03:08 – From health food store to going online
07:12 – Talking about it on mainstream
09:47 – Should everyone be doing THIS?
12:03 – How accurate is microbiome testing?
14:30 – Who is this option available to?
15:40 – What ACTUALLY happens with testing
17:53 – Amazing results shared
23:31 – Recommended fixes
27:23 – Other go-to gut fixes
31:07 – Implementing good ideas
38:55 – Where to start
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James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is Episode 643. And we’re going to be talking about the gut which is really a fascinating topic the more you delve into it. For this topic, I brought along an expert in this area, Amanda Ledwith. Welcome.
Amanda: Thanks, James.
James: So I’ve been dealing with your husband most of the time, Amanda. It’s actually the first time we’ve ever spoken. And your husband, Owen, has been your business delegate inside SuperFastBusiness Membership where he joined the end of 2017. And I’ve been chatting with him back and forth, as we’ve been building the business and I found it a really fascinating topic. Because on this particular podcast, even though our domain name is SuperFastBusiness, one of the four areas that I do focus a lot on, in both SuperFastBusiness and SilverCircle, is on personalized effectiveness. And in that personal effectiveness, apart from the usual stuff like routines and being productive and deciding if you want to have a $10 million business or if you’re happy just to make 100 grand a month, and if you want a certain type of business, we look at all the foundations to the person, such as the mindset stuff.
We’ve talked on this show about meditation. We’ve talked about alter egos. We’ve talked about sleep, we’ve talked about breathing, we’ve talked about general mindset. We’ve had people talk about diet and fitness. And there was an extensive series on DNA. In fact, I think the longest episode we’ve ever had was just one of the three part series about DNA, which was kind of mind-blowing to most of our audience. Because this idea that we can actually, for the first time, get some hard data on what hardware we’re running as well as the software in our mindset, we can actually see what is this physical body we have and know more about it. And from what I understand, you’ve gone from that DNA exploration in your own journey through to sort of the punchline of where a lot of this comes back to when you’re talking to health professionals these days.
“It’s all about the gut.”
I keep hearing this over and over again, it’s all about the gut. I hear it in antenatal class, when they talk about the bacteria the baby’s going to grow, that’s going to protect them in the future, the way that they’re they’re learning more about that. I hear it from great friends of mine like Clint Paddison, who helps people with rheumatoid arthritis. I found out about it when I was told to lay off the gluten a little bit because it’s giving me inflammation and eroding my gut bacteria or whatever. And restoring your gut health is such a big topic. And then I see studies about probiotics. And then along comes Owen, and he’s asking me all these questions about growing the business. But I just couldn’t help but be fascinated with this topic, and I have a feeling this is of general interest to our community. So I’m really excited to find out more about it today. And also, I’d love it if we could share just a little bit about your own journey from health food store to moving to Bali and going online and what that was like.
From health food store to going online
Amanda: Great, thanks, James. I’m based in Perth. I’m a naturopath. And I’ve been in the health industry for at least 15, I’d say more than 15 years. And I had my own health food store for about five years. And partly, we would sort of be looking for different ideas. But also the location where we were, was actually soon to be closed for redevelopment. So it gave us a really good chance to reassess what we were doing. And we had two young children who were very young, before school age at that point. And we’ve always had a really, I guess, a passion to want to go and live in Bali. And so we decided to close up our shop. And we sold everything, including our house, and we packed up our two kids and we moved up there.
And we had a few different business ideas and wanting to, you know, create more of an online health business and with my background is a naturopath I really wanted to, I guess do some more, a lot more research and study. Even though I’d been in that area for a long time, I just wanted to do something a little bit different. And so yeah, we really took that time right there for eight months. And just, you know, took that time to sort of brainstorm a new business and start a new website. And I was lucky to have already had a bit of a following from clients that I work with in my health food stores, so I started working with some clients while I was studying as well. And then we moved back to Perth, and then we decided the online consultation. So I was using Skype, doing Skype consults when we lived in Bali. And so then when we moved back to Perth, we just decided that was working so well initially for us, but then also for clients that I just found that the more and more I was attracting clients who either were at home with kids or had very busy working routines that they could have consults in their lunch break, or actually, out in the country. I have a lot of country clients, you know, families who don’t have access to, you know, clinics and things where they live, and so that it really sort of decided to snowball from there. But yeah, genetics was an area that I had already been very interested in, and that was the first area I did more research and study.
So the company I work with is smart DNA. They’re an Australian company and they also specialize in gut microbiome testing. So that was always an area of really big focus for myself. And when I had my health food store, and the clients that I work with that I knew that what we call then digestive health was, you know, a really important part of how we absorb nutrients, and therefore, our energy levels. And then that affects every other system in the body. And so then, with the introduction of a new type of microbiome testing (and that was about two years ago) that really then started to create much more of a picture of not just how we digest things, but then our microbiome, which is all the bacteria in our gut, which is very much based, there’s a lot of new research, and really, there wasn’t a lot of scientific research done for a really long time. Which is why now, gut health and microbiome has become, I guess, a very big buzz area of health, because we just have so much new information and knowledge that we didn’t have before.
James: I heard a radio ad the other day, and it’s rare that I do listen to the radio. It was a very short drive, just to a nearby beach. And in that time, I heard an ad where someone was talking about poking around their poo, and it was an ad for colon cancer check for people over 50, I think. So, you know, I think when you start to talk about poo on mainstream radio, it is becoming a more aware thing. It’s like, you know, when I started online, people didn’t know what Twitter was. And Facebook was sort of early days, and then it became mainstream, you know? Now on the news, like the President of the United States tweets. So do you think we will be hearing more about gut and checking on poop, and that sort of stuff in the mainstream?
Amanda: Definitely, definitely. I mean, it’s obviously an area that I’m very interested in and constantly doing a lot of research, too.
James: I was going to say ‘knee-deep in.’
James: Interesting metaphor. Because you sell a poop kit, right?
Amanda: I don’t do the testing myself. I send it to the lab.
James: Right. But so, that’s one of your products, though. When you’re doing testing, you send out kits and people send back samples.
Amanda: That’s right.
James: But it doesn’t come to you?
Amanda: No, no, no. I’m not sitting here in my office analyzing.
James: It’s kind of like the DNA one. They send out the kit, and then you swab something, send it off, and you get all the data.
Amanda: That’s it. Yeah, but no, I mean, we definitely will just continue to hear more and more. As a practitioner, I go to a lot of seminars and listen to a lot of research, whether it’s within Australia or worldwide. And we actually, you know, Australia is sometimes a little bit behind when it comes to new scientific research and information. But in the area of gut health, you know, there are some amazing companies that I work with, as far as remedies that are looking to treat some of these, to help treat some of these areas. And so we do have, you know, really access to some of the latest research. And then with the testing, a lot of people don’t realize that we do have, you know, an amazing lab here in Australia. You don’t have to send it off overseas. So there’s a lot of new information. But yeah, the whole understanding, I guess, of the level of the microbiome, they still say that it’s the tip of the iceberg. We do have a lot of new information over the last two years, but they still do think that there’s so much more, especially in the area of viruses, you know.
There’s still not a lot understood about viral infections, and that’s definitely something not tested for, unfortunately. But is an area that I do help a lot of clients with. That might be one of the reasons that they come to see me for gut microbiome testing, is that they’ve had recurrent infections and a lot of antibiotics and they’ve been tested for, you know, different viruses and they’ve either been identified or they’re not. Sometimes they’ll just be told, we know you have some sort of virus but we’re not sure what it is. And and then that really just depletes their overall health and then starts to affect whole other areas of their life. Like you mentioned, you know, with business. So if you are running your own business, health is such an important part because if you don’t feel good, it’s very hard to be able to, you know, obviously put that out into all areas of your life.
James: Is it something that only people who are sick need? Or do you think that it’s going to become more mainstream? Like, should everyone be doing a microbiome testing?
Should everyone be doing this?
Amanda: I mean, it is a very interesting area. So one of the reasons that I would recommend all that people would inquire about having microbiome testing is really to see, you know, how their current diet and lifestyle is impacting on their microbiome, because a microbiome test report is very comprehensive, and gives a lot of different levels of information, as far as how we’re feeding those gut bacteria. And if we’re not eating the right foods, how that might be depleting some of our good bacteria, or leaving us more prone to infection, or a leaky gut, for example.
So that’s something that will be identified, but also I would have clients of almost opposites, so clients who are very sick, very aware, and children as well. I often get asked, Oh, can you test on children? Well, yes, you definitely can. And I do work with a lot of children, particularly in the area of I would say, skin, you know, eczema and dermatitis for children, even anxiety, and also, you know, learning difficulties, that’s a really big area.
But then I would have clients on the opposite where they are feeling quite well, but they are really interested. They’re interested in the research, they’re interested in health in general, but they’re also interested in optimal health. So, that’s a really big area that I do work with a lot of clients to, you know, use this testing to really optimize their health and to give more understanding to their own body, because I think that’s one of the major areas of health. The more we can understand about how our body works, and what we put in and how that affects us, then that has a really big impact on our daily life as well. And also genetics, actually, the genetic test testing is, is a big focus for optimal health, that would be another area that I find a lot of clients who are really looking to, you know, optimize their fitness or brain health, then looking at genetics is really helpful as well.
“The genetic test is a big focus for optimal health.”
James: It certainly helped me a lot, absolutely transformed me from being in pain in the middle of winter, hardly able to move my neck, to understanding what’s going on and making significant modifications with the help of all the fantastic listeners. Our audience, there’s so many skilled people that make up the listenership of this particular podcast, just stepped in to help out. Things like DNA tests and foam rollers and blow-up balls, you know. Just getting back on track was so good, all the blood work as well.
How accurate is microbiome testing? Because you do see, sometimes, reports about the various degrees of accuracy from the DNA reports, you know. Depending on where you read, they vary in how accurate their testing methodologies are, and the data. Is it more accurate than that? Is it more like a blood test?
How accurate is it?
Amanda: Yeah, I think, you know, there’s definitely a lot of information about different tests across the board, you know, worldwide. And even, there’s a lot of blood tests that not necessarily have the highest level of accuracy, either. They can be very quick to change. But I guess, you know, all I can say is that with the company that I that I use for my testing is, you know, very much based on the latest research in that area. And so, rather than a culture, like a lot of labs would do, culture testing, which is definitely helpful as well. But that’s really, that’s more helping to identify infections, and sort of more of a basic level of, I guess, digestive health.
Whereas a true sort of DNA sequencing analysis is really able to identify those three levels that we now know we have of the microbiome. And so right down to that species level. And so if we have all of that information, we can now relate it to all the new research that’s coming through about different bacteria that are linked to anxiety, and depression and hormonal issues and weight gain, and the bacteria that are involved in the gut lining. So then if leaky gut is an issue, you know, because that’s a very big, I think leaky gut is another word that’s being very much thrown around. And there is a true meaning to leaky gut, and there’s a lot of different symptoms that can be linked with that, there’s a lot of different triggers. But I do find that these type of microbiome testing is very good at actually identifying whether that is the issue or not. And I would probably say, probably about 90 percent of clients that come to see me could definitely have symptoms that may be a result of leaky gut, whereas what I’ve found in the testing that I’ve done over the last couple of years is it’s probably more about 50 percent. So then that indicates that there are other areas that are actually contributing to those symptoms that actually may not be leaky gut. So it’s a really good way to identify that but also to alert, if it’s not.
“Even if you’re okay, you can actually feel even better if you can make some adjustments.”
James: Yeah, it’s like sometimes, even if you’re okay, you can actually feel even better if you can make some adjustments. I found that DNA testing actually showed that I wasn’t processing B12 or folinic acid properly, most likely. So when I took the activated supplements, it’s like I’m on a turbo booster. It’s like, whoa, is this what other people feel, you know, when they’re getting it from their food? So just that little extra thing from knowing that. So it sounds like a great process.
I do have a question, I mean, half the listeners for this show are based in the USA. Is the same option available to them?
Who is this option available to?
Amanda: Yes, definitely. I do have quite a number of clients international. So for me, you know, organizing consultations is definitely no problem. Often I’ll use (depending on which country they’re in), often I’ll use different testing. So like, in the USA and Canada, there’s a company uBiome that do the same type of technique. So I’ve got a client in Hawaii, for example, and I could actually use my Australian company with them, which was actually a better option than using than using the USA. So yes, in most countries, there’s definitely an option of a lab either from here or, you know, of where they are to be able to use and use that report and that analysis to help create a wellness plan for them. That’s effectively what I do. So whether I’m working with clients on just a consult basis, or whether we’re using more functional functional testing, like microbiome, or genetic testing, or other types of hormone testing, effectively, I’m putting together a wellness plan for them. And for some people, it’s more of a short term. There might not be too many areas to address. And for some people, it may be very much more of a long term plan because of all the, you know, underlying, more serious health issues.
What ACTUALLY happens with testing
James: Yeah, so, I want to talk about that. What are the steps? Your website is pranathrive.com, right? So what actually happens from the time someone goes there? I’ve learned a lot about this process from talking with Owen, and I think it’s really interesting, but I did notice that you have consultations around that. Because obviously, if someone goes and gets a sample and test it, they might end up with a report. I can go and get my blood tested at the local Medicare or whatever, and they can do all the blood tests, and then you get the report, but you need someone to interpret it, you know? That’s the diagnosis. But then you need a prescription, right?
Amanda: Yes, that’s right. So that’s what I really focus on is obviously my background knowledge already in nutritional and herbal medicine. And then really using that, I guess, the research and the study that I’ve done over the last three years in that area, to really interpret these lab tests. Because often, you know, the labs are obviously very good at their testing, and they’re providing that information, but then what you do with that information can be definitely interpreted in different ways. So the Australian company that I work with, they thoroughly train all their practitioners so that they know that, you know, the people who are paying for these tests are actually getting the right sort of information. Sometimes in other countries, they don’t have the same rules, so people can just order tests and try and do it themselves. But then effectively, they’re spending all that time on doing their own research, and still trying to work out what the best action plan is. So that’s what I really focus on with my programs, is giving my clients, you know, simple to follow step-by-step action plan, that is, obviously, using their background history, their symptoms, their health concerns. If they’re working with other practitioners, you know, like doctors and other specialists, and really creating a program that’s going to be suitable for them. Obviously, I’ll have a certain structure that I might use, but with every client, they have a program designed for, you know, specifically for them and looking to achieve their health goals. So, it’s not my job to identify what their goals are, that’s something I really asked them to talk about in that first session to find out, you know, one, what their health concerns and health issues are, but also to find out what they’re really wanting to achieve by working with me. And that’s always, you know, that can be very different.
James: Nice. I’ll be going through that process shortly with you. So the other question is, would you be able to share a couple of, sort of, amazing outcomes that sort of give a range of what kind of results can happen? I mean, have you had people who weren’t able to get a solution through other methods, and then we’re able to very quickly get a result? Because that’s always interesting.
Amazing results shared
Amanda: It is, definitely, and I would say, yeah, there would be quite a large percentage of clients that would come to see me that have seen other practitioners and they have tried things, and also that are not necessarily eating terribly with their diet. So, you know, sometimes people think, Oh, you know, I only need help if I don’t know what I should be eating and things. But in actual fact, most people, actually, by the time they come to see me, they already have tried a lot of things. So, yes, I can definitely say that I’ve helped a lot of people who have tried a number of different things, which is one of the reasons that I started doing this testing in the first place, you know, to help give me so much more information to make my recommendations more specific to that person, and therefore, you know, more helpful, rather than just going by symptoms. But I guess, you know, to gosh, I’m just trying to think of some good cases. All sorts, definitely like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, those are areas that can be really, really hard to treat. And a lot of the clients who have come to see me, especially for psoriasis, for example, which is also classed as an autoimmune issue, most of those clients, like the adults, when they come to see me, they’ve had it from a very, very young age, and they’ve seen the doctors and the specialists, and they’ve had the tests, and they’ve taken the creams and all sorts of different things. And, you know, and they’ve definitely had some sort of relief, but it’s been very short term. And I’ve got, oh, I’m just trying to say, I would have a very large list of those clients now that with, you know, using that information, obviously starting to work together using the testing, whether it’s the gut microbiome testing, or ideally, the genetic testing as well, has really then given me that extra information that’s been able to help them and has made a massive difference.
I’ve got a couple of clients recently, actually, that have been now been off medication or off their different steroid-type creams for like, a record amount of time, for like, six months or more. And that’s never happened before. So for some clients, they’re actually able to come off medication, for some clients they may still be on it, depends, obviously, on what the health concern is, that they may still need to be on medication long-term. But I’m able to help them manage their symptoms and improve their symptoms far more than just, you know, the relief that they were getting, or maybe sometimes not, you know. It definitely, in areas of hormonal health as well, I’ve had some really, really great and whether that’s like, even fertility, you know, areas in fertility, I’ve definitely got a lot of pregnant clients at the moment, which is great, who have even going through IVF in the past, and have not had, you know, and not had good results. And I think genetics and gut health, but often genetics has a very big part to play in that area.
And obviously, digestive health, you know, anyone who suffers from IBS, that would be the biggest area. Actually, I nearly forgot the biggest area, anyone suffering from IBS-type symptoms, which really covers a very broad range of symptoms and severity, but even clients that have, you know, inflammatory bowel disorder, so whether it’s Crohn’s, celiac, or even ulcerative colitis, I’ve had some really great results with clients that we’ve been able to really reduce that inflammation and really work very specifically on improving their microbiome, and therefore, their entire health as well. So, you know, definitely clients that were very needed to have sleeps during the day or on lots of medication and, you know, in a lot of pain as well. Pains from all sorts of different reasons. But, you know, pain management has definitely been an area that I found microbiome testing to be really helpful, whether it’s pain related to their digestive system, or whether it’s even pain more related to injuries. I’ve definitely had some clients that have had some really great results with either reducing or coming off medication, because we’ve actually helped their body to deal better with inflammation.
And that’s a really important role of all the gut bacteria, and very specific, there’s a lot more, some bacteria, we have more knowledge than others, but there’s some that their main, you know, important function in the body is actually to regulate and deal with inflammation. So that’s one of the areas that I look at when I go through a gut microbiome report, is analyzing those different, either group or species of bacteria, and looking to see what are the signs, do we have a lot of signs of inflammation, but also what is the body’s ability or the microbiome’s ability to deal with that inflammation. So, some people have quite a large deficiency in certain bacteria. And so therefore, they’re body’s not even able to deal with that inflammation. So a big focus for me is then how we can really build on those different bacteria and build on the microbiome to help in that way. And then also looking at all the other systems, so do we need to focus on liver health and the nervous system, and we always do to some extent. But you know, focusing on those other areas so that we can really help to reduce inflammation, like you mentioned, James, actually.
James: I was in a massive amount of pain, and I did need a little nap in the afternoon. I was getting chronic fatigue at some point. And it was Anita Chaperon who helped me. We did a couple of tests – we did like a dairy fast, and we did a gluten fast, and we did a lot of blood work. And we found that I’m not getting on well with gluten. And when we stopped that, it was like transformation. I had so much more energy. I didn’t need to sleep. I could move now. I’m out of the inflammation pain. It was such a massive difference. From my limited understanding, that my friend Clint Paddison told me, it was telling me that gluten is a pretty complex thing for our gut to process. I’m just hammering it over and over again. And when I removed it from the equation, it was like peace after a long ravaging war, and then trying to build up the gut health was the next objective. So I’m really interested in, obviously, a lot of your testing would show that someone doesn’t have good gut health. Is there some fixes that apply to most scenarios that you would recommend that people do? I’ve seen certain research, for example, that says that taking probiotics doesn’t really move the needle on it so much, but I’m sure there’s a lot to do with food, right?
Amanda: Yeah, it is. It is. And also a lot to do with the condition of the gut at that time. So I think, I’d say 10 years ago, there was maybe only a couple of different types of probiotics. Now, there’s literally thousands of different companies making all sorts of different probiotics. And so what they’re finding from a lot of the new research too, is that maybe only 50 percent of the time, these probiotics are actually working for people. And so there’s a lot of reasons that, you know, we can say, oh, that remedy wasn’t actually good quality or wasn’t actually working. But from my knowledge and understanding and in what I’ve been doing for the last couple years, especially with the testing, is really knowing what is the condition of the gut to start with. So for some people, they already have very good levels of their lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, which is what we find in the different probiotics. But instead, they actually have some other, you know, they have some infection there, or they have leaky gut, or they have other areas of inflammation. And so that probiotic is not actually addressing those areas, or for the different, there’s so many different species of gut bacteria that we have. And so using a test to really analyze and see which areas we do need more of them, which we don’t, then that’s something that I then can prescribe the right diet.
And also, you know, because I do use probiotics with most of my clients, but to be honest, it’s the last phase of their treatment plan. It’s definitely not the first. And so that’s probably quite different to my approach to maybe other natural health practitioners that probiotics are known to be so important for us. And so sometimes that might be a first recommendation. But for me, because I’m using the testing, I’m really, you know, using that to analyze what else, you know, reducing that inflammation and healing leaky gut and dealing with infection and then feeding our gut bacteria. So I focus much more on prebiotics and whether that’s through our food, so things like garlic and onion, asparagus, and leeks, they’re just some of them, are very good prebiotic foods. But then we also have things like resistant starch, which is a type of fiber and that’s something we get from things like rice and sweet potato and a really good gluten-free flour to use actually is green banana flour or cassava flour.
James: I was using tapioca flour today.
Amanda: Yes, it’s the same thing. Those are amazing for actually feeding our gut bacteria.
James: I’ve been eating sweet potato because my friend, Clint, said, you can’t eat more calories in sweet potato. Like, you physically can’t put on weight eating sweet potato.
Amanda: That’s right. And often people classify all potatoes the same, but actually sweet potatoes and tapioca, it’s, you know, a root vegetable. It’s a very different food and very different type of starch to just your normal white potatoes. Because for a lot of people, a white potato is very inflammatory, whereas sweet potato was very anti-inflammatory. So it almost has some opposite benefits when we’re eating it.
James: Like leafy greens, like baby spinach and stuff.
Amanda: That’s it. Yeah. Definitely.
James: I found I was able to handle having a cup of oats for breakfast, even though it’s got its own kind of gluten. I can feel it, I can feel the sensation in there. But apparently that’s good for your digestive system.
Amanda: It is really good. I mean, oats contain a really good source of fiber. And so that fiber really feeds our gut bacteria. But it also helps to bind to any excess cholesterol. It’s very good for just, you know, regulating our bowel motion. It does contain gluten, but it is a different type of gluten. So most people, unless they have quite a severe case of celiac, most people are actually okay with oats, even though they might be eating a gluten-free diet in other areas. So there’s definitely a lot of, I guess, different information.
James: I found a type of oats does make a difference. You can’t with the mainstream ones, because they’re all cross contaminated.
Amanda: Yes, that’s correct.
James: But there are some, like, really good brands that seemed to work better than others for me.
What are the other go-to gut fixers?
Other go-to gut fixes
Amanda: Oh, so using different broths. So whether it’s, you know, looking at bone-broth-type soups or veggie broth. I help my clients with a lot of different, like, smoothie recipes, where we’re using things like coconut milk, and chia seeds and flax seeds, so that’s giving those beneficial fat.
James: You just described my favorite desserts, coconut milk with chia seeds. I put it in the fridge, six hours later, it’s ready to roll.
Amanda: Exactly, you can do a lot with chia seeds and coconut milk. And that’s something that I really help my clients with, is really focusing on how they can use their diet. And often in a treatment phase to start with, as well. So, you know, for some clients that might be very restricted, like what you’ve mentioned in the start, you know, looking at really cutting out gluten, cutting out dairy, you know, any other foods that are triggering inflammation, and also to go through in a first, in an initial consultation, and go through and identify if there’s other foods that we need to look at, as well. And so really reducing inflammation. And almost for some clients, it’s almost a liquid-based diet in those first few weeks. So that would be smoothies and soups and stews or broth-type recipes to really help with that.
And then we start to feed things back in and add more fiber, and then fermented foods as well. So some people actually find that fermented foods actually make them feel a lot worse and cause you know, a flare up or bloating and other symptoms. And usually that’s because they either have leaky gut or another area of infection, or dysbiosis. And that would be why also, sometimes, probiotics either don’t work or they actually make the person feel worse, because it’s the environment in the microbiome is not right to actually take in those probiotics, or those fermented or probiotic-type foods, as well.
James: What about things like meat, eggs, milk – are they quite hard on the gut?
Amanda: It really depends on how they’re prepared. And I think, also, and that’s where I love genetics as well, because it also it does depend on their sort of genetic background. So I work with clients who are vegan or vegetarian, I have clients who are meat eaters, and so really focusing on, you know, how we can give the body the most nutrition and reduce inflammation. So, for example, you know, I really focus on eating organic food as much as possible. So, with any sort of meat or fish, it’s always wild-caught, free-range, you know, organic as much as possible, because that is the same as the oats as well, actually, when you’re looking at any sort of grains. Buying organic actually makes a really big difference.
James: I can definitely feel it in my body. The difference.
Amanda: Yeah. And when you’re looking at organic food, you’re generally getting a better quality. You’re getting a more simplified version of things. So I always look through the, you know, different supermarkets. I look for any alternative of anything. I’ve got two children, they love tomato sauce, you know, they don’t have it on their dinner but, you know, if they’re going to have a, you know, we’re doing a barbecue, I have organic sauce, you know, organic tomato sauce. So because they have to class that product as certified organic, there’s also all those different gluten, you know, starches and sugars and all those extra that are added to a lot of food.
James: Pretty much sugar in everything. Gluten is hidden in so many foods, you discover.
Amanda: It definitely is.
James: It’s been two years now, but the interesting thing is, as I’ve experimented from time to time, I’ve just tested. I’ve sort of done a little ping on my gut to see how it’s reacting. And I’ll give it a little bit of gluten, and I can actually deal with it so much better now. It doesn’t make me as violently ill as it was before. I feel like my gut strength has been doing some exercises in there.
Amanda: Yeah, definitely. That’s right.
James: My friend, Clint, actually said one day, I might be able to eat it again, just you know, if I keep training my gut to be strong. He’s all about the gut, too. So I’m hearing this from people who I trust.
The other thing is, I’ve observed your business is going well, and I just wonder, would it be okay if we switch gears just a little? I would be curious to know a couple of things around, you’ve got this great product, and it’s something people need. I wonder, from a marketer’s perspective, if it’s okay to talk about a couple of the things that you’ve been able to do since, you know, even in the last year or so that I’ve been chatting with Owen. I’ve watched quite a lot of transformation, and I think it’s inspirational and certainly speaks well to implementing good ideas, because you’ve had a pretty good uptick in how the business has been going, from the documentation I’m seeing.
“An online business sounds like a simple idea but it’s actually not.”
Amanda: Definitely, definitely. So yeah, we have been working with you for just over 12 months, James. And it’s been such an enjoyable and helpful experience. Our business, I would say, probably in the last 12 months, we have tripled our sales of our business, but also feeling a lot more confident in what we’re doing. So I think, you know, we definitely had help and guidance. And we were also trying to find our own way when we started this business. And I think everyone would agree that any type of business has its challenges. But an online business sounds like a simple idea, but it’s actually not. So that was my first experience anyway, going from running a health food store, and talking to people all day to all the sudden being online, and trying to convey that same type of message.
So I guess for us, having your help and guidance to give us different ideas to obviously be quite specific, but also looking at, you know, ways of sharing information. So, I mean, we have a lot of recipes and articles and things that we just have as free content on our website, to give and to share, and give people that information. But the area that you really helped us with quite quickly with Owen was having an application process. So for a while there, we had all our prices of everything, you know, on the website. And I think to a point that’s really helpful. But also, sometimes people will just jump straight to looking at what something costs and maybe not actually reading the whole, you know, seeing what it’s going to actually give them and help them with. So that was something that you had recommended to us to look at, you know, having a way that people need to apply for more information, or we actually have a, like a discovery call type situation, or a short like, health analysis on our website now, as well. So I’ve actually got spots in my calendar, in my online calendar, and people can actually book in to have a chat with me for 15 minutes, you know, about their health concerns, and look at ways that I can help them and also give them more information if it’s about, you know, testing and looking at some of the programs that we run. So that has actually been a really, really helpful way of, I guess, boosting our business, but also giving us, you know, a guideline to follow as well.
James: I think sometimes when there’s a new concept like that, it can be a bit challenging because it’s confronting the way you’ve done things before. And it might be helpful to know that someone’s already seen it work a few times before, and there’s a pretty good chance that the hypothesis will bear out into a reality. I think in your case, the proof is, by being able to help people find the right product, you’ve actually increased sales, which in real terms means you’re actually creating more value for your customers, like they’ve voted with their wallet. You’ve gone from before to after by adding in things like an application process, you’ve increased your the way that you support people to make it a little more helpful for you. Because you got kids and other things, so you can’t have this thing consuming you.
Implementing good ideas
You’ve systemized a lot of stuff over the last year, and you’ve added in essential elements to leverage the traffic that you get – putting in sequences and things. It’s been so enjoyable, growing this business with you and Owen, because Owen comes along and ask questions and talks about stuff. And then, you know, I put forward my point of view, and then he goes off and does it. And then he comes back and he goes, Oh, this is what we did. This is what… and it’s always like, tick, tick, tick. So it’s great for you to have that support as a team, you can get so much done. You’re obviously got the expertise in what you’re doing. And you’ve got that support there to get strategic guidance, and then to be able to execute, which is a big deal. If people would just implement the things we talked about in SuperFastBusiness membership, they’re going to pop out with results.
Amanda: Oh, and we have seen that. There’s not been one thing that we have that you suggested that we’ve done that we’ve come back and said, no, that didn’t really work. That’s just, that’s not happened. There’s definitely many things you said, like the application process, I think I mentioned to you, was something that Owen had already had a bit of an idea, he asked you about it, you were like, Yes, definitely. This is how you do it, and came back to me. And I was like, oh, I don’t know about that. It just seemed like a strange concept to me. And anyway, we did it, we went and did it. And of course, it worked. And there has been a lot of things like that, that we have, you know, you’re recommending these things for a reason. So we have followed your information and guidance. And it’s worked and it’s been super helpful.
And that was something that we definitely, I guess, before we started working with you James was, we’ve definitely had help from other people as well, which is, you know, which has been great. But I think for anyone running their own business, you try and you try and learn things, and you try and do as much as you can yourself. But then you’ve got to acknowledge at that point when there are things that you just don’t know. And you can either, you can take the time to learn them, but how long is that going to take? I guess that’s sort of what I do with my clients to is, you know, there’s a lot of information, there’s a huge amount of information out there in the health world. And it’s knowing what is the right information for you, and actually having someone give you a plan to follow. And then it just cuts out all the other options that you’re not sure whether you should do or not. So that’s been the biggest thing for us, is actually looking at all those, different things that you know, Owen will read about something or hear about something and think, oh, should we do that, and we’ll ask you, and you tell us whether we should. So it’s been really, really great.
James: That’s been working really well. And I want to thank you for being a member of SuperFastBusiness, and especially for coming and talking about this, because I think it’s as you said, there’s a lot of information out there. It’s something I’m personally interested in, because I’ve experienced that change from being more interested in my own health. I mean, I managed to get into my mid 40s before I figured out what’s going on with my body, and getting it tested was so transformative.
And it definitely changed my business. My business is the most healthy it is ever now, because my body’s the most healthy that it’s ever been. And even though I’m late to the party, I plan on living a lot longer, so anything you can do now to benefit that long term, your life, like this vehicle that we have to operate in for now. I mean, maybe we’ll get to singularity and we can just port ourselves up to the cloud at some point maybe in our lifetime, they’re saying it might be possible. But if we can’t, at least we get a chance of extending to you know, having a good happy healthy life.
Like my book says, “work less make more,” enjoy stuff. For me to be able to go out and have my daily surf and put a smile on my face is a really important driver, and it and it makes me happy. So thank you for sharing about gut and health and giving some tips on how we could modify what we’re eating and definitely where we can go to get help, pranathrive.com. One of the things I was talking to Owen about is you’ve got your affiliate program set up now in your cart. So if you’re listening to this show and you have an audience who could benefit from this stuff, maybe you want to join up and promote the product. It’s a good product. So that’s probably going to help the business grow, but it’s certainly my pleasure to bring this to the attention of our audience here in SuperFastBusiness. I’m here for members. I want to see their business thrive. And yeah, it’s been a really great discussion.
What would you say is the best advice you have, Amanda, for someone who’s interested in the gut thing. Like, what’s the starting place?
Where to start
Amanda: So I guess one of the ways that I help people, if they’re just looking for information is, on our website, we have a free seven-day sample meal plan that then actually gives you the recipes. Some of those things that I mentioned, so looking at you know, chia, smoothies and you know, hemp seeds and salads and soups and things. So things that can really, really help to reduce inflammation and really nourish your body. Because that’s that’s definitely a really important place to start. And then often people will, they’ll start to change those few different things of, you know, cutting some of those inflammatory foods out and introducing other foods that then they just start to feel better and they have more energy. So that’s that’s definitely something that we offer that you can just access off our website. And then I have for people who really want to personally work with someone, then there’s options to do that as well. But I think your diet is a big part, stress is a huge area that I help clients with, which you mentioned, too.
James: Yeah, that’s definitely an area I’m focused on. I just had a call with a client. I’ve been dealing with him for several years, now. He’s in a business that’s worth a couple of hundred million dollars. And he’s in his 20s and most of our conversation, he says it’s great having a therapist. You know, like, we’re just talking about ways to not get all caught up in the whole, you know, silliness of crazy work styles and habits and stuff. And he’s got an old head on young shoulders, he’s so switched on and he’s doing great because he’s got support. But it is easy to get sucked into it these days, to get all too wound up. But I’m adamant that you can pull it back. You can eat right, you can actually have a better life if you pay attention to your body and if you get the right business model.
I’m sure it won’t be too long till I’m going to catch up with you in Bali. There’s some pretty good waves over there.
Amanda: Yeah definitely.
James: Thanks so much, Amanda.
Amanda: Yeah, no, thanks for having me, James. It’s been great.
James: There you go. Amanda Ledwith, pranathrive.com, and this is episode 643. I’m James Schramko. This is SuperFastBusiness.com.
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