In this episode, released on July 13, 2021, we welcome one of the most widely-heard voices for change in the EMF sector Cathy Cooke, who has been working as an Integrative Health Coach since 2014. Cathy is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist with the National Association of Nutritional Professionals as well as one of the sector’s most knowledgeable people on the subject of Building Biology.
The Healthier Tech Podcast is the show bringing you a practical solutions-based approach to understanding how best to live in balance with our increasing reliance on tech.
The show from Shield Your Body brings you expert voices that clearly explain the science that matters to you, and the usable tips that you can use to live healthier, while defending against the health risks of modern day technologies.
In this episode we welcome one of the most widely-heard voices for change in the EMF sector Cathy Cooke, who has been working as an Integrative Health Coach since 2014. Cathy is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist with the National Association of Nutritional Professionals as well as one of the sector’s most knowledgeable people on the subject of Building Biology. In this show we dig deep with Cathy to address the controversial subject of electromagnetic hypersensitivity and the myriad of symptoms that this health issue can create. Cathy also explains how we can help to stop the stigma of EMF related ailments and spread awareness regarding these health problems. As one of the most revered experts and advocates for change in the field of EMF it is a genuine pleasure to welcome Cathy to the show.
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In this episode you will hear:
- How to cope with EHS
- How to help someone with EHS
- Why some people are so much more sensitive to EMF than others
- How to build physiological resilience through nutrition
- How to build up resilience against damage from EMF
- How natural cooking ingredients can build up physical resilience
- Supplements and Minerals for EMF protection including Vitamin C, Xanthan, Rosemary, Lion’s mane mushroom, Melatonin
For more information on the subject covered today head to https://www.shieldyourbody.com/ for resources, in-depth articles, free tips and PDF guides to learn all about EMF, health and protection.
To find out more information on Cathy and her important work head to
R Blank 0:02
Hello, everyone, I’m R Blank and welcome to another episode of the healthier tech podcast podcast about a healthier approach to living alongside modern technology. So today we’re going to welcome Cathy cook to the podcast, Cathy is pretty great. She’s a certified holistic nutritionist, a certified building biologist, and a certified EMF radiation specialist. That’s a lot of certifications. And it’s a really great combination for the topic we’re going to cover today, which is using nutrition to protect against damage from EMF.
Cathy Cooke 0:30
Open up that spice cabinet and use your spices use them liberally. Don’t be afraid to add cumin and rosemary and paprika tumeric all of these beautiful spices ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, these are all very very antioxidant rich.
R Blank 0:48
Kathy is a consultant. She has her own shop at home and body health calm. She’s also actually on the SV team as our in house EMF specialist and she’s available to book remote consulting sessions from anywhere in the world. On my website at shield your body calm Kathy has a really powerful story to tell because her expertise comes from her own necessity. She learned all this stuff because she had to find ways to improve her own health. And now she so generously shares that knowledge with the community. And in addition to talking about nutritional defense for EMF, we’re also going to cover the condition that so many people have of experiencing sensitivity and negative health reactions to levels of emf that a lot of us don’t feel and that are present kind of everywhere. Before we begin a brief word. This podcast is brought to you by my company shield your body, where it is our mission to help make technology safer for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Inspired by the life’s work of my father, Dr. Martin plank, one of the world’s leading EMF scientists, I founded shield your body in 2012. We provide a ton of great and free resources for you to learn all about EMF radiation, like articles, ebooks, webinars, videos, and this podcast. And we also have a world class catalog of Laboratory Tested EMF and 5g protection products from our phone pouch and laptop pad all the way up to our bed canopy. All of our shielding products are Laboratory Tested and include a lifetime warranty. Learn more about our products while we have hundreds of 1000s of satisfied customers around the world at shield your body.com that shield your body all one word.com and use promo code pod to save 15% on your first order. Free Shipping throughout North America and Europe. Okay, I’m really excited for this. Let’s dive in. Welcome, Kathy. It’s, it’s a real pleasure to have you here on our podcast. Um,
Cathy Cooke 2:35
likewise, our I’m delighted to be here and to be speaking about such an important topic with you, and just really excited to have a good conversation.
R Blank 2:44
Excellent. Thank you. So as a lot of our listeners know, you and I know each other pretty well. We’ve been working together for a while. But for those who don’t, could you please tell tell our listeners a little bit about yourself. And in particular, how you ended up with this dual focus on EMF and nutrition?
Cathy Cooke 3:00
Yeah, so I’m a holistic nutritionist. And I’ve been doing that, oh gosh, since about 2013 or so. And I got into the field because of nutrition and health because I have had chronic health conditions since I was 12 years old since I was bitten by a tick in Missouri on a field trip. And ever since then I had all these weird, strange, mysterious illnesses. And so I was researching everything about health that I could get my hands on for a couple decades, until I finally decided I’m going to make a career out of it because I knew so much. And so I became a nutritionist, certified in 2014. But as I was working on my own health issues and I was doing everything right and I had access to fantastic healthcare practitioners and I really had everything dialed in. I was still having these lingering health symptoms and primarily it was severe, very, very severe insomnia, tinnitus or ringing in the ears and some anxiety that I just couldn’t get a handle on it no matter what I did. However, the topic of emf kept coming up for me it was really kind of just over my head and you know really hard for me to to take seriously because it’s not something you can see it’s invisible. You can’t hear it or smell it or taste it or see it. But in my desperation after about a two week period of not sleeping more than one or two hours a night each night I just said okay, I got to give this EMF thing a try. So I unplugged my Wi Fi router for a week and I turned off my phone and put it in a drawer for a week just to see what would happen. And lo and behold it was completely life changing and my sleep got dramatically better and my tinnitus went away and about from days. And it was unbelievably profound. And so from that point on, I knew that if I was going to continue to help my clients and their health struggles, I had to know everything there was to know about this environmental piece of it. So I just decided right there, I’m going all in. And I’m going to enroll with the building biology Institute, and I became certified in 2018. Oh, wow. Thank
R Blank 5:23
you. Yeah. So for those who don’t know, we discussed the building biology Institute at greater length in another episode this season. Kathy, you you talk about? I mean, the story you just told me, it’s, it’s pretty remarkable that the results you saw just by taking a few of those EMF mitigation steps, and I know today, we’re going to talk a lot about nutrition. But I did want to start off by talking about this, this level of sensitivity to EMF exposure that I think, based on what you were saying you were demonstrating, and more broadly, this topic of electro hypersensitivity. So could you could you please tell our listeners, what electro hypersensitivity or EHS what it what it is?
Cathy Cooke 6:09
Yeah, that’s a great question. So electro hypersensitivity is one of the terms that is kind of more or less arbitrarily been given to people who are affected by our electromagnetic environment, which could be, you know, radio frequency, things like Wi Fi, or cell phones or fitness trackers, but it’s also the wiring in our walls, power lines, you know, all of the other electrical components that we’re surrounded with. And there’s actually some controversy around the term electro hypersensitivity, that putting that word HyperX, in there kind of does a disservice to the people who have the most symptoms, because they feel like, you know, well, we know from what the science says that all of us are affected by these fields, no matter what we know that there is biological cellular impact no matter what. So to say that some people are hypersensitive, um, doesn’t really honor their experience there. Because it’s, you know, saying that they’re different than everybody else, when in fact, they aren’t. It’s just that for whatever reason, they may have some underlying issues that makes them more aware of the their electromagnetic environment, and they have more symptoms or more acute or severe or noticeable symptoms than other people do. So it’s it’s this loose term that’s been given to people that are considered to have some of the more severe noticeable symptoms. And I might say that, that, you know, some people may be reacting in the same way, they just not made the connection between their symptoms and the electromagnetic environment. So it’s not as I know, that’s not really a great answer. But it’s basically just saying that these people are having a hard time living in our electrifies.
R Blank 8:12
Now that is, that is a good answer. So and it brings me to a bunch of different questions. But I guess to start, you describe a range of symptoms. I know in your own personal experience, you describe sleep disruption, you described, tinnitus, or tinnitus. I’m never quite sure how to pronounce that word. But what what? And I know, I know that there can be a wide variety of symptom expression in people with these reactions. But what are some of the more common ones that you’ve come across the symptoms?
Cathy Cooke 8:45
Well, like with my experience, insomnia, I would say is one of the biggest, even with people who think they sleep well, when I encourage them to turn the phone off at night or turn their Wi Fi off at night. I almost always hear them say, wow, I had no idea my sleep wasn’t that great until I took these measures and now I’m sleeping so much better. So disrupted sleep is definitely big. But one of the biggest the tonight I would say tinnitus, because itis is no inflammation, bursitis or other irises, right. So I’m gonna say tinnitus. That’s also pretty common. headaches are very common. And I would say an extremely common yet underappreciated symptom is anxiety, anxiety and depression and irritability. Those kind of all go together. And the frustrating thing about that for me is that I know I know so many people, so many people in my life, who are on anxiety medications, or medications for depression, but this this area has never been approached with them. And so I have seen many people if they have better hygiene around Their EMF environment that the anxiety and depression goes away. And I’m not saying that’s the case for everybody. Absolutely not. But I think that we could really save ourselves a lot of medication. If, you know, we were able to make a better connection between the anxiety, the depression and the EMF exposure. And so those are the big ones I see along with headaches for some people pain, very cute kind of stabbing pain. Some people when it gets very extreme, I can see people have open wounds in their skin, they have this burning sensation. It can get pretty severe for a lot of people. But you know, those tinnitus, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, those are the biggies.
R Blank 10:48
Wow. That’s, I mean, when you when you start talking about, I mean, not only insomnia, but anxiety, depression, irritability, these seem to be increasingly common conditions in at least in the Western world. Are there are there are there any estimates for you know, how many people experience EHS? And just before you answer that, I know that’s difficult because I happen to agree with you that I think more people have these symptoms, but don’t recognize them as problems per se, or having identified the source of them. But is there any sort of working number that academics or scientists or doctors use to sort of gauge how widespread this condition is?
Cathy Cooke 11:32
Yes, there is. And so according to some researchers, like Magda, Dr. Magda Havas, Deborah, Deborah Davis, I’ve heard some estimates from them specifically, and some other researchers. And they commonly will say they they think that about 3% of the population is what we would call EHS electro hypersensitive, so that very severe almost, I’m debilitated in a high EMF environment. So about 3% of the population would be considered severely EHS and then around 35% of the population would be considered to have more of the mild symptoms. So I guess I would, I would not be considered severely EHS. But I would know more in that 35% range of my symptoms are mild, but they’re there, and they’re noticeable. But, you know, like you just alluded to what we don’t know, is how much higher that number is, because of all the people that aren’t making the connection between their symptoms and, and their environment. Right. And,
R Blank 12:40
and you’re you’re saying that you didn’t have a particularly severe case, but obviously yours, yours was severe enough that you went out and got another degree in order to figure out how to address it. But for people who haven’t, who haven’t more severe, it must be it must be a real challenge to just live day to day. And I know these are some of your your clients. So could you give us and our listeners some insight into into what it’s like to live that way?
Cathy Cooke 13:12
Yeah, you know, I’m really glad that you asked that question. I don’t know how many webinars and podcasts I’ve been on. And no one’s ever asked me that. But I think is a real testimony to your sympathy for these people. Because people don’t understand what it’s like to live with EHS. And it’s, it’s unbelievable what these people have to go through. I have many clients that can’t really leave their homes, um, they try to maybe once a week, once a month to run some errands. But it’s incredibly painful for them. Because you can’t, I mean, if you’re going to go to a grocery store or you know, any any kind of store, you’re going to be in an environment where there are a lot of cell towers. So it’s very painful for them because of the exposure. It’s hard for them to be in a car because a car and variability has a lot of emf because of the motors. Some people I know have to live in the basement, shielded basement because the EMF levels or if from from outside from cell towers and radio frequency is often much lower in the basement. Because you don’t have that exposure. It’s underground. I have a few clients that have to sleep in kind of like a full body suit. Otherwise they won’t sleep. So it’s like head to toe clothing that is shielding clothing that has silver in it. I know some people that just they just live with the pain because they don’t want to go to those kinds of extremes. So they’re pretty much in constant, a constant state of headaches or joint pain. gi disruption, it really is a broad spectrum of what these people have to deal with. But it’s, it’s pretty debilitating, and it doesn’t create a good quality of life. So, you know, thank you for bringing that up and raising some awareness about what these people have to deal with Thank
R Blank 15:19
you for helping to paint that picture. I mean that it sounds like a prison and, and the responses that that these people need to take. I mean, it’s sad. what I’m wondering is how others in their lives, interpret those actions, because I know at least in in, in mass media, you know, one of the portrayals that people are most familiar with is, is Saul Goodman’s brother, in Better Call Saul, and there was this constant. No one in his life essentially believed what he was experiencing. And I have to figure someone needs to believe you if you’re going to be able to get treatment. And if your lifestyle is going to be accommodated, how do your clients who have these symptoms, how do they? How do others in their lives, interpret and react to these sorts of lifestyle changes that they need to make?
Cathy Cooke 16:22
Yeah, well, that’s another great question. I would say that most people don’t talk about it with their friends and family, because well, they have to with their family, because they have to make changes in their life. But with their friends, most people say I just don’t bring it up. I didn’t bring it up for a while until I became certified. I was like, Whoa, I got to talk about it now. And really, I wanted to raise awareness. And I didn’t understand in the beginning, that people would not believe me, I really didn’t get that people would go, Oh, well, you’re kind of crazy. I mean, I just, I experienced this thing. It was night and day. And I was like, hey, this happened. And I had no idea that people would look at me funny. And it is sad. A lot of times when I’m doing an assessment in a person’s house, they eat one of the spouses, it could be the husband or the wife, they will have me come when the other spouse isn’t there, because the other spouse is not believer. Or I will be there and I will get some resentment from the non believing spouse. And they kind of I don’t know, you know, they don’t let me go through the full stuff. And they may have me leave early, because they feel like it’s a waste of money. And it’s in the spouse’s head. And it’s more of, you know, this is a psychological issue, not a real issue. It when I can, I’ll say that when I do walk into a person’s home, and both spouses are on board, and they’re both excited about learning about it. I am overwhelmed with happiness, because it’s, it’s so awesome. I mean, it’s so rare to see that. But I can see that they’re supporting each other, they believe each other, they’re in it together, and they’re willing to take those steps. It’s rare that that happens. But it’s it’s fantastic what it does. So that just kind of, you know, shows you that that it doesn’t happen often. And these people do get a lot, a lot of criticism from their friends and family, they lose relationships. I’ve seen a lot of people become divorced over this. I’ve seen a lot of people whose friends, I’ve lost friends over it. So it does really take a big hit on your social life. And can you know, it just adds a whole nother layer of tragedy to what they’re already experiencing? Wow,
R Blank 18:45
that’s absurd. That was pretty. That was pretty dramatic. And I appreciate you sharing that. I can imagine. I mean, just just knowing how certain people in my life react to things that that I say or that I’m going through or others are going through. I would imagine that let’s say let’s say that there, there’s someone with DHS, and there’s someone else in their life who doesn’t quite believe it. I would imagine that that the non believer would be more inclined to accept the reality of the condition. If the patient were able to get a formal diagnosis from a Western doctor. Am I right with that? Or or is that even too optimistic?
Cathy Cooke 19:34
Um, well, I don’t know. I’ve seen I’ve seen it. I think it’s all depends on the person. I think in some circumstances, that’s probably very true. In other circumstances, it’s not going to be true. I mean, when I get into discussions about this, via whatever if it could do social media or some kind of platform or in person with some money, and they don’t believe me, yet I show them the scientific research. And I can point to, you know, very sound excellent scientific research that shows us a clear connection between the health impact and the exposure, they often will immediately tell me Oh, that’s been debunked. And you know that it, it without even looking at it. I mean, there are they’ve already made up their mind, they already know, no matter what I show them, no matter what I say to them. Even if I said, I had an eight diagnosis of EHS, which I do not. But if I were to say that it’s, it’s already, it’s a non discussion with them, because they’ve made up their mind. And it’s, this is all in our head, and I’m a fear mongering snake oil salesman, whatever. So we have those people, unfortunately, even if we did have a diagnosis, they’re not going to believe it. But you’re right, that there probably are people who will see that coming from a medical doctor, that this is an official diagnosis, they may be more responsive to that.
R Blank 21:00
That so I, I’m just gonna guess here that just based based on some of the stuff we were saying before, which is both you and I believe that that more people have this condition than are aware that have this condition that I’m pretty sure there are people listening to this podcast right now, who are saying, Oh, I wonder, I wonder if that’s the cause of my insomnia? Or ringing in my ears? Or both? or anxiety? What can someone like that due to see to pursue that to see is this? Is this what I’m experiencing? Can it be diagnosed? Is there a medical treatment? Well, let’s start with the diagnosis, actually. So if someone thinks that they might be sensitive, what what would their next step be in terms of securing a diagnosis?
Cathy Cooke 21:52
Well, it’s important for them to have a good relationship with a primary care provider. So and this is important, because the primary care provider is going to want to know your history, they’re going to want to rule out any other conditions, you know, you could be have a serious mental condition that may need to be investigated. And also, you know, I couldn’t just walk into a doctor’s office that I’ve never seen before and say, Hey, I have all these symptoms, can you give me an EHS diagnosis? And they’ll say, Well, I don’t know anything about you, what’s your history, what happened yesterday, what happened 10 years ago, you know, so you have to develop a relationship with that primary care provider. So they can really get a full picture of your health and make an appropriate diagnosis. Because we do want to rule out, you know, all possible causes, and it may be from your EMF exposure, it may be something else, it may be a combination of things, it’s usually a combination of things. But first, develop that relationship, keep a log of your symptoms, and or a diary of your symptoms, which can be really helpful to the medical provider. But it’s also important to note that not all medical providers have any awareness of this. Some of them are not believers, some of them are. So it’s important to identify a medical practitioner that is willing and open to explore the idea and give you an inappropriate diagnosis, because there are ICD international codes for this diagnosis. So it is a recognized disability in America through the Americans with Disabilities Act. So it is an official diagnosis. But that doesn’t mean that all medical providers are aware of it or believe in it.
R Blank 23:44
So it’s a it’s a process both of building a relationship with a medical provider, which isn’t always easy in the United States with with insurance the way it is, and then also working to educate or encourage that medical provider to self educate on this subject. Right.
Cathy Cooke 23:59
Right. And, you know, providing them with research can be very helpful. But we could get into, you know, it’s a whole nother topic. But there, there’s research on the other side, which they will often cite, as their defense of this isn’t actually a real thing. If somebody wants to find a medical provider that is going to be more open to this, I would seek out a natural path or a functional medicine practitioner, because they often have a lot more awareness about this than a conventional medical doctor might.
R Blank 24:32
That’s great advice. So beyond that, again, you know, keeping in mind that particularly the United States, not everyone has such great insurance, not everyone has insurance. Is there are there actions people can take to try to self diagnose. I remember I’m calling them recalling earlier in the conversation you you didn’t know you had these sensitivities, but you turned off your Wi Fi and you Took some some other actions and you saw you got better there? Are there things like that that people can do to see if they might potentially have this condition?
Cathy Cooke 25:12
Yes. So one of when I initially speaking with a client, and they think that they’re having some symptoms, but they’re not quite sure. One of the first things I always ask them is, well, how do you feel when you go camping? You know, I live in Idaho. So we got a lot of campers here. And most people, well, I shouldn’t say most, a lot of people will spend time off grid camping sleeping in a tent. And that often will give me some great information. Because the large majority of the time the answer is, Oh, my gosh, I sleep great. I feel great when I’m out in the middle of nature, and I can’t be well, that’s a very big sign. Right? I mean, there’s, of course, a lot of other environmental influences in the city and inside our homes. But if they tell me that, then I know we’ve got a pretty strong case that they are actually reacting to their electromagnetic environment. One thing to note, though, and I learned this last summer, I went camping and I was staying any camp for a developed campground that had hookups for RVs and trailers. And I was there for a couple of weeks. Actually, in the first week, I just wasn’t sleeping long. I thought, I wonder what’s going on here. So I took out my meter. And sure enough, there was very high magnetic fields from the wiring that was powering the hookups. Wow. And so I say that for anyone who’s gonna say, Oh, yeah, I’m going to go camping and try this out, you really got to be off grid completely, you know, not rolling up to a campground that has electrical ability, because there you’re, you’re surrounded by wiring there. So it’s really helpful if you can get like in a backpacking situation. So you’re going to hike into the wilderness, and sleep in a tent for a couple of days with nothing else around you to give your body a real chance at identifying does it feel better, or not than when it’s in the city or in your home?
R Blank 27:16
So this, this part of the conversation, by the way, has been really fantastic, Kathy, I really appreciate it. And I, I now want to move into more of the talk on how to address this condition. But but to try to segue to that. I’m wondering if you because what’s what’s really interesting, and I think what’s made DHS so difficult to diagnose over the years is, I mean, if everyone is reactive, to exposure to electromagnetic fields, which you and I both know is true, then why are some people so much more sensitive than others?
Cathy Cooke 28:00
Yeah, so, um, well, what some of the researchers have found, like I mentioned earlier, you know, Deborah Davis, and, gosh, there’s so many Oh, a Johansen, your father, Martin blank, so many excellent researchers out there, Dr. Martin, Paul, a lot of them have discovered is that there’s some underlying precursors, or underlying conditions, or past previous experiences, that have had some kind of trauma or some kind of influence on the body that has now made them more sensitive to the electromagnetic environment. And you know, it’s kind of the classic analogy of, we have a rain barrel, and that when it rains, the barrel fills up. But at some point, that next drop of water is the barrels going to overflow because it cannot handle any any more exposure, it cannot handle any more water. And so we we think that this is what’s happening for some of the people that are so sensitive, is they have already some kind of underlying precursor or condition in their bucket is already so full that you now add in this electricity or radio frequency, and their body just can’t handle it.
R Blank 29:19
Okay, that’s, that’s a really powerful metaphor. Are there? Well, can you explain a little bit more about the nature of these just give a few examples, the nature of these these precursors?
Cathy Cooke 29:34
Yeah, so there’s several and one of them would be physical trauma. And I have actually quite a few clients who have had some kind of brain injury. One of my mentors in the building biology he was knocked on the head. He was an engineer and he got knocked in the head with I forget what it was a tool or something and he He suffered a concussion. And immediately after that he became sensitive, very, very sensitive. I have another client who was pushed and fell back and hit her head and became sensitive after that. So this physical trauma that can disrupt the nervous system can be pretty impactful. It could also be emotional trauma. And that’s extremely common. I have several clients that have gone through some pretty severe emotional, emotionally traumatic events in their lives, loss of loved ones, or loss of family members, divorces, you know, things like that, that have triggered their sensitivity as well. There’s also underlying infections, things like Lyme disease, very big a mold exposure. Boy, I can’t tell you how many of my clients probably the large majority of my clients who are sensitive to emfs have had a mold exposure at some point in their lives, that can really disrupt the nervous system. Other infections, like parasites, or bacterial overgrowth, or chronic viruses or viral conditions can make you more sensitive. There’s also genetic predisposition. So there’s certain genetic snips, as we call them, that will make you more susceptible, and more sensitive to your exposure. chemical exposures, another really big one. So if you are chemically sensitive, you’re almost always electro hypersensitive as well. So if you’ve had a big chemical exposure, you know, emf is going to be more severe for you. Let’s see. those are those are the big ones. I may be missing a few. But those are the biggies.
R Blank 31:53
No, that’s, that’s really helpful. And if we had more time, I think we could do a whole episode just on the precursors. So but I’d like to try to transition here to talking about how you address this, because because you work with clients all the time. And my understanding is that you are a big proponent of of working to build resilience, through nutrition in physiological resilience through nutrition. Is that Is that a fair statement? Is
Cathy Cooke 32:24
that how you see? Absolutely, yeah, well, it’s huge, because, you know, it’s just like, you can’t eat McDonald’s every day and expect to lose weight and feel great, right? You can’t, you can’t have a poor diet and expect to feel well. And, you know, as nutrition was kind of my first passion, I, you know, I’m really rooted in that, because it’s those, those chemicals that we get from our food that help our body function appropriately. So if we don’t give it enough, B vitamins, if we don’t give it enough calcium, if we don’t give it enough magnesium, etc, then we’re gonna feel awful. And everything else that we’re exposed to, is going to have that much more of an impact. So it’s really important in my mind, not only to remove the sources of emfs, but to improve the way the body functions so that when that when it is in the EMF environment, it can have less symptoms and recover quicker from that exposure.
R Blank 33:32
That’s that’s a really good point. I like to just quickly go into a little more depth on that. So when you’re working with a client, and I know that, that your services go beyond nutrition that you you also work, you and I both spend a lot of time on on EMF mitigation, but here I’m talking specifically about the nutrition aspect of your regimen. When you do that, is your goal to, quote unquote cure EHS? Or is it more about building a person’s resilience to sort of raise that bar, so that where symptoms start to appear like, is EHS curable from your perspective?
Cathy Cooke 34:15
Well, the use of the word cure curable is a tricky one. I don’t know that I would use that word. We can absolutely take someone who has severe symptoms and get them to a place where they don’t react almost at all, or they react 90% less than they used to. I don’t think I would ever say that anyone is cured because we do still have that biological fact that that cellular effect of the voltage gated calcium channels which we can get into if you want, but that is happening no matter what. So we can’t cure that but we can make Is the person much, much less reactive, and have a whole lot less symptoms than they already maybe having if we can get the body to function appropriately, and learn how to handle those exposures better.
R Blank 35:16
Now, that’s a great distinction, I appreciate you pointing that out. So, resilience building resilience isn’t a cure. It’s, it’s, it’s sort of, and correct me if I’m, if I’m painting this the wrong way, but it’s, it’s building your strength. So you’re not curing anything, you’re making someone and their body stronger, to react to these forces that they’re exposed to.
Cathy Cooke 35:41
Yeah, it’s, that’s a good way to put it. And, you know, I mentioned the physical and emotional trauma earlier, and a lot of what’s happening with people who are reacting and having symptoms is that their nervous system is just, it’s, it’s over responding. And it feels like it is still in this fight or flight mode, or that it’s still threatened. So every little exposure be a chemical or a mold spore, or electric field, thereby saying Danger, danger, danger. And it’s it’s heightening its responses and it’s having, it’s intentionally giving the body more pain, so that it it that so that you remove yourself from the situation. But it’s kind of doing that artificially, it’s doing it in a hyper aware state, because it wants it feels like it’s still in danger from whatever this, you know, physical or mental trauma that it had. So the body can never really get out of the sympathetic nervous system, which is the fight or flight mode into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rest and digest or the calm, relaxed mode. So that’s one reason why they’re having these responses. So if we can get the nervous system to relax, and we can let the body know that it it’s not in as much danger as it may think, then we can reduce a lot of the symptoms because we’re, quote unquote, strengthening the body’s nervous system, which can go a long way to help people.
R Blank 37:24
So earlier, you mentioned this very long, and I feel a little intimidating phrase voltage galium, sorry, voltage gated calcium channels. And I don’t want to go too in depth on that. But I know that that’s, that’s some of the nutrition information that we’re going to get to is sort of based off of the the scientific knowledge that I believe Dr. Pol, has established on this topic. And so I’m wondering if you could spend a few words to explain to our listeners again, as simply as possible with these voltage gated calcium channels, sorry, I said a rock voltage gated calcium channels or vgccs are and why it’s relevant to what we’re discussing today.
Cathy Cooke 38:08
Yeah, it’s, that’s a mouthful. So basically, US yourself will have minerals on the outside and they’ll have minerals on the inside. And calcium, most of the calcium in our body is on the outside of the cell. And we only want small amounts to get in inside the cell because, you know, calcium is excited Tory and so, these voltage gates that are on the cell membrane, are there intentionally to allow a certain amount in but not too much, and it works great. And so, for most people, you know, those voltage gates work very well. But, as the name implies, it is it is influenced by voltage, which is electricity, its current, it is electrons moving, which is how our body functions. So, when we are in the presence of non native or human made voltage, or the wiring in our walls or radio frequency or whatever it is, these gates can be artificially opened, which means that calcium, too much calcium can flood into the cell, and that creates this downstream effect of oxidative stress. And what happens when we have oxidative stress? Well, any of the symptoms I’ve already mentioned and most of our chronic health conditions today all have a basis in oxidative stress. So, that is how we are impacted on a soul level by our exposure to these fields.
R Blank 39:49
Okay, thank you that was that was very clear. I appreciate that. So you mentioned oxidative stress. Is this the type of body stress that no antioxidants are able to help us address.
Cathy Cooke 40:03
That is exactly right. You have your nutrition knowledge well, though, then. Yes. So antioxidants will help us to combat our free radicals or oxidative stress. And so where do we get antioxidants? Well, we get them in mostly from our produce from fruits and vegetables. And that’s why we’re as nutritionists, we’re always telling people to eat their fruits and vegetables. And we like to especially focus on those deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables, like plums, or eggplants, or dark leafy greens, you know, those those rich deep pigments of blueberries, they have some of the highest antioxidant capacity. So as long as we get some of that in with each meal, we can help to offset some of the oxidative stress that we’re getting from multiple exposures in our lives.
R Blank 41:05
Okay, so deeply pigmented fruits and veggies is, is there a sort of a recommended amount? I mean, I know everyone is different, their situations are different, their physiology physiologies are different. But are there certain, like if someone was said, trying to set a benchmark for themselves, how much of this should I eat a day?
Cathy Cooke 41:24
Oh, boy, well, that gets into a whole other area that I’ll try not to go too far down that rabbit hole. But I have actually seen a lot of people make themselves bill from just cramming blender with kale and spinach and as much dark leafy greens as they can into their Blender every day. And then they’re, they’re drinking this big old smoothie with all these vegetables, I don’t recommend that that’s not really a good idea for multiple reasons. There are other things in these vegetables that can cause problems for people like oxalates is a big one or you know, various other plant compounds. So we want to be reasonable, if you have a serving or two vegetables at each meal is typically what I recommend, I like to fill my plate half full with vegetables, and then I have a palm sized portion of protein and a small amount of carbs depending on my energy needs. But that half of your plate of vegetables is not nearly as much as a lot of people may think I mean, if you have a small side salad that will easily meet that requirement. If you have, you know, a couple pieces of broccoli and half uncooked carrot, or full cooked carrot that will easily meet that requirement. So I don’t want people to go overboard with this. But just, you know, one or two servings, half your plate of vegetables at each meal, and maybe a snack of a small low sugar fruit here and there. And you’re done. That’s great. So
R Blank 43:01
and when you say each meal, you’re talking about lunch and dinner, or do are you talking about vegetables at breakfast, too, I’m just in
Cathy Cooke 43:07
terms of what you can have? Well, you definitely have vegetables at breakfast. But you know, in my role, a lot of people are intermittent fasting, so they’re only eating maybe two meals a day. Okay, some people that’s great for some people maybe not appropriate. So if you are eating breakfast, I definitely recommend some fruits and vegetables in there. And I count spices as a very rich source of antioxidants. So if you’re going to have some eggs, let’s say and some bacon, you want to throw in some, you know, tumeric or rosemary, human, those are all really great for protecting against EMF exposure, and, you know, a side of broccoli. I mean, that’s totally doable for most people.
R Blank 43:54
That’s really I hadn’t even thought of spices as a I mean, it makes perfect sense because it comes from produce, but I hadn’t even thought of spices as a source of antioxidants. So so that survives the process of of drying them out and pulverizing them and so forth. Yes. Yes. So I know you also talk about blood sugar levels. Is that is that related to the antioxidants? Or is that separate? How does? How do blood sugar levels relate to physiological resistant resilience that we’ve been talking about?
Cathy Cooke 44:30
Oh, well, I love this conversation. Whenever I’m working with a client, on their nutrition or their health in general. I always start with blood sugar, no matter what their health problem is, we must first stabilize the blood sugar. So you know, I don’t necessarily care yet about what you’re eating, but I need to know when and how much and are your macronutrients balance. Because if your blood sugar is out of balance, as most people’s are because we’re eating a standard American diet, that means that we’re going to have these hormone fluctuations all day long. And our cortisol is going to go way up, and it’s going to go way down and our insulin goes way up. And then we get this blood sugar crash, which raises our cortisol, and it affects our entire hormone system. And this just sets us up for just all kinds of problems. Because I mean, our hormones pretty much regulate all the systems of our body. So when our hormones are out of balance, we’re we’re again going to be in this, this heightened stress response situation. So our nervous system is going to be altered. And, you know, I’m sure we’ve all heard that when you’ve got high amounts of stress, it has dramatic impact on your physiology. And that’s where a lot of our chronic health symptoms begin along with the oxidative stress. So we must get the blood sugar dialed in so that we can have a better hormone balance so that the body can function. Otherwise, it’s constantly in this fight or flight stressful response. And it’s never going to be able to function as as it’s intended to.
R Blank 46:17
So not everyone can get fresh berries or eggplant, you know, all the time, depending on where they live. So I imagine that a lot of people must ask you about supplements, I think you actually got a little into this earlier, because for instance, I’ve recently started on turmeric supplements. So I guess some of these things are directly available supplements. But can supplements help? And are there particular ones that you you recommend to people?
Cathy Cooke 46:47
Yes, definitely. So I you know, I have a lot of people in my world, either practitioner or clients that say, Well, I get everything I need for my food. And I really wish that that was accurate and 100 years ago, it may have been, but today our soil is so depleted, and our food travels so far, that the nutrients in our food is dramatically dramatically less than what it used to be. So most of us can benefit from some supplementation. Now, not all supplements are appropriate for every person. So you got to make sure that you’re working with a practitioner that can guide you to the appropriate ones. But some of the supplements that I like the best specifically for that, you know, helping our bodies be more resilient because certainly enough protection include things like beautify on which is the body’s main antioxidant we produce it but some of us need a little extra support and that vitamin C is excellent. It’s an antioxidant as well as to xanthine is one that I like a lot especially if you know you’re going to be in a high EMF environment like if you’re flying as the xanthine is to comes from things like shrimp shellfish, that bright red color that you see I’m on like a shellfish or lobster that’s as it can be very protective. Rosemary Rosemary tincture is one of my favorites when people are flying or you’re going to get into a car for a road trip or you’re in a high EMF environment. Rosemary tincture is excellent. Gosh, there’s so many Lion’s Mane mushroom is another one of my favorites because it’s really helpful for the nervous system. And melatonin and that’s the last one I’ll say that Melatonin is also a great one to help combat all of our exposure.
R Blank 48:42
That’s that’s a that’s a really full list. And we’ll we’ll make sure to add that information in the show notes before moving on though. And you’ve said this one before and then it always always piques my interest. Can you can you talk a little bit about melatonin and because I know a lot of people take melatonin and its role in helping to build resilience against EMF.
Cathy Cooke 49:05
Well, Melatonin is also one of our main antioxidants in the body. And most people know melatonin because it’s the it’s a hormone, and it’s the sleep hormone. It’s what makes you sleepy at night, which is true, but it’s also a very potent antioxidant. So there’s some controversy about taking melatonin regularly and whether or not you should do that because some people think that it creates a negative feedback loop which means that if you take it exogenously then your body is going to be it’s going to kind of get lazy and not continue to produce it on its own. I see research to support that a little bit but I’ve also seen research on the other side that says that that doesn’t necessarily happen. So I am a little bit cautious with its use. However, I started to recommend it more often. Because we are all exposed to high levels of emf almost all the time. And so, unfortunately, for some of us, it’s just something that we could take on going we, because of our high exposures, I am not happy about that, you know, I wish we could let the body do what it needs to do on its own. But because we have this large exposure, for many of us, it can be helpful to take it ongoing, of course, you know, I don’t want anybody to take any thing that I’m mentioning without talking to their health provider first about it. But But Melatonin is something that I take often, because of these reasons, because of our high exposure, and I want that extra antioxidant support. But I’m also doing a lot to encourage my body’s own release of melatonin at night by blocking blue light or artificial light at night and getting good early morning sunlight, which kind of resets our circadian rhythm. So it is a little bit of a controversial topic, but I do think that it is becoming more needed as we increase our EMF exposure.
R Blank 51:15
So Kathy, as you know, I really love focusing, not only explaining subjects to people, which I think you’ve done a fantastic job of today, but also then giving them some tangible action items, something that my listeners could start doing right now, with relatively little effort or expense. Could you please highlight three changes related to nutrition? So I suppose related to diet that people could take right now, right after this podcast is over, to help build up their resilience against damage from EMF?
Cathy Cooke 51:54
Yes, what a fun question. So first, I would say balancing your pleasure, really important. And like I said, you know, all you got to do to start doing this is make sure that your macronutrients mean your fat, protein and carbohydrates, making sure that those three are balanced at each meal. So each meal, you have a protein that could be a grass fed meat, pasture based eggs, wild caught fish, a high quality plant source, if it doesn’t have a high carbohydrate content, so you have that protein. And then you have a small amount of carbohydrates, you may need less or more than other people, I like to start with half a cup. And that could be something like a half a cup of sweet potato, or planting, or maybe some brown rice, or some properly prepared beans or legumes. And then you’ve got half of your plate as vegetables. And somewhere in there, you’ve got a couple tablespoons of fat, maybe you’ve got butter on your sweet potato or something like that. That if you plan every every meal, that way is going to go a long way in helping you balance your blood sugar. So that’s the first thing I would do. The second thing I would do is open up that spice cabinet and use your spices use them liberally. Don’t be afraid to add cumin and rosemary and paprika tumeric. All of these beautiful spices ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, these are all very, very antioxidant rich, and you can add them into most of your foods. I would say if you haven’t opened one of your spice jars in like two years, it’s probably time to get a new jar, they don’t last forever, the antioxidant content will wear off over time. So some nice new fresh herbs. That would be a really good way to boost your nutrition. And then lastly, gosh, you’re going to do so much with just with just those two tips right there. But I really like to focus on quality of my food, I’m more concerned about the quality than the quantity. So if you’re going to, you know, buy all these beautiful foods, do your best to get organic, because we want to reduce our chemical exposure again. So if you can get as much as you can organic and I realized that that’s not doable for everybody. A good resource to use for this is the Environmental Working Group website. Every year, they come out with a list called the Dirty Dozen clean 15. And so that shows you the top 12 foods that have the highest pesticide and herbicide residues. And so you want to always make sure you get organic for those. And then there’s the clean 15 which is the produce that even though it’s conventional raise, it has not too high levels of pesticides and herbicides. So those you can Get visually so you can save a little bit of money either. But whenever you can really focus on quality ingredients know where it’s coming from familiar farmer awesome, organic whenever possible local whenever possible. That’s, that will really go a long way.
R Blank 55:19
Thank you Kathy those though that was really a fantastic lesson, and I know my listeners appreciate it. And we’ll also put that in the show notes. As many of our listeners know, you and I do a lot of work together at si p, but you also have your own consulting. And if you could maybe take a minute to tell our listeners about the work you do through whole home and body health calm.
Cathy Cooke 55:43
Sure, yeah. So I’ve functioned both both as a building biologist and a nutritionist. So I do assessments in home assessments for both air quality, things like mold and chemicals, as well as EMF assessments. And then I also work with people virtually, through my complete wellness program. And that is a six to eight month program that involves 10, individual one on one sessions with my client, and we go through everything from their entire health history, we fine tune their diet, we may run some functional medicine labs, if that’s necessary, I usually have them get a meter, a lot of times they have an EMF meter, and we do a full assessment on their house. If you know it, as it’s virtual, I walk them through it. We cover air quality, and we talk about the air quality in their home. We just go through the entire spectrum of their health and try to, you know, really improve their environment as well as try to figure out do they have one of these precursors, you know, what’s going on for them, that is causing some health challenges. And I did really deep and trying to find the underlying reason why they’re still having health challenges. And you know, a lot of times it’s the EMF, a lot of times it’s maybe we find more, but a lot of times when we clean up their diet, we supplement appropriately, we may run a few labs and discover, you know, kind of an infection or something that we address or whatever it is. And then over the course of this six to eight months, however long those 10 sessions take, oh my gosh, we see dramatic improvements. It’s it’s so rewarding for me to start working with a client who is just at the end of the rope and just feeling hopeless. And then six 810 months later, they’re a totally new person because they’ve done they’ve done the hard work of remediating their EMF finding their chemical exposures, fine tuning their diet, addressing their precursors. Is is awesome. It’s it’s just I love it so much. Just to see people get better. It’s, it’s fantastic.
R Blank 58:03
No, that’s, that’s really fantastic. And, and what I love about the information that you’ve shared today, is how eye opening it is to realize that there are things that we can do to control how EMF exposure affects us. Now, you and I, right, we spend a lot of time, both together. And in our separate businesses. We’re constantly advocating ways that people can reduce their exposure. But the information that that you’ve generously shared today with my audience, helps us all understand that there are other levers you can pull to reduce the damage, and to boost your resilience and to live healthier. And for me, it’s certainly been eye opening. And I know my listeners are going to appreciate it. So thank you so much for taking the time to join us today, Kathy.
Cathy Cooke 58:50
Well, thank you are I’m so excited about the new podcast, I’m really honored to be a guest here. And thanks so much for what you do and raising awareness about this very important topic.
R Blank 59:03
As always, I’m joined by my right hand lady and Operations Manager at shield your body. Stephanie. Stephanie, our listeners might not know this, but you actually work with Kathy here at si B. And I know you’ve also attended several of her webinars. Given that background What did you think of my interview with her?
Stephanie Warner 59:19
Well, I Well, first of all, Kathy is a rock star. She’s a rock star, and I you know, I really appreciate all the work she does with SBB and all the work she does trying to help people, you know, live healthier lives. The interview was great. And it was it was you know, super informative. And yeah, I just I I’m really happy to introduce her to more and more people because she’s she’s super she’s really amazing.
R Blank 59:53
Yeah, no, I total total agreement there. So in terms of the things that I I the top things I feel I learned And that interview, one I really like her focus on, on building physiological resistance and resilience when it comes to damage from EMF exposure, right? It’s it’s, it’s not about curing it that’s that that’s not the approach. That’s not the framing. It’s about making us stronger. It’s about making us more resilient. And that’s a, I find that to be a really powerful framing and perspective. And it’s a different way of thinking about this serious health issue.
Stephanie Warner 1:00:29
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, I was I was sitting there taking notes, and what what things what, what things do I do? Should I be focusing on as far as health go? Or as far as nutrition goes? Because I, you know, I really hadn’t given a lot of credence to Oh, yeah, like every health issue, what we put in our bodies also has an effect. So, you know, making sure we eat, you know, use lots of spices and arrow aromatics? Well, anyways, we use a lot of spices in our dishes is, you know, it’s just not something I had thought about. Other than, you know, spices and herbs make food taste great. But now, it’s like this added reason to use it.
R Blank 1:01:14
Yeah, no, actually, that was my third top, my top third takeaway was I love her focus on spices, you can never never cook with too many spices, in my opinion. And so more turmeric, it is, for me here at the at the blank house. So then the third, that was the third. But now the third, I found her portrayal of electro sensitivity, I thought that discussion, it turned into something much more powerful than I had anticipated. A lot of people who don’t have EHS have trouble understanding just what it’s like. And I fortunately, don’t have that level of sensitivity. But you know, through my work, it shows your body, I talked to a lot of people who do, and for those people to find everyday environments, so poisonous. It’s a challenge that that other people just don’t understand. And I thought how she explained it was was just, it was really sensitive, it was really aware. And it was it was really illuminating.
Stephanie Warner 1:02:12
Yeah, yeah, I that might, you know, there, there were a lot of takeaways from this amazing interview. But that really struck an emotional chord with me. I, you know, I because again, our work is at shield your body I deal with, you know, I’m constantly interacting with customers and audience and audience members who are who are just learning about EMF. And a common thing that that I hear. And I’m sure you do, too, or I know you do too, is it you know, we get these emails from people who are just desperate because they’re in so much discomfort, and I really appreciate Cathy taking the time to be vulnerable and to express, you know, her journey through you know, dealing with with physical discomfort due to EMF and how she you know, how that motivated her to get deeper into the subject. But I you know, and my hope is that people who may be listening to this who struggle with EHS feel less alone and feel some hope, but also for the people who maybe don’t understand what what living with discomfort like this and pain in some situations must be like, because it’s, it’s, it’s devastating and very challenging for people. And I feel like the representations that we see in the media of people suffering from EHS is in a mocking way. And it’s not funny, and I don’t it’s important that we recognize that these things are real, and that people are suffering. And I hope that that part of the conversation elevates the the conversation around EHS so that we’re a little more empathetic in our, in our dialogue, and even media representations. Woody, what do you think are?
R Blank 1:04:13
No, I I agree that the more conversations like this, that that happen, and that people here and have access to I think it does help build out a better just a better dialogue, a better a better way of understanding because, you know, we didn’t get too far into the statistics here. But I, I really do believe I think it’s almost certain that this condition is going to spread because the amount of emf in the environment just keeps exploding. And when I say exploding, I mean exponential growth, year after year, with all of the new towers with all of the new smart tech and with the absence of real safety regulations. More and more people are going to be exposed to levels that trigger these types of responses and they may not even be as severe As as the ones that, like Kathy and I were talking about, but they’re, they’re real. And I think discussions like this really, really helped move that forward. Yeah, I
Stephanie Warner 1:05:10
agree. And, you know, I just want to add one thing to that, that I was that kind of popped into my mind when listening to the interview is not only are our you know, people going to feel more symptoms, because we have so many more, so many higher frequencies and so many more gadgets, wireless gadgets, but also what’s what’s starting to hit home is there are precursors, and there are other things that can trigger your sensitivity, including Lyme disease. So as you know, the toxins in our environment become more problematic, our or underlying diseases like Lyme disease, you know, spread and become increasingly problematic. I think that’s also we’re also going to see some more, some more, a lot more of the population experiencing these types of sensitivities. And I’d really like to see EHS become something that people like health practitioners how to include into the spectrum of health,
R Blank 1:06:19
I think that was so actually some really good insight there, right, because Kathy did talk about precursors. And what that really means is that there are certain conditions that you have that make you more susceptible to other conditions. And I remember you and I talked about this in our in episode number one my view on on toxins that we live in a world full of toxins and more and more toxins, it’s a toxicity keeps growing. And so the point that you just made, I think it’s really important that because I was saying more people are going to experience EHS because there’s more and more EMF in the environment. But that was perhaps too narrow a perspective because really, there’s more and more and more toxins in the environment of multiple times. And these, these all create susceptibilities to other toxins, so the more of one toxin you’re exposed to can create can reduce your resilience to another toxin. And that I think that was that was a really good point. Stephanie. Yeah,
Stephanie Warner 1:07:14
thank you for thank you for articulating that and and and framing it a little bit more because you know, I I think it’s a really important point. And like I was trying to articulate to I this this thought of, you know, more practitioners need to add include this into the health spectrum I think that’s a that’s a that’s an important an important goal as we you know, raise awareness to EMF practitioners need to know
R Blank 1:07:45
Yeah, no, totally this could
Stephanie Warner 1:07:46
be a symptom or a you know, this could be causing a
R Blank 1:07:50
part of us and so for all of our audience members out there if you know health practitioners you know, please share this episode with them so they can they can hear directly from from an expert with direct experience in this area. You know, learn more about this this really important condition. So as a reminder, everyone can learn more about Kathy at whole home and body health calm. And don’t forget, you can book consulting time with her from anywhere over your computer through shield your body, calm, that shield your body all one word calm and use promo code pod to save 15% on your session. Both links are going to be in the show notes. If you liked this show and want to hear more, please remember to subscribe to this podcast, the healthier tech podcast available on all major podcasting platforms. And if you have a moment please also leave a review reviews are critical to help more people find this podcast and learn about the important and undercover topics that we cover. And you can also learn more and sign up for our mailing list to get notified when we have new interviews, webinars, ebooks and sales at shield your body calm that shield your body all one word.com you can also just click that link in the show notes. Until next time, I’m R Blank and I want to thank you so much for tuning into the healthier tech podcast and always remember to shield your body