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039: Healing Yourself with Food with Autumn Smith

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Autumn Smith is the co-founder of Paleo Valley and Wild Pastures. She holds a Masters in Holistic Nutrition and is a certified eating psychology coach and a certified FDN practitioner. In her earlier days, she was a professional dancer and trainer, including working with Jennifer Lopez on a worldwide tour.

Today we talk about how she found the Paleo diet and how it dramatically impacted her health, and how you can go about healing yourself with food with whatever diet works for you.

To find out how she became the healthy, successful and vivacious woman she is today, we go back to her earlier years. Autumn dealt with painful digestive issues and even cystic acne as a teen. Doctors couldn’t help her so she hid the pain from everyone around her, and covered up her acne with makeup. But once she met her husband, she couldn’t conceal any of it from him.

Taking matters into their own hands, Autumn’s husband began researching online and stumbled on the Paleo Diet. He suggested they try it for 30 days and see if it helped – which it did. Autumn went from daily digestive bloating and pain to none! Her skin got better and her anxiety lessened.

In this episode of Awesome Health Podcast, Autumn also explains how Paleo is a great starting point to getting healthier but that we often need to explore further in order to truly heal our digestion and our bodies. The big message is to eat nutrient-dense foods that work for you: everyone has to find what suits them best. And remember to be flexible in your diet. What works for you today might need to be shifted in 5 years or 10 years.

Today we dig into those topics before wrapping up with how Autumn started Paleo Valley and the company’s commitment to product quality and sustainable farming, and how you can support local, regenerative agriculture wherever you live.

This is one insightful and powerful show so be sure to tune in and hear it all on episode 39 of Awesome Health Podcast.

Episode Resources

Read The Episode Transcript :

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good evening and good afternoon wherever you are. It's Wade T Lightheart on the Awesome Health Podcast and I am pumped, pumped, pumped today because we have Autumn Smith who is the cofounder of Paleo Valley and Wild Pastures. She holds a masters in holistic nutrition, a certified eating psychology coach and a certified FDN practitioner. She's going to tell us about what that is in a second. She's also she's into basically Paleo valley is an organic whole food supplement and paleo snack food company that prioritizes in one of my big passions, nutrient density and food quality, the most essential components to determining a great diet. Now here's the great thing is if you see Autumn here, if you're actually not listening and watching on YouTube, you'll actually see she's a very beautiful and attractive woman and it wasn't always that way. She had some struggles, IBS, anxiety, all these sort of things.

Wade Lightheart: She was a professional dancer, ,man and a celebrity fitness trainer with Tracy Anderson and completed a world tour with Jennifer Lopez. I wish we could see her dance and we'd probably want to get her to dance here. Bottom line is her and her husband, Chaz stumbled upon the paleo diet in 2011. She was trying to get a cure for some of the symptoms that she was experiencing. And within a month of beginning it, her health was completely transformed. So we're going to talk about a few things today, like nutrient density. What is the paleo diet? What is an FDN, you know, all this sort of stuff. Let's get into it. Autumn, welcome to the show.

Autumn Smith: Thank you Wade. I'm so honored to be here and I always love coming on someone's podcast who is as excited about this stuff as I am. And you're clearly that person. So thank you. It's an honor.

Wade Lightheart: So, okay, so let's backtrack here. You've got, you've done all these things. Let's talk about you were a professional dancer. Tell, tell me about that career and then what got you to like what challenges were happening? So, so how did that all happen? Start from the beginning. Like where did you grow up? How did you get into dancing? How did that all, like how did you end up jam dancing with Jennifer Lopez? And is she as cool as an issue as cool.

Autumn Smith: Okay. One quick thing before I get my story. I actually went on tour as her fitness trainer but I was Tracy Anderson method is a method you probably familiar cause you live in LA now. Tracy Anderson was a dancer and she created a method based on dance to give everyone a dancers body. So that's how I edit it. But I started dancing when I was four. My parents made me do it because I was this, I have this much energy and I still have this much energy. And so they were channeling that which was very smart. And luckily at Sundance competitions, a principal of the Bolshoi ballet in Russia, he was living near me and he and I became good friends. My parents drove me three hours one way every weekend to study with him. And so I was mostly a ballerina as I was growing up.

Autumn Smith: And I went to college, got into a dance company, went into modern dance professionally while I was going to college and then moved down to LA and I danced there for awhile. I was a backup dancer for a Disney artist and did a little brief stint in Vegas, went over there, did some shows, and then I came back to LA and I loved dancing, but I wanted a little more stability. I was in a modern company at a time and then Tracy Anderson caught on my radar because one of the other girls in the modern company was working for her. And at this time nobody really knew who she was. She was just Madonna's fitness trainer. That's what we knew. She was training Madonna, but she really wanted dancers to perform her method because it is based on dance. So I started working for her. She's the one who sent me on tour, Jennifer Lopez as her trainer.

Autumn Smith: And it was during this time, I mean, since I was a teen and I was dancing, I always had digestive issues. Okay. And I was like, buying this fat free and you know, sugar free. And so I was eating all of these low calorie foods, doing all the things that I was supposed to be doing. My stomach would be bloated like I was pregnant. I would wake up in pain, I had cystic acne and I just, I went to doctor after doctor and no one could help me. And so I just kind of learned to manage it. I did that with drinking and smoking and you know, the things that I had this anxiety too. And I did that until I met my husband and we moved in together and had kind of been hiding the pain I was in for a lot of years, but I couldn't hide from him when we were all of a sudden together all the time.

Autumn Smith: And he said, sweetie, like what's going on with your stomach and you know, your skin. And I used to have to re-apply makeup with a million times a day to just hide it. But he didn't accept the way I was feeling and he said, we've got to just do something. And so we finally went to one last doctor. They told me the same thing. There's just nothing we can do. You have IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, there's no cure treatment really. And so we just got online. He got online, he saw back in 2009 that people were having good results with IBS and other digestive related conditions with the paleo diet. So I said, okay honey, we're going to try this. And I just didn't really believe it would do anything. But we adopted this principles for 30 days and I didn't have the bloating anymore.

Wade Lightheart: Wow, that's pretty impressive.

Autumn Smith: It was in crazy cause it was over a decade. I was suffering my skin and my anxiety. They were things that came into play later, which is why I kept learning more. I think paleo is an awesome starting place to a few other trees I had to make. But it was absolutely revolutionary in the fact that I wasn't turning down social engagements. I didn't have to worry about what I was gonna wear or how bloated I was going to be after dinner. So yeah, that's how I got here. And that's why when I went on that tour with a Jennifer Lopez, I was looking for treats or snacks or food to kind of maintain this lifestyle. And we were sometimes in two different countries in a day. And it wasn't possible at this time and I needed the resources. And so that's why I quit that job after I got back to the United States and I went back to school. And because I was really fit and I wasn't well and I wanted to learn how to be well and I wanted to give people the tools to.

Wade Lightheart: You make a great point here. And I think that's something that I discovered a long time ago and my body building career and that's what got me into fixing my digestion. And that was, you can be really fit but not necessarily healthy. And of course as a professional dancer, there's, it's, it's, it's way tougher than people think. It's a extremely demanding position and traveling, it looks glamorous. It's pretty hardcore, can really beat you up. I want to know for our listeners, what are the foundational components of the paleo diet and what were the things that you shifted cause you were on the low fat kind of, you know, low calorie diet, you know, thinking I'm trying to be healthier, I'm trying to be fit or I'm trying to be lean with the digestive issues. What did you start to do right off the bat and you can tell us and also maybe give a couple of tips for people who might be suffering from something like that and would like to give paleo a try.

Autumn Smith: Yeah, I love that question because it's, when it boils down, it was just, I started shopping at farmer's markets rather than going to the supermarket. So I started to eat whole foods and you know, I didn't at first get rid of dairy, although I did realize I needed to later. And I have a big problem with gluten as it turns out. So eliminating gluten and eliminating the dairy were huge for me. I also have quite a sweet tooth and so having to get rid of sugar and those protein bars or whatever they are, they're not really protein. They're just kind of a lot of carbs and sugar and all these crazy freaky additives. Then we're just wreaking havoc on my digestion. So that's what I would say is like move away from anything that comes in a package. I'm a food manufacturer, we make snacks, but honestly I love our snacks and they're high quality versions but whole food as it comes out of the ground, fruits and vegetables, high quality animal products.

Autumn Smith: That was absolutely the staple of my diet as opposed to whatever I could find that was fat free, whatever I could find that was high protein whenever that get fired. It was like some sort of green juice. Yeah that was all I did. It really is just moved towards whole foods and so paleo, the idea is just you kind of eliminate sugar and you eliminate gluten and all grains actually and dairy and soy and just foods that are not as nutrient dense as fruits and vegetables and high quality animal products. So we've always been told grains are like the meca when it comes to nutrient density, but it's not actually the case, especially in refined form. And they often leads to these blood sugar fluctuations that I was experiencing that lead to things like anxiety and low energy or like fatigue. And cravings and I think things that a lot of Americans are struggling with today.

Wade Lightheart: When you talk about that, I think this is a really great topic because there's so many people who are suffering from anxiety and depression in today's world. Now part of it's because of kind of the social media generation of everybody's in comparison to the ideal framed, you know, lifestyle of these little vignettes that makes somebody's life look extraordinary. Well, but in reality there is, it might not be the case. The other thing is is you said something very important in that is people buying their food at grocery stores that may have a host of chemicals, preservatives, additives, dyes, all sorts of different agents that really aren't part of our food cycle. What, what are some of the big things that you find that were causing problems before and that you switched? Like, so how did you do the substitute from say like, you know, protein bars and low fat stuff? Like what were you switching to? What kind of foods do you eat on a paleo diet? Because it's, I heard what you didn't eat. People are like, what do I ate? Sounds like I don't need anything.

Autumn Smith: Yeah. Oh gosh. I know and I'm sorry for focusing on that, but yeah, I was eating a lot of soy, a lot of soy milk, a lot of way. Not that I think the is problem for everybody, but a lot of those whey protein bars that I was buying had like a million ingredients and so what I did was just go, okay, you know, I'm going to be working out six hours a day. I'm going to have to think ahead, and so I started doing like deviled eggs and I started, that's why we made our beef stick because I as a fitness trainer needed a really high quality source of protein that could keep me going throughout the day that was fermented. It didn't have things like encapsulated citric acid, which we can get into later if you want to, but say maybe for breakfast I'll do like an omelet and maybe a side of an avocado. I have a daily green shake that I make because it literally turns my brain on. It makes me feel this sense of calm and wellbeing, but nothing else has. And it's nothing like I'm a ton of fruit. It's just greens, greens, greens. There's actually a study recently that anyone who will, the people in the study at least had one to two servings of leafy greens a day, had a brain that looked 11 years younger. So for me, my daily green shake, it's a staple. It's just happening.
Wade Lightheart: What do you put it? What do you put it? What do you put in it?
Autumn Smith: What do I put in my green shake? Yeah, I put in like spinach and kale and romaine. So romaines a great source of full light. Really, really important for our brain health. Okay. So probably that's like, you know, just like a handful of each of those. And then I'll put either like a handful of blueberries or a few strawberries and maybe you'll cut a little bit of lemon and then some coconut milk. And I blend that up. Maybe a high quality protein, maybe our bone broth, protein powder, maybe our super greens powder and maybe sometimes just nothing. Just the green shake. And it's really, really simple. Or sometimes if I'm feeling like I need a just a few spears of pineapple and it's just that simple.
Wade Lightheart: Now this is all organic foods too that you're choosing. Is that correct?
Autumn Smith: Absolutely. Yes. For so many reasons. The nutrient content is higher. What it's doing to our soil can be regenerative and of course we're avoiding the chemicals, the pesticides, all the things that we don't want to drink in a smoothie. So yes, definitely organic produce. And then at night I'll probably have like maybe some briskets and brussels sprouts are my absolute favorite food. I can put some grass fed butter in them because though it is not technically paleo, I've done the elimination. I know that that is a food that's okay with me. If you're having it done that elimination, something like gee would be great. Extra Virgin coconut oil would be awesome. Ukind of extra Virgin olive oil, any of those would be awesome. And then for dessert, I always have a dessert. It's usually like some sort of dark chocolate fat bomb that I'll make out of like coconut oil. And a high quality protein and maybe some almond butter and a little cacao, organic cacao.
Wade Lightheart: Amazing. Amazing. So what was the transition like? You know, coming from kind of the kind of chemical foods and these types of things and you know, pretty driven on a lot of those things are really hit the sweet factor.
Autumn Smith: It was tricky. I'm telling you at the beginning and that's why, you know, like I meet people where I am when they work with me or where they are and I used to buy like eat like three apples a day, like these huge apples just to get me over that hump because I did, I had a sweet tooth, everything I was eating, I knew that or I, you know, had that strong, very, very sweet taste. A lot of sugar. And so yeah, I just leaned heavily on fruit to get me there at first. Eventually I need, I realized I needed to actually was hitting the dried fruit pretty hard, but I don't recommend that because the blood sugar stuff. But yeah, I just, I use fruit for a long time and my husband and I actually had like cheat weekends, which wasn't ideal in the beginning where we just kind of ate whatever we wanted to. Got a little out of hand. But I'm telling you, once you do it for a little bit of time, you stop wanting those foods. You just do. I can seriously, I go to a birthday party and the cake, you know, sometimes I'll have it, but most of the time it doesn't even look good to me. So it happens even for the person who used to carry around six caramel apple suckers every day when she was in high school.
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, you bring up a good point there. I want to dive into that a little bit. And when you're talking about IBS and bloating and gas and things like that, oftentimes it's a disruption in the microbiome. Originally when we had a, you know, if I go to my mom's garden for example, you take a carrot out of the ground and you brush it a little dirt off and you eat it. And of course the dirt contained the microorganisms that are associated with that, that particular vegetable or plant. And today they, they, you know, they hyper sterilize everything. They wash everything off it, they use chlorinated water, they, you know, all these sorts of chemicals. So what's interesting is when people I find are, are having sugar cravings particularly, which is pretty common, people crave sugar. I'm, I'm one of those people. I like sweet things. Yeah. Did you do anything else besides just switching your diet to start adjusting your microbiome because when you eat, when you change your diet, you starve out the bad guys and start feeding the good guys. But did you do anything else in addition to that? Like was there anything that you had to focus on in that transition and then how long? Then the second question would be how long did you start to notice results and to really get to that optimal state when you switched over? Cause it's not just happens all in one day.
Autumn Smith: No, no, that's such a great question. Well what happened is I found out, well all signs point to candida for me, it's typically an issue I was dealing with and that's just an overgrowth of yeast. And so basically I had to work with a practitioner. I got my diet dialed in. I was still leaning heavily on the fruit. There still was some breakouts happening that I attribute to candida and then to a garlic sensitivity. But yeah, I had to work with some herbals. Basically I just did a gut healing protocol, took, you know, like three solid months and did some herbs, rotated them, brought in the probiotics and you know, use the, not prebiotics right away, but really high quality probiotic. Supported my gut just by drinking bone broth all the time or daily. But yeah, herbals, high quality, probiotics, bone broth, those all got me there too.
Autumn Smith: But I did eventually have to kind of cut back on the fruit even just to get me through. And I did that by using like Stevia. There's this awesome recipe. I don't know if you know Christa Orecchio from the Whole Journey. She's incredible. So her candida cleanse has this cashew cake batter recipe that tastes literally like cookie dough. And I've asked her before, she says it's cool that I share. I've tried to recreate something that tastes as sweet but doesn't have any sugar and I haven't been able to do it, which is why I just share her recipe. But I leaned heavily on that. You just make it and you can have it in the fridge and you just take a bite when you need to and then you move on with your day. And through that three month period and eliminating a lot of the sugar and the fruit in my diet I was able to kind of get rid of the candida and then my taste buds were, were truly recalibrated. And then I was able to kind of listen to, you know, my body wisdom rather than they can't do to screaming at me just wanting a bunch of fruit and fruit juice and all of this stuff.
Wade Lightheart: So you, you, you know, it was, it's so funny that you brought up, It's, it was about 90 days and I seen this across the board and we suggest when we, when we have people that want to correct their microbiome, I said usually it takes about three months. We've noticed to really get to that point where you're not having those breakouts or you're not having skin rash or whatever you're suffering from are those things. It takes that time because people have to realize it's, you know, your microbiome adjust to your diet and that first little while can be a little bit challenging for people. You go through some food cravings and it's kind of important to be kind of gentle with yourself. I love the fact that you weren't like hardcore militant beating yourself up. It was a gradual evolution. As it got better, then it became easier and easier to do. What other things do you think are important for people who are looking to move to a paleo diet? If they're coming from another diet that's not working for them, maybe they've been on keto or maybe they've been on vegetarian or maybe they've been standard American diet. What are the things that you've noticed in your work and with your company, with people changing over things that they should do and thing and miss and common mistakes that people make.
Autumn Smith: Okay, cool. And the second, I just want to add one thing from the last thing. So I had candida and often when you do you have something else too, and you've probably talked about this on your show, but I also had a parasite glass assist is harmonious and typically, yeah, you have candy that you have probably a parasite bacterial overgrowth. So it was more complicated than just the candida. Just wanted to add that.
Wade Lightheart: Well, good point. Just to just a little side note on that, I had a parasite that I picked up what I was in Indonesia that was like went up my spine and was eating my, I almost lost my eye. So yeah, I think a lot, this is an area that we made a parasite product. We have a parasite product called Parasite cleanse, but people don't understand how these parasites, there's a great book out there for people. They want to listen. It's called Parasite Rex and it's the most frightening book I've ever read. Then health ever. It's frightening. I'm going to be just straight up. It's terrifying when you read about these organisms, they are amazing. They like they, they shift and they couldn't take over the brains of people. They'll take over the brains of a rat so that the rat runs out in the field and the bird eats it and then the bird eats it and then it turns into something else and then the bird poops it out and it becomes something else and it's eaten by another thing and want like they take these, they totally transform and they can really interrupt your thinking, your mind, your health and everything.
Wade Lightheart: And so I think everybody should check for parasites because oftentimes when people are struggling, it's often a parasite. It's really good. That's really great to hear that you were able to take it out. Tell me more.
Autumn Smith: Okay. And, yeah, just to follow up on that too. And the thing that I realized in working with people and doing some gut protocols is that a lot of times people think it's about the parasite and yes, we need to eradicate the parasite. Well, we also need to look a step further and say like, why is your immune system depressed and why is it hospitable? A hospitable environment you have in there too. So yeah, and all dabbing your diet, dialing your lifestyle. That all plays a part in it. But there's like two things I love to tell people when they come to paleo and I think people miss often. And the first is that obviously we mentioned that before, quality is so, so important in terms of organic and grass fed, a hundred percent grass fed and pastured and you know, all of those nuances like starting, they're not just doing the whole foods.
Autumn Smith: If you can, I know start anywhere you can, but that is the, the goals that you can avoid, the pesticides and all the other things that really put a stress on our health. And speaking of the microbiome like pesticides, they recap the microbiome, our ability to activate and absorb vitamin D. It's just so quality is the first. The second is like you said, I see a lot of people saying, okay, well I'm not eating dairy, I'm not eating soy, I'm not eating gluten. But you need to focus that more on what you are eating and put nutrient density. Kind of like the center of your focus. And the way I like for people to do this because I honestly did the paleo diet for a number of years without really worrying about it and I was feeling much, much better. But it wasn't until I, have you heard of the app Cronometer?
Wade Lightheart: No. Tell me more about that.
Autumn Smith: Okay. It's so cool because you know my fitness pal, awesome stuff. Carbs, you know your proteins, your fat, your macros. But Cronometer also looks at your micronutrients, your vitamin A, your iron, you know, all of your micronutrients. But you're so point part in which basically run your metabolism and your immune system. They're everything. And unfortunately a lot of us aren't getting enough.
Wade Lightheart: I was going to say for those who want to find out if they have deficiencies, they can check out Episode 25 where I interviewed Dr. Paul Maximus who's an MD that I work with. And you can take what's called a SpectraCell test and it'll actually show you what key micronutrients and vitamins and minerals and things that you're missing in your diet and the impact of those things. So it's a great test. Your MD can issue it for you and it's a great way to find out because oftentimes people have all these nutritional deficiencies that are compromising them and making it hard to stay with any diet because their body is just craving, craving, craving and they can't get it.
Autumn Smith: Yeah, that's so important. I just did a SpectraCell and I am a seller, you know, I make Organs, I make an Organ Complex. I was deficient in vitamin A somehow. And liver is like the most nutrient dense source of vitamin A ever. And so yeah, I think that brings so much clarity to the situation and it is an investment but it's actually pretty accessible for most people. So you can start to just dialing it in by doing three days out of your life and chronometer three typical days. You don't want to do like a weekend day or like a day where you're not going to be eating what you're normally eating. You just record everything and it shows you kind of where those gaps are. And then if you're wondering, huh, like do my symptoms overlap with what those vitamins, you know, deficiencies would kind of promote.
Wade Lightheart: So can you can where, where would people find one of these? Cronometer.
Autumn Smith: It's You just create an account, type it in three days out of your life.
Wade Lightheart: That's beautiful. We're going to put notes on it here. We'll put it in the show notes because I think that's valuable because I have this whole, I'm on this whole campaign that the problem with our modern society was an incomplete definition of what food is. We've called food, protein, fats, carbohydrates, you know, in fiber basically. And there are a couple of macro minerals or whatever, but that's it. And you know, if you have a 300 pound football linemen in a 98 year old grandmother, it's going to have different nutrient requirements. The standard RDA just does not make sense. And most people don't get their standard RDA even. And that's just what prevents disease, not what keeps you biologically optimized.
Autumn Smith: That's exactly right. So when you're looking at that cronometer, even if you're like hitting all the benchmarks, you're still experiencing symptoms realize, yeah, this is an average. This is like an average that's based on, you know, not thriving, just being there, you know, just surviving. And so yeah, you still have to take that into account, but it often brings up some gaps in a way that I haven't seen any other software that's that accessible does. And so focusing on the nutrient density and it when it comes to mental health, just because I'm a super nerd about that. They did an analysis of the most nutrient dense foods for people who have anxiety, depression, nervousness, and it comes down to Organ needs of course goats, high quality like CIF sea vegetables and also wild fish. And then in the green category it's like romaine, it's all your leafy greens.
Autumn Smith: So what I do is just try and make sure I have high quality grass fed organ meats in my diet every week, at least some seafood. And then just leafy greens. Like I said, I do the one to two servings a day. So the nutrient density piece was huge for me because like I said, I'd make my fat bombs make my chocolate fat bombs and it's like, you know, like are you getting your vitamin A or are you getting your iodine? Are you getting your zinc? Maybe not. So that's the second thing. Then the last thing is I think paleo is awesome and I think like 80% of us, one out of every two or three is insulin resistant and so it is possible to still, you know, have unstable blood sugar and still make this situation worse if you're doing the super fruit smoothies and the dried fruits and the fruit, you know, fruit juice. And so just making sure that if you have symptoms of insulin resistance, like you're, you're carrying a little weight around here, you're fatigued, you're thirsty all the time, you urinate more frequently, you have high levels of triglycerides, things like that. Then maybe learning to stabilize your blood sugar in addition to the paleo diet in addition to whole foods, diet is a really big piece of the puzzle for a lot of people I work with.
Wade Lightheart: Yeah. Yeah. I'm for people who want to know the testing, again, I'll refer to Episode 25 it's called the HOMA IR which will measure your insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. It's a great test. You can find out where you're at about that. And you know, that's the beauty of testing is you get out of the realm of theories and opinions and you get into specifics about your own self, where you're at and what you need to do.
Autumn Smith: Exactly. And that's another thing I just want to add that your diet, your perfect diet might look different than your husband's perfect diet. Like when it comes to me, I have both genes for Alzheimer's. I have diabetes in my family, carbs for me in excess there, they're like poison. I can tell I get brain fog, I get moody, then I get tired. Whereas my husband, he just thrives on like tubers and fruits and like you can eat them all day and his body work looks good and mine does when I keep that in check and so it doesn't have to match everyone else's. I think that's it.
Wade Lightheart: Yeah. And I, I experienced the same thing. I, my blood sugar, like I always say I'm a carb a voir, but I don't necessarily recommend it for everybody because I have whatever for whatever reason, genetically. And epigenetic wise, I metabolize carbohydrates really easily and very well. And so, and that's, and that's the, that's one of the things that is why I have you here particularly is you know, my business partner is a keto guy that works for him. I'm a vegetarian, you're a paleo person, but we're all saying the same things. And that is you need to eat nutrient dense foods. You need to have organics, you need to get the chemicals, you got to take care of your microbiome, you need specific testings to find out your nutrient deficiencies, deficiencies. And you need an expert to help you guide along the way.
Wade Lightheart: And one of the things I think, and I'm on a mission to kind of eliminate this dietary tribalism that is emerged on the internet where everybody's at a war with each other and they don't realize that a rigid position is always a position of weakness. You don't know where you're going to be in five years or 10 years. And so by maintaining what I call diet flexibility and cognitive flexibility is that you're able to make those little adjustments as you go through. Life. Stress can be a big factor change in life, environmental toxins or you know, pollution. All kinds of things can interrupt. Hormonal changes, all these things can make dietary changes you know, on, you know, essential to, to make it a different stays in your life. And if you're locked into one type of thinking, I think it really sets a person up for some sort of disaster.
Autumn Smith: I think you're absolutely right. And I love that you're here to knock down that tribalism because me too, and when you look at the people who are eating vegetarian, vegan, even, you know, like you are keto, paleo, we have a lot more in common than we don't. It's like we all want to do right by our body. We're all coming from different places and we're all looking for our best option at this point in time. And I love that. Seasonality is something I bring into my practice too because people are expecting often that they're gonna get the diet, they're going to get the perfect diet and then they're just going to go on autopilot. And it's like there's no way to do that. Even in the summer I have more fruits and I'm a little bit better able to do that in the winter. I kind of hunker down. If I'm super stressed, I'm going to be eating, needing different nutrients. And so I think that the end of the day we need experts. Yeah. And then we also need to be really in tune with intuitive body wisdom that we will get when we get rid of any sort of like sugar addiction we're dealing with or kind of get a handle on our instant resistance. When that happens, we will find that voice inside of us that is the ultimate yellow brick road to wellness in my opinion.
Wade Lightheart: Well said. Very well said. Let me, let's talk a little bit about you and the typical person that comes to see you and then we'll get to Paleo Valley and what you're doing over there. So person comes to you, what type of person do you typically deal with who's maybe struggling with their health or struggling with their dietary practices? Who, who is the type of person that comes to you and then what do you do?
Autumn Smith: Yes, so unsurprisingly, I often attract people who have anxiety or depression and they want to kind of do as much as they can with food. And not that I think there's anything wrong with prescription meds. I think for some people that can work, I think diet can be an adjunctive therapy, but typically that's my population. And so what we do is we just do that cronometer exercise. That's where I start with everyone and we try and dial in their diet first. And I had this remarkable story about a man and he had anxiety every day and he couldn't, he had a knot in his stomach. It would just start at 4:00 PM you got so bad that he couldn't eat and then he'd have, you know, just bowel reactions and it wasn't, he couldn't put on any weight. And so all we did was dial in his nutrient density to begin.
Autumn Smith: And he realized that when he ate sardines at 2:00 PM, because sardines are like brain food he didn't get that not in his stomach anymore at four. And so it was just that simple tweak. It's pretty powerful right now and we're going to go on and we're going to do testing. So that worked really well, but he's still really wanting to gain more weight. Okay. And so, but he's feeling less anxious and so that's great. And sometimes it requires testing. So I did this FDN program, functional diagnostic nutrition. And essentially what we do is we use things like, you know, a SpectraCell or we use a hormone testing like the Dutch or the GI-Map, which is a stool test where you like look into your microbiome and see are you harboring PEs or pesticides? Probably bedside stupid parasites, bacterial overgrowth, candida, how's your immune system functioning? And then we get to the root of their problem because I'd love to start with food, but it doesn't always end there. It didn't end there for me. And for a lot of my clients there will be, you know, parasites, candida, things that are contributing to, you know, brain fog, anxiety, other things. So there's often not one thing you need to tweak. It's, it's so many different things.
Wade Lightheart: That's another thing I think is really important to people is we've got this kind of magic bullets thinking society. If I just do this one thing and the reality is is our dietary canal is extremely complex and there's a lot of different environments, whether it's the enzymatic component, whether it's hydrochloric acid, whether it's the microbiome, whether it's other, you know, viruses or parasites or other fungus's or these types of other entities that are living in this environment. And systematically taking them out does take a period of time because you know what, you didn't get here. You know, if you're on, you know, your 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years or however old you are, you got there because of your journey up to this point and you need to start changing the things. But you can't always change everything all at once. And it's, and it is a journey.
Autumn Smith: It is. And one thing I often see that I saw that you have a product and it addresses that is low levels of stomach acid because when you don't have the stomach acid, you're not only not absorbing the nutrients, but then the amino acids we need, there are building blocks for our neurotransmitters that's not happening. And so it can be something as simple as your stomach acid levels are just needing to address that. But yeah, there's so many layers and I think people shouldn't be frustrated by that. I, I am always encouraged because I thought I was feeling the best I'd ever felt after I got found paleo. And then the more I learned and the more I, you know, understand myself, it just, it just seems to get better and better. So every little piece is just like another awesome.
Wade Lightheart: I think that's, that's a great sign once you go through that transition pay period as, as you kind of what I say, you know, refine the nuances for your own individual lifestyle and genetics and epigenetics and stuff. It does, it continues to get better. And that's why I think some people are like, why are these health people so kind of freaky? I'm like, what's going on? And it's because you feel so good on a day to day basis and it becomes so interesting as you see the interactions, the different foods that your bodies are seasonal leading and things like that. And it just becomes, you get in tuned with this whole fascinating system that we've kind of like stepped away from in the modern world, that we're just not tuned into our bodies the same way that we could be.
Autumn Smith: Yeah. And it's so empowering as someone who went through the system and just felt like, okay, I need someone to fix me. No one is there. Something's wrong with me. And to now know, okay, you know, like food's not good or bad. Being paleo wasn't good. And you know, eating processed food isn't bad. It's just like food has consequences and all of a sudden I feel like I have some part of control in how I feel and it's just, it changed my whole life.
Wade Lightheart: Amazing. Yeah. Amazing. So let's talk, let's switch gears and let's talk about Paleo Valley and why what does the company all about? Why did you start Paleo Valley and, and who do you serve with? Paleo valley - I'd love, I'd love to know more about it.
Autumn Smith: Yeah. Okay. So we started it because like I said, I went on that tour with Jennifer Lopez and I was like on top of the world because right before I left I had found the paleo and it, my digestion, I didn't have to be embarrassed anymore, but as we traveled I was just like, what am I going to do? I had my husband mooning me in Paris. He brought over a suitcase of beef sticks that I were thought were really, really high quality beef sticks and they were grass fed even. So anyway, I continued to eat these and I still like suffered from this like stomach upset. And I was just like, what is up with that? So when I got back America, I kind of did some digging, looked really closely at the ingredients and I was like, what's this citric acid thing? Everything would clean except for that.
Autumn Smith: And then I found out, it's like you actually, it's like something that they don't have to write on the label. It's called encapsulated citric acid, where they take citric acid off and drive from GMO corn and then they coat it in hydrogenated oil and then let it melt into the product because it stabilizes it, it drops the pH and then it's preserved. And so when we found that out, we were like, well, we've got to do it better than that and we just need to make, that's where we're going to start because that's what I needed as a fitness trainer. And because doctor Felice Jacka found that red meat is actually one of the most protective foods against anxiety and depression in her research. So of course having that history, we were like, okay, the beef stick is our flagship product. It's going to be fermented because you know, it's going to take four times longer.
Autumn Smith: No manufacturers are going to want to do it, but I made like 200 calls and someone finally said yes. And so that's what we did. That's our first product. And and then we moved out from there. We just, what products do we need? When we had my son, it was like, what products does he need? And when I was pregnant, I nutrient density really got at the forefront of my mind. And I knew, okay, I need the B vitamins and I need all of these minerals. And so organ meats were the answer when I did my research and went through school, but I couldn't, I couldn't palate them. I just, I, my husband would try and sneak them into dishes. It wasn't happening, let's just say it. And so he, we put them in capsules, just grass fed and finished organ meats, which are the most nutrient dense source of vitamin A and B 12 on the planet.
Autumn Smith: And interestingly enough the 1934 Nobel peace prize winner and physiology was what's three physicians actually who cured anemia using beef liver. So we just know for fatigue and for, you know, supporting your body through pregnancy in any sort of like endurance athlete organs were really, really key for me. And so we made that and then we just kind of went off from there, like our vitamin C, I don't know if you've ever talked about this or a vitamin C for your brain. Your brain holds onto more vitamin C than any other organ in your body, and for me it was really, really helpful. It was another one of those pieces like got my diet dialed in. Then I said, okay, well what if I took more than the RDA recommends for me for vitamin C? And it's been really powerful, especially when I switched to a whole food version because 90% of vitamin C on the market is made from GMO corn and that's okay.
Autumn Smith: I think ascorbic acid has its time and place when you have a serious disease. Intravenous vitamin C couldn't be more grateful, but on a day to day basis, I noticed for me personally that I was feeling better when I had a vitamin C that just came from berries and amla berry and australian cherry. So we created that product. Then the skin connection came in the hydrochloric acid. I learned, okay, you know, this could be contributing to my skin issues that did linger beyond my digestive issues. Got really into stomach acid. One of the natural way to do it because I breastfed for a really long time. And so I just wanted to do things as naturally as possible. I first created an ignite tea that just had side of apple sider vinegar, tumeric, ginger, cayenne, just all of these really, really healing herbs that were going to improve my digestive fire.
Autumn Smith: And then I just, people didn't want to make it when I'd work with them. They were like, yeah, who has time to, you know, measure this license. And so we put that into a capsule, made my like ignite tea into something that people could take. And also had a dentist friend of mine reach out and tell me it's not great to tell people to drink apple cider vinegar because it could ruin their tooth enamel. So that was our solution. Or outside of it. Inner complex. We have a tumor complex, we have turkey sticks and we're coming out with our super food bars are gonna be back soon. People love our super food bars and we just had a problem with the quality control because we refuse to compromise. We're not going to take, you know, a cheaper ingredient or something that's not organic just to like ship the product.
Autumn Smith: And so what we had to do was open our own bar manufacturing facility, which we just finished and so there'll be back in the new year. But that was a really long process. And then most recently we started Wild pastures. I don't know if you want to hear about that or have us give us the whole nine yards cause there's going to be some paleo listeners that are going to be super pumped and excited to hear about these products. Okay, awesome. So wild pastures when we had Maverick and nutrient density really became an obsession of mine. We realize the FAO has told us we have 60 years of top soil left. And so that really concerned me because we're going to leave the next generation with a nutrient defeat depleted food supply if we don't intervene like yesterday. And so we were learning from farmers that we had the relationship with because of our grass fed beef sticks that even in grass fed there's nuances.
Autumn Smith: Okay. So you can have a grass fed cow that's continuous, that's using continuous grazing, which just means they're not moving them around from plots of land. When this happens, the grass gets degraded and it still damages the environment. Okay. Whereas on the other hand, there's regenerative agriculture where they move the cows from plot of land, from plot of land. Then they give the plots of land time to recover and research has shown that when you do this kind of agriculture, you can sequester carbon, which is great for the environment obviously and also builds the top soil, which means the nutrient density of our top soil comes back. You get that like rich chocolate cake kind of soil that we're missing. And so we knew, okay, the problem is people don't know where to find these regenerative agriculture. You know, like the people doing this and when they do find it, it's often very expensive.
Autumn Smith: And so we decided we wanted to make this our bigger mission. And so what we do is we partnered with those family farmers and we partner with them only in America because we know some meat delivery services do import. Most of them do. And I get that because the standards there sometimes have been higher. You know, historically we packed partner with American farmers and then we deliver it to people's doors for wholesale prices. We just made sure farmer's taken care of. We make sure that, you know, consumers have a price they can afford and we, we launched in Denver and two days shipping. They're out from there and now we're opening in January, a facility in Scottsdale, actually Phoenix. So then we'll have all of the West coast to the lower West coast. So you might be in there.
Wade Lightheart: Where do you and where do people find out about this? Like where we're going to go to find out if they want this service.
Autumn Smith: Yeah,
Wade Lightheart: We'll put that in the show notes. Everybody. Because you know, getting high quality food sources is really, really important to be successful in any dietary practice and what a great service that you're doing.
Autumn Smith: I know we're excited about it cause you get the highest quality of nurse, your family. But then also these regenerative farmers can count on the demand and they're working on our soil. And so it's just like, it's in every way. It's a win. So, and you can opt out of factory farming and give the animals a really great life.
Wade Lightheart: Well, you know, I always suggest to people, and it's like really the real vote in your life is not to a political party. The vote is worth your dollars. And when you support industries that regenerate the soil, that make high quality products or that produce high quality product like your company, then what you're doing is you're, you're supporting and sustaining not just yourself, but that company which also sustains and supports other people. And then that allows things to go. And I think a lot of people are looking outside of themselves to somebody who's going to fix this. Someone's gonna make a law or someone's gonna make a rule or they complain about this and they don't. And they don't realize that, you know, it's, it's really that simple. It's, you vote with your dollars, you spend a little bit of time, do your research, find the companies that actually are producing what you want and you buy the products from them. And nowadays with the internet you have far more choices than just wandering down to the local you know, factory farmed grocery store. Yeah know you, you choose one last thing I want you to talk about also is a farmer's markets and I'm a big proponent of farmer's markets. What's your whole story around farmer's markets? Why do you go, what, what's, what's the advantages of them and what, what's what's, tell me more about it.
Autumn Smith: Oh, I love it because I just love connecting people with their local producers. A and so, and also you're just connecting and reconnecting with culture. And so my favorite thing to do at farmer's market just to go and to look your producers in the eye and get to know them like, okay, are you doing things? Because a lot of times producers, if they're smaller, they might be doing things in an organic way, but they might not be able to afford the certification means maybe you can get a deal on some really awesome actually organic produce just by asking a few questions like, are you using pesticides? Are you using till like no-till isn't whole other thing. Are you using regenerative agriculture? And so when I lived in LA, I would go to the farmer's market and meet the farmers. And this one guy told me this really great thing because a lot of people are like, yeah, but how do you know if they're telling the truth?
Autumn Smith: And what he said to me is he said, go on Google earth, ask them where their farm is. Zoom on in, ask them about their practices and just check out if it aligns with what they're saying. And also just kind of like looking someone in the eye and getting to know them is huge. But what I think we even more important than that is like most of our food supply is in these hands of this mega producers. And not only are we missing out on our local producers, but we're increasing our carbon footprint because it's traveling so far. And I think we really need to get back to just like eating from our bioregion, eating locally and supporting those mom and pops who are doing the regenerative agriculture and they're making the transition. And so I think farmer's markets just allows us to do that in a way that's really, really cost effective and just feels good. There's that community. It's like, Hey, I know the person growing my food. That's something I've seen the effort they put into it, the heart that they have their family. I mean there's, there's something really special about that too.
Wade Lightheart: That's, that's beautiful. We're coming up on the hour. So what, are there any final things that you'd like to add to our listeners or things that you'd like to share or also, and then how do they reach you and how do they find out more about what you're doing and all the cool things that you're involved in?
Autumn Smith: Yeah. I think we did a good job. You asked great questions. I'm just happy to be here and I say if something I said made you happy or angered you or annoyed you, I'd like to hear from all of you anyway cause I'm always open to feedback. If there's something, a product that you're looking for that we don't offer right now, just reach out to me. You can always reach me at [email protected], we also have all the social media channels for Wild pastures and Palleo Valley on Facebook and Instagram. But yeah, if you want a direct line just [email protected] and I'll answer all your questions. We want to be really, really transparent. So even the hard questions, I say the hard questions, love the hard questions. Beautiful.
Wade Lightheart: Thank you so much for joining us today, Autumn. This is really great. I know there's going to be some converts to give a paleo a try and I highly encourage them to go out there and give it a shot and try some of the products for your company. If you're on paleo, you're doing that. You need to check out Paleo valley and what you guys are doing over there. I think it's really great. I love the fact that you're so hardcore on product quality and stuff. I'm, I'm in the same boat and I, I, I love that mindset. So thanks so much for joining us today on the Awesome Health Podcast show. For folks that have been listening, you can go through the show notes. You'll have all the links in here for utumn. Reach out to her find out about her products. Give them a shot. I think you're going to be very, very impressed and of course, make every day an awesome day. 
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