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043: Getting Healthy With The Keto Lifestyle and Jessica Tye

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There are many approaches to wellness, and today we are focusing on one practitioner’s journey of getting healthy with the keto lifestyle: Jessica Tye. Jessica is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, host of the wellness podcast, Keto Lifestyle, and a true farm girl. She is passionate about helping people achieve positive results through nutrition and creating wellness habits.

We begin by talking about the unhealthy diets of the 80s and what ultimately led Jessica to her current way of life. She initially was vegetarian and then went vegan, but after her 3rd child she couldn’t get back to herself. Her energy was gone, her cholesterol was high and she was borderline diabetic. She also had cystic acne and joint pain, two things she had been dealing with for quite a while.

Because her doctor wasn’t much help, she began researching on her own to find healthier alternatives for herself and her family. That led her to find the paleo diet and soon she began to feel better. But she still wasn’t 100% back to her normal self so her research continued, until she found the keto diet. And that discovery changed everything – the inflammation she felt was gone, her acne cleared up and she had her usual level of energy again.

Jessica is also quick to acknowledge each of us are individuals and we need to find what works best for our bodies. For some, that means keto. For others the paleo path is their ideal and for yet others a more vegetarian approach is healthiest.

Also on today’s Awesome Health Podcast, Jessica and I discuss the work she is most passionate about: helping women and helping families be their healthiest. For example, her kids take water to school and forgo the pasteurized milk given at the school’s lunch.
She also “keto-fied” a lot of recipes and created a cookbook (she even makes meatloaf with organ meat).

You can hear more about her family empire including the podcast she does and all the animals on their family farm! Join us on episode 43 of Awesome Health Podcast with Jessica Tye.

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript :

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, wherever you are. It's Wade T Lightheart from the Awesome Health Podcast and oh boy. We're excited today because we have Jessica Tye that's joining us on the podcast and Jessica is a pretty interesting lady because she's a certified nutritional therapy practitioner. She's host of the wellness podcast - Keto Lifestyle and a true farm girl. And she's joining us today from Cincinnati, Ohio. She's passionate about helping people achieve positive role in nutrition and creating wellness habits. And one of the things that she's specifically passionate about is showing how moms and families can move away from the USDA food guides and get back to basics with nutrient dense food and meals. She's been married since 1996 with her husband. She has five children and a barn yard full of animals. Holy cow! Everything from chickens to alpacas. She's joining us from her home today and she does a bunch of live classes, seminars. We're gonna talk about that in a little bit later. She speaks venues, talks about holistic wellness and more importantly, she's all about simplifying things. And how do you kind of make sense of all of this information? Where did I start? I've got, obviously you're running a farm here, you've got five kids, you look fantastic and you're still found time to share what you've discovered and your message in a simplified, easy way for people to take action with. Jessica, welcome to the show.
Jessica Tye: Thank you Wade. Wow. What an introduction. Yeah, I'm really happy to be here. Thanks for having me on.
Wade Lightheart: So I'm, I'm really excited about this today because I think there's so much information out there. There's great podcast, there's beautiful information. We're talking PhDs and masters of education. It's people that spent 30 years discovering this molecule or this particular nutrient that does that or all that stuff. But a lot of people today I think are struggling. They're out there in the world and they're going 'but Wade, I'm a mom. I've got kids to feed and soccer practice to go to and ballet and I've got to get lunches together. And then there's the PTA meeting and then I have a husband I gotta take care of and I have no idea how I can possibly get this thing. I heard saw this on Oprah. I saw this on dr Oz. I read a thing in News week and the news told me that everything I've read is all contradiction. Ah, what do I do?'
Jessica Tye: Yeah, that's man, I hear that exact same story pretty much all the time. And I was there. So I totally understand, especially from a mom's perspective, how we feel that way. You know, we hear all this information, we want to gather the information. A lot of the general public will get information from dr Oz or Oprah Winfrey, those types of shows. But then you have a whole other group of people that may be more like you or I that are just devouring information on podcasts and reading research papers and just trying to go through all this and somewhere in between there's probably all these other people that are just like, okay, I don't know that I would a hundred percent buy into what I'm hearing from these celebrity talk shows, but I also don't really have the time or the desire to sit and listen to all this biochemistry and I just don't care. Just tell me what to do and make it simple, make it easy, make it apply to my life. So I work really hard at trying to do that in my own life. And then I just try to share that with listeners and help them get a place to start.
Wade Lightheart: Well, before we get into the ins and outs of what you suggest or what you've learned, let's go a little bit into your backstory - how did you get to where you are today? How did you sort through the confusion and how did you manage to stay in and look fantastic. How did that happen with five kids in a farm? What happened here? How did this go? How did Jessica get started in this whole journey? Go back as far as you need to go. Because I think that backstory is really important for our listeners who might be listening today to find out how did you come to these things because everybody's in their own spar and in their own journey towards health. And I'd like to hear what that's all about.
Jessica Tye: Wow. I really could go on a bunch of different rabbit holes. When I get going on this, I'll just try to stay very focused. Basically you know, it's kind of the same old, same old probably that a lot of women our lives as young girls growing up and kind of what we view as the standard of beauty - the Barbie doll and all this kind of things. And so I definitely was not immune to that and I definitely grew up that, but I also had a wicked sweet tooth, so I wanted to just eat all the candy and all the whatever. But I still wanted to have this perfect ideal of, you know, what a beautiful girl should be. And so I kind of struggled with that most of my life. I was never overweight. I've always been tall and fit. It was pretty for me to maintain as I was younger. I just was one of those people, you know, everybody always told me, well, you're just blessed with a great metabolism, enjoy it while you can kind of thing. So I did. And I also bought very heavily into the low fat. You know, I grew up in the seventies and eighties.
Wade Lightheart: I was a card carrying VIP member of that group in the bodybuilding world was like fat was the enemy. I mean, I didn't eat butter I think for 12 years.
Jessica Tye: Oh yeah. Actually I might have you beat, I probably didn't eat butter for about 20-25.
Wade Lightheart: Oh, you totally crushed me.
Jessica Tye: Oh man. I mean I was convinced like I used to buy the I don't know if they still make this, but the spray butter that was - I put that on everything. Everything. I remember that. And I think it's like cold. There was like two different brands. I remember the color of the bottle was blue. I cannot remember what it was called though.
Wade Lightheart: No, neither I, isn't that funny. But it was like, it was like huge that spread fake butter.
Jessica Tye: Yes. It was everything to me. I remember I put it on everything cause of course butter tastes amazing, but I didn't think I could eat it. I thought I had to stay low fat. So this stuff is like, you know, it's just chemical. That's all it is. It's water and a bunch of chemicals and crazy.
Wade Lightheart: I already looked at that. That was like, that was like a health breakthrough technology.
Jessica Tye: I thought I was being healthy. I thought that was good. But I would just keep everything as low fat as possible. And so instead of eating Snickers bars, I would eat Twizzlers because of course that was better and that was healthier. And so, you know, so anyway, I went through my whole life pretty much doing that. Just really tried to stay away from the fat, thought that was the best thing to do. As a teenager decided that being a vegetarian would be the healthiest thing to do. That would be best for me. So I went that route for a while.
Wade Lightheart: But what age did you start to kind of dive into that kind of change? Cause I think I was looking at your site and I noticed that you've experimented with a lot of diets and I think that's great. Because I think a lot of people kind of get pigeonholed into a diet because so-and-so does it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's right for that person.
Jessica Tye: Well, the vegetarian diet that I did was not a good diet. I was in high school, so I was probably toward the end of high school, probably 17, 18, somewhere in there. Because that kinda carried on into my adult years. And then I ended up eventually becoming a vegan. But during that time it wasn't like I was doing things right or healthy or looking for nutrient content. Again, my mindset was not about, it was more focused on how can I stay looking as young and attractive and slender. And you know, those were the things in my head that were important. It wasn't so much about you know, I didn't have any ailments at the time. I was invincible, right? I'm so young and what do I need to worry about that stuff for? So if there was a way I could eat and live on donuts 24/7 and still stayed a certain size or, you know, whatever, I would've done that.
Wade Lightheart: You make a great point here and I think this is really common for women and it drives the fashion industry. It drives the cosmetic industry and it drives a lot of part of the fitness industry for women and this pressure to look a certain way which drives so many of the decisions. Can you speak a little bit about what that pressure feels like or how is it as a driving force? Cause I think it's something I want to put out on the table. You know, cause men have this - 'I need to be an athletic or I need to be a super intellectual', it's kind of the two ways that men define which later comes into earning power, which is kind of a dominant driver for men. But obviously this beauty thing for women. Can you talk about how that drove you?
Jessica Tye: Yeah. And I think just playing of what you just said about men, I think that was women. We struggle with that too, because if you're too pretty or you look too much like a Barbie doll, then you're probably dumb and you probably don't really have that much going on upstairs. So there's this right?
Wade Lightheart: Kind of like the bodybuilding muscle head. You have muscles, you're an idiot.
Jessica Tye: Right? And so I think sometimes, at least in the era that I grew up in, I feel like it was very much that you could be one or the other, but you really couldn't be both. So if you were focused on your looks then you don't need to be focused on your education or what you're going to do, just rely on your looks. Or at least that's kind of the background that I came from and I'm kind of feeling like that. And I tend to believe that I've always been a pretty intelligent person and pretty smart. And I enjoy learning and I'm always learning. I mean, I still am in my forties. I love to learn. I just still eat everything up. But I was so focused on the looks and being a certain size and that was like, you know, if you were a certain size and you looked a certain way, then that was success, then you had done it like you, that was like the epitome of being a woman and as beauty in a certain size and all this.
Jessica Tye: And I think that as women, as girls growing up, we see that over and over and over again in the media, whether it's music videos or which just happened to be very big in the 80s, you know? So we got that stuff from music videos and magazines, which I don't read a lot of magazines anymore, but again, in the eighties and nineties, that was huge. I mean, that told everything you needed to know about what you should look like, what you should buy, what you should wear, what you should eat. Everything.
Wade Lightheart: I remember that. Do you remember the unitards, all that stuff? Jane Fonda workout videos. I mean, she was the master, she was the master of the unitard and I always thought it was best. That whole kind of image was best summed up in the movie. The Devil Wears Prada where the lady, one of the people says, no, I'm on this new diet. I go and I don't eat until I almost pass out in the night. I eat a single cube of cheese. It was just - it's kind of an extreme version. It really illustrated some of that drive. People have to stay with the size regardless. And that's the outcome is anything. It has nothing to do with health.
Jessica Tye: Right. And I feel like that was, you know, whether or not it was just my perception or it was what was being put out there. Maybe other women of my age don't feel that was the way that they interpreted it. But to me it was like, okay, that was the most important thing. You were successful. You had reached some goal, if that's what you were very much like that movie. That was the goal. You had to fit that mold, you had to be that person. And so I mean in what woman doesn't like to feel, I think we're hardwired to want to feel beautiful. I mean that's femininity. That's, you know, we want to feel like that. So it drives you to do a lot of crazy things like restrict calories because again, we were told it's calories in, calories out.
Jessica Tye: So I was the girl that in addition to doing all these different types of diets that I thought would help me be able to control weight, I was also in the gym two, three hours a day doing, you know, all the things that they tell you is going to help you burn the most amount of calories fit, burn the most amount of calories. That's where you'd find me.
Wade Lightheart: What kind of exercise were you doing back then?
Jessica Tye: I did classes. I would do the kickboxing classes. I was a runner. I would get on the stair mill, not the StairMaster, but the stair mill. That was like the, you know, tread and I would be on that thing for 45 minutes. I would see people, there'd be two or three people get on the one next to me before my session was over. Like they would keep coming and going because I was like no, I'm going to burn, you know, however many get a hundred calories right now on this thing, I'd be dripping sweat.
Wade Lightheart: Yeah. I was a personal trainer back there and they would always have the row in the gym and there was like the cardio Queens that were just cranking out hour after hour on these machines, you know? And especially if they went out and went off their diet on the weekend, Monday, boy Monday couldn't get on one of those machines. Like it was almost a war and they'd put signs up. You can only be on for so long.
Jessica Tye: I ignored this. I would go to the spin class and spend for an hour and I would choose this one instructor. That was brutal. But you know, I would go and I would just kill it for an hour and spin class and then I would go out and get on that stair mill for 45 more minutes and kill it on that stair mill and then I would go hit some of the elliptical machines and then be done. So, you know, I had a goal, it was pretty much like burn all the calories for my entire day in the gym that I could and then go and any as little as possible, as little fat as possible.
 Wade Lightheart: Right. Cause you'we doing this as a vegetarian at this point?
Jessica Tye: I was a vegetarian at that. Yeah.
Wade Lightheart: Was there any strategy around a vegetarian or just like, I'm just not eating meat?
Jessica Tye: I'm just not eating meat. And so it was terrible Wade. I would eat like every packaged, you know, it wasn't like I was looking for nutrient dense, good food. I was like, okay, what is the quickest way that I can eat food with the least amount of calories and fat? Because, you know, I don't want the fat. So I thought, well, the best way to leave the fat behind is don't eat the animal products. And so without realizing that I was just eating a bunch of chemicals and a ton of carbs and it was not a good, it wasn't a good solution for me. My body did not like it.
Wade Lightheart: So what happened? So what made you go 'Oh, this isn't working'? Like what, how?
Jessica Tye: Well, there were a bunch of things which we'll skip over, but basically the kind of the catalyst for me. So I ended up being, becoming vegan and I drug my poor family. By this time I had a family.
Wade Lightheart: So you got married?
Jessica Tye: Between actually vegetarian and vegan there was a period of time where I did go back to eating meat and having babies. And then I felt like after my third child, I just couldn't get back to myself, my body. I just didn't feel, I still had a little bit of weight to lose. But it was more than that as any woman who's had children knows it changes your body and not just the weight that you gain or don't lose or you know, whatever. It's just the whole, just your whole body changes.
Wade Lightheart: I want to segue into that for a second because it reminds me of years and years ago when I was a personal trainer, I trained a lot of high performance women. And what was interesting is there was a percentage of women that would, you know, a prop boat 80% could get back after one and about 60 would get back after two. But after three, there was a major drop-off for women. And I have a theory that a women give up a lot of the essential nutrients and enzymes and these things in order to produce the new child. And there's a massive metabolic and nutrient cost for women. And if they don't address those, it oftentimes becomes very difficult for them to get into shape. So it's interesting that you said that, cause I've seen this like over and over and over and over again. That third one seems to be the one that's like the tipping point and then you went on, but that didn't stop you. You just said no, I'm going to knock out five.
Jessica Tye: Well, so actually my last two though are not bio kiddos both adopted. So I have three bio's and two adopted. But after, I think you're right on, Wade, I think that's a great point because my third pregnancy and third delivery was also really, really hard and you know, was basically told, don't try this again, like you're done. And I was, you know, fairly young at the time. In my thirties, and really thought I can't have another, you know, like I can't, I cannot physically produce another baby. But my diet was crap. You know, all it was to me like I was saying about body image and weight control and all this stuff. And by this time I also had a lot of different ailments.
Jessica Tye: I had hip issues and knee issues and was told that I had potentially the hip issues I were going to move into bursitis. And once I had bursitis, you know, I was in trouble. I was a runner and I also played sand volleyball very competitively. My husband and I played for about 20-25 years and competitive. And I was told by my physical therapist at the time that the running and sand volleyball were the two worst things I could do. And I needed to get off the court because I had really bad hip flexor issues and that was, you know, leading to those problems. And that was it. So to me, the running and the volleyball is what did that to my body. And I thought, Oh my gosh, here I am in my thirties, and I can't do those things anymore.
Jessica Tye: This is terrible. It was so bad that at night I would toss, I would have to turn from side to side about every 15 to 20 minutes because my hips would start going numb and it was just a horrible feeling. You just can't sleep like that. And it eventually worked down in my knees. I ended up with plantar fasciitis and my feet. So it was really terrible all the way around, but then I was feeling like just really depressed all the time and tired and just not like myself. I've always been, I had a ton of energy, always, I'm one of those people that I cannot sit and just watch a show. I can't sit for half hour, hour long for anything. I'm always up doing things and that was gone.
Jessica Tye: I just wanted to pretty much sit around. And so I went to my OB/GYN to do an annual checkup and I said to her - something's really wrong. I think you need to do some blood tests or something. I need to check some things. And so among a bunch of other things, two of the things that she told me in that when we got my blood results back were that my cholesterol was high. Now mind you at the time, I'm a vegan, right? So my cholesterol was white and I was like, wait a minute. Like I don't even eat cholesterol. My limited understanding at that time was if I'm not eating the fat and I'm not eating the cholesterol, then how could I possibly have high cholesterol? And obviously I'm not going to get fat because I'm not eating the fat.
Jessica Tye: And then also that I was a borderline diabetic type two diabetic. And that my vitamin D levels were like nil. I mean I was put on a super high dose of vitamin D at that time. So I just left that off and I told her in the chair, I sat right there and I said - how is this impossible? Like I'm vegan, I am doing everything. I'm eating the perfect diet. I'm avoiding all the things that would cause these things to happen. How is this even possible? And of course, you know, she didn't have any answers for me at all.
Wade Lightheart: Doctors, most of them, they only have three hours of nutrition training based on like USDA and RDA and things that are outdated, 67 years that were developed primarily for lobbyist groups who are trying to get their foods implemented into a federally regulated diet, which if you look at anybody that's on the high performance side, on the fitness side, on the athletic, like none of them go by that information. Just forget it. It's like it's not going to get you anywhere.
Jessica Tye: And basically I really think in that meeting, you know, looking back at it now, at the time I knew what I was doing and I was just so sure that this was just so wrong and I couldn't figure out what was wrong, like how this can be. But thinking back at it, the look that she gave me, I now realize was like unbelief. She did not believe me. She thought I'm sure that I was like a closetyou know, eating 4 McDonald's burgers a day type. I mean, I know that now looking back. But basically I was just given the advice to try harder and exercise more and take the vitamin D and and ice your hips. Like you just need to ice your hips every night. So that was depressing.
Wade Lightheart: On top of the depression, I think I'll add some more depression.
Jessica Tye: Seriously. This is the advice, what am I supposed to do with this? But that was kind of the catalyst for me that sprung into my life. Me going down the road of starting to research this stuff myself really looking into nutrition, I'm just starting to want to understand it better because I knew what I was doing and I knew that what she was telling me was not lining up with what we've been told. And I just thought, this isn't right. This just doesn't even make any sense to me. And during this whole time, wait another part for any women listening, well, I mean men too, but women especially, kind of back to the whole beauty thing, my entire life I struggled with acne, cystic acne.
Wade Lightheart: Can you explain to people what cystic acne is?
Jessica Tye: So cystic acne is where you will get like I don't want to say eruptions probably isn't the right word, but you will get like bumps, acne under the skin that you can feel and you know that there's something there. But oftentimes it won't go away. It'll stay there for a long period of time or they get huge, like you'll have large cysts basically all over your skin and you can get them on your face, your back, your arms, like whatever, wherever you get them. And I didn't have it a lot as a teenager, when you would think, you know, that hormones would cause that stuff to happen as a teenager when a lot of people are getting acne. It was actually more in my adult life and more as I was having children. And I also had brown spots which some people refer to as the mask of pregnancy. So I had those again, after every pregnancy they got worse and so I had that stuff going on. So never linked that ever. And nor did the dermatologists that I saw any kind of any way I was eating or my lifestyle. But I was put on Doxycycline which is an antibiotic for about three years.
Wade Lightheart: Wow. That's a pretty serious antibiotic as well, with a lot of complex cautions that can arise out of that.
Jessica Tye: Which is actually why I quit taking it, but not because I didn't understand what it was doing to my gut and I didn't understand what it was doing to my overall health, but some of those side effects or why I was like, you know what, I don't think I can stay on this anymore. And to be honest, it didn't clear it up. It only helped a little bit and helped for a little while. So I was having at the time, didn't put it together, but kind of a lot of gastrointestinal pain at my abdomen, stomach, bloating, those types of things. And the dermatologist said, well I don't know. It could be part, it could have something to do with that. It might not have anything to do with that. Well, you can just come off it if you want and we'll see. And I actually kind of slowly came off of it. And I don't know if that's, you know, if people that are on it for that length of time, if that's a protocol.
Wade Lightheart: We're not giving you medical advice, but you do run a long term antibiotic. It the detriment to your microbiome and your gut health is sincere, which will virtually impair every single function inside of you over time. Continue on please.
Jessica Tye: So that went on, that was also happening kind of simultaneously as all this stuff is going. And again, it was kind of all just in pursuit of vanity and trying to look and be a certain way until it wasn't until it became like I'm depressed and everything hurts and I'm 30 something years old and my joints are hurting and I'm told I can't even do these physical activities anymore that I love to do. And there was just this turning point. I started doing a lot of research, started looking into it, started making a healthier choices, decided what I needed, I discovered the paleo diet at that time I was like, you know what, okay, I'm going to give this a shot. This makes a lot of sense. This sounds good to me. And so that was like the first time ever in my whole life that I looked at sugar and thought maybe I need to not be eating as much sugar, have a donut by over six times a week. Like I mean literally it was just up until that point it was like I'll just eat what I want to eat and sugar happens to be my favorite thing and then I'll go to the gym.
Wade Lightheart: Got it. Great. So you went into paleo.
Jessica Tye: Yeah, so I did that for a while.
Wade Lightheart: And your results when you switched over?
Jessica Tye: I started feeling so much better. At the same time though, I was on this high dose vitamin D. I don't remember exactly how many I used, I was taking at the time, but I was doing that. And I also started researching just in general other things. I started realizing that my sleep was really important. You know, I was always classified myself as a night owl, so I always wanted to stay up late and I didn't want to get up early. You know, I would want to sleep as long as I could. I was the girl that hit the alarm 15 times before I would actually get up. I would hit the snooze and my husband would be like 'Oh my gosh, just set your alarm for when you're going to get up. You're making me crazy.' So, you know, I had a lot of other things in my life that I needed to get under control. So I started learning about some of those other things. One of the biggest things that I noticed as soon as I switched to paleo was that the pain, now I didn't link the two at the time, but I did later. The pain that I was experiencing in my joints started to lessen.
Wade Lightheart: Isn't that amazing? It's incredible how oftentimes chronic pain I always say pain is a message from the body, say, Hey, pay attention to something. And it's unfortunate we don't, we want to mask pain oftentimes, but it's just a message from the body, a heightened sense of awareness to pay attention to something. And then so often I've heard this over and over and over, when people make a change in their diet and suddenly pain goes away. They're like, well, food causes pain.
Jessica Tye: And I still, I did still have pain. I don't want to make it sound like that was like all but I started feeling a little bit better. I didn't have to toss and turn as much at night. I was sleeping a little bit better. I started trying to come up with better sleep habits, those types of things.
Wade Lightheart: Inflammation really is, you know, less inflammatory foods and the inflammation starts to diminish.
Jessica Tye: And when you eliminate sugar, which I, at that point, the only sugar that I was eating was anything that was paleo, you know. Which is like the honey and coconut sugar and stuff like that.
Wade Lightheart: I love what you're explaining here because you're sharing and this is really important for people to who are listening is almost everybody I know that's in this industry, they go through their own diet, evolution. And I think it's important for people to not get too rigid in any single diet philosophy to go through the natural evolution and be open and experiment and try things. And it looks like you've really embraced that. And I think that's a great message for people to listen and hear till you kind of get to your optimal state. I'm fascinated with the story. So your paleo inflammation was going down and then what happened?
Jessica Tye: Yes, going down. And actually the acne started getting better. You know, I would, generally I would probably have four or five cystic breakouts here or there. Now I would maybe only two or three. And so I kind of started thinking, you know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm not eating as much sugar. Could that be possible? Or that I'm you know, I was doing paleo, but I had pretty much not completely eliminated dairy, but as I know some paleo say yes to dairy, something, you know, I was pretty much on the wall. I'm not going to eat, drink the dairy or anything anymore. And so I thought, well, maybe that was it. You know, just kind of continuing down that road.
Jessica Tye: And I eventually came across keto, the ketogenic diet. And I thought, you know what, I learned so much about it and I was listening to podcast and I just took it all in for months before I ever did anything about it. Cause I thought like many people think - I could never do this. This sounds so restrictive. You know, I'm paleo but I can still eat. You know, certain things that I didn't want to give up, like breads and things like that. And the high fat - you know, I was terrified. A fat still right. A there was still, I felt like I was just kind of stalled with this paleo thing. I just felt like this was not there, wasn't right. I still wasn't feeling optimal. So I started through a different series of events. I ended up starting the ketogenic diet and oh my gosh, Wade, it was days, absolutely zero hip pain, zero knee pain. My skin started clearing up. My acne issues has never come back. I've been ketogenic now for three years and I mean my skin is better now in my forties than it was in my twenties or thirties by far.
Wade Lightheart: Wow, that's amazing. You know, my business partner, co-founder of BiOptimizers Matt is a ketogenic guy. He's been doing keto for 20 plus years, if you can imagine. And one of the common elements that I've found for people who really respond well with keto is people who had a high sugar consumption as early in their life, almost across the board. People that were addicted to sugar. And I have a theory, it's not a proven theory, but I have a theory that amylase is the carbohydrate is the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. Proteases, protein lipase is fat. And what's interesting is a lot of people who ate a high sugar diet, I believe, start to blow out their carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes. And when they switch to a ketogenic diet, they seem to have a much better result. Same thing I find with a lot of people that ate a lot of high protein as kids, which I wasn't one of those people that we didn't have protein with every meal like five times a day is later on.
Wade Lightheart: As I got older, I did better on a plant based diet without meat. So I think that, you know, how I metabolize and digest protein was altered. And so I have these kind of theories that I'm working on and seeing it, but it doesn't surprise me. And for those of you who are listening out there, who haven't tried keto and have struggled with a lot of things that you're taught to give it a shot, you know, stay flexible, don't be rigid. Just because keto is not good for your friend or for someone that tried, it doesn't mean it's not good for you or vice versa. I think it's important to stay flexible.
Jessica Tye: Well, and I also would add to that, that it's also important to stay flexible in your own way, the way that you're eating anyway. So I have a podcast called Keto Lifestyle and,you know, I'm that Keto Blonde and social media. So obviously I have a tie to keto, but you know, when I'm talking with people, I don't identify myself as keto. I just eat the way I eat and I prefer, I know I feel better if I eat higher fat. I keep my carbs pretty low pretty much all the time and I just stay away from sugar.
Wade Lightheart: Funny you should say that you don't identify that to, cause our people want to kind of pigeonhole me as a vegetarian and I can't stand that label because it's like, okay, well I don't need flash or whatever, but I don't like to label myself because I don't want to get identified with a specific type of diet. I want to be identified with what's healthy for me at any given time.
Jessica Tye: Well, yeah. And then if somebody thinks that you're keto or you know, vegetarian or whatever it is, then that must mean that that's what you think is best for everybody. And if they're not doing that, then you're disapproving.
Wade Lightheart: Correct. That's the other thing, this whole concept of judgment and perception of what tribe do you fit in. And I remember years ago, I was in the raw food movement and this is kind of classic I did raw food for two years and you'd go to these raw food festivals and people would look at you with this kind of glaze, look in their eyes and be like, what percentage of raw are you, it's like, 'Oh no, I'm a 98% raw'. Sorry, you're not a purist. You're out, you know, this type of stuff. It can get really cultish with these groups and people identify with that and maybe cause they did produce great results out of that. And I understand that and they think that, well, everybody should be doing this and, and, and that's not necessarily the case.
Jessica Tye: I agree. And I do believe, you know, as a nutritionist, I do believe that for the most part, pretty much everyone that I have ever worked with is really going to do better lower carb and, obviously, staying away from sugar as much as possible, but lower carb eating a whole foods based diet, whether that is, whether you're eating animals or whether you're eating plants, just whole foods based and getting the proper amount of healthy fats because you need to fuel your body and if you're keeping the carbs low and you're not eating the carbs, then you have to have another fuel source. So it's one of the other, and I just believe for the majority of people that main fuel source you need to be working on is fat. And really it comes down to, you know, I think the ideal situation for everybody, the goal should be metabolic flexibility anyway.
Jessica Tye: It's like, you know, we were never meant to just run on one fuel source anyway. I do believe that fat was probably the primary fuel source we're supposed to run on and we just have really got it screwed up. You know, we need to flip that whole food pyramid upside down. Butyou know, if we could get that right, I think for the majority of people our cells need the fat. We need the cholesterol, we need the protein, we don't need the carbohydrates. And I think if people can figure that out and start getting that right cell start functioning better, you know, your hormones start functioning better. Everything has better building blocks. You start feeling better. I mean, I know 100%. That's why my inflammation went away. It's amazing what your body can do if you just put the right stuff in it.
Wade Lightheart: You know, that you said something really great and that your body always wants to work perfectly if you feed it the right things or if you do the right things, you create the environment both internally and externally that supports what it's doing. And everything that's going on in your life is feedback. And it's not bad. It's not good. It's just feedback. And if you can strip away the emotions and say, well, you know, kind of do a dr Phil on yourself as like, well, how's that working for you lately? Wait, you know, and if it's not working, you know, go out and get that expertise, get some insight and run an experiment. And over time with a little bit of effort and a little bit of guidance people can figure this out. But again, it's that people getting super identified with something.
Wade Lightheart: I think that's the thing and all the judgements that come about it for themselves or other people or these labels and stuff I think really hold people back from kind of opening up and saying, 'Hey, let me try this experiment, see how it works for me'. So let's talk about now. So you've kind of got this, the three years you've got the farm, the kids and everything out and now you're on a mission. It seems to share all this information that you've gathered over decades and all these experiences. And I think what's beautiful about your story is that you've done what I call the three great movements in dietary philosophy. And I call them paleo vegetarian or plant based and keto. And you know, I always, I have a philosophy, I have a belief that there's a bell curve of where people fit on that, you know, what happens is we always hear about the best parts of the bell curve on any given day.
Wade Lightheart: The people that cured cancer and overcame disease, whatever worked those are the people that, you know, the quote unquote experts advocate is how this works. And then the haters are the people on the bottom end of the bell curve that it was just a total wrong diet for them. They almost died and got, you know, arthritis and all this sort of stuff. And then that's why they jump on the bell curve. That's whatever. And so there's a perception out there that we just tend to ignore everything that conflicts with our own biases. And then we cite these statistical studies and then there's a research program put up that's been sponsored by some food company or some advocate. And so what happens is people are lost but you know, so and so the new England journal of medicine said that I should be a vegetarian.
Wade Lightheart: But then it's like, well no, you know, the Harvard MD says that I should be paleo. And then, you know the latest experts from longevity that came out on Joe Rogan said that you need to be on a ketogenic diet. I looked on D'Agostino or something what the Navy seals are doing. So very astute, educated people who have a great argument, have statistical facts to bring them up. Brings us to this moment of like, who do I listen to? Because obviously these people have more authority than I do. 'Oh, I don't know what to do'. So how are you solving that for people, Jessica, cause I love your messaging.
Jessica Tye: Well, I think this is kind of one of those moments, Wade, where I just want to tell people like don't listen to anybody else. I'm listening to podcasts, which I hate to say that cause I'm a podcaster, but yeah.
Wade Lightheart: So Susan Powter, stop the insanity.
Jessica Tye: Right? Like listening to all these talking heads everywhere that are telling you do it this way or do it that way or do you know, like if anybody was watching my journey as a vegetarian, they'd be like, 'Oh my gosh, that was the worst thing you could do or is a vegan'. But it's because the way I did it, I did it horribly. I mean it was terrible because of the way I approached that. So I think it comes back to the fact you need to do what works for you, what you get a little bit intuitive about, you know, what you're doing working and going back to the doctor, right? Like how's that working for you? Don't worry about how it's working for your neighbor and don't put so much stock into, you know, why do we need a study for everything - I really need an answer to this question.
Jessica Tye: Like why does there have to be it, how about the study of our human existence and what we've eaten for the entire time we've been on this planet? It's just real food. If you can grow it, raise it and eat it, then eat it. But if it comes in a box on a store shelf and has anything more than one or two ingredients - don't eat it. Like really we can keep it that simple. It can be that simple. So I feel like we need to just stop complicating everything. You don't need to label yourself as any just as any particular thing. I mean, there are days that that I don't eat any meat. There are days that my plate might be like last night my husband and I, we had a long day and I'm trying to feed all these kids and I'm like, what do you want me to do?
Jessica Tye: So I stopped at the store, grabbed some grass fed steak and we just grilled out some steak and I had some crab meat that I saute it up in some butter and I put that on my steak. So my dinner was a steak with crab meat and butter. Like that was it. So, you know, does that make me carnival now? Because that one meal was carnival or you know, yesterday when I sat down and had a big, huge gigantic salad and all I had was vegetables. I didn't have any animal products. So that was it - was I vegetarian yesterday because that's? I don't know. I'm just eating real food and I'm eating what my body is asking me to eat. What sounded good to me. So I'm assuming that, okay, I probably need those nutrients in that food right now. I probably needed that fiber last night.
Jessica Tye: I was just famished and I just wanted some fat and some protein. So that's what I ate. So I think we just try to focus on, just keeping it a little simpler and just eating real food. I'm mean really, I think it just comes down. It sounds almost too simple. And I also want to add this way because I think mindset is a really big part about of this. And I know a lot of people talk mindset and you know, it's like, 'Oh, it's like the new buzz word, mindset, mindset'. And it tends to people, you know, a lot of people will be like, 'Oh, this woo stuff'. I don't need to hear about it. But I really think that we need to be very, very cognizant of how we feel about ourselves and about the food that we're eating.
Jessica Tye: So if eating is always a stressful situation for you and you're always worried about talking about the labels, 'Oh my gosh, but I'm keto, I can't eat that'. Or, 'Oh my gosh, paleo, I can't eat that'. Or 'Oh my gosh, but I'm vegetarian or I want to be vegetarian and I can't eat that'. That produces cortisol that yes, that is a very stressful state to live in all the time. Your body is going to treat that the same way as it would treat you running from a tiger. You know that it's the same. It's the same chemical messaging. It's the same hormonal messaging. We have to stop that. We have enough of that kind of stuff all day long, all the time that we maybe cannot control traffic and things like this in our life that are just normal everyday things.
Jessica Tye: But the way that we think about our food is something that we don't have to stress about it. So I feel like just I want people to try not stress so much about what they're eating. Just try to focus on keeping it simple and just, if your body is asking you for something now, if it's asking you for a donut, maybe say no. But if it's asking you for some real food, try going with that and then think about how it's nourishing your body. I mean, that sounds kind of silly, but really think about what you're eating and what it's doing for your body when you eat the fat, how it is lubricating your joints and it's building these awesome cell membranes and the collagen that's gonna give you good healthy skin and nails and hair and keep you looking young, or the the minerals and the vitamins that are in these different foods that you're eating and,you know, the minerals that are in the vegetables that you're eating that your body needs. And just really trying to focus on those things and less about 'Oh my gosh, am I being bad or am I being good and what I need?'.
Wade Lightheart: Right. That's a really great point. So I know that you help a lot of people. You have a podcast, you have some recipe books and these types of things. Who is the type of person that kind of comes to you? What's their generalized challenges that they have and then how do you go about helping them correct them?
Jessica Tye: So I would say, you know, the people that I see the most are probably moms. Definitely women or who come to me the most, but a lot of moms that are really just struggling through how to navigate all this. You know, we send our kids to school. If you send your kids to school then they go to school and 'Oh my gosh, these school menus are atrocious'.
Wade Lightheart: Yeah, I know. Where's the science behind? I always love this about hospitals and schools. We will talk about, you know, a better education, higher education, you're getting their education and they talk about you know, health care, but I'm like, where is the science and hospital food and where is the science in a child's cafeteria? And if we can't address basic dietary habits that are going to support growing kids and help them develop mentally, I mean the reality is as a mom or dad, we have to take control of that environment because if we left to the powers that be, I'm sorry, our kids are not going to do that.
Jessica Tye: And it just as a really quick little aside here the powers that be you know, it's not a conspiracy theory, but if you're listening, the powers that be are the corporations, they are big food. They are big pharma. They do drive those situations, and if you don't believe that, then here's a quick little story for you at my kid's school. Not the one they go to now actually, but one that we were. And so if anybody's listening and they know me, they're like, 'Oh my gosh, they not the school they go to now'. But I'm sure this happens at schools all over the country. My kids no longer drink homogenized, pasteurized milk. If they want to drink milk, they drink raw milk. Well, I shouldn't say none of my kids. I do have a couple of teenagers and that drive and so they do what they want to do.
Jessica Tye: But in general they don't drink regular milk. And actually my 16 year old son switched over to almond milk because he was having issues with skin and stuff like that. And so he realized what this pasteurized milk was doing him. But okay. But that's a rabbit hole. They're going down a different trail. But this school Mike, so my kids don't drink milk and they were offered with their lunch that they buy at school. They can get chocolate milk, strawberry milk or white milk. But no other options. That was their options for drink. So they also sell bottled waters, but they had to purchase a bottled water outside of the lunch because the milks are subsidized. That is, they're expected to drink that milk. And when my little girl said, well, I don't drink milk, I would like to just have a water. And the cafeteria lady said, well, why don't you drink milk? Because that's what gives you good, strong bones and you need to be drinking milk. And would not let her get the water.
Jessica Tye: The only reason I'm saying that is just to help parents understand that is where they're getting their education and where you know, where they're being told these cafeteria workers and the people that are in food services at schools or in hospitals or whatever else, they're getting this information and this education from these corporations who fund everything. So you know, they don't, they're only doing what they're being told, but if we just leave it up to the schools and we think our kids getting a good, healthy, nutritious meal and we just send them out the door if you really look into it, you'll realize that that is actually not true. And they are basically just hyped up on sugar all day. It's pretty much all that these meals provide. So started packing of course to avoid that.
Jessica Tye: You can just pack your kids a water. So now they have their own water bottles, they refill them every day and take them. So talking to parents and moms in general, a lot of moms come to me and just say, how do I do this? I just want to do better and I don't know, you know, as a nutritional therapist that is the heart of what I do is just trying to help people figure out how to navigate this without making it so complicated and what would be the best way for us to do that. So it's a lot of like helping moms figure out how to make meals without making it so complicated or feeling like they have to change everything.
Jessica Tye: One of the things I did is I put together a little recipe collection book and it's low carb and keto, but they're all recipes that my family has enjoyed for years, but they're my ketofied version basically. So it'll, you know, it's just like normal foods that we would eat or like a meatloaf that I sneak you know, some organ meat into that type of thing. And the kids, it's their favorite meatloaf they've ever had in their whole life and they have no idea that they're eating liver or heart or, you know, so it's like little tips like that trying to help moms, trying to help them learn how to pack lunches for their kids and it doesn't have to be so complicated. I don't have time. I mean, I'm up at six, right about 6am in the morning and I've got five kids that are going out the door, like stair-step all morning long.
Jessica Tye: And I'm making them breakfast every morning and make them eggs and bacon every morning. I'm packing their lunch every morning, all five of them. But it's not because I'm some super woman. It just doesn't have to be complicated. There are steps that you can take, there are things you can do to help make it easy. So I try to share those tips, like through my social media and things like that, through classes that I teach, I'm just giving people the way to make it not so hard or feel like they can never get started because it just seems, you know, unsurmountable like I just, I'll never be able to do that. Or she can do that because she must have some secret special thing going on that I don't know about, but I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm here to tell you that we all can do it. I can do it. Anybody can do it. I'm taking care of 84 animals and five children and a husband and I work full time.
Wade Lightheart: Wow. That's incredible.
Jessica Tye: So not to say that, you know, like there are still things I struggle with, but I have definitely learned through this process that just really, keep it simple. I mean, that is really the truth. You just have to keep things simple. Don't complicate it all.
Wade Lightheart: I love it. Jessica, can you let our listeners know where they can reach out to you? How can they can find out about what you're doing and we go to a podcast, you've got your kind of keto recipe book, simple format. So if you ladies out there listening and you're out there want to get in contact with Jessica - can you give us those websites? We can put them in the show notes.
Jessica Tye: Yeah, absolutely. So the easiest place to find me as probably my website says links to everything and that is So super easy. You can go there. I do have some online classes that you can take at your leisure. You can download those. I do have the recipe book that you can download PDF version of that on there. There are a couple of little free things on there. I think there's a free guide to seven day guide to becoming keto, starting your keto lifestyle, that kind of thing. I do have some upcoming events and things on that you can get more information on about, they get posted on social media. I'm on Facebook at Jessicatyenutrition and so it's Let's see, Instagram is @thatketoblond and I think that's pretty much it.
Wade Lightheart: Great job, Jessica. This has been a wonderful interview and I think it's really powerful. First off, five kids and do you say 94 animals? 84, 84 animals, five kids and a husband and an amazing journey from a dougnut eating sugar volleyball player to running essentially a family empire here. And you know, learning and what's beautiful is that you're helping other people kind of sort out all this stuff. So for everyone listening check out those things. Facebook, Jessicatyenutrition, and instagram @thatketoblond, you can reach out, get the diet book, check her out, see what's going on, and follow this because you know what it's might be the step that you're looking for. So I want to thank you for joining us today, Jessica, and I want to thank all of you for listening today. I've make sure that you say a like a thumbs up, put your comments in the YouTube channel. Whatever you do, we love hearing from you. And again, go out and make your day Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us today. I'm Wade Lightheart from the Awesome Health Podcasts. Have a great day! 
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  1. Tracy Inocan on March 6, 2020 at 1:14 am

    This episode wold surely inspire others like me who have made a positive change with my lifestyle and health by advocating the keto lifestyle. I have come across this keto meal plan that have done an impressive transformation with my health and social life, I hope and wish everyone a positive and healthy journey on a keto diet. Keep the faith.

    • Njideka Nwibe on March 6, 2020 at 10:12 am

      Hello Tracy,

      My name is Njideka, and I am a Happy Health Concierge here at BiOptimizers.

      I am excited to read that this has been helpful to you and we wish you all the very best in your journey.

      If you have any questions, please feel free to email our help desk at [email protected]. Take care and have a great day!

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