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Episode 260: What is Our Trademarked “DRESS” Protocol? – Intro to FDN Series w/ Detective Ev 

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Introduction

[00:00:00] Detective Ev: What is going on, my friends? Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, aka, Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show on FDN’s trademarked “DRESS” protocol.

We are continuing our mini-series here – an introduction to FDN. And you might be wondering, you’re 260 episodes in, why are you just introducing FDN? Well, the truth is, we have actually introduced FDN throughout the years of having this podcast. But we recently changed some things up, added certain things to our marketing budget, and are having a ton of new people check out the course, look at our resources, and learn about us.

We’re thankful to have so many extra people asking questions, booking calls with our course enrollment team. It’s been very exciting. I’m one of the people who gets on these calls. It’s cool to see the different types of people that come in and yet the similarities within those different types of people. That’s a separate podcast but it’s kind of funny.

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Anyway, I wanted to be sure that when these people do check us out, we aren’t just starting at a super high level. I wanted to make sure they had something to go through and get an introduction to our show. Then in the future, what I can do is take these podcasts, have them on a separate page on the website, and basically make it so we can refer people to them in the future. Then we don’t technically have to do it here again.

“DRESS” Protocol: Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress Reduction, & Supplementation

If you are a regular listener who has already graduated from the FDN course and you’re long into being a practitioner, I hope that you can get something from this. These are very short and sweet episodes. But how I really see this being of use to you is perhaps using it on your own social media or sending it to a person that might be interested in what you do. It might just be useful to have a third party explain it to them because it is unique what we do. And sometimes hearing a few different perspectives, in my opinion, can be very helpful when it comes to the work of FDN.

With that said, this series is kind of in order, I would say at least. Last time we talked about metabolic chaos. If you don’t know what that is, again, these episodes are very short. They’re only like 15 minutes each, roughly speaking. I say this, but then I end up talking more than I always expect, so who knows? But check the link in our show notes if you’d like the link to the Metabolic Chaos podcast, it will literally be the last one that was on this show anyway. So, wherever you’re watching this, just go one episode back and you can find it easily enough. But I think you’ll need to listen to all of them in order for it to make sense, again, if you are new to FDN.

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Today, what we’re going to be talking about is our trademarked DRESS term. It actually does have a trademark, I meant that literally. And DRESS is an acronym. You’ll start to notice we have quite a few acronyms here. DRESS stands for diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, and supplementation.

“DRESS” Protocol: What We Should’ve Been Doing All Along

When you hear that, it might not sound that profound and in a certain sense it isn’t. And that’s kind of the point. As technical as we get in the FDN curriculum, and as much as we help you learn the science and get deep into the labs, even if you have no background in that stuff, we will help you do that. That’s what the course is designed for.

But there’s always these core lifestyle principles that are the foundation to everything that we do. This all connects, and I’ll say this a few times in this series just so this really sinks in. I don’t think people understand this. And sometimes I even hear people that are going through the course that this hasn’t clicked yet.

Yes, the labs are important; the labs are fun. They’re even sexy to a degree because you post them on social media, and you show people results. They love seeing it. But the labs are a tool. What we are trying to do with the labs, and we’ll talk about that in the next episode – that is a separate acronym called HIDDEN. HIDDEN stressors are what we’re testing for. I’ll explain that more in that episode.

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But the reason we test for these HIDDEN stressors, is because we need to figure out what is more or less holding the body back from being able to heal itself. And DRESS is kind of what we should have been doing anyway. If we were doing it consistently, if we were educated on that as Western citizens – citizens of Western society who don’t really follow these things anymore – we probably wouldn’t have ever needed the lapse, to be dead honest.

“DRESS” Protocol: Intelligently Wired

Here’s what I mean. The body has an innate healing ability. This is another thing that you will hear me reiterate on all of these episodes cause you need to get this. If you understand this, then you understand the larger concepts here at FDN. The body has an innate healing ability. This is not woo-woo; it’s not theoretical. You already know this.

The thing I reference every time, someone is going to slap me probably for how many times I say this, is the paper cut example. If you get a paper cut on your finger, you did not need to go to a surgeon or any type of doctor. And you didn’t need to do anything in particular. I mean, maybe you could put a band aid on or stop the bleeding for convenience. But if you did nothing to that paper cut on your finger, then it would heal on its own. Yes, maybe you bleed a little more, but it would heal on its own.

You don’t have to tell it to do anything. Nor do you have to demand it to do something. You don’t have to get it sewed up by the doctor, especially if it’s just a paper cut. I suppose if you cut it with something a little bit deeper, you might need that. But it heals itself. That’s how the body works.

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Now, what’s so fascinating about this, cause I think we take this for granted. We don’t realize this is profound as crap. Your body is so intelligently wired that it knows something went wrong and it immediately starts sending resources in to fix it. This is how FDN works, and this is why DRESS is super important.

“DRESS” Protocol: Who Has a Better Chance at Healing?

When you have all the lifestyle stuff in place, that is when you are giving your body the best chance at healing. Well, that’s what DRESS is; it’s the lifestyle stuff.

Who do you think has a better chance of healing from an autoimmune condition? And I’m going to extreme ends of either side here. This isn’t casting judgment on one side; it has nothing to do with that. Man, I’ve been on both sides myself. But let’s just say who would have a better chance of healing autoimmunity; you tell me.

The person who has very limited cell service kind of goes and lives out there, almost off the grid type of thing. They grow their own food, but they have shelter, are safe, get sunlight all day, not sitting inside on a computer. Or the person who eats fast food several times a week, is stuck in front of a computer all day, is locked in a chair sitting constantly. And maybe they are significantly overweight, depressed, maybe have some other things going on.

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You don’t need to be in the functional medicine space to use your head and realize that the first person I mentioned, obviously, has a better shot at healing naturally from that autoimmune condition than does the second person. In fact, the first person might not have ever received the diagnosis of an autoimmune condition, meaning that they never would’ve had the symptoms or condition itself if they were living that lifestyle from the day that they were born.

Now, there are complexities and nuance to disease, I’m not ignorant to that. But the truth of the matter is we’re clearly getting sicker. The data backs that up clear as day.

“DRESS” Protocol: Is Something More Better?

We are clearly getting sicker the more that we innovate, the more cleaners we add, the more pesticides we add, the more chemicals that go into the food and water system. Sometimes our progression is actually our regression. I say progression because all of these things are done with good intentions, right? What do they say? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

We are trying as a society to do better things with the water system, to be more sustainable and more efficient with our food systems, at having clean houses and hygiene. And these things matter. In fact, some of the stuff that we’ve done in those systems initially are some of the reasons that we have a great life expectancy today. But interestingly, human beings kind of have this tendency, and you’re probably a human listening to this, you might have noticed this. We have this tendency that if something’s good, something more must be better.

That means we’re going to keep pushing it and adding on until something forces us to stop. Because if something’s good, then more must be better. And so originally, basic sanitation and plumbing was a very helpful thing. If you look into the data on this, it’s actually rather fascinating. I’m not making a controversial claim; this is well documented.

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It actually shows that perhaps our modern sanitation was actually more of the reason for a big loss in the prevalence of major diseases, even when compared to certain vaccinations. It’s pretty fascinating what something seemingly so basic can do. When you look at the food system, if we did not have some of the modern conveniences, believe it or not, food was kind of hard to grow. There’s a lot of things that can happen with weather.

“DRESS” Protocol: Diet

And if you are talking about things that aren’t crops like animals, they don’t really like to be caught and killed. That’s kind of tough too. So, certain things we’ve done with the food system have been wildly beneficial.

When we’re talking about water, again, this kind of goes into the sanitation thing, but water had a lot more than just water in it when we were in the wild. Now, if you were lucky enough to find a spring, that’s fantastic. But, generally speaking, you were exposed to other things. That was cool to improve on that. Again, there’s stuff to back this up.

We know Western medicine and Western society has done pretty amazing things. Because even in the US in the early 1800s, only talking about 200 years ago, the child mortality rate by age four was 50%. We couldn’t protect them. There was too much stuff going on. There is a huge advantage to all the stuff that we’ve done in modern society. But we have pushed it so far that we forgot all those other things that work really well.

Our ancestors, most likely were not using supplements, right? Maybe there were herbal stuff, but not supplements in the traditional way that we talk about today. However, they did have the diet down. Why? Because there was no other choice.

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The biggest thing that you had to worry about would’ve been famine, malnourishment, or something. But the food that you did eat, was pure, was healthy. It was exactly what you were supposed to be eating as a human being. We didn’t have the internet and all these books to talk about different dietary theories. We just ate what intuitively made sense or was available. So, that was the diet side.

“DRESS” Protocol: Rest

The rest side was, we went to bed when it was dark. Human beings are diurnal. If you’ve never heard the word diurnal, that’s just the opposite of nocturnal. Obviously, we all know what that is. It means that we’re supposed to be awake during the day and asleep at night. But human beings have the ability to alter that a little bit, don’t we?

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We have this thing called free will and personal choice, and so we can choose to be up as late as we want. Worse yet we’ll invent things like artificial light so that it makes it easier to stay up late. Sure, our body doesn’t like it, but it makes it feel easier to stay up late. It gives us something to do. And then we create a 24/7 society. How crazy is that? So, the rest isn’t doing so well.

“DRESS” Protocol: Exercise

Then we have exercise, that’s the next part. And we kind of have two issues on this one. It’s kind of an interesting dilemma. Because on one hand we have many people under exercising. They don’t do anything physical for their body but kind of sit all day and are stuck in that job or whatever it might be, eating fast food, as we talked about earlier in this podcast episode.

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But then on the opposite end, we actually have people that are working out a little too much. And this is something that is easier to do than you’d think, especially when we’re considering the other things going on in today’s world that are leading to issues in our body. Over exercise is proven to lead to leaky gut. It also leads to other complications in the body. So, it’s a very fine line finding that balance that works for you.

“DRESS” Protocol: Stress Reduction (Pt. 1)

Then we have stress reduction. Again, this is an interesting one. Because on one sense, I would have to imagine we’re less stressed in some ways in today’s modern world. I mean, think about what I just said with the kids and the child mortality. Imagine if you’re a parent in the early 1800s and you know that there’s a one in two chance that your kid’s not going to make it to four. I mean, that’s a traumatic experience. That’s devastating. So, that was pretty dang stressful.

Then if we go back even farther than that, we had certain things in the wild that were really big threats. We had to deal with this kind of stuff. So, that’s probably pretty stressful. But then interestingly, we’ve traded those extreme acute stressors of the past for maybe more mild, long-term stressors of today.

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What that means is, opposed to the short bursts of fight or flight responses that would’ve happened hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, now we are just chronically stressed out. And stress is anything that affects the stress response in the body.

So, anytime you take a medication, anytime you eat bad food, anytime you eat too fast, anytime you’re sitting, anytime you’re under artificial light (Look that one up, it’s kind of fascinating.), anytime you stay up too late, anytime you wake up to an alarm, anytime you’re having trouble at work, anytime you’re having a fight in your relationship, which you’ll soon realize, this is pretty much all day, right? Let’s not even get into finances and stuff like that, and social media. We have chronic stress all the time.

“DRESS” Protocol: Stress Reduction (Pt. 2)

Well, the body wasn’t designed for that. Just like it wasn’t designed to run 16 hours a day. We’re pretty dang good at running when it’s a short burst or a sprint and are pretty dang good at handling stress when it’s a fight or flight response, temporary thing, that doesn’t happen all day, every day.

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But we’re not so good at all this stuff when we’re forced to be engaged with it all the time. If I made you run 16 hours a day, how long would that last? Well, we’re kind of doing that equivalent with our stress response. We have it going all day long and it never gets a break. So, that’s the stress reduction side.

“DRESS” Protocol: Supplementation

Where do the supplements come in then if our ancestors wouldn’t have needed supplements? Well, this is a modern thing. Because when we look at the issues of today’s world, one of them we can say is that the soil doesn’t have the same level of nutrients. And since we are under chronic stress, perhaps we are not breaking down food as readily as we should be.

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With the invention of modern sanitation, grant you, that saved us in one sense, but it also created less diversity in our microbiome. And so now we need to add stuff back in for that. So, supplementation is very targeted, very specific, to help counteract some of the negatives that have come with our seemingly advanced technologies of today’s world. I hope that makes sense.

“DRESS” Protocol: Balancing Things Properly

So, DRESS is basic in principle, maybe a little hard in implementation for some people. But you are not doing FDN if you don’t get the DRESS-thing right. When you take on a client or when you become a practitioner through FDN, you have to understand that that’s what you’re committing to.

You’re not committing to becoming a fancy lab person, although you will also be that. What you are committing to is a rebellion – rebelling from the way society does things. Saying, enough is enough, I’m not going to participate. I don’t care if the people that are closest to me aren’t going to do this, I need to do this. So, I need to lead.

No one wants to feel like crap, but everyone’s kind of stuck in this because no one will stand up and say, enough is enough. We don’t want to do this anymore; we don’t want to feel like crap; we can have the cake and we can eat it too. I don’t mean that literally; you’re not going to actually eat cake.

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What I mean though is we can have some of the conveniences of today’s world while still balancing things properly so that we can get the best of both worlds. That’s what DRESS is. You gotta nail that down. And we touch on DRESS extensively in the FDN course.

“DRESS” Protocol: The Ability to Customize a DRESS Protocol

We will teach you how to find the right diet for someone. Hint, it is not the same for everyone. We’ll teach you what rest actually means, what optimal bedtimes are, how to recover. And we will teach you where you should be at exercise-wise. This is something that we can learn from the labs. We’ll teach you how to actually reduce stress. And last but not least, we will certainly show you some of the gaps of today’s world and where we can supplement accordingly.

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Now, the reason you needed to understand DRESS (and this is a surface overview of course), is because the lab side, complicated as it might be, basically allows people to create a customized DRESS protocol, as we would call it. A DRESS protocol includes the specific things that you need. Because we don’t treat anyone specifically, we treat everything non-specifically.

And we don’t look at the paperwork and say, okay, we need to move this number in or out of range. We look at the person and how what they’re experiencing correlates to the paperwork. So, everyone’s going to be a little bit different with this. There are some general principles, but everyone will be a little bit different.

And when you can use the labs too, you can customize the DRESS protocol. The reason I’m saying that now is because the obvious question to anyone listening to this is, well, if everyone has to do DRESS anyway and DRESS is the main thing, why ever do the labs? Maybe you wouldn’t have worded it that way but here’s the problem.

Conclusion

When you are not doing DRESS for decades, unintentionally of course, as many of us are not doing in today’s world, well, you can get pretty banged up. And a lot of weird things can happen to the body as a result of that.

This means if all you ever did was DRESS, you will certainly feel better. And in the best-case scenario, you can even get a hundred percent better, given enough time. Realistically speaking, your best-case scenario without the labs is, you will get better, but it will take longer than it would’ve with the labs.

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Worst case is you never fully recover and get to where you were when you started because you don’t know some of the weak links that you now have in the body. You don’t know some of the things that went wrong that need to be removed. Not literally, we’re not doing surgery here. It’s the things that need to be removed or eradicated, given up, so you can recover fully. That’s where the labs come in. Again, DRESS is diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, and supplementation. It mixes in perfectly with our lab side of things.

So, what we’ll be touching on next time is the HIDDEN stressors that we test for as FDN practitioners. These are the main tests that you will learn in the course if you choose our course is right for you. I will explain the acronym, break it all down. It will all make sense. Stick with me until the next episode. I’m looking forward to talking to you then. Thank you.

You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com, on YouTube @FDNtraining, or on Instagram @fdntraining.

For more informational and functional health-oriented podcasts like this one, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/health-detective-podcast/.

To learn more about us, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/about-fdn-functional-testing/.

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