Episode 051: Bariatrics, Autoimmune Diseases and Bridging the Gap Between Convention and Holistic Medicine with Lori Newlon

Episode 051: Bariatrics,  Autoimmune Diseases and Bridging the Gap Between Convention and Holistic Medicine with Lori Newlon

In this episode, I’m joined by my dear friend, Lori Newlon of The Bariatric Dish. Lori is a registered nurse (she has 18 years of experience and counting!) with a specialty certification in bariatric nursing.

Thirteen years ago, she herself had weight loss surgery and struggled with a number of post-operative complications. She turned to real food nutrition to help support her recovery and long-term health which has helped her maintain a 160-pound weight loss. She’s since become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and also runs her own counseling practice helping clients work towards improved health and wellness by adopting a real, whole food diet.

Since having bariatric surgery, Lori has developed not one, not two, but THREE autoimmune diseases, Reynard’s Disease, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

You’ll hear Lori and I chat about a number of things from what is Nutritional Therapy, to her experience with weight loss surgery, how it led her to specialize in Bariatric nursing, and how holistic practices helped her recover from it, ultimately leading her to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and start her own counseling practice.

We also talk about:

  • How she bridges the gap between conventional and holistic medicine

  • Her struggles with three autoimmune diseases

  • And we even get into “what is gut health” and how important it is to overall wellness, what is Leaky Gut Syndrome and even how heart disease is tied to sugar, not fats!


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Naomi Nakamura: You're listening to The Live FAB Life Podcast, Episode 051. Today I'm joined by my dear friend Lori Newlon of the Bariatric Dish. Lori is a registered nurse, she has 18 years of experience and counting and she holds a specialty certification in Bariatric Nursing. Now 13 years ago, she herself had weight loss surgery and struggles with a number of post-operative complications. She turned to real food nutrition to help support her recovery and long-term health which has helped her maintain an amazing 160-pound weight loss. Lori has since become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, also known as an NTP, and also runs her own counseling practice helping her clients work toward health and wellness by adopting a real whole foods diet.

Now since having bariatric surgery, Lori has developed not one, not two but three autoimmune diseases. Raynaud's disease, Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, which we also discuss in depth in our interview. Lori runs the blog, the Bariatric Dish and she can found also on Instagram, under the same name. In this episode, you will hear Lori and I chat about a number of things from what is nutritional therapy to her own experience with weight loss surgery and how it led her to specialize in Bariatric nursing and how holistic practices helped he recover from it. Which ultimately, led her to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and start her own counseling practice.

We also talk about how she bridges the gap between conventional and holistic medicine, her own struggles with three autoimmune diseases and we even get into what is gut health and how important it is for overall wellness. What is leaky gut syndrome and even how heart disease is tied to sugar and not fats, surprise, surprise. You will hear that Lori has a wealth of information to share, not just for the bariatric community, but really for everyone interested in bridging the gap between conventional and holistic medicine. So, with that, let's get to the show.

Hi Lori, welcome to the show.

Lori Newlon: Hi Naomi, thank you for having me.

Naomi Nakamura: There is just so many things that we can talk about here today and we'll get to them all, but before we do, why don't you just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do and how you help people.

Lori Newlon: Sure, I'd love to. So, my name is Lori and I'm a Registered Nurse. I've been a Registered Nurse for 18 years, going on 19 soon. I also hold a specialty certification in Bariatric Nursing, so my specialty and background is in bariatrics. I also, am a Nutritional therapy Practitioner and I got that certification through the NTA.

Naomi Nakamura: So, let's just back things up a little bit. What is bariatrics and how did you come to specialize in that arena? Lori Newlon: Sure, so Bariatric Nursing and Bariatric Medicine, is just specializing in the treatment of obesity. About, well it'll be 13 years next month, I myself had bariatric surgery. I had the roux en y procedure.

Naomi Nakamura: What is that?

Lori Newlon: The roux en y, is the main procedure that they started doing. It's where they will take the upper portion of your stomach and make a small pouch and then they will take part of the limb of the small intestine and reroute it up and attach it to that pouch. So, the pouch size is about the size of an egg and then when you eat your food goes into that pouch and then it exits by way of the small intestine and that's the bypass part because it bypasses most of your intestine.

Naomi Nakamura: Okay. Thank you for clarifying that because I think a lot of us have heard of it and a lot of us have heard different variations of it that may or may not be true, but now we hear it from you. So, you went through this procedure yourself?

Lori Newlon: Yes about 13 years ago.

Naomi Nakamura: Wow, what was that like?

Lori Newlon: It was very scary. It ended up being very scary. When I was first looking into it, I really didn't give it a whole lot of thought because I was in a place where most weight loss surgery patients are in, and it's kind of their last ditch effort, it's their last resort. You're kind of desperate. You truly have tried everything and you're just really desperate to lose weight, feel better and be treated normally. Be able to do things like exercising, walking upstairs, that sort of thing. Maybe not being in pain from having lower back pain or your knees hurting, things like that.

Naomi Nakamura: When you had this procedure, you were already a nurse, but you were not yet a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?

Lori Newlon: Correct.

Naomi Nakamura: Okay, so were you already specializing in Bariatric Nursing at this point, or did that come after you had it?

Lori Newlon: Came after.

Naomi Nakamura: Was there any additional training you had to go through to become a specialist in this area or because you went through it yourself, you were naturally put into that arena?

Lori Newlon: Right, no you definitely have to. They don't take into consideration personal experience. That would be great, but it doesn't work that way, so you have to have at least five years of experience in working with the bariatric community. Six years ago, the hospital that I work at, we started doing bariatric surgery and with my experience and my knowledge and just being fascinated by it, it just ended up being something that became my passion. I became very, very into nutrition and how food works with the body. I was resorting to a lot of food and nutrition to help me through some tough spots. It's not something that I originally went into nursing for, was Bariatric Nursing, it just ended up, from my own experience, I just ended up here.

Naomi Nakamura: Well, I think you are an amazing resource for that community because you are personally experienced, but what led you from that point to then want to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner? Maybe, for those who don't know, you can explain what that is and then how you went about becoming that?

Lori Newlon: Sure, so a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner really focuses on basically food is medicine. I know a lot of people will say that and you'll see that in the holistic, functional nutrition communities, but we really do. We believe that food can help support your body through illness, it can really help to maintain your nutritional statuses, but what led me to becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner was my own health journey and becoming very, very ill a few years after I had weight loss surgery.

I ended up having a lot of complications from bariatric surgery and regardless of a very, very good bariatric team, there were a lot of dead ends and not a lot of answers. A lot of, "Well, you know, that's the side effects or the symptoms of the complications of bariatric surgery." I just knew that there were more answers. There had to be something out there to help me stay healthy and help me maintain my health and my life, basically. So, I ended up looking into that and it definitely has helped, I have to say. That, thankfully, with conventional medicine ... 'Cause I have had many surgeries that were related to complications from that, but definitely with good nutrition, it definitely has helped me overcome a lot.

Naomi Nakamura: That's why I really wanted ... I was so looking forward to having this conversation with you because you have such an established career in conventional medicine, as a Registered Nurse and yet you also have this established career where I know you are seen as a leader in this area. You have a large following and you are on the speaker circuit and you work with so many people, but you're also a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, so you have this conventional ... Oh, and you have this holistic approach. How do you marry those things together because for some people it's very this or that, but it's not both together?

Lori Newlon: Right, when I go to work, I'm working as a Registered Nurse under my license and I do have to be very careful that I stick to that, but luckily in the current department that I'm in, I work in the PACU, which stands for Peri-anesthesia Care Unit. I will pre-op patients, they will go in to have their surgery and then they will come out and we will recover them, but I primarily am a pre-op nurse. So, I get to work more with the patients, as far as educating and that sort. The days that I do work, I am primarily the Bariatric Nurse there. I am pre-oping most if not all of the bariatric patients, so I get to help with that educational part of it.

Part of the pre-operative process, when I'm admitting a patient, we look at where you have to review the patients medications with them, so that gives me the opportunity to speak to certain things and a lot of patients nowadays are supplementing. Are using supplements and a lot our herbal supplements. Fish oils, turmeric, that sort of thing, vitamins and such and a lot of patients will come in and that allows me to open the door and say, "Oh gosh, what do you take St. John's Wart for?" Or, "I see you're taking Turmeric, what are you taking that for?" It just kind of opens the door for me to investigate a little bit more and see why and see if there's any nutritional things that I can talk about. Inevitably, food ends up coming into the picture all the time.

Naomi Nakamura: So, out of curiosity, are there bariatric surgeries taking place every day?

Lori Newlon: No, in our facility, our bariatric surgeries are Mondays and Tuesdays and depending on procedure. So, we focus on two procedures. We focus on the gastric bypass or the roux en y, which is what I had and we also focus on the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which is quickly becoming the gold standard. The roux en y takes a little bit longer than the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, but we typically do anywhere from six to eight surgeries every Monday and Tuesday.

Naomi Nakamura: Wow. Then when you talk about the educational piece, how do you do that? Are there educational programs after the surgery to help educate the patient on how they're going to need to support their body after the procedure?

Lori Newlon: That's a very good question. You would be surprised at how vastly different the bariatric programs are from facility to facility. I can speak from our program that we have and is basically the program that I went through, just at a different facility. We definitely do, we have an extensive bariatric program that focuses a lot on education. You have certain criteria that you have to meet. Psychological exams that you have to do. You have to turn in food logs, meet with the dietician and they definitely make themselves available to you if you need to. You just give them a phone call or email and you can contact them and they can help you work through certain things in your diet. Then, they also encourage going to support groups.

In our facility, it is not mandated that you continue going to your support groups after, it's highly suggested. It's suggested that you keep up and maintain with your bariatric dietician, but it's not always the case so a lot of the education goes into pre-operative education.

Naomi Nakamura: Do you bring a lot of the food as medicine elements into your education with your patients?

Lori Newlon: When I'm not working with my own clients-

Naomi Nakamura: Because you have a separate, bariatric nutritional therapy practice on the side, okay got it.

Lori Newlon: Yes, exactly. It's hard to do that in my place of employment because they're just literally a couple of hours from going into the operating room. They're nervous, they're excited, a lot of things are going in one ear and out the other. That's just kind of how it is in my department. There's a lot of things going on. A lot of unknown that they're trying to process, so I can definitely ... I get a lot of questions about what they're going to be eating a few weeks after surgery, so I definitely encourage the bone broth, that sort of thing, to help encourage healing and it's got some great protein because it's going to be a few weeks before they're advanced to a different stage in their diet. A lot of times, just because you're advanced to a different stage in your diet, does not mean you're going to be able to tolerate it. I definitely have to focus on the first few weeks, which is purees and soups and bone broth and mixing collagen peptides when you can and that sort of thing, but it's different in my own practice that I have-

Naomi Nakamura: Do you work with pre or post procedure, or both?

Lori Newlon: In my real life job, definitely pre-procedure, but after-

Naomi Nakamura: In your own nutrition counseling business?

Lori Newlon: After surgery, post.

Naomi Nakamura: After, okay.

Lori Newlon: Definitely. It could be months, it could be years. I prefer working, I would say, at least nine months to a year post-surgery because there's still so much healing that goes on and only so much that you can do.

Naomi Nakamura: So, I kind of want to pivot a little bit because you talked about your own complications that you had with your health post your bariatric surgery and I know that you have ... I know this because you talk about it openly on your social media, you actually have three autoimmune diseases right?

Lori Newlon: Yes.

Naomi Nakamura: So, were those around before your procedure, or did they come about afterwards?

Lori Newlon: After.

Naomi Nakamura: Do you think any of that's tied together? It's hard to know, but what's your thoughts there?

Lori Newlon: I really think it's related. I definitely think it's related. It's hard for me not to really go down that road. It all has to be related somehow.

Naomi Nakamura: So, what are the three that you have?

Lori Newlon: I have psoriasis, Raynaud's and just recently over the last few months, my primary and dermatologist is fairly certain that because I have psoriasis and based on what my symptoms are that I may have, probably have, psoriatic arthritis. I do have osteoarthritis, but based on symptoms he's like, "Yeah, you have psoriasis, so you probably have psoriatic arthritis." I'm like, "Well, let's test. What can we do?" He's like, "Well, basically, we're not going to test anything and how you treat psoriatic arthritis is with treating the psoriasis." I'm like, "All right, that totally makes sense. I'm down of that."

Naomi Nakamura: Kind of back things up and tell us about how they came about because I know a lot of people might be listening to this and thinking, well I have psoriasis, but may not realize it is an autoimmune disease.

Lori Newlon: Correct. The funny thing about it is I really didn't give it much thought about it being an autoimmune disease until I really started looking into it and saw, oh my gosh, this is categorized under an autoimmune disease.

Naomi Nakamura: Well, let's back things up even more, because you are a nurse, tell us exactly what is an autoimmune disease? We hear about it so much, but why don't we get ... Just lay it out there, actually what is an autoimmune disease?

Lori Newlon: So, the easiest terms are it's where your body will form ... It basically will attack itself. When you talk about leaky gut, the junctions in your gut are supposed to be super, super tight and it's impermeable, it doesn't let any big proteins or anything through into your system.

Naomi Nakamura: Any of the bad stuff out. It's the protective barrier for your gut.

Lori Newlon: Exactly and there is something that ... There is many things that can cause, over time, the junctions in your gut to open up, loosen and then the things that are not supposed to be in your system will filter through and end up in your system. Your body takes that as invaders and your body starts doing what it's supposed to do, which is attack and protect you and try and rid itself. Whatever it is that's attacking it.

Naomi Nakamura: That's what our immune system does.

Lori Newlon: That's what it's supposed to do, right, exactly. We're smart that way, our bodies are so smart.

Naomi Nakamura: So, autoimmune is when our bodies have a little bit of confusion going on and it's attacking things that it shouldn't be attacking basically.

Lori Newlon: Right.

Naomi Nakamura: Sorry, to interrupt you. Go back to how you realized that you had psoriasis and started looking into that.

Lori Newlon: When I think back, my very first symptom was about nine years ago and it started out as this little spot on my scalp. It was a little itchy, not too bad. In fact, I let it go for a long, long time and thought, oh it's my shampoo, so then I started using some kind of dandruff shampoo. Then, that really didn't end up working. So, it just kind of started getting bigger and bigger and progressing a little bit more. I noticed I was distracting-

Naomi Nakamura: Did it hurt?

Lori Newlon: Only when you itch it, it gets real bad, but otherwise no it didn't. It was not painful at all. Ended up going to the doctor saying, "Okay, I've had this for quite a while. This is what it is." She said, "Oh yeah, it's dandruff. Here's a little bit of lotion ointment." When I say lotion, it's more of a liquid. "Use Coal Tar shampoo and everything will be great." I'm like, "Well, okay." I have to admit that I honestly did not use any of that Coal Tar shampoo and I did not use any of the medication that was prescribed. I thought this will just go away on its own. I did not, it just progressed and got a little bit worse. To the point where it spread across the back of my scalp and then led me to about a year ago seeing the doctor again because I had stuff on my hand.

As a nurse, you don't want to have ... Your skin is your biggest barrier, you don't want to have any open cracks or sores working in nursing. To protect my patients and to protect myself, so I went and saw him and he said, "Well, I think it might be eczema, but I'm not really sure so I'm just going to put in a referral for you to go to dermatology." Went to the dermatologist, he took one look at my skin, my nail beds, my toenails and my fingernails and my scalp and said, "No, you have psoriasis. This is psoriasis, it's not eczema."

To get it under control, because at this point is a little more than I could handle with being distracted with the itching and like I said, the open breaks in my scalp and my hands. I got prescribed the normal steroid ointments and creams and a UVB light, phototherapy light, to treat that. Then, just started around there.

So, my first symptom started about nine years ago.

Naomi Nakamura: Wow, okay. Then, what about the Raynaud's disease. I'm not that familiar with that, what is that?

Lori Newlon: It affects the small vessels and capillaries, mostly in your fingertips, well for me in my fingertips. It is brought on mostly by cold. So, in the wintertime I have a really hard time. That's when it flares the most or when I'm holding a cold drink or if I'm sticking my hand in the ice maker to put ice in my drink. So, they'll just kind of spasm and close off and your fingertips will literally turn white and they'll look dead. You just don't have any color in your fingertips and it can affect one finger, three fingers, it doesn't really matter. Then they'll start to get real painful and tingly and then once they start to warm up, that's when it really hurts. When it feels like it's pins and needles and they ache. That started a few years after I noticed the patch of dry skin on my scalp.

Naomi Nakamura: Then the psoriatic arthritis, that I'm actually fairly familiar for because I know other people with it as well. It's painful.

Lori Newlon: It is. What kind of starting me down that road of Googling and wondering, gosh why am I having such a hard time with this one thumb or this one index finger? Why are my ankles so sore or my lower back? So, I started looking at that and just like how psoriasis will flare, the psoriatic arthritis will flare and it generally will only affect, not one joint, but like one finger and you'll get some swelling there.

Naomi Nakamura: Do you ever see or notice if they flare at the same time or if your flares are related to each other?

Lori Newlon: No. Definitely, I have more flares when it comes to the skin stuff then I do the joint. What led me to saying, "hey, what's up with this? My finger is a little bit more swollen and it locks up and it's just so sore and painful. I feel like I have, not that I would know what it feels like, but I feel like I have 80 year old hands. What gives?" Then, I started having ... My eyes would be bloodshot, for no reason and that is actually another symptom of the psoriatic arthritis, so he's like, "Yeah, you more than likely have it. We're just going to treat it by treating the skin."

*Naomi Nakamura: Do you have a bunch of topical creams and what not to treat the psoriasis? Along the same lines of how you are going to treat these other things that you have, how are you managing it, or what approaches or changes, if any, have you taken to put your NTP training into place and to try and treat it more holistically?

Lori Newlon: Last October, I saw a naturopathic doctor and I did do a bunch of blood testing, food sensitivity testing and ... Just because, it's really hard as a bariatric patient to do elimination diets or eliminate foods out of your diet when day to day, meal to meal, it depends on what you can tolerate. So, I needed to nail it down because I had been playing around with it for months and months and months.

Naomi Nakamura: Just in general, elimination diets are really hard. Especially when you have to get so specific into figuring out what is it that your body's reacting to.

Lori Newlon: Correct. My tests did come back highly reactive ... My body really reacts to eggs and dairy, all forms of dairy.

Naomi Nakamura: Which is really common for autoimmune disease.

Lori Newlon: Yes, I know. Thinking that my beloved eggs, because I eat a lot ... It's a really great source of protein for me. For a while I just couldn't tolerate eggs, early on in my years of bariatric surgery, but they had just become such a protein staple. That's really been hard to transition away from there. I definitely use my diet to control and treat my flare-ups.

Naomi Nakamura: I just want to say ... Just to add on to the thought about elimination diets being difficult. This is after you've already gone through and eliminated the sugar and the gluten and the processed foods. Those are the basic things you need to do, so if you haven't done those things yet, that's where you start. Where we're talking getting more into actual food sensitivity testing is when you've done those basic things and your problems are still there and that's when you need a little bit more targeted help. That's where these additional tests come in, but there's plenty you can do first.

Lori Newlon: Oh, absolutely. That's what I did. Even before the autoimmune diagnosis, I definitely started ... I removed the gluten, the sugar and the processed foods and the inflammatory oils. Like you said, that just wasn't enough. I had to get really specific and dig a little bit deeper.

Naomi Nakamura: Wow. That's crazy, that you have three autoimmune diseases.

Lori Newlon: Right. Yeah, I never would have thought that ... You just never think that anything like that is going to happen.

Naomi Nakamura: But it's so common these days.

Lori Newlon: It really is. I can't tell you how many patients that filter through, that are on immunosuppressant drugs for rheumatoid arthritis ... You name it. There's so many autoimmune diseases.

Naomi Nakamura: It's almost just a common thing now.

Lori Newlon: Yeah, exactly.

Naomi Nakamura: Which is really sad because it's common, but it's still not normal.

Lori Newlon: No, it's not.

Naomi Nakamura: What other practices or approaches have you taken to help living with autoimmune diseases?

Lori Newlon: So, I definitely ... Being a nurse and working in a big hospital, we are exposed to chemicals and toxins and toxic cleaners that truly have to be used. There's just really no way around it. It protects us, protects our patients and we definitely get proper training on how to handle certain substances, cleaning our computer work station, things like that. Always wearing gloves, taking the appropriate precautions, but there's still inhalation. You're still ... Maybe your computer isn't totally dry after you've used this disinfectant and you've removed your gloves because you have to and maybe you still have ... Your computer station is still a little bit wet from that cleaner.

So, I really, really need to decrease my exposure to these toxins, to these chemicals and I can only do so much at work, but I can do a whole heck of a lot in my personal life and here at home. I just do the best I can with using cleaner products. Staying away from the Lysol wipes and still using gloves and that kind of thing. Just educating myself on what these things can really do.

Naomi Nakamura: Yeah, I agree 100%. I went through the whole thing myself, of cleaning out everything that was under the kitchen sink and trying to find other products that are just as effective but aren't so ... When you're scrubbing the bathroom, you're not getting high from the fumes.

Lori Newlon: Right, no or wanting to faint and throw up or something.

Naomi Nakamura: Which has happened to me.

Lori Newlon: Oh, gosh.

Naomi Nakamura: Other than your food, your diet and trying to avoid toxins 'cause that really the only way to manage toxins is to avoid it, what other things have you been doing to help manage your psoriasis?

Lori Newlon: As a bariatric patient, we are required to supplement with vitamins and minerals for the rest of our life. So, I definitely make sure that I keep up with that. I'm not perfect on it but-

Naomi Nakamura: Just out of curiosity, what are they?

Lori Newlon: It's going to be iron, B vitamins, calcium.

Naomi Nakamura: Which I do want to say, whether you are a bariatric patient or not, these are essential vitamins that everybody needs that most people probably don't get enough of.

Lori Newlon: That's right and you want to do the multi-vitamin with the other stuff. When I started learning and reading about psoriasis, of course, the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner came out in me and I started looking into what supplements I could take to help support myself through all of this. Not necessarily to rely on it but ... So, I definitely take probiotics-

Naomi Nakamura: That's going back to the gut health, right?

Lori Newlon: Exactly. What you'll find is and you'll probably recognize this, Naomi, that a lot of these supplements actually focus on gut healing.

Naomi Nakamura: Do you want to explain why that is? I've explained it in many podcast episodes, but you being the medical professional, kind of paint the picture of the relationship between the gut ... Well first of all, what is the gut and what's the relationship to the immune system?

Lori Newlon: So, when people talk about the gut, you are talking about your large intestine, your small intestine, your stomach, but mainly your large and small intestine.

Naomi Nakamura: 'Cause that's where a lot of digestion happens, right?

Lori Newlon: Yeah, a lot of it, the majority of it. That's where your good bacteria are to help in that. You have bacteria in your gut that helps you synthesize B vitamins.

Naomi Nakamura: So, when we talked a few minutes ago about leaky gut and about how that intestinal barrier becomes either very tight or becomes loose, that's in your small intestines.

Lori Newlon: Yes, absolutely. When you're going back to healing the gut, there's probiotics are involved, zinc, some kind of fatty acid. I do the evening Primrose, vitamin D helps with supporting your body with psoriasis and trying to heal that way. Your gut is commonly referred to as ... In conventional medicine, as your second nervous system, so many things they're finding now are related to the gut, depression-

Naomi Nakamura: That's the gut, brain connection and that's why for a lot of people who have neurological challenges, focusing on the gut ... When I say this, people think I'm crazy, when I say, "Oh, you have skin problems, you need to support your gut." People look at me like I'm crazy, but I'm like, "No, really." It really is the foundation for wellness.

Lori Newlon: Right. Your skin is basically the billboard of what is going on inside your body. It's going to show, it's going to come through in your skin and in various forms. Rashes, hives, itchiness, real dry, psoriasis, acne, all those sorts of things.

Naomi Nakamura: When we talk about the gut and autoimmunity, you're immune system, most of it's located in your gut.

Lori Newlon: That's correct.

Naomi Nakamura: That's the connection there so it's understandable, I could say, in how your autoimmune diseases might have manifested after your bariatric surgery.

Lori Newlon: Absolutely.

Naomi Nakamura: Because that was a lot of stress on your gut and among all other things that we deal with in life, toxins, stress, all of these other things but-

Lori Newlon: You know, going back even further, after the first two years of my surgery, most of the problems I had were related to my gut. I developed chronic ulcers, I perforated, I was on feeding tubes, I had antibiotics that I was taking, so my poor gut.

Naomi Nakamura: Your poor gut.

Lori Newlon: It definitely went through many, many years of-

Naomi Nakamura: Trauma.

Lori Newlon: Of trauma, basically trauma. I would say the last two years is the healthiest I've been since the day ... Even counting when I was obese. The day I went in for surgery. I'm finally healthier now and it's really taken about 11 years to get there unfortunately.

Naomi Nakamura: Wow. Well, I think that you are just a wealth of information. Especially for this community of people. I know that, you know, we got to you all the time with questions like, "what do you think about this? What do you think about that?" The fact that you have this 18 years of professional experience in conventional medicine that you can then layer on top of that, not just your own personal experiences, but your training as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. I just think, wow, what a great resource you are for people in this community. Honestly, I don't think they realize it.

Lori Newlon: Well, thank you. I really ... It goes hand in hand and I'm so happy that I definitely took that route of nutrition and I can bring it into my nursing practice and into conventional medicine. It is definitely coming around, I do have to say. I've seen some big changes with that. A real quick, fun ... That may give people hope, is probably about nine months ago we had a patient come over from cardiac cath lab. They were having some diagnostic tests run just to check out their vessels in their heart and the patient did great. The patient was in post-op recovering and the Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner came over to talk to the family and the patient.

I happened to be with this patient in recovery. We were just chit chatting and here she comes over and she's giving some education and talking and then she starts talking about food and I really definitely perked up. I was just standing there listening-

Naomi Nakamura: Like, I gotta hear this.

Lori Newlon: Right. I'm like, oh boy, where are we going with this? I was floored, I wanted to just run up to her and just hug her. She said, "We're finding that a lot of heart disease and heart related issues are not so much related to fat anymore, it's sugar." I was just like, "Oh my gosh, finally. I can't believe I'm actually hearing this." It was probably my, to date, the best nursing day that I have had in a very long time.

Naomi Nakamura: You probably just had a whole bunch of people who have never heard that before, just say, "Wait, what? Rewind that, say that again?" That's a whole 'nother topic for a whole 'nother episode. Yes, cardiovascular and heart disease is not always tied to fat.

Lori Newlon: That's right.

Naomi Nakamura: Take a look at your sugar. That's why I'm a 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach.

Lori Newlon: Yes, you are.

Naomi Nakamura: That's why we say. I hear so many people, that they want to know all the supplementation to take and they want to know all the lab work they can take. Even people who do the more holistic work, like you and I do, but even us, we're like, "Hey, you guys. Wait a second, let's back things up. Are you eating a lot of sugar and that might not be cookies and candies and soda, but are you eating a lot of processed foods, even if they are, quote, unquote paleo treats? It's still a carb and carbs turn to sugar in your body."

Lori Newlon: Exactly.

Naomi Nakamura: Well, thank you so much for being here. This has just been such a great opportunity to hear your story. I don't think I heard all of it in the way you just shared it, so thank you so much. Where can people connect with you and learn more about what you do and what you talk about?

Lori Newlon: Sure, I have an Instagram account and that is pretty easy, it's called the Bariatric Dish and my blog is also pretty simple, called the Bariatric Dish. Those are primarily where you can find me.

Naomi Nakamura: I will link to those in the show notes and thank you so much for being here.

Lori Newlon: Oh, Naomi, thank you. It's been great, my pleasure.


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Naomi Nakamura is a certified Holistic Health Coach who takes a holistic approach through functional nutrition. Through her weekly show, The Live FAB Live Podcast, coaching programs, and safer skincare solutions, she helps people with acne and other chronic skin issues clear up their skin by teaching them where food meets physiology and how food, gut health, stress, and toxins are intricately connected to the health and appearance of our skin. Naomi resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and can often be found romping around the city with her puppy girl, Coco Pop! Connect with Naomi at: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest.