Q&A with Evan Brand
Evan Brand is an author, podcast host and a Louisville, Kentucky-based board-certified holistic nutritionist, certified functional medicine practitioner and nutritional therapist. He is passionate about healing the chronic fatigue, obesity, and depression epidemics after solving his own IBS and depression issues, and his podcast has deeply impacted my own trajectory and understanding of my own body and health. I’ve been particularly inspired by Evan’s knowledge on parasites and wisdom on how detox fits into the bigger realm of health (in particular adrenal/ hormonal, and gut health).
As I am about to embark on another parasite cleanse myself (read all about it HERE), I thought this would be the perfect time to reach out to Evan and get some answers to questions related to parasites, holistic health, and finding the balance between good and bad bacteria.
This written article is actually a transcription of Evan’s recorded answers, and I decided to also share the audio in case you want to listen on the go (perhaps one step closer to a Becoming Fully Human podcast?!).
For more by Evan, make sure to check out his podcast and Youtube channel, all the links you need to connect with him are at the bottom of this Q&A.
Q&A with Evan Brand
1. WHAT TIME IS YOUR ALARM SET FOR?
I do not have an alarm set, I just wake up with the sun. My circadian rhythm is pretty good so I wake up maybe 15 minutes before sunrise; it’s taken a long time to get to that point but that’s the way it works now!
2. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
Today I did some pastures sausage, some pecans and avocado, occasionally I’ll add in some organic fruit like blueberries- but today it was mostly meat and avocado.
3. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON TO BETTER YOUR SELF?
That’s a hard question. I would say I’m working on spending more time in nature, I’ve got some land, I love being out in the woods. So I would say being out in nature helps me better myself; so I’m always working on spending more time outside, less time in front of screens.
4. WHAT BOOK DO YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD READ?
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO SWEAT?
Definitely my near infrared sauna.
6. WHO IS ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATIONS?
I would say Elon Musk. I drive a Tesla so I love electric cars, I love the idea of getting rid of polluting vehicles, diesel trucks and gasoline vehicles… So I do like Elon. I’m a bit fearful of the whole internet satellite thing where he wants to beam the planet with satellites from space… I think there could be some health issues that come from that but everything else that he’s doing I like.
7. WHAT IS THE LAST THING YOU PURCHASED?
My bow! I just purchased a new bow and arrow, because I wanted to upgrade my bow for the deer hunting season.
8. WHAT IS BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?
“Don’t expect anyone to help you”. I was always told that; don’t expect anyone to help you, don’t expect anyone to do anything for you. You have to go out and get it yourself… basically, don’t wait for free handouts because they’re not coming.
9. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Water! I mean that’s an easy one, I have some clean water right here *takes sip* , most people are chronically dehydrated.
10. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DINNER LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Usually meat and vegetables, tonight it’ll probably be a grass-fed steak, maybe some organic sweet peas, some grass-fed butter, maybe a little bit of plantains or plantain chips.
11. WHAT IS ON YOUR NIGHT STAND?
I don’t have a night stand.
12. IF YOU COULD ONLY HAVE ONE (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE): CHOCOLATE, OR AVOCADO?
Definitely avocado. I’m not too into chocolate. Once you rebuild your endorphins, you don’t really crave chocolate but most people have depleted endorphins so they do crave it…. but not me.
A Deeper Dive
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your own health journey and what led you to take a functional medicine approach in your own life, and as a practitioner?
It started as a kid really, which was dealing with depression and anxiety issues as well as irritable bowl syndrome (IBS)… going to a conventional doctors and getting referred to the specialist who did nothing for me except want to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. So I had to seek out nutritional therapy advice on my own, and ended up getting as many certifications in functional medicine as I could without becoming a doctor. Now I have a clinic and work with people around the world to fix the issues I had myself.
2. People have been using herbs and natural protocols to heal long before testing came along; where/ how do you find balance between following your intuition and at what point do you suggest people absolutely include more modern testing when it comes to reclaiming their health? (Keeping in mind that simply saying “everyone should get tested” will result in many people not doing anything at all).
I always do modern testing. That’s their problem- if they don’t test, they’ve guessed. So I think the most important thing is testing otherwise they don’t have the answers. Why take a supplement for killing parasites if you don’t know you have parasites?
3. What do you think is one of the most overlooked factors that are negatively impacting our health in modern day?
Our use of wireless technology… bluetooth, wifi, cellphones, living next to cellphone towers, having smart meters on your house, etc- these are all wireless and invisible pollutants that people don’t see and so they don’t think much about them; however there is a Brazilian study that looked at people (I believe it was) living within 500 meters of cellphone towers, and the rates of Cancer were astronomically higher than any other part of the city… indicating there is some correlation (not causation at this point..) but correlation between the frequencies of living at the base of a cellphone tower and cancer.
4. What advice do you have for someone who is just learning about parasites/ has never embarked on any type of parasite cleansing protocol?
Get tested! Because you can easily test for parasites, and if you have them you can fix them with herbs. But you can’t fix what you can’t find… so I suggest you work with a functional medicine doctor and get yourself a GI map stool test, and look for bugs.
5. What would you say to someone who has been told their parasite infections can only be treated with pharmaceutical antibiotics?
I would say that’s not true, because I’ve successfully eradicated thousands and thousands of infections with people and I only use herbs. With my certification I cannot prescribe pharmaceutical drugs, and even if I could- I would not, because you don’t need to. Herbs work great.
6. How can we find the balance between being “too clean” (wiping the gut of beneficial bacteria completely, never being barefoot, using anti-bacterial soaps) and “too dirty” (taking no precautions/ exposing ourselves unnecessarily to pathogens and parasites)?
I think the important thing to realise is that just because you’re exposed to a pathogen doesn’t make it a fact that you will pick up the infection. They did a study with prisoners where they had them drink water that was contaminated with Girardia, which is a waterborne parasite- they found that not all the prisoners developed the active Giardia infection; some of them did, and some of them did not. What they found is that the denominator for whether they picked up an active infection or not was the level of secratorial IGA; the lower the IGA the lower likelihood they were to pick up the infection. IGA levels indicate whether your gut is leaky or not! So if you have a healthy gut barrier, you have an intact, non-permeable gut barrier, you will be fine to get exposed to things in the environment.
So the first thing is make sure your gut is as healthy as possible, by measuring your IGA and optimizing that; removing infections if you have them; and then coming back and using gut healing nutrients after you kill the infections… that’s the best way to find a good balance. And then you live a good life! In that case, you should be OK; will you still pick up infections in the future? Probably so… but that’s a good place to start.