Meet Dr Jeremy Princi, a chiropractor from Bunbury, Western Australia. He’s passionate about holistic health, gut health and fermented foods. I’ll let him explain more through his answers to these 5 Questions:
1. as a chiropractor why are you so passionate about gut health?
I guess firstly my role as a health professional in the public means I want to assist people as best I know how. My training at university versed me with the skills for manual therapy, and solid theoretical underpinnings in microbiology, immunology, nutrition and how to read and interpret biostatistics research.
I originally learnt about gut health and fermented foods through my own health set back in my final year of university. I soon learnt through my own experiences the powerful impact diet/nutrition and fermented foods have not only on digestion but so much more – for me it was bad acne I had on my back – which within 30 days of going paleo and introducing some fermented foods all but cleared. And also niggling soft tissue injuries as well as quite severe low back pain (a chiro with back pain pretty ironic).
Looking back now I do often ponder on my experience and lessons learnt, I grew up for the most part (aside for the acne on my back) healthy on the outside, I was strong, muscular had a 6 pack and to the untrained eye was ‘healthy’ looking and I did get people asking me for advice on all aspects of health whether it be what to eat, what supplements to take, how to exercise but little did they, and I know for that matter that what was going-on, on the inside was a different story.
At the start of my final year of uni was when physical manifestations started to show, my low back started to act up and was quite crippling for 3 months and toward the end of the year as soon as we finished our last exams (and partied as you do to celebrate) the final lesson came. I got a serious systemic bacterial infection which laid me up for a good month on antibiotics. It was at this point as I mentioned above through a serious on synchronous events I was introduced to a C.H.E.K Holistic lifestyle Coach and learnt about Paul Chek’s teachings, paleo and fermented foods, I embraced and immersed myself in it and as I said within 30 days the acne had cleared and my health, vitality, mind all stared to improve. From my experience it’s not until you start feeling these changes that you have a true appreciation of what health is aside from merely the absence of disease or dis-ease.
Prior to embracing this paleo/real wholefood approach I must say I followed standard guidelines/food pyramid type approach, cereals (wholegrains of course because they are low GI carbs right??), grains, some meats (certainly not organs such as liver, marrow and bone broths), paid no attention to organic, fruits and vegetables.
My passion is educating myself and assisting others, I don’t own a TV, I get enjoyment learning more and more. I set aside a set amount of time each week to read the peer reviewed literature on the microbiome, gut health and fermented foods, and it’s an exciting era of science, it can’t be ignored and my aim is to synthesis this research and help make it more digestible for the public which is why I have entered into the speaking scene and run workshops and public speaking engagements across the country.
I do maintain a clinical practice but there is only so many people I can reach this information to in one-on-one consultations hence I schedule these other engagements for a broader reach. Watching people’s and families lives turn around through making some simple changes is what inspires me.
2. if someone wanted to start eating fermented foods, where should they start?
I think the lacto fermented vegetables are a good starting point – sauerkrauts and kimchis, there are so many commercially available now, I recommend grabbing a few different flavours and rotate through them with most meals. Just make sure you look for the raw, non-pasteurised varieties that are in the refrigerator section of the shop. You don’t need much just a forkful or two with your meal as an accompaniment is sufficient. With the rise in popularity I’m observing people going overboard with it, respect it for what it is – a food that is full beneficial bacteria and yeasts which if overdone can potentially set up imbalances in the gut microbiome.
When I first started teaching workshops people didn’t have the luxury of having such ease of access to ready-made fermented foods. I still do promote making it yourself though it’s a great way of teaching kids about food and involving the family, and it’s a lot more affordable if you are on a tighter budget.
3. preparing sauerkraut seems simple enough but how long should it be left to ferment for and will it be safe to eat?
A wild ferment with no starter culture minimum 10 days I would say, but easily can be left for 4 weeks before transferring to the refrigerator. The microbiology of sauerkraut fermentation has been extensively studied, it undergoes a series of characteristic stages (known as succession) where the microbial profile and pH change. When the acidity reaches 1.7% and a pH of around 3.5 fermentation is generally considered complete, but not too many home fermenters are going to go to those lengths to test so 10 days – 4weeks is a decent timeframe.
Once in the refrigerator should be fine for 6 months or so, I can’t give you an exact number on that as I haven’t seen any data. It seems that most commercial companies put a use by date 6-12 months from time of manufacture though.
4. other than eating fermented foods, what is another tip you would suggest for improving gut health?
Minimally processed foods, so whole/real foods vegetables, fruits, good quality meats. I like a paleo template. Bone broth has traditionally been used in helping with the gut. Adequate sleep is important, stress management also very important, there’s been numerous studies on the effect of stress on gut permeability. Regular movement/exercise. There’s a few tips there.
5. where can readers go to find out more about you and the work you do?
My website has some blog posts pertaining to fermentation and video demonstration links www.holisticlifestyler.com and my social media channels I share lots of different health articles.
I am also in the process of writing a fermenting book which is going to be awesome to sign up to the VIP pre-release list where I share some recipes and info your readers can follow the link: http://eepurl.com/bwTpin
(All images sourced from Jeremy Princi)