Podcast > Episodes

episode #366

Interview with Megan Lyons: Gut Health, Alcohol and Should You Eat Vegetables?!

June 17, 2024 in Podcast


This week I interviewed holistic nutrition coach Megan Lyons!

She has amassed over 10,000 hours of 1-to-1 nutrition consulting and also runs a top podcast called "Wellness Your Way with Megan Lyons.

In this episode, we discuss Megan's process when it comes to healing her clients along with:

  • Megan's personal health journey
  • Issues with chronic stress
  • Ways to manage stress
  • Important labs for testing gut health
along with her one tip to get your body back to what it once was!

Brian (0s):

Coming up on the GET, LEAN Eat, Clean Podcast.

Megan (3s):

It's that old commercial Pringles. Once you pop, you can't stop. It's true for tho, I have no idea how many calories are in a can of Pringles or if they even make those anymore, but I bet it's like a thousand calories or something and you don't feel full after eating that because there are zero nutrients in there. Our brain, to get that rush of leptin, a satiety hormone and to actually have fullness feeling, we have sensors in our stomach and all throughout our digestive tract, we need nutrients, we need macro protein, fat, carbs and micro, the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, all of that kind of stuff. We need those to feel full. So I totally agree with you. It's, it's more complex.

Megan (45s):

But. it is. It is true in quotes that calories are a thing.

Brian (51s):

Hello. and welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I'm Brian Gryn and I'm here to give you actionable tips to get your body back to what it once was, five, 10, even 15 years ago. Each week I'll give you an in depth interview with a health expert from around the world to cut through the fluff and get you long term sustainable results. This week I interviewed holistic nutrition coach Megan Lyons. She's amassed over 10,000 hours of one-on-One. Nutrition Consulting also runs a top podcast called Wellness Your Way with Megan Lyons. and we discussed her process when it comes to healing her clients along with her personal health journey. Issues with chronic stress, Ways to manage stress, important labs for testing Gut Health along with her.

Brian (1m 35s):

One tip to get your body back to what it once was. Really enjoyed my interview with Megan. I know you will too. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the show. All, right Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn and I have Megan Lyson, welcome to the show.

Megan (1m 52s):

Thanks so much Brian. Happy to be here.

Brian (1m 55s):

Happy to have you on. We were talking a little bit off air and you were gradu, you graduated IAN? Yes. And was that the first, was that your start into like health coaching? Was IAN

Megan (2m 6s):

That was the start. Yes. Like I told you, it was just for kicks honestly. It was just for me, I didn't intend for this to be a career. I was doing management consulting, but that kind of opened my eyes. We had to do some practice clients, as I'm sure you'll remember and I was like, oh, this is pretty fun. Let it simmer for a couple years and then a few years later jumped off and haven't looked back since.

Brian (2m 30s):

Yeah. And then did you get your master's in holistic nutrition after that? Yes.

Megan (2m 34s):

Yeah, I did. I'm a, I'm an education junkie. I really can't stop, although my husband just hopes and prays that this is my last one. I did the master's in holistic nutrition, a couple board certifications and I am now just a few months away from finishing my doctorate of clinical nutrition.

Brian (2m 53s):

And how was that experience?

Megan (2m 55s):

Oh, I loved it. The master's was good. The doctorate was amazing. I really, really enjoyed the doctorate. It was a lot of hands-on like case review, a lot of research, which honestly I like and I don't get the opportunity, like most clients don't wanna hear about the research, which I totally understand. This is not their 24 7. But being able to dive into that and talk to other people in the field. We have a small cohort So, we know everyone. It's just been really fun.

Brian (3m 28s):

And, what else do you like to do other than study and read and read research?

Megan (3m 34s):

Yeah, I know. Well that, that's it. No, I do sometimes like to do other things. I love working out of any kind. I love Pilates, I love weightlifting. I love running, although I've been through running too much and that's certainly not the answer. I love classic like kickboxing, you name it. Anything. I just love I, my secret talent when people ask me, this is crossword puzzles. I genuinely love crossword puzzles, which

Brian (4m 5s):

Is like my wife.

Megan (4m 6s):

Yeah. Oh my gosh. So much fun. I could do them for a million hours a day reading. I have so much family. I have eight nieces and nephews, so I spend a lot of time with them. They're all the way from just turned one to 20, about to turn 23. So I have a really wide variety of that. Love traveling, love doing love cooking, honestly love doing life. I, I try to find a way to add some variety to every single day. Even though a lot of it is that research and client work, there's just so much else to do. So I'm a happy person.

Brian (4m 43s):

And I read that you're a Dallas Mavericks fan and they're in the finals, right?

Megan (4m 47s):

Oh my goodness, yes. I, my first dog is named Maverick, not after Top Gun, but after the Mavericks. Oh yeah, he is. He doesn't really like the MAs as much as I do, but goodness, I am such a fan. I just love going to the games right now in the finals. They're a little expensive, but I'm still gonna get to go to

Brian (5m 8s):

Are you gonna go? Okay.

Megan (5m 10s):

Yeah, I went to the Western conference finals game four and I'll, I won't make it to all the games in the finals, but gotta get to one.

Brian (5m 20s):

Yeah, so when this comes out, I think the finals will probably be get getting going, but it's, it should be a good series. So

Megan (5m 27s):

Yes. Oh, I can't wait.

Brian (5m 31s):

Well, just getting into your work, like what, what's your typical client and like is there something that you see like across the board with a lot of people that you know as far as health issues and problems that you address?

Megan (5m 45s):

Yeah, I would say my typical client, like if I really had to stereotype them, is probably a woman in her late forties. Although only 60% of my clients are women, 40% are men. I know your audience is a little bit skewed towards men, so I have lots to say about that as well. And then I have a wide variety of age ranges too. My oldest client ever was 89. I'm really looking for someone older that would be great, but all the way down through teenagers. So I really see the spectrum and that keeps it interesting for me. Again, if I had to choose the common, like the one average client, it would probably be someone who has a confluence of metabolic syndrome for sure, which is a combination of overweight or obesity, blood sugar dysregulation, various other things creeping up like blood pressure creeping up, cholesterol creeping up.

Megan (6m 45s):

All of these things that creeping up is my average client, oh no I haven't had to worry about this And now something's happening. I'm not sure I really wanna go on medication. Let's give it a shot and see if I can do anything. So that, as you know, is rooted in inflammation, it's rooted in the standard American diet, lifestyle, all of that kind of stuff. But that's probably the average for me.

Brian (7m 9s):

And like what's your process? Do you do initial testing and like how do you base like sort of the structure of your program that you work with these individuals? Obviously it's, it's a indi case by case basis I'm sure. But

Megan (7m 23s):

Yeah, it is a case by case basis. I mean I love labs. Labs are so much fun for me. I love to run labs on myself probably even more than is helpful 'cause it's just so cool to see what your body's doing. So if it were cheap and easy and didn't have to get a blood draw, I would surely do it on every single person. But it's not any of those things. So I leave it up to my clients if they already have a good set of labs, which I frankly rarely see from another practitioner, but if they have it great or if they choose not to do it, great. If they're really just targeting symptoms and how they feel, I think that's their perspective.

Megan (8m 6s):

Of course, if they want to run some functional labs, I'm happy to do that as well. But we'll get whatever baseline we can get, whether that is labs or it's symptoms, an intake questionnaire, et cetera. And then my process is just really building on where they are and getting them one step closer each session to where they want to be. So it's very rooted in gradual change. I don't align with any one, like the Lion's share is not keto, the lion's share is not Whole 30, the lion's share is not anything. It really depends on the person. and we have a variety of programs, whether it is me, I tackle some of the more complex cases or people who need a lot of accountability.

Megan (8m 51s):

And then I have a team of nutritionists who can tackle all kinds of different things. I brought them on thinking, oh, they would just handle the easy cases, but in many cases they're even better than me. So, we kind of divide up based on the person and see what we can do to get them closer to their goals.

Brian (9m 9s):

And do you typically work with individuals for like a certain time period or is there like a few options from that?

Megan (9m 15s):

Yeah, there are a few options. Most of our programs are around three months and then some people choose to do another package after that. I have a handful, like a small handful, less than five clients who have been seeing me every couple of months since 2014. But that's definitely the rare occasion. Most people are done after three to six months.

Brian (9m 40s):

And, what would you say, I mean you've been doing this since what, 2016? 14. 14, okay. Yeah. And you wrote a book in 2016. Yes. And yeah, you know, being in the health and wellness industry for a while, like you definitely change your mind on things there. Were there one or two things that you've changed your mind on?

Megan (9m 60s):

Oh, so many things. Really, truly, so many things I have gone all over the place on carbohydrates. First of all, I used to be like a calories are king and carbohydrates, you know, you can fill up on fewer calories for some carbohydrates, so let's go all the way there. Hmm. And then I went into a, carbohydrates are evil and like we should never, ever eat carbohydrates aside from like spinach, And. now I'm somewhere in the middle. I tend to feel better on a much lower carbohydrate diet even though I'm active. But I know if I go too low, my hormones don't do very well.

Megan (10m 42s):

So I find carbohydrates to be something we really need to tailor based on the person's goals, lab work, all of that kind of stuff. I think I searched for so long, honestly, part of my, the reason for getting into this was my own personal journey as many of us go through. But I searched for so long to find a way to not have stress be part of the equation. Like, oh, if I only eat perfectly and exercise perfectly and do take all the supplements in the world and all this stuff, then I can override the stress factor for my health. But I've changed my mind and I find that is absolutely impossible. Like stress has to be part of it.

Megan (11m 23s):

I have so many people who say, I'm just here to work on Gut Health or whatever, and I'm like, okay, well stress is part of it. Like I'll give you the supplements, I'll give you the dietary protocols. But unless we manage stress alongside this, I don't think anyone can get to pure perfect healing. Not that there really is a thing as perfect healing anyway. I mean all of us are still on a journey, but I think that has to be part of it. I've really changed my mind on so much, but I'll pause there and see what you have to say.

Brian (11m 53s):

No, and I'm not surprised you brought up carbohydrates. I think this has become, like for me the same thing. I was very low carb fasting And. now you've sort of seen it change a little bit. I mean, I've changed and added in carbohydrates and I do think I have gone more towards a balanced approach. I know it sounds like cliche, but yeah, I think there's, there's some truth behind that because I think we try to, well at least in health and wellness, you see people go on one side or the other like it's like a, you know, political thing. Right? Right. Very dogmatic on on, yes. Whether it's just carnivore to, you know, complete vegetarian, vegan. And I think falling somewhere in between is completely fine and probably works best for, works best for most people.

Megan (12m 38s):

I totally agree. In fact, it's one of the ways where I lose potential clients. If I have a potential client who has bounced around between every single fad diet and they love it, they're just looking for the next best fad, right? That's not for me. I'm for the person who has bounced between all the fad diets and they're finally like, oh my gosh, I realize none of this works. Like, let me finally find something that works forever. And I do think that's balance. You're right, it's cliche and it's boring. And no one wants to hear, oh yes, we actually do have to eat more vegetables. And like protein, fat and carbs are important and sugar really isn't the best.

Megan (13m 19s):

And even though you know, pro it has protein and fat, we probably can't eat bacon three meals a day every single day for the rest of our lives. Like all this stuff isn't as fancy or flashy. But I really do believe it's the answer.

Brian (13m 34s):

And what? What it with your health, health journey, which you didn't explain, I actually wouldn't mind if you going through that a little bit. What? Sure, yeah.

Megan (13m 42s):

Yeah. So it starts with me just being a hard charging person all the way since childhood. I have always been competitive with myself and always take things to the extreme. So when I went to college, I saw this cute guy who was on the track and cross country team, 20, however many, 21 years later, he's my husband. But he was running and I was like, Ooh, I've never really, I never played sports, I never really thought about exercise, nutrition, any of that. Maybe I should run. So I started to run. I thought it was fun in a weird way, it was very challenging for me.

Megan (14m 23s):

But then I took it to the extreme. I started running a lot and I started reading what I could get my hands on for nutrition knowledge back then, which was were magazines were like Shape Magazine and Self Magazine and whatever. And they were telling me, eat half a protein bar for lunch and like spend two hours on the elliptical. And that's the answer. And so I did it and it worked. I felt really good for a couple of months and then I slowly started to decline. I was also very stressed. Now we're taking me through graduation from Harvard into management consulting, which was a very demanding career. I'm now running a lot, I'm under fueling myself. I'm stressed, I'm not sleeping like confluence of factors.

Megan (15m 5s):

I go to a doctor's office. When I was 23, she tested my hormones, which honestly looking back I think was like pretty radical. I don't think most people back then would've tested hormones. But she, she looked at me and she was like, your hormones are lower than the postmenopausal women that I see. I don't know what happened. You must be have, you must have to be on medication for the rest of your life. And I just knew right then, that wasn't the answer for me. I'm not opposed to medication when it's needed, but I knew I was doing this, I just didn't know exactly how. And that finally started me on my journey to try to figure out what I was doing to myself and actually going to conferences and reading books instead of magazines.

Megan (15m 50s):

And slowly starting to look at studies. And once I figured it out for myself, as many people relate to, it's just hard not to share it. So then I went to IAN and we heard the rest of that story.

Brian (16m 2s):

So it was like a combination, probably just stress, chronic cardio,

Megan (16m 9s):


Brian (16m 10s):

Undereating. Yes. And is this a common thing that you see with, I mean, men or women that

Megan (16m 17s):

Come Yeah, I, I think stereotyping a little bit. Yeah. I think men tend to be higher on the stress and, and I'm saying I was there too. So obviously it's not a, it's not a this or that, but I think men tend to be higher on the chronic stress. Women tend to be higher on the chronic cardio. A lot of people are both, and both together just tends to be a recipe for a disaster. I do believe there are people like goodness, there are Olympic marathoners that might be healthy. So maybe it's possible. But I think for most people who have other lives and certainly other stress and maybe they have, you know, genetics that make them more prone to oxidative stress or they have a leaky gut or they have whatever that chronic cardio is probably a recipe for disaster.

Megan (17m 7s):

And then the men just don't e either they don't realize that they're stressed or they don't like to talk about it and they think it's a weakness and they're like me, like, I was like, no, I'll find any other solution, but I'm not gonna actually tackle my stress. So I think the answer is yes, it's something I commonly see.

Brian (17m 26s):

Yeah. And, what about the undereating And? you know, it's like calories and calories out. It's like a debatable thing I get, I, you know, some people live by it and some people don't really cure it too much for it. What, what are your thoughts around that?

Megan (17m 44s):

Well, calories in, calories out is a thing. Like in a lab, if you are using a bomb calorimeter, which is how they measure calories in foods, there is a real thing called a calorie, which is how much energy that food has. So it is a real thing. If someone comes up to me with two bags of m and ms and they say, I'm either gonna eat this 500 calorie bag of m and ms or this 200 calorie bag, bag of m and ms, of course I'm gonna say the 200 calorie bag. Unless for some reason their goal was to, you know, get metabolically unhealthy, which I, I've never had. So calories are a thing. The problem is when it's in our body, a whole set of other factors happens.

Megan (18m 25s):

When I do eat that twine, which is the classic hypothetical situation, a twine that's 200 calories or broccoli, that's 200 calories, whatever. When I eat the twine, I have an insulin response, I have an inflammation response that could potentially cause intestinal permeability or leaky gut. There are so many other things that happen that in quote, slow down our metabolism. So it is true that that has 200 calories, but the after effect of those 200 calories is much worse in the case of ultra processed food resulting in more fat storage, more inflammation, more of all of these things that are leading to our problems.

Megan (19m 7s):

So it is a thing, but it's not the only thing is what I say.

Brian (19m 12s):

Right. I always thought it was like a too simplistic way of looking at things because in your, your example, you have something like a twine that probably has like minimal nutrients in it. Yes. And then you have broccoli or whatever else, health food and then you know, a lot more nutrient density and satiety can be from that. So

Megan (19m 31s):

That's right. Yes. That old commercial Pringles, once you pop, you can't stop. It's true for tho, I have no idea how many calories are in a can of Pringles or if they even make those anymore, but I bet it's like a thousand calories or something and you don't feel full after eating that because there are zero nutrients in there. Our brain, to get that rush of leptin, a satiety hormone and to actually have fullness feeling, we have sensors in our stomach and all throughout our digestive tract, we need nutrients, we need macro protein, fat, carbs and micro, the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, all of that kind of stuff. We need those to feel full. So I totally agree with you.

Megan (20m 11s):

It's, it's more complex But. it is. It is true in quotes that calories are a thing

Brian (20m 17s):

And then when you're we're, when you're, excuse me, I can't even talk. When you're working with someone, what is like the first place you start? Like do you start with diet or do you sort of try to find like that low hanging fruit to make the biggest move to you know, help a client?

Megan (20m 31s):

So I would say 99% of times we're gonna start with diet because that's why people come to me and I have to be a little more like sleuthy to get in my lifestyle things, which I think are just as and or sometimes more important. Sleeping and and exercise and stress management and connection and nature and circadian rhythms and all of that kind of stuff. Just as important. Right. But if I start there, people tend to be underwhelmed. So I wanna start with diet, get them making some changes. I still don't do a drastic change. Like if anyone were eating, I don't know, fast food three times a day, I'm not gonna say, well tomorrow it's salmon and kale only.

Megan (21m 21s):

I don't do that because I don't find it sustainable. Even though people would probably get quicker results if we changed everything. But I, like you said, I almost always start with diet

Brian (21m 33s):

And with that like leaky gut is something you've brought up a few times. I figured we go into that Sure. In some detail. What maybe explain to the to the audience, some of 'em might know, some of 'em might not know what that is.

Megan (21m 44s):

Yeah, absolutely. So our gut lining is supposed to be semi-permeable. So for those watching the video, it's like you knit your fingers together like this. And then there are teeny gaps in here. Even though I'm trying to close my fingers tightly, there are teeny gaps in your gut lining through which escape things like, you know, vitamin C or any kind of small molecule, small beneficial particle from our food. But when we have stress, when we have excessive antibiotic use, when we have for a lot of people gluten activates something called zonulin, which opens that lining. When we have other inflammatory foods, when we have even digestive like you might get food poisoning really bad or something like that.

Megan (22m 32s):

All these things can kind of make that junction, make those junctions in your gut a little too open. And so now what's happening is I eat even a healthy food, maybe I eat that broccoli you talked about, but my gut has little micro holes in it. And so not only a chunk of vitamin C passes into the bloodstream, but a whole chunk of broccoli passes into the bloodstream and then my body freaks out my immune system's. Like that's weird. Broccoli's not supposed to be in the bloodstream. So it basically flags it and attacks it like it would any other foreign invader. And that process causes inflammation. So now every time I eat broccoli, which is still a healthy food for a lot of people, my immune system is going to perpetuate this inflammation response.

Megan (23m 18s):

My gut gets leakier and leakier and leakier. And for a lot of people with these chronic digestive issues, that's at the root of it. And, and some people honestly don't just have digestive symptoms. They might have skin rashes or acne outbreaks. They might have joint pain, they might have brain fog, they might have any number of other symptoms that comes back to the leaky gut.

Brian (23m 43s):

Yeah, I always found that interesting. I went through FDNI dunno if you've heard of functional value

Megan (23m 47s):

Yet. Yes, I have. Yeah, that looks like a great program. I haven't been through it.

Brian (23m 50s):

Yeah. Recently finished a few months ago. It is, it is a really nice program and, and they talk a lot about, you know, the mucosal barrier damage that could happen and these symptoms that you can get that you know, might be something on the skin might be headaches, you know? Yes. Fibromyalgia. And people don't always equate that to Gut Health, but yes, a lot of times it comes back to that.

Megan (24m 12s):

Yes, that's exactly right. I think I, I saw a study one time that said up to 70% of people at some time in their life will have intestinal permeability. That's a lot. But I honestly don't discount that research. A lot of us who just live in 2024, I mean there's pollution, there's toxins everywhere. Our food supply has a bunch of stuff in it that causes leaky gut. Even though I try to eat a very healthy diet, I still can't avoid all of that kind of stuff. Like sure I don't drink outta plastic glasses in my home, but do I have contact with plastic? Of course, right. Do I ever have food sprayed with glyphosate?

Megan (24m 54s):

Of course there are just things that we can't really avoid. So I do think a lot of us will deal with this at some point

Brian (25m 1s):

And stress. Right? Yeah. Stress could cause leaky gut, which right.

Megan (25m 5s):

Absolutely. Yes, very much.

Brian (25m 8s):

What type of things do you do for yourself or for your clients to help overcome stress?

Megan (25m 13s):

Oh goodness. I do think it's an individual approach. So I have this button, I call it the magic button. And it doesn't do anything unfortunately. But I ask people, if you just had one day and you can't take care of your kids, you can't do work, you're not allowed to clean your house, you're literally not allowed to do anything productive and anything's possible. You could fly to Tahiti, you could go to a Beyonce concert, whatever. Like what would you do in that one day? And that's gonna start to clue us in on what that person needs. So if they say, I would have a, a golf outing with eight of my best friends, well cool. Then they need connection, they need some nature, they need some activity.

Megan (25m 54s):

We're get clue in. Or maybe they say, I would be laying in a hammock on a beach reading and not talking to anyone. Great. They need some downtime, they need some relaxation. But that gives us a start because I really do think different people need different things based on not only their personality but what their lifestyle is providing them at the moment. And then we just see if we can work that in. Like, I can't put anyone in Tahiti for an hour a day, but what can we do? Can we take small steps? People are so busy. And I use busy in air quotes because it's true, but it's a mental construct as well. It's so, it's one that I fall into all of the time where I say my schedule's so full.

Megan (26m 36s):

I've outlawed the word busy from my vocabulary, but there are other ways to get around it. My schedule's so full, my schedule's so full. Well that's my choice honestly. I set my own schedule. So how am I creating this? And someone else might say, well it's not my choice. I have four kids and like eight jobs and whatever. There are some extreme situations out there, but we still do choose our mentality to let that overwhelm us. and we still do need some time. Even that person with four kids, like must, even if they're a single parent, must ask for help to get little teeny breaks throughout the week. Everyone needs it. We're humans, not robots.

Brian (27m 16s):

Yeah, I love that. And I, I like how you went about explaining like what that perfect day would look like and, and draw that to the client. 'cause a lot of times I'll just bring up, you know, self-care as far as like meditation or yoga, which some people just don't wanna do. Do. Yeah. Right. So that and, and I, but I like how you bring that up 'cause everyone sort of can confine that self-care or that that me time differently.

Megan (27m 44s):

That's right. And don't get me wrong, I love meditation. I think I'm on day 16, 20 something of a streak. Like I, I love meditation and that me, that was the 23-year-old in the doctor's office. If you had told me the solution was meditation, that would be a a no go. Yeah. An absolute hard pass for me. I was not yet open to that. So I do think it's a process and we have to meet people wherever they are. Maybe they'll find meditation in the future if that's right for them. And maybe not. I know a lot of healthy people who don't meditate. That's cool too. As long as we can get your own parasympathetic nervous system to be more comfortable engaging and get us out of that fight or flight.

Megan (28m 30s):

Sometimes there's nothing wrong with stress as long as it goes up and down. If we can be stressed and recover, be stressed and recover, cool. That's how the human body's designed to operate. It's just that chronic sympathetic activation that's the problem as you know.

Brian (28m 46s):

Yeah. And, what would you say, I mean, other than stress, are there, are there any other things that come up? Like sleep is some is sleep, I mean we always talk about sleep on this podcast, but are there certain sleep habits that, or things that you try to implement with yourself or with your clients?

Megan (29m 2s):

Yeah, it gets back to my nutrition approach being kind of the boring, trite ones. But it's true for sleep too. I start for sure with not having that phone right in bed and scrolling before bed. And honestly I don't even care if someone says, no, I love, this is my only time to scroll through Instagram all throughout the day. I would rather them have 10 minutes of scrolling through Instagram and then go to bed, then unwind and go to bed 10 or 20 minutes later. Right. As opposed to doing that right before bed, I know my mind is prone towards ruminating thoughts and if I'm not careful, I can wake up in the middle of the night like going over my to-do list or my schedule for the next day or whatever.

Megan (29m 46s):

So I need that time to wind down. And I think most people do that too, do need that too. So it's that phone and that stimulation before bed. It's a cool, quiet, dark environment. As dark as possible. 60 to 68 degrees is technically the optimal temperature. 60 is chilly. I don't know, that's too cold for me. But getting it cooler than most of us are comfortable with, I find having a routine really important. So I, it's short for me, it's not anything crazy, but I'll take my dogs out, I'll take my magnesium, a foam roll for like five minutes short, brush my teeth, get in bed, literally read a novel.

Megan (30m 27s):

Like nothing. I can't even read a nutrition book before bed. I have to just do something totally mindless and then I'm out. But all those things really help and it could look different for every person. Some twist of those though I think is important. Yeah. What would you add on?

Brian (30m 42s):

No, that was good. I I, I do do the foam rolling before bed. Yeah, it's great. Just some self-care, just like maybe 10 minutes of it. Not that long. I wouldn't add much on. I do like to read and it doesn't last long. I'll probably read for 10 minutes and I'm out. Me too, right? Yes. Cool. Dark environment. I actually, I'm excited. It's supposed to be coming in the next week is I got that eat that eight sleep pod. Have you heard of this?

Megan (31m 9s):

Oh cool. Yes, I've heard of it. I don't have one though.

Brian (31m 11s):

So. we keep the, the temperature in our room about 65, which is great, great. But I still find myself getting warm and I have a little dog who's actually not the one in the background, but another guy who, it runs at like 115 degrees and oh

Megan (31m 27s):


Brian (31m 28s):

Goodness, he's like 30 pounds. So he'll, you won't even know he is on the bed sometimes, but his, the heat just like radiates and it's like, wow. So like that just gets me warm and anyway, so I'm gonna try this, this eight sleep pod and see how it goes. And it's supposed to cool the mattress and I'm excited for it. So

Megan (31m 46s):

That's great. I'm so curious if the dog won't like it now, if the dog's gonna not be on the bed or what.

Brian (31m 51s):

Yeah, and I'll be fine with that. 'cause you know, I, my one dog I trained to not come on the bed and the other dog didn't quite work out that way, but we'll, we'll see how, yeah, if he doesn't like it then he'll have to find somewhere else to sleep, which

Megan (32m 6s):

Will be, it's so funny, we could talk about dogs all day, but one of my dogs is only allowed on the bed Friday and Saturday and he knows when it's Friday and Saturday. I don't know know how, that's interesting. The guests we're more relaxed or whatever and the other dog has never been on the bed. So I don't know how that works. It's probably not the right thing if you're, if you're applying that to kids, but for dogs somehow it works.

Brian (32m 29s):

Yeah. And yeah, so no, I think as far as routine that sounds good. I, I like to not eat too close to bed is another big one. Yeah. Do you, as far as like timing of eating and stuff, is that something that you to touch on with clients? I know you know, you, you hear different things, but are there any, like some, some principles that you work with?

Megan (32m 49s):

Yeah, I do aim for that 12 hour fast as a baseline for everyone, which sounds really easy. A lot of times people are like, oh my gosh, 12 hours. But most people that come into my office are not doing that. They're having a snack literally right before bed and then they're waking up going over to the coffee pot and putting in sugar or something else, which is breaking the fast. So I think unless they're sleeping for 12 hours, which no one is, that's not cutting it, I do think it's best to shift your fasting window earlier in the day. So if you were gonna go for just 12 hours, maybe making it seven to seven or something like that is better.

Megan (33m 33s):

And then if you're stress hormones are not crazy out of whack, if your sex hormones are not crazy out of whack, if you're not training for some kind of endurance exercise, if you don't have an eating disorder or history of an eating disorder, then I'll start shortening that window, that eating window. I'm never someone, except in extreme situations I can count like a, a handful of clients who I've ever gone to that extreme 20 hours or ohad one meal a day or something like that. I don't think that's beneficial for most people. But can some people shorten that 12 hour eating window to then 10 and then eight?

Megan (34m 13s):

Yes. A lot of people can successfully, but I also wanna make it realistic. So I know for me, I don't always have, what I would recommend would be three to four hours before bed without eating. I see clients until 7, 7 30, I go to bed super early 'cause I wake up at 4 30, 4 to four 50 depending on the day. So it just doesn't always work out. And I give myself the grace I would give to other people, do your best. I have my dinner ready, I'm gonna eat it right at seven. But if that doesn't give me the whole three to four hours and I get two and a half on some nights, I'm gonna be okay with it.

Brian (34m 51s):

Yeah, yeah. I mean my, my theory on fasting has changed a bit. I think it's, it, it's good for some people as far as giving them boundaries. It works well and I found for myself just being like active, I wasn't able to get enough food in this. Yeah. That certain restricted time period and, and not enough protein. So I think that it's, I like it to the fact that like, okay, 'cause most people that are eating stuff after seven, eight o'clock, it's probably they're eating something that's not really serving them. Yeah. So like just cutting that, that eating window off at seven, let's just say they go to bed at 10, that gives them three hours to digest. Yeah. I think that's like a good rule of thumb.

Megan (35m 31s):

I think that is as well. And I definitely agree with you here. It tends to be more of my male clients, although there are several women too that fall into this camp where they just are not getting enough. Right. If they're fasting shorter and shorter and shorter. I mean frankly you have to eat a whole lot of salmon and broccoli since we keep using that as an example in a couple meals a day and, and digestively. It's not that comfortable. And no one wants to chow through eight cups of broccoli in a meal. So I do think spacing it out from a muscle protein synthesis standpoint, but as well from just a nutrient standpoint tends to be good for people who run on the side of undernourishment.

Brian (36m 15s):

Yeah. And and then you mentioned you, you know, hey, getting your doctorate, you really, you really liked it and enjoyed it. Yeah. What was like one thing that stuck out that you, that you learned that you, you applied today,

Megan (36m 26s):

Oh my goodness. Applied today? Like things we've already talked about or other things? Yeah,

Brian (36m 30s):

Yeah. Maybe just something else. Like what, what, what was like something that you, you learned that you like didn't know and, and you sort of apply? you know,

Megan (36m 39s):

I think the most paradigm shifting class for me was the immune class, which when I saw immune on the syllabus, I was like, that's, I don't really care. That's boring. But. it was not boring at all. We went through everything from cancer a couple weeks on cancer, which I, I didn't actually think like, oh, cancer just happens. There's nothing we can do about it. But until the class, I didn't realize how much we actually can do about it and how much and many types of cancers we are in control. Then even just like the common cold and covid and all of that kind of stuff. Actually understanding what is happening in those cases has helped me.

Megan (37m 19s):

When my clients get sick with anything, hopefully it's just a cold and not something more, more severe. But it's really helped me serve them better. So if anyone, I mean, I'm sure there are great classes out there on whatever the Coursera or whatever the cool YouTube for that matter. There are plenty of things out there. I would just encourage people to look into the immune system. It's really cool.

Brian (37m 41s):

Yeah, I think like nowadays, especially with YouTube, like you can learn quite a bit. I mean yes. It, it it's like people rely on their doctors, which is good and bad I think. Right. I think nowadays, like most of my, my, my blood work and my wife's blood work, we just, we unfortunately we just pay out of pocket and just get

Megan (38m 1s):

Yeah, me too. Yeah.

Brian (38m 2s):

And it's, you know, hopefully it'll, the system will change where it's not all just based on insurance and, and just your, you know, what you need. Because I've gone to, I, I have a general practitioner, but I've gone to him not, not much And, you know, he, he'll only order certain labs that are, that are a must and it's like, well I wanna see like the whole picture here. Yeah. When it comes to Gut Health, I am curious, you know, like do you do, do you do any testing to see if people have intestinal permeability? 'cause people are probably wondering, well, how do I know if I have it?

Megan (38m 30s):

Yeah. My favorite gut test is the Gut Zoomer by Vibrant Wellness. It's an awesome test. It has 80 or 90 strains of bacteria. It has all of the commensal things, all of the pathogens, viruses, e coli, parasites, you name it. And then it also tests for markers of intestinal permeability and various markers of inflammation. So I love that I, I have run it on myself a few times and many, many clients, but not everyone because it's really expensive. It's over $500 for that test and that's just not practical for a lot of people when they're already paying for a program with us.

Megan (39m 13s):

So I'm really excited for things like that to get cheaper. I think on a slightly cheaper scale, the Viome test is pretty interesting and people can order that out of pocket without a practitioner. There are lots of other good, like GI Map is really good. There are plenty of other good ones. Most of them are just really expensive. So I save them for when, well let me say in a the reverse. If I feel like, oh, this is a home run, I know this person's just eating too much X or drinking alcohol is when we haven't discussed drinking too much alcohol, which can cause intestinal permeability, then I'll probably be like, let's hold off on the gut test for a little while.

Megan (39m 54s):

Let's see if we can resolve this without, do some supplements, clean up the diet, work on stress. And if we're running into a roadblock then I'll probably push the gut test.

Brian (40m 4s):

Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, I've used GI Map before. Great. Yeah, that's a good one. What are your thoughts on alcohol?

Megan (40m 13s):

So I drink alcohol. I also think the vast majority of people who drink alcohol drink too much. I am fortunate I have several other addictive qualities like work or even sugar if I'm not careful, that could, I could go too heavy on that. But I have zero desire to drink every day. I have zero desire to drink more than one or two drinks ever at a time. So for me having like next weekend I'm celebrating my 14th anniversary, will I have a drink? Yes, absolutely. I think that's fine. There's plenty of research that shows benefits of alcohol. I think that's not true.

Megan (40m 54s):

I actually think what if we can parse down the studies even more. What's happening is the relaxation benefits when people have alcohol and the community, maybe they're slowing down enjoying a meal with family, something like that. So I think that is responsible for more of the benefits than the alcohol itself. But I, I believe alcohol is a toxin and I don't think that the way that most people, frankly a lot of people who come into my office are consuming the equivalent of three to four drinks every single night and then more on the weekends. I don't think that's conducive to health.

Brian (41m 31s):

Yeah, that's a good way to put it. I, I think think if you're overdoing it, it's like with most things, right? Like same thing with caffeine, right? There's been shown to be benefits for caffeine and coffee being, but like the doses in the poi, you know, what is it? Yeah. The doses in the poison. Yeah,

Megan (41m 46s):

Exactly. Yeah, I totally agree. If someone can have, you know, a few, I think the guidelines are 14 drinks a week for men and seven drinks a week for women, even 14 seems a bit high to me. But if someone can have it in moderation and they're getting that relaxation benefit and they love it fine too much though, we've gotta cut it back.

Brian (42m 7s):

Yeah. And I always ask this to most of my guests that come on, if you were gonna give like one tip to an individual who's looking to get their body back to what it once was maybe 10, 15 years ago, what one tip would you give them?

Megan (42m 22s):

Oh my goodness, that's such a great question. I'm gonna go with another somewhat cliche exam or answer, but it's one that we haven't touched too much upon, which is vegetables. I think people are so focused on what to take out. We've talked about alcohol, we've talked about sugar, we've talked about processed food and that's really important too. But I'll do this exercise where I'll literally give my clients a post-it notepad and I'll just say, for the next week until you see me, just put a tally for every vegetable that you eat. And they'll be like, this is so dumb. I eat plenty of vegetables. And then they'll come back and it's like two or three tallies for the week.

Megan (43m 2s):

That's not enough. When we're focused on taking out this stuff and adding in protein, which I think is so important, we've gotta fill in the gaps and get those nutrients from vegetables. And I'm not opposed to fruit either. I think we should get more vegetables than fruit, but I eat fruit myself as well. Love it. I just think most people are not getting enough. And if we look back historically, that is where we got the bulk of our nutrition. So I believe in a fifth size serving and pushing people towards the ultimate end goal of eight servings per day. The vast majority of my clients don't get there. But if they're getting one per day right now and we can get them to five, that's huge.

Brian (43m 45s):

Nice. Okay. And do you ever find with your clients, like do you teach them to sort of cook the vegetables just 'cause sometimes I know it could, could, could cause gut irritation if it's, especially if it's raw vegetables.

Megan (43m 56s):

Absolutely. Yeah. If they're newer to it, we've gotta start soft and mushy, which is not very appealing. So I try to phrase it in a better way for a lot of people. But like think cooked zucchini, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked asparagus, all of that kinda stuff is gonna be much easier on the digestive tract. And as we ease our way in, I can eat a lot of raw vegetables right now, but I could not before, without having discomfort gassiness bloating, just like, ugh, it didn't feel good. One part of that is easing in your body. So you produce the right digestive enzymes and you're, you have that microbiome that can thrive on fiber. But another part of that is most people do not chew their food well enough.

Megan (44m 40s):

And if you're taking a big old bite of raw cabbage or something like that that's super fermentable and you're not breaking it down with your teeth, that is going to cause a lot of GI distress. So. we have to start slow, start cooked, start with the less fermentable veggies and two, and then ease our way up.

Brian (45m 3s):

Yeah, that's great. And And I love that you bring up eating slowly. I've, I remember doing a video on that a while back and I had a guest on it, talked about how he will have people eat with chopsticks.

Megan (45m 13s):

Oh, interesting. Yeah. Hey, it could be a good, good move. I like that.

Brian (45m 17s):

I wouldn't get very far, you know? Yeah. But it's a good place to start. Well this is great. Where's the best place for people to find you, Megan?

Megan (45m 28s):

Everything is linked on my website, the lions share.org. It's L-Y-O-N-S share.org. I have blog there that I've been doing since 2013, my podcast, how to work with me, lots of freebies, all that good stuff.

Brian (45m 42s):

Awesome. Yeah, I'll definitely put a link in the show notes and yeah, I appreciate you coming on and sharing all this great knowledge.

Megan (45m 50s):

Thanks so much. I had fun today. I appreciate you having me.

Brian (45m 53s):

Yeah, thanks for coming on. Thanks for listening to the Get Lean Eat Clean Podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned, In, this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

Megan Lyons

Through personalized, one-on-one health coaching, I help people achieve their healthiest and happiest selves by finding the balance of nutrition and fitness that works for their unique body. I empower busy people who successfully balance work, family, social life, and many other commitments, but who struggle with their health, to finally reach their goals and feel confident about their bodies.


wanna talk to brian?

Schedule a free 15 min consultation