Hey, what’s up everybody, welcome back to another episode of the Author Hour Podcast. As always, I’m your host Gunnar Rogers. Selfishly, as a health enthusiast and somebody who is always fascinated by wellness tips and different things like that, this is a super fun episode that we have in store today, with the one and only, Dr. Chris Perron.
He’s been voted, the number one chiropractor in the City of Virginia as of this last year and his new book, The Simple Plan: 7 Habits for Healthy Living is available now on Amazon. Before you go purchase a copy, enjoy my conversation with chiropractor and newly-minted author, Dr. Chris Perron.
All right everybody, well, after a couple of fun technical difficulties, I am super excited to be joined today by Dr. Chris Perron, the author of the brand-new book, The Simple Plan: 7 Habits for Healthy Living. It’s available today on Amazon. Before you go purchase a copy though, Dr. Perron, thank you for joining us for this episode of Author Hour.
Chris Perron: Hey, my pleasure, Gunner. This is exciting, thanks for having me.
Gunnar Rogers: Hey, super excited as a fitness and health enthusiast myself, I’m selfishly excited to ask some questions and share your wisdom with our audience today.
Chris Perron: Absolutely. Let’s do it.
Gunnar Rogers: Got you. Well, off the bat, we were talking earlier before we started recording. The book is simple and the tips are simple but they’re also really crucial, because you talk about this in the book and you’re right, there is so much noise and so many different fad diets and advice and tips when it comes to wellness and healthy living today. To you, what is the most common healthy living and misconception that you see in the world or that you come across with your patients?
Healthy Living Misconception
Chris Perron: Sure. Most common and it fits all those categories you kind of touched on a little bit is, just that the latest, the greatest, the—you know, the highest tech, the most expensive, the most extreme and all those things get the attention for what they are, they’re extreme, they’re exciting, right? And the reality is that when you just bring it back down to basics, the basics work.
And it doesn’t mean that we couldn’t use a little bit of polish. The evolution of science to learn new things, fantastic, certainly, but if you just start with the core basics of a foundation of being healthy, then one, it is simpler, two, it’s a heck a lot cheaper, it’s way more effective and you find that you don’t need a lot of these high, hot tech things because you’re just polishing off maybe a little bit but you kind of sweep up. It’s like going after the roots of the tree, taking out the trunk first is going, “Let me get that leaf over there on that branch.”
Gunnar Rogers: Exactly. I love that. And for you personally, when did you begin your health journey and when did you begin to distill everything down to these seven simple habits?
Chris Perron: So my health journey, it’s funny when it’s said that way but it’s appropriate and I get it, I’ve kind always been pretty healthy as a person. Growing up, I played sports every season, I’m not saying I didn’t eat plenty of junk and went to the drive-through many, many, many times but you know, we live and we learn and we kind of build, you hope.
But as far as distilling this down, I’ve been practicing as a doctor of chiropractic for 26 years now and it’s really been through seeing the patients and continue education and the trial and error, because every patient you take care off really is an experiment, and so as you see what works, what doesn’t work, you see commonalities and so forth, you start to just put things together and then, unfortunately, a couple of years ago, my mother had a heart attack and she had a real one that felt terrible.
It’s called the widow maker because that’s what the odds are if you’re making it, but thank God, she did, and so when I was driving down to see her after the heart attack, I was spinning in my head, “How can I consolidate down a few key things, just to help my mom to be a bit healthier and my dad? So hopefully, we don’t have to take this path again anytime soon.” That was actually the beginning of what is now the simple plan, which was not ever intended to be the simple plan. It was intended to keep my mother around for a few more years.
Gunnar Rogers: Yeah, I love the origins of that and I do want to dig into both of those things really quick. I feel like in broad terms, parents in general aren’t known for receiving advice from their kids too well. So what was it like as you were making that drive down to see your mother to begin having this idea to just present to them, maybe some new health tips or new little habits implemented in their life. Was it scary, just what was going through your head and what were you feeling when you were thinking about doing that?
Chris Perron: For me, it was a matter of how do I literally make it simple enough, which is where the title obviously comes from now, to where it had to be something that, one, they can do without me there as a babysitter. So it has to be that, it has to be simple enough to understand by the lay person and then the other part is, it has to be something that is really a way of life that you don’t mind doing.
In fact, you might even enjoy doing, so that you’re up for doing it for the long-term because if you do some good for a little while, I mean, yeah, that’s good but it’s not going to last you and so this is all about, “All right, what’s are some long-term solution and to do things?” With regard to my parents, yeah we have a very strange relationship and then my parents actually do take my advice and I agree.
Gunnar Rogers: Got you.
Chris Perron: I don’t know if I had run into anybody else who has that situation.
Gunnar Rogers: You would say very smart then, kudos.
Chris Perron: I don’t know. Well, I want to have something in there but the main thing was with anybody, you know, the other person has to have the want, you know? It’s like, I can have all the give and I can have the want but the other party, my mom and dad in this case, they need to have their own buy in because otherwise, it’s just a neat idea and so you can’t make anybody do anything they don’t want to do.
So that was really my ticket and if there’s any, I guess, anxiousness about the message, it was just the hope that they would take me up on this and that I put the pressure on me if you will, to make it that simple, to make it so easy. It’s like, “Come on, just this” and yay, they took me up on it.
Gunnar Rogers: That’s awesome, and how relieving was it for you as their son to see that they were bought in and when did you really believe like, they’re fully bought in at this point.
Chris Perron: I felt that they were bought in right out of the gates. Now understandably, my mom was three days removed from almost dying and my dad was three days removed from almost having his wife pass away. So the motivation’s pretty high, you know? In those moments but I did set it up purposely for them as a 90-day thing. So in other words, it’s not asking for the rest of your life right now.
I’m just saying, “Here’s a few things to do. Come on, 90 days and let’s see what happens” and the cool thing was is that about four weeks in, their weight really started to drop and it just kind of kept going and going and I think about the eight week point, this is definitely the second, third month, when it really started to accelerate. My mom was calling me going, “Um, how much weight am I going to lose?” and I said, “Well, are you eating, you know, plenty?”
She’s like, “Oh yeah, I’m eating great, this is great” I was like, “Is your energy good?” She’s like, “Oh, better than ever” “Okay, good. Well, it will stop” and so sure enough, she hit a plateau so did my dad and in about a four month window of time, my mom went from a 175 pounds, she’s about 5”5’ and bottomed out at 132 and we’re two years later and she’s still hanging out there and the blood work, better than had been in decades.
My dad went from about 180 to about 147, which is what he weighed when he entered the Army back when he was about 20 and dad’s been out with the boys for pancakes a few more times. So he hasn’t sustained his, but he’s still closer to that end than the other end and the cool thing is that they have the plan, right? So it’s really up to them and it’s now a choice as to where you want be on that health spectrum.
Gunnar Rogers: Yeah, for sure and so you drive there, you present these ideas and help your parents get started on this journey. Again, no intention of it becoming a book, you just wanted to help your mom and keep your mom around for a few more years, which congrats on getting to help accomplish that. At what point did the idea come about to turn this into a book for other people to read?
Chris Perron: Around that time, definitely last year, 2021, I had had it in my head that I wanted to write a book and it was going to be on the information that I basically give to all my patients and peace mail, a little drop here, a little drop there, based on what their needs are every given day and this formulation of this plan just worked so well that I’m like, “Well, there’s the information.”
So I ended up taking this literal plan that I came up with my mother and made that the outline, which really does encompass the majority of the tips and tricks that I share with my patients every day. Just this way, it’s put into a package that’s like your entire manual and that way, it’s not peace mail. It’s like, here’s the whole enchilada.
Gunnar Rogers: Heck yeah and getting a little more specific, read through the book, loved all of it, agree with all the tips. One that stood out to me is the second one, you know, recovering your gut and your brain and I feel like most people today, they focus on their body aesthetically when it comes to health, when it comes to why they’re taking care of themselves. Why is that not the right priority and why are the gut and the brain so crucial?
The Brain and the Gut
Chris Perron: It’s an excellent question. I’m glad that did stand out to you because that is the piece that I think is the least understood at this point. The term, leaky gut, I think has been tossed around quite a bit over the last few years. So most people at least heard it but very misunderstood from what I’ve found and what it comes down to is, your gut is the part of your body that’s deciding what nutrients come in and which nutrients pass by and that’s good or bad.
So a healthy gut is taking out all the good nutrients and letting all the garbage pass on by. An unhealthy gut is letting everything in and an unhealthy gut, it’s like having a lawn that’s supposed to look like, the green at the masters, that’s a healthy gut lining and instead, you’re having a – your front lawn that has bare patches and weeds everywhere and so on and those bare patches are where the leaks are, right?
So the weeds are like bad bacteria in your body and it seeps into your entire system and it’s just such a huge burden on your body. You’re not only not getting all the good if you do have a healthy diet, you’re actually continuously having to fend off a lot of bad. It gets into, you know, you could have great day-to-day habits as far as your workout and your exercise and you eat right and all this kind of stuff but if your parts are already beat up, well then, you’re not going to get the benefit out of that.
Now, is that better than going to McDonalds every day? Yeah, because that’s just compound problems but it’s really getting the ground work laid first, and that’s why the gut and resetting that over the 90 days is crucial to making the rest tick, and then that goes with the first tip of chiropractic as well whereas those two, the gut reboot and the chiropractic, are all about cleaning up the mess that’s already been created from the past.
Then the last five out of the seven are more the, “What do we do now?” and maintaining going forward to stay healthy and the big thing with the gut too is that there’s — it’s like pouring good things into like a colander where you just have things leaking to of the boat and everything. It’s like, why don’t we patch the leads of the boat and then we can go sailing somewhere as supposed to trying to get somewhere where you’re just bailing water out all the time and that’s what a bad gut is.
Gunnar Rogers: That makes total sense and for people listening, who might be a little scared at the moment, don’t worry, go pick up the book, it’s going to relieve any of your fears, but what are some simple things listeners can do to immediately improve their gut biome and start recovering their gut and their brain?
Chris Perron: Sure. So the best thing to do is to stop feeding it bad stuff, right? So stop the beat — it’s like, stop the beating. Some things you can’t take away but simple stuff like antibiotics. Anybody who’s ever had a round of antibiotics and certainly, we all have and it’s appropriate at times, that beats the heck out of your gut.
That alone, stress, stress in a major way in one moment, let alone, chronic stress over a long period of time, that beats up the gut. So it’s all these kind of things that indirectly feed it; bad food processing. So by starting to eat healthier, which is outlined in the food chapter obviously on some parameters that it’s a lot easier than most people think but also the headspace, the self-love chapter.
Honestly, try to get stress levels down as best as you can internally because we can’t control the outside world but there is a lot of things we can do to at least decrease the stress that our body feels on a day-to-day basis. So it is really going after the external low-hanging fruit like eating better, drinking plenty of water and getting to sleep.
It is really that second five or I guess the later five health habits, that is how you get after helping your gut to stay healthy but unfortunately once the gut’s beat up, you really do need to do something like the gut reboot to get it back to a clean slate and proceed for that one.
Gunnar Rogers: It is worth it to do for sure. So this is your moment right here, right now, best chiropractor in Virginia, one of the best chiropractors in the country for sure and now a published author. Why is going to see a chiropractor and why is that piece so crucial to the simple habits as well?
The Most Important Habit
Chris Perron: So conceptually and there is a reason this is the number one habit and I am a chiropractor because I believe in it and this is definitely where it all comes down. So chiropractic is really about making sure that your skeleton is lined up correctly so that your nervous system is free to go about its business and so what does that mean? Well, you got your brain up in your skull and then you’ve got a bunch of — you got 24 vertebrate heading on down to your tailbone.
So if anywhere along that way, any of those joints or even just a hair off, well, that’s going to be a little bit of an irritant on your spinal cord and whatever nerves are passing by and what our nerves are meant for as their communications lines. So kind of like being on a phone call, having a bad connection. Well, what if that nerve going to your gut is getting through at 95% of the information.
Well, it is better than 90 but that 5% could be really important especially over a long time and so the only way that your brain can coordinate your body’s efforts down to every single cell is if the communication is clear between your cells and your brain to have that constant feed loop chat of, “Hey, I need this over here. Okay, cool. Let me send that over there” and so on and so on. So that’s really what chiropractic is about is making sure that those communication lines are open and free.
So chiropractic isn’t about fixing you as much as it is clearing out the bad so that you are just left with the good, the original framework and the original concept of how our body is supposed to work, and when we step back and let our brain, which is way smarter than we are, figure out what it needs to do because we get out of the way, then most of the time it can handle it. Now, it certainly helps with back pain, neck pain, joints and so forth because they as a default are when you have joints out of place over an extended period of time, they are going to grind on each other inappropriately and that’s what causes arthritis degeneration, these problems and all that sort of things.
But all of those are results of misaligned joints over an extended period of time, kind of like having the tires misaligned in your car for a while. If you have them misaligned for a little while, you get them straightened out. Technically, if somebody went in there with a microscope, they could see the wear patterns still but not a practical difference but you leave those tires misaligned for a few years and drive on them, well, they are going to be pretty off.
We can’t swap our parts out like tires and so that’s really the big deal of not waiting until, “Oh now, it hurts enough. All right, I can handle that pain” or “I just get the normal amount of headaches” is a common one that I heard. That’s kind of funny because I don’t get headaches and there is no normal amount of headaches. It is all the noise that we hear in society and commercials that want to sell you pills to try to relieve your symptoms without actually getting after the cause and that is the beauty of chiropractic.
It is all about cause, it is all about going after the cause and just like the gut and that is why it is a perfect complement is we want to make sure that everything is set up to where we clean the slate. Your body is set up to work correctly, now let us give it the supplies and the tools so that it can continue to work correctly.
Gunnar Rogers: Heck yeah. And then on a personal level, which habit is the most important to you and to your health and wellness?
Chris Perron: The chiropractic, hands down. It is not even that close. I think about this often because being 26 years in and having been in school, another grad school, three and a half and then undergrad a few more years because I started seeing a chiropractor when I was 18. My mom had gotten a job with them, that is how I got introduced to this and I am 49 now. So 31 years, I take it for granted but I am like the worse.
If I have a little ache or a creek or a tickle in the throat, it’s like, “I got to deal with this now” why? Because I know that that’s all I need and I’ll be fine. I haven’t had to take a — I don’t even know when I have gotten a prescription. It’s like such a foreign location for myself and my family and so if anything, I feel a little guilt that other people don’t understand as much that they don’t get the fruits of what can be, it’s exciting.
Gunnar Rogers: Hey, that is part of what and who this book is going to help for sure. On that note, in your opinion, your professional opinion, personal opinion and legitimately being the best chiropractor in your state and I am sure that came on the heels of a lot of hard work and a lot of education, a lot of effort, what are a few things that readers should look for when they go to look for the right chiropractor?
Chris Perron: Absolutely. So as you just eluded to, I do touch on the book and there is some tips in there on how to find a good chiropractor. I’ll start with the vast majority of chiropractors are good chiropractors, so ideally it shouldn’t be that difficult but what can help is, you know, all are not created equal. A couple of things I point towards and one is are they involved in their state association.
Why is that important? It is not terribly important when it comes to the actual clinical part, although a lot of continue that could be through there. It just shows and demonstrates that they want to be up on the latest and what’s going on and be in the loop. So anybody that has that general head space of wanting to kind of continuously know, “Okay, what else? What else?” you know there are tools to help you, the patient.
Well that is a pretty good quality, so state association is one place for sure. The other one is I use a special technique called activator methods and activator.com has a find the doc feature and I have been actually teaching for them even for about 20 years now, quite the honor and I use it because I think it is the best technique. Is it the only one? Absolutely not, there is plenty of good techniques out there.
But activator.com is another place for sure and then last but not the least, as crazy as it might sound, Google reviews. Why? Because it’s one, I will attest being on the business side of it all is their algorithm I believe to be the most fair. I won’t name names about others but go and Google because I found others not to be quite as accurate and people talk. So if you see a whole bunch of people they’re saying, “Hey, I like them, I like them, I like them” or her, then odds are pretty good.
They are doing all right, right? So if anything, the biggest thing I would say is just yet a jump in the pool and go and find somebody that fits but sitting on the sidelines doesn’t do any good. So diving in and then Google reviews at the bare minimum.
Gunnar Rogers: Okay, bare minimum Google reviews. I am pretty sure everyone can at least handle that, that’s awesome and so now that the book is out people are going to purchase it, the Kindle version by the way everybody is available for 99 cents for this week only, so make sure you go capitalize on that awesome discount. Now, that the book is out, what is the best next steps that people can take once they finish reading the book?
I am sure following the simple steps is one of them but I guess a better question is, what is some advice you have for people who are going to try and implement these seven simple steps to their life?
Advice to Implementing the Simple Plan
Chris Perron: Well that is the whole point, right? It’s that gap between knowledge and doing and so my hope and my intent in writing the book was to purposely make it practical, you know, a real plan not just, “Here are some ideas” but, “Here’s a how to.” I want it to be a “how to”, and so I hope that is grasps out of that. Some advice I would give is that they are habits and so we are looking at the long run.
So it is not necessarily snap your fingers and poof, there you are in this perfect little place. It is an evolution, right? You choose maybe a couple that are the low hanging fruit like the water, that’s an easy one. That’s like just measure it and drink it every day and it is a little more to it than that to actually make it happen but in the end, it is pretty simple. The sleep honestly I think is a fairly simple one as well to target.
But for those that really want to dive in, I have actually started out of request actually. This wasn’t meant to be either, I am going to be doing some coaching on the side and in the book it gives my website, chrisperron.com, to where I have some programs that people can dive into and roll in on helping to implement the seven simple habits into their life, but by really looking at it as a long-term thing because that is the whole point.
This isn’t some quick fix although you can get quick results, it is not meant to be this little fad quickie thing like you said at the beginning that’s unsustainable. The entire point is to cultivate health and show you that being healthy and having healthy habits is actually very sustainable and you might actually enjoy it, because the food part is the one everybody asks about. The food part is phenomenal, it’s pretty much Mediterranean diet.
Anybody that has been to Italy or France or Turkey and Greece and all of these places, they like good food and so some of the things that I’ll have on the website as well as some cooking videos and different things like that to really just try to help people see, “Hey really, it is not that hard” because I think that’s what it all starts with, right? A confused mind says no is what a great mentor of mine, Dr. Frank Sovinski said many years ago and kept pumping through.
So clarity to the patient so that they actually are wanting and willing to take that leap to try something because if you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” well, that right there you’re already — it’s making it, “Nope, really” no excuses. “It’s really this simple, do you want it or don’t you?” and whatever that choice is it’s cool, I am not judging but if that’s the goal is to make it that easy so that it really is a choice whenever somebody is up and ready for wanting to make a change in their life.
Gunnar Rogers: That is awesome. Well Dr. Perron, it has been a pleasure to have you. It has been a pleasure to dive into your book and see how simple and helpful your tips and these seven habits that you talk about really are and are going to be for people. One more time before I let you go, once people read the book, once people start to try and implement these seven habits, where can they find you and how can they engage with you to continue their journey and get your help?
Chris Perron: Absolutely. Gunnar, I’ve really enjoyed myself first of all but yes, chrisperron.com, so it is right there in front of the cover, my name, and so we try to make it simple too, and on my website on the resource section that has certainly plenty of things for the general public and then as I mentioned, I have some different enrollment programs if somebody would like some help in implementing them in their life.
We have three different tiers depending on how much of me you want and how in-depth you feel you need, and it is really just based on what is like where you’re already at on your journey, right? Different people know different amounts of stuff and so everybody needs a different amount of help and it’s kind of a—well, let’s put it this way, the top package is called the mom and dad package, and what that is, is I literally come to your house for the afternoon.
Just like I went to my parent’s house, go to the kitchen, we’re going to work out at your home or at your gym, we are going to go grocery shopping just like I do with my dad, and we’re actually going to cook dinner, and so you’re just going to go through the whole soup to nuts, and then so that’s the extreme end and for plenty I am sure that will be a lot of fun and then all the way down to, “Hey, here is the book” and it has everything in there and the point is to implement it.
That is the real goal is just to implement it so that people can be healthier and enjoy their lives.
Gunnar Rogers: That’s awesome. Well Dr. Perron, thank you so much for your time today. More than that, thank you for writing your book. The title once again everybody is, The Simple Plan: 7 Habits for Healthy Living. Go follow Dr. Perron, go check out some of those coaching offerings, get the book as well, enjoy reading it, implement these habits, you won’t regret it, it will be awesome for the long term. Dr. Perron, thanks again. We really appreciate you.
Chris Perron: Gunnar, I appreciate the opportunity. This is fantastic, I am excited.