On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Laurie Seely on the show to discuss gut health. Laurie is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach specializing in helping people repair their gut from Candida, IBS, and Heavy Metals Toxicity.
In this episode, we discuss:
-The number one question you should be asking your doctor at your next check up
-How you can assess the health of your stool
-Simple solutions to improve your gut health
-Laurie’s long journey to overcome Candida
-And so much more!
For more information on Laurie:
I’m a Functional Medicine Health Coach, a lover of Young Living Essential Oils, a mom to a beautiful little girl, and a professional opera singer, formerly in the chorus at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
I suffered for years with IBS and all the horrible, embarrassing symptoms that came along with it, including a raging candida (yeast) overgrowth. Eeeeew!
With help from my health coach and the School of Applied Functional Medicine, I learned how to kill Candida and repair my gut. I am a health detective! Now I teach people how to kill Candida and repair their gut through workshops, group programs, essential oils, and 1-on-1 coaching.
Many of my clients find surprising side effects such as extra energy, clearer skin, fewer wrinkles, better digestion, less need for medications, lower blood sugar, and clearer thinking!
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:01 Hey Lori, welcome to the podcast. I am happy to have you on.
Laurie Seely: 00:05 I’m so happy to be here. Thank you Karen.
Karen Litzy: 00:08 Of course. And as we were talking about before we got on the air, the way that we were introduced to each other is through Christine Gallagher, who’s a really wonderful business coach and she was part of my women in PT Summit, in our inaugural summit a couple of years ago. And so I just want to give a quick shout out to Christine for the hookup here.
Karen Litzy: 00:31 She’s great. So now obviously in your bio I talked about the fact that you’re a functional medicine health coach, but I have a feeling a lot of people aren’t exactly sure what that is or what that means. So would you mind giving the listeners a little bit of background on to what that is exactly.
Laurie Seely: 00:48 I got a certification as a health coach and then I continued at the school for Applied Functional Medicine and they offer another certification. And basically that’s where I learned all my stuff. You learn about just really how to be a health detective because there are so many symptoms of dis-ease that a lot of doctors will label as an illness. And I was very interested in this kind of, it’s not really medicine, but I was very interested in this kind of health detective work because I went through this whole thing myself with IBS and Candida and I still had a couple of pieces left to really, really find health for myself. And it was at this school that I’ve finally put in the last couple of pieces to make that happen. And so, in the process I became a functional medicine health coach. Isn’t that cool? Now I help other people that had the same sort of problems that I once had.
Karen Litzy: 02:08 Yeah. And I feel like oftentimes that’s kind of the way life takes us, right? We kind of have these experiences and we figure them out for ourselves and then we try and delve a little bit deeper to widen the net and then help others. So I think it’s great when you can kind of make that change. But a question, what were you doing before you were a health coach?
Laurie Seely: 02:32 Well, I was an opera singer actually. I was singing fulltime in the chorus at the lyric opera of Chicago, which was really, really fun. And actually I just recently quit there. I was doing both at the same time for a while, which was a really difficult juggle. And I feel like this is where my heart lies and my passion now. So yeah, I was an opera singer.
Karen Litzy: 03:12 What a career, what a career switch. Yeah. I love talking to people who have had different careers within their life because I always think like it gives people hope, you know? So if you’re not doing exactly what you love right now, that there’s hope, you may find that thing that kind of, like you said, gives you your passion. Right? Fantastic. All right, so now let’s talk about the health coaching aspect of things. So let’s say I’m one of your clients. I come to you and I’ve already been to my doctor or maybe I’m going to see my doctor. So what are some important questions that maybe doctors should be asking us that they’re not? Maybe that, yeah, we’re not delving into as much.
Laurie Seely: 03:49 So I think that the number one most important question a doctor can ask you is what does your poop look like? And specifically, what does it look like and how often do you poop? Because that is your body’s way of telling you when there’s something wrong. I learned that functional medicine school that most dis ease begins in the gut. We don’t say all because we just want to, you know, 99.9% of disease begins in the gut, I would say, right? And that’s your first indication. That’s your body telling you, hey, there’s something wrong. You know? And so we need to be educated on our part. What poops should look like. Right. And I feel like this should be like on the commercials on TV instead of like, you know what pharmaceutical drug can help you with your IBS.
Laurie Seely: 04:52 They should be telling us what our poop should look like so it doesn’t have to go all the way to IBS. We can see right at the beginning, you know what, I’m pooping little marbles like that’s, that was my problem for most of my life. Little marbles with occasional bouts of diarrhea and I went for close to 40 years not knowing that there was anything wrong. If one doctor had asked me what my poop looked like when I was say 12 years old and I was old enough to kind of tell him, well about nine times a day I’m pooping little balls. He’d be like, wow, there’s something wrong with you. We need to figure out what it is. And I feel like there’s so many people who are in the same boat, you know, it never would have gotten to candida for me. I had a yeast infection for a year, every single day. And if somebody had asked me at 12 years old, what does my poop look like? I just, I feel like it never would have gotten that bad. And I feel like there’s so many other people in this world who are in the same boat, you know, and who are maybe at some sort of state of disease that really could have been kind of nipped in a bud years ago when it was much less.
Karen Litzy: 06:05 Hmm. Yeah. And so if we’re going there, right? We’re going to talk about poop right now. We’re in it, we’re doing it.
Laurie Seely: If you have a conversation with me long enough, it’ll eventually go there.
Karen Litzy: Yes. This is it. Obviously a very good question that your doctor should be asking, but now if people listening to this next time they go to their doctor, they can bring this up, correct?
Laurie Seely: 06:33 Yeah, absolutely. And you want to be very clear because even doctors can mess up with this. You know, there was one chiropractor that I was at who asked, we sort of, we get treated in the same room, a bunch of us, and there was another client, they’re getting treated at the same time. And she was making comments that kind of made the chiropractor and me kind of go to, sounds like you’re constipated, but we didn’t say that. And he asked her, how’s your digestion?
Laurie Seely: 07:04 She’s like oh, it’s fine. And then he left the room and I said, what does your poop look like? How many times do you poop a day? And she said, Oh, I’m pooping like once every 10 days. Oh my God. Yeah. So I was like, wow. Like I didn’t want to alarm her, but I sort of explained, you know, that it shouldn’t be that way. So, that’s the thing, when you talk to your doctor, like get gross, get like in it, tell them what it looks like, what it feels like, the texture, the smell, how long it takes to pass, because they need to know all of those things. And sometimes the doctor’s going to get grossed out by that. And you know what, find a different one because you need to be able to talk about this stuff.
Karen Litzy: 07:45 Okay. So let’s talk about what it should look like. So there is a chart called the Bristol stool chart. So can you tell us what it is and what it should look like?
Laurie Seely: 07:59 So on the chart it goes from number one to number seven. So number one is constipation and that’s the tiny little balls. Number seven is diarrhea, that’s watery stools. And number four is Nirvana poop. Like exactly what it’s supposed to be like. It’s like soft serve, ice cream texture. And it’s not going to smell very much. It’s going to be light brown in texture, easy to pass. We’re talking one or two minutes and it’s all gone all out and it leaves almost nothing to wipe. So that’s the, the good stuff. And then they have, you know, the different levels in between one, four and seven also. So you can, you can Google that. There’s like great illustrations online.
Karen Litzy: 08:50 And so obviously if you’re at a one or a seven, we pretty much know something’s up, right? Yep. So four is perfect. What if you’re at three or a five? I mean, are these things to be worried about?
Laurie Seely: 08:56 I honestly, I don’t think so. If you’re at a three or a five, it’s probably not your norm. If that makes sense. Like you want to look at where, where is it usually? Right? What is your pattern? If you have a couple of days with a little bit of stress and suddenly you’re pooping tiny little balls, but then you get back to a number four after that, you’re good. It was the stress you got over it. Right. Do a little yoga, some deep breathing, you’ll be fine. Same thing happens with diarrhea. You know, a lot of people get stressed diarrhea. So if that’s a temporary thing and it’s due to stress that’s temporary, then you’re fine.
Laurie Seely: 09:49 If it’s happening all the time, then you need to know that, yeah, it’s a problem and you need to do some detective work there and that’s time to do a stool test or to do any number of blood tests for parasites and stuff like that. So that’s time when you want to, you want to find out what’s causing it. A lot of times like, okay, so I went to my gastroenterologist, I said, I have IBS, I’m constipated all the time. Sometimes I have diarrhea. I told her the whole story and she said, we don’t know what causes IBS.
Laurie Seely: 10:24 So that’s another indication that you need a new doctor. So that’s what I did. I got a new doctor because there are so many things that cause IBS and that’s time to just find yourself a health detective and figure it out. There’s a great test from the Meridian Valley lab called a comprehensive stool analysis and Parasitology times three. So that will tell you all of the expected beneficial flora that you want in there. It’ll measure imbalanced flora. Any flora that’s dysbiotic or like out of crazy, out of balance. So you know exactly really what’s supposed to be there. It’s also going to measure how much yeast you have in there because everybody pretty much has yeast in their digestive tract. It’s just when it gets overgrown and it’s bad. And then it also measures like mucus and then it checks for parasites and it’s a three day test.
Laurie Seely: 11:26 So if you find a doctor that gave you a stool test and it’s just from one bowel movement, that’s not a good enough test. If it finds something cool, then you got lucky. But it’s good to test over the period of at least three days. There are some stool tests that go up to six days. So the reason for that is that the bacteria and the parasites and the candida, it all travels in groups like in clumps, they like to stick together like a school of fish, right? And from one bowel movement you could be full of parasites and in one bowel movement you pass a whole bunch that doesn’t have any parasites in it because they were hanging out somewhere else in your colon. So that’s why you want to test over three days. So then you have a pretty good chance that if there’s any parasites in there, you’ve found them.
Karen Litzy: 12:27 Yeah, that makes sense to me. And now let’s say you do this test and something is positive. Where do you go from there?
Laurie Seely: Well, there’s a lot of things you can do about that. It depends on your doctor. He might give you a pharmaceutical antiparasitic drug to take, which can be effective and there’s the possibility that it’s not effective as well. You always want to retest. What I do with my clients is I use a product from young living essential oil as it’s the best thing that I’ve found so far, the most effective and it’s called para free and it’s full of various essential oils and all. So, other ingredients that are known to support intestinal health and are, I can’t say that they’re known to kill things because it hasn’t been approved by the FDA, but I’ve seen in my practice and in my own body and in my mother’s body, that it clears up parasites.
Karen Litzy: 15:29 So now let’s say you do this comprehensive stool analysis and you find something, it’s treated either by your physician with the pharmaceutical or through the essential oils, but I guess it’s probably important to note that with the essential oils that like you said, they’re not FDA approved and they’re not studied or tested. It’s just more like anecdotal stuff.
Laurie Seely: 16:01 There are many case studies and actually it seems like from the case studies that the para free is actually more useful.
Karen Litzy: 16:14 Well it would probably behoove someone to do some research on that because it’s hard to I think get buy in from a lot of people when something isn’t well-researched. That’s a word I was going to say, test it. But research is probably better. Probably a better way to put that. So, you know, at least someone will, we’ll do that to help people make a better decision.
Laurie Seely: 16:50 Right. Well, here’s a thing, the reason why they’re not FDA approved is not because the FDA looked into it and disapproved them. It’s because the FDA doesn’t want to waste their time on something that can’t be patented because they’re natural ingredients in there. They’re not synthetic versions of natural ingredients it’s the actual natural ingredient. And so those things can’t be patented and they can’t, you know, companies can’t make money off of that. And so the FDA doesn’t want to use their funding on that.
Karen Litzy: 17:23 Right. Yeah. Well hopefully someone can do like a nice comparative study between that and a pharmaceutical and see what works and what doesn’t.
Laurie Seely: 17:34 I think one of the issues that pharmaceuticals are usually aimed at just one thing. And the para free has been useful in treating a wide range of parasites. So it’s like throwing a huge blanket on it. You Kill Them all. But you’re right. You’re right. It’d be nice if it were more widely publicized.
Karen Litzy: 18:05 All right. Now let’s say we talked about this a little bit. Let’s say you’re on the one of the Bristol stool chart, which means that you’re constipated and everyone at some point in their life has been, and we know it’s not comfortable, so how can we relieve this?
Laurie Seely: 18:29 So there’s a couple of different ways. It depends on what’s causing it. So before doing a stool test, I would try, what I’m going to tell you now, I would first look at how much water are you drinking every day. So the rule of thumb for how much water you should be drinking is you see how many pounds you weigh, divide that by two. And that’s how many ounces of water you should be drinking every day. So if you weigh 140, you should be drinking at least 70 ounces of water per day. Right? Now there’s a lot of people who are already doing that, but there are a lot of people for whom that would be quite a bit of water. That’s really what we need to be doing because, the number one and the Bristol stool chart is an indication that your stool is dehydrated and you’re still maybe dehydrated just because you’re not drinking enough water, it’s possible that the muscles along your colon aren’t functioning absolutely properly and that you’re just moving along slowly because there’s not enough water in your stool.
Laurie Seely: 19:36 So that’s the simplest fix. Right? And then also if you do that and you find that it doesn’t fix it or it improves it, now you’re still drinking more water. Another thing to do is consider that maybe you don’t have enough magnesium intake. So a lot of us don’t have enough magnesium just because we’re not getting it anymore from the fruits and vegetables because of modern day farming practices. It’s not in the soil. So if it’s not in the soil, can’t be in the vegetables and that’s where we’re supposed to be getting our magnesium from. So we use supplements. So there’s, the form of magnesium that helps to stimulate the bowels is called magnesium citrate. And so you just see, you try taking some magnesium citrate and there’s a very easy way to figure out how much of that you need.
Laurie Seely: 20:32 You want to get the powdered version because it’s easier to lower or raise your intake right then like taking a capsule. And so you start with half a teaspoon of magnesium citrate. And you do that for about three days because it takes a while for it to build up in our bodies. And if after about three days you’re not moving along the way you want to be, then you raise it by another half teaspoon and you just keep doing that in three day intervals like that until you’re where you want to be. And it’s possible that you might go up a little too far and have diarrhea and then you know, for sure that half a teaspoon or less than that is what you need.
Karen Litzy: 21:17 Right, right. Yeah. So it’s a little bit of trial and error there, but I get it.
Laurie Seely: 21:22 I mean that if you’re trying to do things naturally, that’s how it is.
Karen Litzy: 21:27 Yeah, for sure. Okay. So we’ve got lack of water, lack of magnesium. Anything else that can contribute?
Laurie Seely: 21:35 Well, we always say we should have more fiber. Right? And that could be part of it as well. So you want to make sure that you’re eating enough vegetables because I never recommend a person to get their fiber from things like shredded wheat or bread or things like that. But that’s what we see in the media, right? We see like, oh, have your high fiber bread and that’s going to help you. Well, wheat actually can irritate the colon. Whether you have a sensitivity to it or not because of the way that it’s being produced nowadays. It’s a very common irritant. And so that could be, I mean, maybe you’re eating bread and that’s your problem, right? So if you feel like maybe it’s a fiber issue, then the way to get fibers through vegetables and I’m talking about like spinach, Kale, leafy Greens.
Karen Litzy: 22:34 Yeah. So that makes sense. So you want to start having more water, kind of eating a little bit healthier and things may even out for you. Okay, great. So is there anything else with constipation that we didn’t go over about kind of how to relieve it or what might be causing it?
Laurie Seely: 22:55 Well, those are the places that I would start. And if you don’t make any headway there, then got to find yourself a health detective, I think.
Karen Litzy: 23:07 Yeah. Yeah. All right. Sounds good. Now you made mention of this earlier, but, and I know it’s part of your history and kind of why you became a health coach, but talk a little bit about Candida and what it was like for you for 10 plus years.
Laurie Seely: 23:28 So, my whole life, this whole thing with my digestion just kept getting worse. I didn’t even know that I had a problem. I was unaware of it. That’s why I’m here. Like educating people about it, bringing it into the light. Eventually I started having like three to six or more yeast infections every single year, which I also didn’t know, but that’s considered frequent for yeast infections. And then eventually, this is a little while after I had my daughter. My immune system just tanked and so did my thyroid and I had a yeast infection for every day for an entire year. I remember spending a week at Disney with an itch that I couldn’t scratch. It was just horrible. So that’s when I finally, I took the plunge. I was googling the whole time, like, there’s probably a good 10 years that I was like, why am I getting so many yeast infections?
Laurie Seely: 24:32 And I would Google that and it would come up as a candida, you know, a systemic candida infection. I was like, no, no, no. It couldn’t be that, because then I of course googled the remedy for that. And it just seemed like so hard and such a problem to go through that I was like, no, it’s gotta be something else. It can’t be that. So when I finally admitted it, I mean, that was the first day of the rest of my life, you know? And, I started my journey to health
Karen Litzy: 25:11 So aside from having the recurrent and constant yeast infections, was there anything else that you noticed that maybe you ignored?
Laurie Seely: 25:20 Yes. Looking back, I started to have, when I wasn’t constipated, I was having far more urgent diarrhea, which actually led to like public accidents. Very, very embarrassing. And I got some allergies that I had always had some allergies, but it was just so bad that I was seeing an allergist and I was using Flonase and other steroid nasal sprays. And of course that was just making my problem worse because steroids actually kill gut bacteria and that was the root of my problem. And then after that allergies then more yeast infections. That was I think the allergies and the more frequent diarrhea that I didn’t put it together. I didn’t understand.
Karen Litzy: 26:19 Yeah. And that always seems to be the way because especially when you’re in it, it’s kind of like hard to connect all those dots, right? Because you’re just trying to take care of the symptoms.
Laurie Seely: 26:30 I was constantly putting band aids on symptoms, not realizing that they had a common cause. And sinus infections also. Yeast kinda likes to live in the warm, wet areas and sinuses are a really good place for them to take up shop. And I had that problem too.
Karen Litzy: 26:50 Gosh. What a way to go through life.
Laurie Seely: Yeah. Yeah. And you know, there’s so many people who are really experiencing this all the time still and also haven’t connected the dots, you know.
Karen Litzy: Well, you know, hopefully you can raise a little bit more awareness for people and have them be a little more aware of how they poop yes. And what it looks like and the consistency and this smell and all that stuff so that hopefully we can, cause you know, what you put in your body’s got to come out, right? So, I think it’s important that we pay attention to what our body is doing because like you said, our bodies are pretty good at telling us when things are wrong. When things are out of homeostasis and if checking your poop, that seems pretty easy to me so then you could say, oh, this doesn’t seem right. Maybe I should call my doctor about this.
Laurie Seely: Exactly. Yes, exactly. Just have to pay attention.
Karen Litzy: Yes, we have to pay attention. Well, now is there anything that maybe we didn’t cover that you feel like who I really want your listeners to know this.
Laurie Seely: 28:21 I think we got everything.
Karen Litzy: All right, well then I have one last question for you and it’s a question that I ask everyone, and that’s knowing where you are now in your life and your career. What advice would you give to yourself, let’s say right out of school, or maybe in your case when you first started getting into the opera world?
Laurie Seely: 29:05 Oh, well this is, yes. Advice that I wish I’d had. Just keep trying get used to hearing no.
Laurie Seely: 29:20 Because in the opera world we deal with a lot of rejection. There’s a lot of auditions and you might get out of, I don’t know, 20 auditions, you might get one job. So I really would have liked to start to hear that, to know that it was normal. You have all these auditions and just get one job, you know? But I have a very stick-to-it-ness sort of nature to me and I rolled with it.
Karen Litzy: 29:52 Gosh, I’m sure so many people have been in your boat many times over and would have loved to have had that advice. And now you have, which I’m very grateful for, something for the listeners. So what is a Freebie for people?
Laurie Seely: 30:10 So I have a seven step program that I use with my clients to help them get over candida and repair their gut. And I have a blog post on my website that goes through those seven steps. And it also has a very handy downloadable checklist that you can use as you’re going through the program.
Laurie Seely: 30:42 So, and it also has a very nice list of Anti-candida foods, foods that are allowed and not allowed on the anti-Candida, a diet that is very handy to print out and just hang in your kitchen so that you can check it every once in a while and see what kind of recipes you want to make for yourself. Because when you’re doing the Anti Candida Diet, it can be very difficult and very depressing to try and figure out what there is that you can eat without feeding your candy jar. So for anybody who sort of was thinking, oh, that might be me, I don’t know, you can go to my website and check out that post. And there’s so many other posts on there about IBS and Candida and food sensitivities and all that stuff. You can go down quite a worm hole on my website.
Karen Litzy: 31:33 Perfect. And we’ll have the link to the seven steps to kill Candida checklist. We will have the link to that in the show notes over at podcast.healthywealthysmart.com so you can one click and it’ll take you there. And where can people find you?
Laurie Seely: 31:55 I am at laurieseely.com and I’m also on Facebook at Laurie Seely functional medicine health coach. And I also have a group on Facebook called Candida Ibs and heavy metals education group.
Karen Litzy: 32:14 Awesome. And again, we’ll have all the links to that. So if you have questions you want to get in touch with Laurie, you can pop over to her website. If you weren’t writing all this down, you can go to the podcast website, click onto it and it’ll take you right there. So Laurie, thank you so much for coming on and talking to us about poop which is a first for me on the podcast.
Laurie Seely: So that’s awesome. I’m so glad I get my bad for you.
Karen Litzy: It was at first. And hopefully people, no pun intended, got a lot out of this. So Lori, thanks so much for coming on and everyone else, thanks so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.
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