We discuss in this interview:
- Sean’s first appearance of psoriasis in his teens and subsequent development as arthritis
- Inflammation and permanent damage
- Switching to a plant-based diet after a major worsening of his condition
- His discovery of the Paddison Program and getting 80% healed after 1 year
- A 9-day vacation with the wrong foods, and 1 year to get back on track
- Three years after the incident, Sean is on an upward trajectory with his health, to the point that he is doing ultramarathons and triathlons
- Oatmeal for breakfast
- The combined effect of diet and exercise
- Gym routines
- Psoriasis and anti-inflammatory foods
Clint – Today, my guest has tremendous experience in reversing psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. So we’re going to go deep into those topics and learn from him, and he’s going to share with you all that he’s done to alleviate joint pain, get rid of the inflamed, scaliness that comes with psoriasis and just have some fun doing it. He’s from Maine in the northern US region and his name’s Sean. Good day Sean.
Sean – Hey, Clint.
Clint – Give us sort of some before and after situation here as we like to do. To our listeners or viewers to say, wow, this is amazing, I want to listen to this. So like a TV commercial what was your before and after?
Sean – So my before as brief as I can make it I let’s see, I think it was around 8th grade I developed pretty bad psoriasis on my scalp. And on a somewhat side note, I do feel like it was around a time where I had some dental surgery and I think that there were probably some antibiotics involved in that, it was the same time period. So 8th grade, I must have been 13 years old, I think I ended up having really bad psoriasis on my scalp. And fortunately, at that point, I figured out that I could shave my head down and as long as I got sunlight on my head, psoriasis seemed to go away. And then it wasn’t until a couple of years later, probably around my late teens, I started developing, it has a particular name, but it’s basically psoriasis underneath my fingernails. Immediately and coincidentally, I had a second dental surgery right around that time. As my fingers would succumb to psoriasis, they would immediately become inflamed with psoriatic arthritis. It was basically just the tip, the final digit on each finger. Then throughout my 20s it was like one finger after another just kind of kept going, and I got to the point where I had 8 out of 10 fingers, all had the combination of psoriasis and arthritis as well.
Sean – Then it just kind of kept going. I got it in my wrist pretty bad and that was around the time where I discovered that nightshades were playing some part of it. Because we’re moving nightshades seem to help my wrist pain. It didn’t really help fully everything else, but I could tell, and I just felt all along that that food had something to do with it. I couldn’t pinpoint it, but I just didn’t, in my gut know that it had something to do with food. And I also, just initially, after I developed arthritis in my fingers, I saw a rheumatologist and as most of them say, there’s he didn’t have any idea how I got it, none of my family had ever had it. Basically, there was nothing I could do about it except be on these drugs for the rest of my life. And I just got kind of see myself as an all-natural kind of guy, I just chose not to take the medications. I think I was, I want to say, fortunate on a certain level because it was just in my hands that I wasn’t crippled in my knees or like I didn’t have it severely bad. So I think on a certain level that was good. But I think in the long run I do have some long-term joint damage from not getting that inflammation under control sooner. But basically, around four years ago it got so bad my fingers, I couldn’t close my hands. I had it in my knees, my neck, my shoulder, my feet. And I had to make a major, major change.
Sean – I originally stumbled across Dr. Furman and his kind of approach, which was pretty intense at first little did I know. He recommended that no oil thing, plant based oil, and I didn’t really buy into the no oil thing that took me a while. This is a little bit of a side note, but I knew as soon as I went on the plant-based, I was like, Oh, I can eat lots of vegan eggs. I really liked vegan eggs. And I was using that like a dip, I was eating so much of it, little did I know it was just pure oil. Believe it or not, after I made the switch to plant based, my big toe got flared up, which I never had any psoriasis in before. So I actually got worse before I got better. But at that point, I had just believed in it, and I kept doing my research and I stumbled across your program, it just clicked for me. Everything about it just made sense to me, it sounded great. I have been wanting to tell you this for a long time, but I sat down to that first bowl of quinoa and buckwheat with bok choy, and I literally cried right then and there because I just felt so confident that here is some food that I know that I can eat that is not going to make me worse. I didn’t even know it was going to make me better at that point, but I knew it wasn’t going to make me worse. I just I just believed it, and I just bought in. That was about four years ago and.
Sean – This is another important part is after about a year I was doing so good, I was about at least 80% healed, and we went on a vacation at Disney World. And I was just like, I’m going to still be kind of picky but I definitely went off the diet, it was about a nine-day vacation. And I remember after about 8 days of eating a lot of food that I shouldn’t have been eating, I was like, I have no pain. I thought I was like, I’m healed, I think I’m healed. And sure enough, on day 9, I started noticing a little bit of psoriasis kind of coming under my fingernail. Then it all just came storming back, I mean, it was as bad as it was in the beginning, and I’d say it took me a good year to get back on track after that big fallout.
Sean – So today, it’s been probably a good 2 or 3 years since that happened. And it’s just every day is better. I’m not going to say it’s just better, better, better without some dips and bumps in the road. But the progression is always better, it’s always upwards. It probably looks like this, but it’s going up. But there are ups and downs as it’s going up. I’ve just I’ve never felt this good in my life, I never knew it was possible to feel this good. I remember you were very much talking about your energy levels and wanting to have energy, and I didn’t really get that. But now I’m just like, Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know it was possible to feel this good and have this much energy to the point where I’m currently doing like ultramarathons and triathlons and all kinds of stuff that I never even envisioned doing because I just had so much energy. I kind of maybe went too far with exercising every day. But the more I exercise, the better shape I got, and the more it just kept spiraling to the point where I’m like, I’m going to do something with all of this and see what I can do. At 45, I’m out there and I’m pushing my limits and everything is going really great. I owe it all to your program and to the advice and knowledge that you’ve given me.
Clint – That’s amazing, that is truly amazing. So now when you wake up in the morning, how do your hands feel the fingers that were most affected? Are you able to close your hands? Are you able to witness some nice clean skin under those fingernails? I mean, where are you at with that?
Sean – Like I said, I’m probably at like 95%. I think there’s probably some progression that you’re familiar with or I think like that first 50% comes pretty fast, and then to get that second 50%, it just takes time. But I knew a couple of years ago I had that feeling, I’m just like, I’m going to just give this time. And I bet in like five years I’m going to be completely healed, I’m going to have like no pain, no symptoms. And I’m on that track. I mean I can’t say that I’m 100%, but I really feel like I’m like 95%. My psoriasis just keeps getting better and better and better and better, and my arthritis is almost nonexistent at this point. Like I said, I had it for 30 years or so without taking any medications. So I think there is some joint damage. My knuckles are still a little bit misformed and I had it really bad in my wrist. That was the last huge bout that I had and I do want to come back to that or put a pin in that, as you like to say because there’s something I want to say about that. But that’s probably the only my wrist is like I like to work out at the gym and stuff like that. And that’s the one thing where I kind of. I think I just have some permanent joint damage. There is no inflammation, I mean, I couldn’t even set my wrist on a table, it hurts so bad and I could easily just touch it and it hurt. Now I just dig in there and I can’t find any pain anywhere as hard as I try, it’s gone. I mean, it’s totally gone.
Clint – So awesome. I’ve made some notes as you talk to here, just for people who are listening and you know making some mental ah okay, yes interesting. And here are my observations and comments if first of all, isn’t it interesting that the sunlight on your head seemed to reduce psoriasis?. Now, let me just direct everyone to a presentation on a YouTube channel called Med Cram, everyone should check out med cram it’s on YouTube. There is a four-month-old video that’s been posted by the doctors who run that particular channel, and it’s called Sunlight and Healing or Sunlight and Inflammation, something along those lines. It is an hour and a half long presentation that is intended at a medical level. It is a very, very detailed presentation about the mitochondrial benefits from getting near-infrared radiation from the sun and also the vitamin D discussions around supplementation and so on. So but anyway, there’s so much content in there it’s fascinating. The point that I’m making, drawing from that video, is that infrared radiation from sunlight can penetrate up to eight centimeters into our body. The benefit of that is it triggers intracellular Melatonin, Melatonin being what we normally get from our glands at night to keep us rested and as an antioxidant, that’s the main point. It’s a massive antioxidant, so our body can produce antioxidant capacity from sunlight during the day to reduce oxidative stress that occurs inside the cells. And it’s oxidative stress that is in combination with our microbiome imbalance that contributes to inflammatory arthritis and I believe psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis and so on. What I think going on there is that the cells near the skin or around that area are receiving this antioxidant from Melatonin that’s being produced from the infrared radiation that’s coming from the sun. And it’s settling it down because oxidative stress and inflammation go hand in hand. So that is my humble opinion on what may be happening with that. And I got to tell you, and this is a funny little insight, Sean, is that I am gray on the top and sides of my head where I wear a hat on the back of my hair, where my hat doesn’t cover, it’s dark, all my hair is done at the back. Right? And so I’ve had this suspicion that is unconfirmed from any science I can find that the solar radiation that hits under the hat that doesn’t get covered is helpful to keep the hair healthy. And only through recently watching that presentation I’ve just described to you, I think maybe it’s the antioxidant capacity that’s being generated from not the sunlight, but from the infrared radiation. Anyway, that’s point number one.
Sean – It’s cold all the time, but any time I’m in the sun, I just, I crave it for sure.
Clint – Yeah, there is so much to it than what we realized. Isn’t it interesting that we would think that you want to consume oils when you have something that skin flakiness and so on, wouldn’t you? You’d think I need to put oil into my body because I want oily skin to reduce the flakiness. And it just doesn’t work in a linear fashion, there’s no direct correlation like that, it’s much more complicated. So I can understand the reluctance to give up the oil.
Sean – On that note, I do think I’ve done a lot of dermatological research as well and came across many dermatologists that say don’t shampoo your hair, don’t use soap and stuff like that, and so I’ve gone that route as well. I mean I have long hair, I haven’t washed it in in a very long time. And it’s the natural oils that you want that are actually protective and help your skin.
Clint – That’s interesting because we just had there was a kid at our school in the kindergarten class who had nits or head lice or whatever. And of course, then it catches to other kids and our little girls she had one or two in a hair and my wife freaked out. Oh, we’ve never had this before. Anyway, the whole family, we had to go and keep washing our hair three times with this anti lice stuff. I never saw anything wrong with my hair, but I’ve been washing to now the skin is dry and I’ve got like a dandruff thing going on. So these products.
Sean – There’s something there.
Clint – Yeah, there’s something there. I’m just excited by you sharing. Isn’t it interesting that it took 8 days at Disney World the cumulative effect? It’s not just from the little bit it’s that it’s they’re chipping away, it’s the poke the tiger until finally.
Sean – Yeah, absolutely. And I feel that way with a lot of foods. I’m still very careful But I know that there are certain foods like tofu for instance, is a food that I absolutely love tofu. I feel like I can eat it once and be okay. But if I eat it multiple times in a row, then I start to have some troubles with it. So I think there is some kind of accumulation factor there.
Clint – Yeah, absolutely. And people will find that with oats when they start to try and eat oats or oats for breakfast, which, by the way, I think is a key milestone that we all should end up eating oats for breakfast at some point. Do you eat oats for breakfast?
Sean – That’s all, I’ve eaten oats every day for four years, probably for breakfast. Well, it’s so satisfying, I don’t get tired of it, ever. It’s just, that it’s fabulous.
Clint – That’s it. What people may find, I’m not sure if your experience was this, but when you first start eating it, it’s like, Oh, I’m not sure about that. And after a few days, you think, Oh, I’m not sure. Sometimes it’s a little give and then take a break and then eventually your microbiome becomes adapted to the foods you’re eating. And then the microbiome says, I know what to do, then boom, metabolize that, but no issue, and then you can have them every day.
Sean – Absolutely.
Clint – Then we’re going to go all you in a minute, my friend after I finished these notes here. That was pretty much it, I’ve made a note about the rest we’ll come back to the wrist. So tell us like this huge health kick has been done in parallel to exercise. So talk us through your exercise development progression to Ultramarathon. Are you kidding me?
Sean – Yeah. I wasn’t active as a kid, it probably wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I really started enjoying sports. I started playing basketball just like pickup basketball, and I had no idea what I was doing. I’d never been coached or anything like that, but I really started enjoying basketball. And then I remember reading somewhere in my late twenties that that was like the best or the last time that men had to pack on muscle or something like that. So that got me into the gym and I started going to the gym again, having no idea what I was really doing. But until I was probably about till I well after I started the program, that was kind of my routine was just playing some sports here, and there and going to the gym a couple of days a week. I’d run a little bit, but I never ran more than like a mile or something at a time. And then in like 2019, which was probably a couple of years into the program, I ran a 5k race. My local town here had like 5 different 5K races throughout the summer, and I did the first one and loved it, and signed up for the rest of them and did the rest of them. That got me hooked on running. And then the next year was 2020, so the pandemic kind of shut all that down. But I did sneak in my training and lockdown, I discovered running on trails. It’s like, wow, I really like running on trails there’s just something about it. It’s like dancing and exercising and all these fun things, and I got my music going and it’s really enjoyable, it brought me a lot of joy doing that. So I did a trail race and did really well at that and loved it and proceeded to try to bump it up. And then all the other races I signed up for proceeded to get canceled, of course. Then I ended up the next year doing a marathon, and after that, I was in just such good shape I was like, I want to try it triathlon. And I went out and borrowed somebody’s bike, I’d never ridden a road bike in my life. I borrowed a bike and went out and did this triathlon. It was hard, the swim part of it was really rough. I panicked and but then as soon as I got on that bike and I’m just pedaling and passing people, it was really fun. I loved it. So I did a couple more triathlons and then signed up for another long trail race that fall. And this year I’ve just been training all spring and I’ve got my first race coming up this weekend and I’ve got a couple of big ones planned for the rest of the year. So I’m really excited about it.
Clint – I’m excited, I got goosebumps down the side of legs here listening to this. What about the preparation for the swimming? I mean, swimming’s my nemesis, I just find it so challenging. I panic as you say. I get a few laps in and then I start to feel like I’m just below the level of oxygen coming into my body that I need to keep up what I’m doing and I need for coaching or something. It’s also maybe a little in my head, my form, maybe fitness, I don’t know. But I mean, how did you overcome that in the open water or was it in a pool?
Sean – It was open waterm it was my first one. I’ve always been confident, I’ve done tons of scuba diving and snorkeling, and boating so I’ve always been in the water. I did a little bit of training in the pool, so I thought I’d be good to go. And as soon as I hit that, you have a wet suit on too, which is really tight. And as soon as I jumped in the water, the water was freezing cold and the wet suit was tight and there were people all around me splashing and I started going. And then like halfway into it, I was just like, I started hyperventilating, I couldn’t keep my face in the water. Fortunately, I was comfortable enough I mean, it took me a minute. I was like, I’m actually panicking, I’m like, I need to flag somebody down here or something. And then I kind of pull myself together and flipped over on my back and just I knew I could just do that and be safe. So I just kicked on my back and kind of went back and forth and somehow made it through. I actually did three of them last year, and for the second one I did a lot more practicing and training in open water, and I still did the same thing about three-quarters of the way through, I finally figured it out I was able to keep my head down and swim. And then the third one I did last summer, I was able to keep my head down and swim the whole time. So there’s a lot of practice to it and a lot of just there’s a lot of mental. I know exactly what you’re saying, like some days I’ll go to the pool and it’s just like it’s so hard to keep your face in the water because you said you get that panic feeling. But I’ve learned a lot that it is actually a buildup of CO2 as opposed to needing more oxygen. The buildup of CO2 is what makes your brain kind of panic, so you have to learn to just constantly be breathing out as much as you can before you take that quick breath.
Clint – I think you have nailed my issue with that. I think and I need to hold more air in.
Sean – It’s all about blowing out the whole time.
Clint – Well, I’ve got a great, great little insight from you there. Thank you. So how do you feel after these runs? Do you feel and as a leading question, I’m sure I know the answer, but do you feel that these projects of high activity allow you to have a better health outcome or not?
Sean – I mean, I have to believe that I think the diet is obviously first and foremost, but I have to believe that the amount of exercise that I do on top of my diet is what has definitely pushed me to where I’m at now. I mean, I don’t want to say that after I’ve done with a long run, I feel great or anything like that. But I think the real key with the plant-based diet and being somewhat athletic is that you just recover so fast. Like so typically it would take me a couple of days to get over a big long run, but the next day I’m just ready to go. And I think that’s kind of the like the game changers and documentaries like that where they’re showing how plant-based athletes can actually excel. I think it doesn’t necessarily make you better right there at the moment, but what it does is it makes you recover much faster because you’re eating an anti-inflammatory diet, which just eliminates all that inflammation that would normally build up after hard exercise so that you’re ready to go the next day and therefore you can train more than your counterpart who’s not on that diet. So then you can get more training in a small amount of period. But for someone like me, I’ve only been running for a few years, so someone that’s got 20 years of running is still going to be a better runner than me, whether they’re eating plant-based or not. I think that’s the key for me is just it’s like I just recover. One of the main things I do that you recommend is stopping eating early. So I try to eat dinner and a little dessert and then I’m done for the night. So I try to get a good 12 hours of no eating in every night and then just make sure I get like 7, 8, 9 hours of sleep every night. In between those two things. I just feel like that’s what makes my recovery just I mean, every day I work out every day, pretty much. Every couple of weeks, I’ll be like, all right, take a rest day here.
Clint – Do you have a sort of a typical sort of gym routine where you might work legs one day, upper body the next, and maybe you might do cardio? I mean, what’s your sort of approach?
Sean – Well, I’ve done all of it right now. Over the winter I do a lot more gym training, lifting, and heavyweights. I’m a skinny guy, so when I say I’m going big, it’s not like what the big guys are doing in the gym. But for me, I mean, it’s a lot of weight. It’s all about how much can I do and how many reps and stuff like that. So I mean, I’m going hard doing big heavy lifting over the winter, and then towards the spring, I gear much more into like the endurance. So now my routine is just every day I’m running, swimming or biking. I try to get into the gym, but when I’m doing this much running, swimming, and biking, the gym really hammers me pretty hard. So I try to sneak in one or two gym sessions a week, but at least every day I’m doing one of those three sports if not two a day.
Clint – I’m envious of you. I, you know I can’t run anymore due to the damage that was done to my knee and the progression and so on there. But running is just the greatest, running just fills me with elation. My replacement for that now is cycling, and I’ve been cycling each morning and I take my little son, who’s three and three-quarters years old, he can still fit on the little seat and goes on the back of the bike and we ride to the beach. I did it this morning, ride to the beach, we ride back again. And it’s just far enough to give those legs enough of a pump to be therapeutic and get my heart rate up enough. He wants me to go as fast as I can when it’s we’re on the little safe flat stretches. It’s just exhilarating and it’s so healthy. I believe that once we can exercise if we can take that to the limit that we can and you are a great example of this. It’s so protective, it is the ultimate insurance that we’re putting into our body to prevent us from then being so delicate with our foods and feeling so immune or reactive to like blueberry or something trivial because we’re just not fit enough.
Sean – Yeah. I think two things on that. That the cycling is 100%, I ended up, like I said, I live in Maine, so cycling isn’t even an option for many months. So I bought one of those indoor trainers for my bike and I really never been a big cyclist, but I started using that thing. And I mean, it is for getting in good fitness, good exercise with no little to no impact, it is a wonderful tool. So I’m with you on that and I highly recommend cycling for people that can’t run for sure.
Clint – Let’s talk about your diet and we’ll transition across into this by talking about how do you fuel yourself for all this exercise? So that’s question number one. Then we’ll get into what’s your go-to for anti-inflammatory in the earliest stages when you were highly inflamed? Which is a different dietary approach with a different emphasis on foods. So let’s talk about fueling your body first and then we’ll go anti-inflammatory.
Sean – Yeah, that fueling, it’s a tricky one. But I mean, I just eat a lot. But like I said, I eat oats for breakfast with berries. And I was kind of going a lot of nuts and down that route. But I’ve kind of pulled back and I’ll be perfectly honest, I mean, I don’t have it fully dialed it’s a constant experiment, really. So I’m just playing with things and sometimes I’ll add something and I’ll take it away. It’s kind of hard to ever fully know whether something is. I don’t ever have like immediate huge trigger flares on any foods. But when you just have that subtle pain that kind of comes and you don’t know necessarily where it’s coming from, I kind of I play around with that. I tend to follow Dr. McDougal’s example a lot of just like I eat grain or starch or something like that for a big bulk of the meal. And then I just try to eat as many vegetables as I can. I really like Dr. B and I remember he said that one of the predictors of good gut health is the amount of variety and how many vegetables and plants you eat. So I just try to like pile in as many vegetables as I can. It’s usually some combination of a grain or a starch and a bunch of vegetables. And I try to listen to, like Dr. Greger, throw some mushrooms in their beans. It’s taken me a long time to get used to beans, that’s something that is worth noting. But I’ve finally felt like I’ve become fully adapted and I can eat loads of beans and I don’t have digestive issues or anything with them at all.
Sean – I try to get most of my protein through that. I’ve also figured out that I can use protein powder, that’s been one of the things that has been on my radar. Can take this, is it bothering me? I don’t know. And so I did want to also plug this a little bit, as I did end up with a little bit of a psoriasis flare over the winter. And I spoke with Dr. Miller on the plant-based telehealth, and she recommended that I cut out gluten and I was indulging in maple syrup quite a bit as a sweetener for my oats and stuff like that. So she had me remove those two things, and I feel like it’s making quite a difference it’s been a couple of weeks now. I think at some point I will experiment back with those foods. I think it is important that I was suggesting too much sugar. And on the note of fueling, I also kind of broke the rules a little bit. I started using those little energy gel packets. At first, I was very opposed to them because I was like, they’re not a whole food, I don’t think I should do this. And then I ended up using one at some point and boy, it really worked. I was like, Wow, this stuff works. So I kind of started using them quite a bit in my training and stuff, and I think that played a role in my psoriasis flare because the predominant ingredient in most of those is maltodextrin, which I have been doing some research on maltodextrin. It seems like it’s not necessarily a great thing to be ingesting.
Clint – These things also can contain something called soy lecithin, which acts on the body just like a really high omega six oil like a seed oil like a safflower oil, or sunflower oil, which is the worst for us with inflammatory arthritis. So you’ve got to watch anything with soy lecithin in it. A few years ago I recommended some lithospheric or I mix up these two words. It’s two different ways of saying fat suspended vitamin C. And if that is soy lecithin as well, that’s just bad news. So I retracted my guidelines around that. If you want to take vitamin C and you’re not doing it with foods, then you just take ascorbic acid, just straight up ascorbic acid. So anyway. I find the best pre-workout, energy, fuel source, Medjool dates, just dates. Yeah, they were a rock.
Sean – So part of what I have to do and I’m doing these endurance efforts that are multi our efforts is you have to actually eat while you’re doing it, but that’s the only way you can. And that’s so that’s what made the gels really handy was that it was just this really easy-to-digest thing. So my recent issue is just trying to figure out now, like, what are the best whole food ways of fueling myself for these runs. And dates have been a big one and I’ve recently just discovered dried mango works really well. So now I just kind of just munch on those two things throughout my run and I’m doing pretty well. It seems to work.
Clint – That’s awesome. Now let’s talk about anti-inflammatory foods, things that you emphasized most to not just reduce joint pain, but let’s talk also about the impact of psoriasis. Talk to us about food and those two areas.
Sean – Well, I think, this is the craziest thing is like the baseline meal is like I know if that’s all I ate, I would just heal myself entirely so fast. Why would I ever eat anything else? It’s just such a hard thing. Like, why do we as humans, need to have this variety? We can’t just eat the one thing. I listen to one of your podcasts with one of the doctors and you guys analyzed all the nutrients of the baseline meal, it’s like it has everything you need. Like you can totally live off that. And it’s like, why don’t I just do that? I don’t know. But anyway, that’s, that’s pretty much what I fall back on, I’d say at least a couple of times a week my big thing is sweet potatoes and broccoli. Those two things together, they’re just that’s my jam, and I’ll throw in depending on how I’m feeling. If I’m trying to fight some inflammation, I’ll just eat those two things. And then depending on the level that I’m at, I’ll throw in some mushrooms or greens or onions. I try to eat all the daily does and all those get those all in. The other thing that I really noticed at some point was quinoa and buckwheat in particular. I read that before, maybe it was I can’t remember when I came across it, but I’ve read it outside of your program that pseudo-grains are very notorious for fighting inflammation. For dessert, pretty much every night I make a buckwheat waffle. And I used to use maple syrup on it, now I just mash up a banana with some blueberries or something like that. And I use a little bit of protein powder, that’s the other thing I was getting back at. Now that I’ve cut out the gluten in the high sugars, I’m just kind of experimenting with the protein powder and it’s got a little stevia in it or something that gives it a little sweetness. So now I just kind of sprinkle protein powder on, on some of my stuff is an extra bit of sweetness and. It’s just working great for me.
Clint – Let’s talk about psoriasis in particular. Our pre conversation chat, which went for about 4 minutes, is very, very short. You mention that you notice some different behaving psoriasis activity to arthritis and you said basically arthritis is gone and psoriasis has sort of a mind of its own. Tell us about your experience with the two and what you’ve observed.
Sean – Yeah, well, like I said originally, the bulk of my psoriasis was on my fingernails, and that is just completely just steadily improved. It’s never really taken a step back, it’s only just gotten better and better and better. And over the winter, I just don’t know. Like I said, I started ingesting a lot of those gels, but for some reason I ended up with a pretty good flare of psoriasis on my scalp again. And when you know foods got something to do with it, sometimes it’s so frustrating because you’re just like, what could it be? Then you just end up cutting things out and cutting things out and bringing things back. And really other than the sugar, I was eating maple syrup for years and experiencing a lot of healing. And I don’t feel like the only thing that I really changed was those energy gels. I also bought a house and moved and went through a pretty good bout of stress, not to mention just the pandemic. I ended up getting divorced over the pandemic as well, so I’ve had a lot of kind of accumulating stress. I’m not 100% sold on how much stress has to do with it, but if I really have to look deep down like that was the thing, that was probably the biggest change in my life.
Sean – In wintertime, it’s just really dark and cold here. And I think all of those things may be kind of played a factor in this flare. But it’s just been getting it flared and now it’s just kind of it’s going away, it’s taking its time. And that was one point I really wanted to make for the listeners was that it’s not a fast process. I mean, maybe it is for some people. And from what I’ve heard from your guests, is, is the people that get it and then get on it the fastest are the ones that seem to, like, fully recover the fastest. I think, like I said, having it for 30 years, I think it’s just a much slower process for me. But I just can’t emphasize enough that it’s constantly getting better day after day. It improves and it improves it to the point where, like I said, I just didn’t never even knew you could feel so good, it’s incredible.
Clint – What else would you like to share? Let’s talk about the wrists we’ve got that in our sort of to-do list.
Sean – So the one thing that I also experienced was, speaking of the baseline diet. I really fell in love with miso, and was eating a lot of miso and then that like I said, after that relapse, I was trying to heal and man, my wrists just ballooned out. It was so painful, I was down to the baseline diet with the miso and I was like, what am I doing wrong here? I ended up cutting the miso out and coinciding with that, I also changed my mental outlook to just be like, I’m going to stop giving it so much attention because it was taking up so much of my energy, just trying to figure it out. Why is it happening and what am I eating is causing it. So I just decided to cut the miso out because I knew I’d soy had kind of been back and forth with a little bit and I just shifted my mental outlook and it went away. So I think I’m one of the few people maybe that miso is kind of a trigger for. I was using soy miso, I haven’t tried the brown rice miso or any of those other things.
Clint – It’s just hard to find the brown rice. You might only get it in one in every five health food stores.
Sean – And a lot of them have soy in them already.
Clint – Correct. There are hybrids. Look, you’re so close to our content, what we say, everything that we teach, you know this. But the fermentation process tends to make the soy proteins non-Immuno reactive because they’ve become their constituent amino acids. However, our bodies are complex and we don’t know whether or not perhaps the iodine content or there are so many other potential things going on. It’s a mystery. Leave out feel better, therefore leave it out. I mean, it’s that simple, right?
Sean – And what it boils down to.
Clint – Yeah, wrists let’s talk about wrists. Did you find any exercises that you found therapeutic, the beneficial things for your wrists? What are those?
Sean – I would say, like just running for some reason, I just feel like the running and just getting everything moving and flowing and getting the heart rate up. I feel like that was probably the most beneficial thing I did. I tried to do the exercises and other things like that and I honestly, that was my other thing was just like I said, mentally, I just had to just let it go and leave it alone. And I feel like as soon as I did stop giving it so much attention. It’s almost a little blurry because I just did it stop, I kind of just started ignoring it and it just kind of went away. I wish I had more productive tips to say, but I didn’t do any wrist specific. I haven’t really done I mean, I always have just like moving, like you say, just in bed before I go to bed, I’m just always just getting them all moved and constantly moving my fingers and all of that. So that’s probably my best advice.
Clint – Yeah. A couple of comments there. First of all, to the movement before bed. I have always believed in that strategy. I think that morning stiffness is just inactivity, stiffness. I don’t think anything happens during the night that’s different than just a body lying there doing nothing. And the accumulative oxidation that’s happening in the joints because the immune system is active in the joints creating free radicals. We’re not clearing them out, we’re not providing any compression into the cartilage through our synovial fluids which provide the nutrients to the cartilage. So the joints are basically like sleeping is not a therapeutic thing for a joint. A joint likes movement, so if you’ve got a joint issue and then you don’t move while you sleep other than the body rest and repair, as of on a systemic level, I think that morning stiffness is just inactivity stiffness. Because if you sit still on a plane on a long haul flight for 5 hours and then stand up, your hurt if you’re in an inflamed state. So that’s the first thing, moving before bed, what it does almost like starts the clock at the moment you lie down. Rather than starting the clock of stiffness, on the couch 2 hours before lying down then you’ve added 2 hours of nothingness. But if you move or right before bed, boom, it’s only at that one moment.
Sean – You’re kind of lubricating them you’re getting whatever healthy fluids and stuff you need in there so that while you’re resting overnight, you’ve got that stuff is all in there, hopefully doing its job.
Clint – I love that. And then the other thing I was going to say about wrists, one thing that I found as well for fingers, right? You say that the best thing for your wrists was actually just not any particular exercise, but just cardiovascular activity. That was the same back in the sort of 2011 period for me when I was going through the nightmarish levels. I would just find that working out my upper body, taking the weight in the palm, not in the fingers, but in the palm so that I could lift weights or push resistance against a cable or something. That was the best thing for my fingers without actually exercising my fingers. So it was almost like a referral effect, it was the cardiovascular, the strength of blood. And so I fully, fully agree with that. The only thing I would add is that hanging from an overhead bar seems to strengthen the forearms and just the connective tissue at the wrists. And is that something you’ve explored?
Sean – Pull-Ups have always been a challenging exercise for me. So just because they’ve been challenging, I’ve tried to focus on them as much as I can. And I think one of the things that’s worth mentioning, too, is I’ve never been a big overweight guy, but I lost 30lbs on this diet. I never would have ever thought I had 30lbs to lose. But as soon as I lost some of that weight, all of a sudden I was like, wow, I can do pull-ups now. So I’ve just really focused on doing lots and lots of pull-ups, so that must have probably improved it. But I remember you saying for sure that doing upper body workouts seems to help with your hands and your inflammation, so I definitely keyed on that and started doing that. And then on top of that, like I said, with the running, like I remember at some point you’re saying also just like if you’re in an inflamed state, just go exercise and if you just go do it, get your heart rate up and do something, you will feel like you will make improvement. It’s 100% true. Like if I’m having a little bit of pain or something in my wrist or my hands when I’m done working out, I don’t have any pain. I feel whatever happens during the workout process, it really eliminates a lot of the inflammation. I don’t think it’s going to be long-lasting if you’re not following the diet and keeping up with all the other things as well.
Sean – I think it’s like 51/49 between diet and exercise. I put a little bit more on the diet, but I have to think that the level of exercise that I’ve been able to achieve and accomplish plays a huge part in my healing. And then, you know, just on a side note as well, like I remember reading Dr. Furman’s first book and in his intro, I remember him talking about how like getting colds and flu and stuff were like he rarely ever got sick, immunity is so strong. And it’s like everybody says that. But I can say that with the fact in four years in this program, I have not had a sniffle, flu, a cold, or anything. I feel like my immune system is just extremely prime. My daughter’s here with her friends, they’re sick, I got sniffly kids around me. And just like I said, I have not gotten sick once. So the benefits of this diet reach far beyond just the joint pain. I mean, even if I still had joint pain, if I felt as good as I do, I would still do it. And then not to go too far off track with the environment and the ethical issues that I’ve discovered in being plant-based and going vegan, those reasons alone, too, I would continue to do it even if it had nothing to do with my arthritis.
Clint – So well said, Sean.
Sean – You’ve changed my life, I can’t express that enough. I think you probably saved my life on some level at some point in my life, so I just can’t say enough about how massively I support this way of living. I think at this point, the majority of sickness and disease in our societies comes from our diet. In the minute, you can figure that out and I will 100% say it has been a massive challenge. It’s not easy, I’ve had to relearn how to eat, how to cook, all of those things, but the results just speak for themselves and there’s no way I would do it any differently.
Clint – Fantastic. Sean, thank you very much for all the passion behind this. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for also getting behind us on social media. When we post things on Instagram, you’re often there and say, this worked for me, you can do it, and encourage others. I appreciate that. That means so much to me because there are a lot of sort of skeptics and people who want to belittle what we do and having you behind us, really helps. So thanks very much.
Sean – It’s so hard. I’ve got people that ask me how I did it and they have pain and they want to do it. And I tell them and they’re like, Oh, I can’t do that, I couldn’t do that. It’s so hard to convince people, but once you get there and you start feeling the results, it’s nothing short of magic, really. I mean, it’s just it’s so incredible that it’s so hard to convince people to make that transition and all fully admit I was in a desperate place. I had to reach a desperate place to go there. But I don’t regret it at all. I only wish I’d done it sooner.
Clint – Don’t we all? We’re all in that boat, rowing that boat. Sean, thank you so much. I really appreciate it and wish you all the best. And let’s stay in touch, I can’t wait to hear how you go on your upcoming weekend triathlon or marathon, whatever it may Crazy thing you’re up to. Thanks very much for joining us.
Sean – Absolutely. Thank you so much, Clint.