First things first: go to this link and get your workbook! >>> https://michellecaseynutrition.com/get-your-shit-together-workshop-download/
Using this worksheet, you can rate yourself on the different aspects of each of these 9 steps of wellness mastery:
- Prioritize nutrient density.
- Eat mindfully.
- Fortify your gut.
- Test and assess – don’t guess!
- Identify and remove stressors.
- Supplement to support.
- Tailor to your tendency. Start here >> Four tendencies quiz: https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com/
- Measure what matters.
- Make it sustainable.
Now, remember we are just gathering data. There’s nothing moral about it. Don’t use this information to beat yourself up!
If you want a research-backed gut healing diet to reverse your systems and reset your relationship with food, visit goodpoopersclub.com to get the scoop.
Connect with me more at https://michellecaseynutrition.com/podcast/
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Music credit: “New Way Forward” by Young Presidents
A Podcast Launch Bestie production
Welcome to Science and Shit, the podcast where I show you how a healthy gut leads to a happier life. I’m your host, Michelle Casey. I’m a functional health coach who specializes in all things digestion, from heartburn to IBS to auto immune inflammatory bowel disease. I’ve seen it all. I’ve spent the last eight years in private practice helping people with chronic illness, reverse their symptoms and live their best lives. In this podcast, you will get empowered about what you can do to impact your health naturally. I’ll help you sort through the information overwhelm to figure out what’s relevant to you. If you want a holistic scientific approach, you’ve come to the right place!
All right, first things first, if we’re going to talk about holistic health, we need to first acknowledge that white supremacy and colonization has wiped out much indigenous wisdom all over the world. And has led to gross disparities in equity and health care access. The ʻāina (land) on which I live and work is located in the ahupuaʻa (subdivision) of Kaloko, in the moku (district) of Kona, on the mokopuni (island) of Hawai’i, in the paeʻāina (nation) of Hawai’i. I recognize that Her Majesty Queen Liliʻuokalani yielded the Hawaiian Kingdom and these territories under duress and protest to the United States to avoid the bloodshed of her people. I also want to acknowledge that the Hawai’i that we enjoy today was very much shaped in a holistic and sustainable way by many generations of indigenous Hawaiians, Polynesian people. For these people, and for this work, I express my deep reverence and gratitude. Mahalo nui loa.
It’s important to recognize and acknowledge the history of the land that we live on. Even though you or I may not be directly responsible for the harms done to native peoples. All of us non natives who live in the United States directly benefit from this harm. If you want to learn more about the land you’re on, you can start by entering your ZIP code at the native land website at Native-land.ca.
Now let’s jump into today’s episode. Let’s get this party started.
Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. In this episode, I am going to be introducing you to the Get Your Shit Together System that I use with all of my clients. And you’ll actually have an opportunity to do a little homework, I know it’s only episode two, I’m giving you homework already. It’s all happening. You’ll actually have the opportunity to rate yourself in each of the different nine steps of the Get Your Shit Together System.
What you’ll need for this little mini workshop that we’re about to embark on together, is in the show notes. You’ll see a link where you can enter your email address and get the worksheet for this episode emailed to you immediately. Go ahead and do that. You’ll also need something to write with. And if you want to do the extra fun bonus, you can get some colored pencils or markers, or highlighters, like a red, yellow, and green would be the best combo for this particular episode. All right, so we’ll give you a minute to gather your materials. Get that all sorted out.
Without further ado, let’s dive in. The first thing that I want to say about these steps is that they’re in a particular order for the podcast. For some people, you may find that you’re stronger in some areas than others, right? That’s very normal. They’re not necessarily linear. What will happen in the rest of this season is I’ll actually dive into these different pillars, these different steps and give you some action items that you can work on to improve in these different areas of health. But if out of the nine steps you’re like, hey, I really need to start at step seven, you’ll be able to jump in and just do that.
Alright, let’s talk about the rating system for just a minute. For each of the nine steps in the system, there are three sort of action items or habits or things that you can check off. If you are solid with all three of them, if they’re all habits or part of your regular health routine, then you’ll get three out of three or 100% and you’ll color that area in green, if you’re doing the colors. If you have one or two, you’ll color that in yellow, so that’s ‘needs work’. If you have zero, then you can color it in red, or pink, whatever highlighter color you have. Then obviously, if you’re doing a number scale instead, if you don’t have colored markers, I’m sorry for you. But you can do this with numbers as well, you would be 0, 1, 2, or 3.
All right, let’s dive in. Step number one in the Get Your Shit Together system is Prioritize Nutrient Density. Now, that sounds kind of fancy. And it’s really not, it just means that the majority of the food that you’re eating is very nutrient dense, which can be distinct from being calorically dense, but not always. For example, something like chicken liver is going to be very nutrient dense. Something like potato chips are very nutrient poor. Does that make sense?
So the three aspects to rate yourself on here. One, do you understand your unique nutrient needs? And that can be macronutrients, right? Like carbs, proteins, fats? Do you feel better with less carbs, more fat, less fat, more protein, different types of carbs, right? And micronutrients, for instance, if you live in the northern hemisphere and you don’t get a lot of sunlight, maybe you know that you’re deficient in vitamin D from your recent blood test or something like that. Do you understand your unique nutrient needs?
Do you understand which foods contain those nutrients? That’s the second aspect. Like when I say carbs, do you know what foods contain carbohydrates? Do you know which foods contain vitamin D? Right, those types of things?
And then number three, are you eating a diet comprised of at least 80% of those foods being nutrient dense and customized for you? So, could be 100%. You could be eating 100%, nutrient dense, customized diet, that’s great! But at least 80% for optimal health, right? And you can do that 80% of each plate or 80% of the meals during the week. However it works for you in your brain to structure that.
The three areas again: Number one, do you understand your unique nutrient needs? Number two, do you understand which foods contain those nutrients? Number three, is 80% or more of your food nutrient dense and customized for you? Give yourself a rating there again, 0 out of 3. 1, 2, or 3 if you’re using numbers, or red, yellow or green. Red=0, Yellow=1-2, Green=3. Okay?
Step number two, to Getting Your Shit Together is to Eat Mindfully. Now, if you’ve been following me on social media for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about this before. But the first aspect of eating mindfully is to sit down and eat in a relaxed state. That means we’re not eating in a car, we’re not eating standing over the kitchen sink, and we’re not eating when we’re in a fight with our spouse. We’re sitting down and we’re eating in a relaxed state. The second aspect of eating mindfully that you’re going to rate yourself on today is to chew each bite thoroughly. So that’s approximately 30 chews per bite. It might be something more like 50 if you’re eating steak. The third aspect: Do you enjoy and savor your food? Do you actually let yourself enjoy what you’re eating? Do you eat foods that you enjoy? This does not have to be at odds with prioritizing nutrient density (PS these can work together).
So again, the three aspects are sitting down eating in a relaxed state, chewing each bite thoroughly, and enjoying and savoring your food. Go ahead and give yourself a rating there 0-3 or red, yellow, or green.
Step three, in the Get Your Shit Together System is Fortify Your Gut. We’re actually getting your shit together. So how do you do that? Again, I’m gonna dive deep into all of these in future episodes. But for today, the areas to check in and rate yourself on are: one, are you working to reduce or stop the damage that might be happening to your gut? Are you avoiding foods that you know cause gastrointestinal distress? Number two, do you eat probiotic foods? Or do you take a probiotic supplement? And number three, which may be at odds with some of the advice you may have been given. I know for me, when I was in the bodybuilding world, we were taught to eat small meals frequently throughout the day. But it turns out that’s not the greatest for digestive health. Do you give your digestive system a break by waiting four to five hours in between meals? Again, I’ll talk more about why and how and all of that, but right now, it’s just yes or no. And again, remember, we’re just putting our scientist goggles on, we’re just gathering data, this is not an indictment on you, you’re not a good or bad person. If you get a good or bad, you know, these aren’t even a good or bad rating. It’s just a number or color. Rate yourself 0-3 or red, yellow, or green. Are you reducing or stopping damage to your gut? Do you eat probiotic foods or take a probiotic supplement? And number three, do you let your digestive system rest for four to five hours in between meals?
Step number four, Test and Assess, Don’t Guess. I’m going to talk a lot more about functional labs as we go through the season and probably this entire podcast. I run a lot of functional lab tests on my one on one clients. But did you know that you can actually look at your regular bloodwork that you get at the doctor’s office every year through a functional perspective? So the ranges that the labs use are based on the average of the population in your area, which is why sometimes you see different lab ranges from state to state. They’re also based on when disease can be diagnosed. When we’re looking from a functional perspective, we want to look for function and dysfunction before it gets to that disease state, so the ranges are narrower. The first aspect of this step- Test and Assess, Don’t Guess is: Do you understand what functional lab tests are and what functional ranges are? Number two, can you interpret your own blood work? Or do you have someone on your healthcare team who can interpret your labs from a functional perspective? Again with those narrower ranges, the third aspect is all about retesting, so do you retest at regular intervals? If you have no known health conditions, this may be as simple as going and getting a physical annually and getting your blood drawn. If you’re trying to track, however, something like an autoimmune disease, you may want to check in on antibodies more frequently. If you had a test that showed some type of infection, and you did a treatment for that infection, whether that was antibiotics or yourself treated at home with bioceuticals, supplements or herbs, things like that. Did you retest to make sure the infection was cleared? And then the other thing to retest, obviously, are any other markers that are specific to you, like blood sugar, A1C, things like that. So again, the three places to rate yourself here on step four, are: Do you understand what functional labs are and what functional ranges are? Second, can you interpret your own or do you have someone on your team who can interpret your labs from a functional perspective? And three, do you retest at regular intervals. If you do all those things, or have all those things, give yourself a three or color at Green. If you have one or two, it’s yellow. If you have zero, it’s red.
All right, step five, to Getting Your Shit Together is to Identify and Remove Stressors. No, unfortunately, I cannot remove your annoying coworker. But that’s a stressor, right? We have external stressors, and a lot of them take the form of relationships, people, work stress, financial stress, oh, I don’t know, living through a pandemic, et cetera. Sometimes the actual stressors aren’t anything that we can control. But the first place to look here, the first place we’re going to rate ourselves for this step is: are we getting regular coaching or therapy or support as needed to help manage that stress to help manage our relationship to those stressors? The second place to look is more internal. Do you have practices or habits in place to support your central nervous system? Do you help your nervous system switch into a parasympathetic mode regularly? And if you don’t have any idea what that means, you’re probably not going to get that point today. But again, we’ll talk about that going forward.
A couple of different ideas that I want you to start thinking about are inflammation or infections. So again, if you have some kind of infection, whether that’s a gut infection, or Lyme disease, or a chronic viral load. Are you reducing exposures? Are you getting the treatment that you need? Are you working to avoid things that trigger a recurrence of those symptoms? And/or are you trying to reduce sources of inflammation? Because internal stressors can cause a stress response and make it much harder for us to deal with external stressors. If we’re in chronic pain, or all of our resources are being diverted to fight off an infection, that’s gonna be stressful. That’s stressful for your body. So are you working to reduce sources of inflammation and infection? Are you taking those actions?
All right, so to recap here for step five: Are you getting regular coaching therapy or support as needed for stress management? Yes or no? Do you support your central nervous system and have habits and practices in place to get parasympathetic? And are you working to reduce sources of inflammation and infection? Go ahead and give yourself a rating here, 0-3 or red, yellow or green?
All right, step six, in the Get Your Shit Together System is Supplement to Support. A lot of people, a lot of very health conscious people, are taking a lot of supplements that they don’t necessarily know how to assess or vet to see what the quality is. And because supplements are outside of any government regulatory body, there aren’t a lot of industry wide standards. And so it’s kind of hard to tell sometimes. So do you understand, this is the first place to rate yourself, do you understand how to tell the difference between high quality supplements and crappy ones? Do you know what to look for? The second place to ask yourself or write yourself here is, do you know why you’re taking each of the supplements that you’re taking? And then the third aspect to look at is, do you regularly re-evaluate every three to six months? Are you looking to see, should I just keep refilling this? Did this supplement do its job? Is it really healthy for me to take three grams of vitamin C every day for years? Are you checking in on those things and re-evaluating? Or are you just doing the same thing for years and years and have it on autopilot?
Okay, so again, number one, do you understand how to tell the difference between high quality supplements and crappy ones? Number two, do you know why you’re taking each one of your supplements? And number three, do you re-evaluate every three to six months? Rate yourself here zero to three or red, yellow or green.
Step seven Tailor to Your Tendency. So this is very specific, I actually mean a specific thing here. I’m obsessed with Gretchen Rubin, if you don’t know who she is, she’s an author. She studied a lot about human behavior. And she was writing about habits and came up with this set of, she calls them tendencies, they’re kind of personality profiles, but there’s only four it’s very, very simple. Unlike something like Myers-Briggs, or, you know, human design that someone needs to be certified in it to explain it to you, it’s very, very simple and easy to apply immediately.
Basically, what the tendencies are, they are our ways of interacting with commitments or expectations. Whether those are internal or external commitments or expectations, kind of tells us how we like to be held to account, what kind of accountability we need. And so as a coach, knowing this information about my clients, has literally saved me from burnout. I have all of my one on one clients take this quiz. So the first place to rate yourself here is, do you know your tendency of the four tendencies? If you don’t pause the podcast right now, go to quiz.gretchenrubin.com. We’ll link to that in the show notes. And you can get a point right away.
And then the second aspect to rate yourself on is okay, great, you know your tendency now. Do you understand how to work with it, and not against it? So instead of trying to fit yourself into someone else’s box, are you working with your own superpowers, so to speak, for your tendency? Then the third place to rate yourself, have you set up structures for accountability that work for you in your life?
I’m going to dive deep into each of the four tendencies in future episodes. But for now, we’re just looking at A- Do you know your tendency? B- Do you know how to work with it, not against it? And C, Do you have structures for accountability set up that work for you and your tendency? Go ahead and give yourself a rating here 0-3 or red, yellow, or green.
Now for Step Eight, which is Measure What Matters. There is so much data out there. There are so many different metrics for our health that we could be measuring. Sometimes it can get a little bit overwhelming. And I have a lot of clients that come to me, and they have an aura ring and a Fitbit. And they’re trying to track their steps and their calories and all of these things. Not everything is going to be applicable to you. We want to do the bare minimum that’s going to get you the results that you need so that you don’t get overwhelmed, and so that you continue to maintain momentum. The first place to look here, do you have long term and short term goals for your health? Second, have you created milestones? Chunked down those goals into smaller milestones that you can actually meet. Have you actually set yourself up to win? That is super important for forward momentum and motivation. And then the third place that we want to rate ourselves here, are we being a scientist? Are we being data driven? Or are we just using this information to beat ourselves up? Are we just being judgmental on ourselves? So again, do you have long term and short term goals, number one. Number two, have you created smaller milestones that you can meet? AKA Have you set yourself up to win? And number three, are you being a scientist and not a judge? Go ahead and rate yourself here.
One more step to go, and this is called Make It Sustainable. And yes, I do mean, environmentally sustainable. I’ll talk more about the ethical omnivore movement and all of that kind of going forward as well. But specifically, what I mean in this step here is about your habits. So number one, have you set up your environment around you to make your habits as easy as possible to keep? That could be your physical environment. That could be your home. That could be your calendar. Like, have you set yourself up to win? Because number two, we want to use less willpower. So are you relying on willpower or are you setting up your life, your environment, your relationships, so that you don’t have to use willpower, and your environment kind of pulls for, like gravity, these habits and these goals getting accomplished. So number two, use less willpower. And number three, assemble your squad. We cannot do this alone. We need people around us that lift us up, that help motivate us, whether that’s coaches, family members, friends, partners, business associates, colleagues. Whatever it is, there are people out there that have similar goals to you. And/or maybe they don’t have similar goals to you, but they can actually hear what you’re saying and see the future of you accomplishing that goal. And they’ll actually support you in accomplishing that goal. Versus someone who maybe doesn’t have that type of vision, and is super negative, and is not going to be able to be supportive for whatever reason. I’m not saying cut those people out of your life, I’m just saying they’re not necessarily in your squad of helping you keep your habits going, helping you reach those goals. So how you Make It Sustainable- one, set up your environment. Two use as little willpower as possible. And three, assemble your squad. Rate yourself on those 0-3 or red, yellow or green.
All right, so you should have a nice colorful worksheet now, or a bunch of numbers on a page however you did it. Again, none of this is good or bad. This is just information. We’re doing science and shit, right? It’s cool. It’s not moral. It’s not good or bad. It’s just data. And I am going to show you in following episodes exactly what to do to move these colors up towards green. To take the actions that are going to support your health and help you get your shit together. I hope this was enlightening for you. I hope that you can go do something nice for yourself now. And thanks as always for joining me, and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Science and shit with Michelle Casey. If you want to stay in touch head on over to michellecaseynutrition.com/podcast to get in on all goodness. I know you have a lot of things you could be doing with your time and I really appreciate you choosing to spend it with me. If this episode was valuable for you, please subscribe, follow, and share it with your friends and family and or leave a review as an offering to the algorithm gods. Until next time, be excellent to each other!