourself to some degree in a, in the present moment, you can be the mindful awareness of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the choices you may be on food, right?
It’s just like your physical activity, what you’re spending your time on, the amount of digital things you’re consuming as well, not just food, um, will be a little bit more mindful, a little bit more self. Serving and nourishing, and not in a self sabotaging way, but in a nourishing way, a self-respect way.
So the feeling stuff is really the major part of gut feelings of the book, because it’s just the genesis of sustainable wellness is what my experience is with our telehealth patients. And the research is astounding that things like chronic stress, Unresolved trauma will impact our physiology. Our body is a cellular library, and our thoughts and our words, our emotions, our experiences presently and in the past are the books that fill up that library, influencing our physiology, influencing things like inflammation, impacting hormones, impacting our energy levels, impacting our gut brain access.
So it is extremely important, but it’s a lot more. Abstract because it’s more prescriptive and straightforward for me to say from a clinical nutrition standpoint, okay, these foods been shown to support X, y, and Z in your health. Like focus on these, these foods are, are associated with support, with really dysregulating the health, messing up your gut for lack of better terms or impairing gut health.
Okay? Have less of those. It’s black and white. It’s prescriptive. Yes, there’s bioindividuality with that and nuance and we talk about it in the book, but you know what I mean. It’s a lot more prescriptive. Yeah. On the feeling stuff. It’s a lot more, uh, non-linear because it is, uh, to then say, okay, here’s what chronic stress will do.
Your do your health, it’ll raise inflammation. Dysregulating your nervous system, but you can’t just say, don’t stress, like don’t, don’t have that stress anymore cuz you’ll stress about not stressing and it’s just not how the way that. Life works, right? And same with certainly more complex is unresolved trauma.
Like how do you don’t have that? So really to, I wanted to go there. I wanted to have these complex, nuanced conversations around what I’ve seen work for people. Cuz that’s my day job is consulting people online at the telehealth center of dealing with unresolved trauma and how that’s impacting their health today.
So it is not just about what you’re feeding your body, what are you feeding your head and your heart? Knowingly and unknowingly ab. Absolutely. And with the unresolved trauma, I mean, how does it manifest in your body and your in your cells? I mean, is it the same, you know, could it be the same as eating like a ton of sugar or a ton of.
You know, something that’s bad for you or that your body, it’s very similar. It’s very similarly actually, the this many studies that I talk about in the book, the book’s well referenced as far as the scientific literature’s concerns you. It is fascinating what researchers are really exploring as far as the mechanisms of actions and how these things are impacting our physiology.
But for example, Uh, one of the things we have patients fill out when they first meeting us online is what it’s called an adverse childhood event or experience a score, an A score. So these are things that people would’ve gone through in their childhood, really intimate, serious stuff, personal things like was there sexual trauma as a child?
Was there. Physical abuse, was there neglect? Was there substance abuse in that home? These are things that many people go through, not enough people talk about. And I, we would get to the heart of it in the first half an hour of meeting our patients online. So the research shows that the higher the ACE score, the more likely you to have.
Autoimmune issues, metabolic issues, things like insulin resistance, fatigue, anxiety, depression, brain fog, fatigue later on in life. It doesn’t mean that’s the only component. It’s multifactorial, but it’s an ingredient for many people. And it kind of sets the stage for the hypervigilant, uh, nervous and immune system later on in life.
So, It spikes interleukins, it spikes inflammation levels in the body. It’s literally stored in the body. It impacts things like methylation, which influences the way that neurotransmitters are expressed, the way that inflammation is handled in the body, the way that hormones are handled in the body. So it, it sets the stage and we know that trauma can be not just stored in the body, but also it can be passed down through generations, which is very appropriate conversation to have.
With parents because, not that you, we all could have done better. You know, I, my kids are a little bit older, out of 16 and a 13 year old, I think of the things I could do and grace. So I’m not shaming anybody that’s gone through serious stuff and saying, wow, you had to be perfect before you had kids.
That’s not what I’m saying. The body’s amazingly resilient. The human body is amazing and resilient, and kids are exceptionally resilient. So there’s so much you can do now. No matter if you’re a dad or a dad to be like, what can you do today to improve your health? And we all could have done better. And this is just, this is really a message of grace and lightness and saying, if anything, what can I do today?
It’s like Maya Angelou said, right? When you know better, you do better. Hopefully through this conversation people are known a little bit more and can do a little bit more good in their life to move and, and as trauma can be inherited, soak and healing. And I see people breaking the change of dysfunction and disorder and disease.
And heal not only themselves. Healed our families and healed our kids and, and then I think of the ancestral line that they’ve broken and their children’s children and generations they’ve healed that they’ll never meet. And that’s the agency. That’s the power that we wield by the choices we decide to make.
Either perpetuating a cycle we were born into, or decide for ourselves to not be a victim and we will not be defined by it, but we’ll be breaking this chain and leave a legacy of wellness on all levels. That’s beautiful. I, I couldn’t have put that better. And so inspiring and I, I do want to jump to, uh, healing and talk about that, but before we do, just the, the trauma issue is, is really interesting to me and my, you know, you’d mentioned that it takes some time, so, you know, typically for that to manifest, I think you said four to 10 years at least, for, is that true with trauma too?
So, you know, if you’re. Feeling something. It might be from a big event that happened four years ago. That’s unresolved. Is there, am I hearing that or understanding that correctly? By the time someone’s diagnosed with a health problem, the, the research I was talking about, it’s about four to 10 years that symptoms were brewing, but.
The ingredients, like the con, the confluence and factors that are at play with things like autoimmune problems, brain health issues like anxiety and depression, brain fog and fatigue, metabolic issues like type two diabetes and insulin resistance and weight loss resistance, hormonal metabolic issues.
There are both physiological and psychological components for people, and both are very well researched in the scientific literature. And every year there’s gonna be more and more studies coming out because it’s just so. Compelling as far as the influence of these factors wield on chronic health problems.
So it is, the trauma piece is, is an ingredient. Absolutely. But it, it is not just, you know, it’s, that’s not to say that it four to 10 years, that’s when things started happening to them. That research is referring to when the dysfunction is showing up on a physiological level. But you’re talking about childhood trauma.
It can be quote unquote stored in the body, lying dormant for years until time, and accumulation of different variables come in that trigger that. That issue, that trigger, that stored trauma, trigger that whatever, uh, issues going on for exa because the, the analogy here is like the, the bucket or I, this mason jar that I have, like I put tea in it, some people massive mason jars, some people smaller mason jars.
That’s our genetic tolerance for stressors, both physiological and psychological stressors like food, environmental toxins, nutrient deficiencies on the physiological side. And on the psychological side, it’s stress, shame, trauma, all that other stuff. We can’t change our mason jar size. We can’t change our genetic tolerance for stressors, but you can change what you put in that mason jar.
So for example, like trauma could fill up that mason jar to a certain degree. But you still ha you’re young and your resilience and yes, you don’t feel good. It’s, it’s sucky to go through that, but you are not expressing an autoimmune condition necessarily at that age, even though some children are now because their buckets are filling up, their messengers are filling up faster now, sadly, but, For the most people.
Things happen later on in life where it’s the trauma plus the environmental toxin, plus the stressful job, plus the chronically nutrient deficient food. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was the the tipping point, as Malcolm Gladwell said. So that is showing up in many ways and that’s why we’re seeing an epidemic.
Proportion of metabolic issues, autoimmune problems, and mental health issues. Our genetics. From an ancestral evolutionary standpoint, our genetics haven’t changed in 10,000 years, but so what’s the reason for this epidemic rise of metabolic issues in brain health issues and autoimmune problems. Better diagnostics play a role in that cuz more people are diagnosed, but no one that’s looking at the statistics are saying, yeah, it stayed the same.
This is just due, they’re better diagnostics. This is due to what researchers call. An epigenetic genetic mismatch that our genetics have not really changed in 10,000 years. But what has changed is the amount of stressors that we are filling that masonry up with the, the foods we’re eating are not eating are stress levels.
Our exposure to environmental toxins, collective and personal trauma. Are triggering these things like never before in human history because of this epigenetic, these epi epigenetic variables that are overflowing our mason jars. Wow. That’s a great analogy with the, with the mason jars. And I mean, how would you advise dads who you know, are picky eaters at home?
Uh, you know, they love goldfish. They love anything on that aisle in boxes. Right. You know, it’s bad for, you’re talking about the dads or the kids. Right. But, so in this case, it’s the kid. Uh, but. Uh, what, you know, I guess, how strict would you recommend being in terms of saying, Hey, I know this food is not good for you, it’s not serving you, but this is what you want and this, that’s what kids eat.
And you know, same with the mac and cheese, some of those artificial things, you kind of question H how would you balance that as a dad? I have two kids, as I mentioned, 16 and 13 son, daughter. My son is extremely picky, so I’m speaking not only as a functional medicine practitioner, but as a dad that’s been through it at 16 years old.
So I’m not like one of these doctors pontificating about some unrealistic thing. Now let’s, let me just frame all of this. I don’t think that you should be strict when it comes to food. I think that you should empower your kids and educate them in an age appropriate way. About foods, and I think there’s such a disconnect that we, even as adults have in our country and in our culture, just around like western civilization, around foods, that we don’t even know where food comes from.
And we’re not in the kitchen enough. We’re not getting our kids involved in the kitchen enough. We’re not gardening enough. These are things that disconnect us from the foods that we eat, which is a problem. And I think that a lot of problems would be solved if we got in the kitchen more. Garden more where where we have act, even if you’re in an urban setting, like go start up an urban garden, getting involved with urban gardening, that will raise awareness around foods and food choices and a mindfulness.
I think that’s part of it. And second would be, I would say, look at the digital stuff that you’re. Consuming too, because we are marketed to things left and right too. So your kids are watching things, screens for hours a day, maybe some people, and they’re being advertised to a certain degree. So I, I would say that we need to be mindful of these things that really set the tone in our home around foods.
And again, we all could have done better if we have kids of a certain age, so don’t shame yourself. This is just about like, what can I do better now to start changing the culture in our home? And we all have to make personal decisions around these things. And we all know our kids, we all know our situations.
So it’s no two families are gonna look the same as far as where they land and what’s right for them. And far be it by me, for me to tell ’em how to live. But I would say, That what I did for me is to, to really not focus on all the things my kids, quote unquote can’t have, but just focusing on all the delicious, nourishing foods that you get to have to make you feel good.
And this should not be about restriction, especially for young girls, but really anybody. This should not be about restriction. This should be about how. How can you love yourself enough to nourish it with things that love you back? And that’s how the paradigm shift that I talk about in the book. You mentioned food piece.
That’s really the conversation we’re having for adults too. And I think we need as adults to read by example because oftentimes what we will want some things for our kids as far as poor for food choices, but we’re not making good food choices that love us back as adults. And I think ultimately it is, is sometimes as simple as this is to remember.
We are the ones that are paying for the food and it’s like if you want a certain culture in your home as far as your cabinets in your fridge, it starts with us. And yeah, there may be a little coo deta as to a certain degree of they revolt if you start switching out some things that don’t love us back for things that do, but it change takes time.
Change is difficult sometimes, but it’s important. And I think this is sometimes the culture we need to shift in our homes. I like that a lot. Uh, you know, lead by example model, right? I mean, if you’re, if you have junk food in the house, well, uh, guess what? It can be eaten. And, uh, it’s really helpful. And you’re right, it is personal, you know, it’s a personal choice.
Uh, as, as dads though, as, as people who might be suffering from, you know, some sort of chronic inflammation or even if not, I mean, you have this 21 day gut feeling plan and it sounds like it can. Kind of help repair the gut brain connection, improve overall health, like it’s a very actionable, some steps you can take.
Do you mind just walking us through quickly what it is and, and the intended benefits? It is 21 of my favorite gut tools like physiological tools and 21 of my favorite feelings tools like mental, emotional, mind body tools, and just all evidence-based science-backed things that. I find to be very effective for our telehealth patients as well as for myself personally.
And it is not that you have to do 42 different things. Oftentimes they build upon each other. But I want you to explore, learn, educate yourself on what the science is pointing to, to be effective tools to consider, to implement in your life, to deal with the physiological and the psychological, the gut, and the feelings to deal with both sides of why people are struggling.
So every day there’s a simple action item to have a gut. Action item and a feelings action item. So a gut action item could be, I talk about in the book something called a GAPS protocol, which is an acronym that stands for gut and psychology syndrome, gut or Gut and Physiology syndrome. It’s used for both gut brain access issues, i e psychology and physiology, like inflammatory problems like different autoimmune or metabolic issues.
So we focus, it’s a nutrition. Nutritional intervention that focuses on things like soups and stews and things that are grounding, very economical, very easy. I give 50 plus recipes in there, all different types, but lots of soups and stews and broths that are a great grounding way to calm that second brain, to calm that gut, to help to calm the inflammation levels down and support healthy inflammation levels in the body.
So it’s very simple and it’s something that kids can get involved in you and you can, I mean, it’s really something that everybody can eat. The soups and then on the feelings, action item, there’s more, uh, there’s breathwork. I talk about the science around breathwork and how to use breathwork to really metabolize store trauma and basic breath work that you and your kids can do together.
I think breath work and meditation should be taught to kids. It should be like, talk about something that’s easy. This is what you’re feeding your head and your heart that influences your physiology. You can teach your kids to regulate their nervous system. This is powerful stuff that we, most of us, of a certain age we’re not taught.
And we can teach our kids and change the culture of a household, not just in the kitchen, but through practices like breathwork and meditation to learn how to be the conscious awareness of their, their, their thoughts and emotions instead of being. Swept up in them and confusing themselves for their thoughts and emotions.
So, That, that’s one that’s, that would be an example of, of a feeling action, Adam. Then I talk about the research out of Japan and South Korea of Shinran Yoku, which translates in English as forest bathing and, and it sounds kind of funny, maybe kind of woowoo and wellness, but it’s really, it’s not me taking a bathtub and putting it into the woods.
It’s, it’s using nature as a meditation and nature as a medicine, completely free. You could take your kids out and really using nature as a medi meditation, something that our ancestors would’ve just called life. We now have exciting science around it and have a fancy name for it, of how to use nature to calm, stress hormones, regulating the nervous system, calm inflammation levels.
So these are very accessible, low cost or free tools in most cases, to heal that gut feeling connection. That’s awesome. And you know, I like that. Last example is perfect, right? It’s, our kids are crazy. They’re running around inside, they’re fighting with each other, whatever it is. Like something’s wrong.
Like you get ’em outside, it’s like a shift happens. There are, you know, different mood, different and it, so one, it’s amazing to see that. And then two, Most of us don’t make that connection saying, Hmm, I wonder if that would work for me too. Right. It’s not just your kids, it’s same with you. Like, it’s important for us to get outside.
And so I love that. I mean, on a lot of levels, just as, as, um, something that works, you know, functional, which is everything you seem to do, but also just you’re kind of going off. Maybe, you know, now we have some science, but before there wasn’t all the science behind it, but still we could tell something good was happening.
Right. Yeah. AB absolutely. I mean our, it’s the height of hubris, right? In our culture today that, you know, we somehow always know Best Now, and our ancestors were just these Neanderthals that just didn’t know everything, didn’t know anything. But the reality is a lot of the things. Like in many ways science is just catching up with antiquity that the majority of things that we just call, like whatever science or wellness today, our ancestors didn’t have the randomized control trials.
They just saw through observation, which is science anecdotally. Through countless of, of examples and experiments in their life that this thing yielded this. And, um, now we know the mechanisms. Now we have some, you know, science behind it and like data, but most of the stuff is common sense stuff that it is just okay getting out.
Nature is a good thing, but why? And I show the science, but most of us know intuitively that these things are nourishing to our soul and body. Yeah. No, that’s, that’s so true. Uh, another, another part of your book that I thought was really, uh, cool or term I liked was shame, inflammation. So I was wondering if we could just quickly talk about what that is, uh, and, and how obviously that impacts our, our health and wellness too.
So it’s in my made up word, but it, it’s just my commentary on the research around the mind body connection and how things like shame and things that cause shame. Influence our physiology, impact our biochemistry. So the main causes that I talk about in the book of what’s causing shame, obviously unresolved trauma is part of that.
Like there’s a lot of shame oftentimes with tra unresolved trauma and how that will impact our inflammation levels. I e shame inflammation. So how it will cause this hypervigilance of the immune system of which that’s what chronic inflammation is, and a hypervigilant. Nervous system responds where our autonomic nervous system is dysregulated.
In the sympathetic, the fight or flight stress state is hypervigilant and the parasympathetic that resting, digesting that vagal nerve tone that I talked about is weak. There is a poor vagal tone going on and many people, so you have this dysregulated nervous system, this hypervigilant and chronic inflammatory state and shame inflammation is an ingredient in that puzzle.
Because of that, what we’re feeding our head in the heart is influencing our physiology. So, um, but then it doesn’t have to be in resolved trauma. I mean, I see a lot of times there’s a lot of shame around chronic stress, and this applies to a lot of dads out there that they are maybe. Like not present with their families the way they know they, they want to be, but the best of intentions.
But life just is crazy and it’s this incessant, you know, Groundhog Day for many of us and we are, are maybe snapping at our kids sometimes impatient. I. We’re not present. We’re on our phones. We’re like not present with our partners. We’re, we’re like, um, not eating foods that love us back because we’re picking the things that are quick and easy on the go.
There’s a lot of shame around chronic stress, and that’s impacting their physiology too. So these are complex topics that I want to start to demystify and untangle for people in the book so people can start living better lives. We only have one go around here. Um, and life is short, even for the longest living of us.
So it’s really about what can we do today? And as a dad of a 16 year old and a 13 year old, I know it’s so freaking cliched, but I look back, I’m like, man, like. Time. What is that cliche that saying of like, the, the days are long but the years are short? That is true. And many of us don’t feel good in our bodies and it’s like not even a good quality.
It’s like you wanna be able to be the best dad you can be, to be the best man you can be, to be the best person you can be, be the best partner you can be. And when you feel like crap, people tend to do like, they kind of act out of that and they’re not given the best version of themselves. I want people to, to give the best version of themselves.
That’s beautiful. That’s a great, uh, note to end on Dr. Cole. I love this. You know, your, uh, time insights here have been really helpful, really interesting. I, um, encourage all my listeners to check out gut feelings. It’s an awesome book and some are Dr. Cole’s, other resources. Uh, where should we find you?
Where should my listeners find you and do you have any closing thoughts for us? Yeah, no, I mean, I appreciate the opportunity to, To talk today, it means a lot. Um, everything’s at dr will cole.com. That’s d r w i l l c o l e.com. Dr will cole.com. They can see me on Instagram at dr. Wil Cole. I’m on TikTok, even though, you know, I don’t even understand it, but I act Dr.
Wilco at TikTok. Uh, I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, all the places. I have a podcast, as you said at the top of the show. It’s called The Art of Being. Well, there’s an episode at least one every week, uh, with your media. And yeah, this is what I do. But my day job is running the telehealth center. People are interested in looking at our telehealth options.
We run labs for people around the world to get a health, like optimize your health. And we see a growing amount of men over the years of wanting to learn about their health and optimize and, you know, the sort of the biohacking people that are interested in like leveling up their health. And, um, certainly it’s a sacred responsibility for me to, to let people.
Get to the best versions of themselves. Absolutely. And just sharing your knowledge though through, through the book alone and just through this conversation is gonna be really, is really helpful and um, appreciate what you’re putting out there. So thank you for joining us, will, we’ll see you next time.
Thanks for having me.
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