334 episodes

The Nourish Balance Thrive podcast is designed to help you perform better. Christopher Kelly, your host, is co-founder of Nourish Balance Thrive, an online clinic using advanced biochemical testing to optimize performance in athletes. On the podcast, Chris interviews leading minds in medicine, nutrition and health, as well as world-class athletes and members of the NBT team, to give you up-to-date information on the lifestyle changes and personalized techniques being used to make people go faster – from weekend warriors to Olympians and world champions.

Nourish Balance Thriv‪e‬ Christopher Kelly

    • Fitness
    • 4.7 • 240 Ratings

The Nourish Balance Thrive podcast is designed to help you perform better. Christopher Kelly, your host, is co-founder of Nourish Balance Thrive, an online clinic using advanced biochemical testing to optimize performance in athletes. On the podcast, Chris interviews leading minds in medicine, nutrition and health, as well as world-class athletes and members of the NBT team, to give you up-to-date information on the lifestyle changes and personalized techniques being used to make people go faster – from weekend warriors to Olympians and world champions.

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The Best Sources, Benefits, and How To Get Enough

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The Best Sources, Benefits, and How To Get Enough

    It would be hard to find any health practitioner - traditional, functional, or otherwise - who doesn’t acknowledge the importance of consuming omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements in the form of fish oil or krill oil are widely recommended and consumed, and come with claims of cardiovascular disease prevention, cognitive benefits, and anti-inflammatory properties. But is it really a good idea to get your omega-3s in a gel cap rather than from food? And do they really do everything the media would have you believe?
    On this podcast, NBT Scientific Director Megan Hall and I discuss omega-3 fatty acids: what they are, what they’re good for, and the best ways to get them. Megan outlines the different types of omega-3 and explains why some are better than others. She also explains why some health claims are overblown, and why buying fish oil supplements may not be the best health strategy.
    Be sure to follow along with Megan’s outline for this podcast. 
    Here’s the outline of this interview with Megan Hall:
    [00:04:30] Blood flow restriction (BFR) training; Podcast: Blood Flow Restriction Training for Improved Strength, Performance, and Healthspan with Dr Jim Stray-Gundersen MD.
    [00:04:51] Podcast: Wired to Run: Why Your Brain Needs Exercise, David Raichlen.
    [00:05:41] What are omega-3 fatty acids?
    [00:06:31] Picture of omega-3 fatty acids.
    [00:08:40] Finding omega-3s in the diet; Review: Saini, Ramesh Kumar, and Young-Soo Keum. "Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids: Dietary sources, metabolism, and significance—A review." Life sciences 203 (2018): 255-267.
    [00:09:16] Poor conversion from ALA to EPA/DHA: Gerster, Helga. "Can adults adequately convert a-linolenic acid (18: 3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20: 5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22: 6n-3)?." International journal for vitamin and nutrition research 68.3 (1998): 159-173.
    [00:10:56] Why EPA and DHA are important.
    [00:11:38] Conditions associated with inadequate omega-3 intake.
    [00:12:02] Whole foods vs. supplements; other micronutrients.
    [00:12:42] Krill oil vs. fish oil; Studies: 1. Ulven, Stine M., et al. "Metabolic effects of krill oil are essentially similar to those of fish oil but at lower dose of EPA and DHA, in healthy volunteers." Lipids 46.1 (2011): 37-46. 2. Schuchardt, Jan Philipp, et al. "Incorporation of EPA and DHA into plasma phospholipids in response to different omega-3 fatty acid formulations-a comparative bioavailability study of fish oil vs. krill oil." Lipids in health and disease 10.1 (2011): 1-7. 3. Maki, Kevin C., et al. "Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in overweight and obese men and women." Nutrition research 29.9 (2009): 609-615. 4. Mödinger, Yvonne, et al. "Plasma kinetics of choline and choline metabolites after a single dose of SuperbaBoostTM krill oil or choline bitartrate in healthy volunteers." Nutrients 11.10 (2019): 2548.
    [00:16:59] Megan's outline for this podcast.
    [00:18:21] Algae-based omega-3 supplements.
    [00:19:40] Omega 6:3 ratio; Paper: Simopoulos, Artemis P. "The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids." Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy 56.8 (2002): 365-379.
    [00:25:54] Should we be supplementing with grams of fish oil? Studies: 1. De Magalhães, João Pedro, et al. "Fish oil supplements, longevity and aging." Aging (Albany NY) 8.8 (2016): 1578. 2. Strong, Randy, et al. "Longer lifespan in male mice treated with a weakly estrogenic agonist, an antioxidant, an α‐glucosidase inhibitor or a Nrf2‐inducer." Aging cell 15.5 (2016): 872-884. 3. López-Domínguez, José A., et al. "The influence of dietary fat source on life span in calorie restricted mice." Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences 70.10 (2015): 1181-1188.
    [00:27:42] No support for omega-3 (f

    • 52 min
    How to Use SOMA Breathwork to Relieve Stress and Improve Your Health and Performance

    How to Use SOMA Breathwork to Relieve Stress and Improve Your Health and Performance

    It’s been about five years since Advanced Biomechanics Coach Nigel McHollan last joined me on the podcast to talk about bike fit. Certified as a Primal Health Coach, a SOMA Breath Work Meditation Instructor, and Level 4 Strength and Conditioning Coach, Nigel has since developed and deepened his health and wellness practice. Also with us today is Certified Health Coach and SOMA Breathwork Instructor, Kara Lynn Kelly.
    On this podcast, Nigel and Kara discuss breathwork and it’s many benefits including stress relief and improved overall health, as well as altered states of consciousness. We compare some of the different types of breathwork to choose from, and also look at some of the beneficial aspects of nasal breathing - yes, even during exercise and sport. Kara also guides us through a short breathwork session right here on the podcast so you can get a sense of it’s calming and centring effects. See how you feel after just a 10-minute session!
    I’m excited to announce that Nourish Balance Thrive has partnered with Nigel and Kara to offer a live eight-week Energised Meditation breathwork group program beginning March 4, 2021. Click here to sign up.
    Here’s the outline of this interview with Nigel McHollan and Kara Kelly: [00:00:11] Nigel’s previous appearance on the podcast: Bike fit done right with Nigel McHollan.
    [00:00:47] Book: Back mechanic by Stuart McGill.
    [00:01:08] Stuart McGill on STEM Talk and interviewed by Greg Potter.
    [00:05:00] Soma breathwork.
    [00:06:15] Kelly's introduction to breathwork.
    [00:09:27] Influence of CO2 on the Default mode network (DMN). Study: Xu, Feng, et al. "The influence of carbon dioxide on brain activity and metabolism in conscious humans." Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 31.1 (2011): 58-67.
    [00:10:15] Anatomy of a breathwork session.
    [00:12:30] Biochemistry behind breathwork experiences.
    [00:15:12] Comparing different breathwork techniques.
    [00:17:42] Setting of intentions.
    [00:17:53] Stanislav Grav: Holotropic breathwork.
    [00:18:09] Podcast: How to Fix Your Breathing to Improve Your Health, with James Nestor. Book: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor.
    [00:18:15] Book: The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name, by Brian C. Muraresku.
    [00:18:53] Pranayama vs. Soma; Article: What Is Breathwork? Explanation Of Different Breathing Techniques Vs. Pranayama.
    [00:19:19] Niraj Naik, founder of Soma.
    [00:20:10] Progressive Muscle Relaxation
    [00:20:54] Books by Yogani: Deep Meditation - Pathway to Personal Freedom and Spinal Breathing Pranayama - Journey to Inner Space.
    [00:24:44] Joe Dispenza.
    [00:25:13] Field Coherence.
    [00:26:40] Muscular Bonding.
    [00:29:54] Book: The story of the human body by Daniel Lieberman.
    [00:30:59] Podcast: Wired to Run: Why Your Brain Needs Exercise, with David Raichlen, PhD.
    [00:34:15] Mouth taping.
    [00:34:47] Dr. Phil Maffetone.
    [00:35:07] Patrick McKeown on nasal breathing. Book: The Oxygen Advantage: The simple, scientifically proven breathing technique that will revolutionise your health and fitness, by Patrick McKeown.
    [00:36:04] Bohr effect.
    [00:37:37] Sweet Beat App.
    [00:39:15] Elite HRV; CorSense.
    [00:40:00] Sample breathwork session.
    [00:53:22] Do a breath retention time test first thing in the AM.
    [00:55:04] Sign up for the 8-week Energised Meditation group program.
    [00:55:17] Find Kara on Facebook; Find Nigel on Facebook/Messenger; Nigel’s website.

    • 59 min
    Why Sleep Is Critical for Immune Health

    Why Sleep Is Critical for Immune Health

    There’s no doubt this is a time of uncertainty. COVID-19 has changed the way most of us live, and it’s not clear when or if we’ll be able to resume the activities we took for granted just a year ago. Rather than waiting for the government to figure it all out, our best defence against infectious disease is optimising metabolic health and immune function. For that, sleep is arguably the keystone behaviour.
    Today I’m joined again by our resident sleep expert, Greg Potter, PhD to talk about the effects of sleep on the immune system. Greg explains how poor sleep and sleep disorders profoundly impact the body’s ability to combat infections, including the common cold, pneumonia, and COVID-19. He also discusses the importance of getting enough sleep in the days leading up to vaccination and offers pandemic-specific tips for better sleep.
    Here’s the outline of this interview with Greg Potter: [00:02:01] Resilient Nutrition; Long Range Fuel.
    [00:07:05] Changes in sleep since COVID.
    [00:08:50] COVID dreams.
    [00:11:19] Changes in sleep timing and patterns.
    [00:11:45] Effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on sleep and activity; Study: Blume, Christine, Marlene H. Schmidt, and Christian Cajochen. "Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on human sleep and rest-activity rhythms." Current Biology 30.14 (2020): R795-R797.
    [00:12:34] Changes in sleep behaviors amongst university students; Study: Wright Jr, Kenneth P., et al. "Sleep in university students prior to and during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders." Current Biology 30.14 (2020): R797-R798.
    [00:13:17] Sleep disorders; insomnia.
    [00:13:36] Greg’s previous podcasts on entraining circadian rhythm: How to Entrain Your Circadian Rhythm for Perfect Sleep and Metabolic Health and time cues: Morning Larks and Night Owls: the Biology of Chronotypes
    [00:14:15] Sleep apnea.
    [00:15:23] Sleep apnea associated with increased mortality due to COVID-19; Study: McSharry, David, Michael T. Lam, and Atul Malhotra. "OSA as a probable risk factor for severe COVID-19." Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 16.9 (2020): 1649-1649.
    [00:16:11] Sleep apnea treatment; continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
    [00:21:13] How the immune system works.
    [00:24:50] TNF-alpha blockers improve sleep in rheumatoid arthritis; Detert, Jacqueline, et al. "Effects of treatment with etanercept versus methotrexate on sleep quality, fatigue and selected immune parameters in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis." Clin Exp Rheumatol 34.5 (2016): 848-856.
    [00:32:23] Cytokine storms.
    [00:33:38] Mice more susceptible to infection administered during sleep hours; Study: Lundy, Stephanie R., et al. "Effect of time of day of infection on Chlamydia infectivity and pathogenesis." Scientific reports 9.1 (2019): 1-12.
    [00:34:37] Better response to BCG vaccine when administered in the morning; Study: de Bree, L. Charlotte J., et al. "Circadian rhythm influences induction of trained immunity by BCG vaccination." The Journal of clinical investigation 130.10 (2020): 5603-5617.
    [00:35:19] Different dimensions of sleep: SATED - satisfaction, alertness, timing, efficiency, duration.
    [00:37:58] Associations between sleep and chronic disease.
    [00:39:20] People who report short sleep are at higher risk of metabolic syndrome; Meta analyses: 1. Xi, Bo, et al. "Short sleep duration predicts risk of metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Sleep medicine reviews 18.4 (2014): 293-297; 2. Iftikhar, Imran H., et al. "Sleep duration and metabolic syndrome. An updated dose–risk metaanalysis." Annals of the American Thoracic Society 12.9 (2015): 1364-1372; 3. Lian, Ying, et al. "Association between sleep quality and metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Psychiatry research 274 (2019): 66-74.
    [00:40:02] Sleep disturbance as a risk factor for type-2 diabetes; Meta analysis: Wang, Fe

    • 1 hr 34 min
    How to Automatically Adapt Your Training Plan

    How to Automatically Adapt Your Training Plan

    Paul Laursen, PhD is an athlete, author, endurance coach, high-performance consultant and entrepreneur. He’s published over 125 peer-reviewed papers in exercise and sports science journals, and his work has been cited more than 8,000 times. We’ve had Paul on the podcast before to talk about High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), as described in his book and brought to life in his online course. 
    On this podcast, Paul describes how he’s taken HIIT training to a new level by creating the Athletica software, to help athletes train smarter, not harder. Using the principles in his book, this software can adapt a plan based on your current fitness levels, goals, training sessions and life. As an athlete and software developer, I couldn’t resist asking Paul some tough questions about how it all works.
    Here’s the outline of this interview with Paul Laursen: [00:02:56] Paul's previous podcasts: Why Do and How to High Intensity Interval Training and Science and Application of High Intensity Interval Training.
    [00:03:08] Paul’s Book: Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training: Solutions to the Programming Puzzle and video training course.
    [00:03:22] High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - periods of exercise in your red zone.
    [00:04:25] Why to do HIIT.
    [00:05:41] Book:  Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life, by Joe Friel.
    [00:06:21] STEM Talk Podcast: Episode 116: Marcas Bamman on the many benefits of exercise and strength training.
    [00:07:58] David Raichlen podcast: Wired to Run: Why Your Brain Needs Exercise.
    [00:09:18] Athletica.ai.
    [00:21:33] The role of the human coaching relationship.
    [00:24:40] Figuring subjective experience into recommended training; Sentiment analysis.
    [00:28:41] Integrating software.
    [00:30:24] Strava 2020 Year in Sport report.
    [00:31:42] Garmin ecosystem; Garmin Connect.
    [00:35:04] Oura ring; HRV4Training app.
    [00:41:13] Book: The Best Interface is No Interface, by Golden Krishna.
    [00:41:54] Sports serviced by the software.
    [00:47:14] HIIT science website.
    [00:48:05] Ambassador program.

    • 51 min
    Understanding Histamine Intolerance: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

    Understanding Histamine Intolerance: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

    Over time we’ve seen an increasing number of clients come to us with symptoms of histamine intolerance, including seasonal allergies, headaches, skin issues and digestive problems. And although doctors would likely treat these as separate conditions, we believe common root causes are certainly at play. We’ve learned that histamine problems often originate in the gut, but environmental and lifestyle factors can definitely make them worse.
    On this podcast, NBT Scientific Director and coach Megan Hall and I discuss histamine intolerance, including causes, symptoms, and potential treatments. We talk about why this condition is difficult to diagnose, and some of the signs that suggest your “histamine bucket” is overflowing. Megan describes the best options for fixing the problem at the source, including diet, supplements, and environmental changes.
    Be sure to see the show notes to get the outline Megan wrote to prepare for this podcast. It’s an excellent resource for anyone who has seasonal allergies or suspects they may have histamine intolerance.
    Here’s the outline of this interview with Megan Hall: [00:01:10] Chris's history with histamine.
    [00:03:32] Methylation.
    [00:03:59] What is histamine?
    [00:05:55] Symptoms of histamine intolerance.
    [00:07:21] Causes of histamine intolerance.
    [00:08:19] Enzymes that break down histamine.
    [00:09:41] Outline for this podcast.
    [00:11:04] Lucy Mailing, PhD.; Podcasts: How to Optimise Your Gut Microbiome and Microbiome Myths and Misconceptions.
    [00:11:16] Lucy Mailing’s blog post: The oxygen-gut dysbiosis connection; Study: Schink, M., et al. "Microbial patterns in patients with histamine intolerance." J Physiol Pharmacol 69.4 (2018): 579-93.
    [00:12:11] Effects of stress.
    [00:13:49] The Coping Resilience and Mental Toughness Workshop with Simon Marshall, PhD and triathlete Lesley Paterson.
    [00:14:05] Estrogen excess.
    [00:15:59] Book: The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease, by Daniel Lieberman.
    [00:16:41] Impact of genetic polymorphisms.
    [00:17:37] The histamine "bucket" and individual tolerance.
    [00:18:20] Testing for histamine intolerance.
    [00:21:00] What to do if you're sensitive to histamine (or have allergies).
    [00:21:28] Supplements: mast cell stabilizers, antihistamines, DAO enzyme; Study: Schnedl, Wolfgang J., et al. "Diamine oxidase supplementation improves symptoms in patients with histamine intolerance." Food science and biotechnology 28.6 (2019): 1779-1784.
    [00:22:24] Thorne Quercetin Phytosome; Study: Riva, Antonella, et al. "Improved oral absorption of quercetin from quercetin phytosome®, a new delivery system based on food grade lecithin." European journal of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics 44.2 (2019): 169-177.
    [00:23:05] Over the counter antihistamines.
    [00:24:01] Dietary restriction (short term).
    [00:24:33] No perfect food elimination list; Paper: Martin, I. San Mauro, S. Brachero, and E. Garicano Vilar. "Histamine intolerance and dietary management: A complete review." Allergologia et immunopathologia 44.5 (2016): 475-483.
    [00:27:40] Stress; Study: Eutamene, Helene, et al. "Acute stress modulates the histamine content of mast cells in the gastrointestinal tract through interleukin‐1 and corticotropin‐releasing factor release in rats." The Journal of physiology 553.3 (2003): 959-966.
    [00:29:08] High priority: fixing the gut.
    [00:29:22] Paleo Diet; Book: The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat, by Loren Cordain.
    [00:29:25] Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
    [00:29:44] Gut testing.
    [00:30:10] Enteromend, GI-Revive, SBI Protect, herbal antimicrobials.
    [00:31:41] What didn't work for Chris.
    [00:34:22] Seasonal allergies.
    [00:36:58] Review papers on histamine: Maintz, Laura, and Natalija Novak. "Histamine and histamine intolerance." The Ame

    • 39 min
    The Nutrition and Science of Natural Bodybuilding

    The Nutrition and Science of Natural Bodybuilding

    Eric Helms, PhD is a New Zealand-based coach, athlete, author, and educator. A trainer since the early 2000s, he coaches drug-free strength and physique competitors at all levels. Eric has competed since the mid-2000s and earned pro status as a natural bodybuilder in 2011 and competes at international level events as an unequipped powerlifter. Eric has also published multiple peer-reviewed articles in exercise science and nutrition journals and writes for commercial fitness publications.
    On this podcast, Eric gives us a glimpse into the world of natural bodybuilding, including the cyclical weight loss and regain pattern required for competition in the sport, and the rigorous controls in place to prevent banned substance use amongst competitors. Eric explains why most people should probably not eat like a bodybuilder, and offers tips for athletes interested in optimizing body composition. He also describes the mindset needed to attain sustainable results in fitness and sport.
    Here’s the outline of this interview with Eric Helms: [00:00:29] Mikki Williden, PhD; NBT Podcast: Women Athletes: Nutrition, Supplementation, and Hormones; Mikki’s podcast, Mikkipedia.
    [00:00:31] Cliff Harvey, PhD; NBT Podcast: Finding a Carbohydrate-Appropriate Diet for Nutrition, Health, and Performance; Cliff’s podcast, The Carb-Appropriate Podcast.
    [00:00:59] Eric’s podcast: Iron Culture Podcast; MASS Research Review: Train Smarter With Science.
    [00:02:28] Natural bodybuilding.
    [00:09:28] Doping violations; Study: Engelberg, Terry, Stephen Moston, and James Skinner. "The final frontier of anti-doping: A study of athletes who have committed doping violations." Sport Management Review 18.2 (2015): 268-279.
    [00:12:23] Questions from Mike T Nelson, Megan Hall, and Zach Moore; Mike T Nelson’s appearances on the podcast: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    [00:12:40] Lifting performance vs. physique.
    [00:16:17] Nutrition and exercise for body building vs. healthy body composition.
    [00:22:42] Simultaneously losing fat and building muscle.
    [00:26:05] Reverse dieting and recovery.
    [00:32:16] Eating according to internal cues vs. tracking macros and calories.
    [00:37:22] Intuitive eating vs. mindful eating.
    [00:38:05] How much to eat to maintain or lose weight to avoid low energy availability.
    [00:38:40] Mark Sisson.
    [00:42:15] Video: The BEST Home Workout To Prevent Muscle Loss (And Even Build Some!) ft. Eric Helms.
    [00:45:30] Find Eric on Instagram and at 3D Muscle Journey.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
240 Ratings

240 Ratings

Stacey Shapiro ,

Excellent, informative and inspring

I am loving this podcast! Chris & Julia pack every episode with tons of amazing content, guests, and interviews that will motivate, uplift and inspire you. I highly recommend!

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcast!!!!

Chris  & Julia, host of the Nourish Balance Thrive podcast, highlights all aspects of alernative health and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

Jen.Szigeti ,


I am loving The Nourish Balance Thrive Podcast. Hosts, Chris and Julia jam pack every episode with tons of awesome content, interviews, and guest, covering all things health and wellness. I highly recommend! Keep it coming!

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