Get ready for a fantastic long-form conversation with Dr. Joy Kong and Cynthia Thurlow!
It was such a pleasure to sit down for a fire-side style, three-way chat to discuss all kinds of topics with these two powerhouse women. I’m trying to be more bold and daring as the host of the B.rad podcast, including going for some long-form, in person interviews, as I think it is the best chance to get truly breakthrough insights. This is proving to be true; throughout this conversation, I got to know Cynthia and Dr. Joy on a deeper level than remote podcast engagements where you stick to the key talking points in the guest’s area of expertise. Same for going to visit Gabby Reece at her home—you connect on a deeper level and the conversation takes interesting twists and turns.
This episode features some deep discussions around some pretty heavy, real topics, as Dr. Joy and Cynthia open up and share personal stories that will inspire you and get you thinking, and we also cover many important and relevant health topics. You will hear Cynthia explain how being in the hospital with complications from an emergency surgery ended up changing her life, and Dr. Joy talks about her experience growing up in a high-pressure, high expectations culture in China and how this shaped her, as well as how she maintains a healthy work-life balance today as she pursues her goals. We also spend a long time discussing the role of protein in a healthy diet and compare and contrast the different popular diets today.
Cynthia Thurlow is a nurse practitioner, author of the best selling book Intermittent Fasting Transformation, a 2x TEDx speaker, and the host of Everyday Wellness Podcast. With over 20 years experience in health and wellness, Cynthia is a globally recognized expert in intermittent fasting and women’s health, and her mission is to educate women on the benefits of intermittent fasting and overall holistic health and wellness, so they feel empowered to live their most optimal lives.
Dr. Joy Kong is a UCLA-trained, triple board-certified physician, anti-aging and stem cell specialist, educator, and CEO. As the founder of Uplyft Longevity Center in Chatsworth, CA, she focuses her efforts on the prevention of aging, as well as chronic diseases that no one else has been able to heal. She believes that complete healing can only come from looking at the whole person – mind, body, and soul.
The two women discuss their transformation from traditional medicine to more enlightened patient care and education. [05:43]
Helping people stay well is very bad for the pharmaceutical business. [09:03]
If a patient would eat properly, lower carbs and eat more protein, get good sleep, and move, they wouldn’t need so many medications. [11:31]
We’ve made it hard for people to make changes. Watch your spending habits and prioritize healthy eating. [14:05]
There is much misinformation dispensed by well-meaning people that causes confusion. [17:09]
How much protein should we be eating? [19:06]
Muscle mass and muscle strength are the key to hanging in there a long time. [25:35]
If you are a fan of fasting, it is difficult to get enough protein. [29:39]
There are so many schools of thought about high carb, low carb, high fat, low fat, plant, carnivore, etc. The starting point, regardless of what school you are in, is to get rid of the crap in your diet. [32:06]
Many people just get accustomed to feeling poorly. They don’t know what it feels like to be healthy. [37:41]
Do men and women fast differently? Women under age 35 should use caution with fasting. [38:38]
What role do carbs play? It’s very individual experiment. “How do I feel?” is a good monitor. [45:16]
What is a good window for intermittent fasting? [55:19]
All those restrictive diets, fasting, keto, low carb, etc. are in the category of stressors. We live in a very stressful society. [01:01:32]
It’s a constant effort to find balance. It’s important to be introspective about your life, to figure out what you want, who you really are. [01:12:40]
Goal setting can help envision where you want to go in the future, and imagine how it feels. If we get comfortable, we don’t grow. [01:24:58]
Some people are constantly giving and not advocating for themselves. [01:32:52]
When people are disconnected and feel unloved, feel unworthy, they experience more negativity. [01:38:29]
Set the bar really low so you can get over it and then keep raising the bar. [01:40:23]
The best thing you can do as a parent is love your kids. [01:46:11]
Vegetables have always been promoted as the super nutrient, however, there are many problems that can play havoc on your gut. [01:53:00]
Don’t obsess with the caveman example. [02:02:38]
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I’m author and athlete, Brad Kearns. Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life. Visit brad kearns.com for great resources on healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle. And here we go with the show
Hi. Listeners get ready for a fantastic long-form conversation with two powerhouse females in Dr. Joy Kong and Cynthia Thurlow. What a pleasure it was to connect with these ladies and we sat down for a fireside style three-way chat about all kinds of topics. And we really went deep and pretty heavy and vulnerable and really sincere personal stories that will inspire you and get you thinking as well as covering the many important health topics of the day, especially honoring Cynthia’s visit to Los Angeles and her promotion of her bestselling book, The Intermittent Fasting Transformation. Dr. Joy has been a guest on the podcast previously and we just thought, Hey, let’s get together. Let’s turn on the camera, the microphone, and let’s go to town. And that we did. And I’m so happy to delve into this long-form style once in a while because I think it’s really valuable.
So, I know I’m asking for a lot of time to listen to this two hour plus podcast, but boy, it is really gonna give you, uh, some memorable insights and things to, uh, reflect upon in your own life. And so I’ll talk about some of the health topics we covered, but we also hear about Cynthia’s life-threatening health ordeal where she was in the hospital and, uh, dealing with complications from an emergency appendectomy. The whole experience was a cause for mindset, career direction, everything changed after that. Pretty powerful. Dr. Joy talks about her upbringing in China and the high pressure, the high expectations that she faced and how it’s served her and driven her to great heights and achievements. But also it’s something that we all can, uh, relate to where we have to fight this daily battle to slow down and appreciate the simple pleasures of life as we doggedly pursue our peak performance goals.
So we get some of that kind of stuff. And then we get into the nuts and bolts too. We spent a long time talking about the role of protein in the diet. Cynthia’s a strong advocate for a protein centric diet as mi in pursuit of the preeminent longevity goal of maintaining muscle mass muscle strength throughout life. So we talk about some of the disparate points of view, especially when it comes to longevity and some leading researchers and big voices talking about, uh, being sure to minimize protein intake so you don’t over stimulate growth factors and how that message has become really controversial, distorted, and possibly misapplied in many cases, especially for healthy fit, active people. I talk about performing and recovering, man. That’s what I’m all focused on now and will be for the rest of my life. So we spent a long time on protein.
We talked about the various popular diets of today. Some compare and contrast and also keeping an eye out for the misinformation and the misappropriation of the, the messaging today. Same with exercise and how we can kind of get outta hand and overdo it and burnout, especially when we combine fasting and exercise. So that is just a little tidbit, a little teaser of what we’re gonna get with Cynthia. And Dr. Joy, if you haven’t heard of Cynthia, she’s a nurse practitioner author of the bestselling book, the Intermittent Fasting Transformation. She had a viral talk on the TED platform that you will see a link in the show notes that really kickstarted her career transformation from working in the medical field to being a podcaster, author, speaker. Dr. Joy you’ve introduced to her before, hopefully you heard our previous show where we talked about her amazing memoir called The Tiger of Beijing.
That is now being made into a movie. So, wow. Watch out. Here we come. The Tiger is on the prowl and she’s also the director of the Uplift Longevity Center, an expert in stem cell therapy. We talked about that on the previous show. And so you’re gonna get a lot of voices, A lot of fun conversation. We really hated Office three. Here we go.
So here we are in, in the living room or the office studio, Dr. Joy Kong, Cynthia Thurlow, traveling from across the country, <laugh> to meet with us. And I am so honored to be here with these two high-powered ladies and we decided we’re gonna talk about all kinds of things, especially health related matters. But I’d love your chit chat starting out question about how you got here and especially transitioning from that previous career in the medical scene. So I’d love to know.
Yeah, I, I tell everyone that my transitional path was not necessarily one I would encourage people to replicate because I went from being a practicing clinician in a busy cardiology group to literally taking a leap of faith and telling my husband one day I was like, I can’t write another prescription. I feel so constrained in this current medical model. And the only way to get out of this and do what I really wanna do is to leave. And so, without a business plan, literally without a business plan, I gave my notice. And on April 1st, 2016, I left clinical medicine and started my own business. And almost instantaneously I had women coming to me that wanted to talk about exactly the things we were all dealing with. Like, you know, why you weren’t sleeping, why you were having weird cravings, why you suddenly were weight loss resistant. And that grew into group programs and one-on-one work. And then a few years later, a colleague wanted to do a podcast and I reluctantly agreed. And then that grew into everyday wellness and then another podcast and more speaking opportunities. But I say all the time, I draw upon all my medical experience almost every day, but I now get to talk to people about what I think is most important, which is lifestyle. Yeah.
Well you had to do a lot of self-educating going from cardiology to helping women with day to day problems, <laugh>, so that that, yeah, that’s gonna take a while
It definitely does. And it, what’s interesting is, you know, life imitates art. So certainly for me, when I was in my early forties, all of a sudden I was becoming that exact person. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and my GYN, the only thing that were offered to me was, okay, let’s go on oral contraceptives, let’s put in an I U D, let’s do an ablation, or let’s just do a hysterectomy. Cause you’re done having kids. And I was like, time out mutilation. Yeah, exactly. I was like, I
Now was that four choices, none of ’em sounded too
Good. Okay. <laugh>. And so I said, I think I’m, I think I’m good. And so that then started this kind of self-exploration about perimenopause and this super sexy topic that not only are very few physicians and NPs and other providers trained in, but very few people are really shining a lot on how women are supposed to age in a way that allows them to have some dignity and not feel like they are, you know, they’re effectively told, you know, this is just the way things are. Cuz I heard that and I was so discouraged, I thought if I’m hearing that, everyone else is hearing that. And so kind of changing the narrative so that people can age with dignity. I mean really that’s what it comes down to. Women don’t have to gain 30 pounds being inflamed and be miserable. Like there are ways to navigate these these years and then into menopause without feeling like you’re like an alter ego of your former self. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>
Joy, do you have any interest in this subject? In fact, during our podcast, I think you said you got tired of writing prescriptions and that’s when you were, you know, uh, heading off into the longevity space. So wow. The synergy here. But you know, I think the biggest question is why is it still such a disaster with all this great information and progress both in the, the progressive medicine as well as just the mainstream medicine of going in those four choices when clearly there’s enough, you know, support for people taking a different route? Both of you gonna have to answer this cuz you’re, you’re working hard every day to try to change it, but it’s kind of ridiculous how these, I guess guess the pharmaceutical industry and the powers that be are vested in keeping people on this line. But I can’t think of any other good reasons. Yeah.
I feel like we’re kind of at a time of war almost fighting against the juggernaut that’s been the traditional, the, the whole medical practice since the early 19 hundreds. So there’s this shift and almost violent shift, even though people may not realize it, but there has been integrated doctors who have died, um, mysteriously mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I mean, look at what happened recently with this, you know, infection and how much is dividing the population. So I think we’re at pretty critical juncture where there’s a shift and the establishment really doesn’t want this shift to happen because they were doing pretty well mm-hmm. <affirmative> by keeping people sick and who are we to come along all of a sudden getting people off medications or preventing them from ever getting all medications that’s ver ny bad for business <laugh>. So
So we have to, um, you know, kind of be the champion. But I think because the masses are waking up, it’s really interesting. I think there’s a shift in consciousness that people are waking up and this has become a grassroot movement because when I first came to this country 30 years ago, if I had mentioned acupuncture, people would look at me sideways, they would think that’s, you know, that’s pretty weird. And then, you know, 15 years later is covered by insurance. Mm. So there’s a, this huge shift that’s happening. Um, I don’t think the medical giant it’s gonna be able to stop it. You know, that’s, that’s what’s funny. They’re trying to stop it, but they can’t.
Yeah. I think in a lot of levels, you know, traditionally trained allopathic providers we’re taught to address symptoms. That’s how we’re trained the symptoms. Then there’s, you know, uh, you know, algorithms about how specifically to address chest pain, shortness of breath, you know, vaginal bleeding, whatever it is that’s going on, versus a functional more integrative approach, which is what I think we both really embrace and really looking at individuals as the, as bio individuals, really looking at the contributions of lifestyle. Obviously, you know, we all speak to high quality sleep, nutrition, et cetera, but that’s really what, that’s not what we get reimbursed for, you know, if you’re a nutritional model. So there’s no, there’s this perception that there’s no value there. In fact, I had, several colleagues and, and everyone was very supportive of my desire to talk about nutrition, but they were like, oh, this is our nurse practitioner and she really likes to talk
<laugh>. And it was always with that kind of like snarky, and I said, it all starts with food. Like, so much of what we’re addressing in cardiology as one example is a byproduct of, you know, dysfunction in people’s personal lives. Like I would’ve patients that were like 35 years old, they’re on three meds for high blood pressure, they’re on diabetes and cholesterol medications. And I’m like, if I, I could get you to stop smoking. If I could get you to move your body. If I could eat you to eat lower carb and more protein and sleep, you might not need all these things. And they’re like, no, no, just gimme the pill and don’t change. And so we’ve, we’ve kind of created this perfect storm where we are a very metabolically unhealthy population. We are potentiating and it’s certainly the, the pandemic has not helped metabolic health. And so, you know, I agree with you that we’re seeing emerging voices that are coming out and speaking against this kind of traditional model and saying like, we can exist in the same space, but we need to do a better job with prevention. We need to do a better job with chronic disease management. You know, if there’s an emergency or an urgency, allopathic medicine’s your person or your entity, thumbs up. I, I had benefited from that against an appendix this removed right here. <laugh>. Thank
You to those surgeons.
It does seem like there’s two things here. It’s battling against the mighty beast and all the money and all that. And then there’s that personal responsibility aspect, which, you know, that was Mark’s Sisson’s opening motto of his blog however many years ago, that it’s up to us to take personal responsibility for our health. And that seems like we’re not getting a good grade in western life here. On that note too, we’re getting a C minus or something. It’s like everyone knows about sleep. Everyone knows that junk food’s bad for you. And for some reason, I feel like, you know, tremendous fear and desperation that I don’t want to suffer and decline and have people taking care of me and not remember the names of these people that are taking care of me. So I’m like super motivated just on that alone.
Forget about a high jump competition that I think I’m gonna win pretty soon. But what, where’s the psychology of the average person that is popping these, what’s the average number of prescription? I think it’s 17 or 13. We used to have the average American has 17, I have zero. So now it’s actually 17 point something. I don’t know about you guys, but maybe everyone under 17 thumbs up. But what a disaster. And are they thinking about anything or they just don’t give a crap and they want their personal freedom and their mobile device. And so
I think it’s such a degree of cognitive dissonance. I don’t think it’s that people don’t per se, want to make better choices. I think they’re lost. They don’t get good guidance when they go see their healthcare provider. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there’s so much misinformation online that is propagated by social media influencers. Sometimes the media, sometimes well-meaning, well-meaning healthcare practitioners. But, but I think on a lot of levels that we’ve made it hard for people to make changes. I think if you’re intrinsically motivated, yes, you can make those shifts, but I think the average person needs a lot of support a lot more than they get in a five or 10 minute office visit. And you know, the other thing is that a lot of these functional integrative medicine practices can be cost-prohibitive for like everyone. And that’s something that I feel like I have to be honest.
Like, I’m fortunate we are all fortunate that we can, you know, we have the ability to pay for those kinds of services, but not everyone does because people reach out to me online all the time. They’re like, oh, I can’t afford this, or I can’t afford that. And I’m like, I understand mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but you could right now do like these three things. It can have a huge net impact on your life while you’re figuring out how to find a practitioner that’s more aligned with what you need because they are out there. It’s just trying to find them.
Yeah. You can’t afford to eat at the highest level of sophistication and recommendation. But I’m also gonna call BS on a lot of that because we’re gonna go look at your receipts for your pizza delivery, these choices, you know, the stuff that’s in your discretionary income, but working within a lack of affordability of some of the stuff that’s touted by, seems like there’s a lot of potential there.
Absolutely. Yeah. And I do agree with, because I’ve treated a lot of psychiatric patients who are, you know, in the indigent population, and they will come to me saying, I can’t afford to eat healthy. I said, I lived in San Francisco and I spent $60 a month on my food and I ate super healthy. Hmm. So yes, you can you just have to pick the right food. You don’t go buy McDonald’s and, you know, buy donuts. You, you, you, you pick, you have to be smart about it, but don’t tell me that you can’t afford it. So <laugh>
Don’t get her started
<laugh>. No, no. I, I think it’s good point. It’s real, it’s choices. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that’s the big thing. Like we say all the time, we have teenage boys and so we’re very, we’re a very protein centric family. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I have my 17 year old who’s six feet tall, can eat a massive amount of protein in a sitting. And I just say there are choices we make as a family to prioritize our nutrition over other things. And so people sometimes are surprised. I’m like, no, no, this is just what we prioritize. And so, you know, when, when you’re right, when you start talking to patients or clients and they start identifying, yeah, I’m doing Uber Eats and Oh yeah. I mean I spend $300 a weekend on a in the bar and I’m doing, you know, a lot of these other things. It’s like just collectively figuring out like, let’s be real about where our money goes. Like even if you just trend your spending habits for a month mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you might be very surprised to know that there are things that you can, changes you can make that will, will enhance your healthy living.
And then we have the challenges, and I’d like to go back to that, uh, misinformation you mentioned, which are the ones that really bug you the most, where these well-meaning people are dispensing the information that they deeply believe in. And it could be, um, less than optimal by other people’s opinion. And that’s gonna lead to another question where these forks in the roads are here now and some people don’t trust stem cells and think it’s woowoo. And then other people have had a complete life transformation. Tony Robbins, one of ’em where he couldn’t lift his shoulder, whatever, all these amazing stories. And so like, we’re rolling the dice and betting our lives on whether plant-based is the way to go or whether the animal-based is the way to go. And those are disparate along with many other things. But what are some of the, the hot ones that you see that that bug you and you you’re trying to fight back against?
I, I would say for me personally, it’s the advice that I was trained in was mm-hmm. <affirmative>, was that you meal frequency and snacks, you, you eat frequently to stabilize your metabolism and your blood sugar. I would say that’s probably number one. And then vilifying fat. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think that has created a lot of misinformation and to the point where I’m still telling my 76 year old mother that yes, you can have some avocado and some nuts. It is not going to make you gain a ton of weight. But if you keep eating these inferior fats, that is like seed oils that can be problematic. I would say that in, you know, the vilification of, you know, protein, everyone’s, more often than not, what I see is people eat too many of the wrong types of carbs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> too much of the toxic seed oils and not enough protein. And so that can be the perfect storm for a lot of,
I wanna ask you about the protein because people are confused. How much protein do I really need? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, yeah. So there there’s wide variations. So how some people think we’re over-proteined, you know, like we’re just like over consumption, um, very
Highly trained, highly respected.
Say you gotta hit, you know, 120, 150 grams of protein. So what’s your, um, your your your thoughts on that?
It’s a great question. I am of the belief system that we are designed to continue to eat. Well, first and foremost, as we get older, our protein intake needs actually increase because we don’t break down and assimilate protein as readily as we do is younger people. So I come from the camp that you want at least a hundred grams of protein a day, largely because we are, our protein needs increased. But also this whole concept of muscle protein synthesis, how important muscle is, muscles, the organ of longevity, the more muscle mass we maintain, the more insulin sensitive we are. And so, from my perspective, I really, really, really encourage my patients and clients to be hitting those protein macros. Now, the average woman that I work with is probably consuming 40 grams of protein a day. So that’s a, that’s a huge,
Is that a health conscious person that’s coming to you typically,?
They just don’t Know.
But I mean, you’re not talking about someone off the street. You’re some, you’re talking about someone that’s hired a coach and is really caring about their diet Yes. Before seeing you. And so they’re having their salad, their fasting period, their uh, uh,
They’re teeny tiny piece chicken <laugh>. Right, right. Their protein bar, their protein shake. Mm-hmm. Uh, so I think there’s a lot of misinformation. And obviously, sorry, I was gonna say, looking at the longevity experts, David Sinclair, Walter Longo, obviously they are talking about very small amounts of protein, but I always say the people that I follow lean into their research and really talk to thoughtfully, they are the kinds of musculature and health that I want to aspire to be. So do I want to just be skinny? No
<laugh>. Well, what about looking at centenarians? Uh, you know, how much, because obviously they’ve made it, you know, through a long period of time and with good mentation and good physical capabilities, you know, they may not be as muscular as you what you would like, but they’re living a good life so they don’t over consume protein. Right. I mean, they consume a very moderate amount.
Well, I think it’s a, it’s a twofold issue. They’re also typically very, they’re very, um, mobile and they’re very active. They’re probably getting enough sleep, they’re probably managing their stress, all of which can be very impactful. I think I come from the, from the perspective that the research that I’m familiar with and that I’m well vested in really encourages people to lean into that protein intake. I think that we live in a highly kind of toxic world in terms of, you know, the way that my grandparents ate food and the way they lived is very different than my parents and my generation and my kids’ generation. And so really what the understanding that we have, most people that are growing up now are so metabolically unhealthy that they’re already setting themselves up. I mean, you’ve got rampant amounts of insulin resistance and diabetes in young children, you know, at rates that we didn’t see even 20, 25 years ago.
So, from my perspective, I think that the whole piece of protein is really an important one. It helps with satiety, helps to, you know, with hormone production and just really understanding that for each one of us, it’s, it’s fine- tuning what we’re doing. It doesn’t mean that you go from eating 40 grams to a hundred. It may be that you diligently work towards just eating more protein with your meals, so you’re gonna help with satiety. And the other thing that’s really interesting, there’s a lot of emerging research for women in menopause that if they’re not hitting an, hitting this threshold for muscle protein synthesis, their body will be looking for them to get more calories in. And it’s going to come at the expense of carbohydrates and fat. So a lot of the women, when I’m working with them and they’re saying, you know, when, when you start restructuring your macros, restructuring your protein, fat and carbohydrate intake, they’re stunned.
They’re like, oh, there’s no, I don’t, I don’t want to eat after dinner anymore. I’m not looking for snacks, I’m not looking for sugary foods. And a lot of it’s because they just don’t hit those mechanisms, you know, specific hormonal mechanisms in the body when they’re hitting those protein macros. So I encourage people to at least experiment, to be open-minded, um, to the possibility that they’re not eating enough of protein. I find even when I travel, I have to struggle with that. Like this morning, um, I had an omelet and I had two pieces of sausage, and then there was a charcuterie thing that I was, I ate some of that and I was like, just hoping to hit like 40 grams of protein in a meal just to kind of feel satiated till I eat dinner.
Talk about that protein leverage theory that you’re hinting at. Really fascinating where the brain really knows about protein needs and we will, we will desperately look for them.
Yeah. And it, it’s, it’s interesting. It’s interesting because there’s this complex in a relationship, and I can really just speak to women between this follicular stimulating hormone and low estrodiol, so low estrogen levels. That’s part of, of when this muscle protein synthesis issue becomes a even larger issue for menopausal women. Like, as women are getting closer to 12 months without a menstrual cycle, they’re at greater risk for putting on more adipose tissue, for being less metabolically flexible. And this paper, which I can pull out for you guys if you want me to, I don’t have it with me, but I have it at home really shows this complex in a relationship. That’s why it’s so important to be aiming for, you know, 40 to 50 grams of protein with your meals. Cuz your body is desperately looking to help maintain, try trying to maintain muscle. Because sarcopenia is a real issue. It’s not a question of if, but when, unless you’re working diligently against it. And I see far too many women who are just fixated on being a certain size or a certain weight at the expense of maintaining muscle mass. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And uh, is there any statistics about protein intake, high protein intake and longevity? Like overall long-term health?
Not that I can pull off like the top of my head right now, but I do have, I do have quite a bit at home. Um, and I think it’s, if you look at the big longevity researchers, if you look at David Sinclair, you look at Walter Longo, they talk about low protein. They’re eating like one meal a day. They’re doing a lot of prolonged fast. And this is something even during the launch of the book this year, a couple podcasters would ask me like, which camp are you in? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I said, I’m all about longevity, but I’ll be honest with you, not the expense of losing muscle mass because losing muscle mass to me is much more important because that’s gonna help me maintain insulin sensitivity. And that becomes a greater concern. And so I always say respectfully. Cause I have great respect and reverence for both of them. I just say, I’m glad that they’re doing the research. But if you only eat one meal a day, you’re not getting enough protein in unless you’re a unicorn. And we have a unicorn friend, you know who I’m alluding to. We, it’s a massive amount of protein in a short window, but most people just can’t get a hundred grams of protein in one meal. That’s really un unusual.
Yeah. And the, the, the average listener who’s not living and breathing this stuff can get very confused. Even with the last several minutes of conversation. The most highly respected people are saying, to get to that finish line, you need to have your lentil soup and meditate and shuffle through the garden until you’re 108. And I’m also thinking there’s another layer here of the quality of life. Absolutely. And what you’re doing. And if you want to be out there hiking and standup paddling and doing high jumping and being active and energetic, I don’t think it’s in dispute that muscle mass and muscle strength is gonna be your key to hanging in there a long time rather than succumbing to sarcopenia, which is, it’s a disease, it’s a de definition, but it’s the norm. So like we have the norm of sarcopenia mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then people who are outliers, unicorn, whatever, that are keeping the muscle mass on rather than spinning down in down the drain.
So you asked a great question, which no one knows the answer to, which is who’s gonna, who’s gonna beat Jeanne Calment’s record? Jeanne Calment lived to be 122. She died in 1997. A French woman, I think it’s gonna be me <laugh>. That’s why my password and my number is 123. It’s as easy as 123. That’s, that’s gonna be the new record, 1 23. Um, but I want to get there through, um, this wonderful, amazing active energetic life rather than seeing how long I can shuffle through the garden and sit on the meditation cushion for two hours every morning and have my lentil soup for my one meal a day. That aside, to try to sort through this confusion. If we can hit this point a little further, could it be that a lot of the boiler plate of the life’s work of these great scientists and things like that are coming from studies of a sorryass inactive junk food eating population.
Cuz we’re going back to the lipid hypothesis of heart disease as well, where it’s like that cholesterol, you, you’re eating too many eggs, you’re gonna get a heart attack. That’s not untrue. That it’s that this could be contributing along with the pile of processed carbs you eat every day. So this this protein argument that you want to minimize that so you don’t overstimulate mTOR and these growth factors seems to me that let’s find some healthy athletic females at 50 60, 70 80 and look at their lifestyle and what they’re doing and how much protein they’re consuming if they’re keeping their muscle mass on. Same with, same with males. Yeah.
Besides that, there’s no dispute or disagreement in the scene.
Well, and it’s interesting. So yesterday, I,the city that I live in now, there’s no direct flights anywhere. So I had to fly to Chicago and of course there was an icing issue. And so the flight didn’t take off when it was supposed to and I had a very tight connection. So needless say we land in Chicago 30 minutes late, well actually an hour late, my plane is boarded, it is in two terminals over. And this, there were five of us. We sprinted a mile and a quarter. Now a mile and a quarter. Sprinting without luggage is probably not all that bad. But I had luggage, I had a heavy overpacked bag. I had a bigger bag than you see over there, <laugh>. And when I tell you I was the last person on the plane, I made it on the plane and I was the last person on the plane.
I remember thinking, what do most average Americans do? They miss their flight. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because I, my chest was burning cuz I was really a full on out sprint as gracefully as I could when says eggs <laugh>. And I kept reminding myself, what is the average person doing? I was the last person on the plane. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they held the plane for us five schmucks to make over two terminals. But understand the average American would not have been capable of doing that. And I’m 51, I’m not a spring chicken, but it is definitely one of those things I think about every day I wanna maintain my health mm-hmm. <affirmative> because I wanna be able to get off the toilet, I wanna be able to sprint. If I ever have to do that again. I wanna be able to have a high quality of life because I’m sure for all of us, our experiences, you see a lot of people who have not had a high quality of life. I saw 50 year olds that couldn’t get off a bedside commode or couldn’t, you know, couldn’t walk a mile, let alone run a mile. And so you just start to understand that that quality of life piece is really important irrespective of where we are in time and space. Mm-hmm. <affirmative.
Yeah. I do have patients who struggle with the protein intake. You know, they’re like, how am I gonna cram, you know, with my body weight, I’m gonna have to cram in, you know, 150 grams of, of protein every day. And it’s, it’s very c?hallenging.
It is. And that’s why I always say like a hundred grams, like work towards a hundred, like I say, don’t stress about one gram per pound of ideal body weight. Like just work towards a hundred. And if I say that then people kind of go, okay, like maybe I can do that over time. So
Just give people an idea, like a little piece of serving size steak in a restaurant. How many grams is a protein? Is that,
Um, typically if you’ve got an eight ounce steak, it could be over 50 grams. So that’s what people don’t realize is that it adds up. Um, and you can always ask for more protein. Like I’m the person in the restaurant that’s like, oh, this is not a protein on my salad. Can I have some shrimp? Can I have some steak? Can I have some chicken? Granted you pay for it, but you’re gonna get closer to that threshold. And depending on the individual, like, I have two large bolus that sounds terrible. Large bolus of protein a day. And that’s how I so scientific, I know and that’s how, and that’s how I hit a hundred grams. But do I have days where I have less? Yes. Some days if I’m traveling it gets more challenging. I had them send me two burgers last night. I was like, okay, it’s a third of a pound, send me two and that’ll be enough.
And the guy was like, no bun, nope, no cheese. Nope. Just send me the burgers and a salad and I’m good. But I do agree with you, and it can be daunting when people are trying to make those changes when they’re, they’re so, they’re so under protein and under muscled that it’s overwhelming to think about how they go about doing that. And the other thing is, as we are going through enterprisee and menopause, it becomes more challenging for people to maintain muscle mass. And so you do work at a little bit of a hormonal disadvantage. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but you have to work a little harder at it than you did maybe in your twenties and thirties.
Yeah. You got parallel tracks. Now we need to eat more protein and then we need to go use our muscles so that we can utilize the protein.
Yeah. But then you’re also an expert in intermittent fasting, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So if you want to combine intermitent
With adequate protein intake, you’re really juggling.
Yeah, it definitely is. And that’s why I’m not a fan of lots of prolonged fasting, especially for lean people. And there are plenty of them because you start to worry about, you know, breaking down what muscle mass you do have. Which is why I personally don’t fast for any prolonged amount of time. My last big fast was in 2019 and I’ll never have another, was that, uh,
17 days or something?
That was 13 days in the hospital.
Oh, oh, you not on, not
On purpose if we put it that
Way. So, so I, I jokingly say I will never do another long fast because that cured me of any desire to ever, to ever go through that. But I think it kind of really speaks to the fact that we all struggle with trying to get in enough protein, especially if you’re in a constrained feeding window. That’s why I’m not a fan of omad as a sustained strategy. I think that, you know, most people need two bolus as a protein in a feeding window. And so whether that’s a six hour, an eight hour or 12 hour depending on the individual, it’s really working around those constraints and understanding that that’s going to increase the likelihood you can meet those, those thresholds. And, and the other thing is, you know, protein and healthy fats can go together in a, in a protein, you could have a ribeye steak, you’d have a piece of salmon. People worry a lot about healthy fats. And I’m like, listen, they’re in a lot of the protein that you’re eating already. So it’s not like you have this massive piece of salmon and then you need half an avocado. No. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but it’s the carbohydrates that I think are most confusing for most people. They’re like, I don’t know what to eat. I don’t know if I should be low carb, high carb, which carbs are good, which ones are bad? And I think a lot of that’s dependent on your insulin sensitivity. Mm-hmm.
<affirmative>. Yeah. We had a whole conversation about the carbs. So Brad has changed his approach, <laugh> from their low carb to incorporating a lot of carbs. And I see like two camps of people who are doing really well, which is the high carb, low fat and the low fat, high carb. No, the, the the we the high protein, we got the high protein, high fat. Yeah. Yeah. Very low carb. So
Like a keto type approach where
Yeah. Versus a complete plant
Based trying to be fat fueled. And then we have, you know, people on the other side, I guess, um, high carb and then watching their fat would be a characterization of vegan, vegetarian perhaps. Yeah. And it all by comparison
And it is challenging. So which camp, you know, would you fit in? Right? Like it’s
Not a big deal. We’re just betting our life on it again. Yeah.
You know, for a patient who just, you know, going on regular, you know, American diet and then for them to be facing, should I try the high carb? Because some people do really well, high carb, very low fat, but then some people are really great, you know, doing what, you know, keto ish diet.
Yeah. I’m so worked up about this. I’m gonna, I’m gonna jump in with a big picture answer here because um, I, I interact with real people who are not living and breathing health and fitness and diet. And I think we can’t even start talking about any of it until you get that crap out of your diet and start choosing nutritious foods. And then perhaps you can thrive with what I call a super high risk diet, which would be vegan, plant-based. I mean, people are doing it, they’re making documentaries about it, whatever. But I’m gonna say it’s high risk because you’re excluding the foods that have served human evolution for two and a half million years and people are thriving with strict keto, strict carnivore, whatever, cuz they are getting a nutrient dense choice of foods. But as long as the processed foods are out of it, particularly the seed oils, then we can start to converse and figure out how to optimize. But I think, take some back one to, um, this, this concern with insufficient protein intake. Would a, uh, a person eating an average western diet with a lot of processed foods, are they at risk or is this mainly a challenge for people who have already cleaned up their act and are having the salads and the kale smoothies and the little snacks of a handful of walnuts and not, not trying to just slam, um, fast food or is, is kind of everyone at risk?
I think think everyone’s at risk. I mean, obviously if you’re consuming highly processed hyper palatable foods that have got sugar and fat corn syrup and you know, this delectable, I say delectable, air quotes, delectable, you know, toxic stew. That’s a much more pro-inflammatory diet. But the people that are over consuming, and I I love plants. Let me be very clear. I love plants. I eat salad almost every day. I eat lots of vegetables. I love vegetables. But if you’re, if you’re having a diet that’s chronically devoid of protein, you’re, you’re putting yourself at great risk. And I say this with love and reverence because I have a lot of friends who still, you know, they, they want, they’re gonna live and die by that kale smoothie, that celery juice, those oxalate, you know, the oxalate kind of predominant foods <laugh>. And
Then they’re wondering oxalate smoothie, it’s on the menu. Yeah.
The toxic oxalate smoothie. And it’s like, it goes back to bioindividuality, like what works for you and your body. Yeah. And that can change year to year. Like certainly after being in the hospital for 13 days, I was full carnivore for almost nine months because that was the only thing my digestive system could tolerate. And then it was 18 months cuz like till I could start having my beloved Brussels sprouts mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So the point of why I’m sharing this is I think both, you know, if you eat a highly processed, hyper palatable diet or if you eat a a, a clean, I mean maybe a cleaner diet, I think many people do well with vegetarian, vegan for a short period of time if they’re transitioning from a more standard American diet because they’re cleaning up the crap much to your point, they’re getting the junky processed foods out of their, their lives. By the same token over time, you know, that much, that much of a diet that’s devoid a protein can be problematic as well.
And it’s, uh, it’s tough because you don’t have these overt symptoms. Extreme protein deficiency, if you’re doing some freak 40 day cleanse, your hair’s gonna fall out. You’re gonna get your gums lining and all these terrible things and feel, get emaciated and have intense cravings for protein foods. But like if you’re, if you’re hovering at that 80% of optimal, you’re just gonna be someone who gets a little soft over time and recovers in 72 hours instead of 48 and all those kind of things.
Well I think a lot of people have just gotten accustomed to feeling poorly. Yeah. Yeah. Like that’s their norm. That’s where they hover. And I think it starts for a lot of women north of 35, you know, as they’re got these, as these hormonal fluctuations are starting less progesterone from the ovaries, they’re sleep goes south, all of a sudden they’re less stress resilient. They’re wondering why they’re, you know, waking up in the middle of the night, why they’re not waking up rested, they’ve got weird cravings, they’re weight loss resistant. Hmm. And so all these things start to happen and it becomes kind of subtle. And that’s kind of the prelude. So I see a lot of women in perimenopause starting to get stuck and they go to their healthcare practitioner and they’re like, oh, it’s just, you know, it’s just a function of aging. You know, weight loss, weight gain is a function of aging. And I always cry BS mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there’s so many other ways to look around this. I’m not sure if in your practice you see a lot of those types of, I like to think of them as a vulnerable time in a woman’s life when, you know, maybe conventional medicine is missing opportunities to help support women in different ways. Yeah.
People struggle a lot. They do everything right. They think that they, they eat a good diet and probably a lot of them do. And they exercise, you know, almost daily and then they just couldn’t shed the last 10, 15 pounds. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Which bring me to, um, you know, I I want to ask you, because you are proponent that men and women fast differently mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you really should have different, different approach. And why do you think that is?
Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that, I mean, men and women have different levels of hormones, different cycles of hormones. So men obviously and menopausal women don’t have as much hormonal flux day to day. Whereas cycling women under the age of 35, so peak fertile years have a menstrual cycle every month. They’ve got, you know, fluctuations in estrogen and testosterone and progesterone throughout their cycle. It allows them to be more flexible with flexing into intermittent fasting and different types of, you know, ketogenic or low carb diets and exercise at certain times during their cycle. Perimenopausal women are special. You know, we are less stress resilient so all of a sudden we can’t tolerate the same levels of intense exercise. We can’t tolerate not getting enough sleep. We maybe are much more sensitive to inflammatory foods. This is a time when women I start suggesting like, you know, it’s the alcohol serving you <laugh>.
How do you do when you drink alcohol? This becomes kind of a very kind of touchy subject for many people. The last two and a half, almost three years, people have been drinking a whole lot more. Mm-hmm. And so saying to women, like all of a sudden let’s pull the bandaid off and see if is alcohol eroding your sleep? Is that was what’s driving, you know, some degree of estrogen detoxification issues, all of a sudden your weight loss resistant? Is it dairy? Is it, and especially cow milk dairy, is it gluten? Is it grains? What’s going on with that? And so much to the point you were making. I do believe that when women still have a menstrual cycle, they have to fast for their cycle. So there’s a time in the cycle to fast during a follicular phase, a time to stop fasting closer to when you’re getting ready to menstruate in the ludial phase.
Um, and then when women transition into menopause, as long as sleep and stress and anti-inflammatory nutrition and the right types of exercise are dialed in, they can really have tremendous success without concerns about where am I in my menstrual cycle? Which for a lot of people is a source of stress. Maybe not for the people that are on oral contraceptives, cuz they don’t even have like a real menstrual cycle. But for me, I do encourage women under the age of 35 to be cautious with fasting. You know, perimenopausal women, women north of 35 before mens, before they go through menopause, have a little bit more flexibility, but they have to lean into the lifestyle piece quite a bit.
What about the menopausal <laugh>? The, uh, the rest of the crowd?
So, so andropause, you know, men in general, men go through andropause, go through menopause. But I think when we’re looking at menopausal women Yeah, exactly. My husband denies the same thing. He’s like, I don’t, I’m not going through menopause. It ain’t happening. Yeah, exactly. Not on my watch. No thanks. Yeah. <laugh>, I don’t want that. But I think when I’m looking at menopausal women, it’s really are they getting enough sleep? Are they managing their stress? Are they consuming anti-inflammatory nutrition? Really leaning into the protein and balancing their carbohydrates and healthy fats. And then are they lifting weights? Because I’m gonna go back to the same thing I was saying earlier. Sarcopenia is not a question of if, but when, and it’s really important to be maintaining muscle mass. So stop doing the chronic cardio, lift some weights, do some yoga, you know, walk quite a bit. All those things are, are much more beneficial for women in menopause.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Definitely. See, I mean, I do Zumba dance, you know, sometimes, and it’s, uh, it’s a very overweight population mm-hmm. <affirmative> of these women. Sometimes these, these women are there every day, if not taking two classes a day, but they are not in great shape and all that <laugh> cardio is not helping very much. And um, yeah, I think
It’s promoting a loss of muscle mass. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and storing fat, that’s the signaling that’s sent to the brain because that’s how you get through two classes a day, every day or whatever, a chronic exercise pattern. And so that’s, you know, that’s getting us into the misinformation on the fitness side as well as the diet side. And that’s the most heartbreaking thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s like, hey, all y’all who are smoking and sitting on your couch, your life expectancy just dropped another year. But I know you don’t give a crap. So carry on. And, and sorry to interrupt your, uh, your Netflix streaming experience <laugh>, but the people who are doing the best they can, boy, that’s when we can really fight hard to bring an awakening and before we leave the protein, I’ll say one more thing. Like, if you’re still not sold yet and you’re concerned about eating too much protein, go ahead and do it.
Because the satiety level of having six eggs instead of three or two steaks or two and a half steaks, you’re gonna get to this point where you’re like, I’m sorry, I can’t do it anymore. I’m fully satisfied. And that might even be optimal, but it’s gonna be really difficult. Maybe impossible to go and exceed and be this excess protein person that’s gonna die of cancer. Or am I off base? I mean I can eat six eggs no problem. But if I tried 10 like Andrew at Power Project, I might feel like Yeah, ten’s a lot every day. Yeah.
I could not, I think my max in a sitting is six. I had three in my omelet this morning cuz I had to beg for three. They were like, we’ll give you two. I’m like, can I have a third? Yeah. I was like, I’ll pay extra. Can you give me more sauce? I mean, it was like, it became this negotiation process to try to get, I was like, I’m trying to hit 40 grams of protein. And guy was like, what <laugh>? I was like, I’m just trying to explain my pathology of why I am trying to get things in this way. But I think for a lot of people it’s with the understanding that, you know, when we’re in this position where we have opportunities to lean into protein, we should probably take it. And I think for many people, like I mentioned earlier, if women aren’t getting enough protein, their bodies are gonna be looking for the additional macronutrients. And generally you’re going to be getting them from highly processed hyper, hyper palatable carbs. That’s why the bag of chips, the bowl of ice cream, all those things become very tempting in the evening cuz your body’s looking for more food mm-hmm. <affirmative> that you haven’t consumed during your day.
Yeah. I remember yesterday going to a restaurant and because my protein didn’t come on quick enough, there’s a basket of delicious sourdough bread, <laugh> and I ate, um, at least I put some butter on it, but, um, but boy, I did not feel that great. You know, a couple hours later you just, I just felt like I was just not, not at my level, you know, I dipping in my energy and, and my, you know, just sense of feeling good. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. So that’s the price to pay. So what are your thoughts on the carbs?
I’m not anti carb. I think carbs are largely driven by insulin sensitivity. So if I have someone who’s metabolically healthy, 45, 50, 55 years old, we talk about carb cycling, we talk about high quality carbohydrates. So you’re getting your carbs from root vegetables, low glycemic berries, green leafy vegetables, things like that, as opposed to processed carbs, like as delicious as bread is. And I totally get it. I mean, I, I would like, I’m like, my mouth is salivating thinking about some really good gluten free sourdough bread. But with that being said, I think the average person doesn’t really understand why those whole food sources are so helpful. Like a sweet potato, you can’t eat too many sweet potatoes. You’re gonna get to a point where there’s so much fiber, your body’s gonna go, I’ve had enough. Or whether it’s squash or root vegetable mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I think it’s driven by multiple things.
So are you insulin sensitive? You’re metabolically unhealthy, I’m going to encourage you to eat lower carbohydrate. And lower carbohydrate, given the average American consumes 200 to 300 grams of carbs a day, we’re looking at under a hundred as a starting point. And for many people, they don’t realize that they, they’re drinking their carbs, which is one of the worst things you can do. If you’re familiar with Dr. Rick Johnson’s work with fructose. He talks about why fructose is so problematic and really why we shouldn’t be drinking, um, why we shouldn’t be drinking, you know, fructose, light and beverages. It goes directly to our liver gets stored there and many of the people are metabolically unhealthy, also have novel D which is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. And so really helping people understand what’s their carbohydrate threshold, how physically active are they at? They’re lifting heavy weights and they’re depleting their glycogen stores when they’re lifting.
That’s different than the couch potato who’s now I’m now telling them, okay, we’re gonna rip the bandaid off. I don’t want you to snack anymore. I want you to eat more protein and oh, let’s watch your carbs. Can you have a sweet potato instead of a bowl of rice? Hmm. Can you have that root vegetable instead of processed pasta? You know, can you have some blueberries instead of having five bananas? I had a diabetic patient who ate six a day and I’m like, is it any wonder his diabetes is outta control? Um, but really helping people understand there’s the hierarchy of carbohydrates. I’m not anti carb. I myself do better with a lower carb lifestyle, but that’s me personally. And I’ll up, I’ll cycle up my carbs on days I lift heavy and cycle and back down just depending on how I feel.
But I think it’s really as bio-individual as that mm-hmm. <affirmative> like, are you insulin sensitive? Are you physically active? What makes you feel good? There are some genetic variants where people don’t tolerate being really low carb. And I think that’s important because unfortunately, I think there’s this misnomer that every obese woman needs to be on a ketogenic diet. Well, how do you metabolize your fat if you’re eating a higher fat, lower protein, lower carb diet, you might not feel good. And so really understanding that some genetics play a role as well as just bioindividuality in general, but I’m not anti carb. iGen quality is important.
And, and with, with Bioindividuality we’re also talking about the bioindividuality. If you’re getting your ass off the couch or not <laugh>. And that’s, that’s, that’s the main one versus Oh, my ancestry is from England and Ireland. And so all this stuff that people are trying to scrutinize, it’s like, as Dr. Cate Shannahan says, open up those suitcases when your glycogen suitcases are open. Even a s slurpee is gonna go right into mm-hmm. <affirmative> glycogen storage. So Jack, your kid or Jack, my kid, after they’re done doing their crazy workouts or three hour basketball practice, they can go have a s slurpee and a sweet potato and a bowl of rice, and then another bowl of rice while the sweet potato’s cooling off. And then another one comes outta the oven <laugh>. And, um, again, with carbs, I think we’ve made a mistake of like grouping it all together in demons, in the, um, in the pursuit of, you know, branded diets and so forth. And, um, there’s a huge distinction, so much so that perhaps a lot of the negative effects of people saying that, you know, I do better when my carbs are here and even better here, and even better there. It’s because we’re, we’re mixing in stuff that’s difficult to digest
Well. And I think people can be rigidly dogmatic. Like, if it worked for me, it means it works for everyone. And so I always say to people, I don’t eat the same.
That’s not true, except for stuff that works for me. Right? I
Mean, oh, sorry. But I think it’s important to experiment. Like see how you feel, like track your macros for a while. How many, how much are you consuming? I think when I ask women to track their protein, it’s, they never eat enough and then they’re overeating their carbs and they don’t realize it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, they don’t realize that it’s not, you know, it’s not entirely benign. If they’re having five pieces of tropical fruit today, I’m like, okay, if we’re trying to change body composition, we’re trying to get more metabolically healthy. If you’re not, we really have to be cognizant of how these choices impact what’s going on with this. And one of my favorite ways, I’m not sure if you use this with your patients continuous glucose kilometers or glucometers. Oh, I love it. Because I’m like, I’ll say to people, you know, you’re falling asleep after your meal and you’re telling me your weight loss resistant.
I’m like, well, what’s going on? And then all of a sudden they’re like, oh, my blood sugar went up 50 points when I had that bowl of rice. I’m like, bingo. So just understanding that there’s a threshold of, you know, glucose variability that I’m comfortable with. And then others that I’m not, and I’m pretty outspoken about it. I’m like, if you eat a bolus of carbohydrates and your blood sugar goes up 50 points, it’s too many carbs. Hmm. So let’s get real, let’s more protein. Maybe add some fats, you know, change like glucose goddess, I dunno if you’re familiar with Glucose revolution. I’ve been, I’ve been sharing her resource of a book and just saying, well, maybe we need to change the order in what you’re eating. Like maybe start with some fiber first and then you have your protein and then maybe you have your carbohydrates and track then. So there’s a lot of moving variables. But I do think glucometers and continuous glucose monitors are a really great way to figure out like that bioindividuality piece beyond just Oh, that’s what I want to eat. Cuz I get it.
<laugh>. Yeah. Well I was really comfortable and happy with my low carb diet until Brad <laugh> had to talk about cortisone and stress. And, and then you, you changed your dietary approach. Yeah.
I’m eating on a seven month experiment that’s probably gonna be sustained forever and I do appreciate that Bioindividuality. But you know, I think we’re all obligated to, to move more throughout the day. Mm-hmm. That, that might even be up there with sleep before we’re talking about diet and exercise. But we might have, we might have sleep above all those mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then just general movement above of your fitness aspirations. In other words, just getting up and walking around might be higher ranked than mm-hmm. <affirmative>, your punch card at the CrossFit session. So that’s kind of, uh, a good starting point. And then my inspiration was like, my personal goal is to avoid that sarcopenia and maintain my muscle mass muscle strength, athletic performance. And so my mindset is perform, recover, perform, recover. How can I do that better? Just like an athlete, cuz I’m a fake athlete at age 57, but I can call myself whatever I want that’s different than someone who’s got bad blood panels. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, uh, a lot of excess body fat and is frustrated and needs to go tap into some of these tools such as name the title of your book now and then we’ll
The Intermittent Fasting Transformation. Right. <laugh>.
So trans transforming the physique is a real battle. I mean it’s, it’s, it’s brutal and this, the failure rate is incredibly high. And so if we can tap into these tools that’ll, that’ll kick into lifestyle change. I’m all in favor of that. Just like the Keto Reset Diet, 21 Day KJetogenic Plan to do something different and go in and and start fine tuning your metabolism. That’s great. Um, but you know, my personal example, I talk about it a lot cause I think it’s relevant for people who are healthy and active and might wanna focus on that fitness ambition above all else. And how are we gonna fuel that? I’m trying to fuel that with as much nutritious food as I possibly can, including a ton of carbs, relatively speaking to what I ate before. But it’s probably not that much cuz you have a whole pineapple and a giant bowl of blueberries and some dried fruit, and all that. It’s all nutritious carbs. It’s there. There’s not an allocation for chips. Um, you know, uh, the Wendy’s frosty as there was when I was in college and love stopping off to get Wendy’s frosties.
Well, and it’s interesting, I interviewed Steven Gundry on the podcast and he was talking about how you can add MCT oil to fruit and it’ll slow Exactly. Drizzle. That’s what that was. What he was advocat Tell Would you like to drizzle an MCT over
Your bear? It doesn’t sound tasty.
Well, I have to beri less, but yeah, no, MCT oil is one of those, one of those foods that I think is fascinating, but also you have to be careful with it. You know, Dave Asprey talks about disaster pants, and so I have colleagues that can have two tablespoons of MCT oil, and if I have a teaspoon, that’s my max. Hmm. Otherwise what happens when you take it, it’ll give you diarrhea. Oh, okay. Hence disaster pants. So, when Gundry was talking about, you know, he is like, yeah, you got this big bowl of berries or a big bowl of pineapple and you just put some, a tablespoon of MCT oil and it’ll help you, you know, moderate your blood sugar response. I was like, great. And then hopefully you don’t have the untoward digestive distress.
I’m questioning whether someone’s adverse blood sugar response to a bolus of fruit might be predicated by a lot of unhealthy lifestyle habits leading up to that, including decades of eating a bunch of junk food. Just wondering. Yeah,
No, I think, and I think it’s important that we’re all transparent about like my Nof one experiment. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like right now I’m, I’m kind of leaning more back towards eating more key to war or eating more, um, you know, carb eating more meat than I had before and less vegetables because my, my gut will let me know when I’ve consumed too many. So I’m like, okay, I’ve been augmenting my fasting window eating earlier in the day. I know when we, you were on my podcast, we were talking about the triad that I’m starting to see with a lot of females that they over fast, they overs restrict and they overexercise and why that can be problematic. And so finding that heavy medium for each one
Of us, well, it’s a bad triad right there. It’s a very bad triad. And they make bad choices on the dating app. So that’s quadrangular alert. <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. So what is a good window for intermittent fasting
In your opinion? I, I think I, I think a good starting. Yeah. A I think a good starting point is 16/ eight. So 16 hours faster with an eight hour feeding window, I think is a really good starting point for most people. And then kind of figuring out for yourself, like days you lifted in the gym, once you’re fat adapted, once your body’s able to effectively utilize different types of fuel substrates. Like, oh, I lifted heavier this day, I’m really hungry at nine o’clock in the morning. Do you break your fast or make yourself suffer for two more hours? Mm-hmm. And I’m a huge advocate of there should be no suffering in fasting or just in general, we should not force ourselves to suffer. Um, so I think
Wow, what a novel and crazy idea <laugh> fasting
Is she doesn’t want you suffering.
No, that’s suffering for me. <laugh>, you know, fasting, especially by the end of, in toward the end of the third day, it’s, it’s, it’s terrible.
Do you, so you’re doing prolonged fast.
What I, I don’t. I do and it intermittent fasting. But once in a while when I did the prolonged fast and it’s absolutely miserable. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, I get, you know, pretty moody I bet. And just, just feeling like, what am I doing to myself? This can’t be good for me. Hmm.
Yeah. <laugh>. Well, and and, and that’s a good example. Like your, your threshold may be two days if you’re doing a prolonged fast, but you’re also a very petite person. So for you I always say like, I think the net benefit of really long fast it by about 24 hours, if you’re already lean, I think that you, you run the risk of breaking down metabolizing muscle at the expense of any benefits that you’re getting in up-regulation of autophagy. Mm. Um, you know, there was a whole discussion amongst kind of the kinda the healthcare people on Twitter talking about these prolonged fasts. What are the benefits? And so I, I’m just a, a fervent believer if you’re already a lean person, I’m not sure how much more benefit you’re getting by doing these really long per prolonged fast because I wanna protect muscle Mm. Over the expense of, you know, hanging my hat and saying, oh, I did a four day fast. Cuz I agree with you, it’s as much a mental exercise as a physical one. And so if you feel like your’re really, like your mood is suffering, you don’t feel good, break your fast. Yeah. That
Yeah. But then people talk about autophagy how you, you can hit the real autophagy Yeah. Until like my, I can’t remember how many, how, what is it? Like at least 24 hours?
Well, you know that we get up regulation after 16, 18 hours, but you know, there’s no way to test us at home. Like, oh, for you, your personal autophagy threshold is 22 hours.
Pretty soon we’re coming out with a meter that you can stick into your stomach.
I’m sure you can. Yeah.
Unless her in a lab situation.
I’m, I appreciate Mike Mussel’s recent video, very popular. It says Why I Stopped Fasting and what I’m doing instead is the title will have it in the links. But, um, he cites research that at that 48 hour mark of fasting, you get the awesome autophagy benefits. Ter Elango talks about it too. And the, and the fake fast, the mimicking fast, where you can eat a little bit of food every day and get to that five day point where your organs shrink because of all the damaged cellular material is gone. Uhhuh <affirmative>. And then the video essentially says if you go slam in the gym for an hour, you will get these same similar autophy signaling to a 48 hour fast. And then he does the punchline, which one would you prefer <laugh> and slam it in the gym for an hour or a 48 hour time with no food.
And I think piggybacking that is like the major benefits of keto, of prolonged fasting, of intermittent fasting even, or people with metabolic damage that need intervention. They’re like, if we’re all in the ER they’re gonna take those people there mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and treat them first, and then they’re gonna have you go do your Zumba class <laugh> instead. Uh, I’m making, making light of this. But it does feel like that trade off where you’re gonna get all these awesome benefits from fasting, keto, all that stuff, as well as you’re gonna get a lot of benefits in the gym building muscle. And these are not mutually exclusive. Right. They’re kind of hand in hand and the bioindividuality. So let’s check our scoreboard, get your ass off the couch, start working out, and then we’ll talk about adding, going up from three eggs to six eggs and all these things that maybe the, the triad people especially are, are fearful of.
Well, and it’s interesting. I love Mike Mutzel’s work. I mean it’s, he’s, you know, high intensity health.
I thought you said I love my muscles.
No, no. I love Mike Mutzel’s work.
She’s working hard in the
Gym all the time. No, no. High intensity Health is definitely a podcast I listen to on the regular. I think he does a really fantastic job. But isn’t any question like, would you rather have a tough workout or fast for four days? I mean, to me that’s a, that’s like a, a no-brainer. And so unfortunately I think there’s this, this methodology and there’s this dogmatic thought process that you have to, you know, you have to fast for a long period of time to get all these benefits mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you have to suffer a lot. And I’m just not a fan of encouraging anyone to have to suffer a lot. Like, are you going from being a couch potato, doing a standard American diet, transitioning to a more nutrient dense whole foods diet, eating less often? That shouldn’t be perceived as a suffrage. But you know, for some people that may be a bit of a little bit of effort, but the long-term gains are pretty significant.
But I think for the average person, it’s an, it’s not a question of which one most people I think would wanna do. And I certainly, before I had my 13 day hospitalization, I did some longer fast. I never loved them. And it’s much more of a mental fast because you’re like, I’m really hungry and I’m grumpy and I think probably dehydrated and I don’t wanna have to fast for another 24 hours. What am I gonna do with myself? Mm-hmm. So I, I think from a lot of different levels, I had to be fully transparent and say I don’t love long fasting either. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,
I ran into, you know, the pro prolong people mm-hmm. <affirmative> at the A four M meeting mm-hmm. <affirmative> just last weekend and having a, you know, great conversation with the scientist and this, this doctor. And he was saying how traditional fast, you know, just, you know, water fast and that allows more chance for a breakdown of your muscles. And um, and, and you really don’t want that to happen. That’s why they’re giving you nutrients. But I guess they have specific ratios of nutrients, but, or you can just cut your food down for five days mm-hmm. <affirmative> right. To maybe you eat, I don’t know, half or third of what you ate. I assume you would also achieve similar benefits mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, yeah. I’m, I’m actually a little confused about Yeah. Doing the prolong versus just, you know, going straight fasting or just cut down calories. <laugh>
Well, I mean they all fall in the category of stressors. And that’s the real insight that really hit me in the head earlier this year when Jay Feldman talks about that really nicely on his Energy Balance Podcast. Where keto fasting, you know, restricting calories, whatever are stressors to the body, and the body responds with these wonderful health benefits. You get the amazing immune boost, anti-inflammatory, the body works better in a fasted state. The muscles repair, all these great things. But if we have to remember that it’s a stressor. And then we have to look at our overall stress scoreboard where we have girlfriend again, last night cuz I was 20 minutes late, uh, my, my hard workout in the gym, my busy stressful job. Uh, a few, few indulgences where I had the Ben and Jerry’s. And you have this big long scoreboard and then you’re gonna fast to try to cleanse and take care of all that.
But in one context, and it’s very important context to me. Cause I’m talking about perform, recover, perform, recover, I don’t want any extra stress. I already have the stress from those people that have sent me the email that come looking for me and I keep dodging it. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. Like we have a stressful life, busy, hectic, stressful life. And now I know I’m gonna tee you up in a second here, but, um, that, that’s I think lost in the shuffle with how awesome it is to go keto and break free and, and have all these health awakenings and you’re more clear and mentally alert in the morning when you skip your oatmeal and all that, it’s because the stress hormones are flowing and you’re on that, you’re on that heightened fight or flight response. Same with jumping in the cold tub, which I’m a huge fan of, but I’ve taken it down from six minutes trying to be tough guy and put up a YouTube video and show how long I can last.
Now it’s like one and a half to two minutes is fine. It’s freaking 38 degrees in the tub. I don’t need to stay in there six minutes. And I wiggle my legs and I smile and I appreciate it. I didn’t almost said enjoy, but that’s a whole different mindset than when I was seeing how cold adapted I can get. And I was at four and now I’m going for six. It’s just stress and more stress and more stress and more stress. So taking care of our nutritional needs is kind of what you’re talking about. And maybe we could shift gears a little and, and go back to that time in your life when you were working super hard, you had the kids doing your workouts and then kind of had a burnout experience where your, your health decline kind of prompted some of these awakenings and, and career transition, I guess along that timeline. Yes.
I didn’t know you had a burnout <laugh>. Oh yeah. So, so, uh, yeah. Well I think we talked about that. Did we talk about that? I guess we must talked about that offline after we recorded for my podcast. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So hormesis is beneficial stress in the right amount at the right time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and because I was heading into perimenopause and I tell everyone, no one prepared me, not my mother, not my gyn not my girlfriends. It was just like I hit a wall and I was doing too much. I had young kids. My husband traveled internationally. I had a very stressful job as you can imagine, cardiology. It’s like high intensity in the hospital. People who are very critically sick in many instances. So stress or stress is stress. And then I would wake up and take these conditioning classes, which were super intense. What
Five 30 in the morning. Oh God. And then I would go to the hospital. And so I just remember it was a lot of this wash and repeat. Like I was just really pushing my body. A lot of my friends are, they played, you know, lacrosse in college. And so I’m hanging out with them and they’re wonderful people. But, you know, it gets to a point where I’m like, I, I got up one morning and I was like, I literally was like, I’m not depressed. I had no energy. I was like, what is wrong with me? Where am I in my cycle? And so it started this kind of observational pattern of I’m not sleeping anymore. I’m having weird food cravings. I remember I craved, um, I dunno if you’ve ever heard of people making protein pudding. So it’s like a scoop away protein, and then you add like, like water to it and you can put in like nut butter. Oh yeah. Oh, nice. Oh. So I was like eating a lot of that. And it was like I was craving certain things. I was like, what’s wrong with me? And then I started becoming weight loss resistant. I had never struggled with my weight my entire life. Not even after having pregnancies and breastfeeding any of that. And I was like, okay, something’s wrong. What does
That term mean?
It means you can’t lose weight despite doing all the things that you should be able to
Lose weight. Yeah. You’re, you’re, you’re tracking your macros
And it’s just doing everything right. I’m exercising. And so I, I didn’t know enough about what’s happening in perimenopause again, because I didn’t know anything about perimenopause. No one ever talked to me about it. Yeah.
You’re just a nurse practitioner. What, what should
You know? Exactly. I was like, I went to a leading research institution for undergrad and grad school. Like, how could I not know? But it’s because we don’t talk to women about these changes. And so I hit this wall and it literally, you know, I went to my functional medicine person and we, you know, it was like my thyroid. I was too much mercury. It was like all these different things. You have a parasite, you’ve got this, you’ve got that. And it took me a year of just trying to go to bed on time, changing my diet, which was already pretty good. Mm-hmm. Um, I would just walk like I could tell if I had overdone it because I would just be exhausted the next day. So I just, all I did was walk. Mm. I couldn’t go to the gym and lift weights. I couldn’t go to the gym and take those tough punishing classes anymore.
And it was because I had just had over, I had completely overtip that, that hormetic bucket, my body was like time out. And this is even before I was fasting. And so it was the realization that you can’t just push your body all the time and not have enough recovery, like you were just mentioning. So I hit that wall and then it was the following year when I left medicine, by the time my body was healing, I was like, I need to change a lot of things. And one of them needs to be less stress in life, <laugh>. So that was an easy transition. But I think so many women go through that, but they don’t realize it. And they just push through it thinking, you know, it’s gonna get better, it’s gonna get better. And they get more inflamed and more overweight. And you know, for me it was like the, the last five, I used to call it the five pound dairy, the last thing that allowed me to get back to my normal body habitus was dairy. Like, I didn’t even eat much dairy, but it was like dairy was five pounds of inflammation. Oh. One of the hardest things to ever eliminate. Now it makes me totally grossed. I didn’t want it
<laugh>, but, but if you eat raw dairy, I’m wondering if that’s gonna make
A big difference. Don’t even, don’t even touch it. And I ate, I would eat raw cheddar and I would have occasionally have like full fat Greek yogurt and that was about it. Okay. But yeah, for me, dairy was the missing link. Mm-hmm. But it’s different for everybody. But it’s just, the point of why I shared this is that even people who are well-meaning know a lot can fall into that trap of middle-aged. Hmm. Where, you know, people just say it’s a normal function of aging to gain weight. I’m like, BS doesn’t have to
Sign of sign of dysfunction.
Correct. Right. Metabolic and flexibility and imbalance in the body. For sure.
Yeah. Wow. That’s, uh, that’s a journey. I, I remember being in the hospital, I worked in the Psych ER for 11 years, so twice a week at least. So 40 hours in the psychiatric emergency room Wow. For 11 years. And my friends told me that, you’re gonna burn out. You’re gonna burn out. I said, no, I’m not gonna. So I was fine, but I know it was taking a toll on me, you know, not sleeping, you know, waking up in the middle of the night some nights, of course, no sleep. And then <laugh> probably not eating the best thing. You know, I tried to be disciplined, but I, I think, you know, that took a toll. But fortunately, I left <laugh> before I hit that wall.
How many years did you work in your Psychiatry?
ER was counting, residency was 11 years. Wow. So I’d never stopped doing the overnights. It was at least twice a week.
Oh, it’s brutal. For
It’s brutal. <laugh>. I was an ER nurse in inner city Baltimore. And then when I, oh, then I, in this one cardiology practice, we did overnights. And, but our, but the nurses were actually really good to us. They would let us like fall asleep on a stretcher for maybe an hour. But I remember right before my son was born, my first son, I was like, I can’t do this anymore. Cause I’m an early bird. I’m a, I’m up at five o’clock in the morning. I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed. I want to go to the gym. And I just, I was wrecked. Like I just could not recover. And it was okay maybe in my twenties, but then in my thirties I was like, oh man, this is not easy.
I think people do fall into the trap thinking that they’re in invincible. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that is almost a badge of honor of how hard you work mm-hmm. <affirmative> and how far you can push yourself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> instead of thinking, oh I’m been dumb. I’m damaging myself. You think I’m tough, <laugh>.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and it’s interesting, I was reading a book as I was coming over, cuz I had this, this long drive and it was talking about research, talking about shift workers and how they’re at greater risk for certain types of cancers and metabolic disorders. And, um, I was texting a girlfriend of mine who’s actually a, a nurse anesthetist and saying, I’m so glad you’re no longer working nights, and let me just screenshot this. Okay. <laugh> this research that I’m looking at. And she, and she was like, oh my gosh. And, and she’s a breast cancer survivor. So for her, like getting that validation of how that can impact your, you know, susceptibility or any of us, our susceptibility to certain types of cancers and metabolic disease is pretty significant.
Yeah. I’m thinking of John Gray’s comments here. The relationship author Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and all the subsequent books, one of my favorite podcast guests. And he contends that the, the, the cultural evolution where the biological male and the biological female are leaving their traditional roles and asked to blend them and merge them. So now today’s evolved man is supposed to be honest, vulnerable, uh, nurturing, connecting, helping out with the, the little kids and all the things that my great-grandfather and grandfather probably worked eight to five, came home, lit up the pipe, put their feet up and, and read the paper. And now we’re, we’re trying to be all, all these different things. And then on the female side, he contends, you know, we have record rates of anxiety, depression, prescription drug use by the modern evolved female because we want them to, of course, their prominent biological driver being nurturer caretakers and all that.
And then go kick ass in the workplace mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so he calls it the, you know, the male side or the male dominant testosterone side. And so you’re waking up first year nurturing care, taking with your young kids, and then you’re hitting off to crush it. And I know you’re on this career path that’s, you know, super intense and challenging and you’re well adapted to it. As we can read in her book, The Tiger of Beijing. You really thrive on that type of competitive environment. But John Gray argues persuasively that like, this is different than your primary female biological drive that we can suppress, but we can’t escape. So we want you to be, everything is, is basically the question. Especially, I think females have it worse than, um, the men who are asked to now share their feelings a little more than they did in the past. That’s not a big ask for me. Although my last especially not you <laugh>. Yeah. I dunno. I mean, I’m kind of like in the problem solving mode and then like, what emotions are behind that? Well, I’m. Well, that’s not an emotion <laugh>, you know, let’s dig a little deeper. I’ve gotten that feedback before. But I wonder how, first of all, um, how that lands and then how, how do you manage these things where you’re turning the switch on, then you’re turning it off, then you’re turning it on, then you’re turning it off.
Oh boy, Cynthia <laugh> <laugh>.
Well, I, I think it’s a, it’s a constant effort to find balance. I mean, balance is elusive. I mean, let’s be honest, but I felt like I had to prove myself by working in the er. I had to prove myself by going to cardiology, which tends to be a very male-dominated field. And even as an mp, like I’d have a very thick skin to deal with, you know, the abruptness and the emergencies and all these other things. I feel like I had to prove myself for a long period of time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was a young nurse practitioner, proof, proof, proof, proof. And then I think as I, as I’ve gotten older, it’s the recognition that, you know, there are feminine and masculine energies. You know, we as individuals, we lean into one, maybe more than another. And so my greatest challenge has been to kind of slow down a little bit, be a little bit more introspective, say no more often, you know, the people pleasing tendencies that come along with women, especially younger women.
You know, the the irony is that as we are losing estrogen, as we’re getting older, we start losing those people pleasing tendencies. Mm. Which is a beautiful thing, <laugh>. And so I think it’s a constant effort and balance to, you know, find some degree of, you know, within each person’s ind individual lives. Like what works best for you? What makes the most sense? Um, you know, for me, I have a mother who, was very, very, very successful. And so I don’t wanna replicate the way that she went about having all that tremendous success. That she was very masculine, like driven mm-hmm. <affirmative> and very controlling and domineering. And, that worked for her. And she was super successful in a lot of different levels. But I didn’t want that for my family.
Was she happy?
No. <laugh> No, no, no, no, no. But she, she, she was, she was very, I think some people wanna be successful for different reasons. I think if it’s ego driven, that’s, that’s probably not the best reason to wanna be successful. And so if you, if your ego drives all your decision making, you’re probably not gonna make the healthiest choices. Whereas I’m very service oriented. And so I always say like, what’s the greatest value to my listeners? What’s the greatest value to the people I work with? What’s the greatest value to the people on my team? What’s the greatest value to your listeners, when we’re having this conversation? Really being thoughtful about it. And that’s very different. So to me, it’s always a joy. And, and I, I love being able to help people, inspire people, educate people, and empower people. But it, it comes from a good place. So getting back to your original intention of your question, the way I stay balanced within myself is asking myself the questions, who am I serving and who am I speaking to?
Is this coming from my ego? Because if it is, and I’m trying to be an asshole? That’s not a good place to be. So constantly kind of figuring out what, what is most aligned with my true purpose, what’s the most aligned with my family’s values, what’s most aligned for, you know, where I, I see myself being in, you know, five or 10 years. And that’s, that’s why I’m very family focused, even though I’m traveling this week, but it’s just for a couple days. But it’s with the intention of going home to say Okay. For two weeks we’re, I’m like unplugging to be with my family. Nice. I don’t know if you, you know, <laugh>,
You’re looking at joy now. Yeah. She Ain’t gonna escape this question
. Oh, I was hoping that she would just wrap all in one. Um, well, I think it is a struggle. You know, I, you know, my mother was hypercritical Chinese mother. And, um, and growing up in Chinese culture, I think is highly competitive. Imagine you have 1.4 billion people to compete with, and there’s very limited resource. So just to get into college, just to tell you, give you an idea, my year, um, I graduated in 1989. It was an easy year to get into college. And that’s one out of every eight students graduating from high school get to go to college, to any college the year after me somehow. I think there’s a, I don’t know, there’s a high birth rate. What happened is when in 13, so you can imagine the competition, you can be pretty darn smart and hardworking, but doesn’t mean that you’re gonna get to go to college.
So, so that’s kind of an environment I grew up in, that you really have to push hard. And I think I’ve just, you know, very always been a very driven person. So it’s just drive, drive, drive, what’s the next thing. So it’s never been satisfied with, you know, what, you know, what is, which is great because I’ve done so much and I’ve done a lot of good. But how do you balance that with just feeling a sense of calmness and gratefulness mm-hmm. <affirmative> and just, you know, appreciating mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how much, how far you’ve gone mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that’s, that’s something, yeah. It’s is a struggle. It’s funny, I was a psychiatrist cuz, you know, I deal with people’s mental health conditions and, but that’s something that seeking that balance, it’s a challenge. You know, so my, my new thing is to, to do more meditation and really, um, you know, not just say I’m grateful, but actually feel it in my bones.
And that’s, I’m working on that and really feel it and really accepting who I am because, you know, I’ve become, you know, a you know, coming from Chinese culture, which was atheist culture, and then having my own spiritual transformation, especially two years ago when I, you know, tried ketamine therapy when I felt I broke through this veil and saw much greater and saw beyond. So that really transformed my perception of my existence, you know, just what I am and what’s out there and, and where I’m going, you know, after this. Um, so, so how to integrate that into enjoying this life and just feeling the joy. And that’s my challenge that I enjoy, but <laugh> I need to feel it <laugh>, you know, I like to feel it at all times. I mean, that will be such a beautiful thing. So that’s, that’s what I’m working on.
You know, I think I’ve shifted a little bit before it was accomplished, accomplished, accomplished, but now it’s, it, it doesn’t matter as much. Um, what matters is, is how, how in tune I am with my existence. And that can be achieved by just being in nature, by yeah. By, you know, loving the animals around you or appreciating people around you. So it’s a, it is a different focus. It seems like doing even more than before, but, uh, but the focus is, is is different. You know, I like to focus on more on the, just the enjoyment of, of life and of existence. You know, just make every day, every interaction, you know, like, you know, feel something inside of you. Right. Like, make the heart feel good. Mm.
Yeah. No, it’s definitely a spiritual journey, it sounds like. Yes.
It’s beautiful. Yes. And it’s, I’m still journeying
<laugh>. Oh, that’s wonderful. I, I think for so many of us, it’s, I’ve gotten much more introspective over the, I think since 2019 in particular, because I had been so sick and I was like, if I get out of this hospital bed, if I go home, if I’m okay, I’m gonna live my life a very different, like, stop the people pleasing, have more boundaries, but be very clear. I fear nothing. I truly feel fear, nothing. I’m like, no matter what happens, I’m gonna be okay. And so, you know, for me, 2019 was like, there was a line in the sand. It’s like, okay, what are we gonna do? And so, you know, the, the worst thing that ever happened to me was the biggest blessing that ever happened. And so from that tell, it’s really powerful tell. So I spent 13 days in the hospital in 2019.
I went to the hospital with the worst abdominal pain I’d ever had, worse than labor, which said something. And it turned out I had a ruptured appendix, but not just a ruptured appendix. I had initially pancolitis, so the whole length of my colon was inflamed and the surgeons wanted to take me to the OR and I was like, time out, you can’t take my colon. And they’re like, of course we can take your colon. I said, I don’t wanna have a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. No, I need you to save my colon. And so my husband was like, please save her colon. And I end, I’ll never hear the end of it. I’ll never hear the end of it. And so that then started this 13 day journey. And it was like day two, I developed a small bowel obstruction. So I went from looking normal to looking like I was six months pregnant. And then it was like one series of complications after another. I developed retroperitoneal abscesses, I developed a fistula. I was seeing five or six different specialists trying to figure out what was going on. And so during that 13 day journey on, on day five, I recall that I was visited by a spirit, God, whomever, the universe. And it was, you know, what do you wanna do? Did
You have a ketamine IV in it? No, Did Dr. Kong
. No, I did not. But I remember very distinctly, I was like, I set an intention. There were two things I wanna do. I wanna get home to my kids and I wanna do this talk. And of course, my husband thought I was nuts, <laugh> in the midst of being very sick. And so day 13, I went home and I said to my mom, my Italian mother, probably a lot like a Chinese mom, <laugh>. I said to my mom, I wanna do this talk. She’s like, no, you’re not doing this talk. You’re gonna recover and you’re gonna, yeah, I’d lost 15 pounds. So I looked like a skeleton. And, and you know, like I’d missed every milestone for this talk. And so I, you know, my husband reached out to ’em and said, she still wants to do the talk. And they were like, why <laugh>?
We totally understand. She doesn’t wanna do it. They let me do it. And so 27 days after I left the hospital, I did a talk that changed my life. Mm. And I did the talk really to show my kids I was okay. That was the intention. I was like, I really just wanna show my kids them, okay? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that talk is, you know, the rest is history cuz it went viral and it changed everything, the trajectory of my business. But what I always say, the most important thing to me is how it changed me as a person. Not because it went viral, but because I had been so sick and realizing like, what’s most important in my life? What do I wanna do with my life? I don’t wanna place, I don’t wanna play safe anymore. You know, let’s, let’s like embrace opportunities, let’s do things outside your comfort zone.
I’m a total introvert, which people are always surprised to know, super introvert, <laugh>. Um, you know, what do I wanna do with the rest of my life? You know, for the next 40 some odd years? What do I want to do? Do I wanna live safe and small? No. And so I, you know, I, I grew up in a house where I had a mother who was very successful. I had a father who didn’t live to his full potential. He would say that himself. I’m not paraphrasing. And so I, I just think my place in this space is to show people what’s possible. And so in a way where I’m incredibly grateful for every day and, and very appreciative. And I know we shared a ruptured appendix story. I tell everyone, I’m like, I never respected the appendix. I used to call it a useless vestigial organ. Oh. In the ER. I was like, oh, no one needs an appendix. And sure enough,
<laugh>. What were you afraid of and how were you holding yourself back prior to Oh, the visit.
You know, I think, I think I had been conditioned to believe that, you know, I have certain family members that are very, very financially successful. And I was like, oh, you’re, you’re, you serve others, you know, you’re a caretaker, you’re a healthcare provider. You’re not meant to make money. You’re not meant to be successful in a different capacity. And so, you know, to me it was very empowering to realize like I had no business training and yet I made a series of really good decisions, one after another, very serendipitously that led me to a place where, I mean, it expanded every opportunity that I could have ever imagined. The people I get to meet the, Individuals I get to help. Um, you know, being on a platform where I get to really encourage women to think beyond the obvious. Like not to get caught up in scarcity mindset. Not to, to believe that you can’t be still very vital and active and capable. Um, you know, north of 35 or 40. And so I feel very, very, very grateful.
And you talked something about the concept of manifesting the vision boards, the goals, seeing these things. You talked about it just before we started recording mm-hmm. <affirmative> that you wanna, you know, imagine yourself mm-hmm. <affirmative> with all your successes and how that feel, that feels.
So we’re writing down our goals. I’m gonna add a zero to some of my business goals. And oh, there, I met my goal. I just add a zero. It’s that simple. And then how do I feel about it is the next step besides, you know, going for these, these linear goals and living that feeling.
Yeah. It’s an amazing feeling. It, it’s funny, I had a, so I, I’ve created a vision board every year. I don’t necessarily make it public. It’s like, it’s just something that I have. And there was someone I put on a vision board like five years ago, and I’ve listened to this person’s podcast and I’ve been like, I’m just really been amazed at his ability to connect with people. And I was on his podcast this fall and I was trying not to be a dork in his presence, cuz he was amazing and wonderful. And at the very end as I was leaving, I just said, I have to let you know, five years ago I put you on a vision board. And I said, I’m still kind of like pinching myself that I’m here, but yet I’m, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Like, I’m exactly at a point in my career where I’m supposed to be.
I would not have lived to my full potential if I’d stayed in clinical medicine. I wouldn’t be able to help as many people. And so I tell my kids, and so my 15 year old who’s kind of cynical, he was like, like, mom’s gonna manifest, blah, blah, blah, blah <laugh>. And I just have to remind him, I’m like, manifestation is a really powerful act and it’s one we should lean into. You know, it’s, it’s something that for me, I, everything that I’ve, I’ve, I’ve stated I want to do has happened mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so it’s like taking those little incremental steps forward that allows us to put ourselves in positions and to grow. Like, you should be doing things that scare you. You should never get complacent. When we get comfortable, we don’t grow. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and through adversity comes opportunity. And that to me has just been what I feel like I’ve really learned in the last few years. In particular. Like, we don’t, we don’t grow when we’re comfortable. Hmm.
So once you’ve put it on the vision board, do you, do you do anything about it to reinforce it? Like what, what, what do you do with it?
I look at it because for me I’m very visually oriented. So it’s just a reminder. You know, for me this year it was, uh, you know, more inner growth stuff. So I wanna make sure that I’m investing in, like, I’ve been doing more Reiki therapy and I’ve been doing more, um, you know, cognitive work because I always say like not, I think I’m convinced that traditional therapy is something I’ll probably do for the rest of my life. Cuz there’s always stuff I need to work on. Like, I’m not perfect. I’m perfectly imperfect. And so there’s always things like, oh, um, when I get triggered you’re like, oh, okay, well there’s something I need to work on. You know, there’s like, you know, and it, it’s funny
What an opportunity. Yeah. Thank you so much for being such an
<laugh>, you know? No, but it, it’s interesting like the whole concept of trauma leaving scars and you’re like, oh, I got triggered. So what am I not dealing with? Because I think the only way that I can evolve into the person I’m supposed to be, cuz I’m not yet there, is just constantly introducing opportunities to become stronger, be more, you know, just putting myself in positions where I’m, I’m growing constantly. So to answer your question, my vision board is part visual representation of the direction I’m going in, but it’s also the validation, like as I’m achieving those things that I’m talking about and they’re not material things like maybe clear, like some of these people put that like, I wanna have this kind of car. It’s not that kind of stuff. It’s substantive things. Who do I wanna meet mm-hmm. <affirmative>, who do I wanna speak on a stage with?
Um, what are the opportunities I want to have come my way, um, in my business or personally or professionally? You know, right now I’m at a stage where I’ve got teenagers and teenagers don’t really love spending time with their parents. I mean, they do and they don’t. And so it’s constantly entertaining ways, like, how can I connect more with my kids before they go to college? How can I be more present for my husband? Because I tend to be like a whirling dervish in my head, you know, where I’m like, oh, I got all this stuff I need to do and I’m not a hundred percent present all the time, so how can I be more present, more capable?
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I think the mere act of doing the making the effort is, is taking these huge steps forward. And, um, I’m, I’m coming to appreciate these concepts more where maybe perhaps at first I would call on the BS the characterization where I’m gonna manifest the perfect guy. He’s got a little bit of stubble. Um, he flies private, he’s got a Ferrari <laugh> and you know, we, we, we ridicule this type of this, this art or whatever you want to call it. And so if you think it’s BS like perhaps a teenager might pop off about it. He’s absolutely correct because that’s <laugh>, you know, you form that belief, you’re right. Doesn’t mean shit and you might as well uh, forget it. Uh, but then if you sort of sort of tiptoe in this direction and realize also that anything we’ve accomplished to date, we dreamed about it beforehand, I promise you in one way, shape, or form.
So that, that’s kind of, um, a way to kind of open up. I think more people, especially those who might be resistant or, uh, make these self-limiting beliefs and verbalize them. And that’s part of your life. And, you know, that person complains a lot and it’s just kind of something they own that they might wanna get rid of. I, like Luke’s Story’s take on this whole concept of manifestation. He says it won’t work and you’re not connected to anything until you start with a place of gratitude for where you are right now. So he would drive through the Hollywood Hills and see these big estates and, and think, why not me? I would throw kick parties there instead of those, you know, uh, hermits that don’t even use their 17 bedrooms, whatever. And that’s, you know, we want to get past that and think, wow, I love my little private space here in my one bedroom apartment, and now I’m going to see myself in the future and feel what it’s like to be in that estate throwing the big party, whatever. Okay. So we start with a position of gratitude and then we open up to the forces or whatever we want to call it,
Because the potential is endless. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s as big as our imagination
Do you write that a lot on your Instagram? I notice. And, uh, all that cosmic connections and like, again, just reading it, even if you’re in a bad mood or whatever, you’re, you’re cut off. And we were talking about this before where I start my day with tremendous gratitude. I do my morning exercise routine. It makes me feel so good. I’m locked in, I’m locked in. I’m honoring Dave Rossi’s contention that the way to become happy is to remove all the things that make you unhappy. And it’s like, dang, that works every time. And boy am I happy just to be alive. And then something comes in to make you unhappy. And that’s, I guess what you’re talking about both. You said it’s a process, you’re working on it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and that’s all we’re gonna do until, until further notice.
Yeah. I mean it’s, it’s interesting to me to in having the ability to talk to so many women, how many people feel stuck and they’re not ready to do the work. And I just keep saying like, trust in the process. Like today you may be able to go from A to B and then maybe, you know, six months from now you go from A to B to C and just understanding that we’re all in this journey. We all want to be growing, we don’t wanna be stagnant. And yet, gosh, the last almost three years have shown us, there’s a lot of people where there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance and they really struggle to be able to evolve as a human being. And so I feel very fortunate that I have opportunities to connect with like-minded people cuz that’s, that’s how we all grow.
Are we stuck because of all the difficult influences that get in our, get in our way today?
I, I think, I think that’s part of it, but I think there are some people, I I always say it’s the world of nice, nice, you know, they just live in this world of nice, nice where mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, they’re, they’re flying at 30,000 feet and they’re just not willing to see. Like I always say like I’ve always been very, I’m probably the truth teller in my family, which gets me in trouble or I’m like, I just see things and I say it. But I think there are people who just don’t exist in a space where either they’re comfortable or they’re capable of seeing things at a deeper level.
I don’t know. What do you think can, does that? Does that this is your, with you Joy? Yeah,
Well people are, yeah. Comfort I think is, is a big thing. You know, mental comfort and you know, even if it’s a miserable place, um, it’s still can be very comfortable. And to break through a particular state requires an activation energy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So either you don’t have that energy and the drive within you, um, or you haven’t discovered it, you know, then, then you never gonna break through. Then it’s just, you know, let’s just stay this miserably comfortable place. Mm-hmm. Um, and that’s what I see a lot of people are doing
. Yeah. I feel like these ladies are, are seeing right through me now, <laugh> and I could be one of those, those nice nices <laugh> seriously cuz I so technic I have a tendency to avoid conflict. I’ve never once got in the face of the guest calling on certain stuff that I could have been a completely different podcast host and say, okay, now wait a second. Actually we do have one occasion where I said, is there any research to back that up? And the answer was, if you don’t believe in creation, you’re not gonna like my answer. Oh. And so I did, I did go out on that limb <laugh> when told that celery was good for the bones because it looks like a bone and walnuts are good for the brain because it resembles a brain. The walnuts, you know, <laugh>. Um, and then, Mark Sisson and I went offline, you know, after the show and we made up some more like, candy corn look like teeth, so it’s good for your teeth cutting candy looks like lungs, so it’s good for your lungs.
But in general, what I’m saying is I’m navigating through life a conflict averse and also I guess the people pleasing where you want to be appreciated. You want to be liked, you don’t wanna say no. And these are things I guess I’d say I’m aware of and working on because I feel like there might be a, a different, a different level where it’s more unfiltered, which is what I think this, this communication medium is all about Anyway, it’s not the KTLA news and we’ll be back in, in three more minutes of these two ladies and then we’re done. Now we can do whatever. So I’m, I’m sharing that. I think I am looking for a breakthrough in that area where it’s just the real me at all times. We al we can always dispense feedback with loving kindness. And I strongly believe at all times with no excuses, especially with kids, loved ones, romantic partner, whatever, there’s no need for sparks mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but sometimes those sparks start flying when you get triggered because you forgot and you were living nice, nice for these seven things and now you get triggered. So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that’s my add on there. Work in progress.
So you’re no Paul Saladino
<laugh>. Yeah. Right. I mean, and you know what, like I gravitate toward, um, certain personalities and have my entire life where they did have that jerky boy gene, which I appreciated and you know, kind of it fed me because I think we, we find we look for complimentary forces, right. And, um, I’m not sure I would recommend that in a romantic partnership. I really like the nicey nice as the starting point and maybe the ending point even when shit gets difficult. We can still, you know, speak always with loving kindness, but you know, get your, get your true your true self out there and, and understand to advocate for your own needs and your boundaries and things like that.
I think that’s really important. I think a lot of people are conditioned to, to be constantly giving and not advocating for themselves. And that can be a recipe for an unhappy life if you don’t acknowledge or
Yeah. That’s, what do you call it when you’re stuck in the comfort, comfort zone.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think another thing I’m learning and, and I was talking with somebody, you know, group of people. They, because they, I think in this culture, in western culture, people about talk about love a lot. Love, you know, Jesus love, you know, love for each other. Love you.
I don’t hear that very much in China. You know, people don’t talk about love, love, you know, even in religions, it’s not about, they may talk, you know, maybe a little bit of compassion, you know, a lot about compassion, which they, they can call it a broad love, but they don’t, you know, it’s very different. This culture’s very focused on love. But I, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m trying to, you know, kind of feel what people are feeling here because people who have had, you know, a lot of spiritual experiences feel that there’s tremendous amount of love coming our way. That if we only know how much we’re loved, then our life is gonna be so much more blessed and we’re gonna feel so much better. So that’s something that, you know, I, I think it’s, uh, it’s gonna take some practice is actually to feel loved. And I think that’s what, what’s happening with a lot of people as well. Cause they don’t think they are loved. And then you’re just in this world fighting for yourself. Mm. It’s a lonely process. Mm-hmm.
<affirmative>. Yeah, I can imagine. I mean, I, I think about, I reflect on the past nearly three years and, you know, just what goes on with brain physiology when people are stressed, you know, the overriding of your prefrontal cortex. People are in the stress state, they’re reactionary. They’re not thinking they’re, you know, they’re just, they’re, they’re fighting. They’re fleeing. And so really understanding that, um, there’s so much to play with emotions and connection and, and obviously this is your area of expertise, but, you know, from,
I don’t feel like an expert
<laugh>. But I, but I think on a lot of different levels, what I’ve watched and witnessed is someone who is a PolySci major the first time around what I’ve watched over the last three years, it’s like, wow. You know, the pendulum can swing where we understand and we lean into love, and we lean into gratitude, and we lean into connection. Or it can be the opposite. And I think when people are disconnected and feel unloved, feel unworthy, that’s where a lot of, um, negativity can stem from.
Yeah. It’s not like, you know, I want to talk about love. It is because I hit a wall. Right. And how do you, how do you look at your life again? And the wall is the wall of judgmentalness and, and negativity, right? Negative talk. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> negative judge, you know, perceptions. So, and that creates misery. So even though I am overall a pretty positive person, but I still have negative self-talks. So it is not, you know, I usually would not have, you know, talked about love, you know, I didn’t go into medical school thinking I’m gonna be a psychiatrist or, you know, be very touchy feel feely. You know, that’s not my, you know, that was not the farthest from my mind. But I think it’s through living life and, and not reaching a state of, of happiness that, that you think you should be able to, you know, like we, we all want to mm-hmm. <affirmative> and what is, is preventing us? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> what is in the way. And that’s, um, that’s probably why, um, you know, I’m thinking about all this, but I think that has the potential to transform a lot of people’s lives. Because we can talk about diet all we want, but if we don’t feel good about ourselves, you know, and we don’t feel connected. It just, it it’s
<laugh>. Yeah. There’s an execution.
Gonna get there.
And that’s, that’s what’s underneath the surface of failure to execute. Cuz I think, there’s a lot of knowledge out there. And a lot of people know where their, where their shortcomings are and they make a, you know, a futile effort and they go regress again. I like James Clear’s Atomic Habits, number one bestselling book in the world right now where, he makes the point of like, set the bar really freaking low so that you can jump over it and make some progress and then celebrate it every time. And especially when it comes to diet and changing these, these habits and okay, they’re wiring our brain for the indulgent foods. And so we really are addicted to them at a certain level. But if you can just take that baby step and cut out maybe one little indulgence that’s particular to you.
Get over that bar. Get over that bar. Cuz when you said stuck, I’m immediately thinking to people that they got 17 goals and they’re really stuck cuz they’re, none of ’em are working. Well. Well, why don’t you take one and then we’ll check back in a month. And, and depending on the starting point, let’s make it easy. I, I love that idea for, for everything. Even, you know, staying away from the distraction of the email inbox. I talked to Seth Godden, he is bestselling author, many books and marketing expert and peak performance expert. And I said, you know, I had my list of questions ready to talk to this guy. And I, one of ’em was like, you know, as a fellow author, uh, when I’m working on a book, what do you suggest to, um, you know, alleviate the, the potential distraction of the email inbox as I really struggle with that. Oh, good question. Thank you Brad. He says, turn that shit off and get the work done.
The work is too important. That’s your calling, that’s your highest purpose. Get the freaking book done and turn that off. And then there was like that silence that we just had right here. Like, I’m waiting for, you know, his seven tips to avoid email distractions. No, that was it. Done. Next question please. I’m like, alright, that’s a pretty badass. Okay, say no more.
Have you ever read the book Eat the Frog? Mm-hmm.
It’s, it’s a short read. But my first business coach was like, you need to read this book. And so effectively what you do is you do the three things you don’t wanna do the most first thing in the morning. Oh. Because then you’re a total badass the rest of the day. Mm-hmm. And so it’s a book I recommend to my coaches. I’m like, listen, I’m telling you this book, although it’s very simple, it’s written to for anyone. To me it was like incredibly impactful along the lines of Atomic Habits. Like set the bar low, so you’re gonna succeed, set yourself up for success. And I think, you know, to your point, I think so many of us, we overcomplicate things like you were expecting Seth Goden to give you, these are the seven tips and you’re like, just turn it off.
Yeah. And that’s just get it done setting up for failure, really. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> to overcomplicate things or make ’em too daunting.
So maybe a first step to set the time of checking email to whatever, you
Know, like batching whatever,
3:00 PM Yeah.
<laugh>. Yeah. And then
Also for, for 20 minutes and that’s it.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. And, you know, we’re succumbing to this cultural programming, the hacking of the American Mind, Dr. Robert Lustig, who’s a food expert. But this book was great about, um, you know, the dopamine triggers that marketing forces are, because we get, it’s called intermittent variable reward like a slot machine. When we look at our text messages or our social media feed, it’s new, it’s novel. And the human brain is wired way more toward that than working on a frustrating manuscript or something that’s challenging and that you have to persevere and struggle through. However, persevering and struggling through daunting challenges that are aligned with your highest purpose is the essence of living a rich and meaningful life. So we’re compelled to do it.
We know it’s better for us. It feels great to hit send when you finish a 230 page book that started with a blank screen. But, how did I spend my time yesterday afternoon during my book writing block? Messing with this, messing with that? And I think we’re facing this now. We’re all of a certain age where we can reference this chunk of our life where there was no internet and no distraction, no mobile device. And so I’m, my, my heart’s breaking for myself and also the younger generation because now it’s like, this is the longest direct conversation I’ve had in many years because there’s always something interrupting. And, even, you know, even in routine every day transaction, it’s like we jump to something else, we jump to something else in our mind or in our mouth and it’s like, boy, it’s an adjustment that I’m having a hard time with. And I think we, it would serve us to Dr. Leig listed like, you know, 10 ways. It’s like junk food, prescription drugs, street drugs, pornography, video gaming, excessive exercise, all these things. You get a huge dopamine hit right away, Serial dating, all this kind of crap. Um, and it’s like, wow. That’s pretty much <laugh>, um, what we’re seeing on advertisements and we’re indulging in.
No, it’s an interesting time. I mean, I, I’m grateful that all of us grew up in a time when you went to college and we all did stupid things, but they weren’t chronicled on social media and shared with the world. And I just think it was still a kind of a blissful period. We didn’t walk around with cell phones. I mean, it wasn’t until grad school that I had a cell phone. I remember I would leave it in the cab. I was always leaving at places cuz I didn’t like having a cell phone. I hated being accessible. And I think we’re just so connected all the time that people don’t get opportunities to, you know, really decompress because we’re so connected. I mean, a good example, my, my phone rang multiple times while I was here, even though it was off ringing to my iPhone or my Apple watch mm-hmm. <affirmative> and just that connection where you’re like, I’m never truly like disconnected and I want to be, I think most of us desire to be,
So with, you have teenage boys in the house right now, you’re, you’re like probably fighting this battle as I recall. My kids are in their twenties. And then I’m gonna ask from the peanut gallery, I would love to have an outside opinion on today’s model: Typical helicopter slash lawnmower parent. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna have everyone involved here. But I just felt like it was a daily battle to navigate all these untoward, false forces of culture that, you know, could, could send things off track.
Well, I think it, you know, my kids lived through this pandemic and so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the wheels fell off the bus then because they weren’t, we, they, they weren’t going to school every day. They weren’t seeing their friends. The only way they could be connected was to be on their computer where they were sort of kind of in school, but not really and connecting on, you know, gaming computers. And so I feel like the wheels fell off the bus in 2020. And so, you know, giving them a lot of latitude again because, you know, you had to, it’s like all of us are living through a time we’d never dealt with before. You can’t see your loved ones, you can’t travel anywhere without a mask. It was just sore, frustrating. And then when they got back to school, maybe it got a little bit better.
But now we just shut the wifi off at night, which is a source of tremendous pain for the teenagers. Cuz then they, they, they circumvent ways to get back on the internet or to get back on the wifi I mean, it’s just an endless, so I, I think I’ve gotten to the point now where I’m trying to just do they get good grades and they generally are good kids. Yes. Then I cannot, I, I cannot allow myself to stress constantly. Mm-hmm. I cannot be a helicopter parent because I don’t know the bandwidth for it. Like mm-hmm. <affirmative> the friends or the people I know socially that are that way. I’m like, your kids are gonna hate you. You know, you have to let them fly. Like I have a 17 year old and a 15 year old. They have to be able to make some of their own decisions.
Whether they’re the right decisions or the wrong decisions, they have to have to make, they have to, the ability to make some decisions in a safe way. And so, for me personally, the wheel fell off the bus in 2020. We try to keep things rained in. It’s not a perfect system. Now, the teenagers go to bed later than we do. So that’s, that’s one issue. They’re out later. They’re up in the house. So it’s first dinner is when all of us eat together. Second dinner is when they come down at nine o’clock at night and destroy my kitchen <laugh> and have second dinner. And then, you know, they go to bed three hours after me. I just can’t stay up till midnight. Right. I really
Can’t. You can’t police that.
. No. So we’ve just, we’ve had to set boundaries and expectations and sometimes they rise to set expectations and sometimes they don’t. And there are consequences to that.
They’re gonna turn out just fine.
<laugh> <laugh>. No. Cuz you know, speaking from knowing myself and what kind of kid I was and it’s, it’s gonna be fine. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> because they just need to explore and test out the boundaries and make some mistakes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then they’re gonna be who they really are. You know, they’re gonna find their way. So I remember, you know, at the time when I was the most, you know off track, you know, hanging out with a bunch of bat kids and you know, 13 years old and you know, coming home and, you know, nine, 10 o’clock at night, you know, having not eaten anything and just, you know, my parents didn’t know what to do with me and my mom was giving up on me and my dad was the one that was always there. Hmm. Writing me notes saying, dear daughter, you know, I’m worried about you.
You know, I can’t, I can’t bear to see you going down this road. And then I’ll be so mad that he was trying to change how I was, you know, which has been bad and how dare he saw, tear up his note and toss it. But inside I knew mm-hmm. <affirmative>, this man cares about me. My mom didn’t. My mom was like, you’re gonna be social garbage. Goodbye. You know? But my dad was always there. Wow. And by the time I needed to make a decision of where I want to go in my life, do I want to actually get into a good high school so I can go to college? Or do I just wanna, you know, just flow, float away. It was knowing the love from my dad that actually meant something. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that’s what I used to tell my patients, you know, when I was doing psychiatry is that cuz they complain about their kids and how difficult it is. I, I said the best thing you can do is to love them.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative> because it’s a blessing. That’s the one thing people don’t realize. They assume they’re teenagers who want wall themselves it up in their bedroom that they don’t wanna talk, they don’t wanna connect mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I always say, you have to get creative. You have to meet them on their terms. It could be that you take one to run errands or you go grocery shopping, whatever it is, you take ’em to a movie. Um, you know, I never say that. I think parenting per se is hard. It’s a journey. I’ve loved every stage. Genuinely my kids know that this stage gets more challenging cuz they’re bigger than me. They weigh more than me. <laugh>. I look up at them, they look at, okay, time out. Yeah. I know there’s none of that. Um, and I think for a lot of people it’s that reframe of understanding like what you want or what we desire our children to turn into are strong, independent, healthy adults.
That’s what we want. That’s everything we’re doing is investing in that. And so I, I think some of the challenges that I see other people making just kind of objectively <laugh> is that they don’t like their kids having a, a, a personality or ideas that differ from their own and they’re uncomfortable with that. It scares them. And instead of like leaning into their kid and saying, okay, tell me more about that. Cuz I have one child who has very strong political views, which are not aligned with mine or my husbands. And we’re like, where did this kid come from? And so sometimes I’ll just invite him. I’m like, tell me more about that. Hmm. Wow. Yeah. Explain that to me. And in the back of my head, I’m going, where did this come from? Yeah. Yeah.
That’s a nice way to Yeah. Diffuse that. Yes. And the letter writing that is so touching. What a fantastic strategy. Oh, you know what, because that, that counts for, I mean, it’s like tearing it up. You’re having to physically tear up these words being defined
Like, you know what the kicker
Was. Incredible impression.
Years later I found out that my parents had gone to the trashcan. No. Picked up all the pieces and glued them all back together and saved all the notes. Oh my God. <laugh>.
That’s so sweet. I don’t have a dad like that. So I really respect that
<laugh>. Yeah. That’s
Something I’m gonna start using that technique even at this late date. It’s never too late to write a note to your kid. Yeah, yeah. Just one way. Tell them the other I love you’re concerned about you or, you know, congratulations, whatever it is.
There’s not a lot of texts. My handwriting’s illegible <laugh>. Is your handwriting illegible?
No, it’s beautiful.
Mine’s too <laugh>. I’m telling you, years of writing in hospital charts way before the advent of EMRs.
Yeah. People actually say like, you actually a doctor. You don’t write like
A doctor <laugh>. No. My signature is scribble like that is my legal signature. Scribble
<laugh>. Well, you’re trying to prove yourself to everyone there. So you had to scribble like the rest of the, the rest of the medical
Scene. That’s true. Yeah. That’s true. Yeah. You’re the outlier. <laugh>.
So back to the Brussels sprouts <affirmative>, you had to, you had to put ’em on the sidelines as you healed. You went strict carnivore. I had to and all in in the name of healing all that trauma. So let’s talk a little bit about this carnivore movement, which is fascinating to me, especially the amazing healing stories. Um, you know, I, I’ve drifted in that direction a a lifelong shift in my eating habits to realize that animal-based makes the most sense. It’s evolutionary model, all those things. And then the new insight to me anyway, and to, to most of us that these wonderful colorful plant foods that have been widely agreed to be the centerpiece of a healthy diet are possibly not that necessary and even potentially problematic. I love Brian Sanders Peak Human podcast where he has this food scoreboard, really simple, junk food, processed food is minus one <laugh> vegetables are a zero. And, uh, meat and fruit or plus one. It’s like, okay, wow. Wait,
There gonna be a lot of doctors who disagree with you. Doctors in the integrative
A lot of, lot of humans that disagree with the peak human right. But I think the breakthrough insight or the controversial insight is what about these wonderful, uh, colorful plant foods that have high levels of phytonutrients and things that also are technically toxins prompting a defense response.
I think so much of it’s the health of your gut microbiome. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I know for myself, six weeks of antifungals and antibiotics, my gut was decimated.
Right. You had leak leaky gut and terribly gut unfunctioning gut in everything else. Gut.
Yes. I had all sorts of structural gut. Yes. Everything. Structural problems, uh, times a hundred. So I, I think for it’s been my experience personally and professionally, that there was a period of time where I just, I could not tolerate fiber, couldn’t tolerate it. And even now I can tell you when I’ve had too much, like too much roughage, too much raw vegetables, too many vegetables in general, my body will give me a check in like, oh, time out. You might wanna do carnivore for a couple weeks or you may need to do carnivore for a week or two just to kind of get things back on board. And so I, I think that litmus test is important. I think that’s where that bioindividuality comes in. Like my mother, it gives her hives that I don’t, I really stay away from oxalates because that’s the one thing I learned from me was, was particularly potent. Whether it’s almond flour crackers, whether it’s spinach and kale and celery, and I mean things that are not intrinsically minus the process crackers. Things that are not intrinsically all that bad for you. But for me, if I were to eat know kale salad, that would probably set things up that it would just be like enough inflammation that it would just start this whole onslaught of problematic symptoms that I would have, I’ll just leave it there. As opposed to giving you graphic examples. Um,
So a high oxalate food oxalate is one of these plant poisons, natural plant toxin that can cause inflammation. It can help promote gout and many other things. And I like how you started the discussion cuz if you have, you know, healthy gut function and healthy immune function, um, humans have been proven to be incredibly resilient. We can eat all kinds of stuff from all over the globe. And then we have the modern human where a lot of people are probably suffering from imperfect digestibility. If you have gas, bloating, uh, elimination, irregularities, all these things, which most people can raise their hand. That’s why they do the commercial. Do you have <laugh> frequent this, this and this? Then try this pill. So if we’re not that’s not responding to whatever prescription medication or dietary intervention, that’s when we really shine the light on this new idea of leaving out the super nutrition plant foods.
Well, and it’s interesting, Dr. Terry Walz, who obviously healed her MS with you know, phytonutrient dense diet shocks about nine cups of vegetables a day. I’m like, if I ate even in a, in a healthier gut state, nine cups of vegetables, that would not agree with me. So I think it really comes back to leaning it, like being cognizant and aware of what makes your body feel good, what gives you digestive symptoms like bloating and constipation, diarrhea are not normal. So if they start happening, it means something is off <laugh> <laugh>. And unfortunately as it’s like, I think a lot of people just assume this is their normal. Right. And I’m like, you know, you should not be constipated. That is not normal. Yeah. How many women think it’s okay to poop twice a week? And I’m like, uh, there’s something that’s, that’s amiss here. This should not be your normal
Sarcopenia, constipation, gas, bloating, it’s all normal. 17 prescriptions. Yes. Right. Um, and I think, uh, what what was new for me was to realize that like, you’re consuming when you have that kale salad, you’re not consuming directly all these wonderful phytonutrients and antioxidants that go into your bloodstream and make you healthier. And you’re consuming the poison and you’re prompted to mount an antioxidant defense response in the body. I’m like, wait, are you sure Paul Saladino? Is this true? He’s like, yeah, <laugh>, you know, the blueberries are not a handful of antioxidants. They’re a handful of things that prompt an antioxidant response,
which could be a good thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
A fantastic thing. And, you know, plant-based diet and all the, all the highly regarded benefits. So, um, I think my follow up was if you can, if you can get those benefits elsewhere, such as fasting, I mean, what’s more antioxidant, the morning smoothie at the smoothie bar or fasting until your mea? Fastings probably gonna win, I’m guessing in, in some context. And so if that’s the case, what’s the rationale left over to go looking for a salad every day besides enjoying your life and wanting to celebrate with the salad rather than Ben and Jerry’s?
Well, besides salad tastes amazing. <laugh>, right?
I mean, no joke. I mean, you, that’s what I’m saying is like, you want to live and enjoy your life and the handmade gourmet ice cream in Seattle where they have a bunch of different places you can go test and samples delicious. So I’ll do that. Not with my shopping cart today when I go to the store, but when I’m on vacation and indulging and enjoying my life, I have no problem with that. Same with if you truly enjoy salad. But what happened to me in May of 2019, hearing this information, I’m looking at my salad going, well, you know, it’s crunchy, but the dressing’s good on it and the things I put on it. But it was sort of like, if this is not the centerpiece of health and gonna help me live to 123, um, I guess I’m second guessing it now and going, looking more towards the slices of liver and the eggs and the grass fed buffalo and those things that are the true nutrient dense foods of the planet.
I’m kind of being argumentative here. I want to get you guys going and, and, um, throwing out some, some spice. But to me it was like a, a real awakening and also putting me in the ashamed and embarrassed category from writing these books saying, you know, um, this is, this is the ultimate and if you can, the further you can get toward more colorful and more plants on your plate, and we take a picture of the plate with two thirds plants and one third, some of that’s now being aggressively challenged by, by the, the promoters of the carnivore movement.
But isn’t it supposed to be that we, we evolve and shift and change as clinicians and human beings throughout our lifetime?
So I don’t have to be embarrassed in ashamed?
Is that what you’re saying? No, because I used to tell patients, eat frequently and eat snacks and mini meals to stoke your metabolism and stabilize your blood sugar. I mean, I cringe.
Yeah. Jay Feldman’s saying that to me right now. And I’m like, dude, you know, <laugh>. Yeah. Uh, so we’re, we’re on the journey for
Sure. Yeah. No, and I, I think, you know, on so many levels as a clinician, as a human being, I have shifted my perspective on so many things. Right. When I first heard about paleo, I was like, why would anyone
Exactly. Why would I wanna do that? And then I gave up gluten and I, and I, you know, reverse an autoimmune condition. And then, you know, I gave up dairy a few years later and then I gave up grain. And so to me it’s just, it’s figuring out what works for you, what doesn’t work for you, and then kind of leaning into the science. I don’t disagree that carnivore can be beneficial, but I don’t think we’re intended to just eat meat forever.
Right. It’s an extreme,
I think recent variety and, and I’m a perfect example. Nine months of carnivore, I felt a hundred percent better. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I missed vegetables. And so I, I think that it really speaks to the fact that we should be open to the possibility that we don’t have all the answers and that our, we can change our perspectives much as you said, you know, even I wrote a book that got published this year, and there are things I probably would’ve said differently
Now a year later. Exactly.
Do some mimimg Yeah.
Yeah. I, you know, coming from different culture, I mean China, you know, 10,000 years, you know, civilization, I mean, it’s, plants have always been really important, right? Look at all the Chinese herbs, you know, granted they have some, you know, other things, animals and insects and in there, but, um, plant, it’s the mainstay of Chinese herbal medicine. And also so much what they do is to use, you know, all these basically different plants to heal. Right. So, I mean, it’s, it’s gonna be very hard to, you know, to be convinced that that is gonna be bad for you. Um, I think it’s, you know, there <laugh>, uh, I don’t know exactly which ones are the best for a particular person. That probably takes some fine tuning, but, you know, it’s gonna be very hard for me to think that I can just shoot plants down, just
Throw away 10, 7,000 years of Chinese medicine. Well, I don’t think Paul Saladino would agree strongly that plants have the healing and medicinal properties, and that’s different than making them the centerpiece of your calories every day. And I appreciate that and I appreciate how he evolved and now started chowing down on the honey and the fruit when he was, you know, the, the, the meat and meat person. And so, um, that brings us to like, I, I’m kind of on this meat and fruit kick right now, realizing that fruit is very difficult to criticize as, oh, isn’t that too many carbs in your diet? That there fruit is incredibly nutritious food that’s easy to digest by and large, especially compared to the plants that we’re asked to put aside by due to potential sensitivity to the, to the hy levels of oxalates and all the other list of stops, Hanes and all that stuff.
So, um, and the carbohydrate providing energy for modern life. I don’t care if my ancestors, you know, struggled and suffered and made it through long, dark, cold, harsh winters, going keto because I’m trying to compete in the 400 meter race in four months time and I’m not going to model my ancestral example. Literally. That’s stupid. We’re trying to progress and progress and, and perform better than I’m, I’ll kick any caveman’s in the 400 meters. I promise that who’s ever lived, because they didn’t care about that stuff. They just wanted to survive the long, dark, cold, harsh winter. And I have a sticky note on my wall that I’ve had for many years, and it was a quote from Dr. Perlmutter, highly respected physician and author, um, donate fruit in the wintertime because our ancestral example is that was a time for fat storage and you know, less glycemic ability and all these things.
And it’s so spot on and valid through evolutionary anthropology. But then as I, as I look at the quote a lot, I’m thinking, you know, last winter Southwest Airlines had a flash sale for $80 one way ticket to Hawaii. So we went to Hawaii four times last winter. Wow. <laugh>. And I was doing hot sweaty hikes and going to the farmer’s market and slamming the mangoes and the pineapples during winter. So it’s like, what effing winter are we talking about now with these bright lights on us and our bright lights and our screens? We can, we can disengage from the ancestral example when appropriate in pursuit of peak performance and longevity today. So that’s been another awakening for me not to be locked in, like, you know, uh, uh, you know, obsessed with the, with the caveman example.
Well I think that rigid dogmatism, I mean that’s part of it. Like just be having an open mind. But I also think our modern day lifestyles contribute to why we don’t tolerate certain types of foods. Whether it’s chronic antibiotic use, exposure to estrogen mimicking chemicals, the lack of high quality sleep and just being physically sedentary. We’re not living anything at all similar to where we used to live. We just have become a little comfortable, I don’t wanna use say a derogatory term. We’re just becoming these human beings that are not, that are going completely against the grain of the way our bodies are designed to thrive.
I call them Flabby F loppy, Mr. Softies.
Oh, I was gonna say no page. We’re becoming little blobs. <laugh>
Truly. I mean, and it’s unfortunate cuz that’s not the way we’re designed to thrive. And it, it’s so sad to me. It’s not until, you know, we get outta the United States and we’re traveling with our family and we’re like, cause you know, it’s just unsee the amount of obesity that you do here. And it’s so concerning because that’s the norm. Now. We just think that’s normal. You
Ever seen, seen those pictures of, um, like the Jersey Shore
From the 1970s,
1947 pictures? Oh, it’s amazing. People on the beach. The beach is just packed with people and everyone’s thin. There’s no, you can’t find an obese person in a, in a photo of 8,000 people. Wow. Yeah. It’s
Just, there’s a photo from the 1970s and I, I did a talk this year where I put that and then there was a photo superimposed of like the 2010s with some very heavy people and I took some flack on social media from one or two people who got triggered. And I was like, I’m just trying to, yeah. I’m just trying to explain to people we are heading in the wrong direction. Like what do we need to do to course correct. Um, and on so many different levels, I think, you know, our modern day lifestyles are contributing, whether it’s exposure to blue light and you know, sitting at night like people just sumo. I just have to put the, um, the, the component on my iPhone or my iPad or my
Computer and I can keep going <laugh>.
Right, exactly. My husband says I don’t have to wear blue blockers. It’s like if you’re gonna be on your computer, yes you should. Cuz I know I’m sensitive to blue light. Mm. Totally sensitive
To it. Gosh, I have it right next to my computer and I, most of the time I forget <laugh>. Yeah,
Yeah. Sitting there.
But I like your, you know, rule, rule of thumb as far as what diet is good for you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is to see how you feel. Yep. I mean that’s really the bottom line cuz it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s hard. It is so hard. Even if you do a genetic test, I guess you could, it could give you some glimpse of what may be good for you. But you know, I think our body’s very complex, so just, uh, looking at the genes in some correlations probably doesn’t tell you the full picture of what’s going on in your body. So eventually you just, you know, look at is everybo is everything functioning beautifully, eating what you’re eating, that probably is the bottom line.
Yeah. It’s funny, this summer I had nutrigenomic testing done. Yeah. And the first thing the woman said to me was, do you tolerate fatty meat? And I was like, no. And she said, I can explain why. Wow. And so I was so validating because in my family, ribeye is king and I get a lot of flack because I’m like, listen, I don’t feel good if I eat duck fat fry. I mean anything large tell I really do better with plant-based fats and lean meat and fish and chicken and things like that. And so now I feel like I can st I can say it’s genetically predisposed. It’s not just in my head, but Yeah. I think sometimes it can be, it can validate maybe the way you maybe connections that you’re making about your relationship with food Yeah. Or how your body feels.
Right. You’re bring in the modern science Yes. To explain certain things. Yes. Yeah. It found, so it told me that I had a, um, a deficiency in salivary, enzyme aade. It’s interesting. Yeah. Which makes me more prone to insulin resistance. Oh. And, and, and blood sugar spikes because I can’t digest the carbs Yep. In, you know, the starch and then so my body cannot be primed to produce insulin. Yeah. So by the time he is absorbed with this massive amount of, of carbohydrate, that’s too late, my blood sugars already spike. Interesting. Yeah. So solving some pieces of the puzzle. Yeah.
Yeah. That’s so important.
I wonder if that, that sensitivity is buried under a mountain of processed food and sitting around for most people where they can’t even relate to what it feels like to have an omelet versus the cereal, orange juice, toast and sugar on top. You know, like a, a smoker doesn’t have as sensitive lungs as I do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> when I’m breathing, you know, someone smoking, uh, three doors down on a hotel balcony, I’m like, who the hell’s smoking? You know?
Yeah, exactly. It’s like, that’s gross. Right. One step at a time.
Yeah, that’s right. One step at a time. So I guess if you could just clean up a little bit and then start to be able to assess whether <laugh> fasting works for you or doesn’t work for you. Yeah. How can you tell you’re, you’re just, you’re buried, you’re underneath the avalanche.
That’s such a good point. And, and I think it really speaks to the fact that I think for most people, they don’t lean into how they feel. They’re just kind of going through the motions. And I think for, you know, those of us in this space, we’re really leaning into, okay, what’s my body trying to communicate what the, the beauty of the end of one is really trying to determine what works best for you, your body, your lifestyle.
I do wonder if there’s a factor there because I’m so sensitive to my, my sleep needs. And if I don’t get eight half to nine hours, I feel like hell and I have to take two naps, you know, if we’re traveling and I mean, I got jetlagged traveling from California to Arizona last week where that goodness, first afternoon I was like, man, I’m not feeling well. I’m getting a headache. And it’s like, um, I was that way as an athlete too cuz I purposefully went in that direction where I needed to assess whether this little tweak on my knee was, you know, something I needed to watch out for super carefully every step of that eight mile run and so on. Then the next day it was the right shoulder, whatever. So, um, could it be that, you know, could, could we take this overboard? I think when we’re talking to people that were working the night shift for 11 years and, and doing the, the triple duty,
I think it remains to be seen.
I’m working on that too. It’s a work in progress.
Yeah. I just know my jet lag is worse when I come out to the west coast than it is when I fly east. Like if I go to Europe or Africa. So like I will struggle like I can tell right now, like my body, like right now, my body’s telling me, you’re not supposed to be like doing this right now. It’s like thinking it’s, it’s mealtime. It’s, you know, we’re getting close to dinner time. It’s amazing. I mean, but I’ve only been on the west coast for one day,
So Right. And I see these bad asses that just steamroll over everything.
I’m fine if I go east, I’m terrible and I go west. Like I’ve been to Hawaii twice and I don’t think I’ll ever go back <laugh> just because I was so, I could not function with the jet lag. Yeah.
That’s a long so bad. That’s a lot of time zones for East Coast. It
Is. And I was like, you know, I don’t think I need to do that again twice. Check it off the box
Ladies. That was a riveting conversation. <laugh>, we went so many directions. Usually I record an intro and we talk about, okay, then we talk about protein, then we’re talking this now. I’m like, all right. We talk about, you know, Tiger of Beijing’s father ripping up her notes <laugh> and a 13 Day Fast, a new record Guinness Book of Records, never to be broken by herself. <laugh>, thank you so much for watching listening. It was great fun. Oh, let’s give our appropriate plugs.
You can find one of my podcasts called Everyday Wellness. It is available everywhere as well as the Intermittent Fasting podcast that I co-host with Melanie Avalon. You can find me on social media, Cynthia underscore thurlow underscore on Instagram before Warn. I’m snarky on Twitter and I have a free Facebook group. I get in trouble free Facebook group, uh, called Intermittent the Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle slash my name and of course my book, the Intermittent Fasting Transformation, which I would love for you to check out
Joy Kong. This is gonna go on the Joy Kong podcast as well as the B.rad podcast. And we can learn more about you from,
Well, I, um, my YouTube channel, joy Kong md, I have a lot of educational videos mm-hmm. About, um, mostly about stem cell therapy because there’s so much information misinformation out there, and then people are so confused, actually, even medical doctors are very confused. So it’s a good resource. And, um, um, I also talk a little bit about ketamine therapy, you know, a little bit of about peptide therapy. So I do this, you know, kind of a integrative approach in my clinic using some of the, you know, very new innovative modalities. Um, and then my Instagram is Dr. Underscore Joy underscore Kong. And, um, and, um, um, that’s, um, most of my, um, yeah, my clinic is, um, here in Uplift Longevity Center where we, um, we, we really, um, put everything, um, to work all these new modalities I’ve, I’ve gleaned and got excited about.
Um, and to, you know, to get people over some really tough, you know, health challenges and also help people stay really healthy. And, um, and I, yes, I wrote a book, Tiger of Beijing, and, um, it’s, uh, in the process being made into a movie and that’ll be an exciting journey. So, um, yeah, I’m looking at putting the, all the content from the YouTube onto a podcast format so I can make this more accessible to more people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So yeah, excited to, you know, meet amazing people like these two and then, you know, help bringing more goodness to the world. Thank you everybody.
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