#64: Judy Cho – Owner of Nutrition with Judy, Carnivore Diet, PUFA researcher, and truth finder
Judy Cho Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. We are so excited you’re here. We appreciate you joining us. And we look forward to sharing these conversations with thought leaders from our industry. They’re going to paint a picture from every perspective, consumer, customer, vendor, employee, and peer, that I think is going to be super valuable and we are really excited to share. So thanks for tuning in. Remember, don’t tune out and grab life by the bacon.
Everybody, Pederson’s faithful, ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce you to Judy Cho. She’s joining the podcast today to talk about her story. I want all the audience to hear this because it’s so valuable. And Judy and I have been talking a lot lately. She was a part of our webinar. I was a guest on her show. And it just means I’ve got to see her quite a bit lately. So hi, Judy, again. Welcome to the show.
Judy Cho: Thanks for having me. I’m very excited to have you on and I think your episode is releasing soon, so I’m excited.
Neil Dudley: Good. So everybody go follow Judy. Go check out her podcast. What’s your podcast called?
Judy Cho: It’s Nutrition with Judy.
Neil Dudley: So newsflash, everybody, almost everything she does is Nutrition with Judy. If you Google that, you’re going to be able to find all the things that she’s up to. So quickly, without- maybe a minute or two, just give everybody the quick who is Judy and how did we end up talking today?
Judy Cho: Yes, so I was plant based for 12 years, and I struggled with depression and an eating disorder. And basically, I found the carnivore diet through a ketogenic diet, and a lot of my illness and mental, physical symptoms went away. I went back to nutritional therapy school, got board certified. And I feel that my life’s calling is to give back to the communities to learn to eat the right way. So we have a private practice where we focus on root cause healing. And it often times starts with the meat only Carnivore Cures elimination diet, and really just helping people have a chance at life to live to their fullest potential.
Neil Dudley: There you go. That’s a great intro. Talk about the Carnivore Cure a little bit. This book, what’s that all about? And I mean, was it hard to do?
Judy Cho: Yes. So we self-published. And the reason was we wanted a lot of the freedom. I was asked by other publishers if I wanted to split up the book, but I really just wanted ownership. And the main reason I wrote the book was, after I did my own healing, I wanted to know why was my plant-based diet not as ideal as eating a lot of meat. And there were 12 years where I didn’t eat any pork, chicken, beef, any of that. And I never once thought that my health illness was because of my diet. And after I realized that, from eating a meat-based diet, I started doing a lot of the research. And I started sharing a lot of infographics and content on social media. And I started getting very similar questions of what about heart disease? Isn’t meat bad for the planet? And what about vitamin C? Or what about fiber? And so, I thought, I think it’s better or I could maybe hit more mass or have more people read about the carnivore diet if I were to just write a book. And so, I’ve always loved writing. I like creating infographics. And so, I married the two and I made a book that’s very comprehensive. If you are concerned about eating a meat based or a meat only diet, it has all the resources within that book in terms of nutrient density, I guess, distilling a lot of the misinformation that we’re taught with the standard American diet’s way of eating, why meat isn’t actually bad for your health, but it’s actually very beneficial for your health. And then it talks about a lot of the environmental concerns, and it really goes down into the nutrient density of each meat as well.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I mean, for anybody that wants to know the nitty gritty, I recommend this book. I recommend Judy’s content. She came on to our webinar. We talked about polyunsaturated fatty acids. I mean, we spent a whole hour on that one acronym, and it was just super informative. I’m curious, what did you do before you started kind of- like you were like- kind of had some health problems. What were you doing for a career? I mean, what I’m trying to needle at is it feels like you might have been in, I don’t know, some kind of design or something previously.
Judy Cho: So I went to UC Berkeley. I was premed, ended up not going that route. I studied psychology, majored in psychology communications with a minor in Business Administration. And everyone told me that the cool job to have was being a management consultant, strategy consultant. So I went that route. I was in business consulting for about 12 years, climbing the ranks, always was a very hard worker and passionate with whatever I did. And so that’s where my background was. I would work with C suite executives to help them figure out what’s their current process, what can they do better and streamline processes, improve processes to save money and make things faster, more effective. And so we had to create a lot of PowerPoint decks of here’s where your business looks like now, here’s where we’d like to see you go, here’s where you can save money, here’s where you can streamline things. And so we needed to explain to the CEOs, CFOs, COOs how do we share what we found and learned through a lot of interviews, a lot of digging with information to then make it in a 40 minute presentation, how do we make the information very effective very quickly. And so I learned, I guess, in my previous job, how to design things, graphics and information, to make it very, very easy to digest.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I think that really adds value to the thing you’re doing today. So I think people come to this conversation, to this podcast, to Pederson’s as a brand, to Nutrition with Judy, to learn, to have access to information they’re looking for. And when that’s easy to understand and digest and make decisions from, that is highly valuable. I mean, I run the risk, personally, of having a hard time really boiling it down to digestible pieces. My brain just- I kind of start chasing rabbits all over the place.
Judy Cho: I think it’s common in the wellness space to do that. You hear about something new, and then you start going down the rabbit hole of oh, maybe that’s why I’m not feeling good or maybe that’s the new thing in science. And so, I fully understand that. And I do believe that everything will work together, even my journey, my history, my testimony of illness, why I never understood how come I in my life struggled with an eating disorder as my addiction when other people can just stop drugs – I’m not saying it’s easy to do that – but stop drugs, stop shopping, stop alcohol, but I have to- my addiction is something that I have to do every single day no matter what, but I have to be able to limit it. And I used to be very bitter and angry towards the world about that. But now I understand that with all of my experience, and even my psychology degree, I had no idea, like why did I study psychology when I didn’t even use it. But now I get it of if I’m working with individuals, it’s not just I need to teach you how to eat the perfect diet, eat the perfect macros, but it’s also what helps you to have habits stick, what helps you to stay motivated. And a lot of those things are really important. And even when people start going down rabbit holes of helping them get back to, well, here’s the primary focus, we can always go back to that, but figuring out how to make people stay motivated and consistent. And I think that is a very big piece of the wellness puzzle.
Neil Dudley: So as a piece of this, part of this podcast, part of the goal is to paint a better, more robust, more transparent picture of where your food comes from. So pretty much every listener can come here and maybe find a little bit of information they haven’t before that just gives them some insight they wouldn’t have had otherwise. How do you feel about where your food comes from or the importance of it, or do you feel like you understand where your food comes from?
Judy Cho: So, I would definitely say I didn’t know prior to becoming a nutritional therapist. But now with all the research and even making contacts with my local farmers, I do. And I appreciate a lot of the hard work that’s put behind it. It is not easy raising animals and even the very little income that comes out of it. But in terms of the quality of the animal, I do think it’s important, but I don’t think it’s the defining factor if someone’s going to heal from, for example, metabolic syndrome. So there’s this fine balance of if we consider the environment, if we consider the proper treatment of animals, if we consider the way God naturally intended animals to live, I think it’s absolutely important that we take care of our animals and we eat the animals in the way that they’re naturally intended to be living and thriving. The difference I’ve seen a little bit is it’s maybe more the excess of sugar that causes more illness than to say whether you’re eating maybe grain fed meat from the grocery store versus the pasture raised animals. There’s absolutely a difference in the environment in terms of even, I guess in some ways, the quality of the meats. But when it comes to people healing from illness, that differentiation for some people or most people, it’s not that drastic of a difference, if that makes sense.
Neil Dudley: Sure, it is minimal. Some of what the truth is about where your food comes from with regards to Pederson’s is the feeling you get from knowing the food you’re eating was treated and appreciated and thought of in a certain way. I think, I mean, this could be a little fufu or kind of wacko, but I think all of those feelings actually are part of our lives too. Like the feelings of the animals all- I don’t know if anybody’s ever studied that, but it’s just logical to me. I can be in the room with my family, and some person in the family is unhappy, who knows why, they didn’t get to eat the candy bar they wanted, whatever it might be. Everybody in the whole family feels that and now reacts in a certain way. So it just makes logical sense to me that all of those things end up being a part of our health.
Judy Cho: Yeah, I interviewed Dr. Natasha Campbell, who she’s the founder of the GAPS protocol. And she talked about that in our interview. And it was interesting. So she said that when animals are treated well, and they’re in their natural environment, just like you said, there’s a lot of natural emotions that occur. So if you think about humans, and I don’t know how much the science shows this, but from an emotional perspective, it absolutely makes sense. So, if we are stressed as humans, if we take our cortisol bloodwork anytime, you will see a difference in that. You’ll see your blood sugar higher, your cortisol will be running higher, your hormones will be more outputted, taxing on your adrenal systems. And so, there’s absolutely truth to that. And then if you think about, if animals are then treated in a poor way, maybe they’re confined, they’re not living their natural life, then it makes logical sense to say that maybe their hormones are more outputted, or they’re just a lot more stressed. And therefore, maybe you’re eating some of that stress. That’s what she talked about in the interview. And I think that makes sense. The way that I try to marry the real life with working with one on one individuals and trying to help them heal is if somebody comes to me and says, I can’t afford only grass finished, pasture raised, etc., with my whole entire family, well does that leave me that I can’t heal? And so I’ll say, eat what you can afford. If you can find a local rancher that can support you, maybe that will be a little bit more economical, but otherwise eat what you can afford. And then when you’re not healing enough, then maybe we can start incorporating more meats that are possibly more natural, higher quality, and then we can go from there. And for many people that sort of, I guess, step by step approach works pretty well.
Neil Dudley: It’s a bit of a challenge for the industry to make it as available. We try to make the financial piece of it as least consequential as possible. But I mean, at the end of the day, sustainability absolutely ties to money in some way and financial sustainability is a piece of environmental sustainability.
Judy Cho: I hope that, my dream would be that if more and more Americans and people realize the benefits of eating a meat based diet, then the demand for meat will increase the, I guess, production of animals. And then maybe as people realize how animals should be treated and so on and so forth, then there will be a stronger desire for higher quality or natural meats or supporting your local farmer. And then that will all help the price even go down a little bit because there’s a higher demand in the market. So that is my hope and dreams of how we can make meat even in the higher quality forms become more affordable.
Neil Dudley: I want to say it is kind of logical, it seems simple, stay away from processed foods. I mean, like eat- Judy eats carnivore, so she’s just meat all the time. I’m not meat all the time, but I like tomatoes from the garden. And then nightshades are a whole other thing. Like anybody listening, you’ll realize everything I say maybe right, maybe wrong for you. I don’t- I’m just not a nutritionist day in and day out. I grew up on a ranch. I eat meat and vegetables from the garden, and I think fat’s great, I’m not scared of fat in any way. I want to jump back to Natasha Campbell. You said GAPS protocol, is that Global Animal Partnership, or is it something different?
Judy Cho: It is a gut and psychology syndrome protocol. So basically, her son, I believe, was struggling with autism. And so, I think she went to a lot of doctors. The doctors were not really giving much help. So she did, she really pivoted a lot of her research to figure out what’s causing her son to have mental illness or autism. And I think he was maybe suffering with other mental illness. So she ended up figuring out that a lot of the illness stems from the gut. And so she created a GAPS protocol where there are phases or stages that you would eat certain foods, allow your body to heal with meats. And so her stage one or phase one starts with a lot of meats, but there are still some plants that are incorporated. And as people heal, you add in more foods, vegetables, meats. And then her son I don’t think struggles anymore. And then a lot of people have turned a lot of illness around. Even autoimmune, it’s been kept at bay with eating this way. And the way that carnivore is very similar to GAPS is that it removes just one extra step of instead of starting with some vegetables, why not just cut out all vegetables, so you can rule out any of the toxins that are in plant based foods. And then once you are healing or you have this new baseline of health, then you can start introducing slowly maybe new vegetables or meats that you once couldn’t tolerate before.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I think you’ve got to- this just makes me think of several other episodes of the podcast people could learn from. Our very first episode was Melissa Hartwig, the Whole 30 diet, it is a great elimination protocol to figure out- I’ve done like three or four of them. It is crazy that I still have to do them. It’s like, oh, I’m off the rails again, I need to reset.
Judy Cho: Yeah, the Whole 30 protocol is great, too. I remember when I first started doing a ketogenic diet, I did a Whole 30 ketogenic diet version where you just made sure you didn’t have the carrageenin or all the additives. And that’s ideal. So all of these diets are a certain type of elimination protocol so that you become more aware of your bodies and your bodily symptoms that are telling you hey, something’s not right with maybe what you’re eating or what you’re being exposed to. And a carnivore diet is also a- I like to think of it as an elimination protocol as well. You don’t have to eat meat only forever. But if you feel better that way, maybe there’s certain plants you can add back in. I mean, it sounds like you can do well with nightshades, but not everyone can. And so, it’s finding that balance. But the key is, through an elimination protocol, if you can learn your bodily symptoms, any type of symptom is a sign that something may be imbalanced within your body.
Neil Dudley: Yeah. And I’m not sure I deal with them great. I know dairy gets me all mucused up. I’ll be coughing, nose running. Nightshades may do the same thing. And sometimes it is not like an immediate, yeah, response. Maybe it’s- I was talking to another gal, her name is Gigi. She said, I’ll eat eggs, and two days later, I’m sick. But if you don’t know that, you could think it’s something else that you ate that same day that you’re sick. So it takes a lot of work on anybody’s part to really figure out their gut health, their metabolic health, all these things.
Judy Cho: Yes, there are a lot of people- lately, there’s this big trend to do food intolerance tests. So people get their blood work done, certain immunoglobulins, where it’ll show oh, this test shows that I’m sensitive to eggs, and I shouldn’t eat meat, and I shouldn’t eat this, and I shouldn’t eat that. But your best way to actually figure that out, because one, if you don’t eat a certain food for a long time, the skew of that test is very high. So if you don’t eat gluten for a couple months, and then you take that test, it’s going to show wonky things for gluten, for example. The best test is really your own body’s biofeedback. It’s why with a lot of my clients, I use food and mood journals. You’re right, it’s absolutely painstaking. But you eat something, and then you sort of write how did I feel after one hour or two hours. But food sensitivities can last even up to seven days. And that’s where it gets tricky. But the more you do an elimination diet and remove a lot of the obvious culprit foods, then you can start dialing into well, today I only ate meat and I had no reactions, no symptoms, no low mood, no low energy. Maybe I’ll keep doing that for the next few days and see if it persists and I continue to have no symptoms. And that’s where the true test is your own body’s biofeedback.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, pay attention to those things. You recognize it when you’re watching. Like, I’ll know it. I’ll go to lunch. I won’t eat very good. I’ll go back to the office. I feel like I want to take a nap. I feel sluggish. I just feel not good. I don’t feel bad, like I’m not needing to go to the doctor or something, but I’m not on top of my game. So you got to be- get to a point where you can kind of feel when you’re not on top of your game and think about, is this sleep? Is it stress? Is it nutrition? Is it who knows? There’s a million other things that might play a role in that. But I’d say nutrition is a huge building block. Did you ever watch the show The Magic Pill? I’m just thinking one of the other guests recently has been Abby Scott; she runs an Instagram page called House of Keto. And her son was on the spectrum or had some autism issues, or I mean, I’m trying not to be offensive with the way I’m talking about it. I’m just ignorant. I don’t know. But he had autism, or he was displaying some of those characteristics. She just, she said, basically, I healed him with a ketogenic diet. And the movie, the Magic Pill, talks about that, too.
Judy Cho: There’s a lot of research. And what I’ll tell you is when it comes to autism, ADHD, ADD, there’s a lot of different people’s perspectives. And even in the research world, they’ll say, it’s the glyphosate, it’s the grains, it’s the vaccines, it’s the red dye. And so, there’s all these different things. But at the crux of it, I think it’s if we were to just eat natural foods with our child, we may not be able to eradicate all of the autism, but there’s a lot of healing that can be done if you are properly fueling the body. If you think about a car, and this is like the most common example that people say in a nutrition wellness space, but if you drive a car that uses diesel, and you start saying, well, I’m going to use unleaded, there’s an imbalance in the fuel that it’s supposed to use, and the car will eventually break down. And so, we have to think of food this exact same way. Our bodies are fueled, whether it’s the way our skin is growing, our hair, our muscles, our energy, our hormones, everything is produced by the way that we eat. And if we eat just crappy processed foods like cereal and frozen pizzas all day long, our bodies will initially, especially when it’s young, use the best raw materials from the food and create something from it. But eventually, you’ll start having breakdown. And if we understand that, then we want to ideally, for most of the time, try to fuel with the best foods possible because our bodies will only be as good as the fuel that we give it.
Neil Dudley: I say that exact thing to my daughter. She’s in cross country right now. She’s junior high age. She’s running cross country. She has a really good meet, then not a very good meet, then a really good meet, and then not a very good meet. Like why the yo-yo? And we started looking back and it was she wouldn’t- she’s really thin to begin with, so she has to eat high quality food to have any chance of performing her best. And that’s something we learned. She’s super excited about it. She’s now learned it too. She sees the value in it. So that’s been a fun experience for me, just to see her catch on to that. For anybody listening that just says, wow, I want to be like Judy, where does your drive and is that- Where does your willingness to go through the pain of studying all this stuff and of working hard, where does that come from?
Judy Cho: I definitely think my parents being immigrants to the states. They’ve always been driven to be hardworking. And so, they’ve always had this work ethic of do your best, try your hardest. So I definitely think my parents instilled a lot of that. And I see it in my brother, too. He owns a multimillion dollar business in California. So I definitely see that. But I think a lot of this also stems from my passion and wanting to learn and find the answers for my clients. So I wrote Carnivore Cure, for example. And there are certain things that I no longer agree with in the book. It’s small nuances, but generally- it’s because I’ll have clients that have challenged my thinking or my research. And so now I have to create- In the second book, I’m going to create nuances about certain things I recommend, for example. And it’s that desire to want to help people and only because I struggled with such crippling depression and isolation and even with my eating disorder, I understand how it feels to feel so out of control, even though you promise yourself that day that the next day is going to be better, you’re going to get back on it and try to eat cleaner, and then you struggle the next day. So I’ve been through all of that. And I know how there were some days where I felt like I just would rather not wake up. Like honestly, I’ve had those moments. And going through that and now living my life knowing that if I just focus on the day to day wins of what do I need to get done today and just focus on what I need today to then maybe reach my long term goals. And eating a clean diet helps me to fuel myself again, as the car, fuel myself to be able to even get those things done. It fuels me to then when my client cries on me because they’ve been struggling with chronic illness for 10 years, and they can’t figure it out, when my client says that they can’t lose the weight, or they can’t get off their medication for diabetes or insulin resistance, those things drive me to, well, I’ve healed and I’ve had a second chance at life, and I hope that I can give back to our communities so that they get a chance at life. Because I think most people, we all deserve a chance at living life symptom free. And I think that’s mostly where it comes from. I think this was my purpose in life.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I mean, it’s really a beautiful thing to find that. I think even me at times, I’m kind of is this really my purpose? Is this what I’m here for? Maybe listeners even feel that way. Don’t lose hope. You can find that. But you have to be trying. I was listening to a guy, he said- he was just talking about getting in shape and trying to be a healthier person. He’s a very, very successful businessman. He thought, well, I just thought getting in shape was for getting girls, and now I’ve got a great wife, I don’t need girls. So why am I going to worry about getting in shape? Then he said, he’s like, I kind of slapped myself and said, you idiot, if you can’t control what you put in your mouth, and whether or not you get on the exercise equipment, what makes you think you’re going to be able to control anything that really is going on in your business, in whatever roles you’re playing in society, if you can’t kind of take- Now, that’s a very simple way of putting it, but it resonated with me. It made me think, oh wow, yeah, maybe- you don’t get off the hook when you aren’t- just because you don’t think you need a healthy body to get girls.
Judy Cho: Right. I mean, if you think of it from the perspective of fueling your body, there was a book I read many years ago by Charles Duhigg. It’s called The Power of Habits. And he talks about how every single person in their life, they have these habits called Keystone Habits. And those, what that really means is, there is a habit in your life that if you fix that one thing, it will bleed into the rest of your life. So for example, let’s say somebody’s overweight, and they’re struggling with their appearance, so they don’t really want to go out, they don’t really want to socialize because they’re just really insecure. And so maybe the keystone habit for this person is that if they were to dial into their diet, it’s not just about- I mean, maybe they’re married, and they don’t really care how they necessarily look. But once they change their diet, they’ll have more energy. And then that energy makes them want to clean their house. And then maybe that cleaning of their house will then make them want to have friends over. And they want to socialize. And so that diet or that nutrition piece becomes the keystone habit. And that’s what, I think in terms of nutrition, why it’s so important is it bleeds into the rest of your life, even though we don’t think about it. We have more energy to hang out with our family. We have more energy to go afterward and meet up with friends and do a happy hour. We have energy to maybe, hey, I think I can go for a walk today because you have the energy, and then you don’t have brain fog, and so on and so forth. I think if people are struggling with what is my purpose in life, I believe therapy is important for everybody or just this I want to figure out what really makes me motivated, what really brings me joy. And maybe you just go to a park or somewhere and you just take an hour and just think about what is important to me, what drives me, what fuels me, what puts a fire under me that makes me want to do things. And if you were to start figuring that out, it’ll help you figure out well, am I living my life daily to do those things. Am I reflecting that in my daily life? And maybe it’s just values of how do you view yourself as a person? One time I asked that to one of my friends and they said, I think I’m a good daughter, I think I’m a good friend. And when we thought about what do you do in a day, she was partying a lot, and there was no interaction with her parents. So then it was okay, you think you’re a good daughter, but you’re not spending any time with your mother. So, is that really manifesting as truth? Is it something that you believe, but it’s actually not really occurring? And so if you do- I know it’s not fun. I know it’s a lot of hard work. But ultimately, all this hard work, ultimately finding that keystone habit, finding these things will help you to find your purpose, finding what brings you joy. You’re not going to be happy every single day. But ultimately, it’ll dial you into a way that you find purpose and find little things in your life that are meaningful and that you can enjoy your life and not feel that you’re not living the way you’re supposed to.
Neil Dudley: Absolutely. That’s a mic drop. That’s a great exploration to end the conversation on. Everybody, this is about a 30 minute podcast. That’s what we give you. You get to meet Judy. You get a quick, very surface level understanding of all the things that she’s done, she’s about, and who she is. Now go learn more. We’ll put links to all of her socials in the show notes. We’ll also link back to a few episodes and to some other people we’ve mentioned, to this book. I think this keystone habit book is a really great one. I want to go read that one or listen to it on Audible. So Judy, thank you so much. You’re really an asset to my life these days. I’m so glad we met at KetoCon and now have talked several times. I look forward to the next time we get together and talk.
Judy Cho: Yes, thank you so much for having me.
Neil Dudley: Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. It’s been a blast bringing this to you. And I sure hope you enjoyed it and found value. If you did, tell a friend, share it out on social media, hit that subscribe button, or go check us out at pedersonsfarms.com. We sure hope you do. Thanks for being here.
Do you know where your food comes from, and does that matter to you? Owner of Nutrition with Judy and author of The Carnivore Cure, Judy Cho joins host Neil Dudley on the podcast to explain why it definitely should matter to you! They also talk about the power of our habits and fueling our bodies with the right kind of fuel. This is a discussion you don’t want to miss!
Visit us online at www.PedersonsFarms.com
(0:30) – Introducing Judy
(2:20) – The Carnivore Cure
(4:28) – What were you doing before all of this?
(6:49) – Chasing shiny new ideas in the wellness space
(8:13) – How do you feel about the importance of knowing where your food comes from?
(14:53) – Gut and Psychology Syndrome Protocol
(16:56) – Diets are an elimination protocol
(20:24) – Dieting and Autism
(23:20) – Where does your drive come from?