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Why Healthcare Needs to Break Up with Diet & Wellness Culture with Dr. Sylvi Martin

body image burnout diet culture eating disorders emotional eating gentle nutrition hormone replacement therapy hormone therapy intuitive eating keto menopause menopause health menopause nutrition midlife midlife women midlifewomen mindful eating non-diet nutrition nutrition myths perimenopause podcast self-compassion un-dieting wellness culture women's health

Do you ever have days where you start out eating fat-free for breakfast, go vegan for lunch, and end up eating keto for dinner? Food rules are so appealing and yet so confusing. if you’re looking for results when it comes to changing your body size. The problem but the danger in this is that there’s no “best” diet and they all have the same predictable result. very few of the most well-known diets and their food rules are evidence-based. 


I love the way Sylvi passionately advocates for a different approach to wellness—one that says no to strict food rules and dietary restrictions. She dives into the downsides of diet culture, emphasizing how those quick-fix diets can mess up our relationship with food and even lead to more problematic health issues. Instead, Sylvi suggests we should make food choices based on good, solid research, pointing out the need for reliable information in the world of nutrition.

An interesting concept she delves into is the connection between our gut and brain, and how it affects conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This bidirectional communication system can mess with both our physical and mental health if it's out of whack. Sylvi advocates for nurturing this connection through mindful eating and a balanced diet.

This conversation also takes a critical look at wellness culture, which preaches the goodness of "clean" foods but often pushes processed bars and supplements. Sylvi aptly calls out this irony and suggests focusing on variety in our diets, being aware of our individual contexts, and finding that sweet spot between nutritional needs and enjoying our food.

One powerful moment in the discussion revolves around a patient's story who got vague advice from their healthcare provider, leading to some serious issues. This highlights the importance of relying on evidence-based resources to make smart health decisions. It's a wake-up call about the dangers of misinformation and the need to seek advice from reliable sources.

We also take a look at the challenges and joys of navigating midlife, stressing the importance of non-diet health and hormone support for women in this stage. This whole episode is a call to ditch the myths, question the norms, and empower us to improve our relationship with food and overall wellness! 

In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • A common reason you may find yourself susceptible to binge-eating 
  • Why there is danger in believing that food is medicine
  • Why Jenn is so passionate about defending sandwiches
  • What you might not know about vegan protein and meal replacement bars
  • Why we need to regularly ask where medical providers are sourcing their data 


To learn more about Dr. Sylvi and her work, check out her website at or follow her on Instagram at @dr.sylvimartin.nd or on Facebook at @drsylvimartin.


Jenn Salib Huber:  

Hi everyone, welcome to this week's episode of the Midlife Feast. I'm really excited I think I say that every week, but I really am excited for you to listen to this conversation with my fellow ND colleague, dr Sylvi Martin. Sylvi lives in Ontario, she's also a registered nurse and she's also a certified intuitive eating counselor and she's trained in mindfulness-based eating. She is a wealth of information, but I wanted to bring her on specifically to talk about the problem of diet and wellness culture in therapeutic relationships, especially in integrative and alternative or complementary care, whatever you want to call it Because there's a lot of problems created when people are given food rules, and especially when those food rules are based on evidence, and so I, of course, spend a lot of time helping people to undiet those beliefs, as Sylvi does as well, and I thought that it might be interesting for you to hear this conversation, because we talk about it from a practitioner level, but we're also talking about it from the patient or the client's perspective. So tune in and, as always, I'd love to hear what you think. Hi, sylvi, welcome to the Midlife Feast.

Sylvi Martin:  

Hi Jen, Thanks for having me. Always a pleasure to connect with you.

Exploring Sylvi's Background and Expertise

Jenn Salib Huber:  

So this is, you know, I have like these themes for guests and like we have guest experts who are talking about clinical stuff and story sessions which are, like you know, stories of you know women's journeys through midlife or undiating, and then there's some solo episodes and I wasn't sure how to actually categorize this one because I feel like it's a little bit of you're definitely an expert, you're a fellow ND, you're a fellow certified intuitive eating coach and you do a lot of kind of education in this space.

But I feel like a lot of what we're talking about today is actually not so much expertise but just talking about, like these experiences and these stories of needing to get diet and wellness culture in particular out of what we call therapeutic diet conversations, because they show up all the time and, as we both know, they I think they really kind of get in the way of health and they're confusing. So, before we get into all that, why don't you just tell the listeners a little bit about you and the work that you do and kind of how you got to work in this space?

Sylvi Martin:  

Yeah, you know it's been a bit of a journey for me. I started off my career as an acute care psychiatric nurse, so I graduated with a nursing degree and I went on to become a naturopathic doctor. I absolutely love mental health. I love working with individuals to improve mood disorders, anxiety, depression, irritability, pms symptoms all the hormonal symptoms that can come up for women as well. And what I was really noticing in my practice, in my naturopathic practice, is individuals were starting to get a little bit more meticulous about what they were eating and I was starting to see some patterns I was concerned with. I was seeing a lot of people that thought they were emotionally eating or feeling out of control around food.

So that led me down a research rabbit hole. As you know me, I love to keep my head in the research. Critical research appraisal is a strong suit in my practice. It was a big part of my nursing career, also in naturopathic medicine. I'd like to look at where's the evidence for what we recommend, and I ended up coming across research on mindful eating by Dr Jean Cristeller, so it's referred to as MB8, mindfulness based eating awareness training and using this in individuals with binge eating disorder or those who binge eat that might not meet the diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder and I was impressed enough with the research that I decided to pursue training with Dr Cristeller in MB8.

I started incorporating that into my practice and I also came across intuitive eating and became an intuitive eating counselor as well. And then, on a separate hat, my RN practice. As an RN psychotherapist I pursued additional training in cognitive behavioral therapy for eating disorders, cbt for anxiety and depression. So a lot of what I do with individuals is really looking at where they're at with their relationship with themselves, with food, how much diet culture is happening to people and how we can actually work on taking that out of the appointments, getting away from this obsession about I need to eat x grams of protein, I need to, people thinking they need to be restricting carbohydrates, when in reality that could be worsening their PMS symptoms. And I'm sure you see this all the time in your practice as well and for all my listeners are nodding their heads right now. So, so, needless to say, I absolutely love the intersection of mental wellness, health, nutrition, digestion. I think it's so important, but the relationship with food, to me, is one of the most important relationships that people have, and they need a lot of work. There's a lot of work that needs, and people need help with it.

The Challenges of Unlearning and Therapeutic Nutrition

Jenn Salib Huber:  

They do. And you know I find that my own journey, you know, to my professional, my personal journey to kind of moving away from diet culture, the messiest part, was Trying to find that happy place of how do we still talk about Food and diet and nutrition, and not a diet, but diet is in big picture, diet, but diet and nutrition as a therapeutic tool, because of course, food matters. We know that nutrition plays a huge role in health, without getting caught up in, you know, this all or nothing thinking that really permeates so many discussions about food, but I think, especially in integrative medicine, especially in our field, naturopathic medicine, and you know, one example that I thought would be interesting for us to talk about is, you know, like the elimination diet, the good old brown rice diet, right?

So, you know, anybody who, I think, has seen an ND in the last 50 years is probably familiar with the brown rice elimination diet and it essentially, you know was was intended to help people figure out potential reactions that they were having to foods that they were eating, to help manage a variety of symptoms, could be anything from digestive to allergic, and and certainly there are, I think, many instances where people did feel better they. They were able to get some useful information from that and hopefully the intention is always that they would reintroduce the foods and it was never meant to be this long-term restriction. But what I started to notice about say, eight or ten years into my practice was that People felt like that was the new baseline. So you know, they'd say, oh, I did that brown rice diet a few years ago and I felt so good, I keep trying to go back to it, but oh, it's so hard.

And so they now had this. You know this expectation that anything other than the brown rice diet wasn't healthy, when in fact, that elimination diet was probably the least healthy thing that you could do, because it was low in Everything, it was low in protein, it was low in fats, it was low in flavor, it was so restrictive, and you know so. Now people will have this kind of On-off, not sure what to eat. And so these therapeutic diet conversations, because they're so often and I'm not picking on the brown rice diet. It still has its place, I'm sure. But you know, regardless of what the prescribed diet is, when people are told don't eat this Because it could do this, and when there isn't any evidence for it. It gets really messy for people and it's really hard I'm kind of rambling here, but, like you know, I find it really hard to find that to help people find that that middle ground between intuitive eating, non-diet approach, health at every size and Also let's like talk about low-fod mat, for example, like that's another one that has a really good place but people might still feel a little confused about it. So anyway, that was kind of what I thought would be fun to talk about, if you have thoughts about that.

Sylvi Martin:  

I love this. I feel like we've just opened up the biggest can of wonderful nutrition ever. Let's just open it all. A couple of things jumped to my mind with this is is even talking about, like the so-called brown rice diet. I find, in our profession and when you know, even through the journey of learning intuitive eating and even mindful eating skills, there's been so much unlearning that's been needed. And when I'm speaking at conferences to educate naturopathic doctors on Disorder to eating, eating behavior, what we could be doing about it, the biggest thing I find that I'm focusing on is is some of the unlearning that we need to do.

The Value of Understanding Where We Get Our Information

Where are we receiving our information? And and you and I know there's not I've never come across a a reasonable, reasonably put together study that I would ever rely on on using a brown rice diet. And there's no when you look at the diet itself. But there's, there's no. It doesn't make any sense from a Biochemistry standpoint. It's just arbitrarily don't eat these, eat lots of this. And what happens when we do that and when we ask people to do something like that, which I don't I don't do this type of diet we're basically taking things off the menu. But what are we often putting back in Maybe some fruits and vegetables that maybe they haven't been eating enough of. So people start to feel better and they think, oh, I feel better. Well, maybe we're actually eating a bit more fruits and vegetables, but I'm with you Likely we're still not getting enough of our general macronutrient intake anytime we try and take something off the plate. So my preference in treatment is not to remove things from the plate, but there's still, with therapeutic nutrition, there still can be utility to some things, and I might change my mind about this depending where the evidence goes in the next five, 10 years.

Like, it's really hard when, whenever we see regulated healthcare providers take a stance on something in nutrition, we have to be really careful. Like if somebody says, oh, I'm keto, I'm anti, this anti that we need to start really thinking about, okay, are they just pitching their flag and now everything is going to be skewed by that lens, I like to think of things as research and nutrition takes 10 to 20 years to even start to give us a glimpse of where it's going for a pattern, not even inclusive evidence, right? So anytime someone's like putting in their steak in the ground, saying I am a carnivore diet supporter, for example. I really worry because there's not really any studies on the answer to diet.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Oh my God, are we really going there? Are we trying to go carnivore? No, we're not going there.

Ditching the One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Nutrition

Sylvi Martin:  

We're not going there. But when we talk about things like low-fodmat patterns of eating, I think some of the most important things we have to remember. I'm part of this society called the Rome Society for Gastroenterology, so it's actually psychogastroenterology. I geek out on this. It's yeah, it's really well chat about it. It's amazing some of the research coming out. But they know, with individuals with irritable bowel syndrome for example, people can take things off their plate temporarily.

They will temporarily feel better. They can get to a point where we can incorporate certain foods. It's important that we're putting foods into the menu. We need more variety. Our gut microbiota needs variety. But what can happen with individuals with IBS is it's not just physical what is eaten and the cause and effect. It's not that simple. What we do know as individuals with IBS actually we call them disorders of gut-brain interaction. This is the clinical term now. So if somebody just says, oh, you have IBS, it's actually a disorder of gut-brain interaction. It is not. I'm not saying that people with IBS, for example, cause their symptoms by thinking of it or that they're making it up. I am not saying that.

But what does happen is the wiring between the brain and the gut. There's very sophisticated neural networks that connect our brain and our gut, and what can happen is when individuals, for example with IBS, might be so accustomed to feeling bloated and they start to associate food I eat food, I feel bloated, I need to avoid food. It starts to become the go-to thinking of food equals bloating and they become a bit scared of eating certain foods. And then what happens is we like to think of it as the fire alarms going off. There's no fire anymore. So all of a sudden they think, okay, I'm gonna have some pizza, but now I can already feel the bloating started. I'm bloating, I'm feeling distended, I'm feeling uncomfortable, but what's happening is they actually have changes in the wiring between the gut and the brain and the gut's telling them there's a fire here, turn on the fire alarm, and the brain's sending off these fire alarm signals, but there's no fire in the gut.

So we need to be really mindful whenever we're starting to use therapeutic nutrition, we need to be thinking of the context, of what's going on with that individual, and the science has really shifted over time, with gut brain interaction, for example. But another area when we think about therapeutic nutrition is there's this term, anti-diet that floats around there and I am anti-diet, but I am not going to say I am anti-weight loss. I'm not encouraging people to chase a number on a scale, but I'm not also going to tell somebody, if you feel better in this range in your body, not to pursue that. But I'm not going to start attacking numbers on a scale. It's just not helpful for people. But we need to just be really mindful when we're looking at nutrition. Therapeutically is we can incorporate therapeutic nutrition and also known as gentle nutrition. It's one of the principles of intuitive eating. It's often very important.

So if I have individuals, for example, maybe their hemoglobin A1C levels are rising and this is an indicator that we could have an issue with insulin sensitivity. We could have an issue with rising glucose levels. I'm not going to take that person and say go on a no carb diet or low carb diet. I want to look. Oftentimes what I see happening in my practice is individuals are binge eating and they're binge eating because they might not be eating their macronutrient intake through breakfast, lunch dinner. And in the evening they're diving into the M&M's.

No problem, M&M's are tasty, right, Chocolate's great. But if your nutrition is off balance, we need to rebalance that and that's where therapeutic nutrition is important. I will never tell somebody don't have sugar, cut the sugar out. You hear this BS all the time. Eat sugar free? Oh, you can have fruit, but have low sugar fruit Like sorry F those people who recommend stuff like that, Because that's not the issue. The issue often comes down to a pattern, a relationship with food, maybe a nutritional intake that might not be optimized for what that person needs. So I do think we need to explore nutrition on a broader context and individualize the basis with the person that's in front of us.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

There is no one size fits all answer. Right, and if I think of one of the overarching principles that I don't think serves anyone but really is part of the doctrine I think of integrative medicine is this food is medicine, philosophy, and the idea that you can treat, cure, manage, prevent everything with food. You just have to find the right combination, the right foods to eat or not to eat. And I wholeheartedly believed that. When I think back to when I went into naturopathic medicine and when I was practicing, I think that that was very much the culture of what we thought we were moving towards right, that we were going to find this pattern of eating, this way of eating, that we could just make everyone on the planet healthier.

And, of course, it sounds so silly now, now especially that we're understanding more about nutrigenomics and how things are so individual and where this really unique combinations. I think that that still permeates a lot of the therapeutic diet conversations People will want. Well, just tell me what to eat, tell me what's best, tell me what I shouldn't have, tell me what are the worst things to have. Well, I should never have sugar, right, I should try not to have that. What about coffee? And it's like women who get to midlife especially. I feel like we've had so many different diets and rules introduced, taken away, changed, reintroduced back again sideways, upside down and inside out.

Sylvi Martin:  

And turn it all around, put your left foot in, left foot out.

The Paralysis That Diet and Wellness Culture Causes

Jenn Salib Huber:  

And so often people say I just don't even know what to eat anymore. I start the day out low fat and I end the day keto, and I've probably been vegan at lunchtime and I think that that is. That's a product of all of the diet culture and wellness culture influences on the field of nutrition, right, so, yeah, so, when I think of where I would love to see our profession go is in just the field of integrative medicine and, well, really, everyone I think that we have so much more potential to really honor that mind body connection, that brain gut connection. We can really support that, I think, in ways that aren't being done right now, without making people afraid of food, because that's really the and without food.

Sylvi Martin:  

Yeah, it's the crux of it. People are scared to eat. They think one food is causing something. And another thing I see all the time is and I like to say to individuals don't put your salad on a pedestal. People think you know to eat. Well, we need to have these beautiful, deluxe grain balls with 20 types of lettuce in it and kale and quinoa and all the stuff I'm a naturopath. I don't like quinoa. Like dirty secret. I'm a naturopath who doesn't like quinoa. You better sneak that into something because I do not enjoy eating it. Fair game, right.

But people always come in thinking they have to have 20 vegetables in their salad for it to count as vegetables. So I always like to say let's lower the bar a little bit. Lower the bar, take salad off the damp head. That's it. Yeah, that one is from you, thank you. And it's always about taking salad off the damp pedestal, because people think that, oh, if I don't make this exotic salad at lunchtime, like I see the nutrition influencers doing it online, then it doesn't count. And I'm like it totally counts. It totally counts to take pre-washed spinach and toss it into whatever you're doing if you like it.

Bonus, there's some vegetables, right? So I just think you know there's this wellness culture that exists and it's being kind of perpetuated more online now that there's so much more photos people are being exposed to of what eating could look like. It doesn't mean it's what the average person eats. Oftentimes, social media influencers some of them like celebrities, chances are have their own chef making everything. Like let's get a bit more realistic. And if somebody is like photoshopping what they're eating that day to pop it online to show thousands of people, we need to be really worried about what is the intention behind that.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Yeah, that's not real life, it's just everywhere, yeah, and it's everywhere.

Sylvi Martin:  

And then people start to look at okay, I have a lot of food. I got a sandwich for lunch. It was a so-called air quotes bad day, like it was a great day. You fed yourself at lunch. You had lunch, right.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

And sandwiches can be. You know I'm a big defender, like I'm a self-appointed chief defender of oatmeal and like I'm second in command to the chief defender of sandwiches, because sandwiches, to me, are the perfect meal and there's a reason why they exist in literally every culture around the world. Every culture around the world has figured out how to take bread and put things in it and serve it as a meal right, and there's a reason for that. You can build, you know, the most delicious, quick, balanced, filling, satisfying meal in five minutes. You know, like when did sandwiches become bad food?

Well, when we started to demonize carbs, when we started to put you know wheat processed. You know all of these things, and so when I get people to, you know, reintroduce sandwiches, like sometimes their lives are literally changed because they can now feed themselves, feed their families. And when they can let go of the guilt and the shame around having sandwiches, they realize that like, oh man. I have been led astray.

The Little Known Dangers of Meal Replacement Bars

Sylvi Martin:  

I've really been led astray and I like to like like to look at using even bread in a sandwich therapeutically, like we want to move towards regional styles of eating or Mediterranean style of eating. I think Mediterranean is kind of over perpetuated, so I like to think of it as regional food styles. But we can get whole grains. We can get bread that contains whole grains and proteins and fiber and wonderful things to put in it and it's portable and it's easy and it's simple and it's really easy to put together. We don't need to be using all these. You know there are a lot of. I find a lot of irony in the wellness culture because, you know, don't eat processed foods, eat so called clean foods air quotes, I don't use the word clean foods.

But then you have individuals who are, but I use these bars and when you look at the bars, I know not to say use a snack bar. If you want a snack bar, if you want a protein bar, have a protein bar. But ironically for me, when I'm working with individuals with IBS and eating related issues, the first thing I look at is what are you eating? Because chances are that bars loaded with inulin, which is a type of fiber that can increase bloating. So oftentimes it wasn't the pizza, it wasn't the dairy, it was the inulin in the bar. We take that inulin out of the equation All of a sudden. All the diarrhea, bloating, constipation, distension comes off out of the daily intake. It's amazing.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Yeah, and I just want to call that out because I know right now there is one of my patients somewhere who is listening who goes oh my God, yes, I remember when Jen figured that out for me, because that is such a common thing If you are using meal replacement bars, if you are using a vegan protein, if you are using something that is labeled keto and high fiber dollars to donuts, dollars to donuts inulin is in there and inulin is like bloating, like 101, right, everybody gets bloated with inulin. Yeah, that's such a great example.

Sylvi Martin:  

I love that and we were never meant to eat like. Inulin is traditionally coming from chicory root. We're never meant to be eating chicory root like that. Some cultures might have taken it roasted, it made it into a coffee substitute, but nowhere in any human being. Even I don't know any animals. We see chicory growing all the time at the cottage.

I've never seen anything start chewing on chicory root like, hey, I need some inulin today. It just doesn't happen. So we do need to be. You know there is an aspect where we can't ignore that sometimes food processing adds things it's trying to add in boast oh, added fiber. I'm seeing it showing up in pastas even, and it's not the pasta, sometimes it's just the inulin triggering some symptoms. So that's where you know working with regulated clinicians who have an eye to intuitive eating and aren't perpetuating diet culture but are still willing to explore and dig into the nutrition aspects.

It's important we can't ignore therapeutic nutrition and I think a lot of like lay individuals, like individuals who don't have training as registered dieticians or naturopaths, or maybe even some physicians, might have training and nutrition knowledge hopefully. But you know, if people are coming at it and just be anti diet, it doesn't matter what you eat, just eat till you're eat, so you're not hungry anymore. Eat till you feel comfortably full. All the rest doesn't matter. It's like we know the rest still matters. We can't ignore. If you're not getting your base nutritional requirements, we're going to see pattern disruptions in mood. We're going to see pattern disruptions and hormone balance and you can't just add protein to your plate and think all your hormone troubles are over. It doesn't work like that. It can be helpful to stabilize blood glucose, but it's not going to fix if you've got raging PMS every month. We need carbohydrates. For that we need calcium, for that we need our nutrients right.

Clearing the Air: Food Is Not Medicine

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Yeah, and also you know when we're talking about how can we support health with nutrition. And you know, when we get to midlife we start to have conversations around things like cholesterol and high blood pressure and cancer prevention and fall prevention and bone health and all of these things like brain health, like all of these things that you know.

Nutrition and diet in general are top three for managing all of those, for trying to age well, and it's really hard to do that. If you're worried that seed oils are toxic, if you worry about every bite of carbohydrate, if you worry that soy is going to cause cancer, if you worry about all of these things, and if you're worrying about those things because of the conversations that you're having with your healthcare providers and you're getting conflicting information, that's a problem, that's a really big problem. You know I always joke that if it was just about knowing what to eat, I probably you and I probably wouldn't have jobs, because Google would have figured that out right. If you need to know, like, what is the pattern of eating that is most associated with health and longevity, and yadda, yadda, yadda we've already kind of touched on it. It's that Mediterranean style of eating, but people have such a hard time with that because of this, food is medicine culture that has permeated that. There's still going to be something better.

There's still a way that I can like bio hack life by having, you know, coconut oil in my coffee in the morning. And once you start doing it, even if you have no idea why you're doing it, if you do it long enough and becomes a habit, you start to think that you have to because it kind of finds its way into your life. And that's the problem with bad information is that you know, even if it's well intentioned and most of the time I have to believe that it is even when that information is given with the best of intentions, if it's not true and if it is not based on current evidence and God knows, things change right.

Sylvi Martin:  

And, looking critically, appraised the evidence. So I like to think of like bullshit science, bs science. It happens. People think, oh, what study showed it's like? It was a study in 12 elite athletic men who were in a hospital, not even out in the wild living. It doesn't apply. We cannot be putting people on nutritional interventions without a significant body of evidence to count on.

And when I I taken a course through Harvard and it was on evidence based optimal nutrition and we don't actually see evidence it, can we rely on something if it's, if we haven't even looked out two years, five years, seven years of a pattern of eating, and I don't know about you, but most diets like two weeks to a month and people are off and on and off and on and it's not helping people. We don't have evidence to show that. You know, the one example I can think of is an individual that I was working with recently went paleo, paleo or no, intermittent fasting and keto at the same time thinking this is going, this is going to help them with their weight goals, and this is six months in. So how's it going? If you feel that's the way you need to eat, I'm, you know, I'm going to offer you some information. But if they felt that that's the way for them and there's no going around it. But I asked how is it working for you? Wasn't their binge eating on sugar at night because they're not eating? They're not.

They weren't eating breakfast, they weren't actually even meeting, and what scared me, they weren't even meeting a third of their needed protein requirements. They weren't even meeting half of their carbohydrate requirements. So you basically let's starve you all day and then you're going to be into the M&Ms or the sugar, the chocolate or the ice cream to make up and put 2000 calories back in and get some carbs and get a bit of protein, get a bit of fat. Which people you know, when we look at evidence of nutrition tracking, people are always biased, not intentionally, but really bad humans at remembering what we ate.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Yeah, we're not even remembering how we slept.

Sylvi Martin:  

If I ask you from sleeping evidence, from cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, for example, if I ask you an hour after waking, anytime after an hour after you woke up, I can't rely on the information on hey, how'd you sleep last night. If I ask you within an hour, it's going to be more accurate. But with food, people forget. People forget. Oh, like I had, like this, I forgot about the cookie, forgot to mention this, and it's not not to demize the cookie. I hope people are having cookies and enjoying them and really loving them. I think it's so important. So I love how, like anything you, we talk about one thing and I'm like, yeah, and this, jed, I know.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

I know. So what I want, what I hope people have heard from this, is that who you get your nutrition information from matters, and if the information that you're getting isn't making you feel more confident with food and feel better in your body, whether or not you're managing a condition or not.

Sylvi Martin:  

And improve your relationship with food. Exactly Right.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

That you know. I think it's really. I always tell people like you absolutely have a right to ask for evidence. So you know a common one that comes up people you know be told that their hemoglobin A1C is a little high and you know their healthcare provider tells them just watch your carbs, just cut out the carbs and the sugar and you'll be fine.

Sylvi Martin:  

Lose 20 pounds and cut the carbs. Thanks, exactly, asshole. Yeah, that's what I think, cause that is really helpful. You didn't help guide that person.

Tips for Challenging The Source of Healthcare Provider's Reccomendations

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Right, no, yeah. And a really kind of interesting story to kind of tie it all together from a few months ago was, you know, this patient of mine had a pretty good relationship with her primary care provider and you know, I had, you know, kind of coached her on saying like, can you just say I've read conflicting information? Or you know, I've been working with a dietician and this is what they've been telling me.

Can you maybe just give me some you know, references or resources to understand where this, where your advice, is coming from? And to his credit, he fully admitted I actually don't know. It's just what I thought we did. Yeah To me. That kind of blew my mind, because that is actually how a lot of medicine is practiced. It's just the way we've always done it and it's not to bash like.

Sylvi Martin:  

I want to be very clear is it's not the intention is never to like bash another healthcare provider. I think every healthcare provider comes into healthcare because they want to help people, but they don't know the damage that can be done by flippantly saying, okay, go lose weight, go cut out sugar, cut the carbs, when they don't necessarily have more than a couple of hours of trading and nutrition. Their job isn't to help guide people in nutrition.

Their job, especially if they're not even assessing for patterns of disordered eating or difficult relationships with food or eating disorders. It can actually cause harm and it really scares me when individuals are getting kind of quick suggestions and, like I said, the intention is there, the intention is good, but it's really, at the end of the day, not helpful, not even a proper recommendation. It's like going to see a practitioner who just says, oh, go take probiotics. It's like let's get a little bit more specific about what that looks like. Why, how long? Is there a certain strain that is proven to be beneficial in certain conditions? So it's the same thing Like why are we taking nutrition advice from someone who's not? Actually? That's not what they focus on. Yeah, oh, my goodness.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

I love this conversation. I hate to wrap it up but we've got to say goodbye. But I know if people are interested in learning more about you because you have an amazing skill set. You're in Ontario, so why don't you just tell our listeners a little bit about how you work with people and how they can learn more from you?

Sylvi Martin:  

Yeah, I work with people two different ways, either in naturopathic care or as an RN psychotherapist, specific for psychotherapy around gut, brain interactions and eating types of issues. Usually I'll assess someone, but if someone's looking for naturopathic care, they can find me at drsilvymartoncom or nourishingwellbeingca and you can get all the information on my website.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Awesome, and we'll have all the links in the show notes too, as I always ask my guests. Though, what do you think is the missing ingredient in midlife? I didn't tell you about this question before.

The Missing Ingredient in Midlife According to Sylvi

Sylvi Martin:  

No, I love this, though. Permission to seek pleasure Whether it's pleasure from doing things, pleasure from enjoying something deliciously tasty is that permission? Oftentimes I find I am lending people permission when I really want them to give themselves that permission, and that's part of self compassion. So Absolutely.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

I love that. Thank you so much for your time today and I'm sure that you'll be back at some point, because we have an indefinite number of things that we can talk about.

Sylvi Martin:  

Put us on. It'll just keep going. So it's great to see you, jen, and thanks for having me on the show. It's always a pleasure to connect.

Jenn Salib Huber:  

Thanks for tuning in to this week's episode of the Midlife Feast. For more non-diet, health, hormone and general midlife support, click the link in the show notes to learn how you can work and learn from me. And if you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, please consider leaving a review or subscribing, because it helps other women just like you find us and feel supported in midlife.

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