The Wellness Mama Podcast https://wellnessmama.com/ The Wellness Mama Podcast is a weekly series covering the topics of holistic health, real food, stress, sleep, fitness, toxins, natural living, DIY, parenting, motherhood, and other health tips to give you actionable solutions to improve your family’s life! Brought to you by Katie Wells of WellnessMama.com Sat, 14 Dec 2019 16:14:38 +0000 en-US Copyright © 2019 Wellness Mama® Simple Answers for Healthier Families Katie Wells episodic The Wellness Mama Podcast is a weekly series covering the topics of holistic health, real food, stress, sleep, fitness, toxins, natural living, DIY, parenting, motherhood, and other health tips to give you actionable solutions to improve your family’s life! Brought to you by Katie Wells of WellnessMama.com Katie Wells - Wellness Mama support@wellnessmama.com clean https://wellnessmama.com/wp-content/uploads/wellness-mama-podcast-logo.jpgThe Wellness Mama Podcasthttps://wellnessmama.com/ https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.1 298: Getting Back to Happy With Marc and Angel Chernoffhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/marc-angel-chernoff/ Mon, 09 Dec 2019 11:00:01 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=421140

We could all use a little help when it comes to figuring out this crazy ride called life! Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with two of my favorite personal development and life hack coaches, Marc and Angel Chernoff. Because of their ideas on success and happiness (and how to combine the two) they have been recognized by Forbes, the New York Times, and more.

Marc and Angel have co-authored two incredible books, Getting Back to Happy and 1000 Little Things That Happy Successful People Do Differently. They also travel, speak, and teach people all over the globe their proven strategies for getting unstuck in order to find lasting happiness and success.

My favorite thing about Marc and Angel is how they get deep and address how to get through those really tough phases and transitions of life. Whether you are facing relationship changes, the loss of a loved one, job changes, depression or just having trouble figuring out what’s got you down, there’s something in this episode for you.

Episode Highlights With Marc and Angel Chernoff

  • How Marc and Angel came to create a blog on happiness… even though they were anything but in the beginning
  • Their journey from rock bottom to personal development coaches, and how they took the first step
  • Simple strategies to stay afloat in hard times
  • The power of our thoughts and how to wire our brains for more productive thinking
  • Why daily rituals can ground us, and which matter most
  • Tips for staying consistent when building new habits
  • Respectful and productive ways to support self-improvement in a marriage or relationship
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

Other Books Marc & Angel Recommend

How have you made it through hard times? What helped the most? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

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Katie: Hello and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and I’m here today with Marc and Angel Chernoff who are “The New York Times” bestselling authors of the book, “Getting Back to Happy” and the creators of Marc and Angel Hack Life which was recognized by Forbes as one of the most popular personal development blogs. They also authored “1000 Little Things That Happy Successful People Do Differently.” Through their writing, coaching, and event, they have helped thousands of people over the last decade with proven strategies for getting unstuck in order to find lasting happiness and success.

And they especially work with people who are going through tough phases and transitions of life including relationship changes, the loss of a loved one, job changes, or just depression or having trouble working through some of those phases of life. So I hope that you will enjoy this episode as much as I do.

Marc and Angel, welcome. Thank you guys so much for being here. And I don’t feel I can start with an intro like that without jumping into the questions by asking to hear your story. I know firsthand that you have a pretty amazing one. So let’s start off with some background. What is your story and how did you become what you are today?

Marc: So our story actually started when we were in our late 20s. At this point in our lives, we had no investment in personal development, self-improvement, looking into the mindset tools that were necessary to live a healthy life. And half the reason that was is simply because up until that point, we had had pretty good lives, right? We didn’t have anything major happen to us that was tragic. You know, people had passed, certainly, but they were grandparents. And then we ran into this very difficult season in our lives. It started when Angel’s older brother, Todd, died by suicide.

Just a few short weeks after that event, we lost our mutual best friend, Josh, to a heart attack at the age of 27. It was driven by an asthma attack and up to that point, he had never had a difficult asthma attack, never had it like a big asthma attack. It was always just small things and so we didn’t even realize that was a challenge for him. And this was a downturn in the economy. So, you know, we’re talking, this is the ’07-’08 timeframe. Both of us lost our jobs. We were struggling financially, we were struggling emotionally, we didn’t know how to cope with the loss that we were dealing with, the grief that surrounded it.

It slowly spiraled into mild to moderate depression for both of us and we started arguing as a couple. We were a newly married couple, married a few years at that point, and started basically lashing out at each other rather than having the loving and supportive conversations that we needed to have. We were leveraging alcohol and distractions like binge watching television to escape and bypass everything that we were dealing with, the emotions that were unsettling. And so luckily enough, we were both willing to see therapists. Through that therapy, we were basically urged to do some self-study as well. And so we started reading both Eastern philosophy and Christian philosophy.

So the Byron Katie’s and the Wayne Dyer’s of the world as an example. And we started really dialing into the tools that were necessary. We realized that we were at this point in our lives where the things that we were doing on a daily basis were not serving us. And so we started listening to the therapists, we started listening to what we were reading, and we started practicing. We actually started our website as a public accountability channel to hold ourselves accountable to what we were learning. And the communication opened up from there and it’s a big black box between then and now, but we basically dedicated ourselves to overcoming this and to sharing the struggle that we were going through to get to a better place.

Every single step, everything that we did was difficult and we put it out there very vulnerably and honestly and said like, “This is what we’re going through and here’s what we’re doing,” on our blog, marcandangel.com. Like, here’s what we’re doing to step through this. And we weren’t really writing for anyone but ourselves, but it was a tool that helped us move forward. So you fast-forward many years and that journey ultimately led us to write books about our story and the tools that we had leveraged to step through it and we moved into coaching and here we are today, which truly is a blessing to be here.

Katie: I feel like that’s such a great illustration though, because maybe that’s one of the misconceptions in today’s world, I think. In my own life as well, I know that some of my greatest life transitions and greatest accomplishments have come from some of the hardest times and I think so often like you guys in the beginning, it’s easy to try to escape those or should try to get away. So what was the mindset or what shifted? Like was there a pivotal time or lightning bolt moment or something that really made you guys make that shift from like we’re just gonna binge watch Netflix and drink to let’s change our lives?

Angel: I think we were just at a point where it was like, you know, is it always gonna be like this? Like, is it always gonna be where I’m just feeling sad and I can’t get out of bed. We got to a point where it’s like, “Okay, we have to change.” Like we have to make the change. We have to start doing things differently if we want to feel differently. And so I think it was just we got to a point where we had to take control over how we were feeling and how we were reacting.

Marc: Yeah. It wasn’t a one big, catastrophic moment. I think sometimes that’s a misconception in our lives. We get into that depressed state or we fail because of one catastrophic moment. And oftentimes, it’s all the little things that we’re doing or not doing. And so we sort of caught ourselves, and with help, of course. Again, I mean we weren’t doing it by ourselves but we caught ourselves and we realized like the things that we are doing on a daily basis, yes, there are these big things that happened to us, but all the little things that we’ve done since those moments have not been serving us. In fact, they’ve been taking us further away from where we wanna be.

And it was just sitting down long enough to realize that and realize that if we, you know, we can’t change the big things that happen but we can change all these little things we’re doing on a daily basis and if we do so, maybe there’s hope, right? And that was the journey we started on, like the daily ritual of like let’s make these small shifts. And they’re hard. I mean it’s easy to say like, “Yeah, I’m gonna make this change,” but to actually be consistent about it daily, especially when you’re struggling emotionally, when you’re dealing with depression, even the small shifts are very hard.

Angel: Yeah, I mean I think when you’re in a season of pain and struggle, I think it’s really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But down the road, you’re able to look back and see how much growth came from that and how…if you’re living an easy, comfortable life, you’re not able to see the opportunities and the growth possible but it really does take those seasons and those periods of struggle to help you grow and to help you see opportunities.

Katie: So how long of a process was that for you guys? Once you started that transition, was it, I’m guessing not an overnight success. How long did it take before you really started seeing the tangible changes in your own life?

Marc: It’s been years. So you’re talking about the early 2007 timeframe where we started struggling and that period of time lasted a couple of years of like truly struggling, truly dealing with depression, truly being at odds with each other as a married couple living under one roof. And again, speaking to each other in a way that was very defensive as opposed to supportive. So we started doing the coaching at the end of 2012. So you’re talking about a five-year timeframe where we started stepping more into ourselves and realizing that us continuing to share our story. And the coaching initially was completely free.

We were basically running like an online support group where we were saying, “Hey, rather than this blog just being about us, let’s share your story as well. Because people were just…they were writing us and saying, “Hey, like what you’re sharing here, I know you’re still stepping through this but it’s really helping me. And let me tell you about something that’s going on in my life. What do you think of this?” So it was really like five years later that we started writing about others more consistently and what they were going through and kind of wrapping our experiences around their experiences. So yeah, I mean I would say that it was probably roughly five years of a transition between being at rock bottom to being at a place where we felt we could serve others with what we have learned from going through it.

Katie: Wow, yeah, that makes sense, that it would take a while for those things to really like take hold in your own life and then now that you are able to pass those on to other people. You touched on something I think that’s really key to not just this but to whether it be nutrition changes, any change in life, which is that consistency and sticking with it, especially when you don’t want to. And I deal with that more from the side of nutrition and sticking with dietary changes in my background. It sounds like you guys deal with that with people now in coaching. So I’m curious if you have any strategies or practical ways that people can learn to be more consistent because I find, even in my own life, that is perhaps the biggest struggle. We all often have an idea of what we should be doing but that daily consistency is often the biggest battle.

Angel: I completely agree. I mean making it a ritual to where it’s a part of your life and not just something, hey, I’m gonna hold on to for a week or a couple of weeks or do this diet. But yeah, making it a ritual and making it a part of who you are and what you do. And I think one of the keys that’s really helped us is making the activity so small initially that it’s silly not to do. So like, for example, if you wanted to run every day and running a mile is tough, well, maybe just run around the block. It doesn’t have to be…

Marc: Or even walk.

Angel: Yeah, or even walk. It doesn’t have to be this big goal that we have to do initially, but start small. And start so small that it seems silly, that this is what you’re doing but you wanna stay consistent with it. So do it for a month and then add on to it and then do it, so then it’s just part of who you are, just like brushing your teeth, right? You brush your teeth in the morning when you wake up. You don’t have to think about that, you just do it. So breaking down these habits and these rituals so you can do them consistently and it seems silly that you wanna do it.

Marc: Yeah. And another… I mean, again, that’s great advice that we so often, we hear and we don’t do it. I mean, like Angel said, it can be something small, like if you’re waking up earlier in the morning and 10 minutes earlier is too much, do 2 minutes earlier. And do that consistently for a few weeks before you shift it. I mean, it sounds silly, like what’s two minutes gonna do, but two minutes is gonna get you to four minutes and four minutes is gonna get you to six minutes. I mean it’s just that philosophy. It’s something that we intellectually understand but emotionally in the morning when that alarm goes off, we don’t wanna wake up, even so, right?

So we’ve gotta ease ourselves into any change that we’re gonna make. I mean that philosophy is obviously universally applicable in our lives, whether you’re dealing with nutrition, whether you’re dealing with sleep, whether you’re dealing with habits that are gonna help you think better and ultimately live better.

Angel: Yeah. And I think it’s important to know, especially with personal growth, is like you’re never at a point where you’re above this or like you don’t have to work on yourself and you don’t have to practice techniques and mindset tricks. I mean, I think we’re constantly growing and we’re a working progress. So I don’t think it ever gets to a point where you’re like, “Oh, I got this. I’ve mastered this.” It’s always challenging. It’s always hard, but it’s sticking with it and doing the work.

Marc: Right. I mean, we’re multifaceted human beings. I mean, we could have the health thing really down but the relationship thing is falling apart. And even though the same kind of rituals and consistency that you would apply to like your own personal health would be very applicable to nurturing another human being in another relationship and yet somehow, that goes over our head. So yeah, we’re never above it and we have to address it in little chunks. I think another way to address it in little chunks, too, is something as simple as kind of you don’t break the chain calendar where you have like a visual wall calendar where you can see the whole year in one shot or at least a full month in one shot, but a whole year is what we have here.

And we tend to just check off our rituals. So if like one of my rituals is like every day, I’m like, “Marc, have I spent one hour of uninterrupted time with your son?” I mean, that’s something that no matter what’s going on, and a lot of days, it’s more than that but I wanna make sure that the very least is that. And so I have a wall calendar, I literally every day write a check through it when I’ve completed that. I make sure that that’s done in my life. And again, many times, it’s more time than that but I think visually, I’ll run into that busy day where I feel like I’ve got business things, I’ve got client things, I’ve got all these things and I’ll look at that calendar and I’m like, “You know what, I have gone three months without breaking that chain. I’m not gonna start today.” So it’s just a visual reminder of like I’m gonna continue my ritual. And I think that can be applied to any ritual that we want to address in our lives.

Katie: That makes sense. And I love that of starting so small that even seems silly. I feel like that’s kind of the antidote to maybe like New Year’s syndrome where we all make these huge, lofty goals and then we’re trying to like run a marathon, and eat super clean, and do all these things all at once and then it lasts for five days and then you just can’t sustain that because you’re trying to completely overhaul your entire life in one week whereas like small changes probably actually have you yearning to add more on in like I can run a little bit more, I can wake up a little bit earlier because you’re not trying to make such a drastic change all at once.

And I love that you brought up relationships because I think, at least from my audience, from hearing about it and from friends, this seems to be a really big topic right now. I think a lot of people’s relationships are in kind of tough transitioning times right now. And I know that you said at the beginning that you guys had a rough patch in your marriage early on as well. So I’m curious, from your own experience and then now from working with all these thousands of people, if you have some strategies that couples can use, and that we could even potentially use with our children, but especially couples, to make relationship stronger.

Angel: Yeah. I mean, communication is key. We’ve all heard that time and time again but I think where I was falling short was I was keeping my feelings inside or expecting him to know how I was feeling and not explaining how I was feeling, what I was going through, and how I was interpreting things like, “Hey, when you do this or say this, I feel this way.” The same thing is true, you know, we have a five-year-old son named Matt and it’s like explaining to him rather than just saying, “Hey, don’t do that,” but communicating like, hey, this is why you can’t do that or you can’t eat that because we have to do this first or, you know, I’m trying to help keep your mind and your body healthy and this is how I can help.

And so I think communication is huge. And so it’s just evaluating how you’re communicating and how…are you assuming they know what you’re thinking, you know, where are you falling short on that spectrum in terms of communication in relationships?

Marc: Yeah. And not taking things personally especially when there’s stress and there’s grief and there’s loss and you’re dealing with big things, but even the small things. I mean, we all see things, like Angel just said, differently. We can all go through a similar experience and interpret it differently and have different understandings of it and even be able to cope with it in different ways. And so a lot of times, especially in family dynamics, it’s tough when you have somebody in your life who is naysaying the thing that you’re trying to accomplish and kind of talking down to you about your dreams or about…even about a tough situation. They make it sound like it’s no big deal.

You’ve gotta keep things in perspective, which is tough to do. And so, for instance, if you’re trying to…if you got some lofty goal that you’re going after and you have, let’s say, your mom or dad or sister or brother naysaying this goal of yours like that’s not worth it, it’s too risky, you can’t do it, there’s two questions you have to ask yourself. One is, “Has this person walked the path before me? Do they really understand what I’m doing?” If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s worth opening your ears and listening.

But oftentimes, the answer is no. Oftentimes, the answer is they’re just naysaying you because they’re scared for you. They’re fearful that you’re gonna hurt yourself. They’re fearful that you’re gonna fail. They themselves wouldn’t do the thing that you’re doing. They can’t put themselves in that situation. So you’ve gotta give yourself that perspective and realize that oftentimes, the reason they’re naysaying you is because they don’t believe in themselves. They don’t understand it the way you understand it. And so that’s an important thing.

And then you really have to ask yourself how important it is to you, like do you need everyone’s validation? And that’s tough because we’re social creatures, but there’s a lot of things that we do in our lives where again, we take things personally. We lean on others for the answers and a lot of times, we need to lean more on ourselves for those answers. We don’t need to be arguing with a spouse, we don’t need to be arguing with mom or dad or whoever. We need to look a little bit more to ourselves for the support that we need to take the next step. So it’s definitely a combination of both, and I agree with Angel that the communication once you’re ready to engage is important. You’ve gotta be patient, you’ve gotta be open, but you can’t be hanging on every word and taking everything so personally.

Katie: Do you guys have any rituals specifically related to your own marriage and to your relationship there?

Marc: We have tons of rituals.

Angel: I mean, one main one that just comes to mind is we definitely try not to go to bed angry. We talk whatever we need to get off our chest before we go to bed so that when we go to bed, when we wake up in the morning, we don’t have that resentment boiling in us. So we definitely try to communicate any unresolved issues before we go to bed.

Marc: Yeah, yeah. And we make the time to do that. So Angel and I have this ritual of taking a long walk on the beach and it’s only once every two weeks, but that’s enough. It’s like an hour and a half walk and it’s time that is not business. It’s not even personal. It’s time that’s just sort of there if there’s anything to say, and there to just enjoy each other’s company if there’s not. And so it’s a great time once every two weeks, like clockwork, to give us the opportunity to get anything that’s been unresolved, anything that…like any ideas. And it can be positive or negative, right?

Any ideas that we’ve had, like just extra stuff. And I think a lot of couples, and we were just like that, we didn’t have that extra time. We’d try to do date night and we’d force that or we’d be doing business. Angel and I are unique in that we do a lot of business and work together, client work together. But we didn’t have that kind of just time that was there for whatever, just kind of like space that was allowed to be whatever it was where new ideas and interesting conversations could arise. And I think that’s where a lot of communication, that’s where we resolve a lot through that ritual.

Angel: Yeah. I think it’s important to create that space where you can be in each other’s presence. It doesn’t have to be date night or something, but it’s also not talking about the kids or talking about work or shuffling things around and hashing out who’s responsible for what but just providing that space where you can be with each other to have the conversation about whatever needs to happen. I mean we’re very fortunate that after we drop our son off at school in the morning, we go to the gym and we work out together. So it’s like while we’re working out, if things come up, we’ll talk about them. That’s just time where we’re not forced to talk about anything, we don’t have a to-do list. We’re working out but we’re there together, so if things come up, we can talk about it right then and there.

Marc: Yeah, you’re right. That’s very similar to the walk. The workouts in the gym, we’re not always right next to each other but you’re right, same kind of situation for sure. So it’s a long way of saying create space for each other. Create space with each other without an agenda where great ideas and important conversations can surface.

Katie: I love that, like creating those small times makes probably such a huge difference. You guys have a New York Times bestseller, “Getting Back to Happy,” your first book, and that’s what you guys are kind of known for. I know I’ve seen you in the media for that many, many times and I hear from a lot of people who are working through anxiety and depression right now and it seems like either it’s on the rise or I’m hearing from a lot more people who have it. And so I’m curious for people who are in that phase, I know you’ve touched on it a little bit, but what are some of the specific things that people can do if they are there, whether it be lifestyle adjustments or mental shifts, to start those baby steps of moving out of that?

Marc: Yeah. We have touched on a little bit. I tell you one thing without a doubt, you know, the mind and the body are intrinsically connected and just getting your body moving if you’re not, getting yourself out of the house, but generally getting some level of exercise every single day is so vitally important when you’re in that phase. When the anxiety is high, when the depression is kind of bringing that dark cloud over your head, when you don’t see a way out and you just kind of feel like you’re on that treadmill, changing your environment is so important. I would highly recommend if you’re exercising, like the walk is a great way of doing it.

In fact, the first ritual we ever started was a walk down a boardwalk in San Diego in a neighborhood called Pacific Beach. That’s where we were living at the time when this season really hit heavy for us. And the first ritual, and it was through therapy that we came up with this idea is, we said, we need to break our cycle and that was literally the routine of our day. And so we made a pact to start leaving the house together. And again, we were not on speaking terms at this point. So we were very much at odds with each other, but we were living under the same roof and so that was the positive. And we decided we’ll leave every single day at noon for a walk down the boardwalk. It’ll be about a 35-minute walk down and back.

And when we get to the end, we’ll sit on this little grassy space and just share space with each other. Like that’s it. We don’t have to force conversation. We’ll just be in each other’s presence. And so we did that. And it was about a month of doing that. Now we’re getting exercise, we’re breaking up the routine, we’re out of the house, we’re not next to the alcohol, not next to the distractions that were unhealthy and we’re doing this thing where like we’re out there. And naturally, what did that do, is it gave us the space to have the conversations we needed to have. Not immediately, but about a month down the road is where the conversations came from.

And ultimately, a lot of the books that we read that we started writing about on marcandangel.com were done on that little green space at the end, which is a little green space off of Sail Bay in San Diego. So it’s a little bit of our story but that’s something like just breaking your cycle, getting outside, like combining the exercise with changing your environment when you’re in the thick of things can be so powerful.

Angel: And I mean change is extremely difficult as we all know, whether it’s a lifestyle change, a relationship change. When you are changing what your normal is, it can be extremely difficult. And so I think it’s important to accept what is, like to have that clarity of like controlling what you can control but also accepting the circumstances that you can’t control and just being present and letting go of being able to control things and manipulate things and just saying, “Okay, what is it that I can control? What can I not control?” And providing that space to be present and to accept where you are in this moment.

Katie: I think that’s huge. And that’s something I’ve recently in the last couple of years really gotten into reading a lot of stoicism back from Marcus Aurelius meditations all the way to some of the modern ones. And I think that’s, for me, been one of the most pivotal shifts in my own life is letting go of the things we can’t control because I’m self-admitted, very type A and probably a little bit OCD. And for a lot of years, I would try to control all the variables in my life and make sure everyone was happy and juggle everything. And making that shift into realizing what are the things we can actually control and the main one I read, in high school, I read Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” and I love so much his idea that even when everything else is taken away, we still have control over our own attitude and how we respond to situations.

And I think that’s actually, for me, at least the perfect place to start because that’s the one thing we are always perfectly in control over and can have ripple effects into the rest of our lives and our relationships if we learn to master our own attitude and our own response to things. So I’m curious, have you guys read any stoicism as part of your journey or has that been part of something you’ve come across?

Marc: No. “Man’s Search for Meaning” is a book I read many years ago and loved it. It’s definitely on the top of my list. Yeah. I think a lot of the principles of Eastern philosophy which Angel and I resonate with deeply, I mean we’re Christians, you know, our son goes to a Catholic school and yet we resonate deeply with Eastern philosophy as well. And I think it’s great to leverage all of that for your benefit and for the benefit of those around you. But I think a lot of that ties into stoicism, ties into this idea of letting go, of being very present, realizing that you can only control the battles of today. It’s when you are obsessing over the battles of yesterday and tomorrow that life gets overly complicated, and in some cases, impossible to deal with.

And so, dialing that back and bringing yourself back to this idea that life isn’t easy, right? I mean it can be a very difficult thing and we must accept that and embrace that in the present. That is the only way we’re gonna be able to take the next step, holding on to the idea that it should be different, holding on the idea that we need something other than what we have, is not gonna put us in a position to step forward.

Angel: And I’m very much like you, you know, type A personality. I like control. I like to control. I like to control everything. I like to plan things, I like to have an itinerary, and I like to, you know, even as far as relationships go and people, I think they should act a certain way or I should tell them when they should do things differently. And so that’s been a struggle for me too. Just to give you an example, a couple of years ago, we were recording the audio version of our book, “Getting Back to Happy” and we’re in the studio and there’s a director and a producer. So there’s someone listening in telling you when you need to articulate a word differently or change your tone. And I thought it was my job to tell Marc when I thought he needed to read something again or if he could have done it better and yeah, we had someone that was hired to tell us…

Marc: From Penguin.

Angel: …from Penguin, to tell us when we should reread it or change it or do this. In my head, I thought, “Oh, I need to tell Marc he should read that over. He could do that better.” And it’s like I really had to tell myself, it is not my job. And in that specific situation, it really wasn’t my job. There was a whole another person that was being paid to tell Marc when he should do it differently or if it was fine. And so that was eye-opening for me to realize that I think it’s my job to point things out to other people or if I think they should be doing it my way. And so it was a real eye-opener and that mantra, I keep in my head, like it is not my job. It is not my job to tell other people this or to point this out. It is not my…

Marc: Or to hold on to control, right? Because…

Angel: Yeah. I just need to control myself and worry about myself and worry about my abilities and not be so quick to point it out in other people or to think they should do things differently because I don’t have control over them and it’s not my job. It is not my job to worry about others and what they’re doing.

Marc: And that’s made you more supportive, which is interesting. The interesting part of that is by letting go of the need to control a situation, or the need to be right. In turn, you become more compassionate and you become in more service of this other person. So it doesn’t mean you’re no longer helping the people around you or not making great suggestions but you’re doing so in a way that doesn’t seem like an attack. It’s just fascinating, like it’s those little shifts that we make that make all the difference in the world.

Angel: But again, it’s constant learning. Like this just happened recently where I was like, it is not my job. Like repeat that to myself, it is not my job.

Katie: I love that. I’m right there with you. That’s a good one for me to keep in mind as well. You mentioned your son and you’ve mentioned a couple of times. And so I’d love to kind of go down the road a little bit of how can we foster these healthy mindsets in our kids from a young age because I think, for me, my story, it was a health journey where I got really sick with autoimmune disease and then researched my way out of it and eventually got better but as a mom, it’s very important to me to give my kids a really solid health foundation so that hopefully, they never have to face the things I faced.

Even though I’m so glad that I did have those challenges and I overcame them and they’ve been a huge part of my own journey, I don’t want my kids to have to go through that unless they really should have something in their life that happens that causes it like I did. So I’m curious, from the work that you guys do and now with your own son, how do you put things in place to give him a really healthy mindset from an early age?

Marc: I think presence is everything. I think Angel would agree with that. I mentioned that hour literally being on my wall calendar. It’s like a ritual that’s non-negotiable. And like oftentimes, it’s at least three hours a day. Angel and I spend a lot of time with him. We read with him, we do a lot of healthy things, but more importantly, we try to set the example. So it’s like when we talk about health, we wanna be out there on the playground with him. I think that’s a noticeable…something noticeable that we do differently. So we live in a little neighborhood in Jupiter, Florida. It’s a suburban neighborhood. Angel and I are often the only parents out on that playground actively playing with our children.

And I’m not saying anything bad about anyone else, but I’m saying it’s noticeable. We’re out there throwing the ball, running around, playing tag, we’re there, we’re in it. And it’s a small example of how we see our role as parents. You have to be there and you have to be in it, not just in your business but you have to be in the things that they’re interested in too. Because when you’re there and you’re a parent and yet you’re there to play and you’re there to engage, if you’re there for the fun times, when it gets more serious and the topics get more serious, they’re gonna notice, hey, they’ve sort of been here with me, listening to me, explaining things to me during all these other times that were great, it’s time for me to listen to my parents too.

You can’t only show up when it’s instruction time, I guess is what I’m trying to say. You’ve gotta be more present, you’ve gotta be more engaged, you’ve gotta be a parent and a friend. You’ve gotta have that relationship with your child. And that’s something that Angel and I practice daily and relentlessly and it’s a blessing.

Angel: Yeah. And I mean mental and emotional, helping him in that way, that’s tough because as a child, they’re learning how to react to their emotions, how to control their emotions. And so I think it’s good for Matt to see us have a disagreement and then we talk about it. Like we all get frustrated. Sometimes we get frustrated with each other and it’s okay to get frustrated and this is how to work through it and here’s how to talk about it. One thing I’m constantly repeating to him, and if he was here right now, he would tell you too, but whenever I see him getting frustrated and getting angry, I’m like, “Okay, repeat after me. Peace begins with me.” And we repeat that. And he gets frustrated and he’s like, “I’m not saying that. I don’t need to say it.” Because I tell it to him so often but I’m like, “When you get frustrated, it’s hard to control your emotions.”

Take a deep breath, say, peace begins with me, and let’s talk about it and see what you’re going through. And so we acknowledge that when you get mad and you get angry and you get frustrated, that all of these emotions are going on inside. So I don’t wanna ignore those and I tell him, we’re right there with you. We try to lead by example and say, “Hey, sometimes we get frustrated and this is how we feel and this is what we need to do and it’s okay to have a disagreement but you just need to talk it out and explain the situation.” So I think, yeah, when it comes to emotional and mental health with your children, I think it’s important to lead by example and to not think that everything is happy-go-lucky all the time, but that you have bad days too and it’s okay and to talk about it and not make it a secret.

Marc: I think we do a good job at that as well as like is being honest and open about the things that aren’t working for us, whether it’s something he’s doing or something that has nothing to do with him. If he asks, “Hey, like, what’s wrong?” Rather than just brush it off, we often explain. And again, he’s only five. So he’s young, but we bring it as much as we can to his level and we try to be honest and have those conversations. And through that honesty and that presence, he definitely takes lessons away and he understands things because we’ll hear it come back at us, which is always the greatest thing.

Angel: Yeah. When you hear your own words coming back at you through their mouth, it’s always…it makes me smile.

Marc: Yeah. We have a family motto that you were made to do hard things, just remind our kids, you know, push through in challenges. And they’ve heard me say that for a really long time and I’ve had it come back on me a couple of times. We were traveling a couple of years ago and we were at a Blue Hole in New Mexico and there was about I think like a 25-30 foot jump into the water and the water was like 50 degrees so it was cold anyway. And the kids all did it and I was like, “Good job, guys.” They were like, “Your turn, mom.” And I was like, “No, no, I’m good.” They were like, “Mom, you were made to do hard things.” And they would not let me not jump and I loved it but I was also a little terrified.

But I resonate so much with what you guys said. I think leading by example is one of the most powerful things, most powerful gifts we can give to our children truly. And especially, like you mentioned, let them see us fail at things, let them see that we don’t have perfect days so that they don’t have an expectation that that’s what they’re supposed to be when they grow up. And I realized that was a tough lesson for me a few years ago because one of my own childhood wounds that I struggled from and had to work through was the feeling of not being good enough. And I had really driven parents who held me to a really high standard and I’m grateful for that but I internalized very young that I wasn’t good enough at a lot of things or if I didn’t do things perfectly, that it wasn’t good enough.

And so because of that, my whole life, I was hesitant to do anything that I wasn’t already good at which is paradoxical, of course. And I started seeing that pattern in my kids and realized this is definitely not something I can talk them out of, but I need to be an example of overcoming that. And so the last few years, I’ve done things like take a voice lesson which was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done, or learn to do handstands, things that I was naturally very not good at at the beginning, so that they could see me fail and work through that. And I think being the example of that is so much more powerful than just saying that to them, whether it’s in any aspect of life, whether you’re teaching good nutrition habits, whether you’re teaching good mindset, habits, or activity, anything. I know that old clichés but it’s so true. They see what we do so much more than what we say.

Angel: I love that. Absolutely.

Marc: Yeah, no question. And doing the hard things, that’s a motto of ours as well. I mean, yeah, it’s such a misconception, like we want things to be easy and yet, you know, in fact, one of my favorite books, “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck starts with a line and it’s on one line. It just says, “Life is not easy.” That’s it. That’s the first line of the whole book. And I love that because the expectation we have oftentimes as parents, as human beings, as children at every walk in life is that this is gonna be easy. I should come out of this smiling. And that’s not the case. We have to do the hard things to be happy, the things nobody else can do for us, the things that make us question just how much harder and longer we can push forward.

Because at the end of the day, those are the things that ultimately define us. They’re the things that make the difference between existing and being in the space that we’re in and struggling and ultimately living and stepping forward. It’s the difference between empty promises to ourselves and a life that’s filled with more happiness and more possibility and more success. So the hard things, I mean you gotta do the hard things to be happy in life and it is such a lesson that we often forget and we overlook. And as children especially, I think we miss it entirely. So I love that that’s a motto in your family. That’s fantastic.

Angel: Yeah. The growth comes from the discomfort. A silly example was just this past weekend, we were in Connecticut staying close to the coast. We were like three houses down from the beach and we were on vacation celebrating Marc’s birthday and I wanted to go see the sunrise. And the first two mornings, I’m like, “Oh, no. This bed is so comfortable. I’m just gonna sleep in. And then on the last morning, I was like, “No, I’m gonna see the sunrise.” So I set the alarm. I got up, but did I wanna get up? No. I was enjoying the comfort of my bed but I knew I wanted to see the sunrise but I had to force myself. I had to do the discomfort and get out there and do it.

And oh my gosh, it was magnificent. Seeing the sunrise right there, it felt as though it was a show just for me and I loved it and it just made the rest of my day so wonderful. But it’s like that mantra of doing the hard things, doing the things that are uncomfortable, they can apply to the big things and to the little things. What are the things that you’re pushing off that you don’t wanna do but that’s what’s gonna give you the most reward.

Katie: I love that.

This podcast is brought to you by Fabletics, my go-to place for quality affordable athletic gear that is trendy and fun. They have yoga, running, gym gear, sports bras, shoes, accessories and more. If you’ve never tried Fabletics, I highly recommend starting at their collections page so you can see trending pieces. Fabletics also releases brand new styles, collections and prints every month! And pro tip – if you guys become a VIP with Fabletics, you’ll get up to 50% off regular pricing and instant access to their latest collections. Plus the best part is that there’s NO commitment to order on a regular basis – you can skip any month. Before I forget, Fabletics is offering my listeners an incredible deal you don’t want to miss: Get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) when you sign up for a VIP. Just go to Fabletics.com/wellnessmama to take advantage of this deal now. That’s Fabletics.com/wellnessmama to get 2 leggings for only $24. Also free shipping on orders over $49. International shipping is available and there is absolutely no commitment when you purchase your first order!

Today’s podcast is sponsored by one of my favorite companies… Four Sigmatic. I love all of their delicious coffees, teas and elixirs and they are such a part of my daily routine that I can’t even remember the last time a day went by when I didn’t consume at least one of their products. With both caffeine free and naturally caffeinated options like coffee and matcha combined with superfood mushrooms like chaga, cordyceps and reishi. Their drinks are functional and delicious and I notice a difference when I don’t drink them. My normal routine is to drink coffee with Lions Mane in the morning, cordyceps or chaga while I work during the day and reishi to wind down at night. My kids also love the reishi cocoa and it helps them sleep better. Check out all of their products and save 15% on any order with the code wellnessmama at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

Katie: And from what I know of you guys, people often find you guys and come to you when they are going through big life transitions, like some of the ones we’ve talked about, when they have lost a loved one, or maybe you’re going through a relationship change or end of a relationship, or a job change, or any of those major stressors that we all face at different times in our life. So I’m curious for someone who is just finding you guys or any new listeners who aren’t familiar with you yet, where do you have them start? Where is a good springboard into the world of what you teach?

Marc: It depends on what the person is coming to us with. You’re definitely right, Katie, in saying that people come to us when they’re struggling, when they feel stuck. So the question is, is what is holding them up? Some of our clients, it’s relationship problems with family members. Some of them, it’s deep loss with the loss of a loved one. Sometimes, it’s just like the quarter life or midlife crisis, like I’m just at a point where I feel like I’m on that hamster wheel and I’m feeling terrible about it. So we definitely have to evaluate where they are. I don’t know if there’s a universal answer but I think we’ve discussed some of them already and it is making small shifts in a positive direction.

So it’s figuring out what are the current rituals. One thing we’ve mentioned, rituals and habits, but one of the things we take a quick look at is, what is it that you wanna change in your life? That’s a typical question you want. What isn’t working? What’s the thing in your life right now that you believe is not working? And what are the rituals that are leading to that situation? What are you doing? And yes, I understand that the loss of a loved one, major tragedy just happened in an instant, but once they happen, you know, yes, there’s an incredible amount of pain and suffering that comes from that, but a year later, two years later, if you’re feeling the same pain, it is not because that thing is happening again and again.

It is because you are doing things, you’re holding on to things, you are behaving in a way that is perpetuating it. And it’s a harsh thing to say. We’ve been there ourselves. And that’s a big example but the point is, is that the things we do daily once one of those big events happen, it’s those little things we do daily that either service it or take us further back. And so we say, you know, like what is this thing that you wanna change? How are you feeling? What is wrong? And what are the rituals that are supporting this feeling, this terrible feeling in you? And then, what does your ideal situation look like right now and what are the rituals that can get you from where you are to where you wanna be?

And so that’s kind of like a little framework, like a couple of questions of like what is it that you wanna change, what are the rituals that are supporting this problem that you’re in, what does the ideal situation look like and what are the rituals that can help you get from point A to point B? Of course, applying that to different people’s life situations takes you in completely different directions but it is a small framework I think that’s universally applicable.

Angel: Yeah. And then in addition to asking them what their rituals are that are supporting this change or keeping them stuck, is also having them question the thoughts that are surrounding this change and this lifestyle and this period in their life. So often, we are resisting what is and so if some of the thoughts going through our mind is it shouldn’t be like this, this is not how I planned it and it’s working…

Marc: And Katie mentioned one earlier, I’m not good enough.

Angel: Yeah, I’m not good enough.

Marc: I’m not good enough to take whatever this next step is.

Angel: But it’s like questioning the thoughts that are surrounded because so often, I mean 99% of the time, the majority of what we see first begins in our head. It’s how we’re thinking about it. So we have our clients question their thoughts, like asking the questions, is this all that is true? What you’re thinking about this situation that I’m not good enough or it shouldn’t be like this, it shouldn’t be this way, questioning that, is that all that is true, and then digging further into that, when I think this thought, how does that make me feel? And then…

Marc: Like who am I with that thought in my head going into any situation? How do I hold myself with a thought of I’m not good enough? Or how do I hold myself no matter what’s happening in front of me, if I feel like my life shouldn’t be this way? What does that do to my demeanor and my attitude? Who am I with that thought in my head?

Angel: And then even the question, you know, if I could never think this thought again, if I could completely remove this thought from my mind, what else would I see? If I could remove the thought that I’m not good enough, what else would you see if you can never think that thought again? Or if I could remove the thought, it shouldn’t be this way and I could never think that again, what else would you see? And so we definitely have people question their own thoughts because so often, we get this tunnel vision and we’re just seeing… I mean we’ve all been in those situations where there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. This is how it’s gonna be, it’s never gonna change. I can’t get out of this. And so we get stuck in that mentality, not realizing that there’s a bigger picture and there’s other perspectives that we’re overlooking because we’re so caught into that tunnel on that dark side.

And then also, what is the opposite of the thought and can you think of any examples that then support that thought? Like if you go back to your example, I’m not good enough, the opposite would be, I am good enough. I deserve to be here. And what are some examples that support that? And one that we always talk about is you’re a mother to your children. You are good enough because you are the only one that could be a mother to your children. Nobody else could fill your shoes and do a better job. And so it’s definitely having you question the thoughts that are going through your own mind because what we think we see, we ultimately become. So we need to challenge those thoughts.

Katie: That is so important. And I love that, asking better questions, because that’s something I’ve read in several books and heard about from therapists over the years is if you ask terrible questions, your brain will give you terrible answers. And if the questions you’re asking are like, “Oh, why can’t I lose weight or why can’t I do this or why is this so bad,” your brain is gonna find ways to explain to you why those things are and reinforce them. Whereas, I love your question, what is your ideal scenario? What is your ideal in the situation? Because then the brain starts working on that. Our brain is designed to answer questions and to connect dots and to find patterns.

So if you give it good, positive things to focus on, it’s amazing at that. That’s what we’re wired for. But so often, I think you’re right, we get stuck in those terrible questions and then we perpetuate that cycle. And I’ve also heard it explained almost like a filter of sorts. I know that’s an overused word with social media but like a mental filter where I know for me, at least, if I was in that place still where I didn’t feel like I was good enough, I would see examples that prove that everywhere I looked or like I would feel like someone was judging me or that I wasn’t performing well enough in someone’s facial expression, which truly like that might not have been… You know, they could have been having a bad day or could have had absolutely nothing to do with me, which is often the case. But when we’re in that mindset or we’re in that filter, we see examples that reinforce that everywhere even if they don’t exist. So I love that, like asking the opposite of the question and starting to make those shifts towards more positive questions. That’s beautiful.

Angel: Yeah. I mean one thought that I caught myself that I was constantly thinking and not even realizing it is that, you know, my sister is the most selfish person in the entire world. I was having all of this tension against my sister and I realized I was going into every situation with that thought at the forefront of my mind. And like you said, if that’s what you’re thinking, you’re gonna find it. You’re gonna point it out. So I was like, “There it is. Yep, there it is. Oh, I knew it. Gosh, she drives me nuts. Look at this. She’s always talking about herself. She’s always doing this.” But because I had that thought in my mind, I was able to point it out immediately in the entire time I was with her.

And so realizing that I was having that thought was eye-opening. It was like a slap in the face. And once I was able to recognize that and then say, “Okay, if I can never think this thought again, if I could remove that thought, what else do I see when I see my sister?” And all of a sudden, I saw a completely different person. She’s not the person of always being selfish. She is so much more than that. But I was just going into every single interaction with her with that thought. So that’s all I was seeing even though she has all these lovely characteristics that I love and care about. I mean she’s a part of me, she makes me laugh. And so it’s definitely challenging those thoughts and realizing if you’re constantly seeing something and it may first be beginning in your mind.

Marc: You were defining her entire character by one quality that she has, that she’s sometimes selfish. Sometimes we all are, right?

Angel: Yeah. And it’s not to say she’s not selfish but that’s not all that she is.

Marc: Well, it’s giving it a perspective you need, like having that perspective even with your sister. It doesn’t mean that your sister doesn’t sometimes do selfish things. It means, “Hey, you know what, let me give myself the perspective that I need to realize she does more than just the selfish things and that I can treat her like a whole human being that she is who has positives and negatives like we all do,” which ultimately increased your ability to communicate with her and improved your relationship. I think that’s what this…self-questioning is so important in the sense that as human beings, that’s what we have.

Katie, I mean you said it too. It’s like we sort of have this tunnel vision and we focus on the thing that drives us nuts and we look for evidence. We’re just narrowly focused on that one thing and we miss everything in the periphery. So when we start like questioning our thoughts, when we start saying like, is this the whole truth about this situation, how do I feel with this thought in my head? I mean who would I be without this thought? If this wasn’t my primary focus, what else would I see about this situation? What’s the opposite of this and can I find any truth in that? By doing that, we broaden our focus.

We get out of that tunnel vision and we start looking at everything in the periphery and we have all the data now and it takes time to get used to doing that. You have to do this as a ritual, like constantly kind of capturing your thoughts, maybe even writing them down and then going back later when you’re feeling calm and collected and saying, taking a look at these thoughts, like let’s take a look at what’s really going on in our head and heart during some of these high anxiety moments. We do this consistently and over time.

A few weeks, a few months down the road, you start having a better understanding of how you’re thinking, about how you’re reacting to these situations instead of more mindfully responding to them. And you get a better handle on yourself and that allows you to have better relationships, it allows you to feel better because you’re thinking better. You’re living better. But it doesn’t happen instantaneously. Like doing this once, saying, “Okay, I’m just gonna focus on my sister for a second,” doing this once, you can have a couple of ahas, but if you can really get into the habit of saying, okay, when I feel anxiety, if I have a thought, if I can catch myself and feel like oh my God, the anxiety is high, I’m feeling that way, that tension again, and just take 60 seconds to write down the thought, like do a raw brain dump, like what is in my mind at this moment, just get it down on a piece of paper in a safe place, then don’t self-evaluate in that moment.

Of course, the anxiety is high, the emotion is high, you can’t self-evaluate then. But tomorrow, next Sunday, when you have some time to dedicate to yourself, when you have some downtime and you’re feeling calm and collected, go back and look at some of those thoughts that you wrote down throughout the week during those high tension moments and put a more collective mindset on it. And that’s where you can kind of pick one of those thoughts out, read it to yourself, maybe chuckle, it probably won’t be rational. Oftentimes, when we’re high emotion and stressed, it’s not rational.

Tell yourself, “That’s totally okay.” But read it and apply some of these questions. Give yourself the logic, give yourself the perspective when your mind is calm and collected. And you do that again and again and that ultimately arms you to deal with it more in real time but it takes time to get there. And when you’ve seen it again and again and again, you’ll see the patterns and you’ll be able to better address those situations going forward. But it is a ritual like anything else. The more you practice it, the better you’ll get and it can be a blessing over time.

Katie: Yeah, I love it. It keeps going back to rituals and those small daily changes. And as we’re getting toward the end of our time, there’s a couple of questions I love to ask. The first being besides your own, and for those who aren’t familiar, you guys wrote “Getting Back to Happy” and “1000 Little Things.” Both of those are linked in the show notes but they’re available anywhere books are sold. But other than your own books, is there a book or a number of books that have really had a dramatic impact on your life? And if so, what are they and why?

Angel: I think, for me, one of the main ones that jumps out is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel. That book was just extremely eye-opening to personal development and self-improvement and controlling the things that we can control and being present. It’s very simple but straightforward and I think it should be required reading. It’s a great…

Marc: It’s a great intro. It’s kind of a good quick inspiration intro to personal development. It was one of those first ones right at the beginning that we had picked up and both read. That’s a great one. We talked a lot about presence. I think “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is a fantastic read. It’s not the most exciting read, but it kind of brings a lot of spiritual teachings down to how it relates to the present moment and how our true power to control our lives happens from one moment to the next. I think that also should be required reading. I think it’s universally applicable to any walk of life.

Katie: I love that. And where can people find you to learn more and stay in touch?

Angel: Yeah. They can find us on our blog, marcandangel.com and that’s Marc with a C. Also, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, just search Marc and Angel and you’ll find us.

Katie: Awesome. I love it. Thank you, guys, so much for being here, for being vulnerable, and for sharing today. This was such a fun episode.

Angel: Yeah. Thank you.

Marc: Thank you, Katie. We’re truly blessed to be here. Thank you.

Katie: And thanks to all of you for listening and for sharing your most valuable asset, your time, with all of us today. We’re so grateful that you did and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Fabletics, my go-to place for quality affordable athletic gear that is trendy and fun. They have yoga, running, gym gear, sports bras, shoes, accessories and more. If you’ve never tried Fabletics, I highly recommend starting at their collections page so you can see trending pieces. Fabletics also releases brand new styles, collections and prints every month! Also pro tip – if you guys become a VIP with Fabletics, you’ll get up to 50% off regular pricing and instant access to their latest collections. Plus the best part is that there’s NO commitment to order on a regular basis- you can skip any month. Before I forget, Fabletics is offering my listeners an incredible deal you don’t want to miss: Get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) when you sign up for a VIP. Just go to Fabletics.com/wellnessmama to take advantage of this deal and get 2 leggings for only $24. Also free shipping on orders over $49. International shipping is available and there is absolutely no commitment when you purchase your first order.

Todays podcast is sponsored by one of my favorite companies….Four Sigmatic. I love all of their delicious coffees, teas and elixirs and they are such a part of my daily routine that I can’t even remember the last time a day went by when I didn’t consume at least one of their products. With both caffeine free and naturally caffeinated options like coffee and matcha combined with superfood mushrooms like chaga, cordyceps and reishi. Their drinks are functional and delicious and I notice a difference when I don’t drink them. My normal routine is to drink coffee with Lions Mane in the morning, cordyceps or chaga while I work during the day and reishi to wind down at night. My kids also love the reishi cocoa and it helps them sleep better. Check out all of their products and save 15% on any order with the code wellnessmama at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

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clean no 00:55:40 Katie Wells
297: Why the Wahls Protocol Works for More Than MS: An Update With Dr. Terry Wahlshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/terry-wahls/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 11:00:07 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=421040

In her years of practice, Dr. Terry Wahls has helped thousands of people fight incredible odds. If you haven’t heard her story, prepare to be amazed. In 2000, Dr. Terry was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her health deteriorated, leaving her in a wheelchair and dependent on medication.

She fought back with years of medical training and good old fashioned research. What she found was a way forward based entirely on radical diet and lifestyle changes. Now, she’s healthy, active, and even rides her bike work!

Dr. Terry is now a sign of hope for countless others like her facing debilitating and chronic disease. Today we talk today about how the Wahls Protocol has far-reaching benefits not just for MS but for a whole variety of conditions including type 2 diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, and even traumatic brain injury.

Episode Highlights With Dr. Terry Wahls

  • Dr. Terry’s response to her devastating MS diagnosis in 2000 (and how she is today!)
  • Why a healthy diet for one person may be unhealthy for another
  • How to get more vegetables in your diet, and which ones to eat
  • The most common inflammatory foods to avoid
  • Limitations (and benefits) of the paleo and ketogenic diets
  • Dietary modifications everyone with an APOE-e4 gene should make
  • The role of intermittent fasting
  • Key factors for success when pursuing a lifestyle change
  • How to help kids love healthy food
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

Books Dr. Wahls Recommends

More From Wellness Mama

Have you read Dr. Wahl’s book? What did you think? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

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Katie: Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and I’m here today with someone who is a personal friend and also someone who I really look up to in the health world for her research and all of the work she has done to help so many people. I’m here with Dr. Terry Wahls, who is a clinical professor at the University of Iowa where she conducts clinical trials, testing the efficacy of therapeutic lifestyle interventions to treat Multiple Sclerosis related symptoms. In addition, she is the author of “The Wahl’s Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine” and the cookbook “The Wahl’s Protocol for Life”. What is even more amazing about her story, Dr. Wahls was a patient with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis, which confined her to a tilt reclined wheelchair for four years. She restored her health using diet and lifestyle that she specifically designed for her own work and she now rides her bike to work each day and I believe has done triathlons. She is in incredible shape, she is thriving and absolutely beautiful and amazing in person. I cannot wait to share her with you, so without further ado, lets join Dr. Terry Wahls.

Dr. Terry Wahls, welcome and thanks for being here.

Dr. Wahls: Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Katie: Well, I knew I had to have you back on when I realized you were one of my first guests ever on this podcast, Episode 25, I think. I’ll make sure that’s linked in the show notes if you guys did not hear it. It was an amazing episode and I figured 250 Episodes later, it was about time to have you back because I know you have been deep in the research, learning amazing things for the last few years and I just had to bring you back and share you with the audience again. So thank you for your time being here today.

Dr. Wahls: Oh, thank you so much for having me back.

Katie: And to start, even though you covered it in-depth in the first episode, I would love if you could just walk us through your story because there’s a lot of new listeners who aren’t familiar with your amazing story.

Dr. Wahls: So I am a professor of internal medicine and I had a very skeptical view of complementary alternative medicine. And I taught my young physicians to be skeptical as well, but God works in mysterious ways. I, in 2000 began to have problems with stumbling and was evaluated. As part of that, I got MRIs, spinal taps, lots of blood tests, and they diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis.

I wanted to treat my disease very aggressively. I sought out the best people in the country, took the newest drugs, including these new biologic drugs costing tens of thousands of dollars each month. But I went relentlessly downhill, within three years I’m too weak to sit up in a regular chair and I need a tilt recline wheelchair. I’ve had episodes of trigeminal neuralgia, which is electrical face pain that had started 20 years earlier and those have been getting steadily worse.

And by 2007 year, I was really on the verge of being forced into medical retirement. It was clear. I had a trajectory of becoming bedridden, demented, quite possibly horrific levels of pain that were not going to be controlled. But fortunately, I’d been reading the basic science, ancestral health principles, and functional medicine, and would ultimately create this diet and lifestyle program that to my amazement got me out of that wheelchair.

And with my neurologist’s blessing, I was able to wean and discontinue these potent disease-modifying drugs that had never done anything for me really. And so I’m off the drugs and I’m able to do a 20-mile bike ride with my family. So this of course radically changes how I practice medicine. It would radically change the focus of my research. And so, at first people here at the university thought I was pretty eccentric and a bit odd. Now as my research is being published and recognized by more and more centers and we have greater success with getting grants in larger studies, I’m being hailed as this brilliant visionary. So many, many wonderful things have happened in this story.

Katie: It’s amazing. I mean, truly you just don’t hear that…well, now you do because you’re helping thousands of people do it. But people literally recovering, getting out of a wheelchair, and going back to an active lifestyle. And now I know you personally, I know just how busy you are with all your research and all the people you help and you seem to have kind of endless energy. So you’re definitely a testament to the fact that it works. And I know that in the last few years, what I’m so excited to go deep with you on today is you found this for you, for MS, and you’ve realized through research that it actually has far-reaching benefits for a variety of conditions. Is that right, besides just MS?

Dr. Wahls: Yeah. Absolutely. So, if we go back 10 years when I changed my practice, so I’m using these concepts in primary care. So I’m for the first time reversing type 2 diabetes, reversing obesity, reversing rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, helping people with traumatic brain injury recover remarkable function. Then the VA here at the Iowa city, said, “We want to take you out of your primary care clinic and let you run your own specialty clinic.”

So we did that. We called it the therapeutic lifestyle clinic and I went to primary care and to…the pain clinic had said, “Give me your most difficult cases, but people need to know they’re not getting drugs from me. We’re just going to use diet and lifestyle.” So I saw the most difficult people with refractory disease that were still having a great deal of pain, and time and time again, I stabilized them, I reduced their pain, got them off narcotics and got better control of a wide variety of disease states.

And many of these were serious autoimmune problems that they could not control even with multiple very potent biologic disease-modifying drugs. I mean, costing tens of thousands of dollars each month. So the VA nationally was very interested in what I was doing because I had this remarkable success. And the VA locally was very impressed because I was saving all this money in terms of the pharmacy cost because we’re having such a remarkable effect.

Katie: That’s amazing. Okay. So for anyone who’s not familiar, and of course, I highly recommend everything you’ve written, you go into it in detail in your books, but what are the basics of this diet and lifestyle approach and why do you think that makes it so effective?

Dr. Wahls: So we talk about the role of the environment, turning your genes on and off, and so we teach people how the mechanisms work. Then we teach them the basic tenants of the diet that our food’s been designed by the food companies because there’s a big profit motive to create food that creates us to be addicted to these foodstuffs and over-consume them. And so there’s a lot of food like chemicals added that are addicting and fertilize the wrong microbes in our gut.

So when people get rid of these foods that are so inflammatory. So it’s the big three: sugar, gluten, which is the protein in wheat, rye, barley, and many ancient grains, and casein, the protein in dairy. And then for many people eggs are a problem. So I have to take eggs out as well. I tell them really what you want to be eating are vegetables and your source of protein. I have a strategy for meat-eaters and a different one for non-meat eaters. So that’s the entry-level diet, and depending on their health issues, we may advance it further, more specifically for them. Then we talk about a meditative mindfulness gratitude type of practice.

And in many ways, they can do that. And we talk about the role of physical activity. And again, this depends on where the person is at in terms of beginning to increase their physical activity at a pace and tempo that is appropriate given their current level of function. Because some of my folks are so disabled they can just shuffle a few steps on their walker. And some are folks who just got out of the military. So we design activity programs very specific to the individual.

Katie: That makes sense. And one thing I love about your approach is that you also, instead of just focusing on the bad because a lot of dietary approaches do that. The things you have to avoid, you also really go into detail on how to support the body nutritionally and the things that your body needs. So can we talk about that part too?

Dr. Wahls: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. So, I think most people know that I really love the paleo diet. I’m very, very fond of that. But what people may forget is that in my own healing journey, I’d been vegetarian for 20 years. My Cleveland clinic doctors introduced me to the concept of the paleo diet. I adopted that, but I continued to decline. So the paleo diet wasn’t enough to recover me.

I stayed with it because scientifically I thought it made some sense. I didn’t know how long it would take to recover, but when I redesigned my paleo diet in a very specific way based on what I learned in functional medicine and the supplements I was using to support my brain, that’s when I came up with this dietary protocol that led to this dramatic restoration of strength. And so here are the key concepts. We want lots of vegetables in the following grouping, in three cups of greens, three cups of cabbage, onion, mushroom family vegetables, in three cups of deeply pigmented vegetables like beets, carrots or berries.

And for people who are not fine in the cups system if you take a big dinner plate and you cover the whole plate so you can’t see the bottom, that would be the equivalent of three cups. So we’re talking three plates of vegetables measured raw, and you could eat them raw or you can eat them cooked according to your preferences or needs. But that will give you an idea of the volume. It’s also… I’m not trying to make you over-consume.

So if you’re a very petite individual and in our studies, we had some very petite folks and they were eating more like six cups of vegetables. So we’re not trying to overfeed you, but there’s no need for you to be hungry. So if you’re hungry, we want you to eat more of the allowed foods. But there’s no need. This is not a weight loss program, although people who are overweight typically lose weight because they get back to the weight that they had often in high school or their early 20s without being hungry. I want to make that very clear.

Katie: Got it. So what’s the mechanism that’s going on, or why these specific groupings of vegetables?

Dr. Wahls: So the greens we’re doing that because I want to have a lot more carotenoids. These compounds are phenomenally important for the retina of your eye and for your brain cells. You’ll also get a lot more magnesium in them, more folate, and some of the compounds that are used in detoxification. The sulfur-containing vegetables are really important for how your body processes and eliminates the chemical trash that we make in the chemistry of life. And the pollutant synthetic compounds that are in air, water, and food that we eat, just because there are so many chemicals that we encounter in everyday in life. They’re also important for some neurotransmitters that we make in our brain.

And then the third area, the deep colors, colors are a really good marker for antioxidants. And these antioxidants again, are necessary for protecting ourselves as they do the chemistry of life. We have huge studies with millions plus people in them, when you combine them in these meta-analyses, that show us the more color that you eat, the better your brain is, the less cognitive decline you’ll have, the less cancer you will have, the less diabetes you’ll have, the less heart disease you’ll have.

And that’s also true, not just of the more servings of color, but also the more servings of vegetables in general. So I think the research is very, very good that particularly the non-starchy vegetables, incredibly good for us. And then I want to be sure that people have protein. So we talk about protein strategies for the meat-eaters and the non-meat-eaters. The meat-eaters, I tell them to eat a little less meat. I want them to still eat meat, but not quite as much as they would normally in a paleo diet, because I’m giving them a lot more vegetables. And the vegetarians, I’m trying to be sure that they’re having a sufficient amount of protein.

And the other thing I do is I talk about fat, that our brain is about 70% fat. And fat is involved in the wiring between brain cells. It’s in the fat wrapped around every cell in our body. We need fat to make some really important hormones like testosterone and all of our estrogen hormones, and our cortisol adrenal hormones. If we don’t have enough cholesterol to make those things, if you’re a man, you’re totally screwed because you need testosterone. If you’re a lady, you’re totally screwed because you need estrogen for your bones to work in both cases and for your brains to work independent of your fertility issues.

So those sex hormones are vital to us and we want our brain to work. So we need fat, we need some cholesterol. We want to be sure that we’re avoiding damaged fats. So I talk about if you’re going to cook with fat, it should be a saturated fat. Otherwise, you’re gonna use olive oil. Please use it cold as in a addressing or sauce after you’ve made something and to have lots of avocados, which is absolutely good for you, and lots of cold olive oil, fabulously good stuff for you.

Katie: Yeah. And it seems like that the vegetable key is something that almost every dietary approach agrees with. I know there’s a couple now that don’t. But in general, that’s one thing that most people seem to agree with is that we are probably not consuming enough vegetables in the U.S, but you take it to a really targeted level with, if I’m understanding it, removing the inflammatory components in food and then using really targeted nutrients to replenish those levels in the body. Is that what’s causing the shift in autoimmunity?

Dr. Wahls: Correct. That’s what’s causing the shift. And the other thing that I wanna observe is, say every other author out there writing about their recommended diet I’m the only one that does clinical research testing the diet that they talk about. I’m the only one who’s taken the time to actually do a research-level analysis of that diet to say, and this diet will provide this level of nutrients and that’s how it compares to the recommended daily allowance or the adequate intake recommendations.

So I’m really the only one who can say this diet would be safe long-term. Not only would it be safe, it’d be vastly superior to the average dietary consumption and equivalent or superior to the healthy eating plan that’s been recommended. Because I’m the only one that’s doing clinical research, and also, out there trying to teach the public how to do this stuff.

Katie: Yeah. And I know you are very deeply involved in that world. Can you walk us through the mechanism of what’s happening on a cellular level or what… I know it’s the body’s capacity to heal itself is incredible and we’re supporting that but what’s going on in the body when this change is happening.

Dr. Wahls: So, life is we exist because of a series of self-correcting chemical reactions. And so the biggest thing we need to do is to stop the destruction that’s going on. When we are consuming these inflammatory foods they may leak into our bloodstream. And so these inflammatory proteins are recognized by our immune cells as a threat and the immune cells will then rev up, release more inflammatory very damaging proteins into our bloodstream that…again, depending on your specific genetics.

So in my case, my brain would be damaged and my spinal cord would be damaged. And then over time, I developed some psoriasis. So then my skin starts getting damaged. I also have asthma, so my lungs were getting damage. And I’m having to take more and more steroids and nebulizers for the asthma, creams for the psoriasis. And when I learn how to remove all these inflammatory foods, the asthma’s gone, the psoriasis is gone. And I had this dramatic steady improvement in strength and balance. And of course I’m doing intensive physical therapy, so I have this recovery.

So you have to stop the damage. And then in order to have my cells repair the damage to my skin, repair the damage to my lung, rewire my brain, I have to have all the building blocks. So in my case, I need, you need…and we all need a lot of the correct fats so your cells can come in and repair and replace the stiff molecules in my cell membranes that have the damaged fats with the proper fats in the cell membrane. So the cell membrane is fluid again. And then in the cellular structures in my lungs, again, I need the proper fats. I need to able to remove some of the toxins.

So the sulfur compounds from that sulfur group of families remarkably improved the cells in my lungs and also added to the flexibility of the small arterials in the muscles around the blood vessels. So my blood pressure improves. And the other thing that is really fun is if you look at photographs of me, serially, you see that I steadily was looking older and older, and at age 52, when I was at my worst, I looked much, much older than my stated age. And now each year I keep looking younger and younger, my hair’s getting more gray, but I’d say my face looks younger and younger and younger.

And I’ve done a biomarker looking at telomeres which is a lovely biologic marker of how old your cells are. And when I ordered that I braced myself for getting results that would say that my telomere age was 5 years, maybe 10 years older than my chronologic age. Because after all, I do have a progressive neurodegenerative disease with progressive MS. But it came back and I’m 12 years younger than stated age. And so biologically by giving myself the building blocks they need to do chemistry of life, they keep repairing the damage, but you have to flood it with the proper nutrition.

Katie: That’s amazing. And that speaks to the fact that even for listeners who maybe hopefully don’t have an autoimmune disease, because I have one and wouldn’t wish it on anyone, that there is a really strong anti-aging and potential longevity component to this type of diet, correct?

Dr. Wahls: Absolutely. We would see that in clinics that people would come back looking younger and younger and younger. That was very consistent. To me, it looks like visually people would get back, go back about 10 years. That was very common.

Katie: It makes sense because you’re focusing on a lot of the things that are largely missing from our modern diets. And you’re putting them back in in huge amounts, which makes total sense because I’m a very big believer in the body’s ability to move back toward health when you just give it the right building blocks, that’s been part of my own journey was realizing this is not a fight. You’re not fighting your body. You’re just supporting your body and it knows what to do if we give it those building blocks. Does that mean there’s also… Have you studied the preventative aspects of this type of diet as well as their hope for preventing some of these problems?

Dr. Wahls: I don’t have research to tell me the clinical trials. I do have clinical experience. In that, many of these families, they come in, they make these transformations. Because I tell them it’s far more successful as a family and so that they should get their kids when they’re home to eat this way, and realize that you can’t control what they do away from home once they’re off to school. But many of these families are recognizing that getting their children to eat this way begins to change the children’s behavior for better, begins to change their academic performance for better, and they’re seeing new, happier children.

And so we had this conversation, like, you have prevented big health challenges and probably big life challenges for those youngsters by having them begin to adopt a healthy lifestyle. And we certainly have folks who have like the APOE-e4 gene and who have parents who’ve had dementia and grandparents who had dementia. And so they’re like, “Oh, my God, I don’t want to get dementia.” And so they’ve adopted my diet and lifestyle program, and they’re doing extraordinarily well.

Katie: That was actually going to be one of my follow-up questions because I know with APOE are there some concerns with saturated fats for anyone who’s not familiar with it? Can you explain what that means?

Dr. Wahls: Yeah. So APOE-e4 is a gene that regulates in part how we handle fats. And there’s been a big debate if you have APOE-e4 what does that mean? We know it increases your risk for Alzheimer’s. How should we feed that person? Should we put them on a low-fat diet? Should we put them on a high-fat diet? If we use a high-fat diet, which kind of fat should be used? So there’s a lot of research questions about that.

What is very clear that we all agree on, you want them to not have any sugar. You want them to not have white flour, that you’d rather that they have a relatively low grain or no grain diet. They would probably do well in a ketogenic diet. If you do a ketogenic diet the agreement is that avoiding MCT oil, coconut oil would be preferable, probably avoiding butter is also preferable. So now olive oil would be what’s recommended. It’s also what I’d recommend.

And I have plenty of APOE followers who use my diet, lots of olive oil, and will eat just once a day so that they will have like 16 to 18 hours to 20 hours of not eating. That means that…and they can eat like 80 grams of carbs, lots of olive oil. They’ll go out of ketosis, but in 12 hours they’ll be back because they’ll have used up all of their glycogen stores. They will be back in ketosis for about eight hours if they eat once a day. And that’s worked very well for them. And many of these folks…I mean, I’ve met some of these APOE folks in their late 80s and 90s who are still traveling. Still going to meetings, still run into me at a variety of Ancestral Health meetings and still playing chess. It’s very impressive. I’m like, “Wow, these folks are doing well.”

Katie: That’s amazing. And you touched on another question that was on my list, which is fasting has obviously become very popular in the last couple of years, whether it be intermittent fasting, water fasting, there’s a lot of different forms. I’m curious how you see this fitting in with your approach. Is there a place for it, and if so, how can someone who also likes to fast in some form integrate that?

Dr. Wahls: That is a great, great question. In fact, in my book, I talk a lot more about fasting. Because I think the research is absolutely so very compelling about the benefits of ketosis, about the benefits of either calorie restriction. So we’re eating only about 70% of what we need. So you’re chronically hungry all the time. That one’s very difficult for people to do forever for the rest of your life voluntarily. But you can do this severe calorie restriction for a week out of each month. And that’s really the fasting-mimicking diet. Great benefits for doing that.

And that’s much easier to sustain. You could do severe calorie restriction two days a month or two days a week, and there’s also good benefits with that. You could do a high-fat diet, lower in carb, good benefits with that. It’s not quite so clear if we should do that for the rest of your life or not. There are circumstances where I think it’s definitely helpful. I have to agree if you’ve got cancer or severe seizure disorder. And then I talk about the fact, if we look at what our ancestral mothers and fathers had to deal with, once we migrated out of equatorial regions and moved into areas where there is winter, our ancestral mothers and fathers were in ketosis during every winter or during the war or during drought. But we don’t really have any societies that are in ketosis nutritionally for the rest of their lives. For that reason, my stance is that ketosis the rest of your life is uncertain.

There’s clinical circumstances where I think it’s the right thing to do, but I’m not comfortable recommending that for everyone. I am very comfortable saying seasonal ketosis. That would’ve been the equivalence of the winter for your ancestral group. There’s plenty of evidence that that would be probably very good for you. When you go longer than that, now we’re back to, I’m not really sure what the risks are if you want to do that the rest of your life.

Katie: Okay, cool. And to circle back. So you mentioned a couple questions ago about this being a great approach for families and having a lot of benefits for children, which makes sense because they have even faster cellular turnover and they’re growing and they’ve got more hormone production. I’m guessing there are some parents listening going, “That’s all great and all, but how do I actually get my kids to eat nine cups of vegetables per day?” Do you have any suggestions for families you’re actually implementing?

Dr. Wahls: So yes, many. Talk about food nonstop. Remember that our kids are being overwhelmed with marketing to get them to eat terrible foods to which they’ll become addicted. Get all the food that you think is wrong out of the house and have plenty of food that is good for them in the house so that when they’re hungry, there’s food that is tasty and available. So fruit, nuts, guacamole, for example, would work really well. My kids loved kale chips and would take kale chips to school. Their friends love that. My kids actually loved… We made some liver and onion treats, bacon-wrapped liver that they loved. They would bake for their friends, and the friends loved it as well. So it’s possible to make food that is very, very tasty.

Having the kids help with shopping, cooking, and teach them how to cook beginning at age 5 is incredibly helpful. And if mom and dad are excited about these meals kids will emulate what they see us do. The other thing that is so important is to get extended family on board with this. And to recognize that many kids during elementary school, you’ll have much better success at controlling their decisions of what they’re going to eat. When they go to junior high they might start cheating and they’ll experience their health consequences. And hopefully eventually come back and say, “Mom, dad, I feel bad, I’d like to improve my diet.” And then you can help them. Because you want them to make their poor choices and come back to you before they go off to college before they move away from home, where it’s harder to get back connected to you to get re-schooled on good choices.

Katie: What about with kids especially, so I have six kids and they’re all extremely active to the tune of like running around the neighborhood multiple miles per day, sometimes up to 10 miles per day. Do kids have a higher need for adding in more things like fruit and starchy vegetables? And is there a place for that?

Dr. Wahls: So absolutely. And here the question is you’re going to have to have enough protein to be sure that they can meet their protein needs. And is the child obese already on the path to type 2 diabetes, already on the path to a serious autoimmune disease, or are they healthy athlete? So we really have to personalize based on, am I treating a healthy athlete who’s on football doing a lot of weight training, or is on distance-sports in track. So we have to personalize that. Or, do I have a youngster who has already developed multiple sclerosis or inflammatory bowel disease, or type 2 diabetes, or severe behavioral problems?

Katie: Yeah, it’s sad and scary to see the numbers rising for young people who are going through all of those problems.

Dr. Wahls: One in two children. Now, when I talk to my pediatric friends, one in two children are having serious health problems. A little side note, I’m incredibly excited. A good friend of mine, Elisa Song and I are discussing, putting together a future pediatric medicine conference for the fall of 2020. Because we’re all so alarmed by what we see going on in the public and that clinicians and families are trying to find pediatricians and family docs who will take care of children with complex issues from more of an integrative diet and therapeutic lifestyle perspective.

Katie: I definitely have to keep an eye out for that one. I’m also curious because I’ve heard from a lot of parents who are having especially daughters go through puberty early. I’m curious if an approach like this, there may not be studies, but I know that like for instance, green vegetables help bind to excess estrogen in the body and excess estrogen-mimicking products in the body. Do you think an approach like this can help children have an easier hormonal experience through puberty?

Dr. Wahls: Well, yes, absolutely. I think it would help prevent and delay that early-onset puberty. It will also help prevent that estrogen dominance. So that greatly reduces the severity of pelvic pain in severe cramping, severe bleeding. It’s funny, my daughter… And many, many of our patients have all come in to say, “Really paying attention to my diet makes all the difference in terms of the severity of my pelvic pain, the severity of the menstrual bleeding. When I’m not following the diet, the period is heavy, hard. I’m miserable. When I’m on the diet, it is so much more manageable.”

Katie: It makes sense.

This episode is brought to you by Fabletics. They make cute and high quality athletic wear available to everyone and they’ve been my go-to place to shop for workout gear for years. I find myself constantly switching up my workout routine, from lifting weights and swimming, to currently training for a 5K with my kids. I always find cute gear that fits my activity at Fabletics. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite – the high waisted powerhold leggings that is flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This podcast is brought to you by the Kion Clean Energy Bar. We all know that finding healthy snacks for you and your kids is no simple task. Most snacks, even the so-called “healthy” ones, are high in sugar, have poor nutrient quality, and will leave you and you feeling tired or hungrier than you were before. That’s why my friends at Kion created the Kion Clean Energy Bar, a delicious, all-natural, snack that will satisfy your appetite and give you stable, long-lasting energy. My kids love these and I love that Kion bars are made from all real-food ingredients like coconut, almonds, and chia. They have zero refined sugar. They have a lot of healthy fats and clean protein to fuel the body and brain. They are naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free. They contain electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. And even though they are chocolate, they won’t melt in the heat or freeze in the cold. And they have a delicious chocolatey flavor and crunchy texture that you and your kids are gonna love. You can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

Katie: Also, a question I’ve had for you is there’s kind of that debate in the health world of do we ever need supplements or why can’t we get everything we need from food? And I would say your approach is probably the best one I could possibly think of getting close to getting everything we could possibly need from food because you’re consuming such a wide variety of micronutrients and enough antioxidants. What’s your take on the role of supplements and if we need them and how to know if we need them?

Dr. Wahls: Well, my diet was designed and we measured and we verified that, yes, we’re meeting all of the RDAs. So we’re doing extraordinarily well there. I do recommend everyone get their vitamin D level. And then work with your personal medical team to take supplements either by sunlight exposure or by an oral supplement to get your vitamin D in the top half of the reference range.

Then depending on your health issue, there may be a compelling reason to take additional supplements, additional Omega-3’s, additional vitamin K. And perhaps additional other targeted supplements based on your specific health story and your symptoms. So I really like to personalize that. I talk about this in my book. I give people a very nice discussion of what are the factors that I consider, what are the labs I use to evaluate? So people could work with their primary care doc, get the labs that I’ve suggested and then they could sort of work through with their primary care doc, what additional supplements might be right for them.

Katie: That makes sense. Another thing I’m curious about because I’m just thinking of the aspect of chewing nine cups of vegetables. What do you think about smoothies? I know that there’s some debate there as far as if they’re good for the gut or not. What do you think?

Dr. Wahls: So smoothies can be very helpful. A lot of people with my community, neurologic disorders, we can have difficulty chewing all of that food and begin to have difficulty swallowing. So, for them, fabulously helpful. For people who are really busy, if you’re like…and who don’t want to do time-restricted feeding, having a smoothie and a protein bar makes it easy for them to get the calories in, in the morning in their busy, hectic day for work.

So I think that’s great. And personally, I often make a green smoothie in the evening with fresh garden herbs with a little olive oil, a few green grapes. And I have that as part of my evening beverage. I also, because I want to have plenty of enzymes, I chew a little bitter kale before my meal to get my digestive enzymes activated. So it’s the chewing and the bitter flavors that really help with your digestive enzymes. And you do want to have a lot of chewing. So I mean, I make sure that I have a vigorous piece of meat that’s going to require a lot of chewing for every meal because that chewing is a very important part of the digestive process.

Katie: Absolutely. And especially, I say that to parents a lot for kids because that’s actually, especially chewing things like tough meat is for the jaw development and the mandible maxilla developing correctly. You actually need pressure. And like in the U.S. we give, babies only like soft baby food and we give kids these soft foods that require no actual chewing and we’re seeing that change in their jaw structure as a result. I think you’re right, there are so many benefits to chewing as well, but smoothies are a good way to get it in, work quickly if you’re just trying to make sure you hit your levels.

Dr. Wahls: Right. If you do smoothies, you want to use some bitters before the meal and you want to be sure that you’re eating something that requires hard work to eat. Incredibly important for our children. There’s a great book “Jaws” that talks about that very issue. So all this airway obstruction problem, sleep apnea has to do with our lack of chewing when we’re children. And then lack of chewing as adults.

Katie: I will link that book in the show notes if you guys want to find it. Dr. Wahls, what’s exciting for you in the research right now? I know that you’re constantly still researching.

Dr. Wahls: Oh, so we have this great… We’ve had several studies, using the diet that I studied showing favorable results, reducing fatigue, improving quality of life for people with MS. We have a big study funded by the MS society comparing a low-fat diet to the Wahls diet. We’ll be finishing that study in January and probably publishing those results sometime in 2020 or 2021. That’s very exciting.

We are in the process of working to get approval to do a quasi-experimental study where we’ll be taking people newly diagnosed with MS who want to use diet and lifestyle, have been offered drugs and have declined drugs. We will enroll them and treat them with Wahls Protocol, compare them to a cohort of groups newly diagnosed with MS, getting usual care at the MS clinic. And so that’s going to be an incredibly exciting study.

We’re raising money to analyze the freezer full of blood that I have from all of my previous studies. I’d like to see what are the changes in the biomarkers, as people adapt the Wahls Protocol compared to those who don’t. So that’s very, very exciting that we’re working on looking at changes in neurofilament, changes in the metabolome, changes in gene expression. We have collected the poop so we’ll be looking at changes in the microbiome between adapting the Wahls diet before and after. So it’s exciting. It’s hard to sleep at night because I’m so excited about all the wonderful things that are going on.

Katie: That is really exciting. And I know you are, like I mentioned, in the beginning, one of the busiest people I know. So I’m so grateful. I want to make sure I respect your time and we have about, I think 10 minutes left. A few questions I love to ask toward the end. The first is, what are some areas that you feel like are still not known or misunderstood about your area of expertise?

Dr. Wahls: Well, when we change the diet what is happening with the microbiome, we are beginning to understand what species change. But I don’t think it’s really the species. I think it’s the genes within the bacteria. So it’s really the processes that we’re dependent on. And so the studies that are going to be looking at what’s called the metabolic processes that the microbes can do for us. The studies that we’ll be publishing on that metabolome I think will be the most exciting. So I think that’s probably a very important mechanism of how diet is so profound.

And another area that I’m becoming more and more impressed with is the importance of what I call as the resilience factors. So I spend more and more time in clinic and I spend more time in my books talking about how we grow the internal resilience to do this work. How do we help people have more desire to make these changes, to deal with the discomfort? And so I see more research on what are the emotional pillars associated with success and how do we nurture that for people? Because I don’t think people struggle from lack of knowledge, I think they struggle from lack of emotional resilience. Lack of internal motivation, and so deepening the understanding of how we help people nurture that in themselves, I think will be incredibly important.

Katie: That’s fascinating. I think you’re right, especially in today’s world. Like, when you and I both probably started this, there was not this huge amount of knowledge that there is now and there wasn’t access to all of this, but now people largely, I think, know what they should do or know what helps them feel good, and it’s continuing to do it day after day that seems to be the struggle.

Dr. Wahls: It is hard. And I think there are not as many people in this space talking about these resilience factors or paying sufficient attention to how we help people grow their internal motivation. So I’m working on that in my faculty role, trying to incorporate more of that in my lectures. And in my seminar that’s what we really focus on is that we spend a lot of time on the resilience, the purpose, the meaning, and to help people really blossom their resolve.

Katie: That’s fascinating. And I look forward to keeping up with your research on that because I think you’re right. That’s a huge key that we’re missing. A couple other questions I love to wrap up with. If there is a book or number of books that have dramatically changed your life, if so, what are they and why?

Dr. Wahls: Well, I love my book, “The Wahls Protocol” and the cookbook. There were a huge amount of work writing them, yeah, and getting them out there. Another book that I’ve just read, “The Nature Cure” that was written by a German physician talking about some of the traditional healing methods including leeches. And that was really fascinating looking at some of these traditional practices, what are their health benefits and what research is out there. And so, that was quite fun reading. And another book that I read many, many years ago, Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” And his big thesis there was between every event in your life, and your response to it, there’s a space and that space defines your character. And so that was very inspirational for me as I was going through my profound disability that I could keep thinking about. I wanted to be a role model for my kids, and so I couldn’t give up. I had to keep doing the best that I could.

Katie: That’s one of my favorite books as well. I love that you mentioned that one. And lastly, any parting advice you want to leave for the listeners today, especially maybe listeners who are struggling with autoimmune disease or in that place of a health crisis like you were.

Dr. Wahls: The first thing to do is to remove the inflammatory foods, get rid of sugar, gluten, dairy, I’d encourage you also to get rid of eggs, and then ramp up the green sulfur color. You need to know that this is an experiment that you should run, ideally for 100 days, but at least for a month. But you want to do it 100%. If you’re having occasional cheat meals, you’re keeping the inflammation going. And so you won’t know, could diet help you? So talk to your family, pick a start time, purge your house so only the right food is around you. And then run the experiment and see what being all in 110% on the diet could do for you.

Katie: Awesome. And I know you have a lot of resources for that. I’ll make sure that your website and your books and all of your resources are linked in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So if you guys are listening and you’re driving or running or whatever it may be, don’t worry about writing that down, go check out the show notes and you can find everything there. Dr. Wahls, thank you so much for coming back and sharing more on this and for all the research you do.

Dr. Wahls: Thank you so much. Thank you so very much.

Katie: Well, thank you and thanks to all of you for listening, for sharing one of your most valuable assets, your time with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by Fabletics. They make cute and high quality athletic wear available to everyone and they’ve been my go-to place to shop for workout gear for years. I find myself constantly switching up my workout routine, from lifting weights and swimming, to currently training for a 5K with my kids. I always find cute gear that fits my activity at Fabletics. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite – the high waisted powerhold leggings that is flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This podcast is brought to you by the Kion Clean Energy Bar. We all know that finding healthy snacks for you and your kids is no simple task. Most snacks, even the so-called “healthy” ones, are high in sugar, have poor nutrient quality, and will leave you and you feeling tired or hungrier than you were before. That’s why my friends at Kion created the Kion Clean Energy Bar, a delicious, all-natural, snack that will satisfy your appetite and give you stable, long-lasting energy. My kids love these and I love that Kion bars are made from all real-food ingredients like coconut, almonds, and chia. They have zero refined sugar. They have a lot of healthy fats and clean protein to fuel the body and brain. They are naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free. They contain electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. And even though they are chocolate, they won’t melt in the heat or freeze in the cold. And they have a delicious chocolatey flavor and crunchy texture that you and your kids are gonna love. You can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

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clean no 00:51:35 Katie Wells
296: Why AI-Assisted High Intensity Training Is the Next Exercise Frontier With CAR.O.Lhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/carol/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:00:44 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=420817

Today we’re honing in on the science of high intensity interval training, which is the science-supported idea that you can get more benefit from a short, intense workout than from a 45-minute run, if you do it right.

I’m here with Ratna Singh, a mom of two and co-founder of a new startup called CAR.O.L, which sounds like a personal name but actually stands for Cardiovascular Optimization Logic. Ratna and her team have found a way to combine artificial intelligence and an exercise bike to create a highly effective HIIT interval training session.

We’re going to go deep on the benefits of this kind of AI-assisted exercise, how it can improve your heart rate variability and other health markers, and all kinds of fun stuff!

Episode Highlights: CAR.O.L High Intensity Training

  • How Ratna got her inspiration from sci-fi movies like Space Odyssey
  • The ways your body changes on a molecular level when you exercise
  • Why you should know your VO2 max score as a measure of fitness and heart health
  • What makes the CAR.O.L bike and workout so different
  • How it delivers maximum muscle fatigue in only two 20 second bursts!
  • The role of glycogen depletion in optimizing your workout
  • What studies show about the benefits of high intensity or HIIT workouts (and whether there are risks)
  • Ways the program adjusts itself to your fitness level and even mood
  • Ratna’s take on a healthy diet and the benefits of intermittent fasting
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to the Wellness Mama podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and this episode is going to be all about the science of high intensity interval training, and how there is science and studies that support the idea that you can get more benefit from a workout that in total takes less than nine minutes than from a 45-minute run, specifically from two very short, measured, and intense bursts of high intensity exercise that are only 20 seconds long. I’m here with Ratna Singh, who is a mother of two. She has been married to a neurologist for 25 years and lives in London. And she is a co-founder of a new startup called CAR.O.L, which is C-A-R.O.L, which stands for Cardiovascular Optimization Logic. And it basically uses AI and an exercise bike in a really complicated and amazing way to mimic this highly effective high intensity interval training or not mimic, but to create this high intensity interval training that is the gold standard in the studies. And the American College of Exercise, and many other institutes have backed up the benefits of this, and we really go deep on how it works, how to get the benefits, how it does things like affect your IMPK, and your HRV and all kinds of fun stuff. Really fascinating episode and I loved getting to talk to another mom and founder who is on the top of her game and just knows her stuff. And I know you’ll enjoy this episode as much as I did.

Ratna, welcome. Thank you so much for being here.

Ratna: Thank you so much for having us. Really excited to be here with you, Katie.

Katie: I am so excited to chat with you. It’s so fun to get to talk to another mom who’s in startup mode and running a company and all that goes with that. And I mentioned it in your intro, but you are the founder of the team. Is it CAR.O.L? How do you say the bike or is it?

Ratna: It’s CAR.O.L. Yes it is abbreviated for Cardiovascular Optimization Logic.

Katie: That was gonna be one of my follow up questions. That’s awesome. That makes total sense and easy to remember. So I think that’s where we need to start, which is can you explain what CAR.O.L is?

Ratna: Yes, of course. So first of all, the brand and where did that come from, and why it’s CAR.O.L. I got my inspiration really from Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey 2001, all those years ago where there was a rogue computer program aboard the spacecraft and he was called HAL. Had quite a personality actually, quite an endearing, but he was crazy. And HAL stood for heuristic algorithm. And since then, you know, other people, other movies have used names as abbreviations for something a little bit more complicated from a technical perspective. So in Samantha in “HER,” there was VIKI in the Will Smith movie. So because we are all about artificial intelligence, and because we want to be a brand that you feel very closely attached to, we wanted to give our bike, our system, our technology, a personality. So we combined the two together and came up with CAR.O.L. CAR.O.L stands for Cardiovascular, that’s the C-A-R. The O stands for Optimization and the L stands for Logic. And that’s exactly what she does. She will increase your cardiovascular health, diabetes and other things as well, but generally your fitness, she will get it to as good as you are genetically able to get to and she is, you know, an AI we are building the fitness of the future. And she has a personality. I mean, you’ve probably done a couple of rides now Katie, you probably saw her interaction with you, like her first ride is a first date with you. And then, you know, when she’s got lots of little witty quotes that she’ll give you throughout the ride or at the end of it or she’ll send you an email, etc. So I want people to build that relationship with CAR.O.L. At the moment, we released her lips as her logo, and the lips are made up of a lot of small heartbeats. And over time, we will release other parts of her face. So there’ll be the nose, and then the eyes, and then eventually, CAR.O.L will be this person with a face and then you’ll be like, “Ah, that’s my coach.”

Katie: That’s so fascinating. I think it’s important to note, because you’re right, I’ve done a couple of rides now and I have the CAR.O.L bike in my kind of like workout room. And when it comes it looks like an exercise bike, But I think it’s important to talk about how it’s very much different from other exercise bikes because there’s obviously a lot of different types out there with the rise of some of these at home bikes and then also spin classes. So walk us through how this type of bike and this type of software is so different than other types.

Ratna: Well, it’s a bike because if you try to do this kind of exercise on any other piece of equipment like a treadmill or a stairmaster, you just wouldn’t be able to. First of all those machines are not reactive enough to go from zero to maximum intensity in under a second. And two, if you were to run or, you know, try and do the stair climber at that speed and that intensity, you would injure yourself. And also, you know, we need to target your thigh muscles because they are the biggest stores of sugar in your body. And the best way for us to execute this kind of exercise is using an exercise bike. So that’s why it’s an exercise bike. Now, the laboratory, all the science that you hear about, they have bikes that they use, but they’re all highly specialized bikes. They all use a certain formula that allows them to set a resistance that’s unique to each person that’s doing the ride. And it’s usually a two-man operation. They’re quite sophisticated machines. They’re big, they’re ugly, you know, they’re bulky, and we just couldn’t imagine having one of those in anyone’s living room, or bedroom, or workout room, anywhere, particularly in Europe. Well, you know, we don’t have as much space as you guys do in America. So we had to come up with something as compact as our bike, it’s very compact, it’s about one foot long and one foot wide or less than that. And we have the bike that is built to execute the exact protocol that the laboratories use. And I will say that what they do is something, what’s called True HIIT. The interpretation of that in the normal world is not exactly HIIT. So when people say they go to a HIIT class, they’re pretty much at least going for 20 minutes or 30 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes. That’s not what the scientists would call HIIT. Because if you do what we do, if you do true HIIT, you wouldn’t be able to do it for longer than 20 seconds. And that’s what happens on the bike. The reason we have the software is so that we can calculate the exact resistance and that’s tailored and personalized to you, that will get you to your peak power very quickly within 5 to 10 seconds. You will reach that peak power for literally a fraction of a second and then you’re going to start losing power because you’ve triggered the depletion of your sugar stores in your thighs, and by the end of 20 seconds you will be at absolute fatigue.

So after two 20-second sprints, you will not be able to do anymore, nor would you want to, nor would you need to. So that’s the key difference between what we do and what, you know, other HIIT modalities that are out there. I think, you know, in order to get to absolute fatigue doing a HIIT class in your gym, you’d have to be there for 30 minutes. We do it in 40 seconds. And this requires, you know, specialized software, it requires machine learning, it requires calculations, algorithms, and because we want to continue to get you fitter and train you for the long term, we don’t just stop on your first ride. Every ride you do is different because you will get fitter. And we calculate things like your rate of fatigue, which is very important for us to know whether you are tiring fast enough or not. And obviously, as you get fitter, you will not fatigue as much as you could, so we will increase resistance. But because there are no knobs on our bike and everything is controlled by the computer, we do it in decimal points so it’s very precisely calibrated. And CAR.O.L, you know, it’s not always evil. She’ll bring the resistance down if you’ve been struggling or keep it where it is if, you know, she thinks that your rate of fatigue is exactly the way she wants it. So, you know, the idea is that you get on the bike, you log in, and CAR.O.L does the rest. All you have to do is breathe, and pedal, and follow the instructions.

Katie: Yeah, I love it. And I can definitely vouch for the fact that when, those two 20-second sprints really, by the end of it I was like I have nothing left. I could not do this for 20 more seconds, and you can feel it. I feel like it adjusts up. So like if you think you’re getting stronger and you feel like you’re pushing harder then it adjusts right beyond that to kind of keep pushing you. And I love the concept of this, especially as a mom of six.

Ratna: Wow. Six, wow. Wow. Congratulations. You’re a hero, man. That is amazing.

Katie: Oh, thank you. It’s a wonderful fun life. But you know how it is as a mom, we’re so busy. So I love that this can fit into under 10 minutes. And I wanna talk about the science of that, of HIIT training, because I think there’s so much misinformation when it comes to fitness and especially what is actually ideal. And so many people have this idea that we need to be doing tons and tons of cardio, and going for runs, and, you know, biking for an hour, and I personally have looked into this science because I don’t love running for an hour. And I love that there’s some really solid science about HIIT or high intensity interval training. So walk us through the science especially for people who may be think like there’s no way something so short could be so effective.

Ratna: Oh, absolutely. And trust me, 90% of the time we get this reaction. You know, “Oh, come on. It just cannot work,” you know, “This is snake oil, it’s hogwash, it’s all about sweating.” Because the other thing is when you do the rides you don’t sweat, it’s because you work hard for two 20-seconds sprints. Your body just doesn’t get hot enough to start sweating. Unless, of course you’re doing the exercise in a sauna, then you will sweat. But, you know, you sweat because you get hot. It’s not because you worked hard. There’s no equation there, because you could be sitting on a beach and start sweating if it’s a hot day, right, by just sitting there. So the science is extremely solid and we get this skepticism from everybody all the time. And my answer really is very simple. And that is that you’ve been sold something that has not been incorrect, but it’s what people knew at that time. And, you know, science progresses at all times, and we have found this modality that works better than anything else. And until CAR.O.L came on the scene for the consumers, it was literally hiding inside laboratories and elite sports training places etc. And what we’ve done is brought it to the masses because like you, Katie, there’s millions of people out there, myself included, and I frankly built this for myself in many ways, that we don’t have the time, we are really busy and frankly, you know, if I do have an extra hour, do I want to go to the gym? No. I’d rather do something I really enjoy even if it is just sitting in front of Netflix and, you know, dozing out on some program. So, you know, when we did the research, we found that most people who say they don’t exercise enough is because of time definitely inconvenience because you have to go there, you have to change, you have to do the run, you have to shower, you know, change again and come back. That’s inconvenient. And frankly, it’s just dull, it’s just boring. So that’s why we have this, you know, obesity crisis that we have right now in the world. So it is something that has got, you know, years of scientific evidence behind it. And we have worked really hard. We’ve spent like four or five years in R&D, mostly because we needed the data to be able to really refine our algorithms to make sure it is adaptive, and it’s accurate, and it’s, you know, producing the results that the laboratory produces, and for sure it does.

So that’s, you know, the story behind CAR.O.L. The reason HIIT has been misunderstood is simply because the ability to do what the scientists do in the lab was just not possible. You know, if you look at the equipment they use and the methods they use, it is very different to what everybody else uses. As you know, Katie, when you do a ride, and the intensity is pretty high, right? And you don’t have the option to dial down that resistance. Now, when we did our own tests, and we asked people come on, you know, just up the resistance, they would up it, but it would never be high enough. And if it got tough for them, they would dial it down. And, you know, what you perceive as high intensity and what the system perceives as high intensity are two very different things, and the data isn’t gonna lie. So even now, and I’ve got people who come and they get on the ride, and, you know, they do the ride, and at the end of it, they go, “Oh, my God, that was really hard. Can I stop? Can I stop.” They’re wanting to stop it, you know, 12 seconds in, sometimes 10 seconds in. And at the end when we see the trace of their performance, clearly they had a lot more to give. But what was holding them back was their mind. And that’s what happens. And this is why CAR.O.L will not allow you to lie. We don’t allow you to change the resistance. And we set the resistance that we know is going to deplete your glycogen. And also, we know if you’re not pushing hard enough. So the next time you come, you know, it gets a little bit harder and then you clock, “Oh, okay, fine, I better, you know, do it this way,” until you establish your rhythm with CAR.O.L. So, you know, it’s not really as simple as intervals as in, you know, do this for a short time, then go hide. Do this for a short time, do this, hide. It works, Katie. I’m not saying it doesn’t work. It just takes longer. Which brings me a little bit to the science of it because everything is depending on the rate at which you burn your sugar stores in your thighs. Now, if you want to burn them through exercise like jogging, it’s gonna take you a longer time because it’s just lower intensity, lower impact. So it just takes longer to burn that sugar. You can accelerate that burn if you do a HIIT class in your gym, like, you know, crossfit or whatever, or you can do it in 20 seconds through CAR.O.L, through true HIIT through what the laboratories use. And it’s the pressure cooker idea of HIIT really because we wipe out those sugar stores within 20 seconds. And you will see it in your own graphs, Katie, because you reach your peak power, it’s for a fraction of a second and then you start to lose power. Now, that’s your sugar stores going, and by the end of 20 seconds, you know, there’s not much left.

Katie: Yeah, it’s amazing how you actually very much do feel that. Like rev up, you can start sprinting and then you’re like, “Oh I got it.” Then like, “No, there it goes.” It’s like you HIIT that peak and then it tails off. So why is that glycogen depletion so important? Like, what’s happening in our muscles and in our body when we do that?

Ratna: Okay. So we target the biggest stores of sugar in your body, your thighs, yeah? We are, as humans, still evolutionarily behind. Our lifestyles have evolved a lot faster than our bodies have. And the sugar in our thighs likes to stay there, because who knows, a tiger might come around the corner, and you need to be able to run away from the tiger. So, you know, if you look at caveman, the caveman was walking, gathering food, or he ran for his life. He couldn’t afford to jog because if he jogged all the time, just wouldn’t have the energy to run away from the tiger, right? So that’s the natural exercise for us, walking and doing, you know, very hard sprints. The other thing to realize is that the sugar that’s in your thighs, that’s either burnt locally, or it’s sucked in from your blood and stored for burning later on. It doesn’t actually give it out if you need sugar. If, for example, your blood, you know, has got less sugar in it because you haven’t been eating your carbs and your glycogen stores in your liver have gone, your body will turn to fat, which will be turned into sugar to supply you the energy that you require. It’s not going to come out of your muscles until, you know it’s an extreme diet and an extreme condition.

So when you deplete the glycogen in your thighs, a panic reaction goes up. It says, “Oh my God, Katie is under threat. We have to change ourselves in order to give her the power, the energy, the oxygen that she requires otherwise, as a species, she’ll be extinct.” So the scientists obviously have gone into great depth to understand what happens. It’s literally second by second. First of all, they use ultrasound to see how much glycogen is burned and, you know, they’ve tested our bikes and absolutely glycogen is burned. We were tested live on TV. And then in the first 10 seconds of the sprint, you basically have what’s called rapid glycogen depletion. So you reach your peak power and then you start to drop. So it’s rapid. It’s all about the rapid glycogen depletion. And then, when that happens, it releases other proteins, other hormones, other enzymes, and the key one is AMPK during the first sprint. That’s released the next 10 seconds of the sprint. So that’s how it splits. And then you recover for three minutes so that you can have a good second sprint, and in the second sprint, all these molecules that have been released in the first sprint become activated, so that they can go on and facilitate the other molecular processes that are required to make you fitter, that are required to make you slimmer, that are required to make you more insulin sensitive etc.

And the master switch, there’s something called PGC-1alpha, that’s the master switch that controls a whole bunch of other, you know, regulating molecules, and that’s the one that’s activated in the second sprint. And scientists have found that within 20 seconds, everything that needs to happen happens. You don’t need 30 seconds, you certainly don’t need a third sprint because nothing else is happening in that third sprint. So this really is the minimum effective dose of exercise. I hope that makes sense.

Katie: Yeah, it absolutely does. And I think it, you know, flies in the face of this idea that we have, especially in America, that if some is good, more is better. And there’s always that temptation to do more or take more of a supplement or whatever it may be. And in this case, you’re saying what the actual science says, you looked at the minimum effective dose which is gonna get you the best result with the least amount of time and input, which is, you know, really helpful for those of us who are especially busy. And I know there’s a lot of really amazing science on the long term effects of this type of training, the intensity training. Can you talk about like, what are some of the effects people see when they do this regularly?

Ratna: Yeah. I mean, again, the American Council on Exercise tested CAR.O.L against what the government guidelines are for exercise, which is 30 minutes of, you know, medium intensity exercise five days a week. And, you know, we showed that we doubled the fitness gains, we doubled the drop in blood pressure, we doubled the improvement in your cholesterol levels, like literally every parameter we doubled the improvements. And the long term effect of this is you as, you know, as you get older, your risk levels drop significantly, a lot more than if you were doing the government guidelines or other types of exercise. So, for example, when you do this kind of exercise just by increasing your fitness, your VO2 max, which is linked to, you know, your future risk of getting ill, by increasing that by 20%, you drop your risk levels by 20%. So when the scientists, the ACE people did the comparisons, they did, you know, check to see what effect the two types of exercise modalities have on people’s risk levels for future illness. And we, CAR.O.L dropped the risk levels by 67%, whereas the government guidelines dropped it by 26%. So that’s the long term effect, you’re going to live longer and more healthily. But you got to keep doing it obviously, you can’t do it for eight weeks and stop. But that is the long term benefits. And so from an individual basis, obviously, that’s important, but also from a public health and healthcare systems perspective. That’s huge. Because, you know, healthcare systems are collapsing, and they’ll be on their knees soon if we’re not careful.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a sobering thought. You mentioned VO2 max. Can you explain what that is for anyone who’s not super familiar with that and why that’s such a good predictor of long term health?

Ratna: Yeah. So VO2 max is basically, it’s how much oxygen, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can take in and utilize, right? And the better you are at utilizing oxygen, the healthier you’re going to be because, you know, you’ve got more mitochondria, if you’ve got mitochondria who can use that oxygen, you have, you know, all your bodily processes just work a lot better if you are able to take in and process and use oxygen better. And it usually, you know, is related to how fit you are. So there’s lots of interrelated aspects of it. So VO2 max measures your fitness levels, but your fitness level is also due to many other things. For example, you have more mitochondria, which are tiny little cells, power cells in your body, and they are the ones that produce energy. You definitely want more of them because that gives your skeletal muscle much greater health, much more integrity, especially as you get older. So if you are, you know, have more fitness, you’re gonna have more mitochondria. And the other thing it does is just, you know, how flexible your arteries are so that your body can, you know, use that oxygen better. If you’ve got hard arteries and not very flexible or clogged arteries, you know, you’re just not gonna be, so your fitness is gonna be low. Although VO2 max is a measure of fitness, it actually shows that your body is functioning well as it should be, you know, your arteries are good, your heart is strong, it’s pumping out more oxygenated blood with every heartbeat. And that means that your heart doesn’t have to work so hard, right? I mean, if you’re not fit, it’s like, you know, to do job X might take double the heartbeats. If you’re fit, it might take half the heartbeat. So it just means there’s less stress, less pressure on your heartbeat, and your body is just working in a really nice way. So once you have all of these great things happening to you reflected by a VO2 max score, then you are gonna be healthier in the long run and less prone to illness.

Katie: That makes sense. And I’m curious, it made me think of something else and I’m gonna throw it out there. I don’t actually know the answer myself. But what about heart rate variability? Is there any data that you have seen on HIIT training and improving heart rate variability?

Ratna: Oh, absolutely. And in fact, again, this is part of CAR.O.L’s AI future release. I’m actually looking at my co-founder as I speak because he’s working on the algorithms right now. We have the data, we just have to make sure it’s, you know, processed properly. So we do measure your heart rate variability, and we want there to be a day when you hold the handlebars of CAR.O.L and she says, “Not today, Katie, you’re too tired,” because she’s analyzed your heart rate variability. It most definitely improves your heart rate variability. I don’t have hard scientific data that’s been published about it, on CAR.O.L, but I can just tell you from observation, I look at my own HRV and, I mean, I’m surprised that at the moment my readiness score because I wear my Oura ring, is high, and the only thing I can attribute this to is CAR.O.L. Literally, a year ago, that was not the case. And other than CAR.O.L, I literally have done nothing else. So yeah, it definitely helps.

Katie: That’s fascinating. I’m new to it, but I wear an Oura ring as well, and I’ve noticed, like the times when I’ve done it I seem to have good readiness even the next day which can be unusual after a hard workout. So I wondered if that was the case.

Ratna: No, it definitely affects you. It is a hard workout. But remember, it’s very short for your body. Although when you come off, you’re like, “God, I’m absolutely wasted,” The impact on your heart has been only 40 seconds, right? So the damage isn’t great though, in fact, there’s none, there’s very little. You get more damage when you’re jogging because of the constant pounding of your heart and the constant pounding on your capillaries, you have more micro tears which leads to, you know, scarring, and inflammation, and stiffness, so that’s actually less good for you. And that of course, would affect your heart rate variability, right? Because it depends on repair. And we say you have to give 24 hours to recover, let your body, you know, repair. But the damage that it’s doing to you is not that great.

If you’re jogging and you’re, you know, exercising for longer, this constant beating actually hurts your arteries and your heart, and your capillaries, and they end up having a lot more micro tears which leads to inflammation and takes longer to recover, etc. So I think all in all, all the factors that can affect heart rate variability negatively are just absent from this kind of exercise. It’s just positive. I know it sounds like utopia, and I’m sorry it does, but it does.

Katie: It really does. And so to kind of give it an overview of an optimal scenario based on what the science is saying, how often per week, per month, would someone use this? Is it something that can be done every day or is that actually not recommended? And are there other things we should be doing as well like just walking or like low intensity, or is this, does the data say this is enough on its own?

Ratna: So for your health, for fat loss, we would say, you do not need to do anything more. So anything that you do cardio, any cardio that you do, for whatever reason to lose weight, or whatever you don’t need to do anymore. CAR.O.L is all you need, and you should do it three times a week. Now, very recent research is showing that actually twice a week is good enough. But I think three times a week at the moment is the recommend…well, I know it’s the recommendation. You can do more in between because we have more than one program, so we have the energizer which is 10-second sprints. If you want to do something every day, just pack that in on your days that you’re not doing the proper intense sprints. And let’s say if you want to lose fat and do it in an aggressive way, then we have a fat loss program on there as well. Which, again, is not very long. You will sweat on that one, it’s just, you know, you do 30 sprints which are eight seconds long, followed by 12 seconds rest and it’s back to back, 30 or 60. And the endorphins that come out at the end of that are just amazing. But that protocol has shown to lose nine times more fat than, you know, if you were jogging or doing lower intensity exercise. So you can do something every day if you want to, but as I think you probably know, Katie, you know, it takes a while to recover and you probably don’t want to do it every day. And if you don’t want to do it every day, just don’t, you know. Most people who do three times a week of the intense get spectacular results. That’s what the ACE report got, spectacular results. So there’s no reason why your listeners wouldn’t be able to get the same.

Katie: And you mentioned you’ll sweat on the fat loss one, and you also mentioned in the beginning on the just the high intensity one you actually don’t sweat. And I think this is another important point to bring up, because I think in a lot of people’s minds, sweat is tied to a good workout or to fitness. And I think that’s something we need to kind of like separate because I think it, from my understanding at least, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, there’s benefits to both. Sweating is great because it helps things come out of our skin, it’s a detoxification mechanism the body uses, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate whether a workout was or was not effective. My personal opinion is we should be sweating every day in some form. I prefer saunas personally, but that doesn’t necessarily tie to fitness. But I’d love to hear your take on that.

Ratna: Absolutely, 100% what you said is correct. So the sweating is not necessarily related to how hard you work. Like I said, if you sit in a hot room, if you sit in a sauna, if you are on a beach and it’s a hot summer’s day, you’ll start sweating, right, because you get hot. You sweat because you get hot. With the CAR.O.L exercise, you do just two 20-second sprints, the rest of the time you’re just pedaling very slowly, just at walking pace. And so your body just doesn’t get hot enough to start sweating. The number of people I’ve seen in pinstripe suits do the ride and then, you know, get back to work. Some people tell me that they’ve totally reverse the way their morning routine used to be. So instead of, you know, going to the gym, showering, getting ready, and leaving, it’s shower, get ready, do a ride, leave. So you don’t sweat, certainly not enough to need a shower. You may get a little bit warm if your room is warm. But that doesn’t mean that you haven’t worked hard because you have worked very, very hard. And what you’ve done is triggered the processes in a very smart way. If you were to do something for longer and sweat, you will still have triggered the same processes, it would just take you a lot longer to do, so it’s your choice. I agree with you. Sweating is really, really important. I personally love to sweat, like you, in a sauna, or I do some hot yoga. And you asked the question, what else should you be doing? I think you do need to do some resistance work, especially for the upper body. I think yoga and CAR.O.L go extremely well together. But if you want to do something else, that’s up to you. But you definitely don’t need to do any more cardio.

Katie: Perfect. And you mentioned also that, and it’s no secret, obviously, we’re seeing the healthcare system have all kinds of problems. We’re just seeing a rise in health problems across the board. What do you think are some of the other factors contributing to this and other things we can do complimentary to obviously the study benefits of high intensity training, to help reverse that trend, even if it’s just us personally taking initiative in our own lives?

Ratna: I think that, you know, you’ve gotta do diet as well as the exercise together. I think that it’s a simple equation, calories in, calories out and you should take responsibility and choose, you know, healthy food. It’s not that we don’t have the education about what that is, we all know that, you know, a bowl of blueberries are going to be better for you then a bowl of Smarties. But we don’t always make that choice. And sometimes it’s just a mental health issue or whatever. But we just need to be aware of that. And I think the government needs to do a bit more, you know. Sometimes trying to create behavior change isn’t just about telling people they should be doing something, just make it difficult for them to do the undesirable behavior. So, you know, raising taxes, for example, on unhealthy food is one example. It’s, you know, maybe prime, maybe incentivizing good behavior is another example. But on a public health level, I think they should be doing a little bit more. And in fact, something that CAR.O.L is going to be doing at some point is just to help you, again, it’s not supposed to punish you, it’s just supposed to help you, that people don’t realize how much sugar is in a, you know, a baguette, for example, because they think, “Oh, well, it’s just, you know, some meat in there, there’s some lettuce, there’s some tomatoes,” but the baguette itself is massively, massively heavy in sugar. So what we are gonna be doing is taking the common food groups that people consume and just instead of, you know, let’s say you taking a baguette of, filled with prosciutto, we will show you a baguette, but the baguette is made up of sugar cubes, and there’s prosciutto inside there. So you just get the mental idea that, “Oh my God. There’s 40 teaspoons of sugar in that baguette.” Once you have that education, I think you just wouldn’t want to touch the baguette anymore. So a lot of it is just not knowing, you know, what’s in there and people think that so many of these, you know, healthy foods are healthy, but no. You look at them, they are loaded with sugar, loaded with sugar. It doesn’t matter. Healthy sugar or not. Sugar is sugar, and the worst kind is fructose which, you know, like agave syrup people say is very healthy. No, it’s fructose. It goes to your liver, it turns into fat there. And it’s just a lot of Broscience that’s out there as well, a lot of just anecdotes and what’s trendy etc.

I think people have to be better educated, and I think the government needs to have a little bit more of a hand in doing this. Exercise, I think, is really vital. If people don’t have the time to do it, then we need to be able to provide a short and effective alternative. That’s what I think we’re doing, that’s our part of contribution to this we think, we hope, and we’d like government to sponsor this and just, you know, because you don’t sweat CAR.O.L should be literally everywhere people congregate. We can be in airports, we can be in train stations, we can be in service stations on them, you know, highway so when people stop and take a break, have a quick ride, it will wake you up and, you know, instead of sitting, these taxi companies, they should have them at the depos. I think, you know, if these became more publicly available, then people would just do it more. I don’t want to preach to anyone, Katie, because, you know, we all have our own, you know, situations in life and you can’t judge people. But I think awareness is a really important thing.

Katie: I absolutely agree. And oh, wouldn’t that be amazing if we had tools like that in airports? I spend so much time in airports these days. I’ve also heard you, the thing I love about CAR.O.L is it gives you like a very simple, quick, and highly effective tool that you can use. And I’ve also heard you mention before in other interviews, a couple things that dietary-wise can be very simple, but very effective. One being not combining sugar, carbs, with fat. And I think that’s a really simple rule that people can remember. Can you explain why that’s important?

Ratna: Yeah, because, you know, fat will be turned into carbohydrates, that will give you the energy that you require, right? So if you add carbohydrates and sugar on top of fat, it’s just a quadruple whammy and you don’t want to do that. It’s the excess, it’s something your body won’t be able to cope with and it just gets stored as fat. So just don’t do that. You know, leave as much of a gap between the two different food groups. But I, Katie, I’m not a believer in eliminating food groups. I really am not. I just think that it doesn’t make instinctive sense to me. But forgive me, this is just my opinion. I know that there’s lots of people much smarter, much more experienced than I am and they have their opinions. I’m just giving you mine. For me, I think what’s the best is to do intermittent fasting and eat what you want other times. Obviously, don’t go crazy, and don’t eat donuts all the time or anything like that. But as long as you make healthy choices and do intermittent fasting, you will have great weight control, but also you’ll have better health because intermittent fasting does more than just help you lose weight or cut your calories. You’re lowering IGF-1 levels, lower rates of cancer, your body gets to repair in the time that you’re not eating. So it’s just much, much, much healthier. And I don’t know, sometimes when I do it I, I get a kind of I just get more present. Just because you’re looking at yourself, and you’re starving, and you’re thinking, “Okay, let’s just observe the trees a little bit.” Sorry, I’m digressing now. So I should stop.

Katie: I love that you brought up intermittent fasting. And I think it’s another area that’s misunderstood, certainly by the conventional recommendations. And, you know, because it, you often hear that from the conventional world of like, “Oh, you should eat small meals every three hours,” or whatever it may be. And women, especially, I feel like get a little nervous about the idea of fasting. And I always say like, there’s so much data, if it makes it less scary, call it time restricted eating or time restricted feeding, which a lot of the research calls it, but there’s so much data and you do it anyway, when you’re asleep. We all fast when we’re asleep. So just build, like extend the window.

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Katie: And I think to me what all of this points to, like the science on the exercise, and the science on the time restricted feeding and on diet is to metabolic flexibility and heart rate variability as well. Like, our goal should be to be these adaptive, highly flexible beings that can handle if you eat, like you said, eat what you want in the meal when you eat. Or when you wanna sprint, your body can handle it. Or if you wanna just go for a long swim with your kids, your body can handle it. To me that’s like the gold standard, is that we’re highly adaptive and highly flexible. Is that kind of how you feel as well?

Ratna: Oh, 100% Katie. You’ve hit the nail right on the head. We are, as humans, you know, highly adaptive, otherwise, we simply wouldn’t have survived all these years with all the changing conditions and the threats that we’ve had as we’ve evolved. So our bodies are adaptive. And that’s how our exercise works. By putting you under severe stress for 40 seconds, and your body just not knowing what has gone on, all it thinks is that you are in danger and it needs to make you a fitter, leaner, healthier human so that you can survive as a species. And so what you do is you adapt, and that’s why you need to leave yourself 24 hours of recovery in between so your body can adapt. So, for example, if you’re depleting your glycogen and your body doesn’t have the time to restore that glycogen, you know, what are you gonna deplete the next time you get on the bike? And so it’s counterproductive. Right? So as you said earlier, as well, just make sure that you’re, you know, you’re eating correctly, you’re allowing your body to do what it’s supposed to do. Your muscles are supposed to be stores of sugar. But, you know, if you burn it, and then you eat sugar, it will go into your muscles because there’s space for it. It’s a bit like going into your kitchen and trying to shove the groceries into cupboards. If they’re full, where do you put it, right? So, you need to create space. So that in that in that analogy, you want to deplete your glycogen stores so you can fill up when you eat carbohydrates or whatever and you can burn it again. If you don’t, you know, create space in your muscles then that sugar is just gonna become fat. And that’s what you don’t want. And, you know, as you say, people are adaptive, right? If you’re gonna be a couch potato, your body’s gonna adapt to be a couch potato, because your body will give you what you are asking of it.

And I see this, Katie, interestingly, because, you know, the worst skeptics are the runners, the marathon runners. They’ll come and they’ll say, “Oh, no, this is nonsense, nonsense. And I’m very, very fit.” And I get them on the bike, and I really push them hard. At the end, they are pretty wasted. But what’s revealing is that we have all this data, right? Like, we have our octane score which tells you your power per heartbeat, it’s approximate to your VO2 max. And the theory is that the fitter you get, the more power you produce with fewer heartbeats because of, your stroke volume is much greater. And they come out with lower scores than half the people that are, you know, that are using CAR.O.L and would not consider themselves exercisers or, you know, fit people, or runners. It’s quite sobering. So the reason I’m saying this is that a runner’s body has adapted to making him a runner, a marathon runner. A sprinter’s body will adapt to making that person a sprinter. So you’ve gotta choose, you know, if you walk and I’m walking is a fantastic exercise, but my walking will certainly not, at a leisurely pace will certainly not improve your VO2 max. But any movement is good for you. Motion is lotion, you know, your joints get lubricated, you get fresh air, and your body feels alive. So you should do it, you should do something. But if you want to optimize yourself, and optimize your health, and optimize your time, then, you know, there are other modalities to choose.

Katie: I agree totally. My thing is I love to just walk with people that I love to spend time with, with my husband, my kids and have it be a social thing versus I’m not trying to exercise. I’m just trying to spend time with people I love and be in a silent move while I do it.

Ratna: Exactly, perfect. And that’s, you know, the joy you get from that is so much better, and so much better for you than the exercise itself from the walking, you know, the endorphins, the feel good factors that come out and just being present with your family. That’s fantastic.

Katie: I’m also curious because I’ve been in this nutrition side of this world for 13 years now and brought up things to moms, like maybe the best thing to feed our babies in the beginning is not rice cereal, maybe we should look at nutrient density instead of just palatability, and some of these things went against the grain. Pun-intended there, but I know that you’re also kind of bucking the trend when it comes to exercise. And I’m curious if you’ve run into any challenges going against these strongly entrenched belief systems like that we need more cardio or we need to work out for 30 minutes, five times a week or whatever it may be.

Ratna: Every day, Katie. A hundred times a day literally. There is not one person who hasn’t said, “Really? But, come on. Can’t be true,” until they get on it. Every single day it happens. And I just tell them the facts. And once you’ve explained the rationale to them, most people who are open-minded will get it and we’ll give it a go. And I have to tell you, the American people are amazing at this, you know. They may not necessarily end up choosing you, but at least they’ll give it a try. And that’s why America is our biggest market because your mindset is so wonderfully open. So we do get that and then you get some people who just won’t believe it and just do everything they can to trash you. And at that time, you just shut up and you basically say, “Okay, you know, please carry on doing what you’re doing, you know, perhaps this is not the right option for you.” But you know, if you’ve got hard science, if you’ve got randomized controlled trials, when you’ve got a publication in the National Journal that’s peer reviewed, I mean, hello.

Katie: Yeah. And another area I think that you probably have some great perspective on is this idea of just balancing work, and life, and family. Most of the women listening, have children, and many of them…well, every mother works very, very hard, but many also work outside the home. And I know firsthand doing that myself that there’s a lot that comes with balancing family and work, and all the things that go with that. So you are a busy mom in startup mode. I’m curious if you have any things that help you keep balance or stay sane through all of that.

Ratna: I will be really, really honest and tell you that I don’t. I don’t. I try really hard to, but it always fails because I prioritize CAR.O.L at all times. And I suspect I’m a workaholic anyway, and I think I’ve come to terms with that. Luckily, I have two children who have come up to be fairly balanced and normal. I have no idea how that happened. Maybe it was boarding school that did it, but they are fine. I’ve got a great relationship with them. And they’re polite, you know, good human beings, which is what you’d want your children to be. But like all mothers, I’ve suffered my life with guilt. Guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, you know. Am I doing the right thing? Am I being the right mother? Did I say the right word? Did I feed them the right thing? Did I spend enough time with them? And I guess kids just kind of adapt to what their parents are doing. And in my case, the only thing I’ve done is I’ve not had a social life. So they either see me working, whether it’s at home or in the office, but I’m around them, you know, and I think maybe that’s helped. But it’s very hard. It’s really difficult, especially when you have a mission like you do, Katie, and like many people do. When you’ve got a mission, you just have to fulfill that mission, you know. And I hope that, you know, I’m an example to my daughter. And I hope that I’m an example to my son too that, he went to an all boys boarding school and I suspect that his ideas of women are slightly distorted, and an English boarding school on top of that. So I hope that seeing what he sees in me helps him balance the view. I’m sure it does because as a millennial, you know, they’re wonderfully right on people. And yeah, so I’m waffling on, but it’s very, very difficult. And what we say about CAR.O.L is this, she has one fantastic little line. She says, “Ditch the guilt, not the kids by doing the ride.” But when you have a start up, I don’t think you ever ditch the guilt if you’re a parent. I don’t know why men don’t get this. Why don’t they get it? They’re just so easily able to compartmentalize. I don’t think women can, and I certainly can’t. I’ve totally failed at it. It can go down in my book as failure.

Katie: Well, maybe that’s actually the key is admitting that in the modern world, with all the things on our plate, it is difficult and there’s a lot that comes with it. And we’re not gonna do it perfectly. And you certainly aren’t gonna do all the things all the days. And maybe it’s also about that, supporting each other. I think community at the end of the day is a huge part of that and having those support systems around you that help you get through startup mode or help you get through whatever the challenge anyone faces in their daily life and supporting each other. And speaking of kids, I feel like that’s another point we’re probably gonna get questions about is, assuming they’re tall enough, can teenagers and kids use the bike as well? And if like a family has the CAR.O.L bike, can everybody use it? Who’s big enough to use it?

Ratna: Oh, definitely. So my 12-year-old daughter uses it and so definitely can use it. The only thing we find with younger kids is that their heart rate just tends to be a little bit faster than adults. And because we have safety algorithms that we build in, it’s checking your heart rate, not, if your heart rates too high and it doesn’t recover fast enough the ride aborts automatically. Sometimes that happens with the kids, the ride is constantly aborting. But we have an override factor. You just kind of go override, and you can keep going. But they can certainly use it. Absolutely. I mean, our scientists will say it’s a fantastic thing for kids. You know, childhood obesity is on the rise, you’ve also got childhood diabetes has doubled in the last 10 years. So it’s great, as long as they are tall enough to use it. Absolutely. Right.

Katie: Awesome. And for anybody who’s interested, I know we’ve talked a lot about the science and people maybe wanting to just try it by now. The website is carolfitai.com. That’ll be, of course, linked in the show notes. And I believe you guys have given me a discount code, which is just wellnessmama all one word, which gives $150 off. Anything else people need to know if they want to jump in and try it?

Ratna: No, that’s about right. And I think we do have several locations where people can go and give it a whirl and see what they think. Because I think, Katie, until you experience it, it is really hard to believe. But once you’ve experienced it, you know, you get it. But how do you do it with your children, you know? You’ve got six children, you’re doing this. I mean, that must be absolutely insane.

Katie: It’s a busy life for sure. I am very big on systems. And actually, to get vulnerable for a minute, several years ago, I probably came very close to having a full nervous breakdown just with everything that was on my plate. And I almost deleted the website because I realized I could not balance everything anymore, and I wasn’t gonna let my family suffer. And in that moment, I had this clarity of realizing, in business, everything runs smoothly because I have systems and I have people who help me and I have KPIs, and I have all these things. And then at home, I’m just trying to do it all in my head. And so I implemented a ton of systems in our personal life that keep the family running smoothly, and that take mainly the mental stress away of, I know what I’m gonna cook. I know what the meal plan is, I know when everything is gonna happen so there’s no stress of the overwhelm of trying to figure that out. Basically, I still have to do the activities, but I don’t have the stress of trying to figure out the activities. So I kind of just solved that variable.

Ratna: Could you please write about that, because, you could tell me how you do that? I need it. Help. I need those systems.

Katie: I know. I think that’s gonna have to become my next book. I think I’ve had enough people be like, “Yes, I need to know how to do that.” But I think also it’s acknowledging that motherhood comes with a lot these days, and it’s hard.

Ratna: And then, in my mother’s time, I mean, it was a very different world. But I have to say, I think even then they did an amazing job because, you know, I come from a family of doctors and these ladies are working, working hard, long hours, yet they’re amazing cooks. I don’t know how they did it. Anyway.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I can’t believe our time has flown by so quickly. But I am so grateful to you for being here and for sharing today. This was such a fun interview, and I really appreciate your time.

Ratna: No, thank you, Katie. Thank you so much for your time, and I hope, you know, I’ve been half sensible, and I look forward to staying in touch with you. And, you know, any of your listeners can easily drop me a note on info@carolfitai.com, and I’ll be sure to respond.

Katie: Amazing. Thank you so much. This has been incredible, and thanks to all of you for listening. I hope that you’ll join me again on the next episode.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic, my source for superfood coffees, teas and elixirs that contain powerhouse mushrooms for better performance, sleep and health. I’ve been asked several times what the name means… and it’s a cool story…Basically, if you put all the foods in the world on a scale from bad to good, many would fall in the middle as average. The farther you get away from the average, the more rare it is, and the more “sigmas” it has. Only 50 superfoods in the world qualify as four sigmatic away from the average… these are the best of the best, the highest quality, and the products Four Sigmatic uses in their products. My favorites are the coffee with lions mane in the morning, reishi elixer or reishi cocoa at night to wind down, and any of their other products in between. My kids love their chai and superfood hot cocoa but I’d recommend all of their products. save 15% on any order with the code wellnessmama at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

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295: Health Foods That Are Actually Making Us Sick With Dr. Gundry of the Plant Paradoxhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dr-gundry/ Mon, 18 Nov 2019 11:00:51 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=420647

I am here today with one of the most requested podcast guests ever. Dr. Steven Gundry MD is a renowned heart surgeon and four-time New York Times bestselling author and physician-scientist. He’s a leading expert on the lectin-free diet as the key to reversing disease and increasing longevity, which he explains in his book The Plant Paradox.

In this episode, we go deep on autoimmune disease and how to reverse it, how to keep your family healthy, and the science of APOE-4 genes. Dr. Gundry practices medicine still seven days a week with his waitlist-only clinics, which have a 95% reversal rate for autoimmune disease.

No question, this is one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever done… I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Episode Highlights With Dr. Gundry

  • What lectins are and why they should be avoided
  • A surprising and easy way to destroy harmful lectins in food
  • What Dr. Gundry thinks of the keto and carnivore diets
  • The truth about fruit and how to consume it the right way
  • Ways to support the microbiome from the inside out
  • Why we should all consume a liter of olive oil per week!
  • The one type of beans that is safe to consume out of the can
  • How to reverse autoimmune disease and test negative for biomarkers
  • Why cancer loves fructose and how to reduce cancer risk
  • Why resistant starch is important
  • The reason what you don’t eat is more important than what you do
  • Supplements we can all benefit from
  • The core parts of a healthy diet according to Dr. Gundry
  • Yet another reason to love your Instant Pot
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Are you convinced there are dangers to a plant-based diet? Why or why not? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to the “Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and I am here today with one of the most requested podcast guests ever. Dr. Steven Gundry MD is a renowned heart surgeon, four-time “New York Times” bestselling author and physician-scientist. He’s considered the leading expert in the world on a lectin-free diet as the key to reversing disease and boosting longevity, and he explains the science and the protocol in his book, ”The Plant Paradox.”

He also wrote a book called “The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young in a Ripe Old Age” where he talks about how to get younger as you age, and he certainly seems to be an example of that. He also has written several cookbooks, including ”The Plant Paradox Family Cookbook,” which comes out right about the time you are listening to this and is available everywhere books are sold. This is one of my favorite interviews I’ve done. It’s fascinating.

We go into a lot of different topics, including autoimmune disease and how to reverse it, how to keep your family healthy, even things like we go deep on APOE-4 genes and a whole lot of fascinating science. And Dr. Gundry practices medicine still seven days a week with his waitlist only clinics and helps thousands of people a year to get healthier. And, stay tuned to also hear how some of his clinical studies that he’s working on, they have a 95% reversal rate for autoimmune disease. So, like I said, one of my favorite episodes that I have done, and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Katie: Dr. Gundry, welcome, and thanks for being here.

Dr. Gundry: Thanks for having me, “Wellness Mama.”

Katie: I am so excited to have you. In fact, you are one of my most requested guests ever, and I’m so excited to finally get to chat with you on air. And I mentioned in your bio you are well-known for your book, ”The Plant Paradox,” and I think that’s a perfect place to start because I read it and really enjoyed it, and I know it caused a stir to say the least. And you talk about lectins being a problem. So to start broad, can you give us an overview of what lectins are?

Dr. Gundry: Lectins are a plant protein that’s a sticky protein, and they’re designed by plants as a defense mechanism against being eaten. These, believe it or not, plants don’t want to be eaten, and they don’t want their seeds or babies eaten. So one of the ways they fight against being eaten is to produce these lectins, which like to bind to specific sugar molecules in us or any of their predators. And those sugar molecules line the wall of our gut. They line the lining of our blood vessels. They line in our joints. They line the spaces between nerves.

And when lectins hit these places, they are a major cause of leaky gut. They can break down the gut wall barrier. They’re a major cause of arthritis, they’re a are major cause of heart disease, and they’re a major cause, in my research, of autoimmune diseases. And so anything that a lectin can do to make its predator, us, feel bad, not do well. A smart predator says, “Every time I eat these particular plants or their seeds, I don’t do very well, and I think I’ll go eat something else.” That’s the defense mechanism that plants use.

Katie: That makes sense. So what would be examples of foods that contain lectins and some of the different types of lectins that are in these foods?

Dr. Gundry: Most grains have lectins primarily in the hull, sometimes in the germ of the grains. So we’re talking about, for instance, gluten happens to be a lectin, but there are other mischievous lectins in wheat in the hull called wheat germ agglutinin, which is probably even worse than gluten present in all grains except sorghum and millet. Sorghum and millet don’t have a hull and have been tested as lectin-free. They’re present in all beans. Beans and legumes have some of the highest lectin content of any food, and that includes peanuts.

Peanuts are a legume, they’re not a nut at all, and that includes cashews. Cashews are part of the nightshade, Oh, sorry. Not the nightshade family, poison ivy family. And anyone who thinks that cashews are good for them might chew on poison ivy and find out how bad that really is. I mentioned nightshades. The nightshade family includes potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and even goji berries. And then there are also lectins in new world’s squash families, things like zucchini, things like summer squashes, things like cucumbers actually all have lectins, primarily in the peels and the seeds. So that’s a good overview.

Katie: Got it. So, that sounds like a lot of foods. I know people who are not familiar with this may be thinking, like, “That’s half of what I eat.” What would be on the converse, what would be some examples of foods that do not contain lectins?

Dr. Gundry: Well, you know, interestingly enough, all of those foods that I mentioned, no human being ever consumed any of those foods until about 10,000 years ago when agriculture started. We did not eat wheat. It didn’t exist. Rice began being cultivated 8,000 years ago. Things like the nightshade family, most of us come from Europe, Africa, or Asia, and all of these nightshade families are American plants, and so none of our ancestors ate any of these until 500 years ago. And beginning to be introduced to something in 500 years is like speed dating and evolution, and I think we haven’t been able to catch up with adapting to these modern foods.

So an answer to your question. We have been eating leaves and tubers for probably millions and millions of years. There is evidence that early man primarily got a lot of its food supply by tubers, including, fun fact, those little tiger nuts, which are actually not nuts at all but little underground tubers. There’s some pretty cool archaeological evidence that we consumed quite a bit of tiger nuts in the past. But yams, for instance, are another thing and all the leafy green vegetables. Great apes like chimpanzees and gorillas eat mostly leaves, and we started as one of the great eight families.

Katie: That is really fascinating. So to clarify one point on this because you just mentioned a lot of vegetables and even tubers that are sources of starch, I think that there was some misconception with “The Plant Paradox.” People thought it was essentially a carnivore diet or that you were saying to avoid all plants, and that’s certainly not the case at all. But can you just clarify that a little bit?

Dr. Gundry: Yeah. This is not a carnivore diet. It’s the antithesis of the carnivore diet. I’m actually very plant-friendly. In fact, there’s a vegetarian and vegan version of every one of my recipes in every one of my books. And I’m secretly trying to make people pretty close to vegan as possible. My wife and I eat pretty much vegan during the week. Then on the weekends, we add usually wild shellfish or wild fish into our repertoire. Now, the reason I think people think that this is a carnivore diet, the carnivore diet folks have jumped on the lectin bandwagon because, quite frankly, all plants have lectins in them.

And my point in “The Plant Paradox” is that there are some plants that we have eaten for literally millions of years and our bacteria, our microbiome, has evolved to handle those particular lectins and eat them and also teach our immune system that, “Yeah, this plant has a lectin, but, hey, you don’t have to get all upset about it because you’ve seen this lectin for a million years and don’t get your shorts in a wad. And I think that’s the difference. The carnivore diet folks say, “Okay, well every plant is bad, and so we auto-eliminate all plants.”

That’s, I think, taken to an extreme. I will say this about the carnivore diet. In a way, it is the ultimate elimination diet. And I do have patients with severe IBS or leaky gut that even raw vegetables, particularly raw cruciferous vegetables, are really mischievous introducing them initially into the program. And I write in all the books, and some people don’t read closely enough. But if you do have IBS, or a leaky gut, or diarrhea, then raw vegetables are way down the list that you should add to your diet. And if you want those vegetables, you need to cook them to an inch of their life and make them kind of mushy, particularly a pressure cooker really helps.

Katie: Let’s talk about that a little bit more. I’m a huge fan of pressure cookers and Instant Pots, and I have actually several of them. But how do pressure cookers help with lectins?

Dr. Gundry: So there is good evidence that all lectins can be destroyed with the application of high heat and high pressure simultaneously. The exception to that is gluten. Gluten does not appear to be broken down by high heat and high pressure. Interestingly, I was a professor and chairman at Loma Linda University for much of my career, and the Adventists are vegetarians. And, the primary protein source in the Adventist diet is texturized vegetable protein, TVP as it’s known. And this is actually defatted soy meal that is extruded under high heat and high pressure. And I think maybe unbeknownst to them, this deactivate the rather nasty lectins in soy.

So some people characterize me as anti-bean, and that’s actually not the case. I think beans have some great soluble fibers that if you deactivate the lectins by pressure cooking them, they’re a really great source of food. And so, as you know, I’m a big fan of the Instant Pot. In fact, on November 19th, I’m introducing ””The Plant Paradox Family Cookbook,” which has mostly Instant Pot recipes for busy families. And you’ve got six kids, so you are one busy wellness mama. And so, an instapot is just a great option for delectinizing foods and getting a great meal on the table very quickly.

Katie: I definitely agree. I’m a huge fan of it. I’ll make sure to share your new cookbook when it comes out and also to grab a copy. But just to make sure I understand, so if people are using an instapot or pressure cooker correctly, does that make things like beans, and nightshades, and squash safe to consume?

Dr. Gundry: Yes, absolutely. And I go through that in every one of our books, that the key is using a pressure cooker, like an Instant Pot and following the package directions. The other thing I think that’s important for people to know who maybe are still afraid of the pressure cookers, the Instant Pot or other modern pressure cookers are not their grandmother’s pressure cooker. My mother exploded one when I was growing up. These are incredibly safe, useful devices. I think the other great thing is, and I have no relationship with this company.

There’s a company called Eden, E-D-E-N, that not only soaks all their beans and legumes and lentils but also pressure cooks them. And they’re really one of the few companies that has a non-BPA lined can. And just to give you an example. I ran home from filming, in San Francisco, a public television special Wednesday night, and I opened a can of Eden Garbanzo beans, threw in a bunch of chopped onions and a half head of radicchio with some Italian herbs, and stirred it all around, and that was dinner. And so you can report that Dr. Gundry admitted to eating pressure cooked Garbanzo beans. Oh my gosh. News flash.

Katie: I have it on the record now. We have a record of this. What about grains? So you mentioned sorghum and millet do not have lectins. Does that make them okay as is to consume?

Dr. Gundry: Yeah, I think they’re really a great underutilized grain. Both sorghum and millet, you can make into oatmeal which has the texture, which has the flavor. I’m a sucker for sorghum popcorn. Sorghum popcorn looks like miniature popcorn. It smells like popcorn. It tastes like popcorn, only it’s really tiny. And I think it’s another underutilized grain. Now, one of the things that I talk about in all my books, these should be used not as the mainstay of anyone’s diet. I think they are additions to a diet. They still have a lot of starch that breaks down into simple sugar.

And one of the things I’ve seen through the years in dealing with my patients is that a lot of people see my list of friendly foods page and look at the resistance starches and say, “Oh, I can have unlimited amounts of sorghum, or Yuca, or millet.” And I’ve tested this on myself, and I’ll have a bunch of sorghum popcorn and then check my blood levels of triglycerides. And sure enough, if I’m munching, even a couple cups of sorghum popcorn as a snack, within a week, my triglycerides are elevated. And as people have heard me talk, that’s really bad longterm for heart health.

Katie: That makes sense. Let’s go a little deeper on that because I think that there’s also a misconception that you are just, by default, low carb or that you recommend a low carb or keto-type diet because a lot of these foods that contain lectins are also high carb, but you are a heart surgeon as well as a research scientist. So give us the low down on that. What do you personally consume carb-wise, and what do you recommend for your patients?

Dr. Gundry: Well, so I’m actually, as you probably know or as people know, I have a ketogenic version of my diet that I use for anyone who is insulin-resistant, or prediabetic, or diabetic, who has issues with cancer. I treat a lot of patients with cancer with my version of the ketogenic diet. But my version of the ketogenic diet is plant-based in that I want people to consume about 80% of their calories as primarily olive oil and/or avocados. And that’s where the vast majority of their calories should come from. I literally want people to consume about a liter of olive oil per week. And as strange as that may seem, that’s 10 to 12 tablespoons of olive oil per week.

My wife and I go through about a liter and a half of olive oil every week. And David Palmiter, a good friend, he and his wife, each have about a liter of olive oil per week. And you can look at any of us, and we’re certainly not overweight. In fact, there’s a beautiful study out of Spain forcing people to use a liter of olive oil per week for five years at the age of 65, and they actually lost weight during that time period. And they had improved brain health and memory, and they actually reduced their incidents of coronary heart disease by 30%.

So back to your original question, I believe that most of the food that we should be to get olive oil into our mouth. In other words, the purpose of eating broccoli is to get olive oil into your mouth. The purpose of having a salad is to get olive oil into your mouth. In fact, when I pop sorghum popcorn, I pour olive oil over it. And in fact, in my previous cookbook, I recommended that people, instead of butter on their approved waffles pour olive oil on it. And people go, “Wait a minute, olive oil on waffles?” Well, it’s a fat, and it’s a good fat, so why not use the waffle to deliver a good fat like olive oil? Everything goes better with olive oil.

Katie: I’m a huge fan of olive oil as well. I’m glad that you are such a supporter. So another thing I’d love to go a little bit deeper on. So I first really started learning about lectins starting with gluten but then all of the others when I was in, like, the really bad part of having Hashimoto’s. And so, I was trying to figure what was wrong with me, and I eventually figured out it was Hashimoto’s. And for a long time, I had to be very restrictive with my diet. And I’m much less so now. But let’s go deep for a little while on the lectin autoimmune disease connection. Can you start by explaining what’s going on in the body that there’s that link?

Dr. Gundry: Yeah, I think the first person to talk about this was Loren Cordain from Colorado State University, who, I think, is the true father of the paleo diet. And Cordain postulated that one of the things plants do is molecular mimicry. And the best way to explain this is lectins are proteins, and our immune system is set up with literally barcode scanners that read the barcode on all proteins that enter us. And the immune system is educated as to which proteins are friendly, that they’ve got a valid passport, or which proteins are on the no-fly list. And when, give you an example of a splinter, is under your skin, it gets all red, and that’s your white blood cells attacking that foreign protein.

So lining the wall of our gut is about 65%, 70% of all the white cells in our body line our gut wall. So if a foreign protein, you know, like a lectin, makes its way across the border, our immune system scans the barcode on that protein and says, “Aah, that’s a bad protein. And number one, we should mobilize the troops and kill this guy, but we should also memorize what this barcode looks like so that if we ever see something that looks like this barcode again in our body, we will attack it.” Now, I think plants are a lot smarter than people give them credit for, so plants have made these proteins resemble other proteins in our body.

For instance, they resemble the proteins in the thyroid gland. They resemble proteins in joints. They resemble proteins in nerves. They resemble proteins in skin. And, they even resemble proteins in the brain. So that when your immune system is activated by a leaky gut, then your immune system or I call them your fighter jets are going through your body and they go past your thyroid or Kelly Clarkson’s thyroid and says, “Oh, my gosh, you poor person. There are lectins in your thyroid, and we’re going to shoot to kill. Now, they don’t quite look like the electrons we’re looking for, but they’re pretty close. And so we’ll shoot first and ask questions later.” So that’s molecular mimicry.

Last year, I published a paper of 102 people with biomarker-proven autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s, like Crohn’s, like rheumatoid arthritis, like lupus who were put on the Plant Paradox program. And in six months’ time, 95 out of 102 patients were biomarker negative for those autoimmune diseases. So that’s a 94% success rate in six months. Not bad if I do say so. So we’ve seen people like yourself, like Kelly Clarkson, become completely autoimmune negative within a fairly short time period. In fact, just recently, I mentioned on another podcast, in my practice, for a new patient, usually my PA will see the patient first, and then I see the patient the next visit.

And I saw a woman in her mid-50s who had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and she had been on the program for three months. When I saw her, first thing she did was introduce herself. She said, ”Well, I’m here because I have, you know, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.” And I said, “Well, no you don’t.” And she said, ”Well, of course, I do. That’s why I’m here.” And I said, ”Well, you don’t have it anymore.” And she said, ”Well, how could that be?” So I held up her new lab work and sure enough, her anti-thyroglobulin antibody or anti-thyroid peroxidation antibodies were previously positive, but now they were negative. And that was in only three months. So, obviously, she was delighted and so was I, but that’s what we’ve come to expect.

Katie: That’s an incredible success rate, and I love that it turns the idea on its head. There’s an understanding that autoimmune diseases are not reversible, and I’ve heard that, you know, from a lot of doctors saying, “Once you have it, you always have it.” And so I’d love a little bit more just to clarify, these people are not just in remission, but they don’t even have the biomarkers at all for autoimmune disease at that point.

Dr. Gundry: Correct. The biomarkers are negative. They’re zero. And, you know, that includes rheumatoid factor, that includes anti-CCP3, that includes anti-nuclear antibody, that includes anti-DS double-stranded DNA, that includes Sjogren’s syndrome. We’ve seen reversal in so far every autoimmune disease. So, we’ve tackled…including MS. We’ve recently… Let me give you another example. There’s some beautiful new tests looking at attack on brain myelin that’s measurable with tests. We’ve got anti-cerebellar antibodies.

Recently saw a gentleman, young man in his mid-30s, very successful businessman, young wife, who had brain fog, for lack of a better word. And he came to us, had autoimmune markers for lupus, but also had two markers of his brain being under attack, one of them a de-myelination antibody. And we put him on the program, and he travels a lot. And I saw him back after two months. He said those two months were the most difficult that he’s ever had in his life. He hated me. But his wife, to keep him on track, actually made all his meals and packed them for him while he was traveling because, you know, he’s a 35-year-old guy who’s got markers for MS, and his brain doesn’t work.

So he said, you know, after six weeks, he said, “I really began to start liking you, so let’s see what we got.” And sure enough, his marker for lupus antinuclear antibody was gone. But I think most encouraging was that both of his brain autoimmune markers were now turned off. And that just gives you the power that people have to take control of what…many doctors are telling them, “Well, you got MS, and you’re just gonna have to live with it.” And, you know, Terry Wahls perfectly proved that this is something people do not have to live with. This is something that’s reversible, and these are fixable problems as long as we repair the gut barrier.

And, I think, my research over the last 20 years has stood the test of time that Hippocrates was right, that all disease begins in the gut. And I’ve added to that, that all disease can end in the gut if we stop a leaky gut from occurring. And if lectins are one of the major causes of leaky gut, and I and others believe they are, then getting lectins out of the diet is a first step.

Katie: I love Dr. Wahls. Her work is so encouraging as well. And I’m guessing there’s a lot of people listening who are going, “Oh, my gosh, is this actually possible? I have X, Y, Z autoimmune disease. Where do I start?” And I know that, obviously, they need to get “The Plant Paradox,” and we’ll talk about your new book in a couple of minutes as well. But can you, kind of, give us just a broad overview, both as a doctor and as a researcher, what you think an optimal diet for most people sort of, like, a specific issue looks like? Like, where should we begin with the good?

Dr. Gundry: Well, like, principle number one of “The Plant Paradox” is what I tell you not to eat is far more important than what I tell you to eat. And I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s the foods that you remove from your diet. And if you want to call it an elimination diet, that’s fine with me. But there’s certain foods that are making people sick. And getting these foods out of their diet, the ones I’ve just talked about, the ones that we were not designed to eat and that we were not exposed to until 10,000 years ago is the perfect place to start.

And I jokingly say I want people to party like it’s 9,999 years ago and eat that way because these modern foods didn’t exist in the human diet. And that was actually my research as an undergraduate at Yale University. I had a special major in human evolutionary biology, finding the foods and the environment that transformed a great ape into a modern human. And that’s actually was the basis of my original program.

Katie: That’s amazing. And also, you do talk a lot about the microbiome, and I know that removing lectins is a big part of that. Most of the people listening have kids, and that’s been a big area of research for me as well, as, how do we give our kids the best start in life by fostering a good microbiome early on? And I’d love to hear your research and your take on that. As parents, what can we be doing from the very beginning with our kids to make sure that they have the best start in life when it comes to this?

Dr. Gundry: Well, that’s why I wrote ”The Plant Paradox Family Cookbook” because, number one, I was a professor of pediatrics at Loma Linda, was a children’s heart surgeon, and a lot of my practice now involves children with the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease. I see a lot of children with asthma and eczema that have had no results elsewhere. And having children follow this program is obviously challenging because of peer pressure. But what we found was that if children were encouraged to follow this program, their Crohn’s disease went away, their rheumatoid arthritis went away.

And if they slipped, even if they cheated one time, had a cupcake at a school party, that they would flair immediately. And one of my patients early on said, “You know, feeling good, never tasted so good.” And I think that’s a really important point. So how do we do this with our kids? Now I have two young grandchildren. And bless my daughter and her husband’s heart, they have fed their kids with the Plant Paradox since day one, and they’re both thriving three and five-year-olds now. One just started kindergarten. And they cook in the kitchen.

I think that’s one of the most important things you can do, is involve your kids and making things very early. I give step-by-step advice to mothers who wanna get pregnant on the steps you need to do. Once you’re pregnant, what you should do. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of high dose fish oil, particularly DHA for building your baby’s brain. There’s a new study out that shows mothers who supplement with vitamin D have smarter kids who do better athletically than mothers who do not supplement with vitamin D during pregnancy. I think this is incredibly important information, and we give the all the suggestions in doing that.

In addition, please, please, please keep cows milk out of your child’s diet. Your baby is not a baby cow, and cow’s milk is designed to make baby cows grow rapidly so they do not get eaten by predators. We, as you, as a mother knows, are a very slow-growing species, and we do not want to have insulin-like growth factor, IGF1, which is high in cows milk given to our kids because it will actually make our kids grow faster and fatter. And that’s the last thing we actually want. Kids who grow rapidly have a much higher incidence of childhood cancers and cancers in their teenagers than kids who grow slowly and normally. So those are a few of the helpful ones. We can go on and on, but it’s all in ”The Plant Paradox Family Cookbook.”

Katie: Yeah, definitely. Again, echo the recommendation for your books.

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Katie: And you mentioned in kids that they were even able to see reversal of autoimmune symptoms and certainly in adults. There’s studies on this as well, but then it took complete adherence and no cheating. And so, I’m curious how you respond because I get these, too, people who say, “This is way too extreme. Everything in moderation. It should be fine. Like, you don’t have to completely avoid it.” I’m just curious how you answer those types of questions.

Dr. Gundry: Well, in the paper that I published at the American Heart Association in Lifestyle and Epidemiology meeting on the patients with autoimmune disease, seven of the patients subsequently, once they were in remission or cured, had no biomarker evidence of disease, started liberalizing their diet. And all of those seven people relapsed. The good news is once they went back on the program, they cured themselves again. They went back into remission. And that’s what we see. I lectured at Harvard two years ago at the neurosciences meeting.

And after giving this evidence, one of the professors said, “Well, that’s ridiculous. You know, everything in moderation. What do you say to that?” And I said, “Well, that’s fine. You know, if you want moderate heart disease, if you want moderate arthritis, if you want moderate dementia, and if you want moderate autoimmune disease, then please do that. But who in the world would actually want that? It’s preventable. These problems do not exist in societies that eat like us.” And I mean, believe it or not, when, you know, when I was in medical school, autoimmune disease and childhood cancer were aberrations.

They were oddities. And now, every commercial we see on TV is for, oh, you know, a happy person smiling with our autoimmune disease because of an immunosuppressant drug. And people forget that I was a transplant immunologist. I’m world famous in Xenotransplantation and how to fool the immune system to accepting a pig heart as normal. And what I’ve taken with my knowledge of autoimmunity and immunity is bringing that into, “Okay, we know what the immune system is looking for, let’s calm it down. This is fixable.”

Katie: And that makes so much sense. And a couple more questions, I don’t know, that will probably come up and that are probably common questions for you. You talk about how you eat seafood on the weekend, and there’s also that conception in the natural health world that things like shrimp and crab aren’t good for you because they’re bottom feeders with their filters. And so I’m curious your take on that.

Dr. Gundry: This is one of my favorite questions. I have a very good friend who’s a professor at the University of Texas in Galveston, which is one of the shrimp capitals of the world, and he delights in telling anyone who will listen that a shrimp is not a bottom feeder. They’re free swimmers, and they are a quad with trawlers nets, and so they are absolutely not bottom feeders. I used to live in Baltimore, Maryland, and I can assure you that crabs are not bottom feeders either. They actually are free swimmers.

And, in fact, there’s a Pulitzer prize-winning book that I recommend to anyone about the Waterman of the Chesapeake Bay called ”Beautiful Swimmers,” which is about crabs. And so, that’s one of the great misnomers of all time. Incidentally, muscles may be one of the greatest health foods known to mankind. They are regenerative creatures. They actually filter about six gallons of water every day. They do not accumulate toxins, and they clean the ocean, and they actually do not use up any energy. So, they’re really one of the best foods that you can eat.

Katie: That’s great to know. And what about fruit? I know that’s a common food for kids. You didn’t mention it as being a source of lectins, so I’m curious your take on fruit.

Dr. Gundry: So two things on fruit. We forget at our peril that a few short years ago, fruit was only available seasonally during seasons that primarily were summer and early fall, and not the rest of the year. Unless you lived in the panhandle of Florida, you didn’t have fruit during the winter. In fact, there’s volumes of research that show that great apes only eat fruit during the summer, and they eat fruit to gain weight for the rest of the year. In fact, fruit consumption, fructose, is one of the best ways to gain weight that there is. Let me give you a recent example.

I recently appeared on the “Kelly Clarkson Show” because she cured her Hashimoto’s by following my book. All she did was read my book. She never met me. She didn’t have a consultation with me, and lo and behold, you know, she lost 30 pounds, and her Hashimoto’s was gone by…well, it’s up to 40 pounds now just by following my book. So I was talking with her producer a few weeks beforehand on, you know, what we’re gonna do on the show. So I showed up in the green room backstage, and the producer walked in, and he said, ”I took your advice. I gave fruit the boot. I gave up fruit, and I’ve lost five pounds in two weeks. And that’s the only thing I changed. I gave up fruit.” He said, “How did you know?” And I said, ”Well, because we use fruit to gain weight.” Fruit is not a health food for children, and particularly fruit juice. There’s a recent study in the “British Medical Journal” showing that fruit juice consumption is a leading cause of cancer. And we have to understand that cancer cells vastly prefer fructose, fruit sugar, over glucose. And so, you know, give fruit the boot.

Now, berries are great. Pomegranate seeds are great. Persimmons are in season right now. Those are some of the safest fruits you can eat. But this should be a treat. We should treat fruit as what it is, and that’s dessert. It is not a healthy snack. You’re much better off giving your kids a handful of walnuts, or pistachios, or macadamia nuts as a healthy snack rather than a healthy piece of fruit. And to elaborate on that, most fruit in this country is brought over incredibly long distances from Argentina, and Chile, and even Mexico, and it’s picked unripe and then ripened with ethylene oxide.

An unripe fruit actually has lectins in it. I am old enough to remember eating green apples as a kid and suffering what we called the Green Apple two-step, which was pretty impressive diarrhea. And that’s because the lectins in green apples were designed to not make you eat that fruit until the seeds actually had a peel on them that you couldn’t digest, and then the plant actually wanted you to eat its fruit. That’s how it works.

Katie: That’s really fascinating. So, as an action step, you’re saying things like local, seasonal berries when they’re in season as a treat, that’s totally great. It’s just eating all fruits year-round like we live on a tropical island confuses our body basically.

Dr. Gundry: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And it’s really one of really the major causes I see of weight gain in this country, of insulin resistance in this country, and heart disease, quite frankly. Actually, it raises triglycerides. Triglycerides are the first form of fat that we make from sugars. And also, by the way, fructose is a toxin, and it’s such a toxin that we carry it immediately to our liver where it’s detoxified into triglycerides, which is a fat, and uric acid. And uric acid causes high blood pressure, and it also causes kidney stones and gout. So we always have to go back to realize that fructose is not our friend. Fructose, oh, by the way, is a mitochondrial poison. So why anyone would want their kids consuming a mitochondrial poison is beyond my comprehension.

Katie: That’s a great explanation. And as some really important people in my life get a little older, my parents, and also as I get older myself, you also are well-known for your book, ”The Longevity Paradox.” So to switch gears a little bit, explain to us what ”The Longevity Paradox” is.

Dr. Gundry: Well, we all want to get old. And live a long time, but we don’t wanna get old. And that’s actually ”The Longevity Paradox.” We look kinda into the future and getting old, we don’t wanna die, but getting old doesn’t look very good. It means hip and knee replacement. It means stents or open-heart surgery. It means maybe not remembering your loved ones’ names or ending up in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living, and none of that looks particularly good. What we really wanna do, the subtitle of the book is we wanna die young at a ripe, old age.

And that’s what we want, and it’s actually achievable. And the purpose of ”The Longevity Paradox” is to give people the hope and the evidence that it’s never too late to make changes in your life that will change your life around. And the examples that I see in my practice, and I see patients seven days a week because I learn from my patients. I learn what happens when I ask them to do certain things. I learn from their blood work what works, what doesn’t. And you know, I can’t resist not seeing patients every week, every day because every day I get to learn something new from one of my patients. And, you know, what a tremendous gift my patients are to me. So ”The Longevity Paradox” is how to get young, no matter how old you are.

Katie: I love that. And I’m curious, are there any supplements or go-to things that you take or that you think are essential for both getting rid of autoimmune disease, living longer, a lot of these things that you’ve talked about?

Dr. Gundry: Well, as you know, I formed my own supplement line, Gundry MD, three years ago now. All the supplements that I manufacture are based on my research in tens of thousands of patients, looking at their blood work and their response to certain ingredients. So I’m obviously biased that there are some really good things that people should take. Now, I’m a nut. And I list every one of the supplements that I currently take at the end of ”The Longevity Paradox,” and there are a rather impressive list. I take about 120 different supplements in the morning and about 80 at night. And I’ll tell you when I’m 150, how that worked out. In fact, our saying in our clinic is “150 is the new 100.”

So having said that, I think there are certain supplements that really every human being should take for maximal health, and that is vitamin D3. The current recommendations are being raised. Most labs now, a vitamin D level of 120 is now considered normal, not elevated. I have run my vitamin D level greater than 120 for the last 17 years to prove that I’m not dead. And so far so good. I’ve yet to see vitamin D toxicity. It may exist, but I certainly not seen it in my patients. So I’m aggressive at pushing vitamin D on my patients, at least 5,000 international units a day. Most people with autoimmune disease should start with 10,000 international units of D3.

The second thing that I think is critical for most people is to get enough fish oil, and I don’t care if it’s algae-based DHA, but to get enough fish oil to have 1,000 milligrams of DHA per day. And look on the back of whatever omega-3 or fish oil you’re buying and look for the amount of DHA per capsule and then just choose accordingly. I take care of a great number of people with the APOE-4 gene, which is, unfortunately, nicknamed the Alzheimer’s gene. And about 30% of Americans carry the Alzheimer’s gene. And in those people, I supplement with krill oil in addition to their fish oil.

Not as a substitution because there’s a phospholipid in krill oil that will carry DHA into these people’s brains, which otherwise might not get there. It’s a small technical point. But since Dale Bredesen who wrote the end of Alzheimer’s and I have become friends, we’re both very adamant about getting people with the APOE-4 gene, not only on fish oil but also on krill oil. And so, those are the essential things. The third thing that anyone can do for longevity is to practice time-restricted feeding. Now, whether we call that intermittent fasting, whether time-restricted feeding, which means limit the eating time during the day to a small number of hours, start with 10 hours, work your way down to even four to six hours, that’s probably one of the best ways to prolong good health of any trick that anyone has ever discovered.

And I profile a gentleman from the 1500s, Luigi. Carnero, who wrote a book on how to live to 100. He actually died at 102 in the 1500s. And he wrote a book on how to do this. And he actually practiced calorie restriction, and he gives the complete guide of how to do it. And one of the things that I always remember him, he said that most people think that 65 is pretty much the end of life, and there’s not much worth living for. And he says, “I stand to correct everyone that 90 and 100 is the best years of your life, and here’s how to do it.” And that’s what I want for everybody.

Katie: I love that. And I’ll make sure there’s links to all of your books in the show notes, and I’ll also post them on social media. But I’d love that you address the APOE4 because that’s something that runs in my family and something I’ve done quite a bit of research on as well. It’s good to know that there are things people can do to really mitigate that. Another clarifying point, I just wanted to make sure we touch on.

When I made this dietary switch myself when I was just learning about autoimmune disease, there was definitely an adjustment period where I didn’t feel very good. And you mentioned one of your patients didn’t like you those first few weeks. So, can you talk about, is there an adjustment period with this when your body’s still kind of like trying to figure out what’s going on, when it’s not as fun, and when do the beneficial results kind of start to work?

Dr. Gundry: Yeah, I actually tell any of my new patients that “You’re gonna hate me for two weeks and then you’re going to love me.” And it’s worked out to be pretty true. Most of us are addicted to the morphine-like compounds in grains and in dairy, and it’s like being withdrawn from a drug. One of the reasons we love wheat products, and rye, and barley, and oats is because of these morphine-like compounds that they are morphed into. And one of the reasons we like cow’s milk and cheeses is a beta-casomorphine, which goes right to our brains, particularly women’s brains, and goes happy, happy, happy, happy.

And interestingly enough, since you mentioned the APOE-4 gene, remarkably, saturated animal fats like cheeses are really detrimental to people with the APOE-4 gene, and vast majority of people with the APOE-4 gene love cheese. And it’s one of the hardest things to get away from them, and it’s because of these morphine-like compounds. And I really do think that most of us are, you know, addicted to this and it’s withdrawal. And once you withdraw, that’s when things start kicking in.

The second thing that happens, the vast majority of Americans are insulin-resistant. They have high fasting insulin levels. And I tell anyone who will listen in all the residents that come through my clinic and family practice that the best test if they’re gonna spend their patient’s hard-earned money on a laboratory test, the best test to get is a fasting insulin level. And that’s gonna tell you more about your patient’s fate than just about any tests you can get. Most people are insulin-resistance, and insulin resistance, not only feeds cancer but also makes your brain die rather rapidly.

We now know there’s a condition called type 3 diabetes of the brain and your brain becomes insulin-resistant. And so, when people go on a program like my own, they’re not able to actually get to the fat cells and make ketones, you mentioned the ketogenic diet earlier, and so they really crash and burn because they don’t have what we call metabolic flexibility. They can’t change on a dime from burning sugar as a fuel to burning fat as a fuel. And I talk about those and how to get around it in all my books. And it’s a big factor in making this transition easy for people.

Katie: Amazing. And again, I know I’ve said it a couple of times, but I definitely recommend all of your books. I’ve gifted them to my parents. I tell a lot of people I love. And I’ll make sure they’re linked in the show notes, but, of course, they’re available anywhere books are sold. And speaking of books, I’d love to ask, mainly selfishly for my own ideas, if there are any book or books besides your own that have really impacted your life that you’d recommend?

Dr. Gundry: Well, actually, in my grade school library when I was 10 years old, I found a book called ”All About You.” And it actually changed my life at 10 years old. And after reading that book, I decided to become a doctor. And one of the things you’re…you know, you’re a mother, and you probably already know the importance of reading to your kids, number one, and getting your kids to read.

I think just reading opens up so many doors. Early in my lectin research, I was most impacted by Michael Pollan’s really first book, which was called ”The Botany of Desire,” about how plants are intelligent thinking creatures that manipulate animals for their benefit. And it just, you know, was tantalizing how smart plants are, and I think it really set the stage for me to give plants the credit they are due.

Katie: I love that. And reading is a huge, huge part of my life. Even in the busiest of times, I’m sure I get in time, like at least 30 minutes to read each day. I think it’s such an important thing for all of us. That and community, which I also personally think is huge for health and longevity and like having strong relationships and really nurturing those are kind of my two non-negotiable when it comes to life.

Dr. Gundry: Well, you’re absolutely right. In “The Longevity Paradox,” one of the real factors in all of the blue zones, those people with extreme longevity. And interestingly enough, I’m the only nutritionist who’s ever actually lived most of his life in a blue zone in Loma Linda University, so I hope I know what I’m talking about. Blue zones have this intense social network, and it’s this social network that is really critical to longevity.

And so you’re right. One of the things you’ve got to have is a social network, however you wanna constitute that social network, whether it’s, you know, whether it’s based on religion, whether it’s based on community service, whether it’s based on, “Let’s play bridge together at your house once a week”, you know, “mothers against drinking alone on a Friday night.” I’m just making that up.

Katie: I love that. I know you talked about it, and I’ve seen the stats as well about how having those solid relationships and making them a priority, it actually statistically is more important than things like even quitting smoking or exercise. Like, it’s absolutely vital to our health. And so I love that you talked about that.

Dr. Gundry: Yeah. Yeah. We are very definitely social creatures. And the other thing I can’t stress enough is having a pet, particularly a dog or a cat, in every study that’s ever been done, not only promotes longevity but is a great social connection. Making you to walk your dog twice a day is a great way to meet other people, and having a pet improves your microbiome and your children’s microbiome. And, in fact, mothers should realize that children who have pets introduced early in their life have far less allergies and far less eczema than children who don’t have a pet, exactly the opposite of what many mothers are taught.

Katie: I love that. I’m gonna use that to help talk my husband into another dog, and I think that’s the perfect point to wrap up, have strong relationships, have a pet that you love, and eat a clean diet, and get some sunshine for vitamin D. I think we covered so much in this episode. I hope that maybe one day you’ll come back for round two, but I’m so grateful for your time and for all that you shared today.

Dr. Gundry: I’d love to come back, and thank you for all the great work you’re doing. And we’re gonna have you on my podcast, and we’ll talk about all the stuff that you’re up to, and I’ll really look forward to it.

Katie: Thank you. I can’t wait. And thanks to all of you for listening and sharing one of your most valuable resources, your time, with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the ”Wellness Mama’ Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by Fabletics. They make cute and high quality athletic wear available to everyone and they’ve been my go-to place to shop for workout gear for years. I find myself constantly switching up my workout routine, from lifting weights and swimming, to currently training for a 5K with my kids. I always find cute gear that fits my activity. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite- the high waisted powerhold leggings that is flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This episode is brought to you by Kion and their Kion clean energy bar. Finding good snacks is tough and finding snacks that are healthy, contain important nutrients and that kids love can be an uphill battle. Many so called healthy snacks contain sugar or processed ingredients or lack nutrients so they leave you hungry soon after. That’s why I love the Kion clean energy bar. My kids love it for the taste, I love that it is all natural, made from real food ingredients and provides stable, long lasting energy. Unlike many snacks, Kion bars contain zero refined sugar or highly processed ingredients. These real food bars are naturally gluten, dairy and soy free and packed with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. They don’t melt in heat or freeze in cold, making them ideal to pack in lunches or to send along with active kids as a snack. In fact, you’ll often find one (or 4) of these bars in the baskets of my kids bikes or their backpacks as they build forts outside. You can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

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clean no 01:01:37 Katie Wells
294: Using Targeted Nutrition to Alleviate Hormone Related Issues With Dr. Chris Masterjohnhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/targeted-nutrition/ Mon, 11 Nov 2019 11:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=420528

Chris Masterjohn is one of those people you never want to stop talking to, so although he’s been on the podcast before, my list of questions for him might be longer than the first time! Chris Masterjohn holds a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut and his understanding of the intricate relationship between diet, genetics, and other important health factors is astounding.

Today Chris and I will tackle some female-focused questions and look at how nutrients play a role in hormone balance, menstrual cycles, PCOS, sex hormones, and more.

Also, don’t forget to check out Chris’s Nutrition 101 course below as well as his “Ultimate Cheat Sheet” for testing nutritional status. This is a great place to start understanding your own nutrient deficiencies and how to correct them.

Episode Highlights on Targeted Nutrition

  • One small change that may fix hormonal acne and teenage acne
  • The surprising thing you probably don’t know about calcium that may be hurting you
  • A few universal nutrition principles that apply to all of us
  • The baseline things you need to know to start personalizing your diet and lifestyle
  • How much protein we actually need and from what sources
  • The reason processed foods are bad for your parathyroid
  • How B5, cholesterol, and sex hormones play together and why you may need more B5 for this reason
  • The real deal about niacin
  • How to naturally increase NAD levels and why you’d want to
  • A major thing to watch out for with niacin supplementation
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

This podcast is sponsored by Fabletics… my go-to source for quality affordable athletic wear. This company was co-founded by Kate Hudson with a mission to bring trendy athletic wear to everyone at affordable prices. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite – the high waisted powerhold leggings that are so flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This podcast is brought to you by the Kion Clean Energy Bar. We all know that finding healthy snacks for you and your kids is no simple task. Most snacks, even the so-called “healthy” ones, are high in sugar, have poor nutrient quality, and will leave you and you feeling tired or hungrier than you were before. That’s why my friends at Kion created the Kion Clean Energy Bar, a delicious, all-natural, snack that will satisfy your appetite and give you stable, long-lasting energy. My kids loves these and I love that Kion bars are made from all real-food ingredients like coconut, almonds, and chia. They have zero refined sugar. They have a lot of healthy fats and clean protein to fuel the body and brain. They are naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free. They contain electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. And even though they are chocolate, they won’t melt in the heat or freeze in the cold. And they have a delicious chocolatey flavor and crunchy texture that you and your kids are gonna love. You can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

Katie: Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and this episode is a much requested round two with Dr. Chris Masterjohn. Like our first episode, we go deep on various aspects of nutrition and Chris is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to most of these topics. He earned a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut and served as Assistant Professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College. He has a really amazing guide called “The Ultimate Cheatsheet” which helps you decode your own body’s nutritional needs as well as a really informative website and podcast I highly recommend both and I know that you are going to love this episode as much as I did. Chris, welcome back. Thanks for joining us again.

Chris: Thanks for having me, Katie. It’s good to be here.

Katie: Well, your first interview was so helpful. We went deep on a lot of nutritional topics, and I’ve heard from a lot of the audience how some of your tips on like pantothenic acid helping skin has been really amazing for them. And I knew I had to have you back to go deeper on different nutrients and to learn more.

And, on this episode, I’d really love to talk a little bit more women-specific because I think women potentially deal with a bunch of symptoms that men may not face because of all the hormone changes that we go through, whether it be monthly, whether it be during pregnancy. We just have a lot more going on. I think than guys do, and I know if you look at the chart, like, you guys have hormone fluctuations, but women is almost like a roller coaster every month just because we have all these hormones coming into play.

So I’d actually love to start with just, like, an overview of things that you’ve found that seem to be nutrient deficiencies related to those hormone changes each month that come with the monthly period, with ovulation. What are some things we need to know and be aware of when it comes to that?

Chris: Yeah. So my interest in this first peaked when I was talking to a consulting client of mine who was having real, bad problems with headaches. And she hadn’t identified any triggers, and so we talked about food triggers as nothing. And she didn’t offer the fact that it correlated with her menstrual cycle maybe because she didn’t think it would make any sense until I asked. And then she was like, “Yeah. They always occur on day 13. That’s when they’re the worst.” And then a couple of days before I have my period, they often occur, and they’re not quite as bad.”

And so I looked at the chart and, you know, sure enough, that corresponds to the big estrogen peak around ovulation and then the smaller estrogen peak that happens to also be balanced with more progesterone in the days leading up to menstruation. And so, you know, at the time, I was researching histamine a lot, and so the first thing I think is, “Well, let me see what estrogen does to diamine oxidase activity.” Diamine oxidase or DAO is an enzyme that you need a number of nutrients for, including B6 and copper especially, and vitamin C.

So diamine oxidase is one of the main ways that you clear histamine. And so, sure enough, estrogen massively down-regulates diamine oxidase activity. And so, I suggested to my client she should try supplementing with diamine oxidase proactively around those times of her menstrual cycle, and it works. So, you know, that was the first place that got me interested in this. But, you know, once you look into this a little bit more deeply, I think we can paint a little bit of a broader picture and one that applies to several different contexts. So one area that’s been of quite a bit of interest, I think, for years at this point has been the fact that, for reasons that no one has really identified that well, high dose vitamin B6 supplementation has been at least promising, if not often effective, in treating morning sickness associated with pregnancy.

And so it seems like the morning sickness of pregnancy must be tied in some way to something that has to do with B6. So one hypothesis that came out a couple of years ago that I think is a very compelling argument is that estrogen increases hydrogen sulfide production, and hydrogen sulfide can generate sulfite, which is toxic, and which happens to be something that’s added to a lot of medications, cosmetics, and processed foods as a preservative that a lot of people don’t tell. You know, some people, like certain wines give them really bad headaches, and it’s because of the sulfites in the wine.

Well, when you’re pregnant, you’re making sulfite. And you’re not making sulfite to make sulfite. You’re making hydrogen sulfide gas, which, although like we would typically associate it with the smell of rotten eggs at high doses, has been discovered in recent years to be a very important signaling molecule that is, among other things, a vasodilator. So hydrogen sulfide gas falls into a very small category of things that can dilate blood vessels, along with nitric oxide, which has been known about for a much longer period of time.

And hydrogen sulfide is particularly important in delivering blood to the placenta when you’re pregnant. And it also has other activities related to pregnancy. For example, it suppresses preterm labor. And it’s necessary to keep hydrogen sulfide levels higher than they would be when you’re not pregnant or for probably anytime if you’re a man, in order to prevent you from going into labor early, but also just to keep the blood flow, the placenta going to nourish the growing baby.

And now it so happens that a small portion of hydrogen sulfide is going to be turned into sulfite, which is a toxic compound. And sulfite, we all generate sulfite in the course of normal metabolism from any of the sources of sulfur in our diet, especially the sulfur-containing amino acids that are in the protein we eat. And in order to neutralize that sulfite, we use a mineral, molybdenum, to convert the sulfite, which is toxic, to sulfate. Sulfate is both not toxic and is also highly useful. We use it for detoxification. We use it for regulating hormones. We use it to synthesize structural things that are protective against cardiovascular disease, highly protective against arthritis in our joints, and so on.

So, you basically have this balance between sulfite, which is toxic, and sulfate, which is extremely necessary and useful. And the more sulfite you generate, the more you need to convert it to sulfate. Even if you don’t need extra sulfate, you still need to get rid of sulfite because it’s toxic, and you do that with molybdenum. So that would imply that during pregnancy, because of increased hydrogen sulfide, you are going to generate more sulfite. Your molybdenum needs will increase to make sulfate.

Now, what happens to molybdenum intakes during pregnancy? Well, by far and away, the best source of molybdenum is beans. And in pregnancy, a lot of women develop aversions to beans and other molybdenum-rich foods just because they’re more difficult to tolerate digestively and, you know, maybe as well as taste aversions and things like that. So in someone who’s pregnant, molybdenum intakes tend to go down just because they’re less tolerant of molybdenum-rich foods. And then, at the same time, molybdenum needs to go up because of the increased sulfite generation. Now, why would that relate to vitamin B6? Well, it turns out that sulfite binds to B6 and essentially destroys it, basically eliminates it from the body.

So sulfite can induce a B6 deficiency, and high doses of B6 can be used to clear away sulfite that you were not able to convert into the non-toxic sulfate using molybdenum. So, basically, this hypothesis is that molybdenum needs would go up. But since most pregnant women aren’t meeting those needs for molybdenum, high doses of B6 can act as a…I want to say Band-Aid solution, but it’s not really Band-Aid because it’s not like you’re just managing the symptoms. You are clearing away the sulfite, but sort of like…you can’t… So, like, the doses of B6 used in morning sickness would be like 100 milligrams a day, completely impossible to get from food, so I don’t even want to call it a backup mechanism. Like, molybdenum at nutritional doses would be really, really useful here and would be most related to the root cause.

High doses of B6 are very natural, very safe, and effective, but they’re one step removed away from the root cause. It’s like because you didn’t have the molybdenum, you’re more reliant on the B6. And who knows exactly what that’s doing? You know, maybe the sulfite, because it’s giving you a B6 deficiency, that itself is taking away from important things that B6 would do to prevent morning sickness, or it might just be that the extra B6 is mopping up the sulfite, and the sulfite is what’s causing morning sickness.

Now, sulfite does a bunch of toxic things, but one of the things that it does is it can cause mast cells to release histamine. And histamine in the gut can give you all kinds of gut-related issues like diarrhea, for example, make you feel nauseated, you know, things that could be possibly related to morning sickness, especially if because of B6 deficiency. And actually, I think sulfite also inhibits diamine oxidase, and diamine oxidase requires B6 that’s needed to clear histamine from foods.

She might, on top of everything, become more intolerant to histamine, certain foods maybe. So who knows what the mechanisms are, but the sort of like takeaway point is that because sulfite is going up, your needs for molybdenum are going up. And if you don’t have enough molybdenum, your needs for B6 are going to go up, but they’re not going to go up within the nutritional range. They’re going to go up like ridiculously high. So, you know, maybe on a ridiculously high B6 intake from natural foods, you could hit 10 milligrams of B6, but you might need 100 milligrams to mop up all that sulfite. So it’s not insane amounts, but it’s way out of what you could get from natural foods.

And now, looking at that, I’m like, “Well, what about outside of pregnancy? You know, what’s regulating this? Is it estrogen?” And, yes, it’s estrogen that’s regulating sulfite. I don’t know what the effect of progesterone is, so I had trouble finding direct research on it. But it can’t be the case that progesterone is effective at countering the effect of estrogen because progesterone rises in pregnancy alongside estrogen, and none of this would be an issue in pregnancy if progesterone was really protective.

The other thing is if you look at, like, Plan B has some side effects that are very similar to the morning sickness of pregnancy, and Plan B doesn’t have any estrogen. It’s an emergency post-sex contraceptive that only has a synthetic form of progesterone in it. So I don’t know what progesterone does to this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if progesterone was actually acting in concert with estrogen here and maybe augmenting its effects just because this seems to be like a highly pregnancy-related thing. But in any case, you can tie this to the estrogen peaks in the menstrual cycle, especially…

You know, the big peak is around ovulation. The more moderate peak is in the days leading up to menstruation. And then you can also tie it to other supplemental estrogens. So most birth control patch or pill has estrogen in it, and then, you know, hormone replacement therapy that women would typically go on after menopause has estrogen in it. And so, any of these sources of estrogen are going to affect diamine oxidase and possibly make you histamine intolerant, and they’re also going to increase sulfite production, increase your needs for molybdenum, and possibly increase your needs for B6.

I think those are the things that are most related to headaches, nausea, you know, any other form of digestive complaints, feeling queasy or just like general GI distress, and any kind of allergy-like symptoms, so itching, hives, etc. And, you know, we could branch off from there in numerous directions, but I think that’s the sort of most interesting thing I’ve been synthesizing lately related to this stuff.

Katie: That’s so fascinating. And it seems like a vicious cycle. Once you’re in that, it will be difficult to pull out of it without, like you said, supplementation. So if I’m understanding correctly, would this be maybe something if people have symptoms more so around ovulation when that estrogen spike is, or they’re taking an estrogen-based birth control, this would be something they could look at and try?

Chris: Yeah. In fact, I’d go a little bit further than that. So another thing that has been known for decades to happen when women are on birth control is that the amino acid, tryptophan, which is used to make serotonin, and is used to make melatonin, and is also used to make niacin, which is vitamin B3, estrogen increases the production of niacin, vitamin B3, from tryptophan. And in so doing, there’s a neurotoxic compound that kind of spills out of the pathway called kynurenine. And there are studies…this has been known for a long time and yet no one knows it because what happened was they tested different doses of B6 to see what could normalize tryptophan metabolism.

And I would imagine this to be beneficial for insomnia and headaches in particular. Anyway, so what they did was they tested a couple of low doses, up to 2 milligrams, and they tested 20 milligrams. And they found that 20 milligrams of B6 completely made tryptophan metabolism totally normal, but all of the doses that they considered reasonable to get from food didn’t. And so, they basically dismissed their own finding, about 20 milligrams, and said like…because there’s this bias in mainstream nutrition where they don’t want everyone running around taking supplements.

So they looked at that, and they said like, “That effect can’t be, like, a real effect.” Like, B6 obviously isn’t doing something here because 20 milligrams is a ridiculous dose, and we’re not going to tell people to take 20 milligrams, even though it’s well under what the Institute of Medicine has set as the dose that would have no safety concerns, which is 100 milligrams. So the reality is that the data have said, for decades, that 20 milligrams of B6 normalizes the negative effects of birth control on tryptophan metabolism, and there are no reviews that say that.

I have to go back and look at the original papers because all the reviews from people that I would expect about this…sorry, not expect, that I would respect and that would be considered prestigious, they just cite these people citing their own data saying that B6 didn’t fully normalize tryptophan metabolism. And you have to go back to the paper and see that 20 milligrams does. So I would go more than that to say that anyone who’s on supplemental estrogen should, by default, take 20 milligrams of B6 and tweak from there, but I would do it as a precautionary measure.

Katie: Wow, that’s amazing. And the safety data, just to reiterate what you said, is up to 100 milligrams that can be safely taken based on what they’ve demonstrated? Is that also during pregnancy?

Chris: Yeah. There’s no alteration to the safe limit in pregnancy for B6 or for molybdenum, which is the other nutrient we were talking about before. And, you know, there are people anecdotally who believe that they’ve developed problems from taking high doses of B6 that are in that range, but there’s no published data of case reports showing that. And the published data of case reports shows that B6 can have neurotoxic effects at very high doses. All of those studies have used pyridoxine, and I actually think pyridoxal 5-phosphate is the ideal for P5P.

All of those studies also showed that the consequences went away as soon as you removed the supplement. And the minimum dose of B6 in any of those studies was 500 milligrams a day. Nothing below that has been shown to have negative effects. So when the Institute of Medicine set the tolerable upper intake level or TUIL, which is…you know, a lot of people are familiar with the RDA.

The TUIL, the upper intake level, is always set alongside the RDA, And the definition is basically, this is the dose that we would expect to have no risk of adverse effects in the general population. And that doesn’t rule out that someone might have a hypersensitivity disorder or something like that. But, you know, if you take 100 people and you put them all on 100 milligrams of B6, you would expect approximately zero people to develop any problems from that.

You know, what they did with that was they took the lowest observed adverse effect at 500 milligrams, and they applied a safety factor of five-fold to that. So they said, “We don’t have any evidence of this occurring at less than 500 milligrams, so we’ll take 500 milligrams as the dangerous dose and say that, you know, even if there’s 1,000 things that we don’t know, 100 milligrams should be like the mega safe dose.” And then 20 milligrams has been shown to normalize tryptophan metabolism, which is five times under that. So it’s 25 times under what we have case reports showing problems of.

And so, you know, there’s, like, dramatic windows of safety applied to get down to 20 milligrams. You know, and it’s not well-studied, like, maybe the ideal dose that you need is 10 milligrams. I don’t know. But there’s some studies suggesting that 5 to 10 milligrams are not enough to normalize markers of B6 status in pregnant women, which suggests, to me, that the ideal dose for, like, minimizing risk of B6 deficiency symptoms during pregnancy and during any conditions of supplemental estrogen is probably at least 10 milligrams. And, you know, 20 has been shown to be effective in studies, so I’m happy with that, and I’m content that it’s not a safety risk.

Katie: When especially that’s a water-soluble vitamin. So, like you said, as soon as you stop taking it, your body should be okay, even if you had a high dose.

Chris: Yeah, I mean…so I actually think that’s a myth that has been propagated very widely and doesn’t have that much basis that the solubility of a nutrient is related to its toxicity profile. So, like vitamin E, although it might have some negative effects at high doses by interfering with the function of other fat-soluble vitamins, it doesn’t actually have a toxicity syndrome at all, and vitamin B6, which is water-soluble, does. So even though…I mean, like yes, what the case reports showed is that it’s reversible. I have no idea if that relates to its water solubility or not.

So, like niacin has a serious toxicity profile at very high doses, totally water-soluble, you know. So, like niacin and B6, both have toxicity profiles at very high doses. Thiamine, which is water-soluble doesn’t. Riboflavin, which is considered a water-soluble vitamin, but it’s actually, like, 50% fat-soluble. It’s just, like, halfway in between water and fat solubility on a chemical solubility level, and at hundreds of times the normal intake has produced no safety concerns whatsoever.

So I actually think that the solubility really is, like, largely unrelated to the safety of nutrient. But, yeah, it appears to be completely reversible on the basis that the case reports showing, like, tingling in the hands and feet on it that when you remove it, it goes away.

Katie: That’s a really interesting point and good to know because that’s definitely something I have heard quite a bit, is that if it’s water-soluble, it’s fine, and you have to be really careful with fat-soluble vitamins. Since there’s an estrogen component here, is it also logical to suggest that maybe people with, for instance, PCOS or other things that lead to estrogen dominance or have an estrogen dominant component could benefit from experimenting with this as well?

Chris: Yes, I think so. And actually, I think there’s quite a lot of unanswered questions here. So, for example, in males, testosterone also increases hydrogen sulfide production in certain cells. And so it’s, like, what does the increased androgens do in PCOS to this? I have no idea, you know. I’m highly confident in what estrogen is doing here. I’m rather confused about what testosterone is doing. And, I really have no idea what progesterone is doing.

So I’m highly confident that anything where you’re approaching estrogen levels seen at the peaks during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, birth control, and hormone replacement therapy are highly relevant. I think PCOS has a complex hormonal profile that I don’t really understand exactly how it would relate to this. But I would definitely consider it because, if you think about the recommendations that I would make to compensate for this, basically molybdenum, you know, the average dose that you would try to get by default every day is like 45 micrograms.

The safe upper intake level is 2,000 micrograms or 2 milligrams. And the safety profile from that, I couldn’t find any reliable human data suggesting problems with excess molybdenum, so they actually took fertility problems in female rats at the body weight-adjusted equivalent of 50 milligrams a day and applied this extraordinarily huge safety factor to wind down to 2 milligrams a day as the safe upper limit for humans.

So, you know, to go from a normal…like, imagine a pregnant woman is reducing her molybdenum intake just sort of by, you know, food aversions, and maybe getting down to 30 micrograms a day. There’s a lot of room to go up between 30 and 2,000 micrograms. And so I’m guessing that, you know, 300 to 500 micrograms would be more than enough and way within the upper limit for molybdenum.

And like I said before, 20 milligrams of B6 should be more than enough. In most cases, you could go up to 100 and still way within the upper limit. And I would say that, you know, anything that seems sex hormone-related could plausibly relate to these things. My confidence being really high if estrogen being high is the main thing, and then the more complexities you add to that of hormonal imbalance, I’m less and less sure exactly what it means.

But if the symptoms of headaches, of insomnia, of queasiness or nausea, of GI distress, or of anything that seems related to allergies like hives, and itching, and redness, any of that cluster of symptoms that go along with definitely high estrogen and maybe other abnormalities in hormone metabolism, I would say, would be something where trying this completely safe thing of adding some extra 300 to 500 micrograms of molybdenum and 20 milligrams of B6 to, like, try and see if it works.

Katie: That makes perfect sense. To circle back on histamine for a minute, this is something I’m hearing a lot more about from the audience increasingly, so I’m wondering if it’s something that’s on the rise. Is this something that is universally worth trying for anyone suffering from histamine issues, and are there other things that come into play as well when we’re just talking about histamine?

Chris: Yeah, okay. So I think that there are some complexities when you get to histamine. And, it depends where it’s coming from, and it depends whether, for example, it’s a food-based thing or it’s more than that. So let’s, like, sort of start with the gut and work our way inside. So, in the gut, there’s histamine that you encounter in your food, and you can also have gut bacteria producing histamine. And if the gut bacteria are producing it, I don’t know exactly what to do about that. But, you know, shifting the microbiome with prebiotics and probiotics would be the thing that really fits the bill.

But anyway, let’s just assume the histamine is coming in from your food because there’s plenty of histamine in foods. And if the histamine is coming in your food, then nausea and diarrhea are probably the big things you would expect at the gut level, but then histamine can get inside your blood. And when it’s systemic, then that’s where you can start to get more allergy-like symptoms like hives, itching, or redness, flushing. That’s also when you could get changes in blood pressure.

By default, histamine lowers blood pressure, but sometimes you get an adrenaline response to that that causes secondary increase in blood pressure above normal. So any changes in blood pressure could be plausibly related. And then histamine can increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier generally and let stuff in, including itself. And if histamine gets into the brain, histamine in the brain usually, by default, is produced inside the brain in a highly regulated fashion to regulate your wakefulness and alertness.

And this is why if you take Benadryl, for example, you get sleepy, and it might knock you out because it’s antagonizing the histamine in your brain. On the flip side of that though, too much histamine in the brain could cause insomnia, or cause generalized anxiety, or could cause panic attacks. So, you know, trace it from the gut through the brain, and you’re getting nausea, diarrhea, then you get inside, hives, itching, redness flushing, then blood pressure changes, and you get into the brain, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks.

So, any of those things, the first line of defense is the production of diamine oxidase in the gut. So you can think of histamine as having two main defenses. Diamine oxidase is the extracellular defense. Methylation is the intracellular defense. When you’re eating food, that’s outside your cells, and it’s going through your gut, which is actually literally everything from your mouth to your anus is outside your body because we’re all sort of, like, a cylindrical tube, where the inside surfaces, mouth, the anus, that’s outside the body. The skin is the outside surface outside the body, and things get absorbed to get inside the body.

So, in the gut, you’re outside the body, you’re outside your cells. You’re producing massive amounts of diamine oxidase or DAO for the purpose of completely neutralizing all the histamine in your food. And the diamine oxidase could be missing from the gut due to nutrient deficiencies, or due to intestinal damage. Nutrient deficiencies, the ones that are most relevant are B6 and copper. There’s some possible…and actually manganese is also important there, possible roles for vitamin C and possible role for riboflavin, although that hasn’t been shown with the human enzyme.

Now, on top of that, you could just have intestinal damage that’s damaging the cells that produce diamine oxidase. That kind of unravels a whole another area that I’m not really an expert in. My expertise is really in the micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals. For example, if you have an autoimmune condition like celiac disease that’s destroying the intestinal cells, or you have some pathogen in there that’s, you know, your immune system is trying to defeat the infection and is causing damage to your intestinal cells, possibilities like that are reasons for having low diamine oxidase activity.

And then, of course, I don’t really know anything about how to modify this, but you could also have gut bacteria that are producing histamine as well. Then when you get inside…and actually this isn’t just inside. So, inside your body, or even in the gut, you can have increased mast cell burden. Mast cells are those cells that produce histamine. And now we’re getting into the area where we’re not talking about the histamine in foods, we’re talking about the histamine that you produce yourself. And so the normal way that you would think about this, like, the kind of conventional thing that would happen is in an allergy.

And in a traditional conventional allergy, you have your immune system reacting to some allergen, produces IgE antibodies that then activate a cascade of things that leads ultimately to the release of histamine by mast cells. You can also have things that cause mast cells to release histamine that you’re not allergic to, and that’s what sulfite does that we were talking about before. So sulfite will just act on the mast cell to make it release histamine, but it’s not an allergy because there was no antibody made by your immune system.

It looks like an allergy because you get itching, hives, you know, redness, any of the traditional allergic symptoms that are caused by histamine, and it kind of walks and talks like an allergy because you might get it in response to certain specific foods if those are foods that have histamine in them or have sulfites in them that cause histamine release or whatever, but it’s not an allergy because, in the case of sulfite or dietary histamine, there’s no antibody-mediated response. So it looks, talks, walks, smells like an allergy, but it’s not.

And in the mast cell, there’s two categories of things that we should care about. One is antioxidants because oxidative stress increases histamine release from mast cells, and the other is methylation. And those two things are both, like, big cans of worms that we could each spend an hour talking about just on its own. But to briefly summarize, antioxidants, I think, a lot of people think about is like, “Oh, those are the things that are in berries, and fruits, and vegetables, and stuff like that,” which I think is a misleadingly simplistic way to think about it. Your antioxidant defense is very much based on minerals and protein-related things that you make yourself. And I don’t mean you make the minerals. I mean, you eat the minerals and you make enzymes that require the minerals.

So very briefly, protein, zinc, copper, selenium, iron, and manganese, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and all those colorful things in fruits and vegetables that people call antioxidants, those things together are the things we care about in terms of antioxidant defense. And then, on the second category, methylation, that’s where we get into B12, folate, and choline as the top nutrients, and then we can peel layers away to get at many minerals and B vitamins working underneath those as the main support.

You know, so that is, I think, a pretty broad view of histamine generally and all the potential things that you could work on related to it. And then you want to ask questions like, where is histamine coming from? Because it might be primarily hormonal, like we were talking about before, or you might have, you know, a rare condition like mast cell activation disorder, mast cell activation syndrome, which might require finding a very good specialist to start digging away at.

Katie: That was an amazing overview. Thank you for that. I think you’re right. There’s so much at play there, but I think so much of what you just said is probably going to be really helpful to a lot of people. And, for my own curiosity, I wonder if there’s a difference or any other considerations for women who tend to have their symptoms right around their periods or not at ovulation when estrogen strikes, but they have things like migraines, or PMS, or other symptoms right about when their period begins? Are there other nutrients that come into play in that scenario?

Chris: Yeah. So, first of all, I look specifically at this once to look at water retention. And, in general, I think that the other symptoms of PMS kind of go hand in hand here, but I didn’t look at them as much as I was looking at water retention. And I was actually surprised to find that the key difference between women who have PMS symptoms, including water retention, which I was more focused on, and those who don’t is that they actually have higher progesterone levels in the days leading up to menstruation. So the progesterone should be like an ovulation-related sort of, like, post-ovulation spike during the breakdown of everything produced during ovulation, but it should be cleared effectively by the time you get into menstruation.

And the women who have PMS-related symptoms, especially where I was looking at in water retention, they basically produce the same levels of all the hormones, but the primary difference is the clearance rate of progesterone is a lot lower. And my suspicion is the water retention issue is driven by the fact that one of the ways that you can get rid of excess progesterone, it’s… Actually, this isn’t really a way of getting rid…it shouldn’t be a way of getting rid of progesterone. But progesterone, if it’s elevated and not cleared through the normal ways, can spill over into aldosterone production, which can cause retention of sodium and loss of potassium, and with retention of sodium comes retention of water.

I don’t know if that would cause some of the other symptoms, although I could imagine it would because if you retain water, you’re going to get swelling everywhere. And if your blood volume is increasing, and you’re getting generalized swelling in extracellular space, you’re going to put pressure in a lot of places that wouldn’t otherwise have pressure. And, in your head, I think that would cause a headache. I’m not saying that’s the only thing, but it just might be a contributor there.

And so, specifically, in the case of water retention, salt is controversial. So there are some cases that I think are the exception to the rule where sometimes you can reduce water retention by increasing salt, but that’s not normally the case. And I think for most women in that case, probably reducing salt and increasing potassium is going to be the thing that’s best going to help the water retention. In terms of both, and I don’t know the mechanisms here, but in terms of both the water attention and the other symptoms of PMS, magnesium and B6 have been the top things that have been helpful.

I think the doses… I’m blanking here. I don’t have 100% confidence on this, but I believe that the papers I was looking at, the doses are around, like, 40 milligrams of B6. I would use P5P for the form of B6, and somewhere around 200 or 300 milligrams of magnesium, so higher doses of B6 and people are usually using lower doses of magnesium that a lot of people are using. But both of those seem to have some positive benefits in a number of human trials.

And then for PMS symptoms, the data is less good for manganese, but low manganese levels correlate with PMS symptoms. And it’s possible that manganese supplementation would help, but no one has clearly shown that. But notably, manganese along with B6 are co-factors for diamine oxidase, so it could all come back to histamine metabolism in some way in terms of some of those symptoms. But I don’t think histamine would be related to the water retention, but headaches and mood disturbances, maybe.

Katie: That’s really interesting. And I’m definitely gonna plug your book, “Testing Your Nutritional Status,” because I think that’s a great place for people to delve in and try to figure out what they specifically need to take.

This podcast is sponsored by Fabletics… my go-to source for quality affordable athletic wear. This company was founded by Kate Hudson with a mission to bring trendy athletic wear to everyone at affordable prices. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite – the high waisted powerhold leggings that are so flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This podcast is brought to you by the Kion Clean Energy Bar. We all know that finding healthy snacks for you and your kids is no simple task. Most snacks, even the so-called “healthy” ones, are high in sugar, have poor nutrient quality, and will leave you and you feeling tired or hungrier than you were before. That’s why my friends at Kion created the Kion Clean Energy Bar, a delicious, all-natural, snack that will satisfy your appetite and give you stable, long-lasting energy. My kids loves these and I love that Kion bars are made from all real-food ingredients like coconut, almonds, and chia. They have zero refined sugar. They have a lot of healthy fats and clean protein to fuel the body and brain. They are naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free. They contain electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. And even though they are chocolate, they won’t melt in the heat or freeze in the cold. And they have a delicious chocolatey flavor and crunchy texture that you and your kids are gonna love. You can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

Katie: But I am curious, when it comes to women and hormone fluctuations, either during pregnancy or just during normal monthly cycles. Are there nutrients in general in any amounts, that you would say, on average most or all women should be taking or it’s safe to take than not take?

Chris: Can you go over the context again? You were talking about pregnancy, or you were talking about through the menstrual cycle.

Katie: I would say they need to be separate answers. During pregnancy, are there things that women need to be especially cognizant of and then also hormones?

Chris: Yeah. So, pregnancy, the nutritional recommendations are generally made around birth defects. And I think those are… I mean, I would reinforce those. So, like, the typical pregnant woman is going to get put on prenatals to have extra folic acid in them, for example. I would say you want to make sure you’re getting full…I would prefer using methyl folate as a supplement. But I think making sure you’re getting the RDA for folate through that is really important. I mean, that’s mainly used to prevent neural tube defects, which are mainly spina bifida, and then another rare one that is just fatal.

It’s, quantitatively, like, the likelihood of that happening is very small, but the consequences are so devastating that, you know, it’s just worth it to reinforce those recommendations. One nutrient that I haven’t talked about yet, but it applies across the board to all estrogen-related things here. And actually, this is a good bifurcation between pregnancy and other estrogen conditions. So, estrogen increases copper absorption from the gut, and the placenta during pregnancy causes all that extra copper to go to the baby.

So I don’t think that you need extra copper during pregnancy because you hyper absorb copper and you hyper transport it to the fetus. But estrogen outside of pregnancy causes you to hyper absorb copper just as much, and you don’t have a placenta. So, there’s nowhere to put it. It just accumulates. Now, in most cases, probably what happens is the woman’s liver just makes more proteins that bind copper such as ceruloplasmin to protect the copper from causing problems. But if the woman does not make enough ceruloplasmin and other copper-binding proteins, the free copper can cause a lot of problems. It can cause serious problems in the eyes. It can accumulate in the brain and contribute to neurodegenerative diseases later in life.

It can generally cause oxidative stress. So, what I would suggest is, normally, I would say the upper limit for what you really want to steer clear of copper is, like, 10 milligrams. I would cut that down to 5 milligrams for anyone who is on supplemental estrogen. You know, during the estrogen peaks in the menstrual cycle, if the menstrual cycle is normal, I’m not too worried about it because it just goes up for a couple of days, comes down, goes up for another couple days, comes down. It’s not a major…you’re gonna hyper absorb copper during that time, but, you know, more days than not, you just have normal estrogen levels for a woman and so it all kind of evens out.

But when you’re on birth control, or when you’re on hormone replacement therapy, those are essentially the only other conditions where you’d have chronic exposure to estrogen like you would in pregnancy. So, you’re going to hyper absorb copper and not have any place to put it. So I think it’s best to cut the upper limit for copper in half, down to 5 milligrams, and then just more generally not go out of your way to increase the 5 milligrams. So, I’m not too worried about foods. Copper-rich foods include liver, mushrooms, seaweed, shellfish.

You know, those other foods have things that balance copper and protect copper from causing problems like zinc, for example. So I’m not saying, you know, micromanage your fruits and don’t hit 5 milligrams. But I’m saying like, you know, if you’re taking supplements, don’t use supplements to go above 5 milligrams total intake. And, you know, don’t go out of your way to try to hit 5 milligrams or higher with your foods.

But for pregnancy, I would say, you know, the copper is just sort of, like, you want to get your minimum requirement for copper, and you don’t have to alter it because you are going to absorb it better, and you are going to do something with that copper. So another concern with pregnancy is vitamin A. And I don’t think the evidence is strong on this, but there is some very limited evidence that I think is very shaky that vitamin A intakes over 10,000 IU during the first eight weeks of pregnancy could cause birth defects.

And I want to reiterate here, like, triple reiterate here, the data is not good, the data is not good, the data is not good. However, most women have no need to go over 10,000 IU of vitamin A. I mean, yes, if you have signs of vitamin A deficiency because you’re poorly absorbing it, or there’s some other thing that is causing your needs to go up, and you’re monitoring blood levels, and you’re working with someone who’s sort of managing your nutrition with you, fine.

But if you’re planning on getting pregnant, and you don’t have any symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, and you don’t have any reason to think you have higher than normal needs of vitamin A, then, even though the data is not good, the data is not good, the data is not good, it’s prudent to not supplement with vitamin A to bring your intakes of retinol, which is the animal form of vitamin A that we’re most concerned with here, to not bring those over 10,000 IU per day.

After eight weeks, it doesn’t matter. So I think that’s one concern that women will encounter, and that’s basically, like, if they hear it. They might hear it put another way by someone who’s looked at the data less, like, “Vitamin A is toxic to your baby. Don’t take vitamin A when you’re pregnant.” So what I just said I think is the way to say that that actually sticks to the kernel of truth that’s there. And then, like we said before, managing morning sickness and just being proactive with, I would say, maybe like 100 to 300 micrograms of molybdenum on a proactive basis and 10 to 20 milligrams of B6 on a proactive basis as P5P.

And then, you know, I mean, for women who are philosophically natural-minded and don’t want to take extra supplements, I would say, like, you know, try to hit your targets for those foods. But honestly, like, telling a woman to eat a lot of beans when she’s pregnant might not go over very well. So taking 100 to 300 micrograms of molybdenum, taking 10 to 20 milligrams of P5P form of B6, and then… Well, one thing I didn’t mention before is that, folate, all the emphasis is on folate, but choline is very important to methylation, helps conserve folate.

And although we don’t have data in pregnant human women, we have data from rats suggesting that, if we were to extrapolate to humans, suggesting that if a woman got three times the basal requirement for choline during pregnancy, and during nursing, and then supported the growing child with three times the minimum recommendations for the first four years of life, that that could have extremely profound benefits to the brain, especially as an increase in audio spatial memory dealing with, you know, sounds and visual perception of space, preventing interference memory, which is the kind of memory loss where you forget where you parked your car when you go to the grocery store because you parked at that grocery store, you know, 350 times before, and you’re mixing all the 350 memories of where you parked your car.

And then, also, in these rats, it basically fully protects them from age-related senility at the end of life. So we’re talking about choline during pregnancy, nursing, and first four years of the child’s life, conferring brain benefits at, you know, 70, 80, 90 years old. So, I think, I actually have a good thing to link in the show notes would be my choline database. You can also Google “Masterjohn choline database,” and you can go see my recommendations there of how to get choline from foods. And if you could make a mix of choline and betaine that gets up around 1,200 or 1,300 milligrams a day from those foods, then I think that would be great to do. And you can make up the balance of supplements. I have specific recommendations for how to get choline supplements on there as well.

And I would summarize those by saying phosphatidylcholine is the best form of choline to take, and it’s the form that’s predominant in food. And you just have to be careful that, usually, when you take a supplement, the dose of phosphatidylcholine and not the dose of choline is mentioned on there. So you have to multiply it by…excuse me, you have to divide the dose on the bottle by eight to know the amount of choline you’re getting. And then trimethylglycine or TMG, you could just sort of like take that alongside the phosphatidylcholine half and half to get that.

And then the last thing I would mention is biotin. So about one-third of women spontaneously become biotin deficient during pregnancy, and biotin deficiency can cause a lot of skin problems and mood problems. So depression is a major risk of biotin deficiency as is dermatitis, which can affect a number of areas around the face and also the perineum, which is between the vagina and the anus. Particularly dermatitis in that area, like, being in the perineum would be kind of a red flag for biotin deficiency.

But also the fact that just with good markers, we know that a third of women just become biotin deficient when they’re pregnant because of their pregnancy, and it goes away after pregnancy. But, you know, how many women develop skin problems and depression during or after pregnancy? So, there, getting a few eggs a day would be your best bet. And honestly, if you try to meet the choline requirements I was just talking about, you will, by accident, meet the biotin requirements. But it’s also perfectly safe to put, you know, as much as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 milligrams of biotin in your food, which is actually way higher than what you would need.

What you’re getting for food if you shoot for, like, four egg yolks a day is going to be more on the order of 30, 40, 50 micrograms, and a microgram is a thousandth of a milligram, you know. Basically, with a supplement, if you add like 1 milligram of biotin in there, you’re getting completely safe amount of biotin that is definitely in excess of what you need. That’s my general view of pregnancy.

Katie: That was super helpful. And the last one I’ll ask you about today, but I think I’m just gonna have to keep asking you back is vitamin D because I know I’ve seen studies on vitamin D deficiency, and like low birth weights, or premature labor, and there seem to be some really big implications, but also it is one that can store in the body for at least from what I’ve read. So I know it’s one that you want to test and you want to know what your levels are. Do you have any data that you’ve seen or guidelines you would give about what target vitamin D level to aim for and what form is best to get that from?

Chris: Yeah. So, you know, vitamin D is interesting because there has been so much enthusiasm and research on vitamin D promoting high levels of it that we kind of have this…you know, which was genuinely merited by the fact that there has been and still is widespread inadequate vitamin D levels. Like, there was a study in the UK a couple of decades ago that showed that in a third trimester of pregnancy, women in the UK, on average, would have their vitamin D levels dropped to zero.

That’s, like, you know, ridiculously in need of a Vitamin D, right? And yet, we have, like, this bifurcation between kind of the general population where they probably need more vitamin D, and then we have health-conscious populations where everyone’s supplementing. And the funny thing that…you know, the majority of those people are probably getting too much, even though they, you know, certainly are people with very high needs that are minorities but are important to include here.

And so, yeah, it’s fat-soluble. But, you know, more importantly, it does have a toxicity profile, and it does increase the risk of soft tissue calcification. And I also think we always have a danger when people are told to avoid vitamin A and to take vitamin D. The risk of soft tissue calcification is going to increase because vitamin A protects against soft tissue calcification caused by too much vitamin D. So, I think, on a background for vitamin D supplementation, you don’t want to get into the hype around paranoia about vitamin A because that in and of itself is going to make vitamin D less safe.

But in pregnancy, the vitamin D needs are very similar to a non-pregnant woman for the first two trimesters. And then, in the third trimester, the fetal skeleton starts to get mineralized. And when that happens, there’s, like, a massive mobilization of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D all going towards the mineralization, the fetal skeleton. And that’s when you see 25(OH)D levels, which is the marker that we use for vitamin D nutritional status drop in women’s blood.

Now, vitamin D is also complicated by the fact that the levels of the markers change during pregnancy. And so, it’s actually, like, it makes things difficult because the way that they change are not… It’s well-characterized what happens, but it’s not well-characterized what it means in terms of how to re-interpret the markers to know whether women need more or less. And, as a result, I think that the reason that makes things difficult is that we have this voluminous data on, you know, thousands of studies of tens or really hundreds of thousands of people on how to interpret those markers, and they just don’t apply to pregnant women.

So what happens in pregnancy is that 25(OH)D, which is the traditional marker that is mostly used to assess vitamin D status, goes down, calcium levels go down, and parathyroid hormone levels go down. Parathyroid hormone or PTH is generally a marker of…like, the higher it is, the more you need vitamin D and calcium. And meanwhile, calcitriol, which is the active hormonal form of vitamin D goes up. And I think these are probably adaptations to supply calcium to the fetus while simultaneously minimizing the risk of bone loss to the mother because PTH, which rises when you have deficient calcium and vitamin D, helps mobilize calcium to get into your blood by taking it out of your bones.

So, basically, what pregnancy is doing… And calcitriol, the active hormonal form of vitamin D, it does take calcium out of your bones, but it also increases absorption of calcium from your food. So, basically, PTH and calcitriol are two different ways that you can mobilize more calcium into the blood, which, in the case of pregnancy, you’re trying to get it to go to the fetus. And what pregnancy is doing is, and I don’t know what mediates this, estrogen, progesterone or, you know, chorionic and…I don’t know what it is. Something in pregnancy is shifting the balance to a calcitriol dominant state to take more calcium out of your food and less calcium out of your bones. That way, overall, you get net more calcium moving to the fetus, but to the degree you’re not taxing the mother’s bones.

You can support that system by supplying more vitamin D to the mother, and that’s going to funnel in to bring 25(OH)D levels back up, which we measure as the main marker of nutritional status. It’s also the precursor to calcitriol, so it’s going to spill into calcitriol production. The more calcitriol you get and the less PTH you get, the more you’re going to protect the mother’s skeleton, while also simultaneously maximally extracting calcium from food to shift towards the fetus. At the same time, you can support that by getting more calcium in the diet.

We talked about this last time. I think the calcium requirements, the official calcium requirements are not changed during pregnancy if I remember that right, but, I think they clearly are, physiologically. And more to the point, I think a lot of women who are, you know, maybe altering what they eat because of pregnancy and their food aversions and so on, and then, on top of that, women in our audiences who are health conscious are often…especially like in the Paleo world, this is also true in the vegan world. A lot of people are worried about calcium supplements.

And I would say that in pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, to support mineralization of the fetal skeleton with minimal risk to the woman’s bones, you at least want to hit the RDA for calcium, and I would say go a little bit above it. So consistently hitting like 1,200 or 1,300 milligrams of calcium I think would be the ideal thing, alongside taking whatever vitamin D will keep your 25(OH)D levels up into the normal range, which, you know, to me, you’re looking at 30 to 40 nanograms per milliliter, in my opinion. And then, you know, it’s perfectly safe to take an extra 1,000 or 2,000 IU of vitamin D if you’re not measuring your blood level, but it’d be ideal to measure your blood levels.

Katie: Amazing. That is so practical and helpful. And, once again, our time has completely flown by, and you’re just gonna have to come back at some point.

Chris: I would be happy to.

Katie: Thank you so much for the time today. I know how busy you are. And I’m so grateful for you coming back again to share even more, and I look forward to more episodes in the future.

Chris: Awesome. Can’t wait.

Katie: And thanks to all of you for joining us and listening today, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama Podcast.”
If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This podcast is sponsored by Fabletics, my go-to source for quality affordable athletic wear. This company was founded by Kate Hudson with a mission to bring trendy athletic wear to everyone at affordable prices. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite- the high waisted powerhold leggings that is flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This podcast is brought to you by the Kion Clean Energy Bar. We all know that finding healthy snacks for you and your kids is no simple task. Most snacks, even the so-called “healthy” ones, are high in sugar, have poor nutrient quality, and will leave you and you feeling tired or hungrier than you were before. That’s why my friends at Kion created the Kion Clean Energy Bar, a delicious, all-natural, snack that will satisfy your appetite and give you stable, long-lasting energy. My kids loves these and I love that Kion bars are made from all real-food ingredients like coconut, almonds, and chia. They have zero refined sugar. They have a lot of healthy fats and clean protein to fuel the body and brain. They are naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free. They contain electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. And even though they are chocolate, they won’t melt in the heat or freeze in the cold. And they have a delicious chocolatey flavor and crunchy texture that you and your kids are gonna love. You can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

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clean no 01:04:37 Katie Wells
293: Functional Medicine for Families and Stress Reduction With Dr. Rick Henriksenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/rick-henriksen/ Mon, 04 Nov 2019 11:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=420361

My guest Dr. Rick Henriksen is a concierge medicine doctor with SteadyMD, my favorite online source of health care for our family. Dr. Rick is also Whole 30 founder Melissa Urban’s personal physician, which means he has an in-depth understanding of how diet affects health and a functional medicine approach to solving health problems.

Before coming to SteadyMD, Dr. Rick served on the faculty of the University of Utah’s School of Medicine. He also holds a master’s degree in Public Policy in the area of health. We’re going to dive deep into the state of health care today and why concierge medicine was the right way for him to move forward.

Episode Highlights With Dr. Rick Henriksen

  • Why he left a successful practice to become a concierge medicine doctor with SteadyMD
  • The approach he takes with families and new patients
  • What you need to know about magnesium and vitamin D
  • How billing practices affect the delivery of service
  • Why compassion belongs in healthcare (and how Dr. Rick is bringing it back)
  • The most frequent health complaints in Dr. Rick’s practice and what most of them have in common
  • Two supplements almost everyone should take
  • Root causes of stress and why it takes a deeper look to find them
  • Simple and realistic strategies for getting better sleep
  • How to get started with a concierge doctor
  • And more!

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Katie: Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and I’m here today with Dr. Rick Henrikson, who is a Board Certified Family Physician at SteadyMD and he treats, educates and counsels patients online using an integrative approach to health and wellness called concierges medicine. It’s what my family uses and we talk a little about that today. But we also talk about how he uses the principals of ancestral health, functional medicine and other modalities to improve long term health and whole body wellness in his patients and their families. He’s a Whole 30 certified Coach and the personal doctor to Whole 30 CEO, Melissa Hartwig-urban. Dr. Henrikson is currently accepting limited number of patients through SteadyMD and the link to find out more about that is in this podcast. But I think you will enjoy this pretty wide ranging podcast where we cover functional medicine for families, how to reduce stress in a practical and tangible way (and not just take a deep breath) and many other different topics that may be very relevant and tangible to your health. Dr. Rick, welcome and thanks for being here.

Dr. Rick: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Katie: I am excited to chat with you. As I mentioned in the intro, you are a concierge medicine doctor with SteadyMD and you are also Melissa Urban’s personal physician, which means that you have an understanding of Whole30 and functional medicine and are a great resource for families. I would love to start off by hearing your story. How did you get to this point? Because I feel like while I am a huge fan and use concierge medicine, it’s not a super common thing right now so I’m always love to hear the journey that got someone there.

Dr. Rick: Yeah, that’s a great question to start with. And it almost comes into two different things because there’s one like, “How did I get into functional medicine “and then “How did I decide to go into more of a membership base or concierge type medicine.” So they dovetail a little bit and they go together, but at the same time they’re a little bit separate. So I’ll start with the, “How did I get into concierge medicine or this membership-based practice?” So that actually starts in my previous job, I was on faculty at the University of Utah in their School of Medicine. I taught medical students and residents. And I actually have a background in Health Policy. I have a master’s degree in Public Policy. And so part of my main focus of my teaching was teaching Health Policy.

And I was teaching students, I was teaching residents on all about these new ways to pay for healthcare, different payment models. And it was always this theoretical process of, in the future maybe we could change and we can have these different ways of doing which are much better. And then finally I just got fed up and I was tired of doing a model and being in a model that wasn’t making me happy, that wasn’t making my patients happy, that wasn’t helping out anybody. I was like, “We’ve got to change.” So that’s when I decided to like take the leap, leave my very nice, very comfortable life and decided to open up my own practice and joined SteadyMD and to get into more of this concierge, very patient-centered focus that also is great for physicians. So that’s really kind of a nutshell. That’s how I went from a very traditional academic practice that I never wanted to leave to being unhappy, super stressed to then joining this new wave of physicians.

Katie: Yeah. And from the patient side I’ll say it’s been amazing for me as well. For anyone who’s not familiar with the concept, basically, you could probably explain it better than I could, but a doctor’s allowed to have many, a lot fewer patients and to give them a lot more one-on-one attention and it’s basically through concierge medicine, because you have doctors that you’re paired with that you can reach out to when you need them, you don’t have to go into an office visit. For me, it’s actually been financially really beneficial as well. I end up paying less, especially with the family. But can you speak to that from the doctor’s side of just how that reduces your patient load and let you give more attention to each of your patients?

Dr. Rick: Yeah, absolutely. So in the traditional insurance or fee-for-service model, a patient when they go see the doctor, they pay a certain flat fee or the insurance pays it for them. And so the doctors then… They don’t get paid outside of that. They don’t get paid generally for doing emails or for phone calls. And it’s only when a patient comes into your office that you get paid. And so the incentive for the doctor’s like, “Oh, I got to get patients to come in.” So the more patients you get in, the shorter your visits are, the more the doctor can then make a living. And so, really does not serve the patient well at all because then you have 5, 10-minute visits. You don’t still have time to go on any root cause analysis. And so on the opposite side of that is this memberships, almost like thinking of a gym membership for your doctor. You paid this multi membership fee, you go in or you have access to your doctor as needed, right?

And so it changes the nature of that relationship instead of having… When I was in a full practice or family doctors that are in the traditional model, we’ll have anywhere from 1,600 patients to 2,400 patients, so large number. When you reduce that down to doing a more of a membership base or concierge-based practice, you can have 400 to 600 patients. So you have fewer numbers of patients that you’re helping them on a deeper level because they have access to you outside of the visit. Oftentimes, you know, my patients, like you said, they can text me through the app. Take care of things that aren’t necessarily actually in the visit because when I get paid it’s based on that monthly amount number of patients I have. And so my goal is to make and help my patients to be healthy and happy long term so they stay my patients, so that I can get a set amount and a salary’s month. But also, I don’t necessarily just have to have a visit in order to get paid. So changes the way that I deliver care. I reach out, I do things that a doctor in a different system wouldn’t necessarily do and we can be more proactive and I can send messages, I can call my patients on their birthdays, things that like that I can do that would normally not get paid for. But because I am getting paid on a monthly salary more so it allows me to really dig in and to help families and patients out more on individual level.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. It makes so much sense and it’s been amazing for us with eight of us in my family, whenever there’s something with the kids, I can text or video chat and it’s just so much quicker process and the doctor already knows our medical history. So there it just saves so much time. It saves the office visit and it saves money and, like you said, you check in with your patients. I think that’s the other beauty of it is because there’s no time constraints, you’re able to just have a lot more time and more focus with your patients. And I know that you also take more of a holistic functional medicine type approach with your patients. So I love, especially for families to hear a little bit about your approach. When you on board a new patient or a new family, what are some of the things that you look at specifically if they’re wanting just to improve health in general? Maybe they don’t have a specific health concern. What are some of the markers that you consider important to look at?

Dr. Rick: Yeah, sure. So when we’re looking at families, first off, I look at my own family and see what’s real life. And so I think that’s where my friends and families or friends in my family are doing the same things that my patients are. And so I have that frame to be able to say, “Okay, what is going on there?” And then also know as a physician, I know my patients really well and their families really well. So in that first visit, I really make sure I get to know their backgrounds. “So what is it that is making them or their life? How are they ticking? What’s going on?” And so in my first visit I spend so much time on sleep, stress management, nutrition, exercise, other fitness components. My patients always want to jump in. They’re like, “I have this problem,” they make a list. And they have like a thousand problems. I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, hold on. Let’s go into the foundation first and make sure that I understand where you’re coming from. Because when you have Hashimoto’s or when you have a gluten intolerance or something’s going on, if I don’t have that other foundational piece, if I don’t understand that, then we’re missing out.” And so I always start there because I think for a lot of folks that are looking for solutions, sometimes easiest solutions are the ones that we all know, right? And so my patients know they need to be sleeping more, they know a lot of these things. Sometimes they’re just not implemented very well. And so making sure we’re staying focused on those before we jump into the more intricate detailed root cause of why they have Hashimoto’s or what is it about their chronic fatigue.

And so, that’s a step one that I would say. And then step two is then giving my patients the license for self-compassion. I think a lot of my patients and families come in and moms and dads are super stressed, and their kids are sick, or they’re sick, and they have so much stress and anxiety and they feel like failures. So number two, always self-compassion for making sure that my patients know, “This isn’t your fault. It’s not because you’re a bad person that you’re unhealthy. It’s not because of these issues, but this is just the way that life took you. And whether that’s an internal cosmos or whatever it is, or genetics or… This is where you are now. And having compassion for what you’ve been through, I think is also, for me, is step number two in that process.”

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. That’s such an important step.

Dr. Rick: Yeah, so then after that, step three then is really looking, “Okay, so then what do we do?” And then it’s looking at, “Do we need to get some more advanced testing?” Obviously, I look at what’s happened in the past. What’s testing has been done. And a lot of my patients that come in, they have 10 or 15 different pages of labs that they’ve done in the last few years. And so a lot of times they don’t actually need any more testing, but some patients do need to start there and we need to look at that. But sometimes they just need another set of eyes. If somebody’s looking at the data, maybe they’ve had that ordered on their own, which happens a lot. Or they ordered it with a provider that wasn’t necessarily super keen on understanding how those results work.

And so taking time to be able to look into some of those results and then really coming up with a plan, then for that patient to then undertake. So whether that’s changing lifestyle issues like nutrition, sleep, etc. Or doing some herbal treatments or doing some other type of medical treatment and then waiting for the patient to do it. I think that the next step four is being patient. And that’s what’s really hard I think for patients and families is that, we have a plan in place, we’ve got to give it a shot and changes in our body don’t happen overnight. So we’re talking four, six weeks at least to give something an option. And then after that time, we regroup. And this is where I love the model of concierge through SteadyMD, is that I love having that ability to then regroup.

So, and whether that’s through a text message or short time, but we can regroup easily, we can have that model. I already know what’s going on and we see like, “Is this working? Is our treatment happening? Do we need to be more patient? Or do we need to make changes?” And that’s the flow that you would see in a general structure with our patients at SteadyMD is assessing, coming up with a plan, having patients reassessing. And that side going through those cycles over the course of a year or so can really make some long-term changes.

Katie: For sure. And I think that’s an important thing to keep in mind as well is that. Like you said, these are long-term changes. I know that’s been my experience having Hashimoto’s and working through that over the last about eight years is, change is absolutely possible, but it’s not possible overnight. And I think that’s true with almost any health conditions. Certainly, someone has celiac disease and they remove gluten, they might notice a difference very quickly, but you’re not going to resolve any health condition overnight. So I’m curious with your patients and now being able to have this deeper relationship with them. What are some of the more common things, the more common issues that you’re seeing in the families and patients you work with?

Dr. Rick: Yeah. So number one would be gut issues for me. So I have a large number of patients that come in specifically for it. They have gut issues or it’s something that’s underlying that they didn’t necessarily think about, so easily that’s the number one thing that people are doing with us. The things that I think are a lot of people think are common are having loose stools and constipation that are super common. So a lot of times my patients will come in and they think that that’s normal. And then I’m like, “No, that’s not normal to have. It’s not normal to have diarrhea a few times a day. We’ve got see what’s going on under the hood and see if we can fix that.” So that’s number one is looking at gut health and making sure that’s tuned up.

And then other latent autoimmune diseases I think is something that’s also come up quite a bit for me in the patients that I work with, whether that’s Hashimoto’s, or Eczema or even Asthma, those things that express more often and are becoming bigger issues. Fatigue, not sleeping enough, insomnia, and migraine headaches. Those are all other ones that are hot topics that I deal with a lot and they’re all really revolving around very similar problems. And so when I’m looking at a patient, it’s really trying to look at all of their issues, boiling down to what are the things, maybe go into the background of all of those and then taking some steps to direct target each treatment. But oftentimes, it’s one treatment can hit in multiple different outcomes as well.

Katie: Gotcha. So when you onboard a new patient or a new family, are there any general guidelines that you start with that seem to be applicable to everyone or is it very individualized? In other words, are there dietary approaches that in general work for most people that you start with, or lifestyle factors or is it just you go completely case by case?

Dr. Rick: Yes, I think this is an interesting, I think… Yeah, there are definitely some general principles. It’s interesting because the patients that are coming to me oftentimes are already doing those general principles and so folks limiting our processed carbohydrates is obviously one of the best things we can do. Cutting out sugar out of our lives, sleeping more. Those are fundamentals that a lot of the patients that I see are already doing and a lot of your listeners I’m sure are already working on. So making sure those are intact and in place, those fundamentals, are the key. But you’re right, the nutritional changes, making sure that I don’t eat sugar, having a healthier relationship with food. So that’s also a big component too as this very much yoyo or a lot of anxiety, stress and low self-esteem relating to food.

That’s another one that at the beginning of conversations is very apparent. So yeah, making sure we work on those. But then specifics, most of my patients have low vitamin D, so I’m always starting vitamin D or testing vitamin D on almost all of my patients. It’s something universal. Very rarely do I see someone that has an optimal vitamin D level. I think often most of my patients are also very low on magnesium. So if I was going to give a blanket, this is something I always do with every patient is making sure they’re getting enough magnesium and making sure that their vitamin D is in check. Because I think those are also trying to create a foundation to make in other changes ubiquitously.

Katie: I absolutely agree. Those were definitely huge keys for me. I found out I had very low vitamin D toward the early part of my journey. Now it’s something I make a point to get moderate sun exposure and also have to eat vitamin D containing foods and to watch my levels pretty carefully. Let’s talk about magnesium because I’ve written about it a few times. I know from my own experience how big of a difference it makes, but I feel like a lot of people still maybe are not as familiar with it. So can you explain why magnesium is so important to the body?

Dr. Rick: Yeah. So I mean there’s a lot of it we don’t know, but a lot of it we do and magnesium is important in the regulation and how we use also and how we use calcium and vitamin D and they’re all intertwined. It’s this really great electrolyte, it’s this mineral that we get in our foods. Unfortunately, most of the foods we’re eating these days are low in magnesium. And so what’s happening is that these processes are starting just to break down and we don’t have the right ions and the levels that we need. And without going into too many specifics, magnesium is going to help you sleep better. It’s going to make sure that your bowels are regulated, that your gut is healing.

So all of these different processes rely on a stable amount of magnesium. And unfortunately, what happens is we’ll have providers or even my patient says, “Oh, can we check my magnesium level?” And we check their serum magnesium or even a red blood cell magnesium and you say, “Oh, looks like it’s good.” And unfortunately, those tests are really not super accurate for what’s going on in the whole body. Most of your magnesium is in the cells. And while red blood cell magnesium is a little bit better test than that it’s still not great. Your body tightly regulates how much magnesium is in the plasma serum of your blood. And so if you have a normal level there, what it means is like your body is regulating it and it’s pulling it out of the cells. And so it’s not able to do what needs to do inside of the cells either. And there’s all kinds of other processes and pathways that use magnesium also within the cell. So I think that’s one of the things that is helpful is that, I start some magnesium on folks and they tend to start sleeping better, their mental health improves, and a few other things that I can find usually help out with that.

Katie: Yeah, I noticed the sleep improvement for sure. And I know I’ve had friends who noticed improvements with anxiety and depression, mental health stuff. They saw a big change from magnesium. Is there a particular form that you prefer in supplements? And also, can you give us a primer of just some foods to watch out for that have magnesium in them that are good to consume?

Dr. Rick: Yeah. So as far as there’s several different types of magnesium, is another thing, is they’re always coming up with different formulations of it. And it really depends honestly on what’s going on for the patients. So if I have patients that have a lot of constipation, then honestly giving one of the like more Chloroforms of magnesium that are cheaper older forms like Magnesium Citrate, for example, can actually do better to help loosen the stool. So it really is somewhat dependent. But if you’re someone that has more diarrhea or you have loose stools and you want to start magnesium, then you definitely need to use something like magnesium glycinate, like a chelated magnesium. And the reason for that is that it’s going to reduce the amount of loose stools from that magnesium. It’s just more absorbable as the magnesium. If it doesn’t get absorbed through your gut lining, then it goes into your large intestine and it actually pulls water and causes osmotic loosening of stools and can cause diarrhea. I mean, it’s one of the things that we use when people are getting clean outs for colonoscopies, for example. So it kind of depends on that a little bit. Now as far as foods, honestly, while we like to say, “I think this is where you’re eating your greens and your vegetables and making sure you’re getting an adequate amount of those, is going to be really, really important because most magnesium we’re getting from there.” And so that’s why when I have patients that aren’t doing low carb or Keto or something, that they’re just not getting as many of those nutrients.

But honestly, even with folks that are eating a well-balanced diet, they can still be low in magnesium because of poor food quality. Right? The food or the way it’s grown, we just aren’t getting as much magnesium into our diets as we have previously. So unless you can carefully control the type of garden you have and you’re eating all your food from there and you’re tightly managing that is probably pretty hard to get to optimal levels without some type of supplementation, to be honest.

Katie: Yeah, that is my personal experience as well. And from what I read, you flush out any extra magnesium you don’t need in most cases unless you’re just taking massive, massive doses. So it’s one of those things that I always viewed as a little bit an insurance policy, especially when you read the things that can deplete magnesium levels in the body, at least in my research where things like caffeine consumption, and stress, and not sleeping enough. Like so many things that just go with modern life. It seems like a great… Just an insurance policy to have. And…

Dr. Rick: I was going to say the insurance policy, totally. And I think this is where I don’t want my patients to feel guilty, right? If they’re like, “I’m eating organic and I’m doing my best and I’m still having these problems, so I’m a failure.” And I’m like, “No, you’re not a failure. The environment has set you up to fail. It’s not your fault.” And this is one of those areas where I’m like, “Have some compassion for yourself. You didn’t fail because your magnesium is not enough and you have to take a supplement. It’s not because you didn’t do good enough buying the organic vegetables.” So I just wanted to say that up front.

Katie: That’s a good point. And I think a really good perspective and something I have to keep in mind as well because I often hear people say things like, “Why do we have to do all this supplementation and all these lifestyle interventions and be so careful with diet? Our grandparents just ate whatever they wanted and they were fine.” And I will come back to that. It’s like we’re dealing with a lot more, our bodies face a lot more in the modern world and even just a couple of generations ago. So we do have to be a little bit more proactive, but that also means we have to give ourselves some grace because we’re facing more than previous generations have faced and that’s especially true. I know a topic that you’ve talked about some before is stress, and I’d love to go a little deep on this because I’ve talked to so many people who they’ve got their diet dialed in and maybe they haven’t done a Whole30, they’re cognizant of what they’re eating. They’ve got lifestyle factors dialed in and stress is still the nemesis and I know it’s something so many of us face in the modern world. It goes hand in hand with the modern lifestyle. I’d love to hear your approach to stress because I’ve also…I’ve heard it and I felt in my own life, you can have everything else dialed in and if you’re not dealing with the mental and emotional aspects of stress, you’re still potentially going to run into some roadblocks.

Dr. Rick: Yeah, I mean, I think stress is one that’s so hard because everyone’s dealing with it. None of us really has the best answer for it. And I think fundamentally, it comes down to a few things. Number one, if you’re not living to your values or what you value in life, you’re going to be very stressed. So if you are in a job or workplace or relationship or something that or you’re acting in a way that you know is contrary to your personal values, it’s going to cause a lot of stress. And so I see this with a lot with folks that are in jobs that they just don’t like or jobs that are causing… They’re in a field that maybe they don’t value, that’s going to cause a lot of internal stress that you don’t really recognize.

So making those life decisions. And this is where I think for me, I was working in a system that was promoting these short visits, patients in and out. And I don’t know, it was hard for me to have a very clear, mindful understanding of what was happening. But each day I was getting frustrated. And I would get mad at my patients or I get mad at my medical assistants like, “Why aren’t they doing what I say?” And then I’ll get mad at myself and then I get stressed out that I’m like, “Oh terrible doctor.” Because I’m not helping people. And it really fundamentally came down to I wasn’t living in a system, I wasn’t living my values that I held most dear. And so that was fundamentally causing me to have this internal strife which then presented in anger and presented in blame for other people.

And so I think while I’m still stressful now and I have stressful things going on, right now, at least in my job, for example, I’m living the values, I am taking care of patients in the way that I like to take care of patients. I’m working on fundamentals. I have enough time to take care of my lifestyle. While I have stress and other things because related to that, running my own business and paying bills, right, is a little more difficult now. At least in this one area, I feel my values are aligned now with my behavior, my behavior is aligned with my values. And so that’s one thing to look at. If you are feeling a lot of stress, try and take a big look.

And that’s scary and this is very hard and this is where a life coach or a really good friend or a therapist is going to be very helpful for you is looking at what is going on in your core identity and making sure you’re living that. And then giving yourself a break. So if you are in a job that it’s not aligned with core values, but you have to be in there. And I think maybe even just understanding that, being cognizant and mindful of like, “I’m living in this job or I have to do this job to pay my bills now.” How can you work that into your system? How can you still appreciate that job that you have?” So this is where that mindful or that psychology component comes in and saying, “I know I’m here. I have to love and appreciate that I’m here and I’ll be a different place later, but I have to be happy where I am now.”

A lot of stress comes from families that have babies that are not sleeping through the night, right? That is a very stressful time and moms are stressed, dads are stressed, and the baby’s not sleeping and they’re feeling bad and they’re feeling like it’s my fault that the baby’s not sleeping and then they have to wake up, but then I have to get to work, right? This is a terrible time in your life, but at the same time, learning to appreciate this time and being mindful. This is a time where my baby, this thing that I brought into the world, needs me and I get to be there for them and loving and supporting that time that you have because that will pass.

And then trying to just change that mental attitude of this is something that I can use for a positive way, even though I’m not sleeping and I know I should be. But you can, you can kind of reframe a little bit of that life circumstance to help you out in that stressful situation. So those are two grand and very big topics that take years of practice and years of mindfulness training and meditation and work. But I think those are fundamentally going to be your best ways of dealing with long-term stress.

Now the more acute short-term things are like get more sleep. So I just used a bad example of the parents that couldn’t sleep, but if you’re not in that example, get more sleep. I have patients always ask me, “I’m sleeping X amount of time, how much should I be sleeping? ” And almost invariably, it’s X plus one. So whatever you’re doing, sleep an extra hour unless there’s obviously chronic fatigue and you’re sleeping 10 hours and that’s a different story. But so fundamentally getting a little bit extra sleep is going to be really, really important for that stress management. So anyway, I would probably start there. There’s a lot of other things that go into it, but reframing the experience, making sure your values are aligned. So making sure your behaviors are aligned with your values and then getting enough sleep. Doing those core fundamentals are really going to make a great impact on stress and happiness.

Katie: Yeah, I think sleep, you’re right, cannot be underestimated. And I’m curious if you have any specific tips to help with that. Because I know a lot of people struggle with sleep. It’s not something that I personally struggle with. Just making sure I have enough time for it. But my husband for instance, doesn’t get very much deep sleep. So he has trouble getting enough deep sleep every night, even if he sleeps enough hours. I know other people will have trouble falling asleep or some people will wake up every morning at 3 or 4 in the morning. Are there any things that you found that are helpful for people who are struggling with sleep?

Dr. Rick: Yeah. So I think that obviously is individualized too because there are a lot of different disturbed sleeping patterns. So if someone’s waking up really early in the morning, we have to look at that and say, “What’s happening in the evening or the days before or by habits?” And so right, it’s going to be individualized. And that’s why working with a doctor who is familiar with the different sleep patterns and working with a functional doctor or someone that can get to know you really well is really important. Is that you can go through that process now, go into your regular family doctor like, “I can’t sleep.” And they give you a pill, clearly that’s not the right answer. So first off, step number one is, find somebody really good to help you.

Number two is probably assessment and figuring out really what is happening. So keeping track on paper, buying one of those expensive devices can help not, they don’t always help. Sometimes they make things worse because there’re other things that are going on with your brain when you’re wearing a device. So taking an assessment of, “When are you going to sleep? And if you went to sleep at midnight, what is it that made you go to sleep at midnight instead of 11:30?” So reassessing your behavior before bed and maybe it wasn’t what happened at 11, maybe it was happened at dinner and why didn’t you start dinner at 7 because this happened. So re-evaluating what are the step by step process that really made you want to stay up later than you wanted to?

So in your case, it sounds like you can fall asleep easily. You just don’t necessarily make the time for it. So you’re a very different customer than someone that is in bed at 9 but can’t fall asleep until midnight. Right? So approaching those differently is going to be really important as well. So some quick things that can help out with sleep. So number one, I actually find doing some type of meditative practice to fall asleep can be really helpful. Before you fall asleep or after you fall asleep, some type of mindfulness or meditative practice to help your brain relax and ease that anxiety. Your brain is doing its job. It wants you to not forget things. So whenever you have things pop up into your mind before you go into bed, that anxiety thought. It’s your brain, it’s doing its job.

It’s trying to help you not forget things to do in the morning because you know that you feel guilt or you feel bad when you don’t do the thing you’re supposed to do. And so your brain is trying to remind you, remember that it’s just doing it at the wrong and inappropriate time. So giving your brain and your mind and your soul a time to reflect and remember those things it has to do tomorrow. Give it a set amount of time, say, 10, 15 minutes before you go to bed, review your day, review the next day. Give your time, give your mind time to say, “This is what I’m going to do.” And then at that point, hopefully with training and you can then relax and go to bed and you don’t continue to think about those issues.

So that’s one thing to do that can potentially help. There’s another really great thing and that’s… A lot of folks have found or they built habits of watching TV before bed or listening to the radio till they fall asleep. And this can be something that I think is a stop gap is, it’s not necessarily that you want to be having that device on or you don’t want to be watching TV, but what’s happening is your brain, you’re distracting your brain from the things that it’s thinking about. And so then you’re able to relax and you’re thinking about something mindless and that helps you fall asleep. So reading a book, right? Or reading like a scientific paper that’s really difficult are other things that people have suggested.

There’s also this really great app that I’ve been recommending to my patients. It’s called Sleep With Me. And it’s a great app. It actually is this guy that does a podcast. And he just basically talks about weird, unimportant things in a weird voice for an hour. And most of the time my patients fall asleep in 15 minutes because what’s happening is it’s giving your brain something to halfway focus on and help you drift to sleep, to give your brain some relaxing time. So now it’s not always the best thing to have devices around your bed when you’re sleeping and your phone, but sometimes this can be a band-aid until you’re able to figure out how to be more mindful before sleep. So a mindfulness practice before sleep is going to be critical.

And then also, there are other things like magnesium we’ve talked about can be helpful. Figuring out if you have some type of melatonin, cortisol disruption, if you’re not getting the surges in the appropriate places. Some melatonin could be helpful again for a stop gap. Valerian root is also something that I have found to help sleep quality in some folks that can also help out with some anxiety. So there are a lot of different supplements and herbs and things that we can try to help out with sleep. And I think this is one of those things too where we have to continue to reevaluate. Oftentimes we’re too quick to change something. I tried melatonin for two nights, it didn’t help and then you write it off forever. But I think giving things a little bit more time to see if they help out can be helpful as well.

Katie: Yeah, you’re right. I think it is like anything in health, it’s trying and finding the things that work for us individually. For instance, I found when I was doing a lot of intermittent fasting, when I pushed my window way too far in the afternoon and didn’t eat till 2 in the afternoon, it was like my body wasn’t getting the food signals that I needed for circadian rhythm and I was having trouble falling asleep. And so as soon as I adjusted that window earlier, I was fine. I think that’s something that may be different for a lot of people and it’s finding those things, like you said, in figuring out what’s going to work for you.

Today’s podcast is sponsored by one of my favorite companies… Four Sigmatic. I love all of their delicious coffees, teas and elixirs and they are such a part of my daily routine that I can’t even remember the last time a day went by when I didn’t consume at least one of their products. With both caffeine free and naturally caffeinated options like coffee and matcha combined with superfood mushrooms like chaga, cordyceps and reishi. Their drinks are functional and delicious and I notice a difference when I don’t drink them. My normal routine is to drink coffee with Lions Mane in the morning, I’ll sip on cordyceps or chaga while I work during the day and reishi to wind down at night. My kids also love the reishi cocoa and it helps them sleep better. Check out all of their products and save 15% on any order with the code wellnessmama at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

This podcast is brought to you by Radiant Life Catalog. Radiant Life is a woman-owned, family-run online health and wellness company specializing in food-based supplements, nutrient dense foods, eco-friendly housewares, water filtration and purification. After spending over 20 years in the health industry, Radiant Life realized that one of the overlooked components of wellbeing is access to clean, healthy and hydrating water. Now, they have a range of water filters that fix this for every type of house and budget from counter-top units to under counter and even whole house like the one we have. Their systems are crafted with a health and wellness focus. They improve the taste and smell of water but, more importantly, they remove a wide range of potentially harmful contaminants. They also have and in-house water expert is available all the time to guide you through the system selection process and answer all of your questions via phone or email. Their systems are also designed and built in the USA and really high quality. Go to radiantlife.com/wellnessmama and get $200 off a Whole House or 14-Stage Water System with the code WMPODCAST.

Katie: Another thing I’m getting a lot of questions right now from listeners and readers about, and I’d love your take on is different versions of the Keto Diet. And I’d love to hear how you feel this fits in, in general to a healthy eating approach to a functional medicine approach. On a personal level for me, I found that I’m not able to eat that high fat, especially saturated fat just with a couple of genes that I have. I really don’t do well with that much saturated fat. But I have heard from people who anecdotally seem to do great on it. I’m curious what your take is.

Dr. Rick: Yeah, so I think like anything it’s a tool and I think we use a tool for the appropriate job. I think what happens is that we have folks that have found that this tool works for them, right? The hammer is hitting the nail in, they get faced with a screw or the other person is a screw and they’re trying to hammer and the Keto’s isn’t working. And so we keep trying it right? Or our lives change. And so oftentimes Keto is going to be very effective for a lot of people. So what happens, we come into Keto from a variety of areas, but a lot of people have been super high carb. They have terribly high insulin resistance. Their body is not adjusting well to then trying to sleep or trying to, putting on a lot of weight.

Your body, your hormones are out of whack because all these issues and so you start someone on a Keto Diet and in your… This you’re using it as a tool to then train their body to decrease the amount of insulin that is required. So then insulin resistance can come down to changing the way that you’re digesting and using the carbohydrates, you are increasing your enzymes that are going to be helping you break down that fat and then training your body to use that fat as a fuel. So Keto Diet has been extremely helpful in those folks, they come in and lowering the carbohydrate level. Now whether they need to go full Keto or not, I think this is something that can be hotly debated and some folks will be at the center of the fence.

But for me at least personally, I use it as a tool and I think it’s appropriate for some people and not appropriate for others. And it can be changed. I think sometimes also we get stuck in a pattern where I’ve been doing Keto for three years and I was doing great and now things are starting to fall apart. And that’s where we think we need to reevaluate and say, “Is there a seasonal change to the way we eat. Are there times when it’s okay to eat more carbohydrates but then cycle back into a lower carbohydrate diet.” And this is where I think it’s hard to do this alone and this is where it’s helpful to have a physician or somebody else to kind of walk you through that process because we do get stuck in this kind of narrow minded view on our own of what we should do and this has worked for me in the past.

So if I just do it more, it’s going to continue to working for me. So if 80 grams of carbs a day was good for me, I’m going to push it to 60, and then I’m going to push it to 40, I’m going to push it to 20 and you get into these deficits where sometimes then you have problems with your thyroid gland and all kinds of other issues. But reevaluating instead of just pushing harder and stronger, stepping back and saying, “Is this an appropriate tool for me to use right now or do I just need to change my psychological involvement with food and change the way I’m feeling about food and that’s going to have a better outcome on my happiness versus going stronger, harder into Keto.

Katie: Yeah, that’s an excellent point. I think you hit the nail on the head with that idea that with any of these, whether it be Keto, whether it be even people who go vegan, whatever it is, when you’re switching from just a high refined food diet to that, you’re going to see probably some benefits just because of that change and just because of hopefully getting more whole nutritious foods into your diet versus what you’re necessarily cutting out. And another example of that that I hear from people more and more about is the carnivore diet. And I personally, I have some concerns just because, that one, depending on how it’s done can be extremely restrictive. And I worry about the gut and not getting enough of different types of varieties of fiber to encourage gut bacteria. But I’m curious what your take on the carnivore diet is.

Dr. Rick: Oh gosh. To be honest, I haven’t worked with many patients that have wanted or tried Carno or I’ve never done it myself. So to be honest, I don’t know much about how that is going to affect. I think obviously it’s going to be a super low carbohydrate diet. Like you said, it’s going to help people at times, but I think also that restrictiveness can be psychologically difficult for a lot of folks. So I think folks that have eating disorders or going into this process and this is another way for them to exert control over their lives. I think people are using it sometimes that way. And so I would say this is something to obviously evaluate but other people they do have significant issues with plants.

Georgie is a good friend of mine. She doesn’t eat many plants, any time she eats plants she has severe issues. And this is something that for her has found to be a tool that helps her be happier. And so there are patients that I know that we just can’t fundamentally figure out what’s going on and the root cause of what’s causing them whenever they eat plants, they have problems. We can’t figure it out. And I think for those folks who say, “Well, maybe this is the best course for you then because at least with the tools that we have now, we can’t figure out why plants are causing so many problems.” So going to a more carnivore diet could be the right solution for that patient.

Katie: Cool. That makes sense. Okay, so I’m curious for I want to talk about the onboarding process a little bit. I know we started with talking about concierge medicine, but I want to talk about it, especially for families because the majority of people listening are moms. And I know, like I said, this has been really beneficial and time saving and money saving in my own life. And I know that it can be for a lot of others as well, but I also know that it’s not the norm and it’s an unusual thing for people who aren’t familiar with it. And so there’s a lot of questions. let’s talk about for a family who maybe is used to the traditional insurance model and the traditional doctor model making a switch into something like concierge medicine. I’ll share from my personal experience as well, but let’s just talk through like what that process looks like for the you and patient relationship.

Dr. Rick: Yeah. So that’s great. So someone goes to SteadyMD, they’re going to see that there’s a family plan available and having you decide, is this going to be the right fit for your family, I think this is a really good question. So the way it works is number one, first getting to know the parents, so the mom or the dad or both, preferably, getting to know both of them or mom-mom or dad-dad, however it is, whatever your family is. That’s cool. So getting to know whoever the parents are, the leads of the house and talking to the parents. So getting to know fundamentally your history, your health, and maybe even working together for a little while and then bringing the kids on.

Then we would have individual visits with the kids. And individual visits are important. And I do want to see, we have to see your kid on the camera. I want to make sure that I get to that relationship with them as well and get started with them. So going into their history, their background, at least getting that fundamental. So there’s several different levels when you do go through SteadyMD, there’s a couple of different levels where you can have a full plan for your child or you can have a backup plan and the family plan of adding a kid on where we can help out with smaller issues, things that come up, advice, but aren’t necessarily doing full functional medicine for your child. Right. So if you do have a very sick kid that has a lot of issues, then we’re probably looking at, talking to support at SteadyMD, and figuring out how… “Is this appropriate for us to help out with that child?”

Because there are things that are very specific for kids that we want to make sure that we’re not missing them just by doing a more cursory. So kind of making that decision and maybe even talking with your doctor to figure out if that’s the most appropriate course for you. Let’s just say that you have a family, two parents, two kids. The kids are relatively healthy. So in that case having a visit with them and then going through that process. But that onboarding always starts with the parents, bringing on the kids, making sure it’s appropriate that there isn’t any underlying issues that need to be addressed before that would happen. And then after that, it really is in some ways and coming on both the doctor and the parents to make sure that the kids are doing well. So I will reach out and make sure your family is doing great, but I also want to hear from the parents. I want to hear from the moms that, “What’s going on? How are the kids doing?” And being proactive kind of in both directions I think is helpful.

Katie: Yeah, that makes sense. And I’ll say from my end, none of our kids have any intensive health issues at all. And so for me it’s been like having a doctor in my pocket when there’s any small issue that comes up, whether it be a kid gets pink eye or an ear infection or after our neighborhood had an outbreak of Impetigo, which is a staph infection on the skin. It was a nightmare because there was 38 kids in our neighborhood and it kept just transferring back and forth. We were able to fight it without internal antibiotics because those are definitely a last resort for me and working with a SteadyMD doctor we were able to use topical stuff and natural remedies and really focused immune approaches and finally got past that. But I couldn’t have imagined having to go to urgent care to a doctor every time for every kid or every time there was, it got passed back and forth. And so it’s also such peace of mind. And I give it as we order everything else to our houses these days like Amazon or food delivery, everything just shows up at our house and yet we still have to drive to the doctor most of the time. Whereas now you guys can come to our living room too via video chat, which has been really amazing. Even just technology. There’s digital otoscopes that connect to my phone. So like my SteadyMD doc has seen my kid’s ear drums remotely. It’s amazing.

Dr. Rick: Yeah, I mean that’s a really, really great point. It’s like the doc in your pocket, you know, small things are going on or big things that you need advice on, that’s where I want to hear about what’s happening. I would rather hear from my patients and say, “Do I do X or Y?” And I can help work through that, rather than in two weeks from now I’m like, “Oh, we went to urgent care.” And I’m like, “Oh, I totally could help you out with that.” I think that’s where you’re right now. If it becomes more involved and there’s more things going on and that’s a different story because kids are special, we want them to grow really well. And so sometimes it does take a more involved process and so you’d have to talk to the SteadyMD doctor about that, but if it’s relatively healthy doc in your pocket those kind of things, that’s ideal for our for current set up.

Katie: Yeah, exactly, yeah, I think that’s a perfect way to put it for parents. And I should have mentioned at the beginning, and make sure it’s in the intro, but I’ll put the link to SteadyMD and especially to the quiz that helps you figure which doctor you match best with. I’ll make sure that is in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. But Dr Rick, you are currently accepting new patients as well. Am I remembering that correctly?

Dr. Rick: Yeah, yep, I am. So that is one of the things about… You brought up that quiz, that’s actually one of the best things about SteadyMD that we haven’t even touched on is this alignment process. And your listeners, if you go onto the on the website now, the first thing you’ll do is take this quiz and that quiz helps provide alignment. Making sure that you are finding a doctor who is into the same things as you are, who addresses health the same thing where you are, and that person might not be me, right? So I’m here talking to your folks, but there’s probably another doctor most likely who fits better than me. I might be that person, but if I’m not, there’s going to be a doctor we’re going to help build that alignment.

I think that’s really critical in that healing process is finding somebody that you work well with that’s going to be your doctor friend. And so building that alignment, making sure you’re in the same wavelength is crucial. That quiz works that way. So I would love it if that’s me for you. So if your listeners, if you get on and you see me, see my face, click on me and I’d love to be your doctor. I am taking patients right now. I actually am quite a few weeks booked out. But we’re always opening up slots and there’s a new doctors coming on. So the service has been really great so far. So SteadyMD has been growing and we just hired a few, about 10 actually, we just offered 10 new doctors positions to open up because things are growing and people are really responding well to our service.

And so if there is not a doctor that’s fits for you in your state right now, hold on for a few months and there probably will be. So we just brought on, actually I caught another functional doctor and hired another integrative doctor that are coming hopefully on the service. I’m very soon getting them licensed up and so there are going to be new folks. Now the other thing too is thus far in our service, we’ve been doing more personal care with a functional medicine slant but focused mainly on the personal care. We found that doing full functional medicine, the full lab testing, like everything that goes into that. We were actually… It was taking a lot of time, too much, I mean, which was great, but a lot of folks that were very sick and a lot needed more help than we were able to support.

So we’re actually starting a new, and actually maybe by the time that this launches, we’ll have a new functional medicine service. So this will be a separate product kind of like our lifestyle product. And this service will then be specifically for functional medicine. Your doctor will have a background in functional medicine and in that way you’ll be able to spend more time. And so 60-minute first visits, will be 90-minute first visits. And so we’re very excited about this program. So right now we’re doing the trial version of it. Hopefully by the time this launches, it’ll be live. But we’re also making tweaks and changes to it to make sure it’s working for our folks. So keep a lookout on that too. And that’s pretty exciting that we’re ready to offer that. We’ve kind of dabbled in it a little bit to see how things work. And so I think we have it now tuned up to be a successful service line for your listeners and our patients.

Katie: I love that. And something else to clarify is because a lot of these doctors, they’re virtual, they’re not in your state necessarily. So you’re not going to see them in person. You’re going to see them via phone or video chat, but they are licensed in your state. So if you’re working with a doctor, they have the medical license in your state. And that’s something SteadyMD works with you guys to do. Is that right, to get licensed in the states that your patients need you in essentially?

Dr. Rick: Yeah, exactly. So because I don’t know if you knew this, but medicine is different in Nevada than Utah. So you have to go through it. It’s the same, but we have laws and whatever. It’s really frustrating. But that’s actually one of the biggest barriers of hiring new doctors, is licensing. So I started in licensing in Utah and then we were able to get me a license across the country now, but it takes a long time. It’s taken months to do that. So that’s actually one of the larger barriers in our model, unfortunately. But we’ve learned how to get past that. And so that’s one of the things that I think we’ve worked on where the others haven’t, is we’re licensed in the state, we have a doctor for each state and we’re getting doctors trained in functional medicine for each state as well.

And that’s coming, we’re almost there. So that’s another exciting thing, is that we can offer fully legal licensed, NDDOs in your state that can see you virtually. And if you happen to be in Utah and you want to sign up, then I’ll see you in person too. And that’s fun too, or people traveling through, I have patients that are sometimes in town and they’ll come and see me. And so yeah, that’s a big point and it has been a barrier, but it’s becoming less of a barrier because they are hiring new doctors and it’s going great.

Katie: Awesome. Well, I know just how busy you are as a practicing doctor and concierge medicine doctor with SteadyMD. And I know that you helped many people. I’m really grateful that you took an hour to share with us today and to answer all my questions. Like I said, I’ll make sure that the links we talked about are in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So you guys can see if perhaps Dr. Rick will be your doctor with SteadyMD or actually I haven’t met any of the doctors at SteadyMD that I don’t love. So all of the options are awesome, but I just really appreciate your time and wisdom in being here today.

Dr. Rick: My pleasure.

Katie: And thanks as always to all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable asset, your time with us today. We’re so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Today’s podcast is sponsored by one of my favorite companies – Four Sigmatic. I love all of their delicious coffees, teas and elixirs and they are such a part of my daily routine that I can’t even remember the last time a day went by when I didn’t consume at least one of their products. With both caffeine free and naturally caffeinated options like coffee and matcha combined with superfood mushrooms like chaga, cordyceps and reishi. Their drinks are functional and delicious and I notice a difference when I don’t drink them. My normal routine is to drink coffee with Lions Mane in the morning, cordyceps or chaga while I work during the day and reishi to wind down at night. My kids also love the reishi cocoa and it helps them sleep better. Check out all of their products and save 15% on any order with the code wellnessmama at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

This podcast is brought to you by Radiant Life Catalog. Radiant Life is a woman-owned, family-run online health and wellness company specializing in food-based supplements, nutrient dense foods, eco-friendly housewares and water filtration and purification. After spending over 20 years in the health industry, Radiant Life realized that one of the overlooked components of wellbeing is access to clean, healthy and hydrating water. Now , they have a range of filters that fix this for every type of house and budget from counter top to under counter and even whole house like the one we have. Their systems are crafted with a health and wellness focus. They improve the taste and smell of water but, more importantly, they remove a wide range of potentially harmful contaminants. They also have and in-house water expert is available all the time to guide you through the system selection process and answer all of your questions via phone or email. Their systems are also designed and built in the USA and really high quality. Go to radiantlife.com/wellnessmama and get $200 off a Whole House or 14-Stage Water System with the code WMPODCAST.

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clean no 00:54:37 Katie Wells
292: Transformational Nutrition From the Inside Out With Cynthia Garciahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/transformational-nutrition/ Mon, 28 Oct 2019 11:00:09 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=420045

I’d call Cynthia Garcia a true mentor of mine and someone I look up to in every way. Cynthia founded the Institute of Transformational Nutrition, which is where I got my MCHC certification. I love that now I get to share her with you! Today we’re going to talk about how the key to weight loss and personal health goes deeper than biology and has a powerful spiritual and emotional side.

The Institute of Transformational Nutrition offers certifications in nutrition and health coaching. They make it easy to turn an interest in health into a career by equipping you with a proven coaching process. I love that they are such a powerful force for good in the world, as well as an amazing tool for us moms who might want a flexible work-from-home option. You’ll find all of the links to Cynthia’s fully state-licensed programs below, her favorite books, and more.

Episode Highlights: Cynthia Garcia on Transformational Nutrition

  • Cynthia’s tough but inspiring personal story of how she worked through abuse, depression, and thoughts of suicide
  • What led Cynthia to try (and succeed) at health coaching
  • The two things we need to do to remember who we are
  • How to recognize and escape a victim mentality
  • Why dieting is about more than what we eat
  • How to understand the emotional needs that drive our choices
  • A truly holistic approach to weight loss that addresses mind, body, and soul
  • Tips for raising healthy kids
  • How Cynthia started a fully state-licensed school for health coaching
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Have you ever considered health coaching? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by the Kion Clean Energy Bar. We all know that finding healthy snacks for you and your kids is no simple task. Most snacks, even the so-called “healthy” ones, are high in sugar, have poor nutrient quality, and will leave you and you feeling tired or hungrier than you were before. That’s why my friends at Kion created the Kion Clean Energy Bar, a delicious, all-natural, snack that will satisfy your appetite and give you stable, long-lasting energy. My kids loves these and I love that Kion bars are made from all real-food ingredients like coconut, almonds, and chia. They have zero refined sugar. They have a lot of healthy fats and clean protein to fuel the body and brain. They are naturally gluten, dairy, and soy-free. They contain electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. And even though they are chocolate, they won’t melt in the heat or freeze in the cold. And they have a delicious chocolatey flavor and crunchy texture that you and your kids are gonna love. You can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

This podcast is brought to you by Radiant Life Catalog. Radiant Life is a woman-owned, family-run online health and wellness company specializing in food-based supplements, nutrient dense foods, eco-friendly housewares and water filtration and purification. After spending over 20 years in the health industry, Radiant Life realized that one of the overlooked components of wellbeing is access to clean, healthy and hydrating water. Now , they have a range of filters that fix this for every type of house and budget from counter top to under counter and even whole house like the one we have. Their systems are crafted with a health and wellness focus. They improve the taste and smell of water but, more importantly, they remove a wide range of potentially harmful contaminants. They also have and in-house water expert is available all the time to guide you through the system selection process and answer all of your questions via phone or email. Their systems are also designed and built in the USA and really high quality. Go to radiantlife.com/wellnessmama and get $200 off a Whole House or 14-Stage Water System with the code WMPODCAST.

Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama” podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And I’m here today with a dear friend and mentor of mine, Cynthia Garcia, who is a celebrity nutritionist, a transformation expert, we’re gonna talk about why today, a best-selling author, and the founder and CEO of the Institute of Transformational Nutrition, which is where I got my MCHC certification. And they’re a company that makes it easy for health coaches to do the work they love by teaching them a proven coaching process that leaves them confident and credible so they can be a powerful force for good in the world. And we’re gonna talk about that today, and especially how that could be an amazing tool for us moms who wanna be home with our kids more. And Cynthia is also a mom of an amazing little girl. But Cynthia, welcome and thanks for being here.

Cynthia: Oh, my gosh, thank you so much for having me, Katie. It’s such an honor.

Katie: Oh my gosh, I’m so glad to have you here. You’re one of my favorite people to talk to and you are such an inspiration. And to start, I would love if you don’t mind to share your story and how you got into this world, because I think when people will meet you now, like, you’re such the picture of health and success in business, that it might be easy to think that you have always just been that way. And I know you have an incredible story. So, are you willing to share that today?

Cynthia: Yeah, I am. I definitely think that my life story is sort of meant for a message for me and for others. And if there’s anything that, you know, anyone can take away and learn, and maybe make their journey a little bit easier from my story, then I’m happy to share that. And you’re right. You know, I think we all kind of assume things about people when we meet them. And, you know, like, I look at you and you have it all together. And, you know, you’re running this amazing business and you have these amazing little humans that you’ve birthed into the world and that you’re just raising, and just an awe inspiring way, and then you lead this amazing audience, and this great tribe of moms. And it’s just so inspiring, but also knowing your story makes it that much more powerful. So, yeah, I’d love to share mine. Where do you want me to start?

Katie: Oh my gosh. Well, there’s so many cool layers. I guess, we’ll start at the beginning of your health journey first. And then I know that there’s the business side as well, where you have this passion to bring this to the world. But you had your own kind of health story as well, right?

Cynthia: I did. And, you know, part of my story and I guess one of my dirty little secrets is that I never had any interest in health. I just didn’t. I didn’t know a protein from a carb. I’d never heard of gluten. I honestly didn’t really care either because things were kind of okay. I didn’t have a reason to be super concerned about my health until I did. And what was happening in my life at that time was things were really hectic. I lived in Los Angeles and I was working in the entertainment industry. And I mean, much like all of us, women, I was going from morning to night and just really burning the candle at both ends, just really pushing, and striving, and pounding the pavement and, you know, trying to make a living. And that caught up with me really, really quickly. I got super sick and had a lot of different issues.

So, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was exhausted from morning to night no matter how long I slept. I had cystic acne all over my face, my neck, my back. I suffered from short-term memory loss. I mean, you name it, it was happening. I was about 30 pounds overweight, 25, 30 pounds overweight at the time as well, and just trying everything, Katie. And, you know, when it first started and I first started experiencing these symptoms, I thought, you know, “I just maybe need to eat healthier,” not that I even knew what that meant, “and maybe go to the gym more.” And that didn’t work at all. I was too exhausted to hardly get off the couch. So, you know, I started seeing people. I started reading articles. You know, I went to a nutritionist and I went to a doctor, and then I got kind of desperate, and I started going to healers. And I mean, I was hypnotized once. And this went on for, gosh, about nine months, I guess, and I was only ever getting worse.

So, you know, I was popping the pills and drinking the shakes, and nothing was working. And, you know, I didn’t have a lot of money in my bank account. I had, like, a few hundred dollars in it, which was not good. Because I was living in Los Angeles and didn’t really have a lot of friends, to be honest, and no family here. And, you know, it was really scary. I’d moved out to LA on my own and went through this crazy time, I was homeless for a little bit. So, just the thought of, you know, “What am I gonna do? Like, what is happening?” And I can’t make money because unfortunately, I made money based on partially on how I looked. You know, I was in the entertainment world and was a model. So, it was a really scary time. I plunged into this really deep depression. I had been diagnosed with clinical depression really early on in my life and it’s something that I had struggled with for a long time, and I still struggle with today, just to be completely transparent.

But I got to this point, Katie, where I was just I was done, you know. And I remember I woke up one morning in my little tiny studio apartment in Hollywood, California, and I don’t know, that morning, I thought, “You know, I can do this. I’ve been through a lot of stuff in my life,” and I can share that with you. But I thought, “I can do this. Maybe today is the day I turn it all around.” You know, I just was really hoping for that fresh start. And so, I got up and I got in the shower and, you know, I’m showering, I’m my doing thing and I found a lump in one of my breasts, just this little, just node right in the side. And, you know, for women, I think, anytime we have something like that happen, it’s just like you’re frozen, you know. And I just remember reaching for my other breast and found a little node there.

And it was just, like, ice-cold chills ran over me and I just remember sinking to the floor of the shower, just sitting down. And if you remember those old television sets, Katie, the really big boxie ones that required like four men to move it into your living room, when you turn them off, it’s like they faded to this little tiny dot, this thought of light. And that’s what was happening. And I just kind of lost it and I don’t know how long I sat there but I remember putting my arms around myself and just rocking back and forth, and just in this zone, just disbelief, just really hit truly, literally, hit rock bottom. And I remember getting out of the shower when it got…because the water was cold and I was shivering, and I spent the rest of the day just in a fog. And the wee hours of the morning crept up and I’m sitting in the corner in the floor in my little apartment. There was, again, one window in this apartment and the light was coming in. And I was done, Katie, I had decided to take my own life. I decided that was the best way out. I thought, you know, “I’ve given it a good shot. They can’t say I haven’t tried.”

And so, I had a handful of pills and was ready to make that happen. And, you know, I think when you get to that point in your life, if you’ve ever been there, maybe your audience has, you, you start to kind of look at things in your life. And, for me, I started looking back and thinking you know, “Gosh, this has been such a crazy ride.” Because this was not my first time at the, you know, down and out rodeo. I was born into extreme poverty. My parents were having a really rough time. They’d had a son before me who had passed away when he was only two from a drowning accident. And they’d had a really hard go of it themselves. They weren’t really in a place to be parents. And we had no money. I remember there was no running water in my house. We had an outhouse that we had to go outside and use if we needed to go to the bathroom.

You know, there was a spring that was maybe, I don’t know, five or six miles away, and that’s where we would go get our water in old, you know, used milk jugs. And so, it was a really tough upbringing. And, you know, with those situations comes kind of what you would think. You know, my dad was an alcoholic and a drug addict. And my mother was bipolar, and a narcissist, and very verbally and mentally abusive, physically abusive. I was sexually abused for the first time at the age of five. And that continued as I got older and it was just really, really difficult. You know, my family around me that told me I would never amount to anything. It was just a really tough upbringing. And so, having gone through so much in my life, that night on the floor, I just thought, “You know, I’m just so tired of fighting. I’m just so tired of it.” And I started questioning like, “Why me? Why has all this happened to me?”

And then when I sit there questioning with the tears rolling down my eyes, my heart just broken open just feeling, you know, worthless and hopeless. There was this voice inside of me that just said, “Well, it hasn’t happened to you, it’s happened for you.” And it’s funny, Katie, because I hear that everywhere now. But at the time, I’d never heard that. And it kind of got my attention. And I was like, I thought, “Well, if it’s happening for me, then what is it all for?” And again, this voice and whatever it is, divine intervention, God, whatever, this voice said, “Well, you’re meant for something really great.” Now, again, I had grown up with my own family telling me I was nothing, that I was trash, that I’d never amount to anything, that I might as well just give it up.

You know, I remember in high school being teased because I didn’t have a lot of money or a lot of things, and the kids, they’re telling me to go kill myself, that I should just go kill myself. And so, for that night for me to think, “Whoa, I’m meant for something great. Like, no.” But that sat with me. And it reinvigorated me and I thought, “We’re all meant for something great. You’re meant for something great.” Everyone listening is meant for something great. I believe greatness is our birthright. So, essentially, what ended up happening is I said, “Okay. You know, maybe I can do this. “You know, that fighter spirit in me came back and that survivor mentality kicked in. And I thought, “Maybe I can do this.”

So, that night, it sounds kind of crazy when I say it, but I kind of made a pact with the universe, a pact with God. And I said, “Look, if I’ll do this, I’ll give it one more chance. If you’ll open the door, I’ll walk through it.” And that’s what I’ve done ever since that night, Katie. I’ve spent my life since then really trying to help others, trying to help others, you know, get to those deeper hungers, help them recover their health, help them to live the life that I know they’re meant to live, that, you know, stepping into that greatness that is their birthright. And we can get into some of the ways I’ve done that and how I can help here today. But that’s where everything started. And that’s led us up to now.

Katie: It’s such an incredible story. And I just wanna say, I’m so grateful that you are still here with us, and that there were bigger plans for you, because I just value you so much. And I think one of the things that you just said that it bears repeating over and over is that idea that, you’re right, is more common now, but things happening for you, not to you. And I know that was a shift I had as well. I also had sexual trauma in my past, and realizing that, like anything, there’s always a lesson and there’s always something we can learn from that. And not only that, that often, you know, that other quote, that our wounds make us warrior, but, like, those things can actually, like, have a purpose in our lives when we let them, instead of just dwelling on this bad thing that happened to us.

And I know that’s my… You know, my heart goes out to any woman, other woman who’s experienced that. But that’s why I’ve been a little resistant to some of these movements that seem to just dwell in the pain of the trauma versus the transformation of the trauma. And I know, I would love to go a little deeper on that on the emotional side, because I know now that you’ve helped thousands and thousands of people really to, like, delve deep and decode that for themselves. So, to start with, what was it for you? Like, what were those initial steps for you figuring out what you were really hungry for and starting that transformation?

Cynthia: Yeah, that’s a great question. And I just wanna comment on something that you said because, you know, I think as women, we go through a lot, and oftentimes, we hide that because we think we’re alone. We think, “Oh, no one else has gone through this. They won’t know. They’ll judge me. You know, if they really knew me, what would they think? Would they like me?” And we’re all so concerned about what others think. And I get that, right? And at the same time, I know that we women are so powerful and we’re capable of everything, especially moms. I mean, come on, you created a human. That’s pretty amazing. And I also think sometimes when we go through these experiences, they don’t always make us stronger. And we don’t know how to get that strength. And sometimes we do slip into that victim mentality. And I guess, for me, what I wanted to add to what you said is just that we can overcome that. We don’t have to stay in that place. It’s not a judgment on you because someone did something to you that wasn’t right. And so, we can get on the other side of that, and we can be that powerful warrior and that survivor, and we can take our deepest pain and leverage them into our greatest power. I really believe that it’s possible for all of us because it did happen for some reason.

You know, I don’t know what that is in everyone’s life, but it definitely happened for a reason. For me, getting clear on, you know, what I was really hungry for involved me taking a real honest look at my life, Katie. And I started looking at who I had become, which is not who I am. It was not who I was, right? It was just who I… It was a version of me that I had created that I thought other people wanted to see and that other people wanted to be around, the person that other people wanted to be friends with. Because again, I thought, “Gosh, if they knew me, and if they knew my story, and they knew where I came from, like, Oh, well, they wouldn’t want to be friends with me.” You know, that would not be good. So, I spent a very long time trying to please others by compromising who I was and what I believed and what I stood for.

So, I believe that there’s really two things that we have to do in order to remember who we are, because, you know, we start these big conversations around transformation. And we go on Instagram, and we see the before and after photos. But I think we have the wrong idea about transformation and what it really means. Krishnamurti has a great quote, he said, “When you begin to understand what you are, without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” So, what he’s saying is that you don’t have to go outside of yourself and become some other person, some other being, which is what I did, to try to please others. What’s important that you do if you really are looking for transformation in your life and you wanna live that life of greatness that’s meant for you and you wanna be healthy mind, body, and spirit, you have to really understand who you are. You have to remember who you are.

And that requires two things. One is the desire to know and two is the courage to take action. And that second one can be tough. But once you’ve decided that, “Yes, I don’t want to live my life this way. I do wanna be healthy in every way. I do wanna understand what I’m really hungry for and step into that life that I know is meant for me,” then one of the easiest ways to take action is to do things that you normally wouldn’t do. So, what I mean by that is read books you wouldn’t normally read, watch movies you wouldn’t normally watch, play a musical instrument, you know, write something, cut out pictures from magazines. Because we are so stuck in these ruts of doing the things that we think we should do that we forget or we lose track of the things that we really want to do. So, again, losing track of who we really are. So, the first step is, being gentle with yourself. That’s really important. And then having that desire to know and the courage to do something about it by exploring the things that maybe you’ve cut out of your life. Another great thing is going back to when you were a kid and looking at some of the things that you really enjoyed doing back then. So, that could have been anything, maybe it was cooking, maybe it was the great outdoors, maybe it was art, who knows. But getting back to that and starting almost from that childlike place where you were so true to who you were and so pure is a great way to start that journey. Does that make sense, Katie?

Katie: Yeah, it does. And yeah, I think that’s such an important point to address that side of things. Because you’re right, there’s so much information out there. And especially now, we all know what the things are that we need to do physically to be healthy. There’s so much information about that. But I know firsthand how easy it is to ignore that so important emotional piece, which is why what really drew me to you and to the Institute for Transformational Nutrition was that I feel like, especially for anyone, any human, but especially for women, that part is so, so important.

Cynthia: Yeah, it’s critical. I mean, the reason why… You know, I do a lot of interviews with media and TV, and, you know, work on some different shows. And one of the things I get asked a lot is, “Why don’t diets work? You know, there’s all these diet books, why don’t they work?” And the truth is, I don’t know that it’s the diets that aren’t working, I think maybe we’re not working the diets, because we’re trying to transform the wrong thing, right? We’re looking at it and we’re saying, “Oh, I’ve gotta be this size. I’ve gotta eat this food. I have to be this thing or that thing,” but it’s not really who we are. And if we’re all being honest, it’s probably not even who we really want to be. So, I think that getting really clear on that is really important. And, you know, starting this journey from almost from the beginning over.

Katie: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So, I’d love to go a little deeper on now, what the Institute for Transformational Nutrition is, kind of the story of how it began and then, like, how you both teach people in the institute and then how they work with people in the world.

Cynthia: Yeah, I’d love to. So, you know, I started this journey that night on the floor. After I’d made this pact, this agreement with God, I thought, “You know, I should probably learn more about the body, and about nutrition, and how this whole thing works.” Because, again, I was relying on the experts, like, “experts,” right? And so, I thought, “Okay. I need to go back to school. I need to study. I need to learn.” And I got on my computer that night and thank goodness for Google. And I started just looking for nutrition programs and certification programs. And I found one. I called the next morning. I used three different credit cards to sign up because I didn’t have any money. I’d spent all the money I had on, you know, going outside trying to find someone to make me better. But that was okay, Katie, because I knew that I was really investing in the only thing I had left to invest in, and that was me. You know, again, we’re all so much stronger than we think we are, right? And especially, as women and moms, I think we can do everything. I think we are only limited by our imagination.

So, anyways, I took that leap and I started studying. And I started, you know, getting an education and I started working with clients. And I realized really quickly that they were seeing some things that were just really wrong about the way we were approaching nutrition, and coaching, and health coaching. And there’s one woman that triggered it for me, and I’ll share the story with you because man, she changed my whole life. She was a client and she was coming to me because she had a really hard time with sweets. Now, I know you and I don’t know anything about that. We don’t like sweets, especially that yummy dark chocolate. I kid, of course. But she really had a hard time getting away from candy bars. And so, she came in and I started coaching her, very nutritional, very physical nutrition-oriented.

And we’d make meal plans together and she’d go away every week with this meal plan ready to just take action. And she’d come back the following week having eaten candy bars every single day. And this went on for maybe four weeks. And she came in one day and had caught me in just the right mood. Ladies, we all get in just the right mood sometimes. And she came in and, again, the candy bars, and I said to her, “Look, you know, Janet,” which is not her name, I said, “Look, Janet, you know, every week you come in, every week we make this plan, every week you go off, and then you come back and there’s candy bars. Like, help me understand because, at this point, I feel like you’re wasting my time and your money.”

And she did something, Katie, that thankfully, no one has done to me before or since. She stood up and she started yelling at me. And she told me this story and it changed the course of my work forever. She said, “You know, when I was a little girl, my parents got divorced. And my mom was really unhappy, my mom was really insecure, and she started dating this man who she was really into, but turns out he wasn’t into me.” Turns out he wasn’t into kids at all. So, her mother with this need to really get her self-esteem back and feel good about herself would take Janet when she was a little girl out to Blockbuster Video, if we remember those old days, and she would get her all these movies, buy her candy bars, and bring her home, and put her in a room so she could watch movies and eat the candy bars while the mom, the boyfriend were downstairs. And then afterwards, the daughter could come out again. So, this woman said to me that day in my office while she’s yelling, she said, “You are trying to take away the only friends and the only love I have, and I just won’t let you.” And it stunned me. I thought, “Whoa, wait, what?” And she sat down and I think she’d even shocked herself.

Like, we were both just in this state of shock, just staring at each other. And I realized in that moment, there was such a bigger reason as to why you know diets don’t work, or why we can’t just transform into the person that we want, or lose the weight, or get the health back. Why do we know what to do but still won’t do it? And I realized those reasons are so deeply rooted in things like past trauma, and past pain and, you know, abuse, like we talked about. And there’s so many bigger concepts. So, I started building in mental wellness to my coaching and really looking at, you know, the anxiety that my clients were going through, the past events that had really damaged them in some way, hurt them in some way, that they thought they were, you know, irreparable.

And that worked for a while. I was able to really drill down. We were able to get them to take better action, really care for themselves, and they started seeing better results. But I realized there was still another piece missing. It’s like we were getting so close, but not quite there. And that was, even after we broke through the trauma, even after we said, “Here are the reasons you know what to do and you’re still not doing it,” I realized that women were still hungry. You know, we live in a country where we eat more than any other nation in the world and yet we’re starving to death. Not just for nutrients, but for more, for pleasure, for meaning, for purpose, for self-worth, if we’re being really honest here. And I realized so many women didn’t have that. So, at the end of the day, when it came to even, you know, knowing the right foods to eat and then knowing how to overcome the past trauma and their trigger and do the “right” thing. Well, some women, at the end of the day, most of us, in fact, didn’t really feel like we’re worth it. Like, we didn’t deserve to take the time, or to do the things, or to get the right foods, or to meditate, or to reconnect with ourselves. So, I started looking at spiritual nutrition and realizing that we’re fed by so much more than just what’s on our plate.

So, where does that meaning and purpose and self-worth, and, you know, today would call it self-love, where does that all come from? Because I believe that you have to feed yourself all of those things, right? You have to get to know who you are intimately and feed who you are if you’re really looking to transform into who you’ve always been. And so, I put together this system, this method because I thought that this is really great. So, we looked at not just physical nutrition but mental nutrition and spiritual nutrition. And I put together this system, and the women and the results were just amazing. I mean, they started not just getting healthy and losing weight and balancing hormones and healing gut health, but they got out of relationships that weren’t serving them, and found that partner of their dreams. They left careers where they had no meaning and purpose, and they felt like they weren’t contributing. And they started their own businesses. And, you know, they did the work that they loved. And I thought, “I wanna take this to a bigger scale.” And that’s when I started the Institute of Transformational Nutrition, and transformational nutrition is what I called this method, this practice of bringing together these three pillars, you know, physical nutrition, mental nutrition, and spiritual nutrition into one practice. And so, today, we train and certify health coaches in this method so that their clients get amazing breakthroughs, amazing results, and finally, transform back into the person they were always meant to be.

Katie: I love that and I know firsthand just how incredible that program is. And I wanna go a little bit deeper. But first, I wanna go back to something you said about that client and her outburst, and how, like, there were such a deeper connection to that particular food, that obviously wasn’t just about the sugar or the craving at all. And it made me really think, you know, both of us are moms and certainly, like, I wanna go deeper on how we all have these things inside of us and how to work through them. But, I also really think about our kids and how much our culture really does tie food into emotional experiences, especially, like I look back into, like, birthdays, where every good experience in my childhood was tied to sugary foods or tied to junk food in some way. And so, I mean, other than the obvious of, like, making healthy food choices, do you have any ways that you are doing that, like, fostering a healthy relationship with food and emotion with your daughter and your family or suggestions that you would give to other families? Like, how do we help, hopefully, our kids avoid some of these pitfalls?

Cynthia: Yeah, gosh, it’s such a great question. And that’s really what it’s about, right? As moms, we want our kids, we want them happy. We want them healthy. And we just want them to have a better life. We want them to avoid the pains that we went through when we were young. And so, yeah, I mean, I have really open honest conversations with my daughter around food and I have since she was born. But we never use food as a reward. It’s just never something that we do. You don’t get a sweet for being a good girl, or for cleaning your room, or just doing the things that you should be doing as a little human. We also don’t use food as a punishment, you know, like,” Oh, you don’t get dessert tonight,” or send you to bed without dinner, or some of those other what I feel are very outdated ideas, because we start this relationship then at a very young age with children and their food. And as we all know, that can be very detrimental when they’re older.

And so, little things, you know, like, “Oh, you were so great. Let’s take you out for ice cream,” those have a long-lasting impact on children as they get older. And I’ve seen this in literally thousands of clients over the years. Even myself, you know, I can look back, I remember my 8th birthday, no one remembered. My parents didn’t remember my birthday. And, you know, as an 8-year-old, that was really tough. I was expecting a little cake. And again, we didn’t really have money, so I wasn’t expecting any presents, but maybe just someone to acknowledge that it was my birthday would have been great. But that didn’t happen. And as a result, I had issues with that. I mean, I still struggle with it. Every year, my birthday rolls around, I’m like, “Where’s that cake? Give me that cake.” Because it’s just an emotional trigger inside of me. And I know, you know, how to choose and so on now. But that was something that, for me, was really tough. So, I think just the little things. Another thing I never do is, I never make my daughter eat her vegetables. I just don’t do that. She doesn’t see them any different than any other food on her plate because I’ve never made it a big deal.

This is gonna sound really, really crazy, but I don’t limit her sugar. She does. I think that children are so much smarter than we give them credit for. You know, just because they’re in smaller bodies than we are, sometimes we think maybe they’re not as wise, and I don’t think that’s true. I really believe that they know so much. And if we can create this intuitive eating pattern and this awareness in them when they’re young, letting them make their own decisions, educating them on why maybe this food will help you grow and be healthy and this food maybe not so much. That doesn’t mean the food is bad. It just means that you’re not gonna have the same benefits from eating that food as you would this one. It’s just that education process is really critical.

And so, I’ve educated her from the very beginning and now if she wants a little sweet, she has it, but she never overdoes it. Same thing, some night she’ll a ton of vegetables, some not so much. And that’s okay, sometimes that’s what I do, you know. But she has this really positive relationship. One other thing that I would recommend that I just saw work wonders with my daughter, Rain, as she started to get older, is letting her choose the foods and even if… We don’t have a garden, I wish we did. But having her, you know, pick fresh herbs that we grow or going out to where you, you know, you pick your own fruits and veggies, and letting her be involved in picking the berries off the vine, and bringing it home, and then cooking. That’s been really, really important. You know, if kids help you grow and harvest food, they’ll eat that food. You know, even if that food is kale, they’ll eat that food. And if they have a hand in cooking and preparing it, they take pride in that, they’ll eat that food, even if it’s a salad, you know. So, letting them just be actively involved, educating them from the very beginning, and then not passing on the reward and punishment paradox that were so wrapped up in maybe when we were younger or maybe got from our parents, those are some things that have been, you know, the most powerful in our family.

Katie: I think those are all such great tips. And that’s something that’s been an evolution for me as well, in my parenting. You know, early on when I was sick and I had Hashimoto’s, and was trying to figure out kind of how to get back to health myself, I had to be really strict with myself on avoiding certain foods. And the kids definitely, like, obviously at home, they saw that and they picked up on it a little bit. And now, I think it surprises a lot of people to know, I don’t actively limit their food choices either, especially when they’re somewhere else. Like, I do view it as my responsibility, like, when you’re in my house, I’m gonna make nutritious food because that’s my responsibility as a mom and that’s what we like. But I don’t give them hard and fast rules or guidelines when they’re somewhere else and I let them make those decisions because I don’t want food to ever seem like, like you said, like a reward or something forbidden. I want them to have the tools to be able to make those decisions and also to notice things, like, they don’t feel good when they eat too much sugar, rather than it being this, like, forbidden carrot that they want to go find. So, I think that’s really, really why is the approach you take with her. And I know she’s an exceptional young lady, so it seems to be working really well.

Cynthia: Well, thank you, I’m honestly just trying to keep up with you, if we’re being totally honest here. I just think that you’re such an amazing inspiration. And I’m always learning from you, how you parent your children, and how you show up for them. And one of the things that I love that you do is, you’re so empowering for them. And first of all, by being a really powerful example and showing up in the world the way that you do and being such a leader and an inspiration to so many others, but also the fact that you allow them to really stand in their own power, I think it’s one of the best things that I’ve seen mothers do and just seeing you as an example in that, and you being a guide for me, has been really, truly a blessing.

Katie: Oh, thank you for that. That means so much coming from you.

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Katie: And I wanna make sure we also talk more about health coaching, because that was very much part of my journey. I originally had gone to school for journalism and I was thinking of, like, a political science career. And then when I realized that family was gonna be much more important to me and that I wanted to be a mom, but then also, went through my own health struggles, I really got into the nutrition side. And that was so much a part of my journey. And I know that it has been for quite a few of my really good friends as well. And I think it’s such an empowering option, like you just mentioned, for women, because it’s something that we can do in a flexible way and often from home. So, I wanna talk more about the practical side of Institute for Transformational Nutrition and how people can get involved with that. Because I think it is a way just like you and just like me, that people can start to make that positive ripple in the world and do something that’s empowering and fulfilling.

Cynthia: Yeah. I’d love to talk about that because, one, because there’s a huge demand for health coaches rght now, we’re seeing it everywhere. I mean, it has exploded and is expected to continue to do so. I mean, we’re looking at it being a $6 billion industry, which is amazing. I mean, right now, it is the number one. It’s number one in the fastest five growing highest paying jobs. It grew last year by 21%. And it’s predicted to grow by another 21% by 2022. And it’s interesting because that’s faster than any other industry is growing on average across the globe. So, it’s an exciting time and as you said, especially, for women. I was really glad when I had my health struggle that I landed on nutrition and coaching because it actually enabled me to be at home with my daughter then when she was born because I had become a coach, and I could have the flexibility and the freedom, and I could work with, you know, on my schedule, and sometimes on the weekends when my husband could be with our daughter. And it turns out, that’s when most people want coaching anyway because they’re working during the week.

So, evenings and weekends, I started just, you know, working and getting clients. But it’s a great option for moms because of that flexibility and because of the wisdom that you gain by becoming a coach that you can then use with your family. And for me, that has just been huge, you know, having this education, being able to get my family well. My husband had a whole thing about maybe a year or two ago with leaky gut and started having these severe allergic reactions to foods, like, going into anaphylactic shock and we’d have to rush him to the hospital. But the great thing about that is because I had the education and the background, I was able to put together a really strong protocol. We were able to heal his leaky gut using transformational nutrition and he hasn’t had any symptoms since.

So, the value that you also bring into your own family is tremendous. And we’re seeing so many people right now at the Institute of Transformational Nutrition, including, you know, moms, some new moms, some moms that their kids are in school now. And they wanna really contribute in a big way. They wanna have the health for their families. We’re also seeing a lot of women who are looking to change careers because, you know, they wanna set that great example for their children. They wanna show up in the world and do things that matter. They wanna contribute to that next generation, which is really important to us. As a matter of fact, we have a whole community called the transformation generation because we are coming together as coaches, determined to make the world better for our children. So, yeah, It’s such a great opportunity for moms right now if they’re interested in being a health coach.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. Like, I think we’re at the perfect time for it with so much of this being, you know, in the mainstream right now and people starting to really understand why all of these things are so important and why the personalization aspect is so important. Also, talk a little bit more about the accreditation, because I know like you mentioned it, but that’s something that really does separate you guys from a lot of the other options.

Cynthia: Yeah, I’d love to. So, one of the things that we knew from the very beginning was that, you know, we have this really great method called transformational nutrition. And, you know, a lot of people talk about mind, body, spirit, but transformational nutrition is currently the only scientific study of health and wellness on multiple levels that includes, you know, the physical nutrition, the mental nutrition, which is so critical these days, and spiritual nutrition, which, you know, has nothing to do with religion necessarily, but it’s all about connection, you know, connection to others, connection to yourself, relationships, your bigger purpose, and your bigger mission. And so, we knew that this was something really special.

So, when we started our school, we looked around and we would hear stories from students coming to us saying, “Oh, you know, I went to this school and I was halfway through and they just shut down,” or, “I went to this school and found out they actually weren’t a school and I kind of have to start over.” And that was so tough to hear, Katie, because, you know, these people had put their faith and this trust in these certification programs, and they put their money, and they invested their time. And so, we decided to take it to that next level. So, we are actually a fully state-licensed school, fully licensed and accredited through the state of Washington. So, we are a post-secondary educational institute, just like any other school, any other university out there. And for us, that’s important, but it’s even more important for our students to have that credibility and to, you know, actually come from… I mean, we’re kind of known in the industry as the next level, sort of like this Ivy League. We’re full of forward thinkers and, you know, credible coaches, and it’s why our coaches get paid more, it’s why they have longer and more fulfilling careers, is because we take our education very seriously, as it should be.

Katie: Absolutely. And I know a lot of people listen to this podcast while driving or exercising, so, for any of you guys who are interested, well, actually, multiple links will be in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. But also, if you are by a computer right now, the direct link is transformationalnutrition.com/wellnessmama. so you guys can start to learn more about what Cynthia is talking about. And like I said at the beginning, this is where I received my certification, and it was amazing and transformational, to use that word, for me. So, I highly recommend it for any of you who have asked me what I recommend when it comes to becoming a health coach or getting involved in this world. And Cynthia, like I said at the beginning too, I could talk to you all day and I feel like our time always just flies by because you’re so fun to talk to, but a couple of questions I love to ask toward the end. First being, if there’s a book or a number of books that have really changed your life and if so, what they are and why?

Cynthia: Oh, gosh. So, I’m a voracious reader. It’s true. I’d rather read than eat, Katie, I swear. Just reading feeds me, you know, getting back to those deepest hungers. But there was a book that I found that really did radically change my life. When I first started my healing journey, I’d enrolled in this program that I shared. I just decided I didn’t know anything about healing my life. And strangely enough, I went to the bookstore and found the book called “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay, and I know you’re familiar with it. And it’s sort of like a good starter book, I say, for people who are interested in looking at what feeds you more than food, and looking at how your past trauma, and past pain, or maybe a troubled relationship with parents can be overcome, how you can really find your worth, and find your purpose, and your mission. And, you know, Louise Hay, who wrote the book, had her own struggle, her own health struggle. She was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in her life and her career and was able to essentially heal her life. But I love it because it talks about, you know, our physical ailments and how they’re really tied to our deeper emotional trauma and triggers and what’s going on in our lives. So, that was huge for me, getting started and, again, just that great, you know, like, lowest level book to start with, but also one that’s so powerful, so don’t underestimate it. That was huge for me. Also, anything by Ram Dass, he’s definitely my greatest spiritual teacher. He’s amazing. You know, starting with “A Journey to Awakening,” it’s a great book to begin with. If you’re looking for a more spiritual and emotional journey, that’s always a great place to start. But yeah, those are some of my two, two of the ones I’d recommend to start.

Katie: I love those and those will be in the show notes as well for any of you listening. Lastly, Cynthia, is there any parting advice you wanna leave with our audience today, if related to our topic today or not, just any parting advice you wanna leave?

Cynthia: So, you know, I get asked this question a lot too. I don’t really give people advice, Katie, and I’ll tell you why. The truth is, I find that when I do they seldom take it anyway. And besides, I really believe that people already know what they wanna do in their lives. I think people know what advice they would give themselves. I think they know the right next step. I think that deep down they know. We all know. Like, I could give advice all day, but really what I want people to do is stop going outside of themselves and looking to the gurus, and the experts, and the authors, and the whatever the titles are, thought leaders, influencers, and really reconnect with yourself because I believe you have all the answers you need inside of you. And you might say, “Oh, but I don’t.” But I believe you do. I believe when we get quiet and we put the phones down, and we step away from all the distractions that numb us out from our daily life, I believe that we can hear, I believe we can hear what our body needs. I believe we can hear what our heart needs. I believe we can hear what our soul needs.

So, I’d rather give people the tools to really drill down and discover those wants and, you know, figure out what they’re really hungry for so they can then go feed themselves. Sometimes I think advice is disempowering, right? I’d rather you find those answers inside yourself so that you take back that power and use that to leverage and move you forward. Does that make sense? I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, I’m just rather inviting everyone to ask themselves that question. What advice would they give themselves? What is the next step? What do they need to do in their lives to really live the one that they want to be living? I’d rather we all take that on that personal mission for ourselves. It’s a much, much sweeter journey.

Katie: I agree. And I think that’s a perfect place to wrap up. And like I said, I highly, highly recommend the Institute for Transformational Nutrition, and all those links will be in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. I definitely hope you guys will check it out. And Cynthia, I know how busy you are and how many people you help on a daily basis, so I’m honored you took the time to be here today.

Cynthia: Yeah. Thank you, Katie. It really is all my pleasure. Again, you’re such a light in my life. And just, yeah, thank you for all the support you offer, especially around, you know, ITN. You’ve done so much great things, so many great things with your education, and you’re such an inspiration. So, thank you, again, for just letting me be a part of your world.

Katie: Oh, thank you, Cynthia. And thanks to all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable asset, your time, with both of us today. We’re so glad that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama” podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Radiant Life Catalog. Radiant Life is a woman-owned, family-run online health and wellness company specializing in food-based supplements, nutrient-dense foods, eco-friendly housewares, and water filtration and purification. After spending over 20 years in the health industry, they realized that one of the often overlooked components of wellbeing is access to clean, healthy and hydrating water and set out to fix this. They now have a range of filters for every type of house and budget, from countertop to under counter and even a whole house filter like the one we have. An in-house water expert is available to guide you through the system selection process and answer all of your questions via phone or email. Radiant Life systems are also designed and built in the USA. Go to radiantlife.com/wellnessmama and get $200 off a Whole House or 14-Stage Water System with the code WMPODCAST.

This podcast is brought to you by the Kion Clean Energy Bar. We all know that finding healthy snacks for you and your kids is no simple task. Most snacks, even the so-called “healthy” ones, are high in sugar, have poor nutrient quality, and will leave you and you feeling tired, unfocused, and hungrier than you were before. That’s why my friends at Kion created the Kion Clean Energy Bar, a delicious, all-natural, snack that will satisfy your appetite and give you stable, long-lasting energy. Kion Bars are made from 100% real-food ingredients like coconut, almonds, and chia and contain zero refined sugar. Unlike a lot of bars on the market, they contain plenty of healthy fats and clean protein to fuel the body and brain. They have a delicious chocolatey flavor and crunchy texture that you and your kids are gonna love, and you can get 15% off of the Kion Clean Energy Bar by going to getkion.com/wellnessmama and using code MAMA15 at checkout.

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clean no 00:51:30 Katie Wells
291: How to Create Your Ideal Family, Career, and Life With Kion CEO Angelo Keelyhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/angelo-keely/ Mon, 21 Oct 2019 11:00:15 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=420042

I’m really looking forward to this conversation today! Angelo Keely is one of my most inspiring and favorite friends, and I admire him so much both personally and professionally. Angelo is the CEO of Kion, a lifestyle supplement and functional food company he founded along with Ben Greenfield. I love their coffee, energy bars, and so many other products and I know you will too, especially once you hear about the passion and heart behind the company.

Angelo’s list of accomplishments and passions can be a little intimidating! He’s a Yogi, a beatboxer, and a multi-instrumentalist. He has lived on three continents and speaks multiple languages, performs on stage with top 40 artists, and (most importantly) created the marriage and family of his dreams.

But at the heart of it, Angelo is a creator. He intentionally designs, strategizes, and executes his dreams for work, adventure, health, and family and uses a special loop system to do it. He’s teaching us all about that system today and how we can apply it in our homes and businesses, too.

There’s also a special discount code for Kion below… don’t miss it!

Episode Highlights With Angelo Keely

  • How Angelo turned his life experiences into lessons that shaped his future
  • What “Kion” means and how Angelo turned his passion for health into a thriving company
  • The skills needed to be an entrepreneur (and how to apply an entrepreneurial spirit to anything)
  • Ways we can help equip our kids for future success
  • A smarter way to set goals that fits the way we learn naturally
  • Angelo’s creative loop system: how it works and how you can do it too
  • Practical strategies to turn dreams into reality
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

This episode is brought to you by Joovv red light therapy. I’ve used red light therapy to support my skin, hair, and health for years. This type of therapy is also called photobiomodulation, it works by using very specific wavelengths of red light that support cellular function in various ways. I personally noticed the effects on my thyroid function, on skin elasticity, how clear my skin was, and on hair growth, which was a huge benefit after losing hair in the early stages of thyroid disease and after each pregnancy. Now Joovv has a variety of sizes from a small handheld unit that is great for face, joints and on the go all the way up to full-size wall units that can even be used in doctor and chiropractor offices. Go to joovv.com/wellnessmama to learn more and check out all the options.

This episode is sponsored by Nui Cookies which are low carb, ketogenic, gluten-free and low glycemic with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. They’re delicious and made with natural ingredients. Despite tasting like sugar-laden cookies you would find in a store, they won’t raise your blood sugar or lead to a sugar crash. With flavors like chocolate chip, peanut butter, and snickerdoodle, they have the taste of cookies you love without the problems. Check them out at https://eatnui.com/wellnessmama/ and get 20% off with the code wellnessmama.

Katie: Hello and welcome to the “Wellness Mama” podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And I’m here today with a friend of mine who I also find extremely inspirational both as a parent and as a business owner and just in the way he lives his life. I’m here with Angelo Keely who is the co-founder and CEO of Kion, which is a lifestyle supplement and functional food company dedicated to helping people live their most vibrant, fulfilling life. And there are some links and special codes for that in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm if you wanna check it out. But Angelo is equally committed to producing quality products as he is to creating a vibrant, self-aware, and playful company culture for his employees, which we talk about today. Angelo is a Yogi, a beatboxer, a multi-instrumentalist, and a polyglot. But more than anything, Angelo is a creator.

He intentionally designs, strategizes, and executes his dreams for work, adventure, health, and family. And this creator approach has unique implications for raising healthy children, having a successful marriage, and building healthy companies with the highest quality products. And we talk about all of that today, and especially his system for a creative loop. This approach has led Angelo to live on three continents, speak multiple languages, perform on stage with top 40 artists, found and lead multiple successful businesses, and most importantly create the marriage and family of his dreams. I know that you will enjoy this episode as much as I did. And without further ado, we’re gonna jump in with Angelo.

Angelo, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Angelo: Katie, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor.

Katie: I am so excited to have you here and there’s so much I wanna chat about with you, especially related to things like family and parenting, because from the little we’ve talked about this, I know you have such unique views and advice on this and I wanna jump right in. But I think for background and also for my own curiosity, I would love to hear how you grew up and what your early life was like because I’ve always thought it would be fascinating to interview like the parents of highly successful people or to hear about their childhood. So I’m curious if you can kind of like start from the beginning with us.

Angelo: Yeah, sure. Absolutely. Well, my family, you know, sometimes when I think about this, it’s almost most helpful to think about like where, what was going on with my family before I was born? And like quickly, my dad is the children of like very entrepreneurial east coast people who owned a sewing factory. And my mom comes more from like a pretty uptight corporate Denver family. They met in Austin and they were both very big hippies and my dad was in the health food industry. He was actually a distributor and broker for botanicals and ginseng and stuff like that in the ’70s.

And then when I was born, they had a health food store and a health food restaurant in Wimberley, Texas. And there were already three sisters before me. And it was a pretty like hippie scene. I don’t really know how else to say it. We didn’t eat meat. I never had a haircut until I was 8. I didn’t have a birth certificate I think until I went to school. I’d never gone to even see a doctor until I went to school. I was raised on supplements and natural foods, organic before it was even really like organic. And yeah, it was a pretty hippy scene. Did that give enough or you want to know more?

Katie: No, that’s super fascinating. So I’m curious how that translated into once you left home because that’s a question I now have a teenager and I realized we have limited number of years with him left. And so that like juggling act as a parent of like how do I best prepare my kids and how is this gonna translate into the real world for them. So was there an adjustment for you when you left home or had you already integrated pretty well before then, or what was that like?

Angelo: Yeah, well, so I mean, they raised me in a neighborhood or a part of Austin that was pretty…we ended up moving…we actually moved to Austin because my dad was a early year partner in some of the Whole Foods part of like their restaurant business. So we moved to Austin for that. And I was raised in like a normal neighborhood I guess, but with them as my parents. And so it was always this kind of like bridge between being the, like, the weird kid that went to school with tofu sandwiches and everyone else had like cool bologna sandwiches and Gushers and stuff like that. But I was around it and, yeah, I mean, as I got older and I had more…and they gave me autonomy to make more of my own decisions as I got older, it was up to me to make my own decisions, to try things and to start exploring the world.

I would say though that like the foundation, if anything, of having parents that really cared, like they really cared about what we put in our body, they really cared about health. They really cared about, I would say even like emotional health and the way people treat each other. They were just really intentional about those types of things that even though as I got older and I was somewhat kind of I think it’s fair to say I wasn’t isolated, like kids that go to like really protective, you know, private schools or things like that, but I was isolated from some of like the worldly things. But still when I went to go and explore those things and try them and learn about them for myself, I had a background of thinking deeply about them and wanting to choose things that were really good for me and caring about that. And I think simply being raised with that type of intention and meaning behind choices has really influenced my whole life.

Katie: That makes sense. So what happened from there? I know that there’s a couple of really fascinating experiences in your life after that. What was your journey like after growing up like that? What did you wanna do with your life and how did you springboard into that?

Angelo: So, I mean, it’s interesting. I just described it as like, you know, my parents were really kind of intentional about emotional stuff. I think they were when I was really little, and naturally…well, not naturally, but what happened as I got older was there was more tension in the family and actually my parents ended up getting divorced when I was a freshman in high school. And I promise the story is gonna end well for anyone who starts to think like, “Oh, he’s just said it’s all good.” I did start getting into a lot of trouble in high school. I started just experimenting, doing drugs, being more motivated by social things and less connected to my family and my parents. And I would say that because they were less stable at that time, it gave even more like risk or possibility to go out and explore things on my own because I didn’t have as much like grounding at home around it.

And it led me to get into some like pretty complicated situations. I got in trouble with the law multiple times for like alcohol and pot and stuff like that. But then I actually got into a really terrible experience when I was 16. I upset some people that were much more hardcore than me and I got stabbed multiple times and nearly beaten to death and basically left to like die in this parking lot. And coming back from that…that was when I was 16, was that recovery period was really…it was just a super transformative part in my life. It’s one of those moments in life when either you could just get way worse. Like you could get much more depressed, you could be feel more lost, or it’s one of those times that becomes kind of like the catalyst for greater change and experience in one’s life.

And actually I had some friends’ parents who gave me the book “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain who’s like one of like Oprah’s, you know, guru people. I don’t know if she was back then, she probably was. And I read that book like kind of in my…I wasn’t in my hospital bed, I was like all laid up at home. And it was the first time that I really saw like, wow, I’m not in charge of my life entirely, but the degree to which I take the time to really think about what I want from my life and put time and attention into visualizing that and getting specific about it and designing it, the greater chance I have of creating that, which was a really empowering thing for me. And it’s interesting to think, you know, if I hadn’t been slowed down so much and bedridden and in such kind of a dark place, would I have been open to that kind of message at 16? You know, I think lots of 16-year-olds are just motivated by their immediate social surroundings.

And so I honestly take that whole experience as grace and a really unique opportunity, and it really transformed my life and it took me to a place where I became much more interested in school again. I ended up getting a full ride to college. Through that process though I did decide to like move out early. At 17, I started supporting myself on my 17th birthday. And kind of strangely enough, I did that via being a professional musician locally as like playing in bands and I learned how to beatbox. And so via beatboxing a bunch of commercial work, like Kinko’s and Chilis and kind of all these like bizarre, bizarre things came together in my life.

But yeah, I ended up going to college. I got a full ride to college. Through college, I…you know, I think because I was so challenged by that experience and wanting to have deeper meaning, I got really into religious studies and philosophy. And I was raised in a family that was not very religious. And through that experience, really, I learned a lot about where people get meaning from the world, how to just like live a good life. And I got really turned on to service. I’d never really done service earlier in my life either. And so via that I started doing service projects overseas. I did them in orphanages in India and Central America. Actually developed like whole new programs in an orphanage in India. And I ended up graduating as valedictorian of my college.

And so I would say that it was I mean pretty, pretty remarkable turnaround from how dark it was in high school. And I would say, again, you know, not to highlight too many like dark hard things, but that experience in high school, which was pretty traumatic but transformative, coming from kind of like my own stupidity, ignorance, youth, it was really transformative. And yet I had actually another experience in India when I was 21, was a very challenging…it was actually a bus accident in the foothills of the Himalayas. My bus and another bus collided and the other bus went off a cliff. And there’s no one there, you know, it’s hundreds of meters. There’s no like, emergency services. And so myself and a few other young people climbed down this cliff and spent hours, you know, rescuing the few people that we could from this cliff. And that’s like, you know, a whole other side of trauma, of challenge, of life, of suffering that was, you know, not for me necessarily making bad decisions, but just being in life and kind of seeing how I would react to that and what I would do in that type of moment.

And again, that was a moment that I think was really transformative for me and taught me a lot about how fragile life is, how not in control we are sometimes, and the importance of just really like savoring every moment. And I think from that, it’s weird. You know, it’s this kind of contradiction between, are we in control of our lives? Are we not? We are to some extent and we aren’t to another. And I think in really having those deeper kind of near death experiences like that, it can help one, helped me at least to really, really believe in and really, really want to take advantage of every single place in my life where I do have influence, where I do have control with my thoughts, with my beliefs, with my goals, with my time, with my attention. Those things I can have impact on and it’s not worth kind of just like letting float away. So, yeah.

And from that it kinda took me into a whole, I think, unique career after that. I got really…during that time period as well in college, I got really turned on to other languages and cultures. I never learned another language as a kid, but I realized actually through my religious studies, because I learned classical Greek, Koine Greek so I could translate the Bible. I learned Arabic so I could read the Quran. And through that I realized like, wow, you can like learn languages as an adult. It’s not as hard as they say. So I learned Spanish and I learned French. And so when I graduated, I moved to France. And through that, you know, I kinda just kicked off a whole international career right out of college and ended up living overseas for the next five or six years before I moved back to Boulder…or I moved to Boulder. I was originally from Austin and, you know, kind of restarted a career here in the U.S. So I’d say that’s kind of…that’s the transition from childhood through adolescence to young adulthood.

Katie: You definitely have one of the more interesting stories I think I’ve ever heard when it comes to a lot of that. And I’m really curious actually to get your perspective on a follow up to that. So I also had a really traumatic experience with sexual trauma in high school and like you, I now actually am extremely grateful for that experience and I can see the many benefits that it has and the ways that it helps me like grow and face things. I did realize like even in the last five years, I had another round of things that I worked through with that, realizing that I think I had shut down a lot of emotions after that time and then had just powered through, which was great for getting through college and being successful. But then there came a point where I had to learn how to work through those emotions and actually feel them again. And so that was kind of my last five years.

But I’m curious because something I’ve struggled with so much as a parent is realizing that trauma actually helps me so much to get where I am. And so many of the difficult experiences in life in general have helped me to get where I am. And we all hope for the best for our kids and we don’t want them to have to go through, you know, these traumatic experiences to be able to succeed in life. So I’m curious, were you able to take things from that and how you have brought that into your parenting and giving your children those same skills and lessons, but hopefully without them having to face quite the pain that you faced?

Angelo: Katie, that is such a good question and one that I’m trying to work with and that I honestly struggle with. You know, I joke about we were just talking that I live in Boulder, and Boulder basically is like…it’s like the equivalent of a jumpy house or something. It’s like you’re like basically like can’t get hurt. It’s like everything’s so easy. It’s so soft. It’s so pleasant. It’s so nice. And sometimes I wonder for my kids, like are they getting enough kind of grit and challenge from life? And actually last year we were at the beach in Costa Rica with some pretty, pretty serious waves and I was just watching get like slammed and I could see how kind of scared they were. They’re 6 and 4, and I was like, gosh, like finally some challenge for them.

But in terms of being more intentional about how to help them develop skills of, I would say resilience, gratitude, grit, you know, these things that come through challenge, I do think it’s possible to give it to them without, you know, making them struggle through trauma. And I’m sure they’ll have their own traumas in life to some degree. And the way that I have approached that is to really treat them like complete humans. And not saying that like most parents don’t do that. I do think there’s like an element though of almost like I think I can get and some parents can get too absorbed in like the dynamic of “I’m a parent, you’re a child. I need to just like raise you in a certain way”. Versus really, I guess bringing the child in at a very young age and to the fact that like, wow, you are part of this like miraculous, crazy thing called life.

And there’s parts of it that we can explain and we can understand. There’s others that we don’t, there’s parts of that involve faith, but overall it’s like this…it’s this magical kind of challenging world that you’re coming into. And not trying to protect them from certain realities. And I guess really engage them in the more challenging dynamics of life. So for example, when they’re acting out and being disruptive or being rude, I really just talk to them like an adult and tell them how it’s affecting me, that, you know, when you act this way, I feel frustrated. I feel sad. I feel kind of stuck in the way that you’re…that we’re like stuck in this pattern together and, you know, when they’re really young, like when they’re 2, they don’t really get it. But it’s been surprising to see as they get to 3, 4, how they get that.

And I think simply being confronted with real tension with people that you love and you care about, and then being real with you is some of the most challenging stuff you can work through in life. You know, people talk about, “Oh, I’m a great…” you know, this is I think an adult joke, but like, you know, I’m great. I’m like, perfect until I have to like be around my parents, or my family, or something like that. You know, people get triggered emotionally. And yeah, I think just being real and honest about our emotional dynamics and about the way they impact people and just like not letting them off the hook. Like, “Oh, they’re just a kid. They don’t get it.” I just don’t let them off the hook.

They’re responsible for the way that they feel. They’re responsible for the way that their behaviors potentially impact other people. And other people have feelings that come up. I mean they’re not responsible for someone else’s feelings, but they have to take account for the fact that they really do have an impact on other people. I think another way that I do it is, you know…and this is an interesting thing for me because I don’t feel like my parents did this as much with me. There were some things I was just naturally good at and they’d kind of just let me do that stuff. And that’d make me work really hard at the stuff that I’m not as good at. One thing I’ve really leaned into differently than I think I was raised is making them practice stuff. Like just making them work at stuff that they don’t like. And, you know, it’s like anything like playing piano, they’ve actually been playing drums. They’ve been having drum lessons for like the last couple years. And even when they don’t wanna practice, just making them practice, like making them get through that kind of discomfort of what’s not fun.

And so, I mean those are some of my tactics to work towards this. But for sure, I mean none of that is gonna be as challenging as suffering through struggle…you know, struggling through and overcoming sexual abuse or some type of near death trauma. I would just hope that at least, you know, me trying to be as real as possible with them and trying to introduce them to grit and resilience and really direct communication will at least prepare them for when even, you know, medium sized challenges come up in life.

Katie: I love that. And to speak to that, you mentioned about like not regressing or emotionally regressing on your parents. I’ve heard that quote that you don’t become an adult when you’re 18. You become an adult when you stop emotionally regressing around your parents. And I love that. You’re hopefully creating a scenario where they never feel like they have to do that with you, that they can be real with you from the very beginning. And I hear echoes of…like, we do a lot of that as well. Like I can’t in good conscience make my children’s lives difficult for them just so that they develop character, but we travel quite a bit and we don’t travel in luxury. We travel and try to experience cultures where they are and I feel like travel brings its own discomfort at times and lack of sleep and carrying heavy bags and things that like build that in without us, you know, making their life hard on purpose.

And we talk a lot about being able to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations and getting comfortable with discomfort in general. And like you, we also are very real with them and try not to do anything for them once they’re capable of doing it themselves. That was something my parents did with me that I think was really beneficial.

I’m curious if there are other ways that…or other kind of principles or tenants you follow in parenting, because I think like that, what we just talked about is one of the really important things. But I think also like I know right now very top of mind for me for instance is just now jumping into the teenage world is how do you keep that connection and relationship and fun with them as they start getting older and they do have that natural desire to pull back a little bit. Do you have any ways that you keep those touch points with your kids?

Angelo: Absolutely. I can’t speak to kind of the teenage years because I’m not there yet. I do have the benefit of actually in a…previous to the company that I have now, it was a young adult mentoring program and it works specifically with like 18 to 22 year olds. And through that I did a lot of research on and studied a lot about brain development of adolescents, which is actually 12 to 26. It doesn’t end at, you know, 20 or 22. It keeps going all the way to 26, and how that impacts them and ways to engage with them around that. But specifically for my children, you know, the number one thing I found, and it sounds like so obvious, but it’s actually not. And I feel like anyone who’s a parent will get how it’s not…. really following their lead.

Like when I get home from work, oftentimes, you know, I wanna engage with him. I want to hear about what they did. I want to connect with them, but I kind of still have my own agenda. Like maybe I wanna talk to my wife about something or, you know, I just wanna eat, or I wanna get to whatever like my next thing is. Or you know, it’s been a hard day and I’m just kind of tired, it’s like I just wanna get through the…to be honest, I feel ashamed to say this, but like kind of get through the family stuff if I’m struggling for or waiting ’till I can have some time alone. And so it’s like I’m there with them, and then that last case it’s like I’m the least there with them, but in other case is I’m there with them, but I’m not totally there with them.

If I can really just make them the leader in a moment of play, like, “All right guys, like what’s up?” And they start directing everything and I just like hang in there with that for like an hour, an hour and a half, which is a long time to not get distracted, to not kinda try to take over and be the facilitator of the play of whatever we’re up to, then it’s pretty remarkable. I mean, they really like…I can even see it in their eyes. It’s like, wow, like Papa, it’s what they call me. He’s like, man, he’s like, really…he’s like, really here with me. It’s not like I’m part of his world. He’s part of my world. And honestly, just transferring that into the teenage years, I’ve really found, and not as a parent, but as a mentor for that age group how it’s really the same thing.

And again, I think that’s one of the challenges of sometimes having teenagers is they start kind of taking over, right? Like they have their own world, they have their own way of seeing things. And there’s elements of being a parent where you’re like, “Oh my gosh, like that is just…you know, not wise what they’re doing,” or their taste in whatever kind of music or art is just…you know, it’s just not that good or it’s offensive. And there’s this element of kind of wanting to clam up and not be open to them and more wanting to kind of bring them back to your world.

And I think the willingness to engage with them fully in their world, fully in their interests, fully like in their stream of thought and their thought patterns creates a level of trust and understanding that you can’t get any other way. Because what someone feels when you do that is like you’re really listening. You’re really empathizing, you really care. Like, you’re willing to give up your own agenda to be with me and my agenda. And I just don’t think that there’s another way to…I don’t think there’s really like a better way to build trust with people than that, whether they’re 4 years old and they’re 16 years old or they’re like your 40-year-old spouse. So that’s…I guess that’s my hack.

Katie: Yeah. I think you’re 100% right on that. And we had that same realization with our kids a while back realizing that rather than putting them in all the extracurricular activities, they’re still in quite a few. But we couldn’t let anything interrupt those kind of carefree times with them where we were just focused on them. And for us, like family dinner is a huge time together that we try never to like get interrupted. And bedtime is a time we try to make sure that we’re all present and that we are there to tuck them in and talk with them before they go to bed. I’m curious what like tangible ways do you bring that in in your family? Like we have a family manifesto and we have kind of meetings occasionally as a family. How do you build in those touch points with your kids?

Angelo: For sure we use a similar structure in terms of like set times that are just…they’re almost like Holy times, and that is, that’s the morning and that’s the evening. So always in the morning, you know, we’re all together. My wife and I wake up quite a bit before the kids. You know, just kind of get ourselves ready with our own personal practices, a meditation, exercise, etc. And then with the kids, yeah, just always being in the morning to help prepare breakfast, you know, I take my kids to school. I take my son to school now. And then in the evening, you know, it’s definitely being there to play outside before dinner and then to have dinner and then to, you know, do bedtime. Like, those are just those really key times. And I think also you know, kind of going back to like how to…what are the key ways to help children develop if they, you know, can’t have like these traumatic experiences is actually, you know, just like prayer before dinner. And it really being a time and a place to express gratitude I think has been really, really important.

And we started that from when they were like…when my oldest was like 1 year old, just really every single night everyone has to dig in and talk about what they’re really grateful for that day and just connect with how special life is and how unique it is to be alive. You know, I think outside of…in bigger context than just with the kids is really with my wife and I and what we do. And we started this…you know, we’ve been together 12 years, I’d say we started it in some form about 10 years. It’s become much more formal over the last five years, six years. And that is, we have really dedicated annual planning. And that looks like two to three day intensive basically of visioning out our life for the next year.

And we go through different forms of visioning out actually like doing death bed visualizations. Like when we’re on our death bed, what do we wanna look back and say about our lives to mapping out kind of in decades, what are gonna be the most important parts of each decade and what we want from that time. And these sound kind of like heavy things. But it’s really helpful to see in context like actually there’s like two decades basically with your kids around and then they’re not around. So there’s other things we may want in our life that we think we need now or we want now, like some type of career success or business or something. But it’s like there’s gonna be time for that, you know, if we’re so lucky as to keep living that long. And just really seeing, yeah, life in kind of these chunks of time has been really helpful.

And then we do these pretty comprehensive mind maps, which is for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s a visual way of exploring ideas, setting goals, etc. Basically where you draw like circles on a page and you connect them with lines. And so you can have like a central idea and then sub ideas. And with that, every single year we set our mission and purpose for the year. It’s kind of like our slogan for the year. And then what are our key objectives and desires from that year in terms of health, in terms of adventure, specific things we hope for our children, etc. Then we have quarterly meetings where we go and we reflect on them more deeply again. And we make sure like the kids are with the grandparents. We’re really lucky to have grandparents nearby who can do that.

And then every single week we have a weekly family meeting. And really this, sometimes we bring the kids into it. It’s typically just my wife Kerry and myself. And in that we take the time to go over all the key areas of life. So to be looking at kind of this master vision, but also to be…we have, like, we have agenda points basically to remind ourselves of that I think are all the standard things that can come up in a relationship. Everything from just basic communication, like are there any snags in our communication where it looks like we’re not necessarily fighting, but it’s maybe sharp or there’s misunderstanding. Checking in around sex and intimacy, checking in around financials, around the weekly schedule that’s coming, around the annual schedule, like thinking out in terms of like, you know, future trips you wanna make, etc.

We have a whole list of kind of standard agenda items and we see them and we just every week go over them and we decide, is this something we need to talk about this week or not? Is it okay? If it’s okay we don’t have to worry about it. But it prompts us to think through and talk about those things. And I would say Kerry and I having that meeting is the single most important thing that we’ve done in terms of like a behavior that has led us to have a happy family and really to show up for our kids in a positive way. Because if my wife and I have some kind of like unresolved tension or something we’re not talking about, or we’re just not even like synced up around what we’re doing that week and there’s miscommunication. And on the day of it’s like, “I thought you were picking up the kids.” It produces unnecessary conflict and unnecessary stress for the family. That’s not the kind of, you know, positive, transformational stress. It’s just extra noise. And so, yeah, I mean I’d say that’s the number one thing that contributes to my wife and I together being great parents and family leaders.

Katie: What I love about that is just how intentional you guys are and how much you make that a priority because that’s something I realized several years ago as well. When I got really stressed…I’ve talked about this a little bit, but where I was probably close to a nervous breakdown and considered actually deleting “Wellness Mama” because I was so stressed and I realized in business I had…everything kind of flowed well. I had systems and procedures and checklists. And because of that everything worked. But at home I was much more just trying to juggle everything in my head and I was much less intentional. And becoming more intentional in family and relationships and at home was absolutely life changing. And I think so many of us, it’s easy because life is so busy to get caught up in that and just, you know, fly by the seat of our pants or just juggle and just get through and survive each day.

But when we take that time to step back and be more intentional, it really can be dramatic, the difference that it has for us. But it also made me think of it as kind of a segue, the business side of it because I know that you also are an entrepreneur and that that’s something that’s probably important to you. And that’s one of the core values that we’ve wanted to make sure we pass on to our kids. And so I’m curious how you guys…I mean, I definitely have some ideas of my own, but how you guys are incorporating that with your kids at their ages and what plans you have for the future if that’s something they choose to do as well.

Angelo: Yes, absolutely. And it’s something too that I think like my parents gave to me. I mean, I was just raised in this household where I remember I would get 10 cents a copy, like, so my mom would pay me per copy I would make. You know, I describe my parents as being these hippies and had a health food restaurant and store. My mom also was an accountant and so she had some accounting clients and, you know, I would be like her assistant doing this different type of work. So I was used to getting hired to do work at a young age.

With our kids, you know what…I think the approach that we give them to life is multifaceted. You know, there’s a whole dynamic around ethics and people like, you know, how do you treat people, and what type of relationships do you wanna be in and why? And there’s also another dynamic, which I think this is where I…there’s many, you know, there’s health, etc. But where I put entrepreneurship is kind of like the creation box, the active box. Like if you’re gonna go out into the world and do something, what do you wanna do?

And you could be a professional, you know, you could go to school and become a really talented, trained technician as like a doctor. You could become an artist and you could be a business person. You know, like what is it that you wanna do? And so regardless of what path they go down, I want to…we want to teach them and empower them with the skills to look inside themselves, find out what they’re interested and passionate about. And then know how to take that interest and turn it into something real in the world that has real meaning to other people and to society and that people want to pay you money for it. You know, that you can engage in the world around that.

And so really, any time they have an interest in something, we make sure that we nurture them doing it for themselves and they just love doing it on their own. And then we do ask like, “Hey, how is this something you could share with other people?” So for example, if it’s playing music, they…so my kids and I have…we’ve made up this band it’s called The Filthies. It’s a punk band. And we really do have practice and we record some songs. And, you know, I think I chose…I led us in the direction of a punk band. It’s the easiest band to make with a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old because it’s just like noise.

But with that, you know, they love just doing it, but they also liked the idea of making a video and sharing it with friends. And now they’re really excited. My son Joaquin just designed our first tee shirt and we just ordered them. So we’re getting all these Filthies tee shirts made that then we’re gonna sell and share with people. But rather than it being like, you know, here’s this way that like, you’re gonna make money, it’s how can you take this and engage others in it and create more value in their life. And similarly, you know, we’ve done like the lemonade stand a lot, which they love the lemonade stand. And probably, you know, from a more kind of capitalist or financial standpoint, I have started introducing to them…Joaquin gets it more now he’s 6. Just like kind of the basics of financials, you know, what the difference is between getting like a return on your investment.

Like if you put money into these lemons and into this honey and into these jars, you know, how much money do you need to get back from it? And what’s the difference between like CapEx, you know, like actually investing in the jars that you’re gonna be able to use over and over and over again versus the cogs of just like the lemons and the honey for this time. And how do you start to think about when and how you’re gonna spend money, you know, do you really need like the fancy jars to start or do you start just with the lemons and the honey now and then once you get more money then you could get nicer jars to serve them in.

And I think just teaching it as kind of like a game and a fun way of understanding how to use the resources of money. It’s super fun to them and it’s not like they’re trying to like go out there and like make a bunch of money just for doing it. They’re pursuing passions and things that they love while at the same time just learning how money works and how to get a good cash on cash return.

Katie: I really like how the focus for you guys is creating value and that’s the metric, not just money because I 100% agree if you create value and help people, the money can come from there.

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Katie: And we do something similar. So ours are a little older and our goal is that they finish…we homeschool, so that makes it a little easier. But they finish school by about 13, 14 at the latest, with traditional bookwork. And then from there we’ve created a framework for an entrepreneur incubator of sorts where they…the contract that they have with us is they have to have a profitable business for one year before they can drive or get their own cell phones. We have a family phone but they don’t have their own until they’ve created value. And our thought being, we can build in so many lessons in a fun way into that, whether it be tracking your financials and understanding profit and loss, or understanding like what profit is in general and how that ties to cost of goods sold or solving a problem.

So it doesn’t have to be a hugely profitable business. It could be, you know, like mowing the grass or it could be something. I have a feeling we’ll have some creative wins with a couple of our kids, but that way they learn those lessons in a tangible way that hopefully is actually very applicable once they leave home as well. And so I love that you guys seem very much on the same page with that. And it’s something that you’ve very much done as well because you’ve been involved with several companies from what I know, including the one you’re currently with, where I feel like you very much are creating value. Can you talk about that a little bit and how you yourself make the decision on what your career moves are gonna be based on that?

Angelo: Yeah, absolutely. First of all, I just love the idea you just shared. Like I’m definitely gonna take pieces of that and I can’t…I love that you’re ahead of me in the game too. So I can take some of your lessons of what worked really well with my kids when they’re teens. You know, in terms of my own career, I think it relates really well back to what I just described with the kids. It’s like how can I participate with others in such a way that I really create value in their lives? Whether that’s with colleagues, whether that’s within consumers, whether that’s with other businesses, that it’s not like I show up and I just do my job and I get paid for doing my job, but that whatever I contributed is worth enough that people wanna give me more money or more time. Because it’s so valuable to them, and that I really pursue interests and opportunities that are exciting and fun.

And I think that’s more…I think that’s just unique to me. I mean, I know lots of people, you know, pursue things that are fun, but some people are more oriented around service or around stability, and for sure I think…you know, and this kind of oftentimes goes with being an entrepreneur. It’s towards adventure for me, you know, like, what’s the next cool big thing I can learn or do? And I think the balance of being a good entrepreneur is to combine that drive for adventure, that drive for new…that willingness to take risks with the intelligence to what I just described earlier about the kids, like to think about a cash on cash return.

You know, it’s like if you can make sure you invest your time in the right order so that cash is coming in, you can keep doing things. Because if you just, you know, kind of are all over the place with all your ideas and you wanna try everything and you’re really excited and it’s always new adventure, and you’re changing careers, or changing business every three months, you won’t be able to get enough momentum. You need to make enough choices in order that you start to get momentum and that you get enough money in the door that you can keep doing things.

And so I would say, you know, the current business that I’m part of, Kion, which is a lifestyle supplement and functional food company cofounded with Ben Greenfield is, it’s just…it’s been the coolest thing I’ve ever been part of as a business. It brings out the best of me. I love it so much. We found a lot of success. It’s an amazing partnership with Ben and, you know, it’s just kind of like, it’s an ideal for right now. And I think the reason why that is, is because in Ben, I found a partner who was as excited about life, made me even more excited about life than I am.

This guy is like, he’s a wild dude and he’s been on the show before, so I’m sure some of your listeners have heard of him. And if you haven’t…if you didn’t miss that…if you missed those episodes, go check out Ben Greenfield fitness. He’s just really up for adventure and trying everything. He is so passionate about life. And he’s also really willing with me to be patient, to build a company the right way, to build the right team, to do things step by step. And with that, we have been able to build a company that, you know, is not just exciting for us or profitable, but it really I just feel deeply connected to it. I love it. You know, I can’t imagine loving a company more than the way that I love this company.

And that’s because we’re really making the highest quality products we can make. We’re really trying to build the highest quality culture and team and set of relationships that we could possibly make. We really are dreaming big in the future about like the types of unique ways that we could serve the world through better health products and solutions. It’s just this kind of perfect combination of being…I guess it’s like the idealist and the realist, being connected to our deepest passion while at the same time making smart business decisions in the moment.

Katie: And I’m so curious. I know I’ve heard it from Ben I think before, but remind me what Kion means and the meaning behind the name of the company.

Angelo: Yeah, absolutely. So Ki is the Japanese word for ch’i, which you’ve probably heard the Chinese word, which means, you know, energy, life force, and Kion is a development on that word. And it’s really the purpose of the company. You know, being beyond just like one more, you know, performance supplement company is to really be focused on helping people connect with their core life force, with the energy that makes them up and that makes this whole life possible, and to find a way of optimizing that.

You know, in lots of ways people are like, “Oh, I just wanna, you know, get as thin as possible,” or as strong as possible, or as smart as possible. But if you really like kind of break all that down…and this actually I think is interesting if you go to the heart of the word health, which comes from…you can trace, you know, proto-Germanic or old English words. But really what it comes down to is like wholeness. Fundamentally, it’s wholeness. It’s kind of that integrated wholeness of life.

You know, seeking health is about being able to have this experience of being fully alive, of being fully vibrant, of feeling integrated and whole. And we wanted to make sure that we built a company that…like, that’s what we encouraged in the office. That’s really what we encouraged with every single person that purchased one of our supplements or our bars, our coffee, that they could feel the fads that we were about and that we made all of our business decisions from that.

And not from a place of like, “Hey, is this the thing that’s gonna…” You know, you could add an ingredient, for example, into a pre-workout that maybe gives someone a better pump, and they could maybe get more results in the gym. But if it’s a type of stimulant, for example, that after they take that, they come home and they act like a jerk to their family because they’re kind of too edgy, it’s not worth it. That’s not wholeness. That’s not real health. It’s like seeking out one extreme over what it really means to be healthy and have a vibrant life. Sorry, that was a long answer.

Katie: No, I think that was a perfect answer and I love that so much. And the recurring theme I notice with you both from being your friend for the last couple of years and everything you’ve said today is this amazing ability to learn from life experiences and then to really kind of create and build the life and the family and the career and the relationships that you want based on that. And that’s kind of the theme I was hoping that we’d pull out today. So I’m curious for anybody who maybe doesn’t have that same confidence or doesn’t have the life that they hope for right now, if you have any steps or things, other ways that you would encourage people to start manifesting that in their own lives.

Angelo: The idea of manifesting the life of your dreams is obviously really appealing, right? Like the idea that you can get exactly what you want and be exactly who you wanna be. I think that the first thing to acknowledge and to consider is that it’s not a direct line. It’s not like, this is who I am today, these are the parts of my life I don’t like. This is how I wanna change, this is who I wanna become, and I’m just gonna go directly there. I think it looks more like a series of circles or spirals and a continuous learning process. And so rather than thinking like I’m just gonna set this goal and I’m gonna get to it and then if I don’t get to it, then I’m like disappointed, really consider that you need to go in loops and circles.

That’s why I actually I talk about this process of the creative loop and I actually use this a lot with Kion as well and like our whole team, and in building a company. And I call it a loop because it’s a circle that repeats itself. And I think at the start of the loop, if there’s a start, it’s about really deeply unearthing or if you’re in a business context, kind of brainstorming what you might really want, what’s really most important to you. And you know, the first time you do it or the second time or the third or the 20th time, it’s not gonna necessarily be the final time. You’re not gonna like, you know, really uncover what it is. But what’s your best effort today? You know, what’s your best effort today to think about what you might really want, and are you willing to challenge notions of what’s possible, what’s not possible, and don’t try to think through all the how and the what and exactly, you know, how it’s all gonna happen, but just what could it be?

And once you’ve unearthed that and taken the time to do that, what’s the piece that really sticks out? Like if there’s a vision for the ideal relationship, or marriage, or way to be a parent, or health, you know, what is it that, not in all of its detail, but just kind of like the vision of it for you. Like the way you can imagine yourself interacting with your children or the way you can imagine yourself interacting with your spouse. And then to take that and to add some more color to it and to design it in a little more detail. Like what would that mean? That would mean that I…you know, if I wanna have this relationship with my wife, I would really remember to take out the trash every Tuesday morning.

And I give this as a real example because it’s like one of the things I just consistently like fail at. I mean I do it pretty well, but I mess it up like every six weeks or something. And yeah, just designing in specificity what that looks like. And then as you continue to kind of move through, if you can imagine this being a circle to the next stage of the circle, after you’ve designed the specificity of it, then get into like the “how”. Okay. So like how am I gonna do that? Like, how am I gonna remember to take out the trash because it seems like I keep messing it up. And to spend some time on that, and that’s what I call just like…that’s actually what strategy is. When people talk about like business strategy, strategy is honestly just the sequencing of activities in the right order to get at the end result you wanna get to. And so, spending some good time on that.

And then after you’ve done that, think about…then it’s really just comes down to action. Like, you have to start taking action. And some people are better or worse at taking action. Some people are better or worse at strategizing, at designing, at the brainstorming, and just acknowledging kind of in this whole, in this circle what you’re best at. And after you get through the action, and I think this is the most important part of this whole loop to evaluate what happened. Oftentimes people set goals and then go for it and then it happens or doesn’t happen and they never really go back and evaluate what happened. If you really spend the time, and my wife gave me this insight that I needed to make binders. So I’ve had binders for years now where I actually track like my life goals and track the strategies I set to get them and come back and review them on a weekly basis.

So I come back to my binder and I look at it and be like, all right, what happened this week? What’s happening in this quarter? What’s happening this year? Why…you know, why was I successful? Why was I not successful? Did it have to do with, like, I wasn’t actually connected with that vision for my life and so I wasn’t motivated? Or was it, no, I was really connected, it’s just, I had dumb strategies. Like I can’t even believe, I thought I was gonna be able to like, you know, take this huge step first. I need to take smaller steps. Or, does it have to do with the action? Like am I just kind of like lazy at night and I thought I was gonna get this stuff done at night and I’m not getting it done.

And then from there next, which I think is really important, literally list and keep track of all of your lessons. Every single lesson. I literally have an Angelo instruction manual in one of my binders. That’s like every single lesson that I’ve learned it’s like, hey, these are the things that I shouldn’t assume or think that like Angelo’s gonna be successful at doing it that way. Or these are, you know, really hard lessons that he learned via this. Sorry I talk about myself in the third person but it kind of helps to give myself perspective on it. And tracking all that, and you get all the way through that circle, then you start again. You know, and maybe you don’t need to like, you know, do the really deep brainstorm and uncover, unearth everything again, because your vision for your life is still pretty on point. It makes sense. You’re motivated by it. You just need to like, you know, maybe modify the strategy, and like what things you need to do first or, you know, maybe you need to find ways to motivate yourself more during the action phase. And you just keep going through that circle and keep going through that loop.

And through that progressively, and this is why I think of it as like a spiral, you know, you climb, you get higher and higher and higher and you become better and better at knowing yourself, knowing what you care about, knowing the parts of that loop that you’re best at, the parts where you need help. And you just become a better actor in the world in behalf of your own…on behalf of your own desires and dreams.

Katie: Such a cool idea with the idea of a loop like that. I just took a ton of notes while you were saying all of that. And that feels like something I would implement as well. I’ve always kept notebooks and sketchbooks and just journals. But I love the how like intentional and how there’s a formula there and that makes sense that over time you’ll be able to build on that. I also know that you are the CEO of a big company and I need to respect your time and I made sure that we would have a hard stop in just a couple of minutes. A few questions I’d love to ask toward the end, the first being if there’s a book or number of books that have dramatically impacted your life and if so what they are and why.

Angelo: The number one book that I would recommend is Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet.” And the reason why is because they’re real letters from a real person to another, just giving the best advice that this young man could give another young man. And it’s not specific to males. It’s great. Actually, a young woman when I was 20 recommended it to me, and it’s really an amazing guide book for how to pursue what you love most and how to be motivated from your own passion in that way. And it’s also a really amazing guidebook for I think overcoming struggle and suffering and being connected to your own sense of power and responsibility in that versus feeling like life is just happening to you. So I would just leave you with that one.

Katie: Perfect. I will pick that one up as well. It’s new for me as well. And lastly, any parting advice you wanna leave with the listeners today building on anything you’ve said in this episode or something completely different?

Angelo: You know, the most important advice that anyone’s ever given me was by a monk. His name was Father Theophane Boyd. And I went to him thinking he was gonna, you know, just like tell me the most amazing deep, esoteric knowledge when I was…I must have been 19 years old. You know, I was like, “Give me the deepest information you have.” And his simple response was, “Every single person you meet, know something you don’t.” And I think if your listeners, all the world, would take that into all their interactions with everyone they meet, with strangers, with their children, with their spouses. We would really have a better world because there’s something that every single person can teach us and can give us. And our willingness to be open to that is perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

Katie: I love it. I think that’s a perfect place to wrap up. I really appreciate you being here and sharing today. Like I said, I really respect you as a friend and that from our previous conversations, the way that you interact with your family and with your business. And I’m just so grateful that you took the time to share with all of us today.

Angelo: Thank you, Katie. I really value you as a friend too, and have so much respect for the work that you do, and it’s an honor to get to be on your show.

Katie: Thank you. And I know we didn’t talk as much as I would’ve liked about it, but you guys, Angelo is the CEO of a company called Kion, like he mentioned. There will be links to some of my favorite products from them in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So make sure to check those out. And thank you all for sharing your most valuable asset, your time, with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama” podcast.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by Joovv red light therapy. I’ve used red light therapy to support my skin, hair, and health for years. Also called photobiomodulation, it works by using very specific wavelengths of red light that support cellular function in various ways. I personally noticed the effects on my thyroid function, on skin elasticity and how clear my skin was, and on hair growth, which was a huge benefit after losing hair in the early stages of thyroid disease and after pregnancy. Joovv has a variety of sizes from a small handheld unit that is great for face, joints and on the go all the way up to full-size wall units that can even be used in doctor and chiropractor offices. Go to joovv.com/wellnessmama to learn more and check out all the options.

This episode is sponsored by Nui Cookies which are low carb, ketogenic, gluten free, and low glycemic with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. They’re delicious and made with natural ingredients… despite tasting like sugar laden cookies, they won’t raise your blood sugar or lead to a sugar crash. With flavors like chocolate chip, peanut butter, and snickerdoodle, they have the taste of cookies without the problems. Check them out at https://eatnui.com/wellnessmama/ and get 20% off with code WELLNESSMAMA.

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clean no 00:57:17 Katie Wells
290: Braving Dark Night of the Soul and Learning to Own Yourself With Kelly Broganhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/own-yourself/ Mon, 14 Oct 2019 11:00:22 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=419896

Today we’re going in a different direction but it’s one more closely related to physical health than we often realize. I am here with Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD, whom you have heard from before. (See the show notes below for her first episode.) She’s board-certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine and specializes in root cause resolution as an approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms (not to mention graduating from Cornell and M.I.T.)

Dr. Kelly has a lot of fascinating things to say about the anxiety, depression, and mental health struggles so many women face. She’s reframing the entire conversation and has authored the New York Times bestselling book A Mind of your Own as well as the children’s book A Time for Rain. She’s also co-editor of the landmark (and much-needed) textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression.

In this conversation, we get super vulnerable about life changes that come with being a mother and something she calls a dark night of the soul. We all have a lot to share with each other on this topic I’m sure, so please chime in and let me know if you can related and what you think in the comments.

Learning to Own Yourself: Episode Highlights

  • Why we might need to reframe the stories we’ve learned about birth, mothering, and the emotional realm
  • What the dark night of the soul is
  • How to know if this is what you’re facing
  • Why symptoms can be a beautiful invitation
  • The things we all have things where we love to be “right about being wrong”
  • How emotions get coded physically in the body
  • Whether men experience anything similar
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

Books by Kelly Brogan

Other Resources

More From Wellness Mama

Have you or a loved one been affected by a “dark night of the soul”? Join the conversation! Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This podcast is sponsored by Fabletics, my go-to source for quality affordable athletic wear. This company was founded by Kate Hudson with a mission to bring trendy athletic wear to everyone at affordable prices. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite – the high waisted powerhold leggings that is flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic, my source for superfood coffees, teas and elixirs that contain powerhouse mushrooms for better performance, sleep and health. I’ve been asked several times what the name means… and it’s a cool story…Basically, if you put all the foods in the world on a scale from bad to good, many would fall in the middle as average. The farther you get away from the average, the more rare it is, and the more “sigmas” it has. Only 50 superfoods in the world qualify as Four Sigmatic away from the average… these are the best of the best, the highest quality, and the products Four Sigmatic uses in their products. My favorites are the coffee with lions mane in the morning, reishi elixer or reishi cocoa at night to wind down, and any of their other products in between. My kids love their chai and superfood hot cocoa but I’d recommend all of their products. Save 15% on any order with the code wellnessmama at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

Read Transcript

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

This podcast is sponsored by Fabletics… my go-to source for quality affordable athletic wear. This company was co-founded by Kate Hudson with a mission to bring trendy athletic wear to everyone at affordable prices. Here’s how it works… After taking a super quick, 60 second style quiz, you’ll receive a personalized showroom of pieces specifically catered towards your own unique style. Right now, you can get 2 leggings for only $24 ($99 value) as a VIP at fabletics.com/wellnessmama. This includes my favorite- the high waisted powerhold leggings that are so flattering – even in all the places I have a little loose skin from past pregnancies. Make sure you enter your email address at the end of the quiz, as you’ll receive exclusive monthly discounts and sales and the inside scoop about new collections that haven’t been released yet. Again, check out fabletics.com/wellnessmama and grab the deal while you can and check out my favorite powerhold leggings while they’re still in stock as styles change monthly.

This episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic… my source for superfood coffees, teas and elixirs that contain powerhouse mushrooms for better performance, sleep and health. I’ve been asked several times what the name means… and it’s a cool story…Basically, if you put all the foods in the world on a scale from bad to good, many would fall in the middle as average. The farther you get away from the average, the more rare it is, and the more “sigmas” it has. Only 50 superfoods in the world qualify as four Sigmas away from the average… these are the best of the best, the highest quality, and the products Four Sigmatic uses in their products. My favorites are the coffee with lions mane in the morning, reishi elixer or reishi cocoa at night to wind down, and any of their other products in between. I highly recommend all of it – I haven’t tried anything that I didn’t love. My kids love their chai and superfood hot cocoa but I’d recommend all of their products. Save 15% on any order with the code wellnessmama at foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama

Katie: Hello and welcome to the “Wellness Mama” podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And today’s episode is a really fascinating one. It goes in a different direction than mainly the physical health that we normally talk about on this podcast. I am here with Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD who you have heard from before. Her first episode will be linked in the show notes here as well. It was fascinating talking about anxiety, depression, mental health, while she no longer prescribes medication and so much more. But Kelly is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the New York times bestselling book, “A Mind of your Own,” the children’s book, “A Time for Rain” and co-editor of the landmark textbook, “Integrative Therapies for Depression.”

She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU after graduating from Cornell and she has a BS from MIT in systems neuroscience. She’s board-certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and integrative holistic medicine and specialized in root cause resolution as an approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She’s also a KRI certified Kundalini yoga teacher and a teacher and a mother of two. And in this conversation, she and I but definitely her, get really vulnerable about life experiences and changes and something she calls a dark night of the soul that happens a couple times in our lifetime. So I hope that you will give this some chance and listen in with an open mind and enjoy. Here we go, Kelly, welcome and thanks for being here.

Kelly: It’s really, really such an honor. Thank you for having me.

Katie: Absolutely. I know I’ve had you on before and you were very well loved with the audience. I’ll make sure that your first episode is linked in the show notes so you guys can find that at wellnessmama.fm if you have not heard round one with Dr. Brogan. But I wanted to have you back because I think, first of all, we could have literally talked for eight hours in that first episode and we weren’t able to. But also because I feel like there’s just even more to talk about right now. Modern life just gets more intense and more busy and more everything. And I thought it was a perfect time to have you back on. And you also have a book, “A Mind of Your Own”. I wanna make sure we talk about that today too. But one thing that you have written about and talked about on your own platform, we call it the dark night of the soul. So I think let’s just jump in with the hard stuff, and will you explain what that is and what that means to you?

Kelly: Absolutely. You know, I think it’s worth mentioning that I am a very conventionally-trained doctor. I was a hardcore atheist and all of the concepts I’m about to explore were totally anathema to me. Like just eye roll beyond the eye roll and something I would dismiss because there wasn’t evidence, there wasn’t science and you know, spiritual folks can go to their ashrams and talk their gibberish if they want to. Like that’s basically the kind of mindset that I was coming from when I essentially backed into learning about this very spiritually-archetypal journey that can unfold usually at particular times in a given individual’s life. And typically, that would be like around adolescence or between like 35 and 45, those tend to be very common windows. And I’m finding that the perimenopausal-menopausal window is potentially a third one.

And it’s something I’ve begun to learn about mostly because I elected to work with women who wanted to pursue another way of interacting with hardship or crisis or challenges than medication. And that means that either they were already on medication and it wasn’t “working” or they didn’t feel totally themselves or they were dealing with this chronic sense that something was missing or they wanted to avoid medication, but felt like they were really kind of staring down the barrel of a very acute circumstance in their life. You know, whether it was a death or loss or some kind of new diagnosis or something that was bringing out tremendous amount of fear.

And so in working with this population, I began to as I committed to, you know, since I put down my prescription pad, which at this point was amazingly around a decade ago, I never started a patient on prescription medication again. And I have that, you know, it’s has a light side and a dark side this trait of my personality, which is that, you know, when I commit to something I commit hardcore. And I decided, you know, that under no circumstances was I going to start someone on a medication. That was really based on what I had learned after I decided to take another look into the literature and, you know, publish that in “A Mind of your Own” in 2016 which I think was around when we spoke last, amazingly.

And since that time, I have of course, had now several more years of experience seeing what it looks like when people choose this path. And it can look a way that is something like childbirth, right? So from the outside in, you’re like, why don’t you just get a C-section and be done with it? Right. But from the insider’s perspective, you know that you have, well, hopefully, you know at this stage in our enfoldment that you have a choice between, you know, going on the journey to see what it’s like to explore the energies of labor and transition and, you know, birthing that child through your body. Or you can do the best that you can, but you can opt to numb, literally and figuratively, the experience through analgesics or epidural, whatever you choose. So the women that I work with have kind of figuratively chosen the unmedicated home birth, right?

So they’re saying like, “I’m going in raw and whatever comes of it, I wanna know, I wanna see it. And I understand there are risks and I can’t but choose this, right? I’m choosing this.” And so what I’ve had the real privilege of, you know, sort of acting as is something of a spiritual midwife because I really don’t do much other than stay strong, calm, and really confident in their capacity to get through it. But what they’re getting through is not the birth of a baby. It’s typically this birth of their more authentic self. And as kind of poetic as that sounds, I think most of us can relate to this idea that we wear various masks, right? And we go through life kind of constantly switching them depending on the context, especially women are so chameleon-like in this way. We know how to meet the needs and really please those around us in a way that, you know, most men aren’t equipped with, right? So we’re constantly shuffling these masks and there gets a point at which, you know, some of them start to drop and then you start to become aware that your actual face is never in contact with the world.

So it’s something like that where you have this opportunity to understand what you’re made of, but that that opportunity asks of you a certain kind of death. And so this has been written about, you know, by mystics and yogis and spoken about for probably millennia, this idea of moving through what is called the dark night of the soul. So this passage through which the false layers of yourself fall away and this tender but very, very real part of you is born, and it’s born through, you know, through the fires, through this confrontation with the aspects of your defenses that served you for a while, right? So that can be control, knowing it all, being on top of things, you know, showing up for work and being the good girl, making sure the meal is on the table at 6:00 p.m., like all of the ways in which we have sort of whipped our self into shape so that we can feel like we are lovable really. I mean, that’s really what’s going on.

And then when we go through this passage, we really don’t have access to those parts of ourselves necessarily. And instead we get to look at all of the parts of ourselves we didn’t even wanna know existed, let alone develop like real-time intimacy with. And so often in the dark night of the soul, you’re confronted with tons of fear, sometimes rage, sometimes grief, right? And almost always shame. And it’s this panoply of these emotions that literally can feel like it’s going to kill us. They’re just feelings, right? They’re just emotional states and energies moving through. But it literally can feel like either it’s going to kill us or maybe we’d rather be dead than feel this much inside us, right? Because we have no cultural context for having these dark parts, right, that we label as negative, having these dark parts and also being a good person. So it’s like a way of really adultifying so that in the adult consciousness you develop the capacity to be both good and bad, right? But then you also allow others to be that, right? So no longer do you see somebody as being totally wrong and you’re totally right or you’re totally wrong and somebody else is totally perfect, right? That kind of splitting that black and white thinking is really a childlike mechanism that begins to be really remedied through this chemical process. And you learn to hold all of these energies the same way when you’re birthing, you know, a baby without medical assistance, you learn that you’re just the cauldron, you know, that the energies are moving through.

You’re not really, you’re not growing that baby intentionally. You’re not making that baby move to the right or the left or forward or back here, you know. It’s happening. There is something moving through you and you’re just the container, right? You’re holding that space and you’re allowing this magic to happen within you to great yields, obviously. But on an emotional level, we really don’t have a lot of exposure to what this looks like as a society because we’re so busy chasing that oasis on the horizon, right? Finally, I’m gonna have this day I wake up and I have no problems and I’m finally gonna feel happy, right? And that’s what drives consumerism and all of the money we spend to just finally feel okay. And, of course, at a certain point in life we see the bankruptcy of that. So it’s really this opportunity, but it’s not for everyone, but you’ll kind of know if you’re being called to it. And I think more and more of us are being called to level up in this way.

Katie: I’m curious how someone, how do we know if that…because some of the things you just said really actually resonated with where I am right now. And I’m curious, it’s mainly women who are called to this. Can men have this kind of thing too in a different way? And how do you know if that’s the thing that’s happening for you versus just you’re going through anxiety or you’re going through something else that might be different?

Kelly: Yeah. So you know, I’ve come to the perspective because I’ve seen the yield, right? So I had to see literally hundreds of women go through this process to see that it has stages to be able to hold that vision for them of what’s on the other side, right? So it’s like, again, the midwife in the room is holding the vision of that healthy baby in your arms as you’re saying, when is it gonna be over, right? Like I can’t do it another second, right? She’s holding that energy for you. And so I had to see that on the other side of this process. The women that I work with it, you know, in my practice, you know, they became in touch with their gifts. And there are many, many poets who have spoken to this concept that, you know, the wound is where the light comes in or that there’s the gem in the dragon’s mouth. You know, this is an ancient reality. It’s just one we’ve been running from, right?

So I’m of the perspective now since I’ve seen them come out and become, you know, the artists they’ve always been, or to set up, you know, some beautiful service and philanthropic-based, you know, conscious business or to become a healer and, you know, all one after another, after another inviting prosperity into their life just because they chose to really go through this refining process. And, you know, sometimes what comes with it is a rearrangement of relationships or, you know, having the courage to quit a job or to move out of their state or whatever it is. There’s natural changes that come with the reclamation of this kind of power. But it’s led me to believe that actually any symptom has in it a little invitation.

So it could be a big invitation or a small invitation, right? Like if it’s a tumor sticking out of your breast, that’s going to be a big invitation. Why? Because it’s gonna bring up a tremendous amount of fear and the potential for you to really abandon your own body and to see it as something to be managed that something that makes mistakes rather than the expression of something going on inside that’s actually meaningful, right? So if it’s a small invitation, it could be that you have some insomnia or you’re getting headaches, you know, before the onset of your period, or maybe even you stubbed your toe and now you can’t go to, you know, dance class or whatever it is.

If we can orient towards these experiences of discomfort, fear, or suffering, when it has to do with our body and our mind, our emotional, you know, sort of the emotional realm within, if we can orient really towards ourselves with curiosity first as a first reflex rather than control as a first reflex, then we will often be guided towards something that will help us understand ourselves better. But this concept of self-discovery really isn’t relevant to allopathic medicine, right? Like when I was in medical school or my, you know, extensive training that idea, even in psychiatry, and believe it or not, it’s just not a concept that seems to hold any water.

And so what’s interesting is that I think it’s what’s most important to us, right? That’s why there are quizzes all over the internet and have been, you know, since “Cosmo” magazine when I was in high school. We want to know more about ourselves. Like we want to tap into that mystery and it’s just that I think we were taught that the way to know more about yourself is to get it together and to feel more in control. But something is shifting where I think as a collective we’re beginning to say no, that’s not actually what self-ownership is about, right? That’s self-ownership actually is about owning all of your stuff, right? All of it, from the bad to the good to the in between. And it’s kind of like if you have two people in front of you and one is like pretending to have everything together and to be in control and the other is just kind of owning the fact that they don’t, like who are you gonna feel more comfortable around? It’s that authenticity meter that is extremely sensitive, I think in all of us right now.

And so, you know, you asked, is it just women who go through this? You know, I can obviously only speak from my experience as a woman in a practice of women. But what’s interesting is that since bringing my offerings online and scaling them to men and women, I’ve seen that this is actually a very human process. And it’s a kind of self-initiation. And, you know, if you look to indigenous cultures, you’ll see that whether it’s prizing, you know, childbirth and the ritual of that or whether it’s, you know, a vision quest where, you know, you’re left out in the woods for three days without food or water, this concept of bringing you to the brink of what you thought were your limitations and experientially, showing yourself that you can move through them is a part of how you become an adult. And I think that’s kind of what we’re all contending with is that we are like in ways emotional children, like running around in adult clothing. And then we wonder why we don’t feel authentic and we wonder why we’re struggling with imposter syndrome and why we can’t ever find that that experience of peace. And as so many that I work with describe, it’s like a feeling of just like finally being themselves, right? Like finally feeling comfortable in their own skin.

So it strikes me that, you know, this is the portal. It’s moving through what you might otherwise want to run away from. And again, that could be a small little thing or a very big thing that takes tremendous courage to face. But, you know, it’s only in exploring these things and coming to them with some curiosity and understanding their meaning that you can sort of find the gem and the, you know, what I often say is like this idea that suffering ends where meaning begins. And I really have found it to be true that that suffering can dissolve in a moment if you tell yourself a different story. And so in my new book, in “Own Your Self,” that’s pretty much what I am trying to teach is like how do you tell yourself a different story when society and the dominant American culture that’s, you know, invaded the world, is telling a different story about your experience of your, you know, emotional realms. Again, whether that’s, you know, having tremendous fears that have been labeled as OCD or visions that have been labeled as schizophrenia or a suicidal depression or, you know, tremendous energy that’s labeled as mania. Whatever it is, society is telling you, this is a problem. It doesn’t work. It’s not controllable through your own choices.

And so the only way for you to manage this is through medication because something’s wrong with you. And can we tell a different story? And what happens when we do? And what I found is when we tell a different story about what’s happening and we see it as an invitation to personal empowerment, growth and development, then incredible things can emerge, right? But we have to start to grow this field, you know, so to speak as a collective because there’s only very few people the world over who are walking this path right now. But I do have faith that it’s more and more. And that’s obviously why I’m so pleased to be having this conversation, you know, to begin to grow that field bigger and bigger so that it can hold each and every one of us as we make our choices.

Katie: I really love that quote that you just said, that “suffering ends where meaning begins.” And I think that’s also a perfect corollary to childbirth because that suffering that you feel that like seems so intense and impossible is like and you have your baby at all, has meaning and you almost forget. And I think that’s a beautiful analogy to use there. And I’m curious because like I said, so much of what you’re saying really resonated to me and so much of what’s in your new book really resonated with me. And I have my own process the last couple of years has been realizing that you can have diet dialed in and lifestyle dialed in and do the exercise and the sleep and all the things perfectly. And if you don’t deal with your emotions, you still will have roadblocks. It could be big ones.

But yet I feel like I’ve run on that struggle. But how do you actually find the path forward? Because it seems very different for everyone. And I know at least in my case, there were all these expectations and guilt and things I was supposed to do and how you mentioned like always needing to be there for everyone else and to do all of the things everyone else. So I guess, the two-part question will be, if you’re comfortable sharing a little of what your own journey through that process and then how do you find a starting point?

Kelly: I love this. And you know what? I think we’re all in it. We’re all in it in our own way and certainly, some of us are in way deeper than others, right? So some of the women that I work with clinically, you know, what they go through, especially coming off of these medications. I mean, is all I can do to reflect to them that they are the heroines of our time. You know, the amount of courage that it takes to go into the darkness that comes up when you have sometimes 30 years of unexplored emotional territory, you know, that you’re slammed with like a title wave when you come off of an antidepressant after all that time, right? Because I do believe in what the science of psychoneuroimmunology is showing us, which is that emotions, you know, do getting coated as peptides. And this was Candace Pert’s work, you know, from decades ago, and they get stored in our body, right?

So you can believe, you know, on a spiritual level that it’s energy that gets stuck somewhere. Or you can just honestly default in neuroscience and understand that there’s a reality to this. And so it’s in there, right? And it could be in there for decades. So how are you going to move it? Right? How are you going to liberate that? How are you gonna keep that from expressing as cancer? And you know, it’s what’s interesting based on what you’re describing that I can still relate to is that, you know, I’ve had about like five or so years of very unexpected challenges come to my life whether it was, you know, falling madly in love with my current partner, Sayer, you know, when I was happily married, whether it was what it is to dissolve a family as somebody who was very invested in her, you know, postcard sort of, you know, life and the role that I played in my own family, you know, with my parents and my brother and all of the challenges that came up when I stopped playing the part I had unconsciously agreed to play. You know, and then of course, you know, as an activist, all of what has come up in terms of really beginning to see the truth of Nietzsche’s quote, which is, you know, basically about becoming the monster you’re fighting.

You know, I began, that happened and I not only happened to me, but I began to see it happening to many other activists who, particularly in the sort of like pharmaceutical awareness realm who really were suffering and struggling. And, you know, I was like crying myself to sleep. And it took a while for me to say, “You know what, this can’t be the way out.” You know, that it’s, we’re fighting war with more and, you know, hate with hate and how, how is this going to ever get us anywhere? It’s very hopelessness inducing. And so, you know, finally I got to the point where I decided to design my own life and actually understand what my desires were and my needs were, and to stop acting as if, you know, I was living a life based on what I, like, “had to do” right on a professional level or a familial level or whatever, even for my children to be honest.

So I decided to make choices, right? Make bold choices. And I, you know, I relocated to Florida to be closer to my partner and brought my kids. And then my ex husband chose to come and my parents chose to come and things started to kind of flow once I asserted my own desire. And what was interesting is, you know, here I designed my perfect life. I’m exactly where I wanna be in the world. And wherever you go, there you are, right? So I have this like beautiful schedule, I’m in this beautiful place, my body feels like in heaven and, you know, Marie Kondo my house and it’s like, feels so wonderful. And, here I am in a constant state of like vigilance and worry and detachment and feeling like I’m living my life behind the glass, you know, and all of these moments that seem like they should feel so good, I can’t access that range of feeling.

And so it really was like in the past year or so that I’ve developed a lot of the skills that I knew about from my patients, right, were necessary, but I didn’t necessarily have a lived experience of. And you know, so I’ll tell you what I think a couple of the tips are, although this is largely what I, you know, I put in this book “Own Yourself” was like, I’m very like, pragmatic person, right? So if something’s challenging, I wanna know like, what are the best, give me some road signs, right? Like, give me some navigational tools.

And so I’ve tried to include as many of those as possible, but one of the things that I find is something important to commit to and begin to practice, like mental hygiene around is, where are you telling what I call victim’s stories, right? So where is there a narrative in your life? And usually this is relational, like in a dynamic with a spouse or parent or sometimes a kid or a boss, where are you holding a narrative that features you as the one who’s right about being wronged? Right? So we all have these, no shame in the game and we all have them. Some of us hide them better than others. Like I would be in that camp. But there are gonna be places where you’re telling yourself a story about your life that features you as being dependent and without power. And anytime you have that kind of story, there is a little piece of you that is constantly turning that, you know, constantly maintaining that and it’s like an incredible energy drain, right?

And so one of the antidotes to that is to begin to see where you have participated willfully. Like where have you made a choice to participate in a dynamic that you are feeling victimized by? Right? And so, you know, when it comes to taking medications, right, it’s really important for the women I work with to be able to say, “I chose that. I chose that because it was the best I could do with the information I had at the time and now I’m gonna choose something different.” Right. But it can even be like, you know, an interaction where you feel, you know, like a fronted. Like I, you know, I had this interaction with my mom, for example, and every part of me was like, “Oh, I’m over it. It’s fine.” And it took me basically understanding how I didn’t show her in any way the compassion that I expected her to show me, right? For me, it’s, like, almost feels like blaming the victim, but it’s actually a strategy to begin to take back control.

It’s hard. It’s hard work because you feel vulnerable and that’s why you have that story to defend yourself, right? But it’s a method of regaining control and this surprisingly liberating. It’s kind of like when you engage in service or volunteering or philanthropy, it’s like, why would that feel good? Because if you give money, let’s say, to somebody else, well then you have less. But we all know that’s not how it works, right? There’s something around resolving these little points of victimhood that is extraordinarily liberating.

And then I would say another one is to just begin to engage relating to your triggers from a different angle, right? So I think this concept of triggers is like entering in the zeitgeists and all that that means is like there are things that really like get you going. Like they’d charge you up and not in a good way. All right. So like you and I can both be online at the bank and the teller can step away and put her little sign up that says she’s going for lunch and you may be like, all right, it’ll come back later and I could literally have like an adult temper tantrum about it, right? And make a big scene. So there are different things that trip our wires and there are good reasons for that based on our childhood programming and particular traumas, etc. But you can relate to it by championing that as your, you know, kind of battle cry that you’re gonna get behind it. You’re gonna tell your friends to try and garner more support for that. Or you can understand, okay, this is like my, what I call the child-self, right? This is my child-self behind the curtain at Oz pulling all the strings and making some big, you know, spooky wizard sounds. But the truth is, is just a little kid behind that curtain.

So there’s, you know, a visualization that I practice with my patients and online participants where it’s basically you just kind of turn toward it as if it’s like a little kid. So hopefully, same gendered kid you can relate to, right? So it’s like, you know, I have two daughters, so this is a decently easy exercise for me, where I basically can imagine that I’m turning towards someone inside me who is a little girl who is the one having the tantrum. And you just kinda like practice soothing that little thing, right? You practice soothing that little kid and it’s very simple. You’re not fixing it for her, you’re not making it better. You’re just saying, wow, so angry right now. That seems really intense. I’m so sorry. Something like that, right?

And it sounds really ridiculous. This is what I do in my crisis moments. This is literally the exercise that I do when I am pushed to the brink. You know, again, whether it’s by my partner or by some piece of legislation that’s come across, you know, state lines. This is how I am learning to relate to myself from an adult consciousness. And it’s just kind of a way to develop the witness mind, right? And neurobiologically, this has a correlate. When you have the develop the capacity to watch yourself have an experience, the way that that impacts your nervous system is totally different than if you are totally fused with the experience and you are flailing around in fight or flight.

So there are these kind of little ways to begin to interact with yourself so that you’re no longer trying to arrange all of the furniture in the room perfectly. You know, turn on the music, make sure the candles are lit, but then you have like that screaming, tantruming toddler inside of you. You know, it’s like locked in a room, bolted doors and screaming and you’re like, well, why doesn’t it feel comfortable in here? That’s so strange. I made everything look so nice. That’s kind of where we’re all at. And so I think we need to develop, you know, these practices of relating to ourselves through our stories that we tell ourselves. And one of them is that feeling upset is something to fix, you know, rather than something to explore or even soothe. And so, you know, we can start with this very basic premise that we’re all, we’re all kind of doing this work. Like we’re all kind of beginning to understand that there is an inside job being asked of us.

Katie: And why do you think right now they’re so, it seems like, because so much of what you’re saying I see in myself, I see in my friends, I just think society. Why do you think we’re seeing this so much right now?

Kelly: Yeah, it’s a great question. You know, at the risk of sounding kind of metaphysical, I believe that we are alive at a really, really, really fascinating time in human history. And remember, I used to cry myself to sleep about having brought children into this world, because I was focused on the fluoride in the water and the glyphosate and the pharmaceuticals and everything, you name it, the greenwashing products and all the things I know that you are passionate about as well. And I just couldn’t see how we were ever gonna fix it, right? And so I thought, well, this is a life bereft of anything beautiful and why did I have children? That’s literally was how I felt for several years.

And now I have a different perspective because as I commit more and more to this notion that there is a design and there is a order and there is an intelligence to all that is as I begin to explore more deeply this idea that everything has an energetic signature interacting with everything else and that there is this whole of fractal expression, like from the littlest, littlest thing to the biggest, biggest system that the complexity is maintained, right? And it’s an incredible reality to begin to inhabit. I think that we are actually on the brink of, like, a dimensional upgrade, you know, on this planet. And we’re in this phase of transition and I think that’s why so many of us who are very sensitive are being called to level up our strengths and being called almost like a kind of deeper spiritual training camp or something to begin to grow our capacity to allow this storm that is brewing to just exist and then turn it into something beautiful. Like it’s real alchemy, right?

And so how do we know that we’re in this transition? Well, one of the signs is that the system that has served our expansion and development for many centuries, which could be called a system of control or a system of force, right? So you see that through our, you know, our legal system, our educational system, our agricultural system, our medical system, our political systems, they’re all based on this notion that wherever there is aberrance or unruliness or anything that is outside of the lines, it should be met with increasing amounts of force, right? That’s why you go from, you know, six vaccines to 72 vaccines. That’s why we have go from 1 chemical pesticide to 12 in a concoction or it’s this always neglect of the source and root of the problem with the increasing application of more of the same in an effort to finally subdue it, right?

And, of course, we have this in our, our school systems as well educational systems. How do we, you know, finally subdue every last child and we’re seeing that it’s just not working. It’s no longer working and it did for a while and now it’s not. And so this bankruptcy, you know, of the system is something that we all feel. And even if we pretend to defend the status quo, like on some level, we’re all kind of winking to each other and being like, we know there’s gotta be a sea change coming, right? Like we know we have to do things differently. We all feel it. And that sense of what wasn’t…you know, what was working now isn’t, we’re all feeling on an individual level as well because that’s how it works, right? These systems are expressions of our individual consciousness and the level of consciousness at which we’re all operating.

So it’s like what we’re feeling as individuals is exactly that. Well, my defense has worked for a good long time, right? I just make sure I show up on time and I do what I’m told and I’m polite and I respond to emails in a timely fashion and I make a lot of money and I get this award, whatever it is. And that kind of works for awhile until you start to feel the rattling of the cage and you’re like, “Uh-oh, it’s not working anymore, right?” And so I think that’s really where we find ourselves is in this transition to this new territory, this new never before existent way of being that is going to come from the rubble of our current, you know, dominant paradigm. And it’s happening, like it’s happening at a tremendous rate where levels of awareness and totally creative novel solutions are emerging.

You know, I mean, even when it comes to, you know, censorship or, you know, what’s happening to many of us in Google, right? So like this idea that they have, that they know what’s true and right, and they’re going to limit and control our access to what they believe is bad, which happens to include anything from natural health to right-wing politics to pedophilia. So it’s like this bucket where all the bad stuff goes and they’re just gonna control, you know, exposure to the bad stuff, right? So they’re gonna censor out all of those who don’t meet their criteria. Well, what’s already happening is that something really new and interesting is going to be born from that, right? Because you cannot live in a world where the bad is fully controlled. And I think that’s what on an individual and of course, in my work, what I’m seeking, you know, to support is this idea that we move beyond the bad and the good, right? That we begin to understand that it’s all everything, right?

So I’ve had to sit with people who I’ve deemed as, you know, seeming enemies, whether it’s in the pharmaceutical industry or wherever else. And I’ve had to, for my own, for my own benefit, really ask the question, you know what, like what would I do if I were them? I would probably do the same thing they’re doing. Right. If I had the totality of their experience, if I had all of their exposures and all of their indoctrinations and all of their choices, I would probably be making the same exact decision that they’re making. So how can we begin to, on a small level and a big level say, I accept what is, you know, I have compassion for how we’ve gotten ourselves here and let’s create something more beautiful. And so that’s been, you know, a part of the shift in my rallying cry, which is to no longer be like fighting, right? What I don’t want to be and certainly not unless I have something more beautiful to offer.

Katie: I love that so much and I think it’s good perspective. And for anybody who’s not familiar, I’ll just give you a little bit of background about what Kelly, what you’re talking about with Google, which is that over the last year, but especially in the last few months, there have been a series of updates that have essentially like removed all visibility and traffic to sites that don’t agree with certain positions in Google. And on the one hand, Google is a private company or that they’re a company and they can choose to do that. They’re not a public utility. We have no right to rank there, but it is incredibly frustrating. And not just for those of us who, that’s our income and our livelihood, but a friend of mine put it the other day, she’s like, if this had happened five years ago, I would be dead because I wouldn’t have found the information that let me figure out how to save my own life when I was sick.

And so that’s kind of what we’re dealing with. But I love, love, love your perspective on this because that’s one thing I’ve said so much in the last two years, is that we as a society have to get to a point where we can start conversations with that basis of, I might totally disagree with you, but I still can love you and respect you and let’s have a constructive conversation. Because if not, if if we’re just escalating the anger, we are leaving a terrible legacy for our kids of just anger and fighting. So I love that. Do you have any strategies for like helping people to bridge that gap and to start those conversations?

Kelly: I think, you know, somebody who’s helped me so much in this regard is Byron Katie and she is anyway, I guess, I don’t know how she would characterize herself, but she’s a teacher. And on the global scene and has been for many decades. And she has this kind of like set of four questions that you apply to any statement or belief that’s causing you distress, right? So, you know, so it might be Google should let me be who I am or just to be like, whatever, put something out there. And one of the strategies that she offers to resolve judgment because it’s the judgment and the fighting with what is that causes suffering. That’s it. It’s not the reality. It’s the story that we are telling about the reality that causes suffering and it’s co-misery, right? That means suffer together. We are always seeking that connection. So we’ll connect through suffering, right? So that’s how you spread it, right? You kind of pass the buck.

So one of the, the strategies that she offers I find extraordinarily helpful is called it’s, so there’s these four questions you go through, you ask if that statement is really true, right? And then you take a look at how you feel when you believe this statement versus when you don’t. And you can see that it’s the statement that’s actually causing the suffering, not the reality. And then the one that’s most helpful, I think is called the turnaround, which is you literally 180 degree the sentence. And so like in this case it would be, I should let Google be who they are, right? And isn’t that kind of true? It’s always kind of a stunning thing that you see, you know, whether it’s, you know, my boyfriend should do the dishes and then you’re like, well my boyfriend shouldn’t do the dishes, right? How do you know? Because he’s not doing the dishes so he shouldn’t do them, right? You know, or maybe I should do the dishes. And that makes a lot of sense because I’m the one who wants them done. Maybe I should do the dishes, right?

So it’s like you get to this place of access to what is and you feel melt away the part of you that was really working to uphold your story of suffering. And I find that to be like very, very helpful strategies. So just kinda like flip it, you know, and see is there any truth in that? Maybe there’s not in some cases, but I found almost every time I feel a judgment about something that I don’t like how something is, which trust me is like 80% of my day sometimes, right? But if I can apply that mindset and say, well, you know, maybe I’m the one who needs my own advice, it’s almost always true. There’s almost always some truth in it and it helps me to see, wow, I’m just treating that person or you know, that issue exactly the way I would prefer not to be treated. How is that fair? Right. And so it’s just a way to calibrate around kind of being, you know, being the change that you wanna see.

Katie: I love that. I would never have thought to turn it on its head like that, but it makes so much sense.

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Katie: What about with kids, because I know you have children as well and obviously as moms we all want to do the best for our kids and leave the best for our kids that we can. With these shifts happening in you, has that changed your parenting or do you have any tools that can be useful for parents in helping kids walk through? Because you mentioned this also sometimes happens at puberty. So as a mom who’s about to have a teenager, I’m curious, are there tools that we use with our children?

Kelly: Oh, yes. Thank you for asking. This has been a huge, huge part of right, because I used to think that I was like, you know, fighting all the demons out there for my kids. And meanwhile, I was like traveling constantly, never around for them. Even when I was around, I wasn’t present and I wasn’t there in my feminine power. And as I’ve begun this process of healing that I’ve also, you know, witnessed so many have and I’ve witnessed, you know, all of these hundreds of individuals move through of really coming in contact with my softer, more vulnerable parts and exploring aspects of myself that I had, you know, thought I’d be stronger without, I have seen my children transformed, right? And so I’m a big believer that our children express our unconscious or semi-conscious conflicts and issues as parents. I know that’s not a very popular perspective, but it’s one that keeps me sort of in integrity without seeing my kids as having like very own weird problems that have nothing to do with me.

And I’ve seen that from anything from funny little health things like a frequent peeing or something, I’ve started to see that that is responsive to my shifts in energetic commitment. And part of what I have dedicated myself to offering them is to no longer, or is the same thing I offer my patients. Right? So to just orient around them as if their feelings matter and as if their feelings, you know, deserve air time and are not an inconvenience or worse or something scary to me. And it has transformed our family.

And so, you know, I’ll give you a quick example. So when we moved, right, it was just extremely challenging window for me on a million levels. Not to mention just logistically. So we get here and we’re, I don’t know what, two, three months into to being here. And I have my kids set up at this extraordinary Waldorf school and it just feels like so many things are coming into alignment. And my little one who was seven at the time, we’re going to bed. And every mother knows that that is the time, right, where the veil is thin. And so we’re laying in the dark and she just starts crying like pretty much out of nowhere, right? And she’s like, “I wanna go back home,” meaning up North, right? “I wanna go back home. I don’t like it here. I don’t like school. I don’t like my friends and I don’t wanna be here. And you never asked my opinion about whether we could come here.” And meanwhile my blood is like literally boiling, because not only is my inner lawyer like that is inaccurate. And you do have friends here and you do like it here. I saw you laughing the other day, you know, like not only is that going on, but then it’s also my inner child, right?

So my child’s health is having her own tantrum because she’s like, “But I worked so hard and I’m trying to keep it together. And how dare you, you know, not appreciate what I’m doing.” Like all, there’s like there’s like multiple kids in the room. And so in that moment, because of this commitment to growing big enough to simply allow emotions some air time, okay, because I am an adult now and I’m gonna choose to act like an adult, which is not to say that I’m gonna act like I have it altogether. It’s simply to say that I’m gonna trust that I can handle this emotionally, right? And so in that moment, something inside me recommitted and even though I literally almost had to lift my arm up to put it on her back, I put my hand on her back and I just kind of rubbed her back and I let her cry and I didn’t say anything for a long time.

And then the only thing I said was, “this is really hard.” That’s it, right? Like the way you talk to somebody who’s in distress, it’s simple like monosyllabic, two-words, three-words sentences. And she cried probably for another, I don’t know, three minutes. Then she got up, she got a tissue and she blew her nose and like made a joke about how she sounded like an elephant, got back into bed and went to sleep. So that to me was like a felt experience of these teachings where if you simply are co-present and open to allowing your child agency in their own emotional life, where you don’t tell them how to feel, you don’t try to control their experience and you certainly don’t attend to your inner child over them, right, where you give her air time and let her try to be right. You know, as we all are want to do, that there is an arc to these emotions and it’s like this audacious act of courageous parenting to simply allow for your child’s experience to have air time, right?

And so obviously in adolescence the tumult that can pass through the power that they are learning how to wield because these emotions are also the same as our gifts, as our power. They are at the root, right? It’s again that becoming these alchemists, like how do you turn pain into joy? How do you turn grief into, you know, ecstasy? This is something we’re all capable of and no one necessarily can teach that, but we can give their, you know, experience wide birth while also showing that we can handle it. Because I used to think as a parent, like, you know, I’m breaking, you know, cycles of yelling and that kind of thing in many, many generations of my families. I never yelled at my kids, but what I would do when I couldn’t handle it was just kinda like walk out of the room, right? So if they were like expressing something I didn’t wanna hear or they were crying about something I didn’t want to deal with, like I would just kinda like walk out. But that’s, I now understand just another way of telling them and showing them like, what you’re experiencing, I don’t like, I don’t approve of and I can’t handle it moreover, right? So what is it to be in the presence of an adult who can’t handle your emotions? Right. What does that tell you about your emotions? That they induce abandonment, right? They induce detachment. They make you isolated.

So that’s kinda how the messaging starts. Like it’s like stop crying little Jimmy, you know, it starts early and is perpetuated. And then of course taken on culturally where we make no room as a society for people to, you know, even grieve. I mean, now it’s literally been edited in the diagnostic and statistical manual, the fifth iteration of it where the bereavement clause has been lifted so that if you’re experiencing the symptoms of depression, two weeks after a loved one has passed, you are now a candidate for a mental illness, diagnosis and chemical treatment. This is the direction that we’re moving in where we literally have no capacity to allow people to move through their process, however that might look and to simply, you know, support them to show them, you know, we’re not gonna flee as a society or as a parent.

Katie: Wow, that’s amazing. The only like two weeks later that would be, and I know that you don’t prescribe at all anymore, but I feel like it maybe is a symptom of this or just with everything going on in modern life, anxiety and depression still are so much on the rise and especially for women. Like those are just two things I hear so often from readers. So I’m curious, in light of all of this information in your new book do you have any updated advice or starting point that you would give to someone working through anxiety or depression right now?

Kelly: Yeah, so again, we wanna contextualize it, right? So Krishna Marie said, “It’s no sign of health to be well adapted to a profoundly sick society.” Right. So when we talked earlier, I talked earlier about this bankruptcy, we’re all feeling right. We are out of our greatest expression, we are out of alignment and there are going to be many of us, I call them the canaries in the coal mine who feel that, right? And we label it anxiety or depression. And of course, then the individual gets the message, something is wrong with them, and they have this chemical imbalance and they’re gonna have it for life. And of course they need to be treated, right? Their sickness needs to be treatable. I’d like to throw that on its head, right? And to say, no. Actually, these are the individuals who are sensing what is really amiss, right?

So whether that’s, you know what it is to live a diet of processed food, what it is to have toxicant exposure. You know what it is to live a purposeless life where you show up to some stupid job that offers your soul, not a modicum of connection to what it is that you’re here for, right? Or what it is to be in a toxic relationship, right? So if you’re someone who is sensitive to those things, then you need help getting into alignment so that you feel well again, but it doesn’t mean anything was ever wrong with you, right? That’s like saying like the, the fire alarm is too noisy or something. It should be quieter. No, it’s detecting something real and how you attend to it and with what energy you attend to it, that’s where your choice lies. So I am passionate about, you know, getting, it’s like I see myself as a gatekeeper, right? Like getting in between those who are on the precipice of labeling themselves as sick or broken and offering this other framework, right?

And so, you know, in the book I lay out in three parts, it’s get real, get well, get free and the get real part is a kind of re-brainwashing, right? So we’ve been told this certain story about suffering and sadness and struggle and is there another one? Right? Can we tell a different story? Right? And then it’s sort of, you know, how do we begin to enter? Is there an order of operations? And from my perspective, and I know there are many different ways to heal, of course, but from my perspective, it’s worked in ways that have been literally history making in my clinical experience to start with kind of the lowest hanging fruit.

So you start with a month of sending your nervous system a very different signal of safety than you had previously been, even through your best efforts to be well, right? So you dedicate yourself to, it’s about like two and a half hours of self-care a day. That is basically, you know, diet. So it’s cleaning up your diet, it’s detox in the form of coffee enemas that my mentor taught me about. And then it’s sending this relaxation response activating signal through big, very basic meditation, but every single day. So the commitment is the most important part is like a no nonsense, no excuses like go big or go home 30 days. And I’ve found that this is almost like a portal. Like you go through this portal and then your magic carpet ride begins. And I’ve seen this literally hundreds of times. So I know it has a certain, you know, way of unfolding.

And I think it has to do with re-centering the locus of control within you. And that the simple, you know, 30-day ritual is just a way to do that. Because when you feel that you have this creative power, when you feel that the control is within you, right, to make choices because we always have, it’s our, like our secret weapon. We always have the capacity to make choices. No one can take that from us. Even, you know, in the health freedom realms where we’re, so I’ll speak for myself, I’m so worried about these choices being taken from us, right? In the end, we always retain choices. Even as Viktor Frankl said, who was in the Holocaust, you know, it’s our choice to respond. You know, how are we gonna respond? We always have that choice, right?

So as you localize that within you neurobiologically, something shifts, something different begins to happen because when you’re in a helpless dependent state, there’s a certain neuro-biological signature that is attuned with fight or flight and not regeneration. So as you shift that, your mindset shifts, you’re more able to engage curiosity, you’re able to look at the parts and aspects of your life that are not working with a renewed sense of, okay, so how am I gonna take one small step in another direction? Right? And things begin to unfold where you feel empowered. So that’s like a big, big part of what I tried to help people with is again, how do we re-frame even down to our language? How do we re-frame we’re expressing through a lens of personal empowerment and responsibility instead of through, you know, the lens of the hapless victim.

And then, you know, in the last part of the book, I’d present strategies for, you know, deeper awakening to self and to, you know, sort of other mystical realms, etc., if that is relevant. And interestingly, it seems to become at some point to most people on the path where they at least wanna know, you know, what’s the deal with these tools? You know, what’s the deal with psychedelics? What’s the deal with, you know, silent meditation or deep practices of these kinds. And it becomes this incredible, mysterious journey, you know, that you finally awakened to the fact that you’ve been on the whole time.

Katie: That’s beautiful. And I think, I can’t believe our time again, it has won. So by just blown by, but I think that’s a perfect place to start to wrap up. And I would love to know, I think I might’ve asked you this on our first episode, but other than your own, which of course will be linked in the show notes, if there’s a book or books that have really impacted your life and if so what they are and why.

Kelly: Oh yeah. Gosh, there’s so many. So I’m a huge bibliophile. And I’ve had this experience where I get the exact book I need at the exact moment I need it. You know, sometimes I’ll even like read a page of a book that I absolutely needed to read before the patient I had at 11:30. You know, so I’ve had this very open channel of taking in the teachings of many wise people who have walked before me. And so I would certainly say that “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” I probably mentioned that last time too, but it changed my life. You know, I read it in 2010 it’s written by investigative journalist Robert Whitaker, and I never wrote a prescription again. So, you know, I think it qualifies as a life changing book and it’s because I came to all of this through the portal of science. So I couldn’t have been convinced otherwise.

I needed to know that there was a path paved with research to lead me away from this specialty that I had invested blood, sweat, tears and $200,000 of debt, you know, into. I needed to know that I was, you know, walking the path of scientific integrity. So certainly that one. I would say another one is my friend Charles Eisenstein’s book, “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.” And a patient actually told me about that book and he’s since become, you know, a dear friend of mine. But that book helped me to shift as an activist. But it’s not just for activists, it’s for anyone who wants to change, right? Who wants to see change on this planet. It’s an incredible example of, not an example, it’s like an incredible, almost like offering, you know, to inspire that shift from fighting, right, from the warfare that can underpin even the most sacred intentions to shifting into acceptance and a different way of contributing your signature to the change making that has to do with connecting, you know, in your heart literally to what it is that you want more of on this planet, right? And then embodying that as a very different way of relating to change making than I had ever heard of. And so I think that that’s another really powerful one.

And then, actually I only read this book like somewhat recently in my life, but actually I listened to it. It’s many, many, many hours. “Conversations With God” by Neil Donald Walsh would probably be another one. And you know, for most of my life, I never would have picked up a book that had the word God in it, literally. So, close I was to this concept and for those, I think it’s very well known at this point, but for those who hadn’t heard of it this is literally a transcribed conversation that this totally normal guy had in this like quasi-altered state, not induced by anything in particular in his house where he got to ask any questions he wanted. And what is transcribed explains everything from health to politics to how do we relate to how hard it is to be a human being. And I always thought, wow, I’d love for my children to listen to this, because it’s actually incredible audible. It’s almost like a theatrical thing. And just sort of, you know, have that template offered to them of like this incredible meaningful design. And it’s not a denominational thing at all. It’s not like a, you know, Catholic thing or Jewish thing. It’s just sort of like, it all makes sense. Wow. You know, that feeling is invaluable. It can all make sense, you know.

Katie: Those are all awesome suggestions. I’ll make sure those are linked in the show notes as well. And again, as last time as well. Thank you so much for sharing today your story, your vulnerability and your new mission. I, of course, would encourage anyone listening, especially if anything resonated with you in this episode to grab a copy of your book that will be linked in the show notes, but of course also available anywhere books are sold. Any parting advice for the audience and listeners today?

Kelly: Just if there is that little rustle inside of a yes to anything that we’ve discussed that you honor that and you move towards it because there’s never been more support for that courageous journey or they call it the hero’s journey or the heroine’s journey and that we all need you, I need you to move in that direction that I know this is like this paradoxical experience where we each have our own work to do and we get to do it together if we want to. You know, we get to be held in this ever-growing, you know, kind of socio-cultural milieu where it’s okay to want to grow and expand and it’s okay if it looks kind of funky sometimes and maybe, you know, worse than that, we make space for each other to take ownership and to take personal responsibility and to really each step into a kind of power that can only come from owning all of our vulnerable parts. So thank you so much for trusting me, you know, to have me on and have these kinds of conversations. I’m such an admirer and I’m so grateful, you know, to be in this space with you.

Katie: Thank you for sharing and thanks to all of you for listening and sharing one of your most valuable assets, your time with us today. We’re so glad that you did and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama” podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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289: Stoic Wisdom for Modern Life and Parenting With Ryan Holidayhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ryan-holiday/ Mon, 07 Oct 2019 11:00:04 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=419147

Today’s guest, Ryan Holiday, has been on my dream list of interviews for a long time. He is the best-selling author of many books including Ego is the Enemy, The Obstacle is the Way, and his newest Stillness is the Key, along with the Daily Stoic, a book I read one page from each morning.

Ryan’s ideas have changed the way I parent, and I think you’ll see why after this episode!

Episode Highlights With Ryan Holiday

  • Learn how Ryan and Katie both dropped out of college at 19 and why
  • The core ideas of stoicism including that we don’t control what happens to us, we only control how we respond
  • Core stoic virtues of wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance
  • How ancient stoic ideas are applicable to modern life and parenting
  • The importance of a mindset shift about obstacles
  • Why to never waste a trigger
  • How to go from obstacles being bad to seeing them as beneficial
  • And more!

Resources We Mention

Books by Ryan Holiday

More From Wellness Mama

Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let us know. We value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well.

Read Transcript

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Katie: Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And today’s guest, Ryan Holiday, has been on my dream list of interviews for a long time. He is the bestselling author of many books, including “The Obstacle is the Way,” “Ego is the Enemy” and his newest “Stillness is the Key” that just released. He also wrote “The Daily Stoic” and its companion journal, which is a book I read every morning. I read one page corresponding to the day and it’s had a big impact on my life.

He’s a prolific writer. He’s also written for many publications and he’s written books on other topics besides just stoicism, although that’s what we go deep on today. And he has been accredited by “The New York Times” as kind of ushering in the modern popularity of stoicism. And in this episode, we really go deep on how this can apply in the modern world, especially to parents and as specifically to parents and with a lot of practical and tangible methods that we both employ in our daily lives to make that happen. This is one of my favorite interviews I have done. I know that you are going to enjoy it, too. And without further ado, let’s jump in. Ryan, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Ryan: Thanks for having me. I wish I could be where you are.

Katie: Well, you’re always welcome here. We love it when you come visit, but I can’t wait to interview you. You’ve actually been on my list of people I’ve wanted to interview for a really long time and you’re one of my favorite authors, so I can’t wait to get to spend this time with you and record it. And I think we actually share an interesting piece of past that I don’t think most people share, which is the, I also dropped out of college at 19. And if I remember correctly, you did as well. Is that right?

Ryan: I did. I did. Although this is why you should always be, you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people’s biographies because I’ll give you this. I moved to LA, left college on June 15th and I turned 20 on June 16th. So, I say that I dropped out at 19, but technically it was 20. So sometimes, you know, you always gotta realize that people are slightly exaggerating and inflating their biographies to make them as cool as they can be because that’s the point of a biography. So I’m curious did you actually drop out at 19, or is it more like 20 like me?

Katie: It was actually 19. I’m pretty young…

Ryan: So you’re better.

Katie: Well, but I was almost done with college. I had done everything pretty early and I had entered college essentially as a junior because of testing out of stock.

Ryan: Oh, nice. And you still dropped out?

Katie: I did. I was like really close to being finished and realized I was journalism, pre-law and international studies thinking I could, you know, change the world through that and realized once I got in there that you weren’t gonna change the system from the inside out. And I also realized I wanted a family and wanted to do things in my own way. So I walked in, I was actually the presidential scholarship, and I walked in and quit.

Ryan: Wow. So had you met Seth yet?

Katie: I had. I had met my husband that summer before walking. And we actually did a nonprofit walk from Los Angeles to DC, and we hit long distance dating since then. And I just knew like that was the direction I wanted to go with my life and that I definitely did not want a political career or journalism career in the traditional sense. And I just walked in and quit. And he’s like, “You can’t really do that. You’re on scholarship.” And I’m like, “Well, I am.” And I did. I’m curious what your story was. Why did you end up dropping out?

Ryan: So similar story in that I’d already met my wife, so like, you know, sort of number one goal of college crossed off. I’d met the mentor and the writer who I admired and wanted to be like in Robert Green and I had a job offer to go work at a management firm in Hollywood, which is sort of where I wanted to go career-wise. And I had a bunch of other awesome stuff going on. So I felt like I wasn’t leaving college, you know slinking off into the night. I’d accomplished a lot of what I wanted to do there. And like you, so I was set to graduate in three years and I left in two years. So I probably did like two and a half years of academic work in college. But it was primarily, I felt like I had accomplished everything that I would have used to say that my college career was successful.

So I wasn’t gonna turn my back on that to keep going to class. But the funny thing was, and I think people should bear this in mind when you’re thinking about making some of these life-changing decisions, is they can feel very drastic, but they are much less so. I also had a scholarship, it was not president’s, this was a chancellor scholarship. So I think it was 75% of my tuition. And I walked in and I said, “I’m here to drop out.” And they said, “You know, that’s not a thing like you don’t drop out of college.” And I was like, “What do you mean?” And they said, “Well, look, you just take a semester, you just don’t enroll in classes for a semester and you can come back whenever you want.” And I think I actually have a couple years left, maybe that I don’t know how long it is.

But the point is you don’t drop out, you just stop going and you can always go back, right? And so these things often feel much scarier than they are. Like people go, I don’t wanna quit my job and start a company. It could ruin my life. No, if the company doesn’t work, you would just go get another job. Like there’s millions of jobs out there. So we’re intimidated because we don’t wanna lose the status quo, but often you can very easily get right back to the status quo.

Katie: That’s a good point. I think any kind of life changes like that, they always seem so daunting until you get through them. I always try to remember that metric of in 10 years is this gonna seem as big and daunting as it seems right now and almost never does it. I’m curious, I wanna get deep on stoicism, but first, I’m curious, what do you think about college now that you have kids? Is it something you’re going to encourage and push them to do, or do you have a different view of it now?

Ryan: Yeah, I mean, I have a different view of it in that I know that it’s possible to succeed without college, but I also know that the fact that I was college-ready that I’d succeeded at college was partly why I was able to succeed as a college dropout, right? So when I hear from young kids, they write me and, you know, they’re like, I’m failing out of college, I wanna drop out like you. And it’s like, that’s a very different thing, right? Like if you can’t figure out how to make college work, that’s a sign that the real world is gonna be quite difficult for you as well. And in fact, I think college is easier than the real world. So I’m torn. I mean, we save for college, we have, you know, money taken out of our bank account each month to put our children in a position to be able to afford college if that’s what they choose to do. But I’m not gonna be like my parents, which, you know, sort of collectively lost their mind and, you know, did some very serious damage to our relationship by not supporting me in that decision that I decided to make. And so I think the idea is like, keep your options open. Colleges, neither the solution for every kid and it’s not, you know, to be avoided by every kid. It just depends on who you are and I think what you wanna do.

Katie: I think that’s a great point. And I had the same experience, not quite to that degree with family, but I come from on both sides of family of academics and PhDs and even now at family reunions, I’ll have relatives be like are you gonna go back to school and get a PhD?

Ryan: Right, right. Man, you’re like, I’m doing good. I’m probably doing better than you. But that college does occupy some degree of safety to people. That’s what I think it represents. And that’s great, you know, but I also, you know, going to college because you don’t know what you wanna do with your life and then racking up $200,000 in debt to find out that actually what you really wanted to be was a nurse or what you really wanted to be was a welder or you really wanted to open your own small restaurant, well that was actually a really dangerous decision for you to make then.

Katie: That’s a great point. Yeah. Especially with the amount of debt so many kids take on to get through college. Okay. So you are widely known for, in fact, I think “The New York Times” even said that you are largely responsible for the modern rise and the interest in stoicism. So I think that’s another place I’d love to start and to hear what brought you into that and how you discovered it yourself.

Ryan: Yeah, stoicism seems like this sort of stodgy old useless philosophy, right? When we hear the word stoic, we think has no emotions and it almost feels like it’s the opposite of where we should be going, especially as, you know, culturally we’ve come to understand the importance of vulnerability and the importance of empathy and the importance of processing your emotions. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not what stoicism is. Stoicism is a way of living. It’s a guide to what the stoics would call the good life, human flourishing. And really at the core of stoicism I think is two assumptions. Number one, we don’t control what happens to us. We control how we respond, right? And I think this is something that intuitively mothers understand probably better than other people. You don’t control that your kid is throwing a temper tantrum, but you control whether you’re gonna make it worse, whether you’re gonna use this as an opportunity to teach them something, right? Mothers are constantly in the position of responding to the stresses and the difficulties of life. And I as a father, I am as well, right? Like how can I control how I respond to this situation? I can’t magically make it go away. I can’t make this hard thing easier. All I can do is focus on what I control, which is my emotions, my thoughts, and then the actions that I take. So that’s, I think point number one about stoicism.

The second is I would just give sort of four virtues that I think are essential to stoicism and I think they’re probably ironically or fittingly the same virtues most of us associate with our grandparents, with really wise or powerful people that we admire. So the first virtue of stoicism is courage, right? Courage under fire. Courage in painful situations, the ability to persevere, right? How do you stand up and do a really tough thing? The next is the discipline of justice, right? Doing the right thing. That’s good morals, that’s good values. That’s how do you have the courage to do the right thing when everyone is doing the wrong thing, right? So all these virtues are related. The next virtue is the virtue of temperance or moderation, right? This is something we have to teach our kids, right? You might think you want to eat this entire box of cookies, but you will feel awful after, right? Or drinking might be fun. It might be something your friends are doing, but it can get you in trouble if you don’t have self-control, right? The importance of resisting peer pressure or the importance of being too obsessed with what people think or being too dedicated to sports or this activity or that.

And then the final discipline of stoicism and the final virtue is a virtue of wisdom, right? How do you learn, how do you make education a priority? How do you better yourself? How do you expose yourself to things you disagree with or new perspectives or ways of thinking? And so those are the virtues, courage, justice, wisdom and temperance. And I think if we can teach those to our kids, if we can model them ourselves, we are gonna be happier, they’re gonna be happier and more importantly, I think the world will be a better place.

Katie: I love that. And I think you’re so right. I think those are things that moms are very on the ground day-to-day involve with kids. I mean, justice with working out and I know yours are still pretty little, but like sibling rivalry is a constant thing and temperance, teaching that to kids is a huge point. I think obviously wisdom for all of us is a lifelong journey. But I’m curious, what was your entry point into stoicism? Has it always been part of your life or did you discover it at some point?

Ryan: I mean, I wish that I could say that my parents had exposed me to this, right? I feel like it’s something I’m gonna do better with my kids is like, what are the great books, what are the great ideas, who are the great thinkers that I wanna make sure my kids are exposed to. A book recommendation for everyone, Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska. He’s a Republican. You might not like him or maybe you’ll love him. But he wrote this book called “The Vanishing American Adult.” And it’s about how too many parents are basically raising infants, like sort of perpetual adolescents. This is kind of the things we’re seeing on college campuses these days. And he said every family should have a 5-foot bookshelf filled with the wisest best books that teach the values and the ideas and the insights required to be a successful adult. So that’s gonna be different for each family depending on what you do, what religion you are or what culture you’re from that everyone should have a book that they’d go, these are the books that we cherish as a family, that we read, that we talk about, that we reference.

So I wish I could say that’s how I found out about stoicism. But as it happens, I was a journalist in college. I was writing for the college newspaper and I was at a conference about sex that Dr. Drew, the television personality, was speaking at. And I went up to him afterwards and I just, I said, “Hey, like I’m young, I’m learning. You seem smart. What are some books you’re reading?” And he told me about Epictetus, one of the stoic philosophers. And from that, I went back to my hotel room. I bought the books and my life’s never been in the same since.

Katie: Wow, that’s awesome. And that I have not heard that book recommendation, but I’m definitely gonna check it out. I’m completely in agreement on that point. And that’s something that my husband and I have actively really thought about is how can we make sure that we’re raising competent adults and not perpetual children. And so we have some kind of principles in our house and things like we won’t do things for our kids once they’re capable of doing it themselves. So once they’re physically capable of doing their laundry, they do their laundry, they help in the kitchen, they help cook, and they are largely responsible for their relative existence. And also, we have like these things we say all the time explaining that life is not fair for instance, or that we were made to do hard things. So I’m curious, how does that, I know your guys are still young, but how does that roll over into your parenting?

Ryan: Yeah, I think there’s all sorts of great lessons from the stoics. One would be that thing we were talking about earlier that I think I wish I had learned earlier, right? We don’t control what happens. We control how we respond. So even the lesson you were just saying like about life’s not fair. Life’s not fair. Someone hurt you. Someone cheated and got away with it. You know, someone lied and didn’t get caught. Someone, you know, their parent lets them do this and I don’t let you do that. We don’t control that particularly as children, because so much of the world is outside of the control of young people, adults get to decide. Well, that’s true, but the child does retain the power and no one can take the power away from them that they decide how they’re gonna respond. They decide what they’re gonna do about it.

So are they gonna throw a temper tantrum about this? Are they gonna complain about it? Are they gonna whine about it or they’re gonna cry about it. They’re gonna blame other people for it. You know, you had this toy and you knocked it off the counter and it broke. Okay. So we can be sad about that. We can be mad about that. We can whine until we get an a, you know, to that we need a new one. Or we can decide we’re gonna figure out how to put it back together or we’re gonna decide to break, have fun breaking it apart even more. Or we’re gonna, you know, we’re gonna be more careful next time, right? Or we’re gonna wait, what are we gonna learn from this? How are we gonna benefit from it? And to me, that’s kind of the central lesson of stoicism.

But one of the things I’ve taken from stoicism and that I’m trying to think about now as a parent, I started this website on Father’s day this year called Daily Dad. And it’s just an email that goes out every day where I sort of write about the lessons that I learned from the sort of ancients that I think apply to parenting. And so I would say one of the things that, a mistake I see moms and dads make and I’ve seen my friends make is people are way too focused on like the trends of the moment as far as parenting, right? So people are like, do we do this or do we do that? What does the research say about X, Y, or Z when really like, clearly humans have been successfully raising children for, you know, hundreds of thousands of years, right? The broad strokes we’ve got.

And so one of the things I think people should do and what’s influencing my current parenting strategy is like going backwards. What are the best practices from history? And I think some of the ones you just touched on are exactly right. You know, teaching self-sufficiency, teaching that the world is relatively indifferent to you or your desires. So if you want something, you have to make it happen, right? We wanna look backwards to history to learn the best parenting strategies. We don’t wanna look at what the latest parenting magazine is telling us the fad of the moment is.

Katie: That’s such a great point. And it’s something I actually remember my grandmother saying when I had my first child is that our generation tries to make parenting so complicated and so much more difficult than it needs to be. And I think like the, I know this is something else that you’ve written about, but with parenting as well as with life, it’s almost like the less that we do and the less that we try to take on, the happier, calmer and more successful it is. Because I find kids are naturals at, you know, finding obstacles to overcome and climbing creativity. And so often we put all these things in place thinking we’re benefiting them when really we’re taking away opportunities where they could be exercising their own natural creativity or their own natural problem solving.

Ryan: That’s totally right. I actually wrote about this as one of the early emails for Daily Dad. I was thinking, why do kids like grandparents so much? It’s because grandparents are just way more chill than parents, right? The parents are thinking, no, you can’t do that. No, you’ll spoil your appetite. You know, parents are stressed so much more than they need to be, right? And they’re trying to, like, you never get a…look, there’s obviously bad grandparents out there, but grandparents are so much better at accepting kids for who they are and giving them the space to become whoever they’re gonna come, right? In a way, grandparents are better at, I think that unconditional part of parenting, right? Even if they struggled with it, with their own kids, the distance of that extra generation allows them to step back and give kids the space that they need.

I was just, I’ve read a bunch about Mr. Rogers. It was, I think it was grandpa McFeely was his grandfather. You know Mr. Rogers was his kind of sickly kid. He had allergies. He was chubby. His parents were a little clingy. They tried to keep them inside all the time. His grandfather was the one who encouraged him to go out and experiment and to get into trouble and to mess around. His grandfather was the one who told him, look, you make the world special just by being who you are. That was what empowered Fred Rogers to become the amazing human being that he did and influence and impact all these kids. And I think grandparents just because they’re less anxious, they’re less worked up maybe because they know they get to go home at the end of the day, do actually provide a great model for how parents should think more about their own parenting.

Katie: That’s such a good point. Yeah. I think grandparents are such a gift and that’s probably one of the very big reasons why. I’m also curious, so you’ve written, I’d love to go a little bit granular about some of the things you, because you have multiple bestselling books and I’ve really enjoyed all of them. But I’m curious what the thought process was of tackling each of those subjects in that order. So for instance, the first one, “Ego is the Enemy,” what was the impetus for tackling ego first? And I’d love for you to just walk us through some of the core principles of that.

Ryan: So I actually wrote “The Obstacle is the Way” a little bit before “Ego is the Enemy,” and it comes from a quote from Marcus Aurelius. He says, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” And what he meant is that every obstacle, every difficulty, every messed up thing that we didn’t want to happen, as undesirable as it may be presents also an opportunity, right? Someone is rude to you or mean to you, betrays you, that’s a chance. Yes. That’s not fun. But it’s also, if you think about it, a chance to practice forgiveness or a reminder of why you can’t trust so easily, right? The computer eats all your work, that’s really frustrating. Obviously, you don’t want that to happen, it’s a reminder of why you need better practices for saving your work. And it’s a chance if you think about it, to start over from scratch with no baggage, right? Every difficulty we face in life is, in a way, an opportunity to practice a different virtue.

And so the stoics thought of obstacles as fuel. Marcus Aurelius says, “You know, what you throw on top of a fire is fuel for the fire.” And so that book is really about that mindset. How do we decide that I’m gonna be better for all the adversity and difficulty that life throws at me? And I wanna expand people’s definition of what adversity is. Adversity is not just what happens to you because you’re a minority, you know, because you’re a woman, because you grew up poor, because you lost an arm in an accident. Adversity is waking up to two sick kids, right? Adversity is going out to the garage and finding the car tire is flat. You know, adversity is, you know, one of the parents is on a business trip and the other has to, you know, do double duty for the next 48 hours. How are you going to respond to this? What’s the mindset you need to bring? What are the tools and creativity you need to bring and how do you have the strength to persevere through that difficulty?

So that’s what “The Obstacle is the Way” is about. And then the next book was “Ego is the Enemy.” Because what I realized is that ego is something that gets in the way of doing what we were just talking about, right? Ego is this kind of force field between you and being a great parent, being a great employee, or being a great boss, being a great neighbor, being a great leader. I don’t think it’s a political point to say someone like Donald Trump has taken a difficult job being president, probably the hardest job in the world and made it much harder with his ego, right? He’s created unnecessary enemies. He’s passed up easy opportunities for compromise. He said things, you know, out of arrogance or anger that have come back to haunt him, right? And that’s what ego does. It just makes a hard thing harder. And I don’t think any parent, any business person has ever thought, you know, what would make this really tough situation that I’m in easier, like more ego. No, ego makes hard things harder. So that’s what egos about.

And then the third book in the trilogy is “Stillness is the Key.” And I think stillness is another thing that stillness makes overcoming obstacles easier. Stillness is what you get when you sweep ego away. We all benefit from slowing down, thinking more clearly, being intentional, having routines, getting rid of chaos or unnecessary obligations and burdens. And so that series that it’s all influenced by stoic philosophy, but it’s really about, you know, how can we improve important domains in our life through that philosophy.

Katie: Got it. And my apologies. I read he goes the enemy first and so they always reversed those two when I think about which one was written first.

Ryan: No, they’re not really meant to be in any order. That’s just sort of the journey I went on as a writer. But I think people should just pick up if they are willing to give the books a chance, I would just say pick up whichever one feels like it resonates more with where you are in your life. If you’re anything like me or probably you, I would imagine that just we’re all suffering from like information overload, over commitment, mental exhaustion. And so to me, I feel like stillness is this urgent sort of epi…stillness is a solution to an urgent epidemic that we have as a culture and as a society right now. But you know, maybe you’re going through a difficult obstacle in your business or your personal life or with one of your kids and that’s the best place to start. They’re all interchangeable.

Katie: Let’s talk a little bit more about stillness because I’m guessing there might be some moms listening who are thinking things like, that’s a great idea, but I have kids and that’s not possible. And it’s always chaos because I think an important point that I pulled when I read “Stillness is the Key” is that stillness doesn’t have to mean physical stillness, doing nothing. That was really important distinction. I loved that explanation of like that the stillness of being wrapped up or fully immersed in an activity. So like for me, paint more, or drawing or writing. But let’s talk more about stillness and practical applications when we are in such a busy world.

Ryan: Totally. Well, look, what I would say is that it’s the busy mom who needs stillness more than ever and needs to be able to…I’m not saying like move to an ashram in India or go on a 30-day silent meditation retreat. Most of us can’t do stuff like that financially or, you know, just time wise. So what I’m talking about is how does the mom or the dad or the CEO cultivate stillness inside the chaos? Right. I opened the book with the story of Seneca, who’s trying to write in Rome in, like, the year 100 AD. And he’s just distracted by all the ear-splitting noise outside of his window. And he talks about how you have to develop strategies for tuning all that out and focusing on what’s in front of you because you can’t control the noise, as you were saying you can only control how you respond to the noise.

So, you know, it’s funny that like, I feel like most of the times in my books I’m really writing about things that I learned from my wife and my wife has just this model of stillness. I think we bring different strengths and different traits to the relationship, but like and you helped us with this because you gave us advice on this that smart pillow that helps put kids to sleep. But our son, Clark, I would say for the first two and a half years of his life, never slept. Like, I’m not sure how he’s alive. He never slept more than two hours or three hours in a row. It was brutal. And so bedtime was a nightmare. Like putting him down, it was so hard. So much easier with our second. But I think we just, you know, that’s just sort of who he was.

But like my wife would go in to put him down to bed and I might not see her again for like two hours. Like it was a two-hour experience of nursing and holding and putting him down and just getting him like, you know, the transition from your arms to the cradle and then, oh, it didn’t work. And she would just, the stillness required to do anything that hard in the dark for two hours. I mean, I can’t even do anything for like seven minutes without getting impatient or frustrated. And so, you know, to me, the patience and the stillness that mothers bring to parenting, to me embodies all the things that I’m talking about in the book. I’m talking about cute Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis and the brilliance and the patients and the perspective and the empathy that he brought to that difficult situation. How he was able to resist the advice that his generals had to rush into action. He’s like, no, we should think about why the Soviets did this and how we can give them a way out and what they’re gonna do in response. I feel like and this might seem a little sexist, but I bet Jacqueline Kennedy, if she had been invited into the room, intuitively would have known and suggested all of those things. And so stillness to me is something we can take a lot of inspiration from women for, but we all naturally possess stillness. And the key is how to cultivate it and develop it so it’s more at the forefront of our lives.

Katie: That’s such a great point. And you’re right. I think that was one of the lessons for me several years ago and actually when I was kind of delving into the idea of stoicism was that when it comes to cultivating these things, it can’t be left into the like little bits of time that we have left over or just added to a to-do-list. And I realized this in my own life when I almost, I think had a nervous breakdown trying to balance everything between the blog, the family and all of it. And came close to actually deleting “Wellness Mama” because I realized I couldn’t do everything at that level anymore and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice family. And in that moment, I realized there was a drastic difference in how I was managing the two things.

So in business, the most important things always happened first. And I had objectives and goals and I objectionably evaluated things. Whereas at home, I was trying to juggle everything in my head and just manage it myself and take on everything. And that wasn’t realistic. And so I sort of switched the entire idea of how I ran our family. And put the actual most important things first like family dinner and like spending time together and having time for self-care and for exercise and the things that help cultivate stillness. And it was a really drastic shift in the family because I was calmer and encouraged the kids to be calmer. We all had so much more bandwidth. But I think you’re right, like motherhood is wonderful for kind of building in some of those lessons of stoicism.

Ryan: Well, so two things. I think one like I don’t think this is just limited to women, but like one of the things that having a newborn really taught me and now my son’s three and my other son’s about four months is like, what we’re doing is what we’re doing, right? Like I don’t think playing in the dirt is fun, but that’s what he thinks is fun. If he can do it for hours and hours, so that’s what we’re doing. Do you know what I mean? That like stillness is just being present and enjoying and finding, you know, experiences in sometimes in the most mundane and ordinary things. And I think one of the things that having kids really teaches you that is such a critical part of stillness is presence and not like you go…so many parents, it’s like, “Oh, now we have to go.”

It’s like, do you really have to go or is this made up thing that you are deciding to do? Can’t you just do this and why don’t you just play? Why don’t you just sit here at the park for three hours instead of running? You know, you think this other thing is more educational and important, but really like sitting here playing in the sand is teaching all sorts of lessons. So I think I learned a lot of presence from parenting and that’s been an important part of stillness in my own life. And you brought up that idea of burnout. Like people think, Oh, I can’t afford stillness. I’m busy. I’ve got a company to run, I have money to make. I’ve books to write, a blog to keep you know, I have a career I’m trying to advance in.

Well, if you ended up working so hard that you work yourself into an early grave, that’s not good for your career, right? If you work so hard that it sucks all the joy and love that you had out of what you were doing, and so you wanna quit, that’s not good for your career. If an athlete is so unable to balance and pace themselves that they injured themselves, that’s not good for their career. Look at Kevin Garnett. He or, sorry, not Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant. He hurt himself in the playoffs this year. He was recovering. Against doctor’s advice, he rushed back. He played like for like eight minutes in one of the games in the finals and blew out his leg and is now missing an entire season. So, you know, we say we wanna be there for our kids. We wanna provide for them, but if we actively injure ourselves mentally or physically because we can’t find a balance and we are incapable of moderation, one of those keystone virtues, well that’s pretty self-defeating.

Katie: So for you, personally, as both a business owner and a parent, what are some of the ways that these ideas of stoicism manifest in your daily life in a practical way? So how do you implement some of these? What are your own strategies?

Ryan: Sure. Well, give you some, I think some strategies that I’ve tried to practice that I think will be helpful for cultivating stillness and make people a better parent and a more stoic one. Number one is…this comes from Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill said the most important thing that a powerful public person needs to have. He said a good hobby. You need to have hobbies that balance you out, right? You can’t just be all about work. You can’t just be all about family, right? How many stay-at-home moms live and die by their kids and that’s why they hold onto them so tightly and why they get so wrapped up and say their personal lives or, you know, trying to bribe their kids way into college or whatever. It’s like, no, you should have been painting Martha or you should have, you know, gotten into doing triathlons and that would’ve been a good outlet for some of that energy, right. And allowed you to have some more balance and perspective with your kids.

So for me, and this ties into a second part of stoicism like physical exercise almost enduring or seeking out suffering in your life. So I try to swim or run every single day. And that exercise I think makes me a better dad. This morning I gave a talk here in Austin. And so I had to take my son to daycare, in pre-K and then I had to go do this talk and I had to be there by 10:00. And then I’ve been in recording interviews and preparing for the book launch all day. So it was a busy day, right? But it was important for me to exercise. So I got up at 6:30. I did some of my work. My son woke up at 7:30 and I took him on a four mile run in a stroller. And so that was our time together in the morning when we talked. We had fun, we were out in nature, but I was also taking care of myself. Sometimes when we do it in a bike, you know, sometimes I carry him in a backpack, but we experienced that morning together. And I think it’s really important.

Another important habit, and I know you’ve talked about this before, but like the power of journaling. You’re gonna wish in 20 years that you wrote down some of the memories and the experiences that you have while raising your kids, or just that you journaled the difficulties and the tough times that you had. And so, you know, we’re gonna want those journals in the future and your kids and your grandkids and your great grandkids will be grateful, you know, to look at those journals 50 years from now, 100 years from now. And so I’d encourage everyone to grab a notebook and try to jot a few thoughts in it every single day. So those are just be a couple straightforward strategies that I think are pretty practical and usable.

Katie: Those are great.

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Katie: And to circle back to something you said earlier when you were talking about “The Obstacle is the Way,” I think that’s another really profound mental shift that is especially beneficial in our specific period of time. I think at least the social media world that I see people are so easily angered and emotions skyrocket and they escalate and people build on each other for that. And I think that mindset shift of away from the idea that any obstacle is bad and actually to the idea that an obstacle can be very good is really profound. Are there any ways that you, like tangible ways you get people to start implementing that mindset shift because it is a big one?

Ryan: Well, you know, there’s this expression that’s become so popular now. People are like, oh, that’s trigger. You know, you’re like, “I’m triggered.” You know, and we wanna like we wanna sensor unpleasant or offensive viewpoints. And look, I’m not saying anyone should say anything offensive. Like, I try not to hurt people’s feelings. I don’t wanna be rude. I don’t like to just say mean or hurtful things for the sake of it. But I also, at the end of the day, think truth is important and I am not a fan of censorship. So like the idea that we should be teaching our kids to shout “trigger”, you know, that you’re triggering me and close their ears, you know what that’s doing? That’s setting them up to be hurt more because they’re more vulnerable to those things because they have no experience.

Adam Carolla, who I think is hilarious. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I think he’s hilarious. You know, he gave this great talk. I think he was testified before Congress and he was talking about this sort of censorship. It’s popular on college campuses. And he was like, look, this is the parents’ fault. You know, he’s like, this is like parents who have given their kids really bad allergies by not exposing them to things, right? By keeping your kids sheltered, by not, you know, by no nuts allowed or you know, like by overprotecting them, you’re actually made them incredibly vulnerable. By not letting them play in the dirt, they’ve not gotten the antibodies and the sort of exposure to things that they need to build up in a strong immune system.

And so I think one of the things we’ve gotta be really careful with as parents is not sheltering our kids from all the bad offensive things. Like people go, What should I tell my kids about what Donald Trump said on television? What should I say about these, you know, vulgar television shows?” Well, you should have an intelligent adult conversation with your kids about why certain things shouldn’t be said, why it reflects poorly on the person who said them, what it means, you know. It’s your impulse to block them from the unpleasantness of life that will ultimately make life much more unpleasant for them once they leave your house.

Katie: So true. And I love that you brought that up about allergies because that’s been, I think a shift that’s finally happening in the nutrition world is that for so long they had pregnant moms avoid allergens like nuts and avoid giving them to kids and it actually made the kids more likely to have allergies. And now the science is saying actually early careful introduction is much more effective and important. And so we’re starting to see that. And the same with dirt and like how we now know of kids play in the dirt and have pets in the home, they’re less likely to have allergies and less likely to have problems. And then how much of a metaphor for life that is like we can’t protect our kids from the emotionally tough things in the world either. A friend of mine, Aaron Alexander has a quote, he said, “Never waste a trigger.” And he goes onto how that shows you something really important about yourself. Like if someone else doing something that’s not directly aimed at you as causing you to have some kind of really strong emotional reaction, turn that around and figure out why because that’s really enlightening thing to look at.

Ryan: I just wrote that down, never waste a trigger. That’s so good. Well look, and you might agree, you might disagree with this which I, I would be perfectly fine to hear it, but like one of the things like my wife doesn’t eat gluten. I try to eat sort of mostly Paleo, the whole 30, I don’t eat a ton of gluten, but we let our son eat gluten. Like obviously as he gets a little bit older and is sort of more nutritional health matters. Like if he was an athlete or something, we’re gonna try to eat healthy and we don’t just like make him sandwiches all the time. But we didn’t wanna be the parent that says like, don’t give my kid pizza at this party, right? Because one, we didn’t want to be that. But also we know we can’t be there preventing him from eating a cupcake or a cookie at school if someone gives it to him.

So we wanna make sure that he has an, you know, the first five years of his life, he didn’t grow up in a bubble just because we eat healthy and we know what’s good or bad. We wanted to make sure he was prepared for a world in which, you know, stuff gets slipped in your food or you feel pressured to eat something because you don’t want to upset people or somebody doesn’t know. And are you making a mistake? We didn’t want that to be the first time that he, you know, eats this or that and it throws his whole body into shock. We wanted him to have the freedom to know, you know, does that make sense or is that crazy?

Katie: Absolutely. No, and I’m right there 100% with you. I actually invested in a company that’s doing the research on early introduction, introducing gluten, peanuts and dairy to babies starting at six months when they get food, but in very small doses and building because of that exact thing. If they’re not exposed at all, and I’m the same way, I eat, almost never eat those things. I almost never eat gluten or dairy or processed food in general, but I don’t forbid my kids from it and I don’t tell them they can’t eat things and when they’re out in public, they 100% make their own choices about food. And my thought is at home I’m responsible for cooking for the family and I’m gonna cook what I believe to be healthy and good for them. But I’m also not gonna control them when they’re not there. Because if anything, it’s like when you, you know, an alcohol is this completely forbidden thing, then they more likely, you know, to consume that when they’re older. And so having those conversations about it, certainly educating about why they might choose not to do those things, but not forbidding it because I think that can make them more likely to actually want to try the thing.

Ryan: That’s a great point. Yeah. And you don’t like, I think it’s important with kids like, eh, I don’t wanna give them any issues regarding food. Do you know what I mean? Like, I don’t wanna make food an obsession in their lives. I don’t wanna give them body or you know, mental issues pertaining to food. I want them to eat when they’re hungry, eat reasonably, you know. I just, and then we’ll handle it when they’re a little bit more capable of having an adult discussion about it. But I think you’re right. This is a great metaphor for parenting and for life in general. Like I think with this college admission scandal, like introduced a new term to me. Like I was familiar with helicopter parents, right? You don’t wanna be the parent that’s constantly hovering, making sure they don’t fall down, you know, being way too involved in their business, always watching, always observing, spying on them, whatever. That’s helicopter parenting and it’s bad for a lot of reasons.

But what these parents were, was snowplow parents. That’s what I heard. They were constantly, they were in front of their kids removing obstacles, removing difficulties. So they always had a clear and pleasant path to wherever they wanted to go. And that involved cheating on the SATs, that involved bribing their way into college. These kids never experienced difficulty failure, setback. The parents removed obstacles and then wondered why the kids were so fragile and you know, didn’t thrive. And so the job of the parent is not to prevent your kid from experiencing adversity. It’s to equip the kid to know how to respond to adversity because what’s a better strategy for life? Pretend that you can always be there and always eliminate obstacles or help raise and instruct a kid so obstacles never slow them down more than they need to.

Katie: Wow. Yeah, I heard that term as well, snowplow parent. And I feel like I’d be the complete opposite of that because when I look at my own life, I realize a lot of my accomplishments have come as almost a direct result of obstacles and overcoming those obstacles. And some of those things I had to work through where things I would certainly never wish on my child. But obviously as parents we wish our children every success and happiness in life. And that’s something I’ve really wrestled with as a parent is how do I, like, how do I hopefully give them those same skills and lessons without them hopefully having to go through some of those hard things that I did. And also realizing as a parent I can’t purposely make their life hard. That kinda goes against parenting.

And so for us, we tried to find ways to build in natural good challenges in ways that we can tackle as a family and that might be travel, that might be tackling new skills together, like handstands or whatever it may be. I’m curious how you guys approach that with your kids as they start to get older. How do you approach the idea of obstacles and equipping them for those things and also, giving them chances to fail and have obstacles?

Ryan: Well, that’s a funny thing cause I’ve heard from lots of people, adults since the book was written and they go, you know, “Does that mean I should seek out obstacles?” And it’s like, what life is gonna throw enough obstacles at you that you, I don’t know, you need to go seek them out. But I do think making sure that we’re not actively preventing those obstacles from happening is really important for kids and also, putting them in positions or giving them experiences that force them to learn. So like, I think it’s interesting, like obviously you wanna be cognitive of say choking, but like the idea that that you should give two craps what the toy box says, the suggested age for a toy is to me is hilarious. Like, I’m gonna give my kids the toys that challenge them, that make them that they have to figure out. I’m not gonna give them the simplest, easiest toys. Like, that’s not how you learn. That’s not how you get better. You get better by being put out of your comfort zone, by having to figure things out.

So yeah, we’re constant. Like our, you know, our kid was swimming from like, you know, three months on where he likes to wear a life jacket, but we encourage him to swim without a life jacket when we’re in the pool because, you know, if we let him in our pool in a life jacket, we find that the next couple times he’s swimming without a life jacket, he’s too brazen and his skills have atrophied, right? Because he’s gotten used to just jumping in off the side and not having to swim back to the side, right? And so we’re constantly trying to put him in challenging situations and experiences, not like throwing up obstacles in his path, but sort of like you’ve done with your kids. And I’ve seen them, they’re wonderful. Like they’re out there exploring outside, you know, their free range or whatever the expression is, because that’s what’s gonna put them in a position to naturally experience obstacles that they grow and learn from.

Katie: Yeah, exactly. And I think there’s also ways as parents, we can easily let build an obstacles in the form of just natural consequences by not problem solving for them, like you said, or not doing things for them when they could have done it themselves. So for instance, like with our kids, if they don’t like a food that I cook, they don’t have to eat it, but they’re not getting anything else. And our thought is that hunger is a great natural teacher and that is, you know, an obstacle that’s not life-threatening in any way that they will gladly overcome by the next meal. But that they can learn from that scenario. Or now that they all do their own laundry, if they don’t do their laundry, they don’t have clothes, and that’s an obstacle they’ve created and then they have to solve because I’m not gonna solve that problem for them. And so I think you’re right, like all of those things, if we just build in those lessons, life certainly throws plenty of them at all of us.

Ryan: Yeah, I think that’s right. I think that’s right. And not solving the problems for them when they come to you with a, “Hey, fix this.” And it’s like, you know how to fix this. You show me how to fix it. And I think that’s really important.

Katie: So one of the critiques I’ve heard of stoicism is that it’s an ancient philosophy and how can it actually, you know, fit into modern times and that these philosophers didn’t chase a lot of this stuff that we face in the modern world, which I’ll agree with that point. They didn’t deal with social media trolls and they didn’t deal with the constant demands of all of the things that necessarily hit us in modern life. But I’m just curious your take on that. When you hear people say like, you know, how does stoicism really fit in the modern world?

Ryan: To me, people are people. And the more things have changed over the passage of history and time, fundamentally, the more they’ve stayed the same, right? Marcus Aurelius had like 9 or 10 kids, you know, he ran an empire. He had people who worked for him. You know, if he was cold in the winter and hot in the summer, you know he dealt with critics. He dealt with fans, you know, he dealt with plans that he had that fell apart. He was trying to solve the problems of existence just like we are. And he was coming at it from a position of great privilege, which many of us have, right? We’re lucky to be born in America. We’re lucky not to be impoverished. You know, we’re lucky to have our health.

On the other side of the stoke spectrum, there’s Epictetus and Epictetus was a former slave. He was disabled. His leg was sort of all but useless and he walked with a limp all of his life. And yet he was the other famous stoic philosopher so much so that he was probably Marcus’s favorite philosopher. And he has all sorts of interesting things to say about those experiences, which are timeless as well. How many people are disabled? How many people have come from less than desirable circumstances? How many people have anger and resentment about things that people have done to them? Right? Stoicism is ultimately a philosophy that’s I think applicable to whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are. Because ultimately those virtues we talked about earlier on, temperance, courage, wisdom, justice, we all need more of these things. And the ancient world has a lot to teach us about them just like the research that we’ve done, you know, in psychology and biology and neuroscience has a lot to teach the Stoics, right?

Like Marcus would have been a better parent, I’m sure if he had John Bowlby’s, you know, breakthroughs about attachment theory pertaining to kids. Maybe his kid, Commodus, wouldn’t have been so messed up if Marcus probably hadn’t had and, you know, had a closer, more involved relationship with him. So it’s not to say stoicism is perfect. No. Nothing is perfect and everything, you know, from the past has biased and flawed assumptions. The stoics didn’t have a problem with slavery, right? Even Epictetus who was a slave never seems to have questioned whether as institution that was okay or not, right? So there’s a lot that needs to be updated within stoicism and I kind of tried to do that in my books, but the idea that you would write it off just because it’s all this ridiculous. The Magna Carta is old, the Constitution is old, you know, Christianity is old. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of good ideas in those things.

Katie: I completely agree. And another thing that you have is you have these coins that I actually keep with me all the time now. Yeah. I have memento mori and I have a amor fati. And so I took Latin all the way through high school and I love Latin phrases, but I love if you could just kind of give us an overview of those two specifically because I just find them really helpful in my own life. And I think it’s so cool that you made those.

Ryan: So I have those two coins. I have in my left pocket, I have the memento mori coin and it comes from an ancient stoic practice. The idea of meditating on your mortality on the back as a quote from Marcus Aurelius, he says, “You could leave life right now let that determine what you do and say and think. And so I think about that always, and I made this coin for Daily Stoke. You can see it if you’ve got a daily stoke.com/store. But the idea of the coin is like a reminder that…a physical reminder can reach in my pocket and touch it. I can spin it around on the table and it’s a reminder to me constantly not to take life for granted and not to take anyone for granted.

One of the, I think the most provocative exercises in all this stoicism, and this might trigger some moms listening, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus both said that as you tuck your child into bed at night, you should say to yourself this could be the last time that I see them. You know, that they might not make it to the morning. The idea of thinking that your children are mortal is so repugnant and so terrifying that we don’t wanna do it. But the purpose of that exercise is not to detach from your children. It’s to not just go through the motions as you’re tucking them down, not to take them for granted, not to hold a grudge, not to yell at them because they’re, you know, putting on their pajamas too slowly or to get upset that they, you know, they spilled their food on the way into the bedroom or to take it personally that they yelled or got frustrated with, you know, like, enjoy this. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t take anyone for granted. We do not possess the people that we love. They can be taken from us at any moment. And this is an essential part of stoicism.

And then in my other pocket, I have amor fati, which it comes from that other metaphor from Marcus Aurelius we talked about earlier, the idea that, you know, he says what you throw in front of a fire is fuel for the fire. Amor Fati means you just love everything that happens. You embrace all of it. Your family is stuck at the airport for three hours because your flight is delayed. You can sit there and complain or you can go, this is the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m gonna say yes to this and we’re gonna have a fun family experience. Or at the very least, I’m just not gonna yell at anyone. You know, I’m not gonna take this personally. I’m not gonna get upset by it. Just gonna accept it and I’m gonna enjoy it as best I can. And so this idea of memento mori and amor fati to me are two critical practices to parenting, to life, to entrepreneurship because I mean, what else are you gonna do?

Katie: I love both of those so much. And okay, so I always love to ask book recommendations at the end of interviews and your books are actually some of my most recommended, but I’m curious what books besides your own you have really taking like life lessons from or have really been foundational for you?

Ryan: Yeah, so I’ll give you a couple. I think some of these kind of pertain to stoicism. Some of them pertain to parenting. One of my favorite books is a book written by a woman named Totto-Chan who is sort of like the Ellen of Japan. And she wrote this memoir of growing up in Japan as a young girl during the Second World War called “The Little Girl at the Window.” And it’s about this sort of untraditional education that she had, this wonderful school principal who embraced her strangeness and weirdness. She’s clearly a kid with ADHD is what you would call it now. But this teacher instead of trying to change her, embraced her and encouraged her to be who she was, and it’s one of my favorite books and I just absolutely love it. I would recommend “Antifragile” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I think that’s an important one. I think that’s what we’re trying to do with kids is not raise fragile kids, but kids who are strong and resilient.

I really like “The Second Mountain” by David Brooks, which I read recently, which is like, so the first mountain we try to climb as career success that’s being famous, that’s being rich. But it says the second mountain is your family is the impact that you have on your community. It’s what you do for other people. It’s figuring out why you were actually put on this planet and what kind of impact and difference you can make. That’s a really important one. And then I have one that I think Seth would like that I just found out about recently. I didn’t know Herbert Hoover, the president, you know, the guy who basically didn’t respond right to the great depression happened to have written a book called “Fishing for Fun” and the subtitle is “How to Wash Your Soul.” And he wrote a book about the therapeutic philosophical and spiritual benefits efficient. And I just I thought it was beautiful. We have a little lake behind our house and I’d love to go out there and fish and my son fishes with me even though he’s three and it’s totally true. You never come back from fishing worse off than you did before you came, even if you don’t catch anything,

Katie: I love all of those and I’ll make sure they are in the show notes as along with links to the Daily Dad and all of your books and all of your sites. But where can people find you online if they wanna follow your work and stay in touch?

Ryan: Well, that would be really cool if they did. So I’m @ryanholiday on pretty much all social platforms. You can go to dailystoic.com/email if you want an email inspired by stoicism every day, dailydad.com if you want a parenting email each day. And then I hope they check out “Stillness is the Key” which is available in bookstores everywhere starting October 1st.

Katie: Awesome. And I got a pre-release copy, which I was really grateful to get and I highly recommend that you guys, it’s awesome. I think it’s especially like we talked about, applicable to parents and I think it’s a really important message in today’s world. But Ryan, like I said at the beginning, you are one of my favorite authors and I have looked up to you for a long time. So I’m really grateful that you took the time to be here today to share with the audience. And I love that we took such a parenting direction because I think that’s such a perfect and applicable way to talk about stoicism.

Ryan: Well, thank you. And I’m so glad. That was very nice of you. I’m so glad we met at John Durant’s event and that I overheard you talking about where you live because that’s a place that my wife and I visited a lot and it happened. I think that’s why we connected and here we are talking. So it’s awesome. And Samantha says hello. I just texted her to say we were talking and she says hello and hopes you’re doing awesome.

Katie: Oh, I love it. And tell her hi for me and your little ones as well. And thank you for your time today and thanks all of you for listening and sharing your time with us today. We’re so grateful that you did and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama” podcast.

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288: Breakthrough Solutions for Anxiety, Depression and PTSD With Apollo Founder Dr. David Rabinhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/david-rabin/ Mon, 30 Sep 2019 11:00:12 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=419069 clean no 01:05:07 Katie Wells 287: How to Create and Rekindle Passion & Libido in Relationships With Susan Brattonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/susan-bratton/ Mon, 23 Sep 2019 11:00:31 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=418773 clean no 00:58:46 Katie Wells 286: Create a Dashboard for Your Life With Dan Pardi From Human OShttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/human-os/ Mon, 16 Sep 2019 11:00:57 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=418617 clean no 01:02:49 Katie Wells 285: How to Have a Miracle Morning and Organize Your Day With Hal Elrodhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/hal-elrod/ Mon, 09 Sep 2019 11:00:35 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=418448 clean no 01:05:31 Katie 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Thai Cabadoshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ionized-water/ Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:00:58 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402806 clean no 00:43:59 Katie Wells 247: Vaccine Injuries, Autism, and Homeoprophylaxis With Dr. Jeff Knighthttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/jeff-knight/ Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:00:54 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402742 clean no 00:48:57 Katie Wells 246: What Women Need to Know About Heart Health With Dr. Mark Menolascinohttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/menolascino/ Mon, 08 Apr 2019 11:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402705 clean no 00:52:44 Katie Wells 245: Ari Whitten on Fighting Fatigue and Anxiety With Sauna, Hormesis, NRF2 & Sun Exposurehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/fighting-fatigue/ Thu, 04 Apr 2019 11:00:54 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402627 clean no 01:08:59 Katie Wells 244: Debunking Probiotic Myths With Just Thrive Founder Tina Andersonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/just-thrive/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:00:25 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402523 clean no 01:01:35 Katie Wells 243: Using an Adrenal ReCode to Calm the Nervous System With Christa Orecchiohttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/adrenal-recode/ Thu, 28 Mar 2019 11:00:59 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402404 clean no 00:56:54 Katie Wells 242: Fighting Thyroid Disease With Food & Recipes for Thyroid Health From Dr. Izabella Wentzhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/izabella-wentz/ Mon, 25 Mar 2019 11:00:48 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402293 clean no 00:55:13 Katie Wells 241: Biohacking for Moms, Anti-Aging & Raising Amazing Kids With Ben Greenfieldhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ben-greenfield/ Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:00:20 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402190 clean no 00:54:43 Katie Wells 240: How Ethical Businesses Are Changing the World With Thrive Market Founder Nick Greenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/nick-green/ Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:00:25 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402087 clean no 00:59:15 Katie Wells 239: How Biological Medicine Is Changing Health (& How to Try It in Switzerland!)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/robyn-openshaw/ Thu, 14 Mar 2019 11:00:12 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=402014 clean no 00:59:14 Katie Wells 238: Using Neuroplasticity to Rewire Nervous System or Brain Disorders With Carol Garner-Houstonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/carol-garner-houston/ Mon, 11 Mar 2019 11:00:19 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401942 clean no 00:58:26 Katie Wells 237: World Travel With Kids, Worldschooling & Entrepreneurship With Wonderling Familyhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/wonderling-family/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:00:36 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401862 clean no 00:56:45 Katie Wells 236: Facts vs. Myths About Blue Zones & Ways to Increase Longevityhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/longevity/ Mon, 04 Mar 2019 11:00:37 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401664 clean no 00:57:53 Katie Wells 235: Signs of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction & How to Stop Pelvic Pain Naturally With Isa Herrerahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/isa-herrera/ Thu, 28 Feb 2019 11:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401669 clean no 00:53:26 Katie Wells 234: The Keto-Green Way to Optimize Hormones & Libido With Dr. Anna Cabecahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/keto-green/ Mon, 25 Feb 2019 11:00:59 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401612 clean no 00:55:54 Katie Wells 233: Decoding Childhood Allergies and Letting Kids Get Dirty With Dr. Amy Shahhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/amy-shah/ Thu, 21 Feb 2019 11:00:40 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401470 clean no 00:55:09 Katie Wells 232: Lessons Learned From Finland: 8 Things We Can All Learnhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/finland/ Mon, 18 Feb 2019 11:00:05 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401295 clean no 00:53:57 Katie Wells 231: Conquering & Avoiding Breast Cancer With the 7 Essentials System From Dr. Vhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dr-v/ Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:00:06 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401241 clean no 00:54:13 Katie Wells 230: Chalene Johnson on How to Protect Your Mindset & Live a Balanced Lifehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/chalene-johnson/ Mon, 11 Feb 2019 11:00:31 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401063 clean no 00:50:37 Katie Wells 229: How to Use Atomic Habits to Change Your Lifehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/atomic-habits/ Thu, 07 Feb 2019 11:00:57 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401062 clean no 00:59:15 Katie Wells 228: Using Buddies in My Belly to Teach Kids About Healthhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/buddies-in-my-belly/ Mon, 04 Feb 2019 11:00:25 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=401016 clean no 00:49:16 Katie Wells 227: Using the Metabolism Reset Diet to Support Liver Healthhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/metabolism-reset-diet/ Thu, 31 Jan 2019 11:00:33 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=400874 clean no 00:58:58 Katie Wells 226: Science-Backed Reasons to Ditch the Pill (& What to Do Instead) With Dr. Jolene Brightenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/jolene-brighten/ Mon, 28 Jan 2019 11:00:52 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=400730 clean no 01:02:33 Katie Wells 225: How a New SafetyPin Technology Can Keep Your Family Saferhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/safetypin/ Thu, 24 Jan 2019 11:00:47 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=400674 clean no 00:44:07 Katie Wells 224: How to Use Sound and Music to Optimize Focus and Sleep With Brain.fmhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/brain-fm/ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 11:00:33 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=400584 clean no 00:46:41 Katie Wells 223: Mindset for Moms – Tips to Get More Done & Stress Less This Yearhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/mindset-for-moms/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:28 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=400426 clean no 00:54:19 Katie Wells 222: Why ButcherBox Is Bringing Back Grass-Fed Meat With Mike Salguerohttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/butcher-box/ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:00:33 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=400349 clean no 00:54:10 Katie Wells 221: Natural Movement, Sustainable Fitness, and Lifelong Health With Dr. Mark Cucuzzellahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/mark-cucuzzella/ Thu, 10 Jan 2019 11:00:39 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398903 clean no 01:04:40 Katie Wells 220: The Most Effective Way to Use CBD (& Why So Many Don’t Work) With Ojai Energeticshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ojai-energetics/ Mon, 07 Jan 2019 11:00:37 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398594 clean no 01:19:41 Katie Wells 219: Why Everything We Know About Probiotics Is Wrong & How to Stop Leaky Gut With Microbiologist Kiran Krishnanhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/kiran-krishnan/ Thu, 03 Jan 2019 11:00:37 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398582 clean no 01:20:03 Katie Wells 218: Happy New Year: 21 Tiny Habits That Can Drastically Change Your Life This Yearhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/happy-new-year/ Mon, 31 Dec 2018 11:00:04 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398260 clean no 00:32:50 Katie Wells 217: Do Saunas Work? Understanding the Benefits With Sunlighten Founder Connie Zackhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/sunlighten/ Thu, 27 Dec 2018 11:00:33 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398259 clean no 01:00:31 Katie Wells 216: A Look Back: 9 Powerful Lessons I Learned the Hard Way This Yearhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/powerful-lessons/ Mon, 24 Dec 2018 11:00:50 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398258 clean no 00:33:34 Katie Wells 215: Breaking Financial Stress to Create Wealth and Wellth for Life With Krisstina Wisehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/krisstina-wise/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 13:52:29 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398153 clean no 01:03:46 Katie Wells 214: Using Mindset and Personalization to Make Lifelong Health Changes With Dane Johnsonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dane-johnson/ Mon, 17 Dec 2018 11:00:32 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398086 clean no 01:00:14 Katie Wells 213: Making Food Allergy Prevention Easier With Ready, Set, Food!https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ready-set-food/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:00:24 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=398029 clean no 01:01:24 Katie Wells 212: How to Release Cravings and Emotional Eating With EFThttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/emotional-eating/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 11:00:47 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=397934 clean no 00:54:51 Katie Wells 211: How to Boost Your Adrenals and Cleanse Using Food With Dr. Alejandro Jungerhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/junger/ Thu, 06 Dec 2018 18:18:44 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=397813 clean no 00:51:00 Katie Wells 210: Why Most Detox Methods Are Dangerous & What to Do Instead With Dr. Shayne Morrishttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/shayne-morris/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 11:00:38 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=397674 clean no 01:03:46 Katie Wells 209: Sun Protection and Anti-Aging From the Inside Out With Polypodium Leucotomoshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/polypodium-leucotomos/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:26:45 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=397557 clean no 00:56:03 Katie Wells 208: Understanding Superbugs & Antibiotic Resistance With Marjory Wildcrafthttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/marjory-wildcraft/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 11:00:54 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=397487 clean no 01:05:17 Katie Wells 207: Santa Sold Shrooms? The Untold Story of St. Nick (& How to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays) With Tero Isokauppilahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/santa-sold-shrooms/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 11:00:47 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396937 clean no 00:44:18 Katie Wells 206: Your Parenting Mojo on Why We Need to Let Our Kids Take More Riskshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/parenting-mojo/ Mon, 19 Nov 2018 11:00:33 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396793 clean no 00:52:35 Katie Wells 205: Everything You Need to Know About GMOs, Glyphosate, and Gut Health With Dr. Zach Bushhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/zach-bush/ Thu, 15 Nov 2018 11:00:11 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396788 clean no 01:05:06 Katie Wells 204: The Rise of Autoimmune Disease (& How to Thrive Even If You Have It) With Dr. Guillermo Ruizhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/guillermo-ruiz/ Mon, 12 Nov 2018 11:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396734 clean no 01:03:39 Katie Wells 203: Hidden EMF Dangers and How to Mitigate Them With Geobiologist Brian Hoyerhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/brian-hoyer/ Thu, 08 Nov 2018 11:00:26 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396559 clean no 00:51:51 Katie Wells 202: How Footwear Affects Posture, Alignment, & Movement With Gordon Hay From ALINEhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/aline/ Mon, 05 Nov 2018 11:00:57 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396496 clean no 01:04:06 Katie Wells 201: Understanding Fasting & Keto for Women (Even During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding) + Instant Pot Tipshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/instant-pot-tips/ Thu, 01 Nov 2018 11:00:19 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396264 clean no 00:54:03 Katie Wells 200th Episode – Most Important Thing for Healthhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/200th-episode/ Mon, 29 Oct 2018 11:00:56 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=396165 clean no 01:02:39 Katie Wells 199: How Diet Directly Affects Mental Health With Autumn Smith of Paleovalleyhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/paleovalley/ Thu, 25 Oct 2018 11:00:41 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395797 clean no 00:50:52 Katie Wells 198: How to Be Green Enough & Avoid the Worst Offenders in Your Home With Leah Segediehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/green-enough/ Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:00:53 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395795 clean no 00:58:31 Katie Wells 197: The Opposite of Being Spoiled: Raising Financially Responsible Kids With Ron Lieberhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ron-lieber/ Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:00:09 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395685 clean no 00:52:24 Katie Wells 196: How the Modern World Is Changing Our Hormones (& How to Create a Balance Plan)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/balance-plan/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:00:48 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395620 clean no 00:59:22 Katie Wells 195: Saunacast: A Huge Announcement from Mommypotamus & Wellness Mamahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/mommypotamus/ Thu, 11 Oct 2018 12:38:54 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395586 clean no 00:54:14 Katie Wells 194: Longevity, Autoimmunity, & Plant-Based Diets With Nora Gedgaudashttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/nora-gedgaudas/ Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:00:20 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395495 clean no 01:05:13 Katie Wells 193: How to Protect Your Family From the Rise of 5G & Other EMFshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/5g/ Thu, 04 Oct 2018 11:00:27 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395354 clean no 00:57:12 Katie Wells 192: How to Avoid Rushing Woman Syndrome & Balance Hormones With Dr. Sonya Jensenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/sonya-jensen/ Mon, 01 Oct 2018 11:00:40 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395281 clean no 00:52:37 Katie Wells 191: Understanding How Gaming Disorder & Gaming Addiction Are Affecting Our Kidshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/gaming-disorder/ Thu, 27 Sep 2018 11:00:41 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395222 clean no 01:17:02 Katie Wells 190: The Easiest Way to Track HRV, Sleep, and Movement With Oura Ringhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/oura-ring/ Mon, 24 Sep 2018 11:00:28 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=395164 clean no 00:58:18 Katie Wells 189: How Red Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation Works & How to Get the Benefits With Joovvhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/joovv/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 04:52:52 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387578 clean no 00:46:41 Katie Wells 188: Saunacast: How We Took Control of Our Healthcare and Insurance (& Saved Money)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/saunacast-healthcare/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:00:48 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387539 clean no 00:35:31 Katie Wells 187: A Whole Life Challenge to Improve Your Life in Small Daily Stepshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/whole-life-challenge/ Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:00:54 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387441 clean no 0:00 Katie Wells 186: Carnivore Diet, Ketosis, Macros, & Diet Variation With Dr. Anthony Gustinhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/carnivore-diet/ Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:00:57 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387397 clean no 0:00 Katie Wells 185: How to Get Lab Tests at Home & Take Charge of Your Own Health With EverlyWellhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/everlywell/ Thu, 06 Sep 2018 13:00:38 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387339 clean no 0:00 Katie Wells 184: Meta Learning, Speed Reading, & How to Learn Faster With Jim Kwikhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/jim-kwik/ Mon, 03 Sep 2018 13:00:43 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387322 clean no 0:00 Katie Wells 183: Is Fluoride the Hidden Cause of Acne? (& What to Do About It)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/acne-hidden-cause/ Thu, 30 Aug 2018 13:00:29 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387229 clean no 0:00 Katie Wells 182: Why You Need to Exercise Differently If You Have Autoimmune Disease (& How) With Autoimmune Stronghttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/autoimmune-strong/ Mon, 27 Aug 2018 13:00:12 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=387181 clean no 0:00 Katie Wells 181: How to Find Truly Natural & Non-Toxic Products With Marilee Nelsonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/natural-non-toxic-products/ Thu, 23 Aug 2018 13:00:14 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=386835 clean no 01:09:49 Katie Wells 180: How Hidden Elements in Your Home Affect Your Mood & Health With Branch Basics Founder Marilee Nelsonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/branch-basics/ Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:00:09 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=386655 clean no 01:42:16 Katie Wells 179: Understanding DNA Damage & How to Reverse It With NanoVihttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/nanovi/ Thu, 16 Aug 2018 13:00:59 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=386026 clean no 00:48:28 Katie Wells 178: A Pediatrician Explains How EMF Kill Switches Can Protect Our Childrenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/emf-kill-switch/ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:00:02 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=386291 clean no 00:58:38 Katie Wells 177: Why (Almost) Everything You Know About Dental Health Is Wrong With Periodontist Dr. Al Danenberghttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dr-danenberg/ Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:00:03 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=386021 clean no 01:04:01 Katie Wells 176: Heather Chauvin on Letting Go of Mom Guilt, Ending Tantrums, & Mindful Disciplinehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/heather-chauvin/ Mon, 06 Aug 2018 13:00:22 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=385810 clean no 00:53:23 Katie Wells 175: When Natural Doesn’t Mean Safe – Creating Non-Toxic Homes With Green Design Centerhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/green-design-center/ Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:00:00 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=377911 clean no 00:56:46 Katie Wells 174: How to Save Money and Get Better Healthcare With SteadyMDhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/steadymd/ Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:08:39 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=377816 clean no 00:57:25 Katie Wells 173: The Inflammation Model of Chronic Disease With Dr. Jaban Moorehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/jaban-moore/ Mon, 23 Jul 2018 13:00:44 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=377752 clean no 00:57:49 Katie Wells 172: How to Understand Your Genes to Personalize Your Diet With Nutrition Genomehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/nutrition-genome/ Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:00:54 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=369313 clean no 00:52:13 Katie Wells 171: How to Keep Kids Water Safe With Tips From a Water Safety Instructorhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/keep-kids-water-safe/ Thu, 12 Jul 2018 13:00:52 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=369312 clean no 00:50:58 Katie Wells 170: Using Biological Medicine & Uncommon Therapies to Help With Chronic Conditionshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/biological-medicine/ Mon, 09 Jul 2018 13:00:45 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=369254 clean no 00:59:16 Katie Wells 169: From Advanced Stage Cancer to Remission in 7 Months on a Quest to Cure Cancerhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/quest-to-cure-cancer/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:00:51 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=369185 clean no 01:12:09 Katie Wells 168: A Proactive Approach to Aging and Sexual Health and Wellness With HealthWellnessMDhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/healthwellnessmd/ Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:00:17 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=369078 clean no 00:38:36 Katie Wells 167: Lessons We Can Learn from Europe and Natural Wineshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/europe/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:46:55 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=368999 clean no 00:45:52 Katie Wells 166: Understanding Autoimmunity & the Mind/Body Connection With Body Belief Author Aimee Raupphttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/body-belief/ Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:00:32 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=368551 clean no 00:52:01 Katie Wells 165: How to Make Simple Green Smoothies a Daily Habit (Even on a Tight Budget!)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/simple-green-smoothies/ Mon, 11 Jun 2018 13:00:35 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=368291 clean no 00:49:17 Katie Wells 164: Using Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy & Sound Therapy to Improve Health With HealthGAINShttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/healthgains/ Mon, 04 Jun 2018 13:00:27 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=368233 clean no 00:42:45 Katie Wells 163: Fascinating Fungi & How to Use Medicinal Mushrooms With Tero Isokauppilahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/tero-isokauppila/ Mon, 28 May 2018 13:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=367953 clean no 00:57:20 Katie Wells 162: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics – How to Be 10% Happierhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/meditation-for-fidgety-skeptics/ Mon, 21 May 2018 13:00:30 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=367615 clean no 00:38:21 Katie Wells 161: Helping Stop Sex Trafficking & Keeping Kids Safe With Operation Underground Railroadhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/operation-underground-railroad/ Mon, 14 May 2018 13:00:13 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=366946 clean no 00:48:18 Katie Wells 160: What the Heck Should I Actually Eat? With Dr. Mark Hymanhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/mark-hyman/ Mon, 07 May 2018 13:00:49 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=366434 clean no 00:50:44 Katie Wells 159: How Naveen Jain Plans to Fix Education, Make Disease Optional, & Land on the Moonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/naveen-jain/ Thu, 03 May 2018 13:00:18 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=358159 clean no 00:55:10 Katie Wells 158: How to Use Bee Products for Health & Save the Bees with Beekeeper’s Naturalshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/beekeepers-naturals/ Mon, 30 Apr 2018 13:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=357912 clean no 00:52:47 Katie Wells 157: How Music Like Wholetones Can Change the Brain and the Bodyhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/wholetones/ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 13:00:21 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=349307 clean no 00:58:04 Katie Wells 156: Natural Ways to Improve Skin With Andy Hnilo of Alitura Naturalshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/alitura-naturals/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:00:56 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=349280 clean no 00:57:07 Katie Wells 155: Thriving With Food Allergies or Intolerance & Crushing Life With the Paleo Chefhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/paleo-chef/ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:00:19 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=348453 clean no 00:44:42 Katie Wells 154: Understanding and Mitigating EMFs in the Home With Peter Sierck From EMFRFhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/emfrf/ Mon, 16 Apr 2018 13:00:01 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=348450 clean no 00:58:25 Katie Wells 153: How Bioenergetics is Changing the Future of Health – With NES Health Founder Harry Masseyhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/nes-health/ Thu, 12 Apr 2018 13:00:36 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=348041 clean no 00:59:01 Katie Wells 152: Foods for Hormone Balance With Magdalena Wszelakihttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/magdalena-wszelaki/ Mon, 09 Apr 2018 13:00:33 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=347896 clean no 00:49:43 Katie Wells 151: How Brain Harmony is Improving Autism & Sensory Disordershttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/brain-harmony/ Thu, 05 Apr 2018 13:17:06 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=347651 clean no 00:57:53 Katie Wells 150: Debunking Myths About Gallbladder Disease With Deborah Graefer From Gallbladder Attackhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/gallbladder-attack/ Mon, 02 Apr 2018 13:00:43 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=347516 clean no 00:43:57 Katie Wells 149: Saunacast: Genetics, Personalized Medicine & Random Health Experimentshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/genetics-personalized-medicine/ Thu, 29 Mar 2018 13:00:59 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=347377 clean no 00:45:46 Katie Wells 148: Holistic Eye Care & Improving Eyesight Naturally with Dr. Bernehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dr-berne/ Mon, 26 Mar 2018 13:00:30 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=347163 clean no 00:49:20 Katie Wells 147: Using Heart Rate Variability with HeartMath to Stop Stress & Improve Nervous System Healthhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/heartmath/ Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:00:27 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=346547 clean no 00:45:01 Katie Wells 146: Is Chiropractic Safe and How to Detox Safely with Dr. Hardickhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/bj-hardick-chiropractic/ Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:00:24 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=346529 clean no 01:09:15 Katie Wells 145: Algae: The Keto & Vegan Superfood with More Nutrients Than Veggies (& Where to Get It)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/algae-energy/ Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:00:11 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=346290 clean no 00:48:09 Katie Wells 144: What Breath Acetone Can Tell You About Fat Burning, Metabolism & Inflammationhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/levl-breath-acetone/ Mon, 12 Mar 2018 13:00:11 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=346184 clean no 00:43:44 Katie Wells 143: Thomas DeLauer on Reducing Inflammation, Curcumin, Keto for Women, & Easy Weight Losshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/thomas-delauer/ Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:00:52 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=345969 clean no 00:57:53 Katie Wells 142: Is Adrenal Fatigue Real or Just Bad Science? With Ari Whittenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ari-whitten/ Mon, 05 Mar 2018 13:00:48 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=345711 clean no 01:01:57 Katie Wells 141: How to Accept Yourself, Foster Community, & Be Unlimited with Dr. Mark Atkinsonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/be-unlimited/ Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:00:04 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=345255 clean no 00:55:46 Katie Wells 140: How Stem Cells Are Helping People Recover from Injury and Avoid Surgeryhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/stem-cells/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:00:09 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=345417 clean no 00:31:35 Katie Wells 139: Understanding Generational Toxins and Epigenetic Changes with Dr. Mindy Pelzhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/generational-toxins/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:00:04 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=345234 clean no 00:53:23 Katie Wells 138: How to Use Specific & Targeted Essential Oil Blends to Support the Brain & Parasympathetic Nervous Systemhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/essential-oil-blends/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 13:00:40 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=345045 clean no 00:42:23 Katie Wells 137: A Holistic Rx for Keeping Your Whole Family Healthy with Dr. Madiha Saeed, MDhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/holistic-rx/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:00:57 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=344867 clean no 01:00:19 Katie Wells 136: How to Unzip Your Genes to Understand Your Health with Dr. Jennifer Stagghttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/unzip-genes/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 13:00:37 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=344500 clean no 00:48:06 Katie Wells 135: Understanding Genetic Testing, Epigenetics & Genetic Polymorphisms with Dr. Ben Lynchhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ben-lynch/ Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:00:18 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=344298 clean no 00:59:39 Katie Wells 134: Five Benefits of Fasting, Autophagy, Diet Variation & Cellular Healing with Dr. Daniel Pompahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/cellular-healing/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 13:00:20 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=344259 clean no 00:58:37 Katie Wells 133: GMOs, Glyphosate, Organic Food & What’s Making Our Children Sickhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/glyphosate/ Thu, 01 Feb 2018 13:00:31 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=344029 clean no 01:01:11 Katie Wells 132: How to Use Cannabidiol or CBD for Sleep, Hormones, and Healthhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/cannabidiol/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 13:00:56 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=343805 clean no 00:51:12 Katie Wells 131: Sourcing Sustainable Food & Healthy “Fast” Food with The Good Kitchenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/good-kitchen/ Thu, 25 Jan 2018 13:00:58 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=343725 clean no 00:41:11 Katie Wells 130: Biohacking for Moms & Reversing Aging with Bulletproof’s Dave Aspreyhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dave-asprey-biohacking/ Mon, 22 Jan 2018 13:00:21 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=343578 clean no 00:50:24 Katie Wells 129: Childhood Cancer: Avoidance, Treatment, & Understanding the Odds with My Kid Cures Cancerhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/childhood-cancer/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:00:42 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=343456 clean no 00:51:00 Katie Wells 128: ADD, ADHD & Behavior Challenges with Psychologist and Nutritionist Dr. Nicole Beurkenshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/nicole-beurkens-adhd/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=343352 clean no 00:56:15 Katie Wells 127: Using the Dental Diet to Reverse Dental Problems with Dr. Steven Linhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dental-diet/ Thu, 11 Jan 2018 13:00:32 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=335368 clean no 00:54:27 Katie Wells 126: Dr. Marc Sklar on How to Beat Infertility and Get Pregnant Naturallyhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/marc-sklar/ Mon, 08 Jan 2018 13:00:41 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=335214 clean no 00:52:12 Katie Wells 125: Understanding Food Intolerance & Fighting for Your Family with JJ Virginhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/jj-virgin/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 13:00:52 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=326964 clean no 00:57:43 Katie Wells 124: Happy New Year 2018! Setting Challenges + Experiments Instead of Resolutions (& Sneak Peek)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/new-year/ Mon, 01 Jan 2018 13:00:51 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=326657 clean no 00:31:15 Katie Wells 123: Sharing Gratitude, Joy, and Christmas Family Traditionshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/christmas-family-traditions/ Mon, 25 Dec 2017 12:00:12 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=326531 clean no 00:19:17 Katie Wells 122: A Healthy Baby Is NOT the Only Thing That Matters (& Is Home Birth Safe?)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/healthy-baby/ Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:00:22 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=326429 clean no 01:03:38 Katie Wells 121: Cookware Problems: Understanding What’s Hiding in Most Cookwarehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/cookware-problems/ Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:00:26 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=326333 clean no 00:49:40 Katie Wells 120: A Real-Life Approach to Reducing EMFs with Dr. Libby Darnellhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/reducing-emfs/ Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:00:18 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=326176 clean no 01:04:38 Katie Wells 119: Cyber Security Tips to Keep Your Family Safer Onlinehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/cyber-security-tips/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:00:28 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=326057 clean no 00:43:05 Katie Wells 118: An At-Home Approach to Balancing Thyroid Hormones with McCall McPhersonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/balancing-thyroid-hormones/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:00:36 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=325939 clean no 00:50:32 Katie Wells 117: Fitness at Any Age with Flipping 50s Debra Atkinsonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/debra-atkinson/ Mon, 27 Nov 2017 13:00:19 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=317807 clean no 00:55:43 Katie Wells 116: How to Reboot Your Metabolism Using the Keto Reset Diet With Mark Sissonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/keto-reset-diet/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:00:10 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=317623 clean no 01:01:37 Katie Wells 115: Decoding Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Tom O’Bryanhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/autoimmune-disease-obryan/ Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:00:58 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=302719 clean no 01:12:33 Katie Wells 114: Do We Need to Worry about Radiation and Mercury in Seafood?https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/mercury-in-seafood/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:00:56 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=302520 clean no 00:44:17 Katie Wells 113: Toxic Metals That Cause Fatigue and How to Detox Themhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/detox-toxic-metals/ Mon, 30 Oct 2017 13:00:17 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=294700 clean no 00:49:01 Katie Wells 112: The Only 8 Ingredients Any Cook Needs with Food Scientist Ali Bouzarihttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/culinary-scientist-ali-bouzari/ Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:00:41 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=286236 clean no 00:55:25 Katie Wells 111: Biohacking for Moms – Lessons From the Bulletproof Conferencehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/biohacking-for-moms/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:00:49 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=286219 clean no 00:24:37 Katie Wells 110: How Vibrational Frequencies Affect Our Daily Liveshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/vibrational-frequencies/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:00:45 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=286129 clean no 00:47:31 Katie Wells 109: Vaginal Health, Menopause, and Hormone Therapy With Dr. Anna Cabecahttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/vaginal-health-dr-anna-cabeca/ Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:00:16 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=285815 clean no 00:51:02 Katie Wells 108: Why the Birth Control Pill Screws Up Hormones & What to Use Insteadhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/birth-control-pill-alternatives/ Mon, 02 Oct 2017 13:00:17 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=285679 clean no 00:41:29 Katie Wells 107: Improve Your Brain to Avoid Alzheimer’s, Dementia, & Memory Loss with Dr. Perlmutterhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/memory-loss-dr-perlmutter/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:00:09 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=277896 clean no 00:56:19 Katie Wells 106: Why to Stop Doing Kegels & Squat Instead with Katy Bowmanhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/katy-bowman/ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:00:41 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=277814 clean no 01:00:30 Katie Wells 105: How to Beat Anxiety and Resolve Panic Attacks with Targeted Amino Acidshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/beat-anxiety/ Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:00:26 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=270133 clean no 00:53:43 Katie Wells 104: Uncovering the Root Causes of PCOS, Endometriosis, and Morehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/pcos-root-cause/ Mon, 04 Sep 2017 13:00:35 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269719 clean no 00:41:08 Katie Wells 103: A Professional Organizer Shares How to Beat Clutterhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/professional-organizer/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:00:39 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269664 clean no 00:53:49 Katie Wells 102: How to Stay Safe During Tick Season & Avoid Chronic Lyme Disease with Dr. Jay Davidsonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/chronic-lyme-disease/ Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:00:39 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269634 clean no 00:52:23 Katie Wells 101: Critical Thinking in a Social Media World (What You Didn’t Learn in History Class)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/critical-thinking/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:00:11 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269557 clean no 00:54:28 Katie Wells Episode 100 AMA: Your Questions Answered on Circumcision, Vaccines, CBD & Morehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ama-vaccines-circumcision-cbd/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 13:00:04 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269542 clean no 00:47:31 Katie Wells 99: Using Health Tracking to Discover Your Own Personalized Medicinehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/health-tracking/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:00:45 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269512 clean no 00:57:45 Katie Wells 98: Overcoming Orthorexia with Intuitive, Mindful Eating with Devyn Sissonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/orthorexia-devyn-sisson/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:02 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269447 clean no 00:35:55 Katie Wells 97: OB & Midwife Aviva Romm on PPD, Thyroid Problems, & MTHFRhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/aviva-romm-midwife/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:00:24 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269431 clean no 01:02:58 Katie Wells 96: Using Natural and Traditional Medicine to Fix the Gut Microbiome with Dr. Ken Brownhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ken-brown-atrantil/ Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:00:42 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269404 clean no 00:52:50 Katie Wells 95: The Science of Sustainable Weight Loss with Bright Linehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/sustainable-weight-loss/ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:00:01 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269323 clean no 01:30:33 Katie Wells 94: Low Level Red Light Therapy for Cellular Health and Healinghttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/red-light-therapy/ Mon, 31 Jul 2017 13:00:58 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269304 clean no 00:36:04 Katie Wells 93: How to Avoid the Most Common Fitness Mistakes Women Makehttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/common-fitness-mistakes/ Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:00:59 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269235 clean no 00:51:22 Katie Wells 92: A Holistic Pediatrician Talks Ear Infections, Fevers, & Vaccineshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/holistic-pediatrician/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:00:28 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269209 clean no 00:57:42 Katie Wells 91: Are IVs the Answer to Modern Nutrient Deficiencies with Dr. Craig Koniverhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/craig-koniver/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:00:02 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269153 clean no 00:47:29 Katie Wells 90: A Mind Of Your Own: Tackling Mental Illness and Fixing Hormones with Dr. Kelly Broganhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/kelly-brogan/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:00:11 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=269088 clean no 01:26:21 Katie Wells 89: Why Sleep Is More Important Than Diet and Exercise Combined with Shawn Stevensonhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/shawn-stevenson/ Thu, 13 Jul 2017 13:00:14 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=268976 clean no 01:07:35 Katie Wells 88: Pregnancy Exercise, Diastasis, and Pelvic Floor Health with Lorraine Scapenshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/pregnancy-exercise/ Mon, 10 Jul 2017 13:00:06 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=268913 clean no 00:53:29 Katie Wells 87: How to Stop Emotional Eating (From a Nutritionist Who Lost 100 Pounds!)https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/stop-emotional-eating/ Mon, 03 Jul 2017 14:18:06 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=267168 clean no 00:52:11 Katie Wells 86: The Science of the Oral Microbiome and Remineralization with Will of OraWellnesshttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/orawellness/ Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:00:26 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=267154 clean no 00:55:58 Katie Wells 85: How to Raise an Entrepreneur: Nurturing Risk Takers, Problem Solvers, & Change Makershttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/raising-an-entrepreneur/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:00:45 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=252727 clean no 00:55:24 Katie Wells 84: How to Use Ancient Spices to Make Weight Loss Easierhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/ancient-spices-for-weight-loss/ Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:00:59 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=252577 clean no 00:44:40 Katie Wells 83: Beating Postpartum Depression & Pelvic Floor Care with Dr. Jolene Brightenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/beating-postpartum-depression/ Mon, 05 Jun 2017 13:00:27 +0000 Katie Wells https://wellnessmama.com/?post_type=podcast&p=229927 clean no 00:56:53 Katie Wells 82: Discovering the SIBO Solution with Sylvie McCrackenhttps://wellnessmama.com/podcast/sibo-so