Updated: Oct 24, 2018
On a beautiful Friday Summer’s morning Mel and I made the trip from Perth down south to Bunbury, to meet up with someone we have held in high regard for some time, Dr Jeremy Princi, otherwise known as ‘The Holistic Lifestyler’.
We’ve been fans for a while and wanted to know what made him tick and how he got to where he is now and he very kindly agreed to let us interview him.
When I first met him I was surprised that he fitted more into ‘ruck rover’ role than ‘ruckman’ which is what I was expecting. But he looks superfit and totally has the caveman DNA. He is incredibly polite, gracious and very passionate about his lifestyle without being overbearing and an absolute pleasure to spend time with.
This picture hangs in Jeremy’s practice and in our opinion sums him up.
Hope you enjoy this as much as we did…
So, Princi or ‘Princhi’?
Not too many people ask that! Technically most likely Princhi, but everyone including myself just go with the Aussie slang and pronounce Princi
Tell me a bit about your childhood and where you grew up.
I grew up in a Dairy farming community Brunswick, Western Australia, lived a very country/rural lifestyle growing up even though we didn’t live on a farm per se most my friends did so was knocking about on motorbikes etc. I was heavily into sport growing up played Cricket & Football (AFL of course) at a country state representative level. Wasn’t the most behaved kid at school.
What led you into becoming a chiropractor?
It was a toss-up between physio or chiro (in fact I was enrolled in physio first and then converted over). Being so involved in sports growing up I had my fair share of niggling injuries so spent a bit of time in the physio clinic and felt it was something I wanted to be doing when I was older. My best mates dad is a chiro so I saw him once for another opinion on a back injury and was pretty blown away by not only the improvement with the injury but following undergoing care with him I went through a purple patch with my cricket which I thought was either coincidence or something about this chiro thing improved my reflexes or hand eye co-ordination either way coincidence or not I wanted to know some more about it so went and observed him in his clinic working with patients and decided after observing that was it I wanted to do Chiropractic.
‘Chiro’ has been seen in the past by some as a bit hippy and off the wall, yet you’ve travelled with the Seattle Mariners baseball team in the US and the West Australian junior cricket team. Is it being more widely accepted, especially in sport today?
I would have to say on the whole it is more accepted today, given the fact that GPs refer to Chiros as part of the Enhanced Primary Care program for chronic condition patients is a direct sign of that. Also, as you noted, there are chiropractors who are part of the ‘medical’ team with elite level sports as in the case that I have been fortunate to be part of over the years. There is no doubt still some stigma attached for whatever reason though. I have a good working relationship with some GPs and we work well with the patient’s best interest at heart.
Who have been major influences in your life and the pathway you’ve chosen?
My family have been a significant influence in so many aspects of my life. Professionally as a chiropractor my teacher Brian Nook by far has been the most influential person on the technical side of manual therapy for me – if you ever get a chance for Brian to get his hands on you don’t let it go!! Paul Chek has played a huge part in shaping my holistic philosophy and is largely responsible for directing to where I currently am. More recently Ido Portal has changed a large part of my exercise/movement paradigm. Growing up Michael Jordan was my idol - pretty sure I’ve watched all his movies (VHS back then) multiple times. Then there’s a whole heap of my close friends who always inspire me.
There’s definitely a large movement of people regaining their health and kicking back against mainstream processed food. How do you see this progressing in the future?
I think the real food movement really is only going from strength to strength. As for my prediction watch out for the bugs… fermented foods and the whole gut health/microbiome movement is about to take over
You’re big into gut health and fermented foods. Tell me about that and I understand you’re writing a book on the subject.
Gosh we could be here all day talking about this I’ll try keep it short and sharp… For me it all started casually playing around with fermented foods after attending a workshop by a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach who touched on it. One thing led to another and before I knew it my kitchen & more recently the whole house and shed has turned into something resembling a science lab with things fermenting, bubbling, brewing away which is all part of recipe testing and development for the book I am working on, which will be the most comprehensive of its kind no doubt for some time - I’ve been working and researching the peer reviewed literature on not only the microbiology of how to ferment optimally and safely but also the health benefits and implications – which there is plenty of, this stuff isn’t just some hippy whippy woo stuff there’s some great science to back it up & plenty of research being done as we speak.
Research papers keep coming out which has been stalling the progress of my book as I feel I need to keep reviewing and updating as the new research comes to light. I’m about to put a hold on literature review though and save the new research for future editions as it’s just getting out of hand now. But to answer your question more specifically fermented foods are a form of food preservation that harness the natural bacteria & yeasts on the vegetables to preserve it and in the process yield probiotics and predigest the vegetable matter which creates new substances which are not found in the raw form of the vegetables. For example cabbage contains substances called glucosinolates which via the fermentation process are transformed into more biologically active substances such as Indole-3-Carbinol & diindolylmethane (I3C & DIM) its these substances that have powerful health benefits such as estrogen detoxification, people may have heard of supplements such as Estro block or similar- these are the ingredients in such supplements. Did I mention that nutrients are improved also… B vitamins are increased, vitamin C also increased, like I said we could be here forever talking about this - I’ll save the rest for my book
What are your aims for the future and do you have any immediate goals?
I certainly have some immediate goals within the next 2 years I’m planning on having my fermented food & beverage book out as well as an online video fermenting course – which will then be expanded to be more comprehensive to a gut health online program – All whilst still in clinic working with the public and carrying on with the national fermenting workshops and speaking engagements.
Jeremy, I’ve got to ask, Freo or West Coast?
Ohhh I better be careful with this answer… West Coast – I’ve been a member for I think 13 years now.
How do you eat? Would you label how you eat as Paleo / LCHF /Primal or something else?
It’s pretty close to paleo, I get nervous when people recommend one specific way of eating for everyone. Paleo has a good deal of wiggle room unfortunately has probably copped negative media attention. Paleo treats and substitutes have been abused, just because something is gluten-free most certainly doesn’t qualify as being healthy. I subscribe to biochemical individuality – in that one man’s food may be another’s poison for example starchy foods may work great for some people but take someone with an overgrowth of the organism Klebsiella in their digestive tract and feed them starchy foods which is the fuel substrate for the organism then you may end up setting up an environment that favours the development of an inflammatory spinal condition known as Ankylosing spondylitis. So I’m a big supporter of gut microbiota testing (such as a Bioscreen test) and gauging a better grasp as to what foods may/may not be beneficial until some degree of gut healing has taken place, this is the direction part of my clinical practice has taken and I’m seeing some quite profound and life changing benefits.
Do you believe that as a race we could prevent much disease with a change in the standard Australian / Western diet?
100% -- I think Weston A. Prices work observing tribal communities untouched by western diets and their superior health states, perfect dentition and craniofacial structure and how as soon as western diets started infiltrating in and the deterioration of dentition and facial structure occurred almost instantaneous is a pretty convincing argument. So I guess his work and observations showed the reverse of the question – in that in those tribes if their typical hunter/gatherer diet was changed would disease set in? In which case that’s what Price observed. The book is “Nutrition & Physical Degeneration” be warned it’s a long one!
Why do you think we got it so wrong with the low fat dietary advice we were all given in the past?
I tell you what it’s funny you ask that question, I had a 10 year old boy come into my clinic not all that long ago who gave me a lecture on this. Turns out he wrote an essay at school about it, and his mother emailed it to me, it was so good I had to put it up on my blog, I’ll send you the link and you can put it up! Highly encourage people to check it out. Ben was also thrilled when Pete Evans shared the essay too! Read it here.
Soft drinks. Should they be treated like cigarettes and given health warnings or are we becoming a nanny State?
If my memory serves me correctly I’m sure I read Candice Pert author of ‘Molecules of Emotion’ and research professor of physiology saying something along the lines of processed sugar being a class 1 drug, potentially as addictive as heroin. I’ll leave it at that.
Tell me your philosophy regarding exercise and everyone being individuals.
I think sadly as a society we are living so incongruent with how we are designed to and the lack of movement and therefore stimulation to the joints and nervous system as well as decreased pumping action on the lymphatic and vascular system is just staggering. On the flip side it certainly keeps chiropractors and other manual therapists busy. The other issue is the amount of stress people are under now, so take the person who is highly strung and stressed out – then go pound them with a high intensity (another stressful situation) exercise you are just taking them further away from health. Paul Chek’s spot on with it describing exercise as a drug, it needs to be prescribed in the right dose and the right form otherwise its outright dangerous. For those who have everything dialed in with their life and stress under control then I would have to say attend Ido Portals workshops or online coaching, he’s done a fantastic job synthesizing so many movement complexities and created a method of moving the body that can’t be rivaled. Alternatively find something that you enjoy that involves movement, if its dancing maybe join a class, rock climbing, hiking, surfing and be consistent with it, the body craves all kinds of movement. But of course it also comes down to peoples individual goals, if they just want big muscles or be super skinny but don’t care about the collateral health damage then there’s plenty of other methods out there that will achieve that.
How important is it to you that we should try and eat organic produce as much as possible?
I am a big supporter of organic both from an ecological/sustainable standpoint and also a health perspective. In an ideal world I’d love to see organic as the mainstream (like it once was) and subsidized, the current system where people farming organically having to pay premiums to be certified to me is backwards. The health implications alone I’ve seen enough research papers to convince me that it’s the way to go.
We have all seen a surge in healthy cafes and restaurants, more organic produce available and even the big supermarkets are now stocking grass fed meat products and organic free range eggs. Do you think this is a temporary change or is it going to just keep getting more widespread and mainstream?
I think it will continue on, my hope is though that we don’t start to see it being abused which we do see a bit of already. Beef can still be fed grain and labeled organic as long as it’s fed organic grain, this unfortunately is not innate farming, cows are not designed to eat grain!
What would you say to someone who has poor health and diet and they don’t know where to start on this journey?
I get this question in my clinic pretty much daily. To be honest I think Pete Evans 10 week Paleo Way program for $100 is probably not only the most affordable way but quite possibly the ideal way to start as it keeps you accountable and gives a great introduction to wholefood eating, meal prep guidelines etc. Working with a good integrative practitioner is probably a wise move too. Don’t overcomplicate it!
Thanks Jeremy, it’s been an absolute pleasure and we at Paleonutter would like to wish you continued success and can’t wait til we can get our hands on your book!
If you’d like to know more about Jeremy’s work then follow him as the ‘Holistic Lifestyler’ on Facebook and check him out on Instagram or his website, www.holisticlifestyler.com