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  • 01:24 About Heather Deranja
  • 07:01 What is Inflammation?
  • 15:44 Inflammation and the Gut
  • 21:57 Food Allergy, Food Intolerance and Food Sensitivity
  • 25:34 Probiotics for Candida and Leaky Gut
  • 29:43 The Food System
  • 35:53 Toxicity
  • 38:15 Detoxification and Detox Methods
  • 42:52 Improving Digestive Health
  • 47:06 Water Filters
  • 47:32 The Most Pressing Health Issue in the World Today
  • 52:38 Where to Find Heather Deranja

Wendy Myers: Hello, my name is Wendy Myers. Welcome to the Live to 110 Podcast. You can learn more about me at, and learn about my detox program,, that I used to heal my own health problems.

You can learn more about me at my YouTube channel, WendyLiveto110, lots of juicy little videos for you there.

Today, we have Heather Deranja on the podcast. She’s going to be talking about how foods cause inflammation, the important of detox vacation, my favorite subject. She really has a great energy. This is such a great podcast. We had so much fun talking and exchanging stories. It’s just a really great show for you today.

First we have to do the disclaimer. Please keep in mind that this program is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or health condition, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. The Live to 110 Podcast is solely informational in nature.

So please consult your health care practitioner before engaging in any treatment or diet suggestion that we talk about today on the show.

01:24 About Heather Deranja

Wendy Myers: Today we have Heather on the show, better known as the Nutrition Vixen. She is a registered, licensed dietician nutritionist. She’s passionate about nutrition and knows firsthand the benefits of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to self-manage and reduce symptoms associated with chronic disease.

Her goal is to increase awareness of the risks and benefits associated with nutrition, provide education, debunk correct diet fads, and coach individuals through the process of behavior change that will allow them to take appropriate action to become self-sufficient and obtain a healthier lifestyle.

Heather, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Heather Deranja: Thank you for having me, Wendy. I’m really excited to have the opportunity. I know this has been a very anticipated moment, so I’m excited that we’re finally getting to do it.

Wendy Myers: I know we had a lot of fits and start because I was sick for a weeks over the holidays. So we scheduled it, we had to cancel and schedule it. So I’m happy we’re finally doing the interview.

Heather Deranja: Me too! The good news is you’re better just in time for the holidays.

Wendy Myers: Yes. I’m very, very happy. So I was sick leading up to the holidays. Luckily, I’m healthy and happy for Christmas coming up.

Heather Deranja: That’s right.

Wendy Myers: So why don’t you tell the listeners a little about yourself and your story.

Heather Deranja: Well, I am a registered dietician. I decided to go the route of becoming a dietician, I guess, later in life. When I was 18 years old, I was diagnosed with a kidney disease, and at the time, I was not a full-time student, so I got kicked off my parents’ health insurance.

I got pregnant shortly after, had to go through clinics, had really bad experiences, got really sick.

So I came to the realization that if I didn’t clean up my life, I was going to end up being on dialysis, or kidney transplant. And unfortunately, I had had a cousin who was a female, and at the age of 30, she died from kidney complications from the same kidney disease that I was diagnosed with.

Wendy Myers: That would change your perspective.

Heather Deranja: Absolutely! And being that I was a young mom, I was only 19 years old, I have this baby and I’m like, “I’ve got to figure out what I need to do so I can take care of her as well.”

So with that, that’s where my pursuit for knowledge began. Back in the day, I didn’t have Google. I had to go to the library, and check out books, and read them.

With that I discovered that there were specific lifestyle practices that I could incorporate to hopefully stabilize my condition where it was. You can never improve it, but hopefully, keep it from getting worse. I started implementing those practices, had a lot of success, and so I became very passionate about it.

When my youngest daughter went to kindergarten, I decided to pursue an education and be the middleman. I felt like there was big disconnect between what the doctors tell you when they give you a diagnosis, and how you can preserve your health that you have without having to be on medication.

So I wanted to be the middleman who simplified it for people. I realized not everyone has the desire or the willpower to put in the effort and energy that I did.

Fast forward, I went through school, had to go the route of becoming a registered dietician, knowing that I would never practice clinical. Didn’t believe in a lot of the things that I was being taught, so it was very difficult and painful to have to sit through those lectures and exercises, knowing that as soon as I got my license, I could practice the way that I believed was the best way for majority of the population.

Wendy Myers: It’s so sad that a lot of registered dieticians, I hear that from so many of them.

Heather Deranja: You know, what’s sad is that I almost am ashamed sometimes to tell somebody that I am a registered dietician because they immediately roll their eyes and they’re like – and I’m not trying to contribute to the problem. I’m trying to advocate against it.

I do feel alienated from my profession as well as my peers, so I had to find another group to accept me with similar likes and beliefs.

Wendy Myers: We’ll accept you.

Heather Deranja: I appreciate that. But it’s exciting because as I have evolved into this profession, I am starting to see a lot more awareness be brought about from dieticians. There’s a really cool group called dieticians for integrity. And so they’re really trying to make an impact and spread the word that we don’t support a lot of the beliefs that the American Dietetic Association, and now, the American Nutrition Dietetic Association practices, which is a aligned with a lot of our FDA and USDA Guidelines.

I’m here to try to de-myth all of that stuff, and I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so.

Wendy Myers: Well, I really appreciate you coming on the show. I want to talk a little bit about inflammation, and food sensitivities, and detox.

07:01 What is Inflammation?

Wendy Myers:So what is inflammation and why should you be concerned?

Heather Deranja: So inflammation is a complex cascade of circumstances that take place in the body.

When I went through schooling, we really didn’t hear a lot about inflammation other than anatomy and physiology when you talk about a wound having to heal.

So not all inflammation is bad. We do need inflammation to be able to support the healing process. However, nowadays we are just bombarded with a cascade of environmental factors that contribute to us being in a chronic inflammatory response, which can really have a negative impact on our overall health, which is part of the reason why we have such high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a lot of autoimmune issues and whatnot.

So I don’t feel like that’s something that is really talked about a whole lot, and how if we can start with preventing inflammation, we can improve our overall health.

And so that needs to be a focus.

And so that’s why I’m so passionate about the gut and digestive health because our stomach and the digestive tract is basically the doorway to chronic disease. So if we don’t start there by having a healthy digestive tract, we’re setting ourselves up for having chronic disease at a much earlier rate than we used to.

Wendy Myers: And that’s why we’re seeing such a high instance of diseases. It’s really bad diets that are providing inflammation.

Heather Deranja: I just had a conversation. My mother, she’ll probably kill me for sharing this, but I’ve been harping on her for the last several years. She lives a very busy lifestyle, high, high stress, sales individual, works long hours, and she’s been having a quite a bit of digestive issues over the last couple of years.

It started with GERD, and then from GERD, it went into IBS, and from IBS, it went into diverticulitis. Now, she just recently found out that she has – what did she get diagnosed with, colitis.

So now, she has colitis and potentially something – they noticed something on her kidneys.

And so had we addressed this back when I was trying to bring this to her attention, and talk about the importance of needing to change her behaviors, maybe it wouldn’t have gone this far.

Wendy Myers: Because people – that’s why I talk about a lot on Live to 110, you have to prevent disease before it happens. It’s so much easier to prevent it than it is to deal with it and there’s permanent damage. It’s too late.

Heather Deranja: Which is really why I did not want to be a clinical dietician because I felt like in the clinical world, you’re pretty much working with a sick population. Once they’ve already been diagnosed and sick, their level of motivation to make any changes is so minimal, if any.

I felt it was a very disheartening environment and experience. I was so passionate about preventative care that it hurt my feelings. I have all this knowledge and this excitement and information to share with people, and they would be like – it’s hard.

Wendy Myers: You feel terrible, you feel like crap, and you don’t have any energy, and you’re struggling, and some people can’t work. They can be very, very demotivated. They don’t have a fight. Some people don’t have a lot of fight left in them, and it could be hard to follow any kind of diets or other kind of regimen, and you take people’s food away from them, which is such a tremendous source of pleasure for many people. It’s tough.

Heather Deranja: It’s funny because I’m going to be 40 this year. At 40 years old, I feel my energy levels – I feel better than I did when I was back in my 20s. And so I tease my daughters. I’ve got a 19, almost 20-year-old now, and a 15-year-old. And they’re lethargic, and they feel like crap all the time. And I’m constantly like, “Come on, girls.”

I’m constantly trying to promote with them proper eating and staying hydrated, and they’re always like, “Whatever, mom.”

But it’s funny looking back. Who would have thought in my 40s I can honestly say that I feel – not only do I look better, but my energy levels are so much greater?

Wendy Myers: High five, sisters. High five.

I’ve never thought five, six years ago, I never thought I would feel as good as I feel today. The power of just completely revamping your life, your diet, your lifestyle, detoxing, you can completely change your life and be a new person.

Heather Deranja: Absolutely! I think you and I have something in common, which brought us both so passionate about where we’re at, but my father, I lost him in 2009 to liver complications. So he died of cirrhosis.

Unfortunately, he had a lot of issues going on. He had some genetic factors as well as some very hard lifestyle factors that sped up his problem. But I buried my dad on what would have been his 54th birthday.

Wendy Myers: That’s so young.

Heather Deranja: That was just so young. I really believe strongly in preventative care. And when my dad got sick, when he was diagnosed, he wanted so badly to change all of his ways, but at that time, it was already too late. He didn’t get a transplant fast enough.

Wendy Myers: And I had the same with my father. He had quit smoking six years prior. He had made the changes, but there was too much damage. And he developed esophageal cancer. And it’s just sad. It’s very, very sad.

It’s just sad when people die a completely preventable death. It’s just a horrible loss.

Heather Deranja: Absolutely!

13:24 Inflammation and the Gut

Heather Deranja: So how does the whole digestion system fit into that?

I think it amazes because when I sit and talk to a lot of my clients, they don’t realize that they feel like shit. They have no idea how bad they actually feel until they start feeling better because I constantly hear from them, “I don’t feel bad.”

And then several weeks later, after we’ve really started cleaning up the diet and getting them to a better place, they’re like, “Wow! I’m sleeping better. My energy levels are higher. My cravings are down. My mood has improved.”

And it just amazes me. I feel like a lot of us are walking around catatonic, having no idea that they’re zombie-ish. Zombie apocalypse is already here, people. You walk into a Walmart and you see it everywhere.

Wendy Myers: Exactly. When I walk into a Vonn’s or a typical grocery store, Albertson’s, it’s like the cast of Star Wars. The people look horrible. They look sick, and they’re dying. There were bags and horrible skin and what-not. It’s sad because it’s like they’re a fish in water.

I had that from my clients as well. They don’t realize how bad they feel because they just become accustomed to one symptom after another symptom after another symptom. And so many of their friends don’t feel good, and they’re tired. They think it’s just a normal part of aging. Hell no, it’s not.

Heather Deranja: But you know what? When you go to the doctor, what does the doctor say to them?

Wendy Myers: It’s just normal. You’re just getting older.

Heather Deranja: It’s normal aging. Just accept it. It’s part of the aging process. And so I always tell them, “I’m going to call BS on that because guess what? You’re not supposed to feel this way.” It’s just the opposite.

Wendy Myers: Exactly. I have a friend of mine who’s 80 years old. He’s actually – I think he’s older than 80. He’s pushing 85. He’s an attorney. He still works 10 hours a day, sharp as a tack. He’s had an amazing diet his entire life, and he lives a very healthy lifestyle.

It goes to show you the power of having a healthy diet and lifestyle that you can be healthy and work and be productive and have a purpose into your very late years.

Heather Deranja: That’s awesome. That is great.

Wendy Myers: So let’s talk about food. Let’s talk about food.

Heather Deranja: My favorite topic.

Wendy Myers: We talked about inflammation a little bit. Do you want to talk about why inflammation occurs?

Heather Deranja: There’s a multitude reasons why inflammation occurs, but we can start with the gut. And so a lot of times inflammation begins with the foods that we eat. So either we’re eating a very high, refined, processed diet, which contributes to that inflammatory response in our digestive tract, that high sugar, a lot of sugar feeding the bad bacteria in our digestive tract, we’re chronically addicted to caffeine which acts like a digestive irritant, alcohol to calm our nerves, and make us relax. That’s another one. The majority of people are on medications or some sort of antibiotics.

And then also, we tend to be habitual eaters. So a lot of times we might think that we’re eating healthy foods but we’re not eating the right food for our body, and there is actually a food sensitivity that occurs.

And so when we’re constantly exposing those same foods to the digestive tract, that also can contribute to that inflammatory response. So a combination of all of the toxins that we’re taking in, and all of these little inflammatory triggers, basically, they create little gaps in the digestive tract, those microvilli, where bad things slip into the bloodstream.

And then that is where the real problem begins. Seventy percent of our immune system lies in the digestive tract. So if we don’t have a good, solid barrier there, we’re really in trouble when it comes to trying to fight off little things like the common day colds. Our immune systems constantly activate it.

So for myself, what the kidney disease that I have, my immune system is constantly working. So I tend to be a lot more susceptible to getting viral infections or some sort of bacterial infection and having a lot harder time fighting it off.

Back in January of last year, I had developed a bacterial infection, got put on antibiotics with resistance. I didn’t want to have to take them, but…

Wendy Myers: They are necessary evil sometimes.

Heather Deranja: They are.

Wendy Myers: Sometimes they’re life-saving.

Heather Deranja: Unfortunately, I started developing allergies to the medications. I was having allergic reactions to these medications, these different antibiotics. And so fast forward, 10 months later, I still had not eradicated the bacterial infection. We’re still trying to fight it with different antibiotics.

All of a sudden, I just started getting ridiculous, like ridiculous sugar cravings. I usually have a pretty good willpower. And I would be sitting in my office and all I could think about was going to Walgreens, and picking up a box of mega-stuffed Oreos, not one, but two, along with some Pringles and chocolate-covered almonds, and then sit on the couch and pack my mouth like a squirrel.

Wendy Myers: I hate it when that happens.

Heather Deranja: Yes, it’s terrible. And so after about four weeks of this, I checked myself and said, “Alright! Heather, come on. This is more just willpower. There’s something physiological going on here.”

So I had suspected that I had overgrowth of yeast that had developed in my bloodstream due to these antibiotics and the disruption in my digestive tract. So I had a friend who’s got a really fancy microscope. So we drew some blood, put it under the microscope, and sure enough, it was amazing to see how many neutrophils I had in this tiny, little area, this tiny little blood sample and the amount of yeast that was in the bloodstream. It looked like popcorn. It was just like, “Holy cow! Unbelievable.”

But as soon as I saw that it made it really easy for me to make the connection. I’ve got to clean up my diet. These antibiotics have contributed to the condition which is now the yeast is basically dictating to my body what it needs to be fed in order for it to thrive and survive. And so I had to eradicate it.

Wendy Myers: I have a bio hack that I do. Sometimes you have to take antibiotics and don’t let the UTI go too far or what have you. I used to be plagued with those, not anymore. But after I’ve taken antibiotics, I always get a prescription for Diflucan (the generic name is Flucanozole) to kill off all the yeast because a lot of people invariably get a yeast infection, those antibiotics. That’s a little way to hit it off at the curve. Biohacks via conventional medicine.

Heather Deranja: But it was amazing to me that just by simply cleaning up my diet, I eradicated the yeast infection as well as the bacterial infection. I didn’t even have to get back on antibiotics.

So that was pretty enlightening to see the power of food and how beneficial it can be.

Wendy Myers: That’s probably a better way to go than more prescription medication.

Heather Deranja: Trust me, the cravings, the psychological and the physiological cravings, the first week were difficult, but after seeing that blood sample, it was really easy to go, “No, I’m walking away. I do not need the Oreo cookies.”

I put 10 pounds on in one month. It was pretty excessive.

Wendy Myers: It’s amazing how people can have a very strong reaction to antibiotics like that, really can throw their system out of whack for years even.

I’ve had some clients, they took a round of antibiotics, and they were just never the same afterwards. It can cause this whole cascade of effects. So it’s good to just strengthen your body, fortify your immune system as a preventative measure.

21:57 Food Allergy, Food Intolerance and Food Sensitivity

Wendy Myers: So let’s talk about difference between a food allergy, a food intolerance, and a food sensitivity because that’s something I talk a lot about on the modern Paleo diet and how you have to assess out your food sensitivities and customize your diet for you as an individual. So let’s make those clarifications for people.

Heather Deranja: Absolutely. I think that food allergy and food sensitivity and intolerance are all used interchangeably. I think that a lot of people misuse the word. They think that they all mean the same thing.

With a food allergy that is a completely different thing than in food intolerance or a food sensitivity where your body has an immediate response to whatever the foreign invader is.

Typically, that will present itself within a matter of seconds to a matter of hours. And it usually involves some sort of anaphylactic or rash – a rash that will break out, something very substantial.

Wendy Myers: And people can make that connection. They can easily make that connection.

Heather Deranja: Right. Usually, it has to be treated medically with some sort of EpiPen or something of that nature in order for it to be improved.

With a food intolerance, food intolerance typically means that you lack the enzymes. It’s more of an enzymatic process where you lack those enzymes to be able to break those foods down and absorb them into the bloodstream.

Typically, our body will reject the item if it doesn’t know what to do with it. So a lot of times we’ll have bouts of diarrhea, we’ll have bloating, gas that kind of thing. And a lot of times, it’s pretty easy to identify, “I ate this and now I feel like this.”

So I think food intolerances tend to be a little bit easier. Food allergies, food intolerances, they’re pretty easy to identify what the culprit is. But when it comes to food sensitivities that’s a totally different creature. Sometimes it can take several days up to four days before symptoms present themselves.

So we typically don’t associate why we feel like crap today with what we ate four days ago. And the fact that we tend to be habitual eaters and eat the same things over and over and over, we’re constantly exposing ourselves to these food particles that are creating an immune response.

And so we’re rocking around just thinking this is what normal life is supposed to feel like. And as soon as I work with somebody who potentially has food sensitivities and we can identify them through either testing or in elimination diet, it’s amazing how quickly they feel better.

It’s usually a matter of days, and they already start feeling significant improvement in their energy levels, their achiness, the cognitive function, just clearer thinking, sleeping better. So it’s pretty interesting.

Wendy Myers: They lose their muffin top.

Heather Deranja: Exactly. Absolutely! It’s funny that a lot of people are, I guess, — we don’t really associate something like a food sensitivity with why we can’t lose weight.

Wendy Myers: Because it causes inflammation, and inflammation causes weight gain, and lots of other various health issues.

For me, it never dawned on me I was gluten sensitive, and one of my favorite meals in college was a big plate of spaghetti with garlic bread. And I would wake up in the middle of the night and vomit over and over and over. And my stomach would hurt, I have stomach pains that’s like, “Oh, my god, I’m dying of cancer or stomach cancer.”

And I went to several doctors.

“It’s just stress.”

“I don’t feel stressed out. I’m very relaxed and happy.”

It took me years to make that connection when I started studying more about health and nutrition that it was actually a gluten sensitivity.

Heather Deranja: Wow. So one of my biggest food sensitivities is actually a cow’s milk, so the proteins, the casein in cow’s milk. I guess about a year ago, I was in a situation where I was probably using whey protein as a meal replacement more often than less due to time constraints in between clients and whatnot, and I was experiencing a lot of constipation, a lot of bloating, and I really wasn’t making the connection with it being associated with the protein that I was drinking.

I also love milk and cheese. Those were all staples. It’s so easy to grab a piece of cheese and call it dinner.

I just got to a point where I was sick of feeling like that, so I thought – I’m pretty sure I know what it is. Let’s go ahead and validate my –

Wendy Myers: Your suspicions.

Heather Deranja: What I suspected, and sure enough, it came back that cow’s milk was my biggest sensitivity.

Once I eliminated that it was amazing how much better my digestive function was within just a matter of days from removing it. It just felt like, no more bloating, I didn’t have the constipation issues anymore. I just felt a whole lot better.

Wendy Myers: And it can be tough to assess them out, your food sensitivities. You can certainly do a food elimination diet and that takes away about 10 of the top food sensitivities. But I generally recommend my clients do an MRT food sensitivity test. It’s a mediator release test or really any kind of food sensitivity test because it can test about 150 different foods and chemicals.

It can determine food sensitivities you had never thought of, to very healthy foods like broccoli or blueberries, and different components of dairy and different kinds of legumes. It can really differentiate within different food groups because you don’t really need to throw the baby out with the bath water with all dairy.

People are usually sensitive to different components of dairy, or different ways that they’re prepared and processed and whatnot. So that can be very, very helpful to make those distinctions for many people, and they feel a lot better as a result.

Heather Deranja: Absolutely. I prefer to do the testing. I think the testing is just a lot more efficient instead of guessing and trying to do, “Well, let’s try this.”
I feel like a lot of people, number one, don’t have patience for the elimination.

Wendy Myers: It’s hard.

Heather Deranja: It is. It’s difficult. I just feel like it’s a lot easier to go and get the blood work done, and then be able to identify, “Okay, here’s exactly what we’re dealing with and let’s execute a plan of action based upon these results that’s going to be realistic for that person.”

And usually, when we go that route, it’s pretty easy for them to follow and like I said earlier, the benefits from it are immediate. I mean, matter of days.

I also am big on specific supplementation to – as we’re trying to reduce those food sensitivities and eliminate them, also supporting the healing or the mucous aligning through l-glutamine, getting on a good quality probiotic.

I feel like everybody should be on both of those things, regardless of whether or not you have food sensitivities. I think that they’re both very, very important in terms of that digestive health.

29:43 The Food System

Wendy Myers: Why is there such a prevalence of food sensitivities? I’ve noticed it’s gone up and up and up. You see its statistics and the food sensitivities and food allergies have increased tremendously since the 1990s.

Heather Deranja: Well, I think that a lot of it has to do with our food system and being that we’re eating diets that are so high in refined, processed foods. We’re not really eating food anymore. We’re eating food components, food products.

So a combination of all of that, I really feel like contributes to this prevalence. You throw out the words food sensitivity and detoxification nowadays, they’re buzz words. Everybody is all over it. They want to hear more.

But the bottom line is that it has become just the norm based on everyone’s lifestyle factors. So there are so many environmental components, toxins, through our water supply, through the air that we breathe, the foods that we’re eating alone. 90% of pesticides are found in produce.

And so with the combination of all of those things, and then you take medications and add stress in there, we’re just – we’re not equipped to deal with it anymore.

Wendy Myers: And when people have leaky gut, when [inaudible 00:31:11] of the cells in the intestinal lining become more loose and allow these undigested or partially digested food particles to go through the intestinal lining, people develop more and more and severe sensitivities. So that’s a sign that you perhaps have leaky gut.

And one of the causes of this is heavy metals. And this is what I talk about a lot with my personal clients is that heavy metals, they basically poison enzymes that take amino acids and nutrients into your cells. When this happens, there’s a reduced ability of people to absorb proteins and repair their intestinal lining.

And so it’s very, very important as part of healing leaky gut, and part of healing your whole body, is by detoxing heavy metals because heavy metals can very much promote leaky gut.

And there’s a lot of misconception out there that, “Oh, you have to heal the gut before you can detox.”
That is not true at all. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. You have to detox heavy metals as part of healing the gut lining.

Heather Deranja: Absolutely! So I want rewind back when you were talking about those food particles escaping in to the bloodstream, most of us are in such a hurry all the time, we really don’t take the time to sit and actually chew our food. So a lot of people are just shoving food in their mouth, in between appointments, driving down the road, trying to free up their hands.

So we’re not really chewing that food up to a point where it’s going to be properly digested, which is also contributing to those large food particles being absorbed into the bloodstream.

So I think just little things like that, taking the time to actually chew our food can help to reduce a lot of these problems as well.

Wendy Myers: It’s really important as well to stress that people need adequate levels of hydrochloric acid in their stomach. And when you’re stressed and you have adrenal fatigue, adrenal fatigue suppresses hydrochloric acid production, and you need that. That’s your first line of defense and the first most important part of the digestive system.

If that isn’t adequate, the rest of your digestion is going to suffer down the rest of your digestive tract.

And the other thing I wanted to mention is that mercury toxicity, mercury is a proton pump inhibitor, so that will reduce hydrochloric acid’s production and that promotes the problem.

Heather Deranja: So then what happens to our ability to be able to absorb nutrients efficiently? We lack the acidity to be able to break those vitamins and minerals down into their absorbable form, and so I’d like to talk about we’re an overfed population but we’re very malnourished.

When that digestive tract becomes inflamed, it’s like that hardwood floor, where we lose a significant amount of surface area for nutrient absorption to naturally occur and then if we have issues with our pH of our gastric acid, we’re not going to be able to convert those vitamins and minerals.

And so we’re really setting ourselves up for having a very weakened immune system. We lack the vital nutrients to be able to fight off the normal things, and then if we have an excessive amount getting into the bloodstream, we’re just set up for basically, getting sick.

Wendy Myers: Absolutely, I 100% agree with you. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

Heather Deranja: We could talk about –this stuff excites me. We could talk about this on and on because it’s so correlated. When one thing gets off, that leads to another problem, and then we just have a cascade of problems that occur.

And a lot of times, when people go to the doctor, the doctor has them on 10 different medications for these 10 different problems. But if we just focused on the one main issue, and started to correct that it would really help to align the other issues and decrease the symptoms that were occurring, and they won’t need the medications to begin with.

That’s kind of where my focus is in terms of trying to help people get on the right track, instead of trying to figure out all of these different things. Let’s just focus on the one big problem, start there, and then it will help to eradicate these other issues as well.

35:53 Toxicity

Wendy Myers: One topic that I think we’re absolutely on the same page about is toxicity. And so I believe we’re all toxic. Everyone, even the healthiest individuals, I’ve tested young, healthy, fit males, have major toxicity. So in your opinion, do you think that we’re all toxic?

Heather Deranja: Absolutely, without a doubt. We’re exposed to over 80,000 toxins a day, and it is impossible for that one, little liver to be able to keep up with clearing out all of the toxicity that’s coming in. It’s almost impossible.

So I know for myself with having this kidney disease, it is a lot more difficult for my body to filter out toxins at a good quality rate, and there has been times where I really can taste the heavy metals in my mouth going, “Oh, my gosh. I feel so toxic.”

It hasn’t been for many thing too specific, but toxins are fat-loving. So they get into the bloodstream, they like to get into those fat cells, and they don’t want to leave, which make it more difficult for individuals to lose weight also.

Wendy Myers: They’re absolutely one of the big drivers of weight gain. The body is forced to hold onto weights and fat cells, so they have a place to store all this stuff away from the organs, where it could cause harm. People don’t understand that. Go ahead.

Heather Deranja: Then what does it do to our hormonal balance? These toxins like to get into binding receptor spots, where a normal hormone would have a job, or a vitamin, or a mineral, would have a job to do, and it’s binding up that spot, so that it can’t have its normal reaction.

It’s just this cascade of issues that occurs.

Wendy Myers: The toxic metals and chemicals, they absolutely severely interfere or impact our body’s metabolic function on so many levels. And so many people’s health problems are reversed or completely eliminated simply by detoxing and getting rid of all of these chemicals that everyone has in their body.

It’s amazing how much better people feel once they go on a long-term detox program.

38:15 Detoxification and Detox Methods

Wendy Myers: So why don’t you tell the listeners what is detoxification? What are some of your favorite detox methods?

Heather Deranja: Detoxification is a method of trying to minimize the toxins that you’re taking in and maximize the excretions of the toxins that you have inside your body.

One of my very, very favorite things every single client who sees me, it is a requirement that they have to use the infrared sauna. I tell them all the time. It is a requirement. You have to do this. It’s part of the program.

It’s funny because I can tell when somebody is not staying consistent with their infrared sauna therapy. They stop losing – they stop making progress, they start reverting back in the opposite direction, and it’s amazing what just the simple use of sitting in an infrared sauna, how beneficial that can be in helping to excrete toxins from the body.

Now, the number one thing that I have to remind people all the time, number one, you have to go in scantily clad because the infrared light doesn’t penetrate clothing very well, and most of us don’t want to bare all in front of others, so we try to cover up as much as possible.

The other thing is, they don’t want to have to shower. You got to rinse off, honey, because if you don’t, you’re just re-absorbing all those toxins back into the bloodstream. They go find that little fat cell, and they’re like, “Psyche, I’m back.”

Wendy Myers: Yes, I did a 50-yard dash to the shower, or the toxins are going to be absorbed back into me.

Heather Deranja: I think it’s funny. And it’s funny because I brought about awareness with many of my clients where they start getting panicky about getting into the water, and they’re like, “Is the water going to make me more toxic?”

That’s why you got to have those filters.

Wendy Myers: I totally agree with you. I hopefully require or insist, to strongly insist that all of my clients get an infrared sauna. Don’t listen to me, but it’s really essential. And I think the only people in the future that are going to be living to 110 are the ones that are detoxing in an infrared sauna on a regular basis.

I talk a lot about near infrared saunas and far infrared saunas. I definitely prefer near infrared. Any sauna is fine, as long as you’re getting in one. They all have tremendous benefits.

So don’t worry about that. I have a lot of clients that worry they don’t have the right sauna, they’re not making the right choice. It doesn’t matter. They’re all good. I just personally prefer the near infrared sauna for the many reasons I’ve mentioned in the podcast. So I just wanted to make that clear.

Wendy Myers: Any other tips about detoxification? Any methods that you like?

Heather Deranja: There are so many. Detoxification is something that I feel really strongly about that if we can just start making some simple, everyday lifestyle behavioral changes, like for instance, swapping out our conventional meat for – instead of getting the conventional beef, we get grass-fed, grass-finished beef.

Little things like that can be so beneficial in helping to minimize the toxicity that we’re taking in.
So I was really struggling with a lot of my clients. I would make these recommendations to them about why, “No, you got to go get grass-fed beef,” and little things of that nature.

You got to get the organic milk, if you’re going to do the other milk.

And they just weren’t understanding the importance of it.

So I felt like once I really started addressing from more of a toxicity perspective, and how that’s impacting their ability to lose weight due to developing inflammation and having these toxic particles that our liver can’t filter out fast enough, once I started really addressing it from that angle, I didn’t get as much resistance from them about having to spend a few extra cents per pound to get the grass-fed beef.

And now, it’s funny because most of them have really embraced it, and if they have any of the – they’ll be in a barbeque and there’s the traditional, conventional hamburger, they feel like, “I feel so toxic” from having that one burger.

42:52 Improving Digestive Health

Wendy Myers: How can we improve digestive health to help reduce toxicity? There’s a lot you can do with your diet and dietary changes to reduce the amount of toxins that you ingest.

Heather Deranja: So one thing that I think people really, really miss out on are vegetables, preferably the cruciferous vegetables. We don’t get enough of those.

Those specifically help to assist the P450 cytochromosome to be able to help remove those toxins.

I’m not sure what your recommendations are in terms of vegetable intake daily, but I try to encourage my clients to make at least half of their vegetable intake coming from that cruciferous vegetable because not only will it help to remove the toxins, but it helps to support our hormonal balance as well.

And so that’s something that’s very – just a very easy change.

And then making sure that we’re at least focusing on purchasing the dirty dozen, the 12 produce items that tend to be highest in pesticides. We’re going for organic versions of those.

Again, supplementation is something that is very helpful.

Then as far as everyday behaviors, just making sure we’re changing our air filter in our houses, and trying to minimize our exposure to the dust and those kind of allergens.

I am a big promoter of a water filter. My body, I don’t know what it is, but for as long as I can remember, I have never been able to drink tap water. I can taste the chemicals and the toxicity in the actual tap water, so I’ve always been a huge promoter of filtered water. I feel like that’s one easy swap out that people can do right there, just to start neutralizing toxins.

Wendy Myers: I have a story about that. I’ve always been very fearful of tap water since I was a young – maybe in my teens. I always drink bottled water, always drink spring water. I didn’t drink reverse osmosis water in a bottle. I drink spring water only.

And I always do hair mineral analysis about every three to four months. I was always using a lab from Analytical Research Laboratories.

Unfortunately, they don’t test uranium.

And because I’m using a new lab now, Trace Elements, that test more metals on the test, I discovered that I had uranium toxicity, and I got that from my bathing in shower water. Because I wasn’t getting it from my drinking water, and I’m finding many of my clients in Southern California have uranium toxicity, myself, every single of my friends that I’ve tested, so many of my clients. It’s a 911, and it’s coming from your shower water and the water from your tap.

There’s some sort of toxicity, either from artillery and weapons testing, or from some sort of leakage from a nuclear power plant. We have San Onofre here in Northern San Diego. So it’s a really huge problem.
Uranium causes cancer. It can promote diabetes, prevent detoxification of arsenic, which will prevent fat loss, and a lot of different problems.

I was very shocked and dismayed as the detox guru, to find that I was uranium-toxic. You won’t know until you know, but really, there’s so much horrible stuff that’s in our water. You’re not safe just because you’re drinking bottled water or filtered water. You got to worry about that shower because you ingest everything through your skin.

Heather Deranja: Well, our skin is our largest organ, and it’s our most absorptive organ. I think that a lot of times people just don’t take into consideration how bad just that constant – some people take three showers a day. If we’re constantly bathing that really is increasing our risk of being highly toxic.

47:06 Water Filters

Wendy Myers: I like Pure Effects water filters. That’s the filter that I use. I have a whole house filter from them. They have a city and well water filters. Well water is not safe either. One of my clients have well water, they have manganese toxicity, iron toxicity, arsenic and uranium is naturally occurring in well water.

You’re not safe just because your well water tastes better.

47:32 The Most Pressing Health Issue in the World Today: Stress

So I have a question I’d like to ask all of my guests. What do you think is the most pressing health issue in the world today?

Heather Deranja: Well, stress. I think it begins with stress, honestly. I think that if we can learn to manage stress a little more efficiently, that would really help to reduce a lot of the chronic issues that we have that contribute to our everyday behaviors.

Lack of sleep, to begin with. If we don’t sleep properly, our body is not going to have the ability to heal and repair like it needs to.

And I find that’s really an area of resistance from people. They think that they don’t have any control over the way that they can manage their stress.

The bottom line is, stressors are always going to be there. They’re not going anywhere, but our ability to react to them in a better way could make the difference in 10 years, 20, 30, 40 years, on our life.

Wendy Myers: And you have to learn the art of saying no nicely or not so nicely, what have you. You have to learn to say no and not take on too much.

Heather Deranja: I used to be what I consider a people pleaser, and I was a perfectionist and a control freak. So when I got into my mid 30s and I was getting my master’s degree, and working a full-time job and being a single mom, I couldn’t keep up with the amount of stressors that I was – lack of sleep, long hours, probably wasn’t eating as healthy as I should have been. I definitely was not exercising, and I ended up being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

And so when I got that diagnosis, it really said to me that was an eye-opening experience because I had diet, I had exercise for the most part under control, but what I did not have under control were my stressors.

And the bottom line was I was my own worst enemy.

And so that’s when I had to do a lot of looking into myself and saying, “What can I do to change this situation because if I don’t, I’m not going to get better. I’m going to get chronically worse at an accelerated rate being that I have this kidney disease, my body has a lot harder, more difficult time fighting things off.”

And so I’m more susceptible to something of that nature.

So that’s when I had to start becoming really uncomfortable, having to incorporate meditation and saying no and delegating tasks to other individuals which those were all new areas for me that I really had a hard time with.

And once I started doing that it was amazing over time, how beneficial it truly was for me to make those changes in my life. As uncomfortable as they were at the time, it was worth trying to fight through it. And it’s something that I will continue to have to work at for the rest of my life.

Wendy Myers: Honestly, I have a lot going on, and I used to be very, very controlling with my business and the quality of the information going on my website, and I wanted everything to be perfect, so that I can help people as best that I can.

Sometimes you – it can come back to bite you. It can be very, very stressful. That’s the case with a lot of people in the health industry. And I work with a lot of them. I work with a lot of health celebrities, and they’re not that healthy because they are still passionate and so busy trying to help other people that they can make themselves sick.

Heather Deranja: I work with substantial physician, surgeon clientele, and they tend to be my unhealthiest population, again, because the amount of stress, the long hours, the lack of sleep, the poor diet. They starve themselves all day going from client to client to client, and then they just gorge themselves in the evening on refined, processed foods that are high in sugar.

As soon as we start making some small changes, it’s really amazing how quickly they start to feel better, they start sleeping better, they start saying no, and their quality of life just greatly increases.

Wendy Myers: Well, Heather, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. It was fantastic. I love your energy. I love your message and everything, so I really appreciate you coming on the show.

Heather Deranja: Well, thank you. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to be able to have this conversation with you. I know it was very exciting for me to get the invitation so I appreciate that.

52:38 Where to Find Heather Deranja

Wendy Myers: So why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit more about you. You have a cookbook as well, correct?

Heather Deranja: I do. I’ll actually show you. You’re probably the only one who can see, but I just got my print.

Wendy Myers: It looks good.

Heather Deranja: Awesome. So I decided to write a cookbook because it’s a healthy eating, survival guide as well as healthy recipes. So what I was finding is I would talk to my clients about what their meal choices should be, and they were really having a lot of resistance in actually turning that into a meal.

So I decided that I would take the guess work out of it, and create recipes that supported detoxification, supported hormone balance, as well as our ability to lose weight.

And so I started sampling the recipes with my clients, on my website, and they really just absolutely loved them.

So in six months, I created 85-plus recipes, and threw this project together, and it turned out beautifully. I’ve got some really gorgeous pictures in there. And I’m trying to bring it back to the basics. So back to the 1950s, when we actually used to eat meals at home instead of running through drive-thru’s. And we didn’t have as many environmental toxins that we do now.

So trying to just bring it back to that whole life perspective, and be able to incorporate that realistically in today’s lifestyle.

Wendy Myers: Well, thank you so much. I think that sounds fantastic and I think your cookbook sounds really, really good.

Can the listeners purchase it? Is there anywhere that they can purchase it?

I think I lost Heather. Of course, we’re at the end. But we’ll have that information to purchase her cookbook.

You’re back. We’re losing you. We’re having some technical difficulties here with Skype being problematic.

Heather Deranja: That’s all right. One more thing I did want to mention. I did a create a special gift for all of your listeners. They can go to my website, I’ve got a simple detoxification survival guide. It’s four simple steps to easily detoxify your daily lifestyle, and these are nothing they have to purchase. It’s just little things that they can incorporate into their everyday life, things that we mentioned today here on the show.

Wendy Myers: Great. And what is that link, where they can go?

Heather Deranja: It’s at

Wendy Myers: Fantastic. And that link will be down in the show notes and the transcript, if you want to click on the link.

Heather Deranja: Awesome. Thank you so much, Wendy. I really appreciate it.

Wendy Myers: Thank you, Heather. Thanks for being on the show. And listeners, if you want to learn all about detoxification, and my version of Paleo, the modern Paleo diet, just how to live a healthy, long, disease-free life, you can go to, and you can learn also about my healing and detox program on the new Mineral Power, It’s my new website. It’s coming at the end of January, probably after this podcast’s posting.

Keep a look out for that. Coming very soon.

Thank you so much for listening to the Live to 110 Podcast.