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Practicing Holistic Principles for Nutrition and Health With Christine Garvin

Christine Garvin

Christine Garvin is a Functional Nutritionist based in Asheville, North Carolina. She weaves together her health journey, including a fibroid surgery that nearly killed her, with training in functional health, nutrition, and hormones to help women heal their gut and achieve hormonal balance. She holds a master’s degree in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University and a certification in Nutrition Education from Bauman College.

Christine has been featured in Health magazine, Shape magazine, Parade magazine, and MSN. She also hosts the Hormonally Speaking Podcast and works with clients through Zoom and group programs for gut healing and hormone health.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Christine Garvin's experience studying at John F. Kennedy University

  • The role energy plays in one’s well-being

  • Why social media is toxic, especially for women in their 20s

  • Mark Hiddleson and Christine discuss the benefits of podcasting

  • Christine's hormone breakthrough blueprint and gut health courses

  • Christine talks about her health challenges

  • Regular liver cleansing and functional health benefits

In this episode…

In western culture, we tend to focus more on physical health. But there is a link between physical and mental health, and it is complex. In general, a lot of our health comes down to gut health, liver health, and adrenals. So, how can we take control of our health? How can we tap our energy to live a healthier lifestyle?

To successfully improve our health, it is essential to regulate our hormones and tap into our energy and emotions. Christine Garvin, a functional health expert, works with clients to heal their bodies by focusing on gut health, the nervous system, and balancing their hormones.

In this episode of The Tao of Pizza Podcast, Mark Hiddleson welcomes Christine Garvin, a Functional Nutritionist, to discuss holistic principles for better health. They also discuss the role energy plays in well-being, tips for better gut health, and the adverse effects of social media on health.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions Inc.


I have been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades. I know I don’t look that old, but it's true.

We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide.

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We take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain ecosystem to develop the resources for continually improving your operation.

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I will even give you my personal email address for podcast listeners, so email me at if you’re ready to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level.

Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:01

Welcome to The Tao of Pizza where we feature top logistics leaders, entrepreneurs and supply chain innovators and share their inspiring stories with a holistic twist.

Mark Hiddleson 0:16

Mark Hiddleson here, host of The Tao of Pizza Podcast where I talk with top industry innovators in the warehousing, logistics, and supply chain business with a holistic twist. Before I introduce today's guest, this episode is brought to you by Specialized Storage Solutions. Listen, I've been in the logistics and storage industry for several decades and not a looked at all but it's true. We provide industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide. So basically, if you have a warehouse that needs rack, shelving carts, conveyors, or mezzanines, we help with the design installation engineering inspections and repairs to help clients optimize their logistics operations. Some people don't even realize we do permit acquisition services. So we take a holistic look at your entire business supply chain to help you develop the resources for continually improving your operation. So to learn more, visit Or give us a call at 707-732-3892. And I'll even get my email to podcast listeners. My personal email is So give us a call if you want to take your warehouse storage and retrieval systems to the next level. So today we have Christine Garvin, an expert functional nutritionist based in Asheville, North Carolina. She weaves together her personal health journey, including a fibroid surgery that nearly killed her with her training in functional health, nutrition, and hormones to help women heal their gut and achieve hormonal balance. She has been featured in Health, Shape, Parade magazine, and MSN. She is the host of the podcast Hormonally Speaking and works with clients all over the world via zoom and offers group programs for gut healing and hormone health. Find out more at And Christine, thank you very much for joining us on The Tao of Pizza.

Christine Garvin 2:14

Absolutely, Mark. Thank you so much for having me.

Mark Hiddleson 2:16

Yeah, and I have to mention that we are here kind of a special guests because we're industrial podcasts, but it's the holistic twist part. And went to school together. And like that it was 1516 years ago. Seems like yes,

Christine Garvin 2:34

crazy. It's totally crazy to me that Yeah. So much of my life has been lived since then. You know it for so long. Didn't seem that long ago. And now you're like, Okay, time marches on? Yeah.

Mark Hiddleson 2:51

Yeah. Every time I've connected with I saw your assault post that you did on on LinkedIn. And then I was like, Oh, well, and then I saw you. I thought you were a guest on a podcast. And I'm like, wow, scenes. Steve, you're hosting a podcast. So I thought it was cool. I looked at your website. And like, man, we studied holistic health education. And when I saw your stuff, I was like, this is the kind of thing we talked about, you know, holistic, and it's sometimes it's hard to explain people what you mean by holistic, and it means so many different things. Yeah. Great to see you. Big shout out to JFK, which was awesome. And started, I wanted to ask you how, like, how did you? How did you choose JFK? Because a really unique school really unique program. So how did you get that point to choose? JFK?

Christine Garvin 3:52

Good question. I would say that there was certainly a process that led me there. And that really kicked off with when I graduated from undergrad in 2000. And I was 21. I guess then. And pretty much right after I graduated, I was tell people that my stomach like fell out. I lost, you know, probably 20 pounds in two weeks. I literally just out of nowhere had this serious, you know, issue with my stomach that ended up being diagnosed as IBS. And it that was kind of the beginning of my journey towards Holistic Health. Right? Because pretty early on. I just didn't want to accept that diagnosis of IBS and there wasn't really much that they can do with that anyway, you know, yeah. And I moved to California not long after that, and I just slowly started to learn more about food, and how the food that we eat impacts our digestion. You No, and how important Whole Foods are and getting real nutrition. And I had had a pretty much standard American diet, you know, through college. And so I slowly started healing my gut, through that process really kind of on my own. But it opened up deeper and deeper things, right. And at one point, I actually went to Africa. I had a friend that was doing the Peace Corps in Zambia. And so I went and visited her, probably about two years after I graduated from college, and I came back and I had, I had to have malaria. While I was there. I had some unknown. And it was on antimalarials, but 60% coverage rate, so I both fell in that 40%. And I had some other like, when they found I had malaria, I also found out that I had some other infection and that they couldn't even really say what it was. And I came back, and my bio was pretty broken down and exhausted and tired, and just having reactions to all the foods I was eating, you know, and that took me on a deeper journey to Okay, wow, I need to understand what's going on in my digestive system. And you know, and learning about things like Candida and yeast, and all of these, you know, I didn't learn about all the pathogens, and but it kind of started on that. So finally, after that traveling is starting to slowly heal myself. I was like, I want to know more, right? And that I understand that health is not just about the food that I'm eating and my digestion, it's, there's all of these different aspects to it. And so I started looking around because I was, you know, back in San Francisco at that point. And I remember looking at CIIs. And I remember looking at the College

Mark Hiddleson 6:53

of integral, integral study. Yeah, yeah. California Institute is yes.

Christine Garvin 6:58

There it is. You got it. I was I was gonna attempt and then I was like, Yeah, I don't remember it enough. But yeah, that's That's it. And then I can't Oh, new college, I think was the other one. I don't know if you remember new college. It was there was one up in north like north of San Francisco. And then I feel like they had a second placement. But they I was also kind of looking into environmental studies, because I was like, oh, you know, I just learned when I was traveling about a sustainable farms and things like that. But really, I ended up landing on JFK, because I don't think that even the program at CIIs. That was similar to our program. It just didn't pull me in the same way that the program at JFK did. And I remember trying out one class, I can't remember if you were in that class with me or not, but it was Vicki, who I think he said you had on your podcast. Right? Talk

Mark Hiddleson 7:56

to her yesterday. She is so awesome. You were I was hoping you thought you were in that class. It was blossom in the spring, probably the first one. Or there was another? Yeah,

Christine Garvin 8:07

yeah. She I just remember, I don't even remember the specifics other than learning about, you know, about my energy systems and chi and like moving and Qigong. And so that was like, Okay, these are my people. Essentially,

Mark Hiddleson 8:25

yeah. And I'm so glad you brought up Vicky, because she introduced me to another author that I've hosted last week. So

Christine Garvin 8:32

nice. So she's doing well.

Mark Hiddleson 8:35

She's doing really well. And I took one of her classes. I had a friend. She was on the podcast, she invited me and I had a friend coming over and we were gonna do like a two or three hour bicycle ride, and she goes, Oh, this will be a great warm up for her bicycle ride. So I had my friend who is similar to me. I mean, he hasn't taken it, but he's into really meditation and he's at home. He's more of a health nut than I am. And when he did, he's like, Dude, this is the most me we got all these awesome. Cool. We had a hummingbird flying between us while we were Oh seem amazing. wild nature. Vicky's gift the master teacher, I mean, she's really? Yeah.

Christine Garvin 9:20

It's really I think this story that I will always remember about her was she was talking about how you know, living in San Francisco. I know it's even crazier now. But there's just a lot coming out you right and and she's a smaller woman. And she said that she would, you know, be leaving the bar, which is a subway system there. And you know, she would get touched or manhandled by different people. And it always just would grate on her so much. And then she started, you know, essentially building up for chi and we're doing Qigong, and one day she was walking out of the subway station and this guy went to like, grab her and basically his hand kind of bounced off without touching her because she had honed in or energy so well, that it was just like, boom. And like she said the guy's face was just like, what just have

Mark Hiddleson 10:15

felt something? Yeah,

Christine Garvin 10:18

yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I'll never forget us to write about her because it was that really opened me up to this understanding of a level of health that we don't generally talk about, right. I mean, we, for the most part in Western culture, focus mostly on the physical Forge, just, I'd say really, in the past 10 years, has it become really mainstream to focus on more of the emotional health aspect and understanding how that impacts our physical health. But we're still missing out on that energetic health level, right. And it's just as important as the other two. It really is,

Mark Hiddleson 10:57

in your energy. A friend of mine as he's a performance coach, or energy is his main thing. It's John Allen Mollenhauer. But his whole because energy, it starts with sleep, so like, his class is for Max performers. And it's like, the first thing is on sleep is like, we came here because we're like, we're the max performer, you know, top level and it's like, let's take a nap.

Christine Garvin 11:20

Oh, yeah. Yeah. 100%

Mark Hiddleson 11:23

Yeah, your energy and mean, the Qigong, it's something I just incorporated into almost every day. And I was all like, I don't really do anything every day. But I do try to do those movements. Because an energy because some things can suck your energy. Now the Qigong back to center, not get distracted or get dragged into stuff, or even when you do get up, there's more awareness

Christine Garvin 11:51

can handle it better. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, I always like to, I like to let people know, from a hormonal standpoint, whether you're a man or a woman, but, you know, or however you identify, but I will say, for a cycling woman's body in particular, you know, when our stress hormone and cortisol, cortisol is like, off the charts, because of all the things that are happening in our lives, that can really impact our sex hormones in a negative way, right. And so, always, the goal with my clients is we gotta get your cortisol balanced, right, we often it's either too high, or it's been high, so long that it ends up being low, because your brain will say, hey, this isn't work. And so we're going to down regulate it, right. And then people struggle to get out of bed. And things like Qigong, and other energy work that you can do, really just regulate the nervous system, like on a physical level, there's a regulation of your nervous system happening. And that's kind of bring down that high cortisol, it's going to help bring up if it's low, and really get it to where you need it to go. You know, and I think that ability also to disengage with things that we don't need to be fully engaged in, right? That just want to take us on this, like roller coaster ride of life. And we have a million things coming at us every day that want to do that. And so to learn how to come back into yourself, and you can kind of just watch that roller coaster instead of being on it. Right?

Mark Hiddleson 13:26

Exactly. Then Then, or feel it when it grabs you and you're like, Okay, something grabbed me. It's like,

Christine Garvin 13:32

Yep, yeah, exactly. And I'm not gonna let it keep holding on.

Mark Hiddleson 13:36

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, it was really cold. Yeah. And so how did you go from so that was JFK and the JFK experience. When I think about those. It was the people at JFK to I don't know if if we went there to interview it was it was the teachers, tons of gifted teachers. And we had to do like, 10 of the things that we did with Vicki, we there were where it was a weekend. Like Friday, Saturday, Sunday, all day. And I was new, they were really cool. And they were really awesome. But now it's Wow. And we were practicing with like the group we had or the people. It's not just the leader. disciplines. That adds so much,

Christine Garvin 14:21

right. Yeah. Group. So absolutely. I really loved those weekend ones. You know, in the beginning, you're like, oh, I have to do all these extra classes, but I got some of the most potent stuff out of those weekend classes together. And you really do. I mean, you know, I think a lot of people talked about this while they were at JFK, and also after they left JFK, it's a little it was a little bit of a cocoon, right. It was like, you know, what some people might call a safe space. You know, some people don't like that term, but it truly safe space to where you're being held in support. Then by other people and the regular world does not really like.

Mark Hiddleson 15:05

Like, don't like is container, we're going to create a container

Christine Garvin 15:09

container. Yeah, yeah, some of the lingo is still set, you know, and there's certain words that have just, they drive me crazy at this point. But But yeah, so it's, you know, going outside of the language of it all, it just it was such a beautiful healing possibility, I think for so many people that may not have been able to experience that kind of safety before, you know, and going back to our nervous system again, we can't heal our bodies without healing our nervous system, like, uh, just always is going to come back to that, you know, and so I wish that everyone could experience that, you know, that kind of connection and support and stability, because then we could take that out into the world war, right, instead of, okay, this is our little, like, supported every year, and then we got to go out into the world and take a beating. As we know, in some ways, that's gotten a whole lot worse in the last 15 years, just with, you know, the the bad side of social media, I guess you would say,

Mark Hiddleson 16:18

Yeah, I've avoided social media, like the plague. I'm on LinkedIn. And that's how we connected. So it's not all bad, because,

Christine Garvin 16:25

right, of course, yeah.

Mark Hiddleson 16:28

But it is, you know, toxic, especially, especially for young people. And I think what I've read is, it's like women in their 20s, to 30s, are overly more paid for reasons, you know, for whatever, they are most susceptible. Yeah, I have a daughter who's 22 She's in that age group, and they're super Anna social in it. And so it's, it's, it's really tough,

Christine Garvin 16:57

I am so grateful that it did not exist in my youth, you know, and in my 20, I mean, it, I guess, it started a little bit in my 20s, like, late 20s, you know, but is nothing thing like how it is now, and you have to be really cognizant of the noise. And, you know, I do think there's certainly a lot of benefits to social media, and I utilize it for my business and connecting with people 100%, but I have to be very, I, I try and curate myself as much as possible and really follow and listen to people that I admire, that are have good messages, like, that's what I love is you can find, I think a lot of people, you know, for a long time believed, okay, I'm the only one that's this weird way, right? And then, with social media, you're like, oh, there's a whole bunch of other people that are weird out there in the same way that I am. And so I can connect with them. And sort of going back to that sort of safety place. You know, it's given people that but then you get way too caught up on the other side of the sort of influencer world. And obviously, all of the ways that we look different with filters and things like that, you know, and especially women are susceptible to believing that these women that they're seeing on social media actually look that way when I don't, because it's the filter on top of plastic surgery, et cetera, et cetera.

Mark Hiddleson 18:25

You wouldn't even recognize those people if you saw them on the street. And exactly, it was. It's actually my daughter has done pictures of oh, it's funny. You mentioned that a lot of the people I've hosted and you probably, I mean, I don't know if you do too, but they have professional headshots. And I was like, I look at my and look at them, and then on the podcast, and sometimes they don't. And so we try to find a better picture. And then I like my I was telling my daughter, my daughter is taking the pictures of me I go we don't have professional. That's what I'm like, That's me. Like, that's what I look like. And it's, it's good. They're not as good. But I'm like,

Christine Garvin 19:05

keep it a real

Mark Hiddleson 19:08

podcast for me is and social media. I'm lumping podcasts in there, kind of because a lot of people say well, I don't have time for podcasts, or you know, that's not, but I've looked at I was kind of anti podcast, which is a funny thing. And I'm like, I'm not listening to him. But then I was interested in something and there was an expert who was on. While I was watching Chase, there's so many interviews I saw Chase Jarvis, who has a company here in San Francisco is called Creative Live. They do classes, online classes. I saw him interview Mark Cuban I really liked Mark Cuban and then I had a coach that I was working with and he was sent me these podcasts and it's like, well, if a coach gives you something like you're paying it's So if you're interested in something specific you can get to know people, it is real, it's real people having real conversations I find I can learn things real quick, where if I was just gonna go Google it, or do my own homework, so, and you can get to kind of know people. And so it was one of the reasons I want to do is one to share knowledge Connect, you know, with people, and spread the word, like you said, if we can create, take this container, and bring it out that other people can see what's possible. And that's how one of the ways I can bring the work. We talked about, like the JFK work, or this all shows up.

Christine Garvin 20:39

So out into the world. So like, I was the same way about podcasts, though. I was so not in wanting to listen to them. And then I had a coach who recommended that I start a podcast, right? And I said, Nope. And then at some point, I decided, I mean, it's so funny, how you how you can kind of sneak your way in from the side. But I was like, Oh, I'm just gonna do a YouTube video where I talk with a colleague, you know, which is, I mean, essentially, it's a podcast. I just write, I just put, I just put it up on YouTube. But then I have the, the audio version of it, too, you know. So finally, I said, Well, I might as well go ahead and just start the podcast, because I'm already doing, you know, doing that, essentially, from that video perspective. So that's, that's how my podcast got started, you know, but I love it. I mean, I don't like the editing and the, you know, the admin around it. Luckily, I have somebody helping with me with some of that now, but I love the conversations. You know, it's always I always learned something new. It keeps me you know, up to date on a lot of the experts that are out there in my field. So, yeah, I'm a big fan of doing it and listening to them now.

Mark Hiddleson 22:00

Yeah. Yeah. And I was surprised. That was the big benefit. For me the the personal growth for me personally from doing the interviews, and then the people that I've had, and then being hosted, it's, it's one of the best. For me personally. I was just been a great, like you said, just learning the conversations. And the people. Yeah, yeah. But it's not a podcast. I'm just posted online.

Christine Garvin 22:28

Now on a podcast, I like it. You're like, I'm still I'm sticking with it.

Mark Hiddleson 22:34

So so how did you? What were kind of the days after JK, and I look at your website, you just updated it? Right? So yeah, I did. Your website looks great. Your share a little bit about I love your you have like a three key points. For more. Do you have like a worksheet or blueprint? What I'd call? What is? Share a little bit about that? Because that looks like a really valuable tool that somebody can download for free to get signed up for? Yeah. Yep.

Christine Garvin 23:08

And so really, when it comes to hormone issues, and I would say this is just as true for me, because I do work with men a little bit, too. I have more female clients, but I do work with men on gotten hormone health, too. But, you know, for hormone health, and really, a lot of our health in general comes down to our gut health, our liver health, and our adrenals. And within that, tied in with the adrenals. It's your thyroid, right, because your adrenals and thyroid are really your energy system. And your adrenals are what release that stress hormone cortisol that we were talking about just a few minutes ago, right. And it has such a huge impact. Because that's all part of the endocrine system. So most people, I mean, most people that come to me whether they come to me for gut issues, or hormone issues, have gut issues. I would say a good majority of Americans have gut issues. Whether they want to admit that to themselves or not, you know, my favorite, I'm going to be a little maybe crass here. But my favorite thing is I always ask people how their digestion is, you know, when we're first talking and, and they'll say almost all the time, they'll say, oh, it's pretty good, you know? And I'll say, okay, so how many bowel movements you know, a day and, you know, sometimes that will be fine one two a day, but then I say, Well, how much gas and bloating Do you have? You know, and they're like, Oh, well, I mean, just like a regular amount. And I'm like, what's our regular amount? You know? And and the reality is, is we really don't need to have a ton of gas every day. You know, it's we really should have minimal gas. And I think most people don't realize that because it's just it. It's common to have a you know, decent amount of gas. Yes, and it's clear, I always say it's common, but not normal. And so it, you know, it will make people think, okay, maybe my digestion can use a little support when I didn't necessarily realize that it did you know, and, and the reality about our bowels and our, you know, our digestion as a whole is we want to take things in, we want to take food, and we want to take whatever we're drinking, and have the body break it down, absorb the nutrients from it, and then essentially move it out, right, we don't want it hanging out for a long time in our bodies. Because it's either, you know, just stuff we no longer need, or it has toxins in it, that our liver has broken down, and basically patch, you know, packaged up and moved into our colon and as part of our stool, or, you know, it it's just like excess things that don't need to be in our body, you know, and so that is where so many issues come into play. Because people's bodies aren't breaking down the food well enough, they're not digesting, absorbing the nutrients, they're not getting the toxins out of their body, you know, as fast as we would like. And then you have a bunch of, you know, for some people, opportunistic bacteria is pretty common thing, pathogens, you know, we don't like to think we're like, oh, dogs, we got D worm, but we don't have any of that stuff going on. Online, we'll ever animals that we live with have them. They don't just say oh, we're not, you know, going over to the human. And, and so, you know, understanding sort of how your gut microbiome is working, or not working is a huge, huge, underlying part of all aspects of health, because you just have to think, if your gut isn't working, if you're not absorbing those nutrients, well, then your organs can't do all the work that they need to be doing, your brain can't do all the work that it needs to be doing. Really, every part of our body needs, vitamins and minerals and nutrients in order to work properly down to ourselves, our mitochondria. You know, it's like, we need enough B vitamins, we need antioxidants, all of those things for our cells to actually work properly. Yeah. So So yeah, those, those are, I can go off on a tangent forever about the gut. But really, those are the three keys is the gut, the liver, because you got to detoxify all that stuff coming in, and you have to detoxify hormones to and then your adrenals and you sort of support and boost all of those. And then hormone regulation starts to happen on it so

Mark Hiddleson 27:52

and I noticed another part of your looked at your classes I can't think about it studying is called the soul something about soul lessons. So well, you talked about with the guy and everything seems like Okay, super mechanical. And you need to look at all these. It's still holistic, because you're looking at all these different systems puzzle, like stress is what causes cortisol, right? So for me, I can talk about Bulma all day. It's one of the things you notice a difference if I don't move, like if I'm not like I love to walk to work. If I go through a period, like four or five days where I don't, it starts to affect my digestive system. And it's like, oh, it's like, oh, I need to move. You know, it's in the morning. Like, this is not normal or common, but not normal side effects, just not. And then you move and it's like, wow, this is way different. And then you know, things look different. I mean, when you're me Yeah.

Christine Garvin 29:00

And it feels absolutely, you know, it impacts your Mood. Mood is huge. I mean, you know, having gone through and we could talk a little bit more about this later. But you know, I went through the surgery where I nearly lost my life, and I lost half of my colon and the process, right? And so digestion is very near and dear to my heart. And I have been through so many different layers of gut issues since that time. And, and so I can really speak to how much it impacts my mood when my guts not working well. And, and that's you know, I mean, it's funny because even energy systems can play into your gut health too, right? trauma impacts our gut health. Holding on to old emotions, you know, can impact our gut health. So it's never just this sort of physical aspect, which is the food and the supplements and the movement and all of that, et cetera. Emotional and energetic. Part two.

Mark Hiddleson 30:03

Yeah. So tell us more what happened. When did your when did the fibroid surgery when? What what happened? Like do share more because I definitely Yeah, about that.

Christine Garvin 30:16

So, you know, I kind of went into what led me to JFK in the first place. And I call that my first major health crisis, right? Because it was like, it was also stomach related and, you know, led me on a new path and life. And my second health crisis was this fibroid that I grew when I was 39. Well, I don't know how long it was growing. But it was found when I was 39. And the thing that was interesting to me was I actually dealt with lots of menstrual issues growing up, and, you know, in my 20s, and the way that I had sort of moved my life in the way that I was eating and taking care of myself, my menstrual like system was cycle was great for all like all of my 30s Right. And so it was interesting, because suddenly the cycle was changing. And then I actually found the fibroid myself. And by the time, you know, we got in and did a ultrasound, it was about six centimeters, which is about the size of a lemon. And what it had. Yeah, and it's interesting, right, because when you learn the size of the uterus, it's pretty small, right? And everything is really close. In there, right? Your the uterus is near the up against the colon and up against the bladder, it's kind of all close together. And so when you have some something the size of a lemon, suddenly there, it's, it's pushing, right? And it's it's creating, and this is what you know, if any women are listening to this episode, you know, up to 80% of women will have a fibroid by the time they're 50. Sometimes they'll be in a place where it doesn't impact you, or they'll stay small, what have you, but they fibroids like to grow. And so the biggest and best thing that you can do is find out you have fibroids early before it grows to the size of mine. Because at that point, there's not a lot that you can necessarily I mean, I take that back, I would do things differently now. But there's, it's harder at that size to naturally shrink it. And so surgery often feels like the best option, right? Because for me, it created anemia because I was bleeding excessively due to it. And then it was actually pushing out on my tailbone. So it was it was this joke. I was teaching dance at that point. And it was this joke that I was like growing your tailbone before we knew what it was, because I would sit down and I would be like, oh, and so it was a big joke that I had a tail bone. And then it turns out, I mean, this fibroid actually pushed out the bone, you know. So they they take over, you know, they can grow up to like the size of, you know, a baby. So there's some women walking around with fibroids, the size of a baby inside of them is crazy. So anyway, I found out I had the fibroid and decided just because of the size and what was going on with me that I was going to go and do the surgical route. Now there's more choices now. But when you go to a doctor, they're going to basically say will either do a hysterectomy, to me, which is like taking the whole shebang out except for your ovaries. And I said, I don't want to do that. Because it's crazy to me to go and take an organ out just because it has a growth on it that is non cancerous, you know. And so the second option is called a myomectomy, which is where they go in and just cut out the fibroid, essentially, and leave your yet uterus intact. And so you know, that's what I decided to do. And it's a little bit more prone to complications. I didn't really understand why at the time, I understand why now. But you know, long story short, I got the surgery done. They said everything went perfectly well. You know, they sent me home the next day. And looking back that morning leaving the hospital part of me knew something was wrong, but that was my first surgery ever. And I just you know, kind of chalked it up to I mean, I just had surgery, I'm in pain, but I really kind of knew something was off. And this is what I always tell people, no matter who it is, man, woman, if you particularly three to four days after surgery, if you're not feeling better that you should be on the upswing by four days after surgery. If you aren't, go to the ER and let them know you just had surgery and that you're worried about sepsis. Because I unfortunately waited two weeks. Oh, and I had no idea about sepsis. I had no idea that I had gone who knows when I went into sepsis, but by the time I went to the ER and They said that if I'd waited one more day I'd be dead. Yeah. So what ended up happening? Yeah, yeah, it's crazy. So basically what they finally determined I was in the ear all day. And finally they said, We have to roll you into emergency surgery because they're, there's gas and bacteria and stool dumping into my abdominal cavity. They figure that out that they didn't know where or why. So they went in and did the exploratory surgery. And basically, my intestines were like all just like, well, like, wrapped around each other. And they had to spend all this time just unwrapping and cleaning out my whole abdomen, you know, a saline solution, they just like use bags and bags of saline. And then finally, they found three burns. So I had been burned in two places in my colon, and then one place in my small intestine, from the surgeon and from the surgery. Yeah. And so this is something that, you know, it's interesting, because a lot of people haven't heard about this happening. But i Another great thing about having a podcast, right, I've had some amazing guests, and I had an OBGYN, who is not a functional doctor, she explained to me exactly what happened. You know, she said, she because she did laparoscopic surgeries all the time. And without fibroid surgery, they basically have a thermal tool. And she said, the thermal part at the end is really small, right? Because with laparoscopic, they're not cutting you open, they're just cutting little slits, that they send a camera and one and then they go in with the tools and the other one, you know, and so the area that they can see is not as great, obviously, you know, as if they cut you open. But also, she said it's so hard to cut out a fibroid, without even just accidentally hit hitting a local organ or the uterus or anything like that, you know, just because that it's such a small little tool in there. And so she said it happens a lot more than the literature is, you know, not up to date on it. And so, yeah, essentially, it hit two places in my colon, and then part of my small intestine. And by the time they went in, they tried to save my colon. But my doctor, the surgeon said it was trying, it was like trying to sow together ground beef was just so you know, because you have to think two weeks, it just got worse and worse and worse. And so they ended up cutting out about half of my colon, and then I lost about eight inches of small intestine, and I lost my appendix. And they basically, you know, had to let me kind of rest for a day. So it was open, you know, my body, my abdomen was still open and ICU, and then on the next day, they form an ostomy, which I had never even really heard of an ostomy. Before, you know, for anybody that hasn't, it's like they take part of your intestine. And in my case, I had an ileostomy. And that's when they take part of your small intestine and pull it through your stomach essentially to outside of your body. And then you were a bag on top of it. And that is where, you know, your your bowel movements come out of. Yeah, so they placed an ostomy. For me, it was temporary. Luckily it was I had it for about six and a half months. And then I also had a wound vac, they couldn't Sew me back up because of the sepsis. So basically my whole you know, where they slice me down, the middle of my body had to stay open, and they put on what's called a wound vac. Yeah, yeah. So it's basically it's really interesting, actually. And I think that this is I always like to tell the story, because it kind of goes into the innate abilities of our body to heal. So you know, in, I don't know how many years ago, pre wound vac, they would, you know, basically, if they handled if somebody opened like in my situation, they would clean out the wound multiple times a day, right and just kind of keep it covered. But with a wound vac, they take it's this like black, almost like spongy material that they put in your wound, and then attach a vacuum to it. That like sucks out all the bad stuff. But that that black material, spongy material actually is irritating to the tissues, but that makes them heal faster. It's like It's like triggering your immune system to work more efficiently than just cleaning it out. And I think that's so cool, right? Yeah. And that's a pain in the butt to have one but it's still pretty amazing because I was supposed to have mine for about two months, I think and I think I got mine off in six weeks. And so yeah, it was it was crazy. I mean, the whole situation obviously was crazy, crazy and life changing. and career ending, and I had been a dancer for many years before that, and but you know, I mean, not to take away because I've had to work certainly on all of the emotional, PTSD aspects and continue to do that in therapy. But, you know, it did also in some ways help refocus my work and refocus my life, you know, back to back to health, when I'd kind of gotten away from doing that from a professional standpoint. So it brought me right back in and that's really, you know, why do the work that I do now, because, A, I want women to not have to have fibroids grow, and get them into a surgical situation like me, you know, and then be, like, be able to empower themselves around digestive issues around hormonal issues, all of that so that they, yeah, basically just don't have to face these horrible things that can happen. Right. And certainly, it doesn't happen everybody, but you know, it can happen.

Mark Hiddleson 41:08

And we do have a I have a lot of female listeners. For like, in the podcasts I've done, Judy Jardine. I've had a lot of just in my career. One of the organizations I was in early my career was Women in Logistics, and National Warehousing Education and Research Council. But I've had Judy Jardine was on my podcast recently. She's super good friend. My Nancy Fateen is another our engineers CEO. She's, and she's super, she's like, when I had her on, she was talking about she does these like 75 Day transformations. Once or twice you are physically. So I'm definitely Nancy is going to put this. My mom My mom listens to.

Christine Garvin 42:01

It's like, hi, mom.

Mark Hiddleson 42:03

And I have three sister in law's they'll probably I won't listen to this one. Because I mean, definitely. So thank you for sharing all the men. They care. We care about our testosterone.

Christine Garvin 42:17

Marry girl exactly. I will tell you, it's pretty amazing. I don't know, because obviously I didn't do this was years ago. But I've worked with some men, you know, in their 40s, even early mid 40s. And it's kind of surprising how early testosterone can start to drop, you know, and they made it and these men were in good shape and all those things. And I, you know, we were kind of surprised. And I mean, I think that they maybe had some symptoms. So they weren't fully surprised. But I was surprised at how low and I think just just like women's hormones are being affected by so many things happening in our environment and our food and all that. I think it's also very much impacting men's hormones, too.

Mark Hiddleson 43:00

Yeah, it really is that whatever's in the water. Yep. Yeah. Bikram disrupt, is what I call shadow.

Christine Garvin 43:07

You got it? Yeah, exactly. All of those products. 100%. And, you know, both men and women aren't dealing with too high of estrogen because of those, you know, what we call Xeno. estrogens are in essentially all plastic things. And, and so many of our products that we use on our face and our hair and etc, etc, you know. So yeah, it's another, you know, really important area for both men and women to really focus on. And I hate to use the word detox, because I think that that has been lumped in with this thing of like, Oh, you just do, you know, whatever, a cleanse a year and it's fine. When really our liver has to detoxify or metabolize like the more scientific way of saying it would be metabolized, but essentially, it's detoxification to our liver. So do that for every single thing that comes in our body, right? And so when you include all these chemicals that are coming in our body to our livers working really hard, it works on 350 processes in our body, you know, and so consistent liver support is one of the most important things in our toxic world that I think people can do.

Mark Hiddleson 44:25

And did you we did a liver cleanse one of my first classes at JFK, the view is that you remember, were you in that class? It was a long there was like, one I don't know when we were talking.

Christine Garvin 44:39

Yeah, I don't know. I wasn't there then.

Mark Hiddleson 44:41

Yeah. You said he took the long track from JFK. And I've always joked because I started in oh one and I graduated in oh seven. So it was six years. But my thing was, Oh, you are

Christine Garvin 44:53

you are a lot longer term.

Mark Hiddleson 44:54

Six year master's degree is better than a three year master's.

Christine Garvin 45:00

was there 100? Obviously,

Mark Hiddleson 45:03

because the time I mean, there is like there's more time for the tea to steep. It was a good metaphor that It's so insane. And then you're surrounded by all these people for that period of time and will always, always look back nostalgically, you know, and I love. Yeah, I was so looking forward to having you on because of that. And anytime I've been to lunch with a few people. Yeah. But it's only a few people. Whenever we get together, it's like, wow, we're right back that energy right back. And the container, the absolutely stakes that we created. Yeah. So absolutely. I know. We all have not that much longer, and I want to keep going. But who's the we have shownotes that we have. I have somebody else do so anything we mentioned. So the OBGYN that did? Talked about your surgeon? What was her name? We'll put a link to that in our show notes.

Christine Garvin 46:04

Okay. Dr. Tabitha Barber, and I will actually, I think she broke that down when I was on her podcast. Okay. So I'll find that and I'll send that to you. I also have had her on my podcast, but I think she actually talked about, you know, what went down on her podcast. So she's, she's a great resource to grit and another great podcast for people. And she really focuses on gut health.

Mark Hiddleson 46:30

Well, yeah, and I think that, you know, in the hormone, I mean, there's just, my wife's done a lot of research. And it's, it's, it's a really hard thing to learn about, or find somebody does a holistic approach is, everyone thinks I call it Capture the Flag everyone thinks is like the capture of like, oh, it's detox. Oh, it's so Oh, this and then whatever. They're, this is what started and they're like, Well, this is it, we found, you know, the solution that really, is what I loved about your story. Yeah. Is that, yeah, it's so

Christine Garvin 47:01

individual, I try and tell people that all the time, and, you know, the functional aspect of what I do is utilizing tests, in order to see what's happening in the individual, right. So everything from stool testing, you know, so we can actually really see literally what's happening in your gut, to food sensitivities, testing, to hormone testing, to even the serum labs, or blood labs that we all get done. Hopefully, most of us get done yearly, with our doctors, you know, I can take the those and and use the functional nutrition lens, to see deficiencies that people have in nutrients, right. So the doctor is looking for pathology, right? They're there to say, Okay, you're out of range. And so I'm going to diagnose you with this thing. So obviously, I don't do that I don't diagnose. You know, I don't say yes, there's none of that happening. I say, oh, you know, in a very easy example is vitamin D, we can see from a simple blood tests, if you have low vitamin D levels, right. And functional levels are have a much tighter range than the traditional reference range of, you know, your, your lab, the lab companies. And this is what I always like to tell people, you know, the lab companies will come up with a reference range, and that's 95% of people, right? So you only have 2.5%, on that sort of pathology range on one end, and 2.5% on that other end. So we have 95% of people in the normal range. The thing about the health of this country, how many and that 95% are really healthy, right? I still don't want to be on the low end of the normal range, or the high end of the normal range, because that's not really probably that great either, right? So I look at a much tighter range. And I say, Okay, we know from, you know, research that, for example, your vitamin D levels are best in this range. And you know, and I can tell, like how your B vitamins are doing based on some of these labs, iron is also a huge thing for a lot of people, you know, zinc levels, all that kind of stuff. So, that, to me is what I love about this work is I can say, Okay, let me see your labs, and we can really get to that base and the root of your deficiencies and support those specifically rather than than just be like, alright, take this supplement, because it just came out and that's what everybody's using, you know, like that kind of thing. And, and it drives me a little crazy. And I get it, whatever. They're just trying to sell stuff. But, you know, people come to me and they'll have a bag full of supplements and I'll ask them, Why do you take this one? And they're like, oh, no, no. Or, Oh, I heard that it was good. You know, and it's not good for you if you don't need it, you

Mark Hiddleson 49:53

know, so it's really trying to hone in so you are getting some awesome work so well. What is the best way for people to connect with you? What's, what's the best way. So,

Christine Garvin 50:06

website is great. And that's just Christine And, you know, I'd say the big thing, things that are coming up for any of the ladies that are listening, if you're interested in learning really how to understand your hormones and the foundations of taking care of your hormones, I'm doing my hormone breakthrough blueprint program, which is my signature, live group program that's happening. I'm starting in January 2023. And if you know, I'm not sure when this is coming out, but people can get on the waitlist for the, the, when it launches. And then you know, there's other I have some self guided courses, there's going to be a few opportunities I'm gonna have my one on ones are going to be very limited next year, just because of all the things that are going on. But there's gonna be some spots open for that, too.

Mark Hiddleson 50:59

Yeah, and your self guided classes. Your website is awesome. I checked it out. And I love it. I mean, it's a lot of work. Yeah. So

Christine Garvin 51:07

I mean, it's your you know, it's years worth of work, really, that has gone into and will continue to be more but my goal is to really get as much information about the stuff that people have never learned about all in one place so that you can really be able to look up and find you know, whatever you're looking for around any kind of health issue, but particularly hormones and your gut.

Mark Hiddleson 51:29

Yeah, awesome. Well, it's been such a pleasure to hang out with you. This is I'm so lucky. The host, the host of Hormonally Speaking podcast, so people can check that out. We'll have a link to And people can check out the the hormonal balance blueprint. That's what it's called?

Christine Garvin 51:56

Hormone breakthrough blueprint. For a second, I was like, what is it called?

Mark Hiddleson 52:03

Yeah, that is so awesome. We have an awesome container here. Christine, thank you so much. This has been so awesome.

Outro 52:13

Thanks for listening to The Tao of Pizza Podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.


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