top of page

12 Foods Keeping You Overweight & Tired At Midlife

MMi logo side flower.png





Subscribe To The Podcast


Immunity Food Fix: Your Guide To Reduce Inflammation, Boost Your Immunity, Heal Your Gut And Prevent

Do you want to know the secret to reducing inflammation and boosting your immunity while healing your gut?

Listen up!

Donna Mazzola, a Pharmacist with an obsession with natural healing, will be joining us on this episode of The Hormone Prescription Podcast - Immunity Food Fix. Donna obtained her Doctorate in Pharmacy and then was diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2015. Through her journey, she has learned the importance of the balance between nutrition and medicine that impacts disease.

Donna will be sharing with us tips on how to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, heal the gut and more.

In this episode, you'll learn:

- How to make lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce inflammation

- How to construct a diet plan that works for you

- Which foods increase immunity, heal the gut and prevent disease

- How to incorporate nutrition into your health care routine

Don't miss out on this episode of The Hormone Prescription Podcast - Immunity Food Fix. Tune in for the tools, tips, and tricks of how Donna has been able to keep her immune system balanced and healthy.

(00:00): Do you know how the food you eat impacts your immune system function? Stay tuned and find out what foods you should be eating and not eating to impact your immune system positively.

(00:14): So the big question is, how do women over 40 like us keep weight off, have great energy, balance our hormones and our moods, feel sexy and confident, and master midlife? If you're like most of us, you are not getting the answers you need and remain confused and pretty hopeless to ever feel like yourself Again. As an ob gyn, I had to discover for myself the truth about what creates a rock solid metabolism, lasting weight loss, and supercharged energy after 40 in order to lose a hundred pounds and fix my fatigue, now I'm on a mission. This podcast is designed to share the natural tools you need for impactful results and to give you clarity on the answers to your midlife metabolism challenges. Join me for tangible, natural strategies to crush the hormone imbalances you are facing and help you get unstuck from the sidelines of life. My name is Dr. Kyrin Dunston. Welcome to the Hormone Prescription Podcast.

(01:07): Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the Hormone Prescription with Dr. Kiran. Thank you so much for joining me today. My guest is Donna Mazzola and she is Dr. Autoimmune Girl and she is super passionate about how what you eat impacts your immune system. Did you know that what you put in your mouth impacts whether you get sick or not? Or do you know whether you get the flu or not, how severe covid infection is and all these other things? Probably not. Most people aren't aware that maybe that sticky bun could be the reason why you got the flu this year and nobody else did. Not saying it's the only cause, but it's a big contributor because the food you eat really programs. What is your body? Your body is your food body. Literally you are what you eat and that means your immune system too.

(02:03): So we're gonna get into that today. And your immune system and food also interact with your hormones. So you always hear me bring everything back to your hormones and how it relates to your hormones cuz this is the foundation of how you function as a, as a female, as a woman. And we're gonna get into that in detail. I'm gonna tell you a little bit about Donna and then we're gonna get into it. So Donna is a pharmacist. She's fascinated with natural healing and preventative care. She has a doctorate in pharmacy, but she realizes that although medicine has a place in healing, it's really the balance between nutrition and medicine that impacts disease. And this fascination became an in obsession for her after a personal diagnosis of Hashimotos in 2015. And her disease pushed her to embark on a journey to seek answers and identify the root cause related to the rise in autoimmune and other inflammatory related chronic conditions.

(03:07): So on her journey, she obtained a master's degree in functional medicine and human nutrition and she birthed Dr. Autoimmune Girl. And that really is her vehicle to share her passion with people, to empower them with the knowledge, to take control of their health. Her mission is to educate the world on the healing powers of food. Yes, the food you eat several times a day has the power to heal you and give meaning to the concept of food as medicine. Her blog is dr autoimmune She shares reputable scientific information related nutrition and health there and she's the author of Immunity Food Fix Guide to a hundred Superfoods and Nutrition Hacks to Reverse Inflammation, prevent Illness, and Boost your Immunity. Welcome Donna to the podcast.

(03:59): Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

(04:00): Yeah, I'm super excited to talk with you about immunity and fixing it with what you eat because I think for a lot of people they're just not aware that what they eat has anything to do with their immune system. So can you start by maybe helping everybody understand the

(04:18): Relationship? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think my, one of my favorite things to say is, you know what you eat matters <laugh> because it does and it, it matters on so many levels. And I think over the past couple years people have learned, you know, whether it was the correct information or misinformation more about their immune system than they ever have before. And so I think this book that I wrote with the Immunity Food Fix came out at the right time really with the idea to educate people and number one, what the immune system is and how it functions. And it's extremely complex, but at the root of so much of it, what I really want people to really understand is inflammation at the root of your immune system and reducing inflammation through food in order to boost your immune system and boost your health. You know, it's complicated but I feel like if we can center around inflammation as kind of that central point, there's a, people can gain a deeper understanding on what we mean to boost our immunity through, through what we eat.

(05:29): Yeah. So let's start there with inflammation, how I think people hear about that term and they kind of have a nebulous idea of what it is. So maybe if you could start by helping everybody understand what is inflammation, why is it problematic and how it relates to the immune system, that would be

(05:47): Great. Yeah. So inflammation, when we hear it, we automatically think negative. But inflammation, when you truly think about it, is a positive response that our body is, is having. So if our body is within complete homeostasis, imbalanced, there is an event that occurs, let's say you cut your finger or you catch a cold, you have a virus, your immune system upregulates at that point and says, ah, there's something going on, we need to fix it. So it ink, it boosts, it like sends out the soldiers right to fight, to fix what's going on. And those soldiers fighting are all these inflammatory cytokines that are released. Right. To that point, once that problem is fixed, those soldiers should go back to their base and mm-hmm <affirmative>, the inflammatory response should be decreased. Unfortunately, we don't live in this homeostasis and especially from the start of, I really feel like the industrial revolution, right?

(06:46): Where we've started to process our foods, we have convenient foods, we live in extremely stressful lifestyle, we never turn off that inflammatory response. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so we are living in what we call this chronic inflammation in that your immune system is always on, which it's not supposed to be. It's always fighting something because there's something foreign going out in our body. And whether that's, you know, linking our gut health, you know, we hear the term leaky gut where we have, you know, an inflammatory response that occurs within the bloodstream. You know these, the stress response as I talked about, you have an inflammatory response going on, lack of sleep, you know, where we don't give our body the ability to kind of regenerate itself. You have an inflammatory response. And of course, you know, linking all of this together, it goes back to a lot of it is the food and nutrition.

(07:41): Food and nutrition is at the center of all that. And it's not just about the fact that we are consuming inflammatory foods, like I mentioned, like the processed foods, processed sugars, high sugar intake, saturated fats that are causing this inflammatory response. We're also not consuming the anti-inflammatory foods that come from whole foods, anything from the earth, right? Plant-based food mm-hmm <affirmative>. And not to say anything wrong with, you know, animal protein or things like that, but really just thinking about the benefits and the an anti-inflammatory benefits of plant-based foods. It's like we have such a mismatch with the food, you know, and the dietary lifestyle by which we live today.

(08:27): Right. So I know some people are listening and they're thinking, well Dr. Donna's a pharmacist, why is she talking about diet? My pharmacist never talks to me about diet when I go to the pharmacy. And I think that's a a valid question. So maybe we even back up and can you tell everyone how you got involved with looking at immune system function and diet? Cuz I know you have a very personal story around that.

(08:56): Yeah, so I mean, when I was started in clinical practice probably about 20 years ago, I was doing a lot with patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart failure, C O P D, and really trying to help them manage their medication as a pharmacist. But what I found in many of my consultations was that I was focusing on nutrition. I was focusing on what they could do to potentially reduce their medication, you know, and feel better. And so I realized at that time that that was my true passion. There's a time in place for medicine, but it's the balance between nutrition and medicine that's critical. That's really how I practiced. And I didn't have any formal training in nutrition, but you know, you learn a little bit about it through conventional mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, schooling. But it wasn't until my personal diagnosis with Hashimotos, which is an autoimmune thyroid disorder, that I took that leap to say, you know what, I have been helping many with chronic illness, but I've never connected the dots between an autoimmune disorder or the immune system and nutrition. And so I didn't know how to help myself mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's when I went back to school to obtain a master's in functional medicine and human nutrition. And the primary reason I did it was to help myself. I had no idea where it was gonna take me. And I didn't care because all I wanted to do was try to figure out why this happened to me and what I was doing wrong, because I thought that I lived a healthy life.

(10:34): So can you say more about that, Donna? Because I think there are a lot of people listening who also think that they lead a healthy life and they're really shocked to find when they find someone who can give them a root cause resolution approach or a functional approach that they're really not. So can you talk a little in a little more detail about what you considered was the healthy lifestyle you were living and what you

(10:57): Discovered? Yeah. So I would say I was probably over exercising, following all kinds of fad diets that really were chemically based, right? Like sugar alcohols, the fat free movement, you know, all of that. I fell into all those traps, um, and tried all kinds of things. I wasn't sleeping right. Meditation and mindfulness was not even something I considered or understood, you know, working long hours. I was young, so, you know, partying, drinking, all that stuff, you know, everything. When I look back I'm like, my gosh, I thought I was so healthy and yet everything I was doing was so inflammatory on the body and no wonder I developed this. But on top of that, like I think about the types of foods that I was eating and the type of life that I lived and what it did to my gut. And I know now looking back based on like symptoms that I've had that I ignored and things like that, that you know, the gut was central to what led to this development and autoimmune disease.

(12:06): Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so it was kind of like, I go back and I can connect the dots now, but at that time I had no idea and I was thinking I'm super healthy and nothing, you know, bulletproof, nothing can happen to me. And then it's kind of like an awakening. Gosh, there's so much we don't know. And in conventional medicine there's so much we are not taught about how to get this. So I actually am proud of the fact that I have both sides because I, like I said there, I do believe there's a place for western medicine. You know, many times it, it can save lives, but it's not for everything. And I think there are opportunities where prevention is key and for probably majority of chronic illness, it's in our hands, right? We can prevent it, we can reverse it, and we just have to understand the why behind it, the how and implement it.

(12:59): Yeah. I think you're so right. We, you know, let's not throw out mainstream medicine. We need it, we need our drugs, we need our surgery. But there's so much more that we can do. And I love that in your book you really focus on the things that need to be done, where you need to reduce your inflammation, you cover that, boost your immunity, heal your gut, and prevent disease. So when you discovered this and you got your master's, you were able to reverse your hashimo Hashimotos,

(13:26): It's been what now? Probably seven years on this journey. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I haven't completely been able to reduce my antibodies, um, my Hashimotos to zero <laugh>, but I've been able to bring them down from what it was, 2,500 antibodies, which is a measure of inflammation, truly, if that's probably the simplest way of putting it down to 200. And it's a constant learning that I continue to implement. And everybody's different. You know, there's, I have some people who have implemented and yeah, within a couple years they've been able to completely reverse. And I think we all start at a different place, which i