Our #boobyluv interview series continues with this conversation with nutrition and wellness expert Josh Gitalis.
Josh Gitalis, Clinical Nutritionist, is a recognized expert in the fields of clinical detoxification and therapeutic supplementation. He runs a Toronto-based, private practice, with a worldwide client base. As a leader in his field, Josh teaches Clinical Nutrition for several natural health colleges and is the first Canadian nutritionist to be accepted into the Institute of Functional Medicine where he is currently pursuing his certification as an Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP). Josh is a noted expert for various media outlets including CTV News and CityTV. Connect with Josh on Social Media: Twitter (@JoshGitalis) and Facebook (JoshGitalisClinicalNutritionist).
It seems like everyone is aware of the pink ribbon campaign and breast cancer awareness activities that take place in October. The messages that proliferate are about coping with a diagnosis, finding a cure. We share a common interest in shifting that conversation to “prevention.” What does prevention mean to you?
When it comes to health, ignorance is not bliss, ignorance is actually dangerous. I’m a big supporter of finding out as much information as you can to determine any risk factors, and then carrying out the appropriate therapies. There are so many efficacious tools to offer women and men, that are not offered by the allopathic medical system. For example, individuals should analyze their dietary and lifestyle habits to determine if their choices are building health or building disease. Beyond that there are modalities like thermography and many useful functional lab tests that can analyze hormone metabolism, genetic susceptibilities, and detoxification pathways.
And why are you passionate about breast health, and women living healthy vibrant lives?
I believe it’s everyone’s birthright to live the healthiest life possible so they have a solid foundation for being able to realize their hopes and dreams.
Too often we talk about breasts only in two (maybe three) contexts: female sexuality, usually as it is contained by male sexuality; and when something goes wrong with breast health – namely breast cancer (maybe we talk about breastfeeding, usually when it has been shunned publicly). Why do you think there is a silence around talking about breasts outside of
I think this is a case of “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.” There are groups that are more vocal about breast pathologies, and the sexual aspects, and they have huge amounts of dollars backing them. It is difficult to compete with their power. This is why it is essential for people to take control of their own health and empower themselves with the right information.
We believe that women are unsure of their breasts, and that for many women, their breasts are a source of fear. Perhaps pink ribbon campaigns are in part responsible for this fear, perhaps there is a fear of the sexuality of breasts, or of the power women can hold. Many women are not used to touching their breasts even. What is your opinion of our culture of breast fear?
I don’t think it is due to a lack of information, but we need more of a focus on the right information. Focusing on prevention and maintenace is empowering. Applied knowledge is empowering. So if we can educate and then inspire action, then the action alone will help to dissolve individual’s fear.
Imagine yourself talking with a young girl about body image, body health and growing into a conscientious woman. What would you impart to the conversation of breasts?
If it was my daughter I would educate her on the risk factors associated with breast pathologies like smoking, drinking, the birth control pill, eating processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and lack of exercise. Then I would arm her with a long-term preventative plan. For example, eating a nutrient-dense diet, focusing on cruciferous vegetables for hormone balance, getting hormone metabolites checked, doing regular self breast exams, and much more.
How has breast health, or breast disease touched your life. In what personal ways are you invested in projects that raise awareness of breast health?
My work is to help women achieve optimal health. The breast are only one part of the big picture. I always evaluate a client as a whole. I have seen women with breast pathologies, but it has never actually been about the breast, it has been about the whole person.
Leave us with a final word. When we say “breasts” you say:
Part of an ecosystem requiring balance of mind, body and spirit for health of the whole.
Read our past #boobyluv interviews:
Join us here in the coming weeks for more #boobyluv interviews.
I’m learning how to release the fear and love my breasts with the #boobyluv interview series.