The Plan to Eat Podcast

#77: Reducing Anxiety Naturally and Mold Toxicity with Jodie of Healing Journey Services

February 28, 2024 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 77
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#77: Reducing Anxiety Naturally and Mold Toxicity with Jodie of Healing Journey Services
Show Notes Transcript

Jodie is an anxiety expert on a mission to help women heal anxiety holistically so they can spend more time enjoying life and less time fearing it. She has a masters in social work, is trained in functional medicine (FDN-P), is a yoga teacher, an elemental breathwork facilitator, and a heartmath practitioner.
In today's episode, Jodie shares her health and wellness journey from chronically ill to thriving! We talk about her struggle with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, mold toxicity, gut health, and anxiety. We talk about leaky gut and leaky brain (a new term for me) and how those are connected. Jodie is incredibly knowledgeable and I learned a lot from her! I hope you enjoy!

Connect with Jodie:
FB group is Healing Anxiety Holistically for Women
Instagram: @HealingJourney_Services
10 supplements to reduce anxiety:

Medical Disclaimer: The content provided in this podcast is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information presented here is not meant to replace professional medical advice or to apply to individuals with specific medical conditions. We encourage our listeners to consult with qualified healthcare professionals for personalized advice and treatment. The views expressed by hosts and guests on the podcast are their own and should not be taken as professional medical guidance. We do not endorse any specific products, treatments, or procedures mentioned during the show. 

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Roni: [00:00:00] to the Plan to Eat podcast. Where I interview industry experts about meal planning, food and wellness. To help you answer the question. What's for dinner. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the planty podcast. I have a great interview today with Jodie of healing journey services. Jodie is an anxiety specialist. Uh, she is on a mission to help women heal their anxiety holistically so they can spend more time enjoying life and less time fearing it. She has a master's in social work, but she's also trained as a functional medicine practitioner.

She is a yoga teacher and an elemental breathwork facilitator. She has so much knowledge about the body and brain and all of the things that are working together in our bodies. I had an amazing conversation with her today. We talk [00:01:00] about some root causes of anxiety. That are not necessarily psychological.

We talk about mold toxicity, uh, the blood brain barrier and leaky gut, all sorts of things. So I learned a ton. Jodie goes really deep on a lot of these topics and we just had a great conversation. So I hope you enjoy.

Roni: Well, Jodi, thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today.

Jodie: Oh, you're welcome. I'm so happy to be here.

Roni: Yeah. So let's get started by you just, um, giving a little intro of who you are and what you do for a living.

Jodie: Okay. So, I am, I don't really like the word expert, but I specialize in anxiety and helping women to uncover the root causes of anxiety. And I find I take an alternative, I guess you could say, approach to healing because I'm trained as a therapist, but I like to help women uncover more biological imbalances that aren't being picked up necessarily [00:02:00] by the medical system, um, but might actually be at the root of their symptoms.

So that's what I really love to do with women is give them the aha moments. And then that pathway of here's how you can actually heal. And I came to this from my own pretty intense, I would say, journey with anxiety myself.

Roni: Wow. Yeah. I think that, yeah, I read on your website that you have a amazing, kind of like an amazing story overall, um, of dealing with some like different health issues that resulted from travels. Can you, can you tell us that story a little bit?

Jodie: Yeah, so I keep saying I'm going to write a book and then never do, but I feel like it could be book worthy. My journey, the main part of it. I would say started after living abroad in Tanzania for a year and a half. Um, this was like over 15 years ago and I picked up some gut issues, back then. And naively I thought, okay, like I'll go back to Canada.

The medical system is better [00:03:00] there. They'll test me, they'll pick it up. And then they'll give me medication and I'll clear it. And so I didn't really worry about it. I was like, I'll go back home and it'll be fine. Except that's not really what happened. I went back home and did a bunch of stool tests.

Nothing showed up. So I got slapped on with a diagnosis of post infectious IBS, meaning I had IBS caused by an infection that was no longer there because they couldn't find anything. Um, and I spent many years with. You know, subclinical gut issues. Everything I ate went right through me. I went to the bathroom like seven or eight times a day.

Um, but at that point he really didn't have a lot of anxiety. So I ate whatever I wanted and continued on with life. But the, the turning point for anxiety for me was when I moved into an apartment that was moldy and, you know, I didn't know it was moldy. And the irony of the situation was. I had left an apartment that had flooded, so I'd lived on, you know, the 12th floor.

The guy [00:04:00] above me ran a bath, got drunk, passed out, and the water made it all the way to the lobby. And so I had water all through my apartment. It reeked. I called it the rotten grass factory. And I knew that they didn't remediate it properly. They had You know, someone come in many days later and kind of dried out, but they didn't replace any of the wood that was what they didn't replace the flooring.

And so I'm like, if I live here, I'm going to be living in mold. There's no way. So I moved out into a place unbeknownst to me that still had mold. And so it took me many, many years. Actually to figure out that that's what it was that was causing my symptoms because, you know, uh, I don't know how long afterwards that I moved in, but my life really started to deteriorate.

So. You know, hot yoga would cause me panic attacks all night long. I stopped being able to exercise and work out. My memory went, I had severe brain fog. I had heart [00:05:00] arrhythmias most days. Couldn't really eat anything. And so my quality of life just went like down the tubes. So at that point, you know, I started seeing naturopaths and I did probably five candida diets because that's all they knew really how to support me with and, and nothing really worked.

I didn't test for SIBO. You know, I tried lower carb diets and ended up almost in the hospital because I reacted so badly. I tried the GAPS diet. And, um, got really, really sick on it. And so I was really frustrated on, you know, what actually is happening here because everything that I was doing that was supposed to work was making me sicker.

And so I'd read this knowledge and I'd be like, oh, this makes so much sense. Like, what is wrong with me that it's not working for me? And so that's actually when I found functional medicine. And it took me a while to figure out that mold and mast cell and, you know, pyrol disorder and all these [00:06:00] other things were underneath it.

But when I found functional medicine, it started to help me have hope that I could figure out what was going on through testing and really get to the bottom of things. And so then I trained in functional medicine. And I moved from offering, you know, solely therapy to more of a holistic approach of helping people heal mind and body.

So that's kind of my story. I had, you know, so much mold in me initially that the first functional medicine test I ran, it showed up with nothing I had a worm come out of me. I had it was about six inches, um, completely mortifying. I had, um, an amoeba. I had, you know, bacterial infections.

They had all of these things that the medical system just diagnosed as anxiety and IBS. So, it was really empowering for me to get answers, but very frustrating along the way to be told by all of the experts that. You know, nothing, [00:07:00] nothing really was wrong. And I just needed to take, you know, an anti anxiety med and some sort of medication for my gut and life would be fine.

Roni: Hmm. So did all of this really stem from that gut bug that you got in Tanzania and then the mold made things worse? Or do you think that mold was really the main culprit?

Jodie: Uh, so that's the loaded question. So I'm actually going to go way back here. So I have a diagnosis of mass cell activation syndrome. And for those that are listening, they're like, what the heck is she talking about? Mass cell are like the first line of defense from the immune system. So if there is a foreign, something, anything coming at the body, the mass cells are what's going to respond.

And so when I lived in mold, um, my body couldn't properly detox the mold about 25 percent of the population. Can't get rid of the mold on their own. There's kind of something broken in the system. And so my system just kept spinning and creating [00:08:00] inflammation. And so because of that, it activated mast cell activation syndrome, which means that they're hyperactive all the time.

And so they're going at everything all the time. Now, the interesting piece with mast cell is that there's something in life that, that typically turns it on, but you can trace it all the way back often to birth. And so when When I look at my birth, I look at, you know, I had failure to thrive. I vomited my mom's breast milk.

I was quite sick as a kid. I had, you know, stomach aches. My, my parents would call them tired stomach aches growing up. And so you can sort of start to see like, okay, like I had the underpinnings of mast cell. I had some trauma. I had some birth trauma, as a child. So my nervous system. Um, I was, um, I wasn't really set up to be strong.

I was super sensitive to my environment. You know, and then I didn't eat very well as a kid. I had a lot of sugar. I drank a lot of pop when I worked at Pizza delights. And so my my my [00:09:00] core health wasn't very great. And so then I actually went tree planning and probably got exposure to Lyme. Um from tree planning, and I think when I went to Tanzania, what happened is it activated.

The the gut infections and potentially even the Lyme at that point. So there was like an ongoing issue. And then when I went into the mold, it like just flared. And so oftentimes, you know, mold will flare mast cell and it will also flare Lyme. So, um, Lyme. I'm will kind of prevent the body from properly dealing with mold, but in order to deal with the lime, you have to deal with the mold 1st.

So often people who get really sick with mold illness have an underlying lime infection, which is really interesting. So it's not necessarily a straightforward answer. And what I've learned is, you know, I just wanted like this caused this and I really wanted it. to understand how it was. And, you know, I worked with this brilliant practitioner.

And he helped me see that, you know, it's [00:10:00] everything. So yes, it's my environment. It's my diet. It's the EMFs that I'm exposed to. It's the wifi, but it's also, you know, this early developmental trauma that I had, um, that really primed my system to not be able to properly deal with all the stresses later in life.

And, you know, we're in an era, right. Now that's so toxic that if you have that, you know, predisposition with, uh, uh, fragile quote unquote nervous system, then you're going to be more likely to be hit by all of this. So like the women that I work with, um, also have anxiety. And most of them also, when we do some digging, have early developmental trauma.

So, you know, the ones that are. You know, having mold, have the Lyme, have, you know, they're adopted or they have early birth trauma or, you know, their home was really unsafe. And so you can start to see this pattern of like people who are really sick and have this early trauma that are really [00:11:00] impacted by physical things later in life.

Does that make sense?

Roni: Yeah. Yeah. That's super interesting. And so then when you go about addressing these different issues, do you have to address each one like one at a time? Is it different for like the mold versus the mast cell versus the anxiety? Or is there one or is there maybe? You know, like a, a holistic approach that helps everything.

Jodie: Yeah, great question, because I, I was the kind of like, I have a science background, so I wanted to be like, okay, let's do an experiment. This worked with this. This didn't work with this. And I initially did that very much so, um, and nothing was really sticking. And so I realized that healing is kind of like a symphony.

So I was busy, like, does the flute work? How about the clarinet? Maybe the saxophone will work and nothing was working because I was trying only one thing. And, you know, my system was so dysregulated that I really had to come at it with like a bunch of different strategies all at once. So, you know, I, [00:12:00] I ended up getting some IVs, to really help my system detox a bit quicker and replenish some depleted minerals.

Um, so that was really important. But then I also, you know, made sure there was no mold. Anywhere in my house, I got a proper, really expensive air filter. I started sleeping under what's called a Faraday cage. That will block, EMS. I turned off my Wi Fi. I, um, completely hardwired everything for a while.

I probably should go back to that. Um, I did it. I did it when, when it was, when I was quite ill. I changed my diet. You know, I worked on supporting my mitochondria. I worked on detoxing the mold out of my system. I saw an osteopath who helped me and my nervous system to calm down. And then I started doing trauma work through EMDR and somatic experiencing.

And so, you know, and then I also took at the time medication to Stabilize the mass cells so that, my body could actually do the [00:13:00] healing instead of like being haywire. It's like trying to heal when you're running in circles. Like you're not actually going to move forward when your body's running in circles.

So all of those billions of strategies, well, not billions, that's an exaggeration, but it felt like that, you know, we're really there to help calm. My nervous system so that it could come online and do the work that it needed to do. And so with my cell, it's not as simple as like, okay, we're just going to detox the mold or like, we're just going to cut out gluten.

It often becomes like a multi pronged approach, which is. Frustrating because at that point, usually people are so overwhelmed. They can't do multi pronged, but that's actually what needs to happen is you have to have, like, so many different providers coming in and probably in about 3 to 4 months of me doing all of that together.

My system calmed, but you know what? And I took the anti histamine medication. It wasn't, it wasn't fast. So I can't say that that was it. I also did no neuro feedback. [00:14:00] I was doing it remotely at the time as well. So I was just throwing everything at it, kind of like playing a symphony so that my system could calm.

And once it calmed, you know, the basics started working for me. So, you know, diet was actually working a lot better and my supplements were working a lot better and I could start reintroducing some foods again. And my anxiety eventually calmed, but, you know, just doing one strategy wasn't enough.

Roni: So interesting to hear you talk about all of these things, because I feel like a lot of the time when I've heard about things like the EMFs and wifi and those kinds of things, that's from the like biohacking community who are generally healthy people who are just, you know, doing these things to sort of elevate their life or increase longevity, things like that.

But so interesting to hear you talk about that as. a source of healing for people who are chronically ill because I haven't, I haven't really heard that approach yet.

Jodie: [00:15:00] Yeah, and I think, I think we'll miss it, right? Like people miss those levels. Um, there's like multiple levels that you can come in and heal at. And what I was making the mistake of is I was just going in at the physical level being like, nope. And part of that is because I didn't want to acknowledge the trauma and it was, it felt harder for me to do.

So like, I just want to take supplements. I just want to clean up my diet. I just want to go to bed early. I just want to focus on all the foundations and don't get me wrong. Those are so important, but the other pieces that feel like they're barely going to move the needle. You know, maybe they're not majorly going to move the needle, but if your system is super sensitive, then all of those things are going to matter because we want to do everything we can to calm the system down.

You know, I had somebody come into my house and like, look at the wiring and look at, you know, how to best make it safe for my body. And it was really interesting because he turned on the noise on one of his recording devices and it was basically going like [00:16:00] Like it was picking up the smart tv below me it was picking up the wi fi signal It was picking up the smart car and the keys pinging back and forth.

It was picking up my bluetooth speaker You know, it was picking up all of these things in the environment and he looks at me and he goes You know, that's what your cells hear every single day and I was like All the time. And I was like, Whoa, like, and so it really put it into perspective for me because, you know, if my cells are already spinning in circles because of the mold, because, you know, I, I have Lyme and Bartonella because, you know, my nervous system is in a dysautonomia because all of these different things, and then I add in the, like, is removing that going to make me feel better.

Maybe not, but is it actually going to give myself and my body and my nervous system more space to like actually get into a healing state? Absolutely. And so I think that's where, you know, people get frustrated because they're like, well, I'm sleeping under a Faraday cage or I'm doing all this and it's not doing anything.

So [00:17:00] they stop. Strategy, but they don't realize that the strategy is kind of like, it's not always going to show up in symptoms, but it's actually helping. Does that make sense?

Roni: Absolutely. It makes me think of when you go on an airplane and just like the airplane noise is so constant that then finally, once you get off the airplane, you're like, Oh wow, I didn't realize how quiet, like I didn't realize how loud it was in there and how quiet it is here. Like that must be what your body is feeling internally when you finally shut those things off.

Jodie: Exactly. Exactly. And, you know, even with neurofeedback, a lot of people just want to do, you know, just neurofeedback or they're like, Oh, it's not working, but neurofeedback helps to reset your brainwaves. Right. So if you've been stuck in this anxious state, And you can't get out of it, the neurofeedback is going to remind your body like, wait a second here.

Remember what norm was? Remember, I think you forgot. And so that's what that does too. So you know, [00:18:00] that's just another example of another tool that alone in and of itself, like if you're living in mold, neurofeedback is not really going to do much because your, your body's going to keep signaling your brain to go back into that hyperactive state.

But if you've addressed the mold. And it's not fully working. Then the neural feedback comes in and it has a role to play. So it's like all of these strategies that are out there have roles to play in the healing. It's just a question of when you're doing them. And if you're also eliminating the root of why those, why your nervous system was upregulated in the first place.

Roni: So I want to ask a little more basic question related to anxiety. How does somebody know that they have anxiety versus just it's everyday stress?

Jodie: I mean, that's a really great question. And I'm not a big fan of the conventional perspective of anxiety, but I like this kind of example. So, in the psychiatry mental health field, they use what's called the DSM, the Diagnostic and [00:19:00] Statistic Manual, to diagnose So, You know, anxiety disorders. So there's certain criteria that you have to make in order to be considered to have, quote unquote, like an anxiety disorder.

Um, and you know, when we really pull that apart, what that criteria is looking at is like, is the anxiety actually impacting your functioning and is it impacting your life in a significant way? And I think that's really the question that we wanna ask. You know, because there's normal anxiety, like I'm nervous.

I'm nervous to do public speaking or I'm nervous to go somewhere new or like, you know, I think a lot of women just have a natural anxiety driving through traffic. Um, I think some anxiety to some degree is normal, but if the dial is so turned up that you're like, I can't. Can't leave my house or like, I don't even want to see my friends anymore.

Or like, I can't sit down and enjoy the moment and be calm. Or, you know, my mind's racing a mile a minute when I walk through the forest and it's supposed to be calm. Like that's impacting your quality [00:20:00] of life and it's impacting your functioning. So then it becomes like, now it's a problem I should probably do something about.

So whether or not you fit that, you know, DSM criteria doesn't really matter. But it's a question of like, you know, is it significantly impacting my functioning and my quality of life? Is it taking over? And if so, then it's a problem that I need to address. Does that make sense?

Roni: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. And so then what do you think is a, a good next step? Because I think a lot of people, you know, might immediately turn to therapy or going to a counselor, which is great. However, As you've exemplified, there could be a lot of other issues going on, you know, having mold toxicity and things like that.

It's like, what if somebody is like, okay, I feel like I'm probably somebody who, who is actually struggling with anxiety. It's not just a day to day stress kind of a thing. What would you recommend be their next step?

Jodie: I mean, that's a really great question, because I think, you know, [00:21:00] it's, I wish there was somewhere where people could go that would help them tease apart, like, what makes sense for them, because sometimes anxiety is very trauma based, right? Like, you've had a sexual assault, you've gotten in a car accident, you've had a big loss, and you know, when it's, And when you can really tie it to trauma, then going and doing trauma, and I want to highlight that word trauma therapy can be really, really important because it's clear that the trauma is what's causing the nervous system dysregulation, right?

So a lot of people will just go and they'll hire a talk therapist and I'm a talk therapist. So this is nothing against talk therapy because there's definitely a time and a place, but if you have trauma and you're going to a talk therapist, that's the wrong approach, right? Because You want somebody who can go in and help your brain and your nervous system kind of rewire what's happened because of that trauma and talk therapists are not trained to do that.

Um, so you want somebody who does EMDR or somatic [00:22:00] experiencing or, you know, even EFT, like tapping. Those things are like much deeper trauma work that's going to be the best approach when you can specifically tie it to trauma. Now when your anxiety maybe comes out of the blue or it comes after a sickness, or you're like, I don't even know what the trigger is.

Then it becomes more obvious that, you know, maybe really early developmental trauma is part of the picture. But what, what we need to focus on is, you know, making sure that there's nothing Physiologically out of whack when there's no like real trigger. And even if you know, there is like a bit of a trigger, like I'm going to drive and you're like, I can't even get into the car.

Like that's a bit extreme, which tells me that biologically your nervous system is so upregulated that I can't even tolerate little amounts of stress, like driving. Right. And so then it's like, there's. something biological happening. So [00:23:00] typically I like the first step of like, go to your doctor and rule things out, like rule out that there's any major issues going on with your heart, rule all of those things out.

And then once you've ruled it out, know that You know, just because there's no disease doesn't mean there's not a physiological imbalance. And this is where women often get stuck because, you know, they'll rule it out. And then their doctor will be like, it's just anxiety. Here's medication. And then they'll gaslight themselves into thinking, you know, it's, Oh my gosh, this is all in my head.

There's something wrong with me. I just need to change my thinking. I'm broken. What's going on. And gaslighting only makes the situation worse because the doctors told them they're fine. And so I think shifting this understanding of like, okay, you're not fine, but you're not dying of disease. You don't have cancer.

You're not like, I know how anxiety tends to be really big with the population I work with. Like we're not way off onto some rabbit hole, but there's imbalances that the medical system is never going to identify. [00:24:00] And then it's getting yourself in front of, um, I'm a bit biased, a functional medicine practice.

that can help you uncover what the root causes are physiologically. Um, so that would kind of be the roadmap. I should actually do my own podcast episode on that. , because it's a good one, I think because not a lot of people, they're just like, oh my gosh, I have anxiety. And then they spin and then they don't know what to do.

So that would be the, the basic roadmap I would recommend.

Roni: Yeah, and then I'm really interested how mold plays into all of this as well, because you've talked about that a lot, and I don't think that it, in my experience, it's not something that is widely talked about. I have a friend who's a naturopath and living here in Colorado, we have a very arid climate, and so a lot of people don't realize that mold toxicity can still be a thing in arid climates.

And she has talked about more and more in the last several years that. Particularly when we have like a rainy month or something, she sees like a huge [00:25:00] spike in people who come in who have mold toxicity. So like, can you talk a little bit about, I guess, like what, like what does mold have to do with it?

And then how does it create some of these like psychological symptoms by being exposed to like moldy environments?

Jodie: Sure. Um, so when anyone lives in mold, it tends to make people sick, but I just want to highlight again that 25 percent of the population cannot detox mold. So, you know, I have somebody who works for me that had mold exposure. You know, 10 years prior from a theater she was working in and had mold illness 10 years later from that initial exposure, even though she wasn't having that exposure anymore because the mold spores were on her clothes, and she became super sick.

So I think that's really important to highlight is that you might be out of the mold, you could have had mold exposure. exposure as a kid and still have that kind of mold in your system. So mold is neurotoxic to anybody. It [00:26:00] causes, you know, inflammation in the brain. It causes, inflammation in the nervous system.

And so those mold toxins, if they're not being detoxed, just basically like overflow the system. And I just imagine it like kind of like pressing all these buttons on like toxicity and like, you know, tingling and dizziness and like weird. symptoms like one of the symptoms of mold illness is like constant shocks where you get shocks all the time.

Like it's just symptoms where it's like nothing's really working. Like the diet's not working, you know, you feel sick and every, all your blood tests are coming back normal. Like that's when you want to think about mold because it's. kind of undercover at least in the medical system right now.

Um, so it can be toxic in terms of different types of mold toxins that are overflowing in your system. And then it can also kind of colonize in the gut. And, then you're no matter where you go, the mold is with you. So that also happened to me. I had very poor gut health from Tanzania. And so it just took root [00:27:00] there.

And then it started making, I was like making mold spores internally because it was growing in my GI tract. So then you get that problem as well. Um, and so mold in and of itself is toxic, but then the second piece of it is for a lot of women, it will create a histamine response and histamines are something that are released by mast cells, as well.

So it will create that histamine overload in the body and histamine as a neurotransmitter our brain needs. histamine, but in high levels it becomes very neurotoxic. And so this is where you get a lot of the anxiety and the looping thoughts and like OCD because you have mold and often histamine neurotoxins in the brain affecting neurochemicals, affecting you know, um, activating different parts of the brain for me, it activated a lot of earlier trauma loops and made it much worse.

Um, so trauma that wasn't even an issue just blew up out of control for me, but it also [00:28:00] just caused like sticky thoughts and looping thoughts where I would obsess about, like, I haven't done the dishes. So I have to do the dishes before I go to bed, like stupid stuff that like, or, you know, I have to. I have to publish this like blog posts that has no deadline because I work for myself and here I am awake at four in the morning thinking about a blog post.

Like what, what am I doing? So that's kind of, that's kind of how it works. So it's, it's not intuitive. And it creates a lot of things that people automatically assume is like OCD or like, you know, I just need to calm down and relax when actually you're overloaded with this toxin and the brain's response to that.

Is what you see as your symptoms. So what's interesting is the pharmaceutical community is is currently testing new medicine for anxiety. That's anti inflammatory in nature. And I think it's working. And the reason it's working is because anxiety is a symptom of [00:29:00] brain inflammation. And so the question that we have to ask is what is causing the brain inflammation.

And in the question that you told me to answer. You know, it's mold. It's not always mold. You know, it can be copper toxicity. It can be, you know, gut infections. It can be, a lot of different mineral imbalances and, you know, Lyme infections and things like that, that can cause that brain inflammation that can then cause anxiety.

So anxiety is just a messenger from the body. That's like, Hey, you know, something's not right. There's probably inflammation here. Let's figure out what it is.

Roni: And so when you talk about molds, I feel like I know about black molds being in people's houses. Is it, is that the only kind that is toxic for people or is it like the whole gamut?

Jodie: No, black mold is the worst, but it's the whole gamut. So like when I lived in that apartment, there was water damage, um, from behind my bathroom wall. So I didn't really see major [00:30:00] mold. It wasn't like, you know, my whole wall was filled with mold. There was like a tiny bit in my shower, but I was like, whatever.

That's like kind of normal mold, I thought, and I didn't realize that that mold growing behind me would be coming through the walls and basically creating just a moldy house. So you don't necessarily have to see or even smell mold for it to be moldy. And I think that's where a lot of people get stuck because when I first have people in my program and I, I'm like, you know, you have all the signs of mold illness.

You feel the screener that I use called the VCS test. Um, and basically it's an eye test that looks at. Like how well you see contrast. So it shows different lines and the lines get closer and closer together. And we just want to see if you can see them. And it's not a test of like, a lot of people think, Oh, I need glasses.

It's not a test of that, but you should be able to see contrast quite easily. And if you can't, there are biotoxins inflaming your optic nerve that are preventing you from seeing this contrast. So when [00:31:00] people come into my program with signs of anxiety, And these like they fail the VCS test. Then I say, you know, I think that there's, you know, mold going on.

And the first thing they say is absolutely not like I live in a clean house. Like, I don't smell mold. I don't see mold. And there's this whole period of denial because everyone just, you know, assumes that mold is all about, you know, living in this grungy. Dirty basement or this grungy apartment that's had water damage and, you know, often there is water damage when people go digging, but it's not always obvious.

So like one of my clients, they bought a flipped home and they went and explored their attic after I was like, there's something major happening here. And sure enough. Like there was black mold all over the inside of their attic, but they didn't know they didn't smell it. They didn't see it. You know, I've had, I just released an episode of a woman who had two remediators come in.

She failed the VCS test. She had two remediators come in. One said, there's no [00:32:00] problem. And the next one, and we'd actually done a dust test on her house to see, and we knew there was like, a lot of mold spores. And and they remediated and t sick and she was still si to a different house, eve So there's like, it's not obvious, but your symptoms

Roni: Hmm. That's I was going to my next question was going to be for the 75 percent of people who can detox mold is getting rid of mold at your house or moving to a not moldy environment. Like is that a simple enough fix for most people or does it just kind of alleviate the symptoms?

Jodie: Yeah, for the people that can detox mold, like often just clearing the environment, um, will be enough for their system to detox it, depending on the level of sensitivity. When you get to people who can't detox it, then it becomes like a whole new [00:33:00] spectrum of, you know, having to be very careful on what you do.

So, you know, I had to leave this apartment that was barely moldy, but I'd already had mold exposure prior to that. And I had to vacuum, HEPA vacuum. and wash and toss all of the items to make sure that the mold spores didn't come with me. So there's like that level of sensitivity with people specifically those with mast cell because that mold is going to activate mast cell response and then it's going to create this vicious cycle.

But a lot of people probably are going to want to take a binder anyway. So even if you can naturally detox, like it might be nice to help the body out. You know, you might have, usually what happens with mold exposure is the liver becomes jammed, the bile becomes sludgy. Sometimes even the kidneys are impacted.

So when we looked at, at detox pathways, we have skin. We have, you know, lymph is a bit in there as well. We have liver. We have, um, you're pooping it out and [00:34:00] you're peeing it out. Right? And so those pathways become partially functioning. So when you bind it out, you're, you're binding a lot of times that out and you're, you're, you're using bowel movements to get that out of the, to get it out of the system.

And so those binders will just help you clear it faster.

Roni: Hmm. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. Wow. So yeah, it makes me feel like, um, it feels like a really complicated issue because mold can. Be in places where you don't notice it at all. And yet it can be severely impacting your health and all of those symptoms that you described, you know, you've been mentioned like sometimes people like they have, they're developing OCD.

It's to me, it also sounds like kind of like ADHD and like so many people right now are being like, Oh, I got diagnosed with ADHD, which I don't want to discount any of those people's diagnoses in that regard, but it makes me wonder, like, are there other things that play here that. These issues are just presenting as something that that is much more [00:35:00] commonly known in our society.

Jodie: Yeah. And the question, you know, I trained with this brilliant practitioner and he kind of reframed things for me. Is it that it's becoming more commonly known, which I think a yes, but B, you know, we're becoming more toxic. So our human bodies, like the women who are and the men who are getting sick with mold are kind of like the canaries in the coal mine.

Um, you know, our, we're becoming so toxic that we can't even live with what's natural on earth anymore. You know, like mold. All this is, uh, you know, fantastic fungi reframed. I had this hate on for mold for many years, and then I watched Fantastic Fungi, and I was like, okay, I think I need to put this in perspective because there's an amazing role that, you know, fungi plays in our ecosystem.

And so what's happened to humans that we can't. Tolerate this anymore is one of the questions that I have. And then the other thing is, like, are we just using building practices that are allowing [00:36:00] houses to be moldy? Because, you know, we're building with materials. We're building in the rain. We're building in all sorts of weather.

So we're building in these materials that are. You know, really growth spots for mold. So is that also, you know, a big part of the picture? It's hard to say, but I think there's a lot of factors at play rather than just like we're becoming more well known about it.

Roni: Hmm. That's a really good point. And, and that makes me think that, um, you know, I think a lot of times as humans, we really like to separate ourselves from the natural world rather than remembering like we're animals too. But we do create these environments in these homes that.

You know, there's a lot of, you know, if you just look at like sheet rock, you know, it's made out of gypsum, but there's also other chemicals that are in there. So it's like, we're actually like, it's like we're creating surfaces that are not, um, like a strictly natural surface that maybe a mold would be less toxic if it was growing, you know, like outside in [00:37:00] nature.


Jodie: that actually brings me, you know, an interesting point about food. So North America has very poor regulations around mold and foods compared to Europe. And we use a lot of pesticides. And so kind of like you were saying with, um, Is it sheetrock? We, we call it drywall in

Roni: yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. My husband, 

Jodie: I'm like, I think it's called sheetrock.

Um, and creating these artificial environments, what we're doing with the pesticides is actually creating an environment where mold can flourish, right? So, we're killing competitive bacteria and things like that. And so, the mold's just going in and flourishing. And then we You know, corn is really high in aflatoxins.

A lot of the grains are high in aflatoxins. And so in our food sources as well, you know, oats, I love oats, they're gluten free, fantastic, except they're super moldy. And so we, we now have this different problem where it's coming at us also from our foods [00:38:00] because our, our growing, our farming practices are not supporting more, like not mold free, but proper.

You know, growth of mold, healthy growth of mold versus like, great, we have an environment where you can now take over much like we've done with houses. Same idea.

Roni: Yeah, so that's a great thing to bring up. So when it comes to something like oatmeal, um, your, your, is your take on it? Is it better to just eliminate that food? Are there ways to either, source oatmeal that is maybe less moldy or are there practices that you can use to make the food, more nutritious, I guess, for you?

Jodie: Maybe move to Europe. Um, Um, Honestly, like I've tried multiple times like cutting, cutting cutting oats out, putting them back in and for my body, it's super obvious and I know why. I know that it's because Oats are moldy. They're much more likely to be moldy and I have not found a [00:39:00] way to get around it.

Steel cut oats, digestive wise, are much better for you. Um, and so, you know, if you don't have a mold issue, you might be able to tolerate steel cut oats and, um, gluten free oats fine. But if you have that mold, mast cell, sensitive gut, all of those issues, then probably not.

Roni: Hmm. That's really interesting. Um, I have, I have heard, um, other people talk about the, the food standards being different in Europe compared to here as well, and being able to tolerate, um, gluten much easier in European countries and things like that.

Jodie: Yeah, it's the regulations around mold and you know, pesticide use and even like their beauty products. They have much higher standards of what is not allowed in their products compared to North America. North America is a bit of a shit show, pardon my French, but that's kind of, you know, what it is. So, um, when I was doing research on it, I was actually appalled [00:40:00] at what was allowed in North American products and what Europe had taken a stance on.

So they're just much more progressive in terms of protecting, consumers overall across the board, I would say there.

Roni: So one thing that I know you are really passionate about with your clients is like the connection between leaky gut and leaky brain. And we haven't quite gotten to the leaky brain conversation of this yet. So you were the first person that I heard this term from. So can you talk a little bit about what leaky brain is and how it relates to all of this that we've talked about?

Jodie: Yeah, I actually might back up and just walk you through leaky gut so that because it's all sort of connected. So most people by this point are fairly familiar with leaky gut. Um, but if you're new to the natural world, you're probably like, what is she talking about? So big. Basically, the lining of, um, the gut is one cell deep, which still sort of blows my mind.

And I think of it like Lego being held together. Leaky gut can happen [00:41:00] when that Lego is pulled apart. Or there's microvilli that are on the cells that helped properly absorb these nutrients through through the cells. So I think of that like healthy coral. And so when we have, you know, glyphosate, um, roundup, like chemicals, infections, gluten, mold, um, parasites, bacteria, like all the things that create issues in the gut, those things can trigger leaky gut for various different mechanisms.

And that can cause, you know, the Lego pieces or the cells to come apart. So then you get chunks of food and bacteria and all sorts of. Things going into the body that you don't want there. And then the second piece of that is the microvilli become blunted. So they no longer produce proper digestive enzymes.

You're not breaking down food properly. You're not absorbing it through the cells properly. So I like to think of that like your gut looks like bleached coral. Um, and so, so you have a double problem. You're getting things in [00:42:00] your body that you don't want, and you're not absorbing the right nutrients. So, and we know that like a bunch of serotonin is made in the gut, as well.

So then that activates inflammation in the body. And I think a lot of people think like my body's inflamed, but my brain is safe. So right away, when I say that people should be like, Oh my gosh, my brain's inflamed, right? Because those inflammatory molecules are going to be like, what the heck are you doing here?

Get out of the body and, and mount a response and in order to mount a response, any sort of immune response, there's always inflammation. Inflammation is good. when it's used properly, right? But if we're have a leaky gut state, then that inflammation becomes chronic because foods and particles are leaking into the body that we don't want.

So now we're in a chronic inflammatory state. So it causes a lot of chaos in the body. So the brain also has a barrier, much like the gut, um, called the blood brain barrier. And the idea is to keep things out of the brain. That we don't want in the brain. So when you have leaky gut nine [00:43:00] times out of 10, you also have leaky brain.

And so then you're getting particles in the brain that you don't want. You're getting chemicals in the brain that you don't want. You're getting infections in the brain that you don't want. And so that's causing a change in, um, you know, neuron connection. And it's causing a change in neurotransmitter production.

And then we also know that you're not absorbing nutrients, which is also going to affect how you're able to make things. So the whole thing can cause a lot of inflammation. So there's a test that I ran when I was in the thick of it called a neural zoomer. And, you know, there was autoimmune issues going on in my neurons.

So my body was attacking my neurons and I could tell like I had. you know, all the symptoms of early onset Alzheimer's. And so I knew there was brain inflammation happening. I just didn't know how to fix it. And so you can see like everything that's going on in the brain. But really when we're targeting the brain and healing the brain, we're targeting healing the gut.

And that's why I had to back up with, with the connection because. If we [00:44:00] have a good solid gut, then our body is much calmer. And so it's easier to heal the brain. You know, if you have an autoimmune response in the brain, chances are you probably have some low grade autoimmune response in the body as well.

And chances are that's probably related to something related to what's going on in your gut. So it's all very strongly connected. The other piece of it is often, like phosphatidyl. Choline. I always get choline and serine mixed up. Phosphatidylcholine, um, will help as well to rebuild the cells in the mitochondria and with leaky, a leaky blood brain barrier.

Um, but like one of the tests for it is GABA. Like if you can take GABA. And you feel calm, chances are, you have to be low in GABA for this to work, by the way, but chances are that you have a leaky blood brain barrier because GABA in and of itself as a supplement should not be able to get into your brain.

Roni: Hmm. Okay. So. Is it possible to have a leaky brain without having gut issues? [00:45:00] Is it possible for those to be not connected or

Jodie: So you might not have gut symptoms, and this is where people get confused, like, oh, I don't have gut symptoms, but then when you dive deeper, it's like, I don't poop. you know, more than once a week or like, you know, I have cramping or blah, blah, blah. So usually there's something, but you don't necessarily have to have gut symptoms, but the leaky brain is a sign to me that there is something happening with your gut that might not be creating symptomatic dysfunction, but it's, it's causing your brain issues.

Roni: Okay. And so then, what are some of the symptoms of leaky brain? Like, what would somebody feel on a daily basis if they have leaky brain? Aside from feeling maybe digestive issues, but,

Jodie: Anxiety, brain fog, difficult focusing, difficulty concentrating, memory issues, difficulty, like almost like connecting so mold can actually cause an acquired brain injury. So there's like there's there [00:46:00] can be like a little bit of like acquired brain injury stuff, but there's like all sorts of neuro neurological issues like.

You know, there's a screener you can get if you go to a functional neurologist where he goes through, like, do you have poor balance? Do you, can you touch your nose to your, your hand to your nose? Can you do all of these different things? And those are all signs of brain injury. Um, but the major ones that you want to look at are just like brain fog, difficulty focusing, can't acquire new information, memory issues, that kind of thing.

Roni: And so how would somebody differentiate that from just like, I'm getting older, you know, like I'm thinking about like my mom who's in her sixties and like, you know, potent, like, what if this is her issue, but she's just attributing it to like, well, I'm in my sixties now. And these are normal symptoms of getting older.

Jodie: Yeah, I heard that. Um, actually, when I started having symptoms in my thirties, my mom said to me, Oh, this is just a sign of you [00:47:00] getting older. And I was like, absolutely not. Um, and I mean, I think that is what happens when we get older, right? Systems aren't working, stop working properly, toxins build up, oxidative damage happens.

We're not protecting the body in the same way. And so, you know, some of that is the result of all of these mechanisms that are happening, but typically they're supposed to happen, you know, later in life, but, you know, if they're happening younger, then it's, and even at your mom's age, there's probably some oxidative damage.

There might be leaky brain happening. There's probably leaky gut happening, depending on what she's eating. If we uncovered all of that, I'm sure we would. Um, and how do we find lifestyle things that might be leading to that and you know, one of the best books I ever read is why is my brain not working by Datis Kharrazian and he talks about how, you know, early onset Alzheimer's like the early symptoms, you can actually reverse them by doing, you know, some of the lifestyle stuff that we've talked about today and other things that we haven't talked about.

[00:48:00] Um, But once you get to this point where your brain is like so dysregulated, you can't, you know? So there's this window where you can go in and say, Oh my gosh, like oxidative damage, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah is happening. Let me really work at helping. And you know, the medical community doesn't talk about that.

They're like, you have Alzheimer's, there's nothing we can do, but there is actually, when you look at functional neurology, a preventative window that you can go in and do some of the things. Um, to help uncover that. So I don't believe in, you know, it's just, it's just, aging, um, especially when you're younger.

I think that it's probably a sign that there's something else going on and let's not normalize that at all.

Roni: Yeah, that makes me think a lot about the gaps diet. And basically like the, the reasons behind why a lot of people use the gaps diet is we had, somebody on the podcast. I think it might've been two years ago and she's a gaps practitioner and she talks about working with children who have autism, severe [00:49:00] autism going on the gaps diet and having incredible improvements in their symptoms.

Things that were keeping them from being verbal and all sorts of things.

Jodie: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And that's a great example of like the power of, you know, going back to the basics when there's not major needle movers like Lyman mold in place. And even if there is those basics can work wonders. And, you know, it's The pharmaceutical community, the medical community is so pharmaceutical based that there's really, um, they don't look at those kinds of things, but when you dig, that information is there.

You just have to find the right people to guide you to it.

Roni: Right. Well, I feel like we have talked about all of the things, so many things. Was there anything we've missed that you really wanted to mention or talk about today?

Jodie: I think we hit a lot of the key points. I mean, I could probably keep you on this podcast for another two hours and we could go on. Hormones and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But um, adrenal fatigue, dah, dah, dah. There's so much, [00:50:00] but you know, I liked what I shared because I think I talked about a lot of things that not a lot of people talk about.

And that's really what I like to do is like give women hope that are spinning in circles that think they have to live like this for the rest of their lives, that there are people out there that know how to guide them on how to heal.

Roni: Is there, a database at all where, so like if somebody's not located in your area of Canada, is there a database where people can reach other like natural practitioners or do you work with people online?

Jodie: I do work with people across Canada and the U. S., not Mexico, but Canada and the U. S. Most of my clients are actually U. S. based. I don't really know why I live in Canada still, except that I have family here, because it's very cold, and I don't like the cold. So maybe next time we talk, I won't be here anymore.

But, um, yeah, I work online with, with, with women across, mostly women, across, Canada and the US. [00:51:00] So if I resonate, definitely. And then there's also, um, I'm trained as a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner. That's a mouthful. But there's also, um, a database. I believe if you go to that website, you can find other practitioners, but again, if you feel like you resonate with mold, you want to make sure you get someone who understands that because not everyone does.

Roni: good to know. And then other than that, where can people connect with you personally and learn more about you?

Jodie: Okay. Um, great question. So I have a free Facebook group, Healing Anxiety Holistically for Women. I also have a podcast, the Holistic Anxiety Fix podcast, where you, depending on if you want to connect with other women or just kind of hear more of what I have to say and what I'm all about. And then I do have a, a great free download for people.

It's 10 Supplements to Reduce Anxiety Naturally. So I'll give you the website. It's Go dot healing journey services dot com [00:52:00] slash 10 dash supplements dash download. It's a bit of a mouthful. I know you're going to put the link in the show notes. But that's another way to, you know, get some resources and connect with me.

And then I do meet with people, um, who are interested in, you know, connecting and working with me on a deeper level. I offer complimentary calls as well, but those are just ways for people to get started.

Roni: Perfect. Well, thanks for sharing all that. And thanks for coming on the podcast today. You shared so much awesome information. So that's really appreciated.

Jodie: Thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure. I love, I love sharing and educating. So it's been great chatting with you this afternoon.

Roni: Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. I will have links to all of the things that Jodie shared about in the show notes so that you can learn more about her, work with her if you want to. And if nothing else, you can get her free download, um, of the 10 supplements to reduce anxiety. Thanks as always for listening and subscribing, downloading episodes.

[00:53:00] If you found this episode really helpful, please share it with somebody else so that they can learn more about Jodie and her mission to help improve women's lives. Thanks so much for listening, and I will see you again in two weeks.