Our genes carry the information that determines our traits, those features or characteristics that are passed on to us from our biological parents. Our genes drive our health, even influence the food that you prefer to eat, and carry information that makes you who you are and what you look like. For instance, do you have freckles like my kids? Yep, my genes showed up in my girls with freckles – my youngest even has one on her lip, just like me. Do you have curly or straight hair? Long or short legs? Your genes even dictate how you might smile or laugh. We humans have in the realm of 25,000 to 35,000 genes–although that number seems to differ depending on what you read. We have a genetic predisposition that can be explained as an increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on our genetic makeup. You know, like when your father, his father and his father all had heart attacks at a certain age, and you think that you’re destined to experience the same… That’s what I’m talking about here. This situation is called a “specific genetic variation” that can contribute to someone developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer or even arthritis, but isn’t the direct cause of it. Some people with a predisposing genetic variation will never get the disease while others will, even within the same family. But why? That’s often called a million dollar question, and can brings us to the discussion of epigenetics. I know, I know. I just created another question that caused your train of thought to come dead stop about. Epi-what?
Today on EAT THIS with Lianne, let’s dip our toes into the pool of genetics, genetic testing for health and epigenetics. It sure sounds cool, but really what does it mean? Why do you need to know about your genes? And most importantly, how can knowing a bit more impact your health, and your life?
The area of genetic testing for health and epigenetics is one that I’m learning more about, and I thought that having more of an expert than I am on the podcast would be the best way to start this conversation. I reached out to Nathalie Niddam, who is a Holistic Nutritionist, a Bulletproof Human Potential Coach and really focuses on genetic testing and epigenetics with her clients. I met Nathalie through a colleague and my interest was first piqued when she said that we don’t all absorb vitamin D well from sunshine because of genetics… That gave me more cause to get on my supplement soapbox and tell everyone that they need to take my Sunshine D3+K2 liposome spray supplement. It also answered the question why we are all so deficient and NEED to take more, especially in COVID times and as fall and winter sets in.
Nathalie for shares some specific points that certainly have me intrigued enough to open up my app again and see if I can find the Cookie Jar gene that she mentioned. Who doesn’t want to know if you’re drawn to sugar and sweet foods because of your genes?? Not that knowing gives you an out, but wow, having that information would certainly ease off on thinking that you suck when it comes to willpower, right?
What stood out for me is that when we all follow along on a particular diet trend, or try a new way of eating, you’ve seen it… It works brilliantly for some, and is an absolute disaster for others. Have you come across someone who is evangelical about following the Keto diet, or is a hard core vegan and both seem healthy for it? Yep, I see it all the time. Knowing that success with a way of eating, a like or dislike of a food or drink can come down to our genes does give validity to what we think we know works. As Nathalie said, her clients feel better and even validated in their efforts to answer a whole lot of questions. That can be a big shift in trusting yourself more than thinking you need to try yet another diet or ditch a food group, and deprive yourself.
I find it all so fascinating. Of course, remember the epigenetic factor, and that only 25% of your health is determined by your genes, and the rest comes down to lifestyle, diet, exercise, sleep, stress and even mindset. So yes, we are still largely responsible for our health outcome.
This certainly can’t be the end of this discussion, would you agree? I love that Nathalie gave us a top level introduction and a glimpse into the depth and potential of genetic testing for health, and while I’m certainly no expert in this area, I know that I have genes that I’d like to keep switched off, there is heart disease, cancer, and eyesight issues in my gene pool, and that’s why I take my KID BOOST every morning. The superfoods in it have the potential to influence those genes that mom and dad gave me that I DO NOT want to be switched on.
What would you think about delving into this more together? I’ll do some research and bring it to you, and you share with me your experience and interest. I do know colleagues who live and breathe this, so I’ll reach out about having them come and chat with us and we can go on this particular learning journey together.
I’ve see a lot of interest in my TAKE THIS by Lianne line of supplements, and know it can be overwhelming to know where to start: What’s a priority if there’s just one or two to try first? And is it the best for you, specifically? Then how much do you take? Oh, and when?? All great questions! I’m launching a new 15 minute call to help you decide. No charge, just lots of value and insight so you know that what you’re ordering is the right product for you and your family. As we’ve seen on today’s episode, we don’t all need the same things, but there are some foundational and key supplements that everyBODY needs.
If you have questions, or a topic that you’d like me to do a deep dive into, reach out on social media – you can find me @sproutright and also at @liannephillipson. I know you’re still wondering about that Cookie Jar gene, so I’ll leave you with the usual… To remember to EAT THIS one mouthful at a time – cookie jar gene or not!
More about Nathalie Niddam
Certified Holistic Nutritionist | Human Potential Coach | Epigenetic Coach
Nathalie is a self-proclaimed science geek, with a passion for science and human health. She studied Human Physiology in University, is a Holistic Nutritionist, a member of the first graduating class of Bulletproof Training Institute, and recently completed the Apeiron Academy Certification for Epigenetic Coaching.
Beginning in her teens, she fought with ongoing health and digestive issues that only got solved years later, when she moved past conventional medicine and started to tap into her body’s own healing and repair mechanisms. This reinforced her lifelong belief that the key to so many of our health challenges lies in our body’s innate ability to heal and repair. She quit her corporate job, went back to school for Holistic Nutrition began a journey that would change her life.
Nathalie wanted to share her knowledge, to help others take control of their health. But knowing what to do is one thing, getting others to do it is another. She signed up for the Bulletproof Human Potential Coaching program, a presence based coaching method that taps into an array of human performance fields – from neuroscience to nutrition, nutraceuticals to biohacking, positive psychology to resilience training – to guide people to achieve their own state of high performance.
The result – a blending of two disciplines and a unique coaching method that explores where ancestral health and nutrition ends and biohacking picks up.
Nathalie’s coaching style
Together with her clients, Nathalie taps into each person’s unique genetic code to finely personalise supplementation, nutrition and lifestyle in order to deliver results that last. Ultimately, she addresses every aspect from physical to mindset to help each client become unstoppable.
She works with clients one on one, coaches group programs online, and delivers corporate talks to organizations like Deloitte and YPO groups.
She lives in Toronto with her husband and knows full-well the importance of finding balance in a demanding, fast-paced city lifestyle. She balances her work with travel, working out, reading endlessly about health and human optimization, and of course, cooking nutritious food, the passion that sparked her journey to health.
Podcast (New!): Biohacking Superhuman Performance