Episode 3

Published on:

31st Jan 2023

Optimizing open-heart surgery through nutrition with Georgie McNiff- 3

Boots Knighton interviews her nutritionist, Georgie McNiff, about how Georgie came into her life at the right time. They talk about how to combat water retention and shedding excess estrogen and dream about starting a movement to get the medical community to better prepare heart patients for open-heart surgery.


1:25 How I found Nurse Georgie

3:41 Nurse Georgie's qualifications

4:31 My main issues that took me to Nurse Georgie

6:12 Nurse Georgie's route to functional medicine and the impact the modern world has on our bodies

9:19 Why she doesn't treat symptoms

10:00 The Dutch Test and finding out my estrogen was very high

10:24 role of estrogens in the body as well as how pesticides are treated as estrogens in the body

13:00 How we treated my high estrogen

15:40 why our body retains water

17:30 Having levels tested before heart surgery beyond the usual testing and why that is important

19:30 Why it is important to have multiple people on your care team and how Boots worked on the emotional/mental stuff around surgery while waiting

21:00 Boots and Georgie want to start a movement to get the medical community thinking more about how to set open-heart surgery patients up for success better than how the medical community does it now.

23:00 the supplements Georgie prescribed for Boots with powerful outcomes and how listeners can apply the same protocol in their lives.

31:00 Boots's journey of weight loss and overall relationship with food in addition of the effects of toxins on her body

34:00 getting in touch with Georgie

35:00 Last nugget of wisdom from Georgie

Website: The Heart Chamber (theheartchamberpodcast.com)

Transcript: Joyful Beat | The Heart Chamber (theheartchamberpodcast.com)

The Heart Chamber (@theheartchamberpodcast)

Thanks to Michael Moeri for being my right hand man. Michael Moeri - Audio Editor, Podcast Producer and Marketing Director

Thanks to Denise Hardy for your support and believing in me. linkedin.com/in/denise-hardy-30a51086

Music by AudioCoffee


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Boots Knighton: [:

I am so grateful. Nurse Georgie moved to Jackson, Wyoming during the pandemic and started up her own business. So courageous in the Tetons to bring a higher quality of life to people who are willing to give it a try. Cause you have to be willing to choose health, and you have to be willing to put your health first.

So nurse Georgie, welcome to the podcast.

ank you so much. Boots. it's [:

and so it's an honor for me to get to like witness that and, and help you in, in any way possible,

Boots Knighton: Well, thank you. And I, I really felt like when I first walked into your office, I wanted to introduce myself as a dumpster fire , because I feel like I was like playing this GA game of Whack-a-Mole.

surgery. And in the process [:

And so I was under an incredible amount of stress, and plus all of that happened during Covid and our democracy kind of. On being under threat and then the threat of nuclear war with Ukraine and Russia. I mean, we're just not immune to all these outside stressors plus the inside stressors. And so my body just felt like it had been under siege for a while.

And so, I stumbled into Georgie's office, via my amazing physical therapist and. Georgie and I just kind of hit the ground running and I felt like you and I were like peas and carrots from the start. . Not that I really like peas, but you know, we went together, well

Nurse Georgi: together well and Yeah, if you don't, mind me saying like, you know what you said at that first, at that first session, you basically were like, I'm not sure what I wanna do or what I don't wanna do yet.

And, I was like, okay, [:

Boots Knighton: and I really didn't know what I was signing up for. And listeners, if you stick with me long enough, you'll come to realize that like I have. Uncanny sixth senses. And I feel like I have, like, I walk around with like a little angel on my shoulder all the time, kind of like directing me and where I need to go.

And I, especially since heart surgery, I've just been turned into like this barometer and I can just sense things, with so much I like, my awareness is just so much more acute. And so I just knew I needed to see Georgie, but I wasn't exactly sure why. And little did I know how much my life would change for.

ist. And she is a nationally [:

She's got a Bachelor of science degree in health sciences from the University of Minnesota. She also has another degree in nursing sciences from Sacred Heart University. She can treat. Whatever ailment it seems like you have. For me in particular, I have I b s, which is just a separate super fun thing to deal with

but then also talk about dumpster fire. when I showed up in her office, I had water retention. My cortisol was okay, but my estrogen was all outta. And she was able to pinpoint that when other, like places couldn't, I mean, even the Mayo Clinic missed it. And so she, she really knows her stuff and so we're gonna kind of dive into my case a little bit.

elp. People heal. and I want [:

Boots Knighton: So I'll stop gabbing and let Georgie take the mic because she's a wealth of knowledge. Thank

Nurse Georgi: you so much, boots. did you want me to, what did you want me to start off talking about in terms of the whole process? , what's your vision?

Boots Knighton: Well, let's, my vision is like, let's start with like my detox because I make up that most open heart surgery patients would benefit from that.

s they put in your body. And [:

it just is a lot for the body. So let's, let's kick off with that.

Nurse Georgi: Okay. I love that. yeah, I think that, the way I was trained, Was kind of interesting. So right as I got out of college, with a bachelor's in health sciences, I met, my ex-husband and my ex-husband is a functional medicine doctor.

and much like you boots, I had, , I had my own stuff going on and I had really tried with modern and Western, medical providers and practitioners to really, get my body back to the way I knew it should be. you know, much like you, I b s, , I had all these other health problems as well, and I was just kind of being thrown on all these medications and no one was really giving me answers or, or telling me why they thought I was going through all of these health problems at such a young age.

it was my skin, my [:

Nurse Georgi: And that waste can be from chemicals in our atmosphere. it can be from pharmaceutical medications. and when I say chemicals in our atmosphere, we sink antibiotics in our water supply, birth control that seeps into our water supply. cleaning agents that we use, to industrial industrially clean our water.

chlorines, Fluorides, other types of bromides,exhaust in our air. Like there's a million different ways at which chemicals can come at us through our environment. hormones in our meat, heavy metals and fish, and none of it's there on purpose. Like, no one's like putting it there to harm us.

te. Synthetic and inorganic. [:

like evolution doesn't kick in, in a hundred years or whatever. We're in a position where we're seeing all of these symptoms and syndromes of chronic toxicity. and through my training it became very, very clear that when you toxify the body, You need to detoxify the body because stuff doesn't just like get eliminated on its own.

or it can cause immunological reactions. chronic headaches, chronic fatigue, I b s, anxiety, insomnia, skin issues. fatty liver disease, fatty liver disease is like, if it's not an alcoholic is now being seen as, a disease of too much sugar and processed foods.

s. and mm-hmm. . So you look [:

And I don't treat symptoms, but I support my patient in where I see they need that support. And I would say most of the time, you know, there's, symptom resolution as a side effect of, supporting the system with nutrition. when we look at, well, how do we support the patient with what nutrition specifically, with what nutrients specifically,it's about doing a thorough,medical history.

trogens were really, really, [:

and in medicine we looked. Estrogen dominance, can cause, symptoms that, you know, of anxiety,I b s, inflammation. and so when we were structuring out your detox, Specifically, you know, we were like, okay, we wanna get the inflammation out of your body. We wanna support your gut health, and we wanna help support the elimination of unwanted estrogens.

Nurse Georgi: Estrogens are interesting because we get estrogens from, endogenous estrogens that we produce from, our female sex or organs, but we also get estrogens from our environment, a lot of synthetic, manmade chemical. Are treated as estrogens in our body because chemically and molecularly, they are very similar.

ogen molecule docks onto the [:

When the estrogen is done, it unicks it un undos. It's supposed to go to the liver for processing and elimination out of the body. What happens with some of these synthetic estrogens? Like, for example, pesticides. Pesticides are treated like estrogens in our body. They can dock on hormone cell receptor sites and create weak responses.

it's not as direct as a normal estrogen molecule that we produce. Still kind of running around in the body. And I always tell people, it's kind of like a kid pushing buttons in a control room, right? Like, you don't want a child running around in a control room pushing buttons.

s and having cells do things [:

So we end up, they

Boots Knighton: sound really like naughty estrogens, .

Nurse Georgi: Yes, they are exactly like naughty estrogens. Mm-hmm. and. The problem. And so, when with you, when we ran your Dutch test, we saw that your estrogens were, were really high. And that can be because of environmental estrogens, or it can be because sometimes the body's under stress.

sometimes the body is producing the right amount of estrogen, but not eliminating the right amount of estrogen. So, testing is not truly at a point where we can say, precisely why your estrogens were so high. But those are just some of the reasons as to why estrogens can, can keep climbing.

o we did that with, chemical [:

Nurse Georgi: We started with just half a scoop of the estrogen of the hormone balance product. Right.

Boots Knighton: actually a fourth of a scoop and even before that you had me on the calcium derate to start, and I mean, we like really just, were dipping our toes in the water and it was incredible how my body responded just with even a fourth of a scoop.


and I dropped like six pounds of weight within like a week and a half. I mean, it was, it was startling. How responsive my body was.

ing detox and they will kind [:

But that can be too much for people who are sensitive or who've been through a lot. And so instead of kind of like driving detoxification processes in the. . What we do is we kind of bind unwanted estrogens first in the colon with a supplement called Calcium de Glucarate, and calcium de glucarate kind of grabs onto estrogens in the colon, which otherwise might be recycled up into the body.

And so in a more sensitive client, like that's usually the way to go, is you just start off with a calcium derate to kind of prep the body in eliminating some of those estrogen. But not pushing too hard. And then once someone's used to the calcium derate, you introduce, a product that from Nutrition Dynamics or Neutro.

turing procedures. they test [:

Nurse Georgi: And they have a, a, a shake a powder that turns into a shake in their line called Hormone Balance. and hormone balance has things like, dim, and cruciferous vegetable extracts that are known to naturally help the body eliminate, unwanted estrogens or, naughty estro. , you called them

One of the things that happens when our body is holding onto compounds it shouldn't hold onto is that it ends up having us retain that, that process. aids in us retaining water. And so, we're retaining water because you were retaining water specifically because your hormones were imbalanced.

hat we see is, is this water [:

Like you didn't have heavy metal issues. But back east, like when I was working, at my old medical practice, we saw a lot of, a lot more heavy metal exposure than we do here in Wyoming. And, people would be retaining water. And when we use. Different nutritional compounds to help release heavy metals from the system.

Not only w were their blood values of mercury and aluminum and, arsenic and lead come down, but their body composition would change though the water in their body would be eliminated. the body would finally feel safe letting go of all this bloat and water attention as it also released, proportionately toxins and, and waste products.

know, right on the border of [:

but I'm thinking about all the other listeners of the Heart Chamber Podcast who maybe live in big cities and here they're going into heart surgery or recovering, and they have all this other load on their bodies that would keep them from healing really well. And I just, I want, everyone to have access to, the best chance possible to coming outta heart surgery better than before.

Boots Knighton: I really believe that can happen. . Yeah.

Nurse Georgi: I think that,one of the things that, I. is really helpful is like, before you're going into surgery, there's tests that are ran, from the medical team at the, at the hospital or operating surgeon and they wanna see that, your blood labs look.

from going into surgery. But [:

if we were like, no, let's, let's look at my patient's B vitamin status. Let's look at my patient's vitamin D. Hey, I wonder if they do have heavy metals. let's look at their inflammation. Let's look at their, high,H S C R P, high sensitive C R P, which is cardiac inflammation, on a, a much finer scale.

Mm-hmm. than the macro scale that we currently look at cardiac inflammation on in a hospital, different would surgical outcomes be if we not only said, oh great, my patient has nothing critically wrong with them, let's pop 'em into surgery. If instead we were saying, let's run a nutrient panel.

Let's look at my patient's inflammation. my patient has two weeks before surgery. in many instances more. if it's elective and you. Look at, look at inflammation and iron and ferritin and all these different markers that speak to the current state of the client's health, far beyond, critical values.

and their mind for surgery. [:

But in health we say chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are the three most stressful things that you can do to the body. And so, When we're moving, or when we know someone's gonna die or perhaps when we're going through a divorce, there are all these things that we can do, therapy, talking to a friend, journaling,hiring different types of experts to, to be on our team to help us through.

But people don't really think of that right before they're going into surgery. And, and I think it would be a lot different if if, if we changed that paradigm.

Boots Knighton: Wow. amazing. Yes. I can't agree more. And when I was prepping for surgery, I had to wait because of Covid and. . It gave me a lot of time to work with my therapist on the emotional, mental piece, which I think was why I had such a successful surgery.

t had nothing to do with the [:

Without getting in into details. but you know, at least, at least all the CNAs felt very useful. I'll just leave it at that

They just felt like they had a big purpose with, with room three 17 in the P C U. yeah. Georgie, you and I are gonna start a movement. We are gonna help people go into heart surgery, like large and in charge. I mean, not large with like water bloat, but like information, right. Because that's everything.

yeah, they just, they, they [:

Nurse Georgi: To your point, like, we should start this movement. We should start this paradigm. Like, it would be a paradigm shift because, this is not taught in medical school. Like in nursing school, I had like one semester of nutrition.

Yeah. In medical school you have one semester of nutrition. there's not enough conversation about it right now to to have it. a thought. even like nutritionists, I see mm-hmm. dieticians getting out of getting a master's in nutrition and it's interesting, like I've had conversations with dieticians who've just gotten a master's in nutrition and they really have like, no idea about toxicity or inflammation or really even how to heal.

utri nutraceutical companies [:

But it's not even taught in school. So, it's not like. I feel like if more doctors knew like, oh, these tests were, these are the tests for inflammation. Oh, we should look at my client's hormones before surgery, like, make sure everything's balanced. if, if only they knew that that they might, start, but then it comes into question, insurance doesn't cover most of this.

Right? And so that's like another huge. taking time off of work, perhaps, quitting your job to undergo, cardiac surgery and then the stress that it puts on your body, like your family. And then, because alternative and holistic medicine isn't supported by our western, society.

It's not recognized by the insurance companies. And so these are all out of pocket expenses, which could be like, it's just own separate podcast of 30 episodes or something. Mm-hmm. . Oh yeah.

Knighton: Oh yeah. And I, I [:

Okay. That was exciting. . Yeah. but yeah. We'll, we'll do a part two someday, but, one thing I wanna go back to talk about is with Neutro and. Initially you put me on some supplements to help with inflammation, and I just wanna talk about how much that helped my heart pain, because I'm still dealing with like vasospasms, endothelial dysfunction.

tely start applying to their [:

Less chest pain post-surgery.

Nurse Georgi: Yeah, so what I would say is that, well, again, like I don't, I don't treat symptoms. I do like supportive nutritional care. Mm-hmm. , what I have found is that true, true. You want to reduce inflammation, in a certain number of ways. so one of the supplements that I just think is so underutilized is our omega-3 fatty acids.

grams of [:

Nurse Georgi: And the PRMs in fish in omega three s and in fish oil capsule are really kind of like finding inflammation and, and eating, eating away the inflammation in the system. and so for anyone who's undergone, major surgery, I always use PRMs, and. To really support, symptoms that can come with inflammation, like fluid retention and pain, scar pain and cardiac pain, any type of pain.

so I really like the omega-3 fatty acids for that. And,the PRMs,specifically within the larger, kind of like Omega supplement category. . And then I would say,curcumin, curcumin is a supplement that, rivals,Tylenol and Advil for pain. that's, another supplement that I really like to use.

gether, we also did,vitamin C:

so, you might have great vitamin C status, but then you might have surgery or get the flu or get a bacterial infection. And you know, we know that the, that the body spills a lot of vitamin C in its urine when it's fighting off infections because it's using the vitamin C. Yeah. Vitamin C.

more. and vitamin D is also [:

vitamin D is the only vitamin that our body. That's how important it is. We take raw ingredients from our external environment, sunlight, and we actually make synthesized vitamin D, but we can't make vitamin C or vitamin K or vitamin A or vitamin E or any, can't make herbs, can't make minerals. so vitamin D is so important that our body has literally learned to make it itself, whereas it has not done been able to do that from an evolutionary perspective with any other vitamin.

Nurse Georgi: So, and then, another vitamin that I'm huge on and it's is a vitamin B complex. and B vitamins are crucial at helping our liver detoxify. estrogenic compounds, toxic heavy metals,other, glyphosate, pesticides. B complex is so important at.

ion. We have an inflammatory [:

And if it's high, we. B vitamins in the client are low and that it could be a good idea to support, that high homocystine with, with a B vitamin. and that supporting homocystine and lowering is gonna actually also lower inflammation in the body. cuz it's kind of a sticky inflammatory protein that can, oxidize, cholesterol, and make cholesterol even stickier, which is not great for the heart as well.

So those I think, are probably the foundational ones. Did I leave any foundational ones out that you wanted to talk about?

Boots Knighton: I think that covers it and it's such a good start, besides like obviously eating a clean diet, not eating any processed foods. Yeah. you. And going as clean as you're, as you're able, this is a really good start.

And, for those [:

Nurse Georgi: think when you look at like Neutro compared to, well, let's see. So Neutro. Discounts on recurring orders, which I like. they do also have sales a few times a year, which is always when I tell my clients to like, stock up.

Like if you buy your Neutrogen products during a time when there's a sale, you are gonna be with that 20% off. You're gonna be paying about what you might pay at like a Whole Foods or something like, to get so they are a little bit more expensive. But if you, kind of watch when you buy them, I do like Nordic Naturals for fish oil. I think they do a really good job. they,pull out heavy metals and toxins from their products, which is the most important thing. Cause you don't wanna be introducing heavy metals into your system while you're trying to get your system healthier with a fish oil.

ble supplements at c b S for [:

Nurse Georgi: Or, one thing that's big in the supplement industry is called buffering. So you can buffer. Vitamins with minerals to increase the absorbative capacity of the body. And so a lot of times when you're buying supplements that are less costly, they're not buffered with things that will make them as bioavailable to your body.

Mm-hmm. So, but I think nature's made To good supplements at C B s, that are, pretty decent. And Will, will definitely like do the job. if you're trying to save a little bit of money, I would certainly look into those two.

Boots Knighton: Great, thanks for that breakdown. And, I've just come to the acceptance that.

pay a little bit more to get [:

Boots Knighton: And I just want to. Give that to everybody else. It's like, I feel like I have found the person, Georgie, and like the supplement that has really helped me through what felt like a very hopeless, difficult time in my life. And real quickly, I just wanna also touch on the detox part. like I said, Several minutes ago, I didn't know why I needed to go to Nurse Georgie.

et tall and I'm very petite. [:

I was still trying to get outside even though my heart was limiting me. And so I think that was probably the main driver to get into Georgie's office. But what I wasn't prepared for was when I did the detox, not only did I have this intense physical detox that Georgie was so gentle and leading me through, thank goodness I have a really good therapist because I also had to emotionally and mentally detox.

and as hard as it was when I came out the other side, it was like I had become like this enlightened being. I didn't realize how much the toxins in my body were weighing me down and how even though I had talked and talked and talked about my surgeries, it was still really hard and my mom died in the process and.

ortive nut and very informed [:

To people what I've had the opportunity to experience to help me be my best post heart surgery.

Nurse Georgi: I love that. I love that. I think that like the, the therapy portion is also like so huge because it's like so many people just try to white knuckle through and like, Be strong and like get through it.

And like when you're holding everything in, like that can make you sicker than anything, So I think that like mm-hmm. , talking about it with people and like speaking to a therapist and like having your friends and working out, like getting that like, your endorphins going and,it's, , it's important.

A supplement, that's like to [:

so yeah, I'm just really, It's great to be on this podcast and to continue being a part of the healing, you know, not just for you, but for other patients who will be listening, other people who will be listening.

Boots Knighton: Thank you. And you know, in the show notes I'll include ways to get in touch with Georgie if you want.

She does incredible like, telehealth and she has an amazing assistant and it's. and you could also just take a trip to the Tetons, and come see her in Jackson, Wyoming. you will not be disappointed, I promise. And so we'll have more information there. But, Georgie, anything else? You're, just itching to tell our listeners today?

you're someone who's relied [:

if it's me, great, it's just a really fun, cool community that I'm like blessed to be a part of. And, um, it's really great, to see that, the field is kind of taking off and getting a lot more recognition than it did when I got into it, some years back.

Nurse Georgi: So, yeah. That's it.

Boots Knighton: Great. Well, thank you so much for letting me steal a little snippet of your time today. Georgie is busy like thriving in her practice. She's helping so many people and so I feel really lucky that she shared an hour of her time with us today. So thank you so much, Georgie.

Thank you

Nurse Georgi: both. I will talk to you soon

oday. Thank you for spending [:

I want to hear from you. Lastly, don't forget to leave a review and make sure you subscribe so you never miss another Tuesday edition of the heart Chamber. Thanks again. Have a great week, and I'll be back next week with more stories of open heart surgery and recovery.


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About the Podcast

The Heart Chamber
Conversations on open-heart surgery from the patients' perspective
**The name of this podcast is changing on June 4, 2024. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss the announcement!** Join Boots Knighton every Tuesday for conversations on open-heart surgery from the patient perspective. Boots explores the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual experiences of surgery with fellow heart patients and health care providers. This podcast aims to help patients feel less overwhelmed so you can get on with living your best life after surgery. You not only deserve to survive open-heart surgery, you deserve to THRIVE!
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