Dr Orlena chats to Matty Lansdown, host of How Not To Get Sick and Die.
Answering big questions such as...
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Dr Orlena: Hello. Hello. Hello, and welcome to fit and fabulous with me, Dr Orlena. I'm super excited. We have an amazing guest today. Matty Lansdown all the way from Australia. Matty. Welcome. Welcome, welcome.
Matty: Hey, Dr. Orlena, how are you?
Dr Orlena: I am super amazing. The sun is shining. Hey, you know what? I know. It's winter for you or coming into winter.
Dr Orlena: Autumn. I should say. For us, it is spring. And it's that beautiful time of year where everything just sort of flows a little bit, that beginning of growth and you look outside and you see these little buds and the leaves are really green. I love it. I just absolutely love it. And think this is my favorite time of year.
Dr Orlena: Really? Well, one of them, one of the four of us.
Dr Orlena: But yeah, no, I'm, I'm absolutely awesome. Thank you for asking. So let's dive right in. We're going to have sort of a conversation about life, the universe and everything. So if you could just start and tell people who you are and what you do.
Matty: Yeah, sure. So my name is Matty Lansdown. I have a background in medical science and research, so I'm a scientist and then turned nutritionist.
Matty: And yeah, I worked in Western medical hospitals for many years. Only to discover that we can help people before they even have to walk into the front door of this building you know, in a huge way. And that's why I moved into nutrition. And so I went down the rabbit hole of like, okay, people are sick.
Matty: Why are they sick? And. Being overweight or obese is the number one precursor to almost all diseases of civilization, which you get diabetes, you cancel your dementia. And so with that being the number one thing I saw, I thought, oh, okay, let's help people with weight loss. And so I started running nutrition seminars and doing all these different talks and presentations only to learn that basically everyone I've ever spoken to new ones.
Matty: They knew that meat and vegetables was a good idea. I've never met somebody that didn't know that. So I was like, oh, well, why aren't people doing, doing it? It's clearly not information. And that's where I peeled the layer of the onion and the next layer of the onion and let that it's, it's the habits, belief systems and that type of thing that plays into people's decision to not engage with.
Matty: Food or not do what is good for them. And that goes, that goes really deep, that conversation. And so that's what I kind of ended up working with, helping people, rewire their belief systems and the way that they engage with themselves and then introduce them to the way that we see.
Dr Orlena: Hurray. I'm all about habits, systems and routines, and anyone, anyone who's listening to my podcast will be like, oh my goodness, this sounds like exactly what she's constantly going on about habits, systems and routines.
Dr Orlena: And I'm so, so with you, and it's not just habits in what we eat it's habits in the way we think, and the way we turn out. So I'm so excited that you are. Exactly. All my wavelength, basically. So here's a question for you, you know, you talk about. It's it's about these habits that we have. So how do you start rewiring people's habits?
Matty: Yeah, that's a good, good question. I think a lot of people struggle with change because they don't know why they are, where they are. And the, whether that's because there's been trauma and the brain has just blocked that part of the experience out, or whether it's just simply, we live in a very privileged world and looking into that is actually just too much hard work.
Matty: We are very fortunate, at least where I am in Australia and the likes of the Western world that we, we even have the choice to not engage with tricky situations because you know, it's hard. Whereas you might go to some other countries and people would think that problem was adorable. But we are in that situation.
Matty: And so the first thing is to figure out why I am here right now. So I don't really start with like, okay, this is what needs to change. We start with a self assessment and it's like, What is actually happening on autopilot right now that has led to the situation that currently exists. So we need to understand, and that actually takes a little bit of time because this stuff's not on automation.
Matty: Like we're not even aware of a lot of this stuff that we're doing. So we have to. Pull it out of the subconscious part of the mind. And then put it into, back into the conscious where it hasn't been for a long time. And that can be a confronting process because we realized that we're doing things that are actually really harmful to ourselves.
Matty: And so that can be a bit emotional, that confronting. So we have to then understand why. Does this exist? Why does this unhelpful habit or process exist in my life? And what does it mean? Where did it come from? What was the, where did the, where did it begin? What was the trigger that led to its, you know, perpetuating through my life and only then can we really put in place something.
Matty: Or experiment with putting something in its place that will stick, because if we don't know why the current system exists, then we can't build a better system because usually the thing that's there right now serves a purpose. And if we don't know what that purpose is, we can't replace it with something that fulfills the same purpose with a different outcome.
Dr Orlena: absolutely. And I, a hundred percent agree, I would say. You know, self-awareness is the first thing. So, you know, you realize that you're doing something not very helpful. And then I see people beating themselves up because they're like, oh, I realized this now, but it doesn't really happen like that.
Dr Orlena: It's like this process of understanding. Oh yeah, I do that. I do that. Oh yeah. I'm still doing that. And that's perfectly fine. It's being curious about that. Okay. Now I see that this is the pattern that I have. And just to sidetrack a little bit, one of the things I think is really interesting. You talked about.
Dr Orlena: How we live in a society where we have basically so much. And I think this is really, really true. I almost feel that humans thrive in adversity. And for example, I look at my own children, I have four kids and you know what, they have everything that they need that they could possibly have a want. And yet they want more.
Dr Orlena: And they see themselves as like, oh my goodness, why is this? Why is that? And I just look at them and think. There's nothing that you need in life. You have so much stuff that I think that it makes them not need to go out and do something. They do do stuff. Of course they do, but it leads to that thought of like, oh, this is just normal.
Dr Orlena: As opposed to when we're in adversity, that's when we strive to get better. And it's almost like the human body is designed to sort of push yourself up when things are hard.
Matty: Well, that makes me think of generational wealth usually only lasts three generations. And it's because of that reality is that the first generation had to slave for it.
Matty: They had no choice. The next generation continued to build because they saw their parents slave. And by the third generation, we just have ultimate privilege and zero struggle necessarily. And it's usually the third generation that loses all the money. And then the cycle starts again.
Dr Orlena: I didn't know that.
Dr Orlena: I didn't know that. And you were talking a little bit before we started. About society and how society has. Basically got nutritional wrong. Do you want to talk about that a little bit? And then I want to ask you about intermittent fasting because that's what I want to talk to you.
Matty: Yeah, totally. Well, I mean, it's a, it's a huge rabbit hole, the truth about nutrition information which is why, you know, I basically have a podcast cause it can't be summarized very briefly, but there are a lot of reasons.
Matty: System pushed us in the direction of carbohydrates and refined sugars. And the fact that the food pyramid recommended all of these breads and rises and pasta and they still do it here in Australia. It's no longer the food pyramid, it's the plate. But the biggest portion of it is still the most unhelpful pieces of food that you should put on that plate.
Matty: And, and that's, you know, got a lot to do with the economy of agriculture and the fact that post-World war two they needed to feed the world. And so the fastest growing thing that could. Put calories into humans where these types of grains and GMO crops that have been happened. And then, then we got to a point where we iStat reestablished economy, and then we had billions and billions of billions, of dollars worth of farms that we needed to keep producing, because you cannot just shut down that entire industry.
Matty: And then there's also a research component to that where, you know, The, the incorrect belief that fat is bad and scary and causes heart disease was perpetuated from the late fifties due to Ancel Keys’ research. So there's a, there's a few sort of you know, sort of pathways that lead back to why we're in a situation where the information is incorrect, but fortunately, one of the positives of that.
Matty: The internet. And I dunno if there's many at this point, but one of the positives is that we've got all of these independent researchers like yourself and me that can go in and pull out this information and publicize it. And so slowly systems are being forced to change. Now that the truth is being dragged out by so many people.
Matty: That's really
Dr Orlena: interesting because as somebody sitting, looking at Australia from afar, your your recommendations, your government recommendations, I believe as something like. Seven portions of fruit and vegetables. Is that correct? Yep. But like, something like that, when I look at like the, the UK recommendations, which are like five portions a day and the American ones, which I can't quite remember, I always look at the Australian ones and think actually Australians are recommending far more fruit and vegetables than anybody else.
Dr Orlena: And so I think Australians are doing really, really well. Comparatively.
Matty: I totally get it. One of the most they'd base countries on the planet. Like that's amazing. I didn't know that. Yeah, we are per capita where Western America. Oh my goodness. Yeah. So, and, and, and I guess there's a difference between government recommendations and you know, half a billion dollar companies that have amazing marketing.
Matty: Like, you know what I mean? Like marketing and advertising wins every time.
Dr Orlena: Yeah, no, totally. And I think it's really interesting living in Spain actually that we don't have so many projects. I was looking at Facebook today and one of my friends posted a picture. She's been confined cause her son is unwell and she posted this picture that her friend had dropped round of all this packaged food.
Dr Orlena: And I just looked at that food and thought that all looks delicious, but just the kind of food that we don't really get. And I'm not saying there's no processed food here. There is obviously processed food, but there just isn't the variety of processed food here. And we are lucky to have lots of fruit and vegetables, but it is once they make it available.
Dr Orlena: You want to go and eat it? That's, you know, human nature.
Matty: Oh, totally. And here in Australia, pretty much all of the food and it'll be the same in, in England and the U S and all of these commercial, you know, Western countries here, we've got 11 companies that own all the food in the supermarket. So you might, all of this variety is actually an illusion.
Matty: It's just one company owning seven different brands of the exact same thing to create a false economy of. You know, difference and choice. And it's like, it's, it's all the same. Usually it's pretty much
Dr Orlena: sugar and flour and random ingredients that we can't pronounce and don't want
Matty: to know. Yeah. And that are not ideal for human health, irrelevant relevant of the marketing that might say natural sweeteners or no preservatives, or, you know, all of those sentences are usually saying, Hey, look over there because we don't want you to look over in the other group.
Dr Orlena: It's either something like a candy and they go 98% fat free. And you're like, that's because it's 98% sugar or they go 98% gluten-free or something like that. Yeah, because like sugar doesn't have gluten.
Matty: Yeah, totally, totally. But it's all, it's just all, you know, for the dollar and not that I think capitalism is the problem.
Matty: I just think that, yeah, it's time for a change. Yeah,
Dr Orlena: no, I'm totally with you. And I think having conversations like this helps I, I see people gradually, you know, making the change, we were talking a little bit earlier and perhaps, you know, you could talk on this. We were talking a little bit about how.
Dr Orlena: You know, we're both health coaches and this is a sort of relatively new thing. And that a lot of people are reluctant to invest in health coaches because they just, well, I think partly because it's not normal, but partly they aren't ready to do that. Do you want to talk a little
Matty: bit about that? Yeah, totally.
Matty: I think it's a, an entirely new phenomenon where we're conditioned for that Western medical ideology of a pill for an ill, which is I don't have to take responsibility for my experience. I go to the doctor, however often he tells me some. Subscribe some pills. I go and pick up the pills responsibility over as soon as I walk out the out of the door, or as soon as I leave the pharmacy or the chemist.
Matty: And that's, that's a brilliant model for growing a medical business. Like it, it really is because if the, if you take the responsibility away from the individual, That's amazing. Like people would love that. Like they're like, great. I don't have to do any work. It's not my fault. Just blame my genetics.
Matty: This is, this is easy. And it goes back to that easy conversation. And I think the idea of a health coach in this sort of over medicalized world where, you know, medicine and science. It's kind of a religion at this point. And we've seen that kind of unfold in a strange way over the last couple of years, it's that anything outside of that is, you know, ridiculous hippie nonsense.
Matty: And, and I think health coaches often fall, fall victim to that. It's like people telling me about my lifestyle and it's, oh, if I, if I just get, if I'm less stressed, then I'm going to fix my illness. Yeah. Righto, like it's just too simple. A lot of the stuff we talk about and what we're finding is medicine.
Matty: Super academic. So we go right all the way down to these molecular mechanisms and subgroup a has this tiny genetic variant and subgroup B. And so the, our human brains in his current era of, you know, the human experience are looking for these super complex answers. And health coaches have obviously less education and a totally different system, which seems too simple for this medicalized world.
Matty: But as you know, and I, as I know. The simple answers are the big rocks, you know, like supple, if you think of supplements or medication, as you know, the, the 1% is the five percenters diet is a huge rock. That gets huge results. If you can shift that rock and sleep is the same and stress is the same and relationships are the same.
Matty: And, and unfortunately that stuff comes up, it comes back to, you've got to do some work and you've got to commit to a lifestyle change and the long-term and that's for some people. Do you mean I have to be involved in this solution now I'll go back to the doctor.
Dr Orlena: Yeah. And I think as well, I totally agree with what you're saying, but I also think that people are a little bit scared of change or more scared of the unknown.
Dr Orlena: And one of the things that I really love when I work with, you know, similar people to you work with and when they stand there right at the beginning, it's almost like number one, they don't believe that this is going to work. And number two, It's going to be really, really, really difficult. And you're going to expect me to get up at five o'clock in the morning and stand on one leg for half an hour and then shred kale.
Dr Orlena: And all I can eat is like rabbit food. And that's almost like this like, idea that they built in their, their brain. And then actually the tweaks are so minor that they almost don't. I believe that it's then worth investing in having someone to pay, you know, to teach you for those. But then in a really short period of time, they realize that, oh, actually it is quite easy.
Dr Orlena: It's not as difficult as I thought it was going to be. And secondly, I see people's energy levels come up really quickly and weight loss as well. And then they start seeing, oh, this is working and it's not actually that big a deal, but the problem is right at the beginning, they're almost standing there going, yeah, I don't believe it.
Dr Orlena: Don't believe it, believe it. And that's the problem. They need to understand the benefits. And, you know, I was in exactly the same situation as you. I used to work in a hospital. I mean, I did most of my training and pediatrics, most of my work in pediatrics, but I did do some adult medicine and I would look around those wards and think if only I could take these people back 20 years, but by default, like 20 years is now for the people that we're talking about.
Dr Orlena: So like, you know, you can make these changes now, but the problem is. Our brains are wired not to make changes. We don't want to make changes. We just want to carry on doing, doing, doing until you reach this place. But you're like, oh my goodness. I wish I had made those changes back there because now I got all these risk factors I might be on.
Dr Orlena: Well, I just, and it's too late. What do you say to those people?
Matty: Oh, no, I totally agree. And that's, again, it comes back to the conversation around being in a privileged world is that some people, unfortunately, and a lot of people have to get to a point of such severe suffering that they're finally ready to change, because as you said that the brain is wired.
Matty: Want to do change because it's better than the devil we know is better than the devil. We don't. Even if w cognitively we're like, yes, I can see how that would be better for me. My nervous system is conditioned for this experience and because I'm not dead yet, this experience must be, this must be the safest one.
Matty: Like it must be the safest one, anything outside of. Even though it kind of makes sense to my rational brain. It's a change. It's an unknown and I totally agree. It's the unknown. And I have that same experience with clients too. Is that all because the it's funny, you use the word tweak. I have a saying that I say on the podcast, lots, it's one tweak a week.
Matty: And that's what we do. We make small changes. We do one meal at a time, and you mentioned kale as well. Part of my mission statement is without counting calories or eating rabbit food. And, and it's just that old diet culture and that old nutrition, culture and wellness culture that's being. It's particularly for women, like beaten into them about starving themselves.
Matty: And we're in this world of Instagram where people are comparing their body. That's had like yourself for children has had, you know, this life, this stressful life, marriages, all this stuff. And then they get on Instagram and say, why is my body not like the 21 year old Asian woman that I'm following?
Matty: And it's like this. And they beat themselves up for not being able to get the result that this particular woman whose body hasn't has had kids who has Asian, maybe Asian genetics in this particular example, you know, and there's all these variables. And so we've got not only the old diet culture in our brains, but then we've got this kind of new diet culture or social media culture in our phones.
Matty: And we're seeing all of these picture perfect highlight reels. We w we, we want to achieve, but a probably impossible. And, you know, if you really found out what they were doing on the backend, there's not a whole lot of truth that gets put on the inside on the incident.
Dr Orlena: Yeah, no, I totally agree. And the number of people that I have met, who like, you know, were taken to weight Watchers when they were kids at the age of eight.
Dr Orlena: And it's really interesting that that just becomes your normality. So for me, I grew up in, you know, what I call the refined carbohydrate era. It was normal to eat. Breakfast cereal and bread and pasta. And that kind of idea that, oh, what I call refined carbohydrates. I know they're kind of on the healthiest scale of refined carbohydrates, but I didn't even think of them as refined carbohydrates until a few years ago when I started looking into nutrition.
Dr Orlena: And it's that awakening where you think, oh my goodness, this belief that I have held for the last 30 years, or, you know, all my life, essentially, it's how I've grown up. Now. I need to go and rethink that. And that process takes a bit of time. And I think for those people, Deep deep, deep in that diet culture.
Dr Orlena: It's like, oh my goodness. This way I have been doing it is my persona. And now I basically have to change that.
Matty: Yeah, absolutely. It's funny. You mentioned the carbohydrate thing because I say clients all the time that say, I want, I need to eat fats, carbohydrates and protein and vegetables. They say vegetables as a fourth category because so many people don't.
Matty: Vegetables are carbohydrates. And they think of carbohydrates as grains only. And, and like the bread. And that's because the food pyramid doctors, nutritionists, dieticians for the last 50 to a hundred years have been referring to you know, these grains as carbohydrates. So we've got we're at this point where people don't even realize vegetables are in the carbohydrate
Dr Orlena: category.
Dr Orlena: I totally agree. I did a whole podcast episode on this a few weeks ago and yeah, it's. It is like, it is you're totally right. People just get confused. They go. Yeah, cut out carbohydrates and I'm make them not all of the carbohydrates, just the white refined.
Matty: Totally. I have this
Dr Orlena: phrase, which I use, but you're welcome to tell your clients, but essentially I say the best thing we can give our kids is our own happiness.
"The best thing we can give our kids is our own happiness. And the second best thing is vegetables!" Dr Orlena
Dr Orlena: And the second best thing we can give them is vegetables.
Matty: Totally. It's definitely better than anything in a bag of books. Sorry. Exactly.
Dr Orlena: Exactly. Listen, Matty. It has been fabulous talking to you. Do you want to tell people where they can find you?
Matty: Yeah. Sure. So Matty lens down.com. You can, there's a bunch of articles on there.
Matty: You can go and check that out. I have a podcast as well called how to not get sick and die. So just any podcast app. And I've got a group on Facebook called the busy mums collective. So if you're a mother that wants to get healthy, feel free to come and hang out there. Perfect. Thank you so much.
Matty: Thanks Dr Orlena.
Matty's Website: https://mattylansdown.com