Endurance Cartel podcast

#006 - How does food influence our health? Eating habits we should get rid of! (with Dr Mickey Witte, nutritional neuroscientist and endurance athlete)

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Dr. Mickey Witte joins today’s episode of The Endurance Cartel in a discussion about the impact of food and eating habits on the quality of our lives.

Mickey is a Florida State University graduate with a PhD in nutritional neuroscience and a passionate endurance athlete. As a multiple triathlon competitor and two times Ironman racer, she was always dedicated to better understanding the importance of a healthy, balanced diet in relation to our bodies' performance.

We talk about how she discovered her passion for racing, how to identify what’s detrimental to your health in a world where processed food is already an addiction and how to listen to your body and its warning signals.



In today’s episode:


(00:50) Our guest, Dr Mickey Witte, a nutritional neuroscientist, university lecturer and endurance athlete;

(02:53) Concentrating her studies on the mechanisms of obesity and metabolism after being an overweight teenager;

(04:45) Finding her passion for running- competing in numerous triathlons and in two Ironman races;

(07:20) Applying her knowledge in nutritional science to her performance as an athlete- why there is so much confusion about nutrition and the detrimental effect certain foods have on our health;

(11:31) Paleo, keto, fasting, veganism- can your diet affect your health? Why do diets usually fail?

(17:36) How do you know when you’re hungry or full? Training your body to listen to your hunger cues.

(19:54) Every cell in our body has a circadian clock- does sleep deprivation influence our diet?

(23:33) Understanding the science behind your body’s performance- glucose monitoring;

(26:56) Do your research before deciding what diet best suits you;

(32:44) There’s a difference between body positivity and being complacent about your health- companies take advantage of the overweight models' trend;

(36:01) Blue zones- healthy habits in communities with the highest life expectancy;

(41:28) When endurance played a major role in her life- Mickey’s first Ironman race;

(46:34) Who inspired her to go that extra mile- leaning on her friends;

(49:48) Advice from Dr. Witte- how to be better prepared for life;

(52:44) Launching “Eat So Simple”- a program meant to help people with food addiction






“I trust experts, I have friends that are exercise physiologists.(...) I'm always asking those science questions because to me, that's truth (...)  science is meant to be unbiased.”


“There’s so much nutrition confusion out there as a result of many factors (...)  I’m not going to blame one given entity on the fact that we’ve got rising rates of overweight and obesity in this country and in the sport, but there are so many factors at play that make sure people continue to eat how they eat.”


“I've been for many years (an adept) of a whole food, plant-based diet and I’ve been that way for decades (...) The amount of fiber that we get from legumes, from plants which is the only place we can get fibre, is tremendous, is off the charts and is so good for us to consume that in a state where 60 % of people’s plate is ultra-processed food (...) I am scared for the state of our nation, for the chronic disease rates that continue to skyrocket, because ultra-processed means exactly that.”


“Intermittent fasting has been shown to be beneficial in various ways when it comes to metabolism, body weight regulation, blood sugar control, but people don’t apply it the way it was done in the studies (...) it’s frustrating because it’s misapplied and then it’s not effective because it’s not being utilized properly.”


“We have stretch receptors in our guts that actually detect fulness physically and they send a signal to the brain to say like you’re physically full and then chemical receptors as well that detect the influx of macronutrients, you know, carbohydrates, lipids and proteins (...) If we start ignoring those cues, we’re lost.”


“Every single cell in our body actually has a circadian clock, it functions in a circadian cycle (...) when you mess with that, every cell in your body gets confused. It craves that 24-hour synchronicity in order for everything to function optimally.” 


“Everyone deserves to feel good in their own skin and not feel ashamed, (but) there’s a line between feeling positive about who you are and living in your own skin (...) and promoting it. (...) I think (companies) see it as a marketing opportunity and consumers that they miss out on if they don’t target them.”



Links selected from this episode:



  • Ice Bucket Challenge- activity involving the pouring of a bucket of ice water over a person's head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Ironman- a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.2 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.2 km) run



  • Circadian rhythm- ​​a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours;


  • Whole foods- are generally characterized as foods that have not been processed, refined or had ingredients added to them




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